C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Desilting machinery rusts at Sukhna 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Even as the Chandigarh administration is awaiting Centre’s nod for wet dredging at Sukhna Lake, expensive heavy machinery meant for desilting has been left to rust near the rowing channel of the lake.

During the tenure of former chief engineer K.K. Jerath, the UT engineering department had purchased the latest machine at a cost of around Rs 50 lakh for desilting the lake. With the help of the machine, the existing rowing channel was dug up. It was used for desilting till 2000.

“The machine was purchased due to its long arm as it could dig a channel as wide as 25 ft. The machine was specially brought in a multi-axle truck from Delhi,” sources said.

But for reasons best known to officials, the machine was not put to use, resulting in the wearing out of the engine.

Sources in the mechanical department confirmed that as the machine was not in running condition, it could not be moved out of the island adjoining the rowing channel. The engine of the machine has been dumped at the engineering department mechanical store in Sector 26.

“The approach channel made to ferry the machine to the rowing channel has been washed out due to rain and it is not possible to move the machine,” Rakesh Singh, a morning walker at the lake, said. He wondered how senior officials in the administration failed to notice the machine even as elaborate plans had been made for the beautification of the lake.

Another such machine was present at the Sukhna choe.

The engineering department is paying higher rates to private contractors to carry out development works, which could be undertaken with its own machinery at lesser rates.



Chandigarh ungoverned
Happy hunting ground for squatters
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Sector 17 has turned into an encroachers’ paradise. Even as the municipal corporation of Chandigarh plans it big for the city centre, scores of encroachers are mocking at the civic body threatening to derail the ambitious spruce-up plan.
Sector 17 has turned into encroachers’ paradise with the municipal corporation looking the other way
Sector 17 has turned into encroachers’ paradise with the municipal corporation looking the other way. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

However, what is giving sleepless nights to the corporation is the ever-increasing fresh encroachments in the commercial hub at stone’s throw away from the Besides disrupting the passage of pedestrians in corridors and the plaza area, encroachments are proving to be virtual blots on the face of the commercial centre.

This, in spite of the fact that the civic body recently came out with an ambitious plan worth Rs 4.5 crore for the development of phase II of Sector 17, for the area from the bridge market to the Madhya Marg.

This was apart from over Rs 3 crore spent on the beautification of the plaza area by the authorities recently.

A quick survey of the sector during the past couple of days revealed that besides the areas already occupied by encroachers selling sundry items, new areas, particularly in the Empire Stores block was falling prey to illegal squatters with the each passing day.

“In spite of tall claims of the administration and corporation to develop the sector as a major commercial and tourist destination, encroachments have assumed alarming proportions. Until urgent steps are taken to tackle the menace, the sector would be taken over by these illegal vendors,” alleged J.P.S. Kalra, general secretary of the Traders Association of Sector 17.

Shopkeepers alleged that encroachers seemed to be hand in glove with the enforcement staff.

As soon as the anti-encroachment drive was undertaken by the civic body staff, a majority of the illegal vendors were tipped off in advance, with the result that it proved to be a futile exercise, shopkeepers alleged.

Mayor Pardeep Chhabra, who also represents Sector 17, said strict action would be taken against encroachers on the government land.

The corporation would undertake a special drive to remove the encroachments from Sector 17, he added.



INLD’s fast one on Congress
Ropes in four Independents against rival’s one
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 4
Claims and counter-claims were the order of the day for the post of Panchkula municipal committee chief even as the Congress and its bête noire Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) came out with the names of municipal councillors who joined them today.
INLD leader Abhay Chautala with Independent councillors who joined the party at his residence in Chandigarh
INLD leader Abhay Chautala with Independent councillors who joined the party at his residence in Chandigarh on Friday. A Tribune photograph

While Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan, in a hurriedly-convened press conference in the morning, claimed that the party had got the support of an Independent councillor, Shamsher (ward No. 28), taking their strength in the house to 12, the celebrations in the party proved short-lived when later in the evening INLD leader Abhay Chautala announced that four of the eight newly elected Independent councillors had joined his party.

Parties need 17 votes to stake their claim to the post of president, which is due to be elected before the month-end, in the house of 31 councillors.

Adding to this is one vote each of local MLA and MP, thus taking the number to 33 in the house.

However, the Congress, which has nine councillors in the newly elected house, is already assured of getting the votes of party MP and MLA, taking the strength of the party to 11.

Also, with the inclusion of an Independent into the party, their number of votes has gone up to 12.

The Independent councillors that have joined the INLD include Prem Kumar (ward No. 8), Rajesh Kumar (31), Sunita Devi (26) and Renu Sharma.

While Prem Kumar was absent from the conference, Renu Sharma was represented by her husband.

Another Independent councillor V.K. Kapoor (ward No. 6) also announced the support to the party on the occasion.

The party with six of its own councillors in the house, now claims to have 11 votes in hand.

“A few more councillors would join the party within the next few days and as soon as we got 14 votes, the party would stake its claim to the post of president,” said the INLD leader.

Refusing to seek support from the BJP, Abhay said: “If they come to us, we will welcome them,” he added.

Speaking on the performance of the party in the elections, Chautala said the committee elections had proved that the base of the INLD had increased in cities as well.



Showroom @Rs 6.75 lakh per month
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Commercial rentals in Chandigarh are going the metro way. In fact, a square foot of commercial space in Sector 43 is valued at Rs 400, with a showroom fetching a whopping Rs 6.75 lakh per month.

A private bank, which took the basement and ground floor premises on lease, seems to have preferred Sector 43 over the prominent established commercial centres in Sectors 17, 22 and 34.

“This will go a long way in giving a fillip to the real estate boom in the city in particular and southern part in particular,” said Amarjit Sethi, a real estate consultant.

With Chandigarh emerging as a major real estate destination in North India in the wake of the entry of major realtors, the high rentals are not surprising.

“Given its excellent infrastructure and world-class living standards, Chandigarh will soon be the real estate capital of the country,” claimed B.K. Sanghi, a Panchkula-based property analyst.

Strategically located between Chandigarh and Mohali, Sector 43 offers additional advantage of better civic amenities with the authorities undertaking the development of the commercial area in a big way.

Since traditional commercial centres like Sectors 17, 22 and 34 were bursting at seams, MNCs and other big corporates were moving away from these centres.

Sources in the real estate sector said the southern sectors had huge commercial potential as the ratio of population per km was much more than northern sectors.

With thousands of people shifting to the cooperative group housing societies and the Chandigarh Housing Board coming up with several housing projects, the importance of this area cannot be over-emphasised, the sources added.



Cop’s son caught for snatching
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The special crime investigation cell of the Chandigarh police is believed to have got a major breakthrough with the arrest of a youth who is believed to be involved in over 20 incidents of snatching.

The accused, Kamaldeep Singh, is reportedly the son of a constable working with the Chandigarh police.

During investigation, the involvement of another youth, Bhanu Partap, in the crime also came to light.

Addressing a press conference, CID DSP Satbir Singh said Kamaldeep, a resident of Sector 26, and Bhanu Partap, a resident of Sector 20, worked with Intel Global Centre in Mohali.

The police team led by SI Baljit Singh arrested Kamaldeep following a tip off. The accused later disclosed the involvement of Bhanu in the crime.

The accused used to carry out snatchings on two motor cycles by changing their registration plates. One of the motor cycles used in the crime belonged to Karan, who also works with the same organisation. The police denied the involvement of Karan as the accused used to borrow motor cycles.

They also changed their looks by chopping off their hair from time to time.

According to Satbir Singh, the accused has confessed to involvement in 15 cases of snatching. They were hopeful of solving around 40 incidents of snatching.

The other motorcycle has been recovered from Hallo Majra and is being kept at the police station-31. 



CHB scheme: Pay more for assured allotment
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Persons willing to shell a few lakh rupees more than ordinary applicants can have assured allotment of flats in the recently launched Sector 63 housing scheme of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

In fact, 74 flats in the three categories -- category A (three bedroom), category B (two bedroom) and category C (one bedroom) -- are on offer under the “assured allotment scheme” of the board. Explaining the mode of allotment, the sources said prospective buyers would quote the price in a sealed cover. The quoted price will, however, be higher than the general price (reserve price) fixed by the board.

To provide a level-playing field to all bidders, the CHB has worked out a unique system of allotment. If 16 persons send quotations for category A flat (original price Rs 39.57 lakh) with Rs 44 lakh being the price quoted by the 16th person. Under the scheme, all 16 persons would be allotted flats at the rate of Rs 44 lakh irrespective of the fact whether the highest bidder had quoted any amount above Rs 44 lakh.

On the other hand, if 15 persons quote the rate above 44 lakh and five persons quote Rs 44 lakh as the price, then a draw of lots would be held for the allotment of the 16th flat. The 15 persons would be assured of the allotment at the rate of Rs 44 lakh, the sources added. The sources said the allottees under this scheme had been offered certain concessions as compared to the general allottees, including the sale on freehold basis.



Nithari on Reel
Approach Censor Board, court tells Pandher’s son 
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Terming the petition filed by Karandeep Singh Pandher, seeking permanent injunction on the film titled “D-5” based on Nithari Killings of 2006 as “premature”, a local court today suggested the petitioner to approach the Censor Board of Film Certification.

During preliminary investigation of the case Karandeep Singh Pandher’s father, Moninder Singh Pandher was alleged to be involved in the killing of the women and children whose body parts were found from the drain next to his D-5 residence in Nithari village in Noida. After the investigations was over the CBI found Pandher innocent.

The judicial magistrate (first class), Atul Marya, observed: “The film is yet to get certified for release. The Censor Board may or may not certify it for release. Thus the cause of action to the plaintiff to approach the court of law would only accrue if any such certificate is issued by the Censor Board. It will not be out of place to mention here that in case if the Censor Board issues any such certificate or refuses it even then the proper remedy is provided under Cinematography Act.”

The counsel for the director, stated that the trial of the case cannot be held here as the court doesn’t has territorial jurisdiction. Countering the argument the counsel for the plaintiff averred that the cause of action has arisen in Chandigarh so the court has got the jurisdiction. Disposing of the petition the court stated: “Since the matter is pending before the Censor Board it is not advisable to interfere in the working of a statutory body. Any order pronounced at this stage would amount to passing on its own judgements and observations by this court upon the authority at Censor Board. ” 



Admn gears up for Navratra fair
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 4
This year during the Navratra fair, devotees will be able to offer better ‘prasad’ to the deity at Mata Mansa Devi Temple starting from April 6 as the Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board has asked the Haryana Dairy Development Co-op Federation to prepare it. The prasad will be available against payments between Rs 11 and Rs 101.

Panchkula deputy commissioner Rajinder Kaatrai, who is also the board administrator, informing about the arrangements of the fair, said buses carrying devotees would be offloaded as near the temple as possible so that people need not walk long distance. People coming in private vehicles would not have to face any parking problem as the board had got around 40 acres of land for the purpose near the temple. This land was earlier under encroachments, he said.

While sheds would be installed over the path to protect the devotees from the sun, Rs 1.5 lakh had been spent on lighting arrangements in parking and around the temple for the convenience of those who visited the temple at night.

A dispensary had also been opened where allopathic, ayurvedic and homoeopathic treatments would be available in case of any emergency. Some beds would also be available in the dispensary, he added.

Informing about security arrangements, Panchkula SP Sandip Khirwar said around 800 police personnel would be deployed in and around the area while 16 close-circuit cameras would keep a watch on anti-social elements, he said.



Ousted from village, liquor vend runs from tent
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 4
Ambience obviously does not matter to bacchus lovers. Shunted out of the assigned location in Kambala village, a liquor contractor has opened his vend in a tent outside the village. The bottles are displayed on tables in the tent and a lone employee is shelling out these to villagers.

The contract of vend in Kambala village was given to a Mohali-based contractor who set up his shop on April 1. However, women of the village protested and literally threw out the shopkeeper along with the bottles. “The village women had decided not to have a liquor vend in the village. Other than the fact that it was bad for their men, the shop was located in the village market and that made it difficult for them to come to the market,” said village sarpanch Ajaib Singh.

Last year, too, the gutsy women of the village had protested and forced the closure of a liquor shop here. The last year’s contractor, however, did not insist on re-locating the shop elsewhere.

However, the contractor this year has re-located the vend in Kumbra village on private land and is paying Rs 3,000 per month as rent to the landowner. The vend is on way to Kambala village and the business is picking up. “We will soon have a shed here to store more liquor,” said the vend employee.

The villagers, however, do not want the liquor shop anywhere near them. “Please get the vend shifted,” is their only request.



Hospital declares girl with fractures fit
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 4
Ved Prakash Goel, a Phase XI resident, has alleged that he had been cheated by doctors of a private hospital in Phase IX which declared his daughter fit even though she was suffering from multiple fractures.

Goel alleged in a press conference today that his daughter met with an accident in the first week of March. She was on her way to college on the fateful morning on her Honda Activa when she was hit by a Qualis. She was rushed to the said hospital where the doctors on duty reported that all was well with her.

“On the basis of this report, we compromised with the Quails driver who is a resident of Phase X. Everyone said since the child is ok, there is no need to get into long-drawn police procedures,” said Goel.

However, the girl’s condition was not normal and she was taken to another hospital where she was discovered to have fractured her legs and hipbone. “We were shocked. She is still bedridden,” said Goel.

Goel family’s bitter experiences with the hospital did not end here. “We went for an ultrasound of my daughter to a renowned MRI and scan centre in Sector 33, Chandigarh. They handed over the report of my daughter but the images were that of another patient,” said Goel showing the report.

Goel said he would proceed legally against the hospitals and the driver who caused the accident. “He was extremely drunk when he hit my daughter,” alleged Goel.

Interestingly, the driver’s family offered to get the girl’s vehicle repaired but the Goels have not seen the Activa since. “It has been a month and we have no idea where the vehicle has been taken,” said Goel.



Train to Jaipur on its way
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
In the midst of ‘dhol’ beats and celebrations by members of the Rajasthani community, the Chandigarh-Jaipur special train was flagged off by UT mayor Pradeep Chhabra from the Chandigarh railway station, here today. Around 200 passengers boarded the train for the 605-kilometre journey.

The train, which would run on a non-electrified track between Panipat and Jaipur, is scheduled to reach Jaipur tomorrow at 9.35 am, informed R.K. Dutta, station superintendent.

Understandably, a number of passengers who are frequent travellers between Chandigarh and Jaipur, were an excited lot today. Arun Kumar, a resident of Jaipur, said travelling by bus was very tiring. “If one wanted to travel by a train to Chandigarh earlier, one had to reach Delhi and another train then,” he said while boarding the train.

Another important passenger on the train was former mayor of Chandigarh, Kamlesh. J.S. Bhogal, member of the Zonal Railway User Consultative Committee, demanded that the frequency of the train should be increased and it should also be extended up till Ajmer Sharif. The mayor assured Bhogal that he would forward his demand to the minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Ashish, a student from Jaipur, who had come to visit Chandigarh, said he got to know about the train this evening only. He said travelling by second class sleeper was cheaper and more comfortable than a bus. Shanti Lal Sethia, a local member of Rajasthani community, said the train would give a stiff competition to buses.

Meanwhile, railway officials said the Jaipur special departs from Chandigarh at 9 pm and reaches Jaipur at 9.35 am, the next day. As per the existing arrangement from Chandigarh station, the train would run on every Monday, Friday and Saturday. The reverse train (number 0989) would run from Jaipur to Chandigarh on every Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The train would have three AC and sleeper coaches. It would pass through Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Charki Dadri, Rewari, Alwar, Rajgarh, Baswa, Dasua, Jagatpur and Gandhinagar stations.



Mohali in Mess
MC follows ‘dig and run’ policy
Residents a harrased lot due to uncovered pit
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 4
The Mohali municipal council follows a ‘dig and run’ policy when it comes to repair and maintenance works in the township.

Council employees had dug up a water pipe connection point in the Phase XI market more than two weeks back. But after having done whatever they had to do to the connection, they left the dug pit as it is. Tiles broken for the work and mud are also laying the way the MC workers had left it 15 days back.

Shopkeepers of the area are facing a lot of problems due to the dug pit. “Small children come to play in my shop through the day and this huge pit is dangerous. In the evenings, it is not clearly visible and anyone can fall in it,” said a shop owner whose shop is now virtually inaccessible due to the pit.

“The MC does no maintenance here. Tiles of footpath in front of the market have been lying broken for months. And now to top it, the pit here is spreading dust all around the market. The loose earth that is spread around the pit is carried by the winds into sweet shops also,” said another shop owner.



Damaged divider poses danger to motorists
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 4
The Mohali municipal corporation and the police seem to be too busy to look into the basic amenities of the town.

The divider of Phase IX-X was totally damaged during an accident last week in which the driver of a Honda City had a miraculous escape when the vehicle crashed into it.

Despite the fact that two dividers were damaged in the incident, the local bodies have done nothing to repair them.

One of the damaged dividers is posing a threat to the lives of motorists. More than five days after the accident, the debris of the divider has not been lifted from the spot affecting visibility during nights. Even a signboard that was damaged during the incident is lying on the road.

According to information, a number of incidents of vehicles skidding have been reported still the municipal corporation seems least interested in repairing the divider. 



Ramakrishan Mission Ashram’s annual celebrations begin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The annual celebrations of the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Chandigarh, began today with the invoking of the gurus. A gamut of thinkers, social workers and people from all walks of life converged to listen to and imbibe from the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda.

In his opening remarks, Onkar Chand, president, Servants of the People Society, Chandigarh, called it a blessing to speak on the life and message of a great and noble personality as that of Swami Vivekanada. Addressing him as a prodigy right from his childhood, he called him a saint of extraordinary memory, power of thought, and compassion for poor and needy who had the eagerness towards self-realisation right from the beginning. Quoting various instances from his life, he said, “His message was not only for an hour, but for an age, not for a country but for humanity and to imbibe his nationalist ideas are the need of the hour to counter the attacks on Indian consciousness by the western influences.”

H.K. Dua, editor-in-chief, The Tribune, group of publications in his speech addressed Swami Vivekanada as one of the greatest Indians. “In fact, our remembering great men is like paying tribute to the contributions they made to the society and country at large,” he said. Recalling his youth days at Delhi University, Dua said, to listen to Swami Ranganathan, he often used to visit the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama there.

Beginning with the brief history of the life of four great men of that period, including Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekanada and Mahatama Gandhi, he said they were icons of social reforms and had concern for others. He stressed on the message of universality of man given by Swami Vivekanada, which is most relevant in today’s globalised era. “During his short life period, Vivekananda tried to arouse our sleeping nation, which was under the colonial rule of the British at that time. Even when he took sanyas, it was not an escape to achieve personal salvation. Instead, he worked for the suffering and subjugated people, wanting them to rise and awake morally and instilling confidence in them”, he articulated.

With his profound thoughts, Swami Vivekanada was in favor of modern ideas and science and technology. At the same time, he was proud of the rich Indian heritage and culture and wanted to pass it on to the rest of the world, said Dua.
“It was the strength of Swami Vivekananda ideas that made them travel across not just the country but the whole world but in the present times there are hardly any leaders who work selflessly with a concern for others,” averred Dua.

Swami Shashankanada, secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Morabandi, Ranchi, in his speech enlightened everyone with Swami’s message of ‘they only live, who live for others’ and emphasised on his teachings that a mass movement is needed to bring reforms.” 



Summer-time solutions at Coolex-2008 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
With the mercury set to soar in the coming months, ‘Coolex-2008’ - an exposition on air-conditioning and refrigeration is here to provide city residents with a host of options to beat the heat.

On offer at the Kisan Bhavan, Sector 35, are a distinct array of air-conditioners with ‘silver-nano’ technology which keeps the air free of bacteria and foul odour. Also being exhibited is a fresh range of window air-conditioners along with diverse models of wall-mounted split type, completely silent ACs Sleek models of refrigerators with three doors are also available.

The ‘Coolex-2008’ has major exhibitors, with white goods giant Godrej being the event sponsor, Voltas as principal sponsor and Hitachi as the associate sponsor this year. Companies like LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Daikin, Mitsubishi, Symphony, Carrier, ETA General, Sidwal Refrigeration and Haier are participating in the exposition.

The exhibition was inaugurated by UT mayor Pradeep Chhabra. He was accompanied by Partap Aggarwal, chairman, CII Chandigarh Council, and other senior members of CII.

Coolex is an annual event being held since 1998 and has is an established platform to generate exposure for contemporary technology, showcase the latest product offerings and gear up the local industry for competition.



Imported machines to sweep city roads soon
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
In a bid to make the city dust-free, the municipal corporation here is on the verge of adopting a novel, high-tech approach. Sanitation will be ensured through three mechanical sweeping machines bought from Italy, which will be plying on city roads.

The automatic machine will sweep up the dirt, dry leaves and other dirt from the roads, which will not only save manpower but also ensure efficient sanitation.

The machine would also be cleaning all roads within the sector, including those dividing the sectors from each other (V2, V3, V4 and V5), which are also a part of the corporation. The garbage collected by these machines will be directly sent to the dumping grounds for disposal. According to sources in the municipal corporation, these machines, being huge in size, will be put into use to clean the main road or the roads dividing the sector. The internal roads would be cleaned by the sanitation staff.

“To make the city clean and look beautiful, the corporation is importing these sweeping machines. They will increase efficiency of the sanitation department,” said MC mayor Pradeep Chhabra.

Besides being part of the cleanliness drive, the machines will continue to work throughout the year, he added.



Cleanliness drive set in motion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
UT mayor Pradeep Chhabra inaugurated a month-long cleanliness campaign in Sector 20, here this morning. The campaign will cover the V-4, V-5 roads, parkings, markets of all sectors of the city including Mani Majra Complex.

The aim of the campaign is to improve sanitation facilities and to educate people about keeping their surroundings clean.“During the campaign back-lanes of the houses and road gullies will also be cleaned. In addition, the sanitation department will organise zone-wise seminars and awareness camps with the help of ward committees and area councilors,” said Chhabra.

Special teams will lift dumped ‘malba’ from various sectors. Residents of the city can also contact MC authorities on helpline numbers to file their complaints.



Residents rue lack of development 
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
While on one hand the municipal corporation is launching a cleanliness drive in the city, on the other the UT administration it is turning a blind eye to development works in sectors 50, 51 and 63. Residents here allege that they are tolerating a lot of nuisance caused by people living in colony number 5 and the entire area is full of litter. The lack of security and absence of patrolling vehicles is also a cause of concern.

Absence of traffic lights at the dividing of Sector 49 and Sector 50 has led to an increase in the number of accidents.

There is no provision of proper streetlights and unbuilt road gullies are another problem area. The bus service here is also not up to the mark.

Residents here allege that no action has been taken despite a number of complaints filed with the administration.



Cab mishap: Police on challaning spree
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 4
After booking Ajay, the driver of a maxi cab that was involved in the death of four teachers yesterday, for causing death due to negligence, the district police has started a challan drive against erring drivers on highways.

Though a majority of maxi cabs remained off roads after the accident, the police issued 10 challans to cab drivers for not complying with traffic norms.

At least 25 challans were issued yesterday, said ASP Manish Chaudahry. A number of cab owners kept their vehicles off roads to avoid challaning. “They would not be allowed to run their vehicles till they comply with traffic norms,” added ASP.

Meanwhile, the condition of those injured remained stable while one of them, Krisha Devi, was discharged from the local Civil Hospital.

Two of the injured — Namita and Neeraj — were shifted to private hospitals by their family members.

Teachers of the district mourned the death of their colleagues at a condolence meeting at the district education office in the morning.

The Haryana Karamchari Mahasangh demanded suitable compesation for the injured and the kin of those killed.



BJP to protest rising prices today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
In protest against the spiralling prices of essential commodities, the local unit of the BJP will hold a demonstration against Congress-led UPA government on April 5.

This was decided at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Kamla Sharma, BJP president, on Wednesday. On account of the wrong polices of the government, prices have gone beyond the reach of the common man, Sharma alleged.

Party workers are scheduled to assemble at the BJP office (Kamlam), Sector 33-A, and march towards the AIR in Sector 34 where they will burn an effigy of the government.



City has too many liquor vends

The administration had decided that ahatas would have electric metered, water supply, proper system of garbage disposal and separate kitchen but the reality is that the garbage collection system is not proper. The administration had also planed to fix standards of ahatas such as their size with attached toilets, provision of air-conditioning, maintaining good eating standards. Most of these measures have not been maintained by the vends.

The city residents had condemned the administration to open vends with an existing strength of 215 vends.

There should not be more than 35 vends according to the population of this city. The Union state minister had opposed the liquor policy in the city. The city residents, municipal councillors, religious bodies, social activists, ladies and others, who do not consume liquor, have opposed the opening of these vends near the locality due to social values. Even the vends have been opened near residential areas.

The Supreme Court of India was not in favour of ‘liquor addiction’ among the younger generation and had urged the government to reduce the consumption of liquor.

M.L. Garg, Chandigarh

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Fee of govt schools revised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Chandigarh administration has revised the rates of fee and pupils’ funds for the students of Class 
IX, X, XI and XII (all streams) for all the government as well as privately managed government-aided schools of Chandigarh from the academic year 2008-2009.

There is no tuition fee or funds charged upto Class VIII. Though there is an increase in fee amounts by two-and-a-half times, but the education officials justified this hike and said it is subject to the admissibility of all benefits and concessions already laid down by the administration.

The DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “The fee structure has not been revised since 1995 and looking at the expense on the renovation and modernisation of the school buildings and that too in the absence of the PTA fund, this revision was the need of the hour.

This fee structure would be applicable for three years from now.”

The monthly fee for Class IX and Class X of model and non-model schools, which was earlier Rs 20.50 and Rs 8.50, respectively has been increased to Rs 50 and Rs 21, respectively. The monthly funds, which were earlier Rs 29 and Rs 14.50 for model and non-model schools, respectively, have been increased to Rs 70 and Rs 33, respectively.

The monthly fee for Class XI and XII of model and non-model schools, which was earlier Rs 37.50 has been increased to Rs 93 for both model and non-model schools where as monthly funds, which were earlier Rs 35 has been increased to Rs 80 for model and non-model schools both.

The monthly fee includes admission fee, re-admission fee, SLC fee and tuition fee. Where as the monthly funds include Lib. Security, magazine, excursion, I-Card, building, club society, sports, examination/stationary and annual funds include amalgamated, red cross fund, health fund, child-welfare fund, work experience, cycle, scooter/moped fund, vocational fund, chemistry/ bio/music/dance/H.Sc./Fine arts/Geog/ psychology/Computer science/ Maths funds.

The administration charges no tuition fee from girls students for model and non-model schools, besides the students belonging to Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe are also being exempted from paying the tuition fee. However, they would pay half funds.

The smart section students would be charged Rs 150 per month in addition to the normal fee and funds. No tuition fee would be charged from students belonging to Muslims/Christians/OBC, handicapped, freedom fighters, ex-serviceman, widows, and divorcees having family income below the limit of Rs 1.5 Lakh per annum.

The students of all rural schools would also be exempted from half tuition fee if they provide a proof of residence and having annual in come below Rs 1.5 Lakh per annum. 



Admn gives final nod
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Chandigarh administration has given its nod to sanction of two new posts of District Education Officers (DEO), today. Kushinder Sharma, the present DEO, has been promoted as deputy director, Adult Education and Schools.

Prem Malik, working as assistant director of adult education department-cum-registrar, examination, and Chanchal Singh, the deputy DEO, have been deputed for the two new posts, further bifurcated for government and private schools.

Besides, her new assignment as DEO (government schools) Prem Malik would also look after the affairs as registrar, examination. Chanchal Singh would lookafter the affairs of private schools as DEO. The DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “The decision for the vacant post of deputy district education officer would be taken shortly as some transfers and adjustments of school principals are in the pipeline. The proposal to this effect has been sent to education secretary for final approval.” 



ABE launches Brit education programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Association of Business Executives (ABE), an international examining body and provider of business and management qualifications, launched its British qualifications programmes for India in Chandigarh today.

Kevin McLaven, first secretary, British Council, conveyed his pleasure by welcoming ABE to India and discussed the role of British Education in the world. Maria Wejshag, business development manager of ABE, UK, informed that students can complete the ABE qualification of their choice in two years by finishing the certificate, diploma and advance diploma in any of the six streams: Business management, tourism and hospitality management, business information systems, financial management, marketing and Human Resource Management.

Dr Major Gulshan Sharma, member, Advisory Board for Education and Employment, Government of Punjab, underlined the need for international qualifications in business management in meeting the challenges of globalisation.  Nilesh Tandon, ABE’s north India representative, said the qualifications are perfectly suited to the growing economy of India, especially with the two initial years spent in India followed with the final years overseas, Maria Wejshag added that ABE has recently had their first colleges in Punjab accredited with more to follow in the  near future. 



Central Varsity Status
PUTA decides to go on chain fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of teachers and students today held a meeting in the office of the PUTA and decided to go for a chain fast from Monday to further press upon the demand for central university status for Panjab University.

It was decided that a batch of five persons, including teachers and students, would sit on the fast every day, to begin with for a week. During this period simultaneously appointment will be sought from the office of the Prime Minister and MHRD so that they could be apprised of the urgency of declaring PU as a central university in the wake of current financial crunch the university is facing.

It has become all the more significant now in the light of evasive attitude of the Punjab government. It is worth noting here that in the latest board of finance meeting of the PU, nobody represented Punjab, and it is further noted with regret that the Punjab government failed to release the last due installment of Rs 1.3 crore to PU, out of the total commitment of Rs 16 crore fixed arbitrarily by the Punjab government itself.



No discrimination against students opting Punjabi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The schools that are reluctant to allow Punjabi as a medium or as a subject will think twice now.

Following the administrative policy and the three-language formula applicable in the Chandigarh administration, the DPI (S) S.K. Setia, has instructed the heads of the schools to ensure that the students who opt Punjabi medium or Punjabi as a subject should not be denied admission.

These instructions have been given on the instance of Punjabi Bachao Manch, which submitted a memorandum to the DPI for discrimination being meted out to the students who opt for Punjabi medium. They also requested to implement Punjabi upto Class X.

Confirming this, Setia said, “Yes a notice in this regard has been circulated to all the school heads to strictly adhere to the fact that no student should be categorised on this ground. I have also sent another circular through the DEO to ensure that all teachers posted as single teacher upto class II in model and non-model schools should be able to speak, write and read Punjabi precisely.” 



JNV welcomes UK teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, Chandigarh, under the project UKIERI, today welcomed a team of teachers from the UK, at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, here today.

UKIERI is a project between India and the UK for promoting and understanding each other’s culture, education, sports, music and art.

The objective of this cultural exchange programme is to promote peace, harmony and cultural values. The members of delegate include Dyfrig, head teacher, Tegwin, head teacher, Rashal, head teacher and Graham.

They were accompanied by students from Haford Primary School, Lon Las School and Penellgyar School of Wales. The students of JNV, Chandigarh, presented a colourful cultural programme on the occasion.



Complete Saini probe in 3 months, CBI told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today granted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) three months for completing preliminary inquiry into the Saini blast case. A High Court Division Bench, comprising Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Justice Harbans Lal, also fixed July 4 as the next date of hearing in the case before asking Rajasthan’s director-general of police to hand over to the CBI the case record of a first information report registered in a connected matter at Jaipur.

Probing alleged elimination of accused in the blast case, the CBI, in a status report, opened and resealed by the High Court, claimed it had already examined as many as 70 witnesses. Appearing before the Bench, CBI counsel Rajan Gupta said the witnesses included Chandigarh, Punjab and Rajasthan police officials. Counsel for petitioner in the mater, Navkiran Singh, was present during the hearing of the case.



Review Dhingra’s suspension, CAT tells admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Chandigarh administration has been directed by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to review the suspension of V.P. Dhingra, superintending engineer, UT electricity operation circle, and reinstate him with all permissible benefits on merit.

The SE was suspended in 2006 by former UT home secretary Krishna Mohan after he was arrested by the CBI on charges of allegedly accepting bribe at his residence.

Handing down the orders today, L.M. Goyal and Shyama Dogra, vice chairman and member (A), respectively, of CAT, observed that the contention of the administration and the CBI that the SE could not be reinstated unless material evidence was not examined did not hold contention as most of the material evidence had already been examined.

In light of the rule 5 of Punjab Civil Services (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1970, the administration through its Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), has been asked to re-examine the aspect, as it was within the domain of the competent authority to see whether suspension should be continued or revoked in facts and circumstances of every case.

In his application, the SE contended that the examination in chief of Subash Bajaj, the complainant and the shadow witness was done on April 4, 2007 and their cross-examination was conducted on May 5, 2007.

It was also pointed out that many officers facing trial under the Prevention of Corruption Act had been reinstated during the pendency of their cases against them.

Also no charge-sheet was served even after one and half years of his suspension.

He further pleaded that instructions of the department of personnel and training stated that suspension was not valid after 90 days unless it was extended after review for a further period before the expiry of 90 days.

Any officer under suspension for one year without any charge can be reinstated.



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