C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Shanties around air base vex IAF officials
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 18
With an area consisting of a few hundred dwelling units having turned into a full-fledged slum, the unauthorised structures mushrooming around the Chandigarh Air Force Station has become a matter of concern for officials of the vital air base.

Besides running illegal cattle dairies landowners have struck a goldmine by renting out land to slumdwellers to raise shanties all along the seasonal rivulet passing through the area. To make matters worse politicians intervene whenever officials of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) plan a demolition drive in the area.

“The day is not far away when Jagatpura would turn into another Jhujjar Nagar (an unauthorised colony behind Dara Studio), which GMADA has failed to demolish over the years”, said Ujjagar Singh, a farmer of Jagatpura village. The Jhujjar Nagar is coming in way of alignment of the Kharar bypass that was recently approved by the authority.

Though GMADA officials continue to update their office records on violations, encroachers are setting a wrong precedent for others to follow. While moving on the elevated Chandigarh-Morinda rail track one can see hundreds of haphazardly raised shanties around Jagatpura beginning right from near the air force base.

Dalwinder Singh, JE of the area, said since he was new to the area he would have to check the records to comment on the status of illegal constructions.

It may be mentioned here that, anticipating a security threat, the air force authorities have sought the intervention of the Mohali deputy commissioner in removing the unauthorized structures, including a number of cattle sheds around the air force station.

However, the encroachers do not appeared to be bothered at all.

While examples of shanties being raised are aplenty, the promoters of a privately run school, Heritage Public School, have been raising a construction by camouflaging the school’s outer boundary wall. An RCC structure is being built with GMADA officials reportedly aware of the situation. “ According to the law no one is allowed to raise a construction in the periphery of the air force base. Even otherwise no structure can be raised near the airport”, pointed out an official.

Expressing annoyance over the illegal structures that were prohibited within 900 metres from the base’s perimeter, air force station officials have pointed out the structures had resulted in flight safety implications. The officials have also made it clear any proposal to rehabilitate the slumdwellers near the air force base should not be approved without their clearance.



Dacoity of Rs 15 lakh
Police groping in the dark
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 18
Even after two days the police is yet to make any headway in the Sector-10 dacoity in which gun-totting youths decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 15 lakh after keeping hostage 13 member of a family in the wee hours of July 16.

Though the police authorities yesterday sent three teams to the national capital region and its surrounding areas, which were conducting raids at the possible hideouts of the accused, but it is yet to nab any of the accused.

The police is working on many theories such as the involvement of a new gang as there was a woman among the armed robbers. The police had shown photographs of some of the notorious elements to the family. Leaving no chance the police is scrutinising the profiles of various thieves who remained active in the region during the past few years, but staying dormant for some time.

After conducting an inquiring from the robbery victims the police has also managed to draw a few sketches, which have been circulated in all police stations in the state. The police had even sent brief details of the suspects to the SPs of all districts in Haryana and the adjoining states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and requested them to cooperate in nabbing the culprits.

Though one of the gangsters during the heist claimed that all of them were highly educated and were unemployed, the police was apprehending that this was a trick on the part of the Hindi-speaking dacoits to mislead the police over their identity.



RWAs demand installation of security gates
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service


Strongly criticising the poor night patrolling, the general secretary, Residents’ Welfare Association, Sector 10, rues that they have been urging the authorities to allow them to install the security gates on their own. However, their requests are turned down every time

Panchkula, July 18
Concerned over Friday’s dacoity a large number of residents’ welfare associations demanded immediate steps to install security gates on the sectors’ entry-exit points as well as increase in the strength of the police in town.

Strongly criticising the poor night patrolling, Bharat Hiteshi, general secretary, Residents’ Welfare Association, Sector 10, rued that they had been urging the authorities to allow them to install the security gates on their own. However, their requests were turned down every time, they added.

SK Nayyar, Citizens’ Welfare Association, said the robbery showed total failure of the police to control the crime in the city besides protecting the residents. He said the city residents were living under the constant fear due to series of thefts, robberies, dacoities and kidnappings etc. He said it was high time for the state government to put additional police force for the city with latest infrastructure to meet with any eventuality.

