C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


GMCH top official hurt in road rage
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
In yet another incident of road rage in the city, a senior official of the GMCH was allegedly assaulted by some persons at the Zirakpur T-point late last night.

The official, Additional Director RS Verma, reportedly suffered a cut on his forehead and sustained injuries on his head and back. He was taken to hospital with profuse bleeding and was administered stitches on his forehead.

According to information, he was hit with a sharp-edged ‘kara’ after his car had a minor collision with another vehicle near the Nimantran banquet hall at the Zirakpur T-point around 10:30 pm.

Sources said Verma was assaulted when he tried to intervene to stop a scuffle between the drivers of the two vehicles that collided.

Verma was reportedly sitting in the car which was being driven by one his associates. He termed the incident as minor and said he did not lodge a formal complaint.

After the minor collision, the drivers of two vehicles entered into an heated argument and were on the verge of exchanging blows when Verma stepped in.

Tempers flared up after he intervened and he was attacked. In the melee the followed, he sustained a cut on his head on being hit with the edge of a ‘kara’.

The sources said Verma was returning to Chandigarh after attending a dinner organised for delegates of the International Conference on Spine and Spinal Injuries at Nimantran when the incident occurred.

When contacted, Verma confirmed that the incident took place and said the assailants fled when some of his colleagues returning from the dinner in another vehicle stopped after seeing the commotion.



No vehicle with GRP to move bodies from tracks
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Bodies of train accident victims keep lying on railway tracks for hours in the absence of any permanent mode of transportation with the Government Railway Police (GRP) to shift the bodies to hospital.

Struggling with poor and inadequate infrastructure, the GRP is virtually rendered incapable of handling such incidents as they have to hire vehicles to carry the bodies.

The process generally takes hours, as a result of which the bodies keep lying on the tracks, presenting a picture of neglect and callousness.

Sources in the GRP say they do not have any facilities and the problem is aggravated when bodies are recovered at far-flung places.

They have to travel long distances to reach the spot, where the bodies keep lying unattended or at the mercy of local residents.

The archaic system grappling with numerous inadequacies was witnessed when Shaker Pandey of Faidan village, after being knocked down by a train while crossing the tracks near Sector 47 on December 3.

Pandey’s body kept lying at the spot for over six hours as he fell 10 feet away from the area under the jurisdiction of the Haryana GRP, which informed the Punjab GRP.

A senior police officer with the Punjab GRP said they get Rs 700 as transportation and other expenses for shifting a body from the tracks to hospital and completing other formalities, including providing coffin, till the body was cremated or handed over to the family.

“We have to request private transport vehicles to ferry bodies to the hospital for post-mortem examination. We have a Gypsy and motorcycles, but you cannot transport badly mutilated bodies in the Gypsy, which gets spoiled and needs a thorough washing,” said an officer.

Sources further said earlier, the Haryana GRP catering to the Chandigarh area had to keep mutilated bodies in casks at the police station compound for a couple of days before shifting the same to the civil hospital at Kalka.

As per rules, the police should wait for 72 hours for identification of the body before a post-mortem examination.

Now with a mortuary at the General Hospital in Panchkula, bodies were kept there. Earlier bodies kept rotting at police stations and the situation was worse in summer, said a police officer.

This year, over 40 bodies, including those of victims of accidents, natural death and suicide, were recovered from tracks in the Chandigarh area, while last year, 51 bodies were found.

GRP officials stated that according to the authorities, the number was not so high so as to provide transportation vehicles to carry bodies.



UT asked to regulate officer overstay
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The secretariat of the Appointments Committee of the Department of Personnel and Training, New Delhi, has asked the Chandigarh administration to regulate procedure in order to prevent overstay of inter-cadre deputationists in the union territory.

In the immediate context, the Centre has regulated the overstay of a Punjab cadre joint secretary by approximately six months.

The UT has also faced with a delay in having a new Home Secretary and the Deputy Commissioner. The order is a clear instruction for greater care in the future.

The office memorandum on preventing overstay by IAS officers while on inter-cadre deputation says “in case of Chandigarh administration where certain posts are manned by IAS/IPS officers taken on inter-cadre deputation from Punjab and Haryana, action should be initiated by the Ministry of Home Affairs (UT division) well in advance of the completion of the inter-cadre deputation period of an officer so that his successor is in place on the date of relieving of the officer on completion of his inter-cadre deputation”.

It has been sought that the the state government should submit the proposal for extension in inter-cadre deputation of officers at least three months in advance of the completion of period of inter-cadre deputation to the cadre-controlling authorities of the all-India services.

The request for extension of inter-cadre deputation received late should be rejected by the cadre-controlling authorities of all-India services.

