C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Water supply to Rajiv Colony cut
Cholera cases in P’kula go up to 12

Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

It’s double whammy for the residents of Rajiv Colony. On the one hand, the residents are braving the cholera outbreak, on the other, HUDA and the MC are fighting over who is to supply water through tankers in this colony. The two are now shifting the responsibility on each other for installing taps in the colony through new a pipeline.

While HUDA officials point out that it was not its responsibuility to provde infrastructure to colonies set up illegally in the area, the district administraion was of the view that it was an adopted colony for resettlement and hence the residents were entitled to basic facilities.

It was after much deliberation and heated discussion between officers of the two departments that HUDA finally agreed to supply water temporarily.

Panchkula, July 17
Even as the district administration today cut off the main water supply line to Rajiv Colony that passes through sullage in a nullah, the number of cholera cases reported in the city reached to 12.

As many as 41 patients, having cholera symptoms, have been admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 6, while hundreds of slum dwellers from across the city reported at the hospital and government dispensaries today with complaints of stomach disorders.

The district health officer, Dr M L Garg, confirmed that nine cases of cholera from different slum areas were reported at the general civil hospital today. Three cholera cases were reported yesterday.

The 24-hour makeshift dispensary set up at Rajiv Colony today had received 227 patients with symptoms of diarrhoea till afternoon, he said.

After the first cholera death was reported from the city yesterday, the district administration finally woke up from its slumber. Other than disconnecting the water supply through the rusted supply line running through the nullah, a sanitation drive was launched in the colony.

Heaps of garbage were removed and the area was fumigated. As many as seven medical teams were formed, which went from door to door in Rajiv and Indira colonies to check on any cases of cholera. These teams also distributed the chlorine tablets and medicines.

It is another matter that it was the death of a child yesterday, which set the administration moving. A visit to the area today revealed that insanitary conditions had been prevailing ever since the monsoon began. Though the plight of these slum dwellers had been highlighted by the media time and again, the administration failed to respond in time, thus paving the way for an epidemic outbreak. Even warnings from the district health authorities failed to move the officials. “The risk involved in the water supply line, and running through the nullah, near Rajiv Colony, was brought to the notice of the municipal council as well as HUDA. But nothing was done,” said Dr Garg.

However, shaken with reports of outbreak of cholera and the resultant death, the administration went into the action mode. Top officials in the administration, health officials and even deputy chief minister Chander Mohan visited the affected areas. Parliamentary secretary, Health, Krishna Pandit, also visited the local hospital to take stock of the situation.

“On the suggestion of the health department, the water supply from an unauthorised source to the colony has been cut and now the Haryana Urban Development Authority will supply water to the colony through water tankers till permanent water taps are installed in the colony,” said Rajinder Kataria, deputy commissioner, Panchkula.



Outbreak Of Cholera
Blame it on slums
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Even after the discovery of a cholera case from Shahpur Colony and hundreds of diarrhoea cases being reported from across the city every day, the public health authorities are yet to wake up to the reality of the situation.

The city slums present a picture of total neglect - stinking pools of stagnant water, overflowing sewerage and drains and rotting garbage littered in the open - and it seems that a tragedy is just in the waiting.

A random survey of slums in the city laid bare the claims of the authorities concerned, as huge heaps of garbage, pools of stagnant water, blocked sewerage, overgrown weeds bore testimony to the apathy of the sanitation department towards maintaining hygienic conditions in these localities.

Though the public health authorities repeatedly claim that they carry out regular inspections in the slums to maintain sanitation, the ground reality is different. Chotte Lal of Colony No. 5 said, “The situation is pathetic. Our life has become worse than animals. The stink is unbearable.” He said this while dragging this reporter to the heap of rotting garbage lying in the vicinity.

“When we pass this area we pinch our noses to avoid the stench,” said Shanti, adding that they burn ‘agarbatti’ at night to make things bearable in their houses. She said what had made the matters worse was the decaying cow dung dumped outside the Sector 45 Gaushala.

As if this was not enough, the stench emanating from the human waste littered in the open from leaking mobile toilets made the atmosphere nauseating. “We have to ease ourselves in the open,” said Ram Deen, a resident of Colony No. 5, adding that these unkempt mobile toilets were an apology.

And when you ask them whether health officials visit them, they stare at you. “Yes, they have started coming after the detection of the cholera case,” said Pyare Lal Yadav, a vegetable vendor, sarcastically pointing at the heaps of garbage littered around the dustbins and a pool of stagnant dirty water that turned green with scum.

The residents of Ram Darbar are suffering owing to the inadequate sewerage system in the locality. “Every other day the residents complain about the blocked sewerage lines. Even as the house has passed an agenda in the past to construct a sewerage line at a cost of Rs 79 lakh, the tendering process has not been started as yet. The threat of outbreak of an epidemic is looming large in the area and the authorities will be held responsible for it,” Ram Lal, area councillor of Ram Darbar told The Tribune.

Hallomajra village is also dotted with huge heaps of cow dung lying along the Chandigarh-Ambala road. In the absence of a sewerage system, the dirty water in the open drains has become a source of a nightmare for the residents. The condition of Colony No. 4 is no different owing to an open drain and a faulty sewerage line. The dirty water from the sewerage is being released in the jungle area. Besides, the area is plagued by the sewerage water problem.

Similar is the situation in other slums and low-lying areas in the city, including Manimajra, Mauli Jagran, Vikas Nagar, Indira Colony level crossing near Pipliwala town. In Mauli Jargan open spaces are littered with garbage, which is not being removed for months together. The rains have made the matters worse and local doctors, both private and government, are ‘flooded’ with patients suffering from water- borne diseases.

City mayor Pardeep Chhabra admitted that waterlogging plagued Colony No. 4 and 5 owing to low-lying areas in their vicinity. He added that he had written twice to the district health secretary for fogging and spraying of pesticides in the slums and he was told that they were doing it and also organising awareness camps. He said the colonies had no exit for waste water, thus dirty water got accumulated there, compounding the problems.



Rain maladies on the rise in city
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Its raining diseases, literally. With the onset of the monsoons, there has been a sharp increase in the incidence of water-borne diseases in the city’s slums and colonies.

Diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, jaundice and typhoid have registered an increase, giving sleepless nights to the health and civic authorities with a large number of patients thronging dispensaries and hospitals.

However, there has been a decline in the malaria cases this season.

According to figures with the Integrated Disease Surveillance Report, as many as 13,000 diarrhoea cases have been reported since June this year-- up from 12,000 during the same period last year. There has been a spurt in such cases during the last two weeks.

What is worrisome is the fact that nearly 50 per cent of the patients examined at various OPDs of the PGI are suffering from viral infections, 5-10 per cent from malaria and 25-30 per cent from various water-borne diseases.

Three cases of cholera, including two from Panchkula, and 97 of jaundice, were reported last year, all from government hospitals.

Besides cases of malaria, gastroenteritis and viral infection, doctors report a small but significant rise in typhoid cases. As compared to last year, there has been an increase of 29 per cent typhoid cases (from 56 in 2007 to 72 in 2008 so far).

" We get at least three to four typhoid cases every week apart from the usual viral and malaria cases," said Dr Navneet Sharma of the PGI. Typhoid is infectious.

"While we would get four cases of gastroenteritis a week before the monsoons, it is eight every week now. Consumption of contaminated fruit and water is to be blamed for most gastro cases,” said another doctor.

"Those forced to wade through water must wash and dry their feet to avoid leptospirosis. Also, consult a doctor immediately if one gets fever and avoid self- medication," said Dr G. Dewan, medical officer of health of the municipal corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).



Double whammy for Sector 63 allottees
Hidden charges jack up prices

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Even though the Chandigarh Housing Board claims rational pricing of its dwelling units in Sector 63, the truth is allottees would have to shell out several lakhs more than the price mentioned by the board.

A careful perusal of the Sector 63 scheme brochure shows that for the three-bedroom flat, the owner would have to shell out Rs 43.20 lakh, which is Rs 3.63 lakh more than the advertised price of Rs 39.57 lakh.

This would include an interest of 12 per cent and other charges under the self-financing scheme, sources said.

And there is no relief for other categories as those allotted a two- bedroom flat would pay Rs 31.81 lakh, an increase of Rs 2.67 lakh over the advertised price of Rs 29.14 lakh.

The one-bedroom flat would cost Rs 18.73 lakh whereas the original cost is Rs 17.15 lakh.

Even allottees of the economically weaker section(EWS) have not been spared. They will end up paying Rs 6.18 lakh, at least Rs 52,000 more than the original cost.

While the board may justify this “hike", the decision is sure to leave the allottees of 1976 dwelling units high and dry.

Besides, the recent hike in home loan interest rates would mean even more financial burden on the common man.


Rs 2-cr equestrian project gets trotting
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The Chandigarh administration moved a step closer to having a state-of-the-art equestrian complex at Sarangpur with the authorities completing the demarcation of the land for their prestigious project.

Giving details, the Chandigarh sports department’s director IS Sandhu said, “The demarcation of the land has been done and the drawings of the project have been submitted to the senior town planner by the department for further action.”

By the next week, the sports department is likely to get the possession of the land after which the engineering department will start construction, Sandhu added.

The complex, which spreads in a total area of 15 acres, will have all facilities, including top-class stables, office-cum-club house, changing rooms and washrooms.

“But the thrust will be on making a major part of the complex green. We will have separate areas for different events, including dressage, tottering, show-jumping, tent-pegging and cross-country,” Sandhu said.

Initially, the stables will be erected for around 100 horses where the interested players- organisations like the NCC, police, defence and associations-can house their animals.

The upkeep of the horses as well as the complex will be outsourced to professionals or agencies having expertise, Sandhu said.

The director said the fee structure will be decided only after the completion of the project.

“We are more concerned to give a boost to the sport in the city, so definitely it (the fee structure) will be nominal,” Sandhu said.

Sarangpur is around 2 km away from the PGI.

According to authorities, the project, which will cost around Rs 2 crore, will be completed within six months.

Meanwhile, authorities have ordered to stop all equestrian activities at the Lake complex with immediate effect.



MC apathy, rains spell doom for roads
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The apathy of the municipal corporation, coupled with rains, has spelt doom for roads in Phase I, Industrial Area, in the city. The roads are not re-carpeted for years in certain parts of the Industrial Area, much to the annoyance of the residents.

One can witness huge pot holes filled with stagnant rainwater on the internal roads in the area. These roads are apparently not re-carpeted for years. Similar is the condition of external roads in other parts of the Industrial Area. Making the matter worse, encroachments along the roads and haphazardly parked vehicles further choke the already narrow roads, creating chaos and traffic jams.

Water-logging, congestion, poor condition of streetlights and lack of adequate parking space for heavy vehicles are the problems, which haunt the residents of the Industrial Area.

The condition of two dilapidated roads, one in front of Autopace Network and another near an under-construction mall, Imporio Mall, are examples of official neglect. The roads catering to a large number of heavy vehicles could not sustain the load and gave way years ago. These have not been repaired properly.

I. Dean, manager, service, of Autopace Network told The Tribune that except for doing some patch work -- that, too, years ago -- nothing was done here to improve the situation. “We suffer loss in business as the customers avoid coming to us due to the bad condition of the approach road. You can better judge the intention of the officials of the civic body, who are ready to issue a challan even for a small leakage, but conveniently turn a blind eye to a pool of stagnant water on the road,” he added.

A visit to the area reveals that not only the cars and two-wheelers, even heavy vehicles like trucks got stuck in the trenches caused due to incessant rains. The poor quality of material used in repair also wears off with the first spell of rains, rued the residents of the area.

During the recent general house meeting of the corporation, the House approved various agendas to the tune of Rs 11.34 crore as rough cost estimate for improvement and upgradation of infrastructure in the Industrial Area, but the pathetic condition of internal roads was not included in it.

City mayor Pardeep Chhabra maintained that the House had passed agendas of several development works in the Industrial Area and additional amount of grant-in-aid was awaited. As soon as grant is available the work on other projects would be started, he stated.



Inter-state transport deal with Punjab
UT fixes countersignature fee for buses
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Paving the way for implementing the inter-state transport agreement between Chandigarh and Punjab, the UT’s transport department will annually charge Rs 8,000 as countersignature fee from operators of private air-conditioned buses playing from Punjab to the city.

After seeking public comments in the next 10 days, the rates will be notified, said a senior official.

The countersignature fee for non-AC buses being run by private bus operators will be Rs 5,000 per annum.

No further categorisation about the type of vehicle and type of permits covered under the inter-state agreement has been specified, it has been learnt.

Though the transport secretary had approved the new countersignature last Monday, the official procedure to finally notify the fee will take another two weeks.

Finalisation of the fee will allow passengers, travelling between Chandigarh and different destinations in Punjab, to enjoy a comfortable ride.

AC and non-AC buses owned and operated by the state transport undertaking of the UT and Punjab have been exempt from paying the fee.

However, the UT is yet to decide on passenger tax to be levied on vehicles entering the city under the reciprocal agreement between the two states.

The tax has to be decided before the state transport authority charges the countersignature fee from private bus operators.

Though there is a loss of revenue under the agreement, the decision has been taken bearing convenience of the passengers in mind. The UT is yet to enter into a similar agreement with Haryana.

Under a reciprocal transport agreement signed between the UT and Punjab on June 4, AC and non-AC buses owned and operated by the state transport undertakings of the two states will be allowed subject to countersignatures on permits.

Regarding the integral air-conditioned buses of private operators, an agreement has been reached to allow the permits provided it was extended beyond Chandigarh, except in Punjab area.

Private operators have been allowed to operate 77 integral buses.

Non-AC buses of private operators having permit before November 1, 1966, will be allowed subject to verification of the original permit and countersigned by the state transport authority.

No bus of the private operator will be allowed on local routes operated by the CTU.

The two states have also agreed that in future only LPG, CNG and battery-operated auto-rickshaws fitted with meters will be allowed to run after countersigning of permits.

The auto-rickshaws operating between Chandigarh and Mohali will be exempt from tax.

Since the UT has decided to phase out diesel auto-rickshaws after a year, Punjab will have to face the problem as it was still issuing permits to diesel auto-rickshaws.

Only LPG, CNG and battery-operated auto-rickshaws will be allowed to enter Chandigarh, said an official of the STA.



Radio cabs for Mohali soon
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 17
Mohali will have its own radio cabs. The town is one of the four cities in Punjab which have been shortlisted for the introduction of ‘city safe cabs’. The other cities are Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

City cabs are already plying in Chandigarh but this will be the first time that cabs will ply within Mohali’s limits with due permits from the transport authorities.

These cabs will have a GPS system through which the cab owners will be able to monitor the taxi’s movement ensuring passengers’ safety.

SAS Nagar district transport officer Balbir Singh said eight sites where these cabs would be parked in Mohali and the cab company would have offices had been identified and the list had been discussed with the deputy commissioner for finalisation.

The Punjab Government has already shortlisted two cab companies who have offered to ply cabs within these four cities. The cabs will be allowed to carry passengers to any destination which is within 50 kms of the city. The rates that these cabs will charge will be the same as has been notified by the government for maxi cabs.

The Punjab Government had, on June 25 this year, fixed the rates to be charged by maxi cabs plying in the state. For the first kilometer, the taxi owner can charge Rs 15 and for the subsequent kms the rate is Rs 12 per km. Another Rs 50 will be charged for every hour of the waiting period.

“We will have a reciprocal arrangement with Chandigarh regarding the validity of permits for these cabs plying from Mohali to Chandigarh,” said the DTO.

The cabs will be available over the phone and can be called from anywhere within a distance of 50 km. The DTO added that initially the company would be allowed to ply only 10 cabs following which the number of permits could be increased. He added that the companies which would be allowed to operate these ‘city safe cabs’ would have to have at least 50 cabs registered with them.



Crusher zone to have toll road
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

The proposed toll road in the crusher zone at Chandi Mandir in Panchkula
The proposed toll road in the crusher zone at Chandi Mandir in Panchkula. — Tribune photo by Himanshu Mahajan

Panchkula, July 17
Residents of Jalla and Burj Kotian villages at Chandi Mandir have a reason to cheer. The state PWD has proposed to construct a road through the villages located in the crusher zone on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. The plan has already been given a final touch and sent to the government for cabinet approval.

Residents in the area have been facing serious sanitary problems as thousands of heavy vehicles loaded with stones and other building material extracted from mines in the Ghaggar river ply on the road every day. The presence of hundreds of crushers and washing plants in the area has further led to the increase in the number of vehicles.

Under the heavy load, the road gives way within six months as the tar coal loses grip very soon when it comes in contact with water. And the road in the area needs to be repeatedly sprayed with water as dust emerging from the crushers and smoke from moving vehicles reaches the houses in the adjoining villages. Moreover, the damaged road with big potholes leads to wear and tear of the vehicles.

Sources in the PWD said construction of the road would need around Rs 30 crore. The work would include widening of the road up to seven meter and laying of two bridges over 6.1 kms.

While nothing would be charged from car users of the two villages, heavy vehicle drivers would have to shell out Rs 200 as toll tax for entry in the area. Similarly, cars belonging to outsiders would be charged Rs 20 as toll tax.



Magistrate issues prohibitory orders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Issuing prohibitory orders, the district magistrate has made it mandatory for residents to register with the respective station house officer (SHO) the labour engaged on contract or daily wage for petty services. Registration of domestic servants has also been made mandatory.

The order has been issued to curb criminals and antisocial elements from seeking refuge in unorganised sectors by engaging themselves in trades and services like plying of rickshaws, rehris, auto-rickshaws or running businesses like phari, dhobi and cobblers.

By engaging themselves in the economy of the city, unscrupulous elements manage to hide their identity and pose a threat to the peace and public tranquility.

The magistrate has clarified that any breach of the order will invite action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

The order will remain effective for a period of 60 days with effect from July 18.

In a separate order, the magistrate has prohibited the use of cyber cafés by persons whose identification has not been established by the owner of the cafe.

Cyber café owners have been asked to maintain a register for identity of the visitor/user by making the entry of visitor’s name, address, telephone number and identity proof.

The identity of the visitor can be established through ID, voter’s card, ration card, driver’s licence, passport and photo credit card.

Activity server log will have to be preserved in the main server and its record for at least six months.

Cyber café owners have been asked to inform the police station in case of suspicious activity and have also been told maintain record about the specific computer used by the individual.

The order has been issued under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.



Vivek FM joins hands with BBC World
Babli Hooda

Chandigarh, July 17
Vivek 90.4 FM is Chandigarh’s first community radio station to have entered into an alliance with the BBC World Service. The radio channel of Vivek High School, Sector 38, has been on air since March 2007.

It has been spreading community awareness on health and education. These programmes are aired in Hindi, English and Punjabi.

The programmes that will be available on the radio station are “Discovery”, a science programme, “Culture Shock”, “The Ticket” and “One Planet”.

As a result of this partnership, Vivek 90.4 FM will give listeners a chance to learn English, get health tips from across the world and learn about world opinion on technological advances, environment, music, art and culture.

“The BBC team visited our school more than a month ago and was all praise for the infrastructure and facilities being provided in the school,” said Daman Duggal, school principal.

“We hope the quality and the range of programmes broadcast will give the listeners a whole new radio experience,” she said.

“We are learning a lot and enjoying every moment of it,” said Seerat. “We have gained confidence and learnt a lot on public speaking,” added Aakrti.



Power poles damaged in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
A UT police vehicle collided with electricity poles on the Naya Gaon-Khuda Ali Sher road this morning, resulting in power cables falling on the road.

In spite of a threat to the lives of commuters, they had no option but to cross over the live wires.

Though residents of the area informed the authorities concerned, the local civic body failed to take any step to repair the damage. At least seven poles were damaged in the collision.



AOC-in-C visits Air Force station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Air Marshal P.K. Barbora, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Western Air Command (WAC), visited the Air Force station high grounds, near here, today.

Group Capt R.K.S. Shera and his wife Jaspreet Shera welcomed the Air Marshal and his wife Arundhati Barbora, regional president, Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA).

The Air Marshal was briefed about the training being conducted for IAF pilots and the maintenance staff at the high grounds.

The AOC-in-C was also briefed on various innovations and training aids developed in-house by the training school.



Central panel inspects rly station
Our Correspondent

Kalka, July 17
A 21-member Parliamentary committee, headed by Basudeb Acharya of Lok Sabha, including Kishan Singh Sangwan, Tarnikant Sahay, Abony Roi, Manak Singh and Lalit Kishor Chakerverti, today inspected the Kalka railway station and narrow gauge railway workshop as part of a study tour and inspection.

Sources revealed the main motive of the tour was related to passengers’ safety and providing more facilities to them. Roi said as the Kalka-Shimla rail section had already made a mark on the world heritage map, passengers would be provided with more facilities on this section. He said the committee would prepare a report in this regard.



Cine goers left high and dry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Cine goers at DT cinema, IT Park, were left high and dry when the night show of two movies ' Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic' and ' Love Story 2050' were cancelled at the last moment.

The management of the DT cinema did not give any prior notice. The people who had gone to the multiplex to watch the two movies complained of harassment.

An official manning the ticket counter said the show had been cancelled due to technical reasons. However, the spokesman for the DT cinema could not be contacted for comments.



Save Punjab from power crisis
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 17
The Pensioners’ and Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association has urged the SAD MPs to vote in support of the nuclear deal to save Punjab and the entire nation from power crisis. President S.S. Jaspal said if it was not possible for the Punjab MPs to vote in favour of the nuclear deal, they should abstain themselves from voting.



Four labourers hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Four labourers escaped with minor injuries after the scaffolding gave way at Gurdwara Gursagar, here this afternoon.

The injured have been identified as Ishant, Mayadevi, Liyakat and Waseen, all residents of Burail. The incident took place around 2 pm, when labourers were fixing the scaffolding.

The injured were taken to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, from where Ishant, Mayadevi and Liyakat were discharged after medication.

Waseen sustained stitches on the lips.



Stop gambling

Gambling is not looked down with contempt by Chandigarh administration. Though there have been general concerns expressed by the administration about the negative implications of gambling, no stringent action has ever taken against law-breakers. People can be seen gambling in public places.

There are many loopholes in Public Gambling Act. In many cases, it is not easy for the administration to find if the gambling was being done for the commercial purpose.

Besides changes in legislation and strict supervision by the police, it requires strong public participation to check gambling in public places.

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



Panjab varsity senate draws flak
No fee concession to SC/ST candidates
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Panjab University’s (PU) senate decision to not give any fee concession to the SC/ST candidates has drawn flak from a section of senators, thereby questioning the governing body’s credibility.

The PU senate, in its meeting held on March 29, brought an item referring to fee concession to the SC/ST candidates in the recently started UIAMS (University Institute of Applied Management Sciences) for admission to MBA courses.

Referring to the item, fellow Prabhjit Singh stated that since the course fell under self-financing courses category, there could not be any variation in the fee structure for the general students vis-à-vis the SC/ST candidates. The fee for students belonging to the general category was Rs 2 lakh and for the SC/ST it was Rs 1.25 lakh.

Senior member, fellow G K Chatarath, supported the statement and said norms adopted for charging from the SC/ST candidates should be adopted for the MBA courses to be started in the UIAMS.

Even the vice-chancellor (VC) had assured that the norms adopted in the UIET for the purpose will be followed in this case also. However, to everyone’s surprise, it was found that the deliberations were not recorded in the minutes. Consequently, the fee for both the categories vary.

Recently, Prabhjit Singh, fellow who had raised this issue in the senate meeting, wrote a letter to the VC asking him to look into the matter.

When contacted, the vice-chancellor said, “The matter was brought to my notice two days back. I immediately constituted a committee and the same also gave its recommendations within 12 hours.”

The committee comprising registrar S. S. Bari, Prof A. Saihjpal, H. S. Shergill, Prabhjit Singh, Prof C. L. Duggal, Prof P. S. Jaswal and Naval Kishore recommended that for every SC/ST candidate admitted, Rs 75,000 will be claimed from the department of social welfare of their respective state as per rule, failing which the money will be recovered from the candidate.

Also, the fee structure for the general and the SC/ST candidates will be the same from the next academic session.



Panel to probe brawl in front of VC’s office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Taking cognizance of yesterday’s incident on the campus, wherein some student activists of ABVP and SOPU had created ruckus in front of VC’s office and scaled the gates of he prohibited area, the university authorities today formed a committee to look into the whole matter.

The incident is being viewed as a security breach on the campus by many insiders and to review the security arrangements and gravity of the incident, committee members, including Prof A. Sahijpal, fellow R.K. Sharma, DSW (women) Nistha Jaswal, DSW Naval Kisore, chief security officer Vijay Pal will prepare a report on yesterday’s incident.

Issuing a press statement here today, university authorities stated that the university had taken the incident very seriously. Serious action would be taken against those who were guilty after the committee decided upon the same in its meeting.

The incident happened while the foundation stone-laying ceremony was in progress at the south campus.

Vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti said, “We are contemplating serious action against those who will be found involved in the ruckus. Police action can be taken against them.”



Canteens more than eateries for students
Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, July 17
It is not just about those hot samosas or sandwiches and nor about those mouth-watering dosas and rajmah-chawal, canteens for city students are much more. From place of introductory session to escape zones from lectures and dating spots, canteen serves all purposes. But yes, one cannot deny that the inescapable lip-smacking menu is what fetches the crowd in a big way.

As most of the city colleges commence their academic session, Chandigarh Tribune peeps into what the city college canteens have to offer. Though fast food like patties, burgers, sandwiches and cold drinks are offered and liked in every college, yet lemon water and kulche chhole gives stiff competition to these fast food items.

“College canteen is one of our hot favourites. It is where we endlessly hog on food and gossip, laugh out loud and do faltoo masti,” says Itika, a fresher at MCM DAV College. The kulchas and the lemon water besides being reasonably priced are yummy too. Where Kulchas satisfy one’s appetite during college hours, lemon water helps keeping cool and is worth having with the kulchas.

“Do you know Radhe? Oh not the Tere Naam’s Radhe, it’s the name of our college’s famous kulcha wala. His kulche chhole are very famous and even the passouts of the college specially come to have kulchas,” says a student of Government College, Sector 11.

When it comes to the Punjab University campus canteens, one can go nut choosing from the varied menus. Hundreds of people throng here everyday as love of the eatery corners not only allures the students and other college students but also the outsiders.

Pakwaan, Eatery Shop and Center 14 are some of the names of food corners one encounters while entering the place. The university food corners offer scrumptious rajmah-chawl, Amritsari kulchas, chhole bhatoore, different kinds of juices, jal jeera and apart from these full course meal menu it also offers fast food like patties, burger, sandwhich, chowmins and many more.

Most of the university students have their lunch at the campus as they find it delicious. Often the student groups can be found having lunch at the campus. “The food here is amazing we have a varied choice and quality of the food and having it with friends makes it more attractive,” says Priya, a university student.

So freshers don’t miss it; doesn’t matter which college you are from but the university canteens are a must visit.



Pay school fee at e-Sampark Centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Chandigarh education department has announced that fee and funds for all government schools would be transacted through e-Sampark Centres across the city.

Last date for depositing the fee and funds would be 10th of every month. However, the students had been recommended to deposit their fee and funds by 9th and 19th, respectively, of each month.

If any of the two specified days happen to be holiday then the next working day would be the last date of acceptance. After last date, the fee and funds would be accepted along with a fine of Re 1 per day.

Since, the Sampark Centres would carry out the remittance of fee and funds to treasury with the help of Axis Bank; each school would open its current account with the bank.

The administration has entered into an agreement with BOT operator, department of information technology, for the purpose. It would be the duty of BOT operator to maintain the management information system (MIS) for every school, education department and treasury. All transaction cost would be borne by the IT department.

Deputy district education officer Chanchal Singh has been designated as nodal officer for ensuring the Internet connectivity of all schools with e-Sampark Centres.

Earlier the class teachers-in-charge used to collect the fee from the students, deposit with accountant who further used to deposit with the treasury.

It is pertinent to mention that no fee is charged up till Class VIII at any government school. This significant move will be applicable to around 40,000 students studying in Class IX onwards.

Required software is being installed initially in 21 senior secondary schools of the city.

Education officials clarified that if a child failed to deposit his/her fee within stipulated time, his/her name would be struck off and he/she would have to seek re-admission.

To categorise the students, every school would issue an identity card to each of its students with a unique code embossed on it.



PU Notes
Post-doctoral fellowship for Bawa
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
On the recommendations of the MHRD empowered committee, University Grants Commission has selected Dr Harinder Singh Bawa, research associate, DST research project, department of physics, PU, as the UGC-Dr D.S. Kothari postdoctoral fellow.

The postdoctoral fellowship is tenable for a period of three years for research in the chosen area of physics under Prof Manjit Kaur, department of physics, PU. The Postdoctoral Fellowship carries Rs 20,000 per month with an annual increase of Rs 1000 plus Rs 50,000 per annum as contingent grant.

Dr Bawa has also been offered a job as postdoctoral research fellow at California State University, USA.

INVITED: Dr Bhupinder Singh Bhoop, a professor at University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, PU, has been invited to present his work at a conference organised on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Nobel laureate Paul Ehrlich to be held in October at Nurnberg, Germany. He has been invited to present his research work on ‘Development, optimization and pharmacokinetic modeling of drug delivery systems of anti-hypertensive drugs and NSAIDs’.

TEST: Physical efficiency test for admission to BPEd course will be held on July 18 on PU grounds. Interview for admission to BPEd course will be held on the same day itself at 11.00 am in department of physical education.

COUNSELING: Second counseling/interview for admission to MA I (community education & development) will be held on July 22 from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm in the office of RRC cum department of community education & development (near boys’ Hostel No. 7), PU.

The candidates who could not come on 14.7.2008 due to one reason or the other are advised to appear before the committee on the scheduled date and time and bring all the original degrees/certificates/documents.

RESULTS: Panjab University has declared the results of MA II (geography) and MA 2nd Semester (public administration).



New management institute at Gharuan
Our correspondent

Chandigarh, July 17
Chanakya Institute of Management is the latest addition in the B-schools around Chandigarh, which is situated in village Gharuan on Chandigarh-Ludhiana highway.

It has been approved by AICTE, ministry of HRD and Punjab government and will offer courses in MBA, BBA and BCA from current academic session. Institute authorities said special emphasis would be laid on the personality development of the students by inculcating in them the art of self-management and public speaking. Placement would be a major concern.



SSC website launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Chairperson of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) S. Tshering Misra today inaugurated commission’s website — www.sscnwr.gov.in. She hoped that it would bring candidates closer to the commission.



Consumer Courts
National Insurance Co. to pay Rs 2.3 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed National Insurance Company Limited to pay the claim of Rs 2,34,973 at an interest of 9 per cent per annum towards the fire claim filed by Punjab Fibres Limited in New Delhi along with Rs 5,500 as costs of litigation.

The company stated that it was engaged in the business of manufacturing yarns both from natural and man-made fibres. It had got an insurance policy for one of its spinning mills in Nawanshahr from the insurance firm.

It averred that a fire broke out in the factory on January 21, 2005, and the company incurred a loss of Rs 4 lakh. The petitioner alleged that the surveyor of the company assessed the claim to be less than that.

The insurance firm stated that the report was not biased and it was prepared after conducting a deep study.

ICICI Bank fined

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the branch manager of ICICI Bank, Sector 9, and branch manager of ICICI Bank, credit card division, Empire Complex, Mumbai, to pay a sum of Rs 10,000 as compensation for causing harassment to a resident of Sector 47.

The bank employees were also asked to pay Rs 1,500 as cost of litigation to the complainant.

The complainant, Armaan Deep Singh, had agreed to keep a credit card of the bank to avail of credit facilities while filling petrol.

He got the details of credit card in May, 2007 wherein he found a payment reference dated June 25, 2007 through which a sum of Rs 30,000 had been transferred from complainant’s credit card account to an HSBC credit card, whose holder was not known to him.

He alleged that an amount Rs 30,674 was debited from his credit card account without his consent.

The complainant took up the matter with the bank and also with the Reserve Bank of India for reversal of the entry but nothing was done.

The complainant also approached the SHO of police station-3, with a complaint on July 2, 2007.

After the intervention of the police, RBI authorities and bank authorities at Mumbai reverted the entry and the complainant made payment of the balance bill of the credit card account with payment receipt.

The complainant stated that due to withdrawal of money one of his cheques issued to pay house loan was dishonoured.

The bank stated that the complainant had availed of credit card facility with them and that the accounts statement issued by them was a matter of record.

It was further stated that the mistake was made due to human or typographical error.


The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has imposed a penalty of Rs 2,500 on Bansal Sanitary and Hardware Store along with Rs 1,100 as costs of litigation for overcharging a resident of Manimajra.

The petitioner, Naveen Vig, had purchased a lock - Alfa 6 Level Dead Lock - worth Rs 168. However, the retail price mentioned on the product was Rs 145. On noticing this, the petitioner brought the matter to the notice of the shop owner but he was not compensated for it.

Replying to the petition, the respondents accepted that the bill pertains to them. They further added that the price of metals like iron and copper were fluctuating day after day and the price of the lock could vary.

The company that manufactures the locks replied through the post wherein it denied selling locks to the said store. It specifically mentioned that the price of the lock was Rs 145.



Inderjeet Murder Case
Witness not examined on defence plea
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
A prosecution witness summoned in a murder trial pending for 23 years by the CBI Special Court had to return without getting his statement recorded after the defence counsel pled for it.

On the last hearing on July 5 in the Inderjit Singh murder case, who was allegedly murdered in 1985, the CBI court had summoned Paramjit Singh, MMHC (malkana munshi), to get his statement recorded before it.

It is pertinent to mention that the court had recently added two more accused — Kushwant Singh and Rajinder Kaur — to the case.

Earlier during the trial of two other accused, Hardev Singh and Harpreet Singh, a number of witnesses had been examined.

On the last hearing, prosecution witness Paramjit Singh deposed before the court with a request of adjournment as his wife was not well.

However, the defence counsel in this case pled before the court that Paramjit could not be examined as earlier during the trail of Hardev Singh and Harpreet Singh, MMHC Paramjit Singh was not examined as witness.

This was done on an application of the prosecution filed under Section 311, CrPC, wherein request for summoning Paramjit Singh was sought, which was initially dismissed by the trial court.

However, it was allowed in the revision plea filed by the complainant and the state in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Accepting the plea of the defence counsel, the court observed: “The stand taken by the court is that no witness other than the witnesses already examined against Hardev Singh and Harpreet Singh and witnesses allowed by the court while allowing the application of prosecution under Section 311 of the CrPC can be examined again.”

Paramjit Singh was summoned in January, 2008 by the CBI Special Court to get his statement recorded.

He didn’t appear before the court and bailable warrants were issued against him.

Thereafter, Paramjit deposed before the court and apologised for not appearing before court on the last hearing. Thereafter, his bailable warrants were cancelled and he was asked to depose on the next hearing.

The prosecution then filed a revision plea in the High Court against the dismissal of application under Section 319 of the CrPC by the trial court wherein permission to proceed against other persons appearing to be guilty in the offence was sought. The revision plea was allowed by the High Court and a fresh trial against the accused, Rajinder Kaur and Kushwant Singh, was ordered. Thus, a fresh trial of two more accused was started.



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