C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tribune Impact
Violations begin to go
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The administration today started cracking the whip against "men in khaki" attached to the VVIPs for their security, who had encroached upon public land. Following a series in Chandigarh Tribune, the authorities concerned got into action and removed a security picket inside the Bougainvillaea Garden in Sector 3. The security picket was reportedly meant for the security of the Haryana Chief Minister.

Similarly, a security tent, apparently pitched for the security of the Punjab and Haryana ministers in Sector 2, was also removed by the authorities. More such encroachments on public land will be removed in the days to come, official sources said.

Chandigarh Tribune had been hightlighting how security personnel of politicians, bureaucrats and police officers had encroached upon the prime public land such as the greenbelts in various parts of the city. Besides being on the wrong side of law, these encroachers put the nearby residents and passersby to a lot embarassment.

Meanwhile, it has been decided to remove the unauthorised occupation of government land by scrap dealers (kabaris) in Palsora village and in the Industrial Area on July 21. It was also decided that the Chandigarh Housing Board would remove the building violations and encroachments in the flats of Chandigarh Housing Board in Sector 40, Chandigarh tomorrow.

This was decided at a review meeting of senior officials of the administration held here yesterday.

The recent unauthorised growth on government land, particularly in labour colonies, was taken very seriously. The administration has also decided to warn the unauthorised squatters in Colony No 5, who are not covered under the bio-metric survey, to vacate the government land immediately and not later than July 21 otherwise such structures would be removed by the administration and criminal cases for trespass on government land be registered against the violators of the law, a press note added.



Extension to Bains
Chawla, Rodrigues go into huddle
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The meeting of Punjab Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla with the Administrator and Punjab Governor, Gen SF Rodrigues (Retd), here this evening has fuelled speculations on the fate of the unilateral extension given by the UT to the Director, Health Services, Dr MS Bains.

According to sources in the administration, Chawla called on the Administrator this evening and was learnt to have discussed several issues with him. While Chawla was not available for comments, sources close to her also refused to say anything and described the meeting as a routine affair.

However, in the backdrop of the controversy raging over the one-year extension granted to Dr Bains and Chawla’s recent letter to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on the issue of repatriation of 82 Punjab doctors, who have overstayed their deputation in the UT, it is highly unlikely that she wouldn’t have taken up these matters with the Administrator during the meeting.

Since it was a one-to-one meeting, no one knows what transpired between them, said an official of Raj Bhawan, adding sarcastically that when two important people met, they discussed vital issues.

However, sources in the health department confirmed that post-meeting, activities suddenly picked up at the office of the DHS in GMSH-16. The sources also confirmed that the file pertaining to the panel sent by the Punjab Government was now with the office of the DHS.

Meanwhile it also learnt that after The Tribune highlighted the issue of Bains being granted extension without seeking an approval from the Punjab Government, the administration is planning to send his file for a “post facto” approval. Whether the same would be granted or not, remains to be seen.

Besides Bains, several deputationist doctors are also on tenterhooks following Chawla’s insistence on repatriating all those who had overstayed their tenures in the city.



Water Crisis
GMADA no to 30 new tubewells
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 16
With Mohali facing acute water crisis, the Municipal Council has shown its helplessness to improve the situation citing paucity of funds as the reason. Moreover, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has also shrugged off its responsibility saying that old sectors are not its baby anymore.

Even as the water shortage taking alarming proportions with the burgeoning population, the two principal authorities for the town’s development have failed to take corrective measures.

Residents say that GMADA has been widening roads in the sectors that have been handed over to the civic body for maintenance, but has failed to ensure adequate supply of water to these areas. Sources said Executive Officer of the council Amna Kumar Goyal wrote a letter to the Chief Administrator of GMADA on July 8, urging the authority to sink 30 new tubewells in various parts of the town to meet water shortage.

He, however, replied that the civic body only maintained the infrastructure developed by GMADA in various sectors of the town and was not capable of providing basic facilities due to limited funds.

Till Mohali was able to get water from the Phase V and VI of Kajauli waterworks, GMADA should sink 30 tubewells in different parts of the town to overcome the water shortage. Phases VII, III-A, III B-1, III B-2, V and Mohali village did not have tubewells and those sunk earlier had become non-functional.

Chief Administrator of GMADA Vivek Partap Singh told The Tribune that he had not received any such letter from the civic body. Sources, however, said the letter of the council was received the day it was written by the civic body (July 8).

The Chief Administrator said that GMADA provided infrastructure and maintained that particular sector for five years after which it was handed over to the civic body for maintenance. As such, the authority would not sink any tubewell in the areas that had been handed over to the council for maintenance. Sectors 66 to 69 were with GMADA and if required, GMADA would be sinking tubewells only in these areas and Sectors 76-80, which were being developed by the authority, he said.



Defence quota row
UT in rollback mode
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The UT administration is all set to roll back its “controversial” decision of including UT pool reservation in the defence personnel quota of admissions in PEC and CCET that sparked off a major row yesterday.

While no official was ready to confirm the fact, according to sources in PEC, the decision was taken at a meeting held between UT adviser Pradeep Mehra and PEC director Manoj Dutta.

“According to the brochure, the admission to PEC and CCET were to be made on all-India basis. However, yesterday the counselling was cancelled when the administration abruptly announced the inclusion of a general pool in it. Parents cried of foul play, seeking clarification that why wasn’t this change announced prior to the counselling.

In wake of the protest staged by them, a legal opinion was sought and it was established that because applicants were not intimated of these changes prior to the counselling, thus admissions will be done according to the brochure issued,” revealed one of the officials at PEC.

A huge row was sparked off at Panjab University yesterday when amid the ongoing counselling, the changes were made to theprovision of defence quota reservation specified earlier in the admission brochure which announced the cancellation of the counselling.

The applicants, along with their parents, demanded an immediate withdrawal of these changes, alleging it to be efforts to “accommodate” some other students.



CAT orders UT to furnish job letters
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed the UT administration to place on record the appointment letters of two Additional District Attorneys whose names have been cleared for promotion to the post of Deputy District Attorneys on August 7.

Earlier today, the counsel of UT Home Secretary-cum-Secretary, Law and Prosecution, Ram Niwas and Legal Remembrancer-cum-Director of Prosecution, Bhupinder Singh today informed the Bench that as per the earlier orders of CAT, a meeting of the Departmental Promotion Committee was held and names of Maninder Kaur and Manu Kakkar had been cleared for promotions.

These directions have come on a case of contempt filed by five additional district attorneys, who challenged the decision of the Secretary, Law and Prosecution, to fill vacancies by way of deputation despite the availability of eligible candidates in the UT cadre.

There are seven posts of deputy district attorneys in the UT cadre, of which five are to be filled by way of promotion and the rest through direct recruitment.

On March 4, 2008, CAT had directed the UT administration to consider assistant district attorneys (ADA) working with the department of prosecution for promotion within three months.

After the administration did not comply with the orders, the applicants moved another application before CAT, which was disposed off by a CAT Bench earlier this year with an undertaking to convene the DPC within four weeks. Applicants then moved a contempt plea after the scheduled DPC was postponed.

However, during its last hearing, the UT administration informed the tribunal that a DPC was fixed for July 7.

Meanwhile, another additional district attorney (ADA), Ritu Jain, on Thursday moved an application before CAT, stating that she had been appointed ADA in 1999 and in 2004, she became eligible for promotion to the post of deputy district attorney. In 2006, she had filed an application before CAT wherein she held that deputionists held the posts of deputy district attorneys and there was no provision for the same.

Jain sought directions to respondents, restraining them for going ahead with the promotion of Maninder Kaur and Manu Kakkar. CAT has issued notice to UT administration for August 13.



Urdu couplets capture audience’s hearts
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 16
The magnificence of Urdu poetry was bought alive by eminent poets of North at a mushaira held under the aegis of the cultural affairs department, Chandigarh, at the auditorium of Government Museum here today.

After chief guest Justice TS Thakur lighted the traditional lamp, around 12 poets took the centerstage to mesmerise the audience. Poet Zia Tonky sang a romantic creation, “jabse kahaan tere badan ko mere lafzon ko jeena aagaya”.

The female poet, Savita Aseen from Delhi, introduced herself through a couplet "mein mohabbat hun ehle dil ki aur duniya ki har zubaan mein hun”. The king of human sattire, Meeruty, set the audience in splits with his crisp humour punches.

It was, indeed, a challenge for Malik Zada Zaved who spelt ponderous couplets. Dr Kaleem Qaisar mentioned relationships in his poetic renditions.

While young poets spoke about ethical values in their verses, serious poets delved into romantic themes.

Padma Shri MP Bekal Utsahi displayed secularism and love for Indian culture in his couplet "musalmaan hu jaat ka, hun bharat ki dhool, aankhein meri krishan hai, hridya mera Rasool”. The prolific poet, Wasim Barelvi, also encharmed the audience with his couplets.

Padma Shree KL Zakir read out the choicest couplets like, “mein jis khuloos se nikhra hun kaun nikhrega, mein jis sukoon se bikhra hun kaun bikhrega”. Gulzaar Dehlavi and Shamast Tabrezi also read their poems. The mushaira was conducted by the academecian poet, Dr Malik Zada Manzoor Ahmed. Home Secretary Ram Nivas IAS, RS Verma, director Cultural Affairs and other senior officers were present on the occasion.



Cloud on deputation policy
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The deputation policy of the Chandigarh administration for senior officials, including IAS officers, has come under a cloud.

With the administration bending over backwards to "accommodate" certain favoured officers, questions are being raised at the inter-cadre deputation policy for officers from Punjab and Haryana.

While certain "blue-eyed" officials enjoy extended tenures in the city, other deserving officers hardly get a chance to serve the UT.

The Central Government's denial of extension to the UT DC RK Rao was also seen in this backdrop. Punjab Governor and UT administrator SF Rodrigues had "strongly-recommended" one-year extension to Rao, who completed four-years as DC on May 29.

Interestingly, last year the UT had desperately tried to retain the then Home Secretary Krishna Mohan with the administratrion repeatedly taking up the matter with the Central Government. This was in sharp contrast to the "unceremonious" exit of former CITCO managing director JS Bir from the city. The alleged lobbying for the plum posting by various aspirants and UT top functionaries tacit support to them raised many eyebrows at that time.

Recently, the administration gave a one-year extension to director health services Dr MS Bains. Though the Punjab Government had sent a three-member panel to replace him, the retention of Dr Bains and scores of other doctors by the administration led to a standoff between the administration and the Punjab Government with Punjab Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla vehemently opposing the UT move.

Being the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, posting in the city is considered to be a previleged posting by several officers. Bureaucrats in the city call the shots with political class "virtually" powerless in the city. By virtue of their posting in the city, the bureaucrats can "oblige" their political masters and seniors at their home states various ways and pave the way for their prospects in their parent states.



Ado about girl child
Our Correspondent

Rani at the Civil Hospital in Mohali on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, July 16
Tension prevailed in the Civil Hospital here today after a family refused to accept a female child, alleging that the male child delivered had been changed.

It is learnt that Rani (24) of Paintpur village had delivered a baby girl around midday in the hospital but when relatives present there were told about the girl child, they refused to accept it, alleging that the male child delivered had been changed by the staff of the hospital.

Rani, who is related to the sarpanch of the village, also started saying that she could not deliver a female child. The sarpanch also reached the hospital.

Dr H.S. Sarang, SMO in charge of the hospital, said it appeared that family members of Rani had been told by some “baba” that she would deliver only a male child or they must have got some test done and as such they were not mentally prepared to accept the female child. Rani already has one daughter.

Sarang ruled out the possibility of the hospital staff having changed the child as Rani’s delivery was the first one in the hospital. Another delivery took place later and that woman also delivered a female child.

The hospital staff tried to convince the mother and relatives and it was only after much persuation that the relatives relented and accepted the child.



Ward no. 10 Bypoll
Efforts on to finalise candidate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
After the announcement of byelection of ward number 10 of the Municipal Corporation, all parties have started consultations for fielding candidate of their party. The seat of MC had become vacant after SAD councillor Gurman Singh’s demise. Sources of the SAD revealed that there were chances that the alliance might offer a ticket to Gurnam’s kin in order to garner sympathy votes in the area.

The SAD-BJP alliance is trying to retain the seat by fielding a suitable candidate. The sources in the Akali revealed that the party high command had directed senior Akali leader Daljeet Singh Cheema to decide the candidature for the byelection in consultation with the alliance party.

Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president BB Bahl said they had invited applications from the prospective candidates by tomorrow.

He said as the last date of filing nomination papers was July 21 so the party would decide the candidate before that.

The sources in the Congress said the party was considering three names and Bhupinder Singh Bedheri was on the top.



140 challaned for wrong parking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Swooping down on the motorists leaving their vehicles at unauthorised places, the police issued tickets to 140 violators during a special drive on Madya Marg today.

A traffic inspector said the drive was conducted on Madhya Marg (MM) and would be continued for coming days as well. Nearly 86 challans were issued on Madhya Marg, Sector 9, while 54 challans were issued on Madhya Marg, Sector 8.

The inspector said out of total 140 challans, 80 were issued for wrong parking while 55 stickers were issued to the Chandigarh vehicles. The police also impounded five vehicles, which were parked at unauthorised places. About Rs 75,00 fine was collected during the drive today.

The inspector said this drive was conducted to ensure a sufficient place for the vehicles of fire station in case of any untoward incidents.

The Tribune had also highlighted the way the yellow lines were being violated while the authorities had no knowledge of the rules. 



CM violates poll code
Tribune News Service

CM’s SUV with a red beacon light atop. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, July 16
In an apparent violation of model code of conduct, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today arrived at Zirakpur to meet municipal council president NK Sharma in a vehicle with a red beacon light.

However, realising that he was in Zirakpur where the model code of conduct was in force, he got the red beacon light removed from his vehicle.

When contacted, the returning officer expressed ignorance about the matter. He, however, said action would be taken if violation had taken place. Ever since the model code of conduct came into force in Banur, three cases of violations had been reported and the returning officer had issued notices to violators.

Earlier, Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, former MP Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra and Congress MLA Balbir Sidhu violated the model code of conduct.



Fire safety measures discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
A meeting to review fire safety services was held here today under the chairmanship of Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Ram Niwas.

He desired that shopkeepers, including hotels, dhabas, tent houses, petrol pumps and cinemas staff should be trained about the use of fire safety equipments.

The chairman desired that the owners of marriage palaces and organisers of social or religious gatherings should get the “certification of electrification” from the approved agency. The Fire Wing should conduct surprise inspections of such venues and ask for the certificate.

He desired that measures should to be taken to seal the buildings violating fire safety norms. The chairman was apprised that the vacancies in the fire department were to be filled shortly.



One more suspected of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Another suspected case of swine flu was reported today at GMSH-16. This time, it is a 62-year-old man, who had visited New York and on returning to India, reported symptoms of swine flu. According to health authorities, the patient had been shifted to an isolation ward and his condition was stated to be stable.

According to doctors at GMSH-16, the patient has been put on antibiotics and is being monitored regularly. UT nodal officer for swine flu, HC Gera said the sample had been taken and sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases laboratory, New Delhi.



Six head of cattle die
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 16
Six heads of cattle died in a fire, which broke out at a farmhouse near Deri village. According to information, while five buffaloes and one bull died due to the fire, another buffalo sustained burn injuries.

The owner of the farmhouse, Naseeb Singh, said the fire broke out due to a short circuit. However, the reports indicated that dry grass was burnt near the cowshed to keep mosquitoes away last night. It is presumed that this fire spread to the area, where cowdung cakes were stored and it had spread to nearby part of the building. The area got engulfed in thick smoke.

Animals died due to suffocation and heat.



Architect awarded
Tribune News Service

Sangeet Sharma
Sangeet Sharma

Chandigarh, July 16
Sangeet Sharma, a Chandigarh-based architect, has been awarded by the Indian Building Congress for designing the Timex factory at Baddi.

Sharma was presented the award at the inaugural session of the congress at New Delhi yesterday. This is the second award for Sharma by the Congress -- the first being for the boys hostel at NIPER, Mohali.




Chandigarh, July 16
Harbhushan Gulati and Bhupinder Kumar were elected the president and general secretary of the Chandigarh Sepak Takraw Association. respectively, yesterday. Inderjit was elected the treasurer. Two-minute silence was observed in the memory of founder president Baljinder Singh, who died recently. — TNS



Sec-12 govt school in a shambles
Neha Miglani

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Figure this, a poorly maintained and wrecked school building with broken windows, water seeping along the walls and with no swings or playground for students. This is what the condition of Government Model High School in Sector 12 (GMHS-12).

Water seeps into the GMHS-12 building; and (right) the new site earmarked for the school building on the PGI campus.
Water seeps into the GMHS-12 building; and (right) the new site earmarked for the school building on the PGI campus. — Tribune photos by Parvesh Chauhan

Worse still, the PGI’s “Serai”, where patients of tuberculosis, cancer, skin cancer and other pulmonary diseases reside, surrounds this school building on three sides.

If one goes by the claims of parents, Government Model High School has been an element of negligence of the UT Administration so far. Despite repeated reminders by the Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) nothing has been done from the past one year, they claim.

The parents further stated that the school, which was running in a temporary building granted by the PGI, was not only congested and lacked parking space but also lacked basic amenities.

So much so that toilets on one side of the floors are blocked, making conditions inhumane for the students.

“We had written several letters to the DPI, Chief Engineer, Adviser and Administrator complaining about the conditions in which the students have to spent six hours a day in the school. The patients in the surrounding building spit on the school walls, which is unhygienic and is our major concern,” said PTA general secretary Amarpreet Singh, GMHS-12.

The parents also claimed that the school had been receiving a step-motherly treatment till now and even as the site had been earmarked for the new building, there had been no response to their letters.

Meanwhile, on being questioned about the letter, DPI(s) Samwartak Singh said, “Improvement of the condition of this school has been our priority and the engineering department has been intimated about it. The construction will start soon.” Officials confirmed that nearly Rs 2.5 crore had been sanctioned for the new building.



3,500 attend counselling for pharma courses
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 16
Nearly 3,500 students appeared in the joint counselling session for admission to various postgraduate pharmaceutical courses across the seven National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) of India.

The counselling for 388 seats in MS (Pharmacy), M Pharmacy and MTech (Pharmacy) was conducted at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research.

Out of total 388 seats, 226 were for general category while 56 were reserved for SC, 28 for ST and 67 for OBC candidates besides preference given to physically challenged and Kashmiri migrants.

The candidates sought admissions in 14 disciplines in the institute at SAS Nagar, three each in Ahmedabad, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and two disciplines each at Guwahati and Rae Barelli.

The final counselling for vacant seats for postgraduate course will be held tomorrow.

Earlier, NIPER-Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) 2009 was conducted for the postgraduate programme on 14 June at 14 centres across India and the result was notified by NIPER, SAS Nagar, on 19 June, 2009.

The interview and group discussions were held on July 11 and 12 for admissions to 45 seats in MBA Pharmacy. Also, 22 scholars were selected for the PhD programme.

The orientation programme for freshers will be organised on 25 July.



Golden jubilee celebrations end at Carmel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Colourful programmes marked the concluding ceremony of the golden jubilee year of Carmel Convent, Sector 9.

With the buzz in the air, Carmel staff and students made the event a grand one. Melodies songs, peaceful mass and high notes of gidda were the high points of the celebration. The function was presided over by RT Rev Dr Ignatius Mascarenhas.

A mass was also performed by RT Rev Dr Ignatius, Bishop of Shimla-Chandigarh Diocese. Sr Rossane, the education counsellor of Carmel Convent, was also present on the occasion. She said: “The school’s auditorium, the pharmaceutical garden and the school grounds put forth the architectural wonders and is a unique feature of Carmel.”

A prayer dance was performed on the occasion. A school brochure was also released to mark the end of the golden jubilee celebrations.



Tribune Impact
Ayurveda college to roll back fee order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Taking the cognisance of the news report published in these columns about Dhanwantry College of Ayurveda, Sector 45, having cancelled its counselling on the pretext of raising its tuition fee almost by double, Panjab University has directed it to roll back the order.

The counselling in this college was cancelled yesterday as it announced a fee hike to Rs 93,000 from the existing 50,000 as approved by Panjab University.

The parents had agitated against the move and demanded the varsity’s intervention.

Speaking to Tribune, RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, PU, said, “They cannot charge more than what we approve. I spoke to them and they are ready to make admissions on pre-specified fee structure.”



PU gets Rs 16-cr grant

Chandigarh, July 16
In what may be perfectly termed as an added brownie to the financial grants being bestowed on Panjab University, the university has got around Rs 16 crore as a part of the 11th development plan. The grant, which was just around Rs 3 lakh last time, had quadrupled this time rejoicing one and all.

“The university performed well even when it was finance crunched, the grant will be a major boost to the developmental works. We will change the face of the university,” said Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti. — TNS



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