C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Now, dispute over Holi at PU dental college
Classes of 2nd year suspended indefinitely
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Exactly a month after crisis gripped the Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital at Panjab University that resulted in the director-principal resigning from his post, academic environment at the college received a jolt with classes for the second-year batch, comprising nearly 98 students, being suspended indefinitely.

While last time the crisis arose after the director-principal objected to a girl student wearing a “questionable” T-shirt, this time the dental college teachers unanimously decided to suspend the classes after they discovered that students of the second-year batch had littered and defaced their classroom walls and furniture with black paint, eggs and colours while celebrating Holi on Saturday during teaching hours.

The suspension of the classes is despite the fact that students mopped the floor and cleaned the furniture after teachers directed students to clean up on noticing the extent of littering and defacement that had been done in the class. While the teachers claimed that it was a serious case of indiscipline, parents, on the other hand, felt that unjust regulations were being imposed on students.

“The students were celebrating Holi and what else does one expect from young people? Suspending classes for the second day today is unjust to the academic atmosphere. We have paid heavy fee and do not want their studies to suffer,” said a parent of a student from BDS (II year).

The dental college authorities have referred the matter to the Dean University Instructions (DUI), who is the acting director of the institute, to take a final decision on the matter.

The teachers, however, had a different point of view to express. “Students were spotted hooting “Happy Holi” on the microphone when the teacher, whose lecture was scheduled, entered the classroom. They were disturbing classes during teaching hours even as other students studied quietly in the adjoining classes. We are fed up with the extent of indiscipline in the college. After the recent strike by students, nobody wants to take responsibility for anything that happens in the institute,” said a teacher on the condition of anonymity.

Exactly a month ago, students of this institute had staged a protest demanding the ouster of the outgoing director-principal Dr Krishan Gauba, who later requested repatriation to the PGI, his parent institute.

Panel formed to resolve Holi issue

Taking cognisance of the letter sent to the university authorities about Saturday’s incident, a seven-member committee was formed which held a meeting on Monday. It was resolved that the committee would carry out an on-the-spot assessment and interact with students on Tuesday.

The committee comprises two senior-most faculty members of the dental college; the chief medical officer of university; the deputy chief medical officer; the dean (sciences) AS Ahluwalia; Prof Katare of the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences; and the Additional Director of the dental college Dr SP Singh. One female teacher is expected to join the committee, which has been formed to advise and assist the DUI to address such issues at the college.

The Trigger

The dental college teachers unanimously decided to suspend the classes after they discovered that students of the second-year batch had littered and defaced their classroom walls and furniture with black paint, eggs and colours while celebrating Holi on Saturday during teaching hours

I have nothing to say on the matter. The DUI is currently handling the case and only he is entitled to talk.

— SP Singh, Additional Director, Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences

We convened a meeting today in this regard and a seven-member committee has also been formed. The committee members will conduct an on-the-spot assessment of the situation after talking to students and teachers of the institute on Tuesday.

— BS Brar, Dean University Instructions (DUI)



IT Park: HC decision shot in arm for admn
Arun Ramanathan inquiry report under scanner
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

‘HC decision will remove hurdles’

Finance-cum-IT Secretary VK Singh hoped that the High Court’s decision would remove a major hurdle in the development of the Phase III of the IT Park. Besides sending right signals to the investors, the development of the Phase III would go a long way in providing job opportunities to IT professionals in the years to come, he added.

Arun Ramanathan’s questionable observations

n "The land earmarked for acquisition is under substantial green cover."
n "The land taken in possession for Phase I and II together had an area larger than the concept layout plan suggested by the JLL report."
n "The Administration has the latitude to acquire and allot land without an overall advance plan or design being in place for usage of the peripheral area concerned."
n "Acquisition of land for Phases I and II was in legal battle."
n "Utilisation of land for Phases I and II was short of expectations"

Chandigarh, March 21
The decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court giving a green signal for the acquisition of land for Phase III of the flagship Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) here has come as a shot in the arm for the UT Administration and paved the way for development works at the IT Park.

With controversies a thing of the past, the UT Administration now wants to resume the development process at the IT park. A blueprint for the development in the area, including allotment of land to the IT firms, would be drawn up soon to make the city an information technology (IT) destination, a senior officer added.

At the same time, the High Court’s decision has brought under scanner the inquiry report prepared by retired IAS officer Arun Ramanathan. The latter was ordered by the Ministry of Home Affairs to conduct an inquiry into issues related to land allotment for Phase III of the IT Park.

“The move to acquire land for Phase III of the IT Park is not adequately based on sound reasoning for the reasons that the land earmarked for the acquisition is under substantial green cover and the land taken possession of for Phases I and II together has an area larger than the concept layout plan suggested by Joines Lang Lasalle (JLL), which carried out the feasibility study for the IT Park,” the Ramanathan inquiry report, submitted in September 2010, had stated.

Buoyed at the High Court’s judgement, the UT Administration claims that decks have been cleared for giving a boost to development activities in Chandigarh, particularly expansion of the IT Park.

The ongoing litigation regarding the acquisition of land for Phase III last year prompted the Ministry of Home Affairs to put land acqusition on hold in Phase III of the IT Park.

Ramanathan had then concluded that “lack of necessary administrative discretion was clearly manifest in the move to acquire land for Phase III.”

Quoting the inquiry officer, ML Varma, a Deputy Secretary in the MHA, had then asserted: “It has been recommended that till a general development plan for the UT’s peripheral areas is approved by the competent authority, it will seem prudent to require clearance from the MHA of the acquisition proposed for the projects in the peripheral areas on a case-to-case basis.”

In a communication to the Adviser to the UT Administrator, which was also placed on record in the ongoing case in the High Court, Varma has added: “The report of the inquiry officer has been considered in the Union Home Ministry and it has been decided that in view of the observations made by the inquiry officer, the acquisition of land for IT Park, Phase-III, should be put on hold. The Chandigarh administration must develop a plan of the periphery, get it approved by the competent authority and approach the Ministry of Environment and Forests to carry out environment impact assessment before going in for further acquisition in accordance with the development plan in the future.”



NRI stabbed by snatchers, dies
Was trying to save his wife from miscreants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
A 50-year-old NRI, who came from Saudi Arabia to meet his family, was killed by four persons trying to snatch gold ornaments from his wife, near the DC Montessori Park, in Mani Majra last evening.

Mubarak Hassan who was stabbed in the chest and stomach by one of the four motorcycle-borne snatchers was trying to save his wife, Jahanaara, from the miscreants, who were demanding jewellery from her at knifepoint.

Hassan and his wife were on their way to their house after having a meal at a dhaba when the incident occurred. The miscreants looted a gold chain, earrings and bangles of Jahanaara and sped away after injuring Hassan.

Hassan initially ignored his injuries and returned to his house after the incident. After sometime, on seeing his deteriorating condition, his neighbour Vishal Kumar took him to a local dispensary.

The doctor at the dispensary referred him to the GMSH-16. Seeing his critical condition, doctors at the hospital further referred Hassan to the PGI where he succumbed to his injuries around 10.30 pm.

The family of the deceased, which reportedly did not inform the police till then, took away his body and placed it in the middle of the Housing Board Chowk, Mani Majra, to lodge a protest against alleged police lethargy.

“We apprised the police about the incident immediately, but nobody arrived on the scene for at least two hours,” claimed one of the relatives of the deceased.

Police officials, however, later reached the spot and pacified the agitated relatives. His body was handed over to the relatives after the postmortem.



Four rounded up in Khushpreet case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Even as the UT Police remained tightlipped on the kidnapping-cum-killing of five-year-old Khushpreet which rocked the city in January, police sources revealed that at least four persons had been rounded up. There were unconfirmed reports that a woman, a resident of Sector 68, had also been rounded up.

“Two persons are residents of Burail village, where Khushpreet resided, and the other two are residents of Mani Majra,” said a police official who added that hunt was on for two more persons, both of who are migrants from Uttar Pradesh.

One of the two residents of Burail village is believed to be a hairdresser, whereas the other reportedly resides near the shop belonging to Khushpreet’s father, Lakhbir Singh. The woman is said to have provided the place where Khushpreet was kept for several days before his body was recovered from Mohali on January 5.

The police said several police teams had been dispatched to various places in Uttar Pradesh to conduct raids and obtain clues.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Lakhbir Singh claimed that the family was not aware of any such development. “Though I have heard that the police has rounded up some persons from our village (Burail), I don’t know much beyond that,” said Lakhbir Singh, adding that the family was interested in seeing the culprits placed behind bars.

Declining to divulge any information, UT Senior Superintendent of Police Naunihal Singh said, “There is nothing to disclose right now. Investigations are on and we are working hard to crack the case.”

Media on toes

Mediapersons were on their toes through much of the afternoon after news spread that the police was likely to produce the four persons held in unofficial custody at the district courts here. However, the news later turned out to be a rumour.



Admission-related info
PU too busy to answer students’ queries
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
While other universities in the region have a 24-hour online helpline for students seeking admission-related information, Panjab University, the oldest university in the region, answers students’ queries for barely four hours a day.

