C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Armymen, firemen rescue 5 from Ghaggar
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 8
The Army and firemen in a rescue operation, which lasted for around three hours, saved the lives of five persons, including two women of Dhakka Colony, near Sector 21, who were stranded on the small islands in the overflowing Ghaggar here today.

Unable to assess the sudden rise in the water level of the river, three women — identified as Ramwati, Amro and Maya — went into the Ghaggar to collect firewood around 9 am. However, the water level in the river started rising due to heavy rain in the region during the wee hours of this morning.

Three youths, who had entered the river water to collect coins, were also stuck in other part of the river. However, fire brigade officials, with the help of a rope, rescued the boys after half an hour. The youths fled from there fearing that the police might arrest them. Maya was able to come out from the river on her own.

Meanwhile, senior officials of the district administration, including Sub-Divisional Magistrate (city) KK Kalson, tehsildar Satish Singla and DSP Iqbal Kaur, reached the spot to supervise the rescue operations.

After local MLA DK Bansal announced a reward of Rs 5,100, three local residents -- Dilip, Sagar and Suresh -- jumped into the river to save the two women. However, due to fear the women did not agree to come out and the three returned empty handed.

The rescue operation was hampered as the water level in the river started rising and it became impossible for the firemen to balance themselves in the gushing water despite several attempts. Later, the district administration sought the help of the Army to rescue the victims, which arrived at the site around 1 pm.

Finally, the rescue team of the 51 Engineers Regiment from Zirakpur, led by the Commanding Officer, rescued the two women. One of the women, identified as Ramwati (30), was taken to General Hospital, Sector 6, for treatment.



College bus falls into riverbed, 28 hurt
Tribune News Service

Panchkula/Ambala, September 8
Students of the Maharshi Markandeshwar University, Mullana, had a miraculous escape when a private college bus fell into a riverbed off the Tangri bridge near Barwala this morning.
Injured students of Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Mullana, undergo treatment at General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, on Wednesday
Injured students of Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Mullana, undergo treatment at General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

The bus remained on the bank of the river, otherwise it could have led to a major mishap as excess water was flowing in the river due to heavy rain in catchment areas.

Twenty eight persons, including students, staff members and the driver of the bus, were injured in the incident, which occurred around 7:30 am.

While 16 students and teachers were rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, 12 students were taken to other hospitals in the tricity by their parents, who had arrived at the site.

According to information, the bus (HR-57-B-8364), which ferried students from Pinjore, Kalka and the city to and from the college, fell 30 feet into the riverbed.

The driver of the bus, Sukhbir Singh, in order to avoid a pothole, lost control over the steering. A truck was coming from the opposite direction at the same time.

Mayank Sachdeva, one of the injured students, said “We have informed the college authorities about rash driving many times, but they have never bothered. They just changed the duties of drivers after three or four days. The bus was on high speed at the time of the incident.”

The dean of the Maulana College of Engineering, JK Sharma, said, “Duties of drivers were changed regularly in order to avoid inconvenience to students and staff of the college. Duty change is a routine practice and we have to manage our system according to the availability of buses.”

Panchkula DC Ashima Garg said their main aim was to ensure proper treatment and medical aid for the injured. She said it was difficult to know the exact number of students aboard the bus as some of them missed the bus today.”

Panchkula Civil Surgeon VK Bansal said the disaster management team reached the site in time so that the injured could be shifted to hospital. He said they sent three ambulances as soon as they got the information.

University Chancellor Tarsem Kumar Garg said 10 doctors of the Mullana Medical College, led by Vice-Chancellor SG Damle, were rushed to the spot and two doctors were deputed at the PGI in Chandigarh to take care of the injured.

Bus driver Sukhbir Singh, who sustained injuries on the shoulder, said he left Panchkula for Mullana around 6:30 am and when he noticed a rashly driven truck coming from the opposite side on approaching the bridge, he lost control over the steering, resulting in the mishap.



Taj challaned
Inspection by health, excise officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Hotel Taj GVK, Sector 17, today came under the scanner of officials of the departments of health and excise and taxation, who conducted an inspection at the premises of the hotel.

An official statement released by the UT administration here today stated that the hotel was challaned under provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, and the Punjab Excise Act, 1914.

During the inspection, hygienic conditions of the cooking and storage areas were checked and the standard of hygiene required to be maintained there were found to be lacking. The team also found cooking utensils and lids to be very dirty.

Food served earlier, which should have been discarded, was kept with the food to be served. Prepared cold coffee was found to be stored in the deep freeze.

‘Rasgullas’ and cow’s milk were kept in the sink. Dustbins full of garbage were kept right next to places where vegetables, fruits and meat were being cut.

The fans inside the deep freeze were covered with soot. The inspection team took four samples of prepared food, which were sent to the food laboratory for testing.

On the excise side, it was found that the registers prescribed were not being maintained. An underage person was serving liquor at the bar.

A thorough scrutiny of the accounts and C-form account and verification of balance sheets were carried out by the VAT team.

The inspection was in continuation of the ongoing drive of the department to check conditions of preparation, storage and hygiene of food items at hotels and restaurants across the city.

A team of officials led by Capt PS Shergill, ADC, and including Prerna Puri, SDM (South), conducted the drive.



PCS officer nabbed taking Rs 50,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau today arrested senior Punjab Civil Services (PCS) officer TK Goyal while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000 from a Kapurthala resident to give an inquiry report in his favour.

Goyal, a 1995 batch PCS officer, who was posted as joint secretary, Department of Welfare of the SC/BCs, was arrested by a team of the VB from his office at the Mini Secretariat, Sector 9, here, this evening. According to the VB, Goyal was caught red-handed in the presence of government witnesses.

The complainant, George Shubh alias George Masih, had approached the VB last month when Goyal allegedly demanded money from him to write a report in his favour that would help Masih to be nominated as the lambardar of his village.

Director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, BK Bawa told mediapersons that the complainant was a resident of Begowal village in Kapurthala and had applied to the Deputy Commissioner, Kapurthala, in 2008 for his nomination as lambardar of the village. The post is reserved for a Balmiki and he had claimed to be a Balmiki.

Another resident of the village Amarjit Singh Balmik had also applied for the post. The DC rejected George Shubh’s nomination on the grounds that he had adopted the Christian religion and his nomination could not be considered under the Balmiki quota.

Following this rejection, Shubh appealed against the DC’s orders to the Divisional Commissioner, Jalandhar, in 2009. Simultaneously, he also filed a complaint before the Chairman, Scheduled Caste Commission, Punjab, in this regard. The commission referred the complaint to the Director, Welfare, SC/BC, Chandigarh, for verification and report.

The Director, Welfare of the SC/BC Indu Misra conducted an inquiry and gave a report, upholding Shubh’s claims. The report was sent to Goyal who was in charge of the scrutiny committee, which deals with such matters for consideration. According to the VB, Goyal withheld the inquiry report and began his own inquiry into the matter for which he called the complainant twice to his office.

Talking to the mediapersons, the complainant said Goyal told him that he had the power to write anything against him or in his favour which could affect his life.

The VB said Goyal had allegedly demanded Rs 50,000 from Shubh to write a report in his favour following which Shubh contacted the VB. A trap was laid for today.

“Goyal met me this morning at Mohali but since I had to carry out this operation with the help of the VB, I told him that I would pay him in his office,” said Shubh. According to the VB, Goyal did not come to the office after lunch but entered the office only at 5.30 pm.

He was arrested by VB sleuths who were waiting outside with the complainant. VB sources added that Goyal tried to tear his trouser’s pockets in a bid to prove that the complainant had tried to put the money into his pockets but the tell-tale colour on his fingers proved otherwise. The bureau has also recovered the tainted money. A case has been registered by the VB and Goyal would be presented before the magistrate tomorrow.



No objection if victim goes for abortion: Police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Chandigarh Police today said it had no objection if the 14-year-old rape victim, an inmate of Snehalaya, underwent abortion.

The police filed its reply before the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Anshul Berry. The court, however, adjourned the hearing of the case for tomorrow.

In its reply, the police said as per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, the victim’s abortion can take place before a pregnancy of 20 weeks. The police stated that delivering the baby would put the life of the victim and the baby in danger. The maternal grandmother of the victim, Luxmi, had moved an application for conducting an abortion of the victim on Tuesday, wherein she had sought directions to be issued for preserving the foetus and conducting the DNA test of the accused.

Rape case Timeline

September 1 Om Prakash booked for raping 14-year-old girl, who was an inmate of Snehalaya.

September 2 Court sends the accused to judicial custody.

September 7 The victim’s grandmother moves an application in the district court, requesting medical termination of pregnancy of the victim.

September 8 The police stated before the court that it had no objection if the abortion was conducted.



MC hiring process under cloud again
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The recruitment process for the post of junior engineers of the municipal corporation has come under scrutiny once again. In a case that smacks of sheer negligence, a candidate whom the civic body had selected for the position of JE (horticulture wing) has now been shown the door on the grounds that he was “ineligible.”

According to documents available with The Tribune, Naresh Kumar Pushkar, a resident of Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh, was appointed as JE by the office of the chief engineer vide letter dated July 16, 2010. However, a communication from the chief engineer to Pushkar on August 3 informed him “since this vacancy is unreserved, i.e., general, you are not entitled to be considered and appointed against an unreserved vacancy as an age relaxation was given to you inadvertently.”

“Your application should have been rejected in the first instance but, inadvertently, this could not have been done. You are already overage and this came to our notice at a later stage when the appointment letter had already been issued,” the communication added.

It is surprising Pushkar appeared for the written test, interview and the medical test without any check by MC officials. The very fact that a ‘scheduled caste’ candidate (Pushkar) was selected in the general category speaks volumes about the seriousness and credibility of the recruitment norms followed by the civic body, which is currently in the process of getting major functions transferred to it by the UT administration.

This is not the first time that the MC’s recruitment process has come under a scanner. The recent hiring of firemen in the MC’s fire wing has reportedly been challenged in the Punjab & Haryana High Court.



So no one has passed
Students accuse teacher of poor internal assessment
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
An entire batch of MA students, nearly 20 in number, at the department of sociology, Panjab University, have complained of being declared failed in internal assessment in two subjects by a teacher (name withheld).

The students allege that an assistant professor has allotted five marks out of 25 to each student of the batch in both subjects that she teaches in the class.

However, when contacted, the teacher said the students did not attend a single lecture and certain faculty members with the department were targeting her since she wanted to bring positive changes in the department.

“This is politics against me because I wish to bring progressive changes in the department and I am a junior. In the other compulsory subject of mine, no such problem has been encountered because the students are regular. I gave them healthy assessment due to their class participation,” she said.

“There are other students who take coaching for civil services and seldom attend classes. There is one particular student, who is being used to target me. Why are they bringing the issue after such a long time,” she added.

When contacted, the Vice-Chancellor was in a meeting and could not be contacted for comment on the issue.

The complainants, students of the same department, approached the Chandigarh Tribune and said their career had been ruined due to the poor internal assessment.

Earlier, parents of an ‘aggrieved’ student met PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti and said their child had been ‘cautioned’ by the teacher.

The matter was reportedly pending with the Dean University Instructions, said the students.

The Vice-Chancellor mentioned the same case at a meeting of department chairpersons a few days ago.

When contacted, department chairperson Rajesh Gill confirmed that the department had received such a complaint, but declined to comment further.

While the students claimed that the teacher did not come for lectures and there was no snap test or internal examination, the teacher said the students never attended lectures, which were scheduled for the afternoon.



Asked for homework, student slaps teacher
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
In another shocking incident in the ongoing ‘slap gate’ row in the city’s government run schools, a class VII student slapped his teacher after the latter asked him for his homework notebook. The incident, which has left entire teaching fraternity furious, occurred at Government Senior Secondary School in Sector 38 (West), near Dadu Majra, when Ravi Kataria, a Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan teacher, asked a student to show his homework notebook.

The matter was immediately reported to the school principal, who summoned the parents of the offending student. Though the boy reportedly submitted a confession and an apology letter, he had been expelled from the school.

According to school officials, Kataria, who suspected the boy had not done his homework, walked up to the latter’s seat to check his notebook. She reportedly asked him thrice but he refused to answer. Eventually the infuriated teacher raised her voice and demanded the notebook but the boy responded by getting up and slapping her.

The matter however does not end here as, according to several teachers, slapping - a way of terrorising a teacher - has become the “new rage” in schools.

“What added to Kataria’s agony was the fact that the moment she walked out other students lauded the boy for his so called bravery. No teacher can stand a young boy of class 8 slapping him or her. Such embarrassment will have an everlasting effect on teachers and very soon we’ll all either have to stop teaching or succumb to the new student ‘gunda raj’” asserted an anguished teacher at the same school.

Similar incidents in recent past

August 4 Noticing four boys strolling on the campus during school hours, Manu Rani, a Hindi teacher at GHS, Karsan, questioned them and asked for their identification. Instead of replying one of them slapped her

August 10 In a shocking incident, students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, ran off with the handbag of a teacher, Sunita , who had left it behind in the classroom and gone to meet a colleague

August 17 Naresh, a Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan teacher at Government School, Karsan, was cornered and thrashed by four youths when he was walking back home after school hours

July 16 Chaman Lal, an English teacher at Kaimbwala School, was slapped by a class 10 student in front of other students in the class

The incident becomes graver if takes into account the offender’s age. The boy has been expelled and will now be unable to secure admission in any school. If students think we’ll continue to forgive and forget they are mistaken. I’ve written to the police asking it to take suitable action in this case. In future any student who dares to manhandle any schoolteacher will be thrown out and won’t get admission anywhere. Schools will not be held to ransom by some 10 or 11-year-old

PK Sharma, DPI (S)


No bidders for parking lots
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Installation of the hi-tech parking lots of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation received a set back today when no contractor turned up for bidding of four parking lots for which the authorities had made it mandatory for contractors to install semi-automatic system on their own.

The authorities invited bids for four parking lots, including Sahib Singh, district court in Sector 17, Sector 22-B and Sector 35-B for which the last date for submitting applications in the corporation office was today.

At the recent Finance and Contract Committee meeting chaired by Mayor Anu Chatrath, it was decided that as a pilot project for hi-tech automatic system in Sector 17 parking lot contractor would have to install fully automatic system whereas in Sector 22 and 35 semi-automatic system would be installed.

It was further decided that if the contractor would not install the said system in the parking lot, heavy penalty would be imposed on him. As the parking lots are auctioned after every three years, the contractor will get 10 per cent depreciation and will have to hand over the machinery to the authorities.

When contacted MC Additional Commissioner TPS Phoolka said that they would be a re-bid and the authorities were sure that they would get a good response next time.

In protest against the strict terms fixed for the parking contractors, the contractors had submitted a memorandum to the MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria. Their plea is that it is not feasible for them to install the automatic system in the parking lots as the semi-automatic system costs Rs 3 lakh and the fully automatic systemcosts Rs 10 lakh. They demanded to scarp this term from the bidding terms.

It may be mentioned that in 2008 also a proposal was approved by the authorities for installing CCTV in the parking lots Sectors 9, 17, 35 C, and Sukhna Lake. But only parking contractors of Sector 17 and 35 had installed it and rest were yet to install it in their parking areas.



MC Enforcement Panel Meeting
Now, field staff to report at 1 pm
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
In order to enforce the encroachment law effectively in the city, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has decided to change the working hours of their field staff from 1pm to 9 pm from now onwards. The decision to this affect was taken at a meeting of the enforcement committee presided over by enforcement committee chairman Jatinder Bhatia.

An issue was raised i that most of the encroachers in major markets of the city became active during evening hours as they were aware that there was no check on them during those hours. Referring to majority of rehri markets, members stated that during evening hours vendors encroached upon most of the passages, as they knew that there would be no raid by the enforcement staff.

An official also raised an issue that at a recent mock drill of fire in the rehri market of Sector 22, in the evening hours, it was found that the shopkeepers encroached upon most of the passages in the market. Report of fire official clearly stated that there was a dire need to check the mushrooming of encroachment during the evening hours in every market. They also suggested appointment of a special team in the rehri markets in the evenings so that a check could be enforced on such acts.

The chairman of the committee once again asked the MC officers to table a detailed report of habitual encroachers across the city and also what action they had taken against them till date. In March, the committee demanded a similar report so that stringent action could be taken against them.

However, the committee also suggested that a proper procedure should be adopted by the department while allotting sites for stalls during Dussehra and Diwali festivals to avoid any inconvenience to the public.

Instructions were also issued to the field staff to wear uniforms provided by the department while conducting any drive in the city. Beside this, on the request of area councilor Devinder Singh Babla, the members of the committee asked the department to conduct a special anti-encroachment drive in Sector 27-28 motor market. It was also decided that the enforcement drives would also be conducted in Darua, Colony No.5, Ram Darbar and other villages against the unauthorised kabaris (junk dealers).

Meanwhile, it was decided that the department would not challan anybody during loading and unloading of goods from trucks.



MC fails to ‘bell the cat’ 
Out of 86 tents pitched illegally in the city, the civic body managed to remove only 31
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has apparently failed to “bell the cat”.

More than a year has lapsed since the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled there was a “need to bell the cat” before directing the UT administration to carry out a survey for checking encroachments by powers that be. Yet, the MC has failed to remove 55 tents pitched by politicians and other VIPs on its land.

As the case came up for resumed hearing, a formal communication by MC Joint Commissioner Lalit Kumar Siwach was placed before the Bench of Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Ajay Tewari. It said out of 86 tents pitched illegally in the city, they could remove only 31.

The reply mentioned the names of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, MS Bitta and SS Barnala among others. The Bench was also informed that illegal structures were being used by security personnel of Punjab politicians and judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Elaborating, the reply said the MC had written a letter of request to the principal secretaries of both the states and to the High Court Registrar-General for removal or relocation of tents.

The MC claimed that the Punjab government responded to its communication only on June 11. After placing on record the MC reply, the high court fixed November 17 as the next date of hearing.

Taking suo motu cognisance of a news report “Who’ll bell the cat” carried in these columns on July 6 2009 on violations by bigwigs in government accommodations, Justice Ranjit Singh had asserted: “No one is above the law, however, so high he or she may be placed. The Chandigarh administration needs to be asked to perform its functions in accordance with the law.”

Justice Ranjit Singh had also directed the issuance of notice to the Union Territory of Chandigarh through its Administrator “to show-cause as to why these illegal encroachments be not removed.”

In an apparent attempt to prevent encroachers from getting away with the illegalities, Justice Ranjit Singh had also asked the administration to ensure that all violating officers were brought under the ambit of law.



Save Sukhna Forum revived
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Residents of the city consisting of an array of former chief engineers and experts from diverse fields today revived the “Save Sukhna Forum” which they had formed in 2003 following the Tribune reports on saving Sukhna lake.

The forum consisting of Dr SS Grewal, GS Tandon, OP Kapoor, Dr BR Pruthi (founder secretary), Maj Gen Amarjeet Kahlon, SS Virdi, Dr GS Dhillon, Arjun Singh, KK Lakhanpal met today in the evening and decided to hold quarterly meetings. Pruthi said that the forum members have decided to meet at DAV School, Sector 8, for their meetings.

The forum members would deliberate upon various aspects of saving Sukhna Lake from desilting-using machines, beautification of the lake area and the afforestation.



CBI Raids
PEC varsity staff tight-lipped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
In the absence of the institute director, teachers and other employees at the PEC University of Technology were tight-lipped on the issue of raids conducted by the CBI and the subsequent arrest of certain students today.

Employees of the PEC’s administrative block, who were present on the spot, said all records related to admission under the NRI category were called for by the CBI team to the conference hall.

A faculty member said on the condition of anonymity, “The sports and NRI quotas must be handled more carefully by the institute since there is scope of error in those.”

PEC’s honorary public relations officer Puneet Arora said, “We have been inquiring the case since September 1, even before the CBI approached us. We are in touch with NIT-Karnataka to find details of students who claim that they did their schooling from India, but produced residence proof of Nepal. The NIT, in its correspondence with us, said the case must be dealt with by the embassy in New Delhi. Inputs given by the PEC university have been useful to CBI officials in cracking the case.”

Certain teachers claimed that PEC must be vigilant about such admissions. “A similar case of PhD entrance examination was brought to the notice of the PEC authorities a month back. The students were assured of timely action. Till date, they has not been a satisfactory reply. Due to our negligence, the students will now have to waste six months and wait for the next examination,” said a teacher.

On being questioned about the raids, the PEC students pleaded ignorance on the issue, although certain discussions were rife in first-year classes, from where the students were summoned by the CBI team for investigation.

Meanwhile, through an e-mail today, third-year students, including Virrat, Amaninder and Amandeep, said the CBI raids were a matter of shame for the institution.

They said PEC students condemned the action of the management, adding that the functioning of the institution must be democratic and the authorities must be transparent in their actions.



Post of Constable in UT Police
CAT dismisses plea of colour-blind candidates

Chandigarh, September 8
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today dismissed seven applications filed by persons who had applied for the post of constable in the UT police as they were colour blind.

While the counsel for the applicants claimed that being colour blind was a maintainable reason for declaring someone unfit for recruitment as per rules, the defence counsel argued that being colour blind would act as a barrier and make a person unfit for performing duties as commandoes or in the operation cell, where perception and recognition of colour might be vital for maintenance of law and order, crime detection and investigation.

Expressing the views on the effect of being colour blind the tribunal held, “We feel that identification of objects, places and persons, which would form an essential part of duties of a constable in Chandigarh Administration/ Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) would depend to considerable extent on colour identification. And therefore colour blindness would constitute a serious handicap in such work.” It was further held that it was clearly stated in the rules that candidates should be rejected for any disease or defect etc which was likely to render them unfit for full duties of a police officer.

The tribunal had asked the respondents to consider the case of applicant Jitender Kumar, from Gurgaon, who had asked for a compassionate appointment, but was also found to be suffering from colour blindness.

Pronouncing the orders the tribunal held, “It has been specifically stated that the cadre of constables is a joint cadre (in Chandigarh Police) and the person can be deputed to work in any of the units of the police. We also find, as stated by respondents (central government and UT Police), it will not be administratively feasible to keep a cadre of constables suffering from colour blindness separate throughout their service…” — TNS



Dangling dangerously
Tribune News Service

A bus avoids overgrown branches on the road separating Sectors 35 and 36 in Chandigarh
A bus avoids overgrown branches on the road separating Sectors 35 and 36 in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 8
Trees that have not been pruned for months and overgrown hedges on the medians are putting motorists in the city to inconvenience.

Overgrown trees with boughs stooping low are defeating the purpose of road widening in the city as most of the newly widened roads stretches are not used by the motorists to avoid hitting the tree branches. Even as the high court has recently directed the Chandigarh Traffic Police to enforce lane driving in the city, the buses, which are supposed to ply on the left hand side of the road, are noticed moving on the right side of the road to avoid the leaning branches.

traffic lights covered by overgrown trees in Sector 17Even as the motorists negotiate their way by avoiding hanging branches, the horticulture department, it seems has turned a blind eye to the problem.

Not only this, in some parts of the city, including Sector 17, traffic signals and the newly installed CCTV cameras also fail to serve the purpose as they are hidden behind the overgrown branches.

“The situation become grave when traffic policemen are manning such traffic light points. Motorists, especially two-wheeler riders, are seen stooping low to check the signal before proceeding, fearing to get a ticket from the policeman,” said Mohanjit Singh, a government employee working in Sector 17.
traffic lights covered by overgrown trees in Sector 17



Major fire averted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Swiftness of the library staff today prevented a major fire at the Chandigarh College of Architecture located inside the PEC University of Technology campus.

The fire, which broke out in the library around 1.15 pm today, reportedly occurred due to a technical error in the AC plant in the basement. Library officials informed that windowpanes of the hall had to be broken to release the smoke inside.

No damage was reported due to the fire and no student was sitting inside the library at the time of the incident, although corridors and library continued to be surrounded with smoke.

“Teachers of various departments reached the spot immediately and brought the situation under control. We broke the windowpanes to provide an outlet to the smoke,” said Bhupinder Kaur, CCA librarian.



Rainwater enters houses in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 8
Heavy rain that lashed the town early this morning brought misery for residents of Phase XI with water entering a number of houses.

There was knee-deep water in parts of Phase XI and fire brigade had to be called to pump out water from low lying areas.

Many people were caught unaware as they were sleeping when the downpour started. Water entered their houses because of which sofas, carpets and other items lying at a low level got wet.

Municipal councillor Sukhminder Singh Barnala said water had entered nearly 1,000 houses. He said he had rung up the executive engineer, the SDO and the junior engineer of the department concerned but none of them turned up at the site to see the plight of the residents.

Ranjit Singh Saini, one of the affected residents, said there was about one-foot water in his house even when he had raised the level of his house when it was renovated last year. There was about two to three feet water in some houses in the area.

Jagdeep Singh, another resident who had retired from the Air Force, said the condition of the area after the rain was pitiable. Many residents were out on the streets removing polythene bags from road gullies so that the water drained out, but the authorities concerned turned a blind eye to the situation.

Barnala said problem faced by residents each year was even brought to the notice of the Punjab Chief Minister when he was in Mohali on August 26. He said another pipeline from the community centre to the temple in the area could give a respite and he had been asking the authorities concerned to lay this line but to no avail.

Executive engineer JS Dhami said he had sent a junior official soon after he got a call from Barnala. But the official could not reach the affected area due to waterlogging. He said he was busy in Phase III-B2 and as such could not go. He said a pipeline could not be laid in the rainy season due to technical reasons. Moreover, a consultant would have to be approached before undertaking the project.



Blood donation camp today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Tribune Employees Union will organise a blood donation camp to mark the death anniversary of the founder of The Tribune Trust, Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, here tomorrow.

According to the general secretary of the union, it will be the 34th camp to be organised by it. A team of doctors from the department of transfusion medicine, PGI, Chandigarh, will conduct the camp.



Four injured in accidents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 8
A girl was seriously injured when a rashly driven Indica car hired by the Haryana Uttar Bijli Vitran Nigam hit a scooter near the road separating Sectors 4 and 11 here this morning.

According to the police, Dharamvir was driving the Indica car (HR-68T-0004) and hit the Activa scooter (HR-03L-2705) of the city-based Swati and her maternal grandmother Satya. The police has registered a case against the accused and seized the car.

Eyewitnesses said Swati was trying to take a U-turn at the road separating Sectors 4 and 11 when the speeding car hit their vehicle from the rear, resulting in serious head injuries to Swati. The impact of the accident was such that she fell on the windscreen of the car. Her grandmother also received injuries and both of them were rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6.

In another accident two persons had a miraculous escape when a truck on National Highway-22 this afternoon hit their scooter. The police has nabbed the truck driver and is investigating the case.

According to the police, Ramchander and his son Arvind, residents of Dhakauli village, near Zirakpur, received serious injuries as an unknown truck struck them while they were on their way to Sector 12-A. Some passersby rushed them to General Hospital, Sector 6. While Arvind received minor injuries, his father was seriously injured.



Tribune Impact
MC launches drive to make Zirakpur free of garbage
Tribune News Service
Garbage bins placed by the Zirakpur MC near Punjab water office on Wednesday
Garbage bins placed by the Zirakpur MC near Punjab water office on Wednesday

Zirakpur, September 8
Taking a cognisance of news report carried in these columns on September 3 “Garbage in open: Bins purchased, not in place” the Zirakpur municipal council has launched a massive drive to remove heaps of garbage strewn across the town and also placed garbage bins in different parts of the town.

The development is significant as unhygienic conditions prevail in the area, due to non-removal of garbage. A nauseating stench emanating from piles of garbage greet residents and commuters of the area.

A Zirakpur MC official said the MC had strictly told the sanitation workers (reheriwalas) to dump the garbage at collection sites suggested by the contractor.

The official also said the garbage bins would be placed at other sections of the town on the pattern of Chandigarh.

It is learnt that the council has spent lakhs of rupees to buy garbage bins which are lying unused on MC land at the Punjab water supply office.

‘Stop throwing garbage in Sukhna Choe’

SDM, Dera Bassi, Puneet Goyal stated that he had directed to Zirakpur MC not to throw garbage along the Sukna Choe in future as it was a public nuisance and in contravention of the law. The SDM had submitted a report to the DC, Mohali, on Tuesday regarding dumping of garbage into the Sukhna Choe.



Channelise N-choe before handing it over, MC tells GMADA
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 8
The Municipal Council has demanded that the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) should channelise the N-choe before handing it over to the civic body for maintenance as the council is short of funds and also lacks adequate infrastructure.

The choe passing through various parts of the town was cleaned by GMADA after The Tribune had carried out a campaign. A sum of Rs 20 lakh was spent on cleaning the choe about three months ago after which the civic body was asked to take over the maintenance work.

Though the council is reluctant to take over the responsibility, the issue will be presented before the general house for discussion at the meeting to be held 
this month.

On June 29 GMADA had sent a letter to the council in which it had stated that the choe had been cleaned by it once and the further responsibility of keeping it clean was that of the civic body. The council demanded that GMADA should channelise the choe so that the problem of wild growth did not exist.

GMADA officials, however, said that choe had already been channelised and the problem of wild growth occurred due to the accumulation of mud.



Minors not safe in city
Rape cases on the rise
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
n On March 19, 2009, a two-year-old girl, Kusum (name changed), was all
egedly raped by Joginder Singh. When her mother came to know about the outrage she immediately went to the police to get an FIR registered

n 4-year-old Sheena (name changed) was allegedly raped on June 30, 2010 by a neighbour, Vijay Kumar. She had reportedly gone to his home to borrow some ice

n 14-year-old Roma (name changed) gave birth to a child after she was allegedly raped by her stepf ther, Chanderpal, repeately for four years. A case was filed on October 4, 2008

Cases of girls below the age of consent being sexually assaulted have been steadily increasing in the city, making children more vulnerable and soft targets of the heinous crime, At least 28 cases of rape of minor girls, including some which were reportedly committed in police stations in Sectors 26 and 39 and Manimajra, have been recorded during the past three years. In all, 63 complaints alleging rape or attempted rape against both minors and adults were filed with the local police from 2008 till August 2010.

In some of the cases the victims who had eloped with the rape suspects were minors. However, legal experts say even if a minor girl gives her consent for sex it is considered statutory rape under law.

In the last three years there have been at least two cases in which the minor girl became pregnant after being raped. In one of them the victim’s stepfather allegedly committed the crime while in the other - the Nari Niketan rape case - the victim was a minor and mentally challenged as well.

On the other hand, there were 14 cases in which the rape victim alleged the suspect had had sexual relations with her after being assured he would marry her but did not keep his promise.

In one such case, a 20-year-old girl became the victim of a man, Vikas Maudgil, whom she reportedly came into contact on a social networking site. The two became good friends through chatting on the Net. The suspect asked her to visit the city on the pretext of marrying her and raped her several times. However, he later refused to keep his promise.

On the other hand there are many cases, which include the one filed against a local industrialist, Manjit Singh Arora, where the victim turned hostile during the trial.

According to justice RS Mongia, “In cases where the victim supports the prosecution the culprit should be convicted to a minimum term of life sentence. There are no witnesses and corroborating the crime isn’t easy in such cases. Going by a Supreme Court judgment which clearly states if the victim has turned hostile the court should look into the reason as to why the witness changed tack.”



Auto dealer refutes allegations
Lally Automobiles vice-president claimed that the company had already informed the buyer that it was an old car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Reacting to the registration of a case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy registered against three employees of Lally Automobiles Phase I, Industrial Area, for selling an old car to a Sector 56 resident, the vice-president of the company refuted the charges claiming that the company had already informed the buyer that it was an old car.

Rajeev Khullar, vice-president of Lally Automobiles, said the company had sold a Honda City S-AT car, which was used for demonstration purpose to Kamaljit Kaur for Rs 8 lakh against the ex-showroom price of Rs 9,07,000 at that time.

They had already explained to the customer about the condition of the car and Kamaljit was fully satisfied about the condition of the car sold to her on “as is where is basis”. The vehicle reported first time to the workshop in January this year for periodic maintenance and its service invoice showed kilometers run as 18,619, which also corroborated with the fact that a new car could not have completed this much mileage in just 3 months.

Anil Mehta, counsel for the company, said the case was registered in order to exert pressure on the company to surrender before her unreasonable demands and otherwise also if her allegations were admitted then also the nature of allegations was of civil suit and not that of a criminal case.



Id celebrations
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Id-ul-Fitr will be celebrated at various mosques of the tricity tomorrow. According to information, a prayer meeting will be held at the Sector 29 masjid from 8:45 am.

Special Id prayers will be held at Sectors 20 and 26, Mani Majra, Nayagaon, Lalru mandi, Mataur, Burail, Kalka masjid, Maujakot, Panchkula’s Sector 21 and Shishma (Peer Baba) from 9:30 am.



Girls get certificates under Mai Bhago Scheme
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 8
Manpreet Kaur Dolly, daughter of late former Akali leader Capt Kanwaljit Singh, yesterday distributed certificates among 24 girls, who had successfully completed the course in embroidery and stitching at a women empowerment centre in Dhakola village.

The centre was a part of the Mai Bhago Scheme Women Empowerment of Punjab Cooperative Department.

Appreciating the work done by the centre, Dolly said it was a dream of Capt Kanwaljit Singh to see rural women self-employed under the Mai Bhago Scheme. She said the department would give a loan of Rs 50,000 on reasonable interest to start their own work.

“An exhibition will be organised to exhibit items made by rural women during their training at various centers in Zirakpur,” she added.



Justice Gogoi to be sworn in today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, will be administered oath as a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday. The ceremony is slated to take place at 9.30 am. Justice Gogoi will be third in the seniority list, after Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Mehtab Singh Gill. He will also be a part of the high court collegium along with Chief Justice Mudgal and Justice Gill.

Justice Gogoi is expected to eventually take over as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, after Justice Mukul Mudgal retires on attaining the age of superannuation in January next. With his joining, the number of high court judges will go up to 47 against the sanctioned strength of 68. 



Architects to be honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The 19th annual Architect of the Year Awards ceremony would be held tonight at Hotel Taj wherein UT Administrator and Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil would be the chief guest.

During the function, top architects from the country and South Asia would be felicitated for their contribution in the field. The awards were instituted by the JK Cement Group about two decades ago.

Some of the recipients of this year’s awards are architects such as Prof Christopher Benninger and Sanjay Puri.

Talking to The Tribune, Prof. Christopher Benninger noted that there could be no better city than Chandigarh for such an event, the place known for its architecture and planning.

The awards were instituted by the JK Cement Group about two decades ago.



Violation of ethics by media highlighted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
A talk on “Media: The ethics of its social prism” was delivered by Mohanmeet Kaur Khosla, chairperson, School of Communication Studies, in a weekly seminar in the department of sociology here today.

Khosla began her presentation by highlighting the gap between India and Bharat in the branding of different newspapers. She gave examples of new type of press note journalism, which is prevalent these days.

She lamented the absence of feel good journalism and criticised the trend of negative journalism.

She focused on the role of pressure tactics by the media illustrated with examples like Kandhar hijack case, attack on Parliament, Godhra riots, etc.

A major part of the presentation dealt with the projection of women in media. She began by picking up the strands from Hindu mythology and discussed the concept of “Aardhanareshwar”. She highlighted how women are projected in the newspapers and magazines with focus on nudity and stereotypes, which are linked to societal values and patriarchy.

She also highlighted the manner in which the media violates the ethics by invading privacy and sensationalising issues like rapes, suicides, murders, etc.

She ended by pleading for preserving idealism in the media, for she felt that the media is society’s prism.



From Schools

Naval Pandey and Varun Sharma, students of class XI of Delhi Public School, bagged the second position in “Techniche”, the annual techno management festival organised at IIT, Guwahati. More than 120 schools from all over India participated in various events like robotics, crime scene investigation, structure building and many more. The students also attended workshops by Intel, IRIS and eminent CEO’s. Principal Reema Dewan congratulated the proud achievers for their brilliant effort.

Investiture ceremony

Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, organised the investiture ceremony on the school premises where members of new students’ council pledged to discharge their duties and responsibilities to the best of their abilities. The function began with an invocation. Principal Vineeta Arora handed over the badges and sashes to the newly elected student council.

Movie-making contest

Nikhli Sood, a student of Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, brought laurels to the school by winning third prize in the state-level movie-making competition based on environment and its protection. The competition was organised by the Punjab Pollution Control Board.

St Mary’s Day

St Mary’s School, Sector 46, celebrated the birthday of St Mary with solemnity and sanctity as St Mary’s Day today. A special assembly was organised in the school where students of senior classes performed various dances, speech, poems and songs seeking blessings and guidance of Mother Mary. Chairman Father Ninan P Philip highlighted the qualities of Mother of God and exhorted the students to imbibe them in the daily life.

Literacy Day

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, celebrated the Literacy Day with great enthusiasm today. Students expressed their views on the importance of literacy during the morning assembly. An exhibition was also organised on the importance of literacy. Principal SK Bhatia motivated the students to teach illiterate people. — TNS



Stress on importance of literacy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The department of life long learning and extension (DLLLE), Panjab University, celebrated the International Literacy Day in Khudha Lahora village here yesterday.

Students, teachers, residents, panchayat members from Khudda Jassu and Khuda Lahora villages participated in the event.

Inaugurating the function, PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti said education of masses was crucial for the development of self, society and nation.

Earlier, Sobti planted saplings on the premises of Balwari centre of Khuda Jassu village.

He also flagged off the literacy rally of the students, teachers, villagers and panchayat members holding placards with slogans on literacy, women empower-ment,environment and anti-foeticide, which passed through the entire village.

The slogans raised by the participants enlivened the atmosphere of the village. Ajaib Singh, director of DLLLE, in his welcome address said for the last four decades, society had made tremendous progress on literacy front, but still we were far behind as compared to other developed nations.

He highlighted the importance of literacy and vocational skills for each individual.

He revealed that under the “village upliftment project”, the department had already adopted Khudda Lahora and Khudda Jassu villages and is organising programmes for the all-round development of the area, including literacy, cleanliness, environment, vocational skills like computer literacy, skin care and beauty culture, etc.

Sobti awarded prizes to the winners of slogan writing and poster making competitions.

Ruchi, Divya and Amarjit from University Institute of Fashion and Lifestyle Technology (UIFT) were awarded first, second and third prize, respectively, under the slogan writing competition.

While Himan, Aruna and Anupreet, all from UIFT, were honoured with the first, second and third prize, respectively.

Amandeep, Suman and Vikas from Government Senior Secondary School, Khudda Lahora village, Chandigarh, bagged the first, second and third prize, respectively, in the slogan writing competition organised by the DLLLE.

Sarpanches of Khudda Lahora and Khudda Jassu villages were honoured for providing support to launch upliftment projects in the villages by the Vice-Chancellor.

Prabha Vig, assistant professor, DLLLE; Rakesh Sharma and Balwinder Sharma, both sarpanches from Khuda Lahora and Khuda Jassu villages, respectively, expressed their views on the need of literacy, women empowerment and campaigns to be launched for the development of rural areas in UT.



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 |