C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Study here, take exams elsewhere!
Kharar school asks students to appear in board exams through another school
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
A school in Kharar enrolled students, taught them for a full academic year, but then asked them to take the CBSE examinations under another school!
The reason for the “arrangement” was that the Kharar school was not affiliated to the board till last year. Since the school authorities did not want to lose students due to this, they hit upon this novel plan.

According to a complaint received by the CBSE, the unaffiliated school in Kharar, A.P.J.Public School, had asked its students to appear from Sanjay Public School in Chandigarh - in gross violation of the CBSE norms.

Students of the Kharar school appeared as regular candidates of the Chandigarh school under the watchful eyes of the CBSE. Character certificates issued to the students by Sanjay Public School corroborate the nexus between the two schools.

Mr Jasbir Chander Sharma, Principal of A.P.J. Public School, said he was not aware of any such case where the students enrolled with his school had appeared from another school. Mr Sanjay Sethi of Sanjay Public School, Sector 44, was out of station. Mr Rajan Sethi, who looks after the Mohali branch of the school, said he was not aware of the issue.

The Tribune is in possession of documents showing some students registered with both schools and the nexus between the two schools apparently to bypass the CBSE norms.

The Association of Private Educational Institutions has been highlighting the nexus of unaffiliated schools making their students appear under affiliated schools. As per the CBSE norms, a student cannot be registered at two educational institutions at the same time.

In the case under the scanner, A.P.J.Public School is located in Kharar and the other school is in Chandigarh. The documents reveal that one Arshdeep Singh was enrolled in A.P.J. Public School in 2002 and paid the tuition fee and other charges throughout the year. But he passed the middle standard examination of the UT Education Department in second division against Roll No 3566 in 2003.

Similarly, Bhawanjeet Singh, who was enrolled in Class X of A.P.J. Public School in 2001, was issued a character certificate by Sanjay Public School for having passing Class X examination in 2002 as a regular student against Roll No 2167473. In Class VIII, Bhawanjeet Singh was made to appear as a private candidate from Sanjay Public School in 2000.

The case came to light when parents of three students made a complaint in this regard to Regional Office of the CBSE, the UT Education Department, the Punjab Education Department, the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, and the police authorities. A legal notice was sent by the parents, Ms Gurjit Kaur, Ms Gurprem Singh and Basant Singh.

When contacted, Mr P.I. Sabu, Regional Officer of the CBSE, said the matter had been referred to the board headquarters in Delhi and it was being probed.



Drug abusers say yes to life
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, April 9
Life has come full circle for Mr Surinder Amol Singh. He is back to normal and is helping others come out of the hell hole of drug addiction.
After spending over 20 precious years of his life in the dark lanes of substance abuse, Mr Surinder Amol Singh realised the value of life when his parents started distancing themselves from him. He even faced the prospect of being disowned by them. Mr Singh’s story is the one which runs typically for any drug addict. He was introduced to substance abuse, including alcohol, when he was barely 16. A “trip” which initially brought “good cheer” started going horribly wrong after a couple of years. He couldn’t stay away from drugs for even a few hours.

“I perhaps became an addict because of family reasons. My father, too, used to indulge heavily in substance abuse. It may be genetic but I did nothing to stop myself from slipping into the vicious hole of addiction,” he added. For the next 20 years, Mr Singh indulged in gross abuse of his body. In the meantime, his father passed away and his harassed mother was at her wit’s end to check her wayward son.

However, Mr Singh agreed to counselling and de-addiction therapy at the insistence of his mother, and by the time he was 37, he was cured. He is now married and has a six-year-old daughter.

Mr Singh thereafter started counselling for addicts in Patiala, Chandigarh and other towns. Since the number of drug addicts and alcoholics from Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh was high, he found a suitable place in Bartana village near Zirakpur for setting up a de-addiction centre.

He also formed a trust — KP De Addiction cum Rehabilitation Trust — so that the centre could be run to help in creating a drug free generation.

Currently 12 drug addicts and alcoholics are being treated in the centre. Out of them nine belong to well to do families from Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Patiala and Delhi. In addition to this, one person from England is also being treated at the Centre.

A substance abuser has to complete a 90 to 180 days course at the centre. After health assessment and detoxification at a hospital the patient is referred to the primary rehabilitation unit of the centre.

