C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Yatra chokes roads
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 3
Traffic chaos reigned on roads through the day today due to the movement of the Jagriti Yatra through inner roads of the township.
Traffic chaos at Phase VII, Mohali.
FLIP SIDE: Traffic chaos at Phase VII, Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

The Phase VII-VIII traffic light point was blocked for traffic this morning. Since most of the traffic police was on duty with the yatra in the rest of the town, it was a virtual free-for-all.

Red light signals had no significance and everyone was seen breaking traffic rules.

The fact that the length of the procession was over 1.5 km long also posed a problem for the traffic police. The roads from which the yatra was passing became unmotorable and commuters were diverted. Those who could not use an alternative road, had to wait for hours before they could move.

Many chose to leave their vehicles on the roadside and walk to the point where they could hire a three-wheeler or a rickshaw. “I left my car at the Phase 3B2 market as I could not have taken it out for at least two hours,” said a Sector 69 resident who had come to the market in the evening. “I will go and pick it up at night,” he added.

Hooligans had a field day on their bikes and scooters. Donning orange garbs, they moved on their vehicles at high speed, raising slogans and posing a risk to commuters.



Amid fanfare, Yatra enters Punjab
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 3
What began with a warm welcome to the Guru Manyo Granth Jagriti Yatra that entered Punjab this afternoon, had by this evening swelled into a procession, the kind this township’s residents had never seen before.

Even while this report is being filed, thousands of devotees are accompanying the palki carrying the relics of Guru Gobind Singh from Hazoor Sahib Nanded and moving towards the Phase VIII Amb Sahib gurudwara amidst fireworks. The palki would be kept here here for the night.

The procession is more than a kilometer long and the entire length spreads over two sectors. It is moving at a snail’s pace to keep up with the frenzy of the devotees who wish to bow their heads before the palki and make offerings.

An endless distribution of ‘prasad’ was on throughout the day and residents did all they could to welcome the historic yatra.

The yatra began from the YPS roundabout this afternoon at about 2.30 pm and by the time it reached Phase VII it was running four hours late. The colourful procession was presented a beautiful sight. Led by elephants, camels and police horses, the procession included ‘kirtani jathas’, ‘thadi jathas’ and ‘gatka’ performers. A band of bagpipers was accompanying the ‘jatha’ and playing ‘ruhani’ music.

The ‘palki’, which was the centre of all attraction was adorned with orchids and tastefully decorated. It had gold plated tombs on the top and a glass screen through which one could see the weapons of Guru Gobind Singh and the hand written Guru Granth Sahib. This is the first time these have been brought out from the Hazoor Sahib Nanded since 1707.

The procession also showcased other weapons used by the Guru and some of the household items used by Mata Gujri.

Meanwhile, people gathered around the roads much before the yatra arrived so that they could be part of the celebrations. Members of all the market associations, Mohali Industries Association and residents’ welfare associations had made elaborate arrangements to welcome the yatra. Langar of tea, water, fruits and cooked food was made available every 500 metres of the yatra.

At Phase VII, where the market had closed down by the time the yatra reached, members waited patiently to welcome it. Devotees offered whatever they could. A lady was even distributing silver coins to the devotees, while many offered siropas.

Other than prominent religious leaders from Punjab, many leaders of the township were present at the reception point this morning.

These included SGPC president Avtar Singh, secretary-general Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, MLA Kharar Balbir Singh Sidhu, Jasjit Singh Bani, Chairman Punjab State Co-operative Bank.

Hardeep Singh, member SGPC, Mohali, and local Akali leader Amrik Singh were also present.



Politicking or devotion?
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 3
For the local leaders the arrival of the historic Guru Manyo Granth Jagriti Yatra from Hazur Sahib here today was more of an occasion for politicking and attempting to hog the limelight than a day of devotion.

Sitting on the stage from where Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was to address devotees was of utmost importance for many.

In fact, resentment prevailed when some of them were stopped by police personnel on duty from reaching the stage due to security reasons.

It is reported that an Akali leader had  given a list of persons who were to be allowed  to go on the stage to the police authorities.  Objections were raised when some Akali leaders belonging to another group and municipal councilors were stopped from going onto the stage.

The authorities concerned intervened and sorted out the matter.

Though Akali leaders have been issuing  statements that arrangements for the yatra were being made jointly by religious and other organisations, there were differences between two groups of Akalis on the route that the yatra  was to take.

It is reported that the district administration had to make efforts to resolve the matter amicably.

The town has two  gurdwara coordination committees which  had the backing of two different groups of  Akali leaders.



...Forces students to walk to school
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 3
Hundreds of students of Yadvindra Public School faced a host of problems while appearing for their board examinations today. The road leading to the school was blocked as it was the reception point for the Jagriti Yatra as it entered Punjab from Mohali this afternoon.

Class X students had their examination at 11 am but many of them reached the school at 9 am. “We had been informed by the school authorities that since all roads leading to the school would be blocked due to security reasons, we should reach the school well in time,” said a student.

However, due to the delay in the arrival of the yatra, vehicles were allowed to go up to the school. The examination finished at 1 pm, by which time the yatra was expected to have arrive at the roundabout.

“We used the STD in the school to call our parents. They reached the traffic light points and we walked till there,” said another student.

Class XII students had their examination at 2 pm and had to face more trouble. Most of them had to walk to school from as far as the Chandigarh-Mohali border as the yatra was entering Mohali at that time. “The road was completely blocked. I walked almost a mile to reach here,” a student said.

YPS principal Harish Dhillon said, “I wish the reception point had been chosen at the Phase I barrier. This is examination time and we were not even given an option. We were told virtually at the last minute that the roundabout is going to be blocked. We informed every examinee about the changes,” he said. 



MC pulls down 10 flats; residents block traffic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Residents of Sector 47 blocked the road leading to the sector late in the evening today. They were protesting against the demolition of housing board flats by the MC today. The MC razed 10 flats, allegedly without intimating residents.

The main road was blocked for over an hour leading to chaos and traffic jam. One of the residents, Rakesh Sharma, said, “Only two residents were informed by the MC about the demolition. The MC has said it would raze other flats tomorrow. We have been living in these houses for the past 15 years.”

Hundreds of residents blocked the road and raised slogans against the MC. A resident claimed that he had contacted the mayor who said he would take up the matter with the home secretary.

Another resident, Sukhwinder Singh, rued, “We have purchased and built these houses with our hard-earned money. The MC is demolishing the houses without intimating us and it is unjustified.” 



Some confusion, but overall cheer
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The newly introduced pattern based on “Higher Order Thinking Skill” (HOTS) caused some confusion among a section of students who appeared for the Social Science exam here today.

At least 10,000 students appeared for the paper at different centres set up by the CBSE. The students were happy at the additional 15 minutes given to them. But some students messed upa few questions.

The students were given question papers in three sets classified as “A’, “B” and “C”, with dissimilar questions.

“Though the paper contained ample choices,me and some of my friends, who were given set “B” were confused about how many questions had to be attempted.The question No. 12 and 13 were unclear and we had to left these unattempted,” said Sukhwinder Singh, a student of Shivalik School-41.

Another student Ishaan Kaushal said the students should have been given more time for revising the syllabus. “We barely had a day to revise our Social Science syllabus stretched into five textbooks. Had we been given at least two days’ time, we would not have left some of the portions untouched.”

A little nervous and jittery, Pushpinder Singh complained that a question asking for contribution of folk songs/paintings in strengthening nationalism during 1870s was “very confusing and was not in the syllabus.”

Ashu, Sujata, Dinesh of Government Model School, Karsan, found the question paper balanced. “ We felt confused on one or two questions, but overall the paper could be easily attempted even before the stipulated time,” they said.

Subject experts reiterated that though the board had already put in question papers on the official website, yet the students needed time to understand the concept fully.

The CBSE, for the first time, has designed the question papers in all major subjects for secondary and senior secondary classes on a new pattern.The CBSE officials maintained that this pattern had been introduced to evaluate the student’s analytical abilities.

“If the students prepare year-round, this pattern, with focus on reasoning, comprehension, application and evaluation, the best. Our endeavour is to develop the higher-level thinking skills that teaches the student how to be problem-solver”, said the officials



Students clash over sunglasses, held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
A minor altercation over missing sunglasses took an ugly turn when a group of “inebriated” youngsters clashed with one another outside DAV College, Sector 10, here this evening.

They were rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital from where they were discharged after first-aid. The police said they suffered blunt injuries and were arrested on the charges of breach of peace under Sections 107 and 151 of the CPC.

A medical examination confirmed that they were drunk, a police officer said.

