C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 killed as car rams into truck
One injured; victims, all residents of Delhi, were on way to Una to pay obeisance
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Banur, August 24
Three residents of Delhi were killed when the car they were travelling in rammed into a stationary truck at Khaspur village on the Banur-Tepla-Ambala Highway, near here, early this morning.

The fourth occupant, who received critical injuries in the accident, was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, Chandigarh.

The car occupants, Jatinder Pal Singh, Vikas Kochhar, Puran and Raman, were on their way to Una in Himachal Pradesh to pay obeisance at a religious place when they met with the accident at about 7 am.

The tragedy struck when the Alto car (DL 9 CQ 0625) they were travelling in rammed into the truck (HR 69 1708), killing three occupants, Jatinder Pal Singh, a resident of West Patel Nagar, and Vikas Kochhar and Puran, both residents of Baljit Nagar, on the spot.

Raman, also a resident of Baljit Nagar, sustained critical injuries in the car crash.

Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Gurdeep Singh, who is investigating the case, said hearing a loud thud, drivers of some trucks parked on the road rushed to the spot and informed the police.

Vikas Kochhar was driving the car, he said.

Passersby helped the police extricate the bodies from the mangled remains of the car. The bodies were taken to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, the ASI said.

The injured was rushed to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, in an ambulance of the National Highways Authority of India where his condition is stated to be serious, the ASI said.

The ASI said the truck driver, Amandeep, a resident of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, had been arrested and a case registered against him at the Banur police station.

The police informed the family members of the victims about the accident.

The bodies were handed over to the family members after a postmortem at the Dera Bassi Civil Hospital this evening. 

Truck driver held

The police said the truck driver, Amandeep, a resident of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, had been arrested and a case registered against him at the Banur police station.



Reckless speed has proved fatal for revellers
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Late night revelling and reckless driving have snuffed out many a precious life on city roads. Statistics available with the police reveal that youths on a “geri” or those returning from late night parties have been the most vulnerable with high speed killing several of them in a fraction of a second.

While three youths travelling by a Swift car were killed in yesterday’s accident with a Volvo bus,

more than a dozen such accidents have been witnessed on roads in the city in the past few years. In most of these accidents, at least two or three lives have been lost.

Police officials say wide roads in the city coupled with high speed have proved fatal in most of the mishaps. A majority of the youths who were involved in these accidents were found to be driving in an inebriated state.

In a number of such cases, tyre burst was the reason behind the mishaps with drivers failing to control the cars which were at a high speed.

Major mishaps in past few years

* June 2014: An 18-year-old Class XII passout died while another one was seriously injured when the Honda car they were traveling in along with three others rammed into a tree on the road dividing Sectors 7and 8 in the wee hours. The youths met with the accident when the car went out of control after the front left tyre of the car burst.

* July 2013: Three persons — the driver and two college students from Vaishali in Ghaziabad — were killed while two others were injured in a collision between a Tavera and an Audi Q7 on the road dividing Sectors 17 and 18.

* August 2011: Four youths were killed after their speeding Tata Safari rammed into a tree near the cricket stadium roundabout on the road dividing Sectors 22 and 23 at midnight. They were returning from a party and were en route to drop a friend in Sector 22 when the accident occurred. All of them were unmarried and in the 24-26 age group. Three of the deceased were the only sons of their parents.

*n January 2008: Two youths on a bike, who were racing on city roads late at night, were killed when their bike skidded at the Sector 16/17 light point.

* February 2007: Three youths lost their lives when their Honda City car rammed into the Sector 3 roundabout in the early hours. Gurjesh Inder Singh Virk (34), son of former Director of Intelligence Bureau HS Virk, Karam Singh Sekhon (25), and Arjun Bhardwaj (25) were killed on the spot.



Wild growth may have obstructed drivers’ view
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Even as high speed of the Volvo bus and the Swift car is said to be the reason behind the accident, a visit to the accident spot revealed that the view of the national highway is obstructed on either side due to wild growth as one enters the intersection from Mohali.

With a police post on the one side and shrubs on the other, the driver of the Swift car may not have been able to see the speeding bus from the “blind spot” of the intersection.

Road safety expert and chairman of NGO Arrive Safe Harman Sidhu said the main cause seemed to be the speed of the vehicles as none of the vehicles apparently slowed down at the intersection. “There were no skid marks, which indicates neither of them applied the brakes. Such incidents can be averted if the obstructions are cleared,” he said.

Moreover, there is no police presence at the Sector 45/46/49/50 intersection on the highway.

UT SSP SS Gill said they would inspect the spot and take whatever necessary action was required.

Five persons — an NRI couple and three students —- were killed in a head-on collision between a Volvo bus and a Swift car at the Sector 45/46/49/50 intersection on Friday night. The NRI couple was seated in the Volvo bus while the three students were in the car when the mishap occurred.

Bus driver sent to judicial custody

The driver of the Volvo bus, Surinder Singh, who was arrested in the case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304 A of the IPC, has been sent to judicial custody. The police said there was no one to provide surety for him.

Hawan at spot

A local NGO, Luv-Kush Sewa Dal, performed a yajna at the Sector 45/46/49/50 intersection for peace of the five departed souls and to pray that such gruesome mishaps did not occur at the spot in the future.



They helped others in tragedy, met tragic end
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Both Roopesh Nawakhale and Kavita Nawakhale, the NRI couple that died in the dreadful bus-car accident two days ago, worked as social workers and had first met during the Bhuj earthquake tragedy while starting their careers in social service.

“While they both helped save hundreds of lives during the Bhuj earthquake in 2001 and kept serving the needy after that, life showed no mercy to them,” said Kavita’s maternal uncle Sanjay.

Kavita was working with Childline for over 10 years. She was passionate about her work. They both found jobs in the same field in the UK and shifted there six years ago, he said, adding that Roopesh was working with the child care unit of the British Council.

While Kavita’s parents reached the city from Mumbai, Roopesh’s parents rushed from Jamnagar. The bodies of the couple were creamted in Sector 25 late this afternoon after a postmortem.

“They had met in Bhuj and fell in love. Roopesh’s elder brother Rajesh and Kavita’s brother Ketan are both commanding officers in the Army and knew each other well,” said Sanjay.

The couple died in the wee hours on Saturday after being crushed under a Volvo bus in which they were travelling after it collided with a speeding car at the Sector 45/46/49/50 light point. They were headed for Kanpur via Delhi. They were to catch a flight on Saturday to meet Kavita’s brother Ketan in Kapur after six years. Three youths, who were in the car, were burnt alive.

‘Orphaned Ananya kept asking about her parents’

Currently in the ICU, Ananya kept asking about her parents. With great difficulty, her relatives stabilised her by saying that they were in another ward in the hospital. She lost 1 litre of blood on the spot before being rushed to hospital. As she lost both her parents, the family decided that she would be staying with her grandparents in Jamnagar. She was studying in Class III in the UK. She underwent two surgeries as her ribs had fractures.

Hospital fails to provide special help to injured

Despite such a major accident, no special assistance was provided to more than 15 injured people who were admitted to the GMCH. Relatives of Ananya, none of whom was familiar with the city or the hospital, kept struggling to get blood units, medicines and surgical items. None of the hospital attendants was attached to assist them.

Another bus passenger’s condition critical

Deepali, a resident of Dharamsala, who was travelling with her mother on the bus, sustained serious head injuries and her condition is still critical. She is admitted to the high dependancy unit (HDU) at the GMCH. Deepali suffered an extra axial haemorrhage as the bus overturned and her head repeatedly hit seat corners and the window edge.

Ananya’s family rejects HRTC compensation

An official of the HRTC reached the hospital to offer compensation to Ananya’s family and tried to convince them that their driver was not at fault. The family, however, refused to believe that the bus was moving at a normal speed and turned down the compensation offer. “Can they compensate us for our kids’ lives?” said Kavita’s aunt.

Life showed no mercy to them: Uncle

While they both helped save hundreds of lives during the Bhuj earthquake in 2001 and kept serving the needy after that, life showed no mercy to them Sanjay, Kavita’s maternal uncle



Bumpy ride for motorists as MC looks the other way
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Commuters’ safety and convenience seem to last on the agenda of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation if the partly carpeted road diving Sectors 45 and 46 is any indication. The road towards Sector 45 is yet to be carpeted.

It has been around a year when a large portion of the busy road was dug up to lay a sewer line. Since then, the MC has failed to recarpet the road, giving a tough time to motorists.

When the Sector 45 road was dug up, the plan was that it would remain closed for traffic for around one month. However, the road remained closed for about three months since the work of laying the pipes was in progress.

While the MC should have ensured that the road was recarpeted immediately, the authorities have not even initiated the recarpeting work. The uneven road poses a threat to commuters, especially two-wheeler riders.

Ramesh Nikku, chairman of the market committee, Burail, Sector 45, said the MC authorities had turned a blind eye towards the problem. “We have been raising the issue with the MC authorities and the area councillor for the past over eight months. However, our pleas have been ignored,” he said.

Nikku, who runs his shop right next to the uneven road, said accidents were a common occurrence on the rough patch.

Rajat Malhotra, president of the Residents Welfare Association, Sector 45-C, said there was lack of will among MC officials, who were ignoring the issue. “The southern sectors are always given a stepmotherly treatment and this is a classic example,” he said.

Inderjit Gulati, Executive Engineer, MC, said tenders for the recarpeting work were floated. However, due to some error in the tenders, these had to be cancelled. “Besides, due to the monsoon, work on recarpeting roads across the city had been put on hold,” he said.

Gulati said they would soon float fresh tenders for the recarpeting work.


Senior citizen seeks justice
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 24
A septuagenarian resident of Panchkula has been running from pillar to post for reimbursement of Rs 75,000 from State Bank of Indian (SBI), Zirakpur Branch, for the past three months.

Om Prakash Verma, resident of Sector 25, has an account with the State Bank of Patiala (SBoP), Sector 25. He alleged that certain unscrupulous person in connivance with the Zirakpur bank officials had fraudulently withdrawn money from his bank account.

He also claimed to have taken up the issue with the bank officials many times but to no avail.

Verma claimed that he issued a cheque of Rs 15,000 in favour of his wife Pushpa Devi, on May 25, 2014. Pushpa Devi is residing with his younger son in Zirakpur, he said.

Verma claimed that Pushpa Devi submitted the cheque in the SBI branch, Zirakpur, but it was dishonoured because of incorrect date mentioned on it. The bank even charged Rs 102 for the fault but did not return the cheque, he alleged.

He further claimed to have received a SMS on May 29, 2014 from the SBoP that an amount of Rs 75,000 was debited from his account.

Verma alleged that the amount was fraudulently withdrawn from his account by some unscrupulous persons in connivance with certain employee of the SBI, Zirakpur branch.

The elderly person claimed to have given a complaint to the Zirakpur police also but they failed to solve the case. The victim has sought an inquiry.



Doctors attend CME on infertility 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
A Continuous Medical Education (CME)-cum-workshop was held at Bedi Hospital, Sector 33, for gynecologists and infertility specialists of the Northern region.

Latest techniques were demonstrated during the workshop to achieve success of international level. India, being a hub for medical tourism, infertility patients consist a big volume of patients from abroad as the cost of treatment is low but the success rates are at par with the western world, said Dr RS Bedi, CMD, Bedi Hospital.

A talk was given by Dr GK Bedi on recent advances in ovulation induction in IUI to improve the results. She also stressed on early and effective treatment to preserve the ovarian function.

Dr RS Bedi said the hospital will be providing long distance learning to doctors through telemedicine.



World Bank studying bus routes in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Ahead of starting the ‘City Bus Service’, the World Bank (WB) is conducting a detailed study of different bus routes being operated by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU).

Before the routes, depending upon the passenger load are rationalised, officials of the WB are travelling on different routes with CTU officials. The WB team is also studying the functioning of the CTU buses, passenger capacity and improvement required in schedule and bus routes here.

An express bus service between the PGI and Panchkula has been started to see the response of passengers.

Bhawna Garg, Secretary, Transport, said it would go a long way in modernising the bus service. “The team is studying the design of the routes, signboards at bus queue shelters and would come up with effective solutions. Since the route information at the bus queue shelters is prone to vandalism, we have requested for tamper-proof design of the signboards”, she added.

The intelligent transport system (ITS), a passenger-friendly initiative, will also be introduced on CTU buses. The UT, along with other three cities of the country, has been selected for a project where the city bus services will be introduced with ITS. Special funds are being sanctioned for the purpose.

The ITS, with the help of advance technologies such as GPS, Wi-Fi and GPRS, will facilitate the passengers to get information like arrival of buses to bus stops, and details of movement of buses from select bus stops by sending SMSs. The study details, expected by next month, will be beneficial for the planned fleet of 400 buses to be run under the city bus service. 

UT selected among 3 other cities

The intelligent transport system (ITS), a passenger-friendly initiative, will also be introduced on CTU buses. The UT, along with other three cities of the country, has been selected for a project where the city bus services will be introduced with ITS. Special funds are being sanctioned for the purpose. 

Present situation at CTU 

The CTU with 417 buses, including ageing low floor and blue colour buses, is struggling to keep the fleet running. After a long wait, the UT is soon going to get 40 midi buses to be run by the CTU. Officials said an order for fabrication of 200 AC and non-AC midi buses had already been given by Chandigarh Administration. The strength of the fleet would be increased to 600 buses.



Snake venom sample sent to CFSL for authentication 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
To verify whether the liquid seized by the police on a tip-off from the People for Animals (PFA) was snake venom or not, the UT Wildlife Department has directed the police to get the seizure verified from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

Soon after the seizure of the "venom", the Wildlife Department had stated that its officials would certify only after getting the test report from Dehradun.

Santosh Kumar, Chief Wildlife Warden, said the department official would testify when police filed chargesheet in the case on getting the report from the institute.

On August 20, the police along with PFA teams had seized 600ml of liquid from a bus near Hallo Majra.

The police had claimed that the venom, worth crores of rupee, was to be used to manufacture rave drugs. The seized liquid has been sent for forensic examination to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Sector 36. On the basis of the report from the forensic laboratory, it would be sent for further examination to the Wildlife Institute, Dehradun. While the local officials of the PFA claimed that venom from cobra snake was being transported and they had specific input from their Delhi office, the wildlife officials said the claim of PFA would be authenticated after getting the report.

Experts pointed out that it would take a large number of cobras or vipers to extract 600 ml of venom.

Gaurav Gupta, head of the Delhi region of the PFA, claimed that the Forest Department had failed to act on their complaints. The smugglers use to ferry them on buses. The seizure of the sand boas snake indicated that snakes were being smuggled.



Civic body yet to repair unsafe connecting passages in Sector 17
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The municipal corporation (MC) sealed a dozen unsafe connecting passages in Sector 17 almost two months ago, the authorities have failed to start the renovation of these passages, which are posing threat to the people.

The connecting passages near the General Post Office and the Plaza were barricaded after they were found to be unsafe. The columns (pillars) and ceiling of the connecting passages have visible signs of deterioration. Barricading was done around the passages to restrict the movement of the people.

While the authorities are yet to begin with the repair of the passages, people can be seen walking through these passages unaware of the risk these pose to them. The vendors can be seen sitting under the passages to sell various products.

The passages, which are an integral part of the Le Corbusier’s design, were constructed to provide shade to the people while walking across the commercial area in Sector 17.

The National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, Chandigarh, had recently conducted a test on the connecting passages. The physical and mechanical inspections of the structures and their non-destructive and semi-destructive tests were conducted. The carbonation and corrosion tests on the passages had revealed that their concrete quality was deteriorating.

Sources stated that the MC was yet to take a call whether the unsafe passages were to be demolished and reconstructed or repaired.

A Sector 17-based trader stated that the MC should take up the renovation work of the passages at the earliest so that the visitors could utilise the passages. “By now, the MC should have completed half of the renovation work.” the trader added. The MC Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand could not be contacted for comments.



300 patients examined at eye camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
As many as 300 patients were examined and medicines were distributed free of cost at an eye camp.

Patients were screened for cataract, diabetic, retinopathy, glaucoma and pediatric eye disease. Team of doctors headed by Dr IP Singh from Dr KP’s Eye Hospital, Chandigarh, will conduct cataract surgeries and other laser procedures.



Training programme on oral health ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
A five-day national training programme on oral health in children concluded on Saturday.

It was conducted from August 19 to 23 at Oral Health Sciences Centre, PGIMER here.

The programme was organised by the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram (RBSK) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The valedictory function was chaired by Dr NK Arora, Director-General Health Services, Haryana.

The programme aimed at training the educators on the management of oral health problems of the children.

It focused on management strategies of early childhood caries and oral health care of the children with special healthcare needs like autism, cerebral palsy, visually impaired, deaf and dumb as well as medically compromised children. 



Open House response
Dedicated centre needed for the deserted & ailing
There exists no system to take care of the ailing persons abandoned on the roadside across the tricity. Left by their loved ones, they continue to be ignored by government agencies, who keep passing the buck. Chandigarh Tribune asked its readers what can be done to help such persons

Open special place for infirm, deserted people

The government needs to open a special place where such persons can be taken care of. We are paying tax on almost everything and still, those in need don’t get a place to subsist? The local municipal councillors must rAn unidentified ailing person deserted near the PGI in Chandigarh. A file photographesign if they cannot shoulder the responsibility of such persons in their wards. After all, they are not elected to have tea and grab media attention.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

An unidentified ailing person deserted near the PGI in Chandigarh. A file photograph

Residents should also do their bit

Infirm looking men and women are seen seeking help on roads, at markets and traffic lights. It is not only the job of the Administration to provide them assistance; equally important is the common citizens’ role. An institutionalised mechanism for a long-term rehabilitation of such persons is required and NGOs can play a crucial role in it.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Sue those who desert their ailing parents

Action needs to be taken under the law against those who can afford to support their ailing parents but deliberately chose to abandon them when they need their support the most. The government is also under a constitutional obligation to protect life and health of such people whose children cannot afford to pay the ris ing fees of physicians.

Ajit Singh, Canada

Set up 24X7 dedicated cell

At the first instance, these neglected persons need help primarily from general public and passersby, who are supposed to at least inform either the Red Cross Society or some NGO to extend immediate assistance to the needy. The Administration should set up a dedicated cell, which should work round the clock, and assign duties to monitor and receive information on such hapless persons. Once they are cured and discharged by a hospital, they must be provided with psychological counselling and thereafter, provided shelter by the government.

Ravinder Nath, Chandigarh

Chalk out comprehensive rehabilitation programme

The solution lies in the government making a comprehensive rehabilitation programme for these destitute people. First of all, data on such abandoned persons in the tricity should be collected. Thereafter, an assessment should be made about the accommodation required for them in terms of old-age homes, rehabilitation centres etc. Thereafter, a plan should be chalked out to house them and those needing medical attention should be immediately admitted to hospitals and treated. There is also a need to sensitise the society towards the plight of such helpless people.

Colonel RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Police should shift infirm to govt hospital

The police should be informed in case one comes across an ailing person lying abandoned. The police should shift him/her to a government hospital. On recovery, hospital authorities should approach Prabh Aasra to take care of the person and the police to help locate his/her relatives. However, the UT and states should also step in to provide help in caring for such destitute persons and doctors ought to provide volunteer service to them on Sundays.

Colonel BS Mathauda (retd), Mohali

Fix responsibility of police, doctors

Make police patrol party and medical practitioners responsible to help ailing persons abandoned on a roadside or in public hospitals. There ought to be no scope for escapism in their duty.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Earmark funds for abandoned patients

The government hospitals should be provided with a special, approved budget for destitute persons. The earmarked fund should be spent on arranging medicine and attendant for the patient. Cops on PCR duty should attend to such persons in their area of operation.

Vijay Singla, Chandigarh

Open rehab centres

The government should set up rehabilitation centres for the people neglected by their near and dear ones as well as society. Presently, only private charitable organisations take care of such unfortunate people. The authorities concerned should wake up to their cause without any delay and discrimination.

WG Cdr Jasbir Singh, Minhas (retd), Mohali

Frame a social care policy

A proper social care policy with provisions like setting up of a special fund, tax exemptions to donors for such a fund, construction of licensed shelter homes with medical facilities, designated health officers and doctors, aid to genuine NGOs, paid volunteers and free legal aid to file a case against the family should be formulated and implemented to take care of the abandoned persons.

Sanjeev Kumar, Chandigarh

Religious bodies should step in & help out needy

Some NGOs and good Samaritans do help destitute persons. But an institutional mechanism can help them out well. Religious bodies can play a role too. It will be good use of the donations given to them and they will be doing something good for humanity as well, as they proclaim on loudspeakers.

Dinesh Kumar, Chandigarh

Uproot the root cause for desertion

The main reason for abandoning an ailing individual on street, especially those suffering from mental illness, is apparently paucity of funds for medical assistance. The solution lies in providing financial assistance to the families of such individuals so that they could afford the medical bill. Moreover, a centre can be established for homeless people where they are given a decent shelter and a service depending upon their skills to support themselves. People and NGOs could further help by donating food, clothes, money etc. and hiring them for services which could help them become financially independent.

Ravneet Kaur, Mohali

Special govt scheme, policy needed

The government should launch special schemes and policies for their medication and rehabilitation. Besides, NGOs, welfare societies and individuals should come forward and help ill-fated ailing persons on humanitarian ground. Further, attempts should be made to reunite them with their families. There is a dire need for mobile medicare units dedicated to ailing persons lying on the roadsides.

Sanjay Srivastava, Chandigarh

Govt, NGOs should extend a helping hand

The government agencies and NGOs should jointly chalk out a well-defined programme dedicated to help out ailing, abandoned persons lying on the roadside. Well-to-do people should also come forward to aid of these people.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Make use of central, state schemes

There are a number of central and state government schemes for destitute persons offering them monetary benefit. Funds running into crores are earmarked under the scheme. The authorities concerned should make a judicious use of funds and come out of their air-conditioned rooms to ensure the schemes serve their purpose.

Sat Pal Kansal, Chandigarh

MC should open special facility for destitute persons

The Municipal Corporation should set up centres that help destitute people to live a dignified life. These centres should be set up either in or near hospitals to ensure availability of doctors to attend to these ailing persons. Such a facility should be well-maintained.

Aishwarya, Mohali

Admn apathy is surprising

It is a matter of grave concern that some sick people are left to die on the roadside by their relatives who cannot afford their medical expenses. More surprising is the fact that the Administration does not bother to shift them to a hospital for treatment.

RK Kapoor, USA

Open rehab centres

On the pattern of old-age homes or Pingalwara Charitable Society, some rehabilitation centres should be established where destitute persons of all ages should be accommodated and looked after. People should donate generously for this noble cause. Not a long time ago, the Chandigarh Administration had decided to take on roadside beggars to end the menace. The move proved fruitful as beggars are not as common on city roads these days as they were earlier.

Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

Govt escaping responsibility

The government is escaping its responsibility and there is no system to take care of the ailing persons abandoned on the roadside in the tricity. The recent case of an ailing person spotted near a PU gate and not taken to a hospital is shameful.

Anil Sharma, Mani Majra

Police should act on time

It is the duty of the police to either get deserted patients admitted to a government health facility or inform some NGO working for such persons. First, the person should be given immediate medical treatment and later, efforts should be made to locate his/her residence or relatives.

IPS Anand, Mani Majra

Time to save savings for twilight years of life?

Unlike western countries, the practice of spending one’s lifetime savings for the welfare of children is deeply rooted in India. Considering cases of patients being abandoned by their family, one is forced to think should we do away with becoming closely attached to our children and spare savings for our twilight years.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Open house question

The tragic accident at the Sector 45/46/49/50 light point on the National Highway-21, which claimed five lives, has triggered a debate over the need to have a designated highway patrol in the Chandigarh Police to keep a check on overspeeding vehicles, especially during night hours, on one of the busiest roads in the city. What needs to be done to check accidents on the 15-km stretch. Send your comments (in not more then 100 words) along with your passport-size photograph (in JPG format) to openhouse@tribunemail.com 


Rajmeet Singh*

There is dire need to take care of the homeless

Bedraggled persons abandoned alongside roads, some of them needing urgent medical aid, usually fail to grab the attention of insensitive passersby. If a conscientious person rings up the police for help to evacuate such a person to a hospital, he witnesses the insensitivity of the state machinery. This despite the statutory provision for protection of life enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Three incidents in the tricity, which were highlighted by Chandigarh Tribune recently, typify the unfortunate trend. In each of these cases, the state machinery dilly-dallied first in owning the responsibility and then taking care of the abandoned persons. This makes one think about the need to have an institutionalised mechanism to deal with a long-term rehabilitation plan for such persons.

Officials of the UT Social Welfare Department admit that of the total homeless persons, at least 26 per cent are abandoned and are often suffering from mental or physical ailments. According to Shamsher Singh, manager of the Kharar-based NGO, Prabh Asra, that works for destitute and the homeless, they get about 300 such persons every year who have been abandoned by their families for one or the other reason.

But in the absence of a well-organised mechanism and lack of public awareness, such abandoned persons are usually deserted on the roadside at the mercy of the Almighty. Often PCRs refuse to lift them as government hospitals are reluctant to admit them. Officials concerned give a plea that government hospitals are already overcrowded and had no allocated infrastructure. Even if such a person is fortunate enough to be admitted to a hospital, he is left unattended due to insensitivity of the medical staff.

It has also been noticed that the police or the health authorities and even officials of the Social Welfare Department often wash their hands off and shift the responsibility of taking care of the needy to others.

That this happens in a modern city like Chandigarh, which ranks third in terms of highest per capita income in the country and eighth in the level of literacy, is shocking. It is shameful that officials in the City Beautiful and its adjoining towns have over the years failed to devise a mechanism to support and assist the abandoned patients who don’t have anyone to look after them.

What is required is a 24x7 Helpline with a well-defined role to evacuate such persons to hospitals, ensure that they are treated and then rehabilitated in welfare homes. For funds, the state can rope in NGOs. By evoking the moral and social consciousness of the general public, the issue of dedicated inflow of funds and volunteers can also be addressed. The UT Administration can take a cue from developed countries where there is a well-organised system in place to take care of not only humans but abandoned animals too.

(*Chief Reporter, Chandigarh Tribune)



Business news

Mahindra opens showroom

Mahindra First Choice Wheels Ltd. (MFCWL), today expanded its presence in North India with the inauguration of its authorised dealership, M/s Wheelz Inc. in Kharar. The showroom is located near 87 State Building, opposite Jhungian Road, Main Chandigarh Road, Kharar, Mohali. The new outlet was inaugurated by Yatin Chadha, senior vice president- Mahindra First Choice Wheels Limited.

Jindal Panther launched by JSPL

Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), launched its new retail brand, Jindal Panther. “At JSPL, Our entry into retail is spurred with an aim to provide top quality reinforced bars to the housing segment and to empower every Indian home by offering strength and purity for its construction,” said Ravi Uppal, MD and CEO, Jindal Steel and Power, who was in Chandigarh today.

Honda’s diesel cars cross 1 lakh mark

Honda Cars India Ltd. today announced that it has sold more than 1 lakh cars powered by its 1.5L i-DTEC diesel engine in the country. The diesel variants of Honda Amaze, Honda City and Honda Mobilio have clocked over 90 crore kms cumulatively as per service data.

SRL Diagnostics launches butterfly needles

In an endeavour to minimize the pain and psychological fear associated with a Blood Test, SRL Diagnostics has recently announced the use of high-end technology needles named, butterfly needles, making diagnosis pain free. The butterfly needles serve another purpose of safeguarding the phlebotomists (persons who collect blood) from accidental needle stick injuries that are a crisis in the healthcare systems around the globe. Therefore, safer blood drawing devices like butterfly needles help mitigate the dangers of needle stick injuries during routine blood draws.

ICAI organises investors’ awareness programme

Chandigarh branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) today hosted the Investor Awareness Program organised by Committee on Financial Markets and Investors’ Protection of ICAI jointly with Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, today. The event was well attended by over 300 CAs and financial experts of the region.

World record of missed calls

Over 72 lakh missed calls were made for a pledge against corruption. Kan Khajura Tesan, India’s first free and on-demand entertainment mobile radio channel, had undertaken a social initiative to fight against corruption to every Indian’s doorstep. Kan Khajura Tesan made an appeal to the people of India to pledge against corruption by giving a miss call on its toll free number 1800-30-000-123. As the issue struck a chord with every Indian, Kan Khajura Tesan received over 72 Lakh (72,32,612) missed calls from over 32 lakh Indians, pledging against corruption between 13th August and 17th August; thereby creating a world record of maximum missed calls received in 120 hours.

Corporate office of bagful.net in Mohali

With the advent of more than 700 domain extensions has provided a wide range of options has given the liberty to internet user for making their own websites. The newly opened corporate office of the bagful.net in Mohali has now given a new dimension to the internet world. —TNS



Reporters diary

When ambulance wouldn’t start

The Trauma Highway Ambulance being pushed by passersby and policemen at the Sector 45/46 light point, where a car and a bus collided. Tribune photo: Parvesh ChauhanMeant to rush patients to hospitals, the Trauma ambulance of the UT police, seemingly in dire need of repairs, had to be pushed by over four policemen to start it at the accident spot which claimed five persons. While the ambulance is meant to rush patients, the vehicle itself had to be pushed to ignite the engine.
The Trauma Highway Ambulance being pushed by passersby and policemen at the Sector 45/46 light point, where a car and a bus collided. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Rich, yet they won’t pay

Student leaders of Panjab University and city colleges who have pasted their posters across the city and have been served notice by the municipal corporation under the Defacement Act are seen pleading before MC officials for waving-off the charges, as they are students. These are the same leaders who flaunt a luxurious lifestyle among their friends by driving swanky cars and designer wardrobe.

Craze to get ticket

Seeking a better future in politics, every Tom, Dick and Harry, who do not have political background or experience in this field, have applied for ticket from different political parties for the ensuing Vidhan Sabha elections. This time, heads of different political parties have received highest number of applications for Panchkula and Kalka Assembly constituencies. The ticket aspirants are not only sticking to one party but have applied for different political parties seeking ticket from separate constituencies.

Accountability, the buzzword in UT

A gentle advice from the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Tijiju, to the UT officials to increase public interaction, saw the UT’s top brass issuing a long lists of dos to the UT officials. Now, the officials have been asked to interact more frequently with the general public and dispose off files within a specified period. The UT has also been asked to digitalise the record, a project the UT has not been able to implement fully over the last few years,

Panchkula senior citizens seek facilities

Senior citizens in Panchkula are demanding recreational facilities in different sectors. Learning from the successful running of the Sector 15 Senior Citizen Council`s Centre where visitors pass their time by playing cards, table-tennis, billiard and carrom-board, the senior citizens in other parts of the town are demanding similar facilities in their respective sectors.

(Contributed by Aneesha Sareen, Amit Sharma, Bipin Bhardwaj, Rajmeet Singh and Sunil Minocha)



Six parties join hands for a cause
Want PU campus declared a vehicle-free zone till student council elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
In what seems to be a step forward towards an alliance of student outfits ahead of the Panjab University (PU) elections, as many as six parties today put forth a common demand.

The representatives submitted a memorandum to the Panjab University authorities demanding that the PU campus should be declared a ‘no-vehicle zone’ till the student council elections.

“As you are aware that incidents of clashes between student organisations on the campus from the past several days have increased, due to this the democratic environment of the campus is being affected and a sense of fear and insecurity prevails among the students,” the representatives mentioned in the memorandum.

“We all condemn this growing hooliganism, which is affecting the democratic space on the campus, and demand that the university campus should be made a “vehicle-free zone”, particularly four-wheelers, till the elections”. We hope you take our demand into consideration and take measures to implement the same,” they said.

The students said: “A number of four-wheelers can be seen on the campus. This also increases the incidents of eve-teasing, road accidents and traffic overflow on the campus”.

The parties included the Student for Society (SFS), Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA), Haryana Students’ Association (HSA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Indian National Student Organisation (INSO) and Youth Welfare Association (YUWA).

In the past one month, a number of incidents of violence were reported in which students from parties like the Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) and the National Student Union of India (NSUI) were involved and a few were arrested also.Parties that have come together

The parties included the Student for Society, Ambedkar Students’ Association, Haryana Students’ Association, Students’ Federation of India, Indian National Student Organisation and Youth Welfare Association.



ABVP holds protest, demands increase in poll timings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Representatives of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Panjab University, today held a protest demanding an increase in polling time.

The students demanded that the duration should be increased from one hour, presently, to at least 6 hours (9 am to 3 pm).

The students said: “The limited polling duration forces a number of localites to return as they get annoyed due to the traffic jam on the campus. This decreases polling percentage.”

The representatives gathered in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s residence on the PU campus. Barricades were placed around the house.

Later, Jatinder Grover, chief security officer, assured the students that an all-party meeting would be called on Tuesday for discussing the issue.

The protest was led by senior ABVP leaders, including Sukhdev Bhoria, vice-president, ABVP, Harmanjot Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Vikas Sharma, Dinesh Chauhan, Gautam Joshi and Payal Singla.



Engineering students visit three industries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
For giving practical exposure to students, the Aryans College of Engineering, Chandigarh, organised a visit to three different industries for its engineering students.

The students spent fruitful hours with the executives of the industries. The industries for visit were chosen according to the branches and specialisations of the courses of the students.

Prof AP Jain, director, Aryans Group of Colleges, while giving more information about the visits, said civil and mechanical students were taken to Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala; electronics & communication and computers science students were taken to Sebiz Square, Mohali; and mechanical students of BTech and diploma were taken to Verka Plant, Mohali.

He said the students were accompanied by their faculty members and officials from the company during the visits.

Prof BS Sidhu, registrar, Aryans Group, said Rail Coach Factory was the largest and most modern coach manufacturing unit of the Indian Railways. The students got a good exposure by visiting the factory. The students were given in-depth insight of machinery, cranes, fork lifters, etc., being used in the industry to undertake design and manufacture of bogies, shells (both with stainless steel and corten steel).



Shreya, Akshay adjudged Ms, Mr Fresher
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 24
Shreya and Akshay Kapoor won the titles of Ms Fresher and Mr Fresher, respectively, at a 
freshers’ party organsied at the Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC), Jhanjeri, here.

The party was marked by the performance of Punjab singer Guru Randhawa. Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti was the chief guest on the occasion.

Abdul Hameed and Shivani were awarded the best dressed participants, while Anchal and Abhishek were adjudged as Ms and Mr Personality, respectively, in the fashion show event.

The chief guest honoured the winners and applauded the spirit of youngsters.

The other events held at the function included bhangra, Himachali dance, skits and fun games.



Gurkirat, Parul win painting contest

Chandigarh, August 24
Students from Shemrock School, Millennium School and Saupins School today participated in a painting competition. The competition was organised by Fortis Hospital, Mohali, to raise awareness about organ donation. The event was organized at a mall in the city. Gurkirat Kaur of Saupins School stood first, Dibjot Kaur of Saupins School stood second, while Riya of Millennium School bagged third position in the painting competition (junior).

Parul Singh Kanwar of Millennium School stood first, Jasmandeep Kaur of Shemrock School came second, while Neha Virk of Shemrock School stood third in the competition (senior). Fortis doctors - Dr Swati Gupta, consultant-paediatrics, and Dr Ashish Singhal, liver transplant surgeon, judged the competition. — TNS



Colourful events mark Teej celebrations
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 24
Staff and students of the Quest Group of Institutions celebrated Teej, a traditional festival for women, with fun and frolic on the college premises here today.

The function was marked with various colourful events such as mehandi ceremony, hair styling and nail art for both faculty and students.

A ‘Teej’ contest was the main attraction of the event. Girls passionately participated in this contest. Japjeet of the CSE Department won the title of “Miss Teej”.

Giddha and bhangra were also the highlights of the function.

HPS Kanda, vice-chairman of the college, appreciated the efforts of the students and the faculty members in making the event successful.



From schools

Film-making workshop

Chandigarh: The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) organised a film-making workshop for the schools of Chandigarh at Saupin’s School, Sector 32, here. INTACH has been working with schools throughout the country to inspire students to develop respect for their own culture as well as those of others. “Filmit” is an excited multi-cultural project that helps students to make short films on their city’s heritage. These films on culture are then shared with students in the UK.

Short films screened

A number of spectators arrived to watch back-to-back shows of six short films screened at PVR, Elante Mall. These short films are scripted, directed and produced by students from various tricity schools who are a part of the Young Filmmakers Academy-run People Purple Labs in association with St Kabir Public School, Chandigarh. The short films – “Best Super Hero”, “National Anthem”, “One Day in the life of Krishna”, “Friendship”, “Beti” and “Niptara” attracted people from all walks of life. From friendship and finding the meaning of the National Anthem, to talking about social issues and celebrating the girl child, the films highlighted it all. The students of five participating schools - Vivek High School, St Joseph’s School, Strawberry School, St Kabir Public School and Saupin’s School - were awarded under the category of Thinkers, Initiators, Visualisers, Observers, Performers, Team Players, Leaders and St Kabir’s Award.

Inter-school competition

Mohali: Gureet Bala and Shreya Arya, both students of St Xavier’s, Mohali, participated in the zonal level of Frank Anthony Memorial All-India Inter-School Competition - 2014 held at Brooklyn School, Dehradun. The event witnessed various teams across the north region competing with each other to lift the winning trophy. Gureet and Shreya discussed topic “are earth weather patterns the result of global warming?” — TNS



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