C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Punjab govt ACTs smart
To offer flats instead of plots to employees in Mohali
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 3
Acting smart, the Punjab government has now decided to allot flats in Mohali to employees posted at the Civil Secretariat instead of plots.

Faced with mounting pressure form employees who had been demanding residential plots in Mohali on the pattern of a housing scheme floated by the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA), Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has decided to offer a one-time allotment scheme.

Sources said following the skyrocketing land prices in Mohali, the financial implication involved in offering flats was much less than offering individual plots to employees.

At a recent meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, it was decided that PUDA employees and Punjab government employees would be offered flats under a special housing scheme to be floated by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA). Around 10,000 flats of different sizes would be constructed and offered according to the category of employees.

A senior official said around 300 acres of land would be required to adjust all the employees. GMADA had already started looking for the land in the upcoming Sectors 76 to 90 in Mohali. Based on the employees’ strength provided by the Civil Secretariat, it has been proposed that flats of 2,500 sq ft, 1,800 sq ft, 1,200 sq ft and 750 sq ft will be constructed. The rate of allotment and the term and conditions of the allotment are yet to be worked out.

Earlier, GMADA had proposed to allot individual plots to PUDA employees in Mohali for which applications were invited. “The applications would be scrutinised to see the eligibility criteria that is being fixed,” said the official.

With limited availability of land and soaring land prices in Mohali, senior officials are desperately looking for a solution so that the scheme can be worked out.

Leaders of the secretariat employees claim they had the first right for allotment of plots, but the housing department was favouring GMADA employees. “Since GMADA employees have been given plots in 2001 under the one-time allotment scheme, there was no need to open the scheme again for them,” he said.

On the contrary, the PUDA Joint Action Committee stated that being employees of the authority, they were being given plots under an old scheme of 2001.

Flats at subsidised rates!

GMADA is also exploring the possibility of constructing flats at subsidised rates and charging the cost from employees. The price of the land will be calculated depending on the area. The prevailing allotment rate for residential plots in Mohali is Rs 35,000 per sq yard for Phases 1 to XI and Sectors 66 to 71; Rs 30,000 per sq yard for Sectors 76 to 80 and Rs 25,000 for Sector 81 onwards.



UT still relies on deputationists
Officers from Punjab, Haryana overburdened; UT officers face stagnation
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
More than five decades after Chandigarh became a union territory along with the joint capital of two states, the UT has till date not been given an independent cadre of officers.

Other than the top post of the UT Adviser, who is a UT-cadre IAS officer, the city continues to be a short-time deputation ground for officers, largely from Punjab and Haryana. These officers are repatriated to their parent state after the tenure of three to five year, which is not sufficient to understand the functioning of the UT.

The UT Administration largely continues to function on an unwritten but accepted officer ratio of 60:40 from Punjab and Haryana. However, an official communication in response to a question filed under the RTI Act by HS Rathi, a resident of Panchkula, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has clarified: “There is no provision of 60:40 ratio in the Punjab Reorganisation Act of 1966 for taking persons on deputation in the UT.”

The lack of such a cadre has given way to a near crisis situation in the UT Administration with a limited number of Punjab and Haryana Civil Services (PCS/HCS) officers on deputation being assigned up to four charges.

“Had the UT an independent cadre of officers on the lines of PCS and HCS, we would have not faced this situation today,” observed an employee, requesting anonymity.

Just how much the PCS and HCS officers are finding themselves being overburdened with Chandigarh, no longer perceived as a favoured destination for Haryana and Punjab Civil Service officers, is visible from the ‘multi-tasking’ that the currently posted officers have to do.

For instance, Home Secretary Ram Niwas is also the Secretary of Tourism, Cultural Affairs, Industries, Chief Administrator, Secretary of Urban Planning, Health, Technical Education, Personnel, Hospitality, Police Administration, Social Welfare, Transport and also looks after the Chandigarh Housing Board.

VK Singh, the Finance Secretary, is also secretary of the Education, Engineering, Public Relations, Excise and Taxation, Environment, Forest and Information Technology.

The matter is equally severe in the case of officers belonging to the Punjab Civil Services (PCS) and the Haryana Civil Services (HCS) on deputation. Sunil Bhaitia (PCS) is Director of Printing and Stationary and also holds the charge of IG (Prisons) and Secretary Transport. Yogesh Kumar (HCS) is Director of Information Technology, Director of Public Relations and is also heading Excise and Taxation. Mahavir Kaushik (HCS) is Director Industries and also heads Weights and Measures, besides the State Transport Authority. Prerna Puri, an IAS officer, posted as the SDM, is holding the post of the Municipal Corporation Commissioner. Amandeep Kaur (PCS), who is Chief General Manager of CITCO, is also holding the post of Director Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

In the current set up, the Adviser is a UT-cadre IAS officer, the Home Secretary is from Haryana and the Finance Secretary from Punjab. The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) chairman and the Inspector General of Police are also from the UT cadre. The post of the SSP is currently reserved for a Punjab-cadre officer. Again, the Deputy Commissioner is a Haryana-cadre IAS officer.

The field-level operational posts of assistant estate officer, SDM and directors of certain departments, including Information Technology and the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, are held by PCS and HCS officers.

A cross section of the top bureaucracy on deputation agreed that there was no justification in Chandigarh carrying on with the deputation mode even after so many years of its creation. Such arrangements affect the functioning of UT employees. The officers of the local cadre in important departments like the Chandigarh Housing Board, the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation and even the Estate Office are facing stagnation.

Presently, the UT has officers on deputation handling more than two departments and in certain case even more than three. A UT-cadre officer said: “After having served for more than two decades in my department, I am answerable to these PCS\HCS officers who come here for three years. Despite having thorough knowledge, I am back to square one in carrying out all the job on behalf of my new boss.”

Open house question

Write your opinion on whether top positions of the UT Administration should be held by Punjab and Haryana cadre officers to openhouse @tribunemail.com. Is it the time for the UT Administration to have its own cadre? Write your comments along with suggestions on how to change the current set-up.



Admn unlikely to sell land to Punjab
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
A proposal by the Punjab government seeking 100 acres of land for a residential complex for is officers and employees in Sarangpur village bordering Punjab is unlikely to find favour with the UT Administration.

With the Punjab government zeroing in on the satellite township of Mohali for the construction of about 10,000 flats for its staff, there is a remote possibility of Chandigarh parting with its scarce land to Punjab. “If we sell land to Punjab, it will set a bad precedent as Haryana will also follow suit,” a senior official said on a condition of anonymity.

Officials here expressed surprise at the Punjab government’s proposal, reportedly having the blessings of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, to buy 100 acres of land Sarangpur bordering the upcoming Mullanpur urban estate. The proposal was apparently made as Sarangpur, in which mega projects such as the Amusement Park and the Film City were scrapped, had enough land available for development.

The proposal was reportedly moved keeping in view the increased demand of government houses by employees and their inability to travel from nearby towns into the city for their jobs.

The official said the neighbouring areas of Punjab, including Mohali and Mullanpur Urban Estate, had thousands of acres of land on which the government could come up with residential accommodation.



GMCH undertakes study on efficiency of dapoxetine
The drug is used for the treatment of premature ejaculation
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The psychiatry department of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, has initiated a study on the effectiveness of dapoxetine, a newly introduced medicine for patients suffering from premature ejaculation (PME), a sexual disorder. A large of number such patients from the region are reporting at the hospital.

The department of psychiatry of the GMCH, which runs a marital and sex clinic, is providing free medication to patients who choose to get enrolled in the study being conducted for the first time in country. Physicians in the western countries are prescribing the medicine.

“Such studies on the effectiveness of dapoxetine had been conducted in western countries where the results were found to be enthusiastic but no such data was available for Indian population where a large number of men were suffering from PME,” said Dr BS Chavan, head, department of psychiatry.

Out of the 105 patients suffering from sexual disorders who reported at the GMCH last year, 40 were found to be facing PME. More than 50 per cent of these patients had depression and anxiety symptoms related to the sexual problem. Most of them also had problems in their marital relationships due to sexual problems.

Major international studies have found that the PME is present in about 10 to 30 per cent men in the general population. It is the most common sexual disorder as found in many studies. Almost all men with the PME and their partners report significant distress and problems in relationship, poor quality of life and negative effect on marriage.

Explaining on the need of study on the medicine, Dr Chavan said: “The medicines available for the PME had very little effect and were supposed to be given on a daily basis and also had side effects. But dapoxetine has been made available in the Indian market recently with claims that it needs to be taken at the time of requirement and gets excreted from the body within four-five hours of consumption. It does not interact with food, alcohol and a majority of other medicines, reducing the chances of side effects to negligible that were reported with other medicines.”

Reasons behind PME

PME can be due to many factors like anxiety, early sexual experience, lower ejaculatory threshold or faster bulbocavernous reflex. It can be lifelong or acquired. Most men with PME do not seek professional help because of stigma, embarrassment, lack of knowledge regarding available treatments and belief that it is incurable.


Conversion of open spaces into parking lots
MC drafts proposal to ease congestion; to identify spots as per requirement in each sector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
To resolve the long-pending problem of parking in residential areas of the city, the municipal corporation (MC) is drafting a proposal to convert the open space in each sector into a community parking lot. As per the proposal, the corporation will identify open spaces as per the requirement of each sector.

The MC authorities will not develop a park in that space or install iron grills around the open space. As per records of the corporation, the city has around 1,600 small parks. It has been proposed that for the cluster of 50 houses in each sector, an open space has been earmarked which can be converted into a parking lot.

Even if residents do not want to deploy their own security guards in parking lots, the corporation will charge Rs 200 per car from residents and provide full time security guards in these areas. The corporation will also lay a tertiary water pipeline in every parking lot to provide the facility of washing of vehicles.

MC Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said by next week the draft proposal would be submitted to the UT Administrator for consideration after which the work would commence to earmark the open spaces in various sectors.

As per records of the corporation, in the past six months dozens of community parking proposals have been submitted to the UT chief architect department, but a majority of them have been rejected as the required land is not available for setting up the project.

Official of the corporation revealed that around 200 cars were being registered in the city everyday which obviously meant an increase in the demand of parking space in the commercial and residential areas.

Every year, the MC increases the number of commercial parking lots in various sectors as per the requirement, but except community parking in Sector 19, no other project has been approved till date.

Mohit, a resident of Sector 44, said, “If the proposal sees the light of the day it will actually solve the problem of thousands of residents of southern sectors.”

He said for the past two years, they had been requesting the UT administration and corporation to make some provision of the community parking in their sectors, but nothing had been done till date.

He stated that during night hours, there was a cut throat competition among residents to get the parking space for their vehicles and this many a times had resulted in quarrels among them.

The situation is similar in other sectors also, where roads are congested and most of the open spaces have been developed as parks.



Fresh deadline: Mohali bus service by August
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 3
As the case related to running of the Mohali City Bus Service is stuck in official rigmarole, there is little hope that the much-awaited public transport system will start this year.

Though officials of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the PEPSU Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) have given three-month deadline twice to start the local bus service, it is unlikely that the tendering process to invite bids for the initial lot of 40 low-floor buses will be over in the next three months.

Though the tenders are to be opened on July 11, sources cite the example of Ludhiana where the tendering process has gone beyond one year. The last meeting between the GMADA and the PRTC officials was held in the second week of June, officials maintain that the modalities were still being worked out.

“The tendering process is long. As the GMADA works the financial aspect, we will put up the cost factor involved in buying and running the service,” said a senior official.

After shifting the deadline from March 2011 to April 2011, the PRTC now plans to run the service by August. The bus service is to run between Mohali and surrounding townships, including Kharar, Landran, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Banur. The low-floor air-conditioned buses will also run on routes between Mohali and Chandigarh. Expecting coverage of 6,000 km per month, a sub-committee of experts working on the viability of the operation of the buses has proposed introduction of 40 low-floor AC buses.

The viability report has been prepared after studying the fare structure, operational areas and nature of service being provided by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU). The sub-committee has worked out the total operational cost at Rs 58.20 per km. Under the SPV model, it has been proposed to run low-floor buses for local routes between Mohali and Chandigarh, semi-low-floor buses on routes between peripheral townships and Mohali and mini-buses to run on shorter routes and congested roads within Mohali.

The mini-buses will also run on routes between different sectors and important destinations such as the Mohali bus stand, Mohali district administrative complex and the Sector 43 inter-state bus terminus in Chandigarh. The buses will run from the East to the West edge of the horizontally planned town.

The delay in the start of the bus service is compelling the residents to depend on the bus service run by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) and auto-rickshaws. Sources informed that a lot of deliberations were still pending as the issue involved providing a capital outlay of Rs 25 crore to buy and maintain the buses. The process would be set into motion once the tender process was successful.

“No one is sure about the time to be taken in completing the process. We can hope to start the service before the year end, if everything works out according to the plan,” said an official involved in the process.


  • The service is to run between Mohali and surrounding areas, including Kharar, Landran, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Banur
  • Low-floor buses for local routes between Mohali and Chandigarh, semi-low-floor buses on routes between peripheral townships and Mohali and mini-buses to run on shorter routes and congested roads within Mohali
  • Mini-buses will also run on routes between different sectors and important destinations such as the Mohali bus stand, Mohali district administrative complex and the Sector 43 inter-state bus terminus in Chandigarh


After shifting deadline from March 2011 to April 2011, the PRTC now plans to run the service by August



Tricity scan

Book on personalities released

A coffee table book “Chandigarh and its Leading Personalities” was released by Rama Bhanot, managing trustee of Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust, during a function held at the Chandigarh Press Club on Sunday. The 190-page book has been authored by Aneesh Bhanot and has profiles of over 75 leading personalities of the tricity in Volume I. The book is dedicated to Neerja Bhanot, a Chandigarh girl, who achieved fame worldwide by sacrificing her life while saving lives of hundreds of people during a Pan Am World Airways plane hijack in September 1986. She was the youngest recipient of the Ashoka Chakra, India's highest civilian award for bravery. “Chandigarh and its Leading Personalities” profiles achievers from a cross-section of society, including political leaders, social activists, artists, architects, doctors, administrators, entrepreneurs, sportspersons, industrialists, etc. The same mix will be maintained in the second volume of the book. Two pages have been devoted to each personality, one page is of photographs, while the facing page is the profile, along with a couple of lifestyle photographs.

Investor awareness programme

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in India (ICAI), Chandigarh Chapter, in association with Ascent Edusys and a New Delhi-based equity research house “Equityrush” on Sunday conducted a investor awareness programme under the aegis of Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. The seminar was attended by over 120 investors from the tricity at the CA Bhawan, Sector 35, Chandigarh. The seminar “Effective trading using technical analysis” was aimed at educating traders and investors on the merits of using technical analysis while making trading decision. The seminar also provided a platform for students about career opportunities in stock market. Kapil Sabherwal, chairman, ICAI, Chandigarh Chapter, was the main speaker.

Nukkad natak on environment
Members of the Lions Welfare Society protest against the hike in diesel and LPG prices, in Sector 29, Chandigarh, on Sunday
Members of the Lions Welfare Society protest against the hike in diesel and LPG prices, in Sector 29, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Taking their cause to protect environment further, two Chandigarh schoolgirls, Archna Yadav of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan and Rupal Goyal of DPS, on Sunday staged a nukkad natak in the Sector 17 Plaza on the theme of protecting environment. Highlight of the initiative is that Archna and Rupal motivated children from Bapu Dham slum area to perform before audience that cheered amateur artistes for disseminating the message of ecological conservation. The play titled “Maro-re-maro” dwells on the theme of killing the demon of pollution by turning eco friendly. The intrinsic message was for everyone to understand and imbibe that ecological degradation, environmental pollution, visual and noise pollution must be “killed” before the demon of pollution kills Mother Earth, as a consequence of global warming. Archna Yadav and Rupal Goyal have taken the initiative at such a tender age and floated a forum “Green Educare”.

Cycle rally against rise in prices

Members of the Lions Welfare Society led by its president LK Khurana held a cycle rally against the hike in prices of LPG and diesel. Former MP Satya Pal Jain flagged off the rally from Sri Satya Sai Baba Temple, Sector 29. Addressing protesters, Khurana criticised the Congress-led UPA government for its inability to rein in the prices of the essential commodities.

Manpreet is Rotary dist Governor

Manpreet Singh Gandhoke was formally installed here on Sunday as the District Governor 2011-12 for Rotary International District 3080. The outgoing District Governor Madhukar Malhotra presented the collar of leadership to him at a function held here on Sunday at the PHD House. Rotary International Director 2011-13 Rtn Yash Pal Das of Ambala was the chief guest, while former world president of Rotary International Rajendra K Saboo extended his blessings to Manpreet Singh. Gandhoke, who is a member of the Rotary Club of SAS Nagar, would be leading 75 clubs in District 3080, which covers Chandigarh and parts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The new governor said his biggest emphasis this year would be to bring more and more youth in the humanitarian service projects and wean them away from drug abuse and other malice prevailing in society today. The youth wing of Rotary, Rotaract clubs would be strengthened and expanded to engage youngsters in the nation-building activities and be ambassadors to carry the message forward amongst their peers to combat the menace of female foeticide, drug abuse, rash driving and instead inculcate a value-based lifestyle, he added.

Tenants criticise admn

The Commercial Tenants’ Association, Chandigarh, an affiliated body of Vyapar Sadan, Chandigarh, has alleged that the Chandigarh Administration was hand in glove with property mafia and working against the interest of tenants. The administration is bent upon bringing changes in Chandigarh to uproot the tenants. The Chandigarh Administration has invited objections and views from general public. Arvind Jain, president of the sadan, said objections in thousands have been sent to the Chandigarh Administration.

Musical evening

To mark the State Bank Day, the State Bank of India local head office organised a musical evening on Sunday. SK Sehgal, chief general manager, State Bank of India, Chandigarh Circle, lighted the lamp to start the programme. During the mesmerising evening of famous songs, dances and skits, State Bank Ladies Club, State Bank employees and their family members regaled audience in a jam-packed auditorium of St Stephen School, Sector 45. Kavita Sehgal, president, SBI Ladies Club, and general managers of the circle, Dipti Sahai and Supriyo Kumar Chaudhary, were also present on the occasion.

‘Enforce guidelines’

The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) held its executive committee meeting on Sunday under the chairmanship of PC Sanghi. The meeting demanded strict enforcement of the guidelines notified by the UT Administration in September, 2006, regulating paying guest accommodations in residential buildings. Creation of sufficient hostel accommodation in government, private sectors to stop mushrooming of illegal paying guesthouses in residential buildings was also demanded. The members opposed the proposal of the administration to increase the composition fee fivefold for additional coverage area in the houses. The members expressed concern at the vacant residential plots lying for several decades in different sectors due to one reason or the other.

Padyatra by BJP

In continuation to its ongoing Janjagran Abhiyan against corruption, price rise and mal-administration of the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party took out a Janjagran padyatra in Maloya village. Prominent party activists present on the occasion included BJP president Sanjay Tandon and former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan. Party activists also prepared a “jhanki” to highlight booth allotment scam allegedly involving Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and other senior leaders.

Jagannath yatra

Religious fervour and gaiety marked Lord Jagannath yatra celebrations in the city on Sunday. Hundreds of devotees participated in the yatra, which started from a temple in Sector 31. The yatra culminated at the temple after covering various sectors in the area.

MLA reviews development work

Balbir Singh, MLA, Mohali, visited Giga Majra village to see the poor condition of streets and review other development works. He said it was shocking when villagers shown him dilapidated condition of streets of the village for which a grant of Rs 1 lakh was given by Ravneet Singh, MP, under the MPLAD funds. The MLA also raised this issue during the district vigilance committee meeting held under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, where the DC had instructed DDPO, Mohali, to get the work completed at the earliest. But nothing has been done at the site. Since the rainy season is already in full swing and there is water-logging on the street, it is difficult for residents to walk due to water-logging and the residents are facing a lot of problems due to non-construction of this street, said the MLA.

Summer workshop ends

A function to mark the concluding ceremony of the summer workshop was organised by Step 2 Step Dance Studio in Phase II here. Participants in the age group of 3 to 25 years participated in the event.— TNS



3-member media research commitee constituted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
To strengthen partnership with media, a three-member media research committee has been constituted to assess the training needs of the mediapersons, develop a training module and to encourage mediapersons for research activities.

This was decided at a media consultation workshop organised by the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration Punjab (MGSIPAP) at the institute campus here today.

Director General of the institute BK Srivastava, director of the institute Kripa Shankar Saroj and heads of various faculties of the institute participated.

During the discussion, Srivastava said this event aims to foster active participation of the mediapersons in the activities of the institute by ensuring interaction of the faculty members with the senior journalists on varied issues with focused attention on knowledge sharing and perceptions about the ongoing projects in the institute, to identify inadequacies, shortcomings and also to seek their feedback and suggestions for bringing further improvements in various research and training projects.



Residents apprised of social welfare schemes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The social welfare department organised an awareness-cum-welfare scheme-channelisation camp at Government Senior Secondary School, Dadu Majra colony, Chandigarh.

The camp was inaugurated by Varsha Khangwal, director, social welfare, Chandigarh, and Sandeep Hans, Director Public Instructions (Schools).

Among others present included Lalit Joshi, chairperson, Social Welfare Board, District Education Officer Chanchal Singh, representative of the National Safai Karmachari Finance Corporation Bhandari and various renowned personalities from the field of social welfare.

During the camp, application forms for old age pension, widow pension, loan schemes under CCWDC & SCBCMFDC were filled in by people.

Residents of the colony were shown documentaries on social and legal issues by the State Legal Services Authority. They were also sensitised about the services offered by the Red Cross Society. Director, social welfare, stated that the camp aimed at apprising people of social welfare schemes of the administration such as widow pension, old age pension, pension for differently abled, vocational training programmes and loan schemes.



Dust storm, rain bring respite from humidity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Taking city residents by surprise, dust storm and light rain hit the city this evening, providing the much needed relief from hot and humid weather condition.

Strong winds started blowing across the city around 5.45 pm, accompanied by rains, as people started moving out of their homes.

The weatherman attributed the sudden rains and dust storm to trough of low pressure clouds over the city which was also active over neighbouring Punjab and Haryana.

The Met department had yesterday predicted that there could be rains and thundershowers in the city towards evening.

“It is a welcome shower. It has provided some relief from the humid conditions,” said Anurag, a resident of Sector 29.

The maximum temperature for the day was recorded at 35.6 °C and the minimum was 27.2 °C, the weather officials said.

The Met department had predicted cloudy skies interspersed with spells of rain and thundershowers for the next two days. An official said, “Temperature is likely to hover between 26 °C and 36 °C on Monday.”

The official added that the city was likely to witness moderate rain on Monday and light rain on Tuesday.



Patient dies as ambulance rams into roundabout
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Doctors in Hisar referred him to the PGI here for treatment, but the ambulance he was travelling in met with an accident and he succumbed to his injuries in the premier medical institute today.

Forty-five-year-old Dhanvantri, a resident of Jind, today lost his life while his wife, Sunita and his relative Darshan, along with driver of the vehicle Pardeep Kumar, had a narrow escape when the ambulance (HR-39-A-5735), which was being driven at a breakneck speed, turned turtle and rammed into the roundabout of Sectors 31, 32, 30 and 29 at 4.42 am.

The injured were taken to Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32.

A case under Sections 279/337 IPC has been registered against the driver of the ambulance.



Kidney patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Mohammad Nadeem, a 17-year-old boy from Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, is inching towards death for want of money at the PGI.

Nadeem is suffering from chronic renal failure. His mother is ready to donate her kidney to save her younger son, but the family is helpless when it comes to the cost of the surgery.

“We have already spent over Rs 3 lakh from my savings and borrowings from relatives during the past five years to save my son. We need Rs 2 lakh more for the surgery, but I could only manage Rs 60,000,” said his father Riyasat.

“I have also written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati as well as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for help as arranging Rs 2 lakh for the surgery and subsequent expenses on medicines is an uphill task for a labourer like me. Doctors have asked to arrange the funds as soon as possible keeping in view of the critical condition of Nadeem,” said Riyasat.

“My son had developed renal problem five years ago and since then he had been on medication. While he could not attend his study after Class V due to the disease, in order to avoid huge expenses on surgery, we kept him on medication, but now he requires dialysis at least twice a week. Doctors have advised not to wait for surgery any more,” he said.

Those willing to help the family can contact the family at Raen Basera adjoining Nehru Hospital building of the PGI or call on 9358965939.



Illegal mining goes unchecked in Ghaggar
Residents submit memo; DC asks SDM to look into matter
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 3
Residents of Ramgarh village and Sector 28 submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner on Friday stating unauthorised mining activities in their areas had been going on for the past one year. “Even though the matter was brought to the notice of the police and mining department officials nothing has been done to check illegal mining that has been going on here for the past one year,” they claimed.

The Deputy Commissioner has instructed sub-divisional magistrate KK Kalson to look into the matter.

Despite the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s ban on riverbed mining in Haryana and imposition of Section 144 by the district administration, prohibiting any mining in three riverbeds in Panchkula district, the illegal activity goes on unabated on the Ghaggar riverbed.

The issue of unauthorised mining activities came to the fore when residents of areas adjacent to the Ghaggar told the police on Friday about 200 to 250 tractor trolleys were moving on the riverbed to collect sand, stone and gravel that was being extracted by the mining “mafia”. The materials were being sold in the market for about Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per tractor trolley, they said.

However, the tractor trolleys vanished the moment mining officials, accompanied by the local police, arrived at the site, with villagers claiming they had sped away towards the Punjab border.

Kalson later said the matter was brought to his notice. “Mining activities on the riverbed won’t be permitted at any cost. Those involved in illegal mining will be brought to book,” he added.

Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary said a DDR (daily diary report) on the matter had been filed after inspecting the site. “The statements of villagers have been recorded and the suspects won’t be spared,” he asserted.

Even though an auction of riverbed mining sites was recently held in the state following the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s directions, it has yet to be approved by the court.



13,324 appear for teachers’ test in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 3
The first Punjab State Teachers Eligibility Test (PSTET) was conducted peacefully at 13 centres across the district here today. District Education Officer, Mohali, Harbans Singh, said Section 144 of the CrPC was enforced around the examination centres to ensure peaceful conduct.

As many as 13,324 candidates appeared in two shifts at the 13 centres. The test was conducted in two parts -- for those who have to teach students from Classes I to V and who have to teach students of Classes VI to VIII.

The PSTET was part of the Right to Education Act-2009 (RTE) being implemented throughout the country and the Union Human Resource Development Ministry had issued a notification authorising National Council for Teacher Education Academic Authority to fix minimum qualification for an eligible teacher. The DEO said the RTE Act had made it mandatory for candidates to clear the Teacher Eligibility Test for joining as teachers in any government, aided, unaided or any other school of any institution.



Now, travel more to reach Paras Downtown Square
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 3
In order to streamline traffic on the road leading to the Paras Downtown Square Mall, the Mohali Traffic Police today imposed certain restrictions on the visitors. Zirakpur Traffic in charge Inspector Devinder Singh said the visitors coming from Panchkula side would now have to move to the Chandigarh Airport traffic lights and then take a U-turn to enter the mall.

Similarly, those coming out of the mall would have to move towards Baltana and then change lane as per their destination. A trial was conducted to enforce the new regulation. As the visitors used to converge at the mall from wrong side, traffic snarls had become a routine affair on weekends.



open house response
Rain exposes chinks in MC’s armour

The arrival of monsoon in the tricity has made the weather pleasant, though it has brought along miseries for some residents. The first rain was recorded at 44 mm resulting in waterlogging. It threw life out of gear at several places. The rain has exposed the chinks in the city’s drainage system, with roads getting waterlogged and water entering houses in certain low-lying areas. The Sector 40-D market turned into a pool. Roads and pavements dug up in October, 2010, in Sector 40-C have not been re-carpeted as yet. Owing to the slow pace of execution of widening and re-carpeting of roads, residents had to face a lot of inconvenience. The excuses made by the authorities concerned that contractors did not finish the work in a given time frame, cannot tide over residents’ problems. Engineering wing of the municipal corporation should have been assigned the work. Not only in Chandigarh, but also in Panchkula, first rain of the monsoon led to waterlogging in several sectors. At some places, sewerage and road gullies were blocked. The situation was no better in Mohali as various parts of the town remained flooded. The flow of traffic was hit and potholed roads turned into virtual pools besides water entered houses. The government’s tall claims to clean the road gullies could not even cope with the normal rainfall.

It is not only that road gullies are not cleaned up, but there are a large number of open manholes which are vulnerable to man made tragedies. Earlier, too, such incidents had claimed several innocent lives. About a year ago, a lady constable with the Chandigarh Police, Jaswinder Kaur, who was pregnant, lost her life after she accidentally fell into a drain, which was left uncovered by the municipal corporation. Similarly, a four-year-old child died after he fell into a tank on September 2, 2006, in Lal Bahadur Shastri Colony. There are scores of such examples.

The authorities swing into action only after some unfortunate incidents take place and then they make announcements to compensate victims’ kin, order an inquiry and forget. The compensation in terms of money or ordering inquiries cannot bring back the precious and innocent lives. Instead of playing with the lives of people, the authorities concerned should wake up from its slumber and make all efforts to improve the situation. Unmanned open manholes, naked obsolete and broken electricity wires, choked drains, unsafe buildings and bridges at various places in the city pose a serious threat to the lives of residents. Besides, broken roads, uncovered trenches, non-functional streetlights, wild congress grass, which is a breeding ground for snakes during rainy season and contaminated water add to the woes of residents.

SK Khosla
Sector 40C, Chandigarh

MC should constitute teams

The municipal corporation should urgently constitute teams to man roads in the city. It should also ensure that drains are not blocked during the rainy season.

Harmanjit Singh Jugait
Sector-39, Chandigarh.



Eating out to cost more
Increase in LPG, diesel prices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
After the annoying hike in LPG and diesel rates, eateries in the city, too, seem to be mulling over increasing menu prices.

Hospitality players felt that a 10 to 15 per cent hike would hit the nascent industry in the city hard.

Frequent fluctuations in the prices of other commodities in the past year have affected the hotel business badly. BK Nanda, who owns a famous restaurant in Sector 17, said, “It is not feasible to keep changing menu prices. With a hike in diesel and LPG rates, all other costs are expected to rise. We will, therefore, increase the prices by 10 to 15 per cent.”

He said, “West Bengal withdrew sales tax on cooking gas by reducing the price of an LPG cylinder in the state by Rs 16. If something similar does not happen here, restaurants will have to hike menu prices.

An increase in the diesel prices will ultimately lead to an increase in the prices of raw materials that are transported from the city’s outskirts as well as from across the country.”

Earlier, the hospitality industry had to hike room tariff and eatable prices after the Union government had imposed service tax on rooms and AC restaurants, he added.

According to Ramesh Sharma, manager of a popular restaurant in the city, inflation has badly affected the clientele.

He has predicted closure of restaurants that cannot deal with the inflation. He said, “Already, we charge customers service tax on food bill. The sudden rise in diesel and LPG prices means customers will avoid eating out as rates on the menu might shoot up by almost by 10 per cent.”

VN Reddy, manager of a famous restaurant in Sector 35, said, “From raw materials to transport costs, we are anticipating a rise of at least 10 per cent.

We are forced to change our menu prices, thanks to the hike in LPG prices. The rise in transport cost will further impact the menu prices.”



Yet another engg college on the city’s periphery
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Chandigarh’s periphery, which is already bursting at the seams with the mushrooming of engineering and management colleges, has got another engineering college. Cashing in on craze of the youth for an engineering degree, the Aryans Group of Colleges will start an engineering college from this academic session, a development which will spark off a stiff competition among the engineering colleges for admissions.

The Aryan Engineering College is one of the 400 colleges, out of 1,062 colleges that applied, to be given approval by the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi, to start session. The campus will be situated in the 20-acre campus in Nepra village, near Banur on the Chandigarh-Patiala highway.

The college has been allotted 300 seats in civil, mechanical, computer science, electronics and communication and electronics and electrical engineering.

“Given the strategic location of the Banur, it is becoming a paradise for the new educational institutions in Chandigarh’s periphery,” said chairman of the Aryan Group Anshu Kataria.

Expressing similar sentiments, chief executive officer of the Gurukul Vidyapeeth Manmohan Garg said the strategic location of the area coupled with proximity to the tricity, comprising Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, were the major factors for the setting up of the new professional colleges in the Banur-Rajpura area.

With the decline in the traditional streams of education, the technical courses are much in demand. With the industry economy growing at a fast pace in the backdrop of the globalisation and liberalisation of the economy, the demand for the engineering degree will increase, added Garg.



DAV-10 witnesses huge rush for admissions
450 forms being sold every day
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Unaffected by the delay in releasing prospectuses or violent clashes between student organisations in the last one week, unprecedented rush for admissions is being witnessed at DAV College, Sector 10, to buy forms. As many as 450 application forms are being sold each day, according to college sources.

With Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelors in Computer Applications (BCA) courses attracting the maximum number of students, for nearly 1,000 seats in the postgraduate programmes and certain bachelors’ courses, 4,300 applications have already been received.

As many as 2,200 forms have already been received by the college for courses like MSc, MA, BBA and BBA. The last date of registration for these courses is tomorrow and the merit list would be put up in the college on July 8.

Admission forms for Bachelors of Arts (BA) and Bachelors of Science (BSc) are not included in these figures and the admissions for these courses would be done on the spot inside the college.

College officials also asserted that despite certain inevitable administrative hitches, there is no fall in the popularity of courses.

“Each day nearly 400-500 students are coming to procure forms and not a single per cent fall has been witnessed in admissions due to any factor,” said dean admissions, DAV College, Sector 10, KC Jain.

He added, “The admissions to BA and BSc start on July 11 and 12. Last year we had 225 seats in BSc and drift of students is more towards pure sciences this year. More and more students are interested in joining BSc course in the college. Even when BCom admissions were not centralised, the college used to receive maximum number of applications for admission to the course,” said Jain.

The popularity of BBA and BCA courses has been on a high. Nearly 1,100 applications were received for BBA last year, while 600 applications forms were received for BCA course at DAV College.

“Among 4,300 applicants, a majority of applicants are those seeking admission in first year programmes. Students, who are in second and third year, will also be filling up admission forms in the second week of July,” added Jain.



B.Com admission
Dates for submission of fee announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Panjab University’s BCom coordination cell has released the dates for students to submit their fee in colleges allotted to them. This allocation has been done through the centralised counselling conducted by Panjab University and only selected candidates are required to attend the admission process in colleges allotted to them on July 5, 6 and 7. “Out of the 1,991 seats across all colleges, 1,841 have already been filled under the general category. Around 150 seats are yet to be filled under the reserved categories,” said AK Vashish, coordinator, BCom admission.

In total, PU has received 9,135 online applications for admission to BCom in all regional colleges. University officials said details had been displayed on the website bcomadmissions.puchd. ac.in and students could check their respective accounts online.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |