C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mr Governor, where are dog pounds?
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
If UT administrator-cum-Governor, SF Rodrigues, is to be believed, the city has two dog pounds to manage sick and stray dogs, including one managed by an NGO. However, it is far away from truth as according to MC sources the proposal for the first dog pound has been hanging fire for the past eight years for want of space. The proposal for a dog pound at Dhanas was mooted several years ago. The site was, however, found inappropriate as it had a school and a residential area nearby.

The office of the medical officer health shortlisted a piece of land at Maloya and Hallo Majra for the purpose, but even that was reportedly not finalised.

The sources said the authorities then looked for a land on the outskirts of the city last year and zeroed in on Dadu Majra. Officials stated that when the proposal was tabled in the House, area councillor Kamlesh opposed it on the ground that the public was already facing problems due to the setting up of the garbage processing plant there and it should be set up at some other place.

Recently it was decided to allot 2 acres to the corporation at Sector 38 (West) for the pound, but the site still had to be finalised. Mayor Kamlesh said the civic body was yet to receive any formal communication from the administration about the allotment of site. The pound was proposed for about 5,000 stray dogs, which are a nuisance for residents.



Councillor pulls out gun  at MC meeting
Tribune News Service

Kharar, August 17
Unruly scenes were witnessed at the monthly meeting of the Municipal Committee wherein councillors hit each other using chairs and one of the councillors even took out his licensed revolver to threaten others.

Seeing the situation go out of control, the MC officials informed the police about the incidence. However, the councillors got pacified immediately before the cops arrived. The executive officer of the Municipal Council, Vijay Gupta, had called the police to control the situation when some councillors entered a scuffle after swearing each other.

The councillors decided to pass a resolution wherein Rs 6 crore were to be spent for development of 15 wards. However, the development works of ward numbers 1, 5, 10 and 15 were dropped from this resolution.

The situation went out of control when Gupta presented development works of ward number 1 and the city development group, which has eight councillors, decided to delay it.

However, a member of this development group, Gurprem Singh, objected to it saying that already many developmental works had been initiated in ward number 1 and these works should be first completed.

Objecting to this, the councillor of ward number 1 and Akali leader Darshan Singh Shivjot started swearing Gurprem Singh. Irate Gurprem took out his revolver and asked Shivjot to move out of meeting premises.

Both broke into fisticuffs. The president of the Nagar Council Employees Welfare Association, Maan Singh, intervened. As the tension brewed up, Gupta called up the area SHO. The SHO sent his team, but before the team could reach, the matter was already settled. Gupta retreated saying that he had not called the police.



Essential Commodities
Admn to monitor retail, wholesale prices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
In the backdrop of prices of essential commodities rising sharply over the past few days, the Chandigarh administration has decided to crack the whip against hoarders and scrupulous traders making unjustified profit.

In a bid to control and regulate rising prices of grains, cereals, vegetables and fruits in the city, Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar today convened a meeting of mandi and food grain associations in the city.

He requested them to cooperate with the administration in regularising prices of these essential commodities and minimise the rising burden on consumers, failing which they would be dealt with sternly.

Sources said the administration had identified six areas — Sectors 11, 22, 40 and 47, Dadu Majra, and Khuda Lahora — for the daily monitoring of retail prices of around 12 essential commodities.

The retail prices would be monitored and tallied with the wholesale prices in the grain market, Sector 26, to check any “unreasonable profit” on part of shopkeepers.

At the meeting, the Finance Secretary emphasised that the foodgrains and vegetable arriving in mandis should be auctioned at reasonable rates.

Members of the association revealed that the prices of these essential commodities should be controlled at retailer’s level as there was very little margin on their side.

The Finance Secretary desired that the wholesale prices of these commodities be also published in newspapers so that consumers were made aware of these and a pressure could be built by consumers on any unreasonable demand of rates by any retailer.

It may also encourage consumers to buy these commodities directly from mandis.

Meanwhile, the Finance Secretary also reviewed the issue of prices with officials of the food and civil supplies department and the agriculture department.

He directed the officials of the agriculture department to constantly regulate the auction prices of wholesale grains as well as fruits and vegetables.

He also directed them to visit apni mandis every day and give report of prices of essential commodities, vegetables and fruits.

If the prices were unreasonably high, the administration would strictly intervene and take necessary action against those people who were trying to artificially hike the prices of essential commodities.