Outstation students and their parents were today spotted waiting for over two hours at the enquiry counters of Aruna Ranjit Chandra Hall. A notice at the counter reads as “visiting timings” for students are 10.30 am to 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm.

“I have come from a small village near Ludhiana only to enquire about the courses here since the information related to fee is not available on PU’s website. I had to pay the price of reaching late and had to wait for two hours before the counters opened,” said Sukhjeet Singh, an LLB aspirant. In what was later objected to by certain girls standing next to the enquiry counter, a man was dealing with the queries of women, while a woman was taking up the queries of men. “I think they do so for sheer entertainment. Why are separate queues made when men have to deal with women’s queries?” said a final year student of the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS).

Students’ woes do not end here. Even the telephonic enquiry system at PU is appalling. Over a dozen calls made by the correspondent at the two enquiry numbers 2534818 and 2534866 failed to elicit any response for a long time. When finally the number 2534818 was answered, there was no clarity on the line. Incidentally, the two employees at the enquiry counter were also entrusted with answering phone calls while attending to students’ queries. Neither university Registrar AK Bhandari nor Vice-Chancellor Ranbir Chander Sobti could be contacted for their comments on the issue.



Fined Rs 50,000 by HC, told to hold special exam
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Admonishing Panjab University for demonstrating a “careless attitude” and an “apathetic state of affairs”, the Punjab & Haryana High Court has directed the varsity to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a student for wasting her two “valuable years”. Justice Mahesh Grover also asked the university to conduct a special examination for the student in May.

The directions came after the judge was told the answer book of MSc (mathematics) student Mansi Grover had been destroyed even as her petition before the high court was pending.

Indicating there was more than what met the eye, Grover ruled: “It is evident the respondents have treated the petitioner’s case with extreme callousness which has resulted in severe prejudice to her. It has not only demonstrated the university’s careless attitude to the entire examination, valuation and revaluation process, but also reveals an apathetic state of affairs, which this case reveals and which may only be the tip of the iceberg”.

Going into the background of the controversy, the judge observed: “The University has been extremely callous in evaluating and giving out the results of the petitioner. Upon an application being made by the petitioner for revaluation of the answer book in theology and functional analysis (TFA 618), they upgraded her marks from 26 to 33, which implied the petitioner had passed the examination”.

“In other subject in field theory and linear algebra (FLA 617), in the original marks sheet given out, she had already been shown as receiving 33 marks out of 100, again indicating that she had passed the subject. But, amazingly, another marksheet was issued to the petitioner in which her marks in both the subjects have been reduced from 33 to 26 in FLA 617 and from 26 to 21 in TFA 618….

“The court wanted the counsel for the university to show the answer books in which the revaluation had been got done, and the reply of the university is that the said answer book has been destroyed as is normally done after a period of two years.

“The court views this disapprovingly for the reason that the petition regarding the dispute of her marks in two of the subjects was pending before this court by way of the instant petition, and this should have been sufficient notice to the respondents not to destroy any material pertaining to the controversy…”, the judge stated.

Allowing the petition, Grover ruled: “The court cannot condone such a lapse more so when it has resulted in loss of two valuable years to the petitioner. Her marksheet may not be a manifestation of the record of a bright student but, at the same time, the chance that she could have got to improve her performance has been wrested away from her on account of the university’s lackadaisical attitude”.



Kairon lays stone of State Data Centre
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 21
Punjab’s Department of Information Technology (IT) has tied up with the Centre to track whether the commodities distributed under the public distribution system (PDS) reach the intended beneficiaries. The pilot project, the first of its kind in the country, will also be using the data bank available in the unique identification number (UID) project, said Punjab Minister of Information Technology Adesh Partap Singh Kairon.

The minister, who was in the city to lay the foundation stone of the State Data Centre (SDC) in Industrial Area, Phase 8, here said the UID project would be launched within six weeks as an upgraded version of the software that was being sent by the Centre.

Earlier, laying the foundation stone of the SDC, Kairon said the Centre being constructed at a cost of Rs 12 crore would provide a safe data storage facility. The Centre will consolidate citizen services, e-Governance applications and supporting infrastructure to provide efficient electronic delivery of government-to-government, government-to-citizens and government-to-business services.

The SDC will enable various state departments and public sector entities to host their services/applications on a common infrastructure leading to ease of integration and efficient management, ensuring computing resources and the support connectivity infrastructure. The minister further said the service would be facilitated by the State Department of Information Technology (DoIT) through a common delivery platform supported by other core infrastructure elements such as Wide Area Network (WAN) and CSC (Common Citizen Centre) with connectivity extended up to the village level.

The SDC coming up here has been classified as large-scale category as Punjab has been placed in the highest category.


P’kula MC approves Rs 66 cr
Tribune News Service


n Total Budget outlay for 2011-12 - Rs 66.08 crore
n Proposed expenditure on development works - Rs 57.58 crore
n Money reserved for contingency funds, establishment costs etc - Rs 11.68 crore
n Closing balance (estimated) - Rs 9.07 crore
n Allocation for recarpeting of roads in town - Rs 21.5 crore
n Setting up of sub-fire station building - Rs 40 lakh
n Purchasing of new dustbins - Rs 28 lakh
n Crematorium for sectors across the Ghaggar - Rs 50 lakh

Panchkula, March 21
The Municipal Council today unanimously passed a Budget of Rs 66.08 crore for 2011-12 under the chairmanship of Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanjeev Verma. Barring BJP Councillor VK Sood, all councillors were present in the meeting.

Presenting the budgetary proposals, MC executive officer KK Jain said the proposed income for the next fiscal was Rs 57.58 crore while the proposed expenditure was pegged at Rs 57 crore. He said the proposed expenditure on the establishment and contingency funds reserved were Rs 3.35 crore and Rs 8.33 crore, respectively.

Jain said Rs 21.5 crore would be allocated for the recarpeting of major roads in the town and Rs 40 lakh were proposed in the Budget for setting up of sub-fire station building at the site to be earmarked by the Haryana Urban Development Authority.

He said they had an opening balance of Rs 8.5 crore and were expecting an income of Rs 9.07 crore this year.

Last year only Rs 12.34 crore were spent, mostly as establishment costs, from a sanctioned budget of Rs 46.86 crore as no major development works could be taken up after the Panchkula Municipal Council was notified as corporation on March 21. Only necessary works were undertaken, including the laying of electricity cables of streetlights and recarpeting of roads, after the Haryana and Punjab High Court cancelled the notification.

The EO said Rs 35 lakh were earmarked for the installation of solar switches on the streetlights and for replacement of about 95 per cent of electricity meters installed on electric poles.

He said with this they would be able to save about Rs 2 lakh as the actual consumption of power was very less. He added that Rs 5 lakh each were proposed for the repair of roads in various sectors while similar amount was kept for the maintenance of parks and installation of swings and benches.

BJP councillor BB Singal highlighted the proposed income and expenditure figures of the past four years. He said the residents were being misled by these hypothetical, unrealistic and irrelevant proposals as out of the proposed Rs 47 crore only 3.7 crore were spent on development works.

Congress councillor and former MC president Ravinder Rawal said more technical staff should be appointed in order to improve the working of the council. He said in the absence of technical staff proposed works got delayed.

Expressing satisfaction over the Budget, INLD councillor VK Kapoor said money was not the problem, but if half of the Budget proposals were spent for development works the face of the town would change altogether.

Seema Chaudhary maintained that as no major development works were carried out during the past one year, the Budget allocation for CC paving in 13 villages, under the municipal council, should be increased from Rs 50 lakh.



Liquor prices in Mohali to go up from April
Licence fees, duties hiked in new excise policy
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service


n Total of 297 vends allotted in Mohali district
n No cap on maximum retail selling price
n 199 applications received for vends in Khijrabad (Kurali) despite licence fee being hiked by Rs 1.7 cr. Single applicant for vends in Mohali town
n For liquor permit for weddings, the fee has been raised depending on the space being rented out
n Licence fee for clubs with over 500 members hiked to Rs 5 lakh
n Distance of a vend from the gate of an educational institution should be at least 50 metres
n Prices of “Indian made foreign liquor” and “country liquor” up by Rs 10 to Rs 15 per bottle
n Every bottle to have hologram

Mohali, March 21
From April 1 buying liquor from vends in Mohali will be become a costly proposition. Under the new excise policy for fiscal 2011-12 a bottle of popular brand of liquor is going to cost about Rs 15 more.

After pocketing increased revenues of Rs 70 crore against Rs 54.51 crore last year by way of hiking licence fees and other taxes on liquor, the district excise & taxation department has (as per the new state excise policy) “virtually” given liquor contractors a free hand in raising prices of all brands of liquor and beer, leaving the customers at their mercy.

By a rough estimate a bottle of popular brand of liquor will cost Rs 15 more under the new excise policy and prices of beer are also expected to go up by around Rs 10 per bottle. In the draw of lots held for 297 vends in the district the department earned approximately Rs 70 crore. It received 1,807 applications against 1,239 received last year, netting Rs 4.33 crore as application fees.

Though the actual benefit of having a free hand in deciding the maximum selling price would benefit contractors in other areas of Punjab, the stakeholders opting for vends bordering Chandigarh have set their eyes on the UT administration’s policy before deciding on their strategy. The number of vends in the areas bordering the union territory have remained more or less the same as last year.

“To ensure there is less smuggling we intend to improve enforcement of regulations”, said a liquor contractor, who said about 5,000 bottles were coming daily from Chandigarh to Mohali.

Quoting figures, officials said liquor vends in Mohali town went for Rs 12 crore against Rs 10.25 crore last year and in Zirakpur the vends went for Rs 7 crore against Rs 5 crore last year. There were only 28 applications for vends in the Nayagaon area to the north of Chandigarh and a single applicant for vends in Mohali town. The maximum number of 199 applications were received for a vend in Khijrabad (Kurali) despite the department hiking the licence fee by Rs 1.7 crore.

To maintain a healthy competition among allottees of liquor vends within Mohali, the department has divided the town into three zones. All the vends within a 5 kilometre radius of the Mohali municipal corporation area have been tagged as “urban vends”.

The officials said due to higher licence fees the rise in prices of liquor may vary anything between 10 to 20 per cent.



Acid falls on prof in college, injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
A faculty member at Shri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Sector 46, sustained serious injuries after bottles of acid kept in a cupboard of a classroom fell on his face.

The injured, identified as Prof A K Prabhakar, Jurisprudence Toxicology, has been admitted in the PGI with 20 per cent burn injuries.

It was around 2.30 pm when Professor Prabhakar was teaching his students about the harmful effects of sulphuric acid. As he opened the cupboard to show a bottle of sulphuric acid to students, the bottles fell on him leading to severe burn injuries. He was immediately taken to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, from where he was referred to the PGI.

Students said the classroom was small and cupboards there were in a bad shape. “Though we have written to the authorities a number of times to provide a bigger room, no action has been taken so far,” alleged students.

All efforts to contact the authorities proved futile. While Dr Naresh Mittal, vice-president of the committee running the college, feigned ignorance about the incident, the phone at the residence of college principal Dr SK Thakur was attended by his wife who told this correspondent to talk to the principal in his office on Tuesday.



Chaos mars Spring Festival of PGI
Paramedic hurls shoe at senior consultant, docs make derogatory remarks
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The Spring Festival of the PGI organised by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) was marred by shoe hurling and exchange of derogatory remarks between doctors and paramedical staff.

Following this, students of Nursing Institute decided to boycott the programme, leading to cancellation of the performance by Kamaal Khan.

It was on Saturday night that one of the four teams participated in the event that raised a question mark over the decision of judges adjudging them third in the dance competition. All four teams comprised paramedical staff and nurses while doctors did not participate in the event, keeping themselves limited to organising the programme.

While hot exchanges were on between the organisers and participants, one of the participants hurled her shoe towards the judges, who were senior consultants. Meanwhile, one of the ARD members allegedly used derogatory remarks for one group of participants, which fuelled the situation.

However, senior doctors intervened and written apology was tendered by the doctors accused of using foul language. Next day, the students of Nursing Institute, however, decided to boycott the function and started gathering near the venue when the ARD decided to restrict the entry for doctors only.

Following this, the students got enraged and started gathering near the venue. Help of the police was sought by the ARD and the protesters were sent back by policemen.



‘Japanese resilience admirable’
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
“It was a close encounter with death. I had a nightmarish experience when strong tremors shook Tokyo on March 11. There were cracks on roads and any attempt to sleep that night fell flat due to strong tremors. More than 30 continuous tremors shook Tokyo each day from March 11 to March 16,” said 40-year-old Sukhbinder Singh Gill, a local resident, who witnessed the calamity in Japan during a 15-day training session of his company in Tokyo.

Gill reunited with his family for Holi celebrations over the weekend. Visibly shaken by the experience he had in Tokyo, Gill, who works as a chartered accountant in an automobile company based in Gurgaon, shared his encounter with the disaster today.

“Just when the massive earthquake occurred, Japanese training personnel asked us to hide underneath tables. While others could manage to do so, me and another Punjabi counterpart, who was also six feet tall like me, could barely fit in there. The 8.9 intensity quake on the Richter scale lasted for more than a minute and it was extremely frightening,” said Gill.

“What astonished us more was the discipline displayed by the Japanese in such crisis. Even the skyscrapers up to 60 floors were standing upright after the quake, although the roads and playfields had developed massive cracks,” said Gill.

Habituated by such frequent tremors, the Japanese urged the Indian delegation to continue the training session and to not panic. “In a shocked state, we even requested them to discontinue the training session, but in vain. The next five days we spent in Tokyo until March 16 were the most terrifying. I have seen such destruction only in English movies before,” he added.

At Tokyo’s Harita airport, Gill met Indian families, who were settled in Japan since long but were now leaving the country. “Even as there was no disruption of the services, the airport looked like a railway station since it was extremely crowded. People from different countries stranded in Japan were eager to return home. An Indian family from Kerala said they would return only when things got normal,” said Gill.



Holi celebrations
Police plays spoilsport
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 21
The police played a spoilsport for Holi revellers, especially for the residents of Sohana village, who are known to celebrate the festival with ash and animal bones.

Instead of colours, ash is applied on the faces and miscreants hang skeletons of animals outside their houses. On Sunday morning, an effort by some youths to hang skeletons of animals outside shops was foiled by the Sohana police. Special nakas were set up to check the miscreants.

Miscreants gather parts of dead animals, ash and celebrate Holi in an ugly manner.

40 challaned for reckless driving

In Mohali, around 40 vehicle drivers were challaned for reckless driving and six vehicles were impounded. To check the menace, nakas were set up across the city. For the entire day, the police was seen chasing youngsters driving cars and two-wheelers at a breakneck speed. SP Harpreet Singh said the police personnel had been deployed across the city.

Man found dead

Gopal, a resident of Industrial Area, was found dead near Chandigarh-Morinda railway lines, Jagatpura village, on Sunday morning. The police said Gopal had sustained head injuries after falling from the elevated track as he was in an inebriated condition. No injury mark was found on his body. Inquest proceedings have been initiated under Section 174 of the CrPC.



101 vehicles impounded on Holi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Despite tight police arrangements yesterday, Holi witnessed more than double crime spots, including a murder and various other offences in the city.

Official figures by the Chandigarh Police revealed that the day saw as many as 330 spots yesterday, while any other normal day saw the number of average spots to be 150.

While a murder of an NRI took place in Mani Majra when he was attempting to foil a snatching attempt on his wife. He was stabbed by one of the four motorcycle-borne miscreants, who also managed to steal jewellery of the deceased’s wife.

For traffic violations, as many as 101 vehicles were impounded by the police at various points in the city, whereas 290 challans were issued to other violators from 8 am to 6 pm.

“During a span of 10 hours (8 am to 6 pm), the police control room (PCR) has received a total of 184 spots- 30 accidents, 111 quarrels and 43 other miscellaneous, whereas in routine the average of the spots in the duration is just 98,” said DSP Roshan Lal.

The police has also arrested eight persons under cautionary measures under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC.



Home guard attacked with knives
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 21
A home guard of the Chandigarh police sustained serious injuries after more than a dozen Holi revellers attacked him with knives and baseball bats in Mansa Devi Complex yesterday.

The victim, who has been identified as Gurjinder, had gone to his friend’s house in Swastik Vihar area near the MDC to celebrate Holi. Passersby informed the PCR about the incident. He was taken to the Sector 6 general hospital where he received about seven stitches on his head. He was discharged from the hospital today.

Father of the victim Balbir Singh, a sub-inspector with the Chandigarh police, in his complaint to the MDC police station, said his son had gone to Swastik Vihar area near the MDC to celebrate Holi with one of his friends Jasbir Singh after parking his vehicle in the MDC market. He said when his son returned to the parking area, one of the accused pushed him, which led to a verbal duel. In the meantime, other accused attacked him with knives and baseball bats.

Balbir alleged that MDC police station SHO Balwant Singh was pressurising them for a compromise. He alleged that the police had not taken any action to arrest the accused.

Despite repeated attempts to contact SHO Balwant Singh, he could not be reached.

Meanwhile, heeding the advice of various NGOs to save water, the city youth played Holi with dry colours.

The city police had made elaborate security arrangements to check rowdyism in the city.

Religious discourses marked the Holi celebrations at the Sector 21 community centre. The festival was celebrated with flower petals.



With 14,000 tickets available, many fans left in lurch
Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, March 21
The first day of tickets on sale for the upcoming ICC-Cricket World Cup semifinal match to be held at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, on March 30 witnessed a hefty number of buyers at all outlets in the city.

As PCA is one of the two venues for hosting a semifinal match, with hopes that “Men-in-Blue” will make it to the semifinals, no one want to miss the opportunity to cheer the team at the venue.

All outlets of the Central Bank of India, including in Sectors 22, 15 and 32, were allotted only 700 tickets (200 tickets of Rs 1,000, 250 tickets of Rs 500 and 250 tickets of Rs 250 in each outlet) for selling, resulting many people left empty-handed after being standing in long queues for long hours.

According to an official, the main branch allotted less number of tickets to the outlets even after a large number of people were expected to buy the tickets for the cricket “kumb” here.

At most of the outlets, the tickets were sold off within two hours of the starting time. As only 14,000 tickets are available for the public, which seems to be less in number if compared with the public’s craze of watching the match on field.

“I came here just after my morning walk to buy the tickets, as my children want to watch the match,” said 35-year-old Ramesh, while standing in a long queue at the Sector 22 outlet.

Girls also turned up to the outlets for buying the tickets. A majority of girls were seen expecting an exciting India against Pakistan clash for the semifinal match here.

“We bought tickets just to witness India-Pakistan clash. We wish that both teams make it to the semifinals and clash here for moving into the final,” said a group of girls at the Sector 15 outlet.

According to a senior manager of the Sector 22 branch, the selling of tickets remained a smooth affair in the branch.

“The tickets were sold smoothly without troubling regular customers of the bank and the police also helped us to maintain a smooth run for selling the tickets,” stated Pradhan Singh, senior manager of the branch.

Tough to manage buyers

On the other hand, a few branches find it difficult to handle buyers. “What can we do, we were allotted only 700 tickets to sell,” said a bank official while distributing the tickets. Some police personnel in order to avoid huge rush were seen telling people that there is no public dealing for the day, as the tickets for the semifinal were on sale, which left many people in the lurch.

Pay Rs 5,000 to get special treatment

According to chairman, boarding, lodging and hospitality, RP Singla, there will be a special arrangement for viewers coming for enjoying the match in the north pavilion stands of the stadium. The tickets of this block are reserved with the PCA Stadium for special guests of the ICC and other countries. “We will serve the viewers of this special stand, which cost Rs 5,000 per person, with special Rajasthani, Punjabi, continental dishes, along with 20 to 25 different types of vegetarian and non-vegetarian snacks,” stated Singla. Adding further, “The authorities have decided to come up with a concept of village, which will include Punjabi dhabas. The guests in this block will also be given complimentary drinks and juices so that they can enjoy the match at their best,” said Singla.

Tickets not sold at P’kula branch

According to sources, despite of being the official day of buying the tickets, the Panchkula branch has not sold the tickets today due to staff shortage in the branch, resulting confusion among buyers. According to an official, the tickets would be sold tomorrow.

Banking transactions or buying tickets?

Some of the persons while standing in long queues for hours in order to buy the tickets told persons coming for usual banking purposes were getting tickets easily as they do not have to wait in queues. “Those who come here daily were permitted to enter the bank premises for banking transactions without standing in the long queues, which helped them to buy tickets easily and we were left empty-handed even after standing in the long queues for hours,” stated Rahul at the Sector 15 branch.

No tickets at outlets from today

According to an official document by the PCA, the tickets will not be available from tomorrow at any of the branches of the Central Bank of India in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. The buyers can buy the tickets from the PCA gates only. The VIP tickets will be available at gate No. 4, while the chair block tickets would be available at gate No. 14 whereas students’ block tickets have been sold out.



Afforestation campaign launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
On the occasion of World Forestry Day, an afforestation campaign was launched by the UT Forest Department at Kaimbwala village behind the Sukhna Lake today.

Adviser to the Administrator Pradip Mehra launched the campaign by planting a sapling of mango tree, the state tree of Chandigarh. Saplings of fruit-bearing tree species were planted by Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary Forests VK Singh, Commissioner Municipal Corporation Roshan Sunkaria, Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh and Special Secretary (Finance) Ajoy Sharma.

More than 1000 saplings were planted by the stakeholders who are part of Greening Chandigarh Action Plan Campaign, members of eco clubs, NGOs and representatives of various resident welfare associations.

Pradip Mehra called upon the stakeholders to join this movement initiated by the Chandigarh Administration to make Chandigarh more clean and green.



Plots for PUDA employees
Civil Secretariat staff demand similar scheme
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 21
A decision of the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) to allot plots to its employees has stirred a hornet’s nest as employees of the Punjab Civil Secretariat have demanded a similar scheme for them.

Gurmail Singh Sidhu, leader of the Joint Action Committee, Punjab and UT, said Punjab government employees, who were serving in Chandigarh, had approached the Chandigarh administration for the allotment of flats, but the administration refused to extend this benefit to them, stating that they should approach the Punjab government.

“If the government can allot around 1,200 plots of different sizes to its employees on a reserve price of Rs 18,000 per sq yard, it can extend it to Punjab government employees,” he said.

Employees of the Punjab Civil Secretariat had, for the past many months, been demanding that they be given plots in or around Mohali, as were being given to PUDA and GMADA employees.

Their main plea was that their job was non-transferable and they were compelled to live in or around Chandigarh on rent, unable to purchase plots or flats in the city due to high prices.



Kang appointed vice-president of SAD

Mohali, March 21
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today appointed dissident Akali Kiranbir Singh Kang as vice-president of the state unit of the party and also a member of the political affairs committee of the party.

The appointment holds significance in the wake of the efforts being made by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to win over the dissident.

Recently, Sukhbir Badal had come calling at his house in Sector 69, Mohali, after a gap of almost two years. — TNS



‘Lohakut’ staged to perfection
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, March 21
The incredible literary classic Punjabi play “Lohakut” by legendary playwright Balwant Gargi elicited the overwhelming adulation when staged by the TFT Theatre Institute in the ongoing NZCC Theatre Fest at the Randhawa auditorium here today.

A sharp focus on the socially relevant potent theme of social parity for women, especially in the rural areas and their struggle for the parity in the male-dominated society, immaculately illustrated under the direction of Sudesh Sharma, looked fresh.

Anita Shabdish, Amanpreet Khaira, Sudesh Sharma, Harwinder Saini, Mukesh Sharma and others brought alive the author’s concept on the stage with élan.

Earlier the festival opened up with the staging of a Hindi play “Mind Games” presented by Natrang Theatre, Jammu, under the direction of acclaimed young actor director and playwright Sumeet Sharma yesterday.

Operating on an intellectual, abstract and symbolic level, the play interpreted the psychological probing of internal mindset of a common man whose internal feelings and absurd thoughts are pitted against the conflicting external pressures of his real daily life. The play progressed to reveal that such illogical thoughts when nurtured become an attitude and eventually shape one’s behaviour and personality, which accounts for one’s success and failure.

With matured observation of their characters and brilliant acting spells, Sumeet Sharma, Guarav Jamwal, Mohit Sharma and Gaurav Triyal excelled. The light and sound effects augmented the production level despite many infrastructural constrains.

“Ek Aur Saach” will be staged tomorrow.



From Schools & Colleges
Hearing aids distributed

Chandigarh: Danish Ambassador Freddy Svane distributed hearing aids at Vatika High School on Monday. The hearing aids have been developed by Widex Digital Hearing Aids. The Ambassador also interacted with students and teachers of the school.

Forestry Day

On the World Forestry Day, students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 32 C, planted a triveni (peepal, bargad and neem trees) on the school premises. School principal Darshanjit Singh said guest speakers explained the importance of trees to the students and dignitaries.

New principal

Damandeep Kaur has taken over as the principal of Government Home Science College, Sector 10, on March 17. Kaur joined the college in 1975 and was the in charge of the department of foods and nutrition since 2001.


MOHALI: The department of electronics at the Sri Sukhmani Group of Institutions conducted a one-day workshop on advancement in electronics for students in association with professionals from the industry. The main objective of the workshop was to make aspiring engineers acquainted with the conceptual as well as practical knowledge of the fast emerging electronic technology. About 110 students participated in the workshop. Later, a competition was held among various groups participating in the workshop.

Consumer Day

To celebrate the World Consumer Rights Day, a seminar was conducted at the Sahibzada Ajit Singh Institute of IT and Research, Mohali. Sital Singh, chief parliamentary secretary, medical education and research, Punjab, was the chief guest. Amit Talwar, SDM, Mohali; Dr JS Dhaliwal, chairman, SAS Group; Renuka B Salwan, Deputy director, public relations, were also present at the seminar organised by PS Virdi, president, Consumers Protection Federation, SAS Nagar, in collaboration with BIS, Chandigarh. More than 500 students of MBA, MCA, BBA, BCA and BSc (IT) attended the seminar. Sital Singh said only knowledgeable and alert consumers were aware of their rights and responsibilities. Need of the hour is, therefore, to educate the common consumers, particularly those in rural areas, who are more susceptible to exploitation. Agreeing with him, Dr Dhaliwal said once the common man was educated and made aware of the schemes that had been drawn up for their benefit and also the redressal forum that was available, the benefit of various schemes, in true sense, would reach the common consumers of the country.

Graduation ceremony

Graduation ceremony at The Millennium School, Mohali, witnessed a rare trend in the modern day schooling, which was manifest for the first time ever in the region. Hinged on the philosophy that a student’s life in The Millennium School is segregated into various stages, the graduation ceremony witnessed the crossover of KG students going into primary school, Class V students to middle school and Class VIII to senior school. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |