C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Youth’s death sets off violence at colony
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Violence erupted at New Indira Colony, Mani Majra, early this morning following the murder of a 17-year-old youth late last night.

The mob went on the rampage, damaging cars, burning motorcycles and smashing windowpanes. Residents remained indoor throughout the day.

The body was cremated amid heavy police deployment, with anti-social elements trying to give it communal colour to the incident. The police force remained stationed at the colony throughout the night. It all started around midnight when the victim, Tej Bahadur, and his friend Ajay Kumar were outside his milk shop. A youth, Babloo, asked for a matchbox from Tej Bahadur, but he refused. Babloo then repeatedly stabbed him.

The police said Babloo was a drug addict and used to ask for money from people in the locality. He was also said to be involved in several criminal cases.

Ajay Kumar took Tej Bahadur to the public health centre. He was referred to the PGI, where he died. Tej Bahadur’s friends thrashed Babloo and he was admitted to the Government Multi Speciality Hospital, DSP (East) Jasbir Singh Cheema said.

As the news about his death spread in the locality, tension started brewing. Around 7 am, some people indulged in arson and reportedly targeted members of a particular community and damaged vehicles and property. They also blocked a road leading to the colony, preventing the police from entering the area.

Mohammad Khalid, whose vehicle was broken and overturned, said: “We called the police, which came after an hour and remained a mute spectator as hooligans smashed my vehicle,” he alleged.

Another victim Arshad said his motorcycle and scooter were damaged and his shop was ransacked.

The DSP said the police got late as protesters had blocked the way, but the situation was soon brought under control. They had also called for additional force from the Punjab police.

A meeting was held with representatives of both communities, asking them to excise restrain.

The police has registered a case of rioting against unidentified miscreants. It also registered a murder case against Babloo.

The United Progressive Muslim Front has urged residents of the area and its neighbourhood to show solidarity and maintain peace.



Purchase of sweeping machines
MC cleans up act; orders probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The MC has ordered a vigilance inquiry into the purchase of three road-sweeping machines by the medical health officer’s department last year at a meeting here today.

The demand was raised by Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma, who alleged that officials misguided the house on the agenda of the purchase of sweeping machines.

He said officials ensured that after the purchase of the machines, less manpower would be required and not even a single penny would be required for maintenance for eight years.

He wanted to know why the MOH department was asking for maintenance funds for the machines just after a year.

He said two such machines had been dumped as their maintenance cost was very high and similar would be the fate of these new machines.

Nominated councillor AP Sanwaria said the sanitation committee had said the machines would work for 16 hours a day and would be used to remove leaves, mud, stones and sprinkle water on roads, but now the MOH was saying that these could be used only to clean mud.

Meanwhile, on the issue of 50 per cent reservation to women in panchayats and the urban local bodies, opposition councillor Gurcharan Das Kala said first the union government should pass it in Parliament.

On the feasibility of installation of a power generation unit with sewerage gas as fuel, MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria asked the chief engineer department to study it before taking a decision.

The Mayor, Kamlesh, asked for the report on pending road works in the area of councillors Anil Kumar Dubey, Manjit Singh and Bhupinder Singh Bhaderi.



2 more down with swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
A 15-year-old student and a medico at the GMCH-32 tested positive for swine flu today. HC Gera, UT nodal officer for swine flu, said the medico was the son of a PGI doctor, and another was a resident of Sector 48. The family members of both students had been home quarantined.

Tamiflu at 9 medical stores

The UT health authorities have finalised names of nine chemists today who can sell Tamiflu. The decision was taken at a meeting, which was chaired by director (health services) Dr MS Bains. The drug would be available under the Schedule “X” category.

These medical stores include Ramesh Medical Hall, Sector 16, Gurunanak Medicos, Sector 35, Gupta Agencies, Sector 24, Taksal Pharma, Sector 22, Kumar brothers, Sector 11 and Grover Sons in Mani Majra.

Names of two wholesalers, Ranbaxy laboratories and Nacto Pharmacy, in the Industrial Area have also been finalised for selling H1N1 drug.

Drug inspector Sunil Chaudhry said, “Tamiflu will be sold at the medical stores only when prescribed by doctors identified by the civic authorities.”

An individual who wants to buy Tamiflu over the counter has to bring two prescriptions from his/her doctor. While one copy will remain with the patient, other has to be given to the chemist shop for his record, which has to be later given to the government, said the UT health official.



Master plan for Zirakpur, Dera Bassi gets nod
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 29
Keeping in mind the ground realities, the Punjab Government today approved the master plans for Zirakpur and Dera Bassi towns. Prepared under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 2006, the land use has been frozen in the local planning areas of the two important towns, located along the Chandigarh-Delhi National Highway 22.

In a meeting of the Punjab Regional Town Planning and Development Board, chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the objections filed by the individuals and civic bodies of Zirakpur and Dera Bassi were considered and directions to make necessary changes were issued.

Though the government had initiated the work on the master plans in 2007, the planning of the local planning area of the two peripheral towns has now been finalised. Before notifying the master plans, objections of the general pubic are being sought by the town and country planning department.

“After Mohali and Mullanpur, the two peripheral towns would also get legal master plans that would be governed by the provisions of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act,” said a GMADA official.

In case of Zirakpur, an integrated multi-modal transport hub corridor, along national highway 22, would be developed as a major passenger and cargo hubs. Another area being taped was along the Zirakpur-Patiala highway.

The international passenger potential is much more than the domestic potential. The demand is mostly for NRIs from Punjab who would prefer Mohali over Delhi as the road travelling time would be reduced.

The master plans would be part of the regional plan 2008-2058, prepared by the consultants of GMADA.

Sources said despite civic bodies being set up, the state of basic amenities was very poor.

Dera Bassi had a lot of industry, but the infrastructure was not up to the mark.

The urban and rural areas in Zirakpur and Dera Bassi were already facing acute power problem and the infrastructure was not up to the required level.

Sources said a majority of objections relating to absence of space for widening of roads had been kept in mind while taking the decisions.



Domestic cylinder being used at construction site
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 29
A private construction company engaged by the Punjab forest department for the construction of the state-of-the-art forest complex at Sector 68 here was found using domestic cooking gas for construction activity today. As per the guidelines of the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, the use of domestic LPG cylinders for any other purpose could attract action under the Essential Commodities Act.

All this was happening in the presence of forest minister Tikshan Sood, who presided over the final slab laying ceremony on the seventh floor. The LPG cylinder with attached paraphernalia was also found on that floor.

A forest official at the site, while admitting to the violation, said the cylinders would be removed at the earliest. The Financial Commissioner, Forest, RC Nayar, along with other senior officials of the department were also present, but no one took cognizance of the violation.


Delay in projects miffs councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Opposition as well as Congress councillors vented their ire at the house meeting today against the delay in the completion of development works approved by the general house.

The Mayor, Kamlesh, directed officials to prepare within a week the status report of agenda that had been approved by the house. These would be discussed at a special house meeting on October 8.

Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma said replies filed by officials on the status of the widening of V-6 roads and renovation of a community centre, which had been approved more than a year ago, were not satisfactory.

He wondered why the work had not started when there was sufficient period between the date on which the detail notice inviting tender was approved and tenders opened. The officials kept preparing new estimates because the work never started on time.

The Mayor also wanted to know why tender details were not put on the website for getting a wider response.

BJP councillor Gurcharan Das Kala also expressed concern why ground work of the agenda cleared by the house had not begun. Nominated councillor MPS Chawla suggested that a policy should be framed for fixing the deadline of all works.

Congress councillor Anu Chatrath expressed surprise that it took officials five years to consider the tabling of the Chandigarh Hand Cart Control and Regulation Bylaws, 1989, and bylaws of hawkers that had been transferred by the administration long ago.

The Mayor said she was considering the proposal of calling the house twice a month for tabling agenda and discussing the status of approved projects.



Students, health dept join hands
To sensitise people against sex determination test
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
They say the youth is the backbone of society and it is surely reflected in the move by a group of enthusiastic students of Panjab University, who in collaboration with the UT health department, have joined hands to sensitise city residents against sex determination test in private clinics.

In competitive times when the sole target of a student would be to get a decent placement or a seat in a coveted MBA institute, these students and also members of an NGO, Youth United, chose to fight for a cause while continuing their 

The youngsters today initiated a peaceful sensitising campaign in front of the New Delhi Diagnostic Centre in Sector 22-C in association with the Chandigarh administration.

“It was a silent protest with the intention of sensitising women and families visiting the ultrasound department of the centre for sex determination test. The protest was conducted during the peak hours when most of the housewives visit these centres for check ups,” informed Love Upadhyay a third year student of Chemical Engineering at UICET, PU.

Mocking the situation of lopsided sex ration, Rohan Madaan, another student mused, “Our motivation for standing here is the fact that we may not be able to find brides for our children if the current scenario persists.”

The youngsters with their unique style of expression managed to turn eyeballs in the vicinity. Standing quietly with banners and hoardings outside the clinic, the students appeared determined yet disappointed with the contemporary sex ratio in Punjab.

“People came and saw us standing but did not ask questions because everyone knows what we are talking about and what is supposed to be done,” said Heena, a BCom student of GGDSD College.

The students have been working for the cause of reducing female foeticide cases for quite sometime now and have been visiting slum areas around Chandigarh to make people aware of the situation.



Health officials chair meeting on swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
A meeting on swine flu was convened under the chairmanship of Secretary Health Ram Niwas today. Director-cum-principal, GMCH-32, director health and family welfare and other senior officials attended the meeting.

The Secretary Health directed the education department to issue instructions to all principals to follow the guidelines of the Centre and health department. He said schools would be held responsible for not informing any flu-like illness to the health authorities.

The school authorities should not ask for medical certificates from such preventive absentees. It was also decided that schools should display a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” for the prevention of swine flu at all important places. 



21 councillors want Mohali MC chief to go
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 29
As many as 21 municipal councillors today gave a requisition notice for convening a meeting for passing a no-confidence motion against the Congress-backed Mohali Municipal Council president Rajinder Singh Rana.

The notice, addressed to the president and the executive officer of the MC, stated that the 21 councillors were not satisfied with the working of Rana and this had been pointed out many times at the meetings held in the past.

Therefore, the councillors gave a requisition under Section 25 (2) of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, to convene a meeting for passing the no-confidence motion against the president within 14 days from the date of the receipt of the requisition.

The council comprises of 31 councillors. The ruling group headed by Rana earlier owed allegiance to the Kharar MLA. Many councillors of the ruling group had now allegedly been won over by opposition councillors.



More staff sanctioned for UT police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
In a big reprieve to the understaffed UT police, the Centre has sanctioned an additional strength of 1,127 to supplement the existing forces. The Ministry of Home Affairs has given the nod for additional fleet of three inspectors, 95 sub-inspectors/ASIs, 310 head constables and 719 constables.

The additional staff will be incorporated to the existing strength of 4,127, excluding SPs and his seniors. The development gains importance in the context that the demand for additional staff had been raised by the administration with the Centre on several occasions.

Chief Vigilance Officer Ram Niwas confirmed the development regarding sanctioning of the additional staff by the Centre. 



DC asked to check hoarding
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
In order to check hoarding, UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas has asked Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh to conduct random checks at shops and mandis.

In the meeting, it was deliberated that officials should be deployed at all the entry points of Sector 26 Sabji Mandi and proper registers should be maintained along with information, including vehicle number and quantity of material. The Home Secretary directed the Food and Supplies Department to hold random checks and initiate action against offenders. 



Ghazal singer mesmerises audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, September 29
The fineness of feeling and emotional expression, richness of lyrical content, melody of music compositions and mellifluous voice of accomplished vocalist Rinku Kalia coalesced to light up the ghazal concert titled “Tarana” at the Tagore Theatre here today.

The musical evening organised by S-4 Trust, Steps and Gurukul Vidyapeeth featured the region’s foremost woman ghazal maestro, Rinku Kalia, to sing for a charity, social and education cause.

After establishing an instant rapport with audience, Rinku opened up the concert with a brief but soulful alaap before delineating the melody of raga darbari in poet Mansoor Mordabadi’s classic “Gham uthao ge muskrao ge..”.

Lyrical gems from renowned poets like Qateel Shifai, Daag Dehlvi, Shakeel Badauni, Shiv Batalvi and Surjit Patar found their true expression in the richly honeyed voice of Rinku Kalia.

Even as the audience hungered for more, she doled out more popular numbers such as “Aaj jane ki zid na karo”, “Ranjish hi sahi”, “Sune tha ke who”, “Naine tose lage” and “Shikra yaar”.

Dr Dinesh Raheja, Rajesh, Goldie Singh, Parveen and Subhash Nayak provided the musical accompaniment.

The concert was aimed at generating resources for the S-4 Trust engaged in the promotion of performing arts and uplift of the girl child.

Chief Justice RS Mongia, chairperson of Punjab State Human Rights Commission, while appreciating the S-4 Trust’s gesture, exhorted society to launch a crusade against female foeticide.

As a part of its social commitment, the S-4 Trust donated Rs 11,000 to Riyanka Mandal, a poor but meritorious student of DPS School, Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, the S-Trust in collaboration with the Gurukul Vidyapeeth announced the launching of a year-old talent hunt for the budding singers. 



Disorder prevails at Bal Niketan
Students questioned on discrepancy in I-cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
Disorder prevailed at Bal Niketan School, Sector 37-A today, which was an examination centre for graduation (correspondence) examination of Punjab Technical University (PTU), when authorities questioned some students on discrepancy in roll numbers, following an argument between both sides.

The students alleged that the school authorities interrupted them in the middle of the examination and said photographs on their identity cards were not stamped.

“We were stopped in the middle of the examination and told our roll numbers were not stamped, despite the fact that this was the fourth examination, which we were giving. Why wasn’t the issue raised earlier in the last three exams?” questioned Vishal Abrol, a 

“The school authorities did not let us take the exam and said till the time PTU officials arrived, we would not be allowed to continue. This is how we were given the roll numbers from the university. What is our fault in it?” he questioned.

However, on the contrary, when visited, the school authorities denied the charges and said it was a foul play by some students. “All students have given the examination and if any student falsely accuses us, we will take legal action against the student,” said a school official.

The school authorities also assured that none of the student was sent back without appearing in the examination.

The PTU officials could not be reached for comments on the issue.



Australian delegates meet education minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
The Victorian Government, Australia, today outlined the state’s new $14 million strategy, “Thinking global: Victoria’s action plan for international education.” It also responded to the recent attacks on Indian nationals, including students.

Victoria’s minister for skills and workforce participation Jacinta Allan, who was on a 10-day tour to India, met Punjab’s minister for education and languages, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, to discuss the new strategy.

“The Victorian Government is making major changes to ensure that the overseas students are safe and receive a high-calibre education: the education they have signed up for and which will help them embark on their chosen career,” Allan said.

“Forty per cent of Victoria’s intake of the Indian students comes from Punjab. It’s important for us to communicate these changes directly to agents, providers, prospective students and their families.”

Talking about the action taken on the recent attacks on Indians, the minister said, “We have a boosted police presence, rapid response to incidents, better orientation information and support for the students now.”

“There is an urgent need in India for green building materials and equipment and this is where Victorian expertise and innovation can really make its mark in the coming years,” Allan said. 



Role of engineers emphasised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 29
A seminar on “Competitive product development” was organised at PEC University of Technology by the department of metallurgical engineering today.

Inaugurating the seminar, Er GK Pillai, CMD, heavy engineering corporation, Ranchi, emphasised on the role of engineers. “They have to serve as an engine of growth, which has to accomplish the aim of product development with the challenge of not only cost cutting but also to cater to the conservation of natural resources or global warming,” he said.

Earlier welcoming delegates, organising committee chairman and head, department of metallurgical engineering, Prof P Thareja, cited that as the recession was withstood well by the industry, sustainable competence could not be ascertained unless ingenious development of prototype was not ensured.

Prof YP Kathuria, a professor at Aichi Institute of Technology, Toyota, Japan, delivered a lecture on rapid prototyping technology. He displayed the new generation equipment, which included flexible materials, vaccum pressed components, tool and mould construction.



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