C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cong councillors revolt against Mayor’s ‘one-man show’
Accuse him of ignoring them while preparing budgetary proposals of election year
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
A day before the presentation of the annual budget in the General House of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, crisis gripped the Congress after its councillors “revolted” against Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh (Pali) for “ignoring” them while preparing the budgetary proposals for the 2011-2012 fiscal, to be presented in the House on Monday.

To protest against the “one-man-show” by the Mayor, 11 of the 15 Congress councillors boycotted a pre-budget meeting called by the former yesterday. Sensing trouble, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CCTC) BB Behl today intervened to defuse the crisis. Now, the CCTC chief has called a meeting tomorrow.

It being an election year, many of the agitated councillors had planned to give “valuable” suggestions before the document was given a final shape.

Sources in the Congress said the Mayor had to seek intervention of the CCTC president on sensing trouble that could prove to be a major embarrassment for him as it was the election year.

Party sources said that some councillors, while accepting the invite of the meeting called by the CCTC president, demanded that the Mayor should not chair the meeting.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of the Congress councillors said a few party councillors have decided to show their resentment in the meeting against the non-corporative attitude of Pali in running the affairs of the corporation. They complained that the ruling party councillors did not attend the meeting yesterday to show their dislike about “ignoring” them in the preparation of budget draft for the next fiscal.

Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal is also expected to attend the meeting tomorrow to direct councillors to sort out their differences in the interest of the party. 


For the first time in the 14-year-old history of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, elected representatives of the ruling Congress have been ignored while drafting the annual budget of the MC, which boasts of having the country’s third highest literacy rate. (Councillors from the Opposition have never been consulted). The responsibility of framing a proposed Rs 1,386-crore budget for an estimated 12 lakh residents of the city has been left on a handful of MC officials. Clueless about priorities in the draft budget, 26 elected (15 ruling and 11 Opposition) and nine nominated councillors will be required to discuss and approve it in the General House budget session scheduled for February 28. Both elected and nominated councillors, cutting across party lines, express their ire at the arbitrariness in which the budget has been prepared for the 2011-2012 fiscal in a speaking out to Aarti Kapur.



Abused maids’ employer held
Haryana Chief Secy steps in after cops try to hush up incident
Ruchika M Khanna & Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 26
It’s a chilling story of sheer cruelty, one that causes repulsion against the perpetrators of the crime as well as those who are supposed to be the custodians of our rights. Two girls, aged 11 and 8, respectively, employed as domestic helps in one of the city’s plush neighbourhoods are allegedly assaulted, held captive, made to work for hours and denied proper food and clothing.

And, when one of them somehow managed to escape and seek help from the police, the latter, instead of escorting the rescued girls to a child welfare committee, took hem to a member of the juvenile justice board that is supposed to deal with deviant children.

Accused Inder Singh Sekhon in police custody; and (right) Manjeet Kaur, member, Juvenile Justice Board, takes care of minors (victims), who were allegedly assaulted by their employers at Sector 5 in Panchkula
Accused Inder Singh Sekhon in police custody; and (right) Manjeet Kaur, member, Juvenile Justice Board, takes care of minors (victims), who were allegedly assaulted by their employers at Sector 5 in Panchkula on Saturday. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

And that is not all. It took all that is possible to get the cops to act and book the suspects, including media outrage and intervention by Haryana chief secretary Urvashi Gulati. After allegedly trying to push the issue under the carpet, the Panchkula police finally arrested IS Sekhon whose family had employed the two girls and were assaulting them.

While the other members of his family have fled, the police took Sekhon into custody on charges of assault, illegal confinement and criminal intimidation as well as under various provisions of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act.

Superintendent of police Manish Chaudhary told the Chandigarh Tribune police teams had been dispatched to nab the other suspects. “We’re also trying to locate the parents of these rescued girls. Till then we’ve shifted them to the Shishu Greha here,” he added.

The Chandigarh Tribune had today highlighted how these two girls had been brutally assaulted with iron rods by their employers. It was only when one of them escaped from her tormentors late on Friday night and sought the help of neighbours, YP Arora and Gautam Seengal, that the latter called the cops. However, the police, instead of taking the girls to the Shishu Greha or presenting them before the child welfare committee members, took them to a member of the Juvenile Justice Board, Manjit Kaur.

Though the police claims it took the children there in her capacity as a social worker, unconfirmed reports suggest she was the employers of the two rescued girls knew her very well. The girls were left in Manjit’s custody till late on Saturday morning and no case was filed by the police.

It was only when the issue was brought to Gulati’s notice today morning that she instructed the district administration to act in accordance with the law. Deputy commissioner Ashima Garg said the administration has set up a committee, which included the subdivisional magistrate, labour officer and child welfare officer, to look into the matter. A medical board had also been constituted to conduct medical tests on the two minor girls besides determining their age.

“A meeting of the committee will be held for initiating steps for the care and protection of the two girls. This panel will also decide the next course of action to be taken in the matter,” said Garg.



Reckless driving kills college student
Tribune News Service

The Maruti Swift car that rammed into a tree killing the driver, Mehtab Veer Singh, on the spot in Phase 3B2, Mohali
The Maruti Swift car that rammed into a tree killing the driver, Mehtab Veer Singh, on the spot in Phase 3B2, Mohali, on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, February 26
A 21-year-old student of DAV College, Chandigarh, Mehtab Veer Singh, was killed on the spot when the Maruti Swift car he was driving rammed into a tree while negotiating a turn near the Rose Garden in Phase 3B2 in the wee hours today. The impact was so severe that the front portion of the car was split into two. The car was being driven at a breakneck speed of 150 km per hour, as shown by the speedometer.

Station house officer of Matour Tarlochan Singh said Mehtab, who was pursuing Bachelor of Arts from DAV College, had to be pulled out of the car. He was rushed to Ivy Hospital in Mohali, where he was declared brought dead. The victim, hailing from Karnal, was putting up along with his family in Phase X here.

Last night, the victim had gone to attend the wedding of his friend’s sister before the incident took place. After retuning from the wedding, he again went to the spot following a tiff with some unidentified guests at the wedding. Unconfirmed reports say that victim was carrying a weapon at the time of the mishap.



Minor boy held for crushing 4-yr-old
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
A day after a four-year-old Anshit Goyal was killed after being hit by a speeding Innova car in Sector 23, the police arrested a 15-year-old Class IX student as the accused. The minor boy, who is a Class IX student of Manav Mangal School, was on a joyride when he failed to notice the child playing outside his house. He fled after hitting the child and was arrested today as passersby managed to note down the number of his vehicle.

The minor boy was arrested in a case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304 A of the IPC. Anshit, a nursery class student, was crushed under the wheels of an Innova car last evening. Anshit, was a student of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 37, and resided in Sector 41. The child had come to his maternal grandparents’ home with his mother Maya Goyal. The child was taken to the PGI where he was declared brought dead.

The police said the father of the accused works in the Punjab Transport Office and mother is a housewife. The boy had taken the vehicle out of the house and then parked it back after hitting the child. “Parents are responsible for giving the vehicle to a minor, who ended up snuffing out innocent lives on the road,” said Jaswinder Singh, SHO, Sector 17 police station.

Woman dies in mishap

A woman riding pillion on a bicycle died while her husband sustained injuries after they were hit by a speeding Mahindra Jeep here last night. The mishap occurred when Kishan was on his way to Nayagaon on a bicycle and was hit by the Jeep. His wife, 35-year-old Geeta was taken to a hospital where she was declared brought dead. The accident occurred near Sectors 2 and 11 turn. The police arrested the driver of the Jeep Vir Bahadur in a case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC. She is survived by husband and six children.


Vehicles without speed governors to be challaned
Tribune News Service

A speed governor being installed on a truck at the Phase VIII bus stand in Mohali
A speed governor being installed on a truck at the Phase VIII bus stand in Mohali on Friday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, February 26
To implement government instructions of installing speed governors on commercial vehicles, the District Transport Officer, Mohali, will soon start a drive to challan erring vehicles.

District Transport Officer Karan Singh said about 200 speed governors have been installed on commercial buses, including school buses and long route buses. No commercial vehicle would be passed without speed governors, he said.



Rose Fest leads to chaos on roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
Rose Festival led to traffic chaos on the stretch between Matka Chowk and Sectors 10/11/15/16 intersection on the Madhya Marg today. The traffic police had a tough time managing the heavy rush of vehicles.

Commuters had to face inconvenience, as the stretch had to be closed at regular intervals throughout the day and commuters had to take an alternative route to reach their respective destinations.

“There is always a heavy flow of traffic on the Madhya Marg owing to Rose Festival and the stretch between the two roundabouts is closed for a while,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) BS Negi.



Residents foil demolition drive
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 26
An anti-encroachment drive by the enforcement wing of the Panchkula Municipal Council triggered protest from residents of Budhanpur village, a slum near Sector 16 here yesterday.

Surprised over the sudden move of the MC team, residents gathered at the site and started raising slogans against the district administration as soon as the team asked the shopkeepers to close their business establishments.

Even though the MC authorities had sent notices to all the 30 illegally running shops in Budhanpur village and had also made announcements amid drum beating (munadi), a large number of residents resisted the MC action compelling them to return without action.

The three-member MC official team led by Mohinder Sharma, secretary, MC, urged the illegal shop owners to close their shops. The situation turned tense when the shopkeepers assembled at the site and started raising slogans against officials.



Katiyar: We should develop eco-friendly technologies
Chandigarh Science Congress begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
Noted scientist SS Katiyar inaugurated the 5th Chandigarh Science Congress-CHASCON-2011 at Panjab University today. Katiyar is a former president of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and the vice-chancellor of CSJMM University, Kanpur.

He called for taking meaures to fight the phenomenon of climate change and adopt green technologies to save the degrading eco-system. “We must develop technologies which are eco-friendly,” he said.

He expressed his concern over industrial step-ups, which were discharging effluents and emitting noxious gases causing water and air pollution. Katiyar also called for restricted use of insecticides and pesticides in farming. He promoted the idea of widespread development and use of renewable sources of energy and designing naturally-lit buildings and consumed less electricity during day time, and for making use of solar energy.

The Vice-chancellor of the university, RC Sobti, in his welcome address on the occasion, called for creation of a scientifically advanced and spiritually enlightened human society in which peace, prosperity and happiness together create a heaven on earth.

Sobti said creation of a knowledge society, where the wisdom and antiquity could be synthesised with the most modern science and technology was essential.



PU goes high-tech
Adopts e-correspondence system
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
Using web technology to speed up its communication with affiliated colleges, Panjab University is all set to adopt an online system to receive data from the colleges, including the internal assessment of students.

A meeting of university computer programmers with the university Vice-Chancellor RC Sotbi is schedule for Monday.

Despite PU’s enthusiasm to implement e-correspondence system, its success would depend on willingness of affiliated colleges to participate in the project. Breaking mindsets to do away with paper work and use of computers has been quite a challenge for the computerisation process in the administrative block.

“The programmers have been asked to create innovative softwares through which we can have correspondence with colleges using technology. Instead of manually sending loads of papers, colleges can send information online. I have called for a meeting on Monday to discuss the matter,” said Sobti.

For university web experts, however, the challenge to create such an online system does not seem tough.

“Upgrading the system to an online process will not be difficult from the technological point of view. It will help to reduce paper work of administrative departments. University is already undergoing the process of computerisation,” said K Tankeshwar, head, PU’s computer centre.

Nearly 188 affiliated colleges of PU have been sending internal assessment of thousands of students so far through a manual system on paper.

These scores are required by university’s examination branch to compile the final result of students. The online process will not just be used by the examination branch, but even the office of Dean College Development College (DCDC) will draw benefit from the system.

“Every day we deal with hundreds of applications from students, teachers and college authorities. If the system of correspondence is online there may be initial hitches, but will be a long-term benefit for the university and colleges both,” said a PU non-teaching employee.




Datesheet online

CHANDIGARH: Datesheets for theory and practical examinations of BA/BSc/BCom/BBA/BCA (regular and compartment) conducted by Panjab University are available on the university website www.puchd.ac.in <http://www.puchd.ac.in> or <http://www.puchd.ac.in>, said PU controller of examinations.


The department of Hindi organised the oldest declamation contests of the university, namely KK Grover declamation contest and AC Bali declamation contest at Gandhi Bhawan on PU campus. Rohit Kumar, Ravi Kumar and Kumari Neha won the first, second and third position, respectively, in KK Grover declamation contest. In AC Bali Memorial declamation contest, Bharati, Pratiksha Sharma and Preeti Katoch won the first, second and third positions, respectively.


A four-day international conference on “Advances in condensed and nano materials (ICACNM-2011)” was inaugurated in the department of physics, Panjab University, after a one-day workshop on characterisation tools for materials. The conference aims at emphasising interdisciplinary research on processing, morphology, structure, properties and applications of condensed and nano materials in opto-electronics, sensors, medical and chemical application and devices. — TNS



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