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Tough road ahead for Bansal
Ticket battle won, he will now have to deal with Railgate, divided Congress
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Repeating the victory will not be easy for five-time Member of Parliament (MP) and sitting Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, who was given the party ticket for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat today.

In 2009, Bansal had defeated his nearest rival and BJP candidate Satya Pal Jain by a margin of 58,967 votes. However, this time, Bansal, who is contesting his seventh Lok Sabha elections from the Chandigarh seat, is facing various challenges.

Many factors that had led to the win of Bansal, who was perceived as a politician with a clean image, have changed now. The railway bribery scam involving his nephew Vijay Singla has heavily dented his clean image. After the scam, Bansal was forced to resign as the Union Railway Minister. It will now be a tough task not only for Bansal but also his supporters to present him as a politician with a clean image before the public.

In 1999, Bansal had got a large chunk of the urban vote, especially of Sikhs as Manmohan Singh was the prime ministerial candidate. However, this factor will be missing now.

Bansal will also have to tackle groupism in the city Congress camp. It was for the first time in the past 15 years that five party leaders had “challenged him” and applied for the party ticket. Bansal will have to convince party leaders who feel that Bansal’s son and wife “dictate party matters and decisions”.

Bansal also faces the anti-incumbency factor. His rival BJP candidate this time will be banking upon the “Modi wave”. AAP candidate Gul Panag is also likely to eat into his vote share, especially the urban vote bank. As Panag is from the defence background and a Sikh, she is likely to attract votes from these sections.

Major challenges

  • As the CBI has arrested Bansal’s nephew in Railgate, it will be difficult for him to present a clean image before the public.
  • In 2009, due to his close association with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh he managed to garner a large chunk of votes, but this factor will be missing in these elections.
  • Anti-incumbency factor against the Congress-led UPA
  • Divided Congress house in city; leaders not turning up for election campaign
  • ‘Modi wave’
  • AAP candidate Gul Panag

Moment of glory

In October 2012, he was made the Union Railway Minister, the first from the Congress since 1996.

Major controversy

On May 3, 2013, the CBI arrested his nephew Vijay Singla for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 90 lakh from a middleman on behalf of a member of the Indian Railway Board. 

No big celebrations

This time, Congress supporters did not go in for big celebrations in the city. Last week, they had distributed sweets after the Central Election Committee of the party had reportedly cleared Bansal’s name, but delayed an official announcement in this regard. On Thursday, only family members and some supporters congratulated each other at Bansal’s residence in Sector 28.

How Bansal managed to get the ticket

Bansal’s loyalty towards the party high command and his winning track road ultimately went in his favour. Positive reports from the Chandigarh Congress unit and party in charge of Chandigarh affairs Shakeel Ahmed, and lobbying by leaders who are in Bansal’s favour convinced the party leadership that only he could win the Chandigarh seat. The recent clean chit by a Delhi CBI court to Bansal in Railgate also helped him get the ticket. Party leader Manish Tewari was also eyeing the ticket for the Chandigarh seat.

I am happy that the party high command has reposed faith in me by giving me the ticket for the Chandigarh seat. I will start my election campaign on Friday after reaching Chandigarh

—Pawan Kumar Bansal

What BJP leaders say

By re-nominating Bansal from Chandigarh, the Congress has proved that corruption is no issue for it. Rahul Gandhi may talk of eradicating corruption, but the party encourages and protects those who are facing serious corruption charges. Bansal's re-nomination proves that the Congress high command, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, were beneficiaries in the railway scam

—Satya Pal Jain
, bjp leader

The Congress move of allotting the ticket to Bansal shows its hypocrisy. Its leaders are involved in various scams. Chandigarh has a high literacy rate and its people will show the door to corrupt leaders such as Bansal


—Sanjay Tandon, city bjp president

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Panag dons Aam Aadmi cap, named for Chandigarh seat
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Former Miss India and Bollywood actor Gul Panag today joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and will be its candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.

Senior party leader Manish Sisodia declared Panag’s candidature at a press conference here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Panag said, “You cannot bring change in society just by tweeting on social networking sites. One must be part of politics in the country to cleanse it. I cannot sit neutral and be a fence watcher. If you want to bring a change in the country, you need to jump into the political battlefield.”

Replying to a volley of questions on being a “paratrooper candidate”, Panag said, “I grew up and studied in the City Beautiful. I travelled by CTU buses and more importantly I am ‘Chandigarh’s daughter’. Therefore, there is no question of me being a paratrooper candidate.”

“Chandigarh has been my family’s home ever since my grandfather Shamsher Singh, who served the Army, settled here in 1960. I feel honoured to be the Aam Aadami Party candidate for the Lok Sabha elections from the city. I am delighted to get an opportunity to contribute directly to the welfare of my city and the country,” said Panag.

On rival parties’ alleged tactics of uploading her morphed pictures on social networking sites, Panag said it showed the character of the parties. These pictures were clicked during a magazine photo shoot four or five years ago, which were now being morphed by these parties and uploaded on social networking sites, she said.

Earlier, Jaspal Bhatti’s widow Savita Bhatti was declared the Aam Aadami Party candidate for the Chandigarh seat, but she opted out of the race after reportedly failing to get along with local party activists.

Key issues

Panag said Chandigarh was facing issues similar to those being faced by the country such as dynastic politics, corruption and crony capitalism. She requested the city residents to be part of this movement.

Panag’s take on Bansal

Panag, who will contest against former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, said she respected Bansal because he was her father’s schoolmate. However, she said Bansal was with a party which did not bring any positive change in the country. She said she would contest the elections on “merit”.

Wedding anniversary gift!

Incidentally, it was Panag’s wedding anniversary on Thursday. She tweeted late at night, “Forgot it was my wedding anniversary on Thursday”. On March 13, 2011, Panag had tied the knot with her childhood friend Rishi Attari in a low-key ceremony.

Chaos at press conference

An AAP volunteer, Pawan Sharma, who was denied the ticket, raised slogans against the party. He disrupted the press conference. Ultimately, mediapersons sent him out. Commenting on the disruption, Panag said these were brickbats, but she was hopeful that bouquets would also follow.

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Suspense over BJP ticket continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The suspense over the BJP candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat will now end on March 15. The Central Election Committee of the BJP, which met in Delhi today, deferred the announcement of the candidate for the Chandigarh seat to March 15.

The Congress, the AAP and the BSP have already announced their candidates for the city seat.

Sources said discussions could not take place on the Chandigarh seat today due to which the decision was postponed.

There are three top contenders for the BJP ticket — city unit president Sanjay Tandon, former MP and BJP national chairman of the committee on legal and election commission issues Satya Pal Jain and former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan. All three leaders are in Delhi with their supporters. 

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French tourist’s bag stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A tourist from France became a theft victim as her bag containing important documents, including her passport, was stolen last night.

Alexia Philipp reported to the police that her bag containing her passport, visa, 90 euros, a digital camera and Rs 5,000 was stolen when she was waiting for a tourist bus at a fuel station in Sector 52.

Philipp had come from Amritsar and was to board a Manali-bound tourist bus. The incident took place at around 10.30 pm while she was waiting for the bus along with her male friend.

A case has been registered at Sector 36 police station.

Philipp has also informed the French Embassy in Delhi. 

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Chandigarh votes 2014
Gul Panag not a city voter
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The Aam Aadmi Party candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, Gul Panag, who is seeking votes from local residents, does not have a vote in the city.

Gul Panag said she was registered as a voter in Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, and not in Chandigarh. But she will go door-to-door in the city to seek votes and support, she added.

"It doesn't matter that I am not a voter in Chandigarh but I want to do something for the City Beautiful, which is very close to my heart," Panag says.

She said if she won the election, she would work towards improving the infrastructure in government schools and dispensaries; making sanitation and transport system better; and making the Administration responsive and accountable to city residents.

"Promoting healthier environment for industries, traders and the business community at large, and increasing employment opportunities for the youth of the city will also be the key areas I will focus on," Panag said.

