C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tricity groans under 8-hr power shocker
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The eight-hour power cut due to the failure in the northern grid brought life to a grinding halt in the tricity, affecting the lives of over 1.5 million residents.

Complete chaos prevailed as the essential services right from power and water supply to the running of trains were badly affected.

Being rush hour, commuters were caught in traffic snarls as traffic lights failed to function. There were reports of several people being caught in lifts in various government and private buildings due to erratic power supply that followed the exercise to fix the grid failure.

Financial transactions worth crores were hit and people complained of delayed transactions even as ATM machines failed to work. The fallout of the blackout was visible in commercial areas of the city as traders complained of losing business. The attendance at tricity schools also witnessed a low turnout.

There was complete blackout in the city from 2.30 am to 10 am, forcing residents to spend sleepless night. The elderly, children and the working class were the most affected.

Thousands of passengers had to face a harrowing time at the Chandigarh railway station as 13-odd trains were delayed for hours, including Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi and Kalka-Bandra.

Routine diagnostic investigation at the New OPD of the PGI was also curtailed while a few surgical operations were postponed at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16. Registration counters were also affected. Patients found themselves in the lurch as computers at the registration counters did not work.

Work at the UT police headquarters in Sector 9 and UT Administration secretariat was also hit. In the police headquarters, services at the passport window, foreigners window, public window as well as all other departments could not be executed.

No work could be carried out at e-sampark centres. People faced difficulty in submitting their sales tax returns, electricity and water bills.


The grid failure proved to be a great leveller for southern and northern sectors as all houses, including that of Haryana and Punjab Chief Ministers and Raj Bhawan faced a blackout. Earlier, the UT Administration was accused of providing uninterrupted power supply to VIP sectors as against southern sectors. Punjab and Haryana Raj Bhawans, besides the CMs’ residences were run on generator sets on Monday. 



Water crisis makes it worse
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
For Anita, a resident of Sector 45, it was a bad start to the day with neither power nor water at her house. She had to rush to the nearby Burail village to fill buckets to meet water needs of her household. She was unaware of the collapse of the northern grid as power cut and water shortage is a routine affair for most residents. “Residents should make their own arrangements for water as the supply is not normal either in the morning or evening,” said another resident, Sachin Sharma of Sector 21.

A majority of residents of the city faced water shortage in their area today. The MC sent around 70 water tankers to various sectors. This is when the MC claims that it has standby power arrangements at every waterworks to smoothen water supply in case of a power cut. Sources in the MC said there was sufficient water to meet the needs of the people, but due to frequent cuts, water could not be supplied to them.

Chief Engineer SS Bidda said generators had been installed at all five waterworks, but they were ineffective during long cuts. After power was restored, water was supplied to some areas from 9 am to 12 noon in the morning and later from 12 noon to 2 pm.

A senior official said an alternative arrangement had been made by the corporation by installing a generator at the waterworks of Sector 15 where water tankers were filled.



Patients spend hours on road
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
The power failure today exposed the “ill-preparedness” of the Civil Hospital in Phase 6. Soon after the power shutdown at around 2.15 am, the entire hospital complex, except the emergency ward, plunged into darkness in the absence of power back-up.

Several persons, including patients, came out of the hospital and sat on the pavement.

“It was very dark inside the building. I could not bear it. So, I stepped out,” said Jaswinder Singh, an attendant to a patient.

Another attendant, Jeet Singh, claimed that they had to go to a private hospital located nearby for the patient’s check-up as there was no power in the Civil Hospital. “Even in the emergency ward, the staff did not bother to start the generator as soon as the power went off. It was started only after the intervention of a senior doctor,” he claimed.

Dr Rajiv Bhalla, Senior Medical Officer at the hospital, admitted that there was no power back-up in the wards. “The hospital is connected with the hotline. Since the grid collapsed, the crisis was unexpected,” he said.

The staff had already apprised the authorities concerned of the need to have a generator with at least 60 kv-100 kv capacity.

Dr Bhalla said though work was affected today, six surgeries and two dialysis were performed.



Medical services hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Patients and their attendants had to sweat it out at city hospitals. While routine diagnostic investigation at the New OPD of the PGI was hit due to non-availability of power, elevators at Nehru Hospital were rendered useless.

At the GMSH-16, a few surgical operations had to be postponed and registration counters were badly hit.

General wards remained in darkness at the PGI and out of the 11 elevators at Nehru Hospital, only one was operational till the power supply was restored at around 9.30 am.

The PGI spokesperson said the services at the emergency, operating theatres, Advanced Trauma Centre and ICUs were not hampered. The functioning of the Advanced Paediatric Centre, Advanced Cardiac Centre and Advanced Eye Centre was not disrupted due to power back-up.

Doctors had to postpone six scheduled general surgeries at the GMSH and patients, who had to be operated upon in the morning, had to wait for hours, the Medical Superintendent, Rajiv Vadehra, said.

To help patients, the authorities, however, allowed them to go for consultation without registration. Two generator sets were also arranged to lift water to the overhead tanks. Two water tanks were also procured from the municipal corporation.

The Medical Superintendent at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Vipin Kaushal, said they had power back-up at the Emergency, ICUs and wards.



Brain dead accident victim dies
20-yr-old Arsh was injured after his car flipped, crashed onto another car
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Injured better

Revati, who was also injured in the accident, underwent surgery at the PGI on Monday after regaining consciousness. Revati, a dental surgeon, spoke to her husband who has rushed in from the US.

Chandigarh, July 30
Tragedy struck the family of 20-year-old Arsh Bhatia, who was injured in a car accident at Matka Chowk on July 28, and died at the PGI today. His body will be cremated when his father Aswini Bhatia, who runs a store in the US, arrives in the city tomorrow, said Harish, cousin of the deceased.

Arsh was injured when his Chevrolet Beat car flipped nearly 10 ft into the air before crashing on the car of Keshni Anand Arora, a senior IAS officer. Arora, her daughter Revati and driver were also injured in the accident.

While the four other occupants of the Beat escaped with minor injuries, Arsh was admitted to the PGI in a critical condition and was declared brain dead. Doctors said his head got pressed, damaging the brain.

Arsh wanted to specialise in accounts so that he could join his father in the US. He had still to attend his first lecture after getting admission to DAV College.

“The accident has come as a shock to the entire family. He was the only son of his parents. We all live as a joint family in Sector 20 and are devastated,” said Surinder, Arsh’s uncle, while trying to control his tears outside the mortuary.

Muskan, the victim’s sister, is heartbroken. She was planning to celebrate Rakhi with him.



4 get life term for kidnapping boy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Additional District and Sessions Judge VP Sirohi today sentenced four persons to life imprisonment for kidnapping a six-year-old boy in 2008. The court sentenced Prem Singh of Kishangarh village, Sandeep Kumar of Dhanas, Vishal, alias Manish, and Sahil, alias Kesar, both residents of Dhaska village in Yamunanagar district, to life imprisonment.

While sentencing the four, the court imposed a fine of Rs 16,500 on the prime accused, Prem Singh. Convict Sandeep Kumar was slapped a fine of Rs 15,500 and convicts Manish and Kesar were imposed a fine of Rs 11,000 each.

The four had kidnapped the boy, Japjit, from Sector 38 (west) in November, 2008, and released him after collecting a ransom of Rs 3.5 lakh.

While pronouncing the judgment, the court relied on the CFSL voice sample report, which stated that the voice samples of the accused collected at the time they made the ransom calls matched those of the arrested kidnappers. Moreover, the child, Japjit, who was kidnapped had deposed in court during recording of evidence that the accused had kidnapped him. The child, however, turned hostile during cross-examination, but the court relied on his overall statements while pronouncing the order.

As per the prosecution, after kidnapping Japjit from near his house, the kidnappers had taken him towards Dehradun. Then they initially demanded Rs 2 million as ransom, but later settled for Rs 500,000. The accused had also been changing SIM cards to con the police. They dropped the child near Rose Garden after collecting a bag containing money from near the railway station.

The prosecution stated that Prem, who has a criminal background, was the mastermind behind the act. There are nine cases against him in various police stations.

The police had recovered a country-made a .315 bore pistol along with a cartridge, Rs 50,000 of the ransom amount and two cars (a Chevrolet Optra and a Maruti Zen), used in the kidnapping from the accused.

During investigation, the description of the prime accused, Prem Singh, matched the profile of the kidnappers given by the child, which led to his arrest.



Bindra's exit disappoints fans
After striking a gold medal in Beijing Olympics, Abhinav was honoured with awards and cash prizes
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
“At international events such as Olympics, players are under immense pressure," said Lt Col (retd) JS Dhillon, Abhinav Bindra's coach, when asked about the golden boy’s departure from the 10m Air Rifle event that had left his fans disappointed.

Thumping down all hopes of the local shooting lovers, the local boy and defending champion failed to prove his mettle in the London Olympics 2012. Beijing Olympics gold medallist and 10m Air Rifle defending champion, Abhinav Bindra, made an early exit denting India's hopes of its first medal.

However, his counterpart Gagan Narang successfully managed to hit a bronze in the same event. Reportedly, Abhinav after making a slow start, finished at the16th place in the qualifying round with a score of 594 out of 600. “He was very confident, but performing well at this level is not an easy task. I am happy that Gagan has done the country proud,” said JS Dhillon. Adding further, “Abhinav is a good learner and will make the city proud again," added Dhillon.

“We were expecting another gold from him. Hopefully other shooters like Gagan and Ranjodh will make the nation proud this time. We are hoping for a pleasant time ahead. Abhinav may have missed the medal, but hopefully others will not disappoint us,” said a group of shooters at Patiala-ki- Rao Shooting Range.

Awards and recognition

  • 2000 - Arjuna Award
  • 2001 - Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
  • 2009 - Padma Bhushan.
  • 2011 - Honorary Lieutenant Colonel by Indian Territorial Army Awards for 2008 Olympics gold medal
  • Rs 1.5 crore by Mittal Champions Trust
  • Rs 50 lakh cash prize by Central Government
  • Rs 25 lakh cash prize by the Government of Haryana
  • Rs 25 lakh cash prize by the Board of Control for Cricket in India
  • Rs 15 lakh cash prize by the Steel Ministry of India
  • Rs 11 lakh cash prize by the State Government of Bihar. Patna Indoor Stadium was named after him
  • Rs 10 lakh prize by the Government of Karnataka
  • Rs 10 lakh cash prize by S Amolak Singh Gakhal, chairman, Golds Gym
  • Rs 10 lakh cash prize by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra
  • Rs 5 lakh cash prize by the Government of Orissa
  • Rs 5 lakh cash prize by the Government of Tamil Nadu
  • Rs 1 lakh cash prize by the Government of Chhattisgarh
  • Rs 1 lakh cash prize by the Government of Madhya Pradesh
  • Rs A free lifetime railway pass by the Railway Ministry of India
  • Rs A gold medal by the Government of Kerala
  • Rs 15 lakh cash prize by the Pune Municipal Corporation



power pangs
Sleepless night for the elderly, housewives
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Eightyfive-year-old Vidyawati, who is suffering from joint problems, was not able to sleep last night due to grid failure last night. As there was eight-hour long power cut in Sector-49 area, she continuously inquired about the power situation from her 29-year-old granddaughter Manisha, who is also working in a private firm. Manisha remained on her bedside through out the night and provided relief to her with a hand fan.

Manisha said that last night was a difficult one for her grandmother. Doctors have advised proper bed rest for her at this age, but she failed to get a sound sleep last night. Manisha also faced problem in doing her office work due to lack of sleep.

It was not only Vidyawati’s family but the entire city faced the similar problem last night. Seventy five-year-old Darshan Kaur, a resident of Sector 19, who was finding it difficult to handle her one-year-old granddaughter, said that they spent their night in the open verandah. She added that her granddaughter was not sleeping in the room therefore she and her daughter-in-law took the child out and spent the night outside.

The story was no different for working women as well. Twentyeight-year-old Poonam Chauhan, a working woman and a mother of 10-month-old child, said that her child kept on crying last night and she found it very difficult to console him. She too was not able to get sound sleep but again in the morning, she cooked breakfast for the entire family and then went to attend her office.

Bhagat Singh, a resident of Sector 45, said that last night few guests had came to his house as his daughter’s marriage is scheduled for next month. Finally his guests had to sleep in the open verandah.

Warnings were issued on overdrawing

Earlier, the Northern Region Load Dispatch Centre (NRLDC) had issued a number of warnings to the northern states for overdrawing power from the northern grid. A number of states in the northern region were drawing massively from the northern grid. The NRLDC had issued a warning to the states and Chandigarh to stop overdrawing power from the northern grid and instead, impose power cuts to meet the demand and supply gap. A senior official of the UT Administration said that UT was not overdrawing much, but states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana were overdrawing more power. The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) had also issued a notice to these states for overdrawing power from northern grid.

Speaking out

Residents unhappy with UT Admn’s back-up arrangement: Are we really residing in a planned city which claims to be the number one in providing basic civic amenities? After today’s breakdown, it seems that we are residents of some backward village where we are depending on luck to get day-to-day services.

— Kulwant Singh, resident, Sector 41

Why don’t the authorities chalk out any emergency plan to cope with such a situation? As the power cuts have become a common phenomena across the region, the situation could be worse if the authorities do not make timely arrangement ~

— Barjesh, restaurant owner, Sector 10

The situation that we faced today makes us realise that the authorities are not ready to deal with any critical situation and we have to make our own arrangement for any crisis in future

— Gurdeep Singh, resident, Sector 44



13 trains delayed, passengers harried
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Hundreds of passengers had a harrowing time at the railway station today when the trains got delayed due to power failure for about three to four hours. As many as 13 trains were delayed, including Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, Kalka Bandra making passangers wait for hours together.

“Due to power failure in the northern region, the trains were affected the most. As many as 13 trains got delayed, but after 2pm, everything was back to normal,” said Station Superintendent Praveen Kumar.

The morning Chandigarh-Delhi Shatabdi had to start at 6.50 am but it got delayed and could leave the station only at 8.30 am. The Jan Shatabdi had to start at 7.30am, but the same started at 11.30 am. The Shatabdi, which had to reach Chandigarh from Delhi at 11.05 am, the same reached the station at 12.45pm.

“I had an important meeting and I had thought that I would reach the office by 11.30 am, but due to the delay of trains, I reached at 1.30 pm. By that time all my partners had gone”aid Vishnu Ghosh, a resident of Sector 8, Chandigarh, who was coming to Chandigarh from Delhi by the Shatabdi.

“I had my coaching class at 12 noon and I had thought that I would reach the class in time. But unfortunately I missed my class. The power failure has spoilt my whole schedule,”said Preeti Chawla, a resident of Sector11, Panchkula.

Those waiting to receive their relatives or acquaintances also had a harrowing time. “I have been waiting for the past half-an-hour, yet the authorities are not telling me as to when the train would reach the station. I am here to pick up my daughter and her children who are coming to Chandigarh from Delhi,” said Vikram Jit Singh, a resident of Sector16, Panchkula.

“I am waiting for my senior who is coming by this train, I have been waiting for the past half-an-hour,” said Debojit , a resident of Sector15,Chandigarh.



Water problems in schools
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, July 30
Early Monday morning’s blackout left many local schools struggling for water and witnessed thin attendance. Rakesh Sachdeva, principal, DAV-15, said that attendance was low by 10 to15 per cent in the school today.

DS Bedi, Shivalik School, Sector 41, had similar story to tell. In government schools, as reported by school principals, the attendance was normal, but water problem made their day difficult.

However many said that they managed the day because tanks had some water since the schools were off on Sunday. Ravi Raj Kaur, principal, GMSSS - 37, said though there was shortage of water yet they managed it quite well.

Jasbir Kaur, principal, GMSSS -21 said that they were expecting chaos in the morning, since there was no light in the morning, but the day started well as the power was restored after a few hours.

Vinod Sharma, headmaster of Government High School-32, said that they told the students to use water carefully in the morning assembly.



Complainants return empty-handed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Services were severely affected at the police headquarters in Sector 9 today following power failure. With computers not functioning, services at the passport window, foreigners window, public window as well as all other departments at the police headquarters could not be executed resulting in inconvenience to visitors who had to return empty handed. The complainants had to return empty-handed.

However, services at the police control room were unaffected as an alternate arrangement was made with a high-voltage generator pressed into service.

Moreover, traffic jams were witnessed at the Tribune roundabout, railway Light Point, Transport Light Point, ISBT, Sector 17 roundabout, as traffic signals failed following the blackout.

“I came to the police headquarters to check the status of my complaint, but it could not be checked as none of the computers were functioning,” said Rakesh, a resident of Sector 49.



Mohali crippled
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
About 10-hour long power cut virtually threw life in the city and its peripheral areas out of gear. In absence of power and water, the supply of which was severely affected due to failure of the northern power grid, morning routine was disrupted of most of the families here.

In many houses where the water supply was disrupted people were seen, carrying empty buckets, roaming in the streets to make arrangement for water. Rajni Bala, a resident of Phase 2, said that her children were forced to take leave from school, as there was no water at her place. The situation was the same in almost every house. while many office goers also claimed that they reached to work late today.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, an official of the Punjab water supply and sanitation department said that they managed to make two pump sets functional with the help of generators following grid failure.

The power supply, which was suspended at around 2.15 am, could be restored in the area only at 12.15 pm.

Industrialists resent 72-hour power cut

Local industrialists were up in arms against the decision of imposing a 72-hour power cut in a week. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Swarn Singh, former general secretary of the Mohali Chamber of Industries and Commerce, said they found it hard to meet the orders of the clients during a 48-hour cut. “Now there will be a 72-hour cut here. We are unable to understand as to how we will run our units”, said Swarn Singh.



PU hostellers have a ‘night out’
Ritika Jha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Boarders at Panjab University (PU) hostels had a harrowing time last night due to the prolonged power cut. In the absence of power backup facility, a number of hostellers had to take their beddings out in the galleries to beat the heat. The hostellers were no t able to bathe before leaving for classes as there was no water supply.

Kamaljeet Singh, a resident of Boys’ Hostel Number 4 at PU said, “I am preparing for my Mathematics re-appear examination scheduled to be held next week. After studying till late last night, I went to bed, but could not sleep due to the power cut. Later, many of us took out our beddings and slept in the galleries. Some the students slept in the the parking area in front of the hostels.”

Neeraj, another student who resides at Boys’ Hostel Number 5, said,

“I reside on the third floor and I believe nobody on our floor could bathe due to water shortage before leaving for morning lectures.”

Further, Harmanjeet Kaur, a resident of Girls’ Hostel Number 2, said.



rape case
SSP forms special investigation team
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
The Mohali Senior Superintendent of the police GS Bhullar today constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate a case involving rape of a 19 year-old-girl and subsequent circulation of its video clip here.

The SIT consisted SP (D), DSP, Kharar, DSP (City 1) and in charge, Mullanpur police station.

Earlier, the case was referred to State Cyber Crime Cell about one month ago, which sent it back to Mohali police two days before.

In the case, the 19-year-old girl, a resident of Saini Majra village had alleged that about three months ago a resident of her village, Beant Singh had raped her and subsequently had shot a video clip.

“Beant Singh had threatened me that if I tell about the incident to anyone, he would circulate the MMS,” mentioned the victim in the First Information Report, which was registered on June 28 at Mullanpur Garibdass police station.

The victim alleged that later the accused had circulated the MMS to several persons of the village.

However, a senior official of the police station indicated that Beant Singh and the victim had an affair and the accused had developed physical relations with the victim on pretext of marriage.

“The SIT has been formed to check all the aspects in the case,” said Senior Superintendent of the police GS Bhullar.



Chandigarh scan
Income tax awareness camp

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal organised an income tax awareness camp and on-the-spot returns facility for traders at Rajasthan Bhawan, Sector-33, Chandigarh. The Beopar Mandal joined hands with the ICAI to organise this camp. It was attended by hundreds of prominent traders and members of the Beopar Mandal. The camp was organised by the Department of Income Tax in association with the CBM and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Chandigarh as part of its public interaction campaign. Many senior officials of the department led by Garima Singh, Additional Commissioner, Income Tax, Rajinder Kaur, Joint Commissioner, and Akarshan Singh, Assistant Commissioner, participated in the camp. Garima Singh, Additional Commissioner, chaired the proceedings.

Support to Anna Hazare

The members of “AAWAAZ” held a protest at Sector 8-18 roundabout in Chandigarh in support of the fast by Anna Hazare for the Lokpal Bill. Scores of people joined the members raising slogans against the corruption. The members also supported Anna Hazare’s protest with full potency and succeeded in bringing residents at one platform. The members said they were working together in support of Anna Hazare and would not quit till his demands were addressed by the government.

Mohali scan

MCA students excel

MCA first-semester students of the Desh Bhagat Institute of Management & Computer Sciences have once again stolen the limelight in the results declared by Punjabi University, Patiala. Disclosing this, Dr Shalini Gupta, director-general of the Desh Bhagat Group, said 46 out of the 130 students had secured above 80 per cent marks. She said Rishi Paul with 88.17 per cent, Amita with 87.33 per cent and Yashpal Singh with 86.67 per cent marks had secured first, second, and third positions, respectively, in the institute. Zora Singh, chairman, and Tajinder Kaur, vice-chairperson, while congratulating the meritorious students, parents and teachers, said these students had brought laurels to the institution and deserved praise.



School notes
Language expert visits city

Chandigarh: Emma Stubbs, Senior Vice-President, Pearson Language Testing, visited Chandigarh to meet the increasing number of partners and students enrolling for English language tests.

During her interaction, Emma said: “India is one of the most popular destinations for English language testing, which makes it a priority market for its PTE Academic. PTE Academic currently has 10 centres in the country. Our approach in the Indian market will be student focused.”

Pearson’s PTE Academic is a computer-based English language proficiency test for non-native speakers. She said they were promoting the test as an alternative to IELTS and TOFEL.

This test is widely accepted by universities, higher education institutions and government departments around the world, including Harvard Business School, Yale University, INSEAD, London Business School and Indian Business School, Hyderabad. It is accepted by over 95 per cent of the UK institutions, UK Border Agency for Tier 1, 2 and 4 visa and the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship for student visa applications.

Vanmahotsava celebrated

Vanahotsava was celebrated on the premises of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 32-C, Chandigarh, on Monday. Santosh Kumar, Director, Forest Department, presided over the function.

Santosh, along with the principal of the school, Darshanjit Singh, planted a number of saplings on the occasion.

A skit on “Save Trees” was enacted as part of the cultural programme, which was followed by songs and speeches.

The chief guest expressed the importance of flora and fauna in maintaining the ecological balance. A motivational speech was given by the principal highlighting the benefits of greenery. — TNS



CHB to go in for amendment in regulation 16
If approved, ban on sale of dwelling units before five years may go
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
To bring about a major change in the clause governing the sale of flats, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is going in for amendment in regulation 16 of the CHB (Management and Sale of Tenements) Regulations, 1979. Once approved, the ban on the sale of a dwelling unit before five years from the date of possession will be lifted.

Under the proposed changes, the CHB has proposed that transfer of rights or interest in the dwelling unit at any stage after possession and acquisition of rights of ownership through a conveyance deed.

It has also been proposed to transfer the registration number in favour of the legal heirs on the demise of an applicant before the allotment or possession of the unit, a one-time relaxation to those people whose applications for transfer are lying pending with the CHB.

The issue, initially scheduled to be tabled in the meeting of the board scheduled on June 29, will now be brought up in the next meeting to be held in the first week of August.

Sources in the board said despite a ban on the general power of attorney (GPA) for the sale of CHB flats, a number of allottees had been illegally selling flats on the basis of GPA registered in neighbouring states. This had not only resulted in huge revenue loss to the CHB, but had also led to litigation between the seller and the buyer as the flats cannot be transferred in the name of the buyer before five years from the date of possession of the flat.

Officials said the board had proposed the changes after studying the rules of GMADA and HUDA. 



Comes out with new scheme

CHANDIGARH: After a gap of two years, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is coming out with a 2,000-flat general housing scheme in the southern belt of the city. An exercise to identify the land in Sectors 53 and 54 has already been carried out by the CHB.

Under the scheme, three-bedroom, two-bedroom, one-bedroom flats and dwelling units for economically weaker sections will be offered. In the chunks of land (8.99 acres in sector 53 and 31.8 acres in sector 54) available with the CHB, around 2,000 dwelling units have been planned.

The Chief Executive Officer, TD Jogpal, said it was premature to give details as modalities were being worked out.

Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs, had raised the issue of floating a general housing scheme for residents of the city. It was learnt that the CHB had already been contemplating to float the scheme as demand for affordable housing was being repeatedly coming before the board members.

Sources in the CHB said the covered area for three-bed room, two-bedroom, one-bed room flats and dwelling units for economically weaker sections (EWS) was 1,776 sq ft, 1,373 sq ft, 792 sq ft and 430 sq ft, respectively. Though the officials refused to divulge the cost details, the sources said cost would be calculated keeping in view the increased cost of construction. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the cost would be around 2,400 per sq ft.

Barring the Sector 51 scheme (floated in 2010) and Sector 63 (floated in 2008), the CHB has been under criticism for constructing around 4,000 houses from 1997 to 2005.

These included MIG houses in Sector 61 General Housing Scheme, General Housing Scheme, Sector 38 (W), EWS Housing Scheme in Sector 52, General Housing Scheme in Sector 52 which had LIG houses and General Housing Scheme in Sector 51 where HIG and MIG houses were built.



Before constructing house, get building plans sanctioned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
In future, constructing a house without getting plans sanctioned will not be compoundable. In such cases, the UT Estate Office will not sanction the building plans. Earlier, a fee was charged to compound the construction up to DPC level by property owners.

The clause forms part of the recommendations made by the technical committee constituted to review the compoundable offences under the Punjab Capital (Development and Regulation) Building Rules, 1952. Before implementing the clause, the recommendations will be approved by the UT Administrator.

Besides, the committee has proposed a substantial hike in various compoundable offences in residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

For grant of increase in floor covered area ratio (FAR), violation in the zoning plans of establishments, increase of height of SCOs and fine for various violations of building rules, architectural controls and sanctioned building plans, the committee has proposed an increase in the fee proportionate to the market rates of the property.

Sources said the move had been initiated by Ram Niwas, former home secretary, who then held the charge of secretary, Urban Development.

For an increase in height of SCO and SCF, the hike proposed is Rs 50 to Rs 250 per square yard, Similarly, a hike from Rs 300 to Rs 3,000 has been proposed for allowing habitable use of basements.

A whopping increase from Rs 2,000 per sq yard to Rs 20,000 per sq yard had been proposed as conversion fee from SCO to SCF.

Meanwhile, office-bearers of FOSWAC led by PC Sanghi, chairman, has taken a serious note of the proposal of the technical committee of the Chandigarh Administration to hike the fee from 10 to 20 times for allowing compoundable building violations.

The proposal of the technical committee, if approved, and implemented by the Administration will hit hard all segment of people, especially the occupants of different categories of CHB houses, a majority of them have made need-based changes/violations.



It will be a sad Raksha Bandhan for Alok's sister
Was murdered on the eve of Christmas in Canada
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
For Aditi, the only sister of Alok, it will be a sad Raksha Bandhan this time. Panchkula resident Alok Gupta was shot dead on the Christmas eve in Canada. The Canada police is investigating the matter.

It has slapped second-degree murder charge on the main accused, William Andrew Whiteside, and has not ruled out the involvement of some other person in the crime. William Andrew Whiteside is a hardcore criminal involved in heinous crimes.

“Rakhi has lost its meaning this time. With Alok's death, my whole world has come crashing down," said Aditi, who is in Germany.

Aditi feels that this Rakhi would only bring tears and sorrow. Alok was Aditi's younger brother.

It was a few days ago when the couple, Hari Vansh Gupta and Nirmal Gupta, had received a call from the Canada police saying the murderer William Andrew Whiteside had been arrested.

It was on the eve of December 25, 2011, when 27-year-old Alok Gupta, a resident of Sector 21, Panchkula, was shot dead by unidentified assailants at a grocery shop in British Columbia.



Suffocating experience for those stuck in lifts in Panchkula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
Manoj Sharma(42), had just stepped into the lift of his society when suddenly the power went off and it became completely dark and suffocating. He kept on pressing alarm bell till help came. It was after an hour that the lift was opened with duplicate keys and Sharma came out completely snuffing and huffing. The power failure in Panchkula was a nightmare for many who got trapped in the lifts. Sector-20 and Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Panchkula, which consists of societies were the worst affected as many persons got trapped in the lifts and old and ailing who once got down to do their work in the society could not go upstairs.



CTU to start 10 special buses for students
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Following Anupama’s tragic death, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has now swung into action. It has finalised the routes of 10 buses, which have been introduced exclusively for schoolchildren from several points of the city.

The route plan has been finalised on the basis of the data of about 6,000 students, plying through public transportation, provided by the UT Education Department to CTU last week, it is informed.

“These buses will be fully operational most likely from Wednesday,”ť said CTU general manager SPS Parmar.

He said as of now these buses had been introduced to clear the rush of students during the morning.

“For afternoon, the route plan is under consideration and it will be finalised within three or four days,” he said.

As per the information, out of these 10 buses, five buses had been taken out from depot no 1 (Industrial Area), which would cater to the rush of students from the periphery areas and the eastern sectors of Chandigarh. The rest of the five buses have been taken from the ISBT-43, which would cater to the southern and western sectors of Chandigarh.

Parmar said: “We have tried to cover the maximum number of students as well as the maximum number of schools with this new route plan. The planning to introduce 5-6 more buses are also under consideration. It will hopefully further ease the situation.”

According to him, these buses would exclusively bear the sign of “student only buses” and would not be allowed for general public. Buses from depot number 1 are front engine buses, while buses from the ISBT-43 are low-floor buses.

As per the route plan, depot 1 buses for the peripheral and eastern areas would start from 7 AM onwards. At 7 AM, the bus from Harmilap Nagar will ply via Raipur Kalan, Vikas Nagar, Railway Station, CTU workshop, Sectors 28, 27, 19, 18 market and the ISBT-17.

The second bus of depot 1 would start from Airport and travel via Behlana, Hallomajra, Colony No 4, Sector 20 market, 30/29, 27/28, 27 market, 19 market, 18 market, till the ISBT-17.

The third bus of the same depot would travel from 7.15 AM onwards via Indira Colony, Subhash Nagar, MM Town, Modern Housing Complex, Railway Crossing, TPT Area, Sector 26, Madhya Marg, Sector 19/18, 18 market, and the ISBT-17.

The next bus of the depot would have a route from Ramdarbar, Industrial Area-II, Sector 29/Industrial Area, 28 market, 27 market, 19 market, 18 market till the ISBT-17.

The fifth bus of the depot would start from Kishangarh, Sector 26, 27/26, 19/7, 18/8, 17/9 17/16 and the ISBT-17.

All the buses from depot 4 would ply from the ISBT-43. The earliest of the bus on this route would start at 6.40 AM, which will travel from the ISBT-43 till the PGI via 43 market to 47 market, Ramdarbar, 31 market, and 31/32 till 27/26 and 7/19, 8/18, 17/9, 16/10 and 15/11. Another bus from depot 4 at 7.15 AM will have the same route.

The next bus would ply at 6.55 AM from the ISBT-43 via 42 to 39 market, Maloya, 38 west, 38/40, 38/37, 25/24, 14/15 and the PGI. Another bus at 7.15 AM will have the same route.

The next bus on this depot would start at 7 AM and will travel from the ISBT-43 via Colony no. 5, Sector 50-51, 51 market, 52 market, 52/61, 53/52, 42/43, 36&37 market, 38/37, 25/24, 14/15 and the PGI.



BCom counselling concludes at PU
Over 1,000 candidates take part in final round, 90% seats filled in govt colleges

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The third counselling for B.Com admissions in the city colleges completed today. More than 1,000 students lined up at Panjab University (PU) for admission to nearly 500 seats, which remained vacant after the second movement list was declared.

The final counselling started on July 29 and about 250 seats were allocated to students under both reserved and general categories. The rest of the seats were allotted to the students today.

The second movement list was declared on July 17. In the UT pool (with 85 per cent seats reserved under the UT quota), the highest score point admitted was 107 at GGDSD College, Sector 32.

The second highest score point was admitted at DAV College, Sector 10, with 98.8 in the UT pool, while the third place was bagged by MCM DAV College with a cut-off score point of 98.6.

In the general pool (with 15 per cent quota for outstation students), GGDSD College again recorded the highest cut-off point of 110.6. MCM DAV College was at the second place with a cut-off score point of 109.8.

Out of the available 280 seats, 232 were filled on the first day of admissions in GGDSD College. As many as 175 seats were filled out of 210 at MCM DAV College and 132 seats were filled at the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11.

The number of applications registered for admissions is 12,000, whereas the number of seats is 4,000 in all. Government colleges are performing better this year in terms of finding takers for the allotted seats. While 30 per cent seats were left vacant after the first counselling in private colleges, the government colleges have managed to fill over 90 per cent of their seats.



Faculty files nominations for PUTA elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Progressive Democratic Teachers’ Front (PDTF) group led by Akshaya Kumar (English) on one side and Tankeshwar lobby on the other side today filed the final nominations for the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA).

The final list was declared today after the scrutiny of the nomination papers of the applicants. PUTA has 623 registered voters. The key issues to be taken up in the elections will be the recruitment of teachers to nearly 55 per cent vacant posts, increasing the retirement age of faculty members from 60 years to 65 years and timely promotion of teachers.

While Mohammed Khalid from the Department of Evening Studies is contesting for the post of president from Akshaya Kumar group, Ravi K. Mahajan of the University School of Open Learning will contest from Tankeshwar lobby.

The other candidates in the arena are as follows:

Vice-President: Amarnath Gill (Statistics) and Yograj Angrish (Punjabi); Secretary: Devinder Singh (Law), Jayanti Dutta (ASC) and Shivani Sharma (Philosophy); Joint Secretary: Anju Rao (Botany) and Kitty Sidhu (HSJIDS); Treasurer: Arpit Bansal (UIET) and Parveen (UIET).

Executive members (Group I): Akshaya Kumar (English), Asha Maodgil (Philosophy), Ashok Sabharwal (Hindi), Indu Dhawan (AC Joshi Library), Jaskaran Singh (Defence Studies), Jivesh Bansal (AC Joshi Library), Manjit Singh (Sociology), Navleen Kaur (CEDS), Rakesh Mahendra (AC Joshi Library), Shivani Sharma (Philosophy) and Veena Sachdeva (History).

Group II: Ashok Kumar (System Biology), Deepak Rahi (Microbiology), Guldeep Singh (DCSA), GR Chaudhary (Chemistry), Mamta Gupta (DCSA), Navneet Agnihotri (Bio Chemistry), Ranvir Singh (NCHGSR), Samarjit Sihotra (Physics), Shashi Chaudhary (NCHGSR), Suman Mor (DEVS).

Group III: Anil Kumar (UIPS), Devinder Preet Singh (HSJIDS), Jagat Bhushan (HSJIDS), Jasmeet Gulati (UILS), Latika Sharma (Education), Sarabjit Kaur (UILS), Shailender Kumar Arya (UIET).

Group IV: Kirti Vardhan (DES).

Group V: Jatinder Grover (USOL).



46 Mohali schools get recognition under RTE Act
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 30
As many as 46 schools out of the total 393 in Mohali district have so far been given recognition by the district education officer after finding them to be working in accordance with the norms and standards specified under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

Most of the schools given recognition fall in Mohali town, except a few in the Zirakpur and Kurali areas. An inspection carried out by the authorities revealed that these institutions had almost all the facilities like a proper library, a good student-teacher ratio, adequate rooms, playgrounds and other facilities specified under the Act.

Self-declaration forms submitted by another 119 schools are being scrutinised for giving recognition. As many as 305 schools from the district had submitted self-declaration forms as required under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, out of which only 227 schools had given the required information within the specified time. As many as 78 schools submitted the self-declaration forms after the time laid down in this regard.

It is estimated that 62 schools did not fulfil the norms laid down under the RTE Act, but they can do the needful till March 31, 2013.

For implementing the RTE Act, the Director-General of School Education, Punjab-cum-State Project Director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Authority, had asked all the pre-primary, primary and upper primary schools to give a self-declaration regarding the implementation of the laid down rules and regulations by January 12, 2012, and submit this information to the district education officers (primary) concerned.

The RTE Act had come into force from April 1, 2010, and is to be fully implemented by March 31, 2013. The aim of this Act was to give basic education to all children falling in the age bracket of six to 14 years.



Toddlers relish monsoon delicacies
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 30
In order to develop their intelligence, the little ones of St Soldier School were engaged in a number of activities related to monsoon. The fun-filled activities started on July 25 with the Blue Day celebrations. Toddlers attired in blue dresses were engaged in activities like paper folding, puddle play and floating paper boats.

On the second day, students relished monsoon delicacies like ‘pakoras’, ‘kheer-puris’, ‘gulgulas’, etc. This was followed by the rain dance.

On the concluding day of the monsoon masti, students of playgroup came dressed as monsoon fruits, vegetables, insects, etc, and participated in the fancy dress competition. Students of class I and class II participated in a Hindi recitation competition which was also based on the same theme.

Poetry recitation competition

An Inter-Section Hindi Poetry Recitation Competition of class I and class 2 was conducted at Shivalik Public School here today.

Students recited poems on different themes like the Independence Day, Raksha Bandhan, books, the National Flag, mother, flowers and cleanliness.

The principal of the school appreciated the efforts of the students for their participation. She said such kind of activities improved speaking as well as listening skills of the students.

The students were judged on the basis of their confidence, content and pronunciation. Certificates were also distributed among the winners.



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