C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


8 city boys make it to top 100
Sanyam first in UT
No student in top 10 this year
Overall city result better than 2009
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Eight boys have made the city proud by figuring on the top 100 list of the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) conducted by the CBSE. After a slight dip in the city results in 2009, with just three students clearing the exam, the overall result of the city has improved this year. It is after four years that the names of eight city students have appeared in the top 100 ranking. In 2006, eight had made it to the top 100.

Tarun Mangla (Punjab rank 1), a resident of Bathinda, took coaching in the city and competed with more than 10,58,152 students in the country to secure the 16th rank.

Sanyam Gahlotra (UT rank 1) secured an All India Rank (AIR) of 20 and unlike his counterparts, who wish to be software engineers, he aspires to become a mathematician. Another city student, Himanshu Gupta, AIR 3 in the IIT entrance result, has excelled in the AIEEE, too, with an AIR of 27 and a state rank of two.

The centralised counselling for students who cleared the AIEEE would be conducted by the CBSE from June 8. Last year’s admission estimates of city colleges suggest that for getting a seat in the PEC University of Technology, an AIEEE rank up to 20,000 was required. Similar ranks were considered at the University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET) and the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), PU. In the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), students with an AIR of 45,000 were considered.



Those who stood out

Defying odds

Chain Singh, AIEEE AIR-114, (OBC category) state rank-1: Blessed with a brilliant mind, Singh’s economical condition posed an obstacle for him to get coaching from best teachers in the city. His father, a resident of New Indira Colony, Mani Majra, works at a clerical post in Panjab University. Singh’s intelligence coupled with hard work made his coaching teachers exempt his entire fee.

Head constable’s pride

Lovish Choudhary, AIEEE AIR-50, (OBC category) state rank 2: Determined to crack AIEEE despite disappointment in the IIT entrance exam this year, Lovish has brought laurels to the city. Son of a head constable deputed in Sector 11 police station, Lovish draws inspiration from his brother, who is in the US. “My parents and my teacher, Sangeeta Khanna, became my backbone in tough times,” said Lovish.

Maths buff

Sanyam Gahlotra, who topped the city with an AIR 16, aspires to become a mathematics teacher unlike many of his counterparts. A good teacher is not only admired by hundreds of students but the job is the most satisfying as well, he believes. “After completing my engineering from IIT-Delhi, I wish to become a mathematics teacher. My biggest source of inspiration has been my maths teacher, Rajinder Arora,” said Sanyam. A rather shy boy, Sanyam always thought that the magical formula to success is consistency in working hard.



Towering trouble for 100
Rajmeet Singh/Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 30
Owners of about 100 commercial, institutional and residential properties in Mohali city have been served notices for allowing different cellular operators to set up communication towers on their premises without getting sanction from the estate office. After hearing the violators, the estate office would initiate the action to remove the communication towers.

The violators have been given 15 days time to explain as to why action should not be initiated against them for erecting towers without taking permission from the estate office of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

“If the property owners fail to reply within the stipulated time, suitable action would be initiated against them and penalty would also be imposed,” said GMADA estate officer Balbir Singh Dhol.

GMADA policy, which allows installation of mobile towers, is subject to a number of conditions. But most of the violators have not bothered to seek the permission.

Following complaints from residential and commercial areas, the estate office, during a survey, found that there were around 100 communication towers of which 70 were in commercial areas and 14 in residential areas.

Some of the towers have been installed on school buildings, hospitals and institutional premises.

In residential areas, the property owners intending to install the communication towers had to seek consent of his immediate neighbours. Rather than giving consent, the neighbours often complain about the health hazard posed by the towers, said an official in the estate office.

In some of the cases, the safety precautions have not been taken in congested commercial areas. “Mobile towers should not be allowed on hospitals buildings due to their harmful affects. But to earn profit, the property owners often overlook safety norms and also evade government fee,” said the official.

Installation norms

  • Mobile towers are allowed on portion of commercial, industrial institutions and residential premises, outside the prescribed set-backs
  • Structural safety certificate from government institutions required
  • Precautions for fire safety and from lightening
  • NOC from the Punjab Pollution Control Board for generator sets installed near the towers
  • The tower should be at a safe distance from high-tension line
  • Height restriction should be met due to air funnel or due to locations of defence installations
  • No towers allowed on listed heritage building



Flying officer caught filming female patients
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
A flying officer with the Indian Air Force was caught while allegedly filming female patients at a PGI ward here this afternoon. Sources said the accused, identified as 27-year-old Rajesh Krishnan, was caught when he was making videos of female patients in the advance paediatric centre (APC) of the PGI. He also reportedly manhandled security guards after being caught in the area where the entry of males is restricted.

Rajesh allegedly slapped the in charge of the security guards when he was prevented from entering the restricted area.

He also threatened the security officers with dire consequences in his bid to escape. After the commotion, he barged into the ward and began making video on his mobile phone, the police said.

The security personnel informed the police about the incident, which apprehended the accused from the scene. He was taken to the police station where a case of assault, trespass, criminal intimidation and making obscene videos was registered against him under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code.



PU high on toxicity
Dumps waste in its own yard
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

A discarded packet of phenol injection (poison). Tribune photo: Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, May 30
Posing threat to the environment and children whose parents work at a construction site nearby, used containers and bottles of hazardous laboratory reagents have been dumped in the open near the PU’s basic biomedical science department building.

Despite the fact that containers of these chemicals, including 1,4 dioxane, poisonous phenol injections, toluene, cyclohexanone and certain waste surgical material (see box for implications) require special attention for disposal since certain harmful residue is left in empty bottles, the waste continues to lie there.

The irresponsibility of research scholars, who dump bottles in the open, is evident from the fact that for over a week these bottles have been lying near the construction site in front of the University Institute of Legal Studies building along with other garbage.

What is more serious is that the area has become a playground for children of labourers. This correspondent found 8-year-old Roshini, whose father works at a nearby construction site, playing with empty bottles along with her brothers. Asked what she was doing on that heap of garbage, she replied: “Ham roz idher khelte hain”. (We play here everyday).

Fascinated by the huge bottles of laboratory reagents, these children dig into the bottles for any traces of “liquid”. Yet another child showed a packet with a handwritten remark on it — “Phenol injection (poison)”. The committee, which was assigned the task of checking the disposal of lab waste by the Vice-Chancellor a few days ago, has yet to reach the rear-end of the campus where these bottles have been dumped.


Open House Response
Outdated police outlook of no help
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

I read, recently, in a newspaper that only four, out of 12 CCTV cameras, installed at different places in the city were working. I think updating the connectivity of all the cameras was just one small part of modernising the police set-up. At the same time, the police also needs to reshape its existing motor into a fine streamlined vehicle to match the requirement and pace of the current times.

The police complaint of being short staffed does hold some merit; however, we witness very little effort towards giving an updated face to the police set up in public dealing. In the very first step, the police needs to cut short its deployment on security being provided to hundreds of leaders, bureaucrats and even police officers from the Union Territory, Punjab and Haryana.

The dark days of terrorism are over, however, the security deployment still remains unaffected, for the top brass. While, we find the traffic cops posted at crucial roundabouts all over the city, particularly during rush hours, we never find any beat police cop doing the rounds, in our living quarters.

I was reading recently, that the role of all the organisations, world over, was changed along with the times. Public answerability is a very big truth of the day and cops need to be more answerable, as well. People need answers unlike olden times when settings like administration, police and even hospitals were perceived as unanswerable quarters.

Chandigarh Police too needs to show its intention of walking along with the public. Public interaction where the settings have to be informal and the top cops need to be walking among public, as commonman will be a perfect beginning. I made a special mention for this set-up because under the current settings of a heavy 'bandobast', a common man was rather scared to attend a public interaction.

I know public, at large, is very uncooperative with police. This is because of their experience, in addition to the system intricacy, show that very often the police helper ends being stuck in a piquant situation with too much cross examination after the incident. The police have to win faith. The first step will be showing transparency in registering of their cases when public goes to complain or answering them why a case could not be registered. The Centre is required to take up the matter and find a way for the future.

Jashanpreet Singh, Sector 9, Chandigarh

Chandigarh, not absolutely safe

In the wake of an increased number of theft cases being reported in the city the authorities have decided to speed up the process of installing CCTV cameras in the city.

A number of daring incidents have been reported in the city, in the recent past. The startling and shocking incidents even included murders. Thefts and snatching are reported very regularly. A recent case has been a daylight burglary in Sector 35 where armed men forcefully entered a house in a densely populated area.

Sometimes, I feel life in Chandigarh is turning out to be living under a cloud of fear, disbelief and terror. Snatchings, thefts, waylaying and robberies have become a common feature in daily life, which is matter of great concern, particularly for the senior citizens living alone.

The city police remain clueless to trace the culprits, in a very large number of cases. India is a developing country but our police force and investigation techniques are old. The police needs to utilize modern scientific techniques in tracing the crime and the culprits.

The Chandigarh Police has decided to install over 50 CCTV cameras all over the city for monitoring and use of technology for crime prevention. The developing is encouraging. In these changing times, use of such technologies is the only answer to fight crime and to check the growing traffic violations. The police needs more recruitment in the force but the Government of India is not taking it seriously. I don't have an answer, however, the centre needs to be force into thinking about giving more manpower or making alternate arrangements, at the earliest.

M L Garg, Chandigarh

Unsafe city corridors

Chandigarh has emerged as one of the leading cities, in the country, matching the glitz of the developed world, particularly, with coming in of the IT Park and corporate offices.

In a matching development, the entire city is dotted with Western food-courts and upmarket shopping venues. The shop's interior settings have changed, drawing a huge crowd, even from the adjoining cities. The rush is too big on the weekends. Things are fine during the day time; however, things are very different after the dusk. We are often faced with uncomfortable situations once we walk out of the eating joint, into the corridors, in the evenings. We have faced several incidents of ever teasing during our trips to different markets in the city.

In a recent case when we came out of an eating joint in Sector 34, a group of hooligans on their two-wheelers started moving around me and my friends. They even passed lewd remarks. Surprisingly, none of the onlookers came to our rescue. Two elderly gentlemen intervened. Hot words were exchanged and things would have come to blows before one of the boys shouted and asked his friends to run from the spot. The incident has left a deep scar on my heart.

Jyoti Dhingra, Chandigarh

Watch out for yourself

Every day, we hear about miscreants in variegated hues and with nuanced acts robbing the walkers and even and those in drive, all over the city and the neighbourhood. Not a day passes without incidents of chain or purse snatching, burglary and day daring dacoity in the tricity.

Let us not depend upon the police alone. Public needs to wake up, fold its sleeves and be prepared to take on the ruffians. The neighbourhood watch needs to be put into place which is possible only if the residents start meeting each other regularly, instead of staying, like on islands.

In first place, women should refrain from taking walks in the dark, alone. I might be sounding delivering a boring speech, however, I will like to repeat that ladies should refrain from openly flouting their precious jewellery.

Iqbal Kaur Saini, Mohali

An unpleasant experience

I along with my friends went to a dance bar in IT Park, recently. Based on our experience, we rushed back, home, in middle of our programme and decided that we will never go again, without company of our elders.

Instead of the expected group of youngsters, the parking outside the dance venue, was full of ruffians who were more into the business of showing off their affluence through the cars and accessories, than simple fun. Majority of them were young. On seeing our group alighting from our car, a group of them came asking us to join them as partners on the dance floor. When, one of my friends refused, the leader shouted abuses at us.

While the unpleasant scene was enacted in front of the Mall housing the dance bar, we did not find any cop on job at a beat box, in the corner of the street. We had noticed a police post in the corner, when we had come in. Inside the bar we had a nice time, however, the scene outside was not comfortable. It looked like the gathering was flooded with sons of influential people who were keener to show off their "strength". The "strength" is usually revealed in the form of security guards, especially policemen.

Harsimrat Kaur, Sector 43, Chandigarh



Dadu Majra Colony
500 families rely on single hand pump
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Thirtyeight-year-old Raj Rani of Dadu Majra colony begins her day at 3 am these days as she has to reach early at the hand pump, located at a substantial distance, to fetch water for her household needs, as her colony has been deprived of water for the past two months.

The same is the story of over 500 families residing in this colony that have been facing a similar situation for a long time.

In spite of a number of complaints made by residents, the Chandigarh municipal corporation has not been taking their problems seriously and turning them away saying they are trying to figure out the fault in the water supply pipeline.

Long queues of women are often witnessed in front of the hand pump, the only source of water for the residents of this colony.

A colony resident said they were forced to fetch water on tractors, cycles, motorcycles, bullock carts and women got them in pitchers from the only hand pump in the adjoining village.

Villagers said it was strange that they had been receiving regular water bills but had not got regular supply of water for a long time.

MC’s superintending engineer (public health) RK Goyal claimed that water supply was being regularly supplied to Dadu Majra colony but the problem had been compounded by the installation of electric motors by certain residents in their houses.

Area councillor Kamlesh said she had regularly been taking up the problem of residents with the department concerned but no action had been taken by them so far.

“The talk of development is meaningless if we do not have access to drinking water. Most families are thinking of selling their houses and shifting to some other area of the city,” said Bhuwan, a resident.

A few residents said their colony had been getting water just once a day since December, 2009. For storing water they had installed motors in their houses.

But the situation has got worse during for the past two months due to scarcity of water.



Southern Sectors
Work on theme gardens on fast track
Administration appoints consultant
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The work on theme-based gardens in the city, aimed at bridging the North-South divide and making the southern sectors a tourist hub, has entered the fast track with the UT administration appointing consultant for the project.

Dr Satish Narula, senior extension specialist (horticulture), Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, currently posted at Chandigarh, will be honorary consultant to the administration with the university acceding to the demand of the administration.

Earlier, UT Home-cum-Tourism Secretary Ram Niwas had requested PAU Vice-Chancellor MS Kang to ask Dr Narula to “provide necessary advice, guidance and consultancy on honorary basis for the execution of the these theme gardens to make the city greener, cleaner and more beautiful”.

Confirming that the Vice-Chancellor had acceded to the UT’s request for appointing Dr Narula as the honorary consultant, Ram Niwas said the development of the theme parks in the southern sectors would go a long way in exploiting the tourism potential of the southern parts.

The union ministry of tourism recently okayed Rs 27-crore grant to spice up the tourism potential in the city, including the development of theme parks.

In fact, Kumari Selja, union minister for tourism, housing and urban poverty alleviation, recently laid the foundation stones of two theme gardens — Gardens of Conifers (Sector 52) and Garden of Palms (Sector 42).

To be developed at the cost of Rs 3.11 crore, the Garden of Palms will have a saucer-type tourist reception centre, two bridges on different themes for connecting the garden and the lake area on the other side and a cycle track for the promotion of cycle tourism.

The Garden of Conifers will be developed over 25 acres in the portion of Leisure Valley passing through Sector 52.

The administration also plans to develop a Valley of Animals, having mass display of various animal species topiaries on slopes and undulation co-existing in the family forms or in action in Sector 49.

Dr Satish Narula

Credited with bringing green revolution to the region, including Chandigarh, eminent horticulturist Dr Satish Narula has the rare distinction of planning and executing certain gardens in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, and Vice-President’s residence. Besides being a regular contributor to national dailies, he is the author of book “Chandigarh Gardens and Greens”.



Law enforcers violating norms

While on one hand, residents of the city are watching out for the prying eyes of Municipal Corporation officials sneaking around the corners of their homes to issue “chalaans” for wasting water, on the other hand, it is not an uncommon sight to view these law enforcers violating the rules blatantly.

A morning walker at different places in the city can catch a sight of errand managers in houses of senior bureaucrats and police officials, besides certain other categories washing cars in the open. Tribune photographer, Vinay Malik, captured a police gypsy being given a royal bath on the road opposite the police chowki of Sector 61 in the early morning last week.

RTI Act fervour at PU

The Right to Information (RTI) Act fervour appears to have gripped almost all officials, teachers and administrative functionaries of Panjab University these days. A huge segment of the routine working hours of the officials are consumed in preparing answers to these queries, said a teacher.

Certain Senate members have reportedly joined the league and have now started filing RTI’s on their “personal petty cases”. “Being transparent was never time consuming,” says a senior faculty member

Fun with shoes

Polishing shoes was never so much fun as it is at the special machine installed at the DT Mall. To top it all, the service is for free. Free services don’t come easy so any enthusiast wishing to take his chance at getting a spick and span service will have to wait for a long time. There are many like you waiting to take a chance at the free service for an excellent result.

Saviour of peacocks

Whenever a peacock gets injured in the defence area surrounded by Behlana village, an SOS is immediately sent to a man, popularly known as “Jaanbhai”, because of his love for the bird and the noble cause that he serves.

Puranbhai Solanki (38), a lance naik in the Army, wastes no time in responding to such an SOS. So, whenever an Army jawan found an injured peacock, he wastes no time in calling “Jaanbhai”, who rushed to the spot with medicines and other paraphernalia in order to help the bird.

Solanki has dedicated his life to saving the national bird and with the help of like-minded jawans he also runs two peacock-breeding centres at his house in Dwarka.

“I was fascinated by the bird at the age of seven. Instead of going to the school, I would play with peacocks and was scolded by my parents for not studying. However, from 1987 I have decided to devote my time to the welfare of these beautiful birds.”

His efforts have been appreciated by former Union ministers and environmentalist Maneka Gandhi.

Lunche diplomacy

Recently, bureaucrat-politicians “alliance” raised its ugly head, this time over lunch. As soon as the press conference of Union Minister of Tourism, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja got over, there was scramble for food with second rung politicians and officials being the first ones to make a beeline for it at Hotel Mountview, Sector 10.

The unexpected rush forced the management of the hotel to make alternate arrangements for the food, as the hotel virtually ran out of food.

Crime or sports, it’s your choice!

In a bid to divert the attention of the youth towards sports activities, the Chandigarh Police has formed a special volleyball club in the Colony No. 4. The SHO of the Industrial Area police station joined hands with the representatives of the colony and formed the “Rana Partap Sports Club.” Inspector Dilsher Singh Chandel devised his own way of inspiring the youth.

“The unemployed youth of the colony indulging in petty crime have two ways before them. One leads to the world of crime and the other to sports. I can lead you on both ways. It is up to you to decide,” he said humourously, while interacting with the youth.

Contributions by Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Neha Miglani, Aarti Kapur, Anil Jerath, Smriti Sharma Vasudeva and Ramanjit Singh Sidhu



Woman sets herself afire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Savita, a 25-year-old mother of one, allegedly set herself ablaze at her residence in Maloya village here this morning. The police said she had asked for money from her husband, who told her to wait but she went to a room and set herself afire.

Sources said Savita’s husband, 30-year-old Pintu, was also injured while trying to douse the fire.

Both were taken to the PGI, where Savita was diagnosed with 100 per cent burns, while her husband suffered 50 per cent burns.

Savita’s condition was stated to be critical, while Pintu’s condition was stable, the police added.

The couple had been married for the past four years. They had been working as labourers and living a peaceful life, their neighboures told the police.

The police said Savita had locked herself in a room before setting herself afire.

Hearing her screams, Pintu rushed to the room and tried to break open the door.

Savita later came out and stumbled upon her husband, following which he too caught fire. He, however, managed to put out the flames using a blanket.

The police has registered a case of attempt to commit suicide against Savita on her husband’s statement.



Book on Gandhian thoughts released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal today released a book titled “Relevance of Gandhian Thoughts Today” by senior Congress leader and former Pepsu Road Transport Corporation chairman Ved Prakash Gupta.

Releasing the book amongst a select gathering, including Language Department director Madan Lal Hasiza, Patiala Congress president Krishan Puri, Rotary governor Bal Krishan Singla and Sanatan Kumar Sabha president Bal Krishan Singla, the minister said Gandhian thought could be the key to solving the vexed issues in the sub-continent.

Ved Prakash Gupta said Gandhian thought should be taught in schools, so that students could imbibe the philosophy and practice it in their day-to-day lives. Gupta, who is also the president of the Punjab Writers and Cultural Forum, said the forum had also made attempts to increase people-to-people contact between India and Pakistan by holding Indo-Pak mushiara and other exchanges.



Train delayed by 8 hours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The Howrah-Kalka Express (2311) train was delayed by over eight hours from its scheduled arrival time here today. The delay was attributed to a technical snag in the engine near the Delhi railway station in the wee hours.

The train, which was scheduled to arrive at 3.20 am, arrived around 11.30 am.

Harassed passengers complained against the delay but the railway authorities maintained that they could do nothing about it as the delay was from behind.



Admission to PU BCom goes online
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
Applying for Panjab University’s BCom Part-I course has got much easier, as aspiring candidates can now log on to www.pubcomadmissions.com for centralised online admission for more than 4,000 seats in 26 colleges in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur.

The website was launched by Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti here yesterday.

Sobti said the varsity intended to launch issual of online roll numbers and admit cards with the candidate’s photograph and other details from the next session.

The VC said a meeting of the principals of the 26 affiliated colleges offering the BCom Part-I course would be called soon. From now onwards, colleges would now not sell forms for the course. All details, including the fee structure for the course, are available on the website.



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