C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


A rocking start to 2011
...Tricity dances hard l Overspeeding, accidents, brawls & rowdyism l ...And a midnight baby in Panchkula

Cops try to pacify agitated motorists following a pile-up of three vehicles along Sector 17 on Madhya Marg; and (right) rowdy revellers having a field day on Madhya Marg. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

alert police: Police checks vehicle drivers for possible drunken driving near the Centra Mall.;sleeping time: Not bothered much about celebrations, rickshaw-pullers call it a day on the road separating Sectors 21 and 34.

dholi taro:Youngsters have fun and dance on dhol beats.

Boozers’ Paradise;Revellers having a ball of a time in Sector 17. STAR COMES DOWN: Actor Jimmy Shergill during a dance party at a hotel.



2011 begins with revelry, rowdyism
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, December 31
Even as biting cold failed to prove a dampner for the new year revellers incidents of violence, rowdyism and overspeeding marred the New Year festivities in the tricity tonight.

In fact, major police presence failed to deter the rowdy elements, primarily youngters, who took law into their hand cocking a snook at the heavy police bandobast.

A major brawl was reported in Sector 8 inner market when a son of the driver of former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan was attacked by three persons. Uday, who stays in a servant quarter in the BJP leader’s residence in Sector 9 was rushed to the Government Multispeciality Hospital Sector 16 with injuries. He was hit by a bottle on his head following incident of violence.

In another incident, Gaurav Khanna, a liquor vend owner in Pulsora was stabbed in the hip by unidentified assailants following a clash with them. Gaurav was dancing with his friends in Sector 55 by putting on full music in his car when another group also came at the same place and a violent scuffle ensued. Gaurav was rushed to the Sector 16 hospital at the time of filing this report.

The police was investigating at the time of filing this report.

In another incident, the driver of a rashly driven Ford Fiesta car number CH03 W 5850 hit two vehicles on the Madhya Marg opposite Arizona in Sector 9 and fled away right under the nose of the police.

While no one was injured, the pile up of vehicles resulted in a traffic jam on the Madhya Marg. Hemant, a law student, said the driver

of the Ford Fiesta car hit them from the rear at a great speed.

At midnight, the father of Khushpreet along with 25 supporters of Burail protested outside the office of Sub Divisional Police Officer (South) Vijay Kumar against police inaction in the kidnapping case.

The police control room was flooded with calls from 11.30 pm till past midnight.

Meanwhile, new year party lovers had a bang on eve of the new year on the dance floors, roads and private residences in the city and adjoining towns of Mohali and Panchkula.

The biggest party freaks had a fun time on the city roads.There was considerable police on differtent roads, however, except particular spots the cops did not play mood spoilers.

The Belle Vista in Panchkula proved to be among the biggest crowd drawers for the evening. The registration number of vehicles in the parking showed that the crowd had come from Chandigarh, Mohali and even other towns in the neighbourhood of the tricity.

The row of hotels, particularly in Sector 35, saw a huge rush.There were not many star atttractions for the day. However, DJs from outstations and dancers, including ballet dancers from Russia and other European countries, were hot favourities for the day.

Rajkumar, a student from DAV college, went uphill with his friends, all hailing from Bihar."We did not have enough time to travel back home. We had our party drink in the hostel room and decided to drive uphills.On way we met several local partying. We shared our drinks and made new friends".

Mohali: Intense cold failed to foil the thrill, as revellers thronged private clubs and restaurants to celebrate the New Year. Well before the clock struck 12, celebrations began, as partying crowd danced their way into 2011. A few spirited revelers could be seen on the street as police control room (PCR) vehicles could be seen doing rounds of trouble spots in the city.

Barring a few street brawls, no major incident was reported. Apart from the clubs, rush of revelers could be seen at liquor vends and outlets selling non-veg items. Senior police officials said due to police presence, high-spirited revellers could not indulge in hooliganism. Unaware of the police presence, a section of youngsters took to drinking at public parking in phase 3-B-2, 7 and 9 markets.

