C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU: Gauba goes out, students’ agitation ends
* Syndicate accepts his resignation * Gauba seeks repatriation to PGI * Inquiry report absolves Gauba of molestation charges
* High-powered committee formed to look into professional issues of dental college
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Panjab University (PU) Syndicate members today accepted the request of director-principal of the HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital GK Gauba to “relinquish him of his charge” and to “repatriate him to the PGI”, which resulted in a halt to the week-long protests by PU students that witnessed a few even embarking on an indefinite hunger strike.
BDS students, who ended their strike, celebrate after the Syndicate decision
BDS students, who ended their strike, celebrate after the Syndicate decision. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti announced that a high-powered committee would be formed to look into the affairs of the university’s dental college and suggest measures for improving affairs in the professional institute.

A report prepared by a specially constituted committee that was formed on February 1, however, absolved Dr Gauba of charges of molestation and torture earlier levelled by an intern, Priyanka Ahuja. The report observed that Gauba had “no malafide intentions” while ruling out the “serious allegations of molestation, torturing etc”.

However, the report did criticise Dr Gauba for inappropriate action on one issue. “But the incident of Dr Gauba calling Priyanka Ahuja, the intern, to his office and objecting to her dress in the presence of two faculty members was uncalled for by Dr Gauba as she felt humiliated,” stated the report.

This report tabled before the PU Syndicate members today stated: “He (Gauba) appears to have an overzealous attitude towards discipline and censoring students, which is interpreted as harassment by them (students).”

The inquiry report also expressed the need for counselling students of the PU dental college regarding the importance of discipline. The search is now on to find a director-principal of the dental institute since the committee has recommended mandatory filling of the post.

Speaking rather cautiously on the issue, two Syndicate members today, however, “did not confirm” having accepted the committee’s report. Instead, they said the decision to let Dr Gauba go was based on the latter’s request rather than on any pressure.

Mixed Response

Dr Gauba’s resignation evoked a mixed response. While some dental college students expressed a sense of “guilt”, others felt contented at the Syndicate’s decision to accept his request. 
“It is overwhelming to hear that our demands have been met”.
— Riti, a dental college student

“Although I am glad that our demands have been fulfilled, I am also feeling guilty about the situation created due to the students’ agitation.”
— Aditya, a dental college student

“Students leaders, including SOPU, have supported us in the cause. Anti-social elements have been removed from the college.”
— Sanjeev Kamboj, a dental college student

“It is good that justice has finally been delivered to students.”
Sahil, a dental college student

Contradictions and Missing Links

n The intern’s father, Gulshan Ahuja, has alleged that Gauba used the word “vulgar” to describe his daughter’s T-shirt. However, in her verbal statement recorded by the committee, the intern, Priyanka Ahuja, has denied that any such word was used by Dr Gauba

n After the victim’s statement was recorded, the VC added a few more members to the inquiry committee on February 2. They included Kalpana Mahajan, Dean Student Welfare (Women), Anooja and Govind, both class representatives of Bachelors of Dental Sciences (IIIrd year) and also an intern. The justification was more “transparency” in the inquiry. The proceedings were also meant to be videographed

n In paragraphs 12 and 15, the report mentions that certain student leaders forcibly entered the room where the inquiry was being conducted and two students, Anooja and Govind, were taken away while ignoring persistent requests of the committee members. These students never re-joined the inquiry. In an inquiry of such serious nature, how and why were the student leaders permitted to enter the room in the first place?

n In para 14 of the report, all three-faculty members, including Dr Gauba, denied that the intern was asked to unzip her sweater. Priyanka, in her statement, said the opposite without mentioning who asked her to unzip her sweater. Based on this information only, how does the report conclude that she was “actually” asked to unzip her sweater?



I am relieved now: Gauba
The Sector 24 residence of Dr Krishan Gauba was eventful, with teachers and students flocking to express solidarity with him
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
“I am a relived man now and I have not done anything wrong. If not the biological father, I am the professional father of students and I feel I must correct them when required,” says a rather relieved, Dr Krishan Gauba today.

Dr Gauba today requested Panjab University to relinquish his services and sought repatriation to his parent organisation, PGIMER.

In an interview with the Chandigarh Tribune today, Gauba said he was deeply pained to see that the students sitting on the hunger strike, who were seeking his removal, were unwell.

Q: Do you felt any pressure from any quarter to give up your charge?

A: I have been on deputation since five years and in any case there is no provision of extension beyond five years. So my exit was always known but why did students create such a situation, having known all this, is beyond my comprehension. I was being relieved on April 4, 2011 and I wanted to get repatriated to the PGI always.

Q: You have been working in the team that established this institute. What is your reaction to the whole incident of students’ agitation?

A: I had my letter ready since three days. I gave it to PU officials on Saturday. When I read in the newspapers that students on hunger strike have fallen ill, I felt a deep pain. I was already ready to give up, but the students were hurting themselves because of a non-issue. I was disturbed and wanted to give the letter the same moment.

Q: Did you get any reaction from students today?

A: I called up Udey Singh Wirring (PUSU leader, who is also a dental college student) and asked him to take my request letter and show it to all students on strike so that they are satisfied. I urged him to ask the students to give up these protests because they had no logic.

Q: There have been talks that some of your teachers also wanted your removal and were instigating the stuns.

A: I have full faith in my teachers and students. I have cared for them like a father, they can never do any such thing. I say this with strong faith.

Q: Few students stated their apprehension that their teachers could be vengeful because they protested.

A: I don’t think any teacher can ever do that. What will they get out of spoiling somebody’s career? So that my students do not have any doubts, I have also refused to act as an examiner in any examination, internal or external, conducted by the PU’s dental institute.

Q: What suggestions you have to retain the progress of the HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences?

A: A medial institute requires a different kind of environment because its not just teaching but also services to patients that are offered. For more than 48 hours, such an institute cannot be closed down because it provides emergency services. There has to be some separate identity of the dental institute, else such problems will keep occurring. A university must venture into healthcare services with full planning.



VC clueless about dental college affiliation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti while answering queries of mediapersons at the VC office today said he had no information on the affiliation status of the HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, which had been disaffiliated earlier.

He announced the conclusions drawn in a report that was prepared by a committee, especially constituted to look into the charges of “misbehaviour” by the dental college director with an intern a week ago.

The Vice-Chancellor’s statement was in contrast to the statement of the outgoing director of the HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, who said the affiliation had been granted already and the Dental Council of India (DCI) had already given a nod since all mandatory conditions had already been fulfilled.

Sobti also commented on the ongoing issue of University Business School (UBS). “We have already taken the necessary action and the students demand of placements and projectors are being taken care of. The placements meeting are being held for them and LCD projectors would be arranged,” he said.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Naval Kishore, who was also present at the VC office, said a separate committee headed by the Dean University Instructions (DUI) consisting BS Ghuman and DSW (women) was taking care of the allegation of “victimisation” by the students.



Contacts stand driver in ‘good stead’
Constructs illegal house on greenbelt
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 7
Taking advantage of his posting with the Chief Administrator of the Haryana Housing Board, a driver, Raghunath, has constructed an illegal three-storey house on a five-marla greenbelt in the Housing Board Colony in Sector 19 here.

Residents of the area had brought the matter to the notice of the estate officer, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Ashwani Sharma, that Raghunath had constructed a house on a five-marla plot in the greenbelt area located in the parking. Area residents had alleged that earlier Raghunath was using the land for parking private vehicles and later constructed a boundary wall around it.

After receiving the complaint, the estate officer deputed a junior engineer to inspect the site and to stop the work.

However, when the junior engineer visited the site and asked Raghunath to stop the work, the latter refused to do so stating that the land belongs to him. He also reportedly misbehaved with the official.

Raghunath said that he had done nothing wrong as he was utilising the vacant land adjacent to his corner house no 92. He said he was also maintaining the same for the past more than a decade.

When contacted, the estate officer said he had sought a detailed report from the junior engineer besides informing the Haryana Housing Board authorities. He said a police case would be filed against Raghunath if any violations were found in the area.

The estate manager of the board, Sat Pal Ranga, HUDA authorities could take action in this regard as the area was under its jurisdiction. He said the colony had been transferred to HUDA after receiving instalments of all the houses from residents in the area.



Nursery Admission
Age criterion dogs minority schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Controversy over the age criterion for nursery classes is back to haunt the city minority schools as a large number of parents have been denied submission of forms for their wards.

These children are being left out, while schools have accepted forms of 20 odd parents who had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“When I read about the court’s orders, I went to certain schools to get the forms. When I went to submit these, later, the schools refused to accept them, saying I was not one of the petitioners. How can they pick and choose this way? If you give an opportunity to one child of a specific age group, how can you bar another? I tried reasoning it out with schools but they refused to listen,” said one of the parents who claimed to have been refused the form by Sacred Heart School, Sector 26.

The controversy had started with schools switching to March to April criterion rather than the conventional September to October criterion to determine the eligibility age of a child. A handful of parents moved to the court. Giving relief to them, the court directed schools to permit petitioners to submit admission forms. The compliance of this order by schools has, however, landed them in trouble with other affected parents.“Isn’t it surprising that schools are not accepting our forms when the forms of those who approached the HC on the same account have been taken in by the schools? The current situation will only force us too to knock the doors of the court,” said a parent of an aspirant to St John’s School.

A school representative, who requested anonymity saying the matter was sub judice, said, “We are following courts orders which clearly have said that petitioners should be allowed to submit the form. We will go by what the court says.” A senior lawyer said, “The order said the petitioners will be permitted to submit the forms in  the school.”

Bias evident

A large number of parents have been denied submission of forms for their wards. These children are being left out, while schools have accepted forms of 20 odd parents who had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court


Oppn councillors want MC secy removed
Submit representation to UT Adviser
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
All the opposition councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation today submitted a representation to UT Adviser Pradip Mehra for removal of MC Secretary Lalit Siwach from his post for his “rude and offensive behaviour” during the recently held Mayoral and Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) election.

Sources revealed that Mehra instructed the Local Bodies Secretary-cum-Home Secretary Ram Niwas to look into the matter and take appropriate action according to the law.

In the representation, councillors charged the Secretary with playing a partisan role while discharging his duties during the election. They alleged Siwach was biased and always behaved as an agent of the Congress. They alleged that in both the election, Siwach was instrumental in making the Congress victorious.

Councillors also complained that on the day of election of the F&CC, Lalit Siwach “insulted” BJP councillors Anil Dubey and Sarita Sharma in the presence of MC staff. They alleged that during the F&CC election, Siwach misguided the House by stating that the gate of the MC was locked as per the advise of the SHO of the Sector 17 police station, while the SHO denied it.

Councillors alleged that even as gates were locked, Siwach issued bulk blank entry passes with his signatures to Congressmen ignoring the security of the House.

Referring to the Mayoral election, councillors complained that on the instructions of the Union Minister and local MP, Lalit Siwach made extraordinary arrangements at the polling booth by putting thick white sheets on the normally used curtains for the last 14 years to make sure that Congress councillors could click photograph of their ballot paper.

They alleged that in this way, Siwach facilitated Congress councillors to violate the principle of secrecy of ballot. During the recounting of ballots in Mayor’s election after the declaration of Jagjit Singh Kang as elected, Siwach took the ballots from the table and started recounting the ballots under the table out of the sight of councillors, who doubted his intention and suspected some foul play in the declaration of election of Ravinder Singh Pali as Mayor.

Siwach to file cross plaint

MC Secretary Lalit Siwach said he would file a written complaint to the Local Bodies Secretary-cum Home Secretary against the “misbehaviour” of opposition councillors with him during the F&CC election.



Mayoral Elections Petition
Mayor fails to file reply
Says Section 18 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1976, does not cover elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The counsel of Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh filed an application today in the Deputy Commissioner’s (DC) court that Section 18 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1976, does not cover the mayoral elections clause, under which notice had been issued to the Mayor, due to which Pali did not file any reply to the notice today.

The DC asked the independent mayoral candidate Jagjit Singh Kang to file his reply to the application submitted by the Pali’s counsel during next hearing, which will be held on February 15. During the hearing of the mayoral election petition, Pali’s counsel said the mayoral elections were conducted under the Punjab MC Act, 1991.

The DC also directed the MC authorities to prepare a detailed report of mayoral elections record to be submitted to the appellant authority.

It may be mentioned that Kang had challenged the election of Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh on the ground that the Congress councillors were asked by Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, to take a photograph of their ballot paper after casting there vote in favour of the Congress candidate.

Kang had also pointed out in his petition that when the presiding officer Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri had asked the councillors not to take their mobile phones inside the polling booth, it was violated by Bansal by saying that “nobody can stop him from taking his mobile phone inside the polling booth. I will take my mobile with me. You do whatever you want to do.”

Kang had alleged that the secrecy of the ballot was breached by Bansal with ulterior motives. 



Sector 53 to have Garden of Spring
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The Chandigarh Administration, supported by the Ministry of Tourism, is all set to promote garden tourism as new tourism product for the overall development of tourism in Chandigarh.

The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned Rs 311.5 lakh for the development of new Garden of Spring in Sector 53 along the N-choe at the southern end of Chandigarh adjoining Mohali.

The administration has taken the lead in beautifying the area along the N-choe in the vicinity of main highway linking major towns of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

The tourist reception centre will be constructed at a cost of about Rs 65 lakh. For the convenience of tourist, new parking area will be developed along with walkways throughout the gardens at a cost of over Rs 50 lakh. The Ministry of Tourism has released Rs 50 lakh for the beautification and stone pitching of the N-choe passing through this garden so the area is fully transformed into a major tourist spot.

Chandigarh has a treasury of more than 150 species of flowering trees, flowering shrubs and different kinds of flowering creepers. The existing flowering species of plants and trees need to be showcased and preserved in one garden which is aptly being christened as Garden of Spring in the southern sectors of Chandigarh.

According to the Tourism Secretary Ram Niwas, “The concept of Garden of Springs in Sector 53 will be developed by a team of College of Architecture to make this garden a major tourist spot.” 



Light rain lashes city
More showers likely today
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Light showers lashed Chandigarh and surrounding areas on Monday evening, even as the Met office predicted more showers tomorrow.
Reflection of lights on a road after rain lashed Chandigarh on Monday evening.
Reflection of lights on a road after rain lashed Chandigarh on Monday evening. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

The weatherman attributes this change in weather to the western disturbance passing through the region, which resulted in dusty winds blowing in the region throughout the day.

“The sky will remain partly cloudy tomorrow and there will be light drizzle and thundershowers throughout the day in some parts of the city,” an official of the Meteorological Department said.

He said that light rain was due to the low pressure over South Rajasthan, Gujarat, South Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh that is gradually moving towards the region.

Met director Surender Paul said people here should brace for colder nights once the western disturbance passes over the region. "We are expecting a dip in the temperatures by Wednesday. The minimum temperature is currently 23-24 degrees Celsius, which is around six to eight degrees above normal during this time of the year. Post the western disturbance, the temperature is likely to dip by two degrees," he said.

The minimum temperature recorded in the city was 12 notches above average at 18.7 degrees Celsius and the maximum was 24.2 degrees. The humidity levels will waver between a high of 72 per cent and a low of 37 per cent, the official added. 



CHB employees launch silent protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
After protesting for a week for implementation of pension scheme for employees, the Chandigarh Housing Board Coordination Committee members have decided to launch a silent protest.

Employees sitting on dharna outside the CHB office said they have decided to not to resort to sloganeering but will continue to protest in a peaceful manner outside the office until their demand is met.

The protesters have also approached the UT Administration officials for the implementation of the pension scheme. However, the officials maintain that as long as they are on strike, nothing could be done.

“We do not approve of pressure tactics like launching an agitation and disrupting work. Only when the employees resume work, we will consider their demand,” said UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas.



City’s Master Plan
Coordination committee to meet today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The status of Chandigarh’s master plan, particularly with respect to haphazard growth in the city’s periphery, will be discussed at the inter-state coordination committee meeting in New Delhi tomorrow.

The meeting, to be chaired by the Union Urban Development Secretary, will be attended by Adviser to the UT Administrator Pradip Mehra and Home Secretary Ram Niwas. Senior officials from Punjab and Haryana will also attend the meeting.

Sources said various ways and means to protect Chandigarh’s periphery in the backdrop of the large-scale construction in the vicinity of city in Punjab and Haryana would be discussed at the meeting.

At a meeting in New Delhi on January 10, the Central government had directed the Chandigarh Administration and the Punjab and Haryana governments chalk out a comprehensive plan for the integrated development of Chandigarh’s periphery.

As a sequel to the Centre’s directions, a meeting of senior officials of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh met here on January 14. 



Karnataka MC team visits city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
A 13-member team of the Hubli Dharwad Municipal Corporation, Karnataka, today visited the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to study the projects and working of the civic body.

The team comprises the chairman and members of the town planning and development standing committee and public health, education and social justice standing committee of the Dharwad Municipal Corporation. City Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh briefed the team about the projects and working of MC. The team also visited various parks and the garbage processing plant at Dadu Majra. 



16 tubewells to boost water supply
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali , February 7
To rein in the recurring water woes in the summer months, 16 deep tubewells, sunk at a cost of about Rs 4 crore, will soon increase the supply network by 2 million gallons a day (mgd) to bring the much-needed relief to residents here.

Eleven of these tubewells have been sunk by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and in the case of five tubewells, the Mohali Municipal Corporation has got the work done from the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board. Four tubewells have already been taken over by the Water Supply and Sanitation Department, which takes care of the water supply in the town. The work in the case of 12 tubewells is likely to be completed in a fortnight or so. A good discharge of water is expected from the new tubewells, as these have been sunk at a depth of more than 350 ft. It is expected that 2 mgd of water will be available from these, reducing the 10 mgd gap between the demand and supply.

Two new tubewells were sunk in Phase XI as the area faced water shortage. There are multistoreyed flats in the pocket and residents living on upper floors have been facing shortage of water for years.

Shortage of water is also faced by residents of Phase VII, as the area falls at the tail-end of the supply system. Two tubewells have been sunk in this phase to overcome the shortage. Phase III A has also been marked as a low-pressure zone, resulting in inadequate supply. One tubewell has been sunk in this area to boost the supply of water. Two deep tubewells have been sunk in Phase X and one tubewell each in Phases I, III B 1, III B 2, IV , V , IX and Sectors 70 and 71 and Mohali village. However, the request of the water supply wing to provide a hotline connection to the underground storage reservoir (UGSR) in Phase X has still not been met even when the demand was made on February 8 last year at a meeting with the Chief Administrator (CA) of GMADA VP Singh, which was also attended by the then Mohali Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh Mand. Funds to the tune of Rs 47 lakh were to be released by GMADA for the project.

Sources said the estimate for the hotline connection had not been cleared by the Punjab State Power Corporation over the past many months. Technical objections were raised in this regard by officials concerned.

Both waterworks in Phase VI and Sector 57 were equipped with hotline power connections for uninterrupted power supply, but the UGSR in Phase X faced problems due to power cuts or power failures as water could not be supplied at the required pressure to Phases IX to XI. Since the UGSR received a regular supply of water from Sector 57, a hotline power connection was essential for supplying adequate water to residents.

The demand of water in the summer months is 23 mgd against the availability of only 13.2 mgd. Mohali was getting only 10 mgd of water from the Kajauli waterworks and the rest of it was got from tubewells. 



Dismissed cop protests near DGP office
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 7
Former policeman Narinder Singh, who was dismissed from service about two years ago, sat on fast-unto-death in front of DGP office, in Sector 6 here this afternoon while challenging his removal.

Talking to the media, Narinder said he was sacked from service for “acting fairly” in a land dispute case pertaining to Morni area.

He said he has begun this fast-unto-death to register his protest against the corrupt police officers and his dismissal.

Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhry could not be contacted as he was on leave. However, DSP RS Rathi said the dismissed police official was levelling baseless allegations just to get undue attention.

Narinder said in 2007, when he was an SHO, Chandimandir police station, he had got a land dispute settled. However, a complaint was lodged against him on July 13, 2007, to the DGP accusing him to have sided with a particular group and was found guilty in a departmental inquiry conducted by the police department.

“Subsequently, I was suspended on August 22, 2007, and was later dismissed from service after the inquiry, conducted by the then ASP, Ambala, on February 6, 2008,” said Narinder.

While demanding a high-level probe into the case, Narinder maintained that he had done nothing unfair and it was the senior officers who were siding with a particular group in the matter.



Parking of vehicles along national highway
DC warns marriage palaces of strict action
Tribune News Service

Mohali/Zirakpur, February 7
It appears that the prohibitory orders invoked by the Mohali Deputy Commissioner to ban parking of vehicles outside the marriage palaces and banquet halls, along the Chandigarh-Ambala national highway, have gone unheard as far implementing the orders was concerned.
Haphazardly parked vehicles along the Zirakpur-Kalka highway outside a marriage palace in Zirakpur on Sunday.
Haphazardly parked vehicles along the Zirakpur-Kalka highway outside a marriage palace in Zirakpur on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Almost three weeks after the DC passed the orders, parking of vehicles continues unabated. Today, the DC again issued a warning to the marriage palace owners to ensure compliance of the prohibitory orders. Warning of strict action, the police officials have been told to act in a time bound manner.

The DC told the officials to initiate action against the business establishments for causing serious traffic hazard by allowing parking of vehicles on the Chandigarh-Ambala national highway. At least 42 marriage palaces, banquet halls and hotels in Zirakpur are being repeatedly told to mend their ways or face strict action.

On January 23, the DC had given a week’s time to the officials concerned to submit status report of the violations done by business establishments. The officials were asked to visit the establishments to find out whether the structures were raised as per the sanctioned plans and whether adequate parking space had been shown while getting the plans passed. Due to non-compliance of the previous orders, the officials were again asked to file the status report.

Chairman of the District Planning Board NK Sharma held a meeting with marriage palace owners in this regard and told them to remove encroachments within 33 ft from the road berm of the national highway. He asked them to get permission from the National Highways Authority of India to get direct access from the highway and also construct service roads.

Besides, loud music is played during marriage functions till late night, causing inconvenience to school-going students and senior citizens. On January 20, the Deputy Commissioner had issued directions to all marriage palace owners and organisers to arrange proper parking for the vehicles.

“Scores of vehicles parked haphazardly on the highways cause chaos. During late hours there are no cops to manage the traffic which leads to accidents and quarrels among people. Strict action should be taken against marriage palaces. Loud music at marriage palaces after 10.30 pm have also made our lives hell,” said Jaspal Rana, a Zirakpur resident.

SHO, Zirakpur, Yogi Raj claimed that two vehicles parked outside the marriage palace were challaned. “We are evaluating the situation and are making an elaborate plan to counter this problem. We would continue this drive and challan the vehicles that are parked on roads,” he added.



Accelerating pace of development 
GMADA official gets additional charge
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 7
To ensure acceleration in pace of development works in Mohali, the Punjab government has given the additional charge of Joint Commissioner, Mohali Municipal Corporation, to Parveen Thind, who has recently been appointed as Additional Chief Administrator (headquarters and policy) of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

Chairman of the District Planning Board NK Sharma, while releasing a magazine -- ‘Raunak mela’ -- at Mohali Press Club here yesterday, disclosed this. While assuring that officials in the Municipal Corporation and GMADA would be held accountable for meeting the deadlines of the development projects, he said day-to-day meetings were being held to give a complete makeover to Mohali town, be it roads, parks or other infrastructure.

He said development works in various villages, Kajauli water works, and widening of roads were being taken up in a time bound manner.



Drama enacted by dancing queen Gopika
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Vivacious, versatile and beautiful Mohinattam classical dance virtuoso Gopika Varma gave a majestic start to the sixth “Aai Basant Bahar festival” organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi at the Bal Bhawan here today.

Coming from the royal family of Travancore, princess Gopika Varma danced to perfection to win the hearts of the audience. Gopika commenced the dance recital with an invocatory Chitranagan “Ek dant mahakaya” to Lord Ganesha which melted into the next “Omkara kaaraye,” a salutation to goddesses Durga set in raga “Lavangi”.

Enacting an Ashatpadi “Cahndan charchit” in dance to perfection Gopika depicted the psychic pain of Radha, divine consort of Lord Krishan, who indulges in pranks with other gopis on the banks of Yamuna.

In the abhinaya performance Goipka chose to present complex choreography, designed and evolved by her relating to an episode from Mahabharata based on a literary creation by Pratibha Roy.

She dealt with many aspects of the Mahabharata. She presented specially crafted dances on Chandigarh, the paragon of beautiful architecture.

She brought alive all the “Navarasa” though her geometrically metered footwork, facial and body gestures and eloquent stage movements supported by Sudev Warrier on vocals.

Earlier, chief guest Shobha Koser honoured the artistes. Acclaimed classical vocalist Dr Ashwini Bhide Deshpande will perform tomorrow.



Vocalist Pt Yashpaul felicitated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 7
The Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association felicitated the renowned classical vocalist Pandit Yashpaul on his selection for the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award during a function at the Guru Nanak Public School here.

President of the association SS Lamba while presenting the memento to Pandit Yashpaul complemented the maestro for the honour he has brought to the association.

In a cultural programme children and association members, including Veena Puri, GK Nanda, Ranjna Kapur, Usha Sharma and Pushpa Walia enthralled the audience.



Govt proactive in combating corruption: Moily
Saurabh Malik/TNS

Chandigarh, February 7
Claiming that the Centre is all out to wipe corruption, union minister for law and justice Dr M Veerappa Moily says the government is acting even in case of perception of sleaze.

At Chandigarh Judicial Academy to attend a “Regional Consultation for Electoral Reforms”, Moily quotes the example of former Telecom Minister A Raja, arrested only recently by the CBI for his alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum scam.

“In Raja’s case, the government did not wait for the cases to be proved; and his resignation is an example to this effect,” he says.

“Maharashtra’s former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s case is another example. Even in Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) PJ Thomas’ case, the government has nothing to hide.”

Moily says the NDA, on the other hand, has presented a dual face. The present Karnataka government headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the most corrupt government in the country. The transactions have been made through banks. “Yet, the Chief Minister refuses to resign.”

Defending the CBI, the minister says it is wrong to suggest that the premier investigating agency is a political tool. “It is impartial and objective. In fact, the professionally functioning investigating agency is a national tool.”

Talking to The Tribune, Moily says the government is also trying to cut down pendency of cases. As of now, both the state and the centre occupy the maximum space in the system, but efforts are afoot to reduce the number of cases so that common litigant can also get space.

He says in another six months the litigation policy will be in place.

The states, too, are bound to come out with their litigation policies as it is essential for the release of grants, he adds.

Take on transfer of judges

“Every Judge transferred out of a high court is not corrupt. Even uncle Judges are in line of transfer,” says Moily. The Law Minister feels that transfer is beneficial not just for uncle Judges, but also the kith and kin practising in the same courts. “My experience says that some of the Judges prove to be excellent after they have been transferred out.”



Dogs’ day out
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 7
A total of 321 dogs from 33 breeds participated in a dog show at Raja Bhalendra Singh Stadium, Polo Ground, here yesterday.

Organised by the Patiala Kennel Club, the show witnessed participation of 54 imported dogs. The main attractions of the show were breeds like New Foundland and Siberian Husky.



1,464 examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The Rotary District 3080 organised a multi-speciality medical camp in Colony No. 5 in Sector 50 here yesterday.

The team of over three dozen Rotarian doctors examined 1,464 patients for 12 specialities, including gynaecology, paediatrics, ENT, eyes, skin and dental.

The Cancer Roko Foundation of UK did on-the-spot mammography on nine patients.



KBDAV celebrates annual day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
KBDAV-7 held its annual function “Shooney Se Shikhar” at the Tagore Theatre here today. More than 900 students enthralled the audience with their performances.

Punam Suri, secretary, DAV CMC, New Delhi, was the chief guest, while VK Singh, finance-cum-education secretary was the guest of honour. The event was marked by a variety of cultural performances ranging from dance performances on “Vande Matram”, to enactment of Lord Krishna’s childhood and even dances on Bollywood numbers.

Principal Madhu Bahl apprised the gathering about the achievement and functioning of schools through a video show titled “Life at KBDAV-7.”

The main attraction was the launch of “Saral Ahsaas Magazine”, an endeavour by the underprivileged children being given free education by school for the past five years.



Reduction in pass marks demanded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Certain students of University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism (UIHMT) today protested for reduction in their passing marks outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

These students were led by members of the Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), including its president, Vikramjit Singh Medukheda.

The students demanded reduction of the minimum passing percentage from 50 percent to 45 per cent claiming that in all undergraduate courses the passing aggregate is 50 per cent.

Students also demanded increase in the number of supplementary chances for them as they had only one chance to clear these examinations.

AS Ahluwalia heard the problems of students and assured them a meeting would be held to resolve the matter soon.



Students pledge to serve humanity
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 7
The lamp lighting ceremony of the 10th batch of general nursing students of the Fortis School of Nursing was held here today.

Students took oath to serve the ailing humanity with sincerity. SC Aggarwal, chief secretary, Punjab, was the chief guest.

As faculty members held candles in their hands in front of the portrait of Florence Nightingale, students lit candles and took oath to serve humanity with compassion and empathy.

The students also presented a colourful programme, while principal Monir Gujral read out the school report. 



Vasantotsav at MCM DAV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The environment committee of MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, celebrated Vasantotsav-2011. The event was organised to celebrate the onset of spring season and simultaneously spread awareness towards health, nature and environment. 

The college, decked in various shades of yellow, exhibited a perfect picture of the bounties of the season with all its colour, vibrancy and fervour. The singing sensation of Punjabi and Sufi music, Satinder Sartaaj was the chief guest at the event.

Sartaaj not only appreciated the panoramic cultural colours and jubilation of MCM, but also complimented the college on devoting its energies towards the revival of the rich tradition of our country.



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