Local Congress MLA DK Bansal said he was shocked to know about the sensational dacoity of Rs 15 lakh. He said he had been urging upon DGP RS Dalal to increase the strength of the police personnel in the district, as there had been several incidents of heinous crimes, but in vain. However, he added he would again make an appeal to the authorities concerned to press upon his pleas in this context.

Meanwhile, sources in the police said three different search teams had been sent to Delhi and its surrounding areas to raid the possible hideouts of the dacoits. Sources further added that the members of the families whose house was burgled were shown photographs of some of the suspects last evening.

The family had identified two of the robbers whom the police sources claimed to be brothers. The team was likely to return within two or three days, sources added.



Schools helping kids with learning disabilities
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Taking a considerate view of students with learning disabilities, three schools in the Tricity have set an example by admitting such children despite their handicaps. In a situation where most parents of disabled kids are shown the door, DAV School in Sector 8, Panchkula, Delhi Public School, Sector 41 and Stepping Stones School, Sector 37 - both in Chandigarh - have taken a giant leap in providing special training to all teachers to identify students with special learning disabilities (SLDs).

In what is probably a unique case in the Tricity, Udhav, a class 7 student of DAV School, Panchkula was exempted from studying mathematics by school officials.

“We teach students with SLDs separately and even have special exams for them. Udhav is a very bright child but somehow he could not cope with math. So, before he came under stress for not being able to perform well, we exempted him from math and now he attends either the music class instead or is taken to a special resource room for other activities,” said Santosh Bhandari, the school’s principal.

“We’ve trained all our teachers to identify children with learning disabilities as in some students the degree is less. It is the responsibility of all schools to take care of such special children,” she added.

Yet another principal said admitting such students in his school and taking special care of them has now become a routine affair. “Whatever the class may be, we accommodate students with learning disabilities. We convince parents it’s better to help the child rather than put pressure on him to do the impossible.

These kids can be integrated into the mainstreamed easily if they’re provided some help. I feel all schools should be sensitive to this issue,” said Anu Kumar, principal of Stepping Stones School.

Narrating a related incident, she said it took a mother one year to accept her child had a certain degree of learning disability. “The child’s mother cried and said her husband did not agree the child had a learning disability. We counselled the parents for one year and finally they realised the child needed help,” Kumar stated.

The child is now taking counselling sessions from PGI and has improved in studies, she added.

The acceptance of any form of learning disability in their child is now increasing among parents, says Shangrila, counsellor of Delhi Public School.

“Parents are now more aware and acceptance regarding learning disabilities among them has risen. The focus now is more on remedying rather than dismissing the problem,” she added.



CITCO staff await new uniform
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
Guests at the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO)-run hotels these days are welcomed by a rather depressing sight. While CITCO has been busy calculating its profits, staff members of the corporation are in dire straits. Worn-out uniforms of waiters tell bare-all stories. Right from kitchen staff to front office, it has been around two years that the staff members have not got their uniform.

Sources claim that a contract was given to a Manimajra-based tailor for stitching 451 uniforms. A tender was allotted and the tailor was expected to complete the job in about six months. Incidentally, the tender was allotted for a specific fabric for suitlengths. However, for some reason the company discontinued the fabric which was available for Rs 280 per metre. Similar fabric was later available at a revised rate of Rs 310 per metre. So the tailor sent a letter to the authorities, asking for a renewed contract in the wake of the revised rate. However, his repeated reminders to the officials fell on deaf ears. To top it all, the tailor had already purchased cloth worth Rs 1.5 lakh for shirts. “ I suffered a huge loss at the hands of the officials. The cloth worth Rs 1 lakh is lying useless. I have even lost Rs 50,000 which I paid CITCO as security,” said owner of Feroz Tailors in Manimajra, who was assigned the contract.

Sources claim that following this debacle, a fresh contract was again assigned to a Delhi-based tailor, but later it was discovered that the company had already been blacklisted a few years ago. Therefore, that contract again had to be cancelled. Since then the issue of uniforms has been hanging fire.

Now, the authorities are again in a fix, as the UT Administration has started the process of e-tendering. Thus the tenders of uniforms have to be called through this process, which is again time consuming leaving the staff in the lurch.

Kashmir Chand, president of the CITCO Workers Union, said, “It has never happened in the past. We have always been getting our uniforms in time except for the past two years.”

