C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SSP reprimands DSP in public
Was upset at catering service during police function; tells his junior to leave venue
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Irked over a scathing reply from a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) during a tea session organised soon after a passing-out parade of police recruits at the Police Lines in Sector 26 here, UT SSP Naunihal Singh today lost his cool and gave a severe dressing down in public to the DSP.

The senior officer was seen fuming and shouting at DSP (Lines) Jagbir Singh and finally asking him to leavethe place. The drama occurred in the presence of senior police officials, mediapersons and fresh recruits and left the otherwise well-organised function ending on a sour note.

UT Inspector General of Police PK Srivastava and his wife were witness to the incident.

“Is this the way you talk to your seniors? Badtameez. I am not going to take this nonsense you are uttering. You are relieved of your duties now. You can leave immediately”, were the precise angry words of SSP Naunihal Singh to DSP Jagbir Singh.

DSP Jagbir Singh did not utter a word in response. The matter was resolved after the IG intervened and called both of them to a side to discuss the issue.

It all began when the IG asked for tea, only to end up waiting for the caterers. As DSP Jagbir Singh was in charge of hospitality for the event, the SSP himself came to the stall where tea was being served and questioned Jagbir over the perceived poor arrangements, as earlier water, too, had been served late while the parade had been on. The DSP’s reply in a hushed tone that was audible only to the SSP that he was doing all he could and could not put in more efforts infuriated the SSP who then shouted at him.



171 constables pass out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The passing-out parade of the 12th and 13th batches of 171 constables was conducted at the Parade Ground, Police Lines, Sector 26, here today. UT Adviser KK Sharma took the salute of the Dikshant Parade. He took a round with officials and inspected the parade.

IG Chandigarh Police, PK Srivastava said the police was capable of tackling all problems. “The constables have undergone rigorous training at the Police Lines, laying special emphasis on their overall development in order to meet modern challenges and to make them noble public servants.

The 12th and 13th batches consisting of 137 and 34 constables, respectively, completed their training today and 123 constables of the 14th batch are undergoing training.

The plans to make an underground modern police control room and police shooting range are also in consideration. Home Secretary Ram Niwas, DC Brijendra Singh and DIG Alok Kumar were also present on the occasion.

No word of advice

In their address to passouts on the occasion, both IG and Adviser focused entirely on discussing issues pertaining to modernisation of force and had no word of advice for the new recruits. “We are thankful to the Chandigarh Administration for granting us Rs 14 crore for modernisation projects. The force is now well equipped with various modern gadgets and vehicles,” said PK Srivastava.



Internal politics, factionalism ail UT police
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Setting a poor example for the fresh recruits, the severe dressing down to a DSP in public by the SSP minutes after the passing-out parade ended is, in fact, symptomatic of rising factionalism in the UT police force.

The incident today was not just about tea being served late or an insolent reply by a DSP, but rather a fallout of a much deeper issue of internal politics and factionalism among some select DSPs in the police force.

The genesis of the problem seems to lie with the joining of three Punjab Police DSPs and one SP joining the UT Police on deputation. This seems to have caused considerable resentment among a few Chandigarh Police DSPs. The Punjab Police officers were brought on deputation to the UT to fill existing vacancies for the post of DSPs. However, a select group of Chandigarh Police DSPs have ever since been feeling “left out”, leading to internal resentment against senior officers in one way or the other. This has led to factionalism in the force with one group siding with the UT SSP, while another group of certain UT Police DSPs indulging in open criticism against their seniors.

The trigger to today’s incident, too, was an earlier remark by the SSP in which he lauded the work of a Punjab Police DSP who joined the UT Police on deputation in organising the parade. “DSP (Training) Suman Kumar has done a commendable job in organising the parade. He trained the recruits in just three days,” the SSP had said. This did not go down well with DSP Jagbir Singh. Sources said Jagbir’s rude reply stemmed from the resentment against the SSP as the former was upset at the way DSPs from Punjab were hogging the limelight. In the past too, a group of Chandigarh Police DSPs have been resenting certain decisions of senior police officials, calling it favouritism on part of the SSP.

Trigger points to rising divisions in police

n Proposal to create post of SP (City) for GS Grewal, a Superintendent of Police, who joined the UT Police on deputation from the Punjab Police, led to strong resentment amongst certain Chandigarh Police DSPs. The proposal was turned down by the UT Administration.

n Resentment over postings of DSPs on deputation from Punjab Police in key posts such as CID and Headquarters.

n Officers are also fighting over offices. For example, the Office of DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh, earlier located on the fourth floor of the UT Police Headquarters, was allotted to SP (City) GS Grewal. The DSP (Crime) is yet to be allotted a new office.



Admn proposes, Patil disposes
Administrator’s Advisory Council’s no to land acquisition
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
In an unusual case of the Chandigarh Administration’s officials proposing and the Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Shivraj Patil disposing, the UT Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC) today rejected a proposal to acquire 73.76 acres of land for setting up a modern cattle village in Maloya village here.

The proposal, which was placed before the AAC, presided over by Patil and attended by the top brass of the UT Administration, did not find favour with the 43-member council, with Patil expressing “difficulties” in the execution of the project aimed at rehabilitating the milch cattle out of the sectoral grid to maintain cleanliness in the city. Interestingly, the proposal was put up at the meeting with the prior “permission” of the UT Administrator,

However, at today’s meeting, Patil set the ball rolling for a decent burial to the project, asserting that the land title for the project was not clear and no financial model had been worked out for its execution. Besides, no provision seems to have been made for the rehabilitation of the 200 families whose land is to be acquired for the project, he added.

Echoing similar sentiments, former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and AAC member Justice SS Sodhi wanted the scarce land in the city to be utilised for more productive purposes.

MC Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh asserted that the municipal bylaws did not allow for rearing cattle on the MC land.

BB Bahl and Sanjay Tandon, presidents of the local units of the Congress and the BJP, respectively, wanted the land acquisition to be put on hold until Parliament passed the Land Acquisition Bill. Another member Charanjiv Singh, while pleading for the rehabilitation of the people affected by land acquisition, wanted the execution of the projects which gave a boost to the trade and industry in Chandigarh.

Earlier, Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary Animal Husbandry VK Singh, while giving an overview of the project, said the project was aimed at improving sanitary conditions in the city.

The UT Administration wanted the AAC’s approval for the land acquisition as it was mandatory to announce the award for the acquired land within two years time from the start of the land acquisition process.The two-year timeframe for the completion of the land acquisition process is slated to end on September 14 this year.

The UT Administration had announced Rs 42.84 crore as the compensation for the acquired land.



Scam suspects had opened 67 fake bank accounts
Had stolen blank refund vouchers from I-T office where they worked
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 8
The ten suspects involved in the Rs 5.5 crore income tax refund voucher fraud had opened 67 bogus accounts at branches of various banks located in Panchkula, Chandigarh, Pinjore, Kalka and Baddi, officials of the Haryana police crime branch said.

Following the arrest of two of the suspects - Harbans Lal and Yad Ram, both residents of Pinjore, on Wednesday, the crime branch has learnt the principle conspirators were Harbans Lal and Jasbir Singh alias Gandhi, who is still at large. Both were employed on contract as data entry operators in the income tax department. Lal worked there from 2004 to 2008 and Jasbir from 2006 to 2007.

The police said the two suspects had contacted eight other people from their circle of friends and hatched a conspiracy with them. They procured a blank booklet of ration cards from the food & supplies department office in Kalka and forged some ration cards with fake names and addresses by affixing their photographs. The suspects also forged driver’s licenses by affixing fake seals and signatures of the licensing authority officials in Kalka.

Thereafter the suspects procured PAN cards on fake addresses for submitting the ration cards and driver’s licenses as identity proof in various banks for opening savings accounts. The cellular numbers mentioned in the account opening forms were also procured on the basis of fake ID proofs.

As the key suspects - Lal and Jasbir - were working as in the income tax department, they stole blank income tax refund vouchers as well as rubber stamps from the office and entered bogus amounts in the fake names of the eight other suspects and deposited the same in their accounts. The amount deposited was later withdrawn either through cheques, vouchers or ATM cards.

The suspects reportedly told the police that Jasbir used to keep all the bank ATM cards with him.

Suspects arrested

Harbans Lal: Comes from a lower middle class family, father works in a private firm. During the time he was employed in the income tax department Lal stole 100 to 150 loose cheques and three or four chequebooks. He told the police his “share” in the amount defrauded is ~50-60 lakh and that he had purchased real estate property in Pinjore and Kalka valued at ~2.16 crore.

Yaad Ram: Belongs to a lower income group family, is schooled up to class 7 and was a classfellow of one of the two key suspects - Jasbir Singh alias Gandhi. Being unemployed, he contacted him in 2007 and 2008. Jasbir reportedly briefed him about the conspiracy and took him to various banks where they opened accounts in fake names and addresses. About ~25 lakh were defrauded through his bank accounts, of which ~8 lakh was given to him and the remaining amount kept by Jasbir. 



Five more children go missing from Snehalya
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The UT Administration seems to have learnt no lessons from the past when children went missing from Snehalya, a home for the destitute in Maloya. As many as five more children managed to escape from the home last night, laying bare the tall claims of the authorities in securing the institute.

The missing children have been identified as Raju(10), Kapil (12), Arun (15), Chhotu (17) and Deepak (12). Two of the children are natives of Mumbai.

With this, the total count of the children who went missing from Snehalya this year has touched 10. Both the Snehalaya authorities and the police have failed to make any headway as they have been unable to trace even a single child.

Only two weeks ago, 12-year-old Micheal had escaped from Snehalaya and the management even failed to report the matter to the police immediately. It was only after a prolonged delay that the matter was reported to the police.

Sources said all five children managed to escape after scaling the boundary wall. A missing report was lodged at the Sector 39 police station on the complaint of OP Sahal, manager of Snehalaya.

Snehalaya is an ambitious project of the Chandigarh administration to bring children, who live and work on streets, bus stands, tea vends to the mainstream of life and rehabilitate them.


Reality Check
Sitting ducks at potential hunting grounds

Visitors to public places and even top offices of the respective state governments in the tricity are nothing less than sitting ducks, ready to be targeted by anti-social elements, in the absence of adequate security arrangements at different levels. A reality check at different places by a Tribune team comprising Pradeep Sharma, Akash Ghai, Arun Sharma and Rajmeet Singh, a day after a powerful bomb blast shook the High Court in New Delhi, reflects poor security arrangments and lack of preparedness on part of the authorities, including the police and administration, to handle any untoward situation. As Anuja Jaiswal finds out, hospitals, too, are ill-equipped to handle an emergency situation of a large scale.


In case of a terrorist strike or a bomb blast, hundreds of UT officials and visitors in the two major buildings — UT Secretariat and the Additional Delux Building in Sector 9 — stand little chance to survive. With no security arrangements in place at the entrance to the two buildings (at the rear), the loss of human life can be enormous. There is adequate security present inside the buildings though. The UT Secretariat has offices of senior UT functionaries, including Adviser to the UT Administrator, the Home Secretary, the Finance Secretary, and those of the police department, including the IGP, the DIG and the SSP.

ISBTs-17 & 43

The security scenario at two inter-state bus terminuses (ISBTs) in Sectors 43 and 17, is really grim. Security arragments are inadequate due to the poor technology backup of CCTV cameras and scanners. The respective police posts at both terminuses run without access to CCTV cameras, making it virtually impossible for the police to keep an eye on hundreds of commuters at one time.

“Random frisking of commuters is not an effective way of preventing a terror attack,” a policeman says. Sixteen policemen at the ISBT-17 and 25 at ISBT-43 manage security in the adjoining areas beyond the terminus limits.

Authorities have also hired a private security agency for the ISBT-43, which is a mere formality. “Nobody allows them to check their luggage. They are effective only in shooing rickshaw pullers from the entry gates,” a CTU official says.


In spite of CCTV cameras at the Chandigarh railway station, virtually-open entry points from both ends (Chandigarh and Panchkula) make the place among the most vulnerable in the category of crowded public places. At least 18 trains, including Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, Garib Rath and Duronto, run from the station. Security staff is not visible at the main gate of the station, either on the Chandigarh side or the Panchkula side. With the station accessible from all sides, it is a soft target for anti-social elements.


City’s most crowded markets in the city, including Shastri Market, Sector 22, and Sadar Bazaar, Sector 19, have non-existing security systems in place for any emergency.

The Sector-19 market has 432 shops, while 322 shops are located in the Sector-22 market. The narrow setting of the two markets makes these virtual death traps in the wake of an eventuality. The security scenario is no better in grain market in Sector 26, rehri markets and other marketplaces across the city.

District courts

Skeleton security staff man the entry gate to the Mohali district courts. After yesterday’s statement by a Chandigarh-based lawyer about the poor security arrangements at the district courts, the Mohali police deployed additional force outside the courts premises today. However, the security arrangements are in name only. Barring two policemen and a metal detector at the gate, visitors continued to gain access without being frisked.

Harjinder Singh, general secretary, District Bar Association (DBA), says the issue of security at the courts has been raised with the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Mohali. The DBA has also demanded the installation of CCTV cameras both inside and outside the courts complex.

The ISBT, Sector 17, can be accessed freely from all sides; Visitors go unchecked through the metal detector at the district courts in Sector 17; A man emerges from the unguarded district courts complex in Phase 3BI, Mohali; Empty chairs meant for policemen who man the entrance to the Mini-Secretariat in Sector 9; There is no check on the movement of visitors to the Police Headquarters, Sector 9.
Clockwise from top: The ISBT, Sector 17, can be accessed freely from all sides; Visitors go unchecked through the metal detector at the district courts in Sector 17; A man emerges from the unguarded district courts complex in Phase 3BI, Mohali; Empty chairs meant for policemen who man the entrance to the Mini-Secretariat in Sector 9; There is no check on the movement of visitors to the Police Headquarters, Sector 9. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan (Chandigarh), Vicky Gharu (Mohali)

Top hospitals ill-equipped to handle exigency

Though Chandigarh has had its tryst with terror during the heyday of terrorism in Punjab, no lessons seem to have been learnt, as medical emergency services appear grossly ill-equipped in handling situations arising out of a major terror strike.

In the event of a major bomb blast, emergency services will struggle to cope with the inflow of a large number of patients to the three primary hospitals — PGI, GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 — for emergency care. It is not hard to visualise this, as these hospitals already receive trauma and emergency cases three to four times their capacity on any given day.

Being the region’s premier hospital, the PGI’s emergency has a bed strength of 115 to 120. However, it receives over 300 patients every day. Similarly, the GMSH-16 has 30 beds in the emergency ward but it’s occupancy is 110 to 115 per day.

The GMCH-32 seems worse of the lot, as its has 34 beds and 24 fixed trolleys in the emergency ward. However, its occupancy rate is almost six times, receiving an average of 300 patients.

In most bomb blasts, apart from splinters, major injuries are caused due to burns. Though both the GMSH-16 and the GMCH-32 have six and 12-bed specialised burn units, respectively, they lack specialists to deal with such cases.

“Burn injuries need surgery, which only a burns specialist and plastic surgeon can perform. We lack a specialist, a general surgeon and resident doctors to manage such cases,” says a senior doctor at the GMCH-32. However, GMSH-16 has 10 separate disaster units that can be put to use in emergency situations.

The PGI does not have a separate disaster ward but according to the hospital’s spokesperson, Manju Wadwalkar, they can convert the waiting area into a disaster ward in case of an emergency. “How this conversion or logistics will work is anybody’s guess, as this hasn’t been tried yet,” admit insiders.

“Security is a big concern as hospitals don’t have sufficient guards to man the premises. Checking every person is impossible. There are no metal detectors at the hospitals,” says a senior doctor.

Though the PGI has 493 security staff, they aren’t enough for its new centres. While the government hospitals in Sectors 16 and 32 have CCTV cameras, the PGI lacks them.



Unlivable accommodation drives runaway couple out
Were offered smelly toilets, stained bedsheets, no water
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 8
Inhuman living conditions in the protection home for runaway couples at the Police Lines, here, have forced a runaway couple to abandon the secure quarters.

The newlywed couple said it was impossible to live in “bad rooms having dirty toilets and bedsheets, and no drinking water”. To make matters worse, they were not even getting their meals on time.

The couple today filed a simple application for withdrawal of security at the district courts, which was granted.

Interestingly, the protection home was famous for providing VIP facilities to runaway couples till last year. The police subsequently downgraded the facilities to basic after runaway couple tended to “overstay and enjoy the five-star facilities”.

Dinesh Rai and Anshu, the newlywed couple, in their complaint submitted to the legal aid counsel, Manvir Rathi, said it was not possible for them to live there.

“A normal human cannot stay there,” the couple contended. The state of the facility can be gauged from the fact that the couple had shifted there only on September 5.

They complained that there was no provision to bolt the door of the room from the inside.

Also, there was no arrangement for storing water and freshwater was available only for two hours in a day.

The couple also complained that the room and the toilet were so filthy that it was difficult to even breathe normally there. The bedsheets were stained and smelly.

They complained that the authorities provided breakfast at 11 am and the next meal was served only after 8 pm.

The newlyweds are a peeved lot in the absence of personnel or authority to listen to their grievance.

Manvir Rathi, who is part of a five-member committee to look into the security of runaway couples, said he had received the complaint and would apprise the Punjab and Haryana High Court of the situation.

Panchkula SP Maneesh Chaudhary said the rooms being provided to the runaway couple were the same as those where a number of police officers’ families had been staying at the Police Lines.

He added that they couldn’t provide five-star facilities on the state government expenses.



Machines await power to sustain green cover
To water 2,283 acre in 41 sectors
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Due to the lackadaisical attitude of the UT electricity department, the second phase of the tertiary treated (TT) water project has been hanging fire for the past five months.

Sources in the corporation say the first reservoir of the second phase has been set up in Sector 29 but due to the non-availability of a power connection, it has not been made operational so far.

Records with the corporation suggest that around five months ago, the corporation had applied for a power connection for the tertiary treated (TT) water project to initiate trial runs during summer. However, the UT administration failed to issued the connection.

A senior official says machines have been installed in Sector 29 to pump water from the reservoir, for distribution in the tertiary treated water pipelines.

After the request for a power connection, an official of the electricity department visited the site and made some observations. Official says they have made the requisite changes as suggested by the electricity department but the connection is yet to be issued.

As per the MC report, once implemented, the project will save at least 20 MGD (million gallon) potable water per day, cutting costs by Rs 40 crore.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda says a number of reminders have been sent to the UT electricity department on the issue. On his intervention, the authorities have assured of issuing a power connection for the project by next week, he adds.

A senior official says under the project, green area spanning 2,283 acres falling in Sectors 14 to 56, barring Sector 26, will be provided with tertiary treated water for irrigation.

Also, green area in one kanal and above houses, spread over 370 acres, in various sectors of the city will be covered under the project.

The current demand for irrigation of green area in the city is around 20 MGD. However, only 7 MGD TT water is being utilised against the availability of 10 MGD from the first TT water project.

In the remaining parts of the city, drinking water is being utilised for irrigating the green areas.

Big money-saver

y Once implemented, the project will save at least 20 MGD (million gallon) potable water per day, cutting costs of generation by Rs 40 crore pool to beat the heat. The security guard posted near the pool, Ravinder Singh, was at the adjoining table tennis centre when the incident occurred. He came to know of the incident only when a police party knocked at his door.

Total green space to be covered

Sectors Area

Sec 14 to 56 (barring Sec 26) 2,283 acre

Houses (21 sectors) Green Area Total area

4061 (1 kanal) 220 sq yd 8,93,420 sq yd

1443 (2 kanal) 500 sq yd 7,21,500 sq yd

229 (3 Kanal) 780 sq yd 1,78,620 sq yd



Remove hoardings along NHs: DC
Rajiv Bhatia

Mohali, September 8
The Mohali Deputy Commissioner today told officials of the Mohali municipal corporation, municipal councils in the district and the PWD to remove hoardings along national highways.

In a meeting, DC Varun Roojam stated that a drive would be started to remove hoardings and posters from highways and other roads on directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

He said he had received information that hoardings of politicians had been put on highways and posters pasted on walls and poles.

He told NHAI officials at Zirakpur to ensure that traffic lights there were functional. He also directed traffic officials to mark zebra crossings near traffic lights.

The Deputy Commissioner told GMADA officials to remove ‘rehriwalas’ from the Balongi-Kharar stretch.

He discussed the accident-prone T-point at Khanpur, near Kharar. He told PWD officials to make a solution plan. The officials said the plan was ready and work would be started soon.

Within town?

The district administration was silent on hoardings and banners within town limits, put up without the permission of the corporation. These were risky for motorists.



800 join traffic alert service in 24 hours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Within 24 hours of its launch, over 800 city residents subscribed to the traffic SMS alert service. The service was launched amid much fanfare at
the Traffic Police Lines yesterday.

The SMS service is a step towards minimising the ever-increasing traffic jams on city roads.

The SMS service will help commuters get traffic updates on their mobile phones at regular intervals throughout the day.

Over 10 text messages were sent to the subscribers today, informing them about the snarl-ups and giving advice on road safety rules.



Cabinet panel brings down rate of compensation
Okays Rs 1.5 cr per acre for Medicity
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 8
The Cabinet sub-committee on land acquisition has approved Rs 1.5 crore per acre as the land compensation rate for the 125 acres being acquired by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for the Medicity project at Mullanpur.

The sub-committee did not go by the recommendation of Rs 1.8 crore per acre, forwarded by the district land fixation committee to the state government. The land for the project was located at a short distance from the PGI in Chandigarh.

Opposing the rate recommended by the district committee, GMADA officials stated that land compensation of Rs 1.3 crore per acre was offered to landowners for the 400 acres being acquired for phase I of the Mullanpur Urban Estate.

GMADA sources said the government was keen on developing the Medicity and Phase II of the Mullanpur Urban Estate, but it was keen on offering a land pooling scheme to landowners instead of land compensation.

So far, the highest compensation, of Rs 1.5 crore per acre, had been paid to those whose land had been acquired for the Aerocity project.

The Cabinet sub-committee also recommended a compensation of Rs 1.69 crore per acre for the land being acquired for the IT City project.



Hardly any amenities here
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

An electricity pole within the boundary wall of a house, with wires dangling dangerously
An electricity pole within the boundary wall of a house, with wires dangling dangerously. Tribune photos: nitin mittal

A damaged and pothled road stretch at Sector 15 in Panchkula. Tribune photos: nitin mittal

Panchkula, September 8
Residents of Sector 15, the area represented by former municipal council president Ravinder Rawal, seem to be living in hell when it comes to the condition of roads, HUDA-managed community centre, electricity and garbage dumping.

The community centre provided by HUDA has failed to serve its purpose as no maintenance work has been done here for a long time.

The boundary wall is damaged and the kitchen is a shambles. Despite many requests to HUDA officials, nothing has been done, says Soni Sharma.

The problem of dangling wires has been tackled at the EWS Colony in the sector, says Rawal. These have been replaced with underground cables by the UHBVN.

There was a proposal to replace concrete with bitumen as these roads were easy to repair. But there is no municipal council and the proposal is with the corporation. The problem of dangling wires will be tackled with the help of local MP Selja.~
 —Ravinder Rawal, former MC president

Roads to the housing board accommodation in the sector were laid with concrete in place of bitumen six years ago. Since then, no repair work has been done. These roads are full of potholes now, making the life of local residents miserable.
— Umesh Gupta, Local Resident

Dangling electricity wires have been posing a risk to lives of residents. While we have extended courtyards for parking vehicles, constructed area is just below the wires. The construction is need-based.
— Ram Dhari, Local Resident

Officials of the municipal corporation and HUDA are in deep slumber as far as our problems are concerned.
— Saroj Garg, Local Resident

Officials have made us feel helpless as none of our requests are heeded to.
— KP Walia, Local Resident



Theft on Sept 5, no FIR yet
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 8
Contrary to the claims of the Mohali police of registering cases on the receipt of a complaint, a resident of Sector 69 here has been running from pillar to post to get an FIR of theft registered.

The incident took place on September 5 and the complainant had been making the rounds of the Phase-8 police station ever since to pursue his case.

Istinderjit Singh of Sector 69 said the station house officer of the police station and the investigating officer visited their house after the matter was reported.

He said Rs 2 lakh, a camera and some valuables were stolen. “We have named painters engaged by us as the prime suspects, but the police have not been able to probe the matter,” he stated.

Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar said he had already passed instructions to all officials to register cases. “The needful will be done,” he claimed.



EO staff seal Voodoo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The UT estate office sealed Voodoo, a discotheque-cum-restaurant, in Sector 26 for misuse of premises under the Chandigarh estate rules here today.

A team of the estate office reached the discotheque around 9 am and sealed the basement of SCO No. 27 where the disco was being run without the permission of the authorities.

A senior official of the department said the discotheque had been served notice since 2008 but had failed to remove the violations. “Today, we sealed the premises and levied the charges that run into crores of rupees,” said the official.

Two days ago, the department had sealed two sites — Animals Kingdom in Sector 26; and plot No. 7 in Industrial Area, Phase II — for similar violations.

The pet shop had been set up on the first floor of SCO No. 8 in Sector 26 against the rules, while a portion of a plot in Industrial Area was being used as a hardware shop.



Blood donation at Tribune

Chandigarh, September 8
To mark the 113th death anniversary of Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, founder of The Tribune, a blood donation camp will be organised on the office premises here tomorrow.

A team of doctors from the PGI will hold the camp, which will begin at 9.30 am. This is the 37th blood donation camp being held by The Tribune Employees’ Union. tns



Protocol on academics not being followed: PUTA
‘Erosion’ of head’s authority by PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Taking a cue from the complaint of School of Communication Studies (SCS) chairperson Archana Singh, the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) today condemned the withering authority of the department’s chairperson and mandate of various statutory department committees due to alleged unwarranted and unjustified interference of the university authorities.

The SCS chairperson had offered to relinquish her charge citing persistent interference of “non-subject experts” in the department and cancellation of board of studies (BOS) meeting without being taken into confidence as key reasons. Members of the board of studies, however, have stated that all of them have got credible experience in the field of journalism and mass communication and nobody is an outsider.

Reacting to the same, PUTA in an official statement issued today claimed that rules of seniority, protocol of academics and other established conventions of the university system are being regularly flouted, forcing many teachers to either abstain from administrative work or resign from committees.

Questioning the authority of the Deputy Registrar to cancel a meeting without taking the board’s convener into confidence and that, too, on the behest of only one member who happens to be Senator, PUTA has urged the Vice-Chancellor to take a serious action against the Deputy Registrar.

“If a teacher would have done so then he would have been humiliated in full public then why spare others? Senator Gurmeet Singh is not more important than the academic needs of students or authority of the current chairperson,” said a PUTA member.



40 pc schoolchildren undernourished
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Despite being listed amongst the best centres in midday meal scheme, over 40 per cent of school students of the UT government schools continue to be malnourished, while 12 per cent are still anaemic.

The status gets perturbing given to the fact that the city boasts of being amongst the top 10 cities with highest per capita income. Though many might raise an eyebrow, education department officials consider it as the success of midday meal scheme, as the figure stood at 59.13 per cent in 2008-09 and 45.02 per cent in 2009-10. The incidence of anaemia has also shown downward trend at 12.39 per cent in 2010-11, as compared to 16.12 per cent in 2009-10.

The department is currently giving de-worming tablets to all students. Health cards, which include health history and other health parameter, along with photograph of a student has been issued to all students.

“It’s still a long way to go, but reduction in percentage certifies that we are on the right track. We have been particular about midday meals being given in schools, be it menu or provision of a balanced diet. The department is mulling over getting schools to make their own midday meals as per the requirements of children, but modalities are yet to be worked out,” said DPI (S) Sandeep Hans.

“Malnourishment and anaemia is not just related to lack of proper food but also lack of balanced diet, which is prominent amongst the junk food loving generation. We are keeping a close tab on the health of all school students and are working out meal menus to meet their individual health needs. The department has also given iron supplements to many,” said a SSA official.



Registrar selection: PU forms panel for inquiry
Irregularities alleged in interview process
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
After the Controller of Examinations, it is now the recent Syndicate approved appointment of Panjab University Registrar, which seems to have hit troubled waters.

The university has constituted a four-member committee to look into the alleged irregularities in the interview process. While sources say the “action” follows a communication from the Chancellor’s office, officials deny it and say they are acting on the complaint of one of the applicants, Dr Kulbir Singh Dhillon, Dean Student Welfare of Punjabi University, Patiala.

Dr Kulbir in his complaint had alleged that while he was one of the shortlisted candidates for the interview of Registrar, he never got an invitation for the same scheduled on August 29. Interestingly, he landed up in the VC office while the interviews were going on, claiming that he had got to know about the date from his sources.

“Dr Kulbir has demanded fresh interviews, as he claims that despite being a worthy candidate, he was never invited to allegedly adjust the university’s favourite candidate, AK Bhandari. Officials concerned, on the other hand, claim that he was not just informed telephonically about the interview date but also sent an invitation. The varsity officials claim that they tried to resolve the issue on the very day by allowing him to appear for the interview, but he refused to do so, demanding rescheduling of the same. We will summon both parties with supporting evidences and then decide further,” said a committee member on the condition of anonymity.

GK Chatrath has been appointed as the chairperson of this committee, while Rabindernath Sharma, Naval Kishore and AS Ahluwalia are other members.



‘Technical education in demand’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research (NITTTR), Sector 26, celebrated its 44th annual day here today.

Prof MK Surappa, director, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar, said technical education in the country was experiencing a huge expansion and as a result, the technical education was posing great challenges to the country. He expressed his concern about increasing unemployment and underemployment among technically trained manpower in the country.

The institute also presented the best polytechnic awards to the deserving polytechnics from the northern region, including Chand Polytechnic College, Jalandhar; Government Polytechnic, Kangra; and Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology.



Geology dept head seeks PUTA intervention
Asks body to urge Dr Naval Kishore to withdraw application for post of dean colleges
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, September 8
In what has raised many eyebrows, Prof Gurtek Singh Gill, chairperson, department of geology, has urged the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) to intervene and urge Dr Naval Kishore to withdraw his application for the post of dean colleges, as it will be depriving the department of an expert of groundwater, one of our thrust areas in the centre of advanced studies (CAS).

“The geology department, which has been elevated as the centre of advanced study in geology suffered the blows of losing distinguished experts in structural geology and palaeontology either due to retirement or arbitrary decisions of the university high ups to transfer or shift experts to other centres without the consent of chairman or faculty. Now when the geology faculty, which is reduced to one-third of its sanctioned strength of 24, Prof Naval Kishore has applied for the post of dean colleges and according to rumours is bound to get it. He is presently guiding a score of students on hydrogeology and has a number of research projects with him. I request all well wishers to request or advise Dr Naval to withdraw his application for the post in the larger interest of the students, geosciences and university,” read the letter.

Claiming it to be funny, a close associate of Dr Naval said, “He has been a warden since 1999 and was a Dean Student Welfare from 2001 to 2006. Where was the academic interest of students then? He has always discharged his academic duties, along with the administrative positions held. He is currently the acting DCDC and still taking classes, so what is perturbing the department?”



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