C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rajinder Singh Rana reinstated Mohali MC chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Rajinder Singh Rana of the Congress will soon find himself in the Mohali municipal council president’s chair. For, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today allowed his petition against the state of Punjab and another respondent for quashing the order “illegally” removing him from the post.

With this, it is clear that Rana will be reinstated as the president of the Mohali municipal council. Pronouncing the orders in an open court, Justice Alok Singh ruled that the present incumbent, Kulwant Singh, would cease to be the president of the Mohali MC and would be deemed not to have been the president.

Justice Alok Singh also made it clear that Rana would be deemed to have continued as president from the date when he was removed from the post.

The Principal Secretary of the local bodies department had removed Rana on April 9 from the post of Mohali MC president in a case dating back to 2007. Rana claimed that the then executive officer, at the instance of the then cooperation minister, made a “report to the then principal secretary on June 8, 2007, that the petitioner had misused his position as the municipal council president by deploying/ transferring three employees of the municipal council, attaching them with the president, when the powers of transfer vested with the executive officer…”

Later, under political pressure from “deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal”, principal secretary, local government, C. Roul issued a letter calling upon the petitioner to appear for hearing in a show-cause notice…. The petitioner appeared before Roul and brought to his notice that the show-cause notice issued to him had been withdrawn by DS Bains, as no order had been passed for a long period of more than two years. “Roul, after adjourning the case to various dates, passed an order dated April 9, removing the petitioner from the office of the president,” his counsel SC Pathela contended.

He added that the orders of his removal were illegal, arbitrary and against the law. Pathela contended that his removal was pre-planned because orders of his expulsion were made on Friday evening to prevent him from approaching the high court. He also informed the court that the malafide intention of the state government in removing him were also reflected from the fact that the election schedule of the MC was also released immediately after his removal.



Reinstatement of MC chief Rana
Decision a jolt to SAD
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 28
The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision today, quashing the removal of the Congress-supported Rajinder Singh Rana as municipal council chief, came as a jolt to the SAD camp which had propped up Kulwant Singh as head of the civic body.

Rana had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court after he was removed from his post on April 9 by the department of local government in connection with a case of alleged misuse of power. Kulwant Singh, former president of the Mohali municipal council, was elected as the head of the civic body on April 15.

Reacting to the decision of the high court, Rana said he had full faith in the judicial system and was sure that truth would prevail. He said he had been reinstated as the council chief and would take over the charge tomorrow. Kulwant Singh, however, said he respected the orders of the high court and would take legal opinion to chalk out the future course of action.

Rana said he had been reinstated by the court from the date he was removed from his post. Under such circumstances what would happen to the decisions taken by Kulwant Singh was not clear. Kulwant Singh said estimates for about Rs 20 crore were cleared at the meetings of the civic body after he took over. Many works had got completed over the past two months, he added.

The decision to remove Rana from the post of the council chief was taken by Principal Secretary to the department of local government C Roul in connection with a case of alleged misuse of power, which was filed by the then executive officer of the council JS Thind in 2007.

Rana was issued a show-cause notice on June 11, 2007, by the then Principal Secretary, local government, DS Bains, on charges of misuse of power. Bains had heard his arguments and those of the executive officer in October, 2007, after which the decision was kept reserved.

The case had come up for hearing once again on March 11 this year, after a gap of more than two years, when C Roul took over as the Principal Secretary of the department.

The show-cause notice was issued to Rana after JS Thind had sent a report to the higher authorities alleging that the civic body chief had transferred three employees without having the powers to do so.

Thind had also alleged that Rana kept postponing opening of sanitation tenders, which adversely affected work. He had recommended that action should be taken against the MC chief in this regard. 



Two commit suicide in city
Dell employee found hanging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
A Dell employee and a mother of two, both in their late-twenties and belonging to Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, respectively, committed suicide in different parts of the city.

The highly decomposed body of 28-year-old Abhishek Sharma, who was working with Dell, was found hanging at his paying guest accommodation in Sector 38 with his face covered with a carry bag, while 27-year-old Anita, a mother of two, was found hanging at her residence in Colony No 5 here this morning.

The police said Abhishek’s death was detected around 2.30 pm when a maid servant found no response to her repeated knocks at the door and noticed foul smell coming from the room. She then brought the matter to the notice of the landlord, who then called the police.

The police broke open the locks and found Abhishek hanging from a ceiling fan. The maggot-infested body had turned black and was in a bad shape. The police said the body had been hanging since Saturday night. It found no suicide note in the room and was yet to ascertain the reason behind the death.

Abhishek, who was reportedly pursuing his graduation, was living as a paying guest along with his two friends, Nadish and Anish, for about two years. Abhishek hailed from Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh and had gone to his home town on June 18 to attend a wedding of a friend’s sister. He returned to the city on June 24.

While one roommate (Anish) was out of town, the police enquiries revealed that Nadish, who is an MBA student, had gone to his cousin’s place in Sector 22 to prepare for his some exam. When the police immediately called him to inquire about the death. he said he had last spoken to Abhishek on Friday night.

The police informed Abhishek’s family in Kullu about his death. His father, C.L. Sharma, is a retired assistant sub-inspector from Himacha Pradesh police.

The condition of the body indicated that Abhishek had taken the extreme step on Saturday night as his phone records revealed that he had made his last call to Delhi around 840 pm that day, a police official said.

The body was sent to the Sector 16 Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH) for postmortem and inquest proceedings initiated.

Overbearing stench

The body kept on hanging from the ceiling fan for a couple of hours after it was detected. The foul smell was so repulsive that even the policemen were hesitating to go near the body. They tried to bring in some labourer to lower the body. After failing to persuade them, the policemen went ahead and removed the body

Mother of two ends life

The police said Anita had had an altercation with her husband, Kaushal, over some issue last night, after which she retired to her room. Her husband slept outside along with his wife’s two brothers, who were living with them.

It was when they did not get any response to their repeated knocks at the door in the morning that Kaushal, along with his brothers-in-law, broke open the tin roof of their hut and found Anita hanging. The police, which was informed about the incident, shifted the body to the GMSH-16 for post mortem.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Inspector Udeypal Singh, said Anita was married to Kaushal for the past 10 years and had a four-year-old son and a year-and-half-old daughter.

They hail from Uttar Pradesh and were in he city for the past 10 years.

Inquest proceedings were initiated under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code into the incident.



Decade on, no redress for consumer
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Ten years after the district consumer disputes redressal forum pronounced its orders in a case pertaining to non-dispatch of share stickers, the complainant is yet to get compensation amounting to Rs 7,500 from a Gujarat-based firm.

The matter has been placed in a piquant situation because the police now says the company does not exist anymore.

The forum had on September 27, 2007 directed the company’s owner to be jailed. This was followed by a report submitted by the Gujarat police in 2009 stating the company was shut down five years ago.

When the orders were passed on August 7, 2000 wherein the forum had directed the managing director of Gujarat Texspin Ltd in Surat to refund Rs 6,000 along with compensation of Rs 1,500, besides Rs 500 as litigation costs, to Vidyotma Sachan, the complainant, for not sending the share stickers.

The complainant stated in the complaint filed in 1997 that she was allotted 600 shares by the company on February 10, 1994. She said she had made 25 per cent of the payment while submitting the application form and the remaining 75 per cent, that is, Rs 4,500 were sent through a draft on September 28, 1994.

The complaint alleged that the company, in its letter dated January 22, 1995, had informed Sachan the amount payable on allotment advice had not been received and she was asked to pay the same along with interest at the rate of 18 per cent.

The complainant then sent a photocopy of the bank draft and receipt of the post office with which the draft was sent. She then requested the bank and postmaster to give information about the draft encashment and its delivery.

Subsequently, Sachan visited Surat and got the information from bank that the draft in question was encashed by the company on October 5, 1994.

The forum stated that this was a case wherein the complainant was allotted 600 shares of the face value of Rs 10 each. The complainant had paid Rs 1,500 along with the application form and Rs 4,500 being the 75 per cent amount was sent with draft dated September 28, 1994. However, the company argued it had not received the draft.

The forum observed if the company would have been efficient in issuing the fully paid stickers on receiving the full amount of shares, the complainant would have used the shares and there would have not been any need to file the complaint.



CTU Conductors’ Post
30,000 applicants for 127 vacancies
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Getting a huge response to its recruitment drive for bus conductors, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has received over 30,000 applications against 127 vacancies. The qualifications required for the post was a pass in class 12.

“When the applications were scrutinised it was found the number of graduates and even postgraduates among the applicants was over 1,000. Hundreds of women also applied for the job. The huge number of applications reflected the charm for government jobs among young people”, said CTU director ML Sharma.

“Moreover, after the implementation of the sixth pay commission’s recommendations, the salaries of CTU staff rose substantially.

A bus conductor with a pay scale of Rs 5,910-20,200 would now get around Rs 20,000 a month”, said Sharma.

“There was no field in the private sector where a person with this qualification (class 12) could earn so much”, he added.

Last April CTU received a total of 3,382 applications for 104 posts of bus drivers.


After the implementation of the sixth pay commission’s recommendations, the salaries of CTU staff rose substantially. A bus conductor with a pay scale of Rs 5,910-20,200 would now get around Rs 20,000 a month. There was no field in the private sector where a person with this qualification (class 12) could earn so much



Public Hearing
Patil expresses concern over low wages to outsourced staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
While hearing grievances of the people, Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V. Patil expressed his concern on low wages being paid by contractors to the outsourced employees, who are working under different categories with different UT departments.

He asked the officials concerned to prepare details and take up the matter with the Government of India so that decent salaries closer to regular employees are paid even to those employees, who are working through outsourcing.

Today, more than 40 persons met Patil. Some of the representatives of 1984 riots victims also met Patil and requested that apart from relief, which had been given to them, they should also be allotted booths for commercial activities. Patil assured them of sympathetic consideration of their request. The Residents Welfare Association, Sector 61, also met Patil and requested that certain basic civic amenities be provided in the sector. Patil immediately instructed all officials concerned to provide all basic amenities especially in terms of electricity, water supply, roads etc.

During the public hearing, Patil also asked the Finance Secretary to ensure that all 13 Type government houses were duly renovated in the current financial year.

Dr Satnam Singh, consultant of the World Health Organisation, also met Patil. He requested that cases of rabies were taking dangerous proportion in the country and there was a need to have an action plan to fight rabies.

Patil also discussed the functioning of the public distribution system(PDS). He asked the officials concerned that the foodgrains allocated by the Central Government must be lifted and their proper distribution through PDS shops must be ensured. 

UT at it again!

Issuing misleading press notes seems to have become a habit with the UT administration. The first press note sent by the UT Administration on public hearing said that reacting to the demand of the contractual workers, Patil asked the officers to “prepare a self-speaking detailed note and send it to the Government of India, under my covering letter.” He said it was not fair that a regular employee got Rs 18,000 per month and employee on contract got only Rs 3,000 per month. He said the salary of contractual employee should be slightly less than the regular employee. The UT sent the amended press note when a senior functionary of the administration was apprised about the contents of the press note, which could have opened a Pandora’s box for the authorities


35 years on, Mohali lacks public transport system
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 28
As the Punjab Government credits itself by providing global link to Mohali by way of the upcoming airport, it has failed to put in place a public transport system for the city that was conceived 35 years ago.

Commuting between different points in the city has become an unpleasant experience for commuters.

Everyday hundreds of Mohali residents have a harrowing time while travelling on rashly driven rickety auto rickshaws, the only source of commuting within the city.

The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) does run bus service, however, it is more part of its extended grid system and serves mostly those who have to travel between Chandigarh and Mohali.

Today, the city with a population of 3 lakh has 30 fully developed residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Many new mega residential projects are coming up in the extended Mohali’s master plan that goes up to 126 sectors.

But to travel from the extreme east to the west end of the horizontally planned city, the commuters have to switch between a skeletally run bus service by CTU and auto rickshaws. Official statistics reveal that around 1,000 auto rickshaws run within the city.

Kulwant Singh, president of the Mohali Municipal Council, said a public transport system would not only end harassment of reisdents, it would also reduce pollution levels.

Thanks to the non-existing public transport network, it takes 45 minutes to cover a distance of 8 km from Phase 6 to Phase 11, while traveling on different modes of transport.

Congested roads and heavy volume of vehicular traffic further slows down the traffic. “Since there is no public transport system, maintenance of the bus stops, too, is suffering,” pointed out Ajiab Singh, a resident of Phase 7.

Mohali District Transport Officer Karan Singh said the state transport department had been repeatedly asking for a public transport system that could cater to the urban and rural needs. Surveys to start public transport system have been done in the past.

Despite the fact that the district was formed in 2006, there is no bus service to connect hundreds of villages in the peripheral areas to the district headquarters.

There is skeletal bus service in the rural areas. Important towns like Dera Bassi, Lalru, Zirakpur, Kharar and Kurali does not have a well-planned inter-district bus service. Travelling from Mohali to different towns in the periphery is quite a task.

Unfair fares

Commuters are exposed to obnoxious fumes emitted by rickety auto rickshaws. Travelling within the city is expensive as auto rickshaw operator charges up to Rs 15 for a single trip compared to Rs 5 charged by CTU bus. No fares have been fixed by the district transport office. District Transport Officer, Mohali, Karan Singh said the permits of old auto rickshaw were not being renewed and 400 new LPG auto rickshaws had been registered

Choking roads

Mohali’s narrow roads are a hindrance to public transport system. Officials in Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) admit that widening of roads has been neglected over the years. To run a public transport system, the busy internal roads need to be widened. The Punjab Government has been announcing strengthening of basic infrastructure, but proposal are pending with GMADA and the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board



Aerocity: 3.31 lakh forms sold
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 28
Aerocity, a residential project launched by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), has attracted seven times more response than expected by the authorities concerned. As many as 3.31 lakh forms were sold till today even when the closing time of the scheme is still a week away. The draw of lots will take two months time after the scheme closes on July 6.

The sale of forms for the prestigious project coming up near the international airport started on June 7. According to GMADA officials, most of the persons were applying for plots in the Aerocity for investment purposes and not for constructing houses.

Estate officer Balbir Singh said initially the authority was expecting that 50,000 people would apply for 4,000 residential plots of varying sizes. Then the expectations were raised to 1 lakh forms. But the response of the people surpassed all expectations taking the figure to 3.31 lakh forms today. He said the sale of application forms was likely to come down now and banks were expected to sell only about 50,000 forms in the last one week.

When asked about the draw of lots, Balbir Singh said it would take about two months time. He said after the scheme closes on July 6, banks would take about 15 days to collect the forms from all branches for submission and compiling the entire data.

There were seven types of plots and 10 different types of categories under which people could apply. Nearly 4 lakh forms will then be scrutinised by the GMADA staff before the draw was held.

Balbir Singh further said that those applying under the reserved categories had to submit a residence certificate prepared by tehsildar or SDM or any other official authorised for such work. Identity proofs like rations cards or driving licences would not be taken into consideration.

Secondly, those applying under reserved categories should not have availed such a benefit anywhere in Punjab earlier. If such a benefit was availed earlier, the applicant could now apply in the general category.



Surge in rabies cases
Number may swell in monsoon, say experts
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 28
With a rise in the dog bite cases in city and its periphery, there has been a substantial increase in the number of rabies patients in the recent past.

According to sources, five to six rabies patients visit the General Hospital, Sector 6, everyday.

More than 100 cases of dog bite were reported at the hospital in May. Come monsoon and the number may swell, say experts.

Sources said most of the patients came from rural areas, urban slums or the adjoining towns such as Dhakoli, Zirakpur and Baltana.

Dog or monkey bite cases were also reported from Madna, Morni, Berwala, Nadda, Kalka, Raipur Rani and Barwala.

“Deforestation has forced monkeys and other dangerous species to stray into these areas,” said sources.

A monkey bite can also cause rabies -- a disease caused by the lyssa virus, which has the tendency of hiding itself from the immune system and not giving the body time to respond to its attack. The immune system’s inability to combat the virus allows it to reach the central nervous system.

Here, it replicates quickly and spreads all over the brain, causing inflammation and affecting its functioning. Only a vaccine can prevent this from happening. An affected person develops hydrophobia, becomes anxious and hyperactive. There is increasingly uncontrolled movement, confusion and delirium. At this stage, animals also go mad and bite.

Even though the municipal corporation has invited expression of interest for vaccinating stray dogs in the district, which were estimated to be about 5,000 in number, people would have to suffer till contract is awarded to some organisation.

Confirming this, medical superintendent Dr VK Bansal said the hospital in its stock had 589 anti-rabies injections “Rabipur”, of which around 169 were used for treating patients last month. He said they were providing free treatment to patients residing in urban slum and people belonging to below poverty line (BPL). He said general patients were being charged Rs 100 per injection. He added that depending upon the condition of patient four to five anti-rabies injections were given.

Dr Bansal said anti-rabies injection was the cheapest one, as chemists were selling these for Rs 350 or more. He claimed that even the patients from Chandigarh were visiting the hospital for treatment. He suggested that in case of monkey or a dog bite, a person should immediately wash the wound with running water and detergent soap for about 12 to 15 minutes. An antiseptic cream should be applied on the wound and the victim should be rushed to a doctor for the administration of the anti-rabies vaccine.



Police inaction: Woman threatens to commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 28
A woman from Yamunangar threatened to commit suicide near the office of the Director General of Police (DGP) here today. She was piqued over the inaction by the police in registering a case against a tent house owner for murdering her husband.

The complainant, Neelam Devi, a resident of Tigra village in Yamunanagar, had come to meet the DGP along with her in-laws. However, as the DGP was not present in his office she was asked to meet IGP (law and order) SP Singh, in this regard.

The IGP pacified the complainant and assured her that an ASP concerned has been directed to investigate the case.

Father-in-law of Neelam, Maam Chand, talking to the media said his son Kuldeep was last seen on May 18 when he had gone on his motorcycle to Sarne Tent House in Yamunanagar where he worked as a labourer.

He alleged that as his son did not return and he enquired from the tent house owner Kewal Kumar about the whereabouts of his son. He said when Kewal ‘failed’ to tell him anything in this regard he registered a case of “missing” on May 25.

He said the motorcycle of his son was recovered by the police on June 8 when the water of the Vardhna Canal was stopped. He said since then they had been making the rounds of the police station for registering the case of murder against Kewal Kumar.

He alleged despite several requests ASI Ram Chander had failed to register the case against the tent owner.

Man ‘harassed’ by cop

Another complainant, Sarabjit Singh of Kalakot in Barara, near Ambala, fearing threat to his life and two sons, also met the IGP demanding cancellation of ‘false’ cases registered against him.

Sarabjit claimed that he had not gone to his house since February and was staying at various religious places in the district. He alleged that DSP (headquarters) Rameshwar was harassing him and his sons Amirtpal (13) and Gurdev (11) by registering false cases against him under the NDPS Act as the DSP’s brother Khushi Ram was trying to grab his 5 acre and 5 marla agricultural land.

He said Khushi Ram had also tried in vain to grab 4 acres of one Satish Kumar.

Sarabjit further alleged that Khushi Ram had sent goons to his house who had damaged electric wires, besides other articles, in the house.

He said earlier his son Amritpal used to visit the house by climbing the boundary wall as the lock on the main door has been jammed by the accused using some material. He said now he could not send his son as there was danger of being electrocuted.

IGP Singh said the case needed in-depth investigation and would apprise the DGP in this regard. He said he would also recommend the transfer of the DSP so that fair investigations could be held in the case.



BJP burns effigy of Centre govt
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 28
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) burnt the effigy of the central government over the recent increase in prices of petrol and other petroleum products near the office of the Deputy Commissioner here today.

Led by Rattan Lal Kataria, former Member Parliament from Ambala, and BB Singal, ex-councillor of municipal council, BJP workers raised slogans against the Union government for putting extra financial burden on the common man.

Addressing the media, Singal said there was about 25 per cent increase in price of petrol during the last one year, which included the cost of raw material, excise duty and value added tax (VAT).

He said excise and VAT being collected by the central and the state governments, respectively, constitute more than fifty percent of the landing cost. He said in the USA the VAT was around Rs 5 per litre while in India it was around Rs 15.

Singal demanded that as the prices of petrol had been de-controlled this was high time to rationalise the taxes by both central as well as state governments to give immediately relief to the common man.



Rain cheers residents
Monsoon likely by weekend
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The rainfall that started in the city early this morning continued till 9 am, bringing respite from the hot weather. Chandigarh received 9.4 mm of rainfall in the period, which was the second highest in June. The highest rainfall in the city was recorded on May 8. At that time, the city had received 75.3 mm rainfall. Meteorologists said that was caused by the western disturbances over Rajasthan.

They added that the recent precipitation was caused by western disturbances. When asked if today’s rain could be considered as the arrival of monsoon, Meteorological Department Director Surender Paul, stated, "It is too early to say anything in that regard."

The Meteorological Department said the monsoon was still about 4-5 days away and it was likely to hit the city on Friday or Saturday. A Met official said still there was no sign of the easterlies that would ring in the pre-monsoon showers. “In other words, the circulation patterns, which define the arrival of pre-monsoon rain, just aren't in place. What the city witnessed today was the westerly that brought in the showers”, he added.

The maximum temperature today fell by a degree at 37.5°C compared to 38.5°C recorded yesterday while the minimum was recorded considerably low at 23.5 °C from Sunday’s 29 °C. The humidity level was recorded at 85 per cent the highest so far of the season. Meanwhile, Paul added that the rain would stop on Tuesday and temperature would start rising. He mentioned that weather would remain pleasant on Wednesday. The Meteorological officials said that rain was expected to lash the city again by this weekend due to western disturbances. They stated that the pre-monsoon precipitation was expected to follow in the first week of July. While talking to The Tribune, Tarsel Lal, resident, Sector 29, said, "This relief from heat was desperately needed."

The Met Department has forecast a partly cloudy sky with a possibility of rain in some areas of the city tomorrow. It also said the maximum temperature on Tuesday was expected to be 38 °C and the minimum temperature was likely to be around 26 °C during the next 24 hours.



City to have subways along major roads
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
At a time when the city is bursting at its seams with about 900,000 vehicles for a population of about 1.1 million in Chandigarh alone, not to mention the count of vehicles and residents of neighbouring Mohali and Panchkula, the UT administration is considering a proposal to build subways alongside the main roads.

Sources close to the administration said the subways would be constructed to ease traffic congestion on busy roads, especially Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg.

Officials stated they are now looking for consultants for the project and it was likely that a proposal for funding it would be soon forwarded to the central government.

According to the plan, the first subway will come up near the interstate bus terminus (ISBT) in Sector 43.

The proposal comes in the wake of the upcoming metro rail project in the city. The construction of subways in is aimed at improving connectivity for both the existing as well as the upcoming transport system. UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar said, “We’re working on it. The proposal is in its early stage as of now”.

Meanwhile the administration’s much-publicised project to build underpasses on the city’s busiest routes, which had been hanging fire for the past three years, is now under way. The aim is to ensure better traffic management. Though the design plan of the underpasses, work on which has yet to begin, at roundabouts opposite Canara Bank in Sector 34, the government printing press in Sector 18 and Transport Chowk, jointly prepared by the chief engineers of the municipal corporation, the UT administration and the Chandigarh Housing Board, has been formally accepted, the project is awaiting the award of contracts to the three shortlisted bidders.



Traffic snarls on Ambala-Chandigarh highway

Zirakpur, June 28
Traffic came to a halt on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway for more than three hours due to haphazardly parked trucks along the roadside near sales tax barrier this morning. The traffic police had a tough time, as more than hundreds of vehicles were stuck in the jam.

Commuters rued that traffic jam on the highway had become a routine affair, especially during the office hours in the morning and evening. They alleged that parking of trucks and illegal encroachments along the roadside were affecting the flow of traffic.

Even traffic movement at the entrance of Chandigarh was affected, as the Chandigarh police had placed the barricades in a zigzag manner, rued a commuter.

They demanded that the sales tax barrier at Zirakpur should be shifted immediately.

However, truck drivers stated that the sewerage laying at Pabhat godown had forced them to park their trucks on the roadside.



Chinks in cops’ armour exposed
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 27
The recent rumour of a terrorist attack in Burail village on Tuesday night exposed lacunae in the combating skills of the Chandigarh Police.

The way the security forces reacted to the incident showed that the mock drills conducted in the past had failed to yield the desired results. Sources said senior police officials had prepared a report regarding the reaction of the force to the incident and lacunae noticed in the combating skills of various units.

On December 21, 2009, the Chandigarh Police along with other sister agencies had conducted a mock drill at the Sector 17 Plaza. However, the element of surprise subsided soon after the public realised that it was a mock drill. Even the policemen, though wearing jackets and equipped with weapons, appeared to be pretty relaxed during the drill.

It was noticed that certain policemen were seen conducting the spot inspection in a “casual” manner. Most of the senior police officials, who visited the spot, were not wearing bullet-proof jackets, even as the initial information flashed to the police was of a terrorist attack in the densely populated area of Burail village.

Admitting certain serious lapses, UT SP (Traffic and Security) told Chandigarh Tribune that the police officials on duty failed to properly cordon off the area. “It was noticed that certain possible routes of escape for suspects from the area were not properly blocked. These are the very basic points during a combat in the wake of a suspected terrorist attack,” Doon said.

Doon further said that it was noticed that the armed personnel wearing bullet-proof jackets should lead the force to the sensitive area, which was done. Those who were not properly armed should stay in the outer section of the cordoned-off area. Doon, however, added that all units of the Chandigarh Police and a team of CRPF personnel reached on time and worked in coordination.

“In most cases the policemen become a soft target for terrorists, as they do not know how to sneak into the sensitive area. In the present case also, the police personnel went straight to the area not giving a thought what they would do in case someone attacks them.” Doon said though the information turned out to be a rumour, it provided them an opportunity to check the reaction of their force under difficult or tense situations. 



Mélange of classical dances
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, June 28
A cohesive blend of traditional folk culture and puritanical rigidity of classical dances remained a delightful feature of the cultural bonanza presented by 70 participants on the concluding function of the 18 month-long production oriented workshop of the Pracheen Kala Kendra at Randhwa auditorium here today.

All 10 presentations by artistes (5 to 16 years) bore the impression of their rigor of training under Kathak danseuse Renu Panth, disciple of Guru Shobha Koser and theatre director Malkit Singh and Gaurav Sharma.

Though one month is too short to learn acting or any other art, however, children displayed better grasp level than adults, observed Shobha Koser, Kendra registrar.

Commencing with a propitious dance to Saraswati Vandana “Maa Sharade ver de” little child prodigies dedicated song to their parents. Modern city crowd applauded the gripping Haryanavi folk dance “Jija tu kala mein gori ghani”.

“Aram Haraam Hai” a captivating play, a satire on week children and enacted by 20 artist participants illustrated the story of a farmer Bhola and his three daughters. The well-rehearsed folk items like dance of Goa, Jhumar (Rajasthan) and Bhangra (Punjab) were well choreographed.

A short drama “Bal Sansad” depicted how kids debate their problems like our leaders in the Parliament before the popular Gujarati folk dance dandiya marked the specially designed for grand finale to the function.

The art and craft items prepared by the children during the workshop under the supervision of Harpreet Kaur were also displayed. Guru Shobha Koser, Kendra registrar gave away prizes. 



Vuvuzela fever picks up in city
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The Vuvuzela’s melody, which has virtually drowned all other sounds at the Soccer City, Johannesburg, has landed in the City Beautiful.

A beer company is instrumental in getting the musical instrument to Chandigarh as part of its promotional strategy.

Under the scheme, a local hotel has been presenting about 10 vuvuzelas to its customers every evening during the FIFA matches.

The sound of this South Africa’s locally made wind instrument, which somewhat resembles a horn, has been casting its spell over local residents for the past about a week.

“Its magical sound creates a completely different atmosphere in the dining hall, where soccer fans come to enjoy the matches every evening. It seems that we are 
part of spectators at the stadiums of South Africa,” claimed Sabia Talwar, who has become the proud owner of a vuvzela.

This ‘vuvzela’ has become a fad these days across the world, thanks to FIFA World Cup at South Africa.

“I carry vuvuzela wherever I go. It gives me an immense pleasure when everyone asks me about it,” said Sabia.

The hotel staff procured vuvuzelas through the beer company.

“Earlier, we had thought of selling them, but after seeing its craze among soccer fans, we planned to distribute them among our customers during the matches,” said Manmohan, manager of Rio Hotel in Sector 43. “While notching up the soccer fever, the arrival of vuvuzelas has helped boost the hotel’s business,” claimed the manager. 



July 15 last date for enrolment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The last date for enrolment as voters for the SGPC elections is July 15.

According to a pressrelease issued here today, all Keshadhari Sikhs residing in UT Chandigarh are eligible to enroll as voters.

The Commissioner Gurdwara Elections, UT Chandigarh, has designated 27 polling stations located in government schools.

Besides, Form-1 can also be collected and submitted at all revenue patwar khanas located at various villages of UT Chandigarh.

The forms can be collected and submitted in the office of Tehsildar Revenue, Office of Land Acquisition Officer and Estate Office, Sector-17, Chandigarh. For queries regarding the registration of voters contact Deputy Commissioner's office at 2700109 and Land Acquisition Officer-cum-Returning Officer at 2700087 and 5046604. 



Guv releases book
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Governor Shivraj Patil today released a book “Seasons of Life: Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Soldier” authored by Maj Gen Purshotam Vig (retd), here today.

The book is an anthology of the author’s experience interwoven with his experiences of vital facets of life, his reflections and narratives of his adventures and sports activities.

The author describes the intricacies of profession in the higher ranks, his observations on myriad facets of sensitiveness of life like youthfulness, loneliness, love, the power of touch, reading, aspirations and memories.

The book is the outcome of his curiosity about various facets of life, about 40 years spent in uniform. 



PUTA urged to get answersheets evaluated in 2 days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
At a meeting today, RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, today appealed the president and the secretary of Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) to get the remaining answersheets in different courses evaluated by teachers within two days.

He also added that action would be taken against those teachers who refuse to evaluate answersheets. June 30 was the deadline announced by the university for declaration of results.

Addressing the meeting of department chairpersons and university officials at Senate Hall here this afternoon, Sobti urged the department chairperson to speed up the submission of the approved syllabi of different courses (undergraduate, postgraduate etc.) to the Vice-Chancellor office. The list has to be put up on the university website.

Those departments, which had not submitted the syllabus, were required to submit it by 5 pm on Monday.

Students could access the syllabi of the concerned courses tentatively after July 1. Sobti also complimented AK Bhandari, controller of examinations, PU, for his commitment because of which the university declared the results of CET, BA, BSc, BCom, MD and other courses on time.

Sobti exhorted the PUTA officials present in the audience to focus on duties as well. “It is only through the proper performance of duties that rights are earned in an organisation”, Sobti added.

Sobti also asked the chairpersons of different departments to get the remaining answersheets evaluated as soon as possible so that the university results could be declared by June 30.

The modules for making the DMCs (Detailed Marks Sheets) were displayed, which is to be made available to the students through specially developed software.



Exemption for PhD entrance exam scrapped
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
All exemptions for PhD entrance exam at Panjab University will now be scrapped from this academic session.

The “VIP PhD applicants”, including city bureaucrats and journalists, who were earlier granted an exemption from the exam would now be required to prove their mettle.

The new rules, in accordance with the new UGC guidelines, had been announced at a meeting of department chairpersons, although a written notification is yet to be sent to the departments.

While the university’s administrative functionaries say that this step will ensure the enrolment of best students for research work, nevertheless, the fear of failing in the compulsory entrance exam for pursuing PhD at PU could now keep city bureaucrats at bay, say officials in the department.

The department of Public administration and School of Communication Studies (SCS) have been a favourite among bureaucrats and journalists for PhD. Currently, the department of public administration has certain civil servants pursuing PhD, confirmed the chairperson.

“This year, the bureaucrats are yet to discover that the rules have been altered as per the new UGC guidelines. There has always been a craze in bureaucratic circles about pursuing PhD from this department and we receive queries about the programme each year. We have certain bureaucrats enrolled in the department currently,” said Sudhir Sharma, chairperson, department of Public Administration.



ABVP discuss students’ issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Chandigarh, today called a meeting of executive body to discuss various students’ related problems at Panjab University.

Some issues that were discussed included hostel problems and problems faced by students at library.

According to sources, ABVP would frame future plans for various activities on PU campus on June 29 and would organise a guidance camp at PU in presence of Member of Parliament Avinash Rai Khana.

Rakesh Thakur, city president (ABVP), convened the meeting today, which was attended by Jitesh Kumar Pandey, Panjab state executive member, Dinesh Chauhan, Chandigarh Organising secretary.

Guidance bureau for freshers

National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Chandigarh, headed by Randeep Singh Khaira (state president), NSUI Chandigarh, today setup a guidance bureau for new comers at Panjab University. A motivation session was organised to guide and boost the morale of the NSUI team and to motivate the youth to be more involved in the country’s political system at the ongoing help desk.



BCom merit list out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 28
The merit list for centralised admission to BCom in affiliated colleges of Panjab University has been declared today.

For Chandigarh colleges, in the UT pool, against 1,725 seats, 2,714 applications have been received online.

For 305 seats in the category “other than UT pool”, in which students who had passed Class XII from outside Chandigarh were eligible to apply for which nearly 3,052 applications have been received. The total number of seats in UT colleges is 2,030.

For admission to PU affiliated colleges at Hoshiarpur, 446 forms have been received against 282 seats and in Ludhiana, for 2030 seats, nearly 3,848 forms have been received online. The counselling for BCom course will now be held on July 5.

Meanwhile, students have been given the option of getting their details corrected in their applications. Co-ordinator of the online process, Karamjit Singh said: “Only five applications have been rejected so far for not submitting on time. The online process is working well and the counselling dates have been announced.”



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