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Tricity buzz: HT Chandigarh reporters’ tracker on all those making, or faking, news amid coronavirus lockdown

Covid warrior Babla gets drive-past salute; BJP, Congress in credit war over pandemic donations, parents lock horns over school fee during lockdown and more...
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondents
UPDATED ON MAY 31, 2020 01:51 AM IST

JAWAHARPUR LOOKS HEAVENWARDS TO END CORONA CURSE

With 46 Covid-19 cases, Jawaharpur village in Dera Bassi sub division of Mohali district is seeking divine intervention to end its corona curse. From organising havans to akhand path, villagers are trying to appease the Almighty to bring back smiles on the faces of residents. The 200-year-old village became a hotspot and was declared a containment zone. Malkit Singh, the first from the village to test positive, is leading the prayers to rescue the village from such hard times.

COVID WARRIOR BABLA GETS DRIVE-PAST SALUTE FROM GRATEFUL RESIDENTS

As parts of Sector 30-B, Chandigarh, turned into a containment zone, local area councillor Devinder Singh Babla played a proactive role in redressing people’s grievances. Residents decided to express their gratitude for his services last Sunday by planning a drive past Babla’s house. While people drove past offering their thanks, Babla could be seen wearing a mask and waving back at them. At the recent House meeting as well, he highlighted how a woman from Sector 30 was supposed to get married on June 5 but couldn’t make preparations due to the lockdown. Municipal corporation commissioner KK Yadav assured him that the authorities will help with the wedding preparations. Now that’s a people’s representative, indeed.

Residents driving past Sector 30 councillor Devinder Babla’s house to appreciate his service during the Covid-19 lockdown. (HT Photo)
Residents driving past Sector 30 councillor Devinder Babla’s house to appreciate his service during the Covid-19 lockdown. (HT Photo)

UT cop announces home delivery service

When a Chandigarh Police inspector took to Facebook to announce that Swagath, a restaurant in Sector 26, Chandigarh, is open for home deliveries, it left many surprised. The UT administration allowed home delivery by eateries, while relaxing the lockdown. Congratulatory notes poured in but there were a few queries such as: “Are you running this?” A resident sarcastically remarked, “Home delivery bhi police hi karegi? (Will the police now do home delivery also?)” It’s another matter that Chandigarh Police proactively provided food to the needy during the curfew and lockdown since March 23.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON DUTY, GRP STYLE

Birthdays are special and no lockdown can stop the celebrations, even for those on duty. The other day, assistant sub inspector Lakhbir Singh of the Government Railway Police (GRP) was on duty in Mohali, overseeing the return of migrant workers to their native places amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Since he could not go home or get an off on his birthday, GRP deputy superintendent of police Davinder Singh Matharu arranged a cake-cutting ceremony at his office, while the men in khaki, who are like second family, sang the birthday song on the ASI’s special day.

POSITIVE TO NEGATIVE, TWO LABS GIVE TWO CORONA RESULTS

The Union Territory health department was caught by surprise when a 91-year-old woman from Sector 15, Chandigarh, tested negative for Covid-19 within hours of testing positive. The laboratory at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and a private lab gave different results for the woman’s swab samples. Though the private lab authorities, which first confirmed that the woman was infected, has taken one more sample for investigation, the UT health department has said that the PGIMER report, which suggests the woman is not infected, will be treated as final. A senior UT official said: “They can send the samples to John Hopkins but I am sure they will get the same result.”

COUNCILLORS MEET ON VIRTUAL TURF VIA VIDEO-CONFERENCE

For the first time, the general House meet of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was conducted via video conference on Friday. While it mostly went off with them maintaining discipline and speaking only when their turn came, when an argument broke out, it was all noise and all one could hear was the echo of “ek minute mayor madam”. Switching their cameras and microphones off, many councillors just disappeared from the meeting, while one of them appeared to be driving while participating in the video-conference. Managing the camera angle was the toughest job for one of the women councillors. Even after media persons alerted her, all others could see were her lips on the screen.

BJP, CONGRESS IN CREDIT WAR OVER PANDEMIC DONATIONS

After the initial appreciation for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation in containing coronavirus, Congress and BJP leaders were back to their usual game of one-upmanship. Each party’s members claimed they had done more than their rivals for helping people during the pandemic. The arguments became particularly heated on the issue of donation of PPE kits and sanitisers. MC Commissioner KK Yadav intervened and said, “The MC welcomes donations from both parties. Help as much you want!”

SALONS CLOSED IN CHANDIGARH, RESIDENTS HEAD FOR PANCHKULA, MOHALI

Even as Punjab and Haryana allowed barber shops to open, the UT administration did not come out with its standard operating procedure (SOP) for opening salons in the city. Sources said senior UT officials want to wait till the end of Lockdown 4.0. Meanwhile, residents made their way to neighbouring Panchkula and Mohali to get groomed after two months of staying home.

RELIEF FOR PANJAB UNIVERSITY V-C AS NAHAR GOES

The term of Panjab University dean, students’ welfare (DSW), Emanual Nahar ends on Sunday. Last May, vice-chancellor Raj Kumar was not in favour of extending his term but syndicate members prevailed. Nahar, who is in the rival camp, has been a headache for the vice-chancellor, leading to a controversy that brewed for four months and even saw students locking down Students Centre. The matter went to the Punjab and Haryana high court and PU was pulled up for removing Nahar unceremoniously. Finally, the V-C can heave a sigh of relief.

PARENTS LOCK HORNS OVER SCHOOL FEE DURING LOCKDOWN

It’s the first time that the tricity of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali has seen protests by parents outside schools almost every day. Some parents say they don’t want to pay the fee till classes resume after the Covid-19 situation improves, while others say the charges should be minimal. So far, the education department has turned a blind eye to the protests. Education secretary Arun Kumar Gupta and director, school education, Rubinderjit Singh Brar have not commented on the protests.

(Contributed by Hillary Victor, Munieshwer A Sagar, Shailee Dogra, Rajanbir Singh, Amanjeet Singh, Ovais Dar and Srishti Jaswal)

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