C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


ls Elections
City goes to the polls on April 10
Youngsters, comprising 55.99% of the electorate, to be the deciding factor
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
With the announcement of the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections, residents of the City Beautiful are set to cast their vote on April 10 to elect their new Member of Parliament. Youngsters and professionals will play a crucial role in deciding the outcome of the elections.

More than half of the electorate in the city is below the age of 40. Of the 5.80 lakh registered voters, 55.99 per cent are below the age of 40.

Statistics provided by the UT Election Department reveal that 18,170 voters in the 18 to 19 age bracket will cast their vote for the first time. Among them, 11,593 (63.8 per cent) are male and 6,577 (36.2 per cent) are female.

Youngsters, especially first-time voters, are excited about the elections. Aamir Ahmed, a student of SD College, Sector 32, and first-time voter, said he would exercise his right to franchise with responsibility.

As many as 1,59,043 voters are in the age group of 29 and 30 and constitute 27.38 per cent of the total electorate. In the 30 to 39 age group, there are 1,47,957 voters who constitute 25.47 per cent of the total voters.

In the 40 to 49 age group, there are 1,16,875 (20.12 per cent) voters; in the 50 to 59 age group, there are 76,787 (13.23 per cent) voters; in the 60 to 69 age group, there are 39,214 (6.75 per cent) voters; in the 70 to 79 age group, there are 17,023 (2.93 per cent) voters, while there are 5,631 (0.96 per cent) voters who are aged 80 and above.

Shiv Kumar, an employee with a private bank, said instead of blaming the government for the ills plaguing society, people should come forward and exercise their right to vote with responsibility. He said he would encourage his family members and friends to vote this time.

UT Home Secretary-cum-Chief Election Officer Anil Kumar said the department would continue the process of making fresh voter cards till the last date for filing nominations. They would also organise special camps on March 8 and March 9 for enrolment of eligible residents. The voter lists would be put up at all 500 polling booths so that residents could check whether their names figured in these or not, he said.

According to the final publication of summary revision released by the commission, Chandigarh has 5.8 lakh voters, up from 5.24 lakh in 2009.

Voting percentage has remained below 70

The voting percentage in Chandigarh has remained below 70. The poll percentage in the city in 2004 was 52.06. In 1998 and 1999, it was 42.36 per cent and 46.99 per cent, respectively. Breaking the record of 20 years, a voting percentage of 65.51 was recorded in 2009. The highest voter turnout in the city was 66.85 per cent in 1971.

Security arrangements

The UT Administration will deploy more than 5,000 policemen for the elections. Besides the Chandigarh Police, officials of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) and other paramilitary forces will also be pressed into service.

Election schedule

  • March 15: Election will be notified
  • March 22: Last date for filing nominations
  • March 24: Scrutiny of nominations
  • March 26: Last date for withdrawal of nominations
  • April 10: Polling day
  • May 16: Counting of votes and declaration of results

Model polling booths

Chandigarh will be the first city in India where all 500 polling booths will be model polling stations. The electorate will be provided various facilities to make voting a happy experience. Besides, all booths will have uniform facilities. As part of the initiative, all polling stations in the city will be equipped with two cameras each, one inside and the other outside the booth, to telecast live images on the official portals. The Administration has declared 143 booths sensitive.

Model code of conduct comes into force

With the announcement of the elections, the model code of conduct has come into force. It will be mandatory for all political parties to comply with it.

Nominees of parties

The Aam Aadmi Party has declared Savita Bhatti as its candidate from the city for the Lok Sabha elections, while the Bahujan Samaj Party has named Jannat Jahan. From the Congress, sitting MP Pawan Kumar Bansal’s name has been recommended by the screening panel of the party. The final decision will be taken by the party high command. From the BJP, there are three contenders -- Sanjay Tandon, Harmohan Dhawan and Satya Pal Jain -- for the party ticket.



2 visually impaired students hit by car
Tribune News Service

The car involved in the mishap
The car involved in the mishap

Chandigarh, March 5
Two visually impaired students of Government College, Sector 11, were critically injured after a speeding Ambassador car (PB 06 L 5452) belonging to an official of the Punjab Irrigation Department hit them near the Congress Bhawan in Sector 15.

The victims, Ramandeep and Balraj, have been admitted to Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16. The car belonged to the Chief Engineer of the Punjab Irrigation Department, Harvinder Singh, but he was not in the vehicle at the time of the mishap. The car driver, Satpal, has been arrested.

Ramandeep sustained a fracture on his right leg. Balraj also sustained injuries.

The mishap occurred at around 4.30 pm when the two were crossing the road after alighting from a bus.

They were crossing the road from the Sector 15 side to their college in Sector 11 when the car hit them. The two reside in the college hostel. The car was coming from the Punjab Secretariat side and was on its way to Sector 11. It was reportedly being driven at a high speed. The windscreen of the car was damaged as one of the youths fell on it after being tossed into the air due to the impact of the mishap.

The two had gone to a Sector 19 school to hire a writer for themselves for their exams when the mishap occurred. Balraj and Ramandeep are friends and students of BA final year in the college.

The car driver was arrested in a case of rash and negligent driving under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC. A case has been registered at the Sector 11 police station.



Pickpockets make the most of Gadkari's speech
Satya Pal Jain loses mobile phone
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
While BJP leaders and supporters were busy listening to a speech of former BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, pickpockets made the most of the occasion. BJP leader Satya Pal Jain and a party supporter from Sector 15 lost their mobile phones. The police also received information of a BJP worker having lost Rs 10,000 in the crowd.

However, nobody lodged a written complaint with the police. During his visit to Chandigarh, Gadkari addressed BJP leaders and supporters at the party office in Sector 33. The hall was jampacked.

Sources said Jain lost his mobile while he was coming out of the BJP office along with Gadkari.

“Such incidents do happen during political rallies. However, it is surprising that this happened on the office premises where everyone was known to each other,” said a BJP supporter on condition of anonymity.

The area police station was immediately informed about the thefts of the mobile phones.

Naveen Goyal, a BJP supporter and resident of Sector 15, lost his mobile during the speech. “As soon I realised that my mobile was missing, I called on my number from another phone. However, it was switched off,” Goyal said.

Rajesh Shukla, SHO of the Sector 34 police station, said both mobiles had been put on surveillance. “We received information about money being stolen from a BJP worker's pocket. However, nobody has lodged a complaint regarding this,” he said.

Rs 10,000 stolen

The police also received information of a BJP worker having lost Rs 10,000 in the crowd.


Chandigarh votes 2014
Gadkari kicks off campaign in city
Sham-e-Hindustan Vision (2020-2025) turns out to be BJP’s manifesto for poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
With the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections, former BJP president Nitin Gadkari — who was in Panjab University (PU) today — formally kicked off campaigning in the city by addressing the youth.

Interestingly, the event — Sham-e-Hindustan Vision (2020-2025) — turned out to be the BJP’s manifesto for the upcoming elections.

By criticising the flawed policies of the UPA (II) and its lackadaisical attitude in taking decisions in the past decade, Gadkari appealed to the students to allow the BJP to form the next government.

“All sectors of the economy, including agriculture and industry, have suffered a major setback due to the UPA (II),” he added.

Gadkari said the BJP was mulling to start two new departments after coming into power which included the Department of e-governance and Department of Innovation and Entrepreneur. Addressing the students, the former BJP president, said, “The party will welcome any innovative idea that the youth want to incorporate in the development of the country.”

During his 45-minute speech, Gadkari indulged in self-adulation and discussed the decisions that he took as PWD minister in Maharashtra for the state’s development. Discussing about his Limca Book Award for the maximum number of concrete works, he said, “I’m not an engineer but I do have a vision for state’s prosperity.”

‘Use the right to vote’

To sensitise students to vote in the upcoming elections, BJP representatives asked the students to use their right to vote or else the party would address those who don’t vote as ‘Pappu’.

Girl students hoot

Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari failed to impress the students with his party manifesto and political experience. A large number of girl students present at the spot started hooting in the Law Auditorium, where the event was organised. The Haryana Students Association immediately intervened and controlled the crowd. During Gadkari’s speech, the students were not allowed to leave the venue of the function.

Misbehaviour with mediapersons

Representatives of the Haryana Students Association and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad misbehaved and used derogatory language for mediapersons present on the occasion. Surprisingly, the organisers did not initiate action against the leaders against whom the complaints were made by the media fraternity by giving lame excuses and stating that the leaders did not belong to their party.

PU plays it cool

Ignoring the cultural event, which turned out to be the BJP’s political conference, no PU official took action against the HSA representatives, who were the organisers.



Gadkari meets BJP workers
Says party candidate from city to be named on March 8
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Former chief of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Nitin Gadkari had a detailed discussion with party workers in a meeting held at BJP office, Sector 33, today.

To prepare the workers for the Lok Sabha Elections 2014, Gadkari provided a clear vision of the party and gave proper guidance on how to carry forward the ideologies among masses.

Gadkari while addressing the media stated that the name of the BJP candidate from the Chandigarh seat would be announced on March 8.

Talking about the BJP vision document, he stated, “We will introduce a transparent system and will adopt progressive economic policies. Special emphasis will be given to e-governance, which can curb red tapism and put an end to the license permit raj. The black money issue will be resolved and inflation will be brought down. Other parties are accusing us of not being a secular party to grab power, but I will say that the BJP is the only secular party which wants to develop every section of the society”, Gadkari stated.



BJP launches ‘Ek note kamal par vote’ drive in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 5
The “Ek note kamal par vote” Abhiyan was launched by the BJP in Phase IX here, today.

The drive was launched by Kamal Sharma, president, BJP, Punjab, along with Tarun Chugh, general secretary, BJP, Punjab. A large number of party workers were present.