It is mandatory for the substance abuser and alcoholics to participate in the morning meditation, yoga and indoor games. While talking to The Tribune Mr Surinder Amol Singh claimed that his aim to start a de-addiction centre was to show the right way to the young generation.



Rain hampers harvesting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Light to moderate showers in various parts of the region have hampered the harvesting of wheat and other rabi crops. Experts and farmers are worried that the wheat that has already been harvested may be damaged by moisture and therefore might fetch lower prices.

Reports reaching here from Delhi, Himachal, Haryana and Punjab indicate that showers accompanied by strong winds not only brought down the temperatures but also affected the crops. At certain places the ripened wheat crop was flattened due to the inclement weather.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Punjab Financial Commissioner (Development, Agriculture) Dr B.C. Gupta has sought a status report from the district-level officers to see the quantum of damage. Talking to The Tribune, Dr Gupta stated that though it was hoped that the damage would not be much, the government thought it fit to assess the damage, if any.

Experts say that farmers would have been hit more by the fast winds than a short spell of rainfall. “While most of the crop is still to be harvested, whatever has been harvested is lying in the open and is therefore susceptible to losses,” one expert told The Tribune. 



Decision on Bar poll to come 
into effect prospectively
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent 

Chandigarh, April 9 
The Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association today decided that a decision of the general House regarding the forthcoming elections of the association would come into effect prospectively. With this, it has now become clear that all those members who have not voted in the elections of any district Bar association after February 20, the date on which the general House met to pass the resolution through voice vote, will be eligible to participate in the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association poll, tentatively scheduled to be held on April 30.  Today, a total of 536 members cast their votes in support of the decision taking effect prospectively from February 20, while 400 lawyers said that it should come into effect from the beginning of the current calendar year. Five votes were declared invalid. The entire process passed off peacefully, with the returning officer for the elections, Mr R.S. Cheema, and other members of the election committee closely monitoring the proceedings.  Now, each member, wishing to participate in the election, will have to submit an affidavit, stating therein that he has not voted in any such election after February 20. The issue of who should be allowed to vote in the elections had snowballed into a major controversy, with the lawyer community in the Punjab and Haryana High Court sharply divided over the issue. In fact, there was also a difference of opinion between the current office-bearers and the returning officer R.S. Cheema. It was this clash of opinion that necessitated today’s vote. When contacted, Mr Cheema said that since a majority of members had opted for the decision taking effect from February 20, only those members would be allowed to vote who had not participated in any district Bar association election after February 20. As per available information, 1926 members of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association would be eligible to participate in the forthcoming elections, that too if they fulfil the February 20 clause. The lack of interest shown by the members — the total membership of the association exceeds 4,000 — in elections for a new team of office-bearers has also disappointed many. 



Rift in Congress to hit poll drive
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
A move by the sitting Congress MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, to broaden his support base for seeking re-election to the Lok Sabha next month by inducting various community and opinion leaders into his party is threatening to come unstuck following a determined opposition from the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee chief, Mr B. B. Bahl.

It is common for party candidates seeking election to parliamentary bodies to woo all and sundry to brighten their chances of election. In this connection, all principal contenders for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, including Mr Bansal of the Congress party, Mr Satya Pal Jain of the BJP and Mr Harmohan Dhawan of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), have been doing their best to woo panches, sarpanches, factional leaders and others by making all sorts of promises and inviting them to join their political outfit. Not a day passes without one party or the other announcing the “entry” or “home coming” of one leader or the other.

Therefore, when Mr Bansal announced that Mr Devinder Babla and Ms Harpreet Babla, who is also a councillor in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, had joined the Congress, it was regarded a routine affair. But unexpected strong opposition from Mr Bahl to Mr Babla’s entry into the Congress has forced Mr Bansal on the back foot.

Mr Babla has been the right hand man of Mr Dhawan, a former Union Minister, and has changed his political affiliations more than once. When Mr Dhawan joined the Congress party a couple of years ago before walking out to form his own Chandigarh Vikas Manch, Mr Babla stood by him. But of late, Mr Dhawan and Mr Babla had been drifting apart. And when Mr Dhawan decided to contest the Chandigarh parliamentary seat as a nominee of the INLD, headed by Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Babla felt that it was time to part ways by joining the Congress party along with his wife.

“It was I who took the initiative of approaching Mr Babla to join the Congress”, said Mr Bansal in a talk with TNS. “Such a move makes eminent sense to me when viewed against the background of the fact that every candidate is trying to get as many people on his side as possible. Mr Babla is in a position to influence a couple of thousand of votes, which could have otherwise gone to Mr Dhawan. Hence, his induction into the Congress party”.

This evoked a strong reaction from the party chief, who felt that he had not been taken into confidence by Mr Bansal before deciding to admit Mr Bansal into the party fold. After an angry outburst against the move, Mr Bahl made himself unavailable for electioneering on behalf of Mr Bansal for about a week.

Mr Bahl has since rejoined Mr Bansal’s election campaign after a meeting with him but Mr Bahl continues to believe that Mr Babla’s track record does not justify his induction into the Congress party. “He has been abusive and insulting to the Congress leaders like Ms Sonia Gandhi and Mr Moti Lal Vora. He was expelled from the Congress by the party high command because of his anti-party activities. If he is to be admitted into the Congress, permission will have to be sought from the party high command. I have not received any application from him for admission into the Congress. I will examine it when it is received…”

Both Mr Bansal and Mr Bahl are now trying to play down differences between them over Mr Babla by describing it as the proverbial storm in a tea cup. That is where the matter stands now. However, Mr Bahl did not attend an election rally organised by Mr Babla in the Sector 28 motor market two days ago in support of Mr Bansal, indicating that he is still not reconciled to Mr Babla’s entry into the Congress.



NCP jumps on poll bandwagon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which had earlier declared its support to the Congress candidate, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, today formally joined the election campaign. A large number of NCP activists and office-bearers, led by their president, Principal Gurbachan Singh, reached Rajiv Gandhi Congress Bhavan. They were welcomed there by Mr Bansal and other party leaders.

Mr Bansal later addressed a large gathering at Nagla Basti in Manimajra. He assured the people that a new cattle-shed would be provided in the vicinity of Manimajra to all cattle owners, as had been done in Maloya village.



32 polling stations hypersensitive
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, April 9
The district administration has declared 32 polling stations in the Kalka segment of the Ambala Lok Sabha seat as hypersensitive.
These are Government Middle School, Tipra, Government Primary School, Mandlawa, Government Middle School, Bar, Government High School, Paploha, Government Middle School, Tagra Sahu School, Government Senior Secondary School, Karanpur, Government Middle School, Rampur Jangi, Government Middle School, Basaula, Government Senior Secondary School, Pinjore, Panchayat Ghar Pinjore, Divisional Forest Office, Pinjore, Morni-Pinjore forest offices, and Sub-divisional Officer, Agriculture, Pinjore, Government Primary School, Bir Ghaggar, Government Senior Secondary School, Ramgarh, Government Primary School, Mankya, Government Middle School, Billa, Government Senior Secondary School, Rattewali, Government Senior Secondary School, Kot, Government Primary School, Batabar, Government Senior Secondary School, Rihor, Government Senior Secondary School, Barwala, Government Girls High School, Barwala, Government Middle School, Bhareli, Government Primary School, Nada, Government Senior Secondary School, Bhoj Jabiyal in Morni, Government Primary School, Shyamtu, Government Primary School, Abheypur, Government Primary School, Rallay, Government Primary School, Devi Nagar, Government Primary School, Haripur, Jainendra Senior Seconday School, Kharag Mangoli, and Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 17, Panchkua. The administration has also declared 12 polling stations sensitive.



Dullo favours two party system
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 9
There should be only two political parties if India has to move on the way of prosperity. Regional parties only create a hindrance in the way of development.
This was stated by Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, Congress nominee for the Ropar Lok Sabha seat, while talking to mediapersons before addressing an election rally in Phase VI here today. Mr Dullo said that even Atal Bihari Vajpayee had asked the people not to vote for regional parties.

The rally today had been organised by Mr Harnek Singh Gharuan, a member PPCC. Earlier, two groups of Congress leaders had organised separate rallies for Mr Dullo here on March 27.

Mr Dullo said that he had toured his constituency twice. He claimed that he had utilised 99 per cent of the grant given to him by the Centre. He denied reports that only 50 per cent of the grant had been utilised.

He said his party was committed to providing good governance, proper development and employment. The party had already promised to provide jobs to 1 crore persons.

When asked why Congress leaders were organising separate rallies for him, he said that he was not concerned about that. All he knew was that all were supporting him. He said that he would bring all of them on one platform the day he opened his election office.

Mr Gharuan said that during the Congress rule in the state, the produce of the farmers was being purchased on a priority basis. The agricultural sector was also being given sufficient power.



Bonsai show today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Over 200 varieties of bonsai will be shown in the sixth annual Bonsai show, to begin in the city from tomorrow. Being organised by the Bonsai Club, the show will be structured by famous landscape artiste Anil Kaushik, with the support and guidance of Dr J.S. Sarkaria, honorary curator of the National Cactus and Succulent Botanical Garden and Research Centre, Panchkula.

The word “Bonsai” is made of two Japanese words — Bon and Sai. Bon means a shallow pit and sai means a tree. An oriental art, Bonsai making is believed to have started centuries ago in China. There are some who believe the art originated in India. One theory suggests that the art of bonsai actually flourished in India, first of all.

Whatever the place of its origin, Bonsai was refined in Japan. For centuries, Chinese culture influenced Japanese styles and like calligraphy, Bonsai also reached Japan from China through the Buddhist monks, court officials and merchants. It was in Japan that this art was honed to perfection. Over a period of time the art spread to America and after World War II to the entire west.

Bonsais, to be displayed in the city at Snack Shop in Sector 17 from tomorrow, can be classified into different styles based on the trunk structure. The varieties will include those with a straight trunk, with a curved trunk but a top perpendicular to the base, trees with slanted trunk, with cascading trunk reaching near the base and with a cascading trunk reaching below the base.

Informed Mr Kaushik, “Bonsais can also be classified depending on the sizes. These are shito (extremely small), mame (very small), Kotate (small), Chiu (medium) and Dai (large).” The show will be open for two days, beginning from tomorrow.



Prayers mark Good Friday
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 9
Prayers, chhabils and community kitchens were today organised at various places in the city on the solemn occasion of Good Friday. Heavy rush was witnessed outside the churches as the followers offered prayers. Family prayers were also held at homes.

The pastors and heads of different religious organisations asked the residents to love and respect each other. Addressing the congregations, they asked the devotees to follow the teaching of Lord Christ who “commended us to love our neighbours, even the enemies”. They also called upon the residents to follow the path of peace, communal harmony, universal brotherhood, humanity and tolerance. The need of the hour, they asserted, was to live cordially without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, religion or colour.

The day, they added, reminded us that none in the world could escape sorrow. The day, they revealed, also reminded of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. It was the day. He was crucified. Jesus Christ was barely 33- year-old when he was crucified. He had healed the sick, raised the dead, made the blind see, fed thousands of people and taught men lofty ideals. He was a friend to those whose lives were strained by sin.

They asserted that some congregations were still holding a three-hour service on Friday, representing the three hours Jesus Christ hanged on the cross. A typical service included seven distinct elements representative of Christ’s seven utterances while on the cross.

Father C. A. Joseph of Sector 24 Church added that prayers continued in all churches throughout the day. The main service, he asserted, was held in Sector 19 Catholic Church from 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm. It was presided over by the Bishop of Simla Chandigarh Diocese Rt. Rev. Dr Gerald John Mathias. The President and pastor of the “Christ the King Church and Bible College” at Naya Gaon Mr Lawrence Malik, added that a chhabeel and langar was organised near the bus stop outside the PGI.



Sanitation: residents for facilities before laws
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 9
Residents welfare organisations have sought the provision of certain facilities by the Municipal Council before the implementation of sanitation bylaws.
This was the response of residents to suggestions and objections invited by the civic body before the introduction of the bylaws. The response is likely to be put up for discussion at the council meeting to be held this month.

The government had directed civic bodies to implement the Punjab Municipal (Sanitation and Public Health) Bylaws, 2003. The bylaws prohibit certain acts which adversely affected sanitation and public health and whosoever failed to comply with any order or directions lawfully given to him shall be punished.

The council had cleared the proposal to adopt the sanitation bylaws at its meeting held on July 11 and the House wanted an early implementation of the bylaws. But the Executive Officer of the council had said that first the civic body would have to invite objections from the public in this regard which would be presented in the House for discussion.

Representatives of the House Owners Welfare Association, Phase I, suggested that before implementing the sanitation bylaws, the council should provide garbage bins, spit bins, garbage collection points, lavatories and a place where people could put up posters. They said many villages fell in the town and there were a number of slum colonies where migrant labourers were living. All these people were creating unhygienic conditions in the vacant spaces due to lack of lavatories. The dairies running in the villages should also be shifted out of the town.

The Environment Protection Society suggested that lavatories and urinals should be constructed at different places. It said separate dust bins should be provided for throwing cuttings after pruning plants. Mr Avtar Singh Saini, a resident of Sector 70, also made similar suggestions.

The sanitation bylaws prohibit, among other things, defecating, urinating or spitting at public places, depositing garbage or waste material in service lanes, parks or roads, spreading water on roads after washing vehicles, depositing of cattle dung at public places and scattering of paper, cigarette buds and hand bills in public places. Violators of the bylaws will have to pay fines up to Rs 1,000.



Shed ‘mai baap’ culture, Verma tells IAS trainees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, (retd) today advised civil servants to adopt “pro-active and pro-people approach”, giving priority to redressing grievances of people.

Addressing a delegation of trainee IAS officers, who had called on him at Punjab Raj Bhavan, Justice Verma said in the fast changing new economic situation of the country, the role of civil servants became more important.

He said the civil servants must behave as servants of the people who had been given an opportunity by God to serve people and not as their masters. He asked them to shed the “mai baap” culture’ and go amongst the people to redress grievances rather than to run the administration sitting in air-conditioned rooms.

Justice Verma said the people looked towards the civil servants with great faith and they had to upkeep that faith by fair and objective working.

Earlier, the civil servants spoke about their experiences in the academy and various cities they have visited as a part of the Bharat darshan programme.



Bapu Asa Ram birth anniversary celebrations
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, April 9
The Shri Yog Vedant Seva Samiti, Sector 10, will celebrate the birth anniversary of Bapu Asa Ram at Bhagwan Parshu Ram Temple in Sector 12-A, tomorrow. Mr Dalbir Singh, press secretary of the samiti, informed that a satsang would be organised in the morning and a procession in the evening. 



Dance party held at Surya Funcity
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, April 9
As a part of Baisakhi celebrations — Baisakhi Bash 2004 — Surya Funcity Limited added a new feature to its water park in Ramgarh village, near here, today.

The young crowd from Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and other neighbouring areas descended at the venue and had a gala time at a rain dance party organised by the management at the newly introduced feature, aqua dance floor. The dancing floor is equipped with 400 water points. 



Jobless youth commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
A jobless 21-year-old youth hanged himself to death in Dhanas Milk Colony here last night.
Avi was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his house by his landlady today. In his suicide note he had stated that he was not “happy” with his life.

The landlady knocked at his door during the day to know why Avi had not come out. When she opened the door, she found Avi dead. She called neighbours who informed the police.

Avi’s recently wed brother Amit and his wife had gone to his in-laws’ house in Sector 20. The two brothers shared two-room accommodation. Amit told the police that Avi had completed plus two but had not got a job. The body of Avi has been sent for the post mortem examination to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

Resident attempts suicide: A Mohali resident today allegedly consumed an insecticide in a suicide bid. He was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. He was stated to be out of danger.

Ranjit Singh consumed the insecticide and went to Sukhna Lake where he fell unconscious near a public toilet. A suicide note was found from his pocket in which he has said he does not have any complaint against anybody.

Ranjit Singh has been booked under Section 309 of the IPC for attempting suicide. The police suspects that he was in dire straits after he was fired from his job in Punjab Anand Tubes.



Motor cycle thief caught red-handed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
An auto thief of Faridkot and two local mobile snatchers were arrested here during the past 24 hours.
The auto thief, Narpinder Singh, was arrested red-handed while stealing a motor cycle in Sector 15.

A resident of Sector 71, Mohali, Pushdip, was also arrested from near the Metro Hotel after he snatched a mobile phone of a Sector 19 resident, Seerat Arora. The snatched mobile has been recovered from him. Another mobile snatcher Bittu of Sector 7-B, was arrested along with the mobile phone which he had snatched from Raj Kumar of the Water Works Colony, Sector 26.

Meanwhile, a Maruti car was stolen from Sector 20-C, a motor cycle from house number 2211, Sector 21, and a scooter from house number 646/1, Sector 38.


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