C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


DAV Sodomy Case
Hostel supdt victimised
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh November 6
In a alleged display of high-handedness the principal, DAV, Sector 8, not only transferred Vijay Jaiswal, hostel superintendent to Jharkhand for being a suspected whistleblower but also literally placed him under house arrest by locking him and his family inside the house.

Jaiswal who had sought police intervention to get out of the gate claims to have been victimised on the baseless allegations of being a media source and accusations of inviting unwanted intervention from the administration by approaching DPI (S).

“This is the height of highhandedness. Out of the blue, she transferred me then she pressurised me to handover the charge and now she is harassing my kids and wife. Right from the day the sodomy incident came to light, the principal started victimising me on the charges to revealing the facts to media. As the misdoings of the authorities got revealed in certain sections of the Press her harassment increased. She does not listen to us and when we visit DPI she issues a warning. Her men are harassing and threatening my wife and kids. She is stooping this low just to curb our voice against her anomalies.” Said Jaiswal.

Till the time report was filed two police personnel had reached his residence and helped the family unlock their residential gates.

It may noted an otherwise innocuous incident of principal’s husband conducting a routine check on school chowkidaar triggered a serious protest amongst school staff who allegedly refused to accept any Diwali gifts. The denial was followed by the removal of a union office-bearer, which resulted in a noisy protest and principal has served show causes notices to various others.

“The very fact that principal relieved him immediately and sought a caveat brings out the controversy. It’s not only her but also our manager BC Josan who is hand in glove with her. If they considered Jaiswal a culprit an inquiry should have been conducted. And who allows them to force a man out of the house within a few hours of serving him his transfer orders?” quipped a union member

While sources close to principal termed it as a move to teach revolting members of staff a lesson, neither the principal nor BC Josan, the manager were available for 



Clouds of uncertainty over Rs 4,100-crore Prideasia
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service 

Chandigarh,November 6
Clouds of uncertainty are hovering over Prideasia, the Rs 4,100 crore state-of-the-art luxury housing complex launched by the real estate major Parsavnath Developers Limited under public-private partnership with the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in the IT Park here.

In fact,the major project, touted to be an "important milestone in furthering the public-private partnership model of development in Chandigarh" by Parsavnath chairman Pradeep Jain at the project's launch here last year, is facing rough weather with the developer defaulting over an amount of Rs 300 crore to the board having paid only Rs 517 crore out of the Rs 821 crore bid money. Besides, the proposed alignment of the Chandigarh-Baddi rail link right through the project threatens to derail the ambitious project.

With the board threatening to charge penal interest on the outstanding amount, the relations between two partners-Parsvnath and the CHB-are set to worsen with both the parties sticking to their respective stands. While board officials contend that they cannot wait indefinitely for the realisation of the payment, developers claim that the board should transfer the 123 acres without any encumberances.

The Parsavnaths had bagged the prestigious project by placing a bid of Rs 821 crore in 2006. According to the agreement, the CHB was to be paid an amount of 30 per cent of the total amount from the sale of the residential property with the total earnings being to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore. A substantial part of this sum was to be utilised by the board for an ambitious project of slum rehabilitation of the Chandigarh Administration.

Now apparently concerned at the fate of the project, Parsvnath has now reportedly approached the Chandigarh Administration to sort out the matter with the Railway authorities by providing alternative land for the rail link.The administration was seized off the matter and an amicable solution would be found soon after deliberations with the Railway authorities, sources said.

The mega project has been marred by controversies since its inception. First, the Haryana Government staked its claim over an area of 1.3 acres of the project land. When the Haryana government was handed over the land and the developer given another chunk of alternative land, the UT administration allegedly dilly-dallied on the approval of the layout plan. Close on the heels of the above roadblocks, the delay on the payment of the huge Rs 300 crore on the plea that the administration had delayed the layout plans and proposed rail link right through the project land seems to have generated another controversy.



SOPU leader injured in assault outside VC’s house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Lapses in Panjab University security once again came to fore when a group of unidentified youth attacked SOPU leader Brinder Dhillon right in front of the vice-chancellor’s residence. Dhillon had gone to invite the VC for a students cultural programme slated for tomorrow. To top it all, the assailants even managed to flee the scene even though three-four security personnel guard VC’s residence round the clock. Brinder Dhillon received head injuries during the attack and was immediately rushed to GMSH-16 from where he was later referred to PGIMER.According to sources, the incident took place around 6 pm today, when Dhillon along with two other students were standing outside VC’s residence waiting to get in, around eight youth who were following them in Skoda and Maruti Swift earlier attacked him with rods and batons.

When the VC heard the cries, he came out rushing and even tried to stop the escaping assailants who fled the scene when they spotted him. During this, the VC also sustained minor bruises as he lost his balance as he rushed out to rescue Dhillon while he was being beaten up by the group of youths. The VC professor R.C Sobti, said, “Dhillon along with few other students has come to invite me to a cultural event on the eve of the cultural fest that begins tomorrow on the campus. After few minutes, we heard a loud noise and I went out to inquire. I saw few persons were beating up a student who was left badly injured with blood oozing out from his head”.

VC immediately then called ASP Madhur Verma and apprised him of the matter and the police reached the spot thereafter.

According to sources, the attack was preplanned and it was a repercussion of the recent clash that took place on the PU campus wherein a clash took place between SOPU members, activists of Haryana Students' Association (HSA) in front of the Botany Department in which SOPU leader injured in assault outside VC’s house.

SOPU leaders, including Dhillon, PUCSC president Sahil Nanda, former SOPU president Uday Bhan and Ankush, a student of the Law Department were booked.

Meanwhile, the police have booked the attackers and a case has been registered under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323, 506 of the IPC against Simrandeep Sandu, Sanjay Kumar and Narinder Gujjar besides others.

It may be mentioned here that even last year, a group of students had pelted stones on VC’s residence after students’ elections.



To sir with lots of dough 
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The students of UILS (University Institute of legal Studies), Panjab University, not only collected a huge sum of Rs 50,000 for a lavish farewell party held today but also gave expensive gifts to the outgoing director, Prof R S Grewal.

‘To sir, with dough’, seems to be the underlying message. Grewal’s retirement, the fallout of the HC verdict, virtually had a ‘silver’ lining to it as silverware gifts worth Rs 10,000 were given to him at the farewell party. The farewell party will surely be remembered for many reasons besides its lavishness. Rumours were also rife in UILS corridors about the alleged use of Rs 12,000 earlier received by the department from the university for organising an alumni meet, (incidentally, this young department doesn’t have any alumni) on this or any earlier surprise party on November 1 for Grewal. However, the same was not confirmed.

When contacted, Grewal denied that any party was held earlier but admitted that more “farewells” were lined up in the coming days. “It has been a touching moment for me. All this love and affection is moving,” he said, while refusing to comment on his ‘parting’ gifts.

If insiders are to be believed, students contributed nearly Rs 50,000 in cash, besides shelling out money for the Rs 10,000 for the silverware bought as gifts. According to sources, though the students were told to contribute for the farewell party voluntarily, nevertheless most of the students have given minimum Rs 100 and some of the students have even contributed as much as Rs 1500 individually. The total strength of the institute is about 560.

The teachers, it was believed had been asked to contribute Rs 500 and the non-teaching staff had to contribute Rs 250, sources said.

Interestingly, rumours were also doing the rounds that the party was dominated by the presence of SOPU supporters. It may be mentioned here that UILS is the major vote bank of SOPU and even Grewal is said to be allegedly associated with SOPU when it was founded. Nevertheless, at the do, it was free flowing food along with touching speeches in the praise of the director and music.

A group of selected teachers and a handful of students of the institute spearheaded the entire party. Rest of the students had to part with their money for the same either under peer pressure or out of fear of academic assessment, as Grewal is still teaching and is likely to be re-employed as he has moved an application for the same to the vice-chancellor, a fact duly popularised in the department. It is noteworthy that a day before, Grewal even went to each and every classroom and made speeches about his contribution to the university and rued about the unceremonious exit of the teachers.

It may be mentioned here that Prof Grewal is one of the 58 teachers who retired on October 31 after the High Court dismissed the petition for enhancement of retirement age from 60 to 62 years.

It may be mentioned here that both the institute and the director had hit the headlines in May this year when a group of SOPU supporters, including two students from UILS, stabbed another student of the institute in the examination hall. Though R S Grewal was present on the scene at that time and had even got hurt in the attack, he later refused to admit that any such thing even happened.



Inter-faith ‘marriage’ creates bad faith
Akash Ghai & Archit Watts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
An inter-faith ‘marriage’ turned sour when the 22-year-old Manoj was booked by local police on the charges of kidnapping an allegedly minor girl, whom he claimed to have married last month.

Even the police was ascertaining the age of the girl, a counter-FIR against eight persons of the girls’ family for allegedly kidnapping their own daughter was lodged. The youth’s sister claimed that while she along with his brother and sister-in-law were going to the high court, the girl’s family kidnapped their daughter. The father of the girl and her brothers have been named in the FIR.

A case in this regard was registered on October 13, at Sector 26 Police Station when Manoj along with his alleged girlfriend had eloped on October 2.

He claimed that both married at Tirumallai,Tamil Nadu, last month and even got their marriage registered at Agra.

Today, he was arrested when he came to Sector 3 Police Station to register a complaint that his ‘wife’ was forcibly taken away by her kin when they were on the way to Punjab and Haryana High Court to be produced before the court.

On the other hand, the father of the girl, Mohammad Ashraf alleged that he (Manoj) along with his family members and friends had taken away his daughter somewhere and was levelling false allegations.

According to police sources, Manoj and Shama (name changed) had eloped on October 2 and a case of kidnapping against him and his two friends, Ravi and Anand, has been registered.

Today afternoon, high drama was witnessed at the Sector 3 police station when hundreds of supporters, including relatives of the girl, gathered there. “I only want to get my daughter back. They have ruined her life”, said Mohammad Ashraf while maintaining that his daughter is a minor. Manoj alleged: “They (the girls’ kin) were infuriated because of our relationship. Why should I create a drama after hiding my wife?” He alleged:“We were on our way to the court when the brothers of the girl, Imraan and Sikandar, attacked our car and took away my wife forcibly”, said Manoj.

He claimed that the girl is a major and “We had a love affair. She went with me on her own. I have sufficient proof to corroborate my claims.”

Clueless about the whereabouts of the girl, the police said a case against the girl’s family has been registered.

On the other hand, DSP (East) P K Dhawan said, “We have arrested Manoj on the complaint lodged by the girl’s family. Now we are also verifying the evidence to ascertain the exact age of the girl”.



Tagore Theatre out of artistes’ reach
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
A hefty increase in the rents of the renovated Tagore Theatre has left the artistic fraternity fuming sparking off allegations of giving a raw deal to art and culture against the Chandigarh Administration.

In fact, terming the hike as "unjustified" and "anti-people", eminent theatre personalities alleged that the move would strike at the very root of the theatre movement in the city which was still at its infancy in the city.

"Instead of promoting the theatre movement, it will amount to demoting the arts," Zulfikar Ali of the Theatre Age said.

Following the opening of Tagore Theatre with the state-of-the-art facilities, the engineering department had proposed an unprecedented hike in the booking charges. Under the proposed rates, the maximum rent for the commercial events like film shootings and ticketed shows had been pegged at Rs 50,000 for a day. Earlier, the maximum rent was Rs 15,000.

The booking charges for private schools, colleges and semi-government organisations have been fixed at Rs 30,000 while the societies and boards constituted by the administration would have to shell out Rs 25,000 per show.

However, for the amateur theatre groups and departments of the administration, there is a provision of booking at Rs 5,000 per show. In fact, this had been left at the discretion of the officials.

While the government sponsorship to the theatre groups, including that of the UT Department of Public Relations and the North Zone Cultural Centre, for each show was a meagre Rs 10,000, the hiked charges would discourage the theatre groups from staging the plays, Zulfikar alleged.

By fixing charges apparently beyond the reach of most of the theatre groups and cultural groups, the administration is deviated of its social objective to promote art and culture, Dilbagh Singh, a theatre buff, complained.

Earlier, the charges were in the slabs of Rs 1,500, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 with the highest being Rs 15,000. A nominal increase for added facilities could have been fine, but hefty increase defies any logic, a theatre personality said.

Final decision on Nov 7?

According to sources, a final decision on the rates is likely to be taken at a meeting to be presided over by adviser to the UT administrator Pradip Mehra on November 7.


Lack of Coordination
Rs 1 cr goes down the drain
MC asks GMADA to compensate the loss 
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, November 6
What the municipal council makes, GMADA unmakes even as funds worth Rs 1 crore of the financially starved civic body has gone down the drain.

The lack of coordination between the council and GMADA has not only led to the wastage of funds but also of its time and effort. The council authorities have asked GMADA to compensate for the loss suffered by it, as it should have been stopped from carrying out developmental work if GMADA was to change its plans.

The civic body at the cost of Rs 1 crore had developed the 24-foot wide central verge from the YPS Chowk to Sohana after deputy commissioner of the newly formed Mohali district gave directions in this regard.

He had directed the council authorities to beautify the central verge by changing the metal grill, curb channels and planting ornamental saplings. Tejveer also happened to be the chief administrator of GMADA at that time.

The fund-starved council beautified the central verge by replacing the metal grills with those having better designs, used machine-moulded bricks in some areas and even changed the curb channels. Ornamental plants were planted on the central verge. This project was completed more than a year ago.

GMADA started the work of dismantling the central verge much to the annoyance of the civic body in September. Council officials said had GMADA told the civic body about its future plans the same amount could have been spent on another project.

Sources said the council’s executive officer in a letter written to the chief administrator of GMADA stated that GMADA informed the council about its plan to widen the road on April 9 after the work of beautifying the central verge had finished.

The council could have saved the funds had the information been provided well in time. As such the council should be compensated for the loss and whatever material was removed from the area should be handed over to the civic body.

GMADA officials said the central verge had to be dismantled because the roads were being widened. The width of the central verge was being reduced from 24-footo to 10-foot. The width of one side of the road was being increased from 44-foot to 50-foot and of the other side from 33-foot to 55- foot. All roads in and around Sector 62 were also being widened. Widening was being done in accordance with the revised cross-sectional plans provided by the chief town planner. 



Pollution: Portion of Hotel KC Cross Roads sealed 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 6
Officials of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) sealed a plant and machinery unit of Hotel KC Cross Roads for not installing effluent treatment plant here today. Though the authorities did not take much time in removing these, the pantries, laundry, and the generator sets of the hotel were once again found running after lying idle for a few hours.

The officials of the pollution board led by regional officer, Bhagwan Singh, reached the hotel at around 10 am and sealed its pantries, laundry and the generator sets. They also ordered disconnection of the electricity being supplied to the hotel. “ A notice was served on the hotel owned by Walia Traders Pvt Limited by pollution board’s chairman A.S.Chahal, under Section 33 A of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 and under Section 31 A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 as there was no effluent treatment plant installed on the site,” Bhagawan Singh added. These were mandatory for running such units where the discharge of effluent was more than 10,000 litres per day, he added.

Earlier, the hotel management was summoned at the board’s office. They assured the board to get the plant installed and even furnished a bank guarantee against their assurance, but they failed to do so, said regional officer.

The hotel was allowed to run after its management furnished a bank guarantee of Rs 2 lakh with an undertaking that the necessary steps would be taken for installing the plant within two months, said Chahal. 



Long-haul flights can be fatal, say experts
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
“Ignorance of a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a vascular disease threatening almost all ‘high fliers’, can be fatal”, warns Dr KR Suresh, president of the Vascular Society of India and head of Jain Institute of Vascular Science, Bangalore, who was here today to attend the 15th annual conference of Vascular Society of India.

Dr Suresh said people undertaking long flights and those on desk work were more prone to this “modern day disease”.“Anyone on a flight for over four hours can be exposed to DVT, which leads blood clots in leg vein, if not treated on time, it can travel through the blood stream and get lodged in the lungs or heart leading to pulmonary embolism that can be fatal.” Dr Suresh said.

Experts said the awareness about DVT was low and that’s why few cases were reported in hospital. “We received only two patients last year, who were suffering from DVT just because of long haul flight,” Dr Ravul Jindal, vascular Surgeon, Fortis hospital, Mohali, said.

“Obese and elderly are at greater risk of DVT while women who take birth-control pills are 10 times more likely to develop blood clots during long distance travel," Dr Ravul said. Those taking multiple flights over a short period of time are also at a higher risk. This is because the risk of DVT does not go away completely after a flight is over, and the risk remains elevated for about four weeks.

The symptoms of DVT include pain or cramp in the calves and swelling of the leg. “Make sure you exercise legs with up and down movements and walk for a few minutes every hour inside the aircraft as immobility after long haul flight can result in DVT,” Dr. Suresh said.

Even the research of World Health Organisation on DVT shows that the risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE) doubles after travel lasting for over two hours. The study of the WHO Research Into Global Hazards of Travel (WRIGHT) project, which was conducted by scientists from Britain, Switzerland and Netherlands, said the risk of developing blood clots during any form of travel longer than four hours was one case for every 15 fully-booked jumbo jets.



New sewerage pipeline causes nuisance in Sec 55
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Laying of new sewerage pipeline by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation authorities in Sector 55 is causing inconvenience to the residents of the Chandigarh Housing Board colony.

Most of the roads in the colonies have been dug out for laying of the sewerage line but due to inordinate delay in the completion of work, residents and the passersby in the colony are facing problems.

There is fear of a major mishap due to open pits. Residents complained that due to pits in the colony it’s difficult to drive and park vehicles.

An official of the corporation stated that the work of laying of new sewerage pipeline in the colony was under progress and was delayed due to unprecedented rains this season.



Protest against MNS; memo submitted to Governor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Iqra Foundation of Minorities today protested against the discrimination of Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena(MNS) against non-Maharashtrians.
Members of the foundation assembled at the Sector 22 Nehru Park to underline the need for communal harmony.The divisive forces such as the MNS were playing havoc with the unity and integrity of the country in the name of the religious discrimination, speakers said.

Meanwhile, in a memorandum to the Punjab Governor, the foundation said that such elements should be discouraged.The memorandum urged authorities concerned to take necessary steps regarding the violation of human rights of the people.



Roojam joins as rights panel member
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
After serving as the president of district consumer disputes redressal forum, L.R. Roojam has joined as a member of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) on November 3.

While talking to The Tribune, he said, “There are a number of complaints of inaction by the police and with the awareness of people, such complaints are on the rise. We take strong note of such complaints and make sure that appropriate action is taken.”

During the term as judicial officer, Roojam worked as judicial magistrate, rent controller, Guardian Judge, Chief Judicial Magistrate and Senior Sub-Judge.
In August 1992, Roojam was promoted to superior Judicial Service and thereafter worked as member secretary with the Punjab Legal Services Authority, presiding officer of Labour Court, Jalandhar, and legal advisor with the Punjab State Electricity Board. For over a year, Roojam remained posted as additional district and sessions judge as incharge of district Fatehgarh Sahib.



Railway police fails to nab suspects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Even after a lapse of 48 hours after Parshotam Chand, a railway employee, was bludgeoned to death by four labourers at the railway complex, here, the Government Railway Police has failed to nab the suspects.

The investigating officer of the case, inspector Tirath Ram told TNS that the accused named by the railways employees were vagabonds. They were working with a private contactor and had no permanent address. They used to move and stay at places wherever they got work.

He said that efforts were on to trace their permanent addresses. He, however, refused to confirm the names of the suspects. On the other hand, railway employees had disclosed the names of the accused before mediapersons at the PGI on Wednesday. The employees even mentioned that the police had nabbed one of the suspects, Tota Ram, in connection with the murder case. They added that the other three accused, Vasant, Dharam Pal and Vinod, were brothers-in-law of Tota.

The police said a team of forensic experts from Haryana had examined the spot and had also taken samples.

Parshotam, a technician at the washing unit of the railway complex was killed after he was beaten up by the labourers following an altercation on Tuesday night. He succumbed to his injuries at the PGI in the wee hours of Wednesday.



Petition against commercial complexes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
In a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a city resident has alleged the violation of municipal corporation bye-laws by some of the upcoming commercial complexes across the city.

Appearing before High Court Division Bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Jasbir Singh, the petitioner contended he could elaborate upon the violations and the complexes that were indulging in it.

Taking up the matter, the Bench asked the petitioner to present the details to the estate officer in two weeks time. 



JE repatriated from MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The municipal corporation Commissioner, Dr Roshan Sunkaria has ordered repatriation of Jitesh Sharma, junior engineer (JE) with the roads division-II, for dereliction of duties. He was on deputation with the corporation from PWD, Himachal Pradesh.

According to the sources, the immediate action has been taken against the JE as he did not inform or initiate any action to stop the illegal construction being carried out in village Burail in violation of building bylaws, 2006.



Harjinder is chairperson of Punjab Arts Council
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, November 6
Former city mayor Harjinder Kaur has been unanimously elected as the chairperson of the Punjab Arts Council for the remaining term at the annual general body meeting of the council here today.

The Council secretary general Prof Rajpal Singh disclosed that her name was proposed by present chairperson Dr Swaran Singh, an IAS, secretary cultural affairs, Punjab, and seconded by NS Rattan, an IAS (retd), vice-president, Punjab Sahit Akademy. Besides, many other decisions have been taken to reinforce the council for its effective result-oriented functioning and propagation of the rich Punjabi cultural heritage. Accordingly a substantial increase in the council’s membership from existing 28 to 54 members have been proposed to broaden its base in Punjab. All these recommendations are subject to the approval of the Punjab government, added Rajpal Singh.

Harjinder expressed her gratitude to the Punjab CM for his priority to the promotion of cultural heritage of Punjab. “I will strive hard to organise the whole artiste fraternity from the grassroots level. During my three years tenure as the president of Punjab Sangeet Natak Academy I had realised that since noble and prominent personalities of art are associated with the academy and the council, the financial constraints will be no hindrance in accomplishing the resolute resolve of preserving and promoting the Punjabi Sabhyacharak Virsa,” she claimed.



Registration for vehicles’ sale

This is with reference to a report, “Car dealers flout rules”, published in the Chandigarh Tribune on November 2. The car dealers in the city are selling cars on the basis of trade certificate issued by the respective transport authority, violating the motor vehicle rules.

There is a need to issue a temporary registration mark, which is valid for one month from the purchase of vehicle. The trade certificates are not valid documents for registration of the vehicle.

Possession of the vehicle should be given when the sale certificate is issued. The Registration Licence Authority (RLA), Chandigarh, is right to say the temporary registration mark issued by the car dealer and delivery of the car out of the showroom should be of the same date. The car dealers in big cities cannot sell the vehicles without registration by the authorities.

Sahil Garg, Chandigarh

Poor hygiene in schools

The condition of hygiene and sanitation in most of the city schools make it unsafe for the health of thousands of children. The schools have turned a blind eye towards the toilets, from where serious infections can be contacted.

Certain schools even do not provide the soap in toilets.

The school administrations must take up the matter seriously. The DPI(S) and the medical officials of the city must regularly inspect the schools for ensuring the required hygiene and cleanliness.

Kanwar 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



Nine auto-rickshaws ferrying school kids challaned
Carry more than allowed number of students
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 6
The district transport officer (DTO), Mohali, today cracked its whip on the three-wheelers, which were illegally ferrying schoolchildren. At least nine three-wheelers were challaned for ferrying more than permitted number of children.

The DTO, Balbir Singh, said in all the cases the erring three-wheelers were found carrying more than six children. To enforce the orders, accountability had also been fixed on the private schools that allow the three-wheeler operators to pick and drop the students.

The DTO had given a week’s time to the private schools to enter into agreement with the auto operators so as to ensure that the latter comply with the norms. To rope in the schools, the district education officer (DEO) had also been involved to communicate with the schools.

It has been seen that the auto-rickshaws used for plying schoolchildren did not adhere to norms. Often the auto-rickshaws were overloaded and the operators did not comply with the safety norms. Unauthorised alterations were made to adjust maximum number of children.

“We have given a week’s time to the school to enter into an agreement with the auto-rickshaw operators. Under the agreement, the operators and the schools will be responsible for the safety of the children. The operators will have to submit copies of the registration papers and driving licence with the school authorities,” said the DTO.

As per norms fixed by the state transport department, a maximum of six children can be ferried in an auto-rickshaw. For other passengers, the limit was for three persons.

In the past, the authorities observed that the auto-rickshaw operators did not keep registration papers and plied the vehicles in a dangerous manner. In the past few days, overloaded auto-rickshaws, the transport department has seized ferrying schoolchildren.



AIL to represent country in Stetson world moot court 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 6
A team from the Army Institute of Law (AIL), Mohali, will represent the country in the final of the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court competition being held at Florida.

The five-member team of Vaibhav Sharma, Jagteshwar Sohi, Ish Puneet, Nishtha Singh and Prabal Mehrotra participated in the India north regional rounds of the competition, which was hosted by the National Law Institute University, Bhopal.

After winning the preliminary rounds, the team defeated NLU, Jodhpur, and ILS, Pune, in the quarterfinals and the semifinals, respectively, to attain this honour.

The format of the international competition involves regional qualifying rounds in each country to select teams that then represent their respective countries in the final being hosted by the Stetson University of Law at Florida, USA.

The proposition for the competition revolves around conflicting claims of nations regarding the sustainable utilisation of natural resources, ecosystem approach and conservation and management of natural resources. The issues that are deliberated are a clash of the municipal law and domestic policies of nations as against the International Environmental Law.



DC, SSP fail to pacify students 
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 6
The students of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College today continued their strike against the alleged disrespect to Guru Granth Sahib by the college principal.

The visits of deputy commissioner and the SSP failed to pacify the agitating students. The DC and SSP urged the students to resume their studies and not indulge in such activities.

DC Surjit Singh asked them to resolve the matter with the principal and SSP Kaustubh Sharma asked them not to vitiate the atmosphere of college by lingering the strike.

The students, however, continued the strike and demanded a strict action against the erring officials of the college.

The college administration said the strike would end in a day or two. 



‘The Crucible’ unravels a feast of poetry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , November 6
“How shameless a creature is man abusing the nature as much as he can:” these lines summarising man’s reckless attitude towards nature in the most simple manner possible were taken from “Mournful Mankind” a poem by Varun Sayal a budding poet.

Varun was one amongst many children who got together at house number 1, Sector 5, here today to recite the poems churned out after being an active part of “The Crucible” a creative writing venture.

The evening not only saw these young kids reciting their deepest thoughts penned down beautifully after being a part of endeavour initiated by Yashowardhan Saboo and SJOBA (St. Johns Old Boys Association). Many others too chose their best poems and poets and recited he lines close to their hearts. “The pinnacle of course would be a Booker or Nobel. Unlike other school activities, the boys are selected on basis of their passion for creative writing.” Said Yasho Saboo.

“It feels great to be part of this initiative as you are not walking on the sword to get every word exactly the same way as dictated by the teacher but can express yourself the way you want. Being a part of it has improved my skills, expression and imagination.” Said Ishaan Preet Singh

At present, approximately 20 boys have been chosen and are being led by Preeti Jishu.



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