C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Airman run over by truck, killed
In another accident, a two-year-old lost his life after a truck toppled over a car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
An airman in his mid-20s was killed after a multi-axle truck rammed into his motorcycle near the level crossing at Darua village here this morning. The victim’s wife is due for delivery any time, the police said.

The victim has been identified as 25-year-old R.K. Tanti from Bihar. He had got married last year. The police has not informed his wife about the mishap keeping in mind her condition, Jagir Singh, SHO of the Industrial Area police station, said.

The accident took place at around 9.30 am. The truck suddenly took a right turn, knocking down his motorcycle and running over it. The truck dragged the motorcycle along with the victim to quite a distance. The victim died on the spot.

He was to go to his village in Bihar next month. He was wearing a helmet and the truck was loaded with cement. The police has arrested the truck driver, Harbans Singh of Bathinda, for rash driving. The body was handed over to the family after a postmortem.

In another mishap, a two-year-old boy was killed after a truck toppled over a car in which he was travelling along with his parents, near Hallomajra in the wee hours of today.

The police said two-year-old Shuksham of Sector 20, Panchkula, was declared brought dead at the Sector 32 GMCH. The accident took place at 12.30 am. His father Rajnish was driving a Hyundai Verna. Rajnish and his wife escaped with minor injuries.



Chandigarh Ungoverned
Getting SC certificate not easy
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
It is not easy for Dalits to get an SC certificate in Chandigarh. With various ministries working at cross-purposes, the wait for Dalits born in or migrating to Chandigarh after November 1, 1966, for the certificates seems to be endless.

Almost eight months after the union minister of state for finance, Pawan Bansal, informed about the approval of the issuance of the certificates by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes as Congress’ “major victory”, the issue is stuck in bureaucratic red tape in the union ministry of social justice and empowerment.

From 1966 to 1995, the Chandigarh administration issued SC certificates to eligible members. However, in 1995, the administration put “illogical” conditions like production of residential proof of Chandigarh prior to November 1, 1966, or SC certificates from the native states.

The National Conference of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR) has written to the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, in this regard. “The ministry’s delaying tactics have been depriving Dalits of their constitutional rights, including reservations and admissions to educational institutions,” NACDOR convener B.R. Tisawarh said here today.

Meanwhile, Bansal yesterday sought to politicise the issue, alleging that the decision was “blocked” by the commission when an “NDA man” was its chairman. However, when Congressman Buta Singh took over as chairman of the commission, he cleared the issue last year.

Bansal claimed that he was pursuing the matter with the ministry of social justice and it would be cleared soon.

Local leaders of the BJP and the BSP have been blaming the UPA government for the delay. It was the moral duty of Bansal, who is also the local MP, to get the issue resolved long ago, they say.



Power-packed performance
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Rakhi Sawant performs during the match.
Rakhi Sawant performs during the match. Tribune photo by Vinay Malik

Panchkula, March 16
It was a perfect blend of cricket and musical performance by Rakhi Sawant that provided spectators with wholesome entertainment today.

During a twenty20 match between Chandigarh Lions and Lahore Badshahs, Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium in Panchkula was packed to capacity with around 8,000 spectators.

While Rakhi entertained the audience with her performance, Pakistani opener Imran Farhat enthralled cricket buffs with his boundaries and sixes.

With his fiery innings of 94 runs, he not only showed that this is the way of playing the shortest version of the game, but also forced people to stick to their seats.

Ravinder and his family only came to see the performance of Rakhi Sawant, but could not leave the match in between because of the flurry of big shots by cricketers. “We came with a mind to leave the stadium after Rakhi’s show, but after seeing the Pakistan innings, we decided to see the whole match. Big shots is more thrilling than any musical performance,” he said.

“Today, I am happy to see the performance of cricketers, especially Pakistani players. They provided full entertainment. The top-class deliverance of Farhat did not let anybody feel that it was not an international match. All teams have to perform like Badshahs if they want to make the league successful,” said cricket fans Manoj and Sukhdev.

Rohan, another fan, said the reason for the big turnout was Rakhi, “but I came to see my favourite players in action. Pakistan team is a good catch for organisers.” But many people left when Chandigarh Lions failed to deliver.



ICL witnesses Rakhi magic
Anuja Jaiswal

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 16
Many a hearts skipped a beat as Rakhi Sawant swayed to the tune of “Mehbooba mehbooba…” during a twenty20 match between Chandigarh Lions and Lahore Badshahs at Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium here on Sunday evening.

