C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Teams arrive amid tight security
Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
India and England teams today arrived in the city amidst unprecedented security cover to play the second and final cricket Test at the PCA Stadium in Mohali, beginning on December 19.

The two teams, which were scheduled to arrive in the city at 2.30 pm, landed here at 4 pm with commandos and police personnel deployed for their safety in the wake of recent terror attacks in Mumbai.

Taking extra precautions for the first time the city, the local police had cordoned-off the 500 metre area of the Taj Hotel. Besides, a triple-tyre security and as many as 150 police personnel with commandos were deputed inside and outside the hotel. Even the lobby of the hotel was swamped with police personnel.

Unlike previous practice, media’s entry was not permitted inside the hotel and the cricket aficionados had to do away with only waving hands from outside the hotel.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was the first one to get down from the bus followed by local lad Yuvraj Singh. However, opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Shewag, and pacer Ishant Sharma were not seen.

Both teams will hit the nets for practice tomorrow.


Ticket sales up

Team India’s triumph at Chennai has changed the scenario at the ticket counters in the city as the ticket sales almost doubled on Tuesday. The PCA counter and Sector 70 Central Bank of India branch had sold off 450 tickets in total on Monday, but it rose to 980 on Tuesday, said manager Anil Meelu.

Even in the sector 32 branch of the bank, the number of tickets sold have increased manifold. The manager of the bank, Poppy Sharma, confirmed, “On Monday, we sold about 40 tickets, but today the number is 130.” 



Stadium turns into fortress
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 16
The PCA stadium, the venue of the Test match between India and England, will be turned in to a fortress from December 19 to December 23.

The Mohali police has started making elaborate security arrangements, fortifying the area. The inner and outer parts of the stadium have been converted in six sectors each. Each sector would be under the supervision of a DSP rank officer. Atleast 18 nakas are being set up at the entry and exit routes to the stadium.

The SSP, Mohali, JS Aulakh, said around 900 cops were being deputed on duty. Atleast 110 close circuit television cameras were being put at different points. The cameras were being installed in parking lots also and would be linked to a central control room. The evacuation teams of armed commandos had been deployed with each team.

Aulukh said though operational details of the arrangements could not be revealed, the team members and those accompanying them had been given a note of precautions while moving out of the hotel. The layout of the parking would be released before the match.

Cost of security arrangements

The issue of the PCA footing the bill of security cover at the stadium remained a hot topic today. Since the Punjab police would be spending lakhs of rupees on providing a security cover at the stadium, the money of the state ex-chequer would be spent. The SSP, JS Aulakh, said the focus was on providing foolproof security. 



3 held for killing Patiala jail warden
Arms, cartridges recovered
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 16
After a chase of two weeks, the Mohali police today laid its hands on Ravinder Singh, alias Chhanga, and his two other accomplices involved in the killing of a Patiala jail warden.

Gurjit Singh, alias Gaggi, Pavitar Singh and Jatinder while “rescuing” Chhanga from the judicial custody at Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, had mowed down the jail warden, Raghbir Singh, under a Mahindra Scorpio.

The jail superintendent had died on the spot when he made an attempt to stop the vehicle of the youths.

Chhanga and his accomplice are wanted by the Mohali and Patiala police in different cases of murder, attempt to murder, cheating, forgery, arms act and for publishing fake currency notes.

SSP, Mohali, J.S.Aulakh, said three were arrested while moving in the Scorpio vehicle (that had been used in the Patiala incident) near Karoran village.

Three arms, .12 bore pistol, a mouser, a .303 pistol and 15 live cartridges have been recovered from them. The fourth accomplice of Chhanga, Jatinder, is still absconding.

He said Chhanga was admitted with leg injuries to the Rajindra Hospital after he was arrested by the Mohali police on November 25 for planning a robbery. They had also fired on cops at Zirakpur when a police party had tried to intercept them. “ They had been on the run after fleeing from Patiala,” said the SSP.

Describing them as desperate gang of criminals, the police officials said they had been using a fake number on the Scorpio while carrying out their activities. The original number of the vehicle was HR-0-Q-3200.

Though the police did not present the criminals before the mediapersons, a picture (with the background morphed) was supplied.

Sources in the police said Gurjit was pursuing his graduation in arts (II year) through correspondence and Pavitar had studied up to secondary level. Barring Gurjit, other criminals are from middle-class families.

In the last week of November, the police had arrested two more youths, Vikas Garg, alias Kala, and Aman Kumar, for possessing fake currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 100 denomination worth around Rs 1,40,000 from them.

The gadgets and machines used in printing the fake notes had also been recovered. A stolen Honda city ( PB-65-D-6970) with a fake registration number ( HP-69-D-0951) and .315 bore and a live cartridge had also been recovered from them.

The police has also recovered a tata safari vehicle (bearing a fake registration no PB-06-D-2500) from the suspects. A Skoda car used by the suspects is yet to be recovered. 



3 girls, pimp held in flesh trade racket
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The Chandigarh police today busted a flesh trade racket involving three Nepalese girls and a pimp, Jit Singh, a resident of Muktsar.

According to the ASP (Central), the police laid a trap near Leisure Valley after getting information about the nefarious activities in the city. The police arrested 36-year-old Jit Singh red-handed while accepting Rs 45,000 from a decoy customer. The police also arrested three girls, in their early twenties, involved in the racket.

The girls told the police that Jit Singh had brought them from Kathmandu promising to give them Rs 50,000 for 15 days. Jit Singh is a notorious man in this field and was involved in the trade for years. He was earlier working as a driver for a pimp, who operated at larger scale and later parted his ways with him to run his own racket.

Sources said the police was getting information about his activities in the city. He had elite clientele and supply girls in hotels in the city and in neighbouring states. He was also said to be supplying Russian and other foreign girls to his clients and the police was also investigating this angle.

A case under the provision of the immoral trafficking Act has been registered in this regard in the Sector 3 police station.



Central nod to Rs 1.55 cr for GPS in PCR vehicles
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The Union ministry of home affairs has approved Rs 1.55 crore for installing the global positioning system (GPS) in police control room (PCR) vehicles.

With the introduction of the automatic vehicle tracking system (AVTS) equipped with the GPS technology, the position of each PCR vehicle will be displayed on digital map installed at the Chandigarh police headquarters in Sector 9.

Confirming the development, UT home secretary Ram Niwas said the central government had approved the GPS for the PCR, which would enhance the functioning of the field staff of the police. It was the long-pending demand of the police department, which sent the proposal to the UT administration last year to make the PCR hi-tech.

A senior police officer asserted that with the installation of the system, the PCR would be able to respond to distress calls even without waiting for instructions or directions. In general, the PCR personnel are not supposed to change their position without getting direction.

The PCR personnel avoid changing their position, apprehensive of being caught absent from the designated spot during surprise checks by their seniors. With this system, senior officials at the headquarters will be able to keep an eye on the movement of the personnel deployed with the PCR.

Sources in the PCR informed that they have 25 Gypsies, 30 motorcycles, 11 Gypsies as ambulances and a Highway Trauma vehicle, which reacts on information given by the control room.

It is learnt that the system will also help the PCR personnel to communicate with the control room through this technology, which was earlier possible through only wireless system.

In addition, the functioning of the PCR will be computerised and with a view to distribute calls coming to the PCR telephone number “100” through the latest automatic call distribution (ACD) system. The software will route all calls coming to the PCR through its server, which will distribute the call to each of its 10 operators.

A police officer added that under the present system, calls were diverted manually and sometimes the caller had to wait in case the dialled number was busy. The new system would automatically keep a record of the received calls. Explaining the technology, he informed that the call distributed through the ACD would be routed on through computer telephone integrity (CTI).

The CTI server having data of all subscribers of the telephone service providing companies would display the telephone number, name and address of the caller. The information would be forwarded to operators concerned, thus saving the time of the operator to manually write the information.

The reaction time of the PCR personnel would automatically get recorded in the system. The police would integrate its 24-channel digital voice logger with the proposed system, through which information received in control room would be recorded.


Panchayat poll result out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The results of 12 gram panchayats were declared here today. The counting was held on the premises of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, Government College for Girls, Sector 11, and Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26.

In the general category, Devinder Kumar was declared winner from Kishangarh. Swaran Kaur emerged winner in Dhanas, while Bhupinder Kaur won the Khuda Alisher seat.

In the SC (men) category, Narinder Singh grabbed the Kaimbwala seat, while in the SC (Women) group, Dharam Kaur was elected unopposed from Sarangpur village.

As many as 112 candidates were elected for the panches’ position in 13 different villages. The other elected sarpanches include: General category: Gurpreet Singh (Daria); Gurdeep Singh (Raipur Kalan); Mohinder Singh (Behlana); Lachhman Singh (Raipur Khurd); Rakesh Sharma (Khuda Lahora); Balwinder Singh (Khuda Jassu).

The winners distributed sweets and rejoiced at their victories dancing to the tune of bhangra beats. 



HCS, PCS officers to monitor mid-day meal scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
To raise the infrastructure in city government schools, the administration has proposed to the Ministry of Human Resource Development for an additional budget of Rs 40 crore under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) head.

Around 1 lakh children studying in 110 government schools and seven government-aided schools of the city will be benefited.

In yet another move, for the first time, the administration today formed a roster-based team of all PCS and HCS officers, serving in Chandigarh, to monitor the mid-day meal scheme.

These decisions came after the administration observed deficiency in the schooling infrastructure and inconsistency prevailing in the implementation of the mid-day meal scheme in city schools.

Home secretary Ram Niwas, who is also education secretary, said, “There is ample shortage of rooms and benches, especially in the schools situated on the outskirts of the city. We have Rs 18 crore under the SSA head which is inadequate. To rationalize the schooling system, we seek Rs 40 crore over and above this allocated annual budget of SSA”.

Nevertheless, to streamline the mid-day meal programme, all HCS and PCS officers have been involved to look after the mid-day meal programme. This decision will be effective in taking corrective measures and also conduct enquiries in addition to initiating disciplinary action wherever necessary.

The architect department has finalised the drawings for the cooking sheds, each costing Rs 21.62 lakh for 10 government schools, which include Government Model Senior Secondary Schools- 47, 10, 15, 23, 26, 38-D, 40, 42-B, 44-B and Government High School-29-A.



Mega Projects
Ex-mayor guns for admn
Says Cong councillors not involved in decision making
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Mega projects of the Chandigarh Administration, it seems, have become synonymous to controversy. Close on the heels of opposition from experts and a spate of stories in the media about alleged irregularities in the allotment of land for mega projects, the Congress today accused the administration of riding roughshod over the public sentiments.

Former mayor Anu Chatrath, who is a close confidante of minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal, today trained her guns on UT administrator S.F. Rodrigues alleging that no elected Congress councillor had ever been involved in crucial decisions by the administration in the run-up to the finalisation of the mega projects.

A few chosen opposition and nominated councillors are favoured and the Congress support seems to be taken for granted, she alleged.

The allegations against the administration, coming in the run-up to the mayoral poll on January 1, are seen as a point of no return between the administration and Congress, which had been alleging raw deal to its leaders by the top UT functionaries.

The former mayor alleged that in the Education City, none of the reputed private or public sector top 10 B-schools of India were invited to set up their centres in Chandigarh at a time when they are opening such centres in other parts of India.

No attempt had been made to get an IIM for Chandigarh, even when the Prime Minister wanted to set up several new IIMs, she complained.

“Though I was advocating MRTS like Delhi Metro with a 20-year perspective, the administration wasted a lot of time on deliberations on mono rail. It was only now that the administration was thinking on the lines of Delhi Metro,” she added. 



IAS officer seeks bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Following the notice served by the UT police, senior IAS officer Anurag Verma today moved an application seeking anticipatory bail in the court of additional district and sessions judge S.K. Aggarwal.

The next date of hearing on the application has been fixed for December 22.

In his petition, the IAS officer has said that he had joined the investigation five times and has cooperated with the police during the course of inquiry. He said the investigating officer had mentioned that his custodial interrogation was required for recovery of medical documents and goods from his residence. He added that Xerox copies of documents and medical record that the police requires for investigation can be collected from him anytime and custodial interrogation was not required for it.


Additional district and sessions judge S.K. Aggarwal today convicted Raju Tiwari of raping and kidnapping a minor girl. The quantum on the sentence will be pronounced on December 18.

According to the prosecution, the accused, Raju Tiwari, used to work in a showroom in Sector 40 where a minor girl also used to work. The victim was allegedly kidnapped on April 4, 2007. 



Tributes paid to martyrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Commemorating the historic victory achieved by the Indian armed forces over Pakistan forces on both the eastern and the western fronts in 1971, Vijay Diwas was celebrated at Headquarters Western Command at Chandimandir today.

A solemn wreath laying ceremony was organised at the Veer Smriti War Memorial to pay homage to the martyrs. Lt Gen A.N. Aul, Chief of Staff, Western Command, along with other officers and war veterans, paid floral tributes at the memorial, according to a statement issued here.

Later in the evening, a candle lighting ceremony was also organised at the memorial. Family members of military personnel stationed at Chandimandir participated in the event in remembrance of the martyrs.

It was on this day, 37 years ago, that over 90,000 Pakistani troops surrendered to Indian forces, which resulted in the birth of Bangladesh. This day also commemorates the victory during Operation Vijay in 1999, when Pakistani intruders were evicted from the extremely rugged heights of Muskoh, Dras and Batalik in Jammu & Kashmir.



Vandana Disodia bags honours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The International Napoleonic Society (INS),Canada, has conferred the prestigious medal of honour on Vandana Disodia, director industries, Chandigarh.

The medal has been conferred for her outstanding contribution to the promotion of literature on emperor Napoleon. The INS recognised the efforts made by her by the process of circulation of literature in various government schools, private institutions, involvement of various NGOs and deliberations with the publishers.

Disodia owes this award to Ben Weider, the founder of the INS, who passed away recently. The INS has branches in 46 countries working in the direction of expansion of Napoleonic research worldwide.



Panchayat Poll
Rat race among parties to woo winners
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The results of the UT panchayat elections have set off a rat race among three major political parties, the Congress, the BJP and the BSP, to woo the winning candidates to their fold.

With at least four sarpanches and a majority of the 112 panches being "neutral", the tug of war among the parties to showcase their strength in the villages in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections has begun. In fact, the BSP, led by its convener and former union minister Harmohan Dhawan is likely to "parade" the majority of the winning candidates, particularly the sarpanches, at a press conference scheduled for tomorrow.

Of 12 sarpanches, four do not have any party affiliations while of the eight others, the three parties have almost equal share. As has been the case in the past, most of the elected representatives are "adopted" by the parties after the declaration of the results.

While Dhawan's claim of having the support of at least six sarpanches could be far-fetched, it is a known fact that winning candidates from Behlana and Daria are BSP office-bearers.

Congress general secretary Bhupinder Singh Badheri, on the other hand, claimed that six sarpanches owed their allegiance to the Congress. BJP general secretary Ramvir Bhatti was, however, guarded in his claims saying that of all, three parties had almost similar representation among the "political" sarpanches.

However, the "party positions" among the elected representatives will be clear in the days to come when "party hoppers" settled for the parties of their choice.

In fact, showcasing the majority supports among the dominant rural votes assume more importance this time with the Lok Sabha elections just a few months away. Having majority support among the rural population in the aftermath of the panchayat polls could prove to be a morale booster for the political parties in the run-up to the coming parliamentary elections, observers felt.



CBI not joining departmental inquiries: Police
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Though it seems untrue, the UT police department has a grievance that it is not in a position to conduct departmental inquiry against its officials against whom corruption cases are pending, as the CBI Officials are not joining the inquiry proceedings.

As per the information received under the RTI Act, there are around 21 cases against police officials facing charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act, but the department could not conduct simultaneous inquiries against them “due to non-joining of CBI officials”.

These police officials include SI Sukhdeep Singh, inspector Bishi Ram, SI Ashok Kumar, constable Surinder Singh, SI Ved Parkash, SI Baljeet Singh, constable Ballu Singh, ASI Baljit Singh; ASI Surinder Pal, SI J.P. Singh, constable Kaka Singh, HC Shiv Kumar, HC Baldev Singh, and HC Baljit Singh, against whom the criminal cases were registered by the CBI in 2007. Other officials are SI Satwinder Singh, SI Dewan Singh, constable Jasbir Singh, constable Shamsher Singh, constable Amardeep and constable Sunil Kumar, against whom criminal cases were registered during 2008. The PIO states in his letter stated “departmental enquiry kept in abeyance till examination of important witnesses in the court due to non-joining of CBI officials.”

The official notes received by advocate H.C. Arora revealed that K. Saleem Ali, IPS, joint director (N) and special IGP, CBI, GOI, New Delhi, is his D.O. The letter dated April 9, 2008, clarified the position with regard to CBI cases in response to the letter dated August 22 from the UT police headquarters.

He said the prosecuting agency/ investigating agency had no say in the departmental proceedings when the criminal trial and departmental proceedings took place on identical allegation. However, when examination of the prosecution witness, who were also cited as witnesses in the departmental proceedings, were examined for the first time in the Regular Departmental Enquiry (RDA) proceedings and hence, there was a likelihood of contradiction in the two statements that would be beneficial to the accused.

Hence, the CBI is of the view that in cases where the decision is taken to proceed simultaneously against the offender by way of prosecution as well as departmental proceedings, the material prosecution witnesses should be examined first in the criminal trial and then in the proceedings in the interest of the criminal trial.

The police thus again discussed the matter with SP, CBI, and claimed that with special courts, they are expediting trials, therefore, in such an event, the departmental inquiry can be kept pending till PWs are examined in the trial court. Thus, the departmental enquiries against the delinquent police officials were kept in abeyance till the material prosecution witnesses were examined in the criminal court.

However, it is interesting to note that the UT police has been conducting simultaneous departmental inquiry proceedings against police officials facing charges of corruption, and in many cases, has succeeded in weeding out corrupt officials without waiting for the examination of material prosecution witnesses in the criminal trial. 



Trade with Poland grows
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
A seminar on Indo-Polish Bilateral Trade Relations was organised by the PHD Chamber here today. Wlodzimierz Madziar, first secretary, commercial, Embassy of Poland, and M M Gogia, manager, projects, trade and investment promotion section, Embassy of Poland, were present on the occasion.

Madziar said the bilateral trade between two countries had grown by more than seven times from 1992 to 2007. Bilateral trade, which totalled $ 675.73 million and $ 6861.78 million in 2006 and 2007 respectively, is targeted to cross $1 billion in 2008.

“During 2005, major Indian companies signed several agreements on investments that are expected to create more than 3,500 new jobs in Poland. India's major exports to Poland include tea, coffee, spices, textiles, pharmaceuticals, machinery and instruments, auto parts and surgical items,” he said.

India's imports from Poland include machinery except electric and electronic appliances, artificial resins, plastic material, non-ferrous metals and machine tools. Indian companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies, ZenSar and Videocon have already set up their bases in Poland. 



Panchkula Gangrape
Police not under pressure: DSP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The state of Haryana today claimed that the police was not under any political or other pressure during its investigations into the Panchkula gang-rape case.

A statement to this effect was made through an affidavit filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court on behalf of the state by deputy superintendent of police Ram Chand Rathee.

The officer said the investigations in the case were moving in the right direction and all efforts were being made to bring the culprit to the book. It was added that two of the accused in the case had been arrested by the police.

The high court is already seized of the matter. A Bench has issued notice of motion to the state and other respondents on a petition filed by a Panchkula resident, who was questioned by the police during investigation of the gang-rape case.

The petitioner, Khushhal Kaushal, is seeking a CBI inquiry into the case on the apprehensions that the inquiry by the police may not be fair. His name had surfaced in the case after the victim in her complaint alleged that a Swift car was used when she was kidnapped from Sector 12, Panchkula, before her perpetrators took her to a village in Punjab.



Barwala Accident
Students lay siege to NH-73
Seek Rs 5-lakh compensation; block traffic for over 2 hrs, damage buses
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 16
Irked over the death of five students of Swami Devi Dayal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Golpura, in a road accident yesterday, the students of the institute today boycotted their classes and blocked traffic on National Highway-73 for over two hours.

The agitation took an ugly turn as the protesters made an attempt to set a bus afire. However, timely intervention by the police saved the situation. The protesters also damaged a few roadways buses.

The students, who were demanding Rs 5 lakh compensation for the families of the deceased besides refund for the fee from the college, took to streets almost immediately after assembling in the college. Shouting slogans, the protesters blocked the traffic even as a huge posse of police had been deployed.

The protesters accused the roadways authorities of their failure to provide bus facility to the students. They alleged that the college management was charging money for providing bus service to the students, which, they said, was far from satisfactory.

“We are asked to pay Rs 17,000 per year for availing the college bus service but still we find no seat in the bus,” said an agitated first-year student, claiming that in order to find cheaper option, they were forced to come by overloaded tempos and auto-rickshaws.

Another student said that besides increasing frequency of bus service to the area, they had also been demanding a bus stop near the college but all their pleas had fallen on deaf ears.

The blockade was lifted only after SDM Ashok Kumar Mina reached the spot and pacified the protesters. Meena told The Tribune that the administration would make arrangement of a local bus stand soon and direct the college management to provide ambulance and first aid facility on the highway through a mobile van.

On the issue of compensation, he said the matter was being considered. He said the bus frequency had also been increased to 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes during peak hours - 7 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 5 pm.

The protesters also paid homage to the victims by lighting candles on the college premises. 

Speed check

In what can be termed as a knee-jerk reaction, the district administration is planning to impose speed limits on the road outside the Swami Devi Dayal Institute of Engineering and Technology on NH-73, besides declaring it as a no overtaking zone.



MC to look after southern sectors
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
After being ignored for a long time, finally the Chandigarh municipal corporation has come to the rescue of the southern sectors of the city.

In the recently held meeting of the coordination committee of the UT administration and the corporation, the administration has decided to transfer the widening and construction of V6 roads and development of green belts of the southern sectors to the corporation.

It was a long-pending demand of the residents of these areas. Earlier, the residents of these areas claimed that the administration authorities were giving them a step motherly treatment in comparison to the northern sectors of the town.

Officials said approximately a sum of Rs 12 crores was allocated recently for the re-carpeting of roads in southern sectors but it is only for the areas, which were under the jurisdiction of the corporation.

It is pertinent to mention here that this issue had always invited a lot of debate from the councillors in the house meetings of the corporation. It was alleged by some of them that the authorities were taking care of only a few sectors and rest were ignored by them.

This decision is seen as a move to put the debate to its logical conclusion. At the same time, the corporation officials feel that for effective and speedy work, recruitments should be made on vacant posts in various departments. Currently, there is a shortage of staff in the departments. The officials claimed it was ironical that the corporation was given more responsibilities but not enough appointing staff as per the increased work.

One of the residents of Sector 41 said the decision could only be welcomed if the pending works would now be executed timely in the southern sectors.

Besides roads, streetlights, sanitation and stray dog menace is also prominent in these sectors, which needs to be taken care of.



Best Citizen award for DAV principal
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 16
Jaya Bhardwaj, principal of DAV Public Senior Secondary School, Phase-X, here has been bestowed with the “Best Citizen of India” award by the International Publishing House, a Delhi organisation. Bhardwaj has been given this award for being an educationist and academic administration chosen from nominations from across the country.

According to a press note, she was given this award for her two projects, Shradha and Komplein. The Shradha project was an attempt to take education to the doorstep of the poor and downtrodden. A selective group of teachers associated with the project went to the slums to provide free books and stationery and took occasional classes as a follow up.

Under the Komplein (Saplings) project, volunteers of the group provided saplings to the neighbourhood to spread the message of greenery and ensured a follow-up action to help saplings grow.



PR society awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The Chandigarh Chapter of Public Relations Society of India received “The best programme award” for the year 2008 at the 30th PRSI National Conference held at Guwahati this week.

Joint director (PR), Bhakra Beas Management Board, V.P. Sharma, who is also the chapter’s chairman, Renuka B. Salwan, deputy director, PR, Bureau of Indian Standards and former chairperson, received the award.

The awards were presented by Dr H.B. Sarmah, minister of health, Assam. The Governor of Meghalaya, R.S. Mooshahary, was the chief guest of the function. 



RBI educates students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The Reserve Bank of India, Chandigarh, has launched a scheme to educate students regarding bank notes and clean note policy.

According to an official spokesman, RBI Chandigarh has invited all schools in states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh to sponsor their students to participate in an essay writing competition to create an awareness on banknotes and clean note policy. Students have been invited for three categories class VI-VIII (junior), class IX-X (middle) and class XI-XII (senior). Length of essay for junior, middle and senior level has been fixed 1000, 1500 and 2000 words, respectively, and students have option to submit essay in English, Hindi or Punjabi.

The spokesman added that management and principal of the school forward the essays to DGM, RBI by January 15.

The topic for the junior category is “How to keep Indian currency notes clean and crisp-your suggestions, for middle category- “Quality of Indian currency notes-experience and expectation” and for the senior category- “The Menace of forged notes-challenges before Reserve Bank and the government.”

For all categories, the first, second, third and consolation prize would be Rs 5,000, Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 500, respectively, the official added. 



Police reshuffle

Chandigarh, December 16
After the joining of SP Rajinder Singh Ghuman, there is a reshuffle of departments in the Chandigarh Police. 

DIG Mahabir Singh will head intelligence, economic offences wing and IG prisons. Ghuman will head Operations Cell, Woman and Child Support Unit. — TNS



Dance contest marks Chandikrit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Fun and frolic marked Chandikrit-2008 organised by the department of industries at the Parade Ground here. The two-day event began yesterday.

According to a press note, a quiz competition was held among schoolchildren in which about 100 students participated. Today, artistes of the Kala Chetna Manch, Panchkula, enthralled the audience with their performances. A group dance competition was held among the schoolchildren. Chief general manager of CITCO Amit Talwar distributed the prizes.

Over 4,000 trade enquiries have been received till today and the industry had a business of about Rs 4 lakh.



Chaos rules welfare federation elections
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 16
A dispute has arisen over the election of the president of the Citizens Welfare Federation, which claims to represent various welfare bodies of the town.

While Amrik Singh Bhatti, chief media adviser, stated that B.S. Tej was unanimously re-elected as president of the federation, representatives of certain welfare bodies of the town alleged that the election of Tej was ‘unconstitutional’.

Bhatti said Tej was re-elected as president of the federation at a meeting of the executive committee held on December 11 and was authorised to nominate his team of office-bearers. He said P.S.Virdi, vice-president of the federation was expelled from the membership on account of anti-federation activities.

However, Jarnail Singh Kranti, president of the Phase IV residents welfare association, said a meeting of various resident welfare associations held under the chairmanship of Albel Singh Shyan declared the election of Tej as ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘undemocratic’.

It was alleged that no election agenda was circulated to welfare associations affiliated to the federation. Expulsion of Virdi was also condemned.

Shyan and Kranti appealed to all affiliated associations to attend a meeting to be held at Dharna Bhwan in Phase V on December 20 to chalk out the next course of action.



Engineering student killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 16
The ‘killer stretch’ between Panchkula and Zirakpur claimed yet another life when an 18-year-old boy of engineering college died in an accident tonight.

According to the police, Inderjit Singh, a student of Banur-based engineering college, lost his life while his cousin was injured when a truck coming from the Baltana side hit the motorcycle from behind.

The police stated that the deceased, a resident of Hallomajra, Chandigarh, died when he was returning to his home after attending a wedding function in Zirakpur. Inderjit was the student of 1st year at a private college in Banur.

The police said his cousin Jimmy sustained minor injuries and Inderjit was rushed to Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, where doctors declared him brought dead.

The postmortem of the body was conducted and a case registered against the truck driver who managed to flee with the truck after the accident. An inquiry has been initiated.

According to sources, the streetlights on Zirakpur-Panchkula highway are not functioning. Minor accidents are a routine affair on this road. Sources revealed that traffic lights on Zirakpur were also not working.

Last morning five engineering students of Barwala-based engineering college were killed in a road accident.

Bodies found

A body of an unidentified man was found near Motia Heights on the Dhakoli road here this afternoon.

According to the police, they received the information that a man was lying dead opposite to Motia Heights near a nullah on the Dhakoli road.

On reaching the spot they found a man in mid-forties lying dead and no injury mark was spotted on his body. The cause of the death would be cold weather, the police added.

The body of the deceased has been sent to the mortuary in Dera Bassi Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, Ram Kishan (70), a resident of Jaloli, was found dead on the Barwala road here today.

The cause of the death could be an accident, the police added.



Inefficient electricity dept disappoints

This refers to a report “Power department sleeps as kundis flourish” in the Chandigarh Tribune dated December 16, 2008. This is true that the illegal power connections is on the rise due to inefficiency of the UT electricity department.

The UT police had assured that it would not only help in removing the connections, but would also be responsible for monitoring the lines to ensure proper supply to the residents.

The police has also assured for night patrolling. According to the electricity wing, there were more than 15000 kundi connections across the city.

Majority of the illegal connections are found in the expanding slum colonies in the city as well as in villages of 
the UT.

The staff carried out a campaign to remove kundi connections and the illegal connections come back within hours of the drive, as there is no monitoring and shortage of staff in the electricity wing and in the police department as well.

Sahil Garg, Chandigarh

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PU to ply inter-dept buses
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The Panjab University authorities are giving a New Year bonanza to campus students by fulfilling their demand of plying two buses in the inter-department of the campus. Even though the project of plying buses has missed two deadlines fixed by the university authorities, hopefully, in the coming New Year, the bus service will be available to the students.

Sources in the PU revealed that all departments had been instructed by the authorities to prepare a list of the needy students so that bus passes could be prepared for the student convenience.

The sources added that all departments had been directed to submit their list of students to the authorities by December 22 so that by the year-end bus passes could be issued to the students. The authorities have yet to finalize the fare of these buses, but it will be nominal so that it is not a burden on the students.

The sources revealed that the university had already purchased two 32-seater buses, which would be plying on the roads on the campus. This service would run on no-profit, no-loss basis.

A hosteller stated that legally hostel residents were not allowed to keep vehicles on the campus thus they faced a lot of difficulty in commuting between the hostels and the south campus in Sector 25. This service would be a big relief for the hostel students.



Youth Fest
Day 4: Art, culture marks celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The 4th day of the 24th North Zone Inter-University Youth Festival, being organised by Panjab University, in collaboration with the Association of Indian Universities and sponsored by the ministry of youth affairs and sports, government of India, witness many cultural and artistic activities.

Total eight events were held at the festival. The competitions of classical instrumental solo and western group songs were held at the English auditorium and the quiz competitions were organised at the evening studies auditorium and fine arts museum was the venue for clay modeling and rangoli.

Four teams participated in the one-act play and conveyed meaningful messages through their presentations. In the rangoli, 17 teams participated on the theme of Deepawali and showed their creativity.



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