C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Confusion reigns in schools
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Confusion reigned city schools here today following the last night order of “closure of schools” announced by the Education Department.

While private schools denied having received any such orders, poor attendance was recorded in classes and harried parents tried to ascertain if schools of their wards were open.

Government schools saw most of the children arrive as usual to attend classes only to be sent back from the gates with the information that the schools were closed.

Primary school students virtually spent the entire school hours out in the cold, waiting for their buses, their elder siblings, who attended classes, and their parents to come back and pick them up.

At private schools, it was chaos all the way with parents uncertain about the announced week-long holiday. Frantic calls to the schools by anxious parents, who read about the holiday for the primary schools and changed timings for the senior classes in newspapers, went unanswered. The winter chill notwithstanding, the parents readied their children and sent them to the schools despite the orders. Some students left the houses even before the newspapers arrived, leading to more confusion for the parents who read the newspaper. The parents followed them right up to the schools to pick up their wards in case the schools decided to grant the holiday. With the examination season in full swing, most parents who did not send their wards to schools in the light of the announcement, had to hurry them to school after getting to know that the school was open and examination on.

D. S. Bedi, principal of Shivalik Public School and the president of the Independent Schools Association, said, “We got to know about it only through the newspapers. But we are complying with the directives from January 31. In case both parents are working, they can send their children to school, as all teachers will be on duty”.

H. S. Mamik of Vivek High School said, “No order has come till today. Only through the media we got to know about the change in timings. So we could not implement the directive today. Had we been informed in advance, we could have done it today. Nevertheless we are following the directions from tomorrow”. Similarly, Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, will be closed from tomorrow.

St Xavier’s School, in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali has also decided to comply with the order from tomorrow.

Why such confusion

Reacting to confusion prevailing at schools today, DPI (S) S.K. Setia said the decision could not have been postponed as the cold was worsening with every passing day.

“The decision was taken in the afternoon after the schools had closed down. So, there was no way to communicate our decision to them and newspapers were the only way to reach out to the people,” he emphasised. The DPI added that schools not complying with the order would be issued a notice in case parents made any complaint to him.

Bhavan Vidyalaya, DAV schools open

The principal of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, said, “We did not receive any order. From tomorrow, we have rescheduled our classes and the primary classes will continue.”

The principal of KBDAV, said timings in her school had been changed. However, the primary classes had not been given a holiday so far and a similar situation prevailed in other DAVs as well.

“We can’t announce holidays on our own will. Any break has to be first approved by our local director, who is not in town. We will speak to him tomorrow ,” she stated.



Eye hospital sealed in Panchkula
‘Fake’ doctor flees
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 30
Close on the heels of the kidney scam at Gurgaon, the Panchkula police, on the complaint of the civil surgeon, Panchkula, sealed an eye hospital after a raid here tonight.

SP Sandip Khirwar said the civil surgeon had lodged a complaint in the Sector-5 police station stating that Dr Sandip Sharma, who was running Shubham Hospital and Diagnostic Centre in three showrooms at Sector 20, refused to present his credentials before the health officials and it was suspected that he was not a qualified ophthalmologist.

The hospital had been sealed and an inquiry had been initiated after a case of cheating and forgery was registered against the accused, said the SP. However, when the police reached the hospital late this evening, the accused had already fled and the hospitals were locked.

“We received a complaint against the accused stating that he was practising as an MS ophthalmologist on the basis of forged documents following which a team of three doctors comprising Dr M.L. Garg, Dr Sarika Malika and Dr V. Kakkar was sent to the hospital to inquire into the matter,” said civil surgeon Kamla Singh.

“The accused, however, refused to present his credentials before the team which visited the clinic last week and said he would present these before the media on January 29,” said the civil surgeon.

“We had to lodge the complaint today when the said doctor failed to present his degree,” she added.

In fact, health officials had already inquired about the accused, informed Dr Singh.

“We found that he claimed to be a graduate from PGIMS, Rohtak, on his website though there was no record about him at PGIMS, Rohtak, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, and Medical Council of Haryana,” she claimed.



Encroachers impede housing projects
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The Administration’s pubic-friendly announcements to provide more houses in the city are getting stuck in official rigmarole.

The issue has been brought to the notice of the UT home secretary Krishna Mohan by the chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) Mohanjit Singh during a review of the development projects related to the board. Work on various projects is being affected, either at the planning stage or at the construction stage.

Legal encumbrances and failure on part of the UT Estate Office to free the allotted land from encroachments has also delayed the progress of the projects. Around 5,000 houses of different categories are to be constructed by the CHB in southern sectors.

The reason of the delays has been seriously viewed and the officials concerned have been asked to act fast.

Sources said the construction of 320 small flats in Mauli Jagran could not be started as jhuggi dwellers have been temporarily settled by the Estate Office there. Similarly, construction of 376 category-II flats in Sector 51 A was pending as there was stay on dispossession of the land.

A major scheme wherein drawings of 4,500 flats of different categories in Sectors 53, 54 and 55 are being finalised, it has been mentioned that the demarcation of boundary adjoining SAS Nagar in Sector 55 had to be done. Action on part of the UT engineering department was pending in this regard.

In another case, transfer of 1.3 acres of forest land to Parsvnath Developer in lieu of land transferred to the Haryana government along the boundary with Panchkula was also pending.



Shooting of Pregnant Woman
Illicit relations behind firing: Cops
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
A day after a pregnant woman was seriously injured following a firing outside her house in Bapu Dham, the police is working on two theories that may have led to the incident - illicit relations of the woman and alleged drug trafficking by her.

Suneeta was shot at following a scuffle with two men outside her house, one of whom fled and the other was then thrashed by the mob and is admitted to hospital.

Either the alleged involvement of the woman in drug trafficking or illicit relations could have led to the murder attempt on her, a senior police official confirmed this to The Tribune.

An injured Suneeta is still critical while her unborn foetus died due to the injury. The police added Section 316 (death due to assault on an unborn) in the case of attempt to murder against the two accused. The police has booked the accused, including Mahinder alias Sethi, under Section 307/34, IPC, and various sections of the Arms Act. The other accused is still absconding.

The accused, who was thrashed by a mob, has a fracture in his arm and injuries on his head and is in a semi-conscious state. His final statements will be recorded once he is fully conscious, which will then reveal a clearer picture of the motive behind the crime.

The way the unborn feotus of the woman was made the target and she was shot in the stomach arise speculation that the accused may have wanted to terminate the unborn, which he did, the police said.

Investigations have also brought to light the names of two other persons, Dayaram and Mohan, who were close acquaintances of Suneeta.

Suneeta supposedly had illicit relations with Mohan, sparking jealousy in Dayaram, who was allegedly present on the scooter, along with Mahinder, during the firing and fled, sources said.

Mahinder, in his statement in the hospital in a semi-conscious state has denied that he fired the shot. The second theory that the police is working on is involvement of Suneeta in drug trafficking. With two cases of smack registered against her in the police station, Sector 39, chances of enmity with her customers on issue of money could not be ruled out, a senior police official said.

The police also said the accused is changing statements frequently and final picture will be revealed once he gained consciousness.



Dy director, adult education, chargesheeted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Rajesh Minhas, deputy director, adult education, Sec 42, here today, chargesheeted by the Administration and three charges had been framed against her.

According to officials, a department enquiry will be conducted into the charges levelled against Minhas under rule 8 of the Punjab Civil Services (Punishment and appeal) Rules.

According to the charge no 1, Minhas, while working as a principal of GSSS-38, West, in 2000 misconducted herself by exceeding her authority in making appointment of Devinder Singh as work experience instructor in the trade of plumbering without following the recruitment rules.

Besides the head of institutions were only delegated powers to make recruitment in the cadre of lecturers, master/mistress and JBT/NTT's and thus the work experience instructors were not covered under the delegation made to them.

When the principal of the school was asked to terminate the services of the instructor, Devinder Singh went to the CAT and got interim stay thus putting the department in an embarrassing position. According to the charge no 2, Minhas, while working as officiating district education officer, Chandigarh, was entrusted with the work of centralised admission for the academic year 2007-08 and for this purpose she hired tents for installation in Govt. Model School, Sec 23, Chandigarh, without inviting quotation from the open market.

When a letter was written to her to explain her position and also hand over the relevant record pertaining to the job of installing of tents, she continued delaying the payment and sent a reply dated November 22, 2007, which was unwarranted. Due to her negligence, the payment to the firm had been delayed and thus caused embarrassment to the department. The mismanagement also was caused due to mishandling of the matter by Minhas. She also did not attend to the job of centralised admissions assigned to her and on being asked about the lapses, she questioned the authorities.

According to the charge no 3, Minhas was given the charge of deputy director, Schools, and allotted various works relating to school administration but she failed to perform any of the duties assigned to her. Not only this she refused to go to attend even trainings.



Hospitals deny admission to patient
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 30
Ex-serviceman Rattan Singh (65), who had suffered severe burn injuries, was refused admission by Silver Oaks and Fortis Hospitals here this evening. The patient, who was in extreme pain, waited for over three hours outside the hospital in biting cold with open wounds before he was finally shifted to Command Hospital at Panchkula.

The relatives of the patient, who is a resident of Ambala Cantonment, claimed that Rattan Singh had been specifically referred to Silver Oaks Hospital from Command Hospital, Ambala, through ECHS, Chandigarh. The relatives tried everything in the book to get their patient admitted but when cajoling and requesting failed, they started yelling and the police was called in.

Both, Silver Oaks and Fortis authorities stated that they did not have burn units and could not admit the patient.

The patient’s son Narayan Singh said his father had burnt himself accidentally two days back and was admitted to Command Hospital, Ambala Cantonment. “Today he was shifted to ECHS, Chandigarh. The main in charge of ECHS spoke to Silver Oaks Hospital if they could admit my father and only when they said yes, we brought him here. The referral slip was torn by the doctors at Silver Oaks and we were rebuked,” said Narayan, adding that the doctor and his wife at Silver Oaks were extremely rude to him.

“We reached Silver Oaks at about 5 pm. We were told that they did not have a spare bed. They told us to go to Fortis Hospital. We left our patient at Silver Oaks and went to Fortis where the authorities refused to admit my father saying that they did not have any treatment for a burns case. We came back to Silver Oaks where we insisted that our patient be admitted. I threatened to commit suicide if they did not admit my father. But the doctor’s wife said I should go ahead and kill myself,” related Narayan.

The police was called in. Phase VIII SHO Deepinder Singh said he did not find any referral slip with the patient’s relatives, adding that the matter was resolved as the patient was shifted to Panchkula.

When contacted, Silver Oaks Hospital authorities said they did not have a burns unit and could not admit the patient who needed to be isolated to avoid infections. They added that the patient did not have a referral slip and moreover, the hospital did not have a bed to spare.

Stating the same thing, Fortis Hospital medical director Ashok Chordiya said they also did not have a burns unit. When reminded that Fortis had admitted various patients who had suffered burn injuries during a major fire that broke out in Ranbaxy factory in Mohali some years back, Dr Chordiya said “That was done only for a large-scale problem.”

A relative of the patient added, “We will take this to a logical conclusion. These hospitals make tall claims but they cannot even admit a patient with burns. We will approach the courts.”



Mohali to get its first golf range
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

The proposed academy in Mohali.
The proposed academy in Mohali.

Mohali, January 30
The stage is set for the Mohali’s first golf range and academy. With a club, the golf range will spread over 14 acres in Phase XI and will be the first facility for budding golf players in the district.

The range would be constructed by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and later would be maintained and run by a committee, whose members would only hold ex-officio positions in the committee.

Learning from the golf range experience at other places where clubhouse memberships were highly coveted, the Mohali range promises to outdo them. The club building would include a swimming pool, spas, gym, billiards room, party hall, a restaurant and bar. The main building would have the administrative offices and video aided classrooms, conference rooms and driving bays. The outdoor facilities would include practise putting and chipping greens and tennis courts.

The authority had finalised a Chandigarh-based consortium to design the golf range. The plans submitted by the consortium had also been approved by the authority, which is soon going to start the construction. The area set aside for the golf range in Mohali had a nallah running across it. It would be treated and turned into a picturesque water body of the range offsetting the greens.

The proposal to have a golf range was mooted two years ago. It was planned that the 14 acres of unutilised land in Phase XI should be given to the Punjab Golf Association, which would run the range and maintain it. However, the plan was changed and it was decided that Mohali would follow the pattern of management being followed at golf ranges and courses in Delhi, Gurgaon and Panchkula where a committee that had members only in their ex-officio capacity held the reins of the range.

Other than senior bureaucrats, who will hold different posts in the committee, which was likely to be headed by the Punjab chief secretary, the committee would also have certain executive members drawn from the golf players.

The GMADA land opposite the Mohali Club in Phase XI had been lying vacant for years now. “The land cannot be used commercially and the township needs breathing space. There is a big demand for a golf course in SAS Nagar since the golf club and golf range in Chandigarh are over flowing. GMADA realises that there is a desperate need in Mohali for social infrastructure,” said GMADA chief administrator Vivek Pratap Singh.



GMADA hikes reserve price of residential plots
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 30
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has increased the reserved price of residential plots in the areas under its jurisdiction.

The rates have been increased from Rs 7,950 per sq yard to Rs 10,000 per sq yard for plots sized 100 sq yards and above. For plots sized less than 100 sq yards, the rates have been increased from Rs 3,150 per sq yard to Rs 5,000 per sq yard. These rates are revised for the allotment of plots through draw of lots.

This was decided during a meeting of officers of the authority and the department of housing and urban development held recently under the chairmanship of the Punjab chief secretary.

Though these rates have been recently revised by GMADA, the authority has no plots to offer. Since GMADA has not been able to acquire any land in the area due to opposition from farmers, residential plots at these rates would remain a distant dream.

It was also pointed out during the meeting that recently GMADA had auctioned some leftover plots available in the developed sectors. The average auction rate went up to Rs 36,000 per sq yard as against the reserve price of Rs 7,950 per sq yard.

It was noted that collector rates were also revised for Mohali in September 2007. The rates for residential properties were increased from Rs 6,000 per sq yard to Rs 10,000 per sq yard and rates for commercial property were increased from Rs 30,000 per sq yard to Rs 50,000 per sq yard. Collector rates for industrial property were increased from Rs 2,500 per sq yard to Rs 5,000 for plots sized below 1,000 sq yards and Rs 2,000 per sq yard to Rs 3,000 for plots sized more than 1,000 sq yards. The market price of these properties is, however, far higher.

Sources added that though GMADA had no plots to offer but these rates had been increased as rates of institutional, commercial and other sites were based upon the reserve price of residential plots. Also, the rates of extension fee for non-construction of plots was calculated on the basis of the reserve price.



MC Meet
Estimates worth Rs 2.5 cr cleared
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 30
Estimates for development works worth about Rs 2.50 crore were cleared at the general body meeting of the municipal council amid allegations of discrimination even as the proposal related to renting out a part of the civic body office building to house the office of District Sainik Welfare Board, Ropar, was rejected here yesterday.

When the proposal related to estimates came up at the meeting, some councillors of the opposition group started pointing out that works of their wards were not included in the agenda. Amrik Singh even raised slogans against council president Rajinder Singh Rana in protest against alleged discrimination. Rana, however, said a junior engineer was sent to the house of Amrik Singh to know about the works of his ward. He said allegations of discrimination were absolutely baseless as works of the entire town were given equal importance.

The house rejected the request of the Ropar District Sainik Welfare Board to take a part of the council building on rent to house its office. It was argued that such a move would only create a rush leading to further problems.

When the proposal related to the purchase of a canter at the cost of Rs 6 lakh came up for discussion, councillors of the opposition group questioned the utility of the vehicle.

Paramjit Singh Kahlon said the council was not carrying out the work of removing encroachments in a serious manner and the number of encroachments was increasing in the town. He said in Phase VII, shopkeepers had not only encroached upon verandas in the markets but even open spaces outside the shops. Kuldeep Kaur Kang said the number of rehris near the Phase IV khokha market was increasing and it became difficult in the evening to cross the area. She alleged that MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu had permitted rehri owners to ply though Sidhu said he was ready to resign if the allegation against him was proved.

Councillors also pointed out that information about death cases was not sent by cremation ground employees to the council office in time which led to a lot of harassment for getting death certificates.

Kuljit Singh Bedi opposed the proposal related to the purchase of furniture by the civic body for the office of the chief engineer-cum-chief vigilance officer at the cost of Rs 1.60 lakh.

Sukhminder Singh Barnala said the council should check sale of bidis and cigarettes outside places of worship in Phase XI.



Snowfall in Solan sends shivers in city
Tribune News Service

Students going to school on a chilly morning in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Students going to school on a chilly morning in Chandigarh on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, January 30
With Solan and Palampur receiving the first snowfall of the season today, severe cold conditions prevailed in the city and adjoining plains. The cold wave showed no signs of relenting with the minimum temperature dropping to a fresh low of 1.4 degree - a whopping 6 degree below normal.

Although the day was sunny and bright, there was breath of ice in the air as has been for the past many days. The maximum temperature also remained below normal at 19.2 degree. The coldest day of the season so far has been January 25 with day temperature at 14.4 degree. The lowest night temperature recorded so far was zero degree on the January 24 night.

It had been falling drastically since January 27 which saw 5 degree. On January 28 , the night temperature was down to 2.4 degree, hitting an exceptionally low point at 1.4 degree today. A slight mist was also witnessed in the morning though the visibility remained normal at 800 m. The cold wave will intensify, says Met, which forecasts a further drop in the minimum temperature tomorrow.

Harsh weather conditions are being attributed to upper air cyclonic circulation lying over Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal which is causing snowfall and continuous decline in the temperatures across the region. Shimla Met has, meanwhile, predicted continuous cold wave conditions over the next 24 hours due to air circulation. Weather conditions in the upper reaches will continue to have a bearing on the plains.



5,000 passports are lost every year
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Applicants applying to the regional passport office for passports are at times left running from pillar to post in search of their passports. Every year around 5,000 passports are reported as lost.

Last year, the passport office received 2.83 lakh applications against which 2.78 lakh passports were issued.

Many passports are lost in transit after they are dispatched to the postal department by the passport office for delivery to the applicants. According to existing procedure, the postal department registers a DDR at the nearest police station, stating that the passports have been lost in transit. A copy of which is forwarded to the passport office on the basis of which a new passport is issued to the applicant.

In the absence of any clear-cut rule, it is the applicant who is left to suffer. According to the rules, the passport office cannot issue a new passport to an applicant until a police report is filed.

Many cases had been reported where the postal department refused to take responsibility of the passport lost. Both departments, in an effort to ensure more transparency and to make the system more effective, are now taking an initiative to file a report for every passport that has been dispatched by the passport office and reported missing by an applicant.



Rodrigues pays tributes to martyrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Tributes were paid to those who had laid down their lives in the line of duty to commemorate Martyrs’ Day today. Wreaths were laid at the Chandigarh War Memorial by Governor of Punjab Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) and the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen Tej Kumar Sapru.

General Rodrigues was accompanied by his wife, Jean Rodrigues. All senior officers of the Western Command, including Chief of Staff, Lieut-Gen A.N. Aul, HQ, Western Command, Air Vice-Marshal M.S. Dhillon and Brig B.S. Gill, besides the widow of Lieut-Col A.S. Sekhon, were present on the occasion. Deputy commissioner of Chandigarh R.K. Rao also laid a wreath at the memorial.

Later in the evening, a candle lighting ceremony was held at the memorial, where families of a large number of officers and jawans lit candles in the memory of their loved ones.

The memorial, which lists the names of the martyrs from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, is perhaps the largest war memorial of the country. As many as 8,459 names of fallen soldiers since 1947 from the three services are inscribed on its edifices.



Appeal against officer for failing to give info
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
A resident of Tarn Taran has filed an appeal against the Chief Engineer-cum-Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Engineering Department, for failing to provide information on the action taken against its officials who were found involved in serious irregularities committed by them in the building branch of the UT estate office.

The applicant, Kuldeep Singh, has filed the appeal with the Finance Secretary-cum-appellant authority.

The case dates back to the late nineties when a probe was ordered to look into serious violations of building bylaws and misrepresentation of facts while issuing occupation certificates by the officials of the estate office. SK Setia, DPI (Schools), submitted the inquiry report last year.

It had been found that the recommendations/decisions of the plan approval committee were ignored while issuing “conditional occupation certificates.” The plot holders were never issued “regular occupation certificates.” The active role of four officials was revealed.

While filing the appeal, the information seeker has pointed out that the Central Public Information Officer, Estate Office, had informed him that barring Ashok Verma, who has been chargesheeted, the other officials, Vipan Gupta, Brij Mohan and Ram Kumar belonged to the cadre strength of the engineering department. The draft charge sheets along with the relevant documents have been sent to the engineering department for necessary action.



BSNL lets down Netizens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Netizens across the tricities were a harried lot with poor service provided by BSNL broadband. Poor connectivity had the users up in arms against the public sector behemoth as they alleged that their complaints were not redressed.

Manmant Sethi, a resident of Mohali, said the problem began around 12 noon and connectivity remained poor till late in the evening. “I could not access my important business mails, which could not be downloaded,” he said. He alleged that though he tried to call up the complaint centre several times, there was no response.

Manvendra Rathee, a lawyer, too, complained of poor connectivity. He said though he was connected after waiting for a long time, none of the big sites could be opened and search engines also could not be accessed.

BSNL authorities, however, denied that there was a problem in connection. Principal general manager, BSNL, Naresh Sharma, said he was not aware of any problem in the broadband connection.



Admn’s website 2nd best in country
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The official website of the Chandigarh administration (www.chandigarh.gov.in) has been awarded the Silver Icon Award for being the second best government website in the country. The website has been designed and developed by the department of information technology and was revamped in 2007.

The award will be conferred at the 11th national conference on e-governance to be held on February 7 and 8 at Panchkula. The site has been aesthetically designed and is easy to navigate. It contains up-to-date information on various aspects of the city. Forms and procedures for obtaining ration cards, birth and death certificates and driver’s licence have been made available on the website. 



Beautification of parks takes ugly turn
Mandeep Puri

Chandigarh, January 30
The land that would have been used for parking or other important purposes is being used for dumping malba. It’s been more than two months since the land opposite the Sector-34 police station is being used for dumping malba by the local authorities.

The municipal corporation is carrying out a beautification drive in parks of Sectors 34, 35 and 36 and the malba collected from these parks is being dumped here.

Looking at this, a number of jhuggis have come up in the area. The jhuggi dwellers have even converted this area into a unit of garbage collection.

MC officials are not only ignoring the problem, but are also escaping from the responsibility saying that the area doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction.

Moreover, the person supervising the area is difficult to locate as the area falls under different departments.

Area councillor Harjinder Kaur said, “I have no knowledge about the area and also about the dumping ground. The authorities concerned should be responsible enough. It is not only doubling efforts, but also wasting time and energy of the corporation.”



Tribune ex-employee dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Nandan Singh Rautella, 72, a former supervisor of The Tribune, passed away here today after a brief illness. He leaves behind his wife, two daughters and a son, Rajinder Rautella, a deputy manager in The Tribune. The deceased retired from The Tribune in 1997 after putting in 38 years of service. The cremation will take place at 12 noon on Thursday at the Sector 25 crematorium.



Rash driving

We see a lot people getting injured and killed everyday because of road accidents. These accidents occur mainly due to negligence of drivers, lenient traffic rules and weird road conditions.

One should follow basic traffic rules. The police should take steps to improve road user behaviour through a balance of education, encouragement and enforcement strategies; and also maintain a high level of expertise in casualty reporting. Police patrolling should be extended, especially in sensitive areas in order to ensure proper checking round the clock.

Drunken driving should be governed by stern laws, which entail not only levying hefty fines or revocation of license, but also prosecution same as criminal offence.

Different sectors should also come forward and join hands in this direction like Government sector, schools, colleges, media and health agencies. Individual road users should attain greater understanding, awareness and practice of safe behaviour.

Dr Shruti Kapoor, Panchkula

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Exam fever is back
Jasleen Kaur/Niti Dhani

Chandigarh, January 30
Examination time is round the corner; let it be boards exam or entrance exams. Coming March, students across the country would be in the grip of exam fever, giving sleepless nights to both students and parents. Worried parents apply for mass leave and put their lives on hold to provide their kids moral support.

Vijayshree, a student of Class X of Shivalik Public School, says, “I am undergoing stress, as the pressure of performance is high on me. To top it, reference books, model test papers and books like pariksha increases my confusion.”

Whereas Satkirat Singh of Class X of St Stephens School, says, “ I wish to score more than 85 per cent in my board exams so that I can easily get admission in the desired stream”.

As exams approach, students get tense, resulting in poor concentration. Too much pressure of performance make them slack off and in no time they develop a phobia for exams. Although, the Central Board Of Secondary Education (CBSE) has tried to reduce stress by increasing examination time by 15 minutes and by introducing practicals of 20 marks, yet the problem remains.

Many educational institutes are taking various measures to deal with this. D.S Bedi, director principal, Shivalik Public School, says, apart from a counsellor in the school, we are holding psychiatric session and recreation classes to ease down the anxiety of students.

Rekha Vohra, a teacher in Guru Nanak Public School, adds that extra classes are being held for weak students. However, stress is not always bad as sometimes it helps to prepare for challenges but in extreme conditions can cause severe health problems.

According to Jayanti, a counsellor of local school says, parents play a very important role during this period. Every child has its potential and parents should understand this and should not put undue pressure.

They should be supportive as now days many cases of children committing suicide and eloping are taking place. In order to overcome anxiety and stress, students should make a proper timetable and follow it.

They should devote specific number of hours to studies daily. The topics should be divided in parts. Regular breaks should be taken in between study hours and students should talk to friends and family about their problem. Proper sleep is must.

During examination, proper planning and time management to avoid such situation is must.



PU Notes
Mahatma Gandhi remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
To pay homage to the father of nation Mahatma Gandhi, the department of Gandhian studies, Panjab University, organised a special lecture by Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, on his martyrdom day at Gandhi Bhawan here on Wednesday.

In her lecture, Bhattal appealed the youth to shun the path of violence and follow the teachings and principles of Mahatma Gandhi. She reminded the audience about the great sacrifices made by the freedom fighters led by Mahatma Gandhi.


Many experts delivered lectures on different environmental issues on the second day of the three-day training programme being organised by the Punjab State Council for Science & Technology, Sector 26.

The event was held at the Golden Jubilee Conference Hall, Panjab University, Chandigarh, under the National Green Corps Programme of the ministry of environment & forests, Government of India, for master trainers.

In the morning session, M.S. Chhibber, IFS, conservator of forests (soils), Punjab, delivered a lecture on “Plantation in Schools and Adjoining Areas”. Dr Adarsh Pal Vig, reader, department of environmental and botanical sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, spoke on “Overview of Municipal Solid Waste and Electronics Waste Management in India” and “Experiences on Composting/ Vermicomposting of Municipal Solid Waste in Punjab”.

Dr Renu Bhardwaj, GNDU, Amritsar, Dr Saroj Arora, reader, department of environmental and botanical sciences, GNDU, Dr Daizy Rani, reader, department of environmental & botanical sciences, Panjab University, also spoke.


The centre for women’s studies and development, Panjab University, Chandigarh, is conducting a UGC sponsored Capacity Building Workshop for Women Managers in Higher Education from February 1 to 6 at ICSSR Complex, Panjab University, Chandigarh.


Government College of Education and Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, Panjab University, organised a panel discussion on “Gandhian Thought and Leprosy and Education” at the Government College of Education, Sector 20, to commemorate the 60th death anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi. As many as 150 students and teachers of the College of Education attended the discussion and paid homage to Mahatama Gandhi.

Dr Harsh Batra, principal of the college, in her inaugural address said Gandhian Philosophy was based on respect, understanding, appreciation and compassion that had relevance at all times.

Dr Sudhir Baweja, reader, department of correspondence studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, spoke on value education in Gandhian perspective.


The sociology department of Panjab University started a series of diamond jubilee celebrations by organising weekly seminars on “My Experiments in Earth and Environment Outreach” by professor A.D. Ahluwalia, in charge, P.U. Environment Outreach, member International Outreach Programme Committee, at PU campus on Wednesday.



From Schools & Colleges
28th convocation at communication college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The 28th convocation of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Dayanand College of Communication and Management was held at the college auditorium here today. Dr S.K. Salwan, vice- chancellor, Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, was the chief guest.

Dr Salwan announced the opening of distance learning centre of PTU at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan from April.

Lecture: Government College of Education organised extension lectures to commemorate the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi here today. Dr Sudhir Baweja, co-ordinator of department of philosophy, Correspondence Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Dr Avnish Jolly, HIV AIDS activist, and Dr Renu Gandhi, reader of department of adult and continuing education, Panjab University, Chandigarh, were the keynote speakers for the lecture.

Quiz contest: The department of history, Government College, Sector-11, organised an inter-college quiz contest today, on the theme ‘The Uprising of 1857’, on the occasion of the 150th celebration of the revolt.

Five teams from different colleges of the city participated in the contest. College principal Dr A.L. Gauba inaugurated the event and welcomed the chief guest Prof Devi Sirohi, department of history, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Results: 1 Gurinder Pal Singh, Gaurav Rana and Akhya Vishnoi, DAV-10, 2 Ikshika Sankhya, Charanjit Kaur and Anu Jain, GCG-11, 3 Jatinder Pal Singh, Kulwinder Singh and Rakesh, GC-11.

Presentation: The department of fine arts , Government College, Sector-46 , Chandigarh, conducted a seminar for students in collaboration with Arena Multimedia on “Career opportunities in the field of Animation”.

The power-point presentation by the experts from Arena Multimedia made students attune to the new avenues in animation, its future prospects in the field of art, entertainment and education. Dr K.S. Saluja, principal GC-46, presided over as the chief guest.

Seminar: The department of food science of MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, Chandigarh, organised a national seminar on food biotechnology here today.

The seminar was sponsored by the the department of science and technology, Chandigarh Administration, and Haryana State Council for Science and Technology. Tikshan Sood, minister of parliamentary affairs, medical education and research, forest and wild life and labour, inaugurated the seminar and extended congratulations to the college for its efforts in the area of food science.

Martyrdom day: Staff and students of Government College, Sector-46 , Chandigarh, observed the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi by observing 2 minutes silence . Addressing the gathering of as many as 200 NSS volunteers, principal Dr K.S. Saluja appealed them to follow the path of non-violence and contribute positively in national building process and Gram Swaraj Movement Programme.

NNS camp: A ten-day SS camp at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47,Chandigarh,got concluded here today. Saroj Mittal, assistant director, vocational, Chandigarh Administration, was the chief guest.

A cultural programme was presented by NSS volunteers.

Exam conducted: State Institute of Education, Sector-32, Chandigarh, conducted a State Talent Search Examination for identifying ten students from Class X and ten students from Class VIII from UT Chandigarh for taking up National Talent Search Examination conducted by NCERT New Delhi in May.



From Schools & Colleges
Jindal Award for P’kula teacher
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 30
Shashi Banerji, principal of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Panchkula, has been chosen for the prestigious ‘Jindal Award For Best Teacher’ in the secondary and senior secondary category from the Bhavan head office. The award carries a citation, a shawl, a sreephal, a gold-plated silver medal and a cash award of Rs 12,251. The winner is chosen from amongst 380 institutions of the Bhavan schools all over India, US, UK, S. Africa, Australia, Portugal and Mexico. Banerji has been a recipient of Vijayshree Award, Best Citizen Award, CBSE Best Teacher Award - 2004.

Fatehgarh Sahib

VISIT: A delegation of eminent educationists from China today visited the Canadian Institute for International Studies (CIIS) campus to assess and explore the possibilities of a potential tie-up for students’ exchange programme. The six-member delegation was headed by Long Deyi from Tianjin, who was accompanied by Wang Naiyan and Li Fusen, president and vice-president, respectively, of Tianjin Institute of Foreign Relations and Trade Institute, China.


ORIENTATION: An orientation programme was organised for the 5th batch of BTech students in the field of industrial engineering and management at PTU’s Gian Jyoti School of TQM and Entrepreneurship at Mohali. As many as 120 working diploma holders from 56 organisations in the north-west region, with experience ranging from two to 25 years, have enrolled in the 5th batch of this distance learning programme.

RECRUITMENT DRIVE: As many as 586 BTech students from various engineering and IT institutions appeared for interviews at the joint campus placement drive by Saber Corporation and Aimil Ltd organised at Rayat and Bahra Group of Institutes, Sahauran campus, near here yesterday. Students from CSE, IT and ECE streams with a minimum aggregate of 60 per cent. BTech students of 2008 batch were considered for the interviews.

PLACEMENT: Computer services will hold a joint placement drive for MCA and BTech students of 2009 batch of all disciplines in Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran, tomorrow. The students with at least 60 per cent marks in classes X, XII and other university exams are eligible to appear. As many as 2,500 students from various colleges of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh are registered for the drive.

BABY SHOW: Anees School, Sector 69, here organised a health baby show and contest in the school yesterday. The contest included a fancy dress competition for children between 2-7 years and a quiz contest for senior students. A salad making competition was also held for the mothers of the students. A team of doctors gave tips on healthy food habits and hygiene.


DISCUSSION: MBA students of Aryans Business School (ABS) discussed latest national credit policy introduced by the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) yesterday. The students saw a live discussion of credit policy and reviewed the policy. 



Asstt prof honoured
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 30
The Indian Society for Technical Education has conferred the Maharashtra State National Award on Dr Harpreet Singh, assistant professor at Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, in recognition of the outstanding research work carried out by him in the area of surface engineering for corrosion protection.

Former Justice of Supreme Court N. Santosh Hegde presented the award to him during the 37th ISTE Annual Convention held at Manipal Institute of Technology.

Dr Singh has been active in this field for the past six years and has contributed more than 40 research papers in various international and national journals. He also participated in a number of international and national conferences. He has been teaching the undergraduates and postgraduate engineering students for the past 13 years in the discipline of mechanical engineering.

He was awarded the young scientist award for 2006 by Punjab Academy of Sciences.



Lawyer in dock for filing ‘frivolous complaint’
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Taking serious note of a frivolous complaint filed by a Bathinda-based advocate against district and sessions judge K.K. Garg, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has filed a complaint against him.

The registrar had filed the criminal complaint against advocate N.K. Garg seeking to prosecute him under Sections 181 and 182 of the IPC.

The court observed: “The accused has levelled false allegations against K.K. Garg, the then district and sessions judge, Sangrur, knowingly, that the said allegations are false knowingly, and that it would like to initiate disciplinary action against K.K. Garg. The complaint might have even led to his dismissal from the service and this would cause injury and annoyance to him.”

A practising advocate, N.K. Garg, addressed a complaint to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court against K.K. Garg, the then district and sessions judge, Sangrur, on February 26, 2007. In the complaint, he contended that K.K. Garg’s relative Devi Chand had encroached upon the land of the municipal corporation, Bathinda, with his assistance. He alleged that K.K. Garg was a corrupt judge and was a drunkard. Thereafter, an inquiry was conducted by the district and sessions judge-cum-registrar (vigilance), Haryana, and a report was submitted on July 20, 2007. In the report, the contentions of the advocate were found to be false and frivolous.

The court stated, “The said allegations were found to be not only false but also baseless and motivated by the district judge-cum-registrar (vigilance) in his report. This is sufficient ground to proceed against the accused, of having prima facie committed an offence under Section 181 and 182 of the IPC.”

The case is pending in the court of judicial magistrate first class A. S. Shergill.



Swaraj Mazda to pay Rs 1 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I today directed Swaraj Mazda in Sector 34 to pay compensation of Rs 1 lakh for delay in supplying bus under “Own Your Vehicle Scheme” to Rajesh Sharma from Solan in Himachal Pradesh.

The forum also asked the company to refund Rs 10,000 which has been forfeited by the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) as security along with Rs 5,000 as cost of litigation.

According to the scheme those interested had to provide vehicle along with a driver. While the HRTC was to engage a conductor and had to pay the owner Rs 9.50 per kilometre ignoring the number of passenger in the vehicle.

Sharma pointed out that he had alerted Swaraj Mazda that he had to provide the bus to the HRTC within two months failing which the agreement would stand cancelled. Furthermore, the security deposit of Rs 10,000 would be forfeited.

However, Swaraj Mazda was not able to provide the vehicle on time and showed its inability to supply it.



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