C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Class XI Admission
For some, certificates don’t work
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The inaugural “sports special day” proved to be non-sporty for students seeking admission under the sports category in Class XI.

The day at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, the venue for centralised admissions to various government schools, was of utter confusion for both teachers as well as admission seekers.

The controversy occurred because of lack of clarity on sports norms. Consequently, the students were denied their admission rights under sports criteria and were asked to apply in the general category.

Because of this, out of 260 seats, only 96 seats could be filled in the sports category and rest of 164 seats were vacant. The restless students and their parents had a verbal duel with education officials.

The students argued that when the director, Public Instructions (Schools), had endorsed sports certificates, then where was the need to get it recognised from the Sports Department. The education officials had no reasons to counter this point.

Chanchal Singh, deputy district education officer, said they had followed the norms and the students had suffered because of laxity on their part.

The students turned up without getting their certificates graded from the department. As a result, the education officials were not ready to acknowledge their sports certificates.

In this confusion, the students, who got their certificates graded from the department too, were seen struggling from one counter to another with their certificates.

The day was kept reserved especially for admission seekers under the sports category and for those scoring 83 per cent or above in the matriculation examination. Two per cent seats have been reserved for the sports category.

Gurmeet Kaur, four-time gold medallist in the boxing at the inter-school level, was denied admission because she did not get her certificates graded.

Priya Kalia, being first in the UT State School Games, resented when her participation was not being recognised by the Education Department. Mohammad Zakir, the two time gold medallist in yoga at National School Games, too was treated the same way.

Ironically, students with graded certificates, too, were a harassed lot. Amanpreet with 84.6 per cent marks, having graded certificate in swimming, could not succeed in getting admission. The same treatment was meted out to many students.

Meanwhile, the department has divided the admission in four slots from 8:30 am to 2 pm . All science streams were filled in GMSSS-35 with 86.4 per cent cutoff and in GMSSS-16 with a cutoff of 84 per cent.



Parshuram on Urinals
ISBT-43 toilet vandalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Parshuram Sena activists today vandalised a toilet at the ISBT, Sector 43, here this morning. The reason was that word “Parshuram”, the name of Hindu God, was engraved on urinals, being used in these toilets at the bus stand.

The alert CTU staff, along with cops, caught some activists from the spot, who were trying to flee after damaging the toilet.

The CTU staff as well as commuters, present at the bus stand at about 9.45 am, were in a shock as around 15 members came there in three vehicles and started demolishing the toilet using big stones.

They were also raising anti-administration slogans. Showing presence of mind, the CTU staff members immediately locked the other toilets and called the police. Talking to TNS, president of the Sena (local unit) Sanjeev Sharma termed the engraving the name of Parshuram on the urinals as blasphemy.

“How can one tolerate such objectionable thing? It is a disgrace to the name of our God and we have warned the CTU staff two days before about it. The staff promised to remove the name of God from the material, but did not keep their ‘word’. So, today, we took the action on our own. Our religious sentiments have been hurt”, Sanjeev Sharma said.

Refuting the claims of Sharma, CTU director P.S. Shergill said, “Nobody from their (Sena) part contacted me or my staff. The name of company, manufacturing the pots, is ‘Parshuram’ and it’s their logo, which has been engraved on the urinals. If they had objections, they should have contacted me before indulging in illegal act”.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case against Sanjeev Sharma, Manu Sharma, Vikas Sharma, Shiv Sharma, Rajesh Sharma, Harmesh Sharma, Rajkumar Sharma, Vikas Dhir, Dinesh Sharma, Pankaj Shree Dhir for damaging government property.



Rare help for HelpAge
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Setting an example for others, Jarnail Singh (72), a beneficiary of the Helpage India, has decided to donate his house to the society after his death.

“I want to donate my house to provide shelter to my friends before my death,” said the septuagenarian with moist eyes here today.

Jarnail Singh, who has a house at Payal village in Ludhiana district, announced that his place would be used as old age home for his friends at the village by the society after his death.

Singh said: “If you dream something you get power to fulfil it too. I had this dream a long time ago and it is being fulfilled today.”

He said the gesture was for those who had taken care of him like a family throughout his life. “Aged people generally die early due to neglect and not because of age,” he said.

He said had the Helpage India not adopted him in 1997, he would have died a long time ago due to loneliness.

He said the idea of donating his house struck him after seeing the changing
trends in society wherein joint families were disintegrating and the fate of the
aged was uncertain.

He said the need for old age homes was increasing day by day due to the changed scenario and his was a contribution in this direction.



Cheating Munna Bhai style
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Local MBBS students have gone the Munna Bhai way. Taking a cue from reel life where actor Sanjay Dutt uses an improvised device for cheating in his medical exams in the Bollywood blockbuster “Munna Bhai MBBS”, an NRI MBBS of GMCH-32 attempted a more sophisticated version and used a hi-tech watch to copy in the exam but was caught.

However, the NRI was not as successful as was Munna Bhai. He was caught cheating during his supplementary examination, 2008, a week back. He was released later by the GMCH director-principal after a warning. The exams were conducted by Panjab University at the GMCH, Sector 32, here.

The NRI student (from the batch 2002) was using a watch in which certain portions of the book were uploaded for copying. Two other students of different batches were also present along with him in the examination hall.

A student told Chandigarh Tribune that the examination superintendent caught the NRI student red-handed while cheating in examination. However, before letting him go, he was warned not to repeat this.

Another student, appeared in a forensic sciences paper, was also caught copying during the examination. He reportedly admitted that he was copying from chits.

A senior faculty said even though the erring students’ parents were invited, yet minor punishments to them had a demoralising effect on the faculty.

Dr Raj Bhadur, director-principal, tried to play down the incidents. Even the examination superintendent, Dr Gurjeet Kaur, denied that any student was caught cheating in the examination hall. But senior faculty confirmed that they were caught cheating.


Rains expose ‘quality work’ at park
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Recent rains in city have laid bare the functioning of the municipal corporation and also the quality of work done by it. Nothing else can explain it better than the condition of green belt in Sector 29-C that was inaugurated in March this year.

The railings installed at the entry point of the green belt have been washed away by the recent rains.

Not only this, tiles on the footpaths and road berms at the entry point have also come out speaking volumes of the quality of work done.

A visit inside the green belt revealed that a part of the belt had submerged in rainy water and turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The grill at the right hand side of the entrance has also been uprooted.

Sources in the municipal corporation said the wall on which the railing was fitted caved in due to intense pressure caused by water accumulated in the parking lot which had no proper drainage system.

It’s a classic example revealing lack of coordination between different wings of the corporation working on the same project.

The road wing claimed that had the public health department ensured proper drainage of water, the problem would not have arisen.

Mahinder Singh, a regular visitor to the belt, told The Tribune that residents were elated over getting a place for morning and evening walks, but the condition of the belt just after two-day spell of rains was enough to indicate that the things would not last long.

The belt was developed at a cost of Rs 44.12 lakh in an area of about 5.81 acres. Union minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated the belt on March 29 and also appreciated the department concerned for completing the work in a record time of two months.

MC chief engineer S.K. Bansal maintained that he came to know about the problem today. The wall caved in due to water accumulated in the parking lot as it did not have proper drainage system, he added.

He said the road gullies might have some blockage which would be removed at the earliest to stop further damage.

About any action on those responsible for the problem, Bansal said the parking lot was not designed to tackle water pressure.



Dead trees to raise plants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Now dead trees will contribute to the beautification of the city. The horticulture department of the municipal corporation has devised a method of growing exotic plants inside trunks of dead trees by converting these into plant beds.

Earlier, dead trees were auctioned or destroyed by the department. The department has grown Binca (sadabahar) and an ornamental chilly plant in a dead mango tree in Sector 19 on an experimental basis, by creating a plant bed in it.

XEN Arun K Kansal said to protect saplings from termite, a plant bed inside the tree had been painted. The department planned to use these dead trees for beautification of the Sector 17 plaza.



Pak lyricist propagates intermingling of cultures
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Koi idhar howe koi udhar howe agar border ki bijli vich nah owe (if there is no border between India and Pakistan people will be free like a bird to move in both countries).

By this couplet Sheikh Mohammad Saddiq, a renowned lyrics writer of Pakistan, narrates the picture of relationship between India and Pakistan.

“Music had crossed the borders of both countries long time back but now it’s time for the authorities to open these boundaries for the citizens of these countries also” Saddiq added who was at The Gurukul School, Manimajra, today.

Any person having a good command on the language cannot be a good lyricist, as it needs imagination to give shape to ones words, he added.

Sharing his own experience as a lyric writer, Saddiq who has little knowledge about Urdu has written 25,000 songs in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu, out of which 15,000 are in Urdu language.

The creative expert feels that the qualities of an artiste are visible since childhood and these are due to the blessings of God. One could learn or improve these traits with the passage of time.

“Lyric writers have to pen down words by infusing in them his emotions and
feelings only then he is able to touch the inner chords of the heart of his
audience,” Saddiq said.

He lamented that young generation was losing interest in the rich cultural traditions and style of lyric writing, which was a matter of concern for senior professionals.

His lyrics have been sung by singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali, Ayatullah Khan, Sonu Nigam, Malkit Singh and Balli Saggu.

While interacting with the students and teachers of the school, he propagated the role of music in demolishing the walls of hatred between the people of India and Pakistan. He motivated children to enjoy music, as it could become their best friend.



Stolen passports tampered with in Italy?
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The 48 passports that were stolen from the regional passport office in October, 2006 were apparently tampered with in Italy.

According to suspects involved in the stolen passports case, the passports were printed after the approval of the work permit of Italy but the complaint lodged with the police alleged that the 48 passports were already printed before they were stolen from the RPO office.

According to sources in the police, the crime branch is now investigating whether passports were printed or blank when these were stolen.

After going through the photocopies of four passports on which people were sent to Italy and interrogation of the accused, the investigation officials are now of the view that the passports were blank and could have been tampered with in Italy.

Sources added that Vicky, alias Gurjinder Singh Lucky, a Jalandhar-based travel agent, who was involved in the theft of passports from the RPO along with
Bharat Ghai (already arrested), operational director of Air Slovakia, took the passports to Italy.

The passports were allegedly tampered with there with the help of three others — Bhinda, Lovely and Baazigar — who were close associates of Lucky.

The three were part of the racket looking after clearing of immigration formalities at the airport in Italy, before they got the approval of work permit.

The accused printed passports according to the names mentioned in the work permit certificate and charged around Rs 10 lakh for sending people abroad.

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.

The two were arrested after they were deported from Singapore on charges of travelling on fake and stolen passports.

Lucky, who is still missing, is the main accused as his arrest is expected to reveal the involvement of officials of the RPO who helped Lucky steal the passports.

Apart from his arrest, the investigation officials are checking the status of the passport, which along with 44 files, was recovered from the basement of the RPO a day after the passports were stolen in October, 2006.



Thumbs-up to guidelines on reality shows
Gagan K. Teja and Jyoti Rai
Tribune News Service

The youth brigade has given a thumbs-up to the decision on having guidelines for judges of reality shows. A six-member panel of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) will formulate guidelines to restrain judges on these shows from humiliating the contestants.

Jashanpreet Singh Kohli and Tahira Bhasin (both from Chandigarh) who have been selected for “Aaja Mahi Ve” to be aired on Star TV, say: “ These guidelines will be a boon. One cannot escape criticism but yes, it need not be insulting.” Asked what kept their stress meter from ticking, Tahira says it’s family support.

Mitika, 18, one of the top 24 finalists in “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa”, says: “I think that the judges have the right to criticise contestants when required. Even after hours of riyaaz if one blunders on stage, it is inexcusable. But looking back at what happened to Shinjini Sengupta in Kolkata, I think that limits have to be maintained.”

There are others who contend that judges are not the only ones to be blamed. Pushing parents, hectic schedules and constant fear of elimination through public voting are other factors that need to be looked into.

Dr Dhir, whose daughter, Hena, was selected for the preliminary round of “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa” last year, says: “What happened to Shinjini was induced by stress. A patient may get hysterical, have a fit or suffer from loss os speech. The guidelines will benefit the contestants and also reduce instances of emotional drama on TV”.

Thirteen-year-old Rohanpreet Singh from Patiala, the first runners-up of Zee TV’s “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs” says: “If the judges don’t tell us our mistakes,we will keep repeating these and will never move forward. It is only due to their comments that we work harder to improve.” But even he agrees that harsh and insulting behaviour can be very hurtful.



Deputy CM’s condition stable
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 2
The condition of deputy chief minister of Haryana Chander Mohan is stable now. It is expected that he will be discharged within a couple of days.

Dr Ashok V. Chordiya, medical director, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said, his condition had improved since he was brought to the hospital yesterday.

He is under the supervision of Dr Vikas Bhutani, senior consultant, internal medicine, Fortis Hospital who said Chander Mohan’s vomiting had stopped and his fever was also normal.



MC polls open new avenue for bouncers
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, July 2
Politics always had a special place for musclemen. This time, candidates at polling booths in Zirakpur employed professional bouncers during the municipal elections.

So far seen outside discotheques, at fashion shows and even cricket matches, bouncers have found a new market: electoral politics.

While bouncers made their presence felt outside polling booths, some candidates called hoards of college students from Chandigarh to brow beat these musclemen.

The bouncers were obviously paid their charges as they were made to stand outside the polling booths through the day keeping a watch on every activity.

Sources added that bouncers had been called by many candidates and at many booths here, muscled youngsters could be seen standing guard. “They are also armed,” said a resident who had come to vote.

A group of youngsters standing outside booth number 12 plainly denied that they were bouncers and said, “One of our friends’ relative is a candidate and we are here to support him.”

Situation remained tense in most of the booths at Zirakpur. “The atmosphere really tensed up after 4 pm. There was information that violent clashes are expected between supporters of the candidates at some booths. Here the candidates sought professional help to avoid untoward incident,” said a cop on duty at the elections.

“This is a new job for bouncers. And in the years to come, they will get more such assignments during elections,” said Naren Kumar of Zirakpur.



BJP gives bandh call
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The local unit of the BJP today gave a call for a Chandigarh bandh in protest against the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir government to cancel the allotment of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board.

A press note issued here today alleged that the cancellation of land allotment by Congress government showed its appeasement policy towards “anti-national” forces.

The press note appealed to residents to support the peaceful bandh to lodge protest against the government move.



BJP seeks action against Cong councillor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The BJP yesterday criticised the alleged use of unparliamentary language by Congress councillor Ravinderpal Singh Palli against two opposition councillors during the municipal corporation house meeting held here on Monday.

A press note issued here said the Congress councillor had used objectionable language when the opposition was not being allowed by the chair to express their views on the pitiable condition of the colonies on account of incessant rains.

It demanded action against the Congress leader so that such incidents were not repeated in the future.



Monsoon havoc

Every year city witnesses havoc and apathetic attitude of authorities. Stucked vehicles, damaged roads, flooded parking areas and clogged drains seem to have become acceptable to city administration and municipal corporation.

Recently, a two-year-old child died due to the incessant rain and negligence of civic authorities. But instead of accepting their responsibility, the administration blamed construction company officials for building shanties over the drain.

If the administration had taken timely measures and not allowed the construction companies to build shanties over drain, death of Vishnu could have been averted.

Although the district administration gave compensation to child's family and have also summoned the construction officials for explanation, but why is it only after the accident? Authorities must realise the consequences of their negligence.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh



Free information booklet sparks controversy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The booklet released by Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) to provide free information of various courses of Panjab University (PU) to the new comers has sparked off a controversy.

The booklet has been financed and published by the Chitkara group and has an advertisement of the group also that is a matter of concern for the authorities.

According to sources, vice-chancellor has requested the legal cell to look into the matter. Sources revealed that no other body could release any document regarding admissions in the university campus as it is an institutional document and it was a violation of Copyright Act.

Furthermore, the private college that has financed the booklet is affiliated with PU, which makes the act illegal. INSO had published and distributed 40,000 booklets.

INSO said the cost of PU prospectus was too high and PU authorities should keep it free or at reasonable price so that students could get all the information.

The booklet has all the essential information for an admission seeker, right from the number of courses available at PU, number of seats, important instructions regarding how to fill admission form, admission schedule, hostel formalities, guidelines for entrance tests, sports based information, specimen performa of various applications/affidavits and sports policy.



CM unveils Rs 4-cr scholarships
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 2
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today stressed the need to impart hi-tech quality education to students in Punjab at par with the renowned educational institutions across the world.

The chief minister, who launched the Rs 4 crore CIIS scholarships and monetary award scheme at a function organised at Continental Institute of International Studies (CIIS) here, emphasised the importance of job-oriented education.

He said the education system had faced deterioration over the years, but time had come when the entire system should be revamped in accordance with the emerging trends worldwide.

He said the state government had already launched a scheme to open adarsh schools throughout the state, to provide quality education free of cost to the poor bright students.

He said children living in villages could not get good education as schools in rural areas did not have proper infrastructure and qualified teachers.

There was a need to start a mass movement for imparting quality education to students. He said efforts were now being made to strengthen the base of school education in rural areas.

He said government senior secondary schools were being provided with sound infrastructure in terms of buildings, laboratories and qualified staff for science stream at the cost of Rs 142 crore.

Badal said career counselling had been launched for the first time in the state for the students who had passed matriculation examination in first division, in order to enable them to opt subjects as per their aptitude.

He said Punjab now had one of the best networks of technical education institutions in the country, but these institutions lacked quality students.

He asked the management of the premier engineering and management institutions to adopt few senior secondary schools within their vicinity to impart better quality of education, as these institutions had better infrastructure and highly trained staff.

He said such schools would act as a nursery to meet the demands of the technical and management institutions.

Avinash Rai Khanna, MP from Hoshiarpur, said Punjab's youth had tremendous academic potential, which remained untapped and could be optimally exploited through proper motivation, financial support and counselling.

He said it could be achieved through the participation of NGOs and social organisations in state government's educational programme by identifying students who did not have the means to pursue basic and higher education.

President of CIIS Educational Society Lt Col B.S. Sandhu assured the Chief Minister that the management would soon set up feeder institutions in the state to strengthen the educational base of the students on one hand and to provide overseas employment on the other.



Central Varsity Status
CM’s assurance to PUTA team
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
After a lot of spadework, PUTA delegation led by Prof Rajan Gaur, vice president, and Prof Manjit Singh, secretary, managed to meet Chief Minister, Punjab, at his residence today.

Punjab CM was kind enough to hear patiently the arguments given by the delegation in favour of making Punjab University central. He was in a positive frame of mind and assured the delegation that he would do his best to safeguard the interests of PU.

Badal was likely to express his stance on the issue in his presidential address at principal’s meet tomorrow at PU Law Auditorium.

Meanwhile, chain fast continues and today teachers and students from the department of statistics sat on the fast. Dr Suresh Kumar Sharma, chairman, department of statistics, was joined by Harminder Singh Deosi, programmer, and three research scholars Vishal Maurya, Sukhbir Singh and Anju Goel.

Prof G.P. Mehta, senior professor, department of statistics, said from the protest site that the department had been recognised by the UGC as Department with Special Assistance (DSA) and was given COSIST and FIST assistance by the department of science and technology of the Government of India.

“However, at present, we are running the department with almost half the faculty of the sanctioned positions,” said Prof Mehta.

This is happening due to the severe financial crunch the university is undergoing. The teachers are overburdened and their research is adversely affected for want of time for research.

Also, representatives of six student organisations today held a meeting and decided to constitute a students’ coordination committee for the central university (SCCCU). They decided to intensify the agitation in case the political parties fail to attend to their grievances.



PU Notes
VC extends last date for forms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The Vice-Chancellor has granted approval for extending the last date for submission of admission forms for various courses in all the departments of the university up to July 4.

ADMISSION: The Department of Gandhian studies at Panjab University is flooded with unprecedented rush for admission in MA I for the coming session. Prof J.N. Sharma, chairman of the department said, "The department has received hundreds of applications for admission against sanctioned seats. The course is becoming a major attraction among the students who are interested in research on various aspects of Gandhian thought, Freedom Movement, conflict resolution, peace and international studies."

"Science, commerce and arts graduates or master degree holders in any stream are eligible for admission to the course," said Prof Sharma. Seeing the response of aspirants for admission, seats have been increased by the university from 20 to 25. The admission will take place on the basis of merit and aptitude test. The aptitude test will be conducted on 10.07.2008 at 10 am and followed by the interview at 12 noon onwards. For more information the candidates may click at gandhianstudies@pu.ac.in <mailto:gandhianstudies@pu.ac.in>.

ADMISSION: PU’s University Business School (UBS) has declared the result for admission to MBA programmes at UBS, Chandigarh and PURC, Ludhiana. Provisional merit list, schedule of counseling and admission and fee to be charged can be seen at <http://ubs.puchd.ac.in/> according to Dinesh K. Gupta, chairman, UBS.

RESULTS: Results of Panjab University’s following examinations have been declared, according to joint controller of examinations, PU: BSc II (general), MA II (Urdu) and MSc II (industrial chemistry).



HC moved against parking fee at rly station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The inconvenience caused to motorists while dropping or picking up passengers at the railway station here was today brought to the notice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In a petition filed in public interest, placed before division bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover, city-based lawyer Ajay Jagga asserted the practice needed to come to an end.

Seeking directions to the railway authorities to ensure against the charging of parking fee from motorists simply arriving for picking up or dropping passengers, Jagga added that the contractor should also be stopped from blocking the public road used for entry and exit of vehicles.

He added that such vehicles should not be subjected to parking. In the petition against the union railway ministry and others, he said the parking fee charged for using the circular road on the entry and the exit was illegal, unauthorised and liable to be quashed.

The petitioner pointed out that the railway authorities had completely shut down the parking area on the Panchkula side of the Chandigarh railway station, which had resulted in heavy rush in the main parking area.

The petitioner submitted that parking fee could be charged only if the lot was actually used and not for vehicles using the entry and exit road of the railway station. He has also sought directions for the removal of blockade of the entry, exit road at the railway station. The matter will now come up on September 15 for further hearing.



Labourer jailed in fake currency case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Additional district and sessions judge R.S. Attri has sentenced a migrant labourer to one-year imprisonment for making payment through fake currency note in a shop.

According to the prosecution, the accused had given a fake Rs 1,000 note at a shop owned by S.R. Bansal on October 9, 2006.

The labourer stated that the note had been given to him by his contractor. He had picked out a shirt at the shop.

He had paid the money for the purchase of the shirt. He was booked under Section 489 of the IPC.



Sanetta Site Rejected
New DC for dist court complex at Badmajra
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 2
In a new turn to the controversy over the site for the Mohali district administrative-cum-judicial complex, the present deputy commissioner has recommended Badmajra village as the ideal site.

Deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari, who headed a committee for the selection of the site for the district complex, has brought to the notice of the government that the site most suitable for the setting up of the district administrative-cum-judicial complex was a 78-acre piece of land falling in Badmajra and Behlolpur villages.

This piece of land was a part of the town and was quite close to Dara Studio, the Punjab Health Systems Corporation, Government College and the civil hospital. It almost fell on the Chandigarh-Kharar road and will also be very close to the proposed Mohali bus stand.

In a communication sent to the Punjab chief secretary and financial commissioner (revenue), Bhandari stated that he had visited three sites for the district complex on June 6, along with additional deputy commissioner (general), additional deputy commissioner (development), SDM, district revenue officer, district town planner and others. He found that the Badmajra site was the most suitable.

Fifty-three acres of land in Badmajra village and 25 acres of Behlolpur village belonged to panchayats and this land formed one big chunk. Pointing out the drawbacks, the DC stated that some residents of the villages had allegedly tried to maintain ownership on a part of the land against which the panchayat had approached the Supreme Court which had granted stay orders in favour of the panchayat. But division of land among villagers could be stopped if the required amendment in the relevant act was carried out by the government.

Moreover, the flow of water in Patiala ki Rao choe that passed through the land was reduced as it had been diverted from Dadumajra regulator towards Siswan river. Water flowed in the choe only during the rainy season and maximum water that flowed was about 1,000 cusecs.

A part of the choe near the required land could be cemented. The deputy commissioner pointed out that sites at Sohana and Balongi villages were not suitable due to shortage of land. In Sohana, 56 acres of land was available while in Balongi only 22 acres.

Former Mohali deputy commissioner H.I.S. Garewal had selected 42 acres of land in Saneta village for the district complex and was set to acquire it after reaching an understanding with the village panchayat.

But this proposal of the former DC had attracted a lot of criticism. Residents, members of the local bar associations and political leaders were up in arms against the move as they said Sanetta village was about 20 kms away from the town and residents would have to face a lot of inconvenience in reaching the district complex.

Thereafter, the Punjab chief secretary asked Garewal to build a common consensus regarding shifting of the district complex to Sanetta.

The Sanetta site was rejected at meetings called by cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh to know the opinion of residents, members of the bar associations and political leaders.



Police to reopen shut cases
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The Chandigarh Police has decided to re-open investigation in murder cases pending for the past five years.

Talking to The Tribune, SSP S.S. Srivastava said: “We have decided to reinvestigate all unsolved cases.”

He added that a team would be constituted to look into the cases which were either marked untraced or the files had been closed due to lack of evidence.

“We would also request the general public to provide vital clues to help the police in cracking the cases,” he added.

The city has witnessed 130 murders since 2003 while about 22 murders are still unsolved. Some of the sensational murder cases that were marked untraced are:

DIMPY: Prabhjinder Pal Singh alias Dimpy was shot dead on July 7, 2006. Even after one-and-a-half year since the unidentified motorcyclists gunned Dimpy down, the police has not been able to conduct narco-tests on the three suspects - Harneev Kaur, Sandeep Bhau and Rocky. The crime branch is investigating the case.

Sundri Agnihotri : The 74-year-Sundri Agnihotri, a retired joint director of the education department, Himachal Pradesh, was brutally done to death in the drawing room of her Sector-21 house on December 25, 2004. The police is still groping in the dark to crack the case.

SIMRANJIT KAUR: The 24-year-old was brutally murdered on July 17, 2003, at her residence. The girl was a bright student aspiring to study abroad. There was no sign of a forced entry into the house. The case file has been gathering dust all these years and there has been no breakthrough. All attempts by the crime branch to gather clues have failed. Meanwhile, the girl’s parents have settled abroad.

MANIPAL SINGH: A Haryana government employee, Manipal, was found dead on a road in Sector 45. His head had been smashed with a brick. Both the crime branch and Sector 34 police failed to gather any clues during investigations. The case was marked untraced on February 14, 2006.

MURDER IN RAIPUR KALAN: The body of a 25-year-old unidentified man, allegedly strangulated to death, was found from a field in Raipur Kalan on September 29, 2004. The man’s head had been bludgeoned with a brick and broken liquor bottle and these evidences were found from the spot. After groping in the dark to gather clues, the case was marked untraced on June 19, 2005.

RAJ KUMAR: Raj Kumar alias Bobby (40) was found murdered on January 30, 2005. A case was registered at the Mani Majra police station and after no progress; the case file was closed on June 11, 2007.

Monica Cheema: 27-year-old Monica Cheema, a resident of Chaman Colony, Dhanas, whose decomposed body was found in a drain near Dhanas on February 6, 2007.



Two cops suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The Chandigarh police today suspended its two constables, Harbans Lal and Ram Chander, after they had reported for duty after consuming alcohol yesterday.

Talking to TNS, SSP S.S. Srivastava said: “We have placed the constables under suspension after conducting an inquiry. The medical report of the constables confirmed that they were under the influence of liquor while on duty.”

The tipsy constables were having food with two volunteers of Home Guard Battalion — Jaipal and Kulwant Singh — at the police station-11, when the commotion was noticed by SHO Ramesh Chand. On inquiry, he learned the fact that the two constables were drunk.

“We have sent a report to the commandant of the Home Guard for necessary action against the volunteers,” the SSP said.

This is not the first time when policemen have been found in an inebriated condition at work.

Last year, a policeman along with some other persons was caught consuming liquor in the conference room of the UT adviser. An inquiry is still under way in the case.



Mayor wants more teeth for MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Mayor Pardeep Chhabra yesterday demanded transfer of additional functions to the municipal corporation besides taking up other development issues at the monthly coordination committee meeting of the UT administration and corporation held at UT Secretariat, here.

The meeting held under the chairmanship of Pradip Mehra, adviser to the administrator, was attended by finance secretary Sanjay Kumar, MC commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria, chief engineers of the administration and MCC and chief architect of the administration.

The mayor sought transfer of more functions to the corporation as provided in the 74th Amendment to Constitution.

Besides, the mayor demanded that the original 38 dhabha owners in the transport area be considered for adjustment in the area so that they could continue their business. He also sought development of a new transport area in the city as the number of transporters had increased from 25 to 250 over the years.

Chhabra took up the issues of early finalisation of the Mani Majra development plan, upgrade of infrastructure in Bapu Dham Colony, shifting of dog pound site from Dadu Majra following opposition from residents and area councillor, earmarking of space for construction of trader’s centre/community centre in Sector 34, sealing of walls on V-3 roads in various sectors to prevent the entry of vehicles, earmarking of the site for the night food street near the ISBT-17, creation of parking space in housing board colonies, re-carpeting of road from Sectors 52 to 61 and provision of community centres in Sectors 8 and 16.



MC sleeps over query under RTI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
In spite of tall claims about transparency in the functioning various wings of the Chandigarh Administration, they continue to make a mockery of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.

In a recent case, Ashutosh Vermani, a Sector 17 shopkeeper, has been awaiting information, sought from the municipal corporation, for the past four months.

On March 3, Vermani had sought information from the corporation about the “list of final allottees of the licensing of built-up platforms to the secondhand booksellers of Sector 15, Chandigarh, scheme 2007”.

However, almost four months after the submission of application under the RTI, Vermani is still awaiting the requisite information.

The construction of sheds for the rehabilitation of the secondhand booksellers is already mired in controversy with residents up in arms against the “arbitrary and unfair” manner in which booksellers have been rehabilitated.

This amounted to rewarding encroachers on the public land, he alleged. Alleging that the sheds had gobbled up greenbelt in the area, the residents had complained that the rehabilitation would prove to be a source of nuisance to area residents.

The aggrieved residents had also approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the “high-handedness” of the Chandigarh administration.

Last year, administration had come up with a rehabilitation scheme for secondhand booksellers, who had been doing business from Sector 15-D for several years.



Officials discuss ways to augment civic amenities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
After allowing more covered area in commercial and residential buildings, the Chandigarh administration has realised that there is need to augment the basic civic amenities like storm water and sewerage.

The spate of development did not match with the civic amenities that had been planned on a much lesser scale.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of senior officers chaired by UT adviser Pradip Mehra here today.

The development would bring more population, putting pressure on the basic civic support services like water supply, transportation, drainage/ sewerage and garbage collection. Sources said the MC had been asked to conduct a survey to ascertain the measures to be taken to strengthen the basic civic amenities.

Time and again, experts have pointed out that it was high time to strengthen the civic amenities. While roads were being widened to handle vehicular traffic, no effort was being made to augment the storm water drainage system. The storm water was designed to handle one inch of rainfall.

An official said since the administration had announced to give major relaxation in the building bylaws, more constructions meant more load on the basic amenities. The upcoming multiplexes-cum-malls would also add to the pressure.

Since the public inflow into the area is expected to grow many times over, pressure on the basic civic support services like water supply, transportation, drainage/sewerage and garbage collection is expected to multiply manifold.

For instance, in Industrial Area, where conversions are being allowed, there are around 3,500 water connections in Phases I and II.

The MC claims that it ensures 13-hour water supply to these connections. This excludes the water requirement of the approved multiplexes.

The national standards require that for every 1,000 persons, 10 kilolitres to 40 kilolitres of water (depending upon the nature of activity) should be made available.

The requirement of water goes up for additional services like toilets, washing and gardening, besides food courts.



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