C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Haryana Bangalows
UT decides to let go
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Wary of spending lakhs on renovation of Haryana ministers’ houses, the Chandigarh Administration has handed over the maintenance charge of their houses to the Haryana Government.

After a memorandum of understanding, the Haryana PWD has already taken the charge. The maintenance of houses of deputy ministers, MLA flats and the Haryana MLA hostel, Sector 3, has also been handed over to the state government.

Paucity of funds apart, non-recovery of dues on account of rent and power bill was also the reason for the UT’s reluctance in maintaining the houses of Haryana and Punjab ministers.

Larger houses consume most budget on renovation and alteration and it happens quite frequent, said an official handling the maintenance work. At times, the renovations were unwarranted and were carried out to appease the higher-ups.

Sources said at least 18 houses of ministers, deputy ministers, 22 MLA flats and the MLA hostel among the list of houses in sectors 2, 3, 5, 7 and 16 that have been handed over to the Haryana PWD.

The amount of arrears pending with Haryana could not be confirmed. Ministers’ houses are one of the most expensive in Chandigarh. Each of the ministers’ houses is spread across six kanals.

Interestingly in May, 2002, the administration had got rid of a major expense running into crores by handing over the maintenance of government houses allotted to the Punjab Chief Minister and members of his Cabinet to the Punjab Government.

The issue of ownership of such houses had been the bone of contention between the UT and two states.

While the UT had been maintaining that the Haryana and Punjab governments were not paying rent arrears regularly, the two states claimed that there was no tenancy involved and the UT had no right to collect the rent.

The catch lies in the ownership. Under the Reorganisation of States Act,1966, the administration is the custodian of the property in Chandigarh.

In the past, Punjab and Haryana had repeatedly told Chandigarh that it was not
the owner of the properties and was just the custodian while the states were the ultimate owners.



Vigyan Path sinking, warns expert
Backyards of houses along Sectors 8, 9 & 10 also subsiding
Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service

Karnal, June 22
An acclaimed geologist has warned that a stretch of Chandigarh’s Vigyan Path measuring 2.5 km in length and 15 m in width is sinking.

He has stressed on the need for comprehensive determination of sub-surface sedimentological structure and groundwater system along Vigyan Path to ascertain the phenomenon.

Dr A.R. Chaudhri, reader, department of geology, Kurukshetra University, Karnal, who has conducted a study on the linear patch of earth along Sectors 8, 9 and 10, said satellite imageries confirmed that this road stretch had been sinking since January this year.

He said there was a need to investigate if water from the Sukhna Lake, which is 500 metres from the stretch, was seeping into the affected area.

Moreover, he said the slope of the ground surface as well as groundwater was from northeast to southwest. Dr Chaudhri is working on active tectonic features in the Himalayan foothill region in the vicinity of Chandigarh.

He has found six active faults in the vicinity of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Nahan. Dr Chaudhri said that the sinking ground had severely affected Vigyan Path with half of the road affected with potholes, cracks and a slope.

He ruled out the contention that the sinking was due to "excess moisture probably caused by leaking water pipes".

He opined that this may have been true if the problem persisted over small patches. But for the entire 2.5 km stretch there appeared to be an underlying geological cause which needed a detailed investigation.

He said the metalled road had subsided by 20 cm to 26 cm in different segments.The earth along the backyard of adjoining houses in the affected sectors had also subsided by 5cm to7 cm.



Passport Theft
Air Slovakia director nabbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
With the arrest of Bharat Ghai, operational director of Air Slovakia, the Chandigarh Police busted an international gang involving in sending people abroad illegally.

With this, the police also claimed to have solved the passport scam in which 49 printed passports, along with files, were stolen from Regional Passport Office, Sector 34, in 2006.

DSP (Crime) K.I.P. Singh said, “More than 35 persons had been sent on stolen passports to Italy by the gang, which has its roots in Italy also. Along with Ghai, a Kapurthala-based travel agent, Gurjinder Singh, alias Lucky, alias Vicky, and many government officials of RPO and immigration department were involved in the
illegal activities”.

Ghai, who runs two aviation companies under the name of Ghai Aviation in Rajasthan and Bipasha Aviation in Jalandhar, was nabbed yesterday from Jalandhar.

“Gurjinder, who involved in passport theft, procured interested persons to go abroad, while Ghai helped to complete all immigration formalities, from ticketing to immigration clearance, of the seekers. While at Italy, cousins of Gurjinder, including Bhinda, Lovely and Baazigar, helped the persons in clearing the formalities there. They charged Rs 7 lakh to 10 lakh from each person for the job”, the DSP said.

Terming Ghai as a high-profile person, K.I.P. Singh said he was to go to Australia in a day or two and all his formalities were cleared.

Talking to mediapersons, Ghai admitted that he had send more than 35 persons abroad being procured by Gurjinder. “I was not aware that the passports being used by them were stolen”, said Ghai.

The matter came to light with the arrest of Sukhwant Singh, a resident of Kapurthala, and Raj Kumar, a resident of Patiala, earlier this month, who disclosed that apart from Vicky, another Jalandhar-based travel agent was involved who played a major role in sending them to Italy.

The duo was deported from Singapore last year for travelling on fake documents. During course of investigation, police nabbed Ghai through cellphone surveillance.

Even immigration officials were involved. A.K. Singh, an immigration officer, was holding a departmental inquiry in this case.

Apart from this, there were three more people, living in Italy, were involved. The trio took work permit from Italy after which the people were sent.

The Crime Branch had arrested Neetu, wife of Gurjinder Singh, who is the main culprit, is still missing.



Not Fair
Rickshaws hike fare as autos go off road
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 22
Hundreds of autorickshaws remained off the road here today. They were away to Rohtak to attend a state-level rally in favour of their demands.

The auto drivers are demanding concession in road tax and permanent stands for their vehicles in the state. A charter of demand was submitted to the chief minister at Rohtak.

In Panchkula, rickshaw pullers had a field day. With no auto at the railway station, bus stand or the Amartex chowk, they doubled their fares, much to the distress of commuters. The main sufferers were the sick and the disabled.

Passengers who alighted from Shatabdi in the morning found no autos for Panchkula and had to hire taxis. Those opting for rickshaws had to pay through their nose.

“I had to go to Sector 8, hardly 4 km from the station, but no rickshaw puller would take me there for less than Rs 50,” said Vinod, a property dealer.

There was an unusual rush for buses to Zirakpur from where most passengers boarded long-route buses for onward journey.

Passengers getting down had no choice but to hire rickshaws. Those using autos daily to commute between Zirakpur and Panchkula were a harried lot.

Those from villages around Panchkula and Zirakpur are mainly dependent on autorickshaws as there is no adequate bus service in the area.


New houses for IAF men ready
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The construction of the first phase of the Married Accommodation Project (MAP) at Chandigarh, envisioned to reduce the shortage of dwelling units for armed forces personnel, is complete.

“The construction work is more of less over,” a senior IAF officer said. “We are awaiting the completion certificate from the Chandigarh administration and expecting to commence allotment in July or August,” he added.

Some civil amenities like interior roads and streetlights are to be provided by the Chandigarh administration.

Close to 1,000 units, spread over four phases, are being constructed for IAF personnel in Chandigarh.

This includes accommodation for personnel posted at both 12 Wing as well as No.3 Base Repair Depot, which are different entities.

Commissioning of the new units will reduce the waiting period for the IAF personnel to get family accommodation when they move in on posting.

At present, the waiting period for officers in Chandigarh is about 5-6 months while that for personnel below officer rank is over one year.

The MAP was launched about six years ago and envisions construction of two lakh dwelling units at 79 stations across the country a cost of Rs 18,000 crore.

The design of the houses being built under the MAP is different from those of
existing houses.

With a change of socio-economic conditions and general increase in the standard of living, several new features and facilities have been added to the new design.

In addition, an important aspect of the new houses is the inclusion of rainwater harvesting features.

The new houses will also have a limited number of car garages for warrant officers, something which was unheard of earlier.

Besides, all new houses for airmen will have inbuilt parking space for two-wheelers, fittings for geyser and space for washing machine and room coolers, bathroom tiles and inbuilt wiring for telephone and cable TV.

Earlier houses do not have these features. Besides the houses at Chandigarh, as many as 1,855 houses are to be built for officers as well as jawans in Chandimandir, K-area near Zirakpur and N-Area near the Chandigarh Airport.



Bansal comes out clean in flag row
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
In the end, it turned out to be a mole and not a mountain. Panic spread among the Congress workers here this afternoon.

City-based advocate Satinder Singh lodged a police complaint against minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal, mayor Pradeep Chhabra, president of Rajeev Memorial Society Raj Nagpal and others for disrespecting the National Flag while celebrating Rahul Gandhi’s birthday here yesterday.

In the complaint, the advoacate stated that the Congressmen cut a cake, which was specially made in saffron, white and green and resembled the tricolor.

A daily dairy report was registered at the Sector 26 police station. However, no case was registered against the Congressmen as the police did not find them guilty after investigation.

According to DSP P.K. Dhawan, a thorough inquiry was made, which clarified that the members did nothing so as to disrespect the National Flag. However, a DDR has been registered.



Railway employees stage play to caution passengers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A street play was staged at the Chandigarh railway station as a part of an awareness campaign started by the railways to educate passengers to tackle the problems they face while travelling.

The play, directed by a railway employee, Dheeraj, and performed by employees of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), revolved around how the passengers could safeguard themselves from the petty thieves and cheaters during journey. It also made people aware of the dos and don’ts while travelling by train.

Senior inspector of the RPF S.A.M. Rizvi said the RPF, in collaboration with the railways, is using various modes to spread the message of security.

Talking about the modus operandi of the thieves, he said in most of the robbery cases, the thieves offered intoxicants-laced biscuit, frooti, cool drink, tea and parshad to the passengers.

He added that most of the thieves knew many languages so that they could allure a large number of passengers.



Thrashing of Youth
Finally, police books suspects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The police finally registered a case against the unidentified suspects who thrashed 28-year-old Arvind Rana in Hotel Himani in Sector 35 on Thursday.

The case was registered after The Tribune highlighted ‘police inaction’. Zirakpur resident Arvind received multiple injuries following the scuffle with the youths
over a trivial issue.

He was brutally beaten with empty beer bottles. Arvind was admitted to the GMSH, Sector 32. He received 14 stitches on his head and more than 20 on his hands.

Though owner of Hotel Himani Ankit Gupta denied that the incident occurred on the premises, the police in their report, clearly mentioned that the scuffle took place inside the hotel.

In a written statement, family members of the victim told The Tribune that the hotel staff was hiding the facts and evidences from the police. They further stated that when they contacted Gupta, he abused and threatened them.

“The owner of the hotel is trying to persuade us to enter into a compromise with him. It seems that the hotel authorities are hand in glove with the accused. The police should take action against the owner of the hotel also. This would certainly bring forth crucial points pertaining to the case,” added Arvind’s brother.



Taxi driver found dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Rajesh Pal, a 60-year-old taxi driver, was found dead in the market opposite Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, here this morning.

Ruling out the possibility of any foul play behind the death, the police said no visible injury mark was found on the body.

According to the police, the death came to light at around 6.30 am. The deceased, a drug addict, was said to be under the influence of liquor and fell from a bench on which he was sleeping.

Rajesh was admitted to the de-addiction centre of the PGI a few months back, but failed to give up addiction of drugs. The post-mortem will be conducted tomorrow.



Tanwar Case: Police to seek second opinion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Chandigarh Police has decided to again seek legal opinion regarding the case registered against city artist Viren Tanwar for exhibiting a nude painting.

SS.Srivastava, SSP, said no arrest would be made yet. “We are seeking second legal opinion. Action woill be taken on the basis of that opinion”.

The police had on Thursday registered a case against Tanwar on a complaint lodged against him in September last year.

Tanwar said: “The police did not ask me about the painting or the concept. A lay- man can’t understand the value of art or its message. I am not intimidated by the case against me.”



MC Polls
First-ever NAC elections raise hopes
Tribune News Service

Nayagaon, June 22
In the absence of an arrangement between BJP and SAD for the 15-seat Nayagaon Notified Area Committee, the first ever elections to the NAC are bound to throw up interesting results.

The candidates though fielded by the Congress, SAD and BJP are already known faces in the area.

Most of these persons have been supporting political leaders during various elections and former minister from the area Jagmohan Singh Kang and sitting MLA Ujagar Singh Badali have now rewarded them with MC election ‘tickets’.

The Nayagaon elections are also important as most of the development of the area is hinging upon the decisions taken by the new team of the committee.

Housing projects worth several crores are pending to be cleared for the area and the committee would be handling their building plans and approvals.

The election of the Nayagaon NAC is also being watched keenly by a host of VIPs who have lands in the area.

The election here is also being considered to be the most “moneyed” election in the district. Most of the candidates have harvested gold in recent years by selling parts of their land.

The cost of agricultural land here is the highest in the district and villagers have become millionaires overnight.

Most have also taken up property dealing as a profession. Property dealers are supporting majority of the candidates in one way or the other.

The candidates in ward no. 1 include Kamla Devi of the Congress, Krishna Devi of SAD and Geeta Kumari. Ward no. 2 has the toughest competition with seven candidates in the fray. Sarwan Kumar, Jagmohan Singh, Darshan Kumar and Vivek Hans are independent candidates while Harbant Singh is the SAD candidate, Ranjit Singh is the Congress candidate and Liladhar Joshi is the BJP candidate.

In ward no. 3 three SAD candidate is Sanjeev Kumar, Surinder Singh is BJP candidate and Vinod Kumar is Congress candidate. Krishan Yadav and Raj Kaur are contesting as independent candidates. Sarabjit Kaur of BJP, Kiranjit Kaur of Congress and Ranjana of SAD are fighting for the ward no. 4 seat.

In ward no. 5 only two candidates Krishan Kumar of SAD and Harvinder Singh of Congress are in the fray. Sohan Lal of BJP, Surjit Singh of SAD and Dev Kumar of Congress are in the fray in ward no. 6.

The candidates in fray in ward no. 7 are: Asha Devi (Independent), Baljinder Kaur (BJP) and Resham Kaur (Congress). Suresh (Congress), Gurdhian Singh (SAD) and Balveer Singh (BJP) are fighting for the ward no. 8 seat.

Arjan Singh (SAD) and Harmesh (Congress) are fighting for the ward no. 9 seat. In ward no. 10 Krishana and Kulvinder Kaur are independent candidates while Gurmit is the Congress candidate and Pushpa is the SAD candidate here.

Jarnail Singh of SAD, Roshan Lal of Congress and Sham Lal of BJP are contesting the election for ward no. 11 seat. Garja Singh of SAD and Dalbir Singh of the Congress are in the fray for ward no. 12 seat.

Sanjogita Arora of BJP, Kuljinder Kaur of SAD, Rajni Todriya of Congress and independent Babita Rani are contesting from ward no. 13.

Usha Rani of Congress, Nirmala Devi of SAD and Bhikhari Lal an independent candidate are contesting for the ward no. 14 seat.

Sunil of the SAD, Surjit Singh of Congress, Vasudev of BJP and independent candidates Mansa and Raj Bahadur are contesting from ward no. 15.



Municipal elections take violent turn
Cong candidate, supporter injured
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 22
The municipal election scene here turned violent after a candidate from ward number 10 Suman Bala and her supporters were allegedly attacked by BJP supporters here late last night.

Nirmal Kumar, a resident of Shivalik Vihaar, told the police that he was supporting Suman and her husband Naresh Kumar in the elections.

He was sitting outside his house when he saw a few BJP supporters sitting near a temple using abusive language.

He went to stop them but they allegedly attacked him. Suman and her husband were crossing the area when they saw Nirmal being beaten  and tried to intervene.

They too got hurt in the process. Nirmal was grievously injured and taken to GMCH Sector 32 from where he was shifted to the PGI.

Congress MLA from Kharar Balbir Sidhu blocked traffic on the Chandigarh-Ambala road following the incident.

The Punjab Congress party president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal visited the injured at the PGI today. She said the Akali-BJP alliance was desperate to wrench power in the municipal elections and were indulging in acts of violence.

Accompanied by Sidhu, Bhattal said these atrocities would not be tolerated. Sidhu said he feared that the elections in Zirakpur would not be carried out in a fair and a free manner.

He demanded that CRPF be deputed in SAS Nagar for the municipal elections. The police has booked three persons under Sections 323, 294, 506 and 34, IPC.



No place for rebels, says Captain Kanwaljit
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 22
Punjab cooperation minister and general secretary of SAD Captain Kanwaljit Singh while addressing rallies in ward no. 5, 1 and 12, said history proves that those leaders who had deceived their parties and tried to become bigger than their parties were always rejected by the people.

He said same would happen in Zirakpur municipal elections too with those leaders who were trying to destabilize their party.

He said politics of these leaders had centered only around ‘presidentship’ of the municipal body and after being denied ticket they approached different parties to destabilise the SAD.

Speaking about the welfare measures for women, he said he had okayed an innovative Mai Bhago Istri Shakti scheme for women which would not only provide financial assistance to them for making them self reliant but would also generate social leadership qualities in them.

Among those who spoke on the occasion included Manisha Malik, Parvinder Kaur, Nambardar Santokh Singh, Parmjit Kaur Sodhi (all candidates of SAD-BJP combine), Narinder Singh Sidhu, Hardeep Singh Kamboj and Mohinder Singh.

Later, Captain Kanwaljit Singh also inaugurated the election office of Narinder Goel, a SAD-BJP combine's candidate, from ward no. 12.



Former MC chief demands fair polls
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 22
“The municipal elections in Zirakpur are a fight for self respect and justice,” said former MC chief N.K. Sharma addressing an election rally here today.

Sharma said people should have no respect for those who used their workers and later left them in the lurch.

He said if the public knew whom to bring to power, they also knew how to strip them of it.

He requested the officers on election duty to carry out their work independently so that fair and free polls could be held in Zirakpur.

Supporting him to the hilt, Shrama’s wife Babita also led a group of women across the town campaigning in many wards.

She rallied for her husband and his team of candidates calling upon all women voters to vote for development and honesty.



Issue oustee certificates to farmers, LAO told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Pind Bachao Committee has urged the land acquisition officer (LAO), Chandigarh, to issue oustee certificates to all those farmers whose land has been acquired by the Chandigarh administration.

In a representation to the LAO, president of the committee Angrez Singh said the low compensation rates had already hit the farmers. Further harassing them by not issuing oustee certificate was unwarranted.

Besides, in Punjab and Haryana, the court fee payable on the amount claimed as compensation was Rs 100, the UT charged the rate as per structured formulae. 



Woman dies in kitchen fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Sector-23 resident Jagir Kaur died this afternoon when her kitchen curtains caught fire while she was cooking.

She sustained 100 per cent burns. She was taken to the Sector 16 hospital.

She was then referred to the PGI where she succumbed to her injuries.



40 donate blood at Indus hospital
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 22
Indus Super Speciality Hospital here today organised a blood donation camp to commemorate the martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev.

The camp was inaugurated by Dr Navtej Singh, MD, Indus Super-Specialty Hospital. A team of doctors from Govt Medical College and Hospital Sector-32,Chandigarh, came to collect blood.

As many as 40 volunteers, staff members and doctors of the hospital donated blood in the camp.

Dr Navtej Singh said the hospital would organise more blood donation and medical camps in the rural belt to create awareness among the people to come up for this noble cause for saving humanity.



Citizens’ Grievances

The Tribune has always strived to be the Voice of the People. To provide our readers another opportunity to speak out, the Chandigarh Tribune is starting a weekly column, Citizens’ Grievance.

If you feel you have been wronged or have a grievance of not having been heard by the administration or any other public institution, write to us. We will carry forth your voice to the men/women whose duty it is to serve you- the people.

You can email your letters, with relevant documents as attachments, to citizensgrievance@tribunemail.com or send them to The Tribune Office marked to the City Editor.



Freedom of expression

Chandigarh has been the hometown of many artists and writers. Here artists, singers and other performers come and exhibit their talents. In reply, people here, too, love art and highly adore the talents.

The incident involving registering of case against city-based artist Viren Tanwar for his exhibition of nude paintings brings loads of controversial questions to mind.

Is this the same so-called modern city that gives freedom in every sense of the word? It’s a shame that the sentiments of an artist have been hurt here. Apparently, now people are good as viewers, but not as promoters of art.

For art to flourish in our culture, it is imperative that society sets artists free to follow their vision wherever it takes them.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh



AICTE aims to nurture human capital
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The emphasis of the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is now on producing competitive human capital conducive to industrial sector, as prescribed in the Global Competitive Index Report 2007.

Human capital denotes technically trained human beings who, besides being technically sound, have social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual skills as well.

The Tuition Fee Waiver (TFW) Scheme introduced by the AICTE is an endeavour in this direction.

This scheme, formulated under Section 10 (e) of the AICTE Act, aims to promote technical education among the meritorious students belonging to the deprived sections of society.

The scheme covers women, physically challenged and economically weaker section children.

Though voluntary in nature, the proposed scheme would be applicable to the students of the AICTE-approved technical institutions offering bachelors programmes in engineering, pharmacy, HMCT, architecture and applied arts and crafts, besides diploma programmes of three years in all disciplines.

AICTE chairman R.A. Yadav, while talking to The Tribune said, “This scheme would be a boon for these students belonging to underprivileged strata of society. But for proper implementation of this scheme, a humanitarian approach is needed. At the end of the day, this approach would reflect on society.”

He was in town to participate in a national seminar on “Excellence in Technical Education”.

Yadav said the AICTE could play a major role in this direction by establishing institutions that tend to extend affordable, feasible, pragmatic, relevant and transparent approach.

The waiver of expense limited to the tuition fee as approved by the State Level Fee Committee for self-financing institutions and by the government for the government-aided institutions. All other fee except tuition fees have to be paid by the beneficiary.

Under the scheme, the institutions shall provide tuition fee waiver up to 10 per cent of its sanctioned intake of students.

For every 60 sanctioned intake in an institution, this concession should be extended to six students, which includes two women candidates, three economically weaker students and one physically handicapped students based on merit.

In the event of non-availability of the students in a specific category as above, the benefit will be given to any other candidate of other categories according to merit.

Owing to the shortage of teachers, the AICTE is also thinking to increase the teacher taught ratio from 1:15 to 1:20.



AICTE warns defaulting institutes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The fate of hundreds of new institutions will be decided on June 30 when the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) would complete its final phase of inspection for these institutes.

The apex body had earlier forwarded a letter stating its objectives to over 300 professional colleges, wishing to come up in next academic session, from August.

“We have made a schedule and inspections are being done for the institutes,” said Prof R.A. Yadav, chairman of AICTE, during the National Seminar and Interactive Session on “Excellence in Technical Education”. The seminar was organised by Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA).

Taking serious note of institutes, which harass the students by forfeiting their original certificates, their money or employ under qualified faculty, Yadav cautioned that such institutions would be dealt with sternly.

“If we receive any complaint of the sort, strict action would be taken against them (institutes). The qualification of faculty and guidelines of their recruitment has been elaborated on our official website.”

The AICTE has started around 20 schemes for faculty development programmes at IIMs, IITs, universities and various renowned institutions.

The AICTE is a statutory body, established for proper planning and coordinated development of technical education system throughout India.

More than 400 chairpersons/directors from various technical and management institutions from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and J&K participated in the sessions.

Dr R.P. Bajpai (vice-chancellor, Kurukshetra University), M.P. Gupta (director, Technical Education, Haryana), Dr S.P. Singh (regional officer, AICTE, Chandigarh), Naresh Nagpal (additional director, DTE) and Dr R.P. Singh (dean academics, PTU, Jalandhar) were guest of honour on the occasion. Dr J.S. Dhaliwal (president, PUTIA) welcomed the guests.

Dr Zora Singh and Dr D.S. Grewal made a comprehensive presentation. Dr Rohin Sachdeva, general secretary, PUTIA, was also present on the stage. Dr Madhu Chitkara gave a vote of thanks.



UT education board move ‘absurd’
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, June 22
Chandigarh Education Department’s much-contemplated move to moot a separate education board has evoked strong reactions from the leading educationists in city.

While some term the proposal as “worthless” and “absurd”, others contend that it will be a milestone in setting better education standards in Chandigarh.

D.S. Bedi, president of Independent Schools Association, also director principal of Shivalik School, Sector 41, said, “The proposal for a city’s education board is at a very nascent stage at present. It is too early to make any concrete comments. It will be interesting to note if parents will be supportive of admitting their children under the “Chandigarh Education Board” instead of the much recognised CBSE/
ICSE board.”

On Thursday, Chandigarh Tribune reported the education department’s plan to set up its own education board from 2009-10. At present, Chandigarh is following the norms of the Punjab Education Code.

This move, to be initiated under Section 87 of the reorganisation Act of Haryana or Punjab, would enable the administration to have its own board, which would conduct its own examination from Class I to XII.

Ravindar Talwar, former principal of DAV SSS-8 and also member of DAV management committee, said, “I think even the present system, in which Chandigarh follows the norms of the Punjab Education Code, is all good. A Chandigarh exclusive board will not make any difference. The private schools are in any case not dependent on the administration for funding. I doubt if the private bodies will even adhere to the norms of this new board. Moreover, all the national-level college entrances are set up with the NCERT syllabus under the CBSE board. If a separate state board is brought about, students will follow a specific syllabus. Later on, it might prove to be disadvantageous while competing at national level.”

One of the leading educationalists in the city termed the entire concept as completely absurd.

Requesting anonymity, he commented that the concept is ridiculous and said waking up one fine morning one just cannot decide to put up an education board in place.

H.S. Mamik, director of Vivek International School-38, said, “Steps like these need a lot of detailing and have to be approved by Parliament. We will welcome the move once it is approved and we are assured that it is a realistic goal.”

Welcoming the move, J.S. Basota, head of Principals’ Association, Chandigarh, said, “I agree that there is a need for a separate board. I believe that such a move will elevate the education standard in both private as well as government schools.”



PU rolls out new course
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Panjab University has introduced a new post-graduate degree course on disaster management from current academic session.

The course having 22 seats, along with 2 seats earmarked for candidates sponsored by the government/institution, has been introduced on the direction of the University Grants Commission, New Delhi. The department of geography has been given the responsibility to run this course.

The hallmarks of the course designed include an adequate focus on professional ingredients, including two months compulsory internship in the third semester and use of latest remote sensing and GIS technology in mitigation and management of disasters and vulnerability analysis. The last date for applying to this course is July 1, 2008.

Admission to the course is based on combined performance in academic record and admission test/interview to be conducted by the department on July 9, 2008.



MC told to resume work in Industrial Area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The UT administration, through a letter, has asked the municipal corporation to resume the development work in the Industrial Area.

The municipal corporation had stopped the development work that was started last year after the administration failed to release the amount for the work done.

According to sources in the municipal corporation, the corporation had already finished work worth more than Rs 3 crore out of a total of Rs 22 crore, before they discontinued the work.

The administration in a letter has asked the corporation to re-start the work, the amount for which would be released in the revised estimate.

Instead of releasing the fund for the work done, the administration deposited about Rs 70 crore in the consolidated fund of India, which forced the corporation to hire funds from other heads to pay to contractors, following which work was stopped.

As per the plan, landscaping on the V2 roads from the Tribune Chowk to Hallo Majra Chowk were to be taken up, while the prominent entry points to the area were to be highlighted with landscape features- water bodies, plantations and subtle illumination at night.

Various important projects of widening and strengthening existing roads and public health works, such as storm water drainage and sewerage network, were also taken up, which were left in between.

The municipal corporation had spent about Rs 50 lakh on the development of Hallo Majra and its other parts.

According to mayor Pradeep Chhabra, though the corporation had started the work for the development of the Industrial Area, it was forced to discontinue when the administration did not release any amount.

“In a recent letter, the administration has told the corporation to resume the work, the amount for which would be accounted for in the revised estimate. The administration has to release some percentage of the amount, before the municipal corporation may plan to start the work again”.



Cops fail mock drill, action initiated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 22
Policemen were found lacking when the district police to check its preparedness for dealing with robberies conducted a mock drill yesterday.

The superintendent of police Sandip Khirwar said a disciplinary action was initiated against the officials who failed the test.

A message was flashed that a loot incident had taken place at Railly village. However, policemen who were suppose to reach in time, failed to do so.

The town had witnessed three robberies where the miscreants looted more than Rs 12 lakh at gunpoint. Last month, one person was shot at when he stood against some robbers in Sector 4.



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 |