Earlier, during the meeting of AAP workers held at the party's office in Sector 21 today, some volunteers raised questions over sidelining of local volunteers while deciding the candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.

However, AAP leader Manish Sisodia assured them that they all were part of the AAP family and shared equal place in the party.

Later, all AAP volunteers assured support to Gul Panag, who was present at the meeting.

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Couldn’t complete her master’s at PU
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Gul Panag, a Bollywood actress and the AAP candidate from Chandigarh, was denied permission to complete her MA by Panjab University (PU) in 2012.

The actress was a student of MA political science and had to leave the course in the middle in 2002. In August 2012, she wrote to the PU expressing her desire to complete her MA, following which her request was tabled before the syndicate as a special case. However, the syndicate turned down the request.

In her representation to PU, the actress had mentioned that being a newcomer to the film industry, she could not take the exams in 2002 as she was busy with her work.

The letter mentioned, “For the next few years, the unpredictable nature of my work in Mumbai made it difficult for me to spare time during the period examinations are conducted. Being a newcomer in the film industry, I was not in a position to press for taking time off during exams.”

Her case to resume studies was sent to the syndicate on the ground that she has earned a distinction to represent India and her subsequent responsibilities did not permit her enough time to continue studies.

However, the syndicate invoked a rule, which states that a candidate willing to appear in Part II of a degree course must have passed the Part I and there should not be a gap of more than three years between the two exams. In Gul Panag’s case, there was a gap of nine years.

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Cong, SAD leaders trade barbs
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 13
With election date inching closer, leaders of the SAD and the Congress have begun a war of words.

Congress MLA Balbir Sidhu and SAD candidate for Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha constituency Professor Prem Singh Chandumajra are trading barbs on the issue of development in Mohali town. While Chandumajra accused the Congress of adopting double standards on development works undertaken in the town, Sidhu termed the SAD candidate a 'deceiver' trying to befool the general public by giving false assurances on reviewing property tax and paid parking in Mohali.

"By raising the issues of property tax and paid parking, Chandumajra is only playing a gimmick to befool gullible voters," alleged Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, adding that after implementing property tax and then paid parking, Chandumajra woke up all of sudden and started promising that these issues would be resolved to meet the public demand.

"Why were these issues not taken up during the budget session and why the Akali-BJP government did not issue necessary notifications?" asked Sidhu.

On the other hand, Chandumajra accused the Congress of adopting double standards. "For construction of roads in Balongi village, Congress leaders had backed the residents in blocking the Kharar-Mohali highway. When Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced special funds to construct roads in villages, Congress men objected to it in the Assembly asking how were the funds being issued just before the model code of conduct was to be announced," claimed Prof Chandumajra.

He said the Congress had forced the Punjab government to implement property tax in the state by stopping release of funds under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

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Poll issues

Before going to cast your vote, you should check the address of the polling booth where you can cast your vote.

How to check the polling booth

Log on to ceochandigarh.nic.in and check the polling booth where you can cast your vote.

Officialspeak

A voter's name figures on the electoral list and is assigned the polling booth according to his/her address. The voter will be able to cast his/her vote in that particular booth only. For this purpose, voters are advised to check the polling booths pertaining to their votes in advance.
—Tilak Raj, UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer

UT Election Dept Helplines

1950, 0172-2700322 and 1800-180-2095

You can send your election-related queries at [email protected]

Contributed by AMIT SHARMA

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Permission must for using helipad: DM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The political parties inviting its bigwigs for campaigning in Chandigarh by helicopters will have to take permission from District Magistrate (DM) Mohhammed Shayin at least 24 hours before the schedule.

The Chandigarh Administration has declared DM as the nodal officer to accord permissions for helicopter operations at the Rajindera Park helipad in Sector 3.

Officials stated that the permission would be granted after issuance of NOC (no objection certificate) by the Air Force authorities and the UT police.

“The application seeking permission for landing of helicopters should be submitted in the office of the DM at least 24 hours before the actual time of landing," officials stated. The permission would be granted at the applicant's risk as the area is surrounded by forest area.

