C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PEC Scam
3 suspects got admission on fake documents
Akash Ghai & Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
In a major disclosure in the Punjab Engineering College scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has found that three of the suspect students did not clear their senior secondary exams. They furnished bogus Class XII certificates while seeking admission in PEC.

IG of the investigating agency Mahesh Aggarwal said during investigation, it was found that three of the suspected students had submitted fake documents for the admission. “We found that three students had submitted fake senior secondary certificates to get admission in the engineering college,” said Aggarwal, maintaining that the names of the accused could not be disclosed at the moment.

However, CBI officials said many more shocking scandals prevailing in the academia were expected to come out during further investigations.

Notably, the CBI has so far arrested Dr Nishikant, who had allegedly masterminded the case of forging identity cards to 11 students, showing them as foreign students to get admission in PEC under the Direct Admission of Students Abroad Scheme (DASA) scheme.

A CBI official said the teams would be sent to places from where fake certificates were procured. Sources in the CBI revealed that the agency would also verify the authenticity of every certificate of the accused students.

The CBI will also scrutinise documents of other institutes where the students have taken admission under the DASA. There are around 23 institutes, including PEC, covered under this scheme.

Sources revealed that the CBI would also question NITK Surathkhal, Karnataka, authorities who had been entrusted the responsibility of central coordination of admission of foreign students under special scheme.

The DASA scheme was initiated for direct admission of eligible foreign students, persons of Indian origin (PIOs), non-resident Indians (NRIs) to undergraduate engineering programmes offered by the National Institute of Technology and other centrally funded institutes. Students have to appear in Scholastic Aptitude Test - II (SAT-II), besides other academic qualifications.



Fearing honour killing, couple seeks protection from court
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 11
Fearing threat to their lives from their parents and relatives, a newly wedded couple from the city approached the district court for protection here today.

District and Sessions Judge PL Ahuja while acting on their plea for protection directed the police to provide protection cover to the couple till September 17. The court has also directed the couple to produce their residence proof and other proof related with the marriage and age before the court on the next date of hearing.

According to information, the 24-year-old boy, a resident of Yamunanagar, belongs to Saini caste while the 23-year-old girl, a resident of Kurukshetra, is of Kashyap caste. At present both of them were residing in Panchkula.

The couple’s counsel said the boy and the girl fell in love with each other. They expressed their desire of getting married to their parents. When their parents did not agree, the couple finally decided to tie the nuptial knot in a temple in Panchkula on September 6 against the wishes of their parents.

The counsel further said that after the marriage, the couple started receiving threatening calls from their parents and even forced them to break their marriage. Suspecting threat to their lives, they finally decided to take the legal recourse, he added.

He said, “As the couple was staying in a rented accommodation in Panchkula, so we decided to move Panchkula court. The police has provided the security cover to the couple on the directions of the district court.”



Youth shot at by friend, critical
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
A 23-year-old youth was shot at by his friend in Industrial Area, Phase 2, here this afternoon.

The victim, Varun Aggarwal, who received a bullet in his forehead, was struggling for his life at the emergency of the PGI, while the accused Kapil Gupta has been arrested by the police on the charge of attempt to murder.

The police said Kapil (30) shot at Varun after aiming at him from a short distance while sitting on the opposite side of office table.

The shot was fired from an illegal weapon, said the police. The police was yet to ascertain the intention of the accused behind the shootout.

When asked whether it could be an accident, DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh said the accused was mature enough to know the gravity of his act when he was aiming at his friends with an illegal weapon.

Kapil is a resident of Sector 10, Panchkula and runs Himgiri Brewery at Kala Amb (Himachal Pradesh), while Varun owns a shop, Aggarwal Plywood, at his native place, Solan. Both are said to be old-time friends.

DSP Satbir Singh said the incident took place in the office of general manager of King Kastle Bootling Plant at Industrial Area around 3 pm in the presence of Varinder Chauhan, the GM, and Neeraj Singh, an employee of the company.

Kapil and Varun had come together to meet Varinder, who is also a consultant of the duo in their business.

“While talking, Kapil took out the weapon and started aiming at the persons, present in the room, turn by turn. He was also cautioned by his friends, but he fired at the victim in his forehead,” said Satbir Singh. The police came to know about the incident after the victim was taken to the GMCH- 32 by Chauhan and others. The victim was referred to the PGI.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC and Arms Act .



2 dengue cases reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
With two new cases of dengue reported from different parts of the city, the number of such patients touched 18 here today. The health authorites said one case was found from Sector 49, while the second was reported from slums of Colony No 5.

While all 16 patients reported earlier were discharged from hospitals, last week a 22-year-old resident of Colony No 4 had died of suspected dengue at the PGI. Dr MP Singh, Deputy Medical Superintendent, claimed that the health department was geared to deal with any situation.



Rain brings chaos on city roads
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Heavy rain in the city and adjoining areas this afternoon brought misery to residents of low-lying areas and threw traffic out of gear at many places. Low-lying areas and roundabouts were flooded in the evening, affecting vehicular traffic.

The storm water drainage system of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) came under strain. A majority of low-lying areas, including slum colonies and Behlana village near the Chandigarh airport, were flooded.

Power supply to several sectors, including 32, 20, 29 and 33 and rural areas of the city, was snapped and sparking from electricity poles was seen at several places. Cable network in several parts also developed snags.

The Meteorological Department recorded moderate rainfall of 17.3 mm till 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. in the city. Terming it as “no end” of the monsoons, officials say the rainfall is likely to continue in days to come.

Water entered the Chandigarh airport building and submerged the taxiway connecting the runway with the parking bay. Airlines officials said there was as much as 3 feet of water in some parts of the parking lot. Portions of the terminal building were in ankle-deep water.

Rainwater accumulated in various low-lying areas, damaged goods after entering shops and houses and also washed away roads at various places. Certain vehicles met with accident and some remained stranded for hours.

However, trains, including the evening Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi (2005), reached here on time, Railways sources said.



MC to seek more staff, funds for new depts
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The municipal corporation has said it would require 300 more personnel and an additional budget of Rs 50 crore to handle the departments that would be transferred to it by the UT administration shortly. A detailed draft report drawn up by the civic body regarding these and other related issues will be tabled at a meeting between MC and administration officials scheduled on September 14.

According to the draft, the road and horticulture departments have proposed to recruit about 60 personnel under various heads. Besides field staff for these two wings, the authorities will have to create the posts of superintending, executive and junior engineers and subdivisional officers after the transfer of these departments. The report also reveals that initially, beside these regular posts, the authorities will outsource the work if required.

According to the report, the road and horticulture wing will require an annual budget of approximately Rs 49 crore, which includes plan budget of Rs 9 crore and Rs 40 crore under nonplan head. The report further says that as most of the posts are lying vacant in the administration under these two heads, fresh recruitment has to be made by the MC to handle both these departments.

In the draft report prepared for primary schools, MC officials have proposed that for one year the administration should transfer their junior basic training (JBT) teachers to the corporation. Later on the civic body will create about 150 posts of teachers for ensuring efficient management of these schools.

The report states the authorities will require Rs 18 lakh per month for the plan and nonplan budget for seven schools that are to be transferred to them. It further mentions that for the construction of 18 new schools the authorities will require a budget of Rs one crore for each school.

As far as the transfer of healthcare centres are concerned, the MC has proposed a standby arrangement of exiting staff deployed in it should be allowed for one year. The report stated the department would require a budget of Rs 40 lakh per month for the healthcare centres and civil dispensaries.

It may be mentioned here that the administration will transfer all V3 roads, parks, green belts, 20 civil dispensaries, 21 healthcare centers, two polyclinics, the Ayush hospital and seven primary schools.



Backlog: 3 HCs told to furnish details
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
For preventing the Central government from becoming “a compulsive litigant” and to reduce average pendency time from 15 years to three years, details of cases pending in the High Courts of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, along with Jammu & Kashmir, have been called for.

Entrusted with the task of overseeing Central Government litigation in this part of the region, Additional Solicitor-General of India Mohan Jain has, in fact, shot off commutations to central government counsel in the three high courts to furnish the details.

The entire exercise is a part of National Litigation Policy’s implementation, which aims at “transforming the government into an efficient and responsible litigant”.

Elaborating, Jain has asserted: “This implies the government must cease to be a compulsive litigant, thereby reducing government litigation in courts”.

This, he has asserted, would save valuable court time and would further help in achieving National Legal Mission’s goal to reduce average pendency time from 15 years to three years.

The details sought to be furnished include not only the number of pending cases, but also the year of filing and the present status - admitted or pending.

Details have also been sought regarding the next date of hearing, the questions of law involved, the name of the department or officer, and “whether the subject matter involved therein has a substantial effect on the Union of India. Jain has also asked the counsel to elaborate on the stakes involved. They have also been asked to give their opinion whether the case is covered under the National Litigation Policy.


Eid celebrated with gaiety
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
People in large numbers thronged mosques across the city today to offer prayers on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. Later, they relished feasts with relatives and friends.

Eid, celebrated on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, marks the end of the period of fasting during the holy month of Ramazan.

“After praying at a local mosque, I will go to a friend’s place where we will enjoy sevian (a sweet made of vermicelli). Later in the evening we have planned a big family gathering,” said Javed, a resident of Sector 32.

Donning new clothes and skullcaps, members of the community exchanged greetings and sweets. They also visited homes of their relatives, where they were treated to sheer korma, a sweet dish prepared with vermicelli and garnished with dry fruits. The day saw people purchasing new clothes, utensils, dry fruits and ingredients for the grand Eid feast.

On the occasion, cleric Mohammed Ajmal Khan of Sector 20 mosque exhorted Muslims to continue pious deeds even after Ramadan and abide by the Quran.

The Chandigarh police has made elaborate security arrangements, apart from diverting traffic at various places, particularly near mosques.

“We have made adequate security and traffic arrangements for the day to avoid any problem,” a police officer said.

Functions were also held at mosques in Sectors 45, 26 and Mani Majra.



Treat contractual docs as regular employees: CAT to admn
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Coming to the rescue of seven doctors of Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16 (GMSH-16), working on a contractual basis, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed the UT administration and director, Health Services, to treat doctors as regular employees.

Passing the landmark judgment, the tribunal held that the respondents were directed to pass appropriate orders for treating the doctors as regular employees from the date of their completion of 10 years in service within a period of three months.

The tribunal directed the administration to assess requirement of services of those who had not completed 10 years and take decision to treat them as regular employees or stick to the terms of the contract.

The tribunal, however, clarified that the orders had been passed considering peculiar facts of the case. Keeping in view that the applicants were appointed against the sanctioned posts through the regular selection process and as per rules; it held that the observations made in this case might not be taken as a precedent in any other case.

Dr Anjali Gupta, including six others, had stated in the application that they were appointed against sanctioned posts of assistant medical officers (Class III) as per recruitment rules of the hospital on various dates between 1997 and 2006.

The applicants claimed that they faced harassment and their salaries were delayed.

The applicants were appointed on a contractual basis though regular posts were vacant as per rules. The contractual appointments were made in 1997, as the administration was facing financial constraints and regular appointments could not be made at that time. It was stated in the petition that against 13 sanctioned posts of AMOs, 10 were working on a contractual basis.

These AMOs were promoted as medical officers (MOs) after serving for three years. Meanwhile, posts of AMOs were declared as a dying cadre in Punjab and the post of AMO Class III was upgraded to Class II and the existing incumbents were adjusted as such. The UT administration stopped recruiting AMOs from 1991 onwards. Subsequently, a proposal for upgrading the post of AMO Class III to MO Class II was submitted.

As the proposal is pending, deputationists started manning the posts of MOs.

In its reply, the administration argued that it was a misconception that the applicants were appointed on a contractual basis, as posts of AMOs in Punjab were abolished. The administration stated that it was aware of the rights of contractual employees for regularisation of their services, however, courts and tribunals could not replace the competent authority in this sphere.



Heavy rain lashes city
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Tail lamps of vehicles reflect a colourful pattern on a road near Sector 20.
Tail lamps of vehicles reflect a colourful pattern on a road near Sector 20. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal and S Chandan

Chandigarh, September 11
Heavy rain in most parts of the city this evening seems to have proved the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predictions true that monsoon might break the 2008 record of 1112 mm of rainfall, if the trend of rains at short intervals continued, said IMD director Surender Paul.

Heavy rain lashed the city and its adjoining areas this afternoon, flooding streets, disrupting normal life and bringing to the fore once again the inefficiency of the drainage system. Traffic disruptions were a common sight along the roundabouts on the Madhya Marg, Sectors 35, 22, 23 and 36 roundabouts and the intersection near the ISBT-17 and other places.

While almost sunny day raised the maximum temperature to 33 degrees Celsius compared to 31 degrees recorded yesterday, the minimum temperature decreased to 25.8 due to afternoon rain as against 26.3 recorded on Friday.

The sky, which was generally sunny throughout the day, became heavily overcast in the afternoon, resulting in a torrential rain late in the evening. The meteorological department said the city received 17.3 mm of rain till 7.30 pm, bringing the total rainfall this monsoon to over 900 mm so far.

However, IMD director said the current weather conditions with rainfall at short intervals would continue this month. “There will be no respite from another spell or two of rain for a few more days, he added.

Meanwhile, the Met office had also forecast that the month would end on a wet note with the last couple of days seeing widespread showers through out the day.

Weather officials have predicted a partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain for tomorrow with the maximum and minimum to be somewhere at 30 and 22 degrees Celsius, respectively. 



Reshuffling of MC field staff done in haste?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
It seems that the reshuffling of field staff of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has been done in haste. Instead of shifting the clerical staff, which has been working on the same seat for more than four years, the enforcement authorities have transferred regular sub-inspectors to the clerical posts in the MC.

The sub-inspectors who have been transferred to other departments include Bishan Lal, Sunil Dutt and Bhupinder Kaur. Interestingly, Bhupinder Kaur is the only female sub-inspector in the department who was appointed on a request to handle the woman encroachers in the city.

Records of the department show that there are seven enforcement inspectors out of which three were transferred in 2006 from the engineering department and one was junior assistant, two employees were shifted from medical office of health in 2008 and one was appointed on contractual basis in 2007. During the reshuffling, none of the employee has been sent back to their parent department.

Sources said that there are nine regular inspectors who were transferred to non-cadre posts in various departments four years back under the routine shuffling process of the department. Out of these, three were reverted to the department, but the remaining were still holding the same posts in different departments.

Sources said in 2001, it was decided that till there is a shortage of staff in the enforcement department, the manpower of other departments would be shifted on a six-months basis. However, at present, there are two sanctioned posts of inspectors and 20 posts of sub-inspectors in the enforcement department. Out of these, 16 have been filled and eight have been called from other departments and are non-cadre employees, sources said. 



Ganesh Chaturthi goes eco-friendly
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Ganesh is the lord of power and wisdom. He is worshipped first before any auspicious work. Kids know him better since he is also referred to as the Elephant God.

Ajay Bhave, hailing from Bangalore, and now a resident of Sector 41, said: “Our attempt is spread awareness on celebrating the festival the eco-friendly way. Our aim will be to keep city pollution free and green,” he said.

Bhave said a majority of people who celebrate the festival bring home painted idols made of clay or plaster of Paris and perform rituals with devotion. The festival concludes with ‘Ganesh visarjan’, a process of immersing the idol in Ghaggar river or any other water source symbolising a ritual to see off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode while taking away with him the misfortunes of devotees.

“Fortunately, the tricity has water bodies in its proximity. Because of this, rivers and other water sources are used to see off the god. Since the paint material used to colour the idol contains lead, which is toxic in nature. Plaster of Paris, too, gets dissolved slowly and increases the acidity of water. This adversely affects the environment and there have been reports of dead fish in the water source where the idols are immersed,” said Bhave. The “green" idol has been procured from Mumbai, he said.

Bhave said: “Now we have understood the problem, particularly for the City Beautiful and solution is pretty simple. This time, we are in the process of making Ganesh idols of natural clay which are not painted. These will not only be environmental friendly but saves our ecosystem as well,” he added.

“I sought the help of the local community and a resident of Mumbai. I compiled a list of places/vendors from where one could buy material for an eco-friendly Ganesh idol. We are in touch with around 150 Marathi families form a network of blogs to make this festival environmental friendly,” he said.

Do insist on buying and celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with only those idols made of natural clay without any colours. Let us spread the awareness and make this ‘Project Green Ganesha’ a great success, he insists. 



CME on transfusion medicine
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
A national CME on transfusion medicine was inaugurated by PGI Director Prof KK Talwar here today. More than 200 delegates from adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh attended the CME.

The theme of the CME was “Good Laboratory Practices in Transfusion Services”.

Eminent guest faculty and experts from various parts of the country delivered talks on different topics. In his inaugural address, Dr Talwar appreciated the academic achievements of the department of transfusion medicine, PGIMER.

A talk on “Neonatal transfusion practices and problems encountered in compatibility testing of neonates” was delivered by Dr Kum Kum Sharma and Dr Neeraj Sharma. 



Candle march by junior docs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Even as junior doctors at Government Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16, resumed work after absenting themselves for two days, they took out a candle march expressing their protest against indictment of their colleagues in the Bulbul case.

Doctors and staff members assembled on the rear gate of the hospital at 7 pm on Madhya Marg. Even heavy showers could not stop them from protesting. Yesterday senior doctors wore black badges to show their solidarity with their indicted colleagues.

We as DNB (Diplomate National Board) trainees are here to learn and work efficiently. “We perform our duties under the supervision of medical officer in charge, therefore it is not fair to indict three of them for negligence,” they said.

Demanding a fresh probe in to the incident, doctors said there was no logic in registering criminal cases on the basis of inquiry conducted by an expert of orthopaedics, while it was a case of the gynaecology department.

The inquiry report was prepared by Chandigarh Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill and GMCH director principal Dr Raj Bahadur.



Health centre in a shambles
Rajiv Bhatia

The dilapidated building of subsidiary health centre at Chhat village.
The dilapidated building of subsidiary health centre at Chhat village. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, September 11
The building of subsidiary health centre in Chhat village is lying in a shambles due to which the people coming here for treatment are facing inconvenience.

Surprisingly, the ceiling of the building, which has undergone repairs number of times, leaks during rain. Even congress grass surrounding the building is adding to the miseries of those visiting the health centre.

Stagnated water has made the area a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which could lead to water and vector-borne diseases. Many of the residents complain that during rain it becomes difficult to sit inside the health centre as the ceiling continues to leak.

Jasmair Singh, a local resident, alleged that people come to the centre for better health but on seeing its poor condition they are surprised that this is the same place where people are cured for their ailments.

Residents of the village demanded that the building should be repaired and better facilities be provided to them.



Tree falls on Morni-Panchkula road
Hundreds of commuters stranded 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 11
Hundreds of commuters were stranded near Galikati village turn near Madna on the Morni-Panchkula road as a huge tree fell in the middle of the road due to heavy rain here this evening.

According to information, many vehicles, including buses, cars and two wheelers, coming from Morni to the city got stuck on the road.

The commuters, most of them employees working in various offices located near the tourist resort of Morni and Kikartal, were returning to their homes in the city. Similarly about a dozen vehicles were also stranded on this side of the spot.

Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary said after receiving information the district administration pressed one JCB machine into service from the city to clear the road.

The PWD officials who were supervising the operations said they would be able to clear the road around midnight. They added that continuous rain was also creating some problem.

Meanwhile, waterlogging was reported in most parts of the city leading to snarl-ups and chaos on streets. Many vehicles broke down on waterlogged roads after rainwater entered their engines.

The most affected sectors in the city include Sectors 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16 and 17 and in parts of Industrial Area, Phase I, Sector 19 and Mansa Devi Complex. Waterlogging was also reported in jhuggis in the twin slum colonies near Sector 16 — Rajiv Colony and Indira Colony.

Water entered into many hutments as it came gushing down in the nullah running along the colonies.



MC to spend Rs. 3.75 cr on dividing roads in P’kula
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Damaged link roads at Industrial Area, Phase II,

Sector 19 in Panchkula.
(Top) Damaged link roads at Industrial Area, Phase II, (below) Sector 19 in Panchkula. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, September 11
The city that once used to take pride in its roads can no longer afford you that comfortable drive, as broken, battered and uneven roads, no longer inspire "long drives" that were so integral to everyone in the city.

The Municipal Corporation has been somewhat partial while maintaining the city roads. The roads in posh areas and in the vicinity of VIP residences in the town are definitely better than those in the other sectors that have a higher population density.

From time to time, city roads have become a cause of concern and city residents have been complaining about the bumpy rides they get while travelling on these roads. The condition of some of the diving roads, including 14-IA Phase I, 15-IA Phase II, 11-14, 10-15, 9-16 had improved as, the corporation had re-carpeted them a couple of months ago.

The MC has now decided to give special attention to main dividing roads, especially dividing roads of 5-8, 5-9, 5/10, 12-12A, and for this, the corporation will spend Rs 3.75 crore. According to sources in the corporation, Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar has also shown concern over the deteriorating condition of the roads and directed the corporation officials to initiate steps to repair them.

The sources said no provision had been made for the repair of road from Amartex to Sector 19. However, they added that the corporation would soon prepare the estimates to be submitted to higher authorities for its approval.

Giving details Executive Engineer OP Sihag, said that the tenders had been floated and the last date for the same had been fixed for September 22. He said special attention was being paid to these roads besides earmarking Rs 3 lakh for fixing road medians on dividing road of Sector 12-12A and 14-11. The corporation was also contemplating to install swings, bench and rain shelter in Sectors 4, 11, and 19, he added.



MC, GMADA tussle keeps parks in darkness
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, September 11
Much to the inconvenience of the residents, the Mohali Municipal Corporation has disconnected “kundi” connections to gardenlights in a large number of parks across the town. To light up the parks, the officials of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) have taken illegal connections from the streetlight poles looked after by the MC.

As a result, the walkers-preferred places have been plunged into darkness. With rainy season, the wild growth coupled with darkness has made it all the more difficult for the residents to venture in to the parks.

“The darkness in the parks is due to the tussle between the MC and the GMADA over the supply of power to light points. The issue has remained unsolved for the past few years”, complain residents.

A recent high-level meeting held in the GMADA office has also failed to solve the problem. Now the position is such that whenever GMADA officials get complaints from residents they take kundi connection from the streetlights poles. But no sooner the council employees get to know of the irregular use of power they disconnect these lights leaving the parks in darkness.

Most of the parks in the town are being maintained by GMADA. The problem is being faced in parks that have only four light points and GMADA has no power supply to run these lights. The council is maintaining the streetlight in most parts of the town.

A GMADA official said that it was not possible to take a power connection for each park. For 1 kw of load a security of Rs 5,000 was to be deposited. It would not be possible to maintain so many accounts and bills. And since the council was to take over the parks finally for maintenance, it would be reasonable for them to let these lights function from streetlight connections and recover the power bill from GMADA.

It is learnt that a meeting was held by the chief administrator of GMADA to solve the tussle. GMADA had offered to pay the civic body for the use of power in the parks to which council officials had agreed. It was decided that the council would send a bill for about Rs 40,000 each month to GMADA on an average basis, which the authority would pay so that lights in small parks could remain functional.

The issue was discussed in the general house of the civic body and cleared by the elected representatives. But it did not get the approval of the higher authorities of the Department of Local Government, which wanted the council to furnish a bill for the exact amount of power consumed for running the lights in these parks and not on an average basis.



GMADA to revive dormant projects
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 11
With recession has almost gone, many projects in Mohali that were hanging fire are being revived by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB).

Much-publicised projects that were announced either by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal or Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and did not attract any bidder or investor are now again being launched.

In yesterday’s executive committee meeting of GMADA chaired by Punjab Chief Secretary SC Aggarwal, it was decided to revive five-star hotel-cum-convention centre project in Sector 62 here, handled by the PIDB. In the past, the project had failed to attract any interest from the bidders.

The project forms part of the Sector 62 City Centre, a concept plan of which was unveiled by Sukhbir Singh Badal more than a year ago. In the past, GMADA had not been able to offer any other sites in the City Centre, fearing poor response from investors. But the response to the Aerocity has boosted the morale of the authority.

At the Executive Committee meeting, it was also decided to offer five sites for cultural and literary activities. On the pattern of allotment of religious sites, GMADA would invite applications for cultural and literary sites.

Similarly, GMADA has also decided to revive an old project of swimming pool-cum-health club in Sector 71 here. To meet the growing need for recreational facilities, it has been decided that the PIDB will be entrusted with the project to come up on the built operate transfer (BOT) basis.

The facility to come up on about 1 acre of land will cost Rs 6 crore. The health club will have a gymnasium, sauna bath, steam bath and Jacuzzi. The agency taking up the project will be allowed to charge money from users after getting permission from GMADA.

It was pointed out that the facility would come up with GMADA would earn from the facility. It was pointed out that the architect wing had already made the drawings of the project.

The PIDB has also been asked to take up an old project of dwelling units for the economically weaker section (EWS) in Mohali.

The only project that has taken off on the ground is the modern bus stand in Sector 57 and Golf Range in Sector 65 here.



PGI director awarded oration in Nepal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
PGI director professor K K Talwar has delivered B P Koirala Memorial Oration at B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), Nepal, on the XVII anniversary of the institute.

Professor Talwar was the chief guest and was awarded the oration during an elaborate function held on Thursday. The topic of oration was “Cardiovascular disease - Burden and Intervention”.

Padma Bhushan Dr Talwar has immense contribution to the development of speciality in cardiology and in medical research in the country. In recognition of his significant contribution in the field of cardiology, he has received many honours and recognitions.

He is on the Editorial Boards of prestigious international journals (The European Journal of Heart Failure and The American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs & Devices) and is a member of the Scientific Council on Cardiomyopathies of the World Heart Federation (WHF).

He is a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) and the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences.

He is the recipient of various prestigious awards from the national institutes.

He was the first to initiate the technique of radiofrequency ablation to cure arrhythmic disorders in the country and established the state-of-the-art facility at the Department of Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi.

He also helped to establish these facilities at other centres in the country. Now, he has established this technique at the PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Dr Talwar was the first in India and South Asian region to introduce the therapy of automatic implantable cardioverter and defibrillator in 1995 and this contribution is recorded in the LIMCA Book of World Records (1997).

He was again the first to implant the multisite pacing system (2000) as a therapy for heart failure and thus again established a new therapeutic modality in the country. 



Withdraw Armed Forces Act from J&K: Karat
Tribune News Service

CPM general secretary Prakash Karat (right), along with Punjab CPM general secretary Charan Singh Virdi, at a press conference in Chandigarh on Saturday.
CPM general secretary Prakash Karat (right), along with Punjab CPM general secretary Charan Singh Virdi, at a press conference in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

Chandigarh, September 11
Terming the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) a major source of unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, CPI(M) general secretary Parkash Karat today demanded that the Act be withdrawn from the state.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Karat called for initiating a political dialogue with all parties concerned to restore normalcy. He pointed out that 68 persons had lost their lives since violence re-erupted in the state again. Karat had also met the Prime Minister in New Delhi over the Kashmir issue a few days ago.

"We have been asking for amendment of the AFSPA to remove certain draconian provisions. But the Disturbed Areas Act should be withdrawn from Srinagar immediately to solve the problem,” he said. ’”We also demand a relief and rehabilitation package for those injured in the recent incidents,” he added.

Expressing hope that the Cabinet Committee on Security would take some initiative to restore normalcy in the state after which a dialogue can be held, Karat felt the demand for autonomy in Kashmir could be one of the options that could be considered.

On the issue of the Allahabad High Court’s verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit expected to be pronounced on September 24, Karat said all sections should accept the court verdict whatever it may be. Only a judicial order could resolve the Ayodhya issue as negotiations have failed to resolve the issue.

Demanding that the government distribute foodgrains to the poor free of cost, he said though Punjab and other areas in North India were reeling under floods following heavy rains, other areas, including Bihar, were facing drought. The foodgrains should be distributed in the drought-affected areas like Bihar Jharkhand and Orissa, he said.

He said the CPI supported the Prime Minister's assertion that the Supreme Court should not interfere in executive's domain of policy making, but added that the apex court’s order on free foodgrains had come because of the failure of public distribution system.

Karat also flayed the UPA government for failing to act against Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose party Trinamool Congress, had forged an “unholy alliance” with the Maoists in West Bengal for the assembly elections in the state.

Terming Mamata’s participation in a Maoist rally at Lalgarh on August 7 as regrettable, Karat pointed out that the UPA government kept quiet even though the party shared the stage with the Maoists against whom the centre is waging a war. He added that the CPI(M) would launch a countrywide campaign from tomorrow on this issue.



Ghazal concert for a cause
Rs. 21,000 collected for Leh flashflood victims
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, September 11
Embellished with melody, diction and laced with the spirited endeavour of charity for Leh flashflood victims, the Ghazal concert by acclaimed maestro Rinku Kalia attained a new high at the Tagore Theatre here today.

The organisers S-4 Trust supported by NZCC, Surya Group, Cultural affairs, UT and Haryana, took the lead and contributed Rs 21,000 to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for Leh cloudburst victims, besides another Rs 10,000 to a poor but brilliant Class VII student of Shivalik Public School Riyanka Mandal, to finance her education.

Maestro Rinku took the centrestage to spell magic with the exposition of ghazals and geet in the concert titled “Melange”.

She brought alive the emotional intent of the lyrics of stalwart poets with consummate perfection much to the delight of art lovers.

Commencing with Qateel Shefai’s “Dhal gya channd”, which melted into Mirza Ghalib’s “Ye na thi hamari kismet” and Raj Allahbadi’s “Lazzte gham” or “Dard se mera daman bhar de”, Rinku enlivened the pathos in Shiv Batalvi’s “Shikra yaar” and “Raat gaye kar tara tara” with her voice.

The latter part of the programme, reserved for the audience choice was more engaging and interactive, wherein Rinku renewed rapport with the intrusive audience.

Ghazals like “Aaj jane ki zid na karo”, “Ye daulat bhi lae loh”, “Ranjis hi sahi” and also Sufi numbers “Sunn cahrkhe di Ghook” took residents down the memory lane.



Health dept collects water, veggie samples

Mohali, September 11
Officials of the health department collected 12 samples of different vegetables and 13 of water here yesterday. A team led by Dr Jai Singh, district health officer, destroyed the rotten stock of vegetables on the spot.

A meeting was held with members of the Arhtiya Association to discuss ways to prevent vegetables from getting rotten. Traders were advised to clear the stock of fruits and vegetables soon.

Water samples were collected from water works, schools and houses in Durali, Khijrabad, Palheri, Teor and Padiala villages. The samples have been sent to the state laboratory for analysis. — OC



Pension donated for Leh victims

Chandigarh, September 11
Subhash Chander, a former PGI employee, has donated Rs 16,200, an amount equivalent to his one-month pension, to the Prime Minister National Relief Fund for victims of cloudburst in Leh.

Earlier, he had donated Rs 5,100 to help victims of Kosi river floods in Bihar two years ago. He has also donated Rs 6,800 to patients suffering from cancer. —TNS



Engg dept ‘obliges’ its official
Although facing staff crunch, it transfers his works to another division prior to his retirement
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Strange are the ways in which the UT Administration functions. While on one hand, officials claim to be battling with staff crunch in its different departments, and also say they are overworked, on the other, they have obliged an Executive Engineer by transferring his works four months prior to his retirement.

This was done after the official requested the authorities for the same.

Considering the request of the Executive Engineer, project Public Health, Division number 1,the engineering department went out of its way to transfer all urgent time-bound projects to another division.

What has worsened the matter is the fact that the division entrusted with these urgent time-bound projects has refused to accept these works on the pretext of being overburdened.

Now the works are hanging balance between the two divisions. These important time-bound projects include all works of rainwater harvesting schemes in various school buildings under the JNNURM scheme, air conditioning of Paryavaran Bhawan, Sector 19, providing storm water disposal line and sewerage line for 8,448 one room tenements for rehabilitation in village Dhanas for dwellers of Labour Colony under the deposit work of Chandigarh Housing Board, operation and maintenance of all-weather swimming pool in Sector 23 and air conditioning of Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.

As per official orders, the executive engineers of those divisions to which these works have been transferred have been asked to distribute the works among SDOs (sub divisional officers) and junior engineers (JEs).

Interestingly, the orders also state that this order had been issued after verbal discussions and approval of the then UT Chief Engineer, Surinder Pall, on August 23.

The pubic health wing has, at present, four executive engineers in its different divisions and about eight SDOs.



Deputy News Editor Harbans Virdi retires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Members of the editorial staff of The Tribune gave a warm farewell to their colleague and Deputy News Editor Harbans Virdi at the Chandigarh Press Club here this afternoon. He superannuated on August 31.

Among those who appreciated the commitment, dedication and professionalism of Harbans Virdi during his 27-year association with the news desk of The Tribune were his senior colleagues, including Editor-in-Chief Raj Chengappa.

A prolific writer on a variety of subjects, including sports and humour, and a ranked table tennis player in his school and university days, Harbans Virdi, had joined The Tribune as Sports Reporter at Jalandhar in 1977. In 1983, he joined the news desk here and handled the production of the newspaper as Chief Sub Editor and later as Deputy News Editor. He has seven books to his credit, including a book on Sikh history which was released by Khushwant Singh.



3 women trapped in Ghaggar
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 11
Three women were trapped in the Ghaggar near Jallan village in Pinjore block of this district late this evening.

Belonging to Jallan village, they got stuck in the river which swelled due to heavy rains uphills since this evening. The district administration launched a rescue operation to save these women at 10 pm.

According to sources, three women were heading to their village, while walking along the river without expecting that the water level would increase all of a sudden.

Earlier, about five persons were trapped in the Ghaggar near Azad Colony in Sector 3 here on Wednesday. They could be saved by a rescue team of the Army.

After receiving information about the women, the administration has launched a rescue operation with the help of the police and fire tenders. According to sources, the women were still trapped in the river till the report last came in.



State plans mechanised sowing of sugarcane
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Punjab is planning to go in for the mechanisation of the sowing and harvesting process of the sugarcane crop, keeping in view the cost-effectiveness of mechanisation besides seasonal shortage of labour during peak seasons.

This was indicated by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is part of an Indian delegation to Brazil that is led by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

The Deputy Chief Minister along with Ministers from other states today visited farmers and their fields in the state of Sao Paulo. The delegation on the second day of its visit to Brazil made an on-the-spot assessment of sugarcane production technology. 





Class IX, X exams this month
CBSE gives schools option to set question papers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Though city schools are eagerly waiting for question papers from Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), they have now received last minute “option” to set their own papers for classes IX and X examination scheduled this month.

City schools affiliated to CBSE have been given three options to conduct their first summative assessments (SA- first term examination).

They can either continue to use question papers sent by the board or they can use multiple sets of question papers sent by the board to mix and match questions and form their own papers.

The third option will allow schools to set question papers on their own without using any board questions, but they have to send their question papers to the board for approval.

According to sources, the concession comes in wake of various affiliated schools raising objections on centralised examination papers.

According to these schools by imposing its "external" question papers, the CBSE was forcing students to take four board examinations- two each in classes IX and X, respectively.

Apprehensions were also voiced that some schools may grade their students more liberally to show good results.

After implementation of CCE in schools, instead of year-end examination, the academic year is divided into two terms.

Students in classes IX and X are evaluated through two formative assessments (FAs) and one SA in each term. Till now, the CBSE was setting question papers for each SA and schools were required to use these.

Box 1: There is nothing new. Schools were always allowed to set their own papers, but had to get them approved by the CBSE. We just want to ensure that question papers are as per latest prescribed marking scheme and quality - DR Yadav, regional director, CBSE

Box 2: They are giving us three options when we are supposed to receive centralised papers in two days. We have no time to frame question papers and seek approvals as exams can’t be postponed now. - HS Mamik, president of the Independent School Association 



CBSE may launch virtual labs in schools
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
If all goes well Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) might soon be launching first virtual laboratories for its students to enhance the practical aspect of the school education.

The idea, shared by its chairman Vineet Joshi at a recent function held in Chennai, is aimed at benefiting a host of students having no access to school labs.

“Although there is no replacement for doing things on your own, the virtual labs would help in reaching more students," said Joshi.

It will create a new arena of online education where practical practice would not be confined to a few periods per week, he said.

“The new evaluation system, CCE, is aimed at making education more practical. Though we have succeeded in making our syllabi science and maths specific, the hours devoted to the practical work are still minimal. The labs will help students conduct activities and the practice lab assignments as per their convenience. More than revolutionising the education it will prove to be a boon for those students whose schools still lack proper laboratories,” said a senior CBSE official from Delhi.

As per a recent survey conducted in the region, around 40 per cent schools were found way below the expected standards in providing science laboratories. While most of them lacked labs and equipments, others had it for namesake with practical work being confined to making demonstration files only.

“Formative assessment is all about practical experience. The proposal is revolutionary and will change a lot of things. It will also help them to understand concepts in a better way. It will be a boon for rural students who have minimalist access to labs,” stated D.R. Yadav, regional director, CBSE.

The board will soon constitute a panel of experts to work out details of the project.



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