C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police begins crackdown on PGs
Both owners, tenants under scrutiny
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Why PGs should be regulated

Citing facts, the police says PGs are serving as “catalysts” of crime. Incidents of vehicle lifting, thefts and hooliganism were concentrated around Phases 2, 5,7,10, 11 and Sectors 70 and 71 as these areas have the maximum numbers of PGs. Under the guise of rent deeds, those running PGs not only hide information but also evade taxes in form of service tax, power and water tariffs. They usually do not get their tenants’ verification done for the fear of the law. However, GMADA has failed to check PGs being run illegally.

‘PGs need of hour’

  • With the emergence of Mohali as an education hub, private hostels cannot meet the increasing demand of accommodation from students
  • Students look for freedom and independence, whereas in hostels rules and regulations have to be followed
  • All those running PGs are not violating the laws. A few have brought a bad name to the business
GPS Bhullar"It’s a matter of matter of concern that certain PGs are becoming hideouts for criminals. We have sought a list of approved PGs and details of the PG regulations from the GMADA estate office. The Mohali deputy commissioner is also being asked to invoke prohibitory orders under Section 188 of the CrPC that enables the police to book landlords who do not furnish details about their tenants

GPS Bhullar,
Mohali SSP

Ranjivan SinghWe’re not against PGs. However, running them is a commercial activity and they should be shifted out of residential areas as stated by GMADA to an RTI application. Private hotels and special accommodations should be provided to regulate the PGs”

Ranjivan Singh,
member of the Coordination Committee against PGs in residential areas

The PG business has been given a bad name by a few people. When we go to the estate office, we’re asked to first close the business and then apply

— A senior member of the Coordination Committee of PG owners (who wished to remain anonymous)

Mohali, September 19
Inmates of paying guest accommodations in Sector 68 here had their dinner interrupted when at least a dozen policemen accompanied by woman constables came knocking at the doors to verify the antecedents of the occupants.

Though the landlords and the paying guests (mostly students) were visibly uncomfortable over the surprise checks, Phase 8 police station SHO Sanjeev Bhatt, who led the team, said in the backdrop of recent inputs about PGs becoming sanctuaries for criminals hundreds of such accommodations across the town were under the police scanner.

In some of the cases the boys were sore at the cops for going through their belongings saying it affected their privacy. “There are many law abiding citizens who run PGs and everyone shouldn’t be harassed. If the police is so concerned it should file cases against PG landlords who fail to furnish details about their tenants”, said Dilbagh Singh, who runs a PG accommodation in Sector 68.

Such surprise checks are under way in Sectors 70, 71, 68, 69 and Phases X and XII. Cops from the respective police stations and PCR patrols have begun sectorwise verification of all PG occupants late in the evening. A profiling of PG inmates involved in criminal cases was also being conducted.

The drive has gained momentum after a recent expose of a case in which girls posing as “female masseurs” were mostly putting up at paying guest accommodations in and around the town.

Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar said all PG landlords had been asked to furnish details about their tenants. After giving a notice, the list of those running illegal PGs would be sent to the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) estate officer for taking necessary action.

At the same time the police is also writing to the Mohali deputy commissioner to pass prohibitory orders under section 188 of the CrPc for booking houseowners who violate the mandatory directives under section 144 of the CrPC to furnish the antecedents of their tenants with the area’s police station.

Matour police station SHO Atul Soni, who conducted the surprise checks in Sector 71 last night, said the pattern of crime was concentrated in the area where the maximum number of PGs was located.

GMADA estate officer Balbir Singh said action had already been initiated against 216 PGs that were being run running. He said two plots, one in Sector 70 and the other in Phase IX, had already been resumed. “Only two PGs were registered. It had been found that in some cases the landlords had entered in rent deeds with the tenants”, he added.



Fighting Dengue
Fogging intensified in Sector 15
Tribune News Service


  • Occurs in tropical and subtropical areas
  • Symptoms appear 3 to 14 days after mosquito bite; range from mild to high fever with severe headache, pain behind eyes, in muscles and joints and rash.
  • No antiviral medicines available
  • Prevention steps include spraying kerosene oil over stagnant water, wearing full-sleeve shirts and covering legs fully

Chandigarh, September 19
Following the recent outbreak of dengue fever in Sector 15 health officials have ordered intensive fogging to be conducted in the area. A survey of houses to trace breeding grounds of mosquitoes in the sector will also be undertaken.

Of a total of 25 dengue cases reported in the city as many as seven have been from Sector 15. Last year only one resident of the area was infected. In 2008 the figure was 99 with the number of reported cases as high as 199 in 2007.

“I’ve ordered nodal officer Abha Rana to submit a report on the measures being taken to tackle the situation”, said Dr MP Singh, deputy medical superintendent of the Government Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16. “While fogging has already begun in the area, residents are being educated about conditions favourable for breeding mosquitoes,” he added.

City residents as well as health officials are worried as the reported number of dengue cases has already touched 25, the same as those cases reported last year. Two more months of the period known to be conducive for infections remain.