They went from door-to-door asking residents to vote for the SAD-BJP candidate, Prem Singh Chandumajra, in the Lok Sabha elections so that BJP leader Narendra Modi could be the next Prime Minister.

Sharma criticised the policies of the Congress government at the Centre in the past 10 years. He said the common man had suffered a lot due to inflation, corruption, and unemployment. The growth rate had also declined in the past years. A single currency note was collected from residents as an expression of their support for Narendra Modi’s nationwide campaign.



F&CC: Poll code to delay projects worth Rs 6 cr
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
With the Model Code of Conduct for the Lok Sabha elections coming into force, the development projects worth Rs six crore approved by the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) at the meeting held on February 26 will now be delayed by three months.

The pending development projects of the Road Committee were especially tabled in the F&CC meeting before the code of conduct came into force. but now, it will be delayed for the next few months as the minutes of meeting could not be approved at the house meeting.

SAD councillor and member of the F&CC Malkiat Singh stated that on the demand of several councillors, the subjects that were supposed to be discussed and approved by the Road Committee of the MC were tabled before the F&CC for approval just to avoid delay in starting the work. However, with the code of conduct coming into effect, the development works will be further delayed. “If the minutes of meeting were approved, the departments concerned could have worked on the projects and tenders could have been called as soon the code of conduct was lifted”, the SAD councillor stated.

BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi who is also a member of the F&CC stated that he had also requested the Mayor, HC Kalyan, to call a special meeting for the approval of the minutes of the meeting.

Sources stated the House meeting would now take place after the election results were declared. “The minutes of F&CC meeting will be tabled in the General House for confirmation after which the projects approved will be sent to the departments concerned to start the tendering process”, the sources stated.



Watch hours extended
Now, international flights can be introduced from Chandigarh Airport
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
The Ministry of Defence has extended the watch hours at the Chandigarh Airport, here. With this approval, International flights can be introduced from the city.

For a long time now, city residents have been demanding the extension of watch hours and the ministry has accepted the much-awaited demand.

As per the written communication, received by the local Member of Parliament, Pawan Kumar Bansal, the ministry has accepted the demand and has permitted some airlines to operate beyond 8 pm.

Earlier, the Indian Air Force (IAF) authority did not allow night landing or extended watch hours at the Chandigarh Airport as the IAF oversees the airstrip and air traffic control there.

Notably, certain security issues were citied, as the reason, for not giving approval for night landings. "We are yet to receive a written communication. After receiving any kind of written order, we can proceed with further course of action,” said an airport official.

Welcoming the move, Manmohan Singh, chairman, CII, said they were taking up the issue from the past many years. They are thankful to the authorities who finally accepted the demand of city residents, he said.

On October 13 2013, local MP and former Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had written a letter to the Minister of Defence, seeking extension of watch hours to 11 pm. He had also raised the matter for upgrading of Instrument Landing System (ILS).



Control room to be set up in Mohali
Centre to address poll-related complaints 24x7
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 5
A 24-hour control room will be set up in the office of the District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner (DC) here for the Lok Sabha elections. District Election Officer-cum-DC Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said the control room would deal with poll-related complaints.

“With the model code of conduct coming into force, all parties have been directed to remove poll-related hoardings and posters from unauthorised places within 24 hours. If any party fails to do so, it will be removed by the authorities concerned. The expenditure so incurred will be included in the poll expenses of that particular party,” said the DC.

Besides, action would also be initiated against the party concerned, said Sidhu.

On the occasion, the Deputy Commissioner said no person resorting to illegal methods to garner votes would be spared. Teams have been set up to conduct surprise checks.

A media certification and monitoring committee has also been formed to check on paid news nuisance, said Sidhu.

“In the three assembly constituencies, falling in Kharar, Mohali and Dera Bassi, there are 5,96,775 voters. Out of these, 3,16,172 are men and 2,80,603 are women. As many as 685 polling booths have been set up, 267 of them are ‘hypersensitive’ and 206 ‘sensitive’,” said the DC.

Booth-level officers would assist voters above the 18 years of age. Filled forms would also be accepted for carrying out corrections in voter ID cards, said Sidhu.



Former minister Balmiki eyes Congress ticket from Ambala
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 5
A Panchkula resident and a former minister, Raj Kumar Balmiki, is in the race for the Congress ticket from the Ambala parliamentary constituency.

Sources said the president of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, Ashok Tanwar, is also eyeing the ticket. There are around 22 Congress ticket aspirants, including around six from Panchkula.

The election schedule was announced here today.

Balmiki, who has been into politics for 30 years, said, "How can a person from some other place know the problems being faced by local people."

Ranjeeta Mehta, the president of Haryana Mahila Congress Pradesh Committee, said, "I know that whoever the Congress fields for the seat would win by a great margin."

Admn gears up for poll

Meanwhile, the district Administration has geared up for the elections.

Additional Deputy Commissioner SP Arora has been appointed as the overall in-charge of the Model Code of Conduct for the forthcoming General Election to be held on April 10 in Haryana, as declared by the Election Commission of India.

Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia said scrutiny of the nomination forms would be held on March 24 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 26.

The local Administration will also organise an awareness campaign on March 9 to encourage voters to exercise their right to franchise.

35 polling centres in dist

The District Election Officer said there would be 375 polling centres. Of them, 195 are in 01-Kalka Assembly constituency and 180 in 02-Panchkula Assembly constituency.

Phulia said the voting list would be provided at every voting centre.

An eligible unregistered voter can get enrolled and get voter I-card by filling Form No 6, available at every booth, before March 15.



Viscera of BDS student found dumped at General Hospital
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 5
The viscera and other samples of the BDS student of Dental College, Barwala, who was found hanging at her hostel room a week back, were found dumped in the mortuary of the General Hospital, Sector 6, here today.

The viscera were supposed to be dispatched to the chemical examiner, Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), at Madhuban in Karnal within 24 hours of the postmortem. But no police official has come to collect the viscera for the past one week so far. The other samples of the deceased were taken to ascertain if she was physically abused.

According to the information, 20-year-old Sachika Sharma was found hanging in her hostel room on the night of February 27. Parents said the victim was upset because the college authorities did not sanction her leave to go home on Shivratri.

Station house officer of the Raipurrani police station Deepak Kumar said, “A murder took place in our area yesterday, so we conducting raids. I will send a police official to probe into the matter tomorrow.”

Dr Sunil Gambhir, in charge of the medico legal cases at the General Hospital said, “We had asked police officials to take the viscera again and again, but they did not come. Viscera usually don’t last much. They need to be sent to lab on time.”

Déjà vu?

On February 10, Chandigarh Tribune had reported that the viscera of an Army official were found dumped at the mortuary of the General Hospital in the same manner. The viscera could have helped ascertain the cause of official’s death. The victim, Bilal Ahmed, was found dead on November 19, 2013, in Chandimandir.



Western Air Command chief visits city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Air Marshal SS Soman, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, is on a three-day tour to the Air Force Station, Chandigarh. He is accompanied by Rashmi Soman, president, Air Force Wife Welfare Association (Regional). It is his first visit here after taking over as the Western Air Command chief.

On their arrival, they were received by Air Cmde SK Indoria, Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing Force and Rakhi Indoria, president, AFWWA (Local), and presented a guard of honour.

Air Marshal Sonam was given a presentation on various operational and administrative activities at the station. He also reviewed the operational and training preparedness of various units based here and took stock of the maintenance activities being carried out.

He addressed the air warriors and other service personnel of the station.

Meanwhile, Rashmi Soman visited the Station Medicare Centre and later interacted with AFWWA members and specially challenged children. She also reviewed various welfare ventures run by AFWWA here.



Snatching case: Sketch of suspect released
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 5
The police have released a sketch of the suspect in the snatching of Rs 6.5 lakh from a gas agency owner in Phase IX here.

The sketch, prepared with the help of the gas agency owner Sardul Singh Sidhu, has been to various police stations and has been pasted at the railway station and the bus stand.

On March 2, a bag containing Rs 6 .5 lakh was snatched from Sidhu while he was coming out of his office and heading towards the parking area in Phase IX here.



Coffee keeps liver diseases at bay: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Lectures were organised during the launch of a book titled ‘Medicine and Law’ at the High Court complex today. The book, authored by Justice K Kannan of Punjab and Haryana High Court, was launched by the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

While delivering a lecture on ‘Mind your liver', Dr YK Chawla, director, PGI, said two cups of coffee a day can guard liver against diseases.

Addressing a gathering of the Punjab and Haryana High Court judges and advocates, Chawla presented an overview of the liver diseases. He said consuming alcohol, improper diet and other diseases such as diabetes affect liver extensively.

Leading researches worldwide have found that coffee has emerged as a good source for keeping the liver healthy. “But excess of everything is bad,” said the director.

Chawla said liver cirrhosis can also be cured through transplantation. Cadaver donations are crucial for it,he added.

Earlier, Dr Arunaloke Chakrabarti, head of the Department of Medical Microbiology, PGIMER, apprised the audience of the future of medicine.

“Science is advancing both in terms of diagnosis as well as therapies. We have more precise systems for diagnosing the diseases now,” said Dr Arunaloke Chakrabarti.



Opposition resents less representation in MC panels
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Due to the less representation of BJP councillors in the sub-committees of the Municipal Corporation (MC) constituted this year by Mayor HC Kalyan, there is resentment among the BJP councillors. A majority of the sub-committees of the MC is dominated by Congress councillors. Various committees are an important part of the MC as they take all the related decisions. Out of the 12 committees constituted by the Mayor, the Congress councillors dominate some of the powerful committees. Each committee has nine members out of which four are from the Congress in a majority of the committees.

The sub-committees are constituted in the MC every year under the provisions of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law Act, 1994.

The Road Committee that takes decision related to roads re-carpeting and construction in the city has four members of the Congress, three nominated councillors and only two BJP councillors.

Similarly, the Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee also has four Congress councillors as the members, while there are only two councillors from the Opposition including a SAD councillor, while three nominated councillors are also its members.

Four members of the Sanitation Committee belong to the Congress. There is one BJP councillor and an Independent councillor in the committee apart from the three nominated councillors.

The Environment and City Beautification Committee also has four Congress councillors as their members. Out of the total nine members, two are nominated members, and three belong to the BJP, SAD and BSP. The Art culture and Sports Committee also has four Congress councillors as members, while the BJP has just one councillor. There is an Independent councillor apart from the three nominated councillors.

Deputy Mayor and BJP councillor Davesh Moudgil at this year’s first House meeting had raised the subject of giving equal representation in the committees to the BJP-SAD councillors, BSP councillors and an Independent councillor. The Deputy Mayor when contacted said, “ It’s an insult to the Opposition, as I had requested the Mayor to give equal representation so that everyone could play a constructive role.”

The committees in which the Opposition got sufficient representation includes The Apni Mandi and Day Market Committee.It has six councillors from the Opposition, the Slum Colonies and Village Development Committee has six councillors from the Opposition and two from the Congress apart from an Independent councillor.



36-yr-old man electrocuted in Barwala

Panchkula, March 5
A 36-year-oldman was electrocuted when he was trying to fix a fuse at his workplace. The victim, Sanjay, was working at a poultry farm in Barwala, Panchkula.

The victim hailed from Himachal Pradesh and was residing here. The doctors conducting the post mortem examination of the victim said that it seemed that a live wire had touched him.

Dr Sunil Gambhir, forensic expert, said, “The victim’s body had several burn marks. His feet were totally burnt.”

“I was informed by those working at the farm that Sanjay was requested to fix a fuse as there was no light there. As he was trying to fix the fuse he suddenly got electrocuted,” said a relative of the victim.The relatives of the victim were in an inconsolable state. The postmortem examination was conducted and the body was handed over to the family. — TNS



Get 57.2 % discount on medicines
Shop at PGI to open within a week
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Now, patients at the PGIMER will not have to pay high costs for medicines they are prescribed, as the institute has allotted the contract of a shop on the campus to a chemist who will provide 57.2 per cent discount on all medicines.

Sources in the PGIMER Administration confirmed that the shop would start functioning within a week after the documentation process is completed.

The shop is located in the old shopping complex (on the rear side of the Oral Health Sciences Centre). The contract for running the store has been allotted to a Sector 45-based chemist.

So far, the highest discount offered by the existing chemist shops at the PGIMER is scaled at 15 per cent for branded and 30 per cent for generic medicines (as made mandatory under the contract). The 57.2 per cent discount quoted by the chemist for PGIMER's first shop on discount-based allotment is the highest offered by any chemist across the country. A similar shop is already running at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, the highest discount quoted in its latest tender, floated recently, was 56 per cent. The maximum discount bid at AIIMS, Rishikesh, was 56.2 per cent.

“The PGI had specified 50 per cent discount as the key condition in the tender. Besides providing discount on medicines, the chemist will also have to deposit Rs 50,00,000 as security. Unlike existing contracts with other chemists on the campus, the new contract provides for forfeiture of security in case the chemist decides to leave the shop, said a senior PGIMER official.



medical claim
Insurance firm penalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Oriental Insurance Company has been penalised for repudiating medical claim to a city-based complainant. The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the company to pay the insured amount of Rs 5 lakh to the complainant, as the expenditure incurred by him on the treatment was higher. The forum also directed the company to pay a sum of Rs 25,000 to the complainant as compensation for causing him mental agony and harassment due to their deficient act, besides paying Rs 10,000 as litigation cost.

The complainant, Ravinder Singh Bhalla, a resident of Sector 46, had obtained a PNB Royal Mediclaim Policy from the opposite party by paying a premium of Rs 6,830 for a sum insured of Rs 5 lakh for the hospitalisation expenses for medical or surgical treatment at any nursing home or hospital in India for himself, his wife and son.

On July 8, 2013, the complainant had a feeling of sweating, chest pain associated with palpitation and shortness of breath. He was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, from where he was referred to Department Cardiology PGIMER. Later, he was rushed to Fortis Hospital, Mohali, and there he underwent a heart surgery on the same day.

The hospital raised a bill of Rs 5,52,296 towards hospitalisation expenses and treatment of the complainant.

The complainant was discharged from the hospital after two days i.e. on July 10, 2013. “Though the mediclaim policy was cash-less facility, still the opposite parties failed to make the payment before I was discharged,” he alleged. So, I had to pay the entire amount of Rs 5,52,296, he said. Thereafter, the complaint was filed, however, the insurance company repudiated it.

The opposite party admitted the issuance of mediclaim policy. It, however, denied that the payment was to be made. “It is stated that the claim has been reported in the first year of the policy itself and for two years the claim for hypertension or related conditions are not payable,” a member of the insurance company said.

After going through the evidences, the forum held that the repudiation done by the insurance company was ‘totally unjustified and illegal’ and there was deficiency in service.



Health Department honours 150 panchayats for better sex ratio

Mohali, March 5
As many as 150 panchayats of Punjab were honoured during a state-level function at the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare here today.

The panchayats included those which had shown an outstanding performance in improving the child sex ratio in their areas during 2012-13 through effective awareness. The sex ratio of girls is more than boys in these villages.

Reet Kheri gram panchayat of Patiala achieved the highest sex ratio of 1,652 girls against 1,000 boys. Bhaddal gram panchayat of Ropar district achieved a positive sex ratio of 1,541 girls and Kotla Gosanpur gram panchayat of Hoshiarpur achieved a sex ratio of 1,489 girls.

Similarly, other selected panchayats, too, achieved a sex ratio of 1,000 or above.

The Health Department has also initiated a drive against female foeticide and genuine informers are given a reward of Rs 20,000. — OC



health noteS
IMA docs protest: OPDs to remain closed today

Chandigarh: Doctors associated with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) here, held a protest rally at IMA House, Sector 35, on Wednesday in support of the atrocities against medical students and doctors of GSVM Medical College, Kanpur. They strongly condemned the brutal assault on the students and doctors of Kanpur Medical College and demanded expulsion of officials concerned in the state. IMA, Chandigarh, president Dr Harminder Singh issued directions to all IMA members and medical fraternity to close the OPDs on Thursday as a mark of protest and solidarity with the doctors of the medical college. The closure of OPDs (all over the country) is as per the orders given by the national IMA. However, keeping in mind the patients’ welfare, emergency services will be functional, the office-bearers informed.

Fellowship for PGI orthopaedician

Dr Vishal Kumar, assistant professor, Department of Orthopedics at PGI, has been honoured with the fellowship of Indian Orthopedics Association- Dartmouth Hitchcock Fellowship, 2014. He will receive four weeks of training in spine surgeries with world renowned surgeons at a spine centre in the US. Presently, he is improvising on his surgical skills in spine surgery under his teacher-cum-guide Prof Raj Bahadur. He has several indexed publications, written several chapters in different text books and is reviewer of several journals of high repute. He has presented original research work on international and national podia and has several fellowships to his credit.

‘Healthcare At Home’ now in Chandigarh

Dabur India Ltd has brought professional healthcare services at the comfort of home in Chandigarh. The founders of a UK-based home healthcare firm, Dr Gareth Jones and Charles Walsh have joined hands with Dabur India Ltd. The services were introduced in Delhi before Chandigarh. ‘Healthcare At Home’ offers trained and qualified staff at home. It helps patients from troublesome and expensive visits to the hospital. — TNS



City-based firm gets national award

Chandigarh-based Allengers Medical Systems Private Limited has bagged the national award for quality products instituted by the Ministry of Mirco, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The award was conferred by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Suresh Sharma, chairman and managing director of the company, at a function organised by the MSME Ministry in New Delhi recently.

Sports mall launched at Zirakpur

Targetting the sports market in Punjab and Haryana, French brand—Decathlon— has come up with a sports store in Zirakpur. The 35,000 sq feet mall is stocked with equipments and gears of over 40 sports. Cedric Pradalier, regional manager of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, said the mall offers a full range of entry-level equipments for every sport along with world-class quality. An outlet would be opening soon at North Country Mall, Mohali, he said.

CII elects office-bearers

Sanjeev Pahwa, CMD of Ralson (India) Ltd, and Harish Chavan, COO, Swaraj Division (M&M), has been elected as the new chairman and vice-chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Punjab State Council, for the year 2014 - 15, respectively.

Indian Oil launches free gift voucher scheme

Indian Oil launched a scheme named 'Rangla Punjab' at Petrol Pumps in Chandigarh, Mohali and other major cities of Punjab. Customers can win various prizes in the form of free petrol vouchers through mini lucky draws and a Hyundai car through mega draw after the closure of the scheme. Two/three-wheelers purchasing petrol worth Rs 300 or any lubricants worth Rs 250 and four-wheelers purchasing petrol worth Rs 1,200 or any lubricants worth Rs 750 can participate in the lucky draw scheme. The scheme was inaugurated at Sector 33 petrol pump by Sudeb Gupta, executive director, Punjab State Office, IOCL. — TNS



Speed humps: Life saver or life taker?

Speed breakers are designed to bring down number of road accidents caused by rash driving. However, rather than saving lives, speed- breakers are increasingly claiming lives. The Indian Road Congress (IRS) has clearly specified the measurements of speed-breakers to be four inches high and 11.5 inches wide. But no authorities seem to follow these guidelines. The thoughtlessly laid and ill-designed speed-breakers irk commuters as the ‘high’ speed breakers damage bumpers of the new models of the cars. Because of the breach of guidelines, speed- breakers increase the risk of accidents and cause whiplash, backache and neck pain. People commuting on two-wheelers and three-wheelers get the most affected due to the bumpy ride. Besides, speed-breakers also pose a threat to the lives of patients being carried in ambulances. We frequently come across unmarked speed-breakers at night, which cause inconvenience especially to those who are unfamiliar with the city roads. The Chandigarh Administration should see that the speed breakers are constructed as per the measurement guidelines laid by the IRS. The Administration also needs to mark the already existing speed breakers with radium paint or they should put up a signboard.

Sukriti Sharma, Chandigarh

Paid parking lots a medium to pocket more money

It is a fact that at all paid parking lots in Chandigarh, only the entry points are manned. Cash is collected at the entry point itself rather than collecting the money at the exit point. At some lots, chaos prevails as there are no attendants deployed at the same. It was reported in the columns of the Chandigarh Tribune that the MC will be introducing paid parking in Sectors 19 and 22 to tackle the prevailing chaos. This is contrary to any objective observer's experience. In fact, in October 2013, it was reported that because of the initiative of the market committees, parking arrangements in these sectors are well-organised. Undoubtedly, the only reason behind conversion to paid parking is monetary benefits. Given the chaotic conditions and poor management in existing paid parking lots, it is a matter of concern as the same fate now awaits the Sectors 19 and 22 market parking lots.

Ramanjit Kaur Johal, Chandigarh



Lok Sabha elections: PU cancels date sheet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
Following the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections, Panjab University (PU) has cancelled its date sheet for the annual examinations of undergraduate classes which was notified earlier.

The decision was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of PU Controller of Examinations (CoE) Parvinder Singh here today.

Sources said the Panjab University was working on finalising the new dates, which would be done after the approval of Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover.

The CoE said the date sheet for undergraduate classes was being revised and would be notified shortly.

Earlier, the date sheet for the annual examinations of BA, BSc, BCom, BBA, BCA and BSc (Bio Informatics/Bio Tech) had been notified and uploaded on the Panjab University website.

He said the date sheet uploaded on the website should be treated as cancelled and withdrawn.

Sources said since the election dates in Chandigarh and Punjab were different, the Panjab University authorities were facing a problem in revising the date sheet. The authorities had drafted it in such a manner that all main exams were to be over in April.



2nd semester BCom LLB five-year integrated course
UILS academic body reviews conditions for admission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
The Academic Committee of the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Panjab University (PU), today held a meeting to consider the representation filed by some aspirants to seek admission to the second semester of BCom LLB (Honors) five-year integrated course.

The committee reviewed the necessary qualifications and other conditions for the admission process.

After due deliberations, the panel found that the conditions “are not arbitrary but based upon reasonable classification as per Article 14 of the Constitution.”

The committee stated, “The admission is not being given for the first semester but the second semester in special circumstances. Due to this, the conditions have been framed in such a manner that the merit is respected and the prospective candidates can also fulfil the other mandatory requirement of the said course as per the UGC, BCI and PU rules.”

Aditya Pratap Duggal, whose name figured in the merit list of the entrance examination last year, submitted a memorandum to the Dean, Law, Satya Pal Jain, that the authorities were violating the directions of the high court.

He raised objections over the counselling criteria decided by Panjab University for the second semester of the five-year Integrated Course of BCom LLB of the University Institute of Legal Studies.

The committee said for enrolment with the Bar Council of India (BCI), every candidate had to submit a certificate issued by the head of the legal institution concerned that the student attended 75 per cent lectures in all 10 semesters of the course.

UILS director Sangita Bhalla said, “The BCom LLB five-year course is a professional law course. As per the BCI Rules of Legal Education-2008, adopted by PU in 2009, no lateral entry or exit is allowed for any law course.”

For 60 additional seats approved by the BCI for the course, the university has decided to call those students who are already pursuing the five-year course in any college along with clearing the entrance test last year.

The counselling is scheduled for March 10.



SGGS students stage protest against college management
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
To protest against the college management for not resolving their pending issues, the students of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College (SGGS), Sector 26, sat on hunger strike for an hour today.

The students stated that there were less fee deposit counters in the college due to which, they wasted time by standing in long queues. The alleged that though there were six counters, only three were operational.

The students also complained that sanitation was not up to the mark on the college premises.

Later, the students withdrew the strike after the college management decided to hold a meeting with the Student Organisation of Panjab University leaders tomorrow.

SOPU president Safal Sood said, “We will also raise the issue about AVAZ fest, a cultural event of the college, at the meeting.”



Annual prize distribution function at Dev Samaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 5
The annual prize distribution function was organised at Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, today.

The UT Higher Education-cum-Joint Secretary, Finance Director Sandeep Hans was the chief guest on the occasion. Principal Dr Meera Modi presented the annual college report.

As many as 300 students were given prizes for their academic and co-curricular achievements. Two students were awarded the Roll of Honour under the sports category. Nearly 24 students won the College Colour, while 14 got it for sports.

Seven students were awarded the Golden Certificate of Merit and 25 were given Certificate of Merit for academic excellence in the Annual Examination-2013 held in Panjab University.

Besides this, 80 students from various streams were given prizes for their achievement in the house examinations.



pu & college notes
Workshop on hotel and tourism industry

A one-day workshop on ‘Interface between human rights and tourism and hospitality industry’ was today jointly organised by the University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism (UIHMT), Panjab University (PU), and Centre for Human Rights and Duties, PU. The event was inaugurated by Dean-Business Management and Commerce, PU, Prof Keshav Malhotra.

Director ICSSR, Regional Centre and Dean-Arts Faculty, PU, Prof Ronki Ram delivered the valedictory address. Former Dean, Alumni Relations, PU, Prof Neelam Grover was the keynote speaker for the workshop.

Book exhibition at AC Joshi Library

To commemorate the 100 years of the Ghadar Party 1913-2013, the AC Joshi Library, Panjab University (PU), in collaboration with the National Archives of India, New Delhi, is organising a three-day exhibition of books, documents and other materials related to the Ghadar Movement. PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun K Grover inaugurated the exhibition. More than 100 archival documents are being displayed at the exhibition. PU librarian Dr Raj Kumar took the initiative to hold the exhibition in collaboration with the National Archives of India.

Panel discussion on fraudulent NRI marriages

The Department of Sociology in collaboration with the Department of Psychology, MCM DAV College for Women, organised a panel discussion on case analysis of fraudulent NRI marriages. Ex-Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha member and president, Lok Bhalai Party president Balwant Singh Ramoowalia was the chief guest. Ramoowalia has been working on fraudulent NRI marriage cases. He discussed the reasons, causes, modus operandi and laws and regulations relating to such cases 
while quoting relevant cases from his vast experience. Former DGP of Haryana Dr MS Malik was another panelist and familiarised students on various legal provisions in such cases. The students, too, presented case studies and participated in the discussion. — TNS



The Gurukul wins Spring Festival for 12th time in a row
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 5
The results of the 28th Spring Festival-2014 — the annual flower festival of Panchkula — were announced today.

The Gurukul, Sector 20, won the first prize under the school category, while the roundabout dividing Sectors 11 and 15 topped in the category of roundabouts maintained by NGOs.

Among gardens maintained by institutions, Shiksha Sadan, Sector 5, bagged the first prize, while Venus Remedies in the Industrial Area won the first prize in the category of gardens maintained by industries.

The festival was organised by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The prizes were given under the name ‘The Best Maintained Garden’ in different categories.

The in school category was awarded to The Gurukul for the 12th consecutive year. Under the category of schools, St Soldier’s School, Sector 16, bagged the second prize.

Among roundabouts, the roundabout diving Sectors 4/5/10/11 got the second prize while in institutions, the second position was won by Government Women’s College, Sector 14, and Utkarsh Society, Sector 2.



PU Prof gets top award

Chandigarh, March 5
Panjab University (PU) Prof Bhupinder Singh Bhoop was conferred the Outstanding Scientist Award at an international conference in Mumbai recently.

Prof Bhoop was honoured for his contribution and dedication in pharmaceutical sciences and research at the international conference, organised by the Select Bio (UK) on Pharma quality by design (QbD): Excellence and compliance. Prof Bhoop has more than 200 publications, 33 book chapters, nine books, four patents, 220 conference presentations, including 24 best paper awards, to his credit. — TNS



from schools
AKSIPS wins yoga championship

Chandigarh: Students of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School (AKSIPS), Sector 45, stood first and won the overall trophy in the 6th Swami Vivekananda Open Nation, Yogasan Championship, organised by the ‘AASH TRUST’ at Punjab University today. Gaurav and Jhanvi of Class VII won silver medals. Vishwadeep and Arun of Class X, besides Neeraj and Prachi of Class VII won bronze.

New school cabinet

Panchkula: The investiture of the new school cabinet ceremony was held at Holy Child School, Morni Hills Road, Panchkula. The ceremony saw participation from the students of Class IX and X along with the school management. Principal Neena Trehan addressed the outgoing students of Class X.

Rules on traffic safety

Over 45 students of pre-nursery and prep of Doon Public School, Sector 21, along with their teachers visited Traffic Park under their ‘Learn with Fun Programme’.

Annual sports day

Mohali: Paragon Senior Secondary School held its annual sports day here. Students from Classes I to V participated in various races, fun games, cultural activities and martial arts. Students of the pre-primary and primary wing took part in innovative games. Iqbal Singh Shergill, school director said, “KID-FIT is a world renowned fitness and nutrition curriculum. KOOH sports (kids out of home) has partnered with the US-based organisation to educate children on various body systems through a balanced exercise class.

Farewell function

To bid adieu to the outgoing students of Class XII, the students of Class XI of St. Soldier’s Divine Public School, Sector 16 organised a farewell today. The programme commenced with the tikka ceremony. The main highlight of the day was the ramp walk for the most coveted titles of Mr & Ms Soldier's 2013-14, which was awarded to Hardik Abrol and Shivali Kaushik, respectively. — TNS



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