C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Old warhorses add bite to campaign
Uttarakhand ex-CM Khanduri campaigns for Kirron; Shakeel Ahmed, Bajwa seek support for Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
Shifting from the stardom world to politicians, political parties today roped in old warhorses in politics to grab the attention of city voters. With just a day left for the campaigning to end, the Congress and the BJP, the two major parties, brought in prominent politicians to woo the voters.

A former Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Major Gen Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri (retd), was roped in today by the BJP to campaign for its candidate Kirron Kher. The target was to woo voters in the city who hail from Uttarakhand and have a sizeable presence in the city.

Striking an emotional chord with the gathering, Khanduri said, “In 2000, it was the BJP government which accepted the demand of residents and created Uttarakhand as a new state. A special package was also announced by the BJP government."

In the Congress camp, two seasoned party leaders, Shakeel Ahmed, AICC general secretary, and Pratap Singh Bajwa, president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, canvassed for party candidate Bansal.

Seeking support for Bansal, Shahkeel Ahmed said it was because of the party's secular ideology that Bansal had connected Chandigarh with "places of pilgrimage of all religions" by introducing several trains.

Last evening, senior Congress leader Mohsina Kidwai, former Punjab Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Kharar MLA Jagmohan Kang addressed rallies seeking support for Bansal.

AAP candidate Gulkirat Panag relied on celebrities, including Raghu Ram of the MTV Roadies fame and Punjabi comedian Bhagwant Mann to add colour to her campaign. Raghu paid surprise visits to a mall and Sector 17, where he attracted a large crowd and gave them a speech on AAP’s ideology.



Water found in fluid meant for heart patient
PGI doctor files complaint
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
In a "narrow escape" for a heart patient admitted to the PGI, doctors at the cath lab today detected a "duplicate" omnipaque fluid just before injecting it into his body, preventing "serious" complications to the patient.

After finding water inside the pack instead of the fluid, the consultant in charge called the chemist who had supplied the fluid and later filed a complaint with the Head, Department of Cardiology, Dr Yash Paul Sharma, regarding the matter. The complaint was then forwarded to the PGI Administration for further action, sources said.

The incident led to high drama at the department this afternoon as the life of the patient, who was to undergo a stent implant, was at stake. The sources said soon after the incident, the security in and around the cath lab was strengthened to ensure that none of the agents of the PGI chemists was allowed to visit the department to communicate with the patient or his attendants.

A PGI expert suggested on condition of anonymity that it was high time the PGI started purchasing omnipaque on its own, "saving the cost paid by patients in the package for simple angiographies, and also ensure the authenticity of injections and avoid risks as seen in the present case."

In the PGI package, the fluid costs around Rs 700. However, for contrast angiography, as in the present case, the patient is asked to purchase the fluid on his own at double the cost (Rs 1,400).

What the chemist says

The owner of Neelkanth Drug Stores, Shyam Sundar, said, "There appears to be some problem with the entire batch of omnipaque. We have kept it aside. We were not aware of any such problem with the packs."

What is omnipaque

It is a contrast medium used in coronary angiography for diagnosis of blockage in the heart. The fluid is injected into the patient's artery and it pacifies blood to show the contrast and helps experts decide whether a stent needs to be implanted into the patient's heart.

Experts' take

According to experts, the "duplicate" fluid could have led to either a "misdiagnosis" or severe saline infection to the patient.


Chandigarh Votes 2014
Gulkirat Kaur Panag aap
‘Interaction between Executive, citizens a must’

A candid Gulkirat Kaur Panag, AAP candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, minces no words in asking for complete transparency in spending of public money. She feels that solutions should come from dialogue and shouldn’t be imposed.

The 35-year-old model- turned-politician is keen on bringing an international sporting event to the city that can give a boost to the city’s sports culture. “In fact, if allowed, even after becoming an MP I would like to compete in sports, provided the Constitution allows me,” she quips.

She believes that there should be regular interactions between the Executive and citizens. She says decisions and policies should not be imposed, rather solutions should come dialogue.

At an interactive session ‘Chandigarh Votes 2014’, moderated by Executive Editor, The Tribune, Kanwar Sandhu, Gulkirat Kaur Panag talks about her agenda for the city if voted to power.

If you are elected as the Member of Parliament, what will be your thrust areas for the city?

—Kanwar Sandhu

‘Southern sectors should be developed’

As an MP I will ensure that the two Chandigarhs- one being the privileged and the other the southern sectors (consisting of colonies and villages) - are brought on a par with one another. As a welfare state we are committed to giving equal economic opportunity to both, which is not so.

There is a huge gap between primary education, health and civic amenities services of the two parts of the city. Injustice is being done to residents of the colonies and villages who have to fight to get the basic services in place in their area. Chandigarh should have world-class facilities but lacks even basic facilities. Even though there are many schemes in place, yet these have not been executed due to nexus between the bureaucracy and elected representatives.

In your manifesto you press for more health infrastructure in the city. Why a new infrastructure when there are already three big hospitals in the city

—Dr Dasari Harish, head of department, forensic medicine, GMCH-32

‘The existing infrastructure is not enough’

Since our primary health care system is not up to the mark, our three premier hospitals of the city are over burdened. Since the facilities are lacking in the dispensaries, patients make a beeline for these hospitals. We have to chalk out an interim plan to strengthen the existing infrastructure, especially for the villages and colonies. The city was planned for around 5 lakh people but the number has doubled over the years, without any addition to the health infrastructure. So the need is to chalk out a plan keeping in mind the requirement of the next 20 years and not only the present.

