C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Auction in time of recession
106 plots to go under hammer on March 27
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
The Chandigarh Administration is set to mock at the recession in the realty sector again. Even as the real estate sector struggles to come to terms with the worldwide recession, the administration has announced its much-awaited auction of residential and commercial property on March 27 offering yet another chance to property buyers in Chandigarh.

In fact, the auction is going to be a mega affair with 50 residential and 56 commercial sites on offer just before the close of the 2008-09 financial year. This time the focus will be on the southern sectors as most of the plots in both categories are in the these sectors.

Auction and polls

Officials are keeping their fingers crossed at the fate of the auction in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. With a cross-section of society, including corporate world, allegedly "investing" in the polls, the fate of the auction can be anybody's guess. Besides, the outcome of the auction just before the close of the financial year will also be interesting.

Interestingly, the buyers will have wide choice since residential plots ranging from 4 marlas to 2 kanals will be put under the hammer. In the commercial segments, the investors could have their pick from booths, bay shops and shop-cum-offices (SCOs).

The administration is pinning hopes on the last auction on October 23, 2008, in which it netted over Rs 95 crore. At that time, 34 of the 48 residential plots put for auction were sold off netting an average rate of Rs 55,299 per square yard.The average rate for commercial property increased to Rs 3.18 lakh per square yard though there were not many takers for the commercial property.

On October 23, 2008, auction, a 5-marla plot in Sector 38-D was sold for Rs 83 lakh against a 4-marla plot in Sector 42-B which went for Rs 60.60. A 10-marla plot in Sector 40-B fetched Rs 1.71 crore. A two-kanal plot in Sector 36 had fetched Rs 5.42 crore.

With the administration spending over Rs 100 crore on the development of the southern sectors, it is natural that the maximum number of proposed plots to be auction should be in the southern part of the city, a senior official said.

For instance, Sector 42, which recently got a new lake and a part of the Beant Singh Centre for Performing Arts Commission, gets a substantial share in the auction as six residential plots and 21 commercial sites will be under the hammer in the auction.

"Since Chandigarh offered the world-class standard of living at the Indian prices and was the most-livable city in the country, the auction always evoked good response," BK Sanghi, a real estate observer, told Chandigarh Tribune.

In December 2007, a 5-marla plot fetched Rs 61.60 lakh and a 10-marla plot went for Rs 1.65 crore.



GMADA refuses floor-wise sale
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 8
Despite instructions, the estate office of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority is not allowing floor-wise sale of residential and commercial property in Mohali.

“While the provision to register independent floors of residential property is allowed in Chandigarh and Haryana has also drafted a policy to allow the same, the GMADA officials are not allowing. Though the Punjab Apartment Act 1995 allows floor-wise sale, it is allowed in Punjab except in Mohali,” pointed out N.K. Marwaha, former senior vice-president of the Mohali Municipal Corporation.

Not ruling out the possibility of the permission, he said the GMADA should clear it policy on the issue. Sources in the GMADA said a policy in this regard had been framed and instructions had been passed to the estate office. But the same were not being followed.

Due to the estate office denying floor-wise permission to sell, the sub-registrar was not entertaining such requests to register the sale deeds. A number of middle-class and low-income families can benefit by allowing the provision.

With the increase in size of families, and subsequent increase in the number of shareholders, the need for independent registration of floors has increased.

Like in case of HUDA, where registration of independent floors was being contemplated in case of buildings constructed on plots of 180 sq yards and above area, the GMADA could also fix the parameters. The provision of basic amenities could also be examined.

“Though there was no definition on the share, the normal understanding was that 50 per cent share holder occupies the ground floor, 30 per cent holder occupies first floor and those who occupy 20 per cent share hold the second floor”, said an official of the estate office.



Encroachment costs HUDA Rs 48 lakh
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 8
The failure of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in protecting its land from encroachers has forced the government to give lakhs of rupees to bidders of the plots in the town after it could not hand over the possession of land to them finding it under illegal possession.

According to a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General, HUDA paid Rs 47.90 lakh as interest to the bidders of two SCO plots in Sector 20 after it failed to hand over the plots sold to them. The two plots were sold for Rs 1.18 crore.

According to the report, HUDA allotted an SCO in Sector 20 through auction at a cost of Rs 54.10 lakh in April, 2001. The allottee deposited the amount by October, 2004, in installments in protest and simultaneously filed a complaint in January, 2002, in the District Consumer and Deputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF) alleging that the possession of the plot was not handed over and development work was not done as jhuggis in front of the SCO site still existed.

HUDA, after losing the case in the forum and the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, had to pay Rs 27.73 lakh as interest between October, 2001, and March, 2007.

In a similar case, a shop-cum-office was allotted in Sector 20 for Rs 63.70 lakh in May, 2000. While the allottee had paid major part of the amount by July, 2004, he refused to deposit balance amount of Rs 13.22 lakh on the plea that development works on the site were incomplete.

Later, HUDA kept on losing the case in different courts till its revison petition filed in the Supreme Court of India was dismissed in March, 2006. Meanwhile, HUDA paid Rs 20.17 lakh as interest from March, 2000, to August, 2005. In addition to it, HUDA had to go without charging any penal interest on delayed payments.



Search operation in city
2 hotel managers held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
The police today carried out a special search operation in the city for the coming Lok Sabha elections and Holi.

The police said special search operation was carried out at ISBTs in Sector 17 and 43, markets and other busy places in the city. Nakas were set up across the city at the entry points where vehicles coming from outside the city were searched.

A senoir police officer said the search operations would be conducted in the coming days to ward off any untoward incident.

Meanwhile, the police while checking Hotel Sagar, Sector-42, found that two African national Andrew Josef and Zanifer William had been staying there since March 6.

Zanifer could not produce her passport and further verification revealed that she was an Indian national and resident of Zirakpur. The police arrested her for impersonation and registered a case under Section 419 of the IPC. Manager of the hotel Ashok Kumar was also arrested under Section of the 14 Foreigner Act for not providing the information to the police through C Form.

In an another case, Sanjay Thakur, manager of Hotel Park Grand Sector 43, was arrested under the Foreigner Act for not maintaining and supplying information to the police about the stay of Iraqi national in this hotel.



32 rounded up, freed
A Correspondent

A search operation in progress at the ISBT, Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, March 8
The local police rounded up 32 suspects at Colony
No. 4 during a special search to nab the anti-social

Around 70 police personnel were deployed from 4 am to 7 am yesterday for this purpose.

The whole operation was supervised by DSP (East), PK Dhawan.

The area was cordoned off through paramilitary and Punjab police commandos to search each and every dwelling unit of the area.

“All suspects were let-off after verification and more searches will be carried out in different parts of Chandigarh in future,” said Yash Pal, SHO, Industrial Area police station.



Cop-peddler nexus
Burail residents protest in front of police post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Residents of Burail and members of the local unit of the All-India Democratic Women’s Association protested in front of the police post in their area accusing the police of turning a blind eye to the menace of immoral trafficking and drug peddling in the locality here today.

Advocate Manjit Kaur, secretary of the local unit of the organisation, told TNS that flesh trade and drug trafficking was growing in the locality day by day with the connivance of the police. Police officials of the area seldom took action against those indulging in nefarious activities. Rather, they initiated action against those who highlighted the issue.

She further alleged that the young girls of the area were forced into the trade while young children were made drug-peddlers by miscreants. Besides, gambling is also prevalent in the area and those indulging into such activities claimed that the police could not take any action against them as they pay hefty “monthlies” to them.

Seeking prompt action against those involved in these activities and the police officials, Majit Kaur said they would also take up the issue with the Administrator.



Owning house still a dream for Sector 49 allottees
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Owning a house is still a distant dream for the allottees of Sector 49 self-financing one and two bedroom schemes launched in 2005 and 2006. The reason is the inordinate delay on the part of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in completion of construction.

It is pertinent to mention that possession of the flats for the 2005 scheme was supposed to be handed over by September, 2007, and for 2006 scheme, it was supposed to be given by March 2008.

Sources in the CHB disclosed the tenders for finishing the pending jobs had been entangled in a legal dispute. The allottees rued despite charging the full amount of the dwelling units, they were clueless about when they would get the possession of the flats.

The allottees resented the delay was entailing a tremendous financial burden on them, as they were paying a huge amount of interest on the loan amounts they had incurred from the banks and were paying for their rented accommodation.

Joginder Kaur, a retired employee of Secretariat Punjab, is paying the interest on the loan amount through her nose that she had raised against her two-bedroom flat, besides paying rent for her present accommodation.

Dejected by the unreasonable delay in getting two-room flat despite paying the whole amount, 67-year-old retired government employee, VDS Sian, preferred to live 60 km away from the city.

Rajiv Jindal had paid Rs 12.80 lakh for one bedroom accommodation by September 2007, still he is not able to move to his own house. Surinder Singh was charged Rs 32,000 penalty for getting his installment delayed by just two days.

The questions are being raised that when the CHB did not hesitate to charge penal interest to the tune of 30 per cent from the allottees for delayed payment, basically it should pay back the same amount to the allottees for delaying the project.



COI findings, directions can be disclosed: CIC
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Army to disclose the recommendations of and directions on the findings of a court of inquiry (COI) constituted by the Army, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The CIC’s ruling assumes significance as the opinion or recommendations made by a COI and directions for further action issued on it are, as a rule, not released by the military authorities. Only the portion of the COI containing evidence or statements made by witnesses during the proceedings is disseminated to persons concerned for use in subsequent proceedings.

Since the Army convenes dozens of courts of inquiry every year to investigate various incidents and offences, some of which end up in action being instituted against those held blameworthy, the order could affect a large number of personnel.

Disposing off an appeal filed by a local lawyer Capt Sandeep Bansal, seeking details of the COI in the alleged suicide of a jawan from Malerkotla, the CIC has directed the Army to supply a copy of the COI, if any, along with supporting documents including its recommendations and directions and a note on the action taken on the findings and recommendations of the COI.

In 2005, Sapper Bhupinder Singh, posted with an engineer regiment in the western sector, had allegedly committed suicide in Pune. He had been short-listed for the national rowing team for participation in the 2006 Asian Games and was attached to Pune for training.

He had left behind a suicide note, in which he had reportedly named some Army personnel. The Army had not lodged any FIR and his family members remained ignorant of the exact reasons behind his death. In fact, it was a local gurdwara that lodged an FIR.

His brother, Gurdeep Singh, had sought information under the RTI from the Army, but was unsatisfied with the reply of the CPIO as well as that by the appellate authority. The CIC held that a number of issues raised by the appellant were left out by the CPIO and replies to some of the queries were not very specific.



Change image of police, Guv asks women officers
Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Clad in khaki and oozing confidence, she was the face of the modern woman. From officer down to the constabulary, each of the police women seemed every bit the image of authority and power minus the “brute image” synonymous with the police. They, instead, gave the police a face that couldn’t have been more humane.

And, it was this that the first tugged at the heart strings of Haryana Governor Dr AR Kidwai, who gave the inaugural address at the national conference of women in police, which began at the Indradhanush Auditorium, here today. He urged the women to change the image of the police force.

If Kidwai prodded them to be catalysts in overhauling the image of the police, the women officers “networked” on a common platform to reach out to each other in times of need. Instrumental in launching an interactive website for women cops, DIG Abhilasha Bisht from Uttarakhand said they were hoping that more women in the police would register.

“We started this in 2005 but have only 70 users. We, a group of women officers, address any queries posted on the website, counsel, help the staff down the line to redress any grievances they have. Hierarchy is no issue on the site and we are all a part of a family,” she maintained. Writer Matreyi Pushpa, who has stringed together stories of women police personnel from varied backgrounds in Haryana, said women who did make it to the police did so despite stiff opposition from their families and society.

However, at the meet, country’s first woman police officer Kiran Bedi was conspicuous by her absence. Nobody seemed to miss her much despite the fact that she found special mention in Kidwai’s inaugural address. Sharing his experience of Bedi’s selection into the police force, Kidwai, who was on the panel of the UPSC then, said her choice of joining the police came as quite a surprise to the Commission.

“She insisted on the IPS and we gave in to her choice because we could not discriminate. At the academy, when her stay presented another challenge, the Commission told the Home Secretary that she could take care of her security even with 80 men around if she wanted to be a police officer,” he narrated to the gathering.

Organisers, when asked about Bedi’s absence, said an invitation had been sent out to her and they knew nothing beyond that. Bedi, it is learnt, had skipped the last meet as well on account of eye infection though she had chaired the first conference of the meet.

The most telling statement for the day, however, came from Kanchan Chaudhary, the country’s only woman DGP. “We, as women, at any level, are constantly on inspection within the force. However, whether the men like us as bosses on not, they have to just lump it. A woman just needs to remember that she is taken by society the way she wants to be. It’s all a mind game and we are strong,” she remarks.



Stone of women housing society laid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
It was a perfect International Women's Day gift for the fair sex with Haryana's first women's cooperative house building society kicking off at the Mansa Devi Complex in Panchkula, overlooking the prestigious IT Park here today.

In fact, Minister of State for Finance Pawan Bansal, who laid the foundation stone of the unique initiative “of women, by women and for women" aptly named as the Parvati Durga Cooperative Group Housing Society, has a special word of praise for promoters, including president Archana Sanghi. “It is a landmark for women and will go a long way in the empowerment of the women," Bansal asserted.

"The all-woman society was formed in 2001 and after necessary approvals from the Haryana Urban Development Authority the construction was started today to coincide with International Women's Day", Archana Sanghi, brain behind the residential complex, said.

“All women I approached were at first surprised and then delighted with the concept. They were most forthcoming to accomplish the mission of having a home of their own", Sanghi said, adding that she was toying with the idea of building another all-women residential complex in Haryana.

Happiness and a sense of satisfaction was writ large on the faces of the members as they congratulated each other on the "joint achievement". The complex will have 48 flats each with 2,400 square feet area and the dwelling units would be registered in the name of the women only.

The promoters said the open space in between the society would be converted into a greenbelt. All kitchens would face towards the greenbelt so that the mothers could keep an eye on their kids while working in the kitchens.

Meanwhile, Manu Kaher and Madhu Kaher, both members, were delighted at the fulfilment of their dream of having a beautiful home near the Mata Mansa Devi Complex.



Guest houses set for facelift in villages
Smriti Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Guest houses situated in the villages under the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation’s jurisdiction are all set for a face-lift, as the authorities have worked out a detailed building plan for these. The plan is due to come up in the meeting with UT officials for a final approval.

Before that it would be checked if they are built in accordance with the building by-laws norms of Municipal Corporation 2006.

A meeting was held in the MCC recently in this regard, where in, corporation commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria had stated that the modalities of the plan would be worked out soon.

He had also directed the officials concerned to complete the survey, which they had conducted.

It must be mentioned here that these guest houses are situated in the rural areas, and hence, serve as budgetary accommodations, specifically constructed for the needs of middle and poor class people.

In fact, these commercial establishments had come in existence long time back with hardly any building bylaws for the villages.

On the other hand, many structures are not safe as there is no ventilation and adequate parking spaces at these guest houses. Besides, they are also known to be violating the building by-laws of Municipal Corporation 2006.

A senior official said, “ The proposal is to club both positive and negative aspects pertaining to this particular matter. We are assessing that are these accommodations viable in the present scenario or not.”

The matter will be discussed with the UT administration officials whether they agree to regularise it or not. And then accordingly the conversion charges could be worked upon,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the MC had conducted a detailed survey of the guest/rest houses situated in the villages few days back. During the survey, it had come out that not even a single guest/rest house is constructed as per the MC building bylaws.



Air Vice-Marshal’s death
Family raises doubt over suicide theory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Friends and family members of 68-year-old Air Vice-Marshal Manjit Singh Dhillon (retd) today raised questions over the police theory that Dhillon had committed suicide. Terming the incident as an accident they, during his bhog ceremony, said such a highly decorated officer could not commit suicide.

Describing Dhillon as a brave, outgoing and happy-go-lucky person, his companion Wing Commander JM Kaushal (retd) said it was highly unlikely that such a man with great achievements behind him could commit suicide. He said sometimes incidents occur in life, which were beyond explanation.

Talking to TNS, Dhillon’s son Paramjit Singh said he had given a supplementary statement to the police in which he had mentioned that his father was apprehensive about his security and kept a loaded weapon with him. As he was living with his wife alone and there were incidents of elderly people being targeted by robbers, he was worried about their security.

Adding to this, Paramjit maintained that his father was a responsible man having no worries and liabilities. Rather he had a brilliant career full of achievements, which clearly indicated that he could not commit suicide. It was an accidental fire. “I spoke to him that day in the evening and he was discussing about his forthcoming visit to Delhi. The stories published in the media were totally in contrast to what actually happened,” he said.

The bhog ceremony was organised at Kanthala Sahib Gurdwara in Phase II, Industrial Area, which was attended by a large number of people, including Army as well as civil officials.

Dhillon was found shot dead at his house in Sector 35 on March 4. The police had got the spot examined by forensic experts from the Chandigarh police as well as the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory to find out what actually happened.



Graft Case
CBI seeks sanction to prosecute Army clerk
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought sanction to prosecute a civilian clerk posted in Headquarters Western Command, after prima facie establishing that he had accepted money from people seeking employment in Army establishments.

The CBI had, in a joint operation with the Military Intelligence, caught AK Sondhi red-handed while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from a prospective candidate for employment in the Army, in May last year.

Cash amounting to Rs 7.5 lakh was found at his residence in Sector 4 Panchkula, while another Rs 13.5 lakh was recovered from his bank locker the next day.

“Our investigations have prima facie established that he had accepted the graft money,” a senior CBI officer told The Tribune. “We are now awaiting sanction for the case to be tried in a court of law,” he added.

Sondhi was posted as a senior superintendent at the Ordnance Branch of Headquarters Western Command. His wife was the personal secretary of the Major General heading the branch. Based upon evidence collected, CBI sources have so far ruled out the involvement of senior Army officers in the case.

His modus operandi was to lure the poor and needy civilian boys with offers of permanent government jobs in various Army Ordnance establishments, for which he used to extract large amount of money from them.



Hot-mix plant has residents fuming
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 8
The ambitious project of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to widen the roads around the proposed central business district in Sector 62 City Centre, has brought suffering for inhabitants of phases 7 and 8 here.

To carry out the job of carpeting the widened road sections, the contractor engaged in the job has set up a hot-mix plant, few metres away from residential and institutional area. Without adhering to the emission norms, the plant emits thick black smoke, thereby choking passersby.

Though the sitting guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board and the Punjab Pollution Control Board specify the emissions standards and minimum distance from inhabited areas, the guidelines have been ignored while allowing the hot-mix plant there.

While the Amb Sahib Gurdwara is few metres away, the YPS school and Lawrence Public School are also located nearby. The residential area of Phase 8 is also located few metres away. The hot-mix plant has been set up behind a thick cover of trees and for the past few days, it has been emitting thick black smoke. “Though there are strict guidelines that no smoke should be visible from the plant, the norms are being ignored by the GMADA officials,” said Shamsher Singh, a resident of the area.

The residents have demanded that the air pollution norms should be verified at the earliest.



Historical moments come alive at light show
SD Sharma

Artistes present mega light and sound show ‘1857 ki kranti’ in Panchkula on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Panchkula, March 8
"Dro-deevar pe, hasrat se nazar karte hain, khush raho aehley vatan ham toh safar karte hein,” a couplet from Nawab Wazid Ali Shah, the ruler of Awadh and a prolific poet, veritably reflects soulful sentiments of martyrs and freedom fighters, who made supreme sacrifices during the 1857 Mutiny.

But over 800 artistes from among trainee recruits of the Haryana Police Academy and their officers brought alive the chronicles of historical moments through an immaculate staging of the grand musical light and sound mega show at the Parade grounds here today. The largely attended show perceived by VN Narain, director of the Madhuban Police Academy, depicted all major events relating to the revolt, which thrashed the divide and rule policies of East India company and the British empire. The great martyrs Mangal Pandey, Rani Laxmani Bai, Rao Tula Ram and other who scripted the revolution find special mention.

“Naukri police ki aur dil kalakaar ka” is a befitting adulation for the male and female police trainees, who performed diverse roles with instantaneous shifts and presented the slice of regional culture on the ground. Ranjit Dalal, DGP Haryana, complimented all those associated with the mega spectacle, including directors Sanjiv Lakahnapal, Suman Bhatnagar, technical team and lead vocal renditions by Bollywood playback singer Vinod Sehgal, amidst lofty applause.

This special show is dedicated to the empowerment of women on the International Women’s Day today, he added.



Spring Festival concludes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 8
The 23rd Panchkula Spring Festival organised by the Haryana Urban Development Authority was concluded amid the usual festivity at Town Park here today. Bhangra and gatka were performed which was appreciated by the audience.

Results for various competitions:

Healthy Baby Show (six months to one-and-half years): Boys: Tanmay Khurana-1, Aditya Singh and Nimish-2

Girls: Shanaya Garg-1, Vanishka Saini and Sahaj Preet Kaur-2.

(One-and-a-half to three years):

Boys: Prithvi Sing Cheema-1, Yug Sarwal and Saaransh-2.

Girls: Shreya Aggarwal-1, Jayant and Daisy-2.

(Three to four years): Boys: Abhiinanadan Jain-1, Chiraag baboota and Puneesh Gulati-2.

Girls: Kritika-1, Mehar Bhalla and Deepika Pun-2.

Duet Dance: (Seniors): Jaspreet and Diksha-1 Sahil Roshan and Rahul Verma-2

(Juniors): Rahee Sharma and Muskan Dheer-1, Muskan and Dikshant- 2.

Mono Acting: (below 10 years): Muskan- 1, Dikshant and Manshi-2.

(above 10 years): Gagandeep-1, Diksha Shamra and Vijay Mann-2

The 23rd Panchkula Spring Festival was inaugurated by DS Dhesi, Commissioner, Town and Country Planning, Haryana, here yesterday. A galaxy of artistes attired in different costumes brought the diverse cultures of the region to the city park. After a welcome by the administrator, HUDA, Ashok Yadav and senior officers, the chief guest went around stalls and interacted with the artistes before visiting the flower arrangements area. He witnessed the performance of the martial arts, gatka, bhangra, giddha, folk dances by artistes. The fancy dress, face painting, hasya kavi sammelan of children, rangoli, mehndi and painting competitions were also held. 



Party time for senior citizens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Sai Tara Ummat Foundation celebrated Holi Milan today with senior citizens of Chandigarh in the Seniors Club, Ordnance Cable Factory Colony, Sector 29, here today.

Pawan Kumar Bansal, an MP, was the chief guest and Ashok Gupta, GM, the State Bank of India, was the guest of honour.

Other present on the occasion were PH Vaishnav, president, the Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association and BB Behal, president, the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee.

The participants were greeted with flowers and dry colours. Muktesh Diwan, a renowned singer of T Series fame, regaled the audience with old melodies and Holi songs on which the seniors danced.

Artistes from City Entertainment Network, Chandigarh, presented colourful cultural programme, which the audience enjoyed thoroughly.

The MP appreciated the efforts of the foundation in bringing cheer into the lives of the senior citizens.

Earlier, AK Ummat, chairman of the foundation, while welcoming the guests highlighted the efforts being made by the foundation in helping the needy persons, specially the weaker sections of the society.



UT awarded for birth, death records
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
A two-day annual conference of chief registrars, births and deaths, was held on March 5-6 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The conference was called by the Registrar-General of India to access the working of the registration authorities of all states and UTs and to prepare the registration authorities in view of the advancements made in the information technology and Assisted Reproductive Technology.

Chandigarh was awarded the second prize for overall performance in the implementation of registration of births and deaths Act, 1969, in Chandigarh and cent per cent registration of birth and deaths, events, in the small states and UT category.

“Our city was represented by Dr M S Bains, director, health and family welfare-cum-chief registrar (births ad deaths), and was assisted by additional district registrars, Harshvardhan and Yogesh Munjal from the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.



NGO stages play on road safety
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 8
The UT Traffic police in association with the Arrive Safe, an NGO, organised a play “Sadak Mere Baap” to spread awareness about traffic rules in Sector 22, here yesterday.

“Drive safely to save others” is the motive behind the camp, said Harman Sidhu, an official working with the NGO.

Senior police officials of the traffic wing distributed pamphlets of road signs to make people aware of the rules during the play staged near Kiran Theatre.

The importance of wearing helmets and seat belts while driving is important for avoiding accidents, cops said.

The life is precious, it could not be wasted in the road accident and it’s everyone’s duty to drive safely and follow the rules and regulations on the roads, was the main motive behind the play. The police said the play would be conducted on regular basis at various parts of the city.



NZCC-Adakar theatre fest ends
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 8
The five-day NZCC-Adakar Manch National Theatre Festival concluded with the staging of a Punjabi play “Main Punjab Boldan” at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.

A play with socio-cultural and political relevance depicts the story of Punjab, the land of five rivers. Under the direction of Kewal Dhaliwal, the play progressed to show its very existence with struggles for identity and prosperity through green revolution. At the same time, the captivating play juxtaposes the problems ailing the state with the rise in drug addiction among youth, immigration of Punjabi youth to alien land for glamour and greener pastures and the influx of migrant labour from other states.

The acting spells by accomplished artists, immaculate direction, presentation and design of the play made it a boisterous, memorable and majestic grand finale to the festival.

Adakar Manch honoured the senior thespian, film actor Parvesh Sethi with Gary Bhinder award and young artist Praveen Kumar with the Pushkaer Singh Award instituted by the Manch in the memory of the noted actors. Festival director Dr Sahib Singh expressed gratitude to audience and art lovers.



Pulse Polio
Rotary club honours doctor
Tribune News Service

Dr Raju Dheer, (extreme left) nodal officer of the pulse polio campaign, being honoured at a function organised by the Rotary Club of SAS Nagar. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, March 8
The Rotary Club, SAS Nagar, honoured Dr Raju Dheer, medical officer at Government Civil Hospital, Phase 6, here for his contribution to the pulse polio campaign in the region.

Dr Suita Saluja, wife of the district Rotary governor honoured Dr Dheer with vocational award.

The service of the doctor, who is a nodal officer of the pulse polio campaign for the past seven years in Mohali, was recognised by the Rotary.

Recently, a team of Rotary International from Virginia was in the city for the polio campaign.

It was pointed that the visiting team was impressed by the way the campaign was carried out.



New uniform likely for expectant cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Giving in to the repeated demand of designing something “more comfortable” for the pre-natal and post-natal period of women cops, the Bureau of Police Research and Development, Government of India, has recommended two designs of salwar-kameez for them.

Director-General, BPR and D, Prasun Mukherjee said after much deliberation, the National Institute of Fashion Technology was given the task of designing alternatives for the women cops.

“We selected two designs. Both are salwar-kameez designs, the only difference being the size of the kameez. The designs have been forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval,” he said. These designs would be forwarded to the individual states for individual feedback.



5 illegal structures removed

Zirakpur, March 8
The NHAI yesterday conducted a drive against illegal encroachments on Ambala-Chandigarh Highway.

According to the NHAI officials around five illegal structures were removed from the highway near Singhpura village. The drive started with the demolition of the boundary of JP coach factory and also demolished the boundary of vacant plots located on the national highway, officials added.

The property owners alleged that the authority concerned did not gave them any prior notice. — TNS



Awareness camp on female foeticide
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 8
The UT police organised an awareness camp on female foeticide and women empowerment on the Women’s Day at the recruit-training centre in Police Lines, Sector 26, here this morning.

All female cops were present there to give their suggestions to stop atrocities on women. A cultural programme was also organised during the celebrations.

SP (operations) RS Ghuman presided over the programme and awarded Satnam Singh, president of an NGO, who runs the family counselling centre.

DSP (women and child support unit) Kulwant Singh Pannu advised the cops that dowry should not be demanded by any cop, each child is same, maybe it is girl or boy and both of them have equal rights in every sphere of life.



Purvanchal association celebrates Holi
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 8
The Purvanchal Welfare Association celebrated the “Holi Milan Samaroh” with pomp and show at Government College, Sector 46, here today.

Bhojpuri groups performed various cultural programmes on the occasion. Thousands of Purvanchal families residing in the Tricity attended the function.

The association, while conveying the good wishes advised to play safe Holi with dry colours.



Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 8
Surinder Bhatia was elected as president of the Panchkula Press Club in an election held here today.

Bhatia working with Punjab Kesari was polled 38 votes while his rival Satya Narayan Gupta got 23 votes. One vote was declared invalid.



College holds medical camp for villagers
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 8
Thousands of people from villages Abhipur, Khizarabad, Mirzapur, Gochar, Dalluan, Majra, were given free medical advice and medicines in a health check-up camp, organised on premises of Indo Global College, Abhipur. Residents of about 42 villages were checked and around 2170 were given medication. This was the 2nd Annual Medical Camp organised by the college.

Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema, Chief adviser to CM, Punjab, inaugurated the health camp. Volunteers from Sahayta, an NGO working for the people suffering from cancer, were also present in the camp. Langar was organised to promote participation in the camp. Around 700 elderly people got their eyesight checked and over 200 persons were given spectacles at a reasonable price.

Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema appreciated the endeavor of the college administration. The college has been doing excellent service by providing higher education to the youth of the state.

Spring fest

Students should adapt the principal of three A’s “Atitude, Aptitude and Ability,” these views were expressed by AK Malhotra, GM, Citco, while presiding over the Spring Festival - 09 function held at Chandigarh College of Hotel Management, Landran.

He said the hospitality industry required talented professionals to perform well. Nikhil Mittal, director Nik Bakers, Chandigarh, appreciated the students.

Various competitions like cake baking, flower decoration and rangoli making were organised in which students of the college participated. Nikhil Mittal judged the performance and selected the winners after checking the recepies of the baked items. Giving prizes to the winners, Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman and Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, president, Chandigarh Group of Colleges, encouraged the students to participate in such activities which allow them to showcase their talent in front of industry professionals.

Women’s Day

Sri Sukhmani Group of Institutes, Dera Bassi, celebrated the International Women’s Day with fervour on the campus here today.

The members welcomed the chairman of Sri Sukhmani Group, Prof Avtar Singh, was the chief guest and director Kanwaljit Kaur was the guest of honour.

The students, faculty and staff organised various cultural events and held various competitions, especially for the women staff of all institutes.

Kanwaljit Kaur, director of the group, said the was an occasion to review how far the women had come in their struggle for equality, peace and development.

Prof Avtar Singh said participation of society was also needed to put an end to the discrimination against women.

Dr IT Group of Institutes, near Banur, organised an Inter B-School declamation contest Aprajita -09 on Women’s Day here today.

Prof Aruna Goel, former UGC Member, chairperson Women Studies, Punjab University, was the chief guest.

The students participated in the contest.

Prof Aruna said the basic mindset towards women needed to be changed.

She mentioned about the struggle she did for education in earlier days and emphasised on the need for walking along with time by completely changing the outlook of the society.



Parents protest DPS fee hike
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, March 8
The parents of children studying in the DPS, Sector 40, have protested against massive hike in the fee in an unexplained manner, thereby, leaving them in the lurch.

The unprecedented hike in the tuition fee and annual funds has evoked a strong resentment among parents who consider the hike ‘unexplained’.

“The school has the right to increase the fee but, there is a limit to it. As a parent, I am authorised to know why is the fee being hiked. They have increased the tuition fee by almost 25

per cent and annual funds by 33 per cent that is high as compared to the usual 10 per cent hike,” said one of the aggrieved parents.

While Principal Reema Dewan was unavailable to verify these claims, the parents seemed to be in no mood to take the speculated reason of implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission as valid.

“With average charges of a single child being 3000 per month and the school strength being over 2000 per month, are they trying to say this huge amount will be distributed as salaries? The authorities are yet to explain what new facility are we getting by paying this extra money,” asserted another parent.

The issue might pertain to one school but has once again brought our education department under scanner that had promised to review fee structures of private schools and stop them from overcharging and having unexplained hikes.



From Schools & Colleges
Contest for QualTech awards
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 8
A day-long event of the 8th competition for the North-West QualTech Awards was organised at PTU’s Gian Jyoti School of TQM & Entrepreneurship here on Friday. Inaugurating the convention in the morning, SC Bagrodia, president, PHDCCI, and chairman, Winsome Group, said the best quality at the lowest price was the only route to survival in the recession which has hit the entire world.

Science quiz

To pay tribute to the works of great scientists, teacher trainees of Indo-Global College of Education took part in various competitions held under the aegis of science club of the college.

Dr Sarita Saini, principal, Indo-Global College of Education, acquainted them with the importance of science in human life. She also stressed the need of the formation of science clubs in the schools to cultivate the interest of students in science. The principal congratulated the winners and gave away the prizes.

Extension lecture

The Shivalik Institute of Education and Research has organised an extension lecture on healthy diet for healthy living which was delivered by Gunjeet Kaur, lecturer in Home Science Department, Government College, Mohali. Her lecture focused on the benefits of balanced diet.



Students visit legislative assembly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8
Students of public administration and political science of GGSCW, Sector 26, visited the Punjab Legislative Assembly to witness the proceedings of budget session.

The initiative was undertaken to provide a practical demonstration to the syllabus.

“The administration and politics is different in books and practice so this endeavour was an attempt to provide an insight into the real world,” said Suparna Randhawa, a lecturer.



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