C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Another child drowns in ditch
Parents point finger at school; probe ordered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 5
Within 36 hours of drowning a child in a pit here on Thursday, another 5-year-old child lost his life due to negligence of her teachers.

The teachers at Government Primary School, Sector-19, called off the classes early and let small kids go home on their own even as the area was submerged due to heavy rain here yesterday.

The body of one of them, who could not reach home, was recovered from a ditch here today.

The deceased was identified as Sonia, daughter of Ghanshyam, a labourer in Industrial Area, Phase 1.

It was the third incident in the area when a child lost the life due to negligence on the part of the authorities concerned within this week.

Besides Rajat, who died yesterday, a 16-year-old boy was also drowned in the lake formed at dam site of Kaushalya river near Surajpur.

Ghanshyam lodged a complaint with the police stating that his daughter did not reach home after she left the school at 11 am yesterday. When the family was searching her, Mithilesh, an uncle of Sonia, spotted her chappals in a ditch as the rainwater had been drained out today. Later, at 9.30 am, her body was also found in the mud at some distance near the wall of waterworks in Industrial Area.

The parents of the child alleged that it was the negligence of the school authorities who asked the small children to leave the school alone when the area was flooded with water.

Ghanshyam, who is staying with his family at a factory near the school, said his wife Sunita used to accompany Sonia in the morning.

At 2 pm, she used to pick Sonia when the school was closed. However, as the classes were called off early yesterday, Sonia left the school alone and might have slipped into the ditch while returning to home.

The ditch is developed on one side of the railway track between Sector 19 and Industrial area, Phase I, and the locals cross over the track and ditch for a short cut route.

The teacher, however, denying negligence on her part, said the children were sent to their homes when the rain was stopped.

Panchkula DC Rajinder Kataria ordered the district education officer to conduct an inquiry into the incident.



Saini Case
No action against two SHOs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Even after the lapse of more than 24 hours, the Chandigarh Police has failed to initiate action against the two serving SHOs, who were booked by the CBI on charges of kidnapping, with intend to murder Balwant Singh Multani.

The CBI yesterday registered a case against IGP-cum-director (Vigilance, Punjab) Sumedh Singh Saini, former DSP Baldev Singh Saini and two inspectors Jagir Singh and Harsahai.

While B.S. Saini has retired as SP from the Punjab Police, two inspectors Jagir Singh and Harsahai are serving as SHOs of Industrial Area and Sector 3, respectively.

Talking to TNS, S.S. Srivastava, SSP, said, “We have not even received the copy of the FIR. Action will be taken according to the outcome of the CBI’s inquiry”. However, the department has not ordered any suspension as yet.

Officials of the UT police on condition of anonymity said the department seemed to be adopting different yardsticks, while dealing with Jagir Singh and Harsahai. Recently, Ram Gopal (SHO, Sector 3, police station) was immediately suspended following registration of a FIR against him, but no action has been taken against these two, who faced much more heinous charges. The excuse of not receiving the FIR was just a play to delay action, they said.

According to sources, the CBI has strong evidence against the involvement of Jagir Singh and Harsahai Sharma. Harasahai in his report had shown the arrest of Balwant Singh Multani, while Jagir Singh, along with a police party, had gone to Qadian from where it was claimed that Multani escaped.

The FIR was registered by the CBI during an ongoing inquiry ordered by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, for tracing the whereabouts of a few accused and their kin in the Saini blast case.

With the CBI clearly indicating that action may be taken against more UT police personal involved in the alleged torture and elimination of Multani, the top brass of the city police is a worried lot.

Officials claimed that the police might be adopting wait and watch policy to see how Punjab deals with Saini. “If they initiate action against Jagir Singh and Harsahai Sharma, all eyes will be on Saini and his continuation may become untenable”.



Humanities lose value among students
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The humanities stream is the least choice among students seeking admission in Class XI. This was discovered during the fourth day of the counselling for admission to Class XI in various government schools, being held at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, here.

Out of a total of 5,269 seats, just 96 seats have been filled and 5,173 seats are lying for want of seekers. Science continued to be the favourite stream followed by commerce. However, there has been a lukewarm response for the vocational courses offered with only 122 students opting for different courses whereas 1,867 seats are lying vacant.

Among the total number of 21 vocational courses, most of the students opted for fashion designing and cloth construction, stenography and electronics and information technology.

Information technology applications stream took a lead over the other vocational streams with only few seats left in the general category in GMSSS-37, GMSSS-18 and GMSSS-33.

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35 and 16, 37 and 40, continued to be the hot favourites among the science stream aspirants. All four schools have closed their doors for science admissions.

Besides having a good reputation in the academic field, both Sector 16 and Sector 35 schools enjoy central location which has made them the most coveted among the admission seekers, said N.P. Singh, a parent said. Same was the feeling of Sunaina and Kanwar Singh, who still hoped to get admitted in the commerce stream in either of the schools.

Little wonder that the department has announced the closure of admission in the science stream for the general category in three more schools, GMSSS-21(cutoff 69.2 per cent), GMSSS-23 (cutoff 67 per cent), GMSSS-32(cutoff 68.8 per cent). The admissions to the commerce stream also picked up today with two more schools GMSSS-40 (cutoff 67 per cent) and GMSSS-19(cutoff 66 per cent) closing admissions in the general category for the commerce stream.

The percentage in various streams hovered between 70 and 65 per cent. At the end of today’s counselling session, 722 seats were reported to have been filled.



22-hour power cut in Sector 40
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
In the power cut-free city, residents are feeling the heat of unscheduled power cuts. Following failure on part of the UT electricity department to strengthen the power distribution system, residents in the southern sectors are at their wits end with the breakdowns in some sectors prolonging for 12 hours.

VIP sectors are slightly better. The department is facing problems like burning of cable or failure of transformers due to overloading. The city power distribution network has not been strengthened in accordance with the increase in the power requirement.

On the other hand, multiple electricity points have been installed on roads that at times remain switched on till 8 am. Wastage of power at unwanted points should be checked to save power, said Arvind Kumar.

“Worst affected are residents of Sector 40, 44 and 45. In Sector 40 A, residents had to face a cut of 22 hours as engineers of the electricity department were busy repairing a burnt transformer. For the last four days, I have been complaining to electricity official about the frequent breakdowns. Every time I am told that power will come soon”, said Dr Rama Gosh. The supply was restored at 7 pm today after almost 12 hours, said Vinay, another resident of Sector 40 A. It was again off at 10 p.m.

An official of the department said there was a fault in the cable and it had been rectified.

A similar problem has been reported from Sector 44 C. Complaint centres in the sub-stations do not respond to phone calls of residents and the centralised power complaint number (0172-4639999) is receiving complaints from different parts of the city.

In Sector 45 C, unscheduled power cuts were being imposed, complained Gurpreet. 


CHB flats not affordable, say residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Residents have contested the claim of the Chandigarh Housing Board that its general category rates for the housing scheme in Sector 63 is rationally priced.

Subash Chander, a resident of Sector 24, said instead of comparing prices with that of 2006, the board should compare the costs that prevailed 10 years ago. A government servant who is residing in the city for the past 40 years is still unable to afford a house offered by the board. A pressure group for social justice Samadhan has stated that the board has not mentioned the price at which land is transferred to it by the administration.

R.P. Malhotra, president of the samadhan, said three-room category with 1,400 feet covered area (including circulation area) could be built over a plot of 10 marla.

By selling four floors at the rate of Rs 39.57 lakh each on leasehold basis, the board earns Rs 1.58 crore. This is at par with any freehold 10 marla property.

Assuming that the CHB is getting land at a price much lower than the market and that, too, on money transfer after having sold the product, the board is far better placed as compared to a private builder.

Not price alone, there is a big question mark over the board’s policies and procedure of allotment, especially the assured allotment one, which is full of flaws and need to be probed.



Off Natural Course-II
Choe land not spared by builders
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 5
Baltana has been the place of the confluence of Sukhna choe and a seasonal choe. A part of the village land (approx 1173 bighas) that falls within the natural course of the Sukhna choe has been kept aside for it to flow during monsoons and to be otherwise used as fodder grounds for cattle.

This land is marked as “gair mumkin nadi” in the mutation registers. In gross violation of the land use prescribed in the mutation registers, property dealers of the area have constructed buildings on this land.

“Showrooms are being built within the choe’s course. Who has allowed these showrooms to come up, no one knows,” said the Baltana village lambardar Jaswant Singh.

Jaswant Singh brought the violation to the notice of the secretary, Department of Local Bodies, Punjab, who marked the complaint to the deputy director of the department in Patiala . The officer’s report on the matter is still awaited.

Last week, the showrooms under construction were in knee-deep water but that did not stop the owners from continuing with the construction.

The blatant manner in which encroachment and subsequent construction is done on the natural course of choes is amazing. It’s almost unbelievable that something which is an obvious violation of rules is allowed to be carried on right under the nose of the authorities. Why the authorities choose to look the other way is anybody’s guess.

“Other than these showrooms, there is also a park in the area and a police station too,” said Jaswant Singh.

The police post constructed some months ago within the choe’s course was inundated last week and has to be shifted. “We had no option but to come back to the government school building which we had vacated some months ago,” said a cop on duty at the post.

The park situated on the choe land is also a part of the “government violations” here. The foundation stone of the park was also laid down by a cabinet minister.

The park is next to the Choice road which is also largely built on the choe land. During monsoons, almost after every downpour, the road is submerged. Since the road is being used for many years as a short cut to reach Baltana, there is no streetlights.

“Even during other seasons, the road is dangerous to use. But in the monsoons, the road is a death trap. It is submerged in the rainwater and the potholes are not visible,” said a resident of the area.



Patiala highway a nightmare for commuters
Rajiv Bhatia

Dreadful condition of Zirakpur-Patiala road.
Dreadful condition of Zirakpur-Patiala road. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, July 5
Potholes, pools of stagnant water and dirty mud accumulated at various places are a common sight on the Zirakpur-Patiala national highway. It is a virtual nightmare for lakhs of commuters who use it every day. Deep potholes and tanks of water in front of shops have become a hazard for visitors and residents.

Garbage and other refuse in the market, along the open drains near the shops show the indifference of the municipal council and the concerned authorities towards the town. The stinking stagnant water poses a threat of water-borne diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and many more.

However, the officials of municipal council claim that project would be set up shortly to repair all roads of the township and the open drain would be cleaned soon.

The condition of the road forces loaded trucks to move at a snail’s pace here. Some vehicles get stuck in potholes and often suffer major damage.

The local bus stop, too, has stagnant water on the road, causing annoyance among the commuters. They have to walk through dirty water to board buses. Often vehicles splash mud on people on the roadside.

Nirmal Singh, a shopkeeper says, “Many a VIPs’ convoys cross this road daily, but they never bother to check this and turn a blind eye to the problem.” He added that the mud along the road affected their business, as customers prefer to stay away from their shops.

Subhash, another shopkeeper, complained that open drain pipes were blocked at many points. Stink from water suffocates the area. Mosquitoes flit around uncovered eatables at various dhabas along the road. He also said that traffic jam is a regular phenomenon and the traffic police is never seen on the spot.

According to police officials, “We talked to the concerned department to repair this road to avoid traffic jam.” Meanwhile, barricades on the road near flyover have been removed and it has been thrown open for the traffic.



Highway travel to be costlier in region
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The highway travel is going to cost more in the region. Close on the heels of steep hike in the prices of petrol and diesel, the proposed new toll plazas are set to make travel a costlier affair on the Delhi-Amritsar and Delhi-Chandigarh highways.

With the Union government ‘turning a blind eye’ to malpractices of the toll plaza operators, the hapless commuters are at the receiving end. “Currently, the vehicle owners are paying more than Re 1 per km -- double than 50 paise national toll fee fixed by the Central government for domestic vehicles. The rates for commercial vehicles are even higher,” alleges V.K. Arora, secretary of the National Highway Users Association (NHUA).

In fact, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to introduce new toll plazas on the Delhi-Amritsar highway, including at Panipat and Phagwara. There are already three toll plazas en route the 450-km route. According to a rough estimate, a car owner will have to pay about Rs 450 as toll tax on this stretch on one side, while the rail ticket is Rs 130 per person,” complained P.K. Khurana of the NHUA.

And with the Ambala-Chandigarh four-laning nearing completion, this highway is set to have another toll bridge. This will put additional burden on the commuters using the Chandigarh-Delhi highway, asserts Deepak Singh, a regular commuters between Chandigarh and Panipat.

Similarly, a person travelling from Panipat to Kurukshetra will have to shell out about Rs 140 for a distance of 80 km for one side with the introduction of toll tax at Panipat.

This is despite the fact that in a majority of cases the government agencies and operators have already recovered cost of investment on the widening and upgrading of the roads. “The introduction of multiple toll barriers, apart from financially burdening the commuters, will further increase the travelling time defeating the purpose of having toll roads for smooth flow of traffic.

Arora claims that even the parliamentary standing committee on transport in its recommendations on various occasions has demanded rationalisation of toll on roads as the commuters are already paying road tax and cess on fuel for the development of roads.

The committee reportedly recommended that persons travelling on smaller stretches of the national highways, where toll was being collected, should be charged a lower amount than the persons using the entire length of that national highway

“The planned introduction of smart cards on these toll plazas on the lines of Europe does not stand ground in India as most of the users of these highways are not frequent travellers. Moreover, world over non-toll alternate routes are also offered to commuters while in India there was no alternative to using the toll highways,” Arora adds.



High court asks police to shun ‘rusty approach’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Anguished over the “banality” of the criminal investigation system in the country, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the police to shun its “rusty approach” and adopt more scientific methods. The ruling by Justice Mahesh Grover came on a petition narrating bizarre facts of implication and manipulated evidence in the murder case of a woman, who was never killed.

In fact, her coming alive to give evidence in the favour of her “murderers” has led to the grant of Rs two lakh compensation by the high court to her alleged killers.

The alleged victim, Paramjit Kaur, having strained relations with her husband, had allegedly eloped with Raju in May 2000. Subsequently, on September 26, 2000, an unidentified body was discovered in a village field, following which a murder case was registered on February 14, 2001. It went untraced.

But in 2006, fresh investigations were carried out in the case and Paramjit’s eloping was “sought to be connected with the body’s recovery.” Rather, the cops projected that the body found six years ago was Paramjit’s and witnesses were planted. Her brother-in-law Baldev Singh and brother Gurdial Singh were labelled as accused.

Interestingly, in August 2006, Paramjit’s father categorically told the police that the body was not of his daughter and she was alive. But, the police stood by its story and insisted the two were the culprits.

In October 2006, Baldev Singh was illegally detained and tortured. He was forced to make a confessional statement that he and co-accused Gurdial Singh had disposed-off the body. Subsequently, Paramjit’s sister-cum-Baldev’s wife Resham Kaur was also illegally detained because she too had submitted a representation to the SSP concerned.

On March 24 last year, Paramjit called up her sister Resham, who persuaded her to depose before the court. Thereafter, Paramjit appeared before the court and stated that her brother and brother-in-law had been implicated.

Meanwhile, after going through the arguments and displeased by the turn of events, Justice Grover ruled: “The life and liberty of an individual as guaranteed in our Constitution are sacrosanct. The state and its agencies are cast with a solemn duty to protect this valuable right of a citizen. But, if the protector turns into a predator, it results in a Frankensteinian situation, where the state instead of a protector becomes a monster.”

“When such a situation erupts, the court cannot remain a silent spectator and it has to step in to embalm the wounded and stand as a shield between the victim and the tormentor,” he added.

Referring to the case in hand, Justice Grover asserted: “The facts of the present case reveal that the police has reduced the investigation of a serious offence like murder into a farcical tragic-comedy.”

Granting a compensation of Rs two lakh each to the implicated, Justice Grover added: “In their zeal, the police obviously trampled upon the valuable right of the petitioners and subjected them to an undignified confinement in jail with serious allegations of having killed their own kin, even though their close relatives like father and sister kept on saying that Paramjit Kaur was alive.”

Before parting with the orders, the Judge added: “It is in these circumstances that the court expresses its deep anguish to comment on the banality of the whole criminal investigation system existing in the country… It is expected of the investigating agency to be conscious of serious pit-falls and it is time enough when the police ought to wake up to the demands of modern scientific investigations and not rely on medieval, quaint and rusty approach towards investigations…”



Panel to look after sanitation
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 5
A five-member committee has been set up to chalk out the terms and conditions for assigning sanitation work on contract in Mohali.

This was done to improve the state of sanitation in the town, informed Balbir Singh Sidhu, Kharar MLA, while talking to mediapersons here yesterday. He said the committee comprised two councillors from the opposition group and three from the ruling group. The committee members were Phulraj Singh, Rajinder Prasad Sharma, Rishiv Jain, Amrik Singh Somal and Sukhminder Singh Barnala.

He said a cleanliness drive was being carried out in the industrial area from July 7. Congress grass and debris heaps would be removed during the drive apart from improving sanitation in the area. The drive would be spread to residential areas later.

He said many parts of the town faced water shortage. There was no tubewell in Phases III A, III B1, III B2 and Sector 70. He said many tubewells sunk by Punjab water supply and sewerage board failed to give adequate discharge within a short time. As such, the municipal council or the department of public health should be given the permission to sink tubewells in Mohali.

He demanded hot line power connections for the Sector 57 waterworks and the Phase X reservoir so that water could be supplied despite power cuts. A separate water pipeline from Kajuali waterworks was needed for Mohali to overcome the shortage. He said a proposal in this regard had been sent to the government.

The MLA called a meting of public health department and power board officials and discussed the problem of water logging during heavy rain.



HelpAge to launch helpline for senior citizens
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Living life at their own will not be just a dream for senior citizens of the city as HelpAge India is launching an exclusive helpline to guide them about their welfare schemes. The helplines of Chandigarh and Chennai will become functional by the end of this month.

These helplines will provide services to elder citizens by advising and resolving queries about the reverse mortgage scheme under which senior citizens can mortgage their property to have financial security. National Housing Bank and HelpAge India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently to provide reverse mortgage counselling to senior citizens who own a house and need liquid money.

Under their expansion plan, HelpAge India is coming up with counselling centres at Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Bhopal by the end of this year. Sincere and dedicated staff will be appointed at these centres after training so that they can provide every kind of service to the elders.

Talking to The Tribune, state manager of HelpAge India Bhavneshwar Sharma said the idea behind launching this helpline was to take the banks on the doorsteps of the senior citizens. He said this help line would prove a cordial link between the banks and the senior citizens.

He further added that at present, eight banks were providing reverse mortgage facility to the elders and this helpline would give an opportunity to the elders to choose best out of them. He said the helpline would be functional from 10 am to 6 pm.

Talking about the changed scenario of investment by the elders, he revealed that with the shifting trends, senior citizens were now looking for an option to invest their money in a secured sector.

Sharma said the HelpAge India was also coming up with a HelpAge helpline at Shimla to solve the problems of the senior citizens.


No retiring room for forum members
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
There is no retiring room for members of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Punjab or Haryana. They do not even have secretaries or stenographers to help them with their work.

There are no retiring rooms for members of district forums in Haryana in spite of the fact that every forum has at least one woman member.

In Punjab, the situation is marginally better. Members at Fatehgarh Sahib have a retiring room and a toilet, but in Moga there is a retiring room with no attached bathroom. Ditto for Patiala and Ropar.

The forum in Amritsar is housed in a building on rent with one chamber for its members.

The president and other members of the district forums in Punjab do not have private secretaries or stenographers. In Haryana there is only one post of stenographer and one post of steno-typist sanctioned for all district forums.



PGI foundation day tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, will celebrate Institute Foundation Day on July 7 at Bhargava Auditorium, PGI.

Drug de-addiction and treatment centre (DDTC), department of psychiatry, will hold an exhibition based on 'Drug Abuse in Today's Society' from July 7 to 9 at New OPD block, PGI, Chandigarh. The focus of the exhibition will be to raise awareness about the evils of drug abuse and how to prevent the menace from spreading in the society.

The exhibition will be open to all. Target spectators are the patients attending the OPD, their relatives, all categories of staff from PGI, Panjab University, students from schools and colleges. Kumari Selja, union minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation, New Delhi, will be the chief guest.

Trained staff from DDTC will be available at the exhibition venue for guidance and answering queries of the visitors.



Develop Sectors 50, 51, 63, demands panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The Joint Action Committee today invited state minister for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal, Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and mayor Pradeep Chhabra to hear grievances and complaints against the long-pending demands of residents regarding the development of Sectors 50, 51 and 63.

A mass rally was held which was attended by a large number of people from the area. The residents demanded development of all the three sectors, which even lack basic amenities like streetlights, lack of public transport.



BC panel member meets home secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Abdul Ali Azizi, a member of the National Commission for Backward Class, yesterday held a meeting with UT officials led by the UT home secretary Sanjay Kumar.

IG S.K. Jain and director social welfare Amandeep Kaur also attended the meeting.

At an informal interaction with media, the member said the aim of the meeting was to review central schemes for weaker sections like OBC and minorities.

He stressed the uplift and development of the country. He said each section of society should get equal opportunities for growth.

The aim of the meeting was to analyze the ways for the uplift of economical weaker sections.

He said the city could set an example for other Union Territories in terms of education, health and infrastructure.



Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi constituted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The Chandigarh administration has constituted the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi for a period of two years. Prof Manju Jaidka has taken over as chairperson of the Akademi and Dr D.S. Gupt as vice-chairman.

Madhav Kaushik will be the secretary while non-ex-officio members will be Hindustan editor Aku Shirvastav, Ajay Arora, senior lecturer at GCM-11 Dr Aruna Abrol, former principal of Government College of Commerce and Business Administration Bhupinder Singh, senior lecturer at GCM-11 Geetanjali Kalra, principal of Dev Samaj College of Education Dr Jyoti Khanna, Punjabi poetess Ratniv, senior lecturer at GCG-11 Neelkamal Puri, former editor of Jagriti Prem Vijh, Urdu poet Rajinder Chand, freelance journalist S.D. Sharma, secretary of Writers’ Forum Shyam Singh, Prof Sudhir Kumar of PU and principal of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Dr Vibha Ray. According to the notification, the term of the members is two years.



Rotary Club installs president
Our Correspondent

Inderjit Singh, president of Rotary Club at PHD Chamber of Commerce Hall, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Inderjit Singh, president of Rotary Club at PHD Chamber of Commerce Hall, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, July 5
Inderjit Singh was installed new president of Rotary Club, Chandigarh central, at a ceremony held at PHD Chamber of Commerce Hall, Sector 31, here, today. He has served Rotary in various capacities since 1998.

Meanwhile, chief guest Prof Raj Bahadur, director, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, installed the new board of directors which includes H.S. Saggu, M.M. Batra, Harish Gupta, Sanjeev Checker, J.S. Walia and K.K. Walia while H.S. Nanda has been installed club secretary for the current year.

The president highlighted various projects which are in the pipeline and proposed community projects to be undertaken.

The club has adopted Kishangarh village for its all-around development. They are running a dispensary, computer training school besides other construction activities along with an immunisation centre at GMCH, Sector 32.

Meanwhile, Inner Wheel Club of Chandigarh central also installed its new president Suman Sharma and secretary Sashi Gupta. They also unveiled their plans for the New Year.



Jamun Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
As many as 160 students from various government schools relished season’s nature gift blackberry (jamun) during the Annual Jamun Day celebrations at the Nature Observatory, Sector 26, and the Nature Discovery Commonwealth Youth Programme, Asia Centre, Sector 12, here, today.

Both boys and girls came from GMSSS-46, GMSSS-32, GMHS-11 and Moti Ram Senior Secondary School, Panchkula.

The Jamun Day is celebrated by the Environment Society of India (ESI), Chandigarh, to encourage students to eat and plant blackberry as the fruit controls diabetes and helps in the improvement of digestion.

Dr R.C. Mishra, DIG, Haryana Police, was the chief guest. ESI president Dr S.K. Sharma said if more jamun plants are planted, the prices of the fruit will go down.




Football Stadium

UT administration's plan to build a world-class football and athletic stadium in Sector 56 is indeed an historical step.

Even though cricket still rules the city, the step will help realise the AIFF dream of preparing a team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and also put city on the international map. The administration should now, in coordination with leading national and international football clubs and institutions, give city talent the much-needed boost. There is also a need to set up a football academy in the city, where the basic skills and other essential requirements for professional football can be taught systematically.

Rajesh Krishan

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



PU mass comm dept to start new courses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Department of mass communication and journalism at Panjab University is all set for a revamp beginning with its new name as School of Communication Studies, which was recently approved by the syndicate in its meeting held on June 28.

In the pipeline is a five year integrated honours program in journalism & mass communication, masters in advertising and public relations, masters in media management and MPhil in journalism and mass communication.

The school is waiting for its proposal to start a community radio station and a campus TV station to come through. Diploma and certificate courses in radio jockeying, TV anchoring, video production and script writing are also on the cards once the proposal gets its final nod.

The current academic session will see the introduction of three postgraduate diplomas in Hindi journalism, Punjabi journalism and advertising & public relations. A PhD program has also been started this year.

The school has also switched over to semester system.

The students will now be offered options, such as science journalism, environmental reporting, sports journalism, photojournalism, precision journalism, business journalism, crisis situations and media, political reporting, film studies and traditional media, in their second year of study.



From Colleges
Airhostess academy holds workshop
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 5
Airhostess Hospitality Management Institute, Phase 3B2, here, conducted a workshop on voice-overs. The students of the institute were given guidance by radio jockey Sachin of Big FM 92.7 on control of voice, pleasant speech, voice modulation and an insight on how to speak on the microphone while recording or live. Director of the institute Karan Arora and manager (operations) Mannu Rana said students benefited a lot as they talked in rotation over the live broadcast with an effective and controlled voice. This is an essential part of their training as airhostesses/flight attendants or while working in the hospitality field.

PRINCIPAL APPOINTED: Dr A.K. Ghai joined as principal in SSIET, Dera Bassi. He had earlier served at Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, in department of electrical engineering. He got his B.Tech and M.Tech degree from Jabalpur University, Madhya Pradesh. He got his Ph.D degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.

Dr Ghai had 40 years of experience in teaching and research at graduate as well as postgraduate level. He had many research papers published in various journals and conferences.

PLACEMENTS: Open Access Technology, a US-based multinational software development company, selected seven students of 2008 batch pursuing their degree in B.Tech computer science, information technology and MCA during a joint campus placement drive at Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran. Students securing 60 per cent marks throughout their academic career were eligible to participate in the drive. The selection procedure included written test, group discussion, technical and HR interview. A team of company officials, headed by Tarlochan Kalsi and Scott Arcand from the US, interacted with the students.



PU plans ‘open house’ for girls
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
In coming session, girl students at Panjab University will be empowered as the authorities are thinking over ways to have an active contribution from them.

As the session starts in next 15 days, the university is mulling over organising an ‘open house’ for the girl students, wherein the authorities would be face to face with new girl students and would apprise them about their plans and efforts to empower them. The girls would be told in advance about the dos and don’ts in the university.

“With having an exchange of ideas between the students and the authorities, we can know a lot from them on how to bring about,” says Nishtha Jaswal, dean, students’ welfare (women). The authorities also plan to have competitions to encourage hidden talents among the girl residents of the hostels by organising workshops and competitions. Also on the cards is to find mechanism to utilise evening hours in the hostels for girls on the pattern of IITs and other institutions, where girls can go to the libraries at late hours.

“The idea is to give them a home away from home and this is possible only through exchange of ideas and discussions among the students, wardens and other senior functionaries,” Jaswal added.

To curb the problem of ragging, the authorities also decided to conduct late night surprise raids in hostels. For the purpose, a meeting of all the wardens was held on July 3.



PU Notes
Interview schedule for admissions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Panjab University has announced interview schedule of various departments for admission. Masters of library and information science (1st year) on July 9 at 10.00 am in department of library & information science, Arts Block IV. MSc (hons) biochemistry (1st year) on July 10 at 11.30 am in department of biochemistry. MSc (hons) mathematics (1st year) on July 10 at 9.30 am through O-CET (all categories except NRI) in Mathematics department. M.Sc (hons) zoology (1st year) on July 10 at 10 am in department of zoology.

Aptitude test (vocal and instrumental) for admission in MA I (music) will be held on July 9 at 9.30 am in department of music.

All candidates are advised to bring their original documents/certificates at the time of interview.

ADMISSION: Certificate, diploma and advanced diploma courses in Chinese language are being offered by department of Chinese and Tibetan languages, Arts Block No. 5, PU, for academic session 2008-09. The last date for submission of applications for admission in the department is July 21. These courses were kept in abeyance last year as Dr Damodar Panda, reader in Chinese was on leave for one year to serve as professor at Visva-Bharti, Santiniketan.

RESULTS: Panjab University has declared results of BA II, BE (electronics & communication engineering) 8th semester, BE (Chemicals) 7th semester, MA II (human rights & duties), MSc II (nursing) 4th semester and MA I (education).



PUTA dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
On the first day of the dharna, a large number of teachers and students participated as part of their ongoing agitation for the central university status for PU today. When asked what if Punjab government does not respect its words, PUTA president A.S. Ahluwalia said, “If we could sustain our agitation under the most adverse conditions of summer vacation, we feel strengthened many folds more now once the university opens on July 8.” Today theatre artist Rani Balbir Kaur visited the dharna site and read out her script written for the play highlighting the history of PU.



Judge Murder Case
Inspector deposes before court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Inspector Jassa Singh, investigating officer (IO) in the judge murder case, deposed before the Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Rahul Garg today to get his statement recorded.

He stated before the court that he got secret information about religious preacher Manjit Singh who had allegedly murdered Vijay Singh. Thus, he reached the spot and arrested Manjit from Sangrur road on October 18, 2005. He stated that the accused was in a car and the IO stopped the vehicle and arrested him. He stated that blood stained clothes were recovered from the car along with a sum of Rs 50,000 that was recovered from the dashboard of the car.

Thereafter on October 19, 2005, Manjit made a disclosure that he had hidden Rs 4.5 lakh in a harmonium at his residence in Sheikpura village, near Punjabi University in Patiala. The motorcycle used by him to reach Polo Grounds in Patiala where Vijay Singh was murdered was recovered from Manjit’s residence.

The IO added that a diary was also recovered in which prime accused Dr Ravdeep Kaur’s address was written.

The sword used by Manjeet Singh in the crime had also been recovered from Bhakra canal near Ghanaur village after the accused disclosed the fact.

According to prosecution, the families of Dr Ravdeep Kaur and Vijay Singh were good friends and once a proposal for marriage of the two was considered. However, things could not materialise. Manjit Singh, who allegedly murdered him, reached Polo Ground on his motorcycle armed with a sword as he had had information that Vijay Singh would be coming for his evening walk there.



Electronic Plaza asked to pay Rs 1,100
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 5
District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Amar Electronic Plaza in Panchkula to replace a defective air-conditioner and pay a compensation of Rs 2,100 for harassing a resident of Panchkula. The forum also asked the shop owner to pay Rs 1,100 as costs of litigation.

Petitioner Kusum Lata Sharma had purchased two air-conditioners (ACs) with capacities of 1.5 ton and 2.0 ton in May 2007. She alleged that the AC with the capacity of 2.0 ton did not cool the room. She complained about it to the shop that sent one technician and assured that the problem would be rectified.

Despite the repairs, the AC did not have a cooling effect thus, Kusum gave a written complaint to the shop owner with a request to replace the AC.

Area service in-charge for the shop Sucha Singh Dhillon deposed before the forum and sought for more time for filing reply. Thereafter he did not depose before the forum.

The forum, headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal, observed: “The complainant has sufficiently proved his case by way of documentary evidence on record. Therefore, the opposite party is asked to replace the defective air-conditioner which was purchased for Rs 24,000 from the manufacturer with a brand new sealed air-conditioner of the same model with fresh air warranty.”



Man gets 10-yr RI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Additional district sessions judge R.S. Attri yesterday sentenced Ishaq Alam to 10-year rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh under the NDPS Act.

According to the prosecution, the accused was going on a scooter to Hallo Majra when the police pulled him over at a checkpoint near Tribune chowk. The police seized 2.3 kg charas from his possession.



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 |