C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


A day after, 2-yr-old boy drowns in city
Choked drains & gullies mock MC claims

Tribune News Service

Mother of the deceased
Mother of the deceased

Chandigarh, June 29
A day after a 30-year-old man was washed away, a two-year old boy drowned in a seasonal rivulet passing through Vikas Nagar here today.

Little Vishnu was in his tenement with his sister Tulsi and playmates Arjun and Gulzar when their hutment was washed away in the downpour.

Vishnu, Tulsi, Arjun and Gulzar were rushed to Government Hospital-16, where Vishnu was declared “brought dead”. The condition of the other three is critical.

The administration has granted a relief of Rs 50,000 to the victim’s family. Mayor Pradeep Chhabra visited the mishap site.

For the second day in a row, the UT engineering department and the municipal corporation were caught napping as the downpour inundated several areas.

Lack of preparedness was evident with storm water gullies being blocked and water standing on roads.

The Fire Brigade received distress calls from Mauli Jagran, the Sector 19 Palika Bazar, Vikas Nagar, Sector 26, Sector 7, Mani Majra and Palsora Colony. Firemen had a difficult time draining out the accumulated water.

Areas such as Ram Darbar, Dhanas, Maloya, Dadu Majra Colony, Hallomajra and Colony No. 5 were flooded. The weather department recorded about 95 mm of rainfall.

The rain brought down trees and inundated long stretches of roads. With busy roads under water, traffic on Dakshin Marg and Madhya Marg was disrupted. As usual, it was a deluge at city roundabouts.

Internal roads, particularly in southern sectors, were inundated as also open spaces. Commuters had to wade through in knee-deep water.

Several city drains were found blocked.The worst hit areas were Sectors 10, 20, 33, 45, 39, 41, 42, 43, 47 and roads on the periphery.The road dividing Sectors 24 and 25 was blocked with the water level there rising to 2 ft.

Though, the municipal corporation claims to have intensified efforts to prevent water logging, the situation on the ground remains unchanged.

In Panchkula, water remained accumulated for hours in Sector 15, Industrial Area and the road dividing Sectors 1 and 2.



Medical report blames Anurag, booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Chandigarh police today booked Anurag Verma, managing director of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, on charges of causing injuries to his wife Shweta.

Shweta alleged that she was beaten up at his Sector 16 residence here on Wednesday. Though, Shweta had bruise marks on her face and forearm, Verma claimed that they were “self-inflicted”. He dubbed the allegations against him as “false and baseless” and claimed that he was being “blackmailed”.

The police, after legal opinion, registered a case under Section 323 and 41 of the IPC against Anurag. According to sources, the medical report of Shweta revealed that she was beaten up.

Shweta, who has been living with her parent’s house in Panchkula for the past one-and-a-half year, had come to Anurag’s residence with her 11-year-old son Aneesh that day at 10 am for “reconciliation”.

In her complaint, Shweta alleged that her relations were strained ever since their marriage in 1995. “He used to beat me up but I remained quiet to save my family’s reputation”, she said, alleging that Anurag was involved with some other woman. However, when things became unbearable she went to her parents’ house and subsequently Anurag filed a divorce case in Panchkula last year.

SHO Kulwant Pannu said the police would record the statement of both parties and serve a notice of arrest on Anurag. The court has directed the police to give five-days notice to the IAS officer before arresting him.



12 hurt as bus overturns
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 29
At least 12 persons, including a child, were injured when the bus carrying them overturned on a village link road near Mullanpur here.

The accident took place at 8.30 am when the bus carrying at least 60 devotees to Sant Asa Ram Bapu Ashram in Seonk village fell into the fields on the roadside while saving a motorcyclist.

Several injured passengers were trapped inside the bus. The villagers helped rescue the passengers by pulling them out from the windows.

The driver of the bus escaped unhurt. The injured were rushed to Chandigarh’s Government Hospital in Sector 16.

Rahul, 12, had an injured hand. Krishan Lal and Balish, both from Ram Darbar, received serious injuries.

Satish Pathak, another injured, said they come to the ashram every Sunday for satsang.

Saraswati, Shalu, Mehrab, Gulab Pradhan, Satyadevi and Savitry were discharged from the hospital by evening.

“Initially, we thought that a school bus had met with an accident. This was because the bus carrying the devotees also ferries students of Sacred Heart School in Chandigarh,” said a policeman. The police has arrested driver Jaswant Singh for rash driving.



CHB quota allottees cry foul
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Discrimination, it seems, is the hallmark of the Chandigarh Housing Board(CHB). Even as the administration has extended the deadline (September 4) for applying for transfer of ownership of dwelling units under GPA, discretionary quota(DQ) allottees have been left high and dry.

“The partisan policy smacks of favouritism and is against existing rules of the administration governing housing board apartments,” says Bhartendu Sood, a local resident.

He claims there is no clause in the allotment letter which draws a distinction between those allotted dwelling units under the discretionary quota and those under general housing schemes.

“Rules nowhere mention that flats given under the discretionary quota are non-transferable,” says another allottee.

Clause 12-(11) of the allotment letter states that the flats can be surrendered to the board during the hire-purchase period or for a period of 10 years from the date of possession, whichever is later. “This means the house is transferable on completion of the hire-purchase period or completion of 10 years from the date of possession,” he argues.

There is no lock-in period for the sale or transfer of dwelling units under the assured allotment scheme of the board.



Oil Boil
Meals begin to bite
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Vikas Sharma, a clerk in a private company, is a troubled man. While his salary has remained static over the past three months, the cost of one meal for his family of four has gone up by 15- 20 per cent.

He has been hit hard by the rising fuel prices, which have hiked the prices of all vegetables, pulses and cereals, and milk and milk products. “Being a middle class family, one platter consists of curd, dal, chapattis, one vegetable and mangoes. Occasionally, I will get cucumber to serve as an accompaniment.

But over the past two weeks, I have been avoiding mangoes, peas, cucumber, paneer and moong dal, while we have shifted to non-basmati rice, as the basmati is beyond our reach,” he rues.

However, since he has two young children, he cannot afford to cut down on his milk supply of two litres a day. “But I have now switched over to no fat milk over the half cream milk. The milk price had increased two months ago, and I was left with no option,” he says.

Sharma says that though his son is fond of peas, he did not get the 500 grams of the vegetable that he buys once a week. “The peas now cost Rs 50 a kg, up by Rs 10 a kg. I am forced to deprive my children of most things they savour. Even mangoes are now available at Rs 35 a kg, up by Rs 5 a kg since the past 10 days. Though I am still buying mangoes, the portion that everybody gets has now been cut,” he says.

His wife, Winny, says that with prices of desi ghee and refined oil, too, rising, she has stopped making halwa and poori for her family, which was the usual Sunday brunch till the price rise has upset their monthly budget earlier this month.


Hot contest in Zirakpur
First ever to Nayagaon committee

Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 29
All is set for municipal elections at four places in the SAS Nagar district tomorrow. More than 3000 persons, including one thousand cops, would be on duty for the elections.

The police has declared 44 booths in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Nayagaon and Kurali as sensitive. A total of 80,856 persons in these four areas are expected to cast their vote tomorrow.

The results of the elections would also be declared the same day.

The largest number of voters here are in Zirakpur, where 37,111 voters are expected to choose 15 members of the Zirakpur municipal council. Here 37 polling booths have been set up.

These are the second elections to the council since its formation in 2002. Here are the most hotly contested municipal elections in the district. As many as 58 candidates are in fray.

In Nayagaon, there are 15 wards for which elections would be held. There are 15,399 voters and 16 polling booths have been set up.

These are the first ever elections to the Nayagaon notified area committee for which 58 candidates are in fray.

At Kurali, the municipal body has 13 wards. The number of voters is 16,688 and 18 polling booths are there. There are 50 candidates in the fray here.

Dera Bassi municipal council is one of the oldest councils in Punjab. There are 13 wards for which elections would be held tomorrow.

The number of voters is 11,628 for whom 14 polling booths have been set up. There are 41 persons in the fray here.



‘Tainted’ nominees in fray
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Nayagaon, June 29
Guess, who found it most difficult to beg for votes in the run-up to the municipal elections in SAS Nagar district? It was undoubtedly the candidates who are vying to be members of the first notified area committee (NAC) of Nayagaon.

Many of those wanting to become NAC members are already ‘notorious’ in the area for the unlawful activities they had allegedly indulged in over the years. Most of these candidates, who had been making the rounds of their wards with folded hands asking for votes, were wishing they were not ‘well known’.

All candidates had been asked to file affidavits to the returning officer listing the criminal charges they are facing or have faced in the past. The highest numbers of affidavits were received from Nayagaon. The crime list they submitted ranged from attempt to murder, abduction, dowry death, fighting, threatening and interfering with government’s functioning.

Garja Singh, the SAD candidate from ward number 12, declared that five FIRs were registered against him. These included charges of culpable homicide, assault and threatening. In his affidavit he pointed out that he was acquitted in most of these cases. FIRs were registered against Garja Singh in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2004 under sections 304, 149, 506, 353, 323 and 427 of the IPC.

Harmesh Singh, the Congress candidate from ward number nine, too has a colourful past. He was booked in 2003 for attempt to murder, kidnapping and other related offences. The case was registered in Chandigarh and a trial is on. Another case was registered against him in 2003 under sections 323, 341, 427, 148, and 149 of the IPC at Mohali.

Arjun Singh, the SAD candidate from ward number 9, who is opposing Harmesh, seems to have more ‘qualifications’ than Harmesh. Arjun Singh has been booked in six cases and is facing many heinous crime charges. These include attempt to murder, abduction, threatening and assault. A case was registered against him in 1997, in which he was acquitted. He was again booked several times in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Many of the cases are pending in the courts.

Harbant Singh, the SAD candidate from ward number two, was booked in 2001 for a dowry death. In his affidavit, Harbant Singh claimed that he was acquitted in the case.

While most of the candidates, who had been booked for various crimes, gave details of these cases in their affidavits, some reportedly did not. Dalbir Singh, the Congress candidate from ward number 12 was asked for an explanation by the returning officer, when the opposing candidate Garja Singh alleged that Dalbir had concealed information regarding his criminal background. In his reply to the returning officer, Dalbir Singh pointed out that he was booked in a case, but since it was found that he was falsely implicated, he did not deem it fit to be mentioned.



Internal roads in Sec 34, threat to motorists
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The internal roads in the Sector 34 Commercial Centre have become a virtual death trap for motorists especially those using the road during the night. Congress grass and unkempt open areas being used for dumping of debris have aggravated the problem.

The shopkeepers of the area rue the “indifferent” attitude of the corporation, as the roads have not been repaired or re-carpeted for the past over couple of years. Driving here has become dangerous for the motorists with vehicles crashing into potholes.

Wild overgrowth, garbage and dry leaves compound the problem. The potholes are around a foot deep, making the driving dangerous, said Varinder Narang, a businessman.

The road being a hub for educational institutes and seeing heavy vehicular traffic attracts a large number of people to the area.

A stretch of the road is in a dilapidated condition and is full of potholes, which pose a grave threat to motorists especially two-wheeler riders.

These craters cause congestion and subsequent traffic jams, leading to a lot of chaos especially in the morning hours.

Though repair work has been started, the construction material is lying on the road rather than being used.

Sources in the municipal corporation said the maintenance of the roads was the responsibility of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), whereas according to CHB officials, the commercial complex was handed over to the department since a couple of years by the administration.

The CHB asked the municipal corporation to take charge of the roads, but the latter refused insisting that the CHB should re-carpet the roads before handing them over to the corporation.



Poor sanitation adds to litigants' woes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
For a layman, entering into litigation to resolve any dispute is the most unfavourable alternative. To make the situation worse, poor sanitation at the district courts adds to the woes of the litigants.

Almost every litigant, who shared his views on the facilities in the courts complex, said it spoke volumes about the slack attitude of the Chandigarh administration towards the upkeep of the place.

Sadly, the pathetic condition of the district courts is a blot on Le Corbusiers architectural marvel.

A litigant, Neera Bali, 45, said as she crossed the corridors, the smell of urine suffocated her.

Stepping into the maze of the district courts was a tougher deal for Ashish Mahajan from Noida who had come here in search of an advocate. "I expected the courts to be dirty and stinky. However, on coming here I realised that it was a place where a stranger can get lost. There are no signboards showing which court is located where. I was confused as to which side was the Sessions court and where were the lower courts.”

A resident of Panchkula, Abha Garyali, had not come to the courts for the first time but she still felt nauseated. "I could not go to the toilets adjoining court rooms as it was dark, dingy and dirty. I had to rush from the second floor to the ground floor to the women’s toilet as it is the only clean toilet here."

Surprisingly, there are only six toilets in the courts with two on each floor adjoining the courts of the judicial magistrate (first class). There are no toilets for the litigants in the courts block of the additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ).



Jan Shatabdi gets more coaches
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Northern railway has decided to add two more coaches, one AC chair car and a second class in the Jan Shatabdi Express. From July 1, the train, running between Chandigarh and Delhi, has been extended to Nangal.

A senior official of northern railway said though the rake of the Delhi-bound Jan Shatabdi (2058) would start from Chandigarh. However, the reverse pair from Delhi (2057) would run to Nangal.

As per the new arrangement, instead of six second class coaches, there would be seven coaches. The strength of the AC chair car has been increased from three to four. This means there would be 175 more seats.

The train has been extended on a trial basis after a survey was conducted. Extending the train to Nangal would provide a direct link between the city and Anandpur Sahib, besides catering to tourists headed to Dharamsala and Manali, which are a few hours journey from Nangal.

The official said a diesel locomotive would pull the train between the two stations as the existing track had not been electrified so far, resulting in wastage of time in changing the diesel locomotive with an electric locomotive for onward journey to Delhi.

The electrification of the Chandigarh-Morinda track was in progress and would take a few more months, said an official.



Tibet support groups seek UN intervention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The United Nations should convene a special emergency session of the Security Council, Human Rights Commission, send special fact-finding mission to visit Tibet, including the monasteries and the prisons, organise session of the General Assembly to discuss the tragedy of Tibet and take effective steps for arrange dialogue between the Dalai Lama and China to resolve the issue amicably.

These resolutions were passed at the two-day special conference of the Chandigarh Convention of Tibet Support Groups of India here today.

The Tibet support groups from different parts of the country gathered in Chandigarh to express their solidarity and appeal to the Indian government to play a constructive role in arranging a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Chinese authorities.

They said without Swaraj in Tibet there could not be foolproof security of Indian borders in the Himalayan region. The Tibet Support Groups of India have openly declared their commitment with the Tibet cause and stated that their movement would become stronger with every act of repression by the Chinese authorities in Tibet.

The core group opined that next year would be most crucial to resolve Tibet imbroglio. Therefore they have decided to launch a campaign throughout India in support of the cause of Tibet from July 6, birthday of the Dalai Lama. On that day prayers would also be organised for his long life as also for the success of Tibetan freedom movement.

It was also decided that on August 8, which marks the beginning of the Beijing Olympics, would be observed as a black day to highlight the continued suppression of human rights in China, more so in Tibet. On August 24, the closing day of Beijing Olympics, demonstrations would taken throughout the country to put pressure on the Chinese government to honour their commitment made to the world made before the Olympics to respect human rights of both the Tibetans and the Chinese.

Yatras would be taken out in all parts of the country to caution China against incursions into Arunachal Pradesh and other Indian territories and to demand vacation of Tibet by the Chinese. This action will be followed by a march from Tawang on India in September-October.



Education dept fined Rs 10,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The education department has been fined Rs 10,000 by the State Information Commission for not providing information to the complainant for more than 240 days.

The complainant, Kewal Krishan, a resident of Rampura, had sought information relating to the rules for working of government employees as correspondents in newspapers. He had moved the application under the Right to Information Act, 2005, on July 19, 2007, as one teacher of mathematics in a school was working with a newspaper.

After the complaint, the commission directed the public information officer (PIO) to provide information within seven days.

Thereafter, the information was provided and the PIO submitted a paper before the commission wherein it was mentioned that he had written dates along with the documents, stating that his branch in the education department received the letter of the original complaint on August 25, 2007, and the reply was sent on September 20, 2007.

The commission chief stated: “I don’t think that it is a fit case of imposition of penalty. However, I am of the view that the travails of the complainant have emanated from the systematic deficiencies in office of the respondent in relation of dealing of RTI requests. Thus the authorities concerned are asked to pay compensation of Rs 10,000.”



3 cos file bids for project report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Three companies have submitted bids for conducting a detailed project report on the mass rapid transit system (MRTS) for the city and its peripheral areas.

In pre-bid documents, the companies were given the areas of reference to conduct the feasibility study, said a senior official.

In the next one week, the short listed company will be asked to conduct the study.

The issue was also discussed at a meeting of coordination committee on mass rapid transit system, comprising senior officials of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh Administration.

It has been learned that Delhi metro has also been asked to give assistance for the project.



Sectors 1-11 storm-water drainage ‘faulty’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Residents living in the northern sectors have supported the claim of a Karnal-based geologist, Dr A. R. Chaudhri, that a stretch of Chandigarh’s Vigyan Path, measuring 2.5 km in length and 15 m in width, was sinking. The road runs along Sectors 8, 9, 10 and 11.

An indication in this direction was the collapse of the storm-water drainage in the area. Iqbal Singh, a resident of Sector 10, said the UT engineering department had laid faulty storm-water drainage from Sector 1 to Sector 11. Due to the faulty design, the storm-water gullies had got damaged and were being used for dumping of garbage.

The widening of the road stretch had further compounded the problem as the widened section had got compressed due to moisture. Demanding a survey of the storm-water drain, he said most of the storm-water gullies had become non-functional.



Land Acquisition
Panel hails govt move on rehabilitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The executive committee of the Pind Bachao Committee has hailed the decision of ministry of rural development for issuing an advertisement regarding the resolve of the centre to implement the National Rehabilitation Policy, 2007, from October 31, 2007.

At a meeting held under committee president Angrez Singh Badheri, the committee thanked the Prime Minister and the rural minister for taking initiative in safeguarding the interests of the farming community.

The committee has appealed to the the Chandigarh administration to cease all acquisition proceedings till the amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

The proposed amendments would give adequate relief to farmers whose lands and professions had been forcibly taken away because of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.



Water supply to be hit today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 29
There is a water supply alert from the water supply and sanitation department, SAS Nagar. Due to replacement of old pumping machinery of Phase I at water works, Kajauli, water supply to parts of SAS Nagar would be affected on June 30 and July 1. Water supply to residential areas in Phase I to VII and industrial areas, Phase I to V, would be curtailed.

On June 30 and July 1, water would be available at full pressure from 4 am to 9 am and at low pressure from 12 noon to 1 pm and 6.30 pm to 9 pm.



Plea on deputation to adviser
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Chandigarh Engineering Employees Union in a representation to the UT adviser has pointed out that the instructions of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) were not being followed meticulously.

As per the instructions of Punjab Civil Services Rules, the deputation period of the officers cannot exceed more than three years on the same post. Highlighting the case of the OSD to the chief engineer, Ruchi Sharma, the union said the engineer was on deputation from the PSEB since 2001. There are many other officials who are working on deputation with UT for many years.



BSNL to install 600 more towers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The BSNL, Punjab, will add a five lakh line capacity and install 600 additional towers.

A spokesman for the BSNL stated that the work was likely to be completed by July 7.

In addition to this, another 900 towers would be added from August 2008 to March 2009.

After this, there would be 1,500 BSNL towers in Punjab.



Excise dept seizes 886 liquor cases
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 29
Local excise and taxation department, with the help of district police, seized 886 cases of liquor from a truck bound for Rajasthan here today. The contraband worth around Rs 10 lakh was being smuggled from Chandigarh.

Driver and cleaner of the truck were also arrested by the police, when it was found the truck had fake registration number.

According to district excise and taxation commissioner J.S. Chahal, he had got specific information that a truck carrying liquor had entered Panchkula in the morning.

The DETC, along with his AETO and Chandimandir SHO Baljeet Singh, laid a naka near Sector 25.

Finding the police on the way, the truck driver tried to sped away, however, the police was able to overtaken the truck at Bana village near Ramgarh.




Upgrade Mohali rly station

The extension of the Delhi-Chandigarh Jan Shatabdi Express to Nangal Dam from July 1 is a welcome step as passengers will have direct access to Mohali, Ropar, Kiratpur Sahib, Anandpur Sahib.

Since the Mohali Railway Station is in the close vicinity of the proposed Mohali International Airport and southern sectors of Chandigarh, it requires to be developed like Chandigarh Railway Station with all modern facilities as the existing infrastructure is inadequate to meet the requirements of the passengers to travel in Jan Shatabdi and other trains.

The Mohali administration should also take the initiative to start local buses to link the local bus stand and other areas with the Mohali Railway Station.

Dilbag Rai

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Additional seats created
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Panjab University, Chandigarh, has created additional seats for single girl child, cancer and AIDS patients and Kashmiri displaced persons for the academic session 2008-09.

For detailed information regarding courses at University Business School, Chandigarh, and Panjab University Regional Centre, Ludhiana, in which these seats have been created, procedure and last date for submission of application and date of group discussion and personal interview, please visit University Business School website: <http://ubs.puchd.ac.in/> ,according to Dinesh K. Gupta, professor & chairman, UBS, PU.



Slum kids present plays on social problems
Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, June 29
Students of “Hamari Kaksha” presented five impressive small-act plays on various social issues, including female foeticide, blood donation, aptitude and attitude, dignity of child labour and struggle of common man at Punjab Kala Bhawan Auditorium here today. Vipin Pubby, resident editor, Indian Express, who was the chief guest, gave away prizes to participants.

The show started with street plays “Mujhe jeene do” and “Agdam Bagdam” which depicted the plight of women and also showed how badly women are treated in society. These street plays were followed by other two skits and a stage play in the hall.

The participants were children from slums, who also got a chance to show their talent and share their views. The show was directed by Chakresh Kumar and his team, all budding city artistes in a theatre workshop of 20 days.

A gathering of 200 city residents belonging to various walks of life like judges, senior functionary of education departments’ college principals applauded the efforts of children and organisers alike.

This was the initiative of Anuradha and Sarita, jointly running the community school, Hamari Kaksha. It was organised in collaboration with Corporation Bank, which sponsored the gifts for all the participants. This show was an awareness drive discussing prominent social issues like female foeticide, child labour, corruption and blood donation by the participants.

Hamari Kaksha is a community school where student and teacher volunteers have joined hands to drop the rate of dropouts and improve their overall personality and is working for the underprivileged children for the last five years.



Adult education wing holds mini marathon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
To create awareness about adult education and enhance the morale and confidence of the learners, the local Adult Education Unit, in collaboration with Fullerton India Credit Company Ltd, today organised a mini marathon that commenced from Sukhna Lake and ended at the Sector 17 plaza here.

The adviser to the UT Administrator Pradip Mehra flagged off the mini marathon. All the participants were provided with T-shirts and refreshments. About 600 participants from Adult Education Units took part in the marathon.

The CEO, Chandigarh Housing Board, Amar Nath, gave away the prizes to the winners. The first prize was bagged by Panku Sharma, a learner, the second prize went to Kulwant, a ‘prerak’ while Rajesh, again a ‘prerak’, won the third prize.

Along with certificates, the winners of the first, second and third positions received trophies with other prizes.

The UT deputy commissioner-cum-chairman, Chandigarh Literacy Council, R.K. Rao, SDM (S) Shurbir Singh, SDM (E)-cum-Nodal Officer, Adult Education, Niharika Rai, with other senior officers of the administration were also present.

Anup Amist, vice-president, Commercial Business Fullerton, Inderpreet Singh, vice- president, Retail Mass Market Fullerton, and members of Fullerton India and representatives of media were also present during the event.



Workshop on AIDS awareness for deaf ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
A three-day workshop aimed at creating awareness and imparting health education to deaf persons concluded at St Stephen’s High School here today. Era Walton, the coordinator of The Deaf Way Foundation, who organised the workshop, said the workshop imparted knowledge of the human body to the participants, discussed choices in relationships and sexually transmitted diseases besides HIV/AIDS.

There has never been much, if any, attention paid to the vulnerability of the Indian deaf in this critical period of HIV and AIDS, said Era.

The workshop was interactive, consisting of role-plays, group discussions, model-making, etc.



Summer school on drug design from today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 29
A summer school on modelling and informatics in drug design at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, shall be conducted from June 30 to July 18.

Prof N. Sathyamurthy, director, IISER, Mohali, will inaugurate the school tomorrow. He will also deliver a lecture on non-covalent interactions.

The school is funded by the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), Government of India, New Delhi.

Participants will get an exposure to hand-on training. The main highlights of the school include several lectures to be presented by resource persons drawn from industries, national research laboratories and academic institutions. Programme will consist of several interactive sessions, lectures, demonstrations and practical training.

About 70 participants will attend the school. Only PhD students with minimum of one-year experience and maximum of three years experience have been selected.



District courts stuck in time
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Advocate Rabindra Pandit has seen the city changing. He has seen the Sukhna Lake shrinking, roads turning noisy and gardens being replaced by malls. But he has seen no change in the district courts. The building is still dilapidated and there is no improvement in food and sanitation. The less said about the condition of toilets, the better.

“In my practice of many years, I have never eaten anything here. I just do my work and go back home,” he said.

Holding litigants and the District Bar Association responsible for poor sanitation, he said: “We cannot just blame the administration for the maintenance of buildings. The court is a place for the public and residents and lawyers should make an effort to maintain the basic amenities here,” he said.

Most senior advocates told The Tribune that in their practice of 20 years they have rarely witnessed improvement in the quality of food and facilities here. Though the number of advocates had increased, the chambers were still limited.

The president of the Bar association, N.K. Nanda, said he had taken up the issue of shortage of chambers, but the administration is yet to decide on it.

Senior advocate A.S. Sukhija said: “I will not like to comment on the amenities because I don’t eat anything from here. I have made arrangements for tea in my own chamber.

“I have been practising here since 1968. We used to sit in the veranda. Thankfully, we have chambers now,” he added.

The room of public prosecutors has no air-conditioners and some windowpanes are broken.



Act violation on law’s doorstep
Bar poll posters still dot district courts

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Even six months after elections to the District Bar Association, stickers still continue to figure on the board at the entrance to the district courts in Sector 17.

Pasting such stickers on government buildings amounts to violation of the Defacement Act.

However, the Act is being violated on the premises of the very building that is supposed to serve justice and curb such violations.

Pankaj Chandgothia, a lawyer, said: “It shows lack of implementation and enforcement of public laws. When violations can take place in the seat of law, one can imagine the picture of the rest of the city.”

Bar association member N.K. Nanda said: “We had pasted very few posters this time during elections. It is sad that they are still on.”

Posters and stickers also line the walls on the court premises. The board of the district courts no longer serves its intended purpose owing to the pasted stickers.

During elections, candidates had used hoardings for campaigning. In spite of this, some posters were glued on to the walls and boards of the district courts.

Even after the lapse of five months, posters still remain and authorities have failed to pay heed to the anomaly.

Even over 10 judges who work at the courts, have been mute spectators to the violation of the Defacement Act. Also, members of the district bar association have ignored this discrepancy.



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