C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City second most urbanised UT
97.25 pc in urban areas, up 7.48 pc
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Chandigarh is India’s second most urbanised union territory (UT) after the NCT of Delhi, with an overwhelming 97.25 per cent of the population living in urban areas, a decadal increase of 7.48 per cent over the 2001 Census.

In fact, there is a clear shift from UT villages to the city, with the village population registering a negative decadal growth of 68.51 per cent, as against a growth of 26.86 per cent in the urban population over the 2001 Census, figures released in New Delhi today indicated.

While the NCT of Delhi remains the most urbanised territory in the country, with 97.5 per cent population living in urban areas, the percentage decadal increase in the total number of persons living in urban areas has been more in Chandigarh (7.48 per cent), compared to Delhi (4.32 per cent).

According to the 2011 Census data, there are only 29,004 persons, 17,155 male and 11,849 female, living in the UT’s 13 villages, as against 1,025,682 persons living in the urban areas. Of the total urban population of 1,025,682, there are 563,127 male and 462,555 female.

In the 2001 Census, of the total population of 9,00,635, the urban population had been calculated at 8,08,515, comprising 89.77 per cent. In the 2011 Census, there were 92,120 persons living in rural areas, 56,816 male and 35,304 female.

However, there has been an improvement in the gender ratio in this Census, with the overall gender ratio pegged at 818, as against 777 in the 2001 Census.

The rural gender ratio was pegged at 621 in 2001, which had gone up to 691, while the urban gender ratio had risen to 821 from 796in 2001.

“Given the excellent infrastructure in urban areas, it is not surprising that a substantial number of people have shifted from the rural areas to the urban areas in the past decade. While this is an all-India trend, it is more pronounced in Chandigarh, with five villages being brought under the jurisdiction of the Chandigarh municipal corporation,” says researcher Dr Ranjay Vardhan.

Census at a glance

l 97.25 per cent of Chandigarh’s population lives in urban areas
l Chandigarh a shade behind Delhi (97.5 per cent) in percentage of urban population
l Only 29,004 persons live in UT villages, as against 1,025,682 in urban areas
l Villages register negative decadal growth of 68.51 per cent
l City population up by 26.86 per cent over 2001 Census
l Sex ratio for UT villages a mere 691 per 1000, as against 821 in urban areas



25-year-old youth wins ‘0001’ for Rs 7.5 lakh
Gets it for his BMW at RLA auction
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A 25-year-old city resident bid a whopping Rs 7.5 lakh for the number ‘0001’, that was auctioned today, for his swanky grey BMW, priced at Rs 50 lakh.“This is the third time I participated and won in an auction for VIP numbers.

I have two other cars with numbers ‘0002’ and ‘0003’. I am elated to get ‘0001’ as I have completed the series,” said Hardeep Singh, a Sector-15 resident, who said he owned a petrol station each at Panchkula and Pinjore and ran an immigration company at Sector 8 in  “I have always been crazy for VIP numbers. My mobile number has six zeroes in it,”he said.

“I would have paid any amount for this number,” said Hardeep, who left seven bidders behind.

In all, the UTs Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) fetched almost Rs 40 lakh (Rs 39,95,200) for the 91 numbers that were auctioned.

The second highest bid after ‘0001’ was for the number CH-01-AJ-0007, which fetched Rs 2.9 lakh, which worked out to over Rs 4 lakh less.

The next in line was ‘0027’, which fetched Rs 2.53 lakh, followed by the number ‘0005’ which fetched Rs 2.05 lakh.

In the previous auction held in April, ‘0001’ in the AH series had fetched Rs 7 lakh.

Past year, Narinder Singh Shergill, a Punjab-based farmer, had bought the number ‘0001’ in the AC series for Rs 10 lakh for his Toyota SUV Fortuner, which had cost him Rs 20 lakh.

Auction began two hours late

Causing harassment to those eager to get the number of their choice, the auction for the new series, CH 01 AJ, started two hours late. Instead of beginning at 11.30 am, the auction began at 1.15 pm and went on until late in the evening. 



Students suffer CBSE delay
Class X report cards awaited
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
month after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) declared the class X examination results, thousands of city students are yet to get continuous and comprehensive evaluation report cards.

Implication: all admissions to class XI are provisional and students risk getting their admission cancelled in case there is disparity in their result.

A majority of students have secured admission on the basis of Internet-generated grade sheets and have been unable to procure the report cards despite repeated visits to their schools.

“I have been making frantic calls to my previous school to know when I am getting my report card as the school in which I have taken admission in class XI has repeatedly been asking for it. The school says the board has not sent it so far,” says Sanat Ahuja, a student who has passed class X from a school at Sector 26.

The new report card is the first of its kind for students, who have been evaluated on their 13 non-academic aspects using descriptive indicators and grades, class IX results and final scores received in either the CBSE examination or the school examination.

Different principals cited different reasons for the delay. “We got special folders or report cards just two days ago. It is a six-page document, which has to be filled in and signed by the school authorities. It takes time,” said the principal of a private school.

Government schools blamed the CBSE for it. “We have been making desperate calls to the CBSE office, but officials claim that report cards will take some more time,” said the principal of a model school.



Another witness turns hostile
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A key prosecution witness in the rape-on-wheels case, watchman Eklakh, turned hostile here today. The high-profile case had been registered against former UT Home Secretary and top Haryana-cadre IAS officer NK Jain and others.

A watchman with Hotel Pankaj Green Park at Ramgarh in Panchkula, Eklakh informed the court that neither did he see the accused visiting the hotel, nor did anything happen at the hotel. Before Eklakh, hotel owner Karan Singh had turned hostile during the previous hearing.

In the charge sheet filed in 2003, UT cops had stated that on August 14, 2002, accused Surinder Sharma and Baldev Kumar took the victim in their car to the hotel. According to the charge sheet, Sharma then asked the victim to accompany him to a room, which she refused, following which he contacted Ram Lal, gave some pills to the victim and compelled her to consume a cough syrup.

In the charge sheet, the police had stated that Sharma violated the victim and late in the night, he, and Baldev threw her out of the car at Sector 33 in Chandigarh.

In August, 2002, the police had registered a case against former Jain and four others for hatching a conspiracy to frame Sector 8-based businessman MK Jain in the rape case.

The victim had alleged that MK Jain took her with him from a computer centre at Sector 20 on the pretext of providing her a job.

She had claimed that the accused gave her a cold drink laced with an intoxicant on the way to Panchkula and later raped and dumped her near the Sector-33 petrol station.

The UT police investigation had found the victim was not raped by MK Jain, but by the former UT Home Secretary, who along with others had hatched a conspiracy to falsely implicate MK Jain in the case.

A Chandigarh district court had framed charges of gangrape and criminal conspiracy against NK Jain, Ram Lal, Narvir Singh, Sharma and Kumar in the case.


Rain brings relief from humidity
Mercury down six degrees; 5.1mm rainfall recorded in tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Giving the much-needed respite to the people of the tricity from hot and humid conditions, monsoon showers in the morning came as a pleasant surprise for them, as the day temperature came down by six degrees.

Chandigarh and its neighborhood recorded about 5.1mm rainfall during the past 24 hours.The temperature came down to 27.6 °C from yesterday’s 33.6 °C. The minimum temperature also dipped to 26 °C from Thursday’s 24 °C.
Commuters take cover from rain under a bus queue shelter on the road separating Sectors 51 and 52 in Chandigarh on Friday.
And the silver haze:Commuters take cover from rain under a bus queue shelter on the road separating Sectors 51 and 52 in Chandigarh on Friday.Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Early-morning rain and intermittent rain during the day brought down the temperature, bringing respite from the hot and sultry conditions prevailing in the city for the past few weeks.

The intermittent showers brought the vehicular traffic to a standstill at several places. Vehicles moved at a snail’s pace in the Sectors 26/27/7/19 roundabout, Transport Chowk and railway station traffic lights due to intermittent showers in the morning office hours.

A meteorological official said: “Generally cloudy sky with one of two spells of rain or thundershowers will occur tomorrow. The maximum temperature on Saturday will be around 28 °C, while the minimum temperature will be around 25 °C.” 



Rain, MC apathy aggravate residents’ woes
Grapple with potholed roads, unfinished work
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A few spells of rain this season have played havoc with city roads even as the work on widening and re-carpeting of roads goes on in the city.The ongoing work on internal roads in various sectors has become a source of inconvenience for area residents, especially when the city is in the midst of the rainy season.

Residents of Sectors 8, 10, 35, 40, 51 and Industrial Area, Phase II, have been complaining of labourers leaving their work unfinished. In most cases, workers have left after digging portions in front of the houses, making the passage of residents difficult. And with rain lashing the city, it has become increasingly difficult for the residents to move out of their houses.

In some cases, construction material has been left outside houses. This has made roads slushy, making it dangerous for motorists, especially two-wheeler riders, to use these.

With the authorities concerned having failed to clear sand from the roads, driving has become difficult for two-wheeler riders especially when the sand has dried up.

A Sector-51 resident said the road widening work has been going on near the CHB flats for the past two months. After digging the road, the contractor left the work midway. Even though residents have urged the authorities to undertake the drive in earnest or undertake it after the monsoon, their requests have gone unheeded.

Similarly, a businessman in Industrial Area, Phase II, said potholes and caved-in sections bore testimony to the havoc rain has wrecked on roads.

This has also exposed the engineering department’s claims of quality work being undertaken by them.

Meanwhile, the flood control centre set up by the municipal corporation received complaints of minor waterlogging due to blockage of road gullies in Sectors 15, 16, 20, 22 and 35 here today.



Two witnesses turn hostile in kidney scam case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Two days after one of the prosecution witnesses turned hostile in the Special CBI court, it was another day of setback for the premier investigating agency of the country in the infamous kidney scam of Gurgaon when two other witnesses turned hostile in the court today.

Babu Ram of Meerut, informed the court that it was CBI officials who promised him to pay Rs 5-7 lakh by selling the property of the accused doctor for recording the statement as per their direction.

The racket was busted on January 24, 2008, and the CBI court had framed charges against Dr Amit, his brother Jeevan Kumar, Dr Krishan, laboratory technician Manoj, middlemen Giyasuddin and Jagdish, nurse Linda, Dr Saraj and Dr Upender.

All the accused, except nurse Linda and Dr Saraj, who are out on bail, are presently lodged in the Ambala central jail.

The other witness, Rajinder, reportedly a victim and a resident of Chamoli in Uttarakhand, also told the court that he did not remember anything in this regard. 



With eye on polls, councillors go all out to woo voters
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Uncertain about allotment of wards in the upcoming municipal corporation elections, all 26 elected councillors are making frantic efforts to woo voters all over the city. Without missing out any opportunity they have been on their toes to make themselves accessible to the public, promising to resolve any area specific problems.

In fact, most councillors have chalked out “special programmes” that, if implemented, could benefit the city’s inhabitants. Manjeet Singh, a Congress party councillor and chairman of the MC’s sanitation committee, has even begun a “sanitation campaign” in various villages and residential colonies beginning Thursday. Asserting there was a need to make extra efforts to improve sanitation, he said: “Even though the sanitation department had undertaken such a campaign during the past two months, a lot still remains to be done in this area”, he added.

According to MC records, the mayor had launched a sanitation campaign on a weekly basis from January 18 in all villages and residential colonies in the city, which is still continuing under the aegis of the medical officer of the health department.

Interestingly, all the elected members of the enforcement committee which were very loud on ‘zero tolerance’ of encroachment in the city, two months ago, are now requesting the authorities not to take very stringent action against them as it is the sources of their employment. In a recent committee meeting all elected councilors suggested that until an alternative site is allotted to them no action should be taken against them by the concerned department.

Sources close to various political parties said to be in the “good books” of all city residents this year, none of the councillors was taking any interest in setting up ward committees in any sector as they have to propose their names. “They know that who so ever is left out in this committee will be annoyed with them and they don’t want to take such a risk at this stage”, the sources added.

There appears to be stiff competition among councillors to get development projects in their wards completed at the earliest, especially those which could be “inaugurated” by them before the imposition of the “model code of conduct” when the MC polls are announced.



Councillors want MC depts to complete unfinished works
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The issue of failure of the departments concerned to complete development works in the city was taken up at a meeting held under MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda with councillors of ward Nos. 6 to 10 here today

Of the five councillors, Rita Sharma of ward No. 8 and Jagjit Singh Kang of ward No. 9 did not attend the meeting.

The councillors pointed out that it had become a norm for the departments concerned to keep tabling the same issues time and again and demand revised budget for their completion from the general house.

The councillors complained of lack of monitoring of works carried out by contractors by the officials concerned. As a result, in most cases, the contractor left the work midway.

The councillors also complained of omission of certain works pertaining to road widening, installation of benches and laying of pavement blocks in their area from the action-taken report prepared by the authorities.

The officials told the councillors that during the last ward meeting held on July 13, deadlines had been set for the completion of pending works of all departments.



Healthyway, tavern get EO notices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The local estate office today served a notice on three offices of Healthyway Immigration Consultants for misusing the basement of their premises in Sector 42 here today.

The notice was served under the Estate Rules, 2007, asking the alleged violator to explain the use of basement for running commercial activity there.

During a survey, the violator was found using basements for commercial activities. The violator has been given 15 days to file a reply.

“The occupant has been given two months’ time to abandon the illegal activity and imposed a fine of Rs 500 per sq feet from the day of the issue of the notice till it is adhere to,” said
Ravinder Sharma, inspector (misuse and enforcement).

Under the rules, basements of commercial sites can only be used for storage purposes. If it is to be used for any other purpose, the occupant has to procure permission from the local estate office.

Meanwhile, the estate office has served a notice on a tavern in the same sector for using the basement as a seating area.

“The tavern was also served the notice under the same section. The place was being misused as a drinking place,” he added.



Service lanes serve as dumps, parking lots for city residents
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Planned in the first phase of City Beautiful to keep the city clean, service lanes are fast turning into dumps of debris and waste material and a happy hunting ground for encroachers.

The service or back lanes, which exist in Sectors 1 to 30, were meant for taking away garbage from houses. However, the lanes have ended up being parking lots, yards for storing construction material and even garbage dumps.

And those that have been spared have ended up being encroached upon by “dhobis”, who have set up their stalls in these lanes.

Civic disservice:Service lanes are fast turning into dumps of debris and waste material, parking spaces and a happy hunting ground for encroachers. Tribune lensman Manoj Mahajan captured the state of some of the lanes at Sector 18, Chandigarh.

In the absence of any stringent policy regarding the use of service lanes, the municipal corporation has failed to check its misuse.

The MC has even shied away from its responsibility of maintaining these lanes, which remain covered with thick congress grass, providing a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

A visit to Sectors 11, 15, 18, and 21 is enough to gauge the state of service lanes.

Some residents have got together and taken upon themselves the task of keeping the lanes clean. However, they have installed gates, which remain locked most of the times.

The open lanes continue to remain littered with garbage, including construction material.

Sunil Chopra, a resident of Sector 18 and member of the area Residents’ Welfare Association, said service lanes in their sectors were full of encroachment carried out by residents.

“Service lanes are serving as parking and storage spaces for residents right under the nose of the municipal corporation,” he said.

With monsoon having already arrived, these lanes have not yet been cleaned up in most sectors.

Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) chairman PC Sanghi said in spite of repeated reminders to the MC authorities for getting the service lanes cleaned up, nothing had been done.

“Garbage collectors often refuse to pick up horticulture waste, which is subsequently disposed of by residents in the service lanes along with the other waste material,” he said.

While the MC keeps harping on coming out with a stringent policy regarding the use of service lanes, the policy is nowhere to be seen. This has only emboldened residents to carry out encroachment in the lanes.

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said it wasn’t clear whether it was the responsibility of the municipal corporation or that of the UT administration to clear encroachment from the service lanes.

“There are no guidelines for us to act against the encroachers,” he said.

He added that the cleanliness of service lanes was not the responsibility of the corporation. Rather, it was the duty of the residents to keep these clean.



Panchkula students favour Chandigarh colleges
60% seats in all streams in Govt College lying vacant 
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
More than 60 per cent of the seats in almost all streams at Government College, Sector 1, here are lying vacant, as Chandigarh colleges continue to attract students of this satellite town.

However, as the admission process in Chandigarh colleges is on, the college authorities here are hoping that once the admission is over in the city, they would be able to fill seats in various streams, as students will apply for various courses here.

According to sources, even though the college has been able to fill a majority of the seats in the commerce stream (BCom and MCom), there seem to be no takers for the arts courses, as only 30 per cent seats of the total 400 seats have been filled. Similar was the situation in the BSc medical and non-medical streams, as about 30 per seats have been filled.

Similar was the situation in the BCA, where about 25 per seats out of the total 40 seats have been filled so far. There are also few takers for geology, as only 10 to 11 students have opted for the subject. A minimum of 20 seats have to be filled as per the
Kurukshetra University norms to run the course. Last year, the college had not admitted any students for geology.

Earlier, Kurukshetra University had fixed July 15 as the last date for admissions, but as the colleges in the state have not been able to fill the seats in various streams, the university has now extended the date by one week to July 22.

Principal Savita Tayal said they were hopeful of filling seats in all streams after students with lesser pass percentage would turn to the college here after the admissions in Chandigarh were over. She claimed that government colleges in Chandigarh were also able to fill seats with lesser pass percentage. Reserved seats for the SC/ST candidates would be offered to the general category candidates if no one applied for the reserved category seats, she informed.

Tayal said the college was also facing a staff crunch for the ongoing courses as well, as there were only nine teachers in the commerce stream against the sanctioned strength of 14. “Similarly, we have only two teachers left for economics as the one of the teachers retired from service recently,” she added.

“The college is also facing problem in the proper upkeep of the library, as only five posts of librarian exist in the college. And out of this, one post of junior librarian is lying vacant,” said Tayal.



Police to question insurance firms, buyers
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 15
The recovery of 51 cars by the Mohali Police from members of a notorious gang of interstate criminals has led the investigators to the insurance companies from where the information about the total loss vehicles was being procured.

One of the key members of the gang, Chetan Bakshi, who is believed to be in close contact with source persons in insurance companies, was the vital link in procuring data about total loss vehicles and getting the engine and chassis numbers embossed on the stolen vehicles.

The criminals were friends with surveyors of insurance companies who assisted them in arranging the total loss vehicles. The police had found that the criminals lifted accidental vehicles while keeping their owners in the dark and sold them off after tampering with the engine and chassis numbers.

Last year, Bakshi had slipped from the hands of the police after it had recovered around 25 stolen vehicles. The police had zeroed in on two persons who specialised in embossing the engine and chassis numbers and were doing the job for the gang at a price. “The recovery of the 51 vehicles is just the tip of the iceberg. The sale of lifted and snatched cars has emerged as a multi-crore business in which different gangs are actively involved. In the past one year, the Mohali Police has recovered 125 stolen vehicles. New vehicles were mostly targeted,” said a police official. Following questioning of the arrested members of the gang, the police would seek remand of other co-accused presently lodged in Delhi and Patiala jails. It has emerged that arrested members of the gang were exchanging vehicles with other gangs across the country. Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar said production warrants of car lifters in custody of Patiala and Delhi Police would be sought so that a complete picture of the network could emerge.

The police had also found that a number of vehicles had been sold off in connivance with officials in the office of the District Transport Officer, Moga. The SSP said different teams were working to tie the lose ends in the case. Officials in the insurance companies, sellers in the car bazaar market and buyers would be questioned in the coming days. Three notorious members of the gang Manoj, Vijay and Parveen, alias Sonu, who are wanted by the Mohali Police, are known faces in the business of selling stolen and snatched cars. 



Joy for some, misery for others
Tribune News Service

 A parked Maruti Wagon R buried under debris of a collapsed wall near VIP road at Zirakpur on Friday
SQUEEZED A parked Maruti Wagon R buried under debris of a collapsed wall near VIP road at Zirakpur on Friday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, July 15
Friday showers brought both relief and sorrow for Zirakpur residents. People were happy as the temperature dipped due to heavy rain, while at the same time, a resident of Monarch Apartment on the VIP road had suffered a loss worth lakhs of rupees as a wall collapsed on her car.

According to sources, the incident occurred around 9.40 am when Nita, a resident of Monarch Apartment, had parked her car near the boundary wall of Jaipuria Sunrise Housing Project and went inside her house. The wall collapsed on the car and damaged it completely. Later, she submitted a complaint to the police against the builder of the housing apartment, sources added.

Meanwhile, the heavy rain in the morning resulted in waterlogging on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway and on the Zirakpur-Dera Bassi highway near Silver City. The rainwater also accumulated on the internal roads of Pabhat, Baltana, Dhakoli and surrounding villages. Some of the shopkeepers on the Zirakpur-Patiala road were seen draining the rainwater out of their shops. Residents rued that the Zirakpur Municipal Council had totally failed to make proper arrangements for disposal of rainwater before monsoon.



Shopkeepers told to vacate land
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 15
Resentment prevails among shopkeepers of Lambian village here who have been asked by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to vacate the area within three days failing which their structures would be razed.

According to reports, officials of GMADA visited the village yesterday and asked shopkeepers to vacate the area by Monday after which a demolition drive would be carried out. This has created panic among shopkeepers who are holding meetings and also contacting political leaders to pressurise GMADA to hold its action.

Naresh Kumar Dhiman, who runs a saw mill in the village, said his family was staying in the village for the past 40 years. When the land of the village was acquired some shopkeepers were promised booth sites while residents were to be given plots. Even as residents were being given possession of plots, shopkeepers had only been issued letters of intent nearly 10 years ago.

Twenty five per cent of the allotment price had been deposited with the development authority but no allotment letters were given to them so far. When the letters of intent were issued to shopkeepers in 2001, the authorities concerned had said six months time would be given to them to vacate the area after they were given possession of the booth sites. Now all of a sudden they had been asked to vacate the area even when booths sites had not been allotted to shopkeepers so far.

SK Bains, SDO, GMADA, confirmed that a team had gone to the village yesterday and asked shopkeepers to vacate the area by Monday, failing which their structures would be demolished. He said there was no provision to provide booth sites to all shopkeepers and only persons who had stayed in the village for generations were being given plots and booths.



Chaos at Sec-30 gurdwara as applicants allege favouritism
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Residents rush for UID Aadhaar smart card at a gurdwara in Sector 30, Chandigarh, on Friday.
Residents rush for UID Aadhaar smart card at a gurdwara in Sector 30, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, July 15
High drama was witnessed at the Sector-30 gurdwara, one of the centres set up by the UT administration for the registration of unique identification (UID) cards of residents, after some applicants who had waited for hours in the queue for their turn alleged favouritism by those overseeing the campaign at the centre.

The cards are being made under the Unique Identification Authority of India’s campaign. Irked by preferential treatment given to certain applicants during the making of the UIDs, the agitated applicants staged a protest at the venue.

Having waited for hours in the queue, the applicants felt cheated when certain people who had filled out their forms a lot later were entertained first.

Yadvindra Mehta, a resident of Sector 30, said those visiting the centre had to wait for long hours for their turn but certain people got preferential treatment with the connivance of the organisers.

“Despite getting a form number, residents were called randomly without following the numbers,” Mehta alleged.

People also alleged mistreatment of some elderly residents who resisted preferential treatment being given to those arriving late at the centre.

Vijay Gupta, another resident waiting for his turn, said even after standing in the queue for two hours he had been asked to wait a little longer while those arriving after him had already got through the entire process.

Even children and women had to go through the trauma of waiting for long hours in the humid basement of the gurdwara.

Swayam, a class-III student, who had come to the venue after attending his school, even as his form had been submitted in the morning, had to wait for his turn for over an hour.

Vimal Thakur, coordinator of the private agency handling the job, said the cards were made on first-come-first-serve basis. However, some impatient residents unnecessarily raised the issue of giving preferential treatment to others, he said



Shalimar Estates directed to refund Rs 2.8 lakh with interest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The UT Consumer Forum has directed Shalimar Estates to refund Rs 2.8 lakh along with an interest of 9 per annum to a Delhi resident for not giving the possession of his plot on time.

In his complaint, Pancham Chand Katoch, a resident of Dwarka, New Delhi, had stated that he had applied for a 10-marla plot in Shalimar Estates, Naggal-Alipur, and the sale agreement was executed between the two parties for Rs 2.45 lakh on March 15, 2002.

The complainant stated that he had paid Rs 61,256 as earnest money at the time of the execution of agreement, while the remaining Rs 1.83 lakh was to be paid in six installments of Rs 30,628 each along with interest. The possession of the plot was to be given within five years of the date of allotment.

However, neither did the builder execute the sale deed nor hand over the possession of the plot even after eight years of the agreement. The complainant approached the builder but they didn’t reply.

In their reply, Shalimar Estates stated that the Government of Haryana had wrongly lodged criminal proceedings against them for developing Shalimar Estates.

Thus, they could not deliver the possession of plot in time, as the matter was sub judice. They were still ready to deliver the possession once the case was decided. In these circumstances, the complainant was not entitled to the refund of the amount, they contended.

The complainant stated that Shalimar Estates had given an undertaking to refund the amount to the persons who were not interested to wait till the decision of the writ petition. So, they could not turn round and say that they were not liable to get the refund of the amount on the grounds that the demand had been made at a later stage.

The forum observed that as the possession had not been delivered so far despite the fact that it was to be delivered in March, 2007, and as per the undertaking, Shalimar Estates agreed to refund the amount to the persons who were not interested to wait till the decision of the writ petition came, the complainant was entitled to get a refund along with interest.

The forum comprising its president Lakshman Sharma directed the respondent to refund Rs 2.8 lakh along with 9 per cent per annum interest from the date of respective deposits till the actual payment.



Woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A 24-year-old woman reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her Burail residence here this evening. The victim, Poonam, got married two months ago and was suffering from depression, the police said.

Her husband Lakhwinder Singh is a taxi driver. No suicide note was found from the spot. The police has initiated inquest proceedings and is recording the statements of the family members. 



Entry of trucks on city-P’kula stretch may be
Heavy vehicle ban from 8 to 10 am mooted to ease congestion
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
With the traffic density on the Chandigarh-Panchkula stretch having risen sharply, the Chandigarh police and the State Transport Authority (STA) plan to divert heavy transport vehicles from Panchkula towards Zirakpur.

After seeing the heavy congestion on this stretch, mainly during mornings, it is now proposed to restrict the entry of vehicles on the road from the traffic lights at Fun Republic to the Transport light point between 8 am to 10 am when the traffic volume is at its peak.

Most trucks coming from neighboring states take this route to Punjab. Though the entry of the trucks during day has already been restricted beyond the Transport lights towards Madhya Marg between 6 am to 11 pm, the authorities now intend to restrict the entry of trucks in the morning hours.

Sources close to the STA said the latter will soon hold a meeting with the traffic department at which the proposal to restrict trucks from taking the route from Chandigarh will be discussed.

“Between 8 to 10 am the huge number of school students and office goers commuting between Chandigarh and Panchkula lead to a heavy rush on the road and trucks further compound the congestion. Hence the department is planning to restrict the entry of heavy vehicles for two hours”, official sources said.

The department plans to divert the trucks from the entry point of Chandigarh near Fun Republic till the Transport lights. Since Panchkula and its periphery have developed as residential areas, the number of people commuting between both cities has skyrocketed, leading to interminable traffic jams.

Officials further said buses coming from Himachal Pradesh and other areas would not be restricted from moving on this stretch during these two morning hours. “Keeping in mind the convenience of commuters coming from different states, the movement of buses won’t be restricted”, STA officials said.

Truckers’ track

Most trucks from neighboring states take this route to Punjab. Though the entry of the trucks during day has already been restricted beyond the Transport lights towards Madhya Marg between 6 am to 11 pm, the authorities now intend to restrict the entry of trucks in the morning hours.



Hoax bomb call at Punjab Secretariat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Two days after the serial bomb blasts rocked Mumbai, the Chandigarh Police received a call at the Police Control Room last night informing that a bomb has been planted in the Punjab Secretariat and is set to explode in some minutes. The call turned out to be hoax and police has arrested the caller.

The crime branch of the police arrested 24-year-old Anit Kumar, a class IV employee with the UT health department, and recovered the cell phone used to make the call.

Inspector Neeraj Sarna, in charge, cyber crime investigation cell, said Anit made the call out of frustration as he was having a matrimonial dispute with his wife. He was urging his wife to return and when she refused, he called the Police Control Room.

The call was made at around 2 am following which police swung into action and cordoned off the area. A bomb disposal squad was pressed into service and the entire building was searched but nothing was found. The accused will be produced in a court tomorrow.

Police sources said the mobile number from which the hoax call was made was registered in the name of a resident of Chandimandir in Panchkula, Phool Singh. He was rounded up and he told the police that he lost his phone around a month ago. The hoax caller was then traced through the tower location of his cell phone.

The police has registered a case under Sections 506 (criminal intimidation) and 507 (criminal intimidation by anonymous communication) of the IPC at the Sector 3 police station.

Six persons have been arrested for making hoax calls to the Chandigarh Police Control Room in the past six months. 



Professor Emeritus Dr Udwadiato address PGI freshers today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Dr Farokh E Udwadia, Emeritus Professor of medicine, Grant Medical College & JJ Group of Hospitals, Mumbai, and an academic and author, will inaugurate the new academic session of the PGI here on Saturday.

He will speak on “Academic Values and Other Perspectives of Medicine” to the new residents who have joined the PGIMER for the new academic session. In all, 174 candidates have joined the MD/MS courses of major specialties like anesthesia, medicine, nuclear medicine, gynaecology, paediatrics, psychiatry, orthosurgery, radio-diagnosis, general surgery, microbiology and pathology.

Thirty students have joined the DM/MCh in cardiology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, paediatric surgery, plastic surgery, urology and surgical gastroenterology.

Thirteen others will begin their PhD. Nine students have joined MPH, eight MDS, two MSc MLT and three MHA courses.

The chief guest will also honour employees to recognise their contribution to the institute.



First woman SHO suffers cervical attack
Tribune News Service

A cervical attack on the city’s first woman SHO, Poonam Dilawari, sent police top brass in a spin. Anxious police officers comprising UT IGP PK Srivastava (wearing specks), UT SSP Naunihal Singh (with his arms folded second from left), DIG Alok Kumar (hands in pocket), SSP (Traffic) HS Doon (cell phone in hand), along with a range of DSPs, Jagbir Singh, Roshan Lal and Sagar (retd), and inspectors Bhavnesh and Neeraj Sarna, wait outside the PGI emergency, on Friday
A cervical attack on the city’s first woman SHO, Poonam Dilawari, sent police top brass in a spin. Anxious police officers comprising UT IGP PK Srivastava (wearing specks), UT SSP Naunihal Singh (with his arms folded second from left), DIG Alok Kumar (hands in pocket), SSP (Traffic) HS Doon (cell phone in hand), along with a range of DSPs, Jagbir Singh, Roshan Lal and Sagar (retd), and inspectors Bhavnesh and Neeraj Sarna, wait outside the PGI emergency, on Friday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari 

Chandigarh, July 15
Inspector Punam Dilawari, who had recently been posted as the SHO of the Sector-3 police station, was rushed to the PGI today after she suffered a cervical attack.

The first woman SHO of the Chandigarh Police, Dilwari was returning to her residence at Sector 39 in her Gypsy when she collapsed and was rushed to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, from where she was referred to the PGI.

Her condition was stated to be stable. She fell unconscious twice again at the hospital when she was given medication.

The cervical attack on her sent the police top brass in a spin. Anxious police officers, including IGP PK Srivastava, SSP Naunihal Singh, DIG Alok Kumar, SSP (Traffic) HS Doon, along with DSPs Jagbir Singh and Roshan Lal, retired DSP Sagar and inspectors Bhavnesh and Neeraj Sarna, visited the PGI to enquire about her welfare.

Dilawari was appointed SHO of the Sector-3 police station on July 1. She had earlier been holding charge of public relations officer.
Inspector Punam Dilawari
Inspector Punam Dilawari 

This was the fourth incident within six months of a police official developing a medical complication while on duty.

Police sources said increased work pressure and stress had been taking a toll on the health of police officials, who were becoming victims of high blood pressure and hypertension.

Two months ago, inspector Hardit Singh, the then SHO of the Sector-17 police station, suffered a paralytic attack. He was on the road to recovery.



Caste Census 2011 from July 18

The Socio-Economic and Caste Census-2011 will begin in Chandigarh from July 18 onwards. Chandigarh has been chosen as one of the Pilot Projects for this survey. A unique feature of this Census is that the enumerators would be using specially designed hand held devices and the data collected would be fed directly into computers. The Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation will be the nodal ministries for the conduct of this Census. Registrar General & Census Commissioner and Director of Census Operations, Chandigarh, will be providing the necessary logistics for this exercise. TN Bindhyeshwari, director of Census operations, Chandigarh, said the necessary guidance and technical assistance had been provided to Chandigarh Administration for the smooth conduct of the Census.

Mega job fest

Students wait for their turn at the mega job fest at PHD House in Sector 31, Chandigarh, on Friday.
Students wait for their turn at the mega job fest at PHD House in Sector 31, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan 

A total of 635 candidates were shortlisted in the mega job fest organised by the Aryans Group of Colleges at PHD Chamber, Sector 31, on Friday. More than 2,500 candidates from the tricity, J&k, Himachal, Haryana and Punjab participated in the fest. Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman, Aryans Group, said topmost national and international companies, including Wipro, Havells, Reliance, Club Mahindra, Aeromatrix, Advance Technologies, Red Alkemi, Span Engineers, Micro Turners, Knack System, Agilyst, KFC, India Mart, Ionnor, Smart Data, Altruist and Maruti Suzuki participated in the fest.

Scholarship for young artistes

Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi on Friday announced names of young artistes between the ages of 20 and 35 years residing in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, selected for receiving scholarship by the akademi for the year 2010-2011. This is the third batch of artistes being given scholarship. The selected young artistes would be given Rs 3,000 per month for a year. The scholarship is given in the names of renowned personalities from the world of art, including Rabindranath Tagore, Amrita Shergill, Dr MS Randhawa, Le Corbusier, Manjit Bawa, J Swaminathan, Jamini Roy, FN Souza, Sohan Qadri and Dr Mulk Raj Anand.

No public hearing session

UT Administrator Shiv Raj Patil will not be attending the public hearing session in the UT Secretariat because of his “pre-occupation”, an official press release said here on Friday.

Foundation day

The foundation day of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) was celebrated at the company’s regional office here on Friday. The function started with the lighting of the lamp by the regional manager. All employees of the company took an oath to serve the country as well as the company.

Mini sports complex

NK Sharma, chairman of the District Planning Board, said a mini sports complex was being constructed in Phase XI at a cost of Rs 3 crore. Besides, Rs 1.5 crore was being spent on the beautification of entry points from the Sector 48 side. Sharma also announced opening of a stitching centre in Phase XI.

Eco-rickshaw scheme

Mohali district administration has started the eco-cab rickshaws in the district. Thirteen such rickshaws, equipped with first aid box and FM radio have already been started with the help of banks. The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, said efforts were being made to introduce 15 more such rickshaws. The cost of one rickshaw is Rs 10,000. The same are being financed by banks. The ADC urged bank officials to make the scheme more popular. So far, Punjab National Bank has financed eight such eco-cab rickshaws.

Placement camp

Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering & Technology (SSIET), Dera Bassi, organised a campus placement drive on the SSIET Campus. Two companies - Tech Shapers and Cross Barrier Technologies - visited the campus. The drive was open for the students of B.Tech (ECE, IT, CSE & MCA).

Principals to issue driving licences

The District Transport Officer, Mohali, on Friday convened a meeting of principals of government ITI, government polytechnics, government engineering colleges and government medical colleges regarding the permission being granted to college principals to issue driving licences to students. He said the State Transport Department had already granted permission to college principals to issue driving licences to students. Guidelines in this regard were issued to the principals.

Green campaign launched

Punjab School Education Board chairman Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon on Friday inaugurated the ‘greenery campaign’ by planting a sapling in the board’s residential complex at Sector 68. Around 500 saplings are to be planted on the premises of the board residential complex. Dr Dhillon said Education Minster Sewa Singh Sekhwan’s dream to make educational institutions green would go a long way in saving the environmental.

Ice-cream day

Small Wonders School organised an ice-cream day “Me & ice-cream best friends forever” to mark the international Ice-Cream Day. Children were taken to Baskin & Robbins to enjoy their favourite flavour of ice-creams. Principal Herdip K Nama said the mouth-watering delicacy brought a twinkle in the eyes of children.

Turban-tying competition

Keeping in mind the ongoing summer vacations, the Kalgidhar Sewak Jatha is hosting a turban teaching camp at Mohali along with a grand turban tying competition, which would be the final event of the camp and will be held at the head office of Sewak Jatha in Phase 3B2 on July 19. President of the Kalgidhar Sewak Jatha Jatinderpal Singh Jaype said individuals of all ages were being taught in this camp. Members of Sewak Jatha Varinder Singh, Satvant Singh, Devinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Surinder Singh Makhan, Harsukhdev Singh Sunny, Harvinder Singh Bablu, Deepkaran Singh, Sarabjit Singh, Tajinder Singh, Inderjeet Singh, Inderjot Singh, Rajinder Singh, Ratan Singh and 
Taranvir Singh were also present.

Vanmahotsava celebrations

Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar along with the enthusiastic Hansarians celebrated Vanmahotsava in a pious attempt to save trees. A cycle rally was flagged off by the Deputy Commissioner with an aim of encouraging people to use paper bags and also spreading the message of saving fuel and resources.

Plant for the planet day

Plant for the planet day was celebrated at Blue Pearls Convent School, Sector 26, Panchkula. As many as 100 saplings were planted by students. Dr Karan Singh, district education officer (retd) praised and encouraged students and teachers for their enthusiastic participation in such kind of activities.

Fancy dress and declamation contest

The enthusiasm was on the ninth cloud in Hallmark Public School at Panchkula. Students, teachers and parents were busy unleashing their creativity for the fancy dress contest held for students of playway to class II. The theme for the playway to LKG was 'creativity with newspaper' and that for the classes UKG to II was 'problems of global concern', in which around 200 children depicted the burning issues of the world, like global warming, terrorism and usage of polythene.

— Tribune Reporters



Kendriya Vidyalaya to come up at Mohali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Seven new Kendriya Vidyalayas will come up in Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in the coming two years, with one being set up at Mohali. This was stated by Commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalya Sangathan, Avinash Dikshit, who was in the city yesterday to address annual principal conference.

The conference was attended by 68 principals. Claiming KVs to be not just schools, but a way of life, Dikshit said the increased number of schools in the region would revamp the current education system.

He also launched continuous comprehensive evaluation software developed by KVs in the Chandigarh region. 



BCom most sought after course in Mohali’s lone college
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 15
BCom is the first choice of students seeking admission to Government College, Phase VI, here, as a result of which cut off percentage has gone higher this year.The college had received 400 applications for BCom this year against 120 seats, while last year only 300 students applied.

The cut off percentage for BCom has gone up to 72 as compared to the last year when it stood at 60.

Students who could not get admission in Chandigarh colleges because of high cut off came to Mohali college.

College principal Dr Kum Kum Kohli said students pursuing BCom also pursue add-on courses like tax practice and procedure and entrepreneurship and small scale business in the college.

These were UGC sponsored and career oriented courses. The college has only 40 seats for BCA and it received about 100 applications for admission. Students who got between 50 to 60 per cent marks in Class XII could get admission in BCA here. However, students with 75 per cent marks came to the college after the admissions got over in Chandigarh, but were unlucky, as seats had already got full.

Though last year, BCA was more in demand, this year, students preferred to go for BSc (non-medical).

The admission process to BA was slow but was picking up. The college plans to reduce the seats from 600 to 500 due to shortage of space and faculty.

The principal said not many students were coming to the college for taking admission in Classes XI and XII as the government had last year decided to run these classes in colleges as well.



City’s fantastic 4 among first 50 in AIIMS
Chandigarh-trained Karnal lad bags first position; girls take the lead
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
In what seems to be a replay of last year, the city has yet again shone in the All India institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) entrance examination today. Even more, it has produced the national topper, a resident of Karnal, who studied at a coaching centre in the city.

While four city students - Harsimar Kaur (rank 10), Mehak Bassi (rank 24) Tejeshwar Jain (rank 15) and Saryu Goel (rank 20) made it to the top 50, Anshit Goel, a Karnal boy, who was trained at a coaching centre here, bagged the first rank.

Out of this fantastic five, Saryu and Tejeshwar are from Ambala but completed class XI and XII in city-based schools here.

Interestingly, Anshit had secured seventh rank in the CBSE’s pre-medical test (PMT), but hit the jackpot in AIIMS. “The syllabi and studies of AIIMS and the CBSE PMT are different and I concentrated my efforts on the AIIMS entrance examination and I have finally made it,” said an elated Anshit.

The local tutors and experts have considered these results as the city’s success as an entrance examination-training hub. “It would be right to say that we will soon be competing with Delhi or even Kotah in training students for medical entrance examinations. It is encouraging to have students coming from outside to get trained here. AIIMS is the most reputed of all medical entrances and getting rank 1 consecutively for two years is a big achievement,” said Sangeeta Khanna, a local tutor.

Anshit Goel

Rank: 1

Success Mantra: Anshit secured rank 7 in the CBSE PMT. With both his parents being doctors, medicine came as an obvious profession, but getting into AIIMS was a result of his smart study schedule and mother’s tireless efforts.

“Till class X, I wanted to pursue non-medical. But I chose medical in class XI and ever since pursued my dream of getting into AIIMS. I was never a bookworm, but yes, focused study and my parent’s support drove me through,” Says Anshit.


Rank: 15

Success Mantra: “My parents are doctors in Ambala and their profession always attracted me and soon this attraction became my aspiration. For me, being a doctor was more important than anything and I gave my 100 per cent to this dream. It’s great that I have made to the best medical college of the country,” says Tejeshwar,

Saryu Goel

Rank: 20

Success mantra: For a boy who didn’t hit the list of toppers in the CBSE PMT, getting rank 20 in AIIMS is a sweet surprise.

“I worked equally hard for both, but yes, my dream and aspired destination was AIIMS. Cracking the entrance is not tough but you need to have a true will, dedication and passion, success will surely come your way,” says Saryu.

Harsimar Kaur

Rank: 10

Success Mantra: Year 2011 has been successful for Harsimar who not just topped the tricity in the CBSE class XII boards in medical stream but also topped the CBSE PMT. However, getting into AIIMS has put her on cloud nine.
Mehak Bassi
Harsimar Kaur and Mehak Bassi

“Dedication is key to success. I had decided to become a doctor ever since I joined class XI and since then have chased this dream with utmost passion. Getting into AIIMS is a dream come true for any medical students. It’s focused and dedicated study routine which paid off,” she said.

Mehak Bassi

Rank: 24

Success mantra: Nobody could have dreamt that a coy girl studying in GMSSS-16 could have hit a jackpot in the most reputed and the toughest medical entrance examination, but Mehak did it. She was the topper in medical stream in the city government schools, but getting into AIIMS after not so good performance in the CBSE PMT has elated her.

“Success depends on efforts. I dreamt of being a doctor and now have got into the most reputed institute. My dream was my passion and my efforts paid off,” says Mehak.



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