C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


IPL: All fun no game
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 24
The traditional world of grace, patience and grit associated with cricket seems to have collapsed.This could be witnessed during the T20 Indian Premier League match between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals at the PCA Stadium this evening.

Deafening music, along with dancers in skimpy clothes, did not let one feel that a cricket match was going on.

Organisers had installed loud speakers outside the stadium too. It seemed that cricket came last of all.

Even after 10 overs, onlookers were left wondering whether to look at the game, screens showing audience or the Bollywood drama.

DP Azad, coach of legendary cricketer Kapil Dev, minced no words while saying, “T20 was slowly, but, definitely demolishing the tall citadel of the cricketing world. In fact, cricketers below 25 years of age should not be allowed to play T20 at all.”

Shaminder Singh, a retired DPI, said, “I came here just to watch cricket, which seems to have reduced to the size of a Bollywood formula film. The ingredients, too, are “filmy”, including dancers, hot dance numbers and fast scoring.”

Sartaj Singh, a young spectator said, “Who says we have come here to watch the match? A desire to have fun has dragged us to the place.”

A cop on duty outside the stadium said, “I see a massive change in the game called cricket. Earlier, we used to get the duties to man gates both inside and outside the stadium. For five days, a match would go on quietly except for some short sessions of loud noises sometimes. Now we have been given a basic job which is to keep a check on activities outside the stadium, while the prime positions inside the stadium are managed by a corporate security system hired by organisers. I wonder if these guys are equipped to handle any untoward incident inside the stadium?”

A senior organiser, who did not want to be quoted, while talking to a reporter said there was nothing to be shocked at. He said, “Just watch two more matches and you will realise the extent of damage inflicted on the game.”

Pointing towards the stadium seats, he said, “The normal paid seats are empty and a majority of occupants are having free passes. A sizeable number of spectators have students’ concession tickets.”

“I wonder what Shilpa Shetty, Preity Zinta, Anupam Kher and Vivek Oberoi have got to do with the game,” he quipped.



Fee hike by schools
Parents set to face heat
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The new academic session is bound to pinch parents with many city schools set to hike their fee yet again by a minimum of 10 per cent.

While the schools justify it as a minimal hike in view of the rising costs, various Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) are up in arms against this annual harassment.

“Every time they plan a hike, they always talk about minimal 10 per cent, but it always turns out to be nothing less than 30 per cent. They had increased the fee last year on the pretext of sixth pay commission. So why do it again? Moreover, it’s not just the tuition fee, but many hidden costs which make education more costly with every academic session. I am spending nothing less than Rs 5000 per month for my daughter, who is in a primary class,” said president of a Sector 45-based PTA.

It may be noted that the issue of fee hike rocked the entire education fraternity when not only PTAs but various social activists also had approached the UT administration against the commercialisation of education. The administration had promised to set things right by asking various schools to justify their fee, but nothing much was done thereafter.

“Schools have turned into shops today, which are ripping parents off through their unjustified fee and nexus with the booksellers or uniform guys. Last year, we had trusted the administration and even the home secretary made tall promises but all has fallen flat, as the schools are going to increase their fee yet again. I think the only

respite we can look forward is to move court like our Delhi counterparts,” added another member of the PTA.

It may be noted that other than the fee, it’s the insistence by various schools to buy books and uniforms from specific dealers which further irks the parents, who claim the practice to be a sophisticated form of undue extortion.

For many schools, this fee is further added to the annual funds, bus fee (Rs 600-1000), books and stationery, uniforms and other miscellaneous costs.

The Supreme Court, in a verdict passed in August last year, had reaffirmed that unaided schools in Delhi could raise tuition and other fees only with the prior consent of the government. The verdict was to be applied in principle to all schools across the country, but the city schools deny it being applicable to them.

“Delhi has its own education law which already had this provision but in our Punjab education board, we have nothing of this sort,” claimed HS Mamik, president, Independent School Association.

The DPI (S) Sunil Bhatia, meanwhile, expressed ignorance about the judgment and said he needed to check it up before saying anything.



‘Missing’ Answersheets
Dept to conduct re-exam, punish guilty invigilator
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Failing to find the “missing” Class XI answersheets of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, the education department has decided to conduct a re-examination and punish the guilty invigilator.

Elaborating on the decision and justifying the authorities’ failure to register an FIR or conduct any inquiry on the second consecutive day, district education official Chanchal Singh said, “It was a holiday today. How could we go, search or make a report? We have marked an inquiry and will conduct the re-examination of students whose answersheets have gone missing and will punish the guilty teacher. As far as yesterday’s conflict between two teachers is concerned, they have reached a compromise.”

