C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


N-CHOE Filth is back
UT fails to clean up its act
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Belying the claims of a total clean-up by the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation (MC), filth in the N-Choe is flowing once again. The authorities claiming that the ‘trickle’ is only residual water from public taps and road side vendors is simply not true since, as is evident to the visible eye, water is flowing continuously in the form of a small stream throughout the day in Sector 10.

“The situation had improved considerably following a series of reports by The Tribune in April last year followed by the intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. However, the situation is falling back into the old groove now,” says Bharat Vadhera, a resident of Sector 9.

The department of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) does not have a tabulated data chart on comparative pollution levels of the choe. However, random surveys, particularly near the exit point in the southern sectors, have shown that there has been no improvement in the quality of water flow in the choe.

The site where a special pump to drain out water in Bougainvillae Garden in Sector 3 is located stinks (see picture). The tubewell installed by the administration is serving no purpose considering that there is permanent presence of water. The overbridge separating Leisure Valley and the Government Arts College in Sector 10 is a venue for permanent stench. A small stream of clean water, too, flows continuously. The black waters flow far below the stream towards Rose Garden in Sector 16.

Morning walkers are horrified at the site and at the smell of the stream in Shanti Kunj in Sector 16. Officials maintain that this site was where water from leaking pipes converge. “How are we bothered? The fact is that the situation in Shanti Kunj is worse than before,” says Vadhera.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda claims: “There is no flow of sewage into the choe. The water comes from the tents of security guards in the northern sectors. In southern sectors, water comes from roadside vendors using municipal tap.”

The MC cannot deny the continuously stinking standing waters which is black in southern sectors, particularly beyond Sector 42. Official sources concede that the entire area near Kajheri village and Sector 52 does not have adequate sewers. The sewage from a big portion of the area, which houses a thick population of migrants, flows into the tract of the choe.

Gaurav Gautam, who runs a shop near the choe outlet in Sector 42, says: “The situation improved for a little time after The Tribune campaign last year. Things remained fine for a few months. However, the nauseating smell is back.”

‘An eyesore’
Jasjeet Singh, lawyer A strong smell emanates in the Rose Garden. When we go for a walk in the morning, particularly along the tract of the choe, a strong foul smell hangs in the air. The condition in Shanti Kunj, a little ahead, is constantly nauseating. The authorities have not bothered to plug the leaking pipes at the site which has turned into an eyesore.
— Jasjeet Singh, lawyer 
‘Check needed’
Lalit Chandokh, Sector 8 resident The serene settings of the Bougainvilla Garden very often smells of rotten vegetables. I know these are residuals of vegetables cut in the tents of security personnel in houses of VIPs and VVIPs residing all around the garden. I wish some check could be introduced. 
— Lalit Chandokh, Sector 8 resident 
‘MC acting’
S.S. Bidda, Chief EngineerThere is no problem in the northern sectors at all, except for a trickle of water from the market taps. The Municipal Corporation has started work on a major project in the southern belt for managing the sewerage discharge which reached the N-choe.
— S.S. Bidda, Chief Engineer
‘Flow plugged’
JS Dhammi, Executive Engineer, Water Supply and Sanitation, Mohali Most of the points from where the sewage flows in to the N choe have been plugged. For the sewage flowing in to the Leisure valley, the UT has been held responsible. We have plugged points in Phase IX and X after a survey.
— JS Dhammi, Executive Engineer, Water Supply and Sanitation, Mohali 
Ranjivan Singh, Amucis curiae appointed by High Court on N choeIt is unfortunate that untreated sewage is being dumped into the choe. The UT and Punjab have given a blueprint on the issue. I will take up the matter on the next date of hearing.
— Ranjivan Singh, Amucis curiae appointed by High Court on N choe


The N-Choe at Sector 3, Chandigarh.

The N-Choe at Sector 10, Chandigarh.

The N-Choe at Rose Garden, Sector 16, Chandigarh.

The N-Choe at Phase IX, Mohali.

The N-choe at Phase XI, Mohali.



Situation no better in Mohali 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 25
The repulsive picture of mounds of garbage scattered around and the stench of sewage flowing in the N-Choe is back to haunt residents living along the water course. After the judiciary pulled up the Chandigarh and Mohali administrations, the authorities claimed to have made a blueprint, but the filth can again be seen flowing in the choe.

Adding to the discharge flowing from Chandigarh near Kajehri village, streams of “liquid poison” can be seen joining the water course -- one near Leisure Valley, another near the PCA Stadium and yet another near Sector 80.

A point near the stadium has been identified from where the sewage still trickles into the choe. After it was found that the PCA authorities were discharging sewage into the choe, the department directed the PCA authorities to throw the sewage into the sewerage network. GMADA was also dumping its sewage into choe near the bridge of Sector 81. A regular flow of sullage indicates that GMADA is not following the instructions.

This is despite the fact that GMADA has set up a sewage treatment plant near Manuli village and is supposedly treating the sewage of Mohali. The claims of the authorities fall flat when residents living along the choe complain of consistent pungent smell. “Our lives are miserable and we can’t move out in the face of this criminal neglect by the authorities,” says Arman Singh, a resident of Sector 63.

Similar is the plight of thousands of residents living along the water body in Sectors 61, 62, 63, 64 and 67.

The Chandigarh Administration has created exit points of sewage at different points along the zigzag boundary shared with Mohali. The repulsive look of the sick stream is concealed behind the wild growth of reeds in the stream passage. 



Liquor to cost more in city
Vend licences net Admn Rs 127 cr
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Bacchus lovers in the city must prepare themselves to shell more under the new tender schemes introduced from the current financial year.

A cross-section of liquor contractors said: “Going by the fact that liquor quota is fixed in the city, the vendors paying more than double the earlier prices will charge more from consumers.”

Satpal, a leading contractor, said: “The prices of liquor will vary in different parts of the city. Let us wait and watch how the market emerges.”

Importantly, the UT Administration received bids for only 190 vends against the decided number of 217. Giving a chance to new players under the new excise scheme, the Administration has became richer by a whopping Rs 67.57 crore here today. It earned

Rs 127.67 crore through the allotment of 190 vends. This is more than double of last year’s figure of Rs 60.10 crore.

Last year, 209 liquor vends (152 IMFL and 57 country liquor) were functional but this year the department received a total of 190 bids (149 IMFL and 41 country) while the total number of the sites is 217. “For the remaining sites, sealed bids will be called very soon,” said Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Naresh Dubey.

Highest earner category

Of the total five categories, that of retail sale foreign liquor (L2) vends in SCOs/SCFs/shops/booths, etc, netted the maximum revenue of Rs 54.60 crore through 89 bidders. However, there was no bid for one site at the Sector 34 market. The sites at Sector 22C and Sector 44 markets fetch the highest bids of Rs 1.11 crore each. City resident Munish Khullar made both the bids.

Lowest earner category

The category of retail sale country liquor vends in prefabricated temporary structures garnered the lowest revenues of Rs 9. 73 crore through 15 successful tenders, while five sites in the category could not attract even a single bid. The highest bid was Rs 1,25,11,325 by Avtar Singh Kler for a site in Sector 51.

Revenues from other categories

* Rs 39.96 crore: Category of retail sale foreign liquor vend in prefabricated temporary structures. There were 38 successful bidders while two bids were rejected for incomplete formalities. The highest bid was Rs 2.75 crore for a Sector 52 site by Arvinder Paul Dhounsi. The other two sites, which fetched over Rs 2 crore, included those near airport chowk in Behlana (Rs 2.51 crore) by Darshan Singh Kler and Sector 54 (Rs 2.11 crore) by Arvind Singla.

* Rs 10.16 crore: Category of retail sale foreign liquor vend in SCOs/SCFs/shops/booths, etc. Of the total 45 sites in this category there were no takers for 19 sites. The highest bid was Rs 55 lakh by Iqbal Singh for the Kajheri village site.

* Rs 13.20 crore: Category of retail sale foreign liquor (modern liquor shop) vend. Of the 23 successful bidders the highest bid of Rs 85 lakh was made by a New Delhi based firm, Miracle Info System.

No objection from bidders

Monday’s bidding for a liquor vend site at Tagore Theatre in Sector 18 did not even see a single objection from the bidders’ side. The entire affair, which lasted around six-and-a-half hours long, was altogether smooth. “This is the first time that we are allotting the vends through sealed bids. It proved not only very smooth but also brought in a whopping revenue,” commented UT ADC ML Sharma.

* As many as 623 bidders were declared eligible by the excise department for participation in Monday’s auction

* Local liquor contractor Avinash Doda remained the successful bidder for 17 sites in various categories

* The costliest site - the Sector 52 vend, located in front of the Sector 43 bus terminal - went for Rs 2.75 crore

* 23 sites fetches over Rs 1 crore



Hard luck for bidders of 20 sites
Akash Ghai/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The location of 20 liquor vends in the city, which were allotted to successful bidders today, is set to put the bidders and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) on the path of confrontation.

Despite the recent decision of the MC not to provide its land for prefabricated temporary liquor shops, the excise department put 12 such sites for IMFL and eight for country liquor for bid at various locations here today.

A majority of such vends have been functioning from the MC land till now. Interestingly, for 12 such sites (IMFL) category, the successful bidders have put over Rs 8 crore on stake. In the category for country liquor, three successful bidders put around Rs 1.52 crore at risk. But the other seven sites failed to get any bidder.

A senior official of the excise department said the successful bidders would be facing a problem as far as the arrangement of the land was concerned.

“I can’t comment what they will do now, especially after the decision of the MC. Those who have put such a huge amount on stake must have thought of some arrangements before submitting the bids. But right now it seems like they have put their money at risk,” he said.

The department has clearly instructed that the arrangement of land will be the sole responsibility of the successful tenderer for such sites in both categories. If any such person fails to make arrangement of the space in the stipulated time, he will lose 25 per cent of reserve price (Rs 45 lakh for IMFL and Rs 37 lakh for country liquor category) to the department.

A contractor, who did not make bids for such sites, said the department should not have called for bids for these sites.

“The step will surely lead the MC and the excise department to be at loggerheads as the contractors will pressure the MC to allot them place,” he said.


* Amritsar-based contractor Harkesh Singh bought seven sites (IMFL category) for over Rs 3.5 crore. He was followed by Mohali contractor Siraj Uddin Ahmad who bought three such sites for around Rs 1.6 crore.

* City contractor Arvind Singla emerged as the highest bidder in the retail sale of foreign liquor in the prefabricated temporary structures category with Rs 2.11 crore. In the category of retail sale country liquor vends in prefabricated structures, Singla stole the limelight with a bid of Rs 76 lakh for the Sector 54 site.

‘Decision firm’

“We will go by our decision of not giving MC land for liquor vends. The decision will not be changed at any cost. — Ravinder Singh Pali, UT Mayor

‘Bidders’ responsibility’

“We have repeatedly mentioned in our policy that we are not responsible for making any arrangements of land for such sites. The bidders knew it. In case the successful bidder fails, we will forfeit 25 per cent of the reserve price. — ML Sharma, UT Additional Deputy Commissioner 


Janvi’s parents move court against school principal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Parents of Janvi, a class X student of St Xavier’s School, who fell down from the third floor mysteriously last week, today moved a criminal complaint in a district court, seeking action against the school principal.

Janvi’s father Tilak Raj Satija filed a complaint against Marvin West, principal of St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, seeking the registration of a case under Section 325 (punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 326 (punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon or means), 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the IPC in the court of judicial magistrate Anupamish Modi.

The girl’s father alleged in the complaint that around 12:50 pm on April 18, his daughter was preparing for a debate outside the class when the principal, along with a few teachers, came and scolded her for being out of class.

He added in the complaint that his daughter informed the principal that she was preparing for the school debate, but the principal scolded and humiliated her, that led to an altercation.

He stated in the complaint that the principal pushed her, following which she fell from the third floor of the building. She sustained multiple injuries in various parts of the body and her treatment was going on at a private hospital in Mohali.

The counsel for the complainant, MS Jandiala, said the court had fixed May 21 as the date for further evidence. He added that they had given a list of witnesses, including Piyush, another student, who was with Janvi before the incident.

He stated that they had requested the court to record the statement of Janvi through video conferencing as she was bedridden and unable to walk.



Used Surgical Items
PGI orders vigilance probe 
Issues notice to chemist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The PGI authorities while ordering a vigilance inquiry into the sale of used surgical items at a chemist shop on the campus has issued a notice to the chemist asking him to explain the circumstances under which he allegedly sold a used drainage cannula to a patient.

Further a committee headed by a senior professor has been constituted to find loopholes in the system so that such incidents do not recur.

The committee comprising members from the vigilance and hospital administration has to take care of the issues emerging from the incident.

Even as it is yet to be established that there was a nexus among insiders and chemists in pilfering surgical items of the PGI, the committee will look into the system in place and suggest measures to make it foolproof, sources stated.



No. of rail coaches up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
In a bid to accommodate extra rush of passengers during the ensuing summer holiday season, the railways authorities here have increased the number of coaches in sleeper class in Sadbhavna and Uchahar Express, which travel from Chandigarh through Allahabad to Lucknow.

A senior official said two additional coaches had been added with immediate effect as the rush was steadily increasing, with the list of passengers of waiting list spiralling by the day.

The Sadbhavna Express and the Dibrugarh train have a weekly supplementary train since April 6.



Property dealers dupe 50 landowners
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 25
Several landowners in Mullanpur Garibdas and 30 neighbouring villages have alleged that they are being duped by property dealers who are grabbing their lands by making forged documents of sale of their land.

Landowners of Mullanpur and surrounding villages show documents forged by the property dealer in Mohali on Monday. A Tribune photograph
Landowners of Mullanpur and surrounding villages show documents forged by the property dealer in Mohali on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Speaking to media persons here today some of the villagers claimed that they had been cheated by a well-organised racket of property dealers who have become active since the announcement of developing the area as New Chandigarh.

The land owners also lamented that the district administration was not acting tough against a dealer against whom FIRs had been registered for allegedly making bogus land sale documents in four cases. People have alleged that the same dealer had cheated about fifty villagers.

“The said property dealer grabbed my 2.5 acres by making forged documents of land deed,” said Naib Singh, a retired assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of the Punjab police. Similarly, Gurdev Singh, sarpanch of Ferozpur Bangar Panchayat, alleged that the same property dealer had prepared forged documents of sale of 3 acres belonging to his relative.

The said property dealer, according to villagers, with the help of some people from the revenue and the police department, was running a land mafia in the area. Residents of 30 villages of the area have made a representation signed by sarpanches of these villages to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Mohali, to arrest the property dealer.

SHO, Mullanpur, GP Singh said raids were being conducted to arrest property dealer Krishan Kumar Malohatra, who had gone into hiding.

Alleging political patronage for the accused dealer, villagers had threatened of agitation if no action was taken against him. 

Villagers claim that they have been cheated by a well-organised racket of property dealers who have become active since the announcement of developing the area as New Chandigarh Residents of 30 villages of the area have made a representation, signed by sarpanches of these villages, to the SSP, Mohali, to arrest a property dealer



Sanitation: MC steps up supervision
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 25
Daily supervision and stricter implementation of the terms of the agreement is now being done by the Mohali Municipal Corporation to improve sanitation in the city.

A blocked drain near the light point in Phase VII, Mohali, which has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
A blocked drain near the light point in Phase VII, Mohali, which has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

The work, which was earlier done under the supervision of one executive officer, is now being looked after by four officials. They are the assistant commissioner, superintending engineer and two executive officers.

During the day-to-day monitoring of sanitation it was found that contractors concerned were not employing as many number of safai sewaks as mentioned in the terms of the agreement. As a result fines were being imposed, which came to an average of about Rs 15,000 daily.

According to reports, on an average eight safai sewaks were found short in one zone while about 20 were found short in another zone. The town had been divided into four zones for sanitation purposes.

Notices had also been issued to two contractors for violating the terms of the agreement. There was a possibility that they would be blacklisted by the civic body if the violation continued.

It was highlighted in these columns on April 19 that sanitation was in a very bad state in Mohali. Heaps of garbage, dry leaves and garden waste were a common sight in the town. Even the footpaths along the main roads could be seen strewn with filth and polythene bags. Unhygienic conditions prevailed near garbage collection points in various parts of the town.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner, who also held the charge of the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Varun Roojam took a round of various parts of the town on April 20 to know about the state of sanitation. In order to bring about an improvement in sanitation work, he had directed officials concerned to take personal interest in the work and blacklist contractors who deployed inadequate number of safai sewaks.



Site for school turns into cesspool
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 25
The Resident Welfare Association of Sector 48-C (HIG Housing, PUDA Complex) laments unhygienic conditions prevailing in the area, courtesy Chandigarh administration. The site earmarked for a primary school has turned into a cesspool as a sewer line is lying blocked for the past one month.

The residents have also drawn attention of the GMADA officials towards the poor condition of roads in the area.



Sector 33 musical fountain to be replaced
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
It is curtains for the city’s first musical fountain in the Terraced Garden in Sector 33. About 15 years after its commissioning, the musical fountain seems to be on its way out with the Municipal Corporation mulling its replacement with a state-of-the-art musical fountain.

The musical fountain, touted to be a boost to tourism in southern sectors after its commissioning in 1996, had been functioning “irregularly” for the past several years. “The musical fountain is made functional by the MC authorities only during the chrysanthemum show in February/March every year. For the rest of the year, it remains a mere showpiece,” area councillor Rajesh Kumar Gupta stated.

Gupta claimed that he had been pleading with the MC authorities about the installation of the new fountain since it had not been functioning properly for the past over four years.

An official said the fountain had outlived its utility. A proposal to install a new fountain was in the pipeline, he added. Efforts were being made to make the fountain functional.

Claiming that the MC was committed to providing better entertainment facilities to residents of southern sectors, Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said he would get the fountain inspected tomorrow to explore the possibility of it being repaired. The fountain is in the 10-acre picturesque garden of the MC.



Enlarged spleen removed, woman’s life saved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
A complex surgery by a team of doctors from the Chhuttani Medical Centre (CMC) has saved the life of 31-year-old Sangeeta Rani, who had been living with an enlarged spleen, weighing 3.5 kilograms, for the past more than one decade.

Dr (Col) Raj Kumar Sharma (retd) examines Sangeeta Rani, who had been living with a spleen weighing 3.5 kilograms.
Dr (Col) Raj Kumar Sharma (retd) examines Sangeeta Rani, who had been living with a spleen weighing 3.5 kilograms. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

A normal healthy spleen, an organ in the body for filtration of bacteria, dead cells and virus from blood, along with maintaing the immune system, weighs around 100 grams only. The surgery, that lasted four hours and-a-half was performed by Dr (Col) Raj Kumar Sharma (retd).

The patient, hailing from Muktsar, reached the hospital last month, when she was diagnosed suffering from splenomegaly (enlargement of spleen), due to which not only had she became acutely anaemic, her platelet count had been reduced to 88,000 from a normal between three and four lakh, said Dr Sharma. The spleen, normally not palpable, had been occupying the whole left half of the abdomen.

If surgery was not done on such patients, the size of spleen kept on increasing, making it more prone to injury. Even a trivial injury could rupture it, putting life of patient in danger, he said.

Sangeeta had been diagnosed with enlargement of spleen in 1998, said Nagender Prasad, her husband. Since then, she had been suffering from fever quite often, with other ailments, including continuous fall in level of haemoglobin, indigestion and general debility, he said. Knowing that surgery was the only treatment, they did not take a chance, apprehending her safety, he said.

Meanwhile, she had become the mother of two kids and her condition started deteriorating. When they reached the CMC, counselling by doctors helped them muster the courage to going through the procedure, added Nagender.

Though the surgery was conducted successfully, the enlargement of spleen to such extent had made it difficult to separate it from organs like stomach, colon, intestine and pancreas, said Dr Sharma.

While Sangeeta was ready to be discharged from hospital tomorrow, she would have to take care of her health throughout and use medicines against any type of infection as there was no spleen left in her body to maintain her immune system, he added.



Suresh Singh takes charge of 3 BRD
Tribune News Service

Group Capt Suresh Singh (right) takes over command of 3 BRD from Air Cmde R, Sharma (left) at a ceremonial parade in Chandigarh on Monday.
Group Capt Suresh Singh (right) takes over command of 3 BRD from Air Cmde R, Sharma (left) at a ceremonial parade in Chandigarh on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, April 25
Gp Capt Suresh Singh assumed the command of No. 3 Base Repair Depot here today from Air Cmde Ravinder Sharma, who has been posted to Air Headquarters, New Delhi. Group Captain Singh, who is scheduled to pick up the rank of air commodore on May 2, was Chief of the Engine Division at the depot.

Taking over the reigns of 3 BRD at a ceremonial parade, Gp Capt Singh emphasised the need for greater self-reliance in the field of aviation and adaptation of the latest technology for enhancing equipment reliability and flight safety. The depot is responsible for repair and maintenance of Soviet origin helicopters and AN-32 aircraft engines.

An aeronautical engineer, he was commissioned into the IAF in August, 1981 and has held several prestigious field and staff appointments that include senior technical officer of an MIG-23 fighter squadron, instructor at the Air Force Technical College, Bangalore, Chief of Quality Assurance at 4 BRD, Kanpur, and Chief Engineering Officer at Air Force Station, Jodhpur.



Dalits protest against BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
A public meeting was organised by Dalit organisations against the BJP at the Bapu Dham Colony here yesterday. Raising slogans against the BJP for using the word ‘untouchable’ for Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, they took out a ‘funeral procession’ of BJP national president Nitin Gadkari.

Dalit leaders Harphool C Kalyan and Balraj Singh demanded a public apology from the BJP and warned them of burning such effigies in every nook and corner of the city in case they did not apologise.



76 units of blood collected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
As many as 76 units of blood were collected during the 23rd blood donation camp organised by the Canara Bank Officers Association, Chandigarh region, in association with the Department of Transfusion Medicine, Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, here today.

Atul Kapoor, vice-president of the association, was the first to donate blood. Members of the association, along with their family members from Chandigarh and nearby places like Panchkula and Mohali, donated blood.

598 volunteers donate blood

As many as 598 volunteers, including 143 women, donated blood, at a blood donation camp organised by the Sant Nirankari Mission through the Sant Nirankari Charitable here on Sunday.

The camp was organised at the Sant Nirankari Satsang Bhawan, Sector 30-A, to commemorate the ‘Manav Ekta Divas’.

Medical camp

Youth United, an non-government organisation, organised a medical-cum-dental camp at the Bhaskar Colony, Sector 25, here on Sunday.

At least 200 persons were examined by doctors from the Institute of Dental Sciences, Panjab University.

The camp was organised under phase II of the Youth United Public Health Mission. A lecture on dental care was also delivered. 



Sec 144 imposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The UT administration has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC, prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons, in Sectors 29 and 31 and phases I and II of the Industrial Area here, starting midnight tonight, for the entire day tomorrow.

Announcing this here, the UT administration said the decision was taken keeping in view that certain groups were planning to organise rallies, dharnas and other agitational methods that might cause obstruction, annoyance or injury to persons lawfully employed and endanger human life and property, disturb public peace and tranquility and cause riots.

The district magistrate prohibited the public in general and any member thereof from forming an assembly of five or more persons, taking out processions, making speeches, raising slogans and carrying lathis in the area for a period of one day, according to an official press note.



Teachers pledge to donate organs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Six women teachers of DAV Model School, Sector 15, have pledged to donate organs. The move will give fillip to the organ donation campaign launched by Ramlad, an NGO.

Those, who will be donating organs, include principal of the school Dr Rakesh Sachdeva, Sweeti Behl, Shobha Tandon, Anita Sharma, Leena Seth and Bharti Dhawan.

The announcement was made during the annual function of the school on Saturday.



Price Watch
Lesser pinch on pocket
Chandigarh, April 25

Due to improved supply of vegetables and fruits in the market, prices of some products, including okra, bitter gourd, pumpkin and lemon, have been reduced. — TNS

Source: Sector 26 vegetable and fruit market



Mission Admission
Misrepresentation, fake certificates plague PU
Sumedha Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, April 25
Come admission season and cases of misrepresentation and production of fake certificates are back to haunt Panjab University.

The latest matter came to the fore at the registration and stores department of Panjab University today, where candidature of an applicant was reportedly cancelled after she was found guilty of misrepresenting her qualifications.

The student, who claimed to have done bachelor of arts from Panjab University, had sought admission to bachelor of education at a university-affiliated college in Gidderbaha (Punjab). During the verification of her application, it was found that the registration number quoted by her was forged and belonged to some other candidate. A subsequent enquiry revealed that information supplied by her regarding her BA part I, II and III was also fake. The girl was summoned with her original certificates, but she failed to respond, failing which the PU authorities not only cancelled her candidature, but was also planning to report the matter to the police.

While sources claimed that the photocopy of certificates attached by her were found to be fake, the department officials refused to confirm this.

“We got suspicious when we considered her forged registration number and to our dismay her entire details about the ‘reported’ BA done by her were fake. We suspected a foul play and summoned her with her originals, but she never turned up, so we had to take this step,” said an official.

When contacted, PU Controller of Examination AK Bhandari said,” I have learnt about the incident. But am yet to receive any details. If it’s a case of fake certificates, then we expect involvement of a tout. We advise everybody to be cautious as nobody can help you pass examination or procure ‘true’ degrees with money.” 


A Ludhiana-based girl was found guilty of producing a fake certificate in Panjab University in 2009 and was eventually debarred for three years. The matter came to light when the PU authorities detected a discrepancy in the marks certificate attached with the examination form submitted by the girl, who was pursuing BA from PU through distance learning. While the certificate declared her pass in the first year, according to PU records, she had not only failed to clear her main exams, but had also failed in the re-appear exams. The girl, who was believed to be a relative of a high-profile media professional, confessed to have procured the forged certificate from a computer centre for `5,500.



Now, candidates’ photos on attendance sheets
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
In a bid to rule out the possibilities of impersonation and intentional change of centre by some students, Panjab University has decided to put candidates’ photographs on attendance sheets. The pictures, which will be the same as on application forms, shall prove to be an easy verification tool for invigilators and combat use of fake roll numbers.

Conventionally, the university has photographs on roll numbers and signatures on attendance sheets. A candidate’s identification is verified by matching his signatures and roll number’s picture. However, in recent years not only some students have been able to outsmart the authorities with fake roll numbers, but university has also got reports of invigilators skipping verification claiming it to be ‘time consuming’.

“There have been cases in the past, where a student though scheduled to appear from one centre, chose to do so from another. There have also been reports of production of fake roll numbers as well. By putting students photographs on the attendance sheets, we will ensure that a candidate’s authenticity is verified within seconds, and roll number gets counter checked,” said PU Controller of Examination AK Bhandari.

In addition, Panjab University shall also introduce biometric verification in admission this year. Although, PU has been taking thumb impressions of prospective students, but has never used it for the verification of identification.

As per new plan, applicants will be required to give thumb impressions at three different stages of admission. The verification will be done for all those who secure admission.

“We will be taking the thumb impression at the time of counselling and on application and admission forms as well. It is not viable to check every candidate therefore we will be introducing this verification for only those who get selected for a particular course. Details of selected candidates will also be verified,” added Bhandari.



From Schools & Colleges


Chandigarh: A delegation comprising students and staff members of St Laurence School, Wiltzshire, and Bradon Forest, Wiltzshire, the UK, visited Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sector 25, on Monday for an idea exchange programme under the ongoing British Council connecting classroom project. Students of all three schools had discussions and debates over several issues. A cultural programme was also presented.

Earth Day

Vijay Public Smart School, Sector 17, celebrated Earth Day by organising various activities and competitions on Monday. Primary class students were apprised of the importance of ‘Mother’ earth and ways to conserve the natural habitat. Students participated in the best out of waste competition. They also took part in poster making and slogan writing competitions. Students were advised to abstain from using polythene bags.

Heritage Day

Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, celebrated the Heritage Day with great zeal. Various competitions and programmes were organised to make students aware of the rich heritage. Students visited various places like the Open Hand, Secretariat, Governor House and Vidhan Sabha. Principal BS Kanwar laid emphasis on preserving the city’s heritage and nation’s culture.

Cartoon making

A cartoon making competition-Toon Hunt was organised by chandigarhschools.com in association with the Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA) on Monday. The event witnessed a huge participation. Participants made cartoons on the themes-social issues, environmental issues, political issues, sports events, personalities and economic issues. Director of chandigarhschools.com Vikas Dahiya said, “Toon Hunt aims at providing a platform to students.”


Panchkula: Around 175 students of Satluj Public School (junior wing), Sector 2, Panchkula, were given awards for excellence in academics and other fields by former chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and founder chairman of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) Father Thomas V Kunnunkal. Fifty per cent of the students scored grade A, while 25 per cent were awarded for relationship skills and the remaining students were awarded for regularity.

Placement drive

Ambala: A placement drive was held at Emax Group of Institutions by Chandigarh Stone Wares. Six students were selected by the company. Management of the institute thanked officials of the company and congratulated the selected students.

Scholarship awarded

Gaurav Garg, a student of MBA, AIMT, Ambala City, has been awarded Sir M Vishveshvariya Scholarship of Rs 25,000 by the Haryana State Counselling Society for securing the highest position in the online counselling of MBA conducted by the society for the session 2010-2011.


Zirakpur: Students of Dikshant International School were taken to Rishikesh for river rafting. The trip was organised by adventure club of the school. Mitul Dikshit, director of the school, said the idea behind organising the trip was to prepare students for the challenging times ahead.

Earth Day

DERA BASSI: A week-long activities marked the Earth Day celebrations at Sukhmani International School here. An essay writing competition was organised. Students also participated in a painting competition. Principal Ajay Nathwani highlighted the importance of natural resources. Chairman Prof Avtar Singh and director.


Mohali: Shivam Aggarwal (KG group) from Ludhiana, Siddhartha Batra (junior group) from Ferozepur and Kashish Mahajan (senior group) from MGN Public School, Jalandhar, were declared winners in UCMAS Abacus Mental Arithmetic Contest. They solved 200 arithmetic questions in just eight minutes. The contest was held at Manav Mangal School, Phase X, on Sunday. Rakesh Sachdeva, principal, DAV Model School, Sector 15, Chandigarh, gave away prizes to the winners. Satveer Singh Dhaka, MD, Wholistic Brain Education, said around 335 prizes were distributed among students. a— Tribune Reporters 



Abha emerges brain bee champion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Abha Jain from National Public School, Bangalore, emerged the Indian National Brain Bee champion in the two-day fourth Indian National Brain Bee-2011 (a neuroscience contest) that concluded yesterday.

The event, jointly organised by Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and Indian National Brain Bee (INBB ), Hyderabad, aimed at capturing the imagination of the youth and inspiring them to pursue a career in neuroscience research.

Bhargavi and Mallika, both from Hyderabad, stood first and second runners-up, respectively. The ‘best brain of India’ was given a trophy, a laptop and a certificate. 



Colour Day

Mohali, April 25
Colour Day was celebrated at Ashmah International School with fervour. Students and faculty members came dressed in different colours. Even the school was decorated with different coloured balloons and ribbons. Students were told about the significance of colours and how these had a direct influence on their mind, thoughts, mood and behaviour.

Principal Roopinder Ghuman said colours played an important role in our lives. “Colours can sway thinking, change actions and cause reactions.

These can soothe or irritate your eyes, raise your blood pressure or supple your appetite. Many nature therapists use colour therapy for imparting soothing effect and managing stress,” she said. — OC



‘Govt should clarify RTE guidelines’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 25
The government should clarify the guidelines of the Right to Education (RTE) Act besides identifying students belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) so that 25 per cent seats could be reserved for the actual beneficiaries.

These views were expressed by eminent educationists from the tricity and Haryana during a seminar on “Challenges Faced by Un-aided Independent Schools” organised at Red Bishop in Sector 1 here today.

Pritam Krit Serai, president, Panchkula Public Schools Association (PPSA), said all private school in the region were ready to implement the act, but the guidelines issued by the state government had failed to specify the actual beneficiaries. He said they were encountering a problem in admitting students under the EWS quota.

Serai said centralised mapping of EWS students needed to be done and such students should be identified by the government.

Former CBSE chairman Padmashree Father Thomas V Kunnunkal exhorted participants to present their views before the government in a non-aggressive way.

Some of the PPSA members on the condition of anonymity claimed that students with below poverty line (BPL) cards, costly mobile phones and swanky cars were approaching them for admission which had created doubts in the mind of the educational fraternity. They said on refusing admission to these affluent BPL cardholders, they were threatened with dire consequences.

RS Malik, IAS (retd), patron, PPSA, HS Mamik, president, Independent Schools Federation of India, and Capt Sanjay Anand, were among those who highlighted the problems of private independent schools.



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