C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


J&K Migrants
HC terms forcible eviction untenable
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Branding as “absolutely untenable” the move to forcibly evict with police help migrants from Jammu and Kashmir, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the UT administration to consider the feasibility of evolving a policy for accommodating “any migrant labour”.

In a order with far-reaching ramifications on a petition filed in 1987, Justice K Kannan has asserted: “A right to live would include a right to live with dignity and such a right should inure to all the persons who have taken to this city as their place of domicile.

“No force shall be employed for vacating any of the petitioners, but the decision to either continue them or relocate them or even evict them shall be through a legal process and under the authority of law by following the procedure for eviction, which the administration is entitled to invoke.”

In their petition, Mohammed Sadik and others had asserted that “the residential allotments were made available to them” by vacating of the Police Lines.

Justice Kannan observed: “By the impugned proceedings dated February 19, 1987, the assistant labour commissioner, Chandigarh, issued notices to Sadik Mohammad and to several others, directing immediate vacation of the premises on the ground that the property was made available only for migrant labourers from Jammu and Kashmir, who had come to Chandigarh in search of work and it was not to be given on a permanent basis or to allow for persons to stay with their families permanently.”

Justice Kannan further asserted: “The proceedings at the instance of the labour commissioner that all the persons will be forcibly evicted from the premises with the help of the police is absolutely untenable in tenor employed against persons, who were permitted to occupy the premises.

“The administration shall consider whether the persons, who are in occupation of the various residential units, have been in occupation under any specific authority granted to them. The administration shall also be competent to make enquiries about the state of origin and the nature of the bona fides of their residential status.

“The administration may also evolve a policy of accommodating any migrant labour and stipulate through a transparent decision-making process of the class of persons that could require economic and social support.

“The administration shall be at liberty to obtain suitable representations and require proof of such details as the administration may require in their pronounced policy of how the migrants from Jammu and Kashmir could be settled. “This order is made only to secure to the petitioners a right not to be evicted otherwise than in course of law. This order shall not be construed as conceding to any of the petitioners any vested right in the property.

“The nature of right that the administration desires to grant them shall be in the manner that the law would allow in respect of allotment of properties within the city of Chandigarh.

The claim of the petitioners is allowed to guarantee to them the right to live in the respective property till evicted in the process known to the law.”


City’s cycle tracks rapidly falling into disuse
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

A bicycle and rickshaw repair shop being run on a cycle track in Sector 20.

A damaged portion of a track in Sector 35.

A puddle on one of the tracks in Sector 34.

A portion of track joining the road is missing in Sector 44, Chandigarh. Tribune photos by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, February 3
Though cycle tracks were a prominent feature that Le Corbusier had included in the Chandigarh master plan, they appear to have virtually disappeared from the city even after crores of rupees being spent on developing them.

According to the master plan as envisaged by the legendary Swiss-born French architect, the city was to have around 106 kilometres of cycle tracks. In early 2004 UT Administrator OP Verma approved a plan to lay cycle tracks in the city on the V-2 and V-3 roads in two phases at a cost of about Rs 6.69 crore.

The basic idea of building cycle tracks in the city was to divert slow moving traffic from the busy streets and to encourage the habit of cycling among city residents for health reasons, as also to keep the environs clean and pollution free. However, instead of making the streets safer for slow moving traffic, these tracks that run throughout the city have also encouraged petty thieves to scale the walls of the houses situated alongside these tracks for committing petty thefts. Those riding scooters or motorcycles also find them an easy way to avoid traffic lights.

At the recent house meeting of the municipal corporation many councillors raised this issue. They said as residents were not using the cycle tracks in various sectors the authorities should organise an ‘awareness campaign’ to popularise cycling in the traffic congested city.

Gurpal Singh, a resident of Sector 35, commented though cycle tracks had been laid in most parts of the city the authorities had failed to take adequate steps to popularise them among cyclists or to make them “user-friendly”. “Appeals to use the tracks will continue to fall on deaf ears till stringent measures are taken against the violators”, he added.

A senior retired officer stated, “The administration’s role doesn’t end with the construction of these tracks across the city. It should also devise plans to ensure their optimum utilisation. Like other projects the administration spent crores of rupees on laying these tracks, but did anybody bother to conduct a survey on their feasibility?”

Seema, a resident of Sector 22, said after visiting various roads along these tracks it was found that many residents had either raised the walls of their houses or installed barbed wire fences, converting the houses into mini-fortresses as theft cases were on the rise in residential areas. “Even though according to building bylaws raising a boundary wall beyond a certain limit is a violation, when the authorities are not taking care of security of the residents they themselves have to take steps to ensure it”, she added.



No uniformity for schools
Wide variation in land allotment rates
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The land allotment policy of the Chandigarh administration to educational institutions, particularly schools, has come under a cloud. With the whims and fancies of bureaucrats ruling the roost, there is a wide variation in land allotment rates to different educational institutions.

Information gathered under the RTI Act from the Estate Office revealed that four schools had been allotted land at Rs 3,000 per acre (three in the 1950s and one in 1982).

From 1968 to 1977, land had been allotted to 11 schools at Rs 10 per square yard. The Motiram Arya Trust in Sector 19 was allotted land at Rs 20 per square yard in 1974, the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan at Rs 1,500 per square yard in 1979 and the BRD School at Rs 15 per square yard in 1980. The Sri Guru Teg Bahadur School was allotted land at Rs 30 per square yard in 1980. A look at records from 1984 to 1993 threw up interesting statistics.

A total of 13 schools had been allotted land at Rs 60 per square yard whereas the rate for the Guru Gobind Singh School, allotted 4305.56 square yards in 1987, was not given. Apparently following a public outcry that a majority of schools were fleecing parents, the administration allotted land to seven schools at Rs 1,800 per square yard from 1997 to 2002.

Throwing the norms to the winds, 30 schools were allotted prime commercial land at Rs 900 per square yard from 1990 to 2003. Schools run by various government agencies were the favourites of the administration.

While the Vayu Sena School in Sector 31 had been allotted land free of cost, the Navodaya Vidayalaya had got land for Re 1 as token money.

The Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 47, had been paying Rs 100 per year as rent. On the other hand, no rate had been quoted for the 28171.93 square yards allotted to the Central School, Sector 31-D, in 1977.

“The disclosures show that all schools have not been treated equally as a particular school was allotted 20 acres at Rs 3,000 per acre while another was allotted about 1,300 square yards at Rs 900 per square yard as late as in 2002,” RTI activist RK Garg alleged.

No record had been provided for the Sacred Heart School in the information. Similarly, no rate had been given for the 6.7 acres allotted to the Carmel Convent in 1970.



PU rivalry turns ugly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
In a breach of security on the Panjab University campus here tonight, at least 15 members of SOPU, including some outsiders, reportedly entered the campus with weapons to threaten their rivals at boys’ hostel number 4.

This was the third incident in which the old rivalry between two student leaders, Brinder Dhillon (SOPU) and Narender Gujjar (HSA), led to an unpleasant situation.

Gujjar complained that he was threatened by the SOPU members who came to his hostel with weapons. He was subsequently given security by the authorities till the police came and noted the complaint.

The names of SOPUleaders that appeared in the investigation were the president of the Student Council, Amit Bhatia and Robin Brar. New party convener Jaswinder Singh Jassi was also suspected by the police.

The SOPU leaders called the complainants in front of the police and told them to come outside the university in the Sector 15 market to settle scores.

“If the administration and the police do not take action by tomorrow, we will not remain silent,” said Gujjar.

Boys’ hostel number 4 warden Prof Karamjeet Singh said, “When I reached the hostel, the boys complained that they were threatened by members of SOPU, although I did not see anything on the spot. We will check facts and take action.” The police said that no formal complaint was noted since it was an internal matter of the university.



Students bank on stars
Numerology charts, tarot cards, horoscopes are in
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Ankush (name changed), a chirpy four-year-old kindergarten student, had been having problems with his school scores. The report card cited poor concentration as the main reason and his parents, both IT professionals, rushed to an astrologer to deal with it.

This was not a sole incident in the city as numerology charts, tarot cards and horoscopes replaced aptitude test and psychological counselling for many while deciding on their career and academic choices.

“A section of astrology today has specialised itself in career counselling and the number of people going for it has surely increased. It is a true science that helps you to judge the true psychology and aptitude of a child, hinting at the fields he can excel in. These days, the number of people opting for it has increased manifold. In a majority of cases, children studying in class VIII or above urge their parents to go in for astrological consultation before making any decision regarding their career choice,” said Madan Sapatoo, a city-based astrologer.

“The trend is on the up. Initially just parents would come to us, asking about the academic performance of their children. But now, children as young as 14 years old accompany them and ask their own questions. The queries are wide-ranging, from choice of stream in class XI to a masters degree in a particular course, and even include problems like lack of concentration and bad handwriting. I have opened a web portal and many people seek career guidance online,” added a tarot reader from New Delhi.

It was not just the guidance, but also the solutions, that had worked for many. “Every time I would sit for an examination, I would forget everything, but my astrologer asked me to sprinkle a little salt on my table before starting and it did wonders,” asserted a class VIII student.

“My parents wanted me to become a doctor. Even after appearing in the PMT twice, I could not clear it. When I consulted a numerologist, he told me that I would excel in fashion designing. Now I am quite happy,” revealed another student.

“It is a science and not a superstition. Why not go for it? My child was not good at studies, but since the day he acted on an astrologer’s advice and started feeding a bull with yellow ‘daal’ on Thursdays, his results had improved,” admitted Soumya Kashhyap, a teacher.

The trend perturbed many career counsellors. One of them asserted, “It is a pity that instead of discouraging all this, we are taking our children away from practicality and towards luck. We need to analyse their attitude and psychology rather than fighting with planets to make the right choices.”


Planners for integrated development of tri-city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
A meeting was held today under the chairmanship of UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar for the preparation of an inter-state regional plan for the periphery of Chandigarh in Punjab and Haryana.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Punjab and Haryana, city architects Namita Satnam Singh, KK Kaul, SD Sharma and Rajnish Wattas.

Deliberations were made to evolve a consensus for the integration of separate plans made by the states and the union territory for their peripheries so that development in one state did not have an adverse affect on the other state or union territory.

Emphasis was laid on planning development in these peripheries in such a manner that an adequate support system was made available, including schools, colleges, hospitals, post offices, telephone exchange, roads, power, water supply and sewerage.

Representatives from Punjab said planning of Mohali, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Mullanpur, Kharar and Nayagaon had been done. Officials from Haryana said the 100 per cent periphery plan had been prepared and land use had also been determined.

On the issue of inter-connectivity between Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, making the towns independent was discussed so that commuters need not cross one to reach another, reducing pressure on the third.

The Finance Secretary proposed an overbridge from the Panchkula side to cross the railway track and a railway road merging at Sectors 17 and 18 to reduce pressure on the Madhya Marg. Discussions were also held to chalk out some more linkages.

Regarding garbage disposal, it was proposed that garbage processing plants and sewage treatment plants should be developed at Panchkula and Mohali on the pattern of Chandigarh.

Punjab government officials said around 60 acres had been acquired for a dumping ground and work on a treatment plant was in progress.

There was consensus for developing areas in the periphery in a way that the areas harmonised with nature and did not obstruct the view of landmarks like the Capitol Complex, the Rock Garden and the Sukhna Lake.

A recommendation was made that special zones should be categorised having defined height while planning the periphery so that higher buildings did not hide the beauty of the Capitol Complex or any other building of historical importance.

A recommendation was made that land in the periphery should be acquired and developed by the government as far as possible so as to check haphazard development.

As Chandigarh had around 38 per cent of its total area under forest cover, a recommendation was made to reserve between 30 and 35 per cent of the area as green belt, which would include reserve forest area of Punjab and Haryana in the periphery of Chandigarh.

Keeping environmental concerns in mind, it was proposed that industrial areas of the tri-city should encourage industries under the green category.

On disaster management, the unanimous view was to evolve a common disaster management plan so that any natural calamity like earthquake or any accident due to negligence like fire were tackled effectively.

It was proposed that all choes and drainage systems should be preserved as green area and 25 metres on both sides of the choes should be developed as green belts.



Cops accused of bias in handling brawl case
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
A resident of Darua has accused the police of acting in a “biased” manner after “coming under political pressure” in a case of brawl that occurred in the village on January 31. Besides the complainant, Sanjeev Kumar, also alleged the police had failed to arrive in time at the scene even after several calls were made on the police control room (PCR) number.

Taking up the issue with the UT SSP on Tuesday, Sanjeev sought a fair investigation into the matter. He claimed the police had “ignored his side” and arrested his brother, who was injured in the brawl. He also stated the other party was involved in several incidents of crime, including assaulting the SDM (East).

Narrating the incident, Sandeep said on January 31 his brother Sandeep was playing cricket in the afternoon with his friends when Ishtkar Ahmed alias Janta, a resident of his village, arrived and objected to their playing there. An altercation ensued between them, which soon turned violent.

Ishtkar’s wife joined him and they assaulted Sandeep with bricks and a bat, inflicting a serious head injury on Sandeep.

“I rang up the PCR from several numbers and the attendant on the other side told us to wait for ten minutes. When the police failed to arrive after 15 minutes I again rang the PCR up but failed to get any response. It was then that we went to the Darua police post”, said Sanjeev.

Darua police post in charge Ram Rattan took Sandeep to the Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32 for a medical examination and ignored their complaint. Ishtkar was also taken to the hospital but was discharged after first-aid. To their surprise the cops arrested Sandeep and his friend Navjeet alias Rana in the matter.

Denying any partiality, Rattan said a case of causing injuries, criminal intimidation and common intension has been registered against Sandeep and Rana. Ishtkar sustained serious head injuries. Though he was discharged he was readmitted later after he complained of giddiness. Sandeep and Rana were injured when Ishtkar and his wife retaliated in self-defense. Rattan also maintained the police had no criminal record of Ishtkar.



Now, read ‘Consumer is King’ in Punjabi
Sonika Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
A book titled “Upbhokta Badshah He” authored by Rajyalakshmi Rao was released by Justice Mukul Mudgal, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, here today.

It is the Punjabi version of the book “Consumer is King”. With this, it became the 11th version of the book as it has already been published in Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Urdu, Gujarati, Bengali, Oriya and Marathi. It will be released in Tamil this week-end.

Rao revealed that the adage “Consumer is King” was an alien concept in the society till about two decades ago. “People’s perceptions, however, began changing slowly with the enactment of The Consumer Protection Act in 1986 and the economic liberalisation process started in 1990s gave further hope of multiple choices, ushering in competition and better efficiencies in certain services sectors. But the Consumer Protection Act, which pre-dates the reforms process, has been slowly but surely creating a silent revolution in the actualisation of the consumer is king philosophy by providing an easy accessible, inexpensive and quick justice vis-à-vis the conventional judicial processes which are notoriously expensive and time-consuming,” Rao said and added, “This is what inspired me to write the book.”

Rao has the unique distinction of being the only person who has worked in all three tiers of Consumer Protection - as a member of the District Forum, State Commission and presently, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi. With 17 years of experience, it is the longest stint served by anyone, which gives her the ideal insight for the common man.

While praising Rao’s effort, Justice Mudgal said, “The book reveals the author’s conviction and personality that she brought to bear on the working of the national commission,” and added that a handbook relating to this topic should also be published so that common man could afford it.

The book has been published by Universal Law Publishing Co. Ltd and the illustration has been done by Ajit Narayan.



Autos breach defence security with impunity
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Defence security is being breached with impunity right under the watchful eyes of Army personnel in the designated N Area on the airport road.

Three-wheeler drivers can often be seen huddled at the main gate of N Area of the Army headquarters. Auto-rickshaw drivers even enter the premises, especially when jawans have to hire their vehicles.

Although guards on duty keep a close watch on the goings-on in and around the N Area, foul play or mishap by way of breach of security cannot be ruled out.

Under the rules, no civilian is allowed to enter the N Area without the permission of Army authorities.

Installations of the Army, the ITBP, the CRPF along with the airport fall in Bahlana village. Recently, two hand grenades were found near the High Grounds area of Air Force.

However, sources confirm that this practice has been going on for many years. “Some auto-rickshaw drivers have even become friendly with defence personnel and many a time guards don’t object to their entry into the restricted area,” a source says on the condition of anonymity.

Though roads that lead to the defence area are no parking zones, scores of auto-rickshaws, besides vans and other vehicles, can be seen in the afternoon hours lined up in front of main gate of the N Area.

Army jawans hire these vehicles to go to the city railway station for their onward journey home after obtaining leave. Besides, the road that leads to the airport is no less than a VIP road, as one or two VIPs visit the city every day.

However, traffic personnel never bother to ask auto-rickshaw drivers to remove their vehicles parked unauthorisedly in front of the N Area.

It is alleged that traffic policemen are hand in glove with auto-rickshaw drivers stationed in front of the Army headquarters gate.

Army authorities say it is the responsibility of the traffic police, positioned just 200 yards from the N Area to regulate the traffic on the defence area roads, to deal with such violations.

They lament that traffic policemen often remain a mute spectator to violations by auto-rickshaw drivers.



Physiotherapy centre for elderly opened at Lajpat Rai Bhawan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
In order to provide better medical services to the elderly living in the city and its surrounding areas, HelpAge India, an NGO, started a fully equipped physiotherapy centre at Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Sector 15, today.

The centre has been launched by the NGO in association with Senior Citizen Centre, Servants of the People Society.

It also launched local chapter of the Helpage India Elders’ Helpline to provide counselling, information services, distress intervention, guidance and support to elderly people of the region. They could access the services by dialing toll-free No. 1800-180-1253.

Inaugurating the physiotherapy centre, Mayor Anu Chatrath, who was the chief guest, lauded the medical care and other facilities being provided to the elderly of the city both by HelpAge India and the Servants of the People Society and hoped that the centre would cater to the long-felt needs of senior citizens.

Welcoming the chief guest, Onkar Chand, chairman, Servants of the People Society, highlighted the services of the Mayor in the movement and development of civic facilities in the city. He also appreciated her contribution to the betterment of senior citizens.

Bhavneshwar Sharma, zonal manager, HelpAge India, said similar services had also been started at 15 locations across the country.

He assured the gathering that in addition to providing full range of physiotherapy equipment and services of a qualified doctor for certain period, HelpAge India would come forward to sponsor activity that aimed at meeting the needs of senior citizens, especially those belonging to weaker sections.

Dr Rajesh Kumar, state manager, Himachal Pradesh chapter of HelpAge India, Group Capt PS Soni, honorary administrator, Servants of the People Society, Brig (Dr) AS Kwatra, honorary medical adviser, SOPS, Col MS Allagh, MR Lakhanpal and AS Ahuja were among those present.



Poll duty: Criteria for employees urged
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 3
The Municipal Employees Union has urged the District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner to set up criteria for employees on election duty so that all departments were given equal responsibilities instead of deputing employees from the civic body office.

Krishan Lal Saini, president of the union, in a letter stated that the union was aware that election-related work was important and employees were ready to perform their duties. The criteria should be clear to the employees deployed from all departments so that work of other departments was not hit.

He also demanded that the employees who were put on election-related duties during the past 15 years should be given allowances.

He said the work of the 
civic body got adversely affected whenever a large number of its employees were put on election duty or any government survey. The council had the responsibility of carrying out maintenance work in the town and residents often visited the office in this regard. They felt harassed when they failed to find council employees in the office. Those working in the fire brigade, sanitation wing, computer section, widows and physically challenged should not be put on poll-related duty.

He said three employees of the council were put on election duty by the office of SDM a year ago and had not been relieved.

A driver of the council, Sukhwinder Singh, was called to the SDM office for election-related work even during crisis.



Budget Proposals
Now, councillors will have a say
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
For the first time, councillors of the municipal corporation will contribute to the preparation of the budget by proposing development projects of their areas.

Mayor Anu Chatrath has written a letter to all councillors asking them to submit projects that they feel should be taken up in the budget on priority for the development of their areas.

Chatrath said budget would be tabled by officers for discussion at a meeting of the finance and contract committee scheduled for February 10.

She has asked the councillors to give their suggestions before February 8 so that these could be considered in the current year’s budget. She added that the budget of the corporation would be tabled in the house on February 15.

At a recent house meeting, a number of councillors had raised the issue that priority projects of their areas, benefiting people at large, should be included in the budget of the current year.

Councillors objected that most of the times, budget presented in the house did not cover important aspects of development projects that were needed by residents of a particular area. They had asked for taking suggestions from councillors before presentation of budget in the house.

Sources said in this year’s budget, special funds would be earmarked for the construction of Mahila Bhawan and construction of big halls in community centres.

The sources said even though the proposal of marriage palaces was yet to be cleared by the Chandigarh administration, the corporation was planning to allot funds for it so that after approval work on these could be taken up earnestly.

In their budget speeches in the past, former mayors Pardeep Chhabra and Kamlesh had been urging the authorities to take suggestions from councillors before preparing the budget of the corporation.



Days warmer, but nights remain cold
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
City residents have already begun putting their heavy woollens away even though there was a slight nip in the air in the evening followed by a comparatively chilly night during the last two days.

According to the meteorological department, the minimum temperature on Wednesday was 6.9 degrees Celsius, about one degree up from Tuesday. The maximum temperature recorded was 21.6 degrees.

"The maximum temperature may increase a bit, making the day slightly warmer. However, we don’t expect the minimum temperature to rise. In fact a strong wind is blowing due to a shift in the weather making the weather colder. The humidity level recorded was between 94 per cent and 46 per cent'' said a met official.

"The cold feeling is expected to be prevalent now. With the northerly wind becoming persistent, the temperature is expected to drop further over the next two days. The minimum temperature will remain at about 14 degrees C," the official added.

With the sun shining brightly air and train services operated normally.

Parvesh Sharma, a resident of Sector 32, said the evenings are slightly colder. "During daytime one can easily go out in a t-shirt but by evenings one has to put on a jacket”.

Though the weatherman says the fluctuation in temperatures is a normal phenomenon, this weather pattern is causing health problems. It has led to a spurt in ailments, especially viral infections, chest congestion, asthma attacks, respiratory distress, cold and cough.

"Small children are the worst affected by the fluctuation in temperatures. Tonsillitis, upper respiratory tract infections, fever, cold and cough and a running nose are some of the problems they are suffering from. If this weird weather pattern continues, children will be badly affected. Parents need to take special care of small babies," said Madhu Duggal, a paediatrician.

Meanwhile, the met office has forecast a mainly clear sky with mist or fog during day and night in the city.

“In view of approaching western disturbances, rain or thundershowers would occur at isolated places in the region in the next 48 hours,” the weatherman said.



EO’s Building Branch
Two inspectors transferred
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Following the directions of former UT administrator Gen SF Rodrigues (retd) to transfer inspectors allegedly involved in controversies in the building branch of the UT estate office, two of them have been transferred while two others have been brought in from the UT’s engineering department.

The transfers gain importance particularly in the light of the fact that in spite of repeated requests to fill the posts following the suspension of one inspector and another one’s transfer, nothing was done to sort out the matter.

While the building wing detects encroachment in houses, the enforcement wing removes the same.

After six months of completion of a building, it is the duty of the enforcement wing to keep a check on the building and after that the building wing takes over.

Earlier, the inspectors in the building branch of the estate office were divided into two groups — enforcement wing and building wing.

However, due to infighting, it was found that both wings would pass the buck to one another, following which the two were merged recently.

Earlier, each wing used to have four inspectors but the building branch is now left with just six inspectors, instead of nine, to keep a check on all buildings of the city.

According to sources, Ram Kumar and Vinod have been sent back to the engineering department and they have been replaced by Sudhir Batra and Manoj Kumar.

While Sudhir is back in the department after a gap of three years, Manoj, who was once transferred to this department, had instead got himself transferred to Punjab Engineering College.

Sources claimed that Batra was transferred earlier from this department following the directions by the Central Vigilance Commission.

The building branch is also functioning with just one SDO, while the other post remains vacant following the repatriation of the other SDO, AS Maini, to his parent state.

In the absence of its own staff, the building branch has to make do with the staff of the UT engineering department.



Sukhna Lake
Project planned to remove silt, UT tells HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The UT engineering department has conceived a project for removing 1.63-lakh cubic meter silt from Sukhna Lake at a proposed cost of Rs 1.84 cr.

In a reply submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh superintending engineer SK Chadha said another project for wet dredging of the lake has been proposed and sent for approval to the Chandigarh administration.

Elaborating on the earlier measures, Chadha said 192 silt rotation dams and 200 check dams had been constructed. As many as 110 dams had been silted or partially silted and 82 dams were having perennial water bodies.

Necessary spurs and small loose stone structure for minimising soil erosion had been constructed. Massive plantation of varieties of trees had been undertaken in lower hills and higher reaches of the hills

Silt was being removed from the regulatory end of the lake, with the help of the Bhakra Beas Management Board, the defence authorities and irrigation departments of Punjab and Haryana. Manual “shramdan”, involving people, was also being carried out since 1988, the reply stated.

A Sector-9 resident, Gautam, in a communication sent on November 18, 2009, to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court had stated that the area of Sukhna Lake had reduced due to silting and the administration was doing nothing in this regard.

Taking cognizance of the letter, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Jasbir Singh had asked the Chandigarh administration to file a reply in this regard.



Cardiac problems can be cured by changing lifestyle, says doc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Dr GS Kalra, Director, Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, addressed the management, teachers and students of DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh during a Health Camp organised by the women’s Cell of DAV on the college premises. Over 100 persons attended the talk.

“Worldwide, this trend is increasing, but more so in India, and there have been reported cases of young people dying because of cardiac problems. The irony is that these precious lives could have been saved, either through medical intervention or some simple lifestyle changes,” stated Kalra. He also explained to the audience that every pain was not always a symptom of a heart attack.

He made it very clear that a heart attack often started with mild symptoms, which may not be painful. Pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the centre of the chest and pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms sweating or shortness of breath were the common symptoms.

Rita Jain of the women’s cell expressed her gratitude to Kalra for providing very relevant tips on cardiac care and lifestyle related diseases. The DAV College Management honoured Kalra by presenting him with a shawl and a silver salver.

A team of Fortis Hospital conducted free lipid profile tests, ECG and echo at the camp.



Rural health mission trains NSS volunteers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The National Rural Health Mission, UT, has come up with a novel way of utilising the services of NSS volunteers to take forward the process of community monitoring. Around 220 NSS volunteers have been sensitised and trained in community monitoring in all 22 villages of the city.

Interacting with participants, Dr Manjit Singh Bains, mission director, NRHM, apprised them of the objectives and strategies being undertaken for effective implementation of programmes of the NRHM.

He said an open minded and positive interaction between health authorities and community would go a long way in developing a system that would provide equitable and accessible health facilities to beneficiaries.

Since villages formed the backbone of any city, the monitoring process being undertaken by them would help judge the percolation of services at the grassroots, he said.

This innovation would prove beneficial not only for monitoring under the NRHM but also pave the way for others to follow, he added.



Price Rise
Statewide protest by BJP on Feb 6
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Sanjay Tandon, president of the local unit of the BJP, today announced the holding of a state-level demonstration against unprecedented price rise at the Sector 7-8-18-19 roundabout on February 6.

Addressing his first press after being elected as president, Tandon said the protesters would march towards Punjab Raj Bhawan to present a memorandum to the Punjab Governor for onward submission to the Prime Minister.

The BJP has appointed Arun Sood and Girdhari Lal Jindal as convener and co-convener, respectively, to supervise the campaign.

Tandon also informed that the BJP had launched a “signature campaign” from January 26 against price rise in the memorandum to be presented to the Prime Minister.

Tandon alleged that the Congress-led UPA government had no moral right to remain in power in the backdrop of skyrocketing prices of essential commodities.



200 NSS volunteers donate blood

Chandigarh, February 3
As many as 200 NSS volunteers of Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), diploma wing, Sector 26, donated blood on the sixth day of their on-going NSS camp here yesterday.

The blood donation camp was organised by the NSS unit of CCET diploma wing in collaboration with department of transfusion medicine, PGI, and the State Bank of Patiala, Grain Market, Chandigarh. The camp was inaugurated by Bikram Rana, state liaison officer, NSS cell, Chandigarh. Rana said blood donation was a part of NSS activities. Sandeep Hans, joint secretary-cum-director, technical education, Chandigarh, visited the camp and donated blood. — TNS



PU Syndicate to bring mgmt info system in effect
Appoints special adviser

Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Taking a stern view of its dismantled information bank, Panjab University syndicate has passed a resolution to bring a management information system (MIS) in effect on the campus.

To streamline the centralisation of data related to PU administrative machinery and exact figures concerning the departments and colleges, special adviser to the Vice-Chancellor Dr VK Anand has also been appointed.

Although the modalities, gaols and time span is yet to be worked out, a meeting in this regard has already been planned.

Despite its merits, the university lacked this crucial systematic information system in the past, which would furnish all relevant details of the university on a click of a mouse. This advanced system makes it convenient to extract the relevant information, which is needed by the administration for development purposes and the same can be updated scientifically at regular intervals

Earlier, even the offices of the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and the Dean, University Instructions, in PU did not have access to quick information related to the university.

With nearly 3,000 employees and lakhs of students associated with it, a centralised record of vital statistics and information related to it was lacking, except for the conventional manual system of sorting out things.

“Different type of information is available but it is scattered at different quarters and there is no proper assimilation. Basically, harmony among man, machine and information needs to be established in our university,” Anand said.

Notably, the Chandigarh Tribune was the first to highlight the issue of non-existent MIS of PU on December 16, after which the proposal on MIS was forwarded for the consideration of syndicate members.

Once in place, the system will provide diverse information available to the officials for ‘ready reference’ like the number of re-employed teachers, number of filled up and vacant posts, the inflow and outflow of cash, amount collected from purchase of forms, details of salaries and other relevant statistics.

Experts in the field agree that assimilation and retrieval of information through MIS, is like a gold mine for any university. It is also quoted to be a pre-requisite for any quality -level institution.

The information which is integrated but at the same time scattered will be brought together, for instance, after a student seeks admission, the form goes to the R&S branch, then registration branch, also to the departments of fee checking, examination, conduct branch and secrecy branch. All this will be traced through the MIS.



7,654 teachers to be appointed: Minister
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 3
The Punjab Government will be appointing 7, 654 teachers to bring about an improvement in the sphere of education, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Education Minister, Punjab, said as she handed over appointment letters to 132 families on compassionate grounds at a function held at the Punjab School Education Board here today.

The minister said the work in connection with the appointment of new teachers had been completed and they would soon be employed at various places. The government had already recruited 14,000 teachers in the past three years to bring about a revolution in the education system.

She said 132 families were given appointment letters on compassionate grounds at a camp held here. Out of these eight were employed as masters, 21 as clerks, 40 as laboratory attendants and 63 as class IV employees. She said such camps were organised after every four months and today’s camp was the seventh in a row. Till now, 500 families had been given appointment letters on compassionate grounds.

When asked as to why new teachers were being recruited on contract basis, the minister said the services of teachers, who performed their duties sincerely and showed good results for three and a half years would be regularised.

While talking about 134 clerks, who were allegedly removed from service during the rule of the Congress government in the state and were sitting on a dharna outside the board office since long, she said the education board was an independent organisation and any decision about these clerks had to be taken by the board itself.



From Schools
Experts apprise students of cyber security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
A team of experts from the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Mohali, today apprised students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, of the latest development and education of the security of personal information on the Internet.

The team comprising Kuljeet Singh Parmar, Vijay Kumar and Mohammad Akram presented a multimedia presentation on issues related to cyber invasion, modification, interception, fabrication, identity theft, phishing scam, hoaxes etc.

World Wetland Day

St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, organised a painting competition to mark the World Wetland Day

The topics ‘Nature and Man’, ‘Earth-Share and Care’, ‘Save Planet Earth’ were brought to life by the students, who enthusiastically participated in this event sponsored by the UT Environment Department. Additional and officiating principal G Chadha praised the efforts of the students.



Swami Ram Tirtha school kids enthral audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Students of Swami Ram Tirtha Public High School, Phase IV, Mohali, enthralled the audience with their endearing and enthusiastic performances in their annual show entitled Splash 2010 at Tagore Theatre here this evening.

Ajaib Singh Chahal, chairman of Haryana Pollution Control Board, Panchkula, was the chief guest. The function commenced with the traditional invocation of Krishan vandana.

"Chak Dhoom Dhoom", a peppy display of dance steps by tiny tots welcoming the rain, was greatly applauded by the audience.

To set the tone of the function, KG students tapped their feet on "Cinema Rinky Dinky". It was an absolutely rapturous evening of music, dance and entertainment as all vibrant colours of rainbow came on stage step by step showing highly coordinated movements.

Chahal gave away the prizes to the students excelling in academic and all-rounded activities. The school magazine-Splash 2010 was released.

Principal Kiran Bhandari proposed a vote of thanks.



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