Interestingly, the holiday, which stalled the “search” plans did not prevent the DEO from visiting the school and helping the teachers to reach a compromise on the issue, which had put the entire education fraternity to shame yesterday. Meanwhile, the idea of re-examination has raised several questions as expressed by one of them, “If we conduct the re-examination, won’t

the students protest over varied difficulty levels? Who will set new papers and when will the result be ready?”

DPI (S) Sunil Bhatia, however, reacted by saying, “Nothing to worry as we will maintain the difficulty level of the paper. The result will be ready soon. We will punish the invigilator for sure.”

It may be noted that the Class XI papers of music and science went missing from GMSSS, Sector 18, on Monday when an invigilator left them in an exam control room. Trying to keep the matter under wraps, the school authorities summoned a staff meeting yesterday, which ended with a scuffle between the teachers.

‘Plot against me’

The “missing” paper episode took an interesting turn when the guilty invigilator claimed it to be a plot against her. In a complaint to the Home Secretary, the teacher asserted that the principal was trying to settle personal scores with her, as one of her relatives had suspended the principal’s husband. She claimed that she was not well that day and somebody took a chance to lay the trap. “I was feeling giddy. I waited for sometime in the room, but there was no official. I had to rush to a doctor so was forced to leave the papers on table and when I came back, they were missing. How could the papers go missing within half an hour?” 



Eyewitness Account
It’s the interns who handle night emergency shift
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
At first glance the duty roster of the emergency ward at the Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16 has an impressive line-up of doctors on duty even at night. Besides the emergency medical officer (EMO) there are five other doctors - a physician, an orthopaedic surgeon, a gynaecologist, a paediatrician and a general surgeon.

For any patient arriving at this emergency ward for treatment with doubts about being in unsafe hands, this strong presence of doctors would be enough to clear any misgivings and reinforce his or her belief of being under the care of experts. Alas all this remains on the papers of the roster only.

Actually it is the interns - the final year MBBS students - who really call the shots here while the doctors remain conspicuous by their absence for one reason or another. While some of the ‘on duty’ doctors prefer to remain inside the doctors’ room, coming out only when some ‘troublesome’ patient convinces the interns to call ‘Dr Sahib’, others are apparently just a cellphone call away.

To get a first hand account of the emergency services at GMSH 16, this reporter spent almost four hours there last night (from 8 pm to midnight). The first thought that crosses one’s mind after seeing how things function there is - thank God, it’s not me on the stretcher!

While one would generally expect experienced doctors taking care of the patients arriving here, the interns, two girls who looked like fresh out of college teenagers - were doing everything - right from documentation to giving first aid to prescribing medicines and examining the x-rays. Though one has no intention to question their knowledge and experience, they hardly exuded any confidence, so essential for a patient in trauma.

During the stay there this reporter only saw one doctor

who appeared to be a surgeon, coming out of the doctors’ room for routine rounds. The appearances of the turbaned doctor were limited to picking up one odd x-ray and giving a cursory look at it. He interacted with only one patient (a man in plaster) and his family members.

As for the EMO, she walked in at about 10:30 pm even though, according to the duty roster, her shift began at 8 pm.

While one may find the interns handling patients in the emergency ward quite odd and against rules, full marks to these young girls who, despite their inexperience, went around managing the job with alacrity. They attended to almost 15 patients - ranging from an accident victim who came in with profuse nose bleeding to a young girl whose blood pressure had dipped - all without any help from their seniors.

As for the other services, the x-ray room and the blood lab were - surprisingly - working quite smoothly though the main reception was unmanned. The stretchers too were in abundance with at least a dozen of them stacked in the porch.

Sources in the emergency ward admit it is the interns who usually handle the night shifts while the doctors make “guest appearances”. “They only come when called or when some serious case arrives,” the sources added.

When contacted, the hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr NK Arora, promised to look into the issue of interns manning the emergency ward but maintained nevertheless that doctors must have been “around there only”.


Empower deprived students for higher education: Pranab
Tribune News Service

Girls after receiving their degrees during the annual convocation of Panjab University
HAPPY LOT: Girls after receiving their degrees during the annual convocation of Panjab University; 

Chandigarh, March 24
Emphasising on the need to empower thousands of unprivileged college students who are deprived of higher education and cannot make it to the university, the Union Minister of Finance, Pranab Mukherjee, today delivered his convocation address at the 59th annual convocation of the Panjab University.

Pointing out that India’s access to higher education is below international standards, the minister said in each 16 uncovered areas Central universities would come up and 14 others would be established in different locations, along with 370 new colleges.

The minister also revealed that nearly 500 new universities and 30,000 educational institutes were required to meet the demands of higher education in the country.

Clad in black robe over his formal black attire, Mukherjee said emphasis should be on inculcating employment skills among students, keeping in view the market trend.

Talking on public delivery mechanism, the minister said weak government systems, structures and institutions were major challenges that could hamper nation’s progress. “The knowledge commission has made 300 recommendations on 27 focus areas. Subsequently, the Government of India has constituted a committee for renovation and rejuvenation of higher education,” he added.

Prof Goverdhan Mehta, scientist and chairman of NAAC, HK Dua, noted journalist and former Editor-in-chief, The Tribune, Dr AR Kidwai, educationist, Prof Yashpal, scientist, and industrialist SP Oswal were all present.

Jagannath Pahadia, Haryana Governor, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Cabinet Minister, parliamentary affairs and water resources, Manpreet Singh Badal, Finance Minister, Punjab, were special guests.



Mercury soars further, touches 37.1 °C
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The month of March this year is turning out to be the hottest and driest one compared to the past six years, with lack of rain worsening the situation.

The city recorded the hottest day of the month today, with the maximum temperature touching 37.1 degrees Celsius, which is around 7 degrees above normal.

With bright sunshine and warm days, summer seems to have already set in. While the mornings and evenings still have some pleasantness, afternoons are turning out to be rather uncomfortable.

The Met Office has nothing positive to offer, with rains unlikely to come in the next couple of days. The occasional cloudy sky seems only a mirage, as clouds float away without showering a drop of water on the “warm” cityscape.

Surinder Pal Singh, Director, meteorological office, said while rain was nowhere in sight, clouds floating in and out were responsible for the rising temperature. A cover of clouds in the sky does not allow the heat of the earth to escape. The trapped heat leads to a rise in temperature.

Another reason for rising temperature early this year is less rainfall in the city in the past three months. As per the normal schedule, usually, there should be around 80 mm of rainfall in initial three months, whereas, this year the city received only 20 mm of rainfall in this period. Statistics indicate that while the minimum temperature is rising, the maximum temperature, too, is shooting up since the month has gone without any rain so far.

This has resulted in sudden change of weather, indicating early advent of summer. In previous years, the maximum temperature recorded was 37.8 degrees Celsius in 1971 and 36.6 degrees Celsius in 1999.



Polio drops administered

Chandigarh, March 24
As many as 1,26,796 children in the age group of 0-5 years were immunised during the three-day pulse polio campaign organised in various slums, colonies, villages and sectors of the city.

The UT health department thanked residents of the city for their cooperation and for coming forward to get their children immunised. Various NGOs, religious leaders and community leaders helped by motivating people to get their children immunised during the campaign. — TNS



Should Chandigarh revert to the Chief Commissioner system?
Administrator is inaccessible

The need for the restoration of the post of the Chief Commissioner cannot be overemphasised. The office of the Punjab Governor, who also holds the post of the UT Administrator, has huge accessibility problem given the constitutional post he holds and his pre-occupations. A senior bureaucrat as the Chief Commissioner would be more approachable to the common man than the Governor. You see the five-year tenure of the former Governor-cum-Administrator, SF Rodrigues, where he rode roughshod over the established democratic norms and traditions. The spectre of the return of the authoritarian regime looms large over the city if we get another administrator like Rodrigues.

In the last five years, the democratic institutions were at the receiving end of the authoritarian regime. On the other hand, the Chief Commissioner would have advisory committees in which the elected representatives would have more say giving real meaning to participatory democracy. And in the process, the grievance redressal system would be strengthened, making administration “pro-people” and accountable. Besides being the UT Administrator, the Punjab Governor has a larger constitutional role to perform. However, the Chief Commissioner has a small constituency to look after and he should be able to devote more time to the city’s affairs.

The additional charge of the UT Administrator is the legacy of the terrorism days in Punjab when the two charges were combined to set up a uniform command to coordinate the activities of the state agencies against terrorists. However, terrorism in Punjab is a thing of the past and the Punjab Governor holding the post of the UT Administrator should also be a thing of the past.

Chandigarh has an illustrious legacy of eminent Chief Commissioners such as Dr MS Randhawa, whose contribution to the development of the city is still remembered.

— ML Sarin is former advocate general

of Punjab and Haryana.

