C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Heavy police posse at MCM
Girls barred from hanging around college gate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
A day after some MCM DAV College girls were attacked yesterday, the college authorities shifted from “denial mode” to damage control.

While principal Puneet Bedi called in all faculty members to take stock of the situation early this morning, the college vicinity was virtually turned into a cantonment area. Heavy police force was deployed on the road leading to the college and barricades had been put up with women police personnel.

A PCR vehicle was deployed outside the college entrance and barricades were put up on both sides. The principal said they had asked the police to permanently station the PCR there or increase patrolling around the college, besides deploying two cops outside the college.

Puneet Bedi said: “We are taking precautionary measures so that such an incident does not recur. We have made announcements in the college, asking students not to stand in front of the Verka booth or the park as the college would not be responsible for any such incident.”

Notices have been put up in the college in this regard and students have been told not to stand outside the college without any purpose. “Even those who get free early and go by the college bus will have to wait inside the premises,” she said.

According to sources, those students who were involved in yesterday’s incident were made to reach a compromise and sign letters, vowing not to fight again.

Jaswant Singh Khera, DSP, said so far no complaint had been received.



Bangalore Blasts
City on high alert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Within hours of the blasts in Bangalore, the police today sounded high alert in the city. Security was beefed up in and around crowded places, including shopping complexes, railway station and the ISBTs in Sectors 17 and 43.

Specials nakas were set up at sensitive parts of the city. The police also launched a combing operation at the railway station along with the general railway police and the railway protection force.

The police also used the public address system to warn residents in shopping complexes against picking up abandoned and unidentified objects. They also asked them to inform the police about the movement of people under suspicious circumstances.

A senior police officer said they had not received any report from intelligence agencies regarding the possibility of bomb blasts in the city, but they did not want to take any chances.

Bus passengers were frisked and their luggage was checked with the help of metal detectors. At some places, the police had pressed sniffer dogs into service. Dustbins and empty tins strewn on the platform were checked at the railway station.

The police put up barricades around shopping complexes in Sectors 17 and Sector 22.



Mid-day meal goes into private hands
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The city administration has decided to involve private players to look after the midday meal scheme for around 80,000 students of Classes I to VIII on the pattern of the Delhi government.

The move follows the administration’s centralised proposal for preparing the meal by setting up cooking sheds at 10 government schools of the city.

The private players in the fray are Swami Shivananda Memorial Society, Delhi, Raj Memorial Trust, Delhi, and Food Relief Foundation, ISKON, Delhi, besides Yuvsatta, Chandigarh.

Under the agreement, these organisations would provide cooked meal at a subsidised rate of Rs 2.50 per child. The arrangement would be made viable with the Centre’s policy of providing foodgrain at a cost of Rs 2.50 per child per day, along with 100 gm of foodgrain per child. Officials say this amount is sufficient.

At present, the ready-to-eat food (chapatti-based menu) costs the administration Rs 7.12 per child per day and the rice-based menu costs Rs 4.50.

These organisations would run centralised kitchens to provide meals to morning and evening shifts in schools. Until the cooking sheds are completed, the administration is thinking of making temporary arrangements at schools or community centres nearby.

The pilot project has already been started by Swami Shivananda Society at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47, where two rooms have been renovated to cook food.

A delegation of Food Relief Foundation paid a visit to the city to see the infrastructure. “Talks are on with the Chandigarh administration. We have submitted a proposal regarding the safety aspect because huge boilers require stipulated safety norms. Once the required infrastructure is ready, we will start our kitchen here,” Krishan Das Dhananjay, director of the group, said.

Yuvsatta has formed a self help group of women from marginalised sections of society for the purpose. “At present, we are supplying meal to 25 street children in Don Bosco’s Centre at Government High School, Sector 29. We intend to extend it to other schools,” Parmod Sharma of Yuvsatta said.



Citco MD Post
Centre bypasses admn; goes to Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Central government seems to have lost confidence in the Chandigarh administration regarding inter-state deputation of IAS officers at key posts.

A case in point is the panel for the managing director of Citco after the repatriation of J.S. Bir to Punjab.

Instead of asking the administration to ask for a panel for the post, the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions has asked the Punjab chief secretary to send a “proposal for the appointment of a suitable successor to J.S. Bir from the Punjab cadre to the appointments committee of the cabinet (ACC)”.

Earlier, the convention was that Punjab and Haryana sent a panel to the administration and lobbying for key posts in the UT was a routine affair.

In fact, in the backdrop of the intense lobbying for the post of home secretary, the post has been lying vacant for almost four months now.

However, official sources claimed that since the administration was under the direct control of the ministry of home affairs, the ministry forwarded the request of the ACC to the administration.


Industries association chairman booked
Bid to grab shamlat land
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 25
The Zirakpur police here has booked Kewal Garg, chairman of the Dera Bassi Industries Association, on charges of trying to grab a part of common land of Nagla village.

Garg has been booked on a complaint lodged by the block and panchayat development officer of the village Preetinder Singh Bains with the police.

The BDPO had alleged that Garg tried to grab the land last evening. Garg had gone to the area with tractors and started cultivating the land in spite of there being a court order to maintain status quo.

Garg is a real estate agent in the area besides having one of the largest steel industries in Dera Bassi.

Garg had bought a part of the shamlat land of the village, the status of which had been in the midst of controversy for the past one year.

The village panchayat is fighting for the ownership of 233 bighas of shamlat (common) land.

The panchayat has filed an appeal against Bakhsish Singh and others, including Garg, who claim ownership of the land.

The 233 bighas of the village shamlat land was ordered to be divided by collector-cum-divisional deputy director J.S. Brar in January, 2007.

The panchayat failed to appeal against the orders within the stipulated 90 days, following which the ownership was transferred to the individual claimants, who further sold their portions to local businessmen and promoters.

The division of land was cancelled sometime last year, against which Garg had filed an appeal with the joint development commissioner.

The land was to be auctioned for cultivation by the village through the BDPO earlier this month but Garg sought a stay on the auction, which was granted by a local court.

However, Garg claims that the court had granted him status quo on the land, which means that the ownership of the land was with him.

“I have been growing fodder on the land for the pat two years and that is what I had asked my people to do. But it is being construed as grabbing of my own land,” he said.

The BDPO, however, pointed out that the stay had been granted only on the auction and did not mean that Garg owned the land.

“The mutations in his favour were cancelled and the ownership of the land is with the village,” said the BDPO.

Garg, however, maintained that he had been wrongly booked by the police as he was the owner of the land. He added that he would move court against the lodging of the FIR.



US launched 25 missile attacks in Pak: scribe
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The United States forces deployed in the Afghanistan theatre have carried out more than 24 precision attacks over the past two years to target terrorist and fundamentalist elements based in Pakistan, a visiting scribe claimed.

"The US forces made between 20 and 25 attacks by guided missiles in the past two and a half years in Pakistan’s tribal areas,” Rafatullah Khan Sailab Mahsud, a Pakistan-based correspondent with the Arabic Al-Jazir TV, said here today.

“These were specific and pin-point attacks against Arab and Taliban population spread across the northern Pakistan’s tribal belt adjoining Afghanistan,” Mahsud, who is heading a delegation of Pakistani journalists on a visit to India, added.

Mahsud opined that following the transition of power to political leaders, the internal situation in Pakistan would further deteriorate in the coming months. "Violence will increase in Pakistan in the days ahead as Taliban has specifically asked Pakistan not to toe the US line,” he said.

“The people are still facing difficulties and there is a general fear among the masses, specially in the northern tribal belts, because of the dictates of the Taliban and the Al Queda,” he said, adding that attacks by the terrorist outfits are continuing unabated.

Mahsud said nothing was known about the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden. Osama, who is the most wanted man in the US, was reported to be suffering from a serious renal ailment and Al-Jazir channel had in the past been airing video tapes containing his messages. A 12-member delegation of Pakistani journalists, under the banner of Friendly Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) and North West Frontier Province (NWFP), is visiting various places in India. The delegation has already visited Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mumbai and will go to Agra next after a two-day stay in Chandigarh.

An interaction of bureaucrats and experts in industrial development, agriculture, health, information technology and education was organised with the delegation at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here today.

Noting that Pakistan was facing acute shortage of diesel, Punjab chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh, in his inaugural address, said the state was open for setting up a direct pipeline to Pakistan from the upcoming Bathinda refinery.

Laying emphasis on opening up of land route to Pakistan for bilateral trade, he said by opening the land route, Pakistan would have an access up till Kanya Kumari while India could benefit by reaching out to the Gulf nations. Pointing out that the Punjab government had appointed a nodal officer for facilitating bilateral trade, he said besides tea and dry fruits, several entrepreneurs from Pakistan have now started exporting cement, which is cheaper in Pakistan by about Rs 45 per bag in comparison to India. Punjab can export kinnow, maize, guava, mangoes and lichies to Pakistan, he added.



Substandard meat gluts city markets
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Meat eaters beware! For, substandard meat seems to have flooded city markets exposing non-vegetarians to serious health hazards. The substandard meat is being supplied not only to slums, but also to up-market eateries, shops and restaurants across the city.

Sources in the Chandigarh municipal corporation claim that due to the nexus between officials of the health department and illegal meat sellers, the sale of substandard mutton is going on unabated in slums and other parts of the city. It is alleged that unscrupulous elements in the corporation are charging monthlies from these unauthorised meat sellers to allow them to operate in their areas.

The animals are slaughtered under unhygienic conditions by these meat sellers, compromising on the health of their consumers, admits Parminder Pal Singh, MCC assistant commissioner, saying that though raids are being conducted at regular intervals, but they fail to serve the purpose.

He adds even the fish sellers in the city are not ready to shift to the AC fish market made by the corporation to avoid taxes and prefer to selling meat illegally.

A random survey of meat shops in the city revealed that the mutton being sold at shops in various sectors does not carry the requisite MCC stamp clearly confirming fears of its purchase from unauthorised slaughter houses.

During a visit to the Sector 21 meat market, this correspondent asked a shopkeeper to show the MCC stamp on the meat he was selling. In an attempt to cover up the issue, the shopkeeper said he had sold the part of meat carrying the stamp. He added that the stamp was a way to make money by the corporation.

Sources in the corporation say that it was last year when the corporation conducted a drive to check the sale of substandard meat. Substandard meat is available in plenty in Rajiv Colony, Mauli Jagran, Sashatri Nagar, Colony Nos. 4 and 5, Dadu Majra Colony and in villages under the corporation. Near Darua village, there are a number of slaughter houses that are being operated illegally under unhygienic conditions for years.

City mayor Pardeep Chhabra, terming the practice as a serious health hazard, said he would take up the issue with the authorities to check the menace.

Dr G. Diwan, medical officer, health, maintained that he had joined only recently and was not fully aware about the things going on. He said today he conducted a raid and seized 3 quintals of meat being sold under unhygienic conditions. Three vendors were booked under the sanitation rules and seven others under the meat bylaws. About the practice of stamping meat, he said: "The corporation guarantees that the animal is slaughtered under hygienic conditions after carrying out its health check up."



Meat shops raided
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
A joint team of sanitation and health committees which was headed by Municipal Corporation assistant commissioner Parminder Pal raided various colonies and Manimajra to check the sale of unhygienic meat here today.

Official said during the raid, three quintal of meat was found sold in an unhygienic condition and was taken into custody by the department. This team challaned a few of shopkeepers in various colonies.



Diarrhoea Death
Panel gives clean chit to doctor
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 25
In a preliminary report submitted to the authorities concerned, a medical panel today gave a clean chit to a doctor of the civil hospital in connection with the death of a seven-year-old child due to diarrhoea two days ago.

Arvind, a resident of Balmiki Colony, had died while three members of the same family suffering from diarrhoea were admitted to the hospital.

Deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari had ordered an inquiry into the death of the child. The managing director of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation was to conduct the probe.

Mohali civil surgeon P.K. Mittal had asked the SMO in charge of the hospital H.S. Sarang to constitute a panel of three doctors of the hospital to investigate the matter and submit a preliminary report in connection with the death of Arvind.

Sarang said the three-member panel formed by him included Dr Kanwaljit Singh Sandhu, Dr I.J.S. Bhatia and Dr Sandeep Singh.

He said the panel had submitted its preliminary report to him, which had further been sent to the civil surgeon.

Sources said according to the preliminary report, reasons leading to the death of the child could not be ascertained as post-mortem examination was not carried out.

The medical panel had stated in the report that the treatment provided to Arvind was according to the norms and there was no negligence on part of the doctor on duty and the hospital.

The preliminary report stated that Arvind was brought to the hospital at 11 pm on July 22. The patient was attended by Dr Amit Arora, who was on duty in the emergency wing.

The child was kept under observation and was treated according to the medical guidelines.

He was sent home as he was on liquid diet and was advised to return to the hospital if the need arose.

It is learnt that the father of the child, Dharamveer, told the medical panel that he did not return to the hospital with his child, as he had no faith in the services provided at the hospital.

Sources said the panel had stated in the preliminary report that the case of Arvind and other members of the family was probably linked to food poisoning, as only this family had suffered from gastroenteritis and no other case was reported from the Balmiki Colony.

Residents of the colony were taking water from the same tank but nobody else was affected.

2 admitted

As many as 11 patients suffering from diarrhoea reached the civil hospital here on Friday. Out of these two were admitted. SMO in charge of the hospital H.S. Sarang said most patients suffered from mild diarrhoea and were examined in the OPD wing. Those admitted were Mamta Devi (20) from Ambedkar Colony and Mani Ram (60) from Shahimajra village.



Traditional food street in city soon
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Residents’ search for the traditional food will end shortly as the Lahore type “world-class” night food street is being established in the city. As the evening approaches people from all walks of life will throng this street to relish the choicest dishes.

After sunset lights will illuminate the tastefully-decorated rooftops and the food street would come alive. A chapaul (temporary sitting arrangement under the tree) at one corner and traditional wooden charpais on the other side would set the traditional environment of the food street.

While visiting this street people would not only relish traditional food but the traditional ambience as well as food will be served in traditional style.

Celebrate the confluence of cultures, the mingling of robust flavours and the delightful relish of peppery spices wafting right to your table. The shops would lay the tables out in the street and after delicious non-vegetarian meal one can sweeten the mouth with phirni.

Food kiosks would offer mouth-watering traditional Amritsari cuisines like “kulche chhole”, “puri”, “lassi”, “samosas” and “kulfi” and from Haryana “bajare ki roti” and white butter. The Himachali flavour would also available in the street to give a regional food touch.

“Chicken tikka” , Hyderabadi “biryanai” , chicken “biryani”, “rogan josh”, countless dishes of mutton in “desi ghee” and fish “pakoras”, “pranthas” were enough to water the mouth of any customer visiting this street.

This food street would change Chandigarh’s image which was once considered a dead city. As the sun sets on Chandigarh night food street that would have about eight eating joints cluster comes alive with all its pomp and show.

Mayor Pardeep Chabbra stated that the night food street would become functional by the end of September.

He added that another night food street would come up in Sector 17, the draft of which is pending with the administration.



UT hikes penalty for underage drivers
Mandeep Puri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
In a bid to curb the increasing cases of underage driving, the UT police has started penalising offenders with enhanced fines. While the fines for such offenders in four- wheelers have been tripled from the exiting Rs 500 to Rs 1,500, it has been doubled in case of two-wheelers.

Three consecutive offences could even lead to the cancellation of the driving license of the erring parents of such habitual offenders.

According to sources, the traffic wing of the UT police has challaned 148 unauthorised drivers (underage drivers) till date and imposed three times more fine than mentioned in the Motor Vehicle Act. Almost 100 challans are still pending in court, while 48 of them have been paid.

As per the Motor Vehicle Act 1988, a person below the age of 18 is disqualified from obtaining a driving license or driving in a public place. A two-wheeler without gear may be driven in a public place, after attaining the age of 16 years. In case a youngster is caught, who is below 18 years, the police is liable to challan the “underage driver” and impose a fine of Rs 500 on him.

But looking at the increasing number of youngsters involved in unauthorised driving, the UT police is now imposing triple the fine for the four-wheelers and double for the two-wheelers.

Studies reveal that teenage drivers are four times more likely to crash than their older counterparts. They not only drive at a high speed, but also jump red lights and drive after consuming alcohol or drugs.

Talking to TNS, Shanti Kumar Jain, IG, UT Police, said, “Steps are being made to act tough with authorised drivers, including their parents. We have started penalising the parents, who allow their wards to drive without a valid license. Apart being imposing fine, we are even issuing notices to the parent under whom the vehicle is registered. Moreover, if a minor is challaned thrice, the license of his or her parents would now be cancelled.



NCB, CBI at loggerheads
Mandeep Puri

Triune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
If the events of the recent past are any indication, the country’s two premier investigating agencies, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) seem to be involved in an intriguing game of undercutting each other, at least in this region.

Though officials of these agencies deny any differences or friction, facts emerging from a few cases indicate otherwise. It’s coincidence that a few suspects arrested by the NCB wittingly or unwittingly become informers of the CBI and vice-versa, 
later on.

The NCB recently arrested an M.Phil student of Punjab University, Harpal Singh, alias Raju, an alleged high society drug peddler, and claimed that he was in league with a few bigwigs from the UT and Punjab police and also of the CBI. Though both UT police and the CBI have denied any involvement, NCB director Sajji Mohan is on record of having said he had brought these facts to the notice of senior officials of these agencies.

Talking to this correspondent, B.L.Soni, CBI DIG, categorically ruled out the involvement of any of his men with Raju. However, when pointed out that Raju was CBI’s informer in a corruption case registered against an SI of the UT Police last year, Soni said though they knew about his (Raju’s) nefarious activities, but still the agency failed to arrest him.

Raju lodged a complaint with the CBI last year that SI Ved Prakash of Sector 61 police post was demanding Rs 15,000 for him and threatening to book him under the NDPS Act if his demand wasn’t met. A trap was laid and Ved Prakash was nabbed red-handed.

Why the CBI didn’t consider it appropriate to nab Raju, whose nefarious activities were known to the agency (as admitted by Soni), is anybody’s guess.

In 2005, the NCB had arrested Israeli national Lior Avi Ben Moyal along with his two accomplices, a Czech national, Andreevi Jiri, and Kulu resident, Narender Kumar Gupta. The trio was nabbed from plot no. 653 in Industrial Area, Phase I, on February 10, 2005, where they were allegedly hiding contraband meant to be smuggled out of India.

A year later, NCB’s intelligence officer Ravikant Pawar was allegedly caught red-handed by the CBI on charges of accepting bribe on the complaint of Devinder Kumar. The complainant was none other than the brother of Narender Kumar, an accused in the NCB’s contraband seizure case.

Later, the CBI also arrested NCB constable Paramjit Singh on charges of accepting Rs 50,000 as bribe from Lada, wife of the prime accused Lior Avi Ben Moyal in the same case.

While officials are not willing to comment on these issues, such happenings do raise questions of their respective style of functioning.

On the plea of social activist, Hemant Goswami, the High Court today issued notice to the home ministry, narcotics control bureau, CBI, Chandigarh administration and the Chandigarh police in the case of the nexus between police officials and the drug-peddlers.

The applicant had urged the court to investigate the links between police officials and the drug mafia, as exposed by the Narcotics Control Bureau.

The High Court issued notice to all respondents for August 14.



Fire Dept: MC yet to frame promotion policy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) that came into existence about 13 years ago is still struggling to finalise the recruitment and promotion rules in the fire and emergency services. In fact, those seeking job and promotion are left the mercy of officials. The corporation s yet to get back to the Chandigarh Administration to seek clarification on issues concerning recommendations regarding the framing of the new set of rules. Last year, a special committee had submitted the draft rules to the administration for its approval.

Sources in the administration revealed that the corporation had submitted the draft rules of fire and emergency services about a year ago. The administration, in turn, sought clarifications and returned the draft rules. One of queries related to the existing rules under which the fire and emergency services functioned. Beside this, other query concerned the wage structure for the fire department staff.

As per the report tabled in one of the meetings corporation’s house meeting, it was following the rules framed in 1925 which were later amended in 1962. The creation of Chandigarh in the wake of reorganisation of Punjab saw the rules being amended in 1966 and eventually Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh were to formulate their respective rules. While Punjab framed a new set of rules in 1977 and Haryana in 1982, Chandigarh is yet to follow suit.

For years, the corporation had been following the Punjab pattern though there are not written instructions in this regard. In one of the interim orders passed in 1999, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the corporation to abide by court’s final verdict.

Despite this, the department has recruited 150 people in 2000 as per 1977 rules. Currently, 41 fire personnel are being interviewed but confusion on recruitment under the relevant rules still persists.



Sector 36 youth’s paradise

Chandigarh’s traditional “geri route”, in the vicinity of Home Science College, Sector 10, finally has a competitor with MCM DAV College, Alliance Francaise and a host of private tutorial/coaching educational institutes in the Sector 36 market is fast emerging as hot spot for city youngsters. The well-kept gardens of the sector are like the icing on the cake as they provide an ideal spot for those youngsters seeking solitude.

Though the old “geri” still has its charm, Sector 36 is becoming a favorite haunt for youngsters. However, this new status is not to the liking of the area residents. Youngsters on speeding bikes, cat calls at odd hours of the days and young couples sometimes crossing limits of public decency and doing things that can embarrass the conventionalists are becoming an irritant to the residents.

On their part, the cops have stepped up vigil in the area and some are even involved in moral policing in the gardens. However, no complaints as long as they (cops) and the youngsters know their limits.

Ragging or fleecing

In this era of commercialisation and fast food, the contours of ragging have also changed. Gone are the days when seniors used to indulge in innocent but healthy pranks with freshers for introduction.

Instead, the target now is the pocket of the freshers. Seniors are “taking out freshers” for introductory treats and obviously there are no guess for who foot the bill. The hot spots for such sessions in usually is the canteen or the swank city coffee shops.

Beach in college?

Seems the fashion-conscious generation Y carry their panache wherever they go even in colleges, what’s with rising hemlines and dropping necklines, tube tops akin to bikini. No wonder, when one of the senior correspondents with graying hair visited a prestigious girls college in the city, he stood outside the gate gaping at the girls strutting out in stilettos, denim shorts and spaghetti tops. At this sight, he couldn’t help asking, is there any beach inside this college?

Love lost for the elderly

Senior citizens visiting the Bird Sanctuary in Sector 21 are an inconvenienced lot. For, much to the chagrin of these elderly citizens, the Municipal Corporation (MC) has increased the height of iron benches installed in the sanctuary.

J.S. Gill, a resident of Sector 21, took up the issue with the commissioner, MC, about two week ago, but to no avail. The elderly citizen said the benches had been ergonomically designed and they were using them for years. A few days, someone had increased the height of the benches causing immense discomfort to them since their feet do not touch the ground, causing numbness or pain to their legs.

They alleged that only the benches used by elderly people were “target”. No doubt, a surprising move, however, it remains to be seen how long the commissioner will take to address the grievances of the senior citizens!

Green drive for publicity?

Industrial bodies like the CII like to present a green image as part of their CSR (corporate social responsibility). Tree plantation drives in industrial belts, going for community water treatment plants, efficient and re-use of water are some of the things they love to talk about and profess their use. It is another matter that in their effort to get publicity for these green measures that they spoil reams of paper, sending fax messages to newspaper offices for getting publicity. This is besides the e-mails that are sent to the newspapers. So much for saving trees and going paperless.

Good for nothing

Commuters on the road dividing Sectors 7 and 18 had to use their driving skills to escape from an unexpected hurdle on the busy road. A big branch of tree on the side of road kept hanging right in the centre of the road on the side of Sector 7 for hours in the afternoon. No one, including thousands of local “busy” residents who crossed through the spot, bothered to stop to do something before a motorcyclist took the pains to remove it from the road. The HUDA and municipal committee employees or policemen who were busy in issuing challans to motorists at a distance were also ignored it.

Fight for chamber

Lawyers are not only fighting in the courts but outside too. In an interesting incident within the court complex on Saturday, two lawyers exchanged verbal spats due to shortage of chambers. Lawyers have erected small chambers in a shed. One of the lawyers kept his chair in place of the other one. On noticing, this lawyer got irritated and pulled the chair. While the lawyer pulled the chair, it was snatched immediately by the other lawyer. The lawyers have been facing the problem of shortage of chambers for a long time.

Contributed by : Mandeep Puri, Akash Ghai, Smriti Sharma, Ramanjit Sidhu and Ruchika M Khanna, Swati Sharma



MC approves BOT bus shelters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Finance and Contract Committee of the municipal corporation has approved agenda items like construction, running and maintenance of bus queue shelters on the BOT basis and implementation of project on scientific management of rickshaws in Chandigarh at zero cost to it here today. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of mayor Pardeep Chhabra.

The committee approved construction of 17 cluster-type hand pump stand posts in colony No. 5 and Nehru Colony, Adarsh colony and Janta, Kumhar colony, Sector-25 and free-parking passes for councillors for five years instead of one year.

Agendas like estimate for providing fountains in Jasmine Garden, Sector 28, and estimate for the construction of pool and providing slow sequencing fountain in Gulmohar Garden, Sector 27 C&D were also approved. 



Memo for MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
It seems that works to be done by the MPLAD funds are not in the priority list of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MCC) as a long list of preparing estimates for developmental work has been pending with the corporation since last one year.

Interestingly, MCC mayor Pradeep Chabbra, who is responsible for developmental work of the city, is the coordinator of MPLAD funds for monitoring its allocation.

A memo was issued by the deputy commissioner to the MCC in which direction was given to the corporation that there is a delay in submitting estimates for developmental works which should to be executed under MPLAD in a fix period.

In this letter, 12 works were listed by the administration out of which there are a few which are pending since 2007.

The estimate of laying of new chequered tiles pavement in front of shop number 1 to 15 in Sector 17 has been pending since August, 2007.

Mayor Chabbra said he was going to hold a special meeting on the issue of MPLAD next week.



Western Command chief visits IAF station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Air Vice Marshal C.N. Ranganath, Senior Maintenance Staff Officer (SMSO), Western Air Command, arrived on a two-day official visit to the Chandigarh Air Force Station yesterday evening.

The SMSO, who is a qualified flight test and instrumentation engineer, was briefed about the operational and maintenance activities of the station by Air Cdr S.R.K. Nair, Air Officer Commanding,12 Wing.

He appreciated the innovative approach and improved quality of maintenance culture of the technicians.

The Air Marshal also congratulated the air warriors of the station for maintaining high serviceability of the aircraft.

While asking the personnel to prioritise the organisational goals, the SMSO appreciated the positive attitude and culture of the station. He would also be visiting No.3 Base Repair Depot here.



MC not doing quality work, say residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Residents of Sector 42 are up in the arms against the municipal corporation for carrying out substandard work of laying a sewer pipeline adjoining Attawa village.

The residents complained that the contractor was laying a plastic pipe to connect the sewer line with the newly laid sewer line of Attawa village.

No official of the MC visited the site to check the quality of work.



Vineet Joshi appointed media in charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Executive member of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Vineet Joshi will be the media in charge during morcha's 11-day "yuva kranti sampark yatra" under the leadership of BJYM national president Amit Thakker from BJP's Central office.

Joshi has been credited with the success of party's a few media campaigns, including the prestigious "Bharat suraksha yatra" led by party president Rajnath Singh in 2006.

Joshi will have a tough task of publicising Thakker's whirlwind tour across 59 stations spanning five states, including New Delhi, which will culminate on August 9 which is being seen as clarion call against the UPA regime by the BJP's youth wing.



Woman electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Nayagaon, July 25
A 35-year-old woman Bhagyashree of Janta Colony was electrocuted to death when she was ironing clothes here this evening.

According to her husband Ram Khilawan, Bhagyashree fell down suddenly while ironing the clothes.

“She was immediately taken to PGI, where the doctors declared her brought dead”, Khilawan said.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case under Section 174 CrPC. However, the police sources ruled out any foul play in the incident.



Power cut bugs cinema-goers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
There was chaos in Neelam Theatre when the power went off and the generator could not be started during the screening of a film here today. Cinema-goers got agitated and raised slogans against the theatre authority.

One of them said for half an hour the movie could not be screened as the generators of the theatre were not working. Also, there were no arrangements for drinking water in the theatre, which aggravated the problem.

A theatre attendant said there was a power cut during the screening of the second show of the film due to a problem in the wires of the theatre.



CTU driver assaulted, union blocks traffic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The CTU Employees Union today blocked traffic at Ram Darbar for over two hours when a youth hit a bus driver with a stone following an argument.

The traffic, including the local bus service, was restored only when residents, accompanied by the area councillor, assured the union that they would help in identifying the accused and produce him before the police.

According to the police, the incident took place at around 9.30 am when Pargat Singh, the driver, stopped the youth from entering from the front door. The youth hit then hit him with a stone twice, leaving him bleeding profusely, before fleeing. The conductor informed the union about the incident and soon the traffic to the area was blocked.



IT camp at Rajasthan Bhawan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
In a bid to facilitate smooth filing of returns by taxpayers, the income tax department has planned to set up a camp at Rajasthan Bhawan in Sector 33 for the convenience of tax payers of Sector 26 onwards and villages of the UT, A.K. Kaushal, commissioner of income tax II, said today.

The counter will remain open from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm from July 28 to 31.

Blank income tax return and challan forms will also be available free of cost.



Tricity principals honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Madhu Behl, principal of hosts, KB DAV-7, was among the 19 other school heads who were conferred upon with Shrimati Sarla Chopra Memorial Award for their contributions in the field of education today. The programme held at school premises here today.

The function was organised to pay a tribute to late Sarla Chopra, wife of G. P. Chopra, President, DAV College managing committee, New Delhi. Justice A. L. Bahri, vice-president, DAV College managing committee, New Delhi, who was the chief guest, gave away the awards to the principals of tricity.

The award consists of a trophy, certificate and a shawl.

The other honoured principals were: Sunil Kaushal, principal, Noble High School, Pinjore; Upasna Babuta, principal, Saupin's School, Sector 9, Panchkula; Bharat Bhushan Gupta, principal, DC Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 7, Panchkula; Samson Feroze Masih, principal, Delhi Public School, Pinjore; Rajinder Paul Anand, principal, DAV Senior Secondary School, Surajpur, Panchkula; Krit Serai, principal, Satluj Public School, Panchkula; Banerjee, principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Panchkula; Anjali Marriya, principal, CL DAV Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 11, Panchkula; Vijay Kumar, principal, Mahatma Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula; Dr Rakesh Sachdeva, principal, DAV Model School, Sector 15, Chandigarh; Sudesh Choudhary, principal, Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28, Chandigarh; S. Khorana, principal, Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22, Chandigarh; Dr Vibha Ray, principal, DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Chandigarh; Romela Tiwari, principal, Air Force School, Chandigarh; Paramjit Toor, principal, Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, Chandigarh; Earnest Charles J. Samuel, principal, Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, Chandigarh; Savita Deswal, principal, Gyandeep Model School, Sector 20, Chandigarh; Jaskiran Harika, principal, DAV Public School, Sector 8, Chandigarh; Sr Sebastian, principal, Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, Chandigarh, Shashi Banerjee, principal, Bhavan Vidyalaya, Panchkula.



From Schools & Colleges
Puppet show enthrals tiny tots
Tribune News Service

Children enjoy a splash in the pool at Ashmah International School in Sector-70, Mohali, on Friday.
Children enjoy a splash in the pool at Ashmah International School in Sector-70, Mohali, on Friday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, July 25
A puppet show was organised for tiny tots of pre-nursery, nursery, KG, classes I and II at Shamrock Secondary School. The show was organised by The Tribune. The toddlers were mesmerised by dancing puppets.

Green Day

Kindergarten wing of Doon International School celebrated green day to mark Environment Day today. Children came to the school in green dresses.

They also brought along green food in their tiffin.

The kindergarten section was decorated with green balloons, charts on bulletin boards.


Students of Ashmah International School organised ‘Monsoon-08’ on the school premises. The kids danced to the bhangra music.

School principal Roopinder Ghumman said the aim was to make students understand the significance of rain celebrations in India.

Academic council

Chandigarh Business School, Landran, has constituted an academic council to improve the quality of education being imparted to students and adopt modern teaching methodology.

The council will have personalities both from industry and academics as board members, which help provide a forum for raising and addressing various academic issues pertaining to B-school.

Defining the role of the council, director Dr S.P.S. Bedi said council members would advise, recommend and takes decisions in the best interest of the institution and act as a catalyst to bring changes for the betterment of students.


Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, celebrated Teej festival here. Women staff members of the institute participated in various events with enthusiasm.

Peeng, mehndi, rangoli, tambola and giddha were part of the celebrations.



From Schools & Colleges
Polytechnic students awarded diplomas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Kamal and Shivani stood first and second, respectively, in the bridal-wear competition organised by the department of beauty therapy of Dev Samaj Polytechnic for Women, Sector 45, here today.

The pass-outs of the 2005-07 and 2006-07 batches of the departments of fashion designing, beauty therapy, computers and office management were also awarded diplomas on the occasion. The awards and diplomas were conferred by the college principal, Dr Meera Modi, and polytechnic co-ordinator Renu Anand.

Results: First in fashion designing: Preeti

First in fashion designing: Shilpa

First in beauty therapy: Shivani

First in office management: Ishwinder

First in CAD: Reeti

First in computer application: Sonia

First in computerised office management: Anjana

Best student of the year: Rupinderjit Kaur

Baby show: Armaan and Neha were adjudged 'Prince' and 'Princess', respectively, during a baby show organised at Green Castle Public School, Sector 47-C, here, today. Jasnoor Singh and Amitoj Kaur were jointly declared first runners-up while Achuyut and Chhavvi Sharma were declared second runners-up. As many as 35 students participated in the show. J.S. Basota, principal of GMSSS 47-D, was the chief guest. Chairman of the school Rajesh Kapoor gave away prizes to the winners.

Moon day: Kundan International School-46 celebrated 'Moon day' to mark man's first step on the moon in a rather unique manner. A host of competitions ranging from poetry recitation, essay writing to informatory power-point presentations by students of higher classes were organised.

Debate: A debate on ‘Understanding the planet Earth’ was organised by Maharishi Dayanand Public School, Daria, in collaboration of the science and technology department of the UT administration here today. Kusum, Gita and Lalita bagged first, second and third prizes, respectively, while Amarjit got the consolation prize.



Delay in PU NRI admissions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Delay in carrying out admissions under the NRI category by Panjab University is raising many eyebrows. Though the PU authorities claim that they do not want to take any chance and are seeking legal opinion in this matter, it is still not clear when the admissions will be made and what documents would the university ask from the students to prove their NRI status.

Since the university has submitted an affidavit to the Punjab and Haryana High Court saying that only genuine candidates will be admitted under the NRI category, the faculty members at various departments are busy in rechecking the status as to whether the applicants qualify for admission under the category or not which is causing the delay. It has been around six months that PU had formed a committee to handle the NRI admissions, but unfortunately, the committee has not reached consensus so far. A meeting of the committee to decide on the fate of the students seeking admission under the NRI category is scheduled for tomorrow. Last year, the Supreme Court had scrapped the NRI-sponsored as well as industry-sponsored seats and that is when the problem began. The university officials claim that the delay is being caused as they want to cross-check the identities of the students seeking admission under the category.



Inter-School Meet
DAV paddlers win top honours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
DAV Public School, Sector 8, won the top honours in the table tennis competition during the Inter-School Sports Meet (U-14) for Boys at DAV Public School, Sector 8, here today. DAV paddlers drubbed Delhi Public School, Sector 40, by 3-0 to emerge winner.

Ajit Karam Singh Public School, Sector 41, clinched the third place beating Moti Ram Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, by 3-0.

Other results: Fencing (Sabre team): 1 GMSSS-10, 2 GMSSS-33, 3 GMHS-26 and GSSS-15; Sabre individual: 1 Ravi (GMSSS-10), 2 Krishna (GMSSS-10), Mohammad Sajid (GMHS-26) and Sanjay (GMHS-26).

Volleyball: 1 GSSS-27, 2 GMHS-26, 3 Manav Mangal-21.

Kabaddi: Semifinal: GSSS-45 b GHS, Dadu Majra by 35 points; GSSS-Dhanas b GMSSS-56 by 38 points.

Basketball: Semifinal: DAVPS-8 b Bhavan Vidyalya-27.

Football: St John’s High School-26 b Guru Nanak Public School-36, by 3-0; Saupins School-32, b GMHS-26 by 5-0; GMHS-36 b GMHS-36 by 7-0.



Central Varsity Status
PUTA to intensify protest after July 31
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
A rally was organised near the administrative block of Panjab University today as the agitation, jointly organised by teachers, students, research scholars and library staff, to demand central status for the university entered the 110th day. PUTA president Prof A.S. Ahluwalia announced that the agitation would continue in the present form till July 31. “In case, no decision was communicated till then, we will be left with no option but to intensify agitation,” he added.

PUTA secretary Prof Manjit Singh said it was time to express solidarity and stand united like a rock. He further cautioned that the time had not yet come to sit back and relax. “Unless we receive any written communication from the government, we have to continue with our agitation that has already entered a crucial phase,” he announced.



Hooliganism at PU
4 ABVP activists get show-cause notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Taking serious note of increasing cases of hooliganism on the Panjab University campus, the university authorities have sent show-cause notices to four ABVP activists involved in the trespassing incident at the VC’s office on July 16.

Four students- Sunil Tahkur, Dinesh Chahaun, Prashant Sharma and Vikram Sharma- have been issued the notices for scaling the gate of the VC’s office and jumping into the prohibited area.

The activists have been asked to submit their side of the story by July 29. On July 16, some ABVP activists barged into the VC’S office and protested against the fee hike for the NRI category students. Haryana CM Bhupinder Hooda was laying foundation stone of the UIAMS building on the south campus of the university in Sector 25 when the incident took place.



Ragging: PU recommends counselling of seniors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
After the Panjab University authorities suspended 11 second year students of the UIET on the charges of ragging late last night, the authorities have issued a circular to all department heads, stressing on the counselling of seniors.

The incident of ragging on the campus, despite a ban, has instilled fear among freshers, who feel that mere suspension is not enough to act as a deterrent and are demanding stringent action against those involved in ragging.

Tall claims by the PU that anyone found guilty of ragging would be severely punished seem to have fallen flat as students involved in ragging escaped with a suspension for 10 days from the department.

Though the Raghavan committee says strict penalties should be imposed in such cases, the PU authorities seem to be relying more on counselling.

According to sources, the authorities are also contemplating the expulsion of students.



Orientation programme at Alliance Francaise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Campus France desk at Alliance Française organised a pre-departure orientation programme today for the students, who have enrolled themselves for the new academic session in France. The session started with the presentation wherein the students were given information on how to prepare themselves for departure till arrival in France. Admissions for the new session are on and the students can visit the desk anytime and benefit from the French higher education.



MC Chief Elections
HC notice to Capt Kanwaljit
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 25
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued a notice to cabinet minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh on a petition filed by N.K. Sharma and his team of winners of the Zirakpur municipal council elections.

Taking up the petition filed by Sharma and nine other winners of the council elections, a Division Bench of Justice K.S. Garewal and Justice T.P.S. Mann issued a notice of motion for August 4 to the six respondents, which included Capt Kanwaljit Singh.

The other respondents in the petition included principal secretary local bodies, state election commissioner, Mohali DC, SSP and ADC.

In the petition, Sharma and his team stated that they were in majority and under the rules, the first meeting of the elected members and election to the president and vice-president had to be held within 14 days of the notification of the election.

The notification was done on July 9 and in spite of the passage of the 14 days neither the members had been given the oath nor the election conducted.

The petition pointed out that even though a meeting was fixed for July 23, it was postponed by the convener without his even coming to the venue of the meeting.

The petitioners alleged that Punjab bandh was cited as the reason for the postponement, when barely 7 km from Zirakpur the elections to the Banur MC chief were held on same day.

The petitioners alleged that the meeting was postponed due to political pressure exerted by Capt Kanwaljit Singh.



Sandeep Kumar housing board CEO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Chandigarh Administration has appointed Sandeep Kumar as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), Chandigarh. Joint secretary finance Pirthi Chand has been relieved of the additional charge of the CEO.

Sandeep Kumar has also been given additional charge of the director, rural development and panchayats, and also designated as the project director for the mass rapid transit system (MRTS) project.



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