C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No end to vehicle snatchings in city
Innova taken away from driver
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
In a case of car jacking, two unidentified assailants, one of them dressed in police uniform, snatched an Innova car parked outside a hotel from its driver in Sector 22 in the wee hours today.

The victim, who rushed inside the hotel in a panicky state, failed to see a glass door and banged his head into it. He suffered grievous wounds on his face and is admitted in the PGI.

The police has registered a case under Sections 382, 34 (hurt or restraint in order to commit theft) against unidentified accused in the Sector 17 police station.

Sohan Lal, driver of the Innova (RJ 14 TC 0439), had come to the city from Jaipur last evening to drop a passenger. A businessman from Jaipur had hired his cab and had booked Jimmy Hotel in Sector 22, Chandigarh.

While his passenger was sleeping in the hotel, the cab driver Sohan Lal was fast asleep in his car parked outside. At around 4.30 am, two persons, who came on foot, attacked him and pulled him out by opening the door lock as the cab’s front window was open. The two then bashed the driver, snatched the keys of the car and fled with it. One of them was dressed in police uniform.

A panicky Sohan Lal rushed inside the hotel for help. He failed to see a glass door near the staircase and banged his head into it. The door broke apart and the driver received serious glass injuries on his face.

No police presence outside hotels

y The incident also brings to light the lack of security outside city’s hotels. The car jacking incident occurred in the heart of the city and there was no police around at that time.

Recovery agents involved?

The police is investigating whether the car was financed and is suspecting it to be the handiwork of recovery agents. “We are exploring all angles and nothing is certain at present. If the cab is financed, we will investigate if it’s the work of recovery agents,” said the police.

Year 2011
Robberies: 41; Snatching: 140; Thefts: 896



Carriage auto snatched, driver robbed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
In yet another case of vehicle snatching reported late on Sunday evening, unidentified assailants robbed a driver of a carriage auto in Kaimbwala village. The assailants, who were three in number, hired the carriage auto from Grain Market in Sector 26 and told the driver, Anuj, to take them to Saketri village. They told him that they will load some goods in the auto to be taken to another place. The incident took place at 9.30 pm.

As the auto rickshaw reached Kaimbwala, the assailants overpowered the driver and tied him with ropes. They handcuffed his hands and tied his mouth with a cloth and threw him by the side of the deserted road. They then fled with his vehicle and mobile phone. The autodriver managed to untie himself and called the police.



Trader hurt in robbery bid
Accused flee after attacking him with rods
Tribune News Service

Pradeep, who was injured in a clash with robbers, at General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula.
Pradeep, who was injured in a clash with robbers, at General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, August 7
Five unidentified people made an unsuccessful attempt to rob a trader in the bustling Sector 11 market when he was about to enter a bank to deposit money on Sunday. Pradeep was seriously injured when he put up a stiff resistance after they attacked him with rods, forcing them to flee the scene. None of the passersby or the bank’s security guards came to his rescue when he was struggling with the suspects.

According to Pradeep’s brother, Jagbir, both are distributors for Verka milk products. “Pradeep used to deposit the day’s collection of money at the IndusInd bank branch in Sector 11 every Sunday as other banks in the area remained closed on that day. As soon as he parked his motorcycle in front of the bank at around 12:45 pm three people attacked him with rods, injuring him on the head. The suspects tried to snatch his bag containing the money. He was able to catch hold of one of them but he managed to get free from his grip and fled along with his accomplices”, he stated.

Jagbir claimed there were two armed security guards posted at the bank at the time of the incident but none of them bothered to come to his assistance. “The bank hasn’t even installed a CCTV camera in the parking area”, he added.

When contacted deputy police superintendent (crime) Ram Chander Rathi said he was “out of town”. The other DSP, Badri Prasad, stated the police was investigating the incident.



When No. ‘100’ failed residents
Unconscious man kept lying in Town Park
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 7
Residents of Panchkula had to suffer a lot as the Emergency police control room telephone number 100 remained out of order throughout the day here today.

Biju George, a resident of Sector 11 and a social worker, was at his wits’ end when he tried to help a man lying unconscious in Town Park in Sector 5 here this evening. Biju tried to contact emergency telephone number 100 for more than half an hour but no one picked the phone. “It was around 6.15 pm that I found a man lying unconscious in the park and tried to inform the police,” said Biju.

“To my surprise, no one picked the phone even as the ring was going continuously,” he said. Then I took out the wallet of the person lying unconscious and found that he was an employee of Berkley, a dealer in Maruti cars, at Panchkula. I informed them and his colleagues reached the spot, said Biju.

This was, however, not the first time when local residents did not get any response on the Emergency number. On Saturday, while over two dozen youths intruded into the house of an old couple in Sector 12 and took away their household goods, they could not contact the police control room as no one responded on “100”.

The employees sitting in the control room said the public could contact the control room at two other phone numbers 0172-2582100 and 2583638.

Meanwhile, employees at the control room said being Sunday, no one was available at the BSNL office to rectify the fault.

Interestingly, the higher police authorities were not aware of the issue. While Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary is on leave, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Crime) Ram Chander Rathi said he was out of town. DSP (HQs) Badri Prasad claiming that the number was working, said there might be some other problem with the people dialling this number.



PU faculty blamed for holding up results
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Facing the heat for the almost three-week delay in declaring the results of various postgraduate exams, Panjab University examination’s branch has held over 80 faculty members responsible for the inordinate delay. Instead of being consistent in submitting the evaluated answer sheets within two weeks, teachers failed to stick to the deadline and waited till July, flooding the department with exam results at the last moment.

This has increased the burden on the examination branch to compile the results, leading to the delay. In a “fact finding” report branch officials blamed the hold up of results on late submission of evaluation sheets by teachers. The report identified the last minute submission as the loophole and recommended a time of two weeks after an examination is held.

“Most teachers failed to adhere to the June 30 deadline for submitting the evaluated answer sheets. At least 80 teachers sent us their evaluation list at the last minute, overburdening the entire process of compiling the results. We had initially planned that teachers would submit the evaluation sheets within two weeks after the exam, but received a long list of evaluated mark sheets at the last minute,” said a PU examination branch official. Other than citing the reasons for the delay, the report has recommended a three-tier policy to deal with such delays in future. The university intends to propose to faculty and senate members that, like many honours schools, the teachers concerned should be involved in setting exam papers and even evaluating them. To maintain transparency a student will be allowed to see his answer sheets and raise objections, if any. The examination branch will also give separate paper submission deadlines to teachers to avoid any sudden overload. In addition more staff will be hired in the examination branch to process the results, according to the proposal.



RTI record in PU

Chandigarh, August 7
If you wish to get information pertaining to inquiries in different teaching and non-teaching departments of Panjab University (PU), you may have to file over 100 separate Right To Information applications for the purpose.

In a recent reply furnished by the PU to an application filed by Dr RK Singla, an RTI activist, seeking details of inquiry committees (including judicial) formed by Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti during his tenure from 2006, the university claimed to have no consolidated record in this regard. “The university has not compiled any record of inquiry committees constituted by the VC. These inquiry committees are constituted by different branches/ departments of the PU. Therefore, information regarding this pertains to various Public Information Officers whose list is available at the PU website www.puchd.ac.in ” read the PU’s reply. — TNS


Department to probe 2 SHOs’ role
Mishandling of robbery complaint, delay in lodging of FIR
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
A day after a robbery victim was made to run from one police station to another, with officials of the two stations unable to decide the jurisdiction, senior police officials today ordered a departmental inquiry against the station house officers (SHO) of both Sector-34 and Sector-19 police stations for mishandling the complaint and to find lapses on their part.

Inspector Kirpal Singh, SHO of police station-34, and Inspector Janak Rana, SHO of police station-19, will face the inquiry.

The police today swung into action and registered a case of robbery at the police station-34.

Pradeep Kumar Shahi, a Hallo Majra resident, faced a harrowing time in wee hours of yesterday after he was robbed in a moving auto-rickshaw and then thrown out of the vehicle near the Sector-34 gurdwara.

He then went to police station-34, where police officials told him to file his complaint with police station-19.

On reaching police station-19, he was asked to go back to police station-34. As a result, a case was never registered.

After media highlighted the plight of the victim today, senior police officials ordered a departmental inquiry, as prima facie both SHOs were found at fault.

It was found that the incident occurred in the jurisdiction of police station-34 but its SHO, Inspector Kirpal Singh, never bothered to visit the scene of the robbery and failed to register a case. He evaded the responsibility by sending the complainant to police station-19.

A team comprising two sub-divisional police officers, including DSP (East) JS Khaira and DSP (South) BS Negi, inspected the scene where Parmod Kumar Sahi was robbed and found SHO Kirpal Singh at fault.

Kirpal had refused to entertain Pradeep’s complaint claiming that he was robbed in SHO Janak Rana’s jurisdiction.

Inspector Janak Rana, on his part, had got the medical examination of the victim conducted.

Rana claimed that he had lodged a daily diary report into another incident when auto-rickshaw occupants had attacked another resident, Feroz Khan, around the same time.

“Feroz Khan never alleged robbery and we had recorded his statement,” he said.

Police’s indifference

Janak Rana,Pradeep Kumar Shahi, a Hallo Majra resident, was robbed in a moving auto-rickshaw and thrown out of the vehicle near the Sector-34 gurdwara in the wee hours of Sunday. He went to police station-34, where police officials told him to file his complaint with police station-19. On reaching police station-19, he was asked to go back to police station-34. As a result, a case was never registered.

Kirpal SinghInspector Kirpal Singh, SHO, police station-34, had refused to entertain the complaint claiming that the victim was robbed in SHO Janak Rana’s jurisdiction i.e. police station-19. Inspector Janak Rana claimed that had got the medical examination of the victim conducted and sent the complainant back to the police station-34 as the crime did not take place in his jurisdiction.



Open House Response
Need to have distinction between PG, rental accommodation

The term “paying guest accommodation” has no room in the estate office, Chandigarh Rules 2007, or in other statute. The Administration has given itself arbitrary powers to name any accommodation as a paying guest without justification. The rules do not lay down any criteria to distinguish between a PG accommodation and a rental accommodation.

The rules have given unwarranted discretion to the estate officer to label any accommodation as a PG or a rental accommodation. The term “misuse” is also not clearly defined. There is a need for a comprehensive distinction between two categories of accommodation before penalising people. There is no prescribed authority to distinguish between the two, which has led to arbitrary and discretionary power to the estate office for penalising innocent people, who do not know that any of their action is unlawful. Before taking penal measures against landlords, it would be wise for university and other institutes to provide residential accommodation for all students.

Secondly, it should order closure of all private institutes and coaching academies, which do not have adequate hostel facilities for their students. Similarly, one should make laws prohibiting government as well as private employers from recruiting bachelor employees unless they have facilities to house them. There is no law in India, which prohibits renting out premises to a group of persons instead of a family.

BS Kohli

Admn should construct more hostels

With students from all over the region coming to study in the city, the demand for private hostels has gained unprecedented grounds in the city as also have unauthorised paying guest (PG) accommodations. The issue gains importance with a large number of students enrolling themselves in private coaching institutes, computer-training centres and specialised courses.

The city has become an educational hub due to the availability of best education facilities, strong social infrastructure and safe environment. The administration should take urgent steps to construct more hostels to keep a check on the illegal paying guest accommodations mushrooming in the city. Boys and girls staying at PGs create ruckus and make it difficult for their surrounding to maintain a healthy living. Drinking openly in parks and green belts has become a common affair. It’s also become common for girls to stay overnight in boys’ PGs.

They indulge in illegal and immoral activities by taking advantage of the darkness because of non-functional lights in the green belts. The police should adopt a zero tolerance policy against such rowdy elements and book them under the Excise Act.

Most of the residents are fed up from the paying guest accommodations in their vicinity. They have become a den of immoral activities. The Chandigarh Police should keep a strong check on the residential areas by including members from resident welfare associations.

Er Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

Take action against illegal PGs

As Chandigarh is becoming an educational hub, it is attracting an increasing number of students and professionals from across the region. With such inflow of students, accommodation has become a great problem. House owners in the city are gaining benefit from the situation and minting money by overcrowding their residential quarters. Some house owners have constructed a room in their backyards and built cabins in the rooms to take in maximum number of paying guests. Taking strict action on such illegal PGs is need of the hour. The owners running PG facility without permission should be suitably fined and premises should be sealed. A set of rules and regulations should be made, which must state that not more than two students should be allowed in one room and also stating fixed reasonable rents for occupiers. Ensuring hygiene and water supply is important. Apart from this, the administration needs to look for long-term solution to the accommodation problem and this can be done by constructing separate hostels for boys and girls so as to adjust the burgeoning population of outsiders who come to the city as students and as professionals.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Admn should not decide in haste

Ever since Chandigarh became a major education hub, scores of students from all over the country have been coming for education purpose. Chandigarh being a passage to four major states, namely Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, has become a transit point. Many multi-national companies and technology majors have their offices here, besides employing thousands of employees and trainees. The city also boasts of advanced state-of-the-art medical institutes, which cater to the need of local people and also for those from far off places. All these people coming to the city need a roof on their head.

As per estimates, there are about 1,00,000 students and such people living in PG accommodations. In the absence of low cost hostels, inns and any other infrastructure to home these people, they have no choice but to seek shelter in PG's. It is understandable that there are a few law and order problems arising out at such places. But by closing these accommodations all of a sudden is not going to solve the problem.

The administration must give reasonable time to both occupants and PG owners to adjust to the situation. To provide a shelter to these people is the responsibility of the state and that can't be overlooked. So the administration and police should not take any action in haste and avoid controversy during the elections year.

Kumar Vijay, Chandigarh

PGs fleece students

Commensurate with the mushrooming of educational institutions around Chandigarh, including new private universities, engineering, pharmacy, commerce and business colleges, the boarding and housing facilities have failed to match up with the increased requirements.

Students from outside are fleeced. Several are living in unsanitary conditions like packed sardines which is not only unhygienic but also uncivil. The government should make it mandatory for such institutes to provide proper hostel accommodation in the campuses. We need more universities, colleges of excellence for which suitable accommodation are a must.

Gurmit Singh Saini Mohali



Who’s a PG, who’s not?
Resident welfare associations want clarity from UT
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
An ongoing attempt by the UT estate office to get landlords to register their paying guests (PGs) has led to both a debate and disappointment among a section of the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), many of whom are claiming that notices are being served without verifying whether students residing on the premises are tenants or paying guests.

In the perceived absence of any fixed guideline differentiating between paying guests and tenants, members of various RWAs have planned to write to the UT administration to clearly define PG and conventional tenancy.

The issue of landlords illegally renting out premises to paying guests is fast becoming a topic of discussion among RWAs and has become a major agenda for many city landlords at the monthly meetings of the Federation of Sector Welfare Association Chandigarh (FOSWAC).

The issue has led to members taking positions, often at variance. While FOSWAC is trying hard to get illegal PGs shut, a few members of RWAs are upset that the estate office is issuing notices to landlords without verifying whether they have rented their premises to conventional tenants or paying guests.

Raising the issue during the FOSWAC meeting today, its chairman PC Sanghi demanded the enforcement of the guidelines notified by the administration for regulating paying guests accommodations in residential buildings.

Sanghi said they would take up the matter of creating hostel accommodations for students, to stop the mushrooming of illegal paying guests, with the administration.

However, agitated over UT’s move, Surinder Sharma, president, Welfare Society, Sector 15, said the estate office was serving notices on landlords just on the basis of students residing in houses without verifying whether they were paying guests or tenants.

“We will write to the UT administration to distinguish between PGs and rented accommodation before taking any further action,” he said. The UT administration has been tightening its noose on landlords illegally renting out premises to paying guests. However, landlords are opposing the move in the absence of any defined differentiation between paying guests and rented accommodation.

Another RWA member, during the meeting, claimed that the fear of families not vacating the house encouraged landlords to rent the accommodation to students, which was not wrong.

“Renting out an accommodation to students does not mean that they are paying guests. The policy adopted by the administration to serve notice and fine landlords is unfair,” he said.

Much of the city’s student community living as PGs is concentrated in Sectors 8, 10, 11, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 27, 32, 33, 34 and 35.



Members question body’s efficacy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The monthly meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Association Chandigarh (FOSWAC) today saw debate over the achievements of the association in the past one year. Members of various resident welfare associations were of the view that the issues discussed in the meetings remained only on paper without much happening on the ground.

Soon after the meeting commenced, PC Kaul, an RWA member from Sector-38 (West), questioned the achievements of FOSWAC in the past one year.

Complaining that his sector remained neglected during the year, Kaul said the demand for a beat box, a bus stop and closing of illegal openings in the sector remained unresolved despite his raising the issue in all meetings of the association.

This led to arguments between various RWA members who debated over the efficacy of FOSWAC.

Baljinder Singh, president, Sector-21 (A) Resident Welfare Association, also came out in support of Kaul, claiming that he should be given a patient hearing.

The members also deliberated and agreed that FOSWAC was apolitical in character and none of its members would contest civic body elections using FOSWAC as a platform.

During the meeting, it was decided to request the UT Administrator to nominate at least one councillor from FOSWAC to the new term of the municipal corporation so that public issues could be raised effectively in the house.

The members demanded that the UT administration should take steps to stop the increasing tendency of encroachment on the government land, regulate the functioning of private educational institutions, mushrooming of private coaching centres, providing affordable houses to the common people and setting up fast-track courts, appointment of a “lokayukta” and enactment of Anti-Corruption and Right to Service Bill to check the menace corruption.

The executive members decided to ask the administration to get the amended Rent Control Act implemented in the city as a reform measure.



NCB to burn contraband worth crores in Mohali
Earlier attempt scuttled by UT pollution control board over environmental clearance
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Over two months after the UT Pollution Control Board threw a spanner in the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) plans to burn drugs valuing crores of rupees at an incinerator in Dhanas without relevant environmental clearance, the bureau will now destroy the contraband in Mohali after getting a green signal from the Punjab Pollution Control Board.

According to NCB Regional Director AK Yadav, the contraband, including poppy husk and heroin, seized by the department would be destroyed for the first time on Tuesday.

He said relevant clearance had been received from the PPCB and the drugs would be destroyed at an incinerator in Mohali.

While Yadav refused to give details of the contraband scheduled to be destroyed, sources claimed that apart from an unspecified quantity of heroin, over 4,000 kg poppy husk was likely to be destroyed.

The value of the contraband was said to be worth several crores of rupees in the international market.

The “pollution-free” destruction was put on hold after the UT pollution control board officials raised objections to the NCB attempts to burn the contraband at the JP garbage disposal plant without seeking permission from the authorities.

Though the NCB officials had made efforts to get the clearances at the last minute, the plans had to be put off, as the same could not be obtained.

Sources in the department said the bureau subsequently obtained permission from the PPCB and the department cleared the destruction plans for Tuesday.

They said the department hadn’t destroyed any of the drugs seized by it since 1998 and it might be first in a series of such destructions.

On the reasons for such a long delay, officials said the process was lengthy due to judicial requirement.

The law requires the seized drugs to be retained as evidence till the case is settled. “We can only destroy the seized contraband once the court orders to do so,” they said.

The sources said the court had so far given permission to destroy drugs in three cases, including the seizure of 35 quintals of poppy husk near the airport roundabout. The seizure of 84 bags of the contraband, dubbed as one of the biggest hauls by the regional NCB office, was made while the consignment, which originated from Indore, was being taken to Jalandhar.

According to sources, Kullu and Mandi districts of Himachal Pradesh have widespread poppy cultivation and a lot of smuggling takes place from there to Punjab and other parts of the country.

During 2009, the NCB and various other central and state agencies, including the Border Security Force (BSF), the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the customs department and the Anti-Narcotics Cell had destroyed 754 acres of illicit poppy cultivation.

The same year, the quantities of drugs seized by the police and other agencies included nearly 600 kg heroin, 400 of hashish, 350 kg marijuana, nearly 3,000 kg opium and 373 tonne poppy husk.



GMCH-32 academic session kicks off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The 21st academic session of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, was inaugurated by Prof KK Talwar, Chairman, Board of Directors, Medical Council of India, here yesterday.

In his address to students, Prof Talwar emphasised the need for setting a goal, which needed to be pursued with determination. Appreciating the mentorship programme, he stressed the need for the “Teacher’s evaluation programme”.

He underlined the importance of developing the habit of writing, which would benefit students while contributing for scientific publications in the future. He said more postgraduate seats must be allotted to the medical college to balance the discrepancy between undergraduate and postgraduate seats.

Prof Raj Bahadur, Director-Principal, apprised Professor Talwar of various upcoming projects of medical college like Regional Institute of Paramedical Sciences, costing Rs 80 crore, Multi-Disciplinary Research Lab, costing Rs 5 crore, etc. He said: “The student-faculty mentorship programme has been running in the college for the past two years.”



Stripped of voting rights, residents look to admn for answers
5,000 voters of five UT villages were kept out of ‘lal dora’ in 2009
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Uncertainty over the status of inhabited land in five UT villages - Hallo Majra, Kahjeri, Palsora, Dadu Majra and Maloya - has deprived around 5,000 residents of the villages their right to vote, thanks to a lack of coordination between the UT administration and the municipal corporation.

The voters, residing outside the “lal dora” of their respective villages, lost their right to vote after the UT cancelled its previous notification in 2009 to transfer the revenue land of the villages to the MC. Now, the land has come under the purview of the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control Act 1952 and the UT has failed to decide on the status of the residents.

To allow the residents to cast their ballot, the UT will have to consider these residents as part of the village population. In 2006, the UT had handed over the whole area, including revenue land of these five villages, to the MC.

Earlier, these residents had been voting in panchayat elections of the villages. The MC had conducted a survey by spending lakhs of rupees to chalk out development plans for these villages.

Later in 2007, the UT considered including the residents in the “lal dora” of the villages. In 2009, the UT again issued a fresh notification stating that the revenue land in these five villages will not be included in the Periphery Act from now on.

A senior UT official, on the basis of anonymity, stated that technically these residents were not eligible to vote in the MC elections, as they were residing outside the “lal dora” of the villages.

As if the woes of the residents were not enough, the UT slapped notices under Section 12 of the Periphery Act, informing the residents that their construction on revenue land was illegal and they had to vacate it.

Dadu Majra councillor Kamlesh, who was also the Mayor in 2009, said she was clueless about the fresh notification on revenue land by the administration.

She questioned the rationale behind barring thousands of residents from casting their ballot in elections.



Review of squatters’ claims tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The UT estate office will review the claims of certain squatters of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony in Mauli Jagran for the UT Slum Rehabilitation Scheme at the SDM Office, Sector 42, here on August 9.

This is the second such opportunity for those squatters whose eligibility was questioned due to certain objections on their claims, claimed the officials.

The estate office is all set to raze the colony where the Chandigarh Housing Board will construct flats. Around 400 families of the colony have already been rehabilitated under the scheme. However, when an estate office team had visited the site recently to check the modalities for removing illegal structures, it had found around 150 families still residing there.

“We have reviewed the claims of several squatters on August 3 and 4. We are giving them a second chance,” said Ravinder Sharma, inspector (misuse and enforcement).

The notice to vacate the colony was served on squatters on August 1, he said, adding that the removal of structures in the colony will take place after August 21 so that the land is handed over to the CHB.



An expression of deep emotions
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 7
A Punjabi play, “Varmala”, was staged at the Tagore Theatre Today. Scripted and directed by Devinder Daman for Norah Richard Rang Manch, the play was an expression of subtle and deep emotions of human beings.

It revolved around the life of an orphan girl, Binni, adapted by a couple, who raised her showering abundant affection on her. With a view to get her settled in life, they tried to marry her off to a doctor, who loved her.

Later, after many twist and turns in the play, the doctor learnt that the girl was suffering from some disease.

The girl breathed her last while offering a garland to the doctor. Hindi play “Chitangada” will be staged tomorrow.



Victim’s Kin block highway, stall traffic for two hrs
Women found dead at in-laws’ house
Tribune News Service

Vehicles stuck in a traffic jam on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway. The jam lasted for two hours.
Vehicles stuck in a traffic jam on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway. The jam lasted for two hours. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, August 7
Family members of 26-year-old Gagandeep, who was found dead at her in-laws’ residence, staged a protest and blocked the Chandigarh-Ambala National Highway for around two hours. They were protesting against the police’s inefficiency in handling the case.

They were demanding immediate arrest of the accused.

The protesters were accompanied by women and children. They shouted slogans against the police. They blocked the national highway for over two hours bringing traffic to a standstill. They also burnt an effigy of the accused.

Swinging into action, the police, including SHOs from Dera Bassi and Lalru, reached the spot and diverted the traffic. However, they failed to pacify the agitators. The protest led to a traffic jam that lasted for hours leaving the commuters at the receiving end.

Gagandeep Kaur, daughter of Sukhdev Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib district, was married to Kulwant Singh, a resident of Dhakola. She was found dead at her in-laws house in Himmatgarh Dhakola village on June 30. The police had booked four persons including, Gagandeep’s husband Kulwant Singh, his elder brother Purshottam Singh, Purshottam’s wife and mother-in-law Harjit Kaur. However, the police could only arrest the deceased’s husband, while all others are still at large.

DSP JS Sidhu assured Gagandeep’s family that the accused would be arrested within a week. He said the police was conducting raids at various places to nab the suspects.



Community health centre starts functioning
Rajiv Bhatia

A view of the community health centre in Dhakoli, Zirakpur.
A view of the community health centre in Dhakoli, Zirakpur. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, August 7
A 30-bed community health centre has formally started to function at Dhakoli village. For providing medical facilities at the centre, a senior medical officer (SMO) and six doctors have been appointed to examine patients.

According to sources, the building of the health centre was handed over to the medical wing last month. The health centre has an emergency ward, an OPD, an X-ray machine, one operation theatre, computerised registration and laboratories for various tests, sources added.

A health official stated that the patients had started visiting the hospital for treatment. She said a team of specialist doctors, along with three emergency doctors had been deputed for emergency services. More doctors, staff nurses and Class IV employees would be deployed soon.

In the absence of a government hospital at Zirakpur, residents had to go to private hospitals and those located in Panchkula and Chandigarh. The two-storied health centre, with an outlay of Rs 2.92 crore, is being set up under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). In October 2009, the Punjab health minister inaugurated the construction work of the community health centre.



Abduction bid foiled at Dhakoli
Tribune Reporters

Zirakpur, August 7
In a brazen display of lawlessness, four youths, who were under the influence of liquor, tried to abduct two girls near Dhakoli village here this evening.

However, brother of one of the girls reached the spot and raised the alarm.

The incident occurred around 9 pm when the girls were on their way home. Four youngsters started following the girls and tried to abduct them. On seeing the girls being teased by the youths, brother of one of the girls, who was passing by, raised the alarm.

In the meantime, shopkeepers also gathered on the spot and informed the matter to the police. Finding themselves trapped, youngsters managed to flee from the spot leaving the car behind, sources added.

SHO Zirakpur Yogi Raj stated that the car bearing registration number (PB 70-B 6845) was impounded from the spot. He said a police team had started a probe into the matter.

However, no case was filed till the filing of this report.

Commuters stuck in traffic jam

Kalka: Commuters had to face a harrowing time after a truck broke down on the Pinjore-Nalagarh NH-21A. Hundreds of commuters coming from Baddi side were stuck in a traffic jam that lasted for an hour. Long queues of vehicles could be seen at both sides of the highway.

Raid at chemical factory

Dera Bassi: A team of the Punjab Pollution Control Board raided a chemical factory situated on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road on Friday. The team conducted a raid at both the units of Saurabh chemicals and collected more than 12 water samples. Recently driver of a tanker was caught discharging effluents in Dhabi rivulet. Chairman of the board Kahan Singh Pannu Pannu said a cash prize of Rs 10,000 would be given to farmers, who caught the driver red handed.

Pannu said action under the Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, 1974, had been taken against the defaulters .

UHBVN to regularise overloaded connections

Panchkula: The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam is to launch a voluntary disclosure of load scheme for domestic and non-domestic consumers on the Independence Day. Under the scheme extended load of consumers will be regularised without any penalty. The scheme would continue till September 30.

It was decided in a meeting of operation review committee chaired by managing director Arun Kumar yesterday. It was observed that a large group of electricity consumers, mainly in rural areas, was interested in disclosing the unauthorised load. 



Mahatma Gandhi gramin yojna hits a roadblock
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 7
Mahatma Gandhi Gramin Basti Yojna, an ambitious plan of the state government to provide shelter to the downtrodden, seems to have hit a roadblock in Morni.

The administration, which was to complete the scheme by October 2, 2011, came to know that there was no land available for the purpose in the local gram panchayats.

The Haryana government had launched the scheme three years ago on October 2, 2008, to allot 100 square yards residential plots to people belonging to backward classes (Category A) and eligible BPL/scheduled caste families at villages. The scheme was targeted to be completed within three years. In the first phase, the plots were supposed to be provided out of lands in Shamilat Deh (common land). As per the layout plan, 32 plots could be carved out from one acre.

While the administration has completed the process in other parts, the allotment could not be made in Morni, as no land was found with the panchayats or district administration under Shamilat Deh. In fact, there was no record pertaining to any such land with the revenue department, said sources. As the area had not been demarcated since 1917, no one knew about the land.

Social education and panchayat officer Om Dutt when contacted said they had started the demarcation of land.



Admn to take violators to task
Tribune News Service

Panchkula August 7
After witnessing a delay in the imposition of ban on the use of polybags, the district administration has decided to take the offenders to task.

The Haryana government had imposed a ban on manufacture, sale, distribution and use of polybags last year.

Recently Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar directed the officials concerned to intensify the campaign in areas falling under their jurisdiction to impose a complete ban on the use of polybags. The sale and use of polybags with a thickness of less than 40 microns is completely banned.

Brar directed the municipal council, Panchkula, and municipal committees of Kalka and Pinjore to ensure a complete ban on the use of polybags in the district.

“Despite deploying 27 officials in various districts to check the violations, not even a single challan had been issued so far,” Brar added.

The situation in rural areas of Raipur Rani, Barwala and Kalka was even worst.



Work on foot overbridges begins
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 7
After giving a go-ahead to widening of 3.5km long sections of the arterial-road passing through Phases IV, V, III-B1, III-B2 and VII of Mohali, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has now begun work on erecting four foot overbridges.

Each foot overbridge, costing around Rs 50 lakh, will be a 100 ft long steel structure. The total cost involved in erecting the four overbridges will be Rs 2 crore. A GMADA official said they had laid foundation stone of a footbridge adjoining the Rose Garden in Phase IIIB-2. The other sites are near the Phase VII market near Chalwa Nursing Home in Phase VII and another one near the traffic light point of Phase III and V.

“As soon as the work will near completion, the steel structures would be mounted on the concrete foundation,” said the official. The foot overbridges would make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road that was being converted in dual carriageway, he added.

As the widening of roads would reduce the parking space in markets along the shopping street, GMADA has allotted the work to increase the space in the markets.

The unused space at the rear of the commercial area will be converted into a parking lot. The situation is worst in the markets of Phase IIIB2 , V and VII.

The official said the width of both sides of the carriageway would vary between 30 ft and 33 ft, depending upon the space available.

Benches, billboards and mailboxes will be provided on both the sides of the road and landscaping will be done on the entire stretch. The Mohali municipal corporation has been putting up speed limits boards, reflectors, cat eyes and other road signage.



Lobbying intensifies 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 7
Intense lobbying has begun among the prospective candidates to secure a ticket for the two general seats reserved for the Mohali constituency in the forthcoming SGPC elections. As a result, the party leaders have not been able to decide about the candidature, including one seat reserved for a woman candidate. One seat each is reserved for Kharar and Dera Bassi.

Sources in the election office for the Mohali constituency said no nominations had been filed in the past four days. The nomination can be filed till August 11. A total of 36,046 voters will cast votes in the elections. Out of the total 54 booths, 30 have been set up in urban areas and the remaining are in rural areas.



PPCB conducts raids at factories
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 7
The regional office of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) today conducted searches on the premises of traders in Mohali, Ziarkpur, Dera Bassi, Ropar and Nangal to check whether they were still using polybags.

The use of ploybags has been banned in the state since May 1 under the provisions of Punjab Plastic Bags (Manufacture, Usage & Disposal) Control Act.

PPCB executive engineer RK Ratra said the checks were conducted in coordination with the municipal corporation officials.

“Violators will be dealt with strictly,” he said. The PPCB has also been conducting raids at polybag manufacturing units across the state to check the implementation of mandatory norms.



GMADA increases lease amount
Allotment of sites for cultural activities
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 7
Getting an institutional plot for cultural and literary activities in Mohali has become an expensive proposition. The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has increased by four times the lease money for allotment of sites for 30 years.

In a recent meeting of the board members of GMADA, the non-refundable security has been increased from Rs 200 per sq yard to Rs 1,000 per sq yard. An allottee will have to pay lease money at a rate of 10 per cent of the non-refundable security.

Sources said the size of the sites for cultural and literary activity had been increased from 500 sq yard and 1,000 sq yard plots to 4,000 sq yard, which meant that that for a 4,000 sq yard plot, the allottee would have to pay Rs 40 lakh as non-refundable security and Rs 4 lakh as lease money per annum. Besides, there would be an annual increase of 7 per cent in the lease money.

The allottee will be allowed to rent out 10 per cent of the floor area. The new policy will replace the old allotment policy of 2006. GMADA officials said the policy had been amended after the members of the board pointed out that there was no space for parking vehicles. 



Tricity Scan
Parliamentary debate

“Wordz”, a debating society, organised a three-day Parliamentary debate for students at Vivek High School. The event titled wordzpdc’11 commenced with trustee of the society Ashmita Gupta welcoming students and introducing the concept of Parliamentary debate to 40 teams from the tricity schools. On the first day, corporal punishment in schools, installing spyware for kids below the age of 14 were some of the agendas. The second day began with the fourth round on the theme of “Life”, where “Legalisation of Euthanasia”, “Equitable Punishment for Murder and Attempt to Murder” were the topics which were debated upon.

‘Voice of 2011’ semifinal
The S-4 Trust and Gurukul Vidyapeeth on Sunday organised the semifinal of the “Voice of 2011” as a part of the cultural extravaganza “Sur Wid Taal-Talent 2011” at the Punjab Kala Bhavan to provide platform to budding artistes and give a boost to the performing arts in the region. Over 50 participants selected from over 1,000 participants battled it out by rendering Bollywood and folk numbers to get a berth in the finals. The cultural extravaganza, which would culminate into a mega nite coinciding with the birthday celebrations of melody queen Lata Mangeshkar on September 28, will comprise four talent sub-contests, Voice of 2011, Dancer of 2011, the Great Laughter Champion-2011 and Cultural Olympiad for Special Children-2011, said Rinku Kalia, eminent vocalist and winner of Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma and CEO of Sur Wid Taal-2011. CA Manmohan Garg, CEO of Gurukul Vidyapeeth, reiterated the commitment of his education group to promote performing arts.

Campaign against corruption
The Revolutionary Youth Association and All-India Central Council of Trade Unions on Sunday conducted a joint press conference and announced that more than 200 youth from Chandigarh will participate in the nationwide “Student- Youth against corruption” campaign starting from August 9 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi. RYA general secretary Hasmeet Singh said this was a nationwide campaign taken up by RYA and All-India Student Association in which nearly 10,000 youth from all over India are reaching Delhi for a 100-hour sit down protest against corruption, corporate loot, unemployment, privatisation and police repression.

200 saplings planted
More than 200 saplings were planted by the Uttarakhand Yuva Manch in Sector 20 on Sunday. Bhagwati K Kukshal, general secretary, said protection of environment was top on the priority list of the morcha, as was evident from the activities on ground ever since its inception in 1993.

Eye bank inaugurated
The Bharat Vikas Parishad has opened an eye bank facility at its Charitable Medical Centre, Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24, here. It was inaugurated on Sunday by renowned ophthalmologist of the country, Padmashree Dr GN Rao, founder director of LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad. The eye bank was approved by the ministry of health, Government of India, after inspection by a team of doctors from PGI and GMCH, Sector 32. With the help of eye bank, the centre will be able to collect corneas directly from donors and use the same for transplant for needy patients. Earlier, the corneas were procured from other eye banks in the region for cornea transplant at the centre.

panchkula SCAN
Drawing contest
Deepanshi Goyal of Bhavan Vidyalaya bagged the first prize in a Maruti drawing competition held at Berkeley Automobiles here on Sunday. Hasrat Kaur of Hansraj Public School and Akriti Taneja from Amravati Vidyalya got second and third prizes, respectively.

Teej celebrated
Celebrating Teej, girls from four houses, namely Blue, Green, Yellow and Red, of the Blue Bird High School, Panchkula, presented a cultural programme. Principal Vandna congratulated the girls on their active participation in such festivals, which shows Indian cultural heritage.

485 donate blood
As many as 485 persons, including 122 women, donated blood at a blood donation camp organised by Sant Nirankari Mission here on Sunday. The camp was inaugurated by Dr Satwant Kaur, director, ESI, Punjab. While applauding the services of the mission, she expressed her gratitude towards the efforts of Satguru Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj in redirecting the services of his disciples towards the general welfare of the mankind. Dr BS Cheema, zonal in charge, Sant Nirankari Mandal, Chandigarh, stated that while the world is celebrating Friendship Day, the mission believed in serving the community.

Orientation programme
An orientation programme was organised for the first batch of Punjab Technical University’s executive MBA programme for working graduates at PTU’s Gian Jyoti School of TQM and Entrepreneurship. Working professionals from more than 30 organisations in the northwest region with experience ranging from two to 33 years have enrolled in the batch. Former president of CII-Northern Region, RM Khanna, delivered the keynote address on “Preparing managers for India of tomorrow”. CEO of the school, Manish Trehan, welcomed the participants. JS Bedi, chairman, Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, thanked corporates who have joined hands with the school by encouraging their employees to take advantage of this unique programme.

Cultural programme
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Chandigarh, organised cultural performances by artistes of the region under the “Horizon Series” programme of the council at Pracheen Kala Kendra. Folk songs and dances of Punjab was presented by the Rangla Group of Ludhiana. —Tribune Reporters



DAV-10: Another violent brawl triggers concern
Police puts nakas outside college
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Yet another violent brawl between student leaders of SOPU and HSA on Saturday outside DAV College, Sector 10, the second such fight within a fortnight since the commencement of the new academic session, has triggered concern among the police and college authorities.

With barely a month to go for the student council poll in all city colleges, major and minor scuffles outside DAV College have become common phenomena.

The UT Police, on one hand, is now checking vehicles outside the college and nakas have been put to avoid major fights, the college authorities, on the other hand, are now preparing a list of all students, who are being nabbed by the police in fresh cases of creating nuisance.

“We have written to the college twice last month to ensure that students’ identity cards are checked at the college gate. This will ensure that no person with the intention of creating nuisance is allowed inside,” said Poonam Dilawari, SHO, Sector 3 police station.

The DAV College authorities, on the other hand, claimed that much damage has been caused in the past, which is being undone. “The atmosphere has been consistently declining in the last few years and it will take time to bring everything under control. We are keeping a record of all such offenders and most of the trouble creators are either passouts or those who are outsiders,” said Shashi Gupta, principal, DAV College, Sector 10.

“I have also initiated certain firm steps to ensure discipline like putting up notices outside and inside the college about strict action against any outsider found inside the premises. A teacher has been deputed at the gate to ensure that trouble creators, who are not college students, do not enter the college premises,” added Gupta.

On the issue of checking identity cards raised by the police, college officials said, “The students have been asked to carry their admission slips till the identity cards are made. Making these cards is a tedious process and the college is making its efforts to get them made at the earliest.”



Discrepancy in question paper
Leaves candidates baffled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
High drama prevailed at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, today as candidates who had come to the school to appear for the recruitment exam of national agency were left baffled over discrepancy in question paper.

While the paper comprised two parts, the agency ended up sending only part A of the question papers, which lead to panic and confusion.

Candidates got into heated arguments with the centre authorities and invigilators.

Following this, the school authorities got in touch with the agency concerned and was asked to get the part B of the question papers from nearby centre at AKSIPS. The paper was eventually photocopied and distributed amongst the candidates.



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