C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Peripheral Villages
Admn’s U-turn on land use
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The Chandigarh administration’s alleged U-turn on the regularisation of structures in UT’s periphery has left thousands of residents of five villages — Palsora, Kajheri, Dadu Majra, Maloya and Hallo Majra — fuming.

While confusion prevails on the contents of notifications over the past two years, residents alleged that the latest notification (May 25, 2009) seeks to withdraw “relief” to the residents. The earlier notifications dated September 25, 2007, and April 8, 2008, had extended certain benefits to the residents in the “extended abadi area” under the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952.

Following this, a large number of residents had gone in for the sale and purchase of properties in the extended abadi areas, besides renovating their existing houses. In the backdrop of the “concessions”, the land prices had shot up, with a large number of land transactions being reported in the past couple of years.

“The current notification has superseded the earlier notification to the disadvantage of residents,” a representation of Hallo Majra residents said to the UT Finance Secretary, demanding the withdrawal of the notification.

The notification said the provisions of the Capital of the Punjab(Development and Regulation) Act would extend only to the abadi area of the five villages. However, it clarified that the area outside the abadi area shall continue to be controlled by the Punjab New Capital(Periphery) Control Act, 1952.

Last year also, hundreds of acres of prime agricultural land in the five villages were reportedly taken out of the purview of the Periphery Control Act. While landowners were getting higher land rates, certain revenue officials had facilitated land deals land, promising that change of land use would be allowed by the authorities.

Official sources said there were some ambiguities in the notification which could be clarified soon.



Theatre chairman booked
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 7
The police has registered a criminal case against a businessman of Chandigarh for allegedly duping a Panchkula resident of Rs 91 lakh on the pretext of selling his land at Pinjore.

The accused identified as Naresh Batra, chairman of a cinema hall at Chandigarh, has been booked on the complaint of Dev Raj of Saketri village. According to Surjeet Singh, SHO of the Sector 5 police station, the complainant alleged that Naresh introduced himself as Mahesh and offered to sell a piece of land measuring 58 bigha at Pinjore.

He said the land was in the name of his brother Naresh. Later, against a sum of Rs 91 lakh, the accused projected another unidentified person as Naresh and executed a general power of attorney in favour of the buyer, the SHO said.



Brakes of police bus fail, 10 hurt
Hemant Kumar

Kalka, June 7
In a road mishap on the third consecutive day here, 10 persons, including eight police personnel, sustained injuries when the brakes of a bus of the Haryana Armed Police failed and it collided with a Maruti car near the Haryana tax barrier at around 11.45 am today.

The bus was coming from Parwanoo. The bus dragged the car to some distance and the vehicles remained jammed in the “bawri” for hours, disrupting traffic on the NH-22 for more than two hours. During the accident, another car was also hit, resulting in injuries to two persons.

Kiran Rawal and Shadi Lal, residents of Delhi, who were in the Maruti car, sustained multiple injuries and were admitted to the Kalka Civil Hospital.

The injured police personnel are Umed, Partap Singh, Anil Kumar, Jai Singh, Mohinder, Manish, Satish and Parveen. Umed, Anil Kumar, Jai Singh, Manish and Satish, who sustained serious injuries, have been referred to a hospital at Chandigarh.

On Friday, in an accident on the same stretch, 10 persons were injured when the brakes of a truck failed while yesterday, a recklessly driven truck claimed the life of a woman pedestrian.

The steep stretch from the Parwanoo barrier bridge to Kali Mata Temple has become accident prone and has claimed several lives in the recent past.



Lecturers use students’ fund for trip
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The study tour of lecturers of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, to Bangaluru and Mumbai colleges in September last year has come under the scanner for alleged violation of norms and procedures pertaining to the utilisation of funds.

As per documents procured by a Sector 19 resident under the RTI Act, while principal Promila Kaushal had sought permission for the tour (from September 28 to October 5, 2008) from the then DPI (Colleges) Raji P Shrivastava with sanctions of TA and DA from the salary head, she actually withdrew an advance of Rs 93,841 from the amalgamated funds meant for students’ welfare.

The fund, according to rules, is strictly reserved for welfare activities like upkeep of laboratories, excursions, purchase of sports material, students’ functions, etc.

Kaushal justified the withdrawal, saying that: “It’s apt according to the PU calendar. Moreover, a principal has the powers to withdraw up to Rs 1 lakh. We had gone to study some of the best colleges of Mumbai and Bangaluru and needed advance for travel so we withdrew the money. What we learnt from the colleges shall ultimately benefit students only.”

However, a senior official at the DPI’s office said the funds of government colleges were not administered by the PU calendar, but education code. Expressing surprise that the college had claimed such a thing in response to an RTI, the official said a principal could withdraw money from this fund only for student welfare activities, which were clearly specified in the copy of rules given to them. “This fund cannot be used to pay for teachers’ trips where not even a single student is part of the team,” he added.

Officials claimed that the principal could have instead claimed advance from the salary head like in the case of LTC at the time of seeking sanction for the trip. And if withdrawal from the amalgamated funds was unavoidable, a written permission of the DPI was a must.

It is learnt that Kaushal mot only failed to seek permission from the DPI, but also withdrew the money without consulting the amalgamated fund committee, which is a mandatory requirement.

When asked to explain, Kaushal blamed the accounts department for the fiasco. “We are basically educationists and it is the duty of the accounts department to guide us in case of any procedural lapses in financial matters. It was just a mistake and we had returned the money immediately,” she added. However, as per information provided under the RTI, the money was deposited two months after the trip.

Also, the dates on TA/DA reimbursements (copies available with The Tribune) of some of the lecturers who went on the trip do not coincide with the official itinerary, indicating that they had undertaken the journey on different dates.

Kaushal attributed this to “errors by the DPI office” and claimed that all lectures, except one who joined late due to family compulsion, completed the eight-day tour from September 28 to October 5. However, DPI officials maintained that TA bills were prepared and signed by the lecturer concerned and sanctions were given on those.

When contacted, DK Tiwari, DPI (Colleges), said he would look into the matter.



This inert administration
Raveen Thukral

It is distressing to see the working of the Chandigarh administration. It seems that those at the helm suffer from active inertia, making the entire system unaccountable and insensitive to public opinion.

Almost three weeks have passed since the rape of the teenaged mentally challenged girl at Nari Niketan but till date no headway has been made vis-à-vis fixing responsibility and taking action against those responsible, directly or indirectly, for the lapses that led to the crime. Even the police investigations have so far remained shoddy and the recent formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case is willy-nilly an admission that there were indeed shortcomings in the way things were going.

What more can highlight the sorry state of affairs than the repeated castigation of both the police investigations and the role of the administration by none other than their own Senior Standing Counsel, Anupam Gupta, before the High Court? Gupta has gone to the extent of even saying that some newspaper reporters were doing a better job in investigating the case and exposing the working of the Nari Niketan than the police.

Frankly, the attitude of certain officers of the administration, who exhibited their extreme insensitivity to the crime by dubbing it a "part of the society", would not have exuded much confidence in the investigations for any right thinking person. In fact it has led to a perception that the administration and the police were together working overtime to cover up the crime rather than exposing the wrongs.

One was however, hoping for some sort of a reaction from those at the helm of the administration to set the record straight and to counter this perception thereby enthusing confidence in the public on the ongoing investigations. However, they too have failed in the task and it's not surprising that the voices of a cover up operation by the administration are echoing in the High Court also.

Let's take a look at another recent case that highlights the inertia ailing the administration. There have been news reports about a city bureaucrat blatantly misusing his powers to transfer his wife to a government college, against an "on leave" vacancy, by passing orders under his own signatures.

The impropriety doesn't end here as the orders for the transfer also include an antedated "adjustment" of the wife in the college against a post that has to fall vacant after the retirement of the incumbent lecturer four months later. Strangely there has been no reaction to even this from those who are supposed to ensure transparency and propriety in the governance of the city.

Though one does not expect the Newton 's theory - "to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" - to work with news reports too, such silence from those at the helm is undesirable and shows their insensitivity to matters relating to probity and propriety in public life. And this attitude has wittingly or unwittingly created a widespread impression that bureaucrats here have no accountability whatsoever and thus can get away with what they like.

The system of the governance in this city perhaps has a lot to with this.

While the above mentioned cases are recent, this has been generally the way things have been going on in this city for long. Readers would recall reports about how certain senior bureaucrats of the city literally squandered lakhs of Rs of public money on foreign "study" trips, a couple of years back. The officers travelled in business class, with tax payers footing their extravagance that ran to almost Rs 55,000 per day.

Some of these officers even took their families on these foreign jaunts, which incidentally yielded no positive results for the city. The officers are back in their parent states now without being held accountable for their acts.

