C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC not to charge for brief halts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The MC has decided not to charge parking fee from motorists picking up or dropping passengers in parking lots across the city.

The decision to make the process less taxing for motorists was communicated to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Its Division Bench comprising Justice JS Khehar and Justice Augustine George Masih is hearing a public interest litigation on the parking issue.

The MC counsel said instructions in this regard had been communicated. The Bench had asked the petitioner to produce photographs for substantiating the contention of public roads being actually blocked by parking contractors.

In his petition, advocate-cum-social activist Ajay Jagga had challenged the action of the MC to allowing parking contractors and licensees to “block public roads adjoining parking sites; and allowing them to charge parking fee from vehicle owners, even if they had to use the public road without parking their vehicles”.

In the process, they were converting one side as entry point and the other as exit. He said as per the relevant clause, the parking token shall be issued by the licensees to visitors who had to park their vehicle. These tokens would be collected by the licensees at the time of exit.

As per provisions under Article 243 of the Constitution, the municipalities could only impose tax/fee but the same does not give liberty to the MC to allow parking contractors to deny access to public roads to citizens.



IT team comes calling at PCA
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) came under the IT scanner today as sleuths from the CIT (II) swooped on the stadium to conduct a survey. While officials were tightlipped about the ambit of the survey, it is learnt that the PCA’s earning during the last IPL matches was under review.

A team of about seven IT officers reached the stadium at around 12.30 pm and the survey was continuing till the filing of the report at 10.30 pm.

GS Walia, PCA secretary, said nothing could be said till the formalities were over. While senior IT officials refused to divulge details, sources in the department said records pertaining to revenue collections and expenditure of the PCA were being scrutinised to assess evasion. 

PK Chopra, Chief Commissioner, IT, Chandigarh region, said: “It is a routine survey. After scrutinising the documents, a report would be made.”

Former BCCI president Inderjit Singh Bindra heads the PCA while Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal is the chairman of the organising committee for the coming IPL matches.

The PCA has been in a controversy ever since the construction of its stadium. The Punjab sports department has often written to the government that the stadium be handed over to it.



Regional Press better mouthpiece of masses than national dailies: Dua
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Regional Press should develop national outlook as its deeper penetration and wider reach can help in national awakening. Though, national English newspapers are held in esteem, they reach only 3 per cent of the country’s literate population, while 60 per cent of the literate people in India read only vernacular newspapers.

Stressing the important role of the regional Press in reaching out to people at the grass roots, The Tribune’s Editor-in-Chief HK Dua said, “Regional Press led people in the national freedom struggle and continued to play its role in nation building later.” He was delivering the keynote address at a seminar on “Regional Press: Power, Reach and Influence”, organised by the Australian High Commission in collaboration with the Chandigarh Press Club here today.

Dua said, “It is ironic the national English Press has the tendency to look down upon the regional Press despite it having much wider reach and influence. In fact, the power of the regional Press should be exploited for national awakening. The regional Press was very powerful in the pre-partition days as every freedom fighter published a newspaper. The reach, power and influence continue.”

Despite national English dailies having resources and means to deploy reporters in remote areas to highlight problems and issues of people, these invariably left this task to the regional dailies, he felt.

“Unfortunately, national dailies don’t write about issues concerning people or their lives, social issues like clean drinking water, education, health, etc. They don’t go into social backgrounds of issues,” he said.

Commenting on the Indian media, Professor Robin Jeffrey from the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, said it was still light years away from giving adequate representation to minorities and Dalits in news coverage. “Something needs to be done to put greater focus on this area,” he said.

Jeffery added the seminar should address three issues — whether its influence had changed in 50 years; whether localisation of news had affected public knowledge and debate; and whether they were able to get the whole and complete story about an issue on which they are reporting.

Australian High Commissioner John McCarthy said the idea of the seminar originated with the recognition that the High Commission was not doing enough outside Delhi. “There is an increased need to take India seriously and for this one has to get into the region,” he said.



‘Breaking news break norms, ethics’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Breaking news on most private television channels do break all norms and ethics, but sense and sensibility is returning in electronic media coverage and more progress can be made by conceptualising news in its cultural background.

This was the consensus at the second session of the seminar on “Regional Press: Power, Reach and Influence”, which covered diverse issues like regional TV and its role, print media versus breaking news and popular media and impact on social discourse.

