C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Nursery Form Fee
Schools reluctant to comply with admn order
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Though the official circular limiting nursery registration fee to Rs 100 is yet to reach city private schools, they seem to be in no mood to comply with it. Considering it as nothing but the “usual interference” by the administration, most of the schools plan to take up the matter with the Education Secretary.

“We have not received any circular as yet. If what has been published in papers is true, we shall surely reason it out with the administration. First of all, what sense does such a directive have in the middle of the registration process when everything has been fixed and most of the registration is already done? The administration has a full-fledged right to suggest us, but they can’t boss around and decide for us without even consulting us,” said one of the principals of a Sector 26-based school.

“They talk of minting money and have, thus, given these directives, but have they ever allowed us to even give suggestions on things like exorbitant room tariffs in budget hotels, Menu prices at CITCO, SSA funds in schools etc. Both administration and private schools are meant to work as team, but they try to interfere in everything. If they want us to comply, they should give us the right to suggest and even direct government schools on crores of funds being wasted by them,” added another.

It may be noted that in a series of major decisions taken yesterday, it was decided that no school will charge more than Rs 100 for the application forms of ongoing nursery admissions. Similarly, the schools have been asked to sell prospectus only to selected candidates and not recommend any vendors for books and uniforms etc.

“They can, of course, ask schools not to get into any profit-seeking acts, but giving such orders are not appreciable. Before issuing any such directive they should have spoken to us about some directives. We never force anybody to buy any stuff from a fixed shop but in case of uniforms, it is generally preferred by parents that we recommend something,” said Gurpreet Bakshi of St Kabir School.

“No school seems to have received this circular so far. We were never asked to attend any such meeting and no decision can be taken this way without consulting us. The moment we receive the letter, we shall reveal our further course of action,” said HS Mamik, president, Independent Schools Association.



4 die of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Three persons died of swine flu in the city today. Two of the victims were from Punjab, while one case was from Haryana. The patients had come to the PGI during the past two days. With these, the swine flu toll in the city reached 32.

The three who died in the PGI were Harpal Singh, a 25-year-old youth from Ludhiana, Gurmel Singh (47) from Bathinda, and Vicky (20) from Kaithal.

Meanwhile, three cases have been tested positive for H1N1 at the PGI lab. “A doctor from the GMSH-16, who is a resident of Mohali, has tested positive and a 30-year-old youth from the GMCH-32 campus tested positive,” said UT nodal officer for swine flu, Dr GC Bansal.

Another victim is a 58-year-old person from Sector 12, Panchkula.

As per official figures, December alone has seen over 120 positive cases that have been tested at the PGI laboratory. This is the highest number of cases that have tested positive from the laboratory in any particular month. The total number of positive cases has now crossed 255 in the city.

Winters have been a concern for the health authorities for a long time and it is the second onslaught of the H1N1 virus that the authorities are worried about. With marriage season on and the influx of NRIs into the city, officials have already pressed the alarm button.

Close to a 1,000 people were put under surveillance and were administered Tamiflu in various cases where they came in contact with swine flu patients. The city, on the whole, has recorded five deaths within the municipal limit, while the rest died outside the limits or belonged to neighbouring towns and districts.

Mohali: A 26-year-old resident of Phase VII died due to swine flu here today, taking the death toll to four.

According to reports, the patient was admitted to Fortis Hospital for the treatment of some other disease. But on suspicion, a sample was collected and the throat swab was sent to the PGI for tests, which were confirmed positive.

Earlier, two women and one two-month-old child had died due to swine flu here.



GMADA staff protest after 3 JEs suspended
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 18
High drama prevailed at the GMADA office here, when employees of the authority struck work after three junior engineers (JEs) were suspended over alleged dereliction of duty in preventing forcible occupation of around 60 vacant flats in different parts of the town.

