C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Aesthetics, not comfort, on admn priority list
Students take lessons in scorching heat, while authorities want a facelift of govt schools

G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
What is more important — Vitrified tiles, costly art paintings or basic shelter to protect schoolchildren from scorching heat and rain?
The Chandigarh administration needs to think a little before deciding on the priorities of schoolchildren. For, the education department has recently sent a circular to all government schools asking them to fix Johnson-make “A” grade vitrified tiles on floor, paintings and mural work on walls.

Whereas the priority of schools located on the outskirts of the city, where children take classes or meals on floor in the open because of the absence of furniture and proper shelter, has taken a back seat.

The administration has apparently gone into deep slumber after making tall claims about improving the dilapidated infrastructure of government schools located on the outskirts of “City Beautiful”.

Only this can explain why in spite of having ample resources and funds, schoolchildren have been made to sit on the floor in scorching heat to attend classes and eat meals.

The pathetic condition of building and scarcity of space at Government High School, Hallo Majra, which caters to over 1,700 children, reflects the true picture of education culture prevailing in the city.

The school runs three sections of Class VI (around 180 students) in dingy rooms at the vacant government veterinary doctors’ residence.

With no basic facility like drinking water and sanitation or covered shelter, these children have no choice but to sit on the floor in verandah in sweltering heat.

“No pre-fabricated structure, as promised, has been installed yet. Because of space crunch, we have to accommodate children in open verandas. Even blackboard has been painted on the boundary wall,” rued teachers.

“Isn’t it ironic that the department, instead to catering to our basic necessity, is asking us to generate funds to install vitrified tiles on floor and purchase painting for walls? said a teacher.

As a stopgap arrangement before erecting the RCC structure for schools, the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) wing had initiated to erect pre-fabricated structures at schools in Colony No. 5, Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26 and Hallo Majra. The SSA wing had also released funds to the tune of Rs 29.5 lakh for the purpose.

The work was allotted to the Chandigarh Housing Board, which ensured that the proposed work would be completed by March 31, but nothing has materialised as yet.



GMSH without thyroid kit for 4 weeks
Lives of patients in jeopardy
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
A large number of patients visiting the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, one of the three premier government hospitals here, for thyroid tests have been returning home disappointed as the requisite kit for the test has been out of stock for the past four weeks.

Thirtyeight-year-old Ashwani (CR No. 60201673), who has been suffering from obesity and swelling in the legs, had gone to the hospital for the test after doctors had recommended him to do so for the diagnosis of his ailment.

He went to the laboratory and sought to get the test referred by the doctor of the hospital.

He was, however, told by the technician there to come after a few days as the thyroid kit was not available at the hospital.

He said he had already visited the hospital thrice for the test but was unable to get it done.

“I am not well and need the treatment immediately, but without the test it is not possible,” he rued. In spite of it being a multi-Specialty hospital, the GMSH neither has an endocrinologist nor thyroid test kit, thus putting the lives of patients in grave danger.

Another patient, Anamika (name changed), from Chandigarh faced a similar situation at the hospital after she had gone there for the test.

Anamika said she was asked to come to the hospital after one week.

“What if my problem becomes acute in the meantime. I am not able to take private treatment as my financial condition is not very sound,” she said.

A thyroid test costs just Rs 150 at the hospital, while private laboratories charge around Rs 500, she added.

“Earlier, around 40 thyroid tests were conducted in a week at hospital laboratory. However, not a single test has been conducted since April 4,” said a senior technician at the GMSH centre. Even lipid profile kit has been out of stock for more than three weeks.

A senior doctor said a physician was dependent on the interpretation of the laboratory results to successfully diagnose and treat the patient.

“We have already informed the administration about the running out of old stock but the kits of thyroid and lipid profile were yet to be received,” said in charge of the biochemistry wing.

