C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Illegal mining faces curbs
Panchkula administration initiates many steps to check the practice near various river beds
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Excavating deep into the issue of illegal mining in Panchkula, the district administration has initiated a slew of measures. These include a ban on the plying of vehicles used for quarrying and ferrying material in the vicinity of river beds.

In a reply placed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Assistant Commissioner of Panchkula Police Rajbir Singh asserted: “On March 3, an order under Section 144 of the Cr PC was issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Police and an earlier order was made more strict and wider.”

Elaborating, Rajbir Singh in his reply placed before Justice Ranjit Singh asserted: “It has been ordered that no tractor-trolley fitted with hydraulic jacks, tractor-trolley having four tyres, and iron cart to be pulled by tractor is allowed within 200 m radius.”Rajbir Singh added: “No JCB machines or any other excavation machinery or transport vehicle like dumpers and no screening or stocking or mining material is allowed within a radius of 1 kilometer of the riverbeds in any matter whatsoever.”

“Any steps taken by the administration to curb illegal mining activity like digging of trenches etc are not to be interfered with any manner.”

In his detailed reply, he added: “To curb illegal mining in the police district of Panchkula, an order under Section 144 Cr PC was issued earlier also by the DCP, Panchkula, on December 19, 2011, as a measure of emergency and it was ordered that no tractor-trolley, JCB machine or any other excavating machinery will be admitted, parked or used between 7 pm to 7 am within 100 meters of the riverbeds in any manner.”

The High Court, on the previous date of hearing, had taken cognisance of illegal mining going on in the State, while hearing a petition filed by a Panchkula resident, Rajesh Kumar. He was seeking anticipatory bail in an alleged illegal mining case.

Declining the anticipatory bail plea, Justice Ranjit Singh had asserted: “It is seen that a tractor-trolley was seized at the scene, whereas the person ran away. This was Rajesh Kumar who was booked on February 4 under the provisions of the Mines Act and also for theft, criminal conspiracy and other offences. The FIR was registered at the Chandimandir police station.”

Measures started
n Ban on plying of vehicles used for quarrying and ferrying material in the vicinity of riverbeds
n No tractor-trolley fitted with hydraulic jacks, tractor-trolley having four tyres, and iron cart to be pulled by tractor to be allowed within 200m radius
n No JCB machines or any other excavation machinery or transport vehicle like dumpers and no screening or stocking or mining material to be allowed within a radius of 1 km of the riverbeds



Double murder case falls flat, all 4 accused acquitted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The UT police had egg on its face today after the sensational murder case of two security guards in Industrial Area in 2010 fell flat in court and all the four accused in the case were acquitted of all charges for want of evidence and lack of any motive.

The Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Preeti Sahni today acquitted all the four accused in the case.

The murder occurred on April 30, 2010, when the two security guards Sucha Singh (50) and Gurdial Singh (60) were found bludgeoned to death near the new link road between Hallomajra and Panchkula.

While Gurdial Singh was on duty at the Pepsi warehouse, Sucha Singh was on duty at a groundnut factory on the opposite road the night before the incident.

The two were found battered with stones and bricks in the forest area and their bodies were dragged to the bridge on the road to dispose these of. Both were residents of Mauli Jagran.

As per the prosecution, the accused killed Gurdial Singh and Sucha Singh, as they had stopped them from stealing water pipes while they were on duty.

The court acquitted Rinku Verma, alias Raju, Ricky Sharma, Devi Shankar Verma (residents of Mauli Jagran), and Shamshad, alias Lambu, a resident of Hallomajra of the charges of murder under Section 302 of the IPC.

Why the case failed?

n The police failed to prove the motive, there were no eyewitnesses and there was no recovery from the scene of the crime. Also, there was no circumstantial or scientific evidence that could establish the presence of any of the four accused at the scene of the crime.
n “There were no independent witnesses and link evidence was missing since the very beginning. Also, the employers of the two were never brought into the case. The police could not prove the motive,” said defense counsel Inderjit Bassi.


April 30, 2010
Two security guards found murdered

May 11, 2010
Police arrested four accused in the crime

July 24, 2010
Police filed chargesheet in court

September 6, 2010
Court frames charges of murder against accused

March 2012
All accused acquitted



Detention of 5 children
Report indicts 3 policemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The preliminary inquiry report on negligence on the part of the police when five children were illegally picked up from Sector 25 earlier this month found procedural lapses on the part of three police personnel.

The report was submitted to the UT SSP by ASP (Central) Desraj Singh today. As per the report, a head constable and two constables attached with the Sector-24 police post were found at fault.

Five children, including three class-X students, were picked up from a Sector-25 house on March 2 and taken to the Sector-24 police post for verification.

They were allegedly detained for almost two hours and-a-half before being let off after the intervention of DPI(S) Sandeep Hans, who reminded them about the class-X board examination.

The children had accused chowki officials of abusing and mistreating them. The children stayed in a room at Sector 25, rented by Theatre Age director Zulfiquar Khan, for their studies.



City-Ludhiana rail link may have to wait another 2 yrs
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
More than 11 years after its commencement, the 110-km rail link between Ludhiana and Chandigarh is likely to take another two to three years for completion. The Railways authorities attribute the delay to the non-availability of funds.

Even though about Rs 45 crore have been allocated in the recent rail budget for the completion of the Samrala-Sahnewal section, according to railway officials this was not enough as Rs 250 crore was required to complete the track.

According to information, the Railway Board had urged the Punjab Government to provide funds for the track so that the project could be completed in time. But the board is yet to receive any reply till date.

Confirming the same, Division Railway Manager Ambala PK Sanghi said the Railway Board had asked the states like Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab to contribute funds towards the construction of the ongoing projects. He said though Rajasthan and Haryana had responded to the request, they were yet receive any reply from the Punjab Government.

The work on the rail link was started in 1999-2000. By the end of 2006, the 45-km stretch till Morinda was ready. After that, land acquisition problems and other operational hiccups delayed the work. Once operational, the rail link would not only benefit industry, but also daily commuters.

Earlier the shortage of material, including sand and gravel, following the ban on mining in rivers, had affected construction work.

With the auction of mining sites in rivers in Haryana, the Railways had projected the railway line to be completed by work by March 2013.

A passenger train from Chandigarh to Amritsar, via Ambala Cantonment, had been started, but discontinued due to a poor response. Last year, the Amritsar-Chandigarh Duronto express train was launched on August 24, but that too is receiving a lukewarm response as about 200 to 300 passengers travel on the much-hyped train against its total capacity of 1,400.

The work on the Samrala-Madpura section was going on and was likely to be completed in the near future. But the paucity of funds would hinder the construction work on the Samrala to Sahnewal and the third line from Sahnewal to Ludhiana.

The process of getting sanction from the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) could be initiated only after the work was completed on the 110-km route.



City’s green cover goes down: FSI
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Tree Cover of 2011

The tree cover of Chandigarh is 10 sq km, which is 8.93 per cent of the geographical area of the city.

Chandigarh, March 19
Contrary to the reputation of the country’s greenest city, the green cover of Chandigarh, which includes forest cover and tree cover, has reduced by nearly 1.22 square km (122 hectares) from 28 sq km in 2009 to 26.78 square km in 2011.

As per the recently released Forest Survey of India (FSI) report 2011, the tree cover in Chandigarh has decreased by 1 sq km from 11 sq km in 2009 to 10 sq km in 2011. Not only the tree cover, the forest cover in Chandigarh, which was 17 sq km in 2009, has gone down to 16.78 sq km in 2011.

The report has come as a big disappointment to the UT Administration, contradicting its much-hyped intensive plantation drives organised in the past to increase the city’s green cover. The UT Administration had organised a number of plantation drives in schools, colleges and spent lakhs of rupees on these drives but to no avail.

In the last survey in 2009, the city’s green cover was increased by 4 sq km between 2005 and 2009. The FSI 2009 report had stated that the green cover had gone up from 24 square km in 2005 to 28 square km in 2009.

An official said to set up the IT park in Chandigarh, the administration had cut a large number of trees. Besides trees were also cut for a number of projects, which could have resulted in the reduction of the green cover.

After the FSI’s latest report, the Administration has started maintaining that the there could be some errors in the FSI report. UT Chief Conservator of Forests-cum-wildlife Warden and Director Environment Santosh Kumar said they would write a letter to the department concerned and would try to rectify the error in the report.

Jurisdiction row
The FSI has not included the 26 sq km area of Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary in its survey and calculated figures in the UT’s 114 sq km area. The UT Administration itself not been able to solve the dispute of 26 sq km, as the Deputy Commissioner’s office had maintained that the revenue record of this land was with Punjab and Haryana, but the jurisdiction falls under the UT Administration. 


CHB told to pay interest
Delayed earnest money refund to unsuccessful applicant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation for causing mental agony and harassment to a local resident who had applied for a house under a scheme, but was refunded the amount after a long delay.

The complainant had moved the consumer forum, claiming interest on the amount of Rs 1.22 lakh. She was unsuccessful in the draw of lots.

The complainant, 54-year-old Chandan Lata, a Sector-23 resident, stated in the complaint that she had applied for a house under the self-financing housing scheme, 2008, for employees of the Chandigarh Administration for allotment of dwelling units.

She had paid Rs 1.22 lakh as earnest money in March, 2008. In August, 2011, she had received a letter and a cheque for Rs 1.22 lakh as refund as she was unsuccessful in the draw of lots.

It was alleged that the CHB had utilised the amount of Rs 1.22 lakh for three years and she lost the interest on the amount. She had then moved the forum, seeking interest.

In its reply, the CHB, through its chairman, stated that the complainant had given an undertaking not to claim any interest on the amount and had signed a declaration in this regard.

It was also replied that due to the pendency of litigation in the high court pertaining to the scheme under question, the draw of lots could not be held till November 4, 2010. It was stated that this had led to the delay in refund. The CHB refuted all allegations.

Passing the order, forum president PD Goel and members Rajinder Singh and Madanjit Kaur stated that it could be legitimately concluded that the CHB was under a legal obligation to refund the amount of Rs 1.22 lakh to the complainant without interest on or before December, 2010, when the draw of lots was held.

It further said the CHB refunded the amount in August, 2011, after delay and so, was liable to pay interest and compensation.

“The CHB is directed to pay interest on the amount of Rs 1.22 lakh at the savings bank rate from December 4, 2010, till payment. It id also directed to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation for mental agony and harassment, besides Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation,” read the order.



Basic amenities for Deep Complex soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
If all goes well, residents of the Deep Complex at Hallo Majra, who have not got basic amenities for the last three years, will be provided those. This assurance was given by UT Administrator Shivraj Patil during a public hearing session here today.

He directed officials concerned to extend basic amenities, including drinking water and electricity, till the outcome of a final decision of their case.

Since 2008, the UT Administration and the municipal corporation (MC) had been passing the buck about the responsibility of providing basic amenities to Deep Complex residents.

Councillor Jannat Jahan brought to the notice of the Administrator that the Deep Complex, located in her ward, was being given stepmotherly treatment.

It was not under the jurisdiction of the MC, due to which the civic body authorities were not providing basic amenities there, she stated.

She pointed out that the Deep Complex was de-notified in 2007 and transferred to the MC in 2008, but this decision was reverted in 2009 and a decision to de-notify the village had not been taken.

Residents alleged that the authorities had been giving them stepmotherly treatment and there was confusion about notification within the Administration for the last five years.

In the last General House, it was stated that the MC had been allocating a hefty budget amount for the Deep Complex every year though it was under the juridiction of the Administration.

The budget report of the last three years revealed that the MC had earmarked crores every year for sewerage and storm-water drainage, but work had not commenced in the area.



Patil’s public hearing session has only 16 complainants
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The public darbar of UT Administrator Shivraj Patil, which was held after a gap of two months and-a-half, witnessed only 16 complainants at the UT Secretariat in Sector 9 here today.

The ‘importance’ of the public darbar among residents could be gauged from the fact that four complainants, despite their registration for the public hearing session, did not turn up.

An official said the ‘uncertainty’ over holding the sessions was the main reason behind the low turnout. Only eight sessions were held last year and 12 scheduled ones had been cancelled.

During today’s public hearing session, Khadak Bahadur, an employee of CITCO, who had a mentally challenged daughter, requested for the allotment of government accommodation.

On his complaint, the UT Administrator asked the CITCO authorities to prepare a plan to construct houses for CITCO employees. The Administration would provide land for this, he added.

Sandeep Singh, representing old booksellers at Sector 15, sought permanent shops for shopkeepers. Patil asked the Deputy Commissioner to consider the demand as per rules.

After the session, Patil asked senior officers of the UT Administration to strengthen public grievance mechanisms in their respective departments to improve service delivery systems.



Bandra train returns today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
After its successful maiden run, the Chandigarh-Bandra train will return to the railway station at 4:20 pm tomorrow.

The 12451 Bandra-Chandigarh train was running full to capacity and no seats were available. All seats from the commercial capital in the newly launched train had been reserved till June.

The train, which would leave the city every Sunday at 5:45 pm, would enable young IT professionals from the city employed in Mumbai to join duty on Monday as the train would reach there at 9:20 am.

Rakesh Sharma, a computer engineer with Infosys, who boarded the train on Sunday, said though an announcement to ply the train twice a week had been made in the Railway Budget, the train should be run daily as a large number of IT professionals from the city were working in Mumbai and Pune.

Formal arrangements had been made at the local railway station for welcoming passengers arriving here in the evening.

Station superintendent Parveen Kumar said arrangement had been made and a welcome message for passengers returning by the train would be flashed on screens at the railway station.



No luck with leopard even after a week
Authorities seek help of Wildlife Institute of India
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Despite trying different tricks and a round-the-clock vigil for a week, the UT Administration failed to capture the leopard stuck in a pipe at the IAF station. The authorities have sought help from the Wildlife Institute of India.

The UT Chief Conservator of Forests, Santosh Kumar, also the wildlife warden and Director Environment, said that the institute had experts in tranquilising animals.

Seven days had passed and they were worried about the leopard, due to which they had sought the help of experts from the institute.

Around 50 officials of the department, besides staff of the Chhat Bir zoo, had been deployed near the pipe round the clock to capture the leopard.

An official said they had been deployed there in shifts and were adopting a wait-and-watch policy, as per orders of their seniors, he added.

A live chicken and a goat had been placed near the pipe, but the leopard was still not coming out. Officials had put a cage in front of the pipe to catch the leopard in case it ventured out.

An official said the noise of aeroplanes had also been creating a problem. He said they had tried to scare the leopard with crackers and had put water inside the pipe, but neither worked.



MC gives fresh list of vacancies to Admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The municipal corporation (MC) gave a fresh list of its 650 vacant posts to the UT Administration today. In a joint meeting chaired by the Adviser to Administrator, KK Sharma, MC officials stated that they had revised the list of staff required by various departments.

When contacted, MC Commissioner VP Singh said they tabled a detailed report on requirements for filling vacant posts. He said there were minor changes in the requirements made earlier and the Adviser assured them that they would look into the matter before approving it.

Sources in the Administration revealed that sanctioned posts would be sent to the MC shortly, after which it could start the process of recruitment.

As per the sources, vacancies in all departments had been casting a shadow on the pace of development in the city.

No decision had been taken yet on the proposal of fresh recruitment. The case had been forwarded to the Centre for concurrence.



GMADA draw
3 Commonwealth medallists get flats
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
Three medallists of the Commonwealth Games namely Krishna Poonia (Gold), Harwnat Kaur (Silver) and Jai Bhagwan (Bronze) were among the lucky lot who got the two BHK flats in the draw of Purab Premium Apartments by Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), held near PUDA Bhawan here today.

None of the players was present at the draw, which was conducted for as many as 1,158 flats in general category, 278 in reserved category and 214 of the waiting list. A total of 4,403 applications were received for the type-II (2BHK) flats, coming up in Sector 88.

Interestingly, from the entire Tricity, only one applicant, Rashmi Sood, got the flat in the draw while the rest winners were from outstations.

“I am very happy as finally we would have our own house in the tricity,” said Rashmi Sood.

Earlier, the ‘pandal’ wore deserted look with the presence of only a handful applicants to witness the draw proceedings, which was also being videographed by the GMADA officials. Most of the chairs were found empty.

“The empty ‘pandal’ is an indication that the applicants were not much interested in the draw,” said a property dealer of the area.

Giving reason, he said that the cost of the flats was about Rs 15 lakh more than the rates of the other 2BHK flats, available in the area. Under the scheme, the winners have also to comply with the condition of ‘five years lock-in period’.

Raj Kumar and Ram Narayan, other winners in the draw, said that they were happy with surfacing their name in the draw. “When I got to know about the availability of the 2BHK flats at cheaper rates in the open market, I lost my enthusiasm,” said Narayan.

The draw for type III flats would be held tomorrow at 9.30 am onwards at the same venue.



Ruckus after man allegedly passes casteist remarks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
A high drama was witnessed at the Food and Supplies office at Sector 17 when a social activist, Rajinder Gupta, allegedly used caste remarks against a depot holder of Kajehri village. The police had to be called to defuse the situation.

The issue surfaced when a depot along with some members of the Government Fair Price Shop Welfare Association came to meet the DFSO regarding the supply of wheat under the APL quota. Against the specified limit of the wheat quota, the depot holders were getting less quota of wheat.

During the presence of the depot holders, Rajinder Gupta allegedly passed the caste remark at the depot holder, resulting in ruckus. The depot holder, S Sood in a complaint to the police alleged that other persons manhandled him. When the ruckus broke out, there was a huge rush of ration seekers as the DFSO office had opened after several months of renovation.



Jewellery shops remain closed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Jewellery shops across the tricity remained closed today as well as a part of a nationwide strike call by the All-India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation. The strike would continue till Wednesday.

Vinod Talwar, president of the Chandigarh Jewellers Association, said they were demanding a rollback in some new provisions in the Budget.

Additional taxes on the industry were not practical, he added. He further said the Finance Minister had increased duty on gold, which would have a negative effect on the sector.



Traditional sports retain popularity
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
For them rural and traditional sports like kabaddi, wrestling, dog race etc were more important than all-time-war-like cricket match between India versus Pakistan.

The fact came to fore at Ballomajra village yesterday, where hundreds of spectators converged to witness the annual ‘rural sports mela’ at the time when Indo-Pak one day match was on at Bangladesh.

“Cricket is a good game but our rural sports are more interesting and adventurous than it,” was the common viewpoint of the rural folk there.

Narinder Singh, who came from Sahnewal village especially to watch the kabaddi matches said that he also followed cricket. “Kabaddi is more thrilling than the ‘gentleman’s game’. Today I did not even try to know which team was batting first or what was the latest score,” said Narinder Singh.

Similarly, another youngster, Gursehaj Singh, a resident of Balongi, said that he could see the cricket any other day also. “We get chance to witness such rural sports only once or twice a year. Many of my friends were taking part in the sports ‘mela’ so how could I miss it,” said Gursehaj Singh.

On the other hand, some of the aged persons of the rural areas were not hesitant in displaying their ‘dislike’ for cricket. “Due to this game (cricket), all other sports have been sidelined. For me ‘Akhara kushti’ (wrestling), kabaddi or athletics are the real sports and these games need to be promoted,” said Darshan Singh, a farmer.

The organisers, too, were least bothered about today’s one-day match.

“We know that these (rural games) have huge fan following. So there was less turnout due to scheduled India-Pakistan cricket match,” said one of the organisers of the event.



Haryanvi folklore fest kicks off at Kalagram
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, March 19
The fourth Haryanvi folklore festival commenced at the Kalagram complex today with the rendering of ‘Raagnis’ by prominent folk artists of Haryana. The annual event, is being organised by the department of Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, Haryana, in collaboration with North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC). BS Balhara, additional director DPR, informed that the 12-day long event is aimed at providing entertainment to the Haryanvis in the tricity, besides propagating the rich cultural heritage of the state.

On the opening day of the event, three ‘Raagni’ groups, led by Praveen Kumari (Kurukshetra), Naresh Bhutana (Sonepat) and Shareef Kala (Sonepat) performed before a large crowd of folk art lovers. As per Yashvinder Sharma, program officer NZCC, more ‘Raagnis’ will be presented by eminent groups, including Gulab Singh, Rakesh Kiloi, and Paleram,on March 20, while Azad Singh, Ranbeer Badbasiya and Narender Dangi will give performances on March 21. Saangs will be staged by Ram Sharan on March 22, Shyam Lal on March 23, Mahaveer Singh on March 25, Jagveer Singh on March 26, Suraj Bedi on March 27, Dharamveer on March 28, Shareef Kala on March 29 and Ram Sharan on March 30.

On March 24, the NZCC will present a classical music concert and “Bhajan Sandhya” by Udaipur-based maestro Samrath Janve, a disciple of legendary Pandit Jasraj.

All music lovers are welcome for the programmes which will commence at 6:30 PM daily on all the days.



graft case
Rs 33 lakh, gold jewellery seized

Chandigarh, March 19
Two days after the arrest of a superintendent with the Central excise and customs department, VP Singh, CBI officials recovered Rs 33 lakh and gold jewellery from two of his lockers today.

An amount of Rs 8 lakh was recovered from his house at Sector 38 on March 17, the day he was arrested.

He was arrested for accepting a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh, along with another employee, Harbans Singh. — TNS



Five women, child injured as two vehicles collide head on
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Five women and a child were injured in a head-on collision between an Endeavor MUV and a Zen car near the Sector 44-45-50-51 traffic light point late last night.

The occupants of both vehicles sustained injuries in the accident and were rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital at Sector 32. Both parties later arrived at a compromise.

The Zen was occupied by Alka and Lovleen. The occupants of the Endeavor were Rajinder, who was driving it, Mona, Monty, Baljit and two-year-old Sohana.

The police reached the spot and recorded the statements of both parties. Both vehicles were damaged. In the absence of a complaint, a daily diary report was lodged.

Four DAV-10 students held

The staff with the Sector-3 police station arrested four students of the DAV College at Sector 10 here as a preventive measure on Monday.

Those arrested were Jeevanjot, Sukhdeep, Gurjant and Amber. Inspector Punam Dilawari said the students were detained as they were trying to bring outsiders into the college.

Skeleton found

A human skeleton was found near Kala Gram here on Monday evening. The police said the skeleton appeared to be a year old, adding that it was investigating the matter.



Health dept to file FIR
Trespass on, subletting of govt houses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The health department authorities have decided to file an FIR regarding the trespass on its quarters. Last week, during an inspection by a team from the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, it was detected that dozens of houses meant for hospital employees at Sectors 15 and 24 were in the possession of unidentified persons.

While a complaint was being lodged with the police against such persons, departmental action had already been initiated against those who were found to have sublet quarters allotted to them, said medical superintendent Rajiv Vadhera.

The scam was unearthed when one of the employee residing at the government quarter in Sector 15 lodged a complaint that anti-social elements had encroached upon the houses that had been lying unallotted in her neighbourhood.

During a visit of the inspection committee, the allottees told the officials that many persons had been using houses through the back gate while the lock put by the department on the main gate remained intact.

Twentytwo houses had been found with locks put up by unidentified persons. At least two houses were allegedly found to have been sublet by allottees.



Tricity scan
Chandigarh scan
Police inaction

Meenakshi Khurana, vie-president of Lions Welfare Society, in a press release issued here on Monday, claimed that the police has not taken any action against the accused who blackened the face of LK Khurana, president of the society, on March 11. She alleged that the alleged BJP party workers had acted at the instance of the top local BJP leaders. Meenakshi said that though the FIR contains the names of the BJP workers involved in the act, they have not been arrested by the Police till today which clearly shows inaction of the Police department.

Chandikrit-2012 inaugurated

The adviser to the UT Administrator, KK Sharma, on Monday, inaugurated Chandikrit- 2012, an industrial fair organised by the department of industries, Chandigarh Administration, at Parade Ground Sector 17. The fair is being organised to acquaint the public about the range/quality of products being manufactured by micro, small and medium enterprises of Chandigarh and the adjoining areas of Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and to help the entrepreneurs in marketing their products.

mohali scan
Placement drive

More than 50 students have been hired by companies such as Mahindra, Satyam and TVS Motors during ‘Punjab Placement Fest 2012’, being held at the Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Gharuan, a press release said. The placement drive is being organised with the help of Punjab State Board of Technical Education & Industrial Training (PSBTE&IT). Even students from premiere polytechnic institutions like Thapar Polytechnic, GNE Polytechnic, Mehar Chand Polytechnic, Jalandhar, Baba Banda Singh Bahadhur Polytechnic, Fatehgarh have already registered to participated in the fest.

While a large number of students are visiting the CGC campus at Gharuan, the Chandigarh Polytechnic College principal Gurmeet Singh Swag has advised the passing out batch of students of all colleges to simply register themselves for the Punjab Placement Fest at www.cgc.edu.in. “Once the students register themselves, the shortlisted students will be automatically called for the recruitment process,” he said. The students can also register for the fest by visiting the website of Punjab State Board of Technical Education & Industrial Training (PSBTE&IT), www.punjabteched.com.

panchkula scan
Placement week

More than 100 students of the Swami Devi Dyal Group of Professional Institutions, Barwala, have received offer letters from various national and international companies during the placement week ‘MANTECH 2012’.

Ashok Jindal, vice-president of the institute, said that the institute is putting great efforts to provide opportunities to the students. He added that this placement week would continue till March 21.

Job fest ends

A four-day job fest ‘Comp Tech 2012’, organised by Emax Group of Institutions, for students of computer science and information technology concluded with 252 candidates being selected. Around 3400 candidates gave interviews in 24 for companies during the four-day fest. — Tribune Reporters



UT to advertise Vacant RTE seats
With issues like child mapping and reimbursement still unresolved, the decision has left private schools fuming
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The UT education department is all set to advertise for the vacant RTE seats available in private schools and has sent letters afresh to the schools. The move has left schools fuming. The strong-worded letter from District Education officer Ram Kumar has asked schools to admit students irrespective of issues like child-mapping and reimbursement which they have been long resenting against. What has reignited the cold war is the clause informing schools that they will have to teach 15 percent of students free of cost as it constitutes the EWS quota mandated by the UT. The letter not only indicates that the department will not hike the per child cost (which is around Rs 1163), but also says that child-mapping results cannot be the basis of admissions.

Talking of the reimbursement part, the DEO claims that it was not possible to notify the exact amount in such a short time. He, however, assured schools that they will be reimbursed as per the amount fixed for 2011-12, which is expected to be around Rs 1163 only. The schools have also been informed that the courts have not stayed the obligatory EWS quota of 15 percent. Responding to apprehensions raised by the schools about admitting students not found eligible in child-mapping results put up this January, the DEO said that it was not a basis to deny admission as a child may have been missed out. The department has also refused to give any undertaking regarding reimbursement for books and uniforms saying that the Act will be abided with.

The schools have however refused to take it lying down as Independent Schools association president HS Mamik, said, “They have sent a copy of the clauses from the Act to substantiate their view, but what about the clauses which list out the administration’s duties? We have spoken to the MHRD which says that it will decide reimbursement, and not the UT administration. They can give whatever advertisement they want but we shall not make admissions according to their whims and fancies. We will go by the law.”

DEO made ‘local authority’!

What has raised eyebrows is the recent letter of the UT education department, appointing District Education Officer (DEO) Ram Kumar the ‘local authority’ for the RTE Act. The implementation of the Act had been one of the prime duties of now Deputy Director (Schools) Chanchal Singh. Almost a month back, Ram Kumar’s promise of reimbursement for books of students covered under the Act was declared null and void as he was not the authority for the said Act. The letter left school authorities amused. One representative said, “The DEO can be the executing officer. The local authority is the UT Administration and not one individual. We call the CBSE the authority and not its chairman. This shows their level of knowledge of the RTE Act.”



190 students awarded degrees
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
As many as 190 graduate and post graduate students of commerce, science, and arts streams were handed over degrees in a convocation ceremony at the Government College, Phase VI, here today.

Chief guest Dr SS Gill, vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, gave away the degrees awarded by the Punjabi University, Patiala, to the students. Sharing his valuable experiences to encourage the students, Dr Gill exhorted them to adopt a positive attitude and face the challenges of life.

At the end of the function, Dr Ashok Arora, vice principal, thanked the chief guest, former principal and professors, parents and the students for gracing the occasion.



Violating all norms, PU continues recruitment process
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Propriety seems to be last on the agenda of Panjab University which continues its recruitment marathon irrespective of the search committee for new VC having been constituted and the Senate elections being announced.

Contrary to all precedents and demands of propriety, rather than stalling all the appointment other than urgent ones, the PU has actually sped up the process. In addition to conducting 3-4 screenings a day, a fresh advertisement has been issued yesterday informing candidates about the changed academic performance index (API) and seeking more applications with respect to it.

While many hold Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti responsible, it is noteworthy that he had offered to stall the process, but was asked by the Syndicate to continue with the same. This was done done, allegedly, to increase the size of faculties which play a deciding role in the Senate elections. What, however, has left many surprised is his act of constituting a committee to look into the matter. The committee eventually submitted that it was not competent to advise on the issue of propriety. Following a letter from Panjab University Teachers Association, asking Sobti to restrict the recruitment exercise only to the vacancies which required to be filled up urgently, he formed a committee headed by Dean University Instructions BS Brar to look into the matter. According to the minutes of the meeting, Brar implied that the committee members, including him, were incompetent to give any view on the issue of propriety concerning Sobti.

While repeated attempts to contact Sobti proved futile, as his office informed about he being out of station, another official said, “It was the Syndicate which asked us to continue with the recruitments and we even made a committee to identify the ‘urgent’ vacancies. PUTA waants us to stop the process while the non teaching employees want immediate recruitment. What should we do?”

Panjab University Teacher Association president Prof Akshay Kumar said, “We have no locus standii on recruitment to non-teaching posts. PU can surely go ahead with it as they are urgently required. We have asked the VC to be exercise discretion in faculty recruitments and decide that what is urgent and what not.”



Social science workshop begins at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
A basic training workshop on “Quantitative Methods and Techniques in Social Science Research” was inaugurated by Prof B S Brar, Honorary Director of the ICSSR, North-Western Regional Centre, Chandigarh, and Dean University Instructions, Panjab University in the ICSSR Complex today.

The one week workshop will familiarise students about the rudiments of quantitative research in social sciences.

Fifty participants from various disciplines of social sciences, from various colleges, universities are taking part in the workshop. Prof BS Brar, in his inaugural address, noted that the workshop aims at providing a general understanding of the nature and relevance of quantitative research methods.



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