C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Do not ‘fell in love’, keep ‘brain in balance’
These and other gems form part of a UT Administration circular to curb the ‘menace of suicide’
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
‘Do not fell in love without attaining the age of Majority and without getting success in pre-determined motive’. ‘Don’t fall in love on the advice of friends without knowing the sincerity of the person as per own observation’. ‘Plan to go to any religious places and watch the persons making prayers to God or Goddess.’ (sic).

This is not the language or advice jotted down by a primary school student in his Moral Science notebook. Rather, these and several more priceless gems form part of a circular issued by the director higher education (who is a direct recruit to the Indian Administrative Service), the very department of the UT Administration that is meant to supervise higher education in a city which prides itself on having 81.9 per cent literacy - the country’s third highest.

The two-page circular, dated March 15, is actually a list of 21 suggestions to curb what has been termed as the ‘menace of suicide in public interest in all government and private colleges, schools and officers’ (sic).

Although the circular may be well-intentioned with exams scheduled next month, the suggestions are not only hilariously worded but are even questionable.

Suicide is seen as a ‘menace’ rather than a mental concern with underlying psychological factors. But some of the suggestions clearly need decoding. For, included in the list of suggestions is the advice that students should ‘try to control the temperament immediately’ (sic) and even better, ‘Don’t loose temper and control the temperament’. While ‘Sincerity with friends with submissiveness’ (sic) is another option, even better will be to ‘Visit flower gardens/terrace garden or any other garden and enjoy the nature and see the God and talk to God in the shape of creations’. (sic)

Here are a few more suggestions that probably need a code book to decipher: ‘Try to avoid make copy of other high-Fi level persons and be happy in whatever that God has given’. ‘Plan to inter-act with children belonging to downtrodden, poor and weaker sections of society and to know how much they have better and rich feeling’. And of course, one must not also ‘accept useless things which are not acceptable to the Society’. Preferably one should ‘Make efforts to adjust in the changed environment by way of entertainment’. And if all else fails, ‘keep positive habits by keeping brain in balance’.



CBSE yet to spell out class XI admission norms
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The nine-point grading evaluation system for class X, one of the most ambitious education reforms introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education, is set to face a serious blow in the absence of any fixed policy on subsequent admission to class XI.

With the CBSE failing till date to allay apprehension over difficulty in allocation of streams in class XI due to “a large number of students who will have the same grade”, the city’s schools have decided to stick to the same old percentage game. Most of them, in blatant violation of CBSE rules, are also starting provisional admissions from April 1, which will be based on the pre-boards score.

“Only a month-and-a-half is left to for admissions to class XI to begin and yet CBSE has till date not told us how to undertake the process on the basis of grades. Even if they are planning something we shouldn’t be told at the last minute like they did during the introduction of the continuous and comprehensive evaluation in class IX. Else, the results would be disastrous as in the case of class IX. We have suggested to all our students to get their mark details along with grades as we will be forced to stick to the percentage system. As far as provisional admissions are concerned, we are planning to start them as we need a longer session to complete the syllabus,” said a member of the Independent School Association.

CBSE regional director DR Yadav admitted he was unaware of any policy being formulated on the admissions. However, he said no school could admit students before the declaration of results of the class X boards, adding only a formal complaint could lead to any action.

However, another member of the Independent School Association observed, “Anybody could have predicted the confusion on class XI admissions after the introduction of grades in class X. It’s strange CBSE never thought about it or planned for it. Even if it comes up with any plan they will have to train us in advance, otherwise there will be a total chaos and arbitrariness in admissions.”

It may be noted the city’s schools have over the years followed the trend of admitting students on the basis of their pre-boards marks, which is viewed as harassment by many students and parents.

“They try to block the admission funds by doing so. A parent gets his child admitted provisionally in a specific stream in a school to secure a seat, but if he or she wishes to change the school no money is refunded. In many a cases children are even forced to change their streams if they don’t fare well in the boards. This practice goes unchecked in city schools,” said Raghunesh Singh, president of one of the parents teachers association.

Points system

According to sources, CBSE is planning a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) system to help schools. Average grades obtained by students in each subject will be considered while allocating them to different streams in class XI. The project will be launched on a pilot basis.

“What if the pilot project fails? What if many students get the same average grade? They are going to experiment with the future of thousands, which is unadvisable,” reacted a principal of a school in Sector 26.



Shock, disbelief at funeral of drowned students 
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
An aspiring engineer and the youngest of three siblings, Ankur Singh, 20, had no clue that an attempt to save his friend from drowning would cost him his own life.

A bid to be adventurous, followed by a small slip-up, resulted in the death of three city students on Sunday at Parwanoo. All were residents of the Air Force hostel, 3BRD. They had allegedly written in the hostel register that they were going out to visit Rock Garden, but ended up diving in Kaushalya river.

The bodies of Ankur and Naveen, both B.Tech students of Indo Global College of Engineering, Abhipur, were cremated at the Sector 25 cremation ground here today at 6:45 pm in the presence of acquaintances, relatives and air force personnel. The final rites were delayed by more than two hours, as the police and air force staff waited for Ankur’s parents at Parwanoo, who had to come from Belgaon.

In an atmosphere of enormous grief and total disbelief, attempts by this correspondent to interact with the parents failed, as none of them appeared in a state to talk.

“He was the youngest child and the most loved one in the family. His mother is not in a state to talk and has been crying ceaselessly ever since the news of death reached us,” said a relative of Ankur.

The mother and younger sister, who were continuously wailing, were being consoled by his elder brother and friends, who were visibly plunged in grief themselves.

An Air force personnel, who was present at the funeral, informed that all four boys jumped into the river one after the other in an attempt to save the first one. While Vikas survived, others did not have the same luck.

Two other friends of the victims, Vikas and Pankaj, who were from the same hostel, had also accompanied them to Parwanoo on Monday, said a relative. While Vikas, who had also jumped into the river survived the accident, their friend Pankaj, 18, a resident of Hamirpur, also died. He was cremated at his hometown today. Remembering their students, the college authorities held a condolence ceremony followed by declaration of holiday. 



Cement Racket
Key suspect may go free
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Going by past example, the prime suspect in the cement pilferage racket unearthed yesterday, is likely to go scot-free as he is a member of the municipal corporation on deputation from Himachal Pradesh. Earlier all deputationists involved in similar incidents have been repatriated to their parent cadre without any trial.

Since the civic body was formed way back in 1996 there have been eight major scam cases in different departments. Interestingly, all of the suspects were repatriated to their parent cadre with no follow-up action against them ever been reported.

This inference is drawn from a feedback by a crosssection of senior officials requesting anonymity. All were unanimous in saying “we don’t expect any action at all.”

According to records two major scandals reported within five years of the MC’s inception included a tar coal consumption scam in which officials had provided wrong information on the usage of raw materials for road construction. Another case was related to installing ISI mark tiles in various sectors. During a subsequent inquiry it was found no ISI tiles were being installed. In both instances officials who were reportedly involved were sent back to their parent states.

In another case an official who came on deputation to the MC from the UT administration was attached with the Swaran Jayanti Rozgar Yogna mission, where he allegedly committed a fraud. He was merely repatriated to his parent cadre without any further action being taken against him, sources said. Interestingly, after his retirement he has been reemployed with the civic body.

In a pipe scam in 2006 a truck was impounded by vigilance department officials for allegedly selling the material in the local industrial area. Those arrested included an executive engineer and two junior engineers. All of them were from the Punjab cadre and were repatriated to their parent state.

During the same period, an executive engineer from the Haryana cadre allegedly bought five shawls from an exhibition of Himachal Pradesh products. When questioned he said the purchase had been made as “gift items” for the commissioner. He too followed the expected route to his cadre.

Importantly, the issue had come up during the first employees’ grievances ‘durbar,’ recently held under commissioner. Employees highlighted the fact that the “tainted” officials left the scene after committing irregularities and there was no accountability, saying “work was hampered and the MC got a bad name”. Officials maintain that even if the local MC wrote to the concerned state governments seeking certain action the response was the same - “the matter does not concern us”.

The mayor has now marked an inquiry into theft of cement from a MC store detected yesterday. The commissioner has been asked to submit a report on the matter by March 25.



Cement Smuggling
Enough proof to nail MC officials: Cops
Three remanded in judicial custody till April 5
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The police investigation, a day after arrests, revealed that the Municipal Corporation’s cement bags being smuggled out of the city were allocated for work to a sub-store in Sector 17.

The police has confirmed the theft after matching the number of recovered bags with allotted officials numbers.

The police today gathered enough proof to substantiate the involvement of the Municipal Corporation’s officials also.

According to SP (City) Madhur Verma, it has been confirmed that the 200 cement bags, which were recovered from the private truck on Saturday night, belong to the government and were allocated for the flooring work in Sector 17 by the corporation.

He also added that they had called the senior corporation officials, including executive engineer Zorawar Singh and SDO Gursharan Dass. “The officials have confirmed that the seized bags were allocated for the government work”, said Verma while adding that the police has also taken a statement in writing from the officials in this regard.

The police has also recovered the fake bill of the cement bags, which was prepared by the accused to dodge in case of any checking.

Apart from that the mobile call details of the accused, procured by the police, evidently showed that Munshi Thakur Singh and watchman of the sub-store Chhedi Lal were in constant touch and were involved in the corruption, added Verma saying that the police has been conducting raids at possible hideouts of government contractor Harshwardhan, junior engineer Raj Kumar and Munshi Thakur, who are still at large.

The police has also seized a truck, carrying 200 cement bags, meant for the government project, being taken illegally to private factory owned by Jawahar Lal at Barwala on Friday night. Jawahar Lal is father of government contractor Harshwardhan.

Meanwhile, the local court has remanded the arrested persons- driver Harwinder Singh, Chhedi Lal and Jawahar Lal- in judicial custody till April 5. 



Foreign tennis players bowled over by local dishes 
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
With its inherent charm and the lip-smacking variety of Punjabi delicacies that its restaurants and hotels offer, the City Beautiful has left players from abroad participating in the ongoing Future ITF Mens Tennis Tournament spellbound.

The organizers of the event, being held at the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA) stadium in Sector 10 here, said more than 30 players from 14 countries are taking part in the tournament.

Sharing his experience, Patrik Brypole from Sweden said he was overwhelmed by the courteousness and affection displayed by city residents, adding he and other overseas players found Indian dishes like ‘rajma-chawal’, butter chicken and chicken fried rice particularly delectable.

“In addition to them the ‘paranthas’ (stuffed ‘chappatis’) served at breakfast are awesome. Apart from the spicy food I like India for having such nice and hospitable people, who can really be caring,” said Patrik, expressing the desire to visit the city again and again.

In similar vein, Peter Aarts said he found the city quite unique. “The serenity, systematic traffic and open and green spaces here make it impossible for everyone not to love it. Though this is my maiden visit here I’m not feeling homesick at all”, said the 22-year-old player from the United States.

Peter felt the local dishes were a bit too spicy but nevertheless very tasty. “We’re being provided continental, Chinese and Indian food by the caterer here but we love to sample Indian dishes, which are really delicious”, he added.

Ashutosh, the official caterer at the CLTA stadium, is also visibly happy to have a new clientele from across the globe. “Many players from different countries now go out of their way to ask for local delicacies but with fewer spices in them. The growing popularity of Indian dishes among foreigners is certainly something we can be proud of”, he noted.


Sukhna Lake out of sync with environ
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
As the UT administration is going all out to promote the city and its landmarks as the next tourist destination, the ongoing beautification drive at the Sukhna Lake seems to be out of sync with the natural environment that this water body depicts.

The replacement of worn out concrete with its fresh coat, tiles and other artificial materials, and the questionable uprooting of greenery thereby resulting in drying of plants at the site have drawn criticism from experts and residents alike.

Due to the ongoing revamping, the size of the lake’s green patch is not only shrinking but the remaining plants, in the absence of any care, are dying a slow death. If the bushes and shrubs are allowed to die, what will happen to the illumination plan of the greenery for which the ministry has allocated funds separately”?, asked a UT official on the condition of anonymity.

All that UT Chief Engineer, Surinder Pal, had to say was, “We are only executing whatever was planned by the UT’s Department of Urban Planning”.

