C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


TOP STORIES


Now, firing row eclipses Chand
Denies calling supporters to rescue him from Fiza
Tribune News Service

Ashok, supporter of Chander Mohan, admitted to the civil hospital, Phase VI, Mohali, after being injured in police firing.
Ashok, supporter of Chander Mohan, admitted to the civil hospital, Phase VI, Mohali, after being injured in police firing. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, June 15
The incident of firing near the house of Fiza alias Anuradha Bali last night has snowballed into a major controversy with her love-struck husband Chand Mohammed alias Chander Mohan today denying that he had ever called his supporters to rescue him.

Around 30 persons, claiming to be his supporters, yesterday clashed with cops, while trying to rescue him from the Sector 48 house of Fiza. Four persons, including Ashok, who was injured in the police firing by ASI Sohan Singh, were arrested for rioting and criminal assault on a public servant. Ashok, who was admitted to the phase 6 Civil Hospital, told reporters that he was related to former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal.

Denying that he had told Dinkar, one of his supporters, to rescue him from Fiza, the MLA said he had come on his own to stay with her and already apologised to her for his past acts. On being asked whether any member of his family was behind the alleged attempt to kidnap him, he said, “I do not know. It is for the police to investigate who was behind the incident”.

Interestingly, in a complaint filed by Dalbir Singh, claiming to be a supporter of the MLA, it had been stated that the latter used his mobile (no 97791-33332) to call on the mobile number of Dinkar (no 98880 00096) and Dalbir (no 94170 09293) and stated that there was a threat to his life as he had been trapped.

The complainant further requested the police to rescue Chander Mohan from the possession of Fiza. Now, the police was in a fix as serious contradictions in the version of the complainant and the MLA have emerged.

Sources said family members of the MLA had reportedly called up senior police officials, seeking help to save their son. On the other hand, the MLA had given in writing to the police that he had not been kidnapped and he was residing at Fiza’s house on his own.

Later talking to mediapersons, Chander Mohan said he was happy to be with Fiza. “It will take some time for the relationship to normalise. Since I have already been disowned by my family, why any one should kidnap me”, he quizzed.

Fiza said the sequence of events were self-explanatory about the efforts being made to break their marriage. “There is threat to our life. It is serious issue and the police should act”, she added.

Remanded in judicial custody

Three supporters of Chander Mohan, who were arrested for rioting and criminal assault, were remanded to judicial custody till June 28. Meanwhile, family members of the arrested youths alleged that their children had been framed and Ashok was deliberately hit in the foot by an ASI. They had just gone to meet Chander Mohan on receiving his complaint.

Residents seek Mohali administration’s intervention

Neighbours of Fiza in Sector 48 C, Mohali, are up in arms against the couple for alleged inconvenience being caused to them by their acts. “In the wake of drama, law and order problems like last night’s firing incident are becoming a routine affair. Moreover, the public display of their relationship through the media was having a bad affect on the youngsters”, said a senior citizen in the area.

Back

 

It’s misuse of religion: Clerics
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Chand Mohammad’s flip-flop over his recent “tele or SMS talaq” with Fiza has elicited huge resentment from city-based Muslim intellectuals and clerics, who have dubbed it nothing but misuse of religion.

“The very fact that he has dispatched the draft of ‘mehr’ raises doubts on his claims. Had he been a true Muslim, after divorcing her he would have returned only after her re-marriage and divorce with some other man. If Chand has uttered ‘talaq’ thrice to Fiza, what he is doing now is against the spirits of our religion,” asserted Imran Khan, cleric, Islamia Madrasa, Mani Majra.

Agreeing with him, Mufti Anas of Sector 26 stated that Chand was clearly playing with Islam.

“No true Muslim, who has once divorced his wife, comes back this way. If this ‘talaq’ actually happened then the goings-on are unacceptable. The woman has to undergo an ‘iddat’ after marrying another man before getting back to her first husband,” he said.

Taking cognizance of the fact that such acts by certain individuals don’t determine the essence of any religion, Mufti Anas denied any prospective action or “fatwa” against him.

Even Shahi Imam, Sector-20 Masjid, states that given the fact that Chand is insisting on not saying ‘talaq’ thrice, nothing can be said for sure, but if the ‘talaq’ has taken place then their actions are unacceptable.

“He is claiming that he has not uttered the word thrice but if he has then his ways are anti-Islam and if he has embraced the religion out of faith then he must respect it as well,” he added.

Though Chand is going all the way to deny his divorce with Fiza, in a reply faxed to the police, in response to a criminal complaint filed by her a few months ago, he has insisted that he has divorced her.

Back

 

U-turn from previous stance
Rape committed at Nari Niketan: Cops 
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
In a significant development, the Chandigarh Police today stated in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate that during interrogation both Bhupinder Singh and Jamna Kumar had confessed to having raped the mentally challenged teenage inmate at Nari Niketan. The police also stated that the victim was raped repeatedly.

The statement was made by the public prosecutor, while seeking the police remand of Kamla and Jamna Kumar. The request was, however, declined by the court and the accused were sent to the judicial custody.

The new stance of the police is an evident departure from the earlier line of investigation where doubts were being raised about the place of occurrence of the crime. Both officials of the Social Welfare Department and the police had earlier expressed possibilities of the rape having been committed at Aashreya, where the victim was shifted on March 13.

In fact, the Director, Social Welfare, Amandeep Kaur, had refused to accept the pregnancy test report of Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, who oversees the functioning of Aashreya. On her insistence, a second test was conducted on the girl at Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital.

The doubts were being primarily raised since the date the victim had conceived (8 to 9 weeks + - 3 days before the pregnancy test was conducted on May 18) was too close to the day she was shifted out of Nari Niketan. Due to this, the police had refrained from arresting Kamla and their investigations were hinging on the DNA test of the foetus and the accused. In fact, the police had made a list of 12 employees of Nari Niketan and Aashray for DNA matching.

However, with the police now making claims of a confession by the suspects and attributing the arrests to “investigations”, the probe has more or less confirmed that the crime was committed at Nari Niketan. Both Jamna Kumar and Bhupinder Singh were employed at Nari Niketan.

DSP Kulwant Singh Pannu, supervisor of the special investigation team (SIT), probing the case, said they had submitted to the court in writing that the accused had confessed to their crime. He said the investigating team had recorded the statements of the staff members of both Aashreya and Nari Niketan and gathered circumstantial evidence, which indicated towards the involvement of both accused.

The police also admitted in the court that accused were not cooperating with the investigators, besides submitting that the victim was repeatedly raped.

The police has arrested Kamla on June 11, the day The Tribune nailed the lie of investigating officer Udey Pal Singh, who had told the Session Court that she was absconding.

The entire line of investigations seems to have changed after photographs of Kamla reporting for work at Nari Niketan were published in the these columns.

However, UT SSP SS Srivastva maintained that there was no delay in the arrest. He said the arrests were made only when they were required as per the investigations.

Back

 

Adulteration: Authorities get cracking
Collect milk, cheese samples
Smriti Sharma
Tribune news Service

A food inspector takes samples of milk and cheese from a vendor during a drive conducted jointly by the PFA authorities and the UT police in Chandigarh on Sunday.
A food inspector takes samples of milk and cheese from a vendor during a drive conducted jointly by the PFA authorities and the UT police in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

Chandigarh, June 15
Following an exposure of sale of spurious milk by milk vendors in the city in these columns on June 12, a joint drive was conducted by officials of the department of prevention of food adulteration and the Chandigarh police here this morning.

The exercise, which started around 6 am continued till 11.30 am. The team comprised three food inspectors — Jagmohan Singh, Bharat, and Surinder Pal Singh — and three police officials from the Mani Majra police station.

The drive was conducted under the supervision of Dr VK Gagneja of the local health authority.

During the drive, the officials set up a checkpoint at the Mani Majra traffic lights and intercepted milkmen.

Two samples of milk and three samples of cheese were taken and sent to laboratory for testing.

Besides, six challans were issued to milk vendors under rule 50 of the PFA Act.

Also, four quintals of unclaimed milk was destroyed. The milk was confiscated from a rehriwala after he was intercepted carrying it in containers.

When questioned about the same, he could not reveal the name of the owner of the milk and said some milkmen who apparently got a whiff of the drive gave it to him to get it across the checkpoint.

The Tribune had on June 12 revealed that, like other cities, Chandigarh residents had been left with no choice but to consume adulterated milk from thousands of milk vendors in the city and its periphery in the absence of any check on its sales.

While the local health department had claimed its helplessness over conducting raids on the premises of milkmen due to unionism, the raids that were conducted seldom fetched any results due to alleged connivance of some policemen who accompanied food officials.

The police, on the other hand, alleged that while their officials accompanied the food authorities during raids, it was the other side that tipped vendors in advance.

The adulteration in milk bought from milk vendors is termed by officials as “local” and varies from addition of water to extraction of cream to low content of fats and proteins, the last two being verified from laboratory testing.

Back

 

Fair deal for fair sex
Fee for girls slides by 20 pc
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Getting admission for girls in government schools here will become cheaper from the 2009-10 session. The Chandigarh education department has decided to reduce the fee of girls, seeking admission in Class XI by about 20 per cent.

As per the prospectus of the education department, those girl students, who opt for science stream under the general category will have to pay Rs 1,200 whereas the boys will have to pay Rs 1,500. Similarly for commerce, arts and vocational courses, girls have to pay Rs 1,000 and boys Rs 1300.

Sources in the education department revealed that earlier the fee structure for both boys and girls were same. Last year, students under science stream paid Rs 1,700 for commerce, Rs 1,600 for arts and Rs 950 for vocational.

Students of the schedule caste, opting for science will have to pay Rs 700 and those opting for commerce, arts and vocational education will have to pay Rs 600. Whereas last year, the fee structure for them in the science stream it was Rs 800 and for commerce and arts it was Rs 600.

Even the fee, which was charged by schools under the IT head, has also been reduced from Rs 50 to Rs 25.

Meanwhile, the department has decided to introduce commerce stream in Sector 20 and 37 government schools from this year.

Six-month fee structure for class XI in govt schools

General SC

Stream Boys Girls Boys/Girls

Science Rs 1,500 Rs 1,200 Rs 700

Commerce/arts/ Rs 1,300 Rs 1,000 Rs 600

vocational 

Back

Budgetary allocations to MC under scanner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
The budgetary allocations to the municipal corporation have come under the scanner of the Chandigarh administration. A direction to this effect was issued by UT Administrator SF Rodrigues to Finance Secretary during a public hearing session here today.

The Administrator asked the Finance Secretary to conduct an analysis of the budgetary allocations to the MC vis-à-vis its performance in the past five years for identifying areas for rectification.

Rodrigues also expressed concern at the deviation of healthy democratic practices during the sittings of the MC and said a harmonious relationship between members of different opinion groups in the house meetings should be maintained.

He asked the officers to take the process of “partnership and ownership” forward as per the strategies discussed with the NGOs working in Union Territory a few days ago for upgrading the quality of life of people and giving a boost to the infrastructure development in the city and its villages.

Emphasising the need for speeding up the process of setting up the warehousing and modern terminal market projects, Rodrigues asked the Finance Secretary to set up separate groups of experts for each project with bureaucrats as member secretaries to take the process forward.

He also directed the officers to undertake an encroachment drive under the orders of courts and the directives of the Ministry of Home Affairs to clear government land for use for development-oriented and public-utility projects.

Senior officers who attended the

pubic hearing session included MP Singh, Secretary to Governor, Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, Sanjay Kumar, Finance Secretary, RK Rao,

Deputy Commissioner, and Mohanjeet Singh, chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board.

Back

 

50 jhuggis come up on govt land
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
UT Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues’ dream project of rehabilitating slum-dwellers with around 25,000 one-room tenements may not curb the menace of encroachment by squatters after all. For, over 50 jhuggis are being raised afresh on the open space adjacent to Bhaskar Colony, Sector 25.

Though officials of the municipal corporation as well as area councillor Sheila Phul Singh feel these jhuggis are “legally authorised”, as their owners happen to be “bonafide residents” on records of the administration, investigations by The Tribune team found this to be otherwise.

A majority of these people did not have their names registered with the administration, as they were never included in the list of biometric survey conducted by the administration sometime ago. Still, they have encroached upon the government land by raising unauthorised structures.

They have reportedly been given “false hope” that this will entitle them to get built-up houses or plots under the “rehabilitation scheme”.

Subhash (name changed), a rickshaw-puller, said area councillor Sheila gave them the “go-ahead” to construct jhuggis during the recently held Lok Sabha elections.

“She told us to construct jhuggis here around 15 days ago, promising to include us in the rehabilitation scheme,” he added.

Another daily-wager Shayam Das (name changed), who was building his jhuggi, said his family could not be part of the biometric survey, as they were away when officials of the administration came to Kumhar Colony for the survey.

“We are building a jhuggi here because our area councillor has assured us of getting a plot,” he added.

On the other hand, Sheila claimed that those building jhuggis on the “government land” already had their names in the biometric survey list.

“Some existing jhuggis were obstructing a road that is being constructed inside Bhaskar Colony. I have just asked them to shift to this place so that their stake under rehabilitation is not lost,” she said.

On some unauthorised jhuggis being built on her “false assurances”, she retorted: “I have never given any false assurances to anybody. They are lying. Those who were not included in the biometric survey have no claims under the rehabilitation policy.”

After conducting the biometric survey at Kumhar Colony, Sector 25, the administration had established Bhaskar Colony with over 4,000 plots to accommodate them.

The plot owners will have to pay back the cost of plot in the shape of Rs 254 per month as installment for a period of 20 years.

Back

 

Working women’s hostel inaugurated
Snehalaya’s IIIrd phase also unveiled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues today inaugurated two ambitious projects — a working women’s hostel in Sector 24 and third phase of the Snehalaya project, the home for the young at risk at Maloya.

While the hostel has met a long-felt need of providing accommodation to working women in the city, the Snehalaya project aims at empowering street children to make them productive members of society.

Accompanied by Jean Rodrigues, the Administrator went around the hostel complex constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 2.28 crore on a covering plinth area of 5,484 sq ft.

The two four-storey blocks comprising 44 dormitories will accommodate 132 beneficiaries.

He inspected various facilities in the halls, dormitories, kitchen and dinning hall and discussed ways of strengthening the support structure with senior officers to enhance the utility of the project.

He told the officers to evolve a responsive system of security and also recreational facilities for the inmates.

He also suggested beautification of the complex and halls with murals and paintings.

Rodrigues also interacted with principals of different colleges and asked them to coordinate their endeavour for ensuring smooth functioning.

After launching the project, Rodrigues and Jean Rodrigues went to Snehalaya and inaugurated the third phase of the project.

This facility has been conceived and created for 900 street children and its first and second modules were inaugurated on October 27, 2008 and March 2, 2009, respectively.

The third module, inaugurated today, comprises an additional block for 300 girls along with the administrative block.

The objective of the centre is to empower street children by providing them counselling services and imparting them training in various vocational trades to make them useful citizen of society.

They inspected workshops created to run training courses in the field of computer, electrical and electronic repair, beauty culture, cutting tailoring and embroidery, welding, motor mechanic, carpentry, food processing and dress designing.

Back

 

Food street to stay overnight: Mayor
Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Mayor Kamlesh today joined the issues with the Senior Superintendent of Police over the Night Food Street issue and said the corporation would not stop any activity at the food joints after midnight, as ensuring security at the food street is responsibility of the police.

Reacting over the letter sent by the SSP to the municipal corporation yesterday recommending the corporation to stop activities at the food joints after midnight otherwise depute its private security guards besides installing CCTV cameras, the Mayor said this was not the responsibility of the municipal corporation.

“Neither we will depute private security guards, nor will we install CCTV cameras. The police is shirking from its responsibility of maintaining law and order,” Kamlesh added.

She said if the corporation would stop the activities at the food street after midnight, it would not be a night food street anymore.

Kamlesh said the corporation had decided to open four more late night food joints in the city in the future. “The shopkeepers are earning huge profits here, thus, four more joints will be opened in crowded areas of the city,” she added.

“We can depute the security guards on the premises of the food street but the parking lot and road comes under the jurisdiction of the police, and hence, they should take its responsibility,” opined councillor MPS Chawla.

Back

 

Railways initiates installation of CCTV cameras
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

The newly installed CCTV camera at the Chandigarh railway station.
The newly installed CCTV camera at the Chandigarh railway station. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, June 15
Following criticism for lack of security arrangements at the Chandigarh railway station in past, the Ambala division of Northern Railways has finally initiated the work of installation of CCTV cameras here today.

According to the official sources, the station would be fully equipped with 20 CCTV cameras within a fortnight. The new development at the station enables better security tap on any movement at the station.

Earlier, the installation of the CCTVs at the Ambala railway station was completed and the Chandigarh station was next in the pipeline. Meanwhile, the effort simplifies the task of the railway police to a great extent.

KK Mishra, Inspector General, Government Railway Police, Northern Railways, said, “It had been a persistent demand of the government railway police to install CCTV cameras at the station. Earlier, they were installed at Ambala, and now, the work has begun here. In the second phase, the installation is also likely at other places.”

He further said the installation of the cameras would be a great boon for the police in case of any untoward incident. He added, “The CCTV cameras will enable us to record footage and it is preserved for one week. It not just covers the platform, but also the booking counter. Later, we can go through the footage in case of any mishappening.”

Meanwhile, RK Saxena, Additional Divisional Regional Manager, said, “The monitoring process will become better now and within 15 days, the CCTVs will be fully commissioned.”

Back

 

Mr Garewal, who will pay Rs 12 lakh rent?
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 15
Mr former DC, who’ll pay the rent bill of over Rs 12 lakh? That’s the buzz among officials of the Mohali Municipal Council on hearing reports that former Deputy Commissioner H.I.S.Garewal is vacating the two-kanal house of the civic body, which had been unauthorisedly occupied by him for the past two years ago.

After Garewal was appointed the Deputy Commissioner of Mohali, he unauthorisedly occupied the house in the municipal complex in Phase V here. He was repeatedly requested by the council to vacate the house and also deposit the rent for the period of his stay but to no avail.

It is reported that Garewal has been allotted a house in Chandigarh by the Punjab Government and his staff is shifting his belongings. His security staff had also removed the tents which were put up near the house. Garewal was at present working as Secretary, Pensions and Grievances, Punjab.

Sources said though most of the belongings of Garewal were shifted from the house of the MC, no intimation regarding the vacation of the house had so far been sent to the authorities concerned.

It is learnt that executive officer of the civic body Amna Kumar Goyal today wrote another letter to the former DC in which he stated that house ( no 1985) had been unauthorisedly occupied by him since April, 2007, and no rent had been paid so far to the council. He further stated that Garewal owed rent to the tune of Rs 12,45,400 till May 31, 2009, at the rate of Rs 47,900 per month. Goyal requested Garewal to vacate the house at the earliest and hand over the possession to the civic body.

Earlier, council president Rajinder Singh Rana had, through a letter, sought the help of the Chief Secretary, Punjab, to get the house vacated in the municipal complex. Copies of this letter had also been sent to Principal Secretary, Personnel, and Principal Secretary, Local Government.

Garewal had tried to take possession of the two-kanal house amid high drama on April 14, 2007. Truck loads of belongings of both Deputy Commissioner and MC president reached the municipal complex. A dispute arose as to who would occupy the house. A naib tehsildar had at that time stopped the men of the council president from unloading his belongings from the truck.

Some councillors present at the scene had prevented the personnel from taking the DC’s property into the house. The council president had argued that since the house was the property of the civic body, it was his right to shift to the municipal complex.

Grewal finally took possession of the house on April 17.

Back

 

BSNL rings 3-G mobile service in Mohali

Mohali, June 15
In a bid to bridge the generation gap in the field of mobile telephony, the BSNL has launched 3-G service called “a generation ahead” here today. Significantly, the launch triggers the beginning to the end of the era of mobile communication based on 2-G services.

Launching the service, the general manager of the BSNL, Chandigarh, Naresh Sharma, said the users of 3-G service could use applications, including high-speed broadband, view video footage and clips on mobile handset, make video calls, enjoy live TV, high-speed internet while on move, receive e-mails, download full track music, live streaming, online games and others.

The 3-G service is available in both pre-paid and post-paid segments. The tariff plans in prepaid starts from Rs 300 whereas in post-paid from Rs 500. “The existing 2-G mobile customers can easily migrate to 3-G mobile services by purchasing migration voucher of Rs 151 only,” said Naresh Sharma. 

He added that data could be downloaded at much higher speed than 2-G network, at 2 mbps in ideal conditions. For all existing prepaid customers, the incoming video call would be free for a period of three months. — TNS

Back

 

Councillor seeks improved water supply
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 15
A municipal councillor has demanded action from the Punjab Chief Secretary to improve the supply of water in Mohali. The complainant said on failing of the government to fulfil his demand, he would be compelled to go to court.

Kuljit Singh Bedi said today that the town was facing acute shortage of water as additional pipeline from Kajauli had not been laid so far and the number of tube-wells functioning in the town was also small.

Additional tube-wells, for which expenditure estimates were cleared by the general house of the civic body two years ago, had also not been sunk so far.

He said estimates for two tube-wells to be sunk in his Ward no 27 and three in other phases were cleared at a meeting held on April 30, 2007, but could not be sunk because senior officials of the department concerned had failed to give their approval in this regard.

He said the big claims were made by political leaders of developing Mohali as per international standards, but residents were being deprived of basic facilities. Both the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the civic body kept passing the buck instead of providing the basic amenities.

People living on upper floors were the worst affected, though water shortage was felt even at the ground floor level. There was a big gap between the demand (23 mgd) and the supply (12.5 mgd) of water. Assurances were given time and again by the authorities concerned regarding the augmentation of the water supply system, but nothing was done on the ground level.

Bedi, in his letter, said if no action was taken to improve the water supply system in the town in the next 20 days, he would be compelled to go to the court and the Punjab government would be responsible for this move.

Back

 

Training in diagnosis offungal infections begins
Need for more mycology labs: Doc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
The 7th PGI-ICMR-WHO-INSA National Training Course on diagnosis of fungal infections was inaugurated today by Prof. Meera Sharma, Head of Medical Microbiology Department, PGI.

She highlighted the importance of medical mycology in the present day’s scenario of a large number immuno-suppressed patients in tertiary care centres. Prof. Arunaloke Chakrabarti, chief resource person of the workshop, introduced the course to the participants. He stressed the need of urgent development of good diagnostic mycology laboratories in different corners of this country. At present, there were very few diagnostic centres in India.

A large number of patients remain undiagnosed for systemic fungal diseases and succumb to his or her illness due to lack of timely intervention with anti-fungal regimens. On the first day of the workshop, Prof A. Chakrabarti gave an overview of fungal diseases in India and the relevant diagnostic techniques.

Dr. Shiv Sekhar Chatterjee spoke on “Conidiation” (a method important for identification of the fungus). Prof B M Hemashettar from Belgaum, Karnataka, delivered a lecture on “Superficial fungal infections”.

Dr Shivaprkash took an interactive discussion on different fungi causing superficial and subcutaneous fungal diseases. Other staff of mycology division worked as facilitators in the practical training of the delegates on “basic techniques in clinical mycology laboratory”, “techniques for identification of mycelial or unknown fungi.”

The participants were faculty members of different medical institutes in Jammu, Ludhiana, Bangalore, Kolkata, Gawahati, Dibrugarh, Lucknow, Dharwad, Jaipur, Banur, Pune, Belgaum, New Delhi, etc. The training course will run for the coming six days.

Back

 

Post ’06 retirees start getting revised pension
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Consequent to some armed forces pensioners, who retired in January, 2006, moving the high court against the non-revision of their pension even months after the relevant orders were issued, some of them have started getting their dues.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued notices to the Ministry of Defence and the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) in this case last month. The matter is pending before the court.

It was being claimed before the court that though the Presidential sanction was conveyed to the defence accounts branch in November, 2008, pensions of such retirees had not been revised in accordance with the Sixth Pay Commission scales.

One such affected officer, a brigadier, said he had recently received arrears arising out of his upwardly revised pension. He now expected his new pension to be paid from the next month. Similarly, a Major-General in the same situation had also received his benefits.

A large number of officers and jawans, who had retired after January 1, 2006, were still being paid pension at the earlier rates (as per the Fifth Pay Commission scales) although those who retired before them were getting revised pension as per the Sixth Pay Commission scales. The affected retirees were getting about half the pension due to them under the revised scales. A large number of them continue to await benefits as per new scales.

Meanwhile, lending support to the cause of post-2006 retirees, the Directorate of Sainik Welfare, Punjab, has also sent a strongly worded letter to the accounts authorities concerned with a copy to the Ministry of Defence for its information.

It has been stated by the directorate that the administrative authorities may not be allowed to delay implementation of the government orders, which have been approved by the Union Cabinet and conveyed through an order issued in the name of the President of India.

The letter added that the excuse of “shortage of manpower”, as put forth by the accounts authorities, had no basis in view of the computerisation of pay and pension records of all serving and retired personnel.

Back

 

Drive to enforce ban on plastic bags
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
A weeklong drive was conducted to enforcing the ban on polythene bags in Sectors 32, 34, 37, 38, 43, 44, 45, 46, 49, Burail and apni mandis in Sectors 40,43, 45 and 46.

During the drive, emphasis was laid on checking the use of polythene bags by vendors selling fruits and vegetables in the mandis.

Polythene bags weighing 30 kg were seized from the apni mandis in Sectors 40, 43, 45 and 46 and shops in the markets. The drive was conducted by the enforcement staff comprising inspectors of the food and supplies department, medical officer of health and the health department under the supervision of Prerna Puri, IAS, SDM (South).

The Chandigarh administration has imposed a ban on the use and sale of polythene bags in the city with effect from October 2, 2008. The notification in this regard was issued under the Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, for banning the use, storage, import, selling, transportation and disposal of polythene and plastic bags by any person in the city. 

Back

 

Punjab, UT staff rally on June 19
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
The joint action committee of Punjab and UT Employees is going to organise a rally on June 19, seeking implementation of revised allowances.

Gurmail Singh Sidhu, general secretary of the joint action committee, said the rally would be organised, seeking amendment in the notification issued by the Punjab Government on May 27 this year. They would also insist it for arrears and revised allowances from January, 2006, to July 31 this year.

The employees would conduct rallies in Sectors 16, 18, 19, 22, 34 and in industrial area before organising a massive rally during the budget session.

Among other demands, they would insist for 5 per cent annual promotion quota, stop erosion of pay scales of Class III and IV employees, regularisation of daily wagers and contractual employees and implementation of the pay commission report.

Back

 

Honda Jazz launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Honda Siel Cars India today launched its latest global car, the Honda Jazz. Boasting of an optimum balance between futuristic aerodynamic exterior and spacious interiors, the Jazz claims to be a segment-defining car out to win accolades and adoration in Indian market.

According to Tatsuya Natsume, Director, marketing, Honda Siel Cars India, Honda's design principle “Man Maximum - Machine Minimum” has defined the underlying approach in the design concept of the Honda Jazz that calls for maximising the space available for passengers and minimising the space occupied by mechanical components.

Widely acclaimed for its dynamic styling, spacious interiors, versatile utility and remarkable performance, the Honda Jazz brings added fun and excitement to the driving experience. “The car is counting upon a newly developed four-cylinder 1.2-liter i-VTEC engine, featuring Programmed Fuel Injection, to deliver an output of 90 PS (66 KW).” Available in three different models, namely Jazz, Jazz Active and Jazz Mode, the car will come at a price of over Rs 7 lakh.

Back

 

Summer camp for special kids ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
A 15-day summer camp, which was organised by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Chandigarh, was concluded today. It was organised under inclusive education for the Children with Special Needs (CWSN) that includes mentally challenged, hearing impaired, visual impaired and orthopaedically impaired.

The main objective of this camp was to enhance social competency efficiency in the areas like academic, co-curricular and creative skills and primary focus was laid on the learning by playing fun learning.

Apart from routine activities like exercise, yoga, meditation, a plethora of activities for these 15 days has been chalked out for these children. The other activities include beading and drawing to improve eye and hand coordination and to enhance motor skills, recreational activities like dancing, singing.

Almost 80 students have joined the camp. DPI(S)-cum-State Project Director, SSA, was the chief guest on the concluding ceremony of the camp. He interacted with the CWSN and witnessed the cultural programme presented by these children. Special resource teachers and children felt motivated and encouraged with his presence.

Back

 

Enterpreneurship programme concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Annapoorna,an entrepreneurship development summer programme organised by MCMDAV College, concluded here today.
Motivated by the college principal, Dr Puneet Bedi, the department of microbial and food technology organised this programme for empowering women and economically weaker sections.

The participants were imparted essential skills in processing and preservation of novel foods with therapeutic benefits. Importance of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and functional benefits of the ingredients used were explained in detail. Special emphasis was laid on low-calorie healthy and refreshing beverages.

Workshop

The fine arts department of MCM DAV College organised workshop “MCM Khoobsurat” on personal grooming and make-up, in which young girls and homemakers were given tips to groom one’s personality. The ten-day-long workshop was concluded by a special demonstration by manager of Head Masters Pooja.

Meanwhile, the department also organised workshop “MCM Kala Kriti”, which included mask-making and tile-painting. The students were taught to make masks of paper, messhy and bamboos and were taught to paint colourful tiles as well.

Back

 

Google it or Bing it: Search engines

Besides googling, you may now also indulge in binging as the powerful Microsoft has launched “Bing”, a search engine, the latest in the long list of search engines, making an integral part of the Internet. The first two search engines Aliweb and JumpStation were launched way back in 1993. In fact, Microsoft has re-branded its MSN Search as “Bing” recently, making waves in the Web world.

A Web search engine is a tool designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are usually presented in a list and are commonly called hits. The information may consist of web pages, images, information and other types of files. Unlike Web directories, which are maintained by human editors, search engines operate algorithmically or are a mixture of algorithmic and human input.

Search is a very tricky business. We adapt to the Search Engine than it adapts to us (and the privacy issues, involved for personalising search like collecting data and search history and links clicked etc.) For a curious mind, more than one effective search engine is a must. Sometimes search engines like Yahoo ! Search, MSN Search and Live Search have delivered the result when Mr. Perfect Search Engine google did not. That is not to say Google is inferior or does not deserve their #1 position.

After Yahoo scorned Microsoft's 2008 purchase offer, Microsoft decided to go its own way, cooking up Kumo. (The internal codename for Bing was Kumo.) So when Bing was released a few days ago and appeared to seize second place in searches from Yahoo! Search, reports poured in pronouncing victory of Microsoft over Yahoo.

A commentator said if there has been one consistent thing about Bing and its reception, it has been the lack of consistency. Some have preferred to shower praise on the Bing, arguing that while not a leap and bound over Google, it provides a much better experience than the old Live search and better options to refine your search.

The StatCounter report claimed Bing scored 16.28 per cent of U.S. search traffic last week compared to 10.22 per cent by Yahoo and 71.47 by Google. The report put Bing's worldwide total at 5.62 per cent, compared to 5.13 by Yahoo and 87.62 by Google. TechCrunch hailed Bing as having stolen market share from Google and relegated Yahoo to the third place. ?

The Wall Street Journal's Katherine Boehret has complimented Microsoft's effort (and even uses "Bing" as a verb, something I'm not ready to do myself). In the Boston Globe, tech columnist Hiawatha Bray writes that while Bing isn't "sufficiently serious to catch up with Google," it's "good enough to make the Google-Microsoft contest truly interesting."

At Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan evaluates Bing's search features and Greg Sterling compares the results Bing and Google serve up in response to the same set of queries; both say Bing is no "Google killer" but more competitive than Microsoft's older Live Search.

If you put your question and Google it and finds answers to your question and then enter the same search in Bing, most of the times you may find both the search engines giving equal results.

User Centric Inc., a user research firm based in Chicago (US) offers a glimpse into the battle between the newly launched Microsoft's Bing and the powerful incumbent Google. While search for “TechCrunch”, Google only shows internal network links with the exception of Netvibes profile and Wikipedia entry, while Bing mostly shows links to third-party services (Wikipedia, OnSugar, Flux, Blip.tv, AboutUs.org, Facebook, GitHub, Mahalo, etc.).

To top it off running the query on Bing apparently means potential visitors will see the names of competing blogs in the left sidebar. On the upside, you can open the Wikipedia article on TechCrunch on the same page, which makes for a seamless user experience if information about us was what you were looking for.

Anil Maheshwari is an Editor with Instablogs.com and can be contacted at anilm@instablogs.com <mailto:anilm@instablogs.com>

Back

 

CityScope Letters II
UT officials lack accountability

The statements attributed to administration, the bare admissions of standing counsel before the High Court and the judgement of the court in Nari Niketan case shows that administration has been caught on the wrong foot.

Definitely, the arguments advanced by eminent lawyers in this case will go a long and its impact will be seen in the coming few months. Though standing counsel of administration has shown his anguish in his arguments, but there is no mechanism to put the point at the table of the officials concerned.

There is no simple way to communicate the High Court judgements to these officials and ask for their comments. Nobody wants to bell the cat and face the music. One thing is very clear that incidents and happenings of administration cannot go overboard and unreported any more.

Without being too much of sentimental on the issue, I would say that in Chandigarh, administration has gone far beyond being democratic. The present MP, who happens to be a Cabinet minister, has greater responsibility to bring the state of this inert administration to the notice of Home Minister, who is looking after Chandigarh affairs. May be, we get some respite from the unaccountable and unresponsive administration.

Kumar Gaurav

II

The fact of the matter is that the bureaucracy in India considers itself one class up than their counterparts in other government or private jobs. This is an offshoot of the ICS, which was equivalent of Royal Civil Services of the UK and in India, it got christened as IAS. These officers are, no doubt, the backbone of the country and are, as a matter of fact, more precautious, intelligent and possess vast acumen. Hence, one expects they would perform better in the delivery of justice in matters of common occurrences.

On the contrary, they seldom come to the expectations of masses and are led by the considerations as dictated by their political masters, or parochial or vested interests. There is nobody to challenge them.

It is only recently that under the RTI Act, they began to shiver to shed their recalcitrant attitude of one-up-mans-hip.

Not only are the officials in the UT more unaccountable, imperious and ruthlessly reckless, their political bosses also care too hoots, when it comes to the observance of the propriety and decorum of the system. They are pleased, do indulge into their innate craving to splurge money as in the case of one, who was adamant on gold chain.

Such ostentatious style was scuttled when other members of the MC expressed dissidence. This reminds one of the times of yore, when the kings used to be crowned and in the present day, system of democratic India, this fashion is totally redundant, rather a drag on the economy, which should abhorrently be shunned. Both the bureaucrats and their political bosses should take a cue from our Prime Minister, who is totally simple, austere and is enjoying the love of the people in India and ranks perhaps as one of the mightiest men on earth, leading the destiny of 1.1 billion people of India.

Gurmit Singh Saini

III

The administrative machinery is insensitive towards people. It is a slur on Indian bureaucracy, when according to a business survey on 12 economies released India’s suffocating “bureaucracy” was ranked the least efficient. The survey said working with the “country’s civil servants was a slow and painful process and the civil servants of Chandigarh” cannot be an exception.

In fact, the civil service was set up in colonial times, when its function was to assert control over vast sub-continent on behalf of the British Raj. Its outlook has not changed much even more than six decades of our Independence. Rather with time, degeneration has crept into the system. 

By name, they are “public servants”, but they have scant regard for the public, while they are in the offices and claiming working for the people. However, they may be in important meetings, but why there is a time frame to meet them at specific time, say 12 noon to 1 pm and not to meet on Wednesdays? This is a bad example of colonial look.

The public should be most important for public servants, who are paid out of the public exchequer. Being as public servants, they should be available for all the times daily for the public. The lust for money and muscle power is another valiant reason for their apathetic attitude. 

If they are really wanted to do what they say especially in the public interest, check rampant corruption, which they are doing at the behest of politicians. It is an open secret that almost all mega projects, initiated recently, are under the scanner of the Central Vigilance Commission. During the 62 years of Independence, several administrative reforms, commissions and committees have suggested ways to set them right, but almost all remained on paper and the administrative attitude remains colonial.

The nexus with politicians has made matters worse. By and large, our bureaucracy is squarely responsible for man-made happenings as had happened in Nari Niketan case. Actually, most of the tragic incidents are happened repeatedly because there is no regular check-up in the system on the part of our administrative machinery that used to live in glass houses and its staff lives in festivities. 

The miserable record of India’s cosseted babus in delivering public services has meant that essentials of life as electricity, potable water, schools, hospitals, security, transport and municipal functions remain out of the reach for the masses, barring bigwigs of city beautiful. Red tape and lack of infrastructure come in the way of overall development in the city. 

Self-introspection is the need of the hour. The print media, which is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy, has an added role to play to save degeneration. We can have some hope from the press to play a vital role to refurbish the lost glory of accountability. Honesty of purpose, straightforwardness in dealings, patience and perseverance are some of the virtues, which all who aspire to be in any way useful, should try to cultivate.

SK Khosla

IV

In Chandigarh, power is shared on 60:40 basis in Punjab and Haryana and so are the officials. There are only few officials from the UT cadre. As such, all officials, who rule the UT, come from Punjab and Haryana. As Chandigarh happens to be the joint capital of both the states, the proximity of officials, who come on deputation to the UT, continues. Meaning, they continue to serve their leaders’ interest more than Chandigarh.

All posts in Chandigarh are plum posts as they are accountable to anybody except the Administrator. On the completion of their deputation, they have gone back to their regular bosses. Under the circumstances, the situation of the governance becomes very unimaginatively beyond control. The issue has been discussed earlier also and will be raised as when lack of response and sensitivity is surfaced. The issue is not simply a routine matter or a part of society. This much is bigger than it seems. Through the RTI, many irregularities have come to our knowledge, but still they do not care.

The latest incidence of misuse of official car by Mayor is an indication. We should pinpoint the officials only, here given chance everybody is likely to behave same way.

If at all, misuse of official car of Mayor is established, will the insurance company pay the claim? In spite of revelations, the accomplish in Nari Niketan has not been arrested and no action has been initiated against the controlling persons in spite of High Court’s judgement and standing counsel anguish.

Why they will do, after all, officials are on deputation and at the most, they will be sent back to their parent state to administer the plum posts. We will continue to point out that they continue in their own way unless a percentage of the UT cadre officials are introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

RK Garg

V

The system of governance in the UT by Home Ministry of India is totally undemocratic in nature. The officials of administration are forced upon the citizens of the city from Punjab and Haryana at the whims and fancies of the political bosses.

Every IAS and IPS from the neighbouring states wants to come to the city on deputation as they enjoy the status of “Feudal Lords” here. They are accountable to none, make policies, while sitting in AC rooms, which are not in accordance with ground realities and do not even care for the elected representatives of the city.

They are very quick at formulating policies, which tend to harass the citizens of the city. For example, recently, the administration arbitrarily hiked the fine for misuse of premises by five times and now, there is a proposal for hiking the fine, relating to revised building plans by four times.

But they keep on dillydallying with the policies for the welfare of the people and act on them only when something is reported in the media. It is high time that the Central government should review the powers, especially “quasi-judicial powers” of the various officials of the city as they tend to misuse them at their whims and fancies.

Mandeep Singh 

Back

 

To err is education dept
After website, it’s prospectus
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
The misleading information continues as far as the UT education department is concerned. The “common prospectus for all government colleges” issued today by the education secretary contains the admission form (available at www.chandigarh.nic.in) with the same error quoting “attach attested copies” violating its notification.

Instead of mentioning “self- attested copies”, the department has been writing “attach attested copies” (page 2 of common form) that has been causing trouble to the students and parents at the time of admissions.

The issue of wrong information on the website www.educhandiagrh.nic.in came to light a day after The Tribune highlighted the self-violation of UT’s own notification (education department website misleading, June 15), issued in February, 2007, according to which self-attested copies are sufficient and the candidate seeking admission in an educational institute will not have to get documents and photographs attested by a gazetted officer.

Expressing resentment on the issue, RTI activist RK Garg said, “This is clear insensitivity towards the students by the education department. The department must withdraw the forms that have errors.”

As many people are not aware of the notification, DK Tiwari, attempt of the director, Higher Education, to leave the entire issue to subjective perception does not sound student-friendly.

When contacted, he maintained that the word ‘attested” in the form is meant to be understood as “self-attested”.

Meanwhile, the education department corrected the information on www.educhandiagrh.nic.in following the news of stale information in Class XI form on its website that was published in The Tribune on June 15.

Back

 

150 to be awarded scholarships

Chandigarh, June 15
The Gurukul Educational and Charitable Trust will give scholarships of more than Rs 1 crore to 150 meritorious students of the rural and economically weaker sections of the society for pursuing higher studies.

This was said by Manmohan Garg, chairman of the trust, at the successful conduct of the Talent Hunt -- 09 test for the year 2009-10 at Chandigarh. More than 2,000 students from Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Dehradun and Himachal Pardesh, participated in this hunt. He said the result of the hunt would be declared within four days.

The talent hunt was conducted for the aspirants of BTech (IT, CSE, ECE, Civil), BBA, BCA, B.Sc (IT), BCS (media entertainment and film technology), MBA, MCA, MSc (IT), in pursuance of the policy of the Punjab Government to uplift rural and economically weaker sections of the society. — TNS

Back

 

Govt College, Sector 46
College Admissions-2009
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
Established in 1982, Government College, Sector 46, for boys became co-educational in 1992 and has over the years added new courses and streams to the list of courses that it began with.

After an initial phase of formation the college started with, more meaningful courses were added. The vocational courses include advertising and sales promotion which was added in 1997 followed by BBA in 1998, BCA and M.Com in 1999 and 2000, respectively.

The motto of the college is “Light to life”, which reflects its mission to enlighten the lives of young generation by imparting quality education and a confluence of tradition and modernity.

The recent activities include project like “Shakti” on women empowerment was inaugurated in which basic training for defence against molestation was given to girls and they were encouraged to achieve perfection of body, mind and spirit to face modern challenges.

Principal KS Saluja emphasised that the college stands for the overall development of the students. The college also offers a basic course of six months for the students.

Suggesting the students to invest their time in constructive activities, the principal added, “Our college has remained popular for B Com and BCA courses in addition to psychology, Functional English and defence studies that are also popular.” The college offers hostel facility to the students in Government College of Education, Sector 20, where 50 seats are reserved for GCG, Sector 46, girls.

Important dates

Sale of prospectus begins: June 16

Last date of submission of forms for B.Com, BCA and M.Com: July 6 (For BA admissions on the spot)

Admissions continue till: July 14 to 21.

Back

 


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |