19042021-CT-01.qxd 4/19/2021 12:41 AM Page 1 c m y b Chandigarh TRIBUNE MONDAY | 19 APRIL 2021 | CHANDIGARH PUTA WRITES TO CHANCELLOR FOR DISBANDING COMMITTEE PAGE 2 PUTA writes to Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu for disbanding a panel formed in February on governing reforms. FORECAST MAINLY CLEAR SKY TRICITY COVID REPORT CHD SAMPLES TESTED POSITIVE RECOVERED NEW CASES ACTIVE CHANGE DEATHS NEW P’KULA MOHALI 3,62,406 2,49,773 2,72,105 33,934 16,788 36,073 29,485 14,644 29,360 625 179 880 3,625 1,976 6,211 211 47 430 413 168 502 3 4 3 AIR QUALITY INDEX CHANDIGARH 59 PANCHKULA 43 MOHALI 83 401-500 301-400 201-300 101-200 51-100 0-50 SEVERE VERY POOR POOR MODERATE SATISFACTORY GOOD INBRIEF UT COPS COLLECT ~52K FINE IN DAY Chandigarh: The UT police on Sunday collected a fine of ~52,000 for Covid norm violations in the city during the lockdown. The police said 96 challans were issued, including eight for not wearing mask, 61 for violating the social distancing norm and 27 for spitting at a public place. The police said 13 persons were also arrested for violations. TNS PAGE 2 VIRUS DOESN'T MATTER, UT EDU DEPT OKAY WITH OFFLINE EXAMS AMID COVID, FUNCTIONING OF DISTRICT COURTS RESTRICTED Amid the rising cases of Covid, the UT is hell bent on calling students of Classes IX and XI to appear for the examinations. MAX 35°C | MIN 19°C | YESTERDAY MAX 34.6°C | MIN 19.6°C SUNSET MONDAY 6:52 PM In view of the increasing Covid cases, only urgent, selective matters to be taken up for hearing from Monday. SUNRISE TUESDAY 5:50 AM TWITTER/THETRIBUNECHD FACEBOOK/CHANDIGARHTRIBUNE More worry, 10 deaths, record 1,684 cases surface in tricity Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 18 The tricity today witnessed a record high of 1,684 Covid cases since the start of the pandemic and 10 deaths. This month, the tricity has reported 117 deaths and 20,074 cases. While Mohali witnessed 880 cases, Chandigarh recorded 625 cases, a quantum jump of 45 per cent from the previous day, and Panchkula saw a slight dip in its Covid count with 179 cases. Despite no increase in tests conducted in the UT today, the positivity rate on a single day increased to 17.6 per cent. With the same rate of tests, around 450 average infections were being reported, which rose to 625. In view of the new Covid strain, experts doubt any respite this month. Dr Rajesh Kumar, a former head of the Department of School of Community Medicine, PGI, said: “The peak will be higher this time as a new variant has been found in the region. The virus has almost been replaced with more contagious characteristics. The restrictions imposed by the UT Administration in controlling 20,074 cases, 117 deaths already reported this month; respite unlikely soon, say experts Devotees being ferried to the Mansa Devi temple in violation of the Covid norms in Panchkula on Sunday. RAVI KUMAR CASES APRIL 1 – APRIL 18 CASE FATALITY RATE Mohali 2.7% Chandigarh 1.2% Panchkula 1% ACTIVE RATIO Mohali 11% Chandigarh 10.7% Panchkula 11% RECOVERY RATE Mohali 86.3% Chandigarh 88.1% Panchkula 88% DEATHS APRIL 1 – APRIL 18 TOTAL MOHALI CHANDIGARH PANCHKULA TOTAL MOHALI CHANDIGARH 20,074 9,380 the spread will show some effect in the next two weeks. When the cases started increasing in mid-March, people did not adhere to the norms. So, the cases rose exponentially in April.” The fatalities in Mohali also increased to 69 this month. Last month, the district had seen 49 deaths due to Covid. The dis- 6,935 trict has so far logged 9,380 cases this month. A total of 448 patients were cured and three deaths were reported in Mohali today. There are 6,211 active cases and 502 have died so far. Chandigarh has seen 34 deaths in 18 days of the month, while last month, 27 deaths were reported. The city has seen 6,934 cases in April. The 117 69 34 14 P’KULA 3,759 number of active cases rose to 3,625 in Chandigarh. With three more deaths, the toll has reached 413. The total number of cases in the UT has reached 33,934. As many as 411 patients were cured. With four more deaths in Panchkula, the fatality has reached 168, while 1,976 are active cases in the district. Damaged electricity poles and wires on the Kharar-Landran road on Monday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: VICKY Heavy machinery-laden truck damageselectricitypoles,wires Mohali, April 18 Four electricity poles broke due to the alleged negligence of the driver of a truck-trailer that was loaded with heavy machinery last night near Gilco Valley on the KhararLandran road. After the incident, power was disrupted in the residential areas on one side of the Kharar-Landran road for more than 15 hours and massive traffic jam was witnessed. Traffic was then diverted. Kharar PSPCL Executive Engineer Amandeep Singh Power supply disrupted for hours said the rashly driven trucktrailer damaged six or seven electricity poles last night causing major losses to the PSPCL. He said they had to shut five feeders to carry out repair work to restore the power supply in the residential areas. He said the Mohali traffic police closed the vehicular traffic on the section for the day. Later in the evening, traffic was restored on one side of the road and power Pharma firm head among 6 held Staff violate norm, give for illegally dealing in remdesivir 2nd dose after 28 days Tribune News Service Potholes on a road in Raipur Khurd, Chandigarh. NITIN MITTAL Incessant water woes cripple Raipur Khurd Sandeep Rana Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 18 Despite the fact the Municipal Corporation took over Raipur Khurd village over two years ago, low water supply has been a persistent problem. Villagers have demanded that a booster be set up in the village so that they can get relief from the problem. They said: “If water motor goes out of order, no one cares to repair it for days, which further aggravates our hardships.” VILLAGE WOES RAIPUR KHURD Former sarpanch Laxman Singh said: “The water supply is low. A booster must be set up here and supply timings should be increased. After the village came under the civic body, things in all sectors have only deteriorated.” Besides, like other villages, sewerage and storm water system is overburdened and roads are in a dilapidated condition in the village. The houses outside the Lal Dora, which are not yet under the MC, are the worst hit as they often have to depend on water tankers. The supply is irregular and low. “We have been getting up at 4 or 5 am to fill our water buckets. In our area, water is unavailable after 7 am. Even when it is available, the pres- PAGE 3 supply ❝The water must beis low. A booster set up here and supply timings should be increased. After the village came under the civic body, things in all sectors have only deteriorated ❞ Chandigarh, April 18 The operations cell of the UT police has arrested six persons for illegally dealing in remdesivir, a Covid-19 treatment drug, by selling it in the market in India at a higher cost. The police recovered 3,000 remdesivir vials from a pharmaceutical plant in Baddi. The police got information that some illegal trade of remdesivir was going on at an upscale hotel in Sector 17. Acting on the tip-off, a team, led by ASI Surjit Singh, conducted a raid and nabbed Abhishek, a resident of Kerala, Susheel Kumar of Delhi, Prabat Tyagi of Bhopal and Philip Jacob and KP Francis, both residents of Kerala. The police said all suspects were dealing in the sale and purchase of remdesivir with- 3,000 vials recovered from Baddi plant company ❝Thethat he hasdirector claims a licence for exporting the medicine, which is being verified. ❞ Ketan Bansal, SP (OPERATIONS) out any permit or licence. A sample of the vial with an MRP of ~4,700 on it was also recovered from them. SP (Operations) Ketan Bansal said a raid was then conducted on the pharmaceutical plant in Baddi, and 3,000 remdesivir vials were seized in the presence of a local drug inspector. The director of the pharmaceutical company, Gaurav Chawla, was also arrested. The police said glaring irregularities were found in the physical verification of the stock, pointing towards diversion of the said medicine towards the local market after the ban on export by the government. “The company director claims that he has a licence for exporting the medicine, which is being verified. However, the export is banned by the government,” the SP said. The SP said the verification of company records revealed that 11,000 vials were transported to Thane on April 16. A case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC, Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and Section 27 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, has been registered against all suspects at the Sector 17 police station. They were produced in a court and sent to four-day police remand. Karam Prakash Tribune News Service Patiala, April 18 Violating the directions of the Central Government, health officials at the Patiala Police Lines reportedly gave the second dose of Covishield to police personnel before the lapse of the time window of six to eight weeks. Last month, the Centre had issued directions to administer the second dose of Covishield between six and eight weeks of the first dose. However, health officials did not wait and jabbed the beneficiaries after 28 days only. The negligence came to the fore when a DSP-rank officer called up another health official to enquire about the guidelines after he was given the second dose of Covishield on Saturday. Sources said many police personnel got their second shot before six weeks. Health experts have already CovishieldShould be given after 6-8 weeks for better protection, insist experts claimed that protection from the novel coronavirus will be greater if the second dose of Covishield is taken between six and eight weeks after the first one. Both doses should be taken within the recommended time for stronger immunity and both doses must be of the same vaccine, said the experts. On the negligence, Dr Veenu Goyal, District Immunisation Officer, said she was not aware about it. However, she would ask the staff concerned about the issue. “It may be Covaxin, which can be given after 28 days of the first dose. However, I will look into it.” The Patiala Civil Surgeon, Dr Satinder Singh, said, “ I have directed the staff concerned to be careful in future.” supply was restored to many parts of area. Amandeep Singh said they got a case registered against the truck driver. He said a major tragedy was averted as the truck driver could have been electrocuted if the high tension wires had fallen on the heavy vehicle. Residents said power was yet to be restored in many localities. — TNS Lockdown improves UT’s air quality Amarjot Kaur Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 18 The Covid-induced weekend lockdown brought down the levels of air pollution in the city. According to the Chandigarh Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the city recorded a 58 on the air quality index (AQI) today, showing a significant dip in particulate matter 10 (PM10) level — the lowest this month. Commenting on the decline in the city’s air pollution, Debendra Dalai, member secretary, CPCB, said: “Well, the decline in air pollution is certainly because of the lockdown, which has brought the city’s public transport to a halt and people aren’t driving around much either. The construction work has been stopped too.” Last year too, with the advent of lockdown, the city recorded a 35 on the air quality index (AQI) on April 25. Laxman Singh, FORMER SARPANCH sure is very low,” lamented Suresh Kumari, who has been living in the village since 1996. Another resident Maniram shared: “We are managing with water tankers. It is a normal thing here.” This village is situated at the entry of the UT near the Zirakpur-Chandigarh barrier. “It should have been a role model as this is the first residential area of the city on this end. However, we have been subjected to step-motherly treatment for years,” said Baljit, another resident. Similar story at Raipur Kalan, Behlana These two UT villages, which were also merged with the MC, have been struggling with worn out storm and sewerage water system and poor road condition. Gurdeep Singh, former sarpanch of Raipur Kalan, which falls near continued on page 2 SE among top P’kula civic body officials indicted for lapses Bhartesh Singh Thakur Tribune News Service Panchkula, April 18 An inquiry by the Urban Local Bodies Department (ULBD), Haryana, into the treatment of legacy waste at the dumping ground in Sector 23, Panchkula, has indicted officials of the Municipal Corporation (MC) for lapses. A committee comprising Additional Director (Administration) YS Gupta, Chief Town Planner KK Varshney, Chief Engineer Ashok Rathee and Executive Engineer Ranbir Singh looked into whether the work of bioremediation of legacy waste was executed as per the contract and instructions issued by the ULBD. It has indicted Superintending Engineer (SE) Vijay Goyal, who is the technical head of the MC. Executive Engineer Ankit TREATMENT OF LEGACY WASTE ANOMALIES ■ The committee has noted that The dumping ground in Sector 23, Panchkula. NITIN MITTAL Lohan, Executive Engineer Sanjeev Gupta, Assistant Engineer Ravinder Singh, and Municipal Engineer Raj Kumar Sharma have also been named in the report, along with Junior Engineers c m y b Parveen Malik and Lokinder. All these officials were assigned the work of overseeing the bioremediation work. Goyal said: “As the SE, I have not been involved in the day-to-day monitoring of the Superintending Engineer Vijay Goyal did not appear before it during the inspection of the site “which was a serious matter” and showed “lack of seriousness” of the issue. ■ It added that a payment of ~4.94 crore was made to the private agency, but they were not in a position to evaluate the quantum of the legacy waste processed by the agency because contours were not drawn and third party evaluation was not carried out. treatment of the legacy waste. It is looked over by officers of the level of Executive Engineer and below.” Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta, who represents the Panchkula con- stituency, said: “I had complained to the Chief Minister on lapses in the treatment of the legacy waste and after that, an inquiry was marked to the Director, ULBD. Serious lapses have been pointed out.” Director, ULBD, Ashok Kumar Meena said they would send the report to the government for action on Monday. The committee visited the dumping site on March 6. Ind Sanitation Solution Pvt Limited was allotted the work of bioremediation of waste at ~947 per MT through the tender process. The agency started the work on September 19, 2020. The committee has noted that Superintending Engineer Vijay Goyal did not appear before it during the inspection of the site “which was a serious matter” and showed “lack of seriousness” of the issue. It added that a payment of ~4.94 crore was made to the private agency, but they were not in a position to evaluate the quantum of the legacy waste processed by the agency because contours were not drawn and third party evaluation was not carried out. The MC also did not produce documents regarding the quality of groundwater, work zone air quality, and ambient air quality regularly. Regarding “failures” of the MC, the committee noted that it was required to earmark a land parcel at the Sector 23 dumpsite or any other location for dumping and segregation of the fresh waste so that legacy waste could be handled. It was observed that fresh waste was still being dumped there. continued on page 2
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