C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MHA issues notices to 2 ex-UT advisers, 5 others
Asked to explain deals on IT Park
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
In a new twist to the ongoing controversy pertaining to land acquisition for the city’s Technology Park and arbitrary retention of certain funds, more administration officials are coming under the ministry of home affairs’ scanner.

The ministry has now served notices on two former UT advisers and five other officials, including three IAS officers who had been posted at Chandigarh, asking them why action should not be taken against them for their “erroneous” acts. They include ex-advisers Virender Singh and Lalit Sharma, SK Sandhu, Raji P Srivastava, Pirthi Chand, Vivek Atray and MS Brar. The ministry has sent them notices on separate matters.

Sources confirmed Singh and Sharma have been asked to explain why an inquiry should not be initiated against them for their involvement in controversial dealings.

While Sharma joined as UT adviser on November 21, 2003 and retired in November 2007, Singh served the shortest term - from January 8, 2003 to September 11, 2003. Both have retired from service.

Three Punjab cadre IAS officers - ex-finance secretary SK Sandhu, former special secretary, finance Raji P Srivastava and former joint secretary, finance Pirthi Chand have been served the notices through the office of Punjab chief secretary Subodh Agarwal.

Former UT information & technology director Manjit Singh Brar and his predecessor Vivek Atray have also been issued the “show cause” notices. Brar is a Punjab Civil Services officer while Atray, who is from the Haryana Civil Services, is presently on long leave and working in a Gurgaon-based firm.

In Atray’s case the notice was sent through Haryana chief secretary Urvashi Gulati. In the case of officials who have served in the UT finance department the notices are for arbitrarily retaining funds that were not deposited with the consolidated funds of India.

The other officials face action for acquiring land and subsequently allocating projects for phase III of the IT Park and for not correctly examining the project.



Failure of multi-level parking
Admn tells MC to recover Rs 3 cr from contractor
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The Chandigarh administration here today took a serious note of the pilot project of the multi-level parking project not taking off in the city.The administration has directed the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to recover Rs 3 crore from the contractor to whom the work of the multi-level parking of Sector 17 was allotted as charges for shifting of electricity cables, which were lying at the site.

This was decided at the meeting chaired by UT Advisor Pradeep Mehra, as even after a number of reminders, the contractor has not commenced the work.

Sources in the administration said the status report of the first multi-level project was tabled in the meeting by officials of the corporation, who informed that the project, which was approved in 2008, had not taken off till date. As per the report, the project was delayed as the contractor is not commencing the work even after three reminders to the company. Officials also stated that the contractor was communicating with the authorities to amend some conditions in the agreement. Sources further said that the instructions had also been given to UT chief architect department to clear the drawing of multi-level parking near Gurudev photo studio so that its construction work should be initiated by the MC. It was also decided at the meeting that the corporation should work out the feasibility of multi-level parking and prepare a detailed report on it.

Officials of the corporation said the corporation had deposited Rs 2.15 crore with 24 per cent of departmental fee for shifting of the electricity cables of 33 KV, 11 KV and LT cables, which were passing over this land so that it could be handed over to the agency to which the work had been allotted. According to the agreement with the company, the corporation was to give clear site to the company for starting the work of multi-level parking.



Recruitment in Colleges
Education dept to devise transparent mechanism
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Following repeated complaints of non-deserving “influential” candidates being hired by the city government-aided colleges, the UT higher education department has decided to devise a fresh and transparent recruitment mechanism.

The move comes in the wake of series of complaints citing irregularities in filling of grant-in-aid posts under the alleged influence of Panjab University officials and Senators.

The latest complaint received by the department is against the recent recruitment drive held at MCM DAV College, Sector 36, for the post of psychology lecturers. The drive has landed members of the selection committee, having none other than Vipin Sobti, wife of PU Vice-Chancellor, as one of the subject experts, in trouble.

According to the complaint submitted by 10 applicants, the committee allegedly overlooked a UGC directive of making selections on the basis of Academic Performance Indicators (API) and rejected all deserving candidates.

The complainant said the constitution of selection committee was itself faulty. It consisted of Prof Vipin Sobti, along with Prof Meena Sehgal of Panjab University, under whose reported guidance, she completed her PhD this year. The third member of the committee was Prof Geeta Bhagat of MCM College who happened to be an old colleague of Professor Sobti. In the interview, the trio had selected three candidates. Of the three, Akansha Tripathi and Shweta Sharma were pursuing PhD under the guidance of Prof Meena Sehgal, while the third candidate, Nitasha Khera, had no teaching experience and had been chosen over another candidate having almost eight-year experience. Shweta Sharma had lowest score because of the API at the recently-held recruitment of contractual lecturers at government colleges. While she was not declared fit to even be a contractual faculty at government colleges, she had been selected as a regular teacher at MCM DAV College.

Probe ordered

An immediate inquiry has been marked into the matter and we will be verifying credentials of all candidates. On our part we will devise a transparent recruitment procedure for all colleges and forward it to the respective managements to follow it sternly. The mechanism will be similar to the one we used for recruiting contractual employees. We obviously can’t have guides selecting their own PhD candidates. The power to curtail such activity lies in the hands of Panjab University authorities, as they form selection panels and if there is any fault, steps need to be taken.

— Director Higher Education Ajoy Sharma



AIDS Awareness
Students hold rallies, but with no clue to subject
Sumedha Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, December 1
City students who are yet to be introduced to basics of sex education were at their wits’ end trying to figure out what awareness campaign were they spearheading today.

“Mere placard pe likha hai ki condom se AIDS rukta hai, par condom hota kaisa hai? (My placard reads condom prevents spread of AIDS, but how does it look like)”, said a 10-year-old student, who was taking part in one of the awareness rallies held to mark World AIDS Day today. He was joined in by one of his friends, who said, “I saw a movie in which the hero went on honeymoon and contracted the disease.”

Ironically, while several such students held awareness rallies against one of the most dreaded sexually/transmitted diseases, a majority of them were still unaware of concepts like puberty due to lack of proper sex education.

Even though it is supposed to be a mandatory subject, most of the UT schools are skipping science chapters related to reproduction, which forms an integral part of classes IX and X syllabi, leave aside arranging special lectures on sexual health.

The situation is quite perturbing, given the fact that various independent surveys quote lack of sexual awareness and proper guidance, a major reason behind teenage pregnancies and venereal diseases.

The CBSE had declared sex education to be a major part of the curriculum in 2002.

The Board had asked all schools to go by the five information booklets published by the NCERT and had also collaborated with the SCERT and other training institutes to train teachers in the subject.

Following this, former DPI (S) SK Setia had asked schools to hold a lecture on the subject in a week and train teachers at the SIE, but all this proved to be a nonstarter. 


Students clash outside DAV college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
In yet another violent spat at DAV College, Sector 10, a group of activists of National Students Union of India (NSUI) allegedly assaulted president of Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) outside the college today. When contacted, principal BC Josan pleaded ignorance about the clash, stating that the incident did not occur on the college premises.

The police said the attack was fallout of an old rivalry between both the organisations.

According to the police, Mayank Malik, a student of BA II at DAV College, alleged that he was assaulted by NSUI activists who were armed with sluggers and sharp-edged weapons. He suffered injuries on his eye and arms and was rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi Specialty Hospital. Though he was badly injured, his condition was stated to be stable.

Sohan Singh said Mayank had contested college students’ elections against NSUI candidates. Though both of them had lost, they had a grudge against each other.

A case of rioting, causing voluntary injuries and criminal intimidation has been registered at the Sector 3 police station in this connection. 



Battling AIDS with grit

Mohali: The district health authorities organised a seminar to mark the World AIDS Day here today. The seminar, held on the premises of Punjab State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, was presided over by Mohali Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar.

He urged the officials to spread awareness about AIDS among the poor, especially migrants, members of the truck union and the youth.

Dr PK Shridhar, Civil Surgeon, welcomed the chief guest and other participants.

Competitions like poster making and slogan writing were held, in which 150 students from six nursing colleges participated. Winners were given prizes.

Gian Jyoti

Volunteers of the NSS unit of Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology observed World AIDS Day by organising awareness camp at it’s adopted village "Ballo Majra".

The aim of the camp was to create awareness about the challenges and prejudices associated with the disease. Handouts containing information about AIDS were also distributed among residents of "Ballo Majra".

A seminar was also organised by students of the institute. Causes, symptoms and nature of AIDS causing HIV virus, its transmission and precautions were discussed.

SD College

Chandigarh: The NSS unit and Red Ribbon Club of GGDSD College, Sector 32-C, organised a candle light march in Sector 32 today to create awareness about AIDS.

SGGSC Campus

An awareness campaign was held on the SGGSC Campus on Worlds AIDS Day today. A candle march was flagged off by Ajoy Sharma, Director, Higher Education, UT administration. The march was organised from SGGS College to Bhapu Dham Colony, in which more than 300 volunteers of the NSS units of SGGS College, GGS College for Women and SGGS College of Pharmacy took part.


The MCM DAV NSS club organised a candle light march to generate awareness on HIV/AIDS and encourage masses to join the battle against it. More than 100 students of the college participated in the march.

College principal Dr Puneet Bedi laid emphasis on the significance of such endeavours in battling out the deadly disease.

State AIDS Control Society

The State AIDS Control Society and State NSS Cell jointly observed the World AIDS Day today. Around 5,000 NSS volunteers and other students from senior secondary schools across the city took part. They formed two biggest human chains from PGI to Mani Majra and Tribune Chowk to Sector 25 covering 10 kms on each side. Students held placards, banners and red balloons.

In the evening, volunteers of educational institutes across the city took out candle march in their respective areas to show solidarity with the AIDS victims and pledged to contain the disease.

Dev Samaj College

The Red Ribbons Club of Dev Samaj College, Sector 45, Chandigarh, organised a rally to mark the World AIDS Day today.

A number of students participated, along with their teachers. Students also visited nearby villages.

GMSSS(Mani Majra)

The NSS unit of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, celebrated the World AIDS Day, where principal Kund Bala Goyal addressed the NSS volunteers. A human chain was made from Kalagram to Modern Housing Complex Chowk. Volunteers carried beautiful placards spreading the message “Spread Love Not AIDS”. NSS programme officer Tarandeep Kaur organised the programme. — TNS



Satire on Aerocity project
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 1
Punjabi folk singer Sukhwinder Sukhi enraptured audience at the 16th edition of the annual cultural bonanza “Bol Punjab De-2010” organised by the Punjab Saktrtae Cultural Society at Randhawa auditorium here today.

Sukhi doled out popular numbers from his hit albums like “Jattan de goat, Saadi pug di pooni, Munde raflan rakhan de shonki, Chandigarh dil jud de taanke laundian husan diyan pariyan” and many more.

Earlier, the programme commenced with an invocatory Krishan vandna by Arzoo followed by a fusion dance by Sanjna. The audience relished a comedy satire titled “Aerocity ton baad..” written and directed by Rupinder Rupi

which highlighted the housing problem in the city. A folk orchestra presentation by Devinder Jugni and others featured folk musical instruments. Society member and noted theatre artiste Jarnail Husharpuri and ace dancer

Sanjna were honoured for their commendable contribution. Guests of honour NK Sharma and Gurbinder Chahal, IAS (retd), graced the function, while chief guest Arunesh Shakir announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh to the cultural society. 



Panchkula MC
2 caveats filed in apex court
Sanjay Bumbroo/TNS

Panchkula, December 1
In view of the moving of apex court by the Haryana Government in connection with the status of Panchkula municipal corporation, two activists have filed caveats in the Supreme Court.

Vijay Bansal, one of the petitioners and patron of the Shivalik Vikas Manch, who had challenged the merger of Kalka and Pinjore with Panchkula municipal corporation in Punjab and Haryana High Court, said he along with Panchkula MC councillor VK Kapoor had filed two separate caveats in the Supreme Court.

Whenever the court takes up the petition filed by the Haryana government, their petition will also be taken up, he said.

The Haryana government had moved the Supreme Court against the October-29 order of the High Court quashing the notification for the formation of the Panchkula municipal corporation.

The High Court had quashed the notification of the Haryana Government wherein it had converted Panchkula municipal council into a corporation by merging the municipal committees of Kalka and Pinjore.

After the order of the High Court, Haryana urban local bodies secretary Raj Kumar had written to state advocate general Hawa Singh Hooda stating that since the High Court had quashed the notification of the Haryana government to form the municipal corporation, the decision might also affect the fate of other municipal corporations proposed to be created in the state.

Thereafter, the state government had moved the Supreme Court.



Advanced cancer scan launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Diagnosing cancer, neurological and heart disorders will be accurate with the positron emission tomography (PET) scan technique, said Dr Rakesh Verma during the launch of this advanced machine in Sector 9.

After the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Sector 9 has become the second unit in North of Delhi to install this imaging test, which allows doctors to see the way certain tissues and organs function.

Dr Verma said the difference between PET scan and other imaging tests, such as the MRI or CT scan, was that PET could detect changes in the body at a cellular level rather than the stage where the disease begins to affect the surrounding tissues or organs.

PET will be useful in detecting certain types of cancer, heart problems, brain disorders and other conditions of the central nervous system, while its major use will be in conducting cancer studies. “It displays chemical and physiological activity in various parts of the body and provides information regarding their functioning. Other scanning methods look at structure and anatomy of organs,” he said.

“It easily diagnoses and assesses the spread of cancer and is used in establishing the extent of cancer spread, measuring response to treatment for cancer and locating the primary (original cancer) and secondary (cancer that has spread from original cancer) cancer sites. It can be used to distinguish between benign and malignant diseases,” he added.



BSF celebrates 46th Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The Border Security Force Headquarters (West) today celebrated its 46th Raising Day here. Several functions were organised to mark the occasion.The BSF was raised on December 1, 1965, by amalgamating 25 armed police units with a total strength of 30,000 personnel.

This has now grown to 167 battalions with about two lakh personnel. As part of the celebrations, various sports events were organised for jawans. The Punjab Frontier was adjudged the best frontier, while the Rajasthan Frontier won the sports trophy. A barakhana was also organised for the retired subordinate officers and jawans residing in tricity.

Known as the HQ Special Directorate General (West), the Chandigarh-based headquarters is responsible for safeguarding the entire 2,555 km-long western border from the Rann of Kutch to Jammu and Kashmir. It is also tasked with anti-terrorist operations in Kashmir.



Conference on hospital administration from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The department of hospital administration, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, is organising a two-day national conference on challenges and issues of hospital administration-2010 on the December 3 and 4.

The conference will be inaugurated by Geeta Bhukkal, Minister of Health and Education, Haryana. The valedictory session on December 4 will be presided over by Jagannath Pahadia, Governor of Haryana. The event will be attended by around 300 delegates from all over the country, including eminent personalities from the field of hospital administration, according to a press note issued here today.

The conference aims at enhancing the knowledge and developing strategies to share experiences and find solutions to provide the best healthcare at affordable cost.

Prominent personalities and pioneers from the field of hospital administration will be deliberating in their respective fields of expertise. A session on “challenges in healthcare” will be chaired by Prof AK Gupta, Medical Superintendent-cum-Head, Department ofHospital Administration, PGI.

Prof Raj Bahadur, Director-Principal, GMCH, and Dr Maitreyi R Kollegal will be chairing the session on outsourcing, the release added. 



35-yr-old woman killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Pinkesh Gupta, a 35-year-old woman, was killed after a truck hit her scooter near Centra Mall in Industrial Area here this evening. The victim was working as a clerk in Panjab University.

The police said the mishap occurred at around 4.30 pm when the victim was on her way back home. SHO of the Industrial Area police station inspector Malkit Singh said the victim suffered severe injures on head and other parts of the body. She was rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

The police has arrested the truck driver, identified as Sunil Kumar, on charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. 



With Home Secy overstretched, projects may suffer
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The move to give charge of the departments headed by UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar to home secretary Ram Niwas is expected to take a toll on developmental projects in the city. The additional burden on the latter, who already has his hands full with other key departments, will make it very difficult for him to deal with such a large number of responsibilities.

Ever since Kumar, by virtue of being chief administrator of the capitol project, had a key role to play in acquiring land for various projects, the post has always been under the scanner. It is unlikely Niwas will take any major decision on land acquisition in the backdrop of numerous controversies engulfing the administration’s “mega” projects.

With the end of the current fiscal approaching fast, the administration is expected to complete major engineering works. Since these projects lie in the technical field, the initiative to implement them has to come from the new finance secretary.

And, it is in the fitness of things that any official holding temporary charge of a post should leave major decisions to the full-time secretary. In the case of Niwas, he will naturally leave the key decisions to VK Singh, who is tipped to be the new finance secretary and whose name has reportedly been cleared by the home affairs ministry.

Niwas had earlier expressed his unwillingness to head the finance and other departments usually held by the finance secretary. However, apparently keeping in mind his seniority and performance, UT administrator Shivraj V Patil appears to have entrusted all important departments held by Kumar to Niwas. These included the departments of finance, engineering, urban planning, planning, sports, treasury and accounts, information technology, chief administrator of the capital project, housing and public relations.

Sources said in view of his preoccupation with his own departments, Niwas will only be left to deal with routine matters concerning the new departments. Already major projects are under way in his own departments, including education, tourism, CITCO, food & supplies, social welfare and health. 



Slum dwellers sensitised against HIV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The State Training Resource Centre of the School of Public Health, PGI, observed the World AIDS Day at the Urban Health Training Centre, Indira Colony, in Chandigarh to generate awareness among masses against HIV.

Prof Rajesh Kumar, head, PGI’s School of Public Health, talked about various health problems which were affecting the urban slum dwellers. He highlighted the need for awareness generation among the high-risk groups about the prevention of HIV.

Mayor Anu Chatrath, who presided over the function, lauded the role of the PGI’s School of Public Health in providing preventive and curative services to the urban slum dwellers. She highlighted the need for greater coordination between the UT Health Department and the MC. She said the civic body would provide more land for a PGI dispensary in Indira Colony. She added that a multi-specialty hospital had been approved for pocket number 8 area in Mani Majra.

A painting competition on the theme “Act, aware” was organised for primary and secondary school students of Mani Majra schools on the occasion. 



Work, customers suffer
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
BSNL services across the city were hit here today with the commencement of three days nationwide strike call by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the associations and the employee union. Several subscribers in the city had a harrowing time as no complaints of faulty phone lines were attended to.

Even those who reached the Customer Care Centre at Sector 34 and Sector 17 had no one to attend to their complaints or provide alternatives to resolve their complaints and issues.

Balwant Kaur, a resident of Sector 5, Panchkula, said, she had come all the way from Panchkula to the Sector 34 Chandigarh Customer Care Centre to take a duplicate SIM card and she had no prior information about the strike. “I have been there for the past 30 minutes but no one is willing to provide any information,” she told The Tribune Correspondent who informed her about the strike.

“Why can’t these people put a notice that they are on strike,” she rued. Accusing the senior BSNL management of being “insensitive” to customer problems, Balwant Kaur said, “If some employees are not working, at least some senior official can sit here and give information as to how and when a problem can be resolved.

Expressing similar views, visibly upset Nandan Singh of Sector 43, who had taken a special permission from office for conversion of prepaid SIM to post-paid, also had to return disappointed as there was no one to help him.

Such strikes and the insensitiveness of BSNL authorities is precisely the reason as to why the state-owned companies can’t match the potential of private companies.

Amarjeet Singh, Convener of the Joint Action Committee, Punjab, said that strike was successful on the first day as 80 per cent staff had joined in. He said the demands raised by the Joint Action Committee of Associations/ Unions of BSNL executive and non-executives include seeking refund of Rs 18,500 crore from the government to BSNL towards 3G and broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum charges and providing 78.2 per cent dearness allowance merger for wage revision with effect from January 1, 2007.

The other demands are no disinvestments or initial public offering of BSNL, no voluntary retirement scheme, procuring of adequate mobile equipment, no unbundling of last mile copper cable, steps to implement government's commitment on financial viability of BSNL at the time of corporatisation by continuing exemption from license fee, continuation of access deficit charge, and universal service obligation fund. The BSNL management must immediately settle the ITS group A employees absorption issue, he said.

BSNL employee manhandles Tribune lensman

Tribune lensman Manoj Mahajan was pushed around by an employee of BSNL, when he was clicking photographs of the harassed subscribers at the Customer Care Centre at Sector 34. The employee identified as Trilochan Singh, Division Engineer, Telephone (DET), claimed that clicking of photograph was not allowed there and when the photojounalist and Correspondent objected to the employee’s attitude, a senior officer reached there and apologised for Trilochan’s conduct. However, Trilochan remained unrepentant. 



Dharna staged outside Bansal’s house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Members of the Punjab Bachao Manch today staged a dharna outside the house of Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Bansal for his “failure” to implement Punjabi as the official language of Chandigarh.

Addressing the protesters, various leaders of the manch, including Gurpartap Singh Riar and Shingara Singh Bhullar, convener and chairman, respectively, alleged that Bansal had gone back on his pre-Lok Sabha promise that he would get the decision implemented within one year of his victory.

As the protesters marched towards Bansal’s house, a heavy police force stopped them on the way.

The protesters squatted a few yards away from the house.



UT to expedite shifting of grain market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
At a meeting held today between the secretaries of various departments of the UT administration chaired by the UT Adviser, it was decided to expedite the shifting of Grain Market from Sector 26 to Sector 39.

The proposal has been hanging fire for many years now. For the purpose, the department of planning and architecture has been asked to submit the final drawings immediately.

Once the market is shifted, the area will be notified and a new market based on the pattern of other sectors will be constructed at that place.

It was also decided to have 50 more bus queue shelters across the city for the convenience of the commuters in the first phase.

Out of these, 25 will be constructed in the southern sectors and remaining 25 will come up in northern sectors. The designs have already been finalised as per the existing ones in New Delhi. 



Centre urged to clear pending proposals

Chandigarh, December 1
UT Health Secretary Ram Niwas has urged the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to expedite the pending proposals pertaining to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

In a letter to the ministry, Ram Niwas said various proposals, including creation of certain posts, were pending with the ministry. The letter further mentions that the Union Government had sanctioned over Rs 45 crore to upgrade state government medical colleges and for starting postgraduate disciplines.

In order to start the postgraduate courses and proper utilisation of funds earmarked by the Union Government, the pending proposals should be approved at the earliest, the letter stated. — TNS



MC officials chided for delay in work
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Municipal corporation commissioner Roshan Sunkaria yesterday pulled up officials of the civic body’s public health and horticulture departments during a review of the progress on greenbelts being developed in the city.

Expressing dissatisfaction on the slow pace of work in all the greenbelts, he instructed them to speed it up and complete their assignments in the stipulated time.

While visiting the proposed greenbelt in Sector 56, Sunkaria expressed surprise at the lack of interest shown by both departments in executing the small project in time. The officials claimed the grassy lawn could not be developed due to the onset of winter and it would take at least three months to complete it.

The officials also told the commissioner the public health department had recently arranged water supply for the green belt and work on it would now begin in right earnest. They informed him the deadline for inaugurating the belt was March 2011.

During a visit to the green belt in Sector 51 Sunkaria instructed the officials to take action against the contractor who had failed to construct footpath in time. Showing displeasure at the belt’s condition he commented: “Its condition is the same as that about a year ago”.

He also asked public health officials to install a proper water supply system in the park. The latter assured him work on the green belt would be completed before March 31.

While inspecting the garden in the Valley of Animals in Sector 49, the commissioner suggested a few changes in the 3D effect project installed in the park. He also told officials to complete the project by the end of the current fiscal.

He also visited a central park being developed in Hallomajra where officials told him most of the work had been completed except construction of a boundary wall to keep away stray animals. Sunkaria was accompanied by MC chief engineer SS Bidda and superintending engineer (B&R) Mukesh Anand during the visits.



Now, admn mulls shifting dump to forest area
Environmentalists worried over impact on ecology
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

An earth mover carries out work at the proposed site of the new dumping ground in the forest area of Sector 30, Panchkula.
An earth mover carries out work at the proposed site of the new dumping ground in the forest area of Sector 30, Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, December 1
Ignoring the impact it will have on the environment, the district administration is planning to shift the present garbage dump site to the forest area near Sector 30, endangering the habitat of a large number of birds and animals.

Some environmentalists on the condition of anonymity said with the shifting of the dumping site to the forest area, its ecology would be disturbed, as the area was inhabited by a large number of birds and wild animals.

They said the purpose of shifting the dump had been defeated, as the site was not very far from the residential area.

The administration should have selected the garbage site away from the inhabited area.

HUDA and municipal council officials, on the other hand, feigned ignorance about work being carried out at the new dumping site.

Executive officer HUDA Ashwani Kumar said they were not aware about the work being carried out at the new site, while MC secretary Mohinder Sharma said they had not pressed into service any machinery at the proposed dumping site.

Residents of sectors across the Ghaggar have been demanding the shifting of the dump to some other are in view of the foul smell emanating from the site.

Some residents had earlier blocked vehicles carrying garbage to the site and let these go only after the assurance from the authorities that the site would be shifted soon.

The MC secretary said garbage would be dumped at the new site temporarily as residents were protesting against dumping of garbage at the present site.

He said the site did not fall under the forest area, as there were no trees. Moreover, it was a “shamlaat” (common) land of Moginand village, he added.

District forest officer Vijender Kadian said they had transferred the land to the Haryana Urban Department after getting another piece of land in Kalesar village in the Morni block.

Officials of the municipal council and the Haryana Urban Development Authority had held a meeting in this regard on November 9 to identify land for the dumping of garbage, keeping in view the increase in population in sectors across the Ghaggar.

Earlier, the district administration had decided to set up garbage dumping plant at Jheuriwala village and was awaiting clearance from the ministry of environment in this regard.

However, the project hit the roadblock after villagers protested against the same.



Misuse of community centres
Councillor’s notice to GMADA
Kulwinder Sangha

The community centre of Phase VI acts as police headquarters in Mohali.
The community centre of Phase VI acts as police headquarters in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, December 1
Ignoring public welfare, many community centres here are being allowed to be used by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for purposes other than what these are meant for, depriving residents of a convenient low-cost facility for holding social functions, including weddings.

PUDA (now GMADA) had constructed eight community centres in different parts of the town for the convenience of residents.

These centres were constructed in Phases II, 3B1, V , VI , VII, XI and Sectors 70 and 71.

But the centres located in Phases VI, XI and Sector 71 are in possession of the police, while another located in Phase 3B1 is being used as a courts complex.

GMADA authorities had asked senior police officials to get the buildings, constructed for the convenience of residents, vacated soon after these were occupied but helplessness was shown by the police as there were no alternate arrangements to accommodate additional force that came here after Mohali was given the status of a district.

Taking up cudgels against GMADA, municipal councillor Kuljit Singh Bedi today gave a notice to the authority, asking it to get the community centres vacated within a month failing which he would be compelled to move court in public interest.

In a letter written to the GMADA Chief Administrator, Bedi stated that as a councillor he had been receiving complaints from residents regarding the misuse of community centres. He said action should be initiated to get these vacated within a month and he should be informed in this regard.

He further said it was not the first time that community centres had been encroached upon.Even during days of terrorism, the police had occupied these buildings, depriving residents of the facility as they were compelled to hold functions by putting up tents in parks or hiring marriage palaces by paying substantial amounts.

Even the habitat centre constructed in Phase X was not being used by residents, as it was in the possession of some other department, he added.

Bedi added that the district administrative complex was running from showrooms in Phase I and important offices were located on the first floor. It was difficult for elderly and disabled persons climb the stairs. Traffic jams were often witnessed on the narrow road outside these offices.



Mohali corp formation round the corner?
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 1
The government is planning to dissolve the Mohali municipal council to form a corporation to expedite the work of development in the town soon.The announcement to upgrade the council to a corporation is likely to be made at the next meeting of the Punjab cabinet.

The civic body is currently headed by Congress-backed Rajinder Singh Rana and the SAD-led Punjab government is opposed to letting the credit for the development of the town go to Congress leaders.

The local civic body has been working overtime to get all formalities completed so that council can be upgraded at the earliest.

A certificate of income, countersigned by the deputy director, local government, Patiala, was submitted to the higher authorities yesterday.

All other documents showing the population of the urban and rural areas, a map showing the limits of the Mohali Vidhan Sabha constituency and another showing the limits of the Mohali council, and the proposal cleared by the general house of the civic body had also been submitted.

Sources said Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had stated at a recent meeting that Mohali council had to be upgraded to a corporation at the earliest.

Civic bodies of Moga and Pathankot were also to be upgraded.

The first phase villages falling in the Vidhan Sabha constituency were unlikely to be included in the proposed Mohali corporation but other areas, including sectors that were being looked after by GMADA, would be included in the new corporation.

The government was avoiding the inclusion of villages at this stage to avoid legal and other complications.

The proposal relating to the upgrade of the Mohali municipal council to a corporation was unanimously cleared by the general house on October 6.



Shalimar Mall showrooms
Give possession, owner told

Panchkula, December 1
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum here has directed the management of Shalimar Mall, Sector 5, to hand over possession of showrooms to the allottees along with necessary permission to start furnish works.

The decision that came after around 10 months of arguments in the case, was subsequent to the petition filed by two allottees, representing 35 allottees who had joined to sort out the matter with the mall management.

The showroom allottees, while seeking early possession in Shalimar Mall, had even filed complaint against the mall management with the Chandigarh police and the HUDA Administrator prior to moving the forum.

President Deepak Ahuja and Secretary Varun Phawa, The Shalimar Welfare Association, said the management had neither given the possession of showrooms allotted to the 35 allottees nor the sale deeds in their names despite having taken the entire amount of Rs 51 lakh.

After hearing the arguments presented by the petitioners as well as the counsel for the management, the forum president in his order directed the management not to demand any amount towards common area maintenance charges, non-operational and delayed charges till the actual offer of possession.

The management was also directed to pay compensation of Rs 5,000 per month to the allottees with effect from January, 2008 till the date of actual offer of possession and comply with the forum order in a month’s time. — TNS



No headway in realtor’s murder case
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 1
The police has failed to make headway in the mysterious death of 25-year-old Panchkula-based property dealer even as teams have been sent to Himachal Pradesh as part of investigations.

The charred body of Suresh Kumar was found in a car near Siswan village on the Mullanpur-Baddi highway on Friday night.

According to unconfirmed reports, the police has sent teams to Himachal Pradesh to question members of both families.

An unsuccessful love affair is said to be one of the reason’s behind the death of Suresh.

He was found dead on the day his love-interest was being married to someone else.



Labourer falls to death

Panchkula, December 1
Close on the heels of a suicide by a security guard at a construction site of a hotel in Sector 3 on Monday night, a labourer fell from the sixth floor of the same site and died here late last night.

The victim has been identified as Bhura Singh (27), a native of Barmer district in Rajasthan.

Security guard Baldev Singh had committed suicide at the same site by hanging himself with the help of a gas pipe on Monday night.

Bhura was working on the sixth floor along with a worker. He had gone inside a room to collect tools when he failed to notice a lift shaft due to darkness and fell. He received injuries on his head and chest. His co-workers took him to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where the doctors declared him brought dead. The police later handed over the body to relatives. — TNS



PU Notes

Prof VK Rattan, chairperson, Panjab University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, has been nominated visiting fellow to the University of Mauritius for five to six weeks in January and February, 2011, to interact with faculty, students and to undertake research projects and other activities. He has been nominated under the fourth UGC- TEC Consortium Agreement for 2010.


Prof OP Katare, former chairperson of the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), has been conferred Dr RK Upadhyaya National Teacher Excellence Award by IES Group of Institutions, Bhopal, for his remarkable contribution to the field of pharmaceutical sciences. Besides a citation and a trophy, the award also carries a cash prize of Rs 21,000. Professor Katare, while exhibiting good academic and administrative performances in the past, is making an effort to bring university research to the public domain for societal benefit while exploiting the potential of research scholars. Recognising the technology transfer initiatives, the Union government has already awarded DBT Technology National Award-2007 to him. The award was conferred by the then President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, on him.


The department of life long learning and extension of Panjab University observed World AIDS Day today. A workshop on HIV/AIDS was held at Government Senior Secondary School, Khuda Ali Sher. Students from classes X to XII attended the workshop. Renu Gandhi, assistant professor of the university department, apprised students of the risk involved in HIV/AIDS and preventive measures against the disease.

She spoke on physical, emotional and sexual changes in adolescents and advised students to shun hesitation and discuss their problems with their parents or elders. Girl students, however, appeared more confident when it came to asking questions relating to sex and AIDS.

Questions regarding sexual harassment, AIDS prevention and use of contraceptives were asked, said Prof Ajaib Singh, director, department of life long learning. — TNS



From Schools
Shabad gayan contest

CHANDIGARH: Students of Government Model High School, Sector 28, bagged the second prize in a shabad gayan competition at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15. A total of 20 teams from various schools participated in the event which was conducted by Sudeshna, a music teacher.

Academy opened

PANCHKULA: A tennis academy has been opened at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Panchkula. Students are being trained by an experienced coach and have shown a commendable initial response. — TNS



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