C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Jagriti Yatra
Mohali to come to standstill
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

The YPS chowk in Phase VIII, SAS Nagar, that has been decked up for the forthcoming Gurumanyo Granth Jagriti Yatra.
The YPS chowk in Phase VIII, SAS Nagar, that has been decked up for the forthcoming Gurumanyo Granth Jagriti Yatra. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, March 1
It is two days of virtual shut down time for Mohali beginning Monday morning. The “historical” Guru Manyo Granth Jagriti Yatra enters the township on March 3 and will be received by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

While thousands are preparing to join the yatra as it moves through the township, city residents who intend to carry on with their routine during the two days are likely to face a host of traffic hurdles. The road from the Amb Sahib light point towards the YPS roundabout will be shut down for all traffic on March 3 from 10.30 am onwards. The traffic would be diverted from the Amb Sahib light point. The road will be made functional only after the yatra moves from the YPS roundabout towards Madanpur roundabout.

“The yatra will go on from the Madanpur roundabout to the Phase IV dividing road to Phase 1, 2 and 4 roundabouts and reach Gurudwara Singh Sabha Phase I. From here it will go on to the Phase 1 barrier, phase VI motor market, truck union, industrial area, Phase V market, Phase 3B2, Phase 7 and reach the Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Phase VIII in the evening,” said Hardeep, SGPC member, Mohali, and convener of the Shatabdi Purab Committee.

“Residents held up due to the movement of the yatra are advised to take an alternative routes as the movement of the yatra is slow and the halt for someone waiting to cross over could be half to one hour,” said inspector Harvir Singh the traffic in charge of the yatra.

The inspector said on March 3, residents of Phases 8, 9,10, 11 and Sectors 68 and 69 are advised to proceed to Chandigarh via the PCA lights. Residents of Phase 1 to VII and Sector 70 and 71 are advised to proceed to Chandigarh via the 3/5 signal lights to Madanpur roundabout to the Furniture market.

Meanwhile, the city administration is working overtime to assist the organisers in the preparations for the grand event. A flag march, including the organisers and the municipal councillors, was carried out in the evening. The entire route of the yatra is being decorated. “The yatra will be led by police cavalry, camels and elephants. The weapons of Guru Gobind Singh from Takhtshri Hazur Sahib and a hand-written bir of Guru Granth Sahib and weapons in the Lakhnour Gurdwara would be showcased during the yatra,” said Hardeep Singh.



Yatra enters city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Jagriti Yatra, a journey of faith of Guru Granth Sahib from Sachkhand, Hazur Sahib, today arrived in the city, along with hundreds of followers. The yatra was started on November 15, 2007, and has covered more than 100 cities and number of states.

The yatra has reached the city this evening and moved through the Transport Chowk, covering other sectors, including Sector 27 and Sector 28, and reached the gurdwara of Sector 19, where yatra will stay for a night.

On March 2, the nagar kirtan will start from Sector 8 gurdwara at 7 am and will pass through Sectors 7,19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 15, 38, 40, 37, 36, 35 and conclude at the Sector 34 gurdwara followed by a kirtan darbar from 7 pm at the ground opposite the gurdwara.

A laser show, gatka competitions and atishbazi will be held on March 2 evening. On March 3, the Nagar Kirtan will start from gurdwara Sector 34 and pass through Sector 33-46-45 and will then enter SAS Nagar at YPS Chowk at 11 am.

Meanwhile, joining the Sikh Sangat in welcoming the yatra, the Punjab Governor, Chandigarh, Gen. S.F. Rodrigues (retd.), today called upon the people to follow the doctrine and tenets of humanism, secularism and oneness of God, preserve in Guru Granth Sahib.



Students in for tough time
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 1
The historical yatra that is passing through a hundred cities across India to mark the 300th year of Guruta Gaddi Diwas has been attracting thousands of devotees but for students taking their board exam.

Since the reception of the yatra from Chandigarh to Mohali is to take place at the YPS roundabout on March 3, Yadvindra Public School and Lawrence Public School have shut the school on Monday. No classes will be held. Lawrence Public School is not a centre for examination but the YPS students taking the board examination have been asked to walk down to the school from a different route.

Reaching the examination hall on time will be a challenge for the students and their parents. How these students are expected to concentrate on the exams with blaring loudspeakers barely hundred feet away would be another test. YPS principal Harish Dhillon through a press note said that the school had to declare a holiday. He added that the students should walk from the Amb Sahib Gurdwara road that opened near the YPS.

The city police, however, is insisting that there is no need to close down the school. “While the road leading to the YPS roundabout will be closed for any traffic movement from 10.30 am onwards, one part of the entry route to the YPS and LPS would remain open before 10.30. The school starts at 9 am and all buses and students are in by then,” said inspector Harvir Singh in charge of the traffic arrangements for these two days.

The wisdom of the organisers in having chosen a roundabout that leads to two prominent schools in Mohali for the main function is also being questioned. “We had no other option. The yatra comes from Chandigarh from the Sector 44-43 roundabout. It is at the YPS roundabout that it sets foot into Mohali,” said Hardeep Singh, convener of the Shatabdi Purab Committee.

He added that he was surprised that a decision to close the two schools had been taken. “Our organisers had a meeting with the two principals and they assured us that it would not be a problem for them to organise the reception ceremony here,” said Hardeep Singh.

Students of other schools in the town could have a harrowing time once the schools close for the day. Buses carrying the students back have been advised not to take the roads from which the yatra would be moving through the township. But there could still be delays and students in Mohali schools could reach late by at least an hour.



CBSE Exams
Happy beginning for students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Anxiety was writ large on the faces of parents as their children appeared in the first paper of Class XII and X examinations of the CBSE, which began today.

Class XII students appeared in chemistry paper while Class X students appeared for introductory computer examination and typing in Hindi and English. The examination was conducted at 36 centres in the city smoothly with no case of copying being reported at the Regional Office of the CBSE here.

This year, the CBSE has changed the pattern of the question paper and 20 per cent of the questions were based on the Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS).

Also, the board’s decision to give 15 minutes extra to read the question papers was welcomed by the students.

Priya, a Class XII student from Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22, said the paper was quite easy and extra time to read the question paper was an added advantage.

This year about 5,500 students are appearing in Class XII examinations while 10,000 in Class X examinations from the city.

Meanwhile, regional officer of the CBSE D R Yadav said the examinations at all centres were conducted smoothly. No complaint of copying was received as the board had deputed independent observers at the centres, especially at the centres in rural areas.

Varun, a student of class XII from GMSSS-35 said, “The question paper was easy but some questions of five marks were tricky. Nevertheless, all questions were from the syllabus”.

Now, Class X students will appear for social sciences examination on March 3 and Class XII students appear for fashion studies examination on the same day.



Regularisation of GPA
Hefty transfer fee irks Housefed
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Though issued with good intentions, the notification of the administration regarding the regularisation of the general power of attorney (GPA) for transfer of group housing society flats has failed to catch the fancy of the Chandigarh Housefed, an apex body of over 100 cooperative group housing societies.

In fact, the imposition of "hefty" transfer fee has earned the ire of the Housefed which has termed it as violative of bylaws governing the Chandigarh Allotment of Land to Coop House Building Societies Scheme 1991.

"There is no provision in the bylaws to charge any transfer fee and the decision defies any logic and was anti-people," claimed Jai Dev Sharma, Housefed chairman, here today.

Sharma claimed that the decision was "unrealistic" as very few buyers would come forward to regularise their GPAs in the wake of the hefty transfer charges.The buyers would continue to enjoy the benefits of owning the house while remaining unconcerned about the obligations towards society defeating the very purpose of the notification, Sharma added.

Recently, the administration came out with the transfer policy for the group housing societies reducing the lock-in period for the sale of property to five years. Besides, an amount of one-third of the "unearned increase" in the value of the land to be assessed by the estate officer is to be deposited by the transferer/transferee before allowing such transfer by the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS).

The charges, running into lakhs of rupees, would invariably have to be paid by the buyers. Meanwhile, the Housefed demanded that the notification should be amended and the transfer fee waived off. Instead a nominal fee in favour of the societies may be levied by the general bodies of the society.



City first to develop sanitary landfill site
Garbage processing unit to be ready by March-end
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
With its sanitary landfill site near completion, Chandigarh is ready to become the first city in India to fully implement the provisions of Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2000.

Once operational, there will be a full arrangement here to cap, cover and close the existing landfill site and develop parks and playgrounds instead. The site will allow for future disposal of inerts and rejects from the garbage-processing plant being developed across the dumping ground in Dadumajra by Jaypee Group. It will also control the emanation of dangerous gases which, if prevented from entering the atmosphere, will help Chandigarh earn precious carbon credits. The project — pilot in nature — has been allotted by the Central Pollution Control Board to Chandigarh as a demonstration project to be replicated across India; its cost is Rs 8 crore.

