C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Smart card project kicks off
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The UT administration has launched the country’s prestigious pilot project on smart card based public distribution system (PDS) solutions at two ‘fair price’ (ration) shops. An estimate one-third of the city population is covered under the PDS for their daily purchases and kitchen fuel.

Various reports in the past have indicated loopholes in the PDS delivery system including “major errors in exclusion of below poverty line (BPL) families and inclusion of above poverty line (APL) families; prevalence of ghost BPL/AAY(Antyodaya cards); diversion of subsidised grains to unintended beneficiaries; a section of APL households not lifting their ration quota and thus a part of the entitlement of these households leaking out of the PDS supply chain; and that the present procedure for selection of BPL beneficiaries is opaque, bureaucratic and does not involve ‘gram sabhas.’”

The recently launched project undertook an exhaustive exercise of compiling fresh data on the target families in the categories concerned. Announced in the finance minister’s budget speech in 2008, the project has also been launched in Haryana.

Importantly, all outlets will have a separate list of blacklisted cardholders. To check the widely prevalent existence of faulty measuring machines, an electronic weighing machine has been integrated with the point of sale (POS) terminal so that weight of the commodity is automatically checked. A resident will mark his every deal with his fingerprint to ensure authenticity.

Confirming the pilot project’s launch in the city, UT food & supplies department secretary Ram Niwas said: “The trial run on the Rs 4 crore project will be completed before the yearend. The smart cards will be formally launched next January”.

“The main objective of the smart card is introducing transparency and effectiveness in the delivery system. Under the existing system our office is flooded with complaints of hundreds of bogus ration cards. What happened in the process was that the actual benefit did not reach a sizable section of the target audience”, Niwas added.

The database is being created using that of beneficiaries, which includes biometric, photograph and demographic data. The fair price shop owners will upload the data from each smart card into their system that will maintain records of every commodity due per card. Each card will have the biometric data of three family members aged above three years.



Land compensation rates defy logic
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
An acre at Kaimbala village in the vicinity of Sukhna Lake is worth about Rs 32 lakh. However, an acre acquired for Aerocity in Mohali, a few kilometres away, is worth around Rs 1.5 crore 

An acre goes for Rs 10 to Rs 12 lakh at Khudda Lahora village (UT), a stone’s throw away from Punjab’s first upcoming eco-township of Mullanpur, where the Punjab Government has recommended Rs 1.3 crore as compensation per acre

Shocking is the City Beautiful’s land acquisition policy when compared to Mohali. While the genesis of the ongoing controversies surrounding mega projects lies in the “lopsided” land acquisition policies of the Chandigarh Administration, the authorities are not wiser even after years of losing face before the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and other central investigating agencies, including the CBI. A look at the land acquisition rates in the UT are enough to prove that the farmers’ protest against “mindless” acquisition is not unjustified.

During the first phase of the IT park, farmers were paid a paltry Rs 10 lakh per acre. Despite assurances from politicians and bureaucrats, nothing came of it. Even now there is no uniform formula for the fixation of land compensation rates in a city spread over 114 sq km.

In 2009, the administration again paid peanuts to farmers and acquired fertile land for Rs 18 lakh per acre at Badheri and Palsora in Mohali’s periphery. The land prices in Maloya could also touch just Rs 50 lakh an acre.

At a time when the market rates are in the range of Rs 20-Rs 40 crore an acre, the administration is taking prime commercial land of farmers for a song, president of the Chandigarh Sanjha Morcha Kuldeep Singh Kahlon claimed. A proposal for enhancing land compensation was given a silent burial by UT babus a couple of years ago. In April 2007, a committee constituted to rationalise the procedure for fixing the collector rate had recommended that there was need to change the method of determining the rate and the UT should follow Punjab in deciding land compensation. While the Punjab Government went ahead to pay the realistic compensation of Rs 1.5 crore for various projects in Mohali, the UT is still sticking to the archaic Land Acquisition Act of 1894. But at the same time, it sells the land to real estate players at astronomical prices.

Where is the Bill? The fate of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2007, and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007, which fell in the Rajya Sabha on technical grounds after being passed in the Lok Sabha before last year’s elections, is not known. This is despite the fact that MP Pawan Bansal is also the union minister for parliamentary affairs. Under the new Bills, the acquisition for “public purpose” had been restricted to “strategic purposes vital to the state and for the infrastructure projects where the benefits accrue to the general public”.



Admn steps in to prevent child abuse
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Finally waking up to the bitter reality of abuse and violence against children in the city, which incidentally is quite high with half of them reportedly experiencing some kind of abuse at home or at the hands of people known to them, the UT administration has decided to set up Child Protection Units (CPU) in various government run hospitals.

Exposing the ugly face of the City Beautiful, recent official surveys have revealed over 50 per cent of children in the city have suffered physical abuse of different kinds, with a staggering number of them have encountered abuse right in their homes. In fact, half of all reported cases of child abuse were committed by people known to the child or regarded by him or her as being responsible and trustworthy.

Shocking but true, the data also reveals over 70 per cent of the abused children never reported the matter to anyone and endured their misery in complete silence. Many of these cases were of sexual abuse too. According to World Health Organization figures, one in every 10 Indian children is sexually abused.

The proposal to set up CPUs, which indicates the administration has finally accepted the existence of child abuse in the city and decided to deal with it, hopefully in a profession manner, is a good beginning. The proposed units, to be set up under the National Rural Health Mission, will come up at the Government Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16 and Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32. These units will not only look into cases of child abuse cases but will also deal with long and short term issues of concern like physical, emotional and medical neglect and children whose social circumstances put them at risk of injury or further abuse.

The CPUs will operate 24x7 through a telephonic helpline (with a recording facility) and, in cases where immediate intervention is required, the help of psychiatrists and other agencies will be taken. Officials revealed besides five social workers who will handle the helpline, a medical officer (psychiatrist) from the hospital and a record keeper for maintaining data will also be part of the units.

The administration's proposal has however evoked a mixed response from child psychologists and doctors, particularly psychiatrists, in the city. While they have welcomed the move as such, calling it long overdue, apprehensions exists on the scheme’s implementation and the earnestness of the administration.

"It's definitely a good step," says PGI psychologist Dr Adarsh Kohli.

She says a children’s' helpline (1098) already exists at the PGI and two more will go a long way in tackling the problem of child abuse, particularly in the light of increasing incidents of corporal punishment in leading city schools.

Expressing similar views, Dr BS Chawan, head of the psychiatry department at GMCH-32, said if somebody does not know about the PGI helpline he/she will have an option. However, others have a word of caution, as they fear this helpline too will meet the fate of another helpline, Asha, meant for people suffering from depression or having suicidal tendencies and preventing them from taking the fatal step, which remains ineffectual.

Incidentally, Bihar had taken a lead in the endeavour to deal with child abuse last year by notifying the formation of District Child Protection Units for promoting the interests of children and preventing violations of their rights.



City’s junior team make it big
Enter semis of national soccer meet at Kolkata
Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, June 20
The Chandigarh junior team continue to create ripples, this time by storming into the semifinal of the 47th Junior National Under-19 Football Championship for Dr BC Roy Trophy being held at Kolkata.

With this, they have become the first team in the city’s soccer history to make it to this stage at the national tournament. None of the city’s senior or junior teams have ever made it this far in any of the national tournaments conducted by the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) so far.

The tournament is being held under the aegis of the AIFF.

The team stormed into the semifinal after drubbing strong contenders Orissa 2-0 in their second quarterfinal league match today.

To top it all, the team has not conceded a single goal in the tournament so far. The team has won all its matches barring one in the pre-quarterfinal stage against Mizoram, which ended in a goalless draw.

Elated captain Gagandeep Singh said the team had been in good nick in the tournament.

“We are playing according to our strategy. Not conceding a single goal so far is enough to prove our strength,” added Gagan over the phone.

Expressing happiness over the performance of the team, coach Tejinder Kumar said the team had been earning appreciation for its fair play. Only one player has been shown the yellow card in the five matches played so far.

“Earlier, we had set the target of reaching the knockout stage. Now, we are eyeing the trophy,” said Tejinder Kumar.

In today’s match, the team rode high on the two goals by defender Akashdeep to reach the milestone.

The win enabled them to top the pool B with six points.

The team is scheduled to play its third match against West Bengal on June 22.



Open House response
Evaluation confusion well confounded by CBSE

Confusion well confounded' is the apt description of the mess created in the admission process to Class XI based on Cumulative Grade Point System (CGPS) introduced by CBSE for matriculation result, this year. With the introduction of the grading system, the time tested criterion based on the marks list has been dumped in favour of a system which places a large number of students in the same grade. With no clear cut marks list, the admission process becomes difficult as it is not possible to make individual differences based only on grades. The problem gets compounded when the number of the same grade admission seekers exceeds the number of seats in a stream/school.

Many may hail the grading system as it makes the exams 'stress free' but there is no denying the fact that it also dampens the competitive spirit and kills the strive for excellence. It may be a good idea to have grading till class IX but it is a folly to introduce it in class X when the critical decision regarding the course/stream selection is to be taken. More over it is time the students learn to cope with the pressures of exams. Life itself is an exam-full of trials and challenges. The students should be prepared to face the challenges of life, helped to cope with stress and not succumb to the pressure.

Under the existing circumstances, the argument for the inclusion of internal assessment in the final result, too, is erroneous. It is impossible to believe that the internal assessment is fair and just. In fact the marks are doled out to the students irrespective of what they deserve, defeating the very purpose of assessment. Often the difference between the highest and the lowest scorer is ridiculously low making mockery of internal assessment. To make the evaluation just and fair, not only, should the Board lay down the criteria for awarding internal assessment but it must act as a watch dog to ensure all the schools strictly follow the norms.

Rama Kashyap, Associate Professor, Chandigarh.

Average is often a disadvantage

Mondofacto online medical dictionary defines cumulative grading point average as "the numerical average of all the student's grades achieved during the study at an institution". The system is introduced to cut unnecessary competition between young minds for scoring higher marks.

The introduction of the system has rained in confusion as borne out by the experience of the admission seekers to Class XI. There is no linkage with the ICSE results putting the students at a disadvantage.

In the backdrop of the CBSE guidelines, students who have got E grades will have to clear their papers before July, if they have to secure admissions in class XI. A layman fails to comprehend if grade 'E' meaning "needs improvement" is read as "compartment" (as it used to be termed earlier) then what the change is in the system except the nomenclature.

More than nine lakh students appeared for CBSE class X exam which was held under the grading system this year. Of this 13000 students have been given 'E' grade. As many as 3000 students from the city are in this 'E' bracket. District Education Officer has denied them and compartment students of Punjab and Haryana Board admission to Class XI, unless they clear the EIOP exam in July and secure grade D or above. This is more stressful than the earlier system of allowing multiple chances to the student community.

We see some schools adopting grading system in the elementary classes, but that is the age, when the pupil is completely ignorant of its effects. But in higher classes, per centage differences up to two decimals is taken into consideration for ranking.

Sanjeev Singh Bariana has rightly pointed out that grading minus internal assessment means little and has rightly assessed that "the mark sheets handed over to the students does not make any mention of cumulative marking in activities except the annual examination." It is obviously very difficult to eliminate the confusion as schools do not have identical facilities and infrastructure, for internal assessment.

Satish Chandra Sharma, General Secretary, Chandigarh Social Welfare Council, Sector 50-B, Chandigarh

No exams maybe a blunder

What I gather is that the new education policy introduced in respect of Class X exams is a failure in practice. The government has made a blunder by abolishing Class X Board exams.

The introduction of the grade system is certainly confusing and a great set back to the brilliant students. Why has such an irrelevant system of evaluation been thrust on the students who seek admission to the Class XI? This system has certainly smothered intelligence of the students. By placing the students obtaining 81 per cent and those obtaining 89 per cent marks in the same category, or Grade A2 is surely a cruel joke. The brilliant students will be, certainly, disheartened.

The old system examination for the matriculation needs to be restored.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

True assessment affected

The open House article ' Grading minus internal assessment means little' by Sanjeev Bariana (Tribune 14 June) is the true assessment felt by thousands of the readers and millions of parents of the CBSE Class X , who shall be affected adversely due to this new Cumulative Grading Point Average (CGPA) for admission to Class XI affiliated to the CBSE.

Performance of the students in the examination is an individual attempt. It is universally acknowledge method to assess an individual performance by attaining individual scores. Getting admission in the higher classes or competing in any carrier oriented competitions has to be assessed fairly up to a difference of points or decimals.

In other individual performance oriented competitions like various track and field performances, it is the best individual score that become s the criteria to judge who is first, second or third. Can we apply this grading system of average to these events? The answer is invariably No. Yes, we need to incorporate assessment also on basis of extra-curricular activities, like social service camps, NCC Camps, blood donations, singing and dramatic activities.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar, SAS Nagar

Grades save unnecessary tension

I think the grading system has eased a lot of unnecessary pressure from students as well as parents. Our son was never among the top 10 in his class. He has been a mediocre, academically.

At the same time, he is outstanding in sports and extra curricular activities. Infact, he was the vice school captain.

I feel that marks in Class X do not have a direct impact on his future studies, at all. Infact, his ranking in extra curricular activities does have a big impact on his future.

Instead of toying with innovations, every year, the CBSE should stick to the grading system and try to make amends for a better delivery. In first place, the board will have to ensure a plan of action for fair internal evaluation. At the same time, the schools will have to ensure availability of facilities for science practical, sports and extra curricular activities in their campus

Aarti Dhingra, Sector 38(West), Chandigarh

The Cumulative Grading Point Average(CGPA) for the matriculation results in CBSE has left many questions unanswered, particularly, in context of admissions to the Class XI. The issue of objectivity in the internal assessment, particularly in schools having poor infrastructure, too has emerged as a hot topic for discussion. Send us your reactions to the new evaluation system in the matriculation results, introduced this year, at openhouse@tribunemail.com or Open House, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh.



Rural women have reason to cock a snook at urban counterparts
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Rustic and desi rural women finally have some reasons to smile and cock a snook at their urbane and trendy counterparts. While one would usually expect the city women to be more aware of the dangers associated with unsafe sex and have knowledge about sexually transmitted infections (STI), it’s not the case. As things turn out, rural women are smarter than their city counterparts as far as having the knowledge of reproductive tract infections (RTI) and the STI.

According to a report prepared under the Programme Implementation Plan of the National Rural Health Mission of the UT-2010-11, almost 54.4 per cent of the rural women are aware of the RTI/STI as compared to 52.9 per cent of their urban counterparts. This lack of knowledge is perhaps also the reason for 4.8 per cent urban women having symptoms of RTI/STI as compared to only 1.4 per cent in the rural areas. However, there is good news for both urban as well as the rural women as the Midline Reproductive Child Health (RCH) Survey 2009 of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research (PGI) shows that the prevalence of the RTI/STI has shown an over all decrease as compared to the findings of 2006 baseline the RCH survey.

While in the urban areas, the prevalence of the disease has decreased from 6.3 per cent in 2006 to 2.7 per cent in 2009, in rural areas it has declined from 7.1 to 7 per cent. The report also indicates a better knowledge of HIV/AIDS among the rural women as 15.8 per cent of them underwent tests as compared to 15.6 in urban areas. In fact, rural women are also ahead of their city counterparts when it comes to knowing about where exactly the HIV/AIDS testing centres are located. Almost 88.5 per cent rural women knew about them as compared to 87 per cent in the cities.

A study conducted by the department of the Community Medicine of the GMCH-32 last year had revealed that 83.5 per cent women participants knew that HIV/AIDS was a sexually transmitted disease, while only 66 per cent of them were aware that it was caused by the HIV virus. The study had thus recommended that women across the social spectrum be targeted in the awareness campaigns carried out by the Centre under the National AIDS Control Programme, Phase II and III.



Contractor shuts water kiosks for visitors
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
People visiting Sector 17 literally have to go without water as only one out of the three water kiosks installed by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh is in the working condition. Thus, people are left with no choice but to buy mineral water bottles to quench their thirst in the scorching heat.

These water kiosks were installed as a part of the Municipal Corporation’s pilot project in 2007 so that the public and tourists could drink cold water in summers free of cost.

During a visit to the Sector 17 market, it was found that out of three water kiosks, only one kiosk near the Sahib Singh and Sons parking was functional and the other two located near the Empire Store and the Gurudev parking lots have been shut down by the contractor.

An employee of the kiosk said one of the water kiosks was non-functional for the past two weeks due to some technical problems. The contractor has been informed about it, but it has not been repaired so far.

Another kiosk has been shut down by the contractor as the staff manning it has gone on one months leave. No one has been employed in his place, the employee added.

Municipal Corporation’s Additional Commissioner PK Sharma said though the corporation was responsible keep a check on the water supply in the kiosk, but its was contractor’s responsibility to keep them functional.

As per the proposal three water kiosks were set up on an experimental basis to provide chilled water to the visitors. The land for this purpose was given to private companies to provide the water free of costs. In lieu of that, the companies were allowed to display their advertisements outside the kiosks.

Anandita, a visitor to the Sector 17, said it was strange that the authorities were ignorant about the status of the pilot project which they had introduced with much fanfare for the public. Why the contractor had been allowed to use these kiosks for displaying their advertisements when they were not providing any service to the public, she asked?

The UT chief architect had raised objection on this project on the grounds that it was violating the Punjab Capital Project Act and disturbed the mater plan of the shopping area.



‘Himalayan Odyssey’ in city

City residents were in for a pleasant surprise on Saturday evening when more than 60 Royal Enfield bikes after meandering on the city roads entered Parkview Hotel in Sector 24. Youngsters were floored with the sound and grace of the mean machine.

This is first among the four rallies in different parts of the country, as a part of the “Himalayan Odyssey”. The other rallies are visiting Rajasthan, Runn of Kutch and parts of South India. The rally was flagged off from New Delhi on Saturday morning.

The group visiting the city will end their journey in Leh crossing Manali and will return to the city from an alternate route crossing Narkanda and Shimla.

Treat for soccer lovers

FIFA World Cup matches on large LCD screen and beer in special “World Cup Beer Mug” is a big attraction for city residents visiting hotels all over the city these days.

A local pub, Khyber, is banking upon this package with introducing special “World Cup Mug” to increase its clientele. The mug is double in size of the normal beer mug and is large enough to contain 630 ml of the beer in one go. “The socc(be)er lovers are liking this mug a lot. And surely, most of the visitors want to sip beer in these mugs during matches,” said Sahil, owner of the pub.

“We don’t want to be disturbed by calling waiter again and again, so we always order for the ‘World Cup Mug’ whenever we come here,” says Karan, a

local resident, who regularly comes at the venue, along with his friends to enjoy the World Cup combo.

Big PU project

All set to become a Centrally funded institution, which almost sounded like a dream earlier, Panjab University is working with great enthusiasm on its next project on hosting an event featuring Nobel laureates on the campus in 2011.

Sources claim that the university Vice-Chancellor is preparing the draft of the event and is inviting Nobel Prize winners from various disciplines. Certain groundwork is being done by the university and a committee is likely to be formed shortly to work out the modalities of the event. “The big, the better”, appears to be the slogan of Panjab University right now.

Exhibition train

The Commonwealth Games exhibition train, which will be flagged off on June 24 from Delhi, is likely to reach the Chandigarh railway station next month.

According to Railway sources, its itinerary has been prepared coinciding with the Commonwealth Games baton relay and it will reach the places through which the baton will pass. But the final dates of the journey are still awaited, the sources said.

The Indian Railways being the main partner of the games has decided to run the special train to promote the event across India.

The train will comprise 14 coaches bringing alive the sports and games in its varied hues, along with the itinerary of the event, which begins on October 3.

Five coaches of the train will feature exhibitions on the games, while five will focus on information and technology in railway operations. An 11th bogey will be converted into a 100-feet long travelling sports photo exhibition.

The train will begin its three-month journey from Safdarjung station in Delhi and go back there after travelling the country covering about 50 to 60 stations.

Clean up your act, MC!

Rules should be followed by the public and floated by the authorities. The expression is best suited to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, as the MC is busy delivering orders and lessons among city residents on save water, the authorities themselves keep their eyes closed to the problem of leakage in its own office in Sector 17. One can see water overflowing from a majority of water coolers installed in the MC building.

Rajasthani style

Inspector Dilsher Singh Chandel, SHO of the Industrial Area police station, these days is obsessed with Rajasthani style of tying his turban. He surprised his colleagues recently when he entered a senior-level meeting donning the traditional style. In the past too, his senior officials have failed to recognise him whenever he experiments with his turban. Once a senior official, who failed to recognise the inspector asked his fellow, “Who this royal scion in our party?”

Hydraulic machines

After Chandigarh, the Mohali municipal council is readying itself to undertake hydraulic road sweeping in the city. The civic body has requested the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to release funds to purchase two imported hydraulic sweeping machines.

MC president Kulwant Singh said initially two machines would be purchased to undertake sweeping of the city roads. Night sweeping was also being introduced.

Contributed by Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Akash Ghai, Neha Miglani, Anil Jerath, Aarti Kapur, Ramanjit Singh Sidhu and Rajmeet Singh



Two arrested with 180 kg spurious ghee
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 21
The police has seized 180-kg spurious desi ghee and arrested two persons in the wee hours of this morning. The police has also seized a Tata mini truck 207. Those arrested have been identified as Swarn Singh and Purshotam Dass Bansal, both residents of Milk Colony, Dhanas, in Chandigarh. A case has been registered against the accused in the Sector 20 police station.

A police team laid a naka near Sector 19 railway level crossing on a tip off. They signalled the Tata 207 (PB-65-7221), coming from Sector 19 around 2.30 am, to stop and after the search it recovered the spurious ghee and arrested the two accused.

Dr Manjit Singh of General Hospital, Sector 6, and Dr Amanjit Singh of Sector 20 dispensary checked the samples and found them spurious.

Police sources said the illegal consignment was to be sold in various parts of this district and the Nahan town of Himachal Pradesh. The consignment was packed in half-kg pouches with the brand name of “Amrit” and was to be sold at a rate of Rs 170 per kg, whereas pure ghee of popular brands was available in the market at Rs 260 to Rs 270.

Sources further said the main accused, Bansal, had installed machinery at his house in Dhanas and after producing one or two quintal of duplicate ghee he used to send it to the neighbouring state.

The police said the two accused would be produced in the court tomorrow to seek further police remand to know how many persons were involved in this trade.



Protesters show disrespect to Tricolour
Tribune News Service

Members of the Dalit community raise a black flag next to the Tricolour atop the office of the Mohali Deputy Commissioner on Sunday.

Mohali, June 20
Mohali police officials were caught unaware when members of Dalit Chetna Manch, while protesting against the alleged inaction in a case of assault on members of the Dalit community at Tasauli village, climbed to the rooftop of the Deputy Commissioner’s office and tried to show black flags near the National Flag hoisted atop the building. As per the law, it amounted to showing disrespect to the National Flag.

On realising the situation, cops intervened and prevented the protestors from showing disgrace to the Tricolour.

Members of the Dalit community said the Mohali district administration had failed in arresting the youths who had attacked members of the community on May 31. Led by Shamsher Purkhlavi, a Dalit leader, some of the protestors also tried to immolate themselves in front of the office of the Mohali Deputy Commissioner.

Villagers alleged that members of their community were implicated in a false case in the name of encroachment on village shamlat land. Then several members of the community, who were undertaking construction of a gurdwara, were attacked. Instead of giving a fair deal, the administration and the police were playing a partisan role. No one was hearing the plea of the community and even the ruling party was siding with the other side, said Purkhlavi.



Grievances forum for electricity consumers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The Chandigarh administration has set up a Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum (CGRF) under Section 42 (5) of the Electricity Act, 2003, to redress the grievances of electricity consumers.

Chairman of the CGRF, RL Kalsia said the complainant must exhaust the channel for redressal of grievances with the electricity wing of the engineering department. In case of the complaint regarding restoration of electricity, the complainant must initially lodge his complaint at the Citizen Facilitation Centre (telephone no 4639999) or the Electricity Complaint Centres of respective areas.

For rest of the above mentioned complaints, the consumers must lodge their complaints with the SDO of the area on plain paper giving the details of name, address, telephone, account number and brief description of the complaint.

In the event of non-response of the complaint, the consumer may lodge complaint with the divisional office of the electricity of the area.

If the consumer is not satisfied with the response of the complaint centre, SDO or XEN concerned, he or she may send such complaints in writing to the CGRF chairman, room no 531, fifth floor, Sector 9-D, Chandigarh, or email to chairmancgrf@gmail.com.



Check sought on non-serious builders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Building-contractor unions of the tricity have sought the intervention of the administration, alleging that the intrusion of non-serious players in the construction business has not only led to an increase in disputes between clients and contractors, but also loss of revenue to respective governments.

A majority of such contractors do not deposit any service tax with the government, they have alleged. Members the Private Labour Constructors Unions of Chandigarh and Mohali and the New Private Labour Contractors Union, Panchkula, decided, during a meeting at Ramgarhia Bhavan in Sector 27 here, to take up the matter with local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal to find a solution. RS Verma, secretary of the Panchkula union, said contractors registered with the union were losing business to non-serious players, who made offers at much lower prices as they did not deposit the 12 per cent service tax. He cautioned against hiring unregistered contractors, who could escape liability in case of a dispute as they had nothing at stake.



Drain of woe for colony residents
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 20
The seasonal choe at Dhakoli village, choked with garbage and other waste material, has made the life of residents of Dashmesh Colony and others miserable. Residents rue that the entire stretch of the choe is covered with garbage and other waste material.

No steps having been taken to clean the drain, as a result of which the flow of water has almost stopped.

They have asked the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to clean the drain and ensure proper flow of water. They said the stinking seasonal choe was a serious health hazard and a threat to public hygiene.

Residents led by Rajesh Pathania and MS Sharma said: “The prevailing conditions are conducive to the outbreak of epidemic.” A resident alleged that certain property dealers and developers had blocked the drain after constructing illegal buildings there.

They have urged the municipal council to take necessary steps to solve their problem.



Ghazal maestro casts spell
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 20
A mix of Sufiana kalam and ghazals by Delhi-based maestro Gulfam Sabri formed the veritable musical tribute to the classical dance doyen and art promoter Madan Lal Koser on his birth anniversary in a concert organised by the Pracheen Kala Kendra here today.

Gulfam presented ghazals in his melodious voice and the audience enjoyed Sufiana compositions from Shah Hussain and Bulle Shah. He was at his best with “Kanwan kanwan”, “Yaar mangya Si Rabba”, “Nit khair manga” and “Dard vichhore da haal”.

He brought alive the essence of the lyrics in medium and upper octave, but sometimes struggled in Khairaj. He interspersed the concert with soothing couplets and sargams. Avirbhav Verma and Rajinder Singh won applause for admirable accompaniment.



Book released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
On the occasion of Father’s Day, a book titled “Karma Ka Pujari”, a biography of Dr GC Mishra, was released at Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11.

Dr Mishra was a former professor at the department of chemical engineering and technology, Panjab University. The book is written by his son, Mayank Mishra, who is a journalist.



Defacement on PU campus
No uniform policy for putting posters
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The newly painted signboards at Panjab University campus have already been defaced by student organisations by putting up their posters on them. The signboards close to the newly constructed parking outside the university auditorium and the walls near the old bank area inside the campus are the worst sufferers of defacement on the campus.

During the peak admission season, instead of informative notices about entrance procedure and general information on the courses offered by PU, such posters with photographs of the student leaders adorn the campus.

What adds to the visual chaos in PU is the absence of a uniform policy for putting up the posters and related content. The university has no fixed rules regarding the content that is displayed on the notice boards. The university authorities claim that each time a warning letter is issued to the student organisations, the game of mud slinging begins.

“I had sent a letter to all student parties and they give the same explanation that the rival party has put up the posters of their party to defame them. The university will take up the matter seriously in all meeting with the student leaders tomorrow. Certain rules and a uniform policy will also be drafted with regard to the content and posters,” said PU dean student welfare, Naval Kishore.

A few weeks ago, there was resentment in certain quarters of the student community at PU regarding several posters of Vikram Jeet, a member of Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), who was in police custody. The posters were put all across the campus, while he was in custody on serious charges of firing at the residence of Udey Wirring, a member of Panjab University Student Union (PUSU). Taking a stern view of the defacement on the campus, which has started months before the student council elections this year, the DSW said if the student’s organisations fail to comply with the orders, which were likely to be issued tomorrow, a police complaint would be lodged.

PU Speaks

“Panjab University would form guidelines to regulate the material on posters put up by student leaders and about defacement on the campus. If the student organisations fail to comply, the police intervention would be sought,” PU DSW, Naval Kishore



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