C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Warden back after students protest
Tribune News Service

Students lift Prof Naval Kishore, dean, on hearing the news of the warden staying put.
Students lift Prof Naval Kishore, dean, on hearing the news of the warden staying put. —Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, November 15
Students of Hostel No. 4 today held a protest against the removal of their warden by the VC yesterday. The students held a rally from their hostel till the VC’s office, amid sloganeering.
The VC constituted a committee and announced that Krishan Kumar would remain warden till the committee submitted its report on November 18. The committee is headed by the dean, university instructions, SK Kulkarni.

Inmates of the hostel claimed that transferring Krishna Kumar was unfair and the VC should revoke the orders.

Unrest among students is simmering despite the student elections being over. Smashing window of cars parked outside hostels has become a daily feature. Today, the window of a Maruti Alto car parked outside Hostel No. 5 were found broken. The matter was reported to the university security and the police.



ICL carnival set to roll
Bollywood stars, roadshow, free tickets et al
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 15
After two ODI matches in neighbouring Mohali and Chandigarh recently, the city is once again gearing up for another 17-day cricket festival starting November 30 at Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium, Sector 3, here.

The inaugural Indian Cricket League (ICL) Twenty20 tournament promises to be a cricket carnival with entertainment the moving spirit. “Besides cricket buffs, we are targeting city residents who prefer enjoying evenings outside their homes. A festive atmosphere will prevade the stadium before the starting of the matches. An entertainment stage will be set up where local artistes will enthral the spectators. Stalls for food and fun games will also be set up,” said Shariq Patel, senior vice-president, operations, ICL.

To attract people’s attention, roadshows will be held in which renowned cricketers will participate.

The ICL plans to rope in Bollywood and TV stars during the matches,” said Patel.

Contrary to expectations, those who want to see the action live will have to shell out some bucks. The ICL official maintained that the amount would be nominal and ticket counters would be set up at the most happening places in the tricity. “During the roadshow, we will distribute tickets free to the people,” said Patel.

The police, along with private security, would be deputed at the stadium to check any untoward incident. Work at the stadium is on. Neglect by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for no apparent reason pushed me towards the ICL, said dashing batsman Imran Farhat, who arrived here today.

“Undoubtedly, playing for the country is the topmost honour for a player, but when I felt I was being neglected due to dirty politics in the PCB.” Farhat will take part in the training camp of the league starting tomorrow. Kiwi pacer Daryl Tuffy and other players of the Chandigarh Lions also arrived in the city today.

Farhat said, the PCB wanted him back now, “ but I refused as my conscious did not allow me to breach the ICL contract midway.” He was hopeful that one fine day the board would recall him. New Zealand pacer Tuffy said he agreed with Farhat. “The prime duty of every cricketer is to play cricket. It should not matter for whom the player is playing.” Tuffy played one Test against India at Mohali in 2003.



CAT extends stay on cop promotions
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today extended the stay on promotions of inspectors, general and SC category, of the Chandigarh Police.

The applicants, Yash Pal and others working as SI , were recruited as probationary ASIs during 1986 -1989. They belong to the general category and said they were aggrieved at the action of the UT to grant promotion to SIs belonging to the SCs. They alleged these police personnel were being granted promotion beyond the prescribed quota of 14 per cent.

The total cadre strength of inspectors of the UT police is 50. Out of the 50 posts, 10 per cent, five posts, could be filled by direct recruitment. They averred that out of these five posts, one would be reserved for the SC category and of the remaining 45 posts, six would go to police personnel belonging to the SC category.

They claimed that the tentative list of seniority showed that eight inspectors of the SC category were already occupying the reserved posts.

The court stayed the promotion of police personnel belonging to the SC category on August 14, 2007. Thereafter, a reply was filed by the respondents belonging to the SC category, wherein it was said that as per the rooster by the government of Punjab, seven posts were reserved for the SC category whereas only five were granted promotion on the basis of reservation.

