C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Security beefed up on campus
Over 200 cops deployed for violence-free open house today

Smriti Sharma
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, September 10
With only two days left for the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council elections, the varsity authorities today reviewed the security arrangements on the campus for free, fair and violence-free polls.

The varsity authorities have made sure that the ‘open house’, scheduled for Thursday, passes off peacefully, which over the years had been marked with violence.

Safety measures

  • Barricades put in place
  • No entry of vehicles on the campus without stickers
  • PU gate towards PGI to remain closed

The dean students’ welfare, Naval Kishore, held a meeting with the student leaders in the evening today urging them to maintain peace during the much-awaited open house. Listing out the ‘dos and don’ts’, the dean said, “Only two persons, including on presidential candidate and one any other candidate from the panel, would be allowed to speak for 10 minutes each. However, in case if a girl candidate decides to speak, five minutes extra would be given to her.”

Unlike previous years when leaders other than those contesting were allowed to speak on the stage, only those contesting the polls would be allowed to speak this year, said the dean.

The decision of allowing only two speakers that, too, only those who are contesting the polls has, however, not gone down well with various student organisations. “We had demanded that a spokesperson of the party be allowed to speak but the request was turned down,” said that a party leader who attended the meeting.

The varsity administration has deployed over 200 cops on the campus to avoid any untoward incident.



Weapons reach PU hostel rooms
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, September 10
Though intense police force and private security has been deployed on the university campus, the students here are still moving around with weapons in their vehicles.

Well, these weapons are not limited to the vehicles. According to sources, those who are actively participating in elections have even kept weapons in their hostel rooms.

While cops, who are always present on the university campus, seem to be unaware of this fact as they have seized no weapons as yet.

With the election draws near, the police is taking it easy. The men in khaki have conducted barely one raid in all boys’ hostels. The hostels nowadays seem to be the battle grounds as wide array of weapons like sluggers, rods, knives, swords, and other hazardous weapons can be seen lying in the hostel cupboards.

Surprisingly, rooms in the girls’ hostels have umpteen weapons. For instance, last year a fight took place in girls’ hostel during election but still there is no surprise checks in these hostels.

K.P.S. Brar said, “We expect the situation to be worse than last year as students are more violent and aggressive about elections this year.”

On condition of anonymity, a girl student said, “I am surprised to see weapons in girls’ hostel. There is no safety in the hostels. Girls who are politically well-connected are carrying weapons in the hostels but nobody can take action against them.”

The lackadaisical attitude of the private security deployed at the entrance of the university can be noticed as no checks of cars that enter the campus are being done.

Ramesh Chander, SHO, police station, Sector 11, said, “We are doing our duty and checking every vehicle entering the campus. Also, raids are being conducted at hostels in night, but no irregularity has been noticed as yet.”

While the dean, students welfare, Naval Kishore, asserted, “The police has been performing its job pretty well and no such activity has taken place on the campus during the election and from today more police persons will be deployed here.”



Free access for outsiders in PU
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, September 10
The student elections seem to be the best opportunity for the outsiders to hog the limelight. The former students, who have nothing to do with the varsity affairs, can be seen canvassing on the campus in violation of the Lyngdoh Committee rules.

For instance, former president of PUCSC Dalveer Singh ‘Goldy’, who won students’ the elections from SOPU in 2006 and later joined the NSUI, is canvassing for SOPU. Surprisingly, the NSUI has an alliance with PUSU, but Goldy is campaigning for SOPU.

This is in stark contrast of what the authorities had been saying that no outsider would be allowed on the campus during the election days.

Goldy is not the only one. There is a long list of outsiders who are campaigning on the campus, including Sarvdeep Singh Gypsy (SOI), Vikas Rathi (INSO) and Brinder Singh Dhillon (SOPU).

Denying allegations, Goldy said, “I am the former president of the student council and it is my right to campaign for my party. I have not violated any rules of the Lyngdoh Committee.”

Dean, students’ welfare, Naval Kishore said: “I have sent notices to all the student organisations and the police. Strict action will be taken against the violators.”



Police takes out peace march
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
For the upcoming elections of Panjab University Students’ Council, the police today took out a peace march in the university. There were around 200 police, CRPF and Commando personnel.