Even a CBI inquiry was initiated against an officer for alleged irregularities in the award of advertising tenders for CTU buses in 2006 but the same was closed as sanction for his prosecution was never granted. This was despite the fact that senior most officers of the administration had then intervened and promised framing a policy to streamline the system.

While a CVC probe into the controversial mega projects is underway, not many people in the city are hopeful of the irregularities ever coming out. With their orchestrated handling of the projects, the system of governance in the city is such that civil servants enjoy indirect immunity as they are under the protective shelter of a constitutional authority.

In fact the entire process of deputation of IAS and IPS officers from Punjab and Haryana to UT appears flawed from the word go as the state governments have no criteria for sending officers here. Panels are finalised at the whims and fancies of the political bosses, leaving a lot of scope for manipulation.

This arbitrary selection process generates a detestable tendency of lobbying, machinations and manipulation among officers and they stoop to any levels for it, sometimes even indulging in back biting, filing of PILs and pseudo character assassination in the media. The tussle that preceded the appointment of the present Home Secretary is a recent example of this.

With no accountability, the administration seems to be following a consensual and collusive model of governance where you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours is the mantra for success and peaceful existence.

Unlike their counterparts in the states, the officers here have no social or political audit of their acts and thus continue to work with arrogance and in a manner that suits their own interests. A change in the system of governance in UT is must for making the babus accountable and responsive to public needs, but will it happen!

Write to cityeditor@tribunemail.com


Police mulls pre-marital counselling centre
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Prevention is better than the cure. Going by the adage, the Chandigarh police is working on modalities to set up a pre-marital counselling centre to educate people, especially those looking for NRI brides and grooms, about the prevailing law to avoid marital disputes. Sources in the Woman and Child Support Unit (WACSU) of the Chandigarh police say the move is the upshot of the rising number of complaints having no ingredients of cognizable offence but dealing with various social economic and psychological factors.

Informing people about their rights in case of marital disputes will help curb frauds in NRI marriages.

A senior officer adds couples with such problems are generally misled about their rights and the prevailing law. They are advised by unscrupulous elements to lodge their complaints under the Prevention of Dowry Harassment Act or other such Acts just to teach to the other party a lesson.

This practice does not only waste a lot of man-hours of the police but also subjects both parties to the unnecessary harassment. A perusal of the statistics available with the WACSU reveals that out of the total 576 complaints received till May 31, cases have been registered only on 15 complaints. The registration of cases is just 2.6 per cent of the complaints lodged.

Explaining the trends, Santosh Singh, chairperson of the Family Counseling Centre at WACSU, say rise in awareness level and various social, economic, psychological factors, including changing lifestyles, are the reasons behind the ever-increasing number of complaints. The tedious court proceedings also discouraged complainants from going in for the registration of cases.

Owing to these factors, majority of the complaints are disposed of at the counseling centres. Besides, a substantial number of complaints pertaining to behavioural problems, alcoholism, drug-addiction and other psychological problems are referred to psychologists.

DSP (WACSU) Kulwant Singh Pannu say they have drafted a proposal to set up a pre-marital counselling centre at WACSU.



Chief Engineer’s post may go to Haryana
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Over two months after the retirement of Krishanjit Singh, the Chandigarh administration is set to have a regular Chief Engineer (CE) with applicants from Haryana considered to be front-runners for the prestigious post.

With three CE-level officers from Haryana applying for the post as against certain Superintending Engineer-level officers from Punjab, the post may eventually go to Haryana.

In fact, a view in the administration is that since the post of the Chief Architect, which was normally filled from Haryana-cadre officers, had gone to Punjab last year, the CE should be from Haryana.

Sources said a decision to appoint the new CE would be taken soon after approval from the UT administrator.

Currently, Surinder Pal, Superintending Engineer (SE), electricity circle, is holding additional charges as the UT CE and additional CE of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

Pal, who was promoted as the CE in his parent cadre of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) last year, preferred to stay put in Chandigarh though the board wanted the Chandigarh administration to repatriate him to Punjab.

In fact, the administration was reportedly toying with the idea of creating an additional post of Chief Engineer in the electricity department to “accommodate” Pal. However, with officers at the level of CE available now, Pal’s dream of becoming UT Chief Engineer is unlikely to be realised. With even the CHB scouting for a Chief Engineer, Pal might have to contend with the post of SE (electricity).

The extended tenure of former CE Krishanjit Singh had ended on March 31. In fact, a three-month extension to Krishanjit had sparked off a war of word between UT Administrator SF Rodrigues and UT Adviser Pradip Mehra with latter opposing extension to “tainted” official.



