C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Protest by workers turns violent at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The protest by PGI contractual workers over the delay in disbursal of salaries turned violent today when they alleged that a security officer slapped a woman employee who was insisting on getting her salary today only.

This led to a clash between security personnel and employees. Three workers, including a woman, were injured in the clash. Later, the police arrested protesters as a preventive measure.

The protesters alleged that they did not get their salaries since October and the PGI authorities had promised to release the same today.

The employees were waiting outside the office of the medical superintendent in the evening when they were told that the salaries could not be disbursed today. On this, the employees got infuriated and Sarita Thakur, a hospital attendant, started arguing with security officer PC Sharma when he asked them to leave the place.

The employees alleged that the security officer misbehaved with Sarita and slapped her. However, Suresh, another attendant, said Sarita tried to slap the security officer. He alleged that the security officer retaliated and slapped her.

Sarita, Sonu and Praveen, all hospital attendants, were injured in the brawl. The glass on the counter of security control room and windowpanes were also damaged in the incident.

When contacted, PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said the PGI authorities were to disburse salaries today. One of the staff members was at the SBI branch in the PGI to collect the cheques when the employees lost their temper and targeted senior officials, she said.

No salaries

Following revision of wages in September, the contractor, who had hired these workers, told the PGI authorities last month to end the contract, it is learnt. Over 500 employees, including ward attendants, sweepers and clerks, did not get their salaries since then. The PGI had, however, assured payment to them.



Kiosks at Night Food Street challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Cracking a whip against food kiosks owners at the Night Food Street near the PGI, a UT administration team today suspended the operations and challaned six stall owners for preparing and serving food under unhygienic conditions.

At least five quintals of prepared food items were also destroyed during the raid. Led by ADC PS Shergill, the team found glaring violations under The Food Adulteration Act.

The raid was the outcome of a complaint received by UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas who later deputed Shergill and health officials for checking the place.

Shergill said while the kiosk owners were supposed to use the place for serving the food prepared at the base kitchen, all six stall owners were cooking food at the backyard of the street in the open. Besides, the food was being served under unhygienic conditions. Cooks and the waiters were not wearing caps, aprons or gloves, he said, adding that the utensils were also being washed in dirty water.

Shergill said the stall owners were warned of more strict action in case the offence was repeated.


  • Food cooked in unhygienic conditions
  • Utensils washed in dirty water
  • Staff without caps, aprons and gloves



Harbhajan in service tax net
Owes Rs 1 cr, booked
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Harbhajan Singh may have created cricketing history by hitting back-to-back centuries, but he seems to have been caught on the wrong foot by the Central Excise and Service Tax Department. The spinner owes ` 1.08 crore in service tax and the department has now registered a case against him.

Confirming the case, North-West Region’s Chief Commissioner of Central Excise PK Sirohi said, “The department has registered a case against Harbhajan for non-payment of service tax.” However, Sirohi said that the cricketer’s tax liability was “tentative” as the matter was still under investigation.

Sirohi said that during the course of the inquiry, Harbhajan submitted some documents, including ledger account, I-T returns, balancesheets and copy of agreement with the IPL franchisee. “Some information and documents from Harbhajan are awaited,” he said.

Sirohi said that Harbhajan rendered a taxable service under the ‘Business Support Service’ as per Section 65 (105) (zzzq) of the Finance Act, 1994, while promoting the business of IPL franchisee Rathpriya Trading Pvt Ltd (RTPL), as per terms and conditions of the agreement dated February 11, 2008. However, Harbhajan has not paid service tax on the amount received from the franchisee. “Tax liability on this account has been tentatively ascertained at Rs 42.34 lakh,” Sirohi said.

The Chief Commissioner of Central Excise said that the spinner had also received substantial sums from clients and companies for providing services to them.

His tax liability under ‘Business Auxiliary Services’ has been ascertained at Rs 66.64 lakh.

Yuvi still owes Rs 1.15 cr

Harbhajan is the second cricketer after Yuvraj to have been found “evading” service tax on his IPL earnings. Yuvraj owes Rs 1.15 crore in service tax and investigations in the case are still on



MC bats for officials, stumps staff
Showers Rs 1 lakh on top brass, keeps workers penniless
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is a classic example of misplaced priorities. Councillors in the team for a one-day cricket match between the Mayor XI and the Commissioner XI have each been given sportswear of a leading international brand worth ` 4,150 each. However, class IV employees of the MC are struggling for the last five years to get an annual allowance of ` 356 for their uniforms.

MC records show an expenditure of Rs 1 lakh on sportswear of 28 players of two teams and two umpires. Each player has been given a tracksuit worth Rs 2,150 and shoes worth Rs 2,000 for the one-day match. As per the official list, only three councillors, who were found physically fit, will be part of the Mayor XI team.

“It’s another picnic for MC councillors and officials at the cost of public money,” said nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee.

Concurrently, MC records reveal that for the uniform of 60 class IV employees, including peons, chowkidars, sweepers and labourers of the enforcement department, the authorities have fixed ` 356 and ` 234 for the drivers annually. However, they are yet to get this allowance. The authorities have not even bothered to issue the nominal amount to the class IV employees for their routine summer and winter uniforms.

Requesting anonymity, an employee of the MC said for the last 10 years, no employee of the corporation has got the winter uniform. Only a few of them have been issued summer uniform. Employees have been protesting to get the rates of uniforms revised as for the last more than 13 years, the rates are the same.

Chairman of the MC art and culture committee Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri confirmed that the committee would provide sportswear to players participating in the cricket match.



Industrial Area
Admn under fire from industry, yet again
Collection of conversion fee after 2006 dubbed illegal
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The ghost of the controversial conversion policy has come to haunt the Chandigarh administration again. Picking holes in the policy, city industrialists have alleged that the administration ignored the provisions of a central Act while collecting conversion fee after 2006.

Now, the Industries Association of Chandigarh has written to UT Administrator Shivraj Patil to seek his intervention in the implementation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006, in letter and spirit.

Under the Act, a majority of the industries/activities were considered as service activities where no conversion fee for land use was applicable as the industry is only changed to enterprise, claimed HS Mamik, chairman of the sub-committee on the industrial conversion policy of the association, while terming the collection of conversion fee in the post-2006 period “illegal”.

On the other hand, the administration has been collecting exorbitant amounts of conversion fee from 2005 to September, 2008. This was contrary to the Act, which specified that industry/enterprise was the legal right of the industrialist/land owner, alleged Arun Mahajan, president of the association.

In fact, according to the Act, “enterprise means an industrial undertaking or a business concern or any other establishment, by whatever name called, engaged in the the manufacture or production of goods, in any manner, pertaining to any industry specified in the First Schedule to the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 or engaged in providing or rendering of any service or services,” Mahajan claimed.

Mamik claimed that the Chandigarh administration played into the hands of the land developers, who had come up with a formula that created the anomaly to pay Rs 29,700 per sq yd as conversion fee.

However at the same time, the administration was allotting land in the IT Park at the rate of Rs 2,000 per sq yd.

Calling upon Patil to allow these industries/enterprises to flourish in Chandigarh without any conversion costs, as all developments are now considered as service enterprise, the representation alleged bias towards the Industrial Area.

On the other hand, the authorities are encouraging industrial activities in a big way in Mohali and Panchkula industrial areas to encourage diversification and service enterprise.

Meanwhile, official sources claimed that the conversion charges were according to rules and regulations framed by the administration and “no central laws were bent by the administration”.

In fact, conversion fee issue was a closed chapter for the administration as the matter was also pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the sources added.

Retail enterprises part of industry

Retail enterprises were part of the industry, claimed industrialists while opposing misuse notices sent by the estate office. The issuance of notices by the authorities is a sheer harassment of industrialists, going against the spirit of promotion of industry



Police encounter spreads panic
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Kharar, December 3
Panic spread among residents and shopkeepers of Sunny Enclave area on the National Highway-21 after a firing incident occurred between the police and snatchers here this afternoon.

As the cars screeched into the subway of the Sunny Enclave from the Chandigarh-Kharar road, residents thought some youngsters were out racing against each other.

“But when one of the car occupants took out a gun and shot a round, we sensed something wrong. Hearing the gun shots we came out of our shops,” said a shopkeeper.

According to sources, since the police team was not in the uniform people couldn’t make out what was happening.

A few eyewitnesses thought that some gang members were fighting among themselves.

It was only when some policemen in uniform arrived at the scene people came out to enquire. The guards standing at the main gate of the Sunny Enclave closed the gate barring entry of the gang members. Some passersby said more than 12 guns shots were exchanged during the fight. The two cars were badly hit by bullets.

The police said the cars impounded from the gang members were stolen ones. Accused had changed the number plates of both the cars in order to mislead the police. Late in the evening persons claiming to be the car owners started calling up newspaper officers to find out about their cars.


UT replies to MHA queries on IT park land
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
After of delay of four days, the UT administration today sent a detailed reply to the ministry of home affairs’ letter pertaining to land acquisition and utilization in phases I and II of the Information Technology Park and efforts to acquire land for phase III.

The ministry’s letter posed six specific questions to the administration based on the report of an inquiry held by former IAS officer Arun Ramanathan. One of the most pertinent details sought by the ministry was on the status and utilization of phases I and II of the IT Park just after a notification was issued for acquiring land for phase III.

Sources said in its reply the administration has stated the total area acquired for phase I was 111 acres and about 37 IT companies, employing almost 10,000 employees, were operating in the area. A hotel was proposed to be built in phase I but construction was yet to begin, the letter has said.

Similarly, for phase II of the IT Park 267 acres of land were acquired, out of which 30 acres allotted to software major Wipro is still lying vacant despite sending repeated reminders and notices. The administration is to soon begin with the resumption process of the land. The process to resume another three acres of land belonging to another IT firm has also been resumed.

For phase III of the IT Park the administration was to acquire 272 acres of land but the acquisition has currently been put on hold, the letter stated.



Taj fined Rs 25,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The UT Financial Commissioner today slapped a penalty of Rs 25,000 on Hotel Taj after it filed an appeal against the order of suspension of its bar licence for 10 days recently.

The hotel had obtained stay order on the suspended licence.

The UT excise and taxation department had on November 29 suspended the bar licence of Hotel Taj in Sector 17 for not maintaining proper records and using two underage employees for serving liquor.

Hotel’s management had appealed against the order and the case was decided today.



Business council hails admn’s decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
A meeting of Chandigarh Business Council (CBC) was held today under the presidentship of Jagdish Arora and passed a resolution to thank Adviser to the UT Administrator and the Deputy Commissioner for acceding to their request to honour transfer of property through the GPA in Chandigarh.

A deputation had called on the Adviser on November 23 and submitted a memorandum to grant unconditional NOC to the GPA along with various other issues.

The Adviser, after discussion on all points, directed the CBC members to call on the Deputy Commissioner, with whom they had point-wise discussion on November 29.

The delegation apprised the Deputy Commissioner of the practical difficulties being faced by GPA holders, who after having all powers in registered GPA documents were unable to sell their property.



Conference on hospital administration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
A two-day national conference on “Challenges and Issues in Hospital Administration-2010” started at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, here today.

Haryana health and education minister Geeta Bhukkal was the chief guest. GMCH Director-Principal Prof Raj Bahadur and medical superintendent Vipin K Koushal presided over the inaugural ceremony.

The conference witnessed sessions presided over by key note speaker Dr RK Sharma, head of the hospital administration department, IIM, Shillong.

Professor AK Gupta, medical superintendent-cum-head, department of hospital administration, PGI, touched upon legal issues pertaining to outsourcing of the hospital services.



Power cuts are back again in mohali
Dark winters for residents
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, December 3
Unscheduled power cuts are back again here causing inconvenience to residents even in winter season. While power cut is for about two hours daily in residential areas, weekly power cuts have once again been announced for the industrial sector.

Power cuts were imposed again in the town about a week ago. Residents witnessed that power was being cut on a daily basis for about an hour twice a day and this is when they realised that power cuts were back again and that, too, in winters.

Though residents were not as bitter about the power cuts now, as they were during the summer season.

Those people who were dependent on power supply to earn their livelihood were not very happy. Phool Raj Singh, municipal councilor and a resident of Phase VII, said power cuts were being imposed in the morning and also during the day.

He said the government was claiming that power was being given to other states so that during summer season power could be taken from these states.

He said though power cuts didn’t disturb the life of residents in winters, it affected the business of a large number of people.

An electrician, Ajaib Singh, said his monthly income came down once power cuts were imposed again. He had to wait for the power to be restored so that he could resume work.

Welders and others who depend on power supply to earn their livelihood were also adversely affected. Women couldn’t carry out their daily chores in time due to absence of power supply.

Residents had to pay double the amount to get photocopies of documents during power cuts.

A shopkeeper of Phase V said the government had failed to provide basic facilities.

General secretary of the Mohali Industries Association RP Singh said no power cuts were imposed during the past one month, but a notice was received today stating that power to small industrial units would be cut for 24 hours in a week, while bigger units would have to face a 36-hour weekly power cut from tomorrow.

He said industry in Punjab was already going through crisis and power cuts worsened the situation.

Industrial unit owners had hoped to achieve their targets by March 31 when power cuts were lifted about a month ago, but the announcement of power cuts had created problems for the industrial sector, the shopkeeper added.

An official of the Punjab State Power Corporation, however, claimed that not regular power cuts were being imposed in Mohali, but power was being cut at times because maintenance work was being carried out in different areas.



Applicants to get refund amount by Dec 10
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 3
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today stated that refund of money to the unsuccessful applicants of Aerocity would be completed by December 10.

Refund of earnest money to the remaining categories, including 300 sq yd, 150 sq yd and 125 sq yd, are under print and would be handed over to the courier services by December 5.

However, refund of earnest money to the applicants of 200 sq yd category was being processed by the banks and would be sent for dispatch by December 7.

GMADA has already sent the amount to the banks. However, earnest money of successful applicants and applicants on waiting list has been retained.

The draw for handicapped category is scheduled for December 14 and the earnest money to this category would be refunded thereafter.

Amount pertaining to the refund of earnest money to the unsuccessful applicants, who had applied by availing finance/loans from various banks had been transferred to the relevant banks before November 26.

Only application money of 125 sq yd and 150 sq yd categories were transferred on December 1.

The total amount of application money refunded to the banks against the financed cases is Rs 7,945.38 crore.

Similarly, the total amount refunded to the banks for issuing refunds to the self-financed applicants is Rs 1,209.99 crore.

Since GMADA has completed the allotment process in less five months and financial institutions had charged six months interest on earnest money loans, applicants in their capacity are entitled to refund of interest for the intervening period.



Realtor’s Death
Police groping in the dark
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 3
With the police unable to procure call details of the Airtel connection in possession of the Panchkula-based realtor Suresh Kumar, who was purportedly using it on the day of the suspected murder, investigations in the week-old case seems to be heading nowhere.

The charred body of the victim was found lying at the rear seat of burnt Suzuki Swift car near Siswan village on the Mullanpur-Baddi highway on Friday night.

Sources said to explore the theory of love affair between the deceased and Baddi-based woman (who was related to the latter’s family), the police was trying to analyse the pattern of call details and SMSes exchanged between the two. The mobile handset, purportedly in possession of the girl, was in possession of the investigators.

Since the girl is already married, the police had problems in procuring the mobile. In the last two days, a team of Mohali cops has been questioning members of the girl’s family.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the police has not been able to yield much while working on the theory of the youth being killed due to the love affair.

Some other persons related to the girl and boy’s family were under scanner.

The eerie silence by victim’s family was also adding to the mystery.

So far, there was no concrete lead that could solve the mysterious death of Suresh. Incidentally, the realtor was found dead on the day when his ‘lover’ was getting married, which raised several questions behind the circumstances leading to the death of Suresh.

Effort to reconstruct the circumstantial evidence at the place of the incident had not yielded much as the vehicle was completely burnt. Remains of a mobile handset were found in the car.

The circumstantial evidence and accounts of some unconfirmed eyewitnesses had also added to the confusion. The burnt vehicle was found in the middle of the road and that too when the road takes a sloping, indicating an abrupt turn of events in or around the vehicle resulting in the driver applying sudden brakes.

Around 10 pm, some passers-by had reportedly seen another vehicle parked behind the ill-fated car and some persons surrounding it while it was in flames.

Where are the investigations heading?

Going by the sequence of events, investigators feel the case of mysterious death of Suresh will meet the same fate as the murder case of 34-year-old Sameer Watts, a senior official with a Mohali-based cellular operator. He was shot at from close range near Cosmo Hospital, Phase VIII, on March 14, last year. In both cases, persons related to the victims are suspected to be involved



Residents decry proposed airfare hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The proposed move by private airline operators for a steep rise in tariffs for all domestic circles, if implemented, will make flying to Delhi from the city as costly as Rs 10,500, has evoked a sharp reaction from residents with many describing it as "robbery".

"It's sheer looting", said Prachi Arora, a Sector 38 resident who is a frequent flier. A one-way ticket for Delhi is presently available for as low as Rs 3,500 and hiking the fares by more than thrice is not justified”, she averred.

Expressing disgust at the of move the airlines, Vijay Arora, an IT professional, said though the director general of civil aviation and the civil aviation minister were making the right noises as of now by saying they would not allow such a big hike, it was unlikely they would turn down the proposal altogether. "There’ll be negotiations so one can expect a hike in airfares on the cards, but it remains to be seen by what percentage," he added.

Arora said many middle class people like him who had switched to flying to Delhi due to cheap fares would be forced to abandon air journeys and return to the "good old" Shatabdi Express train. Quoting Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, who was on TV all the day trying to be on the side of the “aam aadmi” (common man) by criticizing the move, Arora said, "I really wish the minister sticks to his stand and turns down the proposal".

It may be mentioned here that, buoyed by the rising demand in air travel in the recent months, airline operators have suggested fares based on the distance of travel rather than the dynamic fare structure they have been following till now, where fares move up as planes fill up.

According to the proposal, one-way fares for a distance less than 750 kilometres would be Rs10,500 and Rs 40,000 for more than 1,400 km. This means a one-way air Delhi-Bangalore ticket would cost Rs 40,000 while the Delhi-Chandigarh fare would work out to Rs10,500.

“The hike will pinch only the pocket of the common man, who is already reeling under high food inflation and higher taxes,” said Rahul Sharma, another city resident. "All I can say is that my plans to have a vacation will go for a toss if these hikes are effected," he averred.



Kathak performance today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
“Inspiration”, a kathak performance, will be held tomorrow at the Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16, here.

Shuchi Sharma, Vandana Bhatt, Prarthna, Soumya and Swati Awal, all disciples of renowned choreographer, Dr Jaswinder Kaur, will give a performance during the event, which will be inaugurated by Director Higher Education Ajoy Sharma.

The show intends to honour Pt Guru Rajendra Gangani, the torchbearer of Jaipur Gharana.

Dr Jaswinder Kaur will choreograph the show. She will be assisted by Gurjinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh, both tabla maestros; Navtej Singh, ghazal singer and music composer; and Vinod Pawar, sarangi player.



Diverse folk culture comes alive
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 3
The magnificence and grandeur of diverse folk cultural traditions of West Bengal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ladakh and India was brought alive by accomplished artistes from respective countries in the third Folklore and Heritage Festival organised by the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature at the Tagore theatre here today.

The ambience turned folksy, as Parkash Nath led “Sapera Been Jogis” of Haryana in traditional costumes to present Haryanvi folk tunes and Tooma vadan.

Defying his growing age, Pooran Das, an acclaimed Baul singer of West Bengal, presented captivating devotional songs at a high pitch.

The artistes of Kaluarachichi’s group from Sri Lanka spelt magic with dances and drums. Dancers, Simona and Imisha, shined in opening invocatory, colourful Ves dance, a romantic folk song, while KG Priyanka drummed and swirled to perfection while dancing. Artistes from Mahabodhi International Centre, Leh, and Quddus Boyati Group of Bangladesh, too, doled out folk songs and dances. The programme concluded with a mesmerising recital of “Duryodhna vadh” by Teejan Bai, the renowned Pandvani singer from Chhattisgarh. Director-general ICCR, Suresh K Goyal IFS, SAARC foundation president Ajeet Cour and Manmohan Mitwa honoured the artistes.



SOREM signs MoU with Global Autism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The Society for Rehabilitation of Mentally Challenged (SOREM) has signed an MoU with Global Autism Society, New York, to impart training to parents, teachers and professionals for better handling of individuals with special needs.

A team of three professionals from Global Autism is in the city for the purpose. They will be using the applied behaviour analysis (ABA) technique, which is one of the most well accepted methods in the world. ABA method reduces inappropriate behaviour and increases communication, learning and appropriate social behaviour.

Therefore, it is best that teachers and parents work together to develop the most effective programme for the child. This programme was developed for children with autism but it is also beneficial for all children with special needs, said Promila Chandra Mohan, secretary of SOREM.

Autism is a neurological disorder, which is characterised by impaired social interaction, communication and repetitive behaviour. The symptoms of the disease can be identified when a child is 30-month-old, said Rakesh Kumar Chaliha, special educator at SOREM.



Talk to create awareness about AIDS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
As part of the World AIDS Day celebrations, a workshop on HIV/AIDS awareness was organised at No. 3 Base Repair Depot (3 BRD) in association with the State AIDS Control Society (SACS), Chandigarh, today.

A large number of Air Force personnel, civilian employees as well as students from the Air Force School and Kendriya Vidyalaya attended the workshop.

Air Commodore R Sharma, Air Officer Commanding, 3 BRD, inaugurated the workshop.

Gp Capt BS Sekhon, senior medical officer, 3 BRD, Dr Vanita Gupta, project director, SACS, Dr Jitender Dahiya, consultant, and Dr Vandana Dewan from the State AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh, delivered talks on the occasion to create awareness among participants about HIV/AIDS.

A play filled with humour and a message on AIDS was also staged. A blood testing camp was also organised to mark the occasion.



Chandigarh Housing Board gets national award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has been conferred with a national award for the “Best City in implementation of the Planned Habitat for Urban Poor” (BSUP) under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, has conferred the award for the outstanding efforts made by the CHB in implementing the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme under the Chandigarh Small Flats Scheme - 2006.

The award carries a trophy, a citation and a cash price of Rs 3 Lakh in the name of chairman, CHB, and was received by the Chairman, CHB, and Chief Engineer, CHB, today from Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja on the eve of the “National Conference on Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission” held at New Delhi.

The function was presided by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The present award is in series with the award won by the Chandigarh Administration/Chandigarh Housing Board during 2009 for the “Best City in Implementation of Earmarking of Land for the Poor” and for undertaking “Affordable Housing Programme” for the poor under the Slum Rehabilitation Programme.



Capt Kohli’s mother plans to move HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Expressing shock over Defence Minister AK Antony’s statement in Parliament that the death of Capt Sumit Kohli in 2006 was a case of suicide, the deceased officer’s mother Veena Kohli said she was contemplating moving the Delhi High Court to seek a probe into the matter by an independent agency.

Speaking to mediapersons here today, she alleged that it was a case where the Defence Minister had tendered a false statement in the House and it called for strict action.

Captain Kohli, a Shaurya Chakra awardee, was found dead due to gunshot wounds in his room while posted in J&K. The Army had termed it to be a case of suicide, which was contested by his family. In August, Veena and her daughter Namrata had met the Defence Minister, requesting him for an investigation into the case.

She said till now, she had not received any intimation from any authority regarding the investigation ordered by the Defence Minister and only learnt about the matter from his statement.

She said earlier the Army, too, had kept her in the dark about the investigation at the time of the incident and she was not even supplied a copy of the autopsy report. It was only after the Delhi High Court’s order that the Army furnished the documents pertaining to the case.

She claimed that the documents were self- contradictory and cast aspersions on the inquiry proceedings.



PEC mess workers go on indefinite strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Mess employees of Panjab Engineering College (PEC), Sector 12, proceeded on an indefinite strike today after the management’s reported failure to fulfill their long pending demands.

Though the association had forewarned the authorities of strike and subsequent arrangements were also made, it left students a hassled lot.

According to students, given to the strike PEC got a new contractor for the time being but he overcharged them as compared to the mess rates.

“The food which we got today was pathetic and over priced. We were informed that mess workers will go on a strike and were assured of proper arrangement, but the kind of food provided today was far from bearable and the amount charged was much more than the usual mess charges,” said a hostel student representative.

The mess workers had approached both PEC management and UT administration with a 10-point demand letter asking for several things like immediate recruitment for 47 vacant posts, fixed working hours, ESIC benefits and extension of labour laws to their service.

“We ran from pillar to post asking for basic things but nobody was bothered, so we were forced to take this step. Just to ensure that students are not harassed, we informed them about the date of the strike in advance. We do realise the students’ problems but we need to address our professional issues also,” said one of the leaders of mess workers.

The students, meanwhile, have asked the management to resolve the issue immediately in lieu of the fast approaching examinations.

“As the examinations are just a few days away, we cannot afford to have this overpriced horrid food every time. The management should immediately resolve the matter or we may also be forced to take a similar step,” said a hosteller.



Seminar on banking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
In coming years more than one lakh vacancies will be filled by Banking Industry in India due to retirements, resignations and expansions.

Majority of bank employees are getting retired in coming years. There is going to be a lot of opportunities for MBA students, especially for those who are having finance as their specialisation.

This was said by RK Goyal (GM, HR, Bank of India) during a seminar on “HRM in Banking-Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”.

The seminar was organised by Aryans Group of Colleges (AGC) at Bank of India, Zonal office, here today. Goyal said HR is not only about recruitment, but its more about retention which is not at all easy for any Banking organisation these days.



PU sanctions Rs 3 cr to complete hostel building
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
At its financial board meeting held today, Panjab University has sanctioned Rs 3 crore for completion of the new student hostel building.

In addition to this, funds were also sanctioned for renovation or upgradation of certain existing hostels.

“The new hostel will be ready by the next session. Thankfully, the university is economically rich now and we want to spend these in strengthening the university infrastructure for students’ benefit,” said Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti.

The board has also given a go ahead to the long demanded arrears for currently employed daily wagers. These arrears will be payable from 2006 and the total estimate will be calculated shortly.

“The daily wagers were getting the enhanced pay already but were demanding arrears since a long time. We have not calculated the actual cost of providing these arrears but that will be worked out soon. The decision will effect hundreds of daily wagers employed in various departments of the university,” said a member of the finance board.

In addition to this, the funds have also been sanctioned for building various parking lots in the university, including that of dental college, and buying a few buses for Hoshiarpur students.

The university has also increased the sumptuary allowance of all entitled officials by Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 with the Vice-Chancellor entitlement being increased from Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,500.

“This has been done to incorporate the government notification about upgradation of the allowance,” revealed a senior official.



Question paper out of syllabus
Students walk out of exam hall

Chandigarh, December 3
A high drama prevailed at Panjab University campus today when students of BA BEd course, who had come to take English examination, walked out of the examination hall, claiming that all questions were based on topics not specified in the syllabus.

Around 27 students, who had come to appear for the examination in the afternoon session, were taken in by surprise when they got their question papers.

According to them, not even a single question pertained to the specified syllabus. Irked by this, they approached the invigilator.

“We immediately informed the invigilator so that the authorities concerned could take some action. To our surprise, nothing happened for almost 20 minutes and we decided to leave the examination hall and go to the Controller Examination,” said one of the examinees.

When the students apprised Controller Examination, AK Bhandari of the error, he reportedly agreed with them.

“The students claimed that the paper was out of syllabus. I spoke to the department and looking into the matter,” said Bhandari. — TNS



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