C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Shyam 3rd in AIEEE
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Shyam Upadhyay has brought laurels to the city by attaining third position in the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) conducted by the CBSE, the result of which was declared today.

Shyam had left for Patna today after his father’s transfer. Dedication and consistent hard work was what Shyam said helped him achieve success. For the past two years, he had been studying for about seven-eight hours every day.

His father, working as additional director, forensic science laboratory, Patna, said he was very happy with the result.

Yudistar was next on the merit list, clinching the 60th all India rank and coming second in state ranking in Chandigarh. “My message to students who have been putting their best to get a berth in engineering colleges is that they should prepare with devotion and without tension. They should have deep understanding of each subject and must keep themselves away from cramming. They should have confidence to do it. They should not restrict themselves to the prescribed syllabus and keep reading general books on subjects of their choice. They should stick to the basics, he added.

Rachit Thukral, who is third in state ranking, got the 75th position. He gave the credit of his success to his late grandfather HL Thukral who always motivated him to be in the IIT.

Some of the other successful candidates are Vaibhav Krishan (54th rank, all India); Jayant Sharma (state rank 4); Aastha Dua (state rank 5), Sahil Gupta (state rank 8); Gaurav Kumar (state rank 9); Nitya Tiwari (state rank 12); Digraj Singh Chahal (state rank 14); Gitesh Dawar (state rank 16); Abhayjeet Singh (state rank 19); Prakul Gupta (state rank 20); Prathmesh Kumar (state rank 21); Mehak Bhatia (state rank 22); and Arjun Datt Sharma (state rank 46).



Jatin first in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Patiala’s Jatin Kumar, who has topped All-India Engineering Entrance Examination in Punjab
Patiala’s Jatin Kumar, who has topped All-India Engineering Entrance Examination in Punjab. Tribune photo

Patiala, May 30
Jatin Kumar, a student of Patiala-based Lakshya institute, who has topped the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) from Punjab by securing 377 out of 450 marks, has attributed his success to his parents and his hard work.

Jatin’s father is an employee with Punsup while his mother is a science teacher. “I owe everything to my parents who have been dreaming my success. If I have achieved something it is all due to them and not for my efforts alone,” said Jatin.

According to Jatin, hard work is the only success “mantra”. He said he was putting in eight to ten hours of study every day.



Termination of Pregnancy
HC to be rape victim’s guardian
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The advocates-general of Punjab and Haryana, along with senior advocates Manmohan Lal Sarin and RS Cheema, will assist the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the issue of the state acting as a guardian for getting the pregnancy of a “mentally challenged” rape victim terminated.

The victim was reportedly raped at Nari Niketan-26. A case of rape and criminal conspiracy has already been registered by the police under Sections 376 and 120-B of the IPC.

The doctors have recommended an abortion, but in the case of a “mentally challlenged” girl, the parents or guardian’s consent is necessary.

In the victim’s case, records available with the UT administration say neither her parents, nor her relatives are traceable.

When the matter came up for hearing before the Bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Hemant Gupta today, UT senior standing counsel Anupam Gupta told the court that the administration was before the Bench with the premise that ultimately the court was the guardian.

He added that the issue involved not just legal proposition, but also moral and ethical concerns.

The Bench asked Gupta to assist the court along with the two advocates-general and senior advocates.

The Bench also fixed June 2 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

In its petition, the administration had earlier asserted that the victim was aged between 19 and 20 years and was now an inmate of Ashraya, a home for mentally challenged children at Sector 47.

The decision to go in for the medical termination of pregnancy was arrived during meetings of the medical board constituted for this purpose.

The petition said a sub-section barred the termination of pregnancy of a woman below 18 years of age, or a mentally-ill woman, except with the written consent of her guardian.

Another sub-section ruled out abortion, except with the consent of a pregnant woman.



Ram Niwas does wife a good turn
Signs her transfer order from home science college to GCG

Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The Home Secretary’s act of signing his wife Babita Verma’s transfer order, shifting her from Government Home Science College, Sector 10, to Government College for Girls, Sector11, has raised many eyebrows.

While Home Secretary Ram Niwas sees nothing wrong in it and claims it to be a “routine transfer” that falls in his purview by the virtue of his being the Education Secretary, the act smacks of impropriety for many.

“He should not have done this. As a normal practice, in such a case of transfer of a close kin, that too wife, the officer concerned should seek his superior’s permission to take a decision on it. In this case, the Adviser should have been informed about it and Ram Niwas should have transferred his wife with his permission. The act cannot be justified as just a routine affair because now everybody is expecting answers to questions like why wasn’t any other lecturer transferred to this place which is considered to be a prized posting?” a senior bureaucrat, on the condition of anonymity, stated.

However, reacting to it Ram Niwas said: “I should have approached the Adviser if I was giving her some special advantage. She is qualified as per the requisites and it’s a normal routine transfer, wherein she is not getting any special advantage. Thus, I signed it in the course of the execution of my duties as the Education Secretary.”

According to sources, Babita was transferred to the GCG-11 against the place of a lecturer who is on ex India leave and irrespective of all arguments put forth by Ram Niwas, this transfer comes across as an “advantage”.

“Why wasn’t any other lecturer transferred to the college which is believed to be the most preferred by lecturers? What is the criterion to choose somebody to be sent to a college this way? The head of the department of home science would retire soon and Babita shall take the position for sure,” one of the lecturers claimed.

Ram Niwas has, however, rubbished the claims, saying that though there was no fixed criteria to choose somebody for such a transfer, but no such thing was going to happen as there were people senior to her in the department who would be made the HOD and he would not violate any norms.


UT cool on power front
To get extra 60 MW from tomorrow

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Power cuts may be back in Punjab after the Lok Sabha elections but in city the situation seems to be satisfactory with the power supply keeping pace with the growing demand.

With city getting additional 60 MW from June 1, residents having the highest per capita income in the country can expect fewer power cuts this summer.

Currently, Chandigarh’s entitlement is around 266 , while the supply is pegged at 250-260 MW, eliminating any possibility of planned power cuts in the summer.

However, isolated power tripping on account of overloading of the system due to installation of cooling equipment cannot be ruled out, sources added.

The administration started receiving 25 MW from Jammu and Kashmir since May 1. With 25 MW additional power slated to come to the city in the coming days, the situation would ease in the summer.

With additional 35 MW being made available to the city by Tata Power Trading Corporation, abundant power would be available to the city residents to meet their “genuine needs”, official sources claimed.

However, on frequent power trippings, particularly in the southern sectors, the sources asserted that these breakdowns were the result of overloading of the system, mainly due to reckless installation of ACs/other electrical appliances without information to the department.

According to the Coolex report at a CII exhibition, around 15,000 ACs were sold during the summer.

The administration has warned consumers to regularise their electricity load versus additional load to enable the electricity department to upgrade the distribution system.

If consumers fail to volunteer for load regularisation, the department has asked their neighbours to inform at 9876504199 (enforcement cell, electricity wing of the engineering department), as due to irregular act of a particular resident, the whole area suffers in case of a breakdown.

The department is carrying out a special drive for load checking, and in case any unauthorised load is detected, the consumers shall be penalised with load surcharge and the connection may also be disconnected, a senior officials warned.



Bansal gets hero’s welcome
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
With a Cabinet berth in his pocket, local MP Pawan Bansal today returned home like a hero.

While it was celebration time for his party supporters, who right from the airport chowk to his home in Sector 28 burst crackers and danced to bhangra beats, motorists were at the receiving end as they were caught in a snarl-up.

Congress workers and leaders, including Subhash Chawla, Pardeep Chhabra, HS Lucky, Vijay Rana accompanied Bansal to his home.

Bansal was welcomed home by his wife Madhu Bansal, father-in-law Manohar Lal, his six sisters and daughters-in-law by performing a tilak ceremony.

Bansal said people of Chandigarh had given him “big responsibility” and overall development of the city would be his prime concern.

“My immediate plans during the upcoming Lok Sabha session from June 1 to 9 will be to ensure ample budget share for Chandigarh,” he said.

Asked what the residents could expect from him, Bansal said providing affordable housing and implementation of the rural development and rehabilitation scheme and regularising the land acquisition policy would be some of the programmes on his priority list.

“Besides, we have designed ‘micro-level plans’ to make this city slum-free. Houses built on the fringes of villages would be regularised. Due to some reasons, policy matters on rehabilitation and rural development couldn’t be implemented in Parliament. I will ensure that these take the shape of an Act,” he said.

His other main concern would be to follow Congress’s nationwide endeavour to develop “skill upgrade programmes” for the youth.

According to an estimate, 50 per cent of the youth below the age group of 25 years, which constitute around 50 crore, will be benefitted from these programmes. “It will be my commitment to get IIT status for Punjab Engineering College and establish an IIM in the city. I will raise the existing infrastructure at government school level so that a myth that good education can be provided in public schools only is broken,” he said.

Meanwhile, people from all walks of life and organisations congratulated the family.



Apni mandis to stay for now
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Lending a breather to residents of southern sectors, the administration today allowed apni mandis in four southern sectors for the time being. The mandis were earlier supposed to be discontinued.

Apni mandis in question were being held every week on different days in Sectors 40, 33, 49 and 43, which were to be discontinued after the UT administration decided to do away with them recently.

However, as of now, the mandis have been allowed and a final decision in this regard will be taken soon. Confirming this, Additional Commissioner PK Sharma said: “We have requested the UT authorities to let these mandis function as of now. A final decision will be taken soon in this regard after holding a meeting with UT officials,” he added.

However, Hargunjit Kaur, land acquisition officer, could not be contacted for her comments despite repeated attempts.

According to sources, the administration had sent a letter to the MC authorities, who give permission to hold these mandis.

Since mandis were being held on UT land, which was meant for holding religious functions and other such events, it was stated that these should be discontinued.

Sources added these mandis had also been posing serious threat to motorists with most of the residents visiting mandis leaving their vehicles haphazardly parked on the roads.

Today when a few policemen went to get the ongoing mandi in Sector 43 closed, the officials of the Punjab Mandi Board prevented them from doing so.

They claimed that they had not been informed about the discontinuation and had not received any orders.

The matter was resolved after Sharma’s intervention.

The MC authorities have now requested the traffic police to man these mandis and ensure that they do not pose any threat to the commuters and ensure that vehicles are parked properly.



11 liquor vends found flouting norms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The department of excise and taxation conducted a surprise check at liquor vends here last night. Eleven liquor vends were found violating the provisions of the excise policy.

Nine liquor vends, including two in Kajheri/Sector 52, five in Mani Majra, one in transport area, Sector 26, and one in Mauli Jagran were found transacting business after official closure time of 11 pm.

Two other liquor vends at Behlana airport chowk were also booked for various violations of the excise rules.

Action had been initiated against the violators and they would be liable to punitive action under the provisions of the excise law.

The department has been conducting surprise inspections of liquor vends and other licensees on regular basis in order to ensure that liquor licensees follow strict adherence to the provisions of the law.



Warm send-off for Lt Gen AN Aul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Chief of Staff of Western Command Lt Gen AN Aul retired today after a 39-year career in the armed forces. He was given a warm send-off by officers and men at the Command Headquarters, Chandimandir.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, General Aul was commissioned in June 1970 into Third Battalion of the Third Gorkha Rifles.

After commanding his own unit, 3/3 Gorkha Rifles, in the north-east region, he had the rare opportunity of commanding two Infantry brigades -- the first during Operation Vijay in Drass Sector and then in Andaman Nicobar islands.

He was decorated with the Uttam Yudh Seva Medal for distinguished services during the Kargil war and also awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Param Vishisht Sewa Medal for distinguished services.

Yesterday he had called upon Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who thanked him for the assistance and services rendered by the Western Command to civil authorities in times of need.



Spurious drugs seized in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Officials from drug controller department seal the spurious medicines and raw material at a factory in the Industrial Area, Panchkula
Officials from drug controller department seal the spurious medicines and raw material at a factory in the Industrial Area, Panchkula, on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, May 30
Following the arrest of Sandeep Kumar, a partner of the industry found manufacturing spurious drugs in the Industrial Area, the drug controller department seized huge quantity of medicines, energy drinks and raw material to manufacture medicines, including food colours, essence labels and machinery, here today.

A team of drug controller department, under assistant drug controller GL Singhal, sealed the unit last Friday when the partners of the firm did not reach at the premises despite they were informed about the presence of officials outside the locked factory.

The officials, however, after waiting for several hours, returned after sealing the unit that day.

Today a team of Rajasthan police, however, raided the house of Sandeep at Rajpura and arrested him for manufacturing the spurious drugs.

The police officials from Rajasthan said spurious drugs manufactured by Sandeep were found being sold at Ganga Nagar in the month of March. Following the investigations they raided the house of Sandeep and seized 35 boxes of amoxycilin from his house. However, Sandeep could not be arrested, said the police.

Sandeep, who was present on the spot, said he was a property dealer when his friend Sunny Papneja contacted him to start this business. Sunny was employed at a pharma unit at Panchkula he said. Thereafter both of them, after obtaining a licence under food product manufacturing from municipal council, started manufacturing here in a portion of plot No. 315 at the Industrial Area II.

Assistant drug controller Singhal said while the accused had no license to manufacture drugs, all medicines and other products were being manufactured under unhygienic conditions.



Liquor shop near school irks residents
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 30
Residents of Dyalpura village agitated against the recently opened liquor shop near the government school at the village yesterday.

The residents claimed that they had given a complaint to the excise department, but nothing had been done so far.

They demanded shifting of the shop to another place. Bakshi Ram, principal of Government Senior Secondary School, said liquor shop located near the school affected the mind of students and spoiled the atmosphere of the school. Excise department officials stated that the matter was in their knowledge and would be resolved soon.



200 truckers examined at eye camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
A free eye check-up camp was organised for truck drivers by the Indian Oil Corporation along with a city-based NGO Shubhkarman Health Care Society here today.

A team of doctors led by Dr Charanjit Singh, eye specialist, examined the patients. Over 200 drivers were examined at the camp.

Medicines were also distributed among poor patients. Dr Chanranjit appealed to people to take care of eyes.

Sanjiv Kakkar, chief divisional retail sales manager of the company, reaffirmed Indian Oil’s commitment to serve the community.

“The initiative has been taken in view of the importance of road safety and creating awareness among drivers,” Kakkar said, while addressing the mediapersons.

“The corporation is also planning to organise other medical check-up camps like bone mineral density, asthma, dental care, HIT awareness during the next few months,” announced Kakkar.



MC panel passes cost estimates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The finance and contracts committee of the municipal corporation under the chairpersonship of Mayor Kamlesh on Thursday recommended the rough cost estimate for providing and laying 25-mm-thick SDBC on V-6 road, Sectors 32-A and 42-B, estimate for construction of public toilet block (men and women) at Samadhi Gate and adjoining SCF 297 at motor market, Mani Majra. Also, estimates for construction of new road gullies in Sector 52, revision of restoration charges for road cuts, allotment of house numbers in villages falling under MC jurisdiction and disposal of old defective water meter stock through auction were recommended.



Tribune manager retires
Tribune News Service

Kailash Chander Chandigarh, May 30
Mr Kailash Chander, Assistant Manager (Press) , retired today after putting in 40 years of service. He joined the institution on August 16, 1969 as Linotype apprentice.

He was given warm send off by his colleagues. A farewell party was also arranged in his honour at the office premises. Assistant General Manager (Circulation), Mr Rajeshwar Chopra, and Deputy Press Manager, Mr H.S. Dhaliwal, lauded his services to the institution.



Tribune employee retires
Tribune News Service

Ram Asra Chandigarh, May 30
Ram Asra, The Tribune, retired as Senior Head Havildar here today after putting in more than 39 years of service. He joined the institution on October 27, 1970.

He was given warm send off by his colleagues. A farewell party was also arranged in his honour at the office premises. Head Administration, Col Mahinder Pal Singh Kahlon, Assistant General Manager (Circulation), Rajeshwar Chopra, and Assistant General Manager (Accounts) lauded his services to the institution.



Education Board
73 employees face the axe
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 30
Around 73 daily-wage and contractual employees working with the Punjab School Education Board were today terminated of their service following the order of the Department of Personnel, Punjab.

These employees were working for the past 10 years in the board. The board officials revealed that after the State government told the board that any extension to the employees would attract action from the officials concerned, the chairman removed them from their service. The board authorities were also told that dues of the employees would also be deducted.

The employees have been removed in the light of a notification issued by the State government in 2006, but the employees continued, due to staff crunch.

Around 350 daily-wage earners are hired during the examination time by the board every year. Though the State government had been repeatedly stressing on removal of the employees, the board continued with them. Then there was an audit objection and finally, the State government told to remove the employees or face the music.



PU Hostel
Food quality under scanner again
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The “paneer delicacies” being served once a week at the Panjab University hostels is sure to leave many students in a bad taste as the mess contractors are opting for cottage cheese being delivered in open trays at the hostel doorsteps by some cyclists.

The stark revelation made by a group of students has brought the hostel food quality under scanner once again.

“With incidents of recovery of adulterated cottage cheese from several city-based dairies, the quality of the cottage cheese which comes from nearby villages and that too uncovered is anybody’s guess,” asserted an inmate of Hostel No 1.

It may be noted that according to these students when they caught one of the cyclists delivering cottage cheese at the hostel today, the mess contractor said he would buy this as it was much cheaper than the market rate.

“When they are paid for the services, why don’t they buy stuff from government entities like Verka?” questioned Simranjit Singh Dhillon, president PUSU.

Meanwhile, DSW Naval Kishore said the matter had been brought to his notice and the samples would be tested soon.



PU VC to go on indefinite fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti is going to match steps with his students for their cause. During a farewell function here today, he announced to proceed on an indefinite fast if the lift installed at Hostel No 6 doesn’t work by tomorrow as promised.

He further stated that the XEN’s of the university should be held responsible for delaying the project.

While, SOPU president Brinder Dhillon has appreciated his concern and promised not to let it happen.



Village girl honoured
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 30
Recognition is coming the way of Harpreet Kaur, an 18 year-old daughter of Durali-based labourer who secured the 16th state-level position in Class XII examination of the Punjab School Education Board.

After reading in newspapers about the feat of the girl, Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sindhu and Gurdhyan Singh, block samiti member, donated Rs 5,100 each to the girl’s family. Mohinder Singh Durali, another panchayat member of Durali, announced to give a scholarship of Rs 500 per months for the next three years to the girl.



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