C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


More trouble for Sofat
Booked on rape charge by Uttarakhand Police
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 5
Even as the Panchkula police has launched a hunt to nab Ludhiana-based Dr Sumit Sofat, the Uttarakhand Police has booked him on the charge of rape.

A case under Section 376 was registered against Sofat after a woman disclosed to the police that she was asked to lodge a complaint with the Dehradun police alleging that Ramesh Pashan, a Ludhiana businessman, and his friends had raped her.

Sofat had allegedly attempted to implicate the Pashan family in different criminal cases. It was on July 19 only when he alleged that Ramesh Pashan and his two sons attempted to kill him in Morni hills resulting in bullet injuries to his driver.

He had also alleged that Pashans had robbed him off Rs 33 lakh that were lying in his Tata Safari at the time of the incident.

While Baljinder Kaur, one of the accused in the rape case, was arrested by the Dehradun police, her accomplice was let off.

According to Kailash Panwar, SHO, Dehradun, a woman from Ropar lodged a complaint with the police on July 28 alleging that Ramesh Pashan and his two friends allegedly raped her in a hotel.

The woman, identified as Harpreet, alleged that she had visited the company of Pashans in Ludhiana on July 28 to seek a job where Simmi, wife of Ramesh Pashan, asked her to accompany her husband to Dehradun where they were setting up another unit of their company. She was assured of good salary following which she came to Dehradun and in a hotel they raped her, alleged the complainant.

Following this, the Uttarakhand police contacted the Ludhiana police and came to know that Pashan was in Ludhiana on the day of the incident, said the SHO.

The next day, another woman, Baljinder Kaur, from Ludhiana reached the police station at Dehradun claiming to know the complainant and asked for the copy of the FIR.

The police got suspicious when Baljinder handed over a typed and well-drafted application. On being questioned, Baljinder confessed that she had misguided Harpreet to accompany her to Dehradun on the pretext of going to Hardwar and Dr Sofat and his friends raped her in a hotel, following which she asked her to lodge a complaint against Pashan, said the SHO.

Meanwhile, Sofat has filed an anticipatory bail application at the Panchkula District and Sessions Court following which a notice to the Panchkula police has been issued for August 7.



Bed & Breakfast Scheme
Operators out to fleece guests
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

What do the norms say

n The operators can offer only five rooms in their residential complex under the scheme

n They cannot charge more than Rs 900 for gold accommodation and Rs 700 for silver accommodation per room for a day’s

n Cannot change the name ‘bed and breakfast’ accommodation

Chandigarh, August 5
The Union Tourism Ministry’s slogan “Aatihti devo bhava” (guest is god) is nice to hear, but when it comes to ground realities, at least in Chandigarh, some operators of the “Bed and Breakfast Scheme” are fleecing their ‘god’ (read aatithi).

Cocking a snook at the norms laid down by the Chandigarh administration, these operators have virtually transformed this scheme into more of a commercial venture by minting money from the tourists.

Ironically, the administration endeavours to change the name “bed and breakfast” to “home stay” because, according to officials, it seldom conveyed the basic objective of providing the homely ambience. However, some of the operators have re-christened this scheme on their own and adopted “alluring names” like “Bhatia Service Apartments” running from House No. 3052, Sector 20-D and “Parkside Inn” from House no. 1134, Sector 34-C, apparently to lure the tourists.

Though the residential premises registered under this scheme have two categories - gold and silver for Rs 900 and Rs 700, respectively, for one day (inclusive of breakfast) and the operators can offer a maximum of five rooms in their residence, but sources reveal that depending upon the visitors’ status, some operators are charging as high as Rs 1,500 for gold and Rs 1,000 for silver accommodation and are offering 10 to 15 rooms.

The administration has started this scheme in collaboration with city residents to offer a reasonable and comfortable homely accommodation to the visitors, thereby encouraging the cultural exchange ritual. At present, there are 24 accommodations in different sectors of the city that are registered with the administration under this scheme. According to an estimate, over 30,000 foreign tourists visit the city annually.

The Tribune team, for a trial check, called up at Bhatia Service Apartment only to find the gold accommodation at Rs 1,800 per day per room. On being asked, the operators consented to provide 11 rooms at this rate.

Nevertheless, voucher no. 128, dated July 27, 2009, issued by Bhatia Service Apartment testified that Rs 1,500 was charged from a guest for a day’s stay.

