C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Harrowing time for Ludhiana couple
Robbed, thrashed outside discotheque in Sec 26; police probing whether youths and couple had a fight earlier
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Showcasing the ugly side of the City Beautiful, a Ludhiana-based couple faced a harrowing time last night when six youths robbed the woman of her purse, thrashed her husband and broke the window panes of their car following a scuffle outside a discotheque in Sector 26 last night.

Even as the police has registered a case, it is clueless about the identity of any of the accused.

The incident occurred at 1.30 am last night when Tarandeep Singh and his wife Harveen, residents of Jamalpur, in Ludhiana came out of Tao disco in Sector 26.

Four youths passed comments at the woman as she was about to get into her car. One of them then snatched Harveen’s purse and fled in his car parked at some distance in which his accomplices were waiting. The car had a Punjab registration number, but its complete number could not be noted down.

Infuriated over their misbehaviour, Tarandeep then accelerated his car and chased the car of the youths. He managed to intercept the car in Sector 17 and confronted the youths.

All the youths then overpowered him and started beating him up as Harveen cried for help. They then fled.

An injured Tarandeep approached the PCR van stationed nearby and then returned to Sector 26 where he lodged a complaint at the police station.

The police said it was investigating whether the youths and the couple had earlier indulged in a heated argument inside the disco that led to the incident. The CCTV footage at Tao on the exit gate was also being scrutinised.

The couple left for Ludhiana after lodging the FIR with the UT police. The police has registered a case under Sections 389, 356, 427 of the IPC at the Sector 26 police station.



Blunder in PU botany paper
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
In a bizarre incident, the B.Sc I students, appearing for the botany examination in all colleges affiliated to Panjab University (PU), were surprised to find the answers to a 10-mark fill-in-the-blank question printed in the question book.

The goof-up by the paper-setter resulted in the PU cancelling that question, followed by an urgent meeting of the Board of Studies.

The anomaly in the botany paper B: Cell Biology and Genetics for B.Sc-1 was reported by students soon after the examination began.

The question paper carried 10 fill-in-the- blanks questions of 1-mark each. However, the blanks that were supposed to be filled by the students were already filled.

Although the examination was conducted, the university decided to cancel the particular question.

The Board of Studies members held a meeting and said that the students’ interest would be protected.

AS Ahluwalia, chairperson, PU botany department and one of the members of the Board of Studies, said that during the meeting, it had been suggested that the 10 multiple-type questions that were also of 10 marks should be converted into 20 marks to compensate the marks of the question, which had been cancelled.

PU Controller Examination AK Bhandari said to maintain secrecy, the question papers set by a particular examiner were not scrutinised by anyone else, following which such errors go unnoticed. “We are going to take steps to prevent the occurrence of such a lapse in future,” Bhandari said. 



RTE dreams crash for many
Students being turned out by a number of private schools 
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
April 2 this year was probably the best day of their lives, as Mehak, Muskaan and Khushi had got admission to “big” school St Peters near their house. They had been admitted free of cost on seats reserved under the RTE Act as economically weaker section candidates.

Their father, however, had to borrow money as the children would not even wait for a day to get glossy books and dress and be Cinderellas.

The fairly tale, however, ended the very next day as the school called up the father to tell him that his children could not study there.

“Dreams of my children have crashed. They were ready to leave for their first day in school when I was called by the chairman and told by the school that my children could not be admitted to the school. I tried reasoning with them, but of no use and was shooed 
away from the school. A teacher told me that the RTE thing had been cancelled and we should come next year,” said Megha, the children’s mother .

Her husband, who works as a labourer in Sector 20, refused to get quoted for fear of losing his job and on condition of anonymity revealed, “They befooled me and made me submit multiple affidavits. I have a house in Sector 20, but stay with my father in his Dadu Majra house. My initial affidavit had the Sector 20 address, but I had to resubmit the affidavit. Initially, I had put in an affidavit that my monthly income was Rs 18,000 per year, but the chairman called me and asked me to put anew affidavit, saying my salary was Rs 30,000, claiming that it was required by norms. I trusted him and did it and now he threatens to hand me over to the police if I raise hue an cry.”

The parents did approach the DEO, but were informed that as the school was not recognised, they could not do anything. Meanwhile, all efforts to contact the school chairman SS Khanna proved futile.

Unfortunately, this is one of the many cases being reported across the city where schools have started turning out students admitted under the RTE Act just because their “smarter” counterparts have converted their seats to the general category. While the education department is receiving numerous such complaints, not much is being done to help the distressed.



Sisters thrash brother in public for ‘beating up’ wife, booked
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 19
High drama was witnessed at Madanpura Chowk here this afternoon when two women tied up the feet of their younger brother after beating him up publicly with the help of some other relatives while taking him to a nearby police station for beating up his wife.

At the police station, tables turned on them as their real brother Kaka Singh, a resident of village Madanpur, made a complaint against his sisters, Binder and Sita, and four other relatives for thrashing him up at a public place after tying his feet, following which the police registered a case against them under Sections 323, 341, 365, 148, 149, IPC on the complaint of their brother Kaka Singh, a resident of village Madanpur (Phase 2), here.

According to sources, Kaka Singh (22) used to beat his pregnant wife Gurpreet Kaur. Today, Binder and Sita came to Kaka Singh’s place to counsel him on the issue.

Giving details, Harpreet Singh, SP (City), said, “Instead of taking their advice, he (Kaka) started quarreling with his sisters, who then called up other relatives and gave him a thrashing. While on way to the police station, Kaka Singh tried to run away, following which his relatives tied up his feet and rolled him in a tempo”. The police alleged that Kaka Singh was adrud addict.

On reaching the police station, Kaka Singh made a complaint against his sisters and other relatives, following which the police took action against Binder, Sita and other persons involved in the case.

Two policemen suspended

The family drama cost dear to two policemen, who were present at the spot, but did not act in the matter. Head constable Amarnath and constable Ranjit Singh, who were standing nearby while the drama was on, were suspended for dereliction of duty. 



1-yr jail term for lawyer
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 19
The local court sentenced a lawyer to one-year imprisonment in a cheque bounce case today. The guilty, Satish Kumar Chaudhary, practises in the Panchkula court.

The complainant in the case, Anil Kumar of Pinjore, had alleged that Chaudhary had borrowed Rs 2,40,000 from him four years ago in 2008. Later, he demanded his money from Chaudhary, who, in return issued him two cheques of Rs 1,40,000 and Rs 1 lakh, he said in the complaint. However, both the cheques were bounced, alleged the complainant.

Today, disposing of the case pertaining to cheque worth Rs 1,40,000 the court of Renu Rana, Judicial Magistrate, directed Chaudhary to deposit Rs 2,80,000 double the amount of the dishonoured cheque. The court also pronounced the sentence of one-year imprisonment to the guilty, who later was granted bail. The hearing for other case, pertaining to the other cheque worth Rs 1 lakh was due on May 18. 



Chief Justice Gogoi elevated to SC
Saurabh Malik/TNS

Chandigarh, April 19
The Supreme Court is all set to get a judge representing the northeastern states as warrants appointing Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi as a judge of the Supreme Court were signed yesterday.

Available information suggests that Chief Justice Gogoi will be administered oath as a Judge of the Supreme Court in the next couple of days.

Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Ranjan Gogoi hails from Assam. His name was recommended recently by the Collegium of Judges - headed by Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia - for elevation to the Supreme Court.

It is believed that Justice Gogoi will have a tenure of little more than seven years in the Supreme Court. He also stands a chance of becoming the Chief Justice of India in 2018 after Justice Dipak Misra's superannuation.

Justice Gogoi became a permanent judge of the Gauhati High Court on February 28, 2001, and was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 9, 2010. He became its Chief Justice on February 12, 2011.

Justice Gogoi’s tenure saw the initiation of effective steps to cut down the pendency of cases. He initiated several substantial measures to bring down the pendency, including expeditious disposal of PILs. 


Neelam Mansingh-directed play impresses audience
The play is a Punjabi adaption of Tagore’s Bengali classic “Streer Patro” 
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, April 19
Many blessed maestros do not do different things but do things differently. This is true of the twosome Padamshri awardees Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry and Dr Surjit Patar. An immaculate staging of a Punjabi play titled “A Wife’s Letter”, an adaptation of Rabindra Nath Tagore’s classic Bengali play “Streer Patro”, at the Rock garden lends credence to of the literary prominence of Patar and the directorial elegance of Neelam Mansingh.

Like their previous productions, they took up this play as a challenge with experimental ventures like a young man portraying the character of a woman.

The play, based in pastoral as well as urbanised backdrop, depicts the life of Mrinal, a child bride who nurses a sympathy and love for the cows and buffaloes in the house while fulfilling the routine chores of her household. In this monotonous universe enters Bindu, the adolescent orphaned sister of her older sister-in-law. Using symbols and dramatic elements, the play progressed, keeping over 500 theatre lovers glued to their seats, bringing into sharp focus gender issues and social values.

The innovative 100 minute theatrical spectacle leaves a lot for the imagination of the audience while debating issues of morality, gender parity and living on one’s own terms. Neelam relied fully on her trusted actors and singers to repeat her excellence and achieved another milestone.

The artistes excelled, giving life-size portrayal to characters. Music and vocals by Pamela Singh were also widely appreciated. The play will be staged till 23rd daily at 7.00 PM at the Rock garden. 



Study to estimate age of glacial sediments conducted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
A study to estimate the age of glacial sediments using thermo luminescence technique was jointly carried out by Dr LN Sharma, associate professor, PEC, and scientists from Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE). The study reveals that by analysing glacial sediments geographical location of glacier terminus and its history in terms of advancing or retreating of a glacier can be traced.

The luminescence dating is an absolute dating technique which relates to absorption of nuclear energy by natural minerals and emission of luminescence on thermal and optical excitation. Dr Sharma, Department of Applied Sciences, PEC, who along with Dr YC Nagar, engineer, Snehmani, and Dr A Ganju of SASE, conducted the study, stated that the study is very important, particularly to understand the role of Himalayan glaciers in global climate change. Also, this technique has not been applied to glacial studies.

Hamtah glacier, Lahaul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, was chosen as a case study. Glacial sediments were collected for luminescence measurements using Optically Simulated Luminescence (OSL). The OSL characteristics of quartz samples were studied using fixed laboratory dose to ascertain luminescence sensitivity. OSL technique gives the age of the sediment or grain when it was last exposed.

The research paper ‘Luminescence Dating of Glacial Deposits: A Case Study of Hamtah Glacier” was also awarded as the best paper at Geomatrix-2012 conference held recently at IIT-Bombay.



‘MC responsible for traffic lights’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Non-functional traffic lights at Phase VIII in Mohali on Thursday.
Non-functional traffic lights at Phase VIII in Mohali on Thursday. Tribune photo: vicky gharu

Mohali, April 19
Ending the controversy surrounding maintenance of traffic lights in the town, the Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam, today, clarified that it was Municipal Corporation’s baby.

GMADA has meanwhile been asked to put all dysfunctional lights in order within 20 days before handing it over to the local MC.

“After that only the MC would be responsible for the job and GMADA would have no role,” said Roojam.

The decision was taken in a review meeting held at the DC office, Phase I, here today.

Notably, several traffic lights in the town have not been functioning here for the past four months, resulting in increasing the number of accidents and chaos as well at the sites.

Roojam added that with the involvement of both the MC and that of GMADA in the job, it was difficult to fix the responsibility in case of ‘lapses’ in the work.

“Now onwards, it will be the responsibility of the MC of taking care of the lights,” said Roojam.

Notably, recently the MC had put the ‘blame’ squarely on GMADA for all the dysfunctional traffic lights in the town of late, stating that while widening the roads, the cables of these traffic lights had been damaged by GMADA officials.

‘It was GMADA’s responsibility to make the traffic lights functional as per the rules,’ mentioned the MC officials in their formal communication to the DC recently.

Vehicle actuation system at certain traffic signals:

To smoothen the traffic flow at the busiest traffic signals in the town, the district administration also decided to install ‘Vehicle Actuation System’ (VAS) there.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Varun Roojam, said that the system would be installed at Sohana light point near Singh 
Shaheedan Gurudwara very soon.

“After that at two more signals; Landran-Chunni and Phase 6 lights, the systems would be installed,” said Roojam.

The system has already been installed at Phase 7-8 light point.

Under the system, traffic signals are controlled by a microprocessor mounted in a cabinet at the side of the road and vehicles approaching the junction are detected either by underground detector loops cut into the road surface or by overhead microwave vehicle detectors (MVD's) mounted on top of a signal pole. A green signal will be held by vehicles, being detected on each approach that runs in that particular stage. In the absence of any traffic at the junction, the signals will generally revert to the main road stage.

Meanwhile, Roojam also directed GMADA to install temporary streetlights at the sites with immediate effect where the roads have been dug for widening.



Permission of panel a must
No installation of mobile towers on heritage buildings without it, mulls Admn
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
In the new policy on mobile phone towers, the UT Administration is going to make it mandatory for mobile operators to obtain permission of the heritage conservation committee to install mobile towers on heritage buildings in the city.

A view of the mobile phone towers.
A view of the mobile phone towers. Tribune file photo

As the heritage conservation committee is working for preserving the city’s heritage, therefore, the UT Administration has decided to take permission from the committee in case the mobile companies want to install towers on the heritage buildings. Besides, the mobile companies have also to take completion certificate from the estate office before installing a mobile tower in any of the buildings in the city.

Earlier, the UT Administration had decided to ban the installation of mobile towers in the open spaces and green belts of the city. At present, 10 per cent of the mobile phone towers in the city are in open spaces and green belts.

The heritage conservation committee is working to notify heritage structures like Capitol Complex, including secretariat, high court, open hand, etc, along with prominent precincts of Le Corbusier’s original office at Sector 19, government press building at Sector 18 and Chandigarh College of Architecture at Sector 12, four private houses, including three in Sector 5 and one in Sector 4. Sources added that there are a number of other heritage buildings as well.

A senior official said they were not against the installation of towers and providing good network coverage to the city residents, but they have to save the city’s heritage as well.

The representatives of mobile phone companies had recently submitted that from Sectors 1 to 6 and from Sectors 48 to 50, there are no commercial pockets, therefore, the companies should be allowed to install towers in the residential areas in these sectors.

Earlier, 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 these towers to be shifted out of the residential areas in a phased manner.

The draft policy on mobile phone towers, which was prepared in 2004, made it clear that no such tower would be allowed in the residential areas. The policy stated that such towers would be allowed on the commercial buildings, which had completion certificates and sanctioned building plans. The policy further read that the commercial buildings should have sewerage connections and be inspected by the estate office staff.

The owners of mobile phone companies had challenged other provisions and directions in the policy. The policy could not be notified since the court had stayed proceedings. The litigation was sent to the Supreme Court and was subsequently reverted to the High Court.



Management accuses police of unjust behaviour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Following registeration of an FIR against Zaika restaurant in Sector 26 for not getting their servants verified with the police, the restaurant management has alleged that the police had acted in an unjust and malafide manner while registering a case against them.

Simranjit Singh Chahal, marketing manager of the restaurant, said they had submitted the verification forms to get their servants verified on April 14, while a case was registered against them under Section 188 of the IPC a day after they had already submitted the forms.

The UT police has registered a case on April 15 against the management of the restaurant for not submitting details of their servants.

“The SHO of the Sector 26 police station, Inspector Shri Prakash, came to our restaurant on April 13 around 11 am and asked me about the forms. When I told him that the general manager is on leave for a week and it is he who deals with the staff. I called the manager that time and he said he had already submitted the forms,” said Simranjeet.

“I gave him the names but he threatened me that he will put me behind bars and then left the restaurant,” he added. Simranjeet said they had a receipt showing that all forms were well submitted with the police on April 14, yet the police registered a case.

“The police has not even given me a copy of the FIR. Today I sent my staff to the police station asking for the photocopy of the FIR, but the police told us to get it only from court,” he said. The manager has also submitted a complaint with the UT SSP against the false registration of FIR in this regard.



Role of Chief Engineer under scanner
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The role of outgoing Chief Engineer of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), GS Rosha, in deciding six old arbitration cases, involving crores of rupees, and two old appeal cases, to extend benefit to private builders has come under the scanner of senior officials in the Chandigarh Administration.

CHB chairman Satya Gopal in a communication to the Chandigarh Administration has pointed out that it was serious lapse in the discharge of official duties by the Chief Engineer, who decided the cases just eight days before his retirement. It has been pointed out that the financial benefit has been extended to the builders while ignoring rightful claim of the CHB.

The cases were brought before the board of directors and the matter was being legally examined.

CHB secretary MM Sabharwal said the matter was being legally examined before taking any action. The outgoing Chief Engineer, GS Rosha, was not available for comments.

The matter has now been referred to the senior standing counsel of the UT. It has been mentioned that in one particular case, the Chief Engineer while deciding an arbitration case of construction of 96 flats in Sector 51 by Dhandi Builders has awarded claim of about Rs 1.42 crore in favour of the builder, but on the other hand, the claim of the CHB has not been awarded.

The chairman in the communiqué has pointed out that while the Chief Engineer took eight years to adjudicate the Sector 51 matter and kept on extending the time limit on flimsy grounds, he suddenly decided the case on February 21, 2012, eight days before his retirement.

“The administrative prudence demanded that he should not pass the orders just a week before his retirement. The orders have been passed to benefit the builder at the cost of the CHB,” stated the chairman.

The CHB authorities has sought that the matter should be thoroughly examined and appeal should be filed in the appropriate court to safeguard interest of the CHB.

Sources said CHB authorities were digging out details of similar cases before seeking legal opinion on the cases.



12 BJP-SAD councillors resign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
All 12 BJP-SAD councillors of the municipal corporation have tendered their resignations to UT Administrator Shivraj Patil from 12 sub-committees of the corporation in protest. BJP councillor Laxami Devi will submit her resignation after a few days, as she is admitted to the PGI after an accident.

Chandigarh BJP state president Sanjay Tandon along with all BJP-SAD councillors went to submit their resignations to the Administrator, but as he was out of the city, the councillors submitted their resignations to the principal secretary to the Administrator, MP Singh, who assured them to forward their resignations to the Administrator.

Alleging that earlier appointment of nine nominated councillors was totally unfair and unjust, Sanjay Tandon further added that, thereafter, the Mayor illegally constituted 12 committees, nine out of which were dissolved on the complaint of the opposition councillors by the secretary local body.

He said it was unfortunate that the Administrator again endorsed the committees illegally constituted by the Mayor, which were in total discrimination with the opposition councillors. He further said under the political pressure of local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Administrator has illegally endorsed the committees constituted by the Mayor.

All BJP-SAD councillors said even though their alliance was the largest group of the councillors in the House, due representation in the committees was not given to them, which is brutal murder of the democracy.

Objecting to unfair allotment of the sub-committees, the councillors said indiscrimination and political biased attitude had been adopted by the Mayor and the Congress for distributing membership of the committees.



House tax stares residents in face
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
City residents need to gear up for paying house tax, as following a strict communication from the UT Administration, the matter comes up for formal approval from the Municipal Corporation (MC).

The final reminder to impose house tax and revise commercial property tax by the UT Administration was sent to the MC on April 11.

The authorities are going to table it in the first House tax assessment committee scheduled for tomorrow.

During the past two months, this is the third reminder of the UT Administration to the MC for imposing house tax in the residential areas of the city, but till date, no decision has been taken by the authorities.

In the latest reminder which was sent on April 11, the administration again asked the corporation to impose minimal house tax and revise the property tax to avoid any problem in getting grant-in-aid through the Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNRUM) in future.

In a communication, the administration has referred to the MC Act in which it is clearly stated that after every four years the property tax should be revised by the authorities. But since 2007, the authorities have not revised the commercial property tax in the city.

The local government secretary, UT, further informed the MC 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 the property tax since 2007.

As the MC has signed an MoU with the ministry of urban development under the JNNRUM, it will impose house tax to raise funds.

In the last General House meeting, the authorities had tabled the communication of the administration in this regard which was rejected by the House on the plea that no new tax would be imposed on the residents.

In fact, in the past also the mayor and the house tax assessment committee had 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 on tabled in the house for its approval. But when it was tabled in the committee, a majority of members objected why the authorities had brought this issue in the committee meeting when it was not under their jurisdiction.



Watching film a must to get challan released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
In a unique endeavour to deter traffic violators, the UT traffic police today released a documentary, which will now be compulsory for everyone to watch before they get their challan released from the Traffic Lines, Sector 29.

The 30-minute video shows clippings of rash driving, which proved fatal for drivers and has been captured through the CCTV footage
at prominent light points in the city. Besides, the film narrates the traumatic experience of family members
of some of the youths who have died in the fatal accidents in Chandigarh or have become maimed.

At least seven clippings showing deadly collision of the vehicles in the city, owing to rash and negligent driving, have been shown so that the violators get a lesson and strictly adhere to road safety rules. DIG Alok Kumar said the step aimed to reduce the number of road fatalities in the city, as on an average, 150 lives in Chandigarh are lost every year in the road accidents.

Besides, the traffic police also started mandatory road safety lectures for drivers and offenders who have been caught for traffic violations before getting their impounded documents back at the traffic challan branch, Sector 29, Chandigarh.

This mandatory road safety lecture will be of 30-minute duration, in which the road safety films will also be shown to the violators through a projector. Apart from this, the road safety tips/pamphlets will also be given to them.



Two cases of swine flu suspected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
In a unique endeavour to deter traffic violators, the UT traffic police today released a documentary, which will now be compulsory for everyone to watch before they get their challan released from the Traffic Lines, Sector 29.

The 30-minute video shows clippings of rash driving, which proved fatal for drivers and has been captured through the CCTV footage at prominent light points in the city. Besides, the film narrates the traumatic experience of family members of some of the youths who have died in the fatal accidents in Chandigarh or have become maimed.

At least seven clippings showing deadly collision of the vehicles in the city, owing to rash and negligent driving, have been shown so that the violators get a lesson and strictly adhere to road safety rules. DIG Alok Kumar said the step aimed to reduce the number of road fatalities in the city, as on an average, 150 lives in Chandigarh are lost every year in the road accidents.

Besides, the traffic police also started mandatory road safety lectures for drivers and offenders who have been caught for traffic violations before getting their impounded documents back at the traffic challan branch, Sector 29, Chandigarh.

This mandatory road safety lecture will be of 30-minute duration, in which the road safety films will also be shown to the violators through a projector. Apart from this, the road safety tips/pamphlets will also be given to them.



Hospital, school, fire station needed, says councillor
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 19
For the local Municipal Council, setting up of an amusement park seemed to be more important than providing the residents of the area, the basic civic amenities.
The fifth item of the agenda, prepared for upcoming meeting of the council tomorrow, pertaining to discuss the issue of selection of a qualified architect for establishing an amusement park in the area.

“There is proposal of establishing an amusement park in the area for which a qualified architect has to be engaged for preparing its final design,” said a local councillor on the condition of anonymity. He added that the location of the park has been earmarked at Gazipur village and crores of rupees would be spent on the project. On the other hand, the item pertaining to the issue of providing the basic amenities in the town comes at last but one number. The eight items, out of the total nine points of the agenda, invites discussion regarding construction of a hospital, a school, a nursing home and a community center.

Terming it as ‘misplaced priorities’, the councillor said that the residents of the area needed basic civic amenities including a fire station, a well-equipped hospital and up to mark roads and other required infrastructure, not any ‘amusement park’.

“You see the fire tenders had come from other areas to douse the fire in yesterday’s fire incident at Pabhat village. So much colonies and societies with high-rise buildings have been coming up in the area.

Similarly, there is a need of a hospital and a senior secondary government school in the area,” said the councilor.



Minister inaugurates four-laning toll plaza
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 19
The Panchkula residents can hope for the better connectivity with Panchkula extension as the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister CP Joshi has instructed the officers to examine technically the demands of more underpasses in the town. The minister, had arrived to dedicate the four-laning of Zirakpur-Parwanoo portion (27.5 kilometer) of NH-5 to the nation.

At function, the Haryana PWD Minister, Shamsher Singh Surjewala, said that there was an urgent need to construct underpasses for better connectivity between Sector 20, Panchkula and Sector 12A or Industrial Area and the road of
Sector 12 A and Sector 12. Additional flyovers at Old Panchkula-Kalka-Chandgarh Junction, and between Brijkotia and Jhajra Bridge were also required to facilitate the residents of Amravati Enclave and the ten adjoining villages, he said. He also sought a special discount for the residents of Pinjore, Kalka and Parwanoo on the toll plaza.

The minister directed his officials to examine the demands regarding the construction of underpasses and flyovers. He said that the Union Government would consider exempting the natives of the village on whose land the toll plazas are set up from paying the toll tax.



Chandigarh scan
Protest on May 25

The UT Cadre Educational Employees Union and a number of other UT employees unions will hold a rally on May 8 at the Sector 25 rally ground against the UTAdministration’s failure to take action against the employees on deputation from Punjab and Haryana. According to the union members, these employees on deputation are working in Chandigarh for the past many years against the allowed duration of five years.

Go-green rally

The second ‘Go Green Cycle Rally’ will be held in the city on Saturday. The rally is an annual event organised by the State Bank of India (SBI) with the support of the administration. The rally will be flagged off from Leisure Valley, Sector 10.

Anti-encroachment drive

The enforcement wing of Municipal Corporation Chandigarh today removed encroachments from Motor Market, sector 38.

During the course of the drive, the MC team towed away 30 cars and 7 three wheelers and issued challans to 50 defaulters.

Four cranes were deployed for towing away the vehicles. Seven inspectors of the enforcement department were present during the drive.

Campaign by traffic police

The Chandigarh traffic police has started a campaign for fixing reflectors/tapes at the rear of cycles and rickshaws. The campaign was carried out at the Museum Chowk and Grain Market Chowk, in which the reflectors/tapes on more than 150 cycles and rickshaws have been pasted. The reflectors are necessary at the rear and front to avoid accidents involving rickshaw-pullers during night hours. The campaign will continue at different places for pasting the reflectors/ tapes. The Chandigarh traffic police has appealed to the cyclists and rickshaw-pullers to paste the reflectors/tapes on the rear of their vehicle.

Power shutdown

There will be no power supply in Sectors 8A, 8B, 20A, 20B, 40, 41, 44, Badheri, Attawa and Butrela vilages from 10 am to 5 pm on Friday due to maintenance work.

SBI scheme on Akshaya Tritiya

The State Bank of India is offering a discount of one per cent on the card rates for selling gold coins in its branches on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. An official press release said that the bank is selling coins of two grams, four grams, five grams, eight grams, ten grams, 29 grams, 50 grams and 100 grams. The discount will be available from April 21-24, on all coins of all denominations, except the 100 gram coins.

Welcome party

A welcome party was organised in the kindergarten section of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77. Children came in attired in colourful party dresses and the function included events like storytelling, balloon blowing and dancing. Principal of the school, Anjali Chaudhry, welcomed the kids and wished them a great academic session filled with fun and learning. — Tribune Repoters



Sacred Heart drama spares 4 other schools of PFA raid
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The recent drama witnessed at Sacred Heart School during the raid by People For Animals (PFA) activists proved to be a blessing in disguise for four other city institutions that are under the scanner for the violation of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and were to be raided on the same day.

According to PFA activists in Delhi, the animal specimen manufacturing unit at Agra, which was booked for violation of the Act, had St John’s, DPS, DAV (Sector 15) and MCM DAV College mentioned as their ‘regular’ customers other than Scared Heart School. The team which visited the city On February 17, planned to raid them all, but the ‘drama’ at Scared Heart School and the failure to get the case registered saved the other institutions from the raid.

“The attitude of the UT police and the Wildlife department has been quite discouraging. Only we know what we went through. We wished to raid all these places, but everything was messed up and the authorities at Sacred Heart School thought that they were being singled out. All these institutions had their names in the list of customers and related bills of the Agra unit which we had raided recently. It was from there that we got the cue,” said an official from Delhi.

Meanwhile, city schools have pressed the panic button after the raid and have started cleaning their biology labs, disposing off the ‘forbidden’ specimens. “ We don’t want any drama in our school, and have cleared our lab. We have asked our biology teacher to throw away all the specimens other than the seven or eight specimens mentioned in lab manuals. Even disposing them is not easy, as we don’t know how to destroy them. We got them burnt,” said a school principal.



Schools, edu dept exchange hate mails
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
While hundreds of EWS students waited with baited breath for clarity on the status of RTE, Independent School Association and education department were busy in a war of letters blaming each other for the failure to implement the Act.

Independent School Association president HS Mamik shot off a letter to the department today afternoon accusing it of not taking RTE seriously and failing to fulfill the duties mandated under the Act despite repeated requests of schools through over 18 letters sent to different officials since 2010.

The department replied by clarifying on the ten objections raised by the ISA and also accused the schools of brushing away the RTE by creating ruckus over 'irrlevant' issues.

The letter also expressed the department's surprise on the fact that Mamik, despite representing 70 schools himself, violated the Act while there were 28 other schools who admitted EWS students.

The department said that its will to implement the Act is evident in the last two letters it sent to schools. "It was specifically mentioned that the schools will not convert EWS category seats into general category without the prior approval of the department. Issues like reimbursement, child and school mapping, child entitlements (uniforms, text books and obligatory quota as per the terms and conditions of the land allotment) were also clarified to Mamik and the principal of St Kabir," read the letter.

HS Mamik reacted by saying, "The department's DEO himself has given our version. He, in the case of St Peter School, has said that the unrecognised schools are not under their purview, so there is no question of the RTE. If they understand the Act, the will realise that the responsibility of the government is a prerequisite for the implementation of the Act. They should not take the failure of implementing the Act personally. Instead, they should clarify the status of RTE to the city residents and inform them if they will get admissions or not."



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