C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two of a gang held for making fake licences
Used to forge signatures of DSP (Traffic), other officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The vigilance wing of the UT police claimed to have arrested two members of a gang involved in making driving licences by faking the signature of DSP (Traffic) Vijay Kumar.

Out of the two members arrested, one is a typist who ran his business outside the Estate Office in Sector 17 here. A senior official said the accused typist had been identified Ramesh Chand (49), a resident of Sector 22 here. The second accused had been identified as Manvinder Singh of Mani Majra.

Vigilance sleuths have also recovered 28 files based on fake papers that were prepared by the gang members from the office of the Registration and Licencing Authority (RLA), Sector 17. Sources said the files recovered were submitted at the RLA office during the last three working days.

Investigation revealed that the duo had documented more than 200 driving licences by using fake stamps and signatures.

Vigilance Inspector Dalip Rattan said the role of certain police personnel and officials of the RLA-17 was also under scanner. “We are interrogating both accused to establish if cops and RLA employees were also involved in the racket. We have got certain important leads and are hopeful of knowing the whereabouts of their associates very soon,” Rattan said.

He said during the investigation, they had discovered that the accused also used to fake the signatures of Sub-Inspector Sukhdev Singh, in charge, Chandigarh Traffic Park, as part of the process of completing the licence files. “The accused used to run the entire process of getting the files cleared by forging signatures at each step of the documentation process,” he said.

The scrutiny of the recovered files had revealed that the beneficiaries had not appeared for the driving test at the Chandigarh Traffic Park in Sector 23. Their files were found to be having valid serial numbers. Vigilance sources said the accused had reportedly confessed to their involvement in the activity of making fake driving licences. “The accused were operating the racket for the past many years,” the sources added.



CBSE schools barred from screening admissions
Those charging excess fees to face disaffiliation under amended rules
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
In a major development, schools in the city will not be permitted to conduct any screening of applications for admission, particularly those for nursery classes. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) said in a strictly worded circular stated a school flouting the admission norms stood a chance of losing its affiliation to the board.

Taking into account various provisions of the Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, the CBSE has amended the rules on its affiliation and examination bylaws. Incorporating section 13(1) of the Act in its affiliation bylaw rule 11.1, the board has stated: “A school should not subject any child or parent or guardian to any kind of screening procedure prior to admission.”

The move has serious implications because certain privately run schools are known to screen candidates’ applications and grant or refuse admission to “suit their own choice” by involving a cleverly drafted screening process.

Doing away with the screening procedure is seen as a step towards allowing equal educational opportunities and a fair chance to all students seeking admission in schools. It was commonly felt many schools sieved applications for admission which they thought did not suit their management and the procedure had to do a lot with the background of the applicants.

The CBSE has also taken a serious note of differences in fee structures in different schools. As a senior UT education department official remarked, “The fee differences are astronomical”.

The rules clearly say the fees charged by a school should be commensurate with the facilities provided by it. The fees should normally be charged under the heads prescribed by the education department of the state or union territory for schools of various categories. No capitation fee or voluntary donation for securing admission or for any other purpose should be charged or collected in the name of the school.

In case of such malpractices the board may take drastic action, also leading to disaffiliation of the school. In this recent circular, sent to all 11,000 CBSE affiliated schools, the board has asked them to make a note of all the amendments in regulations and "bring the same to the notice of everybody concerned".

Importantly, the CBSE has also included “mental harassment” to the list of punishable harassment of students in a school. Taking rule 17 of the RTE Act into consideration, the existing affiliation bylaw with regard to school teachers and officials, which reads “he/she will be charged with cruelty towards any student or any employee of the school”, has now also added the elements of physical punishment or mental harassment.



Roads linking Mohali villages remain in disrepair
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bhagomajra (Mohali), October 2
Life moves at a snail’s pace in this village located in the periphery of Mohali, thanks to potholed and battered link road connecting the rural belt to over a dozen other villages in the area. It is nearly impossible to even travel short distances between the villages due to the virtually nonexistent road.

Irritated over the failure of public works department’s road division to get the road repaired, the villagers sought information about the funds spent and the repair schedule of the road, which connects Bhago Majra, Bharatpur, Chandiala Sudan, Patran, Soye Majra and several other villages in the belt, and realized the vital link road had not been repaired since 2001.

Bharpur Singh, a former ‘sarpanch’ (head) of Bhagomajra, said the condition of a number of link roads in the belt were in pathetic state. “Since 2001 we’ve seen the Akalis and the Congress party coming to power, but the roads are never repaired”, he noted.

In case of medical emergency the villagers have to take a lengthy detour to get to the nearest hospital. A private operator who runs a bus on the section lamented he had to negotiate endless potholes, which took considerable time, to reach his destination.

Harkesh Chand Sharma, a local leader, said he had been regularly raising the issue of the poor condition of the link roads at meetings of the district grievances committee. “Each time an assurance is given on repairing the roads at the earliest. If the PWD can construct a new road leading to the land owned by an Akali leader in Jhanjheri village, it should also repair the link roads that are lifeline for the villages”, he added.

The villagers have now decided to stage a protest against the indifferent attitude of state government and PWD officials in resolving the pressing problem.



14 hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
Fourteen persons were injured when the Maxi-cab in which they were travelling turned turtle near Pinjore this evening. The accident reportedly took place due to the wet road because of rain in the evening in Pinjore.

The driver of the cab was driving uphill towards Janauli, near Pinjore, when he lost control over the vehicle. The police, with the help of locals, rushed the injured to General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula. The injured were identified as Gurkhia Ram, Bhairon Devi, Preeti, Tekram, Malti Devi, Sewa Ram, Suresh, Soma Devi, Ram Singh, Bhagat Ram, Subhash and Dunichand and two others, all residents of Khoi village.



P’kula admn fails to rein in property dealers
Enforcing ‘Regulation of Property Dealers and Consultants Act’
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
The Panchkula district administration seems to be going too slow in enforcing the “Regulation of Property Dealers and Consultants Act”, framed by the Haryana Government to regulate the functioning of the property dealers, especially in the light of the land scams that have rocked the district in the recent past. More than two and a half years after the Act was passed, the district administration has failed to initiate any action against the violators.

So far, only 212 property dealers have got themselves registered with the administration, whereas the number of property dealers operating from Panchkula is around 1,000.

After a cold response of the dealers towards their registration, the Panchkula administration made a half-hearted effort directing all property dealers to get themselves registered with the district revenue department but to no avail.

On being asked, an official of the administration said they would take stern action against the non-registered dealers. On January 6, 2009, the Haryana Government had made a rule under the Haryana Regulation of Property Dealers and Consultants Act for property dealers and developers engaged in the sale/purchase of property to register their firms with the district administration. The state government had enacted the Act to save people from property-related frauds and cheating and to prevent the construction of illegal colonies. People were urged to carry out any property deal only through registered property dealers or builders.

According to rules, a fee of Rs 25,000 has to be deposited by the person seeking licence for this profession, which would be valid for five years. After the expiry period, the licence can be renewed on a fee of Rs 5,000. A fee of Rs 500 per month would be charged for the delay in the renewal. The licence fee for the property dealing companies, firms or societies has been fixed at Rs 50,000. The renewal fee has been fixed at Rs 10,000, while Rs 1,000 per month would be charged for the delay in renewing the licence. To implement the Act, the district revenue department had served notices on a number of dealers in the recent past but only a handful of them had got themselves registered.

Panchkula DC Ashima Brar said apart from 212 dealers, 75 others had also applied. The Administration was scrutinising their documents.

Regarding action against the violators, she added that they did not want to harass people but after taking legal opinion in this matter, action would also be taken.

‘UT Admn should issue licences’

  • The Property Consultants Association Chandigarh (PCAC) has demanded that the Chandigarh Administration should issue licences after registering their members on the pattern of the Punjab Urban Development Authority.
  • “With starting the registration of property consultants, the Estate Office would come to know about the entire details of those who were in the business. It would not only bring in more responsibility among the local property dealers, but also help in curbing the mischievous elements in the business,” said Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, president of the PCAC.
  • Office-bearers of the association have met the Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Shivraj H. Patil and the UT Adviser KK Sharma for the purpose. Top officials have given us an assurance to deliberate on the issue very soon, added Panchhi. There were more than 400 members in the association, said Panchhi.


MC Ward Woes
Unkempt parks, bad roads & indifference

Garbage dumped along a wall in Sector 15; and (below) a potholed road on the PGI campus in Chandigarh
(Above)Garbage dumped along a wall in Sector 15; and (below) a potholed road on the PGI campus in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

Residents of ward No. 2 of the municipal corporation, comprising Sectors 12, 14 and 15 and Khuda Lahora colony, has a unique predicament. While those living in sectors 12 and 14, housing PGI and Panjab University campuses, respectively, are registered voters of the municipal corporation, when it comes to provision of civic amenities, it becomes the duty of their respective managements to deliver, as both are autonomous bodies and get grants directly from the central government. This has left the residents extremely confused over whom to approach for their grievances.

Internal parks

While Sector 15 has one of the best green belts and parks in the city, the other two sectors — 12 and 14 — are struggling to get proper attention of the civic authorities. Two years ago, a green belt was developed at the PGI, utilising a grant from the MPLAD fund, but as the PGI authorities did not appoint any caretaker, the park was reduced to a mess. The park now has more dogs as visitors than humans as the PGI authorities have placed a garbage bin there. No one is concerned about cutting the grass, trimming the bushes or removing the wild growth. Even though the park is located right in the residential area, people choose to stay away from it due to its pitiable condition.

Sewerage and roads

Neither the MC nor the PGI authorities have been able to provide proper drainage system in the residential area of Sector 12. This has resulted in the problem of water stagnation on the campus. Residents of the area have been approaching the authorities concerned for over a decade now, but have failed to get any respite. Huge potholes and caved-in sections on roads in Sector 12 reflect the seriousness of the authorities in solving the problems of residents.


There is no check on the attendance of sweepers in this ward, as most play truant during work hours. Heaps of garbage keep lying by the roadside for days together. Improper collection of waste also affects the segregation of garbage in respective sectors. A number of complaints have been made to the authorities about the irregular visit of sweepers but no action has been initiated so far.


The MC has carried out a large number of enforcement drives in the rehri market of Sector 15 to remove encroachment. But things have been back to square one each time due to absence of follow-up action against habitual offenders.

The authorities invariably fail to revisit the site to check if violations have resurfaced again. Consequently, encroachers are back in business within hours of the drive.

Dead trees

The MC authorities are trying to get approval for removing dead trees in this ward. Instead of adding to the beauty of the area, the dead trees have become a threat for residents.


  • Developed a garden on a piece of land lying vacant for a long time and used as a dumping ground by residents
  • Carried out re-carpeting of V-5 and V-6 internal roads in Sector 15
  • Installed security gates at entry points of Sector 15



Hi-tech gadgetry, innovative presentations, packed houses — It’s Ramlila

The depiction of Ramlila has changed over the years. Keeping abreast with the fast changing lifestyle and trends, the city’s 53 Ramlila committees across the city have changed their style over the years and become hi-tech.

From unsophisticated and simple performances, Ramlilas today are a bit more reflective of the changing times. Hydraulic lifts, pre-recorded audio CDs, special light and sound effects, collar mikes, professional makeup and dresses and use of computer and net services are among the few positive additions to this year’s Ramlilas to keep the audience glued to their seats.

Each organiser is competing with the other to come up with some unique and interesting change. If one Ramlila committee in Panchkula is providing a scene of well-known Rakshas Taadka flying with the help of a hydraulic machine, then there is another committee that has added or extended 10 more scenes from the original script to provide “meaningful entertainment”.

“The story of Ramayana remains the same every year and by now we know each and every sequence by heart. But, it is the hi-tech Ramlila and mesmerising light and sound effects that makes Ramlila in keeping with the times and popular,” says Suresh Bakshi, director of the Shri Ramlila Committee, Sector 17. “The special effects of chirping of birds, sounds of thunder, jungles, fog and rain has also added to the attraction,” he adds.

“Every year we endeavour to bring in the latest technology to make the act look more real and engaging. You cannot expect crowds to turn up for the show if there isn’t a good lighting system and background music. Audience love special effects,” says Pawan Sharma, director of Adarsh Ramlila Dramatic Club, Panchkula.

Giving details about some more changes that have been introduced in Ramlilas, Mukesh Sharma, director-cum-artiste of the Garhwal Mandal Bijli Board, Sector 28, said earlier in the name of makeup there was only a cream and murdashankh (power used for makeup) for all artistes. But now there are professional make-up artists with every committee.

Besides, instead of backstage prompting of dialogues, this time they have provided the script to the artistes well in advance and are therefore expected to rehearse and remember their lines, he added.

Says Rajinder Bagga, who has played the role of Lord Rama for a record 26 years and now as assistant director, “The music and pre-recorded dialogue and songs have made the whole act more interesting. These facilities leave no chance for mistakes and make it easier for actors to perform who rehearse acts on proxy dialogues.”



Legacy continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
“Haif hae mera yaha anna he befaida hua, Waqt hae abhi bhe sambhal aye Ravan kyu maut seida hua, tere baato sae tera khayal bekaida hua, kya Vibhishana tere kul mae peda nahe hua”, echos the voice in a room at Panjab University where Ritesh Singla is rehearsing his dialogues as Angad in the Ramlila. This is one of the dialogues delivered by Angad to Ravan as a part of the Ramlila scripted in Urdu that is being performed on Panjab University campus since as far back as 1950s, which is over half-a-century ago.

The legacy of this Ramlila in Urdu, tucked away in one corner of the city, dates back over 75 years ago, when the Arjuna Amateur Club was founded in Lahore.

Club president Suhsil Puri, who has been performing in the Ramlila since childhood, said even though makeup and costumes have changed, the original Urdu dialogues continue to exist.



Ramlila a rage among people
Tribune News Service

A scene in progress in Chandigarh; and (right)Spectators enjoy Ramlila
A scene in progress in Chandigarh; and (right)Spectators enjoy Ramlila. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, October 2
Ten-year-old Riya Singh loves to watch “Uttaran”, a sitcom on one of the TV channels. She has rarely, if ever, missed an episode. But for the past few days she has been skipping all episodes. Reason: Ramlila - India’s street theatre that brings to life mythological characters from the Ramayana.

Riya is not the only one from GenNext who is a big fan of Ramlila. She is among numerous children of her age, along with hundreds of families who prefer to watch the ongoing Ramlila at the cost of many prime time 
TV programmes.

Sample this: On Friday night, a gray Innova bearing a Punjab registration number arrived in the parking area opposite Ramlila venue in Sector 17. Moments later all passengers, most of them women and children, disembarked and made a beeline towards the Ramlila stage.

This was the family of a Mohali-based contractor, Sanjay Kumar, who had come to watch Ramlila after skipping watching the live show of a famous Punjabi singer, Jazzy B. “Although my children are a great fan of the singer, they just could not miss Ramlila, which they have been watching for the last two years,” said Kumar.

Indeed, every night, as Ramlila around the city get underway, spectators can be seen pouring onto the grounds to watch arguably the country’s most watched “street theatre”. The audience range from street urchins to professionals and their family; and where children complete their school homework and eat their dinner well on time to watch the season’s biggest form of outdoor entertainment. Says Arushi Bahri and her husband Aman, a lawyer couple and residents of Sector 16, who make it a point to attend Ramlila every night, “We make it a point not to miss a single scene. We quickly wind up our work every night to reach the venue on time,” they say with enthusiasm writ large on their face.

Patiently sitting in the row of spectators was another family that has been regularly coming to watch Ramlila. Munish Sabharwal, a banker by profession, says his family makes it a point to watch the Ramlila with his family. “As soon as we get free, we come here to watch it. It is only during this season that we get time to see artistes perform characters that we have been used to seeing on TV,” said Sabharwal.