As per the orders of the Election Commission, the posters, pamphlets etc of the political parties should have the name of the publisher printed on them.

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Sector 19 traders remove banners

Chandigarh, March 13
Following the order of the District Magistrate (DM) and Returning Officer (RO) Mohhamed Shayin, shopkeepers in Sector 19 today removed flags and banners of political parties.

As per the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order (CACO)-1954, property owners need to pay the requisite fee for displaying banners.

Fearing punitive action, shopkeepers in Sector 19 market removed the flags and banners on their establishments.

Joint Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation Rajiv Gupta stated that they have constituted three teams to check the violation. The teams would move around in the city and penalise those displaying banners, posters etc of political parties on their properties without paying the fee. — TNS

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Neighbour raped, dumped minor girl at Mauli Jagran
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A day after a five-year-old girl was raped and abandoned on the roadside in Mauli Jagran, the UT police arrested the accused, an auto-rickshaw driver. The girl was noticed by a passerby and taken to the Civil Hospital, Mani Majra, last night.

The police arrested Sanjay Kumar (35), the victim's neighbour, for the crime and a case under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against him.

It is learnt that the girl was playing outside her house in Rajiv Colony, Panchkula, from where the accused took her to a deserted area in Mauli Jagran on the pretext of buying her a chocolate. The accused allegedly committed the crime and dumped the profusely bleeding victim on the roadside.

The accused, who lives alone in a rented accommodation, was in an inebriated state when he raped the victim. He had lost his wife in a fire incident sometime ago, the police said.

The victim was noticed by a passerby while she was lying in a pool of blood and her face was covered with a cloth.

The girl was rushed to the hospital where her medical examination confirmed rape.

Meanwhile, the victim's father, a labourer, said his daughter was playing outside their house in the evening. However, when she did not return after sometime, they started looking for her in the locality. Later, a police official informed him about the incident.

On Thursday afternoon, the police nabbed Sanjay Kumar as the victim identified the rapist as her neighbour. The accused was produced before the court. He has been sent on two-day police remand.

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People made aware of kidney-related diseases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
An awareness campaign on the occasion of World Kidney Day was launched today at the new OPD block of the PGIMER. The programme was inaugurated by Prof YK Chawla, Director of the institute. In the first half of the day, the general check-up facility was provided to patients and common visitors’ height and weight and body mass index as well as blood pressure were determinated.

In addition, screening was done for blood glucose, random blood glucose, serum creatinine and albumin. There was also counselling for diet in the renal disease, hypertension and diabetes. A desk was also set up to motivate people for organ donation.

There were a good percentage of patients with undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes. However, the percentage of patients having renal dysfunction could not be calculated as the investigations were still being processed till the filing of this report, said officials.

Experts organised lectures on kidney-related diseases in the evening. With a rough estimate of 151 to 229 per million-population prevalence every year, approximately 2,00,000 new cases of end stage renal disease were added every year. With almost 50 per cent of the Chronic Kidney Diseases (DM and hypertension related) being related to lifestyle, adopting healthy lifestyle modification could largely help in preventing progression of the CKD, experts informed the visitors.

Chaos prevailed at entry points

Utter chaos prevailed at the new OPD block this morning as over 500 patients turned up to attend the campaign while arrangements were made only for half the number of persons.

While the PGIMER officials claimed that the confusion prevailed due to unexpected footfall of patients, a number of patients who had registered in advance could also not find entries of their names at counters.

"I had registered my name for the events both in the morning and the evening on Wednesday. But I could not find my name on the list of registered visitors. I was told to wait. For over two hours, I had to keep standing in the area for getting the check-up done. It was a complete mismanagement of records," said Anurag (name changed), a kidney patient, who is a regular visitor at the PGIMER.

Official spokesperson for the institute Manju Wadwalkar said: “Almost double the number of patients turned up for the event. Whoever wishes to undergo health check-up or want to consult doctors can visit the Department of Nephrology on Friday.”

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Delay in diagnosis, limited infrastructure behind child mortality
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Researchers at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, here, in a hospital-based study, found that administrative issues like shortage of staff, ventilators, beds (due to overcrowding) and delayed recognition of diseases by parents were some leading but preventable factors responsible for the death of 107 children aged below 12 years, who died within one year.

Pneumonia, diarrhoea and central nervous system (CNS) infections were the main diseases leading to the deaths. These children were mostly from the Tricity. Some were from the states of Punjab and Haryana.

"Most of the children who died were very sick at the time they were admitted to the hospital, which underscores the importance of early consultation. Many of the children could have survived had they been brought to the hospital at an early stage. While overcrowding is universal, parents need to be more aware and must not ignore illness or any kind of ailment in children," said Dr Vidushi Mahajan, Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, GMCH-32, and the lead researcher.

Overcrowding was the most prevalent factor at the paediatric emergency in GMCH-32. There was a single doctor catering to 40 to 70 patients in a single shift and a single nurse looking after 20 to 30 children with the bed occupancy more than 100 per cent during the period of study, found the study published in the Indian Paediatrics in January this year.

Out of 107 children who died consecutively, 43 per cent were in shock during admission and 6 per cent had already suffered cardiac arrest by the time they reached the hospital. Also, 71 per cent required ventilators within one hour of their admission.

The study titled 'Modifiable Factors for Prevention of Childhood Mortality' was conducted with a mixed design. Disease-related causes of mortality were analysed retrospectively (2009 to 2012) and socially modifiable factors were identified prospectively (2011 to 2012). The study was conducted on 493 children. 

GMCH-32 study

The Findings

  • Overcrowding was the most prevalent factor at the paediatric emergency in the GMCH-32.
  • There was a single doctor catering to 40 to 70 patients in a single shift and a single nurse looking after 20 to 30 children with the bed occupancy more than 100 per cent during the period of study.
  • Of the 107 children who died, 43 per cent were in shock during admission and 6 per cent had already suffered cardiac arrest by the time they reached the hospital.
  • Also, 71 per cent required ventilators within one hour of their admission.

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Allow development works in Balongi: DC to CEO
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Rainwater accumulates on a road at Balongi village near Mohali.
Rainwater accumulates on a road at Balongi village near Mohali. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Mohali, March 13
The Mohali Deputy Commissioner sought special permission from the Election Commission to start overall development works at Balongi village even when the model code of conduct is on. The initiative has been taken to improve the unbearable condition of basic infrastructure in the village.

In his communiqué to the Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Mohali DC Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu has apprised him of the worst prevailing conditions of roads, drinking water and other basic infrastructure at the village.

Sidhu said an estimate of Rs 43 lakh had been accumulated for the purpose and if the administration gets the permission in question, the work at the village would be started immediately.

“I have apprised the CEO of the problems being faced by the residents of the village on daily basis and have sought his permission to start work here,” said Sidhu while talking to Chandigarh Tribune.

Notably, the residents of the village had blocked the Mohali-Kharar highway on March 4 due to the problems and lifted the blockade only after getting a written assurance from Sidhu that the work would be started within 20 days from the date of protest.

Adding to the woes, several waterborne diseases have already hit the people in the village. The Civil Hopsital at Phase 6 has received over 100 patients, suffering from waterborne diseases, including diarrhoea, hepatitis B and typhoid.

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Theatre enthusiasts get double treat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Two comedy plays, ‘Dr Patla’ and ‘Planning’, were showcased back to back at the Punjab Kala Bhawan here today.

Artistes from ‘Citi Society’ entertained the audience with their performances. Decorated stage with catchy props set the momentum for the plays.

The story of the first play ‘Dr Patla’, written by Balwant Gargi and directed by Ashish Sharma, reminded the audience of the retro era of the 60s’ when possessing a landline telephone was considered as a status symbol.

The plot revolved around a debt-ridden dentist, played by Sunny Gill, who in order to make quick money comes up with a quirky plan. He gets a landline phone but is yet to get the connection. However, to trick his patients into believing that he is a renowned doctor, he tells his wife that whenever a patient steps in she could make a false alarm ring so that he could pick up the receiver and pretend to be talking to some patient.

However, his plan hits its first roadblock when instead of patient his landlord appears and tells him to vacate the place or pay the rent. It was followed by a couple of funny situational twists and turns.

The second 20-minute play, which was a satire on the government, its plans and their execution, proved to be an entertainment treat filled with punches right from the beginning.

Written by Gursharan Singh, the story of the play revolves around a household where the protagonist, played by Daljeet Singh as Mehta, likes to build castles in the air, without doing any work.

Chaotic situations remained the USP of the play, which kept accelerating with entries of various characters, as each of them narrated a new plan and theory but no concrete planning.

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Lok Adalat directs PSPCL to refund bill amount
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 13
The Permanent Lok Adalat (Public Utility Services), Mohali, headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal directed respondents of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and the Sub-divisional Officer, Kharar, to refund Rs 11,420 paid by a consumer towards the bill issued by them. The decision was given holding that if a meter was installed outside the premises the consumer was not liable for theft or damage to the meter or theft of power by other persons.

The facts of the case were that Anupam Sharma owns a house in LIC Colony, Kharar, where an electricity meter was installed by the PSPCL opposite her house. The applicant was residing in Sector 38 West, Chandigarh. In her absence somebody else committed the theft of electricity from the meter because the respondents did not put seals on the meter. The respondents issued a bill for Rs 11,420 for electricity stolen by somebody else from her meter. The application was opposed by the respondent.

The Permanent Lok Adalat made efforts to decide the dispute by reconciliation but when that did not succeed, a decision was given on merits.

The Lok Adalat held that since the meter was installed outside the premises of the applicant, she was not responsible for any theft or damage to the meter or meter equipment wherefrom some neighbours committed theft of electricity from the said meter, which was not properly sealed by the respondents.

The Lok Adalat, therefore, held that it was the fault of the respondents, who did not properly seal the meter. She was held liable to pay consumption charges on an average basis and directed the respondents to refund Rs 11,420 deposited by the applicant within 30 days, failing which an interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum to be paid along with Rs 5,000 as cost of proceedings. 

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Protect rights of the disabled: ADC

Mohali, March 13
It is one’s prime duty to protect the rights of persons with disability who are also a part of society. This was stated by Additional DC Parveen Kumar Thind while conducting a meeting to ensure strict implementation of the National Trust Act for the welfare of persons suffering from autism, cerebral palsy and mental retardation along with persons who come under the Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999.

Thind said according to the guidelines of the National Trust Act, legal guardianship for disabled persons was necessary after the age of 18 years. The guardianship was required so that to they could get their bank accounts and protection to their rights could be ensured. — OC

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GMCH’s Cath Lab project set to get delayed further
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The completion of the Rs 12-crore Cath Lab project of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, which has already been delayed by over a year, now seems to be delayed further.

In a thought-defying decision, while the hospital has floated tenders for procurement of a core cath Lab, which does not exist even in bigger hospitals like PGIMER and involves staff on round-the-clock duty, it has not even set up a cardiology department till date, which refers patients to the Cath Lab.

For running the round-the-clock services at the lab, the hospital needs six staff members - a consultant, two senior residents, a nurse and two technicians - at any given time in cardiology.

Sources in the GMCH administration said the previous director of the institute had decided to depute the staff from the department of internal medicine at the cath lab.

The medicine department, however, has few senior residents against the sanctioned strength. Sources said the department had seven consultants, but they were not specialised in cardiology. One of the doctors was currently pursuing DM course (cardiology) at the AIIMS, New Delhi.

Director-Principal Atul Sachdev, said the process was moving on at a good pace.

“Though we have applied for creation of post, it takes time. We are hopeful that the lab will be operational soon,” he said.

A senior GMCH official, said: “This cath lab may turn out to be a futile exercise as machines will be purchased in advance and the staff will be recruited later and there is no certainty over the matter. We do not even have adequate staff to meet our requirements in emergency, as yet, then how will we manage a core cath lab where patients need 24-hour care.”

GMCH floats tenders

For the purchase of equipment for the cath lab, the GMCH has floated the tenders. The cost of equipment, as specified in the tender, is close to Rs 3.44 crore, while the cost of the accessories is close to Rs 4.67 crore.

What is a cath lab

A catheterisation laboratory or cath lab is an examination room in a hospital or a clinic with diagnostic imaging equipment used to support the catheterisation procedure. A catheter is inserted into a large artery and various wires and devices can be inserted through the body via the catheter, which is inside the artery.

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Feedback
Take a pledge to save water this Holi

Going without water for even a day can be an ordeal for us. While so many humans combat water shortage on a daily basis, we can try to ensure that our Holi celebrations are not insensitive. Make this Holi special by saving every drop you can. This Holi add colour not only to the celebrations but to the world around by saving water. Time was when people could not imagine playing Holi without water but as water shortage is a sensitive issue today, people must pledge to celebrate the festival with dry colours only. Every Holi, people play with colour and later, waste lots of water to remove it. To avoid this, herbal colors prove convenient as they are safe and easily washable. Water balloons should not be used for the sake of environment as they don't biodegrade. Kids should be told about the pros and cons of wasting water and what can be their role in saving water. Spread the word and inspire your friends, peers, family and neighbours to celebrate a dry Holi and make the much needed effort to conserve water.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Underutilisation of funds reflect MC incompetence

This refers to a news item appeared in the media that the Panchkula Municipal Corporation (MC) spent only Rs 5.42 crore on development works till December 2013 while Rs 33.57 crore were 
earmarked for the entire budget of 2013-14. Panchkula MC is not the lone case. While the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, allocated Rs 20 crore for primary health services, it utilised Rs 70 lakh only. While the funds remain underutilised, the health services in dispensaries under the MC’s control have become worse owing to non-availability of requisite infrastructure, medicines etc. This time, the MC, Chandigarh, has enhanced the funds for primary health services by Rs 2 crore. One fails to understand the need for raising the budget when it has to remain unutilised at the end of the financial year. Non-spending of public funds is a reflection of the incompetence of the MC officials concerned as well as their political bosses. Underutilisation of funds makes mockery of the budget allocation.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh 

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BSc ( PHYSICAL EDUCATION, HEALTH EDUCATION AND SPORTS)
PU to scrap course from next session
Curriculum outdated; board to table report at Syndicate meeting tomorrow
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Panjab University will scrap the BSc course in physical education, health education and sports due to its ‘outdated’ curriculum from the next session.

A report of the Board of Studies (BoS) to discontinue the course will be tabled in the coming Syndicate meeting scheduled for March 15.

Recently, MGKM Shahi Sports College of Physical Education Jhakroudi, Samrala, Ludhiana, had sent a request to the university to grant them temporary permission to run the course from the next session.

Sources said after the college applied for the course, the proposal was sent to the BoS for consideration.

While rejecting the request of temporary affiliation for the course, the BoS recommended that it should be discontinued from the university.

In a report, the BoS made a plea that as the syllabus of the course was outdated, the university should discontinue it. The report further stated that there was no need to run the course in any college as the university was already running the Bachelor of Physical Education course.

Records reveal MGKM Shahi Sports College of Physical Education Jhakroudi, Samrala, Ludhiana, is the only sports college affiliated to the university which runs the specialised course for sports persons.

A senior PU official on the condition of anonymity said, “Rather than revising the course curriculum, which is the responsibility of the BoS, it has recommended its discontinuation. This despite the fact that the course is listed with the UGC.”

Last month, the Syndicate had discontinued journalism courses in Hindi and Punjabi language as there were hardly any takers for it.

A review committee was constituted by the Syndicate to decide on these courses. Besides this, the M.Phil course in Geography has also been discontinued.

The issue

  • MGKM Shahi Sports College of Physical Education Jhakroudi, Samrala, Ludhiana, had sent a request to the university to grant them temporary permission to run the course from the next session.
  • While rejecting the request of temporary affiliation for the course, the BoS recommended that it should be discontinued from the university.
  • In a report, the BoS made a plea that as the syllabus of the course was outdated, the university should discontinue it.

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National Defence College team on Punjab tour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A team of the National Defence College (NDC), arrived here today as part of its five-day study tour to Punjab to get an insight into the socio-economic aspects of the state.

The NDC is the highest training establishment of the Armed Forces and prepares officers of the rank of Brigadier for holding apex-level posts.

Headed by Maj Gen PK Mallick, the 15-member team from Course No. 54 comprises seven officers from the Army, one each from the Air Force and Navy, two from the civil services and four officers from the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The aim of the visit is to study the economic, scientific and technological developments of the state and to know various measures taken by the state administration towards enhancing the same.

The team witnessed the Beating the Retreat Ceremony at the Wagah Border.

Meanwhile, the team also visited the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, Bhakra Dam, IT Park, NIPER and Quark City at Chandigarh and Mohali, where they were given presentations on the activities of these establishments and interacted with the officials. 

Educational sojourn

The National Defence College is the highest training establishment of the Armed Forces and prepares officers of the rank of Brigadier for holding apex-level posts. The aim of the visit is to study the economic, scientific and technological developments of the state and to know various measures taken by the state administration towards enhancing the same.

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Encore musical event at PEC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
PEC University of Technology organised “Encore”, a musical event at the college auditorium today.

PEC director Dr Manoj Arora and other faculty members, including Associate Dean, Student Affairs and Advisor, Student Clubs, were present on the occasion.

The event comprised 16 enthralling performances by students that covered various genres of music. 

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Students stage dharna outside PU VC’s office
Tribune News Service

Activists of the Students for Society burn an effigy of the Vice-Chancellor at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Activists of the Students for Society burn an effigy of the Vice-Chancellor at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, March 13
As many as 100 students today assembled in front of Panjab University Vice-Chancellor’s office and raised slogans demanding the rollback of fees.

The students burnt an effigy of the V-C and a satirical play on the issue was also staged. The play was a sharp criticism of the policies pursued to privatise education.

The Students for Society (SFS) president Arishdeep said due to the lackadaisical attitude of the PU authorities, they had decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike.

Raminder Singh of SFS is sitting on a hunger strike.

The SFS strictly rejects the proposal floated by the PU authorities whereby they have proposed to repeal the hike for persons with a family income of Rs 3 lakh.

Arishdeep also said the authorities concerned were “focusing on the hike in the course fee and avoiding a dialogue on the hike in the hostel fee.”

The students demanded that the authorities should clear their stance on the entire issue.

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PU students’ body submits memo to VC

Chandigarh, March 13
The Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) today submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor regarding PhD course work certificate for the research scholars.

For the mandatory six-month course work laid down by the UGC for the research scholars, no official certificate is issued by the university.

PUCSC president Chandan Rana and joint secretary Sunny Mehta submitted the memorandum to VC.

In the memorandum, the PUCSC stated that research scholars faced problems due to unavailability of course work certificate while applying for jobs. Usually only a letter is issued by the chairperson in this regard.

Rana suggested that a permanent structure must be laid down for the certificate in co-ordination with the department, certificate section or the Controller of Examination. It must be issued within a month of the course completion. — TNS

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Seminar on gender issues at PU

CHANDIGARH, March 13
The Department of Life Long Learning and Extension, Panjab University (PU), today organised a seminar on Indian culture and gender issues at the ICSSR complex, PU.

Nearly 60 teachers from Haryana, Punjab, UT and Himachal attended the programme. As many as 26 research papers on ‘Indian culture and gender issues’ were presented. Prof M Rajiv Lochan from the Department of History spoke on the struggle for ‘Gender equality in historical perspective: Lessons from the past and agenda for the future.’

Prof (Emeritus) Jitendra Mohan, Department of Psychology, and Prof Meena Sehgal, Department of Psychology, were also present. — TNS

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