C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Multi-crore scam at Punjab Infotech
Consultants were paid crores for dud projects
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 10
Punjab Information and Communication Technology Corporation Ltd (Infotech) is embroiled in a major controversy regarding the hiring of private consultants for non-viable projects. The corporation has paid at least Rs 5 crore to “special contractors” for work on at least 21 projects in Mohali and adjoining areas during the past one year.

Payments had been made on projects for which the corporation did not even possess the required land. Recently, Punjab Industries Minister Tiksan Sud is learnt to have marked an inquiry “to look into plundering of funds by senior officials in the state government undertaking”.

It has come to light that the corporation, without being in possession of land for the IT park at Sundra, Dera Bassi, Saneta and Kharar, had paid Rs 10.48 lakh to a private consultant. For the IT park at Railmajra, which is stalled due to objection by the state forest department, officials paid around Rs 36 lakh to a consultant.

Similarly, around Rs 20 lakh was paid to a private consultant to dispose of a commercial site in the Sector 67 IT park as consultation fee. Later, Infotech tried to dispose of the land through an auction, but it failed. The reserve price was brought down from Rs 60 crore to Rs 35 crore. The highest bidder was allowed to participate without even depositing the required amount. He later backed out of the auction. Certain corporation officials are facing an inquiry into the case.

In case of the Rajpura Global Industrial and Knowledge City (GIKC) project that has been scrapped by the state government, the corporation paid around Rs 59 lakh to the consultant. For the acquisition of land for the GIKC, Infotech had arranged a loan of Rs 120.06 crore.

Chairman of Punjab Infotech Harjit Singh Grewal, while confirming that the matter was being looked into, said he had sought a probe into the hiring of consultants for projects that were yet to take off. During a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Infotech held in Chandigarh today, it was decided that in future, consultants would be appointed only after a thorough study of the proposed projects.

Minister marks inquiry

Payments had been made on projects for which the corporation did not even possess the required land. Recently, Punjab Industries Minister Tiksan Sud is learnt to have marked an inquiry “to look into plundering of funds by senior officials in the state government undertaking”.



City students first to touch the sky
20 get ‘Aakash’ personal computers as gift in first phase
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
Residing in the humble house of her maternal uncle in Ram Darbar, Sonam, a student of the Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, could have never dreamt of a personal computer (PC) at her house. But she experienced the rare feel of the keyboard with “Aakash”.

Sonam is one of the lucky 20 students from the city who were given the personal computers at a function of the ministry of human resource development in Delhi recently. Only 20 students from the city have got “Aakash” as gift in the first batch. At least 3,000 more are likely to get them shortly. A majority of these will be distributed among students from the EWS category.

“Owning a laptop is a dream for students from a humble background. ‘Aakash’ is a miracle. Education today is dependent on technology. It is impossible to compete with students who have 24-hour access to computers and the Internet,” says Sonam, adding with a chuckle that the first thing she did with the PC was to play a game!

“I have a PC, but wanted a laptop for my own cyber space. This low-cost PC has put us on the same bracket as rich students who have their own laptops. It will transform our education system,” says Alisha, a student of Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11. She surfed Facebook after getting the PC.

Chandigarh has been a part of the ambitious project. Two city professors, Dr Dalip Kumar and Dr Pradeep Walia, were a part of the team of technical experts who handled the implementation of the project.

First in country to get PC

Being first in anything makes one feel great. But making history is a different feeling altogether. I am the first girl in the country to get this revolutionary PC. There is 24-hour access to the Internet. The first thing I did was to check my email on the PC. — Sonali Garg, BCom student at PGGCG, Sec 42

The second to get it

It is great to be a part of this renaissance which will redefine our education system. I got this PC from the minister himself and it was a proud moment for me. It will benefit students from humble backgrounds and is portable. — Manpreet Kaur, PGGCG, Sec 11



PCA lands a hammer blow on another SHO
Second order against SHO in a week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
In yet another order passed against an SHO, the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) has recommended the suspension of Inspector Malkiat Singh, SHO of the Industrial Area police station, for inaction in a case of rape. Last week, the PCA had recommended suspension and departmental action against Inspector Rajesh Shukla, SHO of the Manimajra police station, for harassing a woman by detaining her at the police station at night.

Inspector Malkiat Singh and Sub-Inspector Bashir Ahmed are in the dock for failing to act in a situation on time and effecting a fake compromise in a rape case. “Both Inspector Malkiat Singh and Sub-Inspector Bashir Ahmed are ordered to be placed under suspension for their gross misconduct and a departmental action by way of a major penalty be taken against them after initiating departmental inquiry,” states the order.

A Sector 52 resident had approached the PCA alleging she was raped by Shiv Chand Yadav, a factory worker. She alleged she was raped on May 6 when she went to the factory, where she was employed, to collect some money that she had deposited with the union. She stated that the accused had called her in a room and injured her while raping her.

She went to the police station to file a complaint. But instead of taking any action, the police gave the accused a clean chit.

In its findings, the PCA stated that the SHO did not proceed to record an FIR and instead initiated an inquiry, which he completed in a day, and gave the accused a clean chit.

“The inquiry conducted by the SHO appears to be one-sided, motivated and hurriedly done. He has acted with bias and caused irreparable damage to the rape victim. The case stands badly damaged and it would be difficult to reconstruct it now due to a delay of more than five months of the occurrence,” states the order.

The order comes in the wake of the police failing to follow its instructions asking the police to investigate the allegations of the woman after registering an FIR. The instructions were issued on August 19 this year.

Victim gave conflicting versions: Inspector

The woman kept changing her version. On the first day, she told the police control room that the accused had beat her up. Later, she entered into a compromise with him. However, she went on to level allegations of rape against him. During the inquiry, four witnesses, including two women, refused to support her allegations.

— Malkiat Singh, Inspector



SI tricked into buying stolen car
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
A UT Sub-Inspector (SI) figures on the list of 42 people who purchased “stolen” cars that were recovered by the police last week after it busted an interstate gang. SI Shrawan Singh Virk ended up purchasing an almost brand-new car for Rs 3 lakh (as against its original price of Rs 5.45 lakh) from a scrap dealer identified as Sanjay, little knowing that the car was stolen property.

SI Shrawan, who is posted with the India Reserve Battalion of the UT police, had purchased a Maruti Swift in November last year from a scrap dealer in Burail. Police sources said the car had been stolen from Hisar and was sold off to the scrap dealer, who in turn sold it to the SI along with documents of another car that had been damaged in an accident.

The scrap dealer had tampered with the engine and the chassis number before selling the car. The police is yet to arrest the scrap dealer. The fact that the SI had purchased the stolen car came to light when the police busted the interstate gang of car thieves last week and claimed to have made the largest-ever recovery of stolen cars.

Police officials investigating the case are surprised to learn that their colleague had become a victim despite the police repeatedly cautioning the public to be wary of such deals. The police has been advising the public to confirm the engine and chassis numbers from the Registering Authority before buying a second-hand car.

A large number of cars have been recovered from buyers following interrogation of scrap dealers that they had sold off the cars by tampering with the chassis and engine numbers.



32-yr-old dies at GMCH, kin allege negligence
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
High drama was witnessed at the emergency ward of the Government Medical College and Hospital-32 (GMCH) this morning after 32-year-old Kashmir Singh died while undergoing treatment at the hospital. His family alleged negligence on the part of doctors and filed a complaint with the hospital administration and the police post. The agitated family members even locked the resuscitation room of the emergency ward from inside for two hours, leading to chaos.

Talking to The Tribune, the victim’s brother, Ramesh Kumar, alleged that Kashmir died due to the negligence of the doctor who had not attended to him even after repeated calls. Kashmir, an employee with the Haryana Electricity Board, was admitted to the emergency on October 8 after he complained of severe stomachache.

“We came to the emergency on Saturday at 4 pm. After examining the patient, the doctor administered him two injections and prescribed an ultrasound test. He got no relief even after injections and we again met the doctor, who prescribed another test. After seeing the report, he gave one more injection and glucose and shifted Kashmir to the male medicine war,” he said.

Ramesh alleged that this morning at about 4 am, Kashmir’s condition started deteriorating, but despite repeated requests, the doctors did not attend to him. Subsequently, Kashmir was shifted to the emergency ward again and was administered an injection by a nurse, who assured them that he would be fine in sometime. However, he died at about 7 am. On the insistence of his family members, the doctors agreed to a postmortem of the deceased.

Dr Ram Singh, acting Medical Superintendent, said they had not received any complaint so far. “We had provided him with the best treatment, but the patient was suffering from pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and died due to multi-organ failure. His family was not ready to accept it and manhandled the doctor on emergency duty,” he claimed.



Standoff between BSNL, pvt cellular operators continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
The standoff between the state-owned telecom operator Bharat Saqnchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and some of the private operators over the non-payment of carriage charges entered the 11th day today.

Though the services between Reliance Telecom and Tata Indicom resumed a week ago with the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) issuing an interim order in the favour of private operators, services between BSNL and all other major players, including Airtel and Vodafone, continue to remain cut off.

A senior BSNL official said notices were issued to private operators before the action was initiated. If the cellular operators deposit the amount due, they would start the services from midnight. BSNL General manager (Chandgarh Circle) Naresh Sharma did not respond to calls made by this reporter.

Ranjan Mathews director general COAI has reportedly appealed to BSNL to restore connections of all private operators, as the TDSAT order was applicable to all. The BSNL should start the connectivity in the public interest, he added.

Notably, in the Punjab circle the outstanding dues of carriage charges are to the tune of Rs 13 crore for the period from 2009 to 2011. The maximum dues of Rs 5.97 crore are from Airtel, followed by Rs 3.16 crore from Vodafone, Rs 2.16 crore from Spice, Rs 99,000 from Tata Indicom and Rs 76,000 from Reliance Telecom.

In Punjab, BSNL has about 1,191,000 fixed landline subscribers while the major private telecom operators Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Telecom, Tata Teleservices and Idea have a subscriber base of 6,709,000, 4,230,000, 4,622,000, 3,427,000 and 4,734,000, respectively, as on July 31, 2011.

Though the services between Reliance Telecom and Tata Indicom resumed a week ago with the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) issuing an interim order in the favour of private operators, services between BSNL and all other major players, including Airtel and Vodafone, continue to remain cut off.



Probe misuse of money by IDFC, orders CVC
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Delhi, has asked the UT Chief Vigilance Officer to inquire into the complaint of misappropriation of government money for purchasing machinery for the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation-run Industrial Development-cum-Facility Centre (IDFC) here.

The complaint was made by Rajeev Kohli, president of CITCO progressive worker union, in which he had sought a probe into the purchase of machinery worth Rs 1 crore in 2009 to upgrade the IDFC, which had been reportedly suffering losses to the tune of Rs 3.20 crore since 1992.

However, the local vigilance office maintained that it was yet to receive a communique from the CVC. “Normally it takes around two months to receive communiques from the CVC,” claimed an official.

Raising a question over the process of inspection of machines at their respective manufacturing units, only one official, who had been re-employed by the corporation after his retirement in 2008 as technical official, was empowered to select or reject machinery worth about Rs 70 lakh.

“The official in question was relieved from service on April 20, 2010. He was carrying out inspection in New Delhi that day, when he stood relieved back home,” stated the complaint.

It was also alleged that the inspection reports of all manufacturers, except one from a total of seven companies, were handwritten and did not bear the signatures of representatives of manufacturers, indicating that these reports were drafted while sitting in Chandigarh or without visiting the premises of the suppliers.

Questions were also being raised on how machines from Aurangabad and Pune had reached the city within two days (as per receipt records) after inspection. Objections were raised on relieving the official, who had conducted the inspections, before the installation of the machines. He was relieved on April 4, 2010, while the installation of machines began in August 2010.

The IDFC was set up in the late 70s and was the most popular laboratory in the region after Tool Room in Ludhiana. With its machines becoming obsolete, the unit started incurring losses in 1992.

The complaint also mentioned that no action was initiated by the authorities to arrest the losses while the corporation had been receiving grants for the IDFC to the tune of Rs 77 lakh till 2009-10.

Detailed report ready

I have examined the complaint and prepared a detailed report which would be sent to the Adviser-cum-Chairman of CITCO soon. — DK Tiwari, Managing Director, CITCO



Not MC’s priority, Ward No. 7 needs a push forward

MC Ward Woes

Ward No. 7: Maloya, EWS Colony, Maloya and grain market, Sector 39

Voter Population

Maloya, EWS colony Maloya and grain market, Sector 39: 17,000


Harphool Chander Kalyan

(Senior Deputy Mayor  in 2009)

Party: Congress

Ward development fund?

Rs 130 lakh was allotted in the past five years, but Rs 106.37 lakh had been spent till March, 2011

Tech know-how?

Failed to respond to the public grievances posted on Facebook and on his official e-mail address

Questions asked in House in 2010

He never tabled any question relating to the problem of the city or his area during the question hour


  • Construction of internal roads of the village
  • Renovation of stadium
  • Renovation of pond located in village

Ward number 7, which comprises of Maloya, EWS Colony, Maloya and grain market, Sector 39, and located at one corner of the city is the most ignored area. For the past five years, residents of the Maloya Colony are crying for basic civic amenities, whereas most of the development works have been redone in Maloya village.

Community centre

A manhole with a temporary cover on one of the internal roads at Maloya Colony in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S Chandan

About six years ago, a piece of land was allocated by the panchayat for the construction of a community centre. After the transfer of the area to the MC five years ago, nothing has been done by the authorities for the construction of the centre till date.

Mini bus stand

A proposal was mooted to construct a mini bus stand in the area five years 
ago to facilitate the residents, but till date, nothing has been done in this regard.


The renovation work of the stadium in the area is going on for the past two years and interestingly, the work has still not been completed for the reasons best known to the authorities.

Streetlights and roads

Due to the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities, commuters are facing difficulty. For the past more than one-and-a-half-year, the main road which links the colony and the village is under construction, but till date the work has not been completed by the contractor. The paver blocks, which were recently laid in the colony, have come off at some places. This clearly shows how much quality check is being done by the authorities on the development works completed in the area by private contractors. Even the streetlights in the area remain non-functional.


Residents have to wait for the festive season to see their area clean as it is only before festivals that the MC employees sweep and clean the streets. Besides, the MC sweepers also visit for a fortnight during special campaign in the ward or else when some VIP visit is scheduled in the area. The excuse of the sweepers of the area is that the department had not issued them brooms to clean the area or the handcart in which they could lift the garbage. As a result, most of the open spaces have been converted into garbage dumps.

Internal parks

Internal parks of this ward have turned into a dumping site where the residents dump their construction material and debris. Congress grass, growth of weed and potholes can be seen in the parks. There are no regular gardeners of the MC horticulture department to supervise the maintenance of these parks which were inaugurated with gusto by councillors.

Residents speak

‘Basic amenities not for colony residents’

Omkar Vishvkarma I wish I was a resident of Maloya village as it is better as far as basic amenities are concerned. The area councillor and the authorities are more focused on the development of the village rather the colony.

Omkar Vishvkarma

Kamal Kumar BansalWe used to wait for the festival or some VIP to visit our area so that the authorities could be reminded that a good chunk of population is residing here which requires facilities to survive.

Kamal Kumar Bansal

Satinder KumarIn the past five years, we have not got any platform to air our problems. Nobody from the MC has ever visited to supervise works in our area so how can we expect that the authorities will resolve our other problems.

Satinder Kumar

Works to be allotted soon

Harphool Chand KalyanAll the pending works of my ward are in the process of tendering and soon these works will be allotted to the contractors. Taking serious view of the low quality of material used in the construction of roads in his area, I am going to lodge a complaint to the department concerned for.

Harphool Chand Kalyan, ward councillor




Tricity scan

Chandigarh scan

Prepaid coupons

The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has decided to issue prepaid coupons to people desirous of setting up temporary stalls on Diwali this year. These coupons will be issued at the MC office and sub-office at Mani Majra from October 17 to October 22. For Mani Majra and Mauli Jagran, the coupons will be issued at the sub-office. For Sector 17, the coupons will be issued to shopkeepers of Sector 17 only on October 20 and 21. The timing of issue of coupons shall be 10 am to 4 pm. The coupons shall be issued on first-come-first-serve basis.

Public grievances system

The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) held its executive committee meeting under the chairmanship of PC Sanghi and was attended by 37 representatives of the associations. FOSWAC demanded a centralised public grievances redressal and monitoring system, along with appointment of the centralised coordinating official to monitor public grievances. It was agreed that a separate meeting of RWA’S of Phase III sectors would be organised to expedite the development works in these sectors.


The Indian Society of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine (ISHTM), North Zone, organised a quiz at the Bhargava Auditorium of the PGI. Five teams representing Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Chandigarh participated in the competition. In a closely contested competition with only five points difference, Karan Singh, Puneet Chhabra and Kartthik Shanmugam (PGI team) emerged as winners, while Neha Talwar, Navin Mathew and Jessita from CMCH, Ludhiana, were declared as runner-up. ISHTM conference chairperson, Dr Subhash Varma welcomed audience, along with organising secretary, Dr Pankaj Malhotra. The quiz was conducted as a part of the 1st national haematology quiz for postgraduate medical students.

Saplings distributed

During the monthly meeting of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association, Chapter 37, at Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 37, Chandigarh, saplings of sukhchain, arjun plant and neem were distributed by Tajinder Kaur, vice-chairperson of the Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes. SS Lambha, chapter president, was present along with more than 60 association members. Tajinder delivered a power point presentation highlighting the work of the organisation “Hara Punjab Khara Samaj”.

Panchkula scan

Shoes, socks given

Shivalik Foundation, Panchkula, distributed 400 pairs of shoes and socks to students belonging to the economically weaker sections at government schools of Sectors 4, 6, 8,12-A, 15, 19 and 20 and Haripur and Abheypur villages here on Monday. The foundation is running a free tailoring school for girls and a school for street children in Haripur village.


Members of the Punjabi Welfare Sabha at Panchkula held a meeting under its chairman RK Kakkar to discuss the issues.

— Tribune Reporters



Selja forgets Panchkula
Did not spend a penny on dist in the past fiscal
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 10
Ambala is the favourite of Member of Parliament Selja when it comes to allocation of development funds. While over Rs 7 crore had been spent by her in Ambala district during the past seven years from the MPLAD Fund, Panchkula district, also a part of her constituency, got just 1.5 crore, with not a single penny during the past fiscal.

Selja was elected Member of Parliament from the Ambala parliamentary constituency, comprising the three assembly constituencies of Ambala, Yamunanagar and Panchkula, in 2004 on a Congress ticket. She was re-elected in 2009.

Data procured by local advocate and INLD activist Vijay Bansal through an application filed under the RTI Act, showed that the MP had spent Rs 7.24 crore in Ambala district since 2004. This was followed by Yamunanagar district, which got Rs 4.48 crore from the discretionary fund at her disposal for development works in her constituency.

A perusal of details showed that the Union minister had shifted her attention from Ambala to Yamunanagar during her second term. During 2009-10 and 2010-11, Rs 36.10 lakh and Rs 55.40 lakh, respectively, had been spent in Yamunanagar from the MPLAD fund.

Ambala district got Rs 23.84 lakh and Rs 24.25 lakh, respectively, for the corresponding period. While nothing had been spent from the MP’s discretionary fund in the Panchkula district this time, only Rs 13.09 lakh had been spent the past fiscal. Selja could not be contacted for comment.



Housing project hits roadblock
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 10
The launch of housing scheme in much-touted Kalka-Pinjore Urban Complex will be delayed by around six months, courtesy-a faulty layout plan prepared by the district and town planning department of Panchkula for Sectors 27, 28 and 30. In the Kalka-Pinjore Urban Complex, HUDA is initially developing these three sectors. Later, other sectors would also be developed.

Sources said while preparing the layout plan, the department forgot to consider the number of high-tension wires, which were passing through the area, where three new Sectors 27, 28 and 30 would come up. But during a meeting held between HUDA and district town planning department recently, the matter was discussed and finally a decision was taken that a fresh layout plan would be prepared. Moreover, HUDA had also requested the department to earmark 25-acre water works, which was required for supplying water to these sectors.

As per Haryana Urban Development Authority norms, 16 per cent will be four marla plots, 23 per cent will be six marla plots, 23 per cent will be eight marla plots, 15 per cent will be 10 marla plots, 15 per cent will be 14 marla plots and eight per cent will be one kanal plots. Final figure for the number of plots in these sectors would be finalised only after the preparation of layout plan.

When contacted, District Town Planner Hitesh Sharma, said they were preparing a fresh layout plan.

These three sectors are a part of the Kalka-Pinjore Urban Complex project, which is spread over 12,000 acres approximately. It includes residential, commercial and industrial areas. Of this, about 34 per cent of the total area is dedicated to residential sectors, from Sectors 1 to 31, an additional Sector 31-A, and Sector 32. 



Assault victim accuses police of inaction
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
More than a month after a 22-year-old boy was allegedly assaulted by four-five assailants at the Sector 33 Terrace Garden, the police is yet to make any arrests in the case. This too after the victim has identified the accused and an FIR has been registered.

The family has alleged that the police is turning a deaf ear to their repeated complaints and is making no efforts to arrest the suspects whom they have identified.

Sonu Nibhran, a former student of Government College, sustained a fracture in his arm when he was beaten up by youths on September 7 night. Son of Pali Ram, who works in a canteen at the Haryana Civil Secretariat, Sonu, was attacked owing to a prior enmity with the assailants.

However, the police of the Sector 34 police station, failed to make any arrests in the case. “The police has not even summoned any of the accused to the police station even as I identified them to be Baljeet alias Cheenu, Kamlesh, Deepak and Ashwini, who are residents of Sector 32. They attacked me owing to prior enmity, but the police is not arresting them even a month after the registration of the FIR,” said Sonu, who is recovering from his injuries.

Recalling the incident, Sonu said he went to Terrace Garden on September 7 at 9 pm after dinner when youths with bats and swords attacked him. “I managed to save myself and received a fracture in my right arm,” said Sonu.

A case under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 34 police station.

Contradictory statements: The complainant never named anyone at the time of registration of the FIR. No one has been named in the FIR and the victim has not followed the complaint. — Inspector Kirpal Singh, SHO, Sector 34 police station




Picture not so rosy in Sector 12
Bumpy roads, ill-maintained parks, slum dot area
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Slum-dwellers have encroached upon land
Slum-dwellers have encroached upon land
An ill-maintained park.
A potholed road at Sector 12-A in Panchkula.
A potholed road at Sector 12-A in Panchkula. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, October 10
Bumpy roads, ill-maintained parks and a slum area in the heart of Sector 12-A has made the lives of local residents miserable.

Residents said the authorities had failed to deliver on their promises. There is hardly any road which does not have potholes. The municipal corporation officials have washed their hands of the issue saying it was HUDA’s responsibility to get roads repaired.

Executive Officer of the Panchkula municipal corporation KK Jain said the development work in the sector would start soon.

MC still in a slumber

On revisiting Sector 7 after a month, it was found that nothing had been done to improve the situation. Potholed roads, broken swings in parks and heaps of garbage welcomed visitors. Construction work on a school building had been stopped as the local residents moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking a stay

Speaking out

Slum-dwellers need to be rehabilitated somewhere else to improve sanitary conditions — Ravider Rawal, former president, municipal corporation 

Our repeated pleas have fallen on deaf ears — Kamla Sharma, president, House Owners Welfare Association

The authorities have turned a blind eye to our plight — Tek Ram Moun, local resident 

It seems that the sector is no one’s baby — Ram Swaroop Sharma, local resident



Truck loaded with raisin impounded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
The UT Excise and Taxation Department has impounded a truck loaded with 130 boxes of raisin from a cold storage at Industrial Area here today.

The action was taken as the truck driver could not show documents related to its loaded goods amounting to around Rs 15 lakh during the checking.

UT Additional Deputy Commissioner ML Sharma was checking the cold stores in Industrial Area when he noticed a truck loaded with dry fruits at a cold storage.

“On being checked, I found that the truck driver had no bills following which the vehicle was impounded along with the goods,” said Sharma.

The truck came from Maharashtra and was carrying the raisin belonging to two local parties, Ketan Enterprises and Amar International. The proprietor of Ketan Enterprises claimed that they have documents that would be produced tomorrow.

Besides, the raiding party also found 1,200 other boxes of dry fruits lying in the cold store.



Substandard material used in construction of road
Municipal corporation executive officer marks inquiry
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

The newly constructed concrete road with a layer of bitumen on it laid by contractor after it started eroding due to the use of substandard material at Sector 19 in Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal.

Panchkula, October 10
The quality of a concrete road laid recently near the railway crossing in Sector 19 has come under the scanner after residents of the area complained that substandard material was used in the construction of the road. Following which, Panchkula municipal corporation executive officer (EO) KK Jain marked an inquiry into the matter.

The contractor, however, denied it. He claimed that the work had been carried out as per conditions agreed upon.

Dev Raj Sharma, a local resident, lodged a complaint with the executive officer on October 3 alleging that the concrete road constructed recently near the railway crossing had started eroding and big potholes could be seen on it. Following which, the executive officer asked the officials concerned to collect samples of the material used in the construction.

Strangely, within two days after the complaint was lodged with the EO, the contractor laid bitumen on the concrete road to cover potholes.

It was last year that the municipal corporation decided to construct a portion of nearly half-a-kilometre road connecting the railway crossing and Industrial Area.

Following which the work had been outsourced to a construction company. The National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) was asked to monitor the work.

Prof Ramesh Duggal of NITTTR, who is monitoring the work, said the level of road was not elevated to its proposed height and curing of the concrete was not done properly leading to depletion in its strength which caused a damage to the road.

Contractor Sandeep, owner of Griffin, the agency which was outsourced the work, denied all allegations.

“The work is being carried out as per terms and conditions of the tender,” Sandeep claimed.



Construction of bus stand gets go-ahead
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 10
The long-pending demand of Zirakpur residents to get a proper bus stand has been accepted, with Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal laying a foundation stone of the bus terminus on October 12. The Deputy Chief Minister will also lay foundation stones of various developments works in Mohali and surrounding villages on the same day.

While inaugurating a tubewell in ward number 2 yesterday, chairman of the District Planning Board and MC president NK Sharma said the pubic works department had already floated tenders for the purpose. The work would be completed within eight months, he added. Sharma said the re-carpeting of roads in Mohali and Zirakpur would be started within a few days. Sharma said after laying foundation stones of various projects in Mohali, the Deputy CM would also lay a foundation stone of 50-bedded community health centre in Dhakoli.



Battery-operated vehicle for MH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
The Military Hospital at Ambala Cantonment has been presented a specially fabricated battery-operated vehicle that would be used to ferry patients from the main MI room to various wards and specialist doctors within the hospital precinct.

The van was handed over to the hospital commandant by the chairperson, Kharga Army Wives’ Welfare Association (AWWA), Sukhraj Chabbewal, at a simple ceremony today. The vehicle, called Greenlander, has been fabricated by faculty and students of the Army’s Industrial Training Institute at Ambala.



Foundation stone removed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 10
Apprehending damage to the foundation stone of the sainik sadan laid by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal earlier in the day, the Punjab Sainik Welfare Department removed the stone from the site.

Allaying apprehensions about the foundation stone being damaged by unscrupulous elements, director of sainik welfare, Punjab, said, “The stone will be fixed once the building comes up.” Miscreants keep stealing bricks from the boundary wall of the land.

Man dies, dengue suspected

Nirmal Singh, a sub-inspector with the Chandigarh Police, died of suspected dengue at the PGI, Chandigarh, on Sunday. The victim, a resident of Matour village, was admitted to the hospital on Friday. On receiving information about the death, health officials visited the house of the victim and checked the surroundings.



Sitar, tabla maestros regale
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, October 10
City music lovers witnessed musical talent at a classical music soiree of sitar recital organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Pracheen Kala Kendra at the kendra auditorium under Horizon series.

The sitar maestro, Dr Vikas Gupta, was accompanied by tabla maestro, Dr Akash Saxena. Both gave an electrifying performance.



PU Student Council to have constitution
Charter will be put for Vice-Chancellor’s approval today
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
After 40 years of its inception, the Panjab University Student Council is all set to get its first constitution or charter, which not only defines duties and powers of the council but has also laid down the clause for impeachment of inefficient or erring council members.

A brainchild of SOPU’s chairman Brinder Dhillon, the charter which will be put for the Vice-Chancellor’s approval tomorrow has been framed by four PU students, namely Gurthez Singh Randhawa and Prabnoor Singh of the department of laws and Arun Lamba and Guarav Kler of UIET, who joined hands to take the PU Student Council ahead of usual fests and protests.

“After the election, we read that the council which represents 13,000 students has no clear-cut guidelines to specify what they should or can do or hold them accountable in case of non-performance. We researched for months and came out with this charter to give this body a sting and make it answerable,” say Guarav and Arun.

Quiz them on the toughest aspect and they unanimously claim it to be impeachment.

“We were always perturbed by the question that will this clause make us anti-students? A thorough study of law proved that every single institution which not only has financial powers but even faith of thousands of students should have legal binding, so we came up with this charter.” The charter will be presented to the Vice-Chancellor for his final approval.

Excerpts of proposed charter


  • Student council president be made a member of PU budget committee and given Veto powers.
  • Student council president to be made an ex-officio member of both Senate and Syndicate with a power to voice his views on student related issues.
  • Student council gets a say in formation of committees on student issues.
  • To serve as a liaison to the university administration.
  • To serve as the primary spokesperson for student opinion.

Article XI. Office-bearers impeachment

Office-bearers of the university council can be impeached on following grounds:

  • Unjustified use of authority not approved by charter.
  • Consistent non-participation in council activities even after two months of being served warnings.
  • Immoral and illegal behaviour (proved).

B. Procedure

  • Consult the Dean Student Welfare for initiation of impeachment.
  • If the Dean Student Welfare deems it reasonable, the offending official shall appear before a panel of three officers and three representatives selected by him/her, which will make the decision.
  • The vice-president will temporarily assume duties of the impeached officer until the council decides what to do. If the vice-president is impeached, the president will assume his/her duties.
  • In the event that the offending officer is ultimately impeached, a replacement will be voted into office within a month through the election process explained in the election process.

 Brinder DhillonIt’s high time that student politics is taken ahead of the usual protests, clashes or elections. We wish to bring all parties together in support of this charter, which will make the student council president more powerful than just a rubber stamp.

— Brinder Dhillon, SOPU chairman



31 PU depts yet to submit list of paper setters
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
Even after a prolonged delay, Panjab University has finally decided that the examination branch will be conducting examinations rather than departments as proposed earlier.

Even though it’s less than a month left for PU semester examinations to begin, being for the first time for postgraduate courses, over 31 departments are yet to submit the list of their paper setters.

The delay, which might leave thousands of students hassled in the coming examinations, has left examination branch officials fuming who blame it on teachers’ casual approach.

“Despite our repeated reminders, it was only four days ago that we were told we will be conducting the examinations for the university departments as well in addition to affiliated colleges. We have 2,500 papers to set, get them printed and distribute them to 180 colleges but where is the time? Despite our repeated requests, a majority of the departments has failed to give us the name of papers setters, so how should we stat the process? The teachers delayed the results this year and they are on way to do the same for the forthcoming examinations,” said an official.

The Panjab University examination branch had recently proposed that the departments be entrusted with the duty of conducting examinations for respective students by setting papers, invigilating, evaluating and even dealing with the reevaluation requests. PU Syndicate, however, refused to accept the proposal and a committee was formed in August, which after one-and-a-half month decided to continue with the conventional system of the examination branch conducting exams.

We cannot have two systems under one degree. It will not be fair to get students of affiliated colleges tested by the examination branch and that of the campus by their departments. — BS Brar, DUI PU



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