C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fourfold rise in dengue cases
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Dengue cases in the city have gone up nearly four times compared to last year and the number is rising steadily.

Health department officials mince no words in blaming public apathy for the rise in dengue after checking coolers in houses, particularly Sector 15, where at least 165 desert coolers were emptied for these were potential sites for the breeding of dengue mosquitoes. Till now, 87 cases of dengue fever have been reported from various parts of the city. Seventeen of them are from Sector 15. Last year, only 25 cases of dengue were reported in the city.

During a survey of Sector 15 by workers of the health department last month, 165 desert coolers were found full of water and these were not even being used.

Health officials have ordered intensive fogging in the area. Sources in the health department said several residents had not bothered to drain water from coolers even after it was pointed out by officials during the survey.

Sector 15 was not an isolated case. The attitude in almost every area visited by the officials in the city was the same, the sources said. This was despite the fact that advertisements were placed and banners installed at prominent places to create awareness among the masses about dengue and malaria.

The sources said in a city with a population of more than 12 lakh, it was expected that the number of coolers would not be less than three lakh and it was impossible to keep a check with the resources at the disposal of the vector borne diseases programme department. Dr GC Bansal, assistant director malaria-cum-state surveillance officer (IDSP), said dengue was extremely painful and could be life threatening. 



Protest over ‘wrong’ CHB notices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
High drama prevailed at the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) office in Sector 9 when the board’s secretary, MM Sabharwal, called up the police and then left immediately after over 200 Sector 45 residents, whom he had summoned there, protested after he attended to only a few of them.

The residents claimed Sabharwal had asked the residents to come to the office at 11 am for a hearing regarding notices on violations in their houses issued to them, but then left after giving a hearing to only about ten of them. Eventually, the matter was resolved at about 3:30 pm after the residents were first asked to line up for token numbers and then given specific dates for a hearing.

The residents were also incensed that these notices were wrongly sent to them as most of the changes they had made were within the permissible limits and did not violated any board regulations.

RS Khural, a lawyer and one of the Sector 45 residents, has stated in his reply to the CHB that contrary to the notice issued to him, he had not encroached on any government land and that his car garage was within 70 feet in length according to the approved drawing sent along with the allotment letter issued by the board.

The residents also alleged that the “wrong” were sent at the behest of a CHB executive engineer (name withheld since his version was unavailable) residing in the same area who, they said, had himself committed “blatant violations” in his house. The residents claimed the engineer had, among the infringements, constructed a room with a toilet at the rear of his house, another toilet in the car garage and installed a main gate in the open space in front of the house. When contacted, Sabharwal said: “The residents had come to my office even yesterday and I had called them for a hearing at 11 am today. I attended to a few of them but had to leave to attend the cremation of a deceased employee at 12.30 pm. The problem began when a few of the residents forcibly entered my room, so I called up the police in order to pacify them.”

Notice served on XEN

Regarding the alleged violations committed by the CHB executive engineer, the board’s secretary, MM Sabharwal, said: “We’re already examining the case and have served a notice on him. For the CHB everyone is equal, whether he’s an employee or a resident. Whoever makes an unregularised or an uncompoundable change in the house is liable for action.”



school recognition
UT’s selectiveness draws flak
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Privately run schools are peeved over the different set of rules followed by the UT education department on regulating primary and secondary education. While certain schools have been targeted by being denied any extension in recognition many others have been granted provisional extension on the same grounds.

Some schools that have not yet been recognised after 2005 are still functioning normally while a school finishing its term in March 2010 has not been given any extension. The department’s official website shows that extension for St Stephens School, Sector 45, which was affiliated till March 2005, was “still under process”. Strawberry Fields School, Sector 26, recognised till March 31, has already been refused any extension.

The cases of St Stephens, which has been affiliated till March 2005, First Steps, Sector 25 (till March 2006), Kids R Kids (till March 2007), New Public School, Sector 18 (till March 2008), SD Public School, Sector 32 (till March 2006) and St Xavier, Sector 44 (till March 2009), besides many other schools, are shown to be “under process” on the website.

The UT administration is being accused of adopting a “pick and choose policy” in targeting educational institutions. St John’s High School, Vivek High School, Shivalik Public School and Strawberry Fields School are at the centre of the controversy. Vivek High School and Shivalik School have gone to court over the issue.

It has been learnt the administration is considering a proposal to do away with provisional recognitions. “Either a school is recognized or not”, a senior official said. The move will face opposition as schools feel they should be given a chance to make amends, if any are sought.

On one side the issue of reservation in St John’s High School has landed on the table of the minority commission. At the same time the education department’s website shows that KB DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, Sri Aurobindo School of Integral Education, Sector 27, Stepping Stones, Sector 37, St Josephs, Sector 44 and Shishu Niketan Model School, Sector 43 besides several others with far less than the required reservation.

Under the old order Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Sector 27 was given provisional recognition despite not meeting the reservation norms, no justification for funds and problems relating to building bylaws. Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, has been given provisional recognition despite noncompliance with reservation for EWS students, no justification for fees and building violations. Strawberry Fields had not been given extension, not even provisional, on the same grounds.

It is also felt that certain schools, particularly Vivek High School, St John’s, Strawberry Fields and Shivalik Public School were being singled out by the administration despite glaring shortcomings in other schools on similar grounds. One common grouse among schools is the need for a balanced inspection committee, including private school heads, keeping in minds the educational requirements, instead of acting on an ad hoc basis.


l No uniform policy in granting extension. No review done for certain schools, which were last given extension till 2005, while it has been done for those granted extension later

l Admn being selective on issue of 15 per cent reservation for EWS students

l Certain schools, particularly in the ‘permanent affiliation’ category, not checked regularly

l Provision for mandatory reservation challenged


In a reply filed in the case CWOP 4909 of 2010 listed as ‘Hemant Goswami vs Union of India and Others,’ the UT administration has pointed out:

l Admn has allotted land to all these educational institutions at concessional rates keeping in consideration the fact they would not become profitable business organizations. The rates were as low as Rs 6, Rs 10 and Rs 15 per square yard

l Privately run schools are charging exorbitant fees with difference as wide as Rs 1,903 per year in government schools against Rs 1,110,000 per year in a private school

UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas said he would not like to comment on the issue as the matter was sub judice.



Most milk samples fail
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
As many as 32 samples of milk out of 43 collected from houses in Sector 27 here today were found adulterated. While all samples had 52 per cent water, the only consolation for consumers was that no substance hazardous to health was found.

On the request of the Resident Welfare Association of Sector 20, officials of the Punjab Dairy Development Board and Punjab Dairy Development Department collected samples in Sector 27. Yesterday, at least 23 samples were taken from Sector 20, where only 13 were found pure. Up to 42 per cent water was found in the remaining samples.

However, objecting to the drive, Jarnail Singh, a milkman, said: “The drive is nothing more than harassment. What about other adulterated products being sold in the market?”

“A buffalo costs Rs 40,000 and overhead expenses have soared. The consumer is not ready to increase the price of milk, compelling us to resort to unfair practices,” Ranjit, another milkman, complained.


Consumer is king this Diwali
Three major fairs woo consumers this festive season
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The consumer is king in the run-up to this Diwali. With plenty of gift options available at the three major sale-cum-exhibitions, shoppers will have an array of gift items with attractive schemes to lay their hands on this festive season.

Organisers of the Chandigarh National Crafts Mela at Kala Gram, the CII Fair at the Parade Ground in Sector 17 and the Diwali International Fair at Sector 34 seem to have smartly worked out dates as the three fairs are coinciding with Diwali, throwing a win-win situation for both participants and shoppers at the fairs.

While participants will do good business, shoppers will have a wide variety to choose from at the hundreds of stalls.

“With wares of the best of Indian artisans available at the crafts mela, discerning people from the region will have an opportunity to get the best handicrafts at reasonable rates. The crafts mela from October 26 to November 4 perfectly coincides with the Diwali season, making it a perfect business venture,” claims Ram Niwas, Home Secretary.

Raman Sharma, organiser of the Diwali fair, asserts that around 200 stalls at the fair showcase the gifts and items of daily use catering to all budgets.

“Around 50 stalls by Kashmiri artisans with woollens items are an added attraction for winter and the festive season,” he adds.

The CII Fair, which offers home decor products, electronics items, handicrafts and automobiles, besides items of daily use, usually draws huge crowds.

The special attractions this time, Pakistani ‘juttis’ and Afghani carpets and dry fruits, should draw more crowds, a CII representative says, adding that residents look forward to this annual trade extravaganza.

Residents say 

With major markets remaining chockablock during the festive season in the backdrop of traffic jams, these fairs provide gift and items of daily use under one roof.

“Instead of running around the city scouting for Diwali gifts, trade fairs provide a perfect shopping destination during the festive season,” says Aruna Sharma, an IT professional.

Echoing similar sentiments, Sameer Saksena, a businessman, says time is a major constraint during the festive season and trade fairs provide items at one venue, saving them time.

The wide variety available at the fairs also helps residents in striking a good bargain, he adds.

Fair Advantage

l Best of Indian handicrafts at fairs

l Items suiting every Budget under one roof

l Pakistani, Afghani items at the CII fair

l Discount, promotion schemes added attractions



F&CC skips its job
No time for action taken report in 90 minutes
Aarti Kapur/TNS

Chandigarh, October 27
The meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the municipal corporation (MC) today rubbished the action taken report, pointing out that it was a shoddy job.

The members, instead, spent an hour and-a-half discussing issues not remotely related to the committee. The time was spent on reshuffling the work profiles of officials, which was not the job of the F&CC.

The action taken report pertained to various development works cleared by the MC in the past three years, including roads at Sectors 7, 11, 30, 37 and 45, Industrial Area, Burail and Hallo Majra; new paid parking lots at Sector 9 and Mani Majra, with a shelter in each parking; paver blocks at Sectors 22, 8, 9, 38-West and 45, Industrial Area and Mauli Jagran; road gullies at Sector 52, Vikas Nagar and Mauli Jagran; and first-floor construction for the community centres at Sector 28 and Mani Majra.

The glaring discrepancy in preparing the report for discussion was the reason nothing had come up for discussion in the last two meetings as well, which were postponed. “Atrocious”, a councillor remarked, on the condition of anonymity.

Mayor Anu Chatrath, who chaired the meeting, directed MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda to prepare a fresh report and table it during the F&CC meeting scheduled for November 8.

Confirming the proceedings, a senior councillor said, “No objection was raised to the discussion at the meeting and no item concerning corporation finances came up.”

Committee members made suggestions to change work profiles of different officials deployed in various departments. Members said one official should be given charge of the enforcement department as division between two officials created confusion.

The members also objected to the delay in implementation of their directions regarding transferring the supervision of paid parking to the subdivisional officer with the road wing, which was approved by the committee in February.

Suggestions were made on proper work division among executive engineers of various departments for bringing about efficiency in the completion of development projects.

The members directed the Chief Engineer to prepare a fresh proposal to suggest a hike in rates of raw material for projects as contractors were not bidding for the work due to low prices fixed by the authorities, resulting in delay.

The members also directed officials to visit the sites which were being illegally used by tourist bus owners as parking lots, due to which the MC was suffering heavy losses. The members complained about the condition of public toilets around parks and directed the officials to improve their condition at the earliest.



Dharna by safai sewaks 
Demand abolition of contract system
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 27
Members of the Safai Mazdoor Union staged a dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

The protesters squatted on the main road, holding banners and raised slogans against the government.

They also burnt an effigy of the Punjab government and demanded that the contract system be abolished as it led to the exploitation of employees.

The police had to divert traffic during the time of the protest.

Suraj Bhan, president of the union, said contractual employees should be recruited on a regular basis. Contractual employees should get salaries in accordance with the Fifth Pay Commission. He said the Punjab Finance Minister had justified the subsidies being given to rich people. By abolishing octroi, the government had also given major financial benefits to businessmen. But safai sewaks who were getting only Rs 10,000 a month were being compelled to work on a contractual basis for a meagre sum of Rs 3,000.

The protesters said if the government did not accept their genuine demands, the agitation would be intensified.

A memorandum was given to the Deputy Commissioner, in which it was demanded that arrears of the Fifth Pay Commission be released immediately, remaining recommendations should be implemented and a retired judge of the High Court be appointed chairman of the anomalies committee. They also demanded that contract with a Mumbai-based company for sanitation work be cancelled, as employees did not want to work  like slaves.



3 Pak nationals rounded up, freed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
A visit of three Pakistan nationals to the city left them with a sour experience when they were picked up the police on suspicion here today.

It all started when the Pakistan nationals, who had come to the city to participate in the national craft mela at Kala Gram, had an altercation with a shopkeeper. They had gone to buy mobile phone recharge coupons.

Sources said the trio got agitated after the shopkeeper took a while to entertain them. They shouted at the shopkeeper, who in turn called the police.

“They were talking in a different accent and the shopkeeper suspected that they were using foul language. The accent triggered the misunderstanding, which resulted in unnecessary quizzing of the visitors,” a police officer said.

A police control room vehicle reached the spot and when the police found that the trio were Pakistanis, the area police was asked to verify their antecedents.

A police team from the Sector 22 police post took them to the police post for verification. DSP (Central) Jagbir Singh said the trio revealed that they had come to participate in the mela and were staying at a hotel in Sector 22.

The police later released them after verifying their antecedents, passport and visa.



Food adulteration conviction rate low
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The conviction rate in food adulteration cases at the district courts here continues to be low.

According to data, in the past one year, courts have pronounced orders in 70 food adulteration cases and 26 persons have been convicted.

The courts have 513 cases of food adulteration pending. Orders have been pronounced in such cases even 23 years after taking food samples. In certain cases, the food inspector concerned has failed to depose in court.

Prem Lal, owner of Sona Spices Private Limited at the Industrial Area here, had two cases filed by the health department against him. One case was filed in 1986 and the other in 1987.

The food inspector had taken a sample of turmeric powder, which was found to contain colour. The court acquitted Prem Lal.

In some cases against persons from whom adulterated food samples were seized, the food inspector had not posed as a private buyer and the accused were given a clean chit by the court.

The food inspector had taken samples of vegetable oil from ‘karyana’ store owner Joginder Singh on October 8, 1999. He was acquitted by Chief Judicial Magistrate JS Sidhu in August this year. The court had observed, “The food inspector had taken the sample in capacity of a food inspector and not as an ordinary purchaser. Provisions of Section 20, read with Section 12, of the Act cannot be pressed and hence, the complaint is rejected.”

A food inspector had seized wheat from Kuldeep Singh, owner of Kuldeep Karyana Store at Mauli Jagran, in August, 2004. The court gave him a clean chit as the food inspector did not appear in court for his cross-examination and the prosecution surrendered another witness.

The courts had let off a few persons against whom cases were filed by the health department under the Food Adulteration Act as summons were not served on witnesses.

A curd sample was taken from a sweetmeat and fast food shop at Attawa village, owned by Bhupinder Singh, in June, 2001. The court acquitted him in May this year as summons served on prosecution witnesses were received back unserved.

Those held guilty by court had got a minimum sentence of one day of sitting in court and a maximum of imprisonment for a few months.



Sweets to pinch pocket more
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Those with a sweet tooth may have a toothache this season, thanks to the soaring prices of sweets. With the onset of the festive season, the prices of sweets have risen and are likely to increase further.

The cost of popular sweets has increased by between 5 and 7 per cent at the city’s premier sweets shops, courtesy the rise in cost of milk.

Popular sweet shop owners have confirmed that the cost of every ‘mithai’ has risen by around Rs 20 per kilogram in the city. While a few sweets shops owners attribute this to the festive season, others say expensive dry fruits and the rise in price of milk are affecting the cost. Sweets shops have an array of sumptuous ‘mithai’ on shelves, that may grab buyers’ attention.

The price of the economical ‘khoya barfi’ has gone up from Rs 220 per kg last week to Rs 240 per kg. The prices of sweets with dry fruits have increased by around 7 per cent.

One of the owners of Sindhi Sweets at Sector 17 says, “The price of milk increased this summer. This is bound to have an affect on prices of sweets.”

The prices of two varieties of milk have increased from Rs 24 to 26 per litre and Rs 28 to 30 per litre.

The price of ‘motichoor laddoos’ prepared with ‘desi ghee’ has not fluctuated. Prices of ‘kaju barfi’, ‘panjiri barfi’, ‘kalakand’ and milkcake have gone up by 5 per cent.

Speaking on the increasing popularity of sweets, Sharanjit Singh of Gopal Sweets at Sector 8 says, “Sweets are sold like hot cakes on any occasion. Be it a festival or marriage, sweets are always in demand. Before Diwali, all local sweets shops are jampacked.”



Too tempting to resist
Sweets shops have an array of irresistible designer sweets in different shapes and sizes on the shelves, which are sureshot eye catchers. Swati Sharma and lensman Parvesh Chauhan make the rounds.

Subtle Strawberry (Rs 500/kg)

Cashewnut paste blended with ‘suji’ and ‘pista’ in shades of pastel green with ‘laung’ on top, it is bound to melt as you bite into it.

Appetising Apple (Rs 500/kg)

Prepared with powdered dry fruits and ‘kesar’ in shades of yellow matched with deep red, it resembles apples.

Patlava from Dubai (Rs 750/kg)

For the diet conscious and those who want sugar-free sweets, it is prepared in honey and baked with ‘pista’ and other dry fruits.

Sweet Samosa (Rs 500/kg)

Shaped like ‘samosas’, it tastes like ‘kaju barfi’ and can be tried by those bored with ‘kaju barfi’ in rhombus shapes.

Petite Kalash (Rs 500/kg)

Topped with ‘pista’ and stuffed with cashewnuts, it is not much different in shape than a ‘kalash’.



Alive but not kicking
City centre presents a neglected picture as lack of basic amenities keeps prospective investors away
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 27
Patterned on Chandigarh’s commercial hub, Sector 17, the commercial centre in Sector 5 here seems to be losing its steam due to lack of commercial activities.

Barring some banks, hotels and a multiplex, the city centre presents a neglected picture, as authorities have failed to develop the sector into a major shopping centre.

Authorities had grand plans for the area to set up eight shopping malls, eight theatres and scores of showrooms. But presently, there are showrooms selling consumer items in various sectors, including Sector 11, 7, 9, and 10.

However, in the absence of a major commercial centre here, residents still prefer to visit shopping arcades in Sectors 17 and Sector 22 in Chandigarh causing a huge revenue loss to the state exchequer.

HUDA had invited auction bids for a multiplex in 2007, but that, too, had to be withdrawn, as no one was ready to purchase the plot even at the reserved price.

Lack of basic amenities, growth of wild grass at vacant adjoining plots and damaged roads have discouraged the prospective investors.

HUDA had auctioned two sites, one for a multiplex and another for a hotel in 2005. The hotel is functioning since past one month, while the multiplex near the UHBVN Chowk started about two years ago. Some hotels had been set up in the sector near the KC Cinema, but they are yet to get a break.

HUDA Administrator Surjit Singh said it was the work of City Town Planner (CTP) of HUDA to submit details of the plots to be auctioned.

However, CTP BBL Kaushik, failed to give any details in this regard.

BJP leader and vice-president of Municipal Council BB Singal said no attention was being given to the development of the city.

He said even though the HUDA had invited bids to auction the commercial plots in the sector, but due to huge reserve price no one was coming forth to set up business in the area.

He said the authorities had failed to develop the required infrastructure in the area.

SK Nayyar, president of the Senior Citizens’ welfare Association, said HUDA had deviated from its original slogan of “HUDA for the Masses”. He said now it was finding ways to earn more money and was least interested in improving the city’s infrastructure.



Back to the front
Violators use rear side as the main entrance and green space to park vehicles
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 27
Illegal construction in independent houses constructed by the Haryana Housing Board in various sectors of Panchkula has drawn flak, as owners have totally changed the rear view of the houses.

Besides, violators had started using the rear side as the main entrance using the green space for parking their four-wheelers.

Sectors 19, 15, 10 and 18 are the main sectors where the house owners have covered almost 100 per cent of the area. Some residents were using the same for residential purposes, while the others were using the same for commercial purposes, as these were connected with main separating roads.

Residents say that authorities should form some uniform policies so as to avoid grievances, while covering some open area in their houses to meet the growing requirements.

Even the children were now demanding separate rooms and for this they have to make alteration in the houses, they added.

Some residents even rued that the authorities had slapped notices on them when they had installed small gates on the rear side of their houses besides imposing heavy fines.

They said earlier the covered area was much less, as compared to the private ones where one could cover up to 65 per cent of the plot area. But due to lenient policies, residents had covered the open area, they added.

Estate Officer Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Ashwani Sharma, said he had received several complaints. He said as the Haryana Housing Board constructed the houses, he was trying to get information in whose jurisdiction these houses fell.

One of the residents said he had filed applications under the Right to Information with the HUDA to know whether the authorities had permitted to the cover the open spaces in the housing board houses. He said he was yet to receive any reply from the authorities concerned. 



Mission space captures students’ fancy
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 27
Models of various communication satellites, including weather forecasting satellite — Kalpana, remote sensing satellites- Cartosat-2, Resourcesat and the Astosat were the major attractions for the students at Indradhanush Auditorium in Sector 5 here today.

The exhibition on space was set up by ISRO and organised by Dikshant Group of Schools. It was inaugurated by Haryana governor Jagannath Pahadia. The main highlight of the exhibition included “India in space’’ put up by ISRO and India’s work in the field of space, especially moon mission.

Lauding the event, Pahadia said such space science exhibitions highlighting the achievements of ISRO would inspire students.

The special focus of the exhibition was Chandrayaan mission of ISRO. The students were shown films on the Chandrayaan mission and how rocket was launched.

Prof Pramod Kale, Pankaj Killedar, MC Uttam, Mohan, Suresh Naik and Prof Balgangadharan were prominent speakers on the second day of the conference.



HC chips in with Rs 4.75 lakh for Uttarakhand flood victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has become the first judicial institution in this part of the country to contribute for relief work going on in Uttarakhand by presenting a cheque for Rs 2.75 lakh. Complimenting the High Court’s efforts, the Bar Association too contributed Rs 2 lakh.

The development is significant as the bureaucracy in this part of the region has not made a momentous effort to generate funds for the flashflood and landslide victims.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, Justice Mukul Mudgal, presented the cheque to Uttarakhand Food and Civil Supplies Secretary Dilbag Singh at an impressive ceremony held this afternoon. It was attended by High Court Judges, Bar Association members and the media.

After receiving the cheque, Dilbag Singh said it would act as oxygen and give an impetus to the ongoing efforts. Available information suggests that for “showing solidarity with the victims of flashfloods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in several districts of Uttarakhand”, a meeting of the Judges was held on October 27.

Those killed in the natural calamity were remembered and it was decided to “help the victims of the natural calamity”. An appeal was also made to the High Court Bar Association, judicial officers posted in the states of Punjab and Haryana and also to High Court employees to contribute.

The High Court had earlier dispatched 1,200 blankets, and 10,000 pullovers for the Leh victims.



Crafts Mela a foodies delight
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The second “National Crafts Mela” at Kalagram has been attracting food lovers to “street food of India” stalls.

The exclusive and large food court at Kalagram has an elaborate menu to offer to the foodies. Right from national and international cuisines, the special efforts have been made by the organisers to have different state food stalls there.

Rajasthan state has opened an “Apno Rajasthani” resturant, a special food stall offering Rajasthani thali, bajre ki roti, kathi gatta with lasan ki chatni and raita, dal batti churma, churma ladoo, aloo kachehri ki sabzi and pethe ki sabzi with bajre ki roti.

“Citco da Vehra” is offering its traditional saag and makki ki roti, amritsari kulche, channa bhatura, gur ka halwa, chaat papri, gol gappe, aloo tikki, rajma chawal, tilla kulfi, jalebi and chatti di lassi .

Visitors are just loving the “Delhi Rasoi”, a stall put up by famous chefs from Chandni Chowk. The visitors can relish delights of Chandni Chowki like dahi bhalla, pappdi chat, Delhi special kachori with masala aloo, moong dal ladoo with bharwa masala mirch, special kulfi faluda and chhole bhature. To enjoy the international food, one can visit stall put up by Hotel Rio, offering Brazilian and Italian cuisines.

The stall put by Chandigarh Ashok has sumptuous pasta menu on its platter specially for children. Adjacent to it is another Rajasthani special counter offering dal batti churma, bajre ki roti ker sangria thali, mung dal kachori, jodhpuri mircha vada, jodhpuri mawa kachori, mungi dal halwas, churma ladoo, aaloo paneer, tikki and Rajasthani marwadi kulfi

Besides this, Haryana Tourism stall is offering kathi roll, french fries, veg pizza, potato basket, amritsari kulche choley, vegetable chowmein, spring rolls, lassi , tomato soup and kulfi. South Indians food lovers can relish Sundaram’s masala dosa, mix veg uthapam, idli and dahi vada. Whereas the Treat Point stall has five-flavored golgappa, chinese noodles, burger and aloo tikki made in pure desi ghee.

The UT administration has roped in Gohana’s special Jalebi on popular demand. One piece of this Jalebi weighs 250 grams and is prepared in pure desi ghee.



Infantry Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Infantry Day was observed at Western Command Headquarters, Chandi Mandir, today with a solemn wreath laying ceremony to pay tributes to martyrs.

It was on this day in 1947 that Indian soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the Sikh Regiment landed at Srinagar to defend the valley against Pakistani raiders.

Known as “Queen of the Battlefield”, infantry is the largest component and premier fighting arm of the Army.

A special sainik sammelan, addressed by Brigadier PM Hariz, Brigadier General Staff (Operations), Western Command, was also organised.

A social evening at the Shivalik Officers Institute, where serving infantry officers got an opportunity to interact with veterans and barakhana in all infantry battalions were also organised.



Philosophical Punjabi play leaves audience awestruck
SD Sharma

Panchkula, October 27
“Change is the law of nature and life, too, is a process of constant move and perpetual change, but this universal truth is sadly forgotten or abandoned in the world of ‘isms’.” This explosive reality was recovered and illustrated in a philosophical Punjabi play “Qatra qatra zindagi” staged on the third day of the ongoing TFT- Oscar Theatre Fest-2010 at the Inderdhanush auditorium here today.

The play written, directed and enacted by Devinder Daman, along with his theatre and life partner Jaswant Daman saw the couple at the apex of their genius. They brought alive the “life” in all its manifestations on stage through a creative confrontation with the script. Chief guest VK Sood honoured the artistes.

Earlier, the TFT-Oscar Theatre Festival, jointly organised by the Theatre for Theatre and Oscar Institute of Performing Arts commenced on a divine note with the staging of “Shree Krishna Leela” on October 25. The light, sound and theatrical spectacle, ably directed by ace actor Mukesh Sharma depicted a slice of mythological epic, Mahabharata, with élan before the scant, but receptive audience.

Replete with bhajan, melodious songs and hymns, the spectacular show covered the episodes of “Devki Vivah” to “Kans Vadh”, depicting various aspects of spiritual wisdom of Lord Krishna.

On the second day, a Punjabi play “Loha Kut” bared the plight of subjugated women and their struggle for resurrection in the otherwise male-dominated society. While as per our old scriptures and epics, woman had been extolled as an angle and goddess, but over the centuries, the situation has changed drastically and in the male-dominated society, female were subjected to subjugation and were given a secondary status. Written by legendary Punjabi playwright Balwant Gargi, the play structured in the rural ambience depicted the plight of a village woman, Shanti, and her young daughter, Bainu. Hindi comedy play “Station” will provide grand finale to the four-day fest tomorrow at the Inderdhanush auditorium.



VAT hike flayed 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The decision of the Chandigarh administration to hike VAT on essential commodities from 4 per cent to 5 per cent has come in for severe criticism from the trading community.

Neeraj Bajaj, chairman of the Chandigarh Business Council, alleged that the increase would make cost of living dearer for the common man. This, coupled with the increase in the general cost of essential commodities, would have an adverse impact the household budgets, he claimed.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal termed the hike as unjustified which would increase the inflationary trends in the economy.



Conference concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
On the concluding day of the UGC-sponsored two-day national conference on “Rural India in a global village: Issues and perspectives”, organised by the department of sociology of Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, four technical sessions were held today.

Rural ecology was the sub-theme of the second session that was chaired by Dr Madhurima, while the third technical session revolved around “Women in rural India”.



Dharnas by college teachers from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The Joint Action Committee of Teaching and Non-teaching Staff of aided colleges of Chandigarh held a meeting yesterday to discuss the delay in releasing revised pay scales to non-teaching staff from January, 2006 and payment of arrears to teaching staff.

The committee decided to celebrate Diwali as Black Diwali in protest to non-release of revised pay scales of non-teaching staff and arrears of pay scale for teaching staff of aided colleges. These employees will sit on dharnas in rotation in each college for two hours daily. The first dharna will be held on 28th October 2010 at 11am in SGGS College, Sector 26, Chandigarh and the second on November 2, 2010 at 11am in DAV College, Sector 10. The dates of remaining dharnas at SD College, Sector 32, MCM DAV College, Sector 36, Dev Samaj College, Sector 45 and GGS College for Women, Sector 26, Chandigarh will be announced later on. — TNS



Vacant Posts of Deputy Director
Education dept accused of favouring DEO
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
The UT education department’s troubles over vacant twin posts of deputy director, adult education, seem to be far from over. On one hand, it has failed to convince any lecturer or principal to opt for these ex-cadre posts, on the other, it is being accused of favouring Chanchal Singh, current district education officer (DEO), by not posting him there, despite him being the senior most.

“The posts are not a part of the current cadre, so nobody wants to take them up. As per the practice, it is the senior-most employee, who should take up the post. As per the seniority, it’s Chanchal Singh’s turn, but he is not ready to leave the chair of DEO. The DPI has called many meetings, but has never asked Chanchal to take up this post. It is sheer biasness, which is hampering everybody’s promotions,” said a senior official of the UT education department.

According to senior officials, the problem has cropped up due to the lack of fixed policy. The posts are outside the cadre, as they are of a Central project. There can be no compulsion to join it and it is generally on voluntary basis. The department has circulated the vacancy notice almost three times in the last two months, but nobody has opted for them.

The department is currently functioning with two assistant deputy directors.

Meanwhile, the department of adult education seems to stand vestigial to the UT to high literacy rate. While no fresh scheme has been circulated at the local level, since five year many Central schemes are not applicable because of the literacy rate.

The post is ex-cadre post and is optional. I was given an option and I refused 20 other persons. There is no norm, no policy or even tradition of the senior-most person taking up the post, so I have the right to exercise my choice. I don’t understand the reason of this hue and cry, as I am not the only one to have rejected the post.

— DEO Chanchal Singh

We are not favouring anybody and flouting any norms. How can we give right of choice to one person and deny it to the other. Yes, nobody is willing to take the post so far. We are having a meeting on this issue and will soon get a solution.

— DPI (S) PK Sharma



150 take online CAT on Day I
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Common Aptitude Test-2010 (CAT-2010), an entrance exam for admission into the coveted Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and nearly 159 non-IIM business schools in the country, kicked off today in the city without many technical glitches, as those reported last year.

The time span for the online CAT exam has been extended to 20 days this year, compared to 10 days last year.

Nearly 150 students took the test in the tricity on the first day and nearly 11,000 are estimated to appear in the next 20 days from across Chandigarh region, which includes periphery areas. The three centres for taking CAT in the tricity are- Merit Trac Services Private Limited (Industrial Area, Chandigarh), Indo Global College of Engineering (Abhipur) and Rayat and Bahra Biotechnology Centre of Excellence (Kharar).

Similar to CAT-2009, the paper was divided into three sections with 20 questions each in all three sections i.e. QA (quantitative ability), VA (verbal ability) and DI-LR (data interpretation-logical reasoning).

Forty different sets of question papers were prepared for CAT this year. The results of CAT-2010 would be declared on January 12.

As expected, not many changes were introduced this year in the exam. “The questions in the quant section were relatively difficult as compared to other two sections of verbal and DI questions,” said a student, who appeared for the exam today. Yet another student added that the exam was as expected.

Experts say that overall, the level of difficulty of the exam has been rated as easy to medium. The competition, however, is lesser as against 2.62 lakh students, who wrote CAT 2009, only 2.06 lakh will be taking the test this year, they claimed.

No major problem was reported from any centre, but at one of the centres, Merit Trac Services, the tutorial before the exam did not run and the students had to take the test directly without reading the instructions.



Soch-10 concludes with panel discussion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Soch 2010 of the School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, concluded today with “Gehri Soch”, in which a blood donation camp, a seminar on traffic awareness and a panel discussion was organised.

A team of doctors from the PGI collected 65 units of blood in just two hours.

A discussion on “Developing India: Corporate and Media Agenda” was held, in which reputed members from different fields of the media opined that corporate is dawning a new role of the corporate social responsibility by pitching in sectors like education and health where the state governments have failed.

Naveen Garewal, a senior journalist with The Tribune, contradicted the statement of other speakers, as he felt that in the present era of globalisation, the question of development did not arise.

Kanwar Sandhu, head of a news channel, believed that the media as a responsible entity had played a positive as well as a negative role.

Punjabi singer Satinder Sartaj, an alumnus of PU, also released a souvenir prepared by the students of the School of Communication Studies.



PU bridges gap between student bodies
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 27
Having predicted a tough year ahead for the functioning of the student council with rival party members working together in it, Panjab University is now doing the balancing act.

Latest in the row of tussle between arch rivals - Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) - are names of council members on posters of the upcoming cultural festival “Aagaz” hosted by the council.

University sources claim that the posters initially designed by certain members of Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) did not contain Akhil Bansal’s name, a member of SOPU-ABVP alliance, who is also secretary of PUCSC. The posters, however, contained the names of council members from PUSU-INSO alliance, which is the opposite lobby.

Anticipating unrest in certain student quarters on the campus due to this issue, the authorities directed the student council members to rectify the names on the posters and include the name of the fourth member as well, who is from the opposite lobby.

The corrected posters have now been put up on the campus and trials for the cultural event is underway. While members of SOPU testify the matter, PUSU leaders are refraining to talk about the matter openly.

“There was a discrepancy in the posters and Akhil Bansal’s name was missing. But when the authorities insisted, his name was included. PUSU lobby proposed the convenor of the event. All members of the council must have equal share in events organised by the council,” said Amit Bhatia, SOPU leader.

PUSU leader and PUCSC president, Gurwinder Aulakh, however, denied knowing anything about the issue. “When I got to see the posters, they had Akhil’s name and the posters have already been put up on the notice boards across the campus yesterday,” he said.

In a bid to avoid any untoward incident or scuffle between anti-lobbies, even the annual trip to Vaishno Devi shrine, which is organised by the student council each year, has been postponed for now and the date is yet to be notified.



From Colleges
Blood donation camp

CHANDIGARH: The NSS unit of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College in collaboration with the Lions Club, Chandigarh, organised a blood donation camp in memory of Late S Bharpur Singh, former secretary, Sikh Education Society, in the Multi-Purpose Hall of the college here on Wednesday. Junior doctors of the PGI visited the college. As many as 202 volunteers of NSS, along with teaching and non-teaching staff donated blood. Gurdev Singh Brar, IAS (retd), president, Sikh Education Society, was the chief guest.


“Vichhora”, a documentary based on honour killing, prepared by students of journalism and mass communication of GGDSD College, Sector 32 C, Chandigarh, bagged the first prize at Soch-2010, the annual media fest organised by the School of Communication Studies, Panjab University. This is the second consecutive first prize that the college team has won at the prestigious national-level event. Principal, Prof AC Vaid congratulated the students and lauded their brilliant efforts.

Youth fest

The giddha team of MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, won the second prize in the Panjab University Inter-Zonal Youth Festival underway at Doraha. College principal, Dr Puneet Bedi applauded the efforts of the students and faculty, who unstintingly prepared and practiced for the event. — TNS



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