C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


20 make it to civil services
Tricity slips in ranking
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The civil services examination results came as a disappointment to city candidates. The tricity witnessed one of the lowest results in the past five years. Having produced national top rankers consecutively for the past five years, this time only around 20 students from the tricity have qualified for the services.

The only saving grace is Khushbu Goyal who has got the 10th rank. Last year, Dr Amit Saini from the city was No. 2.

In 2006, Gurneet Tej got the rank 2nd while Dr Gaurav Uppal got the 3rd rank in 2005. Abhishek Jain was third in 2004 while Arshdeep Singh was third and Shoorveer Singh fourth in 2003.

This year, Rupanjali Kalsia has got the 53rd rank, Anish Gupta (101), Rajiv Rattan (134), Bikram Bhatti (200), Princy Singla (221), Harkamal Sohi (233), Deepika Mohan (234), Latanpreet Sandhu (247), Mandeep Singh (259), Manpreet Singh (251), Abhishek Narang (300), Varinder Kaur (354), Gauri Prashar (432), Sharandeep Brar (443), Anup Thakur (487), Prashant Deshta(566), Harjinder Singh (570), and Sunder Lal (731).

Experts said though the number of students who qualified for the personality test after clearing the written examination was more compared to last year, the number of students who cleared the interview was less.

Around 50 students from the tricity had appeared in the personality test, but only a few could qualify.



Civil Services
It runs in their family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
For the Goyals of Sector 11, clearing UPSC examination has become a family tradition. For, Khushbu Goyal, youngest of the two sisters in the Goyal household, has repeated her sister’s feat securing 10th position in the UPSC examinations, the final results for which were declared today. Earlier her sister Smriti Goyal had cleared the exam achieving 158th rank and is a serving IPS officer.

Khusbhu, who achieved this rank in her second attempt, took a big leap literally. From being placed at rank 249 last year, she reached rank 10, making herself the top scorer in the tricity. She was selected as an IRS officer and was under going training.

“My father, who is a Punjab cadre IAS officer, motivated me to take the second attempt,” said an elated Khushbu, who studied from the local MCM DAV College, Sector 36, and did her MBA from Delhi University.

Attributing her success to sincere efforts and luck, she says, “My brother-in- law, who is also a civil servant, taught me and helped me achieve my goal.”

For Rupanjali Kalsia who scored 53rd rank in her third attempt, the result has been more than just satisfying. “Decent amount of hard work and blessings of my family and the Almighty is all what it took to clear the exams,” says the 26-year old law graduate from Panjab University. Daughter of a retired IAS officer from Punjab, Rupanjali’s first preference is IAS. “Even though my first two attempts weren’t successful, the thought of cracking the exam was constantly inside me and kept me going,” she said.

“The word ‘cannot’ doesn’t exist in my dictionary, I always knew I will be able to pull it through,” she says.

Harkamal, who got 233rd rank in her second attempt, was beaming with excitement at the outcome. A topper throughout her career, she is a double gold medallist from PU in MA (psychology). Hoping to get IPS, she says, “Loads of hard work and lots of patience is the key to success, Nothing succeeds like success. One should take every attempt seriously and put his/her best foot forward,” she added.

Other successful candidates from the tricity include Deepika Mohan, daughter of former UT home secretary Krishan Mohan. A PEC passout from 2006 batch from the department of electrical engineering, Deepika got 234th rank in her first attempt. “I am hoping to get into IPS,” says the former Carmel Convent student. “There is always scope for improvement and I might take the second attempt after joining the services,” she adds. So what has been her success mantra? She says, “Hard work, commitment and positive attitude is the key to my success.” As regarding her motivation, she says, “My father was always behind me to encourage me enough and keep me going.”s



Mid-day Meal
Hygiene, nutrition given a pass
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service
Teachers serve meal without aprons and gloves at the GMSSS-45, Chandigarh
Teachers serve meal without aprons and gloves at the GMSSS-45, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, May 16
Hygiene and nutrition seem to be low on priority when it comes to the midday meal scheme.

The Tribune team conducted a survey at various city schools and found that there was hardly any school that had a provision for washing hands with soap or washing utensils with detergent after the meal.

No teacher or employee on serving duty was wearing gloves or aprons as per norms.

The meal arrives between 10.30 am and 12 noon in schools. Though there were no complaints of food getting spoilt, the food is prepared five-six hours before it reaches schools.

The amount served to each child is no more than two ladles. It appears to be more of a snack than a meal. Also, the gravy is watered down, reducing the protein content.

Against guidelines, in most schools, it is Class IV employees who take the delivery of food and pour it in containers.

In GSSS-45, Class IV employees were seen lifting chapattis with naked hands from the containers and the room where the food was to be served was full of dirt.

“Actually, we have no one to head the school after the principal retired last month. So, everything is a little messed up,” the officiating in charge said.

At GMHS-43, children transported the food to classrooms and did not mind picking up chappatis that had fallen on the ground.

The situation was no different at GMHS-26, GMSSS, Karsan and GHS, Hallomajra.

Also, children or maids washed tiffin-boxes or utensils in the basins of drinking water tanks, choking drainage.

Another purpose of the scheme is to inculcate hygienic habits and  discipline. For this, the students must be encouraged to wash hands before  eating, cut nails, avoid littering, etc.



DAYS GONE still counting ...
It’s become a joke

The Central government is responsible for the delay in the selection of the UT home secretary. There is need for accountability in the selection process.

Since it has become a prized posting, the selection process sees a lot of pulls and pressures. In the eyes of the common man, the selection has become a joke. The home secretary deals with over 31 departments and the work of the general public suffers.

The Prime Minister Office’s should realise the urgency in filling the post.

If the government feels there is no need for the home secretary, it should scrap the post. One secretary is enough to run the administration.

— Jai Dev Sharma, chairman of Chandigarh Housefed



No lessons learnt from Sec-26 mandi roof collapse
Rickety Janta Market-27 faces similar fate
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The Chandigarh administration refuses to learn lessons from the tragic incident of roof collapse in the Sector 26 grain market.

Almost a year after declaring the Janta Market in Sector 27 unsafe, officials are now waiting for the concrete structure of the booths to fall, so it seems.

Instead of immediately undertaking repairs at the site, officials are busy in other projects. The Janta Market in Sector 19 has also been declared unsafe.

A visit to the market revealed that the portion of the structure was in bad shape and concrete had fallen off at many places. Also, steel had been exposed at various places.

Former chief engineer V.K. Bhardwaj, in his note, had recommended that “the buildings be got vacated immediately and repair of structures under supervision of experts be undertaken”.

“A glance at the report (expert committee) reveals that there are major structural cracks in the columns, beams and stairs,” it further said.

The report prepared by an executive engineer had further revealed that the pillars supporting the beams had cracked along their height and eroded steel was clearly visible and the beams supporting the columns had cracked.

“On the whole, the structure presents a very grim situation and disaster can take place at any moment, jeopardising the lives of traders and other occupants,” the report reads.

In spite of officials visiting the spot in the past, nothing has been done in this regard, said Surinder Pal Dua, president of the Market Welfare Association, Janta Market, Sector 27. He said pieces of the structure had been falling on regular intervals.

He said an inquiry should be conducted into the quality of material used in the structure. Within 15 years of construction, the structure is falling apart.

“We have paid the cost of the booths. The administration should do something to check the situation,” he said.



Serviced cars go missing
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Since January, nearly 16 Ford and Mahindra cars have been stolen, days after servicing at authorised service stations of the two companies. First it was Bhagat Autos and now its Swami Automobiles in the Industrial Area, Phase I, that has come under the police scanner.

According to information with The Tribune, 10 Mahindra vehicles were stolen in a span of 10 to 15 days after being serviced at Swami Automobiles. While company official denied the involvement of their staff, car owners feel there was something fishy about the entire affair.

“My car was stolen from my driveway on April 12. It’s strange that my four servants sleeping in a room adjacent to the driveway, did not hear a thing,” said Naveen, a resident of Sector 35, who believes that someone had made a copy of the car keys. He said his car was serviced at Swami Automobiles a few days before the theft.

Another victim, Dhiresh Kumar, said his car was stolen within “seconds” from his house despite the safety gadgets in it. “It had a steering lock, an auto cop and a diesel plug,” he said. The car was serviced at Swami Automobiles.

Sonu said his car was stolen within a fortnight of being repaired at the same agency. “I had gone to get the headlamps, but strangely, the mechanic disabled the auto cop,” he said.

Pardeep Mittal, owner of the agency, said his staff was not involved in any manner. “We receive around 80 vehicles every day and only 10 have been stolen,” he said, dismissing the theory of a “pattern” behind the thefts. He, however, admitted that it was not possible to open vehicles without duplicate keys. 



Deadly Exercise
Safety rules being disregarded
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 16
The frequent cases of paramilitary forces personnel being killed or injured while practising the use of grenades has caused concerned, with experts attributing the incidents to poor training and handling techniques.

Senior officers were of the opinion that even if the grenades were faulty, the casualties incurring from a single explosion were an indication that proper training procedures and range discipline were not being enforced.

“During the lobbing of live grenades, the impact of the explosion should not be extended to personnel other than the trainer and trainee,” Lt-Gen G.S. Kler (retd), former director general, military training, said.

Expressing shock that faulty grenades were being reported as the cause of so many casualties, he said during live training sessions, one trainee was assigned to the instructor at a time while the remaining trainees were positioned behind sand bags or in bunkers so that the scope of injuries to others was minimal.

Since March 13, four personnel from the CRPF and the ITBP have been killed in three incidents at the Bhud Mandloi firing range in Raipur Rani.

While lobbing a grenade, it should be gripped firmly, ensuring that the safety lever was firmly held in place with the thumb. The safety pin was pulled out with the other hand. The grenade did not go off till the safety lever was in place. Once it left the hand, the lever was released, which resulted in the primer igniting the fuse. It took about four seconds for the fuse to burn and detonate the main charge.

Former DIG, BSF, J.S. Bakkshi, also attributes the mishaps to improper training. The paramilitary forces were deployed excessively in all parts of the country, leaving insufficient time for training, he said.

Rules prescribed at least two months of annual training for paramilitary personnel, but apparently this was being given the go-by because of operational commitments.

Stating that 13 persons getting injured in a single explosion indicated that people were crowding around the instructor, former DGP, police, P.C. Dogra, said this showed poor discipline. “There should be no reason to disregard procedures as they have in-built safety mechanisms. Collateral damage would have been restricted if the procedures had been followed,” he said.

The IG, ITBP, Prithpal Singh, said the force was investigating the matter. There was a possibility that the personnel were at fault, he said.



More vehicles, no space to park 
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, May 16
With an alarming increase in the number of vehicles and planners failing to provide urgent solutions to the parking problem, traffic bottlenecks are a common sight at the busy intersections in the town posing a threat to road users.

Vehicles of all kinds can now be seen parked haphazardly on footpaths and even in parks in different phases. Cars are even parked on the roadsides at a number of points in the town, which creates hurdles in the smooth flow of traffic.

Chaos prevails in front of the market and the district administrative complex in Phase I, outside the district courts in Phase III B 1, near the bank square and HM houses in Phase VII , near rehri markets in Phases I , III B 1 and IV. Illegally parked vehicles can also be seen outside the offices of the Punjab School Education Board, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and Fortis Hospital in Phase VIII. Traffic bottlenecks also crop up at some points in Phases IX to XI.

It has become a nightmare for road users to cross these ‘traffic jungles’. Officials of the traffic police wing had claimed about six months ago that all wrongly parked vehicles would be towed away by recovery vans but it appears that the plan has not been implemented in a serious manner.

Justifying parking of vehicles in parks by residents, municipal councillor of Phase I Bharat Bhushan Maini said this was being done due to lack of space for parking in various areas. Moreover, parks in Phase I had so far not been developed by authorities concerned and as such residents got tempted to use the open space for parking vehicles. He said provision of a multi-storeyed parking was the only solution to the problem.

SP (Security and Traffic) S.S. Gill said the problem was due to the fact that adequate space for parking was not available in the town because of wrong planning. The number of vehicles was increasing with time but nothing was being done to increase the parking space, he said. Gill added that his office had shot many letters to GMADA to widen parking areas.

He further said the police had been issuing 50 to 60 challans each month to persons who park their vehicles wrongly, but that was not the solution. Residents had to be provided adequate space for parking their vehicles.



Landscaping, too, goes to IT companies
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The Chandigarh administration continues to “shower” favours on companies at the IT park.

Already under focus for favouring certain big names while allotting sites in the park, the administration is now keen on outsourcing landscaping there. Earlier, the work was supposed to be done by the horticulture wing of the administration.

The companies, including developers DLF and Parsavnath, would maintain the green belts.

Though the composite landscaping plan for the park was in place, it was being felt that the IT companies and the developers could better maintain the green belts in front of their respective sites.

For maintaining the green spaces, the companies would be allowed to put up their display boards there.

Sources in the administration said though the horticulture department was already doing the beautification work, the decision to outsource it was taken after a signal from the top brass. “No charges would be levied as the cost of maintaining open spaces was enough,” said an official.

The main beneficiaries under the scheme would be DLF and Parsavnath as both have large chunks of land in front of their plots. While Parsavnath is developing the IT habitat, the DLF is developing a hotel and is operating a multiplex and commercial complex there.

The other companies having campus sites are Infosys, Mahindra and Bharti Airtel.

Besides, the maintenance of the roundabout leading to the IT park is also being passed over to private hands. Infosys is keen on maintaining the roundabout. The allotment would be as per the existing policy of the administration for other roundabouts.

It is learnt that there were certain objections to the use of the IT park-Panchkula road as a thoroughfare by residents of Kishangarh and Mansa Davi Complex. Since the roundabout is being used by Kishangarh residents in evenings, it has been decided that a park on nine acres would be developed in Kishangarh by the IT department, in coordination with IT companies.



BSP opposes move to levy taxes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Convener of the local unit of the BSP Harmohan Dhawan today threatened to launch a “non-cooperation movement” if the municipal corporation imposed certain taxes, including hike in water tariff and property tax, on residential property. Addressing a press conference here, Dhawan claimed that there was no need for more taxes as the city was a revenue-surplus state and was paying huge amount into the central funds every year.

Already, the city residents paid one of the highest taxes in the country, he claimed.

Coming down heavily on the Congress and the BJP, the BSP leader alleged that both parties had done little for the development of the city when their respective parties were in power at the Centre. He also released the “Vision 2009” document of the BSP, promising better amenities and more development for the city.



Inspection by commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Municipal commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria along with secretary, municipal corporation, P.K. Sharma today carried out surprise inspection of the sanitation conditions of Burail village, and Sectors 32 and 33 here this morning.

During the inspection, eight sweepers of the contractor posted at Burail village, four in Sector 32 and one in Sector 33 were found absent from work. The commissioner took disciplinary action and warned that action against supervisory officials if sanitation workers were found absent from duty in the future.



Tenants, landlord compromise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
A dispute between tenants and the owner of plot no 8, Phase 1, Industrial Area, called for police intervention here today.

Police sources said both parties were summoned at the police station this evening, where they agreed not to interfere in each other’s affairs.

The tenants had alleged that over 200 workers, including women, were being harassed by people sent by the owner. They had even broken the locks of the unit, they said at a press conference today.

“Most of us have been running our business for over 30 years. The owner is adopting antics to get the premises of a small-cale unit vacated,” they said.

On the compromise, they said the new owner’s men constructed a new gate which was narrower. “We went to the police station to make a complaint where an emissary of the new owner showed us a valid drawing approving the construction. So, we did not make a fuss and agreed,” they said.

Meanwhile, the three accused who were arrested for breaking the locks of the unit have been released on bail. 



Library opened for slum kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
A library for slum children of Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, ‘Kitab Ghar’, was opened today by Yuvsatta, a city-based NGO. The library was inaugurated by Reshma Singh, a social activist, at the NGO’s centre in the colony.

Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Dr Satinder Dhillon, chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, UT Chandigarh administration and Pooja Sharma, member, Chandigarh Social Welfare Board.

The books were procured with the help of funds raised by volunteers of an organisation ‘Be the Cause’. To begin with, children were provided with storybooks, animation series, and books on basic science, computers and spoken English. Already, children of the colony have been bringing out a newsletter called Jugnu, to address problems of their area.



Lecturer drowns himself to death
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 16
Dilpreet Singh, a 23-year-old lecturer in Guru Gobind Singh College, Kharar, allegedly committed suicide by jumping into the Perchh lake, here this evening.

According to sources, the young engineer was depressed for the past fifteen days after faring poorly in some examinations he had taken to improve his career. Dilpreet’s father Harjinder Singh is working in the Punjab technical education department.

According to a close friend of the family, Dilpreet got ready around the afternoon. He told his parents that he was going to meet his friends. However, when he did not return and neither answered his cellphone, his parents contacted the police. Nayagaon police informed in the evening that Dilpreet’s motorcycle was found near the Perchh dam gates. Later, his body was found floating in the lake. The body has been kept in the mortuary of Kharar Civil hospital.



75-yr-old man run down by train

Chandigarh, May 16
A 75-year-old man, Madan Mohan Sharam, a was killed after he was run down by a train near Mani Majra here this morning.

According to ASI Avtar Singh, Madan Mohan along with his grandson were trying to cross the level crossing when a speeding train crushed him to death. The victim died on the spot. After the postmortem, the body of the deceased was handed over to the family. — TNS



Save Our Sukhna
Go for dry dredging

On the initiative of senior associate editor of The Tribune A.J. Philip and the forest department, a seminar on “Save Sukhna” was held in 2003 at Nepli Forest. Later, Save Sukhna Forum, a wing of the Welfare Society Chandigarh (WSC), was formed with three chief engineers (irrigation), chief conservator (forest) and soil scientists as its members.

A report was prepared and presented by B.B. Mahajan (IAS), B.R. Paruthi (secretary) and others to the then Governor of Punjab in 2004 with emphasis on desilting of the lake by dry dredging.

All resources including help of army engineers, NGOs, etc. should be taken to desilt the lake by June-end.

