C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 killed in road mishap 
4 hurt as TATA Magic rams into stationary multi-axle vehicle near Lalru
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, October 27
Three persons, including an ITBP jawan, were killed while four others were injured, two of them seriously, when the TATA Magic they were travelling in rammed into a stationary multi-axle vehicle on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near Lalru early this morning.

The incident occurred at about 5.15 am in Dehar village when the TATA Magic, bearing a temporary registration number (CH 4S 4693) and carrying seven passengers to the Ambala railway station from the Dera Bassi bus stop, rammed into the multi-axle vehicle, leaving three persons, Deepak Kumar (24), an ITBP jawan, Khush Kumar, a resident of Valmiki Basti in Dera Bassi, and Sant Lal of Preet Nagar Colony, Dera Bassi, dead.

Those injured are Mool Salim (40), his two daughters, Joya (11) and Anju (13), residents of Prem Nagar Colony in Dera Bassi, and Harjit Singh of Rauni Mohalla, Dera Bassi.

Mool Salim, Jaya and Anju were taken to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, from where doctors referred them to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh, said Dr SK Mittal, Senor Medical Officer (SMO), Dera Bassi.

Harjit Singh, group inspector with the ITI, Patiala, who escaped with minor injuries, was discharged after being given first aid.

While the bodies of Khush Kumar and Sant Lal were handed over to their family members, officers of the ITBP, Ramgarh, airlifted the body of Deepak Kumar to his native place in the South, after a postmortem examination at the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi. Posted at the ITBP camp, Ramgarh, Deepak was on his way to Ambala Cantonment, to board a train to his his home state in the South. Sant Lal was going to his native village in Uttar Pradesh, said his son Vivek.

According to Harjit Singh, the TATA Magic got stuck under the multi-axle vehicle after the crash and the three victims sitting on the left side of the vehicle were crushed to death.

Hearing a loud thud, passersby assembled at the spot and the police was informed. ASI Rajinder Singh from the Lalru police station and his team extricated the bodies from the mangled remains of the TATA Magic. The ASI said they had to uses a tractor to pull out the TATA Magic that was stuck under the multi-axle vehicle.

The drivers of both vehicles fled from the spot, he said.

A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered against the drivers of both vehicles on a complaint of Harjit Singh, one of the injured.



Two crushed to death under train
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 27
Two persons were crushed to death under a passenger train on the Mohali-Chandigarh railway track this evening. The victims, identified as Shamsher Singh (44), a resident of Kambali village, and Arvind Kumar (32), a resident of Chhajumajra, were reportedly taking liquor while sitting on the railway track near Jagatpura village when the incident took place at around 4.30 pm today.

According to an official of the GRP, both victims died on the spot after being hit by the passenger train, which was on its way from Ambala to Una.

The official said the victims were identified from their Aadhaar cards, which were recovered from their pockets. The bodies of the victims have been sent to the Civil Hospital at Phase VI, Mohali, where the postmortem will take place tomorrow. The police have initiated inquest proceedings in the case. 



Shalimar Estates told to pay Rs 1 lakh relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Shalimar Estates to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation for deficiency in services and to refund the amount taken towards the allotment of a showroom.

The complainants, Geetanjali and Archana, residents of Rajpura, stated in the complaint that they had moved an application for the allotment of a commercial showroom in an upcoming shopping mall to be constructed by Shalimar Estates in the Industrial Area, Mohali. It was stated that the complainants intended to use the showroom for running their business to earn a livelihood by way of self-employment. The total price of the showroom was Rs 36,00,000. The complainants deposited a sum of Rs 3,60,000 along with the application. The complainants were, thus, allotted a showroom of Category ‘C’ with a super area of 400 sq ft, at Rs 250 per sq ft, which was to be paid as per the installment plan.

The possession was to be given within a period of two years from February 28, 2006.

It was further stated that neither was the possession given to the complainants in two years nor was the amount refunded.

The commission while pronouncing the order said, “The complainants were not only deprived of the use of their hard-earned money for a long time, which was deposited with the builders, but they also suffered mental agony and physical harassment as till date not even a single penny was refunded to them, nor has the possession of the showroom been given. The complainants shall not be able to purchase the showroom at the same rate at which it was allotted to them. For harassment, mental agony and escalation in the prices of real estate, the complainants are entitled to compensation,” said the commission.



Quashing of land acquisition for Phase III of IT Park
Finally, UT moves to recover Rs 5 crore from landowners
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Waking up from deep slumber, the UT Administration has now finally started the process to recover Rs 5 crore from landowners who had accepted compensation for the land acquisition for Phase III of IT Park.

The UT Administration had also deposited Rs 75 crore with the court to pay the remaining landowners. The UT has also started the process to release Rs 75 crore from the court and has written to the District Courts in this regard, a senior UT official said.

In October 2012, the Supreme Court had quashed the land acquisition for Phase III of IT Park. There were over 200 landowners whose land was to be acquired for Phase III of IT Park.

Thirty-five landowners had accepted the compensation amount of Rs 18.75 lakh per acre announced by the Administration. The remaining landowners had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court against the land acquisition process.

UT Land Acquisition Officer Tilak Raj said they had now issued a public notice and had given one month's time to the landowners to return the compensation amount to the UT Administration.

Earlier, the landowners had approached the Administration saying that they were not in a position to refund the money.

In October 2012, the Supreme Court had quashed the acquisition of 272 acres for Phase III of IT Park.

The background

During the tenure of a former UT Administrator, Gen SF Rodrigues (retd), the Administration had started acquiring land for Phase III of IT Park. Notifications to acquire 272 acres were issued in June 2006, August 2006 and Feb 2007. Later, the media had reported anomalies in the land acquisition process. The MHA had ordered a special audit of various projects of the Administration. The audit raised objections to the land acquired for the Phase III and submitted a report to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The landowners moved the court, but in March 2011, the HC rejected their petitions. They then moved the Supreme Court, which on October 12, 2012, quashed the land acquisition process for the expansion of IT Park.

SC order was a major blow for UT

The Supreme Court order had come as a major blow to the Administration, which was hoping to attract investments worth more than Rs 2,500 crore, software export of Rs 2,500 crore and generating employment for over 35,000 IT professionals through Phase III of IT Park.



PGI doctor devises technique to remove glass pieces from eye
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Dr Ramandeep SinghChandigarh, October 27
A PGI doctor has devised a new technique to remove glass pieces that accidentally enter the eye. Considering that the removal of glass (intraocular foreign bodies) with intraocular forceps (that cost Rs 20,000) is one of the most challenging vitreo-retinal surgeries with a high rate of complication, the doctor used a soft tip needle with active aspiration on 14 patients and successfully restored their vision.

The technique called 23-gauge vitrectomy (TSV) developed by Dr Ramandeep Singh, Associate Professor, Advanced Eye Centre, PGI, and his team, makes use of a needle that does not cost more than Rs 1,000 and has lesser chances of complication. In his research, titled “23-gauge vitrectomy with intraocular foreign body removal via the limbus: An alternative approach for select cases", published in the Indian Journal of Opthalmology recently, Dr Ramandeep used the technique on 14 patients successfully.

“We found that the surgery was friendly, both for patients as well as surgeons. Apart from saving on the cost, the technique brings down trauma (pain) among patients and reduces the duration and complications of surgery,” he said.

“In a large series, authors have recommended no intervention in these cases in view of the high incidence of complications. We report successful use of active aspiration soft tip needle to lift glass intraocular foreign bodies (IOFB) from the surface of the retina,” the study stated.

PGI gets at least 5 cases every year

Common circumstances of glass foreign body entering the eye include bottle bursting or blasts. In the PGI, at least five such cases are reported every year.

Conventional technique

Conventionally, surgeons use diamond dusted intraocular forceps for the surgery that cost Rs 20,000 to 25,000. The new technique uses a soft tip needle with active aspiration costing less than Rs 1,000.

No new specially designed instrument required

“We describe a novel technique, which is an improvement of the original technique by Coleman. In our technique, no new specially designed instrument is required. Active suction and soft tip needle are readily available tools in the present day vitrectomy era. We have done successful in-vitro experiments to lift off regular or irregular shaped glass pieces of various sizes by titrating the vacuum and different gauges of the aspiration needle,” the study stated.



Child rights panel shows the ugly side of Snehalaya
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Seepage in walls, leaking roofs, rooms sans whitewash and choked bathrooms aptly describe Snehalaya, a rehabilitation centre for juveniles, according to the report of the Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights. The report, prepared after a visit to Snehalaya by commission chairperson Devi Sirohi, states that the infrastructure at the Home for juveniles is in dire need of renovation.

The report points out that a majority of the rooms where inmates stay have not been whitewashed for a long time. Some rooms have a problem of seepage while bathrooms used by inmates are choked.

The report points out that the room for the sick, which has been set up for the 350 inmates in the Home, needs major repairs. Besides, basic medicines are not available for the inmates.

Lakhs of rupees have been spent on installing computers in the home to upgrade the skills of the inmates by the UT Social Welfare Department, but for the past one month, no teacher is available to guide the students.

The commission has asked why no recruitment was made after the post of computer teacher fell vacant as it is the priority of the department to rehabilitate these children after imparting them skills. The only course being run at present by Senhalaya is of “beauty culture”, which is for girls.

The commission has raised an objection to the poor strength of counsellors at the Home. According to the records of Snehalaya, for 350 inmates, two counsellors have been deployed while the norms stipulate that there should be a minimum of six or seven counsellors to cater to such a large number of students.

More optional courses recommended: Panel chairperson

Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Devi Sirohi said in view of incidents of inmates fleeing from Snehalaya, the commission visited the Home to review the security arrangements. She said in the report she had recommended introduction of more optional courses to channel the energy of the inmates in the right direction. She said the UT Engineering Department would be asked to renovate the infrastructure, which was a shambles due to lack of maintenance.

What Social Welfare Dept Director says

UT Social Welfare Department Director Tilak Raj said he was yet to receive the report, but the department would introduce new courses after having a discussion with the commission. He said the Engineering Department had been asked to renovate the Snehalaya building several times, but to no avail.