“People from far off places visit the lake for its natural surroundings-the stoned slab, the stoned stairs, the greenery etc. So, instead of blending the artificial materials, the natural surroundings should not be disturbed”, said Hardayal Singh Johal, a former head, landscaping wing, UT administration, who headed this post from 1965 to 1983. “There was a time when those strolling in the lake were consulted and their feedback was taken before making such changes at the lake. But now, it seems things are being remote controlled and there is lack of coordination between those strolling at the lake and those managing the so-called beautification drive. The lake being a water body should be taken care of first rather than beautification which is a distortion of actual water body”, said Malwinderjit Singh Wariach, a regular walker at the lake for the past two decades, who also happens to the official biographer of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and creator of the National Gallery of Portraits.

“Whatever material they use, it should gel with the surroundings. Also, the natural materials are far sturdier and weatherproof as compared to artificial ones which chips and breaks after some time”, said Rajinder Sandhu, a retired Army personnel who is a regular at the lake.

Another feature which has gone missing from the lake is the bandstand which is now going to be replaced by alternative low lying seating arrangement.

“The Sukhna Lake is a paradise of migratory birds which fly in the winter and fly at a specific height depending on their species. It was a treat to watch these birds from the stands which is not there anymore”, said Prof RK Kohli, an avid environmentalist and chairman, Department of Botany, Panjab University.

Also, the uprooting of greenery for extending the concrete patch and accommodating the seating slabs, which was a buffer zone and was lending a natural grace to the area between the road and the lake is also irksome for many.

The stairs behind the lake, which were earlier made of natural stones, had also been redone with tiles in the past. “The idea should be to preserve the lake complete with its natural features and not make it artificial in the name of beautification”, said advocate Anil Pal Singh Gill, another regular at the lake.

The beautification work at the lake is being done after the Centre sanctioned about Rs 5 crore-project about a year ago for the beautification of the entire lake. The work had started in January and is likely to end in May.

Following this, a committee was formed by the UT administration to decide on the revamping of the lake near the cafeteria and the entrance. 

Beautification Drive Fallout

n Worn out concrete replaced with its fresh coat, tiles and other artificial materials

n Uprooting of the greenery, thereby resulting in dying plants.

n No bandstand for birdwatchers



Another topiary park  in Sector 49 soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Twenty-two years after a topiary park was set up in Sector 35 of the City Beautiful in 1987, residents of the southern sectors will soon get another one in Sector 49.

The land measuring 7 acres has already been earmarked for the purpose in Sectors 49 C and D.

According to sources in the municipal corporation, while details of the project were still being worked out, funds for the same have been provided by the Ministry of Tourism.

While experts would be consulted for the park’s layout, construction work, which is expected to start by the mid of the year, would be carried out by the horticulture wing of civic body.

The park, which will be christened as Garden of Animal Kingdom, will have plants, belonging to the bush and creeper families, in the shape of dinosaurs, elephants and camels. As many as 1,600 small parks in various sectors and big gardens, including Fragrance Garden in Sector 36 and Shanti Kunj in Sector 16, are being maintained by the corporation.

In addition, the work pertaining to expansion of green belts in the city is in progress. While the work on green belt near “dhobi ghat” in Sector 7 is in full swing, the green belts in Sectors 51, 56 and one at Mouli Jagran would also be developed soon. With this, the total number of green belts in the city would reach 44, said one of the MC officials.



Corporation in dock for causing loss to exchequer
The Punjab Information and Communication Technology Corporation had allotted land to IT companies at a price less than the actual cost of the land in Sector 67
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 22
The Punjab Information and Communication Technology Corporation is in a spot for causing loss of Rs 2 crore to the state exchequer by allotting land to IT companies at a price less than the cost price of the land in Sector 67 here.

Against the cost price of Rs 3,300 per sq yard, the land was allotted at Rs 2,700 per sq yard. By allotting one acre and less sized plots to eight companies at Rs 2,700 per sq yard, the corporation suffered a loss of Rs 600 per sq yard.

To promote information technology, the corporation was allotted 15.726 acre of land in Sector 67 by GMADA (erstwhile PUDA) at a rate of Rs 1,924 per sq yard for setting up an IT park. The park could not be set up and the Project Approval Board allowed the corporation to set up IT related projects on the land portioned into smaller plots of one acre or more.

Then the corporation invited applications for allotment of 10 sites at a rate fixed by the Punjab State Industrial Export Corporation (PSIEC). The company issued the allotment letters to seven firms for land measuring 34,965 sq yard against the allotment letters issued to 21 applicants.

Finding the anomaly in the allotment rates, the Punjab AG observed that before going for advertisement of the plots, the corporation did not access the cost. The intention of the corporation while adopting the rates of PSIEC was to maintain uniformity in terms and conditions of the allotment. The AG observed the corporation failed to recover the cost of the land.

In 2007, Punjab Infotech had announced to provide IT towers. The Infotech Complex in Sector 67 was envisaged to house the IT tower in about 15.5 acre, out of which one acre each had been already leased out to seven IT companies. These are HCL, Sebiz, Dibon Software Limited, KMG, IDS and Competent.



Airport put on red alert 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
A red alert has been sounded at the Chandigarh Airport in order to check any untoward incident following the recovery of suspected explosive from the cargo section of the Bangalore-Thiruvananthapuram bound Kingfisher plane yesterday.

Security has been beefed up at the city airport and several steps have been taken by the CISF personnel in order to keep it safe. The CISF personnel have been asked to search every vehicle coming towards the airport. The staff have also been directed to check each and every vehicle thoroughly before allowing it to enter the airport.

There was an unprecedented security cover at the airport terminal and the security personnel were seen guarding the parking lots and patrolling the airport premises.

According to CISF officials, extra layers of security have been added and all baggage are being scrutinised minutely. Even frisking has been increased and extra vigil is being maintained at the airport and its periphery.

Suneel Dutt, director, Chandigarh Airport, told The Tribune that four checkpoints had been put up in place by increasing the number of stages of checking and frisking at the airport.

Moreover, the CISF, which looks after the entire security arrangements at the airport, has increased the vigil in the entire area. The entry of visitors into the airport has been banned as a precautionary step by the airport authorities. Earlier, the visitors were allowed to go inside the terminal building after buying a ticket in order to receive the guests.

Senior officials at the airport confirmed that staff manning the X-Ray machines at the airport had been instructed to be extra vigilant while checking 
the luggage.



Taxi stands: MC to conduct survey 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is going to conduct a detail survey of the area to be allotted to taxi stands and examine the space for the construction of pre-fabricated structures at stands. This decision was taken at a Finance and Contract Committee meeting held under chairmanship of Mayor Anu Chatrath.

The committee has appointed the executive engineer (Roads), Division No.2, and the sub-divisional engineer, headquarters, for conducting the survey and directed them to submit their report before March 25. The committee has directed these officers to provide details of all aspects so that the final decision about the allotment of taxi stands could be taken in the next meeting scheduled to be held on March 25. 



Chandigarh Beopar Mandal Poll
Battle for president’s post intensifies 
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
With just a few days left for the March 28 elections to the post of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal the battle of wits between the two contenders-Jagdish Arora and Diwakar Sahoonja-has begun in the right earnest with both intensifying their campaign for the D-day.

In fact, it is going to be anybody’s game this time around even as they are making claims and counter-claims. With traders’ unity and “trader-friendly” building byelaws high on their agenda the battle royal promises to be intense in the backdrop of the entry of the multi-national companies and big corporate houses in the retail sector. The veteran leaders have led the trading community in various capacities during their long career.

While Arora is former president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal and is credited with giving the traders’ body a new identity, Sahoonja was the official spokesman in the previous Executive that was responsible for framing various policies and programmes.

As both candidates are backed by powerful lobbies of the traders, they are leaving no stone unturned to grab the top post, which has assumed importance in the recent years as it is traders’ interface with the outside world, including the Chandigarh Administration. The largest representative body of the city traders, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal has a membership of 366 and almost all major market associations are represented through their presidents and general secretaries.

Sahoonja, who released his election manifesto today, promised among other things, beautification of the markets to take on the multi-national companies and big corporate houses, need-based building byelaws, simplification of VAT, auction of commercial property on freehold basis, balanced Rent Act and construction of a beopar bhawan.

However, the major issues of the traders have remained same over the years. Even as the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal claims to be “non-political” a few top leaders owe allegiance to the major parties of the city. That is perhaps the reason that the impact of major parties is distinctly visible on the outcome of the elections. 

Main issues

n Need-based building bylaws

n Upgradation of the traditional markets

n Trader-friendly laws, including VAT

n Traders’ representation in various administration panels

n Construction of beopar bhavan in city



‘Chronic dental problems could cause heart diseases’
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Did you know that chronic dental problems could lead to a heart disease? Eye-opening observations have been made after an extensive research work that was revealed by scientists in an interview to The Tribune on the occasion of second-day of the national seminar on clinical dentistry at Panjab University today.

Pointing out that the processed food, is causing a widespread damage to the tooth of children and youngsters in the city, director of Dr HS Judge Institute of Dental Sciences, Panjab University, Dr Krishan Gauba, elaborated on a research project conducted by the college in collaboration with the PGI related to fluoride content needed and available in water in the city.

He said brushing of teeth twice a day was not just a healthy habit, but was a must for the city residents to balance the quantity of fluoride as required in body, since the same was in minimal quantity in water available here. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has prescribed fluoride as one of the 14 essential elements needed in the body, informed the scientists.

Highlighting the consequences of diminished quantity of fluoride in the water, he added that the currently there was 0.4 parts per million (ppm) fluoride content as against the 0.6 ppm needed for our body.

Not only does the dearth of this essential element in the body cause problem, even the excess leads to dire consequences for tooth.

Interesting facts were revealed, related to the excess quantity of fluoride in the Malwa belt of Punjab. “Right from Miyanwali in Pakistan to Sirsa in Haryana and Ferozpur in Punjab and the entire Malwa belt has excess quantity of fluoride. If present in excess, the fluoride content can cause major problems in the dental care. The government took notice of this research and we expect better treatment of the water,” he added. 



Aspects of public health discussed

Chandigarh, March 22
Prof VP Kamboj, emeritus scientist, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, and former director of CSIR and CDRI, inaugurated a two-day seminar on “Societal aspects of public health: Emerging issues” at the Seminar Hall of CIL, PU, here today.

The seminar is being organised by the department of public health, Centre for Emerging Areas in Science and Technology, PU.

Speaking on the theme, Prof VP Kamboj highlighted the agenda of public health was to reach to the masses and to make them aware of the fact that good health does not depend on heavy expenditure on diet and medicines, but on simple acts such as washing hands properly, following healthy behaviour and avoiding extremes in lifestyle. — TNS 



Issuance of second credit card 
Citibank in trouble 
Sonika Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
Issuance of a second credit card to a customer and that too with an enhanced credit limit and subsequent demand of Rs 3,02,499, which was not at all payable by the consumer, has put Citibank in deep trouble.

Finding deficiency in their service, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal (Forum-II) today directed the bank to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation for causing inconvenience, harassment, mental agony to Narinderjit Singh, a Mohali resident.

Narinderjit had submitted in the forum that he was issued a “Citibank Gold Card” with a credit limit of Rs 1.77 lakh and cash limit of Rs 10,000. But, later on, he received a telephone call from the company intimating that Rs 3, 02,499 (Rs.2, 66,000 transaction charges; Rs 34,399 interest charges and Rs 2,100 late payment charges), was outstanding towards his credit card. He then represented the bank regarding the wrong billing, stating that no payment was outstanding against his card even as per bank statement, upon which he was told that on his request letter, another credit card had been issued to him; whereas, he had never given a request letter for issuance of a new credit card, when he already had one such card. Accordingly, he requested the bank to look into the matter, in response whereof, the bank sought time to probe into the matter. Subsequently, he was told that the bank was unable to address his query within the stipulated time frame. He was told that his card had been re-issued, credit limit of which had been increased based on his consent. Narinderjit mentioned that since the bank was unable to deliver the card, the same had been closed at their end.

He was further informed by the bank that Rs 2,66,000 had been provisionally credited to his card account and interest charges of Rs 34,399.84 and late payment charges of Rs 2100 had since been reversed. In addition, the entry of service tax was also reversed in due course. It was clearly stated that no amount was then outstanding in his card account.

The bank in its written reply admitted its factual mistake and affirmed that the credit limit was enhanced from Rs 1.77 lakh to RS 2.66 lakh in the credit card of the complainant. The fact of cancellation and closure of card and issuance of another card has also been admitted. It submitted that upon detection of the fraud, the entire loss of Rs 2.66 lakh was accepted by them and all bills containing the said entry and consequential charges on account of interest and late payment charges were reversed with automatic reversal of service charges. 



Co seeks stay against MC
Sonika Bhatia
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, March 22
Jai Prakash Associates Limited has filed an application under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act for granting an interim stay against the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and not to encash bank guarantee of over Rs 1.16 crore. They submitted the request in the courts of the Additional District and Sessions Judge here today.

During the heated arguments that continued for about two hours, the counsel for the company said they were doing their work in a proper manner and without any specific reason. The corporation is likely to encash the bank guarantee. The counsel for the corporation argued on the point that they had already passed an order in this regard on March 17. He told the court that in pursuance to the show cause notice on April 8, 2009, the municipal commissioner has passed the order on March 17.

This has been communicated to the company and now there is no stay neither status quo has been granted by the court till date. The case has been adjourned till March 25.

Meanwhile, the corporation presented their papers to the Bank of Maharashtra, New Delhi, for encashment of the bank guarantee. 



Victim’s father files complaint with SP
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 22
Dr Chhatar Singh Kanwar, father of Kalyani, who was beaten up by a few foreign students in the hostel room of Alpine Residential School in Bhawana filed a complaint with the Superintendent of Police (SP) here today.

Dr Chhatar Singh while talking to the Tribune on phone said he had demanded registration of a criminal case against the foreign students.

He said they had also demanded the registration of a criminal negligence case against the school management, who had failed to give proper protection to their student in the school complex.

SP Maneesh Chaudhary said he was yet to go through the application, as he was busy in some meeting today.

He said they would hold an independent probe in all allegations levelled by Dr Chhattar Singh against the Thai students and school management.

School manager Vikas Jain said they had formed a three-member committee of teachers to hold an inquiry as per the CBSE norms. He said the issue was being blown out of proportion.

Meanwhile, Thai student Se while addressing the media through Thai language translator Sethi, who is also their guardian, alleged that Kalyani and some other students had also thrashed them.

Dr Chhattar Singh said if the police failed to register the case against the school and foreign students, he would be forced to file a criminal case against the Thai girls, besides filing a civil suit against the school management for failing to redress their grievances.



Proposed pattern of holidays given green light
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
During a meeting of all department chairpersons of Panjab University, it was decided unanimously to go ahead with the new proposed pattern of holidays.

Despite opposition of Panjab University Teachers’ Union (PUTA), the chairpersons asserted that the new pattern of holidays in July and September was in sync with the new examination pattern and had been proposed by them only.



PU Notes
Teaching to remain suspended today

Teaching work in all departments, institutes and centres on the university campus will remain suspended tomorrow because of a pre-determined holiday. However, offices of the departments will remain open till 1 pm to assist students, who will come to collect their invitation cards and convocation rehearsal, according to dean of university instruction, PU.

In view of the urgency of convocation work, it will also be a working day for employees of various branches of the university administrative block and in lieu of this, they will observe March 26 as a holiday, according to official sources. — TNS



21 students awarded scholarships
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 22
Khalsa College, Patiala, organised the annual convocation function on the college premises here today.

SGPC president Jathedar Avtar Singh, Amritsar, was the chief guest and conferred degrees on 256 students of the college.

He also gave scholarships of Rs 2,100 to 21 students of the college who had excelled in the field of academics, sports and cultural activities.

A book titled “Sri Guru Granth Sahib: Manvi Sarokar” edited by Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha, Dr Baltej Singh Mann and Dr Gurdish Kaur was also released on the occasion. College principal, Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha presented the college annual report highlighting the achievements of both students and faculty.



Students to get school bags
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 22
The education department has started distribution of school bags for the students of Class I to Class VIII of non-model government schools.

The students will start getting the school bags from their respective schools in the first week of April, according to a press note.



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