C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tree branch comes crashing down on 3 houses
No one hurt n Requests to Admn by residents to cut ‘hazardous’ trees usually dismissed
Aarti Kapur
tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 8
Three-and-a-half-year-old Ahan Dogra had a narrow escape today when the branch of a pipal tree fell on a tin shed in the backyard of a house in Sector 28 here. She had left the spot only a few minutes before the branch collapsed. Family members of three adjoining houses escaped unhurt as no one was sitting in the vicinity of the area where the branch fell.

The incident occurred at around 8.15 am when the branch of a tree planted in the backyard of a house fell on the roof of three houses. The rooms constructed in the backyard of these houses collapsed. No one was injured in the incident.

Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 28, claimed that two years ago he had submitted a written complaint to the forest and horticulture departments of the UT Administration, pointing out the need to cut or prune the tree located in the backyard of the house. But no official bothered to take any action.

Dangerous grounds

According to an MC report, there are about 150 trees in various sectors which are posing grave danger to life and property. Sources in the Administration said the list of such trees was sent by the MC to the Administration, but it was dismissed by the former UT Adviser Pardip Mehra, stating that there was no need to prune or cut the trees as these were not affecting anyone. During a visit to the residential and commercial areas of Sectors 18, 19, 22, 23, 27 and 28, residents complained that it was ironical that the Administration was more concerned about saving trees rather than consider the threat to human lives by such trees. Devinder Singh Babla, a councillor, said he had also submitted a list of 25 trees to the Administration about a year ago. But no action had been taken to date.

Rules must be modified, says UT Adviser

KK Sharma
KK Sharma

As per rules, no tree in the city can be cut without the sanction of the UT Adviser who has to personally visit the site before according permission. Residents are peeved at this “requirement” because many trees are not cut even after a recommendation from the horticulture department of the MC because of “environmental concern”.

UT Adviser KK Sharma feels that the rules should be liberalised, admitting that there have been cases where residents have sought permission to cut trees posing grave danger, only to be denied. Power should be decentralised among the forest and horticulture departments to make a recommendation on the spot about such trees, he says.


Pleas turned down by former Adviser

  • A shopkeeper in Sector 19, Sadar bazaar, had complained about a huge tree in the middle of the market posing a hazard to human life
  • A shopkeeper in Sector 22 rehri market had complained about three trees in the middle of the market
  • A request to cut or prune a tree in the middle of the building of a creche in Sector 18



It’s not all about degree, experience at GMSH-16
Class IV staff appointed OT assts
Arun Sharma
tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 8
Strange as it may sound, the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH) in Sector 16 deems its Class IV employees, including a safai karamchari, who are matriculates, fit to perform the duty of operating theatre (OT) assistants.

Ironically, at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) a person requires a BSc degree, besides a diploma of OT assistant, to handle the job which includes sensitive work like shifting of patients, preparations of drugs, and suction at the time of surgery.

The UT health department authorities, however, claim that it is not against the rules. The GMSH authorities were facing a shortage of OT assistants and decided to fill the posts.

Applications were sought from Class IV employees for promotion as OT assistant. The qualification for the applicant was mentioned as matriculation with an experience of 10 years in his or her present post. After scrutiny, four ward servants and one safai karamchari were selected for promotion and attached with the department of anaesthesia for a short training of three months before joining their duty as OT assistant.

Interestingly, the department has asked its outsourcing agency to discontinue the services of three OT assistants who had diplomas and up to seven-year work experience in the hospital.

The UT Director, Health, Dr Chander Mohan, justifies the promotion of Class IV employees as OT assistants. It was according to the rules and regulations of the Chandigarh Administration, he said.

Moreover, there was a scarcity of OT assistants in the health sector and people with appropriate qualification prefer private hospitals on call so that to earn more money than they get in government sector, he said. Under such circumstances there was no harm in promoting the Class IV employees to this post, he added.



2 cops get notice for violating traffic rules
Resident posts their photograph on Facebook account of Chandigarh Police
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Two Chandigarh policemen got a dose of their own Facebook medicine.

