C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bookseller-school nexus burdening students
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
With the new academic session beginning in city schools from next month, once again students of private schools are being forced to pay almost twice for school books than their counterparts in government schools, thanks to a well-heeled nexus between booksellers and the school authorities concerned.

Some of the school managements are also allowing shop owners to sell books of private publishers in the school campus at increased rates. The profit margins, ranging anything between 15 per cent to 20 per cent, are being pocketed by the school authorities according to sources.

When contacted, Mr P.I. Sabu, Regional Officer of the CBSE, said checking the sale of books was not a prerogative of the board.

Inquiries with some students promoted to higher classes in a number of public schools reveal that as a sacred practice they are asked to purchase books from a particular shop after they are given a list of books of particular publishers.

“The difference in rates of the books of any subject published by the NCERT and those of a private publisher is quite big. Books of private publisher are three times more expensive than the NCERT books,” said Yogeshwar Kumar, who spent a day in finding out the books for his son promoted to class IX. There was a big margin in the notebooks also.

The list of textbooks prescribed by the UT Education Department in its model schools for Class I to Class X was seldom followed by the private schools.

The price for the science and technology textbook for Class X ( NCERT) was Rs 80. On the other hand, public schools prescribed separate books for science, physics, chemistry and biology. The practical books for science, chemistry, and biology were priced at Rs 60 each. While the CBSE-prescribed NCERT book for Class X (Maths) was priced at Rs 55, an additional book, Preface Maths — prescribed by a private publisher — was priced at Rs 210.

For Class VI, the UT Education Department prescribed Modern English Reader, Workbook to Modern English and Paths ways (Supplementary) — all priced below Rs 50. On the other hand, private schools prescribed four books for the English subject in Class VI — the set priced at Rs 270.

Mr D.S. Bedi, President of the Independent School Association, said: “I am for the benefit of the parents. All books should be available at one counter and they need not run from one shop to another to buy books. The money generated by the sale of books could be used for development of the respective school.”



Advertisement for constables’ selection challenged
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
The recent selection of 29 constables in the Chandigarh Police from the reserved category seems mired in a controversy as some unsuccessful aspirants for the jobs have challenged the advertisement inviting applications.

A section of the unsuccessful aspirants have petitioned the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, saying the selection was “illegal” as advertisement for the posts appearing on January 20, 2002 had restricted them from applying. The advertisement had said only those having caste certificates from the Chandigarh Administration could apply for the jobs.

The Supreme Court, in its November 23, 2003 judgement and the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in its order dated December 24, 2003, had said the candidates from outside the Union Territory were eligible for the jobs.

The contention of the job seekers is that the advertisement had become illegal in the wake of the Supreme Court order and only a fresh recruitment would be able to implement the order.

The sources said the Administrator had sought a report on the petition of the unsuccessful candidates. The advertisement had also been challenged in the Supreme Court, sources said.

The opponents of the selection by a review committee set up by the Chandigarh Police asked how could those candidates from outside Chandigarh be considered who either applied for the jobs against the conditions of the advertisement or were “wrongly” entertained by the Police Department.

The contention of the opponents of the selection is that the Supreme Court discontinued the decision of Chandigarh Administration with effect from September 7, 1999, and the eligibility list itself automatically stood dismissed. The Police Department constituted the review committee to review the constables’ recruitment process just after the judgement of Supreme Court and CAT on November 27, 2003, and December 24, 2003, respectively, whereas the orders for doing so were issued on January 29, 2003, by the CAT.

The CAT, in its order on the issue on January 29, 2003, had said: “Applicants as well as similarly situated and circumstanced candidates shall not be denied the benefit of reservation merely because they have failed to produce the certificate of reservation from DC/SDM, Chandigarh.”

The process of review should have immediately followed the CAT order and why one year was taken to decide the issue, asked the unsuccessful aspirants. The Police Department had recruited 29 candidates on the basis of the recommendations of the review committee.