When we develop infrastructure it will give monetary benefits to our political heads, but what about the inadequate staff and equipment at the existing healthcare centres?

—Dr Dasari Harish

‘We will involve the stakeholders’

Yes, because the bureaucracy and politicians get monetary benefits their focus is on developing infrastructure. But our party agenda is to involve stakeholders, which include citizens and the government, to decide and frame policy on each issue, which is drafted for them.

The Central Government has floated schemes to ensure more employment for the youth. But what is your agenda for creating more job opportunities for them?

—Jaiprakash Hasrajani, Chairman, CII -Young Indian (Yi)

‘I advocate strong industry owners’ representative body’

There is the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Act, which is being implemented in Punjab and Haryana but Chandigarh has not yet made any attempts to implement it. Our process of conversion is cumbersome. If you have a land available, to start work is a big roadblock here. The MSMED Act, 2006, promotes job opportunities in Chandigarh by allowing people who have industrial land to create job opportunities for themselves. I advocate for a strong Industry owners' representative body which in consultation with the Administration reviews the existing bylaws. The Administration cannot impose solutions on stakeholders without consulting them.

How will you encourage the sports culture in Chandigarh? What do you plan?

—Vinita Bhardwaj, participant, World University Games and international shooter

‘Talent must be recognised and nurtured’

I understand the attitudes of the associations. Chandigarh still doesn't hold a world-class sporting event, despite having the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA). Chennai has a Chennai-open event. I am a fitness enthusiast and I feel sports must be encouraged, especially among the youth. If we are not involved in sports, we are going to remain unhealthy. Until people are fit how can we emphasise on sporting culture. I will make sure that a talent is recognised and given his or her due. They should not suffer due to politics and corruption. We need to have an aggressive policy for selection of players too.

What is your take on the growth of education sector in the city?

—Jagwant Singh, secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union

‘Facilities must be given to teachers’

There has been degradation in the facilities being given to the teachers. There are institutions in Chandigarh that have recruited teachers only on contact basis. Until facilities are provided to them, we cannot have a robust system of teaching. This will motivate them to teach better and they will be accountable. There needs to be a policy framework, in consultation with the stakeholders, to underline the benefits to be provided to them. Teachers should be provided housing facility and given job security. Why do students need to go for tuitions when they have quality education in school or colleges? We need to ensure implementation of the UGC guidelines. But their performances must also be audited.

The beggar problem has increased in the recent past. Do you have any plan in your manifesto for the children who beg?

—Shiv Kumar, Bank manager with a leading bank

‘Night shelters must be constructed’

It is our duty to make sure that these children settle down in life. There is a need to construct night shelters for them, so that they are safe. It has become our responsibility to educate these children who are seen begging. I believe until unless we provide them alternative opportunities to earn their bread and butter the issue could not be resolved by any authorities in the city.

You have talked about the two divides prevailing in Chandigarh. There are thousands of people living without a house in the underdeveloped Chandigarh, What housing plans do you have for them?

—Gopal Joshi, general secretary, Federation of UT Employees and Workers

‘Self-financing scheme needs to be in place’

A self-financing scheme needs to be in place to ensure housing for them. I am the daughter of an Army officer. For an Army officer too, buying a house after retirement is very difficult. We plan to start a self-finance scheme. The housing schemes for the EWS do not have any transparency in the present system.

What will you do to transform Chandigarh into a science and technology hub?

—Anil Khurana, Scientist, DRDO

‘Chandigarh has a lot of potential’

Chandigarh has the potential to be developed into many hubs. A medi city and film city can be developed. Education is another area, where we can excel. We are more planned than Delhi. We must aim to grow as the Chandigarh capital region (CCR).

A lot of unauthorised colonies have come up in the city periphery. How will you handle the conflict of fighting corruption and at the same time promise these people houses?

—Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune

‘I will fight for their right and bring the redressal system’

I have not promised them houses. I have only promised that I will take up the issue of their rights and implementation of policies. What I can do is I can fight for their right and bring a redressal system, which does not violate the law.

What is your vision for the areas that have not been developed by the authorities in the past? Will you be able to fulfil the promises which you have made or is it just another assurance by a political party candidate?

—Amit Sharma, Staff Correspondent

‘Schemes have not beem executed at the grassroots level’

These days the manifesto has become an intellectual exercise and those achievements, which the MP has listed, are projects that are a decade old. There are enough schemes of the Central Government for the development of the colonies and villages, but they were hardly executed at the grassroots level.

Why every village couldn’t be developed as a model village with self-sustainable infrastructure in terms of education, health, transport and civic amenities so that the residents did not have to look for the same in the urban area. There are models drafted for such facilities in Chandigarh, but there is no proper execution.



Khanduri rubbishes Uttarakhand CM’s claim
Says if Central grant was given, why was there no development in the state; flash flood victims still awaiting relief
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
“Fauji ki beti ke liye aaya hoon” and I appeal to all the Uttarakhand people settled in Chandigarh to vote for Kirron Kher, said former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Major General Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri (retd) here today.