In the meantime, a process was initiated for promotion of the general category candidate to the post of inspector. The court, on October 17, stayed all promotions to the post of inspector.

At its hearing held on October 31, the court asked the Chandigarh administration to deposit an affidavit with details mentioning whether the reservation was14 per cent or 15 per cent for promotion to the post of inspector.

The home department was supposed to deposit the affidavit today but the case was adjourned to December 7.



Land Grab Bid
DC marks fresh probe
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 15
SAS Nagar deputy commissioner H.I.S. Grewal has marked an inquiry into the alleged bid by Jasbir Singh Sandhu to grab on a piece of land in Karoran village.

The complainant, Kuldip Singh, a resident of Nayagaon, had alleged that Jasbir Singh was trying to grab the land with the support of IG Sanjiv Gupta.

The DC has received a complaint from Kuldip Singh, alleging that revenue officials of SAS Nagar had “forged” and “tampered with” the revenue records and provided false information to the SSP of Fatehgarh Sahib during the course of an inquiry conducted by him in the case. The DC reportedly visited the site and has marked an inquiry into these allegations to the Mohali SDM. Sources, however, said the revenue officials had told the DC that they did not assist the SSP during the inquiry. The SSP reportedly came to the disputed site with revenue officials from Fatehgarh Sahib. In his report, the SSP had given a clean chit to Sanjiv Gupta.

Kuldip Singh alleged that while preparing the report, the revenue officials forged the revenue records and showed that the total land in khasra No. 232/1/2 was 685 kanal 2 marlas when actually it was 795 kanal 16 marla. “Where has the 110 kanal 14 marla of land gone,” he asked in his complaint. He said “another forgery committed by the officials in connivance with Jasbir Singh is that they have illegally marked /allotted ‘gattha numbers’ on the latha prepared by them on October 27, 2007. These markings do not exist in the original records. According to rules, these officials cannot mark or a lot gattha numbers.”

He also pointed out that the division proceedings of this land (which was once mushtarka malkan) is pending in a court.



Remembering a General who was a true Gorkha
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Subathu, November 15
About a month after a British general, who had served with the Gorkhas passed away, his widow made it a point to attend the regimental reunion here and pay homage to those who had fallen in the line of duty.

Gillian Horsford, whose husband Maj Gen Derek Horsford died on October 5 at the age of 91, travelled from her home in Dorset in UK despite her age and grief to attend the fifth reunion of the First Gorkha Rifles at the 14 Gorkha Training Centre.

“Since my husband was not keeping in good health, he had insisted that I must attend the reunion,” Gillian said. “He said that it was probably the last reunion that they could attend and had asked me to make a diary and write about the event,” she added.

General Horsford had commanded the Fourth Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles in the battle of Kohima during the Second World War, when Gorkha troops defeated the Japanese. Later, he took part in the Burma Campaign.

Though he was commissioned into the Eighth Gorkha Rifles, he was asked to take command of the Fourth Battalion after its commanding officer had been killed. He was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his performance in battle.

Gillian also laid a wreath of red poppies at the regimental war memorial along with other Indian and British officers. She stood erect in front of the flower-decked edifice as a ceremonial guard reversed arms and buglers sounded the Last Post.

“The wreath that I laid at the memorial is the same that was laid on my husband’s casket by the association of Gurkha officers in Britain at his funeral,” she said. “I could think of no other befitting place for the wreath than the regimental war memorial,” she added. A memorial service is scheduled in Britain in January.

General Horsford had been president of the Gurkha association in Britain for 28 years. Gillian said that he had kept in touch with regimental officer and used to write to them frequently.

He had retired in 1971 as Deputy Commander Land Forces in Hong Kong. Gillian would also be presenting his portrait to the regimental centre.



