C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2 Australians, NRI in police net for kidnap bid
Get 3-day police remand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
With the arrest of two Australian nationals and a Ropar-based NRI in Australia, the police today claimed to have foiled the kidnapping of a city resident for a ransom of Rs 1 crore. The target was the son of a former general manager of PUNSUP.

The police said the accused had hatched a conspiracy and hired three persons for Rs 10 lakh for keeping the victim hostage until the ransom amount was paid. The accused had planned to transfer the amount in their Australian bank account, which they wanted to use as “seed money” for investing in drug trade.

Those arrested have been identified as Gursher Singh of Zail Nagar in Ropar and Australian nationals Simon Ginty and Grant Alan Easton. Gursher had gone to Australia for studies and hatched a conspiracy with Ginty and Easton to kidnap his friend, 23-year-old Harsh Sinha from Chandigarh.

The accused were produced before a local court today, which remanded them in three-day police custody. Gursher had planned to call Harsh for a chat and later kidnap him and take him to Mullanpur. He asked Harsh to meet him near the Sector 40 temple.

The IGP said the crime branch got a tip off from the Punjab police. Using electronic surveillance, the police traced down the suspects at Sector 35 yesterday and apprehended them.

They were sitting in a Gypsy and two knives and 20 gm charas were seized from them. Three air-pistols were also found in the vehicle.

DSP Satbir Singh said various cases under the relevant Sections of the IPC, the NDPS Act and the Arms Act had been registered.

During questioning the accused disclosed that they reached India on August 15 via Malaysia, where they stayed for two days. After purchasing a Gypsy from Delhi, Gursher Singh contacted his cousin Bhupinder Singh, asking him to arrange for persons who could keep someone hostage.

His cousin contacted an acquaintance, Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Amritsar, who further engaged Raju and a Nihang and they reached Chandigarh. They met at the Sector 43 ISBT and went back after striking the deal.

Harsh told the police that Gursher Singh was a classmate of his brother in college and confirmed that he had received a call from Gurhser, who wanted to meet him.



Assault on Teachers
Education dept seeks police help
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
In a bid to deal with the ever-increasing incidents of assaulting teachers in or outside the school campus, the UT education department has sought help from police officials.

In a letter shot to UT SSP Shrivastava, the department has asked him to arrange for regular visits of areas’ SHOs to the identified sensitive schools.

“The incidents are unfortunate and the need is to deal with these incidents seriously. We have identified some schools, which are trouble stricken and forwarded the list to the UT Police. I have written a letter to the SSP asking him to make the SHOs’ visits to the schools as confidence building exercise. It will also act as a deterrent for miscreants,” revealed DPI (S) PK Sharma.

The schools have been identified on the basis of recent incidents of thrashing teachers and feedback from teachers and principals. As per the plan, the SHOs will visit the schools on weekly basis to keep a vigil. They will also be provided information about any objectionable activity in or outside the school campus. A list of troublemaker students or ex-students will also be provided to the SHOs.



Eyewitness punches holes in police theory
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
Contradictions remained central to the ongoing investigation into the road accident that claimed the lives of 21-year-old Sukhwinder Singh and six-year-old Harpreet Singh, both residents of Kansal village, near here.

The UT IGP, PK Srivastva, talking to the media today, said the case was nothing more than that of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. The police had registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving under Sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC.

The family of the victims and the lone eyewitness, however, accused the police of distorting facts to favour the accused — 19-year-old Sukhmani Brar who reportedly belongs to an influential family.

Asked about the delay in arresting the accused 20 hours after the incident, the IGP admitted that there had been delay and said they were looking into the lapses and would take action.

The IGP asserted that the victims’ family was satisfied with the action taken by the police, but his claims went for a toss with Harpreet’s father Dalbir Singh accusing the police of shielding the accused.

Accusing the police of distorting facts and tampering with the accident spot, Dalbir Singh alleged that the original spot was away from the place the police was showing as the accident spot. Further challenging the police theory, he alleged that in its investigation the police showed that the victims took a left turn from the roundabout before being hit by the car. However, they were going straight when they were knocked down, he stated.

The IGP also ruled out the allegation of a car race being the reason behind the mishap. This is despite the fact that the eyewitness and the complainant in the case, Sarabjit Singh, a resident of Khudda Ali Sher, has been claiming that both cars — Sukhmani’s Honda Accord and Armanraj’s Maruti Swift -- were racing at the time of the accident. The IGP stated that the investigation hinted that the cars were not racing.

The police has drawn flak for heavily relying on the statements givens by Sukhmani and her friends Armanraj Singh and Rahul, claiming that they were not racing. A police officer said they had obtained the mobile phone call details of the accused, which supported their claim that Sukhmani had called them for help, which proved that they were not together on the road.

Defending the police action of invoking Section 304-A (causing death due to negligence), the IGP said it was the appropriate section in case of a fatal road accident. Saying that the incident did not invoke Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), the IGP said the two cases — BMW case (Delhi) and actor Salman Khan’s case in Mumbai — cited in a section of the media were ultimately filed in the court under Section 304-A for trial. He said he himself had supervised the probe in the BMW case when he was in Delhi as the SSP.

About Sarabjit’s claim that the girl was drunk, the IGP said the sample had been sent for examination and techniques were available to confirm if a person was drunk even after 24 hours. He, however, said one could not know from a distance if someone was drunk.



RLA goes without water
Meter disconnected after it fails to clear dues
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
The office of the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), adjoining the municipal corporation, went without water today as its meter was disconnected on account of non-payment of tariff. As per records of the corporation, the RLA owes more than Rs 50,000 for the last six months.

The MC is carrying out a drive to disconnect water connections with pending tariff above Rs 50,000.

Officials said several reminders had been sent to the RLA for depositing the pending tariff. Last month through an official communique, the RLA office had requested
the public health department of the MC to not disconnect the water connection and give it one month’s time to pay the bill. The RLA authorities, however, failed to deposit the amount on the stipulated day.

The public health superintendent engineer, RK Goyal, said the department was in the process of issuing notices to defaulters and disconnecting water meters of those who were not paying the tariff on time.

Records of the MC show that more than Rs 8 crore was due from defaulters and of this, Rs 3 crore was due from private property owners. The rest of the amount is due from government departments. 



De-notified land still not demarcated
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 20
The Punjab revenue department’s inability to demarcate de-notified forestland in Karoran, Nadah and Perch villages, locked under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), has literally turned over 1,000 hectares in these villages into no man’s land.

It has resulted in anxiety among forest officials as the demarcation is vital to ensure that the Act is not violated in areas adjoining the de-notified land.

The boundary of the de-notified land runs in a zig-zag manner along the forest areas. The officials apprehend that VIPs, including politicians, bureaucrats and police officers who own land in the area, might intrude in the forest area in the guise of de-notified land.

Punjab Chief Secretary SC Aggarwal said it was a along exercise and due to shortage of staff, it was taking time. The de-notified khasra numbers would be released soon.

Sources in the forest department said since March this year, repeated letters had been written to the respective Deputy Commissioners to get the land demarcated. As per the recommendations of a committee set up by the state government to carry out the de-notification exercise, the identified areas had to be delineated on maps and also on ground by the revenue department.

Consolidated maps of such areas had also been prepared for each village and prominently displayed so that all concerned had information regarding it.

Today again the department shot off letters to the Mohali DC to carry out the exercise. The sources said since the land ordered to be de-notified from the list of forest areas under Section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act by the union ministry of environment and forests could only be used for bona fide agricultural and related activities to sustain the livelihood of the owner and not for commercial use, the revenue department was reluctant to carry out the exercise.

“Any violation of the conditions of de-listing of the PLPA land would have to be checked by the revenue department and not the forest department,” an official stated.


Nights to be pleasant this weekend
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
It was the third day in succession that the city woke up to a pleasant windy morning today. As the day progressed, the humidity level kept on increasing. The Met office has some good news for the city residents: “Nights will remain cooler and pleasant towards the weekend.”

The weather officials have predicted rainfall later this evening.

The city recorded a maximum temperature of 32.8 degrees Celsius (°C), a raise of 1.1° C as compared to yesterday’s 31.7 and the minimum temperature dipped marginally by 0.5 ° C to 27.0 ° C, which was normal for this time of the season.

“Skies will remain cloudy with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers in some parts of the city tomorrow.

The maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to hover around 32 and 26 ° C ”, a met official said.

The Met official informed that the humidity was on the higher side. It was recorded at 87 per cent and the minimum was 69 per cent.

Doctors said cases of water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, dehydration and vomiting were a major cause of concern in this weather.

“One should see a doctor in case of headache, vomiting or if high fever persists for more than 24 hours. Extra precaution should be taken in case of children, the elderly and expecting women,” said Dr DS Dhillon. The number of patients with symptoms of water-borne diseases rises during this time of the year,” he added.

The news emanating from the weather room is that the prevailing weather conditions — higher humidity conditions during the day and pleasant nights- is likely to continue in the next couple of days in the city.

The weathermen said there was a possibility of partial cloudy conditions with a spell of rain or thundershowers in isolated parts in the city on Saturday.



WiMAX service to be introduced in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
After launching WiMAX Broadband Service in Punjab, state owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is all set to introduce the service on a trial basis in the city from the second week of September.

WiMAX, a technology, that will allow subscribers to use their broadband services on wireless through out the city will surely be a boon to the net savvy and on the move computer users. BSNL plan to invest over Rs 70 crore in rolling out our services in Punjab and Chandigarh.

Talking to newsmen on draw of trade discount scheme of BSNL, General Manager, Telecom, Naresh Sharma, said, “The services will be initially available in few sectors, including Sector 4, 9, 14, 15, 17, 20, 22, 27 and 34. While in Sectors 18, 19, 21, 30, 31 and 33 speed is likely to be weak due to network. However, he admitted that since it was only a trial phase, the subscriber may not get the usual high speed of WiMAX as complete infrastructure was yet to be in place.

Sharma said that once the service was fully enabled in the city, the user after installing the Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) would be able to access internet service through WiMAX upto 8 MBPS.

He said that charges of Wimax varied according to the data plan. For Rs 220, the user could download 400 mb data and Rs 999 plan was available for unlimited uses and speed of … would be available.

Talking about the other schemes of BSNL, he said, 2G and 3G SIM would be available free of cost for new users till August 31. On activation of 2G SIM, the customer will get 50 MB free data download along with 1000 local and 1000 national sms free. While, 3G customers on recharge of Rs 120 will get minimum 100 voice call and 200 mb data free of cost for 30 days from the day of recharge. For broadband, no installation charges will be taken for new registration.

Lucky draw was taken out by vice president, Mohali Industry Association, Anurag Agarwal and 15 winners were given free ITC/Call Now card of the value equal to their current bill of the customer. The winners of landline customers for April were Dr Ramesh Girg, Amrit Singh, Dr Kamlesh Gulati, Rama Kant, Jagdish Chand Malhotra etc.



Transfer of Depts
MC to table draft on Aug 23
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
The draft prepared for the departments recently transferred from the Chandigarh administration to the municipal corporation is expected to be tabled during the meeting of Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC), to be held on August 23.

Sources said the authorities had already appointed nodal officers for departments, including education, health and roads, to work out modalities of infrastructure, available staff, vacancies and the status of new projects sanctioned in the respective areas. These officials will have to prepare a detailed report of each department which is going to be transferred to the corporation.

Sources said members of the committee would discuss the draft which would be tabled in the general house meeting 
for discussion.

It may be mentioned that the administration has approved the transfer of all V3 roads, parks, green belts, 20 civil dispensaries, 21 health care centres, two polyclinic, Ayush hospital and six primary schools. The administration has directed the corporation to create its own cadre within six months for the purpose.



Admn forms standing committees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
The Chandigarh administration has constituted various standing committees of the Administrator’s Advisory Council(AAC)-a development which will go a long way in initiating the process of public participation in the decision-making process.

According to a order issued by Home Secretary Ram Niwas, Justice SS Sodhi, RK Saboo, PC Sanghi, Chaman Lal Gupta and Saudamini Bambah will be members of the urban infrastructure for the city committee, while Deepa Jain Singh, Harjinder Kaur, Maj-Gen MS Kandal (retd), Neelam Man Singh and Partap K Aggarwal will be members of the Education Committee.

The Environment Committee will have Justice Kuldip Singh, Chand Nehru, Manju Jaidka and Vikram Sehgal as members and the Health Committee will have BB Bahl, CL Bains, Hanbans Kaur Bahia, SK Sharma and Sadanand as members.

The names of Charanjiv Singh, Kiran Johsi, ML Sarin, Sumitra Amarkant and GPS Sahi figure in the Urban Planning and Heritage Preservation Committee. Politicians Sanjay Tandon, Gurbachan Singh and Devi Dayal Sharma and retired IPS officer VK Sharma will constitute the Law and Order Committee.

On the other hand, DP Azad, ML Verma, Sabastian Jose and Bhajan Singhm will be members of the Sports Committee.The Transportation Committee consists of KS Raju, Madhu Sarin, Mansur Ali and City Mayor Anu Chatrath, while the Traffic Management Committee will have Gurdeep Singh Atwal, Harish C Sethi, Manmohan Singh and Gurdeep Singh as members.



CITCO bends service rules
Conditional promotion for junior staff without financial benefits
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
When it comes to promotions, the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) seems to have different set of rules for everyone.

In order to promote senior officials, the CITCO authorities have been kind enough to ensure financial benefits, even if that means redesignating the same post more than once.

However, the same authorities have a different set of rules when it comes to promoting junior employees, who have been serving the corporation for more than two decades.

In its latest move, CITCO has been, in the name of promotion, asking its employees to fill in an undertaking performa, which states that “the employees will not claim any benefit whatsoever on account of redesignation” to the next level.

Sources claim that this is in direct conflict with the service and promotion rules, which have been recently approved during a meeting of CITCO’s board of directors.

The sources claim that nowhere has it been mentioned in the rules that at any given point, employees will be given conditional promotion, which will exclude any benefit, including financial.

In fact, utility workers have shown strong resentment against this move and have even refused to accept this conditional promotion.

CITCO Workers Union President Kashmir Chand has refused to accept the promotion in a strongly worded letter written to the managing director.

“This is in direct conflict with our service rules, which clearly mention that after promotion to the next level, not only do employees stand to get more pay, but other benefits as well,” he says.

In yet another glaring example of the authorities overlooking the decision of its board of directors in the past to extend benefits to a chosen few, the authorities have decided to create new posts.

In 2005, the board of directors approved redesignating the posts of senior manager (Food and Beverages) as deputy general manager (F&B).

As a result, two senior managers (F&B) of the CITCO hotels Mountview and Parkview were redesignated accordingly.

After five years, the board has now decided to create two posts of deputy general manager (hotels), which have to be filled by promotion among senior managers (F&B).

This is in direct contradiction to the board’s earlier decision, wherein the senior managers (F&B) were already redesignated deputy general managers (F&B).



After swine flu, it may be dengue
15 under treatment, blood reports awaited
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
After a case of swine flu in the city last week, dengue has increased the worries of the health authorities.

Fifteen patients with symptoms of the diseases have been admitted to local hospitals from the city and neighbouring areas.

It is not yet confirmed that the patients are suffering from dengue as reports of blood samples of the patients is yet to be received.

According to information, the patients, belonging to the tricity and other areas of Punjab and Haryana, are under treatment at the PGI and the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16.

The virus that causes dengue is carried by female ‘aides aegypti’ mosquitoes. Avoiding mosquito bite during the daytime is a critical precautionary measure.

The virus of the mosquito is not contagious and cannot be spread directly from person to person. It requires a person-to-mosquito-to-person passage.

A patient of dengue, in addition to having high fever, suffers from backache, severe headache, joint pains, nausea, vomitting, eye pain and rashes.

As a precautionary measures against the disease, places where the mosquito lays her eggs, primarily artificial water containers, should be reduced.

Items that collect rainwater or are used to store water, like plastic containers, big drums, buckets and used automobile tyres lying in the open, should be taken care of.

The Chandigarh health authorities had managed to keep the number of dengue patients down to 25 last year while this figure was 99 and 199 during the two preceding years.



Houses damaged in landslides
Victims await compensation
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

The demolished houses.
The demolished houses. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

The families affected by landslides in a community centre at Bir Ghaggar village in Panchkula on Friday.
The families affected by landslides in a community centre at Bir Ghaggar village in Panchkula on Friday. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Bir Ghaggar (Panchkula), August 20
Three families whose houses were damaged in landslides about three weeks back are still waiting for the compensation to be given by the district administration.

One of the victims, Darshana Devi, talking to The Tribune today said that no government official or political leaders have visited them since July 27. She said mosquitoes were giving them sleepless nights as the community centre was covered only from three sides. They were, therefore, susceptible to vector-borne diseases, she added.

Another resident, Vijay, whose house was damaged, said the district administration had not given any relief to them except providing them with 2-kg rice and wheat besides some spices and a half litre of mustard oil on the first day.

He said they had taken up the matter with village sarpanch Ram Sarup who had assured that he would take up the matter with the district administration. However, nothing had been done in this regard, he rued.

Another victim, Sanjay, said the administration started supplying water through a water tanker after three days. He alleged that tanker owner had told them that he would not be supplying water to them in future. He said even the officials of the electricity department have asked them to apply for a meter otherwise power supply to the community centre would be disconnected.

It is worth mentioning here that not just the area, which faced the collapse, damaging the three houses near the embankment of the Ghaggar, but the entire locality in the area is susceptible due to loose soil.

The victims said if the district administration failed to pay any compensation they would be forced to protest by blocking the national highway 22. They said they had lost all their earnings in the incident as their houses were totally damaged in landslides. They alleged that the irrigation department was responsible for their plight as they failed to construct two, out of three, spurs in the river.

Meanwhile, cracks have appeared in three more houses in the same lane during yesterday’s heavy rains. Tehsildar Satish Singla, after visiting the site, had said compensation would be given as per policy of the state government. He said he would submit his report to the Deputy Commissioner.



12 illegal structures removed
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 20
A number of illegal encroachments built along the Chandigarh-Ambala National Highway in Zirakpur were removed by GMR Ambala-Chandigarh Expressways Pvt Ltd on Friday, the company holding the contract for maintaining the Ambala-Chandigarh National Highway.

Vaibhav Sharma, an official of GMR, said the encroachers had been served with a prior notice well in advance and the encroachments were removed only after completion of the notice period.

The encroachments removed in the anti-encroachment drive also included the parking floor built outside the ‘Best Price’ and some hoardings outside the ‘Silver City’ besides some marbled floors outside few marriage palaces and resorts in Zirakpur.

A total of 12 illegal constructions were removed with the help of a JCB machine during the drive that would continue for few more days, as some more people have already been issued the notices, and the company would get their encroachments removed as soon as the notice period ends, informed the official. Another 12 illegal structures had been removed by the company on Monday. 



Godown area sans basic amenities
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, August 20
Lack of basic amenities in the godown area in Pabhat village on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway has been annoying the owners of the godowns of multinational and Indian companies.

The owners and tenants allege that the state government and Zirakpur municipal council have been collecting crores of rupees from the traders as taxes but fail to provide basic facilities like proper roads, streetlights, drainage system and drinking water. The work of sewerage laying, too, was slow, leading to inconvenience to suppliers and dealers.

They claim that for the past eight years they have been submitting their complaints to the state government, municipal council president, and other authorities concerned, but nothing has been done so far.

A visit to the area reveals that a majority of the approach roads are un-metalled and dotted with potholes. During night, it is difficult to walk on the roads as there are no streetlights. In rainy season, waterlogging is a routine affair which damages the goods in the godowns.

“We have written to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal about the pathetic condition of the godown area and requested him to provide us with basic facilities on priority basis,” says Amit Jain, president of C&F Association, Zirakpur. Due to poor conditions and “kuccha” roads, trucks drivers are forced to park their trucks on the highway causing inconvenience to commuters, he added.

FS Nagra, president of the Commercial Welfare Association of godown area, states that the area is one of the biggest commercial hubs in the state and the authorities concerned had been collecting crores of rupees from the godowns in the form of taxes annually.

He says they have submitted their representations to the state government and municipal council officials many times, but the authorities have turned a blind eye towards the basic requirements of the godown owners.

MC president and district planning chairman NK Sharma claims that most of the work of sewerage laying has already been completed and only 15 per cent of it is left. He says in the last MC meeting the council has passed a budget for the development in godown area and facilities will be provided to them shortly. The tenders for re-carpeting of Pabhat-Chandigarh link road will be called soon, he adds.



Dialysis unit to be functional from Aug 31
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 20
For the first time a 10-bed drug de-addiction centre and dialysis unit will start functioning from the Civil Hospital in Phase VI here.

The areas for both the facilities have been identified and these will start functioning from the new extended building of the hospital, which will be handed over to the authorities concerned on August 31.

Civil surgeon Dr PK Sridhar said the de-addiction centre would be run according to the guidelines laid down in this regard.

The dialysis unit would also become functional as soon as the new building was handed over. A medical specialist and paramedical staff were provided training at the PGI to run the dialysis unit in a satisfactory manner.

He said the emergency wing of the hospital had been equipped with proper air conditioning system for the convenience of patients.

Sridhar said a meeting of the Rogi Kalyan Samiti was held under the chairmanship of Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu here today.

The problems being faced by the hospital were discussed at length and the higher authorities would be informed in this regard so that improvements could be brought about.

There was a proposal to equip the labour room with a foetal monitor, which would help in knowing the heartbeat. The capacity of the mortuary would also be increased, he added.



Steno typists seek justice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
There have been great irregularities in the promotion of steno typists since 1994 at Powercom and Transco Limited. Promotions of employees in all categories working in the power board are done on the basis of seniority-cum-merit, but in the stenography cadre, promotions are done on the basis of merit alone which is contrary to the rules and regulations of the board.

As a result, about 170 steno typists are affected due to this anomaly. It was revealed in the information sought under the RTI Act.

According to a press note received here, the matter has been brought to the notice of the chairman as well as administrative member of Powercom, yet nothing has been done to end the injustice.

The steno typists have now appealed to the authorities to end the stalemate; otherwise they will be forced to move the court.



Marla-house GPA holders allege bias
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
General power of attorney (GPA) holders of marla houses are up in arms against the decision of the estate office not to recognise GPA for property transactions.

In a representation, GPA holders alleged that hundreds of house owners were at the receiving end of the authorities since last year, when the estate office banned no-objection certificates for GPA holders. A large number of marla houses in Sector 35 onwards had been facing this problem.

Sohan Lal Madaan of Sector 40, alleged that the estate office’s decision was discriminatory as GPA holders of cooperative group housing societies and Chandigarh Housing Board’s dwelling units were allowed transactions.



PU plays down eve-teasing incident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
A first year student of Panjab University’s department of environment sciences today lodged a complaint at the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) office against a boy who misbehaved with her at the student centre.

The girl, along with her friend, submitted a written complaint to the DSW, but the boy could not be identified. The PU authorities said the incident was a minor one and was resolved. “The incident was a minor one and the matter has been resolved,” said DSW Naval Kishore.

The incident, which was earlier being speculated as a ragging incident, later turned out to be an incident of eve-teasing and misbehaviour.

With the student council election round the corner, security at the campus has also been strengthened.

University officials today also added that in the wake of today’s incident at the student centre, which is the hub of activities at the campus, the security at the centre would also be strengthened.



‘Love on the Brink’ has audience in splits
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 20
“Master achievers do not do different things but they do things differently”. It veritably applies to acclaimed film actor thespian Lillete Dubey, who gave a new dimension to her production, an English play, “Love on the Brink”, staged in the Tagore Theatre here today.

The much awaited theatre spectacle organised by the Durga Das Foundation was supported by HDFC, First city Infratech, with The Tribune Group of Newspapers. The play adapted by Sandhya Divecha from Tony award winning play “Luv” by Murray Schisgal with certain aberrations suiting the Indian milieu was an attempt to explore the concept of love and search for the ideal marital relationship, family life and living.

Without any conventional storyline and didactic sermonising, the two-hour wickedly satirical hilarious comedy kept audience engaged. The playwright and director had devised absurd but comic situations, potential enough to generate humour and genial laughter by the three accomplished actors.

The play was structured in the cosmopolitan cultural background. The audio-visual effects and aptly designed sets, which were both symbolic and functional, chiaroscuro effects and music augmented the acting spells by the characters, including poor and dejected Sudipto Bandhopadhya (Bandy), an existentialist intellectual, Pankaj Chopra (Chops), a rich person, and his wife Amu. Their brilliant and vibrant acting spells with an in depth understanding of respective characters put life into the otherwise absurd theme. But the play recovers an explosive truth about the sanctity of the institution of marriage and love and longing, the ingredients for a peaceful living. The crisp dialogue delivery, expressions with frequent voice modulations and eloquent stage movements accounted for their aesthetic brilliance, while presence of the director was amply discernible in the play.

Joy Sen Gupta, Kumud Mishra and Shivani Tanksale formed the cast.

The dignitaries, including IAS Pradeep Mehra, Justice SS Sodhi, Trustee, and Raj Chengappa, Editor-in Chief of The Tribune Group of Newspapers, besides Justice Hemant Gupta, Justice Rajive Bhalla, IGP PK Srivastva, graced the function. Earlier Durgadas Foundation director Atul Khanna welcomed the guests.



Rustic splendour brought alive
SD Sharma

Panchkula, August 20
The magnificence of diverse folk musical cultures of Haryana and its bordering areas were brought alive with élan and rustic splendour at the Inderdhanush Auditorium in the state-level “Lok Sangeet Utsav” here today.

The event organised by the Haryana Kala Parishad marked the birth anniversary of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. About 80 artistes, including folk instrumentalists, dancers and singers, participated in the mega show.

While the nagada party led by Ranjit Singh accorded traditional welcome, sarangi artistes and deru singers led by Parksh Nath, Om Parksh and Balbir Singh, respectively, charmed audience.

It were folk dances titled “Saavan” and “Khodiya” presented by 15 accomplished dancers from the parishad under the direction of veteran folk dancing maestro Leela Saini, which won applause. Besides Vandna, Seema and Ruchi who doled out “Ganga ji ke pyar mein”, celebrated Prem Dehati presented raaginis.



PU Dental College
Minor blast in dept lab, girl suffers injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
A second-year student of Panjab University’s HS Judge Dental College today suffered injuries while working in the department lab. The incident triggered panic among students of her batch, who were working in the same lab at the time of the incident.

The institute director, however, added that negligence by the students can lead to such accidents and the students must take precautionary measures. “I have given instructions to the students on how to use spirit lamps and burners in the labs,” said Krishan Gauba, director of HS Judge Dental College.

Due to a minor blast from the spirit lamp in the lab, the girl suffered burns on her eyebrows and cheeks. Two other girls working close to her in the lab had a narrow escape when the blast occurred.

When the students were probed about the incident, they replied that it was a routine incident in the lab and such blasts were a common site.

However, the second-year students added that certain lab equipment was lying unused and there was a need to improve the infrastructure and utilise the exiting material. The spirit lamps were being used in the labs, while burners were also available but not used, claimed the students.

They were in a state of shock and expressed their apprehension about medical aid available in case such an incident occurred.

“There is no emergency kit in the department in case such incidents happen. The girl has got burns on her eyebrows and the spark could also have gone in her eyes and caused permanent damage,” said a girl present on the spot.

Dean Student Welfare Naval Kishore said the complaint of the students would be looked into.



Law students protest against 2 teachers
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
Alleged misbehaviour of two teachers with students of the department of laws, Panjab University, evoked widespread protest by the students today.

It was a platform where members of all student organisations, including SOPU, PUSU and SOI, as the students of the department joined hands to stage a dharna outside the chairperson’s office.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Naval Kishore reached the spot and pacified the students. The female teacher, against whom the students were protesting, also apologised to the students later. The students had alleged that two teachers did not teach and, instead, exerted undue pressure on them. Following an argument with one of them today in a classroom over a presentation topic, the students staged the protest.

Department chairperson PS Jaswal said the issue had been resolved now. “There was some argument over a topic of presentation between the students and teachers. The matter has been settled now,” said Jaswal.

The unity of student parties, however, soon dissolved when certain outsiders were spotted by the PU security in the parking lot of the department of laws.

Nearly half a dozen outsiders were identified by the PU security staff, who were taken to the Sector 11 police station for identification and later released.

Suspecting identity of the boys, the security persons asked the boys to show their identity cards, which they could not produce.

The dharna at the PU’s law department soon turned out to be a PUSU-SOPU brawl, although minor, when the members of one party outnumbered the members of other party. The alertness of the PU security prevented an incident of violence on the campus.



From Schools & Colleges
Akshay Urja Diwas

CHANDIGARH: Rajiv Gandhi Akshay Urja Divas was celebrated on Friday at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, to create mass awareness and encourage people towards adopting renewable energy dependent appliances. UT Finance-cum-Environment Secretary Sanjay Kumar was the chief guest. He flagged off an awareness rally on energy conservation. Kumar took round of the herbal garden developed in the school and planted a medicinal plant named “Sita Ashok” in the campus.


The Eco Club of DAV College, Sector 10, celebrated Rajiv Gandhi Akshay Urja Diwas. A tree plantation drive was followed by the power-point presentation on the renewable energy resources by students. Home Secretary Ram Niwas was the chief guest. Alka Grover, convener Eco Club, motivated the students to tap alternate energy resources.

INCA quiz

A preliminary round of INCA Map Quiz-2010 was conducted at the Survey of India, Sector 32, on Friday. Over 101 teams comprising three students each from different schools of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali participated in the quiz. On the basis of the quiz, five teams, one each from St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32; St Stephen’s School, Sector 45; Tender Heart School, Sector 33; Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26; and Yadavindra Public School, SAS Nagar, have been selected for the final round.

Plays staged

Spirit India, a student volunteers’ group of GGDSD College, Sector 32-C, working under the aegis of Aavahan, an NGO, in association with the Chandigarh School of Drama working under the guidance of Sardar Gursharan Singh Ji “Manna” organised a drama event on the college premises on Friday. Two plays, “Mitti Rudan Kare” and “Buutt Jaag Paya”, were staged by artistes of the drama group. While the former play debated the issue of drug addiction, the latter targeted the issue of corruption in the political scene. Speaking on the occasion, principal Prof AC Vaid lauded the efforts of the organisers and performing team and commended their spirit to create awareness regarding the issues of topical concern. Prof Vaid also spoke on the need to eradicate such maladies from the roots.

Youth parliament contest

Two-day long youth parliament competition was held at the Depot Auditorium, 3 BRD, Air Force station. Chief guest Balramji Das Tandon, ex-Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, inaugurated the function. Under the guidance of Assistant Commissioner, region, MS Chauhan, and efforts put in by the host, principal SK Sharma, the function was a great success

Sadbhavna fortnight

Sadbhavna fortnight celebrations were initiated by students of Government College of Education, Sector 20, here on Friday. The students and faculty members took an oath to work towards the achievement of all-round harmony.

MoU signed

MOHALI: For the students who are unable to pursue technical education due to financial constraints, the Quest Group of Institutions and Central Bank of India have signed a memorandum of undertaking (MoU). DS Sekhon, chairman of Quest Group of Institutions, said the benefit would be extended to students seeking admission to the institute. After signing the MoU with B Akbar Aly, zonal manager, Central Bank of India, the chairman of Quest Institute said under the education loan scheme, the students would be provided loan up to Rs 10 lakh. The student will have to repay the loan after 1 year of completion of the degree or six months of getting the job, whichever is earlier.

Science exhibition

A regional and national-level science exhibition was organised by the CBSE for 2010 at Lawerance Public Senior Secondary School, Mohali. About 260 entries, out of 160 schools, participated from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. The opening ceremony commenced with Saraswati Vandana on Friday, followed by the welcome song and then lightening of the lamp by a student of DAV. A student of Patiala, Varun, inaugurated the function. Praveen Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, and Ashok, secretary CBSE, presided over the function. — TNS



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