As of now, Chandigarh produces 350 tonnes of garbage daily; 10 per cent of it is inerts. Medical officer health Dr G.C. Bansal said 15 per cent of inerts are considered negligible when planning disposal. Already the MC is sprinkling at the existing site a sanitiser named ‘Effective Micronutrient Organism Solution’ which controls foul odour, fly menace and the volume of gasses discharged from the dumping ground.

Mayor Pradeep Chhabra along with area councillor Kamlesh and some others today visited the location of the landfill site and Garbage Processing Plant being developed by the Jaypee group in public-private partnership. The plant, located along the road across the dumping site in Dadumajra, will produce Refused Derived Fuel (RDF).

During the visit of elected representatives to the site, Bansal explained the process of conversion of municipal solid waste into RDF. He said civil construction works, buildings and sheds at the plant have been completed. All imported and Indian components and equipments required in the setting up of the plant have been received and installed and have been trial-tested by experts from Germany.

R.S. Sahota, vice-president of the company involved in the project, said the project will roll within one month of UT giving a an electricity connection. The garbage processing plant is designed to process the entire quantity of municipal solid waste generated in the city to produce fluff/pellets in an enclosed ambience and environmentally acceptable process.



APS celebrates 36th anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
The Army Postal Services Corps (APS) celebrated its 36th anniversary at Headquarters Western Command in Chandi Mandir today.

The celebrations were attended by senior officers of the command as well as personnel of the APS. This was followed by ‘barakhana’ for all serving and former APS personnel stationed in Chandigarh and its vicinity.

APS has made rapid strides in technological advancements, leading to a much more efficient system of communication. Army post offices in the Western Command have been provided with multipurpose counter machines and most of the operations and telegrams transmission have been computerised.

Further, nearly 20 post offices in the Command are in the process for activation as e-post centres for transmission of e-post articles. Also on the anvil is the establishment of a data centre, enlarging e-post and banking facilities to the field areas as well.

Although the APS came into existence as a separate Corps on March 1, 1972, the Field Post Office (FPO) is more than 150 years old. The first FPO was raised in 1856 initially as a war-time organisation accompanying the Indian Expeditionary Force abroad. Thereafter, in J&K operation of 1947-48, the FPOs were initially affiliated to the Army Service Corps and APS personnel were finally declared combatants in 1950.

The APS is an integral part of the Army and functions as an extension of Department of Posts to meet specific needs of the armed forces. Functionally, APS does all the work of civil post offices barring a few activities. FPOs also implement censorship, maintain security form of location and dole out postal concessions.



City ‘insensitive’ to special kids
Tenancy woes haunt parents

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Even as the Chandigarh administration prepares to come out with housing schemes for different sections of society, parents of differently-abled children have shot off an SOS to the UT Administrator to take care of their housing problems.

With residents reluctant to rent out their houses to the parents of these special children for different reasons, finding a suitable place to live is weighing heavily on their minds.

Since Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children (GIMRC), Sector 32, is an ideal place for the education and rehabilitation of these children, several parents have shifted to the city over the years. "The moment the landlords come to know that we have a differently-abled child in our family, they develop cold feet on renting out the accommodation to us," Pooja, president of the Parents/guardians Society of Children of the GIMRC, complained in a representation to the UT Administrator.

Given the misconception about mental diseases in India, it is virtually impossible to convince the landlords that the special children would not create trouble in the neighbourhood.

If we leave Chandigarh, then the children' s future would be in jeopardy as the region does not have an educational and rehabilitation institute like the GIMRC.

Pooja claimed that owning a house in Chandigarh was next to impossible in the wake of the skyrocketing land prices. Moreover, regular shifting of the houses posed own set of problems for the special children as they had difficulty in remembering frequently changing addresses.

To solve the problem once and for all, the administrator should direct the officials concerned to allot land to these parents at a concessional rate or fix a quota for them in various housing schemes of the administration so that they could have a permanent address.

This would be a good gesture by the administration for the rehabilitation of the special children in the spirit of the Persons with Disability Act,1995, Pooja added. 



Punjabi teacher dismissed
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, March 1
Taking strict action against irregularities at various schools, the education department of the Chandigarh administration has dismissed one more Punjabi teacher besides chargesheeting a peon. One more fake-degree case has also come to light.

According to DPI (S) S.K. Setia, Daljit Kaur Sandhu, a Punjabi teacher at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47, has been dismissed as she had gone to Canada on leave since November 2006 and failed to report on her joining date i.e. May 20, 2007.

In another case, the degree of Nirmala Saini, a Hindi teacher at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, has been found to be fake. It has been found that she had done OT from Gandhi Vidyapeeth Prayag University, Allahabad (UP), which is, an unrecognised university as per the list issued by the UGC recently. The DPI (S) has issued a show-cause notice to the teacher asking her to prove the authenticity of her degree.

Meanwhile, the education department has chargesheeted Sukhdev, a peon working as a watchman at GMSSS-32 for negligence in duty which led to a theft in the school.



BJP blames UPA for price rise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Hundreds of BJP workers led by Kamla Sharma, president, BJP, Chandigarh, staged a dharna today in the ground opposite Nehru Park, Sector 22, to protest against the “anti-people” and “anti-poor” policies of the UPA government. Women activists were present in large numbers along with party leaders and workers.

Sharma, in her address, said prices had skyrocketed during the last four years of Congress-led central government rule. She claimed the NDA government led by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had fully controlled inflation.

Criticising the general Budget as an election Budget, Sharma said the UPA government had presented an alluring Budget only to secure its vote bank.

In his address, former MP Satya Pal Jain lambasted the union finance minister saying people of Chandigarh had been let down by him. He said the budget provision for the city this time was Rs 12 crore less than the last year; this despite the fact that Chandigarh residents pay huge taxes and feed the central pool.

He added that prices were continuously on the rise and the UPA government had failed miserably to curb them. Hitting out at Pawan Kumar Bansal, local Congress MP and union minister of state for finance, he said Bansal had failed to get sufficient funds for Chandigarh in the Budget.



18 beehives removed at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Stung by media criticism on the honey-bee menace at the PGI, the municipal corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) today removed about 18 beehives.

Apparently acting on the request of the PGI authorities in the wake of the death of civic body JE Ashok Bhandari after being stung by bees on the PGI campus recently, the staff and the medical officer, health, survyed the PGI campus and found beehives at 23 places. The beehives at the rest of places would be removed soon, sources said.

After Bhandari’s death, the MCC has formed a separate cell to deal with the honey-bee menace.



3 water boosters inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Mayor Pardeep Chhabra today inaugurated three water boosters in Sector 42-A, Buterala village and Industrial Area, Phase-I. The total cost of construction of the three water boosters is around Rs 60 lakh.

According to Chhabra, soon more water boosters will be installed in other areas. Another booster, which is under construction in Badheri village, will be inaugurated within 15 days. S.K. Bansal, chief engineer, and R.C. Diwan, superintending engineer, Public Health, were present.



Cops chip in to raise funds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
The Chandigarh Police in association with an NGO, Youth United, will organise a community event to raise funds for underprivileged and mentally challenged children.

UT ASP Madur Verma said the event would serve as a platform for the special children to showcase their talents and it would boost their confidence. The ASP said cultural performances by various schoolchildren would be held for special children. Besides, a play on de-addiction would also be staged. 



Man hit by truck
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Dharam Raj, a resident of Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran, was seriously injured after being hit by a truck (CH 03 D 3444) from behind while he was returning from duty yesterday. He is undergoing treatment at GMCH, Sector 32.



City in grip of snatchers

There has been considerable rise in the number of snatching cases in the city. The situation has worsened to such an extent that the snatchers are blatantly targeting women in broad daylight.

To keep snatchers at bay, women should not wear gold items and carry cash or mobile phones in their bags. They should exercise caution while walking on roads. They should raise an alarm immediately and note down the number of the vehicle used by snatcher.

Cops in plain clothes should be deployed at vulnerable areas. The police should keep strict vigil at different places rather than at fixed areas. People should also remain vigilant.

Dr Shruti Kapoor, Panchkula

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From Schools & Colleges
Students given warm send-off
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, March 1
The department of bioinformatics of DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, organised a send-off party for the outgoing students of BSc (honours) and MSc. A cultural programme was also presented. Manish Gandhi was declared Mr Bioinformatics while Guneesha Deol became Miss Bioinformatics. Meanwhile, the commerce department of Government College for Girls, Sector 42, organised a farewell party for students of BCom III wherein Manjeet Kaur Sidhu was declared Miss Commerce, Prabhjot Kaur was crowned Miss Charming and Piyusha Sharma Miss Elegant. The science department also organised its valediction function for outgoing students of BSc III.

Function: Government College for Girls, Sector 11, organised its 52nd annual prize distribution function today. Kiran Choudhary, honourable minister, forest, environment tourism, sports and youth affairs, Haryana, was the chief guest. The prizes were given to the students for excellence in various fields. Vasudha Atreya of BCom III was declared the best all-rounder of the college.

