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Violence rears its ugly head in city
VIP brats bash up councillor’s sons
Tribune News Service

The Chandigarh police launched a massive manhunt to nab the assailants with VIP Punjab numbers. The BMW’s number was CH-23 (T)-2348, while the white Scorpio’s number was PB-O5-A-0001. Meanwhile, the police has booked them under Sections 323, 506, 147 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code

Chandigarh, June 29
In yet another incident of hooliganism, a group of rich brats travelling in a BMW car and Scorpio bashed up the sons of a nominated councillor, MPS Chawla, here in Sector 9 tonight.

The incident took place allegedly over a trivial issue at about 9:30 pm. Speaking to The Tribune, MPS Chawla said his sons Gurdeep Singh Chawla and Jagpreet Singh Chawla were crossing the Sector 9 road near Nik Bakers when a black BMW car screeched to a halt in front of them.

Worried over their safety, they tried to get away from the way of the car, but the occupants of the car tried to mow them down, alleged Chawla.

Chawla added it didn’t end here and the occupants of the car were joined in by their associates, who were trailing in a white Scorpio. All of the suspects, numbering about eight to 10, pounced on the duo and began bashing them in full public view, alleged Chawla.

Jagpreet sustained bruises on upper arm, while his brother Gurdeep’s nose was badly injured. Jagpreet said he didn’t know any of the suspects. What he noticed was the BMW car had a sticker of the police on it. Both victims were admitted to the Sector 16 Government Multi Specialty Hospital.

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Brawl in Khalsa College; 2 hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
In what can be called the first violent spat of this academic year, two student groups clashed, leaving two injured on the premises of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Sector 26, here today.

Two members of the Khalsa College Students Union and the Students Organisation of India Harveer Singh, a BA II student, and Jagmohan, a B.Com Ist year student, sustained head injuries in the scuffle and had to be admitted to Sector-16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital.

Narrating the incident, Harveer told TNS that they were just campaigning for their party. “We were assisting the new comers to fill the prospectus and submit it when we were attacked by an unidentified group of about 10-15 persons led by Chandigarh Students Union (CSU) president Manoj Lubana and Jaswinder Jassi.”

On the other hand, the CSU president said, “We had a brawl about three days back and today they approached me enquiring about the same. Following which both parties had an altercation and I also got my hand injured in the scuffle.”

Meanwhile, Jaswinder alias Jassi, Manoj Lubana, Himanshu and Rakesh Gill, who sped away after the quarrel, have been booked under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

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Brawl in Sec-26 college
Action after probe, says principal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Going a step further from regular prima facie suspensions, the authorities of SGGS College-26 have promised action in a bloody brawl that left two injured on its campus today but only after a hi-tech investigation.

In what may probably be the first of its kinds initiative, principal HS Sohi will review the CCTV footage and identify culprit before punishing him.

“We will surely take strict action but only after seeing the video of the brawl. The culprits will not be spared,” asserted Sohi.

The promise may be quite assuring but truly fails to provide any solace given to the fact that this brawl was not between two individuals that happened in the spur of a moment. The clash between the collated SOI and KCSU and the arch rivals CSU had a lot preceding it.

The further affiliation of these parties to two major students groups of the university propels many to actually perceive it as the commencement of campus violence now deemed to be an inseparable part of students politics specially with fast approaching elections.

“Video can surely show you the brawl but not what preceded or what will succeed it. It’s not a regular fight between two students but a clash between two student groups that doesn’t end here. Such tiffs continue for years and result in regular violent clash between the two groups,” said a local student leader.

What makes situation more dismal is the attitude of faculties which most of the times wash their hands off.

Whenever such a brawl happens, the long-pending promise of taking these students groups to one table and solving issues are remembered but as the colleges move on, the idea is left for consideration the next time.

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New office timings a tough ask for babus
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 29
Getting up early and reporting at office at 7.30 am was a tough ask for babus of the Punjab government. Normally used to coming late, many of them kept their reputation intact by reporting late at office on Monday.

The Punjab government offices’ new timings from 7.30 am to 1.30 pm did see a few diligent officers and their subordinates in their chairs at sharp 7.30 am. But many walked in casually an hour late.

ADC, General, Jaspal Mittal drove into the district administrative complex in his official car as his driver did not report on time.

A reality check of government offices in Mohali on Monday revealed that around 15 per cent of the employees reported at their respective offices within half an hour of the office opening hours. When confronted, a lady employee in the Zila Sainik Welfare office said she was not aware. The sweepers could be seen cleaning the premises of the district administrative complex and in some of the offices, the locks were not opened.

The first one to report, rather 15 minutes early, was SDM Raghbir Kaur Khera and her Sub Divisional Assistant Om Parkash. Second to walk in at 7.45 am was Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand. However, other officials of the district administration walked in late. The ADC (D) walked in at about 8.15 am.

While the staff of the Panchayati Raj office was in attendance, the SDO walked in about half an hour late. A number of rooms in the complex were found empty. The suvidha centre, supposed to be the frontal public dealing office, wore a deserted look, as there was no one to attend to the visitors.

On the police side, SP(City) SS Gill was present in his office at 7.30 am. Though the staff of the SSP and other senior police officials were present, the senior officials walked in late. Other public dealing offices like electricity and water bill collection centre also opened late.

At the PUDA Bhavan in Phase 8 here, the attendance at 7.45 am was less than 20 per cent. GMADA employees had to cut a sorry figure when the Estate officer, GMADA, was seen waiting at the entrance. Other senior officials of GMADA also walked in about half an hour late. A similar situation was seen at the Punjab State Education Board office here.

One of the latecomers thanked the Punjab government for declaring the half-day holiday’ as for them the working hours had been reduced to five hours.

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Burail jail to get hi-tech CCTV cameras
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
In an attempt to enhance surveillance at Model Jail in Burail the authorities are all set to replace the existing low-resolution CCTV cameras with high performance equipment to improve vigil of the high security jail.

Sources said the authorities were also planning to buy five new cameras for better surveillance of the jail, which would be installed at vital points in the jail, including the visitors’ room.

It is learnt that the senior police officials were also looking for the feasibility of connecting the CCTV cameras at the jail with the Sector 9 office of the Inspector-General of Police (Prisons) and Deputy Inspector-General of Police Mahabir Singh through the Internet.

A senior official told TNS that to improve the prevailing security systems the jail authorities are planning to revamp the security systems. Not only this, the authorities are also making efforts to introduce computers to keep records of the inmates and visitors. Besides, the biometric system of identification of the inmates and the visitors would also be introduced after the computerisation of the jail’s functioning.

After the introduction of the biometric system the police would obtain fingerprints of the inmates and the visitors and the same would be matched on computers to confirm their identities.

Sources say at present there are 27 CCTV cameras installed at the jail premises, which are of low resolution. The footage obtained by these cameras is generally blur, which fails to serve its purpose. Even the wiring of the cameras has worn out, resulting in poor quality of footage, which further distorted during transmission.

Jail officials have been complaining in the past that out of the 27 cameras installed seven cameras at vital points, three in the workshop, one in passage from main entry gate to the barracks and one at the entry gate, were not functional.

Among other inmates under the camera surveillance are Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjit Singh Bheora, who are under the cameras for round-the-clock.

DIG Mahabir Singh told TNS that to improve surveillance the new high-powered CCTV cameras were being installed in the jail. He added that if the system of connecting his office computer with the cameras installed at the jail would be cost affective they would go for it.

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KVs closed till July 7
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
After almost a week of having a harrowing time attending classes in sizzling heat, while their peers from other educational institutes stayed indoors, students of Kendirya Vidalayas (KVs) have a reason to smile, as the Chandigarh Administration today decided to give them off till July 7.

The summer vacations were over in the KVs on June 23.

The move to close down the KVs in the city came after The Tribune brought the problems being faced by the students to the notice of Deputy Commissioner RK Rao, who apparently took matter with the Education Secretary Ram Niwas. The orders for the closure of the schools, on the lines of other educational institutes in the city, were issued late in the evening.

After receiving numerous complaints from harried parents about their children attending classes in the scorching heat, The Tribune made inquiries from the Kendirya Vidalaya management this morning. When contacted, Assistant Commissioner, UN Khaware, of the Regional Office of Kendriya Vidyalaya, said he had received instructions from his headquarters that schools should follow whatever directions were given by the local administration.

He said since they were not supposed to follow the directions of the DPI, who had announced the closure of all government schools in the wake of the continuing heat wave, they were waiting for instructions from “appropriate authorities”, the DC. While he admitted that it was “hot” for the students, he maintained that no parents had so far complained to them.

The Tribune subsequently contacted Rao, who promised to look into the matter. Later in the evening, orders for the closure of the school were issued.

Earlier talking to this correspondent, students of KV-Sector 31 said they were having a “bad time”, as it was too hot. “There was no light in our class for almost 45 minutes and everyone was sweating,” said a class IV girl. The little girl also claimed that it wasn’t right that while students of other schools were sitting in their homes, “we” are attending classes.

A parent said they had complained to teachers about the problems, being faced by the children but there was no response. He questioned the wisdom of the school management to open the schools in such unprecedented heat wave conditions in the region.

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Long distance trains on wishlist
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Rail Budget

Long Distance trains for the region

Anandpur Sahib-Patna
Anandpur Sahib-Nanded
Chandigarh-Bangalore
Chandigarh-Goa (via Pune)
Recommendation and complaint box for food service
Quality food and better catering service
Improved Safety of passengers

Chandigarh, June 29
Demand for long distance trains from Chandigarh tops the charts in the rail users’ wish-list as all set for the Railway Budget to be presented in July first week.

Despite the fact that Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee has gone on records to say that passenger amenities, safety and security will be her priorities in the next Railway Budget, what remains to be seen is whether the minister would introduce any radical measures.

The issues of improved catering service, better food quality and passenger safety in addition to the demand for long distances trains remain a priority for the city residents.

“Long route trains, which consist of Anandpur Sahib-Patna and Anandpur Sahib-Nanded trains to serve the religious sentiments of the people of Punjab, along with a few more direct trains which include Chandigarh-Bangalore, Chandigarh-Goa, are the need of the hour,” said Joginder Singh Bhogal, member, Zonal Railway Users and Consultative Committee.

The importance of connecting Bangalore with Chandigarh in wake of frequency of visits of corporate executives between the two cities is emerging fast. Moreover, the city’s connectivity to the holiday destination - Goa via Pune — will serve dual purpose of tourism promotion in addition to catering the students who travel to Pune, which has emerged as an educational city, he added.

Recommendation and complain box for feedback of the food quality by the Railway commuters also remains a concern.

While the demand to reconsider the withdrawal of the “Cooking bogies” has cropped up, considering the fact that the passengers were earlier served fresh meals even during the night hours owing to these bogies.

In addition to all this, even the demand to revamp the outlook of the trains has come up. “Passengers often complain about the shabby look of the trains. The need to replace the old bogies of the Shatabdi to improve its look is now being felt. The Railways need to re-invest more in the outlook of the trains from the revenue it is generating,” emphasised Bhogal.

Meanwhile the summer special trains of the Northern Railways are terminating on June 30. No directions have been issued by the authorities regarding their extension so far.

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Tourism sees upward trend: Selja
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Foreign tourist arrivals in India declined by 10 to 17 per cent after the Mumbai attack and economic meltdown, but have gradually picked up with May arrivals being almost the same as in the corresponding month last year, Union Tourism Minister Selja said here today.

Addressing a press conference, Selja said foreign tourist arrivals showed an upward trend after a decline of about 10.6-17.6 per cent during January-March 2009 as compared to the first three months in the previous year.

“There had been some effect after the Mumbai terror incident (on November 26 last) and due to global economic meltdown.

However, the foreign tourist arrivals have again started to pick up, with 2,95,124 of them visiting India in May, which was just 1.9 per cent less in comparison with tourist arrivals in May last year,” Selja informed.

She said the government was also laying a lot of stress on giving a boost to domestic tourism, which was the backbone of the Indian tourism sector and added that her ministry was planning to hold road shows later this year at various places across the country to promote domestic tourism.

On the next year’s Commonwealth Games, Selja said there was a requirement of an estimated 40,000 rooms and added things were on track to meet the demand.

“Out of the total requirement, about 11,000 additional rooms will be made available in Delhi and adjoining National Capital Region (NCR) area,” she said. Besides, various categories of flats of the Delhi Development Authority, including those in Jasola and Vasant Kunj, are being converted into 5,500 rooms of 3-star category to be used for the visitors during the games.

Selja, who is also the Union Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister, said both the ministries under her had vast potential for employment generation and convergence between the two was under active consideration of the government to utilise their full potential.

Punjab defaults

Punjab has “failed miserably” to take benefit under the Centre’s flagship Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme as it is yet to avail Rs 470 crore against the seven-year allocation of central assistance of Rs 538 crore, Selja alleged.

While neighbouring states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and UT Chandigarh have already availed their seven-year allocation commitment from the Centre, Punjab is “lagging behind”, she said.

“The Centre has no problem in releasing the funds, but it is entirely demand based.

If there is no demand from the state concerned, all we can do is to bring it to their notice, which we have been doing in Punjab’s case,” she said.

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Swine Flu
First patient in city discharged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The first and the only patient found to be H1N1 Type A Influenza (swine flu) positive case admitted in city hospital was discharged after putting under treatment since May 21 here today.

As per reports, the patient did not develop any signs and symptoms of influenza, like illness, after he was put on the Tami Flu treatment as per guidelines of the Union Health Ministry, following which his second sample was collected on the third day of hospitalisation and was declared negative by NICD, Delhi.

A team of six doctors, headed by Dr P Tyal, incharge, Isolation Ward at Government Multi-speciality Hospital, utilised their best of expertise and hospital care while treating the patient belonging to Gurdaspur, said the health authorities.

All the 13 members, including five children and eight adults, of the family from Sector 40, who were in close contact of patient before he was admitted at hospital, were home quarantined for a period of seven days, were also relieved today.

During the entire period of home quarantine, the family members were given on-the-spot prophylactic treatment.

They remained confined to their home and performed activities during the quarantine period, which included carrying out daily household chores listening to music, watching TV and doing physical exercises beside yoga and some entertainment activities like antakashri.

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Diarrhoea in Mohali village
Probe panel report today
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 29
Almost all water samples collected after the Deputy Commissioner constituted a committee to look into the reasons that led to the spread of cholera and diarrhoea in Mohali village have cleared the potability test. Surprisingly, six of the 12 water samples collected soon after the spread of the disease were declared unfit for drinking.

It is learnt that the four member-committee set up by Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand has so far failed to detect the source of water contamination that led to the spread of cholera and diarrhoea in the village on June 20.

The authorities concerned had collected 14 water samples from hand pumps, taps and tubewells after the committee was set up on June 24 . While 13 of these water samples were declared fit for drinking, only one sample collected from a handpump had failed the potability test.

Civil Surgeon Dr Avtar Singh said the quality of water being supplied by the Municipal Council must have improved as all pipelines were cleaned after the water-borne diseases had gripped Mohali village. He said the exact source that led to the spread of cholera and diarrhoea had so far not been ascertained.

The Mohali SDM, the Civil Surgeon, the Executive Officer of the civic body and the Executive Engineer of the Public Health wing were asked by the DC to look into the reasons that led to the spread of diseases and submit a report by June 30. It is learnt that the report will be submitted tomorrow.

Residents of the village , however, suspect that water being supplied by the civic body to the village must be contaminated. Kuljit Singh, a resident of the village, said though there were handpumps and tubewells in the area, persons who solely depended on tap water were also taken ill. Another resident, lambardar Harminder Singh, said filthy water came out of pipelines when these were cleaned by council employees after the spread of diseases in the village.

Dr H.S.Sarang, SMO of the Civil Hospital, said eight patients suffering from diarrhoea came to the hospital today out of which only one person was from Mohali village. He said the hospital had so far admitted around 230 patients from that village.

The Civil Surgeon said around 400 patients suffering from mild diarrhoea were given medicines at a camp in the village which was organised for one week.

Officials of the Health Department had earlier collected 12 water samples from Mohali, Shahimajra and Madanpur villages out of which six were declared unfit for drinking after a test . Most of these samples were from Mohali village which were taken from taps, tubewells, and handpumps.

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Collision with cop’s car
Motorcyclist dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Gagandeep Singh, who was critically injured after his motorcycle collided with the car of a Chandigarh Police sub-inspector, was declared dead at the PGI in the wee hours today.

Talking to TNS, Gagandeep’s uncle Surinderpal Singh said the doctor declared Gagandeep dead around 4 am. They had already been told that his brain was damaged in the accident and he had been declared brain dead.

The police later handed over the body to the family after post-mortem examination at the PGI. The family took the body to their native village in Moga and cremated it late in the evening.

Meanwhile, the UT SSP SS Srivastva said the probe into the case had been transferred to the crime branch. He assured that the case would be investigated in a fair manner.

Surinderpal Singh said Gagandeep was the only child of his parents and was a good student. His father is a small-time farmer. Gagandeep had passed his class XII in the non-medical stream and had got admission in BSc (computers) in an institution in Canada and was planning to move their shortly. He was in the city to complete his visa formalities and had cleared TOEFL.

Gagandeep had borrowed the motorcycle, involved in the mishap, from his friend.

Reacting to the police action, Surinder Pal Singh said the police acted in a biased manner. He added that they would meet Mandeep, who was riding pillion on the same motorcycle with Gagandeep, and try to get his statement recorded to give their side of the story.

Gagandeep’s father Balbir Singh Dhaliwal told mediapersons that they would move court to seek justice, as the police wrongly booked him holding him responsible for the mishap.

Gagandeep and his friend Mandeep were injured on Saturday night at Sector 22 C and D. Mandeep escaped with minor injuries and was discharged from the hospital. His family had taken him to their native village in Moga yesterday.

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Shortage of water in police quarters
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 29
Residents living in police quarters, located in Phase VIII, are facing acute shortage of water for the past three days.

They said the life had already become miserable for them due to the shortage of power, but non-availability of water in this scorching heat had added to the problems. They said while some of them hired tankers to get water to meet their daily needs, others had to satisfy themselves with a few buckets of water collected from tankers arranged by the authorities concerned. Bathing and washing clothes had become a big problem for them.

Inderjit Singh Kang, executive engineer of the public health department, said there were about 200 quarters for the police and the authorities concerned had taken only one bulk connection to the colony. He said the water problem had arisen because the motor used to pump water was lying out of order, which had to be got repaired by the police department.

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Ray of hope for homosexuals
Ministry in mulling mode to repeal Section 377 of IPC
Gaurav Sharma

Chandigarh, June 29
Thousands of homosexuals in the tricity, living a life of seclusion, have a reason to cheer as the Home Ministry goes in the mulling mode to repeal Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises homosexuality.

It may be astonishing if one goes by the claims of Ashwini, project manager, Family Planning Association of India, that the tricity is home to around 30-35,000 homosexuals. The city, unlike metros, is still finding difficult to tread the path of open society embracing these outcasts. The homosexuals, lesbians and transgenders, being subjected to social discrimination, have earned a status of a “de facto ghettoised community in city”.

Welcoming the consideration, Ashwini says, “I would be very happy if our country joins the club where homosexuality has been legalised. The city, unlike metro, is not open to the idea. You are considered as a pariah if you are gay. Many people make cheap jibes at us in the city. Organising gay parade in Chandigarh would earn you mockery rather than voicing your demands.”

Subin (name changed) says, “I am very happy as the government has considered to repeal the Act. Homosexuality, considered as a stigma in our society, is natural. The society has inflicted psychological atrocities on us just because we are not straight. If two men are living together consensually, why there is a need to intervene in their lives?”

Meanwhile, for many like Joseph (name changed) more than anything it’s day-to-day humiliation that perturbs them. “We have to face a lot of problems in our life. The society does not accept us. What adds injury to insult is uncouth behaviour by police constables, who pass lewd comment on us and sometimes demand money from us. If this act is repealed it will be new beginning for our community,” he asserts.

Though it is not going to be a cakewalk for the ministry to evolve consensus to annul the Act, it has given a ray of hope to many who are living a life of isolation, as according to the famous singer Elton John “homosexuality is not a choice but nature that needs to be duly accepted and respected”.

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Art workshop concludes
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, June 29
A month-long music, theatre and modern art production-oriented workshop, organised by the Feather Kap Cultural Club and Inderdhanush Expo Centre, concluded with a sleek display of varied items in all realms at the Inderdhanush auditorium here today.

While the 35 budding artists, between the age of four and 14, cannot be subjected to a journalistic scrutiny, but their high spirits and confidence rightly matched the majesty of the venue of Inderdhanush, otherwise much bigger to match the function. The noted theatre and film actors, Ravinder Happy and Kanchan Gupta, had imparted the rudiments of diverse genres, like earthen pot-making to the modern life style, including table manners and all about a fashion show, beside the usual, dance and theatre and music items.

They were, however, supported by thespians Sudesh Sharma and Parvesh Sethi. The highlight of the workshop oriented production was that every student was made to participate in each stream, like the opening fashion show for junior and seniors, a group bhajan and the welcome song.

Dances on songs like “Marjani” and “Jai ho” remained hits. The budding artists staged a children play “Hamara bazaar” before concluding with a song, dedicated to their parents, relatives and dear ones.

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Educa 2009 on July 4, 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The Educa 2009, organised by Friendz Exhibitions & Promotions Pvt Ltd (FEPL), is all set to showcase a comprehensive view of education horizon and industry at the Kisan Bhavan on July 4 and July 5. The fair would be open to public from 11 am to 7 pm on both days and entry would be free.

The FEPL has realised that there is an opportunity in Chandigarh to deliver complete information and solutions to students to explore the options available in India and abroad.

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Drives to check bad elements
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
In an attempt to put pressure on bad elements, the police carried out special checking drives and set up nakas across the city.

A spokesman of the Chandigarh police said the special drives had been conducted from June 26 to June 28, during which 45 special pickets were deployed in the late night hours, including at Bhaskar Colony, Sector 25, Sector 38-West Colony and Mauli Jagran Colony. The UT SSP, SS Srivastva, personally monitored the entire operations.

Similarly, traffic wing of the Chandigarh police also carried out a special checking drive during these days to check the drunken and high beam driving.

During a special traffic drive, 250 traffic challans, including 227 for high beam and eight for drunken driving, were issued for traffic violations. Such operations would also be carried out in future, said the police.

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House burgled at Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 29
The thieves have taken away cash and valuables worth more than Rs 80,000 by breaking into a house at Sector 2.

The burglary was noticed when the family, which had left for New Delhi on Saturday, returned here.

According to the police, Gaurav Chhabra had left his home on Saturday for Delhi and when the family returned the locks of the house were found broken.

The victim told the police that cash Rs 25,000 and valuables worth over Rs 50,000 were found missing from the house.

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Speaking Out
Passenger safety top priority

The passenger security is the major concern. If the safety of the passengers is not kept in mind, the budget cannot really be called a common man’s budget. — Pooja

The travel fare is the most important thing in my opinion. The major concern is the narrowing down of fare of AC tier II and tier III tickets. I think the passengers who travel in AC tier II can also travel in AC first class as well. Hence, there should be a re-consideration of the difference in fares. — Aasra

When one compares the stations abroad with Indian stations, there is a stark difference. Basic amenities should remain a priority. The platforms here need to be revamped be it in Delhi, Chennai or even the washrooms at the Chandigarh railway station platform. — Nisha Ludhra

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Letters
Lights non-functional in park

PUDA provided two lights in the public park between houses No. 1911-12, Phase V, Mohali. These lights are not working properly since the day of their installation.

There is total darkness at night in this park and the same has become a safe hideout for miscreants.

Will the PUDA authorities look into this problem?

R.C. Arora, PCS (retd), Mohali

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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PU adds 2 new courses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Panjab University has introduced two new online courses on geo-informatics from the current academic session. These include two years M.Sc (GIS) and One-year diploma in geo-informatics. The Department of Geography will run these courses in collaboration with the University of Salzburg, Austria.

The courses, designed and organised to meet the requirements of the professionals already working in the field of Geo-Informatics, will be conducted online with provision of award of degree/diploma from the University of Salzburg, Austria. The admission process as well as delivering of course lectures will be done online. The candidates interested to seek admission are advised to visit www.unigis.net/PU_Chandigarh <http://www.unigis.net/PU_Chandigarh>for eligibility conditions, application form, fee structure and other details. For queries, if any, contact on following email address: office.pu.chandigarh@unigis.net. The last date for applying to this course is July 20, 2009 according to Prof. Krishan Mohan, chairperson, Dept. of Geography.

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Admit cards of BEd entrance test despatched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
It is for the information of all candidates concerned for BEd and MEd Entrance Test-2009 to be conducted by Panjab University on July 5 that admit cards of the test have been dispatched to all eligible candidates by registered post.

Those who will not get the admit cards by July 2, will get the duplicate admit cards from the university office (CET Cell, Aruna Ranjit Chandra Hall, near the post office) on July 3 and July 4 after completing prerequisite requirements, as detailed in the respective prospectus, according to the Controller of Examinations, PU.

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Promotion panel meeting for principals next month
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Hopefully, the Chandigarh education department would hold its long-pending meeting of Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) for the promotion of principals and headmasters/ headmistresses in the first week of July.

The assurance was given by DPI Samwartak Singh to a delegation of the Government Teachers’ Union (GTU) under president Vinod Sharma, which called upon him today.

According to a member of the GTU, it was expected that the DPC meeting for the principals would be held on July 1. After issuing orders to the principals, the date for holding the DPC meeting for the promotion of headmasters/headmistresses would be finalised.

Sources in the education department revealed that in the past two years, a number of times, the decision was taken by the authorities to take up the promotion issue of various levels by holding the DPC meeting. But the meetings were postponed by giving one or the other excuse.

As a result a number of employees got retired as acting principals or heads in the schools of the city.

The members also revealed that it had also been decided that the DPC meeting for the promotion ofheadmasters/headmistresses would be finalised within July.

Even the issue of the promotion to the posts of lecturer and headmaster/headmistress would also be taken up soon.

It has also been decided that transfer orders of head teachers in all primary schools will also be issued within one week on the basis of seniority. A year wise up-to-date seniority list of all cadres will be issued shortly and will be available on Internet.

The members also informed that a committee had been formed under the chairmanship of DEO for taking up proposals of general transfer of the teachers having more than 10 years of stay in one school.

The authorities assured them that the pending court cases would also be reviewed and officials would be directed to approach the courts concerned for early hearing.

The members stated that the DPI also gave assurance on the appointment of deputy DEO and DEO (elementary education) and deputy director (general education) on Punjab pattern at the earliest.

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Hostel info to go online in PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
In another effort to deal with the problem of squatters in the Panjab University hostels, the university authorities will soon upload the room allotment details on its website.

As per this initiative, the university website will be equipped with details of occupants, occupancy and other related things.

Claiming to go transparent with this, Vice-Chancellor R.C. Sobti said, “We will put all hostel details on the website so everyone is aware that who stays in which room. This will also help us to identify illegal occupants and deal with them.”

In addition, the university will also upload information about room availability to make the allotment process clear and transparent for the applicants.

“This might take some time but very soon students will not have to go from table to table or wait to know whether or not they have got hostel accommodation. The entire information will be just a click away,” he added.

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