C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cops thrash toll collector
Accused, who claimed to be policemen, were denied exemption
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 14
Two persons, who claimed they were personnel of the Punjab police, thrashed a toll collector at the Chandi Mandir toll plaza in Panchkula last evening when the victim told them that they were not entitled to toll exemption. The victim, identified as Tejpal, who was manning the counter in the third lane, was beaten up so badly that he was rushed to the local hospital by his colleagues.

The two persons, who were traveling on a Scorpio (bearing a Haryana number), drove away after the ruckus. The CCTV footage of the incident was seized by the police this evening.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the General Manager (GM) of the toll plaza, Col P Sharma, said: “The youngsters showed their I-cards and claimed that they were from the Punjab police. When our employee told them that toll exemption was not allowed on private vehicles, they thrashed him. We have submitted a complaint to the police.”

One of the youngsters got off the vehicle and punched Tejpal. After that the two dragged him out of the counter and thrashed him, said the police.

The incident led to a huge traffic jam on the third lane.

The station house officer (SHO) of the Chandi Mandir police station, Inspector Arvind Kumar, said: “We have got the number of the vehicle. As the offices were closed today, we will be able to check it on Monday in whose name the car is registered. We have flashed the number across all areas.”

The toll collector told the police that the youngsters were from the Punjab police. However, the police were waiting for their arrest to say anything about it.

Meanwhile, Tejpal was given first aid and discharged from the hospital.

No clue to accused’s vehicle

Even a day after the incident, the police are still clueless about the vehicle.



Patil’s public darbar cancelled again
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The UT Administration has once again cancelled UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil’s ‘public darbar’, which was scheduled for June 16. This is the 11th time in the last six months when the UT Administrator’s public hearing session has been cancelled. The last public darbar was held on January 6.

A senior official of the UT Administration said the date was finalised not by the UT Administration but by the Punjab Raj Bhawan for such public hearing sessions. He said owing to the model code of conduct in force during the Lok Sabha elections, no public darbar was organised during that time.

But sources said as the government at central level has changed and names of senior BJP leaders are now doing rounds for next Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator, therefore Punjab Raj Bhawan is not interested in holding public darbar.

Patil had cancelled many public hearing sessions last year also. Earlier, ‘public darbar’ was held on the first and third Monday of every month.

Patil held his first public hearing session on February 1, 2010. The heads of all the departments concerned were present to redress the grievances put forth by 13 complainants.

Owing to poor record of complaint redressal, there has been a dip in the number of residents attending the public hearing sessions.

There is no record with the UT Administration about the present status of the complaints, which were heard by Patil during his three-year tenure. In a majority of cases, the officials of the UT Administration do not know whether the complainant, who had met Patil during a public darbar, got justice or not.

Process of filing complaint

The IT Department of the UT Administration prepares a list of complainants after screening. The IT Department also seeks replies from the department against which a complaint has been filed. The complaint and the response of the department concerned are put before the UT Administrator at a public hearing session.

Poor response

  • July 15, 2013: Only five residents turned up
  • September 2, 2013: Only four persons were present
  • February 4, 2014: Only eight persons attended the session



UT ignores MP’s plea, fixes AAC meet on June 19
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Turning down newly elected MP Kirron Kher’s request to hold a meeting of the UT Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC) after June 27, the UT Administration has decided to hold it on June 19. Kirron Kher conveyed to the Governor’s office and the senior officials of the UT Administration that she would be in Chandigarh after June 27 for four or five months. She said it was her first AAC meeting and important issues related to the city were to be discussed.

An official note was circulated among the UT officials and the members of the council about the decision to hold the meeting on June 19. The Administration had decided to hold the meeting on June 16 but later postponed it.

Meanwhile, Kirron Kher said she didn’t know on what basis they decided to hold the meeting on June 19. She had conveyed to the UT Administration that she had prior engagements till June 27, which she couldn’t cancel.

“I will stay in Chandigarh for four or five months after June 27 therefore I expected the UT would postpone the date of the AAC meeting,” Kher said.

Meanwhile, all senior UT officials are tight-lipped on the matter. Despite repeated calls and SMSes to UT Adviser KK Sharma, Home Secretary Anil Kumar and Additional Secretary Prerna Puri, nobody responded.

Former MP and senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain, who is also a member of the AAC, said the UT should have taken new MP into confidence before finalising the date of the meeting. They postponed the meeting from June 16 to 19 and no harm would have been caused if they had further postponed it. There should be a perfect coordination between an elected representative and the administration. In the present case, the UT Administration is at fault because it did not take new MP into confidence before finalising the date. An MP has to raise residents’ issues in Parliament, he said.

The last meeting of the Administrator’s Advisory Council was held on November 30, 2012. The council has failed to serve the purpose for which it was formed. Only six meetings have been conducted since it came into being.

Master Plan is to be discussed at the meeting

Though the UT officials were not ready to comment on the development, sources said the administration wanted to discuss the Master Plan at this meeting. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had given enough time to the UT Administration to finalise the Master Plan and send it to the Central Government. The UT has to submit its reply in the High Court in connection with the Master Plan.



Bracing for Monsoon
Downpour exposes MC functioning
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Yesterday’s sudden downpour exposed the Municipal Corporation’s (MC) ill-preparedness for the monsoon. Residents had a tough time as they were stuck in waterlogged roads in several parts of the city. Despite a budget of Rs 7.5 crore for the storm water drainage (SWD), the MC has failed to set up an efficient SWD system in the city.

The rain left many roads in northern sectors 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 waterlogged. The plight of sectors 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 was no different.

While 17 mm rainfall was witnessed in the evening, 34.3 mm rainfall was recorded during the night.

Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi, who was the chairman of the water supply and sewerage disposal committee in 2012 and at presently is a member of the same committee, said: “Two years ago, we constituted a committee that visited different parts of the city to inspect the road gullies. The members found a majority of the road gullies choked. At a meeting, it was decided that the road gullies would be cleaned at least three months before the monsoon. However, that has not happened,” Bassi stated.

Sources said the existing drainage system is inadequate to take the discharge during a downpour. The SWD system for the sectors 1 to 30 has been designed to take 15 mm of rainfall per hour. In the sectors 31 to 47, the drainage has been designed to take 20 mm rainfall per hour. The SWD system in the third phase of the city, from Sector 48 onwards, has been designed to take 25 mm rainfall per hour.

BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi said the public health wing of the MC should analyse the statistics of the rainfall witnessed in the past around 15 years to prepare a proposal for strengthening the SWD. “There is a need to set up additional road gullies. The MC has a budget of Rs 7.5 crore for the current fiscal year which should be properly utilized,” Joshi stated.



Moviegoers sweat buckets
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 14
Many moviegoers had a harrowing time today as the air-conditioning system at the cinema in the recently opened The North Country Mall malfunctioned. After sweating for around one hour inside the PVR theatre during the screening of Akshay Kumar’s ‘Holiday’, the audience, around 50 in number, came out of it.

Ekamjot Singh Sohal, who was watching the movie with his family, said while giving tickets, the officials concerned said: “When we were purchasing tickets, somebody told us about the dysfunctional air-conditioner. When we enquired, the officials present there told us that the system would start working very soon”. After bearing heat for about an hour, the audience decided to leave the movie midway.

Rajinder Singh said his family’s holiday was spoiled due to these ‘cunning’ officials. “As all members in my family are working, we hardly get time to watch movie together. Today, we were forced to leave the movie midway. Our mood is surely upset,” he added.

He said the officials were not inclined to refund our money but later they agreed.



140 held for drinking in public
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The Chandigarh Police on Friday launched a major drive to check consumption of liquor and smoking in public places in the City Beautiful. As many as 140 persons were arrested for drinking at public places while the police issued challan to 56 for smoking in public.

A total of 44 cases under Sections 68/1/14 of the Excise Act were registered against people for drinking in public.

The police said 70 offenders each were arrested on Friday and Saturday.

Though the police have been conducting checking at various places to curb drinking at public places, it is the first time that they launched a major drive to contain the problem.

Police officials said the practice of youths drinking in public was rampant. “People park their cars outside liquor vends and shops and consume liquor. Some shops even serve snacks to them while they indulge in the illegal practice. We will intensify our campaign at such places,” said a police official.

The majority of cases were reported from areas falling under police stations of Sectors 34, 26, 39 and the Industrial Area. The main areas in city where the practice is rampant are markets of Sector 8, 9, 26 and 35.

The drive was conducted between 8 pm and 11 pm.



Deserted, NRI’s wife runs from pillar to post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
For the past three years, Meenakshi Malhotra (name changed) has been running from pillar to post to get justice for herself and her two-year-old son. Both were deserted by her NRI husband Rahul Vig.

Vig, who had been working with a bank in Denmark, abandoned her within four months of their marriage and since then, she has filed numerous complaints and knocked the doors of almost every forum and the Embassy, but all in vain.

Though the Indian Embassy in Denmark has impounded Rahul’s passport, it has not been able to send him to India even as a lookout notice has been issued against him.

One of her family members said, “We never thought that this could happen to Meenakshi. We have had a complete background check of the boy’s family in Delhi and had found it to be well-to-do and educated one.”

The relative said after the marriage, Meenakshi quit her IT job in Chandigarh and moved to Copenhagen with her husband.

The family member alleged that Meenakshi was forced to conceive a child within two-three months of marriage and then, he left her with her parents in Delhi for delivery.

“However, after the delivery, neither her husband nor his family kept any contact with us. We have no clue where her husband and his family have vanished. Till date, the child has not seen his father even once,” said the family member.

Meenakshi, who works with an IT company in Chandigarh, claimed that a chargesheet had already been issued against Rahul and his mother. She added that her husband’s passport had been revoked by the Ministry of External Affairs and a show cause notice had been issued to him by the Regional Passport Officer.

She claimed that court had declared her husband a proclaimed offender under Section 82 and 83 of the CRPC and that the National Commission of Women, New Delhi, had even issued a non-traceable report. However, all the legal actions have proved futile as her husband continues to live a free life abroad.



Camps mark World Blood Donor Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGIMER, celebrated World Blood Donor Day today by organising three camps at blood donation complex. On this occasion, more than 300 donors donated blood. The focus of this year’s World Blood Donor Day campaign is safe blood for saving mothers. Severe bleeding during delivery and child birth is the major cause of maternal mortality, morbidity and long term disability. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries as a part of comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths.

Voluntary blood donors were facilitated by mementoes, certificates and pens as a token of appreciation. Prominent blood donors who came to donate blood were Jai Singh (32 times), Sneh Nagpal (21 times), Jagtar Singh Insan (26 times) and Satish Insan (20 times).

The Thalasssaemic Children Welfare Association (Regd.), Chandigarh, organised two voluntary blood donation camps to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the World Blood Donors Day, which is celebrated today.

Dr Zora Singh, Chancellor of the Desh Bhagat University, was the chief guest at the camp held in PGI, Chandigarh. About 332 blood donors from various towns of Punjab and Haryana states and Chandigarh donated blood.

The blood donation camp held in the blood bank of the GMCH 32, Chandigarh, was inaugurated by Anil Kumar, health secretary, UT Administration. Dr Atul Sachdeva, director principal of the hospital, was the guest of honour. About 243 donors donated blood for the thalassaemic patients getting treatment in that hospital during the camp.

Voluntary blood donation promoted

Mohali: With an aim to promote Voluntary Blood Donation (VBD), the Mohali Civil Authorities held a blood camp, a talk and a brief skit on the issue today morning to mark the World Blood Donor Day at a hospital premises.

Giving details, Dr Andesh Kang said today’s need was to promote VBD. “It is a well-known fact that the professional blood donors are active all around, which is very dangerous. So, today we emphasised on VBD by holding a talk on the issue and organising a blood camp and a brief skit performed by the students of the Ambika College of Nursing,” said Dr Kang.

In the camp most of the staff of the hospital donated blood following which as many as eight NGOs were honoured by the authorities for their good job in the blood donation field.

“To promote VBD, we will hold several camps, exhibitions and talks on the issue at different places in the coming one month,” said Dr Kang.

Meanwhile, around 200 people, including staff members and doctors, donated blood during a camp at Max Super Speciality Hospital (MSSH), Mohali, today.

The hospital also organised a function to felicitate the regular voluntary donors from the hospital who often donate blood at the hospital blood bank.

Speaking during the ocassion, Dr Kuldeep Singh, in-charge of blood bank at MSSH, Mohali, said the focus of this year was safe blood for saving mothers.



Powerless, residents spend sleepless night
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Residents of many sectors in the city spent a sleepless Friday night courtesy unscheduled power cut. While residents of Sector 20 faced a 21-hour-long power cut, the situation in some parts of Sector 22 was worse, as there was no power supply since 4 pm on Friday. Residents of Sector 22 even held a protest at the office of Electricity Department in Sector 22 last night.

Similarly, due to a fault in the 11 kv feeder, residents of Sectors 30, 31 and 32 faced six-hour power cut from 8 pm to 2 am last night.

50-year-old Zarina Gorsi, a resident of Sector 20, who recently underwent operation, said it was quite difficult to stay without electricity. They called up the electricity helpline numbers in the night but to no avail. Finally, they contacted the Electricity Department officials in the morning and the power supply line to their area was repaired, she said.

Madan Gupta, another Sector 20 resident, said there was no electricity last night and power invertors also gave up after a few hours.

Senior citizens, patients and children had a difficult time last night only because of the callous attitude of the authorities concerned, he said.

Echoing a similar view, Mukesh Sharma, a resident of Sector 30, said the UT Electricity Department had not made any alternative arrangement. “Even officials of the department responded very late to our request for repairing the power supply line,” he said.

Vijay Gupta, a resident of Sector 22, said the UT Electricity Department had recently released various helpline numbers in case of power cut. But no one picked the calls made on these numbers last night, he said.

UT’s Superintending Engineer (Electricity) MP Singh, said there were some faults in the power supply lines, which have been repaired. Power supply has been restored now, he added.



Renowned child cancer specialist Prof Marwaha dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Sudden death of renowned child cancer specialist Prof RK Marwaha (62), Department of Paediatrics, PGI, today shocked social workers and the guardian of children who were getting treatment from him for the past many years. PGI officials said Prof Marwaha was suffering from a neurological disorder for several years. He was rushed to the emergency ward when he suddenly became unconscious at 9.30 am today while he was at his residence on the campus.

After about four hours of treatment, doctors declared him dead.

Sources said Prof Marwaha did not examine patients at OPD on Friday as he was unwell. For poor patients, he was a ray of hope not only for medication but for financial assistance as well.

Prof Marwaha’s funeral was held in the evening and was attended by his family members, all senior doctors and volunteers of Sahayata, an NGO.

Cancer survivor Gurleen Sekhon (21), who was diagnosed with leukaemia, a kind of blood cancer, broke down at Prof Marwaha’s cremation today. She said Prof Marwaha was more a social worker than a doctor. He used to cure his patients with counselling as well as medication. “His passing away is a loss not only for patients but also for the society, which needs such dedicated doctors,” Sekhon said.

Dr Marwaha had been a faculty member in the Department of Paediatrics, PGI, since February 1982. He was Professor of Paediatric Haematology-Oncology at the Advanced Paediatrics Centre of the PGI.



Free monsoon check-up camp commences

Chandigarh: FIAT Group Automobiles India Private Limited (FGAIPL) set up a three-day free monsoon check up camp at its exclusive dealerships across India between June 13 to 15 covering all the states. Speaking about the initiative, Nagesh Basavanhalli, president and managing director, FIAT Chrysler India Operations, said, “The monsoon check up camp is one of the important after sales service activity conducted by us for the customers to ensure the safety of the vehicles during this season.”

ICICI Prudential announces launch of growth fund

ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company Limited has announced the launch of ICICI Prudential Growth Fund- Series I, a 3-year close ended equity fund that aims to provide capital appreciation by investing in a well-diversified portfolio of equity and equity related securities across market caps with a bias towards mid cap and small cap space, infrastructure and banking sector. Nimesh Shah, MD and CEO, ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company Limited, said economic outlook had turned positive due to reducing deficits and stability in the Indian currency.

New dessert outlet launched

Hug!, a dessert outlet, launched its first store in Sector 35. “The tremendously positive response that we have been receiving from people, has encouraged us to constantly innovate and expand. We are looking forward to serve the people of Chandigarh and are eagerly waiting for their response. In the coming year we will be launching six more outlets in Chandigarh and tricity area,” said Rishabh Oswal, CEO, hug! Foods Pvt Ltd. — TNS



Review Clinical Establishment Act, doctors to Health Minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
A representation of doctors from Chandigarh met the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan, today in New Delhi requesting him to allow review of Clinical Establishment Act before its implementation in country.

The delegation led by Dr Harminder Singh, the immediate past president, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Chandigarh branch, Dr Alka Sehgal, executive member, IMA, along with Dr AP Sanwaria and Dr AK Kaushal requested the minister to allow the New Delhi unit of IMA to review the provisions of the Act and ensure that its implementation be put on hold till the review gets over.

“A patient hearing the Minister of Health and Family Welfare informed that the matter regarding the Clinical Establishment Act from other quarters of country was also under consideration. The minister agreed that the matter shall be addressed at national level, in consensus with IMA national headquarters in New Delhi,” said a communication issued by the delegation of doctors this evening.



Swindlers making fake calls about windfall
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Fraudsters are on prowl in the tricity trying to dupe residents after informing them on phone that they have won a windfall. A woman resident of Mansa Devi Complex in Panchkula was taken by surprise when she received a call from a person who claimed to be a representative of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) makers. The person informed her that hers was among the 300 mobile numbers short-listed for a cash prize.

The caller also gave the mobile number of a ‘bank manager’ and asked her to contact him for the prize money. When the woman called on the number, the person on the other end asked her to first deposit Rs 18, 000 in a bank account if she intended to receive the prize money.

However, the woman did not fall for it and disconnected the call as she realised that an attempt was being made to swindle her.



Edu Dept wakes up from slumber
Proposes to absorb Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan teachers in the department
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The UT Education Department has finally woken up from deep slumber and proposed to absorb Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers in the department. The department had been flouting the norms of the Ministry of Human Resource Development Department of School Education and Literacy, which stated that there should be no separate permissible cadre for the SSA teachers.

According to the information available, since the SSA was framed in 2001 at the time of the initiation of the programme, no separate SSA teachers were permissible. However, in Chandigarh since 2005 a separate SSA teacher cadre was created and teachers were appointed under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Society, UT, Chandigarh, which was against the mandatory norms of the SSA.

In the UT, there are 647 masters and 728 primary teachers that have been working under the SSA on a contractual basis.

Earlier this year, the MHRD had issued a letter in January to all states and UT education secretaries and state project directors after the approval of the national mission for the SSA that no separate SSA teachers’ cadre would be permissible and all teachers are to be appointed by the state/UT government, not by the state implementation society. However, even after six months the UT Education Department had failed to comply with the orders.

When Education Secretary Sarvjit Singh was contacted on the matter, he said: “The department will propose for the absorption of the SSA teachers in the Education Department on a regular basis.”

He said the department had earlier proposed for the sanction of 3,000 posts of teacher, out of which it was given approval for only 1,300 posts.

Meanwhile, Arvind Rana, president of the SSA Teachers Welfare Association, said: “It is good that the Education Department is sending proposal for the creation of 647 posts of master and 728 posts of primary teacher as per the mandatory norms of the SSA wherein the MHRD/SSA, Government of India, has clarified to the state and the UT government that separate SSA teachers’ cadre is not permissible. All teachers against sanctioned posts under the SSA are to appointed by the Education Department with the same salary and service conditions as of other teachers of the UT”.



PU begins pre-PhD programme for teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The Department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies, Panjab University, has started pre-PhD course work programme for college teachers. The college teachers pursuing their PhD research work would be benefited as they would be able to conduct their pre-PhD course during summer vacations.

The pre-PhD course work programme, started by the Department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies, PU, is the first-of-its-kind as the college teachers would not have to disturb their duties at their respective working places.

The event was inaugurated by PU Dean Research Prof Lalit K Bansal. In his inaugural speech, Prof Bansal underlined the importance of this course work programme, particularly in the situation when PhD is an essential qualification for getting promotion as associate professor and principal in colleges.

PU Fellow and chairperson Prof Jaspal Kaur Kaang suggested that a comprehensive research programme should be designed collectively by all departments of Punjabi Studies at the PU that is School of Punjabi Studies, Department of Evening Studies, University School of Open Learning and Department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies.

Senior members of the faculty of Punjabi like Prof Gurpal Singh, Dr Yograj and Prof Uma Sethi appreciated the proposal and agreed to plan extensive research programme in all departments on a yearly basis.



Tiny tots enthral audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Tiny tots of EuroKids Pre-School, Sector 37, Chandigarh, and Sector 9, Panchkula, celebrated their annual summer camp, at Moti Ram Arya School, Sector-27A, here today. On the occasion, children enthralled the audience with their dance and music performances. They also enacted a play conveying the message of healthy eating and act of lifestyle.

The school authorities said a plethora of learning activities were organised for the children at the summer camp, “Self Expression and Creativity camp”. A host of events, including “show n tell”, poetry recitation and story narration, were conducted with the aim to provide the children a platform to come forward and express.

The highlight of the camp was the theatre workshop during which children learnt the nuances of theatre.

The children also participated in a pizza-making activity and visited FM Radio office. Various other activities were also organised during the summer camp.



5,137 appear for CET

Chandigarh, June 14
As many as 5,137 candidates from across the country appeared for Combined Entrance Test (CET) of eight postgraduate courses at PU today. About 17,000 candidates will be appearing for job-oriented PG courses at the university in four-day CET(PG) entrance examinations for 38 PG courses.

PU Controller of Examination Prof Parvinder Singh said 89.57 per cent students appeared for eight entrance examinations today. As many as 1,445 students out of 1,616 appeared for MCA, 77 out of 94 appeared for MSc (nuclear medicine) (2-year course), 50 out of 66 for ME Electrical Engineering (instrumentation and control), 2,197 out of 2,412 for MSc (chemistry) (Hons School), 557 out of 611 appeared for MSc (botany), 212 out of 271 for masters in engineering (electronics and communication engineering), 380 out of 419 for MSc (biotechnology)(Hons School) and 219 out of 246 appeared for MSc (computer science) (Hons School). — TNS



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