C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tribune Impact
MC axe on encroachments by bigwigs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The administration has finally cracked a whip on illegal security tents put up by bigwigs on public land.

In a drive that started this morning, the enforcement team of the Municipal Corporation removed 26 such tenements, including one belonging to the former Mayor Anu Chatrath in Sectors 15. A similar drive was carried out in Sectors 18, 24, 39 and 42.

The action was the outcome of a campaign carried out by Chandigarh Tribune, highlighting the blatant encroachments on public land, causing inconvenience to residents. The illegal electricity connections were also taken by these security personnel to run coolers, fans and even TV sets in the tents.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had also taken suo motu notice of the news item “Who will bell the cat”. The High Court gave verdict that there was “need to bell the cat” and has directed the Chandigarh Administration to carry out a survey for checking encroachments by the powers that be.

The anti-encroachment team of the Municipal Corporation today removed 26 security tents, belonging to 18 top officials, which included bureaucrats and police officers also.

The demolition drive was carried out under the supervision of P K Sharma, Additional Commissioner, and assisted by K D Sharma, enforcement inspector.

The enforcement team comprising six enforcement sub-inspectors, along with six police officials, started the campaign from the residence of ex-Mayor Anu Chatrath in Sector 15 in the afternoon.

Then the team went to Sector 18 for removing the tents. The officials said the enforcement staff had to spend a lot of time in vacating the tents which had electric gadgets like TVs, fridge, coolers and almost all household items.

The officials confimed that they had removed a concrete structure in Sector 42 which was accommodating security squad of a retired police personnel.

The officials said they did not face any resistance while getting the public land free from the encroachers.

“The drive was conducted in a peaceful manner and it will continued tomorrow also,” said another official.



PO kidnaps cop during escape
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
A proclaimed offender (PO) of Punjab not only dodged the police of the state, which came to arrest him in Sector 35 here, but also kidnapped a policeman while making good his escape.

However, the kidnapped cop managed to free himself by jumping out of the moving car at a turn in Sector 33-34.The SHO of the Sector 36 police station said a three-member team of the Vigilance in Ferozepore came to the city to nab PO Rajdeep Sharma of Baltana.

The team had information that Rajdeep Sharma was sitting in the office of his maternal uncle Vinod Kumar at Quite Office in Sector 35. Sharma was booked in a cheating case in 2000 and was declared a PO.

The team raided the office around 12 noon and found Sharma sitting there. The police officials showed arrest warrants to Sharma, saying that he was under arrest. However, Sharma tried to mislead the police about his identity, but someone, who was accompanying the police team, identified him.

Sensing trouble, Sharma tried to flee from there and a scuffle followed between Sharma and the policemen, in which his uncle Vinod Kumar and his employee Ram Parkash also joined. The policemen called the “100”, seeking assistance from the local police following which Sharma agreed to go with the police team.

Sharma told the policemen that he would go in his own Skoda car (CH 04 H 3581) to which the policemen agreed. Ram Parkash took the driver’s seat while constable Balbir Singh sat beside Sharma in the rear seat. Before the other two policemen could step into the car, Ram Parkash drove the car at the instance of Sharma.

Befooled by the trickster, the policemen informed the local police that their colleague had been kidnapped. The police sounded alert. Meanwhile, constable Balbir Singh managed to jump out of the speeding car when it slowed down to negotiate a turn on road dividing Sectors 33 and 34.

While Vinod was arrested in the case, both Sharma and Parkash were still at large.



PEC counselling on Aug 17
Separate quota for defence men’s wards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today cleared the legal hurdle in the way of counselling in Punjab Engineering College (PEC) and the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET).

The Division Bench of Justice MM Kumar and Justice Jaswant Singh restored separate quota for wards of military and para-military personnel, passing their qualifying examination from Chandigarh or fulfilling other domiciliary conditions.

The Bench also directed the joint admission committee, constituted for the admissions to PEC and CCET, to conduct counselling on August 17.

It is now clear that out of the total 20 seats reserved for the defence category in the PEC, 10 will go to the wards of defence personnel passing their qualifying examination from the UT. The remaining 10 seats would go to the all-India quota.

Similarly, out of 12 seats reserved for the defence category in the CCET, only two will be reserved for the all-India quota, while the rest 10 would go the wards of defence personnel fulfilling domiciliary condition of the UT administration.

The directions were issued while disposing of petitions by city residents - Avneet Hira and Arshdeep Sandhu. They were seeking the quashing of provision made in the admission brochure of the PEC, clubbing the seats reserved under the defence category of Chandigarh pool and the all-India quota.

The Bench directed the joint admission committee constituted for admissions in the PEC and the CCET to prepare separate list on the basis of 50 per cent quota each for the ‘UT pool’ and ‘All-India quota’ under the defence category and display the same by August 10 on notice board as well as on the website.

The court also directed the admission committee to inform all the candidates about the development through newspapers/emails or short message service by August 10.

The High Court also observed that the PEC could not club the UT and all-India quota for the purpose of admissions under the defence category because the status of deemed university was granted to it on the basis that the reservation of seats under the defence category have to be calculated separately for the ‘UT pool quota’ and the ‘All-India quota’ in admissions. 



Cheap bus plan for schoolkids hits bump
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The administration’s endeavour to be the first in the country to provide cheap transport for government schoolchildren has hit a roadblock due to divergent stands of the Transport and the Finance Department, headed by Ram Niwas and Sanjay Kumar, on the issue of allowing advertisement on the buses.

The State Transport Authority (STA) initiated the “Micro-School Escort” scheme at Rs 380 per month per child and proposed to allow transporters to carry advertisements pertaining to educative and informative purposes only on their buses as an incentive measure.

However, the proposal has not gone down well with the Finance Department, which governs the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order 1954 in the city, and it has raised objection over it.

Sanjay Kumar told The Tribune, “Allowing advertisements on the school buses does not comply with the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Act and hence cannot be permitted”. Moreover, even the Supreme Court guidelines clearly state that except for the school name and its contact number, nothing else can be pasted on the buses.

However, officials of the Transport Department dispute the Finance Secretary’s claims and insist that the STA is competent on its own to a take decision in this regard. A senior official said, “Rule 165 u/s 11 of the Chandigarh Motor Vehicles Rules 1990 clearly states that “No advertising device, figure or writing shall be exhibited on any public service vehicle other than be permitted by the ‘State Transport Authority’ by general or special order”.

When this was pointed out to Ram Niwas, he said, “If that’s the case then we will proceed on our own. Let me check with the STA department”.

While turning down the STA’s proposal, the Finance Secretary has noted on the file, “No commercial or private vehicle should be permitted to carry advertisement in any form under the Advertisement Control Order unless specifically permitted. The STA may take action.”

If one goes by the noting of the Finance Department, questions are being raised that if specific permission can be granted as has been done in case of CTU buses where advertisements are allowed to generate revenue than why such provision can’t be allowed for a scheme that will benefit government schoolchildren.



Residents relieved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The municipal corporation’s move to remove enroachments by VIPs on its land has brought smile to residents, especially those living in the vicinity.

The corporation today initiated a drive to free parks and road berms encroached upon by the security staff of these bigwigs.

Appreciating the move, the residents said they had been living a miserable life so far. They complained that their power supply used to get affected due extra load on account of illegal drawing of power from street poles or through the houses of “big bosses” by their security staff.

“We were tired of complaining to the electricity department. Now, we hope this move will give us respite from the frequent power disruptions,” said residents.

Women residents along with elderly and children were happy that a public park, which was earlier a place for them to stroll in the evening, had now been freed of all encumbrances.

“It’s better late than never. We could have never expected that such a move was possible against such powerful people. We had made a number of complaints about the nuisance to the authorities, but to no avail. At least, some efforts have been made to protect our rights. It is appreciable,” said Arun Bhardwaj of Sector 39, where a public park had been taken over by the securitymen of police officials.

“It was a source of inconvenience to us, especially for women and children. These securitymen used to do their daily chores out in the open,” said VP Verma, another resident belonging to Sector 15.


Strike: ATMs run dry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Banking operations were adversely hit on the second day of the bank employees’ strike, under the aegis of United Forum of Bank Unions.

It is estimated that transactions worth Rs 500 crore have been hit during the two-day strike. Though banks had made provisions by loading their ATMs to their maximum capacity on Wednesday evening, several ATMs ran dry at Sector 17, Panjab University and Sector 35 following panic withdrawals. However, due to free inter-bank transactions, people managed to withdraw cash from other ATMs.

On an average, banking transactions worth Rs 250 crore take place in the tricity each day. The two-day strike meant that transactions worth Rs 500 crore could not be carried out.