A web portal set up by the Chandigarh Police on the popular social network site to help maintain law and order with active public cooperation, put two constables in the dock for allegedly violating traffic rules. Their picture showing the pillion rider without a helmet while riding a motorbike has been posted on the portal by a resident.

The erring constables, Dharamvir and Satyawan, have been issued a notice by the authorities to show cause why action should not be initiated against them for the violation.

“Not only this, we will also initiate disciplinary action against them,” said Vijay Kumar, DSP (Traffic). Time has gone when you find yourself unable to react after seeing a policeman break rules, he quipped.

The response to the account on Facebook was encouraging as eight pictures of different traffic violators had already been posted since its launch this week, he stated.

Someone had also posted a picture of a woman cop violating traffic rules. “We could not take action against her as her face is not clear and the registration number of the vehicle is not visible in the picture,” said Vijay Kumar.

He added that it would be helpful to the police if people posted additional details like place, date and time of the incident along with the picture. 



Roadways union strike hits services
Permits to private operators being opposed n Taxis cash in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Bus services from the city to various parts of Haryana and Punjab were partially hit today as employees of the Haryana Roadways went on a day-long strike called by the Haryana Roadways Employees Union.

Officials claimed that skeletal services were maintained and buses plied on some important intra-state and inter-state routes. People were stranded at various bus stands and bus stops as the state transport staff went on a partial strike.

Private taxis and other roadways buses cashed in on the strike. Students and office-goers were badly affected by the strike as many alternative options were not available to them to reach their destinations.

Union leader Jaiprakash Beniwal said the recent announcement to issue about 2,700 permits to private operators had put a question mark on the survival of the government-run roadways.

They were providing an efficient public transport to lakhs of commuters in the state daily, he said, adding that they had been opposing privatisation of state transport routes through issuance of permits to private operators.

He further said around 15,000 unauthorised maxi-cabs were also plying on roads in Haryana, cashing in on the lack of adequate transport services.

They had been asking the government to purchase 4,000 buses and recruit drivers and conductors, which would provide jobs to the unemployed, but the government had expressed its helplessness in this regard, citing lack of funds, he said.

Leaders of the union claimed that the strike was complete across the state. They also threatened to proceed on an indefinite strike if the government went ahead with its transport policy.


Come June-end, cops to have deadlines
20 services to be made available to residents in time-bound manner n Officials not providing services in stipulated time frame to face action
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 8
By the end of this month, residents in Mohali will be saved from making endless rounds of police stations to procure a copy of a first information report (FIR) or get a no-objection certificate (NOC) before the sale of a vehicle or permission to use loudspeakers for a public function.

These services form a part of the 20 services that will be made available to residents in a time-bound manner at community policing suvidha centres or outreach centres across the district.

The delivery of services will form a part of the Right to Service Ordinance 2011, announced by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal yesterday.

Police officials will face action similar to penalty fixed for officials of the district administration who fail to provide services in a stipulated time frame.

Sources in the government have said while the copy of an FIR will be readily available, an NOC for sale of vehicle, permission to use loudspeakers and permission to hold ‘mela’ will have to be granted within five days.

On similar lines, the request for character verification and service verification will have to be dealt with within 10 days.

Applications for arms licence verification for renewal and issuance of NOC for setting up a petrol station will have to be disposed of within 15 days.

The department has fixed a time limit of 30 days for tenant and servant verification.

Copies of untraced report in case of road accident, stolen vehicle and theft will have to be provided within 45 days.

Community policing suvidha centres will be in addition to the suvidha centres being run by the district administration at the district and subdivisional levels.

“Most of the services were being provided earlier, but there was no time frame and no penalty on officers who delayed services,” say the sources. Services like providing driver’s licence, revenue records, water supply and sewerage connection, copy of FIR, NOC and verification for passport will now be available to people within a stipulated period.

Officers failing to provide services within the requisite time frame will face penalty, ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000, besides departmental action. It is not only police and administrative services; people visiting the estate office will also get time-bound services.

Services to be provided by estate office, GMADA

  • Sanctioning of building plans: 30 to 60 days, depending on plot size
  • Issuance of completion certificate for buildings: 15 days
  • Issuance of NOC or duplicate allotment letter: 21 days
  • Issuance of conveyance deed: 15 days
  • Re-transfer of property in case of sale: 15 days
  • Re-transfer of property in case of death (uncontested): 45 days
  • Issuance of permission to mortgage: 7 days



120 challans issued
Anti-encroachment drive in Industrial Area-I
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
In a special anti-encroachment drive, the municipal corporation (MC) issued 120 challans in Industrial Area, Phase I, here today for encroaching upon government land.

The MC team lifted 32 cars, 15 three-wheelers, two cranes and one truck, besides issuing 50 challans to shopkeepers. In addition, 70 encroachers, including ‘kabaris’, were challaned.

The drive, carried out under the supervision of Additional Commissioner-II Lalit Siwach, was assisted by enforcement inspector Kashmira Singh and the support staff of the enforcement wing of the MC.

The encroachers, who were habitual offenders, had encroached upon municipal land for the previous five months and had dumped their vehicles on the land.



PGI fines 3 chemists Rs 20,000 each for overcharging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The PGI authorities have slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 each on three chemists running their shops from its premises for overcharging. A report exposing the modus operandi to fleece patients was published in these columns on March 24 following which the PGI authorities had initiated an inquiry.

The chemist shops are Bedi Child Care at the Advanced Paediatric Centre, Trilok Chemist at the emergency ward in Nehru Hospital, and Universal Chemists under the ramp of the old OPD in Nehru Hospital. They have been asked to deposit Rs 20,000 each.

A major discrepancy had been noticed in the pricing of HIV test cards, HCV test cards (hepatitis-C) and HBsAg test cards (hepatitis B). These carry an MRP of Rs 65, Rs 79.75 and Rs 29.75, respectively. The chemists had been charging up to Rs 100.



Additional teams to clean up roundabouts, tail-ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Municipal corporation (MC) Chief Engineer SS Bidda today reviewed advance preventive measures to check water-logging during the ensuing monsoon.

During the meeting, officials brought to his notice that there was a need to engage additional teams for cleaning tail-ends in various choes, which were approximately 125 in number, and all roundabouts.v Accepting the demand, Bidda agreed to deploy additional teams for cleaning up all roundabouts and tail-ends.

Officials informed him that the cleaning of road gullies commenced on April 7 and would be completed by June 25. Public health SE RK Goyal said as the monsoon was expected by July 1, a control room would be set up at the MC building to monitor the situation and promptly attend to complaints.

Twelve teams would be constituted under the supervision of subdivisional engineers for attending to complaints throughout day and night. Each subdivisional engineer would be provided with a vehicle for cleaning up of blockage in case of emergency.

Bidda instructed the medical officer health to sensitise sanitary workers and sweepers to desist from piling leaves and solid waste over road gullies and direct sweepers to remove blockage and leaves from roads and streets during the monsoon.



UAV demonstrated for Haryana Police
Was used during combat operations in Lebanon, Gaza Strip
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 8
Officials of the Haryana Police witnessed the demonstration of an Israel-made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Micro-B at the Sector-5 Parade Ground here yesterday.

Officials of a Bengaluru-based company gave the demonstration for around an hour-and-a-half and Haryana Police officials saw photographs taken by the UAV on the spot.

Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) BS Sandhu said this kind of technology was good during rallies and protest marches. Panchkula Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary was also present.

Sandhu added that he would discuss the matter with the high-powered purchase committee of the Haryana Police and it would be be decided whether to purchase these UAVs or not.

Arvind Mishra, an official with the company, said they had given a demonstration to the Chandigarh Police earlier. He added that this one-kg UAV had been used by Israeli forces during combat operations in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

The Chandigarh Police had used two countrymade UAVs, Golden Hawk and Netra, during Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s rally in Chandigarh recently.



300-kg eatables destroyed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The health authorities have started a drive to curb the sale of cut fruits, ice, ice candies and other eatables kept in the open here today.

Over 300 kilograms of such eatables had been destroyed by officials during checking at the Sector 17 Plaza, Inter-State Bus Terminus, Sector 17, Sector 26 and Sukhna Lake area. The teams targeting fruits and drink sellers in these areas destroyed cut fruits, golgappas, jaljeera and other eatables exposed to dust and flies under the Epidemic Diseases Act.



Fire evacuation drill at RBI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The fire and emergency department of the MC has conducted a fire evacuation drill on the request of RBI internal security officer S Balamurugan here today.

The evacuation drill was conducted to check the alertness and response time of external emergency departments, which include fire, police, ITPB personnel and RBI security guards.

The main purpose of this drill is to check the reaction of occupants and employees of the RBI building and to know the workability of fire fighting and detection system.



tricity scan

‘Clean road gullies’

The Chandigarh Residents’ Social Welfare Federation in a press note here on Wednesday said road gullies through which the rainwater across the city is passed, especially in southern sectors during the rainy season, are not cleaned of “malba”. In the absence of non-cleanliness of these road gullies, flood-like situation is caused in many parts of the city. At present, the road gullies are dumped with malba, litter, etc, which need to be cleaned, so as to pass the gushy rainwater hassle free. The federation apprehended that in case these road gullies are not cleaned, residents have to experience serious problems as and when the rain starts. Apart from it, the storm water drain system also needs to be checked. All vacant posts must be filled up either in the corporation or in the administration on regular basis, president DS Chahal said.

Action sought

The local unit of the Lions Welfare Society has impressed upon the UT Administrator to initiate necessary action against errant in the infamous “Booth Scam” within 15 days, failing which the society would launch an agitation. Addressing a press conference, president LK Khurana said former ADC PS Shergill had named MP Pawan Kumar Bansal and other Congress leaders as beneficiaries in the scam, besides certain UT officials. Khurana also expressed his concern over rampant corruption in the government departments of the UT.


A six-member team of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation visited the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation on Wednesday, along with the chairman of the standing committee to study projects of the corporation. Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh briefed the delegation about the projects and working of the corporation. He also informed them about the new initiatives taken by the Municipal Corporation. The members who visited the MC included Kedar Preesty, Ranjita Karan, Kausik Jena, Sudhir Rout, Chandan Jena and Kalpna Bose.


Head Constable Akhtar Khan and Constable Balwan Singh were suspended for demanding a bribe of Rs 500 from a Qualis jeep driver on the entry point to the city from Mohali. Home Guard volunteers Prem Singh and Gulab Singh were discharged from their services for stopping vehicles with outstation registration numbers and demanding bribe. The complainant, Harpreet Singh, identified the accused during an inspection parade.

Writen test

The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has decided to conduct an hour-long objective type written test to shortlist candidates for the posts of district mangers. Board chairman Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon declared here on Wednesday that the test will be held on June 12 at Mohali and the result of the same will be displayed on the board website next day. Later the information issued by the board declared that the syllabus and scheme of the examination, along with venue details shall be available on the board website www.pseb.ac.in from June 9 from 5 pm onwards. The test will be conducted by C-DAC, Mohali. The candidates are advised to consult the board website and C-DAC website <http://recruitment.cdacmohali.in> for further details.

Better amenities on roads

To regulate the flow of traffic on the city roads, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) would be spending Rs 1.50 crore on providing speed limit boards, zebra crossing and painting driving lanes on the pattern of Chandigarh. Apart from this, Rs 5 crore would be spent on the beautification of the entry points to the city. GMADA Additional Chief Administrator Parveen Kumar Thind said the work to erect the road signage boards started on Wednesday from the Madanpur chowk. He said 200 road signage boards would be erected in the next 15 days.

Hunger strike

A former Punjab bureaucrat JS Bir, who recently formed an NGO “Ekum 1699”, sat on a hunger strike on Wednesday in support of Baba Ramdev near Rose Garden in Phase 3 B1 here.

Bir said people who had been speaking against corruption should be honoured and not subjected to lathi charge, as had been done by the Delhi Police recently.

Saplings planted

About two dozen saplings were planted in the district court complex by the National Social Welfare Society, an NGO, here on Wednesday. Sadhu Ranbir Singh Malli, president NSWF, said saplings of various varieties, including neem, babul and peepal, had been planted.

He also created awareness about environmental issues and added that there was a need to plant more trees to save the Mother Earth.

Panchkula Bar Association president Nardev Sharma was among those present on the occasion. – TNS



speaking out
End to Sunday shopping doesn’t go down well with residents

The decision of the Chandigarh Administration to discontinue the seven-day week for commercial shops in the city has come as a disappointment to most residents. Some traders, however, are happy with the decision. Speaking to Tribune correspondent Akash Ghai, a majority of residents and traders were of the view that shops should remain open on Sunday as it was convenient for working people.



Expedition to Manali flagged off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The UT education department flagged off an expedition to Manali in Himachal Pradesh at the Sports Complex, Sector 7, here yesterday. The team comprised 90 school students and five teachers.

They would take part in various adventure sports, including trekking, rock climbing, fox flying, rappelling and river crossing under the supervision of professionals with full safety measures. According to organiser PS Brar, adventure trips for students were a part of annual events.

“There are two batches, which will leave for Manali tomorrow and June 14. We will have trips to Dalhousie in September, Darjeeling in October, Ootacamund in November, the Andaman and Nicobar in December and Goa in January next,” he said.



500 flight delays, 79 cancellations over 150 days
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
As many as 500 flights were delayed and 79 cancelled in the city over a period of 150 days -- from January to May. With over three flights being delayed every day and cancellations almost every alternate day, the Chandigarh Airport may have acquired the distinction of being one of the most “unpunctual” airports in the country.

While a majority of flight cancellations occurred during January and February due to landing conditions being adversely affected due to weather, delays, ranging from 15 minutes to three hours, is a regular feature.

According to data, 11 Air India, 33 Kingfisher, 17 Jet and 18 GoAir flights were cancelled between January and May this year. Of the 500 flights delayed during the period, Kingfisher led the tally with 292 delays.

Next in the line is Jet Airways with 225 delays followed by 47 of GoAir. Surprising, the national carrier, Air India, has the least delays of seven flights.

Admitting that delays are a regular feature, a senior airport official said on the condition of anonymity that a majority of cancellations in January and February were due to non-functioning of the instrument landing system.

The cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines, nationwide, in April was 2.3 per cent. In private airlines, the highest cancellation was by Jetlite (2.3%), Jet airways (1.1%), Spicejet (1.1%) and Kingfisher (0.8%).

With these frequent delays and cancellations, passenger complaints of scheduled domestic airlines have also been increasing constantly.



GMADA told to earmark sites for holding apni mandis
Identity cards to be issued to unauthorised sellers n Will be allowed to operate at a distance of about 40 feet from mandis
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 8
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has been asked to earmark specific locations for holding of apni mandis in new sectors, even as unauthorised sellers have been allowed to operate on payment of user charges at apni mandis to avoid parking problems.

At a meeting held by the SDM on the directions of the Deputy Commissioner, it was pointed out by the secretary, Market Committee, Kharar, that apni mandis were being held in Mohali since 1987 at various sectors of the town, but no land had been earmarked in this regard. These were held in parking areas or other vacant spaces. In order to overcome the drawback, GMADA should earmark sites measuring two acres in the developing sectors which could be used by the Mandi Board after paying the ground rent. Such a move could help in providing better facilities to people. Additional Chief Administrator, GMADA, was requested to do the needful.

It was also decided at the meeting that identity cards would be issued to unauthorised sellers and they would be allowed to operate at a distance of about 40 ft from apni mandis. The municipal corporation was asked to take control of these sellers and collect user charges from them. The charges will depend on the area used by each seller. The civic body was also asked to make arrangements for drinking water in this area.

People selling groceries, plastic items, clothes, etc have been functioning from vacant spaces around apni mandis, including parking areas, causing inconvenience to people. There were 100 to 120 such persons. Repeated efforts of the authorities concerned to remove them from this area had proved futile. Now it was decided to allow them to sell their products to earn their livelihood whenever there was an apni mandi, but in a planned manner.

It was also decided to get the quality of eatables, sold by these persons, checked from officials of the health department so as to discourage them from selling sub-standard products.



Panchkula municipal council still a corporation on admn website
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 8
Even as the Punjab and Haryana High Court had on October 29 rejected the Haryana government notification upgrading Panchkula as a municipal corporation, the website of the Panchkula district administration continues to mention the municipal council as municipal corporation.

The municipal council mentioned on the left side of the website does seemed to be blocked and if one opens the Panchkula municipal council’s website, it mentions that the council has been upgraded and shows a letter issued by the local bodies department on March 17, 2010 notifying the municipal council being upgraded to a corporation.

MC executive officer KK Jain said they had informed the district information officer to update the website about a week ago and added that they would once again request him. He said they had also requested for uploading information regarding various services being offered by the MC.

MC vice-president BB Singal urged the authorities concerned to update the website besides mentioning various services being offered by the MC. He demanded that the council should establish its own website, as such a facility was needed, in view of Panchkula emerging as an advanced city. He said the website would help in bringing transparency in the system and increase efficiency. “We will try to offer more online services once the proposal is finalised,”' he added.

According to sources, about two years ago, the MC wanted to launch its own website, which would have helped the city residents send online requests for marriage and birth certificates, without having to make rounds of the MC’s office here. The sources said once the project is implemented,

checking of status of pending work would be a click away and added that details about municipal taxes were also to be made available on the website.

The project still hangs in balance as councillors could not function in view of the court cases pending in the court for about two years. However, as Ravinder Kumar Rawal resumed the office of president of the Panchkula MC on May 23 last, residents were hoping that such a facility would be launched soon.



Commuters face brunt of Haryana Roadways strike
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 8
Commuters in the district faced harassment in view of the ‘chakka jam’ call given by the Haryana Roadways Employees Union, demanding the cancellation of permits issued by the state government to private transporters.

None of the 300-odd buses of the Chandigarh, Panchkula and Kalka depots were allowed to be plied by the employees, who staged a sit-in dharna in front of the inter-state bust terminus at Sector 5. The district police made elaborate arrangements to thwart any move of members of the union.

Students of engineering colleges at Barwala and other places in the Ambala district had to face difficulty in reaching their examination centres. Maxi-cab and auto-rickshaw operators charged exorbitant rates to drop them at their destinations.

Sheetal, a third-year engineering student at Barwala, said she had to leave her residence about two hours in advance. She said the maxi-cab drivers charged double as there was no other mode of transport.

Union president Baljit Singh Dangi said they demanded the cancellation of permits issued by the state government to various private transporters. He said the government should introduce 8,000 new buses in the state.

He said the government should learn a lesson from its New Delhi counterpart, which has been directed by the Delhi High Court to cancel permits of private bus operators in the state.

Dangi said the Hooda government was claiming to provide jobs to the unemployed, but had reduced the number of state-owned buses by almost half. He demanded that the government regularise the service of daily wage workers.

He warned that they would intensify their stir if the government failed to cancel the permits of private bus operators. He said the government would be responsible for the repercussions if their demands were not met immediately.

Patience put to test

Kalka: The state-level strike of the Haryana Roadways Employees Union put commuters to inconvenience here. Sushil Sharma, a Kalka resident, said some buses were plying in the morning but there was no bus service in the afternoon. The union leaders staged a dharna and raised anti-government slogans.



Appointment of minister’s nephew raises eyebrows
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 8
The appointment of Kanwalbir Singh, nephew of Punjab Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan, in PSEB as assistant media and liaison officer against a post that is yet to be created, is in news once again.

Malwinder Singh, a public relation officer to the media adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister, has through an application moved under the Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005, sought information into creation of the post, the name of other candidates who had applied for the post, the head under which the minister’s nephew was being given the salary. It is learnt that appointment has been made to appease the minister.



Powercom reels under staff crunch
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, June 8
Electrifying facts about the functioning of Powercom in Zirakpur-for every 444 connections on an average, the corporation has one employee.

