C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SHO, SI held for graft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested SHO of the Industrial Area police station Dilsher Singh, a sub-inspector Hans Raj and two others for allegedly accepting Rs 40,000 from a Panchkula resident, who is involved in a cheating case.

CBI officials said two persons, identified as Jhujjar Singh, owner of a tea stall near the police station, and Satwant Sethi, had accepted of Rs 40,000 from the complainant on the behalf of police officials.

Jhujjar Sethi was talking over phone with sub-inspector Hans Raj when he was caught red-handed while accepting the money. The CBI team simultaneously apprehended Sethi and sub-inspector Hans Raj.

Sources said the complainant, Gagan Gupta, a resident of Modern Housing Complex, Panchkula, had a matrimonial dispute with his wife. He is contesting a case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking custody of his minor son. On August 3, a case of cheating and impersonation was reregistered against Gagan Gupta and his friend at the Industrial Area police station for giving a false advertisement in a newspaper on a complaint lodged by the counsel of the opposite party. It was alleged that the advertisement was given to harass the counsel contesting the case against Gupta.

The CBI said that Gupta had obtained an anticipatory bail in the case. Sub-inspector Hans Raj had contacted him seeking bribe for favouring him in the case, the CBI said.

Hans Raj called Gupta to the police station where he had a discussion with SHO Dilsher Singh. Assuring him of help, Hans Raj demanded a bribe of Rs1 lakh initially and later settled the deal for Rs 40,000, the CBI said.

Dilsher is the second SHO in the Chandigarh Police arrested by the CBI in a corruption case. Earlier, inspector Bishi Ram was arrested from the Mani Majra police station on similar charges.



Illegal Occupation of Booths
2 EO officials suspended, DSP let off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Chandigarh administration today recommended the suspension of two officials of the Estate Office (EO), besides seeking explanation from the Sector 39 SHO, for their alleged involvement in the illegal occupation of some booths in the Sector 41 market. However, no action has been taken against DSP (South) Vijay Kumar.

At a meeting presided over by the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Pradip Mehra, it was decided to suspend Ashok Bish, superintendent (rehri branch), and Veer Singh, enforcement inspector, and seek explanation from inspector Janak Raj for their alleged role in the booth-vacating operation.

In his inquiry report on illegal occupation of 13 booths in Sector 41 to UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas recently, ADC PS Shergill had alleged that despite the raids conducted by him and his team, the police officials concerned did not act according to the law against the illegal occupants of the booths. However, the police officials concerned had been maintaining that they did take action according to the rulebook.

The ADC had reportedly also claimed that the SHO and the DSP had leaked information about a secret operation of vacating 13 booths illegally occupied by shopkeepers in Sector 41. The ADC report alleged that Rana had deliberately slowed down the booth-vacating operation to favour shopkeepers.

The police had reportedly watered down the case by invoking Section 448 (trespassing) of the IPC. The police released the arrested shopkeepers on bail later that day, the report said.

The ADC, in his report, had doubted the involvement of government officials behind the illegal possession of shops.



Martyrs’ pillar a non-starter
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The city has again failed to keep its date with the inauguration of the martyrs pillar on this Independence Day with the municipal corporation not even having commenced work on the project. According to the plan the pillar, on which the names of 27 martyrs belonging to the city are to be engraved, is to be built in the Terraced Garden in Sector 33. However, the civic body is yet to allot the work to a contractor.

Interestingly last May the MC’s finance & contract committee had approved a cost estimate of Rs 15.46 lakh for beginning construction of the pillar immediately. However, civic officials have till date not even bothered to lay the foundation stone for the project.

At an MC house meeting the same month mayor Anu Chatrath had assured councillors the pillar would be completed before August 15 this year. She also told the house construction of the pillar would begin soon as the UT chief architect’s department had already approved land for the project as well as the pillar’s design.

When contacted MC chief engineer SS Bidda said the tender for the project had been floated though the work had yet to be allotted to a contractor. He added construction is likely to begin in September.

According to the civic body’s records, nominated councillor Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri had in 2007 proposed that to honor martyrs belonging to Chandigarh their photographs along with their service details be displayed in prominent libraries or community centres in the city. However the house had rejected his idea.

Again, in 2008, a proposal that some of the city’s parks or green belts should be named after the martyrs was floated in the MC house, but the councillors opposed that plan also.

Meanwhile, Chandpuri said he hoped the martyrs pillar would see the light of day before his councillorship expired.



Admn defies MC Act
Transfers arterial roads to civic body
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Overruling the notification of the former Adviser to the UT Administrator and the former Secretary of the engineering department, the UT administration’s latest move of transferring all the V1, V2 and V3 roads to the Municipal Corporation has left many questions unanswered.

The UT administration’s notification from the gazette dated October 21, 2005, mentions that all major arterial roads (V1, V2 and V3 roads, except NH-21, passing through the city via junction 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 49, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, constituting the main system of the road transportation and providing link with the NH-21, are herby declared as state highways with immediate effect.

The notification also states that the development and maintenance of the state highways will be the responsibility of the Chandigarh administration.

However, ignoring these facts, UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil has already put his signatures on the orders to transfer all these roads to the MC.

In order to transfer these roads, the UT administration has even ruled out the provisions of the Municipal Act. As per the provisions of the Municipal Act, under Clause 44 (l), the construction, maintenance, alteration and improvement of public streets, bridges, culverts, causeways falls under the jurisdiction of the MC. The meaning of public street as accepted under the Act is the public road in a city or a town that has houses, stores, etc on one or both sides. In Chandigarh, no house has openings on V1, V2, and V3 roads.

The development and maintenance of all the state highways is the responsibility of the state government. Grants for the new construction and improvement of the state highways are also received from the Central Road Fund, which is created by the levy of additional duty on petrol and is a non-lapsing fund.

Sources claim that the officials of the administration are also reluctant to join the MC on the grounds that there is ambiguity on the promotion policy of those employees who had earlier joined the MC after certain departments were shifted to Municipal Corporation in the 90s.

V1, V2, V3 roads

All the vertical roads, including Purv Marg, Chandi Path, Sukhna Path, Sarovar Path, Himalaya Marg, Jan Marg, Udyan Path, Vidya Path, Pashchim Marg meet the NH-21 at right angle.

Vikas Marg, Shanti Path, Dakshin Marg, Udyog Path, Madhya Marg, Vigyan Path and Uttar Marg provide a link to Punjab and Haryana and the national highway.



Leaders with shady past swagger on campus
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
In what may put a question mark on fair play in the forthcoming student council elections, student leaders with shady and criminal background are actively campaigning on the Panjab University campus.

Even as the recommendations of the Lyngdoh committee do not permit those students to contest student council elections who have indulged in any “illegal activity” in past, these leaders are currently the “ghost kingmakers” in the university, where canvassing is at its peak.

University authorities are now considering the possibility of checking the activity of such leaders on the campus. While most of these “troublemakers” on the campus claim

that they are victims of ugly rivalry of student leaders, police sources say otherwise, as investigation is on in most cases.

The most recent major clash betweeen two rival student groups on the campus - Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and Students organization of Panjab University (SOPU) - was in Sector 11 in April this year.

SOPU supporters were accused of setting ablaze a Pajero and a Maruti Esteem car belonging to PUSU president Udey Singh Wirring.

In the same case, SOPU president Vikramjeet Singh was arrested and later his posters on the campus created another controversy. He was recently released on bail.

Stickers with his name are common on cars of SOPU supporters on the campus these days.

Similarly, PUSU leader Simrandeep Dhillon was accused of getting his examination centre changed for LLB examination. A third committee has now been formed to look into the case.

Yet another active leader Narinder Gujjar of the HSA has been in controversy for his indulgence in incidents of violence ever since he joined the campus, say sources.


On tightening of noose on such student leaders, DSW Naval Kishore said: “Students with any criminal background cannot contest elections as per the Lyngdoh committee recommendations, but whether or not they can campaign for elections and how the university can keep a tab on them needs to be verified in the recommendations again.”



Well-behaved farmers brave the elements
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Protesting farmers the Bharti Kisan Union’s (BKU) Rajewal faction resorted to Gandhigiri today as they sat silently on the road amidst incessant rain to press their demands.

The farmers said they would subject themselves to the suffering of staying out in the open instead of causing any inconvenience to city residents during their protest.

The protesting farmers took shelter from rain at a nearby Shri Krishan Mandir, Sector 52, near the Matour barrier amidst heavy deployment of the police there.

The farmers said the UT administration and the police had created unnecessary phobia in the minds of general public and had closed the road separating Sectors 51 and 52, putting commuters to inconvenience.

Their president Balbir Singh Rajewal said they were in high spirits and were getting support from Punjab as well as local people, including religious places, which had offered them shelter in rain.

“We want to show the residents that we can protest in a peaceful manner and want to present our cases to the masses at large. We will wash off the stains of violence that have tarnished the image of the farming community during a protest last year,” Rajewal asserted.

Rajewal said their supporters from nearby villages had brought in ration, including 25 quintal milk, for their brethren fighting for a common cause.

However, no representative from the Punjab government has so far communicated with them over the issue.

Rajewal said the farmers were braving rain, mosquitoes and other elements and would call off their stir only when the Punjab government released a relief package of Rs 800 crore given by the central government for farmers.

Even as farmers were putting up a brave face, policemen were least amused by staying in testing conditions for a night. “The farmers have got shelter in a temple and we have to stay here round the clock guarding them,” rued a police officer on duty.

The temple priests were happy providing help to farmers, who were occupying a two-storey hall.

A priest said farmers produced food for them and they supported their cause. A priest even offered the farmers to clean the hall for them.


Intermittent rain disrupts life
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Continuous rain lashed the city this morning as the second heavy spell of the second phase of the monsoon hit the city, inundating several areas and throwing normal life out of gear. Bus and air services were severely affected.

Morning rush hour traffic was particularly hit with hundreds of motorists stranded due to serpentine lines all over the city. It took several hours for vehicular flow to be restored to normal though its after effects were felt in the evening as well.

People residing in the city’s low-lying areas that got waterlogged as well as commuters faced a lot of difficulties while venturing out of their houses, with many seen making their way through the inundated roads to reach their destinations. Due to the intermittent downpour the boundary wall of a house in Raipur Kalan village collapsed. However, no loss of life was reported.

The road leading to Chandigarh airport was in knee-deep water and army personnel were seen putting sandbags at the entrance of their complex in the area to prevent water from entering.

Rain continued sporadically throughout the day with the sky remaining overcast since early morning.

The meteorological office has warned tomorrow could be another uncertain day with a partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorms. It said during the next 24 hours there might be moderate to very heavy rainfall in the city as well as in the region.

Due to the night rain the weather was pleasant since morning with the maximum temperature plummeting to 28.8 degrees Celsius, 4 degrees below normal, compared to 34 degrees recorded yesterday. The minimum temperature also dipped to 24.7 degrees from Tuesday’s 27.2 degrees.

The incessant rainfall since last night in fact came as a surprise for city residents, disrupting routine life. However, the Met said this was normal even at this time of the year. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had recorded 10.2mm rainfall till 5.30 pm in the city.

Meanwhile, BS Sidhu, an agronomist, said the recent spell of rain would prove beneficial for the paddy and other ‘kharif’ crops in neighbouring states. “The current spell of rain would give a boost to the late-sown paddy and other crops”.

However, IMD director Surender Paul said, “The continuous rainfall is because of the interacting westerly and the monsoon system. This has caused heavy showers over the entire region.”

More showers likely

The Met sees more showers in the city as well as in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana in the next 48 hours. The weatherman has forecast moderate to very heavy rain or thundershowers in isolated places of Punjab and Haryana during the next 48 hours. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to hover around 30 and 24 degrees Celsius, respectively, on Thursday.

Flights delayed or diverted

While all incoming and outgoing trains from the city were running on time, several Chandigarh-bound flights were diverted due to the inclement weather. Kingfisher’s Jammu-Delhi-Chandigarh flight was diverted to Delhi, and GoAir Airlines’ Mumbai-Delhi-Chandigarh flight was also diverted to Delhi. Similarly, Jet Airways’ Mumbai-Delhi-Chandigarh flight was diverted to Jaipur, while the Go-Air, Air India and Jet Airways flights from Mumbai to the city also arrived late by two to four hours.



Shops inundated
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 11
With improper drainage system on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway, rainwater entered shops, causing damage to goods here today.

Heavy rain in the morning threw the normal life of local residents out of gear. Traffic jams were witnessed on various intersections, causing inconvenience to thousands of commuters.

Shopkeepers claimed that they had been approaching the MC authorities regarding the drainage system for the past two years, but had only received false promises from them.

A shopkeeper said furniture, including sofas and other valuable goods, was destroyed after rainwater entered his shop.

“We could do nothing as our shops were under three feet of water”, he added.

Commuters remained stranded for over an hour on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway. Long queues of vehicles were witnessed on the highway.

The internal roads in low-lying residential colonies were also flooded.

Meanwhile, MC officials said some blockage in the drainage system could be responsible for the flooding.

He claimed that the problem of waterlogging would be solved on a priority basis and the blockage would removed tomorrow.



Snehalaya Inmate’s Death
Raju wasn’t happy: Mother
Swati Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, August 11
“I wish I had paid attention to what Raju told me at our last meeting. It might have saved his life,” says Parvati, mother of the eight-year-old Raju, an inmate of government-run home for destitute children Snehalaya in Maloya, who died on Monday.

Raju was the most obedient of Parvati’s three children. On July 17, she had left her children — Raju, Rakesh (6), and Bharti (5) — at Snehalaya.

Parvati’s husband had died in 2008 and rearing three children was always going to be tough for her.

Recalling her last meeting with Raju, she said: “Bharti and Rakesh were happy here when I last came to submit their father’s death certificate. But Raju told me that he was not happy here. I didn’t take it seriously, as I thought he would get used to the place sooner or later.”

Parvati works as a sweeper at Oxford Hospital in Sector 19. Yet to recover from the death of her son, Parvati has been staying at the Snehalaya for the past two days. She has been assured a job there.

“I was informed at 10 am that Raju was not well and had been taken to the PGI. On reaching the hospital, I saw his listless body lying on a stretcher. I don’t know what happened to him. He was a healthy child and had never fallen sick.”

Raju was a sharp child, recollected Parvati. “He was very good in studies. An assignment that took 15 minutes for others to complete, he used to finish it in just five minutes,” she said.

“I don’t know when I will go home. I don’t have clothes to change as they are lying at my residence in Bapu Dham Colony,” she said. While the postmortem report is yet to come, Parvati is yet to reconcile with the loss of her child.



Roads, low-lying areas submerged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The hoopla over the efficacy of the city’s underground drainage system was washed away today as the monsoon unleashed its fury with rain falling intermittently throughout the day. Roads turned into small rivulets and with several open spaces and parking lots transformed into small lakes. Routine life was thrown completely out of gear.

The day began with a partly cloudy sky that became heavily overcast before noon, culminating in a continuous downpour lasting for about two hours. Light showers and drizzle continued till early evening. The heavy showers, which drastically reduced visibility, affected local as well as long-distance traffic. Though the rain caused a great deal of inconvenience to many residents, it also brought a welcome respite from the sultry heat by bringing down humidity levels.

Rainwater entered the basement of Palika Bazar in Sector 19, causing hardship to shopkeepers.

Residents of Mauli Jagran, Ram Darbar, Madrasi Colony and Bapu Dham were among the worst hit, with residents having to wade through knee-deep water. In several colonies in the city’s low-lying parts rain water flowed into these pockets from surrounding areas. Roads as well as open spaces in several sectors, particularly those in the city’s southern areas, were inundated. Water also accumulated in parking lots adjoining markets and shopping centres, particularly in Sector 20.

Newly constructed slip roads depicted the sorry state of affairs of the engineering skills of government departments. Water flooding the streets also posed a traffic hazard. Rickshaw pullers and cyclists, preferred to ply in the middle of undivided roads where the water was less than at the edges, adding to the woes of scooterists and motorcyclists as well as car and bus drivers. Several roundabouts, including those at The Tribune, Survey of India, GMCH in Sector 32, Housing Board, ISBT and All India Radio in Sector 34 witnessed interminable traffic jams due to accumulation of rainwater. A large number of vehicle owners were seen wading through the flooded streets, dragging two-wheelers that refused to start due to water entering the engines. Roadside mechanics did a roaring business. Hawkers, rickshaw pullers and cyclists went off the road due to the continuous rain, while bus shelters and market corridors were crowded with commuters seeking shelters from the rain.



Two service centres sealed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
On the directions of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC), two service stations — M/s Try Star Group of Companies (812, Industrial Area, Phase-II) and M/s Try Star Retreading Pvt. Ltd., (815, Industrial Area, Ph-II, Chandigarh) — were sealed by the authorities here today.

The centres were found causing water pollution, operational without a valid consent to operate and not complying with the provisions of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 & Hazardous Waste (Management Handling & Trans-boundary Movement) Rules, 2008.

These units were earlier found to be discharging untreated effluent and were operational without the consent of the CPCC, as is mandatory under section 25/26 of Water Act and section 21 of Air Act. they were issued notices by member secretary, CPCC, under Section 33-A of the Water Act to which they failed to reply.

The sealing drive was carried out under the supervision of SDM (East) Abhishek Dev.

Assistant environment engineer (CPCC) Sandeep Madan along with other officials of the estate office were also present.

Earlier, 22 industrial units operational in the residential area of Hallo Majra village i.e. a non-confirmatory area for such activity were issued closure orders under the provision of Water Act and Air Act.



Delivery in auto-rickshaw
Premature baby dies
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 11
The newly-born baby, who was referred to the PGI for keeping her in the incubator, has died. The mother of the baby, Rani, who is recuperating at the General Hospital, Sector 6, has not been informed about this development.

Rajesh, husband of Rani, said the doctors at the PGI informed him that the baby, whose weight was merely 700 gm, would not survive as her condition was deteriorating.

He said after this as he was on his way back to home when the baby died. He said he had not informed his wife about this and had buried the baby last evening.

It is worth mentioning here that Rani, who is staying in jhuggis near Bhainsa Tibba in Mansa Devi Complex, had to deliver her baby in an auto-rickshaw with the help of a midwife when the doctors at the General Hospital, Sector 6, allegedly turned her away.

However, stung by media criticism over turning away a woman in labour pain, the authorities at the General Hospital in a damage-control mode brought the victim (Rani) to the hospital in its ambulance from her home.

Dr Nikita, who was also present on Monday morning when Rani was sent back, said the baby could have been saved if the treatment was started immediately.



Sufi soiree enraptures audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 11
The melodic soulful Sufi rendition by well-known Sufi singer, Dr Mamta Joshi, enraptured audience at the 17th annual celebrations of the Malwa Culture and Welfare Society.

The cultural programme presented at the Punjab Kala Bhawan by artistes of the society included a sabad gayan by Sanover and Parwaz, thrilling jhoomar dance and Malwai giddha under the direction of lead dancer choreographer Preetam Rupal.

Rupal was at his best, as he presented a skit titled “Modern Heer”. Dr Mamta Joshi commenced with Amir Khusro’s kaul “Mann kunto maula”, which melted into “dohe” by Baba Farid.

She presented Khusro’s classic “Chhap tlak sab chheeni” and a composition by Kanwar Iqbal from her next album.

Earlier chief guest Hira Singh Gabria, cultural minister, Punjab, honoured the artistes. He assured that the Punjab cultural policy is in the offing.

The government is committed to help those groups engaged in preservation and promotion of Punjabi folk cultural arts. NZCC director DS Saroya and Jaswant Singh graced the function.



Class-X student falls off first floor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Jaspreet Singh, a class X student of Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, suffered a wrist fracture when he fell off the floor floor here this morning. Jaspreet was leaning outside the classroom window after the conclusion of his class when he slipped and fell to the ground.

The students present in the classroom raised the alarm and teachers arrived at the scene.

“After the class got over, Jaspreet went towards the window to pick something up and fell. Teachers took him to the GMSH-16 where the doctors diagnosed a fracture in the wrist,” said school principal Anita Lekhi. District education officer Chanchal Singh clarified that it was an accident and ruled out any foul play or mistake on the school’s part.

“There were rumors that he jumped out but I want to clarify that nothing of this sort happened. The student slipped and the school has no role to play in the incident,” he said.

The incident has raised concerns over the infrastructural lapses in schools. Though installation of grills in classroom windows is a must, their absence has led to such incidents. The DEO, however, failed to justify the absence of grills in the classroom windows of the school.



Rape victim’s kin allege police inaction, stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 11
Alleging police inaction, family members of a rape victim from Kungal village in Bhiwani district of Haryana sat on an indefinite dharna outside the office of the DGP here today.

Talking to the media, father of the victim, Subhash Chander, said her daughter, Neelam, was kidnapped by four persons, also residents of Kungal, on April 23, 2009. He said even though they reported the matter to the police the next day, the case of kidnapping was registered only after four days and the police recovered his daughter on May 1. He said earlier, too, they had submitted a memorandum to the DGP twice, but in vain.

Subhash alleged that Geeta, sister-in-law of one of the accused Rajesh, invited his daughter for compromise on April 23 as the accused had misbehaved with her over some issue resulting in a verbal duel. He alleged that all the accused, including Rajesh, his brother Rakesh and sister-in-law Reena, had taken her daughter to Babli’s (sister of Rajesh) house in Delhi. He alleged that Rajesh and his brother Rakesh repeatedly raped his daughter there.

He said when his daughter did not return, he reported the matter to the police. He alleged that the accused also threatened her of dire consequences if she or her family members reported the matter to the police. After the incident, his daughters, Neelam and her elder sister, both married in the same house, were thrown out by their in-laws, said Subhash. However, no senior police official was available for his comments as they were busy supervising security arrangements at different district headquarters in the state.

Subhash further alleged that the accused were now pressuring his son Ashok for striking a compromise. He said instead of arresting the accused, the police was asking them to drop the case.



Zila parishad president’s poll postponed
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 11
The newly elected 10 members of the zila parishad (ZP) failed to turn up for the election of ZP president, causing anxiety among their supporters here today.

Even though Sanjeev Verma, additional deputy commissioner, and other election officials, waited for over an hour at the scheduled time, beginning 11 am, none of the ZP members turned up. The ADC, while fixing the next date of the ZP president poll on August 16, said he would be sending notices in the context to all members.

According to sources, even though the Congress had the required majority in the zila parishad, none of them was present as a tug-of-war was on to manage majority by both the political majors, namely the Congress, which had seven members reportedly supported by it and the INLD, which had three members in the ZP. It is worth mentioning here that the Congress had claimed to have got an absolute majority in the ZP elections, results of which were declared here on July 12. While only three of the total 10 candidates announced by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) were elected, the Congress supported candidates were declared elected in the remaining seven wards.



Parveen Kumar is Mohali DC

Mohali, August 11
Parveen Kumar, a 2001-batch IAS officer, today assumed charge of Mohali Deputy Commissioner from the outgoing incumbent Prabhjot Singh Mand, who has been shifted as Special Secretary (Revenue).

After assuming charge, Parveen Kumar said officials should be punctual and work in coordination as a team. He said grievances of the common man should be handled on a priority. He took the status report of the development works going on in the district.

He becomes the fifth Deputy Commissioner of Mohali in four years since Mohali attained the district status in 2006. Before being posted as Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Kumar was serving as Chief Administrator, Jalandhar Development. — TNS



Consumer Court
ICFAI college told to pay Rs 50,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Holding ICFAI National College guilty of deficiency in service, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the college to pay compensation of Rs 50,000 to a complainant, Amrita Sodhi, a resident of Mohali.

Pronouncing the orders, the forum said, “The opposite party extracted the tuition fee and other amounts from the complainant by misrepresentations and giving an impression that the college was being run by ICFAI University in Dehra Dun and it was the off-campus of the university under their supervision, which actually it was not. The college, therefore, has no right to retain the amount. They have rather wasted a precious year of the complainant. Had it been told by them that it was a private institution giving only the tuitions, the complainant would not have opted to study at the said centre.”

The forum further asked the college to refund Rs 65,875 to the complainant. Amrita stated in the complaint that she appeared in CAT test for pursuing MBA and received interview letters from various institutions, including the ICFAI in Chandigarh.

She took admission in the ICFAI College at Sector 25 in Chandigarh after depositing a fee of Rs 65,875. Amrita attended college for three months in Sector 25. However, she was shocked to know on October 18/19, 2008 that the institute had changed its name to INC Adam Smith and that the college was not affiliated to ICFAI University, Dehra Dun, but was affiliated to ICFAI University Tripura, which was not disclosed to her. The affiliation was subsequently changed to Sikkim Tripura University and thereafter to MDU, Rohtak, within a year.

In its reply, the college stated that at the time of the admission the complainant was provided the prospectus and application form disclosing information regarding the university.



e-sampark centre for Sector 21
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Chandigarh Administration yesterday finalised the site for the construction of an e-sampark centre in Sector 21.

The land has been allotted near Government Senior Secondary School. The site was finalised during the visit of UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar along with area councillor Anju Beniwala to the sector yesterday.

Beniwala stated that this fulfils the demand of residents of the sector, pending for the past more than two years due to controversy over the approval of the site by the UT Chief Architect Department. She said the work on building the centre would begin soon.



BEd counselling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Panjab University has announced the counselling schedule for admission to BEd in UT colleges (UT pool 60 per cent from August 13 and general pool 40 per cent from August 14) for various subject combinations, including BEd yoga.

The counselling will be held at the Law Auditorium, Panjab University, and for more information, the students can visit PU website www.puchd.ac or may contact VK Walia, chairman, joint action committee, BEd.



Passport Seva Project to take off soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will open six offices across India in October to provide passport services, a company official has said. The much-delayed Passport Seva Project is expected to take off with this move.

With the launch of this Rs 1,000-crore project, the processing time for issuance of passport is expected to be reduced to three days and to one day under the Tatkal (immediate) scheme.

"In the first phase of this project, computerised passport facilitation centres will be opened in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Ambala, Bangalore, Mangalore and Hubli," TCS official said. The IT giant has already commenced its trial run of issuing passports at Chandigarh and Bangalore, he added.

“Depending on the response, we have plans to increase the number of these facilitation centres to over 70 other places across the country,” the official stated.

TCS was awarded the project in 2008. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will monitor its working.



Out of ‘waste’ solution
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A workshop on waste paper management was organised at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, in collaboration with the Environment Society of India (ESI) here yesterday.

Members of the society and students of the school participated. The ESI provided the recycling paper machine and other resource materials and gave demonstration to the participants.

Ganga Ram Sharma, resourceperson, ESI, said the society would further train teachers and students of Chandigarh, SAS Nagar, Panchkula and Parwanoo.



Wills Lifestyle penalised Rs 1,899
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Wills Lifestyle, Sector 17, to refund Rs 1,899 for selling a trouser of poor quality.

The complainant, Neha Sharma, said that she had purchased a trouser on January 1, 2010, from Wills Lifestyle. At the time of the purchase, it was found that the size of the trouser was not right for her. The opposite party offered for alteration of the trouser to the required fitting. However, after alteration, it was found that the trouser was not fit to be worn. She approached the opposite party on January 2, 2010, for replacement, but it flatly refused. She filed a complaint in the consumer courts.

The forum sent notice to the opposite party, but it failed to appear. The forum initiated ex-parte proceedings against them.

Pronouncing the orders, the forum observed, “Since the trouser was not fit to wear, it was the duty of the opposite party to get it altered to the satisfaction of the complainant or to refund the amount, if they were unable to alter it as per the fitting of the complainant.”



Additional wheat, rice quota allotted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Government of India has allotted an additional 3,020 metric tonnes (MTs) of wheat and 431 MTs of rice for the above poverty line, below poverty line and Antyodaya families for Chandigarh at the rate of Rs 8.45 and Rs 11.85 per kg, respectively, which is to be lifted in a phased manner up to November 2010.

The Chandigarh Administration has lifted 15 per cent of the allocated stocks from the Food Corporation of India for distribution among the ration card holders.

It has been decided by the administration to issue 10 kg of wheat per card per month at the rate of Rs 9.30 per kg and 5 kg of rice at the rate of Rs 12.85 per kg to all ration card holders of Chandigarh.The ration card holders can draw their entitlement from the fair price shops, where their ration card stands registered.

In case of any complaint, the matter may be brought to the notice of the District Food and Supplies and Consumer Affairs Officer, Union Territory, Chandigarh, personally or on telephone no. 2703956, according to a press note.



Dial ‘139’ for taxi to rly station
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Here comes a good news for those who find it difficult to travel to railway station with family or friends, as Railways has decided to offer taxis at the doorsteps of passengers by dialling '139'.

Presently, round-the-clock enquiry service ‘139’, run by the IRCTC offers services like information about PNR status, arrival/departure of trains, seat availability, fare and accommodation.

According to sources, the aim is to help passenger fetching a taxi and pay the actual charge incurred.

The proposed service will be directly supervised by the IRCTC so that passengers get taxis on time and don’t end up paying more, the sources added.

It should be noted that all taxis will be fitted with radio meters, which will be directly connected to the call centre.

The 'book a taxi' service, which will be offered at competitive tariff rates, will be rolled out soon in about 25 cities across the country including Chandigarh.

The company also intends to extend the facility to smaller towns, but only after getting good response from the proposed cities.



PGI doc gets gold medal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Dr Vishal Kumar, senior resident in the department of orthopaedics, PGIMER, was awarded Ram Sulakshna Janam Pandey gold medal for best paper presentation during IFASCON 2010 at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on Monday.

Title of the paper was “Tuberculosis of the foot presenting as an osteolytic lesion”. He has given several national and international presentations. He has passed MCh (ortho) exam conducted by the University of Seychelles and Dip Sicot exam conducted by SICOT (Belgium).



Oath to protect earth
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 11
An environment rally was organised by the NCC group headquarter, Patiala, today to create awareness amongst people and to encourage them to save environment from global warming and pollution.

In this drive, cadets and staff from the 4 Punjab (Girls) Battalion NCC, 5 Punjab Battalion NCC, 3 Air Squadron NCC and 1 Naval Unit, Naya Nangal, participated.

Brig SS Ruhil, Group Commander, Patiala, flagged off the environment rally from the traffic chowk near Sherawala gate. Lt Col VK Tomar, CO 4 Punjab (Girls) Bn NCC, Lt Col J Rawal, Training Officer, and Col (Retd) Bishan Dass were also present and motivated the cadets.

The cadets carried placards and banners with slogans of protecting earth and covered a distance of 5 km on foot. They also took the oath that they would leave no stone unturned for protecting earth.



Union of India’s denial to admit fifth batch in BDS course
PU moves High Court
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Panjab University today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court for quashing the Union of India’s action of “arbitrarily” denying it the permission to admit the fifth batch in BDS course at Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences.

In the petition filed against the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Dental Council of India, the university through its Registrar has sought the quashing of the action communicated to it on July 23.

Directions have also been sought to the Union Ministry for granting it the permission to admit “the fifth batch in the BDS course with 100 seats for the academic session 2010-11.”

The university is arguing that certain deficiencies pointed out by the ministry were removed and a compliance report was submitted. Yet the permission was denied.

The ministry acted in a mechanical manner and without application of mind. The action, as such, is arbitrary and illegal, the university has contended through counsel Bar-at-Law Himmat Singh Shergill.

Taking up the petition, Justice Ranjit Singh this morning issued a notice of motion to the Union Ministry and dental council. Justice Ranjit Singh also fixed August 17 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

Shergill asserted that the Union Ministry on July 12, 2006, granted permission to admit 100 students to the BDS course for a year for the academic session 2006-07. On July 14, 2007, it renewed the permission for the second year. Again, on August 18, 2008, the permission was renewed to admit 100 students for the third year. In July 2009, the permission for the fourth year course for the academic session 2009-10 was granted. But on May 5, the deficiencies were pointed out to the university. The deficiencies were removed and the university filed a compliance report.

Shergill added that between July 14 and July 16, the university admitted 100 students for the academic session 2010-11. The admissions were as per the merit and carried out through combined admission committee. But on July 23, the petitioner received the communication from the ministry denying permission for admitting the fifth batch.

Shergill asserted the communication is dated July 15. As such, it is evident that the compliance letter, dated July 9, sent by the Vice-Chancellor was not taken into account by the respondent while denying the permission.

Shergill asserted that the Vice-Chancellor wrote to the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare bringing to its knowledge complete compliance of all deficiencies on July 9 before admitting 100 students.



RTI activist accuses PU Registrar of bias
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
An RTI activist, RK Singla, today accused the appellate authority (RTI)-cum-Registrar of Panjab University SS Bari of refusing him to take support of two other persons while arguing in the hearing of his appeal. Bari was not available for his comments.

The appeal filed against the PIO-cum-Deputy Registrar (General) was related to the disclosure of expenditure incurred by the university on its Syndicate and Senate meetings during the last four years. He claims that he was forced “to be present alone during the hearing or to leave.”

Singla said he chose to leave without arguing in protest. “While denying any information, the PIO is duty bound to disclose with reasonable justifications the sections under which information is being refused. Bikram Singh, Deputy Registrar (General), however, straightaway refused to take cognizance of the RTI application, saying queries in the RTI application of June 24, 2010, do not fall under the ambit of the RTI Act.”

However, a senior functionary of the university said certain RTI activists had been targeting the university for their personal interests. “We have been repeatedly instructing the staff to answer the RTI queries in a systematic and transparent manner. But there have been complaints from the staff that certain RTI activists have been purposely seeking information for some personal interests and have been asking favours.”



From Schools
Training on paper recycling

CHANDIGARH: A total of 75 students of the Eco Club and NSS volunteers were imparted training on paper recycling at a workshop conducted by the Environment Society of India (ESI) at GMSSS, Sector 8. ESI will be establishing a paper-recycling unit at the school. ESI programmer officer encouraged the students to take up such programmes to promote three R’s i.e. recycle, reduce and reuse.


Vanamahotsava celebrations were carried out at GMSSS, Sector 33, with plantation of more than 150 saplings by the Vasumati Paryavaran Club and NSS unit of the school. District education officer Chanchal Singh inaugurated the function by planting the first sapling. He addressed Eco Club volunteers, NSS activists, scouts and guides highlighting the importance of trees.

Slogan-writing contest

An inter-house slogan-writing competition was organised at the senior and junior level on the World Peace Day at KV, Sector 31, on Wednesday. This was done to express solidarity with the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to commemorate the people, who lost their lives during the World War II. The students were enlightened about the relevance of the day in the morning assembly. They were made aware about the ill effects of weapons and need for world peace. Vice-principal Bharti Sood emphasised upon the need of cordial relations and peace of mind in everyday life to usher in an era of world peace.

Talk with Brookes

St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School organised a talk with Bernard Brookes, former principal of Dr Graham’s School, West Bengal, on techniques to make learning more effective. Brookes held observation and logical reasoning as the key aspects of effective learning. Senior students from St Xavier’s, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, attended the programme.

Puppet show

Vijay Public Smart School, Panchkula, organised a puppet show on the school premises on Wednesday. All students of the junior as well as senior wing, along with teachers enjoyed dance movements of beautiful and colourful puppets.

Training given

Gian Jyoti Public School, Mohali, conducted a Red Cross training wherein 106 students of class X participated enthusiastically. Parveen Mahajan and Sukhwant Singh from St John Ambulance, Punjab state centre, gave training to the students on administering first aid. — TNS



Students told to give humility a chance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
S Sandilya, chairman, Eicher Group, visited University Business School (UBS) and interacted with students. Sandilya, who has experience of more than four decades, told students to learn how to network, develop skills to take decisions in an uncertain and risky environment and accept whatever comes their way.

He sensitised students to inculcate the age-old human values of truthfulness, trust, humility and integrity.

Amanpreet Singh Bhatia, senior vice-president (Human Resource) Eicher Group, an alumnus of the UBS was also present.



ABVP felicitates toppers

Chandigarh, August 11
Nearly 500 toppers were awarded by the Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarathi Parishad (ABVP) today in a felicitation progamme at the Panjab University’s law auditorium. MP Navjot Singh Sidhu was the chief guest.

Certain other BJP leaders and Senate members of PU were also present on the occasion. Dinesh Chauhan, organising secretary of ABVP, said the speakers gave an enthusiastic and motivating speech and encouraged the toppers to excel in life.

‘Super 30 programme’

The Bhai Jaitajee Foundation (BJF) today announced names of five students from Punjab who have got admission to the “Super 30 programme” of Anand Kumar’s Ramanujan School of Mathematics, Patna.

The five students are- Sarbjeet Singh of Nabha, Prianka Sharma of Ludhiana, Satish Kumar of Dhadrian village, Sangrur district, Jatinder Singh of Majha village, Sangrur district, and Hardeep Singh of Khanna- left for Patna today.

The tuition fee, boarding and lodging will be borne by the Bhai Jaitajee Foundation, which has partnered with Anand Kumar to fund and support eligible underprivileged children of Punjab to join the “Super 30 programme”. — TNS



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