C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT ‘pandered’ to Nirvikar with phone
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
In a new turn to the ongoing controversy over the tenure of Maj Nirvikar Singh, ex-ADC to former Punjab governor & UT administrator Gen SF Rodrigues, questions are now being raised over a telephone connection issued to him by the UT administration’s engineering department.

At the time the department had submitted that “since Maj Nirvikar, ADC to the Punjab governor and UT administrator, looks after the administration’s development projects, he is required to be often contacted by senior administration officials. As most of the time he is with the governor he is not available on the line telephone. Due to this reason urgent work sometimes gets delayed”.

Conceding the procedural loophole in providing him a phone out of administration funds, a senior official said: “Nirvikar was ADC to the Punjab governor and not to the UT administrator. The latter was not an independent post till the governor was given this additional charge in the wake of terrorism in Punjab during the mid-1980s. The ADC to the Punjab governor is not entitled to any property out of administration funds”.

The administration had in fact set up a “high powered committee” under the chairmanship of the adviser to the administrator to provide Nirvekar with a mobile phone. The panel members included the home and finance secretaries, the deputy commissioner and the joint home secretary. The ADC was later given a Motorola handset.

The issue is just one among the long list of “official gratifications” provided to Nirvekar during his tenure.

The ADC was also said to be “interfering” with the administration’s daily functioning beyond his official limit. There is documentary evidence of Nirvekar communicating with various departments including the Chandigarh Housing Board that which were not within his administrative purview.

He is even reported to have written to the home secretary on December 15, 2006 asking for a “database of all development projects” within ten days.

“We’ll have to look into our records to authenticate the facts before initiating any action in this regard. The action to be taken may involve recovery of the money spent on Nirvekar’s telephone bills”, the official stated.



CCTV footage bares GMSH’s apathy
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The CCTV footage captured at the the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, has thwarted the hospital authorities’ move to steer clear of the responsibility for the death of a newborn, following delivery at the OPD counter.

The footage was released by GMSH medical superintendent Dr Rajiv Vadhera during a press conference here today.

The authorities had so far been claiming that the baby was stillborn and there was no possibility that the woman had been asked by the staff at the labour room to complete paperwork before admission.

CCTV footage showed just the opposite, with Bulbul being forced to move from one room to another in labour pain, taking the support of her husband Chhotu for at least 24 minutes before the baby was delivered at the counter of the OPD.

None of the staff members, including doctors, nurses, counter clerks, laboratory technicians or security personnel, bothered to offer a stretcher or wheelchair to the illiterate couple, who were new to the city hospital.

According to the footage, Bulbul and her husband reached the inquiry counter of the gynecology department at 10.34 am from where they went towards the labour room. The reappeared at the OPD counter after 15 minutes at 10.49 am.

As there was no CCTV near the labour room, it could not be ascertained who directed them to go back to the OPD and complete the paperwork before admission.

The footage, however, confirmed that Bulbul had gone towards the doctor’s room twice and was prescribed blood test. She delivered the baby when a laboratory technician was taking her blood sample. The authorities, however, parried the questions of media over the name of doctors who had examined Bulbul.

Four doctors were on duty at that time in the department, confirmed Dr Vadhera. “Everything is being inquired into and necessary steps will be taken so that no such incident takes place in the future,” he added.

A team of four doctors — Dr Ashok Saini, Dr Sarabjit, Dr Balraj, all of the GMSH, and forensic expert from the GMCH Dr Balraj — has been constituted to find out the medical reasons that led to the death of the newborn, added Dr Vadhera. In addition to it, Dr Raman Nijhawan, in charge SMO, radiology, will inquire into the negligence, if any, on part of the hospital staff, he said.


10:34:45 am Couple arrive at inquiry counter

10:49:10 Appear at OPD counter

10:49:58 Leave for physical examination by doctor

10:51:30 Go to the lab adjoining OPD counter

10:55:40 Again go to doctors’ room

10:56:43 Return for blood test at lab near OPD counter

10:58:05 Baby delivered as technician takes blood sample

Haemoglobin level low

Gynaecology department head Dr Veena Sarna said the haemoglobin of Bulbul was just four when she reached the hospital. “Under such conditions, while the baby is expected to be very weak, it can also result in birth complications for the baby and the mother. A healthy woman should have a haemoglobin of at least 10.

Troublemakers being marked

The police is verifying the antecedents of people who were involved in a ruckus over the death of the newborn at the hospital. A woman found inciting public by alleging that Bulbul had given birth to a baby boy and the hospital staff had swapped him with a baby girl was under the scanner of the police. The DNA of the baby will be matched with that of parents.



2 dead, 17 hurt as Jeep rams into truck
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, July 23
Two persons were killed and 17 others, including five women and two children, seriously injured when the Jeep they were travelling in rammed into a stationary truck on the Chandigarh-Ambala Highway, near Singhpura village, here this morning.

The deceased were identified as Sher Singh and his brother Parkash Singh, both residents of Muradabad (UP).

The injured — Raj Vati (32), Lalu Singh (28), Poonam (19), Monika (2), daughter of Lalu Singh, Rajesh Prasad (21), Akash (20), Naresh (30), Ranjeet Singh (31), Uday (25), Avinash, Dinesh, Guddu (13), Pinki (30), Sudha (30), Babita (25), Jeep driver Amit and conductor Avinash, both residents of Ambala — were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

Later, one of the injured, Raj Vati, was referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, as her condition was said to be critical.

The victims, all residents of Muradabad, UP, had hired the Jeep from the Ambala railway station to reach Chandigarh, where they had been called for work.

With 22 persons, including the driver and the conductor on board, the Jeep was carrying passengers way beyond its capacity.

The investigating officer stated that the accident took place around 6.30 am, when the Jeep was on its way to Chandigarh. As it reached near the Singhpura turn, the driver lost control of the vehicle, as a result of which it rammed into the truck parked along the highway.

Residents and a highway patrol team took the victims to the Civil Hospital where doctors declared two of them brought dead.

The front portion of the Jeep was badly damaged in the accident. One of the injured stated that the deceased were sitting in the front seat with the driver.

The truck driver fled the scene, leaving his vehicle behind.

The investigating officer stated that the vehicle had been impounded and a case registered against the truck driver.

The mishap has once again brought to the fore the failure the authorities concerned to make the stretch safer, even as the number of road accidents have been on the rise.

Overladen trucks parked along the highway pose a serious threat to the lives of thousands of commuters.

Accident Hot Spots

Sales tax barrier at Zirakpur’s entrance; takeoff point of Zirakpur flyover; Singhpura turn; link road to Chatt village; Nabha Sahib gurdwara point; and Chhat village bus stand on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway.

The Deadly Turn

In the past seven months, over 10 accidents, including minor ones, have been reported at the Singhpura turn. At least four persons have lost their life in accidents so far.



Naunihal new UT SSP?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The administration has recommended the name of Sangrur SSP Naunihal Singh for the post UT SSP out of a panel of three police officers sent by the Punjab Government.

The other officers in the panel are RK Jaiswal, AIG (Intelligence), and Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, Commandant of the 82 Battalion of the Punjab Armed Police. The term of incumbent SS Srivastava ends on September 10.



Banks penalised for freezing accounts

Chandigarh, July 23
The district consumer disputes redressal forum has directed HDFC Bank in Mumbai, the manager of the bank’s branch in Sector 35, Chandigarh, and a manager of ICICI Bank to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 for debarring a customer from accessing his accounts against which a complaint of fraud was pending. The forum, headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal, held: “It is high handedness on the part of the banks if they have taken ten months to dispose of such a simple complaint and keep a hold on the funds deposited in the complainant’s accounts with the banks”.

In his complaint Arshdeep Singh stated he maintained accounts with both HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank. He said when he went to the banks’ ATMs in Noida on October 30, 2009 and tried to withdraw funds from his account the machines displayed the message that services on his accounts were not available.

Arshdeep said he then called up the banks’ helpline numbers and later visited the HDFC Bank’s Sector 35 branch in Chandigarh where he had maintained his account. He said the bank manager told him “no debit” had been marked against his account due to an “unauthorized” credit of Rs 33,000 in his account credited by a debtor, Amit Mahajan, through Internet banking.

Arshdeep received a letter on Nov 4, 2009 from HDFC Bank wherein it was mentioned Mahajan had disputed the debit transaction of Rs 33,000 in his account. Mahajan had further requested to reverse the credit by debiting the said funds from the account of the complainant. In the said letter the complainant was asked to provide documentary evidence to support he had transferred the said funds in Mahajan’s account.

Arshdeep stated he then duly produced his ICICI Bank account statement to show he had indeed transferred Rs 20,000 on August 16, 2009 and another amount of Rs 20,000 on August 23, 2009 through Net banking in Mahajan’s name. The complainant alleged the bank refused to listen to him even after providing this evidence and froze his account.

In its reply the banks stated they had received intimation from Mahajan that amount form his account had been illegally transferred by through Internet banking. Therefore, they had stopped payment in the complainant’s account in which the amount had been transferred, the banks said.

Pronouncing the orders the forum observed: “The banks could have taken reasonable time before stopping payment of the disputed amount, giving Amit Mahajan an opportunity to approach the appropriate authorities for action under civil or criminal law. However, they instead enjoined upon themselves to hold an investigation into a criminal offence and punished the complainant by withholding his funds even before he was pronounced guilty.” — TNS



No takers for rural schools
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
With the UT education department declaring its second merit list for class XI admissions, the dismal state of affairs in rural schools has yet again come to the fore. Despite the department conducting a second counselling session to fill up the large number of vacant seats in these schools, the latter have failed to find any candidates with many of them ending up with just one candidate each.

Interestingly, the two or three candidates who came in the first counselling also opted out and over 200 seats were reported vacant in these schools. The education department ascribed rural residents’ attraction to city schools as the key reason behind this situation. It then decided to conduct a second round of counseling, which has also apparently failed to improve the number of admissions. What can be done about it? The students don’t want to go to these schools and thus haven’t opted for them in their preference lists”, said district education officer Chanchal Singh. School officials however blame poor infrastructure as the principal reason for lack of interest. One of the principals said: “We don’t have streams like science and commerce. We don’t have proper classrooms, drinking water and benches and struggle with a staff crunch. The education department has always been indifferent to us and we are facing this crisis now.”


5 new HCS officers on the way
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Chandigarh administration is set to don a new look with five new HCS officers posted on deputation to the UT while three other officers have been repatriated to their parent state of Haryana.

The shortlisting of the five officers — Tilak Raj, Jagdeep, Mahavir Kaushik, Maheshwar Sharma and Mr Lalit Siwach — will go a long way in reducing the “officer crunch” with the administration.

They will replace Ashwani Kumar, assistant estate officer, Samwartak Singh, director, social welfare, and Bhupinder Singh, joint secretary (home).

Recently, the Haryana Government had sent a panel of 12 officer for deputation in Chandigarh. The sending of the panel was an offshoot of the Haryana Government amending the HCS (Executive Branch) Rules, 2008, with the view to sending more HCS officers to Chandigarh.

Under these new rules, prior consent of HCS officers for deputation to Chandigarh is not required.

The decision was taken following unwillingness expressed by a large number of HCS officers to be deputed to the city, resulting in UT posts in the Haryana quota remaining vacant.

Sources said a number of important public dealing posts have been lying vacant and are, therefore, being held as additional charge by other officials.

The officer crunch reportedly cropped up when former IT and public relations director Vivek Atray went on a sabbatical two years ago.

While Atray’s replacement was yet to arrive, another HCS officer RS Verma, former additional director of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, director of cultural affairs, UT, was sent to his parent state.

In fact, several HCS officers are holding additional charges. Director of industries Dr Vandana Disodia is holding additional charge of both the State Transport Authority and controller of weights and measures.

Another HCS officer Kamlesh Kumar, posted as assistant commissioner in the municipal corporation, is holding additional charge of the director, cultural affairs.



UT empowers MC in a major way
Civic body gets roads, Rose Garden and Leisure Valley
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Over 15 years after the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) came into being, the Chandigarh Administration has empowered the civic body in a major way. The administration has decided transfer of all roads and gardens, including the Rose Garden, the Bougainvillea Garden and the Leisure Valley, to the MCC - meeting a long-standing demand of the elected representatives.

According to sources, Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Shivraj Patil has put his seal of approval on the decision, which will go a long way in clipping the wings of the UT Engineering Department. Besides, the roads (except the two national highway passing through the city) and the gardens, the primary healthcare and primary education in the Union Territory will also come under the jurisdiction of the civic body.

In fact, the new regime at Raj Bhawan, with Shivraj Patil at the helm, seems to have paid rich dividends to the MC. He had recently assured Mayor Anu Chatrath and councillors, when they called on him in this regard.

It was felt that with a fixed deposit of over Rs 500 crore, the cash-rich corporation had to share the financial obligations of the administration, which had to depend on the Centre for grants and sanctioning of posts.

Sources said it took years for the Central agencies to sanction more posts at the requisition of the administration. On the other hand, the MC’s requisition could be processed within a few days, as had recently been done regarding the approval for 24 new SDOs in the corporation, he added.

Elected representatives, including Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and local MP Pawan Bansal, and the Mayor, had repeatedly demanded the strict implementation of the 74th Constitutional Amendment in the city and changes in the Punjab Municipal Act to improve the ability of the MC to discharge duties effectively.

Chatrath expressed gratitude to Patil for his concerted efforts in implementing the 74th Amendment in letter and spirit.

With major development works being transferred to the civic body, a demand for more financial powers to the MC and increased share in certain taxes levied by the administration is gaining ground. However, a section of the officials and councillors are of the view that these functions would come with necessary budgetary allocations.



CHB allows transfer of discretionary quota flats
Decision to affect 3,000 allottees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
In a significant decision, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in its board meeting held today, allowed the transfer of discretionary quota flats. The decision will affect around 3000 such allottees.

The change will allow the original owner of a house under the quota to transfer it after five years of its physical possession. The houses in the discretionary quota fall in the category of those allotted by the UT Administrator to handicapped persons, handicapped in war, war widows, leading personalities in various fields and sportspersons, among others.

It was argued that even if the house was allotted to someone under the discretionary quota, the owner should have independence to decide about its ownership.

The board has also decided that in case of EWS Housing Scheme in Sector 26, those who have filled in more than one application for the allotment of a house, 25 per cent of the earnest money will be forfeited. The same is likely to be extended to other housing schemes. This is being done to discourage filing of more than one application per person.

The board members also decided to re-fix the rates of commercial property. The rates will be reviewed, as in the past there were hardly any takers during the auctions of such properties by the board due to high reserve prices of these properties. For the purpose, the Finance Department will be asked to workout a proposal for the proposed rates.



13 booths sealed, 14 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Officials of the UT Administration today sealed 13 booths in Sector 41, which were illegally occupied, and 14 persons have been arrested in this connection.

The officials, including Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill, Assistant Estate Officer Hargunjit Kaur and SDM (south) Prerna Puri, accompanied by more than 100 policemen reached the spot in the morning. The officials maintained that the arrested persons were illegally occupying the booths, which were not allotted yet. Some of those, who have been arrested already own booths in the same market and illegally occupied the booths next to theirs.

The officials not only sealed all 13 booths occupied but also video graphed every person who was arrested and booked them for trespassing under Section 448 of the IPC.

Sources claimed that the officials knew of the illegal occupation in advance and conducted the whole operation quietly without even letting the junior staff knew about it so that the information about sealing doesn’t reach the occupants in advance.



MC not getting rent from milk booths for 3 decades
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
After about three decades the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has woken up from its slumber and has realised that the milk booths located on their land were not paying any rent to them. A report in this regard is going to be tabled at the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) meeting scheduled for Monday in which the authorities have accepted that no rent is being collected by the department from the milk booths.

According to the report, those milk booths, which are located on the land of the Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh administration in various sectors of the city were not paying any rent to the MC and the administration. The authorities have also mentioned that two different co-operatives Milkfed, Mohali and Vita were charging Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000 respectively as monthly rent from these booths.

Interestingly, the department does not have any data as to how many milk booths are located on the corporation land. Sources said that compliant of subletting of these milk booths were also being received by the authorities.

Acting on these complaints MC Mayor Anu Chatrath instructed the authorities to prepare a detailed report on how many milk booths were on the corporation’s land so that a policy could be framed to fix their rent.

Another report on the revised rent of the commercial booths in villages will also be tabled in the F&CC meeting for its approval. The authorities have proposed increase of rent of these booths by five times in comparison to the existing rent structure. There are 72 commercial booths in Maloya, Khajeri, palsora, Badheri, Butrela and Burial, out of which seven are still vacant.

The authorities have again made a proposal that the night food street should be allotted through bid rather than auction of the kiosks, as this year majority of allotters have not paid their rent on time.



Encroachment Drive in Sector 34
Challaned shopkeepers resume business within hour
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The municipal corporation enforcement department today challaned 13 shopkeepers at the Sector 34 furniture market.

On the complaint of one of the shopkeepers of Sector 34, the MC’s enforcement department carried out an encroachment drive at 4 pm.

The department also impounded two trucks containing clothes and other goods. Following which shopkeepers staged a dharna on a road for almost an hour.

An hour after all shopkeepers, who were challaned by enforcement inspector Kashmiri Singh, could be seen selling goods outside their shops.

Expressing his helplessness, the enforcement inspector said they would carry out another encroachment drive at Sector 34 market tomorrow.

This is not the only incident, where shopkeepers who were challaned by the authorities, had resumed business without even paying any fine to the authorities.

Such incidents have occurred a number of times at Sectors 15, 19 and 22.

According to the existing enforcement law, the inspector can impose a maximum fine of Rs 500 on encroachers and confiscate their articles from the spot. An encroacher can only get his or her goods back after paying the fine.

At a number of house meetings, officers had proposed that the fine on encroachers be increased from Rs 500 to Rs 800 and for recurring encroachers some stringent action should be proposed so that they did not repeat the act in future. A senior official said, “What is the use of conducting special encroachment drives, when most of the encroachers are made to pay a paltry amount and let go with their stuff. Officials alleged that some influential councillors backed violators.



Residents rue poor water supply
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Residents of Raipur Khurd and Makhan Majra villages are reeling under acute water shortage. Though the problem prevails in other villages also, the situation at the above-mentioned villages has turned from bad to worse.

Meanwhile, officials of the UT public health department claim that all efforts are being made to do away with the problem. “It has been four months since we are facing the problem. The situation is worse for those living on first and second floors,” said Vineet Bansal, a resident of Raipur Khurd.

At present, three tubewells are supplying water to residents of these villages. Residents rue that they have to rely on power supply to get water.

“If there are power cuts at the time of water supply, the situation worsens,” said a resident.

“In case of power shutdown, we fail to get even government water supply. Outages in odd hours add to our woes, laments Raj Rani of Makhan Majra village.

Most of the houses have underground tanks, where water is stored before being lifted to first or second floors, while for others who do not have this provision; the problem is acute.

Residents said despite the health department’s orders, some influential persons have illegally installed direct electric motors to the main line.

With taps running dry, residents are left with no option but to knock on the authorities door to urge them to tide over the problem.

Charan Singh, panch of Makhan Majra village, said despite a number of representations to the municipal authorities, nothing needful had been done so far. “We have also urged the UT electricity department to connect these tubewells with electric hotline for uninterrupted water supply to these villages,” he added.



PGI panel approves hike in allowances of faculty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Standing Finance Committee of PGI fulfilling the long-pending demand of the faculty has approved the increase in allowances. The faculty had been resenting over the delay since the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, which was implemented at PGI in March only.

Dr Arvind Rajvanshi, president of faculty association, PGI, said that this was what they were demanding and the academic allowance, research pursuing allowance and learning resource allowance had been increased and these would be at par with what faculty at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, was allowed to get.



150 years of IT Dept
Haryana Guv to release Citizens’ Charter today

Chandigarh, July 23
In order to mark the completion of 150 years of its existence, the Income Tax Department, is to organise a function at Bhargava Auditorium, PGI, here tomorrow.

Jagannath Pahadia, Governor of Haryana, will release the Citizens’ Charter, 2010, incorporating excellent service delivery standards for the benefit of the taxpayers and also honouring the meritorious officers of the department. Eminent taxpayers from the region, associations of chartered accountants’, advocates, Chambers of Commerce and Trade and Industrial Associations will participate. The main function in this regard, however, is being held at Delhi where Union Finance Minister would, interalia, release the Citizens’ Charter, 2010. — TNS



Put up no-smoking boards at public places: SDM
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 23
The Sub-Divisional Magistrate has directed officials concerned to put up no-smoking boards in hotels, government offices, banks, post offices, schools and colleges in order to make Mohali district smoke free.

The directions were given at a meeting held in the office of the SDM, Ravinder Pal Singh, here on Wednesday which was attended among others by District Health Officer Dr SP Surila, BPEO Baljit Singh, Assistant Divisional Fire Officer Shyam Lal and representatives of the municipal council, education department and the police.

The Senior Medical Officer was asked to ensure that no smoking was done in government and private hospitals. Surprise checking would be done after August 31 and action would be taken against the violators.

Walia said no-smoking boards should be put as per the provisions of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003. ‘No smoking’ should be written on the walls of schools and colleges and even boards should be put up at appropriate places.

Nobody should be allowed to sell tobacco products within 100 metres of any educational institution and in case of any violation principals should bring it to the notice of the police.

He said if there was any problem in implementing the law his office should be informed. As per law, tobacco products could not be sold by children below the age of 18 and if this was being done anywhere in the town and surrounding areas, strict action should be taken.

The SDM also directed to check the fire fighting arrangements in hotels falling under the municipal limits.

After receiving a report in this regard, he would also inspect the hotels along with officials concerned.



Maestros felicitated with ‘Kala Vibhuti’ award
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 23
The Chandigarh chapter of national-level leading socio-cultural organisation, “Sanskar Bharti”, engaged in preservation and promotion of Indian performing and visual arts with 1,200 chapters in India organised a special programme to mark the Natraj Poojan Mahotsva and felicitated maestros from respective realms at the Randhawa auditorium here today.

Chapter president, Dr Saubhagya Vardhan Brahspati welcomed the audience and chief guest Raj Dutt, national president of Sanskar Bharti. The programme commenced with the felicitation ceremony. The maestros were honoured with “Chandigarh Kala Vibhuti” award for their contribution in their respective realms of art.

The honoured maestros included Pandit Ganesh Prasad Sharma (vocal music), Dr Virendra Mehndiratta (literature), Jodh Singh (fine art), Shiv Singh (sculpture), Gopal Das Sharma (instrumental music), SD Sharma (art reporting), Kamal Arora (theatre arts), Shobha Koser (classical dance) and Dolly Guleria (folk music).

Later disciples of prominent maestros in performing and visual arts delighted audience in a composite cultural programme to mark the mahotsva. The special programme designed and directed by Chandigarh chapter president Dr Brahspati commenced with the rendition of a “dhayey geet” by his disciples Abhay Bhagat, Neha, Rajnish and Pooja Sharma.

Ambala-based Kumar Gaurav Kohli brought alive the melodic character of raga Shudh Kalyan and a raga mala delineating bandish and sargams in style, while Mehmood Khan won applause for his electrifying solo tabla recital. Sapna Malhotra recited a poem, as Nishi presented a kathak dance.

Anupma Chugh displayed versatility in a solo short play. The audience relished twang, grace and melody of folk songs sung by duo of Kuljit Bakshi and Chitra Bakshi. A souvenir was also released by the chief guest.



Gunshot was fired in ‘self-defence’

Chandigarh, July 23
The police is probing the reason leading to firing of gunshots by a Sector 34 resident on Thursday night.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Inspector Udeypal Singh, said they were probing the fact whether Harnek Singh, a resident of 34, had fired the gunshots in self-defence or there was some other reason. Harnek Singh, in his early 40s, told the investigators that his brother was killed during the days of terrorism in Punjab and was apprehensive about his security.

The SHO said they would verify his claims and also try to identify the youth travelling in a car, who tried to run over Harnek Singh’s pet dog, which led to his firing of shots in the air. Harnek Singh is a lecturer in a government college in Amritsar. — TNS



Mansa Devi board takes over Nepali Baba Dera
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 23
In an interesting turn of events, Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board took over Nepali Baba Dera located near Mansa Devi Temple here today.

Even though the state government had issued notification for the take over of Kali Mata Temple, Kalka; Shiv Temple, Saketri; and Nepali Baba Dera, the board was able to take control of the Nepali Baba Dera only.

The situation remained tense as the administration and police personnel removed various household goods and other articles from the dera and other buildings around it.

Earlier Nepali Baba had resisted the moves made by the administration for removing some alleged encroachments.

A team of officials of the district administration and the police had visited all three spots but the temple management of Shiv Temple informed them that they had a stay granted by the court and could not take over the shrine.

However, the officials of the administration, accompanied by a large posse of policemen, peacefully took over the control of Kali Mata Temple later in the evening today.

The officials locked the main rooms of the temple having the records.

DP Dattana, chief executive officer of the Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board, said funds donated by the devotees in the temple and the dera would be used for the development of the shrines as was being done at the historic Mata Mansa Devi Temple.



Woman dies mysteriously
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 23
Two persons, including a migrant labourer and a newly wed woman, died in separate incidents at Dera Bassi here today.

A police official stated that Geeta (22) died under mysterious circumstances at her accommodation. In his statement to the police, the deceased’s husband Darshan Singh stated that his wife was not feeling well and he took her to the civil hospital where doctors declared her dead on arrival.

The police said the body of the deceased has been kept at the hospital for the postmortem and initiated investigations into the case.

In another incident a 35-year-old migrant labourer, Krishan Kumar, living in a factory at Haitabpur village near Dera Bassi, got electrocuted when he was filling water in the air-cooler.

He was rushed to the civil hospital, Dera Bassi, where doctors declared him dead on arrival. The body of the deceased has been sent for postmortem and an inquest proceeding has been initiated.



MC to outsource water, sewerage billing
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 23
The Zirakpur MC has decided to outsource the work of monthly billing of water supply and sewage connection to private players.

A resolution to this effect was passed at the MC meeting at its office here yesterday.

During the meeting MC president NK Sharma stated that the local government had told the civic body through a letter dated July 6 that the collection of the water supply and sewage billing was being handed over to a private contractor. He said the tender would be called soon.

He added that this would not only help the general public, but would also help the civic body to generate additional revenue.

Sharma said now there was no need of obtaining no objection certificate (NOC) from the MC to get the new electricity connection. The council had accepted this proposal after the local government had asked the municipal councils in the state to implement it.

Sharma also stated that re-carpeting of the roads would be done after the monsoon and till then the potholes would be filled up with pebbles.



Rs 17 crore to be spent on waterworks
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 23
A sum of Rs 17 crore would be spent on waterworks at villages in the current financial year so that clean drinking water could be provided to people living in rural areas, said NK Sharma, chairman, District Planning Board.

Sharma, who presided over a meeting in connection with the planning of Mohali district, said an amount of Rs 7.50 crore was spent on waterworks in rural areas last year. A sum of Rs 9 crore was spent on the development of the district. He released a grant of Rs 7.16 lakh.

He said there were 2,000 beneficiaries under the Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme in the district who would receive a grant of Rs 20 lakh.

Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand directed officials of various departments to submit utilisation certificates at the earliest.



Class XI Admissions
Second counselling over, 2,000 seats still vacant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The UT education department declared Class XI admissions second merit list today, wherein over 2,000 seats are still lying vacant in various schools.

According to officials, though the exact details will only be revealed after a few days, it is the humanities stream, which has failed to attract any takers.

“Its only after students submit their fee that we will be able to elaborate, but not many students have opted for arts. Things are not good in rural schools too and according to the preliminary data available, we still have over 2,000 seats which are lying vacant,” said Chanchal Singh, district education officer.

Ironically, most of the students who have been allocated seats in this counseling are not happy with either their stream or school. Many of them went to GMSSS, Sector 10, to sort out the issue.

“They want what they are not eligible for. A student with low CGPA wants to get into a good school with high CGPA that is not possible. Anyways we have given enough time to the students to cite any discrepancy in their allocation,” added Singh.

Action point for candidates

n Candidates who have already taken admission during the first round of counselling need to take “school leaving certificate” from the existing school and submit the same in the new school where the seat has been allotted (July 24 to July 27 - 8.30 am to 10.30 am).

n New school will adjust the fee paid in the previous school and will charge admission fee, difference of subject fund and refundable security.

n Candidates who have been allotted seat for the first time have to deposit their fee in school where the seat has been allotted from July 24 to July 27 - 8.30 am to 10.30 am.

n Report in the school along with your original documents and spare set copies of certificates for verification (applicable for all candidates).

n In case fee is not deposited on the due date, the allotment of seat will be cancelled.

n Option of school and stream given in the application form cannot be changed before the completion of the second round of counselling.

Waiting list

In case, a candidate could not get a seat in the school/stream of first option, his/her name has been included in the “waiting list” of that school/stream (first option). The number of candidates included in the waiting list does not exceed 5 per cent of the total sanctioned seats of respective school/stream/category. This list is valid up to August 10. In case, the name of the candidate does not figure in the waiting list of the school/stream of the first option, his/her name has been included under the waiting list of the school/stream given under the second option provided he/she has not been allotted the seat of the second option and so on.



Talk on strategic planning and leadership
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
University Business School, Panjab University, held an interactive session today. The session was organised as part of the school’s initiative to make students interact with top CEOs.

P Balakrishnan, CEO, Anglo American Services India Pvt Ltd, delivered a talk on “Strategic Planning and Leadership”.

Anglo American is a UK-based multinational company and is one of the largest mining companies in the world. The lecture was part of a fresh initiative taken by UBS to invite CEOs for sharing their rich experience with students.

With diverse experience spanning over four decades with leading global corporations in the domain of operations, supply chain management and marketing, Balakrishnan stressed upon the role of strategic planning in a highly competitive environment and spoke at length about various strategies to be adopted by organisations in a quest to succeed.

He also revealed the secret behind his success- knowledge, attitude, skills and hard work.

“He delivered a three-hour lecture. Students were apprised about issues like sensitivity, cooperation, respect for others and collaborative effort. He also spoke on the need to have knowledge about business enterprise.

He said the next session with another CEO would be held on July 29.



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