C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


GMSSS-Manimajra catches up with Sec-35 school
Sector 16, 35 still favourites for humanities and commerce
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Scoring considerably better than the favourite government schools of Sector 16 and 35 for admission into class 11, it is the Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS) in Manimajra that has emerged as a clear choice for class 10 toppers for enrolment in the science stream.

The lowest scorer admitted in the science stream at GMSSS, Manimajra has 89.3 percent or a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) 9.4, while most students had a CGPA score of 10. Incidentally, the school has also received the largest number of applications this year for admission to class 11.

The cutoff list for admission to various streams of class 11 in government schools across the city, which was released on Thursday, revealed GMSSS in Sector 16 and 35 had a cutoff CGPA of 9.2 and 9.4, respectively, for the science stream.

Nearly 12,500 applications were received this year for admission to class 11 in various government schools, the highest number in the last seven years. 252 students in class 10 managed to score the highest CGPA of 10.

Government model senior secondary schools in Sectors 19 and 37 also figured in the top five schools in which toppers sought admission in the science stream with a CGPA of 8.8 and 8.6, respectively.

Government schools that were the last choice of students in humanities included Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, which has a very low cutoff of 30.4 percent or a CGPA of 3.2, Government Senior Secondary school, Dhanas, which had a cutoff of 3.4 and Government Senior Secondary School (Manimajra town) that had a cutoff of 3.8 CGPA.

Although subjects like information technology managed to attract students with a CGPA of 7, students who had scored a CGPA ranging from 4.4 to 4.8 opted for other vocational courses including textile design, dyeing and printing.

Govt schools with high cutoff

1.GMSSS, Manimajra: 9.4 (Science)

2. GMSSS, Sector 35: 9.4 (Science)

3. GMSSS, Sector 16: 9.2 (Science)

4. GMSSS, Sector 19: 8.8 (Science)

5. GMSSS, Sector 37: 8.6 (Science)

6. GMSSS, Sector 16: 6.8 (Humanities)

7. GMSSS, Sector 35: 6.2 (Humanities)

8. GMSSS, Sector 16: 8.8 (Commerce)

9. GMSSS, Sector 35: 8.8 (Commerce)

Where lowest scorers got admission

1. GGSSS, Sector 20: 3.2 (Humanities)

2. GSSS, Dhanas: 3.4 (Humanities)

3. GSSS, Manimajra town: 3.8 (Humanities)



Deep digging on despite NHAI’s no
Have mandatory permission from GMADA, says construction firm
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 30
In total disregard of rules and regulations governing construction activity along national highways, careless digging by a Gurgaon-based private company, C&C Towers Limited, engaged in the construction of Mohali Junction, an 18-storeyed air-conditioned inter-state bus terminus-cum-commercial complex, has sunk a part of the area precariously close to the busy National Highway 21 (Manali road), passing through Sector 57 (Phase VI).

Fearing a mishap, the district administration has blocked half of the national highway, leading from Mohali towards Kharar, near Verka Chowk.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had inexplicably allowed deep digging despite serious objections by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the central agency giving clearance to projects coming along national highways.

Col CVS Sehgal (retd), project manager of C&C Towers Limited, said they never crossed the plot line and had all mandatory permissions from GMADA for going three basements down. “Proper care has been taken that the activity does not damage the national highway. On noticing the damage to the land along the road, we took immediate safety measures,” he said.

NHAI Executive Engineer Karnail Singh said the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had declined to issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the project. The digging has been done precariously close to NHAI land and it was not permissible as per the rules. The rules state that the national highways are classified as strategic roads and any damage to them was a serious offence.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roozam said GMADA had requested an alternative access to the project. He said it was a serious problem and he would look into the matter.

The office concerned of NHAI has shot off letters to the Mohali District Magistrate, Chief Administrator GMADA, and Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The private company has been asked to get the road cross-section repaired and ensure that there was no further damaged.

“If any tragedy takes place during monsoons, the private company and GMADA would be responsible for it,” said an official in the Chandigarh office of NHAI.

Few months ago, a chief engineer of NHAI, SK Marwaha on visiting the site had directed the company to stop the project. “But the state government has been pushing the project despite the ministry’s objection,” said the officials.



City gets first woman SHO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Inspector Poonam Dilawari, who rose from the rank of constable, today became the first woman police inspector in the history of the UT Police to be posted as Station House Officer (SHO). Inspector Dilawari, who assumed charge this evening as SHO of the Sector 3 police station, will be responsible for maintaining law and order and investigating crime in the city’s VVIP portion, which houses two state Governors and Chief Ministers, both Punjab and Haryana cabinet ministers, High Court judges, top rung bureaucrats and police officials in addition to the who’s who of the city.

Dilawari, who has so far spent 21 years with the Chandigarh Police, joined the force as a constable in 1990 and had cleared the assistant sub-inspector recruitment exam within the first year of her service (1991). She was promoted to sub-inspector in 1996 and then inspector in June, 2010.

She has held difficult assignments of in-charge of police posts in Sector 43, Dhanas village and Pulsora village. She has also been the in-charge of the Traffic Park in Sector 23. Last year, she became the first woman to be appointed as PRO of the UT Police.

“I am elated to be assigned this responsibility and will give it my best. It feels good to be the first woman SHO and my family has been supportive throughout,” said Poonam. In December last year, she was among three women non-gazetted officials (inspector level) to be selected for posting to a UN peace support mission. She has yet to be assigned for a UN posting.



Tipsy cop who challaned drunk drivers suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
A head constable of the Chandigarh Traffic Police has been suspended after he was found drunk on duty at a barrier erected to challan drunk drivers on Sunday.

Head constable Ram Kumar was posted at the barrier near the Dhillon light point on June 26 and was, ironically, himself found drunk while challaning drunk drivers.

He was found to be in an inebriated condition after being subjected to an alcosensor test. The test revealed an alcohol content of 190 mg per 100 ml of blood.

A report was prepared, which was brought into the notice of DSP (Traffic) Vijay Kumar. After looking into the issue, he ordered suspension of the head constable today.


Four-hour strike by LPG auto drivers
Rush-hour commuters face inconvenience; CTU buses run full; stir called off after assurance
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
A four-hour-long strike by LPG auto-rickshaw drivers left hundreds of commuters stranded in and around the city this morning.

The strike, which begun at 9 am and ended around 1 pm, largely affected office-goers and regular commuters from neighbouring areas like Mohali, Zirakpur and Mullanpur.

Around 30,000 commuters use auto-rickshaws daily to travel between the city and the three towns.

The call for the strike was given by the LPG Auto Driver Union, following which over 1,500, as claimed by the union, LPG-run three-wheeler operators suspended their work for four hours.

Though the strike did not turn out to be a roaring success, as many members of the union and those plying petrol and diesel-run auto-rickshaws preferred to stay on road, the shortage of private transport vehicles was evident, especially during the rush hour — from 9 am to 10 am. Pooja and Neha, who reside in Mohali and commute to the city every morning for their airhostess course classes, said they had to wait for over half-an-hour to get an auto-rickshaw.

“Normally, we find auto-rickshaws waiting for passengers at the Phase-VII auto-stand. But the situation was different today, as auto-rickshaws were missing from the stand. And the few that were plying were full to their capacity,” said the two.

Taking advantage of the situation, some drivers overcharged passengers. “I commute from Zirakpur to Sector 34 on auto-rickshaw every day and pay Rs 10 as fare. Today, there were very few auto-rickshaws on the road and most demanded Rs 15 for the same route. I had no option but to pay extra to reach my destination,” said Rohit Aggarwal, an employee of a private firm.

The strike also brought smile to the local public transport, Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, as its buses were seen running full to capacity on most routes in the morning. “We are expecting to earn around Rs 1 lakh extra today due to the strike as most people who otherwise prefer auto-rickshaws took local buses to reach their destinations,” said a CTU official.

Talking to The Tribune, Malkeet Singh, president of the LPG Auto Driver Union, said the strike ended in the afternoon following an assurance by Home Secretary Ram Niwas, who promised to accept their main demands within the next couple of days.



Damage parks and cough up Rs 1,000 in fine!
MC passes horticulture bylaws to curb menace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
In a decision that may go a long way in checking the damage caused to public property, the municipal corporation has approved horticulture bylaws that provide for penalising those who damage green belts and road berms in the city by making them shell out Rs 1,000 in fine for the offence.

The environment and city beautification committee, chaired by Pardeep Chhabra, approved the bylaws during a meeting here today.

From now on, any damage to public property like benches, railings, children’s playing equipment, lighting, fountains, grass and plants in the parks and green belts of the city will draw a penalty.

Also, encroachment of any type, including raising of hedges, carrying out of brick work and opening of doors towards the green belts will come under these bylaws and the authorities will impose stiff penalty on the violators.

Strict action will be taken against offenders who play any kind of game, hang clothes on railings and benches in city’s parks.

According to the norms, parking of vehicles in parks will also be a punishable offence.

The committee has also decided to conduct a special drive during monsoon to cut grass and clean parks.

The committee has directed the department to discontinue the practice of outsourcing the maintenance of parks in the future.



Elusive monsoon keeps residents guessing
Meteorological department says downpour in city will take another week
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
While it has been raining cats and dogs in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, the real monsoon showers continue to elude the residents of the city.

Since Sunday, the city has witnessed only sporadic showers and if Met officials are to be believed, the residents will have to wait for another week to enjoy the monsoon downpour. On Wednesday, the city had received 2.4 mm, while today it was a mere 0.2 mm.

This is in contrast to some heavy rain in Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Heavy showers in Haryana, coupled with the downstream flow of water from the rain-fed rivers of Himachal Pradesh, has led to a surge in the Yamuna, with several areas of Yamuna Nagar getting flooded.

Flood alert has also been sounded in low-lying areas of Panipat and adjoining towns.

Haryana’s only hill station Morni, which is less than 25 km from the city, received a rainfall of 30 mm on Wednesday.

Similarly, Karnal received 18 mm of rainfall today. According to data collected by the Met department, while Jammu today recorded 14 mm rainfall, Shimla received 22.4 mm of rainfall. Even Nahan received 16.1 mm of rainfall.

Yesterday, Amritsar received 11.6 mm, Ludhiana 37.6 mm, Dharamsala 30.0 mm, Shimla (35.6, Sundernagar 53.2 mm and Nahan (21 mm) rainfall.

Similarly on Wednesday, Jammu recorded 14.4 mm, Amritsar 43.2 mm, Dharamshala 44.6mm and Shimla 16.0 mm rainfall.

According to department director Surinder Pal Singh, the main reason for rain eluding the city is the unfavourable wind factor for cloud formation. He says this may continue for the next week too.

Meanwhile, the city today recorded a maximum temperature of 31.2 °C, which was 5 degrees below normal but higher than yesterday’s temperature of 28.6 °C.

The minimum temperature was 25.6 °C, which was one degree above normal.



Delegates meet HS for transfer of industrial plots
Urge him to fix land value on 15-year basis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
A delegation of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries met home-cum-industries secretary Ram Niwas regarding the transfer of industrial plots.

In a representation to the home secretary, the delegation stated that as per the terms of lease deed, industries had a lock in period of 15 years. Thereafter, the lease deed was transferable by depositing the unearned profit with the government. As per lease terms, to calculate unearned profit, the fixation of value of the land was required from the Estate Officer.

The delegation urged the UT Administration to notify and fix the value of land on the basis of 15years from the last allotment of 1982 i.e. base year 1997, enabling the lease deed transfer feasible.

Even in other commercial areas for leasehold plots, the administration has fixed a transfer rate of Rs 800 per sq yd instead of unearned profit.

In the absence of fixing the transfer charges, a majority of plots in the Industrial Area are changing hands through registered general power of attorneys (GPAs) and the UT Administration is loosing revenue while the prospective transferee can’t get clear title in such cases, resulting in frequent disputes, litigation, other law and order problems between the allottees and owners.



Estate office JE, senior assistant suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
The Chandigarh administration today placed two officials, including a senior assistant, of the estate office under suspension for dereliction of duty. UT Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh placed Sanjay Joshi, senior assistant of the building branch (EO), under suspension and recommended suspension of Manoj Kumar Bali, junior engineer to the UT Chief Engineer.

The action follows a surprise check conducted by UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas at the estate office on June 14. During the inspection, the Home Secretary had expressed displeasure at the huge backlog found on the tables of the officials and censured them. “I found several files pertaining to the approval of the building plans and occupation certificates lying pending unnecessarily. Even the ‘no objection certificates’ were found pending for over six months,” said Ram Niwas. “The action is a warning to all those who do not do take their work seriously,” said Ram Niwas, adding that checks would continue in other departments in the coming days.



Pensioners block traffic on NH- 22
Were irked over delay in disbursement of pension
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 30
Irked over the delay in disbursement of pension, about 200-old persons and others blocked National Highway 22 near Sector 21 and 3 for around one-and-a-half hour here today.

Many commuters who were on their way to Kalka or Zirakpur got stuck in the traffic jam in view of the protest by the senior citizens, including women. Only ambulances were allowed to pass through the blockade. There was a long queue of vehicles on the National Highway 22 and even the police failed to pacify the protestors to clear the traffic jam.

The district administration immediately swung into action as Panchkula SDM KK Kalson immediately reached the site and assured the protestors that their grievances would be redressed as soon as possible. After this, the protestors cleared the highway.

Old men, including women, sat on the highway while some also lay down on the main road to block the highway. The protestors rued that they had not received their pension for the past three to four months.

Some of the pensioners said earlier, the pension distribution work was with the Municipal Corporation and they used to collect the same from the MC office. The said they had started facing the problem after the work of disbursement of pension was given to a private bank, which had further outsourced the work to a private agency.

Naresh Kumar, one of the protestors, said that now the employees of these private agencies harassed them and were not distributing the pension on time. He added that he had not received his pension for the past four moths.

Later, Kalson assured the protestors that a five-member committee would be formed and the problem being faced by pensioners would be solved. 



Illegal rehris, eyesore of Mohali
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 30
Encroachments by illegal rehriwallas have become a bane of the town over the years with neither the erstwhile Municipal Council nor the new Municipal Corporation being able to check the menace.

Lack of will on the part of those in power in the civic body and graft among certain low-rung officials have combined to ensure that the rehriwallas have a field day much to the annoyance of residents. Such encroachments along the main roads have become an eyesore apart from them becoming a traffic hindrance.

The issue was raised at almost every monthly meeting of the erstwhile council as the residents objected to the presence of a large number of rehris near various chowks, near the Phase I barrier, the bus stand in Phase XI, along the main road in Phase IX and X and many other parts of the town. Some action was taken to remove illegal rehris after former councillors exerted pressure on the authorities concerned when they represented people of their wards .

But after the elected body was dissolved and the civic body was given the status of a corporation the problem has gone from bad to worse as no check is being exercised to control the rehri menace.

SS Barnala, former councillor living in Phase XI, said today that the main road near the gurdwara and the mandir in the area looked as if a fair was being held there in the evening. The rehris were parked on the main road and the buyers also parked their vehicles close by to make purchases leading to traffic hazards.

The road from the community centre towards the rehri market also remained encroached by the rehriwallas. The matter was brought to the notice of the deputy commissioner at a meeting of the police advisory committee but to no avail.

Another former councillor Kuljit Singh Bedi said nobody in the corporation was interested in removing the illegal rehris. Their number had increased ever since the elected body was dissolved in January this year. He said he had suggested during his term as an elected representative that the problem could be solved if the civic body gave the work of removing illegal rehris to a private contractor.

The council was not taking the work seriously and even the income fixed by the council under tehbazari head was kept on the lower side as a major portion of the amount was allegedly “pocketed” by certain employees, added Bedi. 



Tricity scan
Chandigarh scan

Partial solar eclipse today: A partial solar eclipse, which will not be visible anywhere in the world, except Antarctica, will take place tomorrow at 1.24 pm and will end at 2.52 pm. This is the third of the four partial solar eclipses in the year 2011. A city-based astrologer and doctor, Dr Harsh Sharma, said there was no need to get panicky, as the eclipse would have no effects astrologically. But it could have some minor repercussions for those who have moon signs like Gemini, Scorpio, Saggitarius and Pisces.

Petition to rights commission: The Global Human Rights Council, a human rights organisation, has moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in connection with the death of Ghinder Singh, a patient, who was allegedly burnt to death while undergoing treatment at the PGI on June 27. In a representation to the NHRC under Sections 12 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, and Article 21 of the Constitution of India, Arvind Thakur, GHRC chairperson, termed the incident a clear case of violation of human rights. The petition also raised questions about the PGI inquiry, which termed the incident as “just a mistake and not negligence”. The representation also demanded directions to the UT Inspector General of Police to register a case under Section 304 of the IPC.

Protest against dumping of waste: Municipal Corporation (MC) Commissioner Prerna Puri will hold a special meeting to sort out the issue of dumping of garbage at the dumping ground of Dadu Majra on Thursday. At the meeting, officials of medical health department, representatives of JP Company, who have installed garbage-processing plant, and area councillors will discuss how problems related to the dumping of garbage could be sort out. The MC Commissioner said instructions had been issued to the department concerned to monitor that the dumping of garbage at Dadu Majra would be done as per the norms set by the authorities to avoid inconvenience to the public. Residents of Dadu Majra protested in front of the dumping ground against dumping of waste, which create foul smell in the area.

Memo submitted: A delegation led by Sudhir Aggarwal, national convener of the human rights cell of the BJP, submitted a memorandum to the Haryana Governor and UT Administrator, demanding human rights commission for Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

Fixed wholesale kerosene prices: The Chandigarh Administration has fixed wholesale and retail prices of kerosene to be sold in UT, Chandigarh. An order passed by the food and supplies and consumer affairs department, Chandigarh Administration, said the wholesale price per kilolitre would be Rs 14,367.50.

Traders’ memo to finance secy: A delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) on Thursday called on the finance secretary for filing objections to the intended amendment in the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, as applicable in Chandigarh. The amendment mooted by the UT Administration will deprive tenants, paying more than Rs 1,500 monthly rent, from the protection of Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, as applicable in Chandigarh.

Orientation programme ends: The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) organised a 20-day orientation programme for nearly 200 teachers of special training centre (STC) for their escalation and guidance and making them well-versed with the working of special training centres, which concluded on Thursday. The programme mainly emphasised on the enhancement of teaching skills, classroom management, preparation of worksheets, teaching-learning material, RTE and NCF. Chief guest on the concluding day, Sangeeta Bhasin (APC, AIE, SSA) motivated teachers. She applauded the efforts of teachers for showing their brilliant performance in the past. She added that the teachers should endeavour towards ceaseless efforts of imparting knowledge. A dance performance and poem recitation by teachers are the highlights of the programme. An exhibition was also organised by the teachers. The programme concludes with a vote of thanks by Sukhdev Kaur, a CRCC.

Aptitude test: The aptitude test for admission to MA music (vocal and instrumental) for the session 2011-12 will be held on July 8 at 9 am in the department of music, Panjab University. No separate call letters will be sent, informed Pankaj Mala Sharma, chairperson of the department.

Power shutdown: The power supply will remain suspended on Friday to parts of Shastri Nagar farmhouses, Mani Majra, from 9 am to 3 pm and to parts of Subhash Nagar, Mani Majra, from 10 am to 2 pm.

Panchkula scan

Visit to Old Age Home: District and Sessions Judge Kanchan Mahi and Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Gurvinder Kaur on Thursday visited Old Age Home, Sector 15, and inquired about the well being of its inmates. During their visit, they keenly inspected medical facilities being provided to them in the old age home, which is being run by the District Red Cross Society. They also asked officials concerned about the quality of food being served to them, besides giving on-the-spot directions to the officials concerned to ensure regular health check up of the inmates.

Mohali scan

Bhangra workshop: An 11-day bhangra workshop concluded at the Mohali Press Club here on Thursday. A Punjabi folk singer, Surjit Khan regaled participants on the occasion. The participants were given mementoes and certificates. President of Punjabi Journalist Club, Canada, Tehal Singh Brar also graced the occasion.

Rs 25,000 donated: Balbir Singh Sidhu, MLA Mohali, donated Rs 25,000 for the construction of main gate of Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Phase VII, Mohali. The MLA said all religions taught us to love humanity, besides unity and integrity towards the nation, which was need of the time. Sanatan Dharam Mandir president Nirmal Kaushal, vice-president Mohan Lal Gupta, general secretary HS Kanwar, cashier HP Gupta, Kuldip Sharma, Dr Janak Raj Sharma, Deepak Malhotra, Ram Sarup Verma, Dwara Dass Sharma and Som Datt Sharma were also present on the occasion. — TNS



Many engineering college applicants fail to complete registration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Nearly 495 out of the 9,500 candidates who applied for admission to six engineering colleges in the city through online joint admission counselling have failed to complete the registration process. Blaming it on a technical software glitch, parents of these applicants said the code given to them by the bank after depositing Rs 1,050 as counselling fee was not accepted by the website.

However, officials of the joint admission committee asserted on Thursday that if 9,500 applicants could complete the process successfully, others could have also done the same.

The deadline for the online registration expired on June 24, 2011 and the process of filling up the stream and institute of students’ choice is currently in progress. This is the first year of the online counselling process for admission to engineering colleges, including the Chandigarh College of Engineering & Technology, University Institute of Engineering & Technology, University Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology, PEC, Chandigarh College of Architecture and Panjab University’s regional centre.

On Thursday parents of those applicants who had been left out from the final list staged a protest along with a student organization, Students For Society (SFS), on the PEC University of Technology campus.

SFS members said no one was willing to take responsibility for the software glitch and students were suffering due to the technical error on the website. “If these students miss an opportunity to sit in counselling, their career will get ruined. But nobody is willing to check what happened,” said a SFS member.

Responding to the situation, Sanjeev Kumar, a PEC faculty member and coordinator of the joint admission committee this year, said: “If we stop the whole process of admission of 9,500 students to accommodate a few students , it won’t be unjustified.”



BEd admissions on basis of qualifying exam merit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Online admissions would be held for BEd in the recognised and affiliated colleges of Panjab University, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar; Punjabi University, Patiala, and Lovely Professional University, Phagwara.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the central admission committee, which included representatives from all universities concerned. This process will include admission to BEd and BEd Yoga also in the colleges situated in Chandigarh.

Other significant decisions taken at the meeting were that the admissions would be held on the basis of merit of qualifying examination. There will be no entrance test. Counselling fee shall be Rs 1,000 only and there shall be no hike in the non-refundable counselling fee.

Advertisement to this effect shall be published by July 6 in the leading newspapers of the region. PU website, exclusive for this purpose, shall become operative from July 9.

However, the detailed information will be available on the website www.puchd.ac.in.

All colleges of education, interested in being a part of the admission process, are required to fill up mandatory information performa, as circulated by the Punjab government notification and submit the same with coordinator BEd admission by July 5 on the following address: Dr Nandita, coordinator, Joint BEd Admissions, department of education, Panjab University.



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