He further directed the officials of the food and civil supplies department to ensure that all public distribution shops had items easily available to people who wanted to buy essential items like wheat, rice, atta, and sugar from these shops.

It was also noted that the retail price of fortified atta had been fixed at Rs 7.85 per kg. However, the same was only available at public distribution shops, whereas the price of atta in the open market varied from Rs 14 to Rs 16 per kg.

The administration has taken a serious note of the matter and may also allow lifting of wheat from allocated quota by chakki owners who are spread all over the city to allow them to sell atta at Rs 7.85 to consumers.



Mohali residents protest garbage site
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 17
Residents held a protest outside the office of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), which had asked the municipal council to dump the town’s garbage in a low-lying area near Phase VI. They also blocked traffic for sometime.

The protesters raised slogans against GMADA and the Punjab government, saying that the decision should be reversed, failing which the agitation would be intensified.

The protesters, including a few sarpanches, gathered at Phase VI and then reached the Phase VIII ground in trucks. From there they walked to the GMADA office and blocked traffic for sometime. They were not allowed to enter the office premises by the security staff, but they forced their way in and held a protest outside the building. An official accepted their memorandum.

Rajinder Sharma, councillor, said the decision taken by GMADA was unjustified as the proposed dumping site was located very close to the Verka milk plant, paraplegic home, two residential colonies and Phase VI. Residents would not allow the civic body to dump garbage at the site because it would make life miserable for people of surrounding areas.

He said earlier garbage was dumped near the milk plant, but the authorities concerned had moved the court which had issued orders to stop dumping garbage in the area.

GMADA had identified a site measuring about 5 acres for dumping garbage on a temporary basis. The council was told about the proposal at a meeting on August 5, which was attended by senior government officials. The GMADA authorities told the civic body to stop dumping garbage at the present site in the Phase VIII Industrial Area because the High Court had issued orders in this regard.



Patiala youth dies in US
Family seeks high-level probe
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 17
Nothing could be worse than a son’s death for a family that was happy after he married an NRI woman from the US. Balwinder Singh (28) died in California on July 28 under mysterious circumstances, but his family, based at Gobind Nagar, was informed only a day later. His body was brought here today.

Tarsem Singh, his brother, said Balwinder’s in-laws called them on July 29 and said he had died of a heart attack.

The next day they called up to say that he had committed suicide by hanging himself. They told them different stories each day.

“My brother had time and again told us that his father-in-law Harjit Singh was not very happy with the marriage. We doubt that his father-in-law must have killed him,” he alleged.

Balwinder worked as an AC mechanic at Patiala and married Mandeep Kaur, who was mute. The wedding ceremonies were held at Patiala because her parents were reportedly not happy with the marriage.

Balwinder left for the US on January 29, 2006, and was in regular touch with his family.

He was very happy with his married life, but complained about his father-in-law who harassed him, Tarsem claimed.

Balwinder’s family members said: “He told us that his father-in-law had a criminal record and had tortured his brother-in-law as well.

Mandeep’s sister’s husband was also imprisoned in a US jail after he was falsely implicated in a case. Balwinder doubted Harjit’s intentions as he disliked him.

“What is worse is that instead of bringing the body back to India, he demanded Rs 2.5 lakh for delivering the body and sent it only when we paid him the money,” they alleged.

They requested the Punjab government to intervene and sought a high-level inquiry into the death.



Tandons rub local BJP leaders the wrong way
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
The show of strength by Sanjay Tandon, general secretary of the local unit of the BJP, at a book release function at Tagore Theatre here today has left a section of the BJP fuming.

With the Punjab unit of the BJP hogging the limelight at the function organised to release the biography of Punjab leader Balramji Dass Tandon (written by Sanjay and his wife) by senior BJP leader LK Advani, the local unit of the party was clearly left out of the celebrations.

The occasion was used by his son to show his influence at the Punjab and national levels in front of local leaders, a senior leader claimed.

Senior national and Punjab unit leaders, including Rajinder Bhandari, Punjab unit president, Balbir Punj, in charge of Chandigarh and Punjab, besides Advani and Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal were seated on the dais. This was in sharp contrast to senior leaders of the local unit who were seated among the audience.

“Courtesy and decorum demanded that at least the chief of the Chandigarh unit, the host city, should have been seated on dais,” the leader said.

