C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


IT Park
Undue favours in land pricing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The “Report on Special Audit of Chandigarh Administration” conducted by the ministry of home affairs has uncovered cases of undue favour extended to IT companies by lowering the pricing of land allotted to them at the IT park here.

Revenue losses indicated in only four companies was more than Rs 41 crore. The companies that were allotted land directly included Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and Bhartitel. This was done when the allotment of land to the DLF through an open bid had been fixed at Rs 90.32 lakh per acre.

The report said: “The rates were decided considering the rates of certain cities which cannot be compared with Chandigarh and thus may have indirectly benefited many companies.”

The report has indicated a loss of Rs 11.76 crore in case of Infosys; Rs 15.09 crore for Wipro; Rs 7.54 crore for Tech Mahindra and Rs 69 lakh in case of Bhartitel. The report said the fixation of reserve price at different rates on the same campus could not be ascertained from the audit from the available records.

At the same time there was a real estate boom in major cities and it was difficult to understand how the land valuation was done on the lower side.

It added: “It is not clear on what grounds the rates were reduced when there was an increasing trend in the market rates of land on a freehold basis. By reducing rates, the UT suffered a loss of at least Rs 2.80 crore by allotting land at small campus sites, separately, of the IT park.”

The report also mentions a special reduction in the allotment rates, in certain cases, from Rs 42.06 lakh to Rs 40 lakh.

The earlier rates were also less than the market rates. A circular of the finance department has been quoted separately which showed that the rates for the allotment of land for the main campus site were reduced from Rs 42.06 lakh per acre to Rs 31.54 lakh per acre. For small campus sites, the rates were reduced from Rs 1.02 crore to Rs 76.50 lakh per acre.

The audit has revealed that certain companies paid late instalments without due interest. The estate office has been asked to recover at least Rs 24.17 lakh from the defaulting companies, including Infosys, Infotech, Kauri Information and Virsa Systems.

Name of project

Area of site

Rates fixed per acre

Loss in lakhs

Site directly allotted to Infosys 

  30.21 acres dated June 11, 2004 



Site directly allotted to Wipro 

  30 acres dated April 5, 2004 



Site directly allotted to Tech Mahindra1 

  5 acres dated May 26, 2006 



Site directly allotted to Bhartitel 

  5 acres dated June 5, 2006 



Site auctioned to DLF 

  12.40 acres dated Dec. 23, 2003 




Cash For Job
Jolly booked for personation too
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Giving a new turn to the ongoing infamous cash-for-job scam, the Chandigarh Police has registered a fresh case of impersonation against Jolly, the prime accused, for allegedly procuring a sim card on fake documents.

Insiders said the new development would further delay the ongoing probe into the case in which the name of senior officials of the administration had come under scanner. A few days ago, a police official had said the investigation into the case had almost completed, but they were waiting for a “nod” from their superiors to conclude the matter.

Sources said the investigators, during the verification of the Jolly’s mobile call details, it was found that he had procured a sim card by providing fake identity proof.

A police official told TNS that the card was procured in the name of Yunis Khan, which they would verify. However, the police registered a case of impersonation against Jolly late tonight after it was established that the sim was procured by Jolly on fake identity.

The police official further said Jolly would be taken on remand by seeking his production warrants. His sustained interrogation was required to further clear the things, which would help in taking the case to its logical end.

The police had earlier sent three mobile phones of Jolly and one of another accused Hardev Singh for examining to the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) in Sector 36. CFSL experts had explored the mobile phone sets and procured details of deleted SMS and phone book entries.

The police said the SMS procured from the mobile phones did not have contents, which could directly establish the role of DPI (School) Samvartak Singh in the case so far. However, the sources added that the investigators would further verify the list of the deleted contacts procured from the phone books to find out the role of some other persons into the scam.

The police had earlier said the mobile call details of the accused had indicated that the DPI had exchanged a large number of phone calls with Jolly. After the revelation, the DPI had admitted that he was "in touch" with Jolly.

The police had arrested Jolly along with Hardev Singh for allegedly negotiating a deal with Kamalpreet Kaur, who alleged that they had demanded Rs 4 lakh from her to give her a job.



17-yr-old shoots himself at gun house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
A 17-year-old youth allegedly shot himself at his uncle’s Gun House in Sector 38 here this morning. He was taken to the PGI in a critical condition, where he died later in the evening.

Though the absence of a suicide note left the police confused over the reason behind the extreme step, it had initially booked the victim, Jagseer Singh of Mansa district, in a case of attempt to suicide on the basis of the opinion given by experts from the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory here.

The victim remained in coma throughout the day before he breathed his last in the evening. The incident occurred around 11.15 am. The bullet reportedly pierced through his skull. He had come from his native place a few months ago to learn how firearms are repaired.

He had come to the shop around 10.15 am with his cousin, Narinder Singh Mohal, whose father (Darshan Singh) runs the shop. Narinder said they showed a weapon to a customer and later resumed work while Jagseer remained at the counter. The weapon was locked in a drawer.

“Just then, I heard a gunshot and rushed to the counter and found him lying on the floor. A .32 bore pistol was lying beside him. I called up my father and then informed the police. I do not know why he did it. He was not looking upset in the morning,” he said.



Black Film: SDM’s driver booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
SDM (South) Prerna Puri’s official car was challaned for black film here today when some advocates, protesting against the booking of a lawyer for a traffic violation, pointed it out to the traffic police.

The incident took place this morning when the traffic police booked an advocate, Punit Chauhan, for using a mobile phone while driving. Annoyed over being booked for the violation, he called other advocates, who blocked the road.

Just then, the official vehicle of the SDM reached there and the advocates pointed out the violation and demanded action. DSP (traffic) Vijay Kumar said the driver of the SDM’s vehicle was asked to show the permission for using black film, which he could not produce and was booked for the offence.



This Diwali have a safe ‘blast’
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Diwali is the time to have a ‘blast’, but amid last-minute shopping and plans to do up the house, there’s need to spare a thought for safety as the festival is all about fire and playing with it.

Bursting crackers is fun, but a little carelessness can become a liability for life. Two years ago, Aman (name changed), 13 years then, was so excited to burst crackers that he didn’t wait for his elder brother to join him. “I picked up an ‘anar’ and it burst in my face the moment I lit it. My face went numb and the burning sensation was unbearable. I could not see for two days,” he says.

He was lucky that his eyesight returned, but he has problems with his vision in one eye. “My dreams of becoming a pilot are shattered,” he adds.

Seventeen-year-old Dinesh (name changed) of Mohali also burnt his hand, the scars of which are still visible. “I was trying to impress my friends by igniting the fuse of ‘gola bombs’ in my hand and throwing them high into the air. It burst in my hand and it was a painful journey to recovery that took almost a month.

Last year’s Diwali celebrations turned sour for over 150 families in the tri-city as a large number of people reported to hospitals with injuries, primarily burns, caused by crackers.

Hardly a Diwali goes by, without at least one fire accident being reported. According to Dr RK Sharma, head of the department of burns and plastic surgery, PGI: “If a burn happens, the immediate response should be to wash the affected area with running water.

Nothing should be applied, not even an anti-burn cream, because once that is done the physician has problems assessing the extent of the injury. A blister is a good sign since it shows that the burn is superficial and also means that it will heal well.”

Dr Rajesh Dheer, an ENT specialist at the GMSH-16, says: “Crackers can results in severe burns, but a large number of patients also complain of breathlessness and suffocation due to the presence of harmful gases and chemicals emitted through the smoke.”

People suffering from asthma, bronchitis and nasobronchial allergies always have a bad time at Diwali.

l Opt for non-explosive firecrackers
l Elders must guide children while bursting crackers
l Don’t direct rockets towards people or buildings
l Don’t bend over crackers while lighting
l Don’t stand near fireworks after it is lit
l Don’t light crackers in the hand
l If an eye is injured, do not rub
l Use long stick with candle tied to its end to ignite crackers
l Pour lots of water over the burn area for 10-15 min.
l Don’t wear loose and synthetic clothes, while playing with crackers.
l Don’t burn crackers in the vicinity of inflammable items, like petrol, kerosene and LPG.



Future trends in IAF maintenance discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Future trends and contemporary issues were discussed at a day-long seminar on “Technological and Maintenance Challenges of an Aerospace Power”, held at No.3 Base Repair Depot here today.

The seminar was organised jointly by the IAF’s Maintenance Command and the Centre for Air Power Studies, a Delhi-based think tank.

The seminar included detail presentations by experts on perspectives and perceptions on equipment maintenance in the coming decades and the likely problems and their redressal. Organisational restructuring and streamlining methods to meet future requirements were also discussed. Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, Air Marshal PV Athawale delivered the inaugural address, while the Additional Director, CAPS, Air Vice-Marshal Kapil Kak (retired) outlined the theme of the seminar.



EME observes 66th Corps Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) observed its 66th anniversary at the Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir today.

A wreath laying ceremony was held at the Veer Smriti war memorial to pay tributes to those who had made the supreme sacrifice. A sainik sammelan, barakhana and pagal gymkhana were other events organised to commemorate the event.

A social get-together was also organised at the Shivalik Officers Institute, which was attended by a large number of distinguished guests, serving as well as retired EME officers and their wives.

The corps provides engineering support to the Army for all types of vehicles and equipment, including tanks, guns, missiles, radars, electronic items and helicopters in service with the forces. The Corps has also excelled in the field of sports and adventure activities.


Book Rodrigues, demands Congress
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
In the wake of the special audit report of the Chandigarh administration, the Congress has demanded the registration of an FIR against the administrator, Gen SF Rodrigues (retd), and a CBI probe into the omission and commissions in the allotment of land for mega projects in the city.

Interacting with the media here today, the vice-president of the local unit of the Congress, Subhash Chawla, and other party members stated that there was no clause under which action could not be taken against the administrator if any discrepancy was found against him.

They said an FIR should be lodged against him on the basis of the MHA report. They said a number of officials were involved in the allocation of these projects and they were not with the administration now, so a CBI inquiry should be ordered to take action against them also.

He said after the submission of the report, the union government should issue directions to the UT administrator not to take any major policy decision. He alleged that the administrator was still calling officers to Raj Bhavan and pressuring them to remove discrepancies in files relating to the projects.

Chawla said for the past three years, they had been raising a voice against the administration for doing injustice with farmers by giving them less price for prime land acquired for projects. He said this land was allotted to a few companies on “nominal prices”.

Former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra questioned the administration for asking the MC to impose property tax in the city when it could easily raise revenue by auctioning land allocated on cheap rates for these projects.

He said the administration imposed these projects on the corporation without considering if these were feasible or not. Referring to the multi-level parking and fruit and vegetable terminal market, he stated that these were not required.

He claimed that according to information, the administration was planning to allot land for the bus stand at Sector 17 to a company for the construction of a mall.



Crackers sale sluggish
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
In the backdrop of the awareness about the ill-effects of crackers and noise pollution and recession, residents can expect a less noisy Diwali this year.

With just three days left for the Diwali festival, the sale of crackers is yet to pick up momentum. In fact, like the previous years, shopkeepers were pinning hopes on last three days for the sales to pick up.

Official sources said the administration had already started renewing licences of outlets selling fire crackers. Last year, around 600 licences were renewed and the number was not likely to cross this figure this year also, the source said.

Though nearly 1,100 cracker-sellers were registered, a number of them had not been turning up during the past few years. Stalls for the sale of crackers were allowed at the sites earmarked by the administration. The MC gave the permission after the applicants got the clearance from the District Magistrate and the fire department.

"Since the fire crackers cannot be stored for the next year, people wait for heavy discount a day or two prior to the Diwali," Subhash Kumar, a shopkeeper of Sector 22, said.

The residents, however, said the high price and recession were also the reason for not buying crackers on a large scale. At a time when recession had hit the business and salaried class hard, buying crackers was not the priority, said Mandeep Singh, a Sector 47 resident.

Meanwhile, the sale of fire crackers without any licence is being alleged at a few places, particularly in colonies and villages. Residents of Sector 47 today objected to sale of the fire crackers from outside their residences.



