C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Landowners go the Gandhi way
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Landowners of UT villages, especially those whose land has been acquired, have decided to resort to ‘Gandhigiri’ against the forcible acquisition of their land by the city administration.

Landowners whose land is being acquired for the third phase of the IT park are also part of the group.

Angrez Singh, president of the pind bachao committee, said it was the best way to lodge protest in a democratic system. “Our meeting with Indira Gandhi had resulted in the exemption of 22 villages from acquisition. Public opinion goes a long in moulding the opinion of policy makers,” he said.

A compensation of Rs 7.50 lakh per acre was a cruel joke by the administration, he said. Questioning the haste with which the administration was going ahead with the third phase of the IT park, landowners said not all of the land in Phases I and II had been utilised yet.

The administration was going ahead with the acquisition despite the announcement by the Centre. They accused the top brass of rushing through the acquisition to benefit private builders and investors.

The administration has been asked to make public the IT companies that have started construction on the land allotted to them.

Sanjay Joshi, who owns land in the area, said: “We would be sending bouquets to the UT administrator.”

The Mani Majra farmers welfare and environment protection society has demanded a vigilance probe into the matter and said the MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal, had been highlighting the issue, but nothing had happened. The administration had not reacted to letters written by the MP to the Centre in the past.

“The IT park which is being projected as a major development project is actually a commercial venture in which corrupt bureaucrats and private builders are making huge monetary gains at the cost of landowners and the exchequer,” a spokesman for the society alleged.

Barring Infosys, no major IT company like TCS, Wipro and Satyam had shown interest. The administration was now allotting land to B-grade companies at cheaper rates to mislead the public, he alleged.



We were plain lucky: Stampede survivors
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Birbal Vadhera, chief coach of the Chandigarh Club Tennis Academy, was shaken after he came out of the Naina Devi shrine. He describes the scene as terrifying.

He was one of the survivors of the stampede that claimed 145 lives. “It was crazy to see people step on bodies in a bid to save their lives,” he said.

Fate did not give the others a chance. “God must have destined that I and my family live,” said another fortunate devotee, Vinod Bala of Kajheri, who had gone to Naina Devi shrine with her family early this morning.

“Many of us were climbing stairs and were anxious to get into the temple. Suddenly, a stampede broke out. We didn’t understand what happened. Even a volunteer who had been managing the crowd disappeared from the scene,” said 48-year-old Vinod Bala. Her family came back without having a darshan.

Among those waiting anxiously at the PGI was 15-year-old Saurabh . He told The Tribune that his grandfather had gone to the shrine the day before yesterday. “I have been continuously trying to contact him, but his mobile phone is switched off”, he said.

For relatives, the agonising wait is killing . Krishan Kumar from Patiala was seen waiting for his nephew, Vijay Kumar. He said, “I don’t have any idea about him. I am scared as I have not received any information, even after sixhours after the incident.”

Another pilgrim, Raghav, said it was a major accident. “I have never seen such a terrifying atmosphere. It was raining heavily when we reached the shrine from Patiala and devotees stood in a queue for the darshan, but after an hour everything changed,” he said.

The devotees could not control their steps as the area had become slippery due to the heavy rain,” he said.

Meanwhile, the PGI and other hospitals have geared up and doctors are on alert. But until the filing of the report, no victim had been rushed to the PGI. Relatives were seen making enquiries at the hospital’s reception till late in the night.



Inspector’s Murder
Colony residents quizzed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The police today interrogated about a dozen persons from Dadu Majra Colony in connection with the murder of inspector Kashmir Singh whose battered body was found in the colony yesterday.

Police sources said investigating officials had questioned some persons from the colony and other places in connection with the case. However, nothing substantial has come of it so far.

A police officer said they were exploring all theories, including robbery, illicit relations, provocation and old enmity. Kashmir Singh had been with the Sector 39 police station for about three years and someone might have killed him out of jealousy.

The SSP, S.S. Srivastva, said the victim’s bank account would be examined to verify if he had withdrawn any amount. 



20,000 descend on city for railway test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
A heavy rush of candidates for a test being conducted by the railway recruitment broad was witnessed at the railway station here today. Around 20,000 candidates arrived in the city to appear for a test for the posts of clerk and ticket checker.

According to officials, 60,000 candidates had been called for the test, but only 20,000 came. The examination was conducted across 110 centres in Chandigarh.

Since the candidates were from far-flung states, a large number of them slept at the station.

Around 50 CTU buses had been arranged to ferry candidates to the centres. Two special trains from Ambala and Delhi ferried the candidates to their destinations. Additional coaches had been attached with Sadbhavana Express and Unchhar Express to accommodate the rush of candidates.

Security, too, had been beefed up at the station. R.K. Dutta, station superintendent, said they had made arrangements to the best of their ability and the examination was conducted smoothly. 



21-yr-old helmetless biker killed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
In yet another case of rash and drunken driving, a 21-year-old youth was killed after his motorcycle rammed into a tree near the Hallo Majra chowk here late last night. He was not wearing a helmet.

The victim has been identified as Amit Sharma of Zirakpur. Amit, an employee with a wine company in the Industrial Area, was on the way to his house from a discotheque when his motorcycle hit a tree.

The police control room received a message at about 3 am and on reaching the spot, the police found him lying dead. He was reportedly under the influence of liquor.

According to his family, it was a case of hit-and-run case, but the police denied it, saying that there was blood on the tree.



Man, son electrocuted
Tribune News Service

The live wire that took two lives in Mohali on Sunday; and (inset) the victims Sita Ram and Rajesh.
The live wire that took two lives in Mohali on Sunday; and (inset) the victims Sita Ram and Rajesh. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, August 3
A man and his son were electrocuted when the father tried to protect him from a live wire that snapped in Guru Nanak Colony here in the wee hours of today.

The victims have been identified as Sita Ram (35), a painter, and his son Rajesh (7). The incident took place at around 4.30 am when Sita Ram, who was sleeping in his jhuggi, woke up after hearing some commotion in the colony. He heard people warning about a live wire that had snapped.

The police said Sita Ram rushed out with his son in his arms and just outside his jhuggi, his feet got entangled in the wire. He and his son died on the spot.

His wife and three children, who were sleeping when the incident took place, are safe.

Eyewitnesses said at around 4 am, some residents of the colony saw sparking near an electricity pole and half an hour later, there was a blast and a burning wire began to fall.

Fearing that the live wire would lead to a fire in the colony, the residents raised the alarm. Some residents rushed to the PSEB’s office and got the main line disconnected. Board employees reached the colony and repaired the line.

A case has been registered. The family of the deceased has been given Rs 20,000 from the Red Cross funds.



Milk loses its flavour
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Has a cup of milk you take in the morning suddenly lost its punch? And does it have a soapy flavour and emit foul smell? If yes, chances are that the milk is adulterated.

The city consumes nearly 2.5 lakh litres of loose milk daily and the health department has no mechanism to check its quality because the number of milkmen possessing a licence is negligible. “Due to this, we face difficulty in regulating the quality of milk sold by milkmen,” a senior health official said.

In less than 30 months, the health department has been able to collect only 26 samples. Of these, four were found to be adulterated, said Dr Rajesh Dheer, a nodal officer.

Another health official said the city consumed nearly 5 lakh litres of milk every day. Of this, manufacturers supplied 2.5 lakh litres in pouches while milkmen supplied the remaining milk. Even then, the health department has failed to carry out a campaign against milkmen without licences.

Officials said synthetic milk was prepared by mixing vegetable oils with detergent. Urea, caustic soda, sugar and salt, etc. are dissolved in water and blended with the oil. This was then added to natural milk.

“The department should take action against defaulters by penalising them under the PFA Act,” they said.


Come Rakhi, postal dept goes trendy
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
In a world where people are using e-mails, smses and voice mails for strengthening their bonds, the good old envelope continues to enjoy its past glory. With many people snail-mailing rakhis, the postal department has come out with special envelopes for the occasion that falls on August 16 this year.

These envelopes are waterproof, sleek and have elegant designs. "People may not rely on the postal department for communication, but most of them choose to send rakhis or tilaks by post only," said chief postmaster general of the Punjab circle Prithvi Raj Kumar.

Talking about the special envelopes, he said, ‘‘These envelopes have been specially designed for those who still look forward to feel the real things.” The envelopes would be available at all post offices, including branch post offices in rural areas, throughout the state and the UT, Chandigarh, he added. The envelopes would be available at mobile post offices in Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana also.

These envelopes were introduced in 2006, but due to their late arrival last year, few people could benefit from them. “So, this year we ordered special envelopes in bulk before Raksha Bandhan,” said officials of the department. They are available at a nominal cost of Rs 5 each.

The new envelopes are not only good for consumers, but also for the department. As these envelopes look different, it will be easier for the postal department to sort them out from others and deliver them quickly.

Also, the postal department has made special arrangements for the collection of rakhi envelopes through postmen, special letterboxes and collection boxes at important post offices.



On Friendship Day, marketing triumphs
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Exchange of cards and gifts, sending SMSes or a more public display of emotions via the FM radio- materialism and Tec motions (technology-aided emotion) seems to have taken the zing out of the friendship day. Dionne Warwick certainly did not have this new aspect of friendship in mind when he crooned “That’s what friends are for. In good times and bad times, I will be at your side for ever more…”

But well, this is the new-age friendship- now celebrated every year in the form of Friendship Day. As the city ushered in Friendship Day today, it came enveloped in expensive soft toys, crystal decorations and photo frames along with a friendship band. The day was more of a marketing strategy by those trying to hard sell their wares, than about real friendship.

Ask Amit Gupta, an employee in a multi-national company, “It is now expected that you give a card, a friendship band and a small gift to your friend(s) on this day. A package for each friend costs anything between Rs 400 to Rs 450 and since I exchanged gifts with my gang of four, I spent Rs 1,200 for these gifts. But, that is hardly anything to express your friendship,” he reasons.

The Friendship Day celebration has also not eluded schoolchildren. Alisha Ghai, a Class VIII student of St. Anne’s Convent School, Sector-32, got cards and friendship bands for all her eight friends. “Yes, I ended up spending a major portion of my pocket money, but one has to move with the custom of exchanging gifts and cards,” she says.

So, it was brisk business for those selling these wares to the youngsters. Col Abinash Kaul (retd), who runs an Archies Gallery in Sector 9, Panchkula, says that for the past two days there has been a huge rush of youngsters buying gifts, bands and cards. “As youngsters, we never knew about Friendship Day. But now, kids need a reason to celebrate,” chips in his wife, Triveni Kaul.

So while a majority went in for exchanging gifts, the sms mania seemed to have taken over all. The sms traffic was reportedly at its highest between 9 am to 11 am, as the people exchanged Friendship Day messages. Others, who are hooked to the FM radio, also sent messages and dedicated songs to their friends.



Action against cops after magistrate’s report: SSP
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
It seems the UT police is adopting wait and watch policy in submitting the departmental inquiry report into the death of Inderjit Singh of colony No. 4, who died in the custody at the Industrial Area police station, on Monday evening.

Sources revealed that the police was waiting for the magisterial inquiry, following which the departmental inquiry would be submitted. The magisterial inquiry is being conducted by first class judicial magistrate P.K. Lal, while the departmental inquiry is with K.I.P. Singh, DSP (Crime).

The magisterial inquiry is likely to be submitted in this week, UT SSP S.S. Srivastava claimed that the action against the suspended cops would be taken only after the magistrate submits his report.

While talking to TNS K.I.P. Singh said,“I am still investigating the matter. Though, Inderjit’s father had submitted an affidavit, but it has nothing to do with the departmental inquiry. The affidavit was submitted to the magistrate and is not at all connected with my inquiry.”

As Sudama, the victim’s father, who had earlier alleged that his son was tortured to death, following which he died at the Industrial Area police station, later absolved the cops of all charges by filing an affidavit before the inquiry officer claiming that the incident was a “suicide”.

Though, Sudama denied any foul play and submitted the affidavit after five days, the effect of his U-turn into the entire incident would only be seen after the magistrate submits his report. 



Akshit’s Death
Driver being falsely implicated: Residents 
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Even though the Chandigarh police has arrested Deepak Giri, the driver employed by Salil Gupta, the owner of the Mercedes, which ran over a four-year-old child in Sector 28, yesterday, the residents still don’t believe that he was driving the car.

Though, none of the residents have come forward to the driver’s description, they are refusing to believe the police’s claim on ground that Deepak was alone in the car. “How can the driver be given such an expensive car for driving. Residents suspect that the driver was arrested to save the family members.

Though, the police deny such claims, but admitted probing into the calls details of the family members.

The residents told TNS that the failure of the municipal corporation to shut the illegal motor market in Sector 28 proved to be miserable for Akshit’s family.

Even though, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had in 1996 ordered Sector-28 motor mechanics to be shifted, but it has not been implemented as yet.

The resident while terming internal roads as accident-prone said, “A large number of accidents take place everyday. The vehicles, which are repaired in the market or come for a test drive, are driven at high speed”.

The so-called test drive is nothing, but a death trap for those walking on the road. The yesterday’s incident was no different, as the rashly-driven Mercedes killed the four-year-old. The driver of the Mercedes had come to collect the new number plate from Film Point, an accessory shop.

Talking to TNS, Avtar Singh, president of the residential welfare association, said more than 12 accidents had taken place during the past three months. Even though, the issue was brought to the notice of the municipal corporation, the internal roads were still being used as a test- drive route. If these rashly-driven vehicles were not stopped, more fatalities would occur in the near future.



No takers for Sec 61 shopping complex
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
Crores of rupees spent by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) on the construction of a shopping complex in Sector 61 here seems to have gone down the drain. Over 10 years after the construction of the complex, there are no takers for the shops putting the board to huge loss.

“Of the 19 shops, only three have been occupied. In fact, in a typical case of misplaced priorities, the board has failed to utilise these shops for other public activities such as dispensary and community centre. With the shops remaining unoccupied, maintenance leaves much to be desired,” alleged B.K. Gupta, a resident of the sector.

Sources informed that though the shops were constructed with good intentions for the convenience of residents, yet the nearby Phase 3B1 rehri market catered to almost all their needs.



MC sanctions Rs 3 cr for P'kula slums
Arun Sharma
Tribune News service

Panchkula, August 3
Embarrassed over seven deaths following the outbreak of an epidemic in city slums last month, the Panchkula municipal council has decided to spend Rs 3 crore for providing basic facilities at Rajiv Colony, Indira Colony and Kharak Mangoli. The amount will be released by the state government under an open-end scheme within the next two years. Under the scheme, the municipal wards with more than 50 per cent of population would be entitled to a grant of Rs 1 crore for various development works, said Panchkula deputy commissioner Rajinder Kataria.

While an installment of Rs 60 lakh was about to be released within a couple of days, the remaining Rs 90 lakh would be received by the MC within this financial year, informed president of the municipal council Ravinder Rawal. A sum of Rs 1.5 crore would be released to the civic body during the next fiscal, he added.

The money would be spent on repairing streets, providing streetlights and toilets in the densely populated slums.

Only last month, the unsanitary conditions in these slums led to the outbreak of an epidemic which spread out to other parts of the city and landed a number of patients in the city hospitals.

A tube-well for providing drinking water was also being installed at Rajiv Colony for which Rs 50 lakh had already been deposited with HUDA, said Rawal. In addition to it, a tube-well was being set up by the public health department in Kharak Mangoli, he added.

In fact, these slums remained a bone of contention between HUDA and the civic body as the former refused to provide any facility to the slum dwellers contending that they were the encroachers on the authority's land and providing basic facilities to them would only legitimise the illegal occupation. MC members, on the other hand, with their political compulsions, had no option other than offering the facilities to their voters in these slums.

There was a dire need of cleanliness and drinking water supply in the area and following the epidemic outbreak, the civic body was able to convince the state government to release the funds for the development of the area, said Rawal.

The delay in the cleanliness even attracted the criticism from the city residents. It seemed the authorities needed some sacrifice before their slumber was over and a cleanliness drive was initiated in the city, said S.K. Nayar, president of the Citizens' Welfare Association. The things which were supposed to be taken care of much before were done only after seven lives of innocent babies had been wasted due to cholera in the area, he said

"When the situation in a region, which is considered the best in the country, is such one can well imagine the plight of the people living far from the cities, said S.K. Kalra, a resident of Sector 17.

The situation, however, would not change for the residents of Sectors 16 and 17, who still would have to live with the stink emanating from the stagnated water near these slums, said Charanjeet Singh, a resident of Sector 16.



Mohali sans public transport
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, August 3
While Punjab’s rising son Sukhbir Badal shows dream of a fast-track city metro rail to Mohali residents, the Akali government in the state could at least begin with a sound public transport system.

Public transport being virtually non-existent, residents of the town are dependent on the CTU buses, which do not cover many areas and they have to pay through their nose for autorides within the district. To reach the district administrative complex functioning from the PUDA building in Phase I, a large number of residents depend on their personal transport. However, some avail themselves of the local bus service run by the CTU or travel by autorickshaws.

Residents living in the developing sectors, especially workers living in the industrial area, find it very difficult to reach the administrative complex. Even CTU buses do not pass through these areas and as such residents have to depend on autorickshaws.

Hardyal Kaur, an old woman living in Sector 66, who had come to the administrative complex in connection with some property work,told this correspondent today that she had paid Rs 70 to reach Phase I by an autorickshaw. She would have to shell the same amount again to reach home.

However, an autorickshaw driver, Ajit Singh, denied that passengers were being fleeced. He said Rs 50 were charged for hiring the vehicle till Phase XI or other areas of the town having about the same distance. Individual passengers were charged Rs 5 from Phase I to Phase VII and Rs 10 till Phase XI.

It is learnt that after residents of the developing sectors and industrial area met the deputy commissioner for provision of the local bus service, DTO Balbir Singh wrote a letter to the general manager of the Punjab Roadways requesting him to coordinate with the CTU authorities for starting local bus service from areas which had not been covered so far.

Residents of areas like Mullanpur Garibdass, Naya Gaon, Khizrabad and Majri block have to change two to three buses to reach the Phase I tehsil office. It takes them over two hours to reach the tehsil office and they end up spending Rs 40 on the bus travel and another Rs 5-10 for an auto to reach the office. An auto ride costs anything between Rs 100-130.

Residents of Naya Gaon and here first take bus to the Sector 43 bus stand in Chandigarh from where they take another bus to Phase I. From Majri Block and Khizrabad, the bus ride takes the passengers to Kurali then to Kharar and then to Phase I bypass from where they have to take an auto to reach the tehsil office.



Disclose ACR contents to retired officers: CIC
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has held that overall career profile and relevant extracts of its annual confidential report (ACR) can be disclosed to the armed forces officers concerned after retirement.

“The only effect of such disclosure could be to either confirm or rectify a promotion made in the case of an error or oversight, and therefore, at best lead to readjustment of pension benefits to applicant, the CIC observed this week while disposing off a petition by Col H.C. Goswami (retd) of the Military Intelligence.

Colonel Goswami had sought extracts of his ACRs that were considered by a service selection board for promotion to the rank of Brigadier. The petitioner had also sought the overall performance grading of his promotion to the rank of Brigadier of the 1999 batch with whom his name was considered, performance of the last officer who was promoted from the said batch and performance grading of the last officer of 1963 batch who was approved for promotion in 1990.

The CIC also held that in case of serving personnel, the disclosure of such information as sought by the petitioner could seriously compromise discipline, which is basic to military service and, thereby, a potential threat to the national security. In the said case where the individual concerned had retired, the situation was different.

The CIC, however, declined to allow the petitioner’s request for information pertaining to the performance grading of other officers who were considered for promotion in the same batch as the petitioner. The CIC ruled that such data was third party information and its disclosure would constitute breach of trust as well as invasion of privacy.

The Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence, had earlier denied information to the petitioner on the grounds that such information was personal, the disclosure of which had no relationship with any public activity and the same was held in fiduciary with the military secretary’s branch.

The petitioner had wanted information in the interest of the public for showing the transparency of the selection boards held for promotions and proving the honesty and sincerity of all reporting channels. He had contended that disclosure of ACRs would improve interpersonal relationships within the organisation, build trust and confidence at various levels, keep officers informed how they were assessed by their superiors and expose errors in governance. 



STPI estimates 32 pc export growth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) has estimated a further growth of 32 per cent in the total value of software and services exports in 2008-09 from Chandigarh. 

In 2008-09, combined software exports has projected to Rs 1,100 crore with Rs 900 crore from STPI units and Rs 200 crore from SEZs.



People protest against mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The residents of Sector 44 today protested against the indifferent attitude of mayor Pradeep Chhabra.

Sources revealed that the mayor had recently favoured a family residing in the sector over a trivial issue. This infuriated the residents,who along with the area councillor informed the commissioner about the issue.

Later,the commissioner intervened and got the issue resolved.

The issue died down after the commissioner assured that such things won’t be repeated again.

The problem reappeared when the mayor once again visited the area without the area councillor.

Harjinder Kaur, the area councillor, said,“ It’s wrong on the part of the mayor, who is the ultimate authority.

He should have at least consulted me before visiting the area.” 



64 pc people favour ecological funds: Study
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
At least 64 per cent of the residents are willing to pay “environment fund” for maintaining a large number of parks and gardens in the city.

This interesting fact has come to light in Dr Pradeep Chaudhry, head, Silviculture Division, Arid Forest Research Institute, Jodhpur, doctoral work on city’s parks and gardens.

An article on the thesis is set to be published in the United Kingdom’s research journal “forests, trees and livelihood.”

However, the residents wanted that the money generated thus generated should be properly utilised with the zero tolerance with the corruption.

Residents were willing to pay Rs 153 per year per family for the maintenance of the existing parks and gardens and for creating new ones. At least 2,358 residents-725 government and private employees each- were surveyed for the exercise.

And to have a balanced view 378 businessmen and 287 professionals were also surveyed.

Professionals were even willing to pay Rs 211 followed by private- sector employees which stood at Rs 185. The government employees who were willing to pay Rs 103 only per year per family came at the bottom. At least 36 per cent residents, who were not willing to pay any amount, have also been considered in the final analysis.

Those willing to pay between Rs 50 to Rs 500 per family per year and few extremely higher responses by well-to-do environment-loving families i.e. above Rs 2,000 per year have not been considered.

Based on those who are willing Rs 153 per family per year; the annual recreational value of city’s urban greenery was estimated at Rs 27.50 millions from residents’
point of view. Here number of earning families in the city has been taken as 
1.8 lakh, the survey added.



Check road mishaps

The alarming increase in the number of road accidents in Chandigarh is causing much misery to the general public, especially the poor. I am afraid that traffic problems will only worsen here as long as the bad driving habits remain unchecked.

While each one of us, in our own insidious way, is contributing to the traffic misery we claim to hate, unchecked population growth is contributing to increase in the number of vehicles on roads.

Road safety needs to be seen in a wider context. Being incapacitated in a road accident may mean losing one’s livelihood or being unable to support a family.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh

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From Schools & Colleges
24 BEd students get job offers 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 3
Chandigarh College of Education today played host to a first of its kind job fair to be held in North India during which five prestigious schools of the region participated to select teachers for their institutions. The job fair which was held today turned out to be a mega success during which 24 BEd students where selected by the visiting schools. 

The number of BEd students of CCE, Landran, who have already got placements in a number of government and other renowned private schools of the region, has now reached 49. The participating schools in today’s job fair included Doon International, Giyan Joyti Global School, Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Golden Bells, Sherwood Convent and The Millennium School. Impressed with the quality of students, The Millennium School offered an astonishing annual salary package of Rs 1.8 lakh.

FUNCTION: A certificate distribution function was organised by Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Mohali, at its field office in Jhallian Kalan village, Ropar, for students who had successfully completed courses in tailoring, dress making and food preservation. More than 80 persons, including students, panchayat members, sarpanch, lamberdar and villagers participated in the function. Dildar Khan, director of the sansthan, highlighted issues related to women’s rights and empowerment. Anand Mohan Sharma, deputy director of the sansthan, said the present era of globalisation had generated a lot of employment opportunities for women. Bibi Jasbir Kaur, sarpanch, Jhallian Kalan village, distributed certificates to students. A cultural programme was presented by the students on the occasion.

SILENCE OBSERVED: Students of Gian Jyoti School observed a two-minute silence to pay tributes to playback Bollywood singer Ishmeet Singh who passed away in an accident in Maldives. In the prayer meeting, candles were lit to remember the departed soul.

COMPETITION: Little champs of Shivalik Public School here participated in an inter-section English competition. Almost 60 students exhibited their poetic skills by reciting poems. Winners include Yashika, Rohit, Kirti, Khushagra Rao, Himanshu Setia and Divleen.

DANCE CONTEST: Doon International School-68 organised a dance competition for its junior wing. Students were dressed up in colourful costumes. They presented dances of different states. The winners include Yasvi, Navleen, Ismeet, Ashish and Kiriti.

RAINY DAY: A special ‘rainy day’ was observed today at Shishu Niketan Public School, Sector 66, Mohali, for the school’s tiny tots. The tiny tots came fully equipped with their rain gear such as umbrellas, rain coats, gum boots etc.

SAPLINGS PLANTED: Members of Lions Club, Chandigarh Greater, along with students of Millenium High School-67 planted 35 ashoka saplings on the school premises this morning. Club president Harcharan Singh distributed sweets to the children. He also announced that awards would be given to the best group of students whose saplings would be best nurtured at the end of the year. Principal Komal Singh assured that the school authorities would ensure proper upkeep and care of the trees.


CELEBRATED: St Joan's Public School, Zirakpur, celebrated Van Mahotsav. The school is celebrating Global Warming Week and Van Mahotsav was a part of the programme. Children brought saplings and planted then in the school gardens. This was followed by a play by the children.



Saint Soldier International wins award
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, August 3
Saint Soldier International Convent School has been adjudged the best school in Punjab by the ministry of communication and information technology, Government of India. The school has bagged the 5th Computer Literacy Excellence Award for Schools 2007. 

The award consists of a trophy along with a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh which will be handed over to the school principal by the union minister of communication and information technology at an award distribution ceremony scheduled to be held on August 28 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The judgment is based on the extent of computer-aided teaching in the school, literacy programme, ICT usage practices of the school, research projects carried out by teachers and students etc. 



New Zealand institute comes calling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The West Highlander Immigration Consultancy has brought the International Learning Institute’s (ILI) International New Zealand Scholarship Test Initiative to this region for students who have passed out Class XII and aspire to study in New Zealand institutes. 
Students can win lucrative scholarships amounting to a whopping NZ$1 million.

Senior officials of National Institute of Studies (NIS) from Auckland, were in the city to counsel and guide students about advantages of studying in New Zealand.

CEO of West Highlander Consultancy, Gurvinder S. Kang, said, “While last year only 2,600 students went to Kiwi land to pursue education from India, this year the number is projected to touch 7,000.”

The counselling was held by Aaron Edward, director, international business, and Richard Lee, academic director, from NIS. The officials even gave on the spot admissions and offer letters to deserving candidates at Chandigarh’s West Highlander Consultancy.



Dimpy’s Murder
Cops fail to trace shooters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
A team of the Chandigarh police crime branch that had gone to Merrut in connection with the Dimpy murder case has returned empty handed.

Sources said the six-member team returned after it failed to trace the shooters, Sunil and Surinder Kumar Vakil, a practicing lawyer at Meerut courts.

In charge of the crime branch Prem Chand Bath told TNS today that the team could not locate the suspects’ addresses due to the lack of details. He added that the names of the suspected shooters were not even correct.

Meanwhile, the police remand of Jaswinder Singh Rocky, one of the prime suspects in the Dimpy murder case, will end tomorrow.

In the wake of the threat to Rocky’s life, senior CID officer said steps had been taken deal with any eventuality. While another officer said there was no threat and the crime branch had sufficient force to provide security to Rocky in the court.



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