Gorkha Rifles for UN mission
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Past & the Present: Officers of the First Gorkha Rifles, including those who had served during the British era, along with their family members, at the regiment’s reunion at 14 Gorkha Training Centre in Subathu on Thursday.
Past & the Present: Officers of the First Gorkha Rifles, including those who had served during the British era, along with their family members, at the regiment’s reunion at 14 Gorkha Training Centre in Subathu on Thursday. —Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Subathu, November 15
The first battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles (1/1 GR) would have two foreign stints shortly. The battalion has been earmarked for deployment under a United Nations peacekeeping mandate in Sudan.

Stating this at the regiment’s fifth reunion at 14 Gorkha Training Centre here today, the Colonel of the First Gorkha Rifles, Maj Gen P.C.S. Khati said though the bulk of the force would be from 1/1 GR, six JCO and 40 men from each battalion of the regiment would be made part of the force.

He said a company from 1/1 GR would take part in joint exercises with the UN Army in America next year. The battalion had topped the selection process for this held by the southern command recently.

Praising all the officers and men for their professionalism and dedication while addressing a special sainik sammelan today, Khati said the regiment has won several professional, sports and other competitions during the past year. Shooters from the regiment had bagged gold and silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and the World Military Games.

The re-union, held once in five years, whipped up nostalgia among the serving and retired officers, JCOs and men, who arrived at the centre located in the picture square Shivalik foothills from all over the country as well as from Nepal, Britain and New Zealand.

The functions began today with the Colonel of the Regiment inspecting a guard of honour. A solemn wreath laying ceremony was also held where serving and retired officers, including those who had served with the regiment during the British era, paid floral tributes to the martyrs. A band concert, pagal gymkhana, symphonic evening and a cultural programme are among events planned over three days.

Among those attending the reunion are Maj Gen V.K. Datta, Additional Director General Territorial Army, Centre Commandant Brig H.S. Nagra, commanding officers of 1 GR battalions and other regimental officers. Prominent among the veterans are Maj Gen C. Venugopal, Maj Gen Basant Singh, Maj Gen B.S. Kanwar, Maj Gen R.P. Singh and Maj Gen S.J.B. Sharma.

Rameshwari Chauhan, widow of former 2/1 GR commanding officer Col V.R. Chauhan who was decorated with the Shautya Chakra is also attending the re-union. Maj Edward Henry from New Zealand and Lt Frank Morley from Manchester Gillian Horsford, Widow of Maj Gen Derek Horsford who had served with the regiment during World War II, and Stuart Rooney, son of Col Bertram Louis Rooney are among the regiments foreign guests.



Varsity block stinks
Brijender Gaur

Chandigarh, November 15
Uncovered, scattered garbage near block A on the Panjab University campus is making life difficult for the residents.

Instead of throwing garbage into the bin, people throw it near the road.

The garbage is moved only once a week, making things worse for the people who have to bear with the foul smell.

The problem is so acute that many feel it could lead to health problems like asthma, if not tackled in time.

Repeated complaints to the university authorities have proved futile. “They simply shift the responsibility to the contractor,” alleged a resident.

Mahender Singh, a local resident said, “The foul smell has made our lives miserable.”

“People continue to throw garbage here in spite of objections raised by the residents of this block. In fact, they start quarrelling with us if we try to stop them,” said Rajmal.

Ishwar Singh, the contractor, said, “There should be a garbage bin which has not been arranged by the university authorities,” he said. 



Architect shares views on modern capital cities
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 15
Eminent architect and author Surinder Bagha gave a presentation at Indo-Global College of Architecture, Abhipur, on “Contemporary Capitals of the World”.

Bagha presented an overview of the philosophy and concept of planning and architectural design and concepts of the capital cities of Brazilia, Canberra, Dhaka, Islamabad, Chandigarh, Bhubneshwar and Gandhinagar.

Large number of students and staff including education college principal Dr Sarita Saini and head, training and placement Col R.S. Khera attended the interesting question-answer session with Bagha, who shared his in-depth studies of these modern capital cities of the world.

Bagha is an alumnus of Chandigarh College of Architecture and has co-authored three books on architecture. College principal S.S. Sekhon welcomed Bagha. 



World Press Day
Media’s role under scrutiny
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 15
Challenges before media in present times formed the focus of a seminar organised to mark the World Press Day by the Zila Patrakar Parishad where people from all walks of life presented their expectations of journalists.

Additional PSCM and director, public relations, Haryana, K.K. Khandelwal said the media should not rest on laurels of “exposing” a few cases when a lot still remains undone.

Maintaining that journalists began writing against a corrupt government only after the damage done became irreparable, he said journalists must strive to adopt a pro-active role and nip the evil in the bud.

“Our freedom struggle was all about non-violence and journalists are the epitome of non-violence with the pen as their weapon. In present times, there is need to make the press council and working journalists Act more effective, while ensuring that truth is not suppressed at any level. The tendency among journalists to guard against petty personal losses is a dangerous trend that needs to be checked,” he stated.

SP Sandeep Khirwar said it was a day for introspection as also a day for giving a thought to the course journalism was taking in the present setup.

“The sting operations for publicity recently exposed the problem where the journalist, instead of reporting news, tries to generate the same. This is an unhealthy trend and reporting should essentially be confined to reporting facts after adequate research. We are still way behind the kind of journalism practiced abroad while we are quick to adopt reality shows. We should abstain from adopting the worst from the West,” he stated.

Holding that readers and writers were both in constant search of “spicy news”, deputy commissioner Rajinder Kataria said journalists must strive to maintain a balance in reporting and indulge in constructive criticism to bring about improvement in the system.

Chief guest DGP (prisons) Dr John V. George said mediapersons should debate on whether the integrity and professionalism that existed 30 years back still existed today or there had been a decline in the standard.

“They must ask themselves if meager salaries by way of contracts in the name of competition were good for the system. Lots of young people are getting attracted to journalism without realising that it is more of hardwork and less of glamour,” he emphasised.

Amar Ujala editor Uday Kumar Sinha also spoke on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the Patrakar Ekta Parishad, Pinjore, also organised a meeting to observe the National Press Day at Rathpur colony, Pinjore. The meeting was chaired by parishad president.



HUDA to handle streetlighting
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 15
Streetlighting and its maintenance on all main roads will now go back from the municipal council to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), while the latter has been asked to give a facelift to marketplace and hand over the charge to the council.

The decision was taken at a review meeting of HUDA officials, MC staff and district administration, chaired by deputy chief minister Chander Mohan.

Expressing displeasure over the delay in laying PVC pipelines worth Rs 85 lakh in Sector 15 to address the water problem in the area, Mohan said the matter should be taken up on priority.

He asked HUDA officials to install flood lights in the Town Park on the lines of the Chandigarh Golf Course to ensure the park was well-lighted even at night.

He also asked them to construct shelters at select places in the park for the convenience of visitors.

He asked officials to explore additional road links between Panchkula and Chandigarh, beautification of entrance road of Panchkula from Chandigarh near the housing board chowk, installation of traffic lights at intersection of Sectors 7, 8, 17 and 18, construction of additional road for Sector-24-25 from new Ghaggar bridge.

He asked officials to prepare a proposal for drawing drinking water from Kajauli waterworks for meeting with future need of the township, utilisation of multi-purpose booths (PUS) built in various markets, proposal to introduce city bus service in Panchkula, immediate shifting of dumping ground from Sector 23 among others.



CTU drivers skipping routes: Commuters
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Commuters are irked over the irresponsible behaviour of CTU employees. During peak hours, some reckless drivers and conductors skip several routes, inconveniencing commuters. Missing routes also leads to overloading of buses.

A Sector 47-C resident, Urmil Gupta, who takes a bus to reach her office in Sector 26, said, “Because of irregular bus service, I always reach my office late. Commuters using 5A or 5C buses have been facing problems as drivers often skip routes. Besides, they also do not adhere to the timings put up at bus stops.”

Arun Kumar, a student of the UIT department of Panjab University, complained, “After missing one route, the next bus comes overloaded, resulting in a lot of inconvenience to passengers waiting at the bus stops. I often miss my lectures for no fault of mine.”

Demanding an increase in the frequency of buses during peak hours, Anju Gupta said the authorities should check employees who do not do their duty sincerely.

A senior CTU official said they would look into the matter and if anyone was found guilty, action would be taken. 



Anganwadi workers seek better deal
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Anganwadi workers and helpers from across Punjab staged a mass rally in front of the office of director, Social Security, Women and Child Development, Punjab, in Sector 34, here today demanding agreed hike in remuneration.

The anganwadi workers and helpers began assembling in Sector 34 in large numbers in the morning and the day-long rally ended only when Chaudhary Swarna Ram, social welfare minister, Punjab, arrived there and assured the protesters that their demands would be given a “sympathetic consideration” in the Cabinet meeting. He also added that discussions were under progress regarding their demands. Meanwhile, representatives of the disgruntled anganwadi workers and helpers handed over a memorandum to the minister.

Worried over the strength of the protesters, the local police remained on its toes throughout the day. With the protesters threatening to come on the roads in case the minister failed to take the memorandum from them, the police officials were at their wit’s end. The cops, however, heaved a sigh of relief when the minister finally agreed to some to the rally.

Demanding immediate agreed increase of Rs 1,000 for workers and Rs 500 for helpers, the representatives insisted on grant of Class III and IV grade to workers and helpers, respectively. Besides, the implementation of pension benefits and provident fund scheme they were also demanding withdrawal of anganwadi centres from social advisory board and child welfare council.

Earlier during the rally, Neelma Maitra, president and Hem Lata, general-secretary of the All-India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers criticised the central and the state governments for ignoring the genuine demands of the anganwadi workers and helpers, who play a major role in forming the future of India by educating small children. She demanded that that the workers and helpers should be regularised.

Highlighting the plight of anganwadi workers and their exploitation due to the government’s policies, Usha Rani, state president of Anganwadi Mulazam Union, Punjab, stated that the anganwadi workers were getting wages lesser than unskilled worker. An anganwadi worker gets Rs 1,400 a month while a helper gets Rs 700 per month, which is far less than minimum wages, set by the government for labourers.

She further rued that from time to time the state government made the anganwadi workers carry out surveys, for which they were rarely paid the requ site allowances. There are 30,000 anganwadi workers in the state, but the successive governments use them as a vote bank by making false promises.

Among others, Raghu Nath Singh, state general-secretary and Vijay Mishra, the state president of CITU, Punjab, also addressed the gathering.



Clarification ICICI Bank not fined
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
In the news item published on November 14, 2007, on page 3 of the Chandigarh Tribune under the headline “Financiers, ICICI bank fined for deficient services”, it was inadvertently mentioned that ICICI Bank was fined.

The consumer forum had directed the Northern Financial Services to pay a compensation of Rs 65,000 for deficiency in services.

The error is regretted.



Naya Gaon resident found dead
Tribune News Service

UgrasenChandigarh, November 15
A 60-year-old resident of Adarsh Nagar, Naya Gaon, was found dead here this evening. The victim, Ugrasen, was brought on a cart to his house by some persons. He was rushed to the hospital where he was declared brought dead.

According to the police, only his grandson was in the house at the time. He informed his mother who then called her husband Sharvan.

Sharvan works in a shop in Colony No. 5 and told the police that his father had allegedly been murdered by the persons who left him home. He said his father had gone to Janta Colony in the afternoon and was expected home by evening.

The police has identified the accused as Moni, Chetan, Sunny, Deepak and Raja, all residents of Janta Colony. Moni, a waiter at Chandigarh Club, has been arrested.

Police sources said the cause of death could be ascertained only after a postmortem, but it seemed like the accused had tried to rob him and in the ensuing fight, the old man sustained injuries and died.



Amendment to Bylaws
Ignoring violations will be tough for UT panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Ignoring non-compoundable violations, especially in SCOs of Sector 17-E, would be a tough task for a committee of UT officials which has been constituted to look into need-based amendments to bylaws.

A visit to Sector 17-E revealed that the facade of showrooms had undergone a change, disturbing the uniformity of the front elevation. Occupants of some SCOs had gone in for major changes inside the building without getting any approval.

A shopkeeper had broken the parapet on the first floor to facilitate changes in the façade of the building.

The committee comprising the chief engineer, chief architect, estate officer, chief fire officer, senior town planner, senior architect, architect and SDO (building) would also make suggestions regarding the provision for services like generator, transformer, water tank, lift machine room and solar panel atop buildings.

The committee has to submit its recommendations within a month.

An official spokesman of the administration said due to a change in the lifestyle of the public, the basic needs had also changed during the past several years.

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal and the Traders Promotion Council, Sector 17, has made several representations for making amendments to the bylaws with regard to provisions for various services.

The non-compliance of the architecture control sheet attracts provisions of the Punjab Capital (Development and Regulations) Buildings Rules, 1952. “The changes are in violation of the rules and notices have been sent to violators at different stages of hearing,” an official said.

Also, a large number of properties have been under litigation for many years. Taking advantage of the prolonged litigation, shopkeepers undertook changes by manipulating the bylaws. The shopkeepers had rented out the properties at higher rates.



Conference on training for the disabled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
A two-day national conference on rehabilitation, education and vocational and technical training for the disabled commenced at the NITTTR here today.

Around 70 persons, including the faculty of the NITTTRs in Bhopal and Chennai, principal and project champions of project polytechnics, researchers from universities and colleges and heads of NGOs are participating in the conference.

Anuradha Mohit, director, National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Dehradun, inaugurated the conference and stressed on the importance of early identification and rehabilitation of the disabled. 
Dr S.C. Laroiya, director, NITTTR, Chandigarh, spoke about the importance of education and training of the disabled. He highlighted the role of the NITTTRs in the operation of the centrally-sponsored project in 50 polytechnics in the country.

Dr K.S.V.K. Subba Rao, director of JIPMER, Puducherry, inaugurated the exhibition of assistive devices and products manufactured by differently-abled persons. He delivered the keynote address on the management of disability. 
Dr J.S. Saini, conference co-coordinator, presented a status report on the centrally-sponsored project. Technical sessions on the education and training of the disabled, human resource development for the disability sector today.



Install ATM at Sampark Centres

It is very good that the UT administration has opened nine Sampark Centres in the city.

This has proved very beneficial for the Chandigarh residents, especially the senior citizens.

One can deposit electricity, water and telephone bills at any of these centres. There is also a provision for payment of bills through cheques but it would be better if the government makes arrangements for an ATM each at every Sampark Centre. It will be so much more convenient for the people to deposit their bills without bothering about writing cheques.

G.K. Chopra, Chandigarh

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Two PU guards arrested for stealing forms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15
Three persons, including two private security guards of Panjab University, were today arrested for allegedly stealing 50 admission forms of University Business School (UBS). The price of each form is Rs 1,000, the police said.

According to the police, the university authorities had held an internal inquiry after 50 admission forms of UBS went missing on October 30 and 31.

The authorities noted down the serial numbers of the forms and decided to wait for the applicants to submit those. When the forms were submitted, officials asked the applicants from where had they bought the forms. The applicants identified the accused as Yadwinder Singh and Jang Singh, both private security guards and residents of Dhanas, and Balbir Singh of Sector 25. Balbir Singh is a student of BA-1.

The accused told the police that they had sold 13 forms and the rest were recovered from their possession. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.



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