The cadre controlling authorities have been asked to closely monitor the inter-cadre deputation of IAS officers to ensure that officers on inter-cadre deputation are relieved on the completion of their deputation period and report back to their parent cadre.

A senior officer says, “Delay in sending the names often leads to delay in having replacements which naturally affects the routine official work. We will ensure informing the Centre well in advance about the ending of tenure of officers.”



Tamiflu ineffective in chronic cases
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The recurrence of swine flu among a couple of patients at the PGI, earlier administered Tamiflu, has more or less confirmed fears of doctors that the drug is not working on people with chronic diseases.

Two such cases came to light in quick succession at the PGI recently. While one patient, a 32-year old woman from Fatehabad, succumbed to the disease, the other, a cancer patient, was battling for life.

According to PGI doctors, the patient who died on Thursday was suffering from acute liver disorder and spleen enlargement.

She was on ventilator from the first day of admission to the PGI on December 10. “She was immunocompromised patient (less capable of battling infection because of weakened immune system),” said a doctor.

Another 18-year-old cancer patient from Punjab, admitted to the PGI and getting the second line of treatment for swine flu, was also in the vulnerable group, said the doctor.

Severely immunocompromised (those who have prolonged illness or suppressed immune system) patients needed to be regarded as specially vulnerable group and 96 such persons across the globe had reported resistance to Tamiflu from August to November.

“There is another big worry. We have no mechanism in place wherein cured patients can be tested and be absolutely certain that they will no longer be infected with H1N1,” said a doctor treating swine flu patients at the PGI.

“As per Government of India guidelines, we do not test cured patients at the time of discharge and so, there are chances of recurrence. We have no procedure in place for re-testing,” a doctor said.

A cured patient developed natural immunity towards the disease after undergoing the course of medication, but in some cases, patients got some new infection that could lead to the recurrence of the disease, said the doctor.


Relocating Slum-dwellers
Admn earmarks 356 acres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Of the 2,811 acres of net available land, the Chandigarh administration has earmarked 356 acres for rehabilitation of slum-dwellers. The slum-dwellers will now be housed in 18 colonies at eight different locations across the city, an official press release said here today.

The city has a total area of 28,170 acres. A major part of the city, around 19,389 acres, is covered by residential sectors (from Sectors 1 to 63).

The city has 1,272.56 acres of defence land; 316.28 acres of railway land; reserved forest cover of 2,718.10 acres; and Mani Majra spread over 963.69 acres.

This totals up to 24,659 acres, leaving it with only 3,511 acres of land located on the periphery.

With the IT Park being allocated 700 acres, the net available land works out to 2,811 acres. Out of this, the UT administration, living up to the spirit of the ‘Open Hand’ symbol, has given 356 acres, around 20 per cent, for resettlement of slum-dwellers.

“Given the shortage of costly land, it was a Herculean task for the administration to identify and earmark 356 acres of land for the rehabilitation of slum-dwellers. The pressure on land in the city, the gateway to Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, is mounting by the day with City Beautiful emerging as a hub of economic activity,” said UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar.

“The new settlements will be fully integrated mini-townships with provision for dispensaries, crèches, aganwaris, schools, community centres and services shops. Each block of 64 flats will have a common open area, regular drinking water supply, overhead water storage tanks, streetlights, metalled roads and green parks with children playing equipment,” said the Finance Secretary.

The press release said the project was estimated to cost Rs 1,187 crore. Each dwelling unit would cost Rs 4.7 lakh and would be allotted on licence fee basis.

“The licence fee worked out to more than Rs 3,300, which was found unaffordable for poor slum-dwellers and cried for subsidisation. Hence, the UT administration has decided to charge a token licence fee of just Rs 1,000 per month from each unit. It will just set off the management cost,” said an official of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

According to the findings of a survey, 23,841 slum families, consisting of over one lakh persons, have been found eligible for flats; 90 per cent of slum families are nuclear in size; the monthly income of 85 per cent ranges between Rs 1,000 and Rs 3,000; 81 per cent have been living in the city for over 10 years and 35 per cent for over 20 years.



Looking Ahead: 2010
Coordination among tricity police key
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The new year poses a serious challenge to the police forces of the tricity i.e. Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali.

Due to changing profile of crime, a common factor among the tricity, the police forces should put their act together and work in a coordinated manner, setting aside their jurisdictional limitations.

While returning to basic policing and building up faith among residents, the police needs to be ahead of snatchers and kidnappers who have been calling the shots.

Considered a safe haven owing to its demographic profile, criminals have been striking in the tricity at their will and slipping through the porous borders.

Be it Chandigarh, where murderers are setting new records, or Panchkula, where kidnappers and robbers are laughing their way to bank, or Mohali, where car thieves have thrown a serious challenge to the police, law and order remains the biggest challenge before the police forces of the tricity.


As the city steps into 2010, the Chandigarh police badly needs to repose its faith among residents. Rising incidents of vehicle theft, burglary, robbery, snatching, street fight, prevailing lawlessness, especially in slums where stone pelting on the police has become commonplace and unsolved murder cases should wake the men in khaki out of slumber.

Though the police is making efforts to stay tech-savvy to keep itself abreast with the latest technology, a lot remains to be desired as far as ground realities are concerned.

The lack of basic policing, gap in police-public relations, despite the fact the senior officials are holding regular meetings to improve the same, pay little dividends in the wake of rising crime graph in the city. This year, 44 persons have lost their lives in hit-and-run road mishaps.

Among sensational crimes, the unsolved murder of Sham Mall owner Amarjit Singh in Sector 35; murder of Santosh Kumari in Sector 42 through electrocution; gruesome murder of a woman whose charred body was recovered near the railway track in Ram Darbar in May, 2008; recovery of a skeleton from sewerage at Sarangpur village on November 21 are some of the cases in which the local police is groping in the dark.

The police has not been able to establish the motive behind these murders, which is considered to be the first step in solving such cases. Modernisation schemes like installation of CCTV at busy intersections, entry points and important installations, including market areas, have failed to take off.

Though the police has installed CCTV in certain parts of the city, they are not fully functional.


Residents want safer roads, more policemen on roads and curb on incidents of vehicle thefts.

Mohali is a growing town crippled by limited infrastructure and rising crime. With the district emerging as the new centre of infrastructure growth, the changing profile of crime is all set to pose a serious challenge to the Mohali Police in 2010.

Reducing the number of deaths and injuries on roads will be one of the biggest challenges before the police force.

In the three-year-old district, the police is till grappling with shortage of force, inadequate patrolling vehicles and poor infrastructure.

The influx of population due to employment avenues has seen an increase in the theft of private and public property.

Listing his priorities in the year ahead, Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar says reposing faith in public, greater presence of police on roads, and checking incidents of theft and snatching will be his priorities.

“But people should also be aware of their social and moral duties,” he adds.

Better force management did show its effect on snatchers and car thieves. “Willfully sparing cops from VIP duties, more traffic policemen should be seen on roads. Strict implementation of traffic rules is the key,” says Satnam Singh, a resident of Phase VII.

Police officials admit that growing vehicular traffic is adding to road accidents. So far, around 400 major and minor accidents have been reported this year.

The figure will rise further if preventive action is not taken, says Balwinder Sing, a resident of Naya Gaon.

Another serious challenge faced by the police is the growing menace of PG (paying guest) accommodations.

PGs have become a safe haven for anti-social elements. Recent incidents of criminal gangs operating of PGs in Mohali and Zirakpur are a cause for worry for the force.


Plagued by frequent dacoities, robberies, thefts, snatchings and kidnappings, the Panchkula police is in for a major revamp in the New Year. While a sum of Rs 2.35 crore has been earmarked for procuring the high-tech gadgets, bank managements and jewellers have been asked to make their security arrangements.

The year has proved to be a nightmare for the local police as well as Panchkula residents as they have witnessed murder of a financier, kidnapping of a property dealer and a child, robberies at banks, jewellery shops and even houses at night as well as in broad daylight.

“The state government as well as the local administration are all geared up to take steps to ensure that people of the town feel secure in the coming days,” says Ranjiv Singh Dalal, director general of police, Haryana.

A scheme of sending message through SMS on the mobile to every policeman after receiving the information of crime in a particular area is also working well and will be launched all over the state in phases, he adds.



New promotion rules put CRPF personnel in a fix
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
A number of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel are in a fix over new promotion rules from head constable to sub-inspector. While completing the Weapon and Tactics Technical Course has been made mandatory for promotion in the armourer cadre, imposition of an age limit is preventing them from undergoing the course.

Further, while a relaxation in the age limit was granted to one batch, the same benefit has not been extended to subsequent batches of prospective candidates even though they were similarly placed as those who availed the relief. CRPF headquarters has maintained that it is not possible to grant further age relaxation.

The matter is now pending before the Delhi High Court. A Division Bench on Friday issued notices to the Central government and CRPF authorities on a petition filed by several personnel so affected.

The upper age limit for the prescribed weapons and tactics course is 47 years.

This has resulted in lack of promotion for every prospective candidate being detailed for the course. Earlier, head constables were only required to undergo the upgrade course and promotion cadres, for which no age limit was prescribed.

Representations against the adverse effect of the new regulations were forwarded to the CRPF headquarters by affected personnel, but their grievances were not addressed. The cases of the grant of age relaxation were rejected without giving any justification.

The affected personnel have now sought quashing of the impugned orders issued earlier this year, denying them age relaxation and grant of all service benefits and seniority above the juniors who have “stolen a march” over them by virtue of their fortuitous circumstances.

They have contended that there was no fault or unwillingness on their part at any stage where they have refused to undergo the said course, but for mere circumstances and arbitrary approach of the authorities have been rendered ineligible, thereby resulting in their service career being stalled.



‘Knowledge sector has unlimited potential’
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Knowledge sector has been rapidly growing across the globe, says Joe Victor, one of the pioneers of international education in India, holding that countries like India, Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa are the major potential nations for growth in the sector.

Television, which was until some years ago called idiot box, has now a different and an important role to play. It has now become knowledge distribution box as far as the knowledge sector comprising information technology, education, media and entertainment, and telecommunication is concerned.

Even though knowledge sector has unlimited potential growth, competition is becoming severe with all major developed and developing nations jumping into the fray by strengthening their international education streams.

Though the US continues to draw the largest contingent of international students from India with an annual intake of over 60,000 students, it has lost 30 to 35 per cent of its market share after the 9/11 attacks, with Australia and New Zealand emerging as the second and third strongest choices.

Middlesex University, which Joe Victor represents, he says, will be keen to set up its India campus either in Noida or Mumbai. Third choice would be Bangalore, followed by Chandigarh. “We are waiting for the government to announce its new policy for foreign universities to have Indian campuses,” says Joe Victor.



Open House Response
Centre must step in to save Sukhna

The write-up “Contradictions call for a look by the Centre” by Sanjeev Singh Bariana (Open House, Chandigarh Tribune) is timely and thought-provoking. It really pains me to note that the condition of Sukhna Lake is deteriorating day by day. It is a matter of grave concern that the level of water in the lake has gone down from five metres in 1958 to two metres in 2004. All efforts of government and various NGOs for its upkeep have not yielded any results so far. Various desilting programmes carried out by the Chandigarh administration under “shramdan” have also not helped in increasing the water level of the lake.

Nor has the problem of silt been solved effectively. As a layman in the water management affairs, I can only pray for the longer life of Sukhna Lake with clean and transparent water in it. It really is the necklace of City Beautiful. It is a tourist spot and visitors as well as locals throng the lake to soak up its beauty. At times, the water there is really muddy. The author rightly calls the Centre for taking over the management of the lake to save it from the problems facing it.

RK Kapoor,


Sukhna Lake is the richest treasure the city can boast of. However, the administration has failed to evolve a mechanism to save and preserve the lake. Known as “Necklace of the City Beautiful”, its preservation has been the biggest concern among residents and the administration.

Ever since it came into being in 1958, it has been losing its depth due to silt from the regulator end.

We have vivid memories of hoards of people visiting the lake to remove silt emanating from it. However, the administration dropped “shramdan” in 2006 to clear Sukhna of its silt and resorted to mechanical desilting, yet the problem remains to be tackled.

Lack of depth due to siltation has affected its aquatic life. For this reason, the administration decided against emptying the lake to completely desilt it. Emptying the lake for complete desiltation would have affected its biotic life, as it serves as a sanctuary for a large number of exotic birds.

The administration resorted to wet dredging in 2002 and advocated deepening of the lake and retrieving its original depth. However, the first rains of summer carried along huge quantities of silt, ruining the effort.

The catchments area by nature of its soil is prone to erosion, which with run-off action of water brings in more silt, causing fears for its drying up naturally.

Construction of 190 silt retention dams, supplemented by over 200 check dams, spurs, revetment and brushwood structures might have helped conservation of soil and retain silt in the water bodies created behind the silt retention dams. However, to solve the drying up of the lake, efforts should be directed to constructing “loose dams built with small stones on the side of the water flow and boulders on the other side through which water oozes into the reservoir preventing the silt from crossing over. If the flow of water is strong, tighten the boulders with wires. If uninterrupted basic flow is maintained, then Sukhna will never dry up”.

The Centre should work towards identifying the need and introducing corrective methods to preserve Sukhna.

Satish Chandra Sharma
Sector 50-B, Chandigarh

Consult engineers

Sukhna Lake is a classic example of bureaucratic apathy and negligence, devoid of any long-term planning. The result is that the lake has lost over two-thirds of its capacity. The catchment area of the lake consists of soil with excessive sandy ingredients that cause heavy siltation.

The function of check dams is to retain silt and store water. However, huge quantity of water is held back.

It we have scanty rains next year, the situation will be critical. There is a need for allowing water in lake with minimum silt content.

Sometimes ago, SP Malhotra, former EIC, Haryana irrigation, and water management and an adviser to the World Bank, demonstrated an arrangement to be installed at the inlet regulator of the lake to allow only silt-free water. Very moderate expenditure is involved and needs and immediate trial.

Last, but not the least, we need certain consultative forum consisting of prominent engineers and distinguished public figures for the good health of the lake.

JK Mago
Sector 7, Panchkula


A high-level committee comprising top engineers from the irrigation departments of Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory besides concerned officers of the forest departments should be constituted, immediately.

The committee should be asked to submit its report with regards to the measures required for the restoration of the lake to its original capacity, besides preventing silting, in future.

GR Kalra,
Sector 49, Chandigarh


The UT administration adopted check dams and associated structures for preventing silt entry into Sukhna Lake. These are the most unscientific and crude modes of silt prevention.

The administration needs to take help from the Insanitation and Power Research Institute, Amritsar. Findings of the institute with a speciality are accepted and put into practice even by foreign countries.

Unfortunately, the advice of the institute, based on hydraulic model tests were offered, was never put into practice. Still, it is not late if the problem is referred to the IPRI, Amritsar, and a scientific solution obtained.

Dr GS Dhillon, Consulting Engineer, Water Resources Development Projects,
Sector 10, Chandigarh

Undertake plantation

Right from the inception, the problem of silting of the reservoir could never be tackled methodically. During this period, desilting was attempted through “shramdan” and other measures. However, no lasting solution could be arrived at, particularly pertaining to sedimentation from upper regions in the eastern and north-eastern sides of the lake.

Like Bhakra Dam and other similar projects in the region, silt factor taken for the Sukhna lake is on the lower side.

Certain suggested measures include sizeable plantation in the north-east and east side of the lake in the upper areas; periphery dams to check inflow of silt into the lake; removal of already deposited silt by dredging machines; and more check dams of low intensity.

SK Mittal,

Chandigarh Tribune will like to have your opinion on issues concerning future of Sukhna Lake. Mail your concerns and possible solutions in not more than 300 words to openhouse@tribunemail.com <mailto:openhouse@tribunemail.com> or send at Open House, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh.



Reporters' Diary
Mood swings of UT police

The top brass of the Chandigarh police has apparently given strict instructions to their officials not to share crime statistics, especially with mediapersons. It is learnt that stung by the negative reports on their performance at regular intervals in the media, the officials are left red-faced in the morning on the publication of their report cards indicating rising crime graph in the city.

The otherwise cordial officials all of sudden turn stubborn whenever one asks for crime figures or statistics. So much so they make doubly sure with their superiors before parting with the information.

“The police should bring its act together rather than concealing information. It is no longer a secret in the city how the police keep the crime graph under control by hushing up the incident. Even then they are afraid of releasing their well-maintained figures (of crime),” quipped a retired police officer.

Useful road dividers

— Tribune photo: Nitin MittalPoor migrants residing near the entry point to the City Beautiful from Ambala, living in stingy quarters, opposite Hallo Majra, have no option except dry their wet clothes on the railing poised on the road divider.

The clothes present an untidy sight, particularly to the first time travellers to the City Beautiful, near Halo Majra. During a casual conversation with the reporter, Ratta Ram, a migrant, says: “Why are you bothered by our clothes hanging for drying at a place which does not disturbs the traffic flow? The administration should provide us facilities.”

A shopkeeper replies, immediately, “Then the UT will have to allow the city residents to dry their clothes on the city road railings because during the winter sun comes for a very little time. Many houses do not face the sun at all.”

Law, only for citizens

Laws are set for public and not for the authorities. Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is the best example of it. These days the MC authorities are distributing pamphlets among the residents to remove malba heaps after repair and renovation promptly from the roadside areas of their respective sectors to make the sanitation services more effective. But strangely this dictum is not followed by the authorities themselves. Whenever some road is widened or some pipe or wire is laid, malba or leftover of the construction or digging of the roads is left on the pavement or roadside without being shifted for months together. The road in front of Arya Samaj Mandir, Sector 22, was widened about a year back but the removal of malba and the repair of the pavement are pending till now. Despite a school adjoining to that road and hundreds of commuters passing from that area daily, no step has been taken by the authorities to remove the malba or repair the pavement. Is anybody hearing about the steps being taken by the administration to make Chandigarh the City Beautiful?

Lessons from neighbour

Mohali has always a lesson to learn from its rich cousin, Chandigarh. Trailing the greening of Leisure Valley by the Chandigarh Administration, the horticulture wing of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has started greening the open patches along the Leisure Valley passing through the Southern sectors of Mohali. It would not only cover the water flowing the seasonal rivulet, but also cut the pungent smell troubling the residents of the area.

Another feather in cap

Arunoday Thakur, a Class II student of Doon International School, Mohali, has added another feather to his cap. The seven-year-old artist has bagged the second prize in the “Devbhumi Himachal International Painting Competition” held at Shimla recently.

Over 6,000 children took part in the contest organised by the Charu Castle Foundation and Nehru Painting Group in collaboration with the department of languages, arts and culture, Himachal Pradesh.

Bhatti at it again

In a hilarious incident, that triggered rib-tickling laughter at the alumni meet of PEC University of technology, some students of the oldest batches of PEC presented a sketch, in the form of a satire, to the director of the institute.

The picture showed a bear and its plimsoll, where the bear was the student and its trainers were faculty members, showing the absence of liberty for PEC students inside the campus. It was meant for display in the principal’s office.

In addition to this, the slapstick comedy of Jaspal Bhatti, an alumnus of PEC University of Technology, at the alumni meet also left the audience enthralled. His vivid narrative of realising the power of comedy during his early days in PEC, and how he persuaded people in the entertainment industry that comedy can sell, kept the audience glued to the stage.

Yaadein Mukesh Ki

To provide a platform for the upcoming artistes and performers to be able to exhibit their talent, the Legendary Mukesh Musical Arts and Cultural Society (Regd) had launched Yaadein Mukesh Ki, a musical evening and presented golden memories of all time great Bollywood singer Mukesh in Chandigarh Press Club recently.

The society will lay its main emphasis on youngsters even from slums who have good talent but have no source to exhibit their talent. The primary aims and objectives of the society are to promote the performance talent of amateur and semi-professional singers of the northern region.

The society will organise competitions, functions in the aid of needy/disabled persons. From these functions the society will collect funds (donations, grants and subscriptions) and help the needy, talented singers. The society also welcomed Mukesh fans and music lovers to give their support and ideas to the cause.

Looters’ haven

Haryana DGP Ranjiv Dalal who was in Panchkula to participate in a seminar organised by an NGO on prevention of crime, gave a tinge of humour to the serious talk when he said, “Panchkula is developing fast and attracting visitors, including criminals.”

He said there could be no other reason for criminals’ entry here who loot lakhs of rupees. He was referring to different incidents involving criminals from Zirakpur, Jalandhar and Moga, involved in different incidents recently. He made a special mention of Raja, a highway robber from Punjab, who was involved in different incidents.

Contributions by Ramanjit Singh Sidhu, Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Aarti Kapur, Rajmeet Singh, Pardeep Sharma, Neha Miglani, Rajiv Bhatia and Arun Sharma



Chilly winds sweep city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Chilly winds swept the city and its adjoining areas throughout the day today with mercury touching 6.8 °C. The city recorded maximum temperature of 24.2 °C, a meteorological department official said.

The previous seasonal low of 8.6 °C was recorded on December 17.

Those who had planned to enjoy their Sunday in the sun had to shelve their plans due to biting cold. The weather official cited north-westerly winds blowing over the Jammu and Kashmir region as the reason behind the dip in the temperature.The met department predicted partly cloudy sky with possibility of fog or mist over the city in the morning tomorrow.

It has forecast light to moderate rain or thundershowers in Punjab, while Haryana will remain overcast in the next 24 hours. Chilly winds that swept most parts of the region and the pale yellow sun, peeping through the skies occasionally, offered little warmth to people.

Raju, a tea vendor, said: “I wish the weather remains the same for some days, as it is good for business.” Meanwhile, railway traffic was hit due to fog. Officials at the railway station said the Unchahar Express, which was scheduled to arrive at the Chandigarh railway station, at 9.55 am was late by three hours.

Similarly, the Chandigarh-Lucknow Sadbhavana Express, which was scheduled to arrive here at 10.15 am, reached at 11.05 am — late by about an hour.



Nine more test positive for swine flu

Chandigarh, December 20
With no let-up in incidents of swine flu in the city, nine more persons, including a PGI doctor, tested positive for H1N1 virus today, taking the total number of confirmed swine flu cases in the city to 279.

UT health officials said: “A doctor (junior resident) of the PGI, who has been tested positive for H1N1, was showing symptoms of swine flu like running nose, high fever and bad throat. We had collected her swab samples yesterday and her report has come positive.”

“Her condition is stable and she is responding well to treatment. Due to the nature of work, doctors and other hospital staff have become more prone to infection. We instruct them to follow all precautionary measures and remain extra cautious,” said health officials.

So far, over 20 doctors in the city, including those in the PGI, the GMCH and the GMSH, have tested positive for H1N1.

Other victims from Chandigarh include 22-year-old youth from Sector 45, who is admitted to INSCOL; 23-year-old youth from Sector 27 and 40 year old resident of Sector 25. Other five victims are from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh. — TNS



Conference on spinal injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues inaugurated a three-day international conference on spine and spinal injuries here yesterday. The conference is being organised in collaboration with the ASCON, Ireland.

Addressing delegates, Rodrigues said the deliberations on the spinal disorders would give positive results which would go long way in helping the young orthopaedic surgeons in updating their knowledge.

The research into spinal cord injuries is promising, but much needs to be done as spinal cord injuries account for about 23 per cent of paralysis victims, he said.

Rodrigues emphasised the need for optimal utilisation of the healthcare infrastructure and effective coordination and knowledge sharing by professionals through the latest techniques of spinal treatments.

He said the Regional Spinal Injuries Centre (RSIC), Mohali, would cater to the needs of patients from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh. Initially, it would have 20 beds, which would later be increased to 50, he added. Earlier, the Governor launched the e-News letter of the Spinal Cord Society.



Sanitation drive in Sec 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh., December 20
Former Mayor and area councillor of ward No. 3 Pardeep Chhabra along with welfare associations flagged off a sanitation drive for Sector 22 under the partnership initiative programme to further boost the maintenance of sanitation in the sector here yesterday.

Chhabra led a contingent from door to door, educating residents to strictly adhere to the norms laid down for the disposal of solid waste.

Chhabra insisted that children should take the lead in educating people to not litter streets and public places so as to maintain the aesthetic look of the area.

He further sought the cooperation of residents in making self-help groups to build pressure in the community for proper disposal of solid waste and maintain sanitary conditions in and around their areas.

The campaign was in addition to regular sanitation work done by deploying additional safai karamcharis in small groups under the supervision of sanitary inspectors.

Mechanical road sweepers, dumper placers, tractor-trailers and rickshaw carts were deployed to lift roadside waste/garbage containers and horticulture waste.



Petrol station inaugurated

Chandigarh, December 20
Home Secretary Ram Niwas on Saturday inaugurated CITCO’s petrol station in Sector 56. He took round of the petrol station and asked the CITCO chief general manager to have a convenience store at the station.

According to a press note, CITCO is already managing a petrol station in Sector 9, Chandigarh, since 1993.

This is the last petrol station of Chandigarh towards south, which will cater to the residents of the southern sectors and the people going to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. — TNS



PU apathy hits Phd research
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Hundreds of PhD aspirants await their chance to do research work at Panjab University, as the decision of resumption of research work in nearly 80 colleges affiliated to the university hangs in balance.

Two years ago, in a bid to control the deteriorating standards of research work, the university had vetoed teachers in colleges affiliated to PU guiding any research work, which led to an uneven teacher-student ratio for research work in the university.

Though the University Grants Commission, UGC, does not bar any teacher, who has taught postgraduate classes for five years, from guiding research work, the same has come to a halt after some cases of fraud and manipulation were reported.

On the flip side, after the university prohibited the teachers in colleges to become guides, students from far-flung areas became dependant on the university for their research and were forced to come to the city.

The affiliated colleges objected to this and the matter came up at the Syndicate and Senate meeting on December 6.

The university is yet to fix a yardstick for permitting college teachers to guide research work. Even the UGC has left it to the discretion of the universities to select its parameters to check the quality of research work.

“The deteriorating quality was a bottleneck, but the academic work of any teacher should be the parameter irrespective of whether he is in university or college. There are several competent teachers in colleges who have published many books and are doing good work. If there is a problem in one particular department, it must not be generalised,” said Kuldeep Singh, a Senate member.

For the resumption of the practise, forms had been sent to the colleges a few months ago, but decision in this regard was still pending. Though UGC had revised the number of research scholars under each guide, further directions are still awaited, he added.

However, Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti, said a decision would be taken soon.



UBS to host global conference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
University Business School, Panjab University, will organise an international conference on its campus on December 22 and 23. With the primary objective of highlighting the importance of “intangibles” in the industry, the conference would be a paid venture of UBS.

The theme is “Management and valuation of intangibles”. Partly sponsored by University Grants Commission, and the rest being raised through the conference, UBS has already managed to rope in stalwarts from the industry, both from within the country and abroad for the conference.

“We have invited 36 colleges affiliated to PU and one member each from these colleges will be attending the conference free of cost, besides our own students. We have also invited some colleges affiliated to GNDU and regional delegates to attend the conference,” said Prof Dinesh Gupta, chairman, UBS. With the aim of addressing various issues arising from global shift from tangibles to intangibles, from machines to knowledge, the department claims to host dignitaries from different quarters of the industry on one platform.

Papers for the conference have been invited from academicians and practitioners.

Prof Devi Singh, director, IIM, Lucknow, Prof RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, PU, Prof BS Sahay, director, MDI- Gurgaon, Prof BK Mohanty, IIM, Lucknow, Prof Biju Varkkey, IIM- Ahmedabad, Prof Rakesh Chopra, IMT-Gahziabad, and other dignitaries will attend the conference.

The international delegates for the conference include Atty. Christphr E Cruz, director, Intellectual Property Office, Vice-Dean, College of Business and Economics, De La Salle University, Manila, Phillipines, Dr Mahesh Joshi and Dr Daryll Cahill of RMIT University, Melborne, and others.



From Schools & Colleges
Yuletide fervour all around
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, December 20
XMas carnival was held by Saupin’s School here yesterday. The carnival was inaugurated by chief guest magistrate Ritu Chaudhary. Jalmegha Dahiya, municpal councillor, Sector 9, was the guest of honour.

There were twenty stalls at the carnival, including fun games like feeding the joker, hoopla, memory game and matki. Joy rides and sumptuous food stalls also contributed to make the event a roaring success. An added attraction at the carnival was a Santa Claus who distributed gifts.

The highlight of the carnival was “Rock On”, music on demand stall. Other attractions included tattoo stall, and a book stall.

Exhibition at Shemrock

Mohali: Tiny tots stole the show at an exhibition organised at Shemrock Senior Secondary School here yesterday.

Little ones in the age group of above 2 years (nursery), above 3 years (LKG) and above 4 years (UKG) had put up an exhibition based on different themes.

Principal Air Comd SK Sharma (retd) said at Shemrock, children were taught on the lines of play way method instead of burdening them with the conventional way of teaching.

Every classroom was given different theme such as alphabets and words, modern teaching methods, eat healthy stay healthy, birthday celebrations, seasons, transportation, animal kingdom (zoo), unity in diversity, art and craft and first aid.

The zoo was brought alive with small animals, while the students bought fruits at the eat healthy stay healthy stall and miniature transport systems were put up to play and learn.


Saraswati House Private Limited under the aegis of Sankalp, Hindi Prasar Abhiyan, organised a workshop at Manav Mangal Smart School here yesterday.

The main focus of the workshop was on how to make Hindi interesting for children in the present scenario and continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) proposed in the new CBSE guidelines.

Dr Ravi Prakash Gupta, an eminent educationist and regional director of Central Hindi Institute, New Delhi, cleared doubts of the teachers and had a special session on examination, evaluation and setting of question paper according to the new CBSE guidelines, especially on how to plan and put multiple choice questions in the Class IX question paper.

He gave detailed inputs on standardisation, verb and phrases.

A group of around 100 teachers from the tri-city attended the workshop. School director Sanjay Sardana said such workshops were need of the hour with the changing policies of the CBSE.


Six MCA students of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Institute of Information Technology and Research, Mohali, secured internship placements in a Hongkong-based company, Goldfinch Mobile Solutions. The students went through a rigorous selection procedure comprising an aptitude and technical test, technical interview followed by an HR interview.

One MCA student was also selected for the internship programme in networking by IDS Infotech Ltd.

Dr JS Dhaliwal, chairman, SAS Group, said summer internship programme played a significant role in shaping the career of the students, as it provided exposure of various practical aspects and a diverse industry academia interaction.



Symposium on disaster, sustainability
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
A symposium on “Disaster, sustainability and the built environment” was organised yesterday by Chitkara Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture in coordination with the Chitkara University School of Planning and Architecture. The aim of the symposium was the key facets of disaster and sustainability, often considered as the recto and verso of the same set of problems.

The key speakers were three internationally-renowned experts from diverse fields of heritage conservation, disaster management, social anthropology and sustainable development.

The symposium began with an assessment of sustainability of interventions undertaken as a part of post-earthquake reconstruction in Gujarat, Kashmir and Bhutan by Dr Rohit Jigyasu, a conservation architect and risk management consultant to several national and international organisations like the Archaeological Survey of India, National Institute of Disaster Management, UNESCO, ICCROM and Getty Conservation Institute, the US.

Dr Jennifer Duyne Barenstein, a social anthropologist specialised in socio-economic and cultural dimensions of the post disaster reconstruction, dealt with the cultural dimension of post disaster re-constructions, advocating the efficacy of owner-driven and participatory approaches applied in rehabilitation activities following Gujarat in January 2001.

Daniel Pittet, currently a researcher at the World Habitat Research Centre of the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland and a civil engineer with a master of advanced studies in architecture and sustainable development, focused on the substantial environmental impacts generated by the housing sector.



Jungle book enacted
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 20
The Jungle book was brought alive at The Millennium School, Mohali, during the annual-cum-sports day celebration of pre-nursery wing of the school here today.

The winter’s Sunday morning turned warm with fascinating drills and races based on the animal theme wherein little ones of the pre-primary section presented the items.

Beginning with a march past led by Muskan of KG holding the school flag, playful bunny rabbits, colourful butterflies, majestic elephants, dancing peacocks and roaring tigers thrilled parents.

The KG students presented a dance “We want to move”. Tiny tots dressed in vibrant attires presented delightful drills using their props effectively.

The show ended with a “jungle dance” in which Tarzan and Jane accompanied by all animals danced straight into the hearts of the audience.



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