C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Parsvnath, CHB in the dock
Get court notice for ‘enjoying money of investors’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Trouble is building up for Parsvnath Developers Limited and the Chandigarh Housing Board. With prospective buyers moving the Punjab and Haryana High Court for getting back their deposits, Justice Jasbir Singh today issued notice of motion to the developer and the housing board on a petition blaming them for “enjoying the money of the investors”.

The Rs 4100-crore housing project, under private-public partnership, was to be completed by October. So far “steps have not been taken to even start the residential project”. At least, this is what Faridabad residents Vijay Aggarwal, his wife Mona Aggarwal and another petitioner Surbhi Garg are claiming.

The petition has not only brought to fore the plight of the depositors, but has also placed under the high court scanner the functioning of the housing board.

Quoting a news-report carried in these columns, the petitioners have asserted: “It is absolutely clear that the two respondents are enjoying the money deposited by the investors, who are prospective buyers of the residential units and are getting nothing out of the scheme, which was launched by them on private-public partnership basis.”

In a petition filed through Punjab’s Additional Advocate-General Vijay Kumar Jindal, the petitioners added “they have spent huge amounts running in crores only on the assurance of the housing board, which was a statutory body”. Had it been “an exclusive private project offering housing, the petitioners would not have spent even a single penny unless and until the full and final project came up…”

“A joint account was maintained and as such, the amount was received by the housing board, who has accepted itself as a co-seller of the flats. As such, not only the developer, but the housing board is also jointly and severally liable for all the inactions”.

Seeking refund of the deposited amounts, along with interest at the rate of 9 per cent from the date of deposit with “Parsvnath Pride Asia”, Jindal referred to a clause to say: “If the developer is unable to deliver the unit to the buyer, the developer and CHB shall be liable to refund to the buyer the amount received from the buyer with interest at the SBI term deposit rate, as applicable on the date of refund.” The petition will now come up for hearing on December 18.



GMADA Auction
Only 3 sites go under hammer on Day 2
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 25
On the second day of the auction of commercial and residential sites here, the Greater Mohali Development Authority (GMADA) could sell only three of the 38 sites put under the hammer. Pegged at Rs 50,315 per sq yard, a high reserve price of the residential plots did not attract even a single bidder.

Terming the response to be poor, GMADA officials attributed the poor response to market forces.

“There were few bidders who were keen on buying the sites but at low bids. So, the sites were withdrawn,” said Additional Chief Administrator, Balwinder Singh Multani.

Contradicting the claim of GMADA officials, Sameer, a bidder, said he was ready to bid for an SCO site in sector 70. But the officials did not open the sites for bidding.

Compared to SCO ( no. 681, Sector 70) which was bought yesterday by ASG securities for Rs 5.55 crore, an adjacent SCO ( no. 682, sector 70) was again bought today by ASG securities for Rs 5.01 crore.

Another SCO (no. 4, Sector 68) was sold for Rs 4.20 crore against a reserved price of Rs 4.03 crore. The worst was a booth site in Sector 71, which 
went for Rs 36.50 lakh against a reserved price of Rs 36 lakh.

For the eight residential plots put under the hammer not a single bidder came forward. The ACA said GMADA was planning the next auction after Divali. Besides, GMADA was contemplating to revise the reserved price of residential sites.

Kanwarjit Singh, president of the Property Dealers Association, said the rentals were not going up and a number of premises are lying vacant. Some of the big names have closed their shops. No civic amenities had been provided at the sites put under hammer, he added. 



UT loses Rs 20 crore in carbon credits
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Failing to submit its case, the municipal corporation has lost a grant of around Rs 20 crore under the carbon trading mechanism devised by the United Nations at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC <http://unfccc.int/>).

In spite of being a pioneer in capping of dump yard, under a special programme of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the UT failed to apply for the registration with the sanctioning authority or the central agency to forward the case.

Interestingly, the Mumbai municipal corporation, which had started late, has already got a grant of Rs 26 crore.

Tenders for appointing an agency were floated by the local corporation in 2007 to engage a consultant for registration of the corporation under “clean development mechanism”.

However, the file apparently was closed and the coporation was not even registered under the scheme, it was learnt.

The corporation had taken up scientific closing and capping of the Dadu Majra dumping ground in 2005 under its pilot project.

Under the project, the entire dumping ground was covered with different layers of earth, “gole-bajri” and thick polyethene. The site was a model for the entire country.

Countries with very high carbon emissions, including the US and Australia, purchase carbon credits from governments, semi-government or private organisations, engaged in preventing carbon emissions.

The carbon credits are purchased by interested groups to conform to the emission norms, under the UNFCCC.

The issue gains importance in wake of the Mumbai MC getting Rs 26 crore for “scientific closure of a garbage dumping ground” recently.

The credits can be purchased from affiliating banks recognised by the United Nations.

In the case of Mumbai, the credits have been purchased by the Asia Carbon Fund of the Asian Development Fund “future delivery of carbon credits”. The money comes for “capturing and combusting methane gas emanating from the dump, which is a cause of greenhouse emissions”.

During garbage decomposition, gases, including methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, are emanated causing foul smell and contamination of sub-soil water.

Medical officer health, Dr Dewan: said: “The MC had moved the file for appointment of a consultant and the list would be finalised shortly. The issue has been examined and a communication has also been forwarded to the Centre.”

Chandermukhi Sharma, chairman of the sanitation committee, who is in the midst of the raging issue of garbage treatment plant in the city, has failed to take up the issue of earning credits, which would have benefited the UT coffers. Sharma refused to comment on the issue.



Tax Row
PU set to get notice of Rs 2.5 cr
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The Income Tax Department and the Panjab University authorities seem to be heading for a collision course over the issue of the status of the university. While the IT authorities are getting ready to slap a demand notice of about Rs 2.5 crore for non-deduction of TDS on perk, primarily rent-free houses given to its employees, on grounds that being an autonomous body, no free accommodations are allowed, on the contrary, the PU claims its employees are legitimately entitled to it on the plea of being equivalent to government employees.

A scrutiny of the seized documents revealed that the PU authorities had provided rent-free accommodation to its employees and had not cut TDS on it. They said only government employees, under the IT Rules 1962 (Rule 3), pertaining to valuation of perquisites, are entitled for tax-free official accommodation and since the PU is an autonomous body, TDS should have been deducted and deposited.

On the other hand, the PU’s finance department officer Vikram Nayyar said, “No TDS had been deducted on rent-free accommodation as we are on a par with government employees and this practice has been going on ever since the opening of the university”.

Claiming that all other relevant TDS deductions had been “made and deposited”, Nayyar said, “There seems to be a difference of opinion between us on the status of the university and this is of legal debate”. However, he said, in case any liability was made out, it would be paid.

Admitting that the records indicated that no deductions on account of rent-free accommodation had been made for the past many years, the IT officials said since they could take into account violations for only six preceding years, the PU liability would work out to the tune of Rs 2.5 crore. They said a demand notice and interest charges (u/s 201 (1) and 201 (1A)) would be issued once the PU authorities respond to the details of income and expenditure sought by the department earlier on September 23.

The officials said the list of employees, who have been given rent-free accommodation, ran into 40 pages. What was worrying was that once the IT department started making recoveries and the PU decided to pay off, even employees, who have retired in the past six years, would also have to shell out their share of tax for the rent-free accommodation enjoyed by them during their tenures. 



9-hr power cut has residents fuming
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 25
A nine-hour power cut imposed by the Punjab State Electricity Board today threw life out of gear, forcing residents to sweat it out in the hot and sultry weather, adversely affecting the business of those who solely depended on power supply. The cuts began early in the morning and went on till the evening.

The power was suspended at 5 am for half an hour. Another suspension was effected at 8.15 am, which lasted around five hours, with power supply being restored at 1 pm.

Yet another cut was effected at 2.15 pm and the power finally came back at 5.30 pm.

Power cuts have been on for the past many months but the situation has been worsening with each passing day. The suspension of power supply has also adversely affected the supply of water in the town.

Industrial unit owners had held a protest against the PSEB demanding adequate supply to run the industry, which had been badly hit due to weekly power cuts.

Commercial sector also got adversely affected as the work came to a halt during the day.

Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Phase IV, said the government had failed to provide the basic facilities in the town though SAD ministers kept making tall claims regarding development in the town.

He said the government, which had done away with power cuts during the election time, showed its helplessness once the elections were over.



Snag hits water supply to parts of Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 25
Parts of the town faced acute water shortage here today following a breakdown at Kajauli waterworks last night. Water was supplied at low pressure in the morning to Phases IX to XI, Sectors 70, 71, and Shahimajra and Matour villages.

There was hardly any supply during the rest of the day.

Anil Sharma, a resident of Phase X , said employees of the water supply and sanitation wing had informed many residents about the shortage of water by ringing their doorbells.

This created panic in the area and people queued up to collect water from tankers pressed into service for the convenience of residents.

Inderjit Singh Kang, executive engineer, said Kajauli waterworks faced a breakdown last night which resulted in shortage of water in parts of the town.

He said water was supplied through tankers in Phases IX to XI and Sectors 70 and 71.

He added that these areas would be given water from 6 am to 8 am at low pressure tomorrow but there would be no supply during the rest of the day.


CHB charged with pick-and-choose policy
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, September 25
Even as the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is planning to clear encroachments in almost 45,000 flats, residents accuse the authorities of “dadagiri” and “pick-and-choose” policy.

“The CHB does not have guts to run bulldozers in bigger sectors where blatant violations stare it in the face. These demolition drive are launched where they know, people will succumb. It’s the weaker section that bears the brunt every time”, said the president of a resident welfare association in the city.

Alleging that the favoritism is the way of things with the CHB authorities, another sector association head said, “ The CHB sends notices to those whom, it knows, will fill their pockets. Rules should be same for all. Why should one be taxed so heavily for which someone else is not even bothered?”

Calling these moves arbitrary, many residents pointed out that these violations existed today because the authorities had overlooked and promoted this.

“Was the CHB sleeping when these violations happened 10 years ago?”, questioned Sukhpal (name changed) of Sector 40.

Manav (name changed), Sector 45 resident, said, “Such drives have come up in the past as well. But even so some privileged escape the brunt. It’s mostly the areas accommodating the lower income group and economically weaker sections that see demolitions.”

Residents in Sector 45 and 40 opine that people on the ground floor use the adjoining space, which, they say, “is anyways of no use to the CHB”. They say that they fail to understand how is that problematic. Some defend these violations, calling them “need-based.”

Some of the common violations include cantilevers, changes made inside the houses, garages being commonly used as service quarters, extended balconies, extended spaces and even full-fledged illegal constructions.

Another interesting observation that comes to one’s mind is that how come no violations are observed in just private cooperative societies.

Answering this, Jagdish Kalra, Secretary, RCS, Cooperative House Building Society, said, “The management structure is intact, the policies are rigid and most of all, there is no scope for violations. The attitude differs the moment people know that it’s government flats, the “Chalta hai” attitude comes into play.”


Plan in place to clear encroachments
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Illegal constructions in Sector-45 LIG flats.
Illegal constructions in Sector-45 LIG flats. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 25
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has worked out a plan to clear encroachments on government land by December-end this year. The area of action includes all localities housing the CHB residences, mainly in the southern sectors.

Mohanjeet Singh, chairman, said the main areas of action included Sectors 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 51, 53 and 61, besides others. The entire area had been divided into six zones and zone officers would report on the developments everyday.

He was reacting to a demolition drive in Sector 40, leading to widerspread protests. “All violators are given proper notices and also a hearing in the CHB. As far as encroachments on the government land is concerned, there is no need to issue any notices at all”, he said.

In a detailed survey, it has been detected that a large number of residents have erected structures on the government land adjoining their houses.

“Not just lawns and enclosures, certain offenders have created air-aconditioned pucca rooms”, sources said. It has been found that the constructions have affected the passages, drainages and water supply at certain places which are a cause of public inconvenience.

The chairman said the violations were galore in approximately 45,000 CHB houses. In the first phase, “We are clearing encroachments on the government land. This will be followed by clearing disputed premises under court directions and then we will look into complaints of the residents from the specific areas.

The CHB is learnt to have submitted certain recommendations of allowing changes in the existing bylaws. The issue, however, needs a final stamp of the Chandigarh Administration before any concessions are allowed.



Home Secy inspects GMSH-16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas inspected the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, here yesterday. During the inspection, he found that the OPD registration system was not functioning due to slow speed of computers, resulting in manual registration, causing delays and waiting at registration.

He directed the Director Health Services and Director (Information Technology) to upgrade the system within a period of one month.

To upgrade the computer network at the registration, a sum of Rs 18 lakh will be sanctioned and the work will be executed by SPIC, he said.

Also, he inspected various OPD blocks and directed the Chief Engineer to rectify leakages in the roof and walls at some places, including the paediatric emergency of the hospital.

The Chief Architect was directed to finalise the drawings of the ramp for the hospital, as currently physically challenged persons had been finding it hard to move on to the upper floors.

He also directed the engineering department to start the work of additional 30-bed maternity ward for which tenders had already been received.

The Chief Engineer said the work on the nurses training institute was likely to start within a month. The Home Secretary also inspected the new OPD block under construction at a cost of Rs 12.36 crore.

The Chief Engineer said as the cost of project had gone up from the original Rs 8.5 crore, due to revised specifications, there was a need for revised administrative approval from the Government of India. He also expressed concern over the slow pace of construction work of the building as the original time given to the contractor had expired in July.



Nine candidates file nomination papers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
With filing of nomination papers by nine more candidates, the total number of candidates in fray from Panchkula assembly constituency has reached to 16 as the process of accepting papers concluded at 3 pm here today.

Shashi Sharma, a Congress dissident, who joined the HJC, was among the persons who filed his nominations today. In addition to him, Sanjeev Bhardwaj of BSP, Rajesh Arya of Lok Janshakti Party, DK Saxena of National Panthers Party and Narayan Das 
of Lokpriya Samaj Party also filed their nominations today.

Four independents, Harinder Singh Saini, Ram Narain, Ashish Ranga and Saroj Bala also filed the papers.

As it was the last day for accepting the nomination papers, the process of filing the papers could be completed till 4.30 pm only as three aspirants entered the office of SDM at 3 pm at the time of closing the doors.

While one of them was returned after his name was not found in the voters’ lists, the papers of other two Ashish Ranga and Saroj Bala were not filled correctly, which took some time to make corrections before filing the papers.

The scrutiny of papers would be done tomorrow.



‘Biwi O Biwi’ has audience in splits
SD Sharma

Famous Bollywood comedians Rakesh Bedi and Avtar Gill perform in play “Biwi O Biwi” at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Friday.
Famous Bollywood comedians Rakesh Bedi and Avtar Gill perform in play “Biwi O Biwi” at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, September 25
Enthused with radically vibrant theme of depicting human relationships affected by male dominance in contemporary society with moral and didactic intent, comedy play “Biwi O Biwi” was staged at Tagore Theatre here today.

Written and directed by popular cine star Rakesh Bedi, the grandiose star studded comedy play, also saw his acting potential and skills at its best in the portrayal of Pappu.

The play opens with acrimonious, yet lively, discussions in the house of Dr Soorma, orthopaedic surgeon played by Avtar Gill, who lacked the sophistication of a doctor, which, however, served an introduction to the thematic content and profile of the production.

As expected, the play gained momentum after Bedi took entry to augment the pace established by natural acting spells by Pooja (Rashmi Sharma), Poly (Rithima Bedi) Sulbha Arya and Nivedita Banchiyal. The exploration of illicit relationships between Dr Soorma and Rita in a dramatic manner with the entry of Ramesh Talwar turned the otherwise jovial environment into a gloom. But portraying an embodiment of true Indian Biwi, Pooja, defended her husband of his illicit relationship with her own friend Rita, but to teach him a lesson later.

The actors maintained perfect timings and brilliance of dialogue delivery throughout the performance. The playwright has virtually inducted tragic sequences to heighten the impact of out and out comedy beside extolling the ethical values as enshrined in our epics.

The music by Kuldip Singh and chiaroscuro effects enhanced the otherwise sleek production. Chief guest MP Sharma honoured the artistes.

A play “Shatranj ke Mohre” will be staged tomorrow.



Unfair deal for fair sex
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
While political parties do not lag behind in emphasising over women empowerment for the progress of the nation, not a single party bothered to field a woman candidate from the two assembly constituencies falling in the district for the elections to be held next month.

Though 27 candidates submitted their namination papers at Panchkula and Kalka, there was only one nomination received from a woman, Saroj Bala, an advocate at Panchkula, as all parites showed their faith in the male candidates.

This was not because of the dearth of woman politicians in the region. This time half of the seats in the 31-member muncipal council were occupied by women only. Moreover, two women, Manvir Kaur Gill and Seema Chaudhary, had taken over as president during last two tenures of the civic body.

“In fact, all political parties ignore women and their importance is highlighted only to get votes,” said Saroj Balal, who is associated with the Congress. And it was the reason behind the fact that “I remained the block president of the women wing of the party in Chandgarh and applied for the ticket this time,” she said.

The manner in which women were ignored in this area conveys the sorry tale of democracy in the country, she rued.



Zirakpur MC hikes transfer fee
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 25
The Zirakpur municipal council has substantially hiked the non-objection certificate (NOC) transfer fee in case of sale and purchase of residential property within the municipal limits.

The transfer fee has been increased from Rs 200 to Rs 2,000. A resolution to this effect was passed at an MC meeting at its office here today. It was presided over by civic body president Narinder Kumar Sharma. Other councillors were also present at the meeting.

According to executive officer Sukhjinder Singh Sidhu, the earlier NOC transfer fee was very low.

With rapidly increasing constructions in residential areas, he said, “the municipal council decided to increase the NOC transfer fee from Rs 200 to Rs 2,000, which will help the MC earn additional revenue”.

He added that the district administration had ordered the council to undertake an anti-encroachment drive on the Kalka, Baltana and Patiala roads with effect from October 5. The council has also written to the local bodies authority to deploy an ASI and four constables to assist them in the drive.

“We have faced problem during such drives in the past, as the council has been facing staff shortage,” he added.

The executive officer claimed that the ongoing works on sewerage and roads would be completed by December.

The work on carpeting of roads at in the godown area will be started next month.

Meanwhile, a decision to revise the sewerage and water supply charges has been kept in abeyance.

The MC officials will convene a meeting with sewerage and water supply board soon to discuss the matter, he added.



3 gain illegal access to Mountview room
CITCO fires 2 contract workers
Ranju Aery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Confirming the entry of three unauthorised persons in CITCO’s only five-star hotel — Hotel Mountview — during odd hours, managing director DK Tewari today terminated the services of two contract employees for facilitating their entry. A show-cause notice has also been issued to the receptionist.

According to the employees, requesting anonymity, two youths along with a girl had come to the hotel on September 23 at 12.30 am.

The three were escorted to room No. 131 on the ground floor by two floor assistants, Tarun and Manish.

Manish was appointed by CITCO on contract, while Tarun had been hired from a service provider agency.

Leaving the girl in the room, the two youths came out and sat in their Swift car parked in the parking area.

Sources said the behaviour of the youths caught the attention of the security staff. It was then confirmed from the reception that the room was not booked in their name.

Sensing trouble, the youths sent a message to the girl and the three fled the scene.

The security personnel questioned the receptionist and lodged a compliant with the managing director.

Each room has a master key, which is activated from the reception. At the time of the incident, the master key was issued in the name of Tarun. The entire incident was captured on the CCTV, which was later viewed by the managing director.

On the lodging of a police case into the incident, Tewari said: “We will lodge a complaint after making preliminary inquiry into the case. The hotel is in possession of the registration number of the vehicle involved in the incident and those involved are likely to be identified soon.”



Celebrating Dasehra with special kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Students of the Society for Rehabilitation of Mentally Challenged celebrated Dasehra along with their parents at SOREM, Sector 36-C. The occasion saw widespread participation from the parents and several other dignitaries from the city. The parents were especially happy, as they saw the occasion important for their kids.

“Apart from imparting religious knowledge, they are necessary because we cannot take them to crowded places. So its safe and secure here,” said mother of 20-year-old Inayat, who is suffering from ADD (attention deficit disorder).

Thirteen-year-old Shrishthi suffering from ADHT (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) was happy posing with effigies. Her mother, Kavita, said, “She gets restless very soon.

Taking her out in crowded places on such occasions is not always possible. These celebrations cheer them up and are a special occasion for their parents too, as they get a chance to interact with each other also.”

Seema, a councillor at SOREM, said, “Such celebrations are necessary. These kids are sensitive. Chandigarh needs better special educators for these students. Even till date, Chandigarh has not developed an efficient system to deal with the metal disorders. The cases among the underprivileged mostly go unnoticed.”



Rajpura youth H1N1 positive

Chandigarh, September 25
A 22-year-old youth belonging to Rajpura was tested positive for H1N1 today. According to UT nodal officer for swine flu HC Gera: “The Muzaffarnagar health authorities had been informed and advised to take necessary steps of quarantining the victim, as he had gone to Muzaffarnagar.”

Meanwhile, three more suspected cases of swine flu, including a student of Chitkara Institute, a former PGI doctor and a 12-year-old boy from Ambala, who has been admitted to Chetanya hospital, were reported today. —TNS



Job Scam
Police seeks more time for submission of report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
It might take yet another week for the UT police to submit the investigation report of the education department’s cash-for-job scam.

The police is waiting for the CFSL reports of Jolly’s cellphone.

According to sources, the report will be a prime evidence in establishing or denying the alleged connections of DPI (S) Samwartak Singh with the prime accused Jolly.

“We were supposed to submit the report this week but we are still waiting for the CFSL report, which will clarify the pivot of communication, if any, between the DPI and Jolly. The report may be submitted by next Thursday.” said a senior police official.

While the UT administration awaits the report for taking any action against the accused, the TGT recruitment process stands stalled. With the results of written tests of around six subjects being virtually withheld, candidates have planned to meet the Home Secretary in this regard.

“Things are getting delayed and we are losing our patience. The administration should at least declare the pending results or clarify its stand on the matter. We will meet the Home Secretary in order to get the true picture of the story and if the administration continues to remain quiet, we will move the court.” said one of the applicants.



Film festival organised at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, in collaboration with an NGO Humlog, organised “We Care Film Festival” in the Evening Studies auditorium on the university campus here today.

Media Mocha, departmental society of PU, initiated the idea of the festival, which included 12 documentaries from India and abroad on various issues related to disability.

The film festival was inaugural function of the newly formed society. Apart from creating awareness, the film festival was a crucial medium to break mental barriers and render stereotypical images of disabled.

Chief guest of the event Satish Kapoor, on the inauguration ceremony, said, “The purpose behind holding these film festivals all over the country is to enable the use of documentary production as an educational tool and to direct students to make films, keeping a valid social perspective in mind.”

“The festival is an effort at sensitising, particularly the youth, on the issues of physical disability for they are vanguards of the nation with the hope that the world could be a better place for one and all,” said Jayant Pethka, senior lecturer.

Deepa Jain presented documentary “Isharon ki bhasha”, on sign language used by children with hearing impairment. Another documentary “Taste of Berry by Humlog” gave audience an insight on how a therapeutic community helped mentally disturbed children gaining a new lease to life.



Fire sub-station, library at Zirakpur soon
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, September 25
The Zirakpur Municipal Council will set up a library, a senior citizen hall, a health club and a fire sub-station in Zirakpur to give better facilities to residents of the area.

According to MC sources, the long-pending demands of a library and a senior citizen hall by residents will be fulfilled shortly. The site for the library will be finalised soon where a three-storey building will be constructed. The ground floor will be given to fire sub-station, first floor to library and second floor to health club. A fire tender from Dera Bassi will be placed at the building.

MC officials stated that the authorities had seen some vacant land for the library and the site would be final after discussion with the local administration. After that, the matter would be put up at the coming MC meeting.

The authorities were also planning to construct a senior citizen hall where they would hold their social gatherings and monthly meetings. The MC team had visited Lohgarh village to identify the site. The MC has also sanctioned Rs 5 lakh for senior citizen hall, sources said.



Conference on paediatric intensive care
Tribune News Service

Doctors at the First Asian Congress on Paediatric Intensive Care at the PGI, Chandigarh, on Friday.
Doctors at the First Asian Congress on Paediatric Intensive Care at the PGI, Chandigarh, on Friday.

Chandigarh, September 25
The First Asian Congress on Paediatric Intensive Care began at the PGI today. The theme of the congress is “Intensive Care Within Limited Resources- Taking it to the Masses”.

In the plenary session, Dr Andrew Argent, president, World Federation of Paediatric Intensive Care and Critical Care Societies, delivered a talk on the limitation of availability of critical care in developing countries. Andrew made a distinction between intensive care and critical care.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Niranjan Kissoon from Canada deliberated on the availability of the critical care in developing countries. He said clinical trials had proved that simple interventions, including immunisation, vitamin and mineral supplements, antibiotics, fluid resuscitation and inotropic support had reduced mortality from severe sepsis by 10-100 fold in a cost-effective manner.

Dr Pratibha Singhi, chief of the paediatric neurology unit at the PGI, discussed about the ICU management of brain infections, such as meningitis and encephalitis. Dr Soonu Udani from Mumbai spoke on the intensive care of children with tuberculosis. 

Dr Tsoi from Hong Kong discussed about the vexed problem of fungal infections in the ICU. He said the ICU patients had low immunity and were exposed to broad-spectrum antibiotics, which predisposed them to fungal infections. Dr Argent covered several issues regarding the management of ICU patients having HIV/AIDS.

Chief organiser of the conference, Dr Sunit Singhi and Dr Kissoon discussed the guidelines regarding the management of patients with severe infections resulting in low blood pressure.

The conference was inaugurated by Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal at the Bhargava Auditorium. Bansal congratulated the organising team.

A newly constructed park was also inaugurated by the Union Minister at the PGI residential colony. Prof KK Talwar, director of the PGI, and Dr Ajay Sehgal, deputy director (administration), were also present on the occasion. 



115 rounded up in search operation

Chandigarh, September 25
The police has rounded up 115 persons during a search operation, organised over the past few days in various parts of the city to clamp down on anti-terrorist and anti-social elements.

The police said the anti-sabotage team of the operations cell of the Chandigarh police along with the CRPF undertook the operation in Bapu Dham Colony, Colony No. 5, Milk Colony, Dhanas and Mauli Jagran on September 16. The police issued “stranger roll” for 75 persons rounded up during the operation.

The police said such operations would continue in the coming days. Besides, the police has been setting up special checkpoints and picekts at 40 points in the city for the past six days. — TNS



Madarsas to have mid-day meal scheme soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
A review meeting was held under the chairmanship of Home Secretary-cum-Secretary, Social Welfare, Chandigarh Administration, for the implementation of the Prime Minister’s new 15-point programme for the welfare of minorities.

The meeting was attended by the SSP, the Special Secretary, Finance-cum-Director, Higher Education, the Director, Technical Education, the Joint Director, Rural Development, the Director, Health Services, Khalil Ahmed, president, Muslims Welfare Society, Sebastian Jose, Don Bosco, Navjeevan Centre, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.

Under this programme, it has to be ensured that benefits of all schemes are equally enjoyed by the minority communities and opportunities for education are enhanced.

It was decided that the Education Department will take the initiative to provide all benefits under the Sarv Siksha Abhiyaan and mid-day meal to madarsas and provide all necessary infrastructure to modernise the madarsas. A meeting in this regard will be convened within a week for streamlining the system further.

While reviewing the progress of the Swarn Jyanti Shahri Rojgar Yojna, the Joint Commissioner, MC, was asked to cover more beneficiaries and an awareness camp should be organised to inform the public. The Education Department has been assigned the task of organising such camps to provide benefits of different schemes being run by it.

Since, the Chandigarh Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minorities Financial & Development Corporation is providing loans and trainings to the minorities, it was observed that the percentage of beneficiaries, who have been provided loan, is 30.69 and under the training component, the percentage is 19.04, which is quite low. Thus more efforts should be put in by organising camps for creating awareness and benefits to the beneficiaries.

However, with regards to ICDS services, 13.66 per cent of beneficiaries belonging to the minority communities are availing the benefits and for further additions of the beneficiaries to the Anganwari centres, NGOs like Muslim Welfare Society, Chandigarh, should take initiative of visiting the anganwari centres, along with the programme officer of the ICDS.

The Ministry of Minority Affairs has formulated three scholarship schemes, pre-matric, post-matric, merit-cum-means and accordingly it was desired that proposals under these schemes should immediately be forwarded by the DPI(S) and the DHE to the Director Social Welfare for further transmission to the government.



Awareness week from Oct 6

Chandigarh, September 25
To mark the completion of the formulation of the Right to Information Act on October 12, the government will organise an awareness week all over the country from October 6 to 12, according to a press release here today.

In this regard, the Chandigarh administration has chalked out a series of activities to make people aware of the Act and take benefit of it.

The series of events include essay writing competition in schools on October 6, declamation contest in colleges on October 7, and quiz contest in schools and colleges on October 8 and 12, respectively.

Debate will be organised in colleges on October 9 and an awareness rally for schoolchildren will be held on October 10. Winners of various competitions will be awarded suitably. Posters containing information regarding the Act will be displayed at sampark centres and government offices, it added. — TNS



‘Slumdog’ millionaire
Migrant candidate worth Rs 73 lakh
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
The run-up to the assembly elections in Haryana has brought forward a glimpse of prosperity among politicians. A candidate from a slum on the outskirts of this town, however, stood out when it came to declaring assets.

Harinder Singh Saini, a migrant from Bihar, who is a Class VIII passout, is owner of assets worth Rs 73 lakh. In addition to three immovable properties in and around Panchkula, he owns 1.47 lakh in cash and in banks, in addition to other investments worth Rs 4,20,000. Saini, a native of Bihar, however, does not have any car like other rich candidates, who filed nomination papers for the assembly elections to be held on October 13. Instead, he owns a motorbike, which suits his profession of building contractor.

Saini, after winning as municipal councillor from ward no. 9 as BJP candidate last year, sought the party ticket for assembly elections.

“The party leaders even did not consider his name despite the fact that I frequented them time and again for it,” he said. “The party was to look into the interests of rich people only,” he alleged, claiming himself to be representative of poor.



Admn doing little to save Sukhna: MLA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Sukhpal Singh Khaira, MLA from Bholath, yesterday blamed the Chandigarh administration for the sorry state of affairs at city’s most-famous landmark - Sukhna Lake.

In a letter to the UT Administrator, Khaira, who has been a regular visitor to the lake for over 15 years, said it was a matter of concern that the lake was fast losing its sheen.

“If we do not wake up soon, the damage may go well beyond our control, thus spoiling the reputation of being one of the best spots in the city for visitors,” the letter asserted.

“During the past few years, there has been no attempt by the administration to maintain and upkeep the beauty of the lake. As a result, over one-third of the lake is full of weeds and marsh. The latter part of the promenade, near the regulator end, was full of foul smell. The neglect reminds me of filthy village ponds of Punjab.”

Earlier, the administration used to mobilise senior citizens, schoolchildren and social organisations to come forward and undertake voluntary exercise “shramdan” to save it. The lake could be used to promote a whole lot of water sports like parasailing, water-skiing, rides on water scooters, speedboats, restaurant boats, etc. to boost the inflow of tourists and increase the revenue of the administration, he added.



Order to trace escort gypsies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
SP (Traffic) HS Doon today directed the DSP (traffic) to trace the escort gypsies of the VIP cavalcade, which were found moving around the city without registration number plates yesterday.

Doon said he had ordered a probe into the matter. He added that he would get the report in a couple of days and would take stern action against the miscreants.

Since the vehicles belonged to Punjab, the police might take some time to nail the culprits, added Doon. The violation was noticed on the Sector 15 and 16 traffic lights.

Despite having information about the violation, the police failed to take timely action. The vehicles were moving around the city without any fear and the cavalcade was allowed to enter the city despite the violation.



Hindi fortnight celebrations end
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
The Hindi fortnight celebrations concluded at Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2, Chandimandir, here today.

Sandeep Garg, manager of the State Bank of Patiala, Chandimandir branch, was the chief guest and gave away the prizes to students. Vandana Gupta of the regional office of the bank also attended the function that included a kavi sammelan and folk dances. Nisha Nanda, officiating principal, welcomed the guests while Neena Bhardwaj, PGT English, presented the vote of thanks.



Kapil Sibal visits PU today
PUTA, student council to take up Central varsity status issue
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The Panjab University Teachers Association has joined hands with the newly elected Student Council to take up the issue of the Central University status for Panjab University with Union Minister of Human Resource and Development Kapil Sibal during his visit to the university tomorrow.

Claiming to take issue to its desired end this time, both bodies seem to be set to revive it in a polite yet firm way.

“The issue has been deferred for a long time and now we want clarity on it. For a long time, the authorities tried to sell the idea of ‘central funding’, a concept the minister himself has confirmed doesn’t exist. The Central University status is our right andthe PU will get it,” said Manjit Singh, president, PUTA.

When questioned on the perspective of the Punjab government on the issue, he said it’s Centre’s turn now to persuade it.

“If our negotiations with the Punjab government are not working out, then we will urge Kapil Sibal to speak to it. If the Central Government thinks we are worth it, then it can also sort out things with it,” added Manjit.

Even the Student Council is all ready to take the stand on the matter.

“This has been our prime demand and unfortunately the university has never taken a stand on the issue. We will speak to the minister and ask him to tell us the status. We support PUTA and will do whatever it takes to convince the minister tomorrow,” said Amit Bhatia.

“Every time we spoke to the authorities and they said its in the government’s hands. So now if the PU has failed to deal with Punjab government, Kapil Sibal will have to do so,” said Brinder Dhillon.



Hotel management institute celebrates Tourism Day
Tribune News Service

Students participate in flower arrangement competition on the occasion of the World Tourism Day at Dr Ambedkar Insitute in Chandigarh.
Students participate in flower arrangement competition on the occasion of the World Tourism Day at Dr Ambedkar Insitute in Chandigarh. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 25
The World Tourism Day was celebrated by the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management today by inaugurating an inter-college flower-making competition.

More than 80 participants participated from various colleges of Chandigarh, like Chitkara, Dev Samaj College, Elite, CIHM, Government Home Science College and Government Arts College.

Principal Naveen Nanchahal said, “The competition is being held in our college for last 12 years and the response has been getting better with each passing year.”

According to Bharti Tyagi, chief coordinator of the event, “The number of participants is increasing every year. The main aim is to take out the creative talent of the students and to provide them with a platform of expression.”

The competition was judged by CITCO MD DK Tewari.

A dry arrangement first prize was given to Arti Sharma from Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, second prize was given to Supriya from Dev Samaj College of Education and third prize was given to Shivani from Allied Institute of Hotel Management.

In fresh flower competition, first prize was given to Priya from Government College of Education, Sector 20, second prize was a tie between Geetika Goyal from Dev Samaj and Phunchok Chorul from CIHM-42. Third prize was given to Dolly from State Institute of Education, Sector 32, and Babita Bist of Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36.



From Schools & Colleges
Saurabh, Shagun adjudged Mr, Miss Fresher
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 25
Freshers Party 2009 was organised at the campus of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, here. The senior students welcomed and cheered the first year students with great aplomb and enthusiasm.

Institute principal GN Verma welcomed chief guests, Prof Avtar Singh, chairman Sri Sukhmani Group, and Kanwaljit Kaur, director Sri Sukhmani Group.

Saurabh bagged Mr Fresher title, while Shagun Mann won Miss Fresher title. The title of Mr Handsome was won by Amrit Singh Gill and Nikita bagged Miss Charming title.

Dasehra celebrated

Students of Shemrock Senior School, Sector 69, Mohali, celebrated Dasehra with much fervour. The students made masks of Ravana and the UKG students made sketches of Ravana. A 10-feet effigy of Ravana was made and was burnt. The students were asked to put all bad habits in the fire.

Meanwhile, Dasehra was also celebrated with full religious fervour at Sant Isher Singh Public School, Phase VII, Mohali. The Ramayana was staged by the students of primary and secondary wing. The effigy of Ravana was also burnt and sweets were distributed among the students.

Eco-friendly Dasehra

Saupin’s School, Sector 70, Mohali, celebrated an environment-friendly Dasehra with great enthusiasm on the school premises. The students enacted scenes from the Ramayana to mark the triumph of good over evil. The effigy of Ravana was prepared from old newspaper and for a change there were no crackers used to convey the message to celebrate the festival in an eco-friendly manner.

Grandparents’ Day

“The first presentation-cum-Grandparents’ Day” was observed at Gian Jyoti Global School, Phase II, Mohali. The presentation was especially for the grandparents to take a closer look on the assessment of the three-month academics and the overall personality development of the students.

The school in fact honoured the grandparents by inviting them to collect the results of their grand kids.



Provide ramp in schools: Home Secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
UT Home-cum-Social Welfare Secretary Ram Niwas yesterday convened a meeting of the state executive committee constituted under the Persons With Disabilities Act, 1995, with an aim to extending benefits given to the disabled children in the city.

Officials from the Department of Social Welfare, Education, Health and representatives of various NGOs attended the meeting.

Ram Niwas directed the officials of the Education Department to provide ramps in the left-out schools within one month to provide free movement to the disabled children. He also directed the officials to conduct a survey in all schools to identify students suffering from disabilities.

The Home Secretary asked Director, Health Services, MS Bains, to organise camps in schools for the issuance of disability identity certificate so that pension and other benefits could be offered to the students easily.

People above 40 per cent disability are eligible for pension under the rules.



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