C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


22 make it to civil services from tricity
Toppers hit bull’s eye in last attempt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
Twentytwo candidates from the tricity have cleared the civil services examination this year, with girls outnumbering boys.

Having toiled for years, Nidhi Srivastava, Neha Bansal and Anil Bhandari - the city’s top three rankers in the civil services examination - finally realised their dream in their fourth and last attempt.

“I was of course very nervous, as it was a do-or-die situation for me. I always wanted to join the civil services and had been trying for many years but never qualified. This time, by God’s grace, I have not only qualified but have even stood first in the tricity,” exclaimed Nidhi, who has secured the 27th rank in the country.

Nidhi, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, is currently pursuing a masters in law degree at Panjab University.

Neha Bansal, who is the daughter of MP Bansal, a senior IAS officer of the Haryana cadre, has secured the 63rd rank at all India level. For Neha, who is a lecturer of English, it was her fascination for her father’s job that became her inspiration and made her work hard.

“I have grown up seeing my father and had always fantasised about the civil services. I wanted to achieve a position where I could make a difference. Thank God, I have finally made it. English literature is my second love but my heart lies in civil services,” said an elated Neha.

The situation was, however, different for Anil Bhandari, a resident of Panchkula, who is in the Indian Railway Service and continued trying for the Indian Administrative Service. A software engineer by profession, Anil feels that his effort of managing a regular job while preparing for the civil services examination, had led to his securing 68th rank.

“More than anything it in one’s passion and determination that sails you through troubled waters,” he said.




... but none among top 10 in country
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The civil services result of the tricity is being deemed to be the poorest in the past nine years.

Expressing shock over not even a single candidate making it to the list of top 10, some academicians claim this year’s result has disrupted the tri-city’s past average of contributing at least two candidates to the top 10. Last year, three candidates had made it to the top 10, with the second position being bagged by Sharanjit Brar, a resident of Chandigarh.

“The result, if considered on the basis of the ranks scored by the students, is much below expectations as compared to last year’s result,” said Anil Kumar, who is director of the IAS Study Circle.

The reason, according to him, lies in the fact that a large number of candidates who have cleared the exam are first-timers. “If you examine the results, the toppers have made it only in their last attempt. But a majority of candidates who have cleared the exams had appeared for the first time. Besides, some of the papers were tricky. But we can make a final assessment only after analysing the national results,” said Anil Kumar.

Even Raj Malhotra, Director of Abhimanyu IAS centre, appeared perturbed by the ranks scored by the candidates. But he claims that there is much more to it. “I think it is quite encouraging that despite the fact that a large number of candidates were first timers we have got a fairly decent number of 22 successful candidates. That the city did not make it to the top 10 this year is disturbing. Some unexpected and tricky questions in some papers may also have contributed to this. But this needs to be analysed,” he said. 



Dream come true for peon’s daughter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
In contrast to Neha, Sandeep Kaur had grown up seeing her father saluting the ‘sahibs’ and had thus always aspired to become one herself.

For Sandeep, daughter of a peon employed in Morinda sub-tehsil, the journey to making it to the IAS was tough. But it was her determination that paved the way.

Sandeep, who has secured 138th position at the all-India level, is the eldest of her three siblings and a pillar of support for her father.

“Although my father was far from influential, he always dreamt big. He had been an immense source of inspiration. During my childhood, he would cuddle me saying that I was born to fulfil his dreams. He had once told me that he wanted to see me on a position where people would salute me and that became my driving force,” said Sandeep.

Sandeep, who is a civil engineer from Panjab Engineering College, had a one-point goal in her life - to join the civil services.

Sandeep said though she had got many job offers, she had dedicated herself to preparing for the civil services. Finally, after several attempts (she refused to reveal how many), she had made it.

“Every time I failed, I gathered myself to prepare with more vigour. Whenever I felt low, I saw my father whose eyes wished to see me at the top,” she said.

Having achieved her dream, Sandeep says she wants to work against female foeticide, which she says is a major problem in Punjab. “If you ask me what more than anything has been my cause for joy, it is the fact that I have proven to people that my mother made no mistake by giving me birth and providing me with all the facilities,” she said just before leaving for a gurdwara.



Half of city tubewells set to go dry
Arun Sharma
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, May 6
Faced with the irreversible situation of depletion of the water table, half of the existing tubewells (200) in the city will go dry in the coming five years.

This means the city will be short of at least 10 million gallons of water per day and that too when the Punjab government has put its foot down on supplying more water from the Kajauli water works.

The water level in different parts of city has been depleting between five feet and 10 feet. The situation is grave in certain areas, particularly in Mani Majra and southern sectors, where the water table has gone down up to 1,000 feet.

The reason: Water recharging is less than being pumped out, said RK Goyal, superintendent engineer, public health. Mani Majra and southern sectors are thickly populated requiring more water. On the contrary, water recharging in these areas was less than that is in northern sectors.

As the gravels are found in abundance in northern sectors, the water recharging is faster. It is helped by rivulets and choes adjoining the area as well, he said. In southern sectors, the land has thick sand and it hinders water recharging, he said, explaining the reason behind the grim scenario.

In 1960s, the tubewells dug up at the depth of 500 feet used to pump out 20,000 gallons per day. Now the new tubewells in the city do not give more than 15,000 gallons per day. These are needed to be abandoned within five years, he added.

The city, with the requirement of over 105 million gallons per day, the city is getting only 80 million gallons per day of water from Bhakra through Kajouli water works. Another 20 million gallons per day is pumped out of the 200 tubewells set up in different parts of the city. Out of this, the city is left only with 87 million gallons of water, leaving a gap of 20 million gallons between the demand and the supply as 10 million gallons and three million gallons of water is being supplied to Mohali and Chandimandir, respectively.

The water being supplied to the city consists of share of Punjab and Haryana in ratio of 60:40. As 100 tubewells are set to shutdown, the demand in city will jump to 122 million gallons per day by 2016.

However, to meet the demand of the city, scheme of Kajauli phase V and VI was prepared for additional 40 million gallons of water per day. The scheme is awaiting the sanction of the Punjab government. And by that time, 20 million gallons per day of treated water would also be available for the gardening and purposes other than drinking, said Goyal.



2 more aides of DAV-10 student held
2 stolen motorcycles recovered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The police today arrested two more accomplices of a DAV College student, who was arrested with four stolen motorcycles yesterday.

The police claimed to have recovered two more stolen motorcycles from the two accomplices, identified as Gurpreet Singh, alias Happy, and Shejad Ali.

Inspector Charanjit Singh Virk, in charge of the crime branch of the Chandigarh police, said 22-year-old Gurpreet Singh, alias Happy, and 23-year-old Shejad Ali, both residents of Malerkotla, were arrested on the information provided by their associates.

Shejad was arrested from the road dividing Sectors 38 and 39 last night, while Happy was apprehended from Sector 17 this evening.

The police said Happy was a student of a diploma course in electronics at a Kharar-based private college, while Shejad, a graduate of class 12, had applied for a post of constable in the Chandigarh Police. He had earlier failed the recruitment test held by the Chandigarh Police.

Happy had been staying in Morinda and they had parked the stolen motorcycles in a parking lot in the city. The motorcycles were stolen from the Panjab University campus and from DAV College in Sector 10. The police has so far recovered six stolen motorcycles from the accused.

The police today produced Shejad along with Jairosh Babu and Brijesh, alias Rinku, before a local court, which remanded them to one-day police custody. The police said they would produce Happy in court tomorrow for police remand. 



UT told to annul ‘males only’ ad for bus conductors
Sonika Bhatia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The UT administration has been pulled up by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for denying equal opportunity to women in posts for bus conductors for which it had advertised recently. The original advertisement of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking had sought only male applicants.

The tribunal today directed the administration to quash the advertisement and asked it to issue a fresh notification without mentioning the particular sex of the applicants.

The administration had advertised for 127 posts of bus conductors in the UT transport department on January 14 this year. The advertisement said only males could apply and debarred females from applying despite the fact bus conductors’ licences are also being issued to women after completing requisite course and training. The minimum qualification required for the post is 10+2 from a recognised organization or board.

