C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Nine school students injured in accident
Bus hits bystander, killing him on spot
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 10
One person was killed and at least 16 injured, nine of them school students, when a school bus was involved in an accident with a Punjab Roadways bus on the Sohana- Landran road this morning.

The school bus going to drop students at Mata Sahib Kaur Public School in Sawara village took a sharp turn at the village link road. A trailing PRTC bus hit the school bus at the rear-end before banging against a tree. The bus spun owing to the impact, crushing a bystander to death and injuring most students inside the bus. Five teachers were also hurt. The roadways driver sustained grave injuries.

The victim was identified as Iqbal Singh, a resident of Landran. He worked as a carpenter at Aroma Hotel in Chandigarh.

The injured were rushed to Sri Harkrishan Charitable Eye Hospital at Sohana. Class IV students Amanjot Singh, Aman Mohan Singh, Rajwant Kaur and Jasjit Singh are in serious condition. A teacher, Rinku Bagga, is also said to be critical.

The roadways passengers on their way to Rajpura had a miraculous escape.

Iqbal was standing on the roadside next to a shop. The school bus hit Iqbal, who died on the spot. The bus also demolished a wall of the shop.

Terrified, shrieking children inside the bus were pacified by teachers, who stopped passing vehicles to take them to hospital. School bus driver Guljeet Singh ran away. He has been booked by the Kharar police under Sections 279, 337 and 304 A of the IPC.

According to the police, residents of Landran and members of the school management broke into a brawl at the accident site. “ The Landran residents blamed the bus driver for Iqbal Singh’s death while members of the management were more concerned about students,” said a police officer on duty.

The school management has announced that it would pay for the treatment of injured children and staff members.



Tipper hits St Kabir bus; eight hurt
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 10
Eight students of St Kabir School were injured, one of them seriously, when a tipper hit their school bus here today.

The injured were identified as Aryan , Naman , Ushika, Megha, Shrey, Raashi, Aishwarya and Hitesh, residents of Sector 21, Imtiaz Khan (driver) and Yakub (conductor).

The injured were rushed to Alchemist Hospital and the General Hospital in Sector 6. The doctors at Alchemist said Megha would require surgery as pieces of glass had pierced her face.

Driver Imtiaz Khan said the tipper coming from Panchkula hit the bus at the national highway while entering Sector 21. There were nine children in the bus at the time of the accident.

The driver of the tipper fled, abandoning the vehicle.

“We left school at 2.15. The truck hit our bus at 3pm when a majority of students had already got down,” said a visibly shaken Raashi. A case has been registered.



Now on, no less Green 
Projects told to grow trees
Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
In a departure from the practice of “overlooking” norms for development, the Chandigarh administration has decided to go tough while granting permission for felling trees to make way for development projects.

The message is clear. Any agency undertaking development projects, be it a government agency or a private builder, will be asked to adhere to guidelines to save trees.A number of full-grown trees coming in the way of important projects like Prideasia were at the risk of being axed. It is, however, not clear whether or not the orders apply to felling of trees in the Industrial Area for widening roads under the conversion policy.

The value of a single tree in terms of its impact on ecology is accessed at Rs 2 lakh per year.

Sources said the fresh initiative to save the maximum of trees had been taken at the level of the adviser, Pradip Mehra, who recently inspected sites where permission to axe trees had been given. The applicants have been asked to explore the possibility of planting trees in lieu of felled trees. In case of Parsavnath housing project, where 400 trees were to be cut , the developer has been asked to submit a plantation programme.



Rebuked by mother, boy kills himself
Poor grades drive girl to suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Three cases of suicide were reported in the city here today.

The first incident came to light at 7.20 am when a constable on beat duty noticed a body floating at the Sukhna. He called for help and the body was fished out. The deceased was identified as 18-year-old Mamta Rani of Bank Colony, Mani Majra. She police found a suicide note in her bag mentioning that she was unable to do well in studies and she did not want her parents’ money wasted on her education. She sought her sister’s forgiveness in the note, said a police officer.

Mamta was taking coaching from a computer centre being run at Ravidas Bhawan in Sector 20. She had reportedly gone missing from her residence last evening and her parents had lodged a ‘missing person’ complaint. The father of the is a peon with PUNSUP Sector 34.

At around 9 am at the PWD store in Sector 43, an employee found 22-year-old Raj Kumar’s body hanging from the ceiling. Raj Kumar, a labourer with the PWD, was unmarried and was suffering from an illness.

In the third incident, 17-year-old Aditya Kaushal’s body was found hanging in a store at the top floor of his Sector 46 residence this afternoon.

The victim’s mother, Neelam Kaushal, said she had given tuition fee to Aditya, which he had squandered. On being rebuked for the same, he took the extreme step of ending his life. Aditya was a Class XII student in a private school. His father works in Dubai.

The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code into these incidents. 



At last, bin-free
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
A garbage disposal project initiated in 2004 by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will be implemented in July this year. The project costing Rs 9 crore, will be the first of its kind in the country.

To do away with the unpalatable dustbin sites, a novel concept of garbage bin-free scheme was introduced in 2004. All garbage containers are to be removed and ‘sehaj safai kendras’ set up. Garbage will be collected for onward transmission to a dumping ground. As many as 30 kendras in Sectors 4, 9, 11, 17, 18, 21, 22, 28 and 29 have already been set up.

The garbage from the kendras will be treated in a seven-acre plot.



Dynamos look to heaven
Akash Ghai

Chandigarh, January 10
After a splendid performance on turf, the Chandigarh Dynamos today sought the blessings of the Almighty to achieve victory.

Besides a regular workout and training schedule, skipper Rajpal Singh, drag-flick expert Sandeep Singh, custodian Baljit Singh and forward Inderjit Chadha paid obeisance at temples, ‘gurdwaras’ and ‘dargahs’ for tomorrow’s crucial final tie against Bangalore Hi-Fliers at the Sector 42 hockey stadium here today.

“I have faith in God.Today I visited Mata Mansa Devi Temple and Nau-gazza Peer at Mani Majra. Each time before executing drags during penalty corners, I remember Waheguru,” said Sandeep Singh, who visited the shrines with his city-based doctor Jatinder Kumar.

Talking to TNS after offering prayers along with family members at Gurdwara Gursagar Sahib at the Sukhna Lake, skipper Rajpal Singh said: “Whatever I am today is because of the Gurus. Since tomorrow is a special day for the team, I am here to get blessings from Sant Prit Pal Singh. We will leave no stone unturned to bag the trophy”.

In 2006 both teams took on each other in the best of three finals but Bangalore clinched the top honours. — TNS



Another traffic cop hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
In yet another incident, a reckless car driver hit a policeman, carrying him on his bonnet to a distance, when the latter signalled him to haly near Colony No. 5 here this evening.

Head constable Nirmal Singh and constable Parveen Kumar signalled a Tata Indica car (PB-65-C-5071) to stop as its driver was on a mobile phone. The driver hit constable Parveen Kumar who fell on the car bonnet. The driver drove toward Sector 51 carrying the cop on the bonnet.

The vehicle was intercepted after a chase. The traffic police honoured both policemen for bravery with a cash reward of Rs 1000 each.

The police arrested the erring driver, 21-year-old Manpreet Singh of Sector 71, Mohali, for causing injuries and obstructing a public servant from discharging duty.

‘It’s a frame-up’

Manpreet’s family has alleged that the policemen pounced on the lad and hit him on the face. To cover their irresponsible act, a case of attempt to murder was registered against him. The windowpane of the car was smashed by the policemen. President of the All-India Terrorist Front said the matter would be taken up with the SSP.



Many a tumble on sand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
A number of motorists driving on Dakshin Marg had a miraculous escape today when their vehicles banged against each other.

An electricity cable on the central verge dividing Sectors 21 and 34 is being laid by the municipal corporation and the contractor has dumped sand and other construction material on the road.

A number of accidents took place on the stretch even last night.

Motorists complained that the contractor had not put any warning sign regarding the dumped material. “It is an old practice of the engineering department. No warning sign is put up whenever development work is undertaken. The MC should penalise the contractor,” rued Avtar Singh, whose car suffered damages due to heaps of sand lying on the road.



‘Animation is future of film-making’
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
No other form of entertainment offers an arena as wide as animation. With films locales becoming common and monotony creeping into movies and serials, animation is here to stay, believes actor and cast director Paresh Parekh.

In city to conduct a three-day workshop for students of Frameboxx Animation, Paresh says it’s acting that is currently running the roost in animation. “Facial expression of animated character matters the most, body language and emotions follow next. It is basic enhancement of body performances that I am teaching at present,” says Parekh adding that emotions are necessary to infuse life in a visual character.

Having been associated movies like Rang De Basanti and Mangal Pandey, Paresh switched to animation to give a vent to his creativity. A former theatre artiste, Paresh has also acted in serials like Aahat and Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka. He has also done assistant direction.

In addition, Paresh teaches nuances of acting to aspirants through separate assignments. “The actress who played Vidya Sharma in the movie Chak De has been my student,” he boasts.

Thirty-seven-year-old Paresh plans to make an animation movie in the near future. “It’s a misconception that animation movies are for only children, adults have been admiring them more as they are saturated with films today and seeking some change,” he says. “Animated characters will take over as an unavoidable part of film-making in the near future,” avers Paresh.



Fauji Beat
How to rid Army of corruption

If earlier it bacame difficult to appoint an officer to the highest post — Director General of Supplies and Transport — in the Army Service Corps at the Army Headquarters because the officers on the seniority list were involved in corruption, it is now a Maj-General heading the list for the post of Director-General of Ordnance who is allegedly involved in a graft case. It was only a year ago that a Maj-General who was commanding a division, was cashiered and sentenced to three years imprisonment for siphoning off liquor from the CSD canteens to his home-town.

These are only three of the many cases where the senior officers involved in scams are being investigated against or tried. That the lower ranks are mirroring the traits of their leaders is evident from the scams being reported from various stations. The recent case in Jalandhar Cantonment CSD canteen is one of them.

Since deterrent punishment have not been able to check the pace of corruption in the Army, a study group needs to be convened to go thoroughly into the quality and background of the youth that is being selected to become officers in the defence forces. It was not without reason that the British attached great importance to the background of a person at the time of selection.

Welfare schemes

The Adjutant General’s Branch (Ceremonial and Welfare Directorate) at the Army Headquarters manages the central welfare corpuses, which were created from the donations by the corporate houses during the Kargil war.

The funds from these corpuses are utilised for certain welfare schemes to rehabilitate the war widows, disabled soldiers and their dependents.

The soldiers who are disabled in service i.e. amputee/paraplegics/ tetraplegics can be provided financial assistance up to Rs 40,000 for the purchase of auto-scooter, auto-tricycle, wheel chair and modification of car. For the marriage of daughters of war disabled soldiers and widows and for the remarriage of widows, a financial grant up to Rs 20,000 can be provided. Financial assistance up to Rs 25,000 can be provided for self-employment of war widows/boarded out war disabled soldiers for agriculture-based ventures such as dairy development, establishment of tube well and development of land.

Education scholarships’ per annum limits for the wards (with 45 per cent minimum qualifying marks) of the soldiers who die in harness are Rs 4,000 from class I to XII, Rs 10,000 for graduation and Rs 15,000 for post-graduation. For the professional courses, the financial grant of Rs 5,000 is given for books in addition to the tuition fee.

Cassino ceremony

For the first time since 1945, a solemn ceremony to honour the Indian soldiers who fought in Italy in World War II, was held at Cassino a few weeks ago. The ceremony was graced by the Italian deputy minister of defence and the ambassador of India to Italy as well as ambassadors and defence attaches of various other countries. Lieut-Gen I.J. Koshy represented the Indian Army Chief.

As part of the British 8th Army, the 4th, 8th and 10th Indian Divisions fought action at Monte Cassino and in the battles of Sangro River, Liri Valley and Gothic Line, among others. The Indian soldiers were awarded six Victoria Crosses (VCs) and a number of other gallantry awards in the Italian campaign.

Pritam Bhullar



Class IV employees protest privatisation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Members of the Class IV Government Employees Union, Punjab, today organised a rally in front of the office of the director, health services, in Sector 34 here today against the privatisation drive and “anti-employee” policies of the state government.

They were demanding abolition of contract system, filling of vacant posts and full scale for contractual employees.

They said the budget for purchasing uniforms should be sanctioned at the earliest, and “wrong” transfers of the employees should be reverted.

They said the struggle would continue until the government fulfilled their demands. 



Beant Singh memorial project gets moving
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said his government would complete the much-delayed Beant Singh memorial project in Sector 42 here.

It was after one year that a meeting of the governing body of the memorial was held today. The administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), while presiding over the meeting, directed the agencies executing the project to start the research centre within six months and complete other related components of the project, including the park.

The meeting was attended by the Punjab CM, Tej Parkash Singh, former minister and son of Beant Singh, and senior officers of Punjab and the administration. Beant Singh memorial society would run a research centre in a professional manner by creating a body as required. The centre would also have a library.

The Governor asked for the setting up of a core group of officers of Punjab and UT comprising the chief secretary to Punjab, adviser and senior officers of the engineering and architecture departments to periodically monitor the progress of the work.



Health minister visits abandoned child
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 10
Punjab health minister Prof Lakshmi Kanta Chawla yesterday visited the Mohali civil hospital to see the two-day-old abandoned girl child.

Embracing the infant, she said all possible care would be given to the child. Dr Roshan Sunkaria, secretary, health-cum-managing director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, accompanied her.

Dr H.S. Sarang, SMO, and other doctors of the hospital were also present.

The two-day-old girl was found abandoned and was brought to the civil hospital by the sevadaars of Sohana Sahib Gurudwara on the evening of January 7.



Electoral Rolls
Last date for submitting claims extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Haryana State Election Commission has extended the last date for submission of various claims and objections to the revising authority that published draft electoral rolls of municipal council, Panchkula, on December 28, 2007.

The last date by which claims and objections would be disposed would now be January 19. For filing appeals with the deputy commissioner, Panchkula, the last date would be January 24. Similarly, for disposal of appeals by the DC it would be January 29 and the final electoral rolls would be published on February 8.

A spokesman of the state election department said the last date has been extended on request of DC Panchkula. Complaints in this regard were lodged with the DC by political parties, including some local Congress leaders, who alleged that officials involved in the survey had registered thousands of bogus votes under the influence of some political leaders.

However, the spokesman said a number of people had also met the DC requesting for extension of the last date. Some residents were out of station during the last week of the year and hence their names were not included in the draft electoral rolls published on December 28.



Four thermal plants on anvil: Minister
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 10
Many important projects in the state remained neglected with the change of governments. Setting up of an oil refinery in Bathinda was the biggest project of the state initiated by the SAD but remained ignored for five years when the Congress took over in Punjab.This was stated by minister for rural development and panchayats Ranjit Singh Brahmpura at a public function in Sialba village today.

He said after the SAD came to power last year, the work on the oil refinery resumed once again. He said the government was planning to set up four thermal plants in the state to meet power shortage. At present, the power generation capacity of the state was 6,000 mega watts. He said the new thermal plants would be able to generate additional 5,000 mega watts of power.

Brahmpura said the government would ensure to give 100 days’ employment to the unemployed in a year and no discrimination would be done in this regard.

He said when the government acquired land for development projects, it gave market price to farmers apart from 30 per cent additional allowance.

MLA Ujagar Singh Badali said there was a need for 30 bridges in the kandi area of Majri block because of a number of choes in the area. He said the government had given permission for the construction of six bridges and the remaining 24 would be constructed in the coming five years. He further said a committee had been constituted for the development of the kandi area. Three schools located in Tajpur, Morinda and Nada villages had been given Rs 50 lakh each for development.

The minister earlier inaugurated a 113-metre long bridge on Siswan river built at a cost of Rs 225 lakh and another 92-metre long bridge constructed on Budhki river at a cost of Rs 277 lakh.



Roadways not fair to kids

It is surprising that children between 3-9 years are not provided with a seat in the roadways buses though they are charged for half ticket. However, it is not so in trains or flights.

It is unfair on the roadways’ part. So far, neither any NGO nor welfare organisation has ever bothered to file a PIL to fight for the right of kids.

I hope that the authorities concerned would take necessary action to give children their due.

Jaggan Saneja, Chandigarh

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Graft: Two more traffic cops suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
A day after two traffic policemen were suspended for taking bribe, the traffic police today transferred two more policemen for letting go a violator after allegedly taking a bribe.

The traffic police said head constable Nirmal Singh and constable Janak Raj deputed for traffic duty at Piccadilly Chowk stopped the driver of a Tata Safari for not wearing a seat belt.

Someone informed the SSP (traffic), A.S. Ahlawat, that the policemen let the driver go after taking something from him.

Taking serious view of the matter, both policemen were sent to the Police Lines.

The SSP has requested the public to pass such information to him immediately without any apprehension.



House in Sector 38-C burgled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
Thieves decamped with Rs 1.50 lakh and jewellery after breaking into a house in Sector 38-C.

Vijay of Sector 38-C has reported to the police that Rs 1.50 lakh and four tolas of gold were stolen from his house during the intervening night of January 8 and 9.

He told the police that the thieves gained entry by breaking open the locks. A case has been registered in the Sector 39 police station.

Cars stolen

Ashish Mittal of Sector 10, Panchkula, has lodged a complaint with the police that his Maruti car (HR-44-A-0030) was stolen from Sector 9 yesterday.

Inderjit Singh of Sector 24 also reported that his Maruti car (CH-01-W- 7690) was stolen from his house last night.

Two cases of theft have been registered.

Power theft

Parveen Sharma, SDO of the electricity department, has reported that Basanti Devi of Santoshi Mata Mandir, Sector 49-A, was caught stealing electricity last evening.

A case under Sections 135 of the Electricity Act and 379 of the IPC has been registered.


The police arrested Prem Kumar of Sector 56 from Badheri yesterday on the charges of gambling at a public place.

The police recovered Rs 1,250 from him. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered.

Liquor seized

The police arrested Parmod Kumar of Janta Colony, Naya Gaon, this afternoon for carrying country-made liquor. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.



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