C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SC accords Corporation status to Panchkula
Stays HC order on quashing state govt notification
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 10
It’s back to Municipal Corporation for residents of Panchkula, Kalka and Pinjore. The Supreme Court of India today stayed last year’s order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashing the notification for the formation of a Panchkula Municipal Corporation and converting it back into a council. But now with the stay, the Panchkula Municipal Council has once again been converted into corporation.

The case came up for hearing today before the division bench comprising Justice Dalveer Bhadari and Justice Deepak Verma. After staying the High Court order, the division bench deferred the matter to next month.

The apex court passed the directions on the three petitions filed in the court. One was filed by the Haryana Government and the other two by advocate Vijay Bansal and Panchkula MC councillor VK Kapoor.

The Haryana Government had moved the apex court by filing a special leave petition (SLP) against the Punjab and Haryana High Court order on October 29, 2010, quashing the notification of a municipal corporation.

The high court had quashed the notification of the Haryana Government wherein it had converted the Panchkula municipal council into a corporation.

After the high court order, former secretary of Haryana urban local bodies Raj Kumar wrote to the state advocate general Hawa Singh Hooda, this might also affect the fate of the other municipal corporations in the state.

Two presidents to lose chair

With the stay on the High Court order, Panchkula MC president Ravinder Rawal and Pinjore MC president Kuldeep Kikka will no longer remain president. Instead, Panchkula deputy commissioner Ashima Brar would now work with the additional charge of the commissioner of Panchkula Municipal Corporation.

What was the HC order

On October 29, 2010, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Justice MM Kumar and Justice AN Jindal had quashed the notification issued by the Haryana government regarding the formation of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation. In its decision, the High Court had observed that the notification was arbitrary and in complete violation of the Haryana Municipal Act. It was stated that the merger of the municipal councils of Kalka, Pinjore and 42 villages was also contrary to the rules. However, the ruling had added that Haryana government could form the corporation if it stayed within the boundaries defined by law.



After 5 yrs, UT police to pay price of mistaken identity
Wrongly jailed woman to get Rs 25,000 interim relief
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Five years after an embarrassing episode of mistaken identity that led to the UT police wrongly jailing a woman for 16 days, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has finally directed the police to pay her an interim compensation of Rs 25,000.

The case dates back to November 2006 when the UT Police wrongly detained the woman for 16 days in jail. In February this year, the NHRC had issued a show-cause notice to senior UT police officials, asking them to explain as to why monetary relief “be not recommended to be paid to the victim”. In a communiqué to the police earlier this week, the NHRC has directed the police to pay the woman compensation for the harassment she suffered.

The UT police had botched up the identity of Santosh Kumar, a resident of Karnal who had been jailed on the assumption that she had been the proclaimed offender in a case of liquor smuggling. The actual culprit was Santosh Singh, wife of Jeet Singh, who had smuggled illegal liquor. The police never bothered to check her husband’s name or photograph and ended up wrongly arresting her.

The goof-up had caused the innocent woman to suffer the trauma of being kept in jail for 16 days during which she also accused the police of having molested her. The folly came to light when the actual Santosh herself surrendered before court, causing the police to duck for cover.

After the goof-up came to notice, the police took fingerprints of both women Santosh, wife of Surjit Kumar, and Santosh, wife of Jeet Singh, only to end up realising that it had arrested the wrong woman.

The NHRC had then taken suo motu cognisance of media reports. Consequently an inquiry pinned responsibility for the goof-up on constable Ram Kumar of the UT Police.

Following the inquiry, the police went on to book three police officials on charges of outraging modesty, house-trespass, wrongful confinement, defamation and criminal intimidation on a complaint from Santosh Kumar. The police personnel booked were head constable Ram Kumar, constable Jasbir Singh and lady constable Kulwinder Kaur.



7 vehicles stolen in 24 hours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Three SUVs were stolen from the city in the past 24 hours. The police also registered four cases of motorcycle theft. Ravi Bhatia of Sector 34-C reported that his Tata Safari (CH58(T)-5683), parked in front of his house, was stolen the previous night.

Jagjit Singh of Sector 51-A reported that his Bolero Jeep (CH01AE-0091), parked in front his house, was stolen the previous night.

Taranjit Singh of Sector 37 reported that his Bolero Jeep (PB65K(T)-8816), parked in front of his residence, was stolen the previous night.

Munish Gulati of Sector 19 in Panchkula reported that his Discover motorcycle (CH03W-9075) was stolen from the Bougainvilla Garden at Sector 3.

