C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Road tax set to go up in UT
Rates to be pegged to vehicle’s cost
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Get ready to shell out more road tax at the time of getting your new luxury car registered. Vehicles will now be taxed according to their cost in the union territory with the administration all set to propose a revised tariff after over a decade and a half.

The last time road tax was revised was way back in 1994. In fact, residents of the city were paying the least tax as compared to those in other states.

Until now road tax in the city was being levied going by the seating capacity of the vehicle, which worked out to about Rs 2,500 including registration fee for a five-seater private vehicle.

While the registration fee throughout the country is uniform and amounts to a few hundred rupees, it is the difference in road tax charged in different states that accounts for the varying registration charges. That explains why many residents of Mohali and Panchkula prefer to get their vehicles registered in Chandigarh - the road tax levied in Haryana and Punjab is higher than in Chandigarh.

As of now, anyone buying a luxury car and a small or mid segment car was paying the same amount of road tax at the time of the vehicle’s registration - which is Rs 2,500 including road tax. However, after studying the road tax patterns in neighbouring states, the administration has drawn up a proposal on a revised structure, which is being sent to the transport secretary, who in turn will forward it to the UT administrator for final approval.

For now the administration has worked out a slab depending on the cost of the vehicle. The proposed road tax will be one per cent of the vehicle’s cost up to Rs 6 lakh, 1.5 per cent of the cost above Rs 6 lakh and up to Rs 20 lakh and, for a vehicle costing above Rs 20 lakh, the owner will have to pay 2 per cent of its cost.

Proposed tax

l 1% of cost of vehicle up to Rs 6 lakh. For vehicle costing Rs 3 lakh it will work out to Rs 3,000

l 1.5% of cost of vehicle between Rs 6 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. For a vehicle costing Rs 10 lakh it works out to Rs 15,000

l 2% of cost of vehicle above Rs 20 lakh. For a vehicle costing Rs 20 lakh the tax works out to Rs 20,000

Tax in neighbouring states

l Delhi: For vehicles costing up to Rs 6 lakh the tax has been recently doubled to 4% from 2%, while vehicles in the price band of Rs 6-10 lakh attract 7% road tax. 10% road tax on vehicles costing above Rs 10 lakh

l Haryana: For vehicles costing up to Rs 4 lakh the tax is Rs 2,000, while vehicles in the price band of Rs 4-10 lakh attract an additional 1% of cost of vehicle besides Rs 2,000. 1.5% additional road tax on vehicles costing above Rs 10 lakh

l Punjab and Himachal Pradesh: Both states levy a flat 2% of the cost of vehicle as road tax



Bulbul Case
Conflicting reports leave admn uneasy
Tells probe panels to substantiate recommendations
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The Chandigarh Administration is faced with a piquant situation of contrary reports in the Bulbul case in which a newborn died in the emergency of the GMSH-l6 recently.

The report of the special committee had suggested criminal proceedings against senior doctors and departmental proceedings against the Diplomate of National Board students. The legal committee was in favour of departmental proceedings against senior doctors.

The UT Adviser has asked the two parties to come with their reports and reasons justifying the recommendations, which will be placed at a special meeting scheduled for Wednesday. A final decision is expected soon after the file is forwarded to the UT Administrator.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the administration is for the punishment of the accused only after direct involvement is proved.

The Adviser, Pradip Mehra, today said that the punishment would be decided according to the gravity of the mistake. The career of any doctor would not be put on stake unless direct involvement was proved, sources said.

The special committee comprising Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill and Dr Raj Bahadur suggested that criminal proceedings should be initiated against senior doctors while departmental proceedings should be taken up against the Diplomate of National Board students who had been indicted in the report.

However, legal opinion gave a contradicting view. The legal view supported departmental proceedings against seniors. In wake of the contradicting views, the Adviser has asked the committee members and legal remembrance to present their separate inputs, justifying the recommendations.



Court allows minor rape victim to abort
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Additional chief judicial magistrate Anshul Berry today granted permission for the 14-year-old inmate of Snehalaya who was raped to undergo an abortion. The victim’s maternal grandmother appeared visibly relieved as the court allowed her application for the procedure to be conducted.

The court further directed the police to preserve the victim’s foetus for matching the rape suspect’s DNA profile.

Earlier in the day the court had asked the police to bring both the victim and her grandmother to the court. The grandmother came at 2 pm with her lawyer and two relatives while the victim was accompanied by an attendant and an employee of Snehalaya, a home fore destitute children.

Talking to the TNS, the victim said: “My parents, who died five years ago, were both jobless. Before coming to the Snehalaya I used to stay with my grandmother in Bapu Dham colony. My brother made a living from repairing motorbikes and scooters, which he learnt on his own. I used to do the household chores.”

The victim’s illiterate grandmother was not even able to walk without shivering as she was in a state of shock. The judge asked both the victim and her grandmother to meet her in her chamber separately before pronouncing the verdict.

The court further stated that the same board of doctors, which was set up on its directions, would conduct the medical termination of pregnancy of the victim. The orders granting permission for the abortion were given to the UT health services director by the police.

The board of doctors, which was assigned the task of ascertaining whether the victim should deliver the child or not, submitted its report on Friday. The report clearly mentioned the rape victim was physically unfit to bear the child and recommended an abortion should be conducted at the earliest.

It may be mention here the 14th week of pregnancy of the victim began this week. According to the act the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, an abortion can be conducted only within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The matter came to light when the victim returned to Snehalaya from her grandmother’s house in Bapu Dham colony. After a medical examination was conducted on her she was found to be three months pregnant. The police later arrested a suspect, Om Prakash, who was the son of the landlord of the victim’s grandmother.



ICICI Lombard fined for harassment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Holding ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co Ltd guilty of harassing a complainant, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed it to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 for imposing foreclosure charges. The forum also asked the company to pay Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation and refund the insurance premium on a pro-rata basis.

The complainant, Sanjeev Kumar Bansal of Zirakpur, stated that he took a housing loan of Rs 19,57,300 by mortgaging a flat. As per the scheme of the bank, the loan was insured and the premium was paid by him to ICICI Lombard. The bank assured him that it would not impose any foreclosure charges if he wanted to clear the loan amount and it would adjust the premium at the time of full and final settlement of the amount.

He had deposited Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh in order to clear the amount. The complainant asked the bank to supply the statement of account to clear the outstanding dues. On receipt of the statement of account, he was shocked to see that Rs 48,8712.82 was shown as outstanding amount which included the late payment penalty charges, cheque bouncing charges and foreclosure charges at the rate of 2.25 per cent on the outstanding principal amount.

The complainant approached the bank, but officials refused to rectify it. In order to clear the amount, the complainant paid Rs 4,88,713. Thereafter, the complainant requested the bank to return the original documents of the flat, the insurance premium, EMI chart and principal certificate, but he was told that the bank had not received the same from the head office.

The complainant said in the statement of EMI (repayment schedule) dated January 15, 2009, the payment of Rs 4,88,713 was not adjusted. Ultimately, the bank issued NOC in respect of the loan account of the complainant on February 13, 2009, but the premium was not returned to him. He asked for refund of the insurance premium, but even that was not refunded.

In its reply, the bank pleaded that the complainant had made the prayer only for refund of the premium which related to the insurance company and the bank had no concern with the issuance of the policy or its cancellation.

ICICI Lombard stated that the complainant had taken the policy for securing the loan which was valid for the period March 19, 2008, to March 18, 2013.

It was pleaded that it was ready to refund the same on a pro-rata basis and the company was ready to refund it after the deduction of the processing fee and charges, etc.



Runaway Couple
Lawyer thrashed by bride’s kin
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 13}
In a series of attacks on couples marrying against the wishes of their family in Haryana, a local lawyer was attacked when he came to file a petition for seeking protection for a newly married here today.

The lawyer, identified as Vikram Chauhan, sustained injuries when more than two dozen relatives of the bride roughed him up. The grandfather of the woman girl was also injured in the melee.

A complaint has been lodged with the police in this regard. Chauhan said Tejinder of Dera Bassi and Seema of Sadhaura in Yamuna Nagar married at a local temple. They were at the court complex with him to file a petition seeking protection from annoyed relatives. While relatives of the groom accompanied the couple, the family of the bride was not ready to accept the marriage.

When the couple was sitting with him at the court complex, more than two dozen people reached there and tried to approach them forcefully, to which the lawyer objected. “I asked them to get the permission of the court to meet the couple,” he said. On this, they started thrashing him.

Other lawyers intervened and saved him. He was able to file the petition for protection.



SHO in soup over lapses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) today issued a notice to the Sector 3 police station SHO for lapses in investigation of a road accident case in which two cousins were crushed to death by a speeding car last month. The notice, asking the SHO to appear before the authority on October 4, has been sent following a complaint filed by HC Arora, state president of the RTI Activists Federation, Punjab.

The authority, headed by justice NK Aggarwal (retired) summoned the SHO, inspector Mahavir Singh, who is the investigating officer in the hit-and-run case registered against Sukhmani Brar following the death of the two cousins, Sukhwinder, 20, and Harpreet, 6, near the Haryana chief minister’s residence on August 17 by a car driven by her.

Arora said he along with Dalbir Singh, father of Harpreet, one of the victims, had appeared before the authority during a hearing of the complaint before the PCA at the UT secretariat.

In its notice the authority directed the SHO to explain his conduct on three issues, including delay in the medical examination of the hit-and-run suspect immediately after the accident, failure of the police in forcing the suspect to surrender immediately and for not invoking section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against the suspect instead of section 304A of the IPC (causing death due to negligence).

Arora said he had pleaded that the hit-and-run suspect knowingly left the victims on the road after the mishap instead of taking them to hospital. He argued it was thus a fit case to be registered under section 304 of the IPC. He added the technical examination also proved the car was overspeeding as it was being driven between 80 to 100 kmph.

Arora also accused the “selective” approach of the Chandigarh police in filing cases under sections 304A and 304 in road accident death cases. The authority directed him to produce data of such road accidents to support his claims on October 4.

Meanwhile, Arora said he had received a phone message from the Punjab Raj Bhawan that in response to his complaint on the same issue, which was made to UT administrator Shiv Raj Patil, he has been invited for a hearing by the administrator on September 20 at the UT secretariat.

It is learnt a similar notice has also been issued to the Sector 19 police station SHO in a landlord tenant dispute case. 

Questions he must answer

l Why did he not ensure the hit-and-run suspect was medically examined immediately after the accident?

l Why he did not take steps to force the suspect to surrender immediately?

l Why was the FIR registered under section 304A of IPC, instead of section 304?


l Aug 17: Accident occurred near Haryana CM’s residence

l Aug 17, midnight: Police team headed by SHO returned after the getting no response from the suspect’s house in Sector 36

l Aug 18: Police arrested Sukhmani Brar over 20 hours after the mishap. She was taken to a hospital for a medical examination 3 hours after she gave herself up to the cops. Police action drew flak for not invoking section 304 of IPC

l Aug 20: UT IGP defended police action saying case was registered under appropriate sections and he would look into lapses on the part of investigating officials



GMCH-32: No CT scan report even after 14 days
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
In a case of negligence, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, failed to issue a CT scan report of a patient for 14 days, leaving the patient in the lurch. The report, which is usually prepared within 24 hours, was not released even today despite repeated requests to the authorities concerned by the father of the patient.

Instead, a blame game started to fix the responsibility for delay in preparing the report.

“My daughter Ekta (21) had been suffering from fever for the past one month and she was admitted to the GMCH on August 31,” said Krishan Lal of Sultanpur village in Panchkula.

“The doctors prescribed a CT scan of head and chest the same day and asked me to get the report for diagnosis. While I was told that the report would be available within one day, it had yet not been prepared,” he rued.

Though doctors at the hospital kept insisting on getting the report, they started the treatment on the basis of films procured from the CT scan department after eliciting no response from the department of radio diagnosis.

According to the procedure, CT scan films are sent to the department of radio diagnosis, where doctors prepare the report, which becomes the basis for further treatment of the patient.

The authorities at the radio diagnosis department, however, put the blame on the CT scan department.

“The CT scan department did not send the films to us in time and it was not possible for us to prepare the report now,” said Dr Suman Kochchar.

“In fact, we do not prepare the report of CT scans if the films are not sent to us within one day,” she added.

There was no question of causing problem to patients, as the treatment was given to patients by doctors on the basis of films, she added.

While the staff at the CT scan could not be approached, Dr Raj Bahadur, director-principal, GMCH, said he would look into the matter.


‘Green Gandhigiri’ to sensitise residents about environment
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Adopting an innovative technique to grab the attention of city residents, nearly 500 students from Panjab University, local colleges and schools will be spotted at various traffic lights on September 16, celebrating the World Ozone Day.

“Green Gandhigiri” is the term coined by the city youth for preparing a theme to sensitise the residents towards environment. This would include holding up placards with meaningful messages on different traffic points in the city to catch the resident’s attention.

The aim is to make the residents realise the importance of green cover and remind them of the precautions they can take to save the environment.

“I hope that certain constructive change is visible among the city youth after participating in the event,” said Preet Inder, mechanical branch, PEC University of Technology.

“We are organising a mock drive before the final event, in which the students would be instructed about their locations and how to hold the placards so that maximum number of residents can read them. The messages on the placards would be simple and meaningful, so that it does not require much time to read them,” said Japneet, a student of GGDSD College, Sector 32, and a member of the Global Environment Concern (GEC), which is organising the event.

The messages, being highlighted by the students, would be related to the depletion of the ozone layer and suggesting ways to prevent it. “The best part of the campaign is the participation of school students, who have shown great enthusiasm to get involved in the event on the World Ozone Day,” she added.



Insurance Cover for Firemen
MC prepares draft for claims
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The demand of 261 firemen of the fire and emergency department of the Chandigarh municipal corporation to bring them under insurance cover is set to be fulfilled soon with the corporation preparing a draft for disability and medical claims.

The claims have been worked out according to the ranks held by the firemen but the corporation has yet to finalise the company.

As per the draft prepared, chief fire officer or station fire officer will be entitled to an insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh in case of death while on duty.

Whereas, for fireman, leading fireman and sub-fire officer the amount predetermined is Rs 7.5 lakh.

In case of permanent disability, all firemen will get Rs 7.5 lakh, while for partial disability, Rs 5 lakh will be given.

Besides, all firemen can avail of medical claim of Rs 2.5 lakh in case of a mishap. Since 1996, fire department employees have been demanding insurance or risk allowance like other paramilitary services that involve risk to life.

MC Additional Commissioner TPS Phoolka says the policy will be for employees of the corporation and the fire department has yet to work out a similar scheme for employees who are on deputation from Chandigarh State Agriculture Marketing Board.

In 2008, following the death of fireman Amarjit Singh Mavi during a fire operation, the general house of the municipal corporation had unanimously approved that all firemen would be brought under insurance cover and asked the authorities to prepare a detailed draft in this regard.

As firemen are not currently covered under any insurance scheme, Mavi’s family have not get a single penny from the authorities so far.

In 2009, the proposal was approved by the house and later the authorities invited companies to finalise the insurance amount.

Records suggested that the authorities had rejected all companies that had applied, as they had quoted low rate for insurance and medical allowance to firemen.

Proposed Entitlement

Category Amount (`/lakh)

In case of death

l Chief fire officer/ 10

station fire officer

l Fireman/leading fireman/ 7.5

sub-fire officer

Permanent disability

l All ranks 7.5

Partial disability

l All ranks 5

Medical claim

l All ranks 2.5



Work on service roads begins today
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, September 13
The long-pending work to lay the service roads on both sides of the stretch of National Highway-21, between the UT barrier and the starting point of the flyover on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, will begin tomorrow. The road had developed several potholes and trucks are often parked in a haphazard manner on the stretch.

XEN PWD (Central Work Division, Ropar) Karnail Singh stated that the tender has been allotted to a Chandigarh-based company. He claimed that the project would be completed in six months at an estimated budget of Rs 4 crore.

Karnail Singh said the work of the drainage lines along the highway would be started tomorrow. He said due to absence of the proper sewerage, rainwater accumulated on the road and damaged it. The drainage lines from the UT barrier to the flyover would be connected to Sukhna choe drains, he added.

After the setting up of the drainage system on the highway, the department would repair the roads with patchwork.

Karnail Singh said the encroachments along the highways would be removed soon. After the completion of the project, the roads would be re-carpeted again and all illegal medians on the stretch would have iron grills, he added.

“Service roads on the highway will solve the problem of traffic jam on this particular stretch and trucks that are parked along the highway will get proper parking space,” he added.



MC looks for dumping ground site
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, September 13
The Zirakpur municipal council is looking for 4-acre land for a dumping ground. The proposal has been mooted after the Punjab drainage department and local administration strictly ordered to the council not to throw garbage and solid waste along the Sukhna choe in Bishanpura village.

The issue of setting up a dumping ground after buying the land in a nearby village of the council is likely to be discussed in the MC meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow.

However, the Punjab drainage department had asked the council to stop throwing the garbage along the choe after a news report “Sukhna choe or dump ground?” had published in these columns.

According to an MC official, the council had identified land in Gazipur village for the dumping ground and requested to the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to give them permission to set up a proper dumping ground. However, the pollution control board had visited the place and rejected the site due to its proximity to residential area. The board has asked the council to locate a new site, which was 2 km away from residential area.

The MC official stated that around 4-acre land was required for the purpose but the department concerned had not found suitable land. The official said the council would take the land on lease or buy the area adjoining villages of Zirakpur town.

The official also added that the council would adopt the state government policy of door-to-door collection of garbage. The local government had asked the council to adopt this policy on priority basis.

The council was planning to buy a low-height trolley and also induct a skilled labourer team to curb the cattle menace in the town. The team is to be constituted only for four months and the estimate cost of Rs 1,80,000 would be spent on it. The council would also buy a tanker and water lifting motor to clean blocked drains and water from the road at the cost of Rs 1.50 lakh, the official added.

The water supply and sewerage department had written to the council for setting up of four new tubewells in Krishna Enclave, Anand Vihar, Baltana village and Gurdev Nagar at the estimate cost of Rs 1 crore. SDO Mahesh Chawla stated that the department had asked the council to deposit the cost after getting the approval.

Talking to The Tribune, district chairman of the Planning Board and MC president NK Sharma confirmed that the council has planned to take land on lease or buy for a dumping ground. However, Sharma said, “Tractor-trolleys, loaded with construction material, parked on the Baltana link road will remove and this issue would be discussed in the MC meeting tomorrow.”



Naunihal takes over as SSP today
Prerna Puri to be Joint Secy (Home)
Pradeep Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, September 13
With the joining of 1997-batch IPS officer Naunihal Singh tomorrow, Chandigarh is set to get a new SSP, while IAS officer and SDM (South) Prerna Puri will be the new Joint Secretary (Home).

In fact, the joining of Naunihal Singh will put to an end to the intense lobbying for the coveted post of the local SSP, as two other officers — RK Jaiswal and Arun Pal — from the same batch were also in the race. The ministry of home affairs (MHA) had recently cleared the name of Naunihal Singh as the SSP following a recommendation of the Chandigarh administration ahead of the other two contenders.

Before his stint in Sangrur, Naunihal was posted as SSP of Khanna, Mohali, Bathinda and Jalandhar.

Meanwhile, following the refusal of HCS officer Maheshwar Sharma to join the administration as Joint Secretary (Home), Prerna Puri has been shifted to the post.

An HCS officer, Bhupinder Singh, who had been with the administration for over six years, will be repatriated to his parent cadre of Haryana tomorrow. Puri is likely to be replaced by an IAS officer of the 2008-batch shortly.

The posting of an IAS officer as Joint Secretary (Home), which is otherwise an important post in the administration considering MHA inquiries over alleged irregularities in the acquisition of land for mega projects, seems to be unusual as generally the post is held by HCS/PCS officials.

And perhaps this explains Maheshwar Sharma, currently posted as the Secretary, HUDA, declining to join the administration. Moreover, it is learnt that the administration had selected two HCS officers, Yogesh and Varsha Khangwal, out of a panel of five officers sent by the Haryana Government.



Western Command to celebrate 63rd anniversary

Chandigarh, September 13
Western Command headquarters will celebrate its 63rd Raising Day at Chandimandir military station this week. A host of events are being organised to commemorate the anniversary.

Besides a wreath laying ceremony at the Veer Smriti War Memorial to honour martyrs, a tree plantation drive and social events are on the agenda. As many as 13 former heads of the command as well as civilian dignitaries and retired officers would be attending the events. Raised in 1947 at New Delhi as the Delhi and East Punjab Command, it has participated in all wars and major operations since Independence, besides rendering yeoman services in times of disaster and natural calamities.

This year has been observed as the year of the jawan by the Western Command, during which numerous steps were initiated for the welfare of the troops. — TNS



Many BSNL numbers out of order
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 13
“Efficiency” of the Punjab circle of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to shift around 5,000 telephone numbers from the telephone exchange in Phase X to two other telephone exchanges in over two years, one in Phase XI and the other in Sector 70, is proving to be a headache for hundreds of telephone subscribers in Mohali.

Unable to bear the harassment at the hands of the telecom operator, a number of subscribers have already shifted to other telecom service providers.

Enquiries reveal that a number of telephone connections have been out of order for different durations, ranging from 15 days to two months. For the reasons best known to the officials concerned, no public notice was given to announce the shifting (crossover in parlance of the department).

GMT, BSNL, Naresh Sharma said shifting was a long process and it was being done for the betterment of the subscribers.

A number of telephone numbers in Phases IX, X and XI are out of order. Without any prior planning, the department started shifting the numbers from one exchange to another. In August last year, it was highlighted in these columns the manner in which about 2,500 telephone numbers have “officially” shifted out from the Phase X exchange without putting in place the necessary equipment in place at the Phase XI exchange.

The department first disconnected the numbers and then took the exchange-related equipment from the Phase X exchange to Phase XI exchange. After being disconnected from the Phase X exchange, the cable of the numbers concerned was not traceable in the Phase XI exchange.

Narinder Singh, a telephone subscriber, said it is a pain to make endless rounds of the telephone complaint centre. His phone has been out of order for the last 20 days. The complaints mostly pertain to underground cable faults, the problem aggravating with rains.



SC vacancies: Admn urged to clear backlog
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The Chandigarh SC and BC Employees Welfare Association has demanded the clearing of backlog of appointments and promotions belonging to the reserved categories in various departments of the Chandigarh administration.

In a press note issued here today, the association rued that despite orders of the administration from time to time, the departments concerned had failed to implement the orders for filling the backlog of vacancies and promotions. 



Parking of vehicles outside clubs banned
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 13
The district administration has banned the parking of vehicles on footpaths outside marriage palaces, hotels and clubs, failing which legal action will be taken against managements of these establishments.

At a meeting called by Sub-Divisional Magistrate RPS Walia here last week, the managements of these establishments were asked to ensure that no vehicle was parked on footpaths as it created inconvenience not only to the public, but also amounted to the violation of orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Orders to this effect had also been issued by the district magistrate. The SDM also directed those present at the meeting to ensure proper security arrangements.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Jyoti Palace, Shehnai Palace, Celebration Palace , Dara Studio, Mehak, Bawa White House, Palki Palace, Shagun Palace, Franco Hotel, Tandoori Delight, Hotel Majestic and Mohali Club.

Representatives of some of these establishments told Walia that they had adequate arrangements for parking of vehicles on their premises itself.



Sewage treatment plant faces power crisis
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 13
Power crisis is looming large over the city’s first sewage treatment plant near Manauli village here. For the last few days, the power supply to the plant has been erratic.

The plant has been commissioned by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) about a month ago. Sources said in the last three days, power cuts have lasted for 28 hours.

Electricity department executive engineer HS Oberoi said due to rains and digging work going on for the Aerocity, a fault had developed in the transmission line. But the fault has been rectified. The sewage treatment plant (STP) built at a cost of Rs 20 crore gets supply from urban feeder.



GMADA to start helpline numbers
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 13
For the convenience of the applicants for Aerocity, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today decided to open helpline numbers so that the applicants could get their names or any other information rectified, if required. The size wise and category data of the applicants for Aerocity was yesterday uploaded on GMADA’s website.

Over 3 lakh applicants had applied for plots of various dimensions from five marla (125 sq yard) to one kanal (500 sq yard). “Though efforts have been made to ensure that no mistakes take place, minor discrepancies could be there,” said estate officer Balbir Singh.



Cop deposes in Nari Niketan case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Deposing before the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge GC Garg in the Nari Niketan rape case, head constable Usha stated that she had once found used condoms outside the Nari Niketan. She added that she didn’t report the matter to her seniors but had informed the superintendent of the institute.

The police had registered a case of gang-rape, destroying evidence and criminal conspiracy on May 18 last year after the victim was found to be pregnant.



Fire at Kiran Theatre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
A minor fire was reported at Kiran Theatre, Sector 22, following a short-circuit in electricity wires near a generator this evening.

No major loss of property was reported, as firemen brought the fire under control in time.

A fire official said a water tender was rushed to the scene from the fire station in Sector 17 after receiving a call from a theater employee.

A senior firemen said the fire could have been serious as the canteen storing gas cylinders was located near the generator.



Former MLA cremated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 13
The mortal remains of Basant Singh, former MLA, Anandpur Sahib, were consigned to flames at the Mohali crematorium here this evening. The ex-MLA was nephew of Late Giani Zail Singh, former President of India. He died yesterday after prolonged illness.

At the cremation, a number of senior Congress leaders, including Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee BB Behl were present.



Evaluation System
CBSE to increase parents’ involvement
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Going a step ahead of seeking feedback, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has now decided to increase parents’ involvement in its ambitious continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE).

According to its initiative, the CBSE will select a band of parents in each city to be termed as “parent advocates”, who will be trained in different aspects of this evaluation system.

These trained parents will then not only promote various aspects of the evaluation system but will also help to solve queries and doubts of other parents.

“The board has successfully been able to train schools in the latest evaluation system, the parents, however, continue to be a confused lot. They are thronging the CBSE information desk and schools, citing doubts about the formative or summative assessments. We have decided to train the parents in the minutest details of the evaluation system. The parents will then be “parent advocates” who will reach out to others to help them understand the system,” said DR Yadav, regional director CBSE, Panchkula.

The interested parents of the students studying in the city’s CBSE-affiliated schools can submit their applications online on the CBSE official website. The board will review them and contact the selected parents. The training modules will then be organised accordingly.

“It is a great move and shall relieve schools of a lot of pressure. The schools are abiding by CCE, but are many a times being thronged by the parents’ confusion or allegation of overburdening their students. Despite repeated efforts, a large section of parents have failed to understand and appreciate inclusion of co-scholastic activities in marking criteria. The “parent advocates” will not only help them out but will also help schools in revamping and improvising the evaluation system,” claimed HS Mamik, president Independent School Association.

‘Parent advocates’

It will select a band of parents in each city to be termed as “parent advocates”, who will be trained in different aspects of the continuous and comprehensive evaluation. These trained parents will then not only promote various aspects of the evaluation system but will also help to solve queries and doubts of other parents



CBI finds ` 1 crore in Dr Nishikant’s bank accounts
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) found Rs 1 crore in the bank accounts of Dr Nishikant, the alleged mastermind behind the fraudulent admission of 11 students in the PEC University of Technology, Sector 12, here under the scheme of Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) by submitting fake documents.

Sources in the CBI said the investigating team had searched the bank accounts of Dr Nishikant in Hisar and found fixed deposits and saving bank accounts deposits worth Rs 1 crore. The CBI would now interrogate Dr Nishikant about the source of such a huge amount in his accounts.

The DIG, CBI Chandigarh, Mahesh Aggarwal said the investigating team had searched the bank accounts of the accused and found that he had Rs 1 crore in his bank accounts. He would be asked about his source of money and the same would be corroborated with his known sources of income.

Sources in the CBI said Dr Nishikant had once been a part of the flying squad in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on temporary basis. He was paid on daily basis, but his stint with the CBSE might have helped him in developing his links with people in the education sector. He runs his coaching institutes where his links paid up and once he got to know the functioning of the admission process of the educational institutes, he become instrumental in getting the students admitted to the prestigious colleges.

About the role of the students, a senior officer said the students had already confessed that they had secured the admission fraudulently on counterfeit certificates. “Though they are also accused in the case and had been booked, their custodial interrogation is not required since nothing is to be recovered from them and their statements would be produced in the chargesheet,” he said.

Eleven students of BTech first year belonged to electrical, mechanical, metallurgical, EEC and IT streams in the college. They hailed from Punjab and Haryana and had allegedly paid Rs 10 to Rs 15 lakh pertaining to their case for getting admission in the college. The police had arrested the mastermind next day after registering a case on September 8.



CBSE to launch virtual labs soon
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
If all goes well Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) may soon be launching its first virtual laboratories for students to enhance the practical aspect of school education.

The idea shared by chairman Vineet Joshi at a recent function in Chennai aims to benefit those students, who still have no access to school labs.

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

It will also foray the present generation into the new arena of online education where practical practice will not be confined to just a few hours.

“The new evaluation system (CCE) is pivoted around the idea of making education more practical in its approach and application. Though we have succeeded in making our syllabi specially science and math more activity based, hours devoted to this practical work are still minimalist. The labs will help students to conduct activities and practice lab assignments as per their convenience. It will 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 of schools were way below the expected standards of science laboratories. While most schools lacked labs and equipments, many 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. Like a student practices math problems he will be able to practice practical assignments. It will also help them to understand concepts in a better way,” said DR Yadav, regional director, CBSE.



From Schools & Colleges
Ganesh Chaturthi

MOHALI: Students of St Soldiers, Mohali, celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi. Tiny tots of presented a skit. They were dressed as Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.


During the International and National Geography Olympiad held from September 5 to September 8 in Lucknow, Siddharta Yaddanapudi of Class IX, YPS, Mohali, secured the first position. He, along with Rana Gurtej, Jyotbir, Shruti Khanna, Jasmine Kaur Narang, Abhay Vikram of classes IX to XII participated in the event. Siddhartha will now represent the International Meet to be held in Sydney next year.


The Millennium School, Mohali, organised a two-day workshop to impart training in implementation of CBSE’s newly-introduced continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) system. The training aimed at apprising teachers of the system. Chandeep and Uma Balan from Educomp conducted the workshop. Komal Singh, principal of the school, said teachers were asked to explore students’ talent through music, dance, drama, painting and craft.

Freshers party

DERA BASSI: A freshers party was organised for MBA and BTech students at Swami Parmanand College of Engineering and Technology. Inderjeet Bajaj, chairman, Swami Parmanand Group of Colleges, said the institute was committed to impart quality education to its students in different professional and technical streams. He advised students to follow rules.

Blood donation camp

The NSS unit of Sri Sukhmani Institute Of Engineering and Technology (DeraBassi) organised a blood donation camp in collaboration with the Rotary and Blood Bank Society, Chandigarh. The camp received an overwhelming response from students, faculty and staff of the institute.

Around 500 persons donated blood. Chairman of Sri Sukhmani Group, Prof Avtar Singh and director Kanwaljit Kaur welcomed chief guest Puneet Goyal, SDM, Dera Bassi. A medical camp was also organised by Sri Sukhhmani Multi Specialty Hospital — TNS



Counselling sessions for teachers, students
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, September 13
In a bid to strengthen student-teacher relationship at government schools in the city, the education department will organise special counselling sessions to be jointly attended by teachers, students and parents.

In a decision taken at a meeting held with school principals, DPI (S) PK Sharma said a series of counselling sessions would be held, where students would be given a platform to discuss their problems and anxieties. Following which parents and teachers would be counselled on ways to deal with these issues, he added.

“Recent incidents of students slapping teachers are really a thing of worry. It’s a clear indication of deteriorating student-teacher relationship and moral conduct. Getting students arrested or expelling them can never tide over the problem. We will outsource counsellors and hold counselling sessions with both teachers and parents so that they can deal with the ever-increasing aggression and inflated ego,” said PK Sharma. The sessions are expected to commence by next week.



PUSU sweeps executive panel election
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
In yet another crucial victory, candidates of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) won four out of five seats in the executive panel election held here today.

The poll, in which nearly 100 department representatives (DR) participated, was followed by an oath ceremony of Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC).

Despite tight security arrangements, the ceremony was today marred by the intervention of Vikramjeet Singh and Robin Brar, members of the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), who demanded a recounting after the final round was over.

On learning about the announcement of results, the two managed to enter the English auditorium, where the election was being held.

Both Brar and Vikram, who were tagged as “trouble creators” during violence on the PU campus at the time of PUCSC elections, objected to the exclusion of certain votes, which were counted as invalid. They alleged that the counting should have been done again, as there was a discrepancy in counting the votes.

PUSU leaders Udey Wirring and Simrandeep Singh Dhillon objected to the intervention of SOPU leaders.

University security staff and the UT policemen then pacified SOPU and PUSU leaders and the ceremony proceeded. On the arrival of the Vice-Chancellor, the student council members were given charge. 

Elected panel of executive members

l Devinder Kumar (BMS) PUSU

l Niti Arora (statistics) PUSU

l Mohamed Sohail (public administration) PUSU

l Gurpreet Singh (UIET) PUSU

l Ranjodh Singh (laws) SOPU 

Joint secy does the vanishing act again

According to INSO leaders, joint secretary Subhash Chander, who changed party from INSO to H SA, again joined their party. Once the oath ceremony was over, he vanished from the spot even as PU officials kept looking for him. He did not comment on the status of his organisation. PUSU leaders today said they would host a press conference on Tuesday for formally announcing Subhash’s party.



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 |