Addressing residents of Uttarakhand settled here, during a programme organised by the Uttarakhand Cell of the BJP’s city unit in Sector 46, Khanduri said, “April 10 ko Kirron Kher ke favour mein ‘kanyadaan’-rupi matdaan kar, fauji aur Chandigarh ki beti ko jitayen. (Vote in the favour of Kirron Kher to ensure the victory of an Army man and Chandigarh’s daughter).”

To strike an emotional chord with the gathering, Khanduri said it was the BJP government in 2000 that carved out a new state, Uttarakhand, while acceding to the demand of the residents. Besides, within six months, the BJP government passed a special package for the overall development of the state, Khanduri said.

On Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat’s statement that Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Congress candidate for the Chandigarh seat, had played a key role in getting a Central grant of Rs 7,400 crore released for the hill state, Khanduri asked if any such grant was released, as claimed by the CM, why there was no development in Uttarakhand. He questioned why the government failed to provide relief to flood victims in many districts of Uttarakhand.

It was only because of the ‘corrupt’ Congress government in the state and at the Centre that flood victims were still awaiting relief, Khanduri alleged.

Claiming that corruption was a big issue in the coming elections, he said, “People will vote out the Congress.”

There are over one lakh voters in the city, who are either associated with the Kumaon Sabha or the Garhwal Sabha.

Meanwhile, a survivor of the flash floods in Uttarakhand, Mahant Chetan Giri, reached the venue of the programme to thank the BJP city unit president, Sanjay Tandon, and former Uttarakhand CM Bhuwan Chander Khanduri.

“I was stuck in Kedarnath and called up one of my followers, a BJP activist. The latter got in touch with Sanjay Tandon and BC Khanduri and with their efforts, I was rescued on a helicopter,” he said.



‘Outsiders’ lack basic knowledge of the city: Bansal
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal today hit out at his rivals, BJP candidate Kirron Kher and AAP's Gul Panag, saying the 'outsiders' lack basic knowledge about the city, which was a pre-requisite for a candidate contesting the Chandigarh seat.

In an interaction with mediapersons, Bansal said since Kirron Kher and Gul Panag were 'outsiders', they don't know what kind of projects were needed in Chandigarh.

When asked whom does he consider his closest rival, Bansal said, "On a track, an athlete focuses on the finishing line only. I am not aware who will finish second or third." However, he claimed that by fielding political 'greenhorns' against him, the BJP and the AAP had made this election easy for him.

Targeting BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Bansal said he was an "arrogant" leader and "not fit" to become the Prime Minister. Bansal claimed, "There is no Modi wave in the country and the BJP's prime ministerial candidate is only making hollow claims."

On the railgate issue, he said, "The CBI did not find an iota of evidence against me. If I am held guilty by any court, city residents can stone me to death in Sector 17 Plaza."

To a query why Congress president Sonia Gandhi's rally in the city was called off, Bansal said initially, they had planned to hold the rally on March 27 but sensing that a rally in the first week of April would be more effective, they requested the party high command to hold it on April 2. Later, the programme could not be worked out, he said. Bansal added after witnessing Modi's "flop" rally, there was no need for any top Congress leader to hold an election rally in the city.



Gul Panag hosts dinner to raise funds
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
People from all walks of life joined the fund-raiser dinner hosted by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Gulkirat Kaur Panag at a restaurant in Sector 26 here today. City residents were seen flaunting the signature caps of the AAP, which they were given before entering the restaurant.

Wearing casuals, a shirt and a pair of jeans, the model-turned-politician seemed relaxed. She interacted with the guests. Gul said the event was a great way to generate funds and ensure transparency.

Prof Priya Sandhu, who teaches at a college in the city, appreciated the idea of hosting a fund-raiser party. "It gives an opportunity to the residents to interact with the candidate. Such events have been happening abroad. Gul has perhaps introduced it in the city," she said.

While many families were present at the fund-raiser dinner, many young couples were also found lending their support to the AAP candidate.

A new concept for the city, the event was well received by residents. Surbhi Joshi, a housewife who attended the event along with her husband, stated that many of her friends were AAP supporters and wanted her to support the party as well. "My husband and I wanted to interact with Gul to know her vision for the City Beautiful," Surbhi added.

Aman Bhaika, a resident of Sector 4 who was accompanied by his wife Arpana, said although they were influenced by the party's ideology, they wanted to meet and interact with Gul.

"We will be exercising our right to franchise for the first time, and it was only to support AAP," said Arpana.

Each guest paid Rs 2,500 for having dinner with the AAP candidate.



AAP campaign: Raghu Ram takes a different road
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
Raghu Ram, the man behind a reality show MTV Roadies, today campaigned for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on his own.

In the city to support the AAP candidate Gulkirat Kaur Panag, Raghu went on poll campaign riding a truck on Sunday. However, he did not like that style of campaign. So, he made surprise visit to a mall and Sector 17 here and attracted a large number of persons. He delivered a speech on AAP's ideology.

"I was feeling suffocated by just waving to the crowd from the truck. So I decided to hit the road and meet people," Raghu said.

Usually surrounded by a bunch of bouncers during his visits to Chandigarh for holding audition for MTV Roadies, the 38-year-old today went to a mall in the Industrial Area, Phase-I, accompanied by a few youths. He walked down the mall to make his presence felt and later reached the food court. By then, he was surrounded by a large number of fans, who were jostling to get clicked with him. Raghu humbly asked them to assemble outside the mall and he will oblige them there.

Raghu distributed signature caps of the AAP to a large number of people. Later, he gave a short speech about the AAP.

Later, he fulfilled his promise to his fans.

Accompanied by some youths, the MTV Roadies host also went to the Sector 17 where he played guitar, sang songs to attract people and then briefed them about the AAP's agenda.

"We played music, encouraged people to vote for Gul and left silently," said Raghu calling his way of campaign a 'silent Ninja attack'.

Star take

I have been coming to Chandigarh for the past 11 years to provide a platform to the youth through my show MTV Roadies. However, this time, I have come with a request to vote for Gulkirat Kaur Panag.

I have never voted in my life as hardly any party could convince me to exercise my right to franchise. However, I got influenced by the AAP’s ideology and have decided to vote in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Raghu Ram, Actor



1,300 EVMs arrive in city
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
Around 1,300 electronic voting machines (EVMs) have arrived at the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology in Sector 26 here. The UT is scheduled to go to polls on April 10.

The Sector-26 college is the only centre in the city where EVMs will be kept before and after polling. Three strong rooms have been set up for the purpose and the machines will be kept under electronic surveillance till May 16 when counting of votes will take place.

Though 1,038 EVMs are sufficient considering the number of voters in the city, the Election Department got more machines so that the voting process is not affected in case some machines develop technical snag.

UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Tilak Raj stated that CCTV cameras had been installed to keep a close watch on the activity outside the strong rooms. The CCTVs are being monitored round the clock at the control room set up on the college campus,” he stated.

Officials said all the EVMs had been checked and found to be in working condition.

The Joint CEO stated that on April 9, the machines would be sent to the 519 polling booths in the city amid tight security and would be brought back after polling on April 10.



Weatherman predicts clear sky on polling day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
The Meteorological Department has predicted a clear sky on the day of polling in the city, April 10. After last night’s dust storm and rain, political parties feared bad weather on the D-day. However, the department cleared the clouds of worry by stating that it will be clear and sunny day on April 10. As per the forecast, there is no chance of rain or dust storm in the city on April 9 and 10.

Met department director Surinder Pal Singh said workers of the political parties rang up the department today to know tomorrow’s forecast so that they could chalk out their plan of action for the last day of canvassing. They were anxious to know the weather forecast of April 10 also, he added.

The city recorded 6.6 mm of rainfall and a dust storm at the speed of 75 km per hour on Sunday night, which dipped the maximum temperature by two notches to 30.5 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature, however, was recorded at 19 degree Celsius, which was two notches above normal.

The storm also affected the power supply in various sectors.

Power supply remained disrupted for around 3 to 4 hours in many sectors, which was restored by early morning. Among the areas affected were parts of sectors 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 45 and 46.

UT Superintending Engineer MP Singh said there was no damage to the Electricity Department’s infrastructure. In some areas, power supply was disrupted, which were restored in the morning, he said.

Today’s forecast
Cloudy sky with a possibility of light rain.

Mercury to fall by one to two notches.



ambala votes 2014
Fresh voter list carries ‘fake’ votes in MDC, Sector 4
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 7
Two days ahead of elections in the Ambala parliamentary constituency, 'fake' votes have been found on the fresh voter list of the Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Sector 4 here. Besides, discrepancies have also been noticed in the votes of many residents.

The voter list has the names of Sant Prakash and Satinder Pal Kaur as voters, with House No. 157 (K), MDC Sector 4 as their address. However, there is no such address in the sector.

Sunil Sachdeva, a resident of House No. 157, said, "The fresh voter list shows the votes of Sant Prakash and Satinder Pal Kaur. Neither there is any such address in the sector nor these persons are residing at my place," said Sachdeva, adding, "In spite of fulfilling all the formalities, the names of my wife and grandfather are not there on the voter list."

In another case, the voter list shows Raman Chopra, son of Gulshan Lal, as a voter residing in House No. 153. However, A Sawhney, a former chief operating officer at Swaraj division who actually resides at the given address, failed to find his name on the voter list. "This Raman Chopra is not residing in our sector but his vote has been made on our address. I wonder what the authorities concerned accepted as his residence proof," said Sawhney.

Meanwhile, discrepancies in the electoral rolls have also been noticed. The vote of a Dr RS Nain has been made in some Bhainsa Tibba area while he is residing in MDC, Sector 4. "My son and daughter-in-law's votes have been made on our address but my vote has been made in Bhainsa Tibba area," rued Dr Nain.

While Panchkula Deputy Commissioner (DC) SS Phulia could not be contacted for his comment on the matter, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Gurmeet Singh said, "People are complaining at the eleventh hour. Just two days are left. However, I will look into the matter."

A harassed lot
Residents also complained that despite filling forms and paying fees for transferring their votes to their new addresses, their votes exist on the old addresses.
Davinder Mahajan, the president of Residents Welfare Association, Sector 4, said his name has been wrongly mentioned as Davinder Singh on the fresh voter list.



Violation of poll code
Ambika Soni put on notice
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 7
The Mohali District Election Officer (DEO) served a notice on Congress candidate from the Anandpur Sahib constituency Ambika Soni for violating the model code of conduct here today.

The notice has been served on the senior Congress leader for putting a flex of her election campaign at an unauthorised site along the national highway at Balongi village here.

Soni’s nearest rival Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, SAD candidate from the constituency, made a complaint to the Election Commission in this regard.

Confirming the development, DEO-cum-deputy commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said a complaint was received in this regard.

“The flex was put up at an unauthorised site, which is violation of the poll code. We have issued a notice to Ambika Soni and asked her to file a reply within 24 hours,” said Sidhu.

Earlier, the Mohali DEO had also served a notice to Chandumajra for using derogatory words against Soni last month. This is the second such notice by the DEO so far.

“We have deputed teams that have been looking at such violations in and around the town. Apart from this, our toll-free helpline 18001802099 is also operational round the clock. Any person can lodge such complaints with this helpline at any time. His/her name will be kept secret,” said Sidhu.



ambala votes 2014
Elections go hi-tech in Ambala
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 7
The Lok Sabha elections have gone hi-tech in the Kalka and Panchkula segments of the Ambala parliamentary constituency for the first time, with the District Administration introducing web-casting of the elections to be held on April 10.

With this facility, one can view the election process of 51 polling stations live on the official website, www.ceoharyana.nic.in, of the Haryana Election Department. This is a part of the department's initiatives to make the election process hi-tech in Gurgaon.

To keep a close watch on the election process at 375 polling booths in 248 centres in the Kalka and Panchkula segments, the District Administration has also installed 175 CCTV cameras.

Talking to The Tribune, district election officer Dr SS Phulia said to view live polling on April 10, one would have to click on the link “web-casting of polling stations” on the website and select the “Public Domain”.

Web-casting had been introduced at 30 centres in the Panchkula segment while 21 centres have been covered under it in the Kalka segment. To keep a close watch on the polling stations, 43 CCTV cameras have been installed in the Panchkula segment and 132 in the Kalka segment, the DEO said.

Dr Phulia said the web-casting and CCTV cameras would be operational with the beginning of the polling and continue till the voting ends.

Elaborating the arrangements made for the smooth functioning of the elections and to provide basic facilities at the polling centres and polling booths for the polling staff and voters, Dr Phulia said as per the guidelines of the Election Commission, provisions for ramps, drinking water, adequate furniture, proper lighting, help desk, proper signage and toilets had been made at every polling centre.

Every polling centre has been provided with Braille-enabled electronic voting machines to help visually impaired in casting votes.

To ensure health care facilities, first aid kits had been arranged at every polling location and well-equipped ambulances were pressed into service with the assistance of the district health authorities. An ambulance would visit the polling booths after every hour, said Dr Phulia.

Special transportation arrangements (jeeps where buses could not be plied) had been made to ferry the election material and staff for holding the elections in the far-flung areas of the distinct, he said.



Anandpur sahib votes 2014
Cong eyeing all 13 seats in Punjab: Bhattal
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 7
“With the Congress having field big guns here, reverse counting of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) regime in Punjab has begun,” said senior Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal during a rally in favour of Ambika Soni here this morning.

The rally was organised at the Dussehra Ground in Phase VIII, here, this morning. Later, Ambika Soni went to Ropar to file her nomination papers.

Apart from Bhattal, several other senior Congress leaders, including Mohali MLA and district Congress president Balbir Singh Sidhu, were also present there.

Talking to The Tribune, Bhattal said the Congress is eyeing all 13 seats in Punjab now.

“We are hoping to win all seats now. The calculation has not only changed in Punjab but also across the country with the Congress having field its big guns,” said Bhattal.

Bhattal said despite hard efforts of the ruling SAD to save the Bathinda seat, Manpreet Badal would emerge winner there.

Bhattal claimed that there was no factionalism among Congress leaders here. She also criticised the Akali government for increasing electricity rates manifold in the state.

“They (the Akalis) are burdening the public by imposing taxes but in the name of development, nothing is being done,” said Bhattal.



Women urged to cast vote independently
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 7
Women play a major role in nation building and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the only party to fight for 33 per cent reservation for women in the Parliament. This was stated by Rosy Malik Anand, national vice-president of the Mahila Morcha of the BJP.

She was here to address a gathering of women who assembled at the party office from the far-flung areas this afternoon.

Rosy Malik asked the women to vote independently and not under the pressure of their family heads. She urged the women to vote for Rattan Lal Kataria.

She interacted with the gathering and cleared their doubts. She also appealed to the gathering to motivate women folks in their respective areas to vote for the BJP candidate.

Besides Banto Kataria, vice-president of the party, those who were present on the occasion included Vishal Seth, district chief of the BJP, Gian Chand Gupta, Rekha Sharma, Samghmitra Siwatch, Mahila Morcha chief, and Neelam Awasthi, general secretary of the unit.



Noted Punjabi playwright cremated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 7
Noted Punjabi playwright Charan Singh Cindra (82), who died yesterday after a prolonged illness, was cremated here this morning.

Cindra’s cremation was attended by a large number of persons, including several dignitaries like Shriram Arsh, Balkar Sidhu and Gurnam Kanwar. Cindra breathed his last at his residence at Sunny Enclave yesterday.

A former deputy director of the Song and Drama Division, Cindra had authored seven books and 15 plays. He had also earned his name in light and sound ballets.

His most popular play was “Mard Agambda”, which he had presented in 1990. A total of 1,800 shows of “Mard Agambda” have been staged across the world so far. Cindra’s other popular plays included “Shaheed Udham Singh” and “Sach ki Bela”.



PGI sets up unit to study vectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
Indicating a wide difference in the varieties of mosquitoes breeding in urban and rural areas in the city, the Department of Medical Parasitology, PGI, has recently established a unit of Medical Entomology to study the vectors spreading diseases.

So far, 1,691 samples have been collected from the PGI and the GMCH, Sector 32, from June to September 2013 for this project, according to the Head of the Department, Dr R Sehgal.

In line with this year's theme of World Health Day, "Vector-borne diseases: Small bite, big threat", the study will find better ways and improve the existing methods for prevention of diseases such as malaria and dengue in specific areas of the city.

Experts see housefly as a monster

On vector-borne diseases, experts from the School of Public Health, PGI, Dr Amarjeet Singh and Dr Puja Dudeja, said, "An everyday monster which seems to have been forgotten in this fight is the common housefly. Though this vector doesn't bite humans like mosquitoes, it spreads diseases such as typhoid, cholera, hepatitis and tuberculosis."



Youth commits suicide in Mohali

Mohali, April 7
A 23-year-old youth allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence at Phase II, here, today. The youth, Gagandeep Singh, was working as a property agent here.

The police said Gagandeep hanged himself in the morning. The matter came to light when Gagandeep’s mother went to his room on the first floor of the house at 12 noon. “Gagandeep was taken to a private hospital at Phase I where doctors declared him brought dead,” said sub-inspector Rajeev Kumar, SHO, Phase 1 police station. The hospital staff informed the police about the incident after noticing marks around the deceased's neck. — TNS



Skin disorders: People wary of electoral ink
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 7
People with history of skin and nail disorders from electoral ink are still hesitant to vote. Queries have cropped at the skin hospitals in Panchkula by persons, including pregnant women, who suffered with the disease caused by infections due to electoral ink during elections.

The electoral ink has remained a cause of panic leading to infections in Malaysia, Afghanistan and Palestine as well.

“Some people are sensitive and less immune. Those already suffering from nail cirrhosis and other disorders said that they had bad experiences during elections when they suffered from red rashes after the electoral ink was applied. There is no harm in the ink because standard silver nitrate used is 18 per cent. If its 25 per cent, then it’s a health concern,” said Dr Vikas Sharma, chief dermatologist at National Skin hospital, MDC, Sector 5 here.

People between the age group of 30-50 are pouring in. The doctors said the worst situation was when in order to remove the ink impression, some people managed to get ink removers to remove the same which consisted of high amount of chemical.

“The ink removers being encouraged by party leaders to their supporters can have damaging effects on skin and nails ranging from contact dermatitis to damage to cuticle, nail plate and pigmentation of skin around nails,” said Sharma.

Industry standard electoral inks contain only 10 per cent, 14 per cent or 18 per cent silver nitrate solution which has no side effects.

Dr Rajnish Copra, a dermatologist based at Sector 15, Panchkula, said, “Those people hesitate who already have skin disorders. We have received 15 cases in the last two weeks where people enquired whether it is safe to use that ink or not.”



Open House response
MPs must prove an honest politician is not a myth

As the polling date for the Lok Sabha elections nears, Chandigarh Tribune talks to city residents to know their agenda for the Union Territory and their expectations from the Member of Parliament

We want the Member of Parliament (MP) to be sincere, honest and committed to his work. The MPs should strive for fulfillment of promises made during electioneering. He should be accessible to the citizens and represent them in a true manner.

IPS Anand
Mani Majra

Needs of common man must be considered
An MP should bring school education within the reach of the common man in all institutions. He must revamp public transport system and encourage private investments. The City Beautiful must be made slum-free. Encroachments must be checked after a regular interval so as to maintain the beauty and character of the City Beautiful.

KC Rana

Strict laws should be implemented
We need an immediate implementation of strict laws. There are enough green parks with fountains. The need of the hour is not to have more of these, but to maintain them (public places). The health of the children is an issue that has not been included in any of the party’s manifesto. The infrastructure of government colleges/schools also needs an urgent attention, because they are losing their sheen in front of the facilities being offered by deemed universities/private schools. Every elected MP must spend at least 5 to 6 months of his/her tenure staying at a rural area.

Kohima Goyal

MPs must be pro-public

In a democratic set-up, the government is a set of elected representatives where people in governance are representatives of the people, by the people and for the people. They are bound to work for them. The elected representatives must work honestly for the welfare of the masses. In case they fail, an option to recall should be available.


Decentralisation of powers is the need of the hour

An MP needs to decentralise the powers and ensure involvement of maximum number of people in the process. He should ensure that the officials are accountable to the people and are responsible enough in carrying out their duties. It is their duty to ensure transparent functioning of the ‘people-friendly’ administration. There is a need for efficient public transport system, balanced Rent Act, implementation of GST, better and people-friendly parking system and construction of an under path for hassle-free movement of the public. There should also be a need-based change in the building bylaws.

Jagdishpal Singh Kalra

MP must ensure efficient functioning of govt depts

The Member of Parliament (MP) should be held accountable for every penny of the public money that has been spent in his constituency. He should ensure that there is a complete transparency in the functioning of the government departments. An MP must put in efforts to improve the public grievances system. He must raise issues, concerning the public at large, in the parliament.

Amardeep Sharma

MP must raise issues in Parliament

The foremost duty of an MP is to raise the burning issues of the city in the Parliament. He or she should be given the authority to get changes formulated in the laws that govern the city.


Grievances must be redressed on time

All those at the helm of affairs in the Chandigarh Administration, must immediately refurbish and reorient the colonial style and red-tape marred culture with special attention to a governance model, which is centred around the needs of the common man. Considering the present scenario, there must be a time-bound mechanism for redressing grievances of the public.

Hemant Kumar
Ambala City

City has wide scope for development

In my opinion, Chandigarh has a wide scope for development today. It should start with the rehabilitation of jhuggi inhabitants, who need to be rehabilitated so as to make the city beautiful once again. The Administration must implement strict rules and regulations in this regard. The strict norms would deter persons from encroaching upon the government land and building temporary hutments, as sooner or later, it would pose a problem for them in evacuating the land later on.

Ujagar Singh

Traffic problems must catch the attention of MP

The city is a perfect example of civil disobedience. Because of votes, an MP is least bothered and even the bureaucracy has adopted a laidback attitude. No party is ready to extend its support in making helmets mandatory for women as well. Issues such as water wastage, water shortage and increasing traffic problems must catch the attention of an MP.

Gaurav Bansal

City must be kept clean and green

The most important aspects which can make our city unique and beautiful should be cleanliness and a special focus on greenery. The city must be kept clean and green, come what may. Keeping the city clean and green does not require a huge amount of money to be spent on it. The only thing that needs to be done is to restrict the number of vehicles in the region. There should be a unique traffic system (UTS) to control the heavy rush/jam during peak hours.

Nitender Yogi

Misuse charges should be waived

The UT was being promoted as medical tourism city by the Administration. But on the ground, nothing has been done so far to make it patient-friendly. Since the regularisation of nursing homes in 1999, the number of nursing homes has reduced from 28 in 1999 to 12 in 2014. Since the UT is landlocked, there is an urgent need to regularise more nursing homes in residential areas under the policy. To avoid harassment, misuse charges being levied on the nursing homes by the Administration should also be waived immediately.

Dr Ramneek Singh Bedi

Need for creating more job opportunities

There is an urgent need to create jobs for the unemployed and control the increasing population as well. There is a need to instill a feeling of security among the residents.

Sanjay Srivastava

Differently abled must get special attention

In elections, held in the previous years as well as in the present year, no party seems to be bothered about the plight of persons with disability. There are scores of hurdles for such people which need to be looked into. Besides no access to public transport, no reserved parking and very few job options, the disabled have to face a lot more than we can imagine.

Amerish Yadav
Washington DC, USA

Infrastructure needs to be upgraded

With lots of urbanisation on its periphery, the existing infrastructure of the city has given way to heavy influx of population. Upgrading of existing infrastructure such as flyover/underpaths is the need of the hour. Need-based changes must be incorporated without any penalty and proceedings.

RP Malhotra

Member of Parliament must set priorities

An MP must prioritise development of the city and leave behind all sorts of criticism. He should strive for completion of pending works in every internal and exterior street of the city. At present, sanitation, building bylaws, need-based changes in the houses, carpeting of roads, playgrounds for children and underpasses need a special attention.

Rashmi Kheterpal

Eradicate corruption from the system

Every candidate is talking of development, more powers to the MC and status of Chandigarh but no one is paying any heed to rampant corruption that has been prevailing in the City Beautiful. Since no political party has formed any agenda to combat corruption, they are befooling the people in the name of development. The elected MP should adopt a mechanism, by adopting stringent laws, to ensure that the common man does not suffer because of corruption.

SK Khosla

MP must try to enlist city in UNSECO heritage site list

With more communication and cooperation among Administrators, bureaucrats, councillors, civil society groups and residents, status quo can be maintained more effectively, as the UT status is in the best interests of Chandigarh. An MP must initiate efforts to enlist Chandigarh in the UNESCO heritage site list. The public transport system of the city also needs to be revamped.

Aeshvarya Thakur

Quota system should be eradicated

A new MP must think about the development of the city, women empowerment and job opportunities. A police force is also required for the residents. The quota system should be eradicated.

Shikha Singh

Welfare of slum-dwellers must be considered

This time, expectations from a Member of Parliament is high. Promises made by the contesting representatives for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat form the roots for a utopian city. The very first promise that an MP must fulfil is the need for the welfare and development of the slum people, adjoining the Union Territory.

Ragandeep Singh Sidhu

Mohali, P’kula, Z’pur should be merged with Chandigarh

e-sampark, e-governance and the role of the Chandigarh Police are among the best achievements of the City Beautiful. Notably, politicians had no role to play in the attainment of these achievements. I feel that Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur should be merged with Chandigarh. There are no playgrounds for children and even government schools are a shambles. The Municipal Corporation should be abolished in favour of sector associations and gram panchayats.

Rajeev Prakash

Sanitation, education sectors need a boost

The sanitation and education sectors need a major boost in the city. An efficient waste collection and management system is the need of the hour. Additional sewage treatment plants must be set up so that waste water is treated and recycled efficiently. As for the education sector, the syllabuses of the graduate and postgraduate courses must be reworked. Also, more industries (especially IT), offices of top companies and MNCs must be set up to provide more job opportunities for the youth.

Paritosh Malhotra

MP must ensure better water supply

Chandigarh needs a leader who can provide the citizens with basic amenities and is always available for the common man. Residents need someone who resolves their problems in an efficient manner. The MP must ensure better water supply, electricity, law and order and road safety in the city.

Dr Jagdish Jaggi

Re-employment should be stopped

Unemployment among the educated youth in India is a serious problem. But the influential officers continue with their services and apply for re-employment even after retirement, by one way or the other. The MPs must take appropriate actions to put a stop to re-employment after 60 years of age in government offices as well as government-aided institutions.

Varun Arora

Quality of life needs to be improved

In addition to the need for speeding up development, ensuring safety of women, upgradation of transport system and overhauling of health and education system, there is an urgent need to improve the quality of life on day-to-day basis. Noise and garbage burning pollution, unauthorised commercial use of bhawans for marriage parties in Chandigarh also needs to be probed into.

IJ Singh

PG accommodation must be registered

City Beautiful must include villages and colonies. Also, many nooks and corners, nullahs and choes are littered with garbage heaps and are in need of immediate attention. Cities like Pune and Bengaluru have aimed at becoming zero-landfill cities by 2015. Similarly, Chandigarh must also aim at becoming a zero-landfill city. Traffic pollution should be regulated and the city must also be made environment-friendly. Old age homes are also an urgent requirement in the city. Apni Mandi should be earmarked with proper platforms, walkways, shed and lights. Many paying guest accommodations are also still not registered. These are some of the issues which need an immediate attention.

Sarbjeet Kaur

MP must have administrative powers

In a Union Territory such as Chandigarh, the sitting MP must have administrative powers so as to exhibit some sort of grip over the insensitive departmental heads. This step itself will be effective enough to tame the errant bureaucrats who scoff at the pro-public recommendations of the Member of Parliament. Many such proposals are hanging fire with the Administration.

SC Luthra
Mani Majra

Bureaucracy rules

Bureaucracy is the real ruler of the democratic India. Because people are being maltreated, they tend to become dependents. The bureaucrats need to be made accountable for their actions and use their powers judiciously. The annual confidential reports should be based on the completion of tasks that had been allotted to them. It should not be looked upon as a medium to keep politicians happy. An ombudsman should listen to the grievances of the people.

Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd)



4-metre-long tapeworm removed

Mohali, April 7
Doctors removed a four-metre-long live tapeworm from the body of a 48-year-old man at a private hospital in Phase IV here today.

Staff of Cheema Hospital at Phase IV, here, was in for a big surprise when the doctors removed the tapeworm from Rajesh Kumar’s body this morning. Dr Harsh Kumar, chief surgeon at the hospital, said the patient, a resident of Ram Darbar, Chandigarh, was in acute pain and suffering from high fever.

“He was admitted to the hospital on April 4. When we performed an operation today, we found a four-metre-long tapeworm in his intestine,” said Dr Harsh.

Rajesh is now out of danger, said the doctor. — TNS



Management accounting exam
Paper not on set pattern, allege BCom final-year students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
BCom final-year students who appeared for the management accounting examination today alleged that the paper was not on set pattern.

The students said as per the rules there should have been 30 marks each for practical and theory in the examination. However, the examination conducted today mentioned 45 marks for theory and only 15 marks for practical.

About 30,000 students appeared for the examination. The students have decided to take up the issue with the PU Vice-Chancellor and the Controller of Examination. The ABVP has also decided to submit a memorandum to the PU and the college authorities in this regard tomorrow.



from schools
Healthy tiffin contest

Chandigarh: Ryan International School conducted a healthy tiffin competition for students from Classes I to V on World Health Day. The students were told about the benefits of vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates in a diet.

Speeches delivered

To observe World Health Day, NSS volunteers of Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22-D, delivered speeches during the morning assembly to apprise the fellow students of importance of the day. They also went to the primary wing and made the students aware of health and hygiene.

Skit presented

World Health Day was observed at KV-31. The students presented a programme in the morning assembly. A skit on keeping good health by eating green vegetables was presented by the students of Class VI.

Interactive talk

Keeping pace with the CCE pattern of the CBSE, an interactive talk was conducted by Dr Jyoti, resident doctor of the AKSIPS Group of Schools, on World Health Day. The topic was based on the theme “Vector-Borne Diseases". The students were made aware of the causes and preventions of such diseases.

Importance of voting

Students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33-D, took a pledge to motivate their parents to cast vote, during the morning assembly. Principal Dr Surendra Singh addressed the students and highlighted the importance of voting.

Awareness programme

NSS volunteers of Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, held an awareness programme in the school to sensitise voters to exercise their franchise on April 10. A lecture on the role of voters in the democracy was delivered by Ramesh Kumar, NSS programme officer. A slogan-writing competition was also organised on the topic. — TNS



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