The GMADA officials claim that in the past few days certain persons, claiming to be riot victims, have forcibly occupied the flats earmarked for riot victims. On the other hand, the occupants have got interim stay from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

On Friday, the problem started when the Chief Administrator of GMADA, VP Singh, suspended three JEs, Ashok Kumar, Dalwinder and Rajinder Singh in connection with the case. Irritated, the employees union protested outside the office of the Chief Administrator. The situation was eased out after a delegation of the employees union met the Chief Administrator.

“They should have reported the activity. The employees have been asked to explain the position before the further course of action is decided”, said the Chief Administrator.

A latest survey by GMADA officials shook them out of slumber when they found that of the total 120 flats, 60 had been forcibly occupied. “By the time we come to know, the occupier moved in and pasted a copy of interim stay on the flat”, admitted an official. Not only the three JEs, other officials concerned have also been asked to explain their position. Unconfirmed reports indicated that possession of the vacant flats was with the Engineering Department.

Apart from carrying out the videography of the remaining vacant flats, the Chief Administrator has written to SSP, Mohali, to register FIRs against the occupants of the flats. In some of the vacant flats that have forcibly been occupied, the genuine allottees have even got their conveyance deeds (CD) registered.

Claiming to be genuine riot victims in possession of the flat for long, the occupants have filed cases in different courts seeking allotment of the same and have also got interim stay from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In most of the cases, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has been made party instead of GMADA by the applicants. 



UT resolves conflict over electricity meter norms
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Settling the contradictory views of the offices of the chief architect and the electricity department, the Chandigarh administration has overruled the notices issued by the estate office to local industrialists for violating regulations on electricity meter installations.

The decision comes as a reprieve to dozens of industrialists who have been shuttling between different offices for the past three years complaining of differences in the orders of different administration wings.

The estate office has been continually handing out the notices after electricity meters were installed inside the entrances of factory premises under the new electricity department rules.

In a recent communication to the estate office, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal pointed out that “construction of electric metering and allied equipment enclosure near the main gate, at a place approved by the electricity department, was in accordance with the stipulation made in clause 62 of the conditions of the electricity supply regarding the site for installation of the meter”.

In a letter written recently to Industries Association of Chandigarh president Arun Mahajan, UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar had said: “After having considered your representation I am instructing the estate office as well as the chief architect’s office not to treat them as a violation of rules”.

In a communication to the superintending engineer last month, the association said “it has come to our notice that objections are being raised by the estate office on account of alleged violation of building bylaws in respect of small enclosures near the main entrance gate at a place approved by the electricity department”.

Notices saying construction of such small rooms near the main entry gate for installation of electric metering equipment is a violation of building bylaws are also being served on the industrial units. It has been clearly stipulated in the subclause of clause 62 that an electricity connection cannot be released unless the consumer provides a separate room adjacent to the entry gate for installation of electric metering equipment to make it easily accessible to department employees for reading and testing (subclause 62.1.1 of the Punjab State Sale of Power Rules as applicable to the UT of Chandigarh).

Mahajan added, “It was heartening to see the finance secretary accede to a genuine cause highlighted by a crosssection of industrialists”. 



Tribune Impact
Waste Disposal on PU Campus
Authorities swing into action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
A day after the Tribune highlighted the daily disposal of domestic waste by Colony 5 residents inside the Panjab University’s south campus in Sector 25, the authorities have swung into action.

Along with the students of the Department of Adult Continuing Education and Extension and other officials, the Vice-Chancellor inspected the cleanliness drive, started in the south campus on Thursday. The students have now launched a campaign to educate and create awareness among the colony residents, to throw their domestic waste in dustbins rather than across the boundary wall.

PU has also written to the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, to arrange large-size dustbins in the colony, along the boundary wall, so that the residents dispose of the garbage at the proper place, the PU authorities said.

On Wednesday, The Tribune had highlighted that heaps of garbage and domestic waste could be traced along the boundary walls of the south campus of PU.

They were being thrown by the residents of Colony 5. This had been a perennial problem ever since the campus came up.

Despite the construction of a large wall, the issue could not be resolved. Even the university officials had agreed that only awareness among the residents could solve the problem.


Migratory birds make Sukhna their home
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
With nearly 8,000 migratory birds already gathered at the northern end of the Sukhna lake, the number of these Siberian visitors landing here is likely to shoot up in the next one week. The birds have also been spotted in other water bodies in the city, including those at Chattbir zoo, Dhanas lake and the botanical garden.

The late onset of winter has delayed the arrival of these birds this year.

However, luckily for city residents, global warming has in no way impeded their annual visits, say environmental experts. Each year a large number of visitors throng the lake to have a glimpse of these exotic birds.

Despite repeated efforts by the Chandigarh administration to desilt Sukhna, one end of the lake that is continues to be heavily silted has proved to be a blessing in disguise in attracting these birds.

According to UT forest department officials, these birds use the dense bushes at the lake end to lay their eggs and the ones that do so return to their native habitats later than the other birds.

“The reason these migratory birds still come to the Sukhna lake each year, despite frequent climatic changes, is that no significant disturbances occur here. Besides these birds have a proclivity for shallow water bodies. As incidents of poaching are virtually nonexistent and no functions are allowed in the lake’s vicinity to prevent noise pollution, these birds find it quite comfortable here,” said UT conservator of forests Ishwar Singh.

Official sources confirmed that, besides the Sukhna lake, more than 600 birds had arrived at the lake near Dhanas with about 80 others landing at the botanical garden in Saharangpur, in addition to a few at the Sukhna catchment area.

Though it is a complicated task for officials to figure out the number of migratory birds of each breed, among those that have been spotted in the local water bodies are various varieties of pochards including the common, tufted and red crested variety. Besides them, ruddyshel duck (‘brahmani’ duck), stilts, coots, hill kingfisher, cormorants, sandpipers, shovellers, bar headed geese and mallards have also been frequent visitors. 



Sector-Sealing Scheme
Police conducts survey in Sec 15 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
The UT engineering department and the Chandigarh Police today conducted a survey at Sector 15 to check the feasibility of the sector-sealing scheme for installing gates at entry points.

A team of the engineering wing, headed by the UT administration’s chief architect Sumit Kaur, DSP (Central) Jagbir Singh, the SHO of the Sector 11 police station and representatives of the resident welfare association today visited the sites. The team has identified six locations in the sector for installing the gates on V-4 roads.

Sumit Kaur said the team had taken account of the space available, width of the roads and other dimensions for erecting the low height gates.

Sources said the report would be submitted to the authorities for further action.

The Chandigarh Police had been conducting meetings with the residents welfare associations and other organisations to erect gates to curb the incidents of motor vehicle thefts during night hours.

The Mohali police had already installed gates on the entry points to residential areas. This year, 955 vehicles have been stolen from the city till October 31 this year.

The police said the sector-sealing scheme in Sector 22 helped reducing then thefts by three times this year. This also helped in better police patrolling.



Mohali to have master plan for traffic management
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 18
Mohali will soon have a master plan to facilitate vehicular traffic and parking management. The decision was taken at a meeting of Mohali district administration and GMADA officials chaired by the Commissioner, Patiala range, Jasbir Singh Bir, here today.

Addressing the meeting after inaugurating the committee room at the District Administrative Block here, the Commissioner said the residents of Mohali could avail the facility of AC radio cab taxi service on the lines of Ludhiana and Chandigarh. The round-the-clock service will be equipped with GPS and GPRS technology, he added.

During the meeting, Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand and Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar suggested multi-storey parking projects, silence zone areas and speed controllers for the town.

Later, the Commissioner held a meeting of the Deputy Commissioners of Mohali, Patiala, Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sangrur, Ropar and Barnala. He directed them to bring transparency in the working, besides vacating shamlat lands from illegal possessions. 



PU old-age home blueprint out
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Taking note of the suggestion of its alumni and employees, the Panjab University authorities have prepared a blueprint of the old-age home to be built on the south campus in Sector 25.

After a recent meeting of the executive council of the PU Alumni Association, it was resolved to call invitations from the interested employees and the alumni.

The old age home will house elderly alumni, former employees or their parents. Forms for the interested alumni, staff or faculty members have been sent to all the departments.

The endeavour of the Panjab University Alumni Association (PUAA) had been delayed due to the shortage of funds. Now, it has been finalised that after contributing Rs 5 lakh, which will be a one-time fee, the alumni can avail the facility. To begin with, there will be 20 rooms.

According to the circular issued to the department, the university will provide medical facilities to the inmates of the old age home at subsidised rates.

They will have to pay for food, maintenance etc.

Though the project has been formally launched, the committee constituted in this regard is still working out the modalities. The authorities have asked the alumni, the faculty and the staff to fill the forms before 10 January.

“The project can take a final shape only if of Rs 1 crore is collected. We have issued circulars in the departments to inform the alumni, the faculty members and the staff and are awaiting response,” said BS Bhoop, Dean, Alumni Relations. 



Christmas celebrated with zeal
Tribune News Service

Students of St Stephen’s Preparatory School celebrate Christmas in Chandigarh on Friday.
Students of St Stephen’s Preparatory School celebrate Christmas in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, December 18
St Stephen’s Preparatory School, Sector 46, celebrated Christmas with huge pomp and show today.

A teacher imitating Santa distributed goodies and welcomed schoolchildren who came dressed up in vibrant clothes.

Awards were also given to winners of various competitions held this year.

Cyber Olympiad

St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School organised the National Cyber Olympiad in collaboration with Science Olympiad Foundation, New Delhi, which had over 400 students from across the city.

While Satviq Gaur topped the Class IV category, the top position in the Class V category went to Neil Chawla.

In other categories, it was Arihant Joshi for Class VI, Ishita Agarwal for Class VII, Rakshit Jain for Class VIII, Ankit Manchanda for Class IX, Vikas Teji for Class X, Oshin Sunkaria for Class IX and Aditya Raj Verma for Class XII, who secured the top positions.

Principal Mervin West congratulated and gave away the medals to the toppers.



Now, ‘karhi’, ‘paranthas’ on midday meal menu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
In yet another effort to make existent midday meal menu more ‘nutritious and tasty’, the UT Education Department has revised the menu all over again.

As per the decision taken in a meeting held today, it has been decided that Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management will provide ‘prantha’, wherein, the kids will get pranthas all six days along with alternate helpings of mixed dal, karhi, dal chana, rajma and moongi masari dal.

Similarly, The Shivalikview, Sector 17, (CITCO), will go in for a rice-based menu where the kids will get rice on all six days in a week along with aloo, kala chana, kabuli chana, rajma and karhi.

The Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management will follow the same menu but will replace the rice with zeera rice, while the Swami Sivananda Memorial Institute will have an added value addition of puri and atta ka halwa



Book released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Abhay Maurya, Vice-Chancellor of English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), released a twin volume, “A Handbook of Teaching English and Teaching Young Learners”, at the Regional Institute of English today.

The publications edited by institute director, Dr Sharda Kaushik, and associate professor, Dr Bindu Bajwa, aimed at promoting speaking and writing skills among learners through activity-based learning.

Pivoted on the guidelines of National Policy of Education, 1986, and the National Curriculum Framework, 2005, the prescribed activities claimed to adopt a multi-sensory approach to teaching so that the learners with different sense perceptions felt stimulated to practise English.

“The purpose of writing such books is to make the teachers complete educationists. They get empowered by researching and developing need-based supplementary materials on their own,” observed Dr Sharda Kaushik.

Professor Abhay announced the launch of All-India English Language Testing Authority (AIELTA), EFLU, in February, 2010.

“I would urge all teachers to take this test aimed at standardising teaching and learning levels of English in India. The world is becoming a global village and thus acquiring communication skills in English and foreign languages is getting important,” he said.



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 |