C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Woman, daughter end lives in suicide pact
Son, who also took poison, fighting for his life at GMCH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
A 45-year-old woman Manjeet Kaur, and her 18-year-old daughter, Anmol, killed themselves in an apparent suicide pact by ingesting a toxic substance at their Manimajra home late on Saturday night. Meanwhile Anmol’s brother, Gurvinder Shanki, who also consumed the poison, is battling for his life at the Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32.

According to the police, a suicide note recovered from the scene said the three had together decided to take the extreme step because the woman was “fed up of the atrocities inflicted” on her and her two children by her husband.

The police later booked Manjeet’s husband, Gulab Rai, a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking bus conductor, in a case of abetting suicide under section 306 of the Indian Penal Code. He is yet to be arrested and is on the run.

The incident came to light on Saturday night when tenants of the house noticed the three lying in an unconscious state. They were then rushed to a privately run hospital in Sector 34 at about 1:45 am and later taken to GMCH, where Manjeet was declared dead on arrival while Anmol, a class 11 student of Soldier School, Sector 28 succumbed to her condition during treatment on Sunday.

In his statement to the police Gurvinder, a BCom student of DAV College, Sector 10, who regained consciousness on Sunday, said he along with his mother and sister had gone to attend a relative’s engagement ceremony in Nalagarh on Saturday and had returned to their home in Bank Colony, Manimajra late in the evening. “My parents had a fight following which my father physically assaulted my mother. When I tried to intervene I was also beaten up by my father,” he told the police, adding his parents frequently used to engage in violent quarrels.

After Rai left home in a fit of rage the three of them decided to kill themselves by ingesting poisonous tablets. “Manjeet then wrote a four-page suicide note that I also signed following which all of us swallowed the tablets together”, said Gurvinder.

The suicide note reportedly blamed Rai for forcing the three to end their lives and also bid goodbye to some of their close friends and relatives.

“We’ve filed an FIR based on a complaint lodged by tenant of the house, Kirti Arora, after recording Gurvinder’s statement and, on the basis of the suicide note, the suspect will be apprehended soon,” said Manimajra police SHO inspector Rajesh Shukla.



80 CTU buses lying unused
Reason: shortage of drivers, conductors
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
At a time when the population of Chandigarh has crossed the one-million mark and the public transport system needs to be strengthened, the existing transport system is under-utilised, as around 80 Chandigarh Transport Union (CTU) buses are off road due to the non-availability of drivers and conductors.

The buses, if pressed into service, can ferry thousands of commuters and generate lakhs as revenue everyday. Even the frequency of local buses - that is 10 to 15 minutes - can be reduced to about 5 to 10 minutes. On an average, one bus ferrying on the local routes earns a profit of around Rs 7,000, while a long-route bus fetches a revenue of around Rs 15,000 everyday.

Around 80 ordinary buses have been parked in the four depots for the past few months. Among these, around 50 are the buses meant to be plied on local routes and the remainder for long routes.

The CTU currently has a fleet of 517 buses, of which 190 ply on long routes and the remaining are meant to ply on local routes, out of which around 80 are unutilised.

CTU officials estimate that around 1.25 lakh commuters use the public transport daily and if 50 more buses are brought into service, around 30,000 more passengers will be able to get the benefit of public transport. Fifty more buses on local and long routes will also help the transport department earn an estimated revenue of Rs 3 lakh and Rs 7.5 lakh, respectively.

Official sources said in the absence of enough staff to run the buses, the transport department has cut down the number of buses plying on particular routes. “On various routes the frequency of buses has suffered, resulting in inconvenience to the commuters,” sources said.

Director Transport Sunil Bhatia admitted that the fleet of buses was under-utilised due to the shortage of staff. “We don’t have enough staff to run the buses due to which these are parked in the workshops,” Bhatia said. Bhatia also agreed to the fact that more buses on road would reduce the frequency time of buses run on local routes. Chandigarh Transport Workers Union president Jagdish Singh said the CTU department was short by around 400 conductors and 250 drivers. As a result, the drivers and conductors have to work for longer hours. “Our drivers often complain of tension due to extra workload that many times leads to accidents,” said the union president.



Greater Mohali Area
Colonisers make hay with investors’ money
Fail to disclose details of transactions worth crores of rupees collected from clients
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 24
In a major anomaly, most of the 88 colonisers in the Greater Mohali Area are not disclosing details of the transactions worth crores of rupees collected from investors, pointing out that the money was being diverted to other projects in total disregard to rules.

As a result, investors are at the receiving end with the possession of the flats allotted to them getting delayed.

Under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act (PAPRA), 1995, the colonisers in the Greater Mohali Area have to furnish details of the funds collected from the investors with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), the licensing authority. The Section 9, read with Rule 28 of the PAPRA, seeks the promoter to file return of the transactions of the funds collected from the investors.

The funds collected from the investors run into crores of rupees. The disclosure of all transactions in respect of the amount enables the licensing authority to keep a check on the diversion of funds to other projects by the colonisers. But due to laxity on part of GMADA, the colonisers, who are being granted licence since 2005, have been successful in hiding the transaction of the money, leaving the investors at the mercy of the realtors.

Sources in GMADA disclose that there have been many cases in which the possession of the flats to the investors has been delayed as the funds were diverted elsewhere. As per the PAPRA each of the promoter is supposed to maintain a separate account in which transaction of the money to meet the cost of development works. The funds cannot be utilised for any other purpose.

Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) Mohali Parveen Thind said he had constituted a committee under the Chief Engineer to probe the matter.

FS Nagra, Chief Patron of Commercial Welfare Association, Zirkapur, who has raised the issue with GMADA, said the violation of the provision was a criminal offence and the promoter was liable to be prosecuted under Section 36 of the PAPRA.

The sources further said that the colonisers, instead of disclosing details of the accounts, seek extension in the completion period of their projects from GMADA officials. In the past, the inspection officials had failed to verify whether the respective coloniser had furnished account statements.

No effective mechanism in place for investors

Despite clear-cut guidelines under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act (PAPRA) 1995 to protect interests of the investors, the licensing authority has enforced no rule. The investors are so far unaware about any forum where they could seek remedy if any coloniser delayed the possession of flats.



Illegal PG owners in a fix over registration
Fear action for breaching building codes
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Apprehensive about being penalized for violating various building bylaws, houseowners in the city are hesitating to get their homes registered with the UT administration to legally enable them to run paying guest accommodation. Following the recent crackdown on an unauthorized PG that was sealed in Sector 35, PG owners are now caught in a cleft stick over providing details on their properties to the authorities.

The owner of a house in Sector 22, requesting anonymity, said: “It’s a ‘Catch 22 situation, particularly after the authorities began taking action against illegal PGs in the city. Seeking the necessary permission means inviting them to initiate action against building bylaw violations in our houses. But if we don’t get the sanction the fear of punitive action remains with us”. Interestingly, this houseowner has constructed a room in his backyard and built cabins in the rooms to take in the maximum number of paying guests”.

A senior UT estate office official admitted owners of about 90 per cent of the houses in the city have breached building codes. “And, when it comes to running a PG at one’s home, I think most of the people in the business have been flouting the rules,” the official added.

Another landlord who runs PG accommodation in his house without official permission, said: “Though many of us want to get the required permission but we’re afraid the authorities would initiate action against us for the violations first”.

Of late the estate office, too, has been flooded with enquiries regarding running PG accommodation in residential premises. “The key concern of most of those making such queries is what to do with unauthorized construction in their houses,” said sources close to the office.

Registration conditions

One of the principal conditions for registration of PG accommodation in residential areas is there should be no building bylaw violations in the premises after grant of the completion certificate.


Security, safety issues dog upcoming airport
Local authorities pay lip service as encroachments and hazards ring airfield; IAF-govt meetings to no avail
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service


Trucks ply on a road built alongside the perimeter wall of the Air Force station; a large structure, presumably a warehouse, coming up adjacent to the perimeter wall of the Air Force station at Pabhat village, near Zirakpur, with the civil airport terminal in the background; construction goes on beside the perimeter wall of the Air Force station; and construction continues within the prohibited zone adjacent to the perimeter wall of the Air Force station. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal Below left: A satellite image from Google Earth shows heavy construction along the perimeter wall of the Chandigarh airfield (top left, right and bottom right). Encroachments close to both ends of the runway have blocked the crash gates. The international airport is coming up in the open area below the runway.
Clockwise from above left: Trucks ply on a road built alongside the perimeter wall of the Air Force station; a large structure, presumably a warehouse, coming up adjacent to the perimeter wall of the Air Force station at Pabhat village, near Zirakpur, with the civil airport terminal in the background; construction goes on beside the perimeter wall of the Air Force station; and construction continues within the prohibited zone adjacent to the perimeter wall of the Air Force station. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal Below left: A satellite image from Google Earth shows heavy construction along the perimeter wall of the Chandigarh airfield (top left, right and bottom right). Encroachments close to both ends of the runway have blocked the crash gates. The international airport is coming up in the open area below the runway. 

Chandigarh, July 24
As work on the new international airport at Mohali begins, critical issues of flight safety and security have remained unresolved for the past several years. These have a direct bearing on aircraft operations.

The airfield’s periphery, including the flight path, is heavily encroached upon with unauthorised constructions, including warehouses, godowns, shops and houses cropping up within the prohibited zone. Some of these are just a few feet away from the perimeter wall.

Statutory provisions prohibit any construction within an area of 900 metres from ammunition storage sites and 100 metres from other sensitive defence establishments.

Chandigarh is primarily a defence airbase, with a small civilian enclave attached to it. The runway and the air traffic services belong to the IAF and they cater to the civilian air traffic, including state government VIP operations. The new airport is coming up to the south of the airbase, but will use the existing runway.

Pilots say an aircraft is most susceptible to accidents during the landing and take-off phase. A large number of constructions fall in the “funnel” of the runway and at points where approaching aircraft are just 50 metres above the ground.

Structures and habitation, and consequently accumulated garbage and animal waste attract birds, a major cause of accidents. “Concrete structures and tin roofs near the runway cause glare, besides altering the surface temperature and air pressure, causing turbulence and wind shear that affect aircraft,” a pilot says.

“Smaller aircraft are more vulnerable to this and pilots may have to come in with higher power and speed to cater to any sudden change in altitude or direction,” he adds.

Sources have revealed that the “crash gates” on both ends of the runway, used for evacuation of passengers and for the movement of emergency vehicles in case of an accident, are blocked.

In fact, a letter received by the Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, from the IAF, highlighting security issues, states that during a simulated exercise of an aircraft crash, recovery vehicles could not move out of the crash gates. The area concerned falls in Punjab.

IAF sources say dozens of meetings have been held over the years with the local and state authorities up to the level of the Secretary, but little has been done to redress their concerns, except for assurances and files doing the rounds of bureaucratic corridors.

A complaint about violation of norms was also made with the Zirakpur SHO in May and then with the SSP, Mohali, in June, but no action had been taken.

While reviewing security arrangements at the Chandigarh airport past year, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) had observed that the areas just beyond the crash gates had obstructions like hutments, accumulation of animal waste and ditches and these needed to be cleared of encroachments.

Sources in the aviation sector said the BCAS report had said the Airports Authority of India (AAI) should depute a team for cartographical survey of the existing as well as proposed flight paths and advise the civil administration police and the IAF authorities to take into account the requirements of the new airport regarding constructions around the airport.

The report had also sought necessary action on the part of the Punjab government to resolve safety and security-related issues to preclude the possibility of unlawful interference with civil aviation operations.

Some AAI officials also expressed concern of large buildings adjacent to the perimeter, providing a clear view and line of sight of the aircraft parking apron and other sensitive areas inside the airport.

Since the station here caters to VVIP movements, structures overlooking the runway and parking bays has serious implications. Further, verifying the antecedents of the occupants of the houses and godowns is another issue.

While taking up cases pertaining to encroachments around air force installations in Faridabad, where there is heavy encroachment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had observed earlier this year that such buildings had come up in an unauthorised manner and, in accordance with the law, action should be taken in respect of the said buildings by the municipal corporation to ensure that there was no compromise with national security.

Rajmeet Singh adds: Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roozam said following a meeting with defence officials, the Zirakpur MC authorities and Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) officials had been asked to identify the illegal structures and demolish those with the help of the police.

Sources in GMADA said regarding the 31 illegal sheds along the boundary wall of the airport at Jagatpura, the regulatory branch of the GMADA was yet to issue demolition notices to the violators.

In the past, GMADA had issued notices to violators, but to no avail as political patronage enjoyed by violators had halted further action.

In case of godowns at Pabhat, the Zirakpur MC had not bothered to check the mushrooming of illegal structures that were coming precariously close to the boundary wall of the airport.

Ironically, prior to the recent meeting by the Mohali Deputy Commissioner, similar instructions passed by his predecessors had gone unheeded.

Importance of Chandigarh airbase

The Chandigarh Air Force Station is a highly sensitive installation, comprising two major units, 12 Wing, which maintains the vital air link to the northern region and No. 3 Base Repair Depot, the country’s largest helicopter overhaul establishment. 12 Wing, with two transport squadrons and a helicopter unit, is responsible for the airlift of troops and supplies to Ladakh, besides airdropping supplies to sustain Army posts in forward areas like the Siachen and Kargil. Recently, it also began operations from unpaved forward operating bases at Daulat Beg Oldie, Nyoma and Fuckche in the mountains of Ladakh. Flying operations are undertaken both during the day and night, as well as in adverse weather conditions. 3 BRD overhauls and flight-tests MI-8 and MI-17 helicopters. The station handles VVIP movement, including that of the President, the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, service chiefs and foreign dignitaries.

At a glance

  • Constructions violate statutory laws and regulations
  • Pose threat to aircraft, civilian population
  • Jeopardise security of airbase, civil terminal
  • Can pose risk to VVIPs
  • Blockage of crash gates may hamper post-mishap rescue operations
  • Garbage and animal waste attracts birds, a major cause of accidents
  • Structures on flight path affect aircraft flight profile during susceptible landing, take-off period
  • Civic authorities insensitive to security and safety issues



No exam sans cash voucher
30 denied entry, protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Nearly 30 candidates who came to appear in a banking examination at Shishu Niketan Modern Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, were sent back by the school authorities here today.

The candidates did not have their cash vouchers (challan), which they had been told to carry with them, as per instructions given for the examination.

The candidates began protesting and claimed that they had paid Rs 500 for the form and should be permitted to appear in the examination. The school called the police to pacify the candidates.

Twentytwo of the candidates signed a representation, claiming that certain candidates without cash voucher were permitted to appear at the Sector-41 and Sector-26 centres.



Building of upcoming old-age home demolished at Tipra village
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
An upcoming old-age home building for the destitutes was demolished by a team of the District Town Planning (DTP) department at Kalka near here today.DTP officials said the construction was a violation of the Chandigarh Periphery Control Act 1952.

The home was being constructed by the Chandigarh Diocese of Catholic Church, at Tipra village.

Thomas Anchanikal, the father at the church, said the land was owned by the Chandigarh Diocese of Catholic Church, for the past 30 years and they were to inaugurate the building to accommodate 50 inmates who were destitutes and aged next Sunday. However, a team of district officials, including DTP Hitesh, and police sub inspector Mukesh Kumar reached the site this morning with JCB machines and demolished the building, he said.

“They did not touch any other building in the area, despite of the fact that there were many others such residential and commercial buildings that were violating building byelaws,” alleged the father. “The department did not even bother to serve a notice to us prior to taking the extreme step,” he said.

On the contrary, DTP Hitesh when contacted said the demolition was undertaken following a direction from the Punjab and Haryana High court for taking a time-bound action in this regard.

A show-cause notice regarding violation of the Periphery Act was served upon the church three years ago on July 29, 2008. Again a restoration notice giving warning to the offenders was served on September 16, 2008 asking them to remove the unauthorised construction themselves which was followed by an FIR on September 26, 2009, claimed the DTP.

Following this some of the local residents moved the court allegeing that the Town and Country Planning Department was not pursuing the orders issued by it to the offenders, said Hitesh. Following this the court had asked the department on April 21, 2011 to take a time-bound action, he said.



Tricity scan

‘Stepmotherly treatment’

A meeting of BJP office-bearers and active workers was held under the chairmanship of state president Sanjay Tandon here on Saturday. National in charge of the BJP legal cell and former MP Satya Pal Jain and former union minister Harmohan Dhawan were also present. While addressing the meeting, Jain alleged that the Congress-led Central government was giving a stepmotherly treatment to the NDA ruled states due to which the development of these states was suffering. Meanwhile, Nitin Gadkari, BJP president, will be the main speaker at a seminar to be held at the Bhargava Auditorium, PGI, on July 30.

Brochure released

The concluding ceremony of the completion of 150 years of income tax in India was celebrated here on Sunday. Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, northwest region, Jaspal Singh was the chief guest. A brochure on “A Journey across three centuries” depicting evolving role of income tax since 1860 was released and a film preview titled “150 years of income tax- A journey across the centuries” was also screened. The ceremony was organised under the guidance of AK Kaushal, Commissioner Income Tax (I), and Sonali Arora, Commissioner of Income Tax (computer operations). Renowned Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann gave an entertaining performance on the occasion.

Cong meeting

A joint meeting of office-bearers and block presidents of the district Congress committees was held here on Sunday. Union minister for parliamentary affairs and water resources Pawan Kumar Bansal, local Congress president BB Bahl, Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) Ravinder Pal Singh, district president (urban I) HS Lucky, district president urban II) Poonam Sharma and district president (rural) Devider Lubana were prominent among those who spoke. The leaders came down heavily on BJP’s smear campaign against the Congress leaders.

Talks on ayurveda

“In the fast-paced life that we lead, rarely do we find time to deal with health issues in a natural and systematic way. And if we understand the importance of natural and herbal healing, half of our problems will disappear,” said experts at the concluding day of the three-day seminar on “Talks on ayurveda for healthy living” at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration here on Sunday. Dr Rakesh Sharma, director, ayurveda, Punjab, said at this time there was need for a synthesis of modern living and holistic wellness. One has to learn how to maintain a balance between hectic lifestyle and a healthy living. Others who spoke included Prof Raj Kumar, principal, DAV College, Jalandhar; and Prof Sanjeev Sood, DAV College, Jalandhar.

Awareness rally

The Rotary Club of Chandigarh organised a hepatitis awareness rally at Sukhna Lake as a precursor to the WHO’s officially supported World Hepatitis Day, which falls on July 28. Dr Yogesh Chawla, head of the hepatology department at PGI, flagged off the rally.

Recruitment as per UGC norms

A day before the commencement of new academic session at DAV College, Sector 10, on July 25, officiating principal Shashi Gupta on Sunday said the college had made a conscious decision to recruit staff members strictly as per the University Grants Commission norms. Commenting on the status of admissions, he said response to all streams had been good and even in the arts stream students with 90 per cent marks in Class XII have sought admission. Students timetable would be displayed tomorrow and classes would commence on July 26.

Scholarship mela

The Aryans Group of Colleges on Sunday organised a scholarship mela at a hotel where 75 scholarships worth Rs 72 lakh were awarded to the needy students on the spot. Anshu Kataria, chairman, Aryans Group, said the scholarship was based on the merit-cum-means basis for MBA, PGDM, BBA, BCA and BTech courses. He added that students who could not afford to pay tuition fee availed the benefit of the scholarship between Rs 10,000 to Rs 3 lakh per student. Inaugurating the event, chief guest Naval Gupta, zonal manager, Bank of India, said the bank would aim to provide financial support to students as well.

Seminar on career avenues

The Institute of Hospitality and Management, Banur, organised a mega seminar at their campus located on the Chandigarh-Patiala Highway, opposite Gian Sagar Medical College. Capt Sandeep Singh Sandhu (CEO) said, “The objective behind organising the seminar was to inform students on various career avenues related to hospitality and management.” Hussan Lal (IAS), secretary, tourism and cultural affairs, Punjab, was the chief guest. Students opting to enroll in BSc (honours) course would also get an opportunity of studying in Switzerland, said institute’s officials.

‘Defaming society’

Resident Savdeep Singh, secretary Victor Singh and vice-president Capt Surjit Singh Dhariwal of The Wembley’s Cooperative House Building Society, Sector 91, Mohali, in a press conference held on Sunday said some people with their vested interests were trying to defame the society. They are either those people who have not made their due payments in time and have been declared defaulter or those who have not been included in the list of first block. They claimed that certain members were pressurising the society to include their names in the list of first block despite the fact that they started depositing their due money after two years of the formation of the society, whereas members who were declared eligible had started paying money right from 2006.They said these members had deposited Rs 20 lakh each, whereas the official cost of flat now is Rs 27.85 lakh. They also said the delay in completion of project was only due to delayed payments by most of the members and new management has succeeded in pursuing them for timely payments and planning to complete the project in time bound way.

SP takes charge

Newly appointed Mohali SP (headquarters) Mandir Singh has taken charge. Earlier he has served as SP of the vigilance commission and had also hold prime posts in security of the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Public meeting

Manpreet Badal on Sunday held a public meeting at the Phase VII community centre here on Sunday evening. While seeking change of government, Manpreet urged audience to vote for change and weed out corrupt politicians. He said the time had come for change in the forthcoming assembly elections.

Work begins

NK Sharma, chairman of the district planning board, said work on the nature park in 50 acres of land had begun in the leisure valley. A total of Rs 5 crore was being spent on the development of nature park and it would be a treat for morning walkers. Sharma was listening to problems of residents in Phase IX. He also assured the residents that all road repair related work would be completed by September

— Tribune Reporters



From schools

Inter-house GK quiz

An inter-house general knowledge quiz competition was organised in Shivalik Public School for students of Class VIII. There were eight rounds in all and questions were based on various topics like branches of science, abbreviations, space travel, current affair, just a minute activity, etc. Each team comprised of eight students. Headmistress Preetinder Kaur, who was the chief guest, appreciated the efforts of the students and congratulated the winning team. Students of winning team from Zorawar House are Akshita, Shubham, Kritika, Ritika, Rashi, Balwinder, Sahildeep and Gursimer.

Saupin’s students win laurels

Saupin’s School, Sector 70, Mohali, bagged top positions at the zonal inter-school tournament, Mohali, held from July 19 to 21. The table tennis, chess and badminton teams won prizes for under-14 and under-17 categories. The table tennis team under-14 boys’ category comprised Paramvir Singh, Angad Singh, Mankeerat Singh, Jashanjeet Singh and Balpreet Singh, whereas the girls’ team included Simrat Kaur, Sukhman Kaur, Gurleen Kaur, Arshpreet Kaur and Nandita. The girls’ chess team under-14 category comprised Manjot Kaur, Mehakpreet Kaur, Guntaj Kaur and Mannat. Saupin’s beat other teams and qualified for the district tournament.

All-India table soccer meet

Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, hosted the India Open International Table Soccer Tournament, 2011, organised by the International Table Soccer Federation from July 22 to 24 on the school premises. Around 500 participants from 16 states have come to participate in the tournament. Scot Slessor, consul general of Canada, was the chief guest and inaugurated the tournament. He encouraged the students to participate in such activities and conveyed his best wishes to the participants.

St Xavier’s shine in zonal sports

St Xavier’s grabbed topmost rank in all categories at the zonal-level sports tournament at Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B1, Mohali, including under-14 basketball (boys) team and under-14 and under-17 basketball (girls) team won the first position. The under-17 volleyball girls’ team and under-14 girls’ carrom team also grabbed the first position. The under-14 boys and under-14 girls’ yoga team stood second. Manasvi Singla of Class X won three gold medals in swimming in 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 80 m breaststroke, respectively.

Students shine

Students of Sant Isher Singh Public School, Phase VII, Mohali, brought laurels in the inter-school zonal-level tournament held at Government Model School, Phase 3BI, Mohali. The under-19 volleyball boys’ team under the captaincy of Birdavinder was declared winner. It was almost a one-sided game with a technically sound team of SIS, Mohali. In the under-19 badminton girls’ match held at Manav Mangal Smart School, the team of Kamal, Gagan and Aman was declared as runner-up. Hardip Kaur Gill, the director of the school, congratulated students on their achievement and also encouraged them to practice for the district-level competition. Inderjeet Sandhu, school principal, encouraged the students to play in true sportsman’s spirit.

Smile day for tiny tots

Tiny tots at Gian Jyoti Global School, Phase II, Mohali, were enthralled while learning an ethical lesson for their entire lives when they observed the smile day. The students made smiling take away. Principal Ranjeet Bedi said the purpose of this activity was to bring smile on the faces of underprivileged children. She added that they are going to make celebration of smile day once in a month activity so that the tiny hearts should learn to make others happy at this delicate age only.

Interactive programme

Disha Prakalap Organisation run by Sewa Bharti has adopted 40 students who were homeless in Leh and Ladhak. These students were invited by the Sharda Sarvhitkari Model School for an interaction programme. These children won the hearts of faculty and it was and emotional farewell.

Vanamaotsava drive ends

The weeklong celebrations of vanamahotasava culminated on Sunday at St Paul’s International School, Phase VI, Mohali, with a tree plantation drive by MS Chinna, AIG Punjab Police. The chief guest Chinna also inaugurated the unique initiative “Prayatan” through which the school distributed more than 200 saplings in the neighbouring areas. Ashok Bajaj, director of the school, applauded the efforts taken by the school to make the earth green. — TNS



Himachali flavour reigns
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, July 24
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, in collaboration with the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi, presented folk songs and dances of Himachal Pradesh here today.

Led by choreographer director Prithvi Singh Chauhan, 12 young artistes of Sanskritik Dal Rajana Bhoj, Sirmour, commenced the programme with an invocatory Shiv Vandana.

Danseuse Kiran delighted the audience by bringing Diwali fervour on stage in her deepak dance, along with dancing partner Vivek.

After a Sirmouri naati, six male and female dancers presented a mala nritya. After another romantic dance called judi, all accomplished dancers displayed verve and vitality of Himachali giddha.



Hotelier’s Death
Cops to rely on phone call details of Gaurav
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
After failing to locate the mobile phone and scooter of Gaurav Bhardwaj, who was killed after being set on fire by unidentified persons, the police is now relying on the mobile phone call details of the deceased. Today, the relatives of Gaurav provided five different mobile numbers used by him to the police.

Meanwhile, a police party searched the area near Basualan village in Pinjore where Gaurav was found dumped on Thursday.

The area is adjoining a forest and it is suspected that the accused must have taken Gaurav to a desolate place to burn him and later thrown him near Pinjore, said a police official. However, the task of the police was made more difficult as there were three paths leading from Chandigarh to Basaulan village.

It was not an easy job to locate as to which route was taken by the accused from Sector 22 of Chandigarh to Basaulan village.

Gaurav, managing a hotel at Morni, was allegedly kidnapped by nearly six youths from Sector 22, Chandigarh, on Thursday and was later set on fire before dumping him at Basaulan village near Pinjore. Gaurav could not tell more details to the police and his father before he fell unconscious only to succumb to his injuries on Friday night.



Tractor-trolley ferrying chopped tree branches confiscated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 24
The Mohali Municipal Corporation today confiscated a tractor-trolley that was being used to ferry tree branches illegally chopped near Silvy Park in Phase X here this evening.

The contractor engaged in erecting security gates was getting the branches chopped as the view of the advertisement above the gate was being blocked by the tree branches.

In lieu of erecting the security gates and deputing security gates, the contractor had been allowed to sell the space to advertisers to make up for the expenditure.

To make the advertisements visible, the sanitation contractor was engaged to ferry the chopped tree branches. The branches of trees in other sectors were also chopped.



Death in womb
Kin allege negligence
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
A woman lost her child in the womb itself due to the alleged negligence of doctors of a Sector 8 nursing home.

Nitin, the husband of patient Kavita, a resident of Zirakpur, later lodged a complaint with the police.

“Kavita was under treatment at the nursing home for the past seven months after she got pregnant. Today, doctors gave her an injection after which the condition of Kavita began deteriorating, he alleged. Kavita was referred to PGI where the baby was declared dead in the womb, he said.

The SHO of Sector 5 police station, Om Prakash, said Nitin had lodged a complaint. However, the police would verify the allegations before taking any action against the nursing home staff, he said.



Zirakpur MC to set up six garbage collecting centres
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, July 24
The Zirakpur Municipal Council is planning to set up six garbage collecting centres in Zirakpur on the Chandigarh pattern.

The agenda has been mooted after the MC officials realised that the garbage lying in the open was causing inconvenience to residents. The issue of setting up of the garbage collecting centres was discussed in the recent council meeting.

An MC official stated that six collecting centres would be set up in Pabhat, Baltana, Dhakoli, Bishanpura, Old Kalka Road and Lohgarh Road. The sites for that would be finalised soon. The centres would be constructed on the Chandigarh pattern.

The official added that the MC chief had asked the ward councillors to look for sites. The fund will be sanctioned after getting the approval from the local bodies, the official said.

He also claimed that the Mohali administration had shortlisted a site for setting up a garbage disposal plant for Mohali district. He said after setting up of the solid waste plant, a private company would carry the garbage from these collecting points.

A survey of the area revealed that heaps of garbage had been lying in the open at Dhakoli, Pabhat, Dhakola and Baltana.

However, the council had passed a budget of Rs 80 lakh for cleanliness in the town. The council had proposed to spend around Rs 62.28 lakh on cleanliness and Rs 17.28 lakh would be spent on dumping of garbage from the collection points, the official added.

MC president Narinder Kumar Sharma said to keep the town clean, the council was to set up six garbage collecting point soon and the site would be finalised after getting approval from the local government.



Homage paid to Kargil martyrs

Chandigarh, January 24
Homage was paid to martyrs on the 12th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Divas at Major Shankla War Memorial, Sector 2, here today.

Retired Army officers were among those who paid floral tributes to martyrs.

Poet Sardar Anjum recited poems on the occasion. A candle-light vigil was organised in the evening. — TNS



Open house response
Government transport system almost taken over by three-wheeler industry

Open house question

The Chandigarh administration sealed a paying guest accommodation at Sector 35 past week. At least 40 paying guests were crowded in eight rooms on upper floors. While getting an accommodation has become an ordeal for outsiders in the city, particularly students, paying guest accommodation owners are minting money by overcrowding their residential quarters. Write to the openhouse@tribunemail.com about the problems faced in getting accommodation in the city and alternative solutions for providing residential quarters for the burgeoning population of students and professionals from outside the city.

With an explosive growth in the number of auto-rickshaws in Chandigarh, the government transport system has almost been taken over by the three-wheeler industry. There is no organised system in place to manage autorickshaws. Drivers of these auto-rickshaws are clever and well-acquainted with the routes where they can earn maximum profit.

Although commuters are benefited due to comfortable access to their required destination, they are unaware of its unfavourable effects. In the meantime, the transport department of Chandigarh administration is facing huge fiscal losses due to the three-wheeler menace.

There is not an element of doubt that the buses run by Chandigarh administration are rich in quality and the fares are low. The only problem with these buses is improper planning. In my opinion, the transport department needs make necessary amends in the routes and other faults in the system.

While auto-rickshaws are doing a good job by providing cheap and fast transport service to residents of Chandigarh and its satellite towns, there are some adverse effects of this transport service. In an attempt to pick the maximum number of commuters, drivers of auto-rickshaws park vehicles anywhere and overload those.

I still feel that the buses with the transport department are world-class and passengers are always safe and comfortable in these buses. The first option of commuters of Chandigarh and its satellite towns should be to catch the local bus, which gives them an air-conditioned atmosphere and a safe and sound ride on a low rate.

Ravinder Nath

No time schedule

Surely the public transport system in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali are not up to the mark. The CTU service plying to neighbouring towns is poorly worked out. First of all, the buses do not follow any time schedule. Commuters are frustrated and prefer to travel by auto-rickshaws. These auto-rickshaws, with all weaknesses, save a lot of time.

To make the public transport system more effective and attractive, the administration needs to work out a system of ensuring that buses follow the time schedule. The waiting time, which is over one hour at certain spots, needs to be reduced to not more than 10 minutes. Proper time schedule and faster service will definitely have a large section of the population parking personal vehicles at home and moving by bus.

RK Kapoor

Follow Singapore

In view of the phenomenal increase in vehicular traffic, it is in everybody’s mind that road safety is a multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional issue. Law enforcement alone cannot solve this problem as it is only by way of responsible individual behaviour that everyone can jointly contribute in reducing traffic woes in the city.

It is within the constraints of limited parking, which is getting reduced by the day, and other factors to which solutions will have to be found, but community interest will have to take precedence over individual convenience.

Though every effort is being made to check this menace by piecemeal measures such as considering an increase in vehicle registration fee and increase is pedestrian subways and footpaths, it is not easy. Twelve lakh vehicles are expected to be on roads in the 114-sq-km area of the city, from the present 8 lakh, by 2015.

It will be in the interest of all if the public transport is encouraged to a large scale as this will help reduce congestion to a large extent. We should follow the example of Singapore, where around 65 per cent commuters now use public transport. The question is, who will bell the cat?

To accomplish this Herculean task, the UT administration should purchase at least 500 buses, including air-conditioned ones, to start on V-5 roads across the city and be parked at fixed places at all points.

SK Khosla

Pollution blues

Keeping in view the ongoing scenario of vehicles and pollution in the city in the past few years, it has become necessary for the public to know about vehicular pollution and its effects on the human body before the city administration is able to find a suitable substitute to it.

The public transport system in the city needs to be made a priority of the Chandigarh State Transport Authority. Chandigarh needs to encourage people to use public transport. If the government can make buses a more popular mode of transport, the amount of carbon dioxide produced due to road transport can be reduced.

City residents as well as visitors need public transport. Every city needs a three-tier public transport system to cover short, medium and long distances. To cover short distances, people should form the habit of brisk walking and using bicycles, which are good for health. To cover medium distances, auto-rickshaws are ideal as these suit every pocket.

The Chandigarh State Transport Authority should introduce smart cards in place of bus passes. The new and sleek smart cards should be used in the same way as bus passes. The automatic fare collection should be installed on the gates.

Sachin Sharma

Whither P’kula?

Haryana Roadways is not running any local bus from Panchkula to Chandigarh. As a result, passengers have to face a lot of inconvenience. All local buses plying between Panchkula and Chandigarh start from Zirakpur and other nearby places. When these buses reach the Panchkula bus stand, these are generally full to capacity, especially in morning hours, between 7 am and 10 am.

Most passengers, especially employees and students, have a tough time in boarding buses. One can see a large number of such passengers waiting for local buses at the Panchkula bus stand. Trans-Ghaggar sectors are the worst affected because of poor bus service. Keeping in view the hardships being faced by passengers from Panchkula, it is suggested that there be a bus service for Chandigarh, originating at the Panchkula bus stand, at least after every 15 minutes.

Haryana Roadways is not running any bus from Panchkula to the PGI, the GMCH, the GMSH and the PU, which are visited frequently. Direct buses should be started from Panchkula to these places. To meet all these requirements of Panchkula residents, more buses should be introduced.

VK Kapur



Residents of Colony Number 4 block road
Allege police inaction against accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Residents of Colony Number 4 today blocked the road opposite Bhushan Factory in Industrial Area and staged a protest against the police, alleging high-handedness and claimed that the police was not acting against an accused whom they had nabbed on the basis of suspicion.

The drama began when the colony residents nabbed a resident Ajmal Mohammad on suspicion and bashed him up. As the police arrested the accused and saved him from public wrath, the colony residents alleged that the police was shielding the accused and blocked the road, resulting in a traffic jam.

However, the police verified the antecedents of the accused and arrested him for loitering and ruled out that he was behind recent incidents of assault on women in the colony.

The drama lasted for over two hours when colony residents gathered on roads and additional police force was deployed to take stock of the situation.

Sub-Inspector Dharamvir of the Industrial Area police station said they had conducted a proper verification and the suspected person was not accused in any case. “The colony residents raised a hue and cry and claimed that he was behind recent crimes in the area, but we thoroughly verified that this was not the case,” he said.

“We were asking the police to hand over the accused to us. But the police failed to act,” alleged a colony resident.



Humidity here to stay
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Hot and humid conditions are likely to prevail in the next few days as the temperature is likely to increase by two degrees in the next 24 hours.

After moderate rain on Saturday morning, residents of the tricity got relief from the extreme hot and humid conditions prevailing in the region during the past one week.

Though there was a slight increase of four degrees in the maximum temperature from 28 degree Celsius yesterday, residents continued to get respite from humid conditions in view of the cloudy sky.

The weatherman said the maximum temperature increased by over 3.9 degrees to touch 31.9 degree Celsius, which was still two degrees below normal.

The maximum temperature yesterday was 28 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature witnessed a slight decrease, which stood at 24.4 degree Celsius, compared to 25.7 degree Celsius recorded yesterday.

A meteorological officials said, “The sky will be generally cloudy on Monday, with the possibility of thunder and light rain.

The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 34 degree Celsius and the minimum around 26 degree Celsius.”



MC poll sans delimitation
Cong thwarts admn proposal
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The municipal corporation (MC) is set to go to the polls without delimitation of wards. With the Congress successfully thwarting the UT administration’s proposal to bring the remaining villages under its jurisdiction, at least till the MC poll in the third week of December, the battle will be fought for the existing 26 wards.

Official sources said the delimitation of wards was unlikely as time was too short for taking a decision on the inclusion of UT villages.

The Administration had proposed that the remaining 13 wards be included in the MC and the wards be increased from 26 to 32 with a view to have a uniform system of governance in the city.

Apparently fearing a political backlash and anti-incumbency from the influential rural population in the forthcoming MC poll, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal had reportedly asked senior UT officials to go slow on the inclusion of villages and delimitation.

In fact,the president of the local unit of the Congress, BB Bahl, went on record claiming that the party had blocked the administration’s attempt to merge UT villages into the MC.

Senior officials said with no unanimity among political parties on delimitation, the administration would find in difficult to make arrangements for the additional wards.

In fact, since elections to the New Delhi Municipal Corporation were due early next year, the Election Commission for Delhi and Chandigarh was already too preoccupied to undertake a fresh task like the delimitation of wards.

The officials said the administration would soon come with a detailed poll programme, including reservation of wards for Scheduled Castes and women. The census department had recently released urban-rural city data, but Scheduled Caste census data was yet to see the light of the day.



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