Thursday, July 19,
  2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Filthy environment, bad food
Tribune News Service

Filth is all that the inmates of the hostels of Government College, Sector 11, have for company. One look at the hostel lawns, with broken furniture scattered all over and the grass growing wild, and you know that the neglect that these hostels suffer from is not all due to the rough use attributed to the residents.

The college has three hostels. While two of these are on the college premises in Sector 11, a new hostel has been built in Sector 15. These hostels are home to more than 500 students and their tale of woe starts in the morning every day.

“There are two bathrooms on each floor. But only one of the six bathrooms is usable. Every morning there are long queues outside the bathroom on the ground floor.

But what is the problem with the other bathrooms? “There is no water on the second and first floors. In case you do use them, these do not get cleaned. Often we have to bear with a sickening stench. The second bathroom on the ground floor remains permanently locked.” says a resident.

The rooms are good, according to the residents, and the first and final year students get cubicles while those in the second year have to share the rooms. “But now we have been promised that all be given cubicles”.

The students complain that there is no parking place in the hostels and all vehicles have to be parked at the entrance. They also allege that many of them have been asked to pay a parking fee when they do not even have vehicles.

How is the food? “Pathetic”, they say. “The contractor has been there for more than 25 years and he has not done anything either to improve the quality of the food or to change the menu. The food is just unhealthy and unclean. The kitchen is in bad shape,” says a resident.

But isn’t the food subsidised? ‘‘Of course, it is. But still it is not good enough. In the university, they get much better food at the same cost. Most of us are, in fact, eating outside the hostel.”

Any other problems? “Oh, unnumerable. We have a gymnasium in the hostel which we cannot use. The machines are simply rusting. We have asked the warden a number of times to open it, but nothing has happened.”

“Then there is the swimming pool in the new hostel in Sector 15. The pool was built many years ago but is rarely used. It is opened sometimes in November when no one feels like using it. Then when the summer sets in, it is closed on one pretext or the other,” say the residents.

“Now we have new students coming in and the pool is in such a condition that it will take more than a month to clean it and make it useable. By then no one will want to use it.”


Demands on hostel rooms ‘accepted’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 18
The Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and the Haryana Students Association (HSA) held a protest at Students Centre, Panjab University, here today.

The two organisations were demonstrating against the ‘‘indifferent attitude’’ of the Dean Students Welfare and other PU authorities towards their demands and certain objectionable rules in the Handbook of Hostel Rules.

The organisations are demanding that the room rent and electricity charges should be borne by the students sharing rooms and research scholars should be given single rooms.

These demands were accepted by the acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ashok Sahni. This was stated by Malwinder Singh Kang, President of PUSU.

The PUSU and the HSA are also demanding that the old hostel residents should be allowed to stay in the same hostel if they take new admission, irrespective of fresh allocations.

The new hostel rule book says that students who have not appeared in the examination of the previous class or have failed will not be given hostel accommodation. The organisations are demanding waving off this rule.

The HSA supported the demands raised by the PUSU.

Meanwhile, Malwinder Singh Kang welcomed the decision of the PU authorities to create additional seats in the Law Department to accommodate candidates who had submitted their admission forms between July 6 and 11.


Class XI admissions conclude
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 18
Centralised admissions to Class XI for different government schools which started on July 6 at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, ended here today.

In all 6,311 students were admitted to different government schools. Maximum number of students opted for science and humanities in the ongoing admissions. As many as 2,226 students were admitted in science, 2,236 in humanities, 935 students in commerce and 914 students in vocational courses.

There was complete transparency throughout the admissions. Parents were quite satisfied with the smooth functioning at the admissions. They said, “The teachers and staff had cooperated a lot with us. Everything was streamlined and no candidate was admitted out of the way.”

The details of the seats filled up in science, commerce and humanities are only of the general category seats. 


Provide security to ex-Dy Speaker
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Directing Karnal’s Superintendent of Police to provide security to Haryana Vidhan Sabha’s former Deputy Speaker, Mr Ved Pal, Mr Justice V.M. Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the officer to be present in court on August 20. Mr Ved Pal’s arrest has already been stayed by the High Court.

Claiming the possibility of implication in false cases due to political rivalry with the Chief Minister, Mr Ved Pal had earlier contended that Mr O.P. Chautala was openly announcing that the petitioner would be put in jail in one case or the other.

Giving details, he had added that Mr Chautala, during a visit to his constituency in 1996, had declared that the petitioner would be arrested the day he became Chief Minister.

Delay no ground to deny relief

In a significant judgement, the High Court held that delay in approaching the court does not disentitle a workman from obtaining relief.

Pronouncing the orders on petition filed by Iqbal Singh, working as pump operator before his termination, Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar held: “It is the poor unemployed workman who has to pluck enough courage to engage in a protracted legal battle against the rich management”.

The Judge also held: “In such circumstances, it cannot be held that delay in raising the industrial dispute would disentitle the workman from any relief. No general principle can be laid down. The plea of delay has to be examined on the facts and circumstances of each case”.

Allowing the petition, the Judge added: “In the present case, I am satisfied that there was no delay on the part of the workman in approaching the appropriate authorities for the relief”. The Judge also directed the management to pay full wages to the petitioner within 60 days.

Earlier during the proceedings, counsel for the state of Punjab had stated that the pump operator’s plea for reinstatement should be dismissed as he had failed to approach the Labour Court expeditiously. He had added that delay ought to disentitle the workman from obtaining relief.

Notice on PPSC test for DSPs

On an application filed by a member of the Punjab State Public Service Commission, Ms Harjeet Kaur Randhawa, seeking directions for restraining the commission from holding a test for recruiting Deputy Superintendents of Police, a Division Bench of the High Court issued notice of motion for July 30.

In her application, Ms Randhawa had also asked for directions to restrain the commission form holding a test for selecting candidates for Punjab Civil Service (Judicial). She had stated that the commission, though a multi-member body, was functioning as a single-member body. The commission’s meeting had not been convened since the members appointment.

The members, in their petition against the Punjab State Public Service Commission and its Chairman, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, had earlier stated that the functioning of the commission as a multi-member institution was essential for the “fulfillment of the tasks assigned to it by the Constitution”.

Giving details, the three petitioners had alleged that despite various request to the commission Chairman, a meeting for discussing material issues was not convened.

Plea dismissed

Finding no merit, Mr Justice M.L. Singhal of the High Court dismissed the anticipatory bail plea moved by an advocate, accused of throwing a labourer in front of a railway engine after accepting money for getting him recruited in the police.

Advocate Mohammed Irshad of Faridabad district was earlier booked by the police under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code after the complainant alleged that Rs 5 lakhs were taken from him on the pretext of getting him recruited. The complainant had also alleged that his legs had to be amputated after he was thrown in front of the engine.

Giving details, the complainant had stated that Rs 60,000 was initially handed over to the petitioner, followed by Rs 2,40,000 and then by the rest of the amount for getting him recruited into the BSF, Haryana Police and the traffic police. He had added that instead of getting him recruited, the advocate pushed him in front of an engine at Okhla railway station.


CEVA’s new play bares the crux of life
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The latest production of Centre for Education and Voluntary Action (CEVA) is rooted in sensibility. Titled “Zindagi kabhi retire nahin hoti,” the play, slated to be staged at Tagore Theatre on July 20, touches upon the process of ageing in the most convincing that it does not demean old age as a long winter of neglect. Instead, it takes nourishment from the experiences of elders and the vigour of youth alike to spread a message of healthy, happy co-existence of all generations.

Citing anecdotes which derive their content from real life instances, the script of the play reproduces on stage a life red in tooth and claw. So on stage we see senior citizens painfully travelling down the memory lane — sometimes blaming their kin for having alienated their affections, sometimes demanding respect out of them...and sometimes struggling to resolve the inner conflict which stems from their own “great expectations.” The performers have been rehearsing the play at Lajpat Rai Bhavan in Sector 15.

The most heartening part of the play, which is being directed by G.S. Chani, Harleen Kohli and Munna Dhiman, is that it has senior citizens performing along with the young actors of Chandigarh Mafia. In the lead roles are Mr Aditya Prakash, former principal of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, and Ms Usha Singhal, a retired principal of a government school. The script of the play has evolved out of sharing of personal experiences.

Informed Harleen,”Recently we had a workshop in Lajpat Rai Bhavan which stretched over about six days. During this workshop, we had long brainstorming sessions. Each one of us came out with instances which have either bitter or pleasant imprints on the mind. These anecdotes were put together in the form of this play.”

The dialogue are power-packed and reflect the poignancy of situations in which the modern-day children and parents often find themselves trapped. But instead of evolving the dialogue to underline some kind of a blame game between the two generations, the script writer has taken care to help resolve the social crisis, which is marked by fractured personal relationships.

The characters are in direct conversation with the audience, mirroring bitter facts of life for them and hitting them where it hurts the most. The thought-provoking dialogue are furthered by a decisive conclusion which has the elders and the youngsters taking a resolve of doing it together. The crux lies in the concluding verse, written by director Munna Dhiman himself:

“Kisi khade paani ki tarah apne dayre mein sadte rehne ki bajai, chalo jharnon aur nadiyon ki tarah behna kubool karen....jitan bhi ho sake jaisa bhi ho sake, chalo zindagi ko waiting room banne se bacha lein aur kisi dusre ke dwara haath badhai jaane ka intezaar karne ke bajai khud hi haath badha kar dekhen...jitna bhi ho sake...jaisa bhi ho sake.”

The play will be staged at 5.45 p.m. on July 20 at Tagore Theatre. It will follow a senior citizens’ meet to be held at the same venue at 4 p.m.

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