C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bhajji Slaps Sreesanth
Apologises later for his ‘regretful’ action
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 25
The Punjab Cricket Association stadium dressing room today reverberated with the sound of a slap. An outraged Mumbai skipper Harbhajan later said he only reacted to an “annoying gesture” of his national teammate Sreesanth.

The slap left players of both the teams shell-shocked and brought an unsavoury end to the otherwise electrifying IPL match at the PCA Stadium here tonight.

It was not the media but policemen on duty who were witness to the shocking and bizarre incident that corroborated the Aussies impression of how misbehaved these two Indian players are.

However, within half an hour of slapping Sreesanth, Harbhajan Singh had to apologise for his ‘regretful’ action.

The incident took place immediately after Kings XI Punjab defeated Mumabi Indians and the players were moving back to the dressing room. An infuriated Bhajji not only allegedly picked an argument with temperamental Sreesanth but also delivered a slap on his face. Sreesanth was later seen weeping on the field at the time of the award ceremony.

When questioned by Yuvraj, Harbhajan Singh told him that Sreesanth had earlier abused him when he had got out on the first ball and he could not stop himself from retorting. Without saying a word about what happened, Sreesanth, however, continued to cry.

IS Bindra was seen taking Harbhajan by the arm into the dressing room. Confirming that the incident took place, Yuvraj Singh told mediapersons that an apology was called for.

The managers of the two players were called in for a joint meeting by Bindra who wanted a quiet resolution of the incident. However, with national electronic medium at the stadium to cover the match, TV channels were soon flashing images of Bhajji avoiding questions regarding the slapping during the post-match press conference. However, Sreesanth was shown on many TV channels crying like a bashed -up child.

PCA officials, like always, tried to hush up matters as if nothing had happened. MP Pandove, BCCI joint secretary, said he was not even there when the incident took place. “I was on my way home by then,” he said, adding that he would look into the matter tomorrow.

Eyewitnesses told TNS that budding players, Sunny Sohal and Karan Goel, were seen placating Sreesanth. Preity Zinta also talked to him about what had happened. 



Nod for township near Hallomajra
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
On the lines of the integrated township for the elite, being developed by a private builder in the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP), the Chandigarh Administration has planned another integrated township on the southern rim of the city.

Proposed on 43 acres of land adjoining Hallomajra village, the township will cater to the commercial, residential, recreational and educational needs of the common man. Depending upon the pace of urbanisation, similar townships have been planned on the outskirts of the city.

Strategically located along the Ambala-Chandigarh highway, the site is also close to the airport and opposite the junction connecting the route no.3 between Panchkula and Chandigarh with the Ambala-Chandigarh highway.

“Though on a lesser scale as compared to the township in the IT park, the proposed project will be a self-sustaining unit having all basic amenities which are required as per the standard norms in a township”, said a senior official. The land for the project already stands acquired.

After getting the approval of the UT Administrator, Gen S.R. Rodrigues (retd), the urban planning department has been asked to work out the modalities like zoning and land use plan. Sources do not rule out the possibility of the land being handed over to a private builder.

“If the land is handed over to the private builder, the cost of housing will go up. The case of the housing being developed by Parsvnath in the IT park is a live example. If the Administration is really keen to cater to the need of the common man, the projects should not be given in private hands ”, said an official.



College shut after violence
2 students held
Tribune News Service

Ropar, April 25
The incident of missing student of IET Bhaddal has snowballed into a controversy with the college being closed for 10 days and two students arrested for attacking a student. The authorities today closed the institute and terminated the academic and non-academic work of the institute after the students went berserk last night and damaged property worth lakhs. 

Demanding the arrest of two teachers of the institute, students sat on a dharna and then went on a rampage. They broke windowpanes of buildings, computers, damaged the items in libraryand other academic apparatus.

The police arrested students, Jaspal and Navkamal, on the complaint of another student Siddharth Tiwana this afternoon. Siddharth, a student of MBA and resident of Chandigarh, told police that he was in the hostel informing students to vacate it as were the orders, when around 10 persons attacked him.

These students included Jaspal, Navkanwal and eight others. Jaspal and Navkanwal allegedly beat up Siddharth after having a spat over minor issue. They beat him up with iron rods and he was inflicted injuries on arms, elbows and face.

Acting on the complaint, the police booked these students for an attempt to murder and arrested Jaspal and Navkanwal. They will be produced in a court tomorrow for remand.

Meanwhile, the college authorities are yet to decide their course of action over the issue. The institute CEO, Ravinder Singh, said a meeting had been called tonight wherein the future course of action would be decided. “We will decide action against the erring students, ways to minimise the damage and are strictly keeping in mind larger interest of innocent students whose studies are suffering,” he said.



Shanti keeps alive legacy of Begum Akhtar
S.D. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25 
“If you want to listen my music after my death, hear it through the soulful singing of Shanti Hiranand”, the declaration came from none other than the legendary ghazal queen, Begum Akhtar, at her memorable concert at Vadodra, recalls the emotionally charged ghazal maestro, Padmashri Shanti Hiranand, expressing gratitude for the faith reposed in a disciple and the responsibility of legacy bestowed on her.

She was here in the city for a concert at the INATACH festival. Shanti shared her association with her mentor and spoke of her musical journey, with the Tribune.

“Begam Akhtar’s cherished memories will remain alive always through her creative contributions. She still reigns supreme as the ghazal queen even after three decades of her demise”, she said.”

Keeping alive the royal legacy of Begum Akhtar’s singing style through her scintillating performances, Shanti had also penned all moments of her association with her in the biography titled “ Begum Akahtar -The Story of my Ammi”. “Not knowing that she sings too, I was enamoured by the compelling charms of Begum’s personality during our first meeting in Lucknow,” she said.

Coming from a family of businessmen, I was the only child prodigy learning music and she took me under her wings having noticed the spark of talent in me.” 
claims Shanti.

“Begam Akahtar was temperamental and never followed a strict schedule for teaching and all depended on her mood but she treated me like her own daughter,” Shanti said.

“She involved me fully in a composition She would help me understand, feel and imbibe the emotions inherent in the lyricism before choosing the relative raga”, 
Shanti said.

Singing for AIR for 46 years, Shanti had won the Murphy Award for background music of a film ‘Nausherwan-E -Adil’. Her thumris won acclaim in films Sidharatha and Dance of the wind. “Having performed all over the world, I feel rejuvenated”, she said.

Some how, she feels, traditionalists like her, fail to compromise on principles. According to her, humility enriches the art, while the ego destroys it.

Budding artists must learn, practice and imbibe the finer nuances of classical music for a long and sustained career, Shanti Hiranand said.



Oil spillover on road causes mishaps
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
A stretch of road in front of Bhushan Factory in Phase I Industrial Area here has become a nightmare for two-wheeler riders for the past over 24 hours, after oil from an edible oil factory spilt on the road.

Workers of the nearby factories and workshops told The Tribune that a lot of mishaps had occurred last night in which two-wheeler riders slipped over the thick film of oil spread over the road. During the night, the stretch became all the more dangerous for the two-wheeler riders, as the oil-splattered stretch was not visible.

Jaswinder Singh and Baldev Singh, two carpenters from Rajpura, had a narrow escape on this stretch after their motorcycle slipped over the greased track. They suffered bruises and their clothes were torn in the mishap.

A visit by a Tribune team revealed that the authorities had done nothing to clean the surface even after the matter was reported to them. Employees of the nearby factories told The Tribune that the matter was reported to the police also. Despite that, no signboard cautioning the motorist to avoid the track was put up there. Someone sprinkled sand on the track, but to no use.

They informed that an edible oil mill, Saraswati Oil Mill, in the vicinity had poured the oil in a drain. The drain got blocked a few days ago and was cleared, following which the oil spilled over the road. A fire broke out on the factory premises on April 16 and a lot of cardboard cartons and plastic bottles, including those of mustard and refined oil, were burnt in the fire. The burnt oil was drained.

The SHO of the Industrial Area police station, inspector Jagir Singh, said a complaint was lodged following which sand was sprinkled on the stretch of the road. A daily diary report was also recorded in this connection.

Talking to The Tribune, Aneesh Mital, nephew of the owner of the Saraswati Oil Mill, said the oil was not spilled on the road, but it came out of the drain, as the sewerage line was blocked. Oil being lighter than water, it overflowed and spilled on the road. 



P’kula municipal councillors sworn in
Congress stays away, claims to have 27 votes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 25
While the Congress, claiming to have 27 votes in its kitty preferred to stay away from the oath-taking ceremony, seventeen newly elected councillors of Panchkula municipal council were sworn in by the sub-divisional magistrate Virender Dahiya, here today.

Haryana deputy chief minister in a press conference at his home in Sector 8 said the councillors of the party would take oath some time later. He introduced Lilly Bawa, an independent from ward number 20 who joined the party today, and also claimed to have the support of Sudesh Rani, another independent from ward number 7. With this, the number of party votes has been raised to 16 as Gautam Parsad, a councillor of INLD, and independent councillors Shamsher Singh, (ward number 28), and Prem Kumar from ward number 8 have already joined the Congress, while nine candidate of the party were able to register a win in the elections to the 31-member house on March 30. In addition, the Congress has two votes in the shape of its MLA and MP from the constituency. The party candidate for the post of president in the civic body would get 27 votes, claimed the deputy chief minister

Earlier, in the morning the municipal councilors, who won the elections on the tickets of BJP, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) as well as independents, reached the mini secretariat as per schedule before 11 am where keeping in mind the prevailing tension among supporters of Congress and INLD over the issue of Gautam Prasad, the administration had made elaborate security arrangements to meet any untoward incident.

The proceedings were over by 11.25 am.

However, INLD councilors, along with their supporters raising slogans against the Congress, left the venue. The wife and son of Gautam Prasad were also accompanying them.
On the election of president of the house, the SDM said the councillors who did not turn up for taking oath would be provided the opportunity before the election of president of the civic body and a notice in this regard would be issued soon.

The councillors would be asked to attend a meeting before April 30 to elect their chief and a simple majority would be sufficient for clinching the post of president, he said. However, the election of president requires the presence of 50 per cent of total votes in the house, which comes to 17.



Recarpeting of Uttar Marg raises eyebrows
Public money being spent on user-worthy roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
In maintaining roads, the priorities of the UT engineering department are misplaced. Without adhering to the norms, the UT engineering department is wasting public money in recarpeting Uttar Marg, linking Sukhna Lake with the Punjab CM’s residence.

Though these are user-worthy roads and in no way need recarpeting, the engineering department is spending lakhs of rupees without any accountability. “ The VIP road is in good condition. It is a criminal act to waste public money when roads in other parts of the city are crying for attention”, said a concerned resident, Amrik Singh.

A visit to the spot revealed that the riding surface of the road was improved by recarpeting. While senior officials in the administration in the weekly meeting stress on improving the road infrastructure, the engineering department is apparently using its own discretion in spending public money.

On the other hand, roads in other parts of the city are crying for attention. The condition of the road from Sector 38 West to the cremation ground, roads in the southern part of the city, slow carriageways along different main roads speak for themselves.

Besides, widening of several main roads in the city connecting it with the adjoining areas have been left incomplete for several months.

Motorists coming from adjoining cities, using the connecting main roads, are a harried lot owing to delay in the completion of widening and maintenance, which is under way for the past many months.

Similar is the situation on the road dividing Sectors 37 and 37, used by motorists coming from Mohali to the city, which has been dug for months and awaits competition. While the work on the stretch of the road dividing Sectors 19 and 20, leading from Industrial Area to Sector 22 is also not complete.

The slip road constructed along these roads to ease the traffic flow, fails to serve the purpose as a majority of them are in a shambles and are full of potholes. With non-functional streetlights on these roads, the problem is further aggravated. 



PGI functioning returns to normal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
After staying away from work for 10 days, over 200 medical technologists at the PGI returned to work this morning. The patients heaved a sigh of relief as they had been facing a lot of inconvenience for the past 10 days.

The hospital became fully operational since this morning. The PGI claimed that more tests were performed today than usually. About 2,950 tests have been performed in the OPD.

However, very few patients reported at the sample collection centre at the OPD for tests. The PGI staff said this was due to confusion whether the tests would be conducted or not. On the other hand, the working of the X-ray department was affected as services of 11 ad hoc employees of the department had been terminated.

According to the MTA, the working of the department will be affected till May 12 because the case of ad hoc employees is pending with the High Court. But the deputy director, administration, AK Gupta, said if needed they would hire contract staff, but till date there was no crisis in the X-ray department. About 30 regular technicians were working in the radiology department, he added.

"The specific tests which could not be conducted over the last 10 days will be done in the coming days," said PGI authorities. "We are getting back to normal functioning,” said AK Gupta. 



47 postal employees fecilitated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The Department of Posts, Punjab circle, has shown a growth of over 12 per cent in the international money transfer service. During the last financial year, as many as 1.31 lakh transactions were made through post offices in the state.

In order to honour the employees, who have worked to make this scheme a success, the department held a felicitation ceremony for its officials last night. The function was presided over by Chief Post Master General, Punjab postal circle, Manjula Prashar, who felicitated as many as 47 employees.

Manjula appreciated the efforts made by the postal employees and exhorted them to perform better in the coming years. 



Rampant corruption plagues Mohali
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 25
When CBI sleuths arrested Rajwant Singh, a senior assistant in the SAS Nagar deputy commissioner’s office, for taking bribe from a 1984 Sikh riots victim to issue him a red-card, they did not expect that it was just the tip of the ice-berg.

The district is in the grip of rampant corruption with people occupying high public offices openly asking for money for doing routine work. A Mohali resident alleged that Rs 50,000 is the cost of getting property registered in the city. Another resident said the rates are now calculated on the basis of percentage of the registration amount.

A resident of Chandigarh said a patwari in Zirakpur demanded Rs 1,000 for just adding a name in the mutation register. Another resident of a nearby village said there is a major scam brewing in the allotment of land to the Dalits in Mohali. The grabbing of shamlat land here by land mafia in connivance with officials is also well-known.

Many residents allege that the biggest illegal lottery business is flourishing in Mohali to which police have turned a blind-eye as there was a fixed amount that is collected by them from these illegal lottery shops. And all this is happening right under the nose of SAS Nagar DC H.I.S. Grewal and the SSP R.S. Khatra.

Interestingly, Grewal’s name figures in the list of ‘tainted officers’ submitted by the Punjab government to the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday.

Other than arresting a naib teshildar of the Majri block for accepting bribe, the Punjab vigilance bureau has not done anything to curb the rampant corruption in SAS Nagar. Officials of the bureau admit that they know what is going on in Mohali and things here have crossed a limit but show their inability to take any action. “How many people can we arrest and send behind bars? There is so much corruption that jails would be bursting at the seams with government officials alone,” said a senior VB official.

Following the arrest of Rajwant singh, the CBI has now a good idea of what is going on but cannot do much. Punjab area falls out of its jurisdiction so even if they have traced the channel of how the corruption money flows in the SAS Nagar’s DC’s office there is not much they can do.

The CBI had recovered a list of 50 riots victims and Rs 95,000 from the accused. The team had also recovered a briefcase from Rajwant containing some incriminating documents. Even though it is obvious that Rajwant was distributing the corruption money to others in his office, the CBI cannot act against others who have been named by Rajwant.

CBI sources said it was for the Punjab government to act. “The VB should have nabbed the other officials. It is up to the Punjab government now,” said a CBI official.

Sources added that a host of complaints of corruption had also reached the political leaders of the area but no one was taking any action. “In one case a political leader of the area is actively shielding the corrupt officials against whom many complaints had been given,” said a resident.
The financial commissioner Revenue Romila Dubey said she has asked for a report from the DC about the CBI action against his senior assistant. “We would be taking instructions from the Chief Minister about the matter and in case further probe is required the state investigating agencies would be asked to take over the links of the case from the CBI,” said Dubey. However, the SSP R.S. Khatra said: “Prompt action is taken in case an instance of corruption comes to the fore.”



Zila parishad elections on May 12
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 25
The district SAS Nagar has been divided into ten zones for the forthcoming zila parishad elections. The elections will be held on May 12 from 8 am to 4 pm.

According to a press note issued by Jaspal Mittal, ADC, SAS Nagar, and the returning officer for the elections, zone no. 1 Mubarakapur and zone no. 9 Sohana have been reserved for 
candidates from the scheduled castes categories. Zone no. 5 Khizrabad has been reserved for a woman candidate from the scheduled castes category. Zone no. 4 Amlala and zone no. 8 Gharuan have been reserved for women candidates. Zone no. 2 Jaula Kalan, zone no. 3 Lalru, zone no. 6 Teor, zone no. 7 Mullanpur Garibdass and zone no. 10 Manoli would be for general candidates.

The candidates for the elections can file their nomination papers from April 28 to May 2 from 11 am to 3 pm in the court office of the returning officer.

The nomination forms would also be made available during the same days.

The nomination papers would be scrutinised on May 3. The nominations can be withdrawn till May 5, 3pm.



Media assn members elected
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 25
The Mohali district electronic media association held a meeting at the Rose Garden of Phase 3B1, here today, during which the earlier body of the association was dissolved and a new one was elected unanimously.

Daljit Singh of PTC News was chosen as president, Jaswinder Ruppal of Prime Channel would be senior vice- president, Rupinder Pal Singh Ruby of Channel Number 1 and Tulsi Mehra, PTC News would be vice-presidents, Pawan Sachdeva of Time TV would be general secretary, Jatinder Budhiraja of Time TV would be secretary, Baljit Singh of Channel Number 1 and Harjinder Chohan of Aap ki Awaaz would be joint secretary, Gurpreet Singh of MH1 News and Sanjay Malhotra of City Channel would be press secretary, Manoj Girdhar would be organising secretary, Kulwinder Bawa would be the cashier and Naresh Bhardwaj would be joint secretary.

Rajesh Kaushik, Channel Punjab, Sukhwinder Singh, Prime Channel, Nand Kishore, Jain TV, Dharma Singh, Doordarshan, Ankush Sachdeva, Time TV, Major Singh, Aap ki Awaaz were elected as executive members of the association.



Awareness week on curbing foeticide concludes
Tribune News Service

An awareness week on checking female foeticide concluded in the form of a rally in Chandigarh on Friday.
An awareness week on checking female foeticide concluded in the form of a rally in Chandigarh on Friday.

Chandigarh, April 25
About 2.5 lakh people were sensitised during the week-long campaign against female foeticide here. 'Save Girl Child Campaign' is not only a slogan but also the theme of an awareness week that concluded today in the form of a rally in the thickly populated areas of Mauli village, Mauli Jagran Colony, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony and Vikas Nagar.

The sensitisation programme was conducted in Kajheri, Burail, Dhanas, Mauli Jagran, Mauli Complex, Vikas Nagar, SBS Colony, Ramdarbar, Sectors 48 and 49.

The rally was led by Dr Kavita Talwar, District Family Welfare Officer, Dr G. Dewan, District Immunisation Officer, Dr Vandana Janmeja and Dr Sangeeta Ajay Kumar along with doctors, auxiliary nurses, mid-wives and multi-purpose male workers.

The area councillor, Anil Dubey, and Reet Panch of Mauli village along with residents actively participated in the cause for sensitising the community with reference to the declining child sex ratio, which is a matter of grave concern for the country. Stress was laid on removing gender bias, deep-rooted prejudices, discrimination against the girl child and preference for male child, which has led to a skewed child sex ratio in the country.

Director, Health Services-cum-appropriate authority, Dr Manjit Singh Bains, emphasised that governmental and non-governmental agencies, educational institutions, community groups, social and religious opinion leaders and concerned individuals from all walks of life should get actively associated in curbing the menace of female foeticide. He urged the community to bring about awareness amongst women folk and to encourage them to take a leading role in checking discrimination against the girl child.



Evening bazaar in aid of special children opens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
A three-day summer evening bazaar, organised by the Punjab IAS Officers Wives Association (PIOWA) on the premises of Vatika School for Deaf and Dumb Children in Sector 19, Chandigarh, was inaugurated here today by Harjeet Kaur Dhindsa, wife of the senior Akali leader. As many as 40 stalls of different items of Rajasthan, Punjab, Pudducherry and Chandigarh have been put up at the exhibition selling traditional items.

Harjeet Kaur appreciated the efforts of the PIOWA in organising the exhibition to raise funds for the students of the deaf and dumb school. She said such programmes should be organised more frequently so that people could come forward to give assistance to these children.

While talking to The Tribune, Ramesh Kumar, principal of the school, said due to paucity of funds, the school was unable to hire professional teachers for training and imparting latest knowledge to these children. He said the school had one speech therapist for 120 deaf students of the school due to the low salary given to these specialists.

He said the school was in dire need of funds so that these children could be imparted education by advanced techniques so that they did not a remain burden on society and lived life smoothly.

One of the members of the association disclosed that a wide range of suits, sarees, kurtis, juttis, phulkaris, ethnic dresses, cosmetics, silver jewellery, pottery, bonsai plants, furniture, etc were available in the bazaar, which would remain open from 5 pm to 11 pm till April 27.



Short story writers awarded
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 25
The Haryana Sahitya Akademy presented awards to winners of the annual Hindi short story contest-2007 at an impressive ceremony held at Haryana Panchayat Bhavan here yesterday. Besides this, a 'Katha Utsav' featuring the narration of merited stories by winners enraptured the participating literary luminaries.

Akademy director Desh Nirmohi, while welcoming chief guest Mange Ram Gupta, education and transport minister, Haryana, gave an overview of the scheduled programmes and achievements of the Akademy.

Presenting the awards, Gupta exhorted the writers to sculpt their literary potential to serve the society like the celestial sage poets Ved Vyasa, Tulsi Das, Valmiki, Meera and others.

Besides a memento, a cash prize of Rs 3,500 was also given to Anju Dua of Faridabad for the top position while Dev Priya from Panipat and Gyani Devi, both bracketed for the second position, got Rs 3,000 each. Dr Pardamun Bhalla of Kaithal was presented Rs 2,500 for securing the third position. All participants of the contest were awarded certificates.



Taps go dry in southern sectors
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Woes flows from taps, not water, in various parts of the city with the onset of summer. Residents facing water crisis rue that the taps went dry early in the morning leaving them high and dry.

Residents of southern sectors, including Sectors 45, 46, 47, 48 to 52, 55 and Sector 29, have been facing low water pressure or disrupted water supply for over a week. They rued that the water taps on first and second floors went dry at 6 am even the overhead tanks were not filled.

A resident of Sector 9 highlighted the misuse of water by occupants of big houses having indoor swimming pools. He asked that the authorities had never taken action against them or had never imposed any restrictions on them.

Sources in the MC said the authorities were finding it hard to meet the huge gap between demand and supply of water. The MC had 87 million gallons (MGT) of water supply against the demand of 120 MGT per day. Out of the total 87 mgt, Kajauli supplied 67 mgt while the rest of 20 mgt was generated by the MC through tubewells.

A senior official of the MC said to meet the demand, the restrictions were imposed. Normally, the ban to water lawns and car washing is imposed by May 1. The MC today issued challans and notices to 65 violators. Everyday on an average about 65 to 70 challans were issued to the violators. The sources said on the first day 120 challans were issued and the numbers were going down as the people were becoming aware of the drive.

The MC said new colonies in 48 to 52 are facing water problems as the maintenance of these areas were with the Administration for the first five years. However, the administration had been asked to hand over the maintenance work to the MC.

The sources in the MC said most of water wastage was noticed in the colonies and steps taken to curb the menace had also failed to yield much results. The MC were also mulling over the idea of installing water meters at religious places to regulate the water usage there.

About the additional water supply to the city, a senior officer in the administration stated that the MC had not approached them demanding additional water for the city. If they receive any such representation, they would take up the matter with the Punjab government.

Pardeep Chhabra, mayor, maintained there was no shortage of water supply. The officials were told to release water by 3 am so that the water reaches overhead water tanks before people start using it. He however, appealed to public to judiciously use water.



Insurance scheme for Haryana residents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 25
Haryana government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd for implementing Rajiv Gandhi Parivar Bima Yojna in the state for one year.

A spokesman of the district administration today said the insurance scheme would cover all persons aged between 18-60 years whose name appears in the voters’ list or those who hold ration card issued by the Food and Supply Department, Haryana. The scheme, however, would not cover income tax payers, employees of the government and its public sector undertaking, co-operative institutes, universities and government-aided institutes as they are already covered under the group insurance scheme. Informing about benefits of the scheme, the spokesman said only one person of the family would be given insurance under this scheme and the benefits of the scheme for death, permanent disability caused by accident occurring outside Haryana would be extended under the scheme. He said the certificate issued by the sarpanch concerned or municipal commissioner regarding age, status of the deceased, insured and domicile of the deceased was also a condition for verification.

The spokeman said death, permanent or total disability, disability due to accident, riot, strike, terrorism, snake-bite, drowning, poisoning, electrocution, falling from height, collapse of house, building, fire, explosion, implosion, murder, attack by animals, stampede, suffocation, frost bite, sunburn (loo), lightening and burn injuries will also draw the benefit under the scheme.

However, death or total disability and disability due to occupational hazards like threshing machine, industrial machine etc and due to any other unnatural events, except war and allied perils, unclear risks, self-injury, suicide, attempted suicide under the influence of alcoholic drinks or drugs, engaging in aviation activities other than travelling as a passenger, breaching a law with criminal intent will not get be covered under the scheme.

The spokesman said a compensation of Rs one lakh will be provided in case of death and permanent disability while Rs 50,000 would be provided in case of loss of two limbs, two eyes, one limb and one eye. A compensation of Rs 25,000 would be given for the loss of one eye or one limb.



Mohali MC lacks adequate staff
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, April 25
The statements issued by SAD leaders of making Mohali a showcase town of Punjab may seem pleasing to residents but the ground realities seem different. The importance being given by the government to Mohali municipal council can be gauged from the fact that no appointments have been made to the two key posts of the civic body.

The post of the municipal engineer has been lying vacant since March 25 after Tarsem Singh Rai was suspended by the government. The executive officer J.S.Thind, who has been facing health problems since the first week of April, is not in a position to work effectively. Moreover, he is retiring on April 30.

The government has not bothered to appoint any official as municipal engineer of the civic body for the past one month. It has so far not announced who would be the next executive officer of the council. This post, too, will not be filled on a permanent basis for about a month as a code of conduct had come into force on April 16 in connection with the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections, which are scheduled to be held on May 12. These will be followed by the panchayat elections which are to be completed by May 30. It is presumed that some officials would be given an additional charge as executive officer of the Mohali council. Councillors say that any official who is given the additional charge here will not be able to devote adequate time to redress the problems of residents.

Although the president of the council will be available, he does not have executing powers. A municipal engineer of the council had powers to give technical sanctions for works costing up to Rs 10 lakh. Assistant municipal engineers had sanctioning power only up to Rs five lakh. As such in the absence of a municipal engineer it is possible that many developments works suffer.

Municipal councillor from ward 14 Mohan Bir Singh Shergill says that in the absence of two key officials the problems of residents will not be redressed as other junior officials will keep passing the buck. He is of the opinion that development works in the town will definitely suffer till the two key posts are filled by the government on a permanent basis.



Students burn KPS Gill’s effigy 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
NSUI activists today gathered at the PU Students’ Centre under the leadership of party’s PU campus president Amarpreet Singh Mann to protest against the recent expose of shameless corruption in the selection of hockey players.

NSUI activists raised slogans against K.P.S. Gill and burned his effigy after beating it up with hockey sticks.

The students were of the view that the recent incidents have brought shame and lowered the morale of our hockey players and sports lovers. “Due to such acts, the upcoming players are demoralised and they don’t dare to take part in such games”, they said in unison.

Mann said it was due to the misdeeds of corrupt persons like Gill and Kumaran that India could not even qualify for the Olympics, while it has been a world champion of the sport for a long time. Maninder Singh Mandy, vice-president of NSUI PU campus unit, demanded for criminal prosecution against Gill and Kumaran.

Gagandeep Singh also called upon Gill to take the moral responsibility and step down from the prestigious office of the head of the Indian Hockey Federation. 



Dispose of dry leaves properly

This refers to the reports ‘Burning of dry leaves goes unchecked’ and ‘Ban on burning of leaves goes up in smoke’ that was publishes in these columns. The municipal corporation has totally failed to dispose dry leaves.

The administration has given an advertisement in the media to give punishment to those found burning the dry leaves. This is nothing but wastage of the public money .The heaps can be seen everywhere around the residential areas and on the city roads, which are not removed for days.

City residents, too, have contributed to make the situation worse than ever. In their anxiety to get rid off the leaves, the residents put them on fire and go away, leaving everything to providence.

This poses a potential danger to the life and property of the fellow residents. Besides trees and plants, many a bird of rare species and other creatures perish in the raging flames. It further adds to the woes of those suffering from respiratory problems. I suggest that the MC should take this problem seriously and try to solve it.

M.L. Garg, Chandigarh 



From Schools
Cambridge convocation at Satluj Public school
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 25
Satluj Public School, Sector 4, held its Cambridge convocation here today. Certificates were given to more than 300 students of YLE, KET, PET and FCE at the convocation presided over by the chief guest Deep Adhikari, head of examination services, North India and local secretary, British Council, New Delhi, along with Ashwin Sharma, head of marketing, British Council, New Delhi.

Principal Krit Serai emphasised on the importance of English in life while Director Pritam Singh Serai laid stress on hardwork while addressing the gathering Around 150 students passed with merit and two of them, Reekrit and Kritika, have scored A+ in FCE and would be representing India at the International level.

FLOWER PARTY: A flower party was organised at Holy Child School, junior wing, Sector 2, here today. The students donned colourful dresses. The aim of the party was to make the children aware of the variety of flowers.


PLAY STAGED: Students of Yadvindra Public School presented a play titled ‘The Mousetrap’ based on Agatha Christie’s classic, here today. The play being staged for the first time in English featured Aanchal Bajwa, Prabhsahil Singh Chhina, Aseem Sood, Niharika Singh, Manraj Singh, Akshi Chawla, Amarinder Singh, all class XII students, in the lead roles. This is one of the longest running plays in history and was originally written for the radio, which was first broadcast by the 
BBC in 1952. 



PU forms sub-committee to check funds 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Taking a note of the soaring fee structures in private colleges, the Panjab University authorities had in October last year, on the recommendation of the senate, formed a committee to bring uniformity in fee structures across all private colleges affiliated to the university.

The committee, chaired by dean university instructions, Prof S.K. Kulkarni, held its second meeting today. The committee which includes financial advisor, PU, R.K. Gupta, Dr Tarsem Bahia, fellow, Dr A.C. Vaid, fellow, Dr P.S. Gill, fellow, Dr Rabinder Nath, fellow, Dr K.K. Uppal, dean college development council, B.D. Bhudhiraja, deputy registrar colleges and assistant registrar accounts-II, today formulated a sub-committee to check on arbitrary funds taken at the time of admission from the students.

It was said in the meeting that for the university to regulate its authority; it was of utmost importance to examine the genuine funds, which are taken under various heads, for example building funds, college funds, annual funds and others.

Most of the colleges even violate the university norms by overcharging the students. It is pertinent to mention here that earlier, the university used to send guidelines and directions to the colleges pertaining to the fee structure, but that practice has been stopped over the years by the university and as a result, colleges got a free hand in charging the students.

For instance, DAV College, Sector 10, has increased its annual fees four times in seven years. The college, which was charging Rs 4,589 in 2000-01 from first year students, is now charging Rs 16,410 from a BA and BCom first year student.

The fee committee would address issues such as the non-implementation of rules in accordance with which funds to be charged. This will prevent recurrence of such violations and collection of excessive funds and benefit the students of the private colleges. 



SPIC signs MoU with engg college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC), under the aegis of the Department of Information Technology of the Chandigarh Administration, today signed an MoU with Indo-Global College of Engineering, Abhipur, whereby it will help the latter to develop the IT skills of their students, faculty and will provide complete solution for computerisation of the college.

The MoU was signed today between Manjeet Brar, Director IT and CEO of SPIC, and Ashok Kumar Goel, principal of the college, here today. The tie-up will give an opportunity to students of the college to equip themselves with latest technologies which will enhance their employability. It will lead to development of IT skills of faculties and thus improve the delivery of education.

SPIC has been set up under the aegis of the Department of Information Technology for implementing various IT polices of the administration to promote the software services and IT enabled services industry in Chandigarh and driving initiatives to promote Chandigarh as an attractive destination to investors.

Along with IT programmes, SPIC will also offer customised personality development course under its 'Chandigarh Training on Soft Skills (C-TOSS)' portal which will give students of the college an extra edge in their career, Brar added.

Chairman of the college Sukhdev Singla said the association between SPIC and the college would help in upgrading the IT skills as per the industry standards and will help in creating a talent pool in this region for the industry.



Irfan, Javed best online strategists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Bizcoons-08, a management fest and the flagship event of Chitkara Business School concluded at the Chitkara campus on the Chandigarh-Rajpura highway, near here. More than 40 management institutions of the region participated in the event, which featured a host of business games, discussions, competitions, entertainment and live performances by students.

The participants battled it out for a range of management games like Online Strategy Game, The Tycoon (choosing the best manager), Case Study Analysis, Business Quiz, Finance Game as well as fun contests such as Googly Ads, Trace the Face and 3 to Tango etc.

The maximum interest and participation was seen in the 'Online Strategy Game, which set the pulses of the participants racing. Irfan and Javed of Desh Bhagat Institute of Management were adjudged winners of the game. 



Private players to use govt infrastructure
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The Chandigarh administration will allow private players to run classes by using the infrastructure of the education department. Primarily aimed to impart quality education in the southern sectors, the initiative would help the department to streamline the education sector.

On the payment of licence fee of Rs 75,000 per month per acre, the interested applicants would be allowed to make use of the government owned schools to run co-educational classes up to matric level.

The officials confirmed that this licence would be valid for a period of 30 years subject to some clauses stipulated by the administration. The partner society or trust would prepare the fee structure but this fee arrangement would have to be duly approved by the administration.

The sites with an area between two acres to five acres have been demarcated for the purpose in Sectors 31, 38 (West), 39-B, 45-C, 50-B, 50-C, 51-B and 53.

The administration would bear the cost for land or construction of building on it, but all costs incurred in the establishment, management and running of such schools would be the liability of the partner society or trust from its own resources.

However, the ownership of the land as well as the building and other immovable facilities provided for the establishment of a school would vest wholly with the administration.

Sources informed that the administration had also proposed to handover the built-up schools in some of the above-mentioned sectors.

Under the eligibility criteria for applying, the trust should have been in existence for at least five academic sessions and have been imparting and providing education as their prime objective and principle. The last date for applying for the offer has been fixed as May 30.

The offer from the institutions or academicians would be scrutinised by a committee constituted under the chairmanship of adviser of the administrator.

However, the officials said the initial scrutiny of applications would be done in-house and some comparative data would be generated by a sub-committee, headed by education secretary-cum-finance secretary, only to be presented before the main committee for the final pick. 



300 kids participate in painting competition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
About 300 children of government, private, slum and special schools participated in the visual making competition organised by the Youth Technical Training Society (YTTS) in the memory of its founder Vineet Khanna at Community Centre in Mauli Jagran yesterday.

The aim of the competition, divided into two categories, was to channelise the energies of children into painting and focus on the theme: "If used properly, plastics are our friend". Chief regional manager of New India Assurance Corporation Dr R.K. Attri inaugurated the competition.

Sukhmanjot Kaur of GMSSS-35; Karan of Government High School, Mauli; Rahul of YTTS; Pramod Singh of Asha, Chandimandir; Palak Kaushal of Bhavan, Panchkula; and Mohit of GPS, Railway Colony, were the winners in the first category. In the second category, Arpan Vadhera of St John’s; Velmuragan of GHS, Mauli; Anjani of YTTS; Kamal Kumar of Vatika; Himanshu Dhiman of Bhavan, Panchkula; and Salman of GPS, Railway Colony were the winners.

A special class for advanced embroidery course was also inaugurated for children. Coinciding with the event was the final match of Vineet Cricket Tournament 2008 between Mauli Jagran team and Sanjay Colony. Mauli Jagran team emerged the winners.



From Schools
Shivam selected for international competition 

Chandigarh, April 25
Shivam Garg, a student of Class V at Bhawan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Chandigarh, has been selected for International ALOHA Competition, to be held in Malaysia during the first week of May. Shivam has been taking Abacus training at ALOHA center in Sector-10, Panchkula. 

He had earlier won prize at the national level competition in Chennai. As many as 500 students from various parts of Haryana and Chandigarh participated in this state-level competition. Apart from Shivam, seven other students of ALOHA centre of Sector-10, Panchkula, won prizes in their respective levels. The students were Shipra, Swati, Vasudha, Shauriya, Anubhav Mittal, Aman Gupta and Nidhi Gupta.

Debate: Welham Girls’ School, Dehradun, team emerged winner in the preliminary stage Frank Anthony Memorial All-India Inter-School Debate Competition- 2008, held at St Kabir School in Sector 26, here, today. Chaman Vatika Residential Public School got the first runners-up position. The topic, supplied by the ICSE Council, was “This House Believes that young people today are emotionally unstable and psycologically weak”. 



HC quashes selection of drivers in MC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Allowing a bunch of petitions challenging the selections and appointments of drivers in the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh’s fire wing, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today quashed the selection.

Pronouncing the orders, a High Court Division Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Mohinder Pal, ruled: Many of the non-selected candidates, who are not petitioners before us, were not properly dealt with by the Selection Committee in the process of selection.

Resultantly, all these writ petitions are allowed to the extent that the selection of the private respondents as drivers in the fire wing of the Corporation is quashed.

The Corporation had invited applications for filling 15 posts of drivers vide advertisement dated July 30, 2005.

In their detailed order, the Judges ruled: “We have heard the counsel for the parties and have perused the original record which was produced by the counsel appearing for the Corporation.

“As per the advertisement dated July 30, 2005, eye sight of candidates must be 6/6 both eyes without specs. However, as per the medical certificate, Sohanjit Mohan has been declared to be “fit for the job”, but his eyesight is not given as 6/6 without specs because the doctor has mentioned his eyesight as “6/6 C and 6/9 C,” which connotes eyesight with specs. Thus, despite being medically unfit, Sohanjit Mohan has been selected.

“Under the circumstances, although we would not like to sit in appeal over the opinions of the eye-specialists, but it casts a doubt about the medical fitness of Sohanjit Mohan especially when as per advertisement eyesight of candidates must be 6/6 both eyes without specs because they have to work in the Fire Wing of the Corporation”.

The Judges added: In another petition it has been averred by the petitioner that respondent Taranjit Singh and respondent Tarjeet Singh had not qualified the physical test… The allegation of the petitioners that respondent Taranjit Singh and Tarjeet Singh had not qualified the physical test is, thus, correct. It is also worth mentioning that Jang Bahadur, another selected candidate under the Scheduled Caste category had also failed in the physical test and was declared pass on appeal.

“There was no provision of filing appeal once the candidate had failed the Physical Test. Nothing about filing appeal was mentioned in the advertisement. This has clearly been done to select the candidates of choice by ignoring the deserving ones. This was done not only in violation of the well settled law that once the process of selection starts, the prescribed selection criteria cannot be changed nor norms of selection can be altered, but was done after the candidates had failed in the physical test”.



Consumer Court
Insurance firm to pay Rs 2 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed the manager of National Insurance Company to pay Rs 2 lakh as punitive damages for acting in a biased manner while dealing with the claim of Panipat Spinning Mills in Panipat.

The commission further asked the insurance firm to pay Rs 24,20,933 that was assessed by the surveyor to the company along with Rs 20,000 as cost of litigation.

The company stated in its complaint that it had purchased two insurance policies from the insurance firm in October 2005. It was stated that a fire broke out on the premises of the company on October 2006 after which the owner of the company immediately informed the insurance firm. The surveyor of the insurance firm came and assessed the loss to be worth Rs 24,20,933. The insurance firm did not disburse the amount despite several letters written to them. On the other hand, the insurance firm sent another surveyor to assess the loss of the company.

The insurance firm stated that the petitioner had concealed material facts to grab easy money and had submitted bogus bills. The counsel for the insurance firm contended that the fire broke at Panipat where the policy was taken. They added that the complaint did not attract territorial jurisdiction.

The commission headed by Justice K.C. Gupta stated: "The commission has the jurisdiction to try the petition and the complaint has been wrongly repudiated on the basis of element of fraud. In fact there was no element of fraud and the contract was not vitiated. Rather the branch senior manager had acted in a biased manner and had disallowed the claim of the complainant without any rhyme or reason."



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