Though there was much discussion on the manner in which news was covered by the electronic media, particularly the “aapko kaisa lag raha hai” kind of questioning, those dealing with the electronic media claimed things were changing fast. “Some part of the criticism is true but not all of it,” said senior TV journalist Alok Verma.

The journalist claimed there was also a dichotomy about what people expected to see and what they actually watched on television. He admitted there needed to be some change as journalist ethics had taken a beating, but he also claimed that this was because journalists were working under pressure.

KP Sunil from Jaya TV, Chennai, called for bringing in a self-regulatory mechanism on media ethics. “We need to do this ourselves or else the government will step in to do it,” he said.

Sunil also claimed that a north-south divide of sorts had emerged in television coverage and also showed clips of lawyers being beaten up by the police as well as gruesome beating of students which he claimed had not received the national coverage they deserved.

Sarabjit Pandher from the Hindu, while speaking on popular media, said the rich and the famous were hogging prime time and entertainment had become a big business at the cost of real news. BBC trainer Swaraj Chauhan also spoke at the session.



Alliances sans reality will split votes: Ketkar
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Alliances without any reality at the ground level will only result in multiple split in votes in the forthcoming elections, especially in Maharashtra, according to Loksatta editor Kumar Ketkar.

The senior journalist, who was here to attend a seminar on “Regional Press: Power, Reach and Influence”, during an interaction with TNS, said both the NDA as well as UPA combines were likely to cut into each other’s support bases.

He said according to the ground-level situation in Maharashtra, the Congress-National Congress Party (NCP) as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena combines would be fighting amongst themselves to emerge as the senior partners post poll.

Ketkar said Congress allies in Maharashtra were not doing very well and that could have an impact on the post poll prospects of NCP leader and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. He said Pawar wanted to be either king or kingmaker but a lot would depend on how many seats the NCP bagged, adding Pawar was probably playing the waiting game by announcing yesterday that he was not in the race for Prime Ministership.

At the national level, the Loksatta editor said the BJP seemed to lack focus. “Sometimes they take up the Ram Mandir issue and sometimes terrorism,” he said.

The editor, while talking about the regional Press, said journalists from the regional press were needlessly facing an inferiority complex.

He said Loksatta had proven that the regional Press need not depend on English newspapers for stories. “In fact, it can be the other way round as English journalists are on many occasions just operating at the superficial level,” he said. 



Jai ho vote bank!
Elections come & go, but nothing changes for them
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

A child carries a bucket of water through the narrow lanes of Colony No. 5.
A child carries a bucket of water through the narrow lanes of Colony No. 5. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, March 19
Filthy lanes, kutcha roads, contaminated drinking water and that too in limited quantities, no electricity and never ending, but unkept promises from one election to another. Well, that sums up the saga of Chandigarh’s “slumdogs” (read voters) for whom things never seem to change.

Shouting “Jai ho” for one candidate or the other -- panja, kamal or haathi (that’s how they describe their leaders), on poll eves has changed little for these slum dwellers who continue to be the vote bank of every political party in the city.

With educated classes showing little interest in the polls (the posh northern sectors have low polling of about 30 to 40 per cent), the slums may be the real kingmakers even while they remain paupers themselves.

Being permanent vote banks for the political parties, the residents of these slums and Colonies Numbers 4 and 5 reveal that after every five years, suddenly, all leaders start visiting them and promising them all that they need to make a comfortable living.

A pucca house, clean surroundings, ample potable water, healthcare, more ration and so on, but till date, nothing has been given and such promises are made by candidates across the board.

A reality check in these areas reveals the ugly face of the city. Nearly one lakh persons reside in Colony numbers 4 and 5. While the entrance to Colony Number 4 is via a drain in place of a road, the more one goes inside these lanes, it becomes difficult to bear the stench emanating from stagnant water.

Hardly any health camp has been organised by any government agency here. Still, these people participate in election rallies with gusto, hoping that this time around, things would turn for them.

As one enters Colony Number 5, for a second one thinks it to be better than the previous one, thanks to the tiles in some lanes, but as one goes further inside, the reality sinks in.

There is no electricity for days together and women fetching water from far-off common taps is reminiscent of old times. It hardly seems part of Chandigarh.

Despite all this, the people are aware of the elections and their right to vote, and are willing to take another chance. For them, dreams never die.



PEC registrar told to quit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
SK Suman, the recently appointed registrar of PEC, has finally been asked to step down after the declaration of his appointment null and void. Virender Rihani, assistant professor for electronics and electrical communication, was assigned the functions of the registrar today.

The appointment of Suman hit news for the wrong reasons when the PEC employees union sought the administration’s intervention to stop his selection as the new registrar, citing his tainted record a reason.

Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, had recommended the cancellation of the appointment and moved the case to the Adviser who also upheld the administration’s order. The final nod came from the Governor.



19-yr-old rapes toddler, booked

Chandigarh, March 19
The police today booked a 19-year-old youth of Mauli Jagran on the charges of raping a 22-month-old girl. The accused, Joginder Singh, a mechanic in the motor market, is reportedly absconding.

The victim, daughter of a labourer, has been admitted to the PGI and is being treated for the past three days.

The in charge of the Mauli Jagran police post, inspector Malkiat Singh, said the incident took place on March 17, but the matter was reported last night. The victim’s family had confronted the accused, but he managed to flee.

The victim’s mother in her complaint today alleged that her son was admitted to the GMSH on March 17 and she was with him. When she returned home around 3 pm, she found her younger daughter crying and bleeding. When the toddler was not comforted despite her efforts, she took her to the GMSH.

Doctors did not make a medico-legal case and began treating the victim, who was later referred to the PGI. The doctors there suspected that she might have been sexually abused.

“On being enquired, the victim’s elder sister revealed that Joginder took the child that day on his bicycle and left her after sometime. She was crying at that time. The family questioned the accused about the matter, but he ran away saying that they could not do anything to him, Malkiat Singh said.


Plight of Hindi scholars discussed
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 19
The first-ever workshop being conducted for Hindi research scholars by the Hindi department, Panjab University, (17-21st March) is proving instrumental in bringing to light the problems faced by the research scholars.

A dialogue with the guest speaker and critic, Prof Manager Pandey, former Head of Centre of Indian Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, reveals much more than what can be seen on the surface.

“There is immense scope of the study of Hindi literature. Students through research work develop the attitude towards specialisation. Also, the fact that students face a lot of problem in case of funds,” informs Prof Pandey.

It is important to mention that research scholars at the Central Universities get stipend to meet the expenses of their books, magazines and other journals, while there is no such provision in other universities, including 30 odd research scholars in PU.

Elaborating on the problems being faced by the research scholars in the department, Prof Satyapal Sehgal, chairman said, “The department library needs to be upgraded, there is no place to keep books that have been adjusted in teachers’ room.”



Textbook with faulty map withdrawn
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
After a report pertaining to the distortion of the map of India by a Mohali-based publisher, Vishvas Publication, published in these columns on March 18 (“Hindi syllabus books omit PoK”), the printer today stated that he was withdrawing the books from the market and replacing with the corrected versions.

The printer also claimed that he is replacing the books with the new revised books free of cost in the schools where it had been sold.

The director of the publication said the maps had been downloaded from an Internet site and the omission was regretted.



Correction Forms
Chaos rules CEO’s office
Neha Miglani

Chandigarh, March 19
Chaos prevailed at the office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) as general public struggled in long queues to get forms of correction of voters’ ID card here today.

Owing to lack of co-ordination at the counter and insufficient space, people faced harassment. “I have left my work and come here for the third time now. At last I managed to get the form but it is totally mismanaged here. Nobody has a clue to what is happening,” complained Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Ram Darbar.

On the one hand non-governmental organisations and the administration encouraged voters to cast their ballot, on the other such chaos was proving a deterrent to voters’ spirit.

DP Kapoor, a resident of Sector 40, said: “There is so much confusion here. At MC office I was told to come here to change my address. There is so much disorder that a few hours of wait may compel one to give up.”

These forms are available online at www.eci.gov.in <http://www.eci.gov.in> but due to lack of information the facility is not being used.

“The fact that people still do not have a hang of using online services is a reason for this,” clarifies Hargunjit Kaur, Joint Chief Electoral Officer.

For the less educated ones, the fact that forms are available online is surprising. Says Joginder Pal, a labourer: “I don’t know about this online system. I am a poor labourer and I have been missing my daily wages to get this form.”

It is shocking to see the manner in which women and elderly have to struggle for a form here in spite of the presence of a constable to maintain order, says a witness.



Kidwai’s Remarks
BJP files plaint with EC
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The issue of alleged inflammatory statements by the all-India Congress minority cell chief Imran Kidwai at a public meeting here on March 15 has snowballed into a major confrontation between the Congress and the BJP with the latter filing a complaint with the EC in New Delhi today.

BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj told media in New Delhi that Kidwai had gone to the extent of saying that if he were Mufti he would have issued “fatwa” to the Muslims not to vote for the BJP as it would amount to committing “kufr” (blasphemy). 

The BJP also reportedly submitted copies of the CD showing Kidwai delivering the speech to the commission. Kidwai said those seeking reforms in Muslim personnel law were guilty of attacking the Imaan (religious conviction) of the Muslim community, Punj said.

Kidwai had made the alleged inflammatory remarks at a conference of 24 Muslim organisations organised in support of the Congress candidate Pawan Bansal.

It is a known fact that the saffron party supports a uniform civil code though this did not find favour with the many NDA allies and was not in the common minimum programe of the NDA.

However, reacting to the BJP allegations Bansal was quick to dub it an apparent bid to counter the Congress’ offensive against Varun Gandhi over his anti-Muslim remarks. 

Terming the complaint “non-issue” borne out of frustration of BJP candidate Satya Pal Jain, Bansal claimed that there was nothing “wrong” in the remarks made by Kidwai. The Congress had always stood for the unity and there is nothing to suggest that Kidwai’s remarks were intended to divide communities, Bansal added.



Guidelines on printing of publicity material
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
To keep a tab over expenses incurred on printing of publicity material, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued guidelines and placed restrictions on any person printing or publishing election material, including pamphlet or poster, without bearing the name and address of the printer and the publisher.

The commission has also taken cognizance of surrogate advertisements in print and electronic media for and against political parties and candidates. So, it has been prescribed that in such kind of publicity material, the name and address of the publisher should be given along with the matter.

The printing and distribution of diaries/calendars/stickers/tyre covers of scooters depicting the candidate’s image have also been banned by the ECI.

Anyone found contravening the provisions would be punishable with both fine up to Rs 2,000 and imprisonment up to six months.

The parties and candidates have also been asked to try avoid the use of plastic/polythene for preparation of posters/banners in the interest of environmental protection.



Farmers’ Issues
Cong, BJP start blame game
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
With inadequate compensation for UT farmers emerging as the key issue in the elections for the Chandigarh parliamentary seat, the BJP and the Congress are locked in a blame game over the neglect of farmers. A day after BJP candidate Satya Pal Jain accused the Congress of being anti-farmer, the Congress today reacted, alleging that it was the saffron party which had been indulging in anti-farmer activities.

BB Bahl, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee(CTCC) reminded Jain that it was the BJP which thwarted the passing of the Land Acquisition Act Amendment Bill and Relief-cum-Rehabilitation Bill in the Rajya Sabha after its clearance in Lok Sabha by the UPA government.

“This is nothing new for the BJP’s opportunistic style of politics. They have always tried to put hurdles in positive steps, like they did in the case of voting against the nuclear Bill, just to ensure that the ruling party does not benefit from such acts. 

First, they stall the projects, and then they come out to give statements that don’t have an iota of truth. Their conduct in Parliament has amply proved that their concern for farmers and countrymen is mere lip-service,” Bahl alleged. “Both these Bills would have allowed farmers to sell their land directly to the industry and would have empowered them in the true sense. 

The BJP has always pursued its narrow agendas and their conduct in this particular case has once again proved it, reminding us of their voting against the nuclear empowerment of India,” Pardeep Chhabra, media coordinator for Bansal, said. Yesterday, Jain had alleged that while the neighbouring SAD-BJP government was awarding a compensation of over Rs 1.5 crore to farmers, the UPA government had failed to enhance the compensation.

BJP’s charge

BJP president Kamala Sharma and general secretary Sanjay Tandon have criticised the Congress for supporting the demonstration against the BJP by certain Muslim organisations on Wednesday. Senior BJP leaders said the demonstration by these organisations was actually a demonstration by Congress party workers. They said the Congress was trying to communalise the city atmosphere. The BJP leaders said on the one hand the Congress posed as a secular party and on the other, it asked Muslims to vote for it in the name of religion



See candidate’s past record
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Elections are an instrument of change and after every five years we get this opportunity to elect representatives, who are supposed to lead us to the path of progress and prosperity.

Though the past record of our political class is dismal, there are some signs of hope that with the awakening of the youth, politicians will start behaving in a responsible manner.

The use of money and muscle power is a disturbing trend and must be checked immediately.

I am excited about exercising my right to franchise as I view it as the most important way to make a difference in the level of governance in our country.

While choosing a candidate, the sole criterion will be to see that he or she has a sound past record of performance. An accident of birth or caste should not determine his success in the elections.

Moreover, a sound knowledge of the needs and aspirations of the people of the constituency is also an important factor. By choosing a responsible candidate we can act as a responsible citizen.

Sukhjeet Singh



Poll Boll

Deoman “Na safai hai, na pakka makaan, ab to kerosene bhi kam milne laga hai. Har bar kitne neta log aate hain or vaada karke chale jate hain, pure koi nahi karta

Deoman, Colony No. 4

SarvatiYahan peene ka pani nahi hai, naliyon me itni gandgi hai ki bacchon ke school ke kapde tak kharab ho jate hai, par koi safai nahi karta. Neta keh ke gaye the sadak banvaenge par kuch ni hua

Sarvati, Colony No. 4

MusnusariBijli ke bgair itni mushkil hoti hai. Itne kam kerosene me gujara nahi hota. Pichli do elections se yahan hu, par kuch nahi badla

Musnusari, Colony No. 4

Azhiruddin KhanHamare yahan itni gandgi hai, kisi ko is se koi farak nahi padta ki hum kaise rehte hain. Na bijli hai na pani. Netaon ko bas apne vote se matlab hai

Azhiruddin Khan, Colony No. 5

PoonaYahan pani ke liye har roz ladai hoti, in tuti sadakon ki wajah se barish me sara ganda pani hamare gharon me ghus jata hai

Poona, Colony No. 5



Saji reiterates links of 6 cops with drug peddlers
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Saji Mohan, former zonal director of the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB), reportedly stuck to his report regarding the nexus of six Chandigarh policemen with drug-peddlers.

It has been learnt that Saji Mohan has told investigators that his report is based on the statement recorded by a drug-peddler, Harpal Singh,
alias Raju Smakia, arrested by the NCB and the subsequent scrutiny of mobile call details shared by the accused policemen with him.

He has reportedly told investigators that the report has been prepared only after getting evidence of mobile call details, which confirmed that the policeman had exchanged calls with Raju.

It may be recalled that the Chandigarh police had placed under suspension six policemen, including Harinder Singh Sekhon, on the basis of the report. After the arrest of Saji Mohan by the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra Police, the Chandigarh Police sought an interrogation report from the ATS regarding the police-drug-peddler nexus.

“We are still interrogating and cross-examining his statements to ascertain the truth. He is a shrewd man and expert at deflecting the issue. However, he had denied role of any mediaperson behind the report about the six policemen having links with drug-peddler,” said a police officer claiming that things would be clearer in a couple of days.

Sources in the police said the disclosure of Saji Mohan was in complete contrast to that of the ATS, which had said that a Chandigarh Police DSP and a local journalist
of an English daily “may have a role” behind the report prepared by Saji Mohan alleging nexus of six policemen with drug-peddlers.

It had also mentioned that the reporter had used his influence in getting the report prepared at the behest of the DSP.

A police officer said they had thoroughly quizzed Saji Mohan in this regard and had prepared a questionnaire to dispel any mystery over the issue.

Though no senior officer was ready to come on record to comment over the development, DIG (Headquarters) Mahabir Singh, who is questioning Saji Mohan said: “I have yet to prepare the report and will be able to comment on the issue in a day or so after cross-examining the details.” He refused to make any further comments on the developments

Sources said Saji Mohan had also been denying his involvement in the embezzlement of Rs 13.80 lakh, a case property kept in the malkhana of the NCB.

He reportedly maintained that he had no idea when Balwinder Kumar got his signatures on the receipt mentioning transfer of the amount from the malkhana to the official account of NCB zonal director.

Meanwhile, sources said the NCB had handed over around Rs 50,000 of a case property, which was lying unaccounted for in the malkhana, to the Chandigarh Police on Wednesday.

The NCB had also handed over the amount and the briefcases recovered from cupboard allotted to Balwinder Kumar.

A police officer said the misappropriation of case property was not a new thing in the NCB. He added that under the rules, the case property could not be shifted form malkhana without taking court permission.

Balwinder maintained that he had taken out the amount from the malkhana while complying the orders of Saji Mohan.

This was against the rules as he should have reported the matter to his seniors if the amount was deposited in the account of Saji Mohan once he had relinquished his charge here.



Nine kiosks gutted in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 19
As many as nine kiosks were damaged in a fire that broke out at the Ajit Khokha Rehri Market in Phase XI here late last night.

Persons running the kiosks suffered losses ranging between Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000. Tailoring work was being done in two kiosks while one was a general store, plastic items and readymade garments were sold in others.

One person had opened up a scooter repair shop there.

According to fire brigade officials, the fire broke out after 11.30 pm and the information in this regard was given by a passer-by.

All three fire tenders with the Municipal Council were pressed into service fearing that the blaze might get out of control as a rehri market was involved.

However, the fire was brought under control by using only one fire tender.

The cause of the fire could not be ascertained by officials concerned or the shopkeepers affected. There were about 50 kiosks in the rehri market.



Assault victim succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
After battling for his life for seven days, Sameer Vats succumbed to his injuries at Fortis Hospital, Mohali, at 4 am today. The 34-year-old senior official with a Mohali-based cellular operator was admitted to the hospital after being shot at from a close range near Cosmo Hospital in Phase 8 here on March 12.

A spokesman of the hospital said for the past 24 hours his condition deteriorated and he was not responding to medical interventions and he had been in the ICU since then. The body was handed over to the family members after the autopsy at the Phase 6 Civil Hospital.

The autopsy by a three-member medical board has confirmed that the bullet had been fired from behind. The bullet, apparently fired from a country made .315 bore gun had pierced through the brain of the deceased before mildly hitting the front window pane of the car in which he was shot at. A portion of the lead of the fired cartridge was found embedded in the victim’s brain.

It is clear that the manner in which the victim was reportedly lying shows that the attack could not have been pre-planned. The injury marks show that after some discussion, the assailant(s) shot at Sameer.

However, it seems that the police is till groping in the dark. Efforts to track the suspects on the basis of call details made from the hospital and other calls exchanged between the deceased and other family members. Since past week, the police and hospital authorities have not been able to track the unidentified caller who used the hospital mobile number to call the victim. 

Sources in the police believe that the code of nursing superintendents was used by the caller from a facility near the emergency of the hospital.

The caller, whose video grab was not clear, had called the victim twice, on March 10 and 12, around 6 pm from the hospital. “Knowing that call from the hospital would mislead the police, the caller executed his plan in a systematic manner and was done with the shooting in few minutes. But the possibility of code being passed on can not be ruled out,” said sources.



Code Violation
Officials enjoying home district postings: MLA
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu today alleged that in a complete violation of the model code of conduct, certain officials in the Mohali district administration were enjoying home district postings at the behest of the senior functionaries in the Akali government.

Handing down documents, the MLA said Shiv Kumar, tehsildar, Mohali, hails from Dhelpur village and the district development and panchayat officer (DDPO), Kulwant Singh from Issapur village in Dera Bassi. Due to their official position, both officials are capable of influencing voters in the district that falls under the Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituency.

He said he had already brought it to the notice of the Election Commission. The same officials had openly worked for the SAD in the last panchayat elections and it had been brought to the notice of the Commission.

The MLA further claimed that the tehsildar had been transferred out and again made to join in Mohali. “What is the compulsion of the government to make him join back in Mohali? He seems to be indispensable for the government,” added Balbir Sidhu.

“They should seek a transfer on their own,” said Sidhu, who brought the anomaly to the notice of the chief election commissioner and the chief electoral officer of Punjab.

It may be mentioned that the district administration had already stated that Shiv Kumar had got his home district changed.

The MLA also alleged that a former DC, Mohali, HIS Grewal, who was occupying the official accommodation of the Mohali MC, was also campaigning for the SAD. Though the MLA did not provide any proof, he claimed that he was taking up the matter with the Election Commission.



Land acquisition by GMADA sparks protest
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur (Mohali), March 19
With the land rates virtually touching the sky, land acquisition by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority to widen the Mullanpur-Siswan road has sparked protests in the area.

Landowners are protesting against the alignment of the road in Mullanpur. There was enough road width available along the existing road and there was no need to realign the road, said Dr Gurdeep Singh Sohi, a landowner of the area.

Under the acquisition process, proceedings under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act have been issued. The Punjab government has approved the project to four-lane the road in the light of approval of the Mullanpur local planning area master plan. Since the control under the master plan vests with GMADA, the project to four-lane the road has also been entrusted with it.

In the master plan of the Mullanpur Planning Area, released few months back by the Punjab Town and Country Planning Department, state-of-the-art health village, knowledge village and eco-tourism related activities have been planned on the foothills of Shivalik Hills under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900.

The consultants for the project, Jurong Ltd, has proposed recreational facilities like amusement park, spa village, open-air theatres, theme parks and lifestyle hub, including golf course and sports facilities, around the seasonal rivulets passing through the area.

The mixed land use has been allowed along the Siswan seasonal rivulet and another location along the Mullanpur-Siswan road. A large chunk of land of Mullanpur gram panchayat along the Jyanti Ki Rao is under dispute.

No development will be allowed within a distance of 100 metres from the outer boundary of the Mullanpur Indian Air Force Station.

A senior official said in light of the master plan, a fresh alignment for the road was required. Contradicting GMADA’s claim, the residents said by acquiring land as per the new alignment, a number of residential and commercial establishments would have to be demolished.



Students’ participation in rallies
Education department wakes up, finally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Finally, the education department seems to have woken up to the plight of students, who are allegedly made to slog in various administration functions, or rallies and even the political rallies at times.

While the department has gone all the way to issue over a dozen of directives to the school heads, as usual most of them come across as nothing but toothless advises. The department has emphasised that school students should be made to participate only in the events organised by the education department or in case of other departments/semi-government organisations with the prior permission of the department.

 However, they have failed to take a note of the fact that most of the functions done by other departments, especially tourism are in collaboration with the education department.

In case of rallies a clear directive has been issued that not only the route shall be demarked with regulation of traffic but also the total distance shall not be more than two kilometres, however, there is no clarification as to who shall regulate the traffic, the school staff or the traffic police?

Though many directives, if implemented, can surely bring about a lot of change in the current scenario. The department has made it clear that no flags would be carried out by the students to welcome VIP/VVIPs. The heads of the institutions must ensure clean drinking water, ambulance and medical assistance to the students. The ratio of students and teachers should be 30:1.

The department has also barred any participation during exam days or extreme climates and has instructed the schools that participation of the students should be voluntary or motivational but in no way compulsory, however, has failed to devise a way to ensure that students are able to speak up if their own teachers force them. Above all, the directive has failed to identify any action against those found guilty.



From Schools & Colleges
Dharna by DAV College teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Three teachers of DAV College, Sector 10, Dr Dinesh Talwar, Dr A.L. Singla and Prof Charanjit Kaur Sandhu, relaid fast from 9 am to 4 pm as per the decision taken by the Chandigarh District Council yesterday at the dharna held here at Sector 17.

The teachers are demanding immediate revocation of suspensions of the three office bearers of the DAV College Teachers' Union: Prof. A.K. Taneja, president, Prof Anil Sarwal, secretary, and Prof Avanindra Chopra, staff secretary. Various teachers from other colleges as well as retired teachers of the DAV College visited the dharna site to express their solidarity.


Under the Star College Scheme of the Government of India, Ministry of Science and Technology, department of biotechnology, GGDSD College, Sector 32, has been bestowed with the status of “A Star College for Life Sciences.”

Under the scheme, a sum of Rs 72 lakh has been sanctioned for strengthening of life science and biotechnology education and training at the undergraduate level in the college.

Annual day

EuroKids Pre-School, Sector 18, celebrated its annual day ‘Let Them Be Little’ today. Kids enthralled the audience with various songs and dance performances. Samwartak Singh, DPI (S), was the chief guest.

Blood donation camp

DERA BASSI: A blood donation camp was organised by the NSS Unit of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology on the college premises in collaboration with the PGI. More than 200 students donated blood.

Digital age programme

ZIRAKPUR: Dikshant International School launched the Digital Age Kindergarten programme and I-Lab design from coming session. The school plans to provide to one-on-one laptop to all the kindergarten children after its success in the primary and secondary classes.

The programme will enhance learning opportunities by incorporating technology as a part of a total education package. 



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