C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


DAV-10 student held
Stolen motorcycles recovered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The police today arrested a BA-I student of DAV College, Sector 10, and his accomplice, an ITI diploma holder. It claimed to have recovered four stolen motorcycles from their possession.

The police said the duo had been forging documents to dispose of stolen vehicles and had affixed stickers with ‘Press’ printed on stolen motorcycles to dodge the police.

They were identified as Jairosh Babu of Phase 5, Mohali, and Brijesh Kumar, alias Rinku, of Malerkotla. Hailing from Kerala, Babu was a diploma holder in electronics from ITI, Mohali, while Rinku was a BA-I student of DAV College.

Babu was deft in forging documents and a stamp of the registration and licensing authority of Mohali was been recovered from him.

Sources said the accused revealed during interrogation that they stole vehicles to make a quick buck and had a lavish lifestyle. Babu reportedly said he had been collecting money to get married.

The in charge of the crime branch, inspector Charanjit Singh Virk, said a picket was set up at Sector 40 around 2:30 pm on receipt of information that two boys, who had been stealing motorcycles from the city, were on the prowl.

The police had information about their description and stopped the duo, riding a Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (PB65E-8809). During verification, it was found that the accused had stolen the motorcycle from the AC Joshi Library, Panjab University.

The original registration number of the motorcycle was PB10BS-9644. A case of theft was registered at the Sector 11 police station on March 30.

Their interrogation led to the recovery of three more stolen motorcycles. Two Hero Honda Passion motorcycles (CH03P-5811 and PB05M-8140) had been stolen from Sector 17 and a Hero Honda motorcycle (PB28D-9488) had been stolen from Malerkotla.

About the stickers with ‘Press’ printed, the inspector said Babu told the police that he had worked with a local newspaper in 2008 and still carried an identity card of the newspaper. Rinku had been staying in rented accommodation at Sector 15.

The police said the accused would be produced in a local court for police remand since it hoped that their further interrogation was likely to help solve more cases of vehicles theft in the city.



Leather To Canvas Shoes
Setia’s brainchild, nation’s crusade
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

HS not available

Over 25 phone calls to the Home Secretary between 7 pm and 9:30 pm went unanswered, except one, when his personal assistant took the call to say he was busy in a meeting. DPI(S) Sunil Bhatia claimed that he was unaware of any such proposal and would look into it if any instructions came from the CBSE.

Chandigarh, May 5
While the crusade to replace leather shoes with canvas shoes at school may have caught the nation’s fancy now, the idea had been conceived by the city’s education department as far back as December 2007 and was put to practice in May 2008, before being suddenly withdrawn in August 2008.

The idea, which was conceptualised by the then DPI(S) SK Setia, was aimed at initiating a gradual switchover from leather shoes to canvas shoes at all government schools.

The latter being more environment-friendly, cheap and healthy for students, the department had issued instructions to all government model and senior secondary schools to make canvas shoes mandatory, leaving colour to the discretion of students.

The department had also announced its decision to provide black canvas shoes free of cost to around 60,000 students of non-model schools (Classes I to VIII) and had worked out modalities to invite bids for canvas shoes. Within months, the DPI(S) was repatriated, following which the project was shelved.

“It was started around two years ago, but the moment the DPI(S) made an exit, the project was abandoned. We did try to convince many schools, both private and government, but they asked us to approach them through the administration.

When we approached the administration, we did not get an encouraging response. We know leather products are not only a symbol of cruelty to animals, but expensive and unhealthy. We are on with the crusade and happy that the initiative has caught the nation’s attention,” stated Payal Sodhi, founder-trustee, People For Animals.

Maneka’s Move

MP and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi has moved a proposal to replace black leather shoes, an environmentally hazardous, unhealthy and uncomfortable vestige of the colonial empire, in school uniform with canvas shoes. The proposal has found favour with the Central Board of School Education and the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination



Relief for widow after 41 years
Sonika Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has, after 41 years, directed the Northern Railway to pay all arrears to a widow of its employee, who died in an accident, within a month.

Pinja Ram, who was working as a fireman from 1967 to 1969 with the Railways, died on January 11, 1969. The Railways had, so far, failed to provide her with a family pension and other pensionary benefits. Rampyari, a resident of Kangra district, had approached the tribunal for seeking family pension, DCRG and other retrial benefits permissible under the law.

The Railways has been asked to grant the family pension under the Rule 75 of the Railway Services (Pension) and Gratuity or any other provision in its rules.

