C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU student bodies overspent poll limit: Police report
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
Even though Panjab University officials have claimed the student council elections this year were the “most disciplined” ever held, the local police in it audit report has pointed out blatant violations in matters of financial expenditure by student bodies in the context of the Lyngdoh committee recommendations. The varsity administration has been blamed for not taking action on overexpenditure by different parties.

In the finding cum recommendation report of the first ever poll audit, the average election expenditure of all major student bodies was stated as having exceeded the Lyngdoh specified limit of Rs 5,000 per candidate by several thousands of rupees.

The Student Organization of Panjab University (SOPU), which made a clean sweep of the polls this year, leads the list of overspenders. In addition to flouting the expenditure ceiling, different parties have also been found guilty of using cars, printed posters and even “bribing” voters in some cases.

The police has calculated poll expenditure on the basis of bills of estimates for tents, getting material and photographs photocopied and printed, videography of a number of vehicles, etc. The report states none of the student parties had furnished any details of the amount spent on food and beverages, either in their tents or on holding special parties outside the campus.

“The report will be sent across to the PU administration tomorrow for further action. I’ll not comment on specifics till it is dispatched but, yes, the Lyngdoh panel recommendations have been flouted, defeating the very aim of having disciplined elections. The panel’s suggestions need to be followed to make the university an incubator of disciplined politicians of tomorrow,” said assistant superintendent of police Desh Raj Singh.

Some of the Lyngdoh panel’s recommendations

  • Rs 5,000 cap on election expenses per candidate
  • No printed posters, printed pamphlets or any other printed materials allowed for canvassing
  • No bribing of voters in cash or kind

Major violations by student bodies

  • Use of cars for campaigning
  • Use of printed material
  • Reported ‘bribing’ of voters

Report’s recommendations

  • Taking necessary action against guilty
  • Appointing impartial observers in next polls
  • Day-to-day audit of poll expenditure
The specifics of the report will only be divulged once a copy is given to the PU vice chancellor but, yes, all the recommendations made by the Lyngdoh committee have been flouted. The panel was set up following the Supreme Court’s directives, so its recommendations are as important as statutory laws. The police has done its job and has prepared the audit report, and the ball is now in the university’s court.

Naunihal Singh, UT senior superintendent of police

}I’ve yet to get a copy of the report, but if any student body has spent Rs 50,000 it’s not much as the recommended limit is Rs 5,000 per candidate, which includes department representatives. Anyway we’ll decide on our further course of action after going through the report.

AS Ahluwalia, PU dean of students’ welfare



Part of upcoming Mohali ISBT building collapses, none hurt
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 7
A major tragedy was averted on Wednesday when a portion of the Mohali Junction building being constructed in Sector 57 (Phase 6) collapsed when the retaining wall of a basement slab gave in late on Tuesday night. Though no casualties were reported, the incident has been attributed to lack of supervision by the project engineers concerned.

The project, an 18-story airconditioned interstate bus terminus-cum-commercial complex being raised by Gurgaon-based C&C Towers Ltd, is being monitored by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

Although Col CVS Sehgal, general manager (commercial), C&C Constructions, claimed the incident would not affect the schedule on beginning work on the first phase of the bus terminus by October-end, sources did not rule the possibility of the project being slowed down due to controversy arising from the incident.

Only two months ago the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had issued a notice to the firm after a part of the road berm built precariously close to the busy NH 21 sank due to careless digging. The project site is located next to the national highway and NHAI has been denying direct access to the bus stand from the highway. Fearing a mishap the district administration had to then block half of the highway leading from Mohali towards Kharar, near Verka Chowk.

GMADA officials visited the construction site in the morning to ascertain whether any building specifications had been ignored during the work. Soon after the incident the company stationed security guards outside its complex to prevent mediapersons from taking photos of the site. A visit to the site revealed while damage has been caused to the commercial tower, the bus terminus block and the multiplex tower were unaffected.

Sehgal said: “The retaining wall of a portion of the basement slab, which was under progress for casting, collapsed during the night due to earth sliding outside the site. The lower slab in that portion also gave way under the impact. There was no casualty on account of the impact and the staff deployed reacted promptly and effectively and kept the situation under control, causing minimum damage to the structure. The structure in the bus terminus area remained unaffected due to this impact.”

As the news of the collapse of the structure spread, Kharar MLA Balbir Singh arrived at the scene and demanded an inquiry into the incident. “Basically it’s a real estate project floated by the Akalis under the garb of a public facility. It is strange that Akruti City had bid Rs 200 crore in the first round, but backed out later. Only one bid - for Rs 57 crore - was received during the second bidding and accepted. The bus terminus forms a small component of the project. With a 90-year lease it virtually amounts to sale of prime land,” he added.