CITCO is supposed to give winter and summer uniforms to its over 1000 employees every year depending on their rank. For those who are entitled for suitlengths, tailors take their measurements individually.



Even a paid parking lot can be unsafe
Tata Safari with central locking stolen from Sector 22

Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
If you think your vehicle - that too equipped with a central locking system, which you have left behind in any of the city’s authorised parking lots is secure, you are dead wrong. The theft of a new Tata Safari SUV last night from a paid parking lot in front of a Sector 22 hotel has again exposed the lack of safety of parked vehicles.

Simarjit Singh Grewal, to whom the SUV (registration no: HR24 M8600) the belonged, claimed he had parked the vehicle at about 11 pm in the parking lot before checking into Hotel Saffron. He is a resident of Sirsa (Haryana) and had arrived in the city yesterday evening.

“An employee of the parking lot contractor charged me Rs 5 and gave me a slip,” stated Grewal, adding the vehicle had a central locking system and was locked properly. He said he had also taken out the vehicle documents before entering the hotel.

According to Grewal, he came to know his SUV had been lifted from hotel officials only at about 8 in the morning today. “After I informed the police a PCR van arrived at the hotel and the cops in it instructed me to file a complaint at the Sector 22 police post, which I did”, Grewal said.

Expressing shock over the incident, he said the chances of breaking into a vehicle’s central locking system are remote as the alarm immediately goes off on any such attempt. “I think my vehicle was towed away by the thieves”, he said.

When asked the parking lot contractor said he and his employees were responsible for the parked vehicles only up to midnight.

Meanwhile, a case under section 379 has been registered in the matter.


Commencement of international flights a distant dream
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
The much talked about Chandigarh International Airport may still take some time before it is completed as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has not given the mandatory permission to the Airports Authority of India (AAI). No construction work has been started as yet. Only a part of the boundary wall has been constructed. The boundary wall, according to the AAI official, will be completed by September.

It has been about three years since formal approval was given to the international airport in Mohali, known as Chandigarh International Airport. However, it is learnt that not many international operators have shown any interest in operating flight to and from this airport.

“The building plan of the airport is at the draft stage. The project is being taken up as a joint venture with 51 per cent equity of the AAI and 24.5 per cent shared by Punjab and Haryana,” an AAI official said.

“It is a long-term plan and no international airline had approached the AAI for flights from here. It is not wise to invest at one go. As soon as we get approached by international airlines we would start the work on runways and other infrastructural facilities,” he added.

AAI authorities say the cost of the project will be calculated only after finalisation of the plans. “Detailed scope of work and other infrastructural facilities are being finalised and the timeline can be fixed only after the approval,” a senior official said.

On the other hand a separate NOC or working permission is required before starting construction work at defence airports. “This working permission/NOC is still awaited from the MoD,” the official said.

Also, the date of commencement of international flights is uncertain. “It can be considered only after the new integrated terminal and other associated facilities are ready with other facilities like customs, immigration, etc,” the official said.

“The timeframe when the proposed new international airport complex will become operational cannot be specified at this stage,” he added.

The only existing runway, owned by the Indian Air Force, would continue to be used for taking off and landing of the international flights as well.

The airport will be an extension of the existing Chandigarh domestic airport, which is built on defence land and is used by the Indian Air Force at present.

Meanwhile, the official said the new airport was likely to give a boost to the region’s economy and facilitate travel for a large number of non-resident Indians (NRIs), who currently use New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. It would largely serve the international passengers from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The official added: “Getting an international flight is a matter of great pride for us and at the same time an opportunity to prove our worth and capabilities before the world. The moment I received this proposal, I immediately said yes as I do not want to lose any international flight.”

He further said, “However, our new ultra modern building equipped with the facilities of international standards is under construction and work is going on at a very good pace. Hopefully by year-end it will be ready for use and then we can attract more international flights to Chandigarh.”

The official said, “The area of the new building will be five times more than the previous one. After 1974, it is for the first time that Chandigarh airport is undergoing such a large-scale renovation.”

He said: “It would be all air conditioned, equipped with escalators and special facilities for physical challenged persons.

The present building can accommodate only around 100 passengers, but the new building would accommodate around 400 passengers.”



Residents seek dispensaries, e-sampark centres in each sector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
A meeting of the Executive Committee of Chandigarh Residents Welfare Federation was held under the presidentship of MR Lakhanpal. The meeting was attended by 35 representatives of various residents’ welfare associations.

Members said greenbelts in various sectors of the city were not being properly maintained and in most of the cases benches and playing equipment were in bad shape. Besides, roads in Southern sectors were in dilapidated condition. It is desirable to make suitable provision for playing grounds in each sector.

The president of Sector 56 alleged that the community centre of the sector had been leased out to an individual since 2007 and residents were deprived of the facility of community centre. In most of the community centres, the maintenance had been utterly neglected. Members demanded that basic necessities like post office, e-sampark centres, dispensaries and community centres be set up in each sector.

It was desired by the members that proper control over rates, sale of items such as clothes, cheese and substandard spices be banned at kisan mandis. Members have taken a serious view of the food adulteration.

Residents of Chandigarh had to rush to nearby places to celebrate social functions, where they had to spend exorbitantly, besides incurring inconvenience. It was, therefore, demanded that provision of marriage palaces be made in Chandigarh to save residents from inconvenience.

To ease traffic congestion in residential areas, community parking on the lines of Sector 19-D be developed, wherever practical. Construction of additional hostel accommodation to reduce paying guest menace was also suggested.



Panchkula residents fear outbreak of epidemic
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 18
Residents of Sector 23 here fear the outbreak of an epidemic as some private companies and sweetmeat shops are dumping garbage near residential buildings in the area despite a notice board installed by the municipal corporation (MC).

Rakesh Sehgal and Pritpal Singh, residents of Sector 23, said dumping of garbage by some sweetmeat shop owners and industrial units had exposed the residents to diarrhoea and other diseases.

They said it had become difficult for them to live here as thousands of flies entered their houses daily despite door mesh. At least one person in every house in the area was suffering from diarrhoea, they claimed.

Sehgal said recently they had caught the driver of a tractor trolley who was offloading garbage in the area and when they complained to the police, it refused to take action against the offenders.

Residents said the police only seized the tractor trolley, but after local MLA DK Bansal informed the higher police authorities in this regard.

Thereafter two tippers appeared the same night at spot and offloaded industrial waste and when the police was informed, it refused to take action, saying it would act only on the complaint of the MC authorities.

He said the executive officer of the MC had also written to the police authorities to take action against the violators if the residents complained about it.

He said that though the state pollution control board had not issued an NOC to the MC for dumping garbage in the sector, garbage from the whole town was being dumped at the site.

Residents demanded that dumping sites be immediately shifted to some other place. The planning department had earmarked the sites, where garbage was being dumped, for a hospital, a school and a community centre, they claimed.

Despite repeated attempts, MC executive officer KK Jain could not be contacted on his cell phone to elicit his comments over the issue.

Pritpal said about nine families had shifted here after constructing houses on plots allotted by the Haryana Urban Development Authority, but the administration had failed to provide security to them.

He alleged that some persons, along with girls, visited isolated areas during late evenings and indulged in illegal activities. He claimed that these persons not only consumed liquor, but also played music on high volume.



Govt releases Rs 25.6 cr for new district complex

Mohali, July 18
The Punjab government has released a sum of Rs 25.63 crore for acquiring land for the proposed Mohali district administrative-cum-judicial complex (DAJC) and for constructing the Kharar subdivisional magistrate’s office.

In a recent communiqué to the district administration, the state finance department, while releasing the money for the DAJC, has asked the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board to transfer the funds to the government treasury. The funds are to be used to acquire 14 acres of land in Sector 76 here.

Confirming the development, administration officials said the funds would be given to the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) as 50 per cent of the cost of acquiring land, whose price is estimated at Rs 9,200 per square yard.

Against the earlier allotment rate of Rs 7,500 per square yard, the authority had revised the land prices for government institutions to about Rs 9,200 per square yard, up by 20 per cent. GMADA officials believe that going by the tentative area of 14 acres required for the project, the cost of land comes to about Rs 60 crore. “Despite half of the amount needed to acquire land being released, it might take another year or more before work on the project commences”, said an official.

Irritated over the government’s delay in releasing the funds, residents were suffering due to the inadequate space from where the district administrative complex and district courts were functioning. While the funds for the former were to be released by the finance department, those for the judicial complex had to come from the home department. — TNS



Seminar on direct tax code held
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18
While the Central government is preparing to implement the new Direct Tax Code replacing the 50-year-old Income Tax Act, it is expected that the outcomes would result in putting a cap on the number of SEZs being set up in different parts of the country. This was stated by Girish Ahuja, a renowned author on direct taxes, here today.

Ahuja was speaking at a seminar on Direct Tax Code organised by the Chandigarh Chapter of the Institute of Cost and Works of India (ICWAI).

He said the code, released for public discussion last month, has proposed to do away with the tax concessions for units that would not be operational in the SEZs by the time the code is implemented.

However, experts have suggested to the government that such concessions remain available to SEZs where the work on setting up the infrastructure had already been started.

There are about 250 such SEZs in the country, he added.

The code is silent on new units to be set up in SEZs after it is implemented.

In case there was any fear of withdrawal of incentives to such SEZs, no one would set up industrial units there rendering them useless, he added.

Following the discussion on the revised draft code, the government will bring in a new I-T legislation wherein the new tax structure is expected to be less complicated, he said.

Meanwhile, GN Venkataraman, president, ICWAI, also addressed the students of the Chandigarh-Panchkula Chapter of the ICWAI. He also answered queries raised by the students.

Central Council member Balwinder Singh spoke on international financial reporting system that is likely to be implemented in a phased manner from April 2011.



Couple seeks security from parents
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 18
A couple of Chhat village here was forced to stay away from their own village as the girl’s family did not agree to the marriage and allegedly threatened to kill them. Sakinder Singh (27) and Navjeet Kaur (24), both residents of Chhat village, got married on January 1.

Both the families were against the marriage as the two belonged to different castes. Though the groom’s family accepted the bride Navjeet after the marriage, Navjeet’s family never accepted Sakinder who was comparatively poorer than them.

The couple is now living in a rented accommodation at Baltana, Zirakpur. They had also urged to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to help them and the court had ordered the Mohali police to provide them security.

The SHO, Zirakpur, told The Tribune that a complaint was lodged by the couple today after which they had called both the families who were asked to make a compromise till tomorrow. The security of the couple on the other hand had been assured, added the SHO.



Open House Response
No democracy survives without public opinion

I fully support the suggestion that ‘PU's hurried decision on Senate needs a re-look’ published in the Open House columns of Chandigarh Tribune, recently, by Sanjeev Singh Bariana. We owe it to history as well as to our future generations who will be beneficiaries or victims of our decisions to explain the logic behind the decisions we take.

In fact, neither democracy nor civilisation can survive without the support of enlightened public opinion which can be build only by exposure to new ideas. This is why CEM Joad, a celebrated writer, in his essay ‘On Civilisation’ opined that democracy was best suited for development of civilisation. It is unfortunate that the PU Senate, an assembly of elderly wise people, has deprived the academia and students the benefit of their learnt views and opinions.

Moreover, the Senate is the highest law making body of the university. It is expected to take decisions after thorough deliberation and application of mind. It does not behove the Senate to take such an important decision in a clandestine manner.

In the mean time, this august law making body have violated Regulation 3.2 and Regulation 21 of Chapter IIA of University Calendar Vol.-I. I have had the privilege of serving on the university Senate for approximately three decades. It was always a pleasure and privilege to quote from the proceedings of the past meetings of the Senate. Over to the new generation!

Tarsem Bahia
Former fellow/Syndic Panjab University

PU decision unwarranted

The sudden decision taken by the university that in the proceedings of the Syndicate and Senate, only resolved part will be included, is not only against the well-established convention, but is an unwarranted and against the democratic norms.

Even in Parliament , every word of the members participating in the discussion is recorded in a transparent way and circulated for action to the department concerned.

This decision has rightly been opposed by a section of Senators on the ground that the move was a clear indicator to scuttle their democratic rights. If they do not come forward and express their views, it will certainly dilute the brand value and lower the education standards. I fully agree with the writer in the concluding para that “the university being an academic institution is all the more obligatory that it publicises its debates and discussions with conviction and courage.

SK Khosla

Respect dissenting views

The decision to change, drastically, the established modus operandi in recording the minutes/proceedings of the Senate and Syndicate is indeed hair-raising. It is a matter of great concern to all those who are related to PU. This also raises a pertinent question as to what was so pressing and urgent that all norms and PU calendar provisions were thrown to the winds to destroy a practice which had been going on for more than a century.

If at all some problems ever arose, in earlier regimes, with regard to the manner of listing senate items or in recording the proceedings, those were tackled and resolved in a more balanced, wiser and a graceful way by adopting the on-going well-set healthy conventions. This judicious approach may even now yield still better results, if the authorities at the helm show and hold respect for the dissenting views, rather than taking this as an act of opposition. We must not forget what Bertrand Russel has said “Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken”.

Besides, the decision under reference is sick and amusing on various counts. The plea for taking the decision that certain speakers make populist statements to be recorded in their names only to send message scribed on paper of proceedings to their respective constituencies does not hold ground for a house such as the Senate which comprises elected members and nominated as well.

Prof(retd) IM Joshi,
Former fellow and Syndic, Panjab University

Improve recording instead of deleting

While recording the proceedings of deliberations of Senate and Syndicate meetings, if important details are not divulged and only resolved part is included, the rationale behind the decision(s) will remain illusive.

However, there is definitely a need to curtail the details of the discussions. The principle of precision must be followed. Brevity is surely the soul of wit. It is a matter of common knowledge that many a times, members of the Senate/Syndicate, just to exhibit their rhetorical skills, stretch the point too far and start delivering lengthy speeches. While recording their views, logic should be given precedence over the art of rhetoric.

Instead of, altogether, deleting the content of important debates and discussions, the art of recording the proceedings should be applied by the university.

Dr NP Manocha,

Beware “phoney” crusade to “demonise” PU

The simplest thing in the world is to feign a high moral ground on an issue and “pronounce” one's judgement well before one even begins to critically examine the issue at hand. Suspicious and wary of the postures of “preachy” rhetorics and “phoney” crusade-for-democracy, orchestrated to “demonise” Panjab University, my alma mater , that has, no doubt, scaled new heights of excellence in scientific research and attained commendable progress in transparency and accountability in university governance under the charismatic leadership of Professor RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, offer you certain points on the issue.

Only those who are either obsessed with “the egotistical sublime” or “the narcissus complex” will clamour for recording all the syllables, solecisms and solipsisms that they regurgitate while supposedly haranguing on the university affairs endlessly and aimlessly. In my opinion, in order to follow the democratic procedure in letter and spirit, the PU administration should make the necessary arrangements for the “live” in-campus telecast of the proceedings of Senate/Syndicate through the LCD's installed at various places in PU.

Students, self-styled peddlers of democratic procedures, and public at large will then see how frequently leaders indulge in shouting/ abusing/rebuking others needlessly-wasting the precious time and resources of the university in the worst possible manner. The video-recordings of all meetings of PU Senate and Syndicate will also help the university authorities to know and let others know how democratically(?) the decisions are taken/not taken.

By deciding to record only the “decisions” or “resolutions” in the proceedings of PU Senate/Syndicate, the PU management has only shown its administrative prudence-which prefers “democracy-in-practice” through the implementation of its student-teacher-centric decisions taken on the floor of Senate/Syndicate to “democracy-in-decibels”- that adds to noise-pollution, mudslinging and “playing-to-the gallery-tactics” only.

Why don’t the Senators, who advocate that all their prophetic utterances be recorded in the house, follow the democratic code of conduct in the house? After all, it is through their active participation in the discussions that the decisions are taken. If Panjab University can afford to keep an army of “recording scribes/staff” in these times of resource-crunch and waste months in merely preparing the final “script”of the recorded voices, rather than focus on the immediate implementation of “the decisions taken”, it should continue with the old-practice of “recording all kinds of discussions taking place in the house.”

Dr Ravi Saxena,
Assistant professor of political science Nirma University of Science & Technology Gandhinagar (Gujarat).



Reporters' Diary
Stray cattle menace continues

The menace of stray cattle on the periphery of the city, especially on the Chandigarh-Ambala national highway, is contributing to road accidents. As many as three such mishaps were reported only this week, when drivers lost control over their vehicles, causing injuries to both passengers as well as cattle straying on the highway.

The movement of animals even during night hours also leads to blocking of the highway, that witnesses a heavy rush of vehicular traffic round the clock. A traffic police official said such accidents were mainly noticed near Hallo Majra village, located on the highway.

“Most villagers owning buffaloes, cows and goats leave those to graze in the open along the highway, without realising that the menace was a major cause of mishaps on this busy road,” he said.

He recalled a number of instances when high-speed vehicles turned turtle while trying to save the animals. Joga Singh, a resident of the village, said instances of injuries to cattle were being reported everyday, with drivers later speeding away without caring for the animals.

Meanwhile, an official of the municipal corporation said, “We are helpless as dairy owners are not assisting us in tackling the stray cattle problem.”

Sec 49 or 51?

When it comes to misinformation, nobody can match the Chandigarh police. A case in point is the signboard of the Sector 49 police post. Interestingly, the signboard points towards Sector 51
(see photo).

In fact, it is double trouble for residents of cooperative group housing societies from Sectors 48 to 51. While there is only one police post for the whole area, it is situated at a an obscure place. Being a crime-prone area, a sense of insecurity is natural to set in among the residents.

The setting up of new police stations, which was decided in principle by the Chandigarh administration recently, could perhaps instil a sense of security among the residents. The administration would have to be extra careful about the location of the signboards!

What English!

The relentless effort of student organisations of Panjab University to draft impeccable press notes in hilarious styles deserves mention.

A student organisation issued a press note the other day, stating that ‘miss management’ of Panjab University authorities was ‘increasing’ with each passing day and hence leading to ‘utter sheer problem’.

Not only this, student leaders have resorted to issuing strange press notes, claiming fictitious things. A press note about increased tuition fee in all courses on the campus gave the authorities a harrowing time.

Going abroad

Surinder Singh Maken, director, Goethe-Zentrum Max Mueller Bhavan, Chandigarh, has been invited to attend the seminar ‘Art and Culture in Vienna, Austria, and Leipzig, Germany’. Participants from 21 countries will attend the seminar.

Lady’s love

Suits continue to be a woman’s first love and women engaged in anti-social activities are no exception. This came to the fore during the recent robbery at one of the houses at Sector 10 of Panchkula.

One of the accomplices of the dacoits asked another not to throw unstitched suits as she would take those with her. She kept rummaging through the clothes being thrown out of the almirahs.

Contributed by Anil Jerath, Pradeep Sharma, Neha Miglani, Ramanjit Singh Sidhu and Sanjay Bumbroo



Student bodies’ new poll mantra
Lure voters by offering free accommodation

Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Latest gimmick of student leaders

Meritorious and poor students, who are waiting for their turn for admission in PU hostels and cannot afford the expensive paying guests accommodations, are now being provided free accommodation by student leaders

Chandigarh, July 18
Offering free accommodations to meritorious and poor students is the latest gimmick adopted by Panjab University student organisations to lure students two months before the student council elections.

The students who cannot afford to pay the annual rent for paying guests’ accommodations in one go, are now being provided shelter by volunteers of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Most of these students, mainly boys, are in the waiting list of the Panjab University hostels and have been directed to wait till August for the allocation of rooms.

The ABVP volunteers offer them temporary shelter and in some “deserving cases” even for months in the rooms that they have hired for the party activities in Sector 15.

“On an average, we have three to four such students putting up at our party office in Sector 15. All these students cannot afford independent rooms since the rents have gone up considerably,” said Dinesh, ABVP organising secretary.

The ABVP candidates have now hired two rooms in Sector 15-B for accommodating these students. They claim that since the rental value for each room in the sector has increased from Rs 3,500 on an average to Rs 5,000 this session, the poor students find it difficult to find suitable rooms. “From Rs 3,500, the average rent of a reasonably good room shot up to Rs 4,500 and now from the current academic session, when the students hunt for the best located rooms, none is available for less than Rs 5,000. In such a situation, we let the students stay with us till they make their own arrangements or get admission in the PU hostels after waiting for a few months,” added Dinesh.



KU committee inspects infrastructure at college
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 18
There seems to be a ray of hope for rural students in the district, as a two-member team from the department of law, Kurukshetra University (KU), yesterday visited Government College, Sector 1, Panchkula, to inspect the infrastructure at the college.

Dr VK Razdan and Dr RP Sharma visited the college to assess the feasibility for grant of provisional affiliation to run a three-year LLB course from next academic session as per norms laid by the Bar Council of India (BCI). After the inspection, the committee would submit its report to the university after which the same would be sent to the BCI. Earlier, the assistant registrar of KU in a communiqué to the college, a copy of which is with The Tribune, had stated that the Vice-Chancellor had constituted a two-member committee.

HPCC former secretary VK Bansal while talking to The Tribune said he had taken up the issue of introducing a law course in the college with former education minister Mange Ram Gupta in May, 2008. Later, the Commissioner, higher education, had asked the college principal to seek the BCI’s approval in this regard.

The department of higher education had asked the college management to seek the BCI’s approval to start a new course. The Bar Council, however, in its reply to the college stated that application of approval of affiliation could be entertained only after it would be routed through the registrar of the affiliating university. When the college authorities approached the university for giving its approval, the latter denied the same, stating that the affiliation could not be granted to the college, as the Bar Council had refused to give its affiliation to colleges.

Principal RC Goel said the inspection team would submit a report to the university authorities within two weeks. He said he was hopeful of getting approval for starting the course.



Applications of 3D imaging discussed

Chandigarh, July 18
A two-day symposium on “Image processing, analysis and clinical applications” concluded yesterday at University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Panjab University.

“Hemmed in from all sides and in all possible modes of modern life, construction, reconstruction and communication of images and manufacturing and processing of images are of great importance in the field of biomedical engineering, tele-diagnostics, computer-aided diagnosis systems and computed tomography (CT) imaging,” said RC Sobti while addressing a gathering.

Sobti highlighted that in the medical field, the images, especially digital images were produced in ever-increasing quantities and used for diagnostics and therapy. The medical imaging has become a vital part in early detection, diagnosis and treatment of various diseases with the help of numerous imaging modalities like CT, MRI and PET. The precise knowledge of technical aspects of 2D and 3D image processing is mandatory for physician.

Renu Vig, director, UIET, introduced the clinical applications of image processing. UIET ex-director BS Sohi was also present. He appreciated successful launch of video conferencing set up at UIET. There was live interaction between participants from SSGPU regional centre, Hoshiarpur, and UIET. Around 50 participants from various eminent institutes attended the symposium.

The theme of the symposium was to encourage the researchers to contribute in this area and explore the field of biomedical engineering. Dr Vinod Kumar, professor and head, department of electrical engineering, IIT, Roorkee, delivered an expert lecture on “ECG signal processing” and shared his research work with the participants. He demonstrated the signal processing tools developed at IIT, Roorkee with live data. Dr Khadelwal from PGIMER, Chandigarh, delivered an interesting talk on 3D imaging. He discussed various applications of 3D imaging in ultra sonography, virtual colonoscopy study, MRI, etc. — TNS



Prodigies show music skills
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 18
Young prodigies from tricity schools attempted to bring alive the serenity of Hindustani classical music, romance of ghazal and earthen flavour of folklore in a musical contest held under the aegis of the Mount Carmel School, Sector 47.

The contest, titled ‘Swar Udgam’, an annual feature of the school, is aimed to create awareness and motivation among students so that they come forward to preserve and propagate the rich cultural heritage, opined principal Charles Samuel and Annie Charles.

The students participated in different age groups. The programme started with a welcome speech by Mansimar Kaur, a student of class IX.

The students of participating schools presented their items based on common ‘raagas’ Yaman, Shudh Sarang, Bhopali, Bhairav and Madhuvanti.

The panel of judges included principal Sunita Nain, Somesh, Dr Nisha Pandiya and Narinder Singh. The host school did not take part in the competition as a matter of policy.

Prizes to the winning schools were given by the chief guest. Dr DS Gupt, vice-chairman of the CSA, was the guest of honour.

Mementos were presented to the chief guest and judges by Annie Charles, vice-principal of the school. She lamented the low participation in such competitions.



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