C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Femmes fatales flourish
Two women rob jeweller of ornaments worth Rs 8 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Two unidentified women allegedly defrauded a jeweller at Sector 22 here of gold ornaments worth Rs 8 lakh today. Paramjeet Singh, the jeweller, reported to the police that the two women came in a car and purchased the jewellery.

The two then told him that they would hand over the money to him at their residence and he could come with them to collect the money.

The two fled with the ornaments when they stopped at a gurdwara in Kharar on the pretext of paying obeisance there with the jewellery. The police was taking the entire incident with a pinch of salt.

Paramjeet told the police that he accompanied them to collect money. The two first went to Mohali and told him there that they needed to pay obeisance at a gurdwara.

As the women went inside the gurdwara, the jeweller kept waiting. After some time, he found that the two had left through the rear of the gurdwara. The incident took place on September 3.

Paramjeet told the police that the jewellery was packed in a red bag and he handed over the bag to the

women when he was parking his car at the parking lot near the gurdwara. The police registered a case of cheating and criminal breach of trust under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC at the Sector-17 police station.

Sub-inspector Rajiv Kumar, in charge of the Sector-22 police post, said the statement of the jeweller appeared doubtful. “We have registered a case and are investigating. The statement of the jeweller will be recorded again as we have our doubts,” he said.



Woman ‘IAS officer’, aide held for Rs 45-lakh fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The Palampur police today arrested a woman from Sector 37 here for impersonating as an IAS officer. Pooja Sharma and her partner Mohit Sharma were arrested and booked under Sections 468, 471 and 120 of the IPC.

They were in the dock for preparing forged documents for the sale of a piece of land at Palampur in Himachal Pradesh. The police said Pooja had posed as an IAS officer and cheated Dr Rajiv Bedi of Mohali and SK Bedi of Chandigarh.

She had reportedly taken away Rs 45 lakh from them after giving them forged land documents. Dr Rajiv Bedi and SK Bedi had approached the police and filed a complaint against Pooja and her three accomplices.

Pooja’s track record revealed that she had also cheated a number of persons in Una district, claimed the police. She also owned a Ford Ikon car, with a red beacon atop, making others believe that she was an IAS officer.

UT cops not in the loop

The SHO of the Sector-39 police station, inspector Charanjeet Singh, said they were unaware of any arrests by the Himachal Pradesh Police.



GMADA bows to VIP resident
Develops green belt that can turn others green with envy
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

A park at Sector 80 in a pathetic condition
A park at Sector 80 in a pathetic condition. tribune photo: vicky gharu

Mohali, September 9
When it comes to getting access to basic amenities around your dream house, it matters to be a VIP here.

In a classic example of favouring a VIP, the civil wing of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has gone out of the way to develop a green belt in front of the Sector-78 house of an official attached with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Just few metres away, the condition of other green belts in the sector is pathetic as wild growth and stray cattle abound.

It is not Sector 78 alone, several representations of residents of Sectors 76 to 80 regarding the poor condition of green belts are pending with GMADA. In the previous two years, a number of houses have been constructed in Sectors 76 to 80. Barring the green belt in front of house 109 at Sector 78, the condition of other green belts and parks remains pathetic.

Surjeet Singh of Sector 79 says buffaloes roam all around and stinking rainwater stagnates in the green belts, with wild growth giving shelter to insects and reptiles. Sources in GMADA reveal that to favour the VIP, benches and play equipment have been installed and a walkway laid all at a cost of few lakes.

The facilities have been provided in a matter of days, but not a penny has been spent on other green belts. There are around 80 green belts and parks in these five sectors crying for attention.

GMADA’s Superintending Engineer NS Kahlon has said the park has not been developed during his tenure. Work to develop other green belts will be allotted soon, he has added.



Solving heinous crimes? SIT is the cops’ answer!
Panchkula police has set up six teams so far, but none have been successful in cracking cases
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 9
The Panchkula police seems to taken a penchant for constituting special investigation teams (SITs) on unsolved cases. Six SITs have been formed in the recent past to uncover heinous cases of crime, but all have remained undetected.

In an important development, showcasing the inadequacy of SITs in the kidnapping case of Panchkula-based realtor Deepak Rai Sagar, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has handed over the probe to the CBI.

The Panchkula police had constituted an SIT in the credit card cloning cases, in which a number of Panchkula residents had lost more than Rs 40 lakh to fraudsters.

An SIT was also formed in the case of murder of a Berkeley Automobiles security guard and the subsequent robbery of Rs 14.5 lakh.

Others were set up in the cases of kidnapping of two-year-old Jiya and one-and-a-half-year-old Arnav. In both cases, the abductors released them after taking huge sums from the parents, but the police failed to nab the kidnappers.

In the double murder case of Panchkula-based financier Vinod Mittal and his son Yashan, in which the accused had thrown the bodies in the Rajpura canal, the police had formed an

SIT. Four of the accused were arrested, but the main accused, Raju and Shilpa, were still at large. Sources said top officials formed SITs to crack cases, but during investigation, police officials who were part of the SITs would be transferred, hampering the probe.

The sources added that in most cases, circumstantial evidence had been lost and it was not possible to reconstruct the crime scene and collect vital samples from the spot.

Panchkula Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary said it would be wrong to suggest that SITs had failed to crack cases. He added that in the double murder case, the police had arrested a majority of the accused and only the main accused were at large.

Regarding the status of the other cases, he stated that they were still investigating the cases and had not closed the probe in any of those.

Cases concerned

  • Berkeley murder-and-loot case: Formed in January, 2011, but to no avail
  • Credit card cloning case: Constituted under DSP (Crime) Ram Chandar Rathi on November 24, 2010
  • Arnav kidnapping case: Formed in October, 2010, but did not succeed
  • Deepak Rai Sagar kidnapping case: Set up in November, 2009, but case transferred to CBI
  • Jiya kidnapping case: Constituted on October 25, 2009, but no breakthrough
  • Vinod and Yashan Mittal murder case: Set up in March, 2009; police held four accused, main accused at large

What is SIT?

A special investigation team involves experts who focus on a specific case. No time limit is given to them to catch the culprits. The cases they deal with can be those involving murder, robbery, kidnapping or crimes that involve a large number of suspects. The SIT head reports directly to the Superintendent of Police in the district.



missing children
Snehalaya staff caught napping
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Even as an increased number of children have gone missing from Snehalaya in the recent past, taking the total count of missing children to 10, the authorities of the home are not even aware of the exact dates when the children have fled the institute.

Reflecting the lackadaisical attitude of the Snehalaya authorities, the revelation that as many as five children are missing came to light only during an internal inquiry, when the children were counted two days ago. The authorities are ignorant as to when the children fled.

Investigations into the FIR of the missing children, lodged at the Sector-39 police station, revealed that the five children, all between 10 and 15 years of age, managed to escape from the institute in the previous between three and four months.

The authorities were in deep slumber and informed the police only after a prolonged delay. The UT police now questioned the authorities, asking them to identify the person responsible for the lapses as part of the probe.

The police was now maintaining a record of the exact number of students currently staying at the institute. It is home to 266 children, of which 119 are girls.


Rain bares ill-preparedness, spells chaos on roads
Tribune Reporters

(Clockwise from top) Vehicles caught in a traffic jam following heavy rain at the Tribune Chowk, Chandigarh; Two-wheeler riders negotiate a waterlogged road in Industrial Area, Phase I, Panchkula; A car splashes through a flooded road in Model Town, Patiala; A JCB being used to repair a damaged portion of a road at the Sector 27-19 rotary, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan (Chandigarh), S Chandan (Panchkula), Vicky Gharu (Mohali), Rajesh Sachar (Patiala)

Chandigarh, September 9
Normal life was thrown out of gear after heavy rain lashed the city and the adjoining areas of Mohali and Panchkula during the past 20 hours.

Tricity residents woke up to flooded roads as office-goers and schoolchildren got stuck in snarl-ups in the morning hours, resulting in thin attendance at schools.

Most commercial areas of the city and Mohali faced waterlogging, badly affecting business activity for a major part of the day.

Reports of snarl-ups due to falling of trees and disruption of power supply due to snapping of power lines were also received.

The Chandigarh traffic police sent SMS alerts to motorists, informing them of the snarl-ups across the city.

Met officials said 66.1 mm rainfall was registered till 8.30 am on Friday, following which the intensity of rain declined. In the next nine hours, till 5.30 pm on Friday, only 39.4 mm rainfall was recorded.

The downpour saw knee-deep water on roads, exposing the claims of the Chandigarh municipal corporation of having cleared road gullies.

At 9.30 am, commuters, especially office-goers, using the road separating Sectors 18 and 19 remained stuck in a traffic jam after a tree fell on the road. It took some time to clear the area. Similarly, a cave-in near Victoria Enclave in Sector 50 led to a traffic jam on the road.

The police remained busy clearing traffic at the iron market and grain market roundabouts as well as the Chandigarh-Panchkula road where long queues of vehicles were seen in the morning hours.

The rain also delayed the arrival of the New Delhi-Chandigarh morning Shatabdi. The train, scheduled to arrive at 11.05 am, reached around 11.30 am. Similarly, the Unchahar Express was late by over six hours, arriving at 4 pm instead 9.55 am.

Business hit in Mohali

A motorist has to turn around as a road is blocked by a fallen tree at Phase V, Mohali
A motorist has to turn around as a road is blocked by a fallen tree at Phase V, Mohali

The situation was equally bad in the town, as it took a long time for the water to recede. Most road gullies were choked in the town.

Exposing the lack of preparedness on part of the local municipal corporation, pot-holed roads tested the patience of motorists.

The worst affected was the commercial street passing through Phases III, IV, V and VII as the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had dug up the road for widening.

The work has been going on at snail’s pace, causing inconvenience to road users. The parking areas in commercial areas of Phases 3B2, V and VII remained inundated, affecting the business of shopkeepers.

Employees at work even as the tehsil office is inundated at Mohali
Employees at work even as the tehsil office is inundated at Mohali

XEN (public health) HS Dhammi said no reports of inundation of houses were received.

Bhola, a shopkeeper in Phase-V market, said there was mud and slush all over, as roads had been dug up. Shopkeepers of the Sector-70 market protested as the market could not be accessed due to the poor condition of roads.

Traffic remained blocked on the road separating Phases IV and V after a tree fell on the road.

MLA Kharar Blabir Singh Sidhu sought an inquiry into the choked stormwater system across the town.

Zirakpur shops inundated

Incessant rain affected normal life as residents and commuters faced tough time due to flooding of roads.

A traffic jam was witnessed on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway this morning. The traffic police had to work hard to clear the jam.

Rainwater also accumulated on the internal roads of Baltana, Pabhat godown and surrounding areas.

The Zirakpur-Patiala highway remained flooded in the absence of the drainage system on the highway.

Rainwater entered shops near Lucky Dhaba. Shopkeepers alleged that the council had failed to mitigate their grievances despite repeated complaints.

Patiala under water

Heavy rain since last night bared the tall claims of the local municipal corporation authorities of making adequate arrangements to tackle flooding.

The areas worst hit by rain were Anardana Chowk, Arna-Barna Chowk, Kashmiri Toba, Lehal Colony, Model Town, Ragho Majra, Topkhana Mod, Mathura Colony, bus station and the Tripri area.

The scheduled weekly vegetable markets had to be shifted, while schoolchildren faced problems going to school. Waterlogging in the busy city markets kept shopkeepers busy clearing water using pumps. However, intermittent rain made their job all the more difficult.

“I cleared water outside my shop in the morning but another spell of rain in the afternoon brought things back to square one,” said Jaswant Singh, who runs a repair shop in Adalat Bazaar.

“The entire city was inundated. Those living in low-lying areas are the worst hit. Many areas in the interior of the city have turned into virtual pools,” said Rashmi, a housewife.

The condition outside the railway and bus stations was abysmal, with roads submerged in several feet of water, causing problems in the smooth flow of traffic.

Residents of Charan Bagh and Model Town had to face a flood-like situation throughout the day. “The government should see our plight. It is impossible to even step out of the house. In spite of assurances, nothing has ever been done to mitigate our suffering,” they rued.

Sher-e-Punjab Market, Charan Bagh, Lehal Colony, Sewak Colony, Sirhindi Bazaar and other areas were also badly affected by rain.



Garbage dumps hallmark of Phase VII
Kulwinder Sangha

residents speak

Mohali, September 9
Shortage of space for parking of vehicles, unreliable streetlights, broken footpaths, parking areas, improper sanitation and wild growth in vacant spaces are the hallmarks of Phase VII here.

Residents of the area are not happy with the state of sanitation. Some areas have become permanent garbage-dumping points. Unhygienic conditions prevail at the back of the market, near St Soldier School, where garbage is dumped and a foul smell emanates from there. Stray cattle are seen feeding on them. Garbage is also dumped at the back of marla houses on the sector dividing road and in the vacant area near the Punjabi University library.

Phool Raj Singh, former municipal councillor, said that complaints were received from residents regarding poor sanitation. But residents were also responsible to some extent as they dumped garden waste in greenbelts, on footpaths and on the roadside. “They do not cooperate in keeping the area clean”, he said. He demanded that a vacant area near 16-marla houses should be developed for the welfare of residents as a tubewell sunk there had become non-functional.

Footpaths along the main road passing through Phase VII are in a state of neglect. They are not only broken but are also full of wild growth. In many areas, water collects on the roads during rains. Roads are also broken in some parts of the phase.

Loose electricity wires hanging in Phase VII. Encroachments in the backyard of Phase VII market in Mohali. Garbage strewn near St Soldier School in Phase VII Damaged road in Phase VII.
(Extreme left) Loose electricity wires hanging in Phase VII; (top right) Encroachments in the backyard of Phase VII market in Mohali; (centre) Garbage strewn near St Soldier School in Phase VII; (below right) Damaged road in Phase VII.



PCR helpline in P’kula dead for past two days
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 9
The woes of residents seem to have no end as far as the police control room emergency phone number 100 is concerned, with the helpline being unoperational since Thursday.

A Sector 9 resident had to take the help of her neighbour, a retired police official to call the cops when she found a theft had been committed at her home and no one at the police control room (PCR) responded to her phone calls.

“When I returned home from my shop in Chandigarh at about 8:30 pm I noticed the lock on entrance had been broken,” said Veena. “When I tried to open the door I found it bolted from inside. I then called up the police control room helpline at 100 but to nobody picked up the phone despite several attempts”.

A retired cop staying in the neighbourhood came to her rescue and contacted the local police. “Two digital cameras and four wristwatches were among the valuables missing from my home”, said Veena.

This was not the first time no one had responded to distress calls on the emergency police number - the helpline did not work on August 7 as well.

When contacted, Panchkula superintendent of police Manish Chaudhary said: “BSNL officials have already been informed about the problem and the emergency number will be functional tomorrow”.



delhi blast
Patil directs admn to step up security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil presided over a meeting of senior police and civil officers to review security preparedness of important offices, establishments and VIPs today. Issuing strict guidelines on securing all important government buildings, public places and VIP areas in the city, Patil said special focus should be laid on the Punjab and Haryana Assembly, the Secretariat and the Punjab and Haryana High Court along with other places like district courts, airport, railway station and bus stations.

Patil asked the officials to update the procedures and security related equipment in view of the changing threat perceptions. He said the administration should launch a campaign to secure other important places like hotels, schools, colleges, hospitals and Panjab University.


Firefighters douse a blaze at an ATM in Sector 23, Chandigarh, on Friday
Firefighters douse a blaze at an ATM in Sector 23, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Fire damages ATM

Chandigarh, September 9
Short-circuit led to a fire at an ATM of the Union Bank of India, located in booth No. 9, Sector 23, this evening.

As per the fire department, the false ceiling and woodwork caught fire, causing minor damage to the ATM lying in the booth.

Fire officials said two fire tenders were dispatched to the scene after receiving a call from a shopkeeper.

The official said the fire was brought under control within half an hour. tns



Tricity scan

153 units of blood collected

As many as 153 units of blood were collected during a blood donation camp organised by the Life Insurance Corporation to mark its 55th anniversary here on Wednesday. The camp was organised with the assistance of the department of blood transfusion, PGI. An official release stated that employees, officials and agents of the LIC’s divisional office and local branches of the tricity donated blood on Wednesday.


As part of Nutrition Week Celebrations, the department of dietetics, PGI, organised a two-day exhibition on “Obesity- the root cause of all diseases” which started on Wednesday at the new OPD block. Prof V Sakhuja, Director of the institute, inaugurated the exhibition. Experts said Punjab had maximum cases of obesity as compared to other states of India.

Anti-encroachment drive

In an anti-encroachment drive, the enforcement wing of municipal corporation lifted 11 dumped vehicles from the motor market in Sector 28 recently. Eleven challans were issued to defaulters. The drive was carried out under the supervision of Additional Commissioner II Lalit Siwach and assisted by enforcement inspector Kashmira Singh, along with the supporting staff of enforcement wing.

Cut fruits destroyed

In a special medical health office drive, cut fruits weighing approximately 65kg, two crates of aerated water bottles, 25kg tikki and samosa, 30kg sugarcane juice and three slabs of ice were seized and destroyed by the enforcement staff on Wednesday. A fine of Rs 500 each was levied on defaulters as per provisions of the Prevention of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. The drive was conducted at Hallo Majra village and various parts of Mani Majra.

Theatre fest

The department of cultural affairs, Chandigarh administration, and Tagore Theatre Society have teamed up to bring the best of theatrical productions for the Chandigarh Theatre Festival scheduled from September 17 and September 21 at Tagore Theatre. Bollywood actors Paresh Rawal and Yashpal Sharma will make their majestic presence in the festival. The festival will open with Mumbai-based ANK Group’s comedy play “Hai Mera Dil” directed by Dinesh Thakur, while September 18, famous theatre director Rani Balbir Kaur will stage “Bhikhsu Aur Ganika”. Another Mumbai-based theatre group Yatri will present a comedy classic “Hadh Kar De Apne” under the direction of Om Katare. While director Salim Arif’s play Lakeerein will be staged on September 20. The festival will conclude with the play “Kishan V/s Kanhiya” directed by Umesh Shukhla on September 21.

Convener appointed

Saurabh Joshi has been appointed convener of the local unit of Youth Against Corruption (YAC). Sikandar Jeet Singh and Vishav Bharti will be co-conveners of the body. The organisation aims at eradicating corruption. It will hold a car and a bike rally on Saturday which will start from the Sector 34 exhibition ground at 3 pm.

Sampark Centre staff air grievances

The Sampark Centre Employees Union lamented that employees of e-Sampark Centres had not received appointment letters for the past more than 10 months.

Pardeep Kumar Dutt, president, said, “The centres covered at least 18 different departments, including payment of electricity and water bills, taxes, bus passes, senior citizen cards and BSNL telephone bills, besides others.”

Gobind M Rajani, general secretary, said, “The centres were opened in September, 2004, and were managed by a private company till December, 2010. Subsequently, the centres were taken over by the Society for Promotion of IT Consultants. Till date the employees have not received appointment letters.”

Physiotherapy Day observed

“Physiotherapists are now being increasingly recognised,” said Dr Anchal Buddhiraja, team leader, department of physiotherapy, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, while addressing over 100 persons at a special function held at Hotel Chandigarh Beckons on the occasion of World Physiotherapy Day. Applauding some patients who, in a unique fashion show, walked the ramp, Dr Budhiraja said, “According to the World Health Organisation, physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for global mortality, causing 3.2 million deaths annually.”

Sanitation campaigns

Special sanitation campaigns were launched in Colony No 5, Burail, and Faidan village today by the sanitation wing of municipal corporation. Additional 15 safaikaramcharies were deployed in Colony No 5 and Burail, apart from mechanical road sweepers for cleaning streets. Dumper placers and tractor trolleys were also deployed for lifting roadside garbage.

Effigy burnt

The women cell of Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) today burnt an effigy of BJP councillor Anil Dubey at Mauli Jagran for his alleged involvement in illegal activities. A press note stated that the BJP was quick to take political mileage out of every issue with a view to protect the vested interests. The Congress activists took out a rally.

Onam function

Onam will be celebrated with great enthusiasm by the Kerala Samajam, an organisation of Keralites in Chandigarh, at Catholic Church, Sector 19, on Sunday from 10.30 am onwards. Onam is the festival celebrated by all Keralites, irrespective of caste and religion. It is the most popular festival of Kerala and the harvest festival of the state. A cultural programme, including the classical dance ‘Thiruvathirakali’, followed by a feast, will be the main attractions. Married women perform ‘Thiruvathira’ dance this day for the well-being of their husbands and those who are unmarried to get good husbands.

42 stray cattle impounded

The municipal corporation impounded 42 stray cattle from various parts of the city. A three-day drive was carried out in Sectors 35, 46, 47, 48, Mauli Jagran, Vikas Nagar, Ram Darbar, Mani Majra, Colony No 4, Colony No 5 and Dhanas, Maloya and Dadu Majra village.

Installation ceremony

15-year-old Omkar Deshpande was appointed president of the Rotary Interact and Earlyact Club of Shemrock School, Mohali, for 2011-12 during a function held in the school. His team included Anreet Singh Bhamra (treasurer), Shakshi Arora (general secretary). Over 100 students of Shemrock and members of Rotary, Chandigarh, attended the installation ceremony.

World Literacy Day observed

The NSS unit and Rotract Club of Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, Phase II, Mohali, observed World Literacy Day. An interactive session was held on the college campus. Topics like importance of literacy, women empowerment and gender sensitisation were discussed. Students were made to realise that women empowerment was need of the hour and education could play a key role in this process. JS Bedi, chairman, Gian Jyoti Group of Institution, said: “It is high time that women realise the need and relevance of education.” More than 200 volunteers pledged to follow the policy of “Each one teach one”.

Secretary appointed

Dr Jasdeepak Singh Kambala from Mohali has been appointed secretary of the PPCC doctors cell. He has been raising important issues like shortage of drinking water in villages, delay in construction of roads and bridges in rural areas, amendment in periphery act and upgradation of primary schools in villages.

Grandparent’s Day celebrated

Bachpan, a play school, celebrated Grandparent’s Day on Friday with a lot of enthusiasm. The day was observed to nurture the bond between children and their grandparents. A ‘tikka’ ceremony was performed to welcome grandparents. The school was beautifully decorated. Grandparents participated in games.


Azad Singh Rathi has been elected president of the Haryana Pradesh Rice Millers and Dealers Association. — Tribune Reporter



Violation of rules by bus drivers
STA serves notices on six schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Taking a serious note of violations by school bus drivers, the State Transport Authority (STA) has now started issuing notices to the school authorities to comply with the guidelines for plying buses.

Recently, the STA issued notices to six schools for changing bus drivers after it was found that they possessed licences with less than five years of experience.

The STA department has shot off letters to St Joseph Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sectors 33 and 27, Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Sector 40, Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, and Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21.

STA secretary Mahavir Kaushik said the bus drivers of these schools possessed licences with less than five years of experience, which is in violation of guidelines set by the STA.

“As per directions of the Supreme Court, a school bus driver should have at least five years of experience,” said Kaushik.

STA secretary added that schools had been asked to change drivers of buses that had been challaned.

The STA is also going to launch an intensive campaign against in-experienced bus drivers.

“We have decided to ask the school authorities to verify licences of all drivers,” Kaushik added.

The buses were challaned in August following which the schools were issued a circular by the STA to change drivers. 



No end to traffic violations despite State Transport Authority measures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Even after the issuance of fresh guidelines to school bus operators by the UT State Transport Authority (STA), there is not end to traffic violations with at least 62 school buses being challaned and four buses impounded by the authority for various traffic violations in August alone.

Interestingly, the number of challans in July was lower, as 46 challans were issued and seven vehicles impounded.

In August, the UT traffic police along with the STA had organised a seminar for school bus drivers to create awareness about the traffic rules.

In spite of the issuance of 14 fresh guidelines to schools and the Association of School Bus Operators in July and holding of a seminar for bus drivers at the Traffic Lines in Sector 29, there hasn’t been a drop in the number of violations by school bus drivers.

The number of school buses challaned during August is higher than July. While 46 challans were issued in July, the number rose to 62 in August.

An STA official said the issuance of fresh guidelines under the Supreme Court directive and holding of a seminar by the traffic police have had little effect on the attitude of school bus drivers.

Last month, the STA issued 501 challans and impounded 75 vehicles, recovering Rs 10,09,700 as composition fee in the process.

STA secretary Mahavir Kaushik said they were going to start a regular drive to keep a check on violations by school bus drivers.

“We will initiate a concerted drive to curb traffic violations,” he said.



IAF bypasses rules
Converts hangars into sports venues
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, September 9
The Western Air Command and the Central Air Command converted aircraft hangars into sports and social gathering venues at Rs 1.5 crore without obtaining the mandatory government sanction.

Though the re-appropriation of the structures was intended for a limited period without entailing any alteration or additional cost, a board of officers recommended works costing Rs 1.2 crore for creating international-level sports facilities at Bamrauli. This was despite the fact that the station was not authorised international-level sports facilities as per the scales of accommodation for Defence Services.

In another case, a hangar at Adampur was re-appropriated as an indoor basketball and badminton court for which Rs 28 lakh was sanctioned by command headquarters for provisioning of a combi-systhetic court.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out that a combi-synthetic court is not an authorised item of work and its sanction introduced a new practice which resulted in an irregular expenditure. Incidentally, both stations already possessed sports facilities as per the scales and the reappropriations were over and above that authorised.

Stating that the Defence Works Procedure, 2007, stipulates that re-appropriation involving increase in scales or introducing a new practice requires the sanction of the Central Government, the CAG observed that the IAF sanctioned funds for the aforementioned in violation of these orders and created assets of permanent nature that were not authorised. The Defence Ministry has accepted that these works are not authorised as per the existing provisions. It has advised the command headquarters concerned to initiate statement of case for regularisation of the works as special items of work.

The facts

  • The IAF converted aircraft hangars into sports and social gathering venues at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore without obtaining the mandatory government sanction
  • A hangar at Adampur was reappropriated as an indoor basketball and badminton court
  • According to CAG, a combi-synthetic court is not an authorised item of work and its sanction introduced a new practice which resulted in an irregular expenditure
  • Incidentally, both stations already possess sports facilities 



Abduction drama at St John’s
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
High drama prevailed at St John’s School, Sector 26, around 11.30 am today when parents of a Class I student complained to the school authorities that their child was abducted.

Parents were left harried when the boy did not reach home by his usual bus. When they questioned driver of the bus, he could not give any satisfactory answer leaving them apprehensive of their child having been kidnapped. The police was immediately informed by parents. But later it was found that the child had boarded a wrong bus and had slept in it. “We received a call from the hassled parents claiming that their child had apparently been kidnapped from the school. However, he had boarded another bus and slept in it. After dropping all students, the bus driver saw him and called up his parents,” the police added.



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