C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Battle lines are drawn
PU goes to the polls today

Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The battle lines are drawn once again for the Panjab University students council elections scheduled for tomorrow.

The polling for the posts of president, general secretary, vice-president and joint secretary will take place between 10 am and 11 am.

This time, new combinations among various student bodies has taken place. Though SOPU and PUSU are known to be the key players, INSO has emerged as a deciding factor with its alliance with SOI and can tilt the scale either way.

Moreover, with the projected “faces” of PUSU and SOPU not contesting as they were ineligible according to the Lyngdoh recommendations, students would vote on the party’s image, rather than individuals, election observers say.

So far, the electioneering has been peaceful, but the university authorities and the UT police are keeping their fingers crossed until the polling is over.

Last year, too, campaigning was peaceful, but there was violence after the results were declared. Some students belonging to a particular group had stoned vehicles belonging to the rival party and even stoned the vice-chancellor’s house.

This time around, the PU authorities are not taking any chances and say that they are prepared to tackle any untoward incident.


Voting will be held between 10 am and 11 am at 139 polling stations on the campus. Only students with identity cards will be allowed to vote. The entry will be through Gate Nos. 2 and 3 and the results will be declared by 4 pm. Voting will be held simultaneously in colleges. As many as 9,550 students will cast their vote as against 8,800 last year. The maximum voters, around 1,800, are from the UIET, followed by the department of laws which has a strength of over 900 students.

The teaching and non-teaching staff will be on duty at the gates to screen students.

An inter-college archery competition scheduled on the campus for 8.30 am has been shifted to 11.30 am.



‘Unilateral’ Nomination
MCM girls go on rampage
Break windowpanes, resort to fisticuffs
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The protest at MCM DAV in Sector 36 over the “unilateral” nomination of Himani Walia as college president by the principal took a violent turn today with girls resorting to fisticuffs and breaking window panes, besides going on an indefinite fast to demand the withdrawal of her candidature.

What started as a protest against an “undemocratic” act, transformed into a vilification campaign with allegations and counter-allegations.

Those opposing Himani’s candidature accused her of using derogatory remarks against a particular community, but her supporters said the “trivial” issue was being blown out of proportion.

The principal, Puneet Bedi, was in the line of fire of the agitated girls who accused her of going out of the way to accommodate Himani because of her “friendship” with her son.

They went to the extent of terming the episode as “a saas-bahu saazish”. However, sources close to Bedi denied any such relationship and regretted that the students had stooped to such a level.

This morning, the principal refused to ask Himani to step down. Sources said though Himani might have agreed to do so, things turned ugly when students demanded a public apology from her. “Why should she ask for an apology?” Bedi asked.

Students tried to force their entry into the staffroom by breaking window panes and thrash Himani, but were reportedly roughed up by the college authorities. Enraged, the girls called various student leaders who stood outside the college the entire day.

“Our disqualification was undemocratic so we demanded that the president’s post remain vacant. Himani also passed some ‘lewd’ comments against a community and we wanted her to apologise publicly. But the principal refused to listen to us. While we shouted the entire day and tried to speak to the principal, she was busy treating her ‘bahu’ snacks in the staffroom.

We called the boys because she was not ready to listen to us. We will not relent,” Geeta, a disqualified candidate, alleged.

Bedi, however, said: “This is rubbish. They demanded her dismissal and I made her agree to step down, but then they started pressuring her to issue a public apology, which she obviously refused to. They even called boys of various student bodies to harass her so I confined her to the staffroom.”



PU Student Elections Special
Open house echoes with promises, allegations
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News service

Students cheer their leaders
Students cheer their leaders

Chandigarh, September 11
The most awaited part of the campus students’ council elections, the open house, which was held today, put the much-needed vigour in the ongoing electioneering on the Panjab University campus.

Like always, the open house started more than an hour late. But this time, it was due to the delay in the university arrangements. However, once started, there was no looking back either for the candidates on stage, who indulged in little of everything from listing same achievements to criticising other candidates and finally resorting to personal attacks, or for their supporters, who continued shouting slogans till it lasted.

Interestingly, most of the candidates tried to cash in on the central status wave in the university and even promised to work towards achieving it.

First it was Sahil Nanda, the presidential candidate of the SOPU-ABVP alliance, who started with talking about his party being in power for 11 years and having done a lot for the student welfare. He promised that if he was elected, he would work for a central placement cell for students, internet facility for students in hostels and improvement of infrastructure at UIET. He was followed by Prashant Sharma and Parul Chaudhary contesting for the post of general secretary and vice-president, respectively.

It was the INSO-SOI alliance’s candidate for the post of general secretary, Paramvir Sunny from the department of laws, who impressed everyone with his oratory skills. Though he crossed his time limit, nevertheless the crowd was all ears when he held the mike. He remarked that his party believed in doing things and not counting its achievements. Though he resorted to personal allegations on SOPU and PUSU leaders accusing them of being criminals and loafers, the crowd thoroughly enjoyed his speech. He was followed by vice-presidential candidate Deepika Gupta, who said the university needed leaders and not dummy candidates and claimed that her panel was “a panel of intellectuals”. Sukhdev Kundu, presidential candidate of INSO-SOI, alleged that other parties had made the university elections as ‘panchayat elections’. However, the crowd booed him and called him “uncle”. He promised that if he was elected, he would ensure that the research scholars at the university get their due.

Perhaps the second most impressive orator among the boys was Jashandeep Randhawa, the presidential candidate of PUSU-NSUI-H.S.A, who claimed that he belonged to the largest as well as the oldest student unions of the campus. He said the outgoing campus president had got all that done that he had promised leaving one or two things. Calling the other leaders “barsati dadoos” (opportunists), he said his party had no political affiliations whatsoever.

Girls steal the show

Today’s open house turned out to be a perfect platform for the girl candidates, contesting for the post of vice-presidents, to prove their mettle. As they came on stage one after the other in accordance with their party alliances, each one proved herself better than the rest. Parul Chaudhary, vice-presidential candidate of SOPU-ABVP, started off with the Delhi University’s election scene where the girls not only contest but also get elected for the post of president.

She stated that it was the dynamic leadership that the university needed at this time. Addressing the girls, she assured that if she was elected, she would ensure that PU has a “safe environment” for girls. Next was Deepika Gupta of the INSO-SOI alliance, who stressed that the students of the university needed real leaders and not just dummy candidates like PUSU and SOPU had fielded.

But the show stealer was Navjot Sharma of PUSU-HAS-NSUI”, who got her presence felt with her words. She dared other candidates to come and list their achievements if any and claimed that her party was working even while not in power. It must be mentioned here that the girls form more than 70 per cent of the PU’s total strength, but they have always been either sidelined or used only for their face value.

Issueless debate, once again

The hallmark of the open house debate remained the same as in the past and it all, once again, boiled down to levelling personal allegations by candidates against each other.

Clearly, none of the candidates had any issue or talking point except listing their so- called achievements, which, as a matter of fact, were not theirs.

Surprisingly, all candidates, irrespective of which party they belonged to, had same achievements to their credit. Be it the PU’s decision of no fee hike this year or demand of new hostels or special chance for students, they all attributed it to themselves.

When it came to debate, the candidates resorted to personal allegations and accused each other of eve teasing and indulging in criminal activities.



Cops leave nothing to chance
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The Chandigarh police has made special security arrangements, chipping in 150 police personnel from the local force and 100 from the Reserve Force, for the Panjab University polls to be held tomorrow.

ASP Madhur Verma said all 27 centres, where the voting would be held, had been put under tight security cover.

“Each centre has been divided into two cordons-inner and outer. While there will be proper security arrangements in the outer cordon, at least three personnel will be deputed in the each room (inner cordon) where the polling takes place,” he said.

Apart from that, the police would keep a watch at all sensitive areas, including Student Centre, PU’s administrative offices and election stalls of different student unions.

“Tomorrow is a crucial day and we will leave nothing to chance,” Verma added. The special arrangements would be in place till the culmination of the voting.

The police has also decided to retain the security for the next two days.

“Keeping in view the last year’s incident, we will continue to keep a vigil to avoid any untoward happening on the premises,” said Verma.

Last year, the students had damaged some vehicles after the declaration of the election result. Some had also stoned the vice-chancellor’s residence the same night.



Senate Polls
A few turn up for this open house
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, September 11
An open house for the forthcoming senate polls was held at the Panjab University’s botany department today where the contestants from the professors’ constituency addressed a gathering.

The house was a dull affair as out of five contestants, four reached the house to address a gathering of not more than 10 professors.

The open house was arranged to give a platform to the contestants to present their views in open and ask for votes. The elections for the professor constituency are scheduled for Monday and the counting would take place on Wednesday (September 17).

Prof V.K. Mahajan, who is contesting from the arts faculty, said: “In my opinion, all senators should unite on the university issues. The university needs intellectuals who can put up a joint fight on an issue. Also, the outsiders should not be allowed to interfere in the matters pertaining to the varsity.”

Others present during the house included Prof Rupinder Tiwari contesting from the arts faculty and Prof K.P. Singh contesting from the science faculty. Prof N.K. Ohja is contesting from the arts faculty, but was not present during the open house.



Campaigning goes on
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, September 11
In sheer violation of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, the campaigning for the student elections was still on in full swing till late this evening even as polling is to take place tomorrow.

Supporters of all three alliances SOPU-ABVP, PUSU-NSUI and INSO-SOI were seen campaigning at the Kasturba girls’ hostel around 8 pm.

Although the use of printed material was banned for canvassing, stickers could be seen pasted on the cars and two-wheelers. Not only this, supporters of various candidates were seen campaigning in groups in jeeps in a bid to show their strength to the rival parties.

Harry Brar, a student, said: “All three alliances are violating the recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee and no action has been taken against them. The university authorities are unable to control the situation.”

Naval Kishore, dean, students’ welfare (DSW), said: “I personally went there to the girls’ hostel and dispersed all student leaders from there.”



Eviction trouble for Bir Devinder
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The Punjab Vidhan Sabha Secretariat has sought the help of the UT in evicting former deputy speaker and senior Punjab Congress leader Bir Devinder Singh from MLA flat in Sector 4 here that he has been “illegally” occupying for the past one-and-a-half years. Bir Devinder is no longer an MLA as he did not contest the assembly elections.

According to sources, the Secretariat has written to the UT Administration seeking help for “evicting the former MLA. The sources said two other former MLAs, whose names could not be ascertained immediately, would also face similar action.

The sources said while the maintenance of the MLA flats was with the UT engineering department, the allotment of the flats was with the Secretariat. Earlier, there have been similar cases when politicians had failed to vacate the premises and the help of the Chandigarh administration was sought. In case of the former deputy speaker, officials in the Vidhan Sabha have been corresponding with the UT estate office to get the premises evicted forcibly. As per the power enjoyed by the estate office under the Public Premises Act, illegal occupants can be forced to move out of the premises.

The similar provision was used by the estate office to get the government houses (under the UT pool) vacated from illegal occupants. In a communication to the Chandigarh Administration, it has been stated that the speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha had taken a serious view and sought the vacation of the premises at the earliest.

A servant quarter allotted in the name of the former MLA had also not been vacated. The sources said the police force would be sought to get the premises vacated in the coming days.

A few months ago, the estate office had got vacated an MLA flat occupied by former Akali MLA Gaganjit Singh Barnala. A UT official said due to the jurisdictional problem, the respective state government sought the help of the local administration in such cases.



Woman raped in hotel room
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
A 22-year-old woman was raped in her hotel room at Kajheri in the wee hours of yesterday. The woman belongs to Karnal. The accused, Ram Singh, runs an “ahata” in Sector 43.

The incident happened around 5 am at the hotel, where she had been staying with her husband for the past two months.

The Sector 36 SHO, Davinder Sharma, said the victim was alone during the night intervening September 9 and 10 as her husband was out of station. The accused asked her to open the door on the pretext of taking money from her husband.

The accused was a frequent visitor to the hotel and knew about the couple, the police said.

The couple had married in 2006 against the wishes of their parents. “Due to the differences with their parents, they were staying in the hotel. They have a nine-month-old son who is living with his maternal grandparents,” the SHO said.

“We have registered a case against the accused who is absconding. A party has been dispatched to his native place to nab him. We are also investigating why the woman did not scream and if she knew the accused,” the SHO added.



BSNL landlines lose appeal
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The once trusted “sarkari” (BSNL) landline telephone seems to have lost its appeal. More and more people are opting for mobiles and switching over to private operators. The BSNL’s subscriber base for landline phones in the Chandigarh region is decreasing steadily.

Sources said on an average, approximately 1.40 lakh landline phones are being cancelled every year and in the past five years, over seven lakh subscribers have surrendered their connections.

The subscriber base has gone down from 22 lakh to 15 lakh from 2003-08. The Chandigarh region comprises the tricity, besides some cities of Punjab.

The situation is similar across the country and perhaps that’s why the BSNL has roped in actor Priety Zinta — remember the advertisement … “aapke yahan BSNL landline nahin hain. Main yahan shaadi nahin karrongi”— in a bid to reverse the slide. But if figures are any indication, her threat seems to have had little effect since this year alone, 3,500 phones have been surrendered in the city alone.

BSNL officials, who were not ready to come on record, admitted that ever since the introduction of the cellular regime and the entry of other telecom companies in the city, they had lost about seven lakh connections. However, the company had increased its subscriber base in cellular services to 21.90 lakh during the same period (2003-08).

Senior officials of the Chandigarh telecom refused to comment on the issue, but said the BSNL had chalked out a strategy to promote landlines for alternative uses.

In fact, the trend was guided by the increasing options available to customers as regards mobile and landline connections offered by private players, they said.

The BSNL was introducing several schemes to regain its hold. Subscribers whose landlines had been disconnected could repay their outstanding bills in easy instalments. Facilities like caller line identity (CLI) and instant Internet access service were being provided free of cost with every landline.

Amit Sharma, who opted for a private company’s connection, said he was unhappy with BSNL’s service and he encountered regular technical problems.

Another former subscriber, Suneel Goyal, said he and his wife had opted for BSNL’s cellular connection as it was more viable, but due to easy connectivity being offered by another company, they surrendered the BSNL connection.


MC commissioner’s nod for staff recruitment
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The Municipal Corporation (MC) convened an emergency meeting today to discuss about the timely recruitment of the regular staff in various departments of the corporation, especially in the estate branch, which have been lying vacant for a long time. MC commissioner Roshan Sunkaria chaired the meeting.

Sources revealed that heads of various departments were not unanimous on the decision of the appointment of regular staff in their departments.

The sources added that at the meeting it was decided that the technical and other staff for the engineering department would be appointed on a priority basis and after that, appointments would be made in the estate branch of the corporation.

The sources stated that officials of the engineering department gave a strong plea that in the Chandigarh administration also fresh recruitments were initially made in the engineering department and after that vacancies were filled in other branches. On this issue, joint commissioner T P S Phoolka objected and said the administration had already approved the posts in the estate branch of the corporation. How the recruitment could be made first in the engineering department of the corporation?

The sources claimed that as the matter hotted up, Dr Roshan Sunkaria intervened and stated that fresh appointments would be made at the earliest and allocation of the new staff to various departments would be made according to their requirements.

It may be added that about two years ago, the Chandigarh administration had transferred five more villages to the corporation. The house had sanctioned special estate branch for it, which was also approved by the administration. In this branch, employees were appointed only on contractual basis and the corporation had not made any recruitment on regular basis.

Sunkaria directed the officers to initiate the recruitment process to fill various posts lying vacant in various departments for a long time. He added that a proposal should be prepared by the departments about the required staff strength, this proposal would be tabled in the House and after its clearance it would be sent to the administration for its approval.



Hi-tech gizmos to nail traffic violators
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Think twice before jumping the red light or violating traffic rules on city roads, as you may be under the watchful eyes of traffic cops. The Chandigarh police are all set to get sophisticated gadgets to tackle city’s traffic more efficiently. Apart from installing closed-circuit TV (CCTV) surveillance system on the busy intersections and vehicle actuated traffic signal controller (VATSC) on the city roads, the traffic police have decided to purchase digital eyewitness radars, hands-free wireless sets, mobile traffic interceptors and mobile exhibition van to check traffic violations.

Synchronization of all the light points - from Transport Chowk to Fun Republic, Press Chowk to Piccadilly Chowk, Transport Chowk to Tribune Chowk and Tribune Chowk to Kisan Bhawan - is also on the cards.

“The all-weather CCTV cameras, to be installed at 20 sensitive points and markets, would help in checking traffic violations as well as supervising the field staff. The VATSC would work automatically to clear traffic congestion based on actual traffic conditions,” said SP (Traffic) H.S. Doon.

The department will also provide 25 hands-free wireless sets to traffic cops to allow them to make hand signals while maintaining a wireless contact. To ensure better enforcement of traffic rules and regulations, the police will get two more mobile traffic interceptors.

The statistics show that there is a spurt in road mishaps and traffic violations on the city roads.



Ordnance factories to get modern accounting system
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
To keep pace with the changing economic and market scenario, the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is revamping the accounting system in various production units functioning under it. Unlike most commercial establishments, these government-owned enterprises did not have a system to prepare balance sheets in order to have an appraisal of their cost of products and the utilisation of materials.

According to sources, OFB is introducing a commercial accounting format to prepare their balance sheets in line with the corporate sector. The switchover to the new system is expected this financial year.

“The finalised format of the new system has been forwarded to the Controller and Auditor General for their requisite approval,” an OFB officer said. “The government has also proposed that the total accounting system of all defence public sector undertakings should be in accordance with the standard accounting system laid out by the Indian Council of Chartered Accountants,” he added.

The OFB has 39 factories, besides another being set up in Bihar, which produce a huge variety of military equipment and stores. The history of the OFB dates back to 1775. Though they have grown immensely over the past decades and have a huge infrastructure and technological base, the functioning of the OFB and the output of its units have come under the scanner several times. Recently, it was also recommended that to make ordnance factories more progressive, productive, competitive and financially viable, there was an urgent need to turn them into a corporation.

They should also be allowed to select vendors and take financial decisions independently. This would give them much-needed autonomy and flexibility in facing competition from other players in the field. The government, however, has not accepted the recommendation to convert the OFB into a corporation, though considerable financial powers and research and development authority have recently been delegated to heads of the factories.



CRPF jawan dies as rifle goes off accidentally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
A CRPF jawan was killed when his rifle went off accidentally at Sector 2 here today. Constable Sunder Singh of Uttaranchal, who was attached with the Punjab Chief Minister security, was on his way from his barrack to join the duty at around 3.50 p.m. when he stumbled following which his INSAS rifle fell down.

The rifle went off when he was picking it up. The fire pierced his chest. He was taken to PGI where he was declared brought dead.

ASP Madhur Verma, who visited the spot, said prima facie there seems no foul play in the incident. “During investigations, the rifle was found on ‘R’ (ready) position instead of ‘S’ (stop) position. It seems that he picked up it while touching the trigger, which caused the accident,” said the ASP.

Meanwhile, the police also called forensic team after recording the statements of the eyewitnesses.



Vigilance inspects work at Tagore Theatre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
As the UT engineering department gears up to meet the UT administrator’s deadline to complete the renovation work of Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, here, UT vigilance officials suddenly landed at the spot, sending the official in the tizzy.

Sources said the vigilance department took samples of different construction items being used at the spot. UT officials said it was routine exercise carried out by the vigilance department to check the quality of works being undertaken by the UT engineering department. An official said the renovation was being done at a cost of Rs 536 lakh.



Mahalakshami proves her mettle
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, September 11
A few exponents of the Carntatic music genre take up and excel in performing the Hindustani music as well and young virtuoso Mahalakshami Shenoy from Karkala (Karnataka) epitomises the example.

Her entrancing classical vocal recital at the 133rd Baithak concert at the Pracheen Kala Kendra auditorium proved her mettle beyond doubt.

A foremost disciple of Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhat, the Grammy Award winner, vocalist Mahalakshmi had established her credentials of a legend in the making.

Inspired by her cardiologist father Dr Parkash Shenoy, she took to classical music after an eight-year training in Bharatnatyam. She commenced the concert with an immaculate rendition of raga Maru Bihag.

Her opening slow-paced composition “Badal aaye ri piya” in ektaal brought many hidden folds released with utmost melodic charm and intense musical depth. Inept at the craft of “badhat” and improvisations of reposeful alaap, she maintained her tradition of excellence in the “Chhota khayal” composition “Piya bina mora jiya taras”. At every twist and turn she manoeuvred to reveal her individual musical capability. Her gayaki style, which traversed in all octaves with consummate ease, bore the influence of Begum Parveen Sultana in full measure.

She displayed her versatility in a Meera bhajan “Pyare darshan dejey aaye” and also in the concluding bhajan “Kayeka pinjara dole re” in Raga Charukeshi. She was ably accompanied by Mehmood Khan and Muralidhar on tabla and harmonium while Taposi provided support on Taanpura. Kendra director, Kathak Guru Shobha Koser, honoured the artiste.



Cultural programmes mark Onam festivities
Tribune News Service

The Kerala Sastra Kala Manch celebrates the Onam at Chandi Kusht Ashram at Sector 47, Chandigarh
The Kerala Sastra Kala Manch celebrates the Onam at Chandi Kusht Ashram at Sector 47, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 11
The Kerala Sastra Kala Manch, a voluntary socio-cultural organisation, is celebrating a traditional festival, Onam, with leprosy patients and inmates of Kusht Ashram, Sector-47, Chandigarh.

A variety of cultural programmes were presented by local talents from Malayalee families, which included musical songs, dances, etc.

Those present on the occasion included Pradeep Chhabra, mayor, MC Chandigarh, A J Philip, Senior Associate Editor, The Tribune, Dr John V George, DGP, Haryana, Saji Mohan, director, Narcotics Bureau, Chandigarh, and Kumara Verma, director, Indian Theatre, Panjab University. About five associations in the city are celebrating the Onam this year.



Memo to PM over land acquisition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
A memorandum regarding the land acquisition process by the Chandigarh administration was submitted by a delegation led by former mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Surinder Singh to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today.

The delegation took up the issue that the owners whose lands were acquired by the Chandigarh Administration were not paid even 10 per cent of the actual prevailing market price of the land. Due to the rise in population, many people purchased small plots measuring 2 to 4 marla in different areas of Manimajra and Chandigarh to construct their houses.

Beside this, any comprehensive scheme for the rehabilitation of the outsees and farmers of the Chandigarh has not so far been framed by the administration whose prime land had been acquired for the development purposes.

They also demanded that the administration should frame a policy to release the land of religious places acquired to provide alternative site by adjusting them in new planning.



Programme for AIDS patients today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Over 150 persons living with HIV/AIDS assembled here today for capacity building training programme of HIV/AIDS patients which will be held tomorrow.

For the first time, the Indian Network of Positive People (INP+), along with the Chandigarh network People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), is organising this programme.

INP+ general secretary Janhvi Goswami said the organisation aimed to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV in India. She said nearly one-lakh members are registered with the INP+. She sought the support of all partners in achieving goals in areas of capacity building, and resources, greater involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS, treatment, care and support and access to information. All 150 PLHIV leaders from different parts of the country agreed that the support of all members was vital for containing the HIV/AIDS.

The organisation will conduct a rally on September 13 for the PLHIV community, said Pooja Thakur, president of the Chandigarh Network People living with HIV/AIDS.



Book fair opens today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The third Chandigarh Book Fair will be inaugurated at the Circus Ground, Sector 17, tomorrow. Dr Chander Trika, former chairman of the Haryana Sahitya Akademi, will be the chief guest at the function, while Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, will be the guest of honour. More than 50 leading publishers will showcase their publications. Moreover, with two international publishers participating in the fair, it will also promote business partnership between Indian and foreign publishers.

There will be special drawing competition for children. “An exclusive feature to attract more children to the fair will be the substitution of a child in place of the protagonist in animated movies like Spiderman, Barbie etc. which is the first of its kind to be implemented in any book fair in Chandigarh,” said Basu, event manager of the fair.



Touch screen at rly booking centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Northern Railways has installed touch screen system in the railway reservation office at the Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT).

The touch screen will enable passengers to know the reservation status of different trains without standing in long queues at the counters.




Dysfunctional streetlights

While Chandigarh is among the country's most advanced cities, the state of the streetlights in some sectors is so appalling that driving around at night is a nightmare.

Dysfunctional streetlights and road signs decorated with advertising material have become a permanent feature on some of the roads, including the one adjacent to the government dispensary in Sector 20-A. Many a time, kids and elderly people have met with accidents on this road.

The municipal corporation should act quickly to ensure that all streetlights are functional. Should the corporation continue to drag its feet in addressing the problem, it will not be long before it will get sued for damages or accidents occuring on the roads.

It will still cost the MC less than what it is spending on Gothic lamp-posts.

Rajesh Krishan

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KV principal, teacher get national award
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 11
S.K. Sharma, principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 1, Patiala Cantonment, has been honoured with the prestigious National Award 2007 for his valuable contribution to the field of education.

President of India Pratibha Patil honoured him with a certificate, silver medal and cheque for Rs 25,000 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, on September 5.

S.K. Sharma joined KVS in 1980 and became principal in 2000. He is the first principal of the Chandigarh region of the KVS, who has been honoured with the national award.

Praveen, a primary teacher, from the same school has also been honoured with this prestigious award.



High drama at teachers’ interview
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 11
A drama prevailed during interviews for the post of ETT and BEd teachers being conducted by the education department at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B 1, here today. The candidates protested, when the officials conducting the interviews, started calling candidates with lower percentage of marks.

Candidates had come from Bathinda, Moga, Mansa, Amritsar and other towns of Punjab for the interviews. Though the interviews were to start at 9am, the process started at around 11am. As the officials jumbled with the merit list, the left-out candidates protested. The police had to be called on the spot to control the situation. An official said the fault was committed by the CEDAC that had issued the call letters.

The candidates also lamented that the education department had not made arrangements for drinking water.



Raj Bahadur, Sangha in PU Senate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The elections for three seats for the principals of professional and technical colleges in Panjab University senate were held yesterday. Among those who were elected include principal Ravinder Kaur of Malwa Khalsa College, Ludhiana, principal S.S. Sangha of Dashmesh College of Education, Badal and Dr Raj Bahadur principal, GMCH, Sector 32. Ravinder Kaur got 17 votes while S.S. Sangha got 13 votes and Dr Raj Bahadur was polled 8 votes.

Interestingly, Dr Raj Bahadur was elected against the lone seat reserved for UT after defeating Dr Jyoti Khanna of Dev Samaj College.



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