C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City car dealers get raw deal
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 3
The Punjab Transport Department is arm-twisting the Chandigarh-based car dealers who are selling vehicles to Punjab residents, especially Mohali residents.

Reason: The transport department wants to ensure that the Mohali-based car dealers do a roaring business so that the new software recently launched by the department enabling the dealers to register vehicles at their showrooms is widely accepted.

As a result, the department has stalled the registration of the vehicles purchased at Chandigarh, causing harassment to hundreds of vehicle-buyers who are being sent back from the DTO office. The vehicle-dealers, who have sold the vehicles, have been issued a seven-day notice by the transport department to detail their sale area.

Car buyers say that while on the one hand, Punjab considers Chandigarh its capital and allows other privileges to residents of Chandigarh, on the other hand, it is harassing the residents. Car buyers should have the choice of selecting the car dealer of their choice.

Not denying that it was being done to ensure the success of the new scheme, transport department officials said the issue would be taken up at the field officers’ meeting, scheduled later this week.

“I had booked a Maruti Swift seven months ago, but I have got the delivery now. When I booked the car, the software had not been introduced. It is not my fault,” said a resident of Phase 7, Vikas.



RLA Scam
Six operators replaced, to face criminal charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Taking action into the embezzlement of funds to the tune of Rs 5.60 lakh in the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), the UT administration has not only replaced six data entry operators, all on contract, with new staff but also decided to lodge FIRs against them.

The accountant concerned, a government employee, who was in charge of these operators has already been sent to the food and supplies department.

Besides, it has been decided to conduct a detailed inquiry into the case by a panel of retired senior IAS officers to bring the facts on record and identify those involved in the embezzlement.

The data entry operators in question were manning the windows or counters on the respective dates mentioned in the report.

“The contract staff was provided to the office by the Red Cross. All of them were replaced with new staff today,” said a senior official of the department.

The administration has also ordered a special internal audit for the past three years. “We are also contemplating internal audit cell in the RLA,” said a senior official of the administration.

During a routine inspection of the account records of five months i.e. from April 1 to August 30 this year, it was found that around Rs 5.60 lakh was not deposited with the UT administration’s treasury.

The inquiry was conducted following a tip-off about some leakage in the system of collection and deposit of funds collected from the applicants. The Deputy Commissioner ordered a preliminary inquiry to be conducted by Additional Deputy Commissioner ML Sharma and Sub-Divisional Magistrate-cum-RLA Parshuram Kavle. The Additional Deputy Commissioner, the SDM-cum-RLA in charge and the Accounts Officer-cum-DDO have been directed to examine the entire system and suggest a foolproof system for proper maintenance of records and check its recurrence in the future.

Directions have also been issued to deposit the entire amount of receipts with the treasury immediately after collection, besides carrying out surprise inspections of the entire accounting system at least once a month by senior officials. Meanwhile, the department of RLA is yet to receive challans for deposit of around Rs 5.60 lakh in the UT administration’s treasury under the RLA head by an unidentified depositor two days ago. It’s the same amount that had been found missing during a scrutiny of accounts of the RLA.

“We will get to know about the details of transactions against which the amount has been deposited once we receive the challans,” said an official in the RLA.



Missing ‘princess’ traced, accused held
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
More than 20 days after she went missing, the Chandigarh Police finally traced the missing “princess” along with the accused Inderjit Singh Malik from a village in Bathinda late this evening.

A team of the police from the Sector 3 police station apprehended the accused and the “princess” from Giddarbahah village in Bathinda. The police team, along with the girl and the accused, were yet to reach Chandigarh at the time of the filing of this report.

The girl, who is a class XI student of Carmel Convent School in Sector 9, went missing on October 11 and the police had booked Inderjit Malik for her kidnapping on the complaint of the girl’s parents. Investigations revealed that the girl belonged to a royal background and was a princess of Kutlaher province in Himachal Pradesh, following which the police stepped up investigations to trace the girl.

Sources said a police team first detected the girl to be residing in Manali, following which the youth took her to Mumbai for some days. Secret information was received that the girl was now in Giddarbahah village near Bathinda and the police team nabbed the duo from there today.

The police had initially booked two persons, including Inderjit Singh Malik of Zirakpur and Dr Sangeeta, a physiotherapist of the PGI in the kidnapping case.

In addition, the police arrested a woman resident of Sector 36, Kamal, as co-accused in the kidnapping days two days ago. She was sent to judicial custody today. Inderjeet Malik (22) is a resident of Orbit Apartment in Zirakpur.

The girl was currently residing in Sector 23 in the city. Sangeeta, the only one who is yet to be arrested in the case, is a relative of Inderjit and helped him abduct the girl.



City to have more nursing homes
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 3
After having run into problems with the Medicity project (since scrapped), the UT Administration is planning to set up more nursing homes in the city.

The move figures in a new master plan for the Union Territory that is currently under preparation and is scheduled to be submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in January next year.

Informed sources said the UT Administration haD asked the Estate Office to conduct a survey and submit a report detailing the current and required number of nursing homes in the city. The Estate Office will also provide information about the space currently available for new nursing homes in the city along with whether there would be a legal hurdle on space available for these nursing homes.

Sources said the UT Administration’s committee headed by the UT Chief Architect to prepare a revised master plan was also meant to outline the steps that would be taken for both streamlining and planning the growth of the city. The committee was constituted following directions from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.



See docs with appointment at GMCH-32
System introduced on a trial basis in dermatology department
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Patients visiting government hospitals usually complain about doctors not giving enough time to hear their problems and treating them like commodities rather than human beings. However, this may become thing of the past if the initiative taken by the GMCH-32 to introduce an “appointment system” for consultations with specialists succeeds.

The hospital has silently introduced this system on a trial basis in the dermatology department where patients can seek appointment with the specialist to discuss their problems without the pressure of time constraint. However, there is a small catch to this service, as only 10 appointments will be given per day.

Confirming the move, Dr Vipin Kaushal, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, said as of now, the system had been introduced in only one department and if it works well, other departments too would adopt it. He dubbed it as a “patient-friendly” move and expressed the hope that the system would work well.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, HoD, dermatology dept, Dr GP Thami, said this initiative would be on the pattern of private hospitals, where prior appointments can be sought to discuss individual cases. However, unlike private hospitals, which charge hefty amounts of money for this service, the consultation “here” would be free.

Explaining the concept, Dr Thami said if a patient wants to see a particular doctor in the department, he would have to seek a prior appointment with him on his days of the OPD. Only 10 appointments would be given per day between 9 am to 11 am on first come first serve basis.

Dr Thami said each doctor in the OPD sees about 100 to 150 patients per day and there were some people who could not wait in long lines. Such patients would have the option of seeking an appointment.

If this system proves successful, it could well provide a solution to the Medical Council of India (MCI), which wants that doctors should spend at least 10 minutes with a patient.



AAI fixes deadlines for start of work
Chandigarh Airport international terminal
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 3
Even as the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has denied the proposed visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to lay the foundation stone of the international terminal at the Chandigarh Airport, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has fixed the deadlines to commence the construction work at the site located in Jheorehri village here.

Three years ago, the Punjab Government had acquired 306 acres through the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for the project.

Sources in the state government reveal that at a recent meeting of the Board of Directors of Chandigarh International Airport held at Delhi, the schedules to commence work on the main terminal building, car park, apron, link taxi and cargo complex were fixed.

Under the project, three link taxiways, parallel taxi track, cargo complex and hangars of flying club activities and runway extension have been proposed. The terminal would have four aero bridges; construction of apron for parking three in contact and eight remote parking stands for wide-bodied jet aircraft. The sources said while the job to award the work for the main terminal building was fixed for February 2012, the work for the apron would be awarded this month. The job to construct the cargo complex would be handed down in May 2012. Officials in GMADA said to provide road connectivity to the international terminal from the Punjab side, GMADA had already started work on the construction of 200 ft wide road that would ultimately link the airport with the Chandigarh- Patiala highway.

Unresolved matter

While the UT had been demanding direct access between the existing domestic airport and the proposed international terminal through an underpass under the existing runway, Punjab has proposed a 2.7 kilometer-long road from sector 48 to the parking of the international terminal through Jagatpura village that falls in Punjab and another one to link the International terminal directly with the National Highway no 21 along the defence land near Chandigarh-Zirakpur road.

As per the planned access to the international terminal, visitors coming Chandigarh and Zirakpur side would have take a detour of around 15 km to reach the terminal, prompting the UT and Haryana to demand a shorter and direct access. The access planned by Punjab to reach the international terminal is through a 200 ft wide road linking the upcoming Aerocity that would ultimately join another 200 ft wide road linking Sector 82 with the Zirakpur-Patiala road at Chatt village. From the Chatt village, an 11 km-long circular road will link the international terminal with the Panchkula-Kalka national highway 22 after passing through Sectors 3 and 21 of Panchkula.


Duel for ticket
Old guard in saddle as parties struggle to find young faces
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Major political parties, including the Congress and the BJP, have no new faces to field in the forthcoming Chandigarh municipal corporation elections.

Ignoring the message of Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi that party should introduce young faces in the elections, the proposed candidates’ list of the party has a number of old faces, some whom have even lost in the previous elections.

Sailing in the same boat, the BJP, which does not prefer young faces at the national level, is planning to give ticket to its former presidents and the old guard.

Before the announcement of the date for the MC election, the BSP had already released its list of candidates for all 26 wards. However, the Congress has asked its candidates to apply for ticket till November 4, while the BJP will accept applications till November 6.

The expected BJP candidates in the fray are four former presidents - Desh Raj Tandon from ward No. 3, Kamla Sharma from ward No. 9, Yash Pal Mahajan from ward No. 16 and Desh Raj Gupta from ward No. 26.

In fact Youth Morcha president Davesh Moudgil, who lost the election in 2006, is also on the list of potential candidates.

MC first Mayor Kamla Sharma, too, is on the list of expected candidates from ward No. 9.

Others who lost elections in 2006 and were expected to get the BJP ticket included Shama Negi and Sachin Lothia.

In fact, the Congress is following a similar theory in its selection of candidates. The party is planning to field unsuccessful candidates from wards other than the ones they had contested the elections previously.

In the proposed Congress list, Mukesh Bassi is expected to fight the election from ward No. 17. He had lost to BJP candidate Anil Kumar Dubey in ward No. 24.

Similarly, Satish Kait is expected to get the ticket from ward No. 20. He had lost to BJP candidate Ram Lal from ward No. 23 in the previous elections.

The party is even looking to give another opportunity to Poonam Sharma from ward No. 4, former Mayor Subhash Chawla from ward No. 5, HS Lucky from ward No. 16, former Mayor Lalit Joshi from ward No. 21 and former Mayor Surinder Singh from ward No. 26.



BJP-SAD alliance divided on seat sharing
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Hectic tussle is going on between the BJP-SAD alliance over the sharing of seats for the forthcoming municipal corporation elections.

Sources in the BJP said out of the 26 wards, the party was yet to decided its candidate for ward No. 24 and had set aside just three seats for SAD candidates.

During a party-level meeting of the SAD today, the members decided to field six candidates in the forthcoming MC elections. The final list had been sent to party president Daljeet Singh for approval. Sources said the SAD had also decided to give ticket to rebel Congress candidate Jagjit Singh Kang from ward No. 5.

While from ward No. 8, from where the BJP plans to field Arun Sood, the SAD is proposing to field its candidate Charanjeet Singh, who had lost the election from ward No. 9 in 2006.

Party source said the SAD was planning to give ticket to Jatinder Kaur from ward No. 9 if the BJP gave them the seat.

The BJP has a problem with this, as former Mayor Kamla Sharma, who enjoys support of party president Sanjay Tandon, and Shama Negi, Harmohan Dhawan’s choice, are planning to contest from this ward.

Fight is also on within the alliance over ward No. 15 from where the SAD candidate and former Mayor Harjinder Kaur won the election in the past three elections. This time, the BJP wants to field its candidate from the ward.

The SAD is again proposing to field its candidate Mohinder Singh, who lost to the Congress candidate last time, from ward No. 18. However, the BJP wants to field its candidate from this ward as well. According to the proposed list, the BJP has put forth the names of Narinder Sharma and Satinder Singh as their potential candidates from this ward.



After dengue, malaria rears its head
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
After dengue, it’s malaria that is spreading its tentacles in the city now. Over 450 cases of malaria have been reported in the city so far this year, which is the highest in the past four years. However, the number of dengue cases has been on the decline and is below the figure of last year.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr G Verma, UT anti-malaria officer, said 463 malaria cases had been reported till September. Last year, 351 cases were reported. In 2009 and 2008, 430 and 347 cases were reported, respectively, in the city.

He said the figures reflected a rise in the number of malaria cases in the city, as most of these were reported from the adjoining areas. However, the trend was common in entire North India, he added.

However, there has been a steady decline in the cases of dengue. Last year, 78 positive cases of dengue were reported during October, while this year, 60 cases, including today’s fresh case of dengue, had been reported so far.



Students play policemen for a day
Call visit to police station a learning experience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
“I thought policemen only indulged in corruption and made money. Just realised, they have so much work to do at a police station,” remarked Simaranjeet Singh, a class-X student of Moti Ram Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, after a visit to the police station-26 as part of Global Police Station Visitors Week today.

As scores of school and college students comprising NCC cadets were made to don policemen’s role and write daily diary reports (DDRs) under police officers’ guidance, they confessed their perception about the police had changed.

Calling the visit to the police station a learning experience, Simranjeet, along with his friends Nitin, Satbir, Amol and Sukhwinder of Moti Ram School, said they were ignorant of the tasks and duties of the police earlier and had learnt a lot about their functioning after the visit.

Besides, students of St John’s School, women NCC cadets of Home Science College in Sector 10, NCC cadets of Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26, also paid a visit to the police station and were entrusted with the task of writing the DDR as well as attending phone calls.

Some students also accompanied the police to accident and other scenes.

The students also visited the interrogation room, reporting room, women desk room, malkhana, lockup, record room, computer room, SHO room, wireless room and investigation officer’s room.

The SHO briefed them about the practical working of the police, which includes one NGO along with two constables deployed for emergency duty round the clock.

The visits by school students to the police stations of Sectors 3, 26 and 36 will continue for the next three days.



UHBVN pays for ruling sans hearing
Order to recover Rs 1.7L set aside
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 3
Penalising a consumer for power theft without even giving her a hearing has cost the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVN) dear.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has not only set aside the order of recovering Rs 1,70,000 from her, but has also directed the UHBVN to pay her Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation.

Meenakshi Joshi of Sector 12-A here had moved the forum, comprising its president Ashok Kumar Jain and member SP Singh, stating that she had shifted to the premises in 2008 and had been paying electricity charges regularly since then.

On April 20, 2011, her premises were checked by officials of the UHBVN and it was found that the meter was running slow by 69.76 per cent.

On July 10, she had received a notice, directing her to be present at a meter testing laboratory on July 20. The next day, she received an order of assessment under the Electricity Act for committing power theft. A penalty of Rs 1,26,136 for theft of electricity was slapped on her and an amount of Rs 44,000 was foisted on her as compounding charges.

An illegal procedure had been adopted by the SDO(OP) of the subdivision as the assessing officer as he had already determined the penalty after coming to the conclusion that power theft had been committed, claimed the complainant.

The forum said, “What has happened in the case is very surprising. Neither was a provisional order of assessment, mandated under sub-section (2) of Section 126 of the Electricity Act, 2003, served on the complainant, nor was any opportunity of hearing granted to her, before passing the final order of assessment. The action is wholly illegal, arbitrary and unwarranted.”

It added, “The rule of hearing and the rule of fairness in state action, which forms a part of the concept of the rule of law, imposes an obligation on the state and its agencies and instruments to give a notice and an opportunity of hearing and to disclose reasons for their actions which may adversely affect the rights of a person or which may visit such person with serious civil consequences.”

“The rule that no person can be condemned unheard has been treated as an integral part of the concept, which permeates the scheme of our Constitution,” observed the forum, setting aside the order of the UHBVN.



Snehalya inmates ‘into theft of petty items inside complex’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Snehalya inmates are reported to be engaged in petty thefts inside the premises of this home for destitute children.

“Their main targets are taps, pipes, iron railings, fan coils and anything made of metal, which are stolen every now and then from the premises. The stolen things are being thrown out of the boundary wall before selling those in a nearby market,” said an official during a visit inside the premises by this reporter.

Sources say the inmates have not even spared the solar panel, installed on the roof of the building. “They have stolen the plates of the panels and sold these. As the solar panels had become dysfunctional by this act, the administration had to recently spend thousands of rupees to buy geysers for the ‘home for the destitute’,” said the official, adding that most of the fans there were out of order as their parts too had been stolen.

“You can see the state of affairs here,” said an official, pointing towards the broken railings and window pipes at several places. A caretaker said three inmates had been recently caught while attempting to throw out a sack full of taps and other goods out of the boundary wall just 10 days earlier.

“They even try to sell the costly clothes and shoes being provided to them by the administration in the market,” he added.



Skit on drug de-addiction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
The Drug De-Addiction Society of Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, organised a skit on drug menace at Khuda Jassu, a village, adopted by NSS unit of the college.

The skit written and enacted by the students of the society focused on the varied situational stresses that led to vulnerability to drug usage in the youth as well as adults.

NSS volunteers accompanied the students and faculty members of the society. The students took out a rally in the village lanes, displaying slogan-bearing placards.



Situation still the same in Sector 6
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

The damaged portion of a road poses a threat to the lives of commuters.
The damaged portion of a road poses a threat to the lives of commuters. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

A resident has created a lawn at the rear end of his house by encroaching on a walkway for pedestrians in the sector.
A resident has created a lawn at the rear end of his house by encroaching on a walkway for pedestrians in the sector.

Stray cattle rummage through the garbage near the boundary wall of the General Hospital in Panchkula.
Stray cattle rummage through the garbage near the boundary wall of the General Hospital in Panchkula.

Panchkula, November 3
It seems that the Panchkula administration is not interested in listening to the grievances of residents. Their repeated pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

On revisiting Sector 6, one could see heaps of garbage and potholed roads welcoming visitors. Municipal corporation executive officer KK Jain, on August 25, stated, “We will start the work once the new Commissioner assumes charge.” He added that efforts were on to solve residents’ problems on a priority basis.

Streetlights in the sector have been lying defunct for long. One can see garbage strewn around the General Hospital, with wild growth dotting the boundary wall.

The pathetic condition of the area was highlighted in these columns on August 26, still nothing has been done to improve the situation in the sector. It seems that the authorities have decided to pay no heed to our pleas,” said Kanwal Mahajan, a local resident.

Mahajan has approached the authorities a number of times, but to no avail. The road in front of his house is full of potholes.

BJP leader VK Sood said the civic body always washed its hands of the issue. “If it is reeling under staff crunch, it can hand over the work to HUDA,” he added.

Executive officer KK Jain, however, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. 



Efforts of health dept officials go in vain
Jan Aushadhi store in Civil Hospital
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, November 3
The health department officials are a worried lot as repeated efforts to get the Jan Aushadhi store at the Civil Hospital premises functional have failed to fructify.

Patients feel harassed as they have to get various prescribed medicines from chemists located away from the hospital premises and that too at a higher price.

The hospital authorities had interviewed more than 40 pharmacists over the past nearly 10 months, but none of them showed any interest in running the drug store. As many as 27 candidates were interviewed on March 15 and 15 on August 8, but to no avail.

Sources said on an average 500 patients visited the hospital everyday to get treatment and most of them had to buy the prescribed medicines from outside as all medicines were not available in the hospital. As chemists shops were located at a distance from the hospital, patients felt harassed.

Suggestions poured in that the department should now get the two shops on the hospital premises, lying closed for the past about one year, auctioned on the pattern followed by the PGI and GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh. This way the hospital would be able to earn a revenue in the form of rent and patients would be able to get medicines at discounted rates.

The Rogi Kalyan Samiti, which has to run the drug store, had earlier offered a pay of Rs 6,500 per month which was later increased to Rs 7,500 per month. But pharmacists felt that the amount offered to run the drug store was too little.

Patients belonging to the economically weaker sections were hit by the closure of the store. The closure was ordered by senior officials of the health department after patients had complained of some alleged irregularities in the functioning of the set-up.

A round- the- clock Jan Aushadhi store was inaugurated by Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Chemicals, Fertilisers and Steel at the Civil Hospital here on February 23, 2009. The prime objective of opening such a set up was to promote the sale of quality generic drugs that were available at far more cheaper rates as compared to branded medicines and consumables.



Three flying squads set up
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 3
District Magistrate Ashima Brar has formed three flying squads for the conduct of the written examination of the Haryana teachers eligibility test, to be organised by the Haryana School Education Board on November 5 and 6.

A total of 11 centres have been set up in the district for the purpose. Subdivisional officer (civil) Sharandeep Kaur Brar has been designated nodal officer for maintaining law and order during the examination.

The written examination for posts of lecturer will be held from 11 am to 12:30 noon on November 5. The written examination for posts of teacher for classes I to IV will be held from 11 am to 12:30 pm on November 6. The written examination for posts of teacher for classes VI to VIII will be held from 2:30 pm to 4 pm on November 6.

A five-member flying squad, headed by Kalka subdivisional magistrate (civil) Manita Malik, has been constituted for examination centres at Hansraj Public School, Sector 6; block A, DC Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 7; block B, DC Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 7; MRA Modern Public School, Sector 7; and Valley Public School, Mansa Devi Road, Sector 4.

A three-member flying squad, headed by HUDA estate officer Ashwani Sharma, has been constituted for examination centres at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8; Blue Birds High School, Sector 16; and St Soldier Divine Public School, Sector 16.

A three-member flying squad, headed by assistant excise commissioner Amarjeet Singh has been constituted for examination centres at Haryana Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10; Chaman Lal DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 11; and Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15.



tricity scan

MC lifts cars
In a special anti-encroachment drive, the municipal corporation lifted seven cars being repaired by motor mechanics at Mani Majra on encroached land on Thursday. At least 100 challans were issued to offenders in Sectors 27, 28 and 29. The drive was carried out under the directions of Lalit Siwach, Additional Commissioner.

Workshop on solid waste
A national workshop on best practices on municipal solid waste management in India, with focus on Chandigarh, was organised in association with the Chandigarh Administration and the municipal corporation at the PEC University of Technology on Thursday. The focus of the workshop was to discuss the best practices in India and to make an attempt to identify solutions for problems arising at various levels of management of municipal solid waste in the city.

School drive
Ryan International School launched SAVE, school’s advocacy - value education, in collaboration with HelpAge India, on Thursday. Arsh Punia, Jeet Karaman Chaudhary, Yamini, Navjeet Kaur, Shikha, Yugam, Harsimran, Inderpreet, Jaspreet, Sanyam, Pooja, Yashvendra, Taranpreet and Jeevanjot formed the core committee of students.

SBI protest
Officers of the State Bank of India (SBI) serving at the local head office and neighbouring branches held a demonstration at the head office in Sector 17 on Thursday. They expressed resentment against the indifferent and callous attitude of the bank management in resolving issues raised by their federation. DK Sharma, president of the SBI Officers’ Association, highlighted the demands like allotment of own houses of officers on lease, a fair fitment formula on promotion from clerical cadre to officer cadre, repatriation of officers to parent circles, adequate compensation for late sitting and working on holidays and Sundays, and a five-day week.

Doc rejoins
Dr SP Singh has rejoined as additional professor of orthodontics in the oral health sciences centre of the PGI after completing his term of 14 months of deputation to Dr HS Judge Institute of Dental Sciences at Panjab University, according to a press note.

A homoepath, Dr BS Chandhok, recipient of the State Award for Excellence in Profession by the Punjab Government (2003), has been appointed the new district homoepathy officer. He has also been a member of the Indian Davis Cup medical team. Dr Chandhok was promoted as the DHO in 2009 and was posted earlier at Nawanshahr and Fatehgarh Sahib.

Memorial’s inauguration
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will dedicate Baba Banda Singh Memorial to the public at Chhapar Chidi village on November 30. A number of dignitaries from abroad will attend the public rally to be addressed by Badal. Work on roads and other facilities at the site was reviewed by officials of various departments.

Prof joins
Former CSIO scientist Dr Rupinder Gupta has joined the SSIET at Dera Bassi as professor. He has vast experience in research at the Indo-Swiss Training Centre in Chandigarh.

5-day workshop
A five-day workshop on the right to equality and social uplift began at Government College, Sector 1, here on Thursday. It was being coordinated by Dr Kuldeep Singh Thind, historian. Savita Tayal, principal, said such programmes enhanced general knowledge as well as confidence, which were a must for shaping a career. At least 80 students participated in the workshop.
— Tribune Reporters



PEC students come up with all-terrain vehicle
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
A team of 23 PEC University students from mechanical engineering and production engineering course have taken the road less travelled by designing and manufacturing a 340 cc off-road recreational vehicle that can speed up to 70 km per hour. The vehicle, named as ‘Black NoMad’, has cost Rs 3 lakh to develop.

The team members comprise Amandeep Singh Sahni, Navneet Singh, Abeer Sharma, Kaushal Vaishnav, Abhishek Arora, Abhishek Singh Pathania, Hemant Gupta, Mohit Bagga, Shashank Dua, Shubham Aggarwal, Kunal Singhai, Chandan Gakhar, Jagjot Singh Cheema, Rishabjot Singh, Ankit Garg, Tarun Kumar, Dheeraj Bharadwaj, Anmol Sahore, Bhavya Kumar Singh, Sahil Bindlish, Harparinderjit Singh, Nishant Mathur, Udayan Kabra.

The team began working on all-terrain vehicle (ATV) by focusing on ensuring high performance. They said weight and power losses were kept to the minimum essential. The students said in the evenings, they would spend the time in workshops at the industrial area for welding and manufacturing work followed by other related work in their college workshops till late nights.

Team captain Amandeep Singh Sahni said they faced many nail biting movements, which they overcame step by step through hard work, perseverance and wit. The biggest hurdle, they said, was getting sponsorship for their dream machine.

The team took almost six months to come-up with the vehicle starting with the chassis followed by wheel assembly, suspension, transmission, steering and electrical systems.

Abhishek Singh Pathania, who headed the manufacturing unit, said the ATV was capable of maneuvering obstacle-laden paths with minimum effort. The four-tyre single-seat vehicle consists of a Lombardini-340 petrol engine and weighs around 230 kg with a driver.

“Chassis, which is the backbone of the vehicle, was manufactured after cutting pipes, grinding and filing of the required joints which were then welded together,” he said.

Since the suspension is a critical component for any off road vehicle for plying on the rough terrain, the students used a double wishbone suspension system and float fox air-actuated shocks imported from Fox USA,” said Pathania.



PEC students win laurels
Earthquake resistant structure contest in Taiwan
Tribune News Service

The team of PEC University along with their earthquake-resistant tower in international earthquake competition at Taiwan.
The team of PEC University along with their earthquake-resistant tower in international earthquake competition at Taiwan.

Chandigarh, November 1
A team of PEC University of Technology has brought laurels to the college after succeeding in getting “Quake Resistant Certificate” at the year's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation-Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering in Schools (APEC-IDEERS) international earthquake competition held at Taiwan, competing with 41 international teams in the undergraduate category.

The students of the civil engineering department have designed a tower that can carry the heaviest loads while undergoing simulated ground shaking, comparable to those felt in the 2001 Bhuj earthquake.

The team comprised of Piyush Bharti Arora, Manik Jain, Suhail Sharma and Penaaz Gupta.

Manik Jain, one of the team members, said they were supposed to make earthquake resistance tower, the sustainability and strength of which was then measured on the scale on which the earthquake is being measured. “Our five-storey structure was placed on a shake table with four steel blocks of 635 grams placed in each floor. The shake table then measured the strength of the tower,” Manik said.

He added PEC team clearly demonstrated their in-depth understanding of the principles behind seismic resistant structures by coming out with their model that was able to withstand 600 gals of peak ground acceleration that is higher than a Richter 7.0 earthquakes.

“The APEC-IDEERS has in fact increased the level of difficulty just this year requiring participants to apply their knowledge and skills under the actual challenges and constraints. Unshaken, we calmly designed a tower able to carry the heaviest loads while undergoing simulated ground shaking, comparable to those felt in the 2001 Bhuj earthquake,” said Manik.

This international seismic resistant structural design competition aimed at promoting earthquake engineering and seismic protection education. The programme was based on the concept of "Learning from Doing", and has grown into a creative and innovative competition activity. 



Second day of Soch fest faces chaos
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Second-day of ‘Soch’ annual fest organised by the school of communication studies was marked with controversy over the performances scheduled in the evening today. The sufi and the rock night, both scheduled to be held at the same stage reportedly led to differences of opinion between the teachers and the students and finally cancellation of rock performances to be made by five-bands.

Sources said the ‘sufi night’ by Jagir Parvez was to be held between 6pm to 7 pm, however, the students and faculty entered into an argument over the setting of the stage that annoyed the singer who decided to leave later on. Meanwhile, after the request of the teachers the sufi singer decided to perform.

Sources said few teachers from the department decided the rock band performances by five different bands should be held after sufi night. “The late arrival of the sufi singer led to the issue which resulted in utter chaos,” added said.

An argument between the groups of students was also reported; while one group of wanted the rock bands to perform, the other group supporting the teachers, objected to the rock performance.

Archana R Singh chairperson school of communication studies could not be contacted. Meanwhile, other events that were held on the second day included “colour me wild” which was the face and t-shirt painting event. A total of 16 teams participated and presented a creative display of art in accordance with theme given, which was “Youth Unplugged.” The day witnessed several other exciting events like ‘freeze it’ (photography), ‘mind buzzer’ (media quiz), ‘on stage’ (skit) and ‘gone in 90 seconds’.



Youth Fest: Rayat-Bahra bags overall trophy

Mohali, November 2
Rayat-Bahra Institute of Engineering and Bio-Technology, Mohali, bagged the overall trophy in the two-day Punjab Technical University Inter-College Zonal Youth Festival-2011 amidst applause and enthusiasm. Shivalik College of Pharmacy, Nangal, was declared the first runner-up, while Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, Mohali, walked away with the second runner-up title.

In bhangra, Rayat and Bahra Institute of Engineering and Biotechnology, Mohali, secured the first place, while Shaeed Udham Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Tangori, stood second. In clay modelling, Indo Global College of Architecture won the first prize, while in collage making, Rayat & Bahra institute stood first. In western solo song, Indo Global College of Architecture secured the first position, while in western group song, Gulzar Group of Institute won the competition. In Punjabi folk song, Shivalik College of Pharmacy, Nangal, emerged winners. — OC



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