Seminar on banking: A one-day ICSSR-NW-sponsored regional seminar on ‘Emerging Scenario in Indian Banking’ was organised at Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, today. Prof S.C. Vaidya, chairperson, University Business School, Panjab University, was present. Prof M.M. Goel, chairperson, department of economics, Kurukshetra University, was the keynote speaker.

Yoga camps: Three-day yoga camps concluded at Government Senior Secondary School, Sectors 18, 23 and 10. More than 100 students and 60 teachers participated in the camps organised under the 'Pitanjali Yog Shivir'. The camps were organised with an aim to make children stress free during examination and keep teachers physically fit.

Inspected: DPI (S) S.K. Setia, along with his team, today inspected Government High School, Hallo Majra, and decided to provide more infrastructure to the school. According to the DPI (S), an arrangement of additional classrooms has been made at the government dispensary and 10 more rooms have been arranged in Patwar Khana.

Lecture: As part of the ongoing campaign for peace-city Chandigarh, Yuvsatta, Nehru Yuvak Kendra Sangathan, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi and National Spiritual Assembly of Bahais of Chandigarh organised a lecture of senior Gandhian peace activist Prof N. Radhakrishnan, chairman, Indian Council of Gandhian Studies, on 'Why Non-violence?’ at Gandhi Smarak Bhawan, Chandigarh.

Seminar: Mohan Ray, pioneer in the field of healthy handwriting, today gave a seminar on the graphology for teachers at DAV Model School, Sector 15. Beginning with the basics, he threw light on the study of aspects like zones, slants, margins, spacing, I-dot, T-bar etc. He gave tips to teachers on graphology.



From Colleges
78 students get degrees
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 1
The annual convocation of Government College Mohali was held, here today. The Punjab chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh was the chief guest on the occasion. In his speech, Ramesh Inder Singh emphasised on quality education and said the students had to update their knowledge in order to cope up with the changing times.

Principal Roop Aulakh read out the college report. As many as 78 students of BA BCom and BSc streams were awarded degrees at the function and 11 students of PGDCA were awarded diplomas.

Seven students were awarded roll of honour for their achievements in academic and cultural activities. They were Jagtar Singh (BA III), Ankit Sood (BCom III), Dharminder Singh (BSc III), Shilpy Lamba (PGDCA), Gurpreet Kaur (BA I), Balraj Singh (BCom III), Amarinder Kaur (BA II). Thirty two students were awarded memorial awards.

Harpriya Singh of Department of English was the coordinator of the function. The function ended with a vote of thanks and National Anthem.



Marc Royale to pay Rs 1.15 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Taking a strong note for refusal to provide booked accommodation by the managing director (MD) of Marc Royale, the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed him to pay compensation of Rs 1.15 lakh to a Panchkula resident.

K.C. Bansal had got a hall booked in Hotel Marc Royale to organise marriage function of his son that was to take place on November 27, 2005.

Bansal stated that he had got the booking done four months prior to the function after paying Rs 5,000 in advance. Bansal said to have visited the hotel three days prior to the function in order to look after the arrangements.

On visiting the hotel, Bansal was informed that the function could not be organised in the hotel as it was already booked. The refusal was given in writing by the hotel on November 24, 2005.

Bansal averred that only two days were left for the function and he had already distributed the invitation cards to all guests. Thereafter, the appellant had to organise the function at Bristol Resorts after spending Rs 1.09 lakh.

Replying to the appeal, the MD of the hotel stated that Bansal had agreed to re-confirm the booking 15 days prior to the date of function. It was also decided that at the time of reconfirmation 25 per cent of the total amount would be deposited by the appellant.

Bansal had filed a complaint in the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum that was dismissed.

The state commission headed by S.N. Aggarwal observed: “Keeping in view the circumstances of this case the appeal is accepted. The appellant had incurred extra expenditure to the tune of Rs 65,000 because of the refusal made by the hotel. Thus the appellants had to make the immediate arrangements on short notice.”



125 cheque-bounce cases settled at lok adalat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
A special lok adalat was held today at the District Courts to dispose of the pending cheque-bounce cases. Out of the 1,100 cases taken up at the lok adalat, 125 cases were disposed of.

The lok adalat was organised by the State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), UT. It was held under the guidance of Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice Pramod Kohli.

The member secretary, R.K. Sharma, said any person intending to get his dispute settled at the pre-litigative stage may approach the SLSA.

It was further added that the next lok adalat would be held on March 15.



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