C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Assault on Councillor’s Son
SAD ex-MLA’s son nabbed
Hunt on for Scorpio owner, others; BMW still untraceable
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The police today arrested two youngsters, including a son of a former SAD MLA Inderjit Singh Zira, in connection with the assault on two sons of nominated councillor MPS Chawla in Sector 9, here, last night.

According to ASP (central) Madur Verma, Prabhjot Singh Zira has been arrested in the case. The other accused, identified as Amandeep Singh Multani, a student of DAV College, has also been arrested, apprehending breach of peace under Section 107 and 151 of the CrPC.

Though his direct involvement in the case has not so far been confirmed, he was involved with the assailants. He was arrested several times earlier by the police in assault cases.

The ASP said they had identified the owner of the BMW car (CH 23 (T) 2548) as Amandeep Singh of Sector 38-West. He had taken a house on rent in the sector and given the address for purchasing the car. The police is trying to trace his permanent address.

The police said so far they found out that Amandeep was either a son or a close relative of a former SSP of the Punjab Police. The other suspects have been identified as Sunny Brar, owner of the Mahindra Scorpio (PB 05 A 0001), and Mickey, a student of a private college in Sector 26. Police teams have been dispatched to Ferozpore and other places to conduct raids at the suspects’ hideouts of the accused.

Talking to TNS, Chawla said the police had shown them a photograph of Amandeep Singh and his sons had identified the accused. The police also paraded several suspects for identification before his sons, but they were not involved in the incident.

Chawla said a delegation of various trader associations, including the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, the Grain Market Association, the Chandigarh Industrial Association, the Car Dealers Association, the Business Promoters Council and the Chandigarh Citizen Association met the UT SSP and the IGP, demanding fair probe and prompt action against the accused. Chawla added that the senior officials had assured fair probe into the incident, saying that there was no pressure on the police from anyone.

Chawla said earlier a moter cyclist was killed after being knocked down by a Tata Safari in Sector 8 here. The vehicle dragged the victim to a distance and the driver drove the vehicle to Zira’s residence in Sector 9 after the mishap.



Jolt to sub-panel on garbage plant
Ex-Mayor deserts it, raises doubts over report’s credibility 
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
In a setback to the credibility of the sub-committee report on the garbage processing plant at Dadumajra, former Mayor and senior most member of the Congress Subhash Chawla has dissociated himself from it on the grounds that it is “factually incorrect and has deviated from its scope”.

Chawla’s move to record his dissent on the findings of the report may prove to be an embarrassment to party leader and chairman of the sub- committee Chandermukhi, who was hoping to put the Municipal Corporation on the mat with the “findings”.

The former Mayor’s stand, coupled with the statement of two other members of the committee, councillors Ram Sumer Maurya and Gurcharan Dass Kaala, to The Tribune on June 28 that they had signed on the “dotted line” puts a question mark over the contents of the report.

Talking to The Tribune, Chawla said, “At a very initial stage, I had a feeling that the committee had not confined itself within its defined scope of work. The main aim of the sub-committee was to assess the technological aspects of the infrastructure and machinery installed, but when I found that the committee had started making unwarranted and unsubstantial sweeping observations about the allotment of the project, I chose to disassociate myself from this controversial report”, he said.

“How can one question the allotment of the project to Jai Prakash Associates when it has been approved by the House and ratified by the Chandigarh Administration. In my view, this committee has lost its credibility and impartiality”, he added.

Chawla also opined that Chandermukhi has “usurped” powers of the other members of the sub-committee, thereby reducing them as mere puppets. He said, as a result the report is nothing, but a “biased opinion” of one person and not an outcome of the collective wisdom of the members.

Nevertheless, the MC today scheduled a special meeting called for making deliberations on the plant, but due to commotion in the House about overlooking general meeting, the matter was deferred for the next meeting.

Meanwhile, the company representative confirmed that the plant is processing the entire garbage being generated in the city and dumping the inert/rejects like stones, crockery, glass, sand or silt to the dumping ground.



Theft accused leaps to death in district courts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Scared of police torture, Raja, an accused in a theft case, jumped to death from the fourth floor of the district courts in Sector 17, here this afternoon.

His nephew, Sunny, also a co-accused, tried to jump from the height, but was caught by the policemen.

Raja, who was badly wounded, was rushed to the PGI in a critical condition. He sustained multiple fractures and succumbed to injuries at the PGI later in the day. The constables accompanying the accused suffered bruises in their attempt to prevent the accused from jumping.

According to the police, both Raja and Sunny were brought on production warrants from the Delhi Police in connection with a theft case. They were on one day of police remand. The incident took place when constables Balbir Singh and Rajbir Singh were waiting for court orders.

Raja requested the policemen to allow him to drink water from a water cooler. All of a sudden Raja scaled the parapet and jumped from the fourth floor. His nephew Sunny also tried to follow him but was nabbed.

The police has registered a case of attempt to suicide and escape from the police custody under Sections 309 and 224 of the Indian Penal Code.

The police said the Delhi Police had arrested the accused on June 22 in an Arms Act case. They hailed from Tamil Nadu. The police claimed to have recovered Rs 4 lakh from them. They admitted to have stolen Rs 5 lakh from a car in Sector 20 on June 15.

The police sought one-day police remand of the accused on the plea of recovering Rs 1 lakh from the accused.

When asked what forced them to take the extreme step, Sunny said they were afraid that the police would torture them in its custody. He added that they were innocent and the police implicated them in a false case.

When asked about action against the policemen, the SHO of the Sector 17 police station, Ramesh Chander, said the angle of negligence on the part of the policemen would be examined and if required a departmental inquiry could be initiated against them.



End of road for highway robbers  
Kingpin, 3 others, including son of a UT cop, arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
A day after the highway robbers looted over Rs 4 lakh from a shop in Ludhiana, the Chandigarh Police today arrested the kingpin of the gang, Jaipal Singh, and three of his accomplices, including son of a Chandigarh Police inspector.

The police recovered four pistols with several live cartridges, Rs 4.64 lakh looted form a shop in Ludhiana and a Maruti Swift Car (PB-10-CJ-3433) from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Jaipal Singh and Gurshahid Singh Pawar, alias Shera, of Ferozepur, Harinder Singh Tinu of Police Lines, Sector 26, and Harjot Singh of Ludhiana. Jaipal is involved in several incidents of robberies, including attacking a police party to release his accomplice Rajiv, alias Raja, of Ludhiana.

Tinu is a son of Tarsem Rana, an inspector in Chandigarh Police posted at the Recruitment Training Center. He had shot at a woman employee of the Bank of Maharashtra in Phase XI, Mohali, last week during a robbery attempt, said the police.

Giving details of the arrests and seizures, UT IGP S.K. Jain told mediapersons that a team of Special Crime Investigation Cell (SCIC), led by DSP (CID) Satbir Singh, got clues that Jaipal, along with his accomplices, was coming to Chandigarh. The police team comprising commandoes, led by inspector Kuldeep Singh, laid a naka near New Lake in Sector 42 and intercepted the car. The occupants of the car tried to fire shots, but were nabbed by the police.

The IGP said the accused admitted to have committed 15 incidents of bank robberies and dacoity in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. Jaipal was arrested by the Ludhiana police in 2004 in a kidnapping case and was later arrested by the Ferozepur police in a car theft case.

While in Ludhiana Jail, he met Raja and they became friends. Jaipal was later released on bail. He along with others, including Bhupinder Singh, alias Rommy, attacked a police party to rescue Raja while he was being shifted to Bathinda jail. Thereafter, they formed a gang and began committing robberies in the region, the IGP added.

They had robbed many of their cars at gunpoints in the region, snatched a motorcycle, besides looting an NRI in Ferozepur of heavy cash and jewellery, looted an arms shop in Hoshiarpur and robbed Rs 11 lakh from the State Bank of India in Panchkula.

They also admitted to have taken away the Mercedes car of a resident of Panchkula after kidnapping him along with his family from Karnal, robbed a city-based businessman, Lalit Behl, after kidnapping him from Kurukshetra.

Tinu is a LLM student in Panjab University. He conducted reconnaissance at Behl’s residence along with Jaipal when Behl. When asked how come Tinu’s father, an inspector in the police, failed to notice involvement of his son in such a heinous crimes, the police officials said they would look into all the aspects during interrogation of the accused.

DSP Satbir Singh said Jaipal had taken several houses on rent in the city posing as a student and frequently changed his hideouts.

The police is yet to arrest remaining members of the gang. 

Crime File

n The police recovered four pistols, cartridges, 
Rs 4.64 lakh and a Maruti Swift from the accused

n The kingpin was involved in several robberies and attacks on a police party

n Tinu, son of a UT cop, had shot at a woman employee of the Bank of Maharashtra in Mohali recently

n The accused admitted to have committed 15 bank robberies and dacoity in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh

n Robbed Rs 11 lakh from the State Bank of India in Panchkula

n Admitted to have taken away Mercedes of a Panchkula resident after kidnapping him from Karnal

n Robbed city-based businessman Lalit Behl after kidnapping him from Kurukshetra


Rights panel fights for abolition of death penalty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
While more than two-third of the world’s countries have abolished giving death penalty to convicts, Lawyers for Human Rights’ International in coalition with an international body are fighting against death penalty in the city.

The international body, “World Coalition against Death Penalty”, in a general assembly held in Rome on June 13 has selected the city-based human rights’ organisation to fight against the cause.

The international body has 88 bar associations, trade unions, local government and non-governmental organisations working for the cause.

It aims in strengthening the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty and at contributing to put an end to death sentences and executions.

While talking to mediapersons in a press conference held at Hotel Pankaj, members of the human rights’ organisation, TS Sudan and Navkiran Singh, said, “The campaign against the death penalty has become significant in the past few years as the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 18, 2007 adopted 54 resolutions and 12 decisions recommended by its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), including a landmark text calling for a moratorium on executions to be established in all states that still maintain the death penalty, as well as a resolution strongly condemning rape against women and girls in all its forms, including conflict situations.”



June gets least rainfall in 10 yrs
Tribune News Service/IANS

Chandigarh, June 30
Even though last night’s downpour lashed the city just at the right time when the residents had been struggling with sweltering heat, the city has recorded the lowest rainfall in the month of June in a decade.

The announcement of the arrival of the south-west monsoon today by the meteorological department has brought some relief to the city.

There was just 11 mm of rainfall till June 27 and on Monday alone it was 26.8 mm. Further advancement of the south-west monsoons have been predicted in the city in the next two days by the department.

“Chandigarh gets its rainfall only through western disturbances, which were very week this year, and that is the only reason behind the meagre rainfall as compared to the past,” said Chatar Singh Malik, director, meteorological department.

Evidently, the maximum June rainfall recorded in the last 10 years was 376 mm in 2008 when the monsoon arrived early in the second week of the month. Earlier, the minimum rainfall in the last one decade recorded in this month was 66.5 mm in 2006.

The officials at the meteorological department here said the rainfall this June was below average i.e. 87.5 mm.

“In fact the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana also have received comparatively less rainfall in June than in the previous years. Now, we are expecting good amount of rain ahead. We have already got pre-monsoon showers and by Wednesday we are expecting the monsoon to arrive in full strength,” said Mal



No end to power, water woes
Southern sectors worst affected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
There seems to be no end to power and water woes of the city residents. Even as the residents got some respite from the sweltering heat following rain, some areas of the city were without power and water for hours.

The southern sectors were the worst affected. Residents of Sector 48 had to brave a six-hour power cut from about 7 am today. A technical snag in the transmission line was blamed for power disruption.

The sector is already facing an acute shortage of water with the upper floors (second and third) the worst hit. These floors had been without water since last night, putting thousands of residents to inconvenience.

This despite that a large number of cooperative group societies were paying commercial rates for the water supply to the Municipal Corporation.

Water and power supplies had been erratic in Phase III (Sector 48 onwards) and the authorities had failed to spare a thought for the people's plight, alleged S.K. Sharma, a resident.

Officials said more and more flats of cooperative group housing societies from Sectors 48 to 51 were being occupied now and the demand for water and power was picking up with the each passing day. Concerted efforts were being made to provide adequate power and water supply to the residents.

However, power and water shortage in these sectors seems to belie the claims of the authorities concerned.



Councillors walk out over Mayor’s helplessness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The Mayor’s authority came under question in today’s House meeting of the Municipal Corporation and the issue was enough for the councillors to walk out in the middle of the session. Consequently, the scheduled agenda for this special 142nd meeting could not be deliberated upon. Later, during a councillors’ meeting, it was unanimously decided to refer the matter to the Home Secretary-cum-Secretary, Local Government, Ram Niwas.

The uproar started when Mayor Kamlesh, while answering queries on some development projects being preceded at a snail’s pace, remarked. “I am powerless. Officers do not listen to me. Calling them for discussion on the development works does not come under my jurisdiction”.

The Mayor referred to two official communications dated March 13 and June 19, through which she was intimated that it was not in the domain of a Mayor to call the officers’ meeting for discussing or reviewing the ongoing development projects. The councillors, a majority of them belonging to ruling party, demanded the explanation on the matter.

Commissioner Roshan Sankaria categorically told the House that all executive powers of the corporation vests with the Commissioner. “It has been very clearly mentioned in Section 52 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law which is extension to the Chandigarh Act 1994 that the powers to exercise, supervise or control the acts and proceedings of the officers, will rest with the Commissioner only, who will be the head of all the wings of the corporation”, he said. A group of councillors objected to this and demanded that either the letters, challenging the Mayors’ powers, be withdrawn instantly or the meeting be adjourned.

“How can we go beyond the provisions of the municipal Act? We have communicated to the Mayor what has been mentioned in the Act, which clearly stated that calling for a meeting of the officers to discuss particular project is beyond the jurisdiction of the functions and duties assigned to a Mayor”, retorted Commissioner Sankaria. “If we still let Mayor Kamlesh to hold officers’ meeting, it will amount to violation of the provisions of the act”, he added.

Earlier, ruckus was created when some councillors objected to holding the special meeting, while overlooking the routine general house meeting. After much hullabaloo, it was unanimously decided to hold routine meeting followed by special meeting.

It is evident to mention that the special meeting was called upon to discuss the matters which led to controversies in much-hyped garbage processing plant in Dadumajra, but the issue has to be deferred because of this disturbance during the session.

“Actually, it happened due to some communication gap. Earlier, I had intimated the officers to hold the general meeting on June 29 and special meeting on the plant on June 30, but there remained some lapse on the part of the officers to put it on schedule”, said the Mayor, but could not produce any written correspondence in this regard. On the other hand, the officers too refused to receive any communication from her side. 



17 latecomers caught at RLA office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
UT SP (vigilance) Rajinder Singh Ghuman today conducted a surprise check at the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) office and caught 17 latecomers.

A spokesman of the Chandigarh Police said the SP (vigilance), along with the OSD (vigilance) and other staff of the vigilance, conducted a surprise check.

It was found that out of the 64 employees 17 came late today, one was absent while five were on leave.

The sleuths thoroughly checked the RLA records and had taken 43 files into possession to ascertain the veracity and reasons of pendency.

They had also sought CCTV footage of the last 15 days to rule out the role of agents indulging in malpractices. A detailed report in this regard was being sent to the Chief Vigilance Officer separately, said the police.

The police said the UT Home Secretary-cum-Chief Vigilance Officer had directed the vigilance department to intensify checking of public dealing seats, lay traps and take regular samples of construction works to ensure better quality.



2 more suspected swine flu cases in city,1 tests negative
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Two fresh cases of suspected swine flu were reported at the hospitals here late last night. However, one of them was discharged today from GMSH-16 after his samples were found negative.

According to UT nodal officer for swine flu, HC Gera, both are residents of Sector 20, Panchkula, who had visited abroad and on returning to India they reported symptoms of swine flu.

A 40-year-old pharmaceutical sales executive with the symptoms of swine flu admitted to the isolation ward of GMCH-32, who had come back to the city from Vietnam on June 21. Another 28-year-old youth, who was discharged today, had come back to the city from the US on June 28.

Gera said the throat swab sample report of the sales executive, which had been sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Delhi, for test was awaited. The health authorities have asked people not to take preventive dosages of Tamiflu. “This could lead to development of resistance to the drug,” said a health official.



Spread of cholera, malaria
Panel fails to submit report
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 30
The committee set up by Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand to look into the reasons, which led to the spread of cholera and malaria in Mohali village, has failed to submit its report today even when June 30 was fixed as the deadline in this regard.

The Deputy Commissioner said the civil surgeon had told him that as one of the members of the committee had gone on leave today, the report could not be compiled and as such would be submitted tomorrow.

The DC had held a meeting on June 24 with officials concerned to discuss the outbreak of cholera and diarrhoea in Mohali village.

A four-member committee comprising the SDM, civil surgeon, executive officer of the Municipal Council and executive engineer of the public health department was set up to probe the matter. According to reports, the committee had failed to detect the source of water contamination that led to the spread of cholera and diarrhoea in Mohali village on June 20.

Even when six of the 12 water samples collected soon after the spread of the diseases had failed the portability test, 13 of the 14 samples collected after the formation of the committee were declared fit for drinking.

Civic body employees had cleaned the water pipes in the village after the outbreak of cholera.



Revenue sharing new mantra
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Revenue sharing is the new mantra of doing business in the heart of the city-- Sector 17. The ongoing global meltdown has forced the big brands to say adieu to the franchisee and minimum guarantee agreements with the landlords and shopkeepers and opt for revenue sharing in the trying times of recession.

Sources said the revenue sharing was the new strategy of the corporate world to cope with the ongoing meltdown and remain in business. "In fact, the revenue sharing suited both companies and shopkeepers since they had almost equal stake in their business ventures," sources said.

Earlier, minimum guarantee and the franchisee agreements were the favourite modes of doing business in the sector, which hit the headlines for having one of the highest rentals in North India and emerged as the favourite destination for big companies a couple of years back.

However, the global meltdown changed the rules of the game. High rentals and dwindling profits forced certain brands to either shut shop or shift to comparatively cheaper locations in the city. These included brands dealing in garments, shoes and fashion accessories.

On the other hand, under the revenue sharing formula, both the company and shopkeepers are expected to invest a certain amount of money on the infrastructure and goods to be sold. "Since both the parties have stakes in the business, the chances of success of this model seems to be higher and the companies are increasing, realising this, claims JP Singh Kalra, general secretary of the traders association of Sector 17, said. It may be recalled that reasonable rents, ample parking space and more covered area are swinging the scale in favour of sector markets and Mani Majra on the Chandigarh-Kalka highway.

With connectivity to various sectors is not a major issue in Chandigarh, wisdom has dawned on the companies that these could survive in any market.

This, coupled with affordable advertisement campaigns in the local media make the brands a profitable proposition in sector markets, particularly upcoming markets, a manager with a mega brand added.

While a majority of the firms prefer to opt for the above non-Sector 17, the prestige associated with the city centre still pulled certain top brands. For setting up a shop in Sector 17, revenue sharing was best bet as compared to the minimum guarantee and franchisee system, the sources added.



Mohali beautification plan hits roadblock 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 30
An ambitious plan of the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) to beautify and widen city roads has hit the roadblock, with questions being raised by GMADA about the practicality of the proposals.

A private consultant, Dickson Rothschild India Pvt Ltd, had been appointed by the PIDB for five cities in Punjab, including Mohali, where special beautification of roads had to be undertaken with landscaping features and facilities for pedestrians.

A mid-term report in this regard was recently presented to the GMADA authorities.

Sources said different departments concerned of GMADA were of the view that the consultant had not taken the ground situation into account while preparing the drawings. Mentioning the contents of the proposal, an official of the engineering wing said the suggestion to re-plan the PCA was not practical. Similarly, suggestions to regulate traffic at the traffic junction of Phases III and V could not be implemented due to shortage of space.

Regarding another proposal to make the arterial road, passing through Phases IV, V, III-B1, III-B2 and VII one way, the engineering department has been asked to give suggestion as a median has been suggested.

In support of the proposal, a GMADA official said the idea behind the beautification project was to create material palate for future and a new urban corridor for newly developing sectors to the south of the existing area.

Under the proposal, seven roads to be covered include shopping centre road, NIPER road, roads dividing Phases IX and X, X and XI, III and VII, YPS road and the PCL-Madanpur road. The roads are to be widened, designated public transport corridor provided, traffic control points and public domains will be upgraded, pedestrian pathways created, and landscaping will be done.

However, GMADA officials feel that the consultant should practically see the ground reality before going ahead with the plans.


l Suggestion to re-plan the PCA stadium was not practical

l Proposal to regulate traffic at the traffic junction of Phases III and V could not be implemented due to shortage of space

l Engineering department asked to give suggestions on a proposal to make the arterial road passing through Phases IV, V, III-B1, III-B2 and VII one way



Shifting of Slums
Residents of Sec 50, 51 hold protest march
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Residents of Sectors 50 and 51 held a protest march to oppose the proposed shifting of slums from different areas of Chandigarh behind Colony No 5 by the Chandigarh Administration.

Raising slogans against the administration, the residents gathered outside the Burail Janta Society, Sector 50.

The shifting of new slums near their cooperative housing societies would lead to law and order problems in the area, as there was no police post of beat box here.

Secretary Rakesh Chopra, Joint Action Committee for development of Sectors 50 and 51, threatened that the residents would launch a mass movement if the administration went ahead with the shifting of slums near Sectors 50 and 51.

Later, a delegation of the committee met Pawan Bansal, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, to intervene in the matter.



City architect designs first green hospital
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The country’s first green hospital — All-India Institute of Medical Sciences at Rishikesh — will have a Chandigarh tag to it as it is being designed by Surinder Sawhney, a city architect.

Son of former Punjab Director-General of Police CK Sawhney, Surinder has been chosen through an open international design competition. To be built at a cost of Rs 850 crore under the Pradham Mantri Swasthya Yojna, the Rishikesh institute will be 1,000-bedded teaching hospital that hopes to start admissions from the 2010 academic session.

It is government of India’s largest-ever health care initiative, says Sawhney, who has also been chosen through another open international competition to upgrade Shri Vinoba Bhave Civil Hospital in Silvassa. This 300-bed super speciality hospital for the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli will be the largest along the western highway. It is expected to cost Rs 115 crore.

Surinder Sawhney, who appears to have developed special expertise for hospitals and health care units, is also credited with the design of the country’s largest mental care facility centre at Visakhapatnam (Vizag).

In fact, people of Vizag also remember him for his design of ENT Hospital, again one of the modern state-of-art ENT hospital owned by the Union Ministry of Health.

Surinder Sawhney, who went to Modern School in Delhi before joining city’s College of Architecture, had been a winner of government merit scholarship for two consecutive years during his B.Arch course. In 2007, he was chosen as one of top six emerging Indian architects by the Design magazine.

Incidentally, Surinder Sawhney operates from the garage of his house and has a team of 40 qualified and talented architects for overseeing the work on all major projects, including those in Rishikesh, Silvassa and Vizag.

Besides hospitals and health care facilities, it was he who designed Punjab’s first Inter-State Bus terminus under public private participation scheme. Similar bus terminal buildings at Patiala, Bilaspur and Phagwara are also his creations.

He has also designed an auditorium at Tirupathi with a capacity of 750.



Aasra for attendants at GMCH-32 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues today inaugurated the Aasra project, a facility created by the Rotary Club Chandigarh Midtown for attendants of patients at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, here this evening.

This project consists of a hall to accommodate over 100 attendants, which have been equipped with a modern support structure, marble-tile flooring, besides provisions of fans, water cooler and separate sets of bath and toilets for gents and ladies.

Rodrigues appreciated the initiative taken by the Rotary Club Midtown and said that it would help in giving relief to the attendants of patients, besides improving the social environment in the hospital.

Addressing the function, Rodrigues lauded the high ideals of the Rotary movement, which emphasised on care, compassion and commitment.

Director-Principal, GMCH, Prof Raj Bahadur expressed gratitude to the Rotary Club Midtown for their help in providing shelter to the attendants of patients.

President of the Rotary Club of Chandigarh Midtown Saroj Jhawar welcomed the guests and Shaju Peter gave a presentation of the project.



Training in Hindi
SBoP hosts committee meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The State Bank of Patiala (SBoP) has hosted a meeting of Coordination Committee on Training in Hindi.

Chief general manager Sandeep Ghosh, Reserve Bank of India, chaired the meeting.

During the course of meeting, representatives of various public sector banks informed the committee about the training programmes conducted in Hindi by the respective banks.

Assistant general manager Suraj Parkash, Reserve Bank of India, and general manager (Planning) Anil Bhatnagar, State Bank of Patiala, were prominent among those present.

The committee is constituted as per the directions of Parliamentary Committee on Official Language, 1988, to oversee the conduct of the training programmes in Hindi by the nationalised banks and financial institutions.



A few security agencies appear for registration 
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
With the deadline for security agencies to register themselves with the UT administration expiring today, the DC office has finally decided to crack the whip against the erring agencies.

Incidentally, while June 30 was set as the deadline for the security agencies in the city for registration, only 12 applications have been received so far. Even though there are nearly 60-70 security agencies operating in the city.

As per the notification issued by the DC office recently, a deadline was earlier set for May 25, which was later extended to June 30. As per a notification, if a security agency fails to register itself with the office of the Deputy Commissioner, it would be liable to a penalty under the Private Security Agencies Resolution Act, 2005, and the Chandigarh Administration private security agencies rules, 2006.

This would mean that the security agencies without a licence cannot apply anywhere for work. The penalty includes an imprisonment of one and half years or Rs 25,000 for the owner or both under Section 20 of the Act and Chandigarh Administration Private Security Agencies Rules, 2006.

Additional Deputy Commissioner P S Shergill said, “We have received around 12 applications and we would deal with the rest of the agencies which remain unregistered as per the Act”.

It must be mentioned here that recently there had been a spurt of bank robberies in the tricity, which brought to fore the inability of security staff hired by the financial institutions and even other establishments, to deal with such situations.

Former DSP Vijay Pal Singh who is running a registered security agency in the city said: “The Act should be implemented in totality ensuring that all its provisions are followed. Sadly, most of the agencies choose untrained manpower and pay them much less than what the Act says.”

To top it all, many government establishments, including hospitals and many nationalised banks, hire these unlicensed agencies for security purposes.



Chief Info Commissioner to meet RTI Users Association 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab, Ramesh Inder Singh has invited the RTI Users Association for a meeting on July 2 in response to a letter and mail sent by HC Arora, convener of RTI Users Association to him.

Arora said a charter of demands by RTI Users Association had already been submitted to the new CIC. “The recently introduced practice/procedure in the commission of asking the complainant/appellant to file an affidavit stating therein that he/ she has not filed any similar complaint/appeal earlier, be abolished, as the same is resulting into harassment to the complainants/appellants,” said Arora.

He added that the commission is not listing the appeals filed by the appellants for preliminary hearing for months together. “Thus, the very purpose of specifying the time limit for providing information within 30 days is defeated. This is despite the fact that our commission has the least backlog of appeals and the largest number of State Information commissioners. Obviously, there is some inherent defect in the functioning of the commission,” he said.

He added that all the State Information Commissioners were not holding sittings daily. We feel that the commission must take cognisance of the complaint/appeal within 48 hours of the filing thereof, and the appeals should be listed for preliminary hearing within a fortnight after the commission takes cognisance thereof. Every appeal/ complaint should be disposed of within one month from the date the commission takes cognisance thereof.

“We may also request you that a procedure may be introduced where under the appellant/ complaint may seek immediate hearing of his appeal by making a mention orally before the CIC early at the start of working hours of the commission,” he said.



Sports Quota Seats
Admission to class XI tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
As per the instructions of the administration, the admission to sports quota seats to class XI in the UT government schools are scheduled to be held on July 2.

The sports quota seat would be given to the eligible students only.

Any student who got gradation certificate from the Chandigarh sports department is eligible for the admission to class XI in the government schools of Chandigarh.

However, the students who have applied for the gradation can avail the last chance of gradation by appearing in the gradation trials being conducted by the sports department, Chandigarh, tomorrow at the hockey stadium, Sector 42, Chandigarh.



PU, London varsity tie-up soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
If all goes well, Panjab University might soon have some of its departments collaborating with counterparts from Oxford Brookes University, London.

Speaking about the prospective collaboration PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti said:“I went there as part of the UGC programme and the visit was quite fruitful. Having seen all the departments, I thought PU could collaborate with a few of them.”

According to him, the university will explore the opportunities in the field of functional sports, locomotive engineering and child care departments, etc.

“The work system of these departments is appreciable and I think our departments can learn a lot from them so I have directed the departments concerned to submit me proposals or projects so I can take things forward,” he added.

It may be noted the Vice-Chancellor had visited Brookes University after the selection of PU by the University Grants Commission for collaboration with Oxford Brookes University. In all, 15 universities from across India have been selected for collaboration with as many universities of the UK and will become twin universities, and conduct exchange programmes and joint researches. 



786 teachers update skills in training
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
In an effort to update skills of in-service teachers, training courses were organised during summer vacations for 186 teachers of AIE centres and 600 teachers of regular schools under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Chandigarh.

The programme was organised so that these teachers could engage and utilise their time for capacity building and meet the requirement of providing 20-day in-service training to 1,300 teachers during the year.

In the training programme, 186 community teachers of AIE centres participated under alternative schooling strategies of the Sarv Shikha Abhiyan.

On the opening day, DPI (S) Samwarthak Singh addressed the gathering and gave an outline about the expectations from this training programme.

The training programme focused on conducting morning assembly followed by yogic exercises, imbibing moral values and civic duties, role playing techniques and poetry recitation, art and craft activities for promoting creativity, Hindi and English calligraphy, preparation of teaching learning material like teaching aids, activity sheets, etc, holding story telling sessions and writing stories, environment awareness, drug abuse and female foeticide, improvement on skill in teaching, development of lesson plans and handling the contents of bridge courses, etc.

The in- service training for nursery teachers for nursery teachers ended today.



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