C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


I-T men swoop down on GMADA office
Aerocity, Chandigarh International Airport project records scrutinised
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The Greater Mohali Development Authority (GMADA) came under the income tax (I-T) scanner today as sleuths from the CIT (II) swooped down on its office to conduct a survey.

While officials were tight-lipped about the ambit of the survey, it is learnt that the GMADA’s earnings from the much-hyped Aerocity housing project were under review.

However, sources in GMADA said that during the survey operation, I-T sleuths also questioned them about the Chandigarh International Airport Pvt Ltd project.

Senior GMADA officialS said nothing could be said till the formalities were over. While they refused to divulge details, sources in the I-T Department said records pertaining to earnings made from Aerocity and Chandigarh International Airport project were being scruitinised to assess evasion, if any.

A team of about 20 IT sleuths, including Joint Commissioner, Parneet Mahal Suri and Deputy Commissioner, Manjeet Singh of Range VI, reached the office in the afternoon and were busy scrutinising files till the filing of this report.

The survey was being conducted under the supervision of Commissioner Income Tax (CIT II), Pawan Parmar Singh. 

Cash, jewellery worth Rs30 lakh seized
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The investigation wing of the Income Tax (I-T) Department seized cash and jewellery amounting to Rs 30 lakh during a search and seizure operation on the premises of Panchkula-based ayurvedic doctor-cum-property agent, Dr Naresh Mittal, here today.

A senior official of the I-T department told The Tribune that unaccounted cash of Rs 16 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 14 lakh were seized during the operation. More details about the alleged evasion were not available, as investigations were still in progress. Official said incriminating documents had been seized and the same were being scrutinised.

The operation was conducted under the supervision of Director-General (Investigation), Jaswant Singh. About 10 department personnel had started search operations on the premises of the doctor-cum-property agent’s house at Sector 6 in Panchkula yesterday and the investigation was completed this afternoon.



First set your house in order: Private schools to UT
‘Will not reserve 25 pc seats for disadvantaged until admn completes responsibilities’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh , November 18
Private schools in the Union Territory have asked the Education Department to first set its house in order for implementing the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, before flooding private schools with circulars even before the ground was prepared.

In a press conference of the Independent Schools Association at Vivek High School, Sector 38, more than 50 private schools refused to go ahead with reserving 25 per cent of seats for the disadvantaged groups and communities until the UT Education Department, on its behalf, first compiled thedata of the target groups, worked out clear-cut admission and financial policy and specified modal rules and responsibilities of the local government.

Saying that unless the UT pulled its own act together on “responsibilities as mandatory pre-implementation requisites” in the Act, it was impossible for private schools to go ahead with the same on ground.

“All members of the association are ready to implement the act, in totality, but, we, first, need the complete data of eligible children to be admitted. The UT is pressurising us with various circulars and highlighting duties of schools specified in Act but has not paid any attention to postulates specifying modal rules and responsibilities of the local government. If the Act has to be implemented from April 1, why can’t they first form rules, get our inputs and get an approval from Parliament before it?” said HS Mamik, president,Independent Schools Association.

According to principals, the UT Education Department has not carved any local guidelines, leave aside seeking opinion of private schools on them. They have also raised concern about the non-existence of any admission or financial policy.

Conditions by pvt schools unnecessary: DPI(S)

“When entire nation has implemented the Act, what is their problem? Our duty is to get the Act implemented, which is what we are doing. The Act of putting conditions by private schools shows that they are reluctant to admit these students. We want to implement this reservation right from admission registration for nursery classes. We are ready to wait till April 1 if they give an undertaking that they will admit these students in nursery. And what is the need of survey when we have given them a full-fledged admission policy. They should advertise seats, admit applicants and in case the number of applicants is more than the seats, they should admit students through draw of lots” - PK Sharma, DPI (S)

Matter sub judice: Schools

The schools have also refused to implement 15 per cent reservation under economically weaker section student’s quota specified by the UT in the allotment letters of some schools, saying it is still sub judice. “It was a clause in allotment letters after the year 1996 and it just talked about 5 per cent reservation. Later, the UT increased it to 15 per cent. Anyway, we will implement this reservation if court directs us to, but till the case is on, nothing will be done,” said HS Mamik.

However, the DPI (S) disagreed, saying “The matter obviously is in court, but it has not stayed our instructions so they will have to make the reservations.”

‘Admn attitude egoist’

On being quizzed about the ongoing disharmony between private schools and the UT administration, the schools blamed it on the egoist attitude of the administration, which allegedly misused acts to harass school authorities. The lack of educationists and representatives of private schools in policies affecting them was also cited as a reason. However, DPI PK Sharma said, “They can say I am not an educationist but cannot obviously doubt capabilities of our officials or principals who have put in many years in teaching.” 



Backlog to be verified at RLA offices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Springing into action after the news item ‘Despite 3 offices, RLA unable to clear backlog, appeared in these columns on Thursday, UT home secretary Ram Niwas said he would inspect all three offices of the registration & licensing authority - SDM (east), SDM (south) and the Sector 17 central office tomorrow.

Talking to The Tribune, he said: “I’m going to inspect all the three RLA offices along with the SDMs and deputy commissioner on Friday to understand the reasons for the huge backlog of pending cases, leading to inconvenience to the public”.

Officials maintain a team from the National Informatics Centre’s city office has also been called in to see if there was any shortage of technical staff or if there was any need to upgrade the technology being employed currently.

The Chandigarh Tribune carried the news item on page 3 yesterday, highlighting the plight of residents who had to go empty handed, especially from SDM (south) office that has the maximum number of pending files numbering about 5,000 files.

Niwas’ visit would come a day after the Chandigarh Tribune reported a backlog of over 6,500 files pertaining to vehicle registration at the RLA offices. With almost 200 new vehicles coming on the roads every day and over 6,500 pending files, the authority needs to catch up soon with the ever-increasing number of people lining up to get their vehicles registered.

While the UT administration had opened two more offices in the city’s east and south a few years ago to ease the burden on the central office in Sector 17, the number of pending files including those on vehicle registration and driver’s licenses has crossed 5,000 in the office of the SDM (south) alone.

The remaining 1,500 files are pending at the SDM (east) office located in Manimajra.

The SDM (south) office is entitled with handling all work pertaining to registration of vehicles for residents of the city’s southern areas while the SDM (East) takes care of those residing in Manimajra and adjoining sectors.



Spate of ATM frauds rattles SBI customers
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 18
The flurry of incidents involving fraudulent cash withdrawals from ATMs through cloned cards has sent jitters among State Bank of India account holders with city residents having lost over Rs 2.81 lakh of their hard-earned money since November 13.

Devinder Kumar Khosla, 65, who retired as a senior official at the Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory (TBRL), told The Tribune today he had lost virtually all his life’s savings including the pay commission arrears he got. The funds had been fraudulently withdrawn from his accounts at various bank ATMs in different cities during the past six days.

In his complaint to the police Khosla said he was shocked to find someone had withdrawn Rs 59,100 from his State Bank of Hyderabad savings account in different transactions at the State Bank of Patiala ATM in Sector 4 on November 13 night. “The suspect withdrew two amounts of Rs 20,000 each at 9:45 pm on November 13 and another amount of Rs 19,100 at 7:32 am the next day”, he added.

He said after noticing the withdrawals he immediately rushed to the SBI branch in Sector 30, Chandigarh to check his pension account.“The bank officials there told me Rs 222,400 had been withdrawn in different transactions on different dates from ATMs located in Panchkula, Dera Bassi, Rajpura and Ludhiana. The suspect had withdrawn Rs 20,000 from a State Bank of Patiala ATM on November 13 night, made two debit transactions of Rs 20,000 each from an SBP ATM in Dera Bassi and two more transactions of Rs 20,000 each in Rajpura. I’ve lost my entire savings”, Khosla rued.

Meanwhile, the president of the Sector 7 market association, BB Kochhar, a close relative of Khosla, demanded an immediate check on the functioning of banks and their ATM systems to ensure security of funds of account holders.

Savings vanish

Devinder Kumar Khosla, 65, who retired as a senior official at the Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory said he had lost virtually all his life’s savings, including the pay commission arrears. The funds had been fraudulently withdrawn from his accounts at various bank ATMs in different cities during the past six days.



Residents cut down on veggies
Sanjay Bumbroo/TNS

Panchkula, November 18
With prices of vegetables showing no signs of easing, city residents are being forced to go without most of them from their daily meals.In a random survey by this reporter of various retail vegetable stores, the ‘Apni Mandi’ in Sector 5 here and the grain market in Sector 26, Chandigarh, bitter gourd was retailing at Rs 50 per kg, cauliflowers at ` 30 a kg, French beans at Rs 80 a kg and bell pepper at Rs 60 a kg. Wholesale prices of onions have already touched an all-time high at Rs 45 50 a kg. Prices generally go down after the rainy season with the fresh arrival of vegetables in markets, but this year there has hardly been any decline. However, prices of tomatoes, which were available for Rs 20 a kg a fortnight ago, have fallen by one-half and were being retailed for Rs 10 a kg at the Apni Mandi.

Neelam Sharma, a housewife residing in Sector 4, lamented she had now decided to buy vegetables on a “need basis”. “Prices of most vegetables are so high that I now buy only what we require every day. We can’t afford to stock up for a week and have also cut down on consumption by having veggies only once a day”, she rued.

Another housewife, Anita Bhatia, a resident of Sector 6, said: “Earlier the steep increase in prices of pulses had sent our domestic budget awry and we had shifted to vegetables. But now as their prices have spurted during the past couple of months we are returning to pulses.”

Wholesale traders in the Sector 26 grain market in Chandigarh said onion crops were damaged during the heavy rainfall in Maharashtra and Karnataka this year. “This is the principal reason behind the steep rise in onion prices, which has jumped about 30 per cent during the past fortnight”, they added.

Ladyfingers, which are grown in most areas of Punjab, are now retailing for Rs 50 per kg. Even locally grown carrots, which were available for Rs 10 a kg during this time last year, are selling for Rs 20 a kg in the Apni Mandi in Sector 5. Prices of mushrooms, which retailed for Rs 80 a kg last year, have spurted 25 per cent and are now being sold for Rs 100 a kg.


Teachers found absent during surprise check
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Director higher education (DHE) Ajoy Sharma conducted a surprise inspection at Government Home Science College, Sector 10, and Postgraduate Government College for Girls (PGCC), Sector 11, today to check the faculty attendance.

During the inspection at Government Home Science College, Sector 10, he found that two faculty members reached late and another was absent.

Similarly, In PGGCG, Sector 11, two faculty members were found absent. DHE has ordered initiation of disciplinary action against those found guilty seeking an explanation.

“Principals have been directed to ensure that all faculty members should remain in colleges as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) norms, which is minimum five hours a day.

They have to be in the office from 9 am to 4 pm on all working days failing which action would be initiated against them,” said Ajoy.

These surprise checks will now be conducted on regular basis and will also be extended to aided and private colleges. 



Sappers celebrate 230th anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Engineer Corps celebrated its 230th Raising Day with fervour at Chandimandir military station near here today.Maj Gen VK Bhatt, chief engineer Western Command and Colonel Commandant of the Bombay Sappers, along with serving and retired officers as well as other ranks, paid tributes to martyrs at the Veer Smriti War Memorial in Chandimandir.

Several other regimental and social functions were also organised to mark the occasion.

The Corps of Engineers, one of the oldest arms of the Army, established in 1780, consists of three wings- Combat Engineers, Military Engineering Service and Border Roads Organisation.

The Corps also provides officers to the Military Survey and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The aim of combat engineers is to provide mobility to own forces by constructing bridges, tracks and helipads, while denying the same to the enemy by laying minefields, creating obstacles and demolishing line of communication. Military engineers are mainly responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of all buildings, airfields, docks etc besides ensuring additional services such as military roads, water and electricity supply, drainage, refrigeration and furniture. Border roads plays a vital role by constructing roads, airfields and helipads in remote and inaccessible areas of the Himalayas, Rajasthan and North-Eastern states that has also contributed significantly towards economic development. 



Maintenance of Green Belts
MC to supervise private companies’ work
Our Correspondent

A view of a green belt which is in poor condition at Phase 10 in Mohali.
A view of a green belt which is in poor condition at Phase 10 in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, November 18
Unhappy with the working of private companies, who failed to maintain green belts in commercial areas, the municipal council has now decided to get the work done from employees hired by these companies under the supervision of the civic body.

The advertisement fee has been hiked about seven times by the council.

Around 27 employees hired by these companies will now work under the supervision of a council official in order to maintain green belts and road berms properly. They have been given a tractor-trailer for removing debris or waste lying on road berms, apart from removing wild growth and congress grass.

The council official will ensure that road berms on stretches like Franco hotel-JCT, Franco-national highway, Franco-furniture market, furniture market-SCL, PTL chowk-Phase XI and cremation ground-Bawa white house are maintained properly.

It was highlighted in these columns earlier that the council had failed to take action against companies who did not maintain green belts which were handed over to them for advertising purposes.

Green belts, along the main roads in several areas, are full of wild growth and garbage makes the commercial pockets look ugly.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) which was earlier maintaining these areas repeatedly tried to bring the sad state of affairs to the notice of civic body.

In fact, GMADA officials were so frustrated to see the condition of these belts that they painted GMADA’s name on boards mentioning it as an authorising agency. “We do not want to get a bad name for the poor upkeep of green belts,” said a senior GMADA official.

Various companies were allowed to put up advertisement boards by GMADA in green belts falling in commercial areas and near traffic light points which had to be maintained by these companies on a BOT basis, in addition to the payment of fee for the use of the area. GMADA was collecting a sum of Rs 12 lakh per year in this regard.

The council had after much persuasion taken charge of these green belts from GMADA in April on the plea that permitting advertisements was the right of the civic body.

A council official said advertisement fee had been raised from Rs 5 per sq ft to Rs 29. The rate of one unipol was hiked from Rs 1,000 to Rs 7,000. Tenders were being floated again for advertisements that could be put up at five entry points to the town and 20 unipols. These would be given on a contractual basis at new rates. 



Quality treatment at low rates attracts patients
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The snatching of Rs 1 lakh from a patient’s attendant staying in the open at the PGI has once again brought to fore the continuing problem of overcrowding at the PGI with a majority of the North Indian states failing to improve the health service infrastructure.

The victim, Pushpinder, who hails from Satna in Madhya Pradesh, had visited different hospitals in Lucknow before finally getting admitted to the PGI for treatment of his liver ailment.

Basanti Devi, mother of Pushpinder, said they were staying in the city after doctors at Lucknow advised them to visit Chandigarh for treatment for which they sold two acres of land worth Rs 2.5 lakh in the village to meet the expenses only to find that almost half the proceeds meant for Pushpinder’s surgery had been snatched.

Instead of looking for paid accommodation, the family decided to stay in the open on the hospital premises like many other poor patients to save every penny for the treatment.

The city’s quality treatment along with cheap accommodation and voluntary help has been a source of attraction for poor patients from far-off areas, including not just the neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, but even from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. A doctor’s recommendation is sufficient for a poor patient to avail free services of the PGI, including all hospital charges. Even charges for stay at the serais are waived off for such patients.

The Hansraj Serai, located on the PGI premises, which is meant exclusively for the Advanced Paediatric Centre patients and their attendants, consists of 83 rooms and one big hall where 50 persons can stay together. The charges are just Rs 80 for a room with an attached washroom and Rs 50 per night in the hall. At other serais, a deluxe room costs just Rs 50 while the charges for a general room are as low as ` 10 and a mere Rs 5 for staying a night in a dormitory.

In addition, a gurdwara and a temple in the complex provide shelter to the needy. Besides, another gurdwara provides langar to the poor at the PGI gate which works out convenient for family members of patients staying in the open.



Tehelka prosecutor alleges illegal detention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Alleging illegal detention and torture at the hands of the Army during the course of his trial by a general court martial, a lieutenant colonel, who was the prosecutor in the trial of officers involved in the infamous Tehelka episode, has sought registration of an FIR with the police against army authorities.

Lt Col Sanjay Sitanshu has alleged that he was arrested by the Army outside the Supreme Court and not permitted to file his writ petition before the High Court as ordered by the apex court. Neither was he told about the reasons for his arrest nor were his family members informed about it.

A GCM had, in September, sentenced him to four years rigorous imprisonment after finding him guiltily of nine charges of professional and personal misconduct. He has been granted bail by the Armed Forces Tribunal.



Senate byelection
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The byelection to a senate post in the principal constituency was held at SD College, Sector 32, on Thursday. The voting concluded at 10.30 am today, where principals of five city colleges DAV, Sector 10, Dev Samaj, Sector 45, Khalsa College For Women-26, MCM DAV-36 and SD College-32 exercised their right.

The election was held in lieu of the exit of Satish Sharma, former principal of DAV College, Jagraon. Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal, Guru Nanak College, Doraha, and Preet Mahinder Pal Singh, principal, SGPC College, Garh Shankar, are the front-runners. The results will be declared on November 21.



Hotelier Kidnapping Case
Two girls from Patiala rounded up
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 18
The local police claimed to have picked up two girls from the Patiala University campus in Patiala late last night for their alleged involvement in the Chandigarh-based hotelier Nandan Nagpal kidnapping case in June this year.

The two have been identified as Karamjit Kaur and Mandeep Kaur, wife of Daljit Singh Bhullar, who was arrested by the city police on Tuesday night.

According to police sources, both Karamjit Kaur and Mandeep Kaur were classmates and lived in the same hostel room a year ago. Karamjit was induced by Daljit and his accomplice Kampal Singh in the kidnapping of Nagpal from Bathinda rail-level crossing in June this year.

It is worth mentioning here that Nagpal, owner of Midtown Hotel in Sector 35, here is son of a commission agent of Malout, in Muktsar district and are an affluent family of the town.

The accused had demanded Rs 3 crore as ransom and released Nagpal, a native of Malout after keeping him for about 4 days at Malout. The police team, including Aman Kumar, SHO Sector 14 police station, Yashwant from Kurukshetra police and CIA’s Karamveer were successful in nabbing the two accused on November 16.

The two girls were detained at the Sector 14 police station for investigation and were released in the evening. Two accused involved in the kidnapping were still at large.

Confirming the same Aman Kumar, SHO Sector 14 police station, said that they had picked the two girls for investigation as the police suspected their involvement in the two kidnappings, including that of Tejas Gaba.

He said the two girls have been released and have been asked to report at the police station tomorrow. 



‘Recharge water to avoid its depletion’

Panchkula, November 18
Bimla Sood, Rajya Sabha member from Shimla, laid stress on saving water so that future generations are saved from water crisis during the Sood Milan Mela organised by the Sood Sabha at Sood Bhawan in Sector 10 here recently.

Lauding the role of Sood community for its social activities like providing diagnostic tests at no profit no loss basis, she said there was a dire need to sensitise people to save water.

She also emphasised on recharging water in houses or in the city and said: “By doing this we can do a great service to the humanity”.

“About 90 per cent of rainwater goes wasted. If we start recharging the water, water crisis could be avoided,” she added. — TNS



Hoardings removed
Tribune News Service

Employees of the GMR company remove hoardings in Zirakpur on Thursday.
Employees of the GMR company remove hoardings in Zirakpur on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, November 18
Around 12 hoardings were removed by GMR Expressways, the company undertaking maintenance of the Ambala-Chandigarh Highway, here today.The matter was reported in these columns on November 2 that banners and hoardings were hung along the Zirakpur-Kalka Highway, Zirkapur-Patiala Highway and Zirakpur-Chandigah Highway.

Besides, electricity poles and streetlights have been defaced due to these hoardings. An official of the GMR said hoardings along the highway were not only causing traffic congestions, but also posing dangers to commuters, diverting their attentions.

He alleged that it was the work of Zirakpur Municipal Council, but they never took any action against violators.

The officials said the drive to remove the hoardings would continue and violators would be challaned.



Now, mounted cops to guard city
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu/TNS

Chandigarh, November 18
The UT Police Control Room (PCR) unit will have a new look. In addition to its existing fleet of 38 gypsies and 33 motorcycles, the PCR will now have mounted policemen on 15 horses to patrol crowded areas in the city.

The UT Police is also planning to buy two battery-operated golf cart vehicles. The police has two Reva cars in its fleet which has been condemned and a proposal to buy golf carts was being made, said a police officer.

DSP, PCR and communication, Roshan Lal told TNS that at any point of time, 10 horses would be on a patrolling duty every day. A policeman equipped with a wireless set, a baton and a pistol would ride the horse to patrol the area, which are otherwise difficult to man on motorcycles and gypsies.

The mounted staff would patrol 10 locations in the city, including Sukhna Lake, outside Rock Garden, liquor vends in Kaimbwala village and surrounding areas, the Information Technology Park area, Sector 22, and key parks such as the Bougainvillea Garden and the Leisure Valley among other areas. The patrolling, which began from today, will be done over two-three hour shifts - 5 am to 8 am and 5 pm to 8 pm.

“So far, the mounted staff was only being used for ceremonial purposes or during rallies to control the mob. Not only will the routine patrolling be strengthened, but it will also assist in keeping the horses in good health,” said a police officer.

UT SSP Naunihal Singh said the PCR staff had been put on a special drive for a number of reasons ranging from curbing drinking at public places, especially in cars, shooing away people sleeping in verandahs in front of shops, gambling at public places and checking young couples sitting in parks in objectionable positions.

The SSP has inducted some gypsies and motorcycles along with the police personnel in PCR from other units, including police stations, to strengthen the PCR to maintain law and order in the city. The PCR staff has also been directed to initiate action against motorists indulging in visible traffic rules violations.

“We have given challan slips to 32 sub-inspectors in the PCR for taking action against traffic rules violators. Yesterday, 11 traffic violation tickets were issued to violators. Besides, another 186 traffic violations information slips were sent to the traffic police for action. During a special drive against use of unauthorised black films on windowpanes of cars,” the SSP said.

He said that out of the 173 calls to the PCR, 154 were crosschecked with the callers for feedback, out of which 144 persons were satisfied with the police working. Ten persons were not satisfied with police response while another 19 could not be contacted.



Delhi-city flight cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Poor visibility once again disrupted the flight scheduled in the city as the Delhi-Chandigarh bound Jet airways flight was cancelled this evening.

According to sources, owing to poor visibility, the pilot had to return to Delhi. The requisite visibility for landing the plane without the instrument landing system (ILS) was not available when the aircraft reached the city at about 5 pm.

Airport sources rued the inordinate delay in installing the ILS system as a result of which the flights were being regularly disrupted owing to poor visibility.

Sources maintained that once the system was installed, landing planes at the Chandigarh airport at visibilities of 1,200 metres would be possible. In case, the ILS CAT II is installed, the visibility of even 2,000 metres can be used for landing planes. The latest CAT III system can be assessed landing during zero visibility.

“The process of installing the ILS has been going on for quite sometime but hasn’t been completed due to procedural delays,” said an official on the condition of anonymity. 



MC suffers Rs 37-lakh loss
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The Chandigarh municipal corporation has accrued a loss of over ` 37 lakh for not imposing interest on pending dues of ` 1.52 crore from 24 defaulter liquor vendors of the city.

At the same time, pointing towards an error on part of the MC, notices which were issued to the defaulters by the department concerned did not mention that defaulters had to deposit the arrears of rent with 24 per cent rate of interest.

At the last month’s general house meeting, MC Mayor Anu Chatrath had directed the MC authorities to recover the pending dues from the defaulters by imposing 24 per cent rate of interest as fixed by the UT administration. The authorities were also instructed to issue notices to these defaulters, with a 48-hour ultimatum to deposit their pending dues with interest, otherwise there shops would be sealed.

However, as per reports, out of 24 defaulter liquor vendors, 19 have already cleared their dues. A sum of ` 35 lakh is pending against five remaining vend owners, out of which one in Bapu Dham has already shut down against whom ` 3.55 lakh arrears are pending. Reports stated that notices had also been issued to four of the defaulter vends at Palsora, Sector 45 and 46 dividing road, Sector 48 and opposite Kalagram for clearing dues.

The MC additional commissioner I, T P S Phoolkam, said the department was taking legal opinion on the issue, as there was no clause in the terms and condition of the liquor vendors that they had to pay the rate of interest on the pending dues to the authorities.

He said the department had issued notices to defaulters to deposit the due amount.

Contrary to which, MC Mayor Anu Chatrath said if the authorities would not impose the rate of interest on the defaulters before next house meeting, explanation of officials would be called in the house.

“As the house is supreme, it is mandatory for the authorities to execute the decisions,” she added.

The issue was raised by Congress councillor Jatinder Bhatia during the last house meeting that why no action was being taken against “habitual offenders” of liquor vendors by the authorities.

He expressed surprise that no audit objections had been raised against the violators who had been bidding for the allotment of the liquor vends for the past three years.



20-yr-old girl ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Ruby, a 20-year-old girl, committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at the parking area behind the CITCO petrol pump in Sector 9.The police is apprehending a love-triangle as a possible reason behind the incident. ASP (Central) Deshraj Singh said the police had found a suicide note in which Ruby had mentioned the name of a man employed as a sweeper in a private company. “He is married and we are trying to trace him,” the ASP said.

Ruby, a resident of Mani Majra, was working with a beauty parlor. Some passers-by spotted her lying unconscious near the patrol pump at around 2.30 pm and called the police. Foam was oozing out of her mouth. A police control room (PCR) vehicles rushed her to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, where she was pronounced brought dead.

The police said Ruby, a Class XII dropout, had carried the poisonous substance in a mouth freshener bottle which was holding in her hand. The victim’s parents work in a Baddi-based company. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this connection. 



Employees stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Demanding jobs for the family members of those who died on duty, the UT Subordinate Service Federation today staged a dharna at a park near Hotel Sunbeam.

The protesters demanded implementation of the Punjab Service Rules and jobs for family members of over 300 employees who lost their lives while on duty. The members also demanded that various vacant posts in different departments should be filled immediately.



From Schools
Recitation contest

Tiny tots of Smart Wonders School participate in a recitation contest in Mohali.
Tiny tots of Smart Wonders School participate in a recitation contest in Mohali.A Tribune photograph 

Mohali: The premises of Smart Wonders School, Sector 71, reverberated with medley of musical notes during a three-day poetry recitation contest. Students of UKG participated in the contest, while their parents were present as audience. Students presented enchanting songs and also recited poems. Sandeep Singh, director, said the format was not competitive but activity -oriented. “Purpose of the programme was to provide children with a platform where they could gain exposure and display their poetic abilities,” he said. — OC

Birth anniversary

Chandigarh: The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated at AKSIPS, Sector 41, today. Students paid obeisance at the Sector 34 Gurdwara. Five children, who were dressed as “Panj Piaras” and spoke “Panj Paudi” from Japji Sahib, joined the kirtan. A langar was served to everyone at the gurdwara.

Saupin’s School

Students of Saupin’s School, Sector 32, celebrated the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev here today. Students of the pre-primary wing visited the Sector 38 Gurdwara. — TNS



PU Notes

Chandigarh: The School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, in association with the Commonwealth Education Media Centre for Asia, is hosting a three-day Community Radio Awareness Workshop under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting from November 19 to 21. The workshop is one in a series of such programmes being organised across the country by the Ministry to popularise the concept of Community Radio. Delegates from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana will be apprised of every aspect of community radio, right from getting a licence to programming/budgeting. The delegates will be given hands on training in programme recording, editing and transmission at the Panjab University Community Radio Station.


The 32nd Indian Geography Congress of National Association of Geographers will start from November 19 at Panjab University. The theme of this year’s conference is “Globalisation, Population and Regional Development”. Swarna Subba Rao, surveyor general of India, will be the chief guest, while AB Prasad, secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, New Delhi, will be the guest of honour. Around 600 delegates across India and abroad are participating in the event. There will be four parallel sessions and around 400 research papers will be presented. The congress will include a panel discussion on population migration. There will be a separate session “Children Geography Congress”, in which map quiz will be held. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will hold an exhibition on managing disasters.

Meanwhile, the three-day Biotechnica Chandigarh-2010 concluded on the Panjab University campus here today. Dignitaries, including Dr GN Qazi, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard University, and other experts from academia and industry, took part in deliberations on various issues in biotechnology. There were discussions and presentations on entrepreneurship development and career opportunities in biotechnology. A panel discussion on “Career Opportunities in Biotechnology” was organised. Professor GN Qazi, Prof RC Sobti, Dr Parikshit Bansal and Dr Lalit Wadhwa took up the queries of students. Ravi Das Gupta, vice-president, BIOCON, Banglore, dwelt on entrepreneurship development and career opportunities in biotechnology. Dr GN Qazi motivated young biotechnologists with his talk on the “Biotechnology from my heart”. — TNS


Kalka: A science exhibition was organised at Aruna Asaf Ali Government Postgraduate College, Kalka, today. Students displayed various models at the exhibition. RC Sharma, former principal, Government College, Barwala, was the chief guest on the occasion. SK Manocha, principal of the college, appreciated efforts of students. — OC



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