C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cadre row reaches Centre
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, March 23
The controversy in the Chandigarh Administration over curtailing the powers of the Haryana-cadre officers has reached the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Taking a serious note of the issue raised by the UT Home Secretary and other Haryana-cadre officers on deputation in Chandigarh, the Haryana Chief Secretary has taken it up with the Union Home Secretary.

Though the issue has been brought to the notice of the Haryana Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the matter is now being pursued at the level of the Chief Secretary as the model code of conduct is in force.

Sources said the Haryana officials had taken a serious note of actions by the UT-cadre officers, who were harming the interests of Haryana. The matter is expected to be taken up more vigorously with the Centre after the elections in Chandigarh and Haryana come to an end on April 10.

In a recent letter written by the UT Home Secretary to the Haryana Chief Secretary, the UT Administrator and the UT Adviser have been blamed for sidelining the Haryana-cadre officers.

The withdrawal of key departments from Haryana officials and these being given to junior level UT-cadre officials has led to heartburn among the Haryana-cadre officers.

It was learnt not only the Haryana-cadre IAS officers, but also the Haryana-cadre HCS officers, who are on deputation in Chandigarh, were unhappy with the past developments.

A number of senior bureaucrats, who have had stints in Chandigarh, had been consulted about their experiences before taking up the matter with the MHA.

The sources said after clipping the portfolios of the Home Secretary, there was a reported move to clip the portfolios of another Haryana-cadre officer.

The UT-cadre officers in the Chandigarh Administration have gone a step ahead in accommodating UT-cadre officer Tanvi Garg, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC). “While taking away the charge of Additional District Magistrate and SDM (Central) from her in view of the model code of conduct, the top brass made sure the key departments remained with her,” said a senior official.

The post of the ADC, previously held by a Punjab-cadre PCS or a Haryana-cadre HCS officer, has been given to UT-cadre officers.

Union Territory cadre to have more say in Chandigarh Police

It is learnt the UT's top brass was contemplating posting Parvinder Singh, a 2011-batch IPS officer who recently joined the Chandigarh Police as ASP, as SP (City). This could curtail the powers of the SSP, who is on deputation from Punjab. The UT Home Secretary has already raised the issue of brining a DSP from Delhi instead of Haryana.



Kala rejoins BJP, gives party the edge
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got a shot in the arm with Gurcharan Singh Kala, independent councillor from Mani Majra, rejoining the party in the presence of BJP candidate Kirron Kher and leaders Harmohan Dhawan, Sanjay Tandon and Satya Pal Jain. Kala, along with his 350 supporters, rejoined the party at a function held at Mani Majra today.

Kala had quit the BJP in 2011 after the party denied him ticket for the Municipal Corporation elections. Kala successfully contested the elections as an independent from ward no. 25.

Known to be a close associate of Dhawan, Kala is a popular face among villagers and colony residents. His support is certainly going to give the BJP an edge over other parties.

Dhawan, while addressing the gathering, stated that it was a historic day for the BJP as mistakes made by the party a few years ago had been corrected today.

Dhawan, who contested the 2009 Lok Sabha poll on the BSP ticket, stated that in the elections, the Congress managed to get 37% votes from colonies while he polled 34% and the BJP 20% votes. Now, the BJP would get more than 54% votes from the colonies.

Chandigarh BJP president Sanjay Tandon said while Kirron Kher would represent the city in the Lok Sabha after winning the Chandigarh seat, the BJP leaders would look after her work in Chandigarh.

Several local leaders and residents of Mani Majra and the nearby areas were present.

Around a week ago, the Congress held a meeting at Mani Majra during which former Mayor Surinder Singh rejoined the party. Surinder Singh had left the party a few years ago

Kirron not an outsider, says Dhawan

Slamming the Congress for calling Kirron Kher an outsider, Harmohan Dhawan said Pawan Kumar Bansal didn’t have a daughter. So he couldn’t understand a girl have to leave her house after getting married and go to her in-laws’ home. “I know Kirron. She used to stay in Sector 8 close to my in-laws’ house. She is the city’s daughter,” Dhawan said.

Kirron for single-window redress system

Kirron Kher, while addressing the crowd, stated that she was a daughter of Chandigarh and couldn’t see her city getting ruined, which had been happening for the past 15 years. She said if she won the elections, then a single-window redress system would be set up to solve the residents’ problems.



Gul Panag, Rabbi seek votes for ‘swaraj’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh. March 23
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Gul Panag and sufi singer Rabbi Shergill today held an interaction with residents at the Rose Garden in Sector 16. Gul and Rabbi both highlighted the new approachable, dependable and transparent alternative the people had in the Aaam Aadmi Party. They urged the residents to pay heed to their call for “swaraj” in Chandigarh.

Gul urged her supporters to vote for a change. She assured them of taking up their pending demands in the Lok Sabha.

Soon after interaction, both Gul and Rabbi joined a road show that commenced from the Sector 46 gurdwara.

In the morning, Gul held meetings with the residents of Kishangarh, Khuda Ali Sher and Kaimbwala.



12 injured in clash at gurdwara
Tribune News Service

An injured in the clash Chandigarh, March 23
Tension prevailed at Gurdwara Namdhari Sangat in Sector 30 today following a clash between two fronts of the Namdhari sect during a religious function that left at least 12 persons injured.

The injured, including two women, from both the sides were admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32. The police said both groups used blunt weapons, including lathis and iron rods, to hit one another.

Heavy police force was deployed on the spot and administrative officials also reached the spot following the clash.

The injured have been identified as Harpreet Singh, Balkar Singh, Sukhwinder Kaur, Balwinder Kaur, all of whom believe in the fellowship of Thakur Uday Singh; Gursewak Singh, Gurbaksh Singh, Satnam Singh, Hazzara Singh, Sarabjit Singh Bhinder and Rattan Singh, who believe in the supremacy of Thakur Dalip Singh.

Duty Magistrate Balbir Singh Dhol has banned any further religious function on the premises of the gurdwara till further orders. He has allowed only two persons to perform regular prayers at the gurdwara.

The police said all the injured had been admitted to the hospital and their medical reports were awaited for further action. “Both the groups have levelled allegations against each other. A case will be registered after verifying the facts,” the police said.

Meanwhile, a daily diary report has been registered at the Industrial Area police station.



Woman molested at discotheque
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A 30 year-old woman was molested at a discotheque and was later abused and slapped by three youths after she left the discotheque in Sector 9 on Saturday night. According to the police, the victim was molested on the dance floor, following which the victim snubbed the youths and came out of the disco at around 1.15 am.

The victim then took a cab to go back home, but the youths chased her in a jeep and pulled her out of the cab near the Sector 17 light point and slapped her around four times, said the police.

The accused had allegedly covered the number plates of the jeep.

According to the police sources, the accused are frequent visitors to the disco. “The staff of the disco has been asked to inform the police if the accused visit there again,” said a police official.

A case under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 17 police station. Investigations are on.



Open House response
Youths want honest, educated, accessible MP

We need to clear our intentions regarding what we want as a voter. All the residents need is a corruption free, communal politics free, good governance, educated and honest MP.

Dr Chetan Sharma,

Credentials of the candidate are important

Credentials of the candidate should be the only deciding factor. Young voters before casting their precious vote would like to weigh the potential of each candidate. All the candidates in the fray must therefore bring out to the fore their full prowess in the public domain, and let the young voters give a serious thought.

Dr Ankur Luthra,
MHC Mani Majra

MPs should be faithful to their constituents

MPs should represent their constituents and their values faithfully. We believe a stronger sense of empathy would tilt the balance of our current politics in favour of those people who are struggling in this society.

Ajit Singh,

City MP should focus on slum rehabilitation

The prospective MP should ensure that all slums are cleared with simultaneous rehabilitation of the dwellers in a phased manner, vehicular traffic ca be eased by Metro Rail project in the tricity, multi-level parking space and digging underpasses and repatriation of officers on deputation from Punjab and Haryana with over stay in UT. Another hospital-cum-research centre like PGI must be made to ease patient congestion.

Gurmit Singh Saini,

Member of Parliament should be educated

The Member of Parliament must be educated and well qualified. The candidates ought to have a clear police record and should be unconditionally available for the public they represent.

Shruti Marwaha,

The representative should work against corruption

The young voter of City Beautiful expects corruption free society. The traffic chaos on the city roads need to be reduced in the office hours. The way chandigarh traffic police acts professionally to challan the people for traffic violations should also act with similar enthusiasm and professionalism to streamline the traffic at rush hours.

Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd),

Candidates should bring revolution in politics

Candidates of all the political parties in Chandigarh should aim to bring a revolution in politics. The administration should be streamlined. They should make themselves available to the public and their grievances.

Priya Darsh Growar,

Population problem should be a priority

Most important agenda is to stop the swarm of increasing population. I would expect the candidate of my choice to rise above the stale promises contained in 64 years old manifestos and put forth his innovative policies on the table and convince the government in power to implement these proposals in letter and spirit.

Ashutosh Trakroo,

Youth must get job opportunities

As a voter, my aspirations will be that youth must get a proper job after they finish studies. The system should give them security in all respects. That's all I would like to expect from all the candidates of parties seeking elections from the City Beautiful.

RK Kapoor,

Candidate should be dynamic, foresighted

Apart from wishing that the deserving candidate should be dynamic, educated, foresighted and dedicated towards humanity. We need virtually gentlemen/women parliamentarians who can facilitate the citizens through good governance and not trading their aspirations for individualistic gratification.

MPS Chadha,

Politicians should promote transparency

Every young voter wants a transparent system in which the issues are decided on merit and not otherwise. A total overhauling of the system- starting from education to jobs, good working conditions and a dignified life free from corruption, favouritism and nepotism is needed for the development of the nation.

Dr Gurdev Singh,

Young voters should vote for a change

Young voters need to change the complete system while introducing new policies for citizens because the city have crossed limitation of population more than double as planned. Celebrity should be given preference on the basis of their past performance in social activities than in profession. The administration should have friendly rules and regulation to solve core issues of residents, traders, industry and other professional as similar to colonies/slum dwellers.

Sukhpal Singh,

Price rise should be checked

As a young voter the expectations from the candidates of all political parties contesting from Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat are they should check price rise the policies should be to improve policies which improve the medical facility as well as lower the medical cost. Youth being the major chunk of the society, the policies should be made in favour of the youth.


MP should not be run-of-the-mill politician

Young voters are looking at the Lok Sabha candidate who is different from the other run-of-the-mill politicians the candidate should do self less work, honest, a man with character and should be a team man. If he has these qualities, than we should vote for him/her. Else, exercise the NOTA button.

Colonel RD Singh (retd),
Ambala Cant

Tackle corruption, crime and unemployment

At the time of elections, every political party promises moon to woo electorates. Experience shows that the political parties are not coming up to the expectations of the people and consequently people are terribly aggrieved because of their problems like skyrocketing prices, corruption, unemployment and law and order.

SK Khosla,

Better education and health services needed

Better health care, education, jobs and provision of food and shelter at affordable rates is the call of the youth, who are the back bone of the nation. Besides right to work, there should be better infrastructure in institutes to provide the best of technology and environment to work.

BM Dhawan,

Weekly debates should be held with public

The young adults want all political parties to be like Army making no apparent differential within caste and religion. Development is not just limited to building roads and bridges but inter-personal harmonious communication. Chandigarh needs to have weekly public debates at Rock Garden on different subjects with bureaucrats and politicians.

Tarsem Bhardwaj,

Candidate should be honest and dedicated

As a young voter we expect the Lok Sabha candidates to be honest and persons of integrity. Another priority sector should be women security which has become a matter of concern. For tricity another priority area is strengthening of public transport in view of congestion of roads. The MP must get Metro Project started immediately.


Open House Question

In wake of the forthcoming Lok Sabha 2014 elections, the issue of governance of the city has come under focus, for failure in solving issues of public interest. Is there is need to give more power to the public representatives including the Member of Parliament and elected councillors by way of changing the political set up and bringing the bureaucracy under it. Write your suggestions along with a passport size picture to openhouse@tribunemail.com


Chandigarh votes 2014
Resolve our issues, get vote: Traders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, city traders have put forward their long-pending demands before the candidates of all the political parties. This time, traders under the banner of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) are not going to settle for assurances by political leaders and want a foolproof road map for resolving issues pertaining to businessmen.

Though the CBM held UT Administrator and officials responsible for not resolving their long-pending issues, they said political parties were also apathetic to their demands. The demands include simplifying building bylaws and allowing need-based changes, roll back of the increase in charges for misuse of commercial establishments, making commercial property freehold etc.

Addressing a press conference here today, CBM president Charanjiv Singh said they had submitted their demands before the political parties and were hopeful that they would include these in their manifestos.

In the coming days, they would also organise an open debate for all the Lok Sabha candidates on the issues pertaining to traders, he added.

Diwakar Sahoonja, chief patron of the CBM, said traders and their families account for around 2 lakh votes in the city. “This time, we would vote in the favour of only that candidate who will provide us a proper road map for resolving our issues,” he added.

Awareness campaign

Chandigarh Beopar Mandal launched an awareness campaign on Sunday wherein car stickers and pamphlets are being issued to traders urging them to exercise their voting right.

Differences to the fore

During the press meet, differences in the CBM came to the fore when a member, Jagdish Kapoor, said it was only the sitting MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal, who failed to end their problems. But CBM office-bearers said theirs was a non-political body and hence, they should refrain from take any individual’s name.



Opposition accusing me as it lacks vision, says Bansal

Chandigarh, March 23
Lambasting the opposition for accusing him of having failed to bring any project to the city, the sitting MP and the Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal said Chandigarh was a small city and hence, big projects could not be set up here.

However, the PGI, had been given huge grants by the Centre. Panjab University got grants of Rs 750 crore during the past five years, he added.

The opposition was accusing him just because they have no agenda or vision, said Bansal while addressing Tamil residents on the occasion of forming Tamil Congress Cell at Congress Bhawan in Sector 35.

Meanwhile, the MP's wife Madhu Bansal held a padyatra in Sector 21. Area councillor Mukesh Bassi and members of Residents Welfare Association, Sector 21, accompanied her. She sought votes for Congress. — TNS



PU accused of violating poll code
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Panjab University (PU) authorities have been accused of violating the model code of conduct. A complaint to the Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi, and the UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer reads, the university authorities cancelled the interviews for 45 posts to be held from March 11-13 and for three posts to be held on March 14 but stated that interviews for the post of assistant professor in philosophy will be held on March 25.

Meanwhile, the PU authorities stated that prior intimation was sent to the Election Commission regarding the interview scheduled for March 25 and the results would not be declared for now.

UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer Tilak Raj, when contacted, said, “Although the interviews, which were scheduled before the code of conduct came into affect, can be conducted and the results can only be declared after elections, we have asked the university to postpone all the interviews. If they are still conducting some interviews, we would seek an explanation.”



Bansal failed to bring any major project: BSP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
BSP candidate Jannat Jahan said Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal has ruined the city and failed to bring any major project to the city during the last 15 years. While interacting with the residents of Sector 56 and Ram Darbar, Jannat said the Congress and the BJP were the two sides of the same coin and only make false promises to the public.

"However, voters today were more aware and will vote out corrupt people in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections," she added.

Jannat claimed that the BSP was the only party that works for public welfare.



Asr my 'janam bhoomi': Rabbi

Chandigarh, March 23
Sufi singer and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) campaigner Rabbi Shergill, whose name was considered for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, said Amritsar was the place he connected with, as it was his 'janam bhoomi'. Rabbi was in the city to campaign for the AAP candidate Gul Panag.

When asked whether he would contest the election from some other place, he said at this stage, he would like to contribute to politics by changing the consciousness of people through ideas and art.

Rabbi's name for Amritsar seat was opposed by the local unit of the AAP. Sources said the party was now considering Dr Daljit Singh, a renowned eye surgeon, as its candidate for the Amritsar seat. — TNS



youth voice
Young voters to favour leaders having vision for development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Young voters, including many first-timers, are going to play a decisive role in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. However, many of them in the city feel that the candidates for the Chandigarh seat have not made enough efforts to woo them, even as they have high expectations from the contenders and want them to be battle it hard with visionary plans and promises that are pragmatic.

Chandigarh Tribune spoke to young voters at GGDSD College, Sector 32.

Gursewak Singh, a student at the college, said, “We need a local leader who grew up in the city and knows its pulse and voters’ requirements. We don’t want parachute candidates who make big promises and vanish from the scene post elections.”

Meanwhile, female young voters voiced their concern for security of women in the city.

Suchita Tiwari, a student, said, “The first and foremost thing that young female voters expect from the candidates is an assurance for their safety and security in the city. After sunset, it is almost impossible for girls to travel alone in the city. We need administrator leaders, who are ready to execute their plans rather than keeping them on papers.”

Another student Maleeka Bhasin said, “The youths today want that the candidates should also go through an eligibility test where their ability and skills are evaluated. Like every other profession, politics should also have some screening test.”

Tamana Sharma, a college student, said, “We want young leaders who understand our problems and have a vision to solve them. Politicians think about voters only when elections are approaching. We don’t want any false assurances or promises.”

Geetanjali Dwivedi said, “Leaders should rise above petty politics and woo voters with promises of restoring their faith into the system and eradicating corruption. Youngsters are not interested in hearing the rhetoric blame game speeches delivered by politicians. They want to know the vision and plans of the candidates.”

Amolak Singh Grewal said, “The youths are looking for leaders who can assure them a bright future. They want to work towards improving the Indian economy and see it on a development path. But for this, they need opportunities. Indian politics badly needs new faces that can bring transparency and fairness in the system.”



‘UPA failed to check inflation, create jobs’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 23
The BJP-HJC candidate, Rattan Lal Kataria, today held canvassing at different villages in the Mullana assembly constituency. Kataria claimed that Narendra Modi was inching towards becoming the Prime Minister of India.

He accused the UPA Government of failing to check price rise, unemployment, corruption and deteriorating law and order situation in the country.

Meanwhile, BJP state general secretary Kanwar Pal Gujjar held a meeting with the party election team for Kalka and Panchkula segments of Ambala Lok Sabha seat and asked its members to motivate party workers to ensure BJP’s win.

Vikas Paul, spokesperson of the district unt of BJP, informed that Rattan Lal Kataria would be in Yamunagar tomorrow while his wife Banto Kataria would address meetings in Rail Vihar, Panchkula.



Candidates chirp

Kirron Kher @KirronKherBJP

7.53 am: Good mor Chandigarh! Your love and warmth is giving me strength & my leaders & Karyakartas are helping me to understand our city's problems.

8.01 am: I am a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife & a responsible citizen. My strength is truth & my supporters. Together we'll make a difference.

8.12 am: I am here to stay & make things happen. I don't claim to be an authority on politics but I promise to get you all what Chandigarh deserves.

8.21 am: I may not be Tech savvy but I am surely Life savvy. Let's all together give a better life to Chandigarh and its people.

Gul Panag @GulPanag

9.33 am: Inqualab Zindabad - Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh 28/9/1907 - 23/3/1931. You gave your life for #swaraj, we commit ours to #swaraj

9.36 am: In the memory of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, the man who taught us how to love our motherland truly, the only way to do it. #swaraj

5.04 pm: Pramod Muthalik joining the #BJP makes their commitment to women's rights and women's security amply clear.

City poll facts

C Goyal was the first MP

  • C Goyal of Bhartiya Jana Sangh (BJS) was the first Member of Parliament (MP) from Chandigarh.
  • In 1967 elections, Goyal had defeated A Nath of the Congress with a margin of 12,616 votes. While C Goyal had got 23,939 votes, A Nath polled only 11,323 votes.
  • There were 76,232 voters and 49,829 of them had exercised their right to franchise.
  • The elections had 10 candidates in the fray and six of them were Independents.
  • Voting percentage was recorded at 65.4.



Political parties taking voters for granted: Former Justice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
While addressing a seminar to commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder father of the Indian Socialist Movement, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, and to pay homage to the martyrs - Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev - at the Lajpat Rai Bhawan here today, the party members raised their pitch for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections and alleged that the Congress and the BJP were making a mockery of the voters.

Justice Rajinder Sachar (retd) said: “The political parties are taking the voters for granted by fielding celebrities in the elections. They are making a mockery of the whole system.”

On the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) contesting the Lok Sabha elections, he said: “The party does not have any agenda or objective. It has not made its stand clear on the policies of education, nationalism and taxation. Its only pitch is anti-corruption.”

The party members also used the seminar podium to raise their pitch against the introduction of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). They said FDI would finish the small scale industry in the country.

Meanwhile, Roshan Lal Batta, president of the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Punjab, and the Chandigarh Chapter, while giving the details of candidates from the party contesting the Lok Sabha elections, said: “The party is contesting on 40 seats, which include 16 from Uttar Pradesh, 10 from Rajasthan, three from Maharashtra and Jharkhand, one from Nagaland, Bihar and East Delhi.”

He said from East Delhi, party candidate Dr Prem Singh was being supported by JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar.

The party members also used the podium to read out their party manifesto.

Tributes paid to martyrs

Panchkula: To pay tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their Martyrdom Day, members of the Rashtriya Yuva Dal (RYD), Panchkula, organised a cultural event and drew a live sketch of the martyrs in the Sector 7 market here on Sunday evening.

Renowned singer Neeraj Bakhashi, along with Vipin Luthra, Aseem and Ravish, mesmerised the audience with patriotic songs.

The Dal will issue a letter to all Lok Sabha candidates of Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana demanding a national holiday on March 23, the Martyrdom Day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.



HIV-TB co-morbidity major health concern by 2020: Kalam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Despite Tuberculosis (TB) being declared as a notifiable disease and free-of-cost diagnosis and treatment is available across the country, the incidence of HIV-TB co-morbidity has not come down in past four years nationwide or in city. The national incidence of HIV-TB co-morbidity in Chandigarh has continued to vary between 1 per cent and 2 per cent since 2010.

Former President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam pointed out, during his recent visit to a city hospital that HIV-TB co-morbidity will emerge as one of the greatest health concerns in country by 2020 if treatment dropout rates are not controlled.

The co-infection not only increases mortality rate but also poses risk of multi-drug resistance (MDR), according to experts.

Patients suffering from HIV/AIDS are highly susceptible to acquire TB as the T-cells, which fight TB, are destroyed by HIV increasing the risk of TB, said state TB officer Dr Anil Garg.

The lifespan of a patient having HIV-TB co-infection can come down to merely 10 per cent. Early diagnosis of the co-infection is crucial, experts said. “We had been monitoring the incidence more effectively since April 2010 by sending all our TB patients to ART centres for HIV test,” added Dr Garg.

According to official figures, about 3,000 new TB patients are notified every year in the city. Of these about 2,000 are residents of Chandigarh and remaining constituting the migrant population.

Non-compliance (dropping treatment) is a leading cause for the consistency in incidence of TB and HIV-TB co-morbidity and also for MDR, experts said.

MDR-TB makes a patient resistant to INH and Rifampicin - the two most powerful first line anti-TB drugs. This increases the challenge of treating patients with special drugs, which not only cost above Rs 1 lakh per patient but are also toxic in nature, leading to side effects.



Sons of soil remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
On the occasion of martyr day of the freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdevs, the Gandhi Samark Nidhi Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh paid homage to the martyrs with floral tributes and patriotic song renditions here today.

Justice Suryakant was the chief guest at the event while Satyagopal (IAS) chairman, Housing Board, was the guest of honour.

The young participants elevated the atmosphere of Gandhi Samark Bhawan with their patriotic compositions.

Mahesh Dutt, convener of the event, in his address said, “Politicians should rise above petty politics and not divide the country on the basis of religion and region .Freedom fighters laid down their lives for independent India and there should be no inequality and justice should be delivered to all. The youth shoul take insipiration from the martyr who laid their lives for the nation. ”

Justice Suryakant while addressing the gathering said, “The freedom fighters sacrificed their lives for our freedom, we must not ever forget their sacrifice and we must play our role as responsible citizens and contribute in our country’s development and progress.” The event ended with the audiences and organisers chanting national slogans.



Donors inspire Rishi Kapoor to pledge for organ donation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Meeting over 300 transplant recipients and organ donors, who had come to participate in the Transplant Games at the PGIMER from far off states, film actor Rishi Kapoor was all inspired to pledge for organ donation.

While felicitating the winners, the actor pledged to contribute to the dire need of organ donors in the country by registering at the PGIMER today.

Patients from places such as Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Manipur, Jarkhand and Odisha travelled to the city to participate in the games. “The games were conceptualised to showcase the safety and success of transplantation as a means to a normal life and to spread awareness of kidney donation. Along with the recipients, kidney donors too participated in the events,” said PGI officials.

The games were organised by the Organ Transplantation Trust, Department of Transplant Surgery, PGIMER. In view of the huge gap between the requirements of transplantation estimated at 200,000 a year and the number of transplants being done at about 6,000, Rishi Kapoor appealed to everyone to spread the message of organ donation.

The sports and contests included cricket, walking, 100m dash, badminton, carrom, tug of war and 400m relay race. Over 50 medals in 12 categories were distributed among winners.



Mining contractors’ goons charge ‘gunda tax’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali (Dera Bassi), March 23
After remaining active in Ropar, Nurpur Bedi and its adjoining areas, musclemen of mining contractors have started their illegal activities of charging ‘gunda tax’ in Mohali district too.

Sources said around 10 persons laid a naka on a road in Mubarakpur village at around 8 am. They stopped trucks and vehicles carrying boulders and asked the drivers to pay the illegal tax.

“The police were also informed but no action has been taken yet,” alleged Dinesh Chadha, a Ropar-based advocate, and RTI activists. The activists have been holding protests against the illegal activity for past several months.

“Drivers, who were stopped by these persons, claimed that they came in a Bolero and an Innova car at Mubarakpur village. As soon as the drivers informed me about the incident, I called up the area’s Superintendent of Police Anil Sharma and apprised him of the situation,” said Chadha.

Inspector Atul Soni, station house officer of Dera Bassi Police Station, said the police did not find any person at the spot. “Nobody has approached us so far. We have not received any written complaint from anybody in this regard,” said Soni.

Soni, however, admitted that similar incident had occurred at Handesra village a few days ago.

According to Jaswinder Singh, a driver, persons at the naka were demanding the illegal tax in the name of royalty. “We told them that we have all the required documents but they kept on demanding the tax, for which they were not even ready to give a receipt,” said Jaswinder Singh. Singh then sought help from advocate Dinesh Chadha.

Harsimran Singh aka Vicky, an owner of one of the vehicles that was stopped by the persons, alleged that the musclemen also manhandled his driver Amrik Singh when he (Amrik) asked them to reveal their identity. “They were threatening to take the drivers to local police station if they did not give the money,” alleged Vicky.

Chadha alleged mining contractors, through their musclemen, force drivers of the trucks that ferry construction material to pay Rs 5 per sq feet as ‘gunda tax’. “As the illegal activity is being patronised by some influential political leaders, the police and the authorities concerned do not initiate any action against it,” alleged Chadha.



Poll team seizes Rs 30 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Chandigarh Police and a team of the election wing today seized Rs 29.75 lakh cash from different parts of the city. A flying squad team, headed by SI Ramesh Kumar and Executive Magistrate SK Miglani, stopped the Mercedes car of Sumer Grover of Jalandhar on the road separating Sectors 14 and 25.

A search of the car yielded Rs 21.75 lakh and a draft for Rs 85 lakh. During the checking of vehicles near the exit gate of Hotel JW Marriott, Sector 35, another flying squad team, headed by SI Jai Singh and Executive Magistrate Parveen Mittal, apprehended one Anuj Goyal of Sector 20 after Rs 7 lakh was found in his vehicle.

The thirs team, headed by SI Surinder and Executive Magistrate Malkiat Singh, apprehended two persons, Siddharth of Sector 71, Mohali, and Gurnit Singh of Sector 122, Mohali, and recovered Rs 1 lakh from their possession.

Officials stated that the IT Department had been informed about the recovery of the cash and the particulars of the people from whom it has been recovered. "We are investigating the source of the money and the purpose for which it was to be used," the officials added.


Singer Jazzy B performs at PEC on Sunday
Singer Jazzy B performs at PEC on Sunday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Rocking end to tech festival
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The third and final day of Vyom, a technology fest organised by the PEC University of Technology, Sector 12, started with the continuation of the technical and engineering-related events.

The workshop provided the participants the idea of what to look for when preparing an engine design, chassis design and how to integrate them. In the evening, a Punjabi rock night, including the performances by singer Jazzy B, Prabh Gill, Babbal Rai, Dr Zeus and Kanika Kapoor, was organised.



Child prodigy interacts with students
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 23
A cultural programme marked the annual day celebrations of The Gurukul, Sector 29, here this evening. The students presented dances from across the world. The theme of the event was, ‘Reverie’.

The chief guest at the function, Kuldeep Sharma, Speaker of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, inaugurated the event. Adding colours to the function was the child prodigy, Kautilya Pandit. The chief guest also released a special edition of the school’s in-house newsletter “Gurukul Express”.

The principal of the school, Manveen Aujla, presented the annual report.



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