C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT plans big on rainwater harvesting
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Chandigarh Administration has launched an ambitious project to recharge the fast-depleting groundwater level in the city by using rainwater harvesting in order to augment its limited water resources.

The administration has received its copy of the specially commissioned report on water harvesting prepared by the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, on “Capturing Rainwater: A way to augment Chandigarh’s water resources”, which has suggested a project worth Rs 14 crore for all 56 sectors.

The report mentioned that the rainwater harvesting potential of Chandigarh, with an area of 114 sq km and average annual rainfall of 1059.3mm, is 60380.1 million gallons. This is more than the water pumped out of the aquifiers. This meant harvesting and recharging could be very crucial in the sustainability of the water supply.

The project envisages recharge wells as well, as trenches are the best options to fill the falling groundwater level in the city. The recommendation gains importance in the context that a Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) pre-monsoon data for the period 1991-2006 shows that Sector 10 in the North recorded a decline of 16 m and in Sector 31 the fall was 10 m.

The report has specified 55 recharge wells on a typical sector with storm water drain pipes on three sides. A sector with drainage pipes on all four sides will have 70 recharge wells. The number trenches have been specified as 50 and 64 in respective categories.

The report has made a special mention of a neatly laid-out system of underground drainage in the city which can be tapped to capture a major portion of rainwater. The areas marked for rainwater harvesting included: roads and roundabouts; all green belts; institutions including Panjab University and Capitol Complex; commercial areas; schools, colleges, religious places and airport.

In the current scenario, the city gets 182.87 MLD for its domestic use against a demand of 204.28 MLD. The newspapers are flooded with images of residents’ protests for irregular or dirty supply and news about failing water supply to floors beyond the ground floor, during summers. The projected demand and supply(domestic and other purposes) by 2025 is 392 MLD.

It has been sought that the administration needs to introduce short-term measures including administrative, legal and financial besides awareness. Confirming receipt of the report Sanjay Kumar, Finance Secretary, said “I will be able to comment on the issue only after a feedback from the Engineering Department.”



UT almost there on two-kid norm
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The perfect family picture of ‘hum do humare do’, the one-liner family planning advertisement campaign of the 70s, is within the reach of the city as its residents are close to achieving the two children per couple norm.

According to the district family welfare office’s programme implementation plan (2010-11), the city has achieved a total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1, against the national average of 2.7.

Compared to the TFR of the two states of which Chandigarh is the capital, it trails Punjab, which has already achieved the two children per couple norm, but is better off than Haryana, which has a TFR of 2.7.

According to officials of the health department, the TFR is defined as the average number of children per woman and is arrived at from a given sample size in the population.

“If the fertility rate reaches the replacement level (two children per couple), the population growth is likely to stabilise over 40 to 50 years,” they say. According to the data available, while Bimaru states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) still continue to have a TFR of above three, with Bihar having the highest TFR of four, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Himachal Pradesh have figures of less than 2.

Experts attribute the decline of the TFR in the UT and Punjab to the high levels of awareness of family planning among couples and the increased use of methods of contraception.

Experts reveal that for the first time, almost 74.4 per cent of city residents are using some method of contraception. The overall contraceptive prevalence rate is much higher in urban areas (80.5 per cent) than in rural areas (70.3 per cent), as per the 2008-09 data.

According to figures available, Punjab recorded a sale of over 110 million luxury condoms last year. This figure would be higher if one took into account condoms distributed free by NACO and other agencies under government-sponsored schemes.

The two states, as per the 2001 census, have a total population of 24.29 million and 21.19 million, respectively.

As for Haryana, the high rate of TFR indicates that people still are not adopting birth-control measures and the sale of condoms in the state is indicative of it. The state recorded a sale of 58.7 million condoms.

A rise in the average age of marriage is also one of the reasons for the drop in fertility, say experts. The number of married teenaged girls in the UT has decreased from 9.8 per cent in 2006 to 1.3 per cent in 2009.

The experts say the declining fertility is a sign of development as it indicates that citizens have better access to healthcare facilities, with high awareness levels, and are utilising family planning programmes effectively.



With little time, school board working overtime
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 25
Known for their laid-back attitude, hundreds of employees of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) are now suddenly struggling to meet the September deadline for the first phase of examination being conducted through the semester system by the board for the matric and senior secondary level classes.

Left with very little time, the Board authorities have pressed the panic button by ordering a seven working week for the employees of the concerned education board branches - examination, conduct and secrecy. Even on weekdays, the employees have been asked to work upto 8.30 pm so that deadlines are met. As an incentive, the employees will be entitled to overtime daily.

Board officials disclosed that around 7,00,000 students, both in matric and the senior secondary classes, appear in the board exam every year. The examination-related work that the employees used to complete in six months would now have to be completed in less than two months. Since the examination was being conducted through the semester system, the employees would have to work twice in a year though the work would be comparatively less in the second phase of the semester.

In the past, a number of employees of the board due to their laid-back attitude used to leave the office much before the closing time. At times, the Board authorities had to lock the entry gate during the working hours so that the habit of the employees could be checked.

Now, since the things were running behind schedule, the Board authorities have used their strong arm to extract work out of the employees. About 500 employees in the examination, conduct, secrecy and other related branches were covered under the orders of the Board authorities. “As per the earlier practise, an assistant and a clerk were given 3,500 forms to deal with. But now, an assistant and two clerks have been given 5,000 forms to deal with. The only difference is that there is too little time. The last date to accept the forms had been extended till July 14 ”, pointed out a board official.



Rape victim’s child labelled ‘case property’ by police
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
In a typical case of insensitivity towards the year-and-a-half-old girlchild of a rape victim, the Chandigarh Police has labelled the child as a “case property” while arguing the rape victim’s case in a local court.

The prosecution termed the child as a “case property” and claimed that she could not be adopted until she turned 18.

The child was handed to a state authorised shelter home in the city after her mother gave the child’s custody to the home. After giving birth to Simran (name changed) on October 24, 2007, at the GMSH, Sector 16, the newborn’s mother signed a relinquishment deed with the shelter home in respect of the said child on October 27, 2007.

Subsequently, a rape case was slapped on the accused under Sections 376 (rape), 420 (cheating) of the IPC on September 25, 2007. The state restrained the shelter home from handing over Simran to anyone till the rape case was pending.

Thus, the prosecution disapproved adoption of the child, as the DNA of Vicky, who has been declared a proclaimed offender in the case on December 12, 2007, was yet to be matched with that of the child. The prosecution termed the child as a “case property” and claimed that she cannot be given for adoption till she turns 18.

Simran’s mother landed at the shelter home in September, 2007, when she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy as she was not able to cope with the social stigma.

She alleged that a youth identified as Vicky had promised marrying her and developed physical relations with her. But when the victim conceived, he refused to marry her, following which she came to the shelter home.

The state has already taken the DNA sample of the new born. However, Vicky managed to flee and the DNA profile of Simran could not be matched with the accused. The shelter home was keen on giving the child for adoption in her welfare.

Arguing the case, counsel for the shelter home said, “In the guise of technicalities, the future of the child cannot be put to stake. The child cannot be termed as a ‘case property’ by any chance. It is in violation of child rights. The child has the right to lead a normal life and to be adopted by a family.”

The orders on granting the permission for adopting the child are to be pronounced by the court.


Open House Response
Recorded deliberations also for posterity

Senate of PU is best represents the opinion of the audience(teachers), it represents, which is among very rare bodies among all the Indian universities. Senate of PU has the privilege to have eminent personalities both from academics and non-academic sides. It has taken historical decisions. Some of these decisions have set a precedents for other universities of India and abroad. Students studied at PU have contributed to the world. Deliberation of senate has significantly contributed to the growth of these students and PU.

PU senate is a rare democratic forum; while in the neighboring universities are having dummy decision making bodies. Where only decisions are recorded, Deliberation in their senate and syndicate is a formality and all the power is centralized. Such decision making bodies are not capable to take decision and contribute nil to the growth.

On the contrary, there are healthy discussions on issues in our senate. Several times senate has taken up major academic issue. Eminent personalities feel proud to become a member of the senate because of its democratic character. People feel enthusiastic to attend senate meeting. They do through preparations. It has enabled the senate to check injustices. Recorded deliberations are also for posterity.

One does not want to know the decision but the details of the decision. Calendar also wants senate to be a speaking body with deliberations. Recording of the minutes have its impact on the efficiency.

Senate proceedings should be a part of the website so that debate on various issues on education are left not only to the senate but are also made a wider debate through public participation. These are discussion which must be well deliberated so that lasting decision are taken by the university is to deal with the career of the students.

P P Arya, Former Senate and Syndicate member of PU

Concealing facts legally unwise

Maintaining two sets of records for recording debates, objections submitted is highly unwarranted. In public institutions, democratic nations already well considered methods of recording the proceedings are laid. The example of parliament and state assemblies are pertinently quoted by Sanjeev Singh Bariana and the University should also adhere to such principles, rather than allow confusion to creep in.

Demand of a senior fellows and university teachers that the proceedings of the house need to be well documented is highly justified. The proceedings, infact, need to be video-graphed as is being done in case of all leading institutions, in the country and even abroad. The relevance becomes more pronounced in view of the fact all public authorities are now covered under the Right to Information Act, 2005. Any attempt delay passing on the information amounted to concealing facts. Concealing facts involved legal complications.

Satish Chandra Sharma,General secretary, Chandigarh Social Welfare Council.

PU decision needs a review

In every democracy people are represented by their elected representatives in the constituency to debate issues concerning their problems. Amendments/reforms crop up on the basis of discussions which take place on the floor of the house considering the objectives of the institution and within the ambit of the constitution of the institution or the government.

People expect to know the wisdom of their representative in the house by going through the proceedings recorded in the house during deliberations. Further courts are also helped to decide litigations which are determined after thoughtful arguments in a statuary body. The decision of the Panjab University senate to stop recording of the proceedings and only to record resolved part is against the ethics of the democracy and objectives of the perhaps only democratized University of India.

With this decision the electorates of this constituency will be left without a gaze for future senate elections in re-electing / sending their articulate representatives in PU senate.

I urge upon the PU Senate to review its decision to restore the true democratic procedures.

Dr J S Gill

PU decision unusual

I had the honour of writing the minutes book of the Board Meetings of our office for over 10 years. I have retired from the PSIEC). I never encountered with such a decision of not writing the discussions of the meeting. Each and every point of discussion has to be recorded minutely which included ‘Who said what, who favoured whom and who spoke against the agenda item’. All aspects of the discussions in arriving at a resolution are recorded.

Omitting the recording of details of discussion held at arriving a decision is against the very spirit of the Constitution. Such a practice only conveys the "doubtful intentions" of the authorities concerned. As far as the general circulation of the proceedings of the meeting is concerned, the details of discussion on the agenda item can be deleted and only the 'resolved" part or the resolution passed can be circulated.

The details of the minutes of meeting are kept in the safe custody of the department concerned. These can be seen by the affected party with the permission of the authorities. But not writing or recording the details of the discussions, is certainly an unusual order.

Those who unnecessarily interfere in discussions with their invalid points or irrelevant views should be ignored, as they only want their names to be recorded in the minute books and nothing else. But, the procedure of recording of the details of debates should not be done away with. Because, as the writer of the article , Sanjeev Singh Bariana, rightly says: "Our future generations might at some point of time like to examine the logic why certain decision was taken". Certainly, the agenda should first be passed by the Syndicate (Upper House) of the Panjab University and then by the Senate (Lower and Powerful House). Surely, the PU needs to "re-look" at its decision.

R K Kapoor, Chandigarh

Decision will reflect our times

I was amazed at reading the article in the Chandigarh Tribune, recently, about the university deleting all the argument about decisions in the august house. As a student of Political Science, I am surprised at the fact how PU could have taken such a decision. As a seat of learning where arguments, debates, discussions, reasoning and difference of opinion are a part of the institution’s being, how it could decide to do away with the strongest tenet of democracy.

I have also read about certain teachers questioning the university decision. I hope, the university debates the issue now. Whatever decision the senate takes, the decision will reflect the picture of our times.

My experience in reading the media reports about senate proceedings, over the years, definitely, shows very few names featuring repeatedly. This, perhaps, was the reason why university was forced to think about discontinuing giving names in proceedings. Maybe, the university needs to rethink on the procedure for recording the senate proceedings, in the overall perspective. However, to ban the same in totality was unwise.

Dilip Kumar,Chandigarh.



Scrap dealers allege police highhandedness
Wounds self-inflicted, say cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Tempers ran high throughout the day today outside the Industrial Area police station here as scrap dealers from Industrial Area (Phase I) protested outside the police station, alleging highhandedness by the police.

The scrap dealers and other members of market associations of the area accused Inspector Dilsher Singh Chandel, SHO of the police station, of brutally thrashing five junk dealers. The agitators raised slogans against the police, demanding immediate suspension of the SHO who, they alleged, had been “harassing them unnecessarily”.

It all started early in the morning when the police conducted a raid on scrap dealers on getting information that a truck bearing registration number of Himachal Pradesh and loaded with stolen articles was coming there. The police said it had information that stolen iron was camouflaged under papers in the truck.

The police took the truck in custody and rounded up five scrap dealers, later identified as Jaipal, Ravi Kishan, Ram Chander, Kashmiri Lal and Jai Kishan.

Showing his back bearing injuries allegedly received from lashes, 67-year-old Jailpal alleged that the SHO thrashed them. Another victim, Ravi Kishan, also showed his back bearing bruises, alleging that the policemen lashed them with belts.

Some of the agitators alleged that the SHO was drunk and not in uniform when he conducted the raid in a private jeep. The SHO abused them publicly, threatening to implicate them in a case.

The protesters lay seige to the police station, leading to the calling of additional force to control them. The DSP (East) Jaswant Singh Khaira, DSP (Central) Jagbir Singh and DSP (crime) Satbir Singh reached the spot and tried to placate the protesters, who were demanding the immediate removal of the SHO.

On the other hand, the SHO maintained that the truck was seized following information and the five scrap dealers created a scene at the police station, disrupting the police functioning to inquire into the matter. The five scrap dealers were released without any action following intervention of their representatives. They later came to police station after inflicting injuries on themselves at the behest of some anti-social elements, the police said. Till late in the evening, the victims did not lodge any formal complaint. Their representatives met the UT IGP at his residence, who told them to meet him in his office tomorrow.



Spiritual fervour pervades Tagore Theatre
SD Sharma

Theatre artiste Shekhar Sen performsin the play ‘Goswamy Tulsidas’ atTagore Theatre, Sector 18, Chandigarh,on Sunday.
Theatre artiste Shekhar Sen performsin the play ‘Goswamy Tulsidas’ at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, Chandigarh,on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 25
Spiritual serenity pervaded the Tagore Theatre complex as acclaimed theatre maestro Shekhar Sen presented the legend of Goswamy Tulsidas in a consummate monologue on the auspicious day of Guru Purnima here today.

As expected theatre lovers converged in large numbers to witness the second day of the ongoing Chandigarh theatre festival organised by the Chandigarh administration in collaboration with Pearls institute of Hospitality and Management.

Shekhar Sen armed with a mellifluous voice and admirable acting spells immaculately narrated the sequences depicting transition of a beggar boy, Rambola, to the invincible visionary poet, Tulsidas.

The monologue written in Avadi dialect, enacted and directed by Shekhar Sen was replete with literary and ethical content. 

Shekhar had designed the captivating two-hour show to bring the didactic sermons of socio-cultural relevance enshrined in the epic Ram Charit Manas.



1,500 examined at medical camp

Chandigarh, July 25
With an aim to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS among rural folks, the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society (CSACS) today organised a mega health check-up camp at Government School, Colony No 5, here.

More than 1,500 people, including women, children and men attended the camp for availing STI/RTI, HIV/ AIDS/paediatric problems/ dental/ENT related facilities.

A makeshift ICTC centre was put up in Colony no 5 and Burail, wherein counsellors and lab technicians were deputed by the CSACS.

During the camp, 88 blood samples were taken for free HIV/AIDS testing. During the counselling, women were encouraged to talk about STI/RTI, HIV/AIDS and adolescent health issues. Other activities included distribution of health kits for personal hygiene, pamphlets with guidelines for healthy living. Street play to demonstrate importance of health and hygiene and HIV/AIDS awareness was also staged.

Dr Vanita Gupta, project director, Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society, said, “The society had recently adopted two villages of Chandigarh for creating awareness.” — TNS



I-T officials honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The Commissionerate of Income Tax (CIT), Chandigarh I, has bagged a national award for recovering an amount of over Rs 1,500 crore in surveys.The awards were given to I-T officials at a function by Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia.

The function was organised to mark the completion of 150 years of existence of the Income Tax Department.

Pahadia also released the Citizens’ Charter-2010, incorporating excellent service delivery standards for the benefit of tax payers. Eminent tax payers from the region, associations of chartered accountants’, advocates, Chambers of Commerce and Trade and Industrial Associations attended the function.

The main function in this regard, however, was held in Delhi, where Union Finance Minister released the Citizens’ Charter-2010.

AK Kaushal, Commissioner, Income Tax, Chandigarh, and Manjeet Singh, the then JCIT, Mohali, were among the officials who were honoured by the Governor.

The detection amount include the contribution from the office of Joint Commissioner of Income Tax (JCIT), Mohali. Mohali office only detected a major part of amount to the tune of Rs 900 crore.

Others who were honoured included GS Randhawa CIT 2 and his team, who carried out detections in their division; Darshan Singh, I-T officer, who carried out major operation resulting in detection of tax evasions worth Rs 245 crore from construction giant EMM ERR MGF, and the locals in the land deals.



Saplings planted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The local unit of Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) planted saplings at the Chitkara International School, Sector 25, here today. Raviender Krishan, president of the unit, said the party would also organise free medical camps and adult education camps in colonies and villages in the future.



12,000 saplings to be planted at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
As concern about global warming rise, the PGI has decided to do its bit by planting saplings on the campus. Over 12,000 saplings are going to be planted in the coming week at PGI.

The ambitious project was launched today by PGI director Dr KK Talwar, who planted saplings at Community Centre of Sector 24.Dr Talwar emphasised on the need to make people aware of the consequences of global warming.

Dr Talwar said the drive aimed at making the PGI campus greener and eco-friendly.

Trees that were planted today included 46 different varieties of medicinal and root plants.

110 saplings planted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
SK Sehgal, chief general manager, State Bank of India, Chandigarh circle, planted 110 saplings at the Chandigarh State Bank Officers Ideal Cooperative House Building Society in Sector 49 on Sunday.

Sehgal said the bank had already planted more than 500 saplings in various parts of city in collaboration with the UT administration as part of its go green campaign.



A salute to great martyrs
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 25
Members of the Indian Ex-services Movement (IESM) and officials from the district administration paid rich tributes to martyrs of the Kargil war at Major Sandeep Shankla Memorial in Sector 2 here today. Brig (retd) Kiran Krishan, coordinator, IESM, reiterated ex-servicemen’s demand of one-rank pension while making a fervent appeal to the Union government to fulfil their long-pending demands.

He said even though the government had accepted in principle the demand for one-rank one pension, the same had not been implemented till date. In several court cases, the verdict had been delivered in favour of ex-servicemen, but still they were deprived of this benefit, he added.

Brig Krishan said victory indeed came at a high price as 527 valiant soldiers paid with their life at the end of war in 1999 and over 1,363 were wounded, some of them maimed for life. He said the defence forces were working to safeguard the life of people in Kargil. He also rued that no official functions were being held to commemorate the great martyrs. Poet laureate Dr Sardar Anjum while lauding the sacrifices made by soldiers during the Kargil war, said terrorism had affected the families of slain warriors. He said, “It is our duty to look after the families of martyrs who sacrificed their lives.”



Courts remain swamped by cheque-bounce cases
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Despite numerous efforts by the judiciary to keep a tab on cases piling up in the courtrooms nothing much seems to have been achieved. Action plans like ‘Samadhan-2008’ to address the problem and the recent announcement to give five lower courts specific charge of clearing cheque bounce cases have failed to make any tangible dent in the backlog.

The number of cheque bounce cases pending has been fluctuating between 85,000 and 75,000 during the past two years. In 2008 the number was 90,000 and by the end of 2009 it fell to 81,000. By June-end this year there were about 85,000 such cases pending in the district courts.

Following the Punjab & Haryana High Court’s directions the district courts recently transferred all cheque bounce cases to five lower courts for speedy disposal. The decision was taken probably because a major proportion of pending cases were filed under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act (cheque bounce). Of the 80,000 cases pending in courts about 50,000 concerned bouncing of cheques.

The court of the district sessions judge has the lowest number of pending cases, ranging from 1,200 to 1,300, while in the special courts for cheque bounce cases there are a minimum of 8,000 to 10,000 cases pending in each court. The courts of judges Prithpal Singh, Hemraj Singh Mittal, Amit Sharma, Gurpratap Singh and Amandeep Kaur have been given charge of disposing of cheque bounce cases.

The number of cases pending in the sessions courts is not very high. The court of additional district & sessions judge RN Bharti has about 1,800 to 1,900 cases that are still to be disposed of. The number of cases pending in the court of additional district & sessions judge Gurbir Singh is pegged at between 2,700 and 2,900. This is followed by the court of ADSJ Gian Chand Garg where the number of cases pending is between 2,100 and 2,200.

The court of chief judicial magistrate Jasbir Singh Sidhu has 3,700 to 3,800 cases pending, while in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate Anshul Berry 2,500 to 2,600 cases are still pending.



SIFF celebrates anniversary
Invited cops stay away from function

Chandigarh, July 25
The Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) today celebrated its first anniversary at Leisure Valley, Sector 10, here. The organiser had invited senior police personnel from Chandigarh and Mohali, but they did not turn up. The federation, in a press statement, cited shortcomings in the department as the reason behind senior officials pulling off the function.

The federation had started its Chandigarh chapter in July last year and had been lending support and legal assistance to those implicated in false dowry cases. The Save Indian Family Foundation, a non-funded organisation, came into existence in 2005 and its headquarters is located in Bangalore. — TNS



It’s raining goals in city!

It’s raining goals in Chandigarh these days. It may sound strange but during the ongoing ninth Junior Football National Girls’ Soccer Tournament at the Punjab Engineering College grounds, the soccer lovers got a chance to see ‘rain of goals’ in every second match between the state teams. If Sikkim team crushed Himachal Pradesh by 30-0 in the league round, the Gujarat team conceded 29 goals while playing against Haryana. In another match Goa pumped in 24 goals against Himachal in the round. West Bengal beat Rajasthan by 15-0 while Manipur trounced Delhi by 14-0. The organisers maintained that it was a normal affair in tournaments at this level, so an onlooker commented: “Aisi teams ko toh khelne hi nahi dena chahiye” (Such teams should not be allowed to play).

‘Regulate traffic first’

Worried over the chaotic situation at the small roundabout on the road dividing Sectors 17 and 22, a concerned citizen Megha Anand, took up the issue with the UT SP (traffic) seeking immediate intervention to reduce chaos. Anand said to make the matter worse, the traffic police personnel deployed at the intersection kept themselves busy targeting vehicles coming from out station and did not bother to regulate the traffic.

Anand further pointed out that on the other hand, the police had installed traffic lights on the road dividing Sector 9 and 10 at the rear side of the UT police headquarters, which are set on yellow blinkers (look and go mode). “If the lights are only to suggest to look and go then why can’t the same be installed at the small roundabout (Sector 17 and 22) to regulate the traffic”? Aannd asked seeking rational behind spending public money on something that was not being properly put to use.

Dirty toilets at Student Centre

Washbasins clogged with chewing tobacco wrappers, water running continuously from taps, broken commodes and dirty floors apparently not cleaned for months together. The scene is not of a public toilet at ISBT, but at the heart of Panjab university’s Students’ Center. The place is a favourite hangout for youngsters studying on the campus, but also for outside students visiting the campus.

The state of the public toilet at the Students’ Center not only reflects badly on the authorities for it neglected upkeep, but also on the presence of miscreants, who draw pleasure in damaging public property. The security system of the university also comes under scanner, as the installation of the CCTV cameras also fails to act as a deterrent to miscreants.

Administration prevails!

The Mohali-based operators of air-conditioned private buses, operating between Mohali and different destinations in Punjab, have ultimately shifted their offices from Phase 3A market to the Mohali bus stand.

For the past few years, the district administration had been trying to shift the illegal operated bus stand of private buses from the Phase 3A market to elsewhere. While the shopkeepers of the market had been protesting against the activity that affected their business, the operators of the buses claimed that since they had opened their offices in the market, they had the right to run their business from the market.

Ultimately the administration prevailed on the bus operators and most of them have shifted their business to the Phase 8 bus stand.

Running out of issues?

The newly constructed girls’ hostel at the Panjab University South Campus, Sector 25, has been a common cause of protest for many student organisations on the campus. Last year, when the same hostel was under construction, the student leaders got a chance to protest against the PU authorities since the candidates awaiting their chance to get a hostel seat were too many. This year, the hostel is ready and is being utilised to accommodate girls, but for over two weeks now the student leaders have again begun protesting. This time, the concern is about security of the girls, since the hostel adjoins the boundary wall of the South Campus. It appears student parties on the campus are running out of issues.

Is Panchkula admn listening?

Maintenance of the public utility services continues to be Achilles’ heel of the Panchkula authorities. A case in point is a “bended” traffic light near the Sectors 10-11 intersection. The traffic light continues to “bend like Beckhem” posing a serious threat to motorists and passersby. Is the Panchkula administration waiting for an accident to occur?

Contributed by: Akash Ghai, Ramanjit Sidhu,Simpal Sakalani,Rajmeet Singh, Neha Miglani and Sanjay Bumbroo



Tributes paid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The local unit of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) under the leadership of its state president Maheshinder Singh Sidhu organised a programme to celebrate “Shaurya Divas” to commemorate the victory of Indian defence forces during the Kargil war of 1999.

The programme was organised at the Chandigarh War Memorial in Sector 3, where hundreds of BJYM members paid floral tributes to the martyrs of Kargil war and celebrated the victory of India. The whole memorial was decorated with flowers and lamps were lit at the war memorials.

BJP state president Sanjay Tandon, vice-president Raghuvir Lal Arora, treasurer Girdhari Lal Jindal, secretary Sachin Lohtiya and convener (colony cell) Dalip Sharma were present on the occasion.



Tenants oppose amendment in Rent Act
Pradeep Sharma

Chandigarh, July 25
Tenants are up in arms against the proposed amendment in the Rent Act applicable to the Union Territory.The recommendation of the Chandigarh administration to insert a new Section 2-A(C) in the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, has been termed “arbitrary and illogical” by tenants, which they alleged, would put an end to their protection.

The Section 2-A(C) says that the Rent Act will not be applicable “to any premises, whether residential or not, whose monthly rent exceeds 1,500”.

“The proposed amendment runs counter to the 2006 judgement of the Supreme Court which had questioned the UT administrator on amending the provisions of the Rent Act, as it was not a legislative body,” alleged Sita Ram Garg, a social activist.

In a representation to the Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Garg contended that, “The proposal sent by the administration for the insertion of Section 2-A was invalid in the eyes of law as it had no legal standing.

To deal with disputed matters, statutory rules are available for deciding the relevant matter and other rules cannot be framed over and above the statutory rules to favour any particular section of society,” the representation added.

It is argued that the monthly rent limit cannot establish any rule of law for the eviction of tenants when the situation in every case is different because of different sizes of commercial and residential properties. Moreover, sufficient provisions have been made by the legislature for the eviction of tenants and to give relief to different sections of society.

The legal provisions for eviction are included in Clause 13 of the Act. Similarly, under Clause 13-A, certain sections such as government employees can seek eviction in a speedy manner without lengthy trials.

Under the recently-adopted Clause 13-B by the UT administration, non-resident Indians (NRIs) can seek eviction of tenants through summary trial.



Cops take lesson in courtesy

Chandigarh, July 25
A batch of 30 personnel of the Chandigarh Police is undergoing a month-long training in mannerism at Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Catering & Nutrition, Sector 42-D. The police said the training programme had been initiated for policemen who would be deployed during the forthcoming Commonwealth Games. 

The training would cover grooming, behaviour, speaking ability, etiquette and mannerism, use of polite and courteous language in dealing with public, safety and security of national and international tourists. The policemen would be directed to guide tourists to various facilities available and places of tourist interest in the city. — TNS



66-yr-old cancer patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Shankri Devi, a 66-year-old, woman from Pauri Garhwal village in Uttarakhand is inching towards death, as she is fighting cancer of the urinary bladder.PGI doctors treating Shankari Devi since June 4 said she was diagnosed of malignant melanoma in the urinary bladder. They said she needed interferon therapy, which required Rs 6 lakh.

Husband of Shankari passed away years ago, said Naresh, one of her sons-in-law. Since she did not want to leave the village after the marriages of her three daughters , he said.

Though none of her relatives were in a position to arrange the money and save her life, donors were the only hope left, said Naresh.

Besides, one of Shankari’s daughters, wife of Naresh, had been under treatment for tumour in her leg for the past six years and had been operated upon twice and another is scheduled for next month.

The donors can contact Naresh at 9368613930 or Shankari at Urology department, bed no. 8, B Block, second floor of the PGI.



Girl found hanging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Neha, a 17-year-old girl, was found hanging at her residence in Dadu Majra Colony, here, tonight. Though no suicide note has been recovered, the police temed it a case of suicide saying the girl was under depression.

Neha, a student of class XII in government Model school, Sector 23, was seen hanging by her neighbours at around 8.30 pm. She was rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi Specialty Hospital, where she was decleared dead on arrival.

The in charge of the Maloya police post, sub inspector Baldev Kumar, said the police received information about the suicide from the hospital. Her father Devi Chand, a potter by profession, told the police that Neha was under depression. However, the police is yet to ascertain the exact cause behind the suicide.

Neha was alone at home when she hanged herself. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CRPc in this connection.



Hi-tech parking lots still a dream
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Hi-tech parking lots in the city seem like a dream project, which could never see the light of the day. For the past nine years, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has failed to decide as to who will implement the project.

Passing the buck, the authorities concerned assert that it’s the responsibility of parking contractors to instal semi-automatic system in parking lots. On the contrary, parking contractors refuse to follow, stating that authorities are responsible for providing infrastructure in parking lots and their responsibility is only to maintain it. In January members of the F&CC had asked the MC officials to prepare a report on the possibility of installing electronic system in the parking lots and table the report to the committee after three months.

A proposal was mooted by the authorities for installing semi-automatic system in three parking lots of Sector 17, 22 and 35. In a report, the official had suggested that the machinery should be installed by the parking contractors instead of MC authorities. According to sources, the report will be tabled at the next meeting of the finance and contract committee on Monday.

Two years ago officials of the corporation had asked the parking contractor of Sectors 9, 17, 22 and Sukhna Lake to instal CCTV cameras in their respective parking lots at their own cost, which are yet to be set up by most of the contractors. The question, however, is that if they didn’t agree to instal CCTV cameras then how will they accede to the demand of installing electronic system in the parking lots, which would cost them around Rs 3 lakh for semi-automatic system and Rs 10 lakh for fully automatic system.

It may be mentioned that in 2002, the authorities had finalised a pilot project to make a fully automatic parking lot in Sector 17. But the proposal was rejected as the cost of installing fully automatic system was high and the corporation didn’t want to bear such huge cost of installation of the system in parking lots of the city. A survey conducted by private company revealed that the city parking lots were not designed for installation of electronic parking system as most of them had only one entry and one exit point. They suggested that if the authorities were planning for it they would have to redesign parking lots before installing the system.

Later, the authorities rejected the proposal and planned to modify the existing parking lots. But so far nothing has been done.



Man succumbs to injuries

Chandigarh, July 25
A 65-year-old resident of Burail today died at the Sector-32 Government Medical College and Hospital where he was admitted following an accident on Saturday.

The police said the victim, identified as Yashpal, was on his motorcycle when another motorcycle collided with his vehicle around 10 pm last night near Burail. The police has arrested other motorcyclist, Jatin Kumar, also a resident of Burail, on charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. — TNS



Vegetable vendor crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 25
A 35-year-old vegetable vendor was crushed to death by an unidentified vehicle near Majri Chowk at old Panchkula this morning.

The victim, identified as Ramesh Kumar, was taken to a general hospital at Sector 6 where the doctor declared him brought dead. The police has registered a case against the unidentified driver. The body has been handed over to the family after the autopsy.

According to sources, Ramesh was on his way to purchase vegetables on his cycle and as soon as he reached Majri Chowk he was crushed by an unidentified vehicle from behind.

The passersby informed the police and he was immediately taken to the hospital. According to sources, the victim, a migrant from Uttar Pradesh, is survived by his wife and three children.

The victim had been visiting the Sector 26 vegetable market in Chandigarh to purchase vegetables for the past few years and used to sell vegetables.



OSD given additional charge: PSEB
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 25
Following questions being raised over the OSD to the chairman of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) being appointed as the coordinator (examination), the board authorities on Friday clarified that OSD Maj Charanjit Singh Melu (retd) had been given the additional charge.

It had been alleged by board employees that while there were other capable persons available, the board authorities handpicked their own man as this would ensure total secrecy.

The authorities said the orders were issued by the board as it was abiding by the court orders regarding appointment of controller (exams). 



New syllabi to be drafted
With focus on soft-skill training
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Conventional undergraduate courses offered by local colleges will soon be transformed into employment-oriented courses, with soft skills training as an integral part of curriculum.

In the first-of-its-kind initiative by Panjab University, the new syllabi being drafted by the university experts for undergraduate courses will include choice-based credit system. Not only this, students will have an option to study languages to enhance their communication skills.

To begin with, the curriculum for bachelors of commerce (BCom) is being updated, in which experts have identified several inter-disciplinary subjects. Of these, studying rural entrepreneurship and understanding finances of khadi industry will be some of the interesting areas.

According to the university experts, the focus will be on enhancement of managerial skills of students. Four core subjects of commerce will continue to be taught at the graduation level, which include management, accounts, law and economics.

Options provided to commerce students can also be availed by students of other disciplines, for instance students pursuing bachelors in arts (BA) will also have the choice to study income tax or other interesting subjects.

“The curriculum is being designed keeping in mind the present needs of market and globalised scenario in education. The inter-disciplinary subjects being introduced will match the employment needs and will also prepare students for stiff competition ahead. The inclusion of languages in the curriculum will ensure that their communication skills are polished as well,” said Karamjeet Singh, faculty, University Business School (USB), and coordinator of the committee, that has been assigned the task to design new syllabi for BCom.

According to committee experts, titles of the new curriculum have already been approved, however, a final nod to the new curriculum will be given in the next meeting of the undergraduate board of studies of commerce on July 30.

The committee, which is preparing the draft, also includes commerce lecturers from affiliated colleges of the university. For this purpose, simultaneous meetings are also being held at various districts in Punjab; in which teachers from various colleges are conducting brainstorming sessions to revamp the syllabi.

The decision of board members will be forwarded to the faculty of business management and commerce at Panjab University and later to the academic council for a final nod. 



Programmes for students

Mohali, July 25
Centum U-Institute of Management and Creative Studies, an initiative of a Bharti Associate Company, unveiled several undergraduate and postgraduate programmes aimed at students aspiring for quality higher education in Mohali.

All programmes are being offered in association with world-renowned universities and institutes to provide skills and knowledge, needed for succeeding in a dynamic business environment.

The Mohali campus offers a holistic student experience, globally benchmarked curriculum, state-of-the-art infrastructure and ensures that students get placement opportunities in Bharti and other leading corporates.

Centum U works with several renowned names like University of London, Coventry University, UK, National University of Singapore Extension and Whistling Woods International for offering degree programmes in areas, including economics, management, finance, creative art, media and entertainment, etc. The first batch will start in September this year.

Sanjeev Duggal, CEO and executive director, said, “At present, about 12.4 per cent of Indian students go for higher education. But if the country was to increase the figure to 30 per cent, it would need another 800 to 1,000 universities and over 35,000 colleges in the next 10 years.” “To bridge the existing gap in the country, we have established Centum U,” he added. — OC



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