The unsuccessful aspirants say the Police Department did not carefully examine the judgements of the Supreme Court, CAT and notifications or remained silent till December, 2003. The department allegedly called candidates for an interview instead of giving any fresh advertisement for the recruitment to implement the Supreme Court order.

They say the Chandigarh Police seems determined to implement the January 29, 2003, CAT order instead of the latest order.



MC to generate more revenue through ads
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
The local Municipal Corporation is planning to generate more revenue by allowing advertisements at certain markets, gardens and on some roads of the city. The corporation has decided to constitute a committee in this regard. The decision assumes importance as a number of markets in the city, mainly those sectors 17, 22, 35 and 36, are full of advertisements of companies which are not paying any rent.

Several telecommunication companies providing mobile phone services have put up their advertisements at city markets and other places.

The Finance and Contract Committee of the corporation has decided to constitute a committee to look for ways to generate more revenue on this account. The issue was highlighted by Mr P.C. Sanghi, a councillor, at the last meeting of the committee.

It was decided that the Mayor would constitute a committee to allow advertisements on the Sehaj Safai Kendras, cemented verge of C-4 roads, entry points of parks in sectors and other possible sites. Sources in the corporation said the power for implementation of the Advertisement Control Orders, 1954, had been given to the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation in place of the Deputy Commissioner, but the function still lay with the Administration”.

Mr Pradeep Chhabra, the Senior Deputy Mayor, is likely to take up the matter in the forthcoming meeting of the House on March 31. Mr Chhabra said the corporation was short of staff to check the flouting of advertisement rules.

Some time ago, the corporation launched a drive in Sector 17 to regulate advertisements. Big banners were removed and the process regularised in certain portions.

However, the work is on a standstill these days, a senior official said. The officer pointed out that certain road-shows for advertisements were organised without prior permission.

The officer also said there was an urgent need to regulate the size and position of the advertisements to give a neat look to the city.



Army coal scam detected
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
The Military Police has unearthed a racket to siphon off coal meant for the Army. Four trucks were impounded by the Army at the Chandimandir military station last night. A driver has also been arrested.

According to Army sources, the trucks were ferrying coal from the city to Shimla. Acting on a tip-off, a Military Police team from Chandimandir swooped on the vehicles. Several workers were engaged in the task of unloading, but they were let off after initial inquiries. The driver of one of the trucks has been detained. The coal, worth several lakhs of rupees, had been procured from a depot belonging to a private

Sources told The Tribune that a court of inquiry would be ordered by Station Headquarters into the matter. A police case has not yet been registered as the Army is keen to handle the matter itself.

The Army suspects that this racket had been going on for a long time.

There have been reports in the past over petrol and coal meant for the Army being siphoned off and sold on black. There have also been instances where military personnel were involved. An officer recalled that a few years ago, an officer posted at Shimla had been court-martialled for siphoning off coal meant for the Army.



Bobby springs surprise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
Fans were left high and dry as Bollywood actor Bobby Deol shopped groceries for his outdoor shoot in Manali at Bhatia’s International Supermarket in Sector 35 here this afternoon.

The star was on his way to Manali with friend and co-star Vivek Shauq when he decided to fill his stocks for the shoot of “Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon” at the picturesque hill station. The lazy Sunday afternoon at the eat street of the city was suddenly bubbling with life as news of their visit spread.

After spending a day in Mumbai with his family, Bobby flew to the city in the afternoon. After spending an hour at a friend’s house in Sector 8, he left for Manali. As the star entered the departmental store, he went almost unnoticed. But as some shoppers went out of the shop after having met Bobby, the word soon spread and people began converging at the store.

However, the management of the departmental store had to down the shutters to keep the fans out and allow Bobby to shop. From cereals, to chocolates and tissues to deodorants, energy drinks to beverages - Bobby was at the store for almost an hour and made purchases worth over Rs 4,000.



Games bureaucrats play
UT schools issued notice on ‘surplus land’
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
What began as a minor incident involving two local private schools refusing admission to the wards of a VVIP last year, is threatening to snowball into a major confrontation between the UT Administration and some of the top city-based private schools of the region.

The phenomenon of VIP recommendations for admission of near and dear ones to prestigious schools is a fairly common phenomenon in Chandigarh as elsewhere in the major cities of the region. But since Chandigarh serves as the seat of two governments of Punjab and Haryana besides the Union Territory Administration, it has a large army of VIPs. And it is not always easy for every school to accommodate the ward of every VIP.

Most of the schools do try to accommodate those with the right recommendation. But there are a few schools like St. John’s and Sacred Heart which prefer to follow their own procedure for regulating admissions to their classes. There have, thus, been innumerable occasions when the wards of VIPs have been denied admission by them for failing to make the grade, leaving the VIP seething with rage. An incident like this appears to have sparked off the present standoff between the Administration and the dozen odd schools.

In an unprecedented move, the UT Administration’s Estate Office has initiated steps to acquire what it says is “surplus land” lying unutilised with a dozen odd private schools and allot them to certain other private schools which are at present operating from residential buildings. The notices entitled “effective utilisation of excess land” have asked the schools to acquaint the Estate Office within two months with their plans to utilise the “excess land”. Little wonder, the notices have sent the school managements into a tizzy and led to speculation with regard to the “real motive” of the bureaucracy.

Although the Administration says that its action in sending notices to the schools for acquiring the land is in line with the directions of the High Court to allot land to the other private schools presently functioning from residential buildings, managements of many private schools see it as a vindictive move by the bureaucracy to acquire some kind of a leverage over admissions in prestigious schools by hanging a sword of Damocles over them in the form of a threat of acquiring their “surplus land”.

The Administration’s argument is that land earmarked for social infrastructure is a “community resource” which must be optimally utilised. According to norms evolved by the Administration, about 2,500 students should be accommodated in a school covering five acres of land. But several schools have not put the land to optimal use. For instance, St John’s has land measuring 31.17 acres but its students strength is just 1800. Similarly, Sacred Heart has 19.7 acres of land for 3065 students. Thus, out of St John’s 30.17 acres, 14 acres can be acquired while out of 19.7 acres with Sacred Heart, 5.75 acres can be acquired.

The schools which have been issued notices include DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8-C, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Senior Secondary School, Sector 35-B, S. D. High School, Sector 24, Guru Nanak Khalsa High School, Sector 30-B, Sacred Heart, Sector 26, Moti Ram Arya Sr Sec School, Sector 26, Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 32, Shivalik Public School, Sector 41-D, St. Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32 and Vivek High School, Sector 38 .

The Independent Schools Association, in a memorandum addressed to the Administration says that “we have been unable to understand the motive behind these notices as the private schools cannot accommodate 70,000 children …”

Mr J.P. Singh, chairman of the association, alleges that the “Estate Office is being partial in issuing these notices to only private schools because there are numerous government schools in the city occupying much larger areas and having constructed buildings which are lying vacant for want of students or teachers. They have not been sent the notices. It is high time the Education Department which takes all the budgeted money provided to run education in the city, is pressed to deliver the desired quality of service to the community”.

A deputation of the association also met Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator of Chandigarh, the other day and offered among other things to earmark three seats in every school to accommodate children recommended by the bureaucracy. A spokesman of the association said the “offer was appreciated but a formal response is still awaited.”



Singhvi for affordable justice to the poor
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 28
Terming the present judicial and administrative systems as biased against the underprivileged sections of society, Mr Justice GS Singhvi, a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, today called upon the legal fraternity to set aside the monetary considerations and help provide affordable justice to the poorer sections.

Speaking on the topic of “right to equality and underprivileged” at the first Haryana state conference of the Indian Association of Lawyers(IAL) here today, Justice Singhvi said the constitutional right to equality would remain a pipe dream till over 65 per cent underprivileged population of the country remained bereft of the basic amenities of life.

Coming down heavily on the bureaucracy for blocking various benefits to the common man, the Judge lamented that at times even courts gave more prominence to the cases concerning the influential sections of society. The have-nots had been at the receiving end of the judicial system for a long time, he added.

Saying that earning money cannot be the only objective of the legal fraternity, he exhorted the lawyers to initiate a new battle for the rights of the poor like their counterparts had done in the pre-independence days.

Earlier, Justice S.S. Kang, a former Governor of Kerala, urged the judiciary to create awareness among the masses about their rights and make concerted efforts for their implementation. Since laws tended to be misused by the vested interests, the legal profession was duty bound to prevent its misuse.

Saying that law was an important instrument of social change he said it alone could not bring about the desired changes in society. Since society was in transit, the quality of the lawyers and judges left much to desired, he added.

A Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court, Mr Jitendra Sharma, lamented that successive judicial judgements had adversely affected the interests of the working class. The general secretary of the IAL, Mr Marudhar Mridul, stressed the need for launching a sustained campaign for an egalitarian society.



Advani’s yatra a flop show, says Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
The development works carried out in the city by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, outgoing Member of Parliament, will make sure his victory in the coming parliamentary elections, said Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, while addressing a workers’ conference at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, Sector 35, here today.

The conference was organised by the Congress Committee Urban-II under the presidentship of Mr Pawan Kumar Sharma.

Mrs Bhattal said Mr Bansal was an honest, intelligent, hard-working and dedicated soldier of the Congress which he had proved during discussions in Parliament and also in several parliamentary committees. She said the ‘Bharat Uday Yatra’ of the BJP had proved to be a flop show as was evident from the poor turn out of people wherever it passed through. "The people of the country cannot be misguided by such stunts", she added.

Mr Dharam Pal Sabharwal, a newly elected Member of the Rajya Sabha, thanked Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, for giving him a chance to represent the Dalit community.

Mr Bansal said there was no 'feel good factor' in the country as unemployment was on the rise, prices were soaring, employees were not getting their dues, farmers were committing suicides and more and more industrial units were closing down. Corruption had become the order of the day.

Mr Bansal said the Congress would look into all issues in details with special emphasis on creating more job opportunities. Others who spoke on the occasion included Mr Jagmohan Kang, a minister in the Punjab Government, Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local Congress unit, and Mr H.S. Lucky, president of the local unit of the Youth Congress.



Cong worker joins BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
Concerns of the traders were voiced at a meeting of the Traders Cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party held here today.
The meeting was addressed by Mr Amrit Goyal, president of the cell, Mr Ravi Prakash Kansal and Mr Rohit Sood. The party also organised a meeting of ex-servicemen at Ram Darbar. Mr Satya Pal Jain, the party nominee from this constituency, also addressed a gathering at Burail.

Meanwhile, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Cheema, a veteran Congress worker, joined the BJP in presence of Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, the president of the local unit. Mr Cheema had joined the Congress in 1971 .

Mr Hardeep Singh Sandhu, a former director of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, also joined the BJP in presence of Mr Mahajan and Mrs Kamla Sharma, a former Mayor of the city. Mr Sandhu is a former local SDM and also a General Manager of Punjab Roadways. He retired as the Joint Secretary in the revenue and rehabilitation branch of Punjab Government.



Development has to begin from rural areas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
Education, public health and economy have been identified as the barometers for measuring development in the rural set-up.
At a two-day international seminar on “Rural development” that began at Panjab University here today, experts stated that the urban-rural divide had widened over time and correctional measures should be taken to check it. The seminar is organised by the ICSSR, North-Western Regional Centre, and the Punjab Development Society.

Prof G.S. Kalkat, former Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, in his presidential remarks said rural development in Punjab was possible if the rural economy, education and health were properly integrated.

He added that the future of agriculture in Punjab lay in crop diversification. He was also critical of the reducing size of land holdings, which was responsible for leading the farmer into the debt trap.

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, in his inaugural address said rural areas were suffering from many handicaps like healthcare, education, sanitation, drinking water, power, telecommunication and roads. He added that India could take advantage of globalisation if these differences were reduced.

Earlier, Prof A.S. Dhesi of Coventry University, UK, said in Punjab there was an imbalance between economic and social development. “This needs correction. The state government in partnership with NGOs should take the lead, failing which Punjab would not be in a position to sustain the economic development,” he added.

Professor R.N. Pal, Council Member, ICSSR, New Delhi, said the most crucial factor for development was the rural sector, hence the importance of this debate.

In the first technical session on “NRIs and rural development”, Prof R.S. Bassi said rural development could be hastened if all stakeholders like policymakers, bureaucrats, the masses, NGOs and NRIs were involved. Dr Gurdev Singh Gill highlighted the importance of combining advanced and traditional technologies for wastewater treatment.

Mrs Geetika Kalha, Principal Secretary to the Government of Punjab, said the government had taken a policy decision to involve the private sector in a big way in rural development. 



People losing faith in judiciary: Verma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 28
The common man is losing faith in the judiciary and it will have far-reaching consequences for the country, Justice J.C. Verma, a former Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court said today.

Addressing the first Haryana state conference of the Indian Association of Lawyers(IAL) here, Justice Verma lamented that judiciary was only the hope for the common man and its degeneration was a matter of serious concern.

Mr G.K. Bansal and Mr B.K. Pal, general secretaries of the IAL, also addressed the conference.

The conference demanded the setting up of a human rights commission in Haryana and more facilities for the advocates and litigants in the judicial complexes. A Rs 5 lakh government insurance cover for the lawyers and Rs 1 lakh loan for young advocates with Rs 25,000 as subsidy was also demanded in the resolution passed at the meeting.

Justice Verma was named as the chairman of the Haryana branch of the IAL. Mr R.S. Cheema, Mr Amarjit Sahni, Mr B.S. Rathore, Mr U.S. Sahni and Mr H.S. Hooda will be the co-presidents.

Mr Gurinder Pal Singh, Mr Narinder Sukhan and Mr Ashwani Bakshi will be general secretaries.



Delay in nod to building plans alleged
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 28
The Panchkula Welfare Federation yesterday alleged delay in the approval of building plans and occupation certificates by the Estate Office of the Haryana Urban Development(HUDA).

In a representation to the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, the president of the federation, Mr J.S. Sangari, alleged that the plot holders, who were interested in building their houses, were a harassed lot as the Estate Office had been delaying building plans approved by the Plan Advisory Committee and occupation certificates cleared by the HUDA Administrator for about one and-a-half-months.

This was despite the fact that all formalities regarding the recovery of dues and compounding of fee had been completed. while the allottees had spent crores of rupees on the purchase and construction of commercial plots , the permission to occupy these had not been given putting them to a lot of inconvenience.

A majority of the allottees intended to start the construction and occupation of the building during the auspicious “navratras”.

The building plans and the occupation certificates should be issued without any delay, a press note, a copy of which was also sent to the HUDA Chief Administrator, said.



‘Projecting Muslims as terrorists wrong’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 28
‘‘Jehad is meant to end the evil. Jehad is for a common good that begins with ending all evils within one’s own self. Islam does not preach anyone to kill. The killer of an innocent man cannot be a Muslim,’’ This was stated by Maulana Kalbe Jawwad Qibla, the Aftabe Shariayat at the Majlis-e-Aza, organised by the Husseiny Association here today.

Hundreds of Muslims participated in the function which was addressed by the Maulana, who is a well-known Shia spiritual leader. Stating that a large part of the world, under the influence of the American and European media, was projecting Muslims as terrorists and killers, the Maulana alleged that this was being done in order to create hatred in the hearts of people towards Islam.

‘‘Islam preaches to hate the ill and not the man who bears it. A true Muslim will help save innocent people and serve humanity,” he said.

Clarifying that “jehad” meant starting something with one’s full might, the Maulana told the audience that “jehad” should begin by ending the evil within oneself. ‘‘The word Islam comes from an Arabic word, silam, which means peace. Islam, thus, means peace. Islam is not against any religion. It stands for peace and not war. There is a conspiracy to end our religion but the teachings of the Holy Koran cannot die as they are based on truth,” he maintained.

Among those who attended the function were Mr Izhar Alam, ADGP-cum-Administrator, Punjab Waqf Board, Mr Sadiq Naqvi, CEO, Punjab Waqf Board, Mr Sayyad Yaqoob Naqvi, president, Muslim Front, noted poet Prof Nashir Naqvi, Mr Shakil Shamsi, Mr Pawan Bansal and Mr S.M.S. Rizvi.

Mohammad Anees Haider, the president of the Hussieny Association, presented a memorandum to Mr Alam for grant of land in Mohali for the construction of an “imambara”. 



Four years gone, she still hopes for husband’s return
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 28
For Mrs Neeta Sharma, a resident of Phase 3B1, here hope is not just a word. It is the feeling that has helped her and her two children survive life which seemed to have come to an end when her husband Parveen Sharma, a lawyer, went missing in February, 2000.

Even four years later, the police has no clue about where this 36-year-old young advocate who had worked at the Punjab and Haryana High Court is. Parveen had in February, 2000, left for New Delhi to attend a wedding, but never reached there. The police was informed and a case registered. The family on its own also tried to look for him. Initially, they were sure that he would be found and all will be well again. But when a long period passed with no information, Neeta took it on her shoulders to bring up her two children alone. Her daughter Ashima was then three years old and son Rohan barely a few months old.

Taking up a job in a small school, Neeta has been trying to give her children a decent bringing up. ‘‘But now things are getting difficult. My pay is too less for me to go on in the same job. The children are growing older and their needs too are increasing. They are the reason that makes me live,’’ she said.

Neeta, on the advice of family and friends also approached various government agencies for some help, but to no avail. ‘‘We wrote to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2001 for a job for me but there was no response. We have also approached a lot of people in the Chandigarh Administration, but there do not seem to be people who think it is important to help others,’’ said Neeta.

Now after four years of living on hope and praying for the well-being of her husband, Neeta says she is still waiting for him to return. ‘‘I pray every day and one day God will bring him back to us,’’ she said. 



Experts discuss scientific terminology
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 28
A two-day national seminar on scientific and technical terminology was organised by the Scientific and Technical Terminology Commission, Ministry of Human Resource Development, in collaboration with the Haryana Sahitya Akademi at Haryana Panchayat Bhavan in Sector 28 here today.

The major thrust of the seminar was on making further addition in the scientific and technical terminology in view of the IT-based additions. Mr Subhash Goel, Urban Development Minister, Haryana, was the chief guest on the inaugural session while Dr Pushpalata Taneja, Chairperson, Scientific and Technical Terminology Commission, presided over the function.

The three sessions held today saw participation of resource persons from Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi. They presented their research papers and gave input to the discussion. The sessions were attended by Major Gen Satya Swarup Sharma, Director, Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment, Chandigarh, and Mr B. D. Dahlia, Chief Secretary, Haryana, and Mr Rajkumar Singh, Editor, Dainik Tribune. 



Experts stress on quake-resistant buildings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
Population explosion, poverty, pollution and faulty development policies have been identified as the root of disasters by experts taking part in a national conference on “natural disasters being organised by the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Public Administration (MGIPA) Punjab, here.

The importance of incorporating quake-resistant designs in buildings was discussed by Mr Dawinder Sigh Dae from the Department of Architecture, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. The Adviser (Town Planning), PUDA Mohali discussed issues relating to preparedness and management of disasters. The role of NGOs was also discussed besides the use of information technology in disaster management.

The MGIPA’s Director- General, Mr V.N. Ojha, highlighted the need for adopting a professional approach in disaster mitigation. 



Chaudhary elected Press Club president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
In a close contest, Ramesh Chaudhary has been elected president of the Chandigarh Press Club in the elections held here today. He defeated Raveen Thukral by a margin of eight votes. Chaudhary polled 181 votes.

The Chaudhary panel won the posts of six office-bearers while the rivals won three. The three candidates of the rival camp who won include Rajesh Deol(vice-president), Jatin Gandhi (joint secretary) and Sanjiv Shukla (treasurer).

Ramesh Vinayak was elected secretary-general against Ashwani Bhatnagar. Vinayak polled 208 votes against 147 by Bhatnagar.

Swantar Saxena was elected senior vice-president against Ajay Bhardwaj. Saxena polled 200 votes against 153 by Bhardwaj. Balwant Takshak and Deol have been elected vice-presidents. They defeated Surinder Singh and G.C. Lakhotra.

Akash Ghai was elected secretary against Geetanjali. Jatin Gandhi and Vishal Gulati are the new joint secretaries. They defeated Anil Kumar Tewari and Virinder Saklani. Sanjiv Shukla is treasurer. He defeated G.C. Bhardwaj.



Poll scene at club hots up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
The election scene at the Chandigarh Club which goes to the poll on April 3 is hotting up with different candidates coming out with promises and declarations.
Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, one of the two candidates for the post of president of the club, today released his 11-point election manifesto promising to undertake strict financial planning and optimum utilisation of financial resources with the objective of reducing monthly subscription of members and reduction in bar rates. He also promised to strictly adhere to the provisions of the constitution of the club specifically ensuring the sanctity of his conduct and tenure. He pointed out that although the club president’s term was for one year, he tended to carry on for three years or more.

The other points outlined by him included the construction of a health club in the memory of the late president of the club, Mr Ravinder Chopra, rationalisation of membership, control over unregistered guests and rationalisation of rates of the eatables at the club.



NDC team visits CII
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
A team of 18 senior officials undergoing training at National Defence College (NDC), New Delhi, visited the CII office here on Friday. The leader of the team, Rear Admiral D.K. Dewan, said the 44th one-year course, while focusing on national security, also covered many dimensions of domestic, regional and international issues.

The purpose of the visit to the CII was to give the participants a first-hand feel of India’s economic environment and to promote forward thinking about shifting patterns of international, political, economic and military relationships and implications of such relationships on National Security.

Mr R.M. Khanna, chairman, Economic Affairs and Taxation Sub-Committee, CII (Northern Region), informed the NDC team that the CII addressed business positioning and communication and networking needs with bold experimentation and innovative thinking.



Struggle begins afresh for polio-hit woman
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 28
For Ms Jasjit Kaur, life had been a struggle after she was afflicted with polio in her childhood. The battle began once again yesterday when she sustained serious leg injuries after being hit by a bus at the Phase VIII bus stand here.

Now admitted to the Fortis hospital here, Ms Jasjit Kaur (30) suffered multiple fractures and has already undergone two operations. She is in the intensive care unit and her anguished father does not know whether she will be able to walk again.

Her father, Mr Kulbir Singh, who retired from Markfed, told Chandigarh Tribune today that Jasjit had to walk with the help of crutches when she was about four years old. “She underwent medical treatment for a long time, before she was able to move about independently.” She got married and has a four-year-old daughter.

Mr Kulbir Singh said his daughter had joined Punjab Communications in Mohali and used to travel on her own before opting for the voluntary retirement scheme. He said Jasjit was waiting to catch a bus for Rajpura when she was hit by the bus.



NGO seeks transfer of Executive Officer
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 28
People’s Voice God’s Voice, an NGO, has demanded the transfer of MC Executive Officer O.P. Sihag for his alleged failure to cooperate in the ongoing Vigilance inquiry into the affairs of the civic body.

The convener of the NGO, Dr B.L. Tandon, alleged here on Friday that even after 16 days of the inquiry, Mr Sihag was not cooperating. The inquiry officer had been forced to approach the president of the MC, Ms Seema Chaudhary, in this regard, he said.

Dr Tandon alleged that substandard material continued to be used in various ongoing development works of the council.

On the complaint of Dr Tandon, the Haryana Vigilance Bureau had initiated a probe into various irregularities committed by the MC. Dr Tandon had alleged that the MC had incurred a loss of about Rs 1 crore due to the irregularities in development works. Mr Sihag had filed a defamation suit against Dr Tandon.



Rally by Sector 23 residents
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 28
Members of the Residents Welfare Association Sector 23, held a rally here today. They passed a resolution to take up their problems with the UT Administration here this evening.

Those who addressed the rally included Mr Ragbir Singh Sandhu, Mr Davinder Singh Baidwan and Mr Ajay Joshi. Later, Mr Girish Sharma, Mr Harbir Singh Lovely and Mr Ragbir Singh Sandhu, respectively, were elected president, general secretary and chairman, of the association.



5 lakh visit Mansa Devi shrine
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 28
Over 5 lakh devotees have visited the Mata Mansa Devi shrine during the ongoing navratra fair till yesterday.
According to a press note, an amount of over Rs 25.55 lakh has been received as offerings. Besides this, 74 grams of gold, 6,620 grams silver, 163 kg of pure ghee, 44 fans and eight wall clocks have been donated by pilgrims. A “bhajan sandhya” was organised by the Sri Mata Mansa Devi Puja Sthal Board last night.



Bank officer kills self 
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, March 28
A bank officer, Ambika, allegedly committed suicide at her house in the Mansa Devi Complex(MDC) here this evening.
According to information, the 29-year-old Ambika, a Deputy Manager with HDFC Bank hanged herself to death. Though the exact cause of the death could not be ascertained, a brother of the deceased, while terming it as a dowry death, alleged that her in-laws had been forcing her to bring more dowry.

The brother, Mr Dinesh Shangar, alleged that her sister ended her life due to dowry demands of her in-laws.

Beggar killed: An unidentifed woman beggar was crushed to death near the Nadda Sahib Gurdwara when a military bus rammed into a bus queue shelter this evening.

According to information, the bus, which was on its way from Panchkula to Ramgarh, collided with a car after damaging the bus queue shelter.

Woman hit by car, dies: Fiftyfive-year-old Kanta Rani was killed after being hit by an Indica car in Sector 41 here last evening.

Even after 24 hours of the accident, the car driver, a girl, believed to be in her teens, was yet to be arrested as her entire family has left for an unidentified place after locking the house, the police said.

The residence of the girl (in Sector 40-A) was tracked down from the registration number of the car.

The girl had admitted the profusely bleeding Kanta Rani to the PGI in her car but escaped soon when she came to know the woman was dead. Kanta was declared ‘brought dead’ by the doctors.

Police sources said the car had hit a rickshaw before dashing into Kanta who was going to a temple in Sector 40 along with her daughter Sushma and six-month-old granddaughter. The impact was so great that Kanta was tossed up in the air, said the police.

The police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC against the “unidentified” girl driver.



Man succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, March 28
Mr Parveen Kumar, who had sustained severe injuries in an accident involving two scooters on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road, today succumbed to his injuries.
Hailing from Bihar, Parveen Kumar, was riding a scooter (HR-03D-1377) on the highway when Mr Anuj Kumar, a resident of Tribune Colony in Bartana village, who was riding a scooter (HR-03B-7967), collided head-on with him. A case has been registered against Anuj Kumar.


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