C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


RTE child mapping to begin again
Earlier survey to identify eligible candidates for free education ‘mishandled’
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, July 6
Having failed to rectify the botched up child mapping exercise which had hampered implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act last year, the UT education department has decided to conduct a new survey to identify the eligible candidates for free education ensured under the Act.

The department, which had initially conducted a survey in 2010, had for two months maintained a conspicuous silence over the results and it was only after the exit of former DPI (S) PK Sharma that it admitted that the survey was “mishandled” and was “ineffective” for use as a basis for free admissions ensured under the Act.

A committee, which reviewed the survey report, has claimed that it had found far less number of eligible children in contrast to figures obtained from other surveys and sources.

It was also stated that evidently a majority of poor localities had not even been visited and many findings of the survey appeared to have been made up.

Following this the department had directed freshly formed governing bodies of government schools to make rectifications but the damage control exercise seems to have proved futile. After lying dormant for four months, the education department has now decided to swing into action.

Senior department officials said the decisions mark a fresh start over the implementation of the Act, the tussles surrounding which not only stormed the city’s education scenario, but also led to stripping of Home Secretary Ram Niwas of the education department.

“The way the implementation of the RTE Act was dealt with last year led to a huge row between private schools and the department, rendering the Act ineffective. We have made a fresh start over this Act and have decided that rather than modifying or rectifying old initiatives, we will make new efforts. The fresh child mapping exercise will mark a new start,” said a senior official.

Chapter 3 of the Act requires the Administration to not only identify eligible children for admission for 25 per cent reservation under the Act, but also make this record public. The schools are supposed to make admissions on the basis of this data. 



Election in mind, councillors go into overdrive
Seek details of works in their wards from Chief Engineer’s office
Aarti Kapur
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, July 6
Councillors are leaving no stone unturned to impress voters in the MC elections scheduled to be held in five months. They are asking officials to dig records and prepare lists of their achievements during their five-year tenure. The office of the Chief Engineer is now busy in digging details of various projects undertaken since January 2007 when the current MC House was sworn in.

In a recent meeting between the Chief Engineer and councillors representing Wards 1 to 5, the latter demanded that they should be provided with a list of all works which were approved or were being undertaken during their tenure since 2007. The councillors requested the Chief Engineer’s department for details of projects taken up in their respective wards from January 1, 2007, under the departments of B&R, public health, horticulture and medical officer of health.

They also asked for the break up of funds utilised under various heads, including the ward development fund, plan and non-plan expenditure, and the development fund of the Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor utilised in their respective wards.

The remaining 21 elected councillors representing the remaining 21 wards are now awaiting their turn to hold a meeting with the Chief Engineer so that they can also make the same demand. But this has not stopped the councillors from complaining about the lack of response from the MC to provide details of the status report of works even after a number of reminders.

Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said he demanded the status of all works in his ward in February, but had not received any detail from any department.

An official said although they had instructions to prepare such a list only for five wards, the process of preparing a list of other wards had also been started in view of such a demand from the other councillors as well. BSP councillor Ram Sumer Morya said he had approached officials of various departments to obtain details of the works in his ward.

It is not elected councillors alone who are seeking such information. Nominated councillor Dr AP Sanwaria has put a question for the next House meeting on a year-wise break up of funds the MC has spent on inaugurating various project and the heads under which this expenditure had been undertaken. 



Drunk cop trespasses into minister’s house
Arrested, released on bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
A constable with Punjab’s 2nd Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) was booked after he created a ruckus and trespassed into the house of a Punjab minister in Sector 2 here last night. The police said constable Nirbhay Singh entered the residence of Punjab revenue minister Ajit Singh Kohar in an inebriated state.

The accused was posted in the security staff of the minister and was found to be heavily drunk. The police got information that a constable in an inebriated condition had tried to enter the house at 9 pm yesterday. The constable was wearing only his undergarments when he entered the house. He was stopped by staff members who subsequently called the police.