Nothing wrong in system

There is widespread outcry about reverting to the original system of governance, which the Central government adopted for Chandigarh when it made the city into a Union Territory. They are asking for Chief Commissioner as a replacement for the administrator who is also the Governor of Punjab. The main problem, they argue, is inaccessibility.

Having watched the growth of the city since 1961, I find nothing wrong with any system whatsoever. Only the quality of the persons operating the system has deteriorated beyond repair. The official acts like a feudal lord treating the city as his own private estate with no thought or feeling for its incomparable legacy of modern urbanism, much less for the aspirations or needs of the citizens. The Administrator, by virtue of his position as the Punjab Governor, is much better placed than a Chief Commissioner. As a bureaucrat, the latter is picked up from a very few IAS officers, who are allocated to the UT. While the Administrator has direct access to the Home Ministry, the Chief Commissioner works under an exalted bureaucrat at the Centre. Those who find that the impasse still exists may like to consider the following proposal which I have been trying to sell since mid-80s. The Union government should immediately set up an autonomous Inter-States Chandigarh Region Inter-Disciplinary Conservation, Planning, and Development Authority, with high statutory powers, headed by a distinguished technocrat, who has a holistic vision besides a working knowledge of wide-ranging disciplines.

The Chandigarh administration, regardless of whoever may head it, should only administer the city, besides providing development funds to this establishment. The inputs for development strategies, planning priorities, etc. should come from the citizens themselves in addition to the city's elected representatives and technocrats, architects, planners, engineers, horticulturists, public health experts, and so forth.

— Dr SS Bhatti is former principal, Chandigarh

College of Architecture, Chandigarh.



Scripting success against odds
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
To work at a cement store and a chemist shop was the only option left for him in order to study, as poor economic conditions forced him to drop school in Class IX.Today, delighted to receive his doctorate degree in management at the annual convocation of the PU, Dr Anshu Kataria, now an entrepreneur, failed to find words to express his joy.

The convocation function at the PU witnessed the presence of several exceptional students, who changed their circumstances to continue studies.

In one such case, 42-year-old dental surgeon Dr Aarti Mishra decided to study journalism after doing a BDS degree in 1989. She opted for a postgraduate diploma in mass communication at the PU as a challenge and did not let age factor deter her from achieving her academic aspirations.

“I gave exams after 20 years and had a lot of pressure, but I was determined to face it,” said Aarti from Ludhiana.

In a similar case, 58-year-old DP Singh, who was among one the oldest students to receive a PhD degree, narrated his experience in an interview to The Tribune. “I was working from 7 am to 7 pm and faced a setback in my professional life because of my passion for studies. Despite hindrances, I pledged to complete my PhD,” said Dr Singh, who is an alumnus of PEC and XLRI, Jamshedpur.

There were other professionals present for whom education was a passion. “After completing BCom, I did MA, MPhil, cleared my CA and now completed my PhD degree,” said Anil Arora.

There were other special cases in which girls had shown exemplary courage to excel in their fields by overcoming hurdles.

Deepika Thakur, Himani Bansal and Nidhi Gupta, gold medallists in MPhara, ME (electronics and communication engineering) and MBA, respectively, were three such exceptional cases. 



Missing NRI’s body found hanging from tree
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 24
The body of an NRI, Devinder Singh Rawat, 30, who was reported missing since March 22, was today found hanging from a tree in the forested area in between Berwara and Madna villages on Morni road. A postmortem was conducted at the General Hospital, Sector 6 after the CFSL team took samples of fingerprints at the scene.

The police had earlier recovered the Maruti car (no HR70A2370), reportedly belonging to Rawat, late at night yesterday on the road, just a few yards from the spot where the body was found. However, due to darkness the cops as well as the deceased’s relatives could not locate the body.

The car was brought to the Sector 19 police station and was later sent to the Chandimandir police station as the Morni area fell under the latter’s jurisdiction, but subsequently again shifted to the former this morning.

The police along with Varinder Singh Rawat, the deceased’s brother, and other relatives arrived at the scene early this morning and found the body hanging from a tree. A half filled soft drink bottle was also lying near the body, which had become swollen and decomposed that it was almost impossible to go near it.

SP Maneesh Chaudhary, who visited the scene, said prima facie it appeared to be a case of suicide. However he added investigations would be conducted in case “anything fishy” was noticed in the postmortem. “After the deceased’s relatives met me yesterday evening wireless messages were immediately sent to all the police stations in the district”, he added.

Varinder said his brother, who had settled in Australia, was working with a courier firm there, had come to India last October just a few days after Diwali. “My brother had gone to drop off his wife Ekta Tomar Rawat, who is working as architect with a firm in NAC Manimajra, at the latter’s office. However, he never returned. We filed a complaint with the police yesterday evening”, he added.

Varinder said he and his relatives did not suspect any thing as earlier too Devinder had gone to drop off his wife and came back home only the next morning, saying he had gone to Haridwar. “After his return from Haridwar Devinder had destroyed his mobile phone including its SIM card and purchased a new cellphone and SIM card the very next day”, he stated.



MC mulls installation of water meters in colonies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
To streamline water tariff across the city, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) is all set to install water meters in all the rehabilitation colonies and villages.

According to a study, the MC is yet to install 19,296 water meters in colonies and villages. At present, the consumers are paying flat rates of water charges.

Sources said officials would table the agenda for the installation of water meters in all the rehabilitation colonies and villages in the coming House meeting, scheduled for March 26. Mayor Anu Chatrath said they had approved the proposal for tabling the agenda in the ensuing House meeting.

As per the proposal, the MC is planning to install water meters at Mauli Jagran, Vikas Nagar, Indra Colony, EWS houses, rehabilitation colonies, villages and Mani Majra and to recover the installation charges of these from consumers in four easy instalments.

The total expenditure likely to be incurred as per the proposal of the department was approximately Rs 1.5 crore for providing pipe and special fixers of the water meters.

The officials said to make the mode of payment easy for the consumers they had chalked out a plan of easy instalment of Rs 700 to Rs 800 per house. The officials informed the Mayor that due to non-metering of water supply in the villages and colonies, the public health department was unable to even recover the cost of the operational and maintenance charges from the consumers.

The sources said last year the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) had passed the agenda of installing water meters in all rehabilitation colonies and villages and referred it to the House. But their recommendations were never tabled in the House, as ex-Mayor Kamlesh did not grant them permission to table it.

As per the figures of the budget tabled in the recent House meeting last year, the revenue from water tariff was Rs 49.24 crore and in the coming financial year, the revenue expected is Rs 49.20 crore. On which a number of councillors had expressed surprise and said it was strange there was a slight decline in the revenue of the water tariff rather than increase in it.



Unaccounted income of Rs 50 cr disclosed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The search and seizure operations conducted by the Ludhiana income tax department on the premises of a real estate player, Peral Group, on Monday has led to the disclosure of unaccounted income of Rs 50 crore yesterday.

Senior income tax officials told The Tribune that the disclosure came after a daylong search on 18 premises of the Pearl Group, including commercial as well as residential premises in Delhi, Chandigarh, Mohali, Banur, Patiala, Jaipur and Mumbai.

Disclosure was a voluntary action by the assessee during the operation. As part of it, the party under investigation revealed the income over and above the income it has reported in the tax return. This income is then taxed at a rate of around 33 per cent. However, the investigations continue and the raiding team prepares a report on the basis of which a further assessment is made.

According to information, the group has emerged as a major player in the real estate business in the country during the last five years. The group also runs Gyan Sagar Medical College and Hospital in Banur, which was also covered during the raids. The group also runs a TV news channel, P7.



PGI docs again seek pay panel benefits
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Agitated over the delay in implementation of the sixth pay commission’s recommendations, PGI doctors reiterated their demands at a general body meeting of the Faculty Association of PGI, Chandigarh held on Tuesday. These include pay band 4 for assistant professors, promotion of assistant professor to professor by ten years and removal of nonpracticing allowance of faculty members.

According to a press note issue by the association’s President, currently PGI assistant professors are placed in pay band 3 and are paid less than their counterparts at GMCH, Chandigarh. This has also resulted in a situation wherein a newly appointed assistant professor draws less salary than a senior resident, who is in training, the note added.

However, according to the pay commission report, all the assistant professors who have completed three years of service should be placed in pay band 4.

The faculty members stated the three-year duration criteria should take ad hoc periods into consideration as it is being done for all purposes except for promotions. They felt if this “injustice” was done then many of the ad hoc faculty members would quit their jobs and in future no one would join on an ad hoc basis. “This would cause many deserving faculty members to quit government jobs and seek opportunity in the private health sector”, they added.

Moreover, the pay commission report also states all medical doctors should be given a nonpractising allowance amounting to 25 percent of basic salary. However, there is a rider that says the pay of any government servant cannot exceed that of a cabinet secretary.