While challenging the advertisement, Anita Bai, resident of Mahendergarh district in Haryana, had submitted to the tribunal that a bus conductor’s post is not a male’s prerogative. She pointed out women were working as conductors in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Bangalore, Haryana, Mumbai and other cities and states. She argued reservation of the post for men in the UT transport department, where most of the buses ply in the city and its vicinity, was a violation of articles 14 and 16 of the Indian constitution.

Anita’s counsel, Rajneesh Chadwal, observed the Haryana government had recently advertised for 2,480 posts of bus conductors through the Haryana Staff Selection Commission without excluding female applicants.

He stated Anita has passed 10+2 from the Haryana School Education Board and also had the required bus conductor’s licence issued by the Haryana government after completing the requisite course and training. “It is pertinent to mention that as per advertisement no physical requirement is necessary, therefore women cannot be debarred from the same, he added.

The counsel submitted that conductors are also posted at bus stands or at the ticket windows and other counters and in the transport offices. ‘A bus conductor doesn’t mean he or she must be posted in buses that are plying. Therefore debarring the women from the post of conductor is totally illegal and unconstitutional”, he asserted. Chadwal also pointed out women were serving in defence services, CRPF and other paramilitary forces, police departments and other high posts. "So why has this department been biased to them?” he asked.

While passing the order, the tribunal observed the UT administration’s advertisement was arbitrary and against the provisions of the Indian constitution. 


CITCO-MC row gets murkier
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The ongoing tug-of-war between CITCO and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation over a piece of land located near the MC office has intensified with the former questioning the locus-standi of the civic body on the issue of ownership of the land today.

In its letter dated May 6 to Municipal Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria, CITCO’s managing director DK Tiwari has said that he was not a member of the coordination committee, which met on May 4. Hence, it was not clear as to what was discussed in the meeting.

Also, the MC’s letter asking CITCO to remove encroachments and other fencing contains no details, drawings or documents to either clarify or suggest any type of encroachment by CITCO.

The subject matter as referred by the commissioner in his letter, “Extension of parking on the rear side of Municipal Corporation building, Sector 17, along Jan Marg” has never been brought to the notice of CITCO and there is no notice whatsoever given by the MC indicating any type of encroachment, the letter states.

It was also mentioned that the documents pertaining to 1990 reveal that the ownership of the land vests with the UT administration and not with the Municipal Corporation.

In the letter, CITCO’s managing director has asked the MC commissioner to withdraw his letter until all the issues are legally examined. Stating that in the light of the records and official documents, the letter states: “No action can be taken merely on the basis of a letter written by you in the absence of ownership and proper demarcation. Therefore at this stage, without following due procedure, without looking into the title of the land and the legitimate possession of CITCO, it is not possible to take action.”

Meanwhile, the CITCO Employees’ Union, led by its president Kahsmir Chand, said there were some elements from the ruling party who were deliberately trying to defame CITCO and Hotel Shivalikview due to vested interests. “CITCO should not favour anyone under any kind of pressure or else thousands of workers will go own strike,” he added. 



UT seeks alternative site for Sec 21 e-sampark centre
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The UT administration has decided not to set up an e-sampark centre at the proposed location in Sector 21B adjoining the Chandigarh City Bird Sanctuary and has asked the area councillor and resident welfare associations to suggest an alternative site.

The decision was taken after The Tribune had highlighted the issue in a news item carried on April 27 (‘Parrots losing home to e-sampark centre!’) after many residents and bird lovers in the locality voiced concern over the proposed construction of an e-sampark near the sanctuary.

Confirming the development, UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar said the administration had decided against constructing an e-sampark centre after the issue was taken up by the area councillor and other bird lovers.

“We have asked the area councillor, who is an elected representative of that area, as well as the city mayor to propose another site for an e-sampark centre, keeping in view the convenience of people”, he said.

Kumar had earlier had earlier maintained the centre would be constructed at the same site adjoining the bird sanctuary as planned. He later stated the administration could only make “some adjustments” so that the birds were not disturbed.

Area councilor Anju Beniwala told the Chandigarh Tribune she was not aware of the administration’s earlier decision to construct an e-sampark centre there.

“After the matter came to my notice, I discussed it with area residents who expressed their resentment at the decision and we decided to oppose the move. We have identified a piece of vacant land belong to the municipal corporation in Sector 21B adjacent to the boundary wall of the Government Senior Secondary School. I have sent a proposal to the mayor, who has in turn taken up the matter with the administration at a coordination committee meeting”, Beniwala said.

Maintaining the site near the bird sanctuary was not feasible, Beniwala said the place was located in a thickly populated area having V5 and V6 approach roads. “The dearth of parking space there would further lead to traffic chaos”, she added.

NK Jhingra, member of the Environment Society of India, Sector 11, said the sanctuary has a population of about 25,000 parrots and other birds.

The administration had notified 2.9 hectares of land for the bird sanctuary on September 29, 1988. In the following year the World Parrot Trust was founded in Cornwall, England. Every year on May 31 the trust celebrates World Parrot Day in the bird sanctuary. 



Rare operation on man with severe breathing problem
Tribune News Ser1vice

Chandigarh, May 6
Premier medical institution of the region PGI has added another feather to its cap by becoming the first government hospital in the country to perform a successful surgery of placing a silicone Y-stent in a patient’s trachea (wind pipe) after removing a tumour that was causing a blockade in the throat.

The interventional pulmonology team of the department, comprising Dr Dheeraj Gupta and Dr Ritesh Agarwal and anesthetists Dr Hemant, Dr V Arya, Dr Narayana, Dr Sameer and Dr Bhupesh, performed the surgery on the 60-year-old man, who was suffering from severe breathing problems, last week.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Dheeraj said Pratap (name changed) had come to the PGI three weeks ago with severe breathlessness. After conducting various tests, it was established that he was suffering from obstruction of trachea.

“More than 95 per cent of his airway was blocked by a tumour. In normal course, the diameter of the airway varies from 2 to 3 cm. But, there was only a 4mm opening in his airway, causing difficulty in breathing. He was unable to walk when he was brought here,” Dr Dheeraj said.

“We performed a bronchoscopy on him. The technique involves inserting a bronchoscope into the airway, usually through the nose or mouth, or occasionally through a tracheotomy. This enabled us to examine the patient’s airway for abnormalities. Thereafter, we removed the endotracheal growth through a rigid bronchoscope and placed a silicon-coated Y-stent in his airway to maintain the patency of the lumen,” Dr Dheeraj added.

According to doctors, the tracheal tumour that was obstructing Pratap’s airway had been sent for test. “It was a life-threatening condition, as the narrowing of the trachea led to severe difficulty in breathing. It was an extraordinary case. We have to be very careful while inserting a stent in a patient’s windpipe. The procedure requires a lot of accuracy,” the doctor said. However, the PGI doctors had placed stents in 10 other cases of central airway obstruction and respiratory failure.



Consumer Forum
Bank told to refund Rs 28,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has stated that in the absence of any directions or specific mandate from the customer, no banker can unilaterally and arbitrarily encash or transfer the money of a depositor from his account and pay it to any other person without verifying the genuineness of the cheque/instrument and the signatures of the customer.

The forum has directed the Bank of Maharashtra branch in Sector 45 to refund Rs.28, 000 with 9 per cent interest per annum, since the date of the wrongful encashment till the date of realisation and also to pay compensation of Rs 20,000 for the physical harassment, mental agony and pain suffered by Nisha, a resident of Burail, due to their deficient act along with the litigation cost of Rs.5000.

She had, in a complaint with the forum, stated that she had been issued a cheque book (No.678881 to 678900) by the bank. She came to know that a cheque bearing No.678898 in her account stood encashed by Jatinder Gulati for Rs.28, 000 on November 27, 2009, whereas no such cheque was ever issued by her.

The bank, however, took objection that the complaint is not maintainable on the ground of the non-joinder of Jatinder Gulati, who encashed the cheque in question.

It was also stated that the complainant had never shown the unused original cheque leaf bearing No.678898 to the bank, as alleged. The bank has discharged its duty by making payment in due course after properly comparing the signatures of the complainant with the bank record and after taking signature of said bearer of the cheque i.e. Jatinder Gulati. 



GMADA allots work to develop golf academy
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Layout plan of golf academy in Mohali
Layout plan of golf academy in Mohali

Mohali, May 6
A month after approving city’s first golf academy in Phase XI here, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has allotted the work to develop the facility to a Gurgoan-based firm, Tulip Build Infra Pvt Ltd.

The firm has been given 18 months time to develop the golf academy on nine acres located adjacent to the Commando Complex in Phase XI here. “The facility would certainly boost the recreational-cum-sports activity in periphery of Chandigarh,” said GMADA’s Chief Administrator VP Singh.

Cashing on its strategic location near the upcoming international airport, the authorities feel that the academy comprising of a golf range and a club would offer a new facility for budding golf players.

The entire project is expected to cost GMADA around Rs 8.50 crore. The club building would include a swimming pool, library, spas, gym, two tennis courts, party hall, a restaurant and bar. The main building would have the administrative offices and video aided classrooms, conference rooms and driving bays. The outdoor facilities would include practise putting and chipping greens and tennis courts. The length from the hitting bay to end point would be 270 yards.

A seasonal rivulet running through the proposed golf range would be turned into a picturesque water body. GMADA is contemplating to follow the pattern of management being followed at golf ranges and courses in Delhi, Gurgaon and Panchkula, where a committee that had members only in their ex-officio capacity held the reins of the range.

Though the project had been planned on 14.26 acres, the commercial exploitation of the remaining chunk of land has been given up. In the commercial area, 96 flats and penthouses had been planned. But GMADA had postponed the commercial use of the remaining five acres. 



Mohali to get first footbridge in tricity
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 6
The regional planning and design committee (RPD) of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has approved construction of a footbridge at Phase VI here. The footbridge would provide an obstacle-free passage to the pedestrians moving between residential area of Phase VI and the Civil Hospital.

Once constructed, it would be the first footbridge in the tricity. The National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) had been planning a footbridge on the Chandigarh-Ambala national highway.

“Since traffic on the Chandigarh-Kharar section of the highway, which passes through Phase VI, is increasing with each passing day, a decision has been taken to construct the footbridge,” said Mohali’s additional chief administrator Balwinder Singh Multani.

However, the RPD declined permission to another footbridge at Phase V to give access to pilgrims visiting the Phase V gurdwara as overhead wires and underground services were coming in its way.



Law officials’ plea rejected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today dismissed the application filed by two law officers, who had approached them for treating their post of law officer equivalent to that of Assistant District Attorney.

The tribunal held that even if a person was holding a higher pay scale under the Assured Career Progression (ACP) scheme, which was on par with that of promotional post, then one could not be considered to be on that promotional post and could not be considered for further promotion on the basis of that scale.

The tribunal observed that both the applications proceed on wrong presumption that posts of law officers and ADA are equivalent.

“Both the applications are found to be time barred and devoid of any merit and are dismissed,” the order read.

Seema Handa, a law officer in the law and prosecution department of the Chandigarh administration, had approached the tribunal for treating her post of law officer equivalent to that of Assistant District Attorney (ADA) because of same pay scale.

She submitted that she had joined as law officer for Rs 2,000-Rs 3,500 on October 12, 1992, and should be considered for promotion to the post of the Deputy District Attorney (DDA).

The Bench comprising of Shyama Dogra and Khusi Ram also considered the application of another law officer Bharti Prasoon, along with the case of Seema Handa.

The Chandigarh administration had placed the post of law officer and ADA Grade-II for Rs 2,000-Rs 3,500, by issuing a notification on January 13, 1992.

The bench observed that both the posts might have been equivalent at some time, but subsequently the post of ADA was made a promotional post in higher pay scale than the post of law officer.



Bhagwan Dass on scientific advisory panel

Chandigarh, May 6
The Union Agriculture Ministry has appointed Punjab Young Farmers Association general secretary Bhagwan Dass Gupta a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority.

The 14-member committee, constituted under the chairmanship of former Planning Commission member Prof. V.L. Chopra, will advise the authority regarding on the utilisation of funds available under the “gene fund”. It will also frame and approve schemes for development of plant variety protection system and invoking the provisions of compulsory licences and compensation to farmers for non-performance of a variety. — TNS



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