C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Teachers take 3 classes at a time!
Junior wing of Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, plagued with problems
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Triple-tasking has become a routine for teachers of the junior wing of Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, for each teacher takes three classes simultaneously, which affects the studies of students. This also adds to the teachers' burden. Thirty-six teachers, who have to give lessons to 1,929 students, have to scuttle between two buildings to take three classes at the same time.

“It’s always playtime for us at school since we don’t have dedicated teachers for subjects. They come to our classroom and then go to another class,” said one of the students. The school is facing several problems, including shortage of teachers, ill-equipped laboratories, poor infrastructure and shortage of water in washrooms.

The school authorities said of the 52 classes, there was no teacher for 17 classes. A report in this regard had been submitted to the Education Department, but to no avail. The makeshift school is being run from the ground floors of the buildings of the rehabilitation housing complex for the past one year.

One of the teachers said on condition of anonymity, “Students suffer as their studies get affected since teachers, who have to take more than one class at the same time, are not able to give them full attention. The department should realise that in doing so it is only ruining the future of the children. Before shifting 8,000 families to the rehabilitation colony, the authorities should have constructed a school.”

Moreover, for the past two months, Class IV employees have not been paid.

Teachers claimed that on Diwali, they contributed money to pay the Class IV employees.

Though the school is plagued with several problems, the admission process is on. The authorities claimed that the Education Department had been apprised of the shortage of teachers, but it had done nothing in this regard.

Principal of the school Harmeet Kaur said, “We want to impart proper education to the children. However, for that, we need adequate staff and proper infrastructure. The department must corporate with us.”

Seventeen classes without teachers

* For 1,929 students in the junior wing of Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, there are only 36 teachers.

* Seventeen classes have no teacher.



UT demotes official for dereliction of duty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Close on the heels of the UT Estate Office demoting five of its officials for their failure to report the status of a resumed property for over 10 years, a superintendent of the Marketing Board has been demoted as junior assistant for dereliction of duty, resulting in embarrassment to senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration in a case pertaining to the vegetable and fruit market being heard by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The official, Jarnail Singh, who was posted as superintendent, Marketing Board, disobeyed the orders of the Secretary, State Agricultural Marketing Board, in the case.

On the date of hearing fixed for October 17, 2014, the official was specifically directed to brief Shekhar Verma, additional standing counsel for the UT, regarding the status report to be filed in the High Court as he was well versed with the orders passed in the case on September 12, 2014. The official was in regular touch with the senior standing counsel.

On being asked whether he had briefed the senior standing counsel on the issue of the action taken report as ordered by the HC, Jarnail Singh had said that he had done his duty. The counsel, however, stated in the HC that he had not received any information regarding the action taken report from Jarnail Singh.

The Secretary, Marketing Board, UT, was required to file the status report by way of an affidavit furnishing the details of steps taken pursuant to the receipt of the revised layout plan of the grain market as per the directions of the HC before the next date of hearing failing which the undersigned was required to remain present in the court.

Due to this act of gross misconduct on the part of Jarnail Singh, the Secretary had to face flak from the court and bailable warrants were issued against him.

After going through the matter, the Secretary said there was no need to conduct a regular inquiry. “An employee who has put in nearly 25 years of service cannot read a file and understand the gravity of the issue. The conduct of the superintendent lead to the portrayal of the UT Administration in general and the Secretary in particular as incompetent and irresponsible,” the Secretary said.

Invoking Article 311 (2) (b) read with Article 311 (3)of Constitution, the Secretary of the Marketing Board imposed a penalty and demoted the official from the present posting to the post of junior assistant in the Marketing Board with immediate effect under Rule 5 of the Punjab Civil Service (Punishment & Appeal Rules, 1970).



Scooterist killed in hit-and-run
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
In a hit-and-run case, a two-wheeler driver was killed after a recklessly driven car hit his scooter near Raipur Kalan, Chandigarh. In another accident, a pedestrian and a motorcyclist were injured.

According to the police, Bhupinder Singh Saini, an eyewitness to the accident, claimed that the scooter, being driven by Surinder Singh of Sector 45, was hit by a speeding Ford Figo car yesterday. The victim was driving towards Panchkula when the accident took place.

A police official said Surinder fell on the road and received serious injuries.

Saini and other passersby stopped to help the victim. Surinder was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, where doctors declared him brought dead. The eyewitness failed to note down the registration number of the vehicle. The police have registered a case.

In another accident, Ram Bharose, a resident of Burail, alleged that a motorcyclist, Sushil Kumar, hit his father, Bhola Prasad, who was walking down the road dividing Sectors 32 and 46. Both the motorcyclist and the pedestrian were injured and admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32. A case has been registered at Sector 34 police station. 



Dept finds stocks of antibiotic medicine substandard
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Stocks of an antibiotic medicine supplied to the UT Health Department in the latest lot of medicines were found to be substandard during random testing of the medicines two days ago.

The medicines, which are supplied to all 21 primary health centres (dispensaries), Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, and other health centres in Chandigarh, were procured by the Health Department recently. Before supplying the stocks, the UT Drug Controller found that the samples of a specific lot of medicines (name withheld) were substandard and the matter was reported to the Director, Health Services (DHS), Dr VK Gagneja. "The matter is being reviewed. We will decide the further course of action in the next few days," Dr Gagneja said. The stocks are procured annually according to the estimates of patients registered in OPDs and the in-patient departments recorded in the preceding year.

More than 3,000 patients register every day at the GMSH OPDs, while the number is less than 100 at the dispensaries. 

The protocol

According to the protocol, in case medicines are found to be substandard, in addition to sending back the stocks to the manufacturing company or supplier, the authorities also blacklist the supplier for future purchases.



Indian hockey: Kurali boy promises hope
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 2
With hard work and dedication, one can realise one’s dreams. This is what an 18-year-old hockey player has shown the world once again. Last week, he was accorded a warm welcome by people and the Mohali administration for leading the Indian under-21 team to victory in the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia.

Meet Harjit Singh, a centre half specialist, who has already carved a niche for himself in the Indian senior hockey team. He was part of the Indian senior team for the the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy held in Japan last year. Harjit had also performed well in the Test series in Bangladesh.

“Now, he has returned with the Sultan of Johor Cup (U-21) from Malaysia and has made all of us proud,” said Amrit Pal, the coach from whom Harjit Singh took his first lessons in the game. “Harjit Singh led the team from the front and bagged the 'best player of the tournament' award for the second time in a row in the Sultan of Johor Cup,” said the coach.

Besides, under Harjit Singh’s leadership, the Punjab team emerged the champion in the junior nationals for three years consecutively. The star player from Punjab was also an integral part of the Indian Junior World Cup team last year, said Amrit Pal.

However, the journey to success for this youngster was not easy as he was born in a poor family in a small village, Neholka, near Kurali. “Harjit Singh, whose father Rampal Singh is a truck driver, had no resources but big dreams. He used to come to my academy on foot and I used to arrange sports shoes and the hockey stick for him,” said Amrit Pal.

Harjit Singh, a down-to-earth youngster, credits his guru with his success. “Whatever I have achieved is only because of my guru,” said Harjit Singh.

“My dream is to win the World Cup for my country and restore the lost glory of Indian hockey,” he said.



Snores: Couples wake up to medical assistance
Sleep disorder experts say several such cases being received at clinics every month
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Unaware of the fact that frequent snoring is a prominent symptom of sleep disorder, a number of individuals are still reaching sleep medicine experts these days, courtesy the annoyance caused due to the spouse’s loud snores in the middle of the night which “just do not seem to go away” in most cases.

According to experts handling problems of sleep disorders in the city, at least five cases are reported at their clinics every month in which affected individuals bring their spouses for treatment to get rid of the disturbance caused to them due to their partner's frequency of snoring. “While it is myth in our country that snoring is an indicator of sound sleep, a majority of the people continue to believe in it. Yet, what we have found is that frequent snoring by either of the partners has been affecting the peaceful sleep of the other partner. This seems to have become a perpetual problem in a significant number of households,” said Dr AK Janmeja, Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine (that handles the sleep disorder testing centre), GMCH, Sector 32.

“Sleep disturbance arising out of snoring is causing couples to have a hard time sleeping together. In most cases, couples choose not to sleep together in the same bed. What magnifies the problem is that ordinarily the snoring partner is totally ignorant about his/ her snoring habit and fails to realise that it is disturbing the partner's sleep,” said Dr Monika Sharma, an expert on behavioural sleep medicine at Max Hospital, Mohali.

“If snoring is causing sleep disturbances and daytime symptoms such as excessive sleepiness, headaches behavioural changes such as irritability, poor performance and difficulty in concentrating, its underlying pathology should be investigatded,” she said. 

Other common sleep disorders

* Insomnia: Difficulty in falling asleep and waking up too early.

* Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: Loud and chronic snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness and morning headaches.

* Parasomnia: Walking while asleep, sleep terrors and nightmares.

* Restless leg syndrome: Irresistible urge to move the limbs

* Circadian rhythm sleep disorder: Continuous or occasional disruption of sleep pattern.

* Bruixism: Grinding of teeth during sleep


The first line of treatment for insomnia is a multi-component behavioral therapy (without medicines).

Causes of sleep disorders

* Alcohol

* Stress

* Improper diet and obesity

* Deviation from normal body clock


Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Celebrities join hands with residents to clean green belt in Sector 15
Tribune News Service

(From left) Actor Zarine Khan, designer Sanjana Jon and wrestler Sangram Singh take part in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at the green belt in Sector 15-D, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
(From left) Actor Zarine Khan, designer Sanjana Jon and wrestler Sangram Singh take part in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at the green belt in Sector 15-D, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, November 2
Carrying forward the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, renowned designer and social activist Sanjana Jon supported by film actor Zarine Khan and wrestler Sangram Singh today initiated the campaign in Sector 15 falling under the municipal ward of BJP Councillor Saurabh Joshi.

The campaign began at the green belt of Sector-15 D. With local residents and administrative officers being present, the celebrities cleaned the green belt.

Zarine said that she loved cleanliness in personal life and motivated others also to do so. Sanjana said that she had been inspired by Modi’s innovative ideas. Sangram said he used to keep the “akhada” clean for practicing.

Saurabh Joshi later said that the idea to make celebrities participate in such campaigns really helped to motivate the population to work for the cause.



More CCTV cameras at police stations soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The Chandigarh Police is soon going to install additional CCTV cameras at the city police stations. At present, around five cameras are installed at the police stations which will be increased to nine.

Police sources said that at present, the CCTV cameras are installed at the entry of each police station, the investigation room, munshi’s room, lockup, however, now the cameras will also be installed at the visitors room, woman desk and corridors. “There was a need to install more CCTVs to cover more area within the police stations”, said an official.

Police officials said that the digital video recorders (DVRs) installed at the police stations would also be upgraded. At present, the DVRs have the capacity to support eight CCTVs, however, the new DVRs will be able to record the footage of 16 CCTVs.

There are total 11 police stations in the city. 



A kidnapping that wasn’t
Trader surfaces at Varanasi, had gone there on his own
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 2
High drama was witnessed after a family created ruckus that their businessman son had been allegedly ‘kidnapped’ by unidentified miscreants when his car was found abandoned in the market of Sector 10 late last evening. The victim, identified as Varun Bajaj (32), had gone out on October 30 for some work when his car was found abandoned.

The police were on their toes after the incident and were taken aback when the victim surfaced in the evening, giving a call to his family that he was in Varansi. Bajaj, a resident of Sector 8, runs a business of medicines.

By Sunday morning, the police teams were dispatched when Bajaj’s location was first traced to Ambala, then in Uttar Pradesh and then Lucknow.

“ The family had said that Varun had been kidnapped by miscreants but he had gone on his own. He said he is in Varansi,” said Station House Officer of the Sector 5 police station, Inspector Baljeet Singh.

He added, “After he comes back, we will investigate the reason as to why the police was misled.”

On October 30, Bajaj had gone to work but didn’t return. It was after a family member saw his car abandoned in the Sector 10 market that he raised an alarm and the police teams began searching for him.

A case under Section 365 (kidnapping) was registered on the complaint of the father.The police are yet to investigate the reason as to why the victim went to Varanasi. “Till now, the family has no clue why Bajaj went there,” added Singh.

Not the first case where trader has been involved

* January 2014: Police registered a kidnapping case after the family alleged that Vicky, a businessman based in Setcor 2, was kidnapped. However, the police found that he had gone out on his own.

* February 20, 2012: Rrealtor and businessman Karan Datta, a resident of Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula, alleged that he was kidnapped by five youths who had called him at the Sector 2 market and then took him to Mouli village where he was released later.

* February 16, 2012: Nitin Modi, a realtor, a resident of Sector 7, Panchkula, alleged that around eight to nine youths tried to kidnap him and robbed him of Rs 1 lakh near the Inderdhanush Auditorium.

* October 14, 2011: Diamond jeweller Dinesh Kodwani, a resident of Sector 20, Panchkula, went missing but returned a week later. When the police enquired from his business partners and friends, it came to light that the businessman was reportedly in debts

* June 15, 2009: Deepak Rai Sagar, a realtor, went missing. Till now, he has not been traced. The CBI in its closure report (yet to be accepted by the family) stated that there was possibility of the family knowing about his whereabouts.



A sigh of relief for employees of PRO branch

The staff at the Chandigarh Police's PRO Department was reprimanded after an error in one of the advertisements over road safety was published in newspapers. The advertisement mentioned that the passengers 'located' in the rear seat should also wear seatbelts. The staff of the PRO branch heaved a sign of relief when it was found that it was the traffic branch that had written the advertisement.

Threaten me? Huh!

A woman Station House Officer, who was threatened by the brother of an accused woman drunk driver over the phone, installed an automatic voice recorder in her phone immediately after she received the threat. "How dare he threaten me? I will record his voice in future as evidence?" said the Inspector.

Mind your language

In the MC House meeting, when BJP councillor Satinder Singh raised a question on family members accompanying councillors on the recent study tour, Congress councillor Subhash Chawla said only 'legal' wife accompanied the councillors not 'illegal'. On the usage of 'illegal' word, women councillors of the BJP-SAD alliance opposed and said such words should not be used for women. Ultimately, the Mayor and Commissioner brought the situation under control.

Running down fraternity

Against the usual practice of doctors refraining from pointing out shortcomings of other doctors, at least in front of the media,a former PGI doctor forgot to follow the practice at a press conference held recently. Former head of a popular department at the hospital, who was invited especially for raising awareness on a health issue, overshadowed all speakers. He first corrected the booklet printed by other doctors. Soon after negating a couple of points raised by the doctors while adressing the reporters, the former head also criticised the private nursing homes for not referring critical patients to the PGI on time. "They may be trying to mint money," he said.

Education Dept keeps teachers guessing

After assuring all teacher unions that the department would promote teachers this week, the department officials once again did not finalise the list and passed on the task to next week. All the unions that were ready to take the credit were left red faced.

Skeletons tumble out

In the hearing of cases of harassment of allottee at the hands of the UT Estate Office, several officials are in to face action for their past deeds. Questions are being raised on accountability of some of the officials.

UT's policy a headache for Mohali

Since Chandigarh Administration took a decision of banning diesel-run autos in its territory Mohali has been bearing the brunt of the protest, staged by the 'autowallas'. They (auto-drivers) created ruckus in the town, hampered traffic flow, damaged public property, much to the frustration of local residents and the police as well. Later, after witnessing their protest on the first day, the Mohali police woke up and cautioned the protesters to be in their limits or face the 'notorious Punjab Police style'. On expected lines, the Mohali police caution had an effect and in the next two days the protest was peaceful.

Planning to buy a car? Visit DAV

If you plan to buy a new car then don't go to showrooms, instead take a glimpse on the road outside DAV College, Sector 10, which is seen clogged with sedans and high-end vehicles.Faculty of the college also takes suggestions from students before buying a new four-wheeler and take a ride on them. They even inspect its modern looks.

(Contributed by Amit Sharma, Aneesha Sareen, Rajinder Nagarkoti, Ritika Jha Palial, Mehakdeep Grewal, Rajmeet Singh, Akash Ghai and Arti Kapur)



Cleanliness a distant dream here
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 2
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brainchild ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ seemed to have no meaning for the Mohali Administration when it comes to cleanliness in the Industrial Area here.

The set of laws under The Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, are being violated with impunity by the authorities which resulted in littering of garbage all around in the area.

During its random survey of the area, The Tribune team failed to find a single dustbin in the area for managing the garbage/waste there.

The parameters of Management of Municipal Solid Wastes prohibited littering of municipal solid wastes in cities, towns and urban areas notified by the state government. To prohibit littering and facilitate compliance, the authorities have been directed to provide community bins.

Nikhil Saraf, president of the Mohali Industrial and Commerce Association, claimed that in the absence of any bin, local residents and industrialists used to litter their municipal solid waste here and there.

“Nobody comes to collect the garbage from the area. Most of the time, people used to burn the garbage, which is also a big health hazard,” said Saraf.

He said the Mohali MC and the Punjab State Industrial and Export Corporation (PSIEC), which was also responsible for the development of infrastructure in the area, were not serious over the issue.

“I have raised the issue several times with them but in vain,” claimed Saraf.

As an unauthorised dumping yard of the town is also there in the area, vehicles, carrying the garbage, too litter it on the roads while transporting it to the dumping yard.

“You can see garbage lying on certain roads in the area everyday. It’s ridiculous. On one hand, the Prime Minister has been insisting for ‘Swachch Bharat’ everyday and crores are being spent for the same while on the other, the authorities here are sleeping over the issue,” said Vivek Kumar, who is working with an IT company in the town.

Saraf said in the Industrial Area, which is spread over 1000 acres, about three lakh professional come daily to work.

“To manage their municipal waste, no arrangements have been made by the authorities,” he added.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, while speaking on the issue, said the cleanliness drive was being run in Mohali effectively.

“If there is some problem in the Industrial Area regarding cleanliness, it would be addressed immediately. I will look into the matter and do the needful,” Sidhu added.



Campaign a mere eyewash in P’kula, say residents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 2
The cleanliness drive initiated by top brass in Panchkula seems to be a mere eyewash. The area that was cleaned was back to its original state today, say residents.

The road leading to Mauli Jagran in Sector 17 here was in a terrible condition as garbage was lying unattended at the wall adjacent to the colony.

“We thought that at least because of the cleanliness drive, they would continue to clean the area but the situation was the same today,” said Veena Shekhar, a resident of Sector 17.

She said: “Colony residents have created a mess. Yesterday, the garbage was put in gunny bags in order to avoid the officials’ eyes, but it was not lifted.”

Similar was the situation in Sector 16, adjoining the Budanpur area.

“I don’t know why officials don’t pay attention to such areas. The sectors which are near colonies should be given more attention,” said Prerna, a resident of Sector 16.

Heaps of garbage was also found near the Budanpur area. The nullah at the Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, near the Ror Bhawan, also gave a messy look raising a stink.

Yesterday, on the directions of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the cleanliness drive was started which would continue till November 7 and then would be continued for the entire month. The drive took off with the local MLA and other officers sweeping the market of the Industrial Area, Phase 1.

“Is it just for the sake of a photograph that the drive was conducted. The authorities should implement things practically,” said Binny, a resident of the MDC, Sector 4.

However, the officials of the Municipal Corporation who have being given the cleanliness charge said sectors were being cleaned gradually and turn by turn, hence, it will take time.



Artistes take part in cultural fest
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 2
Emerging artistes from various parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana took part in the Intra-Regional Cultural Festival organised by the Power Grid Corporation of India, Northern Region-II. The festival and traditional handicrafts exhibition was held at the Inderdhanush Auditorium in Panchkula last evening.

SK Sharma, Executive Director, Northern Region Transmission System-II, was the chief guest. Sharma inaugurated the cultural meet by lighting the traditional lamp.

The festival encompassing talent from the four northern states swayed the audience to the beats of folk dances and songs highlighting the rich composite culture of the region. The cultural programmes were showcased on burning issues like female foeticide, safety, drug abuse and lack of cleanliness.



Auto-rickshaw operators give UT 24-hr ultimatum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
A number of residents who commute to and from neighbouring towns of Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur are set to face inconvenience tomorrow, with both the UT Administration and auto-rickshaw operators not relenting on the issue of entry of diesel-run autos into the city.

The tricity auto-rickshaw joint action committee today gave 24-hour ultimatum to the Chandigarh Administration to allow diesel-run autos to operate in the city or face retaliation. Panel chairman Kamal Kant said the decision was taken during a rally organised by the auto operators at the Sector 25 rally ground here this morning.

“There was unanimity over the demand made to the UT to allow the diesel-run autos to operate for 15 years,” he said.

From tomorrow, the auto operators plan to continue with their strike and stop the entry of CTU buses into Punjab.

The UT Administration, however, announced to go ahead with its decision to phase out the diesel-run autos. Also, overloaded autos and those running without necessary papers are being impounded.

Protest continues at MDC

Panchkula: The strike of over 50 auto-rickshaw drivers against the Chandigarh Administration continued near the underbridge at Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5.

It was only in the evening that the agitators could be removed from the spot by the police personnel deployed there. The protesters plan to protest in Chandigarh tomorrow.

Yesterday, the auto-rickshaw drivers had stopped a CTU bus in the same area. The passengers were asked to alight from the bus.



cable theft
BSNL lines hit in Sec 29, 30
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
A significant number of telephone lines in Sector 29 and 30 have been affected due to theft of phone cables in the area. Officials said the services would be restored in atleast two days.

The officials said two 1,200 pair cables and one 800 pair cable were stolen from near the kerosene petrol pump in Sector 29. The matter was immediately reported to the police. Inconvenience caused was regretted, said JS Sahota, General Manager, BSNL, Chandigarh circle. 



Territorial Army veterans attend annual day 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The Western Command Territorial Army Group celebrated its 65th Annual Territorial Army Day at Chandimandir Military Station. A large number of serving Territorial Army officers and veterans attended the event, where the older generation shared its experience with 
the youngsters.

Also known as Citizens’ Army, the Territorial Army provides citizens aged 18 to 42 years an opportunity to serve the nation and be a part of the Indian Armed Forces. Aspirants once selected have to serve a minimum of two months every year to maintain their level of training and performance.

The Territorial Army today includes officers and men from many different walks of life such as ministers, civil servants, corporate heads, sports personalities, doctors and engineers, all of whom have donned the uniform to better serve their country beyond their primary vocation.

These men have participated actively in all wars and have been involved in rescue and relief operations during natural disasters.



health notes
Medicos discuss legal threats in work

Chandigarh: Medical practitioners attended a one-day continuing medical education (CME) programme on clinical communication skills and legal complication of medical practice. The convenor, Dr Neeraj Nagpal, said: “Consumer forums lack medical know-how while dealing with technical issues and most of the judgments take an emotional approach and facts are not taken into account in an empirical way.”

National conference ends

The national conference of the Indian Association of Sexually Transmitted Infections and AIDS concluded at the PGIMER. The synergy between STI and HIV was discussed. The day ended with a valedictory function. — TNS



Open House response
Make cleanliness a way of life, say tricity residents

Ahead of any VVIP visit, the area along the route to be taken by the convoy is spruced up. However, everything goes back to square one soon after. Chandigarh Tribune asked its readers what needs to be done to make cleaning and beautification a regular feature.

Govt staff need to show more enthusiasm

How does the government machinery become enthusiastically active to give a particular vicinity neat, clean and tidy look when some VVIP has to visit that area? This is a clear indication that government has sufficient manpower and machinery to keep the city neat and clean but the only thing that lacks is the enthusiasm that comes to the fore when a VVIP has to come.

Ravinder Nath, Chandigarh

Incorporate cleanliness into daily routine

It has become a routine to initiate a cleanliness drive and remove encroachments, replace bulbs in streetlights, paint footpaths and even plant fresh tree saplings whenever a VVIP plans a visit to the tricity. The entire government machinery is detailed for the purpose. Why our administration cannot make it a way of life and incorporate good governance in its daily routine?

Madan Gupta Spatu, Chandigarh

MC’s study tours prove futile

The Municipal Corporation follows this strange practice of removing the garbage and encroachments, recarpetting the roads and painting the berms on the route that has to be taken by any VVIP’s cavalcade, and then going back to deep slumber after the visit. Since the inception of this city, many councillors have gone on various study tours to learn how to dispose of garbage, tackle stray animals and spruce up the city, but no visible effect can be seen.

RK Kapoor, New Jersey (USA)

Clean venue after visit

While it is normal and natural to facelift the venue just before a VVIP’s visit, it is also important to clean the venue after the visit. Also, restricting the flow of traffic during the visit puts commuters to inconvenience.

SC Luthra, MHC, Mani Majra

Body needed to assess MC’s functioning

There is no authority to assess the performance of any civic body on a monthly basis. Does it mean that the PM is the only VVIP in India and after he leaves any venue, “lawlessness” should return within minutes?

KC Rana, Chandigarh

Sanitation workers not performing their duties

There are more than 3,500 sanitation workers who are getting crores of rupees in the form of salaries and perks from public funds. Out of these, very few perform their duties diligently. The only solution is to form a special task force to carry out surprise checking and keep a watch on MC officials and staff. Those found negligent should be dismissed immediately.

Sat Pal Kansal, Chandigarh

Make people aware

The administration should use traditional modes, such as, displaying posters and hoardings, organising meetings and rallies, screening documentaries and “nukkar sabhas” to reach out to the people. Moreover, the officials must set an example for the residents to emulate by maintaining cleanliness in the cities and towns.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Organise regular cleanliness drives

In order to maintain the city’s beauty, regular cleanliness drives must be organised. Councillors should be given the charge of carrying out these drives in their wards, for which teams should be formed roping in residents of the locality, NGOs, religious bodies as well as government departments.

Prabhpreet Kaur, Mani Majra

Strict enforcement needed

Due to the lack of standardisation and weak enforcement of laws, a variety of hoardings and banners are displayed along roads. During VVIP visits, these are removed and the area spruced up at the cost of public money. The government must standardise the design and dimensions of roadside hoardings and act against those resorting to unethical practices.

SS Arora, Mohali

Carry out timely maintenance works

The authorities concerned should regularly check roads, drains and the surroundings for the need to carry out maintenance works. This will help in keeping the city clean and beautiful.

Sanjay Srivastava, Chandigarh

Cosmetic drives of no use

The real issues acting as impediments to good governance need to be addressed on priority, instead of carrying out cosmetic drives of VVIPs. Such cleanliness drives done in haste can best be described as “propaganda governance”.

Kanwal Nain Singh Sodhi, Chandigarh

Make beautification a routine practice

Cleaning and beautification of the city should be a routine practice. The city has been beautifully designed and planned. The authorities just need to maintain the status quo.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Fear of high-ups will make MC work

The Prime Minister should launch a mobile application through which residents can upload pictures of the sorry state of affairs in their localities. With the information reaching directly to the highest authority, those concerned might act.

Pradyumn Gupta, Chandigarh

Civic sense needed

We are not a disciplined lot. Inculcation of values and civic responsibility among the residents holds the key. If we practise cleanliness in routine, we may not have to incur huge expenditure in sprucing up the city on the visit of any VVIP.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Adopt multi-pronged approach

The enthusiasm of keeping the city clean may not sustain throughout the year, but the MC can resort to aggressive monthly cleaning and quarterly painting. Most trees shed their leaves twice a year, leaving lot to be done by the sanitation workers. Shop owners should be heavily penalised for allowing encroachments in front of their establishments. NGOS need to be involved in getting the encroachments cleared from the roadside.

Wg Cdr J S Bhalla (retd), Chandigarh

MC must join hands with residents

To make cleaning a permanent feature, the MC and citizens must join hands. Today, neither the MC does its job sincerely, nor the people cooperate.

Colonel RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Hold event organisers responsible

Civic virtue seldom comes naturally to human beings. It needs constant and relentless reminding. Authorities should take an undertaking from event organisers that they would properly dispose of the garbage after any event.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkukla

MC’s performace not up to the mark

Since the inception of the Municipal Corporation in Chandigarh, the effort to improve traffic congestion, remove unauthorised encroachments and maintain general cleanliness is not up to the mark. General awareness among masses about the need to have a “swachh” environment is essential. Implementation of traffic rules should also be strict.

SK Mittal, Panchkula

Outsource work

Cleaning and beautification work needs to be outsourced for greater effectiveness and better accountability. If this becomes a continuous process, it will not need much effort to maintain the high standards. 

Jai Singh, Chandigarh

Open house question

The Chandigarh Administration has directed all hotel and restaurant operators not to levy the service charge on customers. The stakeholders, however, cite their expenses at the back end for collecting the service charge. What needs to be done to ensure that customers are not taken for a ride?

Send your comments in not more than 100 words along with a passport-size photograph to openhouse@tribunemail.com.


Rajmeet Singh*

It’s time to introspect

Unkempt open spaces replete with wild growth, discoloured kerb channels, garbage dumped at undesignated places and encroachments that simply refuse to go.

There are hundreds of such ugly spots that have become a permanent feature of the city’s landscape.

But ahead of a VVIP visit, the ugly spots disappear, only to surface again after the guests have gone back. The recent visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw the same happening. All the amenities or open spaces along the road to be taken by the PM’s cavalcade en route to Panchkula from the Chandigarh airport were given a new lease of life.

But a week later, things are back to normal. Even the call given by the Prime Minister for “Swachh Bharat” lost its momentum as the problem of littering has resurfaced. The entire government machinery that was in action to spruce up the roadside spaces has now gone missing.

This is a clear indication that the government has sufficient manpower and machinery to keep the city neat and clean but the only thing that is lacking is the enthusiasm which slows down after the VVIP visit is over.

There are several spots across the city, especially in the southern sectors, where wild growth in the parks and open spaces has not been cut, road berms have not been repaired, broken mild steel railing on street dividers has not been replaced and non-functional streetlights have not been repaired, indicating that the officials deputed for the job are not performing their duties and that their seniors are not supervising them.

But it is time we introspect on what needs to be done to enhance awareness about health, hygiene and cleanliness, and make the cleanliness drive a part of our daily routine.

(* The writer is  Chief City Reporter)



Paucity of funds hits PU hostel projects
Long waiting list of admission seekers; varsity could barely manage half of amount needed for one of the two projects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
Shortage of funds is proving to be a stumbling block in the proposed hostel projects at Panjab University (PU). Records of the university revealed that there is a proposal for two hostel projects but the university authorities are unable to move forward on the proposal as it does not have enough funds.

As per the campus records, around 900 to 1000 girls seeking admission to university hostels are on the waiting list while the number of boys awaiting hostel accommodation is around 600. Notably, the difference between the number of girls and boys in the university is increasing every year as the number of girls taking admission in PU is rising with every passing year.

Sources said to make temporary arrangements till the two projects are started and completed, the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) (men) and DSW (women) explored the possibility of converting a boys hostel into a girls hostel as the waiting list of girls seeking accommodation on the university campus was getting longer. However, all student parties decided against going on with the proposal.

The authorities have proposed that out of two hostels, No. 11 and 12, which are in the pipeline, one hostel will be earmarked for women research scholars.

However, even for the construction of the first woman research scholar hostel, the PU authorities have been able to collect Rs 10 crore while the cost of the project is around Rs 23 crore as per the engineering wing of the campus. As per the plan, the hostel will be divided into two blocks. One of the blocks will be dedicated to the scholars and will have cubical rooms with attached washrooms. The hostel will be constructed on about 80,000 sq ft area in the southern part of the university campus.

Out of around 1,000 scholars in the university, nearly 600 are women.

Navdeep Goyal, DSW, said the authorities are in the process of arranging money for the two hostels, which are in the pipeline. The university might utilise funds received under various heads for these two projects, he added.



Founder’s Week
‘Gone with the Wind’ staged at Vivek School
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The senior wing of Vivek High School staged a play, “Gone with the Wind”, as part of their founder’s week celebrations here today.

The play, adapted from the classic American novel by Margaret Mitchell, was designed and directed by Principal PK Singh. The actors enraptured the audience with their power-packed performances in a jam-packed auditorium.

The play revolved around the life of protagonist, Scarlett O’ Hara, during one of the most tumultuous periods in the American history. It is a story set in Clayton County, Georgia and Atlanta depicting the experiences of Scarlett as she journeys from her young, innocent days of feudalistic plantation to the war-torn streets of Atlanta, from her first love whom she has always desired to three husbands, from the utmost luxury to absolute starvation and poverty, and from the innocence to her understanding and comprehension of life.

The lead character of Scarlett was played by Trishala Vardhan while Jaskirat Singh portrayed the scandalous Rhett Butler. Ashley, who is shown as a foil to Rhett’s dark, realistic opportunism was played by Zoheb Bedi.

Apposite lights arrangement, costumes and set design added to the flow of the narrative. The costumes added to the dramatic spectacle.

Paul Mills from Trinity College of London, who reviewed the play, appreciated the performance.

PK Singh said, “Theatre is a powerful medium for educating students in life skills. It allows students to touch on and explore a host of things, from their own personal selves to learning how to be disciplined and support and work well within a team towards putting up a production together.” Singh added, “This is one activity which always gives me immense pleasure. It has always been a spiritual journey and a process of transformation for all of us working on a production,” she said.



Play highlights riot-hit children’s plight
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
A play on Sarabpreet’s poetry, ‘Kultar’s Mime’, was staged at Punjab Kala Bhawan here today. The hour-and-a-half play, directed and written by father-daughter Sarabpreet Singh and J Mehar Kaur recreated the agony and pain of children who suffered during the anti-Sikh riots in 1984. The play opened with an outer frame story with the actors reminiscing about and laboring under the memory of the Jewish pogrom in the city of Kishinev in the Russian empire in 1903. One of the actors speaks about other massacres where innocent people lost their lives. The actor talks about the 1984 riots and the group plans to move to Delhi.

Emotions ran high in the auditorium, which was packed to capacity, as the actors revealed the stories of four young children who suffered during the riots.

The highlight of the play remained the story of Kultar, a hearing and speech-impaired child whose father was hanged to death from a tree in front of his eyes. Since the child cannot speak, he enacts his father’s death.

The horrific episodes left the audience in tears.

The writer, Sarabpreet, shared that his poem was inspired by real-life encounters and suffering of children who lost their loved ones in dreadful incidents. He said, “The reason for American actors to do this play was to bring out the bigger message that innocent people suffer similar pain, irrespective of the religion they belong to.”

The audiences lauded the efforts of the entire team. 



incorporation day
Navsankalp members spare a thought for elderly

Chandigarh, November 2
Navsankalp, a student-run charity organisation, celebrated its incorporation day today completing eight years of service to society.

On the occasion, inmates of the Old Age Home, Sector 15, Chandigarh, were entertained with a cultural programme organised at DAV College, Sector 10. The idea was to bring a smile on the forlorn wrinkled faces.

The elderly were presented with gifts as a token of affection and respect by college Principal Dr BC Josan. — TNS



PECFest 2014
Penultimate day sees plethora of events
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The third day of PECFest 2014 saw participants from over hundred different colleges in the region competing in various competitions.

Literary events such as crosswords, conventional debate, group discussion sessions, What an Idea!, Spell Bee and many more were organised. Students also showcased their dancing talent in BhangraTheque as well as NaachMeriJaan competitions. Fun events ‘Mystery Art’ and ‘Fun Fiesta’ saw high participation. Quizzes on various topics were held.

For techno freaks, an informative workshop on vision robotics was also organised as a part of VYOM, the technical part of the fest. Live sessions provided services to produce next-gen robotic solutions. Hackathon, the biggest technical attraction of the day, was a 12-hour rhapsodic hacking session presided over by a panel of judges.

In the evening, the Hip-Hop Hustle saw participants exhibiting their dance moves and acrobatic prowess before a huge audience. The day ended with a vibrant performance by the East India Comedy Group, which had the audience in splits. 



Conference deliberates on neuroscience of Asia-Pacific
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2
The University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Panjab University (PU), in association with the IBRO Associate School organised a research and training programme in the field of ‘neuroscience of the Asia-Pacific region’ at the university today.

Prof Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath from the Centre for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, chaired the session while Prof Maurizio Popoli from The University of Milano, Italy, was the guest of honour. Prof Krishanu Ray from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, and Dr Pascal S Kaeser from Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, were the guests at the inaugural function.

Around 85 participants, including 13 from five foreign countries, attended the event. 



Annual day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 2
Gurukul Global School celebrated its annual day “une palette d’émotions – A range of emotions” with great pomp and show at Indradhanush Auditorium in Sector 5 here.

The event took place in two phases — for juniors and seniors. For the cultural fiesta in the morning session, Haryana State Election Commissioner Dharam Vir was the chief guest and Deputy DEO Viney R Sood was the guest of honour. Haryana Governor Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki was the chief guest at the evening session.



PU & college notes
Golden jubilee celebrations

The Biophysics Department, Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, will celebrate its golden jubilee by holding an international symposium on recent advances in biophysics and a meeting of the alumni from November 3. PU Department of Biophysics chairperson Prof DK Dhawan said the department was established in 1964 and grew to attain recognition under the leadership of Prof SR Bawa, the founder head.


More than 600 students of Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran, and residents of tricity took part in the Greenathon organised at Sukhna Lake on Sunday. Mayor Harphool Kalyan flagged off the mini marathon pitching for ‘Clean India, green India’. A plantation drive was also held on the occasion.

New USOL chairman

A professor in the Department of Commerce and Management Studies, RK Gupta, has taken over the charge of the chairman, the University School of Open Learning (USOL), Panjab University, on Saturday. Prof Gupta has been working in the department for the past 38 years. He is also having the charge of the Director, University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism (UIHMT). — TNS



from schools
Blood donation camp

Around 50 units were collected during a blood donation camp organised by the Rotay Club, Sector 37, Chandigarh, at DAV Public Senior Secondary School, Mohali. Parents, alumni and staff members volunteered for the noble cause. School Principal Dr Rosy Sharma appreciated the contribution made by blood donors.

Fancy dress competition

The Holy Wonder Smart School organised a fancy dress competition for its junior students. Some children dressed up to convey messages such as ‘Save Mother Earth’, ‘Save the Girl Child’ and ‘Save Water’. Director Ashween Arora congratulated the participants.

Students bag laurels

Students of St Soldier School, Mohali, bagged the third position at the U-19 State Level Roll Ball Competition held at Manav Mangal School. A total of seven teams took part in the event. Jashan Singh, Karman Singh, Akash and Ripanjeet Singh were the members of the school team. Ripanjeet has qualified for the roll ball nationals to be held in Jammu next month.

Wildlife protection week

Student of the junior wing of Shemrock School observed a wildlife protection week wherein they wrote meaningful slogans on endangered species. The students participated in poster-making and collage-making competitions on the theme ‘Endangered, extinct and vulnerable species should be protected by citizens’. Students visited the Chattbir Zoo on the concluding day of the event. Principal SK Sharma shared with them information on the zoological park.

Mata Sahib Kaur remembered

Mata Sahib Kaur School celebrated the birth anniversary of Mata Sahib Kaur with fervour to give the message of humility, love for humanity and devotion to God. Students sang hymns on the occasion. Speech, painting and singing competitions on the life of Mata Sahib Kaur were also organised. School Principal Ranjit Kaur told students that Mata Sahib Kaur had accompanied Guru Gobind Singh throughout his life, even during battles. She was blessed with a unique title, ‘Mother of Khalsa’.

Senior citizens week

Saupin’s School, Sector 70, Mohali, celebrated the senior citizens week. Around 50 grandparents came forward to celebrate the seniors’ day at the school. Members of Hindi Dramatics Club staged a play, “Chief ki Dawat”, on inter-generational issues. Family values were also highlighted during the event in order to show how grandparents played a key role in a family. — TNS



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