C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Car race leaves 2 dead
Girl behind the wheel on the run
Tribune News Service

killing two persons near Chandigarh Club on Tuesday night
killing two persons near Chandigarh Club on Tuesday night. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, August 17
Two racing cars allegedly driven by girls at breakneck speed claimed the life of two youths when one of the cars rammed into the motorcycle they were riding at the roundabout near Punjab Civil Secretariat here this evening.

The accused fled the scene, leaving their black colour Honda Accord car (CH 03 R 0018) behind.

The police said the car was registered in the name of Col JS Brar (retd) and efforts were on to trace the girls. Occupants of the other car, a white colour Maruti Swift (PB 65 E 2040), sped away from the scene after the mishap.

Both victims, identified as 21-year-old Sukhwinder Singh and his five-year-old cousin Harpreet Singh, alias Goldy, were residents of Kansal village.

They were badly injured in the accident and were taken to the PGI, where they later died.

Sukhwinder was a student of electrical engineering at a private college in Kharar, while Goldy was a class-II student of KB DAV School, Sector 15.

According to eyewitnesses, both cars were coming from the Sukhna Lake side at breakneck speed. The motorcyclists, who were coming from the Sector-9 side, were hit near the rotary.

The mishap was so powerful that the car came to a halt after dragging the victims to a distance.

An eyewitness, Sarabjit Singh of Khuda Ali Sher village, who was tailing the motorcycle told the police at the PGI that the girls appeared to be in an inebriated condition.

The police has registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against the unidentified driver on his complaint.

The accident occurred in a high-security area where the presence of the police is stronger than other parts of the city. Incidents of wards of influential and affluent families indulging in stunt driving are not uncommon on this road stretch, which is among the popular tracks in the city for racing.

Villagers from Kansal told mediapersons that around six persons from their village had lost their lives in road accidents on the stretch in the past couple of years. Though they had taken up the issue with the authorities several times, nothing had been done in this regard.



3 city lads in CWG hockey camp
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Their spunk is worth admiration. Three hockey players from the city-forward Dharamvir Singh, fullback Rupinder Pal and centre half Preet Inder Singh are going to be the part of the India camp commencing tomorrow in Pune.

The camp is being held to train players for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

The common factor among the trio is that all of them are trainees at the state-run Chandigarh Hockey Academy at Sector 42, which has been gaining the reputation of one of the top-class hockey nurseries of the country.

The call was expected for Dharamvir and Rupinder Pal, who have earned a lot of appreciation during the recently-concluded European tour by Indian hockey team.

Even former Indian captain Sandip Singh was full of praise for Rupinder’s drag flicking skills. “I have seen Rupinder’s drag flicking abilities during the European tour and I think he has the potential to be among the world’s top drag flickers,” said Sandip Singh, who himself is the number one drag flicker of the country.

“European tour was a learning experience for us. Playing against Europeans on their soil helped us learn fine nuances of the game,” said Rupinder and Dharamvir.

Dharamvir attracted the attention by netting 21 goals during the tour. He was also in the playing eleven during the SAF Games held at Dhaka in January this year, while Rupinder had his first outing in the senior category during the Azlan Shah Cup at Malaysia in May this year.

On the other hand for Preet Inder Singh, it was a surprise. “I got selected for the first time in the senior camp. I will try to make most of the opportunity,” said Preet Inder.

Elated coach Jasbir Singh Bajwa said, “I hope that they make it to the final team. I have full confidence in them. They are young, fast and skillful. I am praying for their bright future,” said Bajwa.



ILS at city airport unlikely before yearend
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Yet another deadline to install a new Instrument Landing System (ILS) at Chandigarh airport is likely to go by with the system not expected to be in place before December. Airport officials insist it would be set up by that month but given the past experience, when several such deadlines were missed, there is skepticism the latest would be met.

The ILS was scheduled to be operational by October but airport officials have themselves admitted that might not be possible now.

The system is urgently required at the airport before winter arrives to ensure better visibility for smooth landing and takeoff of planes in fog. Flights are frequently cancelled at that time, leading to a lot of harassment for passengers.

ILS is a vital system needed to guide pilots, particularly during inclement weather and poor or no visibility. Its need is felt most during the winter season when the region is engulfed in fog. It was the absence of the system at the airport that led to flights from the airport being suspended for about a month last winter. The existing ILS has been lying defunct for the past one year.

Even during heavy downpour last Wednesday most flights were either diverted or delayed by two to four hours for want of a new ILS, causing great inconvenience to passengers.

Being primarily a defence airfield all air control facilities, including navigational, the Indian Air Force normally manages landing aids and other safety measures at the airport.

However, a defence official maintained the ILS was not the only reason for delay in operation of domestic flights.

“A defunct ILS system is not the reason behind the delay in starting international flights from this airport. There are many other requirements and parameters that have to be fulfilled if the airport is to become world-class,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Suneel Dutt, director of Chandigarh airport, said the new ILS has been dispatched from Pune and would take about a fortnight to arrive in the city. “We’re already working in this direction and will try to install it at the earliest,” he said, adding, “It’ll take at least four months for its installation.”

He said the old ILS would be replaced by the more superior and sophisticated CAT II ILS and assured it would be installed before the onset of winter.

The new ILS was to be installed in March but the deadline was extended to June and then 
to October.

The airport authorities blamed IAF officials for the “technical glitch”. They claimed the latter had yet to give clearance to Airports Authority of India (AAI) for installing the ILS.

Countering the allegations, an air force official said: “Basically this airfield is meant only for IAF aircraft but we had extended this facility for commercial flights. Now our primary duty is not to look after commercial operations at the airport but to ensure national security and provide strategic inputs.

“The faulty ILS will be replaced very soon. We’re already working in this direction and will fully cooperate AAI for its early installation,” said a defence spokesperson.



CHB Plea
HC asks IT dept to avoid coercion in tax recovery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Acting on a petition filed by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the Punjab & Haryana High Court today directed the income tax department against the use of coercive methods for recovering tax arrears accruing out of a contract with a real estate firm, Parsvnath Developers Ltd.

However, the court’s directions come with a rider. CHB has been asked not to encash any amount out of approximately Rs 260 crore deposited in the form of fixed deposit receipts. The board, however, has been given the liberty of using the funds for meeting day-to-day expenses.

About two years ago the income tax department had served a noticed on CHB to pay up Rs 328 crore as income tax on an amount that the board incidentally never had in its account. The department had calculated the tax after adding Rs 821 crore that the board was supposed to get from Parsvnath.

The UT administration had in 2005 allotted nearly 123 acres to the company for a commercial and housing project near the city’s IT Park for Rs 821 crore. However, Parsvnath paid only Rs 517 crore. Later, when the project ran into controversies, the administration sealed the escrow account of CHB and the company, which had Rs 517 crore.

As the case came up for hearing before a division bench this morning, UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal told the court the matter was already pending adjudication before the income tax appellate tribunal and was to come up for hearing on September 23.

Kaushal prayed that during the pendency of the appeal before the tribunal income tax officials should be directed not to use coercive methods. During the hearing it also transpired that arrears amounting to Rs 65 crore had already been recovered.

The directions have come as a relief to CHB as its kitty would have been reduced to a paltry Rs 86 crore if the board had to pay Rs 328 crore as tax.



Teacher waylaid, thrashed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Days after the UT Education Secretary said school security would be prioritised, another teacher was beaten up in school today.

The incident, which is the second this month, occurred outside Government School at Ramdarbar when Naresh, an SSA teacher, was walking back home.

Four youths, with their faces covered, cornered him near a poultry farm and beat him up. While none of the passersby intervened, one of them called the police which reached the spot and took Naresh to hospital.

Naresh filed a police complaint, stating that he suspected it to be the work of students and their accomplices. “Teachers are unsafe these days. We have to think twice before saying anything to a student because we never know when they will get violent. If the department wants discipline, we need security. We can’t have boys half our age slapping us and getting away with it,” a teacher of the school stated.

Earlier, an outsider slapped a teacher on the premises of Government High School, Karsan, just because she had asked them for identification and the reason for roaming in the school.



UT airport remains without landing device
Anil Jerath/TNS

Chandigarh, August 17
The Instrument Landing System (ILS) at Chandigarh airport is likely to miss yet another deadline as the system may not be at its place before December. While the airport authorities insist that it will be installed by the month of December this year, but given the past experience when several such deadlines were missed there is little optimism about its installation at that time. After missing several deadlines, the ILS was expected to be installed in October. The airport authorities admit it themselves that it may not be possible to install it before December.

The ILS is urgently needed at the Chandigarh airport before the onset of the winter to ensure better visibility for the landing and take-off of the planes as the weather turns foggy at that time and with very poor visibility. With the result flights get frequently cancelled around this time leading to a lot of harassment to the public. It was the absence of the ILS at the airport that led to non-operation of flights from this airport for about a month last winter. The existing ILS has been lying defunct for the last over one year.

Even during Wednesday’s heavy downpour, majority of the flights were either diverted or delayed by two to four hours causing inconvenience to the passengers for want of the new ILS. Being primarily a defence airfield, all air control facilities, including navigation, are normally managed by the Indian Air Force such as landing aids and other safety measures at the airport.

However, a defence official maintained that the ILS was not the only reason for delay in operation of the domestic flights. “A defunct ILS system is not the reason behind the delay in starting international flights from this airport. There are many other requirements and parameters that have to be fulfilled before achieving the standard of an international airport,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Suneel Dutt, director, Chandigarh International Airport, said the new ILS had been dispatched from Pune and it would take about a fortnight to reach Chandigarh. “We are already working in this direction and we will try to install it at the earliest,” he said, while adding, “It will take at least four months for its installation.”

He said the new ILS would be replaced by more superior and sophisticated CAT II ILS and assured that the new ILS would be installed before the onset of winter. The new ILS was to be installed in March. But it was extended to June and now it has been extended to October but now it seems to be a non-starter and could be delayed till December.

The airport authorities blamed Indian Air Force officials for the technical glitch. An Air Force official said, “Basically this airfield is meant only for the IAF aircraft but we had extended this facility for the commercial operations. 


Student poll to be videographed
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Right from campaigning in the university hostels to the voting process at various departments, every aspect of the student council election will be videographed this year at Panjab University.

Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti today said the authorities had geared up to ensure complete strictness during the student election this year.

Any indiscipline by a student organisation would result in the suspension of the entire panel, informed the authorities. Following Saturday’s incident of a student leader sneaking in girls’ hostel, the PU authorities have also decided to videograph the proceedings of the election campaign inside the hostels this time.

“The election will be videographed this year and we will ensure complete strictness. Although during the election time certain hiccups are expected, the university will not spare those, who violate discipline on the campus,” said Sobti.

PU Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Naval Kishore added that the student leaders have been individually cautioned against taking help of any outsiders at the time of canvassing.

“If any outsider is found entering the campus on the pretext of election campaigning, the entire panel of that student organisation would be dismissed,” said Kishore.

University officials said the identity proof of the students, who were canvassing in the hostels and departments, would be duly checked during the random inspections.

The DSW said any kind of indiscipline, including complaint regarding interruption of classes for the election canvassing by student organisations, would be dealt with seriously this time.



Cake Trouble
Security staff of hostel dismissed

Chandigarh, August 17
Panjab University authorities today dismissed two security persons of girls’ hostel 6 (Sarojini extension), who were working there on daily wages.

Following reports of a PUSU leader sneaking in the girls’ hostel to deliver a cake, which was known to Kuldeep Singh and Savitri Devi, security staff present on spot, the authorities demanded a report from the hostel warden.

A decision was taken in the matter today and the authorities dismissed them from the duty. The PUSU leader, who pleaded anonymity, said SOPU was making an election issue out of the situation and created unnecessary alarm on Saturday night. He alleged that he went inside the hostel, along with the security person, as he had to deliver a cake to his friend.

SOPU supporters, on the other hand, claimed that such a practice would only encourage indiscipline and even other boys would be encouraged to deliver things in the girls’ hostel at midnight. — TNS



A musical treat
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 17
Memories of legendary maestro Mohammad Rafi were relived during the musical bonanza “Rafi finals and Rafi awards- 2010” at the Tagore Theatre here today.

The largely-attended function, organised by the Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society in association with the SBI and The Tribune Group of Newspapers, featured as many as 30 singers from Northern India in the final competition.

They were selected after a series of auditions. There were 260 participants in the age group of 7 to 70 years, said society president BD Sharma. The society takes pride in preserving and popularising the soulful gayaki style of Rafi Saheb among youngsters.

“Shahid Rafi, son of the legend, will present awards to winners on December 24,” he added.

The programme commenced with a solo song by Sugandh Khanna in the junior category. Eight boys and six girls modulated their voice to lend emotions to romantic filmy hits of the sixties or seventies.

Two times winner of the title in junior category Sakshar Sharma sang “Jindgi kya hai”. In the senior category, 24 songs and duets were presented by accomplished singers, including some medical and IT professionals.

Well-known composer Dr Arun Kant, assisted by Parkash Nepali on flute, provided the musical support, while Jainender Singh of AIR anchored the show to perfection. The panel of judges led by PK Sharma DPI included Prof Murlidhar Soni and Neena Sharma.

Chief guest Geeta Bhukkal, Minister of Education and Health, Haryana, was accompanied by Madan Gulati, SK Sehgal, chief general manager, SBI.


Junior male category: Sambhav Ananad 1, Yajur Kapur 2, Harnoor Bhulllar and Akash Sharma 3; junior female category: Safia Parvez 1, Asavari Srivastav 2 and Hargun 3; senior male category: Sanjeev Sood 1, Sakshar Sharma 2 and Vinay Kumar 3; senior female: Superiya Sharma 1, Sukhna Singh 2 and Nikhita Verma and Atima Nayyer 3



P’kula resident among 2 killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 17
Tragedy struck a Sector-11 family after its sole breadwinner — Ajay Mahajan (45) — died in a road accident near Kharar late last night.The victim, who was working as a chef in a private hotel near Zirakpur, was returning home from Ludhiana after showing the medical reports of his wife, Chhaya, at Christian Medical College in Ludhiana.

He along with his colleague Suraj Gupta, a resident of Bartana, had left for Ludhiana yesterday around 4 pm to seek a second opinion from doctors there after the doctors at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh — from where his wife had been receiving treatment — had recommended certain tests.

However, their car was involved in a head-on collision with a truck, killing both Ajay, who was driving the car, and truck driver Tarsem Singh on the spot.

Suraj was taken to the Civil Hospital from where he was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where his conditions was stated to be serious.

A police patrol officer informed the family members of the victims about the accident. The bodies were handed over to them after the post-mortem examination today.

According to sources, the family had shifted to the city from Ludhiana around two months ago.

Besides Chhaya, Ajay is survived by his son Gaurav, who studies in class VIII.

Meanwhile, three persons were injured seriously in two accidents on the Panchkula-Barwala National Highway-73.

Surjit Singh, driver of a tractor-trailer, was seriously injured after his vehicle had a head-on collision with a truck around 6 am today.

In another accident, two persons — Manga Ram and Ram Parshad, residents of Bhareilly village — were seriously injured when their motorcycle was hit by an unidentified vehicle near Alipur village on the National Highway-73.

The victims were taken to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where their condition was stated to stable.



Two estate officials suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
The UT estate office today suspended Ashok Bish, Superintendent (rehri branch), and Veer Singh, an enforcement inspector, in connection with illegal occupation of 13 booths in the Sector 41 market.

The move comes following the recent recommendation by UT Adviser Pradip Mehra to suspend the officials after the ADC, PS Shergill, had submitted a report of inquiry recommending the suspension.

The Adviser had also sought explanation from two police officials on their alleged involvement in the scam. In his report on illegal occupation of 13 booths in Sector 41 to Home Secretary Ram Niwas, Shergill had said despite the raids conducted by him and his team, the police officials concerned did not act according to law against the illegal occupants of the booths.

However, the police had been maintaining that it did take action according to the rulebook.

The ADC had also claimed that the SHO and the DSP had leaked information about a secret operation of vacating the booths.

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 had also suspected the involvement of government officials.



Death of cook’s wife, kids
Police gropes inthe dark
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Mystery continues to shroud the death of the wife and three children of Vishnu, a cook working at the UT IGP’s residence, on Independence Day even as the investigation suggests the possibility of a suicide or a murder.

A police officer said there was a possibility of a suicide pact, but the investigation heavily relied on reports of the chemical examination of food samples and viscera of victims, which could ascertain the nature of poison that caused the deaths.

The examination of the circumstantial evidence ruled out the possibility of poison being consumed “accidentally” by all four victims.

Vishnu’s wife Sunita along with her three minor children — Kajal, Raj and Suraj — was taken to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, where Sunita, Raj and Suraj were pronounced dead on arrival, while Kajal, who was referred to the PGI, died later in the night.

The crime scene has baffled the investigators as things were in order and not a single utensil was found used.

The police did not find any bottle, vial or wrapper of poisonous substance from the scene.

Moreover, the victims’ stomachs were found empty in the autopsy.

A police officer said the victims were about to eat when they collapsed. The bowls containing rice and “daal” were found near the refrigerator.

It also appeared that the victims had writhed in pain before their death.

Even as the family members of both Vishnu and Sunita did not suspect anyone’s involvement behind these deaths, the police said they were trying to get information from close relatives and acquaintances of the family.

While Vishu’s family lives at his native place in Nepal, Sunita’s parents live in Garhwal, Uttarakhand. There was no interference from their end in the couple’s life. Both families told the police that the couple were leading a peaceful life.

Police station-26 SHO Shri Parkash said they were questioning close relatives separately to examine their statements in a bid to get some information that could help unravel the mystery.

A police officer said as the incident did not appear to be an accident, they were sure of finding some clue during the questioning of family members.

They were also reconstructing the events leading to the death.

Vishnu was on duty at the IGP’s residence when the incident came to light and the police called him to the scene.

Sources said as Sunita did not have a mobile phone, they were finding it hard to find clues to the people she may have been in touch with on that day.

She had gone to attend an Independence Day function at a school run by the police welfare society in timber market, where she was employed as a peon.



Land Grab
Punjab, city top cops told to explain case status
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Punjab Director-General of Police and UT Inspector-General to explain the status of the land grab case allegedly involving Baba Pritpal Singh.

Taking up the issue, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur observed in open court that the matter was disposed of on May 10 with directions to the DGP and the IGP to look into the allegations and proceed in accordance with law, if these were found to be true.

Further observing that directions were also issued to the police authorities to proceed expeditiously, the Judge directed the top cops to file an affidavit themselves or by an officer deputed by them.

They were asked to give details of the status and the action initiated in pursuance to the May-10 orders.

The directions were issued on an application filed by Patiala resident Harbans Singh and Mohali resident Satinder Kaur.

Describing themselves as the original owners, the two claimed that they were victims of a conspiracy hatched to grab their land on the basis of forged documents.

Parents of a Punjab judicial officer, the two had earlier alleged that neither the Mohali nor the Chandigarh police had taken any action even though “a fraud was played on them”.

The land is located at Madhopur village in Dera Bassi tehsil.

In their petition, Harbans Singh and Satinder Kaur had claimed that when they collected information from the Chandigarh Police, as well as from the Punjab Police, it came to their notice that the matter which is being reported in the newspapers with respect to Baba Pritpal Singh, on the basis of a complaint by an NRI, was nothing but related to the land of the petitioners themselves.



Mayor rejigs panel, violates Act
Aarti Kapur/TNS

Chandigarh, August 17
Bypassing the Punjab Municipal Act and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil, Mayor Anu Chatrath has replaced two members of the art culture and sports committee on her own. Recently, the Mayor had issued an order which stated that Manjit Singh and Jatinder Bhatia would be members of the committee instead of Rita Sharma and Sheela Devi.

She claimed that after the consent of these two councillors, who were earlier member of this committee, the changes had been made. Sheela Devi would be member of the house tax assessment committee in place of Manjit Singh and Jatinder Bhatia would hold the charge in place of Rita Sharma who is abroad.

As per the MC Act, the Mayor could not change members of the art culture and sports committee without taking the permission of the general house.

Both new members participated in the meeting which was held under the chairmanship of Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri (retd) here today.

Under Section 41 E of the Act, if the corporation thinks of amending any power or replacing member on any committee, it has to seek the permission of the general house and give a valid reason. The corporation could seek permission by tabling the agenda in the house. If the house gave consent for the proposed changes, it could empower the Mayor or any other member to implement those.

According to the Act, the Mayor has no power to constitute or make any amendment to any committee.



Estate office fails to provide info
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
In yet another incidence of non-compliance of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, the UT estate office has not provided a city resident with the information he had sought under the Act.

This despite the fact that he had paid the fee as calculated by the department in a reply to his query.

Kafeel Ahmed, a resident of Sector 30, had deposited Rs 350 as fee for procuring the papers under the RTI Act on May 24 but the office has yet not provided him with any information.

On April 28, he had sought papers regarding tenement No. 1661/1 in Sector 30 from the department under the Act. He was asked to pay the fee which was required for providing him with the copies of the papers.

With three months already gone since he paid the fee, he is still making the rounds of the estate office to get the information.

He had recently written to the CPIO (central public information officer) of the estate office but failed to elicit any response from him.



Bar calls off stir, for now

Chandigarh, August 17
Members of the District Bar Association have suspended their 10-day-old dharna for the time being in view of the submission of representations of over 650 Bar members to various authorities and assurance given by Member of Parliament and minister for parliamentary affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal.

The lawyers have been protesting against the imposition of “self-finance scheme” for the construction of lawyers’ chambers. The agitation may continue and the members may resume the dharna if their demand for the construction of chambers by the administration was not met. — TNS



Shoulder surgery possible in India
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 17
“Around 10,000 people in the northern region of the country need shoulder joint replacements, but they are not aware of the fact that such surgeries are now possible in India also,” said Dr Manuj Wadhwa, joint replacement surgeon and Ranawat Joint Replacement Fellow, the USA.

He said hip and knee joint replacements were common but people did not know that even a shoulder joint could be replaced now.

Wadhwa, who had performed the first such operation in India, said the success rate for such surgeries was between 98 and 99 per cent. Moreover, no weight was put on the shoulder. There was no age limit for such surgeries but the patient had to be fit for taking anaesthesia.

The surgeon, who has performed a number of shoulder joint replacements surgeries in England, said in the UK and the USA about one lakh shoulder replacements were done each year, while in India the 
figure was likely to be around 400.

Manuj, who had replaced the shoulder joint of a 60-year-old Mohindro Devi from Kurukshetra at Fortis Hospital here, said the patient was expected to recover in four to six weeks. She had suffered from multiple shoulder fractures after an accidental fall.

He said he had received a special training for elbow and shoulder joint replacements from centres of expertise in the UK, USA and Australia and would start replacing elbows and ankles in about a month or so.



31 typhoid cases reported in P’kula district
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 17
There has been a considerable increase in typhoid cases as about 31 cases have been reported from the district during the past 24 hours.About two dozen patients suffering from typhoid have reportedly been admitted daily during the past one week, creating concern among the health authorities. About 21 patients suffering from diarrhoea have also been admitted in the General Hospital, Sector 6, during the past 24 hours.

Civil surgeon Rakesh Chaudhary, however, said there was no cause for worry as they were closely monitoring the situation. He said officials of the heath department were conducting random survey of various parts in the city, including the slum areas of the city, to check the cases regarding the water-borne diseases.

Chaudhary said fever of various types and other water-borne diseases, along with malaria and dengue, were quite common during rainy season and it was the moral duty of the authorities concerned to take appropriate steps that were in the best interest of the general populace.

He said surveys were also being conducted in various slum areas, including Budhanpur, Rajeev Colony, and Madrasi Colony, to check water pipes leakages or the merging of sewerage into the drinking water.

He said people were being asked to not to allow waterlogging in the vicinity of their houses during rain and to make sure that pits in their surroundings were covered with mud to prevent collection of water in them.

He claimed that about 115 cases of malaria were reported last year till July while only 35 cases have been reported in the corresponding period this year showing considerable decrease of 81 per cent.

Similarly, 12 cases of dengue were reported up to July last year while not a single case has been reported this year, he added. He further said that the public health centres in rural areas, including Raipur Rani, Barwala, Kalka and Pinjore, have been asked to keep a close watch in this regard.



Teachers demand release of colleagues
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 17
District unit of Education Employees Union today burnt an effigy of the Punjab Government and blocked the road in front of district administrative complex this evening.

The teachers demanded release of their colleagues arrested by the Bathinda police yesterday during a protest. They also blocked the Sirhind-Bassi Pathana road and raised slogans against the Punjab Government.

Addressing the teachers, district president of the union Sukhvir Singh said the union members of their organisation were peacefully protesting and were going to submit a memorandum to the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal. However, many of them were arrested by the police and were not released so far. “We are working on meagre salaries for the past long time and despite assurances nothing has been done in this regard by the successive governments,” said Sukhvir.

The members of the union said they would be forced to intensify their agitation if the arrested teachers were not released soon.



Short-circuit possible reason for Quark City blaze
Our Correspondent

A file photo of Quark City
A file photo of Quark City

Mohali, August 17
Short-circuit is suspected to be the reason behind the major fire that broke out at Quark City late last night.Several fire engines from Mohali, Chandigarh and Dera Bassi were pressed into service to tackle the fire and it took nearly three hours to bring the situation under control. The whole area got engulfed in thick black smoke leading to suffocation.

According to reports, the fire broke out in one part of the complex where temporary structures were erected to house the administrative block. There were four sheds which had tin roofs covered by false ceiling. These sheds were properly furnished and each had ACs, apart from good quality furniture. Office record, computers, ACs and furniture got destroyed in the fire.

Fire brigade officials said the fire call was received at 10.40 pm after which fire engines were rushed to the spot. While five engines were used from Mohali, three came from Chandigarh and one from Dera Bassi.

The fire had spread because of the thermocol and other material used for making false ceiling. These were highly combustible products. Even a bulldozer had to be called to pull down one structure so that entry to the area could be made possible.

As the local fire brigade does not have adequate number of drivers, the vehicles had to be driven by fire officers themselves.

The extent of loss due to fire has still not been ascertained by Quark authorities. Assessments in this regard are being made.



Workshop on driver safety kicks off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
A two-day workshop on driver safety programme by the Chandigarh Police in association with Safety Circle, an international training centre for the National Safety Council, US, began at the Traffic Auditorium in Sector 29 today.

At least 200 drivers from different police units are taking part in the workshop. A special focus will be laid on behavioral training, driving ergonomics causes and prevention of accidents, effect of alcohol on driving, driving in adverse conditions, HIV awareness and night driving.

A text book on driver safety was also released by UT SSP SS Srivastava.

Safety Circle MD BPS Bakshi, DSP (PCR) Roshan Lal and DSP (traffic) BS Negi were also present. 



Collector’s Rate
30 pc hike recommended
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 17
The district revenue authorities have recommended a hike of 30 per cent in Mohali’s urban property following a directive by the Financial Commissioner (Revenue) to revise the collector’s rate, a benchmark to levy stamp duty on every property transaction registered by the Sub-Registrar. During a meeting chaired by the Mohali Deputy Commissioner, a hike varying from 10 per cent to 30 per cent has been proposed in the collector’s rate on rural and urban properties in the district. 

The revision in the rates has been proposed just six months after the rates were hiked. A hike in the collector’s rate means that the buyer of a property would have to pay more fee as stamp duty that is levied on every property transaction registered. With a proposed hike of about 30 per cent, the collector’s rate on a residential plot would come to Rs 14,000 per sq yard. Registering the sale deed of a kanal plot would mean paying a stamp duty of around Rs 5.6 lakh against Rs 4.4 lakh earlier. For a 10-marla plot, the hike in stamp duty would be around Rs 60,000. Meanwhile, the Mohali Property Consultant Association has termed the hike as unjustified. SS Walia, president of the association, said a hike within six months would burden the common man. NK Marwaha, founder president of the association, said with a stamp duty of 8 per cent, the collector’s rate was already high. Sources said the recommended rates would be implemented from September 1 after the DC officially approved the rates.



More work for school principals
To take 8-10 classes in a week
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17
Its back to good old teaching days for UT school principals, who will now have to take eight to 10 classes per week in their respective subjects.

In a major decision taken by the UT education department today, all school principals will now have to design their timetable with a minimum of eight periods per week and submit it to the district education officer (DEO).

“I have inspected all schools and found that the principals are not directly involved in teaching, which is mandatory as per the education code. I have instructed them to start taking classes. All principals will submit their timetable to me, so that I can assess their performance and keep a watch,” said DEO Chanchal Singh.

As per the education code, the academic heads of the institutions need to be directly involved in teaching or research projects. The city school principals have, however, been evading teaching on the pretext of being busy with administrative responsibilities.

The department, however, now wishes to enforce the directive with an aim to cultivate healthy communication with students and colleagues. It will also, according to the department, will help in dealing the acute staff crunch in many schools and give new strength to discipline mechanism.

“If the principals take up teaching, they will have a direct interaction with the students and will be able to get their feedback. It will also help them to break divide between the teachers and experience their problems. The step will improvise school conditions,” adds Singh.

Many principals, however, disagree, as one of them asserted, “The amount of work entrusted with the principal is too much and if she or he has to take classes, the discipline and office work will suffer. We are already overburdened.”



From Schools
I-Day celebrated

Chandigarh: IS Dev Samaj Senior Secondary School, Sector 21, celebrated the 64th Independence Day. The programme commenced with the flag-hoisting ceremony and National Anthem.

Green Castle school

Green Castle Public School, Sector 47, celebrated the 64th Independence Day. The celebrations started with the hoisting of the Tricolour by chairman of the school Rajesh Kapoor.

Jawahar Navodyaya Vidyalaya

Jawahar Navodyaya Vidyalaya, Sector 25, celebrated the 64th Independence Day with zeal. The National Flag was unfurled by principal Pawan Kumar Sharma. A march past was done by the NCC cadets, scout and guide troupe and students of all houses.


Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8,celebrated the 64th Independence Day with gaiety and fervour. Students sung patriotic songs and performed dances. Around 50 students of Vatsal Chaya of the AIE centre presented a group song.

Doon school

MOHALI: At Doon International School, students of the school dressed as Bhagat Singh, Mahatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi. Students gave various performances. Kindergarten section was filled with patriotic spirit when children, along with their teachers, sang “Hum Honge Kaamyaab”. — TNS 



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