C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Land Dispute
24 injured in clash at Barwala
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 9
Two dozen persons, including women, were injured when two groups clashed over a land dispute at Kaami village in Barwala, near here, today.

While the seriously injured Lakshman Das and Rajpal were admitted to the General Hospital, the others with minor injuries were discharged after first aid.

According to Kamlesh, wife of Rajpal, it was around 6 am when she along with some other women went to throw dung on the said piece of land, but were attacked by several people, including women, with lathis and sharp-edged weapons.

Their husbands and some others who came to rescue them were also attacked and injured. Ashwani, who belongs to the other group and was also injured, claimed to be the owner of the land. “These people were trying to usurp the land by staking their claim to it.

We reported the matter to the Deputy Commissioner, Pankaj Yadav, at the open darbar in Barwala yesterday and he assured us that the dispute would be settled after a demarcation of the land is undertaken again within 10 days. But these people tried to take control over the land forcibly, leading to the clash,” he alleged.

ASI Narinder Singh said a complaint from both groups had been received and 45 persons had been booked.



Mohali Violations - I
Punjab top brass at it, too
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 9
When it comes to encroaching on public land and green belts, Punjab government babus hardly care about rules.

Supporting their “cause” is GMADA and the local municipal council. While GMADA has always shown alacrity in acting against the common man, it has turned a blind eye to encroachments by VIPs.

Be it bureaucrats or police personnel, examples of green belts and open spaces being taken over in the name of security abound in Mohali. MS Chinna, an AIG with the Punjab police, has encroached upon a green belt equal to the size of his plot in Phase 5 here.

A security tent on public land in front of the house of an official in Sector 69.
A security tent on public land in front of the house of an official in Sector 69. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

A random survey by a Tribune team in various parts of the city revealed glaring violations by the Punjab top brass. Though allotment rules clearly specify it as a violation, GMADA has not taken action against any violator.

As per rules, security tents have to be provided within the residential premises. “Law enforcers misuse their authority to encroach on public land as if it their own estate,” remarked a resident of Sector 69 while pointing to security tents in the green belt adjoining the house of the Punjab police IG, border range, Iqbal Singh Sahota, in Sector 69.

In the same sector, a security tent has been pitched on a road berm in front of the house of a retired IAS officer, JR Kundal. Another official residing in the sector has put up a security tent on public land.



Mob attacks police post
Tribune News Service

A PCR vehicle that was damaged by a mob at Dadu Majra on Thursday.
A PCR vehicle that was damaged by
a mob at Dadu Majra on Thursday.
A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, July 9
Tension prevailed at Dadu Majra Colony here when a mob hurled stones at a police post and a PCR vehicle here late this evening.

At least three police personnel sustained injuries during the pelting of stones. The problem started when a man, allegedly in an inebriated condition, was slapped by some cops at the Dadu Majra police post.

On hearing about the incident, a large number of colony residents started pelting the police post with stones.

A PCR vehicle, which was called by the police personnel present at the police post, was also attacked by the mob.

The window panes of the PCR vehicle were also smashed. The situation got tense and additional force had to be rushed to the scene to bring things under control.

The Station House Officer of the Sector 39 police station, Janak Rana, said a case of rioting had been registered against four persons.



Social worker runs away with baby
Tribune News Service

The victim Mamta at the Sector 34 police station in Chandigarh on Thursday.
The victim Mamta at the Sector 34 police station in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 9
The lure of getting government funds for her newborn cost Mamta of Colony No 5 dear as a woman posing to be a social worker ran away with the baby.

Mamta, mother of five, had given birth to a boy on June 22 and was reportedly approached by a woman claiming to be a social worker.

Mamta told The Tribune at the Sector 34 police station that the woman came to her house and told her that the government had launched a scheme to give a cheque for Rs 6,000 to mothers of newborns and would also give them Rs 300 per month.

Mamta agreed to accompany the woman to the PGI, where, the woman told her, the baby would be medically examined. Mamta asked her to take permission from her husband, which she did.

Mamta asked her sister Samta to accompany them to the PGI in an autorickshaw.
She then took the baby, but not trusting the woman, Mamta asked her sister to
go with her.

The woman told her that doctors would not allow two persons in the room and told them to wait outside. When she did not come for sometime, they were alarmed.

They searched for her, but in vain and informed the police. The DSP (South), Jaswant Singh Khaira, said a case of kidnapping and cheating had been registered.


Rose Garden in for a makeover
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
The Chandigarh Administration has started the process for upgrading the Sector 16 Rose Garden. The plan focuses on breaking the old-fashioned and stereotype planning through additions of new varieties of exotic flowers, creating a back-up system and developing landscaping combined with recreational aspects.

UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, the biggest rose garden in Asia, is the prime tourist spot in the city and there was a need to renovate it.

“Innovative ideas would be used for repositioning and changing flower beds in order to arouse curiosity among the visitors. New concept sections would be added like section of roses named after world personalities, roses with unusual names, exclusive section of unique roses, roses named after countries and fruits etc. Efforts are being made to develop a section ‘Pride of India’, with exclusive collection of varieties evolved in India,” he said.

The plans are also in pipeline to have beds with amusing and interesting slogans, interspersed, which relates with the colour or type of the flower.

The administration also aims to have a backup system in the absence of which there are big gaps in flowerbeds. A fast rose varieties bank could be created that would save more than a year in preparing a plant.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism has already sanctioned Rs 2.69 crore for the Rose Garden, which would be utilised for purchasing new varieties, development of a nursery, mesh and angle design for periphery, tourist information centre-cum-gift shop, installation of tubewell, signage and concrete edging of beds.



Review of MC functioning
UT notifies 4-member panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
In a decision that may ruffle many a feather, including that of present and former councillors and bureaucrats of the municipal corporation, the UT administration today notified a four-member committee to review the working of the civic body.

Formed in the backdrop of the
tug-of-war between Mayor Kamlesh
and Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria,
the committee will be headed by
nominated councillor PK Mukherjee
and have Chandermukhi Sharma, a
councillor, Iqbal Singh Sokhi and
Sanjiv Malik as members.

In fact, the performance of the corporation during the past five years will be under scanner, as the panel will “assess the impact and usefulness of the funds placed at the disposal of the corporation in the past five years”.

Besides, the usefulness of the “highly-controversial” study tours undertaken during the past five years by councillors and officials will also be assessed for their utility, according to the terms of reference of the committee.

The committee will identify loopholes in the existing administrative mechanism and
suggest ways and means for making implementation of the Punjab Municipal Act
more effective.

It will suggest qualitative improvement in the execution of various development projects being undertaken by the corporation.

Recommendations regarding expeditious decision-making process on important issues, improving functioning of corporations, identifying projects adversely affected due to Mayor-Commissioner tussle will be other terms of reference of the committee.

The notification says the panel will also go through the procedure for the purchase of equipment/stores and employment of the staff and suggest improvement. It will submit its reports within one month.

Going into the background of the formation of the committee, the notification says the development works have been adversely affected due to lack of coordination within the corporation, particularly the Mayor and the Commissioner.



No relevance of committee
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
With the constitution of a committee to probe the functioning of the MC by the UT administration, questions are being raised on its relevance.

Seemingly, there is no provision in the Punjab Municipal Act for such an inquiry committee. Sources wondered how would the recommendations of this committee be implemented by the MC when the Act clearly divides the powers of the Mayor and the MC Commissioner.

When two committees already exist to deal with such issues, including coordination committee between the UT and MC and review committee of the corporation, the need for a new committee is being questioned.

Even the Act has a clause that the local government bodies secretary is empowered to mark an inquiry on any agenda and the corporation is bound to act on it.

But why the administration is not using these provisions to deal with the situation is the million-dollar question.

Subhash Chawla, former Mayor, said if the constituting committee could solve the controversy or streamline the working of any office, then a committee should have been first formed to resolve the tussle between the administrator and the adviser.

Referring to the agenda of abolishing paid parking and execution of property tax, which were rejected in the house meeting of the MC, the administration intervened under Section 405 of the Act and asked the MC to implement it.

This instance virtually underscores the redundancy of the present panel. If the administration wanted to smoothen the functioning of the MC why was it not working according to the exiting Act, which had all the provisions? Harjinder Kaur, former mayor, asked.

She stated that a review committee was constituted during her tenure in which the Mayor used to chair the meeting and a representative of each party and officials above the rank of SE used to monitor the internal working of the MC. Why this committee is not being revived by the administration, she questioned.

Referring to Section 422 of the Act, legal experts said if the government was of the opinion that the execution of any resolution or order of the MC or of any other municipal authority thereto or the doing of any act which was about to be done or was being done by or on the behalf of the corporation was in contravention of or in excess of the power conferred by this act or of any other law for the time being in force or was likely to lead to breach of peace or to cause inquiry or annoyance to the public or to any class or body of person, the government may, by order in writing, suspend the execution of such resolution or order or prohibit the doing of any such act.

A senior official expressed surprise on the action taken by the administrator at the fag end of his tenure. It was strange on which criteria he had chosen the chairman and members of the committee, he added.



4 digital rain gauges installed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
The Chandigarh municipal corporation has installed four digital rain gauges to get data on the amount of rainfall received and monitor effectiveness of the storm water drainage system of the city.

The rain gauges have been installed at the cost of Rs 2 lakh at four locations, which includes Sectors 17, 26, 32 and 39, and will record the details of rainfall round the clock. MC chief engineer SK Bansal said half-inch rainfall could be measured in old sectors of the city.

Through this equipment, the authorities would be able to monitor the areas where water blockage existed during the rainy season and take precautionary measures to improve the condition in that area. Bansal said there was a proposal to set up similar equipment in Mani Majra also.



Deepinder Dhillon declared Congress candidate
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 9
The name of Deepinder Dhillon has been announced as the Congress candidate for the Banur bypolls. Dhillon is expected to file his nomination papers at Dera Bassi Tehsil tomorrow.

Sources of the Congress said as Dhillon had almost won over the dissidence in the run up to his announcement, there were chances of dissidnce showing up at the Akali camp.

There were rumours throughout the day that Jasjit Singh Bunny, son of Late Capt Kanwaljit Singh, had been given SAD ticket, but there was no official confirmation.

A senior Aakali leader and Morinda MLA, U S Wadali, said due to the Vidhan Sabha session, the core committee meeting could not be held. The name would be decided in the next two days, he added.

But part sources said while the senior Badal was inclined to give the party ticket to the widow of former cooperation minister, the latter was reluctant and wanted the ticket for her son.

The Akalis were hesitant to give the ticket to Bunny, as they feared that dissidence in the party could emerge. Another candidate, NK Sharma, was also among hopefuls.

Meanwhile, there was jubilation in the Banur area on the announcement of Dhillon’s name during the recent Lok Sabha elections. Dhillon, who was the Congress in charge of the Dera Bassi Assembly segment, is credited with major development works in the area. He is working as a party solider in Dera Bassi segment for the past 15 years.

Few days back, during a meeting at Delhi, the Union Minister of External Affairs, Preneet Kaur, had recommend the name of Deepinder Singh Dhillon as the candidate from Banur by-poll. The supporters of Deepinder Singh Dhillon exulted after hearing the official announcement of his name as the party candidate.

“We are happy, as the person who had been working hard for the party for the past 15 years got his prize,” said Jaspal Singh, a sarpanch and a local Congress leader.

Meanwhile, as today was the first day for filing nomination papers, not even a single candidate had come to file the papers, a senior officer said.



24 milk samples adulterated
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 9
A team of the Dairy Development Board tested a total of 30 samples of milk in AKS Colony here today.

Out of 30, 24 samples were found mixed with water. Inspector Jodh Singh said 30 samples were tested and only 9 passed the test. Rest of the samples contained 30 per cent of water in them.

“No samples are found to be containing harmful contents,” he said. The officer said the department had launched this drive to sensitising people to adulteration of milk.



Power Cuts: Villagers stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 9
Apprehending increased power cuts, hundreds of residents from Kheri, Haripur and Harioli villages staged a dharna on Barwala Naraingarh road near Kheri village, leading to a traffic jam for more than two hours when a team of electricity department started installing a switchgear at Badona village near here today.

The blockade on road, which started around 1 pm, was lifted only at 6 pm, when SDM Rajpal Singh assured to address their grievances.

The residents of the area started gathering on the spot as soon as the workers of electricity personnel started installing switchgear to regulate the power supply near Badona village.

The residents from Badona village requested the electricity department to install the switchgear as they were facing power supply cut in the event of any fault in power lines going in the area. The installation of switchgear was to contain the problem, said the SDM.

The protesting residents, however, apprehended that the installation of switchgear would lead to power snapping in their villages dug up the pole and blocked the road. This led to the hot arguments among the residents of Badona village and others.



MLA’s unique protest
Tribune News Service

MLA Balbir Sidhu protest at Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
MLA Balbir Sidhu protest at Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Chandigarh, on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, July 9
After serving an ultimatum to the Punjab State
Electricity Board (PSEB), Kharar MLA Balbir Singh
Sidhu today staged a protest march at the Punjab
Vidhan Sabha.

Wearing a black vest, the MLA staged a protest march up to the floor of the House. Earlier, the MLA had given the ultimatum to the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to improve power situation in Mohali and its surrounding areas within three days, failing which dharnas would be organised.

The MLA said he also raised the issue of power cuts during the opening session.

Though the opposition raised the issue, the CM did not reply to the queries, said the MLA.

He said if the situation did not improve, he along with members of the resident welfare organisations would sit on the dharnas.

He said he failed to understand where the power was being utilised, as it was not being given to the industrial, agricultural and commercial sectors.

The residents were ready to bear the power cuts ranging from two to four hours each day to help farmers during the paddy season but unannounced power cuts for about 10 hours was not acceptable, he added.

The MLA said power cuts adversely affected the supply of water as a result of which the residents were facing acute water shortage.



Anti-encroachment drive at Rajiv Colony
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
The Chandigarh administration launched a massive anti-encroachment drive at Rajiv Labour Colony, Sector-38 West, here today.

The operation, which started at 10 am, was conducted under the supervision of Additional Deputy Commissioner who was assisted by officers of the administration, including three DSPs and a heavy contingent of police force.

During the drive, around 10 acre of government land was cleared of encroachment and handed over to the engineering department.

The process of identification of eligible persons through biometric survey was started around 10 days ago by the estate office.

Those squatting on the land unauthorisedly were given warning to vacate the land. Around 700 such persons left the colony without offering resistance.

Around 620 jhuggi dwellers who were covered under biometric survey were given alternative sites near Colony No. 5. The operation was conducted smoothly and no untoward incident was reported.



Brother Tailors told to refund Rs 1,315
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Failing to deliver two suits of a customer in time has cost Brother Tailors of Sector 12 dearly, as the District Consumer Redressal Forum has directed them to pay a compensation of Rs 500 along with a refund of Rs 1,315 for deficiency in service.

Rakesh Kumar, a resident of milk colony, Dhanas, had stated before the court that he had handed over two suit pieces for stitching on February 11, 2009. The suits were to be used by his wife for a wedding on February 20.

The tailor had assured of delivering the suits on February 19. The customer paid
Rs 220 towards stitching charges. However, the tailor failed to deliver the suits on
the due date.

Rakesh also alleged that the stitching was not up to the mark. The suits were still lying with the tailor. Neither did the tailor alter the defective suits to the satisfaction of the customer, nor did he refund the amount of Rs 1,315.



Play depicting stereotypes moves audience
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 9
If the spirit of comedy is essentially a social phenomenon, meant to debate issues of socio-cultural relevance through the powerful medium of theatre, the Manch Tantra Theatre Ensemble has achieved it with the staging of their crisp yet didactic comedy “Salt ‘n’ Pepper” at Tagore Theatre here today.

Staged under the aegis of Gurukul Vidyapeeth, the play picked up momentum with lead actors Sukriti Vadhera and Hardeep Sethi delineating the issue of live in relationships through acrimonious debates.

The action operates at three levels as besides the protagonist couple, another couple was played by Raveena Beniwal and Gurpreet Saini. Ashmita Gupta portrayed Sharon, an enchantress, who allured protagonist Hardeep Sethi.

The director had structured a series of sequences to display certain truths about the modern concept of live in relationships versus the sacred institution of marriage.

Music by Rochak Kohli was the life line of the play besides relative chiaroscuro, costume and set designs.

The guests of honour, Jaspal Bhatti and Manmohan Garg, appreciated and blessed the artistes. Bollywood actor-cum-director Bhatti lauded the efforts of young artistes for juxtaposing the ill-effects of male chauvinism in a concerted effort.

“I have not brought my wife to the show deliberately in view of the issues favouring the fair sex only,” said Bhatti in his indomitable comedy style amidst deafening applause. The play will be staged tomorrow also.



Milk samples collected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
The UT health department conducted a special drive to check milk purity today. Samples of milk were collected from milkmen coming to the city near Khuda Lahora village and Naya Gaon.

The drive was conducted under the supervision of Dr Satbir Singh, local health authority. Talking to The Tribune, Dr Satbir said the samples were taken for the purpose of analysis.

Four challans were also issued to those running the business of milk and milk products without having the mandatory PFA licence.

According to health officials, raids would continue in the future to ensure that no adulterated milk was supplied to the city. The administration has requested milk vendors to obtain the mandatory PFA licence.



Body to urge HC to review decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Members of Chandigarh Smooh Gurdwara Parbandhak Sangthan under chairmanship of Naib Singh discussed the recent judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Guru Granth Sahib at Gurdwara Sri Guru Teg Bahadur in Sector 34 today.

The members also discussed the recent review petition filed against the order of the High Court wherein it was mentioned that Guru Granth Sahib was not a treatise limited to the expression of moral and spiritual code of conduct for the Sikhs.

While the members appreciated the attempt of the court to decide that unshorn hair were essential for a Sikh, they said the court’s comments regarding Guru Granth Sahib were a matter of concern.

It was decided to request the court to review its decision concerning these remarks. Former mayor Harjinder Kaur said: “Such issues are to be taken seriously, as it is against humanity and can create confusion in society.”



Dr Harnoor gets Young Professional Award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Dr Harnoor Singh, grandson of former president Late Giani Zail Singh, was awarded the Young Professional Award by the Nuclear Medicine Society at a function held recently in Torronto.

Dr Harnoor (31), who did MBBS from Government Medical College, Patiala, is currently pursuing higher studies in nuclear medicine at the University of IOWA, USA.

The young professional committee selected his clinical paper ‘naloxone and sincalide after morphine for evaluating RUQ pain’ for the award in presence of scientists from across the world.



School buses to be off road from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
The Chandigarh School Bus Operators Association today decided to remain off the road from tomorrow with regard to the installation of speed governors.

The city administration has introduced 30 extra buses on the grid system to ferry schoolchildren. The school managements have conveyed this to the parents.

Parents said some viable solution should be worked out immediately. Some said since they had already paid the transport charges, they would go to the consumer court against the bus operator.

The administration had directed the bus operators to install speed governors to fix the speed limit to 50 km per hour.

Home Secretary Ram Niwas said: “No compromise on this issue can be expected as it relates to the safety of children. If the bus operators threaten or harass parents by increasing transport charges, they would be dealt with sternly.”

“We are not against the installation of speed governors, but we should be allowed to install the equipment in a phased manner. Buses that have already obtained a permit should be exempted till the time their next renewal for permit gets due,” Manjit Singh, president of the association, said.



Website on mathematics launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Pioneer Education, a mathematics coaching institute in the city, announced the launch of its website www.PioneerMathematics.com <http://www.Pioneer Mathematics.com> at the Press Club, Sector 27.

The website, which is a mathematics teaching portal, aims at providing host of services to students, parents, mathematics’ teachers and educators.

Recorded lectures, mathematics video tutorials on important topics and 24x7 online mathematics assistance through individual chat with the mathematics’ tutors are some of the features of the website.

The website has also “Doubts forum” where the students can upload and discuss problems related to mathematics and receive solutions within 48 hours.

Director LK Gupta, Pioneer Education, announced that the website provided complete mathematics assistance to the students of Class IX to Class XII for all major boards, including CBSE and ICSE, engineering entrance aspirants, including IIT-JEE, AIEEE, regional, national and international mathematics’ Olympiads, NTSE, STSE and SAT.



1,100 get admission at GMSSS-10
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Around 1100 students were granted admission in various streams at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, here today.

The counselling for class XI entered the seventh day today. Students, who scored 50 per cent and above, were eligible for admission.

When all seats in science and commerce were filled, humanities and vocational streams witnessed a sudden surge in admission seekers.



Counselling for engg admission from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
The University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, PU, is conducting Joint Engineering Admission-2009.

These will be for admissions to BE and B Architecture courses, 1st Semester, for the session 2009-10 in the institutes, namely PEC University of Technology (formerly Punjab Engineering College), Sector 12, Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26, Chandigarh College of Architecture, Sector 12, University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, PU, University Institute of Engineering and Technology, PU, and Swami Sarvanand Giri Punjab University Regional Centre, Bajwara.

The first counselling for the Joint Engineering Admission-2009 will be held from tomorrow to July 15 in the Gymnasium Hall, PU, Chandigarh.



Animation academy inks pact with Coimbatore varsity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Toonz Academy, which offers courses in 3D and 2D animation, has signed an MOU for getting affiliation from Anna University, Coimbatore, for its various courses.

The academy is the training division of the award-winning Toonz Animation Studios, Technopark, Kerala.

Under the pact, Toonz Academy will offer approved and endorsed certificate, undergraduate, graduate and post graduate programmes in animation and digital technology to Anna University at centres run by the acdemy.

The academy will offer these programmes through other university-affiliated centres across India and abroad.

The pact also entitles setting up of an Animation Centre of Excellence (ACE) by the academy in the jurisdiction of the university.



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