C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City roads inadequately designed: RITES
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
In its report entitled ‘Comprehensive Mobility Plan for Chandigarh Urban Complex', Rail India Technical Economic Services (RITES) has said the UT administration has failed to make adequate use of the city’s existing roads.

The report, compiled recently, said issues of proper road geometrics, traffic circulation, junction design, traffic signals and road signals have not been properly attended to by the administration. It also underlined the need to set up a traffic engineering cell.

Even though most of the roads in the UT have been widened to the limit permissible, vehicle drivers in the city are striving hard to avoid banging into each other’s bumpers on the streets.

All the major thoroughfares in the UT are two-way dual carriageways. The broadest, Poorav Marg, touching Sectors 28, 29 and 31, is a six-lane stretch that is 14.5 metres wide on each side. Madhya Marg, entering the city from Panchkula and continuing beyond PGI into Punjab, is a dual carriageway that is 10.5 metres wide on each side. Dakshin Marg (Sectors 29, 30, 20, 21 and 22) has about the same width.

Giving details, a senior UT engineering department official said: “There is very little scope as of now for increasing the width of the city’s existing roads. In certain cases, like the road dividing Sectors 22 and 35, we have reduced the size of the road divider. We will have to work out alternative avenues to manage the steadily burgeoning traffic as soon as possible”.

The RITES report has suggested construction of nine underpasses and a flyover to reduce traffic congestion at busy locations in the city. The points proposed for underpasses included the intersections of Madhya Marg and Himalaya Marg, Madhya Marg and Sukhna Path, Madhya Marg and Transport Nagar Chowk, Aroma near Sector 22 and Dakshin Marg and Himalaya Marg.

The report has also mooted a flyover at the intersection of the city’s railway station and Madhya Marg.

Fact file

For over a decade and a half decade since the concept of a mass rapid transport system first came up for consideration, the UT is still caught up in procedural wrangles with the central, Punjab and Haryana governments for an effective MRTS project to get off the ground.

Based on simple calculations, the city is unlikely to have a functional MRTS within the next five years at least. About 250 vehicles are being added to the roads every day. The city has about 750,000 vehicles and many streets are already bursting at the seams. The roads also handle the rush of almost 100,000 people coming here from outside the UT on each working day.

With the population set to cross the 1.1 million mark, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking buses have failed to emerge as a reliable public transport system.



Gateway to Punjab gropes in the dark
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Non-functional streetlights pose danger in Mohali.
Non-functional streetlights pose danger in Mohali. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, May 9
Punjab’s gateway is groping in the dark. After dusk, darkness prevails on Mohali roads as the municipal corporation (MC) authorities are finding it hard to repair scores of non-functional streetlights due to unscheduled power cuts.

On the roads leading to peripheral villages and developing sectors, the situation is dismal. At the locations where multiple agencies like electricity wing of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), PowerCom and the Mohali MC are involved, the maintenance of the streetlights suffers as the agencies believe in passing the buck.

There are about 11,000 streetlight points in the developed part of the city and the junction boxes of most of the points have been found missing.

After spending lakhs on widening of roads around Sector 62, a number of newly stalled streetlights points are not functional. To ascertain the situation, a survey carried out on different days during the last one week has revealed that sodium vapour lights installed by GMADA at most roundabouts are not functional. After being installed, the maintenance is being handled by a private contractor on behalf of GMADA.

On April 30, the streetlight points at Franco traffic lights in Phase 2, the road separating Phases 7 and 8 and the road separating Phases 8 and 9 were found non-functional.

In reply to a query, an MC official said due to a faulty transformer, the streetlights were out of order. Two days later, the streetlights were found functional.

GMADA officials faced a similar problem in case of lights at Phases 7, 8 and 9. In all cases, long power cuts were said to be the reason for delay in repairing the non-functional points.

On May 3 and 4, the streetlight points on road separating Phases 7 and 8 were not functional. On May 5, a number of points near the Franco traffic lights were not functional.

Recently elected Mohali MC president Kulwant Singh said the MC had decided to take away the work of maintenance of streetlight points from PowerCom and give out the same on contract to private contractors for more accountability.

“In the past, maintenance-related items had not been purchased. We are now buying the items and painting the streetlights poles afresh,” he added.

The situation on main roads was somewhat better than the inner sector roads. A number of inner sector streetlight points (with tubelights) in Phases 1, 2, 3B1, 3B2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10 were non-functional. The inner sector points were being maintained by PowerCom on behalf of the MC.

“With just 25 persons on deputation, it becomes really difficult to handle all complaints coming from different sectors. We do send persons as per the availability,” admitted an MC official.

As per the prevailing practice, the MC imposes a fine of Rs 60 per point per month on the contractor for non-functional streetlights.

In the last two months, a penalty of Rs 36,000 had been imposed on contractors. To keep a check on the contractors, there were just two MC employees deputed to file a report daily on the non-functional streetlight points.

Box Blues

Initially junction boxes were made of metal sheet and thieves used to remove it. Then we started installing plastic boxes. Thieves now target the copper conductors and damage junction boxes. Open junction boxes with wires hanging out pose a grave danger to passersby.



Financial Crunch
Homoeo college seeks PU affiliation
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Facing a financial crunch as well as an admission crisis, the governing body of the Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Sector 26 has sought affiliation with Panjab University. The college has set up a seven-member committee to submit a report on the matter.

The college’s governing body is also exploring the possibility of either being taken over by the UT administration or devising a method of public-private partnership to resolve the situation. Some members have expressed their concern over the need for the college to strengthen the college infrastructure and finances and introduce better schemes for employees.

“The association today discussed whether the college should be affiliated with any institution or not. The three options before us are PU, UT administration or a public-private partnership,” said VK Bansal, the association’s acting president

“Even though certain members of the association voiced their resentment on the matter, a resolution to opt for one of the three possibilities was passed and the final decision would be taken at the next meeting”, said a member.

“The date for the next meeting at which the report would be tabled has not been fixed yet,” Bansal stated.

Meanwhile, some PU senate members and administration officials have expressed their optimism on the issue of the Homoeopathic Medial College & Hospital becoming a constituent college of the varsity, but none was willing to be quoted.

“The college would be taken over along with its assets and liabilities. The Rs 3 crore funds that the college currently has are gradually dwindling and a consolidation is needed. Although patients regularly come to the college hospital and the college is also running four peripheral dispensaries successfully, an overall strengthening is required,” said DS Gupt, college treasurer and a member of the committee.

It was during the budget meeting of the association today, in presence of nearly 30 members, that the names of Bansal, PK Mittal, DS Gupt, Dr Cascro, principal KS Arya, MM Sharma and advocate Sanjeev Walia were selected for the committee, which would look into the matter and submit a report. 



Gradation for kabaddi? Not in UT!
Removed from list in 2005; players giving it up
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Contrary to the Punjab government’s act of spending crores in organising the Kabaddi World Cup, the UT administration continues with its indifferent attitude by not including the game in its sports gradation list.

In what comes as a major discouragement to local kabbadi players, the administration has, for the fifth year in a row, refused to put the sports discipline in its gradation system for being a non-Olympic sport.

“It is a rural game of India, which needs promotion for its revival. Except Chandigarh, almost every state and union territory has the game in its gradation system. The Punjab government has recently spent crores on the Kabaddi World Cup to revive the game. But here, nobody seem interested in its promotion,” said Narinder Rana, international kabaddi referee and umpire with the World Kabaddi Federation.

The reason behind removing it from the gradation list in 2005 was its non-Olympic status. “We give gradation to Olympic disciplines only,” said the sports authorities here.

“If gradation cannot be given to non-Olympic games, how come do they allow gradation to cricket, which is also a non-Olympic sport. It is not even being played at the Asian Games,” argued Rana.

The decision of discontinuing it in the gradation system proved a big dent in the promotion of the sport here as many kabaddi players shifted to other disciplines to get the benefits of gradation in admission to well-known educational institutes and procuring jobs under the sports quota.

Presently in Chandigarh, over 100 players turn up every day at the kabaddi centre, located at the Sports Complex, Sector 42. Several hundred youths also play kabaddi at various schools and colleges.

The sport is also popular in local villages like Dhanas, Dadu Majra, Maloya and Khuda Ali Sher, having hundreds of players in all age groups.

“After the organisation of the Kabaddi World Cup by the Punjab government, we are hopeful that something positive will happen here,” said Vijay Kumar and Satbir, international-level kabaddi players.

Players of circle kabaddi had started getting jobs in Punjab. The authorities had recently spent over Rs 20 lakh to upgrade the kabaddi centre here.

The Chandigarh administration should at least revive gradation for the sport, said Randip and Ramesh, national-level kabaddi players here.

“It is of no use if they do not include the sport in the gradation list. Without gradation, a kabaddi certificate is no more than a piece of paper for players here,” said players in unison.



UT police gets serious about lethal armoury
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The police is loading its weaponry with the latest firearms and gadgetry. The armoury will now add 100 more AK 47 rifles, 100 glock pistols, 50 MP-5 rifles and two anti-riot vehicles costing around Rs 16 lakh.

“We are buying the latest weapons and firearms to keep the force abreast with the changing threat scenario in the wake of terrorist strikes and the process of procuring these weapons has begun,” the SSP, SS Srivastva, said.

Besides, new security threats, the police is also faced with the horror of certain figures in the police diary, including Jagtar Singh Hawara, chief of Babbar Khalsa International, at present on death row in Model Jail, Burail, for the assassination of former CM Beant Singh.

Hawara along with his accomplices had escaped in 2004 after digging a tunnel in the jail. His accomplices -- Paramjit Singh Bheora, Shamsher Singh, Gurjit Singh and Lakhwinder Singh -- are also lodged in jail.

Sources in the police said though the police had 80 AK-47 rifles, the need for another 100 was felt to strengthen its existing stock. Designed in 1946, the rifle is still a favourite of the armed forces and terrorist organisations worldwide even after six decades of its existence.

The police had also placed an order for procuring 100 glock pistols and 50 MP-5 (derived from German Maschinenpistole 5) is a 9 mm submachine gun developed in the 1960s. It is used by NSG commandos due to its manoeuvrability with its extendable butt. Elaborating on the specifications of a glock pistol, a police officer said the pistol had a slightly bigger bore than a normal .9 mm pistol. It was an all-weather weapon made of ceramic body and was equipped with a different capacity of magazines ranging from minimum of 16 bullets to 38 bullets. “It is very useful in combat operations and is a renowned weapon in Europe and the US,” he stated.

A senior police officer said a large number of weapons in their armoury were archaic and not fit in the present day terrorist threat scenario, with terrorists and anti-social elements using sophisticated weapons.

Among the outdated weapons, a large number (2,235) are 303 rifles. These are mostly used for ceremonial purposes. The police has 410 musket rifles which are used in drills and training.

The police has four sniper rifles with telescopes, which are used by trained personnel to shoot at a specific target from a distance. The police has over 1,400 self-loading rifles, six light machine guns, 350 carbines, 65 sten guns, 690 .9 mm pistols, 112 .38 bore revolvers and 25 special .38 bore revolvers in its arsenal.



Open House Response
Check your facts before applying abroad

I travel to Europe, two or three times every year, to meet senior dignitaries, university representatives and students who are studying or have settled there. Going by my experience, Sanjeev Singh Bariana's article "Govt blind to touts cashing in on false promises" on April 19, is a very appreciative piece of information, based on ground realities.

There are many web sites where students and parents can have free information with regard to their standings, courses available and the fees structure. They should always check their facts before approaching any consultant. No student with a below average academic standing should go abroad because studies, overseas, cannot be completed by missing classes to raise finances through menial jobs.

Students should be clear to not to go in for short term courses. Never believe on success stories told by your overseas friend. He might be lying to you out of his ego. Do your own fact findings. Agents only fool those, who are willing to get fooled. It is no point cribbing later. It is suggested that all interested students should go in for free consultancy, given by different universities, before taking any decision.

Dr Manjinder Singh Vrach, Managing Director
MS Career Immigration Services, Chandigarh

No dearth of work here

The announcement by my nephew that he was quitting his job in the Airtel telecommunications came in as a shock to the family. He surprised us more by saying he was going to Australia for higher studies because he was not satisfied here. To top it all, he wanted admission in a line not remotely related to his degree of Bachelor of Commerce.

He was adamant on going abroad despite a poor financial condition of his home, here. He pleaded with his mother "please send me abroad and I shall not ask for anything more. Tell Papa, I will manage my life well and also take care of all of you".

We were foxed with his stay schedule abroad. Slowly, he stopped talking back home. He was driving a taxi and said he and his three roommates cooked only on the weekends. He rarely went to classes and as a result was unable to qualify in the IELTS examination. This made him unsuitable to apply for a permanent residency in Australia.

With great difficulty his parents convinced him to come back. He replied he was too ashamed to come home. He was, however, pursued and he returned. He currently works in the same company. Parents should ensure that their ward was not going abroad merely in a blind craze. There is no dearth of work here.

Iqbal Kaur Saini, Mohali.

Agents milk easy visa norms

The easy visa norms have been best utilized by agents in making easy money. A number of universities and educational institutes abroad have come up only to cash our foreign dreams. An inherent Indian psychology, particularly Punjabi, of going abroad coupled with the easy visa laws helped many fly abroad. A large number, however, lost their family's money and did not manage a good life, for themselves, as well.

Based on the dreams sold by the agents, a sizeable number of students have gone abroad and have ended up only doing menial jobs. They are unable to attend regular classes because they have to pay back the money to the agents who had arranged on their behalf. It is a very well known fact that the agents charge heavy interest rates, as well.

I don't have a definite answer, however, an all round effort needs to be made towards preventing students from falling into the trap of the agents. Parents needed to be educated, first. The law too needs to set certain examples, for others to deter, from treading a wrong path.

N C Rana, Panchkula.

Catch the sin not the sinner

Let us first answer 'Why large numbers of students choose to go abroad?" We know, very well, that majority of students go abroad for a "Permanent Residency on the pretext of getting education. Besides this, most of the students who are unable to get the admissions in prestigious institutes, in the country, also look to go abroad.

To avert this trend, complete overhauling of our education is required which at present reflects a dismal picture. A Financial Times (London) poll conducted to list the top 100 business schools in the world did not have a single Indian entry. We produce largest number of PhDs in the world, but half of them are said to be recycled or plagiarized. We also have the largest number of graduates but only half of them are unemployable. What is the use of such education? The students after completing their degrees do not know what to do next and where to go? There is a mad race in a directionless track of life for our youth. Surely, under these existing circumstances, students and parents look forward for foreign dreams.

Further, education had rarely been the top priority of Indian government. Successive governments have been promising to increase the educational outlay to 6 per cent of GDP. On ground, it still hovers around 3.5 per cent. Even after six decades of our independence, we are still experimenting with our education policy.

The students under stress and strain for being unable to get admission in their choicest professions, but are otherwise competent, adopt recourse to go abroad. There is a greater need for job-oriented study in the country to end the woes of parents and the children.

If there is a will of the government to revamp the present education system there will be considerable chances of our students to remain in India and the business of touts will automatically be slashed.

S.K. Khosla, Sector 40C, Chandigarh.

Beware of touts

Youth ensnared with the charms of foreign lands need to be guided properly against the inherent pitfalls in the education scenario, abroad. Countries like Australia, UK and Canada have taken stringent steps to curb the fraudulent entries based on forged documents.

Only the genuine students wishing to study in mainstream courses abroad need to apply in order to save a financial loss to their families and also to avoid disillusionment, themselves. In the ongoing scenario, greater vigilance is needed against touts who in a desperate manner are asking students and the parents to shell out heavy cash "urgently" with "admission ensured".

Probably, the government too needs to interfere in the current scenario where the foreign countries had tightened their noose on the fraud entries. By catching and punishing money fleecing touts, the government needs to show a common man to beware from the market wolves, particularly in smaller towns of the region. The public there, including students and parents, is very innocent.

Trishla, Panchkula


Catching a view from the top

Taking rounds of the city on Friday, a little before the rain, three children on top of a tree opposite the Government Model High School caught the attention of this correspondent. A strong gust of wind blew across his face when he alighted from his car.

On asking children what they were doing on top of the tree, one of them replied, “I have never seen such a strong wind. I asked my friends to join me here to watch its impact as far as we could see. The tall buildings all around do not give us as wide a picture of the impact of the wind or rain as a walk in the fields of my village near Mandi Ahmedgarh does.”

Hail spoilsport!

Unexpected rain on Friday brought cheer to residents. It was welcomed by certain budding sportspersons, trying their hand at ongoing sports events all over the city. The reason was that the showers played spoilsport to their sports competitions, especially cricket. The downpour left the outfields wet, forcing a halt to a match of the Hot Weather Cricket Tournament at Sector 19 here.

It also caused a one-hour delay to the start of the semifinal match between Chandigarh and Jalandhar in the Punjab State Inter-District Katoch Shield (for seniors) at the Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, the next day. “We love rain, if it comes when we play soccer, but not during cricket,” commented a budding cricketer.

It ain’t cool here

A sole air-conditioner installed at the media waiting room of the UT Police Headquarters in Sector 9 is not in proper working condition for years. A proposal has finally been made for its replacement. The other day, a police officer came to the room sweating and the air-conditioner did not comfort him.

“Tell seniors that a number of complainants came here with reports against policemen. The cooler setting in the waiting room would help them relax, cool their tempers and send with a pleasant face to the officers,” he urged mediapersons.

Canine nightmare

The stray dog menace is growing at an alarming rate in the city, particularly in its villages, in the absence of any agency to sterilise the dog population. As night descends, roads and streets virtually become their domain and evening walks are a nightmare for residents. Makhan Majra and Raipur Khurd villages remain under siege during night as dogs race with motorcycles, chase people into their homes or scare residents by picking a fighting among themselves.

“We cannot move out of our houses once it is dark. The dogs seem to appear out of nowhere. We have no choice but to stay indoors. Going out for a leisurely saunter is out of the question,” rues Parampal of Raipur Khurd.

Residents of these villages lament that the number of dogs has increased mainly due to open garbage dumps, which are not cleared regularly, giving the dogs the opportunity to have food from those. Open garbage dumps and lack of will to sterilise dogs compound the problems.

Others rue the inaction on the part of the municipal corporation and the administration. “We can only look towards them for help and relief from this menace. If they express their inability to rope in agencies to control the dog population, who will we turn to,” asks Amit of Makhan Majra.

Catching them early

Companies seem to be cashing in on residents’ desire to keep fit. A case in point was a demonstration by a water purifying company to morning walkers at a park in Sector 48 the other day. A substantial number of senior citizens were strolling to keep themselves fit. They also looked fitter in comparison to a half-asleep salesman, who stood at the entrance to the park. He spoke non-stop on the benefits of the ‘pure water’ his machine delivered.

A majority of the strollers gave a patient hearing to the salesman, whose speech was loaded with yawns. Instead of selling any water purifier, he packed his bag and started a stroll in the garden. “Probably, first, I need to keep myself fit before goading others on hygiene,” he said with a chuckle while looking at a senior citizen.

Tough nut for media

Interacting with media-savvy people is a gruelling task, but not as tough as speaking to media-shy ones. One such case is that of the Dean University Instructions of Panjab University, the sole authority on certain important issues, including admissions, who prefers to maintain a distance from the media. Trips to his office or repeated calls at both his office and home are all futile.

One can only guess the reason for his media shyness, but such is its extent that comments are reserved even when one approaches him through the Director Public Relations of the university on important issus. In an institution which favours transparency and supports the Right to Information Act, a senior official is far from reach.

Contributed by Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Akash Ghai, Ramanjit Singh Sidhu, Anil Jerath, Pradeep Sharma and Neha Miglani 



A day dedicated to mothers

Delhi Public School: Students of the pre-primary wing of Delhi Public School, Sector 40, Chandigarh, celebrated the Mother’s Day. Tiny tots prepared presentations for their moms. They sung songs, presented hand-crafted mementos and played games with their moms. Various competitions such as salad making and flower arrangement were held for mothers, which they enjoyed thoroughly.

Bhavan Vidyalaya: A special assembly was organised to mark Tagore Jayanti and Mother’s Day at Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Panchkula. Students presented a Bengali song and a speech to highlight the role of Dr Rabinder Nath Tagore as a poet and a philosopher. To celebrate the Mother’s Day, children recited shlokas.

AKSIPS-41: Pre-primary wing celebrated the Mother’s Day with great zeal and zest. Children sung songs for their mothers. Executive director Jasdeep Kalra gave away prizes to all students, who were adjudged best in the card colouring competition. Students of classes I and II had a card-making competition. Jewellery-making competition was organised for Class III students.

DAV-39: Tiny tots of DAV Public School, Sector 39-D, expressed their love, respect and gratitude towards their mothers by putting up a wonderful show, which included poetry recitation, dance performances and fun games. Students sent e-cards to their mothers to express their feelings and happiness.

Jainendra Public School: Jainendra Public School, Sector 1, Panchkula, celebrated the Mother’s Day. A day prior, beautiful drawings and posters related to the occasion adorned the school walls. The day commenced with poem dedicated to the mothers during the morning assembly, which was followed by speeches and lectures by students. A short tableau based on mother-child relationship made everyone emotional and brought tears in their eyes.

Shishu Niketan: A function was organised at Shishu Niketan Public School, Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula. Students gave a dance performance. Students recited poems. The celebrations concluded with tambola.

Guru Teg Bahadur: To celebrate the Mother’s Day, Guru Teg Bahadur School, Sector 15, Chandigarh, organised various activities like musical chair race, healthy tiffin competition and dance competition.

Sri Sukhmani: On the occasion of Mother’s Day, Sri Sukhmani International School, Dera Bassi, organised a series of events. Students spoke on the “importance of mothers in our lives”. Students made beautiful gifts, photo frames, greeting cards for mothers. Notice boards were decorated with colourful charts and posters.

St Teresa Convent: St Teresa Convent School, Sector 25, Panchkula, celebrated the Mother’s Day. Students made photo frames, needle holders, letter holders and wall hangings. A card-making competition was also held.

Aanchal International: Aanchal International School celebrated the Mother’s Day today. A cultural programme was organised. Students of kindergarten classes recited poems and songs. Tiny tots had made colourful cards for their mothers.

Gurukul School: The Gurukul School, Sector 20, organised a talent hunt to mark the Mother’s Day. Mothers got an opportunity to showcase their talent on the stage. The competition turned out to be a great success, as mothers and their children participated with zeal. Students gifted hand-made notepads to their mothers on the occasion. The programme concluded with a dance performance by mothers.

Skin disorders among women discussed

Panchkula: Rising incidents of skin disorders among females was highlighted during the two- day skin campaign for mothers held to mark the World Mothers’ at National Skin Hospital, Mansa Devi Complex here today. Chief consultant dermatologist and dermato-laser surgeon Dr Vikas Sharma, said females undergo a lot of hormonal changes. He said though a female undergoes major hormonal changes during her lifetime at menarche, puberty, pregnancy, lactation and menopause. Such changes were more when a lady became mother for the first time, he added. Dr Vikas Sharma said these changes could be both beneficial and sometimes had harmful effects on skin and hair in different females. He said there were certain skin diseases, which could improve like types of psoriasis, eczema, etc with these hormonal changes and in certain females were a root cause of a few skin problems like melasma. He also explained why women were prone to certain dermatological and hair disorders.


The life skills week began at Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh. The week started with discussions, conversation, quiz and puzzles on manners , etiquettes and how they should conduct themselves at different places. The week progressed with more activities like e-tests, slogan writing, creative writing, collage making and advertisement designing. Laying a table for two contest generated enthusiasm and fun. The celebrations ended with a power point presentation on soft skills by school principal Anu Kumar. 



Job fest at PU
150 students hired
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Nearly 150 students of Panjab University and its affiliated colleges were picked up by 32 companies during the two-day job fest on the PU campus, which concluded today.

In a new trend observed today, there was a great demand of students enrolled in foreign language courses, including German, French as translators in multinational companies. Various schools recruited PU students enrolled in humanities department. The main recruiters of today were Kapsons, knack.com,Igma, NIIT, Quark, Anand group, Aditya Birla group, Coca Cola, etc.

The Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC), which had organised the fest in collaboration with the Central Placement Cell (CPC), submitted a memorandum to the university authorities to make job fest a part of annual cultural festival of PU students council “Jhankaar” from next year. 



Change of rally venue upsets BJP leaders
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The change in the venue for the May 12 BJP rally to be addressed by its national president, Nitin Gadkari, and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu at the Ramlila Ground, Sector 27, to the Rally Ground in Sector 25 has sent the local party leadership in a tizzy.

The inclement weather may play spoilsport and with this being the first visit of the national president to the city, the party is leaving no stone unturned to make it a “historic”.

“The Sector 27 venue was compact and a gathering of 4,000-5,000 persons would have looked impressive. But the change in the venue at the eleventh hour has upset our calculations,” a senior BJP leader said, conceding that gathering a crowd in summer would be an arduous task.

Moreover, it has become a prestige issue for the newly-elected local unit president, Sanjay Tandon, for whom it would be a virtual show of strength. Tandon has taken upon himself the task of making a rally a success as he is holding meetings daily to moblise the crowd for the “abhinandan samaroh”.

Former union minister Harmohan Dhawan, who joined the BJP in Gadkari’s presence in New Delhi, would be formally inducted into the party on May 12. And for Dhawan it would also be a show of strength as hundreds of his supporters are expected to join the party on that day.

In a bid to put up a united show, the local unit today held a meeting of state office-bearers, district presidents and mandal presidents.

The meeting was attended by former presidents Jai Ram Joshi, Dharam Pal Gupta, Yash Pal Mahajan and Kamla Sharma and national executive member Ranjana Shahi, among others. Both Joshi and Gupta were sidelined during the previous team of the office-bearers.

Administration’s rebuttal

The Chandigarh administration today termed the BJP allegations regarding the change of rally under political inference as “false and baseless” since no permission was ever granted for organising the BJP rally at Ramlila Ground by the District Magistrate -- the competent authority.

The request from the BJP for organising “abhinandan samaroh” at the Ramlila Ground was received at the District Magistrate’s office through the SDM (East) on May 5.

The administration has allowed the organising of rallies/meetings by political parties at the Rally Ground and the BJP was asked to change the venue on May 7, a press note claimed.

There is no question of any partiality as these instructions are applicable to all parties, the administration added.



Bansal asks 
Congress to work unitedly
Tribune News Service

Pawan Kumar BansalChandigarh, May 9
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Indian National Congress and paid homage to Pandit Motilal Nehru here today.

Addressing Congress workers and prominent citizens, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, highlighted the history of the Congress.

On local issues, Bansal said sufficient funds had been released for the development of the city in the last five years.

He appealed to Congress leaders, councillors and workers to work unitedly and take up issues and problems with the administration.

He assured them that the departments which had not been shifted so far would be transferred to the municipal corporation under the 74th Amendment.

Former Mayor Subash Chawla said the administration should involve public representatives and elected persons while implementing Central policies and programmes.



‘C-CAD must do aggressive marketing’ 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 9
Public-sector undertakings (PSUs) like Mohali’s Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) must step out aggressively to sell their capability in the market. As they were in direct competition with the aggressively placed private sector, such undertakings need to disseminate their potential, said Punjab’s Information Technology (IT) Principal Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal.

While addressing the concluding day of seminar ‘Technikriti’ - a technology showcase event at the C-DAC here - the Principal Secretary said despite a reliable and capable set of professionals, the PSU was not able to demystify its potential. Citing example of the e-recruitment being done by the state education department through C-DAC, he said the people were not aware about the establishment of national-level conclaves and more seminars need to be conducted to bring C-DAC in limelight, he opined. Earlier, Director General of C-DAC Rajan T Joseph made the participants aware about the 10 C-DAC centres being run across the country.

He explained the role of the centres in transfer of technologies to different government departments.

Executive director of C-DAC Mohali JS Bhatia listed various government organisations to which C-DAC was linked. Head of department, software technology division, Preeti Abrol gave a presentation about C-DAC Mohali’s technological initiatives.

The main objective to this event was to showcase technologies developed by C-DAC Mohali and to envisage the opportunities for transfer of technology on the eve of foundation day. On the occasion, the chief guest released C-DAC’s product catalogue. Dr Anil Wali, managing director, Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer, IIT Delhi, delivered a talk on technology transfer. 



Khair felling
Forest officials accused of colluding with ‘mafia’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 9
Residents of Bardar village near here have filed a complaint with the senior superintendent of police accusing police officials investigating an earlier complaint relating to illicit cutting of trees of playing a “partisan role in favour of the forest mafia”.

On April 7, residents had complained to the additional principal chief conservator of forests, MP Rai regarding illicit felling of Khair trees in the village.

In their representation several village residents had pointed out that, under the garb of securing a permit for tree felling, the “unscrupulous elements” had even ventured into other areas nearby and indulged in large scale tree felling. The villagers had also met Punjab principal chief conservator of forests BC Bala and demanded that officials posted outside the Ropar forest range should hold the inquiry. Bala later stated a probe would be conducted soon.

The villagers claimed that, with the help of certain officials, the “unscrupulous elements” had axed a large number of trees. A tractor trolley with illegal trees was also seized in the presence of the forest officials.Questioning the role of deputy ranger RS Chakkal and forest guard Balwinder Singh in the Siswan range, the villagers have sought protection of their lives from the forest officials.

“The forest officials and the forest mafia, with the help of the police, were trying to implicate us in false cases”, they said.



Bhakra water for Kajauli sought

Chandigarh, May 9
The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations has urged UT Administrator-cum-Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil to prevail upon the Punjab government to release Bhakra water for the implementation of Phases V and VI of the Kajauli project. At an executive committee meeting here, concern was expressed over the way the municipal corporation had been ignoring the regulation on door-to-door collection of garbage.

Welcoming the decision of the administration to set up 15 new e-sampark centres, it reiterated its demand for setting up a police complaint authority.

It expressed concern about the increasing cases of corruption and malpractices involving officials of departments of the administration. — TNS



Stage set for Youth Cong elections from May 11
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
Arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the Indian Youth Congress elections in the Panchkula assembly segments to be held in three phases from May 11.

Stating this to the mediapersons here today, Bhupinder Singh, assistant returning officer, said about 5,330 members of the Youth Congress would exercise their franchise during the polling to be held in the Sector-10 Community Centre.

He said members from ward No. 1 to 13 would exercise their franchise on May 11, from ward No. 14 to 26 on May 12 and from ward No. 27 to 30 and 56 panchayats would be held on May 13.

Bhupinder said the work of filing nomination and scrutinising the forms is complete.

As many as 147 youths, including 14 girls had filed their nomination and he added that only one form was rejected.

A total of 82 candidates in the general category, 20 in the Scheduled Tribe, five in the Other Backward Classes and six from minority candidates were in the fray for the posts of president, vice-president and three general secretaries in their respective wards.

He said 113 forms had been received from the city, while 34 forms had been received from nine panchayat segments.

He said elections to the remaining wards, including 12, 14, 19, 31 and 47 panchayat segments, from where they had not received any nomination forms, would be held later.

Besides him, four other Congress activists had been nominated as polling officers, including Tehal Singh Sandhu, Sumit Garg, Mohinder Singh Bhalla and Sukhmander Singh Bhatti would supervise the elections.



Sirhind fateh march at Mohali
Tribune News Service

Sirhind fateh march being taken out at Mohali.
Sirhind fateh march being taken out at Mohali. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, May 9
To commemorate the 300 years of the establishment of Sikh rule, the Shatabdi Purab Committee, SAS Nagar, took out a procession “Sirhind fateh” here last evening.

The procession started as a nagar kirtan from the Sector-71 gurdwara and culminated at Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan, Sohana.

The convener of the Shatabdi Purab Committee and member of the SGPC, Hardeep Singh, said the procession was the outcome of the preparations made by different gurdwara committees, market committees and devotees.

Along the procession route, various posters, banners, hoardings and flags were put up. Sweet water and eatables were also distributed.

Decorated elephants, camels, and horses were the main attractions. School bands, Kirtani Jatha from Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Istri sat-sang sung religious hymns.

A special float produced by Zonal Lalit Kala Akadmi on “Sirhind fateh” was on display on a tractor trolley.

Hardeep also informed that a light-sight show “Banda Guru Ka” would be formed at the mela ground in Phase VIII on May 15 and 16.

Through the sound and light show, history of Banda Singh Bahadur will be depicted.

A replica of the first coin issued by Banda Singh would be distributed among the devotees free of cost.



Subsequent GPA holders’ SOS to admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The Chandigarh Social Welfare Association has urged the Chandigarh administration to solve some problems being faced by general power of attorney(GPA) holders in the implementation of the March 2, 2009, notification.

While GPA holders were allowed the transfer of flat or share on their names, subsequent GPA holders were, in some cases, denied the benefit by some managing committees. It was requested that the relief of transfer of ownership rights to subsequent GPA holders be clarified and notified, a representation to the UT Finance Secretary said.

Denying GPA holders, who did not owe any amount to the society concerned, the right to transfer in his name was an arbitrary act, which needed the intervention at the administration level, the representation noted.

Modalities for recovery from societies, where residents had paid their dues to the society and the society was a defaulter of the Chandigarh Housing Board, could be worked out in consultation with the legal department, the representation added.



SD College students get degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The 34th annual convocation of GGDSD College, Sector 32-C, was held today. Pawan Kumar Bansal, Member of Parliament-cum-Union Cabinet Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, was the chief guest on the occasion.

College principal Dr AC Vaid conferred degrees on around 950 students of the college.

Around 142 students of BCom (honours), 79 of BCom, 127 of BSc, 157 of BA, 47 of BA (honours), 88 of BBA, 89 of BCA, 16 students of MCom, 32 of MBE, 19 of MSc (biotech), 13 of MSc (bioinfo), four of MSc (IT), 26 of BSc (honours) biotech, 27 of BSc (honours) bioinfo and diploma students received degrees.

Bansal highlighted the need to offer quality education. While addressing students, he said, “The true purpose of education must be to enhance students’ capabilities.”

He said need of the hour was to disseminate knowledge and offer vocational training to students in rural areas. The principal enlisted achievements of the college, including innovative programme like postgraduate diploma in computer graphics and animation under the innovative programme “Teaching and Research in Interdisciplinary and Emerging Areas” launched by the UGC. 



Now, geology students rue poor placements 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Now, students of masters programme in petroleum geology at Panjab University are up in arms against the university authorities for not having delivered on their promise of providing jobs to them. The issue of this self-financed course has cropped up within a day of PU resolving the issue of placements of students of another self-financed course at University Institute of Applied Management Sciences (UIAMS).

In a press note issued by the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) today, a strong resentment has been expressed by the party as well as 13 students enrolled in this course.

The note mentions that students of petroleum geology course were promised jobs at MNCs in the beginning of the course. “The advertisement posted on PU’s website is testimony to the fact,” said SOPU president Harsh Vardhan Singh Jhinjha.

The party has accused the department of ruining students’ future.

SOPU party president added that students had to get the notes photocopied from other students since the books recommended by experts were not purchased even as Rs 50,000 were given for their books.

PU director public relations (DPR) said, “Students have submitted a memorandum to the university and the authorities will look into the matter.”



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