C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Liquor to remain cheaper in chandigarh
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Mohali, March 23
Chandigarh would continue to be favourite with boozers, as according to the proposed Excise Policy 2012-2013 of the UT, liquor in the city will remain cheaper than that sold in Mohali.

Though the UT is yet to come out with its new excise policy, Punjab’s decision to increase the excise duty by 15 per cent and increase the quota of liquor would see bacchus lovers from the region heading towards the city.

The difference in the liquor prices at the two cities, varying between 10 per cent and 20 per cent, would remain despite the UT proposing to generate more revenue from the sale of liquor vends by basing the last year’s highest quoted price of each vend as the base licence fee of the respective vend. Last year, at least three vends on the outskirts of the UT had fetched over Rs 2 crore as licence fee.

By doing so, the department would do away with the prevailing system of fixing a uniform licence fee. The new Excise Policy of the UT is expected to be out next month.

On the other hand, the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department, in its new policy 2012-2013, has announced to continue with the prevailing system of draw of lots. For the draw of lots to be held on March 28, the excise department had formed 25 groups with maximum concentration of vends along the Punjab border with the UT.

UT Finance Secretary VK Singh said various issues related to the new excise policy were today discussed at a meeting. “Nothing has been finalised yet,” he said.

“The increase in the licence fee will certainly have an effect on the liquor prices but it will still be cheaper than liquor sold in Mohali as the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department has not only increased the excise duty, but has also increased the liquor quota,” said a senior official.

Though the UT officials are tight-lipped on the excise policy 2012-13, it is believed that the proposed move to substantially increase the licence fee would fetch a much higher revenue than the last year’s projected revenue of Rs 127 crore. The exact tax structure would be known once the UT comes out with excise duty. Sources reveal that the department was also seriously considering to lower the fixed liquor quota from the existing 27 lakh liquor cartons, as the traders had not been able to lift 13 lakh cartons. 

With over a month still left for the start of the new policy (May 2012), the traders had yet to lift around 9 lakh cartons. The Punjab excise officials said after fixing the quota, smuggling of liquor from the UT had come down. 

To further curb the menace, Punjab had doubled the fines under the excise laws. Regular checks on the border had also been proposed by Punjab. By rough estimates, the price of popular brands of the IMFL were expected to increase by around Rs 15 per bottle, a bottle of beer is expected to cost around Rs 60. On the other hand, the price of IMFL would increase by anything between Rs 30 and Rs 50 per bottle while a bottle of beer would cost around Rs 70 per bottle.

No opinion on social aspect

A few years ago, former Adviser to the UT Administrator Lalit Sharma had constituted a committee of experts from the police, health and social organisations to analyse various aspects of the liquor policy. Issues like location of vends at spots prone to road accidents and public nuisance were discussed. But this year, no such public opinion has been sought by the UT.



MC dodging house tax
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Dodging the UT Administration decision to impose house tax in the city, the Municipal Corporation (MC) Mayor is not allowing it to be tabled at the General House meeting despite repeated directions of the UT Administration. In the first week of February, the UT administration sent a communication to the MC that they should impose house tax and revise the commercial tax to get regular grants from the Union Ministry of Urban Development for various ongoing projects.

Sources revealed that the issue was forwarded to the Mayor, Raj Bala Malik, last month for the permission to table it at a House meeting in February but she refused to do so. Resultantly the issue is still lying pending with the department concerned.

When contacted, the Mayor refused to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, MC Commissioner VP Singh has stated that the draft of house tax will again be sent to the Mayor to seek her permission to table this information in the House but the final decision rests with the Mayor whether to allow it to be tabled in the House or not at the next meeting.

In a communiqué, the Local Government Secretary, UT, has stated that the second Delhi Finance Commission, which was tasked to devolve funds from the UT Administration has also recommended that the corporation should raise its own resources through taxation with the objective of making it self-dependent. However, the MC has neither imposed house tax on residential areas nor has it revised property tax since 2007. As the MC has signed an MoU with the Ministry of Urban Development under the Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission it will impose house tax to raise funds.