Youth gets jail for hitting traffic cop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
A local court today sentenced a youth to two year-imprisonment for hitting a traffic policeman on duty. The court sentenced Lovpreet to two years while two others, Vineet and Bhaskar, were acquitted of all charges. The case was registered on June 28, 2013, when a traffic constable was injured after being hit by a car at the light point in Sector 28.

According to the prosecution case, the driver of Ritz (PB 10 DT 9642) hit traffic constable Sanjay when he signalled the vehicle to stop at a traffic barricade. The constable suffered a fracture in the leg. Later, the police arrested the three youngsters. Lovpreet was driving the car while the other two were sitting on the passenger seat.


Dham Special train flagged off from city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The Dham Special with Dakshin Darshan was flagged off from the Chandigarh railway station by Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal
at 7:30 am today. The Indian Railway Tourism Catering Corporation is running this special train, Supporters of SAD turned up in large numbers on the occasion.

The special train will travel to religious places, including Ayodhaya, Varanasi, Puri, Tirupati, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Aurangabad, Dwarka and Ujjain. It will be back to the Chandigarh station on November 13, 2014.

The train will have a total of 13 coaches. There will be 2-Tier AC (01 coach), 3-Tier AC (02 coach), sleeper (07 Coaches), a pantry car (01 Coach) and a generator SLR’s (02 coaches).

While addressing the gathering, Badal said that Prime Minister Narender Modi had taken the initiative, following which the train had been introduced from the city. 



Fourth Delhi Finance Commission
Rap for UT Admn, MC
Panel pulls them up for not recovering full economic cost of municipal services and lack in transparency in distribution of funds to panchayats
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The Fourth Delhi Finance Commission has rapped the UT Administration and the municipal corporation for not recovering full economic cost of providing municipal services to city residents and for lacking in transparency in distributing funds to panchayats.

The report reads, “We have found that the municipal corporation is not recovering full economic cost of providing municipal services. Given low collections of revenues from the available financial resources of the corporation on the one hand and the incremental need to upgrade the city municipal infrastructure we fail to appreciate justification for providing municipal services without recovering full economic cost from the end users”.

The report further reads, “The MC does not appear to be using technology in improving either the municipal services or the municipal administration since the traditional method of governance appears to be quite cost ineffective”.

The report also raised questions on the method adopted by the MC for calculation of property tax and also pointed out that its financial management was marred by red-tapism.

“Last year, property tax was levied for the first time by the corporation on the basis of unit-area method. The report stated that neither proper assessment was done by the department nor any record was being maintained to compare as to how many properties were left on which the tax had not been paid. At present, there is no way to know if the assessee has paid the correct property tax,” the report reads.

After analysing the financial statements and records, the report also maintained that under the current scenario, there was red-tapism in the MC, as a result, there were cost overruns and it took more time to complete the projects against the anticipated period.

Pulling up the UT Administration, the report stated that the Administration lacked transparency with regards to the distribution of funds to the MC and panchayats. Since there is no transparency regarding calculations on the basis of which the distribution of funds is made to the local bodies, there is no way to ascertain whether the Administration has released right amount of funds.

The report also pointed out that in the absence of any transparency with regards to the release of funds to the local bodies, it cannot be ascertained whether all recommendations of the Finance Commission had been followed.

Keeping fund in FDs not a wise move: Panel

Panel says in its report that the MC’s decision to keep money in fixed deposits (amounting to Rs 500 crore) is not a wise decision. The eport also reads, “The commission feels that funds locked in low interest yielding tenure deposit receipts can be better utilised by the MC in undertaking either new development works or completing pending works which are reported to be getting postponed or delayed because of operating limitations on availability on internal and external revenues. This will help in keeping the cost of work as low as possible”.

Commission for formation of district development panel

While MP Kirron Kher was opposing the formation of a metropolitan or any other committee for the city, the Fourth Delhi Finance commission has recommended for forming a district development committee.



35-yr-old man’s body found in Sector 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
An unidentified body was found hanging from a tree in front of the Old District Courts gate at Sector 17 today.

The body is said to be of a 35-years old man and was found hanging from a tree near the parking area of the Old District Courts complex. The police said the incident came to light at 8 am when the body was noticed by a passerby in the parking area.

A police team was rushed and the victim was taken to Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, where he was declared brought dead by doctors.

During primary investigation it has been noticed that the deceased had used his T-shirt to hang himself. He tore his T-shirt to to hang himself. The deceased is yet to be identified. Meanwhile, the police are suspecting it to be a case of suicide as no injury marks were found on the body. “No suicide note was found from the spot. However we are investigating the matter “said Jasbir Singh, SHO of the Sector 17 police station.



Second-hand car bazar
F&CC approves draft policy 
Only city residents can participate in auction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The Finance & Contract Committee (F&CC) of the municipal corporation today approved the draft policy for the sale and purchase of second-hand cars in Sector 7, the biggest car bazaar of the region.

Now, the draft policy will be placed before the MC House for the final approval on October 31.

On the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the MC had drafted a new policy, which was placed before the committee on Friday.

In the draft policy, the civic body has decided to auction all 60 sites in front of all showrooms in the market. Only Chandigarh residents will be able to participate in the auction. The site will be auctioned for two years which can be further extended for one more year. The MC has fixed Rs 2 lakh as reserve price for each site. Earlier, the MC was issuing slip on every Sunday to car dealers for Rs 2,825 for every site.

The High Court’s decision to formulate a policy came after some dealers moved court as earlier only 43 dealers were functioning from all 60 sites in the market.

The Car Dealers’ Association has been engaged in the business of sale and purchase of second-hand cars on commission basis by way of car bazaar, which is organised every Sunday in Sector 7 at the side of Madhya Marg in front of showrooms in the parking place for the last 32 years.

Rattu elected F&CC member

The F&CC members on Monday elected BJP councillor Rajinder Kaur Rattu as an F&CC member. After the death of SAD councillor Malkiat Singh, one seat had fallen vacant. 



JRAC protest gains political colour
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 27
As the municipal corporation elections will be held soon, the protest staged by the newly-formed Joint Rural Action Committee (JRAC) against the notices, being sent by the Mohali MC authorities for passing of layout plans of houses, gained political colour.

During the two-hour long protest in front of Mohali MC Office, Sector 68, local leaders of every political outfit including Congress, SAD-BJP, AAP, Akali Dal (Mann), reached at the venue to extend their support.

Tension was seen brewing between leaders of different parties as they wanted to address the gathering of around 200 residents, belonging to six villages, which come under the jurisdiction of the Mohali MC.

The leaders, who reached at the venue included Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and the party’s local leader Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, SAD’s local women wing in-charge Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia, who is also chairperson of Mohali District Planning Committee, BJP’s local unit president Goldy, Aam Aadmi Party’s district convener Nirmal Singh, Akali Dal (Mann) district president Kuldip Bhagowal and others.

In a bid to win hearts of rural folk, every leader was criticising the move of Mohali MC under which the MC authorities have sent around 50 notices to residents of each village, directing them to get their residential/commercial layout plans passed.

“This is anti-public and impractical step by the MC. There is no need for any resident to adhere to the directions,” said MLA Sidhu adding that if the MC would not take back its notices, the party activists would come on roads along the residents to protest against it.

The leaders of other political parties too, expressed similar sentiments.

“Actually corporation elections are on the cards and leaders of every party (political) wanted to win hearts of the prospective voters by extending their support to them,” said an official of Mohali MC on the condition of anonymity.

According to an estimate, the number of voters in the six villages—Mataur, Kumbhra, Sohana, Madanpura, Shahi Majra and Mohali—is between 18,000 and 20,000. The total population of these six villages is nearly 80,000. Residents of the villages in question are criticising the MC’s move of passing layout plans of their houses/commercial premises, the fact is several multi-storied buildings have been coming up rapidly in these villages. A resident of Mohali village admitted that several people were constructing more floors on their old houses thus putting theirs and others lives in danger. “Four to five-storied buildings in these villages are a common sight. Paying guest accommodations, hotels, guesthouses and other commercial activities are being run in such buildings. This is really dangerous,” said the resident. 

Throw notices in dustbin: Amanjot Kaur

Mohali District Planning Committee chairperson Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia, also in-charge of women wing of the local unit of SAD, evidently left the MC authorities ‘uncomfortable’ when she asked the gathering to throw the MC notices in dustbin while addressing them. “There is no need to worry about these notices. Just throw them in dustbin,” said Ramoowalia. She also announced her mobile phone number and asked the gathering to call her up if any official comes to them in connection with the notices in question.

We have sent around 50 notices of which 80 per cent are meant for commercial sites in these villages and 20 per cent for residential premises, from which commercial activities are being run. The notices have been sent under the appropriate Act. We will take action under the law if somebody doesn’t adhere to the guidelines.
— Uma Shankar Gupta,  Commissioner, MC

The MC’s move is anti-public. The residents are very poor, so they are unable to pay charges. Moreover, the authorities don’t register their houses and banks don’t give us any loans on our property even if we get their layouts passed. Then why should we pay charges for passing layout plans.
— Paramdeep Singh Baidwan,  President, JRAC



MC poll: Proposal on wards cleared

Mohali, October 27
The Delimitation Board has cleared a proposal that each of the 50 wards to be formed for the Municipal Corporation elections here should have a population ranging between 3,100 and 4,200.

Uma Shankar Gupta, Commissioner, MC, said a proposal on the municipal wards was presented before the Delimitation Board, which had been cleared by it after making some changes. The changes in the delimitation of wards were done unanimously at a meeting held some days ago.

He said the proposal on the wards had now been sent to the office of the Director, Local Government, where the election wing would ensure that each ward had the specified number of voters. If required, some changes in the delimitation of wards could be done at the directorate level, depending on the population of each area.

There will be 50 corporation wards. Five of these will be reserved for the SC, two for the backward classes and 15 for women. — OC



Veterans meet at Western Command
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Continuing with its series of outreach initiatives, Headquarters Western Command held an interaction with retired junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and other ranks at the Chandimandir Military Station here today.

A large number of Veterans from the tricity and nearby places like Ropar, Fatehgarh and Anandpur Saheb attended the programme. They were addressed by Lt Gen KJ Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, who reiterated the commitment of the Command to look after the interests of the ex-servicemen and widows.

Various issues concerning welfare of veterans were discussed during the interaction.

The underlying aim of the event was to provide a concerted push for expeditious mitigation of myriad issues being faced by the veteran community after retirement from the force. Various policies and schemes launched by the Ministry of Defence and state governments for ex-servicemen were also highlighted.

A similar meet for retired officers was organised last week.



property tax
Notices slapped on defaulters
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali , October 27
Even as 29,000 owners of various properties within the municipal limits of Mohali have not paid property tax despite several exemptions provided by the government, the Municipal Corporation has now begun slapping notices on the defaulters, giving them a two-week deadline to pay up.

The notices are being issued under Section 138 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976. As many as 500 notices have been issued so far.

Notices are being first issued to those owning commercial and industrial property as the tax amounts to be recovered from these categories are higher.

Defaulters who own showrooms in Phases II, IIIB-2, V, VI, VII, XI and Sectors 70 and 71 have been issued notices. In the industrial sector, notices have been given to defaulters in Phases I, II, III, VI, VII, VIII and IX.

The violators have been told to pay the tax amount along with an equal amount of penalty within 14 days from the receipt of the notice, failing which they would have to pay tax calculated on the basis of the data collected during a door-to-door property survey.

The maximum number of defaulters (25,000) is from the residential area followed by the commercial category (3,524). The number of defaulters in the industrial category is 480.

The recovery of the property tax due would be done by the attachment and sale of the defaulter’s immovable property; by the attachment of the rent amount due in respect of the property in question; and by the sale of movable property.

Property tax had been proposed on various properties within the municipal limits with effect from April 1, 2013.



Nostalgia marks Infantry Day
Tribune News Service

Maj Gen AK Singh, the senior-most Infantry officer at Headquarters Western Command, lays a wreath at the Veer Smriti war memorial on Infantry Day in Chandimandir on Monday.
Maj Gen AK Singh, the senior-most Infantry officer at Headquarters Western Command, lays a wreath at the Veer Smriti war memorial on Infantry Day in Chandimandir on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, October 27
Dignity and nostalgia marked Infantry Day celebrations at Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir, here today. The day is commemorated every year to mark the first Indian soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the Sikh Regiment landing at Srinagar in 1947 to defend the Valley against Pakistani raiders.

A wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Veer Smriti war memorial where Lt Gen KJ Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, paid floral tributes to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the line of duty.

This was followed by a special ‘sainik sammelan’ where Maj Gen AK Singh, Major General-in-charge-Administration, Western Command, who is the senior-most Infantry officer posted here, addressed the Infantry troops at the station.

A social interaction was also organised at the Khetrapal Officers Institute, Chandimandir, in the evening where serving Infantry officers met Infantry veterans living in and around Chandigarh. A ‘barakhana’ was organised in all Infantry battalions based here.

Also known as the Queen of the Battle, the Infantry is the largest fighting arm of the Army and is required to operate in all kinds of terrain, from the scorching deserts to the icy heights of the Himalayas as well as in jungles.



Divine Eyes lends voice to visually challenged children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
A select group of visually challenged individuals proficient in music and associated with the National Association for the Blind (NAB) today formally launched a musical group — Divine Eyes.

Following the launch ceremony, a special screening of an audio described (narration with dialogues) version of the Bollywood movie ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was also organised for the visually-challenged children at Bal Bhawan, Sector 23.

Padma Shri Milkha Singh along with Tejinder Kaur, Chairperson, Punjab Infrastructure Regulatory Authority, were also present on the occasion.

Speaking to the visually challenged children, Milkha Singh, said, “I want each one of you to be inspired to do something worthwhile in your life. Everyone is gifted with a special skill by the almighty, we need to identify and leverage our talent.”

The audio described version makes the movie friendlier for the visually challenged children as an additional narration is inserted in the non-dialogue portions so that the visually-impaired individuals can also enjoy the presentation.

The movie ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ has been audio described by a Delhi based NGO- Saksham.

Amway Opportunity Foundation (AOF) has supported Divine Eyes with a complete range of professional musical instruments, including a harmonium scale changer, keyboard, octapad, guitars (electric and acoustic), flute set, pair of tabla, sitar and dholak, violin, percussion kit, two mikes and a sound system.

Speaking on the occasion, GS Cheema, regional manager - North, Amway India, said, “The music academy Divine Eyes will empower these individuals to sustain life by leveraging their talent.”

Vinod Chadha, President, National Association for the Blind – Chandigarh and Punjab State Branch, said it was a special day for them. 



Rs 2.75 lakh aid for J&K flood-hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
To offer help in the rehabilitation of thousands of people affected in the floods in Jammu and Kashmir, an amount of Rs 2.75 lakh was donated under the Jammu and Kashmir Relief Fund by Nirmal Singh Dhillon, Secretary, Dev Samaj Society here today.

The amount was donated for the reconstruction of the houses of the residents which had collapsed during the recent floods in Kashmir. The noble endeavour will help the affected people.

Meanwhile, Dhillon said the society had adopted two Muslim families for the social cause as this is a regular feature of the organisation.

Social cause

The amount has been donated for the reconstruction of houses of the residents which had collapsed during the recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir. The Dev Samaj Society has also adopted two Muslim families for the social cause



Illegal hoardings dot Panchkula

Panchkula, October 27
The trash and solid waste littered in and around the venue, where the newly elected Haryana MLAs including Chief Minister ML Khattar took oath on Sunday, was cleaned up after the swearing-in ceremony of the Haryana CM, illegal hoardings still dot the city.

Huge hoardings of PM, Amit Shah, ML Khattar and others were installed on the roads leading to the venue continue to exist in the city in violation of the norms.

Officials said the BJP workers have been asked to remove hoardings and if they don’t adhere to orders, action will be taken. — TNS



Centre’s move to shut govt presses flayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The workers of Government of India Text Books Press, Chandigarh, staged a dharna in protest against the move of the Central Government to wind up all Government of India presses and attached offices across the all country.

The president of the local unit of Government of India Text Books Press Workers’ Association, Bhawani Prasad, said they would continue their protest in the Industrial Area, Phase I, till the government does not consider their demand.



TB incidence in city higher than what govt records say
Disease declared as notifiable in 2012; pvt institutes fail to notify govt agency on cases diagnosed by them
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Following Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate highlighting that incidence of tuberculosis (TB) is much higher than what is being recorded in government agencies in India, a reality check revealed that the fact holds true in the city.

According to the state TB officer, Chandigarh, Dr Anil Garg, the disease was declared notifiable in 2012 and since then, most private institutions have failed to notify TB cases diagnosed by them.

At least five new cases of multi-drug resistant TB are being diagnosed in the city every month.

“The actual estimates of TB cases in the city are not known as private institutions are not notifying patients visiting them for treatment. Tracing such patients and ensuring their compliance to complete treatment is impossible for us. Due to this, the incidence of TB and MDR TB is rising,” said Dr Garg.

“We need support from the private sector as they play a crucial role,” Dr Garg added.

Experts say since TB is a contagious disease, a majority of the population is at risk.

The cost of treatment of MDR TB is over Rs 1 lakh per individual. In certain cases, it is difficult to determine the appropriate treatment. Also, the treatment regimen for TB varies across private hospitals, despite standards being laid down by the Government of India, which further leads to complexities.

In the recent episode of Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate, it was highlighted that how the costs of MDR TB are beyond a common man’s affordability and the causes behind an increase in the incidence of TB despite free of cost treatment being made available in the country.

Dr Jagdish Saini, a registered medical practitioner, and Paramjeet Kaur, a social worker, from Chandigarh were also invited to the show.

What is MDR TB

MDR TB is resistant to first-line treatments of TB. The most powerful drugs for treatment of TB are Rifampicin and INH. In MDR TB, the patient’s body becomes resistant to these drugs.

Diagnosis and treatment

  • The diagnosis available for the drug-resistant TB is called “line probe assay”, which is testing of the sputum. The treatment continues for two years.
  • In Chandigarh, the sputum samples are collected in special TB clinics at dispensaries and the patient is then admitted to the GMCH-32. The sputum samples are to be examined multiple times during the treatment. These tests are performed at the microbiology lab in the PGI.
  • The drugs available for treatment of MDR TB come with various side-effects.



New technique lends hope to colon, anal cancer patients
PGI docs use thermoluminescent chips to control radiation dose
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
In view of the rising incidence of colorectal and anal cancers and also patients as young as 16 years old reporting with these problems, a team of PGIMER experts has come up with a new technique that controls radiation delivery using chips installed in skin.

Prof Rakesh Kapoor from the Department of Radiotherapy, Regional Cancer Centre in PGIMER, along with his team of physicists, including Dr O Arun Singh, did the dosimetry using thermoluminescent chips in vivo to measure the radiation dose received in the tumour area (in the colon) in order to have controlled radiation delivery. The results, which were published in the American Brachytherapy Society Journal, showed a local control rate of almost 90 per cent and a sphincter preservation rate of almost 80 per cent that saves colon cancer patients from depending permanently on external bag attached to body for defecation.

The incidence of both colorectal and anal cancers is increasing because of various dietary factors and early detection and diagnosis. The risk factors for higher incidence of colorectal cancers includes high fat and low fibre diet, dietary components rich in nitrosmines, obesity, alcohol and tobacco intake.

The higher risk of anal cancers is related to infections such as HIV, HPV, homosexuality and certain warts and condylomata. 



Fissures in SAD-BJP alliance wide open
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 27
Fissures in the SAD and the BJP came to the fore with the workers of both the parties raising slogans in favour of their leaders during the flagging off ceremony of the ‘Dham Special’, a train, by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing, at the Chandigarh Railway station, this morning.

Shouting slogans in favour of their leader, Narinder Kumar Sharma, MLA, Dera Bassi, over 100 SAD workers, including some former municipal councillors of the Zirakpur municipality reached the railway station and registered their presence. Led by Sukhwinder Singh, alias Goldy, president of the Mohali district unit of the BJP, Mukesh Gandhi, vice-president and Narinder Goyal, Zirakpur mandal president, scores of party workers countered them by raising slogans in favour of Anil Joshi, belonging to the BJP, who is the Local Bodies Minister of Punjab.

It was virtually a show of strength by the SAD and the BJP leaders at the Railway station. Sources said that the SAD leadership reached the venue without informing their BJP counterparts. With the BJP registering victory in Maharashtra and Haryana, the party is flexing its muscles in Punjab and aiming to contest the ensuing municipal elections. It is learnt that the BJP leadership in Punjab has hinted the party workers to strengthen the party at the grassroots level by creasing its own vote bank. Since the formation of the BJP government in Haryana, the Punjab unit of the BJP has held meetings and asked the party workforce to be ready for the MC poll.



UT Admn raids animal clinic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Acting on a complaint received by the Secretary of the Animal Husbandry Department, a team of UT Administration officials today conducted a surprise check at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) clinic in Sector 38 and found numerous inadequacies in infrastructure.

The team visited the clinic at around 4.45pm. It was found that there was no power supply at the clinic. There was littering, seepage on walls and inadequate food for animals.

“We will submit the final report on Tuesday. There was lack of cleanliness, staff shortage and improper upkeep of animals,” said one of the officers.

The inspecting team included Additional Secretary Health, SK Setia and Assistant Secretary, State Transport Authority (STA), Rajiv Tewari.

The officials also directed the president, SPCA, to submit copies of balance sheets of the past few years to check the utilisation of funds.

The complaint was received by the Secretary, Animal Husbandry Department, Bhavna Garg, today. 



Defence welfare body wants report implemented
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The Chandigarh Defence Colony Welfare Association in a representation to the UT Administrator, Shiv Raj Patil, has sought early implementation of the recommendations of the Delhi Finance Commission (DFC).

Air Marshal Randhir Singh (retd), president of the association, while referring to the observations made by the DFC regarding functioning of the UT officials vis-a-vis the municipal corporation has stated that it was high time the remedial measures were taken.

Regarding the congestion tax, the president of the association said the association had already given its suggestions regarding the implementation of tax. The corporation needs to recover money from defaulters.



Auto driver succumbs to injuries at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Auto driver Dashrath (40) succumbed to serious injuries during treatment at the PGIMER on Sunday. He was hit by a rashly driven car in Sector 34 on the same day.

Investigating Officer said that Jai Singh, the complainant, who is also an eyewitness stated that the incident took place when his uncle, Dashrath, the victim reached Sector 34. As Dashrath was going in his auto after dropping passengers, a rashly driven car (CH-04B-1986) hit the auto and left him with serious injuries on the spot.

Following the incident, Jai Singh rushed to rescue him and also informed the Chandigarh Police control room. Acting on the complaint, the police has booked car driver Vikram Verma, a resident of Mohali, for further investigations.

In a separate incident, Rajbir Singh, a resident of Sector 30-A, alleged that the driver of car number CH-01-AX-1649 (Narinder), a resident of Sector19-B, hit his wife in Sector 30. The accused was arrested and later released in bail.



Airport staff observe vigilance awareness week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The Vigilance Awareness Week is being observed at the Chandigarh Airport here. The programme, which began today and will conclude on November 1, is being held under the theme ‘promote a culture of honesty’. All office-bearers of the Chandigarh domestic airport took a pledge to follow their respective duties honestly. “All the employees of Chandigarh airport have taken a pledge to continue working under an honest environment,” said newly appointed airport director JS Balhara.

Meanwhile, AS Cheema, DIG, UT police, along with other officials of the police, also observed the Vigilance Awareness Week with the theme “Combating corruption-technology as an enabler’. SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill attended the event.



CRPF holds seminar

Chandigarh, October 27
A two-day senior management seminar on organisational leadership began at the force’s Hallomajra campus here today.

RK Pachnanda, Additional Director General, CRPF, inaugurated the seminar, which is being attended by 14 officers of the rank of the Inspector General in CRPF, and is aimed at bringing about qualitative improvement in the higher command functions and to make the force more people-friendly.

Pachnanda also inaugurated the new administrative block of the CRPF’s 5th Signal Battalion. Shailendra Kumar, Inspector General, Communications and Works, and SB Kajal, Inspector General, North West Sector, were present. — TNS 



56th Panjab University Inter-Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival 
DAV College all set to play host
192 colleges affiliated to Panjab University have been divided into 12 zones
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The 56th Panjab University Inter-Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival will be held at DAV College, Chandigarh, from October 28-31.

The Director Youth Welfare PU Nirmal Jaura, Principal Dr BC Josan and Dean Cultural Activities Ravinder Chaudhry released the souvenir-cum-programme schedule at the college today.

While addressing mediapersons, Jaura stated that there were 192 colleges under Panjab University and these were divided into 12 zones. “As many as 140 participants will come from each zone and in all, there will be 2,000 participants coming to the college during the four-day festival. Nearly 47 performances will be included in the festival,” he added.

He said this time, 80 per cent participants were girls in various activities, particularly heritage events and dance.

Jaura further said for the first time, the PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover had given the theme of a drug-free society to the festival. He said a signature campaign against drugs would be started from October 29 during the festival.



Traffic chaos poses challenge for authorities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
DAV College, which is organising the event, faces the biggest challenge to manage the traffic chaos outside the premises. Traffic congestion has become a routine affair due to lack of parking space in and around the college.

Long queues of cars on both sides of the road are usually witnessed outside the college. Even though the DAV management claims that for the event, they had doubled the number of parking areas on the campus by making temporary arrangements, things will be clear after the commencement of the event. As per the college management, they have deployed extra security to clear congestion on the road.



Book fair opens at MCM DAV College
Tribune News Service

Students at the book fair at MCM DAV College, Sector 36, on Monday.
Students at the book fair at MCM DAV College, Sector 36, on Monday. A Tribune Photograph

Chandigarh, October 27
The Department of Sanskrit, MCM DAV College for Women in Sector 36, in collaboration with the Sanskrit Academy, Chandigarh, organised a book fair-cum-exhibition to promote the understanding of cultural and literal heritage of India amongst the youth.

The exhibition, part of a 14-day campaign by the Sanskrit Academy, has various books highlighting the significance of our ancestral language. Books such as science in Sanskrit, Sanskrit to English dictionary and Pride of India provided a glimpse into the rich scientific and cultural heritage of our nation.

Principal of MCM College Dr Puneet Bedi lauded the endeavour which familiarised the students with Sanskrit in a novel and interesting manner. 



PU to host conference on plant sciences
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, will host a two-day national conference on recent trends in plant sciences with special reference to phycology and mycology from October 28-29.

The prestigious national conference is being organised by the Botany Department, PU. Various issues related to plant diversity will be discussed during the conference.

The Director General, CSIR, New Delhi, Dr PS Ahuja would inaugurate the conference and PU DUI, Prof AK Bhandari would preside over the function.

Eminent botanists of the country, including INSA senior scientist, emeritus professor, Department of Botany, Osmania University, Hyderabad Prof C Manoharachary, Director, IMTECH, Dr Girish Sahni, FNA, BHU Varanasi, Prof LC Rai, Director, Birbal Savitri Sahni Foundation Museum, Lucknow Prof SC Srivastava would deliberate in the Conference along with the young faculty, scholars and PG students.

Former chairperson of the Department Prof IS Dua would deliver a popular lecture entitled ‘Homage to the two genes waiting for others to revolutionise our farms’.

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof AK Grover would chair the evening lecture on October 28.

Recent trends

Will stress on the recent trends in plant sciences with special reference to phycology and mycology from October 28-29.



PU Syndicate member bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Surinder Talwar, the mother of Panjab University (PU) Fellow and Syndicate member Dr Dinesh Talwar passed away after a brief illness today. She was 77 years of age.

The mortal remains of Surinder Talwar were consigned to the flames at the cremation ground in Sector 25.

Meanwhile, a large number of people from different walks of life, including a number of PU Fellows, teachers and staff members, attended the funeral ceremony.



Students taught how to recycle paper
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 27
Ryan International School concept of 4R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle and replace was introduced to the students of the primary wing.

The students were taught the process of recycling paper. With this technique, the students were able to make handmade paper. After drying, the same can be used for making beautiful cards and folders.

Meanwhile, the students were made aware of the fact that recycling can help reduce green house gas emissions.



from schools
Special assembly

Chandigarh: Banyan Tree School organised a special assembly where Diksha Dadlani took the oath. Sonalilakhi and Sukhsimar, students of Class X, delivered speeches where they encouraged students to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali by generating less non-biodegradable waste.

Colours of rangoli

Lohia International School, Mani Majra, celebrated Diwali on the school premises. All the four houses of the school took part in the rangoli-making competition. Fascinating colours of rangoli made the school premises look colourful and bright. School director Madhu Suri delivered a speech on Diwali. As the programme was about to conclude, the students lit up the candles and sweets were distributed among the students. The students were an enthusiastic lot during the entire event.

Rally organised

The SCHOLARS Public School, Mauli, celebrated an eco-friendly Diwali. The entire school was tastefully decorated. The celebrations commenced with a rally on ‘Say no to crackers’ by the senior students along with their teachers. The rally was taken to the markets of the city wherein the students spread the message ‘Avoid wastage’ through different slogans. The school director principal RK Walia addressed the students and the staff and urged them to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali.

Essay writing

To spread the message of an eco-friendly Diwali under the anti-cracker campaign, students of St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-D, organised a painting competition, slogan-writing and essay writing. The students also took an anti-cracker oath. The students made wonderful paintings and slogans which visually expressed the significance of staying away from evils and celebrating Diwali without crackers. The essay-writings conveyed the message that the present generation understands their responsibility in keeping the environment clean and green.

Rangoli-making competition

Panchkula: An inter-house rangoli-making competition was conducted on the premises of Valley Public School, MDC Panchkula. Students from all four houses — Nilgiri, Vindhyanchal, Himalaya and Aravali — participated in the competition with enthusiasm. Meanwhile, principal Col GC Mittal lauded the creativity of students and highlighted the importance of colours in one’s life. — TNS



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