C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rajya Sabha amends PGI Act
Dental, nursing students to benefit
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 19
It is good news for dentists and nurses studying for their degrees at the PGI in Chandigarh. The Rajya Sabha today amended the PGI Act, 1966, thus enabling these dental and nursing students to get a degree from the PGI itself.

Presently these people study at the PGI. However, Panjab University, Chandigarh, conducts the examination.

Following the amendment, the PGI, will be empowered to conduct the examination and award its own degrees.

The act governing the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was amended in 2004 to allow the institute to award its own degrees for dentists and nurses. The PGI amendment is on the same lines.

So far the PGI is allowed to award degrees for medical and students doing their postgraduation in medical streams from the premier institute. Union health minister, Anbumani Ramadoss, explained the need for the amendment saying the original act already provides for setting up a dental college and nursing college. However, under Sections 23 and 24 of the Act, only the degrees for the medical streams are accepted as qualifications under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

The amendment would technically mean that degrees of the PGI’s dental and nursing students would be accepted under the Dentists Act, 1948 and the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947, respectively.

The Institute body of the PGI had wanted this amendment. Meanwhile, during the brief debate Ramadoss said standing committee on health has recommended that the PGI should also start a bachelor’s course in medicine (at present only PG courses are conducted). The ministry has already sounded off the PGI and the process has started, he added.



Cops to man traffic during rush hours
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
In an attempt to do away with traffic snarls at major intersections and on all busy roads during office hours, the Chandigarh Police has started regulating traffic manually for two hours in morning and evening.

SP (Traffic) H.S. Doon said the scheme introduced on Thursday is delivering good results. “It was seen that a lot of time is lost at busy intersections where automatic traffic control (ATC) is installed. As the time duration is fixed for the ATC (lasting up to 30 seconds), it causes accumulation of traffic near intersection,” added the SSP.

Doon said that in order to reduce snarls, it was decided to manually regulate traffic from 8 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm. The traffic policemen will take on the spot decision and allow the movement of vehicle on the road where there is heavy rush, he said.

Besides , the traffic police is also contemplating keep the ATC signal functioning round-the-clock. At present, the ATCs are set on flashing amber signals, which means stop at intersection and move when it is safe, after midnight. However, it is noticed that during the late night hours, rowdy motorists do not stop at the signals in the absence of traffic police.

A senior traffic police officer said though the exact data is not available, it has been noticed that a large number of accidents occur at the intersection due to negligence of drivers coming from both sides. “Thus, it will be a good idea to keep the ATC functional normally even during the night hours, as one of the drivers is supposed to stop at the signals and reduce the risk of collision,” he said.



Traffic panel meets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The first meeting of the core committee of Central Traffic Advisory Committee (CTAC) was held on Friday under the chairmanship of SP (Traffic).

The meeting was attended by the executive engineer (roads), executive engineer, Municipal Corporation, additional secretary, state transport authority, assistant town planner and registering and licensing officer, DSP (Traffic) and members of the central advisory committee.

The committee discussed issues relating to traffic, including construction of underpasses on Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg, effective pollution checking, carpeting of roads, closing of inter-sector roads, synchronisation of traffic lights, proper management of parking by parking contractors, road safety education awareness for youths, students and drivers, construction of subway between Phases 1 and II in Industrial Area.

The experts also discussed measures for traffic management, proper lightening on roads and cycle tracks, provision on ATC at crossing Sectors 24 and 25 and provision of fixing rumble studs.



Cong councillor accused of misconduct
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
In an unprecedented move, top officials of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, have filed a joint complaint today against Congress councillor, Devinder Singh Babla, accusing him of “misbehaving” with commissioner Dr Roshan Sankaria and interfering in the MC’s administrative work.

Besides Sankaria, the signatories to the complaint include T.P.S. Phoolka, joint commissioner, P.K. Sharma, additional commissioner, S.K. Bansal, chief engineer and Parminder Singh, assistant commissioner.

In the complaint, the officers have alleged that Babla misbehaved with the commissioner during the meeting of F&CC yesterday, while the action taken report was being discussed. They also accused of Babla being in a habit constantly interfering in their work.

Denying the allegations, Babla claimed that Sankaria was blowing the issue out of proportion. “At the meeting, I had pointed that most of the columns in the action taken report had been left unfilled. When I asked the commissioner about the delay in recruiting around 28 new persons for various posts, including XENs, SDOs, JEs and others for the newly created road division, he replied rudely,” he said.

A defiant Babla said, “If this is misbehaviour, I will do it again. I am not scared of these bureaucrats, as I am answerable only to the public. I have every right to ask questions of public importance,” he added.

Conceding that there was a heated argument between him and the commissioner, he denied having used any derogatory remarks against him.

Dr Roshan Sankaria confirmed that he has sent a written complaint to the secretary, local government. He, however, denied having used any derogatory words against anyone or being rude.

Meanwhile, this entire tussle is being viewed as an outcome of the tug of war between the UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues and minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal. While Roshan Sankaria is said to be close of Rodrigues, Devinder owes allegiance to Bansal.

Even mayor Pradeep Chhabra, another Bansal supporter, was also quick to defend Babla and he also blamed the officers lobby of ganging up against the councillor. “I was there and it was all out Snakaria’s fault,” he said.

UT home secretary-cum-secretary, local government, Ram Niwas, confirmed that he had received a complaint but refused to comment. “The complaint is being looked into and the matter is being inquired,” he said. He, however, maintained that it was too premature to decide on the action to be taken.

Incidentally, this is not the first time, such a thing has happened. Earlier, councillor Ravinderpal Singh Pali had also misbehaved with one of the employees of the MCC. A DDR was also registered in this case and the matter was sorted out later. In another incident, Anil Dubey, another councillor, had misbehaved with the chief engineer in the past.



Mega projects hang fire
‘Lack of coordination’ among Rodrigues, Pradip Mehra and Pawan Bansal
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Lack of coordination among UT administrator SF Rodrigues, his adviser Pradip Mehra and minister of state finance Pawan Bansal seem to have spelled doom for the administration's ambitious mega projects.

In fact, the mega projects seem to be lacking "popular support" with Rodrigues and Bansal do not seeing eye to eye on many of these projects. And the "cold war" between the administrator and the adviser in the wake of the medicity project has sent wrong signals to developers of the mega projects. The global meltdown seems to have acted as a catalyst for the developers to go slow on the projects.

The situation has come to such a pass that Parsvnath Developers is reportedly backtracking from the project as the administration has failed to remove "encumbrances" from the land in the wake of the non-removal of power line. Similarly, the theme park is also facing rough weather in the wake of allegations of favouritism in the award of project to Unitech Limited.

Interestingly, the RTI Act has come handy for the "vested interests" to point the accusing finger at the top functionaries for their alleged acts of omission and commission in the allotment of land to big realtors. The Theme Park and the Film City are cases in point.

A slew of media reports, all based on the information sought through the RTI by NGOs, spearheaded by Hemant Goswami of the Burning Brain Society, has apparently put the administration on the defensive bring all major projects under a cloud.

While a cross-section of society is of the opinion that the administration had shown "undue haste" in gifting the projects to their favourites, the administration views the allegations as a campaign by the "vested interests" to derail the development projects in the city which has the potential to emerge as the next metro given its excellent infrastructure.

A senior official claimed that "selective leaks" obtained through the RTI are being "planted" in the Press to scuttle the projects."Proper procedures for the allotment of land were followed at the time of negotiating with the parties concerned," he claimed.

Even today the administration tried to come clean on Film City project, alleging that certain media reports had created certain misgivings and things needed to be understood in proper perspective.



Child’s Death
Cops ‘browbeat’ victim’s family
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 19
Even as the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has suo motu passed orders in connection with the case relating to the death of an 11-month-old child, who died as the Civil Hospital here allegedly failed to give him timely treatment, the miseries of the migrant labourer, who lost his only child, does not seem to end due to the callous attitude of the district police authorities.

Instead of initiating action in the case, certain police personnel went to the house of Prem Shankar, father of Kuldeep, who died after suffering from gastroenteritis, and reportedly told members of his family that if the Civil Hospital had failed to admit the child, they should have taken him to the PGI or the Sector 16 hospital in Chandigarh. Strangely, they went to Badmajra colony even when no complaint had been filed in connection with the death of the child.

Prem Shankar said his only grievance was that why had the Civil Hospital not admitted his child when his condition was serious. The hospital should have made an effort to save his son. In case there was some problem, the child should have at least been referred to the PGI.

Kuldeep was taken to the Civil Hospital around 1 a.m. on the night of December 17 but a nurse on duty allegedly told the grandfather of the child to take him away as there was no doctor available in the hospital at that time. The child, however, died in the afternoon yesterday.

SSP Jatinder Singh Aulakh said the police was sent to the hospital only to defuse the situation in case people gathered in connection with the death of the child. He said he was not aware that certain police personnel had gone to the Badmajra colony to meet members of the family of the dead child. He said he would inquire the matter.

Deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari said according to a Supreme Court ruling, action in cases, where negligence on the part of hospitals was alleged, could be taken only after a committee formed by the district magistrate found doctors or other staff members guilty.

The PSHRC has taken the suo motu cognisance of the matter and called for the report of the state government through DHS & FW, Punjab, positively by February 10, 2009.

A copy of this order has also been sent to DHS & FW, Punjab, for information and strict compliance.


Property dealer under IT scanner
Tax evasion worth crores detected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Income tax officials detected tax evasion worth crores of rupees during a survey conducted at the premises of a property dealer, Kulwant Singh, here today under the supervision of director investigation, Income Tax, M.P. Singh.

Income Tax officials today swooped down on Gill Promoters and Builders’ Pvt limited, Sector 34, and Gill Real Estate, Sector 44. While the officials refused to divulge details, sources in the department revealed that tax evasion worth crores of rupees has been detected after thoroughly examining the records of both the premises.

According to IT officials, Kulwant Singh is the office-bearer of Sector 16 housing society and Ink Rose Cooperative Society, Sector 50. Income tax sleuths who conducted surveys at their premises in Sectors 34 and 44 said that documents are being scrutinised.

“Once the department is able to calculate the extent of concealed income by the property dealer on the basis of information collected during the survey and details of high-value transactions, a survey report will be prepared and due tax liability raised against the business group,” the sources said.

The survey was still on till the filing of the report.



IT men attach Abzony Glass
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Income tax officials today attached the factory and plot of Arun Ummat and his wife Sangeeta Ummat, a resident of Sector 21, in connection with alleged tax arrears to the tune of Rs 6 crore.

According to information, the IT officials swooped down at Abzony Glass, which is located at Sangrana village, Panchkula, around 3 pm. Around 4 acre land was attached today by tax recovery officer Bikramjeet Singh. He said both Arun and his wife was the director of this factory thus they attached it for the recovery of the tax arrear.

Thereafter, the income tax officials reached plot no 207, Sector 25, Panchkula, for land attachment. As per information, the one kanal plot was on the name of Sangeeta Ummat.

The recovery proceedings were initiated by the department in September in which they seized a car of Arun Ummat, son-in-law of senior Congress leader and former Punjab cabinet minister Harnam Dass Johar, in connection with the alleged tax arrear.



City to get 3,000 more cops
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The heightened security atmosphere at the national level in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks has revived the hopes of the Chandigarh administration to get additional police force for its routine and VVIP duties and to tide over the staff shortage. The city is expected to get over 3,000 more cops.

In fact, a presentation for the additional force was made by a team of the bureau of police research and development (BPRD) at a high-level meeting of the ministry of home affairs (MHA) at New Delhi today. UT home secretary, Ram Niwas, and IGP S.K. Jain, attended the meeting.

The MHA officials were favourably inclined to the proposal for more police force for the city considering the backdrop of it being the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, sources told Chandigarh Tribune.

In its proposal the Chandigarh police wanted one SP, five DSPs, 29 inspectors and 449 SIs/ASIs for the Chandigarh police. Besides, a full-fledged Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) unit having 985 personnel, including, one commandant, three assistant commandants and seven DSPs and inspectors, is being mooted.

The sources claimed that a large floating population, mostly from UP and Bihar, virtually kept the police on toes. In fact, the development of the Phase III sectors (Sector 48 onwards) and the mushrooming of the rehabilitation colonies in the southern sectors have underlined the need for deployment of more police personnel.



Trees cut without forest dept’s permission
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 19
A forest official today booked a contractor, who got trees cut in front of Janendra Gurukul School, Old Panchkula, without the permission of the forest department here today.

According to information, more than 36 trees were got cut by Janendra Gurukul School by the contractor in front of the school, without the permission of the forest department. When the forest official contacted the secretary of the school, he refused to comment.

While a resident Santosh Kumar of the Gurukul colony said, “In order to construct a stadium, the school authority gives the permission to the contractor to cut around 36 trees. However, they had taken the approval for cutting 10 trees only.” While no formal complaint in this regard has been given, the police is informed about the matter, who later visited the spot.

The matter was also brought to the notice of the forest range officer, Sunil Kumar, who has later visited and inspected the spot. “It was after we were informed by the residents that we visited the spot. A DDR has now been lodged against the secretary but the school would now be fined for this,” said Sunil Kumar.



Unorganised traffic results in snarl-up
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The UT’s idea of widening of Madhya Marg to reduce congestions on the road is not finding favours with road safety experts. For, they are of the view that the traffic snarls on the road are results of unorganized traffic, but not due to congestion on the stretch.

A debate over the concept with various road safety experts and traffic police officials revealed that the problem was more a results of wrong behaviour on road than of congestion.

A road safety activist, Harman Singh Sidhu, says there is no such study available, which proves that the widening of road reduces fatalities and mishaps. Moreover, it is seen that only the right-hand side and the middle portion of the roads are used by the motorists while the left-hand sides are encroached upon by roadside vendors. The idea will result in wastage of money than actually improving the situation.

A senior traffic police officer admits that the widening of the road will not yield the desirable results as it will consume the space allotted to the already existing slip roads. The slip roads help in diverting the traffic moving straight into the rotaries, reducing the traffic chaos. He also adds that the volume of traffic is high only during the office hours while the rest of the time the traffic flows smoothly. The administration should rather improve the other connecting roads from Panchkula to the city to reduce the load on Madhya Marg.

Roopinder Singh, another roads safety expert, asserts the problem lies in the enforcement of the traffic rules. The motorists violating the yellow lines in the city is a common sight. In developed countries, the yellow lines are considered as a “wall” and no driver dares to cross it, unlike here, where no one follows it.

He further adds that the widening of the road increases “risk compensation” as drivers tend to speed up seeing on the wider roads, as it gives a sense of security to them.

Sidhu, however, suggests that the administration should rather invest in creating awareness than spending huge amounts on the widening of the roads. As the road widening will be possible by cutting the tree, or left where they are posing more threats than serving the purpose.



ICICI Lombard to pay Rs 5.95 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed ICICI Lombard General Insurance to pay an insurance claim to the tune Rs 5, 95, 850 to the complainant.

The forum has also asked the insurance firm to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 for mental harassment faced by the complainant.

The complainant, Jatinder Singh, said he owned a Mahindra Scorpio and executed a power of attorney in 2006 regarding the management of the said car in favour of Ashutosh Sharma.

He further added that on the intervening night of March 22/23 in 2007, the said vehicle was stolen while it was parked at the residence of Ashutosh.

The complainant had informed the insurance company about the incident and sought for claim but his claim was repudiated on the grounds that he did not get the insurance transferred in the name of the transferee.

The insurance company argued that despite the transfer of the said vehicle in favour of Ashutosh Sharma, no intimation as required under Section 157(2) of the MV Act was given to the insurance company to get insurance changed in his name.

The forum headed by president Lakshman Sharma said the assertion of Ashutosh Sharma in an FIR regarding ownership does not affect the rights of Jatinder Singh.

On the other hand, in the registration certificate, Jatinder Singh is recorded to be the owner of the vehicle in question.

"So from the evidence on record, it has been duly proved that the complainant is the owner of the vehicle in question and he is entitled for the claim," said the forum.



Chill sets in on food street business
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, December 19
The inaugural of the MC’s much-hyped pilot project of ‘Night Food Street’ right on the onset of winters seems to have become an impediment in attracting customers.

The eight kiosks selling different types of snacks, food, beverages starts at 7pm and they find it hard to sit throughout the night, as the number of visitors start dwindling with the fall in temperature and after midnight hardly any visitor is found in the area while the market is supposed to remain open till 7 in the morning.

Finding no business, majority of them prefer to shut the business, and return home before 2 am. The owners got some business initially, but with the advancing of winters, the number of visitors started dwindling for the last couple of days.

Sham, a kiosk owner said, food street has to be covered with a shed as the street is open for the whole night. But due to weather, people come only till 2 am,” he said adding that the cook costs very high in the night shifts and it is not easy to survive here.

He added that there is no doubt that the nightlife in the city is picking up among the youngsters. The authorities should come up with some projects of entertainment.

Another restaurant owner commented that opening of food street is a pending demand of the city and even the authorities have taken the security measures for it. But they should take some steps to make the place suitable for winters also.



Suchita Malik true ‘Indian Memsahib’
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Dressed in a crisp silk saree, Suchita Malik truly epitomises the title of her maiden book ‘Indian Memsahib’.

“We will have to speed up things as I have to pack my stuff for the forthcoming holidays and go to the market to shop for some important stuff.”

She requests surely blowing off the much-conceived image of a bureaucrat’s wife enjoying the pleasure of bossing around the fleet of servants.

“Well that’s what the book aims at. People till date are fascinated by bureaucracy in India and being wife of one of them comes across as the best fortune. But hardly anybody tries to understand the struggle involved in adjusting one’s career, routine and even social circle according to the husband’s status.”

She gives an insight to the novel that traces the life of protagonist revealing
her bewilderment and confusion and her struggle to maintain her individuality
while carefully treading the scintillating corridors of powers without stiffing her
voice of conscience.

“Well you can call it autobiographical to an extent because I have lived this life for 25 long years and struggled too. Every time my husband was transferred I would look in for a job to keep me busy rather than nourishing a career. The husband’s busy schedule made me feel like a single parent most of the times but what kept me going was a desire of not to live like a trophy wife.”

Adds Suchita. On being questioned about the response she considers it unexpectedly overwhelming and shares the credit with her hubby dearest.

“He never knew I was writing till I was half way through but helped me lot as he has been the pivot of my life my experiences and my everything and trust me sweet or sour the time spent has left me with no complaints but a lot to share in form of this book,” concludes Suchita.



DRDO setting up centre for yoga research
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
With the introduction of yoga as a means of reducing stress among troops showing results, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is now in the process of setting up an advanced centre for research and training in yoga.

DRDO officials told The Tribune that a memorandum of understanding has been signed in this regard by the DRDO with the Delhi-based Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY),

The new centre is expected to come up at the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences in Delhi, which is associated with studies for optimisation of human performance in severe stress occupational environment conditions using physiological, biochemical, nutritional and ergonomic approaches.

The centre would be responsible for developing yoga packages for different stressful conditions like high altitude, heat and cold exposure, other extreme climatic conditions, occupational stress in counter insurgency environment, hard areas, and remote places.

Imparting training to yoga instructors in the armed forces as well as DRDO scientists, conducting yoga training camps and workshops across the country for information dissemination and executing specific yoga related research projects would also be in its charter.

Yoga sessions are now regularly held in formations deployed in the northern and north-eastern sectors, where service conditions are harsh, to help ease occupational stress and accustom the human body to climatic vagaries.

The Army had initially brought in yoga experts from outside to conduct training sessions and train some of its personnel as instructors.

Even Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence had recommended that yoga be introduced in the Army as one of the means for stress busting. Yoga is now part of troops morning PT routine in many military stations.

DRDO is also reported to have developed a herbal concoction as a remedy to stress among soldiers posted in high altitude areas.

The Armed Forces Medical Services is currently studying the effectiveness and feasibility of introducing it in the services.

With prolonged deployment in counter insurgency operations and internal security duties, coupled with inadequate remuneration, disturbed family life and other socio-economic factors, high stress levels in troops has been a major issue for the armed forces over the past two decades.

In fact, a recent paper on leadership published by the Army War College, Mhow stated that work stress, increased commitments and long working hours have resulted in deteriorating health of officers.



Sufiana musical concert leaves audience spellbound
S.D. Sharma

Panchkula, December 19
The Haryana Kala Parishad organised a composite concert of Sufiana music featuring well known singers of this genre of music in Punjabi, Rajasthani and Haryanavi to a very scant audience at Inderdhanush Auditorium here today.

After an inordinate delay, the programme commenced with a soulful recital of three compositions of legendary Pandit Lakhmi Chand in Haryanavi by Ajit Kaur, which, however, attained a spectacular level as Ustad Barkat Sidhu took the centre stage. Ably supported by a set of accomplished musicians Barkat Sidhu brought alive the wisdom and mysticism of Sufi poet saints Shah Hussain, Ghulam Farid and Baba Bulle Shah.

He was at his best as he doled out “Mein bhi ranjhan de” based on raga shivranjani, “Hor bhi neevan ho faqira” while interspersing the rendition with sargams and kafis of Baba Bulle Shah and others. His rich voice traversed in all octaves planting notes with perfection and melodic brilliance. As the scant but intrusive audience showered lofty applause on him his performance was abruptly cut in an awkward manner by the organisers to make a way for the next artiste, Banarsi Das from Jodhpur. Gifted with a melodic voice and good lung power Banarsi Das presented the kalaams of Amir Khusro and a mystical Meera Bhajan in laudation of virtues, valour and winsome personality of Lord Krishna.

Noted composer Arjun Jaipuri and Haryanvi folk maestro Gulabh Singh too doled out Sufiana songs.

Earlier, the parishad director Usha Sharma and K.C. Sharma IAS (retd.) welcomed the chief guest Dr Raghubir Singh Kadian, Speaker, the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, who honoured the artistes.



‘Financial crisis more serious than viewed’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
A two-day conference on social exclusion, organised by the North-West Indian Sociological Association (NWISA), concluded today. The proceedings began with the panel discussion on “Global economic crisis and new hope for marginalities”. The discussion was chaired by Prof K. Gopal Iyer, a sociologist from Panjab University.

Prof J. R. Panda from University of Jammu said the current crisis of global capitalism is more serious than the general perception. As per an estimation, $8 trillion were being sought to be pumped into the economy to tame the cycle of reproduction.

Prof Birenderpal Singh, from department of sociology, Punjabi University, Patiala, said many so-called criminal tribes of Punjab have been clubbed with the scheduled castes just with a stroke of pen. Bazigars, Bangalas, Sansis, Nats, Baurias and Gandhilas, together 4.5 lakh in number, are actually tribes, but by adding them to the long list of scheduled castes of Punjab, they have been left to reel under perpetual poverty and backwardness.

Prof Jagrup Singh from department of political science, GNDU, Amritsar, made a presentation on the collective resistance by the farmers in Manawa to their forced eviction from their fertile land to hand over it to construction company under the provision of SEZ.



Voters turn protesters
Three days on, residents wait to meet councillor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The resident welfare association of Dadumajra Colony led by president of the association, Rajiv Kalia and Narender Chaudhary, staged a protest against their own ward councillor, Kamlesh.

A large number of people gathered outside the office of the Congress councillor, Kamlesh in the Dadumajra Colony. The residents of the colony turned up as early as 8 am and staged a protest against her.

They were claiming that it has been three days that they have been wanting to meet her and apprise her of their problems but Kamlesh didn’t turn up even after promising them.

They threatened that if their problems were not addressed, they would protest against Bansal.

However, Kamlesh said, “I am the only councillor, who has her office in the ward. She claims that she is available everyday and in case of an emergency, all the necessary numbers are on the notice board outside her office and the allegation were not true.”



Link road between Sectors 50, 51 soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The UT Administration has agreed to construct a link road between Sectors 50 and 51. As per a release issued here today by the joint action committee for development of Sectors 50, 51 and 63, the decision to this effect was taken at a meeting presided over by finance secretary Sanjay Kumar here.

It was also decided to instal high-rise streetlights in these sectors. The officials of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) said the local bus service would be started immediately after the completion of link road between Sectors 50 and 51.

The possibility of setting up a police post in the area was also discussed at the meeting which was also attended by the SSP. The committee members also expressed concern over delay in shifting Colony no 5.



Panel approves agenda items at meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the municipal corporation under the chairmanship of Pardeep Chhabra, mayor, and Dr Roshan Sunkaria, commissioner, has recommended various important agenda items, including an estimate for the work of replacing PSC pipe with MS pipe, and providing, fixing of air valve on TT water supply lines at various places between ST plant (Diggian, Mohali) and Rajindra park, Sector 1, Chandigarh.

The meeting held here today was attended by members of the F&CC, including Davinder Singh Babla, Chander Mukhi Sharma, Vijay Singh Raja, P.K. Sharma, additional commissioner-cum-secretary, T.P.S. Phoolka, joint commissioner, Parminderpal Singh, assistant commissioner, S.K. Bansal, chief engineer, R.K. Goyal, SE, public health, Yogesh Gupta, SE, B&R, and other senior officers of the municipal corporation were also present in the meeting.

The committee approved various agenda items, including providing of 12x8” deep bore tube well in lieu of abandoned tube well-I, Indira Colony, Mani Majra, with percussion-cum-rotary drilling or any other method of latest technology, disposal of condemned vehicles in mechanical section of the road division No 2, estimate for the work of 12x8” deep bore tube well in lieu of abandoned tube well, Sector 50-B, near slum colony No 5, feeding to distribution lines with revise rig method or any other method of latest technology.



Students visit Air Force station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
As part of a motivational drive and to give exposure to the younger generation about the Indian Air Force, an educational visit to the local Air Force Station was organised for around 200 children of Millennium School, Mohali, today.

Children, accompanied by their teachers, got a close glimpse of the IL-76 and AN-32 aircraft as well as MI-26 helicopter. IAF officials explained the role of these aircraft and as also the responsibility and task of the IAF to the children. Later, they were taken inside the cockpit in small groups and shown them different controls of the aircraft.

The young visitors were also told about the basics of the flighty safety and the role a common citizen could play in his day-to-day life for ensuring aviation safely. They also got an exposure on different ground equipment being used to support the flying of these aircrafts.



Workshop on digital learning
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 19
St. Paul International School, Mohali, conducted a workshop on digital learning with a technical support and organisation from global leader in advanced learning solutions, EDUCOMP Solutions Limited.

The workshop was organised with an aim to help the tricity schools understand the immense potential in digital learning. The two-hour session showcased the latest methods and techniques, which are redefining the classroom education by bridging logistical and practical gaps.



Lok adalat from today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 19
A two-day mega Lok adalat will be organized at the District and Sessions Courts complex here on December 20 and 21. Secretary, District Legal Service Authority, Justice Raj Gupta, said 18 benches had been constituted to dispose of the cases during the two days.

The cases to be settled in the courts include insurance claims, criminal appeals, compoundable cases, domestic violence, guardianship, custody, cases juvenile justice, factory cases, shops and commercial establishment cases, and traffic challans.



PU research scholar bags pharma award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Suresh Thareja, a Ph.D research scholar, at the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, bagged the best paper award at 
the 60th Indian Pharmaceutical Congress (IPC) held at New Delhi.

The paper is related to a new strategy for the management of diabetes and may prove to be a milestone in the future development of drugs for the diabetic complications. The paper was declared the best among 244 papers presented by researchers from various institutions and universities in the medicinal chemistry section. The award trophy and a certificate were given by Dr M. Venkateshwarlu, president, the 60th IPC.



Education director charged with favouritism
Probe ordered into undue favour to a lecturer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The thinking in the administration indicates “favouritism” taking precedence over genuine eligibility criteria and adopting double standards, when it comes to making a way for their favourites.

Flouting rule 4.23 of the Punjab Civil Services Rules 1988, applicable to Chandigarh and UGC guidelines, Rajiv Bhandari, a lecturer in Physics at Government College-11, went home pocketing Rs 4,47,426 as arrear.

Courtesy: the office of the director, Higher Education (DHE), which went all the way to extend “undue” favour to him.

To top of all, his posting orders, on the basis of which he got richer by lakhs, were issued on October 2, 2007, the national holiday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Home-cum education secretary Ram Niwas, taking cognizance of the issue, has ordered an enquiry into the case. “This issue calls for an inquiry. I have formed a committee to look into the matter and submit me the report”, he said.

The documents in possession of The Tribune, procured through RTI, speak volumes about the lackadaisical attitude of the administration. In reply to certain queries, the department has admitted that the bemusement has occurred, as the employee did not disclose the factual position in the case.

The orders, issued by DHE, say that “consequent upon reckoning of the period of ad hoc service from September 23, 1981, to August 1, 1984, rendered by Rajiv Bhandari, after condoning the period of pre-interruption in service from August 2, 1984, to November 8,1985, his salary has been fixed at the next pay grade.

The benefit has been granted to Rajiv Bhandari with the approval of personnel department of administration but the period for which he has been “advantaged” is questionable as he did not disclose the period rendered by him in PEC from August 3, 1985, to November 8, 1985.

Rajiv Bhandari has also been awarded a revised senior scale from January 1, 1991, instead of July 8,1992, and selection grade from January 1, 1996, instead of July 27, 1998.

But the matter of the fact is that he served in Government Polytechnic-10 on ad hoc basis from September 23, 1981, to August 1, 1984, and, thereafter, served in PEC. The Tribune is also in possession of his salary statement he drew at PEC during the period.

The UGC guidelines mention that for grant of senior scale, the ad hoc service has not to be counted, in any case, and granting senior scale in such circumstances would lead to violation of norms. The guidelines say “Every lecturer will eligible for placement in senior scale of Rs 3000-5000, if he or she has completed eight years of regular service”.

In case of Bhandari, he was put on regular service on November 9, 1985, and was given senior scale after five years of his regular service i.e. in January 1, 1991.

This “favour” also tantamount to double standards adopted by the administration. Achala Dogra, vice-principal of Government College-46, and JS Raghu, a Sanskrit lecturer, Government College for Girls-42, were denied benefit from their initial date of appointment because they too had in-between breaks in their services.



Tribune students enthral audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
A PTA meeting for the pre-primary section of Tribune school was held here today. Students enthralled the audience by presenting colorful items like rhymes, songs, etc. The principal briefed the parents about the extra-curricular activities in addition to academic progress of their wards.

A three-day programme on “Development of Action Plan for Establishment of Production-Cum-Training Centres” (PTCs) in the area of Home Science-based vocational courses in the city which was inaugurated by Khushinder Sharma, DEO, UT, at GMSSS-19, concluded today. The vocational eEducational unit organized the programme in collaboration with PSS Central Institute of Vocational Education NCERT-Bhopal.

NSS camp
A special NSS camp was inaugurated in GMSSS-19 by DEO Khushinder Sharma. The deputy director, Vocational Education, Saroj Mittal, deputy district education officer Chanchal Singh, and program coordinator-cum-deputy district education officer Saroj Gupta and principal Sanjay Walia took part in the ‘Campaign Cleanliness’.



Cultural bonanza marks St Joan's annual day
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 19
A majestic cultural programme “Jhankar 08” was organised by St. Joan's Public School, Zirakpur, at Makhan Shah Lobhana Bhawan in Chandigarh today.

N.K. Sharma, president, municipal council, Zirakpur, was the chief guest, while, Neeraj Pashricha, regional director, RICM, and R.G. Puri, former general manager of St. Joan’s educational society were guests of honour.

The function started with a welcome dance. Students presented various foot tapping dances followed by English plays 'lazy dingo', 'honest woodcutter' and a Hindi play 'burrayian ka fal'. The main attraction of the show was plays staged by Class I and Class II students. The cultural fiesta came to a nail-biting finish through traditional Punjabi folk dance.

School principal, Anila, highlighted the achievements of the students. She said all the classrooms are technology enabled with Internet access and CCTV’s for monitoring classroom activities. Chairman of the school announced the opening up of new smart classrooms and expansion of the school soon.



‘Communication skills key to success’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
In order to spread awareness among students regarding the existing trends in the management field, the postgraduate department of economics and entrepreneurship of GGDSD College, Sector 32-C, invited Prof Dhananjay Singh of ICFAI, Hyderabad, for an interactive session on ‘career opportunities in management’, in the college seminar hall today.

He addressed the students about the key specialisations of management and informed them about the various skills required to be a successful management executive. Prof Dhananjay stressed on the need to develop problem solving abilities, analytical abilities, and out-of-box thinking, communication skills, ability to work in a team, flexibility, adaptability and cross functional expertise, if one wanted to cull out a successful career in the corporate world.



Fifty attend workshop on soft skills in English
Harpreeti Bassi

Chandigarh, December 19
Over 50 government teachers from Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh attended a workshop on soft skills in English conducted by Prof. Abhai Maurya, V-C, EFL University, Hyderabad. This workshop, organized by the Regional Institute of English (RIE), Sector 32, aimed at giving teachers a new insight into enhancing communication skills and personality development.

Professor Maurya talked about holistic way of personality enhancement and adopting them in teaching. “Being an educationist, it becomes extremely important to be proficient in your language. With such a detailed discussion about language methodology, Professor Maurya helped us bridge that gap” said Anshuman Hooda, a teacher from Haryana.

Maurya also threw light on the skills of presenting one’s idea and being understood in the correct perspective.

The workshop was followed by two sessions on teaching through comics and cartoons by Dr Bindu Bajwa and using multimedia for teaching communication skills by Vandana Lunyan, both lecturers at the RIE.



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