C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dope Deal: Five cops suspended
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
In a major development, five police personnel, including a sub-inspector and four head constables, were placed under suspension for their alleged involvement in the high-profile drug peddling racket in the city.

The cops were allegedly “helping” a high-profile peddler, Harpal Singh, alias Raju, in supplying drugs to some top notch and elite residents of the city. The buyers reportedly included politicians, police personnel and several senior bureaucrats.

It is learnt that sub-inspector Harinder Singh Sekhon and head constables Baljit Singh, Sukhjinder, Kuldeep Singh and Bichithar Singh were suspended on the basis of a report submitted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), highlighting the involvement of UT police officials.

Raju was arrested by the NCB on July 10 following which a detailed interrogation revealed his “links in the Chandigarh police”. Sources said that Harpal had named six UT policemen who were allegedly involved in the nexus, including the suspended head constables and the SI. The call details of Harpal’s phone also exposed the nexus as many of his daily calls were traced to these cops.

The five policemen were “shielding” the peddler, sources stated, adding that in the coming days, names of more VIPs who helped him are likely to come out.

Sources said DIG (headquarters) Vivek Gogia issued the suspension orders. The action against the cops has sent a stern message in the Chandigarh police cadres, which is ridden with internal squabbles and strife.

The police is, however, silent over the issue of nabbing those who were buying contraband drugs from Raju.

The dangerous nexus between peddlers and police officials of the Chandigarh and Punjab police was being investigated by the NCB.

The NCB had, however, later “backed out” from investigating any such nexus.

The nexus was first highlighted by the Tribune in its issue dated July 13 titled “Top cops, babus on peddlers list” and July 15 “ CBI men too shielding drug peddlers”.

The story had highlighted that during Harpal Singh’s interrogation by the NCB last month, he had given names of several policemen (from the rank of constables to senior officials) who knew of his activities, but had reportedly turned a blind eye. They were allegedly extracting their pound of flesh from his earnings.



Road in VIP area caves in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Motorists had a miraculous escape when a vital road linking the residences of Punjab and Haryana CMs with the civil secretariat caved in after a downpour last night.

The road caved in after one of the columns of a low-lying bridge gave way due to the heavy discharge of rainwater in a seasonal rivulet. Originating from Naya Gaon, the rivulet joins the leisure valley after winding its way from behind the secretariat.

Reflecting poorly on the engineering department, the rivulet was blocked with garbage, resulting in the flooding of the choe. Till late in the evening, officials of the engineering department were repairing the road.

Sources said the damage was caused due to the blocking of natural drains. As per the standard norms, the engineering department has to maintain round the clock watch when it rains.

“The engineering department has to identify vulnerable points that are prone to damage during rains. But no such exercise is undertaken before monsoon,” said Iqbal Singh Kalsi, a resident of Sector 10.

G.S. Dhillon, a former chief engineer (irrigation), Punjab, said over the years, wrong planning had blocked the city’s storm water network. Engineers had tampered with the original concept of managing storm water discharge through the natural course of seasonal streams.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of the MC, chaired by the secretary, local government, and secretary, engineering, it was decided to clean the leisure valley. It was felt that the filth blocked the flow of water, resulting in the flooding of upstream areas.



MC chief summoned to High Court
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

The MC chief reportedly offered to make temporary arrangements, including the installation of a booster pump to drain out water and stationing a fire engine in the vicinity of the judges’ houses as soon as it rains

Chandigarh, August 5
Several judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court residing in Sector 24 spent a sleepless night as rainwater entered their houses yesterday.

MC commissioner Roshan Sunkaria, who was pulled up by the judges last evening, was summoned to the High Court today by acting Chief Justice J.S. Khehar. He had visited the affected houses earlier this morning to assess the situation.

While it is not known what transpired in the acting CJ’s chamber, it is learnt that the MC offered to make some temporary arrangements, including the installation of a booster pump to drain out water and stationing a fire engine in the vicinity of the houses as soon as it began to rain. Written instructions have been issued to the effect.

However, one wonders what prevented the MC from putting the “temporary arrangements” in place when Sunkaria had visited the judges’ houses yesterday. Six hours after his visit, the area was inundated again.

The judges had to wade through one-and-a-half feet of water inside their drawing rooms and bedrooms. Carpets, furniture, bookshelves containing expensive law books and upholstery were damaged in some houses.

According to a resident of the area, the judges had summoned the chief engineer, S.K. Bansal, last night. Though he came, he left the place hurriedly and did not return.

Subsequently, the judges called fire engines to drain out the water. It took three fire engines almost three hours to flush out the water, residents said.



Rental boom on the wane
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
After hitting the roof, commercial rentals in the city are passing through a “correctional phase”. In fact, commercial hub of Sector 17, which hogged the limelight for being one of the costliest areas in the region to rent, is already showing signs of slump on the rental front.

In fact, the garment company that rented a showroom in Sector 17 for over Rs 21 lakh per month last year, seems to have developed cold feet this year. For the current year, the company has agreed to pay just around Rs 16 lakh per month, as it is finding it hard to pay huge monthly rental, sources told The Tribune here today.

The sources said in the wake of recession in the industry, even big corporates, including garment companies, were finding it difficult to retain prime commercial space in Sector 17.

Already, at least 10 big companies, mostly garment firms, have moved out to “affordable” accommodation in other parts of the city.

Currently, the commercial property market was passing through an uncertain phase.

For the past four months, there had been no new deals as the companies were following a wait-and-watch policy, Amarjit Sethi, a property consultant confirmed.

Shopkeepers and garment company representatives conceded that the industry was passing through a recessionary phase, as was evident from the advancing of sales this year.

However, in the wake of the entry of big corporates and retail revolution, there had been only a slight decrease in the rental in other sectors, including 34, 35 and 22.

While rentals for the ground floor vary from Rs 100 to Rs 200 per sq ft in these sectors, the upper floors were cheaper due to their location.

Due to a variety of reasons, such as ample parking spaces and low rentals, the notified area committee market on the Chandigarh-Kalka road is emerging as new attraction for major companies.

Sources said the not-so-good performance of the corporate sector in the first quarter (April-June) was one of the reasons for corporates cutting down on the rentals.

The boom in the rental market depended on the performance of the corporate world in the second quarter ending August, the sources added.



Probe should have gone to senior officer
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Though the police has initiated a time-bound inquiry into the accusations levelled by SI Poonam Dilawari against DSP Satbir Singh, very few in the force believe that the probe would serve any purpose.

The reason for this is that the probe officer, J.S. Cheema, though a DSP, was Satbir’s junior in the CID department before being promoted. And it is known in the police circles that he still addresses Satbir as “janaab”.

“How can a junior officer conduct an inquiry against a senior?” a retired UT police official questioned. “When the accusations against Satbir pertain to misbehaving with a junior officer, what’s the point of appointing his former junior colleague to inquire against him?” he said.

Under the circumstances, the chances of the inquiry being fair were doubtful, he said, adding that a senior officer of the rank of at least an SP should have conducted the probe.

Insiders also point to an old inquiry against Cheema, in which Satbir had an indirect role. Cheema, while inquiring against the allegations of registration of a wrong case by SI Sarabjit Kaur Sekhon, found himself at the receiving end as the SI levelled charges of sexual harassment against him.

However, Cheema had claimed that the charges were an attempt by the SI to wriggle out of the findings of the investigations against her.

As a result, the investigation was transferred to Satbir who also held the SI responsible for the wrong registration of the FIR. These findings had helped Cheema’s case.

The SSP, S.S. Srivastva, maintained that the inquiry would be conducted in a fair manner under the supervision of senior officers.


Suicide bid by undertrial in courts complex
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Accused of raping the woman he had loved and married, a 27-year-old youth, Naveen, tried to end his life by jumping from the third floor of the district court complex here this afternoon. But as luck would have it, a tree broke his fall and he survived with some minor injuries, only to see another criminal case of attempted suicide being slapped on him.

According to eyewitnesses, Naveen was sitting between two police personnel when he was produced in the court of the additional district and sessions judge, S.K. Aggarwal, during the hearing of his case. He suddenly got up and jumped off the third floor.

He fell in front of the “bakshikhana” and lay numb on the ground as lawyers and police personnel surrounded him. He was then moved to a stretcher and was provided first aid in a dispensary there.

According to officials, Naveen had allegedly eloped with a resident of Maloya and had married her on November 13, 2007. However, on the complaint of the girl’s father that she was a minor, Naveen was arrested on December 16, 2007, from Meerut and booked on charges of abduction and rape. The sarpanch of Maloya, Jagdeep Singh, who had helped the couple get married, was also arrested.

However, after the arrest, the girl had got her statement recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC in a local court, stating that she had married him without any pressure. She had also expressed her desire to be with him.

At a Sector 16 hospital, Naveen told the Tribune that he was fed up with his life. If anything happened to him, the parents of his wife should be held responsible, he added.

The accused, on the last date of hearing on July 28, had fainted in the court complex and was taken to hospital.

This isn’t the first suicide attempt by an undertrial on the court premises. In October 2004, a man in judicial custody had jumped to death from the fourth floor of the complex. He had taken the extreme step after he was not allowed to attend the cremation of his wife for whose dowry death he and his mother had been arrested.

Meanwhile, taking a serious note of the incident, the UT police has decided to write to the sessions judge to strengthen security in the court.

The police has also proposed to construct a wall around the complex.

“In the absence of a wall around the court, metal detectors do not serve any purpose. Any article can easily be transferred through grills,” an officer said.



CHB faces uncertainty
Proposed repatriation of secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is set to plunge into uncertainty with the proposed repatriation of its secretary Kamlesh Kumar to his parent state of Haryana.

The matter assumes importance with the reported repatriation of S.K. Setia, an HCS officer and the DPI (schools), to Haryana.

Now after the selection of Samvarthak Singh as DPI (schools), the Chandigarh administration is set to ask a new panel of HCS officers to select an officer as Kamlesh Kumar’s replacement.

Earlier, the UT administrator had reportedly rejected the extension of the CHB secretary. However, Kamlesh Kumar was asked to continue till the administration got his replacement.

The delay in the sending of panel and finalisation of name for the crucial UT posts was telling upon the working of the departments.

It was seen that the officers, who failed to get extension in the UT, virtually lost interest in the administrative work.

This is not the first time that the CHB has plunged into uncertainty as recently the post of chief executive officer remained vacant for quite some time before Sandeep Kumar joined.

The uncertainly in the office of the secretary bodes ill for the board, which is on the threshold launching several housing scheme.



Landowners refuse to relent; to meet PM
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Even as the country would be celebrating its Independence Day on August 15, it would a black day in the life of Jagir Singh, a 70-year-old farmer of Khuda Lahora village, who has been rendered landless by the Chandigarh administration.

It has been a double blow for Jagir Singh, who has not only lost four marlas, but also would be getting just Rs 30,000 compensation from the administration.

“It is a pittance compared to the rate at which the land in and around the village is being sold and purchased,” said Charan Singh, whose 5 kanals were acquired for a song.

Villagers feel they are still living in “colonial raj”. “Nobody listens to the voice of farmers who have nurtured the land for ages. Now, we are being given only Rs 7.50 lakh for an acre when the land in villages in Punjab is selling for over Rs 3 crore an acre,” said Sadhu Singh, sarpanch of Sarangpur.

A silent revolution is under way as villagers are in no mood to listen to the diktats of the administration. Sadhu Singh said they would meet the Prime Minister on the issue.

Another issue troubling the villagers is the “wrong procedure” of court fee fixed by the administration for filing court cases of land compensation. While Punjab amended the Court Fee (Punjab Amendment) Ordinance in 1999, the administration is yet to follow suit.

“In Punjab, one has to pay Rs 100 as court fee, but in the UT, a person has to pay Rs 5,000 for a compensation of every lakh,” Manmohan Singh of Khuda Lahora said.

Villagers produced copies of land deals in Khuda Lahora, Sarangpur and Kaimbwala villages registered in the past five years. As per these, the compensation rates were: Khuda Lahora- Rs 1.15 an acre (2007), Rs 3 crore an acre (2008); Sanargpur -- Rs 1.25 crore an acre (2006); Rs 2.20 crore an acre (2007) ; and Kaimbwala — Rs 2.20 crore (2008).

The land rates in the adjoining villages of Punjab are: Shingarawala — Rs 5 crore an acre; Togan — Rs 1.5 crore; and Kansal — Rs 5 crore an acre.



Admn, MC moot joint grievance centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
A proposed of joint call centre of the Chandigarh administration and the municipal corporation for complaints for the convenience of city residents was mooted at the monthly coordination meeting of the two here today.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of adviser to UT administrator Pradip Mehra.

It was proposed that a common toll-free number would be provided to residents for complaints regarding the corporation and the administration.

Beside, the issues taken up at the meeting were repair of government houses in all sectors, especially in 13 type houses where roof leakage problem is common; earmarking of a suitable site for park for blind at Sector 26, earmarking of suitable sites for religious places and community centres in all sectors and villages.

MC mayor Pardeep Chhabra, senior officers of the administration and the corporation were present.



Southern sectors bear the brunt
Water enters houses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Heavy downpour last night left most houses in the southern sector inundated and turned roads into rivers. Motorists were stranded on roads, as their vehicles stalled in knee-deep in water.

Over three hours of thundershower exposed the hollow claims of the municipal corporation that had assured preparedness for handling the situation.

Residents of almost all southern sectors spent a sleepless night, as rainwater entered most of the houses. They tried to salvage belongings from rainwater.

It was a battle for life in slums and other colonies as deluge swept across their area of inhabitation. Most people in slums lost household goods.

Residents of Sector 44 were also affected by the floodwater entering their houses.

They said they had approached the MC officials a month ago to rectify the sewerage system, as it was not working at that time also.

Mounds of mud brought in by rainwater were collected by most roadsides, as a result of which two-wheeler riders had to face a tough time.

The met department said the city received 49 mm rain yesterday. It has predicted a cloudy sky with possibility of thundershowers tomorrow.

Interestingly, the compliant cell of the MC received just five complaints of waterlogging and sewerage blockage in the city till evening.



Rains wreak havoc in Mohali
Tribune New Service

Mohali, August 5
The two days of heavy rain has laid bare the flimsy state of civic amenities in Mohali.

Once again the residents of Phase V, who had knee-deep water inside their houses, were the worst affected. The roads outside the houses had about four foot of water. “Yesterday, it was a flood like situation here. Household items were floating in the house. Our cars were three-fourth inundated with water. The entire house had to be cleaned as the rain water mixed with sewerage water touched everything,” said T.S. Sudan, a resident.

“We have now decided to hire a boat so that at least, when it rains so heavily, we can move outside the house,” he added.

Sudan pointed out that clogging of rainwater in their houses was a chronic problem faced by the residents there and following a public interest litigation filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the government had got a special drainage system in place. “But it has obviously failed. This year, the condition has been worse than other years. We have filed a contempt notice against the government in the court pointing out that the system had failed,” he added.

The court has issued a notice of motion to the secretary, housing and urban development, Punjab, chief administrator of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and executive officer of the Mohali municipal council for November 11.

Other than Phase V, residents of Phase 3B-1, too, had water entering their houses. Most of the cars parked outside the houses had water inside them. School kids had a tough time getting off the buses and wading through the water to their houses. In Phase 3B-1, at one point, three rainwater drains were blocked and the water was moving across the road to the other side.

The condition of the roads has been rendered abysmal. Deep pits are dotting the roads and a number of accidents take place while the commuters try to avoid the broken patches on the roads. The rainwater has washed away whatever loose earth filling the authorities had carried out recently leaving gaping holes in the roads.

The main road that enters Mohali from the Chandigarh furniture market had been widened and after the work, the contractor had left a large part of dug-up road on both sides. Yesterday, these three foot pits got filled with water and those who did not know what lay underneath fell inside. A rickshaw puller carrying two elderly men fell into the pit thinking that that there was a road under the gathered water. The two old men were barely saved as onlookers helped them out of the pit.

Uprooted trees continued to lie on the roads through the day disrupting the flow of traffic. 



Maintenance of Parks
Improve work or leave, MC tells contractors
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 5
The municipal council has issued notices to six contractors who allegedly failed to develop and maintain parks and greenbelts in the town. The contract of one person has even been cancelled.

Seven private parties had been allotted the work of developing and maintaining parks, greenbelts and central verges in parts of the town which fell under the municipal limits. But none of them had been able to provide satisfactory service. While six of them had at least started the work, even though not in accordance with the terms of the agreement, the seventh contractor had failed even to start the work allotted to him despite reminders. His contract was cancelled by the civic body.

Executive officer of the council Amna Kumar Goyal said here today that he had inspected various areas of the town and saw that the work allotted to contractors was not being done in a proper way. He said the contractors were not employing the required number of workers for maintaining the parks and greenbelts. He said notices had been issued to them to improve their performance failing which their contracts would be cancelled and earnest money forfeited. Kulwant Singh and Company of Ajnala had been allotted the work of developing two triangular greenbelts near the Spice chowk in the industrial area. The work was allotted to the company in January. As the contractor failed to start his work, the council started sending him reminders to begin the work allotted to him and also deposit the licence fee, but when no response was received from him his contract was cancelled.

A Panchkula contractor running his company named Social Promoters was sent a notice saying that the mango garden, the central verge from Franco hotel in Phase I towards Phase V and greenbelts along the road from Kumbra traffic lights towards Balongi were not maintained properly. There was a lot of wild growth and even the mango garden were in a state of neglect. He was asked to bring about an improvement in his work.

Similar notices were issued to Selvel Media Services, Outdoor Communication, Millenium Outdoor, Super Publicity and Media Solutions. These companies were allotted the work of maintaining Rose Garden , Silvi Park, Bougainvillea Garden and a number of other parks and greenbelts. 



Cop’s Murder
Initial probe points at provocation
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
While police officials investigating the murder of inspector Kashmir Singh are still not prepared to completely rule out “illicit relations” as a possible cause behind his death, sketchy details, with which the police is reconstructing the events of the fateful night, indicate that “instant provocation” could be the real reason.

However, murder investigations have so far exposed the sleazy lifestyle of the inspector, who according to some eyewitnesses was found lying drunk by the roadside in Sector 56, a few hours before being slain.

Though the exact time of his death is yet to be established, sources said it was between 8.30 pm and 8.45 pm when Kashmir was spotted lying on the road by a PCR van.

The staff had in fact helped him get back on his feet.

Eyewitnesses told the police that Kashmir was “dead drunk” and had told the PCR staff that he was “fine” and insisted on driving back on his official motor cycle.

Reconstruction of the sequence of events so far indicated that Kashmir Singh left his Sector 51 house around 7.30 pm after consuming liquor. He landed up at a tavern in Sector 52 and left the place around 8 pm.

Later, he was noticed lying by the roadside in Sector 56.

Around midnight, he was again spotted by another police patrol party near the grain market, Sector 39.

Around 1 pm, he was seen trying to kick start his motor cycle in DMC.

However, subsequently his movements have yet not been corroborated.

Ruling out the possibility of it being a planned murder, a senior police official said Kashmir was killed in the passage in front of houses from where his body was recovered.

He ruled out the possibility of the murder being preplanned on the ground that no a premeditated killing would have happened in the open.

“This appears to be the outcome of some instant provocation,” he said, adding that the assailants had used stones lying on the roadside to kill the inspector.

Meanwhile, DSP (south) Jaswant Singh Khaira said all angles, including robbery, were being probed.



Postal dept told to refund speed post fee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed manager, National Speed Post, Sector 17; post master, Sector 12; and senior superintendent of head post office, Sector 17, to refund the fee of speed post paid by the complainant amounting to Rs 34.

Holding the postal department guilty of deficiency in service, the forum gave the postal department the liberty to recover said amount from the erring officer.

The forum also directed the postal department to pay Rs 550 as cost of litigation. The petitioner, Narendra Kumar Sharma, a resident of Khuda Lahora, had sent an application form for the BSc nursing course to IGNOU Regional Centre, Srinagar (J&K), on November 6, 2007 through speed post.

However, due to negligence on part of the postal department it was wrongly sent to IGNOU Regional Centre, Khanna (Punjab).

The form of the petitioner was rejected and was sent back to him on December 4. He filed a complaint to the department on December 11.

The department then sent a letter of regret. He alleged that owing to the negligence of the postal department, the petitioner had lost a golden opportunity to be a graduate in his profession and had also affected his career. The postal department pleaded that due to unclear address, the article was delivered at Khanna, which did not amount to negligence on its part. Therefore, no liability could be imposed on the department for delay in delivery of the articles.



115 units of blood collected at camp
Tribune New Service

Mohali, August 5
Punjab minister for public relations Bikramjit Singh Majithia today stated that there was a need to channelise energies of the youth. Majithia was addressing a group of Youth Akali Dal workers who had organised a blood donation camp at Amb Sahib Gurdwara here today.

He said the contribution of Punjabis in the country’s freedom struggle was significant. “The largest number of sacrifices were made by the Punjabis during the freedom struggle. The youth of Punjab should live up to these standards,” he said.

As many as 115 units of blood was collected. The camp was conducted by doctors from Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.



50 doctors attend seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
“Primary angioplasty is definitely a superior, efficient and safer treatment option for patients who suffer from a heart attack,” said Dr H.K. Bali, director cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, at a seminar held yesterday at the hospital. More than 50 doctors of the Indian Medical Association, Mohali, attended the seminar.

Giving a lecture on advances in joint replacement surgery, Dr Manuj Wadhwa, senior consultant, orthopedics, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said: "Minimally invasive metal on metal hip replacement is the latest alternative to conventional hip replacement and targets young and active adults who need to squat, sit cross-legged or play light sports.”

Talking about the advantages of metal on metal hip replacement, Dr Wadhwa said: "There is minimal risk of any leg length discrepancy, low risk of dislocation and maximal range of motion/mobility after surgery." 



Landslide blocks road
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 5
Heavy rain last night triggered landslide near Berwala village on the Nada Sahib road causing great inconvenience to commuters. Hundreds of commuters and vehicles stranded on the Panchkula-Morni road. All stranded vehicles were, however, allowed to cross after removing the debris for one-way traffic. The road-clearance operation started in the morning.

PWD officers said it was uncertain when the road would be reopened for heavy vehicular traffic. However, it was opened to small vehicular traffic in the evening. 



Air-conditioner catches fire
Our Correpondent

Mohali, August 5
An air conditioner at the office of a property dealer in Phase X caught fire today.

The fire brigade was informed, but by the time, the fire brigade reached the spot, the flames had been doused.

Station fire officer Avtar Singh said the fire might have been caused due to a short circuit.



Improve drainage system

Once again, city residents were put to severe hardship as water logging caused much despair in Chandigarh. While the cars broke down, vehicles stalled and children made a risky trip to schools, the Chandigarh Corporation is yet to mobilise its resources to make things easier for the road users.

The inundation has been very severe this year. The city residents are commuting to workplaces through waterlogged stretches that pose a grave danger for many.

If the problem lies with the present drainage system, the MC should either widen the present culverts or construct additional drains.The situation today makes a mockery of the budgetary allocation and makes us wonder where the money allotted for the maintenance of city roads is going.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh

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OBC quota: Sobti to meet Centre’s panel
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Decks for implementing the OBC quota in Panjab University are being cleared. In a last ditch effort, PU’s vice-chancellor is going to make a presentation in front of the empowerment committee of the Centre government on August 8. The VC would explain that out of the total budget allocated, how the amount will be spent under various heads.

Earlier, PU’s syndicate had approved the move to have 27 per cent reservation for OBCs provided the Centre government allocate enough funds for the purpose.

PU had submitted an estimated budget of Rs 1,066 crore to the UGC for implementing the quota. However, the UGC in its reply had approved a budget of Rs 770 crore for the purpose. Also, chairman of the UGC S.K. Thorat will be present during the VC’s presentation. If for some reasons the meeting gets cancelled, then the same would be held on August 13.

Vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti would be making a power point presentation on how much money of the total amount would be spent on which areas. Earlier, the university had decided that by August 31 the first phase of the quota would be implemented.

In the first phase, 7 per cent reservation would be done, followed by 7 per cent in second year and 13 per cent in third year.

If the university implements OBC quota this year, there will be an overall increase of 54 per cent seats -- 27 per cent of OBC and 27 per cent in general category.



Ludhiana UBS students allege disparity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Around 50 students of University Business School, Ludhiana centre, along with their parents today gathered outside Panjab University’s vice-chancellor’s office in support of their demands.

The students came to apprise the VC about the problems that they are facing in the centre since a year now. According to sources, presently, there is hardly any faculty available for students in the regional centre and the university is yet to make appointments. The students also demanded common placements for them along with the students of UBS, Chandigarh.

According to one of the parents of a Ludhiana student, at the time of admission the university authorities had assured that the placements for both the B-schools would be common. But the university is backtracking from its words now, they alleged.

According to official sources, the students have been asked to place before the university authorities any written assurance, which was given to them at the time of admission. Also, till now the classes for the new academic session have not started yet.

After waiting for hours outside the VC’s office the students and their parents managed to meet him and place their grievances before him.

Giving an update, PU VC Prof RC Sobti said, “The matter is being looked into and interest of all will be safeguarded. The faculty is being appointed. As far as, their demand of common placement is concerned it is not feasible, but the university is trying to find a way out.”



DAV mgmt accepts teachers’ demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The staff of DAV colleges has reasons to smile, as the DAV Colleges Managing Committee, New Delhi, has decided to implement deduction of CPF on the total salary, which included all allowances except HRA.

In addition to this, leave encashment will also be made applicable to the staff with effect from the same date. This pronouncement is followed by the decision taken by the Panjab University at its syndicate meeting held on June 28.

G.P. Chopra, president of DAV Colleges Managing Committee, reiterated that the committee would release the payment of gratuity to the retiring staff on the day of their retirement.

It may be noted that these were the long pending demands of the employees of these colleges for which they have been struggling for more than two years.

The DAV and MCM College Teachers’ Unions have welcomed the decision of the DAV College Governing Bodies to grant provident fund on total salary and earned leave encashment to the teachers of all the DAV Colleges as per the PU calendar.

In a statement, Prof A.K. Taneja and Prof Anil Sarwal, president and secretary, respectively, of the DAV College, Chandigarh, said, “Our first thoughts of gratitude are for the untiring efforts put in by VC Prof R.C. Sobti to get the statutory provisions of the university implemented.”



From Schools & Colleges
MCM DAV clinches top positions in academics
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
MCM DAV College for Women shines brightly in the Panjab University Annual Examination - 2008. The college has not only taken top positions in the University, it has done so with a distinctive sweep, with all the top five positions of sociology (hons) to its credit.

Simran topped the university result charts while Ravjot, Amritam, Meenu and Paveena took the next four positions too. In English (hons), Sukriti Sharma stood second in the university while Srishti Sehgal bagged the third position. Sarita Sheokhand got the first position in political science (hons). The college had a sweeping result in BSc III - microbial & food technology as well with Gillipsie Minhas, Shweta Bansal and Malika Ranjan bagging all 3 top positions. In economics (hons), too, Gurpreet Kaur and Keerat Kaur bagged second and third positions, respectively, in the university.

Reading coNTEST: An inter-section reading contest was organised for Classes III, IV and V at Sri Guru Harkrishan Model School- 38. Kanika of Class III clinched the first position while Shubham and Harsh of the same section stood 2nd and 3rd, respectively. In Class IV, Simran bagged the first position, while Jaspreet and Prashant got the second and third positions, respectively. In Class V, Vaibhav clinched the first rank, while Mayank and Rangoli got the second and third places, respectively.

Workshop: Saint Soldier International School held a workshop on Vedic Maths in the school premises. The students and teachers were made aware of simple methods for solving mathematical problems.

Dinesh Bansal, MSc (mathematics), gold medallist, conducted this workshop where in he told how the calculations of 2, 3 and 4 digit numbers could be simplified. He also told how to find the square of different digits.



Orientation programme at college
Tribune New Service

Mohali, August 5
Doaba Group of Colleges (DGC) started its new session here today with a brief but impressive welcome-cum-orientation function at the college campus near Kharar. The management of the colleges interacted with parents and students. The students, after being shown different departments and labs were taken to their respective departments and introduced to their teachers. Speaking on the occasion Manjit Singh, executive director, said, “We strive to develop overall personality of the students.” They were briefed about the hostel and transport facilities and the respective in charges.

Programme: HP Centre of Excellence at SVIET campus has started the first ever education programme in collaboration with Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET) Ramnagar near Chandigarh. The training programmes contain modules covering several important topics like question-solving on critical, grammatical and analytical reasoning, jumbled up sentences etc. Dr Varinder Kaur, principal, SVIET, said the programme was being conducted in the HP Academy set up at SVIET campus.

Workshop: A motivational workshop was conducted by Saupin’s School at its Sector 70 branch Mohali with an endeavour to add to the quality of school education. The workshop was organised by Oxford University Press and conducted by eminent educationist Jose Paul. It was attended by over 100 teachers of the school. The main focus of the workshop was to make a lifetime difference to a student’s life through teaching. Jose Paul known as ‘the magician’ emphasised the role of love and individualistic approach in the life of a student.

Smart class: The rapid advancement of technology, especially computer, has completely changed the outlook of the universe and brought unimaginable tremor throughout the world. Keeping pace with the use of modern devices in teaching and learning activities, Chairman Prof. Avtar Singh has introduced multimedia facility in Sri Sukmani International School, Dera Bassi, which will act as smart class through education.com in the institution. The use of this device will pave the way for the students to experience user friendly classroom teaching and motivate them to concentrate.

Maths quiz: Each of the four houses were represented by a team of three participants. Students exhibited remarkable confidence, analytical skills and presence of mind to tackle mind-boggling questions pertaining to different rounds such as the logical round, aptitude round, speed round etc. Akbar was declared as the winning house in all the respective groups.

Visited: Students of Anee’s School Kharar were taken to the post office in order to make the students understand how to send letters and open savings account. Dilip Singh, manager, post office, also encouraged students to take up stamp collection as their hobby. School principal, Suraksha Bhardwaj, said the aim of the visit was to provide practical knowledge to the students.



Lior Case
NCB zonal chief summoned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Taking exception to the failure to produce prosecution witness in the court in the drug-peddling case against Israel national Lior Avi Ben Moyal, additional district and sessions judge R.S. Attri has asked the the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director to depose before the court.

As no prosecution witness was produced before the court, the defence counsel had moved an application seeking directions to be issued to the NCB to conclude the remaining evidence on May 19.

Considering the plea of the defence, the court had observed: “No witness is present in the court. It is a case that is three years old and the prosecution has not concluded the evidence. Now the case is adjourned to August 6 for entire evidence of the NCB. In case no witness is served or present on that day, the zonal director, NCB, Chandigarh, will come in person in court to explain on August 6.”

On May 19, when no prosecution witness was produced, the court had held: “In spite of the fact that sufficient opportunities have been given to the NCB to conclude the evidence, no witness is present in the court. The accused are in the custody for the past three years. No effort has been made by the NCB to conclude the evidence. As such, copy of this is sent to zonal director, NCB, Chandigarh, to come present on the next date of hearing May 29 along with witnesses required in this case to be recorded. In case evidence is not produced, he shall explain the delay for not concluding the evidence.”

However, the zonal director didn’t appear before the court on May 29 and he was summoned again.

It may be mentioned here that the proceedings with regards to further cross-examination of prosecution witness and investigating officer of the case Ravi Kant Pawar has been stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The NCB had arrested Lior on February 9, 2005. The NCB stated that Lior was arrested with 155.5 kg charas, along with his accomplice Jiri Andrew and Kullu resident Narender Kumar.



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