“During the same time GMADA had auctioned nine acres in Mohali, which was bought by LIC for Rs 450 crore”, Balbir claimed.

Factors behind the collapse

Sources said according to the technical specifications there needed to be proportion in filling of earth outside the retaining wall of the basement slab and the load of the structure above the retaining wall. The workforce engaged in sliding the earth out the retaining wall with heavy machinery did not calculate the amount of earth that had to moved in. As a result the retaining wall was pushed inside by the force of the earth and the weight of the heavy machinery, indicating lack of professional supervision.



Testing time for patients at GMSH-16
Diagnostic kits for serious ailments not available for 2 weeks
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
In a classic case of attempting to do something right by doing two wrongs, the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, (GMSH-16) authorities have been denying diagnostic tests to patients for enzyme deficiency (G-6-PD) and emergency chronic pancreatitis (Lipase) for the past one to two weeks due to the non-availability of the test kits.

The first wrong that the hospital authorities did was to allow the test kits to exhaust and then it committed another blunder by not issuing the new stocks to the labs, thereby unnecessarily denying the facility to a large number of patients. What is worse, this messy situation of test kits being “out of stock” would have continued for some more days as the hospital authorities discovered about the arrival of the new stocks only after this correspondent started making inquiries about the shortage and sought version from those at the helm of affairs.

A senior functionary of the hospital, who requested anonymity, first denied any shortage of kits for G-6-PD and Lipase tests, but later admitted to the lapse, which he attributed to a “misunderstanding”. He said fresh stocks of the kits had arrived some days ago but had not been issued to the labs. Promising to “look into the matter”, the functionary said they would certainly fix responsibility for the same.

According to sources, about 20 to 30 patients reportedly come for the enzyme deficiency test (G-6PD) every week and for the past 15 days, no diagnosis has been conducted for the want of the test kits. Similarly, 10-20 patients come for Lipase test every week, but due to the kits being out of stock, no diagnosis has been conducted for the last seven days.

When this correspondent approached window No. 1 of the OPD this morning posing as a patient, she was told that due to the non-availability of the kits, the tests would not been done. A visit to room No. 17 (the testing lab) only confirmed that the tests were not being conducted for the past seven to 15 days.

Incidentally, G-6-PD test, which costs merely Rs 75 in hospital, is available in private labs at Rs 550. Similarly, Lipase test costs Rs 50 in hospital and Rs 400 in private labs. One can only imagine the unnecessary monitory burden put on the pocket of the patients who opted for private labs when the test kits were lying in the store rather than being used in the laboratory.

This is not the first time when this hospital has been in the news for the non-availability of tests kits in its labs. Last month, the hospital had run out of thyroid kits. Insiders, claim that the procedure of tendering is not up to the mark and this is the root cause of such problems.



2 held in I-T refund voucher scam
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Panchkula, September 7
In a major breakthrough in the income tax (I-T) refund vouchers scam unearthed in December last year, the Haryana state crime branch has arrested the two accused, including the mastermind. The quantum of the entire scam is estimated at Rs 1.5 crore.

The crime branch arrested the main accused Harbans Lal and Yad Ram, both residents of Pinjore. Harbans Lal was working as a data operator in I-T head office as data operator from the year 2004 to 2008, whereas Yad Ram was his aide. Another accused Jasbir Gandhi is at large.

Giving details about the fraud, a senior Haryana police official said thE accused had used fake names, addresses, PAN numbers etc while getting the bank accounts opened in as many as 27 branches of various banks located in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Baddi, Pinjore and Kalka.

Police investigations have further revealed that the accused had been committing the alleged fraud from 2007 till it was finally unearthed in December 2010, after which an FIR was registered at Panchkula.

The first step taken by the accused was to get bank accounts opened at various branches in and around Panchkula. Then the blank refund vouchers were stolen from the office of the Income Tax Department, Panchkula. An identical format was used to print refund cheques on the vouchers, which were later encashed by the accused by getting the money transferred to their bank accounts.

Background of the case

A large number of blank I-T refund vouchers were stolen from the office of the Income Tax Officer of wards 3 and 4, Panchkula. The stolen refund cheques were utilised to get fake refund cheques printed and numerous persons encashed such cheques. The money was transferred to various bank accounts, which have now been found opened in fake names and addresses. Around a dozen employees working at the I-T Department’s office at Sector 2, Panchkula, were named in the FIR registered on December 7, 2010.



Parking lot row
‘Take legal action against contractor’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The traffic police today shot off a communiqué to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, recommending legal action against the contractor who was found issuing parking slips to vehicles parked opposite Hotel Mehfil in Sector 17 on Monday during a challaning drive.

Utter chaos was witnessed on September 5 when the traffic police challaned the vehicles for illegal parking and the violators expressed resentment as they possessed valid parking slips.

In the letter recommending action against the contractor, DIG Alok Kumar stated that the contractor had been blatantly issuing slips to vehicle owners for parking even on the area which was not a notified parking lot by the MC.

“The MC contractor is fleecing the general public by issuing slips for parking in the area that is not notified. Even on the area on the opposite side of the road, that is notified for parking of only two-wheelers, the contractor allows parking of four-wheelers,” states the letter sent to the MC.

Besides, it has also been stated that the vehicles are parked haphazardly and while space permits parking of only one two-wheeler, the contractor violates these norms as well.

“It’s the common people who were harassed as they were challaned by the police while they also paid the price for the parking slip issued to them by the contractor. We have recommended action against the contractor since he is cheating the MC as well as the common man,” said the DIG.

The traffic police had issued 199 challans in Sector 17 two days ago alone for parking at wrong places. The challaning spree on the road opposite Hotel Mehfil leading to Hot Millions led to chaos as scores of motorists gathered and raised a hue and cry on them being challaned despite in possession of a parking slip.


Garbage plant stinks of apathy
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
City’s only dumping ground and garbage processing plant at Dadu Majra continues to be a bane of residents of Sectors 37, 38 and 39 as the garbage there continues to emanate stench. So much so that residents of Sectors 35 and 36, located further away, have to bear with the inconvenience.

KC Sethi, a resident of Sector 38-A, said the problem of stench had been persistent for the past several years and the condition worsened after rain. The stench was unbearable and was more prominent during morning and evening hours, he added.

The worst affected areas apart from Dadu Majra are Sectors 38, 38 (West), 25. For the past few days, even those living in Sectors 23, 34 and 35 have been experiencing the stench.

JP Yadav, president, Resident Welfare Society, Sector-37 (A), said the stench was sometimes so strong that it became difficult for residents to take a walk outside.

“The authorities seem to be sleeping over the issue despite several representations made by residents’ welfare associations in the past,” Yadav said.

Residents of nearby sectors claim that the authorities have failed to identify the source i.e. the dumping ground or the garbage processing plant of the foul smell.

“In spite of various committees having been formed to study the origin of the foul smell, the problem persists, putting residents to inconvenience,” said Lajwant Singh Virk, a resident of Sector 37.

Residents living in the vicinity of the plant claim that they have to cross the area several times a day and have to cover their faces each time to avoid health hazard.

AK Oberoi, president, Residents’ Welfare Society, Sector 39-B, said the problem aggravated during evening hours.

“We have to close the doors and windows of our house in the evening to avoid the stench. It’s become a habit to live amidst the stench now. We have no option,” added Oberoi.

FOSWAC chairman PC Sanghi said members had expressed their serious concern over the proper functioning and operation of the garbage processing plant, as it had been become a serious health hazard for the residents of Sectors 37, 38, 38 (West) and 39. “Residents have started complaining of breathing problems”, he added. He said they would take up the matter with the Adviser to the UT Administrator during their forthcoming meeting on Thursday.



area watch
Stink from fish market puts off Phase VI residents
Broken roads, footpaths, unkept parks and greenbelts covered with wild growth add to their woes
Kulwinder Sangha

A damaged road outside Sivalik Public School
A damaged road outside Sivalik Public School. tribune photo: vicky gharu

Mohali, September 7
A major source of annoyance for residents of Phase VI here is an illegal fish and meat market that springs up in the afternoons in the area apart from broken roads and footpaths, unkept parks and greenbelts covered with wild growth.

The authorities concerned have failed to take stringent measures to keep unauthorised meat and fish sellers away from an open space that lies on a road to the Phase VI Civil Hospital. What makes such a market all the more objectionable to many residents is the presence of a gurdwara and a mandir across the road.

All this has angered residents, who go on to complain that not only does a stink emanate from this temporary evening market but the area also attracts birds and stray dogs on the lookout for leftovers. Roads in many parts of the phase are broken. Even the road leading to the Civil Hospital and Government College has not been repaired since long. Residents have also complained that sewer in a part of the area gets blocked repeatedly.

Garbage lying outside a swimming pool; and (right) Wild grass grows on a pavement.
Garbage lying outside a swimming pool; and (right) Wild grass grows on a pavement.

Manmohan Singh Daon , a local resident, said that vacant plots had become a big nuisance for residents as these were full of wild growth and were also used by residents for dumping malba. Parking problem existed near the swimming pool, which had become an accident spot. Even though the water treatment plant was located in Phase VI itself, the residents at times received muddy water.

Former municipal councilor R P Sharma said that too many autos were operating on the main road leading to the Civil Hospital creating problems for residents who wanted to go to a mandir or a gurdwara. Fear of accidents lurked in their minds. Nearly 50 per cent of the parks were in a state of neglect and lights installed in most of the parks were not working.

JS Dhami, executive engineer, public health, said that the sewer lines got blocked after residents of the area threw “polythene bags” in the road gullies.



Realtor’s family hopeful
Says CBI will conduct fair probe
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service
A file photo: Deepak Rai Sagar
A file photo: Deepak Rai Sagar

Panchkula, September 7
The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order of transferring the probe of the kidnapping of Panchkula-based realtor Deepak Rai Sagar to the CBI has brought fresh hope for the Sagar family members that this time the real culprits will be punished. Family members who have been facing tough times in the past two years now believe that the CBI will conduct a fair probe.

Remembering his father, Sameer Sagar said that in the past two years he had written more than thousand letters to various officials of the state and Central government for transferring of the probe to the CBI, as the Haryana police was not conducting a fair probe. He added that it was not only about a fair probe but they felt very hurt when the Panchkula police began suspecting family members behind the disappearance of Deepak. Instead of arresting the accused and tracing his father, the police had started treating us as suspects, he added.

Deepak Rai Sagar’s wife Mamta Sagar said that she still believes that her husband is alive and his business rivals have kidnapped him. She said that she along with her family members was still waiting for her husband. Mamta Sagar said that it was only the support of her family and relatives that they had managed to fight the battle so far.

Family approached Prez, PM office

Sameer Sagar had even approached the Prime Minister Office and the President office in New Delhi. He said that he had also met Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on 11 occasions for transferring of the case to the CBI. Family members had even held a protest march in Panchkula against the Panchkula police.



sehajdhari sikhs
Badal seeks enquiry into withdrawal of notification

Mohali, September 7
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has urged the Prime Minister to order a high -level enquiry into the episode of withdrawal of the Central notification regarding Sehajdhari Sikhs in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Talking to mediapersons after addressing a rally in favour of SAD-Sant Samaj combine candidate Jatinderpal Singh JP and Parmjit Kaur, Landran, here today, Badal said that different statements were given by the law minister regarding the involvement of Punjab Congress leaders in engaging Harbhagwan Singh, home minister, and now a role of external affairs minister had also come to light. He said that as the Prime Minister was heading the government he was fully aware of the developments.

Responding to a question on the SAD moving the high court to seek enquiry, Badal said that as the incident of withdrawal had occurred in the room of the high court, it was for the high court to take a suo moto notice and order enquiry. He said that the SAD was seeking legal advice on the matter and would decide future action after waiting for the action of the high court.



zirakpur-patiala highway
Four-laning of stretch yet to begin
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, September 7
Four-laning of the Zirakpur-Patiala highway is yet to start, as the PWD Central Work Division, Patiala, has not floated tenders. However, an official claimed that the project was approved by the authorities concerned and work on the 55-km highway was supposed to begin by December this year.

A number of accidents have taken place on the stretch and traffic jams are a routine affair there. Sources in the police department revealed that on an average five to six accidents were reported in a month and that too at night. The civic body had already sent notices to shopkeepers asking them to remove encroachments along the highway.

MP Singh, XEN, PWD (Central Work Division, Patiala), stated that an amount of Rs 421 crore had been earmarked for the four-laning of the stretch. He claimed that the work would be started by December.

He added that the department had sent a proposal to the forest department regarding the removal of trees and it was awaiting an approval from the higher authorities.

The estimates related to clearance of the highway had already been called for from all municipal councils in order to avoid hurdles.

“The Zirakpur-Bhadurgarh stretch will be four-laned, while the stretch from Bhadurgarh to the Patiala bus stand will be six-laned,” he added.

He said around 20 companies had qualified for bidding of the project. “We will send notices related to e-tendering to qualifiers soon and the contract will be given to a private company to construct the expressway on a BOT (build-operate-transfer) basis,” MP Singh, XEN, PWD, added.

Accident-prone areas

  • Chhat village bus stand
  • Nabha Sahib Gurdwara
  • Fauji Dhaba
  • Lucky Dhaba



Poor water supply sparks off protest

Zirakpur, September 7
Residents of the Green City, Dhakoli, today protested against the Municipal Council and water supply officials for the poor supply of water for the past many months. They demanded that the council should provide alternatives to their water problem.

Residents rued that they had been facing acute shortage of drinking water. They alleged that the water supply department had started the work of installing tubewell six months a go but the work was not yet complete. They claimed that they had called the private tankers to meet their needs.

The SDO, water supply, stated that the work of the tubewell would be completed soon. He claimed that the colony would get water from the nearby tubewell. — TNS



Police looking for interpreters
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 7
The police is looking for interpreters so that it can quiz the 16-year-old boy from Andhra Pradesh, who was caught stealing a bag containing cash from a car. So far the police has been unable to understand the boy’s language.

The incident took place around 11 pm when architect Barjinder Singh Dimpi had parked his car on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway.

The boy broke the rear windowpane and ran away with the bag containing Rs 15,000 in cash besides some important documents. On seeing the accused fleeing with the bag, owner of the car raised the alarm following which passersby nabbed him and handed him over to the police. Sources said a similar incident had occurred near Big Bazaar recently. The police said the boy would be produced in the juvenile court tomorrow.



Deactivate ‘DND’ for traffic alerts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
Mobile users who have registered under the “Do Not Disturb” (DND) service will not be able to enjoy the traffic alerts on their mobile phones. While the service was launched amid much fanfare today, the flip side to it is that the users will have to deactivate the DND service first to avail of the benefit of the traffic SMS alerts.

The UT Traffic Police has tied up with SMS Gupshup to send text messages informing mobile users of traffic situation at different points across the city. The service is available at a one-time registration fee of 6 paise.

UT IGP PK Srivastava launched the service at the Traffic Lines in the presence of senior police officials.

Traffic police officials said the service had been launched to empower people and initiate a two-way communication with the police.

SMS Gupshup vice-president Ravi Sundararajan said they had created a group for the Chandigarh Traffic Police. Road users could subscribe to the group and receive traffic alerts (free of cost) on road blockage/snarl-ups.

The traffic police officials can log in to the SMS Gupshup website to post relevant traffic alerts at critical times from their control room.

These messages posted on the website will be delivered as text messages to the handsets of the subscribers.

Road safety expert Harman Sidhu said while the service would prove beneficial for residents, it’s major drawback was the deactivation of the DND service to avail of the alerts.

“To avail of the traffic alerts, mobile users will also have to deal with unsolicited text messages sent by telecom subscribers. While the service has its benefits, the big disadvantage for users is the deactivating of the DND service,” he said.

How to subscribe?

Residents can subscribe to the group by texting “JOIN CHTP” to 09219592195 and can make a decision on travel plans/routes on the basis of information received on traffic congestion/diversions due to accidents, waterlogging, repair work, VIP movement, roadblocks, rallies, etc. Road users can also send an SMS to the number, informing the traffic police about snarl-ups, road accidents, etc.



Sodomy case
Residents gherao police post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
Scores of residents of Mauli Jagran today gheraoed the police post, protesting against alleged police inaction in a sodomy case.

The residents accused the police of not taking any action into the abuse of an eight-year-old boy of the area.

The protesters were joined by hundreds of Bharatiya Janata Party activists led by councillor Anil Dubey and mandal president Rajinder Sharma. The protesters accused a Congress leader of shielding the accused.

Party activists raised slogans against the police and demanded immediate arrest of the accused besides the registration of a case.

Mani Majra police post SHO Rajesh Shukla said they had conducted the medical examination of the child. As nothing had come out in the examination, they had sent the samples to the CFSL.



ACC to seal fate of milk village today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The Administrator’s Advisory Council (ACC) will take a final call on the setting up of an integrated milk production village in Maloya during its meeting here tomorrow.

To be presided over by Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Shivraj Patil, the meeting will decide the fate of the milk village to be spread over an area of 73.76 acre. In fact, this is the single agenda for tomorrow’s meeting.

Sources said the final nod of the AAC had been made mandatory for the acquisition of land in the city. The UT administration had issued an advertisement for the acquisition of land on September 14, 2009. The mandatory two-year period for the completion of the land acquisition process ends on September 14.



delhi blast
Security a casualty at P’kula district courts complex
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Panchkula, September 7
The high-intensity blast outside the Delhi High Court, which claimed 11 lives and left 76 injured, has once again brought under focus poor security arrangements at the Panchkula district courts complex. The absence of metal detectors and police personnel, besides a broken wall, serves as an open invitation to anti-social elements to carry out acts of terror at the courts complex.

In the absence of metal detectors, even courtrooms are not secure. The significance of the Panchkula district courts can be gauged from the fact that a special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recently been transferred to the complex.

While gate No. 1 lacks both metal detector and the police, to check the movement of visitors, gate No. 2, sans a gate, has a damaged wall, let alone being guarded by the police.

Thousands of cases are listed for hearing in the 11 courts of the complex. Even as a large number of litigants, besides lawyers, visit the complex every day, there is no security cover there.

Sameer Sethi, a lawyer, says the district administration and the police should learn a lesson from the Delhi blast and provide adequate security around the courts complex.

Panchkula SP Maneesh Chaudhary says he will review the situation at the complex and discuss it with senior police officials.

Meanwhile, the Panchkula police sent a dog squad to the courts complex after the blast in Delhi today.



PU student council sworn in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The newly constituted Panjab University Student Council today took oath of serving PU students with utmost sincerity and integrity.

The ceremony, which was held in the English auditorium, had not just council members and over 100 department representatives but also enthusiastic supporters of the Student Organisation of Panjab university (SOPU), who had come to cheer for their president Pushpinder Singh. Just like election, heavy security was deputed in the auditorium with metal detectors. The oath was supervised by Dean Student Welfare AS ahluwalia.

Elated council president Pushpinder said, “The oath renders a deep sense of responsibility to the office of the council president. I shall always strive to get PU students their dues and will ensure a violence and nuisance free tenure.”

Vice-president Simarpal Kaur Jauhal claimed that she would highlight issues of girl students on the campus.

VC reaches late

As usual the key highlight of the function was Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti, who came after the completion of oath. Though he started with congratulating everybody for violence-free elections with a special mention to the UT Police and administration, his speech then left confines of the campus and he urged students to adopt the city and make it pollution free, smoke free, etc.



SCS chairperson offers to relinquish charge
‘Erosion of head’s authority by PU’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
Irked over the “erosion of chairperson’s authority by the Panjab University administration”, Archana R Singh has offered to relinquish her charge as the chairperson of the School of Communication Studies (SCS) due to the persistent atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in the department’s board of studies (BOS).

In what has once again brought to fore the debate over inclusion of Syndicate and Senate members in various academic bodies like board of studies, Singh in a letter written to Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti has raised objection over sudden cancellation of the board of studies meeting, which was called to discuss an important issue of syllabi change, in lieu of the Syndicate meeting, without being taken into confidence. Two other teachers of the department have supported the objections and shot similar letters to the VC.

Refusing to comment on her complaint, Archana said the matter was with the VC, who had assured of immediate resolution.

“It is strongly and justifiably felt that there is interference in the academics and academic bodies such as board of studies of SCS by non-subject experts. Smooth functioning of SCS and timely protection of the academic interests of the students has been obstructed. The academic and administrative committees of SCS at the meeting held on August 18 took a unanimous decision to affect certain urgent changes in the syllabi of the ongoing third semester. The faculty of SCS also met the Deputy Registrar (general) and apprised him of the urgency of the matter. Since the academic session is on, it was prudent to hold a board of studies meeting at the earliest, so the meeting was fixed on August 26, which, however, on request of the department representative was postponed to August 29. However, the department was asked to reschedule it as ‘some of the members were preoccupied’ and there was a Syndicate meeting scheduled for the day,” read the letter. Archana was on leave from August 25 and returned on August 29 only to find that the meeting was postponed without taking her in confidence despite being the convener.


PUSU members stage a dharna outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office in Panjab University
PUSU members stage a dharna outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office in Panjab University. Tribune photo: S Chandan

PUSU protest delay in hostel accommodation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) staged a protest outside the Vice-Chancellor (VC) office against the delay in providing hostel accommodation to deserving candidates even after 40 days of the admission.

Party supporters led by its president Sukhjit Singh Brar and Sumit Goklaney sat outside the VC office raising slogans and demanding water coolers in the university departments, especially in BMS, UIAMS and BDS.

“We had protested earlier also for the hostel problem and demanded permanent hostel for the ones staying on temporary basis from one year, but the authorities only gave them the relief on monetary basis keeping them on regular charges,” said Sukhjeet Brar.



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