Special programme had been organized at PCA, Mohali club and restaurants across the city.In Zirakpur, special programme had been organized at hotels and long queue of vehicles could be seen parked outside the hotels on the Zirakpur-Panchkula National Highway.

Panchkula:The New Year celebrations carried a whole new meaning for a family of Village Rattewali in this district which welcomed the newborn in their lives on the “auspicious day”.

Born to Sheena and Nirmal Singh, the first baby boyl born at the sector 6 general hospital in the city at 12.20 am and in fact through a normal delivery. The baby boy weighed about 3 kg at birth

The surprise New Year gift was a welcome for the parents who were thrilled by the sheer coincidence. They also distributes sweet to the staff and doctors of the hospital and other people present there.

Elated over having the male baby Sheena, who was admitted in the hospital this morning said that she was happy that my son has been born on the first day of the year. 



Close contest likely
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
The municipal corporation’s mayoral elections is likely to witness a close contest today. All efforts put in by the Congress to persuade JS Kang to withdraw as an independent candidate have failed.

With this, two Congress councillors JS Kang and Ravinder Singh Pali will slug it out for the post of Mayor.

Speculations are rife that BJP candidate Rajesh Kumar Gupta may withdraw from the race. Out of the total 36 councillors, including one Member of Parliament, 35 members are likely to cast votes, as nominated councillor Neelam Malik is out of the city.

Now the ball is in the court of six nominated councillors, who for the last four tenures have been playing a crucial role in the mayoral elections. With both groups expecting support from the other group, cross-voting will also play an important role.

If one goes by the Congress party’s claims, there are 16 councillors, including one Member of Parliament, in its kitty.

Whereas the Opposition boasts of having 14 votes, including eight of the BJP, one each of the SAD and BSP, one of rebel Congress councillor JS Kang and three of nominated councillors Arshad Khan, Pallav Mukerjee and Dr AP Sanwaria.

Sources said of the total nominated councillors, four had been regularly attending the Congress meetings, while the party claimed that they had the support of six councillors. Sources said even though the Congress party had a majority in the general house, learning lessons from the 2007 mayoral elections, the party was leaving no stone unturned to ensure the victory of its candidates.

The sources said the meeting of the Congress councillors and senior leaders would be held till late night to persuade and convince Kang to withdraw from contesting the elections. However, insiders in the Kang’s group claimed that five nominated and three Congress councillors had assured their support to him.

Day of allegations 

CTCC chief BB Bahl while interacting with mediapersons alleged that Kang was levelling baseless allegations against the Congress councillors. Congress Councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma said Kang had double standards, as on one hand he was talking about corruption and on the other hand he did not even convene a single meeting when he was elected chairman to conduct an inquiry into the cement scam. 
While Independent candidate JS Kang said for the past four years, the party councillors used to snub him whenever he objected to its wrong practices. Accusing the Congress of discrimination, he said the party called the nominated councillors as its nine gems during the elections only.



2 killed in bombshell explosion at scrap dealer’s shop
Seven injured;victims mostly children
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 31
Two children were killed and at least seven persons injured, four of them seriously, when a misfired bombshell exploded at a scrap dealer’s shop in Budhanpur village near Sector 16 here this evening. The explosion took place around 6.45 p.m. The dead have been identified as Sonu (12) and Karan (16).

The injured were taken to the Sector 6 General Hospital, from where the seriously injured children, Sandeep (18), Anil (12), Sunil (12) and Vrijan (10), were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The other three injured were Mahavir (18), Nanku Das (60) and Chander Dev (50).

A large crowd gathered around the spot and it took a lot of time for the police to disperse people and cordon off the area.

The police said the explosion took place at the shop of scrap dealer Ved, when one of the two victims tried to break the bombshell to take out brass from it. The two died on the spot, while seven passersby were injured. The impact of the explosion was so great that it was heard in a radius of 4 km around the spot and the body of the victims was blown to pieces.

Top officials of the district administration, including Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar, Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary, City Magistrate Rakesh Jogpal and local Municipal Councillor Harinder Singh Saini reached the spot to take stock of the situation.

Local Congress MLA DK Bansal and INLD MLA from Kalka also reached the hospital to know about the welfare of the injured.

SP Chaudhary said the scrap dealer had claimed that he had received the scrap only today and the two victims were trying to extricate brass from the bombshell. He said investigations would be held as to how the misfired bombshell had found its way to the scrap dealer. He said he would also request the Army authorities to send a bomb disposal squad for combing operations for any such more misfired bomb shells or explosive materials, as a large number of scrap dealers were situated in the area.

DC Brar announced a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the family of the deceased, while Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 to those who were seriously injured or received minor injuries, respectively. She said an additional Rs 1 lakh would be given to the deceased if they were bona fide residents of Haryana under the Rajiv Gandhi Bima Yojana.

Brar said as the city was located near the Western Command, such misfired bombshells and other materials fell into the civilian area around the Ghaggar area and the scrap vendors take these to their dealers in order to earn money. He said they had taken the matter with the Army authorities through Chief Secretary, but were yet to get any response from them.

Later, the police registered a case under Section 304 of the IPC and under the Explosives Act against the scrap dealer.

Past Incidents

Several incidents of explosions due to misfired shells finding their way to scrap dealers have been reported earlier too. Two persons were killed and at least two others injured, one of them seriously, when a misfired bombshell in scrap exploded in a scrap dealer’s shop along the busy Ambala-Kalka-Shimla National Highway on October 3 last year. In another incident, a 16-year-old scrap dealer had died in Old Panchkula area two years ago. Another person was killed in Gate No 4 area of Old Panchkula. In August 2001, over 250 misfired or unexploded shells were also found in an abandoned firing range of the Army in Bhudd near Raipur Rani



VK Singh to be UT Finance Secy

Chandigarh, December 31
The Union government has finally cleared the name of VK Singh as the UT Finance Secretary.An IAS officer of the 1990 batch and currently posted as the managing director of Punjab Milkfed, Singh is slated to join the UT administration next week.

The tenure of the present Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar is coming to an end on January 12. But the present Finance Secretary had long proceeded on leave following his alleged involvement in forging orders of the former UT Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues in order to obtain a lifetime membership of the Chandigarh Golf Cub.

His name had also figured in the controversy pertaining to wrongful retaining of Prideasia funds amounting to Rs 629 crore following which he was served a notice by the Ministry of Home Affairs asking him to explain his position within a fortnight from the date of serving notice as to why action should not be taken against him.


New Year, new hopes, new targets
Like every New Year, 2011 has brought hopes and expectations. Tribune Reporters talk to some prominent city residents and officials about their hopes and plans for the city and how it can be made better

Serve people with sincerity

Pradeep Mehra“The New Year eve is a time to sit and rededicate myself with utmost sincerity to serve the people of the City Beautiful.

I will like my team to deliver the best possible services expected by the city residents.”

— Pradeep Mehra, Adviser to the UT Administrator

People-friendly police

PK SrivastavaMy New Year resolution would be to make the city police more people friendly, register complaints unbiased, strengthen information-gathering system and look after the welfare of policemen.

I wish to complete the work on a number of projects that have been initiated.

— UT IGP PK Srivastava

Completion of major projects

 Dr Raj BahadurI have a long list of projects to handle and I am resolved for their successful completion at the earliest. I keep on repeating the list to myself to remind that my goal will be a result of my resolution. The Regional Institute of Paramedical Sciences (RIPS) on the premises of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32; recruitment of Group-A posts in the super-specialties for which we have already got nod of the Centre and completion of installation of the MRI are my biggest goals.

— Dr Raj Bahadur, Director-principal, GMCH

‘Will not spare politicians’

Jaspal BhattiI am about to make millions through a scam that I would not like to disclose at this juncture. I will leave no stone unturned to leave all politicians and bureaucrats behind in making illegal money in the year ahead.

I will take special classes to learn chemistry for mixing different elements of public life, to make a compound of illegal gratifications and will impart training to youngsters to drain the system to make maximum profits. — Jaspal Bhatti, an ace comedian

Qualify for London Olympics

Rajpal SinghMy New Year resolution is to strive hard to get the Indian team to qualify for the forthcoming London Olympics-2012.

Being a hockey player, it was a shock to me when the Indian team failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 for the first time in its 80-year-old history.

— Rajpal Singh, India’s hockey captain

Continue fight

Anand PrakashWe would continue our fight to its logical end against former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore, accused in the Ruchika Malhotra molesting case.

We will also fight against those persons, including senior police and administrative officials, CBI officials and politicians, who had misused their offices to save the super cop, besides destroying Ruchika’s family.

— Anand Prakash, a crusader for justice

Work for betterment of society

 RK SabooTo make resolutions on the first day of every New Year is a noble thought, but most of us forget about them after sometime.

Therefore, my first resolution will be to remember all good thoughts that come to my mind on the first day of this year. Practically, I want to work for the betterment of society for which I have not been able to find enough time.

— RK Saboo, a leading industrialist

Carry forward commitment

Amarjit DhillonII do not look for any new resolution except to carry forward my commitment to make arrangements for the last rites of unclaimed bodies in Chandigarh. In the year ahead, I will work towards involving more women in the noble cause.

I wish to carry forward my duty towards society.

— Amarjit Dhillon, a former banker



On New Year Eve: No reason to rejoice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
A gloomy scenario continued to prevail at the residence of Khushpreet on the New Year eve. With no sign of the five-year-old 11 days after he was abducted, the family was in a very depressed state, waiting endlessly for the child.

A teary eyed Kulwinder Kaur, mother of Khushpreet, recalled the pranks played by the child last year. “Last year he was so excited on New Year. I am tired of this endless wait and want my son back. What has the police done all these days?” she asked.

Lakhbir Singh, father of Khushpreet, said he had met senior police officials, urging them to speed up investigation, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, the police is scrutinising the call details of more than 25,000 mobiles of various telecommunication companies (the dump data).

According to the police, records of all cell phones, which were used under the jurisdiction of specific mobile towers installed around Mundi Kharar in Mohali and near Burail in Sector 45 on the day the ransom was paid have been procured.

Khushpreet’s uncle, Sukhwinder Singh, had started receiving ransom calls on December 21 and ransom money of Rs 4 lakh was delivered by him to the kidnappers near Mundi Kharar on December 22.

The police further maintained that the dump data was being verified for getting a clue about some of the suspects whose role was under scanner at the preliminary stage of investigation.



Students return from leadership camp

Chandigarh, December 31
Over 100 students returned from a four-day advanced leadership camp organised by an NGO Yuvsatta with the help of HQ Western Command at Feroezpur.About 30 participants were from Banyan Tree School, Sector 48, and SGGS Collegiate Public School, Sector 26, 10 from Yuvsatta’s children centre at Bapu Dham and rest from Dev Samaj Model High School, Ferozepur.

Officers of Artillery and Infantry brigades of the Indian Army shared their passion for the Army with the students. They guided them through their units showing the training materials, latest weapons and also told them about the role of Army during peace and war. It was a great time for students to interact with soldiers at Indo-Pak border, and they presented them colourful, self-made New Year greeting cards highlighting their love and respect for soldiers. — TNS



Docs caution against sudden change in temp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
With the increase in chill along with showers in the region, doctors have advised residents to protect themselves from the exposure to the sudden change of temperature.

Though rain in the last couple of days are expected to bring down the number of complaints of dry cough, sore throat and skin problems, those suffering from asthma and other lung problems should take care against the exposure, said Dr Ram Singh, deputy medical superintendent of GMCH.

The inhaling of cold air leads to contraction of air passages in the lungs. This can lead to a problem for the people with pulmonary diseases, he said.

Similarly, rain has increased humidity in the air, aggravating the problems for asthmatics, he added.

On the other hand, rain has brought some relief for those suffering from the problem of sinus, as dryness in the air subsides. The only precaution for such people is to protect themselves from the exposure to the sudden change of temperature, he added.

Early morning walkers have also a word of precaution from cardiologists. The people, especially elders, should avoid early morning walks, said Dr Harinder K Bali, a cardiologist with a leading hospital in Mohali.

One should cover areas around the head and chest before going for a morning or evening walk to avoid any exposure to the chill, he added.

The people with sensitive skin also need extra care during winters, said Dr Vikas Sharma, a dermatologist running a hospital at Mansa Devi Complex in Panchkula.

Perniosis (swelling and redness in fingers), winter eczema, xerosis (dry skin) are the common skin problems in winters.

While use of ameliorants is recommended at the time of bathing, as these help in maintaining the hydration of skin, which gets reduced during winters, it is advised that wearing woolen inner wares should be avoided, he said. It aggravates eczema and itching, added Dr Sharma.



Merciless cutting of trees goes unchecked
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 31
Mindless cutting of precious trees by public and government agencies goes unchecked in Mohali.On Friday, the horticulture wing of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had to lodge a complaint with the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) when a Junior Engineer of the department found that a tree near house no. HM 134, Phase IV, was being cut without any permission from authorities.

Though GMADA officials lodged a complaint with the police, the area councillor kept on trying to influence the police for not to register any case and suppress the matter. No permission was taken to cut the fully grown tree,” said the officials.

In another incident, Punjab electricity department officials, in their eagerness to lay a transmission line in Industrial Area, Phase IX, not only chopped the branches of a tree, but were found erecting electricity poles close to a row of fully grown trees near Industrial Plot no. 275, Industrial Area, Phase IX.

Officials in the Mohali Municipal Council said no permission had been taken to lay the transmission lines.

Despite objections by residents, officials of the electricity department kept on laying the cables. After laying the cables, they realised that branches of the trees were touching the cables. It is not an isolated case, due to mindless chopping of trees by the electricity department to protect overhead power cables, several fully-grown trees are dangerously leaning towards the roadside, posing a threat to the lives of residents.



Registration fee up five times
Sanjay Bumbroo/TNS

Panchkula, December 31
Considering the proposed hike in road tax, adding to the registration fee in Haryana, residents here are buying cars at the end of the year forcing authorities to start the new series of vehicle numbers.

This is perhaps for the first time when the authorities here have started registering vehicles with new series of vehicle numbers, as more than 10,000 vehicles have already been registered this year.

The current series of vehicle numbers was proposed to start by next month. According to sources, luxury car lovers will have to pay eight per cent as registration fee for the car costing above ` 20 lakh next year.

At present, the registration fee of luxury car costing above ` 20 lakh was only 1.5 per cent and with the new tax structure the luxury car lovers would have to shell out ` 1.45 lakh more.

The vehicles costing between ` 4 lakh and ` 10 lakh, owners would have to pay 1 per cent of the cost plus ` 1,200 as surcharge.

Similarly, owners of vehicle costing over ` 10 lakh would have to pay 1.5 per cent of the value of vehicle plus ` 1,200 as surcharge.

For financed cars, owners would have to pay ` 100 extra. An official while confirming the registration of 10,000 cars said they had started the new series number from the first week of December. He said the number of luxury vehicles in the city were on the rise, which further led to chaos on city roads.

He said number of luxury cars had doubled this year as compared to previous year and people despite having one or two cars in their possession were going in for the purchase of luxury vehicles.

KK Kalson, Sub-Divisional officer, Panchkula, said hike in the road tax would be effective from next few days, as the government was yet to issue notification. He said as per the proposed structure for vehicles costing up to ` 4 lakh, 1 per cent of the value of vehicle would be paid as registration fee and added that there was also proposal to increase the registration of vehicles costing less than ` 20 lakh. 



IT Park project in Sec 22 fails to take off
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 31
Three months on, and the IT Park project in Sector 22 still remains a non-starter.The much-hyped project was launched in 2007 and it was expected that bigwigs, including Infosys would join the foray.
Work in slow progress at IT Park in Sector 23, Panchkula.
Work in slow progress at IT Park in Sector 23, Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Besides, there were rumours that Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) would also be coming up with a centre in the park, but nothing has been materialised so far.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Haryana State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation had allotted about 22 plots in 97 acre to small and middle income companies like Altruist Tech, Paramount Software, Spice Communication and Innovative Solution in 2008.

In the first phase, 10-acre had been allotted to Rolling Construction, which was likely to invest around Rs 350 crore. Two 10-acre sites at the Panchkula IT Park come under the campus development scheme, while those under general category include five two-acre sites, four one-acre sites and one site each of 1.5 and two acres.

With the biggest plot size of 10 acre (only two in number), the Panchkula IT Park, unlike the Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park in Chandigarh offers no luxury space for big IT companies.

Though most companies have not moved further after they were allotted the land about four years ago, sources in the HSIIDC, said they were hopeful that companies would pace up as the deadline was fast approaching.

Presently, they have received six projects from the middle income companies and one of the companies has started the construction work, while five projects were still pending for approval, the sources added.

The sources further said economic slowdown also made companies to rethink whether to move ahead with their projects or not.

The project also has stiff competition from the neighbouring IT Park where Infosys (30 acres) and Tech Mahendra (10 acres) have already established their companies.

A sum of over Rs 8.5 crore has already been spent about three years ago on various development works, including the construction of a wall along the Ghaggar to protect the area from floods and soil erosion, construction of roads, laying of sewerage, drainage system and streetlights.



Miscreants remained ahead of police
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 31
Recent recoveries of stolen vehicles and snatched valuables, besides, car thieves and snatchers remained a step ahead of Mohali police.The year ended on a positive note, as the police has a reason to pat its back by arresting several car thieves. But the police remained unsuccessful in cracking the mysterious murder of Panchkula realtor Suresh Kumar, whose charred body was found near Siswan, and robbery of Rs 35 lakh from a house in Phase IX here.

The percentage of detection in theft cases still remains far less than the number of vehicles stolen in the past one year.

Almost out of 145 burglary cases reported in the district, the investigating officers managed to trace down the stolen property in 51cases.

Out of total stolen property worth Rs 70 lakh in burglary cases, property worth Rs 41.40 lakh was recovered.

The changing economic profile of the district, especially Mohali is witnessing a rise in the cases of snatching as compared to the previous year. Against 22 cases of snatching registered in 2009, 45 cases were registered in 2010 and valuables worth Rs 40.69 lakh were snatched.

The police, however, claimed that snatched valuables worth Rs 35.14 lakh were recovered.

Hard pressed with VIP duties, the investigating officers do find it hard to exclusively work on the theft cases. As a result, the acquittal rate remains much higher than the conviction rate.

Similarly, the incidents of robbery also registered an increase during the year. Against two cases of robbery registered in 2009, wherein property worth Rs 1.50 lakh was taken away, seven cases were registered in 2010 wherein property worth Rs 4.95 lakh was taken away. However, the police recovered robbed property worth Rs 11.98 lakh.

There was also a sharp increase in the white-collar crime cases and cases registered under the Arms Act.



Challenges for new Mayor
Who will take the reigns?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
Next year will certainly not be a cake walk for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.The Mayor will have to deal with issues like imposition of water tariff hike, drafting of recruitment and promotion policy for MC employees, recruitment of fresh staff for the three departments, which have recently been transferred to MC and imposition of house tax which are the stumbling blocks in the smooth functioning of the corporation.

Drafting recruitment and promotion policy: In the past 14 years Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has failed to frame the recruitment and promotion policy for employees working in various departments of the corporation. But before March next, the service rules have to be approved by the general house as fresh staff will be recruited for the new departments that were recently shifted to MC.

UT administration has agreed to provide staff till March, after that it is the responsibility of the MC to run these departments with their own personnel.

Recruitment of fresh staff for transferred department: By March Mayor will have to get the approval for recruitment rules from the House for the recently transferred departments, which includes all green belts, 18 sanctioned and three unsanctioned dispensaries, a polyclinic, Ayush Hospital at Maloya and seven primary schools.

Even MC is already facing the problem of staff crunch in the existing departments, as there is no policy for recruitment available.

Imposition of house tax and water tariff hike: To get the regular grant from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNRUM), the MC will have to impose the hike in water tariff by around 12 per cent this year. But the draft for the imposition of the house tax has to be drafted and approved by the general house.



Magistrate to submit report on Monday
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
Sub Divisional Magistrate (south) Vinod P Kavele, who is inquiring into the incident where wrong blood was transfused into an expectant woman at Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, is expected to submit the report to the UT Health Secretary on Monday.

Sources said the inquiry officer had completed the investigation and the report was being given final touches. However, some documents from the PGI, where Suman is undergoing treatment, are yet to be procured.

The investigation began on December 22 following the administration’s orders for a magisterial probe into the incident. The SDM questioned Suman, her relatives, doctors, paramedical staff, blood bank officials and security guards at the GMSH. It was on December 16 that wrong blood was transfused into Suman at GMSH. Later, it was found that the foetus was dead. The wrong transfusion had affected her kidneys following which she was referred to the PGI in a critical condition.



Jet Airways’ plea to passengers

Chandigarh, December 31
In view of the enhanced security measures implemented at all airports by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, Jet Airways has revised its check-in time to two hours prior to the flight departure to avoid congestion at airports and enable flights to depart on time.

The check-in counters for domestic flights will be closed 45 minutes prior to departure and boarding gates 25 minutes prior. — TNS



Partygoers’ woes on New Year Eve
Checks on drunken driving, shortage of cabs
Sumedha Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, December 31
The UT Police’s drive against drunken drivers, coupled with scarcity of cabs in the city, left many persons upset on the New Year Eve. With the UT Police warnings against drunken driving doing rounds in all forms of media for the past one week, many “high-spirited” residents chose to rely on cabs, but were left cribbing or looking for alternatives.

“New Year is the time when you like to party hard and get high. I had been reading in newspapers about the UT Police making extra efforts to nab the drunken drivers. I have my own car but still chose to rely on a cab to avoid any trouble. I had made advance booking but was left waiting for 45 minutes outside my party venue because the cab had got delayed in dropping one of the guests,” said Sukhjeet Singh, a resident of Sector 8. Things were worse for those who opted to make on-the-spot bookings and ended up looking for other options, including rickshaws.

“I have never used the cab service. I got a drop after making an on-the-spot booking but nothing was available after I left the party at 12.30 am. I tried to get both radio taxis and autos, but got nothing. Eventually, after having a good party at one of the elitist joints in Sector 26, I had to go back home in a rickshaw,” added Surveen Sahani.

According to radio cab operators, advance bookings for the early hours of January 1 touched an all-time high and they had to stop making any further bookings after 11.

“It’s probably because of the strictness surrounding drunken driving that many people rely on cabs. We have 40 cabs and had been getting advance booking orders since morning and it is 60 per cent more than the regular days or even festivals. After 12.30 am, we had stopped taking any on-the-spot bookings,” said an executive from Mega cabs.

“We have 35 cabs and were hardly able to cater to any on-the-spot booking orders because of high advance booking. Initially, the rush was for cabs, but even ‘Tuk tuk’ autos got booked by persons getting back from parties,” said an operator from the tricity cabs.



City shivers at 14°C
Anil Jerath/TNS

Chandigarh, December 31
The maximum temperature in the city was recorded at 14.0 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature dipped to 9.7 degrees from Thursday’s 10.5 degrees C.Meanwhile, dense fog disrupted flight and rail traffic.

“The general visibility was less than 100m till early morning hours. It improved as the day progressed. The possibility of dense fog in the morning and a clear sky later in the day is likely on New Year,” said Met department director Surender Paul. With the fog engulfing the city, the traffic police has advised commuters to keep headlights on low beam. However, the Met office has predicted a clear sky in the next 24 hours. Temperatures are likely to hover between 5 and 18 degrees C.

Meanwhile, the harsh weather continued to mar travel plans. Two morning flights of Kingfisher Airlines were cancelled and its Jammu-Chandigarh flight was delayed by two hours. The Jet Airways Delhi-Chandigarh flight at 10.15 am was also cancelled due to poor visibility.

Similarly, the Indian Airlines Mumbai-Delhi-Chandigarh flight landed an hour-and-a-half behind its scheduled arrival of 2 pm. It arrived at 3.30 pm and departed at 4 pm as against 2.40 pm. The GoAir Airlines Mumbai-Chandigarh flight also arrived at 3.55 pm, late by three hours as against its scheduled landing at 12.55 pm.

A majority of the trains, however, arrived on time. Only two trains-Lucknow-Chandigarh Sadbhavna Express arrived late by 30 minutes, whereas Bandra-Chandigarh Pashchim Express which was to arrive at the city railway station at 4 pm yesterday, reached nearly 20 hours late today at 11.45 am. The same train will leave for Bandra at 11.45 pm as against its scheduled departure of 11.20 am today, late by 12 hours.



Jan 4 last date to submit documents

Mohali, December 31
The Estate Office of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has given one last opportunity to about 100 successful reserved category applicants in the Aerocity draw of lots to finish documents of their category against which they had sought allotment.

Estate officer Balbir Singh said successful applicants, who had not responded despite reminders, have been given the last opportunity to furnish their documents by January 4, failing which the allotment would be cancelled. Along with the reserved category applicants, successful applicants in the physically handicapped category have also been given time till January 4. — TNS




Chandigarh: Professor Mina Surjit Singh of the department of English and cultural studies, Panjab University, has been honoured with a two-year emeritus fellowship by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for her project “Greening Tagore: An exploration of his eco-philosophical, eco-political and ecological wisdom.”

Prof Mina Surjit Singh has also been honoured with the Vijay Shree Award and certificate of excellence by the India International Friendship Society for her valuable contribution in the field of education.


Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Prof RC Sobti on Friday appealed to all chairpersons, directors and sectional heads to work for further betterment and sustainable development of the university, including its regional centres located in Punjab. Chairing a meeting called by dean university instructions (DUI), Prof Bhupinder Brar of all chairpersons, directors and sectional heads, Prof Sobti called upon them to work for improvement and strengthening the system with due accountability and transparency. Taking exception to littering the campus with refuse, particularly around canteens, the Vice-Chancellor said it was for the department chairpersons to see that their surroundings are clean and no refuse like disposable cups, plates, empty bottles and containers of soft drinks is strewn around. The campus has a good number of refuse bin installed at short distances. Around the refreshment centres/eateries located away from the departments where the department heads could not exercise control, observance of good civic sense is expected from public voluntarily.

The Vice-Chancellor also instructed the departments concerned not to think of making structural alterations in particular buildings on the campus such as administrative block, Gandhi Bhawan and library building, which are the heritage buildings. Prof Sobti said several buildings on the campus, including the administrative block, would be given a cement paint coating as a part of a comprehensive plan of beautification of the campus.

UGC team to visit varsity

Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Prof RC Sobti said the University Grants Commission (UGC) team constituted to examine the potential for excellence would visit the university from January 10 to 12 for the assessment of its excellence.

Addressing an assembly of chairpersons, directors and sectional heads of PU, the Vice-Chancellor expressed confidence that the university is sure to meet the requirements expected for consideration of its excellence on the basis of which a grant of Rs 50 crore will be released to the university.

The Vice-Chancellor instructed the heads to present the achievements, publications and research projects in an excellent manner. Prof Sobti added that the chairman of the committee is already aware of the university in teaching, research and extension activities. He, however, desired to present the works in a befitting way. —TNS



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