B.R. Paruthi, Chandigarh

Involve technology

Every year, The Tribune takes upon itself the duty to remind people and the UT administration of the need to save Sukhna from the menace of silt, which is gradually threatening its existence.

The constant and unabated inflow of silt and soil into the lake depicts the lack of comprehensive planning and maintenance of the lake by the authorities concerned.

The causes of soil erosion in the catchment area and inflow of silt into the lake need to be examined by the authorities. Technologists and planners possessing relevant experience and expertise in tackling the problem can use modern methodology and equipment to saving the lake.

O.P. Chhabra, Mohali

Study ex-chief  engineer’s model

No effort has been made to find a coordinated solution to save the lake from either drying up or getting filled with silt.

Suggestions and counter-suggestions have been made for a long time but nothing tangible has come out so far. I wonder whether the suggestions of former engineer-in-chief S.P. Malhotra has been given a serious thought. Either it should be ruled out once and for all or given a try.

A cardboard model of the innovative method was displayed in August, 2004 at the Institute of Engineers, Chandigarh.

The project costing under Rs 1 crore can be put in place within three months. His five action plan deserves a serious consideration.

A.S. Marula, Panchkula

I had submitted a two-point plan to save the lake to the administration around four years ago. The first proposed to construct an M-type reservoir to restrict silt from entering the lake. The second involved removing silt up to 6 feet deep from lake bed.

Yet another addition to this is to build a wall on the side from where the rainwater enters the lake. Two or three pipes of suitable size with small holes at the top may be laid down at the bottom and those without holes under the road. These can be further connected to the choe slightly away from the regulator, thus slowing the water with silt to flow into the choe at intervals.

The water held on the other side may be allowed to flow into the lake from two or three places. The silt deposited on the other side of the wall may be removed by trucks, etc. during off-season.

A floating type channel about 12-ft wide and long enough may be constructed/laid in the lake bed and a dozen or so floating-type platforms with pumping sets may be used to pump out muddy water from the lake bed via the channel into the choe.

Some of the muddy water may be pumped out of the lake bed through the channel already constructed by the side of pucca bandh of the lake while some may be pumped out towards the kuccha bandh allowing the silt to settle there.

Thus, the required depth of the lake bed can be achieved slowly and steadily.

Gurbakhsh Singh Mann, Chandigarh

Give heed to experts’ opinion

A few years back, the administration has started the exercise of removal of accumulated silt manually and thousands of man-hours were wasted because of this wrong step. About a decade ago the practice was discontinued. Now the position of the lake has again deteriorated and it warrants immediate action. A committee of eminent experts should be constituted and its recommendations implemented immediately. Many experts, including retired civil engineers from Punjab and Haryana have already given their suggestions on how to save Sukhna at a minimal cost, but the administration has hardly given any heed to them. These suggestions should be carefully evaluated and implemented.

S.K. Khosla, Chandigarh

Ban rituals on Sukhna

SOS…Save Our Soul…. Save Our Sukhna … the title is absolutely apt, since Sukhna is the soul of Chandigarh. The architect of the city Le Corbusier along with the then chief engineer P.L. Verma had given to Chandigarh the greatest manmade wonder. However, due to silting the lake is dying down fast and something has to be done to save it. The Chandigarh administration should put a blanket ban of various festivals on the bank of the lake as these can be performed at a river bank or a canal. It is not only the onus of the administration but also the people to maintain the place. Voluntary organisations should help generate public awareness on the heritage of Sukhana and measures that can help save it. Selling of peanuts along the pavement should also be banned. Funds for cleaning the lake can be generated through some cultural shows.

Neeta Gupta, Chandigarh

Water source should not have a gate

Sukhna, the beautiful treasure of Chandigarh, is slowly but surely withering away. De-silting of the lake is merely an eye-wash. Huge amount of money has been spent on de-silting but it has been of no use. The main source of its water has been burdened with many other water consumption schemes. The lake has huge capacity to hold the water and there is no need of de-silting if it is full of water. Water source for lake should not have a gate on it. During the coming monsoon the lake should be allowed to fill up and there will be no silt left behind. Water itself does not bring in silt, rather people coming to Sukhna should realise that throwing of litter and plastic waste creates silt. A ban on such things will enhance its beauty. Rituals being performed at the banks of the lake should be banned to Save Our Sukhna.

Raminder, Chandigarh

Stop feeding fish  and ducks

The shrinking of Sukhna bed is certainly a cause of concern. In my opinion we should clean the lake every six months. Whenever I visit the lake with my parents, we come across people throwing wrappers of eatables into the lake. Some people feed the fish and ducks with popcorns. These deposit on the lake’s bed and make it shrink fast during summer season. As citizens of Chandigarh we should come forward to clean the lake bed twice a year and also take a pledge not to throw waste into the lake.

Taniya Chopra, Chandigarh

Treatment of  catchment area must

A multi-disciplinary approach and concerted efforts are required to preserve the glory of Sukhna. Besides recreational activities, Sukhna offers an ideal source for recharging aquifers as it occupies a strategic location in the potential recharging zone. Unless the treatment of catchment area is taken care of, no headway can be made to preserve the lake. Treatment of catchment area is essential to restrict the entry of sediments in to the lake. Removal of silt by ‘shramdan’ hardly serves any purpose. Instead, removal of silt deposit from the lake bed should be undertaken by wet-dredging operations. Let the experts in this field get together and suggest ways on sound scientific lines to save the Sukhna. Chandigarh administration should chalk out a roadmap before it is too late.

R.P.S Chopra,Chandigarh



Install traffic lights

Traffic chaos in the city has increased manifolds, which has created problems in the City Beautiful.

The problem exists not only in parking vehicles but driving also has become difficult, particularly at roundabouts.

Small rotaries have been closed to avoid accidents. But even the big ones urgently require installation of traffic lights to make way for vehicles. And every traffic light should not take more than 15 to 30 seconds so that people follow traffic rules be it in day or at night.

This would also solve the problem of long queues of vehicles at traffic lights like the one in Industrial Area-II, 3BRD chowk which take 102 seconds.

Sunil Manocha, 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



From Schools & Colleges
Summer club at Eurokids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Eurokids, which has more than 600 children on its rolls, will organise a seven-week long summer club for children aged between two to 12 years. Principal Mona Verma said, “Summer is the best time for children to stretch their creative thinking and indulge in fun-filled activities without the pressure of attending school and finishing their homework. This concept is unique as the club will be organised in such a way wherein ample leeway will be given to the children for enjoying their vacations with their friends and family and again rejoining the workshop from where they left.” Activities like art and craft, water play, fun outings, parties, culinary workshops, theatre, dance and yoga will also be organised by the club. This time the theme is a “little chefs’ club” wherein little culinary geniuses will exhibit their cooking skills and sell it to visitors on the concluding day. Children will also perform and hold exhibitions on this day. A special ‘Euro choir’ will also be formed and trained by in-house singer Paulus Paul.

BEACH PARTY: Tiny tots of AKSIPS-45 had a gala time at a unique beach party on the school premises, here, today. With summer break set to begin, the kids freaked out on the beach created with a pool of water, sand and multi-coloured umbrellas. Children had a good time playing and making sand castles.

SUMMER FUN: A series of fun-filled summer activities were organised in AKSIPS-41 before the culmination of the school term for summer vacations. To encourage healthy eating habits, students prepared delicacies to learn the value of food elements. They also pledged to shun the habit of drinking cold drinks. A cricket match was also held between the teams of students from various branches of AKSIPS.

AERO MODELLING: The NCC air wing organised an aero modelling show in Guru Nanak Public School-36, here, today. A four-member team comprising Paramjit Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Yashpal Singh and Sgt Mahesh Kumar gave a live demonstration of battery/remote-operated gliders.

MAGAZINE RELEASED: ‘ABHA, the annual college magazine 2007-08 of Government College for Girls, Sector-11, was released by Raji P. Srivastava, director, higher education, Chandigarh administration, today. GCG-11 has dedicated its annual magazine to the campaign of ‘Save the Girl Child’.


Around a hundred students, including 20 physically challenged, were awarded certificates for successfully completing courses in candle-making and mehendi application conducted by Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Mohali, at its field office at Blue Bird Public School, Ropar, here today.
Students of Path Finder school celebrate ‘Red Day’ in Mohali
Students of Path Finder school celebrate ‘Red Day’ in Mohali on Friday. A Tribune photograph

Anand Mohan Sharma, deputy director of the sasnthan, said the organisation conducts various vocational courses for socio-economically weak sections of society and educationally backward youth to make them competent for gainful employment. Congratulating the students on successful completion of the courses he said the skills learnt during training could be used for income generation.

In her address, Adarsh Sharma, principal of the school, thanked Jan Shikshan Sansthan for conducting vocational courses in Ropar. She offered all cooperation for any such vocational courses in the future as well.

Red Day: The tiny tots of Path Finder High School, Sector 69, were decked up in red attire to celebrate ‘Red Day’ and attend a paper toy organic workshop, here today. Kindergarten kids and children of small classes participated in the event. Kulwant Kaur, MD of the school, appreciated the teachers for making the day a success.


Nature walk: A nature walk was organised for the juniors of Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, today morning. Wearing caps, donning sunglasses and carrying water bottles with them children were in a real festive mood.

They were taken to a nearby park and each child was asked to collect things like dry fallen leaves, flowers, feathers, twigs, pebbles and insects. Later in the class these things were pasted in the diary for them. Children were allowed to enjoy their food under the shade of trees. They also sang rhymes  and songs.


TALK ON YOGA: St Vivekanand Millennium School, HMT Township, Pinjore, organised a lecture on yoga recently. Yog Vedant Sewa Samiti, Pinjore, will organise a “vidyarthi ujjwal bhavishya nirman shivir” from June 1 to June 3 for girls and on June 4 and 6 for boys. President of the samiti Arvind Joshi delivered a lecture on Vedic chants and told students about various yogic asanas that will improve their health.

SUMMER CAMP: St Vivekanand Millennium School will organise a summer camp “Deepayan” from May 20 to June 5. Motive behind organising such a camp is to explore and develop the child’s talent through various socio-cultural activities. The camp timings will be 7.50 am to 12:30 pm. Classes of classical and light music (vocal), western dance, yoga and various sports events will be organised during the camp.



PUTA submits memo to UGC team
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
As the relay fast for Central University status to PU entered its 40th day today, teachers and research scholars from the department of Punjabi joined it.

Dr Sukhdev Singh, along with eight research scholars, including Gurjit Singh, Hardeep Singh, Gurmit Kaur, Harwinder Kaur, Sarabjit Kaur, Aman Saini, Deepak Dhalewan and Harvinder, sat throughout the day on the fast and were supported by teachers Dr Charandeep Singh and Dr Joginder Nehru.

Dr Sukhdev Singh said obduracy of the Punjab government on the issue of Central University status was going to be suicidal both, for Punjab and Punjabi language and was proving disastrous for the future of higher education, particularly the centres of excellence in the region.

Meanwhile, PUTA representatives met various members of the UGC team visiting PU in connection with 11th plan and apprised them of the serious financial crunch Panjab University is undergoing at the moment.

Addressing the faculty of PU assembled on the eve of summer vacations, the members of the UGC team expressed concern for the Central University status for PU and wished it to be accomplished soon. The PUTA delegation also submitted a representation to Dr M.S. Jairajpuri, chairman of the UGC team, with an appeal to forward it to the appropriate quarters at Delhi.



Vocational students display creations at expo
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, May 16
Students who are into fashion and textile designing courses at various government schools of the city today displayed their creations at a two-day exhibition-cum-sale organised at Panchayat Bhawan, Sector 18, here, today. The children put on sale, ladies garments and hand-painted, block and screen printed linen, dupattas and exquisitely designed decorative items.

Saroj Gupta, director, vocational courses, said the items displayed at the exhibition-cum-sale had been prepared by the students during 45 days’ on-the-job training after (10+2) examination held in the school workshop. “This event is also a medium to popularise vocational courses at 10+2 stage among masses,” she said.

Over 50 students of GGSSS-23 were involved in creating mural work on Indian mythology, paper mashed hanging items, photo frames, pen stands, napkins etc. Similarly, the students of textile designing and printing, with fine strokes of brush, brought out suits, sarees and dupattas at reasonable prices.



Defamation proceedings against H.K. Dua stayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed proceedings in a defamation case against the Tribune’s Editor-in-Chief H.K. Dua and two others.

Acting on a petition filed by The Tribune Trust, Dua and another petitioner, Justice H.S. Bhalla of the high court also issued a notice of motion for July 9 to respondent Jarnail Singh Mahal of Batala.

Former president of the Qadian Municipal Council, Mahal had filed a complaint on the basis of which a Gurdaspur-based Judicial Magistrate (First Class) had issued summoning order dated December 11, 2006.

Mahal had claimed that he had been defamed following the publication of a news report in The Tribune dated December 10, 2005.

Seeking the quashing of the order, the petitioners, through counsel Anand Chhibbar, claimed the news item was carried after due verification of facts and on the basis of a statement by Gurdev Singh Thikriwal, a market committee chairman. In any case, a clarification was also published.

Quoting the provisions of law, Chhibbar added the complaint and the summoning orders were liable to be quashed as the details mentioned in the news report were duly verified. The report was not carried with the intention to harm or defame anyone.



Mediation centre opened at districts courts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
On the lines of the Punjab and Haryana High Courts, a “Mediation and Conciliation Centre” was inaugurated at the district courts by Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Vijender Jain here today.

The Chief Justice was welcomed by a battery of judges and lawyers along with a police band.

The centre will help counsel litigants before they file a suit, to curb institution of cases.

Around 20 judges from the High Court were present at the inauguration ceremony.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Justice Jain said: “Similar centres will be inaugurated in 10 districts each in Punjab and Haryana. Besides taking up pending cases, we have decided to resolve cases at pre-litigative stage. Lawyers and judges will be trained in conducting counselling. Another advantage of the centre is that the proceedings will be confidential.”

He added that the mediation centre would function on the lines of courts in foreign countries.

“The response to the centre that was started in the Supreme Court was very good and we hope the same here.”

Disclosing other plans, Justice Jain said district courts in Haryana would have video conferencing facility for which the government had given a grant of Rs 2 crore.

The litigants seemed delighted by the opening of the centre as it would help curtail litigation.

Commenting on the centre, a litigant Vimla Sapna, a resident of Sector 27, said: “People come to the courts when they have exhausted all other avenues. If the petitioner has suffered a lot then chances of reaching a compromise with the other party are very rare. But in order to save time, litigants may agree also.”

Discussing the pros and cons, she asserted that if the centre worked as expected, it might affect the earnings of lawyers. She added that if the proposed plan was successful then it would reduce the pendency of cases in the courts.

A lot of time and effort will go into convincing the parties to avoid litigation, said another litigant, Sukhdev Singh.

A resident of Phoola village in Amritsar, Sukhdev said: “We have helped a number of people to reach a compromise. It takes a lot of commitment to help people to arrive at a compromise. One has to go personally and convince the litigants for it.”



Witnesses depose before CBI court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Kanwar Singh Dhami and his wife Kulbir Kaur Dhami today made extrajudicial confession in the special court of CBI Jagdeep Jain in the murder case of Ropar-based advocate Kulwant Singh.

The lawyer, his wife and son were murdered in January, 1993 allegedly by Ajit Singh Sandhu (who has since died), DSP Jaspal Singh, sub-inspector Arvinder Singh and Balwant Singh at police station in Ropar.

Kulbir Kaur today identified DSP Jaspal Singh in the courtroom. Deposing before the court, Kanwar Singh Dhami stated that he and his wife had been illegally detained by the police when the crime was committed.

He stated that the accused had allegedly raped advocate Kulwant Singh’s wife and then murdered them.

Kulbir Kaur stated that during their illegal detention for a year, they overheard other police personnel discussing the crime.

The two witnesses were cross-examined today. During the cross-examination, they supported the prosecution claim. According to sources, the witnesses had received threat calls from the accused.

Earlier, another accused Harpreet Singh was arrested for the murder. Subsequently, two accused stated that Harpreet was innocent.

Thereafter, an application was moved before the Supreme Court and Harpreet was given a clean chit in the case along with a compensation of Rs 10 lakh.



UT administrator told to appoint info officer
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The veil of secrecy surrounding the office of the UT administrator will be a thing of the past with the chief information commissioner (CIC) directing the administrator to appoint a central public information officer (CPIO).

“UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues is directed to designate a CPIO in the office of administrator within a week of receipt of this decision notice. That officer will publish and maintain a record as mandated under Section 4 (1) (b) of the RTI Act,” CIC Wajahat Habibullah said while adjudicating on a complaint by social activist Hemant Goswami.

With the appointment of the CPIO, the administrator’s office would be under public scrutiny as it would have to respond to certain inconvenient queries raised under the RTI Act by enlightened residents of Chandigarh.

Several mega projects, including Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park, Film City, Education City, Amusement Park, considered to be the brainchild of the administrator, are in the eye of the storm with even union minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal coming out against some of them.

In January, 2008, Hemant had filed a complaint under Section 18 of the Right to Information Act with the CIC pointing out that even after two and half years of the RTI Act coming into force, the UT administrator had not published necessary details mandated under the RTI Act and also not appointed any CPIO.

However, in response to Goswami’s application, UT joint secretary (home) Bhupinder Singh kept insisting that there was no office of the administrator and that no record was generated in the office of the UT.

The CIC orders mentions that: “The administrator is appointed by the President of India under Article 239 of the Constitution of India.” On behalf of the UT, the joint secretary (home) argued that the administrator had no staff and no record.

The order said: “In this case there can be little doubt that the administrator is an authority established under Article 239 of the Constitution, occupied by an official with an assignment, and therefore an office. Even if he does not head a particular body or sit in a room or building where people work at desk, he still occupies a formal position of responsibility.”

Goswami said it was a step ahead in their “mission zero tolerance” against corruption as the CIC decision reinforced the basic right of people of this country to be ruled in a democratic and transparent manner.

“This is also the beginning of the end of arbitrariness and misuse of unaccountable powers by the administration in Chandigarh,” he added.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |