C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


V-Day low-key affair this time
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The tight security on the streets on a Sunday and changing trends in ways to express love combined to make the spirit of Valentine’s Day subdued this year. Other than parties hosted by individuals and at the city’s discotheques the mood remained hushed, with only a modest crowd at eating joints and restaurants.

It seemed there were more cops on every corner in the city than boys and girls walking around. Holding hands in gardens appeared outdated and popular havens for lovebirds like Shanti Kunj and Rose garden were largely deserted. The city’s colleges and Panjab University were closed and there was hardly any activity on the campus. Moreover, the popular ‘gheri’ route remained “dry” although coffee shops continued to draw the usual crowd despite extra security in Sectors 9, 10, and 11.

Not only this, the dampened V-day spirit on streets was evident with balloon sellers sitting idle on street corners with hardly any heart shaped balloons sold.

“Expressions of love have changed now. People hardly feel like strolling in the gardens with their lovers. Instead, sitting down at a cool restaurant for a cup of coffee is still a better option,” said Sakshi, a second-year MA student.

The city also witnessed a slump in sales of roses on V-day compared to the last few years.

“Since Valentine’s Day was on a Sunday this time the sale of flowers was far less than in previous years. Among the flowers red rose continued to remain the choice of lovers and was sold at a higher price,” said a leading florist, Biplab Roy of Blossom & Foliage, Sector 7.

The high alert sounded in the city following to the Poona blast yesterday also led to few visitors at public places. Another photo P3



3 labourers crushed under tractor
Tribune News Service

Lalru, February 14
Three labourers were killed and three injured when the tractor in which they were travelling rolled down from the road into the fields near the Jaulan Kalan chowk here this morning.

The deceased have been identified as Aneesh (22), Shakeel (30) and Mohsin (25) while the injured are Hanif Mohammad, Vijay Kumar and Mohammad Vasin, all from Saharanpur in UP.

The incident occurred due to heavy fog as the driver of the tractor lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a sharp turn. The investigating officer stated that the incident took place around 6 am when the labourers were on their way to the Lalru mandi from Jaulan Kalan.

When they neared the chowk, the driver, Mohsin, failed to notice an animal and suddenly swerved the tractor. Three labourers were crushed under the tractor. Passersby immediately took them to the Civil Hospital at Dera Bassi, where they were declared brought dead. The bodies of the deceased have been handed over to their family after a postmortem and the injured have been admitted to hospital.

The investigating officer stated that after recording the statements of the injured, an inquest proceeding had been initiated in the case.



Sec 307 against MLA’s kin dropped
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 14
In what could only be termed as blatant appeasement, the district police has not only transferred one of its own men and complainant in a case, but also dropped Section 307, IPC, (attempt to murder) from the FIR against an accused who happens to be a relative of the Kalka MLA.

After this “exercise”, the police arrested the accused, Karun Chaudhary, one-and-a-half months after he was booked for attacking and injuring a policeman, Sagar Bakshsi. It is another matter that the police did not find it a fit case for seeking police custody of the accused. Karun is the nephew of the MLA, Pradeep Chaudhary, and son of former MC Panchkula president Seema Chaudhary. He has been sent to judicial custody and has applied for bail, the hearing for which is scheduled for tomorrow. On the night of December 31, Karun and his friends, Robin and Dhruv, allegedly assaulted Sagar, deployed at the Sector 14 police station in Panchkula, with sharp-edged weapons. He was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

The victim’s two friends were also injured in the incident, following which the police booked Karun under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. It also raided his house to arrest him. Karun had gone underground, but when Sagar reported for duty, he was told that he had been transferred to Kaithal.

Yesterday, the police arrested Karun and Robin, who were sent to judicial custody at Ambala jail. Interestingly, before the police arrested Karun, Secton 307 was “deleted” from the FIR.

When contacted, the Sector14 police station SHO, Aman Kumar, said Section 307 was dropped after doctors declared that the injury caused to Sagar posed no threat to his life. Moreover, Sagar had submitted an affidavit that he had no quarrel with Karun, the SHO added.



PU to modify syllabi to suit industry needs
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
In a major overhaul, Panjab University has decided to upgrade the syllabi of all its courses to suit the needs of the industry. It would now review the feedback from the corporate sector and design the course module accordingly.

Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti made the announcement at the valedictory function of the workshop organised by the central placement cell here today. For issuing instructions to the departments in this regard, a meeting of the training and placement officers (TPO) of 65 departments was under way.

After an agreement with TATA finance to provide loan to budding entrepreneurs, the university is also gearing up to call industry experts and human resources executives to suggest changes that match the job profiles being offered by them.

Meanwhile, the proposal to install electronic information display boards and LCD screens in all departments for highlighting the events of the university, including placement news, is also in the pipeline.

The institute-industry alliance, though not new, has roused the interest of the corporate sector in past as well, especially after the central government’s scheme for adoption of training institutes by the industry.

“We have more than 1,400 vacancies in various companies in the region. The need is for a training schedule in all courses in which students would go out and work in the industry. Overlapping is the most important element in any partnership with the industry and educational institutes. Since the needs of the industry change with time, there is also a requirement to include only basic elements like operating MS office, Internet and social networking, which students must be taught, along with routine courses,” Pratap Agarwal, chairman of the CII Chandigarh Council, stated.

He also suggested that rather than arranging lectures by industry executives, the university must stress on sending trainees to the industry.

“If the university takes more reaction time, the needs of the industry, especially IT industry, would change. Hence, some flexible hours must be devoted in each course to the basic industry training of at least eight-12 weeks in all courses,” he said.

The PU has also urged the CII to host an employment fair in the next financial year. The CII is already conducting a fair in collaboration with the PTU in Kapurthala from March 6.



Open House 
UT needs a vision on garbage processing
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

With no scope of expansion in its existing geographical domain of 114 square kilometres, on any of its sides in the Union Territory, garbage disposal will assume monstrous proportions incase the existing lifting and treatment mechanism were not put in the right place and a master plan not prepared for the future.

Chandigarh Tribune will like to have your opinion on garbage collection agencies at work, in your area and your satisfaction level. Write your experience and suggestions for a better functioning to the Open House, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh or 

The total garbage accumulation exceeds 400 tons, each day. The population has increased from 1.20 lakh in 1961 to more than 10 lakh today. In fact, by 2021 the population of the city is projected at 19.5 lakhs. The figures could surge further with planners giving a nod to the Phase III of the Industrial Area, adjoining Raipur Kalan village, upcoming professional and residency facilities at Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park in Kishangarh and institutional area in Maloya. There is no guess work required to imagine the scenario, incase, the stuck up proposals of the recreational zones as the amusement park and film city too became a reality. The list does not include at least half a dozen big hotels and other constructions indicating a bigger human rush and naturally a bigger load on garbage lifting and treatment.

A common sight of huge wide spaces, till about three decades back, is now only history. Availability of land has become virtually impossible with lines already drawn, on papers, for new projects. The available land under agriculture has decreased from 47 per cent in 1966 to only 4.7 in 2001-2002. There is talk doing the round, in the official circles, about new garbage disposal site at a 10 acre site in Maloya. This will be in addition to the existing Dadumajra garbage dump. It is important to mention that residents of the area sharing their boundary walls with the dumping grounds show susceptibility to problems carried by germs from garbage.

We cannot turn our back to the fact that the human population living in vicinity of the dumping ground lives in a virtual hell. The stench is nauseating, at times. The doctors in the area continue to be flooded with patients, particularly those with stomach related infections. Particularly during summers, flies swarm the area with accompanying pack of troubles. Residents in the areas adjoining the dumping ground are forced to inhale rancid odours.

The UT needs to seriously think whether shifting the dumping sites was the only solution to the garbage disposal. At the current rate of growth, it is not going to be easy for the administration to find an alternate site, within the UT limits. Probably, the UT needs to initiate a dialogue with its parent states of Punjab and Haryana asking for a dumping ground, a little away from the UT limits. With none of the two states willing to let go of the city as its capital, maybe one of the two is considerate enough to offer a little space for disposing the litter of the city.

Solid waste treatment

The fact that the UT is considering an alternate garbage dumping site at Maloya is clearly indicative of the fact that the current garbage disposal mechanism is not delivering the desired results. The city lacks an effective garbage collection system, from different bins in the city, which delays the delivery to the treatment plant. The result is that the plant, installed in May 2008, till date has not been able to make Pallets as its desired products.

According to the original plans, only10 per cent of the inert waste was supposed to be disposed in the dumping ground and remaining would have been used at the processing plant for making pallets, a kind of a fuel. The company, at the moment, is accepting approximately 150-200 tons of garbage and producing approximately 30 tons of Refuse Derived Fuel for cement plants near Ropar.

The existing ground condition reveals that majority of the garbage is not processed at all. The biggest reason is that the sizeable portion of the garbage is rotten, making it unfit for use in the processing plants. The garbage was rotten because the delivery system at the dumping station was poor because of poor collection by the deputed agencies in the city.

When there is no raw material in the machine, one cannot expect the desired end product. The original plans were for a unit that required 500 tons of garbage, every day. It underlined getting the garbage from the adjoining towns of Mohali and Panchkula, as well. However, the plan never materialised.

Another big concern is the absence of adequate segregation mechanism. As per the original plans, the garbage collection agencies were to package the garbage in different coloured packs according to the nature of the garbage. The segregation process is lacking in setting aside residual of meat and slaughter house wastage, besides carcasses of small animals, which too reach the dumping ground. Not just these, a casual visit to the dumping ground reveals pictures of hospital waste which was a punishable offence. In the name of segregation, one can find young children engaged in separating the plastic and paper from other waste in the dumping ground for making some money.

The company has officially communicated to the Municipal Corporation about the inadequacies in the raw material. The fact that the material which reached on a day to day basis was rotten proves the point that the garbage collection agencies employed in the city were not functioning as desired.

Uncovered garbage supplied to the company meant higher moisture content which affected processing. There were also complaints regarding receiving waste from meat market, vegetable market and hotels which was not acceptable at the processing plant.

The corporation is supposed to have at least 30 trucks for garbage collection from approximately 500 bins in different parts of the city. As expected in our system, a number of them are off-road because of technical and mechanical troubles with the machinery.

The garbage processing unit too has always remained in the centre of controversy. A former Mayor and a councilor were bent on showing doors to the company alleging several lacunae in promises and results. The company was defended, with same vigour, by a former Commissioner and a Medical Officer Health maintaining that the company best suited the interest of the Union Territory.

One problem that will be catching the UT attention will be disposal of CFL lamps. The problem can be better understood in the perspective that more than 2 lakh domestic consumers in the Union Territory will soon get at least four compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) each as part of the "Bachat Lamp Yojana" of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency

The UT has to ensure a streamlined garbage collection mechanism coupled with matching segregation facilities for supply to the garbage treatment plant to check its claims for a smooth functioning.

Hospital waste

The disposal of the hospital waste, in the city, is not very bright with only the incinerator at the PGIMER handling the treatment of bulk of medical waste in the city. The incinerator at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, is out of order. What is more disturbing is the fact the medical waste from a number of private hospitals can be seen at the dumping ground where it should never go.

Figures of the Central Pollution Control Committee for December 2008 show that the city hospitals generated a total of 1029 kilograms of Bio Medical Waste, every day. The city has three major hospitals including the PGIMER and two government hospitals, approximately 36 nursing homes and 350 smaller consultancy sites.

The city has approximately 474 biomedical waste establishments. These include hospitals, clinics, laboratories and research institutions.

It is very unnerving to find the clinical waste finding its way to the garbage disposal site in Dadumajra. Authentic source confirmed that the sight of non-liquid tissue, body parts, blood products and fluids, laboratory and veterinary waste, discarded needles, syringes, blades, scalpels, slides and broken glass were not rare at the site.

Disposal of medical waste at the dumping ground is a punishable offence. Only the authorities need to be stricter in implementing the law.

E-waste: A problem of the future

Computers have become a part of daily living in common household very much the same way the television crept into our household during the early 1980s.

With an invasion of the hardware associated with computers, mobile phone, I-phones and related gadgetry, the administration cannot afford to close its eyes a problem making strong grounds, very soon. It is pertinent to point out that useless electronic items are largely not biodegradable. The waste material carrying carbon, zinc and nickel hydride is usually collected by scrap dealers. Filling too is no solution to the problem as dumped chemicals too are threat to soil and underground water.

The technology changes, almost with the pace it shows in its working. The users are already faced with the problem of disposing off the out of use machinery. A bulk of the out of use machinery, at the moment, lies in stores or in back offices of institutions mainly schools, colleges, hospitals, business set-ups and government departments. This however is no permanent solution. Lets remember that the city was originally planned only for five lakh population.Back

Gender inequality takes centrestage
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 14
Women had been extolled as an angel in our holy scriptures, but the gender disparity existed from ages. This issue was brought alive in an adroit solo dramatic performance by Pushpa Wishavkarma in a play “Seemantani Updesh” during the on going Katha Manchan fest at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.

NSD alumnus Rakesh directed the play for Rang Abha Theatre Group. The play traced the genesis of denial of marriage to widows and male dominance based on “Semantani Updesh” written by Hindu woman writer in 1882.

The lone actor Pushpa enlivened the play while raising issues like freedom of women, rights of women, widow marriage and empowerment of women in a mix of Hindi and Bhojpuri and won standing ovation. Chiaroscuro effects by Debashish and Rakesh Singh’s direction was commendable.

Another production of socio-culture relevance, highlighting the power of money and glamour of western countries was depicted in a play staged yesterday. Such a perception weighed heavily over the human and blood relationship as the circumstances force a maternal uncle to tie the knot with his own niece.

Driven by poverty, Satta (Sahib Singh) enters into contract marriage with his niece Khushvinder (Rajni), who is settled in Canada. Unfortunately, in the government survey the marriage is detected and the couple is ordered to stay together for three years. Strange, but true, as depicted in the story “Sooraj di koi pith nahin hundi” sculpted by Balvinder Singh, which was directed and enacted by thespian Dr Sahib Singh and versatile Rajni Gujral for the Adakar Manch. Both lead actors were at their best with emotional expressions and stage movements.

A play “Ganika” will be staged tomorrow.



Message from Fiza: Be careful in love
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 14
Fiza, estranged wife of Chander Mohan, had a special message for those who are in love on the Valentine’s Day.“Be careful in love so that you are not cheated by your partner,” she told mediapersons at her residence in Sector 48 here today.

Without realising the essence of the Valentine’s Day, people try to play with others’ feelings and often pay a price for it, she said while drawing attention towards her case.

The day is not merely celebrated between lovers; it is a symbol of affection and care for those whom you like.

It has a wider significance, normally understood by the youth.

She advised the girls to properly check the feeling of boys before proceeding ahead with their relationships.

She said the Almighty had punished Chander Mohan for his deeds.

When asked about the terror attacks in Pune, she said political parties should get together to curb terrorism.

She pointed out that security agencies had been alerted following the attacks in Pune last night, but no preventive action had been taken in this regard.

The incident could cast spell on the forthcoming events in the country, she added.



Hyderabad law students adjudged best
Tribune News Service

NALSAR, Hyderabad, after winning the best team award at Army Institute of Law (AIL), in Mohali on Sunday.
NALSAR, Hyderabad, after winning the best team award at Army Institute of Law (AIL), in Mohali on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Mohali, February 14
While earning livelihood through practising law, the plight of the underprivileged should not be forgotten and their cases should be fought free of cost.This was stated by Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the concluding function of the third Surna and Surna National Corporate Law Moot Court competition at the Army Institute of Law (AIL) here today.

Advising the students to be more inquisitive, the Chief Justice said the moot courts were like semifinals and the finals were the court rooms where one learns many legal skills. The guest of honour, Justice Jasbir Singh of Punjab and Haryana High Court, said the moot court instilled confidence in the students.

He advised the students to be righteous in their approach and praised the AIL for inculcating moral values and a sense of national integrity in the students.

AIL Principal Dr Kamaljit Kaur highlighted the importance of mooting that helps in grooming the legal skills of the students.

NALSAR, Hyderabad, and NLU, Johdpur, qualified for the final round today.

Results are as follows:

Best Memorial - NALSAR, Hyderabad (cash prize Rs 8,000); Best Speaker - Adhirath Singh, NLU, Jodhpur (cash prize Rs 8,000)

Runner up - NLU, Jodhpur (cash prize Rs 10,000), Winners - NALSAR, Hyderabad (cash prize Rs 20,000) and Spirit of Surana Award - NLU, Jodhpur.



Pune Blast
Cops raid Sector 22 market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The local police raided various areas of the city today to nab anti-social elements in view of the bomb blast at Pune yesterday.A heavy posse of policemen raided the busy Shastri Market in Sector 22 and removed illegal encroachments in the area.

A high alert was sounded in the city yesterday. The police had also increased security in the city in view of Valentine’s Day.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) held a meeting today with police officers, including the DIG (HQ), the SSP, the SP (Security), the SP (Traffic), the SP (City) and all DSPs, to sensitise the field staff.

The IGP said though there was no specific threat perception, the meeting was held to instruct the staff to take precautionary and preventive measures to avoid such incidents.

The security and law and order arrangements were also assessed during the meeting. He asked citizens to co-operate with them in keeping the city free from terrorist activity.

If they noticed any suspicious person, vehicle or object, they should inform the control room on telephone number 100, 1090, 2749194 or 2746509, he added.



Cold wave on the wane
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The severe cold wave seems to be on the wane, with the sun shining brightly for the past three days, but with a little dip in temperatures.Compared to the chill during nights, that continued for more than a week, Saturday night was a bit colder.

The city recorded a maximum temperature of 21.5 degree Celsius today, compared to 23.2 degree Celsius yesterday. The maximum temperature plummeted to 7.6 degree Celsius from 9.2 degree Celsius.

The bright sunshine in the afternoon enabled people to go out.



15 trees felled illegally at government dispensary
Tribune News Service

Stumps of full-grown trees that were felled by some unidentified persons at the civil dispensary in Phase 7 in
Stumps of full-grown trees that were felled by some unidentified persons at the civil dispensary in Phase 7 in 
Mohali on Sunday. A Tribune photograph 

Mohali, February 14
Some unidentified persons axed at least 15 full-grown trees at the government dispensary in Phase 7 here today.Located adjacent to the Phase 7 commercial area, the trees were felled within a few hours and no one from the health department noticed the illegal activity.

The unscrupulous persons, numbering around 30, came on tractor-trailers to take away their bounty.

By the time police was alerted, the thieves had managed to take away some of the axed trees.

A jeep (PB 10 AS 9661), suspected to be brought by the thieves, has been impounded by the police.

Matour police station SHO Atul Sony said the impounded vehicle did not have registration papers and had “kar sewa” written on it.

Inquiries by the police at the dispensary revealed that the men claimed that they had been given permission by the health department to axe the trees, a fact denied by dispensary in charge Rajbeer Singh Kang.

He told The Tribune that he was out of station and had no knowledge about it. There was no chowkidar at the dispensary. He said he would inquire about the incident.

Sources said the trees could not be cut without the permission of the forest department. The thieves struck taking advantage of three holidays.



Cops failed twice to nab Ranjit Bajaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 14
Lady luck missed the district cops twice while they were trying to track Ranjit Bajaj in Mumbai and Delhi.They reached a little after he left the venue on both occasions. Teams sent to both places returned empty handed, following which a red-corner alert was issued.

According to sources, a team was sent to Mumbai, where Ranjit was to appear for audition organised by a television channel.

The police reached Mumbai, only to know that Ranjit was disqualified during the audition conducted on January 31 and had left the place.

Though the audition by the channel continued till February 2, Ranjit did not turn up at the venue after January 31.

The police next traced a mobile phone call by Ranjit from Delhi on February 4. Following this, a team was sent to Delhi to locate him.

Ranjit switched off his mobile phone immediately and never used it again, leaving the cops clueless.



Thousands pay tributes to Dhir
Tribune News Service

Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Jaspal Singh pays tributes to writer Santokh Singh Dhir in Mohali on Sunday.
Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Jaspal Singh pays tributes to writer Santokh Singh Dhir in Mohali on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, February 14
A sea of humanity from all walks of life converged on the smriti samaroh to pay homage to litterateur Santokh Singh Dhir in Phase X here today.Describing him as a crusader for the downtrodden, Jaspal Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, said Dhir’s demise was a big jolt to the Punjabi literary world.

He said his writing reflected cultural commonality and brotherhood. He added that Dhir had a long relationship with Punjabi University and had been granted life fellowship.

A number of other speakers spoke about his use of pen to fight the cause of the common man and the downtrodden.

HS Bains, media adviser to Punjab Chief Minister, said the state government had decided to publish a ‘smriti granth’, a document containing Dhir’s best writings and comments of his admirers, as a tribute.

The document to be prepared under the guidance of Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor would be ready on the next death anniversary of the litterateur.

On behalf of Capt Amarinder Singh, his former media adviser BIS Chahal paid tributes to the writer. CPI leader Joginder Dyal and others also paid tributes.

Those who spoke included Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, Bir Devinder Singh, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Bubby Badal, and Lakwinder Kaur Garcha. A numbers scholars and artistes also paid tributes.

Members of the Kisan Union Ekta extended financial help to the bereaved family of the writer.



School adoption scheme comes unstuck
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
Almost eight months after it was launched, the UT administration’s much publicised programme of voluntary ‘adoption’ of a government school in the city’s periphery by a private school located nearby has proved to be a damp squib.

The scheme was launched under the aegis of the Partner Initiative Programme where private schools were supposed to “lend” their academic facilities to adopted schools to bring results of the latter’s students at par. However, the fact that many of the ‘parent’ schools, in lieu of the approaching exams, have not visited the government schools even once or else have confined their activities to joint assemblies or distributing cardigans or sweets has perturbed many.

It may be noted the scheme had initially aimed at “uplifting” government schools by sharing of techniques and new methodologies of teaching, use of library of the two schools by each other’s students, visits to each other’s labs, exchange of students for computer education programmes, improvement of communication skills, participation in morning assemblies and organizing extracurricular activities.

It was also decided a ‘synergy award’ for the best performance would be given by the school, which would achieve excellence in uplifting the periphery government school it had adopted.

When contacted the ‘parent’ schools held the UT administration responsible for the scheme’s failure as, according to them, the department lost interest soon after attracting all the media glare.

“We were all very excited about the project but, to be frank, it was just another publicity gimmick or a face saver after the decline in board results of government schools last year. They talked highly of utilizing our labs and other things and even making our teachers take classes, but never chalked out a precise strategy. When we tried to spearhead the thing the adopted schools didn’t show any interest in the absence of any written order from the department,” said the director of one of the private schools concerned.

“We tried arranging workshops for their teachers but didn’t get any positive response from the school concerned. We had suggested to the department it should set up a monitoring mechanism for the scheme where we would give our feedback on the adopted schools and they on us, but it rejected the proposal. None of our plans were accepted and they had no plan of theirs so it failed and ended up being a charity gesture which also lowered the esteem of government schools,” added another.

Meanwhile, the government schools have blamed it all on their ‘parent’ schools, saying, “When we were told about their scheme we thought our kids would be able to use facilities in the private schools like well-equipped labs and libraries, in addition to their teachers helping ours. The schools however showed no interest in letting us share their facilities. Instead they use to distribute stuff to our kids or invite them to their functions to publicise how charitable they were. This isn’t acceptable because our kids are no exhibits of poverty or helplessness.”

With both government and private schools passing the buck the silence maintained by the administration, which has not even once reviewed the scheme, is quite surprising. An official said the scheme had been virtually aborted soon after Samwartak Singh’s exit as DPI (schools).



Tying the knot with circumstances
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 14
The power of money and the glamour of the West weigh heavily on human and blood relationships as circumstances compel a man to tie the knot with his niece.

Driven by poverty, Satta enters into a contract marriage with his niece Khushvinder, who is settled in Canada.

Unfortunately in the government survey, the bogus marriage is detected and they are ordered to stay together for three years.

Strange but true, this turn of fate is depicted in the captivating story ‘Sooraj di koi pith nahin hundi’, written by Balvinder Singh.

It was directed and enacted by thespian Dr Sahib Singh and versatile Rajni Gujral for the Adakar Manch. Both were at their best with emotional expressions and stage movements.



Remaining vigilant about one’s rights

Chandigarhians are only too aware about their rights. In fact, a minor goof-up by the UT administration is enough for alert residents to report the matter to the press. A case in point was ‘condoning off’ a newly installed state-of-the-art multi play equipment for children at Rose Garden by the engineering department. The equipment, which was open to the public till a few days ago, suddenly became "out of bounds”, giving a children visiting the garden a raw deal, said a visitor. Is it on account of the department's proposal to get the swings inaugurated by some VVIP, the visitor asked. The department, however, had another story to tell. The structure has temporarily been "closed" as the construction around it would take a few days, a senior official claimed. In fact, other equipment is to be installed soon and both of them would be opened for the children soon, the official added.

Manholes or virtual deathtraps?

While the authorities concerned look the other way, the number of open manholes in the city has increased putting the lives of residents in danger. In fact, open manholes have become virtual deathtraps at some places. Roads with such gaping manholes have become a nightmare for vehicle drivers, especially at night when they fail to notice them resulting in several accidents.

One such open manhole in front of the main gate of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force on the slow lane of the Chandigarh-Ambala road has become a virtual deathtrap. Since the manhole is just at the turn of the road, it becomes very difficult for cyclists and motorcyclists to negotiate the turn.

With the open manhole remaining uncovered the residents of Deep complex and Behlana village are at the receiving end. At night it becomes very difficult to drive on the internal road, complained Jot Singh, a resident of Deep complex, who was injured a few days back when his scooter skidded into that open manhole.

Similarly, Raunaq Chand, a helper working in Industrial Area, Phase II, claimed he had escaped several times from being seriously hurt when his bicycle missed the open manhole.

It may be recalled The Tribune had highlighted the problem in mid-2009, following which the authorities had swung into action. However, things now seem to be back to square one.

Parking woes plague city’s markets

The city, originally designed for a few thousand people, is now bursting at its seams with the population steadily rising with each passing day. Obviously the number of vehicles has also gone up sizably with an average of two cars per family, even though the city’s streets were designed for cyclists. So now one sees more cars than people on the roads. The city’s major shopping areas including those in Sectors 17, 22 and 19 are not the only ones where it is very difficult to find parking space. The small markets in lesser known and comparatively less populated sectors have become equally chaotic.

On an average fifteen minutes to half an hour is wasted in searching for a parking slot. If you happen to take your vehicle into a paid parking lot chances are you might have to spend a few minutes less looking for space.

If this situation continues we might soon have to park our cars on the city’s outskirts to visit Sector 17 for a shopping spree.

Basic amenities still a distant dream

Shopkeepers in different market places in Mohali are crying foul about the poor condition of roads in the city’s parking lots. Not only the fully developed markets but also the upcoming ones in Sectors 70 and 71 are equally neglected. Contrary to the Punjab government’s claims of giving special attention to basic amenities in the township, the parking lots in Phase 3B2 and 7 are full of potholes. Some of them are big enough to cause damage to vehicles. Blaming GMADA and the Mohali MC for the poor state of affairs, they lament while residents are paying taxes the public funds were not being spent on improving the infrastructure.

VC doesn’t forget his Valentine!

Panjab University vice chancellor RC Sobti did not miss the opportunity on February 14, Valentine’s Day, to announce and greet his better half as his valentine at the valedictory function of a workshop on soft skills at the ICSSR complex. While he was greeting the guests, he made a quick, witty and ‘romantic’ remark about his “valentine” during the function. What was interesting was the subsequent clarification given in good humour, by another senior colleague to students at the workshop. “ I hope all of you know who his valentine is,” he said, hinting at Mrs Sobti, who was sitting right in front of the stage! Loud cheers and hooting by the students followed on the VC’s “cool” gesture!

Contributions by Pradeep Sharma, Anil Jerath, Smriti Sharma Vasdev, Rajmeet Singh and Neha Miglani



Divisions of same department lack coordination
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
Lakhs are drained with the publication of separate advertisements for similar work by various divisions of the same department, but the municipal corporation does not seem concerned.

This has become routine with all departments of the corporation, which get different tender notices for similar work published for different areas of the city.

In Friday’s newspaper, the road department issued three advertisements for the laying of pavement blocks in different sectors.

All three advertisements carried similar terms and conditions, with two having been issued by the same road division.

An official of the engineering department of the administration expressed surprise over the same department issuing two advertisements for similar work just because the areas were different.

The official revealed that the administration got a single tender notice published if the nature of work was the same by mentioning the sectors.

He said departments, boards and corporations of Punjab and Haryana followed a similar trend. He admitted that this reduced the cost of publication of tender notices by various newspapers.

Tender notices for four parking lots were cancelled by Mayor Anu Chatrath during the last house meeting as former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra had objected to inviting tenders when the department was proposing amendments in terms and conditions.

Councillors said this was not the first such instance. Some councillors had asked during previous meetings why separate tender notices were given for similar work.

They had commented that such wasteful expenditure forced the authorities to impose various taxes on residents of the city.

Chatrath had, during recent ward meetings, pointed to a lack of coordination between different divisions of the same department, resulting in overlapping or delay.

She had issued instructions that all divisions of the same department follow a single policy. MC Joint Commissioner TPS Phoolka remarked that this was a good suggestion.

He stated that he would ensure that all departments worked in coordination in the future before inviting tender notices for the similar work.



41 Shiv Sainiks arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The police arrested 41 Shiv Sainiks when they tried to hold a rally at the Housing Board Chowk here today.The Shiv Sena activists started a march from their office at Mauli Jagran in protest against Valentine’s Day.

They tried to hold a rally near the Housing Board Chowk. The police arrested them as a preventive measure. They were later released on bail.



DAV-15 kids win quiz
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
Prateek Yadav and Shivan K Sahib of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, stood first in “Know UK Quiz 2010” grand finals organised by The British Council in New Delhi on February 11.

They had qualified from the city in the regional round, held on January 15. The quiz was based on culture, history, science, arts and trivia about the United Kingdom. Prateek of Class XII and Shivan of Class XI were the youngest teams in the final. They were pitted against teams from colleges like IIM, Lucknow, and BITS Pilani.

Besides having won laurels for the school, these youngsters earned themselves a trip to the United Kingdom, sponsored by The British Council.



Workshop on soft skills concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
The three-day workshop organised by the central placement cell of Panjab University concluded at the ICSSR Complex here today.

The workshop on soft skills was divided into various sections, including resume-writing by Prof Deepti Gupta, verbal communication by Prof Rana Nayyar, manners and etiquettes by Ashish Bose, mock interviews by industry experts, group discussion training by Dr Purva Kansal, self growth session by Prof Vidhy Mohan and personality training by Prof AK Saihjpal.

Students of department of learning disabilities actively participated.

Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti was the chief guest. Prof AS Ahluwalia, dean, science faculty, Prof BS Ghuman, dean Arts faculty, Prof AK Saihjpal, Prof Jitender Mohan and Prof VR Sinha, former head of placement cell, were also present.



Students apprised of IT trends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 14
With an aim to spread awareness among students of rural background for opting Information Technology (IT) as their career, the department of Information Technology under its IT reach out programme in collaboration with Infosys, Chandigarh, today organised a visit of the students of Government Senior Secondary School, Baghapurna, Moga district, to the Infosys Campus for attending an interactive session “spark event.”

As many as 90 students, along with the faculty members in presence of UT IT director Manjit Singh Brar participated in the interactive session.

The students were introduced to Infosys and then the volunteers highlighted the importance of good communication skills and also ways to hone such skills. Students were also familiarised with trends in IT.

Spark was conceptualised by Infosys in 2008 as corporate social responsibility and is coordinated from Infosys, Bangalore.

Since its inception, as many as 86,000 persons have taken part. The students from rural areas, children from cities, engineering colleges, graduates and postgraduate colleges have taken part in the event from all over the country.

In the city about 8,000 students have taken part.



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