C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


High-security licence plates mandatory from August 1
Administration notifies implementation of scheme in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
With the UT administration notifying “implementation of the high security registration plates in the union territory of Chandigarh scheme, 2011”, vehicle owners in the city will now have to affix new high security registration number plates from August 1.

“As far as old vehicles that have been already registered are concerned the task of implementing the scheme shall be completed by the owners within two years from 1st August, 2011,” according to a press note issued here on Monday. The decision had been taken in pursuant to rule 50 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 as notified by the central ministry of road transport & highways to introduce the high security registration plate system in India.

According to the notification, the high security registration plates shall be fastened on the front and rear of a vehicle. In case of three and four wheelers, a third registration plate in the form of a self-destructive sticker shall be affixed on the vehicle’s windshield, it added.

All vendors eligible under the Motor Vehicles (New High Security Registration Plates) Order, 2001 and under rule 50 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 shall be able to sell high security registration plates to vehicles registered with the Registration & Licensing Authority, Chandigarh. The vendors should also possess a valid “type approval certificate” issued by any of the testing agencies authorized by the central government.

It is the responsibility of vehicle owners to procure the high security registration plates from any of the eligible vendors. The owners shall also bring a person to fasten/affix the plates to his/her vehicle. It is mandatory that the fastening/affixing of the high security plates (and the third registration plates, as the case may be) on the vehicle shall be done within the premises of the office of the UT Registration & Licensing Authority in Sector 17 or at the office of the subdivisional magistrate (east) Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh or SDM (south), Sector 42, Chandigarh in the presence of the RLA or his authorized representative.

Only after the high security registration plates are fastened/affixed to the vehicle and it is found fit to ply on the road will a registration certificate be issued to the vehicle’s owner.

Non compliance of the implementation of the scheme by vehicle owners shall invite action as provided under provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.



Panchkula police conducts course for potbellied cops
A few put on extra weight, others found medically unfit
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 11
The local police have completed the first batch of an “anti-obesity course” for overweight cops aimed at bringing down their bulging waistlines to the desired 34 inches. However, at the end of the course, some police officials instead of losing weight gained an extra few kilos with at least three adding on 3 to 4 kg. Interestingly six police officials failed to cope with the exercises and the trainers had to declare them “medically unfit” for the course.

After the course was completed last week Panchkula police officials sent a report to Ambala range inspector general KK Sindhu.

A senior police official said this course was earlier started only for 45 days but after seeing that cops were not losing the desired weight it was extended for a fu ther 45 days. “Only a few police officials gained weight but apart from them most shed between 10 to 16 kilos”, the official added.

According to sources, during the course the instructors found six policemen who were not medically fit due to problems like asthma, blood pressure, diabetes and backache. One of the instructors said on condition of anonymity: “We can’t try out more exercise on these cops as it was becoming difficult for them. Therefore we wrote to the Panchkula superintendent of police to relieve them as ‘medically unfit’ and the SP accepted our request, the police official added.

In this course the Haryana police had ordered the Panchkula cops to start training of 45 policemen which would include physical training sessions in the morning and evening, special lectures on diet, counselling by doctors, games like volleyball and yoga sessions as well. Police officials who were part of this course were excused from regular policing duties and were only reporting to their course instructor.

Doctors regularly visited the camp to conduct medical checkups of the police officials. There was also a special cook who was told not to prepare oily food and rice. In a week there was one weekly off for the cops when they can go back to their homes.

About the course

Total number of cops in the course---45

Those who gained extra weight---3

Medically unfit cops--6

Daily schedule

6 to 7 am: Running and walking (the latter for those weighing above 100 kg)

7 to 9 am: PT exercise and yoga sessions

9 am to noon: Breakfast and rest

12 to 1 pm: Special lecture on weight loss and diet

1 to 2 pm: Lunch time

3 to 4 pm: “Fatigue duty” like cutting grass, digging pits

4 to 6 pm: Sporting activities like volleyball, football

Second batch under way

After the first batch completed the course, Panchkula superintendent of police Maneesh Chaudhary started new batch in which 16 policemen including an inspector, constable and head constables have signed up.



BTech student among 2 held for robbery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The police arrested two students, both aged 19, suspected to be involved in two robbery cases reported in Sector 38 on Saturday night. The youths, who are reported to be friends who hail from Punjab, took to criminal activities to pay the expenses incurred at a Sector 30 motel where they had been staying for the past ten days.

The suspects have been identified as Ranjit Singh alias Honey, a resident of Damdama village, Bathinda distict, and Hardeep Singh alias Raju, a resident of Korana in the same district. The latter is a final year BTech student of Yadavindra College of Engineering, Talwandi Saboo and had enrolled for training here at a privately run institute in Sector 35. The other suspect, Ranjit, is said to have a criminal past and had passed class 12 recently. Both are 19 years of age.

With their arrest the police claimed to have solved two cases of robbery registered at the Sector 39 police station within the last 48 hours.

SHO inspector Charanjeet Singh said two men identified as Varinder Singh Bist and Vijay Kumar, a call center employee, were robbed of their belongings including mobiles, cash, wallets and documents at knifepoint by the two suspects on July 9 night. Hardeep’s father is a property dealer and Ranjit’s father is a farmer. The motorcycle used in the crime has also been recovered.

Ranjit arrived in Chandigarh last month to meet another friend who was staying in hostel no 5 at Panjab University. Hardeep came to the city on June 28 for training and both began staying together in the Sector-30 motel from July 1.

The suspects were apprehended after the policelaid a barrier at the Sector 38 (West) traffic light intersection.

Suspect threatened victim with knife

The police said one of the suspects, Ranjit Singh, had used a ‘kamanidar’ knife that he had bought in Manali some months ago to threaten one of their victims, Vijay Kumar. The police recovered blood-stained clothes from Ranjit’s possession and added section of the Arms Act in the case. Ranjit was also booked for attempted murder in Bathinda but his name was later dropped.



Poor response to complaints on MC Facebook 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
City resident Param Singh has posted five reminders on the Municipal Corporation (MC) Facebook regarding his grievance about parking reserved for tourist buses being used by the MC contractor for parking of cars at Fun Republic in Mani Majra. But he is waiting for a response from the MC in this regard.

During the past one month, the Facebook wall is full of postings by residents with comments such as “This is the third time I am posting my same complaint ... but not getting any response???”.

In another case, Bimal Sangari was slightly lucky in that on June 29, he received the standard response on the Facebook, stating “Your complaint has been forwarded to the MOH, MC.” But on July 11, he again had to re-post the similar complaint as no action had been taken by the department on his previous complaint.

This is not the case of Bimal Sangari alone. There is a long list of residents on the Facebook who daily post their grievances regarding pot-holed roads, encroachment in parking lots of Sectors 8, 9 and 17, inconvenience caused and money spent on “unnecessary” re-carpeting of roads, paying guest problems in their areas, non-functional streetlights, traffic jams… the list is endless.

Interestingly, a computer programmer was appointed by the MC around a month ago to respond to the complaints on a regular basis, but residents are clueless about the action taken and status of their complaints posted on the Facebook. A stock reply “Your complaint has been forwarded to the department concerned” has been posted on the Facebook but it does not give details about the officials to whom it has been sent and what is the complaint number.

Ironically, the MC has spent lakhs of rupees on buying computers, laptops and other electronic peripherals to empower the officials. The apathy continues beside few councillors, majority of them not even bothered to respond.



Software engineer crushed to death
Tribune news service

Panchkula, July 11
In a yet another accident on national highways in Panchkula district, a 28-year-old software engineer was crushed to death by a speeding truck on National Highway-22 near Saket Hospital, here, today.

Deceased has been identified as Balwinder Singh, resident of Saini Mohalla, Pinjore. Balwinder Singh was working as a software engineer at a Mani Majra-based private firm.

According to information, Balwinder Singh was on his way to his office on his motorcycle. When he reached near Saket hospital, a speeding truck, which was coming from behind, hit his motorcycle. After the collision, Balwinder Singh lost control over the motorcycle and fell on the road. With the help of passerby, the police rushed him to the General Hospital, Sector 6, but doctors declared him brought dead.

Meanwhile, the Panchkula police has lodged an FIR against the accused truck driver who fled from the spot leaving behind his vehicle. Chandimandir police station SHO Jangsher Singh said that they had impounded the vehicle and started the investigation.


kalka mail tragedy 
Train carrying victims arrives
Suspense over 40 city-bound passengers, others recount horror
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Even 33 hours after the tragic accident involving the Kalka Mail at Fatehpur, UP, which left 69 dead and hundreds injured, the railway authorities here remained clueless about the fate of most of the 40 Chandigarh-bound passengers who were on the ill-fated train.

Deepening the mystery, the special train bringing the injured back from Fatehpur chugged into the station around 12.25 pm with just one passenger for the city.

Till around 9 pm, the authorities here had received only sketchy information about one city-bound passenger, Kamal Kant Das, who was injured and was reportedly undergoing treatment at a Kanpur hospital.

Das (28), who was travelling to the city in coach S-2, reportedly received serious injuries and it was not known whether he hailed from the city or was just a visitor.

Officials here claimed that most of the 40 passengers booked for Chandigarh were apparently not from the city as no inquiries had come in for them. The lone inquiry received at the railway station here last evening was that for Charanjit, a resident of West Bengal, who was working at a bakery outlet in Sector 8.

Charanjit’s relatives, who visited the railway station last evening, were at the station this morning too after learning about the arrival of the special train. However, they returned disappointed, as there was no passenger for Chandigarh.

Charanjit’s uncle Kishan Kumar said they had no clue about his whereabouts.

“Our relatives had visited the accident scene and hospitals where the injured had been taken to but without any success,” he said hoping that Charanjit was fine.

Talking to The Tribune, Station Superintendent Praveen Kumar said they had only received the list of causalities and were still awaiting the names and details of the injured. “We are in regular communication with the Kanpur office but have no information about the injured passengers,” he said.

Recalling the accident, Sandeep, the lone passenger to get off here from the special train, said he was in S2-1 coach when the mishap occurred. An Army man, Sandeep, who sustained head injuries, said he had no recollection of the accident as he apparently lost consciousness soon after the impact of the derailment.

Saying that it was “chaotic”, Sandeep, a resident of West Bengal, who had been posted in the city after a stint in Leh, claimed that he along with many others were rescued by villagers of the surrounding areas who rushed to the scene after the mishap.

Another passenger, Seema Devi, who was travelling with her little daughters and husband in coaches S9 and S11 thanked God for saving their lives. “Though we sustained minor injuries, we are lucky to have survived,” she said.

Ratan Kumar Sinha, a senior audit officer in Ranchi, and his wife Asha, who were in coach S-10, one of the least affected coaches, said they received minor injuries.

Recalling the horror, Sinha said everything changed in a fraction of a second. “One moment we all were sitting and enjoying the journey. Minutes later, it was blood, cries and bodies all around,” he said.

Roma Ganguly, who was travelling from Kolkata to Kalka with three other family members, said the train was moving at a fast speed when it started “shaking” terribly.

“A loud explosion followed and we all were thrown off our seats,” she said, adding that unlike many others, they were lucky to have escaped the mishap unscathed.

Eighteen reach Kalka

Kalka: The victims of the Kalka Mail who had sustained multiple injuries in the train mishap arrived by a special train here on Monday. Official sources at the railway station said the train carrying 18 injured persons arrived here around 2 pm. Of these, 14 hail from Shimla, while four belong to Baddi. Both the railway and local administration had made adequate arrangements for providing first aid to the injured persons at the railway station. A team of doctors had been deputed for the purpose. A special train carrying the injured departed for Shimla later in the day. Meanwhile, the cancellation of the Kalka-Howrah train caused inconvenience to passengers. The railway administration made full refund of tickets to the passengers of the cancelled train. — OC 



Tricity scan

Pyjama party: A pyjama party was organised by children studying in ‘Tinkerbells’ and foundation years at the British School here on Monday. The party was a unique method of introducing the concept of ‘day and night’ and ‘good habits’ among children, who go to play-class or foundation-year classes. The British School had pioneered ‘Tinkerbells’ a pre-foundation class for tiny tots in the age bracket of 1.5 to three years. The school had been using novel methods to educate toddlers, the idea being teaching tiny tots the fun way. The pyjama party was another step in this direction. Children came in their best night wear and were excited to sleep with their favourite dolls and teddies. They carried their toothbrush and learnt the importance of dental hygiene. The junior-most children were taught the simple concept of ‘it is bedtime and we need to go to sleep’. The kids were also taught to listen to good stories before going to sleep.

Multiple sclerosis: Move Strong 2011, a multiple sclerosis (MS) support group programme, was held here for the first time. It was a patient-oriented programme. Dr JS Chopra, welcoming the gathering, spoke on how the incidence of multiple sclerosis seemed to be on the rise in India, a country once said to be spared by its ravages. The question whether the incidence was increasing due to the changing lifestyles and eating habits or was being diagnosed more frequently due to newer diagnostic methods and increasing awareness about the disease remained answered as the exact cause of the disease was still an enigma, he said. The program started with an informative talk by Dr H Sinha, covering the proposed causes, symptomatology and treatment modalities.

Innovative education: Mexus Education, an education innovations company creating futuristic technology based model for education, has announced the Punjab launch of its Iken Zing series, interactive touch-read books for children in the age group of three to seven years. The series makes stories come alive and is ideal for bedtime story telling and early childhood learning. The Iken Zing reader, a pen-shaped touch-based device, when brought in contact with text and images on the book, ‘talks’ and emits relevant sounds. The visuals in the books, accompanied by the audio, makes story characters come alive, which helps in engaging children. The series succeeds in captivating kids’ attention and arouses the desire to know more. With both audio and visual teaching aids, it reinforces effective learning. It not only holds children’s interest, but also encourages independent reading and self-learning skills. It also enhances comprehension and improves diction and vocabulary. Mexus Education co-founder and director Saurabh Saxena says, “Iken Zing is an innovative tool to engage children and develop their interest in self-learning. The touch-audio pen system is fun to use and keeps young learners engrossed. It is a combination of education and entertainment to make self-learning an enjoyable process for kids. We intend to revolutionise the learning process of kids right from early childhood.”

Rotary president: Neena Singh, a former vice-president of HDFC Bank, was installed as president of the Rotary Club of Chandigarh at a function held at the CII here on Monday. She said the uplift of slum children was her top priority. Outgoing president Arvind Mahajan listed out various projects being undertaken by the club. Adviser to Administrator KK Sharma was the chief guest.

Awareness campaign:The Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes organised an awareness campaign on World Population Day at Sector 8-C here on Monday. Residents, members of market associations of Sector 8-C and the general public participated in the campaign. Addressing the gathering, Dr Zora Singh, chairman, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, said India’s population was 1.21 billion, as per the 2011 Census.


Seven billionth inhabitant soon: Smart Wonders School, Sector 71, celebrated World Population Day to make students aware of global population issues. The day this year was important as it fell during a milestone year, when the birth of the Earth’s seven billionth inhabitant was anticipated. A campaign was taken out by students of class V, depicting problems caused by over-population. A presentation was held, the theme of which was ills of over-population. A collage-making competition was held for students of classes III, IV and V, portraying the problems of water and food shortage, increased crime rate and wars. Posters made by students showcased how the ecosystem was burdened as it had to support a huge population. Students were told that depletion of natural resources, global warming and extinction of species were problems related to over-population. School director Sandeep Singh said with the imbalance between population and vital life-sustaining resources growing, people must actively conserve cropland, freshwater, energy and biological resources.

Seminar held: The Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology observed World Population Day on Monday by organising a seminar with the help of the district health department. The theme of the seminar was “Small family, happy family”. The aim of the seminar was to create awareness on the importance of family planning, maternal health, gender equality, poverty and human rights. Saudagar Singh from the health department gave information about government policies on family planning programmes. Addressing a seminar, JS Bedi, chairman, Gian Jyoti Group of Institutions, said about 40 per cent of the population in India was below the poverty line. Citizens should have small families, which would help deal with problems like unemployment, poverty, epidemics and pollution, he stated.

Knee implant: Fortis Hospital has claimed to have become the first hospital in North India to adopt the most advanced fourth-generation knee implant with navigation for arthritis patients undergoing knee replacement surgery. Announcing this, Dr Manuj Wadhwa, director and head, joint replacement unit, stated on Monday, “The new knee implant can provide high range of motion up to 150 degrees and a longer implant life and enable patients to live free from pain for the rest of their lives.” This high-flexion design maintained contact area in deep knee flexion and assured implant stability and longevity, the doctor added.

‘Poll gimmick’: Arjun Singh Kansal, Bhujan Samaj Party (BSP) representative from the Kharar Assembly segment, has welcomed the announcement of the state government on opening 6,000 multi-purpose gymnasiums in Punjab, but has claimed that it is more of an election gimmick. Though late, it is a wise step if the government implements it, he has added. He has pointed out that to keep the younger generation away from drugs, he has initiated the process of setting up multi-purpose gyms since February. So far, 92 gymnasiums have been set up in the area and the target is 260, he says. He has decided to establish one multi-purpose gym in each village and every ward of Kharar, Kurali and Nayagaon.

Sukhbir’s birthday: Residents led by Harman Preet Singh Prince, former SAD senior vice-president, organised a function on the birthday of Sukhbir Singh Badal by distributing sewing machines among needy women and schoolbags, books and notebooks among needy children. A medical camp was also organised, in which free consultation was provided and free medicines given to residents. A cultural programme was organised by local children. District Planning Board chairman NK Sharma was the chief guest.


Environment conservation: The Satluj Public School organised an eco-drive programme at Sector 4 on Monday. A seminar on ‘Environment’ and ‘Personal health and hygiene’ was arranged for students of classes X, XI and XII. They were made aware of the importance of precautions to be taken to avoid certain diseases. Students of class V participated in sapling plantation. Students carried placards and raised slogans to spread the message of environment conservation. School principal Krit Serai appreciated the efforts of the students and spoke about the importance of a clean and green environment. —Tribune Reporters



Kalka-Shimla toy train gets new engine
First one since 1982, five more on their way
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The Kalka-Shimla railway track, which has been fraught with technical difficulties, has got a new locomotive engine to smoothen out the irregularities for passengers, a senior railway official of the Ambala division said here yesterday.

Recognised as part of heritage by UNESCO, the track has often seen engine failures during summer, forcing the department to introduce the new engine for the track.

The locomotive engine, costing Rs 4 crore, will start running on the Kalka-Shimla rail track soon.

The best part of this 700-HP engine is that it can run both ways and will help reduce accidents. By the end of the year, Kalka will get five new locomotive engines, the official added.

In all, 14 engines are currently running on the section and during summer, as the traffic increases, there is little time for check-up or service of these engines.

This often leads to technical breakdowns, much to the inconvenience of passengers.

Of the 14 engines, 10 were commissioned in 1971, while the remaining four were introduced in 1982.

Since, the average age of an engine, as per railway schedule, is 36 years, the first lot has already completed its life but no new engines have been introduced to relieve the old ones so far.

Most engine failures occur on the Kalka-Kumarhatti stretch, as the gradient is quite steep here. Kalka is 656 metres above mean sea level; Kumarhatti 1,574 m; Solan 1,494 m; Kandaghat 1,433 m; Shogi 1,832 m and Shimla 2,075 m above sea level. The total distance between Kalka and Shimla is 95.5 km and the track has 102 tunnels, 889 bridges and 919 curves.

The maximum gradient is 33.33, sharpest curve 48 degrees and the longest tunnel is 3,757 m. The train touches a maximum speed of 25 km/hour.



CITCO manager who finalised contract to probe wrongdoing!
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The CITCO authorities have apparently committed a faux pass by directing one of its managers, involved in finalising the tender for preparing staff uniforms, to investigate the allegations of use of substandard material during the preparation of uniforms.

The commercial manager of the corporation has been asked to compile and appraise the complaints by the staff regarding the use of substandard material by a Noida-based contractor while making the uniforms and send his report to the higher authorities.

This follows the publication of a report in these columns on Wednesday. UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas, also CITCO’s secretary, had directed the managing director to fix the responsibility in the matter.

Most employees of the corporation had complained that their uniforms had faded after just one wash. Besides, these were either oversized or tight and not fit for use.

Terming the handing over of the assignment to the commercial manager wrong, Kashmir Chand, president, CITCO Workers’ Union, said the step had defeated the very purpose for which investigation was being carried out.

“The commercial manager was one of main officials to have finalised the contractor through e-tendering. He had also finalised the details with the contractor. He should have not be given the assignment,” said Chand, demanding a thorough probe by a retired IAS officer or a High Court judge into the matter.

After observing that the cloth used by the contractor did not match with the sample, an employee had approached the manager around a month ago, demanding examination of the material in laboratory. However, the official did not pay heed to the demand, added Chand.

The corporation had hired the contractor for a whopping Rs 32 lakh in November. Most employees were yet to receive their uniforms from the contractor.

CITCO’s managing director DK Tiwari said the commercial manager had been assigned the job under the rules.

“The commercial manager deals with all such commercial matters. So there is nothing wrong in assigning him with the task of looking into the complaints of the staff regarding their uniforms,” remarked Tiwari. 



Mohali City Centre set to get facelift
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 11
The face of the City Centre, Sector 62 here, which has been planned on the lines of Central Piazza in Sector 17 Chandigarh, is all set to change. After lying in total neglect for the past many years, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has started the work to facelift the area.

Beginning with the Leisure Valley-cum-city park, work has already begun to construct a boundary wall around the park and erect two gates. The engineering department has been given Rs 2 crore to lay a jogging track and a cycle track around the existing track. To create more space within the park, the existing section of the N choe was being realigned so that more space could be used to plant more trees and provide facilities like benches, swings and other public amenities. Two new parkings, one towards the Phase 9 side and another towards the YPS School side were being created. “The park which forms part of the City Centre is being designed keeping in mind the concept plan given by the Jurong for the area”, said the GMADA Chief Administrator Saravjit Singh.

Adjoining to the City Park, an amusement park is also on the cards. The process to allot the work of a five-star hotel-cum-convention centre project to a selected company is in final stages.

The Chief Administrator said GMADA would also begin work on some of the internal roads so that development could be visible to the investors who were keen on investing in the Central Business District (CBS) which forms a part of the City Centre, spread over 200 acres.

The development of the City Centre has got further thrust with the GMADA and the SGPC-controlled management of the Amb Sahib Gurdwara mutually agreeing to realign the boundary wall of the religious place. At a recent meeting chaired by the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the decision to realign 14 acres of land to Amb Sahib Gurdwara was taken.

Concept plan

At the City Centre, a new concept of ‘ work-shop-play-live’ in the commercial business district (CBD) would be introduced. Planned on the concept of free-flowing design, the design of the business district is a shift from the concept of ‘work-n-shop’ seen in Chandigarh’s commercial centres of Sectors 17 and 34. To ensure that the business district reflects vibrancy, the authority has allowed mega malls, hotels, commercial area, mix-land use activity, including residential quarters up to the height of 65 metres (213 feet). Since Sector 62 is the gateway to Punjab, the development will serve as the new landmark for the entire state. Plus, the City Centre would be in continuity to the city centres in Sectors 17, 34 and 42 of Chandigarh. The Chandigarh business centres, Sector 62 and another proposed City Centre in Sector 88 all fall along the main road, which will ultimately serve as a vital road link for the region.



4 sectors to have enforcement beat boxes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Four main city sectors — 15, 17, 19 and 22 — will now have beat boxes for the enforcement staff, who will be on standing duty there.

This was decided at an enforcement committee meeting, chaired by nominated councillor MPS Chawla, here today.

The members said the departments concerned would chalked out a draft plan and submit it to the UT Chief Architect’s department for approval.

Chawla reproached the elected members for showing leniency towards those encroaching upon public land by desisting from taking stringent action against encroachers as it was an election year.

He said the committee had no purpose if its members were not willing to devise new ways of taking encroachers to task in the city.

He even offered to resign from the chairmanship of the committee at its next meeting if the councillors continued to soft-pedal on the issue.

The committee members instructed enforcement inspectors to wear proper uniform during work from next Monday.

They also decided to recruit only physically fit beldars (labourers) in the enforcement wing.

The committee directed the removal of temporary sheds of vacant liquor vends in Indira Colony and other areas of the city.



Online facility for HUDA allottees
Tribune news service

Panchkula, July 11
Allottees of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) will now be able to pay their dues from any location through the portal of Punjab National Bank (PNB) as on Monday, ‘Payment gateway and Online collection’ facility was inaugurated by SS Dhillon, financial commissioner and principal secretary, Town and Country Planning and KR Kamath, chairman and managing director of PNB, at HUDA headquarters in Panchkula.

On this occasion Kamath said that with the launch of the facility, HUDA customers could pay their dues from any location to every location. The Mani Majra Branch of the bank had been appointed as the nodal branch for these transactions, he added.

He added that at present this facility would be available for Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh but later the facility would be extended to the other parts of India as well.

Whereas SS Dhillon lauded the new initiative of PNB and said that now the HUDA allottees need not go to the offices of HUDA to make payment and they could make payment from PNB bank itself.



12 illegal structures removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The municipal corporation’s enforcement staff demolished 12 cantilevers of six houses, including four having three storeys, extended illegally and removed encroachment from municipal land worth crores of rupees at Kajheri village today. The drive was conducted under the supervision of Additional Commissioner-II Lalit Siwach and was assisted by other officials of the corporation.

The Additional Commissioner asked the offenders to remove encroachment from the municipal land on their own. The drive began at 10 am and ended late in the evening.



UT panel approves 20 cr for GMCH project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The standing finance committee of the UT administration has approved a sum of Rs 20 crore for the setting up of Centre of Excellence to be developed alongside Mental Health Institute, here today.

The project is expected to cost around Rs 30 crore and land has already been allotted in Sector 32 for the purpose.

The union health ministry had given its approval to the project, to be undertaken by the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, last year under the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP).

While the Mental Health Institute will meet the long-term care needs of mentally-ill patients, the Centre of Excellence will help raise manpower in the field.

Separate units for men and women have been proposed to be set up for long as well as intermediate stays at the Mental Health Institute.

Separate units for undertrials and criminals with mental disorders will be part of the institute. Besides, the institute will house a workshop and a playground.

Similarly, the Centre of Excellence, in addition to offering MPhil courses in clinical psychology and psychiatric social work, will have eight seats in MD (psychiatry).

The department of psychiatry at the GMCH currently has just two seats for the course.

With the approval of the standing finance committee, the case will now be forwarded to the Adviser to UT Administrator, before being sent to the union ministry of health, said UT Finance Secretary VK Singh.



MC issues100 notices to shopkeepers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 11
The Municipal Corporation has issued more than 100 notices and 500 are in the pipeline to shopkeepers for advertising various products on the boards in violation of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976.

The shopkeepers doing their business in the market areas of Phase I, II, V and VI have been issued notices under Sections 125 and 126 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976. In the notices it has been stated that during a checking it was found that shopkeepers were advertising various products on boards without taking the required permission from the civic body and without paying the advertisement tax. The shopkeepers have been asked to present themselves at the office of the corporation failing which legal action would be initiated against them.

Sources said that according to the bylaws laid down in this regard, a shopkeeper could only display the name of his shop on a board measuring 5 ft by 3 ft. He was not allowed to display the names of the products or brand names being sold by him on the board. A shopkeeper who wished to display names of brands being sold by him had to a pay a tax at the rate of Rs 40 per sq ft and the tax for those using illuminated boards was Rs 80 per sq ft. The penalty for violating the bylaws was five times the tax amount but could be imposed only by a court.



31 persons were born every minute, says health minister
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 11
Controlling the population of India is very important if we wish to see our country prosper, said Satpal Gosain, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab, at a state-level function organised here today in connection with World Population Day.

He said c, which was not visible. India had a population of more than 121 crores and if the growth rate continued like this, then by year 2050 India’s population would exceed 170 crore. He said the population clock showed 31 persons were born every minute. As many as 1.63 crore people are added each year which is equal to Australia’s population.

He said the current year’s theme was "Small family-overall development" under which issues like future planning, equality and elimination of poverty needed to be undertaken.

Dr Ashok Nayyar, director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, said Punjab had already achieved its target regarding various activities like tubectomies, vasectomies, IUD etc. Functions were being organised at all the districts as well as 49 subdivisions for awareness and inter-departmental coordination for controlling the population.

A rally by students was also flagged off by the health minister. 



Complex issue for admn
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The “paying guest” issue seemed to have become a complex issue for the Chandigarh Administration.

On one hand, many senior officials of the administration feel that with the city emerging as an education hub in a big way, the concept of “paying guest” would grow manifold in the coming days, but at the same time, the administration has been trying to check the “nuisance” by allowing only houses of one kanal and above for PG purpose.

There is a proposal that only one kanal or above houses should be allowed to be PGs in the city. But many senior officials of the administration were of the view that in the absence of clear guidelines that can differentiate between PGs and tenants, there is no way to check the problem effectively.

Last week, the estate office has sent a communiqué to the UT Home Secretary stating to modify the earlier order of 2006 wide which permission to run PGs in 10 marla or above houses was notified. The relaxation to use the residential buildings up to 7.5-marla houses for the PG purpose was given in 2007.

“Keeping in view the fact that the PGs in small houses create different problems, including parking chaos in front of the houses, we have asked the authority to allow one kanal and above houses for PG purposes and issue specific guidelines in order to differentiate between a tenant and a PG because during the proceedings before the estate official, people use to defend their version that the occupants of their houses are tenants and not paying guests. Since there is no established guidelines available with the estate office on the issue, it is difficult to solve the matter,” said a senior official of the local estate office.

While the city houses several thousands of paying guests, the records in the estate office shows just six local residents, who have applied to get official permission for the same so far.

But allowing PGs in houses of one kanal (500 square yards) and above will not solve the problem, observed an official in the estate office.

“People are already not applying for permission. So the rule of PG in only big houses will work is surely doubtful,” he said, adding that instead the administration should think otherwise on the issue and hold meetings to streamline the business in the city. 

y Senior officials of the administration were of the view that in the absence of clear guidelines that can differentiate between PGs and tenants, there is no way to check the problem effectively.



Flute maestro enthrals audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, July 11
The soulful strains of melody emanated from the flute of an acclaimed flautist, Ravinder Singh at the Pracheen Kala Kendra’s 166th baithak programme enthralled audience at the kendra auditorium here today.

Known for his dexterity and profound knowledge, Ravinder Singh commenced the recital with an exposition of raga bageshwari. He bared the melodic character of raga through an elaborated aalap jod and jhala before presenting a slow paced (vilambat) composition set to ektaal, which was followed with a medium-tempo gat in jhap taal and a fast-paced gat in teen taal.

Inspired by the audience response, Ravinder Singh presented raga des with an aalap jod, jhala and two compositions in madhya lya and drut lya.

On the request of the audience, he presented melodies of raga malhar in brief aalap, jod jhala and a bandish in teen taal. He concluded the recital with a thumri in raga peelu, immortalised by legendry Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia. Music connoisseurs, P Yashpaul, MR Chandla and others, sat through the programme.

Ravinder Singh was ably accompanied by Mehmood Khan on tabla. Kendra registrar Shobha Koser honoured the artistes. 



Tree plantation drive at Mohali

Mohali, July 11
In a major greenery drive in Mohali, the horticulture wing of GMADA has begun planting 10,000 trees saplings of 13 different species at a cost of around Rs 1 crore. For the first time, a minimum 4 ft tall tree saplings are being planted to ensure a high-survival rate.

The executive engineer, horticulture, GMADA, HS Dhaliwal, said the trees were being planted along all the major roads, parks and schools. The work to procure the tree saplings, provide tree guards and planting of saplings has been allotted to three different contractors. — TNS



Man dies after being hit by train
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 11
A 32-year-old man died after being hit by the Delux Express coming from Ambala side on the Chandigarh-Ghaggar railway track near Gazipur Jattan village here this afternoon. The deceased was identified as Nirmal Singh, a resident of Nagla village.

According to Railway police sources, they got the information around 4.35 pm that the body of a man was lying near the railway track. The police said the family members were informed and the body of the deceased had been sent for postmortem at Dera Bassi Civil Hospital. He is survived by 11-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter besides his wife Sharanjit Kaur. He was the younger brother of Avtar Nagla, who was former Krishi Vikas Shilp Kendra director.



Huge rush on Day 1 of college admissions
Sec-11 girls’ college top arts choice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
A huge rush was witnessed in city colleges on the first day of admissions today as students thronged both government and private colleges alike.

While seats of popular courses like BCA, bioinformatics and computer science were filled at a majority of colleges on the first day, it was students who had secured above 70 per cent who managed to get admission to BA in many colleges.

At Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, a total of 230 seats were filled in BA. The cut-off today was a remarkable 89.8 per cent.

In BSc biotech, the cut-off was 77.2 per cent for the UT pool and 87.8 per cent for general. In biotech elective, the cut-off was 72 per cent for the UT pool and 85.02 per cent for general.

In bioinformatics, the cut-off was 84.8 per cent.

In case of the non-medical stream, it was 88.8 per cent. In microbiology, the cut-off was 63.4 per cent for the UT pool and 85.6 per cent for general.

The cut-off for BSc medical was 79.6 per cent.

The Sector-11 girls’ college was the first choice for arts as over 400 seats were filled today. Sixty seats each were filled in BSc computer science, medical and non-medical.

In case of private colleges, 200 seats in arts at DAV College, Sector 10, were filled today.

The cut-off in case of BCA was 70 per cent.



No ‘room’ for students in education hub
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Stringent selection criteria and long waiting lists in both private and government-run hostels located in the city has become a nightmare for students coming to the city each year, particularly in wake of spiralling prices of paying guest and rented accommodations.

All this coupled with the dearth of such hostels for students in Chandigarh has made the experience of finding “a suitable accommodation” more taxing for parents and students alike.

While hostels like Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) hostel in Sector 11, All-India Women Conference (AIWC) hostel, Sector 11, and Working Women Hostel in Sector 24 are jam-packed even at the onset of the admissions season, others like Agarwal Ashram (hostel for boys), Sector 15, and Rama Krishna Mission Ashram (for boys) permit students to stay on the basis of selection.

“Only sincere and serious students, who are preparing for some entrance exam are admitted to the hostel to avoid hassles. Their receipts of coaching centres are also verified,” said Sharda Sharma, owner-cum-trust member of Agarwal hostel for boys.

Other privately run hostels and even those being supervised by charitable organisations and NGOs have tied up with coaching institutes to ensure discipline. “We prefer to admit students preparing for medical entrance exams and have also tied up with a coaching institute in Sector 34. Enrolling students who are receiving coaching for various entrance exams ensures that discipline is maintained and students get a comfortable environment to study,” said Vineeta Arora Bharti, member in charge of AIWC hostel for girls, Sector 11.

Incidentally, despite availability of seats in certain hostels, there is a strict selection criterion of procuring a seat. The most preferred candidates for admission to these hostels are either working boys or girls or those who are preparing for some entrance exam.

“College and university students have no fixed timings nor they are serious towards studies. Hence, most hostels prefer to select students beforehand,” added Bharti.

Commenting on the availability of seats and rush witnessed throughout the year, Preeti Joseph, hostel secretary of YWCA said, “The demand for hostel seats is there throughout the year, although it is in July that we receive maximum queries. We admit girls on first-come-first-serve basis and prefer working women or those preparing for entrance exams.”

City colleges, PU hostels

All government and private colleges in the city, including MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA), Government colleges in Sectors 11, 42 and 46 and Dev Samaj College, Sectors 36 and 45, have hostels either on the premises or located nearby the colleges and enrolment is restricted for students of the institute only.

Hostel located on the premises of Home Science College, Sector 10, for instance permits admission to girls enrolled in government colleges in the city, although the seats get filled up soon.

At the Panjab University campus alone, the number of students enrolled has shot up from a few hundreds to nearly 18,000 presently in the last few years, a majority being outstation students.

With the new hostels coming up on the campus now, there would be 2,920 hostel seats for boys and 3,024 seats for girls, according to the university statistics. In addition to this, 600 seats have been added for the girls recently.

In the session 2009-2010, out of nearly 160 students, who did not get seats in the hostels, nearly 100 were accommodated on guest charges.

Other lodging options

Hostel: AIWC

Location: Sector 11

Total seats: 42

Room type: Dormitory, single and double sharing

Estimate cost (per head per month): ~4,500-~5,500, including meals

Preference: Only for girls (strictly for those preparing for medical entrance exams)

Status of seats: Full (waiting list- 25-30 students)

Hostel: Agarwal Hostel for Boys

Location: Sector 15

Total seats: 48

Room type: For one person (single)

Estimate cost (per head per month): ~4,000-~4,500, including meals

Preference: Only for boys (selection system, those preparing for entrance exams preferred)

Status of seats: Full

Hostel: Young Women Christian Association (YWCA)

Location: Sector 11

Total seats: 64

Room type: Two, three and four seats sharing

Estimate cost (per head per month): ~3,000-~4,000, including meals

Preference: Only for girls (those preparing for entrance exams preferred)

Status of seats: Full (no formal waiting list)

Hostel: Working Women Hostel

Location: Sector 24

Total seats: 72

Room type: Three seat sharing

Estimate cost (per head per month): ~2,400 (including meals)

Preference: Only for girls (30 per cent students, 70 per cent working women)

Status of seats: 6-7 seats available (waiting list- 7 students) 



For students, lodging comes at a price
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
With an exponential increase in the number of coaching institutes in the city and similar rise in the number of courses being offered by colleges and Panjab University now, lodging and spiralling rents for the same have become a prime concern of students, who come to the city to study.

Restrictions in the government and privately run hostels, particularly those in Sectors 11, 15 and 24 and dearth of such hostels have diverted the students to look for alternate lodging such as paying guests accommodations or renting rooms.

Lodging logistics

Considering the location in the city, a paying guest accommodation would cost a student anywhere between Rs 4,500 to Rs 6,000, including all meals and electricity charges. Lists of the paying guests accommodations are available in e-directories and also on official websites of certain private colleges in the city. Certain other paying guests accommodations have tied up with coaching institutes so that students do not face hassle looking for lodging, following enrolment in these institutes.

In sectors adjoining Panjab University, government colleges, Home Science College and other educational institutes located in Sector 11, the students’ demand of lodging is on all time high. Rooms offered by PGs are generally furnished and three to four girls share each room.

In Sectors 15, 16 and 11 where the paying guest charges are usually on the higher side, one can find a good PG ranging between Rs 5,500 and Rs 6,000. In Sector 15 that adjoins PU, hiring a room would cost anywhere between Rs 4,500-Rs 6,000 on sharing basis, depending on the location and condition of the accommodation. 
This cost is, however, excluding meals.

A spiralling effect can be witnessed in Sector 16, where a paying guest accommodation would be available for Rs 4,500 to Rs 5,000 per head, including food and lodging. Renting a room in this sector would vary anywhere between Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,500, excluding meals.

Sectors adjoining PU (including Sec 15, 16)

Paying guest accommodation: 
Rs 4,500 Rs 6,000, including meals

Renting a room: 
Rs 3,500 Rs 5,500 on sharing basis



Visually challenged students demand release of result
Allege insensitivity by Punjab School Education Board
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Alleging insensitivity on the part of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), about a dozen students of the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, here are demanding the release of their 10+2 result immediately.

Twelve students of the institute, which is affiliated with the PSEB, had taken the examinations this year.

While the result of three of the girl students is yet to be released by the board, the rest nine students have been running from pillar to post to get their required original documents from there.“We are being harassed at the hands of officials of the board for getting our work done. Despite our disability, we have been forced to make several rounds to the office everyday, but nobody seems to be bothered there about our work,” alleged Helima, Mamta Sharma and Mamta Priya, all students of the institute.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the trio said their 10+2 result is yet to be declared by the board whereas the admission process in the colleges had already started. “We are being told that the our marks in the musical instrument (theory) subject are yet to be calculated by the board. Is it our fault? Why our work should not be done on a priority basis?” asked the students.

The rest nine students alleged that their result was declared only on the Internet and that, too, after about a month later from the result of other students. “The result of class XII was declared on May 31, but our (Institute of the Blind Students) result was put on the Internet on June 29 only. Now the college authorities are demanding the original certificates which are not being provided to us by the board’s officials despite making several rounds of the office,” said Mohammad Isrial, Abhishek, Parveen Kumar and others.

Terming the attitude of the officials of the board as “sheer insensitive and inhuman, JS Jayara, headmaster of the institute, said he had been making rounds of the board for the past one month for his students. “Instead of showing any cooperation or sympathetic view of our disability, every time they make me go from one room to another. I am very worried for the admission of my students in the colleges here,” said Jayara, who is also visually challenged.

“This is not the first time, we are facing such difficulties. Every year the story is the same,” said KR Sood, honorary secretary of the institute. When contacted Sukhwinder Kaur Saroya, controller of examinations, PSEB, said she was not aware of the issue. “I will look into the matter and ensure that the work of these students would get done by tomorrow.”



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