C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC House in incredible hurry
Gives nod to recruitment rules, promotion of 3,000 employees in 5 seconds
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Incredible as it may sound, it took the Municipal Corporation (MC) General House precisely five seconds to approve promotion and recruitment rules of about 3,000 employees working in various departments of the corporation. No municipal councillor - elected or nominated - suggested any improvement or amendment in the rules tabled and passed in the House today. Even a proposal for 13 development works, valued at Rs 9.46 crore tabled in the House, were approved by the MC councillors within just 20 minutes.

Instead, much to the discomfort of the nominated councillors, the elected MC councillors preferred to spend over two hours on issues which neither fell in today’s agenda or their jurisdiction. The issues that seemed to worry the councillors were the booth scam (which falls under the purview of the UT Administration) and alleged disrespectful remarks against Dr BR Ambedkar by the BJP on their party website.

A majority of the councillors complained at the meeting that works relating to the installation of multi-play equipment and fountains in various sectors were lying pending for the past six months, as these had not so far been allotted to any contractor. Congress councillor Manjit Singh alleged that the authorities had a biased attitude towards villages and colonies with regard to installing play equipment in green belts of those areas. He said not even a single issue of installing play equipment in villages had been tabled in the House during the past six months.

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh directed the MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda to submit a detailed status report within a fortnight about the pending projects of play equipment and fountains along with reasons on why these had not been allotted.

Responding to a question by Congress councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma on the status of providing housing to economically weaker sections (EWS) against norms set by the MC, Deputy Commissioner Bijender Singh, who is officiating as Municipal Commissioner, said he would get the sites for the EWS re-inspected and a report prepared. Singh said the team would inspect the project.

Complaining about incomplete replies to questions about the details of employees of the enforcement department, SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur said the authorities should prepare a detailed report of it and table it in the House.



Two kids die after mother jumps with them into canal
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, April 21
Two children aged five and seven died on Thursday after their mother reportedly jumped along with them into a canal adjacent to the Rajpura-Patiala road near Jakhra village. While Kulvir Kaur, 33, is said to be serious the two children were rushed to the town’s Civil Hospital where they were declared dead on arrival.

Kulvir was residing in Chaura village since she got married to, Gurvinder Singh, a small time carpenter, seven years ago.

A woman washing clothes on the rooftop of her home situated in the vicinity saw Kulvir jumping into the canal along with two children in the afternoon and immediately informed some men standing nearby. The latter rushed to the canal to rescue the three with ropes.

According to police officials, Mewa Singh and Avtar Singh jumped into the canal while Jaspal Singh and former village ‘sarpanch’ Kaka Singh held the rope. It took about ten to fifteen minutes to take out the woman and the children who were all said to be breathing at that time. Villagers also tried to remove water out of their lungs.

The police soon arrived at the scene and took the woman and the children to the hospital, located about 9 km away.

Kulvir’s husband and other family members denied there was any discord between the couple. “Their son is studying in class 2 in the village’s government school while their daughter was admitted to nursery school this year”, said the wailing relatives gathered at the hospital.

Police officials said the children did not survive despite the shallow water in the canal. “The bodies have been kept in the hospital mortuary and the postmortem examination would be conducted on Friday. The woman’s statement will be recorded after she gains consciousness,” they added.

The police has begun inquest proceedings under section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.



‘Dog’ged councillors bay for nominated one’s blood
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
A parallel drawn by a nominated councillor, Amrit Bolaria, between homeless dogs fighting on the streets and municipal councillors wrangling about the city’s stray dog menace plaguing the city led to an uproar in the civic body’s monthly general house meeting, stalling the proceedings for about half an hour.

The remark led to sharp differences in the reactions of the elected and nominated councillors. While all 26 elected councillors cutting across party lines expressed rage over the comparison and demanded an apology from Bolaria, the nominated councillors backed her, saying: “When elected councillors misbehave with those who have been nominated they should have the grace to apologize”.

Eventually the elected councillors prevailed and Bolaria had to tender an apology. “If I’ve hurt anyone’s sentiments I apologize, but my intention has been misread by the councillors”, she said. It was only then that proceedings at the meeting were allowed to continue.

Earlier, nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee while coming to Bolaria’s defence said the elected councillors should also tender an apology for their “misbehaviour” towards nominated councillors at the last MC house meeting. “Why are nominated councillors always being harassed for raising valid issues on the floor of the house?” he asked.

The problem began when Congress party councillor Harphool Chand Kalyan raised an objection in response to a statement by BJP members who referred to BR Ambedkar as an “untouchable” on the party’s official website. Demanding an apology from the BJP, Kalyan claimed the statement “reflected the ideology of the national party”. For half an hour councillors of both parties engaged in heated arguments, blaming each other for their “mindset”.

Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla suggested as all elected as councillors were considered “dogs” the authorities should get them “registered” with the UT medical officer of health. Nominated councillor AP Sanwaria retorted: “Dogs have submitted a memorandum objecting to being compared with the councilors”.

Nominated councillor MPS Chawla said since the matter was not related to the house proceedings, city mayor Ravinder Pal Singh should not allow the councillors to use the platform for political discussions. Provoked, Bolaria then said: “Even dogs don’t fight on the streets like this”. This remark was enough to make the Congress party members forget the BJP’s alleged insult of Ambedkar and targeted Bolaria until she was forced to apologize before the house could resume business.



Kings XI yet to pay UT Police Rs 57 lakh
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
A year after the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Punjab franchisee Kings XI is yet to pay the UT Police Rs 57 lakh for providing security to its players for matches played in Mohali.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, SP (Traffic and Security) HS Doon said the Kings XI team owed the city police Rs 57,02,888 for making elaborate security arrangements for them during the IPL matches played at the PCA stadium in Mohali last year.

“We have twice sent them our bill for playing in the last edition - on March 11 and 31  but we are yet to receive payment. We will again be raising our bill with them, which will include charges incurred on the team’s security during the four matches played in the ongoing edition,” said Doon.

Kings XI has already played two matches and has two more to play at the PCA Stadium. The rates charged by the UT police have been fixed by the deputy commissioner’s office, which are considered nominal.

Interestingly, the UT Police has not raised a bill for security cover provided to the team during the first edition of the IPL. The police, however, has no explanation to offer.

Last year, and again this year, the UT police deployed around 2,000 policemen, including a superintendent of police, about two or three DSPs and some inspectors on round-the-clock duty during the matches. The police is entrusted with providing security at the hotels where the teams are being lodged, escorting the players, and for matches and practice sessions as well.


St Xavier’s principal refutes charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Reacting to allegations of being insensitive towards Janvi, the Class X student who fall from the school building is a matter of dispute, St Xavier’s principal Mervin West has claimed that it’s the aggressive attitude of her parents and relatives and his health which prevented him from visiting Janvi at Fortis.

In a statement issued here today he asserted that Janvi’s parents attacked the school’s legal consultant and his wife on the day of mishap.

“Similarly, the very next day on April 19, when some senior teachers and members of the managing committee went to the hospital to see Jhanvi`s condition, they were not allowed in and were rudely sent back. On Janvi’s birthday on April 20 students, staff and members of the management went to wish her but they were not allowed to enter her room or meet her,” claimed the statement. The principal has appealed to Janvi’s parents to maintain their calm, avoid following advice of aggressive friends and relations and concentrate on Janvi`s medical treatment, care and affection.



Trouble gets deeper for treetop protester
Two more fraud cases surface
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 21
Trouble doesn’t seem to be letting go of treetop protester Avtar Singh Nagla, as after the surfacing of two cases of forgery against him, he is now faced with fresh allegations of cheating two persons of Rs 70 lakh. The complainants are awaiting legal action against Nagla.

Already, a police team is camping at Nagla village to take him into custody. He is also a proclaimed offender in a case registered by the Chandigarh police.

However, Nagla today claimed he was being framed. He said he had accepted money from people for doing their work but denied having cheated them.

According to sources, Nagla had defrauded Manjit Singh, a resident of Bhankarpur, of Rs 60 lakh and Krishana Devi of Banur of Rs 10 lakh.

Both were appointed directors of Krishi Vikas Shilp Kendra (KVSK) for Mohali and Patiala districts, respectively, but their appointment letters and identity cards were found to be fake soon after. Manjit was issued the appointment letter on May 28, 2006, while Krishna Devi’s letter was issued on April 9, 2007, the sources added.

In their complaint, they alleged that Avtar had lured them into getting a director’s post with Rs 25,000 monthly salary, an official vehicle with a gunman and a flat. He had also assured them of getting grants worth Rs 5 crore issued to each district from the KVSP for further disbursement at their discretion. They blamed Avtar for their mess and demanded legal action against him.

Denying the allegations, Avtar claimed that he had not taken the amount as claimed by the complainants. Instead, they paid it to the KVSK national secretary, he alleged. He said the complainants wanted a VIP status besides other facilities. Nagla had perched himself atop a eucalyptus tree, around 40 feet above the ground, last Friday. He is still demanding a face-to-face dialogue with Punjab Chief Minster Parkash Singh Badal over the sale of land.



High-mast lights for markets, junctions
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, April 21
Mohali will now have better-lit market areas and roundabouts with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) deciding to install high-mast lights on the Chandigarh pattern at a cost of over Rs 3 crore. The process of giving work order is in progress and the work is likely to start in two weeks.

Three to four months will be given to the contractors concerned to complete the work on providing better lighting system in the market areas and on various road junctions. GMADA authorities had identified 47 points in the market areas where high-mast lights would be put up at a cost of around Rs 1.7 crore. A GMADA official said many areas of the markets in various parts of the town remained in the dark at night.

Though decorative lamps had been put up here and there, they did not provide adequate light in the parking areas.

Now high-mast lamps would not only provide better lighting but also remove obstructions to traffic. Six lights would be put up on a single pole with bulbs of 250 watts and 400 watts.

Lamps would be put up on 10-metre poles at road junctions at a cost of around Rs 1.5 crore and bulbs would emit a white colour light, which will be different from the yellow colour streetlights. The aim of providing a different colour was to make travel easy for outsiders who would easily be able to identify road junctions while travelling.



Shelter For Homeless
ADC appointed nodal officer

Panchkula April 21
For the rehabilitation of the homeless in the district, Deputy Commissioner-cum-president, District Red Cross Society, Ashima Brar has appointed Additional Deputy Commissioner as nodal officer.Similarly the District Red Cross Society will work as the nodal agency for the purpose.

Stating this here today, an official spokesperson said a survey of the homeless people in the district was conducted by the district administration last month in which 1,330 member of 339 families from different states were identified.

She said a hall had been constructed as a temporary night shelter in the building of the Old Age Home in Sector15, which was being operated by the District Red Cross Society.

He said all necessary facilities like food, bedding, health, potable water and toilets were being provided to the beneficiaries. — TNS



SGPC counters charge on registering voters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The Gurdwara Election Commission has countered the allegation made in a petition that non-Sikh migrants from Uttar Pradesh and other states were being registered as voters for the SGPC elections. The response was to a petition filed by Harbans Singh Kandhola.

In the previous hearing, Kandhola had moved an application with a comparative chart of voters prepared for the SGPC and the Assembly seats. An attempt was made to show that the votes of non-Sikhs, Patit Sikhs and even Sehajdhari Sikh had been made under the secret influence of the ruling party.

The Commission submitted: “This chart cannot be considered as comparative as from the perusal of the application, alleged to be the voter list of the Vidhan Sabha elections, it is apparent that it was printed in January 2011, whereas voters for the SGPC election were registered up to August 14, 2010, only.”

The Commission added: “There can thus be no comparison between these two lists i.e one prepared for the Vidhan Sabha election which was later than the one prepared for the SGPC election.” It added, “In any case, the Commission has taken note of the factual position stated in the alleged comparative table and will take appropriate action.”



Poultry sellers call off strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Following an assurance by the Mayor, around 400 poultry shopkeepers of the city today called off their strike till April 29 against the implementation of the Meat and Bird Slaughter bylaws by the Municipal Corporation medical officer.

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh met the shopkeepers and assured them that the matter would be resolved by April 29. A special meeting of all the councillors had been called by the Mayor to discuss the issue threadbare.

Meanwhile, shopkeepers staged a protest this morning at the Industrial Area slaughterhouse against flaws in the Meat and Bird Slaughter bylaws. They alleged that the authorities had not made enough arrangements for the slaughter of birds in the slaughterhouse at Industrial Area, Phase I. 



DC to record statements on April 28
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The Deputy Commissioner has fixed April 28 as the date for recording the statement of independent candidate Jagjit Singh Kang for the mayoral election petition. Kang had filed a petition challenging the mayoral election held on January 1, 2011.

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh was also present during the hearing today.

Advocate Satpal Jain, who is pleading the case of the independent candidate, pointed that as the record of the election had already been received from the MC, the case will come up for hearing on April 28 for recording the evidence of Kang and any other witnesses on his behalf.

Jain insisted the Deputy Commissioner on framing the issues, including whether the election was held properly, whether the election was invalid or whether the petitioner was entitled to be declared elected as the Mayor.

On the other hand, Anu Chatrath, who represented the Mayor, insisted on framing the issues, which included whether the petition was vague, whether the petitioner had moved any application for recounting, whether the petition was not liable to be allowed as the election procedure was followed as prescribed by the law. 

Remarks against Dr Ambedkar
Cong seeks apology

Chandigarh: Congress workers on Thursday protested in front of the MC office at Sector 17 against BJP president Nitin Gadkari for making derogatory remarks against Dr BR Ambedkar. They demanded that the BJP should apologise for making such an irresponsible statement. 



Saplings planted to mark Earth Day

Chandigarh, April 21
“PRAKRITI”, the Environment Society of the PGGCG, Sector 11, celebrated World Earth Day today. The celebrations started with the plantation of saplings by principal Achila Dogra and vice-principal Anita Kaushal.

Thereafter, a field trip was planed to the Nepli forest where around 80 members, including students, teachers and non-teaching staff of the college participated. – TNS



Garment store penalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
In an ex parte order, the UT Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum (I) has directed Rimpi Garments, Sector 22, to refund Rs 6,450 along with a compensation of Rs 5,000 to a city resident for not replacing defective “lehnga choli”.

Rashim Sharma, a resident of Sector 18, had purchased two “lehnga cholies” for Rs 6,450 each from Rimpi Garments. In her complaint, she alleged that one of the “lehna cholies” was defective with some cuts and holes in it. She approached the storeowner for replacing the same, but he asked her to wait for fresh stocks and later refused to replace the same.

The forum comprising president PD Goel and members Rajinder Singh Gill and Madanjit Kaur Sahota passed the order that the complainant was entitled for Rs 6,450, the cost of the “lehnga choli” along with Rs 5,000 compensation, including the cost of litigation. 



200 teachers attend environment seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
“DEEKSHA” (Diffuse Environmental Education, Keep Society Humbly Aware), in association with the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, conducted a seminar on “Green the Minds for a Sustainable Society” on the eve of the World Earth Day.

More than 200 teachers from various schools in the tricity attended the seminar. The seminar was inaugurated by DPI (S) Sandeep Hans, who awarded schools that carried out outstanding work in making minds and actions of its students more eco-friendly. Eminent environmentalist prof RK Kohli delivered the keynote address during the seminar. AK Bhatia, regional director NW region, CGWB, gave a talk on water sustainability during the seminar.

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, was awarded the best school in environmental conservation and protection activities. Satluj Public School, Sector 2, and 4, Panchkula, was adjudged best school in water conservation activities.

Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, was awarded for best preservation of bio-diversity. GMMS, Sector 23, was adjudged the best school in community greening activities. Gurukul Global School, Mani Majra, was awarded for best waste management module.



Rural lok adalat on April 24
Tribune News Service

Panchkula April 21
A rural lok adalat will be held at in the local government school of Billa village in the district on April 24 at 10 am.Stating this, Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Gurvinder Kaur said cases of villages including Barwala, Haripur, Bataur, Batwal, Bhogpur, Bhorli, Dabkori, Dandarudu, Jaloli, Naggal, Bunga, Jaswantgarh, Alipur, Bhagwanpur, Billa, Bharoli, Khangesra, Mankia, Rattewali, Rehod, Sultanpur, Sunderper, Trilokpur, Toka, Tibbi and Tapria, would be taken up.



Alumni meet at SAS colleges
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 21
A total of 750 students of SAS Group of Institutions were conferred upon degrees during the annual convocation held on the campus here today.

HS Bains, Registrar, Punjab Technical University, gave the convocation address and conferred upon degrees. Prof HL Verma, former Pro Vice-Chancellor, GJUS&T, Hisar delivered the presidential address.

At the alumni meet, organised after the convocation, the alumni of SAS Group interacted and shared their experiences with the students and faculty of the institute.

Besides congratulating students, Bains motivated students to continue working towards the success in their chosen field. He also stressed upon the need to develop healthy industry academia interaction for promoting quality education.

Dr JS Dhaliwal, director of the institute, informed that 69 meritorious students were awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals and certificates. 



Entrance exam on May 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The preliminary examination for selecting students from the economically weaker sections (EWS) for free coaching for IIT-JEE-2012 with the famed Ramanajum School of Mathematics (RSM) will be held on May 22 at Modern Senior Secondary School near the Dukh Nivaran Gurdwara in Patiala.

The entry programme for Anand Kumar’s coveted school of preparation for the entrance examination has tied up with the Bhai Jaitaji Foundation.

The main examination will be conducted on June 5 at the same venue. The final selection will also depend on the verification of application form. Interested students can download the form from www.super30.org and the forms should be sent by May 15.



ETT students hold protest

Chandigarh: The Elementary Teachers Training students studying in private colleges under the aegis of the Punjab Students Union staged a protest outside the office of State Council of Elementary Training here on Thursday.

They were demanding that the private colleges should take exams under the SCERT and the government should take action against the private colleges who had failed to take exams. They also demanded that the private institute should work under the control of the government. — TNS



Book fair

CHANDIGARH: The Sandhya Social and Educational Society Karkardooma, Delhi, in collaboration with National Book Trust India and the human resource department of Higher Education, Government of India, organised a book fair at the Panchayat Bhawan, Sector 18. The fair, which will continue till April 24, has about 25 publishers.

Traffic awareness

A traffic rules awareness programme was conducted at Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 40. HS Doon, SP (Traffic and Security), along with Vijay Kumar, DSP (Traffic) stressed upon the need to follow traffic rules. Doon appreciated the active participation of students and answered their queries. A cultural show was organised on this occasion and Principal Nirmal Bedi honoured the participants.

Earth Day

Eco club of Government Model High School, Sector 22, celebrated the Earth Day today. More than 150 students participated in the rally aimed to create awareness about eco-friendly lifestyle. Principal Tajinder Kaur flagged off the rally.

Students of AKSIPS, Sector 41, celebrated the Earth Day with enthusiasm today. Students visited Shanti Kunj, Sector 16, with banners to grow more trees.

Students of classes I to III had a special assembly to mark the day. Students took a pledge to save their environment and took out a rally to make people aware about the Earth Day.

Students of class IV & V participated in “best out of waste” competition. For classes VI & VII slogan-writing competition was organised. School director Jasdeep Kalra planted a sapling and encouraged the students to preserve their environment.

Rally to save water

Students of Class X of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 32, organised a rally on water conservation today. Students holding placards, shouting slogans on the need to conserve water marched around the whole sector. — TNS 



Debate contest

Panchkula, April 21
A large number of students participated in an inter-school debate contest on “human cloning - triumph or folly?” at Bhavan Vidyalaya here today. The event was organised by Simply Health Plus and The Society for Promotion of Science and Technology in India.

The function was presided over by Dharamveer, Election Commissioner, Haryana. — TNS



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