C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Derailment puts passengers to hardship
Trains run several hours behind schedule
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Hundreds of commuters travelling daily on the Chandigarh-Ambala-Delhi railway section were put to great inconvenience as the train services between the two cities remained suspended for over seven hours due to derailment of a goods train at Ambala.

Also put to great hardship were passengers travelling on the different pairs of Shatabdi Express, running between Kalka and Delhi.

It took seven hours for the morning Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express to reach Delhi. The reverse train which left Delhi at 7.50 am reached Chandigarh at 3.30 pm, leaving the passengers fuming as no lunch was served on board the train. Passengers complained that they were not served water and snacks during the extended timings of the train.

However, the evening Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi reached Chandigarh on time as the Ambala section was opened to traffic at around 12.30 pm.

This morning, chaos prevailed at the Chandigarh railway station the moment passengers heard an announcement that the Kalka-Delhi Shatabdi Express was being diverted through Saharanpur. Those who had scheduled meetings at Delhi preferred to seek refund and travel by road. The Kalka-Delhi Jan Shatabdi Express was also running behind schedule.

“As the Ambala-Saharanpur-Delhi section is a non-electrified and single track, all the trains ran slow. A number of Delhi-bound trains from Chandigarh and Amritsar were diverted through Saharanpur and this resulted in delay”, said a railway official.

Worst hit were the daily commuters who travel by Himalayan Queen and other shuttle trains between Ambala and Kalka. Due to the derailment, the Delhi-Kalka Himalayan Queen was cancelled.

Those scheduled to travel by the Kalka-Delhi Himalayan Queen were unhappy due to cancellation of the train. Some preferred to travel by the Unchahar Express.

RL Goel, a member of the District Railway User Consultative Committee, Ambala, said at the Delhi station, the announcement was made just 10 minutes before the train left the station. He stated that the catering personnel on the train refused to provide extra meals after serving the breakfast. Other passengers on board the train demanded that the caterer should at least serve biscuits and other edible items kept in the stock for the evening Shatabdi.

Ram Kumar, another passenger, said that for such situations, the railways should have alternative electrified routes so that passengers were not put to inconvenience. A senior railway official said it was an emergency and every possible effort was made to provide eatables to the passengers. The diverted route had goods stations and there was no base kitchen en route.

A railway official said all the trains which left the Chandigarh station after 2 pm were running on time.

Trains diverted and cancelled

A railway spokesman said a number of long-distance and local trains had been affected due to the derailment, resulting in cancellation, short termination and diversion of a large number of trains bound to various destinations, including New Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Jammu, Pune, Nanded, Mumbai and Katihar.

The four trains diverted via Rohtak-Jakhal-Ludhiana route were 4732 Bhatinda-New Delhi Inter City Express, 2471 Mumbai Jammu Tawi Sarvodhya Express, 1057 Dadar Amritsar Express and 2919 Indore-Jammu Tawi Malwa Express.

Seven trains - 1078 Jammu Pune Jhelum Express, 404 Jammu Tawi New Delhi Summer Special, 2006 Kalka New Delhi Shatabdi, 2014 Amritsar New Delhi Shatabdi, 2029 New Delhi Amritsar Shatabdi, 4217 Allahabad Chandigarh Unchahar Express and 2011 New Delhi Kalka Shatabdi Express- were diverted via Saharanpur.

The 2497 Nizamudin Amritsar Express, 2498 Amritsar Nizamudin Express, 2Du Delhi Ambala Passenger, 2/4 Ambala Kurukshetra Ambala Passenger were cancelled for today.

981 Jaipur Chandigarh Express was terminated at Kurukshetra, 4095/4096 Nizamudin Kalka Himalayan Queen would remain cancelled between Panipat and Kalka in both the directions and 1PU Panipat Ambala Passenger would remain cancelled between Kurukshetra and Ambala.

Several other trains, including Amritsar Katihar Express, Amritsar New Delhi Express, Chandigarh New Delhi Jan Shatabdi, Kalka Bandra Mumbai Paschim Express, Amritsar Nanded Sachkhand Express and Amritsar Mumbai Paschim Express were running behind schedule. 



Price Rise
The rich splurge as common man struggles with bills
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The neighbourhood grocery store has now become the best place for gauging the divide between the rich and the common man. While the common man is concerned over his burgeoning grocery bill comprising only the basic items, the rich are taking to the wide array of imported foods, herbs and preserves like never before.

