C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Centre nod to airport expansion
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
In a significant development related to the expansion of basic amenities at the upgraded domestic terminal of Chandigarh Airport, the Union Cabinet today approved a proposal of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to mutually exchange 2.50 acres of its land with that of the Chandigarh Administration.

The 2.50 acres given to the UT would enable it to widen the existing narrow serpentine approach road to the civil air terminal. Till now, the road could not be widened, as on both sides of the existing road, it was defence land. “The additional land would enable us to widen the approach road and create additional parking space outside the civil terminal,” said VK Singh, UT Finance Secretary.

In exchange for the 2.50 acres, the UT has given land to the defence ministry in Sector 31 for housing purpose. HS Toor, Director, Chandigarh Airport, said, “It is a positive development. The additional land would ease out the parking problem and allow the widening of the approach road.”

Sources revealed that the UT had been requesting the MoD for the exchange of land, as entrance to the civil terminal could not be widened and beautified as in case of other airports in the country. “With wall running all through towards the airstrip and barbed wire on the other side, the narrow approach road to the airport often causes traffic congestion,” said a UT official. The defence land is to be transferred to the UT on a permanent basis in exchange for an equal extent of land being transferred to the Indian Air Force.

The cabinet’s decision has been welcomed by frequent air travellers from Chandigarh, as in the past the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had given up the expansion of the facilities outside the civil terminal as the Army and the Air Force authorities did not to hand over around 7 acres required for the expansion of the bay area. But with the upgradation of the civil terminal building, additional space has been created in the bay area for the parking of aircraft. Even for making the access road at the airport wider, the UT has been taking up the issue with the MoD since 2008. But with MOD agreeing to given 2.50 acres of land, the UT now proposes to lay a 200 ft wide road from the civil terminal to the Chandigarh-Ambala national highway.

No direct access to international terminal from UT side

The MoD and AAI are learnt to have turned down a request of the UT to have a direct and shorter access to the upcoming international terminal from the UT side. An underpass beneath the runway had been proposed. But citing security reasons, the request has been turned down.



PU student killed, another hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

The ill-fated car that met with an accident with a Himachal Roadways bus in which Sonia (inset) was killed at the Sectors 45-46,49-50 light point in Chandigarh on Wednesday night.
The ill-fated car that met with an accident with a Himachal Roadways bus in which Sonia (inset) was killed at the Sectors 45-46,49-50 light point in Chandigarh on Wednesday night. Tribune Photo Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, June 14
A 23-year-old girl student of Panjab University (PU) was killed, while another student of the university was seriously injured when the car in which they were travelling collided with a Himachal Roadways bus that was allegedly coming at a high speed at the Sectors 45-46-49-50 light-point during the wee hours on Thursday.

While Sonia died at the accident scene, Sombir Singh (24), an INSO leader at the PU who was driving the car, was rushed to Government Medical College Hospital-32, where he is undergoing treatment.

Kirpal Singh, SHO, Sector 34 police station, said the accident took place around 3 am at the light point when the students were turning towards Mohali in their car which was hit by the bus moving towards the Sector-43 Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT). Sonia was a post-graduate student and hailed from Rohtak district. She was staying as a paying guest in Sector 15, while Sombir, also a post-graduate student of public administration at the PU, is a resident of Gohana in district Sonepat. Sombir is residing in the boy’s hostel no. 5 of the university.

The HRTC bus was coming from Haridwar and was supposed to leave for Mandi in Himachal Pradesh after stopping at the ISBT-43. The passengers in the bus escaped unhurt. The bus driver Beli Ram was arrested by the police. The SHO, meanwhile, said it was yet to be established from where both youngsters were coming during the wee hours. Sombir has suffered multiple fractures in hand and leg.

Police officials stated that the footage of the CCTV cameras installed at the barrier on the light-point was also checked which was not clear.

Accident-prone place

February 27, 2011: A 22-year old resident of Jalandhar was killed when his car was hit by a speeding Haryana Roadways bus at the light-point of Sectors 45/46/49/50

December 2, 2011: Over two dozen persons sustained injuries in a head-on collision at the Sector 45/46/49/50 light-point which took place between a Himachal Roadways bus and an SUV



Power Cuts
Administration 'partial' towards VVIP sectors
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
In the summers, while the densely populated southern sectors are witnessing long power cuts, the UT Administration has adopted a mechanism of load shedding convenient to the VVIPs of the city beautiful, residing in the northern sectors. The UT Administration has made elaborate arrangements to save these politicians, bureaucrats etc from power cuts.

In the first formula, whenever a power breakdown occurs in the northern VIP sectors, which hardly occurs, the UT Administration restores power supply by drawing power from the sub-stations of the southern sectors. But under similar circumstances when the residents of the southern sectors witnessed long power cuts, the UT Administration never tried to supply electricity from the share of northern sectors to them during the crisis.

There are 14 66-KV power stations under the UT Administration. Out of them, three are in northern sectors and 11 are in southern sectors. Whenever any power breakdown happens in the northern sectors, the administration restores supply by drawing share of power from these 11 sub-stations of the southern sectors, but the Administration never applied the same formula to the southern sectors.

In addition, the UT Administration, from June 1 to June 13, did not impose a single scheduled power cut in the northern sectors from 1 to 7, whereas in the same period, the residents of southern sectors faced power cuts of around 120 hours, including scheduled and unscheduled power cuts.

Not only this, adopting another special formula when it comes to imposing power cuts, the UT Administration once again provides step-motherly treatment with the southern sector residents. Giving details of the formula, an official said if the authorities imposed a two-hour cut in the northern sectors like Sectors 6 and 7, they would be able to save less electricity, as the number of consumers are "very less" in these sectors. But if the cut was imposed in Sectors 45, 46 or 47, the authorities would be able to save more electricity, as there were more power connections. The reason behind more cuts in these areas is due to the large number of population and power consumers compared to northern sectors.

A few days ago, when the UT Administration released the schedule of power cuts, once again the residents of the southern sectors felt cheated, as the UT Administration once again made the announcement of scheduled power cuts in the southern sectors, whereas the Administration hesitated to impose a single power cut in the northern sectors.

MP Singh, Superintending Engineer (Electricity), said it would be wrong to suggest that the UT Administration was adopting different policies for different sectors. He added that the population had increased a number of times in the southern sectors. Besides, there were many commercial areas in the southern sectors compared to northern sectors, which resulted in overloading problem. The problem of cuts was only in those sectors where there was overloading problem, he added.

Power situation

The UT Administration is receiving around 200 MW from different sources --- 47 per cent from Mohali (PSPCL), about 5 per cent through Dhulkote BBMB and the remaining 48 per cent through Nalagarh. Besides, 110 MW was being supplied from different power stations in the region everyday, nearly 30 MW was channelised through Jammu and Kashmir as per a bilateral agreement. The UT Administration is purchasing the power on an average of Rs 3.5 to Rs 4 per KW. This time, the UT Administration had floated these tenders early in January due to which they manage to get suppliers in summers.

Delayed upgrade

The dilly-dallying attitude resulted in the problem of power cuts in the southern sectors. The UT Administration delayed the upgradation of power sub-stations in Sectors 34 and 52, which caters to southern sectors. If the Administration had completed the upgrade in time, the situation could be better in southern sectors.

Undeclared load

The UT Administration claims that consumers do not come forward to declare the actual load. The department claims that out of 2,20,000 consumers last year, only 5,000 consumers declared their actual load, resulting in the overloading problem. But the enforcement agencies of the UT Administration also never conducted a large-scale drive to check the overloading problem.

Admn to conduct survey

After witnessing the massive problem of overloading, resulting in frequent breakdowns, the UT Administration has, for the first time, decided to conduct a survey from the power grid to upgrade infrastructure to meet the ever-increasing power demand. The survey will also focus on the requirement of infrastructure in the next 20 years. At present, the infrastructure has failed to take the ever-increasing power load, especially in southern sectors.

Spanner in the works

The UT Administration also faced obstacles from the northern region load dispatch centre (NRLDC) and Joint Electricity Regulatory commission (JERC).

NRLDC had clearly asked the UT Administration to enforce power cuts meeting its power requirements. The warning had come in the wake of the city and northern states overdrawing power from the northern grid. According to information, a number of states in the northern region had started drawing massively from the northern grid.

The JERC in its recent order has sanctioned Rs 90 crore less to the UT electricity department to purchase power from various power generation plants. The electricity department had demanded Rs 653 crore from the JERC to purchase power to bridge the demand and supply gap of power, but the JERC only approved Rs 563 crore.



Free parking
MC proposal rejected at F&CC meeting
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
It seems that the municipal corporation (MC) is keen to restore the free parking pass facility in the city. Just after two weeks of cancelling all free parking passes, the MC Commissioner again proposed to issue free parking passes to 10 categories at the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) meeting held here today. However, after an objection was raised by both the Congress and BJP-SAD councillors, the issue was rejected by the committee.

Interestingly till date no action has been taken by the authorities to recovery the financial loss of misuse of free parking passes of Rs 2.84 crore from the councillors and officials, but the authorities took no time in again tabling the issue for consideration in the F&CC.

As per the proposal tabled at the meeting, the department recommended that five passes should be issued to present councillors, one for the private vehicle of officials, one for accredited mediapersons, five to defence personnel, one each to blood donor and martyrs' family, special passes for the vehicles on government duty, two passes each to class I and II officials, passes for all government vehicles and free entry for fire and ambulance vehicles. The department proposed that no passes be issued to class III and IV employees.

When committee members asked Mayor Raj Bala Malik why this issue had again been tabled in the meeting, she replied that pressure was being exerted.

BJP-SAD councillor Rajesh Gupta suggested that a unique identity pass be issued to councillors for their identity and it would help in preventing misuse of passes, if the authorities were considering re-issuing passes to councillors.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla raised an objection as to why information had not been tabled for consideration.

In reply to the query of BJP councillor Arun Sood, the parking department had given the information that mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor had issued passes more than their eligibility. Opposition councillors demanded the resignation of the Mayor.



'Over 32 per cent senior citizens victim of abuse in city'
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day; many city elders yet to get their right place in the family
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
What has yet again highlighted the plight of old in the city is the fact that over 32 per cent of them are being constantly abused by their own children or near relatives. Elder Abuse is a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship, where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.

A recent survey report released by national NGO HelpAge India has highlighted the fact that irrespective of their economical and social status the city's elderly are yet to get their right place in the family.

The main findings of the survey include that 49 per cent of these hapless senior citizens are subjected to disrespect by their kin and 22 per cent of the victims even face verbal abuse. Chandigarh with 32.71 per cent of total such victims stands at the ninth

place among 20 cities of the country where the NGO conducted the survey. While national average was 31.13 per cent, the state of Madhya Pradesh remains on top among the worst, as 77.12 per cent of surveyed people had reported abuse.

In Chandigarh, the survey was conducted among 280 elders belonging from all strata of society, said Bhavneshwar Sharma, state head (Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, and Jammu and Kashmir) of HelpAge India.

The worst part is that a majority of the victims hesitate to come forward in reporting the abuse for one reason or the other, he said. While 79 victims did not report the matter to anyone, 59 per cent of them cited the reason for it as the confidentiality of family matter. Many others avoid complaining against the offenders due to lack of confidence in the police or other agencies, added Sharma.

It was recently that a senior citizen approached the NGO from one of the southern sectors, complaining that his son had been harassing him and his wife as they did not transfer the triple-storyed house in his name. While the old couple had been staying on the ground floor, the son with his wife and children occupied the first floor. His wife is bed-ridden and their son intentionally serves us the food with extra salt and spices to harass them, said Sharma. Still the victim wanted only to share his plight with us and cautioned us not to intervene in the matter apprehending its repercussions. A widow from Sector 43 approached us, stating that her unemployed son harassed her to part with her pension for him, he added.

Abandoning of the elderly is now a cognisable offence. In case those responsible for looking after or protecting the senior citizen leave him/her in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning, they can be punished and fined.

The laws like Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 serves as a deterrent and also as an enabling law for anybody in need of such help. As per the Act, a maintenance Application can be filed by parents and senior citizens above 60 years who are unable to maintain themselves, against children or relatives in case they are mistreated or not looked after. Under the Act, states shall form tribunals for deciding upon the order for Maintenance.If, children or relatives ordered by the Tribunal to pay Maintenance to the elderly fail to comply, they are liable to a fine or imprisonment.



Construction material prices up
Sand, gravel cost increases twofold; common man feels the pinch
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 14
The blanket ban on mining in the riverbeds in Haryana by the Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken a toll on the construction activity in the district, with both realtors and the common man feeling the pinch of unprecedented hike in the input costs.

Even as Panchkula district is witnessing a real estate boom with the entry of the big realtors in the district, a sharp increase in the cost of sand and gravel (bajri) threatens to upset the budgets of the major projects and housing for the common man.

A random survey revealed that the prices of building material have increased by more than 30 per cent during the past couple of months, as people have to buy sand at about Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per 100 cubic feet while the gravel was available between 3,800 to 4,000 per 100 cubic feet. Earlier, the sand was available at about Rs 1,800 to 2,500 while the gravel was at Rs 1,500 to 2,000 per 100 cubic. The prices were likely to increase further as the Union Environment Ministry was contemplating to put a blanket ban in the neighboring Himachal Pradesh.

Narinder Kumar, wholesale dealer in sand and gravel, talking to The Tribune said that the steep increase in the prices of construction material has badly hit the common man who wants to build his dream house. He said he hardly finds any customers these days resulting in huge losses to him.

Parveen Kumar, who had demolished his old house at Sector 10 to reconstruct the same, regret the decision as the cost of project has almost doubled in view of the steep increase in the prices of raw material. “I had signed the contract for constructing two and a half story house. Earlier, the prices of cement and steel had increased by 15 to 20 per cent and now the increase in sand and other building material has enhanced the construction cost. Now, I have shelved the idea of constructing the half storey on the second floor,” he added.

An owner of a stone crusher, Vijay Aggarwal, said he had been sitting idle for the past about one year, as there was no material available. He said there were around 225 stone crushers in the various parts of the district and all of these had stopped functioning in view of the non-availability of gravel.

He said at present the sand and gravel was being brought into the state from the Baddi, Una and Paonta Sahib areas of Himachal Pradesh. He said transportation charges were adding to the costs of the material, which was being further passed on to the consumers.



Chandigarh scan
Corporate BBA programme

The Millennium Academy of Professional Studies (MAPS) promoted by Educomp Raffles Higher Education Limited now will be offering Corporate BBA programme at its Chandigarh campus. The three-year BBA course has been designed to empower students through quality education, which gives an exposure to the real world practical problems. On successful completion of the course, the students would be provided BBA degree by the UGC recognised, NAAC-A grade university and a graduate diploma certificate by Educomp Raffles.

Chhabeel held

As a part of the observance of the martyrdom day of Guru Arjun Dev, who sacrificed his life for preserving values of humanism and secularism, employees of the Punjab Raj Bhavan organised a “chhabeel” outside the Raj Bhavan complex here on Thursday. Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Shivraj V Patil, led the staff in serving prashad and sweetened water to passersby. Also present were MP Singh, principal secretary to Governor Punjab, Rajbachan Sandhu, ADC-P, Major Vivek Anand, ADC-M, Naginder Singh, joint director press, and Jasdev Singh Sidhu, SP security.

Scholarships announced

Children enjoy a summer workshop at the Bal Bhavan in Sector 23 of Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Parvesh chauhan

To celebrate the sixth year of excellence in education, the Aryans Group of Colleges has announced scholarships worth Rs 6 crore to be distributed in next two years. The scholarships would be given in various professional courses like MBA, BBA, BCA, BTech first year, BTech (LEET) in civil, mechanical, CSE, EEE, ECE & BEd courses. Dr Kiran Bedi, a social activist, would be travelling to various parts of the country to select and award scholarships to the candidates.

Ban imposed

The Chandigarh Administration has ordered, as a measure of emergency, that public in general or any member thereof is prohibited from forming an assembly of five or more persons taking out processions, making speeches, raising slogans sitting in dharnas, carrying of lathis in and around 100m of radius of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, for a period of one day. District Magistrate Brijendra Singh issued the prohibition orders, as there are apprehensions that such groups and organisations may cause obstruction, annoyance or injury to the persons lawfully employed and endangers human life and property, disturb public peace and tranquility and cause riots.

Admission test

The IIT-JEE coaching programme on Thursday announced that Anand Kumar will be in Punjab on June 23 to conduct the main admission test for Punjab students to join the Super 30 programme. Successful students will be eligible for one-year free coaching for IIT-JEE 2013 as well as free boarding and lodging at Patna for the duration of the course. The test will be held on June 23 at Modern Senior Secondary School near Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, Patiala.

Blood donors day

Staff and students of the Quest Group of Institutes organised a seminar on the World Blood Donors Day. The seminar under the theme “More blood, more life” was presided over by DS Sakhion, chairman of the group. The main motive was to make students aware of blood donation. “The blood transfusion will not damage your health, instead it will save lives of patients who are in urgent need of blood,” said JP Dhaliwal, vice-chairman. Harinder Kanda said if we could motivate people, they would come forward to donate blood. It will spread awareness among masses that by donating blood, we do not lose anything but through this noble act, they could potentially save precious lives.

Placement drive

A campus placement and recruitment drive was held at the campus of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology. The placement drive was held by the Company India Grain. The placement was specially conducted for pass outs and final-year students of electronics and communication branch (ECE) and electrical branch (EE). The drive organised by the placement cell of the Sri Sukhmani Group of Institutions concluded with more than 17 students getting selected. An expert panel and HR representatives from the company visited the campus to conduct pre-placement, which comprised aptitude tests, GDs, interview session, screening and personal interview.

Students shine

Nursing students of Rattan Professional Nursing College, Sohana, have attained 100 per cent pass out rate in GNM third year examination results declared by the health education department, Punjab. Minakshi and Kalpana Chandel have attained first position. College principal, Dr Chander K Sarin, and counsellor of nursing college, Dr Inderjit Walia, said it was a proud moment for the college to announce that 50 students gave the examination and all passed the examination with good percentage.

— Tribune Reporters



Strike by nursing staff at GMCH likely from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The strike by the nursing staff at the GMCH from tomorrow seems imminent. Union leaders and the hospital authorities failed to reach any agreement despite several rounds of talks since yesterday.

Union leaders alleged that the authorities were not serious about addressing their grievances. Officials said most demands had been met and union leaders came up with new demands every other day.

After the general body meeting of the union today. it was decided that the nursing staff would go on mass casual leave from tomorrow.

Medical superintendent Vipin Kaushal termed the strike illegal and said displinary action would be taken against erring employees.

Union president Vijay Kumar said a delegation met the Adviser to the Administrator, seeking his mediation in the matter.

The Adviser directed the Health Secretary to resolve the issue, but no effort was made to avoid the strike, he added. Though officials assured them of addressing their problems, things remained pending for long every time, he said.

He added that they would not agree upon less than a promise of meeting their demands in a fixed timeframe this time.

The demands included the implementation of Central pay scales and Central civil service rules as they were employees of the Central government.

Other demands were filling up of vacant posts at the earliest, upgrade of arrears from 2006 and change of designation from staff nurse to nursing officer.



RWAs to maintain 1,600 parks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The 1,600 neighbourhood parks of the municipal corporation (MC) will now be maintained by registered resident welfare associations (RWAs). This was decided during a meeting of the finance and contract committee, chaired by Mayor Raj Bala Malik, here today.

The committee decided that the MC would pay Rs 1.50 per square metre to RWAs for the maintenance of parks, which included labour component and cost of manure.

The MC also decided that a competition between maintaining agencies within sectors would be organised annually and prizes of Rs 10,000 each would be given to winers.

It referred to the policy adopted by GMADA, under which parks were outsourced to local committees, reducing the financial burden.

MC records revealed that a similar MoU was signed between the RWA of Sector 11 and the MC in 2007 for the maintenance of parks by by charging a nominal fee.

It had flopped as the grant fixed by the authorities was nominal. RWAs had urged the authorities to increase the grant, but no action was taken.

The MC referred the issues of the National Meat and Poultry Processing Board, three mechanical road-sweeping machines and revision of rates for road-construction material to the General House.

The committee decided that expression of interest regarding the procurement of 150 garbage bins would be called.

The committee approved the issue of the procurement of slacked lime for the office of the MOH. It asked the MOH to write to the malaria department for ensuring proper fogging during the monsoon.



Neglected Mango Garden cries for maintenance
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 14
Mango Garden, which has become quite popular with walkers, is not being maintained properly by the municipal corporation. Broken dustbins, damaged lights, heaps of dry leaves and polythene bags lying scattered in certain parts greet to those who visit the area. The board, displaying the name of the garden, has been broken and only a damaged metal fame exists now. Many garbage-dumping points also existed along the boundary of the garden much to the annoyance of residents.

A board at the entrance to the Mango Garden in a dilapidated condition and (right); a damaged light in the garden in Mohali. tribune photos. Vicky Gharu

Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Phase IV, said he had been going for a walk in the mango garden for a long time but it was disappointing that the area was not being given proper attention.

During monsoons, foul smell from garbage areas created problems for walkers.

The maintenance of the eight-acre garden, which extends from near Phase I to almost Phase V, has to be done by the civic body.



Voluntary blood donors felicitated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The department of transfusion medicine at the PGIMER celebrated the World Blood Donor Day by organising three blood donation camps at the Blood Donation Complex in Advance Trauma Centre, PGI, Chandigarh, SGHS Eye Institute and Super-Specialty Hospital, Sohana, and at Karuna Sadan, UT Red Cross, Sector 11, here today.

The voluntary blood donors were felicitated by giving mementoes, certificates and pens as a token of appreciation. Prominent blood donors, who came to donate blood include RC Bali (51 donations), Sneh Nagpal (17 donations), Aditi Nagpal (12 donations) and MP Singh (80 donations). More than 200 donors donated blood.

The World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on June 14 all over the world and has been designated as an annual event by ministers of health of WHO member states at the World Health Assembly in 2005. The World Blood Donor Day focuses on life saving gift of voluntary blood donors, who donate blood purely for altruistic reasons. In 2012, the theme of the World Blood Donor Day is “Every blood donor is a hero”, and focuses on the idea that every one of us can become a hero by giving blood.


  • To thank and reinforce self-esteem of those who donate blood, so they continue to do so regularly.
  • Inspire those who do not give blood, but are in good health, to start donating blood.
  • Encourage blood service staff to recognise blood donors for their heroic act each and every time they donate blood.
  • Persuade ministries of health to show their appreciation to blood donors and provide adequate resources to move towards 100 per cent voluntary blood donation.



Councillor submits memorandum on monkey menace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Ward-18 councillor Satinder Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today met Deputy Chief Wildlife Warden Saurabh Kumar, submitted a memorandum regarding the monkey menace at Sectors 27 and 28 here and stressed on the need for prompt action.

Satinder Singh said apart from children and women, dogs and other household pets had become victims of monkeys during last fortnight.

Their number was so enormous that scarcity of food compelled those to quarrel among themselves and as a result, those became more ferocious and pouncde upon residents and passersby, he added.

It had been noted that some residents had to undergo medical treatment for monkey bite and so, residents of the sectors were scared, he further said.

Saurabh Kumar assured him that the help of specialists would be taken and the service of baboons would be provided to residents. He also assured him that the department would try its best for a permanent solution to the problem.



TMC’s party office in UT
Jangveer Singh/TNS

Chandigarh, June 14
To make its presence felt in the region, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) today opened its party office here today. Railway Minister Mukul Roy, who inaugurated the party office, said party MP and industrialist KD Singh would be the point man for the expansion of the party in the region.

Mukul Roy also announced the names of Daleep Chawla and Dr Parmod Sharma, respectively as the party conveners for Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. KD Singh will be the in-charge of the party’s office here.

Roy said people in the country were looking forward to giving a larger role to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Bannerjee because of her simplicity and pro-people policies.

The Railway Minister, however, made it clear that the TMC’s demand for a financial package for West Bengal was not linked with the Presidential elections at all. “We are not begging for a package,” he said adding the move had been initiated to right the finances of the state that had been weakened by the three decades of Left rule in the state.



Mayor meets meat-sellers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Mayor Raj Bala Malik was forced to meet a delegation of meat-sellers in the sweltering heat here today as there was no electricity supply to the office of the municipal corporation (MC) till this afternoon.

A delegation of meat-sellers came to meet the Mayor to request her to draft meat and poultry bylaws. She assured the delegation that possibilities to provide more facilities to them within legal parameters would be explored.

The delegation emphasised the need to lease out the fish market at Sector 41 to genuine sellers on reasonable rates. The delegation was led by BJP councillor Saurab Joshi. Others present during the meeting were Senior Deputy Mayor Darshan Garg and Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth.

Due to the power cut, public dealing at the MC office was affected. No booking for community centres and open spaces could be made till 3 pm.



10 cattle impounded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Speeding its efforts to make roads of the City Beautiful safer, municipal corporation employees have impounded nearly 10 buffaloes and cows here yesterday.

The UT estate office and municipal corporation are initiating a special drive to check rearing of milch cattle in slum colonies. During a court hearing, the UT was asked about measures taken to check cattle menace in the city.

A team of the sanitary wing of the municipal corporation impounded seven cattle from Bapu Dham Colony, IT Park and Indira Colony in Mani Majra today. The rest three were impounded late evening, said Ranbir Singh, sanitary inspector.



Two more cases of cholera in UT

Chandigarh, June 14
Two more cases of cholera were reported from the union territory today. With this, the total number of patients went up to four.

Two children from Kishangarh village were admitted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital at Sector 16. They were found to be suffering from cholera. Last week, two children, one each from Mani Majra and Mauli Jagran, had been diagnosed with the disease. — TNS



BCom Admissions
2,900 apply online on Day 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
The first day of BCom admissions in PU affiliated colleges at Chandigarh and Ludhiana witnessed a huge response with around 2,900 students applying online for the admission till evening for around 4,000 seats in all colleges.

The online admission process started in the morning and within a few hours, the number of students successfully getting registered for the admissions crossed the mark of 1,000 and by late evening, the number rose to 2,900.

PU’s computer centre, Tankeshwar Kumar, said a large number of students completed the first step of admissions on the first day. The number would increase, as the students will also be applying during night, said Kumar.

Witnessing the huge response on the first day, officials believe that the competition is going to be tough among the students, as last year around 10,000 students had applied, however, the numbers are expected to go higher this year.

Coordinator BCom admissions, SK Chadda, said they received hundreds of calls from the students seeking information about admission. The most frequently asked question was that how would be the percentage calculated from the CGPA score, Chadda said.

Chadda further said the CGPA was calculated by multiplying it with 9.5. Giving tips for filling the forms, Chadda said if the computer screen showed incorrect form, then the student needed to revise the form again and check mistakes.

Officials said the candidates were required compulsorily to fill up the online application forms with at least six options of colleges in order of their preference, instead of five options.

The last date for filling the online forms is June 28 and the students will have to submit hard copies of their application forms before June 30.

The university in its recent decision decided to exclude the colleges of Hoshiarpur from the online admissions due to the low number of students opting for BCom. Meanwhile, two more colleges in the periphery of Ludhiana and PU’s evening department have been included in the list of colleges where BCom admissions will be held online.



PU postpones interviews for posts of clerk, peon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14
Panjab University (PU) today postponed interviews of clerks, which were supposed to begin from tomorrow.

Earlier the interviews were postponed till further orders, however, witnessing strong opposition to the decision from non-teaching employees, the PU authorities were forced to declare June 25 as the next date for starting interviews for the clerks.

The PU Registrar issued the notice that the interviews for 310 posts of clerks and peons, which were supposed to begun on June 15 for clerks and June 25 for peons, have been postponed till further orders.

The incident spread restlessness among the non-teaching employees and candidates who had already reached the city for the interviews.

A delegation of the Panjab University Staff Association (PUSA) led by Deepak Kaushik met the Vice-Chancellor to complain about postponement of the interviews.

“The university is short of around 750 employees and if the recruitment of 310 posts will also be postponed, then the burden would be again on the existing strength of the employees,” Kaushik said.

Sources said the decision was said to be the outcome of apprehensions among various sections of the university that Senate members in the view of upcoming Senate elections to be held in September can influence the selection to attract vote and support. However, succumbing to the pressure mounted by PUSA, the university authorities had to give the next date for interviews.

“It seems the university might have planned to postpone the interviews till the Senate elections are over, however, due to the pressure by PUSA, the university had to give fresh date for the interviews,” said a fellow.

As per the earlier schedule, the interview for clerks was to be held from June 15 to July 4, meanwhile, the interviews for peons were supposed to be held from June 25 to July 8.



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