C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Punjab Bandh
PRTC loses Rs 15.27 lakh
Attar Singh
Tribune News service

Patiala, November 5
The bandh on November 3 cost the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation Rs 15.27 lakh.

The bandh was called by the radical Sikh organisations to seek justice for kin of the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Officials said the loss had been calculated today after getting inputs from various depots of the PRTC across the state. Almost all depots had reported that there were less passengers on November 3, as various organisations had announced that they would stop the government owned buses and rails, even though they had exempted private buses from the ambit of the bandh.

Even though the Sikh organisations had asserted that the bandh would be peaceful, people turned up in lesser numbers at various depots of the PRTC to travel by buses on that day.

Manvesh Singh Sidhu, managing director of the PRTC, said the corporation had suffered a loss of Rs 15.27 lakh on November 3. While daily receipts of the PRTC were pegged at Rs 52 lakh, there was a shortfall of about Rs 17 lakh on the bandh day, as all depots had reported fewer passengers, he added.

Sidhu said the PRTC had taken into confidence the district police chiefs at all places where the PRTC depots were located with a view of having adequate security while plying buses.

The bus services on certain routes, including the Bathinda-Amritsar route and Bathinda-Talwandi Sabo circuit, had to be called off in view of threat to property of the corporation.

The PRTC managing director said the PRTC had a fleet of 1,000 buses, which plied in all districts of the state besides a number of inter-state routes and the Patiala depot alone had 150 buses.

He said the PRTC had improved its financial health.

Sidhu said the PRTC had introduced air conditioned buses, which had become an instant hit among bus passengers.

Meanwhile, official sources said the Punjab transport department had brought down its losses from Rs 162 crore to Rs 50 crore and further measures had been initiated to mop up additional revenue.



Widening of Highway
Sales tax barrier adds to traffic woes
Rajiv Bhatia

A view of sale tax barrier at Zirkapur-Chandigarh highway
A view of sale tax barrier at Zirkapur-Chandigarh highway. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, November 5
The multi-crore project of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to widen the Ambala-Zirakpur national highway is of no help to motorists plying on the road, all thanks to the Punjab Sales Tax authorities.

Considering the consequences, tax barrier has been shifted on the Zirakpur-Chandigarh highway near Chandigarh. Besides parking of goods’ trucks, which is hampering the flow of traffic, traffic jams are a usual affair here.

The blockage on the road also causes minor accidents. On October 31, as many as 40 students of DAV School, Malout district, Muktsar, had a narrow escape when their bus collided with an Indica at the sale tax barrier. Though there was no injury, the car was damaged from one side.

A survey of the area reveals long queues of trucks waiting to get their documents checked. In the absence of streetlights, chances of road mishaps have also increased during the night.

According to information, earlier, the sale tax barrier at Zirakpur-Ambala highway near Singhpura village was causing traffic due to shortage of parking space. The barrier has also led to the loss of many lives in road accidents. The concerned department had shifted the barrier to Zirakpur-Chandigarh. The department claimed that there was enough space for parking of vehicles, but the parking problem was not solved, as a result trucks along with other vehicles were parked on the roadside.

Anand Sharma, a resident of Ambala, said it was difficult to drive on this track during night, as there was no signboard indicating about the sale tax barrier.

The concerned department must install blinkers to indicate commuters about the sale tax barrier, he added.

“In absence of traffic police, truck drivers park their trucks as per their wish,” said Varun Sharma, a resident of Zirakpur.

Talking to The Tribune, truck drivers asserted that they were also facing parking problems, but they have no option except to park their trucks on the roadside.

DSP Dera Bassi JS Khaira said the sale tax barrier was causing problem in the smooth flow of traffic during VIP duty. He said it was a serious issue and sale tax barrier must be shifted to some open space. “We have also written to SSP Mohali,” he added.

SDM Dera Bassi Punit Goyal said they were getting several complaints. “We have forwarded the complaints to higher authorities,” he said.



Panchkula man robbed at knifepoint
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur/Mohali, November 5
Three persons robbed a Panchkula resident at knifepoint near Sunpark hotel on Zirakpur-Kalka highway yesterday.

The miscreants took away cash, a laptop and luggage from the victim and manage to flee.

The incident took place when the victim Ravi Yadav, an engineer in Bathinda, was on his way from Delhi to Panchkula.

While reaching near hotel Sunpark on Zirakpur-Kalka highway, a Maruti car stopped in front of his auto-rickshaw and three persons came out from the car. They asked the driver to stop the auto-rickshaw. Meanwhile, the robbers snatched laptop, luggage and a wallet containing Rs 1,850 from the victim. The victim failed to note the registration number of their car due to absence of streetlights. Zirakpur SHO Sukhwinder Singh said a case had been registered and investigation was on.

In yet another snatching case, a gang of woman snatchers snatched a gold chain of a woman after entering into a house in Sector 70 here. However, the snatchers were arrested as the husband of the woman was at home.

In another case, Surinder Pal Kaler complained to the police that an unidentified person stole Rs 2 lakh from his scooter glove box while he had gone to Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, to pick her niece. He said he had withdrawn the money from Axis Bank. The victim claimed that his efforts to see the CCTV footage of the bank proved futile, as the bank had not installed CCTVs.



Chandigarh-Patiala road
Parked trucks block traffic
Tribune News Service

Banur, November 5
A large number of trucks parked adjoining the sales tax barrier at Banur today created chaos on Chandigarh-Patiala road.

The truckers said they had been waiting for their turn at the sales tax counter since last morning. The truckers said officials at the sales tax barrier had been locked inside the office by their seniors since morning due to chaos.

Trucks were parked at all sides of Banur-Tepla, Banur-Kharar, Banur-Rajpura and Banur-Zirakpur road and there was very little space for other vehicles to move. The police had a tough time in controlling the traffic due to the chaos. The officials at the sales tax said they had been locked from outside to avoid truckers entering their room and thus disturbing their working.

According to the police, the chaos is due to the construction of Banur-Tepla road and Punjab bandh due to which trucks got stuck up at Banur from various other parts. Harjot Singh, a resident of Banur, rued that traffic was moving at snail’s pace here and traffic officials failed to streamline traffic and acted only for VIP vehicles.



Stress on role of adventure in personality growth
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, November 5
A seminar-cum-workshop and exhibition was organised on the role of adventures in personality development by the National Adventure Foundation (HP) Chapter at Saffron City School, Kotla Bajwara. SSP Dr Kaushtabh Sharma was the chief guest, whereas Lt Gen GL Bakshi (retd), PVSM, presided over the function.

The SSP highlighted the role of adventures in one's personality. He said in the teenage, one could dare for adventures with vigour and dare and once you experienced any adventure, the more one loved to dare. He citied various examples and appreciated the efforts of school management in organising such function to boost the morale of students.

Lt Gen GL Bakshi said the students must adopt adventure for the service of nation and society. He said in the era of turmoil, one must be ready to face any situation. He said the youths were the future of the country and fate of the country depended upon their capability.

Principal Anoop Kaur Vilkhoo highlighted achievements of the school in the field of education, sports and cultural activities. She thanked the National Adventure Foundation (NFA) for organising the seminar.

An exhibition based on the equipment required for adventure activities along with traffic park in the school was also inaugurated by the chief guest.

A slide show-cum-live demonstration of repelling river crossing and other activities was also organised. The NFA pitched tents on school ground for “night out” for senior students.



Placement drive tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 5
A campus placement drive would be held at IET Bhaddal campus on November 7.

The college spokesperson said 550 students of final and pre-final year of engineering and management department would participate in the drive.

Head Dr JS Kanwar, training and placement, said IGEN Infotech, a software development and business process outsourcing company, and Miran Solutions, a custom development wireless solutions and software company, would choose the students from BTech (ECE, CSE, IT, EEE, EIE, ME), MBA and MCA final and pre-final year students having first division till now.

He told the selection procedure would include written test, group discussion, technical and HR interviews. He further told IGEN Infotech would place the students as junior software engineers at an annual package of Rs 3 lakh and Miran Solutions would recruit them as the computer software engineers and team leaders at an annual package of Rs 2 lakh.



Man ends life

Zirakpur, November 5
A 43-year-old resident allegedly committed suicide at his residence yesterday.

According to the police, Praveen Goyal, a resident of Royal Estate, Zirakpur, had allegedly consumed some poisonous substance. He was rushed to a private hospital by his daughter in an unconscious state. Later, he was referred to the GMCH-32, where he died during the treatment.

The Investigating Officer stated that the deceased was said to be under depression since a long time. Goyal was employed with a private insurance company earlier, but he had left his job one-and-a-half year ago. He is survived by wife and a daughter. His wife is a teacher at Government School, Lalru.

The IO added that the body was handed over to family members after the autopsy and an inquest proceeding had been initiated. — TNS



Candle march by students
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 5
Students of Punjabi University, Patiala, today took out a candle march on the university campus to protest the police inaction against accused of the 1984 riots.

Nearly 70 students began their march from the main library to gurdwara located on the campus and prayed for those who were killed in the attacks.

Students pledged to fight for crime against humanity. Paramjit Singh Gazi, who led the march, said, “We have organised the march in memory of the 1984-riots victims. Even after 25 years, the administration has failed to nail the culprits. We have given up hope for any justice.”

Talking about their scuffle with the Punjab police on November 3, Gazi termed it as an unfortunate incident. He said it was a peaceful bandh and they had no intention to inconvenience anyone.



Papers on economic issues

Patiala, November 5
Punjabi University, Patiala, is organising the annual conference of the Indian Political Economy Association (IPEA) on November 6 and 7. According to Dr Balwinder Singh Tiwana, local organising secretary of IPEA, about 50 papers relating to economic, political and social issues would be presented during the six technical sessions of the conference, focusing mainly on global crisis and its impact on India, electoral democracy, identity politics and discontentment and struggles in South Asia.

The Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, Dr Jaspal Singh, will preside over the conference, while the inaugural address will be delivered by Prof Harbans Singh Sidhu of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. — TNS



Cycling meet from Nov 9
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 5
Punjabi University, Patiala, will organise the All-India Inter-University Cycling Championship (men and women) from November 9 to 13.

Around 20 men and women teams have already sent their entries.

University coach Mittarpal Singh said, “Our boys and girls are in good form and I am sure that they will keep up the good work.”



HC restores pension benefits to employees
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that an employee moving out from one pensionable job in Punjab to another in Haryana would receive the benefits for his previous service.

Justice Ranjit Singh also held that Punjab acted in an unfair and unjustified manner by not contributing to pension for the services of a state employee.

The ruling came on a petition by Partap Singh, who has remained an employee of two different governments. Appointed on September 7, 1978, the petitioner applied for headmaster’s post in Haryana in September 1988 through proper channel, and was selected. He finally retired from the service on January 31, 2008.

Quoting rule 3.17 of Punjab Civil Services Rules, the petitioner contended that the service rendered by him in Punjab from 1978 to 1989 was liable to be counted for pension and related benefits but the state refused to contribute.

In the reply, Punjab submitted that the resignation of an employee “entailed forfeiture of past service”. The petitioner had voluntarily resigned from state service and was not entitled to the benefit of service rendered in Punjab.

Justice Ranjit Singh asserted: “The stand taken by the respondent-state is neither fair nor justified as per rules. No doubt, Rule 7.5 of the Civil Service Rules provides the resignation entails forfeiture of past service, but it is further provided in sub-section (2) of the Rule a resignation shall not entail forfeiture of past service if it has been submitted to take up, with proper permission, another appointment, whether temporary or permanent, under the government where the service qualifies for pension.”

Before parting with the orders, Justice Ranjit Singh held: “The respondent-state of Punjab is liable to contribute to the pensionary benefits to the state of Haryana. The writ petition is accordingly allowed. The petitioner is held entitled to get the pensionary benefits from the State of Haryana, while counting his past service rendered in the State of Punjab.”



Man robbed at knifepoint; one held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The police has arrested a resident of Sector 38 West for allegedly robbing a man at knifepoint.

Sikander of Sector 52 reported to the police alleging that Santosh of Sector 38 West had robbed him of Rs 140 at knifepoint near the jungle area in Sector 52 on November 3. The police has arrested the accused and has registered a case.


A scooterist, Jhoney Parshad of Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, was hurt after being hit by a truck (HR-58-A-7577) near Kala Gram, Mani Majra, on November 2. He was admitted to the Sector 16 government Multi-specialty Hospital.

In another incident, a pedestrian was hit by a scooter (CH-01-X-5753) being driven by Nirmal Singh of the Fire brigade Colony, Sector 17, near Kala Gram, Mani Majra on November 1. The victim was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital.

Two separate cases have been registered.


Prem Singh of Mani Majra reported that Ranjit Kaur, Pritam Kaur, Jagmohan Kumar, Gurmukh Singh and Pawandeep Singh, all residents of Punjab had allegedly grabbed his property by forging documents. A case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy has been registered under various sections of the IPC.

Ganja seized

The police has arrested Ram Varun of Uttar Pradesh from Sector 25 on Wednesday and recovered 140 grams of ganja from his possession. A case under Section 20 of the NDPS Act has been registered.


The police has arrested Manjit Singh of Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh from near Hallomajra traffic lights point on Wednesday night with as stolen Maruti Zen car. The police said the accused had stolen the car from Amritsar in 2004 and had been using it by forging documents. He was caught on information that he had come to the city to dispose of the car. A case has been registered.


Santosh Kumar of Sector 48 alleged that Tarun Kapoor of Mani Majra had assaulted and threatened him on road dividing Sectors 47 and 48 on Wednesday night.

In another incident, Bharti of Sector 44 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Pankaj Guleria of Sector 44 had beaten him up and threatened with dire consequences at her residence on Wednesday night. The police arrested the accused.



Road Rage
Man held for assaulting advocate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The police has arrested a resident of Sector 19 on the charges of assaulting an advocate following a road accident near traffic lights point on the road diving Sectors 9 and 10 here this morning.

According to the police, advocate Rohit Suri of Sector 19-A lodged a complaint alleging that Ramandeep Singh had beaten him up following an altercation after the accident. The accused also threatened him of dire consequences.

The accident took place at around 9 am when Ramandeep applied brakes and the advocate, who was coming from rear, banged his car. A heated debate ensued between them, which turned violent and Ramandeep assaulted the advocate.

A case of causing hurt, criminal intimidation and damaging property had been registered against Ramandeep Singh. He was produced before a local court, which remanded him to judicial custody. On the other hand, relatives of Ramandeep Singh alleged that the police acted in a biased manner and did not take action on their complaint.

They alleged that the advocate also assaulted Ramandeep, but the police ignored it under pressure of advocates.



Army jawan ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
Kalimuthu, a jawan of the Army Supply Core, was found hanging from a ceiling fan at his residence in the notified military area here this morning.

Though no suicide note was recovered from the spot, the police said he had committed suicide following an altercation with his wife.

The SHO of the Sector 31 police station said a father of two, Kalimuthu, was found hanging in the morning. The police was informed and the body was shifted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital for post mortem.

The police had informed Kalimuthu’s family in Tamil Nadu about the incident. The post mortem would be conducted after their arrival. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC in this regard.



St Xavier’s, Shishu Niketan School claim titles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
Hosts, St Xavier’s School and Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22, won the U-15 and U-19 titles, respectively, in the Annual St Xavier’s Six-A-Side Football Championship being conducted under the aegis of the Chandigarh Football Association at St Xavier’s School, Sector 44, here today. Captained by Ben William, St Xavier’s School-44 proved too good for Baptist School, Sector 45, by scoring 4-1 margin in the one-sided U-15 final. Cheered by their colleagues, St Xavier’s dominated the game throughout the match.

Mohit Vaid converted all his chances which came their way. Showing fine dribbling and shooting skills, Mohit Vaid repeatedly pierced Baptist School’s defence to score goals. Fed by his colleagues, Mohit Vaid scored all four goals for his team and also performed a four-in-a-row feat. His goals came in the 24th, 28th , 32nd and 40th minutes. The solitary goal for Baptist was netted by Karan in the 39th minute. Functioning like a well-oiled machine, Shishu Niketan School could have won still by a bigger margin, had they not frittered away a couple of golden opportunities as their forwards either shot wide or fumbled at the crucial hours. Still Shishu Niketan emerged winners by a 4-2 margin in the U-19 final against Delhi Public School, Sector 40, and retained their title.

Shubham opened the account for winners in the eighth minute. Sahil got a goal in the 17th minute to make it 2-0. Against the run of play, Shubham reduced the margin for DPS-40 in the 22nd minute. Five minutes later, Vivek again put Shishu Niketan in lead in the 27th minute. Two minutes later, DPS reduced the margin through Dhruv. Sandesh rounded off the winners tally with a fine goal in the 32nd minute. St Xavier’s School director Merlyn Goswain distributed prizes to winners and runners-up in the U-19 category, while chairman of the school Andrew Goswain gave away the prizes to winners and runners-up in the U-15 category.



St Kabir to lock horns with NPS-18 in final
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 5
St Kabir School, Sector 26, will lock horns with New Public School, Sector 18, in girls final of the sixth Emily Gosain Memorial Under-17 Inter-School Basketball Tournament to be held at St Xavier's School here tomorrow.

In the semifinal matches played today, St Kabir School defeated Holy Child of Panchkula 24-14. Rupandeep and Kriti contributed 10 points apiece for the winners. Arshiya and Gul Walia got six and four points for Holy Child.

New Public School outplayed Saupin's School, Sector 32, Chandigarh, by 30-18 points. Anita (8) and Prakriti (6) were the main scorers for NPS-18. Tanya (6) and Sakshi (5) reduced the margin for Saupin's School.

Earlier, hosts St Xavier's School, Sector 20, outplayed Saupin's School-32 of Chandigarh 27-6 in the boys quarterfinal match. Safraj and Shubham were the main scorers for the winners with six and five points, respectively. Kunal (3) and Arjun (2) reduced the margin for Saupin's School.

St Kabir School-26, Holy Child, Panchkula, New Public School-18, Chandigarh, and Saupin's School, Chandigarh, moved into the girls semifinal. New Public School got the better of St Xavier's-44, Chandigarh, 35-20. Anica gave an outstanding performance for NPS as she scored 14 points. She was given full support by Neha (8). For losers, Deepika was the top scorer with 10 points. Mankanwar got four points.

Gul Walia excelled in sinking baskets from all angles as Holy Child School of Panchkula ousted Delhi Public School of Pinjore 36-16 in another quarterfinal encounter. Gul Walia top scored with 26 points.



Horse show from November 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
In a bid to give impetus to equestrian sports in the northern region, the Western Command’s Shivalik Riding and Pony Club is conducting the Chandigarh Horse Show-2009 from November 15 to 17 in Chandigarh.

The previous horse show conducted by the Western Command under the aegis of Equestrian Federation of India had witnessed unprecedented response from all over the country.

The horse show would once again invite participation from the services, para-military forces and state police teams, besides other civilian outfits and teams.

The main event is show jumping and tent pegging. IOC is the main sponsor of the Chandigarh Horse Show. The event is aimed to promote and nurture the equestrian sports in the region.



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