This is resulting in loss of nonpractising allowance for senior faculty members as over the years their basic salary increases but the nonpracticing allowance keeps on decreasing and the salary remains static. “A professor ends up drawing a nonpracticing allowance less than that of his junior colleagues”, the faculty members said.

In another matter, the pay panel report had decided that all allowances should be notionally doubled. However, due to lack of fixation of salary, faculty members have already lost some of the allowances payable in the previous fiscal.



Bickering within MC stalls development work
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, March 24
The internal bickering within the municipal corporation has stalled development work in the town.The power tussle between the ruling and opposition groups has put the residents’ interests on the back burner.

Roads, footpaths, gullies and parking lots here are crying for repairs.

The minority ruling group led by the Congress-backed, Rajinder Singh Rana, is hesitating to float tenders for works cleared at the general house of the council by the opposition three months ago.

Estimates for development works worth over Rs 5 crore were presented at the general house meeting held on December 29.

Councillors of the opposition group, who were in a majority, had cleared all estimates prepared for the maintenance of parking areas and the work was to be done at a cost of over Rs 2.50 crore.

They had also selectively cleared estimates for works related to their wards, keeping the estimates for the wards of the ruling group councillors pending.

The council had proposed to provide open-graded premix carpets at parking areas in Sectors 70, 71, Phases I, III-A , III-B, II, V , VI , VII, IX, X and XI by spending over Rs 2.50 crore.

Similarly, estimates were cleared for strengthening roads, constructing footpaths and road gullies, improving storm water and sewer system, along with purchasing material for the maintenance of streetlights.

No development work could be undertaken, as tenders for the same had not been floated by the authorities concerned so far even when these estimates were approved by the director, local government, Punjab.

Phool Raj Singh, municipal councillor, said parking areas had not been repaired ever since the present elected body took charge three years ago.

The proposal to hand over parking areas to private parties for maintenance, for which council would not have used any funds had also not been implemented because of the indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned.

Kulwant Singh, another councillor and former president of the council, said development works were not being executed deliberately by the ruling group, as the opposition councillors had not cleared estimates of their wards.

He said the opposition had adopted a pick and choose policy because they had been discriminated by the council’s president at the time of giving work orders during the past three years.

Estimates for development works worth over Rs 7 crore were presented at the meeting held on March 5, which were again selectively cleared by the opposition group having a majority of councillors.

The opposition had told the council’s chief that they were ready to clear all estimates as soon as works related to their wards got underway.

But there are apprehensions that tenders for these works would not be floated by the ruling group just to settle scores.



Valley of springs to have rare trees
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The city will soon get a garden to preserve the green heritage. The visitors would be able to have a feel of the spring as soon as they enter the garden to be set up in Sector 53 by the horticulture department.

The Union Ministry of Tourism has already approved Rs 5 crore for the project. The idea behind setting up the garden was mooted before the ministry after observing that a majority of the flowering trees alongside city roads had failed to stand the changing climate and environment.

Many trees, including pinkasia, lestomia (pride of India), barringtonia (samudri phall), blue gulmohar and spathodia, were axed during widening of city roads and some dried out due to changes climate, depletion of ground water level and termite attack, said an official.

Tree plantation in Chandigarh was planned as an integral part of its master plan. Le Corbusier not only provided a conceptual framework for tree plantation, but also indicated shapes of trees and their planting arrangement in relation to the scale of road and the position of the sun, he said. Originally, Corbuisier had suggested that each sector should be marked by a distinct colour and character of tree blossoms along its V4 shopping streets. For the purpose, trees of barringtonia, pinkasia and lestomia were planted in front of markets in Sectors 21, 22, and 35. However, only one or two trees of theses flowering species were available on these roads now, the official claimed.

On Jan Marg, the authorities planted silver oak, white siris, mahua, kadam and blue gulmohar. However, most of these species are not in sight now, he added. Similarly spathodia (flame of forest) on both sides of the Governor House road is on the verge of extinction, he said.

In the “Valley of Spring” along with these species, other tree varieties and shrubs having flowers in different seasons would be planted so that the visitors have a feel of spring.



Generator sets removed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 24
Diesel generator sets put up in front of houses for the Indian

Premier League matches being played at the PCA stadium here have been removed by organisers. The problem was highlighted in Chandigarh Tribune on March 12 .

Eight generator sets were positioned near the residential area and residents had demanded that these should be removed.

Residents living close to the stadium had complained that

organisers had parked trucks containing generator sets at the back of the stadium two days before the first IPL match.

Amarjit Singh, a resident, said life became miserable whenever any match was played at the stadium.

Residents were put to a great inconvenience. The road in front of houses was partly blocked, as some entry gates were located there and barricades were put up by the police.

Moreover, the road at the back of the stadium remained congested due to the deployment of security personnel.



Tributes paid to martyrs
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, March 24
Senior officers of the district administration paid floral tributes to Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their Martyrdom Day at the War Memorial, Sector 12, here yesterday.

Sub-divisional magistrate (civil) Mahavir Kaushik said it was due to the sacrifices made by freedom fighters that the country achieved Independence and became one of the largest democracies in the world.

It was the duty of every citizen to defend the country from those who were out to disintegrate the country, he added.

Paramjit Singh Saini, assistant public relations officer, Inder Singh, naib tehsildar, and senior officers of the administration were among those who paid tributes.

Later, members of the Punjabi Bhaichara Mahasabha led by its president VK Sood recalled the sacrifices of the martyrs.

BJP mandal president Vishal Seth, councillors CB Goyal, Ramesh Bartwal, Laxmi Devi, VK Kapoor, senior BJP leaders Shyam Lal Bansal, BD Kalia, BK Nayyar and BM Talwar were also present.

Patiala: Processions, get-together and lectures were organised to remember the sacrifices of the martyrs here yesterday.

In a novel way of spreading the message of patriotism, youngsters made rounds of the town wearing turbans akin to that of Bhagat Singh.

They held a rally on motorbikes wearing kurta-pyjamas and Basanti turbans.

Havinder Singh, a participant, said it was an important day in the history of India. “Every year, we make it a point to organise such rallies to ensure that the youth do not forget the role of martyrs.”

Programmes were organised by various organisations highlighting the life of these martyrs and the role they played in the freedom struggle.

Also, the Bhagat Singh Vichar Manch organised a programme at the boys’ hostel of State College in which scholars presented their views on the legend.

Manch secretary Mukesh Kumar Singh said: “We have been holding such programmes to make youth aware of the ideology of Bhagat Singh and the role it played in the freedom moment.”

A similar programme was organised by the Desh Sewa Ate Sadbhawna Forum, Punjab. They shed light on the strengths and characters of the three martyrs.

Dera Bassi: Various social organisations organised functions to mark the Martyrdom Day here yesterday.

The Rotary Club organised a community kitchen near the national highway.

District governor of Rotary International 3090 Bhupinder Saini said youth should learn from the ideology of Bhagat Singh.

Also, local Press Club paid tributes to Bhagat Singh at Mubarkpur, where he was kept in a barrack for some time.



Six police stations for Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 24
Punjab’s Home Department has sanctioned six new police stations for Mohali district.

With the crime graph going up and a substantial increase in the registration of cases in the district, the police had kept the issue of more police stations before the higher authorities.

“Ever since the formation of the district in 2006, the administrative infrastructure needed to be upgraded,” said Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar.

The shortage of space to house the existing police stations and special investigative wings has forced the authorities to accommodate its force either in community centres or other public buildings.

Regular police stations will be set up at Balongi, Phase XI, Matour, Kharar, Mullanpur and Nayagoan. These will help officials register the FIRs at the police stations itself instead of going to the main police station.

At Balongi , the district police has taken 8 kanals of village panchayat’s land on 33-year lease. The rent for which is Rs 30,000 per acre. For the district police line, Balongi village panchayat has passed a resolution for leasing out another 23 acres of land. Presently, the police line is housed in a congested community centre of Phase XI here.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority had allotted 3920-sq yard land on a lease of 99 years at a rate of Rs 6 per sq yard in Sector 71 for housing the Matour police station.

Presently, the police station is running from the community centre of Sector 71. The department plans to shift the Sohana police station to Sector 109. Emmar MGF Ltd, a housing company, has offered around 4 kanals for the purpose.



Eye check-up camp
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 24
A seminar on glaucoma (kala motia) was organised by Grewal Eye Institute (GEI) here today.A free eye check-up camp was also held.Dr Guneet Mann stressed the necessity of regular eye check-up.

He said persons with high intra-ocular pressure and with a family history of glaucoma were more susceptible.

Dr Mann said tests like tonometry, for measuring inside-eye pressure; pachymetry, for measuring central corneal thickness; gonioscopy, for measuring drainage angle of eye; ophthalmoscopy, for evaluating optic nerve head damage; perimetry, for testing the visual field of eyes; and OCT DISC and RNFL, for evaluating retinal nerve fibre layer damage, played an important role in the early detection of glaucoma.



Admission to govt schools not easy for poor
Lack of birth certificate, residential proof major problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Contrary to its much-professed commitment towards getting more and more students from economically weaker sections enrolled in schools, the UT Education Department has, in a way, “prevented” hundreds of such students from applying for admission to kindergarten classes of government schools.

A majority of parents, who are slum-dwellers and migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, were shooed away from various schools and denied registration for not having the child’s birth certificate or residential proof.

“I am a rickshaw-puller hailing from Bihar. My daughter wants to go to school but nobody is letting me register her name for admission. I went to the nearby school, where I was asked to bring the birth certificate and proof of residence, which I don’t have. I got an affidavit made by spending Rs 200, but they still didn’t accept it. I even tried meeting the DEO, but wasn’t allowed to do so,” says Mohan Lal, a resident of Indra Colony.

“They talk of bringing all children to government schools but are not allowing us to even get our name in the registration. I have come from UP and my child was born in a village. Where do I get the certificate? The school authorities rebuked me and asked to get my child admitted into an Alternative and Innovative Education (AIE) centre, where such children come,” added Sukhmani, a housemaid.

It may be noted that barring a few model schools, most of government schools admit students from economically weaker sections of society. Still, there are many who are unable to get admission to regular schools because of certain problems. Thus, a majority of these kids end up being enrolled with NGOs or AIE centres.



XEN repatriated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Chandigarh Municipal Corporation road division 1 executive engineer (XEN) Zorawar Singh has been repatriated to his parent state of Punjab after the concurrence of UT Administrator Shivraj Patil.

The charge of Zorawar Singh has been given to road division 3 executive engineer Bhupinder Singh.

Sources revealed that a week ago, the UT Administrator had approved his relieving order to his parent state. On which the corporation had sent a request to the UT administration that a replacement be provided before Singh’s repatriation to his parent state.

Officials said that Chandigarh administration rejected their request and asked to follow the administrator’s order.



Leakage leaves parks waterlogged
Tribune News Service

Water oozing out of a tertiary water pipeline in the Garden of Annuals, Sector 44, Chandigarh, on Wednesday.
Water oozing out of a tertiary water pipeline in the Garden of Annuals, Sector 44, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan 

Chandigarh, March 24
Parks and the green belts, particularly in the southern sectors, are replete with sights of leaking tertiary water pipelines.The Tribune team came across a number of leaking pipes in Sectors 44, 45, 47, 48 and 50. A visit to various parks and greenbelts revealed that most of the tertiary pipelines that were laid recently were not properly plugged, leading to waterlogging in most of the parks of the city. Residents allege that it is useless to have such greenbelts around the residential areas, which have become a breeding ground for the mosquitoes.

When contacted, an MC official said the project was on trail basis. “We will take action when we receive a complaint on the issue,” he said.

A resident of Sector 44, Sudesh Kohli, who is regular morning walker in the Garden of Annuals, rued that he failed to understand about this facility to the public by the authorities, as it was giving more trouble than convenience. He said most of his co-partner of the morning walk has left morning walk as they are not finding the place suitable for it.

Another resident of Sector 48, Neelam, stated that she had recently started yoga in a greenbelt near her residence, but she has to do away with it as most of the area of park was irrigated with untreated water. According to the proposal of the MC, a network of tertiary water pipeline has been installed across the city for watering of parks and greenbelts. 



Hotel lacks fire safety norms

Chandigarh, March 24
A city-based hotel has been slapped a notice for not complying with the provisions of the Fire Safety Act.Madan Lal Sharma, station fire officer, the nominated authority appointed under the Delhi Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Act, 1986, inspected the hotel located at motor market in Mani Majra on March 4 and found deficiencies in fare safety measures. The building is owned by Chetan Sharma and is occupied by Deepak Sharma, who is running a hotel. 

They had been asked to install ISI marked ABC type fire extinguishers of 5 kg capacity, hose reels at each floor, wet rises/down comer with accessories, illuminated exit way marking signs, automatic sprinkler system in basement, automatic detection and alarm system, fire brigade connection with NRV and terrace water tank with automatic pump/ motor by April 15. — TNS



Aerodynamic shapes of planes discussed

Mohali, March 24
A seminar on aero modelling was organised by the SAE INDIA Collegiate Club of mechanical engineering department of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology here yesterday.

The participants discussed aerodynamic shapes of aeroplanes and automotive vehicles. Sri Sukhmani Group of Institutes chairman Prof Avtar Singh praised the students’ efforts and discussed with them the importance of such technical activities. — TNS



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