The guests stayed there for two days and were charged Rs 3,000 as room rent per day and Rs 235 as laundry charges.

Samwarthak Singh, Director, Department of Tourism, when apprised of the violations, said: “It’s shocking if they are treating it as a money-minting scheme and fleecing the tourists. This requires an immediate action and it can be in the form of cancellation of their registration.”

Vinod Kalia, Deputy Director, said that neither can they change the name nor can a single operator offer more than five rooms in his or her residential complex. “This is highly objectionable if they are offering more than five rooms in their residence because it is not at all a commercial venture,” he said.

Officials opined that the violation had occurred because the administration had given the operators free hand to run the scheme.

“To have a strict check, it should be made sure that all the booking are made through a single window to be operated by the administration and this would also helpful in ensuring the credentials of the visiting guests,” said a UT official.



Kaimbwala school fails to get admn attention
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Stay of principals (April 1, 2008, to August 1, 2009)

n DP Sharma, headmaster - 1 month 13 days

n Surinder Kaur, acting (senior teacher) 2 months 18 days

n Surnider Kumar, headmaster - 3 months 19 days

n Surinder Kaur, acting (senior teacher, who retired during this time) -
2 months 13 days

n Anil Kumar, acting (regular teacher) - 4 month 16 days

n Dilbagh Singh, headmaster - 1 month 13 days

n Anil Kumar, acting (regular teacher) serving since August 1, 2009

Chandigarh, August 5
Even as the country prepares to implement the momentous Right to Free and Compulsory Education, the condition of rural schools on the outskirts of this otherwise well-planned and iconic city speaks volumes of the “sloppiness” of the UT administration.

This may sound surprising but in Government Senior Secondary School, Kaimbwala, for instance, the teachers themselves perform the task of a clerk, accountant and lab instructor, as these posts are lying vacant since long despite repeated reminders to the Education Department in this regard.

Regardless of the fact that the school fared badly in the Class X result this year (about 20%), the three regular teachers out of the 22 here are additionally occupied with the administrative tasks of the school as the post of the principal is also vacant.

“The post of principal is not sanctioned since the inception of the school in 1962 and some headmaster is deputed for a short while as a temporary arrangement. Even in the last session, no principal stayed for more than a month. What results can come out in such a situation?” questioned a teacher.

Adding to the woes of the staff and much to the dismay of the students, the school now has Classes XI and XII also, but no lecturers. So, the same teachers the middle and the senior secondary classes will have additional burden of more classes.

Besides, the teachers also manage 19 different kinds of funds, hardly leaving any time for the task they are assigned for primarily, i.e. teaching.

“It is unfortunate that rural schools are not getting any attention. No principal wants to come and take over the charge. Though the administration had assured us of an improvement after visits of senior officials on 22 April, 2009, nothing has been done till date,” rued a teacher.

The village panchayat had also apprised the authorities in this regard, but to no avail. “We have repeatedly told the authorities to pay some attention to the rural children here also, but till date our voices have not been heard,” said a villager.



Shopkeepers dictate their terms
Charge 2 pc extra on debit/credit card transactions
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, August 5
Customers in Chandigarh seem to be paying a price for the covetousness of the shopkeepers. While the RBI is planning to allow stores to give cash back on credit and debt cards, customers using the plastic money in the city are being harassed by shopkeepers who charge 2 per cent extra for any such transaction.

From readymade garments to mobiles and other electronic goods shops, many shopkeepers in the city are illegally charging customers 2 per cent extra in the name of “minimal profit margins”. It means the customers end up paying more than the amount of purchase made if they choose make the payment through debt or credit cards.

The banks and the sales establishments enter into an agreement where the bank charges a service fee from the shopkeepers for the services of “Point of Sale” (PoS) terminals installed at these shops. The shopkeepers, in a bid to maintain safe profit margins, overcharge the customers by 1.5 to 2 per cent on every transaction so that they save on the service fee.

“We pay the banks an yearly fee for availing these debt and credit cards. If we delay our credit card payments, we are liable to pay further interests to the banks. Now, to top it all, if we have to pay an additional 2 per cent to shopkeepers just to avail the facility of alternate form of payment, does it even remain a facility anymore?” said a resident, who recently purchased a mobile phone from the Sector 22-B market and was overcharged for making payment through a debit card.

“On electronic goods, shopkeepers have a very thin margin. Now, if these shops do not charge the additional 2 per cent from the customers, they would run into losses,” said Jagdish Kalra, general secretary, Traders Association, Sector 17 market.

The banks on the other hand have a complete different story to tell. When contacted, ICICI Bank spokesperson said: “Any shopkeeper surcharging the customer is not permitted as per the merchant agreement and as per Visa/Mastercard guidelines. Customers are advised not to do the transaction at such merchants. Customers should raise this concern with the bank that has issued them their card along with evidence of surcharge. If merchants are found to be violating this agreement then the bank may take strict action, including withdrawal of PoS terminal at those outlets.”

However, most of the customers are unaware of these charges being illegal. One can easily find signboards demanding this 2 per cent extra at many shops in the city.



3 youths killed in mishap
Our correspondent

Ambala, August 5
Three youths were killed when a UP roadways bus hit their motorcycle near Tepla village on the Ambala-Jagadhari road near Ambala Cantt today evening.

The deceased have been identified as Amarjeet, Bhupender and Sanjeev, all residents of Behata village.

According to information, the UP roadways bus was on its way from Ambala Cantt to Saharanpur while the youths were coming towards Ambala on a motorbike. The speeding bus hit the motorbike and the youths died on the spot.



Children from J&K visit Western Command Headquarters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Thirty children from Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir today visited the Headquarters, Western Command, Chandi Mandir, as part of an educational tour being conducted by the Rashtriya Rifles.

Interacting with the children, the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen TK Sapru asked them to spread the message of peace and communal harmony and also witness the rapid development made by the nation in the field of information technology, education and medical facilities during their trip.

Before arriving at Chandigarh, the children visited places like Baglihar Dam, Jallianwala Bagh, Wagah border, Golden Temple and Army Public Schools in Amritsar and Beas.

During their stay here, they were taken to Chhatbir zoo, Sukhna Lake and the Rock Garden. They will also visit Bahu Fort and Bag-e-Bahu, near Jammu, before their tour culminates on August 8.

The tour is being organised as part of Operation Sadbhavana.


Doctor, guards assault patient’s attendant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
An attendant of a patient was allegedly beaten up by a doctor and two security guards of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, here today.

The victim, Badri Prasad (52), a resident of Sector 48, had gone to the hospital with his son, Nikhil, who was undergoing treatment in the psychiatry department.

Showing his injury marks on his body, Badri said his son was discharged from the hospital on Sunday and had been asked to visit the hospital OPD for followup today.

Around 12 pm, when he along with Nikhil visited the OPD, he was asked to get a new registration card from the emergency ward, as the counters for OPD cards were closed.

Dr Tanvir, EMO, however, refused to issue a new OPD card and when the complainant insisted on it showing him a slip issued by doctors, Dr Tanvir got enraged and asked the security guards to throw him out, alleged Badri.

At this, security guards Harjit and Kulbir allegedly assaulted Badri. “I was taken to a room, where both security guards caught hold of me and Dr Tanvir slapped and punched me,” alleged Badri.

Following the incident, the police reached the scene and lodged a complaint.

Medical superintendent Dr Vipin Kaushal said the matter had been brought to his notice and Dr Tanvir had denied any such involvement.

According to Dr Tanvir, the complainant hit the security guards when he was asked to leave the place, following which the guards retaliated and thrashed him, said Dr Kaushal.

Police station-34 SHO Sudarshan said the medical examination of accused guards and the complainant was conducted at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, and both sides had been asked to report tomorrow.



Sec-42 Murder
Crime scene baffles police
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Chandigarh police is groping in the dark in the Sector-42 murder case, as it has not only failed to ascertain the motive behind the killing of Santosh Kumari but has also been unable to profile killer(s) in the absence of any substantial clue gathered from the crime scene.

A senior police officer admitted that the crime scene was so confusing that it had rendered them directionless.

A Re 1 coin was found on the victim’s palm, while some coins were scattered around her hand.

“We initially thought that the murder could have been the handiwork of some tantrik performing some occult practices, but it was not the case as the other evidence and the circumstances did not support the theory,” he said.

Sources said the investigators were puzzled over profiling the killer. While some evidences pointed toward expertise and deftness of killer(s), at the same time other facts suggested otherwise.

The way the victim was apparently intoxicated indicated that the murder was planned, however the idea of electrocution, which seemed to have been be taken on the spot, indicated at improvisation.