Rakhi sizzled on the floor, making the jam-packed stadium applaud her performance. Happy as she performed at ICL, she said, "I love cricket." When asked about her favourite player, she remarked, "I love all."

After losing the finals of Nach Baliye, Rakhi accused the channel officials of being partial and announced that she would not participate in any reality show in future. But our drama queen is back with Yeh Hai Jalwa. She explained the reason that this show is not like others. "I am playing the role of a choreographer," she added.

Not only this, item girl Rakhi is all set to enter a talk show on Zee named ‘Arrested by Rakhi’. “You will enjoy it fully,” she said about the show.

Rakhi is always in news whether it is the kissing incidence with Mika or her fight with her boyfriend Abhishek. Her presence makes news whatever she does. Commenting on it, the controversy girl said, "I never invite media but they always take me seriously. They try to capture my personal issues. I don't know why?"

Apparently, Rakhi is thrilled to be approached by Dev Anand. She said, "I am very excited. I don't know whether the film will be flop or hit but I am very lucky to have got an offer from Dev ji.”



Parking lots raided; fake receipts seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Large-scale irregularities were detected at the parkings of Sukhna Lake and Fun Republic during a raid by an MC team. The team comprising mayor Pardeep Chhabra and chairman of the paid parking committee, M.P.S. Chawla, swooped on the Fun Republic parking and seized fake parking slips. The team found personnel of Aman Security Service manning the parking collecting Rs 10 each for keeping bags, which was illegal.

At the Sukhna Lake parking, Rs 30 was being charged from buses without issuing parking slips.

Besides, Rs 2 was being collected for keeping helmets without issuing receipts.

These parkings are being run by the MC with the assistance of the security service. At both parkings, labour laws were being flouted as the security contractor forced personnel to work for 12 to 16 hours at a monthly salary ranging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000.

Chhabra said the security contractor seemed to be working in connivance with civic body staff and a report would be submitted to the MC commissioner tomorrow.



Home guards arrested with drugs
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 16
The police has arrested two Chandigarh home guards with charas. Navin Kumar and Naresh Kumar were arrested during a special naka at Nadah village here today. According to the police, the two were carrying about 750 gm of charas.

The police suspects one of them to be a drug addict.

While Navin Kumar is posted as home guard at the Mani Majra police station, Naresh is posted at the Sector 25 firing range. Naresh reportedly told the police that he had found the drug lying on the ground at the firing range. The police said this was not true as in that case the two would have informed the police about it.



Anti-poverty schemes blind to disabled
Offering 0.37 to 1.07 % quota against promised 3 %
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
When India is witnessing economic boom, one of its most marginalised sections, persons with disabilities, are leading rudderless, shelter-less lives.

st at a loss in the segment are the 75 per cent of India’s disabled, who live in villages and are out of sight for the innumerable poverty alleviation schemes being run by different central ministries, mainly the ministry of rural development.

Although the Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995 requires appropriate governments and local authorities to reserve 3 per cent in all poverty alleviation schemes for the benefit of disabled, the ground reality is far from commensurate with the act’s objectives.

The latest data on poverty alleviation schemes shows that utilisation of funds for inclusion of persons with disabilities is an abysmal 0.37 to 1.07 per cent against the promised 3 per cent.

Most of the existing schemes of the ministry of rural development like: Indira Aawas Yojana, Swaran Jayanti Gramin Swarozgar Yojana, Swaran Jayanti Gramin Rozgar Yojana and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, have been unable to extend the benefit of 3 per cent reservation to the disabled.

Alarmed by the situation, chief commissioner, disabilities (CCD), Dr Manoj Prasad has now served a show cause notice on the rural development ministry asking for explanation as to why the disabled are being excluded from benefits.

Ten per cent of poverty alleviation funds under any scheme in India have been earmarked for skills development and training, rural development, but ministry’s annual report indicates that utilisation towards this objective has been only .05 per cent. No wonder the ministry of social justice and empowerment, nodal agency for guaranteeing full participation to the disabled, recently took up the matter with the concerned ministries.

Dr Kumar yesterday confirmed to The Tribune that efforts were on with rural development ministry to determine reasons for the exclusion of disabled from benefits of rural development schemes. The matter first came to light during 11 mobile courts he held across India to hear out the disabled.

More than 45 per cent of the total cases received by the commissioner pertained to benefits under different schemes.

Nineteen per cent queries were about employment. “Fruits of schemes are not reaching the targeted populations,” Dr Manoj Kumar said today on the sidelines of a meeting with NGO representatives from India. The meeting was called to develop a module for inclusion of the disabled in programmes being implemented in the rural sector.

“Annual reports of most of the central ministries running poverty alleviation schemes have consistently shown poor fund utilisation for the disabled. We have taken up the matter with the rural development ministry and will facilitate them to meet the objectives of PWD Act. Today the NGOs shared models of skills development. We are also identifying jobs for persons with different disabilities and will later see how relevant training can be imparted. Recommendations will be sent to all ministries,” he said.



Illumination to help check accidents
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Officials of the UT engineering wing are now banking on special illumination effects to caution motorists from bumping into poorly lit traffic island in the city. Yellow and green colour lights are being placed at strategic points to lighten up the beautifully landscaped traffic islands, which otherwise stand out during the day time.

A senior police official said the move was urgently required.

Surveys have revealed that a large number of fatal accidents have occurred due to inadequate lighting arrangements at roundabouts. UT police had repeatedly brought the issue to the notice of the engineering department. A fatal accident that claimed the life of three youths after their speeding car hit a poorly-lit rotary in sector 10 last year is still fresh in the mind of city residents. A number of cases of motorists hitting into roundabouts go unreported. Cat-eye reflectors and reflective paint at the rotaries also did not help much.

Meanwhile, sources said the illumination has already been done at the roundabout of sectors 8 and 19. Depending upon the success and feedback from road-users, lighting would be extended to other rotaries along the Madhya Marg.

Few years back, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO) had illuminated the rotary adjoining the Sector 16 cricket stadium.

UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar said lighting would brighten up the landscaped island. “ We would wait for the feedback before doing the same at other rotaries,” he said.



Liquor vend at Mansa Devi dwaar
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 16
Come Navratras and devotees visiting Mata Mansa Devi shrine will find a liquor vend with an ‘ahata’ at Mansa Devi dwaar.

Keeping the reverence associated with the ‘dwaar’ having affinity with Mata Mansa Devi at bay, the district administration has allotted a site to a liquor contractor right next to the gate. A banner displaying information about the opening of the vend has already been put up on one of the showrooms.

Residents of the area who were already feeling helpless because of the presence of many vends in the vicinity of their locality are now preparing to make a representation to the administration protesting against the opening of the vend. This is not all. The vend is being opened next to a nursing home and few hundred yards away from a temple.

“The authorities were too eager to earn money through this menace that they have opened vends in every corner of the city affecting the general public,” said A.K. Oswal, a resident of GH 22. “People drinking in the open near the vends and creating nuisance is a common sight during nights,” said Oswal adding that, “Opening of the vend at the entry of Mansa Devi Complex only reflects the intentions of the administration.”

Col S.P. Puri, a resident of Shikhar Apartments located on the backside of the vend, also finds it a nuisance.

“It is difficult to understand what the authorities want to show by allowing the vend at this place,” said Col Puri. He said the society residents would meet the administration in this regard.

Panchkula deputy commissioner Rajinder Kataria, when contacted, said he was not aware of the matter. “It is not an appropriate place for opening a vend and ahata as the place has acquired affinity with the shrine. Moreover, it will become a traffic hazard,” he remarked.

The matter would be inquired into and the vend would be shifted to some other place, he said.



Police bid to help senior citizens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
In a bid to help senior citizens round-the-clock, the Chandigarh police have asked people to call at its toll free number 1090, 100 or 2749194. Police have also requested the public to convey information in case of any emergency.

The police control room (PCR) has a fleet of 38 gypsies and 30 motorcycles deployed at various important points in the city. Out of the 38 Gypsies, 12 are ambulances equipped with first aid boxes and an expert pharmacist to shift grievously injured persons. The PCRs’ have attended to 3,529 spots from January 1 to March 15, including 1,148 accidents spots, out of which 1033 were of quarrels, 80 of unclaimed property, 74 of drunken persons, 63 fire incidents. In addition, these nabbed 110 suspicious persons, shifted 147 sick or unconscious persons lying on roads, attended to 19 cases of eve-teasing, six of honey-bee attack, 148 of noise pollution, seven of suicides, two of attempt to suicide and four related to poisoning incidents.

Meanwhile, police have requested the public to make use of these numbers for speedy assistance. Every call made to PCR is recorded and entries of action taken on the complaints are made in the register. Senior officers monitor the same and action is taken on the performance of police personnel who attended the spot.



MC park sans parking space; demolition job on
Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The municipal corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) seems to have a hotline to wasteful expenditure. Close on the heels of wastage of public money on the replacement of streetlights, another such case has come to light.

The case in point is the newly developed park in Sector 29-C on a stretch of barren land. In its enthusiasm to finish the work in the current financial year ending March 31, the MCC started the work at a breakneck speed a few months back.

While the work on the 5.8-acre park, including flower beds, concrete pathways, and cinder track and entrance was "almost finished", the civic body woke up from slumber to find out that the gate was just at the edge of the V-5 road and there was no parking space left for visitors.

And the civic body, known for its demolition feats, got busy with the job of demolishing the gate and a portion of the boundary wall to create a parking lot for "public convenience". It is another matter that the faux pas cost the civic body precious money, which could have been utilised for the provision of basic amenities elsewhere in the city.

Official sources informed that there was "some confusion" about the earlier map of the park. Earlier, it was proposed to provide parking on the side of the V-4 road only. However, subsequently, it was decided to create a parking lot on the other side of the park, the sources asserted.

Meanwhile, mindless wastage of public money has seen the residents up in arms against the MCC. "The wastage of precious tax payers' money was a criminal act and the civic body should penalise the officials behind such a blunder," Shakti Prakash Devshali, a social activist and Sector 29 resident, added.



Plots not allotted in seven years
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 16
Members of the Plot Allotment Sangarsh Committee, Sectors 76-80, staged a protest outside the office of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), which had failed to give possession of plots allotted to them nearly seven years back.

The protesters raised slogans against the Punjab government. They said the GMADA had issued letters of intents to a number of allottees but the possession of the plots still had not been given. They said the GMADA had even failed to hold a draw of lots for the remaining plots.

The president of the committee Sucha Singh Kalour said the GMADA was not implementing the orders of the Punjab Chief Minister who had asked the authority to hold a draw of lots at the earliest.

He said during the elections a number of leaders of the SAD and the BJP were giving assurances that plots would be allotted to them on a priority basis but nothing much had happened even one year after the SAD-BJP combine came to power in Punjab.

He said the allottees had deposited 25 per cent cost of the plots at the time of allotment. The rate of construction had increased drastically over the years and it would become very difficult for the allottees to construct houses after possession of the plots was given to them.

The protesters threatened that if a date for holding a draw of lots was not fixed immediately, they would be resorting to a hunger strike on March 28.



Encroachers lay govt land to waste
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Municipal authorities seem quite oblivious to the fact that encroachers are openly selling bricks, stones and sand and running a flourishing business from the government land near the rotary intersecting Sector 25 and Sector 38 west. Inspite of a number of complaints regarding these illegal encroachments nothing has been done to check the same.

Encroachers have occupied every little space available near the rotary. And although there is heavy traffic rush here, encroachers have occupied even the corners of the road. At certain places, mounds of mud and sand have been thrown on the corners, which might cause major accidents. There have been instances of two-wheelers slipping at these spots in the past.

“A number of times the issue regarding encroachments has been brought to the notice of MC authorities, but I guess either they don’t have a solution or are busy in other works”, said a shopkeeper. “Many a time I had minor escapes. Usually, the sand laying on the corners of the road makes it risky for the two-wheelers”.

According to area councillor Rita Sharma encroachments are a major concern. “ Recently, the issue has been brought to my notice and I have directed the area SHO to take immediate action. However, there is confusion whether the land falls under the jurisdiction of the MC or the UT administration. We can only request encroachers not to occupy the road. However, we can’t remove them,” said Sharma.



Major projects stuck in red tape
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The high-level monitoring meetings of the Chandigarh administration notwithstanding, projects that have been touted as world class have been held up due to red tape or the slack attitude of the babus.

The development agreement for the IT habitat centre was signed in October, 2006 but nothing has moved so far. The project was given wide publicity and got a bid for Rs 821 crore by a leading builder. Sources in the administration said more than Rs 450 crore had been deposited in the coffers of the Chandigarh Housing Board - the nodal agency to execute the project - but the final plans are yet to be cleared. Thanks to the strict building rules, that allow immense power in hands of officials to withhold permissions.

The project has been held up while the administration realises that this will discourage more investors and hamper the medi-city and education city projects.

The IT habitat centre is to be spread across 123 acres and is to have a housing project, schools, hospital, hotels and other facilities. This is to come up near the IT park. According to the original deadline, the development was to be completed by October 2009. However, this seems unlikely even as the investors have started murmurs of protest claiming to be losing huge money.

Within the administration, officials say the staff is afraid of handling the files of such projects as any error could lead to departmental enquiries at a later stage in their careers. In the past one month, UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) and his adviser Pradeep Mehra have, at separate meetings, asked officials to speed up matters.

This is not the sole example. The multiplex at the IT park is ready but cannot be started due to want of another clearance. The old movie theatres like Jagat and KC have been torn down but there is no sign of fresh buildings coming up.



Riot control exercise held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
To cope with contingencies during the forthcoming sessions of the Punjab and Haryana legislative assemblies, the Chandigarh police today carried out a demonstration on riot and crowd control. The Home Guards volunteers and trainees of Recruitment Training Centre, Sector 26, participated in the demonstration.

UT SSP S.S. Srivastva was present on the occasion along with other senior officials, including the station house officers of all police stations in the city. In all 450 police personnel took part in the event. The SSP issued guidelines to the demonstrators for better handling of emergency situations.

All arrangements required for crowd and mob control, including fire brigade, ambulance, mounted staff and water canons were part of the demonstration.

The demonstration was presented in four phases - control through persuasion, by forming a chain and human wall of police officials, controlling the mob by using minimum force with help of water canons, tear-gas shells, mild lathicharge and ultimately to avoid further loss of life and property use of minimum fire arms.



Conversion fee to remain the same
Policy extended for 6 months

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The administration here would not increase the fee under the conversion policy to allow conversion of industrial plots to commercial establishments, said the UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar here yesterday. The administration has, however, decided to extend the policy for another six months.

The current second term of the conversion policy ends on March 18. Since the last auction of commercial property held on December 17, 2007, the conversion fee had automatically gone up on the basis of formulae incorporated in the policy. It could not be confirmed whether any application was received in December, January and February. As per the procedure, the Chandigarh Housing Board, the nodal agency for conversion policy, should have informed those who applied after the last auction.

The estate officer RK Rao said the conversion fee had automatically gone up after the auction in December. He said the average price of auction(s) of commercial property held in the last three years decides the rates for conversion. The condition of calculating the fee on the basis of the average auction price was always there in the conversion policy. The increase is 50 per cent of the average auction price achieved in the last three years. President of the Chandigarh Industrial Association, MPS Chawla, said a delegation of the association would meet the officials to demand that the fee remains unchanged.

On the condition of anonymity, an industrialist said the CHB was still receiving applications on the basis of conversion fee of Rs 20,000 per sq yard. He said due to lack of coordination between the CHB and finance department the applicants had to suffer.



PRSI plans accreditation clause
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The Public Relation Society of India is planning to propose ‘PR accreditation’ in its agenda now, under which PR professionals will have to apply for accreditation like in other countries. The issue was raised at the Golden Jubilee function of PRSI held at CII convention centre here yesterday.

The function was organised by Chandigarh chapter of PRSI as a sequel to the one-day conference on "Media Paradigm and Communication Challenges:"

Vivek Atrey, UT director public relation, was the chief guest on the occasion. He stressed upon the importance of expertise in PR profession. Aditi Dua, former national president of PRSI, said, "It will be a great step indeed. Even the institute must ensure standardisation of the syllabus of diploma or degree programmes offered by various universities and organisations."

A book in Punjabi - "Jansampark Sashakta Bhartiya Avdharna" - written by national vice- president of PRSI Rajesh Kumar was also released on the occasion.



Seminar on blood donation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
A seminar for school teachers ‘Safe Blood — Be the Link’ was organised by the Blood Bank Society at the Rotary Blood Resource Centre, Sector 37, yesterday. DPI (S) S.K. Setia was the chief guest on the occasion.

President of Blood Bank Society Kanta Saroop Krishan said the objective of organising the camp was to motivate youngsters to donate blood. Around 60 delegates attended the camp.

Speakers on the occasion included Niti Sarin on ‘Blood Donation - the need of the Hour’, Dr S. Bambah on ‘Nutrition and Health’, while Meena Kashyap and Kamna Sharma spoke on the topic of safe blood transfusion.



26 nominations filed for MC elections
Tribune New Service

Panchkula, March 16
The filing of nomination papers for the municipal elections has started warming up as a total of 26 nomination papers were filed by candidates from different parties as well as those who are in the line to reach the civic body independently. Thirty-three nominations were filed till Friday.

While Arvind Thakur (ward 12), Harbans Kaur (ward 20) and Kali Raman (ward 18) filed the papers on INLD ticket, the BJP also submitted papers of its six candidates. Luxmi Devi, R.P. Malhotra, Surinder Bansal, Jagdish Nagrath and Ashish Garg have filed their papers from ward Nos. 2, 5, 13, 23 and 30, respectively. The party has decided to field Abdul Mian from ward No. 27 reserved for backward category.

Three parties, including the Congress, BJP and INLD, announced their decision to contest the elections on party symbol. Meanwhile, the Congress released the list of candidates late this evening.



LIC employees stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Development officers of Life Insurance Corporation organised a dharna in front of the divisional office of the LIC in Sector 17 here yesterday.

The officers, under the aegis of National Federation of Insurance Field Workers of India, were demanding that the foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance should not be increased; continuation of sovereign guarantee for LIC policies to protect interest and benefits of agency force.

The officers were also demanding that a comprehensive review of the post-privatisation era of insurance sector before initiating any vital decisions relating to the industry be made.

They demanded that the government honour the commitment made in the Parliament on December 10, 2004, regarding the fair review of the incentive package of the development officers, which was unilaterally notified in 2004.



Man, daughter die of dog bite
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 16
A man of a nearby village and his daughter succumbed to dog bites at PGI Chandigarh today.

The deceased, Puran (50) and Princey (6), both residents of Berwal village near here, were brought to civil hospital, Panchkula, on February 28 when a dog bit them. They were referred to the PGI.

According to information, a dog attacked Princey and injured her seriously and when Puran came to rescue his daughter, he was also mauled by the dog.



CHB flats should be cheaper

The sparkling cost of land and high cost of construction has led Chandigarh Housing Board to provide cheap housing to the economically weaker sections and middle classes. The CHB has proposed flats at a competitively lower price which is less yet not to the extent that can meet the requirements of different segments of society.

The houses are not within the reach of common man and the prices should be markedly lowered further, if the board really intends to serve all the sections of society, including the low income group. The flats should be allotted to the needy and poor people on no profit, no loss basis. This is a commendable step taken by the board but would only be feasible if it takes into consideration all the classes of society separately.

Dr Shruti Kapoor, Panchkula

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English language workshop for teachers, trainers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The British Library organised English language teaching workshop for teachers and IELTS trainers on their premises in Sector 9, here today. Titled as ‘Teaching Writing Skills’ and ‘Presenting and Practising Language,’ the focus was to determine the ways, principles and practice in which the English should be taught and learnt. There were around 60 participants for these workshops.

Komal Singh a freelance English language teaching professional was the resource person for workshop.

The first session on presenting and practising language was to consider beliefs and opinions on grammar, to explore factors to remember when presenting/focusing on new language, to demonstrate deductive versus inductive/guided discovery approaches, to showcase a range of grammar practice activities for use in the classroom.

The second session was on ‘teaching writing skills’ in which the focus was on ways to introduce and practice a variety of activities for developing the writing skills and to discuss potential problems that may arise while teaching writing skills.

To get the students prepare for writing, Komal suggested that the students should be involved in discussing their ideas in pairs or groups.

“Ask the students to write a plan of what they’re going to write before they start, this encourages them to think about organisation and structure. Make sure that students are equipped with the grammatical knowledge they will need to complete the task. Show the students a text of the type they are going to write about and discuss its organisation, layout and contents. They can then use this as a model to help them write their own text,” she said.

The other aims included issues of accuracy vs fluency, approaches to error correction, the various stages of a writing lesson and the guided writing process. “Writing is an essential part of language instruction at every level because it supports learning in multiple ways. Like speaking, writing involves the skills of both accuracy and fluency,” she told.

Komal advocated to help students developing their dictionary and thesaurus skills so they can use these resources while writing. “Also encourage a sense of self correction among students. Tell them that they’ re only going to be corrected on specific things like organisation, use of vocabulary and tenses. This will help them to focus on these areas as they’re doing the writing.”



Syndic Meeting
Revision of fee structure to be taken up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Panjab University in its syndicate meeting to be held on March 23 would consider revising the fee structures from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 for setting up of an examination centre in colleges affiliated to the university.

A meeting of the committee comprising Prof S.K. Kulkarni, Prof R.S. Grewal, Prof D.N. Jauhar and Prof C.L. Duggal was held on February 5 to discuss the issue and had recommended to raise the fee to Rs 15,000.

Syndics will also take up the matter of establishing school system in the university. A committee consisting of 11 members, after detailed discussion, recommended implementing school system in university.

The VC may appoint the chief coordinator and coordinator preferably based on the seniority of the person. The term of the chief coordinator and coordinator should be two to three years.

The minutes of the committee constituted by the VC to discuss the matter regarding issuance of BSc (pass course) detailed marks certificate to candidates of BSc (Hons school), who discontinued the course after completing three years will also be considered.

The committee decided that the candidates should be given DMC on the basis of best pass marks obtained by them during their course, including subsidiary subjects.

Syndics on March 23 will take up the complaint made by Nalin Sharma, director, Arun Publishing House Private Limited, Sector 17, against Dr B.B. Goyal, reader for illegal printing, supply of books of case unit, UBS, PU, by him through Reckon prints and Kaizen graphics and others.

The members of the syndicate will also discuss the issue pertaining to refunding of the fee of students admitted under NRI, NRI sponsored, industry sponsored category during the session 2007-08.

Dr Balram Gupta in his legal opinion to PU, has recommended the amount of fees to be charged by the candidates admitted under NRI, NRO sponsored, industry sponsored (2007-08) should be refunded after deducting 25 per cent of the tuition fee and also of all other funds and charges.

Other issues to be discussed include reservation for other backward classes, OBC to the teaching post's in state universities and its affiliated, constituent colleges, change in eligibility for entrance test to Med course from 50 per cent to 55 per cent as per NCTE norms, granting provisional affiliation to GCG-11, GC-42 and Government College for Commerce and Business Administration, Sector 19.



From Schools & Colleges
Tiny tots visit Chhatbir Zoo
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 16
An excursion to Chhatbir Zoo was organised for tiny tots of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali. The most exciting feature of the trip was the lion safari. Children were thrilled to see the lions roaming about freely in open. Various games were also organised for the kids.

OATH CEREMONY: The prefect body of Sacred Souls' School took oath of office. Head boy Harparkash Singh and head girl Harleen Kaur received the school flag from the school director. Other members of the body were - deputy head boy: Jugraj Singh; deputy head girl: Harbanspreet Kaur; games prefect: Navjot Sandhu, Robin Aulakh; medical prefect: Jaiveer Singh; Gurleen Kaur; activity prefect: Sarvpreet Singh; Manjeet Kaur; editorial board prefect: Bhagatpreet Chugh, Rohan Arora, Chandandeep Singh; guest prefect: Divyang Kapoor and Aarzoo Mehta.

ACTIVITIES’ WEEK: Indo-Global Engineering College and Architecture Engineering College organised the activities’ week from March 10 and 14. A variety of activities were planned and carried out, including brain storming session, paper reading, debates, quiz, poster-making competitions. Indo Global chairperson Neelam Singla was the chief guest at the prize distribution function.

WINDOW DISPLAY: Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT), Mohali, organised a window display for different brands’ outlets in Sector 17, Chandigarh, from March 7. The display for outlets had been done under different themes based on forecast. The main goal of the display was to showcase the products within the overall display area.

HOLI CELEBRATED: Holi celebrations were filled with fun and joy at Shivalik Public School. A card making competition was held for kindergarten students. Children splashed each other with colours and danced to holi tunes and relished sweets. Principal Satwant Kaur Bedi shared the dos’ and don’ts of festivities with the students and explained the relevance of Holi.

PLACEMENT DRIVE: WIPRO (BPO), Delhi, conducted a joint campus placement drive at Guru Gobind Singh College of Modern Technology, Kharar. Ankush Harsh and Robin Sharma of GGSCMT, Kharar, and Jagrit Singh from GGS Polytechnic were selected and were given job offer letters on the spot.

VISIT: Dr. I.T. Institute of Management and Technology near Banur organised a tour to Pushpa Gujral Science City, Jalandhar, for its students with an objective to cultivate interest in science through open-ended exploration to problem solving. The students enjoyed the adventurous show at dome theatre.


ANNUAL DAY: Happy Hours play way, Ambala Cantonment, organised its annual day function here yesterday. A colourful programme was put together by tiny tots comprising a Rajasthani dance and a patriotic song. Principal Aditi Walia read out the annual report. Principal of Mind Tree School Sudha Mathur was the chief guest. A fancy dress competition was also held in which Osheen won the first prize.



From Colleges
Tiny tots present ‘Reflection-2008’
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, March 16
Aryan Victor was adjudged the Aanchal Prince and Janhvi Pathak was declared Aanchal Princess during the cultural programme held at Aanchal Public School, Sector 41, here today.

Prajveer and Arnav Soni went home with the title of Healthy Baby and Energetic Baby, respectively. However, Charvi Thakur was chosen as the Divine Baby.

The function, named, as ‘Reflection-2008’ was a colourful blend of cultural programme, athletic events and competitions. Raj Khurana, chief parliamentary secretary, finance, (Punjab) was the chief guest on the occasion. The function commenced with ceremonial lightening of the lamp followed by a vibrant welcome dance by the school kids.

Attired in colourful costumes, the tiny-tots of UKG enthralled the audience with their lively spirited dance performance. LKG kids rocked the stage by dancing to the tune of popular Hindi songs.

Meanwhile, crawling race, colour-hunt race, tidy race, banana race, hurdle race, centipede race were also held. Solo dance competition and on-the-spot painting competition on the theme ‘Say No To Drugs’ and ‘Science-A Boon or Bane’ was also organised for the students of class III to VII.

Other results: Dance competition: Ashveen stood first, Harpawan got the second prize, Sanisha was third, Harmandeep Singh got the consolation prize.

Drawing Competition: Shiza stood first, Harpreet came second and Avneet stood third.

Function: A field show Expressions-2008 was organised at Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 45, here, today. The DPI (S) S.K. Setia was the chief guest on the occasion. The show began with a Taekwondo event in which children displayed various techniques of self-defence and discipline.

The snake and peacock dance presented by the students of classes III, IV and V enchanted the audience.

The show concluded with a colourful parade where in the children came out on the field on their bicycles to spread the message of energy conservation and having a pollution free environment.



Kalpana Chawla Trust to set up institutes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
The Kalpana Chawla Memorial Educational Society (KCMES) today announced setting up of five educational institutes in Punjab, from the session beginning in July.

The courses, which KCMES offer would include information technology, mechanical and electronics engineering, pharmacy, BEd, computer science education.

S.C. Gupta, Kalpana Chawla Memorial Group of Colleges, while briefing at press conference said, “Out of 25 per cent of management discretion seats, five per cent would be reserved for poor, brilliant and needy students. In addition to free education, all other expenses like on books, stationery etch would be the liability of KCMES.”

Gupta told that the colleges, situated on Banur-Tepla road in Shambhu Kalan village, will be affiliated to Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar. “The LOI for the engineering courses have already been given by the AICTE.”

The transportation system would be operational from Ambala, Patiala, Rajpura and tri-city Mohali- Chandigarh and Panchkula. About the society, Gupta told that the society raised funds from amongst its members to raise the state of the art project.



Social activist serves notice on UT administrator
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
City-based social activist Hemant Goswami has served a legal notice on the UT administrator in his individual capacity today. Goswami has threatened civil and criminal action and said the notice is about the increased fee for RTI applications.

He added that the RTI Act allows him to promulgate rules only for his office and not for the whole city. The notice states: “The said unlawful rules appear to have been promulgated to prevent people from seeking information and creating barriers in obtaining information.”

The strongly worded notice further states, “That by unlawfully imposing a fee on the public by way of increased fee under the right to information act, you have imposed an illegal tax on the people of Chandigarh, which is prohibited under Article 265 and 285 of the Constitution. It has not been an act done in good faith.” The notice further adds, “The constitutional position of the administrator is a position of trust wherein he acts as the custodian of the property and articles entrusted to him by virtue of his position.”

Alleging that there was a criminal breach of trust with the public, Hemant states that not following provisions of the RTI Act and not maintaining proper records in the office was an offence. “That you are not the owner but custodian of all the property and documents addressed/created, executed, produced or under your control. People of India are the real owner of each and every document sent to you, produced by you and under your control. All such documents are of great archival and other value.”

The issue of granting pardon and remission to prisoners on the Republic Day this year also figures in the notice.



Lok adalat settles marital discord
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Two years of separation has given breathing space to this couple. Sushma Rani and Ashok Kumar, who got married on November 19, 2000, were on the verge of divorce when the Lok Adalat came to their rescue. In one of the rare cases, counselled by additional district and sessions judge R.S. Attri, the couple resolved their differences and decided to live together.

After four years of marriage, they were blessed with twins on February 26, 2004. Subsequently, the couple had minor disputes that affected their relationship. A few FIRs levelling allegations against each other were also registered by the families of the two. Thereafter, the couple parted ways and started living separately in November 2005. While Sushma took her children and moved to live with her parents near Chandimandir, Ashok stayed with his parents in Sector 56. For two years the education and basic needs of Sushma and her children were fulfilled by her father, who worked in a school.

Meanwhile, the case was shifted to Lok Adalats for a compromise in January 2006. The court played a vital role in helping the couple reconcile. To ensure that the couple compromises the court on February 23, 2008, asked Ashok to take Sushma and his children out for lunch. Thereafter, the court called them at 3:30 pm on the very day after their outing.

The couple then met the judge who suggested them to refrain from arguments. During the next hearing on March 7, 2008 the judge counselled the couple again and the dispute was amicably resolved. The case was later adjourned.

Yesterday, Sushma admitted to have entered into a compromise Ashok. “I am happy and have no problems in living with Ashok,” she stated before the court. Ashok also withdrew the case.



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