C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Basic policing on backseat in UT
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Motor vehicle thefts, burglaries, robberies, snatchings, thefts and assaults account for approximately 50 per cent of cases reported in the city till August-end, showing that basic policing has suffered heavily due to staff shortage, rallies, protests and VIP duties.

A perusal of crime reported in this period reveals that 549 cases of vehicle theft, 340 of theft, 133 of burglary, 104 of snatching, 50 of assault and brawl and 48 of robbery have been registered.

These cases are 47 per cent of the 2,590 cases registered during the period. The study of crime statistics available from 1995 also suggests that half of the crime during the past 15 years is the result of lack in basic policing.

In 1995, a total of 1,125 cases of theft, burglary, gambling, murder and causing hurt was registered, which was 53.77 per cent of the 2,092 cases registered.

In 2000, a total of 1,569 such cases was registered, which was 42.30 per cent of the total crime reported. In 2005, a little over half (50.71 per cent) of 3,936 cases for such crimes.

These figures do not include rape, kidnapping, abduction, eve-teasing, cheating, dacoity, possession of illegal weapons and smuggling of narcotics or liquor.

UT SSP Naunihal Singh saw a girl being harassed by three motorcyclists before joining the UT. A few days ago, a girl smashed windowpanes of the car of a person who was harassing her. City residents felt that the police had no liaison with them.

“Even if people have information about suspicious elements, they hesitate to share it with the police, fearing harassment,” said Baldev Singh of Sector 39.

Earlier this year, a gang of thieves struck at 11 shops in the city. The police had not been able to track them till now. A spate of snatchings at regular intervals in the city was not uncommon.

The scene outside liquor vends along main roads in the city was another indicator of the state of policing. People drinking in vehicles and then indulging in drunken driving continued unabated even as the police had conducted a drive occasionally.

Admitting that beat patrol was an essential part of policing for crime prevention, the SSP said, “We are encountering a staff crunch at this stage. Once the training of Indian Reserve Battalion is over, we will have adequate manpower to revive beat patrol. We have deployed 50 personnel with the PCR to strengthen field staff,” said the SSP.

The SSP had started a campaign against anti-social elements and couples in an objectionable manner sitting in parks in the city and told PCR personnel to conduct regular visits there.

Blot on cops’ face

The murder case of 23-year-old Neha Ahlawat, whose body was found at the entry gate of a residential colony in Sector 38-West on July 30, had not been cracked yet. “Call it the failure of the police in building trust among residents or people going insensitive to horrific incidents, no one has come forward with clues about the incident,” said local resident Harjot Singh. The police had also not been able to identify the man who was murdered and found hanging from a tree near the Iron Market in Sector 29 on June 25. The killers spent a lot of time to hang the body as it took four policemen to lower the body from the tree.



Money in hand, nod awaited
PU’s Gandhi Bhawan makeover caught in delays
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Patches on the ceiling indicating serious water leakage from the roof, a dingy committee room with partly broken lamp shades and rooms with no provision of air-conditioning, that is Gandhi Bhawan at Panjab University for you.

The renovation of the historic building, which is the most commonly used insignia by the university on its prospectus and handbook and is even used by the UT administration due to its heritage status, is caught up in an architectural and technical tangle.

Certain procedural delays, coupled with the objection of the architecture wing to retain the peripheral look and basic structure of the building, has added to the impediments in this renovation project. It is not that the authorities have ignored this heritage building.

Having been allocated sufficient funds for its makeover a few months ago, the bhawan awaits its chance to receive a nod for construction to finally begin on the site. An amount of Rs 50 lakh for its renovation was announced by the Vice-Chancellor from the funds received by the Centre.

A committee was formed to look into the renovation work of the bhawan after the announcement of funds, but the last meeting of this committee, which was scheduled for September, was cancelled.

Committee members claimed that they had worked out a solution to the architectural hitch, but none had a reply to the reason for delay in construction at the site.

A heavy downpour this season had caused more damage to the roof this year, said employees. Retention of water on the roof had been a major problem with the building.

Leakage persisted in floor tiles of the pool surrounding the bhawan and water in this pool was now visible only in photographs and presentations.

Students of the department of Gandhian Studies, who gathered for a seminar on Gandhi Jayanti, said the renovation of insignia of the university should be on the priority list. Others said it was too suffocating to sit inside the library to study.


Members of the committee formed to look into renovation work said generous funds had been sanctioned, but architectural and technical problems were causing delays.

‘Let’s Hope’

“The building has heritage status and hence, technical and architectural aspects need to be kept in mind. Architects have raised an objection and insisted that the basic look be the same. We are hopeful that construction will start shortly,” said JN Sharma, professor in the department of Gandhian Studies, who was a member of the committee.



Class X students in a bind over exam option
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Central Board of Secondary Education’s decision to make class 10 board examinations optional has left thousands of city students as well their parents in a dilemma over the type of exam to be taken at the end of year.

According to the latest notices issued by several city schools, students have been given a choice to attempt the school-conducted exam if they want to continue in the same institution or attempt the CBSE-conducted exam, which would be evaluated by external examiners if they opted to switch. The notices have taken parents by surprise, who are now in a fix over making the right choice.

“The results for the first term exams are still not out. My son came home with instructions asking us to convey our decision in writing on whether he’ll be taking the summative assessment-II (SA2) exam conducted by the school or the board. We’ve been given a week’s time but are clueless about the benefits or drawbacks of both options,” said Ruhana Singh, mother of a student of a school in Sector 26. “When my daughter’s teacher informed about the choice at the PTA meeting I asked for details but she had no clue. Even the school principal told us she was not very clear but said a student who doesn’t appear for the school exam may not be allowed to continue. We can’t decide on the basis of mere speculation,” revealed another parent.

HS Mamik, president of the Independent Schools Association, said: “Yes, according to the CBSE instructions we’ve asked students’ parents to make a choice. However, there’s no clarity on the issue. Parents are approaching school officials for help. We’re refraining from making any suggestions as we never know when the guidelines will change and parents might hold us responsible for a wrong decision.”

Schools have announced that only students opting for their exams will be allowed to stay in class 11.

Exam certificates are same: CBSE

“Everything has been clearly stated in our circular no 44, which is posted on our website. Students who plan to leave class 10 for another school in the CBSE stream could opt for either the school-conducted SA2 exam or the one conducted by the board as the certificates for both exams would be the same,” said CBSE regional director DR Yadav. 



Aerocity Draw
Applicants cry foul
Tribune News Service

A representative of a real estate agent notes down names of successful applicants during the draw of lots for Aerocity plots in Mohali on Saturday.
A representative of a real estate agent notes down names of successful applicants during the draw of lots for Aerocity plots in Mohali on Saturday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

Mohali, October 2
Interrupted by protests by a section of applicants in the freedom fighters category for not being considered for the draw, the draw of lots for plots measuring 250 sq yards was held by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) here today. A total of 589 plots in different categories were allotted.

Though the draw of lots for the general category was held without any objections, the moment the draw for the reserved categories was to start, a section of the applicants in the freedom fighters category sought information from GMADA officials as to why their names were not considered for the draw.

Vikram, one of the applicants, pointed out that while the Punjab government’s policy did not specify that plots could be allotted to sons and wards of freedom fighters, GMADA officials made it one of the sub-categories in the Aerocity brochure. It was against rules to mislead the applicants, he alleged.

Additional Chief Administrator, GMADA, Balwinder Multani, however, said the order of precedent had been followed as specified in the brochure. Referring to the involvement of real estate agents in the sale and purchase of plots during the draw, he said those successful in the draw of lots had not been guaranteed allotment. The document of every applicant would be verified and in case of doubt, the allotment could be cancelled. Multani was reacting after he saw a number of property dealers and real estate agents seated on most of the chairs.

In the general category, 381 applicants were successful while another 34 were kept in the waiting list.

Few applications 

In the 100 per cent disabled soldiers and gallantry award winners category, GMADA received two and nine applications against five and 10 plots, respectively. In the sportspersons category, there were 20 applications against 10 plots.


Bovine colostrum beneficial for human health
Arun Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, October 2
The first milk of mother is, of course, very beneficial for the health of the child, but very few persons are aware that such milk of cattle is also a boon for human health. Bovine colostrum, also known as “khees” or “bouli” in Haryana and Punjab, respectively, is very rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins.

This was stated by Dr BR Thapa, head, paediatric gastroenterology, PGI, while speaking at the national conference on paediatric gastroenterology and nutrition being held at the PGI, Chandigarh.

Human colostrum is low in fat, and high in carbohydrates, proteins and antibodies and hence helps in keeping the baby healthy. It gains these properties as the mother’s body had already become immune to many diseases in her lifetime, according to Dr Thapa.

Similar properties were present in bovine colostrum as well, he added. In fact, the colostrum of cow was richer in IgG antibodies than human colostrum. Vital growth factors in bovine colostrum were similar to those found in human colostrum. These stimulated growth, besides helping in regeneration and accelerating repair of muscles, skin, bones and nerve tissues, claimed Dr Thapa.

Moreover, bovine colostrum contained ingredients found beneficial in fighting many diseases among human beings, he said. This also helped in preventing diarrhoea among children when given for a longer time, he added. 



City sees wettest monsoon in decade
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Although meteorologists were not certain whether this year’s monsoon would turn out to be the wettest, rainfall in the city during the four months from June to September has been the heaviest for a decade, according to sources close to the Met. While the increasing heat, attributed to global warming, has broken a few records in the past couple of years, this year’s monsoon has been remarkable for the steady rainfall.

At 1,123.3 mm the city experienced the heaviest-ever monsoon rainfall in the past decade this year, meteorological department figures show.

Describing it as “excess” rainfall, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) director Surender Paul told The Tribune the seasonal downpour during this year’s monsoon was recorded at 1,123.3 mm - 276.7 mm more than the total average rainfall in the city in the whole monsoon period and 47.7 mm above normal in a year.

“This year the city witnessed a full-fledged monsoon after last year’s near dry spell. Chandigarh receives around 1,078 mm rainfall in the whole year with the monsoon months usually contributing about 846.6 mm. One major reason for this heavy downpour is the monsoon’s timely arrival in the city on July 5. It then rained at regular intervals in patches without any significant break”, he added.

Paul formally announced the monsoon, which entered the city on July 5, had finally withdrawn.



Prejudices, neglect brought to life
SD Sharma

Artistes stage the play ‘Mritunjaya’ in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Artistes stage the play ‘Mritunjaya’ in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, October 2
The Mask theatre, in association with the Fools Paradise theatre ensemble, staged the Hindi play ‘Mritunjaya’ at the Rock Garden open air theatre here today. Based on an original novel by Marathi author Shiwaji Sawant, young director Mohneesh Kalyan sculpted the play with certain aberrations suiting theatrical presentation.

The playwright borrowed the theme and characters from Mahabharata and based the play on the life of great fighter Karna, whose valour and wisdom went unrecognised. Karna’s life was full of tensions and dilemmas of the prejudices, neglect and psychological problems forced on him.

The improvised theatre was full to capacity and the audience relished the production. The actors were mostly from the Chitkara school of mass communication, with Jashn playing main protagonist Karna. Arun (Arjun), Vivek (Duryodhan), Pawan (Krishna), Neha (Kunti) lived up to their roles. Musical effects by Vivek and soothing singing by Rajan were other features of the play.



Poetic symposium by elderly
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 2
Ten well-known poets participated in a poetic symposium organised by the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association (chapter 6 ) at Guru Nanak Public School here today. The programme was held in memory of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri.

President of the association SS Lamba welcomed chief guest Naresh Kaushal, Editor, Dainik Tribune. He read out a poignant poem written by Rajbir Singh Deswal, IPS, depicting the anguish of senior citizens. It reads “Kal tak voh, jinko Sooraj milta tha meri chaukhat se, Aaaj khairat mien dete hain ujaale mujhko”.

Acclaimed young poet Sushil Hasrat took the centrestage and doled his choicest couplets while conducting the mushaira. The poets, who enthralled the audience with their poems, included Jai Gopal Ashq Amritsari, Dr Dharam Swaroop Gupt, Prem Vij, RK Malhotra , Balbir Bahri Tanha, Deepka Khetarpal, Darshan Mavi, Chaman Lal , Pawan Muntzir and also SS Lamba.

Interestingly, all young poets talked more of patriotism, environment, social ethics and society. While upcoming poet Munzir said “Aapne baap se hissab na ker, Tu bda karzdar niklega”, septuagenarian poet SS Lamba, however, doled out “Ley ke phoolon se adayein Usne, Tere hothon ko hansee di hogi?”. 



Father of the Nation remembered

Mohali: Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 65, organised a special assembly to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Class IV students conducted the assembly. A speech was delivered by Amanbhatt. Shruti of the same class recited a poem- “The man of honesty, the man of greatness, He is the Mahatma-Father of the Nation”. Highlighting his patience and gentle nature, Jagroop, too, recited a beautiful and inspiring poem- “His heart was full of love himself, he was truth incarnate and gentle like a done”.Students were dressed as great leaders of India.

Golden Bells Public School

Students of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The celebrations started with a bhajan “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram”.

Students depicted the life history of Gandhi through a play.

Tiny tots of the kindergarten section participated in a fancy-dress competition. Children were dressed as leaders. They also collected stamps with Gandhi’s pictures on it. Chairman of the school Col CS Bawa (retd) appreciated the efforts of students and encouraged them to follow the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi.

Shastri Model School

Birth anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri was celebrated at Shastri Model School today. A function was held. Poems and speeches were delivered by students and teachers.

Ram Lal Sewak (manager) put light on three qualities of Shastri- “Vinamar, Vaibhav and Vibhore”.

Shivalik School

At Shivalik Public School, Mohali, students presented a mesmerising show. Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of life and his innumerable achievements were showed to students through documentaries.

Around 54 students from different branches of Shivalik Public School took part in poem recitation. Participants were divided into three groups according to their classes. Participants enthralled audience with their performances. Students recited poems on topics like fashion, education, students and social customs.

Gurukul School

Gurukul World, Mohali, celebrated Gandhi Jayanti. American Gandhi Donald Mckwinchy graced the occasion. He interacted with children and shared his views on Gandhian principles and their implementation in day to day life. Students were given tips on spinning cotton on “Charkha” - the spinning wheel.

Smart Wonders School

Students of Smart Wonders School, Sector 71, Mohali celebrated the Girl Child Day. Mothers of students were the special guests.

Prominent personalities of the tricity graced the occasion. Noted Punjabi singer Dolly Guleria was the chief guest on the occasion. Her song “Baddhe chalo” (keep moving on) was liked by all. “A society which does not respect girls can never progress” was the message that principal of the school Upasna Babuta conveyed through her speech.

Interactive session

An interactive session was held at Doon International School, Sector 69, Mohali. Parents kept queries regarding the CCE before teachers. Vice-principal Madra said earlier, students had to go through a lot of anxiety regarding their marks and results. Now, with the introduction of the CCE, they would be benefited and their anxiety level would drop.

Moreover, teachers would also get an opportunity to nurture students’ talent. Nishi Dixit, Jaswinder Kaur and Tamanna Suri spoke on various parameters needed to assess a student. — TNS



Yuvsatta gets Rs 5 lakh grant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Delegates from various countries participated in the valedictory function of the international peace parade at the law auditorium in Panjab University here today.

The international delegates pledged to strengthen the initiative of spreading peace and Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda also joined them by unveiling the logo of next year’s peace fest. He offered a grant of Rs 5 lakh to Yuvsatta volunteers for the purpose.

Volunteers and peace delegates carried flags of different nations, and placards with peace slogans written on them. Students were accompanied by American Gandhis Donald Mac Avinchey and Bernie Meyer.

A blood donation camp was held. More than 500 persons donated blood. 



MC faces tough task in running new depts
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Managing the departments that have recently been transferred to it by the UT administration will not be a cakewalk for the municipal corporation. Officials have not only to complete the recruitment process for these departments within six months by framing a new policy but also have to create space for seating arrangements.

The departments shifted to the civic body include primary education, primary healthcare, roads, open spaces and all gardens.

A senior MC official said for the road and horticulture departments civic body plans to recruit about 70 personnel under various heads. Besides field staff for these two wings, civic officials will also have to create the posts of superintending engineer, executive engineer, subdivisional officer and junior engineer after the transfer of these departments.

Officials said it would not be an easy task for them to recruit staff for these two departments as the recruitment and promotion policy is hanging fire for the past 14 years. “For the past two years no recruitment has taken place in the corporation in any department, even though 1,200 posts have been lying vacant in various departments, as there are no service rules. How the authorities will recruit staff for these fresh departments is a big question mark,” the officials added.

UT administration records show most of the posts in the horticulture department have been lying vacant as majority of the horticulture staff has either retired or sent back to their parent state. Even in the MC’s road wing 158 posts are lying vacant and in the horticulture wing 107 posts are lying vacant.

However, for primary health and education the authorities have to recruit staff as the service rules are already available.

Another challenge that MC officials will have to face is to accommodate fresh staff as the corporation is already facing a space shortage due to which staff of three major departments is sitting in the basement parking space of the corporation building. As the building plan for the extension of the MC building has not been approved by the UT chief architect department.

‘Service rules soon’

MC commissioner Roshan Sunkaria said the civic body will shortly frame service rules for recruiting staff and will accommodate them in other buildings till extension work in existing buildings is completed.



Mohali divided into 4 zones for cleaning purposes
Our Correspondent

With dustbins full to the brim, garbage remains littered in Mohali.
With dustbins full to the brim, garbage remains littered in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, October 2
In order to improve the state of sanitation in Mohali, the municipal council has proposed to spend a sum of nearly Rs 2.75 crore and divide the work in two parts before giving it on contract for another year.

Municipal councillors had been making a hue and cry about the state of sanitation in the town at almost every monthly meeting of the council but not much improvement was brought about despite the work being allotted to contactors with stricter terms and conditions.

The council has now proposed to divide the work into two parts - cleaning the town, including the curb channels, and dumping the garbage from collection points. While the civic body has proposed to spend about Rs 2.23 crore on the cleaning part, a sum of more than Rs 50 lakh has been estimated to be spent on dumping garbage.

The town has been divided into four zones for cleaning purposes. Zone one consists of Phases I, II, III, IV and VI, zone two includes Phases III-A, III-B1, III-B2, VII and VIII, zone three will have Phases IX to XI, Sector 48-C and Industrial Area, Phase IX. Sectors 70, 71, Phase V and Industrial Area, Phases VII and VIII will fall in zone four.

Malkeet Singh, a resident of Phase IV, said heaps of garbage, dry leaves and garden waste could often be seen lying in different parts of the town. Road berms remained in a state of neglect generally. Garbage lying along the main road next to the mango garden was a common sight.

Rajinder Singh Rana, president of the council, also admitted that complaints of garbage lying scattered near the collection points were received. Earlier, garbage was lifted once a day and if someone dumped it again after a collection point was cleared it kept lying there till the 
next day.

Now, the work of lifting and dumping garbage would be allotted separately and the contractor would have to clear the collection points several times during the day inorder to improve the state of sanitation.



Proposal of Mohali corporation
Keep Zirakpur out, says Garcha
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 2
A member of the All India Congress Committee and former general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha has appealed to all municipal councillors of the town to keep Zirakpur and surrounding areas out of the limits of the proposed Mohali corporation while approving the proposal.

In a letter, copies of which were sent to all 30 councillors of Mohali, Garcha requested them not to include Zirakpur and surrounding areas as such a move would adversely affect the development of the town.

People of the town had elected them to protect the interests of the residents and they should keep that fact in mind while taking a decision on the upgradation of the local civic body into a corporation.

She urged them to rise above political intricacies and take a decision keeping in view the development of Mohali.

Garcha further said that she was not against the upgradation of the council into a corporation, but did not want that the future of the town was put at stake for petty political interests.

She said the limits of the civic body should be increased, including Sectors 66 to 80, and other areas should be included after proper discussion on all aspects of the issue.



Cong workers block highway to remember Gandhi
Tribune News Service

Congress workers, along with shopkeepers, celebrate Gandhi Jayanti beneath the Zirakpur flyover on Saturday.
Congress workers, along with shopkeepers, celebrate Gandhi Jayanti beneath the Zirakpur flyover on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, October 2
Congress leaders, in association with local shopkeepers, today celebrated Gandhi Jayanti beneath the Zirakpur flyover, which led to disruption of highway traffic for hours here.

Hundreds of vehicles remained stuck in the jam due to haphazard parking of vehicles, belonging to Congress leaders, on the road sides. Even the traffic police remained mute spectators.

Local Congress leaders and their supporters attended the function and paid tributes to the Father of Nation.

While talking to a GMR official about the function organised beneath the flyover, he stated that nobody had taken permission to hold such a function and a report in this regard would be sent to the National Highways Authority of India.



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