The killer had only tied one hand of the victim leaving her other hand and legs free. “So far, we believe that that someone known to the family or some addict is behind the killing,” said the police officer.

The police had questioned the milkman, an electrician of the State Bank of India Colony in Sector 42 and some gardeners, but failed to get any vital clues from them.

The electrician, who had come with his contractor, told the police that he had visited the house a fortnight ago to repair the doorbell.

He had earlier checked the electrical fitting in the house before it was occupied by the family. He said the family had stayed in the guesthouse before moving into the flat, which was under repair.

The gardeners also claimed that they had not seen any suspicious person coming in or going out of the house that day.

The police had sent a team to Abohar where the victim was cremated today to pick up clues about some family feud, which could have possibly led to the killing.



Basic amenities lacking in Sec 51
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The newly developed Sector 51 is stinking due to neglect and apathy of the authorities towards basic amenities.

Bad roads, improper drainage system, poor sanitation and undeveloped green belts are some of the problems being faced by residents of the area. Hope had risen for residents after the transfer of the sector from the hands of the administration to the municipal corporation. However, it was short-lived as nobody took interest in the development works of the sector.

Sanitary conditions in the sector have worsened as roads and inner lanes have not been cleaned or repaired for a long time. Safai workers of the corporation hardly visit the area. A large portion of the sewerage has been choked for years.

Drains have not been cleaned and piles of garbage are usually left on the road, thus aggravating the problem.

Potholed roads and absence of drainage facilities reflect the seriousness of the authorities towards providing best facilities to residents.

Almost all main roads as well as inner roads are in bad shape. Even the quality of repair work is so sub-standard that it lasts just for a few days.

Moreover, because of poor planning, roads get damaged frequently. Frequent digging work for laying of underground cables by different departments and dumping of construction material on road berms also cause damage to roads.

Mushrooming of an unauthorised colony near the sector is seriously affecting the development of the area.

A resident, who has been living in the area for the past five years, says civic amenities in the sector have not improved ever since the sector was developed.

He says there is a need for the authorities to wake up to the problems of the residents of the area and take adequate steps to improve the situation.

CHB Enclave Resident Welfare Association president Kesar Singh says they have been writing to the authorities for the past five years about the poor civic amenities in the area but to no avail.

He adds that the area councillor has not visited the sector for a long time.



The bond across border
Pak girl ties rakhi to P’kula boy
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
A chance meeting at an India-Pakistan cricket match at Mohali three and half years ago brought Earnest Paul of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and Ashok Garg of Panchkula together.

The years gone by have seen a strange but a strong bond developing between the families, especially between Paul’s 13-year-old daughter Sasha, who recently underwent her second heart surgery here, and Garg’s five-year-old son Vaibhav.

The bond between them was reinforced today when Sasha tied a rakhi on Vaibhav’s wrist at Sood Bhawan where she is recuperating after undergoing a heart valve replacement. When Sasha came to India for her check up in 2006, Vaibhav was just two years old and she instantly accepted him her brother.

Though Sasha has two brothers, her repeated trips to India in connection with her treatment at Delhi brought the families closer and she started tying rakhi on him. And even when she was in Pakistan, she did not forget to send one to her ‘Indian’ brother.

“They are very close and have feelings for each other not less than real siblings,” said Ashok Garg, Vaibhav’s father. There is no important occasion in both the families when the greetings are not exchanged, said Garg.

For Sasha, it was a ritual not to miss at any cost. “Though I tied a rakhi on Vaibhav’s wrist in 2006 personally when I was here for my surgery, I always made it a point that I send a rakhi to him on the auspicious day,” Sasha said, adding that wishes are also exchanged on phone on festivals.”

“Rakhis are easily available in Pakistan as well as Hindu families living there also celebrate the festival,” she said.



City will emerge golf destination: Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
With a view to integrating golf with tourism activities, the UT Administrator General (retd) SF Rodrigues, today launched Golf Tourism at a function held at Hotel Mountview here this evening.

Appreciating the initiative, Rodrigues said Chandigarh had emerged as a symbol of the New Resurgent India and it would emerge as a golf destination. The courses to be offered for tourists would be of Chandigarh Golf Club, CGA Golf Range and Panchkula Golf Club.

Ram Niwas, Home Secretary-cum-Chairman, CITCO, said this concept had been designed to promote golf tourism in the tricity and with this, the CITCO had brought special golfing facilities to the doorstep of golf lovers.

Managing Director, CITCO, DK Tiwari, said the tourists could now enjoy all golfing facilities by paying the hotel tariff only.

The package includes complimentary visit to Chandigarh from Delhi by Shatabdi Express train (economy class)/Luxury Bus (Volvo). Complimentary pick up/dropping at Chandigarh Railway Station, complimentary conveyance from the hotel to Golf Club and green fee charges shall also be payable to the Golf Club.

He further said the golf packages had been made more attractive, whereby even if the tourists travel by taxi or through a luxury coach, equivalent fare should be made reimbursable to tourists by availing any packages at CITCO hotels.

At Hotel Parkview, special packages have been planned for students who are interested in learning the game. Arrangements for training and other facilities shall be arranged by the CITCO.



Auto drivers pain for women at rly station
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, August 5
Passengers at the city railway station, especially women can end up having a harrowing time with the over zealous taxi and auto drivers almost jamming the entry and exit points when a train arrives at the station.

Forget about trying to score savaari’s, these taxi and auto drivers endlessly stalk passengers and openly misbehave with females even after their numerous denials for taxis and autos. Surprisingly, all this happens right outside the station where the Government Railway Police (GRP) booth is put up.

Passengers try to get out of the railway station as soon as possible to avoid the taxi and auto drivers, who surround them from all directions. Situation gets worse during the arrival of the Kalka Shatabdi, Unchahar and Sadbhavna express at the station.

Speaking to Tribune team, some of the women at the station admitted that some of these auto and taxi drivers start unnecessary bargains, tug the luggage handle from your hands, make absurd comments, try to be unnecessarily “touchy” and at times even make obscene gestures from a distance and giggle in groups. “It calls for courage to stand at the station and wait for anyone to come and pick you up. Even if we tell them that we don’t want a taxi, they just don’t stop staring and asking random questions. I was just calling up my dad and one of them commented, Madam phone to bahut achha hai. Jahan se liya hai wahin le chalete hain,” said Sameeksha, a regular passenger.

According to the GRP Chandigarh, in the last seven months almost eight to ten cases have been registered so far under the IPC 254 for misbehaviour with passengers, especially females. On the condition of anonymity, an ATS official at the station said: “In this month, we have seen almost 25 minor incidents of misbehaviour with passengers. Our problem is that women most of the time back out from lodging complaints.”

“During my last return from Delhi, I was waiting for my husband and had a lot of luggage. This taxi driver picked up my luggage, just a couple of minutes after I stepped on the platform arguing aap akele kaise le jaoge. Theek paise laga denge. Aap bas aa jao. I finally had to yell at him and that’s when he left,” said another passenger at the station.

Ideally these auto and taxi drivers should not be allowed on the railway station premises, but still they can be seen hovering at the entrance and the exit space. At times, some of them even directly enter the platforms to find passengers. The maximum penalty they face is a challan by the Ticket Collector Railway (TCR) levied for not having a platform ticket.



Multi-utility vehicle in traffic police fleet soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Chandigarh traffic police will induct a road disaster management vehicle into its fleet shortly.

The police said the multi-utility vehicle was equipped with multiple tools and gadgets for crucial work in contingency and disaster situations.

The vehicle would be helpful in natural as well as man-made disasters and reducing time during rescue operations.

A police officer said the Delhi police had already been using the vehicle and the Chandigarh police had asked the manufacturer of the vehicle to add a few more features.

The vehicle would be equipped with several features and gadgets, including trolley with portable traffic signal, variable message sign (VMS), cutting tools, generator set with power extension board, 50-meter-long extra lead, illuminating lighting system, wireless public address (PA) system, electric power back-up inverter, air-compressor, accident relief kit, chainsaw and water pumps.

The vehicle would be deployed at rallies, demonstrations, religious functions, exhibitions and major sports events. The Chandigarh police has already purchased a Tata chassis for the purpose.



Bypoll: Liquor ban imposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Keeping in view byelections to elect councillor from ward No. 10 of the municipal corporation i.e. Sectors 41 and 42, Attawa and Buterla and elections to elect panch each from gram panchayat areas of Behlana, Kaimbwala, Raipur Kalan and Sarangpur villages, District Magistrate-cum-Excise and Taxation Commissioner RK Rao has declared dry days from 5 pm on August 6 to 5 pm on August 8.

The orders will be applicable on August 10 also in these areas. All liquor shops situated in these areas will remain closed. The order has been issued as the sale and service of liquor may cause hindrance in the smooth conduct of peaceful, free and fair elections and problems in maintaining law and order, public peace and tranquility.



Temp above normal, rain below average
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Temperature above normal and rain below average is the feature this season, as the city reels under inclement weather. Scorching heat and the truant monsoon has made it difficult for the residents here.

As per the Met records, this year, the city has received 44 per cent less rainfall than normal rainfall during monsoon. According to the Met officials, the city normally receives 425.1 mm rain from June to August 5, whereas this year the city recorded just 237 mm rain.

Met official said the temperature goes about three to four degrees above normal due to less rainfall. The maximum temperature recorded is 30.4 °Celsius and minimum 25.8 °Celsius today. According to the department forecast, the sky would be partly cloudy with increase in day temperature by two degree tomorrow.

Met department director Chattar Singh said, as the city received less rain during pre-monsoon showers this season, this indicated that there would be weak monsoon this year. He said in the next two days, there are chances of heavy showers but there are bleak chances of city receiving the normal recorded rain this year.



City Emporio Mall gets show-cause notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Fire and Emergency Services Department, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, has issued a show-cause notice to the City Emporio Mall, Plot No. 143-A, Industrial Area, Phase-I, for violating fire norms by compromising on the public safety.

The department concerned has taken this action after the suspension of SK Gosain, Station Fire Officer, for issuing a NOC to the mall, bypassing the fire safety norms.

When contacted, MC, Additional commissioner, PK Sharma, said the department had given two days’ time to the mall management for filing their reply about the installation of fire equipment in their building for which they had been given a conditional NOC.



Fida Sham-e-Ghazal released
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 5
In an endeavour to reviving and propagating the old traditions of Indian music, Mohali-based TV channel Fida Entertainment has envisaged a plan to produce music albums in a phased manner.

The audience witnessed the release ceremony of the first two DVD albums titled Fida Sham-e-Ghazal (volume I and II) at Hotel Sun Beam here today.

Releasing the first such albums, chief guest Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Punjab MLA, applauded the channel, particularly its chief Haresh Singh for upholding the sanctity of Indian classical music genre besides giving chance to the budding artistes of the region.

The ghazals rendered by Agra gharana virtuoso Laik Khan, a disciple of Ustad Mehdi Hassan of Pakistan, Volume I and IV, and others, including Surinder Khan, Meeu Atwal, Dr Neeraj Gandhi and Krishan Kumar in volume II exude the Indian cultural flavour, Sodhi added. Former chairperson, Punjab Arts Council, and MLA Kewal Dhillon also attended the function.

The channel chief, Guru Haresh Singh, said the next offering would be a collection of ghazals by Afsha Abbas (first wife of Ustad Ghulam Ali of Pakistan).

Noted ghazal maestro Surinder Khan, who returned today after a tour of ghazal performances in UK, and Mumbai-based Meenu Atwal had also presented ghazals.

While Dr Rajan Narula articulated the melody on tabla, Dr Mohammed Rafi conducted the programme.



Consumer Courts
Pasco Motors fined Rs 25,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The District Consumer Disputes and Redressal Forum has directed Pasco Motors, Industrial Area, Phase I, to refund Rs 25,098 to a complainant whom it charged for carrying out a repair work while the vehicle of the complainant was still in the warranty period.

The complainant, Ashok Kumar Aggarwal, a resident of Sector 8, Panchkula, had purchased Tata Truck 2518 TC from M/s Pasco Motors.

He found that the clutch plate and accessories of the said truck were not working properly within four months from the date of purchase, which was covered under the warranty.

He reported the matter to the dealer, but instead of replacing free parts that were covered under the warranty, they charged Rs 25,098.

It was stated in the petition that he suffered a loss of Rs 1 lakh, as the truck remained with the dealer for repairing and dispute on account of payment.

In its reply, Tata Motors pleaded that the vehicle sold to the complainant was of the best quality and he had taken delivery of the vehicle after pre-delivery inspection and entire satisfaction and it fully complies with the warranties, assurances and specifications, provided for it by the manufacturer regarding quality and performance of the vehicle. The vehicle in question was given to the complainant after an inspection and to his entire satisfaction.

It was further pleaded that the relationship between the manufacturer and the dealer was on principal-to-principal basis and the manufacturer could not be held liable for any independent act and omission, if any, committed by the dealer.

It was submitted in the forum that as per the records maintained by the dealer, the services of the vehicle were never carried out as per the terms and conditions of the warranty policy.

The vehicle in question was not maintained properly and the vehicle was used in a negligent manner. Hence, the complainant was not entitled to the benefit of the warranty as per clause 5 of the terms and conditions extended by the manufacturer.



15-hr power cut at PU library
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
For over 15 hours, students in the Panjab University’s AC Joshi Library had to bear the brunt of negligence caused by electricity department and also library authorities.

Yesterday at 2 am, the power went off, generators didn’t work till 3 pm the next day, causing havoc among the students, who were regular visitors to the library.

“We had been suffering since hours and when we asked the library people, they said there was no diesel for the generators to work,” said a student.

However, the Dean student welfare could not be contacted for comments.



A clarification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
In reference to a report published in Chandigarh Tribune on July 6, “Who will bell the cat?”, Deputy Commissioner RK Rao has clarified that the structure raised at his official residence in Sector 16 is an old one, constructed by the Chandigarh administration under the approved plans.

The report had inadvertently carried that some part of the construction at the official residence of the DCdid not comply with building norms.

“Not even a single brick at my residence has been put in violation of the building bylaws, rules and instructions notified by the UT Chief Administrator. The camp office shown in the picture is an old structure, which is duly approved by the administration,” he clarified.



Printing of Books
School board upset with welfare dept
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 5
The Punjab School Education Board Employees Association has condemned the move of the welfare department to take away the work of printing of books, which will be a financial loss to the board.

Jarnail Singh Chuni and Gurmel Singh Maujewal, president and general secretary, respectively, while addressing the press today said last year some work related to printing of books was allegedly taken away by the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan authority. Now, welfare department was also trying to move on the same track by making an excuse that books supplied by the board to the department were damaged by white ants.

They said it was surprising from where officials of the welfare department got the damaged books when district heads of the department had told the board that they had not got any damaged books.

Union leaders said the education board had to spend crores of rupees for preparing CDs on the basis of which books were printed but last year these CDs were used by officials of the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan to get the books printed.

Moreover, names of board officials who had prepared certain books were allegedly deleted when the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan Authority published the books after taking ready material available in CDs.

They said the board had experts for preparing syllabus of different subjects, a publication wing for getting books printed, a separate wing for the purchase of paper and depots at district headquarters for the sale of books. As many as 550 employees were linked to the work of printing. How could the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan Authority print books of proper quality when it did not have the required infrastructure? They questioned. They alleged that an IAS lobby was working behind this move.

They said apart from conducting examinations, the board was also running nine Adarsh schools on which crores of rupees had to be spent. If the work of printing books were taken away from the board, it would face huge financial losses, as it was not getting any grant from the government. The Union leaders also demanded that the services of employees working on a daily wage basis and those on contract should be regularised.



PU signs MoU with hotel mgmt institute
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Receiving a grant worth Rs 2 crore for the project, Panjab University (PU) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition (AIHM), Sector 42, here, to provide the infrastructure and facilities for practicals, including its laboratories to students of the University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism (UIHMT).

While the practical training would be imparted by the academic and administrative staff of the AIHM, the teaching faculty would be from Panjab University. The initial validity of the MoU is for a year with the option of a renewal clause as per mutual consent.

Naveen Kumar, principal, AIHM, said, “It is a matter of honour and pride to be associated with a premier institute like Panjab University.”

Panjab University has initially launched two courses, BSc in Hospitality and Hotel Administration and BSc in Tourism Management, under the faculty of business management and commerce.

A grant of Rs 2 crore has already been received for the purpose, out of which Rs 50 lakh is earmarked for the renovation of the building housing the institute.

According to Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti, the MoU is part of a continuum geared towards making the university an institution that promotes the entrepreneurial spirit among the youth. Other MoUs are also in the pipeline, particularly for courses, for which there is a great demand in the industry.

Prof MR Khurana, dean, research, said Panjab University had established Dr Manmohan Singh Chair in the department of economics, which would add a new dimension to the nature of research and projects already undertaken by the department.



Inspection time in hostels extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
As per the new move, the wardens of Punjab University hostels will now be able to inspect the hostels till 1:30 am.

According to information received by the Dean Students’ Welfare, two security guards would be deputed on night duty in each hostel.



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