C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Freak weather baffles city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
City residents witnessed heavy rain accompanied by strong winds here late last evening. The city came to a halt due to the downpour as the roads leading to the main sectors were filled with water. Strong wind knocked down tree branches in various sectors, including Sectors 27, 15, 22 and 24. There were reports of windscreens of vehicles being smashed in the rain.

The newly constructed road at the NAC, Manimajra, was waterlogged. Strong winds began blowing around 8.30 pm, followed by a dust storm and heavy rain, which lasted for about an hour.

People who had parked their motorcycles in Sector 17 were in for a rude shock when they saw all two rows collapse on their return. Harinder Singh, a bank manager, said: “It seemed someone had broken the pipe of the oil tank of my mobike. I saw another bike whose lights had been smashed.”

Shalini Dogra, a schoolteacher, had a nasty experience when she turned towards Sector 16 from Madhya Marg. The wheel of her car hit a manhole cover lower than the road. In the process, her daughter's head hit the dashboard and began to bleed. She had to rush her daughter to a private clinic, she said.

The dust in the air resulted in poor visibility.

RD Sharma, a resident of Sector 30, said: “We have been hearing about an earthquake in Indonesia which measured 8.6 in magnitude. People in the coastal areas of our country are fleeing their homes. The winds here today were also not normal. It could have been a possible impact.”

Weather experts have predicted that barring some drizzle in certain pockets of Punjab and cloud formations in the tricity region, weather is likely to improve within the next 24 hours. There would also be an increase in the day temperatures.



‘Deserted’ dispensaries harry patients
Doctors deputed at 20 centres summoned for tuberculosis control programme
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Patient care at Ayush dispensaries in the city went for a toss today as doctors deputed in all the 20 dispensaries were asked to join the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) being conducted at Sector 22.

A visit to the Sector 47 dispensary by the Tribune team revealed that the OPD timings, displayed on the main door, were from 9 am to 3 pm, but the rooms of the ayurvedic and homoeopathic doctors were closed throughout the day. A number of patients, including women, children and the elderly, had to return on learning that no doctor would be available.

Similarly, the Sector 34 dispensary appeared to have been shut. While the doctors’ room was closed, the paramedic staff expressed their helplessness in providing any medicine to the patients. Officials said on an average, at least 60 patients visit the dispensary every day.

Mohammad Saeed, a 63-year-old resident of Sector 45, could be seen pleading with the staff to provide him medicine as per the his old prescription. Exhausted after having walked a long distance in the heat, he squatted on the floor of the dispensary. “I leave it to God. Humans here are of no help,” he sighed, adding that, “This is my third visit when I have found the dispensary locked. I came here on Thursday, but it was closed due to Mahavir Jayanti. The next day I came again, only to be told that it was closed due to Good Friday. Today, the dispensary is open, but no doctor is available.”

Nand Lal, another resident, said: “Unavailability of doctors and being told that they are busy in meetings is a routine affair. Yesterday, we were told that doctors from several dispensaries, including Sectors 34, 47 and 28, were asked to join a meeting at the Community Health Centre, Sector 22, with regard to the preparation for the forthcoming Pulse Polio programme.”

Suresh Chand, a resident of Sector 43, said: “The Administration should have a mechanism in place to inform the public about the availability of doctors. There should be no official meeting during working hours. Only a few doctors should be allowed to skip duty.”

Suresh, who had come from Faidan, a nearby slum area, said the public should have been informed in advance, so that the patients were not harassed. When contacted Dr Rajiv Vadhera, Medical Superintendent of GMSH-16 and officiating Director Health Services, said Pulse Polio and RNTCP were important programmes. “Training and planning are imperative for such programmes in public interest. However, I will issue directions that the public should be informed in advance through all possible means regarding the absence of doctors on such occasions,” he said.



Kidnappers had planned to kill NRI
Nine injections, sedatives recovered; accused in 6-day police custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
After collecting the ransom amount, the kidnappers had planned to eliminate NRI Navneet Singh. The revelation came to light after the Crime Branch of the UT police recovered nine injections, disposable syringes and sedatives from the possession of the accused. All the six kidnappers were produced in court and remanded in six-day police custody.

The police recovered three Phenergen (25 mg) injections and six Fortwin (30 mg) injections from the accused.

Yesterday, the police had rescued Navneet Singh, a resident of Sector 18, from the clutches of the kidnappers following an intensive operation at Durala village in Kurukshetra. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 1 crore.

“Since the NRI knew all of them, they had planned to kill him after collecting the ransom with an overdose of injections,” said DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh.

The police also recovered Rs 52.5 lakh, 760 Canadian dollars and a Honda Accord of the victim from the accused. UT SSP Naunihal Singh said both the accused, Ajit and Pardeep, were state-level boxers and used to practice in the boxing stadium of Rohtak and Gurgaon. Nitin came in contact with the main accused Anil at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Panchkula, and the other two accused Sukhdev and Sanjeev are known to Anil owing to property dealing in Kurukshetra.

Anil revealed during interrogation that he got involved in crime in 2002 and several cases of murder, theft, robbery and dacoity were registered against him in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi. He was also involved in snatching a Swift car in Panchkula on November 30 last year. The Swift car bore a fake number and investigations revealed that it was robbed from a resident of Sector 10, Panchkula.



PEC sticks to closed-door Senate meetings
Members boycott meeting for not receiving agenda on time yet again, complain to Director
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Senate members at Punjab Engineering College (PEC) today boycotted the Senate meeting for receiving the agenda in the morning, which should have been delivered a week before.

The meeting was scheduled in the evening and the members got the agenda late in the morning, causing resentment among members. They preferred not to attend the meeting and wrote to PEC Director, expressing their resentment.

Sources said Senate members comprising RR Singh, Siby John and JS Gill gave a separate written representation to the PEC Director, Manoj Dutta, to follow clause 1.7 of the PEC Senate Manual, which states that the members should be delivered the agenda at least seven days before the meeting.

RR Singh said this was the third time the PEC Director had followed the practice of not delivering the agenda to the members on time. “Making mockery of the Senate, the Director is working in an undemocratic manner and influencing the meetings through his men who, despite not being members of the House, attend the meetings and influence the proceedings of the meeting,” Singh alleged.

Siby John also wrote to the Director, complaining that there was no time to read the agenda and prepare for the meeting. “This is murder of democracy, as despite our repeated representations we are never given the agenda on time to know what has to be discussed at the meeting,” he said.

John further said they were not even aware if the meeting was held or had been deferred. When contacted, the PEC Director refused to comment.

PEC has a closed-door Senate meeting and further non-availability of agenda to the members prior to the meeting has raised eyebrows. The members, during a meeting on October 25 last year, had raised the issue.

On January 10, another meeting was held, but the members were again not provided with the copy of the agenda before the meeting. The issue led to a heated debate during the meeting. Their observations were also not mentioned in the minutes of the last meeting.


This is the third time the PEC Director has followed the practice of not delivering the agenda to the members on time. Making mockery of the Senate, the Director is working in an undemocratic manner and influencing the meetings through his men who, despite not being members of the House, attend the meetings and influence the proceedings of the meeting.

— RR Singh, Senate member



Tricity scan
Orientation programme

Students during an orientation programme at Anee’s School in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A Tribune Photograph

Anee’s School organised an orientation programme for students who rejoined its campus today. During the orientation programme, the newcomers were introduced to the faculty members and the exciting world of education through audio-visual aids and presentations.

Governor cancels meeting

The Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT Chandigarh, Shivraj V Patil will not be visiting the UT Secretariat for Public Hearing Session scheduled to be held on April 16.


The adviser to the UT Administrator, KK Sharma, honoured the Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court, Justice Permod Kohli, at a function organised by J&K Dorga Sabha here today.

KK Sharma said, “Every culture produces something great but Dogras are modestly contributing not only to the reverence of the city but also of the entire nation.”

Present on the occasion were prominent members of the Dogra Community, including Jitendra Sharma, Chief Conservator of Forests, Punjab; Professor Shashi Sharma, former chairman, Law department, Panjab University and Madhu Bahl, regional director, DAV Schools, who have made significant contribution in the respective fields.

Blood donation

More than 50 students and staff of the Homoeopathic Medical College donated blood on the occasion of 257 birth anniversary of Dr Samuel Hahnemann, father of homoeopathy, here today.

Dr JBD Castro delivered a lecture on Hahnemann’s life and held interactive session with the students and staff.

Storytelling session

The British School, Panchkula, held a two-hour storytelling session today. A wonderful fable “The Stone Soup” was shared with children. The story telling session was conducted by Centre for Education and Voluntary Action (CEVA), Chandigarh. The objective of the session was to let children watch a model storytelling.

