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Top-level tussle keeps ‘deal’ off
Strike to continue; threat to pull off tourist buses
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
But for the differences among officials in the top echelons of the UT administration, the ongoing strike of private school bus operators, which has already caused immense troubles to the 80,000 school kids of the tri-city and their families, could well have been over today.

According to highly placed sources, a deal was nearly worked out this morning after a meeting between UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar and representatives of the bus operators. However, the deal was called off after Home Secretary Ram Niwas refused to give in to some of the demands negotiated by Sanjay Kumar, forcing the operators to take a hardline of not only continuing with the strike, but also threatening to pull off tourist buses from Monday.

Sources said a meeting between Sanjay Kumar and the bus operators was held at the initiative of Atul Khanna of Strawberry Field School. While none of the officials were willing to comment, it is learnt that Khanna was approached by the bus operators to intervene and he had called Sanjay Kumar over to his school in Sector 26 where the meeting took place.

After discussions, which revolved around the reduction of the permit fee, lifting the restriction of 15-year life span of school buses and an extension of the date for the installation of speed governors, the operators agreed to withdraw the strike, following an assurance that the administration would reduce the fee to Rs 5,000 from the existing Rs 25,000 and also extend the deadline to September 30.

In return, the operators assured the administration to provide a plan for the monthly fee which they would charge from students.

Sources said the administration had insisted on this bus fee plan, which would have lowered the existing rates, to justify the reduction of permit fee. After the deal was worked out, it was decided that they would go to Raj Bhawan for an impromptu meeting with the administrator, SF Rodrigues.

When they reached there, a meeting was already on in which several senior officials, including Ram Niwas and the SSP, SS Shrivastava, were present. The administrator agreed to extend the deadline and left the meeting, asking officials to work out the nitty-gritty of the deal. This is where the trouble reportedly began.

The sources maintained that Ram Niwas outright refused to accept the proposal for lowering the permit fee and restriction of the life span for buses. The operators were taken aback and when they failed to convince the adamant Home Secretary.

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Day 2: Saturday brings some respite
Tribune News Service

   	The official car of the MC Commissioner, 			Dr Roshan Sankaria, drops his son at a school in Sector 26.
The official car of the MC Commissioner, Dr Roshan Sankaria, drops his son at a school in Sector 26.

Chandigarh, July 11
The second day of the strike of private school bus operators witnessed a rather controlled movement of traffic, with the traffic police deputed at intense rush areas in the city. However, rush continued outside schools today.

With many private schools in the city remaining closed, owing to it being a Saturday, the traffic was lesser in the morning hours as compared to the afternoon.

Some parents showed interest in getting together and giving a representation to the administration. “This is unfair on the part of the transporters and just like other active groups operating in the city, the parents’ association should come forward to spell out our difficulty,” Ved Prakash, a parent, said.

Compared to yesterday, the rush was milder near schools today and parents were not required to park vehicles at a far-off place.

Even principals have been taking the initiative to pacify bus operators and strike a mutual consensus between them and the administration.

“Not just parents, even bus operators have been coming to us with their own complaints.

The issue needs to be decided as soon as possible and calls for the active participation of the parents.” the principal of a private school in Sector 26, said.

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Speed governors: Worried parents refuse to compromise
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
While the city school bus operators and administration continue to lock horns over installation of speed governors, security of schoolchildren according to parents has taken a backseat.

Tired of harassment caused due to the on-going rift between the two entities, parents accuse operators of risking their child’s safety for their own monetary gains. “Why are they obstructing installation of speed governors? It’s a matter of our child’s safety and we can’t compromise with it.

We have always adhered to their unjustified hikes because this mode of transport is more safe than others,” said one of the parents.

However, rejecting all such claims, the general secretary of the Bus Operator Welfare Association Nirmal Singh asserts: “We are equally worried about the kids and are ready to have speed governors. But all that we ask for is reduction of permit fee and increase of allowed life span.”

However, Vyaas Singh whose ward is a student of Saupins, Sector 32, said: “They charge hefty amount from us and at times don’t even give the receipt so why are they creating hue and cry about permit fee? They are harassing us since long and nobody is ready to take action.”

For many like Dr Mona whose daughter studies in Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, holds the administration’s toothless attitude responsible for the mess.

“Operators have taken city to ransom and they are allowing it. Why do they communicate with operators, they should strictly direct the schools to get done and challan them in case of defiance.

Trust me within two days everything will be fine,” she suggested.

“The administration can make us adhere to whatever they want in terms of hiked fee etc but why not these operators. It’s a question of our safety, will they accept if some one get on roads against helmets?” questioned another parent.

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Admn-Bus Operator Deadlock
Efficacy of consumer forum questioned
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
While the Chandigarh School Bus Operators Association has cocked a snook by not complying with the orders of the consumer forum to withdraw the strike, questions are now being raised on the efficacy and powers of the forum and also the course of action that the forum may take in view of the non-compliance in the coming days.

Questioning the powers of the forum, Sunil Tony, vice-president, District Bar Association, said the forum did not have the power to pass mandatory injunction orders as such. “These powers are only with the civil courts”.

Seconding his claim, Ashwini Kumar Bansal, a practising lawyer at Punjab and Haryana High Court, said a similar matter had come before a civil court as well and it was observed that as such the court had no jurisdiction over the bus drivers. “Moreover, the civil court has a wider jurisdiction than the consumer forum, which confines within the Consumer Protection Act”.

On the other hand, Justice Jagroop Singh Mahal, president of the forum, said if the consumer forum could pass the final orders, it could also give interim orders as well.

Citing various Sections of the Consumer Protection Act, including Section 2(b) (iii), Section 13 (3 b), Section 25 (1), he said the matter was of urgent nature and consumer forum could pass interim orders in such matters.

As for the non-compliance of orders, he said under Section 27 of the Act, a person could be sent to three years of imprisonment, fined Rs 10,000 or his property could be attached.

Seconding his view, forum member Sidheshwar Sharma said the forum was in the capacity of passing interim orders and in case of non-compliance of orders, under Section 27 of the Act, proceedings would follow.

The District Consumer Forum-I had in its order yesterday directed the association to withdraw the strike forthwith and resume the bus operation and direct all private school bus operators to immediately resume bus operations as before and ferry schoolchildren from their houses to their respective schools and vice-versa. But the same was not complied with.

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Mohali Violations-III
Even waterworks land not spared
Tribune News Service

Security tents of DIG CM security NS Dhillon at a park in Phase X, Mohali.
Security tents of DIG CM security NS Dhillon at a park in Phase X, Mohali. Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, July 11
It is no longer about encroachments on green belts or public spaces. Senior police officials, serving or retired, can “eye” any land to accommodate their security brigade.

The security personnel attached with a former DGP, Lok Pal, JS Chahal, have pitched tents within the fenced premises of the waterworks of the public health department in Phase 9. Not only that, a kundi connection has been taken from a tubewell located next to a densely populated residential area.

And the public health department is happy playing host. Though officials claim that it was a non-functional tubewell, they admit that no permission had been given to the use of power. According to the area SDO, the municipal council was footing the electricity bill of the tubewell-cum-complaint centre.

When The Tribune team visited the spot, it found two guards sleeping in the tent while another was resting at the tubewell. XEN public health IS Kang expressed surprise over the kundi connection, but referred the issue to the SDO, Parveen, who claimed that the land belonged to the MC. He admitted that the connection was illegal, but no action had been taken.

Meanwhile, in Phase X, a public park is being used for housing the security of the DIG (CM security), NS Dhillon. Two tents with all possible infrastructure have been pitched in the park. There is also a power connection to run electrical appliances. Residents say that the policemen have no right to violate the law. “But we are helpless as we have to stay here,” Dhillon’s neighbour said.

Dhillon, however, maintained that the security was good for the residents. “Earlier, some boys from outside used to play here and cause nuisance. With the security here, they are all gone,” he said. The DIG also claimed that his security guards “patrol the area at night”.

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Panel on MC’s working
Bansal set to approach home ministry
Aarti Kapur/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Another showdown seems to be imminent between UT Administrator and Punjab Governor Gen SF Rodrigues (retd) and MP and union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

While the two were earlier at loggerheads over the controversial mega projects — now under the CVC probe — the minister is reportedly “quite upset” over the Administrator’s recent decision to form a committee to probe the municipal corporation’s functioning and is planning to take up the issue with the union home minister.

Sources close to Bansal say the minister has already “dictated” a strongly worded letter, dubbing the Administrator’s move “unlawful”, for the home minister and the same is slated to be sent after his return from Nepal.

Bansal refused to say anything on the letter but reiterated his opposition to the move by saying that there were no provisions under the law to set up such a committee.

However, the sources claim that the letter also raises other vital issues pertaining to the city.

These, they say, are concerned with the constitution of the advisory council and some controversial appointments in the board of directors of the CHB and the CITCO.

Meanwhile, Congress councillors here are also planning to write a separate letter to the home minister seeking its intervention in the matter. CTCC president BB Behl has called an “emergency” meeting of the party on Monday where the issue is to be discussed.

The meeting will also take up the issue of party councillor Chandermukhi Sharma agreeing to become a member of the committee, which is being viewed as an attempt by the administration to paint the Congress-dominated corporation black.

Interestingly, Chandermukhi, who was asked by other party councillors to step down yesterday, is still keeping his cards close to his chest.

He said he was “waiting” for directions from the party.

While the BJP yesterday boycotted the all-party meeting convened by Mayor Kamlesh, they will discuss the issue within the party on Monday.

According to a senior BJP leader, while they do not subscribe to the administration’s move, they blame the Congress for the mess.

“We cannot support the Congress opposition to the committee for political reasons,” admitted a leader, while adding that they had tried their best to settle the matter and had even worked out a patch-up between the Mayor and the MC Commissioner.

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Death of couple in car
Carbon monoxide inhalation apparent cause: Police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Even though the UT police, which is awaiting viscera reports, is yet to rule out the possibility of suicide pact by the young couple found dead in a car parked in Sector 19 yesterday, it cited poisoning by carbon monoxide leaked from the exhaust of the car to be the most possible reason for death.

Ruling out any foul play in the incident, the police said the clear picture would emerge once the viscera report is received. However, the death may have occurred that due to liquor consumption, apparent from the recovery of a bottle from the car. The couple must have gotten drowsy and the inhalation of poisonous carbon monoxide, which is emitted from leakage in the car’s exhaust if the AC is on, could have aggravated their state. The police added that they might have fallen asleep before realising anything and died.

This is not the sole incident and such cases of death due to carbon monoxide intoxication in closed cars with AC on have been reported in Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow.

DSP JS Cheema said according to the call details the couple had been in constant touch over phone and messages.

“Both left their homes around 5 am yesterday and the fact that no call was made to each other after 6 am indicated that they were together the entire day and roamed across the city before coming to the parking lot,” he said.

The CFSL team also conducted a chemical examination of the Hyundai Accent car (CHO3Q1769) in which the couple were found dead.

The post-mortem examination of the bodies was conducted at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, after which the bodies were handed over to their families and the cremation was done later in the evening.

According to a relative of Rajni, alias Alisha, she was a national-level hockey player and was an extrovert girl. According to Gaurav’s friends, the girl had apparently proposed to him recently.

Meanwhile, Gaurav’s mother Radha Rani, who had so far not been informed of her son’s death, was informed about it today.

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Eighth wife seeks justice
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Each day of the last five months has been a nightmare for Rosy (name changed), a city resident, who is still trying to come to terms with what had happened to her on February 18, a day after her wedding. For, it was on that day that she discovered that she was the eighth wife of OP Sharma, a former teacher with Mayo College, Ajmer, and that another bride to be was waiting in tow, as his ninth wedding was scheduled for February 28 in Delhi.

Refusing to sit quietly after putting him behind bars -- he is currently lodged in Burail Jail after a case was registered against him under Sections 494, 495, 498 A, 506 and 420 -- as of now, she is content with a local court recently rejecting his bail plea.

Showing extraordinary courage, Rosy, refusing to succumb to the social stigma now attached with her, is on her toes since then and has succeeded in getting in touch with all other wives so that together they can get justice and take the case to its logical conclusion.

After tracking down two wives of Sharma in Delhi, one in Ajmer and another here, Rosy now shares a special bond with them. “We are in constant touch and are helping each other, be it by providing emotional support or providing documents or a legal advise,” says Rosy, beaming with confidence while talking to The Tribune.

“Initially, they (the other wives) were reluctant to come forward for the fear of society and also for the sake of children they have from him (Sharma). But after I persuaded them they were willing to support me fully. Now, all of us want to teach him a lesson and save other innocent girls,” she said.

Revealing Sharma’s modus operandi, Rosy said, “He would target Brahmin women from upper middle class. He would contact them through matrimonial advertisements appearing in newspapers and had got an impressive fake bio-data made, which he would send to the girl’s family. Since he has good communication skills, he would easily trap the family and the girl. After wedding, he would take away the jewellery and cash.”

Giving a low-down on how she got suspicious about her husband, Rosy said, “When my mother and brothers went to Ajmer to see him and his family, they were shocked to find out that his lifestyle was not even close to what he used to claim. In fact, he had forcibly abducted his two children from one of his previous wives and introduced them as his servants. It was only later that we discovered that they were his own children.”

He is being tried by a court in Ajmer for cheating one of his wives and has also allegedly murdered another and the matter is due to come up for a final hearing there soon, she revealed.

“Each day I pray that he meets a befitting end for his deeds,” she says sharing, in the same breath, her insecurity as soon as he comes out of the jail.

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Villages in P’kula deprived of healthcare
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 11
Many residents of the tricity would not have ever heard the name of Gablawas. This hamlet, with a population of about 200 to 250 persons, is in Morni, the picturesque hill station of Haryana.

The village is a perfect example of something being so near to modern civilisation and yet too far.

The village, 14 km from here, is about a mile off from the main Panchkula-Morni road and one has to trek to reach there.

Mobile phones work here without any problems, but electricity and water supply is elusive. The village has a school, but there are no health facilities available for the residents.

While this is the sad story of Gablawas and many other villages in its vicinity, things are worse for the residents of Chatlana, Kathi and Tipra, which are further off.

Even as the Haryana government is going all out to give boost to health care and recently launched a “free treatment” package for the economically weaker sections, residents of these villages, few kilometres from modernity, depend on quacks and faith healers for treatment.

It may sound strange that in the modern times, residents of some of the villages have to tread miles in the hilly terrain to reach a dispensary, which are often without doctors. It is not that the dispensaries have no doctors allocated to them, but they rarely attend office and those who come never reach on time.

The problems do not end here. The infrastructure of these dispensaries is totally in shambles and one looks at the rundown building makes one wonder how anyone can be treated in such unhygienic conditions. A look at one such dispensary in Gablawas reveals the poor state of affairs.

The windows are broken, the plaster is falling off the walls, stretchers are either broken or rusted. In short, there is nothing here that suggests that to the place is a dispensary. What more access to some of the dispensaries is practically impossible during the monsoons.

It was around 11.30 am, when The Tribune team reached Gablawas only to find a Class IV employee sweeping the floors of dispensary. The Ayurvedic dispensary was set up in the area at least 50 years ago and seems stuck in time.

The dispensary used to be run in a room of school earlier and was shifted to this two-room building, which was a dharamshala of the village, said the old lady.

The change of building has, however, not improved the “health” of the dispensary.

Suman Lata, member of the paramedical staff, who meanwhile reached for duty, too had no clue about the doctor, who resides at Chandigarh.

The next health centre for the residents of 526 hamlets in this region, however, was 18 km ahead at Morni, where a primary health centre is being run by a couple, who resides here only to the satisfaction of the local residents.

With no health care available, the residents of Chatlaana had to tread at least 5 km to reach a road, from where they hired a vehicle, if available, to reach the nearest doctor, said Raghu, a local resident.

Beside health care, basic amenities too elude the residents. The supply of drinking water and electricity is erratic, especially during the summers.

“These pathetic conditions deter doctors from coming here,” said Rajender, a resident of Mandna.

The situation was no better in the villages of Raipur Rani. On a working day, the dispensary at Hangola, about 10 km away from Raipur Rani, was lying locked and there was no sign of the staff. “They come, but leave soon after lunch,” said another resident.

The government’s plans to give incentive to doctors, who opt for posting in such areas, has shown little results as the situation remains grim for the thousands of residents of these areas.

Director General, Health, Dr Narvir Singh, said while the Ayurvedic dispensaries were not in his ambit, the doctors posted at Allopathic dispensaries were supposed to stay at their stations. Even on Sunday, the dispensaries remain open and he is to give a surprise visit to the area very soon, he said.

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Recruitment
Filling OMR sheets with pencil draws flak
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The UT education department’s act of getting the OMR answersheets of the recruitment test filled with a pencil has raised concerns, as a large number of candidates feel that it gives a scope for manipulation.

The candidates who appeared for the written test held for the recruitment of teachers in the UT schools were made to mark their responses on the OMR sheets with a pencil. Though the officials claimed it to be a provision for facilitating change of answer, many felt it was not justified.

“This is not a simple exam but an important recruitment test where department should have ensured transparency. What if the responses are erased and changed?” questioned one of the candidates.

While repeated efforts to contact DPI (S) Samwartak Singh proved futile many senior officials on the condition of anonymity tried to justify the act.

“There is nothing wrong. Pencil is used in the UPSC exams as well. It helps candidate to change answers if required. Moreover, there is no scope of tampering or any foul play as the sheets will be evaluated in front of some other agency as well and the answer key is not loaded on computer till papers are brought in for evaluation,” said one of the officials.

“I think the OMR sheets don’t register a change of pencil, so one can’t erase and tamper with it,” added another official.

However, the claims seem to have failed to assure the candidates, who feel that given to the presumption of widespread irregularity in the recruitment department should have insisted on pen. “If the computers don’t read a change in pencil than will a change in answer by applicant be accepted? They talk of outside agencies, which is present in every recruitment test and even in school practicals where there is an external examiner.”

Reacted a candidate who was further supported by another saying, “These OMR sheets are used in many competitions but they ask applicants to use darker pencils generally 4b or 6b but here we use normal pencil and various tuition centres that reuse the sheets after evaluation of each test by erasing responses marked with a pencil has seriously brought the act under scanner.”

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MC ignores sanitation of Mohali villages
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 11
Sanitation in villages falling in Mohali town is in a state of neglect and maintenance of cleanliness hardly seems to be a priority with the Municipal Council notwithstanding the death of children and an outbreak of cholera and diarrhoea in these areas.

The monsoon threatens to worsen the sanitation situation in these villages which have witnessed outbreak of various diseases over the years. Two children had died in Madanpur village and one in Shahimajra village during the past two years after consuming water which was not fit for drinking. Cholera and diarrhoea had gripped Mohali village last month because of which about 200 persons were admitted to the Civil Hospital here for treatment. All this has failed to spur the authorities concerned to turn the villages into places worth living in.

Stepping into these villages is like going back many decades in terms of amenities. Residents continue to live amidst garbage, cow dung and overflowing open kutcha drains.

Harpal Singh, councillor living in Matour village, said yesterday that the civic body was not bothered to maintain sanitation in his village. Heaps of garbage could be seen all around the village. Even the streets were not cleaned by safai sewaks on a regular basis and there was filth all around. Though sewerage system had been laid in a part of the village, there were areas where open drains overflowed.

He said he had asked the council not to give the work of sanitation to an earlier contractor who failed to provide satisfactory service. However, the civic body failed to listen to him and later he received a legal notice from the contractor for opposing him.

He said the council had carried out a ‘safai abhiyan’ in the village which was only a sham. Nothing much had been done and unhygienic conditions still prevailed in the area.

Amna Kumar Goyal, executive officer of the civic body, said too many migrants living in these villages were creating unhygienic conditions. Villagers had constructed small rooms which were given on rent to migrants and six to seven persons lived in one room.

He said recently garbage heaps were removed from villages. Giving an example, he said heaps of garbage lying near Ranbaxy factory were removed from Mohali village by safai karamcharis, but the next morning filth was back in the area.

Moreover, proper sanitary conditions would prevail in villages only after development was carried out. At present there were kutcha streets and open drains in many areas. Efforts would be made to improve the condition of villages at the earliest, added Goyal.

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Water wastage unabated at Panchkula
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service


Water being drained out on roads by residents of Sector 12-A in Panchkula. Photos by writer

Panchkula, July 11
While the drinking water crisis in the district is posing huge problems for the residents, specially those staying on the upper floors and the inhabitants of distant villages like Morni where the supply has remained elusive for days together, there some people who continue to waste the same with impunity.

The inner roads in any part of the city, in fact, turn into water ponds during the morning every day, in a blatant show of indifference to the others, as certain residents wash their cars parked on the roads under flowing water through plastic pipes.

At least a locality of Sector 12-A in the town portray this picture. People here do not mind to water their gardens during the mornings. The sweepers here prefer to dispose of the water on roads after washing floors in verandhas of houses, oblivious of the fact that it would reduce the newly laid roads to rubbles within half of their actual life span.

The situation in other sectors was no different. SK Nayyar, president of the Citizen Welfare Association, said the practise was rampant and the efforts made by the office bearers of the residents’ welfare associations proved futile as the residents flatly asked them to mind their own business whenever they pointed out to them about it.

The problem was aggravated this year as the Municipal Council did not ask its staff to issue challans for those wasting drinking water, said Nayyar. Moreover, the staff deputed to challan last year was partial and adopted the pick and choose policy.

Though officials at the Municipal Council did not divulge the reason behind not challaning the offenders this time, sources said the officials adopted the soft attitude in the face of elections year. While Lok Sabha elections were held in May, the elections for assembly could be announced any time and the government could not take the risk of annoying the voters.

Municipal executive officer OP Sihag, when contacted, however, had strange reasons for not challaning the offenders. The council would start challaning the offenders after the rainy season was over as it would be difficult to identify who threw the water on roads, he said.

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Rift among officials hits work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Close on the heels of serious differences between top functionaries of the Chandigarh administration, UT administrator SF Rodrigues and his adviser Pradip Mehra, the differences seem to be precolating down to other officials.

Differences among officials are allegedly delaying projects and the routine functioning of the administration.

It is common knowledge that the departments of home and finance have been at loggerheads on certain important issues.

The Home Secretary, who also holds the charge of the cooperative department, faced hurdles from the Finance Secretary over the regularisation of the general power of attorneys (GPAs).

While the finance department imposed heavy transfer charges amounting to several lakhs of rupees, repeated efforts by the home department and MP Pawan Bansal clinched the issue in favour of the GPA holders with a pro-people transfer policy in place.

With Raj Bhavan at the receiving end of the criticism over alleged irregularities in the allotment of land for various mega projects, the crucial public relations department was taken away from the Home Secretary and entrusted to the Finance Secretary.

Though it is debatable if the Finance Secretary managed the media better, the decision seems to have forced the Home Secretary to run his virtual parallel PR wing with the Home Secretary’s office directly mailing important press notes to the media.

However, officials claimed that certain difficulties in the functioning were bound to be there in an administration set-up.

The officials denied that there were any differences over public issues.

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Stress on serious media
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, July 11
The inaugural session of the two-day governing board meeting of the Indian Media Centre on Panjab University campus today saw Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal appealing media to maintain “seriousness” by taking cautious digs at the fourth pillar.

Badal, who inaugurated the meeting, claimed media in addition to liquor being the reason of high electoral budgets of parties.

Complementing it for being the “eyes and ears of the government”, he said: “The problems like poverty are increasing day by day and villages remaining deprived of potable water even after 60 years of Independence. It’s only the media that can raise these issues and get them addressed too.”

Taking the discussion a step further, Chandan Mitra, Editor-in-Chief, The Pioneer, who presided over the function, elaborated on the challenges faced by the print media because of Internet.

IMC director Shyam Khosla regretted the media’s tendency to keep wounds festering and then leaving it for another wound.

Advocating the creation of Media Council of India, he said it should have credible faces so as to avoid the pitfalls faced by the Press Council of India.

Former Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University and chairman of the Chandigarh chapter of the IMC KN Pathak said: “Media needs to be aware of the processes behind the visible; reporting, interpreting, analysing India for Indians in this age of ‘information flood’ calls for a special kind of training.”

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MDC to have police station
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 11
With an increase in the density of population as well as rising crime in the Mansa Devi complex area, the authorities have decided to set up a separate police station for the area. The area currently comes under the jurisdiction of the police station, Sector 5.

The approval in this regard was expected any time from the government.

With this, the number of police stations in Panchkula will go up to five. Other police stations were located at Sectors 14, 20 and 23.

According to superintendent of police Amitabh Dhillon, while the density of population had increased in the area with many housing societies coming up in the proximity of the complex, the bordering Mani Majra and Rajiv Gandhi IT park had put a lot of pressure on the local police.

Also, the area falls on the other side of the Chandigarh-Shimla highway, cutting it off from rest of town and making the task of the Sector 5 police a lot more difficult, he said.

Saketri village also falls in this area, where last month a schoolboy allegedly circulated obscene movie of his girlfriend in the village and its surrounding areas and the police could only learn about the incident last week when the father of the girl lodged a complaint with the superintendent of police.

While the new site for the station was being finalised, the building of police post would be used for the purpose for the time being, said Dhillon.

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Phase I residents seek community centre
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 11
Residents of Phase I have demanded a community centre in the area to hold social functions without much hassle.

In a letter addressed to the ACA, GMADA, House Owners’ Welfare Association president PS Virdi said Phase I was the oldest area of the town but had been deprived of such a facility. Consequently, the residents were forced to make use of the community centre in Phase VI, which was currently occupied by the police department.

He said the DTP concerned had misled the higher authorities at GMADA by telling them that the Phase VI community centre was hardly 500 m from Phase I.

He contended that the population of Phase I was higher than that of Phase VI.

He said house owners had paid development charges at the time of purchase of plot and it was the responsibility of GMADA to provide various facilities to residents.

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Neonatal dept opened

Mohali, July 11
A state-of-the-art neonatal department was launched at Fortis Hospital, here yesterday. Dr ON Bhakoo, former head, department of paediatrics, PGIMER, inaugurated the department.

Dr Sunil Kumar Agrawal, attending consultant, neonatology, stated that the major benefits of the hi-tech equipment and well-trained paramedical staff were that it would enable the hospital to care for all ailing and premature babies. Focus was towards not only saving the baby but also ensuring an intact survival with no residual abnormalities.

The neonatal department is equipped with the latest equipment, including neonatal ventilation, intensive care monitoring, total parenteral nutrition, blood gas analyser, exchange blood transfusion and double surface phototherapy for jaundice.

The department has a dedicated ‘transport incubator-cum-ventilator’ for transport of sick, premature babies from remote areas and there is a provision for ventilation enroute. — OC

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Hospital empanelled with ECHS
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 11
Ivy Hospital has been empanelled with the Ex- Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS). The scheme will provide comprehensive cashless medical cover for ex-servicemen and their dependants.

The hospital has been empanelled for 15 specialty and super specialty departments, notably among them are: joint replacements, general and laparoscopic surgeries, dialysis (nephrology), diabetes and hormones related disorders, genito-urinary, dental, general medicine etc.

Addressing a press conference here today, Gurtej Singh, CEO, said on retirement, every service personnel would compulsorily become a member of the ECHS by contributing his share. Similarly, ex-servicemen could become members by making one-time contribution. There would be no restriction on age or medical condition.

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Uncovered drainage ditches hazard for motorists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Blame it on the municipal corporation authorities’ failure to cover drainage ditches, which have been left open after the recarpeting of roads or for laying sewerage, for a car got stuck in one such ditch near house No. 3443 in Sector 45 today. Residents said the covers of the drainage ditches were removed for replacing them with cemented ones during a recarpeting work in their area two months ago.

They said the labourers neither completed the recarpeting work nor covered these ditches. The ditches had been lying open for the past one month. Residents said they had complained to the authorities numerous times but no action had been taken in this regard.

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Parents panic over live wire on stage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The show organised by the Rockstar Academy, a city-based group, was caught in trouble today evening when panic gripped parents due to a naked live wire on the stage where the students were performing.

The incident occurred at the Banayan Tree School, Sector 48, today when the mother of a four-year-old Lakshita noticed the child wailing on the stage, she immediately got into action and discovered the live wire at the entry point of the stage, which was close to a ladder.

The parents then raised the alarm and the academy officials then removed the wires.

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EDUCATION
 

Counselling for Class XI
Model school admission nears completion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The ninth day of counselling for Class XI at GMSSS-10 saw a decent rush of students today. Students with 37 per cent and above in addition to the left out pass candidates were present. With only two days left for counselling in the model schools, admissions have almost come to an end for all streams with only a few seats left in the vocational stream.

Meanwhile, counselling in the humanities stream for the general category also closed at GMSSS-33 (cut off 47 per cent), GMSSS-10 (cut off 46.2 per cent), GMSSS-21 (cut off 45.8 per cent), GMSSS-8 (cut off 41.4 per cent), GMSSS-47 (cut off 40.8 per cent), GMSSS-44 (cut off 38.2 per cent), GSSS-37 (cut off 38.2 per cent) and GSSS-15 (cut off 36 per cent).

In the vocational stream the following schools announced a closure of admissions GMSSS-10, X -Ray techniques (cut off 53 per cent), GMSSS-23 electronics (cut off 51.2 per cent), GMSSS-40 electronics (cut off 47.8 per cent), GSSS-45 electrical technology (cut off 42.8 per cent), GSSS-MMT automobile technology (cut off 42.4 per cent). GSSS-27 AC and refrigeration (cut off 42 per cent), GMSSS-10 food service and management (cut off 42 per cent), GMSSS-35 life insurance (cut off 42 per cent), GMSSS-10 bakery and confectionery (cut off 41.4 per cent), GMSSS-19 marketing and salesman ship (cut off 40.18 per cent), GMSSS- 40 fashion designing and clothing construction (cut off 40.8 per cent), GMSSS-40 health care and beauty culture (cut off 39.8 per cent), GMSSS-8 fashion designing and clothing construction (cut off 38.6 per cent).

Today the counselling ended for the candidates who passed on July 13th and 14th. Only the compartment candidates and the left out students of the sports category have been called for counselling.

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MCM, DAV cut off up by 3 pc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
With MCM College, Sector 36, and DAV College, Sector 10, declaring their first cut off lists today, the accepted percentage has gone up by almost 3 per cent.

The hike that comes in the wake of Class 12 result may have elated several students securing above 90 per cent but is bound to disappoint those who secured 70 per cent and being able to get into a course of their choice.

While in MCM College, the last accepted score for BCom in the UT pool was 103, it was 108.8 in general pool. For same courses the last percentage accepted in DAV College for the UT pool was 78.2 without weightage, 94.2 per cent with weighghtage and 90.4 and 106.4 for general, respectively.

For BCA, it was 72.2 per cent for UT and 84.4 for general pool in MCM while in DAV it was 74.6 per cent.

For BBA, the last accepted percentage at DAV was 78 per cent. “Students have scored so much this time that those with a little less marks may find it difficult to secure seats,” said Puneet Bedi, principal of MCM College.

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Candidates called for BE counselling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
On the first day of joint admission counselling for BE courses in various institutes, the candidates up to all-India overall rank 12,000 were called.

Topping the priority chart seats of all trades except metallurgy were reported filled both in the All-India and Chandigarh pool in PEC University of Technology, Panjab University.

In Chandigarh College of Engineering & Technology, trade of CSE and electronics has six seats vacant in the all-India category and 37 in the UT pool each.

For civil, seven are vacant in AI category and 37 in the UT pool and for mechanical the figure is seven and 38, respectively.

The other three institutes of University Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology (DCET), UIET and SSGPURC, Hoshiarpur, still have a large number of seats vacant in all trades.

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