Judge-Police Row
Case against IPS officer fails to make headway
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Over two years have lapsed since the then Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed taking up on judicial side a letter by judicial officer MM Dhonchak against Haryana IPS officer Manjit Singh Ahlawat, the case has failed to make any headway.

So far, only one of the three respondents has put in his appearance before the court through counsel, while the remaining respondents, including Ahlawat have remained unserved. Ahlawat is currently posted as the Inspector-General (Vigilance) at Gurgaon.

As the matter came up for hearing, Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia this afternoon referred the matter to registrar (judicial) for the completion of service. The case will now come up for hearing only after the service is complete.

The high court has already issued a notice of motion in the matter. In the letter, Dhonchak had sought CBI probe into the allegations of forgery and fraud against Ahlawat during his tenure as SP, Rewari, along with other police officials. Dhonchak was then posted as additional CJM at Rewari and is now posted in the high court.

Issuing the directions, the then Chief Justice had observed the there was merit in the application and it be treated as a civil writ petition.

Going into the background of the matter, Dhonchak's letter had mentioned that during his tenure in Rewari he had launched prosecution in cases against Ahlawat. In a bid to browbeat the complainant, Ahlawat got the investigations reopened into an FIR allegedly involving Dhanchok's brother, against whom a case under the Essential Commodities Act was registered in May 1998. It was ordered to be cancelled by the then Gurgaon DIG.

The letter added that Ahlawat got bogus official records prepared by fabricating "zimnies". Later, in collusion with the then SHO, Rewari, and another, he projected that Dhonchak launched prosecution against Ahlawat as a counter blast to the reopening of investigation against his brother.



MC-CHB meeting on reforms
Admn moots imposition of property tax
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
In order to continue the free flow of funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for the city, the administration and the municipal corporation have to affect a few reforms, including the imposition of property tax on the residential property.

The municipal corporation and the Chandigarh Housing Board held a review meeting on the reforms under the chairmanship of Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar yesterday. The focus of the meeting was on levying of property tax, recovery of service charges, national e-governance, enactment of public disclosure law, 25 per cent allocation for EWS/LIG in the housing and basic services for the urban poor.

On the issue of property tax, it was emphasised that at least a minimal amount of tax should be levied on the residential property depending on the sizes of the plots. The finance secretary was of the view that the UT villages could be exempted from the tax. Mayor Kamlesh said:“ This issue will also be considered”. They stated that once the property tax comes into affect, the collection would be done through e-sampark centres.

On the subject of recovery of service charges for facilities like water supply, sewerage and sanitation, it was discussed that as the recovery was not at par with the expenditure incurred. The meeting suggested revision in tariff from the prevailing system. This year the total expenditure on services was Rs 74 crore and recovery was around Rs 48 crore. In case of the enactment of Community Participation Act, it was stated that it already exists in the form of ward committees under the chairmanship of the area councillor.

The issue of the enactment of public disclosure law was discussed and it was decided to display the necessary voluntary information under the RTI Act. The Mayor was of the view that to make the corporation working more transparent additional information, other than required under the RTI ACT should also be displayed. Stress was laid on the National e-Governance plan and municipal chief engineer was directed to simplify the norms.

The reforms under JNNURM include earmarking 25 per cent of developed land in all housing projects for the economically weaker sections or the low-income groups.

The meeting was apprised that reforms, including the stamp duty rationalisation to 5 per cent, introduction of property title certification system, to make rainwater harvesting mandatory, introduction of computerised process of registration of land and property and byelaws on re-use of recycled water have been achieved. Basic services for urban poor have also been achieved by providing necessary support system, including streetlights, water supply, roads, dispensaries, schools in the rehabilitation colonies.



Be vigilant, DGP to cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
UT DGP SK Jain today emphasised good behaviour for police personnel, while dealing with public, advising them to discharge their duties with dedication during a Sampark Sabha held at the Police Lines in Sector 26 here today.

The DGP warned his men that strict action would be taken against the official involved in corruption and malpractices and advised them to remain extra vigilant on their duty.

Around 525 police personnel attended the sabha and highlighted their problems, seeking more strength and other facilities. The DGP congratulated the families of 246 police personnel, whose children obtained over 80 per cent of marks in their exams.

He also announced that education loan for police wards would be on priority of his agenda.

The DGP further stated that medical awareness camps would be extended to all police colonies in the near future.

Among others, UT SSP S.S. Srivastva, SP (Traffic) H.S. Doon, SP (City) Madhur Verma, and medical officers of police hospital were present on the occasion.



Cold storages, sweets workshop raided
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Raids were conducted in cold storages of Industrial Area Phase I and a sweets workshop in Dhanas today.

A team of officials, headed by SDM (E) Niharika Rai, and the Chandigarh Police raided three cold storages, Goyal Cold Storage, Guru Nanak Cold Storage and Freeze India Cold Storage, where it was found that Gobind Sweet, Sector 7, had stored khoya added with sugar, rasgulas and petha in Goyal Cold Storage.

A huge quantity of sweets by three sweets shop owners was stored but they did not claim for the products. Police officials have been asked to find out whose products are these within 24 hours or the material will be destroyed.

Another team headed by ADC P S Shergill, along with LHA Balbir Singh, inspected a sweets workshop, Doaba, in Dhanas. Samples of milk were taken and around 17 quintals of sweets, which were not properly stored and were exposed to dust, were dumped in the dumping ground. The workshop owner was also challaned for possessing licence.

Meanwhile, a joint team of the UT health department, the Chandigarh Police, and the SDM today conducted a raid at various places and collected six samples of milk product to check adulteration. Also, they destroyed 17 quintals of stocked sweets of Duaba Sweets at Dhanas village.

Satbir Singh, nodal officer for the Prevention of Food and Adulteration Department, said the owner of Duaba Sweets had stocked sweets in view of the rise in demand in the coming days. “It was not stored in hygienic condition and signs of stocked material giving in to insects were also noticed,” he said.

The samples were sent to the Punjab and Haryana Laboratory, Sector 11, for checking. Officials said strict action would be taken against those found involved in selling adulterated items.



Detention of lensmen condemned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists (CPUJ) has written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi condemning the confinement of lensmen at the Panjab University’s auditorium by the special protection group guarding MP Rahul Gandhi.

A copy of the letter has been sent to the Union Home Minister. The association claimed that the lensmen had not gone at the event on their own, but were “invited” by the NSUI activists, who had organised the event.

President of the union, Vinod Kohli, said the behaviour of security personnel who locked the journalists inside the room at the venue of student interaction by Rahul, speaks about their high headedness.

The incident, they claimed, was a direct subversion of the Fourth Estate.

The union has demanded action against the erring SPG and an unbiased investigation into the accident. The union’s general secretary, Sunil Sharma, has taken up the matter with the Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal at a media conference.

The CM later condemned the incident and promised to look into the matter.



PGI gears up for Diwali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
In view of the Diwali festival, the Advanced Eye Centre, PGI, has made elaborate arrangements to meet emergencies and provide immediate treatment to patients reporting to the PGI.

According to a press note issued by the PGI, the department has put doctors on special emergency duty round the clock at the Advanced Eye Centre, PGI, from the morning of October 16 till the morning of October 19 to attend to patients on arrival.

The public is advised to bring all eye emergencies to the Advanced Eye Centre, PGI, Chandigarh.

Contact: Advanced Eye Centre Emergency : 2756117; Emergency Mobile No : 9814014464



CHB staff demand Rs 12,500 bonus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Demanding the payment of adequate bonus/ex gratia, employees of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) held a rally today.

Addressing the rally, various speakers alleged that the CHB authorities had paid an amount of only Rs 5,453 as against Rs 12,500 last by way of bonus and Diwali gift. The employees alleged that while the board had thousands of crores in fixed deposits, the authorities were dragging feet on the payment of bonus to them.

The employees also tried to gherao the chairman and chief executive officer of the board. It was also resolved to sit in an indefinite strike from tomorrow, employees leaders added.



Censor board for TV serials sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Seeking a special censor board for serials telecast on satellite TV channels, showing obscene contents, a city lawyer has served a legal-cum-demand notice on the secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Arvind Thakur, chairman of the Global Human Rights Council (GHRC), told TNS that his organisation had conducted a survey of 84 juveniles from the tricity, who were involved in various crimes, which showed that they were influenced by the lifestyle shown in TV serials and took to crime to meet their “inflated” expenses.

The juveniles disclosed before GHRC members that they were influenced by the lavish and romantic life shown in the serials and felt that they should have ostentatious lifestyles, including girlfriends. To give expensive gifts to their partners, as shown on TV, they took to snatching and other petty crimes.

Thakur said he had also served notices under Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code on the UT Deputy Commissioner and Secretary, department of information and broadcasting, Punjab, on October 12 through fax. Officials at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had told them that they hold regular meetings to hear grievances on 4th and 20th day of every month.

“It is noticed that not only the obscenity, but these serials also carry contents that hurt religious sentiments. If the authorities failed to take suitable action by constituting a special censor board to check objectionable contents in the TV serials on the lines of movies, we will file a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court”, he said.



Power men threaten strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The UT power men have decided to observe black Diwali as the Chandigarh Administration has allegedly failed to implement already agreed genuine demands of employees.

Ram Sarup, president, UT Powermen Union, in a release to the media, here today said that step-motherly treatment was given to them by the administration while giving the 5 per cent DA installments to its employees. He said the administration had released the DA to its own employees, who were getting Punjab scale, while on the other hand, the electricity employees were being ignored, who were working hard to maintain round-the-clock power supply to the city.

He said their other demands included removal of pay anomaly, amendments in draft rules of certain categories, scrapping of 5 per cent ceiling on appointment of the next kin of deceased employees, besides regularisation of strike period.

He warned that they would be forced to announce strike, if the administration failed to implement their long-pending demands before Diwali and the administration would be responsible for any convenience to residents of the city.



91 donate blood at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
A blood donation camp was organised at the PGI on the occasion of the National Institute of Paramedical Science Foundation Day (NIPS) today.

More than 91 units of blood were collected. Various blood donors, who have donated blood more than 50 times, also donated blood on this occasion. Voluntary blood donors were given certificates of participation and a gift as memento from the association.

Dr Pankaj Kaul, secretary, All-India Med Lab Technologists Association (AIMLTA) state unit, said it regularly organised blood donation camp at the PGI and would follow the trend of selfless service, whenever it was needed to save a life.

Prof. Arvind Rajwanshi, chief coordinator and head of cytology and gynaec pathology department, PGI, and SK Sharma, branch head of State Bank of India, PGI, inaugurated the blood donation camp.



Sukhna watch tower being dismantled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The Chandigarh Administration has started dismantling the watch tower in the island of Sukhna Lake, which suffered immense damage in a devastating fire on October 7.

One of the city’s best-known “beauty” spots, the elegant glass-structured watch tower, on the island in the lake, had been set up in view of the rowing championship held in 1989.

The tower was to be demolished by the Chandigarh Administration for developing the site as “flower bed floating on the lake under the spruce up plan for Sukhna Lake.



2 dictionaries launched
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 14
“The language and literature of any civilisation represent the ethos of its people from time to time, which comes to us from the epics or books. But in the modern era, the dictionaries hold a special significance for facilitating any factual, historical or literary work,” opined scholar speakers at the launch ceremony of two dictionaries held under the aegis of Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi and Ratna Sagar Publishers at the Government Museum here today.

Akademy chairperson, Prof Manju Jaidka welcomed and introduced the chief guest, Prof RW Desai, a litterateur of international eminence known for his incredible work on William Shakespeare, and distinguished gathering of writers and book lovers. Sridhar Balan, director of Ratna Sagar Publishers, outlined the new product being launched and explained how the new dictionaries tried to keep pace with the time, bringing into focus the rapid changes that took place in language.

The dictionaries launched today were the Collins Co build Learner’s Illustrated Dictionary and the Collins Co build Advanced Illustrated Dictionary.

While Prof Manju Jaidka exhorted audience to actively participate in all akademy events, a section of writers, however, resented the role of akademy for promoting private publishers rather than augmenting promotion of works of writers already taken up.



Motorcyclist killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
In a hit-and-run accident, a 34-year-old motorcyclist was killed while two others were seriously injured when a car rammed into their motorcycle here last night.

The police said the mishap occurred around 11.25 pm last night near the lights of Sectors 46, 47, 48 and 49. The victims were triple riding the motorcycle when they were hit by a speeding car.

The deceased has been identified as Raj Kumar of Phase XI, Mohali, an autorickshaw driver. Raj Kumar is survived by his mother and wife.

They were rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi-speciality Hospital, from where Raj Kumar was referred to the PGI, where he later died. They condition of the other two injured is stated to be critical, the police said.



Dy CM targeting Mohali MC, alleges MLA Sidhu
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 14
Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal has allegedly targeted the Municipal Council of Mohali and all means are being adopted to replace the Congress-backed president, Rajinder Singh Rana, by a supporter of the SAD.

This was stated by Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu while addressing a press conference here today. He said the Deputy Chief Minister, who should be worried about the development in the state, was now allegedly indulging in “low politics” and giving directions to his supporters to issue threats, organise raids on business set ups of Congress supporters in Mohali and also get false cases registered against them.

He said yesterday councillor Gurmeet Singh Walia, who was with the ruling group, was allegedly pressurised to join the SAD. Walia was presented a siropa by MLA and former minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia, who was the brother-in-law of the Deputy Chief Minister, even when Majithia had nothing to do with activities going on in Mohali.

Later, a press release in this regard was issued by the District Public Relations Office, which amounted to misuse of government machinery. Walia’s brother worked as a contractor in the Zirakpur area and all his works were allegedly stopped by SAD leaders in order to pressurise the councillor, added the MLA.

Sidhu further said there were about 500 kiryana shops in the town but a raid was conducted by excise and taxation officials only on Lucky Kiryana Store as it was owned by a councillor belonging to the ruling group of the civic body who had refused to join the opposition group despite efforts by SAD supporters.

He said in another case Dharminder Singh, son-in-law of councillor Mukandi Singh, was allegedly booked in a false case. He alleged that the SAD had hired youths from other areas to harass councillors of the ruling group. He said that if any harm was caused to a councillor of the ruling group or a Congress supporter, the government would be responsible for it.

“If the government did not mend its ways, we would be compelled to go to a court with our grievances. The matter would also be taken up with the Union Home Minister and the Punjab Human Rights Commission,” added Sidhu.

The president of the council said development in Mohali was suffering because SAD supporters always tried to create obstacles.

He said a sub-committee had been set up for redefining the terms of the agreement for sanitation work.

The committee had eight members out of which four were from the opposition group. No meeting could be held so far because members did not bother to turn up every time a date was fixed.



Councillor Walia joins SAD
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 14
Municipal councillor Gurmeet Singh Walia, a supporter of the Congress-backed municipal council president Rajinder Singh Rana, joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) here yesterday giving a blow to the ruling group of the civic body.

According to a press note issued by the district public relations office, Walia joined the SAD after getting blessings of MLA and former minister Bikranjit Singh Majithia and inspiration from chairman of the District Planning Board NK Sharma.

He was presented a siropa by Majithia, who said the councillor had made the Mohali unit of the party strong.

Walia claimed that he had joined the SAD without any political pressure and was only interested in the development of the town, which had suffered over the past years.

A group of 21 councillors had given a notice of a no-confidence motion against Rana on September 29 to vote him out but the requisition was then withdrawn on October 5 after the group failed to muster the required strength to topple Rana.



Residents take up cleanliness drive
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 14
Irked over the indifferent attitude of the Mohali Municipal Council towards cleanliness of Sector 71, the Resident Welfare Association of the sector is undertaking a cleanliness drive at its own cost.

East End Resident Welfare Association president IS Sidhu, Sector 71, said open spaces in the sector were full of wild growth and no one from the MC came to clean it. The association decided to foot the bill by engaging private labour and then produced the bill before the MC. Last year also, the association had paid from its own pocket to undertake the cleanliness drive.



From Schools & Colleges
UGC-NET exam on Dec 27
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, October 14
The UGC-NET for Junior Research Fellowship and eligibility for lecturership will be held on December 27 in humanities, social sciences, including languages, computer science & applications and electronic science, etc.

Those interested to appear in the test may see the detailed notification to be published in the Employment News on October 24.

Notification is also available on the UGC website: www.ugc.ac.in <http://www.ugc.ac.in>. Last date for submission of application form at UGC-NET centres is November 6.

Havan ceremony

MCM DAV College for Women, organised a havan on its campus to pay homage to S Roy, founder principal of the institution, who passed away on October 10.

The havan was organised to allow the staff members and students of MCM family to offer their respects to the departed soul.

Principal of the college Dr Puneet Bedi expressed her sorrow on the death of Roy and recounted her contributions to the development of the institutions.


Prof Ashok Sahni of department of geology, Panjab University, and INSA senior scientist, has been awarded the DN Wadia Medal of the academy.

The award is given for outstanding contribution in the filed of earth sciences, including geography. Prof Sahni has been given the award for his outstanding achievement in palaeontology.

Prof Sahni is also a fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, a fellow and council member of National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad, and Academy of Sciences for the Developing World.

Festive spirit pervades

Delhi Public School Chandigarh wore a festive look as students and staff members celebrated Diwali today.

A special assembly was held wherein the celebration began with Ram vandana. The students depicted the significance of the day by dance performances, speech etc.

Students of British School, Panchkula, took out a rally to sensitise the community about animal, as part of their ongoing Diwali celebrations.

Awareness rally

The primary wing of AKSIPS, Sector 41, took out an awareness rally today titled "Diwali ki chamak- dhuen se alag" to sensitise residents about cracker free Diwali.

Students apprised residents of the ill-effects of noise and air pollution caused by bursting the crackers. They also pledged not to indulge in crackers this time.

Quiz contest

Mohali: Students of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, won a quiz contest “Bharat Ko Jano” organised by Bharat Vikas Parishad.

A written test was held on the school premises on October 6 after which winners of the junior and senior group were sent to Swami Ram Tirtha Public School yesterday where the final competition was held. Various schools took part.

Golden Bells Public School won the first position in the senior group while it bagged the second rank in the junior group.

Anti-cracker rally

Saupin’s Community Service Organisation of Saupin’s School- Sector 70, Mohali, coordinated an anti-crackers campaign to check environmental pollution during Diwali.

Students took a pledge to spread a word in their neighbourhood against bursting of crackers. They led a rally holding banners and placards flashing messages-“Say no to crackers - save environment”, and “No crackers, no pollution”, denouncing the use of crackers and even approaching shopkeepers not to sell crackers.



54 students to get disability certificate
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 14
A special disability camp was organised by the health department in collaboration with the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan at the Civil Hospital here today for preparing disability certificates for students so that they could avail the benefits announced by the government for such persons.

Dr Gursharan Singh, who was in charge of the camp, said schools had brought about 100 students to the camp out of which 54 were identified for giving certificates.

Students who would be given certificates had suffered from polio, were visually impaired and mentally challenged.

The certificates had been prepared which would be sent to the schools for distribution. He said seven adults were also identified for giving these certificates.

Earlier, camps were held at Dera Bassi and Kharar and two more camps would be organised at Dera Bassi next month in order to benefit maximum number of people.



Student awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
Siddharth Bhardwaj, a student of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, has been awarded a certificate of merit for securing the top rank in the 10th semester architecture thesis (architectural design) examination conducted by the Panjab University in 2009.

He has also been awarded the Pierre Jeanneret Gold Medal for the best thesis of 2009. His thesis project titled “Convention Centre in Rajiv Gandhi Education City, Sonepat” was among the 37 submissions evaluated by a five-member jury.



Girl students get Rs 60,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The State Bank of India distributed cheques for Rs 60,000 among girl students of Guru Gobind Singh Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, and Government Model School, Sector 22, here recently.

General manager of the SBI’s corporate centre in Mumbai Sunil Damodar said the money would take care of their school fee, uniforms and medical expenses.



Book on dharma released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14
The University Business School, UBS, of Panjab University organised a book release function of “The difficulty of being good on the subtle art of dharma,” by Gurcharan Das at law auditorium.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof RC Sobti, was the chief guest. The programme was managed by the management students of the university.

The Vice-Chancellor elaborated on the highlights of the book and praised the efforts of the writer.



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