In fact, in the past also the Mayor and the House Tax Assessment Committee have passed the buck to each other on this issue. In 2009 former Mayor Kamlesh recommended that this issue should first be approved by the sub-committee and later be tabled in the house for its approval. But when it was tabled before the committee, a majority of the members objected that why the authorities had brought this issue to the committee meeting when they are aware that it was not under their jurisdiction.

In 2009 for five consecutive months, the officials of the MC had sent the House tax issue to former Mayor Kamlesh for her approval to table it in the House, but she rejected it without any reasons. A number of times at the joint review committee meeting of the administration and the corporation assurances were given to the team of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission that soon it will impose house tax in the city. 



2 booked for hacking kin’s facebook account
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The UT police has booked two residents of Karnal for hacking the facebook account of a person and posting obscene comments and pictures on it.
Sahil Pandhir and Neeraj Pandhir, both residents of Old Housing Board Colony, Karnal (Haryana), have been booked for hacking the account of the complainant’s son and posting obscene comments of her daughter on it.

A case under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act has been registered in the police station of Sector 17.

The hacking came to light when the brother of the woman in Sector 22 started receiving dirty phone calls and then noticed comments of facebook visitors on his account.

Neeraj Pandhir is the husband of the woman.

The police said a matrimonial dispute between Neeraj and his wife was already pending with the crime against women cell (CAW) of the Chandigarh police. Though Neeraj is pursuing his engineering in a private institute at Rohtak, co-accused Neeraj is studying in Chandigarh. Police sources said the suspects had hacked the his brother-in-law’s facebook account from their computer in Rohtak. 



Leopard tranquilised
Aircraft take-offs deferred during rescue operation
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Air Force had to postpone take-offs for almost an hour as the forest officials last night rescued the leopard that had been trapped in a pipeline under the airstrip for 11 days. To make sure that tranquilisers were administered to the leopard without any hitch, it was decided that no aircraft would take off during the rescue operation.

Chief Conservator of Forests-cum-Chief Wildlife Warden, UT, Santosh Kumar said a complete silence was required for the successful completion of the operation as little noise could spoil the entire operation. We had requested the Air Force authorities to defer take-offs of their aircraft and they obliged.

The animal is stable and shifted to the Chattbir zoo. It would be kept under observation for seven or 10 days. “The animal is fine. It has not been decided when the animal would be released in the forest area,” Chattbir zoo field director Basanta Raj Kumar said.

Giving details about the operation, an official said first they started breaking cable carrying pipe, in which leopard was stuck from both ends. As nobody can give the permission to damage the runway therefore the wildlife officials pushed the leopard between the range of 7-8 feet by using bamboo sticks. Luckily, he was confined in that part of the pipe, which was not under the runway, he added.

The official added that in that part the width of the pipe was 6 or 8 inches and with the help of a JCB machine, power cutters, which were provided by the Air Force, the wildlife officials cut the pipe from two sides and put the iron grill in the pipe and managed to push the leopard in 4-5 feet range.

The sources added then the officials made a 15-minute video of the leopard to keep a track of his activities before tranquilising him. After watching its activities, the wildlife officials fired a shot to tranquilise it but they did not succeeded in the first attempt. But, the second shot was successful.

Thereafter the wildlife officials dragged it out and a team of veterinary doctors from the Chattbir zoo administer it the antidote.



The cat has been belled!
Security tents pitched outside houses of bigwigs removed
Tribune News Service
A green belt at sector 24 A, Chandigarh, from where ITBP personnel sifted their tents late night after the court orders on Friday.
A green belt at sector 24 A, Chandigarh, from where ITBP personnel sifted their tents late night after the court orders on Friday. Tribune photo: pradeep tewari

Chandigarh, March 23
In July, 2009, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had taken suo-motu cognisance of a news report, “Who’ll bell the cat”, carried in these columns on the violations by the bigwigs at government accommodations.

Nearly three years later, the Chandigarh Administration today claimed the removal of all security tents pitched outside the houses of bureaucrats, politicians and other high-ups on designated green belts.

The assertion on the removal of tents came this afternoon, just about 24 hours after the High Court directed the uprooting of portable canvas shelters pitched outside the Judges’ houses.

As the case came up for resumed hearing this morning, the UT administration informed the court of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover that it has removed all the tents pitched outside the Judges’ houses.

Taking a note of the assertion, the Bench directed the authorities to remove all the tents pitched outside the houses of high-ups of Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana by the evening.

As the matter came up for resumed hearing in the evening, the authorities submitted that 12 tents for the security of UT officers, 60 for Punjab authorities, and three for Haryana high-ups have been removed.

The Bench also heard only six tents pitched for Punjab officers could not be removed for want of permission from the Union Home Ministry. The Bench was told that the tents were occupied by the Central Reserve Police Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police. Hearing this, the Bench directed the authorities to get the necessary approval for the removal of these tents and come out with details of action on Tuesday.

Justice Ranjit Singh had earlier asserted: “No one is above law, however so high he or she may be placed. The Chandigarh Administration needs to be asked to perform its functions in accordance with law”.

Justice Ranjit Singh had also directed the issuance of a notice to the Union Territory of Chandigarh through its Administrator “to show cause as to why these illegal encroachments etc. be not removed”. In an apparent attempt to prevent the encroachers from getting away with the illegalities, Justice Ranjit Singh in his detailed order had also made it clear to the administration to ensure all violating officers are brought under the ambit of law.

“Various violations done by influential officials or officers in the government accommodation allotted to them have been highlighted in the news item, along with the photographs showing the illegal encroachments or constructions done by them. “The Chandigarh Administration would also carry out checks and report, if any such illegal construction or encroachment has been done by any other official or officer in the government houses allotted to them in Chandigarh”. 


Syndicate meeting to be stormy
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
After a series of amicable meetings, Saturday Syndicate is expected to be stormy, especially, for the Vice-Chancellor (VC) who seems to have run into trouble with the Chatrath Group over with the faculty change issue after their letter to VC, 11 senators of the GK Chatrath group have approached Chancellor Hamid Ansari accusing the Vice-Chancellor, RC Sobti, of disrupting the democratic set up of the PU Senate.

Accusing Sobti of actively participating in Senate politics by intentionally helping a particular group, the senators, in their letter, have claimed that the permission to change faculty is against all the norms and that of PU calendar.

“The VC has no authority to grant any such permissions and the unlawful act is aimed to help handful of people in forthcoming Senate elections. How can we justify people changing their faculties after four years in house and selecting syndicate? It has never happened before and arbitrary attitude of RC Sobti is disrupting democratic set up of academic bodies,” reads the letter, which seeks immediate intervention of Chancellor.

In addition to the issue of the university giving two hoots to propriety and going ahead with recruitments despite search committee being framed for the new VC will also rock the house. While the VC claims to be continuing with recruitment as per directives of last syndicate a majority of syndicate members refuse to take it.

“He should have done only urgent and need based appointments but going by the current trend it appears that we are trying to adjust as many people as we can before change of power which is unethical. Not only the VC search panel has been declared but also the Senate election has been scheduled, so any fresh appointment is against propriety. We can understand one or two appointments but hundreds of screenings is unacceptable,” said a syndic.

Interestingly, the skeletons will also tumble out of cupboards with syndics ready to take up the issue of deteriorating condition of the HSJ Dental College. In its latest letter, Dental Council of India has threatened to disaffiliate the PU’s BDS course in a view of ailing infrastructure and staff crunch. Interestingly, the PU had recently bypassed syndicate and senate and proposed to the council allowing it to start the MDS; the council however, felt that organisation is not fit to even have the BDS course.

“We granted them recognition when former Director Dr Guaba was in his exit mode. They proposed to have the MDS but our visits to the college have revealed that they are currently not even fit to have the BDS course. The number of the OPD patients has dropped from 400 to 70 patients everyday. There are no proper equipments and skilled teachers even the current head is not from the subject. We have given the PU three months time to work out the things failing which we will have to disaffiliate its course,” said a member of the DCI.



No ‘gidda, bhangra’ in Jhankaar this year
Tribune News Service

Vacant seats during a fashion show and star night at Panjab University.
Vacant seats during a fashion show and star night at Panjab University. Tribune photo: pradeep tewari

Chandigarh, March 23
Contrary to its much-hyped start the last day of the PU youth fest, Jhankaar, left many disappointed as the participating teams failed to turn up for giddha and bhangra competitions. The much-awaited events proved to be dampeners. The audience thronged the auditorium at around 10.00 am and kept waiting till 2.00 pm. But the competitions did not start. When unrest started to take over, a few students from the audience volunteered to dance.

"The high point of Jhankaar every time is giddha and bhangra that went in smoke this year. There were no teams and when people objected to it, the organisers brought their own people to dance. It was shameful," said one of the students.

A valedictory function for the fest was organised to mark the end of three-day fest. Though it started on a low note but things picked up in evening when fashion show and star night was organised. Though many did not turn up by 7.30 but eventually people came in the evening.

The Cherry Mann show was a super hit with the students dancing to his melodious tunes.



Navratra Fair: 80,000 throng Mansa Devi Temple
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 23
More than 80,000 devotees paid obeisance at the Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine, near here, on the first day of the ‘Chaitra Navratra’ festival that began with traditional fervour today.
A devotee crawls towards the temple.
A devotee crawls towards the temple. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda accompanied by his wife Ashaperformed a yajna and paid obeisance at the holy Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Complex.

Principal secretary to Chief Minister Chattar Singh, political adviser to the Chief Minister Prof Virender Singh, principal, OSD, MS Chopra, MLAs DK Bansal and Zile Ram Sharma, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Administrator, Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board, Panchkula, Ashima Brar, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Manish Chaudhary and City Magistrate Ashwani Malik also participated in the yajna.

The shrine is one of the 51 shakti peeths mentioned in the ‘Tantra Chudamani’ and it is believed that the forehead of Sati fell at this place. The sacred temple was got constructed by Maharaja Gopal Singh, son of King of Mani Majra Garib Das years ago.

Meanwhile, the shrine board has received cash offerings of Rs 16.15 lakh, besides 10 and 163 items of gold and silver, respectively. However, no foreign currency was received on the first day.

DP Dattana, chief executive officer (CEO), Shri Mata Devi Shrine Board, said special arrangements were made to deal with huge rush of devotees. A team of doctors was also deployed to deal with any emergency.



Woman killed in accident
Our Correspondent

A car that fell into an open sewerage at the Kumbra light point on the road separating Phases 7 and 8 in Mohali on Friday.
A car that fell into an open sewerage at the Kumbra light point on the road separating Phases 7 and 8 in Mohali on Friday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, March 23
A woman was killed while two others were injured when the car they were travelling in fell into a ditch after colliding with another vehicle here today.

As per reports, the Santro car, which was being driven by Jaswinder Kaur’s brother Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Sector 37, Chandigarh, collided with a Tavera near the Kumbra chowk. The woman died on the spot while her brother sustained injuries.

The police has registered a case in this regard.

A blame game has been going on between GMADA and the public health department over the uncovered ditch that has been posing a threat to traffic on the busy road. The caved-in portion of the sewer line at the Kumbra traffic junction has been lying exposed for weeks. The problem was highlighted in these columns on January 30. 



Allottees seek disclosure of inquiry report
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Using the RTI as a tool to delay the inquiry proceedings in the infamous booth allotment scam, 65 allottees, instead of filing their reply to the notices issued by the UT administration, have filed RTI applications seeking disclosure of the present status of the probe.

The allottees have told the administration that they would file their reply only after receiving their replies.

After sitting over the inquiry report, which had rocked the city, the UT Administration in November last had termed the report prepared by former UT Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill as incomplete and had issued directions to the Deputy Commissioner for a complete probe.

After the directions from the UT Administration, the Estate Office in January, this year, had issued notices to 88 booth allottees and had asked them to file their replies.

Show-cause notices were issued, as there were serious allegations against these allottees in the inquiry report.

Sources said records of all 88 beneficiaries who were allotted the booths were checked thoroughly and then matched with the points of contentions raised in the inquiry report.

A senior official of the UT Administration said out of 88 beneficiaries, 65 allottees had not filed their reply to the notices but submitted RTI queries.

In his approximately 1,000-page report, Shergill had pointed to the involvement of top politicians and senior officials, including city MP and Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, former UT Adviser Pradip Mehra, former Deputy Commissioner RK Rao and former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra, among others.

The report had stated that the financial dimensions of the fraudulent allotment ran into crores, including money paid to politicians, police officials and officials of the estate office.

The Estate Office, further strengthening the claims of illegal allottees, had done several bogus surveys and inspections, the report had stated.



Rangoli making, quiz mark martyrs’ day
Our Correspondent

Students of the SAS Institute of Technology and Research take part in a painting contest at Phase VII in Mohali on Friday.
Students of the SAS Institute of Technology and Research take part in a painting contest at Phase VII in Mohali on Friday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, March 23
The Martyrdom Day of Bhagat Singh was observed at SAS IIT&R here today.
Dr JS Dhaliwal, chairman, SAS Group of Institutions, graced the occasion. He urged the students to imbibe the values of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

More than 500 students took part in various activities, including business quiz, face painting, poster making, games, debates, IT and software development, e-collage, movie making and rangoli.

The participating colleges included more than 15 from across the region.

Nearly 40 students of SASIIT&R were awarded certificates and awards. 



Admn renews rent lease of 16 showrooms
Extends it for another five years at nominal amount of Rs 54,000 per month
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
After the Chandigarh Administration shelved its proposal to auction prime commercial property in Sector 17, the UT Estate Office has extended the rent lease of its 16 showrooms in Sector 17-E for another five years at a nominal amount of Rs 54,000 per month.

The rent hiked from the previous Rs 39,000 per month is still comparatively less than the rent of around Rs 7 lakh charged for renting out a private showroom in the commercial centre. The rent has been hiked under a working formula that allows the Estate Office to increase the rent by 15 per cent after every five years.

Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta said the lease had recently been extended as per the laid down rules.

Sources said going by the market rentals, the administration was losing lakhs of rupees every year. Collecting the lease money from the allottees of showrooms and booths in the commercial centre was another point of concern for the Estate Office.

Besides, about 50 built-up showrooms and booths in the bridge market were given on lease in early seventies to attract shopkeepers. “At that time the city was being developed and there was need to set up business activity. The showrooms and booths had been given on lease for five years,” said a senior official.

From a few hundreds, the lease money was increased by the Estate Office to Rs 14,000 per month in 1992 and ultimately to the present rent. In the past, all steps by the Administration to realise the increased lease money was met by strong opposition by the shopkeepers.

Acting on a request of the allottees about five years ago, the Estate Office made a proposal to transfer the properties in the name of the allottees for about Rs 2 crore for a showroom. The shopkeepers refused to accept the price, stating that it was too high. They demanded some concession as they were the original allottees and had played a key role in the development of the sector.

The issue raised its head once again when the ground floor of a showroom (SCO 51, Sector 17) was auctioned for about Rs 5 crore. “The total auction price of all three floors, if auctioned, works out to be about Rs 10 crore,” said a senior official in the Estate Office. After the auction, the Estate Office cannot sell any property below the auctioned price. The sources said some of the allottees had either sub-letted their premises or had undertaken major building bylaw violations in the shops. 



Undertrial threatens hospital staff
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The admission of under-trials or convicts to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital has proved to be a bane of the hospital staff. An under-trial, who is facing charges of attempt to murder and was admitted to the hospital a few weeks ago, kept the staff on tenterhooks on Thursday. He allegedly threatened them after the doctors asked the staff to discharge him.

The under-trial, a resident of Jalandhar district, had suffered a fracture in the leg before he was arrested a few months ago by the Chandigarh police in a case under Section 307 of the IPC here. He was lodged in the Burail jail where his fractured leg developed some complication after surgery and it was operated again at the GMSH. After the treatment, the doctors declared him fit for discharge but the under-trial patient was not ready to go back to the jail on the pretext of pain in the leg, said a doctor. The patient not only remained adamant to stay in the hospital, but also issued threats to the doctors, nurses and other members of the hospital staff.

The doctor said the patient threatened him that he (under-trial) had already been facing charges of murder and it would not make any difference to him to face charges of one more such crime. Whenever they asked him to cooperate with them in preparing his discharge slip, he threatened them claiming that he had already killed two women, said a nurse.

Though usually such patients try to delay their discharge from the hospital to avoid going to the jail, this patient was a little more aggressive, said a doctor.

Meanwhile, the medical superintendent, Dr Rajiv Vadhera, confirmed that the doctors and other staff members had brought the issue to his notice. The patient, however, after much persuasion agreed to leave the hospital in the afternoon, he added.



Work on overbridge begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Mayor of the municipal corporation Raj Bala Malik today inspected work on the overbridge at Sector 17 in Chandigarh. Chief Engineer SS Bida, along with other senior officials, were also present on the occasion.

The foundation of the overbridge was laid in November, last year, and after getting approval from the UT Administration to remove the trees from the construction site, the digging work started today.

The overbridge will connect Anand Theatre with KC Theatre in Sector 17.

An amount of Rs 1,246 lakh has been earmarked.

It will have the facilities of 40 booths, two toilets on the ground floor. Two lifts, having a capacity of 13 persons each and offices in second and third floor.

On the persistent demand of the residents it will be developed 22 feet wide including 4.5’ pedestrian walkways on both sides. It will facilitate pedestrians from Sector 17 up to Madhya Marg.



Civic body honours widows of martyrs
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev remembered on martyrdom day
Tribune News Service

An elderly man pays homage to the martyrs at Sector 17 in Chandigarh on Friday.
An elderly man pays homage to the martyrs at Sector 17 in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, March 23
Fourteen widows of martyrs were honoured by the municipal corporation today. Mayor Raj Bala Malik laid a wreath at the Martyr’s Pillar in Terraced Garden, Sector 33, Chandigarh, and paid homage to Shaheed-e-Azam S Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev and the martyrs from the defence forces.

Balbir Kaur Brar, Swinder Kaur, Jaswantjeet Kaur, Ajit Kaur, Kanta Lakhanpal, Satish Kumar, Karamjit Kaur, Shamsher Kaur, Chandrawati, Neelam, Jasbir Mahil, Savita Rana, Jaya Babbar and Rajinder Kaur were honoured on the day.

Gurinder Kang, who was invited to be honoured by the corporation, staged a protest and walked out as she was not called on stage by the organiser to be honoured by the Mayor.

Even though the organisers apologised later, she refused to accept the memento, terming it as a disgrace.

Honouring the families of the martyrs, present on the occasion, whose names were inscribed on the Martyr’s Pillar, Raj Bala Malik said such memorials went long way in educating and imbibing the spirit of patriotism in younger and generations to come. MC Commissioner VP Singh said efforts were being made for the welfare of the families of martyrs. Among others present included nominated councillor Major DS Sandhu, Sunil Bhatia, Additional Commissioner-I, Lalit Siwach, Additional Commissioner-II, other councillors and officials.

Meanwhile, the state unit of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha also organised a programme to commemorate the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

The Yuva Morcha paid floral tributes to the great martyrs who sacrificed their lives. BJP president Sanjay Tandon urged the youths to follow in the footsteps of the great revolutionary leaders.

A city-based NGO, Aawaaz, also paid homage to the martyrs along with the tricity residents.



High drama at Maloya
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
High drama was witnessed in Maloya when a row over possession of a house between two brothers turned awry and the members of both the families hurled stones and bricks at each other. The police booked three persons, including a woman Guddi and two persons Vijay and Salim, under the preventive measures. Their medical examination was conducted in the Government Multi Specialty Hospital in Sector 16.

As police picked up members of both the parties, a city-based advocate reached the police post and alleged that the woman was being tortured in custody. Advocate Arvind Thakur said there was blood on the floor and the elderly woman had grievous injuries.

Sub-Inspector Baldev Singh, in charge, Maloya police post, refuted the allegations and said they brought the two fighting parties to the post and the injuries were inflicted on them by the opposite party.



UT more tech savvy, reveals Census'
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
From possessing the highest number of computers to having access to the basic amenities, the prosperity indicators released by the census department reveals that the city residents are a privileged lot.

With 33.3 per cent of the households having access to computers and laptops, the UT ranks even higher than the National Capital Region where 29 per cent of the households have access to the computers.

The UT rubs shoulders with Goa and Lakshadweep with 89 per cent of the household having landline phones and mobile connections.

Not only the luxuries, the city also fairs high on parameters of basic amenities. Despite the city having a large population living in 16 slum colonies, only 9 per cent of the households use public toilets.

As per the census data on the distribution of households by number of dwelling rooms, 39 per cent of the households have one room sets and 69 per cent of the households have only one married couple. On the other hand, only 10 per cent of the households have two married couples.

Regarding the availability of the drinking water facility, over 86 per cent households had the
drinking water facility on their premises and 11 per cent have it near their premises.



Population register camps 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 23
The Mohali district administration is set to start maintaining population registers by organising camps at villages and towns here. Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam said camps in this regard would be organised from June at various villages and towns in the district.



Annual prize distribution

Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, Chandigarh, organised its 41st annual prize distribution function here amidst a distinguished gathering. The chief guest on the occasion was Dr SS Gill, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.

Sandeep Kumar of the BCA final year was awarded the coveted best student of the year award. In keeping with the college tradition, he was presented with Col Mehboob Singh Trophy and a cash award. Nivjit Dhanota (MSc microbial technology) was presented the award for excellence in academics while Oscar Bansal (MA I English) was given away the best sportsperson award. Roll of honours were presented to Manveen Kaur (MCom II) and Jaideep Kaur Parmar (BCA III), UO Abhishek Guleria and Amandeep Singh of BA III.

Mayor visit

Raj Bala Malik, mayor, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, today, inspected the progress of construction work of the overbridge in Sector 17. The overbridge will be constructed from Anand Theater to the KC Theater in Sector 17. It will have the facilities of 40 booths, toilets at each end, in the ground floor. The venue will have two lifts.


The following have been elected office bearers to Panjab University Stenographers’ Association. Chairman Dwarka Nath; vice-chairman KB Grover; secretary Vinod Singh; joint secretary Shiv Sharma and treasurer Parmod Singh.


The following have been elected office bearers to the Palace Plaza, Sector 20 C: chairman Des Raj S; vice chairman Vinod Sikka; president Kashmiri Lal; vice president Akhtar Ali and general secretary Om Prakash.


The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) in association with the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised a seminar on “Decoding Budget-2012” at the PHD House, Chandigarh here today. PS Pruthi, IRS Chief Commissioner, central excise and custom was the chief guest and inaugurated the seminar. Anil Gupta, IRS, Commissioner central excise and custom was the guest of honor at the seminar. Anil Gupta, IRS, Commissioner central excise and customs also explained amendments in Budget-2012 in context to industry in general and what industry can gain from it. Sudha Sharma,a former Director General of Income Tax, explained her view point on direct taxes in the budget and appreciated the initiatives of the government to benefit the masses.

Police cricket tournament

The Chandigarh Administration is organising the CPGCL (Chandigarh Police Gully Cricket League-2012), a fun cricket tournament, aimed at the youth of the city from March 30 onwards till April 5, a press release said, here on Friday. For the event, the city has been divided into four zones, each headed by a DSP, supported by representatives of the sports, education, engineering and municipal corporation for the conduct of the event. The event is built upon the community policing initiative of the Chandigarh police through the recently set up beat system in the city. The tournament will be played with Cricket Tennis Ball and shall be opened for both, men and women teams.

World Tuberculosis Day

The school of public health, PGIMER, celebrated World Tuberculosis Day at Burail village, here on Friday. The theme for the year 2012 is ‘Stop Tuberculosis in my Life Time’. There was a gathering of around 50 local residents comprising antenatal and postnatal mothers, anganwadi workers and adolescents. An overview about the TB its symptoms, need to consult health care personnel, role of sputum examination and initiate treatment was provided. At the end of the talk queries from the audience were addressed.

Reiki camp organised

Society for Divine Reiki Meditation (NGO) in collaboration with Global Alliance for Rights and Duties (NGO), organised free reiki healing camp at Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Sector 19, here on Friday. More than three hundred people attended the camp.

A delegation of senior functionaries’ of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) consisting of Diwakar Sahoonja former President, Bhim Sain Garg, Ravi Kansal, Jagdish Kapoor, Naresh Panna and Naresh Mahajan, of the CBM, on Friday, called on office of Anil Kumar Home secretary-cum-commissioner. The delegation submitted list of problems with regard to getting certification or registration under new Food Safety Act 2006 as notified in 2011before March 31.

Mohali Scan

Martyrdom day

GJIMT Rotract club and the NSS wing of Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, today, organised a seminar on Shaheed Bhagat Singh on his 81th Martyrdom Day on college campus at Phase II, Mohali. The students of the MBA, MCA, BTech, BBA and BCA paid homage to great leader of the Indian freedom struggle. The NSS students of the GJ-IMT lit candles in the campus and paid homage to the martyr.

World Water Day

DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals (DSP), a Toansa-based unit, celebrated the World Water Day. To celebrate the day, the DSP organised a symposium of distinguished stakeholders from the neighboring industry, village bodies and subject experts from the CII and educational institutions to deliberate and discuss on the importance of water resource.


Major advances in a different arena of pharmaceutical sciences including novel drug delivery system, pharmaceutical analysis, drug discovery and clinical research will be discussed at a three-day International Conference on “Recent Advances in Pharmacy” organised by Rayat Institute of Pharmacy, Railmajra SBS Nagar, which kicked off today at Rayat Technology Campus of Excellence, Ropar. The conference was inaugurated today by the chief guest Dr SS Gill, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.



Programme on elimination of corporal punishment in schools
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, March 23
A one-day orientation programme on “Teacher Motivation and Elimination of Corporal Punishment in Schools” was organised in a school today where the teachers of Government Schools from Sector 32, 46, 20,30 and 33 participated.

Chanchal Singh, Deputy Director School Education, was the chief guest on the occasion. Ram Kumar Sharma, the DEO, Chandigarh Administration, also presided over the function. They highlighted the factors needed to motivate the teachers and create awareness about various departmental programmes.

They also asked the teachers to maintain a balance and stressed on importance to sensitise them on various tools.



Education dept to finales school buses routes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Turning a new leaf of convenience for the students going to schools on buses, the UT education department, today, made clear its intention of finalising the routes and arranging required vehicles.

The education department informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it would come out with data from all the government schools by April 20. The data would contain, among other things, information on the number of the students requiring transport system for reaching schools.

As the traffic management case came up before Justice Rajive Bhalla this afternoon, the UT Director Public Instructions (schools) also told the Bench that they would submit the data after preparing it to the State Transport Authority for finalising the routes and arranging the required vehicles.

Already, Justice Bhalla has asked the Chandigarh Administration to set down rules for regulating the number of students that could be ferried in rickshaws and three-wheelers and providing better bus facilities to the children.

Justice Bhalla, on the previous date of hearing, had asked the UT DPI schools to remain present. The directions came after Justice Bhalla questioned the UT on the issue of ferrying school students safely.

Justice Bhalla asserted the DPI was clearly asked to step in on the issue of bus facility. Counsel for the UT, however, said the process was taking time as the examinations were on, following which the DPI was asked to remain present.

Justice Bhalla has already been told that Chandigarh engineering department has started the process of earmarking the city road for implementing the lane driving norms in the city. Once implemented, all the heavy and emergency vehicles would ply on the left side of the road.

Auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers, on the other hand, will ply on the middle, while fast moving vehicles would ply on the right side.

Only recently, Justice Bhalla observed: “It has been brought to the notice of this court that cycle rickshaws and three-wheelers that transport school children, more often than not, are overloaded and on occasions more than a dozen children are seen sitting in the cycle rickshaws and three wheelers.”

Making it clear that “safety of the children is of paramount importance,” Justice Bhalla said the issue “cannot be left in the hands of the mercenary schools and mercenary transporters.”



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