C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Chill Effect
UT closes schools for junior classes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
With cold conditions persisting, there will be no school for students up to Class V till Saturday. Also, the UT education department has directed all government and private schools to reschedule the opening hours for Classes VI-X with immediate effect.

Official sources said a circular had been sent to all private schools and in case they did not follow the orders, they would be held responsible for the “consequences.”

According to the DPI (S), the single-shift schools would run from 9 am to 2.30 pm till February 10 and the second shift may be merged with the morning shift.

If the weather improved, the timings from February 11 would be from 8 am to 2 pm for single-shift schools and 7.30 am to 1.15 pm for double-shift schools for all classes.

However, the schedule for middle class examinations remains unchanged. Teachers will have to attend school as usual.

In Panchkula, the schools will open at 8.40 am instead of 8 am, said district education officer Kanta Malik.

No holiday has been declared for schools in Mohali. According to SAS Nagar district education officer (Primary) Parkash Kaur, she has received no instructions from the government to close schools in view of the biting cold.



Pregnant woman shot at
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A pregnant woman was seriously injured when she was shot at by an unidentified man outside her house in Bapu Dham Colony late this evening.

The victim, Suneeta, was rushed to the GMSH-16 and from there to the PGI. Angry residents thrashed the accused who was admitted to the Sector 16 hospital.

The incident occurred at 6.30 pm when Suneeta was called outside her home by two youths on a scooter. A scuffle ensued and one of the youths took out his countrymade pistol and fired at her. The bullet pierced Suneeta’s stomach.

The accused was trailed by an angry mob and given a severe beating in the premises of government model school in the colony.The other assailant fled on his scooter.

Married in Delhi, Suneeta was on a visit to her parents’ home in Bapu Dham for the delivery of her child.

Police sources said investigations revealed that Suneeta had a criminal record with cases of drug trafficking registered against her at the Sector 39 police station. 



Couple assaulted on HC premises
Newly wed had come from Punjab to seek protection from kin
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
There was high drama at the Punjab and Haryana High Court today when a young couple from Jalandhar seeking court protection was beaten, dragged and thrown into a car by the girl’s parents early this morning.

Baljit Singh (21) and Rajpal Kaur (18), who eloped on January 22, tied the knot in a gurdwara on January 27. Both are natives of a village in Jalandhar district.While the girl is a Jat, the boy is a Ramgarhia Sikh.

The police at the court security room remained a mute spectator to the entire episode. The matter was resolved when the Sector 3 police swung into action and got in touch with the Jalandhar police.

Fearing assault by the girl’s family, the newly wed had come to the court to seek protection under Section 482, CrPC, informed Ashok Giri, the couple’s advocate.

The moment the couple entered the court premises, the girl’s family and personnel of the Jalandhar police appeared there in a blue Scorpio.They beat up and dragged the couple into the car and fled. As the police at the security room remained unmoved, advocate Giri called the Sector 3 police station.

The Chandigarh police, in a state of utter confusion, flashed a message through the control room that a ‘girl’ has been kidnapped in a blue Scorpio. SHO Ram Gopal reached the spot and found that it was no kidnapping. Instead, the Jalandhar police had swung into action on an FIR registered at the Bhogpur police station by the girl’s parents against the boy.

The couple was produced before the area magistrate near Jalandhar. It was found that the boy and girl both being adults, the case against the boy was null and void.

Said Arpit Shukla, SSP, Jalandhar: “We acted on the basis of the FIR registered against Baljit and communication with the Chandigarh Police was made soonafter.”

Chandigarh SSP S.S Srivastava said : “The Jalandhar police had a valid case registered against the boy, but we should have been informed about it .”



Refund tuition fee, says forum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Issuing directions to coaching centres to refrain from taking fee in advance, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked Prof D.C. Pandey, owner of an institute, to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 to a Hoshiarpur resident.

The petitioner, Nishant Bali, 16, had enrolled himself with Physics Point in Sector 17 for tuition. In March 2006, Bali deposited Rs 2,000 and thereafter Rs 7,000 with the institute. Classes began on April 14, 2006.

Bali averred that due to health reasons, he could had to discontinue the classes and return to Talwara, his native town. Bali made several calls to the institute to refund fee. His father wrote a letter on June 10, 2006. In reply, the institute stated that fee once deposited was not refundable.

The forum headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal observed: “ Under Section 14 (1) (f) read with Section 14 (1) (hb) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the coaching centre and similar educational institutes cannot charge fee in advance and in case of a student leaving the institute, the proportionate amount for the period for which the services have not been availed be refunded.”



Lawyers block highway
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Motorists and commuters on the Panchkula-Kalka highway were a harassed lot with the members of the District Bar Association blocking the highway in protest against the demolition of their sheds by the district administration.

Marching in procession from the district courts complex on the mini secretariat in Sector 1 here, the advocates blocked the traffic on the busy road. Even though the blockade lasted for a few minutes, long queues of the buses, cars and two-wheelers were witnessed putting the commuters to a lot of inconvenience.

However, within a few minutes, the traffic jam ended with the advocates marching towards the DC’s office.

The advocates are protesting against the demolition of their sheds by the district administration. While the administration had been claiming that the sheds had been removed to comply with the directives of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the association had termed the decision as "arbitrary".



Nag, Akash ready for induction in Army
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The anti-tank missile Nag and surface-to-air missile Akash are ready for induction into the Indian Army as the Army top brass is satisfied with the performance of two missiles, a top defence scientist said here today.

While Nag is ready for induction by mid 2008, Akash should follow suit giving the Army a definite edge, the chief controller, research and development (Missile and Strategic Systems), Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO), Dr V.K Saraswat, said here.

Nag would be ready for induction once the user trials scheduled for this summer were over, he said claiming that the last user trials of Nag held in November-December last year were a success.

Dispelling apprehensions about the fuelling capacity of surface-to-surface missile Prithvi, Dr Saraswat claimed that this missile could be fuelled at the depot. And after fuelling it can be moved out and “its fuelling life is 10 years”, he added.

Batting for the development of ballistic missile systems, Dr Saraswat said these were necessary as India is surrounded by countries which possess ballistic missile capabilities and were a potential threat.

The threat from a ballistic missile, particularly fitted with a nuclear warhead, becomes multifold and the country has to have a defence system to counter it, he added while pointing out that 32 countries have ballistic missiles today.

The DRDO is now building technological blocks to engage missile threats, he said while pointing out that research would continue on building interceptors to tackle the threat from “top quality” missiles.

Dr Saraswat admitted that the DRDO was facing a shortage of trained manpower because of difference in pay structure of government and private sectors. 



Transfer chief engineer, demands MLA
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 29
Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu today demanded the transfer of the GMADA chief engineer for allegedly hampering development work even as he questioned the authority of Punjab minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh’s son to distribute grants received from the central government in his constituency.

Sidhu, who was addressing media persons after attending the meeting of the municipal council here today, alleged that chief engineer Rajiv Moudgil was creating hurdles in the development of the town by not looking for solutions to various problems being faced by residents. He said he would write to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in this regard.

The MLA said he had gone to meet the chief administrator (CA) of GMADA in connection with various works involving Mohali. He told the CA that development was to be carried out in Sector 57, parking areas in various markets were in a state of neglect, a boundary wall was needed to cut off slum-dwellers from Phase VI and parks in the town needed to be improved.

Moudgil, who was present in the office of the CA, allegedly interfered giving no positive answer regarding development works.

Sidhu said grants under the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan were cleared for 22 schools falling in his constituency. While four schools were to be given Rs 2 lakh each, others were to get Rs 60,000 each.

The funds were to be distributed by the district education officer (DEO). Sidhu alleged that Jasjit Singh, area development in charge of the SAD, allegedly approached the DEO and got the cheques, which were later distributed by him to schools in various villages.



Graft Case
MC official discharged
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Ambala, January 29
Sanitary inspector of the local municipal committee Suraj Bhan, who was yesterday rounded up by a team of the Vigilance Bureau along with the executive officer of the MC for accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a local businessman, was today let off following a protest by sanitary employees of the MC.

The investigation officer of the bureau filed an application in the court that Suraj Bhan was nabbed on basis of suspicion and he should be released.

Though senior officials of the bureau were not available for comments, sources in the bureau said he was discharged after local Congress MLA D.K. Bansal intervened and asked the officials to acquit the inspector of the charges.

Bansal, when contacted, stated that he had spoken to the senior officials of the bureau in this regard and later, he went to the VB office and made sure that the inspector was released. He said Suraj Bhan had been wrongly implicated in the said case and had nothing to do with the matter. Bansal said the executive officer had just asked him to hold his dairy for him, in which he had kept the money. That very moment, the VB sleuths entered and got hold of him.

Meanwhile, a large number of sanitary employees of the MC held a dharna outside the MC office this morning, raising anti-establishment slogans. They demanded immediate release of the inspector, who they said was not involved in the case in any way. Executive officer Pratap Singh and Suraj Bhan were nabbed by the VB after the owner of a factory alleged that the EO had demanded a bribe of Rs 30,000 for withdrawi.ng the demolition notice served on him to pull down the sheds in his factory.

Sources said no case had so far been registered against Suraj Bhan, which paved the way for his release. Meanwhile, EO Pratap Singh was sent to judicial custody today.



16-yr-old girl found dead
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 29
The body of a 16-year-old girl was found in the Phase IV park here last night. The victim was a resident of Sector 67 and had left home at 5 pm. She was found dead by evening walkers at around 9 pm. The police said the girl was a student of a school in Chandigarh.

The police said the girl was found lying in the park and was rushed to a hospital where she was declared brought dead. The parents of the victim requested the Mohali SDM that they did not want to get a postmortem done. The body was handed over to the family. The parents reportedly told the police that the girl had gone for a walk.



Xen fined Rs 25,000 for withholding info
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Not complying with the orders of the State Information Commission has cost the Xen of the notified area committee (NAC), Zirakpur, dear.

The State Information Commission had directed Kuldeep Verma, Xen, to provide information to a complainant, R.K. Saini. It had said otherwise he would be penalised. As the information sought by the complainant was not provided, the State Information Commissioner has imposed a fine of Rs 250 per day from October 8, 2007, subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000.

The commissioner, R.K. Gupta, stated, “Harmel Singh, principal secretary to the government of Punjab, department of local government, is the competent authority for approval of the plans. The attitude of the officials of the notified area committee is not satisfactory as Kuldeep Verma, Xen, has failed to comply with the directions dated December 14, 2007.”

The commission added that the fine is to be recovered in three equal monthly instalments. It further stated, “Raj Kumar Mittal, executive officer, NAC, Zirakpur, will explain what action under Section 20 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, be taken for not supplying the information.

Over a year back, New Generation Residents Welfare Society general secretary Ramesh Chander Bawa tried to get information under the Act from various officers, but did not elicit a satisfactory response.

A resident of the Zirakpur society, Bawa said, “When the flats where we live were being sold, we were shown the layout till Phase 3 of the site. There was supposed to be a community hall on one side of the area, which has now been replaced by flats.”

Bawa doubted if the society plan had been sanctioned by the town planner.

To clarify this, Bawa sent queries under the Act to the chief town planner of Punjab, executive officer, nagar panchayat, Zirakpur, and principal secretary, Punjab.

He had initially sought information from the executive officer in February 2006.

When the information was not provided, he approached the principal secretary in March last year but was not satisfied with the information given.

In his request he had sought a copy of the original notification bearing signatures of the principal secretary. A copy of the layout plan of the building and a copy of the scheduled clauses mentioned in the notification were sent.

Though he was given the information, it was not established if it was the original plan. He then wrote to the state information commission, Punjab.

Taking a serious note of the incomplete information being provided, the commission had earlier written to the department concerned in which it was stated, “Those representing the respondent department have not only failed to provide the information in question but also tried to mislead the commission by making wrong statements.”

The next hearing of the case has been adjourned to February 8, 2008.



Railway reservation counter opens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A railway reservation counter at the Sector 8 post office, Panchkula, was today inaugurated by the divisional railway manager (DRM), Ambala division, HK Jaggi, and senior officials of the Haryana postal circle. The timings of the counter would be from 8 am to 2 pm.

The reservation counter is an outcome of the railway authorities joining hands with the postal department to launch another public-friendly initiative to facilitate booking of rail tickets. Panchkula city is the second one to get the facility after Gurgaon.

The senior divisional commercial manager, Ambala Division, Karan Singh said the new service was part of a pilot project. Twentyeight such centres had been approved for the entire country.

He said a reservation counter in the Western Command, Chandimandir, and another one in the Army area of Ambala would also start soon. SK Nayyar, president of the Citizens Welfare Association, thanked the railway officials for the new service.



Booths auctioned for Rs 1.22 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation earned Rs 1.22 crore from the auction of built-up booths, almost double the reserve price, at Mauli Jagran today.

The auction started at 12 noon and ended at 3 pm. A total of 34 bidders participated. Senior town planner Manjit Singh Chohan and officials of the MC were present. 



Simmtronics to set up shop in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Simmtronics Semiconductors Limited, a global leader in the manufacturing and distribution of memory modules, motherboards and graphic cards, will soon set up shop in the city.

Indrajit Sabharwal, managing director of the company, said besides metros, cities like Chandigarh held immense potential owing to rapid development being witnessed in all spheres, including adoption of technology and its usage. As we foresee a significant increase in demand for all our products, we have decided to set up a sales and service support office here, he said.

The company will also set up shop in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur and Kolkata. At present, the company has its offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune.



Mobile tower pulled down
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A demolition team of the estate office today demolished the mobile tower of a cellular service provider behind Sukhna Lake. The mobile tower, erected in violation of the Periphery Act on agricultural land in Kaimbwala village, was blocking the background of the lake.

Sources said while the demolition squad demolished the tower, another service provider has reportedly got a stay from court.

On January 25, the estate office staff had damaged the boundary wall of the enclosure around the tower and had seized two big generators. The company engaged in installing and maintaining the tower was given time to dismantle the tower. But it failed to remove the tower. The tower was pulled down after dismantling the structure with the help of gas cutters.

In May last year, the administration had issued show-cause notices to the cellular operators and on June 22, the deputy commissioner ordered the demolition of the tower.



Gold medal for PGI doctor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Dr N.Khandelwal, professor and head, department of radiodiagnosis, PGI, delievered "Sir J.C. Bose Memorial Oration" on "CT perfusion in acute stroke" during the 61st annual conference of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association held at Bangalore recently.

Dr Khandelwal was awarded a gold medal and a plaque for delivering the oration.



‘Brain Bee’ quiz on Feb 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Chandigarh will have its first “Brain Bee” on the February 2, 2008. Being organised by the department of neurology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, the brain bee is a quiz contest for high school children. The event is a part of the International Brain Bee, which has its nucleus in the University of Maryland, USA.

A novel effort to initiate the young minds into the realm of neurosciences, it aims to arouse the interest of highly motivated children to take up a career in neurosciences. Dr Dheeraj Khurana, associate professor, department of neurology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, who is the coordinator, said teams from various schools of Chandigarh would be quizzed on facts about the brain and the winner would then compete in the national finals at Hyderabad. The national champion would then compete in the international finals in the US. The International Brain Bee champion would receive $3000, an all expenses paid trip to attend the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, a travelling trophy for their high school and a fellowship to work in a laboratory of a neuroscientist in the US.



Toilet blocks inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Pardeep Chhabra, mayor, municipal corporation, Chandigarh, today inaugurated three newly renovated toilet blocks in the motor market of Sector 48 here and dedicated these to the public.

The Motor Market Association welcomed the mayor and area councillor Jatinder Bhatia and requested for upgradation of the market. The mayor said he had taken up the issue with officers of the UT Administration.



Speed up road widening

It is good that the Chandigarh administration has ordered for widening the roads of city beautiful. But, it is very awful and dangerous for people. It is very difficult to go to market during day and dangerous in the night, as there is no light at all.

Some roads are dug up. The pitches remain there for weeks together. The rain has further worsened the situation. It seems that the MC has arranged the work privately. Somebody comes for digging and the other comes for widening. It has made the roads very unsafe and there are chances of accidents.

People are suffering a lot due to negligence of the MC. Will the authorities wake up and send some survey parties to question the working of the MC?

G.K.Chopra, Chandigarh 

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Field training must for students, says expert
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
To explore the potential of students of the arts faculty, Panjab University is contemplating on revamping their syllabi in order to give it a complete facelift.

The faculty of arts, which comprises disciplines such as public administration, sociology, history, geography, political science, economics, mass communication, psychology, centre for women studies, philosophy, defence and strategic studies and others has a major chunk of the total university strength enrolled in it.

In its last meeting held under Dr B.S. Ghuman, dean, faculty of arts, it was contemplated that keeping in sync with the changing needs of the market and global changes, the syllabus of all the above mentioned disciplines should be revised as and when a need was felt as against the existing three year period norm.

“ Importance should be given to field visits. All students, irrespective of their disciplines, should go in for some field training or market experience that will enable them to have first-hand experience. Along with conventional classroom teaching, field visit inputs should also be incorporated ”, said Dr B.S. Ghuman.

“Incorporation of field visit inputs would help in improving classroom teaching and making it more interesting”, said one of the convenors of the faculty.

Any change in syllabi would be accompanied by a change in references and listings of the books for the interest of the students.

Secondly, as a practice, more and more research scholars were concentrating more on the tri-city. Now, under the proposed changes, they would be motivated to focus on issues prevalent in northwestern part of the country that includes rural belt of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir as well.

“ In addition to this, researchers doing field based studies would be motivated to visit the field two to three times prior to submitting synopsis for a better and in depth knowledge of the research area”, said Dr Ghuman.

All these proposals would be now deliberated upon in the next meeting of the faculty to be held next month.



PU Notes
Educate children on eco-systems: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh, with the support of ministry of environment and forest, GOI, organised a three-day training programme for master trainers under the National Green Corps (NGC) today at PU.