Sanjay was made general secretary last year. He was one of the six candidates who had applied for ticket from the Chandigarh parliamentary seat which Satya Pal Jain lost by a whopping margin.

Today’s show of strength is being seen as an attempt to project Sanjay as the next candidate from the local seat. This assumes importance as the BJP is desperately seeking a new face in the backdrop of Jain losing the election for the third time.



Tribune Impact
Gambling: 2 Citco employees suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
A day after The Tribune highlighted the alleged involvement of CITCO employees in the gambling incidents at Hotel Shivalikview in Sector 17, the management today suspended two of its officials.

The employees who were suspended have been identified as Sanjay Kumar Sachdeva, a salesman at the Sector 17 ISBT joint, and Sushil Rastogi, bell captain at the hotel.

Confirming this, the managing director, DK Tiwari, said police investigations were under way to nab the wrongdoers. “As far as department action is concerned, these employees have been put under suspension,” he said. 


Swine Flu
Five more suspected cases reported
Ministry issues fresh guidelines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
With five new suspected cases of swine flu being reported in the city, the ministry of health and family welfare has issued fresh guidelines to contain the outbreak of influenza-A H1N1 virus for screening, testing and isolation.

Under the guidelines, all individuals seeking consultations for flu-like symptoms need to be screened at healthcare facilities, both government and private, or examined by a doctor and these will be segmented as category A, B and C.

Patients suffering from mild fever with cough, sore throat, with or without body ache, headache, diarrhoea and vomiting will be categorised A.

They do not require Oseltamivir and should be treated for the symptoms mentioned above.

The patients should be monitored for their progress and reassessed at 24 to 48 hours by the doctor.

No testing of the patient for H1N1 is required. Patients should confine themselves to home and avoid mixing up with public and high-risk members in the family.

In addition to the signs and symptoms mentioned under category A, patients having high-grade fever and severe sore throat will be grouped as category B and may require home isolation and Oseltamivir.

Besides, children less than five years old, pregnant women, persons aged 65 years or older, patients with lung diseases, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, blood disorders, diabetes, neurological disorders, cancer and HIV/AIDS and patients on long-term cortisone therapy will be treated with Oseltamivir. No test for H1N1 is required for category B.

All patients of category B should confine themselves to home and avoid mixing with public and high-risk members in the family.

In addition to the above signs and symptoms of categories A and B, patients having breathlessness, chest pain, drowsiness, fall in blood pressure, sputum mixed with blood, bluish discolournation of nails, irritability among small children, refusal to accept feed and worsening of underlying chronic conditions will be bracketed in category C.

All such patients would require testing, immediate hospitalisation and treatment.

Meanwhile, nodal officer HC Gera said five more suspected cases of swine flu were reported at local hospitals today.

While three were admitted to the GMCH, the rest were admitted to the PGI.



Stray cattle menace hounds motorists
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, August 17
Even after repeated proclamations by the authorities, stray cattle are increasingly becoming a nuisance on city roads, hampering traffic and at times leading to minor accidents in the city.

Mostly spotted towards the peripheral sectors in the city, stray cattle have become a regular annoyance for residents.

Data reveals that the number of impounded stray cattle has almost doubled since January, 2009. Where in January, the municipal corporation caught 129 stray cattle, the figure touched 206 in July, this year.

The problem is much bigger because even with these many cattle impounded, many more continue to roam on city roads.

These can be spotted on roads in Sectors 48, 50, 51 and 56 and other adjoining sectors.

Currently, the corporation has just one vehicle to catch stray cattle in the city. The vehicle on an average catches around five cattle per day.

The impounded cattle is then withheld for a period of 14 days. Many people come forward and claim their cattle within this span.

Those left out are put up for auction. The one’s that are then left are sent to Sector 45 or Maloya gaushalas.

The maximum strength of the gaushalas and the cattle pound maintained by the corporation is 1,275.

In six months alone this year, the corporation has impounded 1,005 stray cattle.

While on the one hand, the administration fails to tackle the problem, on the other hand residents continue to have a hard time on city roads.

It’s commonplace to hear about instances of minor accidents due to stray cattle on roads.

“Most people stop midway on the road to feed stray cattle. This creates a lot of inconvenience for regular commuters. The entire road gets blocked during office hours, causing inconvenience to motorists,” rued Sarita, a resident of Sector 51.

“The authorities have found an easy way to deal with the problem and that is just pushing the cattle out of their limits. As a result, on can easily spot stray cattle on the Mohali and Panchkula bordering areas,” points out another city resident.

Another resident Akhil comments: “Small accidents continue to occur and go unreported as everyone knows that there is no compensation for the loss. So there is no point filing any complaint. One’s concentration gets seriously affected while driving if they all of a sudden spot stray animals on city roads.”

Corporation officials, on the other hand, maintain that they are doing their “best” to contain this problem. “We cannot be present everywhere all the time. People abandon their cattle that are of no use to them,” says an MC official.



Autos remain off road today, too
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
A large number of autorickshaws went off road for the second day today following the unavailability of LPG gas. Though the UT administration has announced a ban on all petrol and diesel-run autos in the city from September 1, the operators are hoping that the poor backup of LPG gas may lead the administration to reconsider the deadline.

The Sector 34 station has developed a technical snag which could not be rectified until the filing of the report. An official of the gas station said they had called experts from Mumbai to rectify the snag.

Rita Sharma, a resident of Sector 45, said she had to wait for half hour to get an auto in the morning. If the administration could not provide LPG for the autos, it should not be in a hurry to ban petrol or diesel-driven autos so soon, another commuter Sumedh Sharma, said.

Meanwhile, representatives of the joint action committee of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali autorickshaws today met the secretary STA and finance and handed over a representation. They threatened to hold a protest march tomorrow if the supply was not restored.

Kamla Kant, chairman of the committee, said: “The deadline must be deferred to December 31 as the authorities have not been able to ensure LPG supply.”



BJP raps Cong over price rise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Hundreds of workers of the local BJP unit held a demonstration in front of the Congress Bhawan, Sector 35, against price rise today. Senior leaders Satya Pal Jain and Kamla Sharma led the protest.

Kamla Sharma said India, the largest democracy in the world, had largely been ruled by the Congress. “The Congress made tall claims of giving relief to ‘aam adami’ during the recent Lok Sabha elections and the Prime Minister promised to give relief in 100 days. However, all claims have fallen flat. The circumstances have gone from bad to worse. During the past three months, the prices of pluses, sugar, edible oils and vegetables have skyrocketed. The Congress government has not been able to fulfil even a single promise it has made during the Lok Sabha election,” she said.

Lambasting the Congress government, Jain said the Congress had made tall claims during elections in the past and never kept promises once it came to power.

The BJP has demanded the central government to initiate steps to bring down the prices of essential commodities and provide pluses, sugar, edible oils, vegetables and kerosene at cheaper rates to aam-adami.

State office-bearers, president of districts/ morchas/ mandals/ cells, councillors, including party activists, participate in the demonstration.



Execution of solar city project
MC to table proposal in house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
The development of city as solar city, an endorsement of scheme of the Chandigarh administration, would be executed by the municipal corporation. The issue was discussed at a finance and contracts committee meeting held under the chairmanship of Mayor Kamlesh today.

It was decided to table a proposal in this regard at the next house meeting for discussion.

The committee recommended the agenda for approval of formula for fixing the reserved price of paid parking areas and open bids for vacant paid parking areas of Fun Republic, Mani Majra, Batra Cinema, Sector 37 and Piccadilly Cinema, Sector 34. Also, reserved price of Rs 7 lakh was set for open bid for circus ground, Sector 17, and exhibition ground, Sector 34. The members approved the agenda of rough cost estimate for providing and laying 25 mm thick SDBC for parkings on V-4 road in Sector 20, rough cost estimate for providing and fixing pavement blocks on both sides of road berms along road from railway crossing to police station (old ropar road) in Mani Majra, RCE for construction and renovation of boundary wall at STP, Diggian, Mohali.

Even the issue of handing over the cremation ground in Industrial Area, Phase I, was approved. Other agendas that were tabled were revised rough cost estimate for constructing approach road to community centre in rehabilitation colony, Dadu Majra, policy for providing fountains in gardens, green belts of Chandigarh, requirement of consultant in the finance and accounts wing of the MC and temporary arrangement for slaughtering of birds at municipal corporation slaughter house in Industrial Area, Phase-I.



Mulazam Manch stages protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Over 100 members of the Mulazam Manch of Punjab and Chandigarh held a protest in support of their demands at Sector 17 here today.

The protesters sought the release of arrears of pay revision, increase in rate of increment for class III and IV categories, implementation of recommendation of pay commission, mobile allowances, transport allowances on the central pattern, reinstatement of PRTC workers and reinstatement of health workers.

Bhagmal Rana, president of the manch, said: “The contract workers will hold a protest tomorrow and continue their struggle against the government till the demands are fulfilled.”

The union members also threatened to hold a five-day protest.



Health workers seek release of salaries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
The Punjab Multi-Purpose Health Workers’ Union staged a protest against non-payment of salaries at the complex of Punjab health department in Sector 34 here today.

The workers alleged that around 2,000 multi-purpose women workers hadn’t been paid their salaries for the past two months.

The workers also demanded the filling of vacant posts in the department. They also sought amendment and release of seniority list.

Addressing the gathering, association chief Bhajan Singh said if their demands weren’t fulfilled they would intensify the protest.



Weak monsoon pours misery on rural areas
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 17
The residents of many villages in the district are bound to face the hardships as the weak monsoon in the country has affected the region adversely, leaving 117 water bodies completely dry. While out of 18,688 hectares of cultivable land, only 16,875 hectares could be sown due to paucity of rainfall.

The district, which received a good share of monsoon last year, had got only 508 mm of rain this year. Last year, the amount of rain was as high as 1,342 mm in the district. Even in 2007, the district had 1,173 mm of rains.

The farmers of the district mainly grow maize and paddy, along with a substantial area under jowar and pulses. This year, while maize was sown on 7,500 hectares, a total of 6,800 hectares was under paddy, which was 200 and 300 hectares less than the area under these crops last year, respectively, affecting the income of farmers in the district.

In addition to it, 850 hectares was under pulses. The same size of the area was also sown with jowar by farmers in the district, while 650 hectare was under the crop of sugarcane.

The worst affected area in the district was Panchkula subdivision as Kalka and Pinjore, along with Morni, had a better rainfall due to hilly areas, said Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Yadav.

Though the situation in the district was not as bad as in other parts of state, the shortfall in the area under cultivation definitely put an impact on the economy of the rural areas, he said.

Moreover, the residents in villages have to face difficult times as out of 226 village ponds only 119 could be filled during this rainy season. The residents in the rural areas were dependent on these ponds for their cattle and in many areas like Morni and Doon Raitan the villagers use the water from ‘baolis’ for drinking purpose also.



Provide power or wind up PSEB: Industry
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 17
Members of the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) held a protest outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner here today against the 72-hour power cut imposed by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB).

The protesters, who carried banners, raised slogans against the Punjab Government and the PSEB for failing to provide adequate power to run the industry. They said either the government should provide adequate power or wind up the electricity board, which had forced the industry to remain closed for three days in a week, leading to production losses.

The protesters, who presented a memorandum addressed to the Punjab Chief Minister, to Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand, sported black ribbons as a mark of protest.

President of the MIA BS Anand said it was the duty of the government to arrange power for the state. In fact, it was one of the promises made by the SAD before winning the elections and it was also announced in the new industrial policy that adequate power would be given to give a boost to the industrial sector.

He said the 72-hour compulsory weekly power cut had spelled doom for the industry and if the power position did not improve, workers would lose jobs and industrial unit owners would also approach a court. About 1,200 units were on the verge of closure due to non-availability of power, he added.

He said compulsory 24-hour weekly power cut was going on for the past one and a half year and now the duration had been increased to 72 hours. There were production losses, but the industry had to pay minimum wages to workers, to the PSEB and there was additional pressure to deposit more VAT each month.

Harinder Pal Singh Billa, former president of the Municipal Council, said when uninterrupted power supply was being given in Chandigarh why this facility could not be extended to Mohali as well. The government was asking the industrial sector to increase exports, but how could this be possible without power.

Anand said the industry should be allowed to use generating sets, diesel should be provided at more subsidised rates and without VAT and Mohali should be treated at par with Chandigarh as far as the availability of power was concerned.



Sharma is new BRD chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Air Commodore Ravinder Sharma took over as Air Officer Commanding of IAF’s 3 base repair depot here today.

Assuming command at a ceremonial modernisation of the depot, he said absorbing new technologies while building infrastructure and improving quality of life of personnel would be his priority.

Commissioned into the Air Force on January 1, 1979, his appointments include Senior Technical Officer of Mi-35 attack helicopter squadrons and Commanding Officer of the Mi-25/35 Technical Type Training School and Design and Airworthiness Auditor at a DRDO centre. Prior to being posted here, he was serving as Command Engineering Officer, Headquarters Southern Air Command.

An aeronautical engineer cleared up to second line maintenance of French and Russian origin helicopters, he had been amongst a few officers handpicked to undergo a technical course in the erstwhile USSR, on gunship helicopters and had been graded exceptional at the end of the course.

Sharma had undergone several specialisation courses in the IAF like system engineering course at the Air Force Technical College, Aircraft Accident Investigation Course and Programme Management Course at Defence Institute of Management Studies. He was also closely associated for three years for the development of the Advanced Light Helicopter by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2007 for distinguished services and had also been a recipient of the Chief of Air Staff’s Commendation.



Gallantry award for IAF sergeant
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Presence of mind shown by IAF sergeant Bipin Kumar onboard a service aircraft flying at 25,000 feet prevented a major incident and saved lives of 42 IAF and army personnel last year. As a mark of recognition, Bipin has been decorated with the Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry on occasion of the Independence Day.

Posted as a flight engineer on an AN-32 aircraft number 48 squadron in Chandigarh, Bipin was detailed for a sortie to Leh on November 6, 2008. The aircraft took off from Chandigarh at 5.30 am with 38 Army troopers and four crew members. All was normal till the check doors warning beeped in the cockpit, indicating that one of the doors was not secure.

It was due to the professional acumen of Bipin that he left the cockpit to check the reason for the warning activation in the cargo compartment that indicated that only one light was on, instead of all four that indicated that the door was securely shut.

Ensuring that the passengers were safe, he assisted the captain in emergency measures. The crew was able to handle the emergency effectively and managed to land the aircraft with a hanging rear ramp-door at Chandigarh without further incident.



Another suspected H1N1 case in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 17
Sample of a Chandigarh resident suspected to be suffering from swine flu has been sent for testing. He got himself admitted in Fortis Hospital here yesterday.

District Health Officer Dr SP Surila said today that Balwinder Singh, a resident of Sector 35, Chandigarh, got himself admitted in Fortis Hospital after which the hospital informed the district health authorities about the patient.

A team was sent to Fortis last night to collect the sample, which had been sent to Delhi for testing.

Surila said earlier seven samples of persons from Mohali district suspected to be suffering from swine flu, including that of a doctor of the local Civil Hospital, were sent for tests and all were declared negative.



Youth Parliament contest starts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
The 22nd Youth Parliament competition sponsored by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India, was inaugurated by the Union Minister Dilip Singh Pandhi at the Lecma Hall of the Air Force Station here today.

The two-day competition will see five teams of different Kendriya Vidyalayas from the city participating.

About 50 students of KV, Hussainpur, KV, Hissar, KV No. 2, DMW, Patiala, KV No. 3, Ambala Cantt and KV, Sector 31, are taking part in the competition.

The two-day contest is being hosted by principal SK Sharma of KV No. 2, 3 BRD Air Force Station, Chandigarh, under the guidance of RB Meena and Hargopal, both education officers of the Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sangaghan.

The guests of honour were education officer KL Anand and principal Sudesh Sharma of KV, OCF, Sector 29,Chandigarh.



State science seminar final today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
The final rounds of state science seminar - Chandrayan: Promises and Concerns will be held at SIE, Sector-32, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. The aim is to inculcate a spirit of scientific enquiry and analytical thinking in the young minds.

The winner from the state will participate at the national-level competition, which will be held at Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai, on September 26. Each participant will make a presentation on the given topic for six minutes and will be followed by two-minute questions/answers session with the judges.

In the seminar that started on August 11, around 58 students from different government and private schools participated.

Ten selected for the final rounds:

Srajit Sakhuja, St. Johns High School

Shivam Chopra, St. Kabir Public School

Surya, Mount Carmel School

Garima Yadav, Carmel Convent School

Harjasleen Malvai, Carmel Convent School

Saanya Ojha, Vivek High School

Nishant Chhatwal, Mount Carmel School

Smriti Sharma, GMSSS, Sector-16, Chandigarh

Sumit, GMHS, Sector 26 (P)

Varchasa, Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School.



CityScope Letters- II
Go hi-tech to curb crime

This is with reference to the article, “A way to go” by Raveen Thukral published in Chandigarh Tribune on August 10.

Mr Thukral has eloquently made comparison of two police systems- one in India and the other in the US. There have also been several instances where police organisations have played a crucial role in preventing riots and checking law and order situations in India.

Unfortunately, instead of having professional law enforcement, poor police performance in India is inevitable because the system of governance is dysfunctional.

Political pressures, corruption in the system etc are only one aspect of the situation. Even after 62 years of our Independence, there is no political will or a committed effort. The police remain understaffed, underfunded, unequipped with latest technology and more so unaccountable.

The Apex Court has already issued directives compelling the Union and State Governments to implement comprehensive police reforms, yet these are only on papers. There is a need for reforming the Indian police to overcome the colonial mindset and organisational pattern that it follows even to this day.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Callous attitude

Mr Raveen Thukral’s write-up is a sad commentary on the prevailing attitude of the authorities in general and the UT Police in particular.

All most every day, there are incidents of grown up boys harassing and even manhandling girls in public places in the broad day light. The police show an indifferent attitude by taking side of the culprits rather than taking strong action against them. Rash driving, brawls at the night food bazaar at Sector 15, attempts of rape, chain, mobile and purse snatching are an ugly face of the city.

One fails to understand the callous attitude of the police. Don’t they fear the higher authorities? Have the superior authorities become so weak and insensitive to the plight of the public?

In the city, there are two different yardsticks of rules and law of the land, one for the VVIPs, the khas aadami and the other for the aam adami.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar, SAS Nagar

Homogenous democracy

Raveen Thukral, in his article has given an example of the Miami Police highlighting its exemplary planning to thwart an evil attempt of murder of husband by his wife through an agent. I like to add that whatever the Americans think of democracy, they have dual yardstick to measure in terms of other democracies of the world. On the contrary, Indian democracy is homogenous and hence stable, no matter people have enjoyed the real taste and are accustomed to the medieval way of thinking and living the old way of feudalism and servility is predominantly visible still when the democratic people address the VVIPs as Maharajas, Kumar, Manaranis, Rajas, Rani or Maharani, etc. With the awakening to their knowledge and liberty to know their inalienable rights, the situation will change gradually.

NC Rana, Panchkula

Use technology

In the wake of an increasing number of theft cases being reported in the city, the authorities have decided to speed up the process of installing CCTV cameras in the city after a senior bank official’s wife Santosh Kumari was murdered in the SBI Colony, Sector 42, and in another incident a big theft took place in Sector 35 where armed men forcefully entered the house.

The police should use modern scientific techniques to catch the culprits. The police in abroad watch the activities of persons to prevent a crime. The Chandigarh Police has decided to install over 50 CCTV cameras all over the city for monitoring and use of technology for crime prevention.

Use of such technologies is the only answer to fight crime and to check the growing traffic violations. The crime can be stopped only adopting professional workforce and technology.

ML Garg, Chandigarh

Go Scotland Yard way

The police personnel should take proper training and get well equipped with the latest techniques in order to curb crime.

I am of the opinion that the best place for their training would be Scotland Yard, the UK, where they would get vast knowledge and abundant equipment to combat ferociously the anti-social elements in their debased endeavour.

Sunita Saini, Ghaziabad



Regional Identities at PU
PU hostels are a problem
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, August 17
Not just from different parts of the county, Panjab University sees inflow even from across the country border. The foreign students in the university add a different zing altogether to the community mix here. Coming from a different land it is difficult for the international students to settle and adapt to the Indian setting.

The International Student Association (ISA) represents almost 135 foreign students in the university and most of them are here on scholarship basis to compete their research projects or higher studies.

Most of the students from Afghanistan, Yemen, Iran, Iraq and Dubai, including many others are pursuing either their MA or Phd in the university.

Answering a question on whether they feel at home here, Abdulmalik from Yemen, pursuing Phd in English, said: “From the day one, we are well taken care of. The first destination for any foreign student here is the Dean International Students. We get the entire briefing from the dean’s office. We were never clueless when we entered.”

“Through this association we form a connect with the other foreign students in the university. Such communication brings a healthy support system,” he added.

The members claim that the association is not active compared to other cities like Delhi or Hyderabad. But even so, it occasionally undertakes cultural programmes along with an annual trip, which remains a permanent feature. One common problem that foreign students face in the university is the absence of hostel. “Most of us stay in flats or independent accommodations. You will hardly find any foreign student staying in the hostels. In other universities, there are brilliant accommodation facilities which are lacking here,” said Arif, member of the association.

Most members agree that foreign students face a lot of problems during admissions. “The admission process is time consuming and tiring. It’s not an easy process,” added another student from Iran.

Apart from some problems, the foreign students like to keep to themselves. Regionalism in the university is a fact that cannot be ignored. What is amusing is that how these identities have carved a niche for them and at the same time, share a commonality as well.

Foreign students in the university have started liking the food, weather and trends here.

One can describe the different regional identities in PU like a canvas with many colours. These colours blend with each other at the same time maintaining their own colour. But in the end, the overall painting is all that matters. With painting the entire picture, our series comes to an end. The series was an attempt to establish the basic facts that justify regionalism with today’s youth, as regionalism means not just groupism but survival to most now.



Dress decently, says VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Wear anything but not vulgar,” said Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti at a meeting with students of HSJ Dental College, PU, here today.

Though “no jeans” dress code being practised in the college was done away with a few weeks ago, no formal notice was announced for a long time. According to sources, the college authorities not only failed to announce the committee’s decision to students but some students also approached DSW Naval Naval Kishore complaining about the college not adhering to the committee recommendations.

The meeting that was held to apprise students of several issues like ragging, swine flu etc also saw the Vice-Chancellor discussing their demands, including clarification on status of dress code.

The students also took a pledge against indulging into any activity coming under the garb of ragging. A similar meeting was also held with the faculty and students of UIET. Following this, the Vice-Chancellor also met the PU faculty members and thanked them for their support in upgrading university’s academic standards and repeated his request for suggestion on utilisation of the grant awarded by the centre.



Nominations filed for PUTA elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
The stage is finally set for the Panjab University Teacher’s Association elections with the candidates filing their nominations for the posts of president, vice-president, secretary, general secretary and treasurer today.

According to sources, official disclosure of the names is expected by tomorrow and the entire candidature will be split into three major groups each headed by Prof Manjit Singh, Prof Tankeshwar Kumar and Prof Rajan Gaur.

While they are believed to be contesting for the post of president, for the post of secretary it’s Akshay Kumar from Manjit group, Devender Singh from Tankeshwar’s and Jitender Grover from Rajan’s group.



From Colleges
Orientation programme for freshers
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 17
Engineering and management students of Indo-Global Colleges, Abhipur, near here, were initiated into the new academic session through an orientation programme here today. The programme started with the lighting of the traditional lamp.

In his inaugural address, director general R Panickar stressed the need for having a clear vision and an action plan. He highlighted the significance of having qualities like having value for time and developing the habit of doing things now and carrying the right attitude.

College principal Dr Parmjit Singh Sehra introduced various heads of departments, wardens and other officials of the college to students.

He exhorted students to focus not only on academics, but also on projects and activities for all-round development.

Dr Verma joins SSIET

Dr GN Verma has joined as principal of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi. Dr Verma completed his doctorate in applied mathematics with specialisation in fluid mechanic.



PU orders removal of posters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Taking the cognisance of the Panjab University campus defacement by election related posters highlighted by The Tribune in its report “Poll date not announced, but defacement on at PU” dated August 17, Panjab University authorities have ordered an immediate removal of all the printed posters, stickers and campaign material.

A special place or board has also been designated for putting promotional material like posters and stickers.

Speaking to The Tribune, Dean of Student Welfare (DSW) Naval Kishore, said: “Not only the posters are being removed, but we are also giving adequate space to every students’ organisation to paste their poll related material.”

“It will also make the environment peaceful in campus, as earlier the students were indulged in criminal activities for their posters. The student leaders have also been ordered to remove their posters themselves,” added Naval Kishore.

While the Lyngdoh committee’s recommendations debar putting campaign material on any other place other than the specified one. The entire campus including hostels, canteens, departments etc were donned with stickers and posters of various students’ groups in absence of proper monitoring.

“We are aware of all the recommendations, but when one party starts putting promotional material around the campus, we are forced to do the same. We welcome the move of the designated places, as it will also solve the problem of minor brawls happening all the time over the issue,” said Simrandeep Sandhu, chairman, PUSU.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |