C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Questions raised on running of 2 petrol pumps by police society
‘A society can’t get more than one petrol pump in a city’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Questions are being raised on the running of two petrol pumps by the Chandigarh Police Welfare Fund Bank Society (CPWFBC), a charitable body of the UT Police, in the city.

The above-said petrol pumps, one located in Sector 33 and the other in Sector 42, have been allotted to the UT Police Department by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) under the norms of allotment of the pumps to government organisations. But under some internal arrangement, both petrol pumps are being managed by the CPWFBC and the income from these is said to be used by the society for the welfare of families of cops. The “arrangement” is being termed as “unlawful”, as it violates rules regulations.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, a senior official of the IOC said only that person or organisation in whose name the petrol pump has been allotted could run it. “There are certain relaxations for government organisations when it comes to the allotment of petrol pumps. Under the norms, we can allot several petrol pumps to any government organisation, but a private party or private firm or society cannot be allotted more than one petrol pump in a city,” said the official on condition of anonymity. Running two petrol pumps in the city by one society is surely in violation of rules, added the official.

The income from both petrol pumps is said to be around Rs 15 lakh per month. The Sector 42 petrol pump came under the management of the police welfare society in September 2009, while the society has started looking after the affairs of Sector 33 petrol pump from April 1, 2011.

On the issue, DSP Jagbir Singh, who is in charge of both pumps and is also an office-bearer of the society, said, “The profits from the pumps are being used for the welfare of the families of the police officials of the department. The society is doing a lot of charitable work, including arranging of non-refundable funds for higher studies for poor students, providing grants to widows of police personnel, non-recoverable death grants, medical treatment and marriages.”

DSP Jagbir Singh, who admitted that the pumps were allotted to the UT Police Department, said there was nothing wrong in running the pumps by the society, as there was a proper agreement with the IOC in this regard.

‘Misappropriation of public funds’

RTI activist Ram Kumar Garg said by ‘transferring’ the management of the petrol pumps, the UT Police Department had been causing revenue loss to the UT Administration. “The income from both pumps runs in lakhs per month. If the pumps are allotted to the UT Police Department, a government organisation, why the income from these is being used by a private body? Is it not misappropriation of public funds?” he asked.

IOC Denial

In its reply to one of the RTI applications, the IOC mentioned that “no petrol pump had been allotted in Chandigarh to the Chandigarh Police Welfare Fund Bank Society, Sector 9”.



Three dupe employer’s company
Took hint from Hindi film ‘Rocket Singh’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Taking a cue from Hindi blockbuster ‘Rocket Singh, salesman of the year’, three employees of a multinational export house in Sector 17 here stole their employers’ confidential data and operated a separate firm within their office by targeting clients of their employer company. They managed to earn huge profits for themselves, while their employer suffered a loss as his clients were being taken away.

After the fraud was detected, the cyber crime cell of the UT Police booked the three employees in a case under various Sections of the Information Technology Act today.

Smita P Bhatia, managing director of ‘Metro Exporter’ Private Limited, reported to the police that IA Quadri, Ajay Singh Thakur and Rajesh Nanda, all his employees, cheated his company by stealing the confidential data and utilising the data for their own use and operating a separate firm within his office. The accused stole the confidential record, which contained the company’s terms and conditions of putting quotations in foreign countries, detail of the company’s customers and other details or internal meetings of Metro Exporter. Giving details, Inspector Neeraj Sarna, in charge, cyber crime cell, said the prime accused Quadri had been given a higher post and was also a laptop. He was also sent abroad recently on an assignment. Along with other two employees, Quadri started his own business within the premises of his employer’s company and also utilised his telephones for the purpose. The accused floated two companies and got one of it registered in the name of his wife and children. They earned profits by targeting the clients of their employer said the police.



Sans gazette, I-T knowhow, govt schools fail to collate result
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
More than 36 hours after the declaration of CBSE class X board results, the city is yet to know how students in more than 100 schools have fared this year. Courtesy, non-availability of result gazette and more importantly computer illiteracy amongst teachers and department officials.

A majority of schools failed to collate the result to ascertain criterions like total qualifying percentage, compartments or failures. This has failed to give an overall picture of the government schools result.

Even though the result was released online by CBSE at 5 pm yesterday, the schools claimed helplessness, as the board had failed to provide them with the result gazette.

“What can we do about it? Our representative reached the CBSE office at 9 am, but they did not provide us with the gazette even till 5 in the evening. The dealing officials kept on insisting that the gazette was not available and promised that we will be given information on phone. But it never happened,” said a senior UT official, who did not wish to be named.

The board, however, claims that it was all ready with the result, but the department official did not come to receive it. “Who says the result was not ready? If any of the board officials had refused the gazette then the education department should have approached me. We were ready with the gazette,” said RJ Kahnaderao, regional director CBSE. “They keep flaunting about conducting computer workshops but are not efficient enough to even download the result available online. What has prevented them from collating it,” said a senior CBSE official.



It’s ‘chhutti’ time for babus
Public faces inconvenience
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
It is “chhutti” time for several senior UT Administration officials. With certain top UT babus slated to fly to the cooler environs, apparently for a holiday thus aggravating the current “officer crunch”, routine administrative work is set to become a casualty this month much to the inconvenience of the public.

Chandigarh is already without three senior IAS officers and also a couple of PCS/HCS officers in addition to scores of lower rung officials, all of who have already proceeded on leave. While Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh, who also holds the charge of the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), would be on leave for a fortnight from June 4, new chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) Satya Gopal has also extended his leave by a couple of weeks. DK Tiwari, another IAS officer and the managing director of CITCO, is currently away on training and would resume office only on June 12. Posting of Prerna Puri Wasu, a comparatively junior and SDM-level IAS officer, as the MCC’s officiating Commissioner in place of Brijendra Singh speaks volumes about the “officer crunch” in the UT Administration.

The MCC has been without a regular commissioner for over a month now after Roshan Sunkaria was repatriated to Punjab. Elections to the MCC General House are slated within six months. While a fresh panel of officers from Punjab is yet to be received, Brijendra Singh was given the additional charge of the MC Commissioner.

The worst-affected organisation arising out of the “officer crunch” would be the CHB, the monopolistic construction arm of the UT Administration. While the chairman had been on leave for much of his tenure so far since he joined last month, its chief executive officer Ritu Chaudhary was also currently on leave.



the buzz
Traffic police on Facebook from today

The Chandigarh traffic police is set to launch its page on Facebook on Friday. Inspector general of police PK Srivastava will formally launch the page at the Chandigarh Traffic Lines in Sector 29 at 11:30 am. The page will invite photographs of traffic violations and feedback on the functioning of traffic cops, including any evidence of bribe taking.

A team of six police personnel has received training from the Delhi traffic cops on how to operate the Facebook page. City residents can now upload videos and photos of vehicles violating traffic regulations, including instances where policemen are found demanding a bribe. Senior police officials will then mark an inquiry into the reported offence and action will be taken accordingly. — TNS


Now building plans to be cleared soon
Architects to self-certify plans, approval within a week
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 2
With the aim of simplifying the tedious process of getting building plans approved, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is all set to introduce a scheme of self-certification of the plans by empanelled architects in Mohali. Under the new process the building plans would have to be cleared in a week’s time.

Unlike the UT estate office where a similar scheme was unsuccessful as the architects were held responsible for any violation till construction of a building was completed, GMADA has clarified the architects would be held responsible till the building plans were submitted. Applications have already been sought for architects to get empanelled.

Mohali additional chief administrator Manjeet Singh Brar said the new scheme would considerably reduce the harassment faced by applicants and would ensure quick approval of building plans.

“The scheme will ensure the various departments concerned including accounts, town planning and engineering as well as the estate office function in sync”, he added.

Under the existing arrangement applicants have to follow their case from one table to another and it takes several weeks to get the approval. To avoid harassment the applicants at times end up paying bribes for quick disposal of their cases.

According to sources, as part of computerisation of records efforts were being made to put the entire database on real estate properties on the Internet. Once the pending dues are posted on the website it would speed up the process of securing a “no dues” clearance from the estate office. Once the scheme was made operational in Mohali it is planned to be introduced in other urban estates in Punjab.

Plan for online sanction a non-starter

An ambitious scheme of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to introduce a system of online sanction of building plans has failed to take off due to “technical glitches”. Planned to be developed by Punjab Engineering College, the online system was to include a plan approval tracking and management facility. The authority had inked an MoU for the project with the college’s Centre for Computational Engineering.



Emotional loneliness stalks city youth
Children take refuge in the Internet to escape insecurities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Even as speculations continue to cloud the reasons behind the alleged suicide by a class XII student of Bhavan Vidyalya, the incident has once again brought to fore the growing emotional loneliness amongst youth surrounded by IT machines.

According to a recent national survey conducted in association with the ministry of information and technologies, the city has fifth largest number of teenagers having an easy access to the Internet and mobile phones, spending an average of eight hours communicating through these mediums.

However, a majority of them still ail from emotional dissatisfaction and insecurity.

With SMS and social networking sites replacing interpersonal communication in the lives of a majority of teenagers, problems like withdrawn social and family life, hyper or hypo-active behaviour, anxiety, depression and excessive excitement are common “symptoms” among teenagers, which parents hardly take note of or ignore as “part of growing up”.

Experts blame it on “busy city parents”, a majority of whom probably share no emotional relation with their children.

“The major problem is that parents or teachers are hardly able to spot abnormalities in children’s behaviour. Worse is the case when they are too busy to even notice that something is wrong somewhere. Whenever we get any parent for counselling, most prefer talking about academics and when we insist on psychological analysis, a majority of them cannot even tell what their child is sacred of,” says Jasmine Singh , a local counsellor at the State Institute of Education, Sector 32.

“Sit back and analyse your day-to-day interaction with child. In many households, it just confines to their academics, food or other queries. There are hardly any parents who sit with their children and quiz them about their emotional problems, their fears or confusion. Parents’ responsibility does not end by merely providing material comforts. Emotional development is a key responsibility. When parents have no time for their child, the latter either keeps ‘secrets’ to himself or seeks refuge in the cyber world, which backfires,” adds Rakesh Sachdeva, counsellor with the CBSE.

Living a parallel life

The parallel virtual or cyber life created at various social networking sites, being resorted to by children as a refuge from the realities of life, is considered the biggest threat to the healthy emotional life of teenagers. What leaves experts perturbed is the fact that children go to the extent of expressing their suicidal thoughts, post-breakup trauma and even emotional fears on the Net, while their behaviour with family continues to be reserved. The only way to deal with the problem is to spend time with your child. Filling his life with frequent communication, trust, emotional support rather than offering swanky gadgets can go a long way in addressing the issue.

Reduced role of counsellors

I have been counselling students for almost a decade now and over the recent years have seen a major dip in the number of students calling to discuss physiological problems or emotional fears. That does not mean they are fine. Rather they are in grave danger for they have replaced counsellors and parents with inexperienced peers or social networking sites. We do get counsellors in schools but a majority of students never come up to discuss anything other than academics, as they are not ready to acknowledge that something is wrong with them or somebody can give them a solution. There is a growing need to integrate face-to-face communication into our children’s life.

— Madhu Bahl, master trainer and counsellor, CBSE



Even ‘malba’ not safe at dumping sites
Residents cry foul over lifting of debris by building contractors in Sector 50
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
With the municipal corporation having no rules on the lifting of “malba” from earmarked dumping sites in the city, it has become a norm for housing contractors to lift the “malba” from the sites and use it in their projects.

In their complaint to Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh, Sector-50 residents today alleged that building contractors were removing “malba” from the site, thus defeating the very purpose for which it was being dumped there. The authorities had earmarked a low-lying area in the sector for dumping “malba” to level the uneven site.

Kamal Gupta, a resident of Sector 50, said as the site was to be developed as a park, the authorities had earmarked it as a landfill site so that the site could be levelled.

But the lifting of “malba” from the site has made it uneven yet again.

Today also, a contractor who was allotted the work of Chandigarh Housing Board’s housing project in Sector 63 lifted the malba from the site without the permission of the corporation. At this, the residents lodged a complaint with the police and the MC authorities. The contractor later assured the residents of refilling the site with the the “malba”.

The residents rued that none of the MC officials visited the site even after the complaint was made to the Mayor. However, an MC official clarified that a team had visited the site after receiving the complaint but found no vehicle engaged in the removal of “malba” from there. He added that he had not received any complaint in this regard from the residents but if any contractor was found indulging in such activity, action would be taken against him.



Girl suicide: Family arrives; postmortem conducted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Family members of 18-year-old Anandi Gulati, who committed suicide by jumping from the roof of her school yesterday, reached here early this morning. The postmortem was conducted in the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, here.

Her father Sunil Gulati and mother Shashi Gulati reached the hospital and completed the postmortem formalities. The girl was cremated in the evening. Both her parents are senior IAS officers in the Haryana Government.

Her family members refused to talk to the media. The police said investigations revealed that the girl had planned her suicide in advance and had also discussed it with her friend Bhavneet Kaur. Her father was in Delhi and mother and elder sister in Mauritus when she took the extreme step.

According to the postmortem report, the victim died on the spot due to multiple skull fracture. The investigating officials believe the victim was suffering from mental stress owing to loneliness. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and top bureaucrats visited the family to pay their condolences. The girl was a student of Bhavan Vidyalaya in Sector 27 and had gone to the school to collect her marksheet when she committed suicide.



BJYM marathon turns into chaotic protest
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 2
A large number of party workers participated in the marathon organised by the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) against the ‘corruption and misrule’ of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government here this evening.

Led by BJYM national general secretary Manoranjan Mishra, the participants holding party flags started the run from the Aggarwal Bhawan and converged at the labour chowk near Sectors 16-17 roundabout and shouted slogans against the Congress led UPA Government. Addressing the party workers, Mishra lambasted the UPA Government for its anti-people policies.

He said the Congress was misleading people on the issue of price rise and added that the Congress and the UPA regime were silent on the soaring prices of food grain, vegetables and other essential commodities and only harping on the declining inflation.

Mishra said the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre had been a story of ‘betrayal’ of the ‘aam aadmi’ in the name of which it had won the last election. “How can ministers in a country carry on corrupt practices without the head of a nation not knowing anything about it?” he questioned. The marathon was a part of a nationwide programme of people’s struggle by the BJP against the UPA Government from April 6 to June 15.

A flop show

Meanwhile, the much hyped marathon against corruption was being seen as a flop show and contrary to announced 10-km marathon, it turned out to be less than a kilometre walk from Aggarwal Bhawan, Sector 16 to Sector 16-17 roundabout. Besides, a section of BJYM workers could be heard pointing out the absence of their national president and MP Anurag Thakur, who was scheduled to lead the said marathon. The commuters passing through the area had to face the harassment due to jam on the road. The police had to divert the traffic to avoid traffic jam.



Bull falls into trench, dies
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 2
Carelessness on part of a telecom company while digging a trench today resulted in death of a stray bull in Phase X market here. The shopkeepers noticed the animal, which apparently died after remaining stuck in the trench for more than 24 hours, only this morning when the carcass started emitting foul smell.

Officials of the Mohali Municipal Corporation attributed the death of the animal to the telecom company. The telecom company had taken permission from the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to dig trenches for laying of underground cables.

Executive officer, Municipal Corporation, Vijay Gupta, who visited the spot, said GMADA should take action against the telecom company.

A visit to the spot revealed that the bull got stuck in the trench while moving in the green belt and no one pulled it out for more than a day. The shopkeepers thought that the animal was ill or taking rest.

It was only when the carcass of the bull started emitting foul smell the Municipal Corporation was called in to remove it.

The truck meant for lifting garbage bins was pressed into service to pull out the animal which was later placed in a tractor trolley.



tricity scan

chandigarh scan

Adviser to Administrator gets certificate of achievement

The Punjab Governor-cum-Chandigarh Administrator, Shivraj V Patil, presented a certificate of achievement to KK Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, during a function at the Punjab Raj Bhavan here on Thursday for preparing a vision document on urban development, which had got recognition from the Centre. Congratulating Sharma for the good work done by him, the Administrator said all senior officers should meet at least once a month, not only to discuss problems and demands of the public, but also to discuss plans, perspectives and vision at length. He said urbanisation in India had been growing by leaps and bounds, for which a complete vision was required. He asked officers to develop their own vision of Chandigarh and go in for long-term planning to make the city more beautiful.

Eye surgery at PGI

The advanced eye centre at the PGI here offers fine technology for eye surgery at low rates. Private institutes charge more than thrice for such surgery. Only a few centres perform complex procedures. Dr Arun K Jain, professor of cornea and refractive surgery at the PGI, has said they provide complex procedures at affordable prices. According to him, cornea flap cutting in Lasik procedure can be done with either blade or intralase femtosecond laser. Though results with both techniques are equally good, the latter is more precise, he has stated.

Awareness programme

The Citizens Council for Human Rights and the Anant Sahitya Sangeet Manch jointly organised an awareness programme on the occasion of World No-Tobacco Day at Maloya. The Rajyoga Centre, Sector 33, and the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, had been collaborating with the council for the campaign.

Camp for students

An eight-day positive personality development camp from June 4 will be organised by the zonal headquarters of the Brahma Kumaris at Rajyoga Bhavan, Sector 33, from 6 pm to 7 pm. Young students will be given tips on developing and cultivating pleasant, charming and successful personality traits so that they can channelise their thoughts, energy and deeds in a positively.

panchkula scan

10 pc quota

The Gurukul Vidyapeeth here has decided to reserve 10 per cent of its seats in the management quota for students of North India. Monika Kaushik, assistant professor, has said seats are also reserved for women, economically weaker students, handicapped candidates, sportspersons and wards of defence personnel and freedom fighters. She has said students scoring more than 90 per cent in class XII or ranked up to 500 in the AIEEE would get 100 per cent scholarship while those scoring between 85 per cent and 90 per cent in class XII or ranked between 500 and 10,000 in the AIEEE would get scholarship in tuition fee for all BTech courses.

mohali scan

Welfare schemes

Anurag Thakur, president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, interacted with employees of the Punjab System Health Corporation at Phase 6 here. He said welfare schemes of the health department should be implemented properly. — TNS



Shining bright, here, too
Seventeen members of NGO Theatre Age come out with flying colours in class X examination
Tribune News Service

‘We have done it’ Members of the Theatre Age in a jubilant mood at the government school, Sector 24-A, after the declaration of the CBSE class X result in Chandigarh on Thursday
‘we have done it’
Members of the Theatre Age in a jubilant mood at the government school, Sector 24-A, after the declaration of the CBSE class X result in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Chandigarh, June 2
Life may not be a bed of roses for many of them, but their courage has crossed all hurdles. Seventeen students with the NGO Theatre Age have come out with flying colours in the class X examination. The students, a majority of which have to struggle with financial hardships, are involved with theatre and are using education as a key to their fate.

“These students may not have got high marks and may may not figure among toppers, but their struggle for education makes them a winner,” says NGO director Zulfiqar Khan.



Kids from EWS families shine
Students of govt school at Police Lines do well
Tribune News Service

Sumit Chandigarh, June 2
The Government Model High School, Police Lines, Sector 26, catering to a majority of students from economically weaker sections, has come out with a good result. Of the 152 students to have appeared, 106 have got more than 6 CGPA.

According to headmistress Rajni Garg, most of the students belonging to economically weaker sections from the Bapu Dham Colony have done well.

Sumit has 10 CGPA, Ankit Kathuria 9.2 and Anu Malik 9.



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