C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Teachers fail students’ test
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
"We do not like Tejinder ma’am (name changed) because she beats us for petty reasons, keeps on insulting us and use abusive language", says a child from a Maloya school.

"Our teacher keeps eating in the class and sends us to canteen to get food for him", says another from a school in a southern sector.

These are not just casual complaints of schoolkids. They have "assessed" their teachers on a feedback form, designed specially by the Education Department towards teachers in government schools.

Students of a model school say, "We dislike our teacher because she often comes late in the class and talks on mobile phone in between". At another school, the children wrote that they cannot understand their teacher’s methodology and are thus compelled to take tuitions to complete their syllabus.

Students in schools situated on the outskirts of the city want to have hygienic drinking water, sports infrastructure and computers in their schools.

At present, this practice is being done on teachers who were employed under the nationwide programme of the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA), under the supervision of Saroj Mittal, assistant director, vocational wing.

The team is headed by Sunita Kapoor, a senior child counsellor, the subject experts Sunil Bedi, Anita Sharma, along with other counsellors of vocational department Parminder and Saroj.

Saroj Mittal said, "It was a fruitful step, because we have now come to know about the behavioural practice of teachers in the classrooms. Our counsellors will at random choose the school, approach students and get the forms filled."

Mittal said’ "We have received almost 60 per cent of the feedback and by July we will cover all government schools."

About the repercussion, DPI (S) SK Setia said, "We have initiated this move to sort out those teachers who do not do justice to their profession. We are finding out the “Red category” teachers, which means those who whiling away time in gossiping or giving corporal punishment or do not complete their syllabus in time".

On being asked, Setia said the motive was not to punish guilty teachers instantly. "We will call up those teachers to undergo counselling session where they would be taught to change their attitude. After that, we will again plan another session by September. If they receive same kind of feedback, then stern action can be taken against them".

Just on the same lines, director, higher education Raji P Srivastava has directed the college heads to have lecturers’ evaluation got done from students after every two month. The format for analysis includes teachers’ behaviour, their performance and communications. Students would be asked regarding changes and activities they want in the colleges.



Veggies, pulses on the boil
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The impact of the hike in the fuel price has finally started showing. With inflation breaking the 13-year-old record and jumping to 11.05, prices of all essential commodities - vegetables and items of daily use and grocery - have shot up by 10 to 25 per cent in the city.

Over the past six months, most items have recorded an increase of 10 to 15 per cent and some items, like rice and mustard oil, have gone up between 25 and 50 per cent. Certain varieties of Basmati, which was being sold in the city at Rs 40 per kg in January, is now being sold at Rs 60, an increase of 50 per cent.

Skyrocketing prices of most of grocery items, fruits and vegetables, cereals and pulses, oil and ghee have created havoc for the poor and middle class families. Even eating out is all set to cost more as city hoteliers are also planning to hike their menu rates by at least10 to 15 per cent. 

The prices of mustard oil, refined and rice have seen the maximum rise in the recent months. The price of mustard oil have gone up by 25 per cent. It was sold at Rs 65 per litre in April and now Rs 82 per litre. Similarly, refined oil has registered an increase from Rs 65 in April to Rs 75 per litre now.

The prices of pulses like moong, urd and rajmah have gone up by 20 to 25 per cent in the last two months. The price of urd, a staple pulse used in most of Indian households and eateries, has increased from Rs 36 a kg in April to Rs 40 a kg now. Similarly, moong which was at Rs 42-46 per kg in April was now being sold above Rs 50 per kg, according to Vikram kumar, who runs a grocery store in Sector 35, Chandigarh.

On the other side, fruits and vegetable also recorded the rise of 10 to 15 per cent, which is the highest in the last 10 years. Banana is being sold at Rs 35 per dozen, peach at Rs 30 to 32 per kg and papaya at Rs 20 per kg, according to a wholesale fruit vendor. The vegetables prices have also risen by 20 per cent in this period.

Hoteliers of the city are also planning to increase the rates by 10 to 15 per cent shortly in view of the rise in prices of all commodities.

It is people like us who are the worst affected. Now, we cannot even afford to have plain dal-roti, says Ram, who is working as a salesman in a shop.





PCA Lie Nailed: Kapil’s poster not ready
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 20
PCA treasurer G.S. Walia’s claim on June 18 that the poster was ready and would be put in place in two-three days was not based on facts. The reality is that repair work was started only two days before with the order being placed to Sector 34-based company Jyoti Graphix.