City residents powerless
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Chandigarh is a unique city where there are neither any power cuts nor any uninterrupted supply of power. Consumers, both domestic and commercial, have been complaining of untimely disruptions in the supply of power.

Disruptions in transmission and distribution may vary from a few hours to the whole of night or most part of the day, depending upon the area.

The usual explanation for power failure - system is overloaded - is trashed by even those who have served the engineering department of the Chandigarh administration in general, and the electricity operations in particular.

City’s power supply system has never been known for its reliability. Power shutdowns for maintenance are a routine affair.

Every day, power shutdown notices are inserted in newspapers without promising a trouble-free power supply.

Years of maintenance, upgrade of power sub-stations, inter-linkage of power sub-stations, formation of a grid system and claimed improvements in transmission and distribution systems notwithstanding, most parts of the Union Territory are tormented by unscheduled, untimely and, at times, power supply disruptions of unknown durations.

Sector 36, considered a posh southern sector, for example, has had a feast of frequent power failures for the past couple of weeks.

Former Chief Engineer-cum-Secretary Engineering JS Kohli and former Punjab Police Director-General Surjit Singh reside in this sector.

Situation is no better in Sector 44, where former Chief Engineer of the Punjab State Electricity Board AS Gulati lives.

Gulati, incidentally, spent more than 90 per cent of his career serving the electricity operations and engineering department of the Chandigarh administration.

In the past 72 hours, the sector has been without power for over 20 hours in spite of the claims of “no shortage of power” by the authorities.

In a city like Chandigarh, which has a high density of electrical engineers, including scores of chief engineers, superintending engineers and executive engineers, problems of flaws in distribution remain unresolved.

A retired Chief Engineer believes that poor quality of conductors, uneven distribution of load, replacement of fuse plugs with circuit breakers and inadequate transformers, have been the bane of power-supply system in the Union Territory.

In a three-phase power distribution system, he explains, all three conductors - red, blue and yellow - should have the load evenly distributed on them. Since one or two conductors remain overloaded, they tend to trip, leading to total disruption in power supply.

The earlier system of segregating distribution sections into smaller segments with the use of fuse plugs will restrict suspension of supply only to the affected segment and not the whole area.

Some engineers find it unpalatable that a planned city like Chandigarh should plunge into darkness even at the slightest hint of a dust storm or rain for apprehension of breaking of conductors.



Water crisis
Sector-7 residents take to streets
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Chandigarh, one of the most-planned cities in India, may be the envy of residents of other cities but the mismatch in demand and supply of basic necessities like water has put a question mark on its planned city status.

Women show low pressure of drinking water in a southern sector of Chandigarh on Sunday.
Women show low pressure of drinking water in a southern sector of Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

The shortage of water has forced residents to take to streets. This is exactly what happened at Sector 7-B today. Reason: The occupants of Central Government Employees Residential Colony, Sector 7, have been suffering from scarcity of water for the past over 20 days.

The colony, established over 30 years ago, still has the same water supply infrastructure as it had at the time of its inception.

Colony secretary Sham Lal said the association, in spite of paying maintenance charges, had been facing water shortage and had brought the problem to the notice of authorities concerned many a time but in vain.

“It is a chronic problem in summer when the consumption of water increases. The supply tank has a capacity of just 1 lakh gallons but with the increase in number of houses in our locality, at least 10 lakh gallons is required. We have approached the CPWD and the MC authorities to install sub-tanks and boosters but they do not pay any heed to it. Today, we took to streets to show our anger,” he said.

Satnarain Sharma, another resident, rued the lackluster attitude of the officials. “We paid a number of visits to the MC office and found that the fault lay in the valve system. It’s been over a year, but this fault has not been rectified,” he complained.

Residents of some of the older sectors have also been facing similar problems for the past few days.

These include Sectors 29, 30, 38, 39, 44, 45, 46, 47 and few other southern sectors.

While those living on the ground floor get the usual supply during morning hours, it is erratic for those living on the upper floors. To compound the problem, the water fails to reach overhead tanks.

Due to lack of planning, the southern sectors, where a number of group housing societies and housing board colonies have cropped up recently, are also facing acute water crisis.

Sector-52 residents have to fetch water from the main supply line through their water meter pipelines.

“It is hard to believe that we live in a city like Chandigarh. Gone are the days when it was known for its faultless planning, especially for basic amenities like water and electricity. I have been a resident of the city for past 50 years. Never ever have I have seen a crisis like this before,” rued Surinder Sharma, a resident of Sector 45.



Members of 23rd IMA Course celebrate Golden Jubilee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
It was a nostalgic trip down memory lane for members of the 23rd Regular Course, who observed the Golden Jubilee of their becoming commissioned Army officers here last evening. They had passed out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, in July 1959.

As a special gesture, they also honoured their instructors, who had turned the boys into men after putting them through the mill in the hallowed grounds of the Army’s premier training institution. Four of them, Maj Gen Rajendra Nath, Col BIS Cheema, Col AS Grewal and Col Ranjit Singh, were present on the occasion.

The course consisted of 252 gentleman cadets, out of which about a 100 died in the line of duty during various wars fought and military operations undertaken subsequently. One of the members earned the Maha Vir Chakra, the second highest award for gallantry.

One of the members, Gen VP Malik, rose to become Chief of the Army Staff, while two became Army Commanders. Several others reached the rank of Lieutenant General.

About 30 officers from the tricity, along with their wives, attended the event that was marked by bonhomie and esprit d’corps. Next month, course members from all across the country would be getting together at their alma mater in Dehradun to commemorate their Golden Jubilee. 



Removing Encroachments
Resident alleges partiality
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 7
The enforcement wing of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) adopts a pick and choose policy while removing encroachments, alleged Lajwanti, a resident of Phase XI. She said she was living in a corner house and had maintained the green area lying vacant adjacent to her house. A hedge was grown to cut off the area from the roadside. Some GMADA employees came to her house and uprooted the hedge saying that the area had been encroached upon.

Other residents of the area had also encroached the vacant spaces, but no action was taken against them, she said.



Coping with urban gangsters
Haryana police to go hi-tech
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 7
The new generation of urban gangsters was as dangerous as the terrorists and the police needs to work hard to tackle them, said the Director General of Police, Haryana, while detailing the modus operandi of the highway robbers who were arrested by the Haryana police here.

They all are clever criminals, using the latest gadgets and technology, including communication system, said the DGP.

In fact, they remain far ahead of the police in this region of the country. Agencies in the districts and the police need huge infrastructure to meet the pace of these criminals, he said.

For this, while the state government has already started working on the functional necessity like using website-based programme “track criminal system”, it was also proposed that laptops were provided to all inspectors in the state, he added.

After this, the details of criminals active in a particular area would be just a click away, he informed.

The Haryana police is in the process of collecting and feeding the data of criminals and it would also tie up with other states in this regard as well.



Malaria threat looms large in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 7
Mohali is free from flies, mosquitoes and vehicle thieves. At least that is what the department of local government seems to think by withholding decisions on vital issues putting interests of residents in jeopardy.

The Municipal Council has run out of insecticides even as the season for spread of flies and mosquitoes is going on.

A proposal for the purchase of insecticides worth approximately Rs 6,00,000 was cleared by the general house of the council at a meeting held on April 24.

The authorities concerned have withheld the decision on the purchase of the insecticides leaving the civic body to simply wait for the green signal while the spread of flies and mosquitoes goes on unabated creating a scare of spread of diseases.

During the meeting, the house was informed through a report of the sanitary inspector that complaints about the spread of flies and mosquitoes had started coming from the residents.

The civic body had proposed to buy 300 litres of King Fog at a price of Rs 1,700 per litre and a sum of Rs 5,10,000 was to be spent on its purchase.

The council needed 50 litres of Solfac (050 EW) at a price of Rs 1,900 per litre and B Tex granules at a price of Rs 5,093 per litre spending Rs 95,000 and Rs 10,186, respectively, on the purchase of two items. The insecticides were to be purchased directly from Bayer Corporation.

In December last year the house had cleared a proposal for installing entry gates in various sectors to check the movement of criminals after the police and the civic body had drawn up a plan to ensure the security of the residents, particularly, the elderly. This proposal also had so far not been given the required clearance by the department of local government.

Three private firms had evinced interest in installing the gates in residential areas, which would have helped to check the theft of vehicles and also ensured the security of the residents.

These gates were to be put up free of cost by private companies, which were even ready to pay licence fee to the civic body for displaying their advertisements on the gates and security cabins.

The indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned compelled council president Rajinder Singh Rana to request the director, the local government, through a letter dated June 4 to give his approval for the purchase of the insecticides as it was important to carry out fogging in the town before the start of the monsoon to check the spread of diseases like malaria, dengue, etc.

He said keeping in view the importance of the work, approval should be given on a priority basis.



MC awaiting nod for 2 years

Mohali, June 7
The government has failed to give its approval to the Municipal Council to sink five new tubewells, estimates for which were cleared by the general house nearly two years ago.

Correspondence with officials of the department concerned for getting technical and administrative sanction by the civic body for the tubewells had been going on since 2007, but to no avail.

These tubewells were to be sunk in Phases V, III A, III B 2, VII and Mohali village. Approximately, Rs 25. 90 lakh was estimated to be spent on sinking each tubewell.

President of the council Rajinder Singh Rana said repeated requests to the authorities concerned to give the required sanction to get the tubewells sunk failed to yield results. — OC



Tyres of parked cars catch fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
A major tragedy was averted here this evening after tyres of some old cars parked at the Punjab irrigation department, Sector 18, caught fire.

According to fire officials, the incident occurred around 8.15 pm. The fire started from dry leaves scattered near the parking area and soon engulfed the tyres of around five cars parked there.

Two fire tenders from the fire station in Sector 17 were pressed into service. The exact cause of the fire couldn’t be ascertained.



Hobby classes on foreign languages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Ebonics, foreign language and IELTS training institute, has launched new language courses in French, German and Spanish. The institute has also announced that special hobby language classes would be conducted this summer particularly for kids and housewives.

The three new language courses aim to assist the Indian youth with global aspirations in enhancing their job skills and employment options. The courses in French, German and Spanish will enable a person command over these international languages, thus incrementing their job prospects. All three courses are available at three different levels - beginners, intermediate and advanced.



Street play festival ends
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 7
Radical street theatre format is the most vibrant medium wherein actors can debate on current issues of socio-cultural relevance in direct conversation with audience. Keeping this in view, Citi Entertainment Network and department of cultural affairs, UT, organised a two-day street play festival, which concluded at the Plaza yesterday.

The opening comedy play “AIDS in the city” not only created awareness about the killer disease but also negated many misgivings about it. The comedy farce employing an eunuch claiming to have interacted AIDS after bitten by a stray dog, greedy policemen tracing the master of dog provided crisp entertainment. Mukesh, Abhimanu, Padam and Jasbir played main roles.

However, the second day presentation “Arjun gumm hai” depicted the plight of a qualified professional seeking a job. Playwright Gurpreet Sindhra structured the play in a mythological and contemporary ambience and relied on epic character of Arjuna, a valiant warrior.

The modern day Arjuna, the compatible professional, in a bid to get a job faces apathy of corrupt systems, exploitation and red tapism. Besides offering his assets, he is refused the job and the protagonist in utter disgust is left with no other option except to embrace terrorism. Jasbir, Baljiner Kaur, Iqater and Abhimanu played lead roles.



Zirakpur youth’s body found
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, June 7
The body of Rohit Handa, a resident of Lohgarh village, Zirakpur, was found today in Sirhind canal, near Pawad village, under the jurisdiction of Machhiwara police station.

Jaswant Singh, in charge of the Kiratpur Sahib police post, said the police received a call in the morning from Chamkaur Sahib stating that a body was found floating in the area.

Following this information, the police party reached Pawad village from where the body was fished out. It was brought to Anandpur Sahib civil hospital for postmortem. The autopsy will be conducted tomorrow before the body is handed over to the relatives.

Rohit had slipped into the Sutlej on Thursday late evening. He was taking bath with his colleague at Kiratpur Sahib around 7.30 pm, when his foot slipped and he got lost in water. Rohit had been working as a lab attendant at Singla Construction Company for the past three years.



Youth falls to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 7
A 26-year-old youth died after falling from the roof of his house in the wee hours here today. The deceased has been identified as Pravin, a resident of Abhaypur village.

According to the police, Pravin, belonging to Uttar Pradesh, was working as a driver. He was sleeping on the roof of his house, along with his two brothers. His brothers and other persons sleeping there heard some noise around 4 am. Later, they found Pravin fallen on the ground in a pool of blood.

He was taken to a hospital where he was declared brought dead by doctors.



City Scope Letters
Need to discipline police force

This refers to the City Scope “The waning fear of the khaki” (June 1) by Raveen Thukral, it is disappointing on part of the police, especially the Haryana police for its inefficiency to check the incidents of road kidnapping ending with a daring robbery.

What happened with Lalit Behal, Amarjit Singh of Sham Mall, Sameer Vats of Airtel in Mohali and retired PCS officer Om Parkash can happen to anyone.

The police has been equipped with latest equipment, weapons and mode of transport, but they still are not able to fear criminals.

In olden times, police force minus all gadgets was most efficient and most feared. There is a need to make the police accountable to the public. There is a need to create citizen councils to discipline the police. Karnal-Shabad stretch of GT road has become unsafe for late night travelling. There is no patrolling during odd hours, there are no police check-posts on the toll tax barriers during night hours, and also there is no random checking of vehicles.

Habitual traffic violators are on the rise these days and “khaki” is losing its sheen and fear. Non-bailable warrants are being not executed and proclaimed offenders are moving freely. The police force- from the DGP level to the constable level- is lacking sincerity and there is a need to fix responsibility and accountability to maintain law and order and also to provide security to public especially while travelling during night hours.

Capt (Retd) Amar Jeet Kumar Mohali


The article has touched upon a very vital problem. To provide security to the society particularly to the vulnerable segment and keeping a check on the activities of anti-social elements is the primary duty of the police. It is common these days to see the police on the roads only before midnight and after that they leave the field for criminals to execute their plans freely.

It is shocking to know that there are around 1,500 proclaimed offenders in the city and nearly 30 years old wanted cases are still at large. Chandigarh police is well equipped to deal with anti-social and a criminal element, what is required is to stir them up to do their duty honestly and sincerely.

Lajpat Rai Garg, Chandigarh


There is an unholy mis-alliance between the cops and the robbers operating in such a daredevil way. If the robbers had any fear of the cops hounding and catching them, they might not dare so assiduously as to follow closely the victims on the highway to their home and then loot them.

Such incidents should not be taken lightly and the authorities concerned should evolve measures to bust the gang operating on the highways and the process of prosecution can start later.

An effective joint strategy should be evolved with the co-operation of the UT, Punjab and Haryana police to save innocent lives. There is no need for any sort of recrimination at this stage and effective steps should be taken to avert recurrence of such incidents.

I have sympathy with Behal and family over the loss of money and valuables and the trauma that they underwent. Kudos to Mr Thukral for raising such an important issue.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Mohali


Travelling on the Delhi-Chandigarh road during night has certainly become risky and fearsome these days because of the deadly acts of the highway robbers.

Though I've been travelling on this route for the past 40 years, I wasn't so afraid. There is no policing on this route during night.

Mr Thukral has rightly pointed out that “the general visible increase in goondagardi on the streets of the tricity seem to indicate how easy it is to commit a crime here and get away with it.”

The police is nowhere seen these days. The criminal-khakhi nexus cannot be ruled out keeping in view the daring acts of the so called “highway robbers” who don’t fear to commit murders. Not many cases of murder and robbery have been solved by the men in khakhi. The faith of “aam admi” on khakhi has thus declined to almost zero whereas that of the criminals has increased beyond imagination. The authorities concerned should wake up so that criminal activities could be curbed.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh


There is no denying that there exists an enduring nexus between the cops and robbers, as apart from this gruesome highway to home led daring robbery, there are several cases that are being reported daily in the print media regarding theft of cars and scooter apart from chain-snatching.

There is no action despite the timely alert and the thieves/robbers find an unhindered easy escape.

It is evident that there is no cohesive and well-knit co-ordination among the cops in the tricity as a result of which the miscreants find some lacuna, undoubtedly with the active collusion of the cops, to go scot-free. There is, thus, a dire need of highly effective mechanism to tackle the situation, which is eating into the vitals of the society. The police should thus ponder to plug this loophole so that there is no loss of property or life due to theft/robbery.

Simran Saini, Chandigarh


It is a sorry affair that people are losing faith on cops due to their callous attitude. Corruption in our country is on the rise and law and order on the other hand is deteriorating. Politicians and bureaucrats are also fully responsible for owning moral responsibility, as they interfere and shield the culprit. Serious steps should be taken for the safety of the people.

OP Garg, Patiala


The police has forgotten the meaning of policing. From the two robberies that occurred in quick succession in the tricity, the modus operandi was found to be same, which means the same gang was on the prowl between New Delhi and the tricity.

They have found these cities most convenient to operate so as to go off quite safe after committing the crime. As rightly pointed by Mr Thukral, that there is no shortage of funds for the city, so the policing could be better here than any other city in North India.

The authorities concerned should take this matter seriously and bring to justice those who perpetrated this crime of loot in a daring manner.

Surinder Singh Saini, Chandigarh


Law is a slave of a few rich persons and manipulators. The latest reports regarding Punjab vigilance on surveillance of a few from the legal sphere and nexus is a great pointer. It is surprising that the report, which was made available in July 2008, is still doing the rounds and a few papers were lost from the High Court. Most of the time it is high connections and spoilt brats who end up being hard criminals.

The arguments of leading lawyers on Wednesday in Nari Niketan case are almost an eye opener. What is the fear of law or khaki when they themselves are protecting the lawbreakers otherwise how it is possible that accomplish has not been arrested when expectant mother has confirmed her implication wide and clear.

The two incidents of highway robberies have shaken the faith of people. The police force of Chandigarh has certainly failed in their duty. See the borders and entry points of Chandigarh where CCTVs have been fixed recently and half a dozen policemen are always there to collect money in the name of challan. Unless and until there are fast track courts for trial of such cases there is no other way. Unless the police starts working without fear and favour, all laws and rules will be futile.

RK Garg, Chandigarh

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Attested copies must in private schools, still
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Contrary to the orders of the Chandigarh Administration, private schools are still insisting on the supply of attested copies of documents for applying for admissions in class XI.

RK Garg, a resident of Sector 27, stated that Sacred Heart School and Vivek High School of the city had asked the students to supply attested copies of their CBSE class X result for getting admission in class XI.

In a press note issued on May 1, the UT public relation department had stated that it had come to the notice of the administration that some departments were still insisting for affidavits or copies of the documents attested by a gazetted officer for government jobs or admission in various educational institutions.

The administration had made it clear that no such affidavit or document attested by the gazetted officers was required for the above said purposes.

When contacted, chairperson HS Mamik, Vivek High School, stated that they were not asking the students for the attested copies of their results but as the students had submitted the printed copy of the result, so they had asked them only for self-attestation.

He said their school had a clear policy that when any student sought admission, he or she was asked to produce the original documents of their certificates. Then what is the need of asking for the attested copies, he questioned?

When contacted Sacred Heart School, an official stated that we were not asking for the attested copy of class X original mark sheets. Actually the students are applying on basis of the printed mark sheets and we need something to ensure that they are not tampered.



College admissions-2009
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
A look into the past academic records, extra-curricular achievements and improved infrastructure divulges Government College for Girls, Sector 11, to be yet another option for students seeking admission in graduate and postgraduate level courses.

Offering a wide variety of subjects on the platter, the college is in the process of starting a new add-on course on “Guidance and counselling”, besides the regular graduate courses.

This course on counselling was earlier recognised as a certificate course.

The new courses also include postgraduate degrees- MA in sociology and geography, and MSc botany, zoology and bio-chemistry.

The college, which has been, accredited “A” grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) claims to provide “all-round development” to the students with successive wins in the zonal youth festivals in various events in addition to its academic achievements.

The college also boosts of an active placement cell, an exclusive library and also hosts a number of courses, including humanities, commerce, science, information technology and computer science.

The graduate courses offered are Bachelors in Arts, Bachelors in Commerce, Bachelors in Science (medical/ non-medical) in addition to postgraduate course, masters degree in music (vocal and instrumental, economics and public administration) and a new add-on course.

Even as the cut-offs for various courses have been on an increase in the past few years, the college continues to be a favourite among girls seeking admission in the graduate courses.

Eligibility for BA/ BCom/ BSc/ BCA- Class XII board examination or any other equivalent examination recognised by Panjab University.

Important dates

Tentative date of sale of prospectus: June 15

Last date for submission of forms: July 4

Admissions process begins- July 2009

Process of admission- On-the-spot admissions based on merit

Hostel accommodation:

On-campus hostel facility for girls.

Whom to contact?

For prospectus and admission queries contact 0172-2740597.

Bachelor courses offered at graduate level

1. BA (Bachelors in Arts)

Subjects offered - Compulsory: English, Environment Education, History and Culture of Punjab/ Punjabi

Combinations - English/ Hindi/ Punjabi/ French, Economics/ Fine Arts, History/ Mathematics/ Functional English/ Music Instrumental, Music Vocal/ Sociology, Public Administration/ Home Science/ Philosophy, Political Science/ Indian Classical Dance, Sanskrit/ Physical Education/ Psychology/ Geography

2. BCom (Bachelors in Commerce)

3. BSc (Bachelors in Science) Non-Medical/ Medical

4. BCA (Bachelors of Computer Applications)

5. MA (Music/ Dance/ Public Administration/ Economics)



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