C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Crackdown on illegal PG houses
 Estate Office seals house at Sec 35
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Cracking down on illegal paying guest (PG) accommodations in residential premises, the UT estate office sealed the first-ever such accommodation here this morning.

A one kanal house (no. 320) in Sector 35, with eight rooms located on the upper floors, became the first target of the estate office after it was sealed. As many as 40 paying guests were being housed there.

The estate office’s team accompanied by the local police swooped on the premises at around 8 am and started legal proceedings. The team found that five rooms on the first floor and three rooms on the second floor were being used to accommodate around 40 students.

The action was taken following a complaint alleging that the owners of the house were running the PG facility without taking the required permission from the estate office.

While Rupinder Kaur, who claimed to be the owner of the house, alleged that she did not receive any prior notice or warning from the estate office, officials maintained that all required legal procedures were followed in the case.

“A prior notice was served on September 13, 2010. Besides, we used to paste a copy of the notice on the wall of the premises as per rule. It was done in this case,” said Ravinder Sharma, Inspector (misuse and enforcement).

Despite sufficient opportunity and time given to the owner as well as to the occupier to stop running the PG without permission, they did not pay any heed to stop the misuse, he said.

“We found around 40 students staying in the house. Each room had at least five beds and most of the PGs were present in the house when we conducted the raid,” said Sharma.

Apart from sealing the premises, the department would also demand misuse charges from the owner as well as the occupier of the premises, he added. The charges are Rs 500 sq ft per month from the date of serving of the notice. The estate office has already issued about 120 notices to residents of the city.

“As the Administration has sped up its work in the direction, more sealing of such premises is on the cards,” said Rahul Gupta, Assistant Estate Officer. He advised people seeking PG accommodation to ensure that house owners had taken permission.

Even though hundreds of people are staying in the city as PGs, a mere six residents have sought permission from the estate office so far.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had recently directed UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas to look into the representation of a local resident in accordance with law, wherein it had been pointed out that a large number of unauthorised PGs have been residing in Sector 35.

Meanwhile, all PGs, most of whom are students of various educational institutes here, had a tough time after the authorities sealed the rooms. They spent the day sitting in a park or in front of the house, but found it hard to make arrangements for the night. “Some of us have booked rooms in a bhawan while the others will be staying at their friends’ places or gurdwaras. We are suffering for no fault of ours,” said a PG.



Only two teams for hockey tourney!
  Organised by education department to select team for Nehru tournament
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Making a mockery of sports competitions, the UT education department has organised a national-level hockey tournament with just two teams, wrapping it up in just a match.

In a unique tournament in the history of sports in the city, only two teams have participated in the Pre-Hockey (U-15) Nehru Hockey Tournament, which is a pass to the Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament, held in Delhi every year.

It not only brings to the fore the lack of interest among school teams towards the national game, but also brings the efficiency of the department in giving a boost to budding players under the scanner.

According to rules governing a tournament, a minimum of eight teams should participate in it, but only four teams are needed for an event in Chandigarh.

“This is a qualifying competition and only a few teams show interest in it every year. Everyone knows that the Chandigarh Hockey Academy will win the tournament and so, teams do not come to participate in it,” said PS Brar, a state sports organiser.

Giving another reason, he added, “Players do not get certificates or medals by playing in this tournament and so, they fail to understand its importance.”

The authorities failed to tell the players that the team winning this tournament would qualify for the national tournament, which itself had more importance than a participation certificate.

The UT education department had appointed 10 directors physical education, three lecturers and one physical training instructor, with specialisation in hockey, at various government schools in the city, but no team from any of these participated in the event.

“This should be named an exhibition match instead of a tournament. There are many schools that can participate in the competition,” said YP Vohra, general secretary of the Chandigarh Hockey Association.

“If the authorities adopt a proper procedure, government schools here can have good teams,” he asserted.



All’s not well with Jan Aushadhi stores
  Running into losses due to poor supply of generic drugs at GMCH-32, GMSH-16
Anuja Jaiswal
tribune news service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Jan Aushadhi (generic drug) stores opened by the UT Administration under the Central Government programme to provide affordable medicines to patients at the GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 are proving a drain on resources with their operational expenses exceeding the sales.

The two stores, which have been operational for less than a year, have already incurred losses worth Rs 11 lakh and the way things are going, the deficit is only expected to rise. What is astonishing is that though the novel concept aims at making cheap drugs available to patients, the Bureau of Pharma, a public sector undertaking (PSU), has failed to maintain the supply of the generic drugs, rendering the stores unviable.

Insiders admit that though there is a steady demand for generic drugs like Paracetamol, antihypertensive, Atorvastatin (for cholesterol), Metamorphine (for diabetes) and Losartan (for high BP), their non-availability most of the times has hit sales drastically and the stores have attained the dubious tag of being always “out of stock”.

The sorry state of affairs can be judged from the fact that while the other chemist shops at these hospitals have their cash registers ringing, the Jan Aushadhi store at the GMSH- 16, which opened in February this year, did a pittance with sales of merely of Rs 26,631 in two months until March 31. In contrast, the Administration has spent Rs 4.29 lakh, including salaries, on running the store.

Similarly, the GMCH-32 also suffered losses as the sales of Rs 4.82 lakh in six months from September 2010 to March 31, 2011, has been 50 per cent less than the running expense of Rs 9.69 lakh.

Blaming short supply of drugs to be the reason behind the dismal sales, an official said the Bureau of Pharma had failed to match the demand with the production. “The huge gap between the two has led to an acute shortage, making the stores unviable,” he added.

Kavle V Parshuram, SDM (South) cum secretary, Indian Red Cross Society, which runs the stores for the Administration, said the Jan Aushadhi stores all across the country were facing the problem of short supplies of commonly sought medicines. He said the shortage had been there for the last six months and alternative arrangements were being made to procure the drugs from other sources.

An employee of a Jan Aushadhi store in the GMCH said commonly used drugs for blood pressure and diabetes, which cost at least 45 to 50 per cent less than branded drugs, were particularly in short supply.



Jail inmate forged judge’s signature to get radio access in cell
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
In its investigation report on the incident in which a local judge’s signature and court rubber stamp was allegedly forged by a hardcore criminal lodged in the Ambala Central Jail, the police has stated the suspect, Sunil alias Kala, had surreptiously picked up the stamp and affixed it on a sheet of blank paper. Thereafter, according to report, he forged the judge’s signature and wrote fake court orders on the paper to get the facility of a radio inside his cell.

However, the police gave a “clean chit” to cops and the court staff in the report.

A Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) team from Ambala, which was given the task to investigate the case, stated during his appearance before the Panchkula court in connection with the PC Jewellers heist, Sunil had once obtained the court stamp from a courtroom. Thereafter he affixed the stamp on a sheet of blank paper and later forged the judge’s signature and wrote the bogus court orders on the paper to get the facility of a radio inside his cell.

Ambala CIA chief Kulbhushan Singh said the agency would soon file a charge sheet in the case.

Last February Ambala Central Jail official had visited the Panchkula court to inquire about the orders. Sunil had moved an application in the first week of January, requesting the court to allow him access to a radio in his prison cell. However, the judge, Ritu Garg, who was also a special judge of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), did not accepted his plea.

Subsequently, on January 7, Sunil submitted a “court order” allowing him a radio to the Ambala jail officials whose suspicions were aroused. After checking various high court orders on the issue of radio access to prisoners, one of the jail officials went to the Panchkula court on February 1 with a copy of the fake orders and finally the court came to know about the fraud.

Later a case under section 420 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code was filed against Sunil at the Baldev Nagar police station based on the complaint lodged by Ambala deputy jail superintendent Sanjay Bangar.

Long criminal record

The suspect, Sunil alias Kala, who is from Sirdhana village, Sonepat, is a history sheeter who, besides being involved in the 2009 robbery at the PC Jewellers store in Panchkula has also been charged in total 16 criminal cases in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. “Among the cases against Kala one has been filed in Panchkula, one in Bahadurgarh, five in Rohtak, two each in Sonepat and Jhajjar and one each in Hisar and Bhiwani. Two cases against him have also been registered in Bhagpat district in Uttar Pradesh”, the police said.


Ghaggar, swimming pool for slum kids
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Panchkula, July 20
Despite directions issued by the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner to stop residents from entering the Ghaggar, people are still putting their life at risk.

Residents, especially children, have turned the Ghaggar into a swimming pool.Those living on the banks of the river are still venturing into the river waters in search of coins and other domestic items. Despite the directions, there is nobody to stop them from entering the river.

On July 17 last year, a youth of Azad Colony, who along with two friends were swept away in the strong current of the Ghaggar while they were trying to collect coins from the riverbed.The firemen had rescued the youths. Similarly, the Army and firemen in a rescue operation, which lasted for around three hours, had saved the lives of five persons, including two women of Dhakka Colony, near Sector 21, who were stranded on the small islands in the overflowing Ghaggar on September 8 last year.

It was on June 23, the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner had imposed Section 144 of CrPC and issued directions to stop people from entering the river. The orders were passed for the safety of the people. The orders stated that as the water level in the river rose during rainy season, therefore in order to avoid any risk, the residents should avoid entering it.

But it seems that the district administration is not bothered, as there is no check on the people who are still entering the river. On Wednesday as well, people were seen venturing into the river to grab article flowing in the river. Huge quantity of articles like coconuts, coins, iron items wire, wood and other things, thrown by religious-minded people from the bridge are found on the bed of the Ghaggar.

Panchkula DC Ashima Brar could not be contacted as her phone was switched off but Panchkula SP Maneesh Chaudhary said that he would discuss this matter with Panchkula DC and will definitely made arrangements to stop people from entering the Ghaggar.



Chandigarh-Amritsar Duronto Express delayed yet again

Chandigarh, July 20
The much-awaited Duronto Express between Chandigarh and Amritsar is likely to be delayed by a month again, as the railway authorities are to finalise its inauguration schedule.

The super fast train was to get operational by April, but was delayed till July end. According to sources, the Duronto will now hit the tracks next month. Starting from Amritsar, the train will reach Chandigarh via Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Sirhind and Morinda. It will benefit thousands of passengers who want to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The railway officials said once the new rail link between Morinda and Sahnewal is completed, the train would not be required to go to Sirhind. But till the time, the train would start from Amritsar and reach Chandigarh via Sahnewal, New Morinda, Sirhind Kharar and Mohali, said the railway officials.

Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Ambala division, GM Singh said the date of starting the train was yet to be finalised. He said the train would start once the authorities decide the date of inauguration of super fast train.— TNS



Power shocker for city residents
 20 pc hike in electricity tariff proposed
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
Subsided electricity will a thing of the past in Chandigarh with the power consumers set to pay at least 20 per cent more from the next week.

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for the union territories is set to introduce a three-slab system in Chandigarh with large domestic consumers bearing the brunt of the tariff hike.

Official sources said the JERC was likely to issue the order for the hike in the electricity charges by the coming week. “As against an overall 25 per cent hike demanded by the UT Administration, the commission is likely to hike the power tariff by about 20 per cent,” a senior official confirmed.

Earlier, the UT Administration had proposed a minimum power tariff hike of about 25 per, especially for the domestic power consumers. Now, the consumer will have to pay Rs 1.70 per unit for the first 100 units as against the current tariff of Rs 1.65 per unit for the first 150 units. According to the proposed tariff, there would be a substantial - Rs 3.45 per unit - for the consumers consuming between 101 and 400 units. Currently, domestic consumers pay a maximum of Rs 2.90 per unit for consuming units above 150. Similarly, for the commercial power consumers the minimum charges are slated to be Rs 4 per unit as against Rs 3.36 per unit.

With no power generation of its own, Chandigarh buys electricity from other states at a reported average price of Rs 5.42 per unit while the average selling cost comes to around Rs 3.36 per unit. On an average, the UT Administration is expected to spend Rs 838.77 crore in the 2011-12 fiscal with earnings from the power being Rs 487.11 crore, a deficit of Rs 351.66 crore.

Besides bridging the gap between expenditure and revenue, the power hike would go a long way in mitigating the power shortage. This would be the first hike in the power tariff since 2005, the official added.

New power tariff (per unit) 
Proposed                                    Existing

Rs 1.70 (up to 100 units)         Rs 1.65 (up to 150 units)
Rs 3.45 (101-400 units)           Rs 2.90 (above 150 units)
Rs 3.60 (above 400 units)         —
Rs 4 (commercial supply)          Rs 3.36



Australian delegation lauds role of immigrants from India

Chandigarh, July 20
Led by Mayor of Parrammatta in Sydney, an Australian delegation lauded the role of immigrants from India in general and Punjab in particular in cementing border between India and Australia.

Participating in a function organised here last night to celebrate 20th anniversary of CWC immigration Solutions Canada and launch of its new office in Chandigarh, John Chedid, Mayor of Parrammatta, said immigrants from India were contributing to every sphere of life in Austriala and were most welcome there. He also suggested partnership between Parrammatta and Punjab.

The visiting Australian delegation also interacted with the officials of the local government departments of Punjab and Chandigarh. They also visited Amritsar and other cities of the state.

Punjab Public Works Department (B&R) Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said Australia continues to be a favourite destination for young Indians, especially students. He was hopeful that Parrammatta community would continue to welcome immigrants from Punjab. He also supported the move for Parrammatta-Punjab partnership.

Kamalpreet Khaira of the CWC Immigration highlighted the current immigration updates. He also shared his immigration expertise and highlighted the current changes announced by Canadian Government on the immigration. — TNS



MC team conducts raids, destroys eatables
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Municipal Corporation (MC) health team conducted special raids from July 11 to 17 to check any epidemic in the city. It destroyed huge quantities of food unfit for consumption. As per the report of the department, 585 kg of rotten fruits and vegetables, 440 kg of ice, 127 kg of ice candies, aerated water bottles and sugar cane juice, sweets, 35 kg of fish meat and poultry products were destroyed.

The team of the Medical Officer (Health) department is conducting checks every day within the municipal limits in compliance with the notification under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and is destroying food articles which are found unfit for human consumption.



EO cracks whip on building violations in society flats
 Differences with CHB over jurisdiction had held up action
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The UT estate office has decided to initiate action against owners of flats in some group housing societies in the city who have been found to have violated building bylaws. These societies were allotted land by the administration through the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) about a decade ago with the former constructing the apartments on their own.

Complaints regarding misuse and building violations in many societies led to differences between the estate office and the board over how to deal with them. CHB officials were of the view that the matter came under the estate office’s purview as the board had not built the apartments. “The board is responsible for only those flats that have been constructed by it,” said a senior CHB official.

Board officials had also sent a communiqué to the estate office saying action against building code violations was the estate office’s job as the land had been allotted by the administration. On the other hand, the estate office has maintained as the land was given to the housing societies through the CHB the latter should have taken action against the violators.

“Till date no action could be taken against those found to have violated building bylaws in these societies due to this confusion”, said sources close to the estate office. As a result, in the absence of proper checks, violations like illegal construction in backyards and balconies have continued unabated in these societies.

However, the estate office has now resolved to do something about it. “In fact we’ve already initiated action against the violators and have also served notices to some of them,” said UT deputy commissioner Brijendra Singh while talking on the issue.

There are more than a hundred group housing societies with thousands of flats built in various sectors of the city. 



Mock fire drill in SBI building
 Hydrant water system found non-functional
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Chandigarh Police Control Room (PCR) and the fire brigade were on its toes today after they received a call of a major fire in the State Bank of India (SBI) in Sector 17.

The call turned out to be part of a mock drill exercise being undertaken to check the response time of the PCR and the efficiency of the fire department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

During the mock drill, the MC fire department team found that the hydrant water system installed in the building was not functional. Sub-station fire officer Sham Singh, who was leading the drill, said that a warning had been issued to the SBI authorities. “The team would revisit the building tomorrow and if the hydrant system is not found non-functional, notice will be issued to them,” said Sham Singh.

He said when the SBI fire department was asked to use their hydrant to control the fire, it was found that there is some technical problem in it.

At 12.49, a call was received that there was a fire at the SBI building. Police vehicles reached there to cordon off the area. The police put up barricades and asked the motorist to take a detour. A mock fire was made at the fourth floor, which was extinguished and the fire brigade personnel rescued four employees.

After receiving a call, a fire tender and a hydraulic fire tender reached the spot. The fire department conducted the drill for an hour. 



Panchkula MC left with 25 employees
 Orders of transfer issued on Wednesday 
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
With the transfer orders issued by the state government this evening a mere 25 employees will run the Panckula Municipal Council. According to sources, while the lone office superintendent from the administrative wing has been transferred, the engineering branch instead of three junior engineers will have only two of them from now onwards.

This will lead to further problems for public at the office of the civic body, which looks after numerous works, including issue of death and birth certificates, marriage certificates, disbursal of pensions to elders and widows.

In addition to these the municipal council is also responsible for the upkeep of roads, lighting, and parks. The town has population of nearly 2.5 lakh.

With a budget of Rs 66 crore the Panchkula civic body had attracted controversies since long resulting in hampering of developmental works. While tax arrears of the past two years amounting to Rs 10 crore could not be realised from commercial, industrial and institutional units due to lack of staff, the work on roads and electricity wings took a backseat in the town as the single post of the Xen in the engineering department had been lying vacant since 2008 in the MC.

Only one tax clerk had been working against four posts which include one tax superintendent and two tax collectors. Similarly, at the administrative wing, there is no office assistant, steno typist or clerk even as five posts have been sanctioned for the same.

y The lone office superintendent from the administrative wing has been transferred, the engineering branch instead of three junior engineers will have only two of them from now onwards



33 sites identified for setting up Verka booths in Mohali
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 20
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has identified 33 sites for setting up of Verka booths in various parts of the town and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard will be signed soon between the two agencies.

The sites identified fall in the residential and commercial areas and even in green belts and parking areas. Out of a total 33 sites, 14 fall in the commercial area, nine in the parking lots, six in the residential area, three in green belts and one in the Industrial Area.

Sources said while one site each had been identified in Phases I, II, III-A, IV, VI and Sector 67, two sites each had been identified in Phases IIIB1, IIIB2, V, VIII, IX, X, XI, Sectors 66, 68, 70 and 71.

In the case of Phase VII and Sector 69 three sites each had been identified. However, no site had been earmarked in the developing areas like Sectors 76 to 80.

In an effort to boost sales and benefit differently-abled persons, the general manager of the Ropar District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd had requested GMADA authorities to allot land for the setting up of temporary Verka milk booths for selling Verka products.

Keeping the interest of public in mind, GMADA authorities had agreed to the proposal after which an exercise to identify sites was carried out. The proposal has been sent to the policy wing of GMADA after which approval from the Chief Administrator would be taken. This will be followed up by the signing of the MoU between the two agencies.

With the opening of these booths residents would be able to get Verka products easily. At present there were only about 10 Verka booths in Mohali whereas the number of such booths in Chandigarh was 100.

GMADA would be giving these booth sites to Verka for three years, but the period could later be extended with mutual consent. A monthly license fee of Rs 1,500 would be charged by GMADA. Verka will be giving preference to differently-abled persons while subletting these outlets. The milk plant authorities will have to ensure that no traffic hazard came up or any inconvenience was caused to the general public.



Protest against price rise
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 20
A dharna was held outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner by the CPI and the CPM in protest against widespread corruption and steep rise in prices of essential commodities here today.

The protesters raised slogans against the government and demanded that inflation should be brought under control, unemployed should be given jobs, the hike in the prices of petroleum products be rolled back and an effective Lokpal Bill be formulated.

The protesters also presented a memorandum to the President of India through the Deputy Commissioner. 



Police to start challaning outstation vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The Chandigarh Traffic Police will soon initiate challaning outstation vehicles on bases of feedback received on its facebook page. In order to update its database, the traffic police has written to the Transport Commissioners of four states to provide details of registered owners of vehicles in their jurisdiction.

“We have written to transport commissioners of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi to provide us with their database of registered vehicle owners so that we can start challaning outstation vehicles as we keep receiving number of such complaints of violations by outstation vehicles on our facebook page,” said the DSP (traffic), Vijay Kumar.

10 underage drivers challaned

Continuing with its drive to challan underage drivers, the traffic police today issued a total of 98 challans, including those of 10 minors. A total of 14 vehicles were impounded. The police issued 38 challans to youngsters driving without helmet while 25 challans were issued to school buses for violating traffic rules. Another 27 challans were issued under the miscellaneous category.

Ever since the police started this drive, a total of 900 challans have been issued, including over 100 challans of minors. 



Another poultry farm to be sealed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 20
In continuance of its drive against the poultry farms found to be creating unhygienic and unsanitary condition the district administration has ordered to seal another farm at Barwala here today. SDM K Kalson has issued orders to book the accused owner of Star Poultry Farm.

On Saturday the SDM had ordered to seal three poultry farms of Raipur Rani and Barwala area for not controlling the unsanitary conditions due to which these areas had been plagued with fly menace.

As the rainwater mixing with the excreta and feed of birds generated favourable conditions for breeding of larvae, the houses of local residents swarmed with flies and made life miserable for them. After numerous complaints from residents reached the authorities, a drive was initiated by the authorities to keep a check on such poultry farms last week.



PUTA poll on Aug 18
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The date for battle has been finalised. Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) elections will be held on August 18. In meeting here today, PUTA members decided on the schedule.

The last date for receipt of nomination papers was August 6. Scrutiny of papers would be held on August 8. The last date for withdrawal of candidature was August 10.

The final list of candidates would be put up on August 12. Elections were expected to be interesting, given to the recent developments.

A couple of PUTA members had recently written a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, complaining about the staff crunch in the PU, but others had refused to endorse their view.



NSUI leader claims assault by PU professor
 Claim a publicity stunt, says teacher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
In a shocking incident, Sunny Mehta, city vice-president of the NSUI, has accused a Panjab University professor of thrashing him on Tuesday night. The professor dismissed his claim as a pre-election publicity stunt.

In his complaint to the police, Sunny alleged that Prof SS Gill of the department of evening studies, along with his son, thrashed him following a minor argument.

“A deserving meritorious student was left out of the admission list because the university misspelt her name. We went to submit an application in this regard to the chairperson. While two NSUI members were talking, Professor Gill thought that they were abusing him and he started shouting. I clarified on their behalf, but he threatened me and left,” Sunny said.

“Around 8:30 pm, I got a phone call from his son, who asked me to come to his house and sort out the argument. When I reached there, he tried to hit me with an axe, but it missed me by a few inches. His son then held me while he beat me up. I am shocked at this behaviour of a PU teacher,” he claimed.

Professor Gill rubbished the claim, saying he did not see Sunny after 7:30 pm on Tuesday. “I cannot believe how low these leaders can stoop to get publicity. Four boys were standing outside the chairperson’s room with a girl, whose name they claimed was misspelt by the university. Being admission coordinator, I just asked her why she did not report it earlier as admissions were done on July 11,” he stated.

“Following this, one of the boys abused me, but when I questioned him, Sunny intervened and threatened him. He is not a student of the department of evening studies, but still, comes and creates nuisance here. I think it is high time the university steps in to safeguard teachers’ dignity and deal with such self-styled student representatives,” he added.



Polio awareness

Health experts sought the cooperation of the media for a polio-free India by the end of this year during a media orientation workshop organised by UNICEF here on Wednesday. It was inaugurated by Dr Ashok Nayyar, Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab. He said India was among the countries still fighting polio, the other three being Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. He urged the media to sensitise the masses about polio immunisation.

Camp on dengue

As part of anti-dengue month, a camp was organised at the Motor Market in Sector 38 (West) here on Wednesday. Dr Naresh Kumar, assistant director malaria-cum-state survillance officer, inaugurated the camp. He emphasised the need to take preventive measures to control dengue.

Science contest

Jaspreet Sandhu of class VIII at Saupin’s School, Sector 32, has secured the eighth position in the IKEN Scientifica, a science competition, in Mumbai recently. He has also won the title of Student Iken 2010-11.

BJP demand

A delegation of the BJP pharmaceuticals cell, led by state convener Prince Bhandula, met Dr Vipin Kaushal, Medical Superintendent, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, on Wednesday. They demanded a health specialist and a cathology laboratory for the institution.

Eye care in rains

Come monsoon and eye infections like conjunctivitis and dry eyes spread like an epidemic, making special eye care more essential. Talking about eye care during the monsoon, Dr SPS Grewal, CEO, Grewal Eye Institute, said, “Conjunctivitis spreads like an epidemic during the monsoon. In case you are suffering from conjunctivitis, wash your eyes gently, use cold compress and consult your doctor. The doctor may prescribe certain antibiotic eye drops to prevent any secondary infections. Do not share your towel and handkerchief with others.”


Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 47, observed Vanamahotsava on Wednesday to inculcate a sense of responsibility towards the environment in students. NK Jhingan, general secretary of the Environment Society of India, was the chief guest. He was flanked by a group of students from a number of countries, including China, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil and Egypt.

RCP Fellow

Prof Dheeraj Gupta of the department of pulmonary medicine at the PGI has been elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in London for his achievement in the field of medicine.

ICAI topper

Siddharth Mittal has topped the tricity in the common proficiency test conducted by the ICAI in June, scoring 175 marks out of 200. A total of 479 of the 1,305 candidates have cleared the test. The top three positions have been bagged by students of the local chapter of the ICAI.

Programme ends

The two-day faculty development programme being organised at the SAS Group of Institutions concluded on Wednesday. At least 50 faculty members attended the programme.

Padma awards

The district administration has invited applications for the Padma awards, to be presented by the President on January 26 next. Giving this information here on Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar said the awards were given for distinguished and exceptional achievement or service in fields such as art and literature, trade and industry, public affairs and civil service.

Tribune Reporters



ADC ‘tutors’ PU VC
 Tells him how to deal with student leaders
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
In an unprecedented meeting, a 57-year-old Punjab Civil Services officer, ML Sharma, currently serving as Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), today ‘tutored’ Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti, a Padma Shri recipient, to adopt the right ‘parental attitude’ to deal with the ‘menace’ of student leaders.

Sharma, who joined the service as assistant, summoned all student leaders to his office this morning to warn them against defacing the city, poll-related violence and violation of the Lyngdoh committee suggestions.

Eventually, he proceeded to Panjab University to meet the Vice-Chancellor following students’ request, asking him to persuade the VC to be ‘more understanding’ and ‘soft’.

Interestingly, while Sobti claimed that Sharma visited him to execute his duties, Sharma claimed that there was ‘nothing official’ about this meeting.

“We want PU elections to be violence-free and wish to do away with the problem of defacement by poll posters. I called the students today to counsel them and they agreed to all directives. The students claimed that PU officials were being “too harsh and strict” with them,” said Sharma.

“They alleged that they were never issued warnings before taking strict action and they were never counselled this way.

They requested me to meet the VC and communicate their feelings. It was not an official visit. Sobti is probably the best and most down-to-earth VC in India, who has dealt with students in the best possible way,” he added.

“There seems to be some communication gap, leading to a lack of understanding between him and student leaders. This is probably leading to trouble. I just asked him to be a father figure to these students and then to improve them,” he said.

Students, meanwhile, were given 24 hours to remove all posters pasted across the city, failing which they would be booked under the Property Defacement Act.

Action-packed fortnight

In the past 14 days, since the commencement of the session, the city has witnessed three clashes between rival student parties. The first incident was reported from Burail, where SOPU activists allegedly thrashed PUSU members. This led to a major clash between the two groups at DAV College, where PUSU activists tried to settle scores with SOPU members. Following this, a PUSU member was attacked at the Sector-40 market. The incidents rang alarm bells for the UT administration and the police, which seemed to be speculating an encore of past year’s mass violence, which left many injured on election day. The police had already issued an advisory to student party members and had been keeping a close tab on those with a criminal record.



Protest over reappear dates

Chandigarh, July 20
Around 50 students of various science departments, along with PUSU supporters, gathered and protested in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s office here today.

They were protesting against the university’s decision to conduct the reappear examinations in December instead of July. — TNS



Teacher training course done away with
 Sec-11 institute cites space shortage, stricter rules
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
The five-decade-old and much-sought-after teacher training course, called craft instructor training scheme (CITS), being run by the Government Central Crafts Institute for Women, Sector 11, has been discontinued from the current academic session.

Dazed by the abrupt closure, eligible candidates are fervently enquiring about the course at the institute’s admission counter.

Citing it as their compulsion, the college authorities say the CITS has to be discontinued due to fresh guidelines from the Government of India, that demand more space to run the course.

Institute officials claim that in a bid to ensure better quality of industrial training given at industrial training institutes (ITIs), the Union Ministry of Labour Welfare and Employment has issued stricter guidelines and fresh affiliation needs to be sought once the requirements are met.

“According to the latest instructions of the National Council of Vocational Training and the Directorate-General of Employment and Training, the institute is required to have at least 16 rooms to run the CITS. We have four rooms for the course here,” said principal Rajan Dogra.

“It is because of space shortage that we cannot run the course at present. We have to be fair to students and cannot admit them when we do not have the sanction required,” said the principal.

The institute used to receive double the number of applications for the 104 seats in the CITS till past year. Its discontinuation was a letdown for several girls from villages, who would have been eligible to serve as crafts teacher at schools and colleges after the completing CITS.

“I have completed an ITI course in two disciplines instead of one since it is the eligibility for CITS. I wanted to get enrolled in the course, but wasted two years. I foresee a dark future for me now,” said Alka Devi from Lakhour village.

Yet another student Gurpreet, belonging to Landran village, had completed her ITI course. She said, “The CITS is so popular that if the UT administration decides to restart the course today, there will be queues outside the college for admission. All my friends are facing the same situation. Our parents will not permit us to study elsewhere.”

The crafts institute largely had students from across North India, particularly Himachal Pradesh, and from villages in the periphery of the tricity.



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