C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Housing projects in Punjab hamper laying of pipes
Water supply augmentation to Chandigarh
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 9
The acquisition of 66 acres by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) in Punjab to set up phase VII and VIII of the Kajauli waterworks has hit a roadblock as human settlements are coming in the way of the proposed alignment of the pipelines, resulting in further delay in the acquisition of land for the vital project to augment water supply to Chandigarh.

Some mega housing projects in Kharar and housing colonies in Morinda are coming in the way of the course of the two pipelines that would carry 40 million gallons per day (MGD) of water from the Kajauli waterworks to the waterworks in Sector 39, Chandigarh.

The anomaly was noticed during a joint inspection carried out by officials of GMADA and the Chandigarh MC. GMADA has communicated the ground reality to the MC in a communiqué on August 1. GMADA Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) Hargunjit Kaur said the process to identify the land was in progress.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda said he had not received any such communication from GMADA. Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said since it was an important project for the UT, some alternative would be worked out.

Sources said Baldev Nagar Morinda, Railway Colony, two religious structures, a school and projects of Shivalik Colony and Bajwa Developers in Kharar were coming in the way of the proposed course of the pipelines.

As per the augmentation of the water supply scheme, a total of 40 MGD (million gallons per day) will be provided. Out of this, Chandigarh will get a share of 29 MGD and Punjab and Haryana will get the remaining water. It may be mentioned that Punjab has denied the share of water in the phase V and VI of the Kajauli waterworks.

The state government has stated that the water from the two phases would be exclusively used to meet water demand of Mohali. GMADA has already allotted work to lay the two pipelines of phase V and VI from the Kajauli waterworks. A water works is also being set up to store and treat the water.

Coming in the way

Baldev Nagar Morinda, Railway Colony, two religious structures, a school and projects of Shivalik Colony and Bajwa Developers in Kharar are coming in the way of the proposed pipelines that would carry 40 million gallons per day of water from the Kajauli waterworks to the waterworks in Sector 39, Chandigarh.



Snag hits RLA working again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Services at the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) were disrupted again today due to a technical snag in the server, causing inconvenience to hundreds of visitors coming there for vehicle registration.

Soon after the RLA office was opened in the morning, the server was sent for servicing, though people had arrived for driver’s licences and registration certificates. After waiting for a couple of hours, agitated visitors left the RLA office.

Manish Singh, one of the visitors at the Sector-17 RLA office, said he had to get the registration of the vehicle done, but on arriving here, he found that the server had been sent for servicing.

As there was a common server for the RLA offices at Sector 17, Sector 42 and Industrial Area, visitors at all centres were at the receiving end.

A visitor to Sector-42 RLA office for vehicle registration said the server was not working since the morning, following which he went to the Sector-17 office in the afternoon, where he was asked to visit the Sector-42 office tomorrow.

Official sources said work could only resume after lunch, when the server was reinstalled. Till that time, hundreds of visitors had left, while a few decided to wait till the server was put back in place.

Registration and licensing officer Sanjeev Kohli, when contacted, said the server was taken for servicing following the apprehension that it might develop a problem that could have led to more trouble. “I took the server for servicing so that work did not suffer. Soon it was reinstalled and work resumed”, he said.

Services were earlier hit on August 4, when a new uninterrupted power supply (UPS) crashed due to excessive load and burning of a wire. The fault could be rectified only by the evening.



No PU exam fee hike this year
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
In a move that is bound to gladden the over 200,000 students of Panjab University and its affiliated colleges, there will be no hike in the examination fees this year.

The varsity, which has been consistently announcing a rise of about 10 percent in the fee that ranges from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500 for various courses, has decided against an increase this year, subject to the approval of the syndicate.

The decision will be applicable to all students of the university and its affiliated colleges enrolled in regular, self-financing and even correspondence courses. The move will come as a huge respite to students, especially under the new semester system as they had been resenting paying the exam fees twice a year.

“The matter will be brought to the PU syndicate for its approval. The decision will have far reaching effects and will surely be welcomed by students. It will especially affect those who are currently paying Rs 2,500 as examination fee per semester.

Due to the rising expenses incurred in conducting exams we’ve been hiking the fees by about 10 per cent every year. Though the students resented this we had no choice,” said a PU examination branch official.



Youths indulge in brawl, snatch Scorpio
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
In yet another case of car jacking, two youths snatched a Scorpio vehicle from its driver at knifepoint in Sector 28 late last night.

The driver, Amit, received grievous injuries as he was stabbed with a knife four times. The police later arrested one of the accused and recovered the vehicle, while the second accused is absconding.

This is the third incident of a vehicle being forcibly taken away in the last two days reflecting a sudden spurt in car jacking incidents.

Amit (28), a resident of Sector 20, has been admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, where he is recovering from his injuries.

The police said Amit had gone to Sector 28 last night where he met Michael and Ravinder, who were known to him. The three had drinks by the side of their car parked near a Verka booth located close to the ITI in Sector 28 when they got into an argument. The argument soon turned violent, following which both Michael and Ravinder overpowered Amit and threatened him with a knife. They then attacked him four times and fled with his SUV.

The police said Amit resides in Sector 20 with his brother. A case under Sections 397, 34 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 26 police station.

Inspector Sri Parkash, SHO, Sector 26 police station, said within a short period they had arrested the accused and efforts were on to arrest the other accused.

Rising robberies in city

August 7: Two unidentified youths, including one in police uniform, robbed an Innova from Sohan Lal of Jaipur outside a hotel in sector 22. A day later, the accused managed to steal the documents of the car too.

August 7: A carriage auto was snatched from its driver, Anuj, in Kaimbwala village late in evening by youths who tied the driver with ropes and handcuffed him.

August 6: A PU girl student was injured after three occupants of an autorickshaw made an attempt to snatch her bag.

August 6: City resident, Pramod Kumar Shahi, was injured after three occupants of autorickshaw robbed him in a moving auto.


Trycity Scan

Motorcycle rally:
Golfer Jeev Milkha Singh flagged off the first phase of the motorcycle rally across India to promote e-governance, environmental friendliness, freedom from drugs and promotion of culture and Heritage at St John’s School on Tuesday. The rally would return to the city on August 17.

Cattle impounded: The municipal corporation (MC) staff impounded 21 stray cattle from Colony No. 5, Dhanas and Kajheri on Tuesday. Twelve cattle catchers and two trucks were deployed during the drive.

Petro prices: The Chandigarh Residents Social Welfare Federation has demanded a reduction in prices of all petroleum products. It pointed out that prices of crude oil had come down from $100 per barrel to $80 per barrel.

New BSNL Chief General Manager: Naresh Kumar Gupta has taken charge as Chief General Manager, Telecom, Punjab circle, BSNL. He said the BSNL had launched a promotional offer on RC-550, carrying talk value of Rs 600 and validity of 180 days.

I-Day celebrated: The regional office of the Syndicate Bank celebrated Independence Day with students of Mount Carmel School on Tuesday. A drawing and painting competition was conducted, in which over 100 children participated.

Misuse notices: A meeting of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) was held here on Monday night. It condemned misuse notices issued by the estate office and passed a resolution against this ‘anti-trade’ amendment.

Saplings planted: Sector-26 councillor Sarita Sharma planted saplings of ornamental plants near Sansory Park in the sector on Tuesday. Fifty saplings were planted in open spaces in the park and close to railings. — Tribune Reporters



Admn zeroes in on Dec 18 as MC poll date
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
With the UT Administration today zeroing in on December 18 as the election date for the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), it is going to be development versus corruption in the poll.

While the ruling Congress is making development in the past 10 years as the main poll plank, the opposition BJP is set to harp on corruption, particularly the recent booth scam, in the poll.

“We are going to people with the slogan of unprecedented development in the city, particularly in the areas under the jurisdiction of the corporation, in the past decade in a bid to retain power,” said BB Bahl, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC).

On the other hand, BJP president Sanjay Tandon claimed that the party would expose various acts of omission and commission of the local Congress leadership before the electorate. Corruption, price hike, black money and bad administration are going to be the major issues in the civic body poll, he asserted.

Though the UT top brass agrees on December 18 as the MC poll date, the Election Commission would take the final decision on the issue for New Delhi and Chandigarh. Usually the Election Commission approved the date recommended by the UT Administration since infrastructure for the conduct of polls and security was provided by the administration. Meanwhile, there is no likelihood of the delimitation of MC wards in view of no updated data of the 2011 Census.



Good news for firemen, at last
Admn okays recruitment and promotion rules

Chandigarh, August 9
The much-awaited municipal corporations (MC) fire recruitment and promotion rules have been approved by the UT administration. As a result, there is a ray of hope for 275 fire personnel with the MC that they will get their long-awaited promotions at last.

As per records of the department, 13 posts are vacant at present, of which the most important one, that of chief fire officer, has been lying vacant for the past eight years.

According to a senior MC official, recruitment and promotions in the department will be streamlined with the approval of fire service rules. Records show that the fire department has been promoting and recruiting personnel on its own sweet will for the past 15 years. Even during the fire committee meeting today, a number of employees complained that their juniors had been promoted, ignoring their seniority.

Employees stated that as there was no seniority list, there were no set rules on promotion. In 2007, a special committee had submitted draft fire rules to the UT administration for approval.

During today’s meeting, which was chaired by Devinder Singh Babla, it was decided that a three-member committee of fire officials would be constituted to monitor cases of no-objection certificates for buildings before being issued. — TNS



4,000 kg of poppy husk burnt
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Amidst tight security, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) destroyed nearly 4,000 kgs of poppy husk worth crores of rupees in the international market by putting them to flames at an incinerator in Mohali today.

Since the quantity of the contraband was larger than the capacity of the incinerator, run by Rainbow Environmental, the destruction process is likely to continue tomorrow also.

The narcotics were burnt under court orders after the approval of the Punjab Pollution Control Board. Though the destruction of the contraband was earlier scheduled for May 23 at Dhanas, Chandigarh, it could not be carried out due to objections raised by the UT Pollution Control Board.

Regional director NCB, AK Yadav, said since the capacity of the incinerator was limited, only poppy husk was being destroyed at present. He said the seized consignments of opium were likely to be destroyed in September. Though Yadav refused to mention the quantity of opium, sources said it could be between 20 to 25 kgs.

Officials at the incinerator said 4.2 quintals of poppy husk was brought in more than 100 bags under tight security. Besides Yadav, DSP (crime) Satbir Singh, and Assistant Commissioner (customs) were also present at the spot.

Sources said the poppy husk burnt today included 35 quintals of poppy husk that was seized near the airport roundabout on March 3 this year. This seizure of 84 bags of the contraband, originating from Indore and dubbed as one of the biggest hauls by the regional NCB office, was made while the consignment was being taken to Jalandhar.



Harjinder Kaur gets SAD ticket for SGPC poll
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
With former Mayor Harjinder Kaur getting the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ticket from Chandigarh, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections, scheduled for September 18, are likely to witness an interesting contest.

The SAD officially announced the name of Harjinder Kaur as its candidate today, setting to rest speculation on the names of Amarinder Singh and Gurjot Singh, said to be close to SAD president Parkash Singh Badal.

Though Harjinder Kaur, while talking to Chandigarh Tribune, claimed that no one was her rival in this contest, speculation was rife that she would face opposition from within her own party.

Denied the party ticket, Amarinder Singh might contest as an Independent. Incumbent Gurpartap Singh Riar was in the fray as an Independent.

Others who had filed their papers as independent candidates were Gurnam Singh Sidhu of Kaimbwala, Gulab Singh of Mani Majra and Baljit Singh of Sector 40.

With August 11 being the last date for filing nomination papers, the next two days were likely to witness more candidates.



Missing Mohali resident back

Mohali, August 9
Sector-70 resident Amit Sachdeva, who went missing on July 28, resurfaced today in a dramatic manner. He had been handling data software of multinational companies. Matour police station SHO Tarlochan Singh said Amit, on being questioned, said he had gone on his own. He said after parking his Alto car (PB65H-2150) at Sector 34, he went to Delhi, Kanpur and Varanasi.

He told the police that he did not want to talk to anyone. Sources in the police said Amit had a debt of over Rs 30 lakh and the companies which had paid him the money had been pressurising him for refund. — TNS



Child prodigies steal show
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 9
Prodigious students of Yadavindra Public School at Mohali staged the play ‘Kabuliwallah’ to perfection during the ongoing Tagore festival here today.

As many as 45 child prodigies aged between 6 and 12 years, under the direction of Zubin Mehta, saluted the literary prominence of the celebrated Noble laureate.

They brought the thematic content alive, underlining the message of universal love as delineated in the story.

Portraying Mini, Jasleen shined through while Preetinder, Himmat Minaz and Ada Gupta essayed their roles with adroit brilliance.



Student bodies vie for attention ahead of campus polls
ABVP secretary held after bid to disrupt classes at PU
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Despite almost three weeks to go for Panjab University student elections, student organisations are already on the job to hog limelight by creating disturbances. In the latest incident today, ABVP, Chandigarh organising secretary Dinesh Chauhan was arrested as a preventive measure under Sections 107 & 111 of the CrPC when he tried to disrupt classes. However, he was bailed out later.

Claiming to be protesting against “corruption in the country”, Dinesh along with his supporters barged into classrooms distributing pamphlets and asking students to join them. When the faculty members asked them to leave the classrooms, the intruders began raising slogans.

Hours after this incident, a student of the law department raised a hue and cry that he had noticed a “worm” in the food he had bought at a kiosk at the student centre. Though the kiosk owner offered to replace the food or pay him back, the student refused to accept this. He was soon joined by a group of boys who demanded the kiosk be shut. PU officials who arrived at the scene got the kiosk owner to throw his entire food but the student refused to budge and eventually the kiosk shutters were downed to appease them.

“It is ‘gunda raj’ (rule of thugs) that prevails here now. He (law student) was eating food in the open and a mosquito must have fallen in his food. Despite it we were ready to replace the food he had bought and even pay him back. But to gain publicity he got all my food wasted and I had to pull my kiosk’s shutters down while PU officials stood as mute spectators,” said the kiosk owner.

Meanwhile, the two students who allegedly beaten up a security guard at the office of the PU examinations branch for denying them entry have apologized to him and the incident, which raised a storm on the campus on Monday, ended in a compromise.



Four cars damaged in student rivalry

Chandigarh, August 9
Miscreants damaged four cars parked outside the house of the SD Hostel Union (SDHU) presidential candidate, Vikram Gopala, a BA Ist year student of SD College, in Sector 44 last night.

In his statement to the police, Vikram said he was partying in the house along with his friends when members of the opponent group came in two cars and smashed window panes of four cars with baseball bats and hockey sticks. The cars were two Elantras, one Esteem and one Innova.

The incident took place at 3 am. Vikram alleged that members of the SOPU were responsible for the attack. — TNS



MCM students win awards

Chandigarh, August 9
Students of the MCM DAV College for Women bagged awards in various categories recently.Chandra Gupta of BA III of the college bagged a gold medal for the Dr Hazari Prasad Dwivedi essay writing contest on the topic “Emotional integration of the country”.

Prakriti Sharma of the college has been selected for a summer research programme with IISER. — TNS



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