C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No respite from rain
Season’s heaviest downpour in two years
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Record monsoon deluge

"So far 1080.9 mm of rain has fallen, which is about 234.2 mm more than the total average rainfall the city receives in the whole of the monsoon between June and September and 2.9 more than the normal of 1078 mm in a year," said IMD director Surender Paul. The city has not experienced this kind of rainfall in a decade, except in 2008 when 1,112.8 mm of rain was recorded, according to the met department. Chandigarh receives around 1078 mm rainfall in the whole year with the monsoon months usually contributing about 846.6 mm.

Chandigarh, September 22
Admitting it was the monsoon’s heaviest rainfall - 134.9 mm in an 18-hour span, beginning at about 11.30 pm yesterday night, a meteorological department said the 1080.9 mm of monsoon rain in the city has surpassed the annual rainfall of 1078 mm. With the southwest monsoon remaining active, rain and thundershowers are expected to continue for a couple of days, he added.

The record rainfall that has been routinely disrupting normal life and unleashing chaos on the city's roads appears here to stay. The met department does not see any significant change in the weather pattern during the next few days. While officially the monsoon is supposed to last in the city till September-end, this year there is no guarantee it will ebb even after that.

With the sky overcast for the past two days, rain began pouring down over the city towards midnight yesterday. Several sectors were under a sheet of water as the city experienced heavy rain throughout the night.

Surender Paul, director of the Indian Meteorological Department, said this year the intensity of the rainfall has been greater than previous years, which means more rainfall took place in less time. "It is fuelling the western disturbances with extra moisture and causing this rainfall in northwest India,” he added.

The weatherman said the string of rain bearing "systems", which are a combination of a variety of factors ideal for rainfall like clouds, wind pattern and humidity, lashing north India is the main reason behind the incessant downpour. “We use a ‘high performance computing system’ consisting of different types of instruments to measure weather forecasting like thermometer, anemometer, Doppler radar, hygrograph etc”, he said. The continuous rain in the city and adjoining areas has brought down temperatures considerably with the difference between the minimum and maximum almost becoming blurred. Met office said the day’s maximum temperature was 23.8 degrees Celsius with the minimum at 22.7 degrees. “The weather will remain cloudy with possibility of moderate to heavy rain/thundershowers in isolated places in the next 48 hours”, the weatherman said.



Sukhna level up by 2 feet
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Continuous rain during the past 48 hours may have been exasperating for city residents but the heavy downpour has proved a blessing in disguise for the Sukhna Lake, whose water level had been receding before the onset of the monsoon.

Finally, after months of toil, the lake has crossed the nine-foot mark, two feet more than last year at this time. What is even more impressive is the fact that the water level has been achieved despite the additional capacity of 20 million gallons, which was attained after desilting the lake.

By now the UT engineering department, which had started desilting the completely dry patches of the lake towards the regulator end, has already removed over 10 million cubic feet of silt from the lake bed.

In fact this remarkable feat has been achieved over and above the target that the department officials had set for themselves. When they had embarked upon this uphill task of desilting the lake, they had set a very realistic goal in mind - removing 5 million cubic feet of silt. Little did the officials realise that with over 16 hours of hard labour and with hundreds of workers pressed on the job, complete with machinery and equipment, in a day’s work they were able to achieve more than double the mark.

Thanks to the continuous monitoring under the CCTV cameras, which were installed recently to supervise the ongoing work that began in early April, the de-weeded lake is now looking up with an increased area of 70 acres.

Officials claim that despite the lake’s water level the gates at the regulator end have not been opened yet. The last time these gates were opened was in 2008 when heavy rain lashed the region.



MC apathy exposed
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Continuous heavy rain, accompanied by thunderstorms during the past 24 hours, has exposed the mismanagement of the Municipal Corporation. The extended monsoon has brought misery for people residing in low-lying areas as instances of water-logging have been reported here and even from some Sectors. The corporation, meanwhile, claims to be fully prepared to deal with any eventuality amidst doubts about effective contingency plans for the city.

The showers of Wednesday have exposed the claims of the civic authorities in major Sectors, including 19, 20, 22, 30, 44, 45 and 50. People in these areas complained of choked drains, waterlogging at several places along with silt on the roadside. Low-lying areas and parking lots were inundated at many places and streets turned into rivulets, affecting office-goers and commuters.

The heavy rain, which drastically reduced visibility, affected local as well as long-distance traffic. Rainwater entered the basement of Sector 19 Palika Bazar, causing hardship to the shopkeepers. Residents of Dadu Majra, Mauli Jagran, Ram Darbar, Madrasi Colony and Bapu Dham were among the worst hit, with residents having to wade through knee-deep water. Several colonies and slums in low-lying areas were flooded as a result of water from the surrounding areas.

Large stretches of Dakshin Marg and Madhya Marg also saw water accumulating, particularly in the vicinity of roundabouts. Even roads within a large number of sectors, particularly in the city’s southern parts, were inundated as well as open spaces and other low-lying areas. Water flooding the streets also posed a traffic hazard. Vehicles, including rickshaws and cyclists, preferred to stick to the middle of undivided roads where the water was less than at the edges, adding to the woes of the drivers.

Hawkers, rickshaw-pullers and cyclists went off the road, while bus shelters and market corridors were crowded with commuters seeking shelter from the pouring rain. Water and slush collected around slums and several unauthorised colonies which have sprung up around the city.

Tree falls on cars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Rain caused havoc on the PEC University of Technology campus here this morning, where a tree fell due to strong winds.

Two cars, parked beneath the tree, got damaged, although no major loss was reported.

However, no person was found close to the tree near the main gate during the accident.



Aerocity Project Draw
Reserved category applicants excluded
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 22
A day ahead of the first round of the draw of lots for plots in GMADA’s Aerocity project, hundreds of applicants in the reserved categories of freedom fighters and gallantry award winners have been told they are ineligible for participating in the draw. Most of them got their earnest money deposits financed by banks.

Greater Mohali Area Development Authority estate officer Balbir Singh said the draw was being held according to the terms and conditions stated in the project brochure. “The clause of ‘order of preference’ was clearly mentioned in the brochure and there is no ambiguity about it”, he added.

Anxiety gripped prospective applicants in the reserved categories after they found that due to the ambiguous criteria of “order of preference” their applications were not being considered for the draw.

On Wednesday many of them rushed to the GLADA office and met officials, only to be told their applications were not being considered for the draw. Most of the applicants were upset with the authority for delaying the information and for inserting incomplete information in the brochure at the time of inviting the applications.

“The order of preference list put on GMADA’s website still shows them in the list of draw of lots and nowhere mentions their names would not be in the draw. It is a misrepresentation of facts aimed at misleading unsuspecting wards of freedom fighters”, said Harvinder Kaur, an applicant for a 400 sq yard plot in the project.

Another official when contacted said it is assumed that if an order of preference is given, the claim of those there than ratio of plots reserved would be rejected.

Countering the argument, Dyal Singh, another applicant, said the brochure simply mentioned order of preference. “However, no explanation of the single liner has been given as GMADA, while keeping applicants in the dark, wanted to collect the maximum amount of funds in the form of earnest money”, he added.

“After keeping our hard-earned money for three months and showing us as eligible at different stages, we have suddenly been told we aren’t eligible. We demand that our earnest money deposited in banks along with interest should be refunded as it amounts to cheating”, said Gurpreet Singh, yet another applicant.

A perusal of the GMADA’s website revealed the names of applicants not being considered for the draw finds no mention in the order of preference list posted on the site.



‘Josan to remain DAVC head till next hearing’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Dr Balbir Singh Josan will continue to act as the principal of Sector 10 DAV College, at least till the next date of hearing.

Taking up his petition, Justice Rajive Bhalla of the Punjab and Haryana High Court asserted: “Dr Balbir Singh Josan shall continue to function as the principal till the next date of hearing, but shall not take any policy decision with respect to the functioning of the college”.

Justice Bhalla also asserted: “Dr Balbir Singh Josan states that he shall not undertake any financial transaction on behalf of the college and shall allow the present financial arrangements to continue.”

Before parting with the order, Justice Bhalla stated: “All parties concerned, including the UT administration, shall ensure that the functioning of the college, including the classes, is not disrupted”.

In the petition against the UT Administration and the DAV management, Josan has alleged that the orders placing his services under suspension are illegal. The allegations against him are baseless and cannot be sustained in the eyes of the law.”

Dr Josan had earlier refused to accept the suspension order and had announced his decision to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court against his suspension. The management, too, had filed a caveat in the High Court.

He had claimed the suspension decision by the DAV Management Committee was totally unjustified. Since his transfer case was already pending in the High Court, the matter was subjudice and the committee could not place his services under suspension. Josan was suspended by the management after a meeting in New Delhi on September 15.



Students, teachers a harried lot
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Students and lecturers of DAV College, Sector 10, are a harried lot, as the “Principal kaun?” drama continues on the campus for the past more than a week.

This has resulted in classroom attendance taking an unprecedented dip.

A college student leader said, “Things have gone to the extent that I don’t feel I am studying in one of the premier institutions of the region. In fact, my father said I should pack up my luggage and come back home to Ferozepur and come here only for my examination.”

Interestingly, even the students’ favourite places, including the canteen and grounds, wear a deserted look.

“My daughter is in first year. First, it was student election violence and now it’s the management and Josan. The day I saw the protest outside the office, I was not sure whether my daughter would return safely. The college has let us down and we are living in constant fear,” said Parbhu Dayal Singh, a harried parent.

“Teachers are now caught between two principals. According to them, while the management has directed them to get all work signed by the new Principal, its Josan who is sitting in Principal’s office and insisting on doing all the work.”

A senior faculty member said, “The condition of the college is such that we are not sure when will be taken hostage by a group. I don’t know how to conduct my professional duty on the campus. I don’t know which principal to follow.”

Meanwhile, the sudden and indefinite postponement of the exams has worsened things further, as it has disturbed the entire academic schedule.

While Josan claims to have postponed the exams in view of the ongoing youth fest, teachers and students find the reason not enough to justify taking the action just a day before the commencement of exams.

Exams likely after autumn break

While the college authorities claim that the new datesheet will be out in the next two-three days, according to sources, the exams will only be conducted after the autumn break in October sometime after 8th. The authorities will decide the matter after the next hearing of high court.



Rs 375 cr plan to modernise IAF depots
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The IAF has earmarked Rs 375 crore to modernise and refurbish its base-repair depots that provide engineering and maintenance support for its aircraft, weapon systems and other equipment.

Revealing this here today, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, Air Marshal PV Athawale said under the project, new state-of-the-art equipment was being procured to meet the present and future requirements, while some existing facilities would be upgraded.

With induction of the new generation aircraft and helicopters on the horizon, the IAF needs to cater to higher technological levels in the coming years. Though most of the equipment and technology for maintenance of new aircraft would come along with the fresh acquisitions, the IAF needs to build up its infrastructure, for which modalities were being worked out.

The Nagpur-based Maintenance Command has eight base-repair depots located in various parts of the country, which are responsible for repair and overhaul of the IAF equipment, including aircraft, missiles, radars, avionics and communication.

The massive modernisation project, which would also involve large-scale participation by the private sector, would include procurement of machine tools, testing and evaluation equipment, office automation, fabricating tools as well as refurbishing and air conditioning hangars, rigs, work bays and laboratories.

Earlier, the Maintenance Command chief released the 200th TV-3 117-MT aero engine to be overhauled by No.3 Base Repair Depot here. This engine powers the Mi-17 helicopter. Air Marshal Athawale handed over the engine’s logbook to Wg Cdr Felix Pinto, Flight Commander 118 Helicopter Unit at a brief ceremony at the depot.

Air Officer commanding, 3 BRD, Air Cmde Ravinder Sharma briefed the air marshal about the ongoing projects and other activities at the depot, which is responsible for maintenance of Soviet-origin helicopters in the IAF’s inventory. The TV-3 overhaul line was set up in 2001.


IT Survey
` 20 crore surrendered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The survey operations conducted by the income tax department on the commercial premises of five city-based business groups yesterday yielded rich dividends as the owner of two business groups made a voluntary surrender of concealed income to the tune of Rs 20 crore today. The investigations in other cases are still pending.

Several teams of income tax officials under the supervision of Income tax Commissioner (CIT I) AK Kaushal had launched the survey and recovered several incriminating documents. Kaushal said two business groups surrendered undisclosed income of Rs 20 crore. However, he refused to divulge details of those groups who have surrendered the income.

“We have seized a large number of incriminating documents indicating unaccounted transactions and large number of bogus entries of the groups including Meclonic India Pvt Ltd, Gurnam Singh and Company and Silver Oak hospital, with the help of investigation department,” said an IT official.

A team led by additional commissioner, Range I, Rajeshwar Yadav started the survey around noon yesterday that continued till today morning. The survey, sources said, was conducted on the basis of a tip-off regarding discrepancies in accounts.

According to officials, 12 premises, including two of Atop Fasteners Pvt Ltd in Chandigarh and Mohali, three of Meclonic India Pvt Ltd in Chandigarh, Mohali, and near Kurali, Tubewell Engineer and Consultants, Gurnam Singh and Company, whose office is in Industrial area, share trader Rajbir Singh and Silver Oak Hospital in Mohali, were covered under the survey.



Staff crunch
Handling more depts likely to be tough for MC
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Temporary relief

The Chandigarh administration has decided to provide temporary relief to the MC that is reeling under acute staff shortage. Till March 31, 2011, the MC can avail the services of the existing administration staff and thereafter it will have to recruit its own staff to maintain the services. Besides, the administration is also exploring the possibility of the devolution of financial resources to the MC.

Chandigarh, September 22
Even as the Chandigarh Administration prepares to issue a notification regarding the transfer of certain departments to the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), the maintenance of the existing infrastructure and providing civic amenities is going to be civic body’s Achilles’ heel.

With the corporation facing an acute shortage of staff, particularly in the horticulture and road wings, it will be tough going for the MCC to discharge its additional responsibilities and measure up tothe expectations of the residents.

In fact, modalities for the issue of the notification for the transfer of the departments was discussed at a meeting of the coordination committee of the Chandigarh Administration and corporation under the chairmanship of Adviser to the UT Administrator Pradip Mehra. It was decided that the notification regarding the transfer of functions would be issued in the first week of October, sources said.

The administration has decided to transfer important departments, including primary education, primary healthcare, roads, open spaces and all gardens, to the corporation, as part of the empowerment of the civic body.

The sources informed that recruitment of new staff for certain departments like health and education was not going to be a smooth affair for the civic body where infighting in both the elected body and among officials was a routine affair.

The MCC is virtually divided on the issue of the appointment of the SDOs in the corporation.

Though the corporation is flush with funds and the administration is also mulling the transfer of financial resources to it, the requisite manpower to maintain the existing infrastructure and create new infrastructure is going to be a Herculean task.

With election to the corporation due next year, the petty politics may also come into play--a worrying sign for the ruling Congress.

At a recent press conference, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Bansal also sounded cautious when he asked the MCC to measure up to its responsibilities in the discharge of new functions.



Rain pours misery on Mohali, Panchkula
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, September 22
Incessant rain in the town and adjoining areas since last night brought misery for residents living in low-lying areas and threw traffic out of gear at many places.

The storm water drainage system of the Municipal Council came under strain. Many low-lying areas and slum colonies, including an illegal colony near airport, got flooded.

SDM RPS Walia said fire brigade was used to pump out water from Jagatpura Colony near the airport. He said a road near Badmajra was washed away. A private company, which had allegedly damaged the road, was asked to restore the road at its own cost.

Water on roads was found at many chowks and also on the road leading from Balongi village to NIPER. Some roads in Sectors 70 and 71 also got flooded.

Flooding was also seen in the Civil Hospital complex. Employees living in houses in the hospital complex faced difficulties as the drainage system had got choked allegedly due to the construction work being carried on the premises.

Keep an eye on Ghaggar: DC

Keeping in view the prolonged rainy season and the incessant rain, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar has directed SDMs not to leave the station headquarters without permission.

Officials like tehsildars, naib tehsildars, kanungos and others officials of various departments have also been directed not to leave their stations of duty due to the incessant rain. The directions were issued to tackle if any flood like situation arose in the district without any difficulty.

The Deputy Commissioner also asked officials to remain alert and keep their eyes on the Ghaggar and other rivulets passing through the district. He even appealed to the people to inform about any flood-like situation at the control rooms set up in this regard.

He said the contact number of the flood control room set up in the office of the district revenue officer at the district administrative complex here was 5044576. The contact number of the control room set up in the office of the tehsildar in Dera Bassi was 01762-283224 and that of the control room set up in the office of tehsildar at Kharar was 0160-2280853.

Two flood control rooms were also set up by the drainage department, the contact numbers of which were 0175-2308885 and 0175-2228272.

Breaches in bundh triggers panic

Dera Bassi: People of Bakarpur and some other villages have expressed fear of floods due to breaches in the bundh of the Ghaggar and sand mining at nearby places. They alleged that bundh of the Ghaggar was not repaired by the government for a long time.

Some wide breaches had taken place in the bundh during this season which were repaired till some extent by farmers with their own efforts. After visiting the site it was found that wide breaches had taken place at various places on the bundh.

Farmers of Bakarpur village said breaches in the bundh and sand mining at nearby Stabgarh village by some villagers were causing the threat of flood. This sand mining could change the flow of the river in the direction of nearby villages, they added. They further said that another bundh that was being constructed near Bakarpur village for the purpose of providing water in the Banur canal could also cause the flooding.

They demanded the repair of breaches with cemented material and construction of safety walls of stones along the bundh. Meanwhile, SDM Puneet Goyal said though the proposal had been sent for the repair of this bandh, it was not passed. After the passing of proposal bundh would be repaired, he added.

ZIRAKPUR: Continuous heavy rain over the past two days in Zirakpur and surrounding villages resulted in rainwater entering houses in various residential areas. Major intersections and internal roads were waterlogged, leading to disruption in traffic movement on the Zirakpur-Patiala and Zirakpur-Kalka highways.

The rainwater entered at various residential colonies among which Bharat Enclave and Wadhawa Nagar were the worse hit. The Choice Road area was completely flooded with choe water turning the place into a mini lake. Two-wheeler drivers were advised not to use the road.

PANCHKULA: The city roads presented a grim picture as the main roads as well as internal roads in the district remained waterlogged in view of the incessant rains that lashed the region since last evening.

The traffic slowed down at the major intersections of the city causing problem to officer goers and school students.

Roundabouts of Sector 11-14, 5-11, 2-5 and 6-7 were choked with water resulting in the vehicular traffic moving at a snail’s pace. Internal roads in these sectors were also full of water as people had to wade their way through ankle-deep water.

Major roads, including Industrial Area, Phase I, Majri Chowk and Ramgarh, too, were completely waterlogged. Vehicles, particularly two wheelers, got stuck at Industrial Area, Phase I, where roads need special attention from the authorities concerned.

Similar was the situation on the major roads in Kalka and Pinjore blocks in the district which were also waterlogged in view of bad drainage system. Due to heavy rain this evening, long serpentine queue of vehicles could be seen on the National Highway number 22 as the traffic had slowed down.



Preserving city’s heritage
Experts for adopting holistic approach
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Suggested measures

l Treat Chandigarh as a single unit for heritage preservation
l Plan of action to be okayed in 15 days
l Legislative mechanism should be mooted to enforce architectural control
l Wear and tear of buildings should be controlled in a scientific manner

Chandigarh, September 22
Presenting a blueprint for the city’s heritage preservation, expert groups today advocated a holistic approach by treating Chandigarh as a single unit for the preservation of its heritage.

In a presentation before UT Administrator Shivraj Patil, the expert groups formed by the Chandigarh Administration in July to identify heritage buildings with a view to suggesting measures for their preservation, fined tuned their strategy with inputs from various groups. The plan of action will be finalised in 15 days and sent to the Central Government for approval, sources said.

The administration had formed three groups for the task of suggesting a comprehensive plan of action for the heritage preservation in the city. While one of the expert groups was entrusted with the task of identifying the “heritage buildings” and suggest steps for their preservation, another group was to suggest engineering measures to preserve the buildings in a scientific manner.The third group was to suggest steps to be taken in cases of violations and suggest a legislative mechanism to deal with this.

It was highlighted at today’s meeting that the Capitol Complex, the Lake Club and Chandigarh College of Architecture, designed by Chandigarh’s creator Le Corbusier, should be “declared” heritage buildings in the first phase.

Since the designing of the city was based on the green city concept with low-rise buildings, the entire city should be treated as a single unit for the preservation of the heritage. Guidelines should be framed to check large number of violations that had occurred in the buildings over the years. As the buildings are made of concrete, wear and tear resulting due to the passage of time should be controlled in a scientific manner.

In fact, legislative mechanism to enforce the architectural control was also mooted at the meeting.



Pay Panel Recommendations
PGI, AIIMS faculty come on common platform
Decide not to attend any official function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Faculty members of the PGI and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, have come on a common platform to protest against the delay in the implementation of Sixth Pay Commission.

They have decided not to attend any official function henceforth to be conducted in the institutes till their demand was not met. The general bodies of the PGI and AIIMS formed a joint action committee yesterday with Professor A Rajwanshi from PGIMER, Chandigarh, as the chairperson, Professor M Singh (AIIMS) is the convener secretary of committee while Dr N Wig, Dr BK Khaitan, Dr SS Kale from (AIIMS) and Dr V Singh, Dr AK Saxena and Dr R Agarwal from PGIMER are members.

According to the committee, the Sixth Pay Commission has recommended quick promotions at each level to prevent stagnation and exodus of faculty from the institute and retain excellence. The faculty members of both the institutes are agitated on the recent orders of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding implementation of the revised scheme of promotion from January 12 this year and not from January 1, 2006, as had been promised by the ministry.

The ministry under the directive of the pay commission has issued orders stating that promotions for the PGI and AIIMS faculty be implemented from January 1, 2006, claimed members of the committee. However, the ministry, the PGI and AIIMS administrations are now dilly-dallying on implementation of this order, they said. This has led to resentment amongst the faculty, which could be detrimental for both the institutes.

There have been no promotions in the PGI for the last four years and in AIIMS for the last 10 years, they added. Committee members said the faculty was deprived of their right when it comes to the allowances. The pay commission has recommended it to be implemented from September 1, 2008, while the PGI and AIIMS faculty have been informed that academic allowance for the faculty would be implemented only from September 1, 2010.

The denial of academic allowance will compound the financial loss already incurred by the faculty because of the delay in notification of the order, said the committee.



Split wide open in traders’ body
New organisation Chandigarh Business Council formed parallel to beopar mandal
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Anti-trader, says CBM

Diwakar Sahoonja and Charanjiv Singh, president and chairman of the CBM, respectively, said the beopar mandal had decided to take disciplinary action against the “anti-trader” activity. This kind of self-styled trader body has nothing to do with welfare of traders and it is only to earn cheap publicity, they said, adding the matter would be referred to disciplinary action committee of the CBM.

Chandigarh, September 22
The split in the city’s trading community came to fore today ahead of the festival season with traders forming the Chandigarh Business Council (CBC), a development that bodes ill for the traders’ apex body, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM).

Formed under the leadership of Jagdish Arora, a former CBM president, prominent traders took potshots at the beopar mandal leadership for its “failure to protect traders interests and functioning in an undemocratic manner.”

“It has been experienced during the last few months that the existing traders organisations are least interested in taking up the issues of businessmen with the authorities concerned, defeating the aims and objectives for which they were formed necessitating the need for a strong organisation,” Arora said.

To a question, Arora said the CBC members would continue to be the members of the CBM. “We are not against the CBM but their dictatorial attitude and silence on vital issues is affecting the trading community,” he quipped.

The meeting attended by traders, including Jagdish Arora, Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, Baldev Aggarwal, LC Arora, Neeraj Bajaj, Sunil Bansal, Baldev Goel, JPS Kalra, Subhash Sethi, Satpal Garg, Sukhpal Singh, Kamal Gupta, Arvinder Singh, Ashwani Khanna, Ajay Gupta, Gurdial Bhasin and Arun Malhotra, was informed that the council had already enrolled over 200 members.

JPS Kalra, a trader, alleged that even as the traders were at the receiving of the Chandigarh administration in the backdrop of indiscriminate notices for alleged misuse of premises, the CBM leadership was not taking up the issues with the administration.



Symposium on parasitic infections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
More than 100 delegates from various government and private medical colleges and universities, mostly from North India, are expected to reach here on Friday to participate in a symposium with the theme “Parasitic infections then and now with special reference to India”.

The symposium is to be organised by the department of parasitology, PGIMER, to mark its foundation day.

Eminent scientists working in the field of parasitology, including Dr NK Ganguly, former director-general, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, Dr P Jambulingam, director, Vector Control Research Centre, Puducherry, and many other scientists from various parts of India and eminent faculty from the PGI will be deliberating on important parasitic infections like malaria, kala-azar, filariasis and intestinal parasitic infections.

In fact several parasitic diseases are important public health problems in the country.



IDBI told to pay ` 25,000

Chandigarh, September 22
Holding Industrial Development Bank of India Limited and IDBI Bank guilty of deficiency in services, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has asked them to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 to a complainant.

The complainant, Gurkirat Singh, a minor, stated in an appeal before the commission that the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum had directed the opposite parties to pay the maturity amount of Rs 10,000 to the complainant on May 2010.

Thereafter, the complainant had appealed under the minor guardianship of his father. He had purchased IDBI Deep Discount Bond at the issue price of Rs 5,500. One of the conditions of the bond was that the bond holder could get the same redeemed at any of the four dates mentioned therein and the opposite parties could also exercise the call option and pay the redeemed face value on the aforesaid dates to the bond holder.

The opposite parties stated that a call option was exercised regarding which notices were published in major leading newspapers across India on March 14, 2001.

It was alleged that inspite of the notices issued in the newspapers and the individual notice issued to the complainant through UPC, the complainant did not comply with the terms and conditions of the offer and failed submit the bond and therefore, he was not entitled to anything beyond Rs 10,000. — TNS



Woman killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 22
An unidentified woman in her mid-30s died after being hit by a speeding car near Dhillon factory on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway here this evening.

The incident took place when she was crossing the highway along with her daughter Muni when the car, coming from the Dera Bassi side, hit them both from behind. They fell on the road and sustained injuries.

A passer-by informed the highway patrolling team, which rushed the injured to the GMCH-32 where the woman was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh. The investigating officer stated that she died during the treatment at the PGI. Meanwhile, the car driver managed to flee from the spot. The investigating officer stated that the car number was traced and the accused would be arrested soon.



PU add-on courses find few takers
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
A total of 58 “career oriented programmes” (COP’s) or popularly known as add-on courses introduced by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in Panjab University affiliated colleges have failed to take off and undergraduate students are now being “forced” to opt for these courses in the city colleges.

Poor infrastructure and lack of teachers in the colleges for these courses, absence of a re-appear chance, poor pass percentage and delay in declaration of its result by PU are reasons for the failure of these courses.

Despite being given “seed money” (one time funds for initial expansion) of Rs 7 lakh to 13 PU affiliated colleges by the UGC, little has been done by the colleges to improve the state of infrastructure for these courses.

While certain colleges are now demanding autonomy to run these courses, others continue to charge a whopping fee from students against the prescribed nominal fee.

The prescribed fee for COP’s as per the UGC norms is Rs 100 per month for the certificate course, Rs 200 per month for the diploma and advanced diploma courses, which is being followed by certain government colleges, but not the private ones.

Hinting at the fate of these courses, the university has again failed to declare the results of these courses in time in 2010.

In 2009, the examination for COP’s was held in June 2009 and the results were declared after six months on October 11, 2009. This year, the examination was scheduled in June, 2010, at 14 different centres and 33 colleges. The result is awaited still.

In all PU affiliated colleges, nearly 6,000 first year students, 4,000 and 3,500 second and third year students gave examination for these courses this time.

Under this scheme, the colleges are also authorised to purchase books worth Rs 25,000 annually. PU and the colleges jointly award the certificates for these COP’s to the students, while the university conducts the examinations and declares results.

“In Kurushetra University affiliated colleges, the COP courses are being run by the colleges. A proposal was also prepared by PU, but is yet to make any headway,” said a senior administrative functionary of PU on the condition of anonymity.

Sources in the PU reveal that this year, the number of absentees in the examination of add-on courses was on an all time high.

Career oriented programmes (COP’s) for BA, BCom, BSc students

Certificate (for first year students)- 20 credits

Diploma course (for second year students)- 40 credits

Advance diploma course (for third year students)- 60 credits


The objective of COP’s as stated in the UGC guidelines is to introduce career and market oriented, skill enhancing add-on courses that have utility for job, self-employment and empowerment of students. At the end of three years, the students will be equipped with a certificate/diploma/advanced diploma in add-on orientation courses, along with a conventional degree in science/arts/commerce stream.

Number of add-on courses

In 2009- 57 courses

In 2010- 58 courses

Only one subject of “disaster management” has been introduced in 2010.

Colleges authorised to run COP’s

Guru Nanak Dev University- 16 colleges

Punjabi University- 13 colleges

Panjab University- 13 colleges



Fire breaks out in girls’ hostel mess
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
A fire broke out in Panjab University girls’ hostel number 6 mess on Wednesday night when girls were having dinner. The girls were made to vacate the mess immediately after the accident.

Even as the exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, mess workers said pipe of the gas cylinder in kitchen blasted, due to which the fire broke out. Not knowing what exactly happened inside the kitchen, certain girls of the hostel, who were asked to vacate the mess, claimed that since the noise was too loud, they suspect that the cylinder was the cause of the blast.

“We were having our dinner in the mess when the workers asked us to vacate the mess,” said a student of bio-chemistry department.

The fire was brought under control by the mess workers and university staff and within half-an-hour the girls resumed their dinner in the mess.



PU wins 14 prizes in youth fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The Panjab University campus team has won accolades for the university with their excellent performance in the Panjab University Zonal Youth Festival concluded today. The university has won 14 prizes, including six first, three second and five third prizes.


A talk on “Mystic messenger and maker of identity: A study of Satya Sai Baba organisations in Makati City (Manila)” by Prof Shalina Mehta, department of anthropology, Panjab University. She advised young researchers who study religious movements to first confront ones own religiosity, which are critically linked to a network of relationships, personal experience, reflexivity in writing and one’s own location.



Interaction session with NGOs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
As a part of the ongoing partnership initiative programme, the secretary education had an interaction session with all voluntary organisations working with the education department under this project.

The session was meant to share ideas and suggestions and enlist difficulties of AIE centres. NGOs have been asked to organise competitions at a cluster or state level, so that talent in the children of AIE centres can be displayed.



Importance of sports highlighted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 22
About 60 delegates from Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh participated in a national seminar on “Role of physical education and sports in society”, which was organised by Government College, Sector 1, here today.

YP Goswami, Controller of Examination, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, while inaugurating the seminar highlighted the importance of physical education and sports in the development of society.

Dr Rakesh Giri, associate professor in the department of yoga, headed the first technical session on importance and contribution of yoga in the development of society.

Earlier welcoming the delegates, Dr RC Goyal, college principal, highlighted the role of educational institutes in promoting physical education among youth.



Student injured as fan falls

Chandigarh, September 22
A third semester student of the department of laws today got injured after a ceiling fan fell down on him, while he was walking inside the classroom.

Today’s incident triggered concern among PU officials and students. Immediately after the accident, the university officials called for an ambulance and the student was taken to a hospital. When the injured student complained about the infrastructure, the department chairperson assured of getting the fans of the classrooms checked. — TNS



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