C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Road Accidents
Fatalities high during daybreak 
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Dawn brings disaster on city roads, for in the absence of traffic police cops and subsequent delay in medical aid, every third accident between 5 am and 8.30 am is fatal.

Saturday’s accident in which 38-year-old Sidharth of Sector 21 had been killed is just another reminder of the state of affairs on city roads during the early morning hours.

Sidharath was on his way to the Rose Garden for a morning walk when a rashly driven Punjab Roadways bus rammed into his car. According to the eyewitnesses, the bus was coming from Piccadilly rotary to Aroma light points, which is not the authorised way for the long route buses.

Not only this, contrary to the police claims that the victim was rushed to the hospital in a police trauma van, the eyewitnesses held that he was taken in a Santro car by a passer-by.

According to the figures available with the accident cell of the Chandigarh Police, out of the total 26 accident cases reported to the police till October 16, 2008, eight were fatal. All these accidents occurred between 5 am and 8.30 am.

A road safety expert asserted that overspeeding in the absence of traffic police cops and less number of vehicles on the roads leads to such a high number of fatalities and major accidents during early morning hours.

Similar is the situation during the late night hours. As per the records, 46 accidents (occurred between 11 pm and 5 am) were reported to the police till October 16 this year. Out of these, 22 were fatal. In the absence of checks the bus and auto-rickshaw driver continue to flout traffic rules by entering from wrong side into the Sector 17 ISBT during the late night and early morning hours.

Last night, too, the police booked an auto-rickshaw driver, Ram Lagan, of Kishagarh village for reckless driving when his vehicle collided with a car. Three persons travelling in the auto were injured in the mishap.

A traffic police officer said that not all accident cases are reported to the police.

Parties involved in the mishap prefer to go in for a compromise if only their vehicles are damaged. Other than this, in accidents where the vehicles collide with the road dividers and berms or poles, the drivers are allowed to go by the police without initiating any action against them.



Teenager run over by bus 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
A 19-year-old boy was crushed to death after falling from a moving bus on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road here today. The deceased has been identified as Anil Singh, a resident of Sector 25.

According to information, Anil was returning home from Sector 11 after attending his computer class. He boarded a Haryana Roadways bus from Sector 5 at around 11 am. When the bus reached near Maheshpur village on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road, he fell down while getting off the bus and was crushed under its rear tyre.

He was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where doctors declared him brought dead. Banke Singh, father of the youth, who works as a welder, was inconsolable.

The bus has been impounded and driver arrested, said the police. The body of Anil was sent for post-mortem before it was handed over to the family.



Kalka man hurt in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
A day after a 38-year-old man lost his life on Sunday night, another accident involving a car and a multi-utility vehicle (MUV) took place at Aroma light-point last night.

A car being driven by Sanjay Kumar of Sector 22 was hit by MUV bearing registration number PB65-B 2955 (T), which left Kalka resident Rajinder seriously injured.

Rajinder, who was travelling in the MUV, was admitted in Sector 16 hospital.

Meanwhile, the police arrested the driver Ram Lagan, a resident of Kishangarh village, and a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered against him at Sector-17 police station.

However, he was bailed out later on.



B.Tech student held for snatching 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Less than 24 hours after a snatching took place near the Aroma traffic lights point, the police claimed to have nabbed one of the miscreants, identified as Anwar, a B.Tech Ist year student.

His accomplice Rahul of Ludhiana managed to give the police the slip. The accused told the police that they snatched the purse as they did not have enough money to buy uniform.

According to the SHO, Sector 36 police station, Anokh Singh, the police received information about the miscreants involved in the snatching incident. The police set up a ‘naka’ on road dividing Sectors 42 and 43.

On seeing the police, the miscreants, riding on a Hero Honda CBZ motorcycle, tried to speed away. The police chased them and nabbed one of the miscreants. The SHO said during the preliminary interrogation, it was found that the miscreants had displayed a fake registration number on the motorcycle. The accused, Anwar, a resident of Sundarnagar in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, was studying at the Doaba College in Kharar. The other accused, Rahul, is a student of electronics and communication at a Jalandher-based college. Anwar’s father is settled in Saudi Arabia.

The police said the snatching case came to light when they found an identity card belonging to the complainant, Harpreet Kaur, of Sector 21, from Anwar during the search. He admitted to the crime and Rs 1,500 out of the Rs 3,000, belonging to the complainant, were recovered. Anwar also told the police that they had come to the city on a pleasure trip and had consumed liquor before committing the crime. The police has registered a case of using fake registration number plate against the accused and impounded the motorcycle. 



PGI OT technical staff calls off strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The PGI OT Technical Staff Association has decided to call off strike after one day mass casual leave here today.

Association president Rajvinder Singh said the strike was called off after Viplov Thakur, a politician from Himachal Pradesh and PGI Institute Body member assured them to get the matter resolved by the next month.

Thakur was in the PGI for the treatment of one of her relatives today. Meanwhile, the PGI authorties termed the strike as illegal.

Any strike which operates to disrupt the statutory provision is illegal. The principle of “No Work No Pay” as upheld by the Supreme Court would be applicable, said a PGI spokesperson.

Claiming that no work was hampered due to the strike, Dr A K Gupta, medical superintendent, PGI, said surgeries were performed today like any other day. The total number of major surgeries performed till 5pm was 75, he said.

Interacting with mediapersons, acting deputy director (administration) Ritu Dhillon said the PGI adminstration was ready to address the grievances of the agitated employees. Earlier, the matter regarding grant of higher pay scale of Rs 4500-7000 and Rs 5000-8000 to the operation theatre assistants GR-III, II and operation theatre assistant Gr-I was placed before the bodies of the institute and as per the decision of the bodies of the institute the matter was placed before the Ministry of Health for approval.

And the government conveyed its approval for the revision of pay scale of operation theatre assistant Gr-I from Rs 4500-7000 to Rs 5000-8000 on prospective basis and accordingly the same was implemented from October 25 last year. Further, the institute was advised to await the recommendations of the 6 th pay commission in respect of upgradation of pay scales. Now, the matter is pending with the ministry of finance.



Master plan in place for Mohali 
To be submitted before the Town Planning and Development Board for approval on Nov 19
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 17
After releasing a vision document on the regional plan of the Greater Mohali Region, the Singapore-based consultant - Jurong Ltd - of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has now prepared the master plan of city.

The master plan will be placed before the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Board for approval on November 19. Once approved, the plan will define the future land use and guide the future infrastructure expansion of the city.

The plan has been prepared keeping in mind the regional plan 2008-2058. Regional road connectivity is the focus of the master plan that has been modified on the basis of suggestions made by the public, said sources in the housing department.

Along with the Mohali city master plan, Jurong Ltd is preparing master plans of Kharar, Zirakpur, Derabassi and Banur. The master plan of Mullanpur planning area is also ready for approval before the board.

In May 2005, the board had approved the outline master plan of local planning area of Mohali and directed the planning agency to prepare the comprehensive master plan. However, after amendment in the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995, the planning agency was published on December 2006 to invite public objections.

Since the already inhabited area cannot be changed, some other suggestions in non-developed areas have been given. At least 21 objections and suggestions were received.

The officials said apart from talking about road connectivity to the upcoming International Airport, a detailed plan of the central business district (CBD) in Sector 62 has also been prepared. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is scheduled to unveil the CBD plan in the coming months, said sources.

The consultant has highlighted strengths of the region, saying that it is located next to Chandigarh and residents here have the highest per capita income. The area is cosmopolitan where over 68 per cent population is literate.

Factors like strong economy, availability of highly-skilled workforce, growing number of regional tourists and spill over from Chandigarh and Delhi has also been highlighted.

Stating that total investment in the Greater Mohali area in 2007-2011 is expected to be Rs 40,000 crore, Jurong has laid down a blueprint of economic development of the region.

Suggesting the area should build on the existing and diversify into IT/ITES and other knowledge-based industry like bio-technology etc., the company has pointed out other than tourism, industries catering to education, sports, recreation, medical, real estate, hotel and entertainment can also be nurtured.



UT yet to recover Rs 8 cr from directors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Despite the availability of substantial proof of fraud committed at Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank a decade ago, the Chandigarh Administration has failed to recover the amount from the guilty officials.

This lackadaisical attitude of the administration has cost the bank whopping over Rs 30 crore till date.

In 2001, the Administration served “Surcharge Notice” under Section 54 of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, applicable to Chandigarh, to the guilty persons, Gurdial Singh, the then director and presently chairman of the bank, and eight other directors.

Gurdial Singh agreed that he was only responsible for an amount of nearly Rs 1 crore but the rest of the investment were made hurriedly with malafide intentions of other higher officials of the bank and no approval from board of director was ever sought.

Gurdial Singh also agreed that the surcharge notice of same amount was also served on other eight guilty officials of the bank too. He said, “The matter is lying with the court of Special Judge Jagdip Jain and the verdict is still awaited.”

Caring two hoots to the rules, senior officials of the co-operative bank, “wrongly invested” around Rs 11 crore with Punwire, which has faced liquidation, without obtaining any collateral security.

Sources confirmed that in September, 1998, Rs 5 crore was extended in the name of Punwire and another Rs 6 crore was invested with Punwire Mobile Communication (PMCL) by the management of the bank without taking enough security to safeguard the investment.

The officials did not bother to adhere to the clause 3 stipulated under the bylaws of the Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank which says “area of operation will extend over the area covered by Chandigarh only”. But here, the deal was done with the Mohali firm, which too was on the verge of collapse during that period.

The investment cell of the bank made the investment of Rs 1 crore as Rs 7 crore in the records by “overwriting”.

Taking cognisance of the circumstances, in 2000, the then DC and registrar, Cooperative Societies, M. Ram Sekhar, had served an explanation notice to the chairman, MD and eight other directors of the bank and appointed the then controller, Printing and Stationary, to conduct an inquiry into the case.

A sum of Rs 3 crore was, somehow, recovered from Punwire, but Rs 8 crore could not be recovered, because of the absence of any valid guarantee.

Sukhchain Singh Dhillon, general manager of the bank, certified that till 2006, the recoverable amount from Punwire was calculated as Rs 12,42, 51,992, besides another amount of Rs 18,87,75, 355 extended undue towards PMCL.

He also admitted that the amount of Rs 1 crore was made as Rs 7 crore in the record books and the amount was extended in three-day period without seeking approval of the board.

Meanwhile, a CBI inquiry was conducted in the matter which held Vinod Sharma, ex-GM of the bank, Jagtar Singh, ex-MD of the bank, and Ved Prakash, executive director of Punwire, guilty of misappropriation of funds by wrongly converting the investment amount as loan. The two guilty officials of the bank were arrested and now facing trial.

Inderjit S Sandhu, additional deputy commissioner, who is also managing director of the bank, could not be contacted as he was away to Germany on official tour.

Under normal circumstances, a bank lends money on such a scale and takes collateral securities in immovable properties from the borrower in lieu of the loan. In the case of Chandigarh Cooperative Bank, the ex-GM, the then MD did not seek approval of the board and flouting area of operation norms, invested such a huge amount terming it as ‘short term loan’ .

“The investments were made hurriedly with malafide intentions of other higher officials of the bank and no approval from board of director was ever sought-- Gurdial Singh, then director and at present chairman of the bank.



Licence relief for Sanjeev Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The prime accused in cash-at-judge’s door case Sanjeev Bansal can take a sigh of relief as the orders of suspension of his licence, which was issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association, were suspended by the Bar Council of India (BCI) today.

However, Bansal will not be appearing as a counsel before any court till November 25 as the day is slated for arguments on the cancellation of his licence before the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council.

Acting on Bansal’s plea, the BCI has stayed further proceedings before a disciplinary committee of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council on November 7.

Bansal was booked by the Chandigarh Police after his clerk had erroneously delivered Rs 15 lakh at the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur.



Bus stand a distant dream for Zirakpur
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, November 17
In the absence of a proper bus-stand in Zirakpur, passengers travelling to and fro the city are harassed.

Since there is no designated place for people to wait for buses, those wanting to leave the township do not know where to look for buses. Similarly, those who change buses here are left on the road in the middle of nowhere.

Passengers claim that since there is no single point where buses have to stop and disembark passengers, the bus drivers end up stopping at the place most convenient to them. Passengers have to, as a result, walk long distances to find another transport. These “unauthorised” bus stops also lead to traffic jams.

The authorities have turned a blind eye to this situation.

“Bus stand is a dream for Zirakpur,” says Supinder Singh, a resident of the town. He adds that the government is doing nothing to solve the problem. “After becoming a part of Mohali district, we hoped for extensive development, at least a proper bus-stand, but nothing happened,” he further says.

“There are no rules and regulations for bus drivers. They drop passengers on the flyover,” says Shailja, a resident of Kalka. She adds: “I told a bus driver to take the bus from beneath the flyover, but he did not listen to anything and dropped me and my family on the flyover. From there, I had to hire an auto-rickshaw who charged me double price. Then, I had to board another bus for Kalka from Zirakpur-Kalka Highway.”

Derabassi SDM Sohan Lal Bhumbak says: “I know about the problem of bus stand. It will be solved as soon as possible.”

“I will talk to senior authorities. Bus stand must be built at an approachable place, where all passengers get all facilities,” SDM adds.



CCTV cameras at vital points in Zirakpur
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 17
The Mohali police has installed closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) along the Zirakpur-Ambala national highway and at various points in Zirakpur.

The purpose of installing the cameras is primarily from security point of view and to effectively regulate traffic at the congested sections on the highway.

J.S. Aulakh, SSP, Mohali, said the operators of toll plazas in the district have been told to put the CCTVs as every vehicle passes through such points and the movement of vehicle can be monitored.

The cameras have been installed at Zirakupr-Ambala bus point, Patiala bus point and Kalka bus point. These points witness the maximum vehicular traffic and are located at the busy intersections leading to Panchkula, Patiala and Ambala.

The traffic lights at the selected points have been used to install the cameras. Sources said the entire highway would be under the scanner once the cameras become operational. A control room would be set up to monitor the vehicle movement as the cameras have an in-built mechanism to scan a maximum distance and rotate 360 degrees. The cameras will also save recording of 24 hours of the area and help to maintain records.

“The advantage of camera installation is that if the control room gets information about a traffic violation and any crime movement from any vehicle, the cameras can pick up close image of the drivers and their vehicles. There has been instances when a vehicle involved in an accident or some crime is traced with the help of such cameras,” the senior officer added.

When contacted, Ranjodh Singh, SHO, Zirakpur, said pictures from the cameras would help the police to solve cases of vehicle thefts, snatching and movement of miscreants.

“We are grateful to the Punjab police who thought about our safety,” said Ravinder Kumar, a resident of Zirakpur.



MC leaves Sector 36 residents high and dry
Telephone poles, drive-in and gate pillars damaged due to indiscriminate digging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Residents of Sector 36-A have been confined to their houses. Thanks to the Municipal Corporation’s “operation digging”, being carried at the entrance of their houses for the past one month to lay sewerage pipes in the area.

The apathy of the MC staff could be imagined from the fact that they damaged all telephone poles, drive-in and gate pillars of their houses. The MC men did not care to inform the telephone department after damaging the junction box which used to cater to some houses.

Most residents (from House No 100 to 110) are senior citizens who complained that for the past 15 days, their telephones have been out of order due to the carelessness of MC officials.

“I live alone in my house and telephone was the only medium through which I was connected with the outside world. I told the MC men to take care of telephone lines but they paid little heed to it and damaged all telephone and electricity lines”, said an elderly resident Parveen Bhardwaj.

Astonishingly, the residents, when objected, were told to arrange the material on their own only to be reimbursed later. Parveen spent the amount 15 days back to get the repair done but till date she is waiting for her amount to be reimbursed, as promised by junior engineer Gulshan Kumar.

Chief Engineer, MC, SK Bansal, denying all allegations, said she had been compensated the amount. About the damage done to the telephone and electricity lines of the area, Bansal said the work would be expedited and damage would be repaired simultaneously.

Sukhmohinder, another resident, said she had cautioned the MC officials to take care of the telephone and electricity cables but they did not mind damaging all.

Col. Bhagat Singh, another resident, said the pipes could be laid through the road berms adjoining main V4 roads without disturbing the residents. “The 15-foot deep gorge to install the sewerage ducting has been left open for the past 20 days. This is further damaging our main water pipes lying for long. When I pointed out the damage done to the pipeline, the MC officials told us to bear the cost if we want to rectify it”, told Col. Singh.

The chief engineer clarified that it was not feasible to lay the pipes on that route because they had to go to 15-foot deep and there were already a glut of electricity wires for streetlights and other sectors’ supply.



Cable operators meet MC commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Representatives of Chandigarh cable operators at a meeting with the authorities of the Municipal Corporation today put forward fresh proposal to resolve the issue of non-payment of ground rent by them.

As per the rules, the operators have to set up their own poles for which the corporation charges ground rent from them. But the operators have not been paying any ground rent due to which the corporation is suffering huge monetary loss.

Joint commissioner T P S Phoolka stated that the representatives had submitted fresh proposal to the authorities and decision would be taken in this regard after reviewing the pros and cons of those proposals.

It may be recalled that in 2004 the operators went on strike when the corporation had uprooted the poles of the cables in the southern sectors over non-payment of ground rent.

The corporation authorities at that time had agreed to review the ground rent and come up with a Cable Act to settle pending dues.



Efforts on to trap animal
Tribune News Service

Panchkual, November 17
While the attack by wild animal still haunts residents of Saketri, Panchkula deputy commissioner Rajinder Kataria visited the spot to assess the situation today.

Yesterday, wildlife officials deputed a 4-member armed team in the area. A cage with a goat in it was also placed in the area from where villagers apprehended that the animal believed to be a wolf that injured three persons, including two children. One of the children later succumbed to injuries at the PGI on Saturday.

Mohan Singh, sarpanch of village, said the beast did not appear yesterday night while the people kept a watch along with the police and wildlife personnel.

Kataria, after visiting the spot, aksed the officials to improve the security in the area. He also asked the wildlife officials to put some suggestions so that preventive measures could be taken to avoid such incidents in the future.

“The district has a sizeable portion of land under the forest and many wild animals, including panther, are found in the region”, he said. 



Grinding of teeth may lead to headache: Expert 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
A constant headache or neck pain can be the result of grinding of teeth and ignoring it can lead to many other complications, said Dr Noshir Mehta, director, Carniofacial Pain Centre, Boston, USA.

Dr Mehta, who after studying at Amritsar and Lucknow, migrated to the US 1960s. He was here to participate in the 33rd national annual conference of Indian society of Periodontology at Panchkula.

He said that generally the patients find it difficult to ascertain the cause of headache. In many a cases, the physicians also fail to diagnose it and merely prescribe the painkillers, thereby complicating the situation, he said.

However, one has to take care whenever there is jaw breakdown or pain in the neck or headache. It could be a result of teeth grinding, he said, adding that it can be treated without making patient undergo medication.

Emphasising the use of laser in selective surgeries, Dr Franziska Beer from Vienna, Austria, said that both the techniques - conservative as well as laser -together could produce desired results in the dentistry. Moreover, the use of laser in the treatment of children proved a boon for the surgeons as it did not require the patient to be put on anaesthesia in case of a minor surgery, she said.

International speakers who shared their knowledge on advanced topics on dentistry like microsurgery, implants and lasers included Dr Thomas Van Dyke, Dr Serge Dibart, Dr Frenziska Beer, Dr Sachin Mamidwar, Dr Ray Williams, Dr. Noshir Mehta, Dr Sharat B Shetty, Dr Alpdogan Kantarci, Dr Yu Chuan Pan, Dr R. Suresh, Dr Hatice Hasturk, Dr Holger Dennhart, Dr. Phillip Preshaw

The inaugural ceremony of the two-day conference was chaired by Dr (Brig) Anil Kohli, president, dental council of India. Dr Kolhi stressed the need for the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. He said that as proved scientifically, there is a direct relationship of oral health and general health. He concluded by saying ‘a healthy smile leads to a healthy heart.



Operators told not to park buses in markets
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 17
The office of the District Transport Authority has directed owners of private buses not to park their vehicles in the market areas of Phases II and III-A, failing which action would be initiated against them.

Letters have been written to various transport companies, including Indo-Canadian Bus Service, Libra Motor Company, Guardian Tours and Travels and Maharaja Tours and Travels by DTO Balbir Singh in which he had asked bus operators not to park their vehicles in Phase II and III-A markets. They have been told to contact the general manager of the Punjab Roadways for parking their vehicles at the bus stand.

The DTO further stated that the deputy commissioner was getting complaints against bus operators from residents and if they failed to comply with the directions, action would be taken against them.

It was published in these columns that market areas of Phases II and III-A had virtually been turned into bus stands by the operators of long distance private buses much to the annoyance of shopkeepers of the area. Repeated requests over the years to the authorities concerned had failed to yield any results.

However, the bus operators said that they pay lakhs of rupees as tax to the government every month and it was unfortunate that no site had been earmarked for private buses by the authorities concerned. 



Booking charges of stadiums look north
Sports fraternity reacts strongly
Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The UT sports department’s move to hike the existing booking charges of all the city stadiums has elicited strong reaction in the sports fraternity.

The move aimed to make rentals almost uniform for all disciplines the department has hiked the booking charges of its sports complexes by more than double of previous charges. Now for the stadiums to hold athletics events, the organisers have to dish out Rs 500 (the previous charges were 150, including water and electricity charges). But now onwards, the charges of water and electricity would be charged separately.

The charges of other stadiums and coaching centres have been raised from Rs 300 to Rs 500 (Rs 20,000 extra for international matches).

The peculiar decision doesn’t go well with the sports fraternity. “The sports department is not a profit making organisation but to develop sports in the city. Does the department want to earn money from players and sports associations?” asks a senior sports official on the condition of anonymity.

“On one hand it has spent lavishly (around five crore) for the uplift of Sector 16 Cricket Stadium to hold a single ODI between India and Australia last year, but it did not give second thought while doubling the booking charges for holding sports events in other disciplines at their complexes,” said a national player.

“The step would relegate the sports here. If one has to organise international level tournament he will prefer neighbouring states like Haryana and Panjab, thus the city will lose hosting of a big events,” he opines.

Though the charges for international cricket matches is one lakh but the experts argue that the other disciplines cannot be compared with cricket. “Cricket body has ample money but it is not the case with other disciplines and by hiking the charges we cannot uplift other budding disciplines,” adds a sports lover.

Experts believe that the charges should be differentiated according to the discipline, there cannot be same charges for athletics and football. Secondly, the charges for school and colleges shouldn’t be same for clubs too, as the latter can pay them but the institutions can’t. It will help organising more tournaments.

Sanjay Kumar, secretary finance and sports said, “The fee has been hiked after a long time so it might seem a huge rise to many but the price is complimentary of all the facilities provided by stadiums.”



National integration week from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The UT administration has decided to celebrate the Quami Ekta Week (national integration week) from November 19 to 25.

Various activities have been planned for each day in a meeting held under the chairmanship of UT home secretary Ram Niwas today.

It was decided that on November 19, the adviser to the UT administrator, Pradip Mehra, will administer the oath-taking ceremony at the UT Secretariat in Sector 9. The DPI (C) will organise symposium and seminars focussing on issues like secularism, anti-communalism and non-violence. A cycle rally has also been planned to mark the day.

On November 20, the municipal corporation will look after the activities of the day to be commemorated as minorities’ welfare day.

Linguistic harmony day will be celebrated on November 21. The day will see various literary functions to enable the people of each region to appreciate the linguistic heritage of other regions.

November 22 will be looked upon as weaker sections’ day. The officials told that the meetings and awareness rallies would be organised by the department of social welfare for the SC, ST and other weaker sections.

November 23 will be marked as cultural unity day, and special performances by North Zone Cultural Center's artistes will be organised with the support of the department of public relations at Leisure Valley.

Women's day will be celebrated on November 24, on which the department of social welfare will organise various activities highlighting the issues regarding women. November 25 will be observed as conservation day, and the schoolchildren will plant trees under the guidance of the conservator of forest.

Deputy commissioner R. K. Rao, joint home secretary Bhupinder Singh, director of public relations R. S. Verma, DPI (S) Samwartak Singh, conservator of forests Ishwar Singh and MC additional commissioner P. K. Sharma were present in the meeting.



BJP forms SC morcha
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, November 17
The local unit of BJP yesterday held a meeting under the presidentship of Rajesh Gautam, wherein it formed SC morcha. Harjeet Singh was appointed president, Jaspreet Singh vice-president and Gurmail Singh general secretary. Sukhjeet Singh and Rajinder Singh were appointed as secretaries of the morcha.

Rajeev Singla, secretary, BJP, said the morcha had been constituted to strengthen the base of the party in the weaker section of the society. He said the newly formed morcha members and office-bearers would work for the party in the coming Lok Sabha elections.



Aryan, Sonya as ‘Sood Prince, Princess’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
Aryan was declared Sood Prince while Sonya Sood was adjudged Princess at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Sood Sabha, Chandigarh, at Sood Bahawan in Sector 10 here today.

Kuldip Sood, a nationally acclaimed sound recordist for Bollywood, was the chief guest of the occasion.

In addition to a free blood sugar test camp, an on-the-spot painting competition and a cultural programme was also organised on the occasion. The community is involved in many charitable projects, including diagnostic laboratories, physio therapy centres, homoeopathy centres and free yoga classes in the tricity.



Tributes paid to Lala Lajpat Rai
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
Tributes were paid to Punjab Kesari - Lala Lajpat Rai on the occasion of 80th martyrdom day at Lajpat Rai Bhawan here today. Several people from all walks of life paid tributes.

The function started with the inauguration of an exhibition on Lala ji’s memorial and displayed rare books of Dwarka Dass Library. Prof S.L. Sharma, former head of department of sociology was the chief guest and eminent speakers, including A.C. Julka, Maithili Prasad Bhardwaj and Prof H.S. Mehta were present.

In the seminar, organised by the Servants of People Society on “Challenges ahead”, Sharma said that every Indian should be taught that every human being born in India is a compatriot regardless of colour, creed, caste or religion.



Burn victim succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Reena, a burn victim, today succumbed to her injuries at the PGI, here. She, in her statement recorded before magistrate, held no one responsible and termed it an accident.

According to the police, the victim, a mother of two, was in her mid-twenties.

She was admitted to the hospital on November 13 with burn injuries.

She was critically injured in the mishap.

The victim’s husband, Ram Vilas, in a mason and lives at Kajheri village. 



Make helpline number functional

This is shameful that the toll-free helpline number of the Women and Child Support Unit of UT does not exist. This helpline is supposed to provide legal protection to women and children. But the helpline number being not functional shows the careless attitude of the police department.

There has been a drastic increase in the number of cases of crime against women and children in the city. Everyday, a lot of women and children are victimised in one or the other manner.

So there is a desperate need of the help of such unit. But how will the victim call for immediate police help? Worse is that the staff or the department is not aware of this.

In order to ensure the safety and protection of women and children, immediate action should be taken in this regard.

Dr Shruti K. Chawla, Chandigarh

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Contradictory orders on vacation of residences
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Ambiguity prevails over the vacation of official residences by Panjab University’s recent retirees with the authorities issuing contradictory orders.

After the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed the petitions of enhancement of retirement age from 60 to 62 years on October 31, the university offered all the 58 retired teachers to join under the re-employment scheme of the university.

Though the authorities had earlier decided to allow those teachers, who wanted to apply for re-employment, to retain the official accommodation for two months, but now the letters, which have reached the interested candidates, reads: “Your joining as such will be subject to vacation of university accommodation”.

It also states that the re-employment will be given under rule 8 at page 127 of the PU calendar volume III, 2005, with the modification that one will be re-employed for a period of one-year with effect from the date of joining on contract basis, on fixed emoluments, equivalent to last pay drawn minus the pension to be worked out on full service, both in case of teachers opting for pension or CPF. Salary for this purpose means pay plus allowances excluding house rent allowance.

This is in contrast to what the university Syndicate, in its emergency meeting held on November 1, had decided, wherein it was clearly stated that the teachers would be allowed to retain the accommodation for two months.

Earlier, an emergency meeting of the Syndicate was called on November 1, and it was decided that only those who applied, would be considered for the re-employment scheme. Those, who do not wish to take the benefit of re-employment, may take four months’ time to vacate their official residences as against the usual time of six months, while those applying for re-employment will have to vacate the residences within two months.

According to sources, the decision to curtail the time period of vacating residential premises has been taken keeping in view the fact that many professors have already attained the age of 63 years and thus have overstayed.

Interestingly, though the first part of the letter states that the joining will be subject to vacation of university accommodation. In the next line, it mentions the para of syndicate meeting stating exactly the same decision as mentioned above.

University registrar Prof S. S. Bari said: “It must have been written as under previous terms of the re-employment scheme. Nevertheless, the syndicate’s decision to allow them to retain accommodation for two months will apply.”



Cell on conflict resolution formed at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Finally, a counselling cell for internal conflict resolution and dialogue between various student groups was formed today at the Panjab University.

At a meeting conducted by Dean, Students’ Welfare, Prof Naval Kishore, today, a seven-member counselling cell was constituted with two lady doctors from PGIMER on board, one expert from the psychology department and a retired Army officer, besides others.

According to sources, Meena Sehgal, department of psychology, PU, Dr B.S. Chavan, head of the psychiatry department at GMCH-32, Dr Sween of centre for adult and continuing education, PU, Prof V. Mohan, a retired professor, are among those on the panel.

According to official sources, the members of the counselling cell would meet everyday for around one-and-a-half-hour for five days a week to provide guidance and counselling to students.

The cell would concentrate on overall personality development of students and inculcate the habit of amicable dialogue between them. Initially, a workshop for all the department representatives, student leaders, and members of the students’ council will be conducted to hone their leadership skills and personality development. Apart from this, the counselling cell members would also help students from time to time to solve their problems.

If the insiders are to be believed, similar counselling cell existed around a decade ago on campus but it stopped functioning after a while for the reasons unknown. 



Syndicate to discuss unaccounted funds’ issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The embezzlement of unaccounted funds to the tune of Rs 5.69 lakh of rupees case that rocked the department of chemical engineering and technology of Panjab University four years back is nearing its conclusion with the issue coming up in the ensuing Syndicate meeting scheduled on November 20.

The Syndics will consider the recommendations of the committee constituted by the vice-chancellor to formulate guidelines keeping in view the enquiry report submitted by Prof R. K. Kohli, department of botany, in this regard.

According to the enquiry report, Narender Singh of the department of chemical engineering failed to deposit the collection of the fee of society collected from the students amounting to Rs 5.69 lakh in the bank account of the society with the State Bank of India. The report suggested that the university should formulate some mechanism regarding functioning of such societies.

Besides, the Syndics will also consider the recommendations of the committee constituted earlier to decide about qualifications for the post of lecturers in physical education to be appointed in the colleges of education for teaching the subjects of physical education, health and physical education.

In the meeting, it will also be considered if a fine of Rs 10,000 be imposed upon D. D. Jain Memorial College for Women, Ludhiana, and Mata Ganga Khalsa College for Girls, Kotton (Ludhiana), for late submission of applications for continuation of honours classes at undergraduate levels after the last date of September 1, 2008.

The Syndics will also decide about the admission of Bikram Singh Sandhu, student of LLB Semester V, provisionally subject to the condition that he fulfils the condition of passing the required number of papers after appearing in Semester III examination to be held in November-December, 2008.

Also, the Syndics will consider grant of provisional extension of affiliation of GGDSD College for MCA course, provisional extension of affiliation to DM College, Moga, for BA and BSc I computer science, permanent extension of affiliation to Sant Baba Singh Memorial Girls College, Moga district, and Mai Bhago College for Women, Ramgarh, besides others.



School opens for special kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
UT administration has established “Prayaas”, a school in Sector 38, for children with special needs. The Indian Council for Child Welfare with a grant-in-aid from the department of social welfare, UT administration, has set up the school.

Children with severe complexes, which interfere with their ability to communicate or have difficulties in independent movement, is the focus of this institution.

The school claims of specialised staff and a low teacher-student ratio of 1:10.

A special learning enhancement centre has been established for children. Facilities have been created for yoga, music therapy, dance therapy and academic education.

Admission is now open on "First come first serve" basis. Parents are advised to contact the administrative officer, Prayaas, Dakshin Marg, Sector 38-B, Chandigarh, for more information at telephone number 0172-2690872. 



Zenders ties up with Rayat London
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Zenders Education, an initiative of the Zanders Engineers Ltd, tied up with Rayat London College, affiliated to University of Wales, for its various BBA and MBA programmes. 

Mike Cole, International Marketing Manager, Rayat London, said: “This tie-up will usher a unique feature for management education in the region as the one-year MBA programme of this university is one of the most sought-after programme in UK.”



Saupin’s students bring laurels
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 17
Saupin’s School, Sector 70, continued dominating at the Saupin’s Rocks Syndrome in the zonal tournament held at Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B1 here.

As many as 13 students brought laurels to the school by winning gold, silver and bronze medals in various events. Samridhi Othi won gold medal in 200m race and silver medal in high jump. Shabadpreet Singh won silver medal in 100m race. Amrit Kaur won gold medal and Tanya Chopra bagged silver medal in long jump.

Samridhi Othi, Tanya Chopra, Amrit Kaur and Ishmeet won silver medal in girls’ 4x100m relay race, while Shabadpreet, Hartej, Abhinav and Kunal won bronze medal in boys’ 4x100m relay race. Five students represented the school at district level.

Shabadpreet Singh won gold medal in both 100m race and long jump events at district level, and will represent the school and Mohali district at the state level athletic meet.

Principal A. B. S. Sidhu distributed the medals to the achievers in a small function held at the school.



Kids collect Rs 75,000 for senior citizens
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 17
Children’s Day was celebrated in a unique manner at Manav Mangal Smart School here on Friday with the students collecting Rs 75,000 for helping senior citizens under the aegis of Help age India.

To make the day special, a few grandparents were invited for the event. The director of the school, Sanjay Sardana, said this kind of activity promotes love and concern among children for the underprivileged members of the society. A special assembly was organised on the occasion and three students who had collected the maximum amount were given prizes.


Children’s Day was celebrated at Swami Ram Tirtha Public High School with enthusiasm. The celebrations started with a prayer. This was followed by a musical display and skits in which the teachers acted as the students wearing the school uniform and presenting classroom scenes. Students played games like musical chairs and tambola. A picnic was organised for the junior students. The students enacted a street play on exploitation of environment in Sector 17.

Diabetes Day

Students of Gian Jyoti Public School remembered Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on the occasion of Children’s Day. The day was celebrated with teachers who played a cricket match while students of class III participated in a fancy dress competition.

A Diabetes Day was also observed in the school and a seminar was organised by eminent doctors in collaboration with Roshni Society, which spreads awareness among public on this pandemic. A free diabetes check-up camp was also organised on the occasion. 



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