In its reply, the Northern Railways submitted that Pinja Ram was appointed as a temporary shed cleaner on February 1, 1967. He was also put to officiate as fire man ‘C’ but was neither confirmed as the shed cleaner nor as the fire man ‘C’. It admitted that Pinja died in an accident during the course of his employment and they had paid the terminal dues towards death gratuity to his family. The department also claimed that they had passed PF assets along with Rs 7,000 as compensation in view of the fact that Pinja had died during the course of employment.

Regarding the payment of family pension and other retrial benefits, the Railways claimed that according to their contention Rampyari is not entitled to these benefits as her husband did not work with the department for at least 10 years so as to entitle her for granting the family pension.

The Bench comprising Shyama Dogra and Khushiram observed, “It is a hard case where the value of the Railway servant on his death in harness due to an accident has been fixed and paid to the applicant in terms of petty amount of less then Rs 100 as the death gratuity and Rs 7,000 as death compensation.”

“It is painful to note that neither in the statement nor through arguments addressed by the counsel for the Northern Railways, this court was apprised of the fact that there is a provision under the Family Pension Rules of the Railways to grant family pension in such cases. We deprecate such practice adopted by the Railway to withheld vital legal information from the court,” the order read.

“It is further relevant to say that these schemes or rules are framed for benevolent purposes to give some solace to the dependents of the deceased employee but the Northern Railways authorities have withheld these provisions to thwart the applicant’s claim. In such cases, respondents should have taken steps to provide immediate financial assistance to the applicant as per rule,” it added.

“To impart justice in a fair manner, we have taken judicial notice of the Rule 75 of the Railway Services (Pension) Rules, 1993, regarding the family pension schemes, under which when a railway employee dies after the completion of a year of continuous service, the family of deceased is entitled to receive the family pension,” the order read.



Prideasia row may hit slum resettlement project
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The tug of war between the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and the real estate firm Parsvnath Developers over the Prideasia luxury township in the IT Park here has taken its toll on the UT administration’s ambitious Rs 1,187 crore slum rehabilitation project.

The project, conceived as a part of the administration’s ‘social commitment’ besides freeing prime commercial land in the city from illegal squatters, has run into rough weather as a major part of the scheme was to come from the Rs 1,600 crore accruals from the Prideasia project.

Claims by the administration notwithstanding, the project is already running behind schedule delivering a severe blow to achieving its goal of making Chandigarh one of the first slum-free cities in the country.

Under the scheme about 23,841 families are to be rehabilitated in 18 colonies in eight different locations across the city. The administration had earmarked about 356 acres (20 per cent) of the available 2,811 acres of land for the project.

The new settlements are to be integrated mini townships with provision for dispensaries, crèches, ‘anganwaris’ (childcare centres), schools, community centres and services stores. Each block of 64 apartments will have a common open area, regular drinking water supply, overhead water tanks, streetlights, metalled roads and parks.

However, all this requires a considerable amount of resources that would be hard to come by in the backdrop of the Prideasia wrangle. A senior official on condition of anonymity conceded the slum resettlement project had received a jolt following nonaccruals of funds from the Prideasia project. However, he expressed the hope the funds crunch would not come in the way of implementation of the unique project.

Since the administration has reduced licence fees for each unit to Rs 1,000 from the original amount of about Rs 3,300, the subsidy would also eat into the administration’s resources, the official noted.

Project Presentation

UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar today made a presentation on the slum resettlement project before Punjab governor and UT administrator Shivraj Patil. The latter was apprised about the profile, current status and future plans for the ambitious project



CITCO-MC land row takes new turn
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The ongoing land row at Hotel Shivalikview, which has become the latest bone of contention between the Chandigarh Tourism and Industrial Development Corporation (CITCO) and the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh (MCC), took a fresh turn today.

Records with CITCO reveal that the hotel was established in 1989, while the MCC was created in 1994-95.

Available records suggest that the then finance secretary, Tejinder Kaur, in May 1990 had recommended that the land next to the V-3 road be allotted to CITCO. It was in July 1990 that then chief architect had also approved the drawings and, since then, the hotel is making use of that land.

Highly placed sources in CITCO said that their managing director, DK Tiwari, has also sent the aforesaid records for the perusal of the Secretary, Tourism-cum-Home Secretary, Ram Niwas.

At the last house meeting of the MCC on April 29, the ruling Congress councillors had discussed only the issue of alleged illegal occupation of MCC land by CITCO’s hotel at length, keeping aside all important development matter on the agenda.

The situation was no different at yesterday’s coordination committee of the MCC officials with the UT administration, following which the UT Adviser Pradeep Mehra had directed the MCC to get back the land within three days from CITCO.

It also emerged at the meeting that CITCO itself should vacate the land, failing which MCC would be authorised to get it vacated forcefully.

Interestingly, MCC officials had also recently found out that the authorities have till date never got done the mandatory demarcation of the said piece of land.

“When we never got the demarcation done, how are we supposed to know how much land is ours? Also, the land is alongside the V3 road, which is under the UT Administration and not with the MCC,” said a senior MC official.

Also, the authorities have never served a notice on the hotel or CITCO for vacating the land and ever since the hotel has been established, the land is with Hotel Shivalkview.



Weather forces birds, animals to migrate
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Morni (Panchkula) May 5
The rising mercury and dried-up ponds have led to the local wildlife and avian population in the Morni hills migrating to wetlands in adjoining areas.

Birds have shifted to areas like wetlands in Ropar district of Punjab and in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh, where water is found in abundance.

The local population vouches for the fact that footprints of wild animals and the sound of birds have vanished.

Berwala, Madani and Tikkartal are the villages in the Morni block where various species of birds, including two species of accentors, bearded vultures, thrushes, woodpeckers, barbets, bee-eaters and kingfishers can be seen in routine.

A recent survey of the wildlife department has recorded that there are approximately 30 leopards, besides hundreds of sambhars, wild boars, jackals, pythons and neelgais.

The state government launched its first-ever bird safari near the Berwala wildlife checkpost on June 1, 2003.

Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Satya Bhan said arrangements were being made to fill guzzlers (ponds) from water tankers daily.

He said three guzzlers each in the Kalesar area and the Berwala wildlife sanctuary were filled at night due to traffic problems. He said animals generally came for water in the morning or evening, preferring to remain in the dense forests during the day.

He said some leopards left for Sirmour district during summer and returned during the monsoon.

He said they had been receiving reports of poaching in the area and action was being taken against those found guilty of violating the wildlife Act.

They had recently captured a 13-year-old boy for killing a wild boar and sent him to a juvenile home, he added.

Sant Ram Tikkar of Tikkar village said poachers had become active as wild animals searching for water in summer occasionally came on the main road.

He said they had complained to the wildlife inspector. Another reason the birds were shifting was the outbreak of fires in forest areas, he added.



AFT’s UT Bench gets 2nd judicial member
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal has got its second judicial member with Justice Narayan Prashad Gupta being appointed to the post. He is scheduled to start holding court from tomorrow.

With his appointment, two courts would start functioning here, which would distribute the workload of cases presently confined to a single court. A third judicial member is expected to be appointed soon.

Justice Gupta has retired from the Rajasthan High Court, to which he was elevated on January 20, 2000. During his stint with the High Court, he was chairman of Rajasthan High Court Legal Aid Committee for about a year and then headed the computer committee.

Earlier, he began his career as an advocate in the district courts at Udaipur and soon after started practicing at the Rajasthan High Court at Jodhpur. He has also been a panel lawyer for various statutory and non-statutory organisations.

Till now, Justice Ghanshyam Prashad was the sole judicial member hearing cases along with three administrative members, Lt Gen HS Panag, Lt Gen AS Bahia and Lt Gen NS Brar.

Located in Chandimandir military station, the Chandigarh Bench, which was inaugurated in November 2009, has jurisdiction over Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh. About 30-40 cases, dealing with service matters, pension and court martial review, come up for hearing daily.



Australia to honour PGI doctor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Dr Rajesh Kumar, Professor and head of PGI School of Public Health, has been selected by the Government of Australia this year for the prestigious Endeavour Executive Award for his contribution to public health.

Dr Rajesh’s contribution to public health is evident from his 182 research publications in leading scientific journals, establishment of MD community medicine and MPH program, and model community health services in rural areas and urban slums.

He developed academic programmes in community medicine and public health, and supervised public health programmes in rural and urban areas.

He also set up several collaborative research programmes with National Institutes of Health, USA; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; University of California, Berkley; Health Effects Institute, Boston; Center for Global Health Research University of Toronto; and George Institute of International Health, Sydney.

Using community-based surveys conducted in the 1990s, Rajesh initiated a healthy heart project in 2005 in Chandigarh, which involved surveillance, development of guidelines, training of medical and paramedical personnel, and coordination with several stakeholders.

After three-year implementation, the project evolved into Chandigarh Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Prevention and Control Program in 2008, which is one of the first NCD control programme funded and implemented by the government.

Yet another project initiated by him, Development and Implementation of Rheumatic Heart Disease Control Program, in Ropar district has also been adopted by the government for state-wide implementation.

Under his guidance, verbal autopsy tools were developed to measure cause-specific mortality, which has been implemented by Registrar General of India in the National Sample Registration System.

He has coordinated national study for assessment of the impact of targeted interventions on HIV infection in the country.

He has also worked as Temporary Adviser to the World Health Organisation for the development of verbal autopsy tools, epidemiological capacity, NCD surveillance systems, improvement of the NCD capacity strengthening modules, and assistance in organisation of workshops/courses in seven South-East Asian countries for policy makers and programme managers on NCD Prevention and Control.

Dr. Rajesh Kumar has received several awards and honours, notable among these are: British Council Award for Epidemiology Training, Sri Ram Memorial Award for Community Health Research, Fellowships of National Academy of Medical Sciences, Indian Public Health Association, and Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine; Dr. SC Seal, Dr BC Dasgupta, and Dr. Harcharan Singh Oration, Dr MK Sheshadari Gold Medal for Practice of Community Medicine, and Dr SD Gaud best paper award on Environmental Health Practice.

According to a press note issued by the PGI public relation department, Julia Gillard, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, has sent her congratulations to him on joining a select group of individuals who have received the prestigious award.

The award is the Government of Australia’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship programme providing opportunities to citizens of the Asia-Pacific, Middle-East, Europe and Americas to undertake study, research and professional development abroad.


GPA Transfer: Admn seeks legal opinion
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
In a development that augurs well for hundreds of general power of attorney (GPA) holders in the cooperative group housing societies, the Chandigarh Administration has sought a legal opinion on the alleged faux pas in misinterpreting an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the transfer of flats.

Confirming it, Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said the decision to legally examine the case had been taken in the interest of the GPA holders.

Earlier, the administration had put March 2, 2009, GPA transfer policy on hold citing a High Court’s judgment. The court had stated, “ Meanwhile, the Administrator will not take any policy decision which inter alia includes the transfer of membership in favour of another person or to extend the area of operation of the society.”

“The administration cannot take any policy decision regarding the transfer of membership in favour of any other person or to extend the area of operation of the society”, an official communication had stated. Subsequently, the Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies, had directed all societies to suspend/stop the process of transferring the flats.

Several organisations, including the Chandigarh Social Welfare Council, had contended that the word “administrator” referred to the administrator appointed for the plaintiff-the Indian Express Cooperative Group Housing. However, the word was misinterpreted as the “UT administrator” by the UT officials thereby harassing hundreds of GPA holders.

Welcoming the UT’s decision to refer the matter to the Legal Remembrancer for an opinion on the issue, Satish C Sharma, the Chandigarh Social Welfare Council general secretary, demanded that Legal Remembrancer’s report be sought immediately as the GPA holders were already facing a lot of problems on account of the suspension of the March 2, 2009 transfer policy.

The UT administration had come out with a transfer policy for the society flats on the payment of Rs 50,000,Rs 25,000 and Rs 15,000 for the Category A, the Category B and the Category C, respectively. In fact, hundreds of GPA holders had already availed its benefits under the scheme before it was suspended recently.



‘Compulsory Retirement’
Legally, PEC can’t hear appeal
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
In an interesting turn to the case of RR Singh’s appeal to revoke his ‘compulsory retirement’, legal opinion sought by the PEC University of Technology states that neither the college, nor the UT administration, is the ‘competent authority’ to hear his appeal.

The report was discussed during a meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) of the university yesterday.

RR Singh, assistant professor, was ‘compulsorily retired’ in December 2009 by the PEC director for fudging travel bills for reimbursement. Anand Prakash, a PEC alumnus who had fought for justice in the Ruchika Girhotra case, had filed the complaint.

“The punishment given to me is illegal. I will raise the issue and we will lodge an FIR against the PEC director. New rules of PEC as a deemed university are not applicable to me since I was appointed by the UT,” said Singh.

The report of the standing counsel, Anupam Gupta, mentioned that no such provision (power to hear appeal of such nature) was listed in the memorandum of association, which was the constitution of the university, or in PEC bylaws.

The BoG was not the appellate authority to hear such an appeal in the absence of a specific provision, said the report. Appealing to the high court or filing a civil suit in subordinate courts was the only option for Singh.

Confirming the discussion on the report at the meeting, BoG chairman Chandra Mohan said, “The board will discuss the legal opinion and decide future course of action at the next meeting.”

“When the option of going to court is open to Singh, he should avail himself of it. Dishonest teachers cannot produce honest students. Anyone who does wrong must be punished. He should not have been compulsorily retired, but dismissed,” Prakash said.

Nearly three years back, Prakash had brought the case of cheating in submitting TA/DA bills by Singh to the notice of college authorities, along with concrete evidence, following which an inquiry was instituted.



UT Housing Scheme
Class III, IV staff to get houses
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
In what could make hundreds of Class III and IV employees of the UT Administration, who had applied for houses under the special UT Employees Housing Scheme, cheerful UT officials are now planning to allot houses to all these applicants.

The special housing scheme floated in January 2008 was marred by litigation since its inception. It was only on February 26, 2010, that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed the bunch of petitions related to the scheme.

The Chandigarh Housing Board has 45 acres in Sectors 52 and 56 for constructing nearly 2,200 flats for which they have received 7,746 applications. The Class III and IV employees could only apply in category C (one bedroom) flat, for which they would have to pay only Rs 13.53 lakh for a flat measuring 900 square feet.

The administration has, till date, neither revealed the number of houses it would construct under each category, nor disclosed the number of applications it has received under a given category. Sources claim that the administration had not declared the exact figure due to the petitions pending in the court. Officials claim that the process of scrutinising the applications was still going on. “We will be in position to judge as to how many flats are to be constructed in each category once this process gets over”.

The sources claim that the administration has already start identifying land for accommodating the applicants. “The possibility of every applicant getting a house cannot be ruled out. But as of now, Class III and IV employees are on the priority list”, said a senior UT official on conditions of anonymity.



Murder of Sham Mall owner
Year on, cops still groping in dark
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Exactly a year after Amarjit Singh Khurana, the owner of Sham Mall in Sector 34, was gunned down by two unidentified motorcyclists outside his residence in Sector 36 on May 5, the Chandigarh police has not only failed to crack the case, but has also been unable to establish the motive behind the murder.

Amarjit Singh Khurana’s family had announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh in December to anyone providing a clue about the murder after the police failed to achieve a breakthrough in the case. The police had also got a narco-test conducted on Khurana’s security guard, Raj Kamal, who initially emerged as a suspect in the case following his disappearance during the time of murder.

DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh, under whose supervision the case was being investigated, said, “Even the narco test has failed to dispel the mystery shrouding the case as it confirmed that Raj Kamal was telling the truth. The development has virtually rendered us directionless in the case.” A senior police officer said, “The .38 bore, a rare weapon with which the shots were fired, may at some stage help the police in cracking the case. We can get some leads if the same weapon is used in some other crime. The case could be solved by matching the impression on the bullets fired from it.”

This is not an isolated case. Of the total 76 murders, reported from January 1, 2006 till date, at least 14 remain had not been solved. We can say that roughly one out of every five murders in the city had not been solved.

Although as per conventional wisdom, police finds it difficult to solve murder cases where the victims are unknown, the fact is that, a substantial number of unsolved sensational murder cases are those in which the victims were identified. On March 23, this year, Ram Singh, a security guard in a factory in Industrial Area, was found murdered. It was alleged that the killers had also taken away 2 quintals of zinc from the factory.

In August 2009, 50-year-old Santosh Kumari, wife of State Bank of India deputy manager, Krishan Kumar, was found murdered at her residence in August 3. From day one the police has been unable to get any worthwhile clue in the case.

The year 2008 was the worst for the UT police with five out of 17 murders remaining unsolved. Inspector, Kashmir Singh, was found bludgeoned to death in August 2008 in Dadu Majra Colony. Though the police claim to have identified the killer, they are yet to apprehend him.

Among the other sensational murders, which rocked the city and had been consigned to police records as ‘untraced”, include murder of 23-year-old Simranjit Kaur, who was found stabbed to death at her Sector 23 residence on July 23, 2003; Ramesh Chawla, a commission agent in Sector-26 grain market, was kidnapped and killed on June 16, 2002; Sheela Khanna, a resident of Sector 47, was found stabbed to death at her residence on September 1, 2002; and that of an unidentified man, whose body was found in a gunny bag on the road dividing Sectors 48 and 49 on November 17, 2002. The killers of Sundari Agnihotri, an elderly woman, found murdered at her residence in Sector 21, on December 25, 2005, too, has not been caught.

Although soon after joining as UT SSP, SS Srivastava, promised to reinvestigate the unsolved murder cases, but nothing has been achieved so far.

Unsolved Murder Cases

l March 23, 2010, Ram Singh, Phase I, Industrial Area
l August 3, 2009 Santosh Kumari, Sector 42
l May 5, 2009 Amarjit Singh Khurana, Sector 36
l August 2, 2008 Inspector Kashmir Singh, Dadu Majra
l December 25, 2005 Sundari Agnihotri, Sector 21
l July 23, 2003 Simranjit Kaur, Sector 23
l June 16, 2002 Ramesh Chawla, jungles of Dhanas
l September 1, 2002, Sheela Khanna, Sector 47



MC floats e-tender on Sec 45 road
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
With the Municipal Corporation floating its first tender through e tendering, the pace of developmental projects in the city is likely to pick up. All proposed big projects in the city had come to a halt since April 1 as not a single tenders in this regard could be floated.

The finance secretary had in January asked the corporation to float the tenders above Rs 10 lakh through e tendering. Due to the failure on the part of corporation no arrangements could be made in this regard and agitated councillors took and undertaking from Municipal Commissioner, Roshan Sankaria, on April 29 that the e tendering process would be started within 10 days.

Yesterday, the corporation floated its first tender. It has invited bids for work on the V5 road of Sector 45 C and D worth Rs 17.48 lakh. Through e tendering the contractors would not only be able to access the tenders on the Net but it could also be filled through Net only.

The contractor filing the tender through e tendering would be provided with a secrete code so that his bid could only be opened on a specified date. Mayor Anu Chatrath said this would not only help in speeding up of the procedure of inviting and opening the tenders but would also help in making the system transparent.



Book on spirituality released
S D Sharma

Chandigarh, May 5
“Medicine heals human body and spirituality nourishes the soul ” opined Manpreet Singh Badal, Finance Minister, Punjab, while releasing a bilingual book “How to be enlightened ” is authored by leading Mohali psychiatrist, Dr Tejinder Singh Sidhu, and was released at the Chandigarh Press club, here, today.

Badal complimented the author for making in depth analytical study of the spiritual wisdom and philosophy of life enshrined in “Japuji Sahib”.

Earlier, Dr Rana Sandeep Singh welcomed the chief guest and introduced the author who is practicing clinical psychiatry at Ropar. Sharing his personal spiritual quest Sidhu observed that theoretical and religious knowledge was not of any help unless there was a real inner transformation or change in mind.

All along ‘Japuji Sahib’ has been his guiding spirit and mentor, he maintained. “My book touches on the socio cultural problems prevalent in society, not like a sermon but propagates the ethics of life with conviction.”



Consumer Courts
College principal told to pay Rs 10,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal forum has directed the principal of SD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, to pay a compensation of Rs 10, 000 to Aashish Garg as he failed to give him admission to a desired course. The principal has also been asked to refund the balance amount of Rs 18, 200 after deducting Rs 1000, as service/processing/administrative charges, besides, paying the litigation cost of Rs 5,000.

Aashish has submitted to the forum that he wanted to take admission in BCA professional course in the institute, but the principal had told him that seats in the BCA course had been filled and that he could get admission to BA (computer) and later on when the seat would be vacant in BCA, he would be shifted from BA (computer) to BCA professional course. He deposited the amount of Rs 19, 200 to the institution. After that he kept on enquiring from the principal about the availability of seat in BCA, but he kept on delaying the matter on one pretext or the other and failed to give him seat in BCA. On August 27, 2009, he took admission in DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, in BCA course. He wrote a letter to the principal to refund the amount, which he refused. He then served a legal notice upon the principal for the same, but all in vain.

In reply, the principal submitted that the complainant had voluntarily applied for BA (computer) course as per the rules, regulations and guidelines laid down in the prospectus/handbook for the academic session 2009-2010 and had never applied for admission to the BCA course and accordingly on merit he was not considered for the same.

The complainant had vacated the seat in midway, during the academic session and one precious seat has been wasted and would remain vacant throughout the current academic session, hence he was not eligible for the refund of the fees.

The forum observed that the principal had not been able to produce any evidence or document to show that the seat vacated by the complainant was still laying vacant thereby causing loss to them.

The forum observed that the admission by the principal was self-explanatory that mere vacation of one seat by the complainant would not have caused any financial loss to the college. It is immaterial whether the seat remains vacant or not, the service provider can’t forfeit the entire fees or consideration amount for the services, which it had neither provided nor did the student receive.



Residents protest against move on school
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 5
Residents of Phase IX staged a protest against the government’s move to get a school building constructed in a park here today.

Slogans were raised against the government for depriving residents of the park where children used to play and elderly spend some time in the open. The protesters said they would not allow the construction of an elementary school in the park at any cost. The work for laying the foundation was stopped by the residents. Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu also reached the spot.

Kuljit Singh Aulakh, municipal councillor, who lives in Phase IX, said the plan to construct a school building in the park was totally unjustified. Nearly 200 houses surrounded the area and the roads, too, were narrow. Moreover, the park was developed by GMADA and had swings for children, pathways for those who wanted to walk and proper lighting system. Destroying a park for constructing the school building would not be allowed. There was already one government school in Phase IX and the amount that was to be spent on the new building could be used on improving the condition of the school that already existed.

Officials of the education department had reached Phase IX to get the work on the building started. They said GMADA had allotted the site for constructing an elementary school and Rs 6 lakh had already been allocated.



Shopkeepers protest against MC notice
Told to vacate shops
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 5
A large number of shopkeepers of old Kalka road today protested against the vacation orders of the shops by the Zirakpur Municipal Council.

The shopkeepers claimed that they were running their shops for the past 40 years and giving rent to the Municipal Council. They alleged that the council had sent notices to vacate the shops and houses.

One of the affected shopkeepers said the council had pasted the notice on the pillar and asked them to vacate the shops. “We are living under threat and asked the higher official to reconsider the decision”, he added. Another shopkeeper added that they would move their petition in the local court.

Meanwhile, an MC official stated that the notice had sent to shopkeepers who were told to vacate the land so that widening of the old Kalka road could be done. “We have given last notice to the shopkeepers to vacate shops after that strict action would be taken”, the official added.



Haryana Roadways staff block BSNL chowk
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 5
In a high drama the staff of the Haryana Roadways blocked BSNL chowk near the inter-state Bus terminal in Sector 5 after a home guard slapped one of its conductors this evening.

Aggitated over this, Sunil Kumar, conductor of the bus, immediately informed the president of the roadways staff union, who along with other members of the union reached the site and blocked the road leading to the bus stand. Hundreds of commuters faced harassment, as they had to wait for over 45 minutes till the matter was resolved on the intervention of traffic in charge Mian Singh.

Narrating the incident to the media, Kumar said his brother Partap Chand was crossing from the slip road near BSNL chowk when home guard Varun posted there stopped his motorcycle for jumping the red light. He said his brother told Varun to challan him for the offence but he (Varun) kept him waiting there saying that he had informed the police control room (PCR) van.

Sunil said when he was crossing from there he noticed that his brother was being unnecessarily harassed by the home guard. He said as he approached Varun, he was slapped.



‘Lack of awareness prevents early asthma diagnosis’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
On the occasion of World Asthma Day today, doctors at PGI discussed the importance of early diagnosis and adherence to treatment in effective and affordable asthma control.

According to experts, “Patients of asthma who do not take their treatment regularly thus run the risk of asthma attacks which often requires admission in hospitals and can even be life threatening.” If asthma is treated as per guidelines provided by various national and international organsations, costs of managing asthma be reduced tremendously both for the individual and the government, said the doctors.

The most effective asthma treatment inhalation therapy is available in India at a price as low as Rs 4 to 6 per day, which means that a year’s supply of medicine is less than the cost of one night’s stay at the hospital. However, the doctors reinstated that lack of awareness on asthma in India prevents it from being diagnosed in the early stages and of the 30 million asthmatics in the country, most are unaware, undiagnosed or are being sub optimally treated for asthma.

Further, it has been found that adherence to asthma medication regime is very poor and tends to falter after few months in both children and adults and the rate of non-adherence has been estimated to be around 50 per cent.

Commenting on the current scenario of asthma in India, Dr Meenu Singh said, “Asthma is a chronic disease, which requires long-term treatment. Many patients once they feel better stop treatment after some weeks. This can be dangerous since stopping treatment can lead to reactivation of the disease and can precipitate an asthma attack. There are many reasons as to why patients stop medication. These include unnecessary concerns about side effects, myths about inhaler devices, social stigmas and sometimes cost of medication.

There are also several psychological barriers which lead to inhibitions such as dissatisfaction with health care professionals, inappropriate expectations, anger about one’s condition, underestimation of severity of the condition and complacent attitude towards health It is important that we overcome these barriers and understand the importance of inhalation therapy if we have to control asthma.”

Singh said, “It is important to diagnose asthma at an early stage as it helps preserve the condition of the lung. Asthma usually manifests itself through symptoms like coughing, tightness in the chest, and wheezing but it is important to consider asthma as a diagnosis particularly if these symptoms are recurrent and consult a doctor at the earliest.Using currently recommended treatment, asthma can be fully controlled and persons with asthma can lead a complete active life.”



Train to have dustbins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
All coaches in the Shivalik Express, running on the Kalka-Shimla route, will have dustbins, a press release of the Northern Railway said here today.

The release said the dustbins could be fitted under the collapsible snacks table without causing any hindrance to the passengers. The dustbins could be tilted so as to remove the garbage without any problem.

Nearly 250 such dustbins have been ordered at the Kalka workshop for fixing the same in two rakes of Shivalik Express. The facility will be extended to other passenger trains.



PU to outsource placement assistance
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Panjab University is the latest in the league of educational institutes to experiment with the idea of “outsourcing placement assistance”. With the university entering in this arena, soft skills training to “generate employable class of students” is now increasingly becoming professional.

A total of 10 trainers of a private firm are now providing assistance to tackle the placement in the university. A training workshop kicked off at the PU’s English auditorium today on pilot basis, which would be followed by a job festival in the university on May 8.

“Job fair is a conventional term, but the students relate to it more. In reality we need to generate a class of students who are employable. Even if the companies are roped in, if the students are not competent enough, placements will suffer,” said Jaiprakash, head of the training firm.

Although the workshop is being conducted at a time, when most students are busy with their examinations, the job fest has already got 268 registrations so far. The delay in revamping the Central Placement Cell (CPC) of the university is being cited as a reason.

Even though the effort by the CPC came in late this year, the magnitude of job fair leaves hardly any chance for students to grumble.

A total of 33 corporate giants, including IFBI, Coca Cola, Bharati-Walmark, Sigma, TATA Business Support Services, Berkely, Aditya Birla, Dr Reddy Laboratories, HDFC, Tata AIG, Kotak Securities, IBM, SBI, Fullerton, would be recruiting PU students in the festival.



PU students to get online accounts
Can access marksheets, degrees, attendance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Panjab University students have a reason to cheer, as they can now download information related to their hostel, check the status of their attendance and even get marksheets and degrees online from the next academic session.

Degrees and marksheets would be valid for applying to institutes or for a job.

The announcement of the special online account (similar to Demat account), which would be operated through a personalised code, was made today by Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti at a meeting of chairpersons, co-ordinators and directors.

He said Panjab University was all set to record growth and development and hoped for an affirmative and enabling response from the imminent MHRD Task Force Report.

In a crucial announcement, Sobti declared that a cheque of Rs 20 crore as University Grants Commission grant arrived on 4 May, for upgradation and renovation of laboratories and libraries and other parts of the PU infrastructure.

Prof Sobti also said all science departments from the next session would be equipped with laboratory which would be called PURSE Laboratory and a Smart Class-room to facilitate the teaching and learning practices and higher research at the Panjab University.

He has announced that the Waste Disposal Committee, PU, would inspect all departments for the proper disposal of chemical and other kinds of daily waste material.



Mass-revaluation Case
Committee formed to probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
A committee has been constituted by Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti under the chairmanship of GK Chathrath, with PS Jaswal, chairperson of the department of laws, as member to look into the case of mass-revaluation of students of the fifth semester.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor had ruled out the possibility of any probe to penalise the first examiner who checked the papers of land law of fifth semester students of the department of laws, which resulted in a mass-reappear. However, the first evaluator has been identified and the chairperson of the department has been directed to submit a report on the issue to the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

Students had protested against the mass-reappear in which subsequently there was an increase in the score by nearly 20-25 marks.



Govt Schools
Salary of guest faculty to be hiked
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, May 5
Acting on the postulates, consequent of the implementation of the Punjab 5th Pay Commission notification, the UT Administration has decided to enhance the salaries of guest faculty working in various government schools.

As per the latest scales the JBT/ NTT teachers will now be getting Rs 140 per period subject to maximum of Rs 13,000 per month.

The Masters/ Mistresses (TGT) would get Rs 160 per period subject to a maximum of Rs 15,000 per month. The lecturers will be getting Rs 180 per month subject to a maximum of Rs 16, 500 per month.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |