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Poor boy’s long wait for small surgery
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Would doctors at the GMSH-16 or the PGI have made a minor child of an IAS or IPS officer or a politician suffer pain for over a month due to a sewing needle embedded in his back (“superficial to the spine”)? Probably not, but nine-year-old Gurcharan Singh, alias Rohit, a mentally challenged boy, is no VIP ward.

A resident of the resettlement colony in Dhanas, Rohit has been living with a needle inside his back for almost a month and his parents have run around various city hospitals for surgery which, alas eludes them till date. It’s neither a complicated surgery nor something that requires great expertise, but the delay has been attributed to doctors apparently not finding time for it.

And what is surprising is that doctors at the GMSH 16 first made the boy and his poor parents shuttle within the hospital and then referred them to the PGI even after fixing a date for surgery.

Talking to The Tribune, a harried Ram Singh, the grandfather of the child, said, “We are tired now. It’s been a month since we have been running from one hospital to another, but have always returned disappointed with another tariq (date). We don’t know what exactly the doctors have decided for the boy.”

Ram Singh said, “I took him to the GMSH on June 30 after Gurcharan complained of pain in the back. Doctors there recommended an X-ray, which clearly revealed the presence of a needle inside his body and fixed the surgery for July 9.”

“When we reached the hospital on the scheduled date of operation, they admitted him and said that operation would be conducted the next day. We bought the required material for the surgery, but later they refused to conduct it and asked us to take him to the PGI or GMCH-32 on July 10,” said the grandfather, adding that the sewing needle went inside Rohit’s back when he accidentally fell on it.

“I panicked and rushed him to the PGI, where the doctor also confirmed the presence of a foreign body clearly seen in the X-ray, but they did not talk about the surgery. They gave him some medicines and injection and since then, we have been there several times but nothing has happened,” he claimed, adding that the boy was in pain but because of his mental status, was not able to express it.

When The Tribune team visited the boy’s residence, he was in an apparently irritated mood and refused to sit down. And when he finally did, he kept touching his back and moved uneasily.

Prof KLN Rao, head of the paediatrics surgery department in the PGI, said he was aware of the case and apparently the “foreign body” wasn’t affecting the child’s muscle. However, he was quick to add that they would conduct the surgery if the parents were anxious.

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General House Meeting
Walkout by all MC councillors
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 30
In an unusual development, all councillors, including those of the ruling group, walked out of the general house meeting of the Municipal Council here today in protest against their being rendered ineffective by the authorities concerned and thereby becoming a “laughing stock” among residents.

The councillors raised slogans against the authorities concerned, who allegedly failed to act on the decisions taken by the general house regarding vital issues related to Mohali and its residents.

As soon as the proceedings started, Rajender Sharma pointed out that holding meetings was useless if councillors and civic body officials could not take action against a clerk in the tehbazari wing, Amrit Lal, who was allegedly caught “red handed taking bribe”.

The house had unanimously passed a resolution demanding action against the clerk but to no avail. Soon Gian Chand Aggarwal and Kuljit Singh Bedi also joined in, saying that it was a matter of shame that the entire house and civic body officials could not remove one clerk from his seat when complaints were received against him.

Rajinder Singh Rana, president of the council, said he had gone along with MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu to meet the Director, Local Government, in this regard but the official did not respond properly.

The councillors said they were being compelled to hold a protest outside the office of the Director, who failed to approve important resolutions cleared by the general house.

Bedi said he would be moving to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to get justice, as tubewells in his ward could not be sunk till date when estimates for the work were cleared by the house about two years ago and residents were facing shortage of water.

Kuljit Singh Aulakh said an estimate worth Rs 40 lakh for a booster plant was cleared about a year and a half ago but no work had been done on the project so far when residents of his ward faced water shortage.

Harpal Singh asked why should the house clear estimates for sanitation work worth Rs 182.70 lakh when residents of Matour village were leading a miserable life due to filth all round. Sanitation was in a state of neglect and if he informed the contractor concerned about the sad state of affairs, threats were allegedly issued to him.

Councillors said when complaints regarding poor sanitation were made to the executive officer, no action was taken against sanitary inspectors or contractors.

Mohanbir Singh Shergill said council meetings had merely become a “tamasha”, as nothing was done on resolutions cleared by the general house and residents had to bear the brunt of the indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned. The president of the civic body said Director, Local Department, allegedly kept aside files when he got to know these were linked to the Mohali council.

He said this was being done because he (Rana) and the MLA of this area belonged to the Congress party. He said that the authorities concerned did not even bother to see the importance of the resolutions before keeping these aside.

It was unfortunate that a wood crisis was coming up at the cremation ground but an estimate of Rs 17.56 lakh cleared by the general house for the purchase of wood at a meeting held in February had so far not been approved by the Director.

Even the proposal for the purchase of insecticides had not been cleared by the authorities concerned and residents would now have to suffer in the monsoon season. The executive officer Amna Kumar Goyal said he had not received any complaints from councillors in writing against sanitary inspectors or contractors. He would take action only when written complaints were received by him.

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City Beautiful’s Ugly face
Civic amenities elude Sec 49
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Uncarpeted roads, garbage littered in vacant plots, public parks in a bad condition and stray pigs in the locality. This is the picture of the recently developed Sector 49 of the city.

Residents of the area are up in arms against the municipal corporation for not providing them with basic civic amenities. They complain that they had constructed houses in this recently developed sector, thinking the administration would provide them with the most modern amenities but their hopes have been dashed to ground by the irresponsible attitude of the authorities.

Residents revealed that the roads had not been carpeted since they shifted to this sector. They add that during monsoons, rainwater collects in the streets, as there is no drainage facility for its outlet. It seems as if we are living in a village despite it being part of one of the most beautiful cities of the country.

These days even villages have good roads, said one of the residents of Verka Enclave Colony, Sector 49.

The condition of public parks in the area is also in a very bad shape, as weeds and Congress Grass have grown in it. Although green belts have been developed by the administration, after the sector had been transferred to the Municipal Corporation, it is nobody’s baby. Residents alleged that most of the parks in the sector were not more than garbage collection sites, as the authorities do not bother to maintain them.

Streetlights in our sector always remain out of order, omplained a resident of Sector 49. There seems to be no system in the administration to check if streetlights are being maintained properly and were in working condition.

The corporation pays a substantial amount of money to the electricity department, towards billing and service charges, sans any facility to the residents of the area.

Driving had become a risky affair during night, as most of the drivers use high beam while driving. While residents fret over the situation, little has been done by the corporation, which has been entrusted the job of maintenance of streetlights.

Jagir Singh, president of the Resident Welfare Association, Sector 49, and members of ward committees said they had made a number of complaints to the authorities but in vain.

They said all resident welfare associations of the area had decided to boycott the ward committee meeting, as no action had been taken by the authorities to redress their grievances.

Area councillor Ram Sumer Morya said that as the area had been transferred to the corporation in February, the corporation was taking the remedial measures for the speedy development of the area. 

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‘Ragging’ stains Arts College
Home Secy marks inquiry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The administration and the authorities of Arts College, Sector 10, here, were literally on their toes over a complaint of verbal abuse and mental harassment that took contours of ragging for many. According to sources, the incident happened on Tuesday night when two girls of Master of Fine Arts, Arts College, Urmila of the first year and Seema of the second year, entered into a heated argument that led to a short fist-fight in the hostel.

Though a committee from the college was immediately deputed to meet the girls, Urmila proceeded to file a complaint against Seema to the Home Secretary, accusing her of constant mental harassment and verbal abuse.

The Home Secretary marked an inquiry into the matter and directed the college authorities to submit a report. “The girl complained to me about being subjected to constant bullying by this senior. Though there was nothing about any physical harm, still I asked the college authorities to enquire and rule out any possibility of ragging,” said Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, UT.

While everybody waited for a clarification on the matter, Principal of the college Manohar Lal could not be contacted throughout the day. The college, through a written communication, warned both complainant and the accused to refrain from the media.

However, one of the supporters of Seema said, “The issue was blown out of proportion. Urmila had mentioned Seema’s name on her painting without her permission and when she tried to reason in the class, Seema misbehaved and also made some intolerable remarks on her dress and character.

Later in the night, Seema went to Urmila’s room to ask her to abstain from such things but she started abusing her. The matter was reported to the warden and even resolved but today we came to know that a group of students had complained to the Home Secretary and tried to claim this incident as ragging”.

Meanwhile, supporters of Urmila said, “It has been happening since day one. These seniors want us to obey them all the time. They used to abuse her and when things went out of control on Tuesday night she had to approach the administration”. The college will hold a meeting of disciplinary committee tomorrow and then submit the report to the Home Secretary.

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Vigil at accident-prone areas
Cops to man 3 light points till 1 am
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
In a bid to prevent traffic violations, found to be one of the major causes behind road accidents at late-night hours, the Chandigarh Traffic Police has deputed police personnel at three busy intersections till 1 am.

The traffic police claimed that it was taking all concerted measures to reduce fatal accidents in the city by identifying accident-prone areas, and remedial steps were being taken to avoid accidents at such points. Special nakas were laid for drunken driving on every weekend at the identified places.

Night duty staff has also been deputed at three major intersections, including Transport Light Point, Housing Board Light Point and Aroma Chowk, up to 1 am.

The road safety cell of the traffic police, on the basis of a study on fatal accidents, claimed that the year has so far seen a decline of 9 per cent in fatal mishaps till July 26 against the corresponding period last year. The overall accidents rate has fallen by 21 per cent during the period.

Though the traffic police seems to be elated by the marginal decline in road accidents, the violations continue unabated in the city. Surprisingly, among some of the prominent “violation-prone” points is the entry to the Sector 43 ISBT, where the traffic policemen remained deployed throughout the day.

One can see rickshaw-pullers, auto-rickshaw drivers coming out of the ISBT and heading towards the Sector 42 and 43 rotary on the wrong side.

The problem aggravates during school hours, as children on bicycles and rickshaws can be seen travelling on the wrong side, putting their lives at grave risk. Traffic cops, standing at a small distance away from the rotary, remain nonchalant to the violations, which could turn into a major tragedy anytime.

It may be recalled that the study is based on the accidents in which cases were registered. A large number of accidents cases in which no fatality or grievous injury was caused went unreported.

The police said the study further revealed that the main cause behind the fatal accidents was human error, rash and negligent driving, red light jump, especially at night hours.

The Tribune had earlier highlighted the issue of a large number of traffic violations during late night hours last week.

Meanwhile, the traffic police has identified six accident-prone points in the city, including Sectors 34 and 35 Traffic Lights Point, Sectors 41 and 42 small rotary, Poultry Farm Chowk, Kisan Bhawan Chowk, Transport Light Point and road dividing Sectors 51 and 52. 

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COMMUNITY

3 honoured under eyes and ears scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Chandigarh Police today honoured three persons for imparting useful information under its eyes and ears scheme, which was launched a couple of months back.

The police held a meeting with the participants of the scheme coming from various walks of life. The meeting was followed by an interaction session in which the participants shared their experiences with the cops and also complained that in some cases, they invited wrath of policemen by giving information.

The meeting was organised at Bal Bhawan in Sector 24, in which UT IGP SK Jain was the chief guest.

Among others, UT SSP SS Srivastva and SP (Operations Cell) Rajinder Singh Ghuman present.

One of the participant alleged that he informed the police on 100 about a brawl in Hallomajra, but no one came. Another participant alleged that he saw a scuffle in Sector 35 market and called up the police.

The policemen, who reached the spot, instead of making efforts to nab the culprits, began hurling a volley of questions on him, thus harassed him to an extent that he decided not to inform the police about any incident.

A resident of a colony appreciated the scheme and requested the senior police officials to make the system more effective by improving the response time.

Ghuman, the brain behind the scheme told TNS: “We have honoured three persons to encourage others to come forward to held the police to curb crime. People can inform the police about any crime on ‘1090’ and ‘2544444’, both toll free, and the names of the informer will be kept secret. Those giving vital information will be suitably rewarded.”

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Joshi Autozone fined Rs 55,000
Sold defective vehicle to city resident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Joshi Autozone, Industrial Area, Chandigarh, and Tata Motors to pay Rs 55,000 compensation for selling a defective Tata Safari to a city resident.

The forum has also directed the company to remove the defects and repair the vehicle to the satisfaction of the complainant.

The car dealer and manufacturer have been directed to refund Rs 5,000 charged in excess by them and pay another Rs 5,000 as compensation for retaining the said amount as alleged by the complainant.

The complainant, Kamaljit Kaur, purchased a Tata Safari from Joshi Autozone for Rs 9,05,682. She was also charged Rs 25,696 towards insurance and a cumulative bill of Rs 9,31,378 was raised. The complainant had deposited the draft for Rs 9, 36,378 towards payment of the car and the insurance policy.

The excess amount of Rs 5,000 was not refunded, despite promise within five days. The car was delivered on August 11, 2008, and the work relating to its Teflon coating was still unfinished.

The complainant stated that water from the air conditioning unit of the car leaked inside the car, which resulted in bad odour. There were also high levels of vibrations in the car and consistent diesel leakage from the fuel tank drain nut. The rubbers of the tail lights also started coming out and it was found that they had earlier also been repaired and affixed temporarily for making a quick delivery of the car.

When the complainant visited dealers to address the defects, she was advised to come after one week and not to use the air-conditioner. She was also promised refund of excess money charged and Teflon coating.

Aggrieved by the indifferent attitude of the dealers, she took the vehicle to Hind Motors for rectification of defects, where she was informed that the defects were inherent manufacturing faults, which could not be rectified.

It was alleged that since the date of the purchase, the complainant, instead of enjoying the luxuries of the new car, had spent more time in workshop for the repairs of the car. He visited the office of dealers at least 10 times, but to no avail.

In its reply, Joshi Autozone pleaded that that there was no deficiency in service and the vehicle was perfect merchantable automobile, had no manufacturing defects, therefore, non-rectification of the same does not arise. The excess amount of Rs 5,000 as alleged was lying with them, but the complainant did not turn up to collect the same. It was admitted that the vehicle was delivered on August 11, 2008. All other allegations were denied.

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Additional security for your online transactions
Sanjay Khurana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
If you are Net savvy and plan to go on a holiday or some official tour, be on guard. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made it mandatory to have additional secure code (password) for using your credit card for online transactions.

MasterCard SecureCode is a simple and secure way to pay at thousands of online stores. A private code known only to you and your bank, your secure code protects you against unauthorised use of your card while shopping online at participating online retailers.

Every time you pay online at participating retailers, you will be automatically prompted to enter your own private secure code - just like entering a PIN at the ATM. In seconds, you gain added protection while shopping online.

Some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) are:

Q. What is the purpose of obtaining a secure code?

A. The purpose of obtaining a secure code for your credit card is to ensure extra safety for online transactions.

Q. Does the code need to be verified by the bank?

A. No, the secure code (password) has to be verified by Visa or MasterCard.

Q. How to get secure code?

A. Visit the website of the bank that has issued the credit card and register online, giving personal and credit card details.

Q. Can a customer create his own password?

A. Yes, a customer can create his own password. For this, he will have to give one personal question and its answer, which will be asked by the respective card company whenever the card is used for any online transaction. This will act as an additional security check before the completion of the transaction.

Q. What are the benefits?

A. The benefits are many. Besides providing additional security, it helps in reducing the misuse of the credit cards. Moreover, even if the card is lost or someone else tries to use it for any online transaction, he will have to answer that very question, which the original card holder has got registered with the bank, thereby preventing its misuse.

Although this new directive of the apex bank will be a dampener for online transactions for a while, but in the long term, this step will go a long way in checking the online frauds.

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PTA funds used to pay challan
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Challans and donation slips provided by GMHS-20, Chandigarh, in relation to expenditure made from PTA funds by Anil Sharma.
Challans and donation slips provided by GMHS-20, Chandigarh, in relation to expenditure made from PTA funds by Anil Sharma. Tribune photos

Chandigarh, July 30
In yet another instance of misuse of PTA funds by Anil Sharma, principal, GMSSS, Sector 23, during his tenure at GMHS, Sector 20, the documents procured under the RTI reveal that he used the fund to pay his trafiic challan and also to reimburse the donations made by him and his wife at local gurdwaras.

The facts that came to fore today when reacting to the constant appeals of VB Khanna, local RTI activist, the authorities of GMHS-20 provided the vouchers and receipts pertaining to the expenditure made out of PTA funds by Anil Sharma.

Surprisingly, as per the voucher number 1757, Rs 200 were shown paid for traffic challan in the name of Anil Sharma. Similarly as per the voucher number 1667 and 1666, Rs 850 were spent for gurdwara donations made by Anil and his wife.

“The school initially provided me a list about the expenditure without any bills, vouchers etc. Later after my complaint to the Home Secretary, I got some papers pertaining to utilisation of funds and to my shock I found that he had claimed to use PTA funds for his challan and donation,” said Khanna.

This school claims to have no bills of any purchase and has certain receipts made on a plane paper. Interestingly, while the absence of bills is enough to raise suspicions on expenditure, the fact that these receipts worth Rs 2.23 lakh have no signature or name of any recipient of the money and its only Anil Sharma who has signed them as the sanctioning authority and approving one.

For example, while one of the receipts is about purchase of computers, there is no bill from any firm and no receipt of payment. It is the case with purchases made for the Eco Club. Other expenditure mentioned in these receipts is on herbal garden, broadband connection, refreshments, etc.

The Tribune, through the audit note on utilisation of SSA funds by Anil in this school, had revealed that how the expenditure worth lakhs was found to fall under suspected embezzlement for want of proper bills and receipts by the department officials.

Meanwhile, Samwartak Singh, DPI (S), was not available for any comments.

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IT checks in industrial area
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, July 30
As part of nationwide survey, the Income Tax (IT) department today surveyed a few leading business premises in the city. The surveys are being conducted to unearth tax? evasion, under the supervision of the Commissioner, Income Tax (CIT I).

Though no official information was available, it is learnt that the IT staff from Chandigarh, under the supervision of GS Randhawa, Commissioner Income tax I, conducted surprise checks on manufacturers of sanitary under the brand name of Nova and Czar in Industrial Area, Phase I, and real estate developer at Ropar.

The survey? operations started in the afternoon and were continuing till the filing of the report. The department teams are believed to have checked the account books and other documents related to sale records. The Additional Commissioner, Income Tax, Range II, Yogesh Verma, declined to divulge details as the operations were still going on.

“Once the department is able to calculate the extent of concealed income by owners of the business group on the basis of information collected during the survey and details of high-value transactions, a survey report will be prepared and due tax liability be raised against the business group,” the sources said. 

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‘Shed allotment unfair’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Under the rehabilitation scheme, the administration had allotted sheds in Grain Market, Sector 26, with the recommendation of market committee chairman Devinder Singh Babla and there is no transparency in it, alleged Arhtiya Association ex-president Dig Vijay Kapoor, interacting with mediapersons.

Kapoor stated that Babla had interfered in the allotment of sheds and gave preference to the sellers, who had even not renewed their licences for the past four years.

Kapoor said during the allotment of the sheds, no list was prepared by the administration due to which a number of claimants had not got the sheds in the market. He said there were around 11 apple sellers, who had shifted to Parwanu mandi from Chandigarh due to unavailability of space in the market.

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Focus needs to be on energy security: Perneet
Tribune News Service

Minister of State for External Affairs Perneet Kaur at the Indo-Arab and Indo- Gulf Conference in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Minister of State for External Affairs Perneet Kaur at the Indo-Arab and Indo- Gulf Conference in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan. 

Chandigarh, July 30
Union Minister of State for External Affairs Perneet Kaur today said the country could sustain its growth momentum only if it is able to increase its capacity for power generation.

“To sustain the current growth and leapfrog in the next decade, we need to focus on energy security and development of infrastructure,” said the minister, while addressing the Indo-Arab and Indo-Gulf Conference organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) here today.

The minister further said the country was in a position to absorb $500 billion worth of investment in the next decade. “But the challenge is to ensure that the growth is all inclusive.

After several years of modest annual growth the country has entered an era of high growth rate of over 8 per cent, so we have to ensure that the growth is inclusive,” she said.

Talking about the India-Arab trade, she said it was now time for the two countries to consolidate their trade ties and focus on diversification of the trade basket. She further observed that issues like regional stability and security in the Gulf as well as in South Africa are poised to deeply strengthen the India-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) relations.

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NGOs urged to secure future of children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Eminent personalities from the city and renowned national rights activists expressed serious concern over the deprived living conditions of a majority of children in India even after more than 60 years of Independence and nearly 48 years of the so-called planned development.

The seminar on child rights, organised by the India Alliance for Child Rights, North Zone, here today called for greater participation of NGOs and other organisations for achieving a safer and more secure future for children. The main speakers at the seminar included Amar Chandel, Deputy Editor, The Tribune, Razia Ismail Abbasi, convener, CRC, New Delhi, and Prof Sangeeta Bhalla, University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University.

The other participants at the seminar included Manmohan Kaur, director, Child Alliance for Child Rights, Aditi Dua, former executive vice-president, ITC, Uma Batra, secretary, Child Welfare Council, Punjab, and Kaushik from Haryana Child Welfare Council among others.

Razia Ismail Abbasi said in the last five years, anemia in Indian children below three years of age had gone up from 74 per cent to 80 per cent because of poor nutrition. Criticising the Union government for not investing adequately in the country’s future, she said in the current budget, a meagre Rs 4.15 would be spent out of every Rs 100 on child development. “What do you expect then,” she said, adding that the allocation this year was less than last year’s Rs 4.32 per Rs 100.

Amar Chandel dealt with the issue of drug abuse and substance abuse among children. He elaborated on the need of a national-level initiative to raise an alarm about the deteriorating drug abuse conditions in the country.

He expressed concern on the alarming abuse of drugs among youth in Punjab. “Kids are buying cheap drugs from whiteners to Iodex to satisfy their drug needs,” he said while calling for a check on it.

As the day proceeded, Prof Sangeet Bhalla spoke on the Juvenile Justice Act in a detailed discussion, followed by a lecture on children in institutional care in Punjab and Haryana.

The primary purpose of the consultation held at ISCCR Hall, Panjab University, was to measure the progress made in ensuring survival, protection and balanced development of children in the context of child rights in northern region.

The data on social development, including survival rates, health indicators and education indicators as procured from government sources, was discussed in the day-long event.

Extensive analysis of the data revealed a dismal picture on account of survival rate, participation in education and the allocation of funds for child development in the Budget of the county.

More than 50 participants from various NGOs, researchers, educationists and social workers participated in the consultation.

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Vigilance to scan gold coin sale
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Haryana government has ordered to conduct a vigilance inquiry into the sale of gold coins by employees of the Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board below the market price. The embezzlement came to light when a Chandigarh resident got the information in this regard under the RTI Act and the matter was highlighted in a section of press.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court also issued notice of motion to the state and other respondents following a writ petition was filed in the court, seeking vigilance inquiry into the matter.

The Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board in 2003 decided to offer four grams gold coins and eight grams pendants and priced these at Rs 2,600, and Rs 5,100.

As the board fixed the price of these articles, some of the staff members, allegedly taking advantage of this lacunae of fixed price, sold all stock within two months of December, 2005, and January, 2006, when the price of gold zoomed to around Rs 800 for one gram, rendering the loss to the board. Even the receipts issued against the sale of coins did not have names and addresses of buyers.

However, following an inquiry conducted by the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner, who is the administrator of the board, as well the explanation was sought from five staff members after which the report of inquiry was submitted to the Chief Secretary, who finally ordered an inquiry by the state vigilance in this regard.

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Fund poser for Metro project
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Funding for the Rs 15,000-crore mass rapid transport system (MRTS), including Metro for the Chandigarh Urban Complex, suggested by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES), may pose a major problem for various stakeholders.

With the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) of RITES, submitted to the Chandigarh Administration, pegging the cost of Phase I to be completed by 2014-2015 at Rs 10,765 crore, the immediate availability of huge funds could delay the project. In fact, the modalities of sharing the project costs among stakeholders--Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh--could be another irritant among the partner states.

Though major beneficiaries will be the projects comprising metro system (52.4 km), bus rapid transport (BRT) system (190.5 km) and commuter rail service (195 km) will be Chandigarh, yet the neighbouring states will stand to benefit in a major way once the three-phase project is completed by 2030-31.

Official sources said following the submission of the CMP by RITES, the partner states would now discuss the modalities for the funding of the projects and the state's share. Moreover, the Central Government should also contribute in a major way since Chandigarh was directly controlled by the Union Government, the sources said.

In fact, the CMP takes care of all aspects relating to Metro routes, BRT corridors, grade separators, railway overbridges, railway underbridge, integrated freight complex, parking facilities and cost revenue modes for the entire project.

RITES has proposed that Metro will cover a distance of 52.4 km, out of which 40.4 km will be in Chandigarh and rest 12 km in Mohali. As many as 15.8 km on Madhya Marg (Khuda Lahora-Housing Board-Manimajra-IT Park), 10 km on Himalaya Marg (Sector 1-Sector 17- Sector 43-Sector 51) and 14.6 km from Sector 26 - Industrial Area - Vikas Marg - Maloya - Dadumajra. The alignment from Transport Nagar to Manimajra and the alignment of Sector 26 to Dadumajra have been proposed on surface whereas rests of alignments have been proposed underground.

The underground system is likely to cost around Rs 320 crore per km whereas surface alignment is likely to cost Rs 140 crore per km. There will be around 50 stations, each after approximately 1 km. To begin with, frequency for Metro has been proposed at every 10 minutes, which could be reduced to three minutes with passage of time. The BRT system and the commuter rail service (CRS ) will be covering 190.5 km and 195 km. The CRS will cover the area falling beyond the tricity primarily the area up to Baddi.

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Sector 35-D gets spic-and-span look 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria today flagged off a sanitation and awareness campaign under the partnership initiative programme in Sector 35-D.

Students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35-D, took out a rally with placards depicting the message for the residents to cooperate in maintaining the sanitation of the City Beautiful by keeping their premises and surroundings clean. The residents were urged to dispose of garbage and horticulture waste through door-to-door collector and not to litter the same in the open.

The Medical Officer of Health, Municipal Corporation, deputed a total of 100 safai karamcharies with machinery. The safai karamcharies were deployed in the sub-sectors A, B, C and D under the close supervision of sanitary inspectors and chief sanitary inspectors for sweeping collection and removal of garbage. Three mechanical road sweepers along with dumper placer and tractor-trolleys were pressed into service for cleaning the roads and lifting garbage.

Cycle-rickshaw carts and three-wheelers were also pressed into service for collection of littered waste, garbage and to dump the same in the garbage bins placed in the Sehaj Safai Kendra.

Lime dusting and insecticide spray was also done at all vulnerable places, including the Sehaj Safai Kendra. The engineering wing of the MC also pressed into service trolleys and a sewer-cleaning machine for lifting roadside waste.

The SPCA had made special arrangements for lifting of stray dogs for sterilisation along with a cattle-catching team of the MC in order to make the sector free from stray cattle menace. 

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GMADA warning leads to protest
Tribune News Service

Mechanics and shopkeepers of auto market, Phase 7, protest against GMADA in Mohali on Thursday.
Mechanics and shopkeepers of auto market, Phase 7, protest against GMADA in Mohali on Thursday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, July 30
The issue of encroachment removal by road side mechanics and booth owners in the auto market of Phase 7 led to protests by angry shopkeepers. The problem started after the Estate Office of the GMADA issued a warning to the shopkeepers for removing their encroachments on public land or face action.

The encroachment on public land was under the purview of the municipal council and the booths were allotted by GMADA. A senior official of the GMADA said resident welfare association of Phase 7 had gone to the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the activity of the shopkeepers. They lamented that the shopkeepers had encroached upon public land and created difficulties for residents of the area.

Krishan Chand Sharma, president of the motor market, said they had been doing the trade for the past 20 years and had been allotted semi-industrial booths. He said they would take legal recourse on the matter.

GMADA officials said the allotment conditions did not permit the allottees to encroach upon government land. The MC has been asked to speed up their encroachment drive in the Phase 7 and other markets.

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‘Forcible haircut at school’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
High drama prevailed at Government High School Sector 52 here today, when parents of two students of Class IV accused the school authorities of forcibly chopping their daughters’ hair.

While the school authorities insisted that the girls had voluntarily offered to get a hair cut at a beauty workshop held at school here, the parents claimed that they were made scapegoats.

“They are just in Class IV how could they themselves offer to get their hair chooped? When nobody volunteered, they randomly picked our girls and cut their hair. They came back home crying and told us about the incident,” said one of the parents. Meanwhile, nobody from education department could be contacted for comments.

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Teacher’s fate to be decided today

Chandigarh, July 30
In response to UT administration’s demand of terminating the service of Reema Talwar, the teacher found guilty of corporal punishment and humiliating a Class III student, the management of St Johns School will declare its decision tomorrow.

Though the school management did meet today, but according to their official spokesperson, an official statement in this regard will be issued tomorrow. “A decision in this regard can only be taken after consulting the rulebook,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the matter of allegedly disguising school’s private function as a charity endeavour for seeking entertainment tax exemption from Tagore Theatre, the school has paid a fine Rs 2.13 lakh to the administration today. — TNS

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