With inflation reaching an all-time high of 7.41 per cent today, mainly on account of rising food prices, the common man is struggling to buy his quota of sugar, rice, confectionery and edible oil. In the past week, the price of sugar has increased to Rs 17 a kg, while rice prices have almost doubled since last year. Though the edible oil prices have seen a correction after government intervention, these are still over 20 per cent more than their price last year.

What is worse is that he is being offered less in confectionery, namkeens, soaps and shampoos, as the manufacturers have made ‘weight adjustments’ to keep their prices under control. On the other hand, a growing tribe of people in the city now demand only Danish cookies, marmalades and preserves besides imported chocolates and jellies for their children.

So, even as one struggles and juggles with the items that he should include in his grocery, his counterpart on the other side of the great economic divide contemplates buying the over Rs 600 a litre olive oil for cooking, or the gherkins (Rs 95 for 670 gm) , jalapenos ( Rs 50 for 350 gm) and sliced Spanish olives (Rs 110 for 150 gm) as either toppings on his pizza and sandwich, or as accompaniment with his cocktails, made using the English bar syrups.

While small shopkeepers in the city say that their sale of certain routine grocery items has been hit because of the price rise, the department stores in the tri city say that the sale of these imported food items is growing by almost 20 per cent a year. Vikas Kumar, director of Life departmental store in Panchkula, says that these imported food items now account for 10 per cent of the daily sale at his store. 



CHB Schemes 
Bonanza for UT staff, raw deal for others 
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Double standards seem to be buzzword for the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the construction arm of the Chandigarh administration. While the board is set to offer a bonanza to the UT employees under a special housing scheme in Sectors 52 and 56, the prospective allottees in the general housing scheme in Sector 63 will get a raw deal regarding pricing, covered area and specifications of the four-storeyed apartments.

Tribune Exclusive
Besides putting the general allottees at financial loss, the board's dichotomy will leave these allottees with reduced covered area for the apartments

Besides putting the general allottees at financial loss, the board's dichotomy will leave these allottees with reduced covered area for the apartments. While category A (three bedroom), having a covered area 2,000 square feet, will cost only 34.7 lakh for the UT employees, the same flat with a covered area of 1,424 square feet will cost Rs 39.57 lakh to a general allottee.

In fact, the situation in other categories is no different with category B (two bedroom) 1,400 square feet apartment costing just Rs 24.3 lakh for the UT staff. On the other hand, general category allottees will have to shell out Rs 29.14 lakh for the same category of flat with a reduced area of 1,075 square feet.

A careful perusal of the schemes revealed that there was no respite for the category C (one bedroom) flat general allottees as they would pay Rs 17.15 lakh for a flat measuring 684 square feet. The UT staff will pay only an amount of Rs 13.53 lakh for the flat measuring about 900 square feet.

The one room flat for economically weaker sections(EWS) will cost a little lower for the general categories at Rs 5.66 lakh as against Rs 5.76 lakh for the UT staff. However, there is a difference in the covered area as the general allottees will get only about 340 square feet covered area as compared to the apartments for other UT employees having about 500 square feet area.

Even as the CHB has decided to come out with differential pricing structure for different categories in its wisdom (or lack of it), the applicants are up in arms. “As a public sector undertaking mandated to provide housing to the general public at reasonable prices, the CHB should not adopt double standards,” complained Manjit Singh, a prospective allottee.

Official sources said the covered areas and pricing were different as the schemes were meant for two different segments of society.

CHB’s double standards

UT staff scheme (Sec 52,56)

Cat A(Rs 34.7 lakh; area 2000 sq feet)

Cat B(Rs 24.3 lakh;area 1400 sq feet) Cat C(Rs 17.15 lakh; area 900 sq feet) General scheme (Sec 63)

Cat A (Rs 39.57 lakh; area 1424 sq feet)

Cat B(Rs 29.14 lakh; area 1075 sq feet)

Cat C(RS 13.53 lakh; area 684 sq feet)



UT Home Secy’s Post
Centre rejects Haryana panel for ‘lobbying’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
In an unprecedented move, the Centre has rejected the panel of Haryana IAS officers for the post of UT Home Secretary on account of intense lobbying by the aspirants. The panel of three Haryana-cadre IAS officers had been shortlisted and forwarded to the Centre for approval.