According to health experts the dengue virus is transmitted by an infected female mosquito, aedes aegypti. It breeds in and around houses in urban and semiurban areas. It bites during the day, especially at dawn and dusk. On the other hand, the anopheles mosquito, which transmits malaria, bites during nighttime. The aedes aegypti are generally confined to indoor environments.

The only preventive steps that can be taken against dengue are to destroy the breeding grounds of mosquitoes. Open overhead water tanks, coolers, containers, used tyres, pots, and other articles filled with water and lying unattended provide suitable conditions for breeding of aedes aegypti.



City excels in inclusive education scheme
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Adding another feather to its cap, the city has made it to the list of the top five states that have implemented the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan’s inclusive education programme most effectively.

According to the latest SSA analysis report the city has put set an example of harnessing the scheme’s potential to its full benefit. The work done by the UT administration in this regard has been selected as a case study and the SSA plans to organise study tours for other state officials to understand and assess the ongoing programmes.

“The way the union territory has mainstreamed over 3,000 students in regular schools is quite commendable. However what stands out is the unique initiative of alternate innovative education centers, which have proved to be a boon for children requiring different education and additional attention. The city has come across as a perfect case study for the scheme’s success”, said a senior SSA official in New Delhi.

The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan’s inclusive education programme functions under the aegis of constitutional commitment of providing free and compulsory education up to the age of 14 years, irrespective of the abilities of the students who include children with special needs.


Support services with help of special resource centres

SSA has set up four resource centres at GMSSS-8, GSSS-45, GSSS-15 and GSSS-38W to provide the support required to nurture the potential in the classroom and, secondly, the remedial support to the mainstreamed children with special needs (CWSN) with the help of specialized infrastructure. The fifth resource centre will become functional at GMHS-28 very soon.

Medical assessment & distribution of aids

During 2009-10 355 supportive aids and appliances were distributed to children with special needs with the help of various NGOs/ALIMCO/school health programmes/national Programme.

Transport/escort allowance to CWSN

212 children with special needs against the target of 247 were provided transport allowance of Rs 300/- per month and 86 CWSN against the target 147 were provided Escort Allowance @ Rs 200/- per month.

Following need to be looked at

  • Barrier-free school buildings: The DISE data reveals that there are only 35 school, out of more than 180, which have provision of ramps, however, the structure of ramps is not found in consonance with the guidelines of barrier-free school buildings, as such these are not in use for CWSN.
  • Home-based education: The much ambitious ‘home-based education’ scheme launched under the inclusive education programme continues to be a dud, with the UT administration struggling to find suitable teachers.
  • Special resource teachers: Unfortunately, while all planning and funds are in place, only 13, out of the special 150 schools, have got special resource teachers.



Open House
Sports in city need fresh look
Sanjeev Singh Bariana


  • The city needs to design an insignia for teams to make an identification, which the public can relate to.
  • The city needs to have its sports calendar.
  • The school grounds, which remain vacant after school hours, need to utilised in a better way.
  • The sports organisers, including DPEs, need to work in collaboration with the sports psychologists to devise better action plans.
  • Plans to be put in place for better utilisation of the existing infrastructure.
Do you think sports form an important part of the city, particularly in context of state-of-the-art infrastructure and open spaces for different games. Mail your views on the subject and suggestions for improvement, if needed, to the openhouse@tribunemail.com

Despite having best sports infrastructure in the country, sports do not resound in the environs of the City Beautiful. Leave apart the Chandigarh Administration, even public shows poor participation in owning any sports, except cricket. Even with a rare facility of stadium for different sports, the city lacks in public display of love for sports.

By way of comparison, it is relevant to mention youngsters, abroad, can be seen displaying T-shirts of their favourite football clubs and even of countries, including Brazil, Argentina or Germany.

Even Indian fans love sporting the T-shirts of these teams. Fans identify themselves with their heroes. The zing for their favourite teams, except cricket, is missing in the city.

The debate about poor public love can definitely extend to the poor quality of players here as compared to their foreign counterparts, however, supporters identifying themselves with the teams give respect to the sports.

There could be no other reason why winners of the national football juniors have not yet been honoured by the Chandigarh Administration. Except for a ceremony by a local businessman, the event has gone unnoticed in the annals of official circles. The team had even landed unnoticed at the railway station on their return. If not a hero welcome, the team needed at least a formal recognition. The Tribune highlighted the issue more than three times and the team members were given Rs 5,000 by the administration.

The baton for the Commonwealth Games, crossing the city boundaries, saw a few faces to welcome the baton, whereas the city house a galaxy of sportsperson from different fields who have settled here. Kapil Dev and veteran athlete Milkha Singh lent a saving grace to the occasion. A majority of sportspersons was never invited by the administration. At the same time, it would have been befitting even if sportspersons made an initiative to be a part of an international event. Arguing on their behalf, one can say how they could stand at the venue when they were not assigned any job.

The grounds in the majority of the government schools, in particular, remain unutilised. The green parks in the residential areas remain crowded with children playing their games and newspaper offices and corporation are flooded with complaints of the residents.

Facilities, no great results

The city has a cricket stadium in Sector 16, which has hosted many international matches. With the coveted PCA Stadium in Mohali and Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula, cricket has avenues for budding cricketers. The cricket stadiums, too, have a scope for better utilisation.

Besides cricket, the city has not given any list of successful sportspersons from other games. Hockey has given some bright names, including Gurdish Pal, Narinder Sodhi, Sukhvir Singh Gill, Inderjit Gill and Rajpal Singh. Amrit Brar and Kanwar Thakur Singh brought honours in badminton. Despite sprawling lawns of the Golf Club, Chiranjiv Milkha Singh is the only name that has created a niche in the international circuit. Abhinav Bindra with his Olympic gold medal in shooting got the city on the Olympic chart of medals.

Besides hosting matches of the Indian Premier League, which generated some public attention as well as media hype, the hockey stadium has been a witness to little sports activity worth recognition. The only shooting range in the city is crying for attention. The football stadium in Sector 17, too, has been a home to no significant sports event in the recent past. Table tennis halls all over the city, too, have not shown any major results.

The city has six swimming pools, however, the city has no big names in the national scene. The city also has no synthetic track for athletics, which is a paramount in the international scenario.

Poor initiative

It is heartening to view the sports activity in schools and Panjab University campus. Having a representation of students, particularly from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, the university continues to be among the top rankers in sports at the national level and has also won the coveted Maulana Azad Trophy in the past.

General flair for sports is not visible in the public temper. The poor initiative has shown poor results for the city team at the national level. Except for individual names, the teams from the city have not been able to make any mark at the national level in any games.

Poor public initiative, notwithstanding even the administration has been unable to attract a greater public participation in the games.

The need of the hour is that the administration should prepare an exhaustive list of sportspersons residing in the city in first place. Greater efforts need to be made about involving these sportspersons.

Children want parks to play

The newspaper offices are flooded with complaints by senior citizens about children playing in the parks. Children, on their part, argue that the parks are the best places to play.

A sector housing four parks can spare at least one or two as sports fields for children. The Residents Welfare Associations could work on a consensus.

It is learnt that the Chandigarh Administration is seriously considering converting certain parks into playing grounds, particularly for children. The matter might come up for a formal decision.


BSP councillor joins Cong
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bhatia’s mentor hits back

Reacting to Bhatia decision, his mentor - Harmohan Dhawan - alleged that he had “stabbed me in the back”. Since Bhatia had won the election on the CVM ticket, he should resign and re-contest the election to “test” his popularity, a fuming Dhawan said, adding that Bhatia’s entry into the Congress would increase factionalism in the party.

Bansal mum on Cong chief

Bansal, who calls the shot in the election of Congress’ local unit president, parried question on the new party chief. Since Territorial Congress Committee (TCC) delegates had already passed the resolution authorising the party high command to take a decision, he had no idea on the new incumbent, Bansal said.

Chandigarh, September 19
The ruling Congress in the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) got a shot in the arm today with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) councillor Jatinder Bhatia joining the party ahead of the civic body poll next year.

Bhatia’s induction into the Congress, who was a close confident of former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan, is being touted as a major morale-booster for the party, which may face anti-incumbency in the forthcoming MC elections. The strength of the Congress in the 36-member MC has gone up to 16, which has nine nominated councillors, and Pawan Bansal, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, as an ex-officio member.

Bhatia’s entry into the party at the Sector 35 Congress Bhavan was a grand affair with senior leaders, including Pawan Bansal, local unit president BB Bhal and Mayor Anu Chatrath, welcoming him. It was also a show of strength by Bhatia as prominent residents from his ward accompanied him to the Congress Bhavan.

Terming Bhatia as an “old associate” who had strayed from the party due to difference of opinion in a democracy set-up, Bansal said he would be given due respect in the Congress. “Bhatia’s entry into the Congress would strengthen the democratic and progressive forces in the city,” he hoped.

On his part, Bhatia termed his entry into the party as “home coming” saying the Congress was his “mother party”. He conceded that persuasion by senior Congress leader and Panjab University fellow GK Chatrath, additional media adviser to the Haryana Chief Minister Sunil Parti and principal of GGDSD College AC Vaid, went a long way in influencing his decision to the Congress.

Bhatia, who won the 1996 MC poll on the ticket of Dhawan’s outfit Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM), switched sides to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) before the May 13, 2009, Lok Sabha election along with Dhawan. However, Bhatia did not join the BJP when Dhawan along with other CVM councillors joined the saffron party recently.

A former employees’ leader, Bhatia is also the chairman of the CHB Federation, an apex body of residents of the Chandigarh Housing Board dwelling units.



Appointment of Finance Secy
Admn sets ball rolling
Punjab govt forwards name of 3 officials for the coveted post
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Not a bed of roses

In the backdrop of the controversies surrounding the mega projects in Chandigarh, the post of the Finance Secretary is not a bed of rose. Since every decision on the land acquisition (the Finance Secretary was also the Chief Administrator of the Capital Project) was questioned by the Central government agencies, including the MHA, the post under attack from various quarters. The former Finance Secretary was already facing a CBI probe for his alleged role in the land acquisition for the mega projects.

Chandigarh, September 19
The countdown for the appointment to the coveted post of the UT Finance Secretary has begun with the Punjab government formally forwarding a panel of three officials to the UT administration.

The UT administration will now recommend the panel consisting of PS Aujla (1990 batch), Ashok Gupta (1991 batch) and Rakesh Kumar Verma (1993 batch) to the Central government in the order of merit.

The clearance of the Finance Secretary’s name is itself a time-consuming process. After clearance from the UT administration, the panel will go to the Department of the Personnel and Training (DoPT) via the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The final clearance will come from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

The tenure of the current incumbent, Sanjay Kumar, ends in January 2011 and the authorities concerned had started the process quite early so that the name was cleared well in time.

While the Central government usually goes by the recommendation of the UT administration as in case of SSP Naunihal Singh, the Centre appointing its own nominee or sending the panel back for reconsideration is not a rare phenomenon. In the past, several officers had lobbied at the administration level and the Central government.

In the local bureaucratic set-up, the post of the UT Finance Secretary is the third most-significant post after the Adviser to the UT Administrator and Home Secretary. Given his position in Chandigarh, which is the capital of the Punjab and Haryana besides the headquarters of the Union Territory, the Finance Secretary wields a lot influence in the local administrative set-up.

Besides, the Finance Secretary is the administrative secretary of several key departments, including engineering, urban planning and development, sports, information technology, science and technology, housing, environment and forest and excise and taxation, which gave him a lot of patronage.

With Chandigarh on its way of getting the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS), including metro, the post assumes all the more importance since the Finance Secretary as the MRTS secretary was the coordinating officer with the neighbouring states and the Central government agencies.

Meanwhile, intense lobbying is set to be witnessed for the post. “Since Punjab was set to get a new government in early 2012, the officials would naturally want a posting in Chandigarh, which is virtually immune from political interference,” a senior Punjab Government officer told Chanidgarh Tribune.



Bus queue shelters in a sorry state
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, September 19
The local bus queue shelters in various parts of the town have become an eyesore, thanks to the indifferent attitude of the municipal council which has failed to maintain these over the past several years.

The structures constructed nearly two decades ago are lying in a state of neglect. Broken chairs, dirty and defaced walls, wild growth on rooftops, rusted metal structures and loose electricity wires are the hallmarks of these bus queue shelters.

Ill-maintained bus queue shelters at Phases IV and VII in Mohali
Ill-maintained bus queue shelters at Phases IV and VII in Mohali. Tribune photographs

Originally these bus queue shelters had benches made of concrete where people could sit and wait for the local buses. These benches were later replaced by metal chairs when the maintenance was handed over to a private party, which was allowed to put up advertisements in lieu of the maintenance work.

However, the position at present is that people have to keep standing till they board a bus to their destination as the chairs in almost all bus queue shelters are lying broken. Some shelters do not have any chairs at all as the private contractor had failed to develop these. During rains water dripping from the roof also adds to the problem.

Baljeet Kaur, a resident of Phase V, said the authorities concerned were not bothered to maintain bus queue shelters as these were used by people belonging to middle-class families or economically weaker sections. However, old people faced difficulties when they could not find any place to sit while waiting for their buses.

According to sources, the civic body had cancelled the contract with the private firm, which had been given the work of maintenance at the council meeting held on April 8, 2008, as the firm had failed to develop all bus queue shelters in the town in violation of the terms of the agreement.

Later, tenders for the maintenance work were floated on March 3, last year, and again on October 15, but only two firms had responded. According to rules, response from at least three firms was required for allotting the work. Tenders were again floated on February 26 and March 17 but no response was received.

It is learnt that the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had given some drawings to the civic body asking the latter to get the bus queue shelters developed accordingly. But advertisers were not interested in taking over the work as they found it too expensive to promote their products through advertisements on bus queue shelters. Moreover, some firms were interested to take over the work only if it was given for a much longer period instead of five years.

A civic body official said GMADA had told the council that the authority would try to give a new look to bus queue shelters and the council need not worry in this regard. GMADA was likely to pull down some of these structures when it undertook the work of widening certain roads. Bus queue shelters were demolished by GMADA when the Madanpur road and the YPS road were widened.



Land Grab: Residents protest against builder
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 19
Hundreds of residents of Naggal Moginand village raised today slogans against the private builder for allegedly grabbing the shamlat land of the village for constructing flats.

According to sources, village residents threatened to block the National Highway No 73 here this afternoon when they came to know that the private builder Bhoomi Green has pressed into service a JCB machine for leveling ground.

However, the police reached the site immediately and brought the situation under control. Former sarpanch of the village Ramkaran, INLD state secretary, Amardeep Chaudhary, and Haryana Janhit Congress leader, Sohan Lal, along with others alleged that the company was trying to grab about six acres of shamlat land to construct flats.

The village residents said they would go to any extent and would not allow the company to grab the land.

They demanded that the land should be measured again and the company should construct on the allotted land.

However, managing director of the company, Col Deswal, denied the allegations of the village residents and added that they were constructing flats on the land registered in the name of their company. He said he had asked the residents that if they had any doubts they could get the land demarcated again. He said there was some misunderstanding among and the matter would be resolved soon.



All for cheap thrill
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Geetika (name changed) and Preeti (name changed) walk across the road along with former’s brother in one of the southern sectors at 10.30 pm when three boys in Swift cars pass lewd comments at them.

This isn’t new to young girls of the city who are subjected to such behaviour time and again.

Data of the past three years collected by the TNS speaks volumes about the gradual rise in cases of molestation and eve-teasing.

In 2008, the city police registered 19 cases of molestation and another 23 of eve-teasing.

The figure of molestation rose to 26 in 2009, while in 2010 it again came down to 18.

Almost every girl at some point falls prey to indecent behaviour of rowdy boys.

Sharing her experience on the condition of anonymity, a 23-year-old girl said: “I was traumatised for days due to lewd text messages sent by a boy. First I received a call from an unknown number wherein the person spoke indecently. This was followed by cheap text messages. Then I decided to get an FIR registered so that such persons learnt a lesson.”

“It just gives men a high,” says Panchkula-based psychologist Dr Rajshree Sarda on reasons behind such a behaviour.

She adds: “A lot of boys feel macho pride by indulging in such activities. But things are changing in metros, as women refuse to take the nuisance and report the matter to the police.”

“Boys get thrilled by passing a lewd comments. In fact, eve-teasing is the safest form of fulfilling their desires. These incidents are barely reported and the records may not reflect the true picture,” she adds.



Nothing rosy about this park
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Extension of Bamboo Park in Sector 23 is a perfect picture of neglect, courtesy the ‘apathetic’ attitude of officials of the Chandigarh administration. It seems that the authorities have forgotten to pay attention towards the park’s upkeep.

The park, which was earlier known as Cactus Garden, was later christened Bamboo Valley and was inaugurated by former UT Administrator S F Rodrigues on January 2, 2007.

The park that once had various varieties of bamboo presents a miserable picture today. It is spread over 8 acres and an amount of Rs 3 crore was earmarked for its development.

In the absence of guards and caretakers, miscreants and anti-social elements keep frequenting the place.

A thatched structure made of bamboo that was supposed to be an eating joint, has turned into a safe haven for druggists. Terming it a jinx for the park, residents say the hut had never been allotted to anyone by the authorities.

Similar is the condition of public toilets in the park, which are yet to be constructed properly by the authorities. Marble tiles and windows of the toilets are broken and water taps and doors have been stolen.

What was the need to construct such structures when the authorities knew that they would not be able to maintain these? ask residents.

The structures were razed two years ago, but the enforcement staff did not bother to get the debris cleared.

Lights in the park are non-functional and garbage is strewn in and around the park. Stink emanating from the garbage has made residents’ lives miserable.

Speaking out

Surinder K JagotaFrom where does the question of maintenance arise, when the construction work in the park is yet to be completed. For the past two years I have been requesting the authorities concerned to improve the condition of the park, but nothing concrete has been done so far. — Surinder K Jagota, area councillor


MeenuThe park has been left at the God’s mercy. Earlier, I used to go for a walk in the park, but later I gave up. In the absence of a gardener, the park has turned into a forest. — Meenu, a housewife




ShenazThe authorities have time to develop polished versions of garbage bins in the city, but when it comes to developing or protecting our green belts, they prefer sleeping over the issues. Most of the youngsters of my colony avoid visiting the park in the evening as there are no lights. — Shenaz, student of library science



Tarsemlal SidhuThis park is a classic example of how one can waste land and money in the name of development. What is the need of spending so much money on developing a park when the authorities have no staff to manage it. — Tarsemlal Sidhu, retired employee



World Tourism Day
Bouquet of activities on offer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Celebrations for the upcoming World Tourism Day are set to get grander this time with the UT administration planning week-long activities starting September 26. This was stated by UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas at a press conference here yesterday.

On September 26, the administration will organise maiden “Cyclothon”, a cycling event, under the aegis of the Cycling Federation of India.

The event comprises multiple categories - elite ride, green ride and junior ride. The highlight of the event will be a 60-km National Elite Race that will see country’s top cyclists compete for prize money.

The following day, “Morning Raga - Indian Classical and Fusion Music” by Subhash Ghosh will be held at 6 am at Sukhna Lake, followed by “Tourism Walk” at 7 am from the Open Hand Monument to Government Museum, Sector 10. In the evening, a fun and entertainment programme will be organised at Sukhna Lake from 6 pm to 8 pm.

The main attraction of the day will be “Rashtriya Bhrastachar Adhiveshan”, a satire based on poem written by Ashok Chakradhar, directed by Kuldeep Sharma and featuring popular film and TV artistes, which will be staged at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18.

Also, a Punjabi musical evening will be organised at the lake in Sector 42.

On September 28, a painting competition will be held at 8 am at Sukhna Lake, followed by “The Perfect Wife”, a social comedy play directed by Nitin Jagdissh and starring Poonam Dhillon and Sooraj Thapar, at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, at 6.30 pm.

On September 29, a tourism quiz will be held at 10 am at Government Museum, Sector 10, while at 6.30 pm, “Aaall izz well with Shuturmurgh”, a stage play directed by Ramesh Talwar and starring Rakesh Bedi, Avtar Gill, Bharat Kapoor and Aasif Sheikh, will be staged at Tagore Theatre.

“Sham-e-Qawwali” by Aslam Sabri will be organised at Rock Garden at 7.30 pm on September 30.

The week-long celebrations will conclude on October 1 with a live performance by singer Javed Ali during Bollywood musical evening from 7.30 pm at the Piazza, Sector 17.

Tickets for all three plays to be staged at Tagore Theatre will be from September 21 at the theatre.

Passes for musical nights will be available at CITCO cafeteria, Sukhna Lake, Tourist Information Centre, Piazza, Sector 17.

Besides, a food festival will be organised in various hotels and restaurants right from the week-long celebrations till the end of the Commonwealth Games.

Golf carts will be used to ferry guests arriving at the airport and railway terminus.

Besides food festivals, hospitality units throughout the city will be lit on a common theme.

Other activities at Sukhna Lake during the celebrations include tattoo painting, sketching, portrait making, statue portrayal, etc. by students of Chandigarh College of Arts.

Also, competitions like singing, dancing, rock band live performances and other cultural evenings will be held at Sukhna Lake during the celebrations.

CITCO will arrange complimentary rides on its hop on, hop off tourist bus for tourists visiting the city on the World Tourism Day i.e. September 27.

Besides, the city will be bedecked on a common theme with Shera mascot, lighting and welcome banners, etc.



Judicial schemes must reach poor: SC Judge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Though the judiciary has initiated several projects for the benefit of the poor, due to lack of awareness, people living below poverty line (BPL) are unable to reap the benefits of these schemes.

These were the opening lines of sitting Supreme Court Judge Justice Altamas Kabir at a two-day training programme for “Para-legal training and Legal Aid Activities” at the Chandigarh Judicial Academy, Sector 43, yesterday.

The programme has been initiated as the poor are not informed about their constitutional rights and various schemes initiated by the judiciary for them.

Justice Kabir said lawyers did not have time to give legal aid to the poor. The judiciary has thus started a programme for volunteers who will provide legal aid to the poor and will be given money for it.

Sharing his experience at the jail in Port Blair, he said: “When I visited the jail, I was shocked to know that the inmates had no clue about the scheme of ‘plea bargain’. When he explained them about the scheme, the Jail Superintendent received 15 applications in one hour seeking ‘plea bargain’.”

He said he was surprised to know that people living in rural areas had little knowledge of the rural employment scheme.

Justice P Sathasivam said: “People living in big cities are aware about their rights but those belonging to villages are ignorant. The main aim of this project is to reach out to poor people.”

“We should ensure that the rights of the common man remain secure. Through this project, we want to reach out to the masses. The aim is to bridge the gap between the downtrodden and the judiciary,” said Justice Mukul Mudgal.



Workshop on Unique Identification Number
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
A workshop on Unique Identification Number (UID) was held for officials of the UT administration here. The workshop was held under the project “Aadhaar”. The project’s implementation, approach and other related issues by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Planning Commission, New Delhi, were discussed at the workshop.

Ambrish Shahi of UIDAI, said, “Aadhaar is a unique, random, 12-digit identification number for Indian residents. The project will benefit children. Aadhaar-enabled applications like PDS, NREGA, social security, RSBY will enable the administration to effectively monitor the state-wide government service and impact delivery.”

He said the project aimed at ensuring economic inclusion of all residents. “The programme is built on a partnership model, where states and union territories will nominate a registrar to ensure that the project falls in place and no one is left out of the enrolment process by engaging enrolment agencies, ensuring security of the biometric data. It also aims at including marginalised residents through civil outreach groups.

UIDAI will also provide process integration to various administrations.

Sanjay Kumar, Finance Secretary, who is also UID Commissioner for Chandigarh, said, “The UT administration has taken major steps in collecting the data so that the process can be rolled out once the Census data is collected.” He said UID data collection had been unified with the smart card project of Public Distribution System (PDS).

So far 1,80,000 families as beneficiaries of the PDS have been identified and the camps have been started by the Deputy Commissioner, UT, Chandigarh, to collect the data. The collected data will have bio-metrics of all 10 fingers and is also likely to have Irish data (reading of eye ball). These bio-metrics and Irish data will establish the identification of any individual and will ensure that there is only one unique identification given to a resident. He added that the Chandigarh administration was already tied-up with the director of Census so that during the Census operation, the data remained uniform.

The UID authorities will carry out de-duplication check at the national level to ensure that no resident of the country gets two identification numbers. He urged upon all residents of Chandigarh to give their details whenever camps are held for the PDS, smart card as well as Census.



BSNL advisory panel discusses services
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Meeting of the telephone advisory committee of the Chandigarh telephone district of the BSNL was held at Haryana Niwas in Sector 3 here on Friday. Member of Parliament Balwinder Singh Bhunder, co-chairman of the committee, attended the meeting.

BSNL general manager Naresh Sharma briefed the members of their achievements and development plans of the telecom district.

Bhunder emphasised that the BSNL should lay more stress on customer care and hold frequent open house sessions like “Apki Suvidha Apke Dwar”.

Area members were exhorted to play an active role in ensuring better participation and involvement of customers, he added.

Sharma discussed latest BSNL schemes related to broadband, 3G and services like WiMax and FTTH.

The members were informed that WiMAX service would shortly be launched in the city whereby customers would be able to access high-speed Internet through wireless system.

Besides committee members, Babu Barua, Gurdeep Singh, DS Sandhu, Harminder Singh Nagpal, HS Nagra, Raninder Singh, Inder Pal, Jagdish Rai, Jang Bahadur, Pritinder Singh Chawla, Rakesh Garg and Saroj Sharma, deputy general managers, divisional engineers also attended the meeting.



Reporters' Diary
Cricket buffs in for bonanza

The local cricket fans are in for a bonanza in the coming days. With the mighty Kangaroos landing in the city on Monday, the cricketing action is all set to kick off on September 25 when they will take on the President Board XI team in a three-day practice match. The ‘Men in Blue’ will reach here to set the PCA Stadium ablaze on October 1 when the first Test of India-Australia series will start. After that, the PCA will host One-Day International match between New Zealand and India on December 1. If this is not enough, the stadium has been allotted three matches of the World Cup-2011, starting February next year. On March 3, South Africa and Netherlands will face each other at the PCA stadium. On March 11, West Indies will take on Ireland. The PCA will also host a semifinal of the World Cup March 30.

Kudos for cops

Contrary to general perception, a Sector 35 resident, Ramesh G Bhatia, carries a positive image of the Chandigarh Police. Sharing his experiences of having been hauled up for mistakes, Bhatia says he doesn’t have a single unpleasant experience of harassment by cops. Confessing to have flouted traffic rules several times in the city (not deliberately), he says policemen had been considerate if one explains the circumstances. “No one has ever asked me for bribe,” he shares. A rare experience, indeed, if one goes by the long lit of complaints against traffic cops.

Headless department

Even as dengue and swine flu cases are on the rise in the city, the department of vector-borne diseases has gone headless, leaving the monitoring as well as the execution work in the hands of juniors. In the absence of assistant director (malaria), who is on ex-India leave, the things have been handed over to Abha Rana, a microbiologist, who is employed with the department on contractual basis. Rana collects the reports of patients from city hospitals and apprises the deputy director, health, along with issuing directions to inspectors, supervisors, and beldars in the department on a day-to-day basis. The impact of directions from a person of the lower rank that also on contractual basis is quiet visible from the fact that a total of 25 cases of dengue have been reported from the city.

Strange demand

Putting across a strange demand, a city-based union of government colleges submitted a memorandum to the Director, Higher Education (DHE), asking for a separate waiting room for college principals. The representatives insisted that it was embarrassing and below dignity of a principal to wait outside the DHE office and share space with the clerical staff. According to an official of department, “The request was strange as a majority of staff members who the principals were objecting sitting with are more efficient than them. They spend hours together rectifying the mistakes of this dignified lot which at times is not even aware of norms and execution.” The DHE, meanwhile, dismissed the demand saying that the secretariat was not a personal building which could be altered as per anybody’s wishes.

Get ready for ‘kukkar se takkar’

It’s not the plush interiors that are welcoming in restaurants, the names of delicacies that are served are actually more inviting. Sample this: A restaurant chain that has recently opened its 10th outlet in the city has this on its menu: Kukkar se takkar for chicken dishes, chawal ka khel and roti ki tokri for Indian bread. We wonder who are the creative persons behind these new age menus.

Master politicians

It seems the political parties have mastered the art of "acknowledging" contribution of representatives of people and party leaders, at least at public functions. To show the leaders that the party was conscious of their presence, compared to the seating arrangement for the public, elevated platforms are raised for special persons. The more important one’s status is, the higher the platform, but certainly lower than the main stage. At several functions in the past, it has been observed that different elevated platforms are erected according to the position in the party. Mediapersons, too, are offered elevated platform, but lower than the party leaders.

Minister’s gesture

As a humble gesture, alumnus of Panjab University and Union Cabinet Minister Kumari Selja urged Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti two days back to permit her to have lunch in her old hostel, where she resided during her university days. Her words not only touched the hearts of students of the Florence Nightingale hostel at PU’s south campus, but also brought relief to the PU authorities in certain ways. With the minister vouching for the PU hostel food in public, the authorities now have strong arguments to defend criticism from some students in PU hostels who claimed that the quality of food was deteriorating.

(Contributions by: Akash Ghai, Ramanjit Singh, Arun Sharma, Sumedha, Smriti Sharma Vasudeva, Rajmeet Singh and Neha Miglani)



100 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
A blood donation camp was organised by the Chandigarh Press Club in association with Sarv Mangal Jyoti, an NGO, here on Sunday. More than 100 donors turned up at the camp. Rakesh Rasila, the youngest blood donor in Chandigarh police with 98 donations to his credit, was the guest of honour on the occasion.

Satyawan Saroha, president, government employees, Haryana, who is credited with 39 donations, was also present on the occasion. Rani Sharma, chairperson, Indian Council of Social Welfare, Chandigarh chapter, was the chief guest at the camp for thalassaemic children. Members and staff of the club, along with volunteers of the NGO, donated blood.



18 govt schools function without heads
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 19
How serious is the Haryana government in providing quality education to the youth can be gauged from the fact that out of 57 government schools in the district, 18 institutions are functioning without heads.

Out of 30 government senior secondary schools (GSSS), three schools, including GSSS-Tikkar Hills, GSSS-Hangola and GSSS-Morni Hills do not have principals. Similar was the case with 15 government high schools (GHS) where posts of headmaster are lying vacant. These include GHS Baladwala, GHS Bhuri, GHS Charnia, GHS Dhatgoran, GHS Ferozpur, GHS Garhi-Kotaha, GHS Gobindpur, GHS Kheran Wali, GHS Khetpurali, GHS Koti, GHS Paploha, GGHS Raipur Rani, GHS Thandog, GHS Tharwa and GHS Manak-Tabra.

This was revealed by the office of Panchkula district education officer in reply to the information sought under the RTI Act by former chairman of the Shivalik Vikas Manch, VK Bansal.

The state government had recently appointed 341 director physical education (DPE) and 1,983 physical training instructors (PTI), but still about 14 posts of DPE were lying vacant in various schools in the district, which include GSSSs of Bhareli, Khatoli, Paarwala, Mandhna, Morni Hills, Badgodam, Bitna, Kalka, Mallah, Pinjore, Sector 15 in Panchkula, Sector 20, Hangola and Toda.

Besides these, 46 posts of PTI are lying vacant in about 45 schools in the district that had adversely affected the physical education and sports activity in the schools.

DEO Nalini Mimani said they had already informed the directorate education in this regard and added that the government and directorate were initiating steps to fill vacancies in all schools in the district.

Bansal alleged that the state government was giving step-motherly treatment to various educational institutions in the district, as many posts of teacher of different subjects were lying vacant, which had affected the results of the students of classes X and XII.

He urged Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for initiating steps to fill the vacant posts in all educational institutions immediately so that quality education could be provided to the youth in the district.

He said on the one hand, the state government was promoting the games by offering scholarships to the talented players picked up every year under the Play for India campaign, on the other hand, it was not appointing DPIs and PTIs, as a result the level of sports is going down in the region.



PU to implement rainwater harvesting soon
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service


  • Rs 8 crore sanctioned for the project by CGWB
  • All rooftops in PU to be used for rainwater harvesting
  • A recharge well to store water to be constructed
  • Total 5,650 cum (cubic metres) rainwater being wasted in PU: Study reveals
  • 56 underground structures proposed

Chandigarh, September 19
Panjab University has become the first university in the region to initiate rainwater harvesting on rooftop of all buildings in the campus. In a meeting held two days ago at PU campus, Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) officials interacted with university faculty members and project coordinators, following which sponsorship worth Rs 8 crore was approved for the project.

The Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, is sponsoring the project through CGWB.

Senior functionaries of the university revealed that the funds would be forwarded to PU by October end and construction required would start thereof. “The Union government has given a final nod and the construction of bores for the project will start soon,” said Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti.

He added that the university is the first to take such initiative.

As a part of the proposal, rooftop of all buildings in the campus would be utilised for this project, which includes rainwater harvesting and artificial recharge to ground water.

Current wastage of ground water would be converted to accumulating excessive rainwater. For this purpose, 56 structures will be prepared on ground at different locations in campus, which would accommodate 100 cubic metres (cum) of water each.

The scheme would allow proper use of surplus water, which otherwise goes to the drains and scatters along roadsides. It would also prove instrumental in lifting the declining ground water and prevent the potholes created on roads during the rainy season, claim project officials.

The idea was formulated after the technical committee of the university conducted a campus specific study on rainwater harvesting, which revealed that the average annual rainfall in the campus is 1,074 mille metres (mm) and the excessive water generated during the rains is 2,800 cum (cubic metres) is being wasted.



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