C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two arrested for human trafficking
Minors from Bihar were being taken as bonded labourers to Manali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
The local police on Sunday rescued 14 children who were being reportedly taken to Manali to work as bonded labourers and arrested two people at the Interstate Bus Terminus in Sector 17 on charges of human trafficking. All children hail from Bihar and are aged between 12 to 15. Their parents were paid Rs 500 a month for providing the “services” of their children, the cops said.

According to the police, the children were being transported to work in apple orchards in and around Manali and were later to be “supplied” by the two suspects to hotels and restaurants there to work for daily wages basis by the two.

The suspects have been identified as Durja, a resident of Chhuchhat village, Leh in Jammu & Kashmir and Amka Manji, a resident of village Cherki Bazar in Gaya district in Bihar.

Sector 17 police station SHO inspector Ranjodh Singh said the suspects were involved in this illegal “business” for the past many years and were in the habit of “supplying” minor children from Gaya in Bihar to “customers” in Manali for keeping them as “slaves”. A case under sections 370 & 371 of the Indian Penal Code (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) and section 26 of the Justice Juvenile Act has been filed against the two suspects at the Sector 17 police station.

A police team noticed the 14 children at the bus station while they were waiting for a bus going to Manali and got suspicious as there was no female accompanying the kids. The cops apprehended the two suspects who were with the children when it came to light that all the kids were being taken to Manali as “bonded labour”. The suspects disclosed they had paid Rs 500 to each of the children’s parents in Bihar and the latter were to be paid another Rs 500 every month. The police said it was the Durja’s second trip from Bihar to Manali.

“Three years ago Durja had taken about 25 children to Manali for working in orchards and in various houses there,” the cops said, adding efforts were being made to trace those children who had been supplied” as bonded labour in Manali three years ago and the Himachal Pardesh police would also be informed in this regard. This is the first time when the city police rescued children being illegally “supplied” as bonded labour on such a large scale. All children were later sent to Snehalaya risk in Maloya village,



Dearth of doctors in government dispensaries
As a result, gullible patients risk their lives by turning to quacks
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
Roshni, a housemaid residing in Sanjay Colony in Industrial Area, Phase I, who has been suffering from fever for the past three days visited the lone civil dispensary run by the municipal corporation for a medical checkup. However, to her utter surprise the members of the paramedical staff sitting idle there told her the doctor visited the dispensary only thrice a week and in his absence of the doctor they had nothing much to do.

This sorry state of healthcare facilities in the city’s slums and villages has led to quacks mushrooming in these areas, endangering the lives of hundreds of gullible patients. According to an estimate about 200 quacks are flourishing in the city, mostly operating in slum areas and villages in the city, a senior health official said on condition of anonymity.

Though a three-member committee notified by the UT administration is responsible for keeping a check on unqualified physicians including quacks, it appears to have failed miserably in its task.

A visit to various slum colonies revealed quacks practicing in colonies no 4 and 5 and in Burail, Dadu Majra, Faidan and Behlana villages. Raids conducted by health officials, which led to the arrest of at least 8 suspects and one conviction, have failed to deter the quacks.

“Hardly a day goes by without a victim of quacks with aggravated health complications visiting the civil dispensary,” said an employee at the dispensary in the Industrial Area, Phase I, which caters to the needs of thousands of labourers’ families living in the area and in colony no 4 and Sanjay Colony.

The dearth of doctors in local dispensaries in these areas has in fact left the impoverished residents to the mercy of quacks who are minting money while playing with their lives. “In the absence of doctors in the government dispensary, visiting a quack has become the only option left for the poor here,” said SS Tiwari, a local Congress party leader. “Many of these destitute people can’t even afford to visit far-off dispensaries or hospitals as it would mean losing a day’s wages as most of them are hired work on daily wages by contractors,” he added.

Dr Rajeshwar Rana, nodal officer of a team that has been conducting raids on quacks, however said the frequency of raids had been affected after the municipal corporation appointed one of the team members, Dr B K Salwan, an allopathic physician, as medical health officer.

Most quacks are found to be running their shops on the basis of “degrees” of ‘Vaid Visharad’ and ‘Ayurvaid Rattan’, with those registered after 1967 termed as “invalid”. While a quack in Burail had to go to jail after his “treatment” clamed the life of a “patient”, eight others are facing trial in the courts.

Notice to dispensary for ‘misuse’ of premises

The UT administration has served a notice on a “charitable” dispensary run by a local industrialist in the Industrial Area, Phase-I for “misuse” of the industrial plot. “The Pushpanjali Janhit Swasthya Kendra is providing healthcare services of a physician, physiotherapy and dental care. I own the plot measuring 4,752 square feet and nearly two years ago I set up a dispensary here as area residents had no health facility. After paying a nominal registration charge of Rs 10 patients get consultation, medicine and physiotherapy for one week. Nothing is charged for tooth extractions, scaling or even root canal treatment. The administration, however, termed our activities as misuse of the premises and served us a notice in February 2010 for depositing a penalty of Rs 250,000 for every month since that time”, said YK Rametra, trustee of the Kendra.



‘Missing’ lions in safari irk visitors
Tribune News Service

Chhat (Banur), June 26
Visitors to Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park today protested against the zoo authorities for their “failure” to put lions on display in the lion safari.They alleged that the authorities had failed to exhibit lions despite the visitors buying tickets to enter the lion safari.

They exchanged heated words with the bus contractor of the safari, who charges Rs 20 per person for a bus ride into the safari.

BB Arora, a visitor from Panchkula, Sector 11, alleged that his family and children failed to see even a single lion today. “At least 150 people would have purchased tickets while we stayed in the zoo for a couple of hours. All of them failed to have a glimpse of any of the lions. The authorities should not fool people and instead inform them by putting up a notice of inconvenience whenever they fail to put lions into the safari,” he said.

Gurnam Singh, the contractor who ferries visitors in buses, said his men had been facing visitors’ wrath for the past 15 days.

Zoo field director Basant Raj Kumar admitted that they released only one lion into the safari on a rotation basis for the past around 10 to 15 days.

“We are taking precautionary measures by not releasing lions into the safari so that the animals do not receive injuries in view of the inclement weather and slippery surface. One of the old lions received minor bruises and scratches while fighting with another animal a few days ago,” he said.

The contractor said that a large number of visitors turned up to see lions and other animals in view of the pleasant weather, but they got disappointed when they failed to notice lions. “A family today made four rounds into the safari by spending Rs 20 each after their children insisted on seeing lions, but when they failed to see even a single lion, they entered into heated arguments with us,” Gurnam said.

He said they were supposed to pay Rs 1.5 lakh to the Punjab government every month under their contract for ferrying visitors into the safari in bus. However, visitors refuse to board buses as those coming out of the safari declared that there were no lions inside.



Realty firms surrender Rs 6 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
Following surveys conducted by the income tax department on business premises of real estate developers Royale Empire and Phool Singh Saini & Company, these made a voluntary surrender of undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 6 crore.

According to officials, the major chunk of the surrender, amounting to Rs 5 crore, came from Royal Empire, which has various projects in the tricity. Another builder, Phool Singh Saini, surrendered Rs 1 crore.

During the survey, I-T sleuths found unaccounted sale and purchase documents pertaining to land and apartment deals, said an official. It covered almost three premises of Royale Empire, including the 
main office at Peermucchala, Zirakpur.

A team of income tax officials carried out simultaneous survey operations on the business premises of the real estate developers under the supervision of Pawan Parmar Singh, commissioner income tax (CIT II).


Monsoon day II: residents knee-deep in trouble
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
While residents wait eagerly for monsoon to arrive each year, they also have to grapple with clogged roads, power failures, cancelled flights, uprooted trees and roof collapses, forcing most of them to recite the popular nursery rhyme, ‘Rain rain go away; come another day…”

Though the downpour was a pleasure for all those who enjoyed the pleasant weather from the confines of their homes, the second day of rain (44 mm) on Sunday again exposed the chinks in the city’s faulty and outlived drainage system, with roads getting waterlogged and water entering houses in certain low-lying areas. The areas around Kalagram and roundabouts and parks near Sectors 39 and 50 turned into mini pools with ankle-deep water getting accumulated there.

While power breakdowns were reported from several parts of the city, a minor mishap occurred in Sector 39 when bricks from the top floor of house No. 2462 gave way. No one was injured in the incident.

The morning downpour also led to the cancellation of Kingfisher flight from Delhi. Flights witnessed delays throughout the day.

With humidity levels rising to 95 per cent and the day remaining overcast, the maximum temperature dipped nine degrees below normal to 27.8 °C in the afternoon. It was 2.7 °C lower than yesterday’s 30.5 ° C. However, the minimum temperature of 25.4 °C was recorded at 8 am, which was higher than yesterday’s 24.2 °C.

According to the met office, the city received 188.6-mm rainfall in June last year and it had already received 240-mm rainfall so far this year. The forecast for Monday is again a cloudy day with rain and thundershower.


The first showers of monsoon exposed the inefficacy of the drainage system in Sector 19, where two to three feet water got accumulated following incessant rain in the region since late last night.

Mahenra Devan, president, House Owners Welfare Association, said water started accumulating on the road as the sewerage and the road gullies remained blocked in the area. Water even entered some houses and residents living in two marla houses had to face problems removing it from their houses, he added. Brijmohan Kumar, executive engineer, HUDA, said one or two streets in the area were on the same level as the road due to which water had entered the area. He said new road gullies were laid in the area. The water receded after a team cleared the road gullies, he added.



Waterlogged roads, choked sewers, slithering snakes
Tribune News Service

poolside office The park adjoing the Punjab Urban Development Authority is inundated following heavy rain in Mohali on Sunday morning. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Zirakpur, June 26
First monsoon showers wreaked havoc in Mohali district as the local administration failed to make pre-arrangements to counter the problems arising out of the downpour.

At Zirakpur, water accumulated on internal roads of residential colonies. The national highways were also flooded with rainwater. In the absence of the drainage system on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway, rainwater entered several shops. Shopkeepers complained that the authorities had failed to act in spite of several complaints to the municipal council officials regarding waterlogging.

Traffic moved at a snail’s pace due to waterlogging at various places, including Zirakpur-Patiala highway, Zirakpur-Kalka highway. Power failures were also reported from various areas due to heavy rain.

Residential colonies, including Saini Vihar-Phase 4, Ravindra Enclave, Saini Vihar, Phase III, Vikas Nagar, Wadhawa Nagar, Pabhat godown area, Pabhat link road and others were the worst affected areas.

The condition of internal roads was also bad and puddles were seen on almost all roads. Two-wheeler riders had a tough time negotiating these. Water got accumulated in vacant plots, which may prove to be breeding ground for mosquitoes in the days to come. Residents of Krishna enclave complained that an overflowing seasonal drain was damaging houses constructed along the nullah. They urged the district administration to look into the matter. People were scared of venturing out due to the surfacing of snakes, especially in places like Baltana and Pabhat.

The sewerage of Baltana remained blocked, resulting in the flooding of roads.


Situation was no better in Mohali as various parts of the town remained flooded. Water collected especially in low-lying areas. The flow of traffic was hit and potholed roads turned into pools. Rainwater also collected in parks.

Residents alleged that the municipal corporation and local administration had failed to make adequate arrangements for the drainage of rainwater. 



Pulse polio campaign hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
Rain played spoilsport on the first day of a three-day pulse polio campaign here today. Only 36,515 children could be administered polio drops today. The figure is just 58 per cent of number of children administered the vaccine in the first round of the last campaign in March.

While the tents pitched for setting up booths by the roadside and localities could not stand the downpour, pulse polio teams had to take shelter in nearby buildings.

Though the turnout at the booths was negligible in the morning, parents carrying their children started pouring in around 12.30 pm when the rain slowed down. By evening, a substantial number of children had been administered the drops. 



Air Force soldier killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 26
A 32-year-old Air Force soldier was killed when his motorcycle was hit by a tipper coming from the opposite direction near Ghaggar late last night.

The victim has been identified as Satish Kumar, a native of Kerala. He was working as Havaldar at Air Force Station, Chandigarh.

According to sources, Satish was going to Chandigarh on his Hero Honda motorcycle no CH-01AC 1664 when he was hit by a tipper no HR-68A-5162 about 1 am yesterday.

He was taken to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

One of the eyewitnesses Inderraj Gandhi, a resident of Sector 26, said as the tipper was parked in the middle of the road and due to the dark and the victim couldn’t see the tipper. His motorcycle went under the tipper resulting in serious head injuries. He said he had informed the police immediately, but as the police reached the spot after one hour, no medical aid could be given to the victim.

Gandhi also claimed that a vehicle of the CIA staff had also arrived on the site after 40 minutes of the incident, but they refused to shift the critically injured to a hospital. The PCR van of the police reached the site after about one hour and shifted the patient to a hospital. However, the doctors declared him brought dead. He claimed that had the victim been taken to the hospital on time his life could have been saved.

The Chandimandir Police has registered a case and the body has been handed over to the relatives after conducting the post-mortem. The police has also impounded the tipper. However, the driver of the tipper is absconding.



Tourism department to act tough on drunken driving
Death of three youths at Tikkar Tal
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 26
The tourism department seems to have come out of its deep slumber after the death of three youths at Tikkar Tal in the Morni block of the district and have decided to take a punitive action against those who visit these places in drunken condition.

According to sources, the department will soon approach the police to set up various nakas on the Morni road to check drunken driving.

Notably, taking bath in the historic Tikkar Tal, which dates back to the Pandwas’ exile period, has been banned as it was more than 50 to 60 feet deep.

However, tipsy youths don’t follow the warning given by the staff present on the site and take bath in the lake resulting in tragedies.

About two youths have lost their lives due to drowning in the pond during the past one-and-a-half year. Even some fatal accidents have also been reported in the area as youngsters drive rashly.

Recently a 23-year-old Neeraj Mani, a resident of Sector 14, lost his life when he, along with his friends, went to the lake to take bath on June 18.

Last year during Holi, Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Nada village near Panchkula, had lost his life after he jumped into the lake on March 2. Gurmeet, who had gone to visit the spot, along with four others, had a bet on getting a bottle of beer thrown in the Tikkar Taal. Gurmeet dived into the lake, but never came out.

Confirming the same SN Roy, managing director, Haryana Tourism, said they would soon take up the matter with SP in 
this regard. He said they would urge the police to check drunken driving in the area.

He said the security in the area would be increased and no one would be allowed to enter the lake. He said more boards would be installed in and around the lake to caution tourists.



Sunday not a fun day for visitors to malls
Not many cops to check traffic chaos; those going out fail to find parking space
Rajiv Bhatia
 A view of the traffic jam on the highway under the Zirakpur flyover on Sunday.
CHAOS ALL OVER A view of the traffic jam on the highway under the Zirakpur flyover on Sunday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, June 26
Driving through the lanes of Zirakpur on Sunday is nothing less than an ordeal. With a large number of people coming out of their homes to visit malls and hotels in the area, the roads remain virtually chock-a-block.

To make the things worse, on Sundays there are a few traffic officials present to check haphazard parking of vehicles on the highway.

Chaos prevails as hundreds of vehicles get stuck in traffic jam. The worse affected areas are outside Paras Down Town Square where vehicles are parked along the roadside, the stretch between the Kalka traffic lightpoint and Patiala lightpoint and other intersections.

Visitors to Paras Down Town Square complained that in the absence of proper parking in the mall, they were forced to park their vehicles outside the mall.

They questioned that the administration should ask the mall authorities to arrange for proper parking facility before organising any shopping festival.

A visit to the area revealed that commuters were parking their vehicles in the no-parking zone. However, the traffic police failed to challan the vehicles parked in the no-parking zone, as they were busy regulating the traffic movement. Vehicles were parked haphazardly on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway adding to the traffic woes.

Sanjay Mittal, a resident of Panchkula,said: “Parking problem in the mall is not new. I am facing the same problem on every Sunday and the mall authorities failed to arrange proper parking facility for visitors despite charging hefty fee.”

“Traffic jam in the town has become a nuisance for everyone and administration must solve this menace on priority basis,” said Mohit Rana, a resident of Zirakpur.

Zirakpur traffic in charge Devinder Singh said traffic officials were deployed on the intersections to solve the traffic problem. “We had already written to Mohali administration about the lack of parking facility in the mall and requested them to solve the problem,” he added.



Industrial Area, ‘best destination’ for investment, lacks infrastructure
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 26
Poor infrastructure and civic amenities in Industrial Area here are proving to be not only a disincentive to unit owners, but also a deterrent to prospective entrepreneurs. Government needs to go a long way to back up its claim on the ground that the area is truly the “best destination” for investment.

What a sight? A view of congress grass on a road side; and (left) damaged road tell a sorry tale of Industrial Area in Mohali. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

The area is plagued by a host of problems ranging from bad roads, lack of garbage collection points, waterlogging during monsoon season, non-functional streetlights, congress grass and lack of local bus service.

General secretary of the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) RP Singh said perhaps the authorities concerned don’t feel that Industrial Area is an integral part of the town. Problems have been brought to the notice of successive deputy commissioners and the civic body, but no action has been taken so far.

Roads leading to the Industrial Area are in poor shape. Internal roads need to be recarpeted and widened or metalled, especially in Industrial Area Phases I to VII.

He said there are no garbage collection points and the garbage is thrown on road berms in the absence of containers.

Foul smell is always emanating from such sites. Garbage is being dumped near Materline Telebiz, an IT industry, at Industrial Area Phase VIII B. Ind-Swift Laboratories has also complained about garbage being dumped in the open area located in front of its R&D centre.

A similar complaint regarding garbage has been made by Arien Electrolines at Industrial Area Phase IX.

When a unit owner makes an effort to dump garbage generated from his unit at the main dumping site, he is not allowed by a contractor of the civic body. Money is allegedly demanded for allowing him to do so.

The problem of waterlogging during monsoon season has also created difficulties for unit owners.

Baba Dairy in Industrial Area, Phase V, has been complaining about water entering its premises after heavy rain, but no action has been taken by the authorities concerned. Akal Paper Moulding Ltd at Phase VII is also complaining of the same problem. The matter has been brought to the notice of the municipal corporation but to no avail.

Streetlights are non-functional in several pockets of the Industrial Area affecting those who work in night shifts and are exposed to threat of criminal elements on badly lit roads.

The maintenance of road berms and vacant plots is not done on a regular basis, said the MIA. There is wild growth, including congress grass, in various areas which is proving to be a health hazard as well as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.

There is also a need for a local bus service here for the benefit of workers and those visiting the place.

The MIA also favours a bus link between Mohali and Chandigarh Railway Station.

Further, the MIA wants municipal corporation to put up road maps and plot number indicators at the starting point of the lanes.

The association’s other demands include opening of a post office in the Industrial Area, provision of the parcel booking facility at the Mohali Railway Station and sinking of an additional tubewell at Industrial Area, Phase IX.



Hunt for new Home Secy begins
Haryana government sends three officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
With the Haryana government sending a panel of three officials for the post of UT Home Secretary, the process for selection  of the new incumbent has startedThe panel includes the names of two IAS officers of the 1986 batch--RR Jowel and PK Das. While Jowel is currently posted as the financial commissioner and principal secretary, department of forests and environment, Das is financial commissioner and principal secretary of the department of science and technology. Anil Kumar(1988 batch), another aspirant for the post, is currently posted as the commissioner of Ambala division.

Surprisingly, both Jowel and Das were also in the race for the post of the Home Secretary in 2008 when the current incumbent Ram Niwas, a 1985 batch IAS officer, was selected for the coveted post. Ram Niwa’s tenure expires on September 24 this year.

In the run-up to the appointment of Ram Niwas as the Home Secretary in 2008, there were lots of pulls and pressures from various claimants to the top post. The appointment to the post was delayed for over two months in the backcrop of the delay by the Central government in appointing a Haryana cadre officer for the post.

As a result of the delay in the appointment, former finance secretary Sanjay Kumar held the additional charge of the post of the Home Secretary seriously affecting routine official work.



DP Azad felicitated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, Delhi Khushti Sangh Bhartiya Saini felicitated Dronacharya awardee Desh Prem Azad, coach of former Indian cricket team captain Kapil Dev, at a function held in New Delhi.

Dronacharya awardees MS Rao, Bhupinder Dhawan, AK Bansal and Balwan Singh were honoured



Got insufficient time, say applicants
Interview for the post of clerk
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
Applicants who appeared for the posts of clerk-cum-data operators at constituent colleges of Panjab University today complained about insufficient time provided to each candidate during the interview conducted by university officials.

Certain other applicants complained that during the walk-in interview today, no schedule was put in place and female candidates were being permitted to directly enter the interview room, while male candidates have to struggle their way through long queues outside. For the posts of 12 clerk-cum-data operators in the rural constituent colleges, a turnout of more than 400 applicants was witnessed.

“Each candidate was being given two to five minutes and officials were in a rush to finish off all 400 candidates, who had turned up for the interview,” said an applicant.

Meanwhile, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti shifted the venue for selection of other posts tomorrow to the law auditorium.

“We had not expected such tremendous response for the posts of clerk-cum-data operators. However, we have now changed the venue from administrative block to law auditorium for tomorrow’s selection, so that candidates do not face trouble during peak admission season,” said Sobti.



Sufferings of drug addicts brought to the fore
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, June 26
In its endeavour to create awareness about drug-addition, North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Patiala, staged 10 socially relevant plays in Punjab, including four in the tricity to observe International Day on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. DS Saroya, director, NZCC, maintained that theatre was the most powerful medium to debate and convey the message of social evils and their repercussions on the life of innocent people trapped by drug paddlers.

All 10 plays were staged at venues in rural and urban areas. The Suchetak Rang Manch presented a Punjabi play “Bikhre rahin rul gye” at Palsora village under the direction of Anita Shabdeesh, while Rajiv Mehta staged “Maut ka saya” was staged at Zirakpur. Plays like “Nasha” by Ranjit Roy and Chakervyu by Mukesh Sharma, staged at Nayagaon and Mauli Jagran, respectively brought live the anguish and

suffering of drug addicts. Besides, plays on drug abuse with suggestive measures were staged by Kewal Dhaliwal, Hansa Singh, Keerti Kirpal, Dr Raman Mittal, Surinder Narula, Sumer Sharma and others in Punjab.



‘Cong not taking action against corrupt’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
National secretary and BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prashad today came down heavily on the Congress-led UPA government.

He said no strict action was being taken against the corrupt. Sanjay Tandon, local BJP president, said the party had started a “Jan Jagran Abhiyan” to expose mal-administration of the Congress. 



Open House
Illegal parking plagues city parks

Vehicles parked in a park at Sector 40-C, Chandigarh.
Vehicles parked in a park at Sector 40-C, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Vinay Malik

It’s an exercise worth looking into because you are a victim, if one may call you that. Actually, you are both perpetrator and victim, to be precise.In fact, this seems to be a major problem in our country-the lack of, in fact, the total mismatch and zero inputs of specialists, who make the basic plans, and the lawmakers (read the ignorant politicians at every level) who end up making (or at least signing) rules and laws.

Looking at the city plan, the original plan of the city showed more than plenty of parking space all over the city-after all it was India’s first planned city! It was, as they called it-a garden city. It still is-with hundreds of parks everywhere.

But nobody thought of providing specific parking places for vehicles then and even now! Both planners and lawmakers have turned a blind eye to it! So it was left to people to fend for themselves and improvise. It was assumed that the space in front of a owner’s house belonged to him or her. So a problem brewing from the start was ignored till and all of a sudden we have no space left on our streets to even move!

Try asking that school bus driver, or the ambulance driver, or even the fire dept officials. The V4s, V5s and even V6s (especially in the southern sectors) are crammed with vehicles stupidly parked on sides-ensuring that the bigger emergency vehicles are virtually stopped.

The only solution to the problem was removing the front boundary wall so that people could park vehicles inside, but it was never even given a chance. Instead, we have ideas like widening of 16’-18’ roads by a few feet so that vehicles which were thankfully parked off a road could now be seen parked on the road! Actually, reducing the space for traffic!

Instead of creating parking spaces along parks, our brilliant law makers have come up with an ultimate solution-fine car owners!

Instead of increasing that berm space around parks, they have actually reduced it. So the problem has turned from bad to worse.

PK Mukherjee, councillor, ULB, Chandigarh

Alternative arrangements should be made

The MC should make some arrangements. With the number of vehicles increasing, the problem is bound to increase.

No one abides by rules. While buying a car one has to show that he or she has enough space to park the car. In the absence of any law, people will keep buying cars without caring much about space or public inconvenience.

I think we need an Anna Hazare to take up the issue before it is too late.

Ashok Barua Sector 52, Chandigarh

Imposing fine a futile exercise

With people parking cars in public parks and on footpaths, the Chandigarh administration has woken up and is contemplating putting a ban on  the practice.

The only issue worth a consideration is that before imposing a fine on violators, the authorities must put in place an alternative system. Levying a fine without an alternative arrangement would be a futile exercise.

SS Arora, Mohali

Violators should be jailed

The administration should impose heavy fine on violators who park cars in public parks and on pavements meant for walking. Every newly laid pavement has been encroached upon by car owners. Such offenders should be jailed for at least two days, along with heavy fine up to Rs 5,000. Only then such encroachments can be checked. Moreover, the administration should also provide parking space to residents.

R K Kapoor, Chandigarh

Involve people in decision making

Chandigarh, which was designed for a population of five lakh, is now busting at the seams with over 12 lakh inhabitants. The corresponding vehicle population growth has rendered the city infrastructure totally insufficient to give it adequate parking space. I am president of the largest society in the city which has 597 flats. The society has made the provision of garages for each member who had been allotted a flat. But in the past five years, situation has only worsened. Each flat owner has two cars, apart from motorcycles and scooters. The situation is akin to road menace. The society’s roads are now used for parking vehicles making it difficult for one to walk. Public transport system needs to be popularised. The administration needs to involve people in decision making.

Satish Chandra SharmaSector 50-B, Chandigarh

Earmark parking space

The number of four-wheelers in the city is on the rise. Every family possesses at least two four-wheelers. Parking of four-wheelers puts residents to inconvenience, especially to those who live in small houses. When the authorities fail to provide parking facilities, where should the residents park vehicles? The authorities must earmark and provide appropriate space for community parking if genuinely interested to prevent the misuse of greenbelts and road berms. The parking in the greenbelt should, however, be strictly prohibited.

R P S Chopra MHC, Mani Majra

Install gates

There are about 1,600 parks across the city which are maintained by the municipal corporation, Chandigarh. In the last few years, the number of parks has increased. While inaugurating a park, bigwigs deliver speeches and urge people to keep the city clean and green. But after a few days, the worst happens, as wild growth dot these parks, children while playing damage the equipment and nonfunctional streetlights are not fixed for days.

In the absence of maintenance work, those visiting parks are exposed to various risks. During rainy season, insects and snakes pose a threat to life. Open electricity junction boxes can cause fatal accidents.

Though the municipal corporation, Chandigarh, has proposed Horticulture Bylaws, 2011, to safeguard parks, greenbelts and road berms from being misused by anti-social elements, it did not realise a few things which later caused a number of problems. One of the biggest problems is maintenance of these parks. Gates and grills should be installed so that there are lesser chances of encroachment. When in the absence of gates and grills, animals can stray into parks, why can’t these be used for parking vehicles, cycling, consuming liquor, playing and drying clothes?

SK Khosla Sector 40-C, Chandigarh.

Encroachments need to be checked

The municipal corporation has decided to impose heavy fine on people parking vehicles in parks or on footpaths in the city.

The administration has allotted government houses to employees who have encroached upon area up to 10 feet by installing hedges and making boundary walls. Those residing on the first floors are forced to park their cars on streets. The MC has failed to take any action. Such encroachments can be checked. The administration can set an example by punishing those who show false affidavits while purchasing a vehicle.

M L Garg Chandigarh 



Chandigarh SCAN
Ambulance donated

Life Line, an NGO working in the PGI from the last 11 years, got another ambulance van. The Plywood Association of Chandigarh donated the ambulance van to Life Line at a flag-off ceremony organised last night, which was flagged off by Yogesh Gupta, president of the association.

Residents protest rise in prices

The Chandigarh Residents’ Social Welfare Federation (CRSWF) has protested against the steep hike in the prices of LPG, diesel and kerosene oil and termed it as an irresponsible action by the government, which led to the increase in miseries of aam admi. The domestic cylinder rate hike of Rs 50, diesel of Rs 3 and kerosene oil of Rs 2 would have a cascading effect on the already rising prices of the essential commodities, thereby making life of the poor more miserable. President DS Chahal said, “The government’s plea that it was a rise in the price of crude in the international market and to give stimulation to the marketing companies is totally unfounded. If the cess revenues earned by the government due to the rise in international prices is returned to oil companies, then there would be no need to hike the prices and burden the aam admi.”

Medical camp

More than 150 persons visited the special medical camp organised by Fortis Hospital, Mohali, at the community centre, Bhaskar Colony, on Sunday as a part of its corporate social responsibility outreach programme. Dr Simi Waraich, senior consultant, psychiatry, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, delivered a lecture on the ill effects of substance abuse and drug de-addiction. Free blood sugar and blood pressure tests were conducted as well as weight and pulse rate were also checked.

Day against drug abuse

The Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes observed the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Dr Zora Singh, chairman Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, and former president, IMA state branch, Chandigarh, advised participants to keep a watch on the warning signals of teenagers addicted to drugs. While elaborating important signals of the drug addict, Dr Singh informed that drug addicts start giving signals right from the beginning. Tajinder Kaur, vice-chairperson of Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes and CEO of Hara Punjab Khara Samaj, highlighted that parents can play a major role in educating teenagers.

45 persons donate blood

A blood donation camp was organised by the Kumanyun Sanskritik Samiti, Maloya. As many as 45 volunteers donated blood on the occasion.

Drug de-addiction camp organised

In order to commemorate the International Day Against Drug Abuse, the department of psychiatry, PGI, and Art of Living volunteers organised a drug de-addiction camp at Dhillon Farm in Nayagaon on Sunday. As many as 50 patients reported for check up from Nayagaon and neighbouring areas in spite of heavy rains in the area.

Bal samagam

More than 350 children participated in a Nirankari bal samagam organised by Nirankari Mission at Sector 30, Nirankari Bhawan, on Sunday. The samagam featured qawali, theme-based skits, divine songs, Sufi songs and action plays, presented in different languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, English, Haryanvi, Bhojpuri and other languages.


Pritam Singh Narangpur was elected the president of Baba Makhan Shah Lobana Foundation on Sunday. He defeated Advocate Sarjit Singh with a margin of 101 votes. The total votes cast were 1,079.

Cardiac awareness camp held

More than 100, particularly senior citizens, benefited from a free cardiac awareness and check-up camp organised by the Residents Welfare Society of Sector 7-B in association with Alchemist Hospital, Sector 21, Panchkula, at the Bal Bhavan creche on Sunday. Dr Anurag Sharma, senior cardiologist, provided consultation with his team of doctors and paramedical staff.

Change in immigration rules

Lt Col BS Sandhu, CMD, World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS), said, “Canada is adjusting its intake of applications of federal skilled workers under federal business programmes. 

“This is being done to reduce backlog,” he added. He said there would be a change in the immigration rules which would make the process faster for new cases as well as cases filed under the old immigration rules. In June, 2010, the government released an updated list of 29 priority occupations and introduced a global cap of 20,000 for federal skilled workers as well as a sub-cap of 1,000 under each occupation.

The 29 in-demand occupations included restaurant and food service managers, chefs, cooks, professional occupations in business services to management, insurance adjusters and claims examiners, architects, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, medical radiation technologists, dental hygienists and dental therapists, psychologists, biologists and related scientists, social workers, contractors and supervisors in carpentry and mechanic trades, electricians, plumbers, welders and related trade persons.

Textbook scam

The Punjab School Education Board authorities have lodged a complaint with the police in an alleged Rs 65 lakh textbook printing scam. The board has also taken a disciplinary action against three employees in connection with the alleged scam. Action has also been taken against a retired official cutting his pension by 10 per cent. In 2008, the board had given the work of printing textbooks to two Noida-based firms. Later, it was found that books printed by these firms were less than the order placed and there was alleged tampering with receipts to show excess supply of books. A four-member committee was set up to probe the matter which had submitted its report to the board chairman Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon. Earlier, two other panels had also conducted an inquiry into the matter. — OC

Production house

The International Institute of Design and Animation has opened a high-tech production house and training centre in Phase 3-B2.

While inaugurating the academy, leading Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann said the institute was an important development keeping in line with the changed professional scenario.

‘Check spread of diseases’

The action committee of Citizens’ Welfare Association (CWA) here on Sunday urged HUDA and MC to take immediate preventive measures for checking the spread of epidemic in the town, especially the slum area. SK Nayar, chairman-cum-president, CWA, said sweeping and disposal of garbage works should also be carried out regularly to keep the town clean as preventive measures from any sort of epidemic during rainy season. The mosquitoes-killing spray should also be carried out in the entire town during these days to get the prevention from suspected diseases and to meet with the safety requirement and convenience of the public, he added. Nayyar also urged the authorities to keep all road gullies clean to avoid water-logging in any area in Panchkula and should make elaborate arrangement for the disposal of garbage. — TNS



CTET applicants face harrowing time
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
Conducted for the first time by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Central Teachers’ Eligibility Test (CTET) today left several candidates disappointed across different centres in the tricity.

At Government Model Senior Secondary School, Karsan, which was a CTET centre, candidates faced a harrowing time because of the alleged irregularity in conducting the examination by school officials. The anguished candidates and their relatives even called the police at the centre alleging biased attitude of invigilators.

Nearly 50 applicants from this centre signed a representation to be given to the assistant secretary (CTET), CBSE, highlighting their plight and appealing for justice.

These applicants said certain students were provided 15-20 minutes extra to finish the paper, while others were not even given the bare essential time.

Certain other applicants complained that the test booklets were distributed late at the centre and hence they could hardly complete the paper.

“The invigilators were biased towards certain applicants and even the police was called at the centre. Several candidates lost their chance to clear the exam and this careless attitude of school employees wasted their one year,” said Vikram, an applicant of CTET.

Yet another irregularity was witnessed at Chaman Lal DAV Public School, Sector 11, Panchkula, which was also a CTET centre. A visually challenged candidate, Shiv Kumar, was provided a writer, who was a Class IX student.

Kumar said, “The CBSE has put my career at stake and I am upset with the whole situation. The writer provided to a visually challenged candidate is always someone, who can at least understand the basics. I faced a rough time today attempting the exam but could not even lodge complaint. I had no option but to attempt the exam with the resources available. But I am upset with what I attempted.”



Prolonged admission schedule irks heads
 By the time the process is done,  one-third semester elapses in PU
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
A prolonged admission schedule, spread over two months at various teaching departments of Panjab University, has now become a serious concern for chairpersons of these departments.

The department heads claim that by the time the last student is admitted in the respective batch, one-third of the semester has elapsed. The admissions to masters degree programme in the arts faculty will commence on July 7 and end on August 18.

Due to the introduction of the semester system in all postgraduate courses offered by the university, the process of admission in respective departments has become tedious for teaching and non-teaching staff.

While regular admissions end soon in the departments, those done through special permission of the chairperson and later the Vice-Chancellor will continue till mid August, that, too, with a hefty late fee.

“The admission schedule is such that the department staff is occupied in admitting students, initially through a routine admission procedure and later in August through special permission. By the time, the last lot of students join the batch in the respective departments, a considerable time will elapse,” said a department chairperson on the condition of anonymity.

Although department chairpersons expressed their dissatisfaction over the situation, none was willing to be quoted fearing action by authorities.

Citing another example, yet another chairperson said, “The university had earlier been criticised for strictly abiding by the deadlines for admission due to which seats were left vacant in certain departments. Later, however, it became, too, lenient. The scenario has changed now, PU is fast becoming a brand name in higher education across the country. We need to set our own standards. Students must not be at loss, but the process has to be reworked.”

Acknowledging that certain departments do face such a problem, the Vice-Chancellor said a review of admission deadlines was being mooted. “We are in the process of revising certain processes related to admissions. The problem will be addressed shortly through a feedback of all chairpersons,” said Sobti.



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