C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Civic body spent Rs 13 lakh on welcoming ‘VVIPs’
Focus more on inaugural functions than amenities
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Rolling out the red carpet for politicians, in particular local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh during the past one year has left the municipal corporation poorer by Rs 13 lakh.

This fact emerged in a report tabled at the last meeting of the MC general house on a question raised by nominated councillor AP Sanwaria, who had sought detailed information on ward wise expenditure on inaugural functions since 2007 and particulars of the chief guests. However, the civic authorities failed to provide details of five years and only those of 2009-10 were given to the councillor.

Instead of spending taxpayers’ money on providing and improving basic civic amenities, MC officials incurred a huge expenditure on organising 28 inaugural functions of green belts, fountains and community centres as well as two foundation stone laying ceremonies. At one such function the civic body spent Rs 80,000 on laying the foundation stone of Mahila Bhavan in Sector 38 by union information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni and Pawan Bansal.

Interestingly, the partial details provided by the MC also reveals more funds were spent on “appeasing” politicians than on UT administration officials. At the inaugural function of a green belt in Sector 48 C and D, where the advisor to the UT administrator was the chief guest, the expenditure came to about Rs 68,500.

In yet another striking contrast, the MC spent Rs 70,000 on inauguration of a green belt in Sector 15 where a central minister was the chief guest, whereas the civic body incurred an expenditure of only Rs 22,000 on the inauguration of a park in Hallomajra by area councillor Ram Lal.

“The MC has failed to provide details of the source of funds spent on these functions”, averred Sanwaria.



Appointment of 23 guest lecturers withheld
Evening studies dept to have regular faculty, says VC
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
In a last-minute correction against the growing hiring of faculty on an ad hoc basis on the Panjab University campus, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti has “withheld” the appointment of 23 guest lecturers who were shortlisted recently in the department of evening studies. He said the posts would be filled only with regular faculty.

The department of around 1,100 students is at present struggling with a shortage of 18 teachers and had recently hogged headlines in the print media when faculty members objected to the increasing ratio of guest faculty. They alleged that some professors and Senators were being “appeased” by including their kin in the guest faculty.

Putting an end to the controversy, Sobti in a meeting with department officials has asked the Chairperson to submit a list of vacant positions. Rejecting the list of candidates comprising the names of wives of certain professors, Sobti declared that the university would be following UGC norms and there would not be more than 10 per cent guest lecturers in any department.

“The evening department has more or less been an academic slum which has for long been used to adjust the kin of professors and Senators. This time we got two Senators as VC nominees for the selection of the guest faculty which made the entire process farcical. We need

regular faculty for improving the department and the VC’s decision today has come as a big reprieve,” said a senior faculty member.

When contacted, Sobti refused to comment, saying “Speak to the Director”.

Indu Tiwari, Chairperson of the department of evening studies, said: “I cannot say about regular or guest faculty as it is the university’s decision, but I want regular faculty to run my department which is ailing from acute staff crunch.”


Going without classes

While the PU has decided to hire regular faculty for the department of evening studies, the time expected to be taken to do so is bound toaffect over 300 students, who for the last 15 days, have been going without classes. There is a shortfall of teachers in courses like commerce, Sanskrit and public administration. As a result, the classes are not held.



UT’s civil defence not ready for any emergency
Has no equipment, machinery
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
It’s official. In case of an emergency or calamity such as an earthquake, a major accident, terror strike or medical exigency, the UT Administration will be at its wit’s end as its Civil Defence Organisation (CDO) is woefully ill-equipped to handle a crisis situation and arrange for relief.

There exists no equipment, instruments and machinery with the CDO since its inception in 1966. A mere Rs 8.62 lakh has been received by the UT Administration from the Union Government over the last five years and the money is still lying unused, the office of the Deputy Commissioner has officially conceded this in a reply to an RTI application.

Not only that, but also there is only one senior civil defence instructor and a civil defence instructor in the UT for training and coordination. Even then, the post of civil defence instructor has been lying vacant.

In addition, no land has been allotted for the construction of a civil defence training institute on the

plea that the staff does not need to be trained. The information says that the training institute is not a feasible option for the city. The existing institutes in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana could be used for the training of the CDO staff, it suggested.

Surprisingly, the UT Administration has never requested the Central Government to provide funds for the training institute. In the absence of the institute, no training has been provided to the CDO staff in the last five years in even the neighbouring states.

While virtually washing its hands off making arrangements for exigencies, the DC’s office has said it was a joint venture of the departments concerned, including the municipal corporation, the engineering department and the police.

Meanwhile, Dr Jasdeepak Singh Kambala, who procured information under the RTI, expressed surprise at the reply, saying that it reflected poorly on the functioning of the Administration of a planned city like Chandigarh.


Civil defence — what UT lacks

  • Only two officials in the UT civil defence wing
  • No training institute for civil defence staff
  • No staff given training in the last five years
  • Rs 8.62 lakh meant for training lying unused
  • No equipment/machinery available with the civil defence office



Same house burgled twice in two nights
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 2
Burglars targeted the same house in the Old Panchkula area on two consecutive nights, Sunday and Monday.

The owner of the house, Ashok Kumar, who is into the business of catering, said construction was going on in his house.

Ashok Kumar said some of his relatives had stayed at his house on Sunday.

He claimed that the burglars entered his house that night and decamped with two mobile phones.

Ashok Kumar added that they had lodged a complaint to the police in this regard.

Unfortunately, on Monday night, some burglars targeted his house again and this time, decamped with 10 water taps from the top floor of the house.

When contacted, the Superintendent of Police (SP), Maneesh Chaudhary, said he was not aware of having received any such complaint. But he said he would check with the in charge of the police post concerned.



PU engg colleges losing out to top institutes
One-third of seats vacant in third round of counselling
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
One-third of the seats in engineering colleges affiliated to Panjab University and PEC University of Technology have fallen vacant as several students who had qualified have opted for institutions of their choice elsewhere in the country, securing admission in topnotch colleges.

In the third round of joint counselling, 498 of 1,600 seats in engineering and architecture colleges, including PEC, University Institute of Engineering & Technology (UIET), University Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology (UICET), Chandigarh College of Architecture and Swami Sarvanand Giri Panjab University are lying vacant.

The merit list underlines the fact that despite being top-ranked placement centres themselves, the PU and PEC University lose toppers to other places.

The attempt by students to grab a seat in the country’s topmost institutes, has resulted in a large number of seats remaining vacant here. Joint admissions to engineering and architecture colleges are done through ranks in the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education.

“Students who have scored a high rank prefer to block seats in the colleges till they secure admission at IITs and other top institutes. These students later do not report at the time of admission and hence the next ranked students are called during the second or third round of counseling,” said Sanjeev Kumar, coordinator of the joint admission committee.

Nearly 60 seats are yet to be filled at PEC University across all disciplines and categories. As many as 40 seats in BE (information technology) and 20 seats in BE (mechanical engineering) at UIET have also to be filled in the third round of counselling.

20 seats in BE (chemical engineering) and 19 seats in BE (food technology) at UICET, 27 seats in BE (biotechnology), 26 seats in BE (electronics and communications engineering) at UIET and 14 seats in BE (electronics and electrical communications engineering) at PEC University of Technology are still vacant.

Forty seats in BE (computer science & engineering), 38 seats in BE (IT) and 31 seats BE (mechanical engineering) at Swami Sarvanand Giri PU Regional Centre, Hoshiarpur, are yet to be filled.


New shelters, old questions
Admn fails to maintain existing bus queue shelters, plans 60 new costing Rs 15 lakh each
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service
A newly designed bus queue shelter in a southern sector
the ill-maintained one in Sector 8, Chandigarh
Picture in contrast A newly designed bus queue shelter in a southern sector; and (below) the ill-maintained one in Sector 8, Chandigarh. Tribune photos

Chandigarh, August 2
At a time when the UT Administration and Municipal Corporation has failed to maintain the already existing bus queue shelters across the city, the administration is coming up with 60 newly designed bus shelters at a estimated cost of Rs 15 lakh each.

The modern bus shelters constructed in the past few years are in a state of neglect and desperately need a makeover. Ignoring the existing bus shelters, the administration has planned 60 bus shelters with new design, the work on which has already started.

Official sources said most of the new bus shelters would come up in Southern Sectors from Sector 41 onwards. “Each bus shelter will cost around Rs 15 lakh. Initially every sector will have two bus shelters,” said an official.

However, city residents feel that maintaining the already existing bus shelters was the need of the hour. Shikha Nijhawan, president of the Residents’ Welfare Committee, Sector 27, said the UT should first plan to renovate the already existing bus shelters before coming up with the new ones. “I feel a few years down the line, new bus shelters will meet the same fate of the existing shelters,” she said.

A few years ago, bus shelters with new design were constructed with a provision of a shop in the shelter. However, the bus shelters have turned into an eyesore. Lajwant Singh Virk, a Sector 37 resident, said the new shelters made sense when the previous ones were being maintained properly. “The authorities should first see whether the already existing bus shelters are maintained properly or not,” Virk said.

The bus shelters constructed a few years ago don’t have even seats for commuters to relax. These bus shelters stand testimony to the fact that these have not been maintained since long. A majority of them are in a desperate need of care.

Officials of the UT Administration and the MC’s engineering refused to comment on the issue.



HSRP slips issued to 148 vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) today issued high-security registration plate (HSRP) authorisation slips to 148 owners of new vehicles today. The scheme, which was launched yesterday, took off today with the two vendors, Utsav Safety and Celex Technologies, witnessing a huge rush of orders for the high-security plates.

The RLA had yesterday issued the authorisation slips to 125 vehicles. Besides new vehicles, owners of old vehicles have also started pouring in to switch over to the new number plates.

Within two days of starting their business, the two vendors supplying the HSRPs have received around 65 orders each and have assured the customers of supplying these plates within four to five days. Celex Technologies is located at shop number 53, ISBT bus stand in Sector 17, and Utsav Safety System on plot number 182/65 in Industrial Area, Phase I.



P'kula water woes
HUDA approves Rs 62 cr for laying pipeline
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 2
In a step aimed at ringing closer Panchkula’s share of water from Kajauli water works, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has finally approved the demand of Rs 62 crore raised by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for laying pipelines in the union territory. The pipeline is to provide Panchkula an additional 3 MGD (million gallon per day), which is aimed at making up for the current shortfall.

However, it may be too early for the residents of the town to cheer considering that there is still a long process before the file is forwarded and approved by the Haryana government.

Confirming that that money has been approved, HUDA administrator Rajender Kataria said the project would take at least a year to fructify.

HUDA officials said the MC would lay a 14.5-km pipeline from Sector 39 to Mani Majra (Panchkula-Chandigarh boundary) and thereafter HUDA would lay two pipelines - one to the Mansa Devi Complex and the other to the water tank in Sector 1 near the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner’s residence. The budget for laying the pipeline in Panchkula is Rs 7.2 crore which will be borne by HUDA.

As per the UT's proposal for getting an additional 40 MGD from the Phase V and VI of the Kajauli project, five MGD will be provided to Mohali and three each to Panchkula and the Chandimandir cantonment area.

Presently, 170 tubewells are the only source of water supply to Panchkula. The town’s present requirement is 24 MGD whereas it is receiving only 19.03 MGD from tubewells. HUDA officials had estimated that in order to meet the demand of Panchkula residents, the city needs 3.24 MGD from the Kajauli water works and 5.4 MGD from the Kaushlya dam, which is currently under construction in Pinjore.



Emaar MGF told to refund Rs 56.89 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Emaar MGF Land Pvt Ltd to refund Rs 56,89,104 along with 12 per cent interest to a Sector 20-based couple who had booked a plot each in their names.

The district forum comprising its president PD Goel and members Rajinder Singh Gill and Madanjit Kaur Sahota, observed that the respondents had miserably failed to produce and prove any such circumstances or reasons beyond their control, which averted them from completing the project within the stipulated time frame. The respondent’s sole contention that since the complainants defaulted in paying instalments, possession was not handed over to them. The respondent had no right to demand the due instalments from the complainant when there was no development on the project site.”

The forum also directed Emaar MGF to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation and Rs 10,000 each to the couple for causing mental harassment and adopting unfair trade practice.

The complainants, Rakesh Bajaj and Sarita Bajaj, submitted that they had booked two plots in Mohali Hills and had deposited Rs 28,44,522 towards due instalments against each plot till September 16, 2008. The complainants averred that the respondents had to develop the project within a timeframe, which expired on June 17, 2009, but the same had not been done till date.

The counsel said the complainant came into the contact of respondents only on September 6, 2006, and signed application form towards registration of expression of interest in a residential plot. Towards the application for registration of expression of interest, the complainants deposited an amount of Rs 10,35,000 each. He pleaded that the complainants were defaulter in payments as per the payment plan and vehemently denied that development work was not going on. The respondents had rather offered the possession of 800 plots on completion of all infrastructure work, he added.



Journey from Chandigarh to Jalandhar, HP to get dearer
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 2
The toll barrier near Solakhian village on the Kurali-Kiratpur Sahib National Highway is set to become functional, making travelling by road from Chandigarh to Jalandhar and Himachal Pradesh dearer. Officials in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said all formalities relating to collection of toll had been completed. It would take another two days before the toll collection starts.

The rate list for the new toll tax barrier has been installed. Cars, jeeps and vans will have to pay Rs 32 for a single trip and Rs 48 for double; light commercial vehicles (LCVs) Rs 56 for a single trip and Rs 84 for double; multi-axle vehicles Rs 180 for a single trip and Rs 270 for double. Those travelling from Chandigarh to Jalandhar will have to pay toll tax at four places.

The officials said the toll collection would begin as four-laning project has been completed. The company executing the project will collect toll for the next 20 years. A total of Rs 450 crore has been spent on the project.

Toll Trouble

  • New toll barrier on the Kurali-Kiratpur Sahib National Highway set to become functional
  • Cars, jeeps and vans will have to pay Rs 32 for a single trip and Rs 48 for double
  • LCVs to pay Rs 56 for a single trip and Rs 84 for double
  • Heavy vehicles Rs 180 for a single trip and Rs 270 for double
  • Those travelling from Chandigarh to Jalandhar will have to pay toll tax at four places
  • Rs 450 crore has been spent on the project



Mullanpur urban estate project
Awards announced for 419 acres
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Garibdass (Mohali), August 2
The Land Acquisition Collector of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today announced the land compensation award for 419 acres of land being acquired for the upcoming Mullanpur urban estate.

In the coming days, around Rs 700 crore would be disbursed as the compensation, varying between Rs 1.27 crore an acre and Rs 1.30 crore an acre. The Land Acquisition Collector, GMADA, Hargunjit Kaur, said the awards were announced under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act. The possession of the land has been taken over by the Estate Officer.

The process to announce the awards was set in motion after the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed the petitions filed by landowners against the land acquisition. The landowners had contested that for acquiring land for the international airport, the government had awarded Rs 1.50 crore an acre.

The awards were announced for land in five villages - Devinagar, Bharaujian, Mullanpur, Ratwara Sahib and Ferozepore villages being acquired for the proposed urban estate.

“The urban estate would be floated by August-end after the process of announcing the awards and tie-up with financial institutions is over. GMADA officials hope that if the landowners opt for land pooling scheme, they have to pay little land compensation. In the urban estate located to the north of Chandigarh along the Chandigarh-Baddi road, around 2,000 residential plots have been planned. The proposed urban estate is the first urban settlement being developed by GMADA in the north of Chandigarh.

Nestled in the foothills of the Shivaliks, the urban estate will offer plots ranging between 125 sq yards (5 marla) and 500 sq yards (1 kanal). As per norms, around 100 persons will be allowed per acre.

GMADA proposes to accept application online

GMADA has decided to adopt the system of inviting applications online for the upcoming Mullanpur urban estate to facilitate applicants. On the basis of computer-generated application forms, applicants will be able to deposit earnest money with banks. All those who have plots at Sectors 76 to 80 and Aerocity will be barred from applying in the Mullanpur urban estate. Certain other eligibility conditions like bona fide resident of Punjab are likely to be incorporated this time.

The compensation

  • Rs 700 crore to be disbursed as compensation, varying between Rs 1.27 crore and Rs 1.30 crore an acre
  • Awards announced for Devinagar, Bharaujian, Mullanpur, Ratwara Sahib and Ferozepore villages
  • Around 2,000 residential plots have been planned



20 years on, constables yet to get promotion
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Over 1,000 constables with the Chandigarh Police are a harassed lot. Even after putting in over 20 years of service, the personnel are yet to get promotion on account of an outdated provision in the Punjab Police Rules, 1934, as extended to Chandigarh.

Under the Rule 13.7, which has been holding up promotions, constables are expected to undergo rigorous B-1 tests, difficult for persons in the age group of 45-50 years.

This is despite the fact that the Centre and the Punjab and Haryana governments have not made these tests mandatory for promotion of the police personnel.

According to a communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Adviser to the UT Administrator on April 8, “The UT administration has, in the past, exercising powers conferred by sub-section(3) of Section 46 of the Police Act, 1861, and sub-section(1) of Section 80 of the Punjab Police Act, 2007, issued amendments to the Punjab Police Rules, 1934. Accordingly, the Chandigarh Administration may take appropriate action at their end under relevant rules/Acts.”

“The denial of promotion for more than two decades is taking a heavy toll on our morale.

What is there to look forward if there is no promotion or incentive even after putting in 20 years of service,” a constable said on the condition of anonymity. “At the fag-end of our career, we are expected to undergo rigorous tests, which we may have cleared with flying colours at the beginning of our careers. Insistence on clearing B-1 tests may lead to a number of malpractices,” some constables alleged.

Meanwhile, the Global Human Rights Council came to the rescue of the aggrieved cops and moved the National Human Rights Commission.

In its application under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, and Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution, it demanded intervention so that deserving constables could be promoted without undergoing promotion tests, under Rule 13.7 of the Punjab Police Rules, 1934.

GHRC chairperson Arvind Thakur alleged that denial of promotion to the policemen for such a long time amounted to violating their human rights.

The GHRC would take the case to its logical conclusion with a view to provide justice to the aggrieved police personnel, he added.



SI Bhullar case
Haryana Police collects records
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
A crime branch team of the Haryana Police today collected records of the case involving sub-inspector (SI) Jaspal Singh Bhullar, in which a youth had died in an accident in June 2008.

The UT Police had failed to register an FIR against the SI in the case following an inquiry following which the complainant had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Sources said the crime branch has decided to contact the victim’s father Balwinder Singh. A team of the state crime branch collected a copy of the FIR, medical reports and summary report of investigation from the Sector 17 police station.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued strictures against the Chandigarh Police and had ordered the reinvestigation of the case to DGP (Haryana), Ranjiv Dalal, on July 21.

Balwinder Singh, father of deceased, Gagandeep, had cried foul and accused the police of inaction all these years. Sources said statements of SI Bhullar, all previous investigating officers, pillion rider Mandeep Singh, who was also made an accused along with the deceased, would also be recorded.

The reinvestigation of the case was assigned to two IPS officers, including DIG (crime) Rajpal Singh and SP (Crime) Rajinder Singh.

Twenty-year-old Gagandeep died after being hit by a car being driven by SI Bhullar in Sector 22 on June 27, 2009. Bhullar was then the in charge of the Sector 22 police post when the mishap took place.



Tricity scan

Teej celebrated

Ram Darbar area councillor Ram Lal, along with residents of the area, organised Teej celebrations at the community centre on Tuesday. Municipal corporation Commissioner Prerna Puri was the chief guest. Cultural events were organised and stalls displayed.
Women dance during a Teej function at the Haryana Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh on Tuesday
Women dance during a Teej function at the Haryana Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh on Tuesday. tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Sanitation drive

Municipal corporation sanitation committee chairman Manjit Singh Chauhan flagged off a sanitation drive at Mani Majra on Tuesday. An additional 17 ‘safai karamcharis’ were deployed to clean public places and open spaces. Dumper-placers, tractor-trolleys and cycle-rickshaw-carts were deployed for lifting roadside waste, garbage containers and horticulture waste.

New Airtel pack

Bharti Airtel has announced the launch of the VAS pack LiveWell Ramzan for its mobile phone customers in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir. Powered by PurpleTeal Technologies, this pack is available at a subscription charge of Re 2 per day and is offered in both English and Hindi.

Chemists’ website

The Chandigarh Chemists Association organised a function at a hotel in Sector 42 on Tuesday. It launched the website ccachd.com and its news bulletin.

Canteen workers

Workers at UT Red Cross canteens at the PGI expressed apprehensions over the canteens being handed over to outside parties. In a memorandum signed by more than 10 workers, they said the Red Cross had been running three canteens on the campus for the past more than two decades.


The following have been elected office-bearers of the Punjab Self-Financed Medical and Dental Colleges Association: president: Dr HS Gill; vice-presidents: Kamal Bagi and Dr AP Singh; general secretary: Zora Singh.

SP (Operations)

Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Headquarters) Alok Kumar will also hold charge of Superintendent of Police (Operations). The incumbent, RS Ghuman, will be away for training.

Training camp

The local chapter of the Nehru Yuva Kendra conducted a five-day career entrepreneurship training camp. A total of 36 youths from various youth clubs and vocational training centres were imparted training in different vocations during the camp.

1,800 to lose citizenship

Around 1,800 fraudulent cases of citizenship in Canada are going to be revoked. Following an investigation by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the police, letters have been issued to such beneficiaries, informing them of the citizenship revocation decision. This was stated by Lt-Col BS Sandhu (retd) of the World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services.

Secretariat staff

Various associations of the Punjab Civil Secretariat staged a demonstration at the entry to the Secretariat on Tuesday. They were protesting against the implementation of the recent 4-9-14 assured career progression rules by the Punjab government. Raising slogans, they went to the office of the Chief Secretary to hand him over a memorandum.


Sant Isher Singh Public School has started five digi-classes to help students learn and grasp knowledge quickly and retain it for long. Teachers will prepare lesson plans on digi-smart board and deliver those to students.

New engg batch

To acquaint the new batch of engineering students with various departments, guidelines and processes, the Quest Group of Institutions organised an induction programme. Various heads of department spoke on the nature and scope of their respective disciplines.

Lecture on entrepreneurship

The department of commerce at Government College organised a lecture on entrepreneurship under the orientation programme for commerce students. College principal Kum Kum Kohli underlined the importance of regularity, discipline and a target-oriented approach to achieve the desired goals in a world of competence, regulation and globalisation.

Scouts and guides

MS Chauhan, Assistant Commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangthan (Chandigarh region), inaugurated a five-day Rajya Puraskar testing camp for scouts and guides at Raina Stadium, Chandi Mandir, on Tuesday. The regions of Delhi, Jammu, Lucknow, Dehradun and Chandigarh were participating in the camp.

Teej function

The Residents Welfare Association of Sector 4 celebrated Teej with enthusiasm on Tuesday. The main attractions of the function were joy swings, a cultural programme and ‘mehndi’ competition. tribune reporters



Protest over hostel issue

Chandigarh, August 2
A day after protests by the Panjab University Student Union, the Student Organisation of India (SOI) locked a few office doors at the UIET in protest against the university’s decision of not allotting hostels to second-year students.

“This will mean throwing out 100 students, including around 20 girls, staying in hostels the previous year,” said SOI president Sekhon. — TNS



Fest off to majestic start
10 more Gurudev classics to be staged
SD Sharma
Artistes enact a dance-drama “Chitrangda” on the 150th anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore at the Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, on Tuesday
Dramatic motion Artistes enact a dance-drama “Chitrangda” on the 150th anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore at the Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Chandigarh, August 2
Tagore Theatre will showcase 11 classics of Rabindranath Tagore during the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Nobel laureate, organised by the Tagore Theatre Society and Cultural Affairs Chandigarh.

As a befitting tribute to the genius of Gurudev Tagore, one of his masterpieces, the dance-drama ‘Chitrangada’, was staged today, giving a majestic start to the festival.

As many as 35 artistes from Sangeet Bhavana at Santiniketan displayed their versatility and mastery of classical dances, music and vocal rendition under the able direction of Indrani Mukhopadhyaya.

Based on a story from the Mahabharata, ‘Chitrangada’ was an eclectic mix of mythology, poetry, dance, music and drama. The artistes enacted the story through such immaculate expressions and dance ‘mudras’ that the narrative and songs in Bangla were within the grasp of the audience.

Arjuna’s meeting with princess Chitrangada of Manipur, the refusal and acceptance of love, and Chitrangda’s bravery were ably choreographed.



Mohali Solid Waste Management
Mumbai, Delhi companies vie for project
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 2
Firms from as far as Mumbai are vying with contenders from Delhi for the allotment of work on the ambitious solid waste management facility for the Mohali cluster of 19 civic bodies planned to be set up in the Samgauli village area near here.

Out of the five companies which have responded to the invitation for qualification bids for the Rs 70-crore project, two are from Mumbai -- Ess Ell Infra Projects Ltd and Pratibha Industries. The other three are Subhash Projects Ltd, Delhi, A to Z infrastructure Ltd, Gurgaon, and Jindal Group, Delhi.

Company sources said the bids had been opened at the office of the Municipal Corporation here and would be evaluated by a committee comprising officials of the local civic body and representatives of IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd, the consultants to the local government department.

The Gurgaon-based firm which put in its bid had earlier been awarded work for the Ludhiana cluster while the two Delhi companies had been declared qualified for other clusters in Punjab. The Mumbai firms were the new bidders and detailed evaluation of their bids would take some time, company sources said.

GMADA was heading one cluster of 19 urban local bodies and would be managing garbage collection, disposal and other related activities on behalf of these local bodies.

Commissioner of the Mohali Municipal Corporation Varun Roojam indicated that the Sangauli site was the most preferred one for the solid waste management facility and the bids were specifically for that site. A topographical survey of the area was on and the ‘khasra’ numbers of the land in question would be identified.

Roojam said the Punjab Pollution Control Board had given clearance for the facility and environment impact assessment study was in progress. Under the new project there would be door-to-door collection of garbage and proper transportation. The facility would also be used for power generation, brick making and fuel, he added.

A six-member Site Selection Committee, constituted by the state government for the setting up of a common municipal solid waste management facility, had recommended three sites for the purpose.

The committee, which was constituted by the Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab, on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, was of the view that the sites suggested by the Mohali district administration falling in Samgauli, Nimbuaan and Khairpur villages could be explored, in order of preference, for the purpose of setting up the solid waste management facility.

It is learnt that 60 to 70 acres falling in Samgauli village in Dera Bassi tehsil was shown by the Mohali ADC in October last year to members of the Site Selection Committee, which observed that the proposed site was away from inhabited areas and also did not appear to be flood prone.

No part of the land fell under the forest area, no river passed near the site and the highways were also at a distance. The committee was of the view that this site might meet the criteria fixed for the purpose and might be suitable for the solid waste management facility.

Sixty acres of barren land was available in Nimbuaan village, but a choe passed through the proposed site. About 100 acres in Khairpur village in Kharar tehsil was also shown to the site committee, which was described as a “gair mumkin choe” in the revenue records.

Earlier, sites in Swara, Rasanheri and Jhanjeri villages were identified for dumping garbage, but none of these could be finalised due to a protest by residents of nearby areas.

The Gurgaon-based firm which put in its bid had earlier been awarded work for the Ludhiana cluster while the two Delhi companies had been declared qualified for other clusters in Punjab. The Mumbai firms were the new bidders and detailed evaluation of their bids would take some time



25 escape unhurt as bus catches fire
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 2
More than 25 passengers had a miraculous escape when a private AC bus in which they were travelling caught fire near Desu Majra here this afternoon.

Sources said the fire was extinguished by the fire brigade and some bank employees also assisted it. There was no fire extinguisher in the bus. However, the exact cause of fire in the AC chamber is yet to be ascertained. The DSP, Kharar, along with the SHO, Kharar, reached the spot and took stock of the situation.

Sources said the incident took place around 3 pm when the bus carrying around 25 passengers was on its way from Chandigarh to Pathankot. While the bus reached near Desu Majra, a motorcyclist informed the bus driver that smoke was emitting from the rear the bus, but the driver ignored him.

After moving a few metres, a car driver noticed the smoke coming from the AC chamber and stopped his car in front of the bus and informed the driver about the fire.

The bus driver asked the passengers to evacuate from the bus. Acting swiftly, some bank employees rushed to the spot and tried to douse the fire. Meanwhile, the fire brigade also reached the spot and controlled the fire within half-an-hour.

One of passengers stated that the incident could have taken an ugly face as the bus did not have any fire fighting equipment. Later, the passengers were boarded on another bus.



9-year-old succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 2
Sagar, a nine-year-old boy from Khanpur village, succumbed to his injuries at the PGI, Chandigarh, here this morning. He suffered serious injuries when a high-voltage power cable passing over his house fell on him on July 24. The incident took place when Sagar, a student of Class II at Government School, Khanpur, was playing on his terrace.

Area residents said one of the cables fell on the child. His father Gulshan Singh and others first took him to the Civil Hospital and he was further referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where succumbed to his injuries during treatment.

The body of the deceased has been handed over to the family after the postmortem examination and inquest proceedings had been initiated.



Education notes


CHANDIGARH: Road cleaner, a model prepared by Noor Fatima, a student of Class VIII of Government Middle School, Sector 26, Bapu Dham Colony, Chandigarh, is selected at the state-level exhibition, out of 56 schools of the UT, Chandigarh. She will represent Chandigarh along with four other candidates in the national-level exhibition to be held in August at New Delhi.

Play staged

The parents-teachers’ association (PTA) function was held at Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary Model School, Sector 27-A. It began with a welcome song by nursery students. In the welcome speech, principal Saroj Savan emphasised on values like discipline. Folk dances like Gujarati dance enthralled audience. A play urging people to donate blood was applauded by one and all. Prizes were given to students who excelled in different activities.

Fresher’s party

PML SD Public School, Sector 32, welcomed newcomers by organising a fresher’s party for students of Class XI of various streams with the culture and tradition of the school. A colourful cultural programme was organised to mark the occasion. Students dressed in their best attires participated in exciting games and won various prizes. Dinesh Kinger, Karan Verma and Smriti bagged “Life of the party” titles. School principal Manju Bhardwaj advised freshers to work with diligence and perseverance to succeed.

Rakhi-making contest

Students of Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28-B, participated enthusiastically in rakhi-making competition. It was an activity to keep the spirit of brotherhood alive in children. Colourful rakhis made by students depicted their love and affection apart from their creativity.

Investiture ceremony

The investiture ceremony of Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior was conducted in the school. The programme started with the invocation to the supreme power. Badges were pinned to the head boy, head girl and discipline in charge. School principal Taruna Vashisht presented the flag to the school captain. Thereafter, house wardens and assistant wardens inducted the cabinet of their respective houses.

--Tribune reporters



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