C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Getting away with violence
No conviction in cases involving students over the past 5 years
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Zero per cent conviction in cases pertaining to student violence over the past five years exposes the tardy investigation by the police. A shoddy job in framing the cases led to a majority of them falling apart in the court.

Students were involved in crimes like attempt to murder, culpable homicide, rioting and damaging property. Public servants, too, have been assaulted on duty.

Of the 30 cases registered since January 2001, as many as five cases ended in acquittals, three ended in quashing of the FIR while two were cancelled.

Apart from this, 14 cases are pending trial while another six are still “under investigation”, a couple of which are bring probed for the past over a year.

The police had arrested 99 PU students during the corresponding period. A sizeable number are “elusive” as per the police records. The police has arrested 51 students since January 1, 2005, to April 1 this year while taking preventive measures against them apprehending breach of peace under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC while another 64 were booked for apprehension of breach of peace under Sections 107 and 150 of the CrPC.

A perusal of the cases registered by the police revealed that the rowdy students were involved in cases like murder bid, attempt to culpable homicide, rioting, using deadly arms, damaging property, wrongful confinement, abduction, assaulting public servants, arson and gate crashing.

The case studies revealed that the students were involved in almost all sorts of heinous criminal activities. A police official said most of the students involved directly or indirectly in such activities were from affluent farmer and business families from Abohar, Bathinda, Muktsar, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Mansa, Barnala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Ludhiana and from Jind, Rohtak and other parts of Haryana.

Among some of the sensational cases registered in the university is the one registered on May 3, 2008, in which Barinder Dhillon, Harpreet Multani, Gobind Singh Khatra and Viramjit Singh, allegedly armed with swords and bats, barged into an examination centre and assaulted Siramdeep Singh Sandhu. A case of attempt to murder and rioting was registered and the case was put in court on August 27 that year.

On November 6, 2007, Vikas Rathi, Abhimanyu Huda, and Anuragh, along with 35-40 other supporters of INSO and PUSU pelted the residence of the Vice-Chancellor with stones.

The police had arrested Anuragh Chauhan of Faridabad, who threatened the VC on his mobile phone of dire consequences through an SMS, after registering a case of criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication under Section 507 of the IPC.

Crime Chart

PU students arrested for crime 99

Total cases registered 30

Incidents of rioting 16

Incidents of causing grievous hurt 20

Incidents of damage to property 4

Incidents of criminal intimidation 22

Attempt to murder 7


Major incidents of violence in 2010

March 17: Gurwinder Singh of Naya Gaon, a SOPU supporter, said four persons fired at his car in Sector 11.

April 8: Firing incident at the house of Udey Singh Wirring, president of PUSU.

April 12: Rival group of students burn a Mit subishi Pajero and Maruti Esteem.

April 13: Nikhil Sharma of DAV College arrested for firing shots at Harsher Singh outside the college.



Admission process to be reviewed
Committee meets today
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The PU authorities have finally taken notice of the recent incidents of student violence and constituted a special committee with the Dean University Instruction (DUI) as the chairperson to review amendments to admission rules for students indulging in violence. The first meeting of the committee is scheduled to take place tomorrow, sources said.

In a related development, several members of the Senate urged the university authorities to summon an all-party meeting of student bodies to find a solution in this regard. The last five days have witnessed three major incidents involving clashes between student groups, the last being yesterday outside DAV College.

Condemning the violence, some Senate members recommended that stringent measures must be taken to discourage “violent politics”.

“In most cases it is personal rivalry which leads to violent attacks,” said a senior senate member, not wanting to be quoted.

Senate members also said an intervention in this matter was immediately required, notwithstanding the university’s preoccupation with the current visit of a special task force constituted by the ministry of human resource and development.

“I condemn violence in any form by students. The authorities must intervene and call for an all-party meeting right away,” said Dayal Pratap Randhawa, a Senate member and founder of SOPU.

“Proper investigation must be conducted in each case and the leaders must be educated and moulded so that their high enthusiasm and courage is channelised,” he added.

Pointing to the need to strengthen security, Rabindernath Sharma, another Senate member, said: “Senior university officials must persuade warring student leaders to stop such attacks as it reflects on the image of the PU.”

‘This must stop’

 Prof RC Sobti, VCThe university alone cannot resolve the issue as there are several other agencies involved. It cannot even play the role of an investigating agency. But rules should be reviewed in the wake of the recent incidents of student violence. We have planned outreach programmes for students. We will hold a dialogue with students and university officials to find a solution. — Prof RC Sobti, VC


Prof Naval Kishore, Dean Student WelfareWe have strengthened security at the three entrance gates of the campus over the last two days. A committee has also been constituted under with DUI as chairman. We are strict about hostel accommodation being given to such students and nearly half-a-dozen students were suspended from hostels after they were found indulging in violence.

Prof Naval Kishore, Dean Student Welfare


Dayal Pratap Randhawa, Senate memberWe started student organisations in the university with the aim of having a democratic representation of students and to do away with indirect elections. A meeting of all student bodies must be called for.

Dayal Pratap Randhawa, Senate member


How students with shady background get admission

Students who are involved in such incidents often get easy admission. The university has no authority to deny admission to such students since they have cleared the entrance exam. In other cases, these students seek admission through judicial intervention,” a senior PU official stated.



CHB makes transfer of ownership easier
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
In what could bring cheer to hundreds of “beneficiaries”, the CHB has finally decided to make the transfer of house ownership easier for both the current owners and future buyers.

A beneficiary is a term used for a person who is not related to the owner. The current rules stipulate that a CHB house owner can sell his house only on a general power of attorney (GPA) along with a will and a sale agreement. Of significance to the decision is the fact that the buyer is also required to obtain a written consent from the seller’s legal heirs, whether spouse or children or both.

CHB sources told The Tribune that future beneficiaries would soon be exempted from the tedious exercise of contacting the legal heirs of the seller for obtaining prior consent for the transfer of ownership.

The process of transferring houses on a GPA for beneficiaries would now become simplified for the reason that he or she would no longer have to first trace the legal heirs and then seek their consent for the transfer of ownership. The decision comes as good news for the CHB residents’ federation, which, for long, has been pressing for simplifying the transfer of ownership. “This decision will come as relief to the buyers, many of who were being harassed by legal heirs,” Nirmal Dutt, chairman of the federation, said.

Sources in the CHB said although a decision to this effect was taken last week, a written communique was yet to be issued.

In several cases, the beneficiaries were finding it difficult to obtain consent from legal heirs of the seller. There were even reports of legal heirs charging large sums of money from beneficiaries to accord their consent. Those who did not agree to succumb to such blackmail were left with no option but to battle it out in the court, which further delayed the transfer of property for years.

But soon, the buyer will only have to give an indemnity bond stating that any further dispute or litigation emerging out of a sale transaction would be dealt between the seller and the buyer with the CHB having nothing to do with it.



Estate rules amended
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Bowing to repeated representations from traders’ bodies, the UT Administration has amended rules governing the misuse of commercial properties -- a development that will benefit thousands of property owners and tenants in the city.

Now only that portion of the commercial building will be sealed which had violated terms and conditions of the allotment by effecting illegal additions and alterations. Earlier, the whole building was sealed even if the landlord/tenant of a portion of that building had misused the premises.

The new provision had come into effect following the formulation of the Chandigarh Estate (Amendment)

Rules, 2009, in place of the Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007. The new rules will go a long way in rectifying the anomalies in the earlier rules, official sources said.

The sealing of the whole building, particularly in major commercial centres of Sectors 17, 22, 34 and 35 and Mani Majra, had led to resentment among traders as “occupiers who were on the right side of the law were being harassed by the estate office officials”.

Recently, a delegation of the Traders Association, Sector 17, comprising Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, president, and LC Arora and JPS Kalra, both general secretaries, had sought the intervention of UT Administrator Shivraj Patil in resolving the long-pending demand of landlords and tenants.

The provision of sealing the whole building for part violation was allegedly being misused by EO officials as it gave them wide powers to “harass” those who had not violated rules of allotment. It was a disincentive to honest landlords and tenants.

“If implemented in letter and spirit, the new provision would end harassment of law-abiding traders. It was in line with the philosophy that the violator should pay and the honest trader should not be harassed,” Kalra stated.



Admn torpedoes swimmers
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Splashing in the two swimming pools owned by the UT Administration has just got more expensive for swimming enthusiasts. With the administration hiking costs by a whopping 200 per cent in a go, those keen to swim this season will have to cough up considerable sums of money. The charges at the Sector 23 “nursery” swimming pool have been tripled from Rs 500 to Rs 1,500 per person per season (April 1 to September 30). The charges for the all-weather swimming pool have gone up nearly four-fold from Rs 500 to Rs 1,800 per person.

These charges are applicable for budding competitive swimmers. For single adults, the cost is even higher. An adult will now be charged Rs 3,500 from the earlier Rs 1,400 per season for the all-weather swimming pool, and Rs 3,000 for the nursery pool.

But residents are not happy. “To many, amounts like Rs 1,500 and Rs 1,800 may appear nominal, but in percentage terms, it is substantial. If I want to go for a swim with my family of four, I will end up shelling Rs 10,000 per season which is a big amount for a service class person,” pointed out a parent whose two daughters train at the all-weather pool.

“In the name of facilities, only three officials (a coach, a life guard and a sweeper) are deputed at the pool. So, what was the need to increase it by so much?” he asked.

The department joint director, JPS Sidhu, justified the hike saying that it would help in promoting the sport since only serious swimmers would turn up. “The rates have been increased only to promote the sport. Due to low charges, both the pools used to witness a large rush of non-serious swimmers, but now only those who take the sport seriously will come,” he stated.

Pool Charges


Rs 50 per student per month

Rs 150 per faculty member/employee per month

Rs 150 per outsider per visit

Rs 1,000 per outsider per month

Chandigarh Club

Rs 1,700 per member per season

Rs 550 per member per month

Rs 60 per guest per visit

Press Club

Rs 250 per regular member per month

Rs 600 per associate/member per month

Rs 2,500 per guest per season

Golf Club

Rs 607 per permanent member per month

Rs 772 per month for temporary member

Rs 1,655 per permanent member per season

Rs 1,985 per temporary member per season

Rs 55 per guest per day


They play with fire to save others
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
When Yogesh Tyagi, a young fireman with the Chandigarh Fire and Emergency Department, reported for duty in 2009 at a Ram Darbar hotel, little did he knew that by the end of the day, he would emerge as a hero for being instrumental in rescuing a child who had fallen into a pit dug for the installation of a lift near the hotel.

Dalbir Singh
Dalbir Singh

He was honoured with the “Gallantry and Meritorious Award” at a function on the Fire Service Day toady by Mayor Anu Chatrath at the Sector 17 fire station.

Dalbir Singh, driver with the fire department was also honoured on the occasion. This is for the first time that two employees of the fire department have been honoured. The award comprises a medal, a trophy and Rs 5,000 cash.

Recalling the eventful day, Yogesh, a resident of Hisar, said that around 1 pm, the fire station headquarter team rushed to save a child who had fallen in a pit near the hotel.
Firemen pay homage to employees who lost their lives during rescue operations. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan
Firemen pay homage to employees who lost their lives during rescue operations. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

“I also rushed to the spot along with other members and found that team that had reached one hour earlier at the spot was unable to rescue the child,” he said, adding that then they used a spreader to make way for the child to come out of the pit successfully.

In another case, Yogesh was instrumental in fishing out the body of a boy who drowned in Dhanas Lake in 2008.

Yogesh was elated on becoming the first person of the department to be honoured for bravery. “It’s a great motivation for me and my colleagues to perform duty with sincerity and dedication,” he added.

Competing with the young blood of the department, 50-year-old Dalbir Singh was honoured for his voluntary service to the department. Dalbir is considered as the “mobile workshop” of the department as he can repair any vehicle for which the department does not have to shell out extra money.

Meanwhile, at a function organised to mark the Fire Services Day, fire brigade jawans presented a parade that was inspected by Mayor Anu Chatrath and MC Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria. A flag-hoisting ceremony was also performed on the occasion.

A two-minute silence was observed in the memory of all those firemen in the country who lost their lives while on duty. Leading fireman late Amarjit Singh Mavi, who sacrificed his life during a fire incident last year, was also remembered.

The Mayor assured that the kin of Mavi would to given all possible help. However, family members of Mavi had been moving from pillar to post for the last two years to get the financial assistance assured to them by the authorities.



Dowry forces girl to switch grooms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
In a quick turn of events, a girl from Sector 29 got married within a couple of hours after her would-be-bridegroom ditched her when her family expressed helplessness to meet their demand of giving a car in dowry at a community centre in Sector 30 this afternoon.

A city-based human rights activist, Arvind Thakur, called the police which booked the boy, identified as Rahul, a resident of Sector 38-West, his father Ram Rattan and mother Sureshna under Section 406 (breach of trust) of the IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Confirming the development, the SHO of the Industrial Area police station said the case would be sent to the women and child support unit of the Chandigarh Police for further investigation.

He said the 23-year-old girl was in a shock when she realised that her wedding was called off. He then suggested 26-year-old Sumit of Phase II, Ram Darbar, to the family. They agreed and he called the boy to the same venue and solemnised the wedding.

The bride’s brother, Sanjeev Kumar, alleged that Rahul’s family called off the wedding at the eleventh hour demanding a Maruti Alto car and jewellery.

Sanjeev said he is the only brother of six sisters and their parents had died. They kept on waiting for the groom and the wedding party at the venue but being adamant to their demand, they never turned up.



City sizzles at 39.2° C
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Mercury soared to a scorching 39.2 degrees Celsius in the city today, forcing the residents to stay indoors as it touched the season's highest temperature so far.

Today's maximum temperature rose by 0.4 degrees from Sunday’s maximum of 38.8 degrees Celsius, the Met department said. The minimum temperature was recorded at 22.1 degrees Celsius.

The weatherman has predicted mainly clear sky tomorrow with the temperature likely to rise to 40 degrees Celsius. The minimum is likely to be 23 degrees.

The mercury had touched 38.8 degrees on April 11, which was the second highest maximum temperature in this month. April has been seeing warmer than normal days with temperature above 36 degrees Celsius consistently. Last week, the temperature rose to 38 degrees Celsius, leading to extremely hot and sunny days in the region.

A Met official said: “Clear sky has led to hot days. The western disturbance is affecting Jammu and Kashmir at present and its immediate consequence is increase in temperature.”



Suspension of two powermen proposed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 14
Suspension orders have been recommended in the case of two employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board who were found under the influence of liquor while on duty.

According to an official of the power board, two assistant linemen, Shiv Dass and Amarjeet Singh, were found to be under the influence of liquor while on duty. They were carrying out some maintenance work at a transformer located in Gidderpur village, which led to some sparking. These sparks fell on the ripe wheat crop in the area, which caught fire causing huge loss to farmers.

These farmers then gave a written complaint to the SDO of the Sohana area, Paramjeet Singh, against the two employees alleging that they were under the influence of liquor while on duty. The SDO then went to the spot to take stock of the situation. He has recommended suspension of the two employees.

It is reported that wheat crop on about 25 acres had got destroyed due to the irresponsible attitude of these employees. The blaze was brought under control by the fire fighters.



PSEB unbundling
Police holds flag march
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 14
A flag march was organised by the police here this evening in connection with the strike called by employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board tomorrow against the move of the government to unbundle the power board.

As many as 12 police vehicles, led by SP (city) SS Gill, covered various parts of the town warning those concerned against unlawful activities.

The SP was accompanied by two DSPs -- Swarndeep Singh and Raka Ghira -- and SHOs of various police stations.

The flag march started from the 66 kV grid substation at the industrial area, Phase I, and covered the routes over which transmission lines passed and grid substations were located.

Zirakpur: The police organised a flag march here this evening in view of the strike called by the employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board tomorrow.

SHO Yogi Raj said the security personnel had been deployed on all grids falling in the area. The police personnel passed through the Dhakoli, Pabhat and Baltana areas.



Panchkula MC Constitution
Rift within Congress to the fore
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
Differences between the Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Kumari Selja factions of the Haryana Congress over the constitution of the Panchkula MC have come to the fore.

Even as the debate among the public over the formation of the MC rages on, differences cropped up between local MLA DK Bansal and Congress working president Phool Chand Mullana over the inclusion of the areas of the Kalka assembly in the MC here yesterday.

In a development that gives credence to faction-fighting in the ruling party, Bansal alleged that he was not taken into confidence over the notification of the Panchkula MC, saying that Kalka and Pinjore areas should not have been included in the MC as these areas were part of a separate assembly segment.

He claimed that he had urged Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for the inclusion 60 villages of the Barwala-Raipur Rani blocks in the MC for overall development. However, Bansal retracted from his statement when Mullana unexpectedly arrived at the venue for the press conference soon after Bansal’s interaction with the media.

He claimed that he was not against the inclusion of the Kalka and Pinjore areas, but also wanted that about 60 villages of his constituency should be included in the corporation.

When questioned, Mullana said Kalka and Pinjore areas were included in the MC jurisdiction for their overall development. He claimed that the state government was not biased against anybody and the overall development of the state was the only criteria for taking major decisions like the formation of the MC for the township.

Like several other MLAs, Bansal owes his allegiance to the Kumari Selja group while Mullana is a confidant of the Chief Minister.



Girl killed in accident on wedding day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
A pall of gloom descended upon a family of Sector 41, here, today when the would-be bride of their son got killed in a road accident while on the way to the venue for marriage.

The relatives of the bride and the groom who were supposed to receive the guests on the gate of Khukhrain Bhawan, Sector 35, the venue for the marriage, were still standing there at night, but for a different reason -- to tell about the tragedy, which left the family shocked.

The bride, Priya (27), from Ludhiana, was to marry Nitin Suri, belonging to Sector 41, here and living in Australia.

Priya was on her way from Ludhiana to Chandigarh, along with her mother, brother and aunt. The Santro car, in which they were travelling, collided with an Indica car driven by Anil Talwar, also a resident of Ludhiana.

According to the police, both the vehicles got damaged in the accident. The bride was sitting on the front seat. The injured were rushed to the DMC, Ludhiana.



1 lakh devotees throng Nada Sahib
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
More than one lakh devotees flocked Shri Nada Sahib Gurdwara to pay obeisance on the occasion of Baisakhi here today. The gates of the gurdwara were thrown open at 2.30 am.

Apart from the tricity, devotees from Patiala, Rajpura, Kharar, Dera Bassi, Ropar and Ambala also made a beeline since the past night at the historic gurdwara, which has been associated with Guru Gobind Singh ji.

The programme began with the “Nitnam” followed by the Baisakh katha by Sher Singh who highlighted the significance of the month and the festival. A kirtan was held in the morning and in the evening by dhadis invited from across the region. The manager of the gurdwara, Bhupinder Singh, said over one lakh devotees visited the gurdwara. Special arrangements for langar had been made. Devotees, too, brought lots of sweets.

Bhupinder said about 125 devotees were baptised on the occasion. Heavy rush was witnessed at Manji Sahib Gurdwara in Pinjore where the devotees also took a holy dip in the historical bowlis.

He said about 400 youths, including boys and girls, registered themselves for the “Sikhi Sarup”. The Sikhi Sarup Lehar had been started by the Mata Kaulan Welfare Trust, Tarn Taran, he added.

Meanwhile, the Punjabi Bhaichara Maha Sabha, led by its president RK Kakkar, had organised “Akhand Path” at Sector 15 gurdwara, which culminated today with bhog of Akhand Path.



2011 census kicks off in city today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The houselisting operations and preparation of the national population register for the 2011 census, which starts in the city tomorrow, will be more detailed than the preceding exercise, according to Bindhyeshwari Negi, director-cum-principal census commissioner, Chandigarh.

Briefing reporters at the UT guest house here today, she urged them to play a pivotal role in encouraging the public to cooperate with the census staff as the decennial exercise was a “task of national importance”. She also appealed to city residents to provide correct and accurate information to the visiting census officials.

The headcount will be conducted in two phases in the city. The first - houselisting and housing census - will be carried out over 45 days between April 15 and May 31. The second phase - population enumeration - will be conducted from February 9 to February 28 next year. The census will cover all 26 wards of the union territory, whose current population, including that of villages, is estimated about 1,143,000.

During this period over 3,000 enumerators and supervisors will visit residents’ homes to collect information, enumerate houses and households and gather data on housing amenities and assets for assessing the conditions in human settlements. They will also collect information under the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens & Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.

The national population register (NPR) will contain details of all residents of India regardless of whether they are citizens or not. “This is important to strengthen the security of country and empower citizens for various social benefits”, Negi said. “The NPR will be the building block for the government to allot a unique identification (UID) number by the Unique Identification Authority of India," she added.

A smart card with the UID number printed on will include basic details like name, mother's or father's name, sex, date and place of birth and photograph. “The allotment of a UID number to a person will not guarantee citizenship”, said Negi, clarifying concerns about illegal residents also getting these cards.

The biometric cards can be used for diverse purposes like getting a telephone connection, passport and immigration clearance.

Negi urged city residents citizens city to “participate wholeheartedly in the exercise and to help census officials to complete the task successfully”. She added the government would offer enumerators Rs 5,500 as remuneration for the task. “Census duty is obligatory like election duty and people shouldn’t try to avoid it”, she remarked.

“Advisor to the UT administrator Pradeep Mehra will be the first person to be enumerated after the exercise gets underway tomorrow”, she said.



MC celebrates Baisakhi with gaiety
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The municipal corporation today celebrated Baisakhi with gaiety at the new lake in Sector 42 here.

Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, leader of opposition, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, graced the occasion as chief guest. Sufi songs, fusion of giddha and bhangra, Punjabi folk songs by famous Punjabi singers Surinder Chinda, Pali Detwalia and Mamta Joshi marked the occasion. Rajinder Kaur Bhattal enlightened the gathering about the social, religious and historical significance of the day.

MC Mayor Anu Chatrath, Dr Roshan Sunkaria, Commissioner, Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, chairman, Art, Culture and Sports Committee, Harjinder Kaur, chairperson, Punjab Arts Council, and other councillors were also present on this occasion.



The ugly face of City Beautiful
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
In contrast to the clean environs of the City Beautiful, the densely populated colonies here are full of garbage heaps, overflowing gutters and drains choked with polythene bags.
Children play amidst filth at Colony No. 5, Chandigarh
Children play amidst filth at Colony No. 5, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S Chandan

There is no exception to the conditions prevailing in colonies of Ram Darbar, Mauli Jagran, Colony V and Milkman colony, Dhanas. There are 18 colonies, officially, and the conditions are no better anywhere.

The pitiable condition needs a special care, particularly in the wake of summer setting in. Local hospitals are already witnessing a rush for gastroenteritis cases. A majority of the cases are coming from labour colonies in the city, Mohali and even Panchkula.

Residents are complaining about irregular visit by the health department officials of the municipal corporation.

Sayeed Zahir, a resident of Mauli Jagran, said: “We have irregular cleaning up of colonies. Even if we have rare visits by sweepers, no checks are carried out by health department workers. Buzzing mosquitoes and flies have become a part of our lives.”

MC’s medical officer of health Dr GS Diwan said the department was not ignoring any area in the city and they were trying to deploy more sanitation employees in colonies and slums.

Anil Kumar, a labourer, said: “The department had not cleaned the sewerage for a long time. It has become a breeding ground for rats, flies and mosquitoes, thus creating health problems for residents.”

With no proper collection system for garbage in colonies and slums in a number of areas, garbage mixes with stagnant water, making a stinking concoction of fetid waste that provides a ‘nice’ breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Many a time, water seeps into houses making residents scurry for dry, not-smelly places. The problem of illegal colonies is even worse.

Sumitra, a housewife, said: “The administration will act only if senior officials are made to spend at least a day with us. Only a first-hand experience will make them realise our pain and maybe goad them to act.”

Some residents of Mauli Jagran allege that the authorities have failed to make proper arrangements for lifting of garbage from these colonies.

Foul smell emanates from piles of garbage. Garbage heaps are also breeding places for various types of insects and diseases.

They say even sweepers who have been assigned duties in the colony are irregular and there is no check on them.

According to a resident of Ram Darbar, Om Prakash: “Sweepers have a casual approach towards their work.”

Residents were unanimous in echoing their concern over contaminated water supply in the area.

Dildar Singh, a senior citizen, said “The authorities act only when the situation goes out of hand. We hear about raids and a corrective action when there is an outbreak of a disease. Even while preparing for the forthcoming monsoon, the authorities need to commence a clean-up project right away.”



41 fresh diarrhoea cases reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Forty-one fresh cases of diarrhoea were reported at government hospitals here today. With this, the total number of patients suffering from diarrhoea has gone up to 263 in the past week.

According to figures available with hospitals, 24 people, including five adults, reported at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, today, five at the PGI’s Advanced Paediatric Centre and 12 at Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32.



Mohali villages sans potable water
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, April 14
With the authorities concerned failing to provide potable water, threat of gastroenteritis outbreak and other water-borne diseases looms large on villages falling under Mohali.

The health authorities, however, are gearing up to meet any eventuality following reports of gastro cases in Chandigarh. The health authorities held a meeting here today to assess the situation.

Civil surgeon Dr PK Sridhar said that no gastro case had been reported from Mohali district so far. A few complaints were received from Matour village after people consumed water from a newly installed tubewell. A team of health officials was sent to the village to take stock of the situation. Water samples were collected from Matour village and other areas and reports were still awaited, he added.

When told that people from Mohali were visiting Chandigarh hospitals for treatment of water-borne diseases, the civil surgeon said he had no information in this regard. He said that rapid response teams were being strengthened and health education was also being provided to people.

During the past two years, many children from Madanpur and Shahi Majra villages died due to cholera and a large number of residents in Mohali village were hospitalised last year following outbreak of water-borne disease.

These incidents have become a regular feature during summer, but this has failed to move the authorities concerned and residents still have to consume dirty water from handpumps.

Residents of Mohali and Shahi Majra villages have again complained that they were getting inadequate water and residents in some pockets had to consume contaminated water from handpumps.

Even when the town is developing at a rapid pace, Madanpur village has been deprived of piped water supply. Sanjeev Kumar, who runs a school in Mohali village, said that some areas of the village were not getting drinking water. Parts of Phases VI, and I were also being supplied water from a tubewell, which should be run solely for Mohali village. Moreover, one was not sure about the quality of water being supplied because the pipelines were not cleaned regularly.

Major Singh Mann of Shahi Majra village said that about 5 per cent people of the village depended on handpumps for drinking water. Though the handpump water appears to be clean, it is not fit for drinking.



Contaminated Water
Residents’ body gives memo to DC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula April 14
Piqued over the contaminated and polluted drinking water being supplied by HUDA to city residents, a delegation of the House Owners Welfare Association (HOWA), Sector 10, submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Ashima Garg here today.

General secretary, HOWA, Bharat Hiteshi, said the PGI, Chandigarh, in its reports had clearly stated that drinking water of various sectors in the city, including Sectors 4, 10, 11, 12, 12-A and 20, was not potable and thus unfit for human consumption.

He said during the past one month the cases of water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and typhoid had considerably increased, which was a great cause of concern.

NR Sharma, senior vice-president of the association, said: “It is the sole and primary responsibility of the state to provide purified and disease-free water to its citizens.”

He said the government should immediately intervene and take remedial measures in order to save lives of the residents. The copies of the memorandum had also been sent to the Chief Minister, health minister and HUDA administrator for initiating necessary action in this regard, he added.



Mohali’s first urban estate gets go-ahead
4,500 residential plots to be offered
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 14
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has decided in-principle to roll out its first residential urban estate - Aerotropolis in Mohali.

Around 4,500 residential plots of different sizes, ranging between 125 and 500 sq yds, are being offered at Rs 12,000 per sq yd or Rs 3 lakh per marla.

The decision was taken at a GMADA executive committee meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Secretary SC Agrawal.

GMADA Chief Administrator Vivek Partap Singh said the allotments would be made by way of draw of lots and a public notice inviting applications was being issued. The work has already begun on the development of Aerotropolis to be spread across 771.34 acre along both sides of 200-foot-wide road from Sectors 66-66 A to Chhat village up to National Highway-64 (Zirakpur to Patiala) in the vicinity of the upcoming international airport here.

“Tenders would be allotted to eligible contractors after a pre-bid meeting being held on April 18,” Singh said, adding that a target period of two-and-half years was fixed to complete the project and hand over the possession of the plots.”

Under three different modes of payment finalised at the meeting, the GMADA would offer 10 per cent discount on the total upfront payment in advance at the time of allotment, while no interest would be charged if the payment was cleared within 18 months.

Simple interest, at the rate of 10 per cent per annum on the outstanding amount, would, however, be charged if the allottee availed himself of the full payment period stretching up to around four years.

Except those who own a residential site duly allotted by any government agency anywhere in Mohali, all others are eligible to try their luck for building their dream house at a reasonable price.

Also, separate applications received from husband, wife and their children will be considered a single family case. The plots will be available in 125, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 450 and 500 sq yd size.

The Chief Administrator said almost 10 per cent of total landowners (having around 80 acre out of the total 771 acre) had so far opted for the land pooling scheme, under which 968 sq yd residential and 121 sq yd commercial developed sites were offered against each acre of acquired land (including parking area).



Admn moots Japanese garden for Sec 31
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The defence personnel living in Sector 31 of the City Beautiful would soon get rid of the wild growth on the uneven land surrounding their houses, as the Chandigarh administration has decided to set up a Japanese garden in this area. A proposal in this regard has already been sent to the Union ministry of tourism.

According to sources in the administration, the garden with waterfalls, water bodies, shrubs and swings would be spread over around 17 acres and its boundary, starting from the road on the backside of the CII building, will touch Sector 47.

The visitors, after entering the garden, will need not come out of it to reach the other parts of the garden lying across the intersecting roads of the sector as the tunnel would be dug to join both the parts -- one lying in Sector 31-B and the other in Sector 31-C.

The garden will provide the real picture of a Japanese garden, which consists of water, real or symbolic, stone arrangements, bridge to the island, hedges and fences.

For the water requirements in the garden to run its waterfalls and watering of plants, two tubewells have been proposed to be installed. However, keeping the importance of water in sight, it is planned that water meant for the waterfalls would be recycled and the shrubs would form major part of greenery so that minimum water was required to keep the garden in good shape, said sources.

The administration has sought Rs 5 crore from the tourism ministry for the Rs 7-crore project while the rest of the money would be provided by the horticulture department by the administration from its own budget.

Box: The garden with waterfalls, water bodies, shrubs and swings would be spread over around 17 acres and its boundary, starting from the road on the backside of the CII building, will touch Sector 47.



Shivalikview in for makeover
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Over a year after the floating of a proposal to renovate CITCO’s Hotel Shivalikview, the authorities have announced its renovation amounting to Rs 8.75 crore to be completed within 15 months.

At a press conference organised at the hotel on Monday, DK Tewari, managing director, CITCO, said with the completion of the proposed renovation scheme, the hotel would become a four-star unit and a star of attraction.

The plan includes construction of a multi-purpose hall of 100-pax capacity, conference rooms, five shops, expansion of lobby and restaurant area with a separate coffee shop, a porch and a swimming pool on the ground floor.

The basement area of the hotel will be converted into a lounge bar with discotheque. The hotel proposes to have the first-of-its-kind rooftop terrace restaurant and a jungle theme party hall on the sixth floor and the hotel will soon have a health club on the first floor.

Tewari said tenders had been floated for the purpose and the design work had been assigned to an architect.

The work would be completed in two phases, spanning 15 months. “The renovation plan includes civil and public health works costing Rs 6.05 crore, electrical fixtures costing Rs 50 lakh, PC and automation costing Rs 90 lakh, and furniture and other miscellaneous items worth Rs 1 crore,” he said.



Soon, surf the Net while travelling in Shatabdi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Passengers on board the Shatabdi express can now look forward to enjoy high-speed Internet access with Indian Railways having decided to provide the service on a trial basis. Judging by the response, the facility will be extended to other railway zones in the country.

RailTel Corp of India Ltd, an undertaking under the railway ministry, is coming up with Internet and related facilities to create a nationwide broadband telecom and multimedia network.

Travellers can now look forward to enjoy the train journey and not worry about any urgent emails from home or office while being entertained at the same time.

Indian Railways also plans to install audio and video entertainment systems and even DTH services in prestigious trains. These facilities would be of immense benefit to businessmen, most of whom use trains for intercity travel. With the Net they would be able to continue their work aboard the train. Passengers would also find it useful to send messages, especially in an emergency.

”It’s definitely a good idea and will greatly benefit all Shatabdi passengers”, said Rajinder Goyal, a chartered accountant. “Not only businessmen and industrialists, other travelers also require the Internet. Passengers who have laptops would not have to carry them on the train if the web is available on board,” he added.

AS Rawat, an MBA student, said, “I have been studying in Delhi for the past eight months and usually travel by the Shatabdi when visiting home. If Internet services are provided in the train I can stay in touch with current happenings. It would also save me time as I could complete my assignments while travelling. Passengers wouldn’t mind paying an extra charge for the facility”.

Karan Singh, senior railways divisional commercial manager, Ambala division, said: “The authorities will first gauge the response from passengers before permanently providing Internet access on the train. If found successful they would be extended to other trains in time”.

“The service is expected to become operational in the next two to three months," he added.





Task force arrives on PU campus
To take up issues pertaining to development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Members of the Special Task Force arrived on the campus to inspect the infrastructure and fiscal needs of Panjab University.

The task force, which was constituted with the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, after a visit to his alma mater last year, will interact with officials and teachers of various disciplines and departments on Thursday. The interactive session will begin from April 15 to April 17.

During the visit of these MHRD officials, the university would do its best to convince them to recommend grants, said a university official.

A draft of five-year plan on the university’s development has been prepared by the authorities.

On Thursday a detailed presentation by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof RC Sobti, to the MHRD officials at 10.30 am will be followed by a meeting of chairpersons of various departments, finance department officials, construction department, security officials, Vice-Chancellor office employees, deans and representatives of different programmes in the varsity till 12.30pm.

The session will be followed by a lunch and then an interactive session between the university teachers and representatives will take place.

Sources claim that principals of the city colleges affiliated to PU will also meet the team officials.



Speaking out-PU students speak
Such incidents a fallout of old rivalry

“We are busy taking exams. We just read headlines in the newspapers and shrug it off. Violence is merely a topic of discussion among students and does not affect us at all. Student leaders are now indulging in cheap politics and will make it an agenda during the student elections later this year.”

Tenzin Negi, MSc, department of biotechnology, PU

Napinderjit Singh, MCA (final year) department of computer applications, PU“Students are not affected by such incidents. But such acts bring a bad name to the university. Guilty should be dealt with strictly.”

Napinderjit Singh, MCA (final year) department of computer applications, PU

Munish Kaundal, B Pharma (fourth year), University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS)“Violent incidents do not disturb students. Such incidents are a fallout of old rivalry between student groups.”

Munish Kaundal, B Pharma (fourth year), University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS)

Tenzin Bodh, B. Pharma, (fourth year) University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS)“Violent incidents spoil the atmosphere on the campus. Students, who are not involved in such acts, read about such incidents out of sheer curiosity.”

Tenzin Bodh, B. Pharma, (fourth year) University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS)

Pradeep Kumar, BA III, Shri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26Leaders are our voice in times of need. Whenever the college has attempted an unjustified hike in fees, our leaders, even from Panjab University, have stood by us.

Pradeep Kumar, BA III, Shri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26


Bhavna Sahani, BSc I (computer science), DAV College, Sector 10Elections should not be held in colleges, as it becomes difficult for girls, specially those staying in hostels. Leaders are only seen during the time of elections and disappear later.

Bhavna Sahani, BSc I (computer science), DAV College, Sector 10

Ravinder, a final year student of Government College for MenElections provide a platform for students to air their problems before the college authorities. At least the genuine ones, which are ignored by the college authorities are heard.

Ravinder, a final year student of Government College for Men


AdityaBeniwal, BA III, Government College, Sector 11Elections are fine, but, only if they pass off peacefully. Outside interference should not be tolerated at all.

AdityaBeniwal, BA III, Government College, Sector 11


Anmol Tandon, GGDSD College, Sector 32The college and university authorities, sometimes, have a tendency of favouring the student party in power by allowing them some unjustified concessions. Favouritism sets wrong examples.

Anmol Tandon, GGDSD College, Sector 32



Boston Case
Nitin returns home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Nitin Jindal, student of Panjab University, who was declared innocent by the American judiciary, has finally returned home in Tagore Nagar in Bathinda (Punjab). Although Nitin could not be contacted for his comments, his brother Ankush confirmed his arrival and said the family was in a jubilant mood on his safe arrival.

“He has started preparing for his exams, which will begin shortly. He will visit Chandigarh on Thursday to meet his friends,” said Ankush.

Stating that the PU authorities are yet to release his roll number, Ankush said that they were hopeful that the authorities would not let them down.



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