Walia had said the poster was removed due to strong storm on May 26.

Perhaps, the statement was made to mislead the media or the cricketer, who showed great concerns over the development.

The work of welding of iron frame was at progress at the stadium’s premises today.

“We got an order to put a new 25’x 28’ poster at the place. After making the frame, the flex sheet will be installed on it with Kapil’s new image”, said Dr Mittal KL, owner of the company.

“The new image of Kapil Dev will come from Delhi that we paste on the flex”, he added.

It will take a few days to complete the job, Mittal said.



Angry artists plan ‘special’ exhibition
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The case registered yesterday against the city-based artist Viren Tanwar for his exhibition of nude painting and portraying animals in objectionable acts at Alliance Francaise in September last year has the ire of the art community but also other parts of the country.

It is learnt that artists plan a “special exhibition” all over the country to show resentment.

Tejinder Kanda, a Delhi-based artist, stated that the artist’s freedom of expression was curtailed time and again. The right-wing activists, who always want to be moral policemen, have brought shame to the great cultural heritage with their acts of vandalism. What comes out of this episode is that if system actually wants to ban nudity in art, then it should shut down even the caves of Ajanta and Ellora and the temples of Khajuraho which depict sexuality and nudity.

Madan Lal, a city-based artist, stated that such incidents disturbed the mind and soul of an artist. It is harassment to the artist whose expressions were 
being blocked by the society.

Another city-based artist said such incidents were hurdles in their creative work.

He added that it was strange that these kinds of issues were raised to demoralise the artist.

An exhibition of M.F. Husain's paintings in New Delhi's India International Centre was attacked not because any of the paintings on show were obscene but because the protesters did not like him. Thanks to their machinations, Husain is forced to live in exile.

Viren Tanwar commented,"My sentiments have been hurt with this wrong action. I believe that the artists are the mirror of the society. But may be sometime it becomes difficult for the society to accept that truth."


Nayagaon Master Plan
Housing dept entrusts power to local bodies
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 20
Side stepping all controversy, Punjab’s department of housing and urban development has washed its hands off the planning and development of the area falling within the Nayagaon Notified Area Committee.

The department has delegated its power to prepare the master plan of the area to the department of local bodies. The move has raised several eyebrows as such a decision, though permissible under the laws, has rarely been taken and highlights the serious differences of opinion over the issue between the two departments.

The decision comes many months after the master plan prepared by the department of housing was withdrawn following tremendous political pressure.

Principal secretary local bodies D.S. Bains recently wrote to the principal secretary, housing, Arun Goel stating that the matter had been discussed by the local bodies minister with the Punjab Chief Minister and it had been “desired by the worthy local government minister to request you” to declare Nayagaon municipal area as a ‘local planning area’ and notify the department of local bodies as the planning agency “so that the process of formulation of the master plan of Nayagaon can be initiated without any further delay.”

In a cleverly worded answer that puts the entire responsibility of the various decisions to be taken regarding the Nayagaon NAC on the local bodies department, the urban housing department stated, “the Governor of Punjab is pleased to delegate the powers under Section 10 of the Punjab Capital Periphery Control Act, 1952 and under Chapter VIII to X of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development (Amendment) Act, 2006 to principal secretary government of Punjab department of local government to impose restrictions upon use and development of land and to prepare approval and publish/notify the master plans of the area falling within the jurisdiction of Nagar Panchayat Nayagaon.”

Following this letter from the department of housing, the department of local bodies, it is learnt, has started the process of preparation of a master plan for the area. The development of the area is possible only if there is a valid master plan.

Interestingly, while Bains’s letter pointed this out to Goel adding that the development of the area had been held up for want of the master plan, no voice has been raised by any department regarding the “illegality” of the process by which the Nayagaon NAC was created.

Sources add that the periphery policy of January 2006 adopted by the Punjab government had clearly laid down that no local body would be created till a master plan of the area was ready. However, in the case of Nayagaon, the NAC was created in October 2006 and there is still no master plan.

The NAC’s creation was rendered controversial when the department of forest had objected pointing out that a large part of the NAC was locked under the various provisions of the Punjab Land Preservation Act.

Other than a host of VIPs who own land in the area and have more than normal interest in its development, large housing projects, including the Tata Housing Project have been planned for the area. These projects have been in the pipeline for almost a year now and are awaiting the empowerment of the NAC.



Parking contractor fleeces visitors at Rock Garden
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Employees of a private security parking contractor, running the parking lot at Rock Garden here, were today caught while overcharging the visitors. Against a fee of Rs 2 for parking a two-wheeler, the contractor was openly charging Rs 5.

According to the parking lot rules, a contractor can charge Rs 2 for the parking of a two-wheeler and Rs 5 for a four-wheeler.

While the authorities are oblivious of the ‘loot’, the parking contractor’s employees continue to charge exorbitantly from the visitors. For keeping the helmets, they were charging Rs 5 against a fixed fee of Re 1. And while charging the fee, the contractor was trying to mislead the visitors by overwriting on the parking receipts.

The malpractice came to light when this correspondent visited Rock Garden as a visitor this afternoon. Visitors to the garden said the parking lot employees were charging Rs 5 for parking a scooter and Rs 5 more for keeping the helmet at the parking counter. Some visitors were even refunded the excess money when the contractor was warned.

When contacted, the parking lot contractor refused to disclose his name saying he was not aware of the issue. However, sources said the malpractice was continuing from a couple of days.

They added that the parking contract would expire next week. Therefore, the contactor along with his employees was involved in the overcharging business.

One of the employees told The Tribune that the contractor would virtually beat the employee, if he did not overcharge the visitors. Everyone, including the contractor, was involved, said the employee.



CHB assured scheme draw on June 26
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Fate of over 2,300 applicants, who bid for the dwelling units under the assured allotment scheme of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in Sector 63, will be decided on June 26.

According to sources, the bids would be opened at the Kissan Bhavan, Sector 35, in the presence of the bidders. It may be noted that three-bedroom flats under the sub-scheme had received an overwhelming response with 1,072 persons submitting bids for the 16 dwelling units--about 67 times.

As many as 987 persons are trying their luck for 42 flats in the two-bedroom category while one-bedroom units drew only 275 bidders for 26 flats.

The CHB has come out with an assured allotment sub-scheme wherein applicants willing to pay a higher amount could bid for a specified number of apartments in various categories except the economically weaker section (EWS) category.

With a view to provide a level-playing field to bidders, the CHB has worked out a unique system of allotment. For instance, if 16 persons send quotations for category A three-bedroom flat (original price Rs 39.57 lakh) with Rs 52 lakh being the price quoted by the 16th person, all 16 persons would be allotted flats at the rate of Rs 52 lakh. This was irrespective of the highest bidder quoting any amount above Rs 52 lakh.

Observers felt that with a large number of persons applying for the assured allotment scheme, the opening of bids could redefine the property scenario in the city and its periphery. Usually, the prices of the CHB flats are taken as a benchmark for the prices of similar dwellings units such as the cooperative group housing flats in Chandigarh and the satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali.

Under this sub-scheme, the allottees are free to sell the flats immediately after allotment.



Chandigarh to be a solar city
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 20
Dr R.K. Pachauri-headed TERI is all set to make Chandigarh an environment-friendly solar city. TERI officials in Delhi say the organisation will provide the Chandigarh Administration all expertise and know-how on renewable energy technology and passive building concept for new buildings on the basis of its existing concept-TERI Griha.

TERI says the main objective of the project will be preparing a comprehensive master plan for developing the City Beautiful as a solar city. Besides this, TERI will also help the Chandigarh Administration in switching to cleaner energy concept.

CREST (The Chandigarh Renewable Energy Science and Technology Promotion Society) under the Chandigarh Administration are the sponsors for the project under which the integrated planning approach will be adopted to make Chandigarh the solar city.

A solar city is an urban area with an active programme that aims to achieve not only lower reliance on fossil fuels but also reduced greenhouse gas emission levels. And as far as TERI Griha is concerned, it is a nationalised rating system where a particular building is certified as environment-friendly after taking into consideration different aspects of energy conservation.

Apart from the solar city concepts, the new liaisons will also be explored on possibility of energy conservation and use of reneable energy wherever possible. The project will simultaneously involve reducing reliance on fossil fuels by application of energy conservation and efficiency measures and by replacing or complementing the conventional energy generation with the renewable energy.

TERI had earlier prepared a master plan for making Gandhinagar a solar city, which is a first of its kind exercise in Asia. The solar city programme strives to utilize locally available resources such as solar energy and meet the reduced energy demands.

It also aims at energy conservation and enhancing energy efficiency. The project will be initially implemented in a part of Chandigarh, selected by the UT Administration.



VIP duties take toll on police
Adviser demands 2 more cos. of ITBP

Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Reeling under a shortage of over 3,000 personnel, the VIP duties of the Chandigarh police are telling on its working.

This has been admitted in a letter by UT adviser Pradip Mehra to B Bhamathi, joint secretary (UT), ministry of home affairs. He has demanded two additional companies of the ITBP at the disposal of the Chandigarh police for security duties here.

The city houses various VIPs as well as protected persons including Governors of Punjab and Haryana besides both Chief Ministers and speakers of the vidhan sabhas, judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court, district court/CAT. Besides many politicians, having z+ or ‘Y’ category security cover, have their permanent residences or close relatives staying here. They also visit the city every now and then and the police has to give them adequate security cover, the letter said.

Apart from this, the security wing is also responsible for providing security cover during dharnas, protests, at places of functions, public gatherings and important buildings.

“With all this, the working of the Chandigarh police is adversely affected due to shortage of manpower,” wrote the adviser, maintaining to review the proposals pending for various units of the Chandigarh police for sanction of 3,064 posts.

These proposals also include 1,135 posts for increase in the police stations’ strength including that of traffic, EOW and W&CSU. Besides a proposal to raise the first India Reserve Battalion (IRB) for the city consisting of 985 posts is also pending with the Government of India.

According to sources, there is shortage of 870 personnel in 11 police stations while the traffic police, EOW and WCSU need 205, 30 and 30 personnel respectively.

The force also demanded 42 personnel for RTC, 18 for POLNET, 258 for Wireless, 239 drivers, 107 for Police Station (Rly), 280 for extra manpower in PCR, 133 for new posts for Mauli Jagran and 17 for syces in mounted police.



Night Life: It ‘s all about peer pressure
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Is there a disaster in waiting to happen? The last few years have seen a spurt in some avoidable accidents involving minors without driving licence and reckless young adults, high on the headiness of youth. The combination of late night clubs and discotheques that serve alcohol to even minors, bigger and faster cars and the 'with it' culture that seem to have taken roots in Chandigarh is deadly

Chandigarh, June 19
Peer pressure and lack of communication with parents is driving teenagers towards pubs as well towards smoking and drinking. According to psychologists, there is a certain sense of bonding among group members, mostly in their teens. And it becomes essential to do what the others are doing to remain in the group.

“If your friends have a boyfriend, you want a boyfriend too. If your friend says it's cool to smoke, you smoke too," explains PGI psychologist Dr Adarsh Kohli. It is all about the need to “ fit in”.

The pub culture only adds fuel to the fire. It might begin as an innocent night out and just a beer sip “because my friends told me to try it”. But when it happens night after night, it could and often does lead to addiction.
A sense of boundaries is not being taught to children. They grow up in an environment where distortion and manipulation are common. So, they don't mind going against values
— Psychologist Kiran Bala

Upbringing and the values inculcated at home go a long way in shaping the personalities of the young. Parents are not spending quality time with their children. “The most common complaint among the youngsters who come to us is that their parents are not around when they need them,” a psychologist said. Parents need to keep a watch on how much money their child is spending, who his friends are and what does he do in his free time. When parents don't communicate, the child doesn't bother to consult them and does whatever he wants.

"Anti-social behaviour is more common in boys and, particularly, among those with parents who indulge in such behaviour themselves," said Dr Kiran Bala of Cheema Medical complex, Mohali.

''If a father has the drinking habit, his son is 5 per cent more likely to become an alcoholic than one whose father is not,'' she explains. ''A sense of boundaries is not being taught to today's children. They grow up in an environment where distortion and manipulation is common. So, they don't mind going against the values.”



Living dangerously, for fun
The not-so-rich flock to clubs too

Jashan Gill & Parminder Singh

I love to go to discos, but my parents will never allow night parties. So I bunk classes and visit discos in the afternoon with my boyfriend
— Class XII student

Chandigarh June 17
Wednesday ‘Cinderella Night’, Thursday ‘Trans Night’, Friday ‘Hip-Hop Night’, Saturday ‘Sizzling Night”...this is the way the schedule of a disco buff goes. From coffee houses, private parties to long drives, Chandigarh night life is finally coming of age. Chandigarh is no longer the city of the tired and the retired. It is vivacious, sparkling with night bustle. But there is another side to this life which is hideous and dangerous. Most lovers of club culture are teenagers who do not have the maturity to decide limits. Under the veil of fun and frolic, they are caught up in the cesspool of alcohol, drugs and illicit relationships.

Underaged boys and girls from rich families come in chic cars, gain easy entry into clubs, consume as much liquor as they want - no questions asked. As for drugs, they have become part and parcel of disco life. These young adventurists do not risk their own lives alone but also of other commuters at night. Road rash accidents most of the time involve teenage drunkards.

And a new evil that has seeped into this culture is teenage girls going around with men their fathers’ age. " Rich businessman in there forties come to discos often accompanied by young girls in lieu of a few thousand rupees," said a disco manager.

“Girls these days have increased expenses -- branded shoes, bags, Italian food et al. Young boys on pocket money cannot afford these things, so the girls opt for older men with well secure jobs which eventually leads to exploitation and family breakup,” said another club manager.

Alcohol and drugs are inseparable part of the club culture. " I cannot believe that a girl who is a regular at discos does not drink. There may be a few who do not, but most are hooked to drinking and drugs no matter how goodie goodie they may pretend to be," said Aman Basin, a regular at discos.

As for drugs there seems no bar in bringing these inside clubs. One can get drugs from peddlers who lurk around the clubs. Girls send their male friends to buy drugs for them. Opium, cocaine, Ecstasy are some favourites at the discotheques.

The night life is not a secret, to police or anybody else. Even then there is no checking at the disco gates. Rachel (name changed) is just 17 and she visits discos every weekend. But she has never encountered a problem owing to her age.

“I have visited many of the city's discos without check; have drinks now and then. Nobody has asked me about my age or an identity proof." She believes that these issues are irrelevant as there are a large number of underage girls and boys who will never stop coming to clubs. Rather, she believes that the only thing that needs to betaken care of is the safety of girls as single girls are not safe in clubs and during partying.

Toshi agrees with Rachel. “Now when I have been partying since the last five years, I cannot think of quitting the habit. Even when I get married I will carry on,” said Mikhail, a party animal.

Night life has become a way of life not only with the rich and young of the city but also those from villages and peripheral areas. The rich flock the clubs regularly and spend their parent’s money on flaunting their wealth.

There are boys from Amritsar, Muktsar, Hoshiarpur, Patiala and Jalandhar who come to Chandigarh every week for “clubbing.”

Most of these boys are teenagers. But they come to Chandigarh every week driving their luxury cars and drinking all the way. There is no check by the police and if they are stopped once in a while, they get away mentioning their “high contacts.”

Asheesh, a party buff comes from Hoshiarpur, visits ‘Score’ with his group every week-end. He believes that there is no mischief in enjoying life at the discos. " We boys from rural areas have more money and status than any city guy. So why not flaunt it at discos.”

“I have more than 100 acres of land and my family lives abroad. I have little to do but party with friends. Where else will I go for fun if not the city discos,” said Rai Jujahar Singh Dhindsa of Patiala.

There are many who have earned fro night life. Abhishek , an engineering student, is known as the best party organiser in the city. He is on contract with pubs and discos for arranging parties and bringing in crowds.

“Enjoyment has many names, a disco party is one, and we just cash in on it. People in the age group of 17 - 45 want to experience life, so we draw them to discos and earn. Not a bad idea after all."

“To pull crowds, you simpy SMS. You visit a disco once and you get 10 party invitations every week. Bring a partner along and show the SMS to get a free entry into discos. Nobody can resist enjoyment at cost zero,” said Karan Kakkar.

Girls too are in competition. It’s not just the nights that have become colourful, day parties are also a hit, especially among girl students. “I love to go to discos, but my parents will never allow night parties. So I bunk classes and visit discos in the afternoon with my boyfriend," said a Class XII student.

Either to mimic the rich or impress girlfriends, young teenagers from humble background waste money in clubs too. Gaurav works at a call centre and earns 8,000 a month, but because of peer pressure, he is a regular at discos. “My friends are rich, so to be equal to them, I go to discos and spend at least 2,000 on each visit.”

Today people work day and night, the pressure has increased manifold. To release anxiety, people drink and dance. That is why businessmen are the second most frequent visitors to clubs after students.

“Life has become fast and nobody has the time to go to picnics or for sight-seeing. Two hours in a disco is an easy option to enjoy the week- end," said 32-year- old Manish Khurana, an entrepreneur.



Licence to kill
Mandeep Singh

What The Law Says

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Under the Motor Vehicles Act, a person below 18 is disqualified from obtaining a driver’s licence or driving in a public place. The licensing authority, thus, cannot grant a licence for a motor vehicle to a aged below 18. A two-wheeler without gears may be driven in a public place on attaining the age of 16.

Even, vehicle insurance policy says the insured vehicle should be driven by a person holding an effective driving licence to drive that vehicle and he/ she should not have been disqualified from holding or obtaining such a licence.

Speed is catching them young. Kids, mostly in their teens, zipping across the city on their bikes and cars, are a common sight. If a minor is caught driving, the traffic police issues a challans of Rs 1100, apart from serving the parents with a notice to appear before a court. But, with a sharp rise in accidents involving under-age drivers, the police has now decided to punish parents for the offence committed by their wards.

Studies show teen drivers (aged 16 to 19), are four times more likely to crash than their older counterparts. They not only drive at high speed, but also jump lights and drive after consuming alcohol or drugs.

“ Under-age driving is becoming a nuisance. Apart from risking their own lives, these kids also make it difficult for other road users. As a result, many a time, they are involved in fatal collisions,” says SK. Jain, IGP. The problem is particularly severe on roads near schools. The need is to sensitise every parent about the harm that under-age, reckless drivers can cause.

“Parents should discourage their wards from driving without a licence. The police needs to come down hard on the menace.”

According to experts, over the years, society has become more tolerant towards underage drivers. Children feel that it is “cool” to drive young, to drive fast and to take risks. And the growing assumption that even if one is caught, greasing the palms of cops will bail them out, has removed the fear of the law from their minds.

In the USA, a routine traffic violation can get one ticket (fine) of $ 500.

If the police catches an under-age driver, one-fourth of the income of the parents is gone as fine.

In Chandigarh, as many as 20 under-age drivers were challaned from January 1, to June 18, 2005, as compared to 126 challans already issued this year. In 2007, as many as 79 under-age drivers were booked.



Nominations for MC elections halved
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 20
The competition in the coming municipal council elections in Zirakpur and Dera Bassi was halved today following the withdrawal and rejection of nomination forms. Out of the total 84 candidates, who had filed their nominations in Dera Bassi only 41 are left in the fray now. These include 13 candidates of the Congress and another 13 of the SAD BJP alliance. The rest are independent candidates belonging to either of these parties but have broken away due to refusal of seats.

In Zirakpur, out of the total 110 persons who had filed their nomination papers only 58 are left in the fray. These include 15 candidates of the Congress and another 15 of the SAD BJP alliance. Another 15 candidates have been fielded by the breakaway SAD group led by N.K. Sharma. The rest are independent candidates.

Meanwhile, secretary employment generation Punjab N.S. Kang today arrived in the district as the election observer for the municipal council elections to Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Nayagaon.

Kang held a meeting with the deputy commissioner cum returning officer Rahul Bhandari the SSP Jatinder Aulakh and other senior officials.

He said he would be meeting representatives of the various political parties on May 24 at 12.30 pm in the deputy commissioner’s office.

Kang further stated that he is available at telephone number 0172- 2741189 for any complaints or observations regarding these elections.



MC sanitation panel raids medical store
Tribune News Service

The sanitation committee of the municipal corporation raids the medical health office of the MC in Sector 23, Chandigarh
The sanitation committee of the municipal corporation raids the medical health office of the MC in Sector 23, Chandigarh, on Friday.
— A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, June 20
The sanitation committee of the municipal corporation today raided the corporation’s medical health office-cum-store in Sector 23 here. The raid was carried out after a sweeper complained to the committee.

According to sources, Ramesh Jakhu, councillor, along with other officials of the corporation had to wait for almost an hour, as the storekeeper did not open the door of the store.

Jakhu finally had to call mayor Pradeep Chhabra, who came and got the door opened forcibly. The sweepers have been complaining that the stock was not available in the store for a long time. On raiding the premises, the committee saw that the store was full.

The record register revealed that the stock was delivered, but the details regarding where it was delivered and to whom were missing. The stock was also said to be below standard. The committee has marked an inquiry in this regard.



Youth denied job to ‘favour’ another
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
An unemployed youth, Sanjeev Arora, is running from pillar to post to get his legitimate right. Alleging that his claim for the post of a peon in the Punjab Legal Services Authority has been ignored to favour some other candidate, he has sent his complaint to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A resident of Phase VII, Mohali, he lamented that despite the condition to keep a candidate who had a minimum qualification of middle pass with Punjabi, another candidate who does not have the prescribed minimum qualification had been selected.

Providing details of his complaint, he claimed that senior officials in the office of the Punjab State Legal Service Authority here interviewed him along with other candidates. “I was also threatened not to complain to higher authorities. Some persons were sent to my house also to sign on a blank paper. But I refused”, he added.The officials concerned in the Punjab Legal Services Authority could not be contacted for comments.

Arora’s plea before the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has also gone unheard. The commission has ruled that since no violation of any human rights at the behest of a public servant has been committed, it was unable to take cognisance of the matter.



Mayor reviews development work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Mayor, Pardeep Chhabra along with Deputy Mayor, Harphool Chander Kalyan, and area councillor Reeta Sharma, visited Sector 37 and 38 to view the development of the road works and other problems of the area residents.

During the visit Mayor inspected the building of the Community Center in the sector and announced a fund of Rs 2 lakh for the furniture of the centre, while assuring the area residents for provision of a Library at the centre. He also assured to recarpet the road in front of Doordarshan in Sector 37. Chhabra also visited the green belt in Sector 38. He instructed the officers to complete the footpath within stipulated time period.



ICICI initiative for poor kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
ICICI bank yesterday announced a new initiative ‘read to lead’ to facilitate access to formal elementary education for one lakh disadvantaged children. The initiative will be undertaken in partnership with voluntary organisations identified by the ICICI foundation and the bank.

ICICI bank executive director V Vaidyanathan stated that this plan would provide financial support to the NGOs during this financial year.



PGI employee injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
A PGI contract employee was seriously injured here today morning after he accidentally fell from the fifth floor. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of PGI. Satyapal, 30, was on night duty at ‘B’ block, fifth floor, when the incident occurred, said sources. His brother, Chunnilal said, “he was not well for the past few days.”




Mall threat

Many malls are going to hit Chandigarh within a few months. City is taking pride for being successful in wooing international brands to set up here. It is a good news, but only for city's millionaires.

Chandigarh, so far, is a very nice place to live, being clean and green. Administration should not let the city turn into a rich man's pretentiousness.

In Europe, there aren't any big malls; everything still has a very local feel. For shopping, one has to go to the commercial zone, which is set up far from the city.

The idea behind setting up malls away from the city is to preserve the cultural heritage.

Rajesh Krishan

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



To make PU more safe
Committee to tackle ragging
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Even though the academic session for 2008-09 is yet to start in two months, the Panjab University is all geared up to deal with the ragging menace.

The university has formed an anti-ragging committee comprising 24 members under the chairmanship of DUI, S.K. Kulkarni, to formulate the modalities for dealing with the problem. The committee will be a statutory body and would form different sub-committees.

The sub-committees will be formed blockwise. For instance, one sub-committee will be responsible for all the departments starting from Arts block I till the department of laws. Another sub-committee will be in-charge of the science departments.

There will be separate committees for the departments in south campus, UIET and even in hostels.

While the hostel committees will consist of wardens as well as senior students, the rest will be constituted with teachers. The hostel committees gain utmost importance, given the fact that most of the ragging incidents in the past took place in the hostels. Last year, five cases of ragging were reported in the UIET hostel and students were expelled for two months.

Punishments, in all ragging cases, will be decided by the committees, depending upon the gravity of the offence.

Members of the committees will be taking the rounds of the departments to have a watch in corridors, lobbies and the classrooms while the teacher is not there.

According to sources, the university authorities are also contemplating to have students who would act as spy and would given information of any untoward incident of ragging in the hostels.

Earlier, the university used to make all these arrangements after the commencement of the session, usually in the month of September.

The UGC had written to all the universities and educational institutions to follow the guidelines and recommendations of Ragahvan Committee, to effectively deal with ragging.



Online hostel records to check outsiders
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Outsiders enjoying Panjab University’s hostel hospitality will no longer be able to do so. University has decided to sieve the outsiders from the hostel residents.

For the first time, the university is going to have computerised records of all the hostellers to restrain the outsiders from staying in the hostels illegally. The top brass of the university, including vice-chancellor, dean, students’ welfare, wardens and other officials will be able to access the records.

Dean, students’ welfare, Prof Naval Kishore, admitted that there had been regular reports of outsiders staying in the hostels illegally, leading to indiscipline and hooliganism in the campus. “In order to crack the whip against them, we have decided to keep a record online. If in case, a student is suspected to be an outsider, his record, which includes details of the course he is enrolled in, the department, along with his photograph will be immediately referred to, for co firming whether he is actually a university student or not,” he said.

With increasing number of courses and students applying for the hostels, the officials have decided to allot seats in the hostel on the merit basis from this session. Each department will have separate allocated quota of seats for first year, second year and third year students.

Earlier, the students used to get hostel accommodation on first-come-first-serve basis.

“Moreover in the courses, in which the admission will be on the basis of counselling, the students will be told, at the time of counselling itself, if there are any seats available so that they can make their own arrangements,” said Prof Kishore.

To have greater cordiality between students and hostel officials, the vice-chancellor has decided to induct ‘Prefects’ from the month of August in the hostels. These prefects will be responsible for discipline, cleanliness and other basic facilities in their respective blocks. The prefects will be given an annual honorarium of Rs 2000 for encouragement and for exposing any illegality in the hostels.

“The idea is to encourage the students to come together and manage things cordially with the hostel authorities,” said Prof R.C. Sobti, VC, who is initiated the idea.



PU observes Chitavani Diwas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The 75th day of the chain fast by the students, teachers, research scholars and library staff of PU, demanding central university status for the university, was observed as the Chitavani Diwas today. A large number of teachers, library staff and research scholars assembled near the Guest House wearing black bands marked with ‘Chitavani Diwas’.

Prof Manjit Singh, secretary, PUTA, said despite vacations, the massive response of the PU community showed that people were ready to fight a decisive battle on the issue. Criticising the attitude of the Punjab Government towards higher education, Prof Singh said the massive grant that would flow to PU in the name of central university was going to provide maximum benefits to the state of Punjab.

“The insensitivity towards the people of PU, sitting on the fast for the last two and a half months, is a clear proof that the Punjab politics has failed to meet the basic values of democratic institutions. Otherwise, how the Punjab Government could sleep over the letter from MHRD, offering central university status to PU, for one long year,” said Prof Singh.

Elaborating on Rs 47 crore deficit in current budget of PU, Prof Ahluwalia, chairman, Joint Action Committee, said the central status to PU was the only alternative left with them.

Sumittar Singh Walia, convenor, Panjab University Research Scholars Association (PURSA), also addressed the joint rally.

Later, a rally was taken out on the campus that ended at Gandhi Bhawan.

The PURSA members, who sat on the fast today, were Sumittar Walia, English department, B. Alaxai, Manjit Kaur, Manpreet Kaur, all from Punjabi department, Lovely Sharma and Surinder Kumar, both from the department of Hindi.



Trekking expedition for principals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
City school principals and officials of the education department participated in a five-day trekking expedition in the hills of Dalhousie and Khajjiar. The programme was organised under the adventure sports activities by the department.

The principals include J.S. Basota, GMSSS-47, Dr Surinder Singh, GMSSS-33, Ram Kumar, GMSSS-16, and Anil Kumar, GMSSS-32. The officials include Gurdeep Singh, RE (S), Chanchal Singh, deputy DEO, K.S. Bharti, ADS, Gulshan Kumar, accountant, and P.S. Brar, organizing secretary of the programme.

This team had a trekking at Kala Top, Khajjiar, and Chamba area. The team also visited Prabal Pramanik's Academy of Arts, Bhamlada, Bhatwan, Punjab, and Baba Aya Singh Riarki College, Tugalwala, Gurdaspur, Punjab.



Counselling camp at ABS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
More than 217 students from tri-city and other areas participated in the first day of the 8th Career Counseling Camp organised at Aryans Business School (ABS) campus on Chandigarh- Rajpura Road today.

This was the third last camp in a series of career counselling camps. The students turned up with their parents at the venue, where the team of experts answered their queries. During round-table individual counselling sessions, a special guidance on various job-oriented courses, like BBA, BCA, BTech, BSc (IT), MBA and MCA, was also given.



Camp concludes at Euro-Kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Five-week-long summer camp concluded with foot tapping music and dance melodies at Euro-Kids Pre-Schools of tricity at Sector 18 here today.

“The summer club is geared towards providing children an appropriate platform to discover and nurture the special talents, which sometimes take a backseat during regular academic session,” Principal Mona Verma said.



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 |