C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Biggest raid against sweetmeat makers
8,000 kg of sweets destroyed
Tribune News Service

Violations galore

l Sweets being prepared in unhygienic conditions
l No caps, gloves worn by the workers
l Flies all around; no medical check-up of workers
l Underage workers employed by sweetmeat makers

Chandigarh, November 3
In the biggest raid of the ongoing drive against sweetmeat makers, a team of the UT Administration today destroyed about 8,000 kg of sweets and bakery items from five factories preparing sweets in unhygienic conditions in Mani Majra.

The team, led by ADC PS Shergill, destroyed sweets and bakery products, including “shakarparas”, patties, “mathis” and pastries, under the Epidemic and Diseases Control Act from the five units allegedly functioning from residential premises.

Shergill said the items were being prepared in unhygienic conditions with flies all around.Officials said the workers were also not wearing gloves or head caps. The officials said challans were being issued to the erring units under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. The sweet shops were also challenged under the Child Labour Act and five underage workers were also found working in the factories.

Officials claimed that this was the biggest haul of substandard sweets and bakery products in a single day. Earlier, on October 18 the administration had seized 7,500 kg of sweets prepared in unhygienic conditions from five suppliers. The supplier reportedly supplied bakery products and sweets to a large number of shops in and around the city.

Residents said these units, which had been functioning in the area for the past several years, had become a source of nuisance for them as insanitary conditions prevailed around them.



Sale of crackers suspended in Sec 22
Vendors fail to meet safety guidelines
Tribune News Service

Rules flouted

l Less than mandatory 15 feet distance between two stalls
l Inadequate fire safety measures
l Children selling crackers

Chandigarh, November 3
The UT administration today suspended the sale of firecrackers in Sector 22 till the stall owners met the mandatory safety conditions laid down in the licences issued to them by the Estate Office.

Cracking the whip against cracker sellers, a team of the administration led by ADC PS Shergill directed the police not to allow them to sell crackers till they complied with the conditions specified in the permission letters.

Confirming the order, Shergill said that according to the feedback, cracker stall owners were violating some conditions of allotment of the sites to them. These included less than 15 feet distance between two stalls and inadequate fire extinguishers and other fire safety measures.

It was also noticed during the inspection that children were employed for selling firecrackers in violation of various provisions of the Child Labour Act.

The Sector 22 cracker market was the biggest market in the city with a majority of cracker stalls situated here. The UT administration had reportedly issued 480 licences for the sale of crackers in the city this season.

While there is a continuous row of firecrackers’ stalls opposite the Nehru Park in the Sector 22, in other sectors, the stalls are at a distance from each other. The stall owners, on the other hand, said the lack of coordination among various wings of the UT administration was to blame for the situation.

While the estate office granted the permission, the municipal corporation allotted the sites and the fire department kept a watch on the fire hazards. “A single agency can go a long way in enforcing fire safety norms around the firecracker stalls,” a cracker stall owners added.



Chaos continues on city roads
Where are traffic cops!
Tribune News Service

Only 225 cops to man roads

There are 225 policemen in the traffic wing, including three inspectors, 13 sub-inspectors, besides 150 home guard volunteers. Even as almost the entire force is put on the traffic management duty, the scene remains chaotic throughout the day.

— A traffic police official

Motorists to blame

Unruly motorists who do not drive in lanes cause traffic jams. I was stuck up in a traffic jam in my police vehicle.

— A police official

Chandigarh, November 3
Traffic on busy roads in the city came to a standstill this evening with Diwali shoppers flooding markets on the occasion of Dhanteras, which is believed to be auspicious for shopping to please the god of wealth, Kuber.

Even as the traffic police claimed that four police personnel were deployed at every busy intersection and markets to regulate traffic, their strength proved inadequate with the ever-increasing flow of the vehicles during the evening hours.

“By simple logic, if all intersections are manned, the police has no strength to man the roads,” said Colonel Avtar Singh (retd), a resident of Mani Majra.

“Policemen are scarcely visible on the roads during traffic jams,” said Anurag Singh, a harried car driver in Sector 19. Haphazardly parked vehicles just added to the chaos on roads in the markets, he rued.

The worst affected were areas included the markets in Sectors 17, 19, 22, 34, 35 while Dakshin Marg, Madhya Marg, the road separating Sectors 18 and 19 and the roads connecting Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur in the city were choc-a-bloc in the evening hours.

Long queues of vehicles were witnessed on these roads with motorists making frantic calls on the Chandigarh Traffic Police helpline asking traffic cops a way out of the traffic jams while requesting them to regulate the traffic.

Mahesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 34, who was stranded in a jam lasting for over 20 minutes on the road separating Sectors 34 and 35, said the officers had deployed the policemen at roundabouts and at intersections, where they could not do much. In their bid to use whatever space they could find on roads, motorists caused traffic jams in the middle of the roads.

During the afternoon, traffic moved at snails’ pace on Madhya Marg and on the roads surrounding the busy markets in the city. “We have deployed entire force on the traffic regulating duty on the roads and in the market places also. Policemen have been directed to be on the roads to clear jams till late in the night today, tomorrow and on the Diwali night,” DSP (Traffic) BS Negi said.



Punjab Infotech fails to sell single site
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 3
Officials of the Punjab Infotech witnessed empty chairs and failed to sell even a single site at an auction held here today.

Punjab Infotech had organised an auction for selling single-storey shop sites and showroom sites in the industrial area, Phase VIII. As many as 20 sites were to be disposed off.

Only two persons had deposited the earnest amount for the purchase of a site but they changed their mind later and did not take part in the auction.

Managing director Rakesh Verma said, “The market had not responded positively to us.” He said a better response was expected as a lot of spadework had been done. He said that, “We will be more aggressive now and since the development in the area is complete, we will try to sell the plots as early as possible.”

Officials of Punjab Infotech could not spell out the reasons for the poor show, but suspected that high reserve price could be one of the reasons. They said proper analysis would be done to know the reasons why people were not interested in the purchase of commercial property in the industrial area.

The reserve price fixed for single-storey shops measuring 44 sq yards was Rs 1.02 crore and for SCOs measuring over 90 sq yards was Rs 4.06 crore.

Punjab Infotech had faired poorly even at the previous auction held in April. It was able to sell only one booth site out of 13 sites (eight booth sites and five SCO sites) put to auction.



Ruchika Case
CBSE yet to decide
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Eight months after it first issued a show-cause notice to Sacred Heart School in Sector 26, seeking an explanation on the alleged arbitrary expulsion of Ruchika Girhotra, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is yet to decide on the matter. Ruchika had committed suicide two years after she had been molested by SPS Rathore, a serving Haryana cadre IPS officer, on August 12, 1990.

Claiming that they had formed a second committee, CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi asserted that the issue needed to further probed following which a clear-cut decision could be taken to either give the school a clean chit or hold it guilty.

“We were ready with the report within a month after receiving a response from the school. But then the school management sent us some more documents, following which we had to reconsider them. We have again made a committee which will submit its report very soon. It is a sensitive case and we do not want to be hasty in taking a decision,” Joshi said.

Interestingly, sources say that Sacred Heart School had sent all its supporting documents before the first committee was formed but had not engaged in any further correspondence.

A senior UT Education officer said, “The Union Territory was strong enough to support the truth. But the CBSE is not displaying the same level of support. It has been eight months and, leave aside disaffiliation, they have not even responded to our report.” Sacred Heart School was held guilty by the UT administration in January for arbitrarily expelling Ruchika allegedly under Rathore’s pressure.

The UT Administration forwarded the report to the CBSE recommendingdisaffiliation of the school, following which the school was issued a notice. The school filed a reply insisting that Ruchika had voluntarily left the school.



Revised land acquisition policy announced
Property rates set to go up in P’kula
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Owning house uphill task

The total cost now works out to be Rs 36 lakh per acre as against Rs 23 lakh per acre, meaning that the cost would be transferred to the purchaser dreaming of owning a house in Panchkula

Panchkula, November 3
The Haryana government today introduced the revised land acquisition policy effective from September 7, 2010.

As a result, the total cost now works out to be Rs 36 lakh per acre as against Rs 23 lakh per acre, meaning that the cost would be transferred to the purchaser dreaming of owning a house in this satellite town of Chandigarh.

Many residents rued that this would also push up the rates of the two or three room flats in the town, which were now available around Rs 60 lakh to Rs 85 lakh.

There is more than 25 per cent increase in the land rates. The government has fixed Rs 20 lakh as the new rate against the existing rates of Rs 16 lakh. However, the actual hike will be much higher on adding the statutory interest and 30 per cent solatium to the original cost.

The state government would also pay the landowners a total of 12 per cent of the basic floor rate as interest for 30 months Besides, if the landowners do not resort to any litigation qua “acquisition of land” and the “amount of compensation”, and agree to execute an agreement to the effect that they are agreeable to the compensation amount so awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector, would be granted a no-litigation incentive equal to 20 per cent of the basic rate of land (excluding the Solatium and interest) awarded by the Land Acquisition Commissioner. The amount of incentive would be paid along with execution of the agreement.

Suresh Aggarwal, president, Panchkula Property Dealers Association, said this would result in boom in the real estate, as the new rates would be fixed by the Hayana Urban Development Authority. He said at present, the minimum rates for the 10-marla plot in the Panchkula Extention III was around Rs 20 lakh, but with the new policy it would surely go up by around Rs 8 to 10 lakh. He said the new sector would see an increase in the premium as the cost of properties in this sector from 21 to 30 was very low compared to Sector 7 to 11, where the 10-marla plot fetches around Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 3 crore.

Vijay Bansal, patron, Shivalik Vikas Manch, said this was a ploy of the state government to appease the real estate builders, as the poor man would not be benefited by this policy. He said the land prices had already shot up and it would be difficult for the farmers to sell their land at one place and purchase the same at other place. He said even the middle-class families would not be able to buy a house as this would further push up rates in the urban areas.



UGC okays Rs 150-cr grant for Panjab University
Panel to work out modalities of OBC implementation
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

n Rs 150 cr sanctioned by the UGC on Wednesday to PU as adhoc grant
n From academic session 2011-12, number of seats in PU to go up by 54 pc
n Committee formed to look into the modalities of infrastructure required for expansion

Chandigarh, November 3
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has today sanctioned a grant of Rs 150 crore for Panjab University to meet its expenses including arrears, to compensate for increased pay scale that was hiked from 2006.

Additionally, a special committee was constituted by PU authorities today to work out the modalities for implementing reservation of Other Backward Classes (OBC) from academic session 2011-2012 in the university since it is a centrally funded institute now.

This committee will submit a report on November 9 and it would then be forwarded to the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development. With the implementation of OBC category, 54 per cent more seats will be added in all departments and courses in the university over and above the present numbers of seats.

This would include 27 per cent seats under general category and 27 per cent seats for OBC. This committee formed by varsity would look into the expansion of infrastructure and the number of teachers required to accommodate the increase in number of students on the campus.

The grants to meet the expenses of increased number of seats in PU would be met by the Union government, as a part of implementation of OBC quota.


Trains to get collision warning device
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Based on the track system in European countries, the railway authorities in India are ready to install train protection warning system (TPWS) here to avoid collisions between trains and reduce accident rate

Talking to The Tribune here today, RV Singh, senior divisional safety officer, Northern Railways, said state-of-the-art technologies would be installed in the Indian Railways within the next 18 months to prevent accidents assuring that there would be no railway accidents in the future.

"We will install an automatic signalling system, anti-collision devices and train protection and warning system in all railway zones within the next one- two years to avoid accidents. All such technologies will help us to prevent any kind of accident and there will be hardly any chances of rail accidents in future,” Singh said.

The railway authorities have handed over the responsibility to European Railway Train Management Company to conduct trials at Palwal section in Delhi division. Following the successful trial at Chennai rail section in 2008, the authorities have decided to implement it in northern railways.

Sources revealed that TPWS is actually further modification of auxiliary warning system (AWS). Primarily aimed to minimise the risk of trains jumping signals at danger points, it is presently used to reduce collisions with buffer stops and over-speed derailment risks. The device automatically applies brake on a train if it approaches danger. This wireless system would also help the driver to maintain the speed as authorities are mulling over the idea of trains running on increased speed, sources added.

The Railways have shortlisted two firms based in Italy and France for the supply of the system that will fulfil the need for an aid to the driver in observing signal aspects and in acting upon it correctly. In the past few months, several accidents have occurred on tracks.



7 hurt in bus-truck collision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Seven persons were injured when the bus they were travelling in overturned following a collision with a truck at the Sectors 45, 46, 49 and 50 traffic lights point intersection in the wee hours today.

A police official said several minor mishaps were becoming a routine at this intersection. It was noticed that over-speeding and violation of traffic rules were the cause behind the mishap.

Sources said a Dharamsala-bound private bus coming from the road separating Sectors 45 and 46 collided with an over-speeding truck coming from the Faidan barrier.

The police received information at 1.05 am and rushed the spot. The injured, including a child and a woman, were evacuated from the bus and were rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. The victims were discharged after medical aid in the morning.

The police has arrested the truck driver, identified as Shubash Mandal, a resident of West Bengal, on charges of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving.

Sources said the intersection had become an accident-prone area, especially during the late night hours, when the traffic lights are shifted to the ‘look-and-go’ mode. In most of the accident cases, heavy vehicles, particularly long route buses, are involved.

On September 23, a 40-year-old Zirakpur-based property dealer, Kishan Kumar, was killed after a bus rammed into his car at the intersection. A month earlier on August 19, 23-year-old Ravinder Chauhan was killed at the intersection while his three co-passengers and 18 other bus passengers were injured when a bus rammed into his car.



CTU Scam
Tihar Jail warden held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a warden of Tihar Jail, Delhi, who was a conduit the CTU recruitment scam and arranged the impersonators for the candidates aspiring to clear the written test without appearing for in it.

The CBI said the accused, identified as Jitendar Lathar, a resident of Sonepat, played a key role in the scam. He was arrested on Sunday following information and was produced before a court which remanded him to police custody till November 4. Jitendar carried out his nefarious deeds while working as a warden in the jail, said a CBI official.

Judicial remand

Chief Judicial Magistrate JS Sidhu today sent Rajinder, one of the accused in the CTU recruitment scam to judicial custody. Meanwhile, the court also declined bail to the other accused - Sonu, Rajiv Rai and Rinku. Rajinder had surrendered on October 30 and was then remanded till November 2.



Lukewarm response to cracker sales
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
If low sales figures of crackers are any indication, the city may witness a less noisy Diwali this year.

Despite a long and usually hectic business period immediately preceding the Diwali day, cracker shops have begun selling crackers at 50 per cent rebate two days before the festival.

Usually, such a rebate is announced only on the Diwali day.

A sharp fall in the cracker prices was confirmed during a visit to the Grain Market, Sector 26, by the Tribune correspondent, where notices to this effect have been plastered at many shops.

“I am offering 50 per cent discount on all brands of crackers. Other shopkeepers are also offering the same discount,” said Satish, who has a cracker stall in the Sector 26 market.

Another seller Tarsem said customers had so far shown less interest in crackers this time. “Despite offering 50 per cent discount two days before Diwali, there are no takers at a majority of the stalls,” he rued.

The early discount offers reflect that the sale of crackers has failed to pick up so far this season. “Usually 50 per cent discount is offered on the Diwali day, which touches 70 to 80 per cent by evening. But this time the scenario has definitely changed,” said Rajesh, another cracker seller in the market.

Zirakpur resident Anil Bahri, who had come to buy crackers, was of the view that the anti-crackers campaign in schools might have contributed to the low sale of crackers so far.

“This time I am buying very few crackers. Both my sons have decided against playing with crackers as they have taken a pledge during an anti-cracker drive in their school,” said Bahri, a local property dealer.

Chinese brands

Like Chinese Diwali items like fancy lights, toys, idols, lamps and gifts, there are no takers for Chinese crackers. “No one shows interest in imported crackers as there is no credibility of Chinese items. We have put on sale Chinese shots, ‘ladis’ and silver cocos but there is cold response,” said Satish. Interestingly, Chinese crackers are cheaper than Indian branded crackers.



Chinese lights darken diyas’ future
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Mohammed Akbar (45) has been making diyas (earthen lamps) in the city for the past 35 years now, but will shift to something else next year.

He may become a daily wage worker or a farm labourer, but not a potter, and that is for sure. His family has also been involved in making diyas for generations.

“There were times when we used to supply hundreds of thousands of earthen lamps and other traditional items during the festival. Now, things are different. People want designer and fancy lamps and that, too, at cheap prices,” he said.

He lamented that Chinese products’ invasion into the Indian market had affected almost all businesses, be it cycle parts, hosiery or electronic goods.

It had affected their small business, with cheap lights from China replacing earthen lamps in a big way, he added.

Markets here were flooded with a variety of Chinese and other imported lights, be it in the shape of gods and goddesses or animals and birds.

The sad part was that only a few people were interested in buying diyas. Ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 500, Chinese lights were available in all shapes and sizes.

“This Diwali, people have plenty of stuff to choose from. The market has never had such a big range,” said Brij Bhushan, a shopkeeper at Sector 18.

“People used to buy diyas in the shape of gods and goddesses. Owing to the religious significance of the festival, diyas were in high demand earlier. Things have changed now,” said Kamla Devi, who had been selling earthen lamps for the past 20 years.

“People prefer buying Chinese electrical lights as those are cheap, attractive and easy to instal,” she rued. A few people were still buying earthen lamps.

“Diyas in the shape of birds and animals are the first choice of children. The range seems to be better this year. I bought some new designs of diyas, shaped like a betel leaf and a heart,” said Priya, a schoolteacher.



‘Sugar-free’ sweets a big hit this year
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Heigtened awareness of health issues among residents has resulted in the huge increase in the popularity of “sugar-free” and “low calorie” sweets this Diwali, which is evident from sale records maintained by shopkeepers across the city.

Neeraj Bajaj, owner of a leading chain of sweetmeat outlets, said: “Where we had sold about 150 kilograms of sugar-free items during the last festive season, this season we are selling around 100 kg daily and the demand is rising each day”.

The sugar-free sweets that people most like include ‘son papri’, ‘kaju burfi’, ‘kancha gola’, ‘rasmalai’, ‘anjeer burfi’ and ‘khajoor burfi’.

For sure the steep prices are no deterrent for those who want to purchase low calorie or sugar free sweets for certain reasons. “Most of the regular customers who go in for this variety include diabetes patients and fitness freaks. They don’t mind shelling out an extra buck to have these sweets,” said Bajaj.

Prices of sugar-free sweets are almost double those of normal sweets. “We import special sugar, which costs 15 times more than the normal variety, from the United States to prepare these sweets,” he claimed.

On the other hand, Sharanjit Singh, owner of another leading sweetmeat seller in Sector 8, said his shop uses double toned milk and special sugar-free powder to prepare their ‘special’ sweets. “Sales of these products have risen manifold in comparison to last year’s sales of sugar-free and low calorie sweets,” he added.

When asked how his shop could claim its products are ‘sugar-free’, Bajaj said: “The US firm ‘Sweetos’ has certified the genuineness of our products. We’ve also got our products tested in a laboratory and the reports have confirmed our claim.”

On the other hand Sharanjit said he never had his products tested in a lab. “As we don’t use any substance containing sugar while preparing sugar-free sweets, we’re confident that our ‘special’ products have no sugar except the ‘natural’ variety”, he claimed.

Meanwhile, a senior PGI, cardiologist, Dr Yashpal Sharma, said: “Firstly, the manufacturer of sugar free sweets have to mention on the packing of the sweets about the ingredients, detail of alternative of sugar and calories. Secondly, the diabetic patients should not have more than one or two pieces of even sugar free sweets. The authorities should also set some norms for manufacturers in this direction”.

With 35 million diabetics India is often referred to as the world’s diabetes capital. At the current rate the number of patients suffering from the disease in the country is likely to touch 57 million by 2020.



Consumers switch over to tinned sweets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Consumers are now switching over to tinned sweets, as the Health Department is actively conducting raids on sweets shops in order to keep a tab on adulterated sweets.

The city’s premier departmental stores are packed with tinned gulab jamuns and rasgullas and soanpapris this Diwali. The preserved sweets are very much in demand this Diwali.

Other than the tinned sweets, the departmental stores also have namkeen to offer. A mix of sweet and spice is also available under top brands. It is called meetha chatpata, which has both soanpapri and bhelpuri and is priced at Rs 170.

One of the top brands also gift packs christened as “chatpati baatein” which has three namkeens wrapped inside and is priced at Rs 215.

Commenting on it, a resident of Sector 19 said, “I prefer the packed sweets instead of fresh as packed ones are not perishable and not as expensive as fresh sweets. For the past many years I have been gifting biscuits or chocolates instead of sweets on Diwali.”

The owner of Bhatia Departmental Stores in Sector 19, Raj Kumar said, “We don’t sell fresh sweets. The demand for the packed sweets have gone up in recent years.”

Neha Singh, a college-going girl, said, “The sweets sold on sweetmeat shops are very high on calories and the conditions in which they are prepared are usually not very hygienic. I also prefer the biscuits, chocolates or soanpapris instead.”



Diamonds, first choice of youngsters
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
Diamonds are the first choice of youngsters this season. Though gold is still selling like hotcakes, youngsters are inclined towards buying diamonds.

Anil Talwar, owner of Talwarsons in Sector 22 and director of All-India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, said, “We cannot say that gold is not in demand. Diamonds are the first choice of youngsters, as they are delicate and go well with western outfits also.”

The price of diamonds cannot be specified, one carat of diamond can range anything from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2 lakh, depending on the quality of the stone.

Meanwhile, last year during the festival season, the gold was pegged at Rs 15,300 for 10 grams. However, it has gone up by 25 per cent this season, compared to the last year and is priced at Rs 19,000 for every 10 grams.

Sharing views on it, newly married Abhay Uppal said, “I wanted to buy something delicate for my wife this Karvachauth. Though gold jewellery is evergreen and perfectly matches with the traditional wear, it doesn’t really look nice as a daily wear. So, I bought a diamond pendent instead.”

Agreeing with the increasing popularity of diamonds, an employee with Delhi Jewellers in Sector 17, said, “Diamonds are preferred as they are lighter and trendy. The metal is sold during the wedding season and diamonds are the choice of people for daily wear. Instead of buying heavy sets, people like to splurge on light diamond sets that can be worn to office too.”

Commenting on it, a working woman, Neera Bali said, “Now, there is a huge variety in diamond jewellery, which is machine made. A simple pendant set comes within the range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000.”

On the escalating prices of the metal, Talwar said, “The prices of gold are most volatile, as it fluctuates a lot. Most of the jewellers make business during October, November and December in India. The sales in these three months are equivalent to sales done in six months.”



Sector 35 Robbery
Sketch of accused released

Chandigarh, November 3
The Chandigarh Police today released a sketch of one of the robbers who allegedly looted a Sector 35 resident at gunpoint on Tuesday. SHO of the Sector 36 police station Anokh Singh said the victim, Shubash Bajaj, along with five eyewitnesses was called to the police station to reconstruct the events. The statements of the eyewitnesses were corroborated and the entire scene was reconstructed.

The SHO said the police had also prepared a sketch of one of the suspects on the description provided by the victim. The police had also examined the victim’s car (HP-34-4307) for vital clues, including fingerprints of the robbers. — TNS



MC breather for liquor vends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has extended the last date of depositing the rent arrears of liquor vendors till Monday.

This was decided in a meeting held today between the Additional Commissioner (I) TPS Phoolka and the representatives of liquor vendors.

Liquor vendors said they would clear their dues after Diwali as directed by the authorities. They assured the authorities that if any vendor fails to deposit money by Monday, they were free to seal their shops.

Records show that out of Rs 1.2 crore, the corporation collected Rs 57 lakh from 24 defaulters till date. It may be mentioned in the recent general house meeting directions were given to officials to issue notices to 24 temporary liquor vends to clear their dues or their shops will be sealed by the corporation.



Infants turn ‘serious’ after DPT shot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
The condition of five babies deteriorated after they were administered the injection of DPT here today. The babies were identified as Sohani, Kartik, Raman, and Ved who were vaccinated at the hospital at Police Lines in Sector 26 and Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, in the morning. The cause behind their deteriorating condition could not be ascertained.

The DPT vaccine is administered to the children between the age of 45 days and 18 months for safeguarding against tetanus, diphtheria and cough.

Spokesman of GMSH Dr Deepak Bakshi, however, confirmed that only two babies were brought to the hospital after their condition started deteriorating in the morning. Both were given vaccine at Police Lines, he said. The complexion of one of them had turned bluish he said, adding that now the condition of babies was stable.



Nepotism, corruption laid bare

Panchkula, November 3
Acclaimed Urdu poets spelt literary magic as the Haryana Urdu Akademy celebrated Haryana Day in style by organising an All-India Mushaira at the academy bhavan here recently.

Highlight of the event was poetry recitation by Ustad Muzzaffar Razmi, especially his classic couplets, including “Yeh zabr bhi dekha hai tareekh ki nazron ne, Lamhon ne khta ki thi sadiyon ne sza payee” made him a celebrity poet in Urdu adab. Dr Mohammad Ayub started the mushaira, while poets Seraj Packer and Ved Diwana spoke on social issues, the pace was maintained by legal luminary poetess Saba Hoshiarpuri, Dr Sultan Anjum, Shams Tabrezi and others. Well-known author and poet of humour TN Raz bared the evils nepotism, corruption and sycophancy in day to day life with “Afsar hai uske sheyar hain kaise na puchhiye, Chamcha hoon wah wah kiye jaa rha hoon mein..” — OC



Abolition of Class XII boards ruled out
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, November 3
Putting an end to speculation that Board exams for class XII could be abolished, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Chairman Vineet Joshi said this was ruled out. He went on to significantly announce that the new evaluation system would very soon be extended to class XI.

“We cannot even think of abolishing the class XII Board exams when it is the only way to make college admissions more uniform and transparent”, he said, while observing that the decision to abolish the class X Board exams had been a big challenge.

Joshi, who was in the city to address the regional Principal’s seminar on Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation.



Submission of examiners’ list to DUI
Officials issue reminder to dept heads
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
A day after the Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the pending viva voce cases of research scholars at Panjab University; yet another violation of a self-imposed deadline surfaced, whereby it now revealed that certain departments have been blatantly violating a mandatory clause that requires them to send a list of examiners to the Dean University Instructions (DUI) for approval, at least six months before the thesis are due for submission.

Having ordered an investigation into cases of viva of research scholars that have been pending for more than 120 days, university officials today issued a reminder to chairpersons of all departments to send a list of examiners to DUI for consent within the stipulated time period. A report on the delayed cases will be submitted to Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti on Monday by his office staff.

Senior university officials today claimed that they are yet to identify the departments, where there are multiple cases of excessively delayed viva voce.

However, a probe by the reporter reveals that out of 39 cases, there are several cases where the initial process of proposing names of examiners to the DUI office was started much later than the scheduled deadline by the departments.

As per the university rule, this list must be sent six months before the student submits the thesis, but in several cases the list has been sent more than eight months after submission of the thesis.

In one particular case of the department of education, the student submitted his thesis in December 2008 and the department had sent the list of examiners to DUI for consent in November 2009.

Not only was negligence evident on the part of department officials from official records, the delay in viva were also observed due to carelessness of students. In one such case from faculty of laws, the list of examiners was sent in July 2010 and even approved, but till date the student has not submitted the thesis. In another case of faculty of commerce and management, the list of examiners was sent to the DUI eight months after the submission of thesis.

Among others, there were a few cases where the viva was not conducted till date, despite a delay of six months and repeated reminders by the DUI and Vice-Chancellor’s office.

“We cannot impose a general penalty since each case has a different background. We are in the process of identifying the problems in each case, where deadline has been crossed. The carelessness could be on the part of the student or department head and we need to identify the problem first. We have been repeatedly calling files of the delayed cases and sending them reminders in the past, but the onus falls on the departments to do their work swiftly,” said PU VC Sobti.



PUSU denies allegations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 3
The Panjab University Student Union (PUSU), the incumbent student organisation in the PU student council, today held a press conference denying all charges levelled by the rival organisation, SOPU, yesterday about discrepancy in expenses of Aaghaz.

An immigration company based in Sector 35 and a consultancy firm sponsored the entire event and no money was utilised from the student council funds, claimed PUSU leaders today.

SOPU had alleged that no quotations were invited for the annual cultural programme of Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC), Aaghaz-2010, and money was used from the student council fund to organise the event without floating tenders.

PUSU leaders, including Simranjeet Singh Shillon, Simranjeet Singh Sandhu and Udey Wirring, said the allegations levelled by SOPU were baseless.

“How the student council was using its funds since two years for Aaghaz-10 is for them to answer, but even the university authorities have said on record that no money from the council funds is ever used. Each year, sponsors are searched for the event and this year, the same practice was followed. The name of sponsors was on passes, even though we could not get it published on printed material,” said Wirring, PUSU campus president.

PUSU leaders also added that the intention of the rival parties was to create hindrance in the event and get the programme cancelled. A new campus vice-president of PUSU, Gurbir Singh Dhillon from the department of laws, was introduced to the media.

It was then announced that a PUSU member, Sukhjeet Singh Brar, was suspended from the preliminary membership of the party for indiscipline, but later, the party sent a press release mentioning that Brar would continue as the acting vice-president of PUSU.



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