C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


KK Talwar to continue as PGI director
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed that Dr KK Talwar be allowed to remain as director of PGI, Chandigarh. The tribunal passed the order on an application filed by Dr Rohtas Kanwar Yadav, a senior professor and head of radio diagnosis department at Pt BD Sharma PGIMER, Rohtak. In his petition filed on July 1 last year, Yadav had alleged the central government had illegally granted extensions to Talwar in his capacity as PGI director.

Talwar was appointed as the institute’s director on April 1, 2004 for five years and was later granted extension till April 30, 2011 till he attained the age of 65 or till any further order, whichever was earlier

The tribunal has also asked the central government and PGI to readvertise the position of head of the institute’s cardiology department, currently being held by Talwar, and to complete the selection process preferably within six months. Till then Talwar would continue as cardiology department head, the tribunal said.

The first extension given to Talwar is held to have attained finality and therefore no irregularity and illegality is assigned to the same, the order said.

“So far as a further extension granted to Dr Tawlar is concerned, we are of the view that the official respondents had put the cart before the horse by first giving approval to the extension by an approval committee of the union cabinet and then forwarding the matter to the government body/institute body of PGI,” the tribunal observed while delivering its judgement.

“Since there is no ‘illegality’ in the process, this extension cannot be quashed and set aside in view of the fact that the approval was accorded by the approval committee of the cabinet and government of India”, said the CAT division bench while delivering the order.

“Though there is a procedural irregularity in processing the matter to the central government for extension to be given to Dr Talwar, we are of the considered view that the end of justice would not be achieved by quashing and setting aside the extension given to him on procedural technicalities, depriving the institute of an eminent and experienced director already running the institute, and in view of public interest at large,” the tribunal said.



Tricity scores a perfect 10
City boy third in IIT JEE; nine more in top 100
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
It is raining toppers this time. After a fantastic show in the CBSE PMT, city students have now rocked the IIT JEE results, with 10 students making it to the top 100, as compared to three last year. While the city topper stood 50th last time, Himanshu Gupta brought laurels this time by securing third rank in the entire country. Around 100 students made it to the top 2,000 from the city.

“The result is quite encouraging. Chandigarh has always produced good results in board examinations, but has now started making a mark in competitions as well. Initially we would just have 25-odd students getting good rank, with only three or four making it to the top 100 by now its great that we have 10 students who have made it to the top hundred,” said the owner of a local IIT coaching academy.

Toppers talk
Himanshu Gupta (3rd)

“It was my parents’ dream. What could be a better driving force than this,” says Himanshu Gupta. Having grown up seeing his father, who is a civil engineer from BITS-Pilani, Himanshu knew IIT was his place. “Somewhere in my heart, I always knew that I would be an IITian. There was never an iota of doubt in my heart and I think it paid off,” says Himanshu. Ask him about his success secret and he modestly says, “Faith and passion. Fall in love with a dream and nothing can stop you.”

Udit Bansal (30th)

“With a full-time teacher at home, you have no option but to study well,” jokes Udit. Crediting his success to his mother, who is science mistress Udit feels that her watchful concern has made him hit the jackpot. “I am not a very serious boy otherwise and had to be told after every hour to study. My mom was always there to ensure that I never lost track. Instructions which at times sound nagging to me have proved to be a bliss now. I am thankful to her for this,” says Udit.

Chain Singh (35th)

Chain had heard ‘Zid karo’ in some advertisement and it eventually became his success mantra. Things were not so easy, but it was his passion and ‘zid’ that drove him through. According to Chain, “Getting into IIT became my passion and obsession. My biggest dream had always been to set my foot on that campus. It was the intensity of my passion that kept me away from all distractions and I made it. My dad, who is a Panjab University employee, is my driving force, whose dreams became my goal.”

Sahil Singla (47th)

He was in class IV when he heard his dad speaking highly about IIT to somebody. It was then that Sahil got the dream of his life, which became precious with his cousins making it to IIT. “When my cousins would come back home and talk about the campus, projects and future prospects, my faith in my goal got more strengthened and I worked hard to be among them,” says Sahil.

Sahil Bansal (49th)

“This is the best thing that can happen to any student of non-medical stream and so I strived for it,” reveals Sahil who has always loved to be the best. “Ever since the class I, I wanted to be the best student, best painter and best sportsman. When I went in for non-medical, I knew IIT was my place,” says Sahil. On being questioned about his success mantra, he quips, “I know people talk about smart work, but nothing can ever replace hard work. If IIT is you dream, you need to bury yourself into books for a good seven to eight hours and the world will be yours.”

Sanyam Galhotra (53rd)

It was the aptitude test that he took after his class X that made it clear that engineering was his forte and IIT the ultimate dream. Since he took admission to class XI, there was no looking back. “It is a roller-coaster ride. There were times when this dream seemed too far and some times too near, but I gave my everything, including leisure, dreams and passion, to it,” says Sanyam.

Aayush Goyal (64th)

One thing that makes Aayush similar to Sahi Bansal is his faith in long study hours. “Everything comes at a price and so does IITian status. It means giving nine to 10 hours of study daily and you cannot bargain. I did it and have got my badge,” he says.

Tarun Mangla (79th)

Dreams know new bounds and nobody except Tarun can exemplify in a better way. The celebrations for his IIT result are not yet over and the boy is already talking about civil services. “IIT does not mean you end up being an engineer. It is a way to chisel yourself and march ahead. I want to be an engineer, but rise to an administrative level, where I can make a difference to the lives of many,” says Tarun, who considers his smart work as the key to success.

Nilesh Garg (88th)

“When physics, chemistry and mathematics are your skills, IIT is your dream. More than anything else, it is the IITian status which makes you first among equals. I wanted to get into IIT ever since class VIII and worked hard and passionately,” said an elated Nilesh.

ONLY GIRL in Top 100
Shiny Singh (84th)

IIT is a boys’ sport, but Shiny seems to be sailing against this wave by being the only girl from the city to have made it to the top 100. It is not just her trend-breaker status that sets her apart, but also the story behind it, which makes her success so special. Born to a doctor, Shiny hated her father’s profession and thus, went in for engineering. “I know that most people expected me to be a doctor, but I just could not stand it. It failed to attract me and so, I went in for engineering. That hatred fuelled my passion for IIT and I did it. I would say ‘Thanks Dad’ for being a doctor,” jokes Shiney. On being asked about being the only city girl to have made it to the top 100, she reacts saying, “I know not many make it to IIT, but it is not that girls cannot do it. I think IITs fail to attract them, but if those do, as in my case, girls are always at their best.”



Tribune Impact
HC seeks info on action taken on damaged hillocks
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The functioning of a Punjab vigilance bureau official, a subdivisional officer and a Mohali-based BJP leader today came under the scrutiny of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, after the latter took suo motu cognisance of a Tribune report on their role in the ecological degradation of hillocks in the city’s northern region.

Ruling that the petition raised ecological concerns, justice Mehtab Singh Gill asked the state of Punjab, the chief conservator of forests, environment secretary, the union of India through the forest secretary and the union ministry of environment secretary to file their replies.

They have been asked to inform the court on the action taken under “the relevant Acts against erring government officials and persons occupying the land illegally”. Justice Gill also called for the “details of the steps taken and required to be taken to restore the ecological balance”.

The Tribune news item will now be treated as a petition in the public interest and will be placed before chief justice Mukul Mudgal for appropriate orders.

In the crisp “court on its own motion order”, justice Gill ruled: “A news item appearing in the Chandigarh Tribune dated May 26 has shown the extensive damage caused to the hillocks in the northern region of Chandigarh. It has been stated that inroads have been made into the Shivalik hills.

“The hillocks have been leveled and about 40 illegal farmhouses have been sold to non-locals. About 500 trees have been illegally felled, uprooted and sold by local politicians-turned realtors to remove all traces of forestland. Thirteen people who own farmhouses on this land have been identified. They are related to high-ups….”

Gill added: “It has been revealed in the news item that during the initial probe by the administration, the names of a Punjab vigilance officer, an SDO in the public works department, private secretary to a cabinet rank minister and a Mohali-based BJP leader have figured. “The names of these culpable officials after the probe have been brushed aside under the carpet for reasons best known to the Punjab administration.

“The Indian Forests Act, Forest Conservation Act and Punjab Land Preservation Act have been violated by certain senior officials of the vigilance department, the public works department and politicians along with some people who are relatives or known to high-ups in the Punjab administration….As this petition also raises ecological concerns, suo motu notice is taken of the news item appearing in the Chandigarh Tribune…”



Rathore seeks B-Class facilities
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
Used to a life of luxury, former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore, jailed in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, is finding it hard to adjust to his new life, with minimum facilities, at the Burail jail here.

Intending to make most of the existing facilities at the jail, the former top cop, in an application to the DIG (Prisons), wants B-Class facilities, hoping to make his life a little more comfortable.

Though there may not be much difference between Barrack No. 10 (where Rathore is currently lodged) and B-Class at the jail, Rathore wants B-Class facilities, which will give him access to TV, newspaper, common table and chairs.

Confirming the development, DIG (Prisons) Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa said, “We have received an application from Rathore, seeking B-Class facilities. The same will be forwarded to IG (Prisons) HS Doon, who will examine the application and take a decision whether to extend the facility to Rathore or not.”

There is, however, no special treatment to the former police officer. “The jail has a proper canteen where eatables, including soft drinks, are available on payment,” Doon said.

As per the jail manual, inmates were given meals twice a day, besides tea or milk with grams in the morning. Only religious channels were shown on TV at the jail so that the inmates take lessons to improve their lives. No entertainment or news channels were being shown, said the officer.

Rathore has Baba Pritpal Singh, undertrial in a land grab case, two Chandigarh police sub-inspectors, Narinder Singh, convicted for custodial death at Mani Majra police station, and Nirmal Singh, arrested on Sunday in a corruption case by the CBI, two gunmen of the former NCB zonal director Saji Mohan and superintendent (NCB) Balwinder Kumar, among others, for company. Jail officials said Rathore complained of uneasiness around 11:30 pm last night and was given immediate medical attention. He went to the dispensary at the jail and remained there for a while.

Religious Solace

Though B-Class facilities may not come immediately to Rathore, the convicted cop is finding religious solace immediately. He was reportedly given sermons by Baba Pritpal Singh to cope with life in jail. Rathore reportedly woke up early in the morning and had tea before going for a walk on the lawns in front of the barrack



‘Better content in newspapers need of hour’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
In this era of expansion of media one has to concentrate on the content and print media has to give special attention to this aspect when the world has gone complex. This was stated by Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief, Tribune Group of Publications, here today.

Chengapppa was delivering the keynote address at the samachar4media conclave on "Expansion of media: Healthy or sick" organised at a hotel here. “Though media has been converted into a business, still the queries and curiosities of the readers have to be satiated. So along with expansion there was a need of commitment as well,” he said.

Emphasising on the need of improving the quality of content, Chengappa said the newspaper reaches the houses of readers like a friend and nobody would like the dropping in of a bore friend on any day. Quoting a survey reflecting the declining interest of readers in newspapers, he said while a reader used to devote an average of 36 minutes to paper reading, now this time has reduced to 25 minutes. Changappa said when every news was available on the Internet, many of the journalists had to lose their jobs in the USA during recession.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Udai Sinha of Amar Ujala, Rahul Dev of CNEB, Abhigayn Prakash of NDTV and Anil Soni of Divya Himachal.



UT Defence scientists honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The Director of Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), Dr Satish Kumar has been conferred with the Special Award for Strategic Contribution-2009, while the laboratory’s Associate Director, Dr Manjit Singh received the DRDO Scientist of the Year Award-2009.

Dr SK Vasudeva, who earlier served with TBRL for 30 years and is now posted as Chief Controller Defence Research and Development Organisation, New Delhi, has received the Technology Leadership Award-2009. The awards were presented by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at New Delhi today.

Dr Satish Kumar received the award for design and development of strategic warheads for multiple-launch platforms in all operating environments. He has also been associated with the development of liquid propellant rocket engines for Prithvi and Agni missiles and designing the scramjet engine and test facility for hypersonic vehicles.

Dr Manjit Singh has been working in the field of Detonics of High Explosives and Shock Dynamics, and has made his division at TBRL a centre of excellence for performance evaluation and design optimisation of various explosive systems needed for making the country self reliant in strategic technologies. He is also leading a team of scientists involved in ballistics evaluation of body and vehicle armour, material characterisation and response of materials to hyper velocity impact.


Health dept takes samples of food item
100 cases filed against those selling substandard edibles
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 26
Officials of the Health Department are on a spree to collect samples in order to check quality of food. Computerisation has also been introduced to register record related to births and deaths. As many as 100 cases had been filed in the courts by inspectors where food items were found to be of substandard quality, he added.

The work of collecting samples of milk, milk products, food items and cold drinks started yesterday and was carried out even today.

District Health Officer Dr SP Surila said that complaints were received from those living in areas bordering Chandigarh that lot of sub standard items were being sold there . A team of officials then collected samples of food items from Nayagaon and Kansal areas. As many as 14 samples were collected yesterday.

Surila said 20 samples , including six samples of milk, were collected today from Mohali, Kharar and Kurali areas. Samples of kiryana items were also collected.

Earlier, two samples of jaggery were collected from Mundi, Kharar, as the stuff being sold at two shops did not have the normal colour. These were then sent to the laboratory for testing where these were found unfit for consumption. Cases were then filed against the shopkeepers concerned.

He said the department had also introduced computerisation to register record related to births and deaths. Though the present cases were being recorded direct into the computer, earlier cases were also being added to the computerised record.

He said two computer operators had been provided who were computerising the old record as well. After the work was completed, people would be able to get the required documents on line by paying the required fee. However, this might take about a year’s time, he added.



DC sees red in Pink Rose
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The Pink Rose Cooperative Housing Society in Sector 49-D is in the news again. In the wake of alleged malpractices in the management of society affairs, the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) has appointed a new administrator to manage its affairs.

According to an order issued here today, NPS Randhawa, Joint Registrar Cooperative Societies (JRCS) has been appointed administrator in place of SK Bansal and Rakesh Sharda. In fact, Bansal and Sharda have been directed to “render necessary assistance to the administrator for the smooth functioning of and arrange the elections of the society”.

Elections to the managing committee of the society have always a contentious issue. In fact, in an order dated April 25, 2007, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the RCS to hold elections to the executive committee of the society on the basis of the original list of 151 members supplied by the Chandigarh Housing Board. However, in the election held on June 11, 2007, 25 original allottees were allegedly restrained from voting by RCS officials.

On a petition filed by some original members of the society, the high court had given three weeks' time to then Home-cum-Cooperation Secretary Krishna Mohan and RCS RK Rao, Additional RCS RS Verma and Administrator of the society Amarjit Singh to either comply with court orders or face contempt of court. Later, Rao had tendered an unconditional apology in the high court.

It was not for the first time that the society had brewed trouble for the bureaucracy. A few years back, throwing norms to the wind, the names of at least four Punjab IAS officers, Dalit Kumar, KAP Sinha, Alok Sekhar and DK Tiwari, were allegedly included on the list of allottees while replacing the original members. The officers were later shown the door following an inquiry ordered by the UT administration.



Mercury scales new peak for May
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
Normal life in the city and its adjoining areas was thrown out of gear today as mercury wreaked havoc by recording 43.2 degree Celsius, making a season’s new record and highest for May.

The city recorded 43.2 degree Celsius, the highest in the current summer spell, while the minimum recorded was 25.2 degree Celsius, compared to yesterday’s 26.5 degree Celsius, the meteorological department said here.

A further rise in temperature was forecast in the city in the next two or three days. It was not only human beings who were finding it hard because of the ever-soaring mercury.

Animals at the Chhat Bir zoo, near here, were having a tough time in adapting to the changing weather. The Himalayan bear seemed to be the worst affected.

Giving details, zoo director T Bhera said, "Everyday we are ordering nearly three quintals of ice for bears. We have two coolers for the high-altitude animals. This is not their natural habitat and it is challenging for us in this hot weather."

"The markets and roads wear a deserted look as people prefer staying indoors. In such circumstances, it is not surprising that it is becoming unmanageable for the high-altitude animals," said Sharanjit Kaur of Chhat village.

March and April this year had witnessed the hottest months in the last three decades and people who preferred going to hill stations to get relief from the scorching weather advanced their trips this year. Power cuts added to the summer woes, residents rued.



Dead fish in shallow lake raise a big stink
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
After the garbage dumping ground in Dadumajra, the historic Guru Dronacharya Sarovar located in the village is gradually becoming another source of stench for residents in the area.

For the past three days fish in the lake have been slowly dying due to shortage of water in the lake and the scorching heat, spreading a foul smell in the surrounding areas. While visiting the lake, which has been developed near the residential area in the village, it was found that due to the low water level and the muddy flow, dead fishes were floating on its surface. These could lead to diseases spreading in the area.

Boat operators at the lake said planned to withdraw one of the three boats this summer as there had been an alarming drop in the level of water and boats could not navigate easily in the lake. One of them said residents avoided visiting the lake as boating was not feasible in the shallow water.

BS Sani, the contractor supplying fish in the lake, said for the past week he had been requesting the authorities to increase water supply to the lake as the fresh breeds of fish in it had begun dying. “This year I have spent about Rs 35,000 to put six fish breeds in the lake”, he added.

When contacted, area councillor Kamlesh said though she had met public health officials to resolve the issue and ensure an adequate water level in the lake, nothing had been done till date. “For the past seven years this lake has been getting water from a tubewell. However, last year the public health department installed a pipeline for uninterrupted water supply to the lake”, said Kamlesh.

Ram Swroop Sharma, a resident of Dadumajra, said the municipal corporation had recently added new attractions including boating, a musical fountain and fishing at this lake. “If the authorities don’t take prompt action some dreadful disease arising from the unhygienic conditions here might affect people in the area”, he added.

“It would have been better if the authorities had not focused on beautifying the lake, as the place was earlier safer and more pleasant for the residents to sit here”, said Sudarshan Devi, another resident.



School board stumps students
Unique way to tell time is money
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 26
The examination scheduled for classes X and XII, released by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), under the newly introduced semester system, has left lakhs of students in a tizzy.

Thanks to the “wisdom” of the board authorities, the examination schedule has been released before the examination forms could reach the students, leaving little time for them to apply.

Adding to the confusion, the schedule has been announced at a time when summer holidays have already begun in schools, especially in government ones.

Secretary of the PSEB, Suresh Tandon, said school principals had already been told in advance about the schedule.

“The board is making every effort to streamline the process. Being the first year, there could be certain problems, but all would be sorted out in time with the cooperation of the schools,” said the Secretary, adding that it would not be possible to extend the last dates.

The examination forms are expected to reach the sales depot of the board by June 4 and the last date to apply (without late fee) is June 14 and 21. The schedule is from June 21 to June 23.

“This means that the students will be left with few days to fill their forms and submit those with the sales depot. Otherwise, the students will have to pay late fee for no fault of theirs,” said the principal of a Amritsar-based school.

“The board do not realise that it will not possible to inform all students to fill the form during the holidays across the state. Either the forms should have made available in May or the last date of the entire schedule should be extended,” said the principal of a Mohali-based private school.

The problem for government schools could turn out to be more severe as the summer holidays would end on June 30, a week after the last date to apply without late fee.

The late fee for Class X and XII varies from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000, depending on payment date. While the last date (with late fee) for regular and private students of class X are June 28 and July 5, the last date for class XII for regular and private students are July 5 and July 7, respectively.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that in light of the examination schedule released by the board, certain private schools have postponed the summer vacations so that the students could fill the examination forms.

“On the one hand, the board has issued strict guidelines to private schools to observe the holiday schedule and on the other, it expects us to call students during the vacations,” said a principal.

Board to act tough

The PSEB-affiliated schools may face deaffiliation if school managements do not stick to the vacations schedule and avoid using textbooks printed by the board. PSEB Secretary Suresh Tandon said the schools had been asked to stick to board guidelines



Kaushalya dam way behind schedule
Project cost shoots up to Rs 180 cr
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 26
Delay in the construction of the Kaushalya dam project that was conceived to supply potable water to Panchkula is costing the Haryana government dear.

From Rs 51 crore, the time when the project was commissioned, the cost estimates of the dam have touched Rs 180 crore. Changes in the original plan has pushed up the cost of the project.

According to information received through the RTI Act, the total cost of the project was estimated to be Rs 51.37 crore and the area was around 222 acres when the project was planned. Later, the area was increased to 257 acres and the estimated cost of the project was enhanced to Rs 118 crore.

The main reason for the increase in cost was stated to be hike in the acquisition of land price from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 16 lakh per acre. The width of the dam was increased from 12 metre to 30 metre, which further hiked the cost of the project.

Vijay Bansal, BSP leader from Kalka, alleged that this had been done to oblige big construction companies in the state. He said there was no need for changing the plan of the project as it had only delayed the construction and escalated the cost of the project.

Bansal said earlier the Congress government had announced the setting up of Chhamla, Diwanawala and Dagrana dams in the district, but these had still to see the light of the day.

The irrigation department said the matter was under the consideration of the Ghaggar standing committee in New Delhi and as soon as it got clearance, the construction of the dams would begin.

“Work on the dam began in March 2008 and the deadline for the project was fixed as June 2009. However, the project got delayed due to the subletting of work, which was against the contract signed between the contractor and the irrigation department. To date, barely 40 per cent of the work has been completed,” a senior official with the department stated.

Drastic changes were made in the project designs. Due to the revised designs, the deadline had to be extended. The contractors of the project had hired sub-contractors due to which the project was badly hit, sources said.

Officials of the department are hopeful of completing the project by December. More than Rs 147 crore have already been spent on the project.



Pak artistes to perform at Sufi fest
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, May 26
“The activities of Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi, relating to the preservation and promotion of rich Punjabi cultural heritage, music and dance were hitherto confined to the city beautiful alone. But ever since Sufiana folk maestro Padmashri Hans Raj Hans has taken over, the focus of promotional activities has shifted to other cities and villages,” observed PAC chairperson Harjinder Kaur and Akademi secretary Kuldip Tiwana at the Punjab Kala Bhavan here recently.

Hans Raj Hans, who could not make it to the venue, told TNS over the phone all genres of music and theatre would get due proliferation as well as deserving talented artistes.

Referring to his latest visit to Pakistan, Hans confirmed the participation of Pakistani artistes in the ensuing Sufi and folk festival in November.

On the occasion, a dozen natak melas and workshops would be held in the state, he said. Meanwhile, coordinating director Pali Bupinder disclosed that short and full length plays will be staged in natak melas at Abohar, Bhatinda, Beas and Doraha.

Besides this, eminent thespians will impart advanced knowledge and finer nuances of theatrical arts to budding and established artistes in workshops.



Their silent prayers have been heard
Simpal Sakalani

Chandigarh, May 26
They did not sleep last night but the IITJEE results today compensated that.

According to students, its not just the hard work that helps secure good ranks in IIT, long cherished dreams, sleepless nights and parents’ silent prayers matter a lot.

“My sole aim in life was to support my parents financially. I wanted my son to go a step ahead and make a name for himself. I remember that despite having a tight schedule, I used to teach him till Class VIII. I used to keep telling him that one day I would like to be known by his name and finally the day has come,” said an overwhelmed Satyapal Singh, an employee of Panjab University and father of Chain Singh, who secured 35th rank in the IIT JEE.

An elated father of Himanshu Gupta, who stood third at All-India level said,” I did engineering from BITS Pilani, as I could not make it to the IIT. Being a student of IIT is the best tag for any engineer and now my son has it. My son has fulfilled my dream.”

The stories may be different, but the joy on parents’ face was unanimous. The moment results were declared, most of them thronged coaching centres to express gratitude to teachers. They seemed to be relishing every inch of media attention and fame that their children got them but it was pride in their eyes that made every moment so special for them.

“Being a doctor, I wanted my daughter to become one, but she chose engineering and I respected her decision. Today she is more successful than me even at this tender age,” said father of Shiny Singh, who has secured 84the rank.

IIT Delhi computer course a hot favourite with students

Whatever the rank be, every student eyes computer course from IIT Delhi. “It’s the best thing that an engineer can ask for. Doing computers from IIT Delhi means one gets to learn even the finer nuances of computers under the best experts. After completing the course it’s the big corporate names that become your niche,” says Himanshu Gupta, who ranked third at an all-India level.

Shiny Singh, who secured 84th rank says, “Every engineer wants to be a Bill Gates and there are two ways to become one in India. One is miracle fortune and the other is IIT Delhi computer course. The place has its own charm and benefits and that is what makes it a hot favourite.”

The experts on the other hand feel that it’s the placement prospects that make the course and institute more luring. “An average student of IIT Delhi and that, too, from a computer stream ends up getting a better job than a topper of any other institute. The job assurance makes it hot favourite year after year,” says a professor of Panjab Engineering College, Sector 12.

Boys rule the roost

Yet another year and IIT dream remains to be the boys’ forte. With boys attaining the top slot, it seems cracking IITJEE is not what many girls aim. The phenomenon is not new and experts reason it saying, “Girls and boys have different approach towards the stream. For boys it is the main option, but for say 80 per cent of girls it’s the alternative in case they don’t get through medical entrances. It’s mostly boys, who prepare for IIT Physics,” said a private academic counsellor.

Tutors from across the city said as far as cracking IITJEE is concerned, boys seem to be more passionate than girls.



F&CC okays Rs 17-cr agenda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the Municipal Corporation approved agenda of Rs 17 crore in a meeting held today. Members of the committee approved the agenda, including rough cost estimate for providing and fixing 60mm-thick paver blocks around parks in pocket A in sector 38, rough cost estimate for providing and fixing 40mm-thick rubber mould interlocking paver blocks on road berm from Shivalik Hotel to Taj Hotel, sector 17, and rough cost estimate for providing and fixing 40mm-thick cement concrete interlocking paver blocks on walkway inside green belts, sector 32.

The F&CC also recommended the agenda item regarding creation of two posts in the engineering wing of the corporation to next General House meeting. Members suggested that licensing of taxi stands be increased to 10 per cent of amount on last paid rent. Meanwhile, the road committee approved the agendas of Rs 26.4 crore.

The roads committee of approved the construction of a martyrs pillar at Terraced Garden in sector 33-C. The committee passed an estimate of Rs. 15.46 lakh for its immediate construction.



Suicide by law student
Six months on, justice yet to be delivered
Mother seeks help from SSP
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 26
Six month after Priyanka Singh, a 25-year-old law student of Army Law Institute, committed suicide at her hostel, the victim’s mother Shakuntla is knocking at the doors of the Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) for justice.

In her written complaint to the SSP, she has alleged that her daughter was forced to end her life due to ragging and repeated rebuking by seniors in the hostel. Accusing a senior student of forcing her daughter to commit suicide, she produced some personal notes written by her daughter that reflected her state of mind.

Col JS Sandhu, spokesperson of the Army Law Institute, said there was no chance of ragging. “The police has already questioned the girl who is being blamed. The police are verifying all aspects.”

Not ready to accept the version of the college authorities, she said her daughter was a promising sportsperson and was doing well in academics. “When she came home (Jammu and Kashmir) on December 4, 2009, she was cheerful. She did not answer my call on December 7, as she had a fight with her friend,” she added.

Priyanka’s mother has produced photocopies of personal notes written by her. “The notes clearly reflect that my daughter was under constant stress due to harassment by certain seniors in the hostel. They used to call my daughter to their room late in the night. My daughter had repeatedly mentioned rebuking by her seniors,” she claimed while showing the notes. The police should analyse the mobile call details and SMSes made from Priyanka’s phone. DSP Swarandeep Singh said the matter was being probed and the statements of all students were being recorded.



Who will open, that’s the question
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The inauguration of a green belt in Mauli Jagran by MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria tomorrow has sparked a controversy between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP-SAD combine.

In fact, Mayor Anu Chatrath today called BJP councillor Anil Dubey, who represented Mauli Jagran, to her office and reportedly objected to inauguration by the Commissioner instead of the Mayor.

She asked Dubey to cancel the inauguration, scheduled for tomorrow, and prepare a fresh request letter to ask the Mayor to inaugurate the green belt. Sources said Chatrath also asked the MC Commissioner not to attend the function.

Dubey confirmed that he received a call from the Commissioner this morning to cancel the function as the Mayor was objecting to it. He said the Commissioner advised him to resolve the controversy and only then would he attend it.

He said BJP and SAD councillors were planning to inaugurate it if the Commissioner did not come. SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur said they would meet the UT Administrator tomorrow to discuss this issue.

Reacting to the controversy, the Mayor said that it was decided in the F&CC meeting today that the Mayor would be given prior information about any policies and programmes of the corporation.



Rathore’s house wears deserted look
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 26
The house of former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore here wore a deserted look today. There was hardly any movement at his house the day after he was sentenced in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.

Rathore’s wife Abha left the house to file an appeal in the high court. Even newspapers lay scattered in the front courtyard. Residents of the area could be seen discussing the judgement in a hush-hush manner.

One of the neighbours, requesting anonymity, said the high-profile family was not social with residents of the area and led a secluded life.

Security guards at Rathore’s house were not present. The local police had provided security cover to him after he was attacked by a youth at the court complex in Chandigarh during one of the hearings about two months ago.

The scene at the Girhotras’ house was not much different. The family celebrated the verdict with Anand Prakash at the latter’s house last evening.

According to sources, the Girhotras, along with Anand Prakash, went to consult their counsel to discuss the case filed in high court by former DGP’s counsel, challenging the judgement. Girhotras’ neighbours were elated at the judgement. Requesting anonymity, some neighbours said the family had got some justice at last. They appreciated the courage shown by Anand and Madhu Prakash in fighting the case for 20 years.



Rs 32,000 goes missing from car

Zirakpur, May 26
Cash Rs 32,000 of a Dera Bassi resident went missing from a car under mysterious circumstances while he parked his car outside the Best Price here late this evening.

In his complaint to the police, complainant Mohan Bindal said he had parked his car outside the Best Price. After 20 minutes, when he returned and found the bag containing Rs 32,000 and other documents were missing. The police official stated that a complaint had been received in this regard and the probe was on. — TNS



A perfect blend of love, revenge
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, May 26
Punjabi play Pinjar was staged on the opening day of Adakarian- 2010 at Randhawa Auditorium.

The play written and directed by Sahib Singh was based on a classic novel by Amrita Pritam, however, with certain aberrations apparently to meet theatrical limitations.

The play revolved around the life of young Hindu girl Puro who was kidnapped by Muslim youth Rashida at the time of her wedding with Ram Chand.

Puro managed to return to parents who asked her to go back to Rashida.

A rustic and violent youth, Rashida, determined to settle scores with Puro’s family over a land dispute was otherwise a submissive kind-hearted lover.

The poignant play, while giving a majestic start to the five-day festival, saw protagonist Rajinder Rosy at her best, while Sahib Singh, too, excelled as an actor and director. Besides, Harmanpal, Arshika, Mallika, Jaspal Deol, Jarnail Hoshioarpuri, Harpinder and others contributed to the well rehearsed play. The light effects by Jaspal Singh and soothing musical renditions augmented the level of production. The set designing with a raised platform facilitated two diverse, but parallel actions on one stage.

Another play “Rawaitan ton paar” written and directed by Sahib Singh will be staged tomorrow.



Another illegal land transfer comes to light
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 26
Even as the Forest Department is probing the case of levelling of eco-fragile Shivalik hills in Majri block, another case of forestland being illegally transferred in the name of an individual by revenue official at Khadri village has come to the notice of the Forest Department.

During demarcation of land carried out recently, the forest officials found that about three acres of its land had been illegally transferred in the name of Amrik Singh. While Amrik Singh claimed that the girdwari (land possession documents) had been entered in his name in 2004, forest officials said as per the previous revenue record, the land of provisional government along the seasonal rivulet passing through the village was entered in name of the Forest Department as it had been undertaking plantation in the area. But in 2004, the patwari entered the land in name of Amrik Singh.

On noticing the alleged encroachment, the Siswan Range Officer, RS Chakal, has filed a case in the court of Kharar SDM for cancellation of the girdwari and compensation form the alleged encroacher. Despite the land being in possession of the department, the land was illegally transferred in name of an individual.

The Forest Department has contended that the individual has got transferred about 25 kanals of land in his name. The issue came to light when the gram panchayat members of Khadri village noticed that Amrik Singh was levelling forestland so as to stake claim over it. Following this, the demarcation was carried out and the violation came to notice. After the villagers approached the Revenue Minister, the girdwari was cancelled. But the girdwari was again restored in the name of Amrik Singh after he approached the Revenue Minister. “Several other person in Khadri have encroached upon forest land, but action has been taken against them”, he added.

After repeated complaints officials of the district administration visited the spot and carried out the demarcation. A former sarpanch of Khadri village, Piara Singh, said the demarcation had exposed the encroachment. The issue would be taken up during a meeting of the Conservator of Forests with the revenue official on June 4. The alleged encroacher has also filed a case against dispossession in the civil court.



Cocaine Case
DGP marks inquiry to Ambala IG
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 26
The Director General of Police (DGP) here has marked an inquiry into the Ambala cocaine case to the IG, Ambala, for which a memorandum was submitted by Ambala Cantonment MLA Anil Vij last week.

Confirming this to on the phone from Ambala Vij said that an inquiry has been marked to IG KK Sindhu. He said he hoped that the inquiry would help in bringing out the truth in the entire episode in which the police had arrested innocent youths.

Heated exchanges were witnessed at the Haryana police headquarters on May 20 between DGP Ranjiv Dalal and MLA Anil Vij, who revealed a false claim by the police of having arrested seven smugglers with cocaine that later turned out to be sodium bicarbonate powder.

About 970 gm of cocaine, worth Rs 2.50 crore in the international market, seized from seven people, including two students and an instructor of an engineering college, on May 3 that was later found to be ‘meetha soda’ (sodium bicarbonate). The seized “drugs” were estimated to have a market value of Rs 2.50 crore. A case under the NDPS Act was later registered against the seven suspects, who were arrested and sent to judicial custody.

The seven suspects were identified as Rishi Chauhan, a B. Tech student at the Asian Institute of Management & Technology, Yamunanagar; Ajit Yadav, a resident of Jhajjar district and a B. Tech student in Gurgaon; Praveen Kumar, an instructor at Global Engineering Institute, Yamunanagar; Bal Kishan, an employee of the Asian Institute of Management & Technology; and Kushal Chauhan, Vikas Singh and Manoj Kumar, all from Gugalkota village in Alwar district.



Wage Board Intervention of PM sought

Chandigarh, May 26
Newspaper employees have sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in allowing Justice GR Majithia Wage Board to complete its report at the earliest and submit it to the government.

In a memorandum to the Prime Minister and the Labour Minister, submitted to the Punjab Governor, the Tribune Employees Union, the Indian Express Union, the Chandigarh Journalists Association and the Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists have demanded the report at the earliest so that it can be implemented.

In a memorandum to the Punjab CM, they have requested him to persuade the Centre and the Labour Minister to extend the term of the wage board, which expired on May 23, till December 31. Members of the Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists wore black badges to protest against the move to convert the wage board into a tribunal. — TNS



MC fines two contractors
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 26
Two contractors looking after the town’s sanitation work have been fined Rs 40,000 for violating the terms and conditions of agreement.

As a number of complaints regarding poor sanitation poured in, president of the municipal council Kulwant Singh, along with executive officer of the civic body Amna Kumar Goyal, conducted raids at various parts of the town yesterday.

It was found that the number of safai sewaks employed were far less than the specified in the agreement.

Most of the contractors had not set up complaint centres and those who had opened centres, failed to maintain complaint registers.

The executive officer today said according to terms and conditions of the agreement, a sum of Rs 200 could be deducted from the payment of the contractor, if an area was not cleaned by a safai sewak. As the number of safai sewaks engaged by contractors were less than the number specified in the agreement, it indicated that several parts of the town were neglected as far as sanitation was concerned.

A sum of Rs 5,000 could also be imposed as penalty for failing to maintain a proper complaint centre.

As shortcomings in sanitation work were found during the inspection, a sum of about Rs 40,000 would be imposed as fine on the two contractors and the amount would be deducted from their payments.

According to a report of a sanitary inspector, it was learnt that 13 safai sewaks were employed instead of 17 in Phase II, 13 instead of 20 in Phase I, 10 instead of 14 in Phase IV, and 12 instead of 18 in Phase VI.

Similarly, another sanitation inspector found that only 22 safai sewaks were working against the specified strength of 36 in Phase X, 18 against 28 in Phase XI and 13 instead of 17 in the Industrial Area, Phase IX. In Sector 71, only 15 safai sewaks were found working against the specified number of 23, 14 instead of 26 in Sector 70 and 12 instead of 16 in Phase V.

Both the contractors had, however, maintained that the workers had gone on leave.



Charred remains of car eyesore for commuters
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, May 26
Although five months have passed since a fatal accident took place on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near the sales tax barrier, yet the vehicles involved in the mishap has not been removed. The sight comes as an ugly reminder of the fatal accident.

On December 3, 2009, a business man and a contractor were burnt alive when the Honda City car in which they were travelling hit the oil tank of a multi-axle trailer near the Zirakpur Sales Tax Barrier. However, the multi-axle trailer and the car were burnt.

The incident took place when the driver of the trailer was taking a U-turn through an illegal turning on the Chandigarh-Ambala national highway. In the absence of streetlights, the victim had failed to notice the moving trailer and hit its oil tank. Due to the impact of the collision, the car and the trailer caught fire and both occupants inside were burnt alive.

The charred remains of the multi-axle truck and the car have become an eyesore for thousands of commuters who pass through this stretch everyday. Ankit Sharma, an engineering student, says, “We simply do not understand what is stopping the local administration from removing the burnt vehicles from the spot”.

However, the police official claimed that they had given the vehicles to the owners. The officer said after the incident, a case had been registered against the truck driver. The vehicles were badly brunt and it was difficult to move them from one place to another. “After proper investigation, the vehicles had been handed over to the owners and now it was duty of the owners to take away the vehicles”, the officer added.



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