C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rash driving claims woman’s life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Ram Bateri, a 45-year-old woman of Sector 25 Bhaskar Colony, was killed while her son escaped unhurt when a truck hit their scooter near Poultry Farm Chowk here this afternoon. In another mishap, a motorcyclist was injured after being hit by a car last night.

According to the police, the first accident took place at around 1:30 pm when the truck, which was coming from Zirakpur, collided with the scooter (PB-11-G-4795) at the rotary. The truck was taking turn toward Phase I, Industrial Area and the scooter was going to Zirakpur. The woman fell before the rear tyres of the truck (HR-56-3579) and was crushed to death on the spot. Her son, Deepak, fell aside and escaped unhurt in the mishap.

An eyewitness told TNS that the body kept on lying for a long time on the spot causing traffic jam. The police arrested truck driver Rakesh Kumar of Una on the charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.

In another incident, a motorcyclist, Vijay Kumar, of Dhanas was seriously hurt after being hit by a speeding Ford Ikon (CH-030-X-3489) near the Dhanas barrier late last night. He was admitted to the PGI with severe head injuries and his condition was stated to be serious, said the police. The police has arrested car driver Mohinder Singh of Dhanas on the charges of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving.



Cops on toes in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
On the eve of Republic Day, the Police carried out flag marches and set up special pickets across the city.

Sources in the police said 46 nakas had been set up in the city to ensure law and order. The nakas were managed in three shifts and the police personnel frisked the vehicles. Besides, special searches were being carried out in hotels, restaurants, and guesthouses in the city.

The UT SSP said the police was on alert and they were also taking assistance from the CRPF and Punjab Police commandoes. The flag marches were being conducted in various parts of the city and the police teams were keeping an eye on passengers coming to the city at the Sector 17 and 43 ISBTs and railway station. He added that the police would check the incoming vehicles to the city.



Padma Shri for V-C Sobti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Dr R C Sobti, has been conferred with Padma Shri for his contribution to literature and education. It has been announced in New Delhi today. Talking to The Tribune, Sobti credited this award to his family and colleagues at the university. “This award is a recognition not only for me but for Panjab University and the city”, he said.

“It has come as my morale booster and in future I will carry on the work more energetically and will continue making efforts to carry the university forward”.

Dr Sobti has been serving as V-C since 2006 and has several books and research papers published in reputed national and international journals to his credit.



Manipulation of CITCO Bills: Probe a ‘farce exercise’
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The “accountability” for the misappropriation committed while booking functions at Hotel Mountview of CITCO has come under scanner.

If one goes by the reply of the show-cause notices, served on the involved persons for manipulating the bills of a lunch party for ring ceremony held at Mountview’s Rustles restaurant on December 9, the inquiry in the case appears to be nothing more than a “farce exercise”.

Reason: Two out of four employees under question were, purportedly, not on duty at the time of booking of the ring ceremony party and another one replied that the billing was manipulated according to instructions of the seniors.

The bills for this ring ceremony party were issued on a’ la carte basis showing it as a kitty party and the sales were registered in the Rustles restaurant.

The Tribune highlighted another instance of a ring ceremony held on September 14, 2008. This time too, the bills were manipulated terming it to as kitty party, but CITCO preferred to turn a blind eye to it.

Nevertheless, taking cognizance of the underbilling and embezzlement of accounts attempted in the December 9, 2008, party, CITCO’s Chief General Manager Amit Talwar conducted the inquiry. He had issued show-cause notices to four employees, banquet manager Sandeep Kapoor, kitchen superintendent Surinder Kaw, junior assistant, Food Cost Controller department Prem Kumar Mariya and bill clerk Pushpinder.

Interestingly, Surinder Kaw and Prem Kumar Mariya reportedly stated in their replies that they were not present on the day the party was organised and hence should not be held guilty for misappropriation of billings. Kaw had his “weekly off ”, when the kitchen menu was discussed and finalised.

The rest of the employees admitted that the bills were raised for items which were not “actually” served but stated that they “carried on” as per the directions they received from their seniors and hence should not be held guilty of any financial misappropriation. Amit Talwar assured to review the inquiry proceedings.

Instead of charging regular buffet rates applicable at Hotel Mountview’s banquet hall, the bills for the party was charged on the “per table” basis, through its restaurant Rustles. Consequently, the host end up paying only 12.5 per cent VAT. Otherwise, the regular charges would have been calculated at 31.5 per cent tax. This led to straightaway evasion of 19 per cent of the total bill amount.



All-Religion Congregation
Chand loyalists remain absent
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 25
The efforts of Chand Mohammad aka Chander Mohan to come closer to his constituents through religion seemed to have proved futile as not only majority of locals remained oblivious of his visit to the town, the local leaders, known to be his loyalists, also preferred to stay away from the function.

It was for the first time when the former Deputy Chief Minister appeared in his constituency after converting to Islam and marrying Fiza, formerly Anuradha Bali, a former assistant attorney general of Haryana.

President of Panchkula Municipal Council Ravinder Rawal, Panchkula Congress president Om Parkash Devinagar and Vijay Bansal, a Congress leader from Pinjore, who are known to be confidant of the four-time MLA from Kalka, were nowhere to be seen today.

Only his spokesman Deepak Rai Walia, two councillors from the 31-member Panchkula Municipal Council - Sangeeta Goel (ward 5) and Shamsher Singh (ward 28) - were seen with the MLA.

However, more than 1,500 persons, majority from rural and slum areas, including Muslim community, reached to listen the preaching at Yavnika, an open-air theatre in Town Park, Sector 5, the venue of function.


Group Housing
GPA holders to turn heat on politicians
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The issue of regularisation of general power of attorneys (GPAs) in the group housing societies is set to assume political overtones with the GPA holders deciding to turn the heat on political parties in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

A consensus in this regard was reached at a meeting of a cross section of residents of Sectors 48 to 51 here today. “We are keeping all options open, including making the issue a hot agenda in the coming elections if we fail to get justice from the Chandigarh Administration,” Satish C. Sharma, general secretary of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Council, said.

Both the administration and the mainstream political parties had been paying “lip service” to the demands of around 15,000 GPA holders having occupancy rights.

With the politicians desperate to get votes, ways and means to pressure the contesting candidates to force the administration to come out with a “people-friendly” policy were discussed at the meeting.

The Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) had recently proposed a nominal transfer fee ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000 to the administration on the Haryana pattern. However, the proposal seems to be stuck in the administrative rigmarole with the finance department sitting over the proposal.

Earlier, the administration had levied hefty “illegal fee” amounting to several lakhs for the transfer of flats in the name of the GPA holders, sparking off protests from various quarters.

Sharma claimed that though the issue had evoked sympathetic response from the Home-Secretary-cum-Secretary, Cooperation, and yet administration's “delaying tactics” run counter to its claims of providing “pro-people” administration.

The council has been demanding an early resolution of the muddle created by application of outdated, unrelated rules applied in isolation which already stood repealed, Sharma added.

It may be recalled that the 1996 Rules provided for the conversion of the flats from leasehold to freehold and the transfer to freehold does not entail any payment of “unearned” increase.

These rules also imply that when the conversion charges from leasehold to freehold conversions are paid, the matter gets out of the preview of the finance department.



Cultural bonanza on R-Day eve
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 25
“Shaheedon ki chitaon par lageinge har baras mele, watan par mitne walon ka baqi nishaan hoga,” the popular couplet from Comrade Teeka Ram rightly describes the confluence of patriotic fervour and reverence for the freedom fighter martyrs at the Tagore theatre here.

The memorable musical dance-drama bonanza presented by enthusiastic city school students on the eve of the 60th Republic Day celebrations was a salutation to the supreme sacrifices of martyrs and it also brought alive the vigour and vitality of the regional culture.

The students of Banyan Tree School- 48 and Jawahar Navodya Vidyalaya- 25 performed the auspicious “Ganesh Vandana” during the inauguration of the event.

Students of Sacred Heart, Sector 26 presented a dance to depict their message of communal harmony where the students attired in costumes of various regions of India showed their love for the Tricolour.

The sacrifices made by the freedom fighters were aptly depicted through a skit by the students of GMSSS- 18. Through the narratives, drama and especially composed songs they traced the chronology of events from Ghadar Movement to the present and won applause.

Girls of GMSSS- 35 swayed on the gypsy tunes while the perfect ending to the show was given by a boisterous dance performance “Maa Tujhe Salaam” by the students of Manav Mangal School.

Speaking on the occasion, Pradip Mehra appreciated the efforts of the education department and participating students of various schools.

Home Secretary Ram Niwas and senior officers, including Sanjay Kumar, RK Rao, Manjit Brar, Samwartak Singh and others, graced the occasion.



26 to be honoured at R-Day function
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 25
Twentysix persons from various fields in the district will be honoured at the Republic Day function here tomorrow.

The function will be held at Government College in Phase VI. Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Cooperation Minister, will hoist the National Flag at the district-level function.

According to a press note issued by the district administration this evening, the persons who will be honoured include Pritpal Singh Bitta (for donating blood 73 times); and Tarlochan Singh, a Cooperative Bank employee, and Manpreet Singh (both for setting an example of honesty by returning a lost bag containing Rs 3 lakh to the owner).

For doing outstanding work in their respective fields, the administration has decided to honour Kamaljit Kaur, school lecturer, Sukh Pal Singh, sewadar, District Public Relations Office, Inspector Sukhwinder Singh, havildar Randhir Singh, and constable Narinder Singh.

In the sphere of social work, the persons who will be honoured are Jagdev Singh of Pabhat village and PS Virdi, SAS Nagar.

Two persons from the district who participated in the Punjab state livestock championship will also be honoured on the occasion. They are Harchand Singh Garanghan, owner of a cow which won the first prize at the championship, and Gian Singh of Dharak village, owner of a Jersey cow which has a milk yield of 34.3 litres.

Among others to be honoured are Inspector Sarabjit Singh (for a large seizure of illegal liquor and drugs), Inspector Gurvinder Singh (for seizure of cocaine, cars, etc), Bhupinder Singh (for publicising government policies), and Ajit Singh (horticulture).

Sportspersons, too, find a place on the honours list. They are Gurjant Singh, Sant Isher Singh School, SAS Nagar (judo), Kirandeep Kaur, Chakwal National School ( basketball), Rahul Verma, Government Primary School, Phase II, SAS Nagar; Ramanjot Singh, Paramvir Singh and Jaskaran Singh, Mata Sahib Kaur Public School, Sawara ( all for 400 metres relay), and Ramanjot Singh (first in the 100 metres event).

Students who have excelled in academics in the district will also be honoured. They are Simranjit Kaur, Government Primary School, Bajheri (first in the district in the Class V examination), and Sandeep Singh, Government Senior Secondary School, Hoshiarpur village (for his science model in an exhibition).



Air Marshal Nayyar, Gen Sapru get PVSM
Tribune News Service

Air Marshal Gautam Nayyar Chandigarh, January 25
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen TK Sapru and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, Air Marshal Gautam Nayyar, are among those decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for distinguished services.

Commissioned into the Fourth Gorkha Rifles in June 1969, General Sapru saw action on both Western and Eastern fronts during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. In a career spanning 38 years, the General has held various prestigious instructional, staff and command appointments, including assistant military attaché in the Indian Embassy at Kathmandu. He was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal for distinguished service in active operations in 1999.

General Sapru has commanded an infantry battalion in intense counter insurgency operations, an infantry brigade in J&K during Operation Vijay (1999) and a division deployed on the Line of Control. Prior to his present appointment in November 2007, he was commanding the Nagrota-based 16 Corps.

Air Marshal Nayyar, who belongs to Chandigarh, had joined the IAF in 1972 and has held important assignments like the chief engineering officer of a Mirage-2000 base, command engineering officer and Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance at Air Headquarters.

After taking over the Maintenance Command in December 2007, he introduced measures to effectively enhance the availability of assets at operational units and reliability of various weapon systems, besides streamlining production at base repair depots and provisioning norms at equipment depots. He also laid stress on modernisation activities, development of infrastructure, upgradation of machinery and development of environment at IAF establishments.

Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lt Gen AN Aul, who had commanded a brigade tasked to secure Point 5353 on the LoC during the 1999 Kargil conflict, has also been awarded the PVSM.



Admn should not increase the workload of judiciary

This refers to "This system, less said the better!" City Scope by Raveen Thukral, January 19.

The Indians has accepted petty politicians, ineffective bureaucrats and their poor governance. They have given corrupt administration to the people. The system is rotten.

The courts have to interfere in administrative matters when there is failure to implement Acts, rules, policies and directives issued by the authorities. The administration rather increases the workload of the judiciary with its wrong decisions.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has given directions to the administration to ease the traffic system on the highways to avoid jams and difficulties to the public. This is the duty of the government concerned, but the courts have to intervene in routine matters.

When officers are not accountable for their work, the masses will suffer and things will never improve for the common man.

Sahil Garg


This refers to City Scope by Raveen Thukral, dated January 19. The writer has informed about the system of other countries, which is better than India. The heads of state, high rank officers or common man in these countries are equal before the law. The politicians pass the rules in Parliament and Vidhan Sabhas, but enforcing agencies generally fail to implement these rules and Acts.

The administratation should be made responsible to provide the basic needs of the masses. The trust and belief of the common people is restored only if the administration introduces a transparent system. Corruption is a hindrance to implement various laws.There is need to change the system, otherwise the common man will suffer.

ML Garg


I want to congratulate Raveen Thukral who, through his write-up "This system, less said the better", raised many important issues of public concern and placed before the readers ways to find solutions.

He has raised several questions like corruption and inefficiency among both civil servants and politicians. Certainly, we have to find out the reasons why people are suffering.

With time, we have lost our confidence in the present set-up of democracy. Our electoral system is entirely responsible for this malaise. The whole atmosphere is vitiated and works under a nexus. It is not only Parliament which is flooded with members having criminal background, but there are many MLAs who are facing criminal charges in the country.

Jawaharlal Nehru once said that if the people were not vigilant, governance in our democracy would pass into the hands of the strong-muscled and loud-throated criminals. Now, it has come true.

The electoral battle has become the monopoly of moneyed bigwigs. Someone has very aptly remarked that political parties put rotten apples before us and give us the option to choose any one of them.

The so-called success story is about the billionaires whose number has grown and who continue to evade taxes. For example, we are losing no less than Rs 1 lakh crore in revenue due to indiscriminate exemptions being given to the SEZs at the cost of masses.

Besides, there is another nexus of police-mafia-bureaucrats, which operates at the lower or local level. They have made the system where people have to depend on this nexus even for the registration of a FIR for a theft.

Policies in the name of public are framed while sitting in air-conditioned rooms, which are beneficial to selected sections only. S.K. Khosla



Public is losing faith in the administration and is approaching judiciary or media. Administration is also not looking such as encroachments, traffic violations, garbage, road condition, accumulation of water etc. Our leaders visit foreign countries but are never serious in correcting our system.

O. P. Garg


After the City Scope by Raveen Thukral, dated January 19, was published, things have changed a lot. The issue regarding the intervention of judiciary due to the inertia of executive was mainly discussed in the article. After this article, plea to the execution of single order of the CIC (a public authority appointed under the RTI Act.)

CIC is also a executive who has been given quasi-judicial powers has put the judiciary in a spot, which the judiciary is neither able to digest nor vomit.The executive is the second most powerful segment of our democracy after Parliament. Earlier we were all depending on judiciary for getting things done, but now judiciary also comes under heat and stands demoralised before the executive. A serious discussion on balancing the executive and judiciary to let them perform their duties assigned to them is required.

Keshav Aggarwal



‘Shaheed Ki Wapsi’ at Sukhna
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 25
The Theatre Arts group staged a patriotic street play “Shaheed Ki Wapsi” on the eve of the 60th Republic Day at the Sukhna lake here today.

Written by CS Sindra, the play had been staged extensively for the last 10 years under the direction of Rajiv Mehta.

The play depicts a slice of history with some paranormal touches with martyr Udham Singh emerging alive from his statue to reprimand a British police officer indulged in divide and rule attempt. The play pays rich tributes to all freedom fighters. DK Tiwari, MD, CITCO, was the chief guest.



100 attend medical conference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
A medical conference on transradial angioplasty was held at Hotel Park View here today.

More than 100 senior medical professionals from North India attended the conference.

Transradial interventionist Dr Tejas Patel, from Ahmedabad, delivered a lecture on angioplasty. Dr Patel said, "The conventional approach through thigh is associated with discomfort of lying straight in the bed for 6 to 12 hours after interventions, which not only immobilises the patient for such a long time but also leads to stiff back, low backache, urinary retention, requiring Catheter insertion into the urinary bladder and local complication at the operating site. But in case of transradial technique, angioplasty is performed through the wrist artery. The technique is relatively new, but becoming popular all over the world at a very fast pace."

Dr Rakesh K Jaswal, additional director, interventional cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, was honoured for completing over 4,500 transradial invasive and interventional procedures. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) state branch president Dr Zora Singh and IMA secretary Dr AK Kaushal were present on the occasion.



Students take out cycle rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
For promoting physical activity in city, school of public health of the PGI, in collaboration with State NCD Control Program and Amateur Cycling Association, today organised a cycle rally from the PGI to Sukhna Lake.

About 90 persons participated in the rally, which was flagged off by SK Sharma, president, Environment Society of India.

The rally was followed by a spectacular presentation by SK Sharma on how to maintain a healthy environment in city.



Basant Utsav from Jan 31
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
For the promotion of tourism, heritage and culture in Chandigarh and surrounding areas, Basant Utsav-2009 will be organised from January 31 to February 1 at the Leisure Valley, Sector 10, to mark the annual Bassat Panchami festival.

Besides the usual launching of the spring tree plantation campaign, there will be several contests and competitions, including on-the-spot painting contest for schoolchildren, kite flying, tug-of-the-war, kabbadi, fancy dress competition, wrestling contest and turban tying competition.

To mark this event, all food and drinks will of “basanti” colour. Special segments such as “basant bazaar” and “basant darbar” will be created.



Presentation on ‘city centre’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Archana Chaudhary, architect, Housing Board, Haryana, Panchkula, will give a presentation on "Chandigarh's city centre -- a critical appraisal" at the 11th international conference on humane habitat, 2009, to be held at Mumbai from January 29 to 31.

According to a press note, she will dwell on the problems being faced by the city centre and suggest remedies to make it a sustainable humane habitat. Chandigarh's creator Le Corbusier designed the city centre with the concept of Indian bazaars in mind. A central piazza forms the nucleus of the city centre. All commercial activity vibrates around this central piazza, the press note added.



Krishan nominated local RJD chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Rajinder Krishan has been nominated as president of the local unit of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

The national general secretary of RJD, SM Qamar Alam, has informed about this development through a communiqué here today.

However, the party is still silent over the candidature for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections for local seat.

A controversy was erupted about ten days back when Qamar Alam conduced a rally in Chandigarh and announced the name of Rajinder Krishan as president of local unit RJD and Haffiz Anwar-Ul-Haq, the president of the IQRA Foundation of Minorities, to be the next candidate for the Lok Sabha elections from Chandigarh seat. A day after, another national general secretary of the RJD, Prof Ramdev Bhandari, defied this announcement calling it fictitious and raised certain amount of controversy.



Proposed hike in prospectus charges to be reviewed
Tribune News Service

Other decisions

  • SC/ST students to pay same fee as being paid by general category students for admission to UIAMS
  • Committee to review the proposed hike in fee to check entrance exam answersheets
  • Students of Department of Laws to be given second chance to improve their results
  • Nod to change the nomenclature of Department of Correspondence Studies to University School of Open Learning and the Department of Chemical Engineering & Technology to University Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology

Chandigarh, January 25
In its first meeting held here today, the Panjab University Syndicate resolved to review the proposed hike in the prospectus forms’ charges for admission to various courses.

The syndics also decided that from now on, the students under the SC/ST category, seeking admission in the University Institute of Applied Management Sciences (UIAMS), would have to pay the same fee as the students under the general category since it offers self-financing course and the department was not getting any grant from the government. Now, the students under SC/ST category will have to pay Rs 2 lakh as compared to Rs 1.25 lakh.

The Syndicate also decided to constitute a committee to review the proposed hike in fee to check entrance exam answersheets.

Earlier, it was proposed to give Rs 10,000 for checking the answer books. It was also proposed that for bringing in more transparency, the students be allowed to see their answersheets after paying Rs 10,000 for the entrance exam in case they are not satisfied with their result. The members were of the view that the fee for the same was on the higher side and needs to be reviewed.

The Syndicate approved that all the answers to the questions asked in the entrance exam would be uploaded within 48 hours on the website and any individual having an issue with the same can approach the PU authorities.

The syndics decided that the students of the Department of Laws would be given a second chance to improve their results. The candidate would be allowed to appear in any additional subject/paper prescribed by the course other than the candidate has already studied.

However, the proposed to hike the RTI fee in the university was deferred. The syndics also approved to change the nomenclature of the Department of Correspondence Studies to the University School of Open Learning and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology to University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology.



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