C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Reluctant informer set on fire
Four CIA cops under scanner
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 27
The working of the Crime Investigating Agency (CIA) staff of the police came under the scanner with a resident of Kharag Mangoli, near Old Panchkula, today alleging that four policemen set him afire after he refused to work as an informer.

The victim, Rup Singh alleged that Bhagwan Dass and Dhoom Singh and two other members of the CIA had come to his house last evening and asked him to work for them as an informer. He alleged that they said he would have to face dire consequences if he refused to do so. However, he refused to work for them.

He said two of them again came to his house at 6 am today and pressured him to work for them. He claimed that when he refused, they poured kerosene on him and set him afire. They then bolted the door from outside and fled. He doused the flames himself and his neighbours took him to hospital. He received burn injuries on his face and hands.

He said he and Bhagwan Das became friends about 15 years ago and started working as an informer for the local police. After he had heated exchanges with Dhoom Singh, who was also a friend of Bhagwan Dass, he stopped working for the police.



Mistaken identity returns to haunt cops
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
The embarrassing episode of a “mistaken identity” dating back to 2006 in which the UT Police wrongfully detained a woman for 16 days in jail has come to haunt the department. Four years after the incident, the National Human Rights Commission has now issued a show-cause notice to senior UT police officials asking them to explain why monetary relief “be not recommended to be paid to the victim”.

The incident dates back to November 2006 when the UT police had botched up the identity of a woman, Santosh Kumar, a resident of Karnal, who had been jailed for 16 days on the assumption that she had been the proclaimed offender in a case of liquor smuggling. In reality, the actual culprit was Santosh Singh, wife of Jeet Singh, who allegedly smuggled illegal liquor. The police never bothered to check her husband’s name or photograph and ended by wrongfully arresting her.

The goof up had caused an innocent woman to suffer a trauma of being kept in jail for 16 days during which she also accused the police of having molested her. The folly had come to light when the actual Santosh surrendered in the court and the incident left the police ducking for cover.

After the goof up came to notice, the police took fingerprints of both women - Santosh, wife of Surjit Kumar, and Santosh, wife of Jeet Singh - and faced an embarrassing situation when they realised they had arrested the wrong woman. The National Human Rights Commission had then taken notice of the incident and consequently an inquiry had confirmed that constable Ram Kumar had been responsible for the goof up.

Following an inquiry, the police had booked three police officials on charges of outraging modesty, house-trespass, wrongful confinement, defamation and criminal intimidation on a complaint from Santosh Kumar. The police personnel booked were head constable Ram Kumar, constable Jasbir Singh and constable Kulwinder Kaur.



Advisory council sees red in UT periphery
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Haphazard construction in Chandigarh’s periphery having a bearing on the basic character of Le Corbusier’s architectural wonder, earning the ire of members of the Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC) at its third meeting here today.

The ball was set rolling by Shivraj Patil, UT Administrator and Punjab Governor, when in his introductory remarks, he cautioned members that these constructions were “likely to affect city’s landscape and character”.

“It is becoming difficult to maintain the original character of the city and the issue needs to tackled in a holistic manner, with the involvement of the neighbouring states,” Patil asserted.

Indicating the need for a coordinated and holistic approach to Chandigarh and peripheral areas through the inter-state regional plan, the Administrator underlined the need for a stricter legislation, in consultation with the stakeholders.

Briefing mediapersons later, Adviser to UT Administrator Pradip Mehra conceded that certain members expressed concern about the haphazard growth in the city’s vicinity.

The administration had taken note of their concern and the Centre would be apprised of it at the meeting of the coordination committee, he added.

However, senior advocate and AAC member ML Sarin batted for a legislation to regulate the development in the periphery on the pattern of the National Capital Region (NCR).

Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, said Chandigarh was a “living city” and in its development, people’s needs should be uppermost in mind.

Justice Kuldip Singh was of the view that the basic concept of “sun, space and verdure” should be maintained.



MC General House
Tabling of budget proposals unlikely to be smooth
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
It is unlikely to be a cakewalk for the Congress-led Municipal Corporation (MC) to get the budgetary proposal of the next fiscal year approved in the General House scheduled for tomorrow. In a meeting held this evening, all 11 opposition councillors voiced their opposition against the Congress on the issue of the opposition being left out while drafting the budgetary proposals.

Thirteen of the total 15 Congress councillors today met to discuss the budget in detail. The meeting, chaired by Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CCTC) president BB Behl and Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh Pali, discussed various budgetary allocations proposed in various areas and suggested some changes. Both Behl and Pali told The Tribune that they had confined the meeting to discuss the budget. However, 12 other Congress councillors remained unavailable for comment.

In contrast, however, all 11 councillors, including an independent, belonging to three opposition parties held a meeting at which they decided to raise the issue as to why opposition leader Gurcharan Dass Kala had not been invited by the Mayor to discuss and put forward his suggestions for the budget.

The issue of discrepancies in the minutes of the recording of the mayoral elections held on January 1, 2011, are also likely to be raised by the opposition in the General House meeting. Sources in the opposition party revealed that in a pre-House meeting held here today, opposition party councillors decided to submit a memorandum to MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria to rectify the mistakes in the minutes of the meeting held on January 1.

Party sources said the opposition would demand the screening of the recording of the mayoral elections as in the minutes of the 161st and 162nd House meeting prepared by the MC as it claims that the minutes had been tampered with by the authorities.

The opposition councillors decided that if the Mayor did not agree to the screening of the recording, the opposition would demand the dissolution of the House and re-election of the Mayor.

Considering it as an insult to get late invites for the inaugural function of the rose festival, the opposition is also going to question the Mayor on the “step-motherly” treatment meted out to the councillors by the UT Administration, especially when the MC had contributed Rs 10 lakh for the festival.



Sportier Mohali ahead
20 sites for community sports facilities
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, February 27
Mohali city will no longer be mocked as the poor cousin of Chandigarh as far as the sports facilities are concerned.

After years of neglect, enhancing the sports infrastructure in Mohali has caught the fancy of the Punjab Government. At least 20 sites, including some unkempt green belts, identified in different residential sectors, will be used to put in place the infrastructure for community sports facilities for games such as basket ball, volley ball, tennis and badminton.

Barring the PCA Stadium in Sector 63 (Phase IX), a shooting range and a swimming pool in Phase VI, there are no sports facilities in the city catering to a population of about three lakh.

As per the blue print on enhancing the sports infrastructure, the sector-level sports facilities will be in addition to mini-gymnasiums and indoor sports complex being created in Sectors 59 (Phase V, 63 (Phase IX), 71 and 78. To create the infrastructure, funds of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), the urban development arm of the State Housing and Urban Development Department (SHUD) are being used.

Officials in the GMADA said work on sports facilities in Phase V is expected to begin soon. Keeping in mind that there should be basic sports facilities within a radius of three kilometre and the sports lovers don’t have to go all the way to Chandigarh, it has been decided that various unkempt green belts will be used to create the outdoor facilities without disturbing the walking tracks and other infrastructure. “This will be done by raising a wire mesh between the walking track and the garden. This will ensure that children don’t disturb the routine of the walkers,” said the official.

Chairman of the district planning board NK Sharma said in consultation with the chief administrator of the GMADA Saravjit Singh, a blue print of the required sports infrastructure was being prepared. He said he was committed to put in place the infrastructure.

In one of the upcoming Sector 78, located along the Chandigarh-Fatehgarh Sahib road, sports complex over five acres has been planned. Though the total area available was 19 acres, the remaining land will be used at a later stage. On the pattern of the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Academy (CLTA) in Sector 10, Chandigarh, Punjab Government was looking for a suitable site for a similar facility in the upcoming sectors.

On the pattern of Chandigarh, there was another proposal to have some swimming pools across the city that could be run on built and operate basis.

Presently, there was just one swimming pool in Phase VI here.

For the past few weeks, GMADA officials led by the Chief Administrator Saravjit Singh have had been undertaking exhaustive exercise to identify the sites and revive the old projects that had been consigned to files. Sources reveal that a sports club and indoor sports complex over 1.25 acres in Phase V will come up at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore.

It is pertinent to menti on that work on the multi-purpose sports complex in Sector 63 (Phase IX), adjoining the PCA Stadium, has already been initiated by the Punjab Sports Department.

Besides the international-level hockey stadium with synthetic turf, the 20-acre site was being used to develop an ultra-modern swimming pool and other sports facilities for Rs 35 crore.

A Ludhiana-based company has been given the contract to complete the facility in eight months.

Besides, work on the Rs 25 crore and Golf Academy-cum-Range in Sector 65 at an estimated cost Rs 1 crore was already in progress.


Frequent delays leave UT housing applicants at sea
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
It appears the woes of those who have applied for apartments under the UT administration’s employees housing scheme are far from over. Having hit troubled waters soon after being floated three years ago, the scheme has left thousands of applicants a hassled lot because of delays in construction work.

The Chandigarh Housing Board had in 2008 come up with the project to provide flats in four categories -A, B, C and D - to administration employees in Sectors 52 and 56. However, the project repeatedly encountered bottlenecks due to litigation that caused financial losses to the applicants, particularly those falling in C and D categories (for class III and IV employees).

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, many applicants claimed the frequent delays in the project had led them to a Catch-22 situation. For instance, those who had applied three years ago for category C apartments and took out a loan of Rs 70,000 have already paid over Rs 35,000 in interest so far while the class IV employees, entitled to category D houses, have got poorer by about Rs 20,000 the same way.

“Most of the applicants, particularly those in C and D categories, had taken loans. Many poor people like me were left in a quandary about arranging money,” said Devi Dayal Sharma, a constable in the Chandigarh police and a successful applicant in the draw on November 4 last. Dayal lamented he did not know what to do now. “These days, how can class III or IV employees arrange thousands of rupees to pay interest,” he asked while adding he had already shelled out over Rs 35,000 as interest.

Similarly, Varinder Singh, who works as a driver and lives in a rented accommodation, said having one’s own house in a city like Chandigarh would be the dream of any person. “But my dream has now turned out to be the biggest cause of anxiety for me,” he lamented. “Of late my biggest worry is arranging my finances,” Varinder added.

Like others, Deepak Bath, a clerk in the UT excise & taxation department and another successful applicant for a category ‘C’ flat, is unaware of the status of the project. “We don’t know when construction will begin. Everybody is apprehensive the delay would lead to an increase in cost,” he said.

The applicants complained though the draw was held last November they were yet to receive any communication from the CHB. “The board should begin construction work on flats for which the draw of lots has been concluded,” they added.


Over 7,800 applicants for flats

Under the UT administration’s employees housing scheme 252 lots were drawn for category A apartments - 3 BHK (bedroom, hall, kitchen); 168 for category B - 2 BHK; 3,066 for category C - one BHK; and 444 for category D one-room flats, which are for the economically weaker sections. Class III and IV employees were entitled for category C flats, for which they would have to pay Rs 13.53 lakh for a flat measuring 900 square feet. A category A flat with a covered area of 2,000 sq ft would cost Rs 34.7 lakh, while a category B flat with a covered area of 1,400 sq ft would cost Rs 24.3 lakh. A total 7,827 applicants had applied under the scheme. The Chandigarh Housing Board held a draw of lots for 3,930 flats on November 4, 2010.

Dogged by litigation

The “special” housing scheme, floated in January 2008, has been marred by litigation since its inception. On February 26, 2010 the Punjab & Haryana High Court dismissed a bunch of petitions related to the scheme. The Chandigarh Housing Board allowed certain applicants, who had been entitled to category C flats at the time of the inception, to apply for category B flats after their payscales were revised in 2010. Thereafter applicants entitled to B category flats were raised objections and approached the high court. The hearing will take place on March 1.

CHB benefits 

So far the Chandigarh Housing Board has reportedly earned about Rs 40 crore as interest from the earnest money deposited by the applicants for the flats. The board is said to have collected about Rs 100 crore under the scheme.



Open house response
Gauba’s ouster smacks of petty politics

The unruly scenes at dental institute in Punjab University which led to the exit of director-principal were unfortunate. Dr Krishan Gauba whose deputation term was to end within a few months did not deserve such an ouster. The very fact that the Punjab University authorities are planning to give the interim charge either to the PGI director or the director- principal of the Sector 32 hospital, proves the point that the institute at Punjab University does not have a person to succeed 
Dr Gauba.

Student politics is mostly motivated by teachers. They settle their individual scores through students. If the teachers are competent and disciplined, students can never go astray. We follow the American system of education. Higher education is meaningful there. Chairmen and directors there are elected by the faculty. Universities and colleges of excellence are governed by the meaningful research and consultancy money earned through industrial work. Teachers do not have the time for such dirty politics. Panjab University should also mull over following the model of election among professors only to head a department.

It should be uniformly followed among all arts, science, engineering and medical departments. The UGC should think of privatising all universities and engineering colleges through a public-private model.

Materialistic society has changed the behaviour of both students and teachers. We must handle the co-education system maturely otherwise we have to go back to the earlier model of separate girls and boys college. Discipline has to be existent like the Gurukul systems of the past. Let the women teachers handle the girls and let the male teachers handle the boys. It is difficult to draw a line between sexual favour and sexual harassment.

New UGC regulations have already made it mandatory that a woman expert will be there to select a woman candidate. The other day, the President of Nepal, an alumnus of the PGI, was all praise for the discipline which made him a good doctor.

Let us all praise the good services of a reputed doctor and counsel students if their genuine feelings are hurt. This role should have been done by the committee constituted and Syndicate of Punjab University. The doctor had already tendered an apology.

Dr Deepak Bagai

Issue exaggerated

It was a shame that such an incident occurred at a place which is known for its “Guru-Shishya” tradition. A minor issue was exaggerated by opportunists who exploited the mob psychology. The entire exercise was done at the cost of students’ interest. Parents are equally to be blamed for blindly siding with their wards. The police also did not take any action when the VC's car key was removed by protesters in their presence.

It is not so easy to start, raise and run an institution like medical college and to let go of a person who nurtured the institute.

Lt Col DK Vaid (retd)

It’s wrong to blame media

It is unfortunate to learn that a dedicated and humble person like Dr Krishan Gauba, principal, dental institute, had to leave Panjab University. Dr Gauba is the founder principal and has taken a lot of pains to raise this institution and which is now close to affiliation by the Medical Council of India. The minor incident of disciplining a student regarding the dress code has been blown out of proportion by students. This will encourage indiscipline by students and may force any teacher to resign before a proper enquiry.

In this case when the duly appointed enquiry committee by the university has given a clean chit to Dr Gauba then he should be allowed to continue till April 2011 when his present term ends. On the contrary, action should be taken against the persons who have given wrong statements in their complaint as reported by the enquiry committee.

It is wrong to blame media for this ugly episode. In fact, it is the lapse on part of the university which failed to handle the case aptly. I hope that under the present circumstances, the Syndicate reviews its decision and do the needful so that the dignity and respect of teachers in the university are restored.

IM Govil

Episode just an excuse

There are two major lines of academic streams in the country: a completely free, politically coloured and a missing excellence in the university system and on the other hand an authoritarian, imposed discipline and still nothing much to write home about excellence in the highly centralised research institutes in the country.

Dr Gauba tried to take the characteristics of one stream to another and was a little out of place in the whole context. The same exercise at the PGI could have passed on without a whimper, but I am sure pressure must have been building up in his department and this episode was just an excuse and acted as a matchbox.

Freedom in the university system is adorable and somehow if it can be spiked with excellence in terms of good faculty and research infrastructure, it’s a wonderful system. But the caveat is that the deserving get admission through a process which is competitive; let the momentum of excellence build up in the university without eroding students’ freedom. Many such issues will be sorted out if the teaching is in sync with times and students see a bright future with their stint in the university academic system.

After all, a university is a universal nursery for freedom and expression of ideas and excellence in thoughts. Let them be run by academic excellence and not through a politically motivated spectrum.

Dr Desh Deepak Singh

Reconsider the issue

It is a matter of great shame that an educationist like Dr Gauba is forcibly made to go from the institute which he started from a scratch. He pioneered the setting up of all departments and labs. Why can’t these children not visualise his exact motive behind scolding an intern which we all know is just maintaining discipline which is compulsorily required, so as to run the college smoothly. Interns should be role model for all junior students, whereas by politicising the issue they have not only made the mockery of the entire situation, but also of the morals of the student-teacher relationship. Students by and large always exaggerate the matter and level baseless allegations against teachers. In our country, dress code signifies the prestige and dignity of our respective professions, doctors must wear decent clothes and follow the dress code.

I strongly urge the administration, Syndicate and VC of Punjab University to look into the matter and reconsider the entire issue once again.

Radha Saini



CHB Sec-63 scheme hits another roadblock
This time, approval of tenders put off
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Announced with much fanfare in 2008, the general housing scheme of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in Sector 63 here seems to be jinxed.

With the board of directors (BoD) of the CHB failing to approve tenders for the housing project, the wait of around 2,000 allottees to have a house in the city is getting longer.

“The allottees have been left to fend for themselves on account of the indifferent attitude of the board authorities, who do not care for our plight,” alleges AK Sharma, an allottee.

In fact, the lackadaisical attitude of CHB officials has come to the fore again in the run-up to the non-approval of tenders for the housing scheme.

The BoD had to put off approval of tenders as the 90-day validity expired earlier this month. The approval of tenders in the present shape could have led to legal complications, sources said.

Tenders would now be approved in the next meeting of the BoD after the contractors renewed the validity period, the sources said, adding that it would take a few months for the construction to start.

It was after about two years of the launch of the scheme that the draw of lots was held last year as the housing scheme was stuck up in the official rigmarole. The delay in the draw of lots had earned the board a lot of negative publicity.



Heritage panel says no to high-rise buildings
Recommends that Corbusian city must retain character
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Though Chandigarh’s periphery in the neighbouring Punjab and Haryana may be bursting at the seams in the backdrop of high-rise buildings, an expert committee constituted by the Chandigarh Administration has said a no to high-rise buildings.

In its report on Chandigarh heritage, identification, conservation, management and maintenance, the committee has recommended that “Corbusian Chandigarh” should retain its low-rise rise character and no buildings should be allowed beyond the already permitted three storeys.

“The public, government and commercial buildings should continue to observe the height restrictions prescribed in the architectural controls,” the committee comprising UT Chief Architect Sumit Kaur, MN Sharma, the first Indian Chief Architect, Chandigarh Administration, SS Bhatti, former principal of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, and Renu Saigal, former Chief Architect, UT Administration, has said.

Blaming the demand for the change in architecture control on a variety of reasons, including change in shopping patterns, lifestyles and advanced technologies, the committee was of the opinion that “limited uniform changes within the existing frame should be permitted with the approval of the heritage committee.”

“The original plan, architectural controls and building rules ensured that each individual gets adequate share of sun, space and verdure for a good quality of life. Many changes have been permitted over the years which have impacted the urban scape due to enhanced ground coverage and floor area ratio (FAR), which are among the highest in the country. Doing away with the architectural control/frame control, additional covered area outside the frame in the rear of the houses, flexibility in size and shape of windows, and balconies beyond the frame, etc. have done more harm than good to the city’s built-environment,” the report stated.

The report, however, concedes that the city was under tremendous pressure due to manifold increase in population, traffic congestion, stress on infrastructure, building violations and limited availability of land which had begun to adversely affect the sacrosanctity of the Master Plan concepts.



Cong accused of stalling MC budget
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
The ruling Congress party members of the municipal corporation have failed to table its budget for the next fiscal in the time period stipulated in the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, Janata Party president Ajay Jagga said Sunday.

Referring to the act he said civic officials were supposed to present the budget estimates for 2011-12 by the end of the first week of February. “The budgetary estimates drawn up should have been submitted to the UT administration for approval by the end of this month. However, the corporation, led by the Congress party, has faltered on both counts as it didn’t table the budgetary estimates in the MC house in the first week of February and send them to the administration in the time stipulated”, he added.

Jagga alleged either MC officials were either “unaware” or least bothered about the provisions of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, under which the civic body had been constituted and was functioning.

“According to the laws as well as in the public interest, the UT administration should use its powers and prepare the municipal corporation’s budget for fiscal 2011-12 and forward it to the civic body for implementation”, Jagga averred.



Of promises unkept

Tall claims of the Chandigarh Police about their response time in less than three minutes fell flat. The police help was sought by a colleague, last Thursday, whose car was stuck up because of two wrongly parked cars in the exit way of the parking in front of UT Estate Office.

He called up the Police Control Room at 1.27 pm and got a reply that the PCR Gypsy would reach within five minutes at the spot. The wait extended to over half-an-hour, but no one turned up. The sufferer had no option but to seek help of a passerby to clear the way for his car. On being called up again after around 45 minutes, the disgruntled caller was told that two policemen, on a bike, had gone at the spot and returned after pasting “wrong parked” stickers on two cars. “No one came there. Moreover, I had asked for help which was not extended to me when I needed it. How does it matter if they pasted stickers after half-an-hour in a damage control exercise,” said a colleague.

Monkey buddies

Panjab University’s endeavour of a “green campus” has proved to be quite an attraction for monkeys! In fact, students of the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), which is a perennial favourite hangout of monkeys, have now even learnt to “live with them”. On a visit to the PU’s animal house, the correspondent spotted a large number of monkeys on the UIPS building and inside the corridors. When asked if they were scared of monkeys, a pharmacy student replied: “We have learnt to live with them now.” She then took out a “chapatti” from her lunch-box offering it to a monkey.

Reaching out to poor

There is no dearth of donors in the city who are always willing to offer help the poor patients at the PGI, certain good samaritans have even extended their helping hand for the welfare of the staff at the PGI.

JS Kandhari, a leading local businessman, has been donating Rs 10,000 to the PGI every month for the welfare of the poor. Recently, he donated the equipments for a gym set up for the use of doctors at the PGI hostel. Kandhari also sponsored a workshop of medicos last month.

More for free

Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) has found more free entry ticket holders than the ticket buyers for the upcoming league matches to be held in Mohali.

The PCA has decided to distribute 5,000 free tickets to schools and academies to promote the game, whereas almost 5,000 free tickets for the PCA club members and contingent of the ICC.

In comparison to free tickets, only 3,200 tickets were sold by the authorities so far.

It seems that the PCA authorities instead of improving the marketing
strategy are concentrating more on the “tactics” of how to distribute free passes.

“It is clearly a “tactic” as the match is not on any weekend nor the teams are good that people will go to watch live action. If the PCA distribute free passes for the semifinal match then we will feel that they are doing this for the promotion of the game,” said a group of budding cricketers.

No man’s land

A stretch of road between Sectors 52 and 61, bordering Phase VII of the Mohali and Chandigarh, has turned in to no man's land, despite, being one of the busiest roads linking the two cities. The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has not bothered to repair the potholes-ridden road in its domain. Equally indifferent has been the Mohali Municipal Corporation, as it has also not been bothered to repair the part of the roads falling in its jurisdiction. Several motorists have complained about the urgent need to repair the road as they faced inconvenience while driving, but, all in vain.

‘DSP not above common man’

“DSP traffic gets challaned, says not above the common man”. While he has issued challans to thousands of traffic violators in the city during his tenure, DSP (Traffic) BS Negi was seen filing a challan slip for driving without a seat belt earlier this week. After his photograph appeared in a daily showing the DSP driving without a seat belt, the senior officer acted swiftly and paid the price by issuing a challan for himself. “I made a mistake and thus issued a challan to myself,” he said.

Punjabi gets a miss

Narinder Singh, a tourist guide in the Union Territory, has criticised the Chandigarh Administration for not giving adequate importance to Punjabi language despite being the capital of Punjab.

He said: “As an example, none of the stalls at the Rose Festival this year nor any signboards on the venue were in Punjabi. He said the Union Government brings out several publications in Punjabi. In another example, the government of Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh has brought-out several tourism related pamphlets in Punjabi language for the aid of the visitors. Narinder said that Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator should give instructions to all departments to bring out publicity material in Punjabi language.

— Contributions by Akash Ghai, Neha Miglani, Arun Sharma, Deepankar Sharda, Rajmeet Singh, Aneesha Sareen and Sanjeev Singh Bariana



Class X, XII Board
Step up to beat exam blues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
In just two days more than 30,000 city students will be taking one of the biggest tests of their academic lives, CBSE Board examinations for classes X and XII. While things may be a little better for Class XII students, who have already faced such a stress once, it will be a new experience for Class X students.

Despite the board’s decision of making Class X board examination optional from this year, more than 14,000 students have opted for board examination rather than school exams, there by facing board examination blues and stress.

“Reduced syllabus will help in dealing with examination stress, but with just two days to go students are sure to face board examination blues. We are getting calls from a large number of students and majority of them are complaining of having problem in “recalling what they have learnt”. There are others who are facing physical problems, which have left parents worried. The only solution to deal with it is to believe in one’s self and stay calm,” said Madhu Bahl, a CBSE counsellor.

“A child himself can’t deal with stress and it’s the parents who need to take care in coming few days. Try relaxing your child and do pay attention to his or her psychological and physical needs. Do remember that your ambitions can never be more important than child’s well-being,” added Rakesh Sachdeva, another counsellor of the board.



Mohali Municipal Corporation
Development work confined to files
Tribune News Service

Motorists are forced to negotiate a damaged section of a road at Phase XI, Mohali.
Watch out!: Motorists are forced to negotiate a damaged section of a road at Phase XI, Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, February 27
Two months after the constitution of the Mohali municipal corporation, the Punjab government is still trying to put in place the machinery that will make things easier, as far as tall claims of the Akali government on the development front are concerned.

As a result, estimates of basic maintenance work like carpeting of roads, repair of streetlights and maintenance of parks are confined to files only.

“We thought that the town would change in a few weeks. But even after two months, nothing has been done,” said Manjeet Sethi, a former councillor.

Due to lack of coordination between the two development agencies, the corporation and Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), no development work could actually be started.

Unresolved issues like development of parks and strengthening of roads reflected the tiff between the two agencies.

To undertake development work in Mohali, the state government was relying more on funds from GMADA as the budgetary allocation was a problem with the corporation.

“While those backed by politicians want bureaucrats to come forward, as it was the latter’s decision to form a corporation in Mohali, the officials are trying to work as per the laid down procedure which was causing problems,” confided a senior official. The first victim of the aspirations of politicians was Chief Administrator of GMADA VP Singh, who was replaced with Chief Administrator of PUDA Sarvjit Singh. Then the Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) GMADA was given the charge of Joint Commissioner of the corporation.

Still unable to solve the problem, the government has now given an additional charge of MC Commissioner to the Chief Administrator of PUDA, hoping that things may fall in place with the same official heading both the departments.



A treat for music lovers
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 27
Music lovers were treated to a rare musical delight of a rare and immaculate Jugalbandi of Sitar and Jaltarang in a concert held under the aegis of Triveni Sangeet Sabha in collaboration with the department of public relations and cultural affairs, Haryana, at the Randhawa auditorium here today.

The acclaimed maestros led by Dr Harbinder Sharma, the Sitar virtuoso of national eminence, and foremost disciple of Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb, along with Pune-based Guru Milind Talunkar started the programme with an elaborated exposition of raga Yaman. The maestros bared the

melody of the raga through a reposeful alaap which subsequently melted into the Jod alaap and jhalla before a melodious slow paced Vilambat gat in Teen tal and later a fast paced composition. Both the original and vibrant musicians displaying a perfect tonal balance

and an adroit mastery of the respective instruments were engaged in bringing alive the melodic character of the raga by doling out intricate sargams and musical ornamentations. They later presented compositions in raga Kirwani.

While Dr Harbinder Sharma, principal of a government college, too, created melodious music from his Jal Tranag comprising water filled porcelain pots. Sabha secretary Premila Puri welcomed chief guest Samir Mathur, IAS, Home Secretary, Haryana.



Environment lessons for youth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
The department of life long learning and extension (DLLLE), Panjab University, in collaboration with the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, Chandigarh, organised a two-day orientation course on “Ethics of environment and role of youth” on the college premises. More than 200 community leaders and students attended the programme.

Ajaib Singh from the department in his valedictory address explained that the problems related to deterioration of man’s natural environment were mainly caused by industrialisation and urbanisation. Amrik Singh Ahluwalia, chairman, department of environmental studies, said soil and water were the major factors upon which life depends on the earth. “Their misuse results in soil erosion and degradation of land, which endangers biodiversity. Therefore there is a need to check wastage of water at home and work and the soil erosion could be saved by planting more trees,” he said.

Meera Modi, principal of Dev Samaj College for Women, said she pledged to work for the environment protection by changing their behaviour towards environment.



‘Stop plastic usage’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
An awareness camp was organised by Go Green International Organisation (GGIO) to stop the use of plastic at Sukhna Lake here yesterday. Dr GS Randhawa Deputy Commissioner (Excise and Taxation) was the chief guest.

Esho Deora, president of the GGIO, said members had made paper bags, Shagun envelopes and small bags from recycled paper. She further added that the members interacted with school children and emphasized them to stop using plastic made bags and other things.



Admission to BCom
Cut-off list to be declared online
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 27
Cut-off list for centralised admission to BCom-I for more than 2,100 seats offered by 11 colleges in Chandigarh will be declared online this year.

Students will be allocated their preferred college according to the marks scored in Class XII (commerce stream). Those with top scores in Class XII will be admitted to the college that they have listed as their ‘first preference’ on the online portal for BCom admission (details of this website awaited).

From registering names of students’ online in 2010 to declaring the merit list and allocating colleges online for 2011 admission, the university has gone a step further in making the system convenient for applicants.

A standing committee to address the grievances of applicants who face problems with the online system will also be constituted.

“We aim to make the system quick, transparent and automatic,” said PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti.

After introducing the centralised admission to BCom seven years ago for colleges in Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Hoshiarpur, the system was done away with. In 2010, the centralised admissions were re-introduced and were quite a success from the students’ perspective. The admissions were done for more than 4,000 seats in 26 colleges in the three cities listed above in 2010.

“Close to 3,500 applications were received last year for admission to BCom offered by colleges in Chandigarh.

Nearly 2,100 seats were available in 11 colleges for the commerce graduates,” said Karamjeet Singh, faculty member, University Business School and coordinator, BCom admission 2010.

Adding that the final details were yet to be announced by the committee formed for BCom admission, coordinator of 2011 centralised admission AK Vashisht said, “The system of online registration and cut-off was approved in principle by the committee.

Final details of the centralised BCom admission are awaited.

The cut-off this year will depend on the performance of students (in Class XII commerce exams). It can vary from last year since it depends on how students have performed in exams in 2011.”



Moot Court: Shrutinder declared advocate of the year
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 27
The two-day Army Institute of Law National Moot Court Competition “Checkmate- 2011” concluded today with a valedictory function.

A prize distribution ceremony was also held. The proposition of the competition which was based on dowry deaths highlighted the magnitude of the social evil.

Principal of the Army Institute of Law Dr Geeta Joshi congratulated the participants and thanked dignitaries. Chief Guest Justice MM Kumar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court praised the advocacy skills of the participants and motivated them to use their legal acumen to fight against the injustice in society. He called upon the students to “enter into self-introspection and find out whether we really have reached the goals set during the Independence”. Guest of Honour Anupam Gupta, a senior advocate, applauded the initiative taken by the Army Institute of Law by providing a platform to prospective lawyers to hone their abilities. Preliminary and quarterfinal rounds were held on February 26 .


Winners: SVKM College (Mumbai); runners-up: DES Law College (Pune); best memorial: department of laws (Panjab University); second best memorial: NUALS (Kochi); advocate of the year: Shrutinder Kaur (Institute of Law, Nirma University); second best advocate: Aashka A Shah (GLC, Mumbai). 



PU Notes
Rose Fest

CHANDIGARH: Roses from the Rose Garden of Panjab University got first prize in the Chandigarh Rose Festival in the category of cut-flowers.

For the second time in succession, PU’s Prof RC Paul Rose Garden was adjudged second in the category of more than four kanal category. The horticulture wing of the university, including Anil Thakur and his team were also credited with editing and innovating the landscape of the Rose Garden.


A two-day workshop on “Leadership in Higher Technical Education” concluded at PEC University of Technology for senior faculty of PEC on Friday. The workshop began with a welcome note by Manoj Datta, director, PEC University of Technology. PP Singh, former head, department of management studies, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, delivered lecture on various topics, including leadership and quality of successful leaders, significance of various types of leaderships in academic institutions, leadership blueprint, management of change, motivation and communication.— TNS



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