A.S. Chattwal, IAS, secretary, Science, Technology and Environment, Punjab government, said increased pressure on environment and natural resources had led to environmental damage, thus reducing the benefits of development.

Dr N.S. Tiwana, executive director of the council, delivered his welcome address and pointed out that India had a wealth of natural resource material with which our ecological and economic well-being were associated.

He elucidated the main objectives of this programme like, to educate children about their immediate environment and impart knowledge about the eco-systems through visits and demonstrations and to mobilise youngsters by instilling in them the spirit of scientific inquiry into environmental problems and involving them in the efforts of environmental preservation.

R.C. Meena, director (EE), ministry of environment and forests, delivered a lecture on NGC programme - an overview.

In the technical session, Prof I.S. Dua, prof of botany, PU, delivered his lecture on the topic “Appreciate life through Science”. Dr R.K. Kohli, of the department of environmental and botanical sciences, PU, delivered his lecture on “Basic concepts of Biodiversity and its Conservation issues”.

Prof A.K. Gupta, MS, PGI, delivered his lecture on “Environmental hazards of biomedical waste and bio-medical waste management practices at PGI, Chandigarh”.

Shanker Musafir, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, spoke on “Environmental auditing of resources in schools”. He said Punjab was doing well in this direction and had won first prize for two consecutive years of 2006 and 2007 by Government Senior Secondary School, Boor Majra, Ropar, under Green Schools Programme and got 1 prize as the Best NGC State 2007.


The date of election of the ordinary fellows from registered graduates constituency, 2008 has been fixed on September 21.Under Section 14, Sub Clause (2) of the PU Act, 1947, persons eligible for enrolment as registered graduates are requested to apply on the prescribed form which is available at the sale counter of the university.

This application accompanied by the prescribed enrolment fee of Rs 15 should reach in the office of the registrar, PU, not later than May 31. According to official sources, the schedule is also available on the university website.



From Schools & Colleges
UT to begin martial arts, photography classes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The education department has decided to include martial arts and photography in skill courses keeping in view the interest of students’ community within government schools.

S.K Setia said, “ Martial arts classes for Class VIII onwards would be started in schools and 75 percent expenditure on this account would be incurred from the relevant fund of the school”.

Spot painting: Kusum Arora Memorial Trust, Chandigarh, organised spot painting competition at Vatika High School for deaf and dumb, Sector 19, here today.

The subjects were ‘Chandigarh carnival’ and ‘Sukhna Lake’ for junior and senior classes, respectively.

Results: Junior wing: 1 Rohit, 2 Shagun, 3 Jasleen; senior wing: 1 Kallu, 2 Vivek, 3 Bhawana.

competition: Inter-school power-point presentation on ‘Hazards of Smoking’ and ‘Importance of trees' was organised for students of Classes VIII and IX. Results: 1 Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Sector 27, 2 Lawerence Public School, Mohali, 3 Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, consolation prize: Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Mohali.

Lecture: The History Association of MCMDAV College, Sector 36, organised a lecture on the “Role of the Ghadar Party in the Freedom Movement” in the college campus here today.

English fest: The English department of MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, organised an English Fest today to enliven the students about various facets of the literary field.

The fest included power-point presentations by students of English literature at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. The students also presented a vibrant show in the form of a fancy dress competition covering a range of characters from the English literary scene. 



Teachers, students form ‘Samvaad’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
With an aim to provide students with a platform to communicate and have a dialogue, a group of likeminded people, including research scholars, teachers and students of Panjab University have joined hands together to form ‘Samvaad’, a forum for the students by the students and of the students.

It aims at initiating constructive dialogues and discussions on the topics and various issues in an honest manner and creating stimulating environment that encourages free and fair, critical and creative thinking amongst the students of the city said one of the members of the core team of the forum.

The forum will organise lectures, talks on different issues of immediate concerns and also conduct various creative activities like street plays, debates, and poetry recitations at regular intervals.

In its inaugural event, the forum has invited Prof Makarand Paranjape, an eminent writer and cultural critic from the JNU to deliver a talk on “India: Roots and Routes” on January 31. Prof Rana Nayar from the department of English will chair the programme.



Former students to hold Mushaira
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 29
Newly constituted Chandigarh chapter of old students of Mohindra College, Patiala, will organise a mushaira on January 31 here at the Punjab Kala Bhavan under the aegis of the Punjab Arts Council.

The programme features prominent poets, including Padmabhushan Dr Sardar Anjum, Nasher Naqvi, Mohammad Alam, Dr Chander Trikha, Begum Isha Naaz, T.N. Raaz, Mushtaaq Ullarfi. G.S. Grewal, IAS, will preside over the function.



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