OPEN HOUSE response
‘Don’t criticise, accept the change’

The reality check by the Tribune team on the changed life in the city was a very appreciative attempt by the newspaper to showcase the nightlife. It is true that the lifestyle in the city has changed but it continues to be criticised unnecessarily by critics who are in no way linked with the changing global scenario that has had a definite impact on minds of the youth, particularly in Chandigarh.

In fact most of the seniors and critics, I know will have nothing to speak in favour of the growing nightlife culture in the city. The typical expression will be one of disdain for the youngsters. This is what has provoked me to respond. There will be letters by the critics and a newspaper reader might be forced to believe that a majority of the society members are against the dance bar culture.

The truth of the day is that that times have changed and Chandigarh is a flag bearer to the societal change in the entire country, more particularly in the region. Now, the youngsters have got an option of spending their evening in a free environment than that of our elders. The outlook of the youngsters has changed in context of the changed exposure they have today.

My dad talks about the fun he and his friends had in their hostels, which included drinking, dining and even spending good times with members of the opposite sex when they were in college and university. There was no objectionable activity in the exercise. The city had stag parties and many other avenues of private parties even during their times in the late 80s. He tells me that only the style of exhibiting the choice by youngsters has changed. Earlier, such parties were restricted to closed corners and now they have gone public. I feel our elders need to be friends to their children while they were growing up and accept the change with times. We don’t need counselling, we need sharing of our emotions.

Pankaj Sharma, Sector 48, Chandigarh.

‘Issue needs to be deliberated upon’

Three Ws (wine, women, waltz) create the fourth W (wolf out of man) wine, women and waltz (dance ‘n’ music) make for a heady mixture. These three together, more often than not, bring out the wolf (bad elements) in a man. Notwithstanding the negatives, man thrives in doing the taboo!

Abroad, the trend started in the late 1970s in major US cities like San Francisco, Miami and New York City had thriving disco club scenes. The scene was centered on discotheques, nightclubs, and private loft parties. Some of the most prestigious clubs had elaborate lighting systems that throbbed to the beat of the music. In addition to the dance and fashion aspects of the disco-club scene, there was also a thriving drug sub-culture, particularly for drugs that would enhance the experience of dancing to the loud music and the flashing lights.

After the crackdown on hardcore drugs, these were replaced by alcoholic preparations. This led to the dance floor becoming the central arena of seduction, ending up in rampant promiscuity outside the arena. Indians, being faithful followers of the West, adopted the trend, beginning with the metros. Chandigarh, with its cosmopolitan culture, soon got caught up in the vortex. It is not wrongly argued that loud music has a seductive and destructive effect.

“Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have”, Leo Tolstoy had said in 1890. Loud music is often experienced as “exciting” because loudness represents intense activity. The phrase “altered state of consciousness” is generally a negative concept that is associated with drugs, tobacco, and alcohol but music also serves as a means for changing our emotional state, be it relaxation, excitation or arousal.

Loud music can enhance neurological attentiveness, which psychologists call arousal. With female entry free and couple entries free upto a particular time, the majority of girls at a disc are from PGs and B-grade dance troupes. Boys team up with such girls to gain a legitimate entry as a “couple”. “committed couples” are seldom there, but “contract couples” are dime-a-dozen. The contract is that the boy pays for his partner’s (and her friends) food and drinks in return for a good time and his scoring “brownie” points!

In such a vitiated atmosphere, one spark is enough to start a fire!! The issue needs serious deliberation even if we ultimately flow with the times.

— Pankaj Chandgothia, Sector 7, Panchkula.

‘Parties are here to stay, just beef up security’

I have been visiting a dance bar in Sector 26, very frequently, for the past more than a year along with my friends. Till date, none of the girls who accompany our group have faced any unruly situation. In a couple of instances just snide remarks were passed but nothing major happened. Such incidents are rare.

There were times when we felt uncomfortable when certain group of boys who were drunk acted in a rowdy manner. This part can be handled well if dance bars employ more security personnel. When we pay such astronomical amounts for our entry inside, the dance bar owners should spend enough money on security of the bars. Even if the administration enforces closure of the dance bars, the youngsters will