C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Healthcare in slums not admn concern
No temporary medical huts for colonies
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Sounds strange, but it is true. The cash-rich UT administration, that has been spending crores on primary healthcare, has failed to construct temporary medical huts in slums across the city.

The huts, each measuring 100 sq ft as per specifications of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), would have cost a few lakhs. But still, the administration has been sitting over the proposal for the past two years.

As a result, the number of cases of wrong medication in colonies has been on the rise as there is no doctor available at their doorstep to look after their immediate medical needs.

During a visit to colonies number 4 and 5, Labour Colony and Vikas Nagar, residents complained that due to lack of primary healthcare facilities in their respective colonies, they had to go to civil dispensaries, which were far away.

Mentioning an incident past year, a resident of Vikas Nagar said Phool Devi died due to wrong medication by a quack in the area. Residents of other colonies narrated similar incidents, which happeneddue to the non-availability of a doctor.

Vikas Nagar councillor Anil Kumar Dubey said an NRHM team visited the colony every month and made a request to him to provide them land for setting up a medical hut so that doctors could provide day-to-day medical services.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda said no communication for providing land for temporary medical huts had been received either from the NRHM or from the UT administration.

Councillors had been asked to get an official letter from the NHRM about the requirement of temporary medical huts in the colonies, after which action would be initiated by the municipal corporation. The NRHM had formulated a scheme two years ago, under which a temporary medical hut was to be constructed in every colony by the local authorities to facilitate primary health services to residents.

In each medical hut, the NRHM was to deploy a doctor, a nurse and an assistant four hours a day. Till date, the administration had neither allotted land, nor made alternative arrangements for the purpose.

Sources revealed that past year, the NRHM had sent a communication to the administration that temporary huts should be provided to doctors to set up medical huts in colonies. Despite a number of reminders, no decision was taken.

About six months ago, the NRHM sent a request letter to area councillors to assist it in providing land for setting up temporary huts in the colonies.Colony No. 5 councillor Ram Sumer Morya said he had been running from pillar to post for the past six months to get a piece of land for setting up a temporary medical hut in the colony.

Passing the buck, the administration and the municipal corporation had been delaying the project. The Colony No. 4 councillor had a similar tale to tell.



Non-construction charges in Mohali up
In line with plot allotment price hike
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 29
Residential plot holders in Mohali who have failed to complete construction on their property within the three-year stipulated timeframe will now have to pay a hefty extension fee for non-construction.

Varying between 2 per cent and 4 per cent of the prevailing allotment price, the charges have been increased several times in the past.

Under the revised structure, an allottee of a one kanal plot in Phases 1 to XI and Sectors 66 to 71 will have to cough up Rs 7 lakh as non-construction fee, calculated at the rate of 4 per cent of the prevailing allotment price of Rs 35,000 per square yard.

Similarly, an allottee of a 10 marla plot in Sectors 76 to 80 will have to pay a fee of Rs 1.5 lakh, worked out at the rate of 2 per cent of the prevailing allotment price of Rs 30,000 per square yard.

“The non-construction fee structure has been revised in line with the hike in allotment prices of residential plots from Rs 12,000 to Rs 35,000 per square yard with effect from June 13”, said a senior official at the estate office of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

According to a recent survey conducted by the authority, there are 429 plots lying vacant in various areas of the town, the largest number being in Sector 69.

NK Marwaha, a former president of the Mohali Property Consultants Association, averred the non-construction fee should have been levied on the original allotment price of a plot and not the prevailing price fixed by GMADA.

According to the new fee structure, the urban estate has been divided into three categories.

For plots in Phases I to XI and Sectors 66 to 71 the rate is Rs 35,000 per sq yard; for Sectors 76 to 80 it is Rs 30,000 per sq yard; and for the new sectors (81 onwards) the rate is Rs 25,000 per sq yard.

The non-construction fee is charged up to 15 years from the year the plot is allotted, with no fee charged for the first three years.



3 more DAV-10 students attacked
SOPU targets HSA activists at Sector 40
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
In yet another brawl, three members of the HSA, including its chairman, studying at DAV College, Sector 10, were injured when they were attacked by members of the SOPU with sharp-edged weapons at Sector 40 late last night.

The incident occurred on the top floor of a house at Sector 40, where the students were staying on rent. Those injured were Harpreet Singh Grewal, chairman of HSA, and Manjinder and Satinder, both members of HSA.

The police booked SOPU member Lawrence Bishnoi and others in a case of rioting and criminal intimidation. A case was registered at the Sector-39 police station.

SHO Charanjeet Singh said the brawl occurred when SOPU supporters saw HSA members standing in close proximity to PUSU supporters at DAV College during counselling yesterday.

They then planned to attack HSA members in the night.

Harpreet was attacked with a sword in the right hand while Manjinder and Satinder were attacked on the legs.

The accused were wearing masks and they were recognised when the mask of one of the accused, Lawrence, fell during the brawl, the police added.

The injured were taken to a hospital at Sector 16.

This was the second brawl between students in the past 24 hours. PUSU members attacked a DAV College student outside the college yesterday.

No arrests had been made in the case.



Coolest June 29 in 12 years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
With the maximum temperature recorded at 28.6 degree Celsius, eight degrees below normal, a record of sorts was created today. The temperature was not only the lowest this month, but also the lowest on this day in 12 years.

According to meteorological officials, the pleasant weather would continue for the next two or three days, with the sky remaining overcast. The night temperature was recorded at 26.4 degree Celsius, one degree above normal.

“Except for a few days, the maximum temperature since the beginning of the month has remained below normal due to the continuous spell of rain caused by the cyclonic circulation over Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan,” explained a meteorological official.

He said the lowest temperature in June past year was 24.8 degree Celsius, recorded on June 9, and 33.2 degree Celsius was the lowest in 2008, recorded on June 17.

The weatherman predicted a generally cloudy sky, with the possibility of light rain, in the next 24 hours. The possibility of a squall was ruled out.



More heritage items sold
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Chandigarh’s priced heritage furniture, featuring chairs designed by Pierre Jeanneret, a partner of master architect Le Corbusier, is said to have fetched Rs 4.44 lakh in an auction in Paris yesterday.

Two pairs of hall chairs, which were put under the hammer by the Artcurial Auction House in Paris, were sold for total €6,885.

The furniture belonged to the city and was designed by Pierre Jeanneret, cousin and associate of Le Corbusier, in 1960-61. The hall chairs were made of solid teak and leather.

Along with the sets of chairs, some other articles, including a double-sided rack, a centre table and a double-faced frame library made of solid teak, were also said to have been put for auction.

Details of the transaction of these articles were yet to be received. According to reports, the minimum reserve price of these articles was Rs 10.33 lakh. This was not the first time that the heritage items from the city were being sold by auction houses abroad. A few weeks ago, several items were sold by an auction house in London.



Another ceiling in new I-T office collapses
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
With yet another false ceiling at the income tax department’s newly built multistoreyed office in Sector 17, Aaykar Bhawan, collapsing on Wednesday morning, the third such incident in a week, problems do not appear to be ending for the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) as well as the I-T department, which were supposed to set things right over the weekend.

A false ceiling outside the office of additional commissioner Garima Naunihal (room numbers 311 & 312) on the building’s third floor collapsed at about 9 am when employees had begun arriving. Though no one was injured in the mishap it caused considerable panic, forcing the staff to keep a watch on ceilings while walking in the corridors.

Eight days ago false ceilings of at least six rooms in the building, including the control room on the ground floor, collapsed.

What is surprising is that this incident has occurred despite the CPWD’s claim of having initiated repair work in the building after jointly inspecting it with the I-T department twice last week. Expressing dismay at the way things were being handled, a senior official said: “The CPWD is making a mockery of the I-T department as such incidents are getting negative publicity unnecessarily”.

When contacted, income tax chief commissioner (northwest region) Jaspal Singh said all defects would be set right during the next 10 to 12 days. Though he claimed all the defects were minor, sources said after being briefed about the ceiling collapse he had summoned CPWD officials in the afternoon and held a detailed meeting with them.

While he refused to divulge details about what was discussed or about any other problems in the building that have been noticed, the sources said a long list of “shortcomings” had been prepared and handed over to the CPWD officials.

The problems that have been highlighted, apart from the heavy weight of electrical fittings and the issue of airconditioning vents on the false ceiling, include defective and unaligned aluminum work, loose telephone and electrical switchboards, inadequate light and power points, loose wiring, missing AC defusers, faulty switches, missing telephone sockets and ceiling fans on the ground floor.

The sources added the I-T department was contemplating to write to the CPWD director general for initiating a probe into the shortcomings and fix responsibility on those concerned. However, officials were not willing to confirm this.


Don’t turn off vehicle lights lest you drive in the dark
Theft cases on the rise due to non-functional streetlights in Sectors 20, 30 and 34
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Despite a number of representations and complaints made by the residents of the northern sectors to the municipal corporation (MC), these sectors still remain engulfed in darkness due to non-functional streetlights.

Drivers and pedestrians virtually grope in the dark, as most streetlights are out of order from fortnight.

A quick survey of the Sectors 20, 30 and 34 revealed that majority of the streetlights were non-functional due to the absence of clear-cut demarcation of the maintenance of these lights between the civic body and the administration.

As the civic body has no mechanism to check whether proper maintenance of the streetlights was being undertaken, so it ends up only in paying huge amount of money to the department.

Even after paying the huge amount, residents are still groping in the dark. Besides, theft of stabilisers, timer switches and TPN switches from a number of feeder panels that control the functioning of the streetlights of the respective roads has made the situation worse.

According to several irate residents of Sector 30, the matter had been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned several times, but no steps had been taken to address the issue.

A few days ago, employees of the electricity department carried out some repairs, but many streetlights went off the very next day and despite complaints, the electricity department failed to take any action.

Driving has become risky during the night, as most of the drivers are forced to drive their vehicles on high beam due to pitch darkness. Residents of Sector 34 alleged that last year an accident occurred in the parking lot of the market due to non-functional streetlights. But after repeated requests to authorities concerned, the fate of the streetlights of the area has not been improved.

While residents fret over the situation, the authorities concerned have done a little, which is entrusted with the maintenance of streetlights in that area. All efforts of councillors and residents to draw the attention of the authorities have fallen on deaf ears.



From July 1, all city traders can file VAT returns online
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The UT excise & taxation department has initiated a move to introduce e-filing of value added tax returns for all traders in the city from next month onwards. Sources said the relevant file has been lying at the deputy commissioner’s office and, after it gives the necessary nod, the facility would be available from July 1.

Till now only those local traders whose annual turnover was over Rs 2 crore could file VAT returns online.

“Now we’ll be providing this facility to all traders starting from the third quarter of this year. It will not only reduce paperwork but also boost revenues of the UT administration,” said a senior excise & taxation official.

“The online facility will save the city’s traders the unnecessary inconvenience they have to face while waiting in long lines to deposit taxes. Some traders who earlier avoided depositing taxes because of the time wasted will now find it easy to do so”, the official added.

There are an estimated 13,000 traders in the city who file VAT returns. Last year the administration netted Rs 1,013 crore from VAT and has targeted revenues of Rs 1,050 crore this year, the sources added.

However, TR Malhotra, a senior advocate and former president of the Income Tax & Sales Tax Bar Association, was of the view that filing VAT returns online would pose problems for small traders.

“Most small-time traders aren’t well educated and may not be able to handle online returns on their own. As most of them are unlikely to afford hiring the services of professionals in filing returns, they will have to take the help of accountant for the purpose. I think e-filing would put a burden on such traders,” said Malhotra.



Differently abled remember Helen Keller
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
It was a day of remembrance for inmates of Asha Kiran, a vocational training institute for the differently abled at Sector 46 here today. The inmates gathered in gratitude to Helen Keller, who taught the world to respect the differently abled by setting a personal example of courage, determination and conviction despite multiple disabilities.

The Amway Opportunity Foundation (AOF), a registered NGO and Amway India’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm, organised a programme “Remembering Helen Keller”, in association with the National Association for the Blind (NAB) at the institute, which also houses AOF-NAB Centre for Excellence, a computer centre for visually challenged.

A group of children from Asha Kiran sang a song specially written for Helen Keller. Winners of various activities, including mehandi, rangoli-making, embroidery, drawing, painting and essay-writing were given prizes. Helen Keller Day is celebrated across the world on June 27 every year.

Besides, hearing challenged inmates were presented with wrist watches as an inspiration to try and emulate Helen Keller. The visually challenged were presented Braille equipment.



Anti-tobacco Act remains on paper
Kulwinder Sangha

A roadside vendor sells tobacco products at Phase VII, Mohali
A roadside vendor sells tobacco products at Phase VII, Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, June 29
Even as smoking in public places and illegal sale of tobacco products here goes unchecked, the District Tobacco Control Committee remains only in name and has failed to deter offenders.

Neither officials of the health department nor the municipal corporation authorities have made serious efforts to implement the anti-tobacco Act, 2003. One can often see people smoking at public places, much to the annoyance of others, even when no person is allowed to smoke in public places like hospitals, government offices, private offices, hotels, restaurants, dhabas, parks, markets, parkings, cinema halls, marriage palaces, resorts, malls, shopping complexes, bus queue shelters, bus stands, railway stations, buses, trains and religious places as per provisions of the Act. Even roadside vendors selling tobacco and other products can be seen in various parts of the town.

Officials of the health department could not tell the number of challans that they had issued to offenders over the past one year.

District Health Officer Dr Jai Singh said challans were issued at times to offenders and six challan books had been issued to the police so that challans could be done by cops whenever an offence came to their notice.

However, SP (City) Harpreet Singh said no challan books were issued to the police by the health officials. The police would have had no problem in issuing challans to offenders, had they got the challan books. He said the health officials were claiming that the challan books were given in January, 2010, but these did not figure in police records.

The police had started taking action against people who were illegally selling tobacco products on roadsides, added Harpreet Singh.

Member of the District Tobacco Control Committee JP Singh said the committee was set up about two years ago and only three meetings had been held so far, the last being about 10 days ago. He said the committee was almost non-existent. Officials of the civic body, health department and the police were not taking much interest in getting the Act implemented.

“People smoke in public places and roadside vendors continue to sell tobacco products without any fear. The civic body has failed to remove illegal sellers from roadsides,” he added.

President of the Generation Saviour Association and also member of the District Tobacco Control Committee said the Act was being implemented only half-heartedly by the authorities concerned. The NGOs linked to the committee were now urging the officials to take serious action against offenders failing which information would be sought under the RTI Act to know what work the authorities had done to control smoking at public places and to check the illegal sale of tobacco products.



MC does nothing to rid Panchkula of stray cattle
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Stray cattle block vehicular movement on the road separating Sectors 11 and 12 in Panchkula
Stray cattle block vehicular movement on the road separating Sectors 11 and 12 in Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, June 29
With the authorities failing to take any steps, stray cattle menace continues to haunt this satellite town. In order to get rid of these animals, owners abandon them on roads.

Residents felt that if immediate steps were not taken, they might end up losing their lives in freak accidents. The animals are seen blocking major roundabouts, including 12/12A, 11/15, 12/4, 2/317/8, Amartex Chowk, and entry point to the Industrial Area, Phase II.

Many lives have been lost in the town in the past couple of years. One Lalit (25) had lost his life in a freak accident involving stray cattle a few years ago after his bike hit the animal on the road separating Sectors 7 and 8. Similarly, in December 2003, a general manager of Milkfed Manmohan Munjal lost his life after a cow hit his scooter. He was seriously injured and died after after few days.

There are around 13 villages in and around the periphery of Panchkula. Milch cattle owners in these villages set these free on roads during the daytime.

According to sources in the MC, 16 acres had been earmarked in Pinjore for constructing a combined ‘gaushala’ for Panchkula, Pinjore and Kalka, which would cater to at least 1,000 stray cattle in the area.

President of the Panchkula MC was not available for comments as he did not respond to repeated calls made by this reporter.

SK Nayyar, president of the Citizens Welfare Association, said despite repeated reminders to the authorities, nothing had been done so far.



Blocked road gullies dot Mohali
Tribune News Service

A blocked drain on the road separating Phases IV and V in Mohali
A blocked drain on the road separating Phases IV and V in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, June 29
Despite the recent monsoon showers inundating several low-lying areas in Mohali, the local administration and public health department is yet to wake up from a deep slumber. Clogged drains can still be seen all over city.

Every year before the onset of monsoon, the public health department spends lakhs of rupees on getting the road gullies cleaned up. However, nothing concrete comes out of it, as the gullies remain blocked and manholes are left uncovered.

Recently the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Commissioner of the municipal corporation had taken a round of the city and instructed the officials concerned to carry out the repair and cleaning of drains. But the instruction has seldom been followed. Even today, a drizzle resulted in cesspool of water at the traffic junction of Phase III and V and in other parts of the city.

During a random survey of the city, a number of road gullies were found broken. Many were being used for dumping garbage, dry leaves or other waste. As a result the road gullies are choked during the rainy season every year.



HS marks vigilance inquiry in promotion case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
A vigilance inquiry has been marked in connection with allegations against an official of the home department for seeking illegal gratification in a promotion case. According to reports, the official allegedly demanded Rs 14,000 for expediting the promotion file of the three inspectors of Chandigarh Police- Kewal Krishan, SPS Sondhi and Kehar Singh to the post of the DSP.

The file has been lying with the Home Secretary’s office for clearance.

On June 27, when Kewal Krishan reportedly inquired about the movement of his file did not receive any satisfactory response from the official concerned. He then went to the Joint Secretary Home Abhishek Dev and alleged that Rs 14,000 was being demanded by the official concerned. Abhishek Dev took Kewal Krishan to Home Secretary Ram Niwas, who, marked an inquiry by the vigilance department.



Two PCR personnel suspended for not taking action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Senior police officials today suspended two police personnel, including one sub-inspector and a constable posted at the Police Control Room for their negligence in handling a call regarding eve-teasing.

The police suspended Sub-Inspector Rajinder Singh and Constable Kartar Singh. A departmental inquiry has been marked to look into the matter.

On June 24, a woman had called the Police Control Room informing that two youths, in an Innova car bearing temporary number of Chandigarh, were following her and passing comments. While she dialed the number ‘100’ thrice, the police personnel who received her call made no attempt to send a PCR vehicle or inform the police station concerned.

They passed the information via wireless but no one was sent to the spot. The girl called the control room from Sector 24 near hotel ParkView, Sector 17, and also Sector 9 that the two youths were harassing her.

The negligence came to light when the police was checking the calls to the control room and it was found that this particular call was never catered to owing to the negligence of the two police personnel, who received her calls.

In view of the negligence, Constable Kartar Singh of IRB and Sub-Inspector Rajinder Singh were suspended. A departmental inquiry has also been initiated against them.

After the woman, a resident of Zirakpur, lodged a formal complaint, the accused, who were following her in the car, were finally traced. The accused have been identified as Devinder Pal and Ankit, residents of Sector 46.

They were traced on the basis of the Innova Car number CH-05-T-9059. A case of outraging the modesty under Sections 341, 509, 34 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector-3 Police Station.



Human Trafficking
Six children rescued from Manali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Three days after the police rescued 14 minor children, who were being taken to Manali as bonded labourers and arrested two persons for human trafficking, the police rescued another six children from Manali today, who were being forced to work as bonded labourers.

All the children are residents of Bihar and are aged between 12 and 15 years.

They were rescued on disclosure made by Durja, a resident of Chhuchhat village, Leh, and Amka Manji, a resident of Cherki Bazar village in Gaya district, Bihar. They both were arrested from the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Sector 17, on June 26.

A police team was dispatched to Manali and the children were found working in the apple orchards there. They were working there for the past two years.

The suspects disclosed they had paid Rs 500 each to parents in Bihar and were paying Rs 500 every month.



Man receives letter from terrorist outfit

Chandigarh, June 29
A senior citizen, resident of Sector 46, has claimed that he received a threatening letter from a person named Manjit Singh Sukha, who identified himself to be president of a terrorist outfit Babbar Khalsa.

The letter, written in Punjabi, is for his in the name of his daughter-in-law, who works at a post office. The police have registered a case of criminal intimidation under Section 506 of the IPC at the Sector-34 Police Station.

Baldev Singh Behan alleged that they received three letters by post from the terrorist outfit and while no demand was being made, he and his family were threatened in the letter.

“The letter reads that their house and property will be damaged and they will face dire consequences. We are verifying the authenticity of the letter, though it appears to be more of a prank,” said investigating officer SI Randhir Singh. — TNS



Dona Ganguly to perform at Mango Mela on July 3
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 29
Dona Ganguly, Odissi danseuse and wife of former Indian captain Saurav Ganguly, will regale audience during the forthcoming two-day 20th Mango Mela organised by the state horticulture department in association with the Haryana tourism at Pinjore Gardens from July 2.

Sources said Dona would perform Odissi Classical dance on July 3, while queen of Sufi songs, Chanchal Bharti from Delhi, would perform on July 2.

The mela would be inaugurated by principal secretary to the Chief Minister, Chattar Singh on July 2, while Governor Jagannath Pahadia would be the chief guest at the prize distribution-cum-closing ceremony.

The sources further said they were expecting over 500 entries this year and some of the varieties were usually not found in the market. This time we are expecting new varieties, the sources added.

Meanwhile, tourism department officials have urged the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police for making elaborate security arrangements during the two-day festival to thwart any untoward incidents.



No more dumping of garbage at Dadu Majra

Chandigarh, June 29
Municipal Corporation will not allow dumping of garbage at the dumping ground in Dadu Majra from tomorrow. This was decided at a special meeting chaired by Municipal Corporation (MC) Commissioner Prerna Puri with the area councillor Kamlesh and officials of the medical health officer (MOH).

He directed the MOH department to ensure that no vehicle was sent to the dumping ground. The issue was raised as to why CCTV cameras were not being installed? Also, he directed the authorities concerned to ensure that cameras were installed within a week. — TNS





Sanitation drive in Colony No. 5

Manjit Singh Chohan, chairman of the sanitation committee, flagged off a sanitation drive in addition to regular sanitation in Colony No. 5 on Wednesday by deputing additional safai karamcharies in small groups under the close supervision of senior inspectorate staff for getting public places and open spaces swept in order to maintain the aesthetic look of the area. It was stressed that the efforts are to be made by residents so that the Municipal Corporation can collectively make the area sanitised. Pamphlets to create awareness were distributed among public. The residents were educated through public address system to segregate the dry/wet waste separately.

JW Marriott opens

The JW Marriott, yet another luxury hotel, dotted the city scape with a formal inauguration on Wednesday evening. Rajeev Menon, area vice-president, said, “This is the second JW Marriott hotel in India. A lot of other properties of our hotel chain are underway in many other cities across India in the next few years.” The five star property boasts of 165 guest rooms, four suites and one presidential suite, apart from Saffron, its fine dining Indian restaurant, The Cafe@JW, Oregano and the staple of any luxury hotel, the Italian restaurant and bar. The pastel brown interiors have been conceptualised on the basis of five elements of nature.


Dr Kushaljit Singh Sodhi, associate professor, department of radiodiagnosis at PGI, has been awarded “Dr Heidi Patriquin International Fellowship Award” for 2011 by the Society of Paediatric Radiology (SPR) Research and Education Foundation, Reston, Virginia, USA. He was conferred this award at the recently concluded international paediatric radiology (IPR) congress in IPR, London.

National Statistics Day

The local unit of the National Sample Survey (field operations division), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MSPI), celebrated National Statistics Day here on Wednesday to mark the birth anniversary of renowned statistician (late) Prof Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis. A seminar on “Gender statistics” was held. Chief guest RK Mahajan, professor, University School of Open Learning, Panjab University, paid homage to Prof Mahalanobis and earmarked the day by recalling the contribution made by him in India’s second five-year plan, establishment of National Sample Survey in 1950, introduction of statistics in many Indian universities. Earlier, SK Das, director deputy general (MSPI), while delivering the welcome speech, said statistical data collected by the organisation was used for policy making and various programme implementations by the government.

Need for norms on use of glass

“There is an urgent need for proper norms or guidelines on the use of glass in buildings to ensure human safety,” stated architect Deepak Gahlowt, convener, Confederation of Construction Products and Services (CCPS), a non-profit organisation. His observation came in the backdrop of manifold increase in glass usage nowadays in buildings, especially in malls, commercial complexes, educational institutions, hotels, hospitals, etc, and even residential houses/flats, inviting high risk of human injury. Due to its inherent merits, properties, likings and as well as fashion, no doubt glass has presently emerged as one of the popular building materials but this has become a matter of concern from energy and human safety point of view. As per an estimate, glass sale of 886 MT/day in 2000-01 has increased to 3,400MT/day in 2010-11. The Energy Conservation Building Code, 2007, prepared by the bureau of energy efficiency, has set minimum efficiency standard for external walls, roof, glass structures, lightening, heating, ventilation and air conditioning of the commercial buildings and is a good beginning in the area of energy conservation. However, the risk of human injury associated with the increased glass use was out of scope of the ECBC and remains unaddressed by this or any other prevailing standards/codes so far in the country.

‘Strengthen cultural relations’

On his first visit to the city on Wednesday, the new director of British Council in India, Rob Lynes, emphasised the need to strengthen cultural relations between UK and India at a press conference held at British Library, Sector 9. He highlighted the programme initiated by the British Council to work on skills development in India and also learning English language under “Project English”. “We need a strong cultural foundation for any relation. We have active library operation and values partnerships with Punjab and Haryana governments and various educational institutions,” said Lynes.

‘Grow vegetables in containers’

After several years of working in the area of preventive healthcare, education and income generation in Nayagaon, DIR - developing indigenous resources, is now educating people to grow vegetables in containers, which can be placed on rooftops or hung in small homes where open areas are not available for growing plants. There are multiple benefits that DIR hopes to achieve through this programme. People will get to eat healthy organic vegetables grown in their homes without the use of pesticides and fertilizers and the same will be available to them free. The practice of growing vegetables will further encourage them to eat seasonal nutritious vegetables, creepers spread on the roof will keep their homes cool in summers, conserve soil and water as containers prevent run offs of soil and excessive watering and learn to use limited spaces intelligently.

Mayor’s statement recorded

The statement of Municipal Corporation (MC) Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh was recorded on Wednesday by Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh in the election petition filed by an independent candidate, Jagjit Singh Kang against his election as Mayor of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh. The court fixed the matter for July 5, granting an opportunity to second respondent Rajesh Gupta to lead his evidence.


Students win laurels

Fourteen students of the Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, have done their institution proud by getting selected in Syntel (Pune) at high pay packages. The students, Ritika Mahajan, Harsimran Singh Cheema, Bhavna Syal, Gurpreet Singh, etc, were ecstatic at their successful placement during the campus placement organised by the institution. Prof Avtar Singh, chairman, Sri Sukhmani Group of Institutions (SSGI), Dera Bassi, exhorted the students to work with honesty and diligence.

24 selected in placement drive

Axis Bank conducted campus placement drive at GJ-IMT, Phase II, Mohali. The drive commenced with the company’s presentation followed by written test. A total of 24 students were selected with the salary package of Rs 3,00,000 per annum by the panel after the final interview. The selected candidate will be joining as assistant manager. Chairman of GJIMT, JS Bedi said, “It is hard work and dedication of our GJIMT placement team which has provided a platform for our students to prove their skills and efforts they have put in during the course to excel in the industry.”

Handing over of parks flayed

In a meeting held under the chairmanship of Rajinder Singh Rana, president, District Congress Committee, Mohali, the pro-Congress councillors of Municipal Council, Mohali, criticised the decision to hand over the well maintained parks of Mohali. They complained that GMADA authority has already failed to maintain the parks already under their control and these parks are in fact becomes the centre of garbage. There is all around congress grass and non-cleanliness is seen since their inspection. — Tribune reporters



No guide map at PU
Locating depts tough for fresh applicants
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
For fresh applicants, grabbing a seat at Panjab University’s departments may be tough, but locating the buildings where these departments are situated is tougher. Not a single guide map has been put up by the university authorities to specify the location of different departments despite having nearly 85 departments and centres at its campuses in Sectors 14 and 25.

In the past three days, the PU has witnessed an influx of hundreds of students who are required to fill in admission forms and deposit those at the department office concerned by July 4.

Clueless about the location of the departments, several students were today spotted enquiring about those from university enquiry counters. Similar queries were being addressed at help desks set up by student organisations near the university post office.

“Despite being a premier institute, the PU has missed the most basic things needed at the time of admission, which is installing a roadmap or any guide map for students. As a fresh applicant, I had no clue where the biomedical sciences department was. I had to ask three or four persons before I reached there today,” said Mehak, an applicant.

Siddhant, an applicant for MA-I in history, said, “At all universities abroad, one finds maps put up at all important places on the campus and near the gates to help students.”

Locating a department like the University Institute of Legal Studies, the School of Communication Studies, the biomedical sciences department or the youth welfare department was an uphill task for students since all these were situated towards the rear-end of the campus.

When contacted, Dean Student Welfare Naval Kishore said, “The university acknowledges that there is a dire need to instal such guide maps for students. We will start work on this immediately and the university will have guide maps, showing the location of all departments, at crucial places by next week.”



INSO submits memo to VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Supporters of the Indian National Student Organisation (INSO), Panjab University, today submitted a memorandum to Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti highlighting the issue of fee charged for merit certificate.

INSO president Anil Ghanghas told the party objected to the charging of fee for issue of merit certificate, as the first five rank holders are required to pay Rs 360 to get their merit certificates from the university.

He added that toppers of all departments have to pay extra money to get merit certificate, which is an extra burden on brilliant students. Moreover, the rank is not mentioned on their degree certificate or on mark list, he added.



Post-CET admission
Last day today

Chandigarh, June 29
Candidates who have cleared the CET entrance examination of Panjab University are required to fill online application forms, available at the website <http://cetadmissions.puchd.ac.in>.

The form, complete in all respects, should be submitted latest by 5 pm tomorrow. Online process will be closed an hour earlier, at 4 pm. Applying online and not submitting the printed form will also result in rejection of candidature. — TNS



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