The number of electric connections has increased five times over the past two decades, but the number of employees has not. In fact, the number has gone down from 120 (approx in 1993) to 90 (approx in 2011).

With a rapid colonisation in the town, the number of connections is increasing at a rate of 500 to 700 per month.

According to sources in Powercom, in 1993 the number of electricity connections was around 8,000, but at present there are 40,000 connections (approx) in Zirakpur and surrounding villages. The sources added that around 120 employees were posted in Zirakpur in 1993. Now, there are just 90 employees in the department.

“In Zirakpur office, there are eight junior engineers (JE), 20 linemen, 37 helpers to linemen, one work charge, one revenue account, three upper divisional clerk, three lower divisional clerk, one bill distributor, two cashiers, one peon, apart from other employees,” the sources stated.

Two posts of junior engineer, six posts of lineman and a number of other posts are lying vacant in the department.

An employee of Powercom lamented that they were overburdened with work, as the number of consumers had increased. “At times, we are unable to attend to consumers and they have to return without a hearing,” he said. “We have asked the higher authorities a number of times to increase manpower in the department, so that the public dealing is not affected, but they have unheeded our pleas,” he added.

When contacted, ML Garg, Chief Engineer, Powercom, said there was no staff shortage in the department at Zirakpur.



‘EWS families can avail financial help under Shagun Scheme’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 8
People belonging to economically weaker sections can now avail financial help under the Shagun Scheme, apart from those belonging to scheduled castes and backward classes, said Varun Roojam, Mohali Deputy Commissioner, here today.

He said a sum of Rs 15,000 would be given to those applicants, whose annual income was not more than Rs 30,000 and the amount would be given to the family on the day of wedding. If the name of the applicant figured in the BPL list or he held a blue card for low-cost ration, he would not have to furnish a certificate in connection with his income.

“Those, whose names do not figure in the BPL list, will have to get an income certificate made from officials like SDM, tehsildar, naib tehsildar, panchayat officer, commissioner , assistant commissioner and executive officers of civic bodies,” he added.

The DC said an applicant should give details about his bank account number, name of the bank and the branch code along with the application. The age of the girl to get married should not be less than 18 years and help could be availed only in the case of two daughters. All formalities had to be completed before the day of marriage and no application would be entertained after that, he added. 



Two PU staffers sacked
They beat up colleague publicly n Were under influence of liquor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Services of two Panjab University (PU) employees were terminated today for beating up another employee under the influence of liquor outside the Aruna Ranjit Chandra hall publicly.

Both employees, identified as Dinesh and Pawan by the police, were with the university’s secrecy branch. The incident occurred at 5:10 pm after a motorcycle (CH03M-1095), being driven by Dinesh, knocked down cyclist Hari Lal, who was on his way back home to Panchkula from the PU campus.

Hari Lal, also a daily wage employee of the university, was ruthlessly beaten up by Dinesh and pillion-rider Pawan, who were under the influence of liquor, according to eyewitnesses and the police.

When the crowd began to gather to help out Hari Lal, the duo fled from the spot on the motorcycle. High drama continued and it provoked certain woman employees to intervene and express their resentment over the incident.

“These employees were drunk while working. If employees start beating each other up mercilessly, what will happen to the atmposphere on the campus,” questioned a woman employee present on the spot.

PU security personnel who reached the spot questioned Hari Lal, who broke into tears. The motorcycle was intercepted by security personnel and the case sent to university Registrar AK Bhandari. Hari Lal, Dinesh and Pawan were all helpers with the secrecy branch.

“The security acted swiftly in the matter and nabbed Dinesh and Pawan within a few minutes, who were both found in a drunken state. The matter has been resolved and the services of the two persons found guilty have been terminated by the university,” said PK Dhawan, PU’s Chief Security Officer.



PU sets up online help centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
An online help centre was set up at the Aruna Chandra Hall near the post office at Panjab University with two terminals to help students fill up online CET and BCom application forms.

The university is conducting the online admission for courses based on CET and BCom in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur.

To facilitate students, the online help centres have also been set up at Panjab University regional centres, Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur, for helping the students to fill online forms available at cetadmissions.puchd.ac.in and bcomdmissions.puchd.ac.in <http://bcomdmissions.puchd.ac.in>.

Any query regarding the CET-based admissions by the students be addressed to cetadmissions.puchd.ac.in and BCom admissions to bcomdmissions.puchd.ac.in.
Help for learning the procedure for filling forms is also made available on the above websites.



Refresher course on languages concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
A 21-day UGC refresher course on ‘Classical and Modern Indian Languages in Global Era’ concluded on the Panjab University campus here today.

The course was conducted by the department of Urdu and Persian under the UGC Academic Staff College of the university. There were 27 participants in all, 15 in Punjabi, five in Sanskrit and seven in Hindi.

VK Tewari, dean of the faculty of languages, was the chief guest at the valedictory function. He distributed certificates among the participants, who were from Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh.



BBA-I result witnesses 16 pc drop from last year
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Witnessing a drop of 16 per cent from last year, only 40 per cent students, who appeared in the Bachelors of Business Administration first year (BBA-I) examination conducted by Panjab University, could clear it this year.

Yesterday’s agitation held on the PU campus by students of Postgraduate Government College (PGGC), Sector 11, who revealed that only 13 students out of 120 passed, was barely a glimpse of the overall result of the colleges.

Statistics reveal that students enrolled in all affiliated colleges of PU offering BBA course across Punjab and UT fared poorly and not just the students of PGGC-11.

For the same course, the overall percentage of the students, who cleared the examination across all colleges, was 56 per cent in 2010.

Stating that the results directly reflected the performance of the students, senior officials of the university said the students were required to fill up the re-evaluation forms if they had any doubt.

“From the university’s end, we can ensure that all colleges have the required number of teache0rs to run this course. We are already working towards ensuring adequate staff in several colleges that are inspected for affiliation,” said Naval Kishore, who has the additional charge of Dean College Development Council (DCDC).

Be it inadequate teachers in the colleges to run this course or strict marking by evaluators who checked papers, those students who are sure of their good result now claim that their future has been put at stake.

Students run from pillar to post

Students of BBA I of Postgraduate Government College (PGGC), Sector 11, were today spotted running from pillar to post to fill up their re-evaluation forms at the PU’s administration block.

A total of 107 students, out of 120 from the college, could not clear the BBA-I examinations.

“I went to the PU’s administrative block to get my re-evaluation form filled, but was told by the security guard at 3:30 pm that the forms were out of stock and were not available,” said Gursimran, a student of BBA at PGGC-11. Yet another added that they were not properly guided by staff and instead of filling up one form for re-evaluation of all papers and submitting different fee, they ended up filling up different forms for each paper.



Social service likely to be mandatory in colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The department of higher education is likely to make 50 hours of the social service a mandatory part of education in the city colleges.

Confirming the development, Ajoy Sharma, director higher education, said social service was being made mandatory because activities like NSS had hit a rock bottom among college students. The students enrolled just for the sake of a credit and no work was actually being done on ground.

Under the proposed plan, a student will be expected to spend 30 hours on social work outside the campus and 10 hours while working on the campus and orientation courses separately. Interestingly, all college teachers, too, will be participating in the activity to promote student activity in the social work.



Training course
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
About 45 participants from different regions, namely Chandigarh, Lucknow, Delhi, Jabalpur, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Guwahati, Kolkata and Jaipur, are currently attending the 12-day in-service course at Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV), Sector 31, Chandigarh. The course is an aid to upgrade the knowledge.



Play marks end of summer camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The summer camp that was being held at St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School ended with a gala show today, in which parents also participated.

Western dance, along with a play was presented by senior students on the theme “education”.

Additionally, speeches were delivered on topics like dreams and responsibilities as a student and a citizen. A newspaper fashion show was also held.

Western dance instructor Abhishek and Yuvraj of Rock Star Academy, dramatics instructor Yatin Raj Sharma and personality development teacher Moushmi groomed the students in the camp.



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