C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


VAT on petrol, LPG cut
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The Chandigarh administration today reduced value-added tax (VAT) on LPG to zero per cent and on petrol from 22% to 20%, bringing the much-needed relief to the public.

Sanjay Kumar, finance secretary, said he had done this on directions of the UT Administrator. "This is the maximum we can do by way of our taxation policy. When notified, an LPG consumer will benefit by more than Rs 13.50.”

LPG cylinder cheaper by Rs 13.50
VAT on petrol down from 22% to 20%
No hike in bus fares
No cut in premium fuel tax rate
VAT on diesel to remain at 12.5%

As regards petrol, he said according to the decision of the empowered committee at the national level, VAT taxation rate had to be 20%. As a result, the tax amount being charged earlier would remain almost the same.

The finance secretary said on the directions of the Administrator, a proposal in this regard had been submitted to the adviser to the Administrator and necessary the notification would be issued soon.

He said there was no need to reduce the tax rate on diesel.

As regards CTU, the administration did not propose to increase the price of tickets so that the common man was not burdened.

As regards petrol prices, he said since petrol consumers fell in the high-income group, there was no justification in reducing the tax rate.

On directions from the UPA chairperson, Haryana today slashed VAT on diesel from 12% to 8.8% and abolished the 4% VAT on LPG.

Diesel in Panchkula at Rs 33.63 per litre will by cheaper than that in the UT by over Re 1, where it is being sold at Rs 34.69 per litre.

Petrol in Panchkula is Rs 50.17 per litre as compared to Mohali where it costs Rs 55.17 per litre -- a difference of Rs 5 per litre.



Mallefic problem: No parking space
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The new shoptainment (shopping and entertainment) set to take the city by storm will also bring along traffic woes. With most of the malls-cum-multiplexes coming up in the city failing to provide adequate parking space, be prepared for a parking nightmare.

With at least half a dozen malls coming up in the already congested Industrial Area, be sure to wrestle with trucks carrying industrial goods and bellowing smoke as you try to find parking space. None of the malls have made arrangements for parking of more than 250 cars, though most of them claim that these are expecting footfalls of 5,000-6,000 persons on normal days and 12,000 on weekends.

Norms on adequate parking spaces, smooth flow of traffic and strict environment controls should be followed while allowing multiplexes in the city. Though multiplexes are welcome, they should not become a source of public inconvenience.

However, as the tricity braces for a change in its character by ushering in a mall culture, these malls are likely to add to the traffic woes.

With the high realty prices, developers are keen to sell each and every chunk of available space, rather than (mis)use this for creating parking places. After all, the parking places will not get the moolah for the developers.

So, while developers in Chandigarh and Mohali have shown scant concern for providing parking space, mall developers in Panchkula claim to have developed three-level underground parkings.

It seems that the Chandigarh Administration is granting permissions for malls without bothering about the frail road infrastructure, besides stretching the water and power infrastructure to its seams. Though the Administration has mooted a proposal to create separate parking lots near the malls, it seems unlikely to benefit as people would not like to park their vehicles at a place far away from these malls.

With two malls - Centra Mall and City Emporio - coming up on the road in Industrial Area running parallel to Purav Marg, one can expect permanent snarls here. Though the management of both malls claim that they have two-level parking space, it seems unlikely that the space will be sufficient for accommodating the rush. With at least three car dealerships and as many car repair workshops here, traffic snarls are a routine affair.

A senior official in the Uppals, the promoters of Centra Mall, said with the astronomical cost of land in the city, each developer wanted to get the value for money and could not afford to waste space for making car parking.



Sick of father’s overtures, girl seeks cop help
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
In a shocking incident, 23-year-old Ileena Bannerjee has levelled allegations against her father of outraging her modesty.
In her complaint lodged at the Sector 36 police station yesterday, Ileena alleged that she had been undergoing trauma for the past 12 years because of her father’s overtures towards her. Her father, Anindya Bannerjee, is working as a mechanical engineer in Kuwait.

The victim could not tell about her nightmare to anyone, including her mother, due to fear of bringing bad name to the family. The other reason was that her mother suffers from epilepsy. She kept this nightmare to herself which led her to various medical complications, including depression. It was only when she was taken to the PGI for treatment, she revealed the truth to her mother on March 6 this year. After confirming the matter, the maternal family, with which Ileena and her mother stay at Sector 43, complained to the police.

Ileena reported to the police that the trauma started in 1996 when she was around 11-year-old. She alleged that her father used to molest her every time he found her alone. The trauma continued even after the shifting of her father to Kuwait in 1998.