The SHO of the Sector 3 police station, inspector Ram Gopal, said Vaneet, a BA-I student, had given his car to his friends a few days ago. Later he found that his sunglasses kept in the car were missing and asked his friends about it. They expressed their ignorance and their friendship soured.

Today, Vaneet and his friends met outside the college where the issue cropped up again and a clash followed.

A police officer said the accused had requested that action not be initiated against them as they were ready to reach a compromise, but senior officials arrested them for creating ruckus.



ICL kicks off with practice match today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
With less than 10 days left for the beginning of the India Cricket League (ICL), the Chandigarh Lions and Ahmedabad Rockets who are in the city will play their first practice match of the third edition at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Panchkula, tomorrow.

Having international cricketers for guidance, the players will use their suggestions to improve their game.

For Chandigarh Lions, Chris Cairns, Andrew Hall, Lou Vincent and Mathew Elliot will be playing while Heath Streak and Reetinder Singh Sodhi are part of Ahmedabad Rockets. The skipper, Damein Martyn, will not be playing the match tomorrow. 



Female foeticide: Need for introspection, say experts 
UNFPA-Laadli Media Awards on April 26
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The nationwide campaign against skewed sex ratio in India got a shot in the arm today with the announcement of the UNFPA-Laadli Media Awards for general sensitivity 2006-07 for the northern region.

The awards, a unique initiative of Mumbai-based NGO Population First, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) and iCONGO, Indian Confederation of the NGOs, assume significance in the sense that the northern region, including Punjab(798), Haryana(819), Delhi(868) and Himachal Pradesh(896) have reported adverse sex ratio in the 2001 census.

In fact, at an interaction here today, organisers, including S.V. Sista and Chandrika from Population First, Minu Talwar, TV personality, and Nawed Akhter, media professional, made a fervent appeal to media to further social causes and support Laadli, a girl child campaign by the NGO.

Terming woman as the pillar of strength as daughter, sister, mother and wife, Talwar stressed the need for introspection, as female foeticide menace was largely prevalent among the affluent sections of society.

The awards have been instituted to highlight and celebrate the commendable efforts undertaken by various media to support gender-just perspective from the field of advertising, print media and electronic media.

To be judged by eminent jury comprising, among others, H.K. Dua and Usha Rai, senior journalists, Muzaffar Ali and Nafisa Ali, film personalities, and Abhijit Sarkar, corporate executive, whose commitment to the campaign against female foeticide is unquestionable, the award would be given at Law Bhawan in Sector 37 here on April 26. April 4 is the last date for receiving entries.



INA soldier’s pension restored after 30 years 
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Over 30 years after the pension of Subhas Chandra Bose’s bodyguard-cum-soldier in the Indian National Army Surjan Singh was suspended, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered its restoration with all consequential benefits.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice T.P.S. Mann, also directed the payment of Rs 1 lakh as special costs to Surjan Singh’s 85-year-old widow Gurcharan Kaur.

The Bench held: Surjan Singh survived in the fight of freedom movement, but expired while fighting the legal battle. Therefore, respondent Union of India and another are liable to pay a sum of Rs 1 lakh special costs to the petitioner, within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order.

The judgment comes in less than a year after the matter was brought to the HC notice. Gurcharan Kaur’s struggle for pension by filing petition was first brought to the fore in these columns.

Elaborating, the Bench ruled: We are of the view that petitioner Gurcharan Kaur is entitled to special costs of Rs 1 lakh because firstly her husband Surjan Singh was compelled to make a large number of representation, then Civil Suit in 1996 and thereafter execution proceedings were initiated in 1997. It was during the execution proceedings that Surjan Singh died on February 18, 2000.

The Bench added: The civil judge sustaining the objection raised under Section 4 of the Pension Act, 1871, dismissed the execution petition. Thereafter, the petitioner filed the present petition after his legal heirs made various representations and sent legal notice.

Coming down heavily on the Union of Indian and another respondent, the Bench further added: It is also clear that the respondents are fully aware of the judgment rendered by the Supreme Court in Gurdial Singh’s case in 2001 as they contested that litigation, and despite that the petitioner and Surjan Singh had to fight legal battle after fighting the battle for freedom of the country.

In their detailed judgment, the judges added: This case presents a gloomy picture of our bureaucracy and their courage to fight the freedom fighters… It reveals complete disregard to the scarifies made by Surjan Singh, who was bodyguard of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

The judges also noted that Surjan Singh was a Prime Minister’s Tamar Pattar awardee, for having been a member of Indian National Army and bodyguard of Netaji Subhash Chander Bose twice.

The judges in their orders also recorded the facts that a former Chief Minister had ordered the release of Rs 1,00,000, through the Amritsar Deputy Commissioner, for the construction of a memorial in his honour at his native village Ballianwala. A book “Azadi Di Jang”, authored by Surjan Singh, was also prescribed for many years by the Punjab School Education Board in the libraries of the “high/higher secondary schools”.

The judges concluded: This petition succeeds. Orders dated August 24, 1977, suspending his pension; and the order dated August 27, 1979, canceling pension of Surjan Singh, are hereby quashed with all consequential benefits. A direction is issued to the respondents to restore the pension to the petitioner under the Pension Scheme from the date of its discontinuation i.e. August 24, 1977. The petitioner shall also be entitled to interest at the rate of 10 per cent per annum.

His counsel Karambir Singh Chawla had earlier described it as “a typical case revealing how a highly decorated, selfless, freedom fighter and his poor widow have been disrespected and dishonoured”. He had further contended that they had been harassed for many years now by the “thick-skinned, indifferent and non-caring government officials of the ministry of home affairs, New Delhi”.

Meanwhile, Gurcharan Kaur said the judiciary had done what the bureaucracy had failed to do - honour the heroes of the nation.

Talking to The Tribune soon after the order’s pronouncement, she said the court passed the orders in less than 10 moths even though the matter was pending with the authorities concerned for over 30 years.

Surjan Singh’s son Jasbir Singh said his father had sold everything he had for contributing to the war fund; and the powers that be instead of recognizing the sacrifices contested the matter.



Parking chaos reigns supreme at airport
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Next time you drive to the Chandigarh airport and hunt for a parking slot, be prepared to park your vehicle on the narrow road leading to the terminal building. Reason: Expansion work at the airport has eaten up vital parking space.

In the afternoon, visitors can be seen jostling for space to park their vehicles. In a hurry to drop passengers, drivers often park on the main road leading to the airport terminal building.

“I come to the airport daily. Most of the times I have to stop my cab a few metres away from the temporary parking and then hunt for a luggage trolley,” said Surinder Kumar, a maxicab driver.

Passengers can be seen looking for luggage trolleys as the airport authorities have placed them in insufficent numbers near the temporary parking.

Due to increased passenger traffic, generated from eight flights connecting the city to other cities, the vehicular traffic has gone up considerably. On Saturday afternoon, when the parking chaos was all-pervasive, the entourage of a VIP choked the narrow approach road to the airport building. “This happens daily as a number of VIPs are dropped and picked. Since there is a single entry-cum-exit point, two-way flow of traffic is hampered,” said Ramesh Kumar, who had come to drop his friend for a flight to Delhi. Meanwhile, Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials said it will take another 15 months at least to complete the terminal building. A temporary building near the entry to the airport building has come up, but this is also insufficient when a number of flights take off and land at short intervals.

“Parking cannot be further expanded as on one sid, it is defence land and on the other there is the runway,” said an official. Another option could be to provide a bigger parking near the Chandigarh-Ambala highway and start some shuttle service between the airport and the parking point, he added.



Agreement on bill collection inked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The administration here has signed an agreement with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) for collection of BSNL landline and WLL bills at e-sampark and e-gram sampark centres from March 8.

The agreement was signed between Director-IT, Chandigarh administration, and deputy general manager (finance), BSNL, Chandigarh. This agreement would allow all the subscribers of Chandigarh SSA, comprising those from Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali to pay their bills at these centers. The service will be provided free of cost.

The bills of many private players like Connect, Airtel and SPICE are already being accepted at sampark and gram sampark centres. The new service will further facilitate the citizens and also increase the number of services being provided at sampark centres.

Subscribers from Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula can now deposit their bills from any of the e-sampark centers located in Sector 10, 15, 18, 23, 40, 43, 47, industrial area phase I and Manimajra. The service will also be available at all e-gram sampark centres located in Khuda Jassu, Dhanas, Kaimbwala, Raipur Kalan, Raipur Khurd, Makhan Majra and Behlana villages.

Three more gram sampark centres at Hallo Majra, Dadu Majra and Palsora are also ready for functioning and the same would be operational in the coming week.



MC goes to poll on March 30
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 3
Even as the controversy over irregularities in the electoral rolls is yet to die down, the state election commission has declared March 30 as the polling day for 31 wards of Panchkula municipal committee here today.

While the dates for filing nomination papers have been fixed between March 14 and 18, the papers 
will be scrutinised on March 19.

March 20 is the last date of withdrawal of candidature and the list of contesting candidates will also be declared the same day. The symbols for the contesting candidates will also be allotted on March 20. Electronic voting machines will be used for the first time in the elections.

A total of 11 seats in the MC have been reserved for women while two seats are reserved for candidates from Scheduled Caste category. The same number of seats has been reserved for candidates from Backward Classes. Ward Nos. 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 15, 19, 20, 24, 25, and 26 have been reserved for women candidates. Ward No. 26 will be exclusively reserved for women from Scheduled Castes. Similarly, Ward Nos. 7 and 8 have also been reserved for candidates from Scheduled Castes category. The Backward Class candidates have been allotted Ward Nos. 9 and 27 in the elections for which more than 1,14,000 voters would be able to franchise their votes, said Panchkula deputy commissioner Rajinder Kataria.

In fact, the elections of the civic body were to be held before March 6 when the term of the body, the first elections for which were held four years back, is to expire. However, keeping in view requests from various quarters to postpone the elections because of school examinations, the commission decided to conduct the elections in the end of this month.

The electoral survey for the elections was marred by controversy since December last when the voters’ lists were displayed after new survey. Local leaders from various political parties, including the ruling Congress, alleged that thousands of the bogus votes were included in the lists while names of genuine voters were deleted. The district administration even ordered inquiries to look into the allegations after which hundreds of discrepancies were found.

While the BJP has already announced that it would contest the elections on the party symbol like last time, the leaders of local Congress party have also written to party high command to allow them to contest the elections.



Sewage plant testing begins
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 3
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has started testing 10 million gallon per day (MGD) capacity sewage treatment plant constructed in the proposed Sector 83 of Mohali. This is the first sewage treatment plant developed in SAS Nagar, which will cater to the requirements of sewage treatment for the residential as well as industrial sectors up to Sector 82 of SAS Nagar.

GMADA has undertaken the construction of 10 MGD capacity plant to cater to the present requirement. Subsequently, the capacity of the plant will be extended to 15 MGD to meet with the increased requirement, as and when the need arises.

The plant is being constructed in an approximate area of 23.00 acres. The construction work of the sewage treatment plant was allotted to Enviro Control Associates (India) Private Ltd, Surat, in February 2006, at an estimated cost of Rs 20.30 crore, which includes construction of the plant as well as its operation and maintenance for a period of five years from the date of completion.

The plant has been constructed on the basis of UASB (up flow anaerobic sludge blanket) technology.

After this plant is operational, entire sewage and sludge of Mohali town, which is presently being discharged into the choe passing through Mohali, will be treated here. The treatment plant is likely to relieve the residents of the foul smell and improve the environment.

The sludge will be made available to farmers at a very nominal cost for using it as manure. The treated water will be flown into natural choe so that farmers having their fields downstream can use the same for irrigation purposes.



Charity ambulance van
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Sree Ayyappa Samajam, will start a charity ambulance van for needy patients, as part of its 17th Pratishta Day falling on March 19.

According to a press note issued here today, the samajam will also upgrade and modify certain structures, including the boundary wall, in the Sree Ayyappa temple in Sector 47-C.

Meanwhile, a cultural programme and temple rituals will be the highlights of the Pratishta Day. It should be mentioned that the samajam is already running a charitable dispensary.



Conference on divine life
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 3
A conference on "Divine life- what, why and how" will be held on March 9 at Sivananda Ashram in Sector 29. Pawan Kumar Bansal, minister of state for finance, will inaugurate the conference. The Chandigarh branch of divine life society is organising it.

The society is a non-sectarian institution embodying the common fundamental principles of all religions of the world. Swami Sivananda, an allopathic doctor, formed it in 1936 with an aim to disseminate the spiritual knowledge through books, pamphlets and magazines. The philosophy of the society, as expressed by the founder of society, is 'serve, love, give, purity, meditate, realise.'



Police going slow on probe: NRI woman
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Accusing the Chandigarh Police of going slow on the probe in a forgery case, apparently to favour the accused, an elderly NRI woman has alleged that the police had failed to give her a copy of the FIR even after seven months.

Aruna Singhal of Sector 11 said she had met the then SSP Gaurav Yadav twice and apprised the administration and the deputy commissioner of the suffering she had been undergoing for the past over two years. She said the case was registered after a year and that too after the intervention of Yadav.

She had spoken to the present SSP, S.S. Srivastva, over the phone from the US but nothing has been done so far.

She said she was in the city last week and had been contacting the SHO of the Industrial Area police station to know about her case, but she was not given proper information. Also, the investigating official told her that they had sent the receipt of the agreement money that she had taken from the accused for forensic examination to confirm forgery on December 20 last year.

“One can imagine the interest the police is taking in solving the case as it took seven months to send the document for examination. On the other hand the accused party is threatening me. My husband, a retired professor of PEC, is not keeping well and I am being harassed at the hands of investigating officers,” she alleged.

She said S.C. Vohra of Sector 37 and his wife had approached her through a common friend to purchase a portion of her shop-cum-flat in Sector 30 in 2006, which she declined. Later, Vohra entered into an agreement with her, saying that he would manage an educational institute and give her Rs 10,000 per month. If there would be any breach of condition, the party would pay Rs 2 lakh as damages and the property would be vacated in April, 2007. However, Vohra later forged a rent receipt.

The SHO, Jagir Singh, said the five accused had been arrested and released on bail. The document had been sent for examination to the central forensic sciences laboratory and action would be taken on the basis of the report.



Panel requests change in acquisition policy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The Pind Bachao Committee, Chandigarh, has urged the members of parliament to frame a policy so that land compensation rates are fixed according to the actual market value, here today. The committee has also sent its suggestions to the director, Lok Sabha secretariat, regarding changes in the land acquisition (amendment) bill, 2007, and Resettlement bill, 2007.

Angrez Singh (Badheri), president and Maj R.S. Virk (retd), general secretary of the Pind Bachao Committee respectively, said for the fixation of actual market value there should be a local price fixation committee headed by the district magistrate. He should compulsorily include the elected representative of the local MP, MLA, councillor, sarpanch, panch, and other persons from different walks of life. The committee should not only fix the price but also hear objections so that the matter is settled there itself and the need to go to courts is curtailed.

Appreciating the Central government’s initiative to amend the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, the Pind Bachao Committee has said a majority of the farmers were poor and illiterate and could not afford the cost of litigation. 



Misuse of community centres

Community centres located in sectors are meant to serve the residents. No one, including the residents, has a right to disturb the peace by using these community centres for personal parties and playing loud music. Administration seems to take no notice of such violations. Sector roads are being used as parking lots during the marriage season. It is strongly recommend that community centres in sectors should not be misused as marriage palaces.

Baldevinder Cheema, Chandigarh

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



Vacant Posts
UGC serves ultimatum on varsities
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Keeping in mind the acute shortage of experienced teachers in higher education and vacant posts lying in various educational institutions, the University Grants Commission, has served an ultimatum to all Central universities, state universities and colleges in the country, to fill up vacant posts lying in the institutions.

According to the information released by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development, there are 1820 teaching posts and 5067 non-teaching posts, lying vacant in Central universities and 627 teaching posts lying vacant in 74 state universities. The UGC has been directing all Central universities to fill up the vacant posts in universities.

Also, the UGC had issued a circular to all universities of state governments to fill up the vacant posts on regular basis as per norms of the UGC, since continuation of appointment of faculty in contract, part-time and guest faculty on long terms basis affects the quality of education.

The Central government has already increased the age of superannuating from 62 years to 65 years with regards to the teachers of centrally-funded technical and higher educational institutions which come under the preview of Ministry of Human Resource Development, in view of acute shortage of experienced teachers.

The state governments were also requested to take similar view of the prevailing circumstances. At present, there are seven state universities in Punjab, two deemed universities, a private university and one institute of national importance and 215 colleges.

Similarly, Chandigarh has one state university, one deemed university and two institutes of national importance besides 18 colleges. Even these institutes are facing shortage of experienced teachers.



Observers deputed for annual exams
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , March 3
The Chandigarh administration has decided to depute special observers during the annual examinations of the city schools, which will commence from March 4. The timings for the examination are from 9.00 am to 12 noon. 

Confirming this the home-cum-education secretary Krishna Mohan said these special observers had been deputed in all the schools so that examinations could be conducted smoothly.



Manisha first in rangoli competition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The four-day youth festival “Jhankaar” organised by Panjab University Campus Students’ Council kick-started today at Panjab University. Advocate general, Punjab, H.S. Mattewal, inaugurated the festival amidst vice-chancellor, Prof R.C. Sobti, dean, student welfare, Prof Naval Kishore, dean, student welfare (women), prof Nishtha Jaswal, and other faculty members’ presence.

The events were held in two segments. In the morning session, collage making, geet ghazal, songs, cartooning and other competitions were held while in the evening, students participated in folk song singing, creative writing, on the spot painting and others.

In collage making competition, Ashu of Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, bagged the first prize, while second prize went to Divya of MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, Chandigarh. In declamation contest Vasu Kumar of Panjab University got the first prize and Harshile Singh of MLN, Yamunanagar, got the second prize.

In cartooning, Ruby Bajaj of Government College of Education, Sector 20, got the first prize and Sandeep Kaur of Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana, bagged second prize.

In Rangoli making, Manisha of Government Home Science College, Sector, 10 got first prize and Arpan Preet of G. Gadvasu College, Ludhiana, bagged the second prize.

In debate competition, Tannu of Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, got first prize and Tauseef from University of Kashmir got second prize.

As many as many as 25 teams from various colleges and universities of region are participating in 30 different events.

A star night was also held, where legendary singer, Gurdas Mann performed in the evening.



Teachers hold dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
A massive dharna was organised by the Punjab Government College Teachers’ Association (PGCTA) in front of the office of DPI(C).

The main demands were to review irrational, arbitrary, biased rationalisation and restructuring of higher education department, counting of past benefit of feeder grade service, incentive increments to all left out Mphil degree holders, recruitment of lecturers, principals and librarians on permanent basis through PPSC.

The association demanded immediate action on all demands as decided in a meeting of PGCTA with minister of Higher Education on December 6, 2007.



Gurdas Mann lights up ‘Jhankaar’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Panjab University, National Youth Festival “Jhankaar-2008” started on a colourful note by legendary singer Gurdas Mann’s live performance at the Law Ground, this evening.

The four-day youth festival is being organised by the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council. Ranbir Singh Khattra, was the chief guest for the occasion.

Students gathered within minutes to watch the performance even before Mann arrived. Firecrackers marked Mann’s arrival adding zing to the atmosphere .

Mann has a message in his every song. He motivated the students to work hard in order to attain their goals and have a ppositive attitude towards life.

Dressed in a traditional green dress, Mann made the young crowd swing on his beats. His well-known ‘Chaalla’ was prominent among other songs he sang, including ‘roti haat di khaye’ from his newly released album, followed by ‘kali main gai, sun challi’, ‘kamli yaar di kamli, ‘heer’, ‘punjabia di balle balle’.

Police that was deployed to control the crowd had a tough time, as the audience did not want to miss or even waste a single minute of Mann’s performance.



From Schools & Colleges
Sanchit, Muskan win skating competition
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 3
Stiff competition was witnessed among tiny tots during 'Skating Competition 2008' organised for students of Small Wonders School, Mohali, here today. The event saw scores of kids vie it out amongst each other in the skating rink. While Prabhnoor, Wah Pratap, Harnoor and Vasu bagged first positions amongst boys in respective sections of nursery classes, amongst girls it was Pari, Tvisha, Palakdeep, Ananya and Arpita bagging top slots in nursery class category. Similarly, in LKG class category, Udayveer and Alamvir bagged first positions in respective sections while Simran, Khushi and Samanjit took the top honours amongst LKG girls. UKG class saw stiff competiton before Sanchit and Muskan emerged as clear winners amongst boys and girls respectively. Navraj and Ishika bagged first positions in UKG class.

INAUGURATED: Neelam Singla, chairperson of Indo Global Colleges, inaugurated a 10-day NSS camp at Indo Global College of Education by lighting the lamp. Students seeked the blessings of the Almighty by presenting a ‘gurbani shabad’ and NSS song.

DICUSSION: Dr. I.T. Business School, near Banur, organised a discussion on corporate and commercial laws today. Deepti Mahajan, CEO of the institute, welcomed Geeta, a reputed lawyer practicing in Punjab and Haryana High Court and active member of CII, Young India Association. Geeta congratulated the CEO for launching the NGO ‘Naya Savera’ in the institute.

SELECTION DRIVE: On the first day of fast track selection drive of the Indian Air Force, students of various engineering colleges of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh showed overwhelming response. More than 1,200 students of BTech and MCA/PG from various engineering colleges got themselves registered for this mega drive. Punjab took the lead, as the number of participants in the drive was more than 600, which were followed by 330 from Haryana, more than 70 from Himachal and 60 from other states. A team comprising Wing Commander along with 13 supporting officers and three officers, conducted the drive.

VISIT: The students of B.Pharmacy of Swami Vivekanand College of Pharmacy visited the Lalru Plant of Panacea Biotec, a leading pharmaceutical company of the region. 



PU Notes
‘Check violence, terror’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
A special lecture on “The problem of violence and terror: A Gandhian response” was organised by the ICSSR North-Western Regional Centre, PU today.

Prof M.L. Sharma from the department of Gandhian studies, PU, welcomed and introduced the speakers. He also shared the achievements of the personalities. Prof N. Radhakrishnan was guest-speaker and chairman of the session was Prof Ashvini Agrawal.



Court complex project hangs fire
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Getting funds from the government to construct the District Court Complex, Sector 43, is becoming an unpleasant task for UT officials. As a result, the targeted date of April, 2008, to start construction of the much-awaited new complex is likely to be delayed.

Under the Centrally-sponsored scheme, the government is supposed to release around Rs 18 crore over the next one year. The UT administration has announced to complete the complex by October, 2009.

In April 2007 and then December 2007, the UT had taken up the matter with the department of social justice. Instead of approving the rough cost estimates, officials in Delhi have communicated back to the UT home secretary that the department did not approve individual work estimates of the states or union territories. Cost of the works was approved by the respective government.

The UT administration has also been asked to seek clearance from the urban development ministry to include the cost estimate as a plan scheme and to indicate phasing of expenditure.

Sources said the matter should have been sorted at the Centre. Now the process to seek clearance from the urban development department would further delay the project. By that time, the cost would go up further.

In the amount of Rs 80 lakh released for first three months, funds would be utilised for procurement of material and for inviting and allotting tenders. The work to raise the boundary wall and undertake earth-work could commence after release of additional funds.

An official said getting funds or clearances from the Centre had been always a problem. For any work above Rs 10 crore, the UT has to seek approval from the Centre. Due to this disadvantage, UT administration has been handing over projects to the Chandigarh Housing Board and the Municipal Corporation.



Doctor asked to pay compensation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Complying with the decision of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has asked Dr Sangeeta Pabbi to pay Rs 75,000 of compensation and has increased the cost charge from Rs 1,500 to Rs 10,000.

The Sangrur-based private practitioner was directed to pay the compensation to Ram Naresh after he had filed a complaint against the former for medical negligence. Manisha Rani, wife of the petitioner, was admitted to the maternity home of Dr Pabbi in January where she delivered a male child.

Naresh had alleged that the condition of the baby was serious and he had to be taken to DMCH, Ludhiana. However, when the petitioner was getting the child admitted at DMCH, it was found that the baby had burns on the finger of the right hand and ear lobe. The burns could not be cured by operation and ultimately three fingers of his right hand were amputated.

Replying to the complaint, Dr Sangeeta Pabbi said Manisha Rani was admitted to her maternity home for pre-mature delivery with extreme labour pain and leakage of 7 cms. However, it was later maintained that Dr Pabbi should not have admitted Manisha as her hospital had no facilities for the delivery of pre-mature babies. To this Dr Pabbi said if she wouldn’t have admitted Manisha the child would have taken birth in transit.

After hearing the counsel for the parties, District Consumer Forum vide order dated February 3, 2003 accepted the litigation cost of Rs 1,500 and compensation. Aggrieved by the said order, the doctor and the insurance firm filed an appeal in the state commission.

The state commission headed by K.C. Gupta observed: “Dr Pabbi had no arrangement for premature delivery but she stiil went ahead and admitted Manisha. Later, Dr Pabbi could not justify that how the baby received burns.” The commission further stated that they completely concur with the forum’s decision. 



One acquitted in cheque bounce case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
A local court today acquitted one person in a cheque bounce case after ten years. An investment firm had filed the complaint against Vikas Kashyap in 1998. He was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

EXONERATED: Additional district and sessions judge Raj Shekar Attri today acquitted Sunita under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). Sunita was arrested from the bus stand with 10.5 grams of contraband by the UT police in 2003.



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