Motherhood Day

School of Public Health, PGIMER, in collaboration with the Chandigarh administration celebrated “Safe Motherhood Day” at Maternal and Child Health Centre at Polyclinic, Sector 45, today. About 100 pregnant women and mothers participated in the event. The celebrations started with the welcome address by Dr Krishna Chaudhary, SMO In-charge. Dr Madhu Gupta, assistant professor of community medicine, School of Public Health, PGIMER, said about 215 pregnant women die per lakh every year in India. Gupta said these deaths are preventable. Importance of delivery in hospitals with blood bank facility was demonstrated by Dr Navpreet, Dr Madhanraj and other colleagues.

Mothers come together to celebrate Safe Motherhood Day in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Senior Citizens

The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) in collaboration with the Sarswati Kala Sangam will present a special programme of music and dance for the senior citizens of Panchkula on the eve of Baisakhi festival. The ICCR regional officer Nalini Singhal said the programme will commence at 5 in the evening at the Senior Citizen Council’s hall tomorrow.



MC does little to control stray dog population

Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

The municipal corporation has failed to check the menace despite repeated complaints of residents.

Stray dogs bark at passersby at Sector 35 in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, April 11
Ironically, stray dog menace in the city is increasing day by day while at the same time funds allocated by the municipal corporation for controlling the canine population are shrinking every year.

Figure this out, as per the budget report of 2012-13 financial year, the authorities have allocated Rs 5 lakh for the implementation of animal birth control of dog in the city which was Rs 7 lakh in the 2011-12 budget.

The authorities are left wondering whether the funds have been used properly as there is no mechanism to check the number of dogs that have been sterilised by the NGOs every month.

Residents of Sector 21 today met MC Commissioner VP Singh to complaint about the dog menace in the area. They alleged that even though the authorities were claiming that the dogs were being sterilised every month, there was no relief from the menace.

Expressing helplessness, MC medical officer of health BK Salwan stated in the House that there was no government hospital or dispensary where the authorities could sterilise the dogs through surgery.

Nominated councillor DS Sandhu said the budget which should have increased manifold, have seen a downfall. Referring to the increase in the number of stray dogs, he said the department had to hire additional doctors to sterilise the dogs, but with such little amount how could it precede their programme.

A senior official said in 2008, the authorities had hired five organisations, including two NGOs and three private doctors, for sterilising stray dogs, but the programme had failed as the private doctors quit midway. The authorities had failed to pay them money. Resultantly, after 2008 the authorities tried to hire private doctors, but no one agreed to do so.

Recently, UT Adviser KK Sharma also held a meeting with MC Commissioner VP Singh and Mayor Raj Bala Malik along with the NGOs in this regard, but the officials had failed to reach a conclusion.


As per records, last year 500 stray dogs were sterilised by two NGOs, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and People for Animals, whereas there are more than 6,000 dogs in the city. In the recent General House, the MC officials had accepted that they did not have a proper system to check the dog menace in the city.

Finding it strange that the department has not put in efforts to control the population of stray dogs, nominated councillor Major D S Sandhu said why the civic body had hired only two NGOs for the purpose when there were hundreds of veterinary doctors in the city.

Congress councillor and former Mayor Pardeep Chabbra read an e-mail of a resident complaining about the dog menace during the General House .


In 2007, dog bylaws were approved by the MC for checking the menace. But these remained confined to papers.

Complaining about the failure of the MC to execute the dog bylaws approved five years ago, SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur in the House demanded that the medical officer of health should table a report of dog sterilisation every month to know how effectively the bylaws were being implemented.

Dog pound

A proposal was mooted by the department to construct a dog pound on over half an acre of land in Dhanas. The purpose of the pound was to serve as a temporary shelter for ferocious dogs potentially rabid as well as critically sick dogs. But the proposal has not materialised so far as it has not been cleared by the UT chief architect department.

Openhouse question

Write your unpleasant experience about the stray dog menace in the city, if any, and suggestions for improvement to the openhouse@tribunemail.com 



Complaint authority recommends action against 2 policemen
Had sided with accused and threatened complainant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Police Complaint Authority (PCA) has recommended action against an ASI and head constable posted with the Sector 31 police station for harassing a complainant. The PCA has also ordered police protection for the victim.

The incident dates back to last year when a group of drunk youngsters were creating ruckus outside the house of Chander Bhan who objected to it and lodged a complaint with the police.

However, the policemen rather than initiating action sided with the other party. Not only the police even the youngsters threatened and harassed Chander Bhan who later approached the PCA.

Chander, in his present complaint, stated that his statement was required to be recorded in the departmental enquiry against the ASI. He received a notice for the purpose from the DSP (CID).

Since then, the ASI had been harassing and threatening him.

In today's order, the PCA stated, “In the light of the entire facts and circumstances, Assistant Sub-Inspector Raghbir Singh deserves strict departmental action. He shall be transferred to the Police Lines immediately and face departmental inquiry for his acts and omissions in the case. Head constable Rajbir Singh should be 'censured' for his acts and omissions.”

It was alleged that ASI Raghbir often visited his house and threatened him to implicate him in a false case. Chander also apprehended threat to his life and sought protection.

The ASI has, in his reply, refuted all allegations.

“After considering all facts, it is necessary to provide Chander Bhan with adequate protection and take adequate action against Raghbir Singh. Senior Superintendent of Police(SSP),UT, is requested to direct the SHO of the Sector-31 police station, Chandigarh , to give adequate protection to Chander Bhan. It is also requested that appropriate disciplinary action should be taken against ASI Raghbir Singh for harassing and threatening Chander Bhan in a revengeful and retaliatory manner,” the order further read.



GMADA plans to develop residential complex at Anandpur Sahib
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, April 11
One of the pet projects of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is now on track with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) drawing up plans for developing a residential complex at Anandpur Sahib.

Sources in the GMADA said today that the development authority was working out the details to see whether the project would be financially viable nor not. A preliminary report had already been prepared in this regard. Plans were being drawn up to allot plots on a 10 acre piece of land (which is a part of the 25 acre area used for parking vehicles during the hola mohalla celebrations). There was also a plan to allot 197 plots by the development authority.

Sources said that if found financially viable, the residential complex would come up near one of the entry points to Anandpur Sahib town. The project was discussed at length at various meetings with the Chief Minister and now the layout plan of the residential complex had also been approved by Badal. It is learnt that the GMADA had earmarked 13 plots of 500 sq yds, 16 plots of 400 sq yds and 14 plots of 320 sq yds. The maximum number of plots were for the 200 sq yds category and the figure here stood at 70. 38 plots were for 250 sq yds and 46 for 150 sq yds categories. The price at which these plots would be sold was being worked out by the GMADA.

Sources said that usually the GMADA approached 14 to 15 private and public sector banks for providing funds for housing schemes to residents, but for the Anandpur Sahib project five to six banks would be asked as it was a small project. The scheme would be open to all citizens of the country and was likely to be launched in about three weeks time after the financial aspects were worked out. The work on preparing the brochure was in progress. It is learnt that GMADA would also be developing a small chunk of land measuring about 7.5 acre as a tourist facility at Anandpur Sahib for the convenience of people who visit the town.



Train tickets
Reservation time up, waiting lists get longer
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The 30-day extension of reservation period for train tickets has resulted in long waiting lists. A rise in passenger volume owing to the approaching summer holidays has led to long waiting lists as far as train reservation from the city is concerned.

Officials have advised people to book their tickets in advance to avoid any inconvenience.

“I wanted to get a ticket booked for Mumbai, but I was told that it was not possible, so I had to book an air ticket, which resulted in an unwanted increase in my vacation expenditure,” said Anil Gupta, an IT professional from Mohali.

“Migrant labourers go home after Baisakhi. Keeping in view the long waiting list, we will increase the number of coaches so that people are not put to inconvenience,” said Parveen Kumar, station superintendent, Chandigarh railway station.

Meanwhile, the special train under the IRCTC’s Bharat Darshan programme will leave the local railway station on April 18. Passengers will be able to pay obeisance at seven ‘jyotirlingas’ in South India, including Mahakaleshwar, Grishneshwar and Bhimashankar. The train will pass through Ambala, Moradabad, Ujjain and Dwarika. Passengers will have to pay Rs 6,159 for the 12-day tour.

The train to South India will start from the city on May 2. After passing through Ambala, Panipat, Delhi, Jaipur, Dwarika and Ahmadabad, it will return here on May 6. Each passenger will be charged Rs 3,591 for the seven-day tour.

The train to Shirdi was announced for May 11. During the 12-day tour, passengers will be able to visit Shirdi, Shanisignapur, Tirupati and Ujjain. Each passenger will be charged Rs 5,643.

A senior IRCTC official said bookings were open and people preferred these trains because of decent fares.



MC says no to notices
Estate Office had directed the civic body to penalise illegal tower owners

Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Municipal Corporation (MC) and Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) have refused to issue notices to the illegal mobile towers owners in the area which are under their preview as directed by the estate office. Recently the estate office had issued directions to the MC and CHB to issue notice to the illegal tower owners in their areas under their jurisdiction.

In a communication to the estate office, the MC has replied that since the corporation has no power to give permission for installing mobile towers so, legally, it is not empowered to issue notices to the violators. Referring to the tri-party agreement signed between the owner of the building, the tower owners and the Administration, the official said that corporation does not have any power to take any action against them.

The corporation has further brought to the notice of the estate office that the revenue of the mobile towers are also collected by the estate office so the action could be taken by them only. Similarly, the CHB has also given the same plea for not issuing the notices to the mobile tower owners.

A senior official of the administration said that they would take the assistance of both the MC and CHB for removing the illegal mobile towers.

Sources in the estate office said that there were 547 mobile phone towers in the city out of which around 300 were operating illegally.

The estate office had conducted a survey in which it came to light that a majority of these towers were installed in violation of the building bylaws.

Recently, the UT estate office had issued notices to the owners of residential and commercial buildings for violation of the building bylaws. Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner, Brijendra Singh, in his report submitted to UT Finance Secretary VK Singh had pointed out that more than 300 mobile phone towers in the city were illegal.

The UT Administration had asked for the report after receiving directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it should notify its policy on mobile phone towers in the residential areas in two months.

The High Court had made it clear that it wanted the towers to be shifted out of the residential areas in a phased manner.



Preparation for PM’s visit in full swing
Tribune News Service

A sculptor works on his creation for the silver jubilee celebrations of the Zonal Cultural Centres at Parade Ground, Sector 5, Panchkula, on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Police officials plan out the security arrangements for the event

An artist gives final touches to his work.

Panchkula, April 11
While the artisans are giving final touches to their artifacts for the silver jubilee celebrations of the Zonal Cultural Centres at the Parade Ground, Sector 5, the security agencies are also working in full swing as Prime Minister Manmohal Singh will be the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the event.

The Special Protection Group (SPG) has already taken charge of the location, particularly the inner security circle.

Checking of vehicles and personnel frequenting the venue has been started from today.

Although the authorities were tight lipped about providing any specific details regarding the security deployment, sources said that more than 1000 personnel have been assigned the task of guarding the venue.

Sharp shooters have been asked to take position at critical spots in the specified high rise buildings in vicinity of the venue.

At least 2000 participants will showcase their skills in different forms of art, dance, and music during the silver jubilee celebrations.

The main attraction of the inaugural day will be the fusion dance by 800 dancers.

In a related development, leading artistes and eminent personalities from the world of literature and crafts have not received any invitation for participation in the event.

These include artistes like Dolly Guleria, Kashmiri Lal Zakir and Padma Bhushan Sardar Anjum.




Admn terms budget insufficient, asks for Rs 160 crore more
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Terming the budget allocated for the UT Administration by the Union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, ‘not enough’, the officials of the Chandigarh Administration have demanded Rs 160 crore more from the

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to meet their ever-rising expenses.

To seek Rs 160 crore more, the UT Administration has submitted that they got less budget in categories like transport, urban planning, power and health. Besides, salaries of the Chandigarh Administration employees have also hiked. To meet all these expenses they have sought more money.

Additional budget required for

  • Improving transport system
  • Meeting petrol and diesel expenses
  • Paying the increased amount of land acquisition compensations
  • Increasing salaries of UT employees

For 2012-13, the UT Adminitration’s share was increased with Rs 185.81 crore in the total budget, under the plan and non-plan heads. In the total budget, the UT Administration had got Rs 2,91,601 crore against Rs 2,73,020 crore for 2011-12.

Against the allocation of Rs 6,61,89 crore for 2011-12, the Union government had allotted Rs 7,37,23 crore plan budget for Chandigarh for 2012-13. Under the non-plan head, Chandigarh had got Rs 2,17,878 crore (current year’s allocation was Rs 2068.31 crore).

A senior official of the UT Administration said they had received only Rs 64.70 crore for the metro project and transport which was not enough.

Under the transport head, the UT Administration has to improve the bus services and replacement of 208 buses, multi-level parking at the ISBT, Sector 43, and creation of four new bus stands near the PGI, Mani Majra, Dadu Majra and Sector 31.

He added that the money was also required for land acquisition. In many cases of land acquisition, the award in land acquisition had been increased by various courts. So the administration had to give them more amount than decided at the time of declaring the original award.

He added that the Chandigarh Transport Authority (CTU) was given only Rs 37 crore as against the requirement of Rs 47 crore, which was also not going to meet its future diesel requirement. “As far as the police department vehicles are concerned, more money is needed for petrol and diesel,” he said. Sources added that the UT Administration had not got enough money under the power and energy head. A senior official said the Administration had told the ministry that Chandigarh did not have its own electricity generation plants. “It is totally dependent on others to meet the power requirement for which extra money is required in future,” they stated.



UT notifies nine sub-committees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The UT Administration, today, notified nine sub-committees of the Municipal Corporation. The approval of the two committees including primary health and primary education has been held up by the administration, as these were constituted for the first time.

Confirming this the MC Mayor, Raj Bala Malik, said that they have received the approval for nine sub-committees from the administration and soon these committees will be formally constituted.

In the last week of February, the MC had sent a proposal to the UT Administration to notify eleven sub-committees including sanitation committee, electricity committee, environment and city beautification committee, fire and emergency services committee, arts, culture and sports committee, slum development committee, enforcement committee, apni mandi committee, women empowerment committee, primary health and primary education which were constituted by the Mayor after the unanimous decision of the General House on which the UT Administration has asked the Municipal Corporation to clarify its works and functioning in detail so as to get their approval. The corporation sent a detailed report of the functions of all sub-committees to the UT Administration.

It may be mentioned that the BJP-SAD councillor submitted a memorandum to the UT Advisor to the Administrator, KK, Sharma demanding the de-notification of the eleven sub-committees, as they were constituted against the MC act. As per section 42 of the MC Act constitution of committees is obligatory function of the Corporation, which could not be delegated to any authority.

Records of the corporation revealed that in the past only three times from 2005 to 2007 MC got the sub-committees notified from the UT Administration before constituting them. While every year the House gives the authority to the newly constituted Mayor to form sub-committees and further approval was given by the UT administration.



Depot holders organise protest march, demand salary
Our Correspondent

Mohali , April 11
Members of the Depot Holders Joint Action Committee, Punjab have urged the Chief Minister to give them salaries and other expenses to run the government’s atta-dal scheme, failing which they will be unable to further implement the scheme.

The members held a protest march from the office of the Food and Civil Supplies to the office of the Deputy Commissioner and later blocked traffic in support of their demands.

The protesters said that in July, 2011, the then Food and Supplies Minister had assured that they would be given salaries and expenses every month to run the scheme from April 2012. But no announcement has been made by the government in this regard so far.

They said that they were not getting any commission for running the government scheme since 2007. Wheat was being supplied to them by the government at the rate of Rs 4/kg and dal at Rs 20/kg and they had to supply these items to beneficiaries at the same rate. They had also to bear the expenses incurred on transportation and storage of these items.



Traffic violations: 102 vehicles impounded, 298 owners challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Continuing to crack a whip against traffic violations, the State Transport Authority (STA) has challaned 298 vehicle owners and impounded 102 vehicles for violating traffic rules across the city during the month-long drive conducted in March. A fine of Rs 8.91 lakh was also recovered from the violators.

STA secretary Balbir Singh Dhol said the drive aimed at curbing the tendency of plying unauthorised vehicles with incomplete documents, driving overloaded vehicles and making the city pollution-free.

During the intensive checking campaign of transport vehicles, more than 1,900 transport vehicles were checked and 400 were found violating the rules.

The impounded vehicles included three buses, 57 trucks, 12 auto-rickshaws,

17 goods carriers, two taxis, 10 tractors and one crane.

The challaned vehicles included 26 buses, 62 trucks, 107 auto-rickshaws, 66 goods carrier, 30 taxis, four tractors, two vehicles of driving schools and one crane.

The secretary advised motorists to keep complete documents in their vehicles and directed them not to overload their vehicles.

“Schools and bus operators have been advised to engage only those drivers who have an experience of minimum 5 years of driving heavy vehicle,” he said, while asking auto-rickshaw operators to charge the fare as per the meter and put on uniform with name plate while driving.

“Violators will be challaned and their vehicles will be impounded as per the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act,” Dhol warned.



Three-tier security cover for IPL matches
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 11
A three tier security cover will be provided by the police during the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches to be played in the PCA stadium here. Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Mohali, while addressing a press conference here today said that check posts were being set up and the security would be tightened in and arond the stadium, specially at the entry gates and parking areas.

As many as 1202 police personnel would be deployed for the matches. Out of the total force, five officials of the rank of SP and 21 of the rank of DSP would be monitoring the security arrangements. He said that the CIA staff and the special branch officials were checking hotels, guest houses and other places as part of anti-sabotage exercise. Portable explosive detectors would be installed at all the gates . Mounted police would also be put into action as part of the security arrangements. Checking inside and around the stadium was already going on for the past 10-15 days. Bhullar said that people residing in areas close to the stadium have been issued passes which are to be displayed on their vehicles to avoid them any inconvenience. Vehicles with such passes will not be stopped by the police. As many as seven parking lots have been marked for people coming to see the matches. These are located near the Phase X market, near the petrol pump in Phase IX, near Majestic hotel, near the Phase VIII police station, at the backside of the PUDA office and in the Dasehra ground. The main road outside the stadium would be closed and traffic would be diverted on outer roads.



Scintillating sitar recital mesmerises city residents
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, April 11
The soulful strains of sitar weaved webs of melody during a scintillating music recital by Dr Ashok Kumar, which marked the 174th Baithak Programme organised by Pracheen Kala Kendra here today.

It was indeed elevating to watch a local maestro making the Koser auditorium reverberated while he kept the audience enthralled by the sheer and clean beauty of his skillful fingers racing the length of the sitar.

Dr Ashok began recital with the quiet dignity of the methodical and reposeful alap in Raga Marwa, which was followed by jod-alap and jod-jhala. His touch, strokes, glides and subsequent production of tonal and microtonal effects points to his sound training. Ashok’s sensitive yet controlled handling of the instrument was testimony to his talent and dedication to music. His rhythmic and melodic vitality shone throughout his performance. He then moved on to present to two gats. The vilambit gat followed by drut (fast) composition were set to the time cycle of 16 beats (teen taal). His beautiful rendition kept the audience wanting more.

Ashok Kumar concluded his recital with a Dhun in Raga Mishra Khamaj amid thunderous applause. He was accompanied by Divakar Sharma on Tabla. Kendra Registrar Shobha Koser honoured the artists.

Baisakhi programme for senior citizens at Panchkula

The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) in collaboration with the Sarswati Kala Sangam will present a special programme of music and dance for the senior citizens of Panchkula on the eve of Baisakhi festival. ICCR regional officer Nalini Singhal disclosed that the programme would commence at 5.00PM at the Senior Citizen Council’s hall on April 12 for the members and music lovers.



IFS officer is ADG of research council
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Dr TP Singh, an IFS officer from Mohali, has been appointed as Assistant Director General, Climate Change in the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun. His work will focus on reducing carbon dioxide emissions by way of forest-based activities and sustainable development in the country.

An alumnus of the Physics Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Dr Singh did his PhD in climate change from University of Toronto, Canada. His research focused on economic modelling of world's carbon markets, which is one of the most important mechanisms to tackle the problem of global warming.

He also did his Masters in Geo-informatics from the Netherlands, where he specialised in clean development mechanism projects for the developing countries.



Doctors conduct angioplasty through wrist artery
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 11
Doctors of Fortis Hospital have successfully conducted an angioplasty through the wrist artery of a 93-year-old patient.

Giving details of the case at a press conference here today, Dr RK Jaswal, Director, Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, said that Gurcharan Singh had already undergone an angioplasty in 2006. After he developed heart related problems again, it was decided to conduct another angioplasty on him, this time through the wrist artery. This had negligible complications and, as compared to the conventional technique of stent implantation through the groin artery, did not cause much discomfort to the patient.

Talking about the surgery, Gurcharan Singh too said the procedure through wrist artery was more comfortable.



MC to start new projects on highway
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, April 11
The Municipal Council of Dera Bassi has decided to launch new projects on the national highway after getting the approval from the national highway authority.

This was decided in a meeting which was attended by councillors, Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam, local MLA NK Sharma, project director of national highway authority Anil Kumar Dahiya, SDM Rajesh Tripathi, municipal council vice president HS Rangi and executive officers.

Officials present in the meeting said that as per the plan, the national highway authority would offer the maintenance work of lights on the national highway to the Dera Bassi Municipal Council. Two-foot over-bridges would also be constructed on the national highway near Dera Bassi bus stand to reduce the flow of traffic. Also, a road would be constructed at the turning point to Mubarkpur and Gulmohar City. The road under the flyover of Zirakpur from Kalka Chowk to Patiala Chowk will be widened.



PU flip-flop on exam centre
Approves Guru Nanak College, Ferozepur, as exam centre only to cancel it
Amit Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
It seems that Panjab University (PU) does not have a stand as after recently approving Guru Nanak College, Ferozepur, as the examination centre, which was debarred for holding exams for a year following an attack on a flying squad and over 150 copying cases, the university took a U-turn today again and cancelled the college as an examination centre for the ongoing exams.

Around 1,200 students appearing for the exams at the college will now be shifted to other examination centres.

Interestingly, the PU Syndicate last year had decided to debar the college from being an exam centre for at least a year, but keeping in mind that the decision may lead to inconvenience to students, the university formed a committee that went to the college for inspection and after examining the measures taken by the college for controlling mass copying and ensuring the security of the staff, the committee recommended that the college should be made centre.

Sources said the committee had stated that the college had taken various measures for holding exams, including raising the height of the boundary wall and hiring security for holding the exams peacefully. The college management, principal and even the staff had given an undertaking that they would ensure peaceful conduct of exams, following which the committee recommended that the college should be made an exam centre. The Syndicate further gave its approval last month.

A team of university officials had also visited the college a few days ago to inspect the peaceful conduct of exams and had given a positive report about it. Now, when the exams have already started, the university has cancelled the centre, reportedly after fellows wrote to the university against granting the permission.

PU Controller Examination AK Bhandari confirmed the cancellation of the centre.



VC to continue in office, matter to be taken up with Central govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Vice Chancellor of Panjab University Prof RC Sobti is likely to continue in his office for a longer time as the office of the chancellor has said it will seek clarification from the Centre government on the matter.

The decision came as an answer to the ongoing controversy related to the constitution of the selection committee for the post of new vice chancellor of Panjab University.

It has been alleged by different quarters that the constitution of the committee was not in accordance with the UGC regulations. Fingers were pointed out at the inclusion of certain names who were directly associated with the functioning of the university.In a communication sent to PU, the chancellor has stated that there have been some queries that the constitution of the Expert Committee is not in accordance with the "UGC Regulations on Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education 2010.” Following which it has been decided to seek the advice of the Government of India on the matter of applicability of the said UGC regulations to the appointment of the vice-chancellor.

The communication clearly mentions that the committee has been requested to await the receipt of such advice from the government before proceeding further in the matter.

The selection committee was constituted on February 9 this year with Justice (Retd) Leila Seth as convener. Dr P Rama Rao and ambassador IS Chadha, who are also sitting member of PU Senate, are the members of the committee. They are to draw up a panel of three names suitable for the post of vice-chancellor from among the potential candidates, including eligible candidates of Panjab University.



Students stage protest, allege harassment by PhD guide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
A research scholar of Punjabi department along with various student organisations today staged a protest outside the vice chancellor office. Mukesh Lata, a PhD student, alleged that her guide had purposefully delayed approving her thesis.

The student who has been pursuing her research from last eight years said she was unnecessary harassed by the guide. She said she has been waiting since last year to get an approval on her thesis.

She said she has been facing problem in submitting her final thesis due to delay made by her guide JS Nehru.

“I had approached the Senate around six months back and requested them to allow me to change my guide. The house then assured that necessary action would be taken, however, nothing has been done,” she said.

Lata alleged that her guide has been delaying her Ph.d stating that she didn’t submitted her progress report.

However Lata argues if her progress report was not submitted then why was she allowed to continue her research? “I was given extension period to complete my PhD. I have been unnecessarily harassed by my guide,” she said.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia, who arrived at the scene to pacify the protesting students, said the student’s case would be examined and she would be given all possible relief.



Rs 7.85 crore allocated for new PU hostel
Meant for international students and research scholars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Panjab University would finally be coming up with a hostel for international students and research scholars at PU’s South Campus in Sector 25. The university laid the foundation stone of the same here today.

An amount of Rs 7.85 crore has been allocated for construction and other facilities to be provided in the hostel. The building, which will be six-storied, will be located on the main artery of the South Campus. The exteriors of the hostel shall present a blend of modern and traditional architecture.

The hostel has been designed to accommodate 75 residential units. Sources said the total area shall be 58,000 sq. feet approximately. The design of the building also incorporates two lifts and two wide staircases. Skylights would be provided to add to the aesthetics of the hostel.

Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president Pushpinder Sharma said it was a long pending demand of the students, which has been fulfilled. “We would now ask the university to complete the construction of the hostel by 2013,” Sharma said.



Exchange programme
City girl to visit Japan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Praghi Sharma, a Class XII student of KVBRD Air Force Station, has been selected to represent the region in JENESYS (Japan East Asia Network of Exchange for students and Youth) programme. She is the only one selected from city by the Ministry of HRD. She will be joining others on a tour to Japan sponsored by the Japan government. She will be part of Indian team that will be acquainted with educational, cultural and social set up of the country.



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