In 2007, Ileena also went to Kuwait, along her mother, to meet his father. The girl alleged that many a time, she lodged protest against the nefarious acts of her father to him but he always made fun of her.

Ileena, who is very bright in studies and student of BA final, belonged to prominent maternal family with defence background. Aana is the only child of her parents.

“The father-in-law of the accused was instrumental in settling him in Kuwait”, the police said.

The police has registered a case under Section 354, IPC, at Sector 34 police station. “We are initiating the legal course to bring back the accused from Kuwait”, the police said.



IG’s son challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Aqil Akhtar, son of Punjab IG Mohammad Mustafa, was challaned by the Chandigarh traffic police for using red light atop his vehicle and driving without a licence.

According to sources, the vehicle is registered in the name of Razia Sultana of house number 929, VIP Complex, Sector 39, here. Razia is the MLA from Malerkolta. Akhtar was driving Tata Safari (CH-04-4335) when he was stopped at a special naka in Sector 26.

He was booked for driving without a licence, using red light illegally atop the vehicle, using tinted film on the windscreens and without insurance.

The vehicle was even challaned recently by the traffic police, said the sources. The vehicle was impounded and taken to the Traffic Lines, Sector 29. However, the vehicle was later released after paying the fine.



In Brief
Baljinder in court custody

Chandigarh, June 6
Baljinder Singh Sandhu, prime accused in the Anuradha murder case, was sent to judicial custody by judicial magistrate first class P.K. Lal in the Arms Act case.

Thereafter, Baljinder was taken to Ropar by the Punjab police to be produced for murder of his servant, Sunil. A local court in Ropar sent him on police remand till June 9. — TNS



Land for Mohali international airport
Promise on stamp duty not kept, say villagers
A Correspondent

Farmers protest against the Punjab government at Jheorheri village, near Chandigarh, on Friday.
Farmers protest against the Punjab government at Jheorheri village, near Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, June 6
Villagers of Jheorhari village, whose lands were recently acquired by the Punjab government for setting up the Mohali international airport, today accused the government of going back on its promise of exempting them from stamp duty in the purchase of land anywhere in Punjab.

Despite the March 20, 2008, decision of the government, the authorities were still to implement it, the farmers alleged during an interaction with The Tribune at Jheorheri village here today.

Gian Singh, a member of the action committee, alleged that the Financial Commissioner Revenue (FCR) was dragging his feet on the implementation of the order, citing the reason that the model code of conduct was in force in the wake of the panchyat and civic body elections. However, the state election commission had clarified that there was no model code of conduct in force in the villages, he claimed.

Gian Singh said the order was to be implemented within two weeks of the date of the order but the FCR was not considering it till date. Another farmer Gurnaib Singh, who has purchased new land near Fatehgarh Sahib, had to pay Rs 15 lakh as the stamp duty to the revenue department.

The total land acquired under the project is 304 acres, involving around 200 farmers. “Our complaint is against FCR, who was allegedly ignoring the orders,” says Gurnaib Singh.

The infuriated farmers said they would not hand over the physical possession till the issue was resolved. According to them, they will again start tilling the land till they bought the land at the exempted stamp duty. 



Comply with norms or face action, DC tells builders
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 6
Deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari has directed companies engaged in constructing multiplexes to comply with the guidelines issued by the government strictly, failing which action would be taken against the erring parties.

He has also asked the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to check the veracity of a claim made by a multiplex builder in Zirakpur that his company had been exempted from paying the change-in-land-use charges through a notification of the Punjab government.

The company, BNK Investment, Zirakpur, has also been issued a show-cause notice by the DC.

In a press note issued by the district administration, the decisions were taken during a meeting of the multiplex committee held recently.

The committee is chaired by the DC and has been constituted to issue provisional eligibility certificates to multiplexes in SAS Nagar.

The Punjab government has approved 45 multiplexes in SAS Nagar.

During the meeting, the additional chief administrators, GMADA, informed the DC that BNK Investment had started construction without the approval of change of land use, which was illegal.

The representatives of the company in the committee contested that under the Punjab government notification dated 12.7. 2006, they had been exempted from depositing CLU charges within the jurisdiction of Zirakpur municipal limits.

Bhandari has directed GMADA to clarify the position. The DC has also issued a show-cause notice to the company asking why construction of the multiplex should not be stopped.

Representatives of the chief fire officer and the chief electrical inspector also informed that the company had not submitted the copies of the drawings.



Understaffed, Zirakpur police struggles to combat crime
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, June 6
The Zirakpur police is facing an acute shortage of manpower as well as vehicles. For a population of over one lakh, the Zirakpur police station and the Baltana police post only have 56 police personnel, including the 22 policemen transferred to the area today.

Of these, 29 are constables, eight are head constables and four assistant sub-inspectors.

The coming up of a large number residential complexes has added to the growth of population here. However, the number in the police force has not seen a proportionate increase. As a result of the shortage, policemen are forced to work extra hours. Due to odd duty hours and increase in workload, the police force is losing out on enthusiasm — something police officials refuse to admit.

To top it all, the police does not have adequate number of vehicles at its disposal. The police station just has one Gypsy and a Trax.

At Baltana, the police post just has two ASIs, five head constables and eight constables. The police post does not have a functional vehicle, as the only battery-run Reva car with it has been out of order for the past few months.

The police doesn’t even have an ambulance to meet emergency situations. In case of major accidents, private vehicles are hired to take the victims to the hospital.

To make the matters worse, a majority of the police force remains busy in providing security to VIPs travelling from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and other states.

Sources in the police agree that the crime rate here and the nearby areas has registering an increase.

“With the rise in property prices, disputes related to land are increasing,” says an official. “Many colonies have been set up in an illegal manner and in some cases a single plot has many registries. All this needs investigation, but the number of policemen is just not enough.”

The police is also grappling with the rising cases of theft. However, the police is not in a position to keep tab on the activities of criminals. The police is left with little option but to issue appeals to residents. In fact, SHO Ranjodh Singh has been appealing to residents not to lock the front gate of their houses to hoodwink thieves who are on the lookout for locked houses. The police helpline number, 100, has also been out of order in the area.



Snazzy malls, cramped parking
Tribune News Service

The Paras Downtown Sqaure Mall in Zirakpur.
The Paras Downtown Sqaure Mall in Zirakpur. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Mohali, June 5
In a city where an auto driver has a tough time finding space to park his vehicle, Mohali will soon have its first mall. Paras Downtown Square, already an imposing structure on the Zirakpur-Ambala road, seems all ready to open its doors to the public.

The mall looks snazzy and is bound to be a crowd-puller but parking of vehicles in the already crammed Zirakpur is bound to be an ordeal.

“There is ample space at the two-level basement parking,” is all that Pradeep Rai of Paras Build-Call Private Limited has to say. Strategically located on the 'Y' fork of Delhi-Chandigarh-Shimla highway, the mall is situated at one of the busiest points on Zirakpur.

Zirakpur already looks like an urban slum with unauthoried construction all around. Colonisation with little infrastructure to match the growth has led to the town becoming a commuter’s nightmare.

Other than Paras Downtown Square, other stand-alone malls are coming up in Phase VIII B, Industrial Area, Mohali. The Shalimar Mall and the Parsavnath Mall are under construction on adjoining plots here.

The mall owners are worried about parking problems too. “Parking is the lifeline of any happening place. We have a double-basement parking space but we have requested the Punjab government to develop a plot nearby as an integrated multi-storey parking place,” said RK Aggarwal, MD, Shalimar Estates Private Limited.

“We have vacant space around the mall as we have covered only half of the total area allotted to us,” he said.

PK Jain, president of Parsavnath Developers, said: “We have a double-level parking planned for the mall.”

“While developers seem content with double-basement parking, it is still not going to be enough for the crowds that these malls are expected to pull. The malls are likely to become traffic bottlenecks,” said a Zirakpur-based property consultant.



Panchkula sole exception
Arun Sharma
Tribune News service

Panchkula, June 6
Unlike the malls coming up in city beautiful and Zirakpur, the malls to be opened in Panchkula, however would definitely have an edge as far as the parking space is concerned.

The Bella Vista located in Sector 5 on the roundabout of Sectors 1, 2, 5 and 6 will be inaugurated sometime in August. The six-storied building has three underground levels for parking to accommodate around 200 cars.

In addition to it, more than 100 cars can be parked on ground floor on sides of building and the space earmarked by Haryana Urban Development Authority in front of the mall, said Jaskirat Singh, vice-president of the mall.

There should be no traffic chaos, as the mall would not have any multiplex. However, two top storeys would be leased out to some five star hotel, for which negotiations are on, said Jaskirat.

While the mall will have 52 shops, the hotel would consist of 50 rooms and a swimming pool and health club on the roof.

“Even as we are expecting the visit of at least 5,000 persons at the mall on weekdays and between 10,000 and 12,000 on weekends, majority of visitors are expected to be from nearby localities who would like to come on foot for dinners at food court of the mall which would provide Indian, continental and Chinese food. Moreover, long slip roads along the mall would help in decongestion in the area, he claimed.

Similarly, Shalimar, the mall on the other end of same sector with multiplex, also claims to have the facility to park more than 500 cars in its three-level parking and around the mall.

The mall with six-storied building will have 80 shops in addition to Reliance outlet and food court and Meena Bazar, said Ved Pal, the civil engineer on the site.

Moreover, the parking area of Nirjhar Vatika will also be an added advantage to the malls in the area, said Pal. The multiplex will have seating capacity of 900.

However, it would be a loss to nature lovers who are daily visitors to the nearby gardens as the serenity in the area is bound to dilute in the bustle of thousands of vehicles in the area.



Dug-up road spells misery for residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The unfinished work by the municipal corporation on the dividing road of Sectors 29 and 30 has brought misery to the residents and motorists.

According to sources in the municipal corporation, the repair work on a water pipe that had burst a day before had been left in between, resulting in the blockage of almost half the road.

Incident of slipping of vehicles were also reported as motorists had a tough time to pass though the road. Trenches dug up on the entire stretch have been left open, posing danger to the lives of people, not only during the nights, but also during day time. Also, loose mud has been left on the road, even where the work has been completed.

Davinder Singh Babla, the area councillor, told The Tribune that work was under progress and efforts were being made to finish it as soon as possible. “Due to rain, the work was left incomplete. It will be completed by Monday”.

SK Bansal, chief engineer of the municipal corporation, had no knowledge of the problem. “ I do not know about the dug-up land. I will look into the problem tomorrow”.



Tele-serial shoot turns sour, one hurt at PU
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Prof Naval Kishore, DSW, talks to crew members of the serial after the accident near Gandhi Bhawan at PU on Friday.
Prof Naval Kishore, DSW, talks to crew members of the serial after the accident near Gandhi Bhawan at PU on Friday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tiwari

Chandigarh, June 6
Reel life shooting today led to a real life accident at Panjab University when a student was hit by a car, which was being driven on wrong side of the road as a part of the ongoing shooting of a serial.

The incident occurred at 2 pm, when a research scholar from the chemistry department was coming from the opposite side and was hit by a Maruti Esteem car bearing registration number CH03L-4902 in front of the Gandhi Bhawan.

At that time, a scene was in progress and the student was unable to see the car coming from the opposite direction.

The shooting of the serial was going from past four days, much to the annoyance of students.

According to the sources, the producers of the serial had sought permission from the department of tourism to shoot the serial since the university is also on the tourism map of the city.

But the idea of tourism doesn’t seem to go down very well with the students, academicians and the teachers residing on the campus.

“The university is so concerned about the environment and just yesterday there were celebrations about the same but what about the smoke machine that the shooting crew had got. They used it throughout the day to produce artificial smoke in order to create special effects. That certainly contributes much more to pollution than the vehicles on campus,” said an agitated student.

Meanwhile, immediately after the incident, dean, students’ welfare, reached the spot and intervened. The injured student was administered first aid.

It was later on decided by the university officials that in future, all shootings would be allowed on non-working days on the campus and that too, in an isolated area with little traffic.



Clogged road gullies spill trouble
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 6
Certain areas in Phase II , IV , III B 2 and XI of the town were flooded after the rain last night with road gullies not having cleaned by the authorities concerned.

Water collected on the main road leading towards the cremation ground and also on the road from Mohali village towards Industrial Area in the absence of proper drainage.

Sukhminder Singh Barnala , a councillor representing Phase XI, said residents of a pocket of houses in Sector 65-C faced problems whenever it rained as there was no functional drainage system.

He said the road leading to the government school in the area was also flooded. A JE who looked after public health works in the area had been recently transferred. His successor was not aware of the problems faced by the residents.

Kuljit Singh Bedi, councillor from Phase III B 2, said rain water collected at certain points in his ward as road gullies were not cleaned. The road level at some places was faulty.

Councillor from Mataur village Harpal Singh said that rain water collected on roads in the village as these had been dug up by GMADA for laying sewer pipes.

The work was pending for the past more than eight months as the MC had failed to provide sewer connections to residents.

MC president Rajinder Singh Rana said road gullies were got cleaned in many parts of the town. But in certain areas the work could not be carried out as estimates prepared for the work had been stayed by the department of local government.



Summer camp concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Tiny tots presented a colourful program on the concluding day of the summer camp organised in Green Castle Public School, Sector 47, here today. The programme included dances, drawing, showbiz, skills cafeteria, catwalk, karate and public speaking. These items were prepared during 20-day summer camp organised by the Gurukul Centre.

Rajesh Kapoor, chairman of the school, gave away the prizes to the participants. Live performance and demonstration of kids were highly appreciated by the parents and the audience.



Death of IAF pilot
Cell seeks pension for mother
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 6
Taking up the case of a young officer of the Indian Air Force who died in a mid-air explosion, the ex-servicemen grievances cell here has asked for a special family pension for the mother of the officer.

In a letter to the Chief of the Air Staff, cell president Lt Col S.S. Sohi (retd) has appealed for special family pension to Indra Kumari Sharma, mother of Flt-Lt Bharat Kumar of the IAF. “Indra is from Preet Vihar, Baltana, has been denied family pension and other terminal benefits because only his wife is officially entitled to all benefits and not the parents, who have brought him up for 30 years,” said Sohi.



Petrol dealers urge govt to cut taxes
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 6
Members of the Mohali District Petroleum Dealers Association have urged the Punjab government to reconsider its decision not to cut down taxes on petrol in Punjab.

In a press note issued here today, the association president stated that petrol dealers in the town and the adjoining district area were worst affected as there was a big difference in the prices of petrol in Punjab and adjoining Chandigarh and Haryana.

The members pointed out that with the recent hike in price, there would be a difference of around Rs 5 per litre with Haryana and Rs 4.5 per litre with Chandigarh. Haryana is further reducing its VAT. “We urge the state government to rethink its decision not to cut taxes in Punjab,” stated the note.



Accident victim dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Roshan Lal, a resident of Ram Darbar, died here this evening, following an accident. He was admitted to hospital on June 4.

It is learnt the victim sustained multiple injuries after an unknown vehicle hit him from behind in Ram Darbar. Roshan was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where he succumbed to his injuries at the hospital this evening.

A case has been registered.



The Naked Threat

Chandigarh may boast of its excellent infrastructure, scenic beauty and luxuriant green parks but there is another side to the story, which, unfortunately, is not very favourable. Safety of the public does not seem important for the administration, particularly the electricity department. Its sheer negligence has created virtual death traps at various places in the city. Naked live wires hanging from poles, high-voltage transformers at low heights and electricity wires running parallel to telephone wires speak volumes on the state of affairs.

3 Known as the walker’s paradise, Sukhna Lake’s park is an easy trap for early risers who come here to exercise.
3 Known as the walker’s paradise, Sukhna Lake’s park is an easy trap for early risers who come here to exercise.
Electricity and telephone wires intermingle with each other on the wall of a showroom in the Sector 26 market. A tragedy is waiting to happen.
Electricity and telephone wires intermingle with each other on the wall of a showroom in the Sector 26 market. A tragedy is waiting to happen.
2 Wires from a high-voltage transformer hang precariously at Sector 26, Grain Market, frequented by millions everyday. The wire misses this woman’s head by a whisker.
2 Wires from a high-voltage transformer hang precariously at Sector 26, Grain Market, frequented by millions everyday. The wire misses this woman’s head by a whisker.
Live wires at the traffic lights of Sectors 19-27 are an invitation to a mishappening.
Live wires at the traffic lights of Sectors 19-27 are an invitation to a mishappening




Slash petroleum prices

People were already upset with inflation and rise in prices of petroleum products has further aggravated the problem. People have started protesting at the top of their voices.

Opposition leaders and even companions of ruling party have started criticising the move, out of political compulsions. Some people are doing this to get cheap publicity but none of them is making sense to the real problem.

The voice of PM has already dimmed. No one listens to him. The need of the hour is to understand bare realities and figures behind the increase. The political parties are playing a cruel prank by giving some cuts in VAT etc. On the one hand, their leaders are eating into our pockets by making a hike and on the other; they are demanding decrease in taxes.

The rising prices have put the ruling party under pressure. This will certainly result into political defeat for them. Hopefully people will get some relief in the new regime.

R.K. Garg, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at [email protected] or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030


State of libraries

City’s voracious readers want more
Parminderjit Singh/Jashan Gill

oungsters spend time at American Corner of Central Library, Sector-17.
Youngsters spend time at American Corner of Central Library, Sector-17. Tribune photo: Vinay Malik

Chandigarh June 6
The city seems to have an appetite for reading. Whether it’s a four- year-old toddler or a 75-year-old denizen, they all have one thing in common, their love for reading in calm environs.

The electronics hurricane, it seems, has failed to fracture the bond between the readers and the books. “It is a myth that readership has declined with the arrival of home theatres and the internet, at least this is not true for Chandigarh. Despite the culture of couch potatoes, our library has a membership of 35,522 and 1,850 people visit us every-day,” said Suraj Nagpal, manager, Central Library.

In the ‘cut and paste files’ times, there are many in the city that browse the shelves of libraries to make notes and write thesis. “In our library 90 per cent books are always in circulation and out of these 70 per cent go into young hands (15-35 age group). Most youngsters go for subject books but there are many who still visit us for Shakespeare and Wordsworth,” said Bipin Kumar, manager, British Library.

Life may have become a race, but there are some like Haider Gill who find contentment in the smell of musty pages. “As Rogers said when a new book comes I read an old one. That also goes for me. I know Chetan Bhagat is in and I have read him, but I cannot help going back to classics. I regularly go to markets selling second-hand books in search for old literature and magazines.”

Sydney Sheldon, Mills &oons, Dan Brown continue to spell their charm on city folks along with the latest from Shobha De, Khaled Hossini and Robin Sharma.

The trend in non-fiction has taken a U-turn. Call it the bang of globalisation or materialism; there is a switch from biographies of freedom fighters to business books. “I like reading business. ‘How To Work For an Idiot’ and ‘Frecknomics’ are some of my favorites as I can relate to them. The practicalities which I learn from them, I cannot get from politics or history,” said Karandeep, financial consultant with Bajaj Allianze.

The youth has become more information-oriented and career-focused. The demand for computer and competitive books has increased. Cookery books, health and fitness are favourite among women, but one magazine that is worth mentioning is ‘Good Housekeeping’ which attracts men too.

I.M.Soni, a former head of the Mass Communication Department, PU, who has carved a niche for himself as an writer in the city, said: “ I read for pleasure as well as profit. By profit I mean I am a freelance writer and reading helps me in cross-fertilise my ideas.”

A high literacy rate, higher per capita income, a large number of libraries, better infrastructure are several reasons for the higher readership ratio in the city.

Believe it or not, there are 500 members in the age group of 2-3 who are members of the Central Library. These tiny tots come regularly to‘feel and touch books’, oblivious of the fact that on their frail shoulders rests the responsibility of keep the city’s reading culture and strong and everlasting.



Books dumped in gunny bags
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, June 6
Public libraries in the town do not have much to offer to readers, young or old. The Punjabi University extension library is better than the government district library and the municipal library, but it lacks several facilities found in modern libraries.

A large number of books of the district library, located in a government guesthouse in Phase I of Industrial Area, lie dumped in gunny bags.

It is learnt that there is a shortage of almirahs and 3,000 to 4,000 books have been put into sacks , making these inaccessible to readers. Books have been dumped to make space for new ones added each year.

Eighty per cent of the books in the district library, set up in 1989, are sent by Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation , Kolkata, while 20 per cent are purchased by the Punjab government. Newspapers and magazines for the library are purchased by the municipal council.

The library gets 10 newspapers but magazines are not supplied on a regular basis. The library has dingy rooms with old furniture and overloaded cupboards. A mere 50 readers visit the library regularly.

Sahibzada Ajit Singh Municipal Library and Samaj Vikas Kender , located in Silvi Park in Phase X, has failed to register a single reader as member during the past one year.

Visitors frequent the library only to read newspapers and magazines. Readers complain that there are very few books in the library and these too are not of reputed authors. The membership fee of Rs 2,000 a year is too high.

Books for the library were purchased by the civic body last year after the MC decided to run the library instead of handing it over to a private organisation. Earlier, the library was run by Browser. But most of the books purchased by the council were of a publishing house based in Mansa.

The Punjabi University extension library in Phase VII has no books on computer or management. A number of books are outdated. There is scarcity of almirahs to keep books and the furniture in the reading room is worn out.

It is learnt that a demand for five almirahs, four computers, the internet, software package and more furniture had been sent to Punjabi University.



Centralised admission for Class XI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The Chandigarh education department is gearing up for centralised admission process for Class XI to around 29 government model and non-model schools for the session 2008-09. The prospectus to this effect would be available from June 16 and the last date of submission of forms would be June 26.

The prospectus at the cost of Rs 60 (English) and Rs 30 (Punjabi and Hindi), would be available at counters installed at GMSSS -10, 23, 32, Modern complex, Manimajra and GSSS-37.

The department has engaged the services of SPIC who would do the data entry process after collecting the forms from these five schools.

Besides this, there is provision for getting online admission through the official website www.chdedu.gov.in. The students would have to deposit a cash fee of Rs 40 along with duly filled forms downloaded from the site.

The counseling procedure for admission would be carried out at GMSSS-10 from July 2. Besides this, the department has made arrangement for the ‘aptitude test’ in collaboration with the firms for students who have to go in for vocational stream. Those candidates who want to go in for aptitude test would have to shell out Rs 50 per head.

The DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “This aptitude test would be optional for the candidates. The firms have agreed to charge Rs 200 per student for aptitude test. The education department would pay Rs 150 on behalf of the students who opt for aptitude test”.

The admission would be done strictly according to the merit. The officials said the merit would be calculated before hand, according to the marks obtained in English, mathematics, science, social science and one language.

Since the students who have done matriculation from the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) have to undergo two language examinations, their merit would be calculated considering the language test in which they have obtained maximum marks.

If any candidate has failed in one subject but the board has declared his overall result as pass, the marks of the failed subject for such candidates too would be considered while making merit at the time of admission.

On the day of admission, it is mandatory for the students to bring their original certificates and marks sheets. They would gain entry to the counselling hall only after showing the acknowledgement slip and the counterfoil in the sticker shape only to be pasted on the top of the admission forms.

Around 15,000 admission forms are expected for around 11,000 seats this session.

The counseling for the sports quota admissions would be done on first day i.e. on July 2. “Special one hour session has been planned by the department for the purpose. Besides this, approximately 10 per cent over and above the stipulated quota seats would be done to facilitate the students to have more options for admission. Their fee already deposited too would be adjusted accordingly.

The official said that new certification course in X-ray and general health care has been introduced at GMSSS-10. New vocational courses like beauty culture at GMSSS-47 and GSSS-37 and IT course at GMSSS-40 have been introduced from this session. At GMSSS-19, IT course is already being run which showed remarkable response. As many as 100 digital interactive boards have been planned to be installed.

From this session, as many as five schools- GSSS, Khuda Ali Sher, Raipur Khurd, Kaimbwala and Sarangpur- have been upgraded while new blocks have been added at GMSSS-10, Modern Housing Complex and Vikas Nagar.

For any query or clarification regarding Admission to Class XI, the parents and candidates can contact the following phone numbers from 8 am to 8 pm from June 10

Rajinder Kaur 9815980388; Preeti 9815623550; Monika 9814323870; Renu 9872993046; Bimal 9815079183; Sunil Kumar 9872323249; Devinder 9876111151; Ajit Kaur 9814632321; Bhiwani Dass 9417579962; Alka 9216222321; Panna Lal 9888676845; Amrita 9855405913; Push Karwan 9872019884; Manita 9417049395



PU to check ‘guidance cells’
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
In a bid to curb the practice of regionalism, hooliganism and politicking the under garb of ‘guidance cells’, the Panjab University has decided to crack the whip against these self-styled counsellors.

Every year, before the onset of the academic session, different student bodies put up their guidance cells to help newcomers with the information related to the courses and the departments. But it was noticed, that these help desks were more to do with filling up of vote banks of student leaders on the campus.

An all-party meeting chaired by DSW Naval Kishore was held today and it was decided that only university students will be allowed to sit in guidance cells and they would be issued photo ID cards as well. The number of students sitting in each tent will also be fixed beforehand.

The student leaders have been told to refrain from regionalism and have been categorically asked not to indulge in any kind of politics and ‘partybaazi’.

The students have also been told to put up only a tent measuring 15 by 15 ft. A final meeting in this regard will be held on Monday to workout other modalities. The guidance cells will be put up from next week.

Welcoming the move, Parminder Jaswal, campus president, said, “This would definitely help to keep a check on outsiders who come and sit in these tents unnecessarily. Only genuine students would sit in the tents”. In the past, the students ended up fighting amongst each other over petty issues during the counselling. Many brawls and even cases of eve teasing have also been reported against outsiders who sit on the pretext of guiding the students.



Relay fast continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
At the end of two months’ relay fast for the central university status for Panjab University, a large number of people, particularly from UT Chandigarh, have started offering open support to the demand of saving higher education by ensuring full finances to PU.

Former professors of the university who sat on the fast today included I.M. Joshi, S.K. Gupta, Ravi Prashar, Rajeshwar Sharma, P.S. Verma and P.K. Mittal. Many of their other professor colleagues also participated in the dharna to extend their moral support to the fasting fellow professors.

Meanwhile, JAC held a meeting today to review the progress and chalk out the future strategy of intensification of the agitation. It has been decided that during the next couple of weeks, support will be enlisted from as many quarters as possible.



Orders in forgery case quashed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
UT additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ), Ravi Kumar Sondhi, today quashed the order of the trial court of judicial magistrate, first class, Balwinder Kumar, in a forgery case registered against former Haryana financial commissioner Asha Sharma and directed the trial court to consider the application of re-investigation.

In the orders pronounced on June 9, 2007, Asha was to be chargesheeted for commission of offences on the basis of a report filed under Section 173, CrPC, in the forgery case.

The ADSJ also set aside the orders pronounced by the trial court in the same case, wherein deputy commissioner, Rohtak, R.S. Doon, was summoned under Sections 107, 166, 202 and 409, IPC, on the basis of the report filed under Section 173, CrPC, that recommended no criminal case against him.

Asha and R.S. Doon had filed a revision petition before the appellate court, seeking quashing of orders of the trial court.

Pronouncing the orders in the revision petition filed by Asha, the ADSJ observed: “The trial court considered the dispute raised by the petitioner. At the appropriate stage of framing of charges, the case must have been sent back for further investigations, keeping in view the effect of admissions of complainant on the allegations against the petitioner. At the same time, the trial court was required to hear the petitioner again, when the supplementary challan was filed after further investigations. However, the trial court has ignored both these situations and passed an order which is not only against the legal principles but also against the factual aspect of the matter.

Terming the orders of summoning of Doon, pronounced by the trial court, as “illegal”, the ADSJ stated: “There is no prima facie evidence on the file to summon the petitioner for commission of any criminal offence.”

Asha was booked on charges of criminal breach of trust and forgery on May 3, 2003. It was alleged that she had forged a will of her father regarding their house number 1572, Sector 36.



Consumer Courts
LG electronics to pay Rs 25,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Holding LG electronics guilty of selling a defective refrigerator, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked the company to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation to a resident of Sector 41. The forum also directed the company to replace the defective refrigerator.

The petitioner, Ramesh Kumar Sharma of Sector 41, purchased an LG Refrigerator on May 7, 2003, for Rs 8,550. The compressor had a blast due to thermostat sparking and gas leakage, resulting into fire, which damaged other household articles on April 6, 2007.

Ramesh had gone to his native village to perform the last rites of his father at the time of the accident. The neighbours informed the police and the fire brigade about the fire. Thereafter, a DDR was registered with the police in which the cause of fire was ascertained as blast in the compressor of the refrigerator by the fire officials. The petitioner said the company refused to compensate the loss though there was a lapse on their part.

In reply, LG electronics argued that leakage of gas from a refrigerator could never cause fire and there could not be any thermostat sparking in a compressor.

The forum observed: “The photographs and the police report show that the cause of the fire was blast in the compressor. The forum said it was difficult to make out the exact loss in terms of money. Therefore, it directed LG electronics to replace the refrigerator along with compensation of Rs 25,000 to the complainant.”



Cop’s salary cut for withholding report
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
A local court today imposed a cut in the salary of assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Bashir Ahmad for not producing the investigation report pertaining to an assault case.

According to the prosecution, the ASI was investigating officer (IO) in an assault case against Surinder Singh. The complainant, Uma Shanker, a resident of Sector 47, had supplied broilers worth Rs 10,000 to Surinder Singh, who gave him a cheque for Rs 10,000. The complainant stated that the accused had requested him not to encash the cheque as he would pay him later. Shanker asserted that he went to recover the money for the broilers on November 17, 2004, when the accused assaulted him. He then got a DDR registered against Surinder at police station, Sector 34.

Thereafter the investigating officer, Bashir Ahmad, stated that the accused had entered into a compromise with the complainant. Subsequently a complaint under Section 155 (3), CrPC, was filed in a local court, seeking investigation in the case.

The judicial magistrate, first class, then directed the police to hold an inquiry into the case. The report was not presented, thus the court directed the SHO of the police station to appear before the court in person on July 4, 2005. Subsequently the SHO deposed before the court on November 13, 2006, and confirmed that the IO, Bashir Ahmad, had taken all the records as he had been transferred from police station, Sector 34, to Manimajra.

Bashir appeared before the court but he didn’t submit the report before the court. The court has issued bailable warrants for the IO and imposed a cut in salary.



Multani gets police remand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
A local court today sent Harpreet Singh Multani on police remand for one day while the main accused, Vikram, was sent to judicial custody in the case pertaining to stabbing of a Panjab University (PU) student inside the examination hall.

The police arrested them on the complaint of Simrandeep Singh Sandhu, who was seriously injured in a violent clash that took place inside the examination hall of the Law Department on May 3.

Multani along with Barinder Singh Dhillon, Govind Khatra, allegedly thrashed Simrandeep and all were booked under the charges of attempt to murder, rioting, causing injuries, trespassing and criminal intimidation.



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