C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Poll result sparks violence on PU campus
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Gurwinder Singh (PUSU-INSO) with his supporters after being elected president of the Panjab University Campus Students Council.
Gurwinder Singh (PUSU-INSO) with his supporters after being elected president of the Panjab University Campus Students Council. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

A supporter cheers PUSU victory in Chandigarh on Friday.
A supporter cheers PUSU victory in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, September 3
From ripping off clothes of rival supporters to hurling chairs at polling officers at the Student Centre, unprecedented incidents of violence were witnessed today on the Panjab University campus during the students’ council elections.

Supporters of the two rival groups - Panjab University Students Organisation (PUSU) and Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), continued to vent their anger at each other throughout the day. Most of those indulging in violence happened to be former leaders of both groups who had been busy “guiding” the new candidates during the past few days.

The day’s first major violent incident was triggered when PUSU supporters began celebrating their party’s victory at their help desk though an hour was still left for voting to end. For nearly 20 minutes they rode around on motorbikes in the area close to their tent, hoisting the party’s flags.

It was only when a car full of PUSU supporters entered the rival group’s zone that the real trouble began. One of them reportedly mocked SOPU supporters and even threw a dagger at them from the car’s window. An angered crowd of SOPU supporters, who were already sore over their party’s defeat, then chased the car and managed to stop it. The police then swung into action and tried to bring the situation under control.

The drama continued with nearly 400 supporters of both SOPU and PUSU hooting at each other. Robin Brar, Vikramjeet and others challenged their rivals to enter into a fight. Insiders said the incident was an aftermath of the tension and clashes on the campus on Thursday night.

In the second major incident, once the election results were announced a heated argument between INSO’s defeated candidate, Dharmender Lathwal, and SOPU’s Vikramjeet triggered another brawl. Supporters threw chairs at each other in the presence of the police and the poll returning officer.

Due to the ongoing enmity between SOPU and PUSU, the lone ABVP-SOPU alliance candidate for the student council, Akhil Bansal, was hesitant to come to the Student Centre for a formal ceremony, where PUSU supporters were present in large numbers. When, after some persuasion, the candidate arrived at the student centre with SOPU supporters, the presence of PUSU supporters there led to yet another scuffle.

Chairs hurled by the supporters rained on the hostel wardens, administrative functionaries and department representatives present at the scene. Panic gripped the students who began to rush downstairs from the coffee house.

Several students, who were stuck in the violence, moved towards the rear end of the room. The wardens and the returning officer were seen preventing students from throwing chairs.



And the winners are...
Rain, low turnout and minor scuffles could not deter the spirits of the new brigade of student representatives, who were declared victorious in student elections conducted in various colleges on Friday. While it was simple congratulations for some, others took out massive victory rallies. Beaming with enthusiasm, the newly elected representatives marched forward with a promise to be the voice of students

SD College, Sector 32
SOPU makes comeback
Prabhjot Singh, who has been elected as president, with his supports at GGDSD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Friday.
Prabhjot Singh, who has been elected as president, with his supports at GGDSD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

President Prabhjot Singh
Vice-president Sushmita Mathur 
Secretary Sandeep 
Joint secretary Darpan Sachdev

Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11
Achla with her supporters at PGGC for Girls, Sector 11.
Achla with her supporters at PGGC for Girls, Sector 11. Tribune photo: S Chandan

President Achla 
Vice President Jagriti Kalia 
General secretary Kirti Sharma 
Joint Secretary Ritu 

DAV College-10 goes to PUSU

Sehajpal Singh (left) with has supporters in DAV College, Sector 10.
Sehajpal Singh (left) with has supporters in DAV College, Sector 10. Tribune photo: S Chandan

President Sehajpal Singh 
Vice-president Karnik 
Joint secretary Prince 
General secretary Simran

Government College for Girls-42
Geetanjori in a jubilant mood after being elected as president at GCG, Sector 42, Chandigarh.
Geetanjori in a jubilant mood after being elected as president at GCG, Sector 42, Chandigarh. A Tribune photograph

President Geetanjori 
Vice President Shilpa Kumari 
General secretary Poonam Sarin 
Joint Secretary Anuradha 

Highest turnout at PGGC-11
Manpreet Singh, who was elected as president, in a jubilant mood at PGGC, Sector 11.
Manpreet Singh, who was elected as president, in a jubilant mood at PGGC, Sector 11. Tribune photo: S Chandan

President Manpreet Singh 
Vice-president Kevin Sushant 
General secretary Dinesh Kumar 
Joint secretary Varsha Dogra 

MCM DAV College, Sector 36 
The winning candidates of MCM DAV College, Sector 36.
The winning candidates of MCM DAV College, Sector 36. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

President Divya Gurnay
Vice-president Shivani Dhamija
Secretary Lavleen Kaur 
Joint secretary Sapna Sandhu

Guru Gobind Khalsa Co-ed College, Sector 26 
KSU makes clean sweep
Kiranjeet Kaur who was elected president in a jubilant mood at Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa Co-ed College, Sector 26, Chandigarh.
Kiranjeet Kaur who was elected president in a jubilant mood at Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa Co-ed College, Sector 26, Chandigarh. A Tribune photograph

President Kiranjeet Kaur 
Vice-president Navjot Singh
General secretary Meetinder Singh
Joint secretary Manveer Singh

Guru Gobind Khalsa College for Women

Arshveeer Kaur in a jubilant mood at Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Chandigarh.
Arshveeer Kaur in a jubilant mood at Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

President Arshveer Kaur 
Vice-president Parul 



Students clash at DAV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
The principal of DAV College, BC Josan, had pleaded for the cancellation of elections and had held several meetings, but his efforts bore no fruit. The college saw action on the day of the polling today.

After a short period of lull, two groups of students clashed on the college campus late last night. Some students sustained injuries and were taken to the GMSH-16. The police tried to keep the matter under wraps and beefed up security.

However, both groups entered into a brawl in a nearby market once again today. The police immediately intervened and dispersed the students.

Two students, including the newly elected president, Sehajpal, were taken to the police station. His supporters thronged the station in large numbers and shouted slogans.

They alleged that though the college had already given in writing that the students belonged to the college, the police kept them in detention for over three hours. The SHO of the Sector 3 police station, however, said the students were released after their antecedents were verified.

Repeated attempts to contact the principal failed.



Minor clashes, rowdyism mar polling; 25 arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
The police rounded up about two dozen youths carrying baseball bats and rods even as sporadic incidents involving minor scuffles occurred during elections for the Panjab University students’ council today. One of the boys was apprehended with a “country made” pistol.

Acting on a tipoff the cops conducted a raid at house no 2122 in Sector 15 and picked up 25 youngsters armed with baseball bats, rods and a country made pistol with six cartridges. A police pistol was recovered from Amandeep Singh, a resident of Mansa, who was arrested after a case was registered under the Arms Act. The rest of the boys, who also hail from Mansa, have been booked under preventive measures.

Those arrested appeared to be supporters of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) as the group’s posters and stickers were found in their rooms.

Students on the campus as well as in the city kept the cops on their toes the entire day. Traffic rules were blatantly flouted on the campus as well as elsewhere in the city. Supporters of the victorious student organisations were seen traveling on the bonnets of their vehicles with the police preferring to turn a blind eye to the gross violations. The police cane charged supporters of the victorious party outside the co-ed Khalsa College, Sector 26 after they came on the streets and disrupted traffic.

Though there was a heavy police deployment on the campus failed to deter rowdy elements among the students, who even went to the extent of stopping cops from taking away two youngsters who had entered into a brawl. Scenes were created in various places with the supporters of various organisations shouting slogans making gestures at each other and also riding on their motorcycles and cars at breakneck speeds carrying their party’s flags.

Policemen remained silent spectators and reacted only when the situation was about to take a violent turn. At around 2:30 pm the cops rounded up two youngsters, who created a scene outside the camp of the Student’s Organization of Panjab University (SOPU).

The students assembled in large numbers, virtually outnumbering the police. They blocked a road for a while, raising slogans and hooting at the cops. DSP (crime) Satbir Singh arrived there with his force and told the students to disperse before order was restored on the campus.



Snehalaya Case
Victim’s granny goes missing
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
The grandmother of the 14-year-old inmate of Snehalaya who was raped and is now pregnant, has gone missing. The Home Secretary, Ram Niwas, said her grandmother was missing and the authorities of the institute said she was probably in hospital.

Commenting on the confusion, Manju Bhalla, a member of the Juvenile Justice Board and director of the Child and Woman Development Corporation, said: “Even if she is missing, the government is being irresponsible as it is the one who has attributed the crime to her and should have looked after her.”

Ram Niwas said: “It is shocking that the grandmother is involved. When the matter came to light, the girl’s grandmother was already in favour of the abortion. I insisted on getting an FIR registered so that the culprit who has ruined the life of a girl is arrested. The grandmother has probably fled to her hometown and I have requested the SSP to send a team to trace her.”

A counsellor in Snehalaya for the inmates had resigned from the institute after an eight-year-old inmate, Raju, committed suicide on August 9.

Questions are being raised on the role of the counsellor who was supposed to provide comfort to the inmates, especially girls. The counsellor should have come to know about the health of the girl as she had gone for a vacation in May and returned on July 5.

Sources revealed that the PGI childline had gone to provide counselling to the victim, but they were not allowed to enter the premises yesterday. However, a team of doctors met the girl in Snehalaya, sources in the department of social welfare stated. 



High Voltage Pangs
Computers damaged at Mohali administrative complex
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 3
A number of visitors who had come for work at the District Administrative Complex in Phase 1 here were inconvenienced after the computer systems installed in various branches were damaged due to high voltage. Other electrical gadgets also got burnt due to erratic power supply.

There were reports of similar power problems being faced by residents of Phase 6 and other areas. At around 11 am, a sudden flash of high voltage damaged the main computer system at the Suvidha Centre. Till late in the evening, the public counters at the centre were not operational.

Officials had to manually attest documents, resulting in long queues. Not a public dealing day at the office of the DTO, the high voltage also damaged certain equipment. Some fax machines, tubelights and computer systems in the District Administrative Complex and office of the Senior Superintendent of Police were damaged. The area XEN, HS Bhoprai, did not pick up his phone despite repeated attempts. Lower-rung officials in the electricity department said the high flow of voltage was due to the fault of the electricity department. 



Rs. 2-cr cancer treatment machine gathers dust at GMCH
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
A machine costing about Rs 2 crore that was meant for treating cancer patients has been rendered useless even before it could be commissioned at the Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32 due to lack of coordination between hospital officials and the union information technology ministry. The machine was supplied to GMCH seven years ago in July 2003.

Pulled up both GMCH and the IT ministry, the office of the comptroller and auditor general commented their failure to coordinate had denied quality treatment to patients at the hospital and there was every likelihood of the machine becoming obsolete even before being commissioned.

According to the CAG report, in 1988 the department of electronics (now the IT ministry) had decided to donate the 4 MV LINAC (linear accelerator) machine to the hospital for treatment of cancer patients. LINAC is the device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatment for cancer patients.

It is used to treat all parts and organs of the body. It delivers a uniform dose of high-energy x-ray to the region of the patient's tumor. These x-rays can destroy cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue.

The machine was manufactured by the Society for Applied Microwave Electronics, Engineering & Research (SAMEER), Mumbai-R&D laboratory which is under the IT ministry. According to the ministry’s offer GMCH was responsible for transportation, installation, maintenance, seeking approval from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

The machine was transported to the city in July 2003 but could not be commissioned for want of a ‘type approval certificate’ and a radiation field analyzer. It took GMCH three years to procure the latter after it placed an order in March 2006 only.

The CAG report said the adviser to the UT administrator had intimated the IT ministry secretary that the machine had been fabricated in 1994 and the linac tube and magnetron, the machine’s tow components, had outlived its guaranteed life and raised doubts over the functioning of these components.

The report further said after this was pointed out in December 2005, GMCH replied in May 2006 that the delay in commissioning the machine was due to the reason that the machine had not been handed over to the hospital by SAMEER and the latter had also not granted the ‘type approval certificate.

GMCH later informed the ministry that the radiation field analyzer for the commissioning of machine had been procured but awaiting demonstration/inspection by the firm concerned and the ‘type approval certificate’ had not been received as yet.


PUSU takes the reins
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

PUSU supporters celebrate the party’s victory.
PUSU supporters celebrate the party’s victory. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, September 3
Overconfidence and low-pitch campaigning by incumbent party-Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) paved the way for its defeat in the PU council elections today.

Call it desperateness of Panjab University of Students Union (PUSU) to win poll after successively loosing for the past two years or lack of SOPU’s preparedness, a close contest between the two rivals was witnessed on the campus. For the post of general secretary, the contest was so close that the difference between SOPU-ABVP candidate and PUSU-INSO candidate was just 29 votes!

Despite differences within the party, a rigorous campaigning by PUSU president Udey Wirring cast a spell on voters. His popularity among girls was visible during the celebration of party’s victory at the student centre before the announcement of results.

The rift between two prominent PUSU leaders, which could have caused a setback to the party, took a backseat and supporters joined hands to ensure victory for the party. The support of INSO, which earlier had an alliance with SOPU in 2009, did wonders for the party.

“We campaigned rigorously this time and our aim was to win. SOPU’s overconfidence and our commitment to win this year did the trick,” said a PUSU leader.

Regardless of relatively less voting in the science departments, which have been a vote bank of PUSU, the party managed a decent win in the HS Judge Dental College, the department of party president Udey Wirring.

Victory at the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), where nearly 1,500 students came to cast their votes despite rain and a massive lead in arts block 1, added to the lead of the PUSU today.

Leads in departments

HS Judge Dental College- PUSU
Physics, Chemistry- PUSU
Arts Block- PUSU
Law department-SOPU

Victory at the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), where nearly 1,500 students came to cast their votes despite rain and a massive lead in arts block 1, added to the lead of the PUSU



Changing trends
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
In a reverse turn of events, departments that named an unopposed candidate for the post of department representative (DR) in the past, hosted elections this year. Whereas departments that held elections each year, elected an unanimous candidate this time.

The trend has changed particularly in the science departments, where students are more enthusiastic to cast their vote for the post of DR. Elections of DR also proved to be boon for the winning alliance-Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and the Indian National Students Organisation (INSO).

In the UIET alone, four DRs were all PUSU candidates, while a similar trend was observed in the science block, which perpetually favours PUSU.

Victory of two students from the science stream and two from professional courses in the student council poll was an indication of the mood of science students on the campus this year.

When questioned about the trends this year, an unopposed candidate of the School of Communication Studies (SCS), Suny said unlike last year, the names of DR in most departments were unanimously chosen this time. “The trend has reverted this year. In our department there were no elections and I won unopposed,” he said.

Meanwhile, there were several departments that remained untouched by the interference of the student political parties, yet independent candidates contested elections.

Another department representative, Savita from the University Centre of Instrumentation and Micro-elections (UICM) said, “Two students contested the elections in our department and there were no party affiliations. Both were independent candidates.”

The university authorities formally invited the DRs of all departments today for lunch. Later, elections for the executive members of student council were also held, which are chosen from among the DRs of all departments. 



Inquiry marked into Thursday’s violence
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
Along with the declaration of results of the PU student elections, returning officer Naval Kishore marked an inquiry into the clash that occurred on Thursday night.

He said a retired judge would be assigned the task to conduct an inquiry into the matter. Subsequent complaints received by him would also be probed, he added. Within an hour of the announcement, yet another scuffle took place at the coffee house of the student centre, where polling process was on. The presence of rival parties-PUSU-INSO alliance and the SOPU at the same place resulted in a brawl. INSO candidate Dharmender and SOPU’s Vikramjeet entered into an argument.

Before this, till nearly 2am on Thursday night, tension continued between rival parties-Students organisations of Panjab University (SOPU) and Panjab University Students Union (PUSU). Supporters of both parties continued to argue with each other and their brawl was followed by a protest staged by the Haryana Students Association (HSA) outside the Vice-Chancellor’s residence.

Nearly 50 supporters of the HSA demanded that both SOPU and PUSU parties should not be allowed to contest poll.

The violence on the campus during the student council’s elections comes just a day before the Vice-Chancellor conference scheduled to be held on Saturday. 



PU POLL 2010
Election Round-Up

Smaller parties gain, bigger ones at loss!

ABVP benefited by entering into an alliance with SOPU party this year. While the latter could not manage a single seat in the council of its own, ABVP, which has a vote bank of hardly 500 students in PU and is a student wing of the Bhartiya Janata Party, grabbed the crucial seat of council’s secretary due to SOPU’s backing. From the winning alliance-INSO party, which has affiliation to Indian National Lok Dal, grabbed two seats. PUSU, however, managed only one post, despite being a prominent party on the campus.

56 per cent students voted

Out of 12,600 students on the campus, more than 7,125 cast their votes despite rain marring the show between 10 and 11am, the peak time for voting. The unexpected turnout was coupled with the poll fever on the campus. Despite the hostels being vacant, day scholars turned up in huge numbers today. In certain departments, however, including science, the attendance was less. .

Sturdy support!

Having a nine-year association with PUSU, Paramnjit Singh Pumma, a staunch party supporter was in an elated mood. Party loyalists were today seen in a jubilant mood at the student centre, where celebrations began even before the announcement of results today. “This is the first time I have seen leaders within the party dissolving their differences to fight for the party together,” said Singh. 

Distorted panel

The Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) is a distorted panel this year, say insiders. With the council now consisting of members of the two rival parties, SOPU-ABVP and PUSU-INSO alliances, the functioning of the council this year is likely to be tough. Incidents in the past indicate that each time such a panel is formed, leaders make issues of petty things like not getting signatures of the fourth member. To add to the trouble, two crucial posts of president and secretary have gone to the arch rivals!

Rain acts spoilsport!

Nearly 40 students were could not cast votes today. Delay in reaching the polling booth set up at the department of laws dampened their enthusiasm. “Rain led to traffic chaos. I was late by a minute. My friends were also not permitted to enter since the deadline was 10 am,” said a final year student of the department. 

INSO gives celebrations a miss

INSO party, who was an alliance partner with the victorious party, PUSU, could not be seen during the celebrations at the student centre. Supporters of PUSU had gathered in large numbers to celebrate their victory, applying “gulaal” at each other and soaking their party leaders in pink colour. INSO, whose two candidates have grabbed a seat in the council, was missing. Even at the INSO help desk today, only a handful supporters were visible and the party benefited by the PUSU tag due to the alliance.

NSUI complains of error in counting

NSUI president Randeep Khaira today claimed that there was some error in counting of votes, particularly at the University Business School (UBS). “Votes should be counted again. We will appeal before the PU authorities to probe the matter and correct the figures,” said Randeep. 




While all the successful candidates were elated on Friday, the most special was the success of Kiranjeet Kaur, who has been elected as president of Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa Co-educational College, Sector 26. It was after a gap of almost a decade that a girl was elected as present of the students' council of the college. "Efforts and passion don't recognise gender separations. My party believed in me and students saw truth in my promises," she said.
Members of several student groups accused the SD College authorities of siding with SOPU leaders. According to them, the college ballot paper had name of a SOPU representative mentioned twice and his family members and supporters were being allowed inside the polling and counting area. College principal AC Vaid, meanwhile, denied allegations.
For those who thought girls' colleges were away from election spats, Post Graduate Girls' College, Sector 11, came as a surprise. Members of GCG Student Union staged a protest on Friday accusing PU members of slapping one of their candidates. They demanded immediate suspension of culprits. The college authorities, however, intervened saying that the candidate had not been slapped.



Colleges witness low turnout
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, September 3
Student elections have lost their sheen. The statement stood justified today with the city co-educational colleges registering an average poll percentage of about 40 per cent and girls' colleges having an all-time low turnout of around 35 per cent.

While many attributed it to an extended weekend, a majority of faculty members and students blamed it on the student council transforming into vestigial organs of college functioning.

Though the elections were nowhere short of colour and pomp, but no party or college union could come up with an issue or promise to lure students to stay back and vote. "The turnout was too low in college with only 40 per cent of students coming in to vote. Rain and extended weekend can be one of the reasons, but the main reason is that the student council has failed to address the student issues. The so-called representatives are nowhere to be seen the entire year and thus the students are neither interested nor bothered to vote," said AC Vaid, principal, SD College, Sector 32.

In DAV College, Sector 10, which has for long been the election battleground parallel to Panjab University, only 1,750 students cast their vote out of the total strength of 4,500 students.

The situation was no different in Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa Co-educational College where the average stood at around 45 per cent.

Things were more dismal in women colleges as polling was a low-key affair. In Post Graduate government College For Women, 1,415 girls out of a total of 3,900 cast their votes and polling percentage stood at 36 per cent.

Similarly, in Khalsa College for Women, only 376 girls voted out of 1,100. The figure stood at around 20 percent at Girls College in Sector 42.

In MCM DAV, Sector 36, only 5 per cent of students cast their votes.

The polling percentage has raised questions on the authenticity and validity of elections in colleges for some principals. "You see, what is happening in DAV College or what happened in MCM DAV a few year back. Discipline is more important in girls' colleges and if elections start getting more important, things will go out of hands. It needs to be a low-key affair in girls' colleges," claimed a principal of one of the city colleges.



Students’ council constitution yet to be framed 
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
Pompous campaigning, violent spats, tall promises and elections leading to a new brigade of student representatives, but what next?

The question is out to perturb not just the newly elected college students' councils, but also the college authorities as unlike the varsity, city colleges are yet to frame and execute the council constitution.

Shocking as it may sound, but city colleges that follow varsity in conducting student elections have till date not cared to document the powers and responsibilities of the council.

Quiz any principal or officials of the Department of Higher Education, nobody can enlist the functions of college president other than the usual "raising student problems".

"College principals keep on cribbing that student councils are vestigial parts of college functioning, but they themselves choose to keep them that way. Most of the colleges don't consult or even inform the student representatives of any decision being taken for students. There are no separate council rooms. In many cases, students are even victimised for approaching their representatives. All this is intentional to maintain the monopoly of managements and principals," claimed a local student leader.

Interestingly, a proposal to adopt the council constitution carved by Panjab University was put forth during the tenure of former Director Higher Education Raji Shrivastava but nothing concrete has been done till date.



Sukhna choe or garbage dump?
Rajiv Bhatia

Garbage along the Sukhna choe.
Garbage along the Sukhna choe. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, September 3
In the absence of a dumping ground, Zirakpur municipal council is disposing of garbage and other waste material along with Sukhna choe (seasonal rivulet) in Bishanpura village. This is causing a serious threat to residents of surrounding villages and also polluting the Sukhna choe.

However, a municipal council official claimed that he had again requested to the Punjab Pollution Control Board to give them permission to set up a proper dumping ground near Gazipur Jatta in Zirakpur. It is learnt that few months back the pollution control board had visited the same place and rejected the site due to its proximity to residential area. The board has asked the council to locate a new site, which was 2 km away from residential area.

A visit to the area reveals heaps of garbage lying along the choe. The unofficial dumping ground in Bishanpura village is polluting the Sukhna choe and affecting hygiene conditions of the area. Apparently, there is no particular collection site for garbage in Zirakpur. The sanitation workers (reheriwalas) who are collecting the trash from door to door are dumping the garbage at their own wish.

According to MC sources, a contractor had been given one year contract for collecting garbage and dumping at the site suggested by the council. After collecting garbage from residential colonies in Zirakpur and surrounding areas, sanitation reheriwalas dump it at collection sites from where a tractor trolley transports it to Bishanpura village and dispose it of along the Sukhna choe. Sources say that the reheriwalas also dump the garbage at the Sukhna choe in Baltana village.

Residents rue that the council has not taken steps to provide basic amenities. Harman Singh, a resident of Zirakpur, says: “This is making conditions worse for residents of the area who are living near the choe”. He further adds that, “We want authorities concerned should set up a proper dumping ground which is much-needed amenity for the town.”

Talking to The Tribune, SDO, drainage department, Kuljit Singh claimed that Zirakpur MC had not taken permission to throw the garbage along Sukhna choe. He said the department would write to the council to stop this activity as soon as possible.



VCs’ conference from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
A two-day North Zone Vice-Chancellors’ Conference is being hosted by Panjab University, Chandigarh, in collaboration with the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) on the PU campus.

With the target of reaching 30 per cent enrolment in higher education from the current 12.5 per cent, Beena Shah, secretary general, Association of Indian Universities, said the association was ready for the challenge.

Issues pertaining to greater interaction between universities, signing of the MOUs, streamlining of the open credit system to include credit transfers, correction of eschewed literacy rates that are currently seeing variations of gender, caste and the urban-rural divide, revamping of distance education, promoting the smart classroom concept through EDUSAT-all will form part of the discussions.

Structured around the theme: ‘Expanding horizons of Higher Education: Challenges’, the conference will primarily see Vice-Chancellors of over 50 universities in the region deliberate upon issues ranging from equity in higher education, quality upgradation, repositioning of research to an inclusive education system during the course of five technical sessions spread over two days. “The elemental question addressed by all resource persons will be: Are we actually educating or merely giving education,” said RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University. The conference will be inaugurated by Jagannath Pahadia, Governor of Haryana, at 10.30 am on September 4 in Golden Jubilee Seminar Hall on the campus. The keynote address will be delivered by GK Chadha, CEO, South Asian University. Beena Shah will deliver the thematic address.



Advisory council’s first meeting on Sept 10 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
The UT administration’s newly-constituted Administrator’s Advisory Council’s first meeting will be held on September 10. This was announced by Adviser to UT Administrator Pradip Mehra during a press conference held today at the UT Secretariat.

During the conference, he announced that the administration had come up with a set of guidelines for streamlining the functioning of the council.

As per these guidelines, members of the Administrator’s Advisory Council will be nominated by the Administrator from amongst the persons belonging to different sections of the society, generally residing in the Union Territory, Chandigarh. The number of members of the council shall not exceed 60. The term of the council shall be for two years and members shall be eligible for nomination for two terms. A member of the council may resign at any time by tendering his/her resignation to the Administrator. For serious reasons, after consulting chairpersons of the committees, the council may be dissolved by the Administrator before the expiry of the term.

Further, the Administrator or any other official authorised by him may preside over the meetings of the council. The council may meet at least three times in a year. The quorum for the meetings of the council shall be 1/5th of the existing members. The council may discuss the issues mentioned in the agenda circulated by the administration. The members will be at liberty to suggest the issues for inclusion in the agenda. The meetings shall be attended by the officials concerned of the administration as decided and directed by the Administrator. The meetings shall take place at venues decided by the administration. 



Chandigarh Club inks pact with NY club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
After its affiliation with Dubai-based India Club, Chandigarh Club has signed a pact with Charlotte City Club, New York. Talking about the development, Mukesh Bassi, president of Chandigarh Club, said now onwards, members of Chandigarh Club could enjoy all the facilities of Charlotte Club.

“Our executive council has picked several clubs in the main cities where our elite members often visit. To felicitate them at the foreign soil, we are in a spree to associate ourselves with the prestigious clubs of the world,” said Bassi. “Under the pact, our members can enjoy all the prevailing facilities at the foreign clubs and vice versa,” added Bassi.

The other clubs, with which the local club planning to tie up include Royal Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur, and St Catharines Club, Ontario, Canada.



Night Food Street
MC to float tenders again
Tribune News Service

A view of the Night Food Street at Sector 14 in Chandigarh.
A view of the Night Food Street at Sector 14 in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Chandigarh, September 3
Finding no bidders for the first night food street located at Sector 14, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is all set to float fresh tenders for the same. Out of the eight kiosks in the night food street, the MC would float tenders for five kiosks that are lying vacant with the reserve price of Rs 40,000 each. The tenders will be opened on September 21.

In a recent meeting, members of the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) decided to float tenders for all the vacant kiosks and those which are not paying the rent regularly.

Last year, the MC had floated tenders and the highest price quoted was Rs 31,500 and the lowest Rs 6,100. This year, the MC auctioned the kiosks and fetched Rs 6.83 lakh. However, three allottees did not turn up and two allottees of kiosks failed to pay the monthly rent due to which the MC was suffering losses.



GMCH starts sanitation drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
A sanitation drive has been launched at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. The drive, which will go upto September 7, was launched by director principal Prof Raj Bahadur here today.

Though the sanitation condition of the hospital is considered a benchmark, still it was felt the drive was necessary to improve it further especially considering the fact that hospital areas have increased manifolds in the past few years. Faculty members, nursing staff, para-medical staff, sanitary and hospital attendants are participating in the campaign.

Different teams, including various faculty members and other staff members will look after the different areas inside the hospital, adjoining areas and residential complexes in Sectors 32 and 48, Chandigarh. Various wings of the UT engineering department are also participating in the drive.

Besides, various NGOs are also coming forward to participate. A series of lectures would be delivered in the OPD areas for patients and attendants regarding the importance of cleanliness in the hospital.

A tree plantation drive will also be organised on September 5 at the GMCH residential area complex in Sector 48 where around 200 saplings will be planted with the help of an NGO.



Geometrical water feature approved for Palm Park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
A geometrical water feature approved was for the Palm Park at Dadu Majra Colony at the water supply and sewerage disposal committee meeting held here today.

Members also approved a detailed estimate for the work of providing public conveniences at the new Christian cemetery at Sector 25, rough cost estimate for the work of shifting and reconstruction of new road gullies due to widening of V-4 road, Sector 35, estimate for the work of regarding the terracing at public health laboratory at water works, Sector 39, and estimate for the work of supply, erection, testing and commissioning of new horizontal single stage pump and all other works contingent thereof for replacement of old pump set at bed number 8 of new pump house, Sector 32.



Industrial tenants meet admn officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
A meeting of industrial tenants and UT administration officials was held today on the proposed industrial policy of the UT administration.

While the administration officials maintained that they were chalking out the details of the policy and would come out with a final draft soon, industrial tenants demanded that the new policy should have increased FAR (Floor Area Ratio). They further demanded that the conversion of industrial plots from leasehold to freehold should be allowed under the new policy.

The UT had proposed an industrial policy to upgrade infrastructure in Phase I and II, Industrial Area, including roads.

This, however, is yet to happen with the administration sitting over the proposal for a long time now.



Customer care centre in Mohali soon
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 3
A fully-equipped customer care centre is being set up by Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd for the convenience of consumers in Mohali.

Power consumers will no longer have to wait in queues, especially in the summer heat, to get their work done. The centre will be air-conditioned and consumers will be provided with comfortable chairs to sit on till their work gets completed. They can even spend their time watching TV at the centre. The centre will have a sitting capacity of up to 40 persons.

Work related to new power connections, faulty meters, billing errors, security deposits, etc, will be taken care of at the centre. A private company is being contacted for the work which will be asked to deploy five to six employees to handle the work. These employees will be provided computers by the power corporation. Photo attestation and other formalities would be done on the spot.

Two such centres are already running in the state. One is in Ludhiana and the other in Bathinda. Mohali will be the third district in Punjab to give such a facility to its residents.

The approach road on the premises of the power corporation office in Phase I, Industrial Area, which is full of potholes will be repaired as part of the same project. The road berm will also be cleared of wild growth so that the area can be used for parking. 



‘Mitti Da Bawa’ depicts psyche of soldiers
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, September 3
The North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) and Nagindera Kala Manch, Faridkot, staged a Punjabi play “Mitti Da Bawa” at the Kalagram here today.

The play written and designed for theatrical production by Dr Pali Bhupinder depicts the psyche of soldiers guarding the Indian borders. Director Naginder Gakhar had attempted to bring into focus the humanistic view of universal brotherhood, emotions and instincts common to soldiers of both the lands.

Structured into the war-like ambience, the seven performances old play finally recovers the fact that the emotional bonds die out in the wake of execution of assigned duties. The story of an Indian soldier Gurbax Singh and his counterpart Shah Nawaz deployed at the border had many common traits, but had to run for each other’s life as demanded by their duty.

Naginder led the cast, including Kapil Kalyan, Chander, Surinder Pal, Rupi Maan, Baninderpal Singh and others. Audience, including senior citizens of Mani Majra enjoyed the play. 



Tubewell motor impaired, water supply hit
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, September 3
The water supply at Mamta enclave in Dhakoli village has been affected after the lighting last evening damaged the electric motor of tubewell installed at the area.

Residents had called private water tankers to meet their demand after collecting self-contribution. More than 10 tankers had been called for around 500 houses in the locality.

Anand Bhatt, a resident of Mamta enclave, said that last evening he was at his home when he heard a very loud noise. He said after rain stopped he found that the tubewell motor got damaged and stopped functioning.

A few residents informed the water supply department about the incident. Another said the contractor of water supply department had repaired the electric motor and changed the panel box, but it was found that submersible motor was also damaged.

SDO, water supply, Mahesh Chawla stated that the matter was not in his knowledge. He said he would ask an official to repair the motor on priority basis.



Two teachers to be awarded
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 3
Two government school teachers, Dr Sarabjit Kaur Sohal and Amarjeet Kaur, have been selected for the National Award for 2009 in education.

Dr Sohal is presently posted as Punjabi lecturer at Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B here. She is also a recipient of the Indira Gandhi National Award 2007 and the State Award 2005. The other teacher, Amarjit Kaur, is posted at the Phase 2 Government Primary School.

They are among the six teachers selected from Punjab for the award, to be conferred by President Pratibha Patil in New Delhi on September 5. The awardees will also have a brief interaction with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.



Semester Exams
PSEB running behind schedule
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 3
Sticking to the schedule for the conduct of Class X and XII examinations under the semester system is proving to be a challenge for the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) authorities.

With two days left for the semester exams to begin on September 6, the board authorities today started dispatching the consignments of question papers to different centres. Around nine trucks were still being loaded at the PSEB’s office till late in the evening. The first consignment of question papers had been dispatched earlier in the day. “As per the schedule the question papers were to be dispatched on September 2,” said sources.

Board officials, however, dismiss it as minor issue and claim that everything was running behind schedule. “Being the first year there could be certain problems, but all would be sorted out,” said an official while admitting that there was lack of coordination with the state education department.

Dr Suresh Kumar Tandon, secretary of the PSEB, could not be contacted for his comments.

From the day the PSEB authorities released the examination schedule, the students and school authorities were left with little time to fill their forms. The schedule was announced at a time when summer holidays had already begun in schools, especially in the government schools.

The board official did not realise that it would not be possible to inform all students to fill the form during the holidays across the state. Ultimately, the board had to extend the last dates till mid of July. But due to extending of the last dates, board employees got little time to cover up for the time loss.

To meet the September deadline for the conduct of the examination, the board authorities asked its employees towards the end of July to work till 8.30 pm so that the deadlines were met. Around seven lakh students, both in matric and senior secondary classes, would appear in the board exam. The examination related work that the employees used to complete in six months had now to be completed in less than two months.

Sources said due to little time between different schedules, there were discrepancies in information related to the applicants. 



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