A medical examination confirmed the presence of heavy alcohol content in his blood, the police said.

A case under Sections 451 (house trespass) and 291 (continuance of nuisance) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered in the Sector 3 police station against the constable. The accused was arrested and later released on bail. The SHO, Sector 3 police station, Inspector Punam Dilawari, said they had informed their counterparts in the Punjab Police and action was expected to be taken against the constable.

“We have informed the security in charge of the IRB, who will initiate necessary action against the accused,” she said.



Residents still balk at online utility payments
Most prefer paying bills by cash or cheque
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Even while the city boasts of being ranked as a tier-II urban area (semi metro) with the country’s eighth highest literacy rate, when it comes to computer literacy its residents appear to be reluctant to pay their electricity and water bills online. This is borne by the fact that a mere 602 city residents paid bills online as compared to 867,850, who preferred to pay them by cash or cheque at the UT administration’s e-sampark and gram centres.

In the first six months of this year only 109, 93, 142, 74, 63 and 121 residents paid their electricity and water bills online in January, February, March, April, May and June, respectively. In contrast, those who opted to pay them at the e-sampark and gram centres numbered 144,772, 131,967, 161,318, 139,184, 156,989 and 133,620, respectively, during the same period.

The online payment facility for electricity and water bills was begun with much fanfare about seven-years ago when the e-sampark project was launched. However, in all these years this convenient mode of paying one’s bills has failed to catch up among residents.

One of the reasons cited for the lukewarm response to online payments is that not many residents hold accounts in Axis Bank which is the only bank to have been authorized to accept payment through electronic transfer of funds.

Anil Kumar Prashar, center manager of SPIC (Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh), Information & Technology (SPIC), which forms part of the UT administration’s information technology department, said one of the reasons for the lack of response to online payments could be that only one bank - that too a lesser known one- has been offering its account holders the facility to pay bills by electronic fund transfer.

Many residents are perhaps reluctant to pay by a credit card because they will have to pay a transaction charge of over two per cent charge on the bill amount.

Prashar claimed the administration would soon enable the electronic fund transfer facility for those having accounts in any bank to encourage online payment of water and electricity bills. “The project is in the pipeline and very soon we’ll launch this facility online payment of all bills through any bank,” he added. 



P’kula cops to offer security for big cash withdrawals
SP issues fresh instructions
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 6
Even a year after the local police launched a unique initiative to provide security to people making cash withdrawals of Rs 2 lakh and more from banks in the town, not a single person has availed of this facility. The reason behind introducing the scheme was to minimize, if not altogether prevent, the chances of robbers and carjackers targeting unarmed people carrying huge amounts of cash.

After seeing the lukewarm response of residents, superintendent of police Maneesh Chaudhary has again issued fresh instructions to all deputy police superintendents, station house officers and those in charge of police posts to provide security to people planning to withdraw Rs 2 lakh and more from their accounts. However, residents will first have to file an application at either the police station concerned or at the SP’s office in order to avail of this facility.

Chaudhary has assured the police would be prompt in providing security but only for cash, not jewellery, and that too only within Panchkula district. “The police will provide an armed guard and its own vehicle. However, residents are also free to use their own vehicles when withdrawing large amounts of cash from banks”, he stated.

Chaudhary added he had instructed his force not to ask people withdrawing cash from where they had obtained the money, the reason for making withdrawals of large amounts and where or to whom the money was to be delivered. However, residents remain skeptical and fear that by availing of this facility some cops could leak details of their wealth to the income tax department and are hence reluctant to use this facility.

Key features of scheme

l Residents have to file application seeking protection

l Armed guard, police vehicle will be provided to applicant

l Protection provided to be only for cash, not jewellery

l Security to be limited within Panchkula district

l Police won’t ask any questions about large cash withdrawals


Wait for five months to drive on Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass
Punjab sits on NHAI’s pleas to block access to Zirakpur-Ambala stretch
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
If you are driving out of Chandigarh to Shimla or Ambala, gear up to crash into inconveniences. For, the Pinjore-Kalka-Parwanoo bypass will take another five months for completion and the Punjab government is sitting on the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) pleas to block accesses to the Zirakpur-Ambala stretch.

To make the matters worse, departments of the Punjab government are not sticking to the master plan prepared for the Zirakpur-Dera Bassi area. As the traffic regulation case came up for hearing before the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice AK Mittal, NHAI’s Chandigarh-based project director Anil Kumar Dhaiya said approximately 70 accesses on the right hand side and 49 accesses on the left hand side on the National Highway-22 between Ambala and Zirakpur were in existence.

He added: “The NHAI has taken a number of drives to cut illegal accesses of the properties, which have not applied for permission to access to the national highway. The drives serve no purpose and the trenches dug up by the NHAI were again filled by the property owners. The NHAI has requested the Punjab government a number of times to cancel their licences/ NOCs. But till date no step has been taken.”

He added that the Punjab government had published a gazette notification dated November 13, 2009, on the master plan of Zirakpur, which covers Dera Bassi local planning area.

“The planning of the area adjoining the national highway falls under the jurisdiction of the state government. It should be made to adhere to the master plan while approving the development of properties along the national highway. At present, no cognisance of the provisions of the master plan is being taken by any of the departments while approving the developments along the national highway,” said Dhaiya.

He also informed the Bench that the work of four laning the stretch between Zirakpur and Pinjore was complete and open to traffic. But the Pinjore-Kalka-Parwanoo bypass was expected to be complete by December. “The work is in progress and 80 per cent completion has been achieved,” he added.

The NHAI’s Sonepat project director added the entire work of six-laning the stretch from the Delhi-Haryana border to Panipat had been completed.

Referring to the Panipat-Jalandhar stretch, the NHAI said: “A total of 112 entry and exit locations from the highway to the service roads have been planned. As many as 305 median cuts in the existing four-lane highway will be closed on six laning.”



High-security number plates for vehicles soon in city
To cost Rs 1,500; admn seeks services of consultant
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The Chandigarh Administration has initiated the process to introduce high-security number plates in the city.UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas said the administration has sought services of consultant on the issue. “The process is on. After getting report from our consultant, the terms and conditions for agencies, which will make the plates, will be set,” he said.

Though the Home Secretary maintained that the administration would try to get the work done on minimal rates, the estimated cost of two hi-tech registration plates would be no less than Rs 1,500. The step has been taken following the directions of the apex court to all the state governments regarding implementation of high-security number plates and licences for vehicles.

Recently, the Supreme Court had issued contempt notices to transport secretaries of Delhi, Punjab and UP for their failure in implementing the order. So far, the states of Sikkim, Meghalaya and Goa have fully implemented the scheme. Notably, the scheme to change over to the new number plates was being extended repeatedly since 2001.

After installation of the plates, it would be impossible to change the number plate of the vehicle, which would help in checking vehicle theft.

After the implementation of the scheme, it would be mandatory for the new vehicles to have the high-tech plates to get the registration done and the in-use vehicles would be given two years time to install them. 


l Chromium hologram

l A retro-reflective film bearing a verification inscription India at a 45-degree inclination

l Laser numbering, which is unique in nature containing alphanumeric identification of both testing agencies and the manufacturers

l Registration numbers to be embossed on the plates

The rear registration plate to be fitted with a non-reusable snap lock to make it tamper-proof

l A chromium-based third registration plate in the form of sticker is to be attached to the windshield, wherein the numbers of the engine and chassis are indicated along with the name of the registering authority. If tampered with, it self-destructs

l Letter IND in blue colour is hot stamped on both the number plates



Herbal garden inaugurated
Tribune News Service

A sapling is planted at St John’s High School at Sector 26 of Chandigarh on Wednesday.
A sapling is planted at St John’s High School at Sector 26 of Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, July 6
On the occasion of Vanmahotsava, St John’s High School, Sector 26, inaugurated herbal garden in association with Eco and Agro Resource Management (EARM) today.

This is the first activity in a series of activities that St John’s has planned to organise this year, celebrating the international year of forests, which include starting their own vermi composting and developing an organic rose garden. There are also plans to recycle newspapers into useful products.

“We recognise how closely we are linked with environment and are sensitive towards maintaining the green cover in the school and each class in the junior school is maintaining a green corner, which is being taken care by children,” said principal Kavita Das.



387 vehicles challaned

Chandigarh, July 6
The State Transport Authority (STA) challaned 387 vehicles and collected a fine of Rs 7 lakh for violations under the Motor Vehicle Act in June this year. The STA also impounded 87 vehicles.

The STA is planning a launch a campaign against unauthorised vehicles plying in the city. STA officials said more than 1,500 transport vehicles were checked and 473 were either challaned, impounded or issued notices by the authority. Officials said the campaign against unauthorised vehicles would continue with checkpoints to be laid regularly in various parts of the city. — TNS



Panel to study feasibility of Sunday shopping
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The UT Administration has constituted a committee under the Deputy Commissioner to study the feasibility of Sunday shopping in Chandigarh.Sources said Home-cum-Labour Secretary Ram Niwas has directed the Deputy Commissioner to explore the possibility of opening of shops on Sundays. The Deputy Commissioner will hold parleys with representatives of traders’ organisations to work out a consensus on the issue of Sunday shopping.

It may be recalled that various traders’ organisations had opposed the decision of the UT Administration to discontinue the seven-day shopping for the city, particularly the main commercial centre in Sector 17.

Earlier, the UT Administration had said it disfavoured the seven-day shopping concept. The UT decision was taken in the backdrop of no representation from traders’ bodies to extend the order governing the seven-day shopping, which expired in May this year.

Subsequently, the UT Administration seemed to be adopting more liberal attitude allowing the shops to open on Sunday, provided the shop owners closed shops on any other week day.

Sunday shopping started in the city on a regular basis in 2004. With the emerging shopping mall culture and entry of multi-national companies in the retail sector, the concept of the seven-day shopping picked up momentum in recent years. The changing socio-economic environment and the requirements of residents were cited as another reason for the introduction of Sunday shopping.

However, certain sections of the society termed it as “socially not acceptable”, claiming that businessmen like other people also needed a day off. 



Sukhna census provides cheer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The report on wildlife census at the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary has called it healthy, with good ecological dimension and least disturbance.The team, during the survey, had found pugmarks, which was an indirect evidence of the presence of leopard in the sanctuary.

The presence of leopard had also been reported by forests and wildlife officials earlier. During 2009 and 2010, forest staff had sighted the jungle cat.

As per average, the group size of ‘sambar’, reported between 3.39 and 10.07, was higher than in any other protected area in the country.

The estimation of abundance of peafowl at the sanctuary was between 408 and 2,073. The census at the sanctuary was carried out from December 9 to December 11 past year.

During the survey, teams had encountered nine species of mammals and 63 species of birds. The mammals included leopard, ‘sambar’, ‘chital’, wild boar, Indian porcupine, Indian pangolin, black-naped hare, golden jackal and grey ‘langoor’.



More room for drug addicts to kick habit
De-addiction centre opens at Sector 18
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
After a delay of two years, the 30-bedded drug de-addiction centre was finally opened at Sector 18 here on July 4.With this, the total number of beds for de-addiction in the city was doubled to 60. The centre is being run by the Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses, New Delhi, an NGO.

Till now, the de-addiction centre at the PGI offered 20 beds, with the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, providing treatment for another 10 patients.

The new centre, opened in a portion of the Government Press, would provide private rooms as well as dormitories to patients.

Activities like HIV/AIDS linkage, employee assistance and income generation programmes and vocational training initiatives would be taken up at the centre in the near future.

The new facility was expected to go a long way in dealing with the growing incidence of drug and alcohol addiction in the city.

According to official statistics, the number of addicts, including alcoholics, stands at 60,000. The proposal to set up a de-addiction centre in the city was conceived in September 2009.

It had then been decided to hand over the responsibility of running the facility to a non-government organisation with expertise in the field.



Lukewarm response likely to HUDA auction
Bidders feel that sites available at a cheaper price in market
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

A view of the Sector 14 market in Panchkula where the Haryana Urban Development Authority will hold an auction on July 21
A view of the Sector 14 market in Panchkula where the Haryana Urban Development Authority will hold an auction on July 21. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, July 6
The auctioning of commercial sites by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is likely to receive a lukewarm response, as bidders feel that the sites are already available in the market at lesser prices than that of reserve prices announced by the HUDA authorities.

Though HUDA officials were of the view that auctions were being held after a gap of around three years and the rates of residential and commercial prices in the region had seen almost a three-fold increase during the past couple of years.

However, property dealers in the city felt that the reserve prices had been kept 10 to 15 per cent on the higher side. This would result in lesser number of bidders coming for the auction to be held on July 7, they added.

Vinod Katyal, a property dealer, said the SCO site in Sectors 11 and 14, the reserve price of which had been fixed at around Rs 12 crore and Rs 13 crore, respectively, was available in the market for about Rs 11 crore. He said similarly a booth site in Sector 2, which was available for about Rs 70 lakh, was being offered for Rs 1.19 crore.

HUDA administrator Rajinder Kataria said reserve prices of commercial sites had been fixed keeping in mind the reserve price of previous auction and current market price in the region. He said a random survey had already been conducted in this regard and added that he was hopeful that this time they would be able to auction all 30 sites.

Suresh Aggarwal, president, Haryana State Property Dealers Association, said, “It would be a flop show as no bidder would come forward to purchase the commercial sites at a higher rate. He said HUDA authorities should review the reserve price to make the auction attractive. Why would one purchase a site at a higher rate when the same is available in the market at a cheaper price,” he quipped.



e-challan project hits roadblock
Rajiv Bhatia

A traffic cop issues a challan to a violator in Zirakpur.
A traffic cop issues a challan to a violator in Zirakpur. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, July 6
The Punjab Police is yet to log on to the concept of e-challan (fines issued electronically). In January, the police had launched its hi-tech project in Mohali, but cops in the district are still facing initial hiccups.

The project was introduced to enable expeditious and on-the-spot disposal of challans. Handy machines like the ones used by bus conductors were issued to cops.

Earlier, a number of problems were faced by cops while using the machine. Sources in the traffic police said after challaning traffic violators they did not know where to deposit the money. Earlier, they were depositing the money in the DTO’s office. They added that battery back-up of the machine was not good.

The sources said the machine could only accepted fines for up to 11 out of 101 compoundable offences.

An official said another reason behind the failure of the project was the incapability of the machine to issue challans for subsequent traffic violation. He added that for certain violations, including triple riding, wrong parking, using red beacon without permission and others, challans prescribed for the first offence were less than the subsequent offences, but the machine could only issue challans at a rate fixed by the department, the official added.

Another problem faced by cops was that the department had issued only one machine in Zirakpur. DSP (Traffic) DS Mann claimed that around 400 challans were issued through e-challan in Mohali district. He said the department had deployed two head constables in the DTO’s office to collect the fine deposited by traffic cops.



Unscheduled power cuts harry residents
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 6
Unscheduled power cuts and low-voltage power supply threw life out of gear in Zirakpur, Baltana and other surrounding areas. Residents alleged that for the past few days, the power situation had been poor.
On Wednesday, the power supply was disrupted in the morning.

Though the officials of the electricity department claimed that the power supply was disrupted due to repair work in Banur-Rajpura line, the power supply was restored in 
the evening, the officials added.

However, irate residents of Vikas Nagar complained that a transformer installed for their houses was not functioning properly. They claimed that repeated calls made to Powercom in Baltana failed to evoke any response from the field staff.

Residents also alleged that fluctuation rendered air conditioners almost defunct. They demanded that the electricity department should repair the faulty lines to avoid any technical snag.

The water supply was also affected in residential colonies at Baltana and Pabhat since morning when the power supply remained suspended. A six-hour power cut was imposed on Tuesday.



FIR registered against MC councillor’s son
Tribune news service

Panchkula, July 6
The police on Wednesday registered an FIR against Panchkula municipal councillor from ward no 7 Sudesh Rani’s son in connection with an assault case.

The FIR was lodged against Pankaj, son of Sudesh Rani, under Sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. Complainants Pankaj Chaudhary and Sarthak, residents of Harmilap Nagar in Zirakpur, said the accused, Pankaj, along with 12 youths, alighted from a white Innova car and launched an attack on them at the Sector 10 market on Tuesday night. The accused were armed with rods and sticks.

The victims were later taken to the hospital by the police.

The police said the incident was a fallout of some old rivalry between Pankaj Chaudhary and the complainants. 



DC directs HUDA, MC officials to remove encroachments
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 6
Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar today directed the officials of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and municipal council to remove encroachments in the periphery of the town within a week.

The directions came after Superintendent of Police Manish Chaudhary had pointed out that illegal encroachments in some areas of Old Panchkula, Majri Chowk and Nada Sahib national highway caused traffic jams and led to various accidents.

Ashima Brar also directed the officials of HUDA and MC, Panchkula, to remove roadside fruit and vegetable seller stands from the Housing Board Chowk, Sectors 17 and 18 and Labour Chowk, as these were the entry points to Chandigarh. The DC also asked the officials of HUDA, MC and police department to conduct a joint survey to identify bus queue shelters in areas which were no longer required. 



Residents air grievances
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 6
Party workers from Mohali, Kharar and Dera Bassi assembly segments today met PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh and brought to his notice various problems related to lack of amenities, poor governance and mismanagement.

A delegation of the Bhartiya Kisan Union from Kharar lamented that there was a drastic fall in the level of ground water and in the absence of power supply they were not able to irrigate fields.

A delegation of the 1984 riot-affected people alleged that the government had failed to allot them flats. Residents of Tangori village said the lone government school in the village, which had 350 students, had no teacher.

Capt Amarinder Singh assured them that solutions would be worked out once the party came to power in the state. 



Rs 5 cr aid sought for bus queue shelters
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 6
The Mohali Municipal Corporation has demanded Rs 25 crore from the director, local government, for the purchase of machinery and construction of bus queue shelters.

The director has assured that the amount would be given to the civic body for which estimates should be presented.

The fund will be given out of a loan amount being given to the department by HUDCO. Assistant Commissioner of the corporation Parveen Kumar Thind said a sum of Rs 750 crore was being given by HUDCO to the department of local government for being spent by various civic bodies in the state.

Modalities were being worked for providing the loan amount to the civic bodies. He said he was not sure whether Rs 25 crore would be given in lump sum or in parts.

He said bus queue shelters in the town were in a dilapidated condition and there was a need to have modern looking structures in Mohali as the area was fast expanding. There was a plan to spend about Rs 8 crore on constructing new bus queue shelters.

He said there was also a plan to purchase a new JCB machine, a fogging machine and a road cleaning machine. The road cleaning machine, which was purchased many years ago, had been sent for repair at a cost of Rs 1 lakh.

A council official said the earlier JCB machine was purchased about 15 years ago. It had also been repaired. It was used for removing garbage dumped in various parts of the Industrial Area. The civic body had two fogging machines out of which one needed repair. 



‘Mohali to be first smoke-free district’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 6
“Mohali will be the first smoke-free district in the state,” said Sat Pal Gosain, Health and Family Welfare Minister, here today.

Gosain, who was speaking at a state-level advocacy workshop organised by the department of health and family welfare, Punjab, Generation Saviour Association and Union against TB and Lung Diseases, said the consumption of tobacco led to 40 lakh deaths across the world,which was far more than the deaths caused by diseases like tuberculosis, heart ailments and road accidents. He reiterated that the health department would extend full cooperation and support in the endeavour to the NGOs and international agencies.

The objective of holding the workshop was to create awareness regarding tobacco control among representatives and participants.



Well-built guards to man security gates in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali July 6
The municipal corporation has decided to employ well-built people from Punjab as security guards, who will be equipped with walkie-talkie sets and other required items to man various gates.

The decision was taken after a meeting was held with representatives of the residents welfare associations with the Commissioner and Additional Commissioner of the civic body here this evening.

The meeting was held to work out details regarding security gates, as one security guard was killed in Phase III B 2 after two youths lost their temper when they found the gate locked late at night on July 1.

Parveen Kumar Thind, Additional Commissioner, said representatives of various associations pointed out that well-built people from Punjab should be employed who could converse in a better way with residents. Earlier, persons hailing from other states were employed who could not communicate that well. Two persons would be deployed at one gate and would be given torches and batons.

He said it was decided to keep the gates well illuminated so that residents could see from a distance that gates were locked. The gates would not be opened on a rotation basis, as decided earlier, but only one gate in each sector would remain open. Pamphlets would be distributed among residents so that they get to know which gates would remain open and which ones would be closed. 



PGI has 616 heritage items
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The PGI authorities have found 616 heritage items, a majority of them in use, including laboratory stools, sofa sets, library book racks and manholes, after the Home Secretary asked heads of different departments of the Chandigarh Administration to prepare an inventory of heritage items on April 6, currently in their possession.

After locating these items, the authorities have classified these into 60 categories and submitted a list of 616 pieces with photographs. A majority of the items were found to be in use, said Dr RK Sharma, Deputy Medical Superintendent, PGI.

The authorities at PGI shortlisted nearly 70 types of items under this category, he said. Most of these items were found in the buildings of research blocks A and B.



Chandigarh SCAN
Studying in New Zealand

Five companies, Aims Global Education, Silver Fern Education Consultants, Liz Batra’s IEGC, Charms Education and Immigration Services Private Limited and Oceanic Consultants, made their way to the city with New Zealand Specialist Agents to create awareness and promote studying in New Zealand. There were 23 New Zealand specialist agents in India, of which five were based in Chandigarh, helping out students who aspired to study in New Zealand. These specialist agents had met strict criteria relating to quality and quantity of student applications and had experience in working professionally with the New Zealand international education industry. “We are recognised by the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise,” said Amar Manchanda of Aims Global Education, Sector 10. He was addressing a press conference here on Wednesday.

Floors demolished

A team of the UT estate office on Wednesday demolished two upper floors of a house in Sector 15. Ravinder Sharma, inspector (misuse and enforcement), who led the team said the house owner had constructed two floors illegally. A notice under Section 15 of the Punjab Capital (Development and Regulatory) Act was served to the owner.

Camp on dengue

As part of observing July as anti-dengue month, a camp was organised by the health and family welfare department at the motor market in Mani Majra on Wednesday. Inaugurating the camp, Dr Naresh Kumar, assistant director, malaria, asked motor mechanics and other workers to keep a special watch on mosquito-breeding areas in the market.

Protest rally

Employees of the UT electricity department, under the banner of the UT Powermen Union, Chandigarh, organised a protest rally in front of the electricity office at Sector 40 on Wednesday. Union president Ram Sarup said neither was the demand of filling vacant posts met, nor did the administration offer appointment to kin of deceased employees. He also spoke against anamolies in various orders of the finance department.

Stir deferred

The co-ordination committee of government and MC employees of the UT deferred the ‘jail bharo andolan’ by 20 days. Making the announcement while addressing a rally, Rakesh Kumar, convener of the committee, said Adviser to Administrator KK Sharma has assured them to look into their demands, including granting of Central pay scales, regularisation of daily wage workers, filling of vacancies and implementation of pension scheme for Chandigarh Housing Board employees.

Park opened

Ram Lal, area councillor, inaugurated the newly developed children’s park at Ram Darbar on Wednesday. The total area of the park was 0.85 acre and it had proper grassing and plantation of ornamental trees and shrubs.

Dispensaries inspected

An inspection of dispensaries transferred to the municipal corporation was carried out by Prerna Puri, MC Commissioner, along with officials. During the inspection, the dispensaries, situated at Sectors 19, 20 and 23, were checked. The attendance, inventory and patient registers maintained by the staff were checked. The staff were told to maintain proper of hygiene and sanitation within the premises. Officials of the engineering wing of the MC were asked to take steps to carry out repairs required. The chief engineer was directed to ensure proper maintenance of green areas within dispensaries and surroundings.

New Rotary unit team

Ashok Kumar Laroia took charge as president of the Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik for 2011-12. He took over from Sneh Popli at the Institute for the Blind at Sector 26. Laroia said sound-proof rooms had been completed and a Brailler and an inverter provided to the institute in the first week of July. A cheque for Rs 18,000 was presented to Maj-Gen Rajinder Nath for the purchase of another Brailler. The new board members of the club were HS Malik as vice-president, Col Prithi Vora as secretary, Sarbjit Singh as treasurer, Parveen Gupta as director club service, Arvinder Bedi as director vocational service and Dr Kuldip Singh as director community service.

‘Chronic kidney failure up’

The overuse of common drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetamol can cause chronic kidney damage, said Dr Bela Sharma, senior consultant, internal medicine and nephrology, Fortis Hospital. Interacting with the Sahaayak group, a Fortis initiative for dialysis patients, she said the incidence of chronic kidney failure had increased over the past few decades and the reasons thereof were multifold, including the availability of over-the-counter medicines, injudicious use of antibiotics and pesticides and pollution.

Hunger strike

Members of the Chamar Mahasabha organised a protest and a symbolic hunger strike outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner here on Wednesday in support of their demands. The protesters urged the state government to announce a special economic package so that their financial condition could improve. Paramjit Singh Kainth, president of the sabha, said because of the wrong policies being followed by the state government, about Rs 6092.62 crore of the Central grants meant for the welfare of Scheduled Castes under the Scheduled Caste sub-plan had either lapsed or were misused.

Club chief

Geeta Sawhney was elected president of the Inner Wheel Club of Panchkula on Wednesday. Presiding over the installation ceremony, Patricia Hilton, district chairman from Dehradun, launched a sapling plantation drive at two parks. Sawhne highlighted thrust areas like help to the girl child, woman empowerment among weaker sections, productive use of garden textile and newspaper waste.

Power shutdown

Power supply to Sector 4, MDC market, Swastic Vihar, MES, Saketari and Mansa Devi temple, fed from 11 KV, will remain suspended from 9 am to 12 noon on Thursday. A spokesperson said this was due to the maintenance of transformers and allied equipment at 66 KV sub-station, Mansa Devi. Tribune Reporters



PU rises fee by 10 pc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
In a major decision bound to affect thousands of students, Panjab University has finally given a nod to hike fee by 10 per cent of all its affiliated colleges.They, however, will have to give full fee waiver to students belonging to the economically weaker section.

“A college will be allowed to hike its fee maximum by 10 per cent and will be giving corresponding waivers to deserving students. The hike has come after a gap of two years and is truly justified. We are planning a slash, which will balance it,” said GK Chatrath, Senator.



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