Sources in the ministry of home affairs confirmed that the aspirants annoyed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) over “lobbying”. The issue had even surfaced in the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) and the Centre had taken a serious view of it.

It is perhaps for the first time that the panel of officers has been rejected on account of lobbying. The issue of seniority coming in way of the selection has not found merit. Sources said it was rare that after being scrutinised at two different levels, the panel was rejected.

The sources said following the Centre’s intimation, the Haryana government would send a fresh panel of IAS officers for the post of UT home secretary by next week. However, no UT official confirmed that any such rejection letter had been received.

Seeking a fresh panel will mean few more weeks, if not months, will be spent in getting clearance from the Centre. 



Dam to meet water needs for next 40 years
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 11
The construction of dam at Kaushalya River near Pinjore is expected end drinking water woes of Panchkula city residents as well as people living in nearby rural areas completely for next 40 years.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda would lay the foundation stone of the dam on Sunday.

After the work on the dam is completed in the month of September next year, the city residents residing on upper floors would start getting the water supply.

At present, the city with a population of more than 2.2 lakh is getting water from its seven boosting stations at Sectors 1, 3, 6, 8, 16, 20 and Industrial Area, phase-1, along with 135 tube wells.

The tube wells are not capable to create pressure required to lift the water up to third floor. However, water tanks would be developed in the city where the water from river would be deposited before it is supplied to the consumers.

A pipeline would be laid from the dam to the open tank of water works near Red Bishop Tourism Complex of Haryana Tourism in Sector 1. After treating the water here, it would be released for the consumption of city residents.

The earthen dam being built by state irrigation department would be 1,125m long with a height of 34m at maximum deep level.

When the dam is built, a total of 40.3 cusecs water would be available during filling period between July 16 and September 30 while 18.4 cusecs of water would be available during depletion period of October 1 to July 15.

The construction of dam would not only benefit the residents of Panchkula, it would also help in the increase of underground water table in the city beautiful due to water recharging in the area.

The increase in the underground water table would provide a new lease of life to the drying tubewells in Panchkula and Chandigarh, further strengthening the water supply system, said an official in the Haryana irrigation department.

In addition to it, HUDA is evaluating the prospects of revising the design of road, which would join the new sectors proposed to be developed in Pinjore with the Panchkula-Shimla highway. HUDA has proposed to irrigation department to lay a 15m wide road so that a four-lane passage could be provided to the commuters.

Till now, it is proposed that a 12m wide road will be laid on the dam. 



Mohali-Chandigarh road link
Notice served on Railways
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, April 11
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has given an ultimatum to the Northern Railway to settle the dispute over land, which has led to stoppage of work on a major Mohali-Chandigarh road link.

The final notice issued by GMADA on April 8 stated that if the Railways failed to settle the dispute on the basis of the revenue record within five days, it would be presumed that the department had nothing to say in this regard and the case registered by the Railways would be treated as null and void.

Thereafter, GMADA would restart the work of laying storm sewer and construction of the road on the area that was actually related to GMADA.

On February 16, the Railways had got an FIR registered against a GMADA contractor, arrested the driver and impounded the JCB excavator after a signal cable of the Railways was damaged while digging the earth for laying pipelines along the 200-feet-wide road being constructed to connect Sector 48 in Chandigarh with Sector 65 in Mohali.

The Railway authorities that claimed that pipelines were being laid in an area that belonged to them also stopped the digging work.

The notice sent by the GMADA divisional engineer to the senior divisional engineer (I) Northern Railway, DRM office, Ambala Cantt, further stated that work of laying storm sewer was in progress and was stopped after an FIR was registered against the contractual agency and it was claimed that sewer was being laid in an area belonging to the Railways.

Meetings were called to sort out the matter on March 11 and again on March 13 but no representative of the Railways attended these.

However, Railways kanungo Vinod Sexena attended a meeting called by GMADA at the site on March 18 and said he would make the position clear on March 26 after reviewing the related revenue record. Even, GMADA officials had given the kanungo the relevant record but he failed to turn up at the site on March 26.

GMADA further stated that the road link was a prestigious project and had to be completed within the stipulated time. If the Railways failed to settle the issue within five days, GMADA would go ahead with the work, which was stopped nearly two months back.

The road being constructed by GMADA will connect Chandigarh to the proposed airport in Mohali and ultimately touch the National Highway 21 (road passing through Kharar).



Roads to be widened on Pinjore-Kalka stretch
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 11
The commuters going through Pinjore and Kalka have a reason to cheer as they will not face roads full of potholes anymore. The district administration has assigned strengthening and widening of roads in both the cities to a construction agency. The agency has been asked to complete the work within next 45 days.

The roads in both the towns were in a bad shape after the demolition drive was carried out in the month of December leading to long traffic jams as the work of widening and strengthening roads was not taken up after the drive.

On the weekends the commuters had to face traffic jams for hours as the road in Kalka near Kali Mata temple was in a very bad shape.

The agency would complete the work, including shifting of drains and water supply pipes as well as electricity installations. A total of Rs 3.3 crore would be spent on the project, said Rajinder Kataria, deputy commissioner, Panchkula.

Similarly, the traffic bottleneck on the Pinjore- Nalalgarh road from 0 to 2.2 km would be removed by strengthening and widening of road at cost of Rs 3.44 crore, he said. However, the tenders for work on a stretch between 11.5 km and 17.5 km where Rs 6 crore would be spent, would be opened on April 24, said Kataria. The work on stretch between 2.2 and 11 km was completed, he added.



Sec 33 toilets in a mess
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Shopkeepers in Sector 33 are crying hoarse over the pitiable condition of the newly-constructed toilets within the market. The toilets, constructed last year in both the mini markets, have stopped functioning since a along time and despite many complaints authorities have not taken any action yet.

The toilet in one of the markets is not working since the time it was inaugurated, while another at the junction is not operational since over three months. The main market of the sector does not have a toilet at all!

Even the taps are not functioning and shopkeepers have no choice but to use ladies toilets at times. This has led to numerous problems and heated arguments at times.

Says Jagdish, care-taker of both the toilets in Sector 33, “A number of complaints have been made to the contractor, and the incharge, but they are ignoring the issue.”

Similar problems are being faced by residents in other sectors, including Sector 5, as well.



Despite empty land, MC projects yet to take off
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Land worth crores of rupees, belonging to Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC), is lying unutilised as no plans have been chalked out for its proper usage for development purposes.

Interestingly, this land was handed over by the Chandigarh administration to the MC at the time of its formation for taking up various projects all over the city. Yet the MC seems to have no time to lease out these sites, auction or chalk out developmental project for the city. The corporation also does not have any data about the status of the land, which is their property, and whether it is under any litigation or has already been allocated for some project.

For some sites the corporation is awaiting clearance from the Chandigarh administration for changing the land usage.

Sources in the corporation revealed that it took more than a year to prepare the status report of the property held by the corporation in Manimajra and rest of the city is yet to be covered. More than 200 sites of the corporation at prominent places in Manimajra, Mauli Jagran, Sector 17, 22-C, 36-D, 38-C and D and Sector 39-D, were lying vacant. Sources added that the corporation has tried twice to go in for auction of seven booths in Sector 39, eight in Mauli Jagran, 39 sites in Manimajra in 2005 and January 2008 respectively. Out of these MC has withdrawn auction of six sites of Mauli Jagran as these were under litigation and rest had some proposed plans.

Sources informed that six institutional and one site for hospital in Manimajra, ten sites in motor market and commercial market had applied for the change of trade from the Chandigarh administration since long, but no decision had been taken on their request so far. The proposal prepared by the corporation for 11 sites from pocket number 2 to 11 in Manimajra has yet to be finalised by the engineering wing of Chandigarh administration.

Sources revealed that about two years ago the corporation had got vacated the land from the marble sellers in pocket number 6, but the project to be brought up on this land has not been finalised by the corporation yet.

The long pending demand of the residential sites is also yet to see the ray of light as the engineering department of administration had not given clearance to it.

One of the senior official of the corporation revealed that the irony of the corporation is that even if though the land is with it, the planning for setting up project on that land is done by the administration which is the cause of long delays 
in approval.



MC fails to popularise Citizen's Charter 
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Almost four years after the municipal corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) introduced the Citizen’s Charter, the civic body has failed to popularise it, leaving the citizens high and dry. The residents continue to be a confused lot regarding the functions of the MC and the UT administration.

The charter informs the citizens about the areawise complaint centres of various wings of the MCC.

Sources in the MCC said the charter was finalised and its abridged edition was published in December 2007. From the very beginning the authorities were stating that the rights of the citizens and the telephone numbers of their complaint redressal centres would be made public by installing notice boards carrying information at public places. However, it seems to be a distant dream as the authorities have now decided against installing such boards.

The concept of charter took over a decade to formulate, as the idea was introduced way back in 1999, witnessing several drafts and amendments before it was finally introduced in 2004. Even today, after publication of limited copies of the charter, it is far from the reach of residents for whom it was made.

An official in the MCC said the charter introduced in 2004 was just a four-five page document. Now the abridged edition had comprehensive information regarding various wings of the MCC. The copies of the charter would be given to area councillors and ward committees. He, however, confirmed that no boards carrying information would be installed in the city.

Disagreeing with the idea of not installing boards, councillor Kamlesh told TNS that the very concept of the Citizen’s Charter fails if it is not accessible to the public. The authorities should advertise it through newspapers and media and by installing boards at public places. Ridiculing the idea of providing copies to the councillors and ward committee she stated that councillors were already approached by the residents for redressal of their complaints.



Strategic location boon for Sector 48
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Nestled between Chandigarh and Mohali, Sector 48, which hitherto was on the fringes of the development activity, is set to become a happening place with the authorities planning big things for the sector.

In fact, development initiatives by the Chandigarh Administration and the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) are set to change the face of the sector, which right now is sparsely-populated. However, with the cooperative group housing societies being slowly inhabited by the residents, mostly from the educated middle class, the creation of infrastructure will be utilised by the residents in the months to come, sources said.

The transfer of the sector to the municipal corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) recently will only boost development. The newly developing sectors, including Sector 48, are high on the agenda of the MCC and major development works are lined up for these sectors in the months to come, mayor Pardeep Chhabra told 
The Tribune.

Already, GMADA has expressed its intention to develop about 14 acres of barren land in its jurisdiction into a golf academy. The setting up of the academy with a multi-cuisine restaurant coupled with the already existing hanging joint Mohali Club will go a long way in providing the residents with a fine dining experience.
And keeping an eye on the habitation of the area by persons with purchasing power, GMADA auctioned a 10-acre chunk of the land in Sector 49 to the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).

The mixed land use in the chunk will have provision for the creation of hotels, shopping malls and commercial establishments.

A visit to the sector revealed that the laying of the internal roads, including the ring road, separating Mohali and Chandigarh has been completed. In fact, a wide road connecting Phase XI, Mohali, with Sector 48 has also been completed. Besides, development of a sector park is going on at a fast pace. Sources said the four-laning of the adjoining road joining Chandigarh with Phase XI industrial of Mohali, will provide faster connectivity to the commuters.

The sources said the Chandigarh Administration had chalked out an ambitious plan to develop the commercial space in the sector.

Coming up in & around

n Golf academy by GMADA
n Hotel, shopping mall in Sec 49

Commercial belt in Sec 48



BJP unit holds protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Activists of the local unit of the BJP took out a ‘mashal jaloos’ in Sector 20 here today, in protest against the Central government’s failure to control price rise.

Led by former MP Satya Pal Jain and local unit president Kamla Sharma, the activists assembled near the Luxmi Narayan Temple. The group passed through various parts of the sector before ending the protest at the temple.



Arrest of Juveniles
Panel on child rights to frame guidelines 
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The brutal assault of the juvenile deliquent has caught the attention of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, who had sent its representatives to inquire into the matter. The representatives plan to set guidelines to ensure that no injustice is done to the juveniles arrested in a theft case. They have decided to take this case as a study case.

Two officials of the commission today met the police officials here. The meeting was held between UT SSP S.S. Srivastava, DSP of Sector 34, Jaswant Singh Khera, SHO Sector 34, Sudarshan, registrar of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights B.K. Sahu and Sandhaya Bajaj, a member of the commission. After the meeting, the SSP said, “We cannot disclose the proceedings of the inquiry. Once the inquiry is over, then only we can take some decision.”

Interestingly, within seven days of the arrest, the police today submitted a challan before the Juvenile Justice Board, headed by J.S. Bhinder. The challan was filed under Section 379, 511 of the IPC. When the SSP was questioned on the submission of challan within seven days, while in other cases it is submitted after years, the SSP justified, “It was the case of a juvenile, so the challan was submitted early.” Sub-inspector Harminder Singh, who allegedly beat the juvenile, was also present.

Commenting on the findings of the meeting, Sandhaya Bajaj, representative of the commission, said, “We got the statement recorded. We have observed the methods followed by the city officials when a juvenile is arrested in such crime. Thereafter, we will shortlist the shortcomings and prepare a set of fresh guidelines.” She said the decision would be taken in a month.

Meanwhile, Ram Chander, father of the child, from Jharkand said he could not come to the city due to financial constraints. The eight-year-old boy was allegedly bashed up by the police and general public for stealing Rs 300 on April 5.



Project for street children on anvil 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The first phase of the innovative project to empower street children at Maloya will become functional this year. The UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) visited the site along with other officials, here today.

The executing agencies were strictly told to adhere to the schedule of completion of different phases and create necessary support services and infrastructure for housing 300 children and training them in different vocations in the first phase by August 2008. Subsequently, the premises would accommodate 900 street children by March, next year.

The foundation stone of the project was laid on September 7, 2007.

Later, the administrator took stock of the progress of construction work at the Vocational Training and Production Centre in Sector 46-D. He also visited village Hallomajra and took stock of developmental works. He approved a plan to make it an integrated township, with the focus on facilities of education and vocational training for empowering citizens.



Photo exhibition on ‘Water: Uses and Misuses’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
A photo display on the theme of “Water: Uses and Misuses” was organised by the department of Masters in Social Work in collaboration with Commonwealth Youth Programme at Student Centre, PU today .The exhibition was inaugurated by Raj K. Mishra, regional director of Commonwealth Youth Programme, Asia Centre.

Faculty member, social activist and commonwealth youth ambassador, Gaurav Gaur, has clicked the photographs on display with the help and guidance of Dr Archana R. Singh, department of mass communication. Displayed under the head “Water: uses and misuses,” the exhibition drives home the message of water conservation.

Prof Mohinderjit K. Teja, coordinator of the department, said, “We plan to have one environment protection programme every month. The theme for our first effort is water, considering the fact that summer is round the corner and water scarcity is likely in most parts of the town.



Medical facilities to be reviewed: Health minister
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 11
Prof Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Punjab’s health and family welfare minister, here today said the medical services provided in various jails of the state would be reviewed to bring improvement in the health facilities being provided there.

She said especially for women inmates in jails, there was a requirement of specialist services like gynecology. She said she would be visiting various jails in the state to take first hand information regarding the health services being provided there.

She added that as part of this drive, yesterday she had visited the Central Jail, Patiala, where more than 100 women were lodged. She said a special medical camp was organised during the event.

She also directed the authorities to depute regular pharmacist in the jail. She also announced to provide a dental chair unit worth Rs 1.25 lakh for the Central Jail, Patiala. 



Electronic goods worth Rs 5 lakh gutted
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 11
Electronic items worth Rs 5 lakh and a number of important property documents were gutted in a fire that broke out in the office of Landmark Colonisers and Promoters at Kalgidhar Enclave here yesterday morning. Policemen on duty in the area saw smoke emanating from the showroom in the wee hours and informed the fire brigade. It took over three hours to put out the fire.

Owner of the office Ram Bansal told the police that his computers, laptop, TV, refrigerator and furniture besides important documents had been destroyed in the fire. He added that usually two of his workers stayed outside the showroom throughout the night but last night, no one was there.



217 units of blood collected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Rayat and Bahra Institute of engineering and biotechnology, Sahauaran, organised a blood donation camp in association with Lions Club on the campus yesterday.

Gurvinder Singh, vice-chairman of the Rayat and Bahra Institute, inaugurated the camp. Around 217 units of blood were collected. A team of doctors headed by Dr Gagandeep kaur, along with associates and para medical staff from GMCH 32, made the camp possible. 



Flyovers should be checked

Government has taken up the construction of flyovers between Derabassi, Ambala and Panipat to ease the unprecedented flow of traffic, which is praiseworthy.

However, it has been seen in the already existing flyovers in Ambala Cantt that a lot of beggars, taxis and rickshaws have made permanent shelters underneath, which gives a very ugly look and utter negligence and mismanagement is seen on the part of the government authorities.

Therefore it is time that before opening such flyovers, such nuisance must be curbed with strict hands. Authorities should provide fencing to open area under the flyovers and policemen should keep a vigil on beggars and labourers.

Kanwar S.S. Waliam, Chandigarh

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10 pc hike in SSA teachers’ salary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Chandigarh administration has announced a whopping increase of 10 per cent in the salary of teachers who have completed more than one year of service under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan project.

An annual budget of Rs 22,63,00,000 has been sanctioned for the SSA wing of the Chandigarh Education Department by the Government of India. At present there are about 780 teachers working under the SSA.

Confirming this, S.K. Setia DPI (S) said, “A proposal of Rs 30,82,00,000 was submitted with the Government of India out of which Rs 22,63,00,000 has been approved”.

It is pertinent to mention that the amount Rs 3,70,00,000 is more than the budget amount sanctioned last year.

While describing the details of the budget, Setia said, “Rs 9,59,00,000 will be spent on the salary of about 780 teachers, Rs 26 Lakh will be for the salary of CRC, co-ordinators and other officials, Rs 7 Lakh for remedial teaching, Rs 1,22,00,000 will be spent on free text books, Rs 3,39,00,000 on field work and Rs 57,88,000 on inclusive education.

In addition to this, Setia also confirmed that a budget of about Rs 20 crore has been sanctioned for mid-day meal scheme.



Chain fast enters Day 4
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Dr Sween and Paramjit Singh Kang, department of adult education, Dr Prem Nath, department of laws, and Abhik Ghosh from the department of anthropology sat on the chain fast amongst the teachers and Paras Mahajan and Tandeep Singh from the department of geology represented students’ community during chain fast for their demand of central status for Panjab University.

In the evening JAC (Joint Action ommittee) held a meeting and looking at the massive response from the teachers and students, decided to continue with the chain fast, including the holidays. While thanking the print media for giving a wide coverage to the legitimate demand of the university teachers and students it is decided to mobilise print media too during the next week.

Among the prominent visitors to the dharna site were Anil Sarwal, vice-president Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU), Ajaib Singh, member PPSC, G.K. Chathrath, and P.S. Gill, both fellows PU.

In the meeting of the JAC it was decided that a massive rally along with the support from local college teachers will be organised on Wednesday noon at the site of chain fast.

In the meeting also a sub-committee, headed by Keshav Malhotra, fellow PU and Dr Karamjit Singh, treasurer PUTA, has been constituted to mobilise opinion from all the regional centers of PU, as also from the affiliated colleges in favour of central university status. A team of PUTA would go door to door on Saturday and mobilise teachers in larger number.



From Schools
Baisakhi celebrated with fervour 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Baisakhi was celebrated on the premises on St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, here today. The celebrations commenced with an impressive speech by Karan Pal, a student of Class VIII, who brought forth the significance of Baisakhi. Navleen of Class III entertained everyone with her solo dance.

The students of Classes 6 to 8 presented a parody that depicted abounding joy of farmers, on reaping their rich harvests. The rhythmic steps and the traditional costumes adorned by the girls performing Gidda and the exuberant Bhangra by the students of primary section left the audience spell bound. “It has been the tradition at St. Joseph’s to celebrate every festival to mark their significance so as to teach the students about India’s rich cultural heritage in a fun-filled and entertaining way” remarked Simar Grewal, director St. Joseph’s.

Mini mela: A ‘mini mela’ was organised at AKSIPS 45 to celebrate Baisakhi. The sound of dhol, shimmering Punjabi juttis and parandas, sickles, phulkaris and turbaned boys revealed the rich cultural heritage of Punjab. Students of class I prepared short speeches on the importance of Punjab. Skits, dance performances and a parody added sparkle to the celebration. Shoots of wheat and craft work by children, including kites, turban, pin wheels, dhols, sickles and a village scene gave forth a whiff of the culture of Punjab.

Investiture day: The annual investiture and prize distribution day was celebrated at Saupin’s School in Sector 32, here today.

The function was attended by the school management, staff and students of the entire school. Parents and guest were also present. In the early morning hours, under the directive of the house master, house mistresses and PTIs, the newly elected student's council assembled and took a pledge. The outgoing students’ council congratulated the new head boy- Sushil Khanna, head girl- Darpan Ahluwalia and other school captains. There after the students from classes I-IX received certificate for excellence in academics for the session 2007-08. Scholarships were awarded to Kishmita VI, Fury Jain VI, Abhinav VII, Pranshu VIII, Vipula IX, Avineet Singh IX. Principal A.B. Sidhu, vice-principal, Surita Sharma and head mistress Nina Mimani encouraged the captains to foster capable students, to impart pride and confidence, to create and be in rhythm with the school and to work diligently to strengthen their own study and knowledge.

Welcomed: Tiny tots were extended a very warm welcome by the principal Narinder Mohini, the headmistress, Chander Ummat, and their teachers at KV No.1, Chandimandir. All the children received welcome cards and sweets, which brought pleasant smiles on their curious faces. The students of Class V welcomed the new entrants with a melodious welcome song.



Navdeep third in science talent search exam
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 11
Navdeep Kaur of XII of Shivalik Public School, Mohali, secured third position in National-level Science Talent Search Examination-2008 in Tricity conducted by the Unified Council .

Placement drive: Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET) hosted a joint campus placement drive on its SVIET campus here today. Around 1,400 students from 18 engineering and MCA colleges and institutes of Haryana converged on the campus. The recruiter was Thomson Press India Pvt. Limited, based at Faridabad in Haryana.

Baisakhi celebration: AKSIPS-65 celebrated Baisakhi in the school premises today. A special assembly was conducted. The importance of Baisakhi was told to the children. Birender of Class IX and Tanveer of Class V spoke on the occasion. The assembly ended with a foot tapping and vibrant Bhangra of Class VIII and IX students.

Golden Bells: Golden Bells Public School, Sector-77, Mohali, celebrated Baisakhi. The students spoke on the historical and social values attached to the festival. Director, Col C.S. Bawa, spoke on the importance of the day. The winners of various competitions include Jasmeet Singh and Ravneet Singh.

Saint Paul’s: Students of Saint Paul’s International School, Phase VI, here celebrated Baisakhi with traditional fervour. Students showcased Punjabi spirit through gidda and Bhangra. Shabads were performed by the students.

Anees School: Students of Anees School celebrated Baisakhi with action songs and speeches. The principal and school director distributed sweets among the students.

Tech fest: Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, organised a tech fest here today. About 20 activities were arranged for the participating students. Prof Avtar Singh gave prizes to all the winners in various competitions. The winners include: Mandeep Kaur, Jaskaran Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Preeti, Alok, Jaskaran Singh, Abhinav Sharma, Akshat Ahluwalia, Bhupendra, Varun, Kanwarinder, Gaganjot Kaur, Urvasbir Singh, Ashwani Thakur, Harjot Singh, Varun Seem, Virat, Madhur, Mandeep Kaur, Gurinder Singh, Saket, Varun, Gurvinder, Ravinderpal, Ankit, Akansh Siddhant, Vivek, Rajat and Aura Sharma.

World Health Day: Sri Sukhmani College of Nursing, Dera Bassi, celebrated the World Health Day. Welcome address was given by Sarabjit Kaur followed by opening theme by the principal, Dr Saroj Sharma.

Drive: A joint placement drive was conducted by the Team4U from Delhi on behalf of Reliance Money in which students from GGS College of Modern Technology, Kharar, and other colleges participated. A total of 130 students appeared for this placement drive. Thirty-two students were selected.

Lecture: An expert lecture on genesis of management was organised at Doaba Group Of Colleges for the students of MBA. P.S. Gill, prof of general management and marketing at the prestigious Punjabi University, Patiala, was invited to deliver this lecture. Dr H.S. Bhatti, principal DIET, welcomed the guest.



Notice to Punjab, Haryana

Chandigarh, April 11
High Court Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh today issued a notice of motion to States of Punjab and Haryana, along with Chandigarh, on a public interest litigation for directions to the respondents to follow the guidelines of Section 154 (1), (2), (3,) of the Cr PC on the registration of FIR.

In his petitioner, Delhi-based national chairman of the People’s All India Anti-Corruption and Crime Prevention Society had asserted that the respondents should be directed to issue instructions to SSPs, SHOs and in-charge of the police posts to provide the receipts of written complaints, along with the diary number, on the pattern being followed by the Delhi Police. The case will now come up for hearing on May 27.



Car seller to pay Rs 20,000 compensation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Gurcharan Singh, working in National Insurance in Manimajra, to pay Rs 20,000 compensation to Pran Nath Arora, a resident of Sector 8. The forum also asked Gurcharan to pay Rs 2,200 as costs of litigation to Arora.

Earlie, Gurcharan had sold his car for Rs 30,000 to the petitioner and promised to hand over all the papers after getting the requisite permission. Gurcharan also promised to clear the road tax.

However, Pran alleged that even after several requests, Gurcharan returned the registration certificate (RC) of the car once he had sold it to him. On the other hand, Gurcharan stated that in the sale deed it was specifically mentioned that after sale of the car the seller had no responsibility.



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