C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


YPS teacher killed at police barricade
Bus rams into scooter from behind, driver held
Akash Ghai & Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Driver of the bus Sarwan Singh in police custody in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Driver of the bus Sarwan Singh in police custody in Chandigarh on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, May 15
A senior science teacher of Mohali’s Yadvindra Public School was killed owing to a criminally negligent bus driver and barricades put up by overzealous Chandigarh traffic policemen this afternoon.

A physics teacher, Anuradha Gupta, who was riding pillion on her colleague’s scooter, suffered multiple head injuries when a speeding Punjab Roadways bus rammed their vehicle on the T-junction of the road between Sectors 47 and 48.

While the bus driver, Sarwan Singh, was driving much too fast, eyewitnesses said the accident could possibly have been averted but for wrongly placed Chandigarh police barricades, which are usually not visible to motorists until the very last moment.

Anuradha Gupta, who was riding without a safety helmet, sustained fatal injuries when her head struck one of the rear wheels of the bus.

Doctors at the GMCH, Sector 32, declared her dead on arrival. Her colleague Kunwari Sharda escaped with minor injuries and was discharged from the hospital in the evening.

Ironically, Gupta, who normally drove her car to school, had come in an autorickshaw this morning because her car was being serviced. She had requested a ride from Kunwari because her daughter Praneeta, who usually rode home with her, had not come to school today.

The victim’s husband, Manoj Gupta, who was waiting to board a flight to Singapore at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, was informed of the mishap by YPA principal Harish Dhillon.

Visibly shaken, Dhillon said: “The untimely death of Anuradha Gupta is a huge loss for our school. Anuradha had been with us for over 10 years and, without argument, was among our best teachers. Her sudden demise has shocked everyone — staff and students.”

Gupta’s aged parents, who reside in Panchkula, were devastated with the news.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested the driver of the bus and registered a case under Sections 304, 279 and 339 of the IPC at the police station, Sector 31.

Who is to blame for her death?

If eyewitnesses are to be believed, but for the “wrongly” placed police “naka”, Auradha would have been alive. “The barricades were hardly visible and even my vehicle missed those narrowly,” said Navdeep Singh, an eyewitness, while blaming the city’s police.

However, DSP (traffic) J.S. Cheema said it was wrong to blame the police as the accident had occurred after they had “wound up” the naka. He blamed the driver for the mishap.

SSP S. Srivastava said he would look into the matter and also issue instructions, if needed.



11 ITBP men hurt as grenade goes off
Arun Sharma/Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula/Chandigarh, May 15
Eleven Indo Tibetan Border Police Force personnel were injured, three of them seriously, when a hand grenade went off accidentally during a training session at the Naraingarh Firing Range, near here, today.

The injured, who were admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh, were identified as Sanjay Ikka, Ravi Devgan, Suryavanshi Vilas, Devanand, Mohinder Singh, Abdul Sikander Ali, Nirmal Kumar, Sudhakar Babu, Dilip Singh, Lokesh Yadav (inspector) and Babu Ram (havildar).

Lokesh, Babu Ram and Sudhakar were admitted with severs injuries. The condition of Babu Ram was stated to be critical. An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the reason behind the mishap, said ITBP IG Pritpal Singh.

This is the third time in the past three months when paramilitary forces jawans have met with an accident while handling hand grenades at the same range.

While three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed on March 13, an ITBP man was killed on May 2 in a similar exercise. Around 20 were injured in these mishaps.

According to eyewitnesses, the mishap took place around 4 pm when recruits belonging to 26 Battalion, ITBP, from Ludhiana were being imparted training in handling hand grenades.

Pritpal Singh said 400 ITBP personnel were to get training on rotation at the range.

“We were picking up grenades from a box and as soon as I picked one up it exploded, injuring those standing closeby,” said an injured at reaching the PGI.

Confirming the incident, the IG said one of the jawans had received injuries in the hand. It is presumed that the grenade was in his hand at the time of explosion even as the injured was not in the condition to tell anything at the moment, added the IG.



Nouveau Riche
Villagers on splurge spree after windfall
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

With government handing out crores of rupees to residents of Jheorheri village as compensation for acquiring land for the Mohali airport, luxury cars have found their way into majority of homes

Jheorheri (Mohali), May 15
A potholed, dusty road from Sector 47, Chandigarh, leads to one of the most prosperous villages in North India. Jheorheri, which has perhaps the largest concentration of “crorepatis”, with crores stacked in banks, has seen a complete transformation in just one month.

Luxury cars, swanky mobile handsets, new flat-screen televisions, washing machines and refrigerators have now found their way into most homes.

After all, each farmer in this village has got Rs 1.25 crore per acre from the Punjab government as compensation for land acquired for the Mohali international airport.

Glistening Pajeros, Honda City, Scorpios and Ford Fiesta can be seen parked in almost all houses here.

A peek inside these rustic homes and you will see a brand-new flat-screen television, a refrigerator and even a new washing machine.

It’s another matter that most of these car owners do not know how to drive, nor does their annual income allow them to pay for the annual insurance cover of the vehicle.

But this has not deterred these villagers from “living it up” with their new-found wealth.

Amarjit Singh, who sells ice at a kiosk here, has already booked a Scorpio car. “My uncles have bought a Honda City and a Ford Fiesta. So I have to buy a Scorpio,” he says, refusing to understand that it will be difficult for him to pay the car’s insurance cover with his average monthly income of Rs 5,000.

“I can always take out some money from the FD (fixed deposit) in the bank,” he reasons.

Pritam Singh, lambardar, and his wife Tej Kaur say they are still coming to terms with the massive socio- economic change in the village.

“A new social order is emerging, as villagers have started splurging on acquiring lifestyle goods. The older generation is unhappy at having to part with their ancestral land but the younger generation is glad to receive the money. Though most villagers have set aside a big chunk of the compensation amount, children have forced them to part with some money to buy cars and other goods,” they say.

Pritam Singh has received the highest compensation in the village and has bought a Mitsubishi Pajero at the insistence of his son.

Interestingly, as news about the villagers receiving compensation spread, most of the luxury car manufacturers began camping here, displaying latest variants of their cars at the village common land.

Car financiers, too, tagged along, offering different schemes for getting a car financed.

“It was difficult to resist these people, who would sweet-talk the impressionable teenagers and convince them to buy their products. I had to be stern and tell my son that we will only buy a new car once we have purchased agricultural land elsewhere,” says Naib Kaur, whose son has received Rs 3.12 crore as compensation.

Worried that the entire compensation money will be squandered away, village elders are now taking their families to Bhadson, Malerkotla, Sirhind and Samrala to buy agricultural land there.

“Most of the money has been deposited in banks as short-term deposits and the moment we finalise a deal, this money will be invested in buying agricultural land. Most villagers will give this land on contract, as they will continue to reside here,” says Sukhbir Singh.



Two education board staff held
Caught tampering with answer sheets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The special crime cell of the Chandigarh police arrested two employees of the Punjab School Education Board on charges of tampering with answer sheets of social studies of class X from Sector 8 here this afternoon.

According to cell in-charge Satbir Singh, the accused — assistant controller, audit branch, Jagdeep Bansal and accountants branch clerk Navneet Kaur — were sitting in a car (CH 03 H 3900) in the parking of Sector 8 when they were nabbed by the police.

On the complaint of board assistant secretary Raj Nath Goyal, a team headed by sub-inspectors Baljinder Singh and Harjinder Singh informed the broad authorities, who along with the police team swooped down on the car.

Both were caught red-handed with 268 unsolved answer sheets, social studies question paper and the award sheet.

During interrogation, the accused told the police that the education board had sent the answer sheets to a school in Mullanpur for correction. The school principal, Adarsh Kanta, reportedly sent the answer sheets to Anju Bansal, wife of accused Jagdeep Bansal, for correction.

Anju is a teacher of social studies in Khalsa School, Sector 26. Satbir Singh told the TNS that a team had been sent to Mullanpur for further investigation.

Principal Adarsh Kanta said: “I have no knowledge on the issue and I don’t know the accused. There is a possibility that the junior staff may have sent the answer sheets in return for some favour. Action will certainly be taken against the guilty.”


I am yet to yet to receive a copy of the FIR registered by the Chandigarh police. An inquiry will be initiated and if the accused are found guilty, strict action will be taken.

— Dr D.S. Dhillon



45 DAYS GONE still counting ...
Co-ordination lacking

It is the classic example of lack of coordination between the UT administration and the union ministry of home affairs (MHA).

The delay on part of the MHA was seriously affecting several development works in the city.

It is surprising that such a minor administrative matter should be delayed for one and half months. This demonstrates that the UPA government, of which local MP and union minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal is a part, lacks the will to govern Chandigarh.

— Satya Pal Jain, Ex-MP



ITFT, Bollywood director join hands for media institute
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Even as the film city project of the Chandigarh Administration is yet to take a concrete shape, the Institute of Technology and Future Management Trends (ITFT) today roped in eminent Bollywood writer-director Manmohan Singh to start the Centre for Media and Entertainment Studies (CMES) to give a boost to cinematic tourism and provide employment opportunities to the youth of north India.

“Since tourism and entertainment industry complimented each other, north India offered vast potential to region’s youth to carve a niche for themselves in the entertainment industry as actors, producers, directors, editors, cameramen and soundmen, Manmohan Singh, who is also the CNES chairman, told The Tribune here today.

Keeping employment potential in mind, the ITFT has introduced undergraduate programme in media, entertainment and film technology and three-month training workshops in media and entertainment. The bachelor’s programme has been tailored for film and television, radio, music, animation and other segments of the industry while short-term courses include programmes in acting, cinematography and editing.

Saying that filmmaking was going professional with the entry of big corporates and MNCs, the acclaimed director said trained artistes and technicians would prove to be asset for the film production, which was becoming lucrative with the each passing day.

CMES executive director Gulshan Sharma claimed that need to set up centre arose to bring the Indian film industry, television, music, radio and other segments of the media and entertainment industry to north India. A detailed feasibility survey on the needs and demands of the film industry preceded the setting up of the centre, to be located about 10 km from Chandigarh in Punjab. The first batch would start on August 4 at the new campus, he added.



India to host UN exercise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
An elaborate multi-national exercise on Integrated UN Peace Support Operations will be conducted at the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad, for officers of the armed forces from 17 countries including India from May 21 to 29.

The aim of the exercise, code-named Aman Sena, is to streamline and formalise joint planning and conduct of the UN mandated multi-dimensional and integrated peace support operations, according to an official defence ministry statement.

The exercise is a sequel to Exercise Emerald Mercury, a joint Indo-UK Command Post exercise held at Secunderabad in 2005 and Exercise Shanti Sena held at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington in 2006.

A large number of senior defence officers both serving and retired with rich experience in the conduct of peace support operations as well as civilian experts will interact with and deliver talks to the participants during the exercise.

In a world torn as under by both internal and external strife, the United Nations play an important role by providing multidimensional assistance to affected Nations through rapid deployment, mission support and material 

India has been a major contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. The first commitment was in the UN mission in Korea in 1950 and since then nearly 90,000 troops have been part of 43 such missions across four continents. Presently, about 8,000 Indian troops are deployed on UN duties.

Union minister of state for defence M.M. Pallam Raju is expected to inaugurate the exercise and address the participants while the three service chiefs, the defence secretary and associated GOC-in-C’s and their equivalents from the three services are likely to be present during the proceedings.

The exercise has been conceptualised by Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff and will be steered by the College of Defence Management



GMSH-16 staff protests non-payment of salaries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
More than 300 contract employees of Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, protested today against the non-payment of their salaries for the month of April. Workers alleged that salaries were never paid to them on time.

The latest protest follows similar action few months back over the non-payment of salaries. Workers also accused the management of failing to deposit contributions to the employees’ provident fund (EPF) since they joined.

Contractual employees, including nurses, technicians, computer operators, sweepers, and security at GMSH-16, are facing a tough time. On the condition of anonymity, a security guard said, "My family is dependent on my salary but no one seems to be accountable as to when we will get our salaries."

One of the nurses, who lives in the nursing hostel, said, "We have to pay our rent and electricity bill but the hospital administration doesn't bother to pay our salaries on time." It's a regular feature here, she added.

“Not only this, the administration deducts provident fund on paper every month but never deposits it,” said a sweeper at GMSH-16.

He added that when they inquired about their PF from the concerned department, they got a reply that Rs 220 were being deposited despite the fact that PF was being deducted since the past several years from their salaries.

When contacted, medical superintendent of GMSH-16 Dr Usha Bishnoi said, “Salaries were delayed due to technical faults but it has been released now.”

Regarding non-deposit of provident fund, she said, “We have not received individual records from the service provider.”



Scales of PGI junior technicians revised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Around 300 junior technicians of the PGI will benefit from the Government of India’s approval to the revised pay scale - up from Rs 4500-7000 to Rs 5000-8000 - which will be in effect from January 1, 1996.

According to official spokeperson of the PGI, during the last three years the Institute has made a number of efforts with the Government of India for release of the arrears of the technical staff, but the same were not agreed upon. The PGI administration again placed the proposal before the governing body in December 2007.

The Institute took up the proposal for upgradation of the pay scale of junior technicians from Rs 4500-7000 to Rs 5000-8000 in 1998. On PGI’s approval in 2001, the proposal was referred to Government of India. Now, the ministry of finance has agreed to revise the pay scale of junior technicians from the date
of approval.

Accordingly, technicians were given the scale of Rs 5000-8000 with effect from December 12, 2002.

However, in order to redress genuine demands of the technical staff, the Institute has again taken up the proposal for upgradation of the pay scale of junior technicians from retrospective effect and the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, has agreed to the revision of pay scale with effect from January 1, 1996, notionally and with actual arrear from December 12, 2002.



Cops on trail of foul-mouthed prankster
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 15
The police here is on the trail of a “foul mouth”, who has been calling up the fire brigade’s emergency number (101) in Mohali and hurling abuses at anyone who picks up the phone.

According to fire officer D.S. Dogra, the caller calls about 30 times a day and this has been happening for the past 15 days. The fire officers, who are on duty round the clock and cannot afford to miss a call, are sick of these calls. “The moment the phone is picked up, the caller launches into a tirade of the most horrible abuses. He speaks all sorts of rubbish. We tried our best to sort the problem at our level, but nothing seems to have worked on the caller,” said Dogra. “We abused him back; we tried to placate him with affectionate talk; we tried to reason with him; we requested him; we even got angry, but he does not listen to anything,” added Dogra.

Left with no choice, the fire officers contacted the police. The munshi at the police station in Phase 1, which is next door to the fire brigade station, apparently did not believe them at first. “We tooled the wireless phone set (WLL) to the police station and waited. When the caller rang up, the munshi at the police station heard the entire thing,” said Dogra.

A complaint has been registered by the police and efforts are on to nab the caller. “We have a caller identification facility on one of our phones and also have the caller’s number. He is using a mobile phone, but when we call at that number, it does not connect as the incoming call facility to his number is not functioning. It seems the phone is not functional. Ours is an emergency number which can be accessed even without a functional connection on the mobile set,” pointed out Dogra.



Civic Polls
No recounting for Manoli seat
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 15
The Punjab State Election Commission today refused to allow the recounting of votes for the Manoli seat of the SAS Nagar zila parishad. The Shiromani Akali Dal had demanded a recount when their candidate Jasvir Singh lost to Karam Singh of the Congress by a threadbare margin of six votes. BJP candidate Harinderpal Singh was also in the fray here.

In the final count, out of the 10 seats of the zila parishad, seven have gone to the SAD and two have gone to the Congress. Counting to the Lalru seat of the zila parishad has been postponed.

The results of the block samiti elections in the district have also been declared today. From the Kharar block, the winners include Sukhvinder Singh (SAD), Rinku (INC), Ajaib Singh (SAD), Ramanjit Singh (INC), Harnek singh (SAD), Davinder Singh (SAD), Kuldeep Singh (INC), Sukhdarshan Singh (BJP), Charanjit Kaur (SAD), Nachattar Singh (SAD), Gurmail Kaur (INC), Deep Chand (INC), Avtar Singh (INC), Amninder Singh (SAD), Balwinder Singh (INC), Gurpal singh (SAD), Jasvir Singh (SAD), Pal Singh (SAD), Surinder Kaur (SAD), Karnail Singh (INC), Daljit Kaur (INC), Saranjit Singh (SAD) and Narinder Kaur (SAD).

From the Dera Bassi block, the winners declared today include Jaspal Singh (SAD), Karamjit Kaur (SAD), Sukhvinder Kaur (SAD), Gyan Kaur (SAD), Jarnail Kaur (SAD), Sarabjit Kaur (SAD), Kuldeep Kaur (SAD), Pawan Kumar (SAD) and Gurdeep Singh (INC). In the 25-seat block samiti here, as many as 21 seats have been bagged by the SAD while two seats have gone to the Congress. One seat has been bagged by the CPI (M).

Bunny ‘warns’ MLA

Jasjit Singh Bunny, son of cabinet minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh, today “warned” Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu to restrain himself from harassing Akali workers. Addressing a press conference here, Jasjit alleged that the MLA had been maligning the name of the township by levelling false allegations against almost everyone he was opposed to. He added that Congress workers had been threatening Akali workers in Mohali and “this would not be tolerated”. He said a complaint regarding the MLA’s behaviour had been given to the police. SAS Nagar SSP R.S. Khatra said he had not yet received the complaint. “When we get the complaint, we would take requisite action,” he said. Jasjit pointed out that the MLA had tried to malign the image of his father.



CBI Investigation
Hunt for missing file
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The Chandigarh administration has issued directions to all its departments to trace the missing file of the sports department, which contains information regarding techno gyms, which are under the CBI scanner. A letter in this regard was issued to heads of all departments today.

TheCBI had conducted a raid at the sports department office of the UT administration last month to ascertain the alleged irregularities in the purchase of three techno gyms, equipment for which was imported from Italy. After checking the records of the purchase of these equipments, the CBI found that the main file from page 1 to 43 carrying details of the purchase of gym equipments worth Rs 60 lakh, for the first time, was missing. The gyms had been set up at the Sector 42 and Sector16 stadiums, and Lake Club Sports Complex at the cost of Rs 2 crore.

Sources revealed that two pages, which contained former UT finance secretary Karan Avtar Singh’s objection on the purchase of these equipments, was also missing. Sources revealed that the health department had also objected to the purchase of these equipments. The CBI is yet to register a case in this regard.

Sources in the administration revealed that to prepare a reply for the queries raised by the CBI regarding the raid conducted by them on the sports department, the administration had directed all departments to search the pages missing from the file.

Sources revealed that initially the direction for searching the missing pages of the file had been sent to those departments who had opened gyms for their employees which included CITCO, municipal corporation and district UT magistrate.

Sources in these departments had replied that the concerned file had never been sent to their department for even reference purposes then how could it be in their department?

An official revealed that it was a general practice that if any file was misplaced, all departments were directed to search for it and similar routine procedure had been followed in this case also.



Trash Dumping
Even Nehru Park not spared
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Heaps of garbage adorned the historic Nehru Park in Sector 22, from where Jawaharlal Nehru announced the creation of the city.

The park is a classic example of the callous attitude of the authorities concerned. Instead of sprucing up the historic park, it has been turned into a dumping place.

The park has become an eyesore for visitors as social functions, exhibitions and religious congregations are held here frequently.

The parking lot in front of the park has been turned into a place to dump and segregate garbage. Three to four garbage bins are placed in the parking lot, reducing the space for parking vehicles.

Surinder Chauhan, a resident of Sector 22 and president of the All Chandigarh Marla and Flats Residence Welfare Association, said he had taken up the issue with the civic authorities and the administration several times, but nothing came of it.

He said similar was the situation near the petrol station in the sector. Both places were the entry points to the sector.

Resham Chand Jakhu, chairman of the sanitation committee of the MC, said it was a designated place to dump garbage. He, however, agreed that in view of the historic significance of the place, the garbage dump should be shifted. He said he would take up the issue with the authorities.



Now, Sec 19-20 rotary closed
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
After closing the small rotary of sectors 34 and 35, the UT engineering department has closed the small rotary of sectors 19 and 20. This means that those moving from one sector to another would have to take a longer route now.

A senior UT official said it had been decided to close some of the small rotaries for the smooth movement of traffic from one sector to another. Over the next one week, results of the closure would be examined and would be extended to other parts of the city. Explaining the concept, an official said the movement of traffic would be allowed in vertical or horizontal direction, depending upon the density of traffic. The traffic converging at small rotaries from within sectors would not be allowed to crisscross.

Earlier the small traffic islands of Sectors 34 and 35 along the Himalaya Marg and of Sectors 37 and 41 along the Shanti Marg had been closed. A proposal to install traffic lights, after removing the small rotaries across the city, has been shelved. Sources said the rotary had been closed after widening the road dividing sectors 19 and 20. UT officials added that the rotary had been witnessing frequent accidents. Today, workers of the engineering department placed concrete blocks here.



Undertake reforms or no Central grant: MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
A day after municipal corporation mayor Pardeep Chhabra announced that he would oppose any move to impose water cess and residential taxes on the residents, the MC today clarified that if the reforms are not carried out grants for at least two majors projects would not be released by the government of India.

In a press statement, MC authorities stated that if the corporation fails to abide by the implementation of reforms, as agreed to in the agreement, the Central government might withhold funds for two major projects of the corporation and other projects of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) for constructing houses for 23,841 urban poor families, which had been cleared by the government under the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

MC authorities had clarified that at the time of sanctioning of two projects under JNNURM by the Central government - surveillance system for various tubewells at waterworks and conservation of drinking water by harvesting tertiary treated sewage for irrigation of green spaces.

A tripartite memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed between the Government of India through the ministry of urban development, Chandigarh Administration and MC on October 27, 2006. The MC had agreed to implement certain mandatory reforms, including levying of property tax by year 2007-08 and recovery of 100 per cent operation and maintenance cost through levy of user charges by year 2009-2010.

The authorities claimed that at present there was a shortfall of Rs 15 crore in the expenditure on operation and maintenance of water supply and sewerage system, and the revenue receipt.



Punjabi channel launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
A new channel, Just TV Punjabi, was launched here today for the promotion of Punjabi culture and tradition in the country.

Talking to mediapersons, Manish Vashista, CEO, Just TV Punjabi, said after a thorough research and survey in Punjab, it was found that people wanted a channel, which could connect them with their rich culture and traditions. But on other side, they also wanted that it should be entertaining and have a good packaging.

He revealed that in the first phase, the channel would be focusing on the northern region of India to cater to Punjabi viewers here and in the next phase, it would shift its attention to international Punjabi viewers in US, UK, Canada and other countries.

Priya Paul Singh, COO of the channel, revealed that the programs on the channel would have real flavor of Punjabi culture through reality, comedy and religious shows.



Panchkula police collects Rs 40 lakh as fine
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 15
The local police department has collected around Rs 40 lakh as fine from 19,163 challans issued to vehicles from January to April, this year. While the department collected Rs 8.06 lakh from the 4,551 challans issued during January, the amount went up to Rs 9.71 lakh in February.

In March, 4,535 vehicles were challaned and the department collected Rs 9.15 lakh as fine. Similarly, in April, 5,319 vehicles were challaned and the department collected Rs 13.06 lakh, said SP Sandeep Khirwar.

On recoveries made in theft and smuggling cases, Khirwar said during April, seven cases of theft were solved that resulted in the recovery of property worth Rs 2.09 lakh.



Rape Case
Lack of evidence mars probe
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 14
Due to lack of evidence, the Mohali police is finding it hard to investigate the case in which a teenager was allegedly raped for nearly a month in a house at Shahi Majra village.

It is learnt that the family of the complainant neither informed the police that the girl was missing nor did they file any case against the accused.

An FIR was registered after 12 days of the girl returning to her family.



Restrict fresh water usage: Bahuguna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
To create awareness among youngsters about water conservation, Yuvsatta and Peace Club of New Public School organised an interaction of noted environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahuguna with the students of the school today.

Sunder Lal asked the students to minimise the use of water. Restrict the use of fresh water to bare minimum and instead make use of stored water for small jobs, he added.

Pramod Sharma, coordinator of Yuvsatta said a report suggested that by year 2025, two third of the world population would be affected by water scarcity.



500 plots allotted
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 15
A draw of lots for the allotment of almost 500 plots in Sectors 76 to 80 was held at the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) here today. The draw was slated to take place on May 6 and 7, but was stayed following a decision of a local court. The stay was vacated by the court on May 12 and the draw was slated for today.

As many as 249 plots of 125 square yards and 247 plots of 150 square yards were allotted today.

The first set of 1,542 letter of intent holders were allotted plots during a three-day draw of lots held in October 2007 almost six years after the scheme was floated.



CITCO awards winners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
J.K. Manchanda and Sanjeev Sharma today won the first and second prize - a handycam and a digital camera - respectively, in the special lucky coupon scheme of CITCO’s petrol station in Sector 9.

Amit Talwar, CITCO's chief general manager, along with representatives of the Harmony Honda distributed the prizes to winners, said A.K. Malhotra, general manager (tourism and public relations).

CITCO has introduced a special lucky draw coupon scheme for its clientele in collaboration with Harmony Honda from April 15 to May 15.



Update official website regularly

Time and again it has been pointed to the Chandigarh administration that its official website is spreading wrong information to all its residents but to no avail.

Not updating official site is a routine matter but this week, the callousness of Chandigarh administration has touched a new height. It has prompted this resident to approach your office for making a complaint under Section 18.

As per the list of CPIO and appellate authorities available on the website, Krishan Sawroop Sharma is CPIO registering and licensing authority. This CPIO was caught red-handed by CBI on May 7 while taking a bribe of Rs 30,000.

This is matter of concern that a convict continues to be CPIO even after more than a week under the RTI Act in the eyes of law and on the official website of the administration.

Please issue immediate instructions to remove Sharma from the post of CPIO and update the official website regularly so that correct information is delivered to all residents.

The administration should also take action against officials who do not update the website.

R.K. Garg, Chandigarh

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UBS begins admission process from May 30
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The long wait of aspiring MBA students for admission to Panjab University’s University Business School (UBS) is finally over as the UBS has relented on admissions.

The much awaited admission process is starting from May 30 for general category and the reserved categories, including SC/ST and others.

Starting from tomorrow, the department is going to send call letters to the candidates on the basis of CAT-2007 score for admission to UBS and at Panjab University Regional Centre, Ludhiana, for the session 2008-2009.

In the general category, there are about 1,030 candidates who would be appearing for personal interviews and group discussions. The final admissions would be made on the basis of combined scores of personal interviews, group discussions and CAT score.

On an average, the department would be calling about 80 candidates every day and the admission process would continue for about two weeks.

Every year, CAT exam is held in the month of November and the result is declared by January. By this time, almost all B-schools across the country are over with their admission process but for UBS, which could not send letters of call to students till now.

It is pertinent to mention here that till last year even the UBS used to have timely admissions. This year the delay was due to the scrapping of the NRI sponsored and industry sponsored quota seats by the court.

After that, the seats were to be redistributed as to how many students were to be called against a specific number of seats.

Moreover, the delay was also due to the confusion pertaining to the definition of the term ‘NRI’.

The university had to sought legal opinion in this matter and the legal retainer opined that every candidate’s application under this category be scrutinised individually.

The admission schedule for NRI candidates haven’t been finalised as yet.

This year around 7,000 candidates have applied in all for 140 seats, which is the total number of seats available in the department.



Central Varsity Status
Students continue relay fast
Visit keeps teachers away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
While the entire faculty of the university today was busy in making departmental presentations before the visiting committee of UGC for the 11th plan, students of the university held the fort on the 39th day of the relay fast on the campus demanding central university status for PU.

Among the research scholars who sat on the fast were Kamaljit Kaur and Maninder Kaur, department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies, Chakroverti Mahajan and Taranpreet Kaur, department of anthropology, and Sham Singh from the Centre for Adult and Continuing Education.

Chakroverti Mahajan complained about the rising cost of higher education whereby more and more deserving students are being deprived of the opportunity to get higher education.

Responding to the query that how research scholars are going to be benefitted if PU is made a central university, Kamaljit Kaur said each and every PhD and MPhil student on the campus will receive fellowship worth of Rs 3,000 to 5,000 per month, which will give a big boost to research on the campus.



PU alumni assn meeting on May 18
43 students to be awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Panjab University Alumni Association (PUAA) is going to hold its annual general body meeting (AGM) and scholarship award function on May 18 on the university campus. The meeting will be presided over by vice-chancellor R.C. Sobti.

Chief secretary of Punjab, Ramesh Inder Singh, IAS, would be the chief guest. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, former sports minister, is likely to be the guest of honour. A total of 43 meritorious students who topped the respective disciplines of Panjab University would also be awarded with PUAA scholarships.

Various issues that would be contemplated at the annual general meeting include occupation of the newly constructed and ready for possession Alumni Guest House (with four state-of-the-art suites, one dining lobby and lounge, kitchen, etc), publication of alumni directory and annual periodical of the association, (PU alumnus), approval of the budget estimates and accounts, facilities to be imparted to the members, endowment funds, presentation of annual report, etc. Besides, the officer-bearers and members of the executive council would also be duly elected at the AGM.



UGC team visits PU departments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The 11-member team of the UGC today visited different departments of Panjab University for allocating funds under the 11th five-year plan for various projects, both proposed and underway.

The team visited anthropology, computers science, economics, public administration, Hindi, evening studies, Urdu and Persian departments besides others. The members of the languages faculty, which included Hindi, English, Urdu, Persian, Punjabi etc expressed the need of combined languages lab, more computers and LCDs projectors.

They also put forth the need of starting courses in research methodology. The members also said the posts, which were transferred at the time of starting new institutes such as UIET, should be restored to the languages faculty.

Many other departments gave power-point presentations of the projects for which they are seeking grants.

Meanwhile, the presidents of Panjab University Campus Students’ Council and PUSU submitted a memorandum to the visiting team for more hostels, both for boys and girls on the campus.

Last year, the UGC gave a grant of about 3.2 crore to the university and this time, it is being speculated that the grant would at least be doubled.



From Schools
43 clear scholarship exam
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 15
As many as 43 Gian Jyotians cleared the All-India School Scholarship Exam (2007- 2008) sponsored by the Hare Krishna Welfare Society. At least 500 students appeared in this exam and all of them got certificates. Principal Ranjeet Bedi congratulated the students.

OATH TAKING: The newly appointed executive members of Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School took oath and pledged to uphold the dignity of the school. The winners of the art competition were awarded trophies and medals. Director of the school Veena Malhotra advised them to follow the path of truth and non-violence.

CELEBRATED: Rhyme ‘n’ Rhythm Day was celebrated at Shishu Niketan Public School, Sector 66, here today. The aim was to alleviate stage fear, enhance comradeship and improve spoken English of the students.

PLACEMENT DRIVE: Miracle Technologies Private Limited conducted a joint campus placement drive at Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET). The drive started with the presentation given by company representative Nitin Choudhary, manager, corporate relations.



Judges’ Accommodation
Admn to rent eight houses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The administration here is looking for rented accommodation for judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

After delay in completion of houses for judges in sectors 19 and 24, the administration has decided to take around eight houses on rent. As per the specifications, the two-kanal houses need to have four bedrooms with attached toilets, drawing room, dining room, office room, lounge, kitchen, garage and two servant quarters. Sources said the houses would be preferred in the northern sectors.

The High Court has a record number of 43 judges, which will increase to 49 following the elevation of the advocates. The sanctioned strength has been increased from 40 to 68. It has been indicated that the completion of the construction of judges’ houses was expected to take more than a year.

Sources in the administration said judges’ house were being constructed in Sector 19 and 24.



23 employees of estate office reshuffled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Twenty-three employees of the UT estate office were reshuffled today. The employees were holding onto their posts for over three years in violation of the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission.

Last week, 33 employees had been reshuffled in a similar manner. The reshuffled employees are in different wings of the estate office.

A senior official said since employees in the estate office could not be transferred out, they continued to hold on to a single post for long periods.

It has been many years since the last major reshuffle had taken place. A number of posts in the estate office are considered to be sensitive.



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