The cops started their peace march from the gate number 1 of the university, near PGI, and after going to every corner of the varsity, finished at the Student Centre.

There were four inspectors, namely Ramesh Chander, Kulwant Pannu, Anaukh Singh and Darbar Singh, in the peace march, who would be deployed in the university till the announcement of the election results.

“The peace march was only to show the strength of the police to the students as a warning that they should realise what the police can do, if any criminal activity takes place during these days,” said Anaukh Singh, an inspector of Sector 36 police station.



Wooing voters with movies
Show-cause notice to INSO-SOI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Campaigners of various political parties had a field day on the campus today as they put in their last-ditch efforts for garnering votes. Different party members were busy campaigning and approaching students to vote.

While SOPU members could be spotted campaigning at different departments, including Mass Communication and Bachelors of Dental Science Department, INSO-SOI could be going around the varsity in their vehicles asking students to vote in favour of them.

Sukhdev Kundu, president, INSO-SOI, said, “We are approaching students door to door. However, the varsity authorities should also realise that the time provided by them is not sufficient for campaigning. Different students bodies were busy campaigning the most they could during the day and campaigning did not end in the day as different leaders went to girls’ hostels to campaign during evening.

Tejpal Cheema, president, PUSU, said, “It was wrong on the part of varsity officials to stop campaigning three days in advance. We had requested DSW to extend the campaigning time but he refused.”

Meanwhile, waking up to the gross violations of the code of conduct, the PU authorities have finally issued a show-cause notice to the INSO-SOI alliance. The university authorities have asked them to explain as to why action against them not be initiated.

INSO-SOI alliance has been accused for taking groups of about 100 first-year students of the department of chemical engineering and technology for movie shows.



Engg students hold the key
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
With the electioneering reaching its peak, three main parties in the fray have turned their focus on students in the professional courses, especially the University Institute of Engineering Technology (UIET) and Bachelor of Dental School (BDS).

The institute alone holds around 2,000 votes out of the total number of 6,000 votes approximately in the university and is thus the main key for the student organisations to win the elections. Also, the two presidential candidates being the students of the UIET, the department has become the hub of attention for the campaigners.

“TheUIET and the BDS are the most crucial departments as they can influence the final results. These departments have the maximum voters,” said Bubby Dandiwal, student of the UIET and supporter of SOPU. However, the BDS has comparatively fewer votes with 250 students approximately studying in the department.

It is for the first time the presidential candidates of both parties, Jashan Deep Randhawa of PUSU and Sahil Nanda of SOPU are students of the UIET.

PUSU had made a clean sweep last year while bagging maximum votes from the UIET. “The student leaders try to woo students of the UIET and the BDS to increase their vote banks as they form the main component of the university campus,” said Jaskamal Singh, campaigner of PUSU and also student of the UIET.

Although, other candidates of the organisation belong to the law department, department of biology, centre of emerging areas in social sciences, and department of political science.



Admn favours ‘tainted’ official for promotion
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Chandigarh administration has reportedly jumped the gun in a bid to “accommodate” an officer whose name not only figures in a major corruption but he also does not fulfil the eligibility criteria for the post of sub-divisional engineer (SDE).

Even as the hearing in the infamous K.K. Jerath kickback case is pending in a local court, the engineering department has given Dinesh Tandon, who is named in the FIR, the additional charge of sub-divisional engineer (electrical), a move being viewed by many as a prelude to his promotion.

The move is also being dubbed as a blatant case of “favouritism and nepotism taking precedence over efficiency and eligibility while deciding the placements of UT administration functionaries”.

Sources in the department reveal that Dinesh is being given the charge of SDE even as he is still a section officer. As per the norms, it is mandatory to be posted as an assistant engineer for at least 16 years to be eligible for the post of SDE.

Department sources say that Dinesh has sought promotion as a SDE on regular basis and the matter is under consideration. Sources claim that the entire “drama” of first giving an additional charge to Dinesh and then moving an application for his regularisation has been conceived to “favour” him.

The documents available with The Tribune reveal that the then chief engineer, V.K. Bhardwaj, had turned down Dinesh’s earlier bid for promotion as an assistant engineer on the grounds that his name figured in the Jerath case.

When contacted, chief engineer S.K. Jaitley tried to evade the issue. “I cannot comment till I go through the file,” he said.

Interestingly, the current orders address Dinesh as an assistant engineer whereas his designation stands as a section officer. As assistant engineer is a gazetted post, Dinesh’s name does not figure in the list of gazetted officers published in the Extraordinary Gazette of the Chandigarh administration, dated July 4, 2007.

Sources said that Dinesh’s promotion is difficult since integrity certificate stating conduct, work efficiency and no inquiry pending is a compulsory document to be furnished while considering any promotional case. Sources claim that while moving his case for regularisation, Dinesh has given the integrity certificate. It’s, however, intriguing how he managed to procure it despite a case pending against him, sources question.

Sources said the administration was allegedly favouring Dinesh because of his “connections” with certain bigwigs in the administration. “Due to his connections, Dinesh has been entrusted with the sensitive task of looking after the VIP areas, including Panjab and Haryana Raj Bhawan for around five years, in violation of guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The CVC guidelines do not permit an officer to be stationed at one post for more than three years,” sources add.

This is not the first time that the administration has favoured officials facing corruption charges. Earlier, two officers involved in a corruption case - Harsh Kumar and former MC chief engineer K.B. Sharma -were too reinstated. Harsh Kumar was chargesheeted only after getting promotion as a superintending engineer (SE).

Sources in the administration said to enable officiating chief engineer S.K. Jaitley to have an independent charge of the post, it had been proposed that the vacant post of the SE be given on an adhoc basis to the executive engineer Harsh Kumar



Finally, UT gets serious about border encroachments
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Mohali, September 10
The Chandigarh administration seems to have finally woken up and realised that large chunks of the city land that borders with Punjab and Haryana are being allegedly ‘encroached’ upon by Mohali and Panchkula.

In absence of any authentic demarcation during the last 42 years, the issue may snowball into a major controversy since both the sides make counter claims over the ownership of chunks of land along the inter-state border. The continuing urbanisation and encroachments along the border has only compounded the matter for the revenue departments concerned.

Acknowledging that there was confusion over the issue, Chandigarh deputy commissioner RK Rao said he had already written to his Panchkula counterpart to sort out the issue through a joint demarcation exercise. A similar letter is being written to the Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, for joint demarcation along the problematic sections.

“We have already got the land demarcated along the IT park and other sections in Manimajra that run parallel to the Mansa Devi Urban Complex. A large chunk of land has already been reclaimed,” he added.

There have been instances in the recent past when instances of counter claim over ownership of land along the border with Mohali and Panchkula have come to light. Sources in the revenue department said in case of the zig-zag border with Mohali in Sector 63, the demarcation of two acres has yet not been done.

Though the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) claims to have solved the issue over ownership of land on which it has planned the housing scheme, sources in the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) said due to the uneven land, the demarcation could not be carried out. Punjab has built at least 20 houses and infrastructure like roads on at least 2 acres that is shown as UT land.

The zig-zag stretch of the CHB project land falls in Sector 63 and runs parallel to Phase IX of Mohali. “We have agreed after the CHB stated that it had changed the site plan of its housing project and did not include the disputed area in its planning,” said a GMADA official.

Last year also, the CHB had to face an embarrassing situation when the land allotted to Parsavnath Developers at the IT park fell short by at least 1.25 acres. This happened after a joint demarcation by revenue officials of Chandigarh and Haryana. The additional land for the developer was carved out of forest area.

Similarly, there was confusion over the ownership of 10 acres of land between Chandigarh and Punjab. A survey carried out by the UT’s revenue department with the help of maps provided by the Survey of India had revealed that at several points the boundary in the records of the two states overlapped.

This was noticed regarding the agricultural land at Khuda Lahora, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Alisher, Kaimbwala villages on the UT side and in Karoran and Kansal village on Punjab’s side. A strip of land measuring 10 feet by 120 feet was overlapping, said a senior revenue official of the UT. Though the officials of the two states had agreed to find a permanent solution by going in for mutual transfer of land but nothing has happened.

In 2002, a joint demarcation of the border from Sector 56 (Phase 6 of SAS Nagar) to Sector 61 (Phase 7 of SAS Nagar) was conducted by UT and Punjab officials. Following this, Punjab had sought around 65 acres and in lieu offered transfer of about 44 acres to the UT along its border with Mohali. But the issue remains unresolved.



Water supply to be suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Due to replacement and repair of sluice valves by Punjab public health department near Sirhind road at Morinda, there will be no supply of water during 10am to 6pm on September 12 in city.

Spokesman of the municipal corporation said there would be supply of water with full pressure from 4am to 10am and 6pm to 9pm in the city. The residents were requested to bear with the municipal corporation.



Wage board secy meets newspaper unions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Representatives of The Tribune Employees Union, the Chandigarh Journalists Association (NUJ) and other unions met K.M. Sahni, former Union labour secretary and secretary of the Justice Kurup Wage Boards for Journalists and Non-journalists, at the UT Guest House here today.

Sahni, who is touring the country to elicit views of the newspaper industry workers and managements, told the union representatives that he was shocked to learn that in several newspaper organisations even awards of the Palekar Wage Boards had not been implemented.

He said the governments of the states he had visited had given him a positive response with regard to the implementation of the wage board recommendations. The governments also responded positively to his suggestion of forming tri-partite committees for monitoring the implementation of the wage board awards. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda yesterday assured him of all cooperation in this regard.

Sahni told the union representatives that the wage boards for the industry were the only statutory wage boards being constituted by the Central government. He said a survey by the Labour Department of Gujarat revealed a dismal picture with regard to flagrant violations of the wage board awards.

The unions submitted their replies to the agenda items circulated by the wage board secretary for this interactive meeting.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists today boycotted a meeting of the wage boards for journalists and non-journalists here.

Union president Vinod Kohli said they were resenting the visits of the member-secretary of the boards to various places in the country, without the knowledge and consent of members representing the employers and employees in these wage boards.

Moreover, such meetings had no meaning as the wage boards did not have a chairman at the moment. Justice Narayana Kurup, who was heading these boards, had resigned and the government had not appointed anyone in his place.



Swimmer ‘threatened’ by college professors
Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, September 10
Being an ace sportsperson proved a bane for a student when her teacher allegedly forced her to take admission in their college. The victim Gurwinder Kaur has lodged a complaint with the police in this regard.

The student in a complaint lodged at Panchkula police station in Sector 5 has sought action against the accused.

Gurwinder, who this year graduated from GGS Khalsa College for Women, Sector 26, had taken admission in Government College, Hoshiarpur, for further studies in MA as she had wanted to be in her hometown due to her father’s illness.

And as she was an ace swimmer, the college did not want to lose her, she said. She had been continuously compelled for about 15 days to take admission in GGS and soon the requests turned into threats when she visited Panchkula to consult her physician on September 8, she alleged. “Professors of GGS Khalsa College for women Neena Goyal, Jagtar and Harish came there and threatened to kidnap and lock me in a hostel room if I didn’t take admission in their college,” alleged Gurwinder.

She further added that her friend Sumati, the doctor and a guard of the clinic were present with her at that time. “The teachers felt that if she takes admission in their college, they will have more chances of winning the ongoing swimming championship at Panjab University,” said Sumati.

“But they don’t realise that her father’s health, who is suffering from brain tumour, means more to her then their championship,” she added.

The coach of Government College, Hoshiarpur, Amarjeet Singh also alleged that Jagtar, GGS college professor, called him and said: “I am the owner of Chandigarh and if she doesn’t leave your college, you will have to face dire consequences.”

When TNS spoke to the college authorities, Neena Goyal and Principal Harjinder Kaur termed the allegations false.

This matter came up earlier too when both colleges during a swimming championship at PU, claimed that she was their student, but Gurwinder clarified this and claimed, “I have not filled the sports Performa and didn’t take admission in the GGS College.”

“They themselves have filled my form and forged my signature”, she added.

The college principal, said: “She had consented over the phone for admission and one of her friends got her admission form filled by her and we gave her admission.”



PAN card drive to begin from Sept-end
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Income Tax Department has suspended the issuance of Permanent Account Number (PAN) for the people of Chandigarh region with effect from today. Owing to the transfer of data from the Regional Computer Centre to the National Data Centre. The services will be resumed at the end of the month (after 29th September).

According to Income tax officials, In order to enhance system efficiency and bring transparency in tax administration and make the government’s revenue prediction accurate, the department has set up a national data centre in Delhi, which will be connected to 744 I-T offices across the country. Transferring the data of Patiala regional centre is also the part of this project,” said income tax officials.

The National Data Centre will store all data and entries made by any tax authority anywhere in India. “This will usher in a revolution in tax administration and make the redressal mechanism more effective and fast,” a senior official said.

Also, the process of PAN transfer will be smooth, as the data will be available online all over India. Assessor will not have to give request to the department or to wait for long period. With e-filing of returns made mandatory for corporates, and similar guidelines for individual taxpayers being contemplated, the department is hoping to process return cheques at a much faster pace, may be within a month of e-filing returns, said, G.S. Randhawa, commissioner income tax said.

The department is setting up a full back-up facility in Mumbai, called the business continuity plan to carry on business without any break in services in case NDC trips. In case both the Delhi and Mumbai facilities fail, the department will have a disaster recovery centre (DRC) in Chennai to fall back on. The DRC, which will be in place along with facilities in Delhi and Mumbai, will help the department recover lost data in case of any disaster or natural calamity.



Theatre fest ends with comedy
SD Sharma

Panchkula, September 10
The Eighth National Theatre Festival concluded with the staging of a comedy play “Saiyna Bhaye Kotwal..” by the Natrang theatre repertoire Jammu at the Inderdhanush Auditorium here today.

The eight-day long spectacle organised by the NCZCC and the Department of Information and Public Relations, Haryana, brought alive the diverse theatre genres through the presentations by groups from India.

If the octogenarian theatre stalwart Habib Tanvir gave a grandeur start to the festival with R N Tagore’s play “Rajrakat”, then the eminent thespian Balwant Thakur provided a grand finale with a comedy play which will be a remembrance.

Ascribing to the views of Ben Johnson that “It is the mission of comedy to depict the contemporary life with moral intent and not tell only pleasing tales of fairies.”

Balwant Thakur bared the rampant corruption, decadence, administrative laxity, nepotism, lawlessness and degradation of moral values through the incompetent rule of the king of Surya Nagar.

The power-packed comedy play enthralled the audience with entertainment unlimited while delineating the above malpractices through the inept rule of the maharaja who is engrossed in hunting, foreign tours and relying on his psychophants.

Thakur gave a new dimension to the play by making aberration in the original script by play write Basant Sabnis. He induced the references of Michael Jackson and many political bosses engaged in promoting their incompetent progeny through their personal influences. The musical rendition by eminent vocalist Suraj Singh, lights by Suraj Ganju and costumes by Deepika Thakur added elegance to the production.

The accomplished actors, including Anil Tikku (Hawaldar), Sanjeev Gupta (Kotwal), Pankaj Sharma (Shipahi), Neeraj Kant (Raja), excelled while Kamaljit Kaur portraying the court dancer Mainavati cast a spell.

K K Khandelwal, IAS, welcomed the chief guest Bhupinder Singh Hooda, CM, Haryana, who honoured the artistes and declared the festival closed with a crisp anecdote. Asha Hooda and thespian Kumar Aggarwal from Benaras also attended the function.



From vendor to CEO Down Under
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
From selling candles as a road side vendor in Sector 22 here, to becoming the chief executive officer (CEO) of one of the fastest growing start-up companies in Australia, Naresh Gulati has come a long way. The man, who was declared as a good-for-nothing by his family after he failed in college, has now created a vast business empire valued at Australian $ 100 million.

What started as a fight for survival for this young entrepreneur, led Gulati to hone his skills and start a small business with an initial investment of Australian $ 3,500. With stars finally shining down on him, his firm, Oceanic Consultants, grew from strength to strength. The company, which provides services to prospective students wishing to study in Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom, has now been conferred “Enterprise Award’ in the recently announced Australian Business Awards. His other company, BPO Intelligence has also won the “Best Value” and “Product Excellence” award.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Gulati said he started work at the age of 15, so that he could supplement his family’s meagre earnings. “I started by selling candles, after I had borrowed Rs 5,000 as seed money from a few relatives. For four years, I sold candles, till I switched over to selling fabric on the roadside. Then someone suggested that I pursue a diploma in electronic data processing, which would help me get a clerical job. This was the turning point in my life. I finished the course and my skills in computer hardware helped me get a job in the USA,” he recalled.

However, he declined the job offer and set up a computer centre in Sector 34. Slowly, he diversified his business and also set up a distribution company for Biotique cosmetics. “By this time, I had a cushion and decided to move to Australia to pursue a course in Information Systems. I would study in the day and do odd jobs in a restaurant at night to make both ends meet. It was here that I came to know how difficult it was for foreign students to pursue their education, and decided to set up a consultancy agency,” he added.

Two years ago, he diversified his business by setting up BPO Intelligence, which helps universities around the world to cut down their costs by outsourcing admission work, printing jobs et al. The company now has 19 offices in India, which they plan to increase to 70 by the end of this fiscal. “We have recently opened an office in London and are looking at expansion in the USA,” he added.



Centre approves 41 posts at GMCH
On annual day, Hooda releases Rs 5-lakh grant

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The ministry of health, Government of India, has approved 41 super-speciality posts at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, said GMCH director-cum-principal Prof Raj Bahadur.

He was speaking at the annual day celebration of the GMCH here today. The first batch of MBBS students was admitted on this day in the 1991.

Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda presided over the function and congratulated Prof Raj Bahadur for state-of-the-art facilities being provided to the patients. Hooda also announced an annual grant of Rs 5 lakh from CM's fund to the medical college.

Giving details, Prof Raj Bahadur said that a number of facilities, including videoconferencing (EDUSAT) link with NICD, Delhi, computer navigation system in the department of orthopaedics, registration of an eye bank with DGHS, dept of health and family welfare, Government of India, with four collection centres attached with 94 eye donations, were provided at the GMCH this year. He said the government had also sanctioned Rs 1 crore for computer navigation system in department of orthopaedics.

He added that a digital radiography machine was procured for the department of radiology and installation of MRI machine was also under process. Genetic centre at GMCH is also providing pre-natal and neonatal screening programmes to prevent mental and physical disabilities for which the Central government has sanctioned Rs 2 crore, he added. Besides, Prof Raj Bahadur said, the Chandigarh administration had approved enhanced stipend of Rs 4,500 per month for interns.

Synchronisation of services of three hospitals of city - PGIMER, GMCH and GMSH - is being done to provide better medical care to patients, he said.

The programme concluded with a cultural extravaganza by the students. 



5 BJP councillors walk out of MC meeting
Raise objection over holding the meeting outside the MC building
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 10
The municipal council today passed all 32 items on the agenda at the council meeting even as five of the eight councillors belonging to the BJP, led by V K Sood, staged a walkout over the issue of holding meeting outside MC office and presence of public on the occasion.

The meeting of the civic body was held at Indradhanush Auditorium in Sector 5 in the afternoon to take up the agenda relating to the development works in the city. Three nominated municipal councillors, J S Shingari, Sube singh and Chandbir Hooda, also took oath on the occasion.

However, three BJP councillors, Ashish Garg, Chanderkanta Goel and municipal council vice-president B B Singhal, stayed back and did not join the walkout. After attending the meeting for some more time, ultimately they also left the venue.

As soon as the secretary of the MC started reading the agenda, Sood, who was the presidential candidate of the BJP during the elections, stood up from his chair and objected to the presence of the people other than municipal councillors in the hall. He also raised objection over holding the meeting outside the MC office building. This was the meeting of councillors, which has been converted into a public meeting by the Congress, he said.

Moreover, the money was being wasted in organising the meetings hiring the place to hold such meetings which could be held at office only, said Sood.

On the other hand, MC president Ravinder Rawal, denying any money wastage, said the hall was arranged free of cost and he had the powers to allow any outsider to sit during the meeting who seek prior permission. Moreover, the people other than councillors were supporters of the nominated councillors who were to take oath on the occasion, Rawal contended.

The nine councillors of the INLD also boycotted the meeting. The INLD leader and former municipal council president Seema Chaudhary said they decided to boycott the meeting as the INLD councillors were not taken into confidence while preparing the agenda of meeting.

While talking on the agenda, Rawal said the maintenance of main roads in the city had been handed over to HUDA, which would result in the saving of Rs 31 crore annually to the council. The council had decided to install sodium lights in the city for better illumination and set up a cattle shed and solid wastage treatment plant. In addition to it, acquiring a sweeping machine worth around Rs 15 lakh, the upgradation of fire brigade station and setting up four more fire brigades stations in the city were passed at the meeting.



Manhandling of JE
Agitated PSEB staff ask cops to act
Our Correspondent

Employees of the Punjab Electricity Board protest against the assault on junior engineer by a resident of Phase XI, in Mohali on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, September 10
Members of the Technical Services Union of the Punjab State Electricity Board held a gate rally outside the office of the subdivision Tech II here today in protest against the alleged manhandling of a junior engineer (JE) by a Phase XI resident. The protesters demanded the arrest of the person failing which the agitation would be intensified.

Vijay Kumar, circle secretary, said Jatinder Singh had gone to the house in Phase XI to cut the power connection for non-payment of electricity bill and he had gone there on the directions of his senior official.

He said if employees on duty were treated in such a manner it would become difficult for PSEB employees to work. Outstanding payments worth crores would not be cleared. He said the board management should pressure the police to arrest the person who had allegedly manhandled the JE.

Circle president Lakha Singh said if no arrest was made by the police, employees would be compelled to intensify their agitation leading to the disruption of work. He said the arrest would help employees to perform their duties fearlessly.



Hospital staff resent delay in salaries
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 10
There is a feeling of resentment among doctors and other staff members of the civil hospital here over the failure of the authorities concerned to disburse their salaries on time.

It is alleged that salaries were given after the 15th of each month, which created problems for the staff, especially class IV employees, who then borrowed money from doctors to make both the ends meet. The problem has been going on for the past many months.

Employees, though facing problems, hesitate to come on record regarding the financial problems being faced by them for the fear of annoying their seniors.

Dr Surinder Bhagat, media secretary of the PCMS Specialists Doctors Association, said today the staff faced the problem of delay in salaries every month. Class IV employees were the worst affected. He said many doctors had purchased their cars on loans and had given postdated cheques to the banks. As the salaries were not being received on time, their cheques bounced, adding to their problems.

SMO-in-charge of the hospital, Dr H. S. Sarang, however, said he had the powers of a drawing and disbursement officer, which was later questioned. The matter was lying pending with the higher authorities for want of a clarification. This led to delay in disbursing the salaries.



Krishanjit gets charge of CHB CE
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The administration today handed over the charge of the chief engineer of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to Krishanjit Singh, who is the seniormost superintending engineer after SK Jaitley in the UT engineering department.

Finance secretary-cum-secretary engineer Sanjay Kumar said Krishanjit Singh would hold the charge of the CHB chief engineer in addition to his duties as superintending engineer, Construction Circle-I. The SE has been given the charge after the name of the officiating CHB chief engineer G.S. Rosha, as a regular chief engineer, was rejected following the departmental promotion committee (DPC) meeting.

Interestingly, G.S. Rosha had recently been promoted as superintending engineer from back date. The CHB has promoted Rosha as SE from May, 2000. This meant that even after adding the probation period of one year, Rosha had become a regular SE at least four years ahead of Jaitley and Kishanjit Singh, who were promoted in February, 2005.

The CBI has recommended a major penalty against Rosha for allegedly committing irregularities while appointing a junior engineer during his tenure as the superintending hospital engineer, PGI. He was on deputation to the PGI from January, 2000, to January, 2003. Rosha had also been chargesheeted by the CHB. He was reportedly absolved of the charge in an inquiry conducted by a retired IAS officer. The issue to waive the penalty was also tabled at the board meeting of the CHB.



Health fair from September 21
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
In order to deliver the health care facilities to the people residing in the backward areas of the city, the health department of Chandigarh administration has decided to organise a health fair. The fair will be organised at Bapudham colony, Sector 26. It will start from September 21.

The fair is an initiative of National Rural Health Mission, said officials of the health department. The services, including provision of facilities for ultrasound, X-ray and on-the-spot lab services, would be provided in the fair.

Various medical stalls, having specialists from the fields of gynaecology, skin, pediatrics, surgery, medicine, dental and ENT, would also be installed. Special services will also be made available for immunisation of the children under the age of 5 years.

The doctors from all the fields will be available for on-the-spot diagnosis and treatment. Free medicines will also be distributed to the needy. The patients having chronic diseases will be referred to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, for treatment.



UT’s compensation policy biased, say fire victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The fire-accident victims of Rajiv Gandhi Rehri Market, Sector 46, alleged Chandigarh administration adopting discriminatory compensation policy for the victims. Suresh Manchanda, president of rehri market, stated this while interacting with media today.

He stated that the estate officer had rejected 65 cases on various unreasonable grounds, and out of 118 licencees, only 63 were allotted booths. Rest of them had to sit in open places. He added that in 1990-1991, Chandigarh administration had assured the victims that the booths would be allotted to them in three years.



NCC cadets sensitised about cancer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A cancer awareness workshop was organised by the NCC Group Headquarters, Chandigarh, in collaboration with the Sahayta Charitable Welfare Society, an NGO, here today. Over 500 cadets from all three wings of the NCC attended the workshop.

The aim of the workshop was to spread the message that diagnosis of cancer was not the end of life, but preventive measures and early detection can make a lot of difference.

NCC officers as well as guest speakers from the NGO addressed the cadets and delved on various social and medical issues related to cancer. Girl cadets of the NCC were given separate talks on cancer awareness and made aware of cancer prevention related to women. The cadets, who participated in the workshop, will be awarded special certificates.



Jaspal Bhatti bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Dhian Kaur, grandmother of comedian and Bollywood actor Jaspal Bhatti, died after a brief illness. She was 101 years old. Mother of N. S. Bhatti, a retired chief engineer with Punjab State Electricity Board, she had undergone a complete hip replacement a couple of years ago.



Insurance week ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Insurance Week celebrations at LIC came to an end on Tuesday. Employees and environment days were also celebrated at the divisional office.

Employees were shown a documentary on save environment so as to motivate them to plant saplings wherever possible and keep the surroundings green. A quiz and extempore competition was organised wherein 50 prizes were given to the winners.



Improve public transportation

There is a great need to improve the public transportation system in the tricity. Chandigarh was planned for only 250,000 persons. But now, we have more than two million people in the tricity. Bus service is not sufficient for the rush in the city.

The authorities concerned have to come up with a bus-route grid, where one does not have to change the bus more than once. One possibility is having North-South and East-West routes, and special lanes for buses in the morning and evening rush hours.

Raj Kumar, Chandigarh

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



MCM girls protest against principal
Sumedha Sharma
Triune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Agitated over the principal’s move of appointing a particular candidate as college president, students of MCM DAV, Sector 36, staged an aggressive protest here today and dubbed the action as “undemocratic”.

The entire tiff was triggered off when Himani Walia was declared president following disqualification of three other prospective candidates. However, the girls refused to accept the decision and accused the principal of being ‘biased’.

Denying this, principal Dr Puneet Bedi clarified, “Everything has been done according to rules. The disqualified candidates did not satisfy the criteria as some were short of attendance and others submitted incomplete nominations.”

However, students like Ridhima, a candidate for the president’s post, refused to accept this and said that they asked us to get the attendance clearance yesterday morning only. “Two of my teachers were on leave I was asked to mention the same on nomination form but later they cancelled it, saying I had not mentioned the name of the teacher,” she claimed.

Another prospective candidate Geeta said, “My candidature was cancelled on basis of short attendance. They did not give me sports attendance and the girl who has been declared as the president was given full attendance for investing time in beauty contests.” She said if the principal had any doubts, she could have called the sports teachers and confirmed my claims.

The students also got support from the teachers union. A teacher said, “The last date of nominations was yesterday and the attendance performa’s were distributed only in the morning”. Saying that the students were not at fault, another teacher pointed out that on Monday, Punjab teachers were on mass casual leave and hence issuance of the requisite clearance got delayed. She alleged that the principal was using the rules to favour her own candidate.

In order to garner support from student bodies like the SOPU and PUSU, their representatives were invited by the girls to ‘negotiate’ with the principal. However, the exercise proved futile, as the principal remained adamant.

“The norms have been laid down by the university. If they were that bothered why didn’t they try to delay teacher’s protest? These students did not abide by norms so they got disqualified. And If these SOPU or PUSU leaders get even one of their disqualified candidate to contest in the university I will allow all three girls to contest. I have abided by norms and not bothered what the girls plan next and yes no outsiders will be allowed to mediate here.”



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