Cheques that were deposited in banks on Wednesday will now be cleared only on Monday (next week). These cheques would be sent to the MICR house for clearance on Saturday and would be affected in the consumers’ accounts only on Monday i.e. August 10.

The strike, which was absolute in all the nationalized banks, was called to oppose the reversal on an agreement of 17. 5 per cent wage hike by the bank managements. They are also demanding the option of pension for the bank employees.



Bed and Breakfast Scheme
Show-cause notice slapped on violators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The Chandigarh administration has issued showcause notices to two residents who have got themselves registered under the Bed and Breakfast scheme in the city but did not comply to the norms prescribed by the administration.

Confirming this, the UT Estate officials told that two residents of Sector 18 — Bharat Rattan Grover, House no. 1560 and Gaurav Dhir, House no. 528 — have been asked to explain how come they were offering accommodation beyond the permissible limit in their houses to tourists under the scheme.

The officials confirmed that more such violators would be served notices soon. Under the scheme, not more than five rooms can be offered, the rates for one-day stay with breakfast to be charged should be Rs 900 for gold accommodation and Rs 700 for silver. Apart from this, the name “bed and breakfast accommodation” cannot be altered.

Nevertheless, following the exposure of certain irregularities, a scrutinising team has been formed which would be led by CITCO General Manager AK Malhotra to inquire into the matter. The other in the team include Bhupinder Jatana, Assistant Controller, Finance and Accounts, DPI (S) office, and Ashok Bisht, Superintendent, Estate Office. Apart from this, the area SHO’s too would accompany the team during inspections.

“The Bed and Breakfast scheme can in no way be treated as a core business venture. It was formulated especially, keeping in mind the exchange of culture values besides to be serve as an additional income source for senior citizens.

Under this scheme, only the additional space, within specific limits, in the residential area can be offered at rates prescribed by the administration. Those violating this mandate would be dealt with sternly,” said Malhotra. 



LPG auto-rickshaws no different
Overcharging, refusal to run meter rampant
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, August 7
Despite claims of the Chandigarh administration of having streamlined the functioning of auto-rickshaws in the city, troubles of the common man on city roads do not seem to end.

While conventional auto-rickshaw drivers were already notorious for harassing commuters, now even those running LPG auto-rickshaws have picked up the tricks of the trade and are overcharging commuters by refusing to run their vehicles on meters.

During a recent survey by the TNS, not even a single auto-rickshaw driver agreed to run the vehicle on meter.

An LPG auto-rickshaw driver demanded Rs 50 for a ride from ISBT-Sector 17 to the PGI gate.

Another LPG auto-rickshaw driver charged Rs 60 for a journey from Sector 41 D till Hotel Taj in Sector 17.

Similarly, a fare of Rs 150 was sought for a ride from Chandigarh railway station to the airport by an LPG auto-rickshaw driver. Also, Rs 140 was charged from Fun Republic, Mani Majra, till Sector 32.

On being questioned for not running the meter, one of the driver’s reply was: “Madam hum kya karein. Humein upar se mana kiya gaya hai. Hum meter nai chala sakte.”

Additional Secretary, state transport authority, Anil Sharma said: “These are mere excuses. All LPG auto-rickshaws running on city roads have been fitted with an electronic meter. The driver who refuses to run his vehicle on meter is liable to pay fine.”

He added: “Commuters should ideally lodge their complaints with the traffic police. What can we do if there are no complaints? As regards fares, we challan at least 20 to 25 LPG auto-rickshaw drivers every month, but the problem is much bigger than can be sorted out with challans.”

LPG auto-rickshaws were introduced in the city to save commuters from harassment at the hands of drivers of diesel/petrol-run auto-rickshaws.

However, even these auto-rickshaw drivers have have found a way to defy rules.

Jasleen of Delhi said: “We had gone to the PGI for my mother’s treatment. As she cannot travel by bus, we tried to hire an LPG auto-rickshaw from the PGI till the railway station. All of them refused to run their meters and asked between Rs 250 and Rs 300 as fare.”

Auto-rickshaw drivers have been fleecing customers especially during strikes by bus operators.

To make the matters worse, these drivers get away with a measly challan of Rs 100 for violation.



Labourer falls to death
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 7
A 25-year-old labourer died after falling from the fifth floor of an under-construction building near Waraich farmhouse on the Ambala-Chandigarh National Highway this afternoon. 

According to the police, the incident took place around 12.30 pm when Lalit Kumar was removing the shuttering with his co-labourer Raj Kumar when he suddenly fell down. He was rushed to GMCH-32 from where doctors referred him to the PGI.

He was declared brought dead at the PGI. The police has recorded the statement of Raj Kumar.



Meagre fine emboldens encroachers
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Encroachers have been repeatedly carrying out violations by encroaching upon the municipal corporation land, thanks to a nominal fine imposed by the authorities.

Consequently, repetitive encroachment drives by the enforcement department end up nowhere, as most encroachers are back to their places of business by paying the fine of Rs 500 per day.

The condition has not changed in most areas where authorities have recently conducted anti-encroachment drives, as most of these violators are back at the same place after the drive.

In Sector-19 rehri market, where the municipal corporation has conducted special anti-encroachment drives a number of times, most of the roadside vendors have come back to the encroached sites.

Similarly in Mani Majra, the authorities had removed private cranes and trucks from a parking site of the motor market following a compliant, but these were back again after paying the fine.

The situation is similar in other markets of the city where anti-encroachment drives had been conducted by the enforcement department.

Sources said last year, the issue of increasing the fine was tabled in the house but most councillors rejected it and instead suggested the reduction of fine from Rs 500 to Rs 100, as most encroachers belonged to the economically weaker sections of society.

Enforcement committee’s former chairman and nominated councillor Arshad Khan had pleaded in the house to keep a tab on habitual encroachers by imposing heavy fines and registering cases against them.

A senior official opined that there was no use of conducting special anti-encroachment drives, as most encroachers paid the nominal fine and again started their business.

Officials added that most of the times, elected councillors relaxed the fine using their powers, thus encouraging violators.

The officials suggested that if the corporation wanted to control encroachments, it should formulate an action plan under which the corporation should conduct joint drives with the traffic police and challan violators with hefty amounts.

A case should also be registered against them for misusing the corporation land.

MC Additional Commissioner PK Sharma said there was a need to amend laws so that the violators did not repeat violations time and again.



Senior Citizens
Implementation of welfare Act reviewed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
To review the implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, a meeting was convened under the chairmanship of Home Secretary Ram Niwas yesterday.

The Act provides that any person, who does not care for the senior citizen and leaves senior citizen in any place with the intention of abandoning him/her, will be punishable with an imprisonment that may extend to three months or fine which may extend to Rs 5,000 or with both.

Every officer or staff appointed to exercise functions under the Act will be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.

A magistrate will try every offence under the Act summarily. No civil court will have jurisdiction in respect of any matter pertaining to this matter. No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings will lie against any action taken in good faith under the Act.

The senior citizen can file an application for the maintenance under Section 4 of the Act. The tribunal hearing the case may award the maintenance in favour of the elderly citizen.

There is also a provision to appoint conciliation officer, which will be a representative of a voluntary agency, under the Act. Maximum maintenance allowance will be Rs 10,000 per month, which can be awarded by the tribunal. The complaint can be filed with the sub-divisional magistrate for the maintenance and the Deputy Commissioner will be the appellant authority.



Rally against female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
As many as 193 NCC cadets from the senior and junior divisions of No.1 Chandigarh Girls Battalion participated in the rally against female foeticide.

The rally comprised of cadets from various school and colleges of Chandigarh. The focus of rally was to spread awareness amongst the populace on saving the girl child and to take up a drive against female foeticide. The rally started from Sector 9 and culminated at NCC Group Headquarters in Sector 26.

On the termination of the rally the cadets and the staff of the battalion took a pledge to save the girl child and stand up against female foeticide. 



Separate SGPC in Haryana
Sikh body holds protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
A traffic snarl-up was witnessed at Sector 17 here this evening when agitated members of the Jathedar Mohan Singh Tur Welfare Society held a march in protest against the Haryana Government decision to make a separate SGPC in the state.

Terming the move by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of making a separate SGPC through an ordinance an interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs, they stated they would oppose any such move to the hilt.

Around 50 members of the society reached the city in a bus but the police had made prior arrangements to stop them from moving ahead.

A minor traffic jam was witnessed at the cricket stadium chowk where the police prevented the protesters from going further.

The protesters were later allowed to go to the Haryana Chief Minister’s residence in a bus to hand over a memorandum.



Special audit an exercise in futility?
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) team may have completed the special audit of the controversial mega projects in the city yet a cross-section of society is expressing doubts about the utility of the audit.

Since the top brass of the Chandigarh administration was instrumental in the allotment of land for mega projects, effectiveness of the inquiry being conducted by a team headed by a deputy secretary-level officer in the MHA is being questioned.

Social activist Hemant Goswami, who had been taking up irregularities in the allotment of land at regular intervals, does not expect much from the special audit. “On the face of it, the MHA dilly-dallying seems to be lacking the seriousness the issue deserves,” he added.

“Our NGO - the Burning Brain Society - is now in the process of seeking sanction for the prosecution from senior officers for their acts of omission and commission in the allotment of land for mega projects,” he said.

Expressing apprehensions, Angrej Singh Badheri, president of the Pind Bachao Committee, rued that the main stakeholder - the farmers -whose land was acquired for the mega projects were not even consulted by the MHA team. The MHA team had concluded the special audit for the allotment of land to the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park and the status of other mega projects — Medi City, Film City and Theme-cum-Amusement Park.

Complying with the April-1 MHA directive, the team had asked for records of various projects in the line of fire from various quarters, including media and UT farmers.

The audit involved issues of inadequate compensation to farmers on land acquisition, complaints about exemption, violations where land was sold to private buyers or companies with reference to prevailing rules, allotment of land to IT Park projects and the status of the mega projects.



Power bills soar despite cuts 
Tribune News Service

An on-the-spot billing machine being used to issue an electricity bill in Mohali.
An on-the-spot billing machine being used to issue an electricity bill in Mohali. A file photo

Mohali, August 7
As if long power cuts in this hot and humid weather were not enough, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is allegedly harassing the already troubled consumers in the name of issuing on-the-spot power bills.

During the last two months, the power cuts in Mohali, Kharar, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Lalru have gone beyond eight-hour. “There is no electricity. But still power consumption remains almost the same. The state government is taxing the common man due to its poor fiscal state,” said RK Behl, a resident of Industrial Area, Phase VIII here.

The scant power supply apart, inclusion of power consumption charges of the last four months is confusing consumers who are making a beeline to the bill collection centres. A number of harried consumers are daily making rounds at the Mohali office of the board with some going satisfied and others cursing the board. “Everything is explained in the bills issued in a new format.

It would take some weeks for the people to understand the data printed on the bills. The average amount charged for the month of April and May has been adjusted in the new bills,” said an official in the commercial wing of the PSEB.

“Why harass the consumers by making them run around to the bill collection centres. There should be transparency in issuing bills. We are being forced to pay for the power which we have not used,” said AS Shergill, a resident of Sector 67.

Due to shortage of power, the consumers are forced to buy inverters and to charge the inverter battery, additional power was consumed and this further pushes up the power consumption.



Residents block highway
PSEB blames anti-social elements
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 7
After the last night incident in which the residents of Ravindra Enclave blocked the Chandigarh-Ambala Highway to protest against the erratic power supply, the Zirakpur PSEB authorities today blamed some anti-social elements who had prompted the residents of Ravindra Enclave to protest.

Zirakpur XEN HS Oberai had written a letter to the police for taking action against the anti-social elements responsible for the incident. He also called the president of Ravindra Enclave, Chandan Suri, and enquired about the incident. 

Suri said the transformer was repaired in time by the electricity board employees, but some anti-social elements of the society turned it off. They gathered the residents in their own truck and took them to block the national highway.

The SHO, Zirakpur, said the matter was in his knowledge and he would verify the case before taking any action.

In Dera Bassi, the power supply was disrupted after a truck hit the poles carrying transformer around 5 am on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway this morning. The power was resumed after 12 hours. The power shutdown has created a blackout-like situation in the area with schoolchildren, factories employees and patients in the Civil Hospital being the worst hit.



MC to install 39 security gates
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 7
Work on installing 39 gates in residential areas here to enhance security will be started by the Municipal Council next week.

Three private parties had evinced interest in installing the security gates free of cost, out of which one has been selected for the construction.

Executive officer of the council Amna Kumar Goyal said yesterday that the work had been allotted to Selvel Media Services that would begin the work next week.

The company had been told to display the house numbers of the residential pocket, in question, on the security gate apart from painting a message of the civic body. The company could put up an advertisement on the remaining part of the gate.

Goyal said a meeting would be held with representatives of the residents’ welfare associations of the town, urging them to employ chowkidars to man these gates.

Tenders were earlier floated by the council to invite offers from interested parties for installing the gates in various parts of the town after the director, local government, had stayed the proposal of the civic body according to which Rs 66 lakh were to be spent on installing gates.

The three firms that had shown interest in installing the security gates were Initiative Outdoor Media Services, Outdoor Communications and Selvel Media Services.

While Initiative Outdoor Media Services had asked the council to allow it to put up advertisements for eight years on the gates and it would pay Rs 65,000 as licence fee, Outdoor Communications wanted a 10-year period and offered Rs 55,000. Selvel Media Services was ready to install 39 gates and offered Rs 1.15 lakh as the licence fee for six years.

To ensure the security of residents, the police and the council had drawn up a plan to fix security gates. The proposal was earlier presented at a meeting held on December 30 and was cleared by the House. However, the director, local government, who asked the council to look for private parties that were ready to install gates and construct cabins provided they were allowed to display the advertisements, stayed the proposal.

The plan was later discussed by SSP Jatinder Singh Aulakh at a meeting. According to the plan, the gates would be closed at night leaving one gate open that would be manned by a guard.



Shifting of garbage site
Councillors give conditional consent to GMADA
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 7
Dumping of town’s garbage, which has become a major issue, took a new turn today with councillors laying down conditions before accepting the proposal of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to temporarily use a new site for the purpose.

President of the Municipal Council Rajinder Singh Rana today called a meeting of the elected representatives of Mohali residents to discuss the proposal of GMADA in connection with the dumping of garbage near Dara Studio in Phase VI.

Councillors argued that why was the site being shifted only for a period of four months. The civic body could keep using the present site at Phase VIII, Industrial Area, till a permanent site was allotted by GMADA.

The councillors decided to ask GMADA to present them a copy of the high court orders according to which the dumping of garbage at the present site was banned. It was also decided to ask GMADA to give the civic body in writing that the proposed site would be used only for a period of four months and if any litigation came up in connection with the dumping of garbage at the new site, GMADA was ready to take the responsibility in that regard.

Councillor Rajinder Sharma living in Phase VI, however, opposed the move of GMADA and said if garbage was dumped near Dara Studio, he would protest, along with residents of the area. He said the council was earlier dumping garbage near the proposed site, but the Verka milk plant authorities had filed a case against the civic body after which dumping was stopped in that area.

GMADA had identified a site measuring about five acres near Dara Studio for dumping garbage on a temporary basis after which a permanent site would be finalised by the authority. Rana was told about the proposal at a meeting held on August 5, which was attended by senior government officials and was asked to use the proposed site for about four months.

He was told by GMADA authorities that the civic body would have to stop dumping garbage at the present site in Phase VIII, Industrial Area, because the high court had issued orders in this regard. Rana had told GMADA officials that he would be able to give his feedback on the proposal only after discussing the matter with other councillors.

A controversy had earlier arisen in June in connection with the dumping ground when the council was asked to stop dumping garbage at the present site and instead use a site owned by the civic body, which was too small to contain the town’s garbage.

By giving reference of a decision taken at the Punjab Chief Minister’s office, the GMADA authorities had sent a letter to the civic body stating that garbage dumping should be stopped in the Phase VIII, Industrial Area, by June 30 after which it should be dumped in an area owned by the civic body. The decision was, however, reversed when councillors staged a protest against GMADA.



Frolic marks Teej celebrations
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 7
It was a day of fun and frolic, as ladies clad in their colourful dresses danced at the Vintage Hall of Rajindra Gymkhana and Mohindra Club here today.

The occasion was teej celebrations by the Rotary Club Patiala Royal for members of the club. Presidents of other Rotary Clubs, along with their wives also participated. The celebrations lasted several hours, as the ladies danced to popular Punjabi numbers and folk songs.

Kiran Sekhon, president and Daljeet Cheema, secretary of the Rotary Club Patiala Royal said the celebrations were marked by giddha, singing of folk songs, and music.

They said the club members enjoyed every moment of the celebrations.

Kiran said teej was one of the most important festivals of Punjab that was celebrated with enthusiasm by women and young girls.

While there were arrangements for a variety of refreshments, kheer-pura was in real demand keeping in spirit of the teej celebrations.

Partly cloudy sky added to the celebration. Bangles were distributed among the club members.

Rotarian Prem Aggarwal, District Governor of District 3090, was the chief guest.



MC bypoll today 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
On the last day of campaigning for the ward no. 10 bypoll of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, two major parties, the Congress and the SAD-BJP, made a last-ditch effort to woo voters. The bepoll will be held tomorrow.

For the Congress, Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu went from door-to-door in support of the Congress candidate, Bhupinder Singh Badheri, whereas the newly elected MLA from Banur, Jasjit Singh Bunny, and Jails Minister Hira Singh Gabhria addressed a rally in support of the SAD-BJP candidate, Malkiat Singh, today.

The counting will be held on August 10. 



New housing project for P’kula

Chandigarh, August 7
Mumbai-based builders Bhoomi Infrastructure Company will launch a housing project in Sector 30, Panchkula.

Addressing a press conference SS Deswal of Bhoomi Greens “Amazon-the defence county”, said the project would house around 1,000 residential units equipped with all modern amenities.

People would have wide option with flats from one-bedroom studio apartments of 699 sq ft (costing under 17.5 lakh) at the smallest to three bedroom, with servant quarter of 1,915 sq ft. The project will be set up on a 17-acre plot. — TNS



From Schools & Colleges
Over 300 saplings planted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
A tree plantation drive was undertaken at GMSSS-33 today where saplings were planted and importance of trees in our day-to-day lives was highlighted.

About 200 saplings of different trees were planted. Dr Surendra Singh, principal of the school elaborated upon the inception of Vasumati Eco Club and the importance of medicinal trees in the school.

Also, a tree plantation programme was organised at GSSS- 38(W) today. Over a hundred medicinal and other plants were planted at the school campus. Principal, Baljinder Singh, PO NSS AK Saini and other chief guest Vikram Rana asked the students to act upon the motto of “each one, teach one and plant one.”

On the occasion, the school’s second NSS unit was also inaugurated.

Founders’ day

An inter-school patriotic group song competition was organised today by Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40 D, to commemorate its founder Shri Shanti Swaroop Sharda.

It commenced with a “havan”. Saplings were planted in and around the school by the members of management and the Class IV employees.

The eight participating teams from the tricity showcased their talent. Each team comprised of ten students from classes VI to XII.

1st Prize- Moti Ram Arya School, Sector 27

2nd Prize- Stepping Stones, Sector 37

3rd Prize- Guru Harkrishan, Sector 38

Anti-drug campaign

As part of the on-going campaign of State Institute of Education, Sector 32 Chandigarh, Education Secretary, Ram Niwas, IAS, administered oath to students of Government Senior Secondary School, Manimajra and Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, Chandigarh.

He called upon the students and said they are catalyst of change. He interacted with the students and talked about using urinals, brushing the teeth at night, eating junk food and drinking carbonated drinks and laid stress on drinking lots of water as it cleans the digestive system.

Highlight of the interaction was when he asked the boys to fight drug addiction and show respect for women and not to indulge in eve teasing.

He said we needed to make our country tobacco-free and fight the drug menace.


A one-day International workshop on youth leadership was organised by “NSS Help” NSS units' Government Model Secondary School, Phase 3-B, SAS Nagar, here in collaboration with universal peace federation.

NSS helpline coordinator, Dr Sarbjeet Kaur Sohal, lecturer, Phase 6, and Dr Uma Sharma, district public relations officer took initiative to organise the workshop.

Over 500 students of Class XI and XII from Government Model Secondary School, Phase 3-B, Mohali, Government Model Secondary School, Kharar and Kurali, Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, and St Soldier School, Phase VII participated.

Two new business schools

The Aryans Group of Institutes will be starting two new business schools- Aryans Institute of Management (AIM) and Aryans Business School for Women (ABSW) from the current academic session. The approvals have been obtained from the regulating bodies like AICTE, Government of Punjab etc. The Group is already running three management institutions at Nepra (Banur) village and Chandigarh-Patiala Highway. 



Conversion of seats
PU serves notice on two depts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Following a complaint furnished by some students, Panjab University today served a notice on its departments of history and mass communication for alleged inter-category conversion of hostel seats.

According to the complaints submitted by students, the two departments were allegedly converting the SC and ST category seats to general without seeking permission from higher authorities.

The students claiming the seat under reserved category complained about being subjected to inconvenience due to the conversion.

Confirming this, Naval Kishore, dean, student welfare, said: “We got reports about conversion. It is not justified as no department can make such alterations to the seat structure of hostel. We have served notice on them to know why permission was not sought before going through with conversion.”



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