Thyroid function tests (T3, T4 and TSH) reveal causes for unexplained weight gain or loss and mood swings, while lipid profile test gives an indication of various fat fractions in the blood like HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol).

Health secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “The issue is in my notice and the kit should come to the hospital very soon. It has been delayed due to movement of file.”



Turban Row
Principal bows after protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 30
Members of the Sikh community staged a dharna outside Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School here today to protest against the school authorities for punishing three students — Gursewak Singh, Inderjeet Singh and Ravi Inder Singh — who had gone to the school wearing turbans yesterday.

The three class X students were not allowed to enter their classrooms. The protesters raised slogans and demanded registration of a case against the school for hurting the religious sentiments of the community. They also demanded the closure of the school.

Later, the protesters asked school principal Veena Malhotra to tender an unconditional apology, failing which they threatened to intensify the protest. The principal then apologised in writing.

The apology written on the school letterhead read: “I tender an unconditional apology to the Sikh community for hurting their religious sentiments. The school will continue to function in a manner which gives students to wear turban or ‘patka’ as they want.”

The protesters first gathered at Gurdwara Sri Kalghidhar Singh Sabha, Phase IV, and then proceeded towards the school where the dharna was organised.

Lakhvir Singh, father of Ravi Inder Singh, said the school should have sent a notice to parents before punishing the students.

He said his son, who was a national player and had won various medals in rowing, had felt humiliated after the punishment.

Dalip Singh Malhi and J.P. Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Phase-IV gurdwara, condemned the incident and said there was a great resentment among the Sikh community due to the incident.

They said the incident amounted to depriving students of their constitutional right in Punjab and encouraging other nations to indulge in discrimination against the Sikh community.

The three students and their parents were honoured by the gurdwara management in the evening.



Bullet patrol days over?
Police fancying sleeker bikes
Akash Ghai/Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The good-old Royal Enfield ‘Bullet’ has lost its attraction with the Chandigarh Police. For the force, which has been using the bulky 350 cc motorcycle since its inception, is now contemplating to get rid of it. Reason: Increase in the number of snatching incidents.

The growing number of snatching cases has baffled one of the most efficient police forces of the country, forcing it to think about procuring high-speed advanced bikes.

“Being a heavy vehicle, Bullet is not easy to manoeuvre on quick turns. Moreover, the motorcycle is meant for stocky persons. Lightweight cops find it hard to handle it,” said a policeman.

On the other hand, new-age bikes like Pulsar, Caliber and Splendor are not only light but also have better manoeuvrability, pick-up, speed and fuel efficiency.

As most snatchers use these bikes during crimes, it is not possible to chase them on Bullets. Besides, these bikes are fuel- friendly, so opting for these would enhance patrolling as well, he added. A proposal to get 25 advanced bikes (from 125 CC to 175 CC) has already been put forth and the authorities are seeking to add these to their fleet.

“A proposal has been sent to the authorities concerned to do away with bulky beasts in phases and introduce advanced bikes to the force. In the proposal, we have demanded bikes that are powerful but light in weight, with better pick-up and fuel-efficiency. Modern bikes are better suited for patrol duty keeping in view the crime scenario,” said DSP (PCR) Sandal Singh.

SSP Sudhanshu Srivastava confirmed that the department was working on the issue. “Yes, the proposal is under consideration”.

Since January 1, 85 cases of snatching have been reported and the police claims to have solved just 10 thus far.



No marriage functions at Pinjore Garden: Minister
Chaudhary rubbishes proposal by tourism secy
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 30
In a big jolt to commissioner and tourism secretary Keshni Anand Arora’s move to allow the use of Pinjore Garden for marriage functions, Haryana tourism and environment minister Kiran Chaudhary has made it clear that it would prove detrimental to the heritage monument. The minister said this while talking to media persons here today.

The minister, who was here to preside over a meeting of district grievances redressal committee, said she was even against the running of shops inside the garden.

“Indeed, I am not in favour of the use of heritage monuments for commercial purposes,” said Chaudhary, She added: “Rather, these need utmost care to protect them against any dangers.”

This is in contrast to what Arora had said last week in Chandigarh. The tourism commissioner on April 23 had stated that in view of the growing popularity of wedding tourism in the country, the famous garden would now be available for holding weddings.

“We should learn from Europe, where heritage monuments of little importance are protected with great care,” Chaudhary added.

In addition, the state government has asked all deputy commissioners to conduct a survey of heritage monuments in their districts and submit a report so that funds could be generated for their restoration, said the minister.

On the Haryana Urban Development Authority plan to develop new residential and industrial sectors at Pinjore allegedly on forest land, the minister said she had received complaints from local residents in this regard and in case the land came under Section 4 or 5 no construction would be allowed in the region.

Earlier, convening the meeting of district grievances redressal committee, the minister asked HUDA to check encroachments in the region.

The minister who received scores of complaints regarding encroachments asked officials to take a lesson from Chandigarh where cases of encroachments were unheard of.

The minister, who holds the portfolio of forests as well, said the officials concerned had been asked to chalk out an action plan to tackle forest fires, an annual phenomenon during summer.



Soldiers denied right to vote at place of posting
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Caught in red tapism, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and their families are being denied the right to vote at their place of posting. In spite of repeated representations, the government has failed to issue a notification, granting this basic right to the soldiers.

The soldiers are given the right to vote through a postal ballot or proxy voting and these provisions are the options that cannot deny the right of a soldier to vote. The armed forces feel ignored and left out from the electoral process, even as none of the state election offices has made an effort to remove the anomaly.

The Indian Ex Services League, which is spearheading the ‘right to vote’ movement for soldiers at their place of posting, says the matter is hanging fire, as it is shuttling between the Election Commission and ministry of home.

Brig H.S. Ghumman (retd), a senior functionary of the Indian Ex Services League, said yesterday that postal ballots and proxy-voting options for soldiers was not very successful as these never reached the soldiers and the election office in time.

“It was thus that Supreme Court had ruled that postal ballot cannot take away the soldiers’ right to vote at the place of his posting. Even the ministry of law and justice has ruled that postal ballot and proxy voting are just options,” he said.

“If the regimental record officer can be appointed as the electoral registration officer for the postal or proxy voting system, why can’t a military officer be appointed for registering officers / soldiers as voters at the place of voting,” asks Brig Ghumman.

The league has suggested that soldiers be registered at the place of posting so that they can participate and keep criminals away from the state assemblies or Parliament. They had earlier referred the matter to the Parliament’s Standing Committee of Grievances, which in turn has referred the matter to the ministry of home.

“The home ministry did not take cognisance of the petition, and referred it to the EC. Now the petition is shuttling between the EC and the ministry of home, with no solution in sight,” said Brig Ghumman.



Defence accounts dept reviews building projects
Tribune News Service

Controller general of defence accounts Bulbul Ghosh (left), along with principal controller of defence accounts Nita Kapoor, at a review meeting in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Controller general of defence accounts Bulbul Ghosh (left), along with principal controller of defence accounts Nita Kapoor, at a review meeting in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

Chandigarh, April 30
To review the office and residential accommodation project of the Defence Accounts Department (DAD), controller general of defence accounts Bulbul Ghosh visited the office of the principal controller of defence accounts (PCDA), Western Command, here today.

On her arrival here, she was received by the PCDA, Western Command, Nita Kapoor, and other senior members of the organisation, a statement issued here said.

There are 169 on-going building projects with an estimated cost of over Rs 233 crore coming up at various stations across the country. The projects pertaining to the PCDA, Western Command, Chandigarh, PCDA, Northern Command, Jammu, CDA, pension disbursement, Meerut, CDA Guwahati and CDA (Army) Meerut, were taken up for review during a meeting where senior functionaries of the Defence Accounts Department from the CGDA’s office and heads of the above organisations were also present.

During the review meeting, Ghosh emphasised the need for timely completion of the various milestones set out for these projects and to avoid the possibility of cost over-runs. Later, she also interacted with senior Army officers from Western Command.



CHB scheme draws a new low
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Contrary to expectations of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the general housing scheme in Sector 63 has evoked a mixed response. The scheme has received seven applications per flat, which is the lowest ratio in recent past.

Even as huge rush was witnessed at Axis Bank and SBI counters during the last two days, around 14,000 applications were received for 1976 four-storey flats.

High cost of dwelling units and construction of the state-of-the-art apartments in Chandigarh’s periphery by private builders seem to have taken its toll on the scheme.

In fact, the scheme has evoked one of the poorest responses per flat in the recent past. The 600 MIG housing scheme in Sector 51 had drawn similar response when 4,549 applications were received - eight times the number of flats.

The 144 EWS housing scheme in Sector 52 had drawn maximum response, inviting 10,057 applications - 70 times the number of tenements.

Observers say the high cost, which is to be paid in white money, seems to have played spoilsport, as it has deterred thousands of prospective applicants from applying for the flats. This, in spite of the fact the two banks had offered to fully finance the earnest money of all categories of flats.

Category “A” three-bedroom flat with an area 1,424 sq ft costs around Rs 39.57 lakh. Similarly, category “B” two-bedroom flat with an area of 1,075 sq ft costs Rs 29.14 lakh and category “C” one-bedroom flat with an area of 684 sq ft cost Rs 17.15 lakh.

The category “D” one-bedroom flat for economically weaker sections with an area of 340 sq ft is priced at Rs 5.66 lakh. This was in sharp contrast to the special housing scheme for UT employees where apartments’ cost was much less and the area was more than this general scheme.

The allotment will be made on leasehold basis for a period of 99 years. During this period, the allottees will be required to pay a ground rent at the rate of 0.25 per cent per annum of the price of the dwelling unit. This time around, the CHB has come out with innovative features like vitrified tiles in bedrooms and drawing/dining room, ceramic tile flooring in kitchen, toilet and store, Kota stone flooring in common passage and stairs. For the first time, the board is providing solar water heating systems for every three bedroom and two bedroom flat.



Amid protests, MC okays agenda items
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Amidst strong protests by BJP councillors, various agenda were passed during the 128th general house meeting of the Chandigarh municipal corporation, here today.

The meeting was concluded after 14 agendas were passed within a few minutes. However, the BJP councillors alleged that they were not given enough time to express their views, which was against their democratic rights.

The meeting began on a vociferous note, which turned louder with each passing minute. The debate on various issues pertaining to irregularities committed by the officials went on and when opposition was raised against the agenda, the national anthem was played to mark the end of proceedings.

Later, the BJP councilors fired salvos at the mayor and congress councillors alleging that the meeting was concluded as part of a conspiracy.

BJP councillors, led by leader of the opposition Gurcharan Dass Kala, told mediapersons just after the meeting that they would take up the matter with the UT advisor. They later submitted a representation with the MC commissioner.

Kala alleged that except for four items on the agenda, the rest were passed without holding any discussion. He alleged that the administration had reduced the grant to the MC from Rs 65 crore to 45 crore, as the MC was not ‘using its funds properly’. The issue like wasteful expenditures by the corporation such as purchase of a luxury car for the mayor and failure of sanitation drive were not discussed, he said. He demanded that the agenda items that were not discussed properly should be placed for consideration in next meeting of the house. However, mayor Pradeep Chhabra said the meeting was conducted in a proper manner.

Meanwhile, during the meeting the row between Anil Dubey and the superintendent engineer of the MC, delay in various developmental projects, inaction of authorities into the paid parking scams were highlighted. Nominated councillor Dr A.P. Sanwaria raised the issue that even as projects like providing medical treatment to employees and purchasing of laptops for councillors were passed long ago, nothing has been done in this regard and demanded the status reports of these projects.

Chander Mukhi Sharma pointed out that the authorities were bent upon making the corporation a top-heavy body while no attention was being paid towards filling of vacant posts of lower staff. The lack of gardeners has led to withering of gardens in certain sectors, but nothing had been done in this direction, he said.

Replying to it, the mayor said they would draft their own recruitment and promotion rules to carry out fresh recruitments to sort out the problem.



Sec-18 shopkeeper held, 2 booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The police today arrested one person and booked two others, all shopkeepers from Sector 18, on charges of manhandling, causing injuries and criminal intimidation. The accused have been identified as Rajeev, Kamal and Navjeevan.

Navjeevan has been arrested, while others have been booked on the complaint of sub-inspector Bhupinder Singh, who said he had issued a challan to Rajiv Goyal as some articles and a refrigerator was lying outside one of the shop. “A little while later Goyal began hurling abuses on me and did not allow me to confiscate the articles. I called my seniors who reached the spot. But Goyal also managed to call other shopkeepers who created a scene following which the police was called,” he said.

The shopkeeper, owner of RLCR supermarket, alleged that the enforcement staff was harassing him since the past couple of days. “Two days ago they picked up two chairs terming it as encroachment, which his employees had pulled out of the shop while cleaning. Today, the enforcement staff picked up a brand new refrigerator, which was being off-loaded and issued him a challan. When he tried to clarify, the officials picked up a quarrel with him,” said a shopkeeper.

Following this, owners of many shops put their shutters down in protest against the alleged highhandedness of the enforcement staff.



Bus routes shift to Sec-43 today
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
From tomorrow morning, all buses to Punjab and Himachal Pradesh will be plying from the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Sector 43, instead of ISBT, Sector 17. The buses to Paonta Sahib and Dehradun via Nahan will also ply from the new bus stand. With this, the Sector 43 bus stand will cater to around 1,400 inter-state buses besides all local public transport vehicles.

P.S. Shergill, director of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, said all arrangements have been made at the Sector 43 bus stand to facilitate the commuters.

“As 600 more buses will start plying from here with the shifting of routes, as many as 10 new counters have been set up. Besides, the connectivity of the bus stand has also been increased with the change of routes of all the local buses. Now, all the CTU buses will touch the new bus stand,” said Shergill. He claimed that from tomorrow the frequency of the local buses to ISBT-43 would be every two minutes.

On the other hand, only buses on Delhi and the Uttrakhand routes via Ambala will be plying from ISBT, Sector 17.

List of new counters at ISBT-43

No. 25: Dehradun through Nahan, Paonta Sahib

No. 26: Barwala, Naraingarh, Bilaspur, Jagadhri

No. 27: Shahzadpur, Saha, Raipur Rani, Jatwar, Kesiri

No. 28: Shimla (deluxe/air-conditioned)

No. 29: Solan, Shimla, Rohru, Rampur

No. 30: Pinjore, Kalka, Parwanoo, Panchkula

No. 31: Pinjore, Haripur Dhar, Baddi, Nalagarh

No. 32: Banur, Rajpura, Ghanaur, Patiala

No. 33: Mansa, Sirsa, Sangrur, Nabha, Malerkotla

No. 34: Patiala, Bathinda, Ganga Nagar, Jaiton

No. 35: Rajpura, Patiala, Sumana

No. 10: Ludhiana, Moga, Ferozepore, Aboha

No. 11: Ludhiana, Patti, Amritsar, Abohar



Heart patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Vikram, a 25-year-old resident of Togan village, Mohali, is suffering from rheumatic heart disease that has affected his heart valves. Due to the illness, he is unable to carry on with any physical work and requires an urgent double valve replacement to correct the defect.

Being a labourer, he can hardly bear the cost of his treatment, which is approximately 1.20 lakh. He has already received Rs 28,000. Therefore, the amount now required is Rs one lakh.

He has already been operated on for rheumatic heart disease in year 2003. But after an accident in year 2007, he again requires repair of double valves.

Vikram needs good Samaritans to save his life.

All those who want to help Vikram can contact the Poor Patient Assistance Cell of PGI, Chandigarh. All donations should be made in favour of the cell with ‘Treatment for Vikram’ written on the back or on the covering letter. The contact number is 0172- 2756006.



Narrow escape for occupants as car catches fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Occupants of a car had a narrow escape when all of sudden their vehicle caught fire on the road dividing Sectors 16 and 17, here today. The car was badly damaged in the fire.

According to fire department, the Maruti Car was engulfed by flames within no time. The fire department received information at around 11:30 am and an advanced technology vehicle was sent to the spot. The firemen extinguished the blaze before it could spread further. Officials said the fire was probably caused by a short- circuit.

Besides, four other incidents of minor fires were reported to the department today.



Tribune employee retires
Tribune News Service

Subhash GautamChandigarh, April 30
Subhash Gautam, executive, (Advertisement Department) The Tribune, retired today after putting up nearly 27 years of service in the organisation.

He joined The Tribune in 1981 as a junior clerk. He was given a warm send off by his colleagues here today.

The assistant general manager, Mr Rajeshwar Chopra, lauded the services of Mr Gautam. Others who attended the farewell party were Mr Dilbar Ali Khan, advertisement manager and Mohit Sharma, head marketing.



Pay commission a mockery

The Union government had constituted the pay commission with a view to ameliorate the financial condition of its employees. Surprisingly, with the publication of its recommendations, every section of employees, may be civilian, defence, police and other employee, is dissatisfied.

What is the use of such recommendations when only a section of higher strata of employees got lion’s share? It would have been better, had the government instead of constituting the pay commission, would have revised the pay scales and allied benefits in consultation with the staff associations of the respective departments.

This would have saved huge money spent on the formation of the commission. Moreover, this would further help in understanding the problems of all sections better. As a result, everyone would be happy with the government and it would enable them to meet with increasing inflation.

S.K. Khosla, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Central Varsity Status
PUTA calls upon Dhindsa
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
As a part of campaign for mobilising political opinion in favour of ongoing agitation by teachers, students and employees for central university status for Panjab University, a delegation of PUTA office-bearers today called on Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, MP and secretary general, SAD.

The delegation explained him the urgency of declaring PU an ‘institute of national importance’, under the 7th Schedule of the Constitutional provision, like Banars Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, and Delhi University. He was also suggested to call an all party meeting so that the opinion of all the political parties could be incorporated and apprehensions, if any, could be removed.

Meanwhile, those who sat on the chain fast today were Dr Rajiv Lochan, department of history, Dr Sunita Kapila and Dr Richa Puri, both from the department of botany, and Gagandeep Singh, UIET, among the teachers and L. Sitlhou, department of public administration, represented students.

Dr Rajiv Lochan said it was a pity that Panjab University, a five star university, has been ignored while giving a push to higher education in India whereas even the four star universities such as Sagar University and Bhopal University from Madhya Pradesh have been elevated to central university.

He said, “If immediate steps are not taken to save PU from the financial crunch by making it fully funded by the Union government, soon we will face exodus of teachers and students to the central universities coming next door.” He also said in case our voice was still not heard, we would go to people outside the boundaries of PU and appeal them to write to the Prime Minister of India to save Panjab University.

Eventually, the campaign will also be extended to the affiliated colleges in Panjab. In fact, already the teachers from the regional centre of Panjab University at Muktsar have sent their representation to the Chief Minister of Punjab asking central university status for PU.



‘Chandigarh in April’
Sahil wins in painting contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The results of on-the-spot painting competition ‘Chandigarh in April’ were declared by the committee of experts today. Chandigarh Tourism, in association with Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy, had held a series on four Sundays of April.

Overall, 476 entries were received. Out of these, 95 outstanding paintings will be exhibited in the mid of May. The judges in the panel were Prof Aditya Prakash, Prof Inderjeet Gupta and Hargopal Jhamb.

In the school category, Sahil Aggrarwal of GMHS-28 bagged the first prize. Tsewang Lama of Guru Nanak Public School and Rahul Aggarwal of GMHS-28 got second and third position, respectively. Three consolation prizes went to Nitesh Verma of GMSSS-16, Gurmeet Singh of JNVB, Muktsar and Akanksha Sharma of Sacred Heart.

In the college category, first prize went to Jagjit Singh; second and third prizes went to Akash Gaur and Shiv Shankar, respectively, whereas consolation prizes went to Tridib Choudhary, Navneet Kaur and Sanjeev Kumar, all College of Art students.

In the professional\amateur category, first prize went to Sikandar Singh, whereas Rakesh Kumar and Sadhana Sangar bagged the second and third prizes, respectively. Shikha Nalwa, Vishal Bhatnagar and Ravinder Singh won the consolation prizes.

In each category, the winner, first runner up and second runner up will get prize of Rs 10,000, Rs 7,500, Rs 5,000, respectively, whereas three consolation prizes will be of Rs 2,000.



Finally, sweatshirts reach PU students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The members of PUSU (Panjab University Students’ Organisation) have been given a clean chit by the committee formed to look into the matter pertaining to the dispute about PU sweatshirts.

It is pertinent to mention here that it was alleged by four students, including Dinesh Goyal, Naveet, Kamaljeet, Ashutosh, that certain leaders of the PUSU party had collected money from the students promising to give them sweatshirts with university logo. More than hundred students had given Rs 350 each for the purpose but they neither got sweatshirts nor their money. The students had then given a written complaint to the DSW who formed a committee to look into the matter.

It was found that the delay was at the manufacturer’s end. However, the sweatshirts have been delivered to the students on April 26. 



Waste management campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension (CACEE), PU, launched a campaign on ‘Save Environment through Management of Waste’ at Government High School, Sector 25, on the occasion of National Water Conservation Day. Sixty students from the school attended the workshop.

Prof Arun Deep Aluwalia, department of geology, PU, addressed the students and teachers on the theme of global warming.

Renu Gandhi, programme co-ordinator from CACEE, gave practical demonstration to the students on the theme of management of waste and said there was a need to have separate dustbins for dry waste and solid waste at the door steps in the family, educational institution and community which not only reduce the waste but help them to recycle the paper, polythenes etc.

Davinder Kang, principal of the school, said there was a need to practice the awareness with regard to environment at community level.



Cultural treat by PTU students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The cultural-cum-prize distribution function was organised by GCS computers, Computer Tech Pvt Ltd and Bhupindra Society, regional centre of Punjab Technical University, at Bhargava auditorium here today.

The 54 associate learning centres of PTU-located in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh zone participated in the event. Capt Kanwaljit Singh, cabinet minister, Punjab, was the chief guest.

Students performed various cultural items during the function, including group dance, bhangara, skit, play, fashion show and other items. The chief guest distributed prizes among the students for various competitions.



New courses in animation, fashion design
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
For the first time in Northern India, a USA based company NVISH Solutions, in collaboration with E-Visual Media, has come up with latest computer aided designing courses, new concepts of specialisation in fashion CAD and visual effects in animation.

The E-Visual Media has started three different foundation, diploma and specialisation courses in fashion CAD, and spanning 6 months to 18 months.

The students who have done their Class XII, graduates with fine arts, postgraduate BSc degree holders in fashion designing and diploma holders in fashion designing would be entitled to join this courses.



HC grants pension to freedom fighter from 1985
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
After years of struggle against the British and bureaucratic hurdles, a 90-year-old freedom fighter has finally succeeded in getting his due.

Coming to Mukhtiar Singh’s rescue, Justice Ranjit Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled the petitioner was entitled to the grant of freedom fighter pension from May 25, 1985, - the date he applied for it. “The arrears would carry interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from the date it was due, to the date of its payment”, Justice Ranjit Singh ruled.

The Judge also directed the Union of India to do the needful within three months of receiving the orders “so that the petitioner was able to enjoy the honour and the monetary consideration, which would follow with the grant of this freedom fighter pension or shall we say samman”.

The orders, reflecting the humanitarian side of law, were passed after the petitioner appeared before the court literally asking the Judge to come to his rescue.

Acting promptly, Justice Ranjit Singh called for the file and disposed of the matter in one hearing, but not before observing: “It is unfortunate to notice this state of affair. The petitioner happens to be present in person before this court. I have noticed his plight.

“He has rightly expressed his anguish on the delay in disposing his claim and about the denial of this pension to him. He is justified in making a grievance that pension should not come to him when he is no more in this world.”

The Judge observed: “I have taken up his case for hearing when he is seen pleading for decision. An old infirm man still has spirit left in him. To see him beg for decision, and not for pension, was rather disgusting to notice. He certainly deserved a better treatment.”

In his telling order, the Judge observed: “Mukhtiar Singh, another freedom fighter, is standing in queue, asking for the grant of freedom fighter pension, which is being denied to him, with all the vehemence at its command by the state. The petitioner claims he participated in the Prajha Mandal Movement during the freedom struggle of the country and was arrested at Faridkot....

“Here again, it appears that the bureaucratic approach seems to be fully at play. The respondents have relied upon hyper-technical grounds in rejecting the claim and have somehow tried to find reasons how the relief can be denied to the petitioner.

“The fate of the petitioner can well be imagined. He contested a full-fledged civil suit where he succeeded. He remained still unsuccessful on account of addition of superfluous words in the order, full advantage of which was taken by the Union of India to deny the decree - a fortune to the petitioner-freedom fighter, which is nothing but a meager sum of Rs 200 per month... The petition deserves to be allowed and it is so ordered.”



Muskan Murder Case
Two get life term
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Dildar Singh and Sheetal were today awarded life term in the infamous Muskan murder case. Additional district and sessions judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each on the two.

Muskan, a call girl, was murdered in Hotel Shivalikview in December 2004. Her body was found in the bathtub of room No. 402 of the hotel.

After the pronouncement of orders, the accused were taken to Burail Jail. Out of the 37 witnesses produced before the court by the prosecution and defence, seven had turned hostile.

A public witness, Ravi Kumar, made extrajudicial confessions, while deposing before the court. He stated that accused Sheetal had confessed to murdering Muskan before him at the bus stand in Sector 17 on December 13, 2004.

He had claimed to have gone to a restaurant near the bus stand with Sheetal. He added that Sheetal had told him that he did not want to appear in a court case, which was fixed for hearing.

While talking with mediapersons, Dildar said: “The hair recovered from the hands of Muskan didn’t match with mine and I am not involved in the crime.”

According to the prosecution, a former partner of Muskan from Delhi, Sheetal, alias Shruti, got Muskan eliminated by her live-in partner, Dildar, for “betrayal”.



Inderjeet Murder Case
Case sent to Juvenile Justice Board
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
A CBI special judge today transferred the case of 30-year-old Khushwant Singh, a recent accused in the Inderjeet Singh murder case (1985), to the Juvenile Justice Board.

He was made party to the case recently after an application was moved by Alla Singh, father of the victim. Notably, 23 years after the murder a case has been registered against two persons. As one of the accused Khushwant Singh was a minor when the crime was committed, his trial has been transferred to the Juvenile Justice Board. Kushwant Singh would appear before the Juvenile Justice Board On May 5. 



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