Munish Kumar of Mani Majra reported that his Splendor motorcycle (CH03Y-9381) was stolen from his residence.

Raj Kumar of Sector 51-A reported that his Pulsar motorcycle (CH03V-5049) had been stolen from his residence.

Lal Man Yadav of Sector 56 reported that someone stole his Passion motorcycle (CH03E-1201) from the sampark centre at Sector 43 on August 3.

Damandeep of Sector 21-C reported that someone stole his Karizma motorcycle (CH01AC-1934) from his residence the previous night.



PGI yet to fill key admn posts
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The word “acting” has virtually become a prefix for all key posts at PGI. The region’s premier health institute, which caters to patients from all over northern India, not only has an “acting” director it also has an “acting” deputy director of administration, an "acting" chief vigilance officer, an “acting” financial advisor and an “acting” purchase officer.

While the unprecedented delay of over three and a half months in appointing a regular director at PGI is shocking enough and raises serious questions on the entire selection process, the fact that several other important positions have been lying vacant for the past several months highlights the callousness with which the functioning of this prestigious institute is being handled.

It has been 103 days since Dr KK Talwar relinquished charge on April 29 as PGI director but the file for the appointment of his successor has reportedly been shuttling between the health ministry and the prime minister’s office for various reasons, including pushes and pulls being exerted by the candidates in fray for the coveted post.

In the absence of a regular director, Dr Vinay Sakhuja is heading the institute as the “acting”/officiating director. Though he and other senior PGI officials have tried to underplay the issue and claimed that work has not suffered by the delay in appointing a regular director, the question that arises is that if all is well, then why does the institute need a director at all?

Another key post - deputy director of administration (DDA), which is usually headed by a civil servant, has also been lying vacant from September. There has been no regular DDA at PGI since the repatriation of Ajay Sehgal, an Indian Forest Service officer, to Uttar Pradesh. Though Sehgal has gone to court against his repatriation and the matter is pending in the Delhi High Court, Dr Surjit Singh, a professor in the institute’s pediatrics department, who does not have much experience in hospital administration, is currently the “acting” DDA.

Insiders say since Singh is comparatively much junior, many senior faculty members are uncomfortable with him at this crucial post, which is usually held by IAS/allied services officers. Sehgal’s predecessors have included Surinder Sidhu (IAS), P Sahi (IRS), Meeta Rajivlochan (IAS) and Anil Gupta (IAAS).

Interestingly, since the DDA is also the hospital’s chief vigilance officer, Singh is also the “acting” CVO.

It is surprising that that an institute like PGI also does not have a regular financial advisor. The position has been lying vacant for the past three months since Ritu Dhillon, an Indian Audits & Accounts Service officer joined back in Delhi. Though the incumbent is responsible for all financial matters of the institute, Sandeep Lal, financial advisor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, has been shuttling between Delhi and Chandigarh once a week or a fortnight and is PGI’s “acting” financial advisor.

Interestingly, the all-important post of purchase officer has also been lying vacant for the past several years. PGI last had a regular purchase officer, Harvinder Singh, way back in 2005. After he left several doctors have been given the “acting” charge but no regular appointment has yet been made.



EC damper on councillors’ poll plans
In view of SGPC election, imposes code of conduct
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The imposition of the model code of conduct till September 22 for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) poll seems to have taken its toll on the ambitious Independence Day announcement by the Municipal Corporation (MC) and the UT Administration.

In fact, the Election Commission of India’s missive to the UT Administration and the MC authorities that no new announcements relating to development projects or any inauguration should be made until September 22 has “upset” the sitting councillors and councillor ticket hopefuls, particularly those belonging to the Congress.

Considering that this is election year for the MC, Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh Palli had apparently planned to announce a slew of development projects in his Independence Day speech to woo city voters for the forthcoming MC poll. After receiving these instructions from the Election Commission, both the UT Administration and MC officials held a meeting and directed all departments not to highlight their future development plans in the Independence Day speech.

Upset over the imposition of the code of conduct for the next 42 days in the Municipal Corporation, Congress councillors have convened a party meeting tomorrow to explore the possibility of requesting the Election Commission to exempt the MC from the model code of conduct.

Records of the corporation reveal that the inauguration of about 20 parks and green belts, five water features, foundation stone of marriage palace and extension of six community centres were scheduled in the coming month in various wards of the city. Councillors naturally wanted to showcase their achievements ahead of the MC poll. But all these have been held up with the imposition of the code of conduct.

Raising question over the imposition of the code of conduct, MC councillors grumbled as to why the corporation had been covered in it as it had no business with the SGPC elections.


Records of the corporation reveal that the inauguration of about 20 parks and green belts, five water features, foundation stone of marriage palace and extension of six community centres were scheduled in the coming month in various wards of the city. Councillors naturally wanted to showcase their achievements ahead of the MC poll. But all these have been held up with the imposition of code of conduct.

Long wait

MC councillors might have to wait until September 22 to get their projects inaugurated or foundation stone laying ceremonies. But Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Shiv Raj Patil’s inaugural function of the Martyr’s pillar in Sector 33 will be held as scheduled on August 12 as the authorities have taken special permission for it from the EC.



4 more detained for drunk driving
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
A Chandigarh district court detained four persons till the rising of the court today. The court awarded punishment to Bandhu of Mani Majra, Suresh Kumar of Sector 33, Arun Kumar of Phase 10 at Mohali and Joginder Kumar from Himachal Pradesh.

The court also imposed a fine, ranging between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000, on drunk drivers. DSP (Traffic) Vijay Kumar said all were found with high level of alcohol in their blood, much above the norm of 30 mg per 100 ml under the Motor Vehicle Act.


Punjab HC set to notify commercial arbitration rules
Parsvnath arbitrators fail to attend court despite notices
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Punjab & Haryana High Court is in the process of notifying the rules on arbitration between commercial establishments. As the petition filed by the Chandigarh Housing Board alleging payment of a “huge amount of money to the arbitrators” in the Parsvnath case came up for hearing, justice Hemant Gupta made it clear the rules on arbitration have already been framed and approved by the Supreme Court. These would be notified within the next couple of days, the bench stated.

Despite court notices served to them the arbitrators failed to appear before the bench at the hearing of the case. The bench had, on the previous date of hearing, directed the notices be served through email, ‘dasti’ as well as the normal process to retired Punjab & Haryana High Court judge Amar Dutt as well as the Supreme Court’s former chief justice, GB Patnaik, and justice DP Wadhwa. This is the first time in the recallable past that three former judges, including two of the apex court, have been put on notice by the high court.

So far the three-judge arbitration tribunal, that charged the Chandigarh Housing Board up to Rs 4.5 lakh even for granting adjournments, has been asked not to hear the Parsvnath case. About Rs 80 lakh has been paid as legal fees, with the CHB alone having paid more than Rs 39 lakh.

In addition the CHB has spent close to Rs 10 lakh on travel, accommodation and other expenses for the arbitration. This amount does not include the expenses incurred by Parsvnath on the multiple sittings held in Hotel Lalit and Hotel Le Meridian in New Delhi.

Available information suggests the arbitration rules are expected to be similar to the ones framed by the Delhi High Court. In fact, the need for setting up a permanent arbitration centre in Chandigarh, on the pattern of the Delhi High Court Arbitration Centre, was being felt even since the Parsvnath controversy surfaced.

Legal experts have all along been insisting such an arbitration centre would not only result in reducing costs incurred on litigation but would also go a long way in ensuring speedy disposal of cases. As of now about 1,500 arbitration cases are still pending in the country.

The centre for speedy disposal of cases in Delhi was inaugurated by then Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan in November 2009.

The Delhi High Court arbitration council has been set up along the lines of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre to provide a more “cost effective” and “efficient” solution for companies, which usually have to go overseas to settle disputes. The centre functions under the aegis of the Delhi High Court and operates from within its premises. The primary objective of the initiative is to bring more transparency and reliability to arbitration and quicken the process by institutionalizing it.



Kajauli Waterworks
Herculean task for MC to get grant
Has to get Punjab OK in writing
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
It would not be an easy task for the municipal corporation (MC) to get the grant for undertaking construction work of Phase VII and VIII of the Kajauli waterworks from the Government of India under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), as it had imposed condition to submit written consent from the Punjab government that they do not have any objection to give land for this project and release water for Chandigarh.

In a written communication, they have stated that Phase VII and VIII of the Kajauli waterworks will not be tabled at the coming meeting, as the MC has failed to submit the report on land acquisition till date.

Sources in the UT Administration said they were planning to call a joint meeting of chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana and UT Adviser to take up the matter and reach an accord on the issue.

Sources said the Government of India had imposed this condition as earlier the union ministry had sanctioned Rs 171 crore for the construction work of Phase V and VI of the Kajauli waterworks, out of which 80 per cent, which amounts to Rs 134 crore, was in the shape of grant and was to be given under JNNURM and 10 per cent each was to be shared by the Chandigarh Administration and MC.

But later on, Punjab refused to provide land for the augmentation of water supply scheme of Phase V and VI due to which the project was scrapped. To avoid that type of situation in Phase VII and VIII, the union ministry has imposed this condition on the authorities.

To increase the quantum of water supply in the city, the corporation had made proposal to acquire 66 acres of land in Punjab for setting up Phase VII and VIII of the Kajauli waterworks. As per the augmentation of water supply scheme, a total of 40 MGD (million gallons per day) would be provided. Out of which 29 MGD would be the share of Chandigarh and rest 11 MGD will be for Punjab and Haryana.



Rain brings relief from hot, humid conditions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
A brief spell of rain lashed the tricity this evening, bringing smiles on the faces of residents, who had been waiting for rain for several days as they had been reeling under intensely hot and humid conditions. The short spell of rain, which lasted about half an hour, did not affect the temperature much, but helped reduce humidity and made the weather pleasant.

For once, those returning home from office did not run for cover, but enjoyed the rain while driving on two-wheelers. The weatherman predicted about a two-degree change in maximum temperature, but it hovered around 34.1 degree Celsius.

The minimum temperature showed a fall of around 3.5 degrees, making nights a bit cooler. Indian Meteorological Department Director Surender Paul said the monsoon was passing through a lean period.

He added that the region was likely to witness an increase in rainfall in the next 24 hours. He stated that the intensity of rainfall, by and large, had been more this year than in previous years.



A tale of two parks — four times over

It seems that residing close to a councillor’s residence can help one have a better standard of living, at least in the case of parks. A visit to parks located close to councillors’ houses reveals that these are well-maintained compared to other parks in the same locality. On a visit to some sectors, parks close to houses of four councillors have been found to be in a better shape than others within a distance of 100 metres. Although the condition of parks in almost all sectors is miserable, there are a handful of those which are well-maintained. Parks within residential areas have almost turned into an eyesore for residents. Report by Amit Sharma and photographs by Parvesh Chauhan

Sector 27

The park on the rear of Ravinder Pal Singh Pali’s house at Sector 27-D is beautifully maintained (left) compared to another park located close to his house.
Sector 22

The park adjacent to councillor Pardeep Chhabra’s house at Sector 22-B is wonderfully maintained (left), but another park in the same locality is in a pitiful condition.

The park on the rear of Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh Pali’s house is in an excellent condition, with enough benches, chopped grass, a passage for walking and decorative gates. The park adjacent to Pali’s corner house, 3010 at Sector 27-D, which is presently under renovation, is also being maintained properly. Another park, around 100 metres from the Mayor’s house, opposite houses 3032 to 3040, is crying for attention, with no lights, play equipment or benches. It is hard to believe that parks in the same area have so much disparity.

Situated in the heart of Chandigarh, the condition of parks opposite houses is pitiable, except one, just next to the councillor Pardeep Chhabra’s house, 1712 at Sector 22-B. The park seems to have been given special attention, with various kinds of play equipment for children and proper lighting facility. Hardly a minute’s walk away, another park, opposite the row beginning with house 1921, is totally neglected. Forget play equipment and beautification, the park does not even have benches. The ignored park has turned into a place for rickshaw-pullers to play cards.

‘None bothered’

The park in our area is in a state of neglect, with hardly anyone bothered about its upkeep. The fact that the park is neglected is evident from the fact that garbage is littered all around and there are no lights. The park located close to the councillor’s house is well-maintained compared to other parks in the locality
— Avtar Singh, Sect-27 resident

‘Quite unfair’

Councillors promise a lot during MC elections, but nothing happens in reality. While the park close to councillor’s house is given special treatment, the park in front of our houses is completely neglected, which is unfair. If not play equipment, it should at least have enough benches and should be maintained properly so that we can sit there
— Sarabjit Singh, Sect-22 resident

People ‘power’

During the monsoon, there is wild growth of grass and maintenance is tough for the MC. The park on the rear of my house was also in a bad condition. After I asked the authorities concerned to clean it, stating that people would say even the park on the rear of the Mayor’s house was not being maintained, the authorities cleaned it recently. It is not just this park, parks in Sectors 36 and 42 are also well-maintained
— Ravinder Pal Singh Pali

Making a promise

I do not feel that the park close to my house is very well-maintained compared to other parks in the locality. Parks in some areas are used more by residents for organising functions. Following this, those are sometimes overlooked and do not have lights installed. I will ensure that all parks in my locality are given a facelift
— Pardeep Chhabra

Sector 23

The park opposite councillor Surinder K Jagota’s house at Sector 23-D is well-maintained (left) compared to another park close by, which is in a state of neglect.
Sector 37

The park opposite councillor Rita Sharma’s house at Sector 37-D has play equipment (left), but another park a few metres away is ignored.
Parks in Sector 23-D are in a miserable condition, but when it comes to the park opposite to the local councillor’s house, the park has unique benches, which no other park in the area has. The park opposite house 3384, councillor Surinder K Jagota’s house, is properly maintained and has a track to walk and proper lighting facility. The park just 50 metres away, in the row beginning with house 3230, is in a desperate need of repairs. Just because nobody influential lives in the vicinity, it is in a state of neglect. It has neither lights, nor benches. The condition of the park opposite councillor Rita Sharma’s house, 3262 at Sector 37-D, is no different. It is in a much better condition than other parks close to her residence. The park opposite her house has play equipment, with grass having been chopped. Another park, in the lane adjacent to her house, is a shambles. Debris and broken play equipment are lying scattered, projecting a picture of a neglect. The park does not even have benches.
‘Cannot even walk’

Forget other facilities, the park opposite our houses does not have even benches. It is ill-maintained, with wild growth of grass and bushes making it impossible to even walk in the park. The fear of snakes during the monsoon restricts children from playing there
— Akash Kapoor, Sec-23 resident

‘Give the minimum’

There is tall grass and debris lying in the park, that acts as a safe breeding ground for mosquitoes. The condition of the park opposite the councillor’s residence is in a much better condition than other parks in the locality. Parks should at least have play equipment, with lights, so that children can play and residents can walk in the evenings.
— MP Bajaj, Sect-37 resident

Park to brag about

It was over four years after I became a councillor that the park opposite my house was beautified. This is the biggest park within our area and so, it was developed first
— Surinder K Jagota

She is out

Councillor Rita Sharma could not be contacted as she was out of the country as present.



use of polythene carry bags
Panchkula admn to fine offenders now
Tribune News Service

Panchkula August 10
Getting tough on the use and manufacturing of polythene carry bags in Panchkula district, Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar has asked officials concerned to make surprise visits at various shops located in the markets, fruit and vegetable vendors and take action against those found violating the orders. A fine of Rs 250 will be imposed on the offender found using these carry bags. The fine could be increased up to Rs 5,000, and Rs 50,000 fine would be imposed on the manufacturers of these polythene bags, she added.

As per the notification issued by the state government on January 3, 2011, the production of plastic carry bags, their storage and distribution, sale and use was completely prohibited irrespective of the size. Apart from this, as per the notification, the use of plastic carry bags and plastic-made goods like plate, cup, glass, spoon, fork have been completely prohibited at some specified places in the district, including Mata Mansa Devi Temple and gram panchayat, Morni.

Brar said that the officials concerned had been directed to generate awareness among the people about the ill effects of using plastic bags. They have also been asked to encourage people not to burn plastic carry bags as it emits poisonous gases that might adversely affect the human health.

The Block Development Officers (BDOs) of Barwala and Raipur Rani and the officials concerned have also been directed to take action against the violators and submit a detailed report to the district administration in this regard on a weekly basis, she added.

Manufacturers to be fine Rs 50,000

A fine of Rs 250 will be imposed on the offender found using these carry bags. The fine could be increased up to Rs 5,000, and Rs 50,000 fine would be imposed on the manufacturers of these polythene bags, she added.



Bureaucrats divested of powers
Police Commissionerate for Ambala, Panchkula districts
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 10
With the issuance of a notification for the establishment of a Police Commissionerate for Ambala and Panchkula districts, powers earlier with the bureaucrats will be shifted to the police. Under the commissionerate system, the police will get magisterial powers, including those under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC, along with the power to issue licences under the Arms Act.

The police will be able to issue search warrants, take preventive measures and allow the use of force. It can also invoke Section 144 of the CrPC. These powers have, till now, been vested with the Deputy Commissioner.

Now the state government will provide a police officer, not below the rank of the Inspector-General of Police, to be the Commissioner for both Ambala and Panchkula.

Apart from the post of Commissioner, there will be three Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCP). There will be a DCP (Panchkula), a DCP (Ambala) and a DCP (Rural). Police stations at Sectors 5, 14 and 20, Mansa Devi Complex, Chandi Mandir, Kalka and Pinjore will be under the jurisdiction of DCP (Panchkula).

Police stations of Raipur Rani in Panchkula district and Naraingarh, Shahzadpur, Mulana, Barara and Saha in Ambala district will be under the jurisdiction of DCP (Rural).

Police stations of Ambala City, Ambala Cantonment, Baldev Nagar, Mahesh Nagar, Panjokhera and Parav will be under the jurisdiction of DCP (Ambala).



Spectrum of emotions comes to fore
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 10
The Abhinet Theatre Group, oldest in the city, staged two short plays based on stories of Gurudev RN Tagore with unusual themes and endings in the ongoing Festival of Plays at Tagore Theatre here today.

Adapted and immaculately scripted by poet-actor Vijay Kapoor, the complex plays, Kankaal and Karan Kunti Samvaad, with a depth of meaning flourished to perfection under the direction of directors, SNA awardee Kamal Arora and Dr Rana Nayar, respectively.

Providing an overwhelming drama, the play, “Karan Kunti Samvaad” offered a slice of the epic Mahabharta where courageous king Karan, hailed as an embodiment of compassion, bravery and uprightness is engaged in a debate with Kunti, his mother, on the eve of the epic war.

Appropriating the heroic character of Karan, the accomplished actor, Sanjeev Singh brought alive the anguish after revelation of being the abandoned son of Kunti and not acceding to the wishes of Kunti.

Sanjeev, rightly fitting into the persona of Karan, was at his best while displaying the spectrum of emotions in the adroit acting spells. Anupamjyot Kaur as Kunti was convincing.

Earlier, the programme got off to a majestic start with the immaculate staging of the play, “Kankaal” under the direction of Kamal Arora.

The play delves deep into complex human emotions and recovering certain explosive truths about life, unrequited love, relationships, broken promises and forced social taboos through the metaphor of a skeleton. Kanwalpreet Kaur made an aesthetic statement essaying her role to near perfection as also Vijay Kapoor. The dialogues in both plays had brilliance and drollery with soothing music by Subhash Ghosh and the presence of directors, Kamala Arora and Rana Nayar was apparently visible in the production.



pil on implementation in private schools
DEEO files reply in RTE case
Tribune news service

Panchkula, August 10
In the ongoing public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Pankaj and Sangeeta Chandgothia, a Panchkula-based couple, for the implementation of RTE in private schools, the District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO) filed his reply stating that as per information received from 52 privates schools in Panchkula, 676 admissions have so far been made under the RTE Act.

The petition filed by Chandgothia and his wife stated that they had experienced the trauma, tension and worry, which all parents undergo during the admission process. They are parents to two sons, presently aged 9 and 11 years.

They contended that there was no clarity as to what were the number of seats which each school had to fill through the EWS quota, How would the students eligible for admission under the EWS quota be identified, Whether the EWS quota could be implemented in a phased manner, Whether the respective schools could increase the fees for private students in order to recover the loss which they would incur on account of implementation of the EWS quota.



sgpc elections
One candidate files nomination
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 10
Only one contestant for the SGPC elections filed his nominations papers here today even as 196 polling booths have been set up in the Mohali district for the elections. Zora Singh Bhullar, resident of Chappar Chiri village, filed his nominations papers for the Mohali subdivision seat representing the Panthic Morcha.

There are two seats for the Mohali subdivision for the SGPC elections, one of these has been reserved for women. Tomorrow is the last date for the filing of nominations papers. Scrutiny of the documents will be carried out on August 16.



Another HSRP vendor is here
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Another high-security registration plate (HSRP) vendor, Shimnit Utsch India Private Limited, is all set to begin operations in the city next week. Company representative Dhruv has said they will start selling HSRPs here next week.

At present, there are only two vendors in the city. These are Celex Technologies, operating from ISBT, Sector 17, and Utsav Safety Systems, operating from Industrial Area. Increased workload and heavy rush have resulted in a long waiting list for vehicle owners.



tricity scan

chandigarh scan

Self-service kiosk

SK Sehgal, chief general manager, State Bank of India, Chandigarh circle, on Wednesday inaugurated a self-service kiosk at Panjab University branch. Sehgal claimed that the kiosk would further enhance customer convenience and self dependence while enabling them to update passbooks, change personal details in the account such as mobile number, order cheque books, obtain mini statement of account, do Internet banking registration and carry out balance inquiry without intervention of any bank employee. The bank is also installing three more kiosks at the Chandigarh main branch, Sector 31 branch, and Madhya Marg branch.

SJOBA chief

St John’s Old Boys’ Association (SJOBA) on Wednesday announced that Shivneet Singh had been appointed as the president of SJOBA for the year 2011-12. Other office-bearers include vice-presidents Sanjeev Kumar, Vineet Khurana and Rahul Datta; treasurer Rajesh Bansal; secretary Hemant Kaushal; joint secretaries Gagan Sekhon, Rahul Gulati and Shivam Garg.

‘SMS Gyan’

Bharti Airtel on Wednesday announced the launch of “SMS Gyan”, an innovative service that allows customers to conduct a search on any topic of interest by sending a keyword as SMS to 55444. Upon sending an SMS query, Airtel mobile customers will instantaneously receive an SMS response with information on their topic of interest.

Prohibitory orders

The District Magistrate has prohibited public in general and any member thereof from forming an assembly of five or more persons, taking out processions, making speeches, raising slogans, carrying lathis within the UT Chandigarh for a period of five days. The District Magistrate issued the prohibitory orders, as there are apprehensions that certain groups and organisations may cause obstruction, annoyance or injury to the persons lawfully employed and endanger human life and property, disturb public peace and cause riots.


Harpal Singh Brar has been elected as president of the Lion Club, Panchkula Premier Chandigarh. The other office-bearers are secretary Gaurav Sinha and cashier Dr Kuldip Singh.


An exhibition-cum-sale being organised by the Phulkari, a Punjab government emporium, began at the exhibition hall of the Institution of Engineers at Madhya Marg in Sector 17 here on Wednesday. Gurdip Singh, DGM (Emporia), said in view of the renovation work going in the showroom, the venue has been changed to redress the inconvenience faced by public.

Black I-Day

Members of the Pind Wasao Society have decided to observe Independence Day as a black day at the Kanthala Sahib gurdwara here in protest against the inability of the UT administration to rehabilitate hundreds of original inhabitants of the city.


The following have been elected office-bearers of the Sri Ram Lila Committee, Sector 27: chairman: Tarloki Nath Modi; president: Dharam Pal Bansal; senior vice-presidents: GC Kalia and Sudhir Gupta; vice-presidents: Sandeep Sharma, Inder Singh, Ashok Jindal, Sandeep Shani and Paramjit Singh; general secretary: Mamu Ram Goyal; finance secretary: Rajeev Singla; joint secretaries: Sudarshan Aggarwal and Bhushan Aggarwal; stage secretary: KK Mehta; press secretary: Ramesh Sharma; and ground secretaries: Vinod Khosla, Manoj Kumar, Raman Kalia, Nitan Gupta, Parveen Kumar and Ashwani Gupta.

Mohali scan

Phase-7 market

Shopkeepers at the Phase-7 market told Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu on Wednesday that the parking space was in a state of neglect and there were problems linked to parking and encroachments. They said there were big potholes and inadequate space in the parking area. The added that ‘rehriwalas’ encroached upon open space and the authorities had turned a deaf ear to their complaints. Sidhu assured them that problems would be addressed on a priority basis if the Congress came to power in the state.

Milk plant visit

Students of the Shemrock Senior Secondary School visited the Verka milk plant here recently. The manager, along with a schoolteacher, showed them processing, hygiene factors, production procedure, packing technique, storage and transportation and production of milk products at the plant. They were told the way milk was being collected from villages in Mohali and Ropar.

School quiz

A quiz on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was conducted at the Shivalik Public School here recently. Students of classes VII and VIII participated in it. A two-minute silence was observed for victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Contest winners

Vodafone Essar on Wednesday announced winners of Vodafone Akshay Tritiya gold coin contest. Subrat Padhi, COO, Vodafone-Punjab, said, “At Vodafone, we value our customers and think of innovative ways to thank them for their loyalty to us.” The winners were Sandeep Das from Ludhiana, Ashwani Sharma from Mohali, Sanita from Amritsar, Khushpal Singh from Muktsar and Ranjit Singh from Chandigarh.

Panchkula scan

I-Day function

Akram Khan, Haryana Deputy Speaker, will unfurl the National Flag on the occasion at Parade Ground, Sector 5, here on Independence Day. He will take the salute during the parade and address the people. A march-past and cultural programmes will also be organised. — Tribune Reporters



PU Regional Centre
Swami Sarvanand engg college least preferred
Only 59 out of 188 turn up for admission
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Indicating a whopping dropout rate, barely 31.38 per cent students, who were initially allotted a seat in Swami Sarvanand Giri College at Panjab University Regional Centre, Hoshiarpur, actually turned up to seek admission.

In the joint online counselling for engineering colleges affiliated to both PEC and PU done by the Joint Admission Committee (JAC), this engineering college located at Hoshiarpur is the least preferred over the years.

According to the latest figures, out of 188 candidates, who were initially allocated seats based on their ranks in the All-India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi, only 59 actually turned up for the admission.

Following three rounds of the online joint counselling, the fourth round to fill up the leftover seats would be done manually.

This implies that the students seeking admission would need to be present at the counselling venue. However, only those candidates would be entitled to get a seat, who have initially applied in the online joint counselling being conducted by PEC University this year.

Presently, the number of seats filled up after the third round of counselling this year is 1,016 out of 1,435 across all engineering colleges affiliated to PEC and PU.

At the onset of the third round of joint counselling, as many as 498 seats, out of total 1,600 seats in engineering and architecture colleges, including PEC University of Technology, University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET), Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) and Swami Sarvanand Giri, were lying vacant.

As per the latest figures, percentage of students who did not turn up for admission is 24 per cent for PEC University, 22 per cent for UIET and 15 per cent for CCET.

“As the past trend, PU’s engineering college at Hoshiarpur centre has been the last choice for engineering aspirants, who rate the colleges according to their preference at the time of registration. Students prefer to take admission in other engineering colleges in neighbouring states instead. However, in the fourth counselling, we expect to have all seats filled up,” said a member of the joint admission committee that is conducting the counselling.



Candidates promise big, faculty cynical
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Though three presidential candidates for the forthcoming Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) election are busy dishing out tall promises, a majority of 605 faculty members feel it’s just a farce.

Claiming it to be a perennial affair, many faculty members feel that association members are accessible or “visible” during election times and the association contrary to the tall promises has been reduced to a facilitation agency for personal gains of some.

“We have been seeing it for years now. Those who compete for these elections and are eventually selected are seen in the department only during this time. They make tall promises, but the only thing PUTA gets done is resolving cases of individual pension benefits, get houses allotted, etc,” said a faculty member, who wished not to be named.

“I joined the university recently and have no political standing. I belong to that class of teachers who come here, teach and leave. We are the ones who are really victims of overburden of work and other problems, but nobody from PUTA came to our rescue. Why should we even have these elections if the association is not there for faculty? Is it just to give opportunity to few individuals to get “strong” in the university and gain media mileage,” added another member.

‘PUTA pioneer of teachers’ rights activism’

Prof Akshay Kumar

Department: English

Agenda: Equal distribution of work by getting PU to deal with staff crunch, regularisation of deserving guest faculty, implementation of CAS.

We are not full time politicians and thus can’t meet everybody everyday. There should be no preconceived notions regarding candidates. We are teachers first and thus have to do justice to our academic responsibilities also. PUTA has and will always be there for teachers. It is because of PUTA’s efforts that schemes like pension and rotation of chairmanship came into being. We may have critiques in our own campus, but in every university PUTA is seen as a pioneer of teachers’ rights activism.

Prof Tankeshwar Kumar

Department: Computer Science

Agenda: Central funding, CAS, filling of vacant posts

PUTA as an organisation has played a positive and significant role in getting teachers the pedestal they have got in the university today. Some may say that we don’t meet them frequently, but there cannot be a single person who can say that he approached PUTA and got no response. I will not quote any examples but will just ask all faculty members to review benefits they enjoy, including pension and see whose initiative it was?

Prof Promila Pathak

Department: Botany

Agenda: Facilitation of increase of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, getting research grant for all faculty members, facilitating CASS promotions and getting faculty residences renovated.

PUTA as an organisation has always supported the cause of teachers and will continue to do so. Various benefits for teachers came into existence because of the strenuous efforts of the organisation. If we come to power, we will ensure that whether we meet teachers daily or not but they will have our full support at every step.



Transfer seekers throng BCom counselling

Chandigarh, August 10
With thousands of candidates thronging Panjab University for getting shifted from one college to another in BCom, parents and university officials are a harried lot in the 12-hour long counselling.

PU had recently increased 10 per cent BCom seats in all colleges and the counselling was being done to make admissions for them in addition to a few vacant seats. Rather than new applicants, it was thousands of students already studying in colleges, who came to switch to their preferred college, as a result the counselling, which was supposed to get over by 5 in the evening stretched to 10 at night.

Even PU officials on duty were found cribbing, as one of them said, “What is creating problem is the large-scale reshuffle.” — TNS



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