C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Jittery CITCO shifts jetties at sukhna
These were placed at two places — a few at the original spot and the rest at a location with better water level
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Jetties placed near the watchtower at Sukhna.
Jetties placed near the watchtower at Sukhna. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, June 4
A day after Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the sorry state of the city’s landmark — Sukhna Lake — and the ever decreasing water level at the manmade water body, the UT Administration today swung into action and started efforts to keep the tourists’ interest alive at Sukhna Lake.

The Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) has for the first time shifted the floating jetties from the original area due to the depleting water level.

As visitors were turning up in less numbers and were not keen for boating following the low water level, the authorities today shifted jetties from the low water level area to the new area near the watch tower, famous as ‘suicide point’, where the water level is comparatively high.

The new modern floating jetties were introduced in Sukhna Lake in 2007 to increase the boating experience of visitors. Moreover, these are also suited for the low water level.

However, the water level in Sukhna Lake has depleted drastically in the recent years that these jetties were not able to float, forcing CITCO officials to shift these jetties from the original place.

CITCO general manager AK Malhotra said their aim was to attract tourists to Sukhna Lake. As visitors were not happy with the water level, the authorities decided to shift the jetties from to a place where the water level was comparatively high, he added. Malhotra said now they had placed the jetties at two places — a few at the original place and the remaining at the new location.

Visitors were not allowed boating today during the shifting of jetties

Suresh Singh, a resident of Sector 39, who visited Sukhna Lake with his wife Seema today, said: “It seems the boating days are over at Sukhna. Seeing the low water level at the lake, we decided against boating today.”

Jagdeep Sharma, a resident of Mani Majra said: “Low water level, dry patches at the lake kills the fun of boating.”

No water, no boating

Due to the low water level at Sukhna Lake, the authorities are expecting lesser tourists for boating. CITCO records reveal that an average of 2,500 to 3,000 tourists come for boating on weekends and 1,000 to 1,500 on weekdays. The numbers usually go up in summers, but this is not the case this year.

Less flow of water

The average flow of water into the lake from 1958 to 1978 was 7,370 acre feet while in 1999 it was 1,870 acre feet. In 2006, it was only 736 acre feet. The water flow has reduced drastically in the past two years.



Recruitment of 10 ASIs cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
The police today cancelled the recruitment of 10 assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) who were selected following a police recruitment test in 2007. None of these candidates had joined duty as the recruitment had been stayed following discrepancies in the selection process.

Out of the 10 ASIs, eight are presently serving as constables and a separate departmental probe has also been marked against them. A total of 20 ASIs were selected in 2007 and their recruitment is hanging fire since then.

Meanwhile, a committee headed by SP (Operations) RS Ghumman will look into the recruitment of other 10 ASIs.

The recruitment was cancelled following a CBI report on irregularities in the police recruitment tests of 2007 in which these ASIs were found guilty of clearing the physical tests through cheating in alleged connivance with the examiners.

Besides, a departmental inquiry has also been marked against inspectors Kewal Krishan and SPS Sondhi who were also indicted in the CBI report. DSP Kamaldeep will conduct the probe against these two inspectors.

The CBI report had also recommended a departmental probe against serving DSP Baljit Singh Chadha and two retired DSPs Om Parkash and JS Cheema. A senior police official said they will seek approval from the UT Administration to begin departmental probe against the DSP-level officials.

The CBI had conducted a probe after it received a number of complaints against the police department that genuine candidates were left out and non-deserving were selected in the recruitment process. The UT Police, too, received similar complaints and had handed over the probe to the CBI last year.

During inquiry, the CBI established that 10 candidates, including two women, were selected while the CCTV footage clearly showed that they never cleared the fixed parameters of the physical test.

The Chandigarh Police had earlier registered a case of cheating and forgery when the written test paper for the recruitment of ASIs was leaked in 2007. However, it failed to detect the irregularities in the physical tests.

In December last year, the UT Police had stayed the selection of 20 candidates for the posts of ASIs who were recruited following re-examination in June.



Civic body adamant on wasting public money
Proposes three separate study tours for 35 councillors for new projects in the city
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
Select any destination shortlisted by the Municipal Corporation for study tour and enjoy summer holidays at the cost of public money. Following the mantra of their predecessors, the newly elected General House of the MC is adopting similar norms to organise tours with a plea to study new projects for the city.

Interestingly, major projects recommended by councillors in the past after study tours have failed miserably. There are no detailed reports or follow-up action on the shortcomings of the projects while these were implemented in the city. The councillors did not even hesitate to visit Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok to recommend the proposals which hold no relevance for the city.

The projects, which were proposed by councillors after study tours include the night food street, fish market, blind park and dhobhi ghat. All these projects are non-operational.

Mayor Raj Bala Malik said three separate study tours had been proposed for 35 councillors and the request had been sent to the administration for its approval. As per the proposal, a team of councillors is proposed to be sent to Jalandhar, Amritsar and Srinagar, the second team will be sent to Surat and Mumbai. The third team will visit Kolkata and Darjeeling. In a communication to the MC secretary, the Mayor has asked councillors to select the place where they want to visit on the study tour. MC Secretary Rajiv Gupta confirmed that letters had been sent to the councillors to know the cities they want to visit.

Councillors would study the Municipal Act of Punjab during their visit to to the Jalandhar and Amritsar MCs. As the new MC has been set up in Srinagar, councillors will also study how it is functioning and whether they have adopted a new style of working for more transparency. Councillors from the city will study the functioning of the Surat MC as it is considered one of the best corporations in the country.

Study tours sans results

In 2006, some councillors had met the adviser to the UT Administrator and had sought a ban on study tours, following which the administration had denied its consent for such tours

In 2007, as many as 19 councillors visited Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok after which they submitted a report suggesting setting up of a sensory park in the city. Interestingly, the park was developed, but not on the concept of the ‘blind park’ which had been proposed

In 2008, the UT Administration turned down a proposal for a study tour on the ground that no output or fruitful results have come out from the previous tours, so there was no need to send councillors on such tours

In 2009, the MC forwarded a proposal for a study tour of Europe to the administration, which the latter rejected on the ground that the Union government had asked all state governments to cut down on expenses

In 2010, two study tours were approved, one to Cochin and Thiruvananthapuram and another to Gangtok and Kolkata. The action-taken report of both the tours is yet to be prepared.

In 2011, a team of councillors was sent to Bangalore, Mysore and Coimbatore after which recommendations were made for proper segregation of garbage in the city, installation of a bio-metric system for attendance of the employees, setting up of round-the-clock public grievances redressal cell, installation of GPS system in vehicles and separate dumping ground for e-waste



15-yr-old gang rape victim turns hostile
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 4
In a major setback to the Panchkula police, a 15-year-old girl, who was allegedly abducted and gangraped by two youths known to her brother, turned hostile today.

The victim told the court that she was unconscious at the time of the incident and she had no idea about what had happened with her.

Following a complaint by the girl’s family on June 18, 2011, the Panchkula police had arrested the accused, identified as Sahil Puri, a resident of Sector 2 and a student of mechanical engineering at a Baddi-based private university, and a college student, Marshal Arora of NAC, Mani Majra.

The police had registered a case under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage) and 376-G (gang rape) against the accused at the Sector 5 police station.

The victims’ father said the accused were known to his son and were frequent visitors to their house. On the fateful, they had gone out for some work and when they returned, they found their daughter missing, the victim’s father had told the police.

He said the accused later dumped the girl the gate of their house and fled in a car. As the girl was in semi-conscious state, they could not get any information from her. He said his daughter narrated the incident to them the next day after which they lodged a complaint at the Sector 5 police station.



Quark City techie’s murder case
Six-month jail for third accused
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 4
The Mohali district court today sentenced Parmaveer Singh, one of the three accused in the murder case of Quark City engineer Sukhwinder Singh, to six months imprisonment.

However, Additional District and Sessions Judge RS Rai adjourned the pronouncement of quantum of sentence for the main accused Neki Nalwa, wife of the deceased, and her paramour Himmat Singh, alias Brandy, to June 6.

Sukhwinder was shot dead from a point blank range by Brandy on December 4, 2005, in connivance with Neki. Paramveer had provided five cartridges to Brandy, who had an unlicensed revolver.

The court had held the trio guilty on June 2.

Earlier, in the jam-packed courtroom, the judge sentenced Parmaveer to six months imprisonment and a fine of Rs 500. The court said in case Parmaveer Singh failed to pay the fine, he would have to undergo 10 more days of imprisonment.

Paramveer was granted conditional bail for the period of 30 days to enable him to get further bail from the high court. Meanwhile, the accused furnished a bail bond of Rs 25,000 and a surety immediately.



Panjab University Senate elections
Voters’ list swells to all-time high
Sumedha Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, June 4
The Panjab University (PU) Senate elections have attained an all-time high popularity with over 84,000 new voters registering this year.

With a voter count of around 3.3 lakh and over 70 probable candidates for 15 seats in the graduate constituency position of the PU Senate, which seems to have turned more lucrative this year as people are running from pillar to post to be a part of the academic body of the university.

“There has been a considerable increase in the number of voters for the graduate constituency and we are currently tabulating and classifying the details, but I cannot specify any reason for it,” said Professor AK Bhandari, PU Registrar.

A senior official, however, said, “Our Senate seems to be more important than civic bodies of many cities in the state. Last year’s sitting senators have submitted over 5,000 new vote forms each and the figure has hit an all-time high this year. The sudden display of interest in the Senate has left us all surprised. It’s not the increasing interest or awareness in the university’s academic matters but fancy for unchecked administrative, academic and even recruiting powers in campus and affiliated colleges.” Panjab University’s Senate is meant to take a majority of policy decisions in accordance with the calendar. Over the last few years, the body and a handful of senators had gained a virtual supremacy over everything and were running university according to their whims and fancies, said an official.

“There is no fixed salary attached with the position, but still being a PU senator virtually guarantees influence on all matters including appointments, affiliations, inspections and even examination system, including posting of superintendents or dealing with unfair mean cases,” he said. Many a times PU officials have urged both the VC and the Chancellor to clearly demark the powers of senators and possibly detach them from administrative machinery but nothing seems to have worked so far.

“In recent years, senators have penetrated deep into micro-level decision making which include sensitive academic decisions. They are accommodated as experts in selection panels, board of studies and every single committee. Its high time that we exercise a little check on them,” said Panjab University Teachers’ Association president Akshay Kumar.



Officials find it hard to keep pace with VC's cycling idea
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
Keen to paddle with Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti at 5 am tomorrow to celebrate the Environment Day, university officials and teachers had a tough time arranging bicycles and putting them in working order.

Panjab University registrar on behalf of the VC has appealed to all faculty members, officials and affiliated colleges to ride cycles tomorrow, at least in the morning, to celebrate the day. The appeal, though not mandatory, had set many in a tizzy to get bicycles for the endeavour.

“It may be an appeal for some, but for many like me who are closely associated with the VC’s environment endeavours, it’s a moral binding. I do not have a bicycle and tried arranging it from friends or our gardener, but nothing has worked. So, I am buying a basic one for the vent tomorrow,” revealed one of the professors.

“My son has a cycle which has not been used for years. I tried getting it serviced, but it was of no help. Thankfully my helper got it repaired for me in return of Rs 500. I appreciate the idea, but it’s just that the cycles are not too much in use these days. So, getting a good one is difficult,” said a warden.

Interestingly, college authorities are more bewildered as one of the college principals said:” No communication from university can be an appeal. We will have to do some symbolic cycling to be in sync with the university function. I have been calling all teachers to come early morning on a cycle, but nobody is ready to come. I myself have arranged for a cycle, but will look a freak cycling alone in the college.” 

Leading campaigns

In the past six years, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti has taken up various environment-friendly endeavours on the campus, including banning of tissue papers, proposing officials to cycle to office every Monday or leading cleanliness campaigns. While some call these publicity gimmicks, the VC for the past seven months has been getting 20 officials and teachers along with him to clean the campus and plant saplings once a week. The effort has made the campus greener than ever before.



Loopholes in CTU operations
All is not well with Chandigarh transport undertaking
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
It will be not be easy for the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) to explain why the buses were not able to sustain its operations within the prescribed average limits for fuel consumption.

The recently submitted audit report of the CTU for 2010-2011 has shown an extra expenditure of Rs 2.26 crore.

The findings form a part of the audit report for the year 2010-2011 which was compiled by end of April, this year.

Kilometre per litre average in the city has been shown as 4.52 in comparison with the national average of 4.94. The report for buses under JNNURM shows an extra expenditure of Rs 75.51 on account of fuel ‘wastage’.

Kilometre per litre average (KMPL) for the CTU buses was also found to be lesser than North East Road Transport, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, that registered averages of 5.45, 5.33 and 5.26, respectively, during the same period.

The CTU in its reply, in April, this year, stated that "All-India Average of KMPL" in hilly areas was 4.07 and it was just 3.8 in urban areas as per records published by CIRT, Pune. The audit stated, "The reply is not tenable as the routes operated by the CTU in hilly areas were minimal and the CIRT Pune gave national figures."

Incurred losses worth Rs 1.41 cr

The CTU has incurred a loss of more than Rs 1.41 crore during 2010-2011 as 20 AC buses had not been operational for four months. The audit has worked out the loss at the rate of an average income of Rs 8,378 per bus daily. After a delay in the clearance of buses, as many as seven were not put on record at all and remained parked in the depot for approximately two months. Importantly, the report stated that reasons for not pressing these buses into service, even after these had been passed, were not put on records for the audit. The report added that ‘the remaining 13 buses also remained parked in the depot for a period ranging between 34 and 72 days.” It has also been pointed out that despite clear unsuitability for local operation, these buses were also plied locally for some time.

The audit report has clearly pointed out that the CTU needed to reply to the delay in putting the buses in service after these had got a clearance; reasons for putting the buses meant for long routes on local roads; and total receipts and average receipt per bus per day earned by these buses from sub-urban routes.

CTU flouts service norms

The audit report of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has pointed out that at least 80 drivers were posted on duty other than driving against the service norms.

The report stated that the CTU had 809 drivers against the sanctioned strength of 845. Of the total, six drivers were found to be deployed with different departments and “such deployment was neither covered under any rules rule nor did it serve any purpose of the CTU. As many as eight drivers were deployed on car duties; 15 were posted on the bus stand and
the remaining were deployed on duties like diesel pump attendant, workshop and washing".

It was learnt that “deployment of 79 drivers on duty other than fleet paying overtime to the remaining staff lacked financial prudence” and resulted in wastage. The CTU has been asked to explain the rationale for deployment of 79 drivers on duty other than CTU fleet.

Pulled up for failing to realise dues

The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking has been pulled up by the audit for failing to realise pending dues from certain government departments. A portion of the due amount on account of certain spare parts being handed over to the departments concerned by the CTU are pending from the past more than 40 years, in most of the cases. The defaulters included Haryana, Punjab Roadways, Himachal Roadways, UT Administration, Punjab Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) and Markfed.



More CTU buses to ply on metro route
The icing on the cake is introduction of night bus service
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
For the convenience of city residents, the UT Administration has decided to ply more buses of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) on the metro route from Sarangpur barrier via PGI to Panchkula, Sector 21.

It has also decided to improve the bus frequency from every 20 minutes to five minutes.

Besides, the UT Administration has also given a go-ahead to night bus service. The routes for the night service have been finalised, which will cover all major points.

Confirming the development, CTU general manager SP Parmar said earlier there were only 10 buses on the route and the frequency of the buses was every 20 minutes. But now the frequency would be at every five minutes and total 24 buses would ply on the route. He added that the service would be started in two to three days.

On the point of night bus service, he said the service would be started from the coming week.

The routes for night bus service will include IT Park, railway station and industrial areas, where people face a number of problems at night. Major hospitals like GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and PGI will also be connected through these routes. The plying of buses at night will benefit people, as they will be able to save money that they spent on auto-rickshaws.

Sources said in the beginning the buses would ply on selected routes. After watching the response on these, new ones might be introduced or the frequency of the existing routes might be increased.

The night service will start from 8.30 in the evening and will continue till 3 am. The frequency of these buses will remain between 45 minutes and one hour.

Kamal Singh, an IT professional, said the introduction of new buses on the metro route with an increased frequency would certainly help commuters. Besides, the night bus service would not only provide safety to girls but will also be more economical, he added.



Mercury may plummet in coming days
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
With showers lashing a few areas in the city and neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, mercury dipped by about three notches.

The Met office has predicted a fall in the temperature in view of the re-occurrence of western disturbances in the Himalayan region.

The maximum temperature in the city was recorded at 41.2 degrees Celsius, still two degrees above the normal, and the minimum temperature was recorded at 28.4 degrees Celsius.

The department has predicted partly cloudy sky with possibility of thundery development/light rain. The maximum temperature on Tuesday will be around 41 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperature on Wednesday will be around 28 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, Hisar in Haryana continued to be the hottest place, with mercury hovering around 43 degrees Celsius followed by Narnaul and Rohtak with 42.5 and 41.9 degrees Celsius. In Punjab, Ludhiana recorded the maximum temperature of 43.5 degrees Celsius followed by Amritsar and Patiala by 43.3 and 42.7 degrees Celsius.

The Met officials have predicted that duststorm/thunderstorm with light rain might occur at isolated places in Haryana and Punjab during the next 48 hours. Thunder squalls with windspeed exceeding 45 km per hour might also occur at isolated places in both the states.



Power, water shortage taking toll on residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
A resident of Dhanas, Shama Sharma, lamented that for the past fortnight, due to major power cuts, there had been no water supply to the area.

She said those residing on top floors had to go to ground floors to fetch water.

Situation is no better in other parts of the city, where residents have been facing acute water shortage.

In the general body meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC), the issue of irregular water supply had been raised. Following which members of the association had decided to take up the issue with the MC Commissioner, VP Singh, in the meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

The members complained that power cuts and water shortage had left the residents fuming. "The authorities have turned a blind eye towards the problems," they added.

They said the corporation should launch a widespread campaign to check the wastage of water due to washing of cars, floors, leakage of water from old pipes and construction of UGRs.

In the meeting, the members stated that the authorities should utilise tertiary water connections for watering of lawns of parks and houses. It should be mandatory for big institutions like PGI, PU, CSIO, hospitals and others such institutions to install small treatment plants to save the wastage of drinking water.

They also recommended the promotion of rain water harvesting projects.



When projects fail to serve purpose
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
Major projects recommended by councillors after their study tours have failed to succeed so far. Though it is a fact that the authorities do not have a detailed report as to what were the shortcomings which the projects had faced during their implementation.

Records of the corporation reveal that the projects proposed after the study tours like night food street, fish market, blind park and dhobhi ghat have failed to serve the purpose.

The city’s first night food street near the PGI had no kitchen to prepare food there and after a long controversy over the prices of food items, the authorities have shut it down. Similarly, the corporation came up with a Blind Park in Sector 26 for special children, but there is nothing special there.

There is a modernised dhobi ghat in Sector 15 which has not been equipped with basic machines needed for washing.

There are no takers for the first fish market set up in the city. Ironically, when the project was mooted by the corporation it was decided that these shops would be handed over to Mani Majra and Shastri Nagar fish sellers at nominal rates, so as to provide them a hygienic place to sell their products.

Night food street

The Chandigarh municipal corporation had decided to set up a night food street opposite the PGI in 2007. The proposal was tabled by former mayor Harjinder Kaur.

Idea behind it: The corporation felt that the city should have night eateries where one could eat hygienic food at reasonable rates.

The site opposite the PGI was chosen as a large number of students stay in the university and adjoining sectors. Besides, staff of the PGI and attendants also needed a place where they could have food even at night.

Flop show: In 2008, a bid was made for four Indian, two continental, one Chinese and one South Indian kiosks in response to which no bidder turned up for the South Indian kiosk. In 2010, an auction was held for eight kiosks at a cost Rs 6.83 lakh. The main reason for the shops at night street not becoming popular was that it did not have proper seating arrangement and parking space.

Rainwater harvesting

In 2004, the councillors had proposed to have rain water harvesting system in all government buildings after their study tour to Chennai.

Idea behind it: The purpose of the project was to help conserve the ground water level. The UT Administration had asked the MC authorities to get the system installed in their building as a pilot project.

Flop show: Interestingly, every year the MC authorities allocate funds in the budget to install the water-harvesting system in their building, but till date no progress has taken place in this regard.

Fish market: The Chandigarh Administration proposed to set up the market in 2007 after a tour of councillors to Singapore. The market was completed after failing to meet a number of deadlines fixed for the project. It was handed over to the MC in 2009 for auctioning. The market had two refrigerated rooms along with eight air-conditioned shops. Besides, an independent parking lot and washrooms for the new fish market were also planned.

Idea behind it: The purpose of constructing the fish market was to regulate small fish sellers of the city and ensure that fish was sold under hygienic conditions.

Flop show: On April 27, 2010, the MC had decided to auction the shops of first fish market, but only two bidders turned up and they also demanded some relaxation from the authorities on the rent fixed by them. Now, the MC is planning to lease out the market.

Blind park: The park was proposed to be developed on the pattern of Blind Park in Bangkok where the visually impaired could feel the beauty of nature and know the details of the plants, scripted in Braille.

Idea behind it: The proposal was to develop an amusement park and decorate it with various exciting playing machines.

Flop show: In the general house meeting of the MC last year it was revealed that as there were no specialised plants in the park, so it should be spruced up. After which the house approved another Rs 50 lakh for the same blind park to develop it on the pattern of Bangkok. But till date nothing has been done by the authorities.



Day after constable's suicide, wife threatens to end life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
A day after a UT police constable, Manjeet Singh (24), committed suicide by jumping before a train, a police van remained deployed at the Sector-29 residence of his wife Vishu Tanwar following threats of suicide by her.

The police control room received a call last night that Vishu, who is a lady constable, had tried to slit her wrist. Following which, the police remained on guard throughout the day at her residence.

A police official said the landlord of the house had informed them that Vishu had tried to commit suicide.

A PCR van remained stationed at the house throughout the day and the lady constable was kept under watch, with police remaining deployed inside her house too.

The Railway police had yesterday booked Vishu Tanwar and her parents in a case of abetment to suicide following the recovery of a suicide note of Manjeet Singh blaming his wife and in-laws for forcing him to take the extreme step. No arrests have been made so far.

Later in the evening, Vishu was taken away to her native place by her relatives.

Meanwhile, the Railway police sent the suicide note for CFSL examination today to confirm whether the handwriting on the note was that of Manjeet.

The deceased, Manjeet Singh, had recently tied the knot. His wife Vishu Tanwar had earlier levelled rape and cheating charges against him following which they had reached a compromise and then tied the knot in April, this year.

The constable had killed himself alleging mental torture by his wife and in-laws.



Town planning to regularise toll plaza
Department had recently served notice to Himalayan Expressway
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 4
Even as illegal houses built by the people were being demolished, the District Town Planning Department was likely to regularise the toll plaza on the Panchkula-Pinjore national highway, which has been built against the Punjab Periphery Act 1952.

According to sources, the DTP department had recently served a notice to the Himalayan Expressway to get the building near the toll plaza regularised.

Confirming the same, DTP Hitesh Sharma said that as directed by the senior officers at the State Town Planning department, he has directed the company to get the building at the toll plaza regularised.

It is pertinent to mention here that district town-planning department putting the Himalayan Expressway Construction Company, executing the four-laning of the Zirakpur-Parwanoo stretch on National Highway-22 on behalf of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), on notice for illegal construction of five structures as part of the toll plaza.

Advocate Vijay Bansal said that the proposal of the Haryana government, on the diversion of 13.41 hectares of forestland for the four-laning of the road up to the Himachal Pradesh border was approved under the Act. This proposal did not have any mention of the construction of the toll plaza and buildings. The toll plaza and buildings have been constructed by the NHAI through the company in violation of the Act, he added.

Bansal said that even the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had objected to its construction and terming it violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. SK Sehrawat, Additional Principal Conservator of Forests (Central), Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, had written a strongly worded communication to his Haryana counterpart, asking him to report the violations in the construction of the toll plaza, he added.

He said that the DTP department had served a notice to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) limited on January 20 this year but even after the lapse of more than five months the department has failed to initiate any action in this regard.

He further said that recently, in an information sought under the right to information Act the DTP had informed that no illegal buildings had been regularized anywhere in the district. He said on the one hand the department was demolishing the dream houses of people after serving them notices while on the other, it had not initiated any action against the toll plaza.



Cadets get training in drill, shooting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
A 10-day training camp for NCC cadets from the Chandigarh Naval NCC Unit concluded here today.

As many as 317 cadets, including 68 girls, from six schools of the city participated in the camp that was commanded by Capt GM Singh of the Indian Navy.

The cadets were given training in various subjects related to the armed force and the NCC, which included seamanship, rigging, drill, semaphore, shooting, health and hygiene, etc. They also followed a strict routine starting from physical training to yoga.

The cadets participated in many competitions that included service subjects and games. They were exposed to naval training during which they undertook boat pulling, kayaking, wind surfing and sailing.

Brigadier Satish Kumar, Group Commander Chandigarh NCC, was the chief guest at the camp’s valedictory function and gave away prizes to the winners of various competitions.

Cadet Jasmine Mann amongst girls and Cadet Jaskirat among boys, both from Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, were awarded the best cadet prizes in their respective categories. Cadets Anamika Sharma and Cadet Eena Thakur from the same school won gold medals in Semaphore (Naval communication). Government High School, Daria, and Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, were adjudged as the best disciplined institutions amongst boys and girls respectively.



Youth dies in accident

Chandigarh, June 4
A 22-year-old youth died after his motorcycle skidded near the Iron market roundabout in Sector 29 today evening. The victim, Pradeep, was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 where he was declared brought dead.

Eyewitnesses told the police that the youth was driving at high speed when he lost balance and fell. The victim received a serious head injury. The police is investigating. — TNS



45-year-old commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
A 45-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in forest area near Khuda Jassu village today.

The man was identified as Sushil Verma. The body was found hanging from a tree by a passerby in the morning, who informed the police. No suicide note was found from the spot.

The victim was rushed to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 where doctors declared him brought dead. The body has been kept in the hospital mortuary and will be handed over to family after postmortem. The police said the victim was suffering from depression. 



Student dies in accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 4
Ajay, a Class XII student of KB DAV School, Sector 8, died in a fatal road accident in Sector 25 this evening.

Ajay was on his way to his tuition when his Activa scooter collided with a canter coming from the opposite direction, the police said.

The collision took place after Ajay, a resident od Sector 25, overtook another vehicle going in the same direction. The impact of the collision was such that the canter dragged the victim to some distance and his helmet was also crushed into pieces.



Thieves target Sec-16 booths
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
As many as six shops in Sector 16 was found broken today morning. The police believe it’s the handiwork of one gang as the same modus operandi has been followed.

They first targeted Yadav Juice Corner booth number 2, Sector 16. Krishan Kumar, owner of the shop, told the police that the thieves decamped with 17 bottles of two liter and 22 bottles of 300 ml cold drink bottles and Rs 800. Burglars then struck at booth number 4, SR Gems and Jewelers.

According to Sachin, owner of the shop, the miscreants made an unsuccessful attempt to ransack the shop after breaking the lock. They then broke into booth number 6-7 Sai Confectioners. Thieves then broke into booth number 10, Kutir Store owned by Ashok Gupta. No loss of valuable was reported to the police. Thieves then barged into booth number 8, a photostat shop and stole Rs 3,000 and mobile phones. 



chandigarh scan
‘Add buses to CTU fleet’

Pawan Kumar Bansal, local MP and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources has taken up with the Chandigarh Administration the need to add at least 50 modern and fuel efficient buses to the CTU fleet. In a letter to the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Bansal has said that though Chandigarh has a local transport system which is better than many of the important cities of the country, yet there is a definite need to strengthen, augment and expand the same. Bansal further said that with the expansion of the city and the increase in population over the years, direct and frequent bus service to and from important places in the city like the High Court, the Civil Secretariat, bus stand, district courts, general hospital (Sector 16 and Sector 32), railway station, airport etc will be of immense benefit to the public and would be widely welcomed.

Shobha yatra

Followers of Kabir carried out a "shobha yatra" in different parts of the city on Monday. Passing through Sector 20, the devotees could be heard reciting hymns in praise of the saint.

Quiz contest

Infinite Bounce hosted the Chandigarh leg of the World Quizzing Championship 2012 at PEC University. The quiz saw enthusiasts from different age groups participating in the solo quiz that comprised questions on a range of subjects like art, history, lifestyle, science, entertainment and world. Held simultaneously at 88 venues around the globe, the quiz is designed and supported annually by the International Quizzing Association (IQA). The winners in different categories at the Chandigarh edition were: Student: Avijeet Boparai followed by Gursheel Sahni, both from PEC, Chandigarh. Open category: Abhishek Joshi.


Jasdeep Kaur has been elected as chairperson of the Chandigarh-Panchkula Chapter of Cost Accountants (ICAI) for the year 2012-13.

Medical camp

A free medical checkup camp was organised by Manav Kalyan Parisad in association with the State Bank of India, Panjab University Branch and Health Centre at PU Campus here today. The camp was inaugurated by Madhukar Anand, regional manager, Regional Business Office, Chandigarh. More than 200 people visited the camp and were provided free check up facility which included general check up, bone density check up, ECG etc.

Loan Mela

A "Loan Mela" is being organised by State Bank of India, Panjab University Branch tomorrow outside the Branch Premises. On this occasion, details of the bank’s various loan schemes viz home loan, car loan, education loan, personal loan etc will be explained to the customers visiting the 'mela'. Sanction letters will be issued on the spot to those who are interested in availing the facility and fulfil the bank’s requirements. Arrangements have also been made with a few car dealers to display the latest models of cars during the event, the chief manager, State Bank of India, Sector 14, informed.

mohali scan

Appointment letters and certifications of Wipro and Ericsson were presented to 116 BTech and MCA students of the Chandigarh Group of Colleges at the CGC campus in recognition of their achievements.

All the students who have found placement in Wipro, the second largest IT services company by turnover in India, will be getting a remuneration of Rs 3.5 lakhs per annum on joining the company office at Bangalore. The placement of these students were done on the basis of a technical test, interview and group discussion.


In a one-day workshop by SAS Group of Institutions, experts on management and industry arenas discussed issues and concerns that have affected business and trade in recent times. While inaugurating the event, Dr JS Dhaliwal, chairman of the SAS group, asked for developing consensus among the industry associations and representatives in order to crete a conducive environment for better results.

panchkula scan

On the eve of World Environment Day, State Bank Learning Centre, Panchkula, organised a seminar on “Save Electricity-Save Water” which was attended by the residents of Shakti Apartments and other trainees who had come from different places. The talks emphasising the need to conserve these valuable resources were delivered by the faculty at the centre. Some of the participants also deliberated on the issues and shared some very useful ideas for conserving these resources.

— Tribune Reporters



PU budget sanction delayed
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
With the Chancellor office having failed to make any headway in re-initiating the selection process of the next PU VC, Panjab University has come to a standstill. The uncertainty over the next VC and propriety conflicts have taken a toll on the academic, administrative, recruitment and financial matters. The annual budget is the latest to be hit.

Though the Rs 300 crore budget was approved in the Senate in March, it has still not got a nod from the Centre and the varsity has been managing with last year’s ad hoc funds of Rs 150 crore which has no specified head and is being used as per the choice of officials.

“We did get a copy of the budget, but it has not been deliberated so far. Earlier, VC Sobti would come in to discuss finances and I must say that he got it done. But now we have got no official follow up from the university, so things are just left hanging. I think it will only be in July that we will be able to take it up as the position of the VC will be clear,” said an official from Delhi.

“The entire administrative set up is crumbling and we need non-teaching staff, but nothing is being done. The existent VC is not making any effort, citing propriety issues raised by the Senate and PUTA, and that is taking a toll on the day-to-day work. Since two months no new plans have been discussed or made,” revealed a senior official of Panjab University.

The Chancellor office had recently constituted a selection committee for the new VC which was declared invalid by the MHRD for not being in sync with the UGC guidelines. There has been no development on this front so far. The existing VC Sobti had meanwhile run into propriety issues over recruitments and everything was stalled. He has been lying virtually dormant ever since. When contacted Sobti refused to comment. A source close to him said, "A few Senators and PUTA wanted him to do nothing as he was nearing the end of his tenure. He is going by what they said, so they should be questioned.”

However, PUTA president Akshay Kumar said, "The allegations are baseless. PUTA has never asked for hindering day-to-day work and only asked the outgoing VC to refrain from any policy decisions. PUTA has saved PU from a prospective recruitment scandal.”



CET results declared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
Just like in many other results, girls outshone boys in the Panjab University Common Entrance Test results declared today.

Over 10,000 applicants today appeared in the common entrance test (CET) for various courses at Panjab University (PU). The test was conducted in different examination centres in the PU and various city colleges.

For the first time, the university had introduced online registration for CET which received an overwhelming response of around 10,800 students. PU conducted CET for courses like MBBS, BDS, BHMS, BAMS, BPharma, law and hotel management.

The online registration had also attracted students from different parts of the country who usually avoided coming to the city to fill in forms.

Merit list
PCB (Medical)

Deeksha Gupta 327.5/360
Anant Sharma 317.5/360
Smriti Sharma 315/360

PCM (Non-Medical)
Tushar Sharma 265/360
Prateek Jain 257.5/360
Shrish Sharma 239/360


Sakshi Malhotra 82.75/100
Sarthak Gupta 81.75/100
Anad Singh 78.75/100



AIEEE results on June 9
CBSE uploads answer sheets; to charge Rs 500 per objection
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
The Central Board of Secondary Education is expected to declare the result of All India Engineering Entrance Examination on June 9.

Putting to rest all speculations and apprehensions, CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi said that the board has uploaded the answer sheets online and invited objections and feed back till June 6 following which the result is planned to be declared on Saturday.

Despite getting only 2 objections at the national level for AIPMT answer sheets uploaded recently, the board has gone ahead with uploading the OMR sheets of all AIEEE applicants online and asked them to submit objections in this regard latest by June 6, 12:00 pm.The 'facility' however comes at the steep cost of Rs 500 per question.The revaluation request will be scrutinised by a special committee as per the board guidelines. The committee's decision will be final and binding.

Given the fact that the board has attached no answer key or evaluation details, not many students have found the facility too helpful.

"Just like the PMT, the answer sheets are useless if we don't know if our answer is right or wrong. How will we raise objections? They have tried to copy the IITs , but failed in maintaining the same efficiency," said an applicant.

Joshi, however, clarified , "Giving out evaluation details means giving out students' scores. Then what is the meaning of declaring result? The exercise aims to exhibit all the answers which have been found valid for evaluation. The scores will be out on June 9.



Schools offer fun-filled camps during summer vacations
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 4
As soon as vacations begin, schools start organising fun-filled summer camps, where activities like dance, art and craft, personality development, doll making etc are offered, to encourage students follow their hobbies and talents during the free time.

Ashmah International School, Sector 69, is holding a summer camp with a renowned theatre group. The camp is divided into two age groups. Activities linked to dramatic arts, art and craft, doll making, painting, folk dance, personality development etc are offered to students. Some students also took part in games like basketball, volleyball, kho-kho and kabaddi. The children also learnt to make photo frames with ice-cream sticks and thumb-painting during the camp.

In Shemrock Senior Secondary School, training is being provided for bhangra, western dance, art and craft, personality grooming, music and dramatics. Participants loved to tap their feet to western numbers while getting training from choreographers-Sameer and Arun-from Mumbai. Students who had opted for dramatics were learning voice modulation and dialogue delivery. Those undergoing training in art and craft were learning to make "best out of waste".

"Kalakriti", a summer workshop, was going on in Sant Isher Singh Public School, Phase VII. Apart from dance, art and craft, and kick boxing, students were also provided an opportunity to learn about personality development and stress management.

"Summer Camp 2012", a potpourri of activities which include dance (Bollywood and western), aerobics, bhangra, art and craft, and karate, is underway at Shivalik Public School, Mohali, under the guidance of professionally qualified instructors.

A two week summer camp at Small Wonders School, Phase-7, concluded on June 1. The children who attended the camp were given lessons in art, craft, dance, music, games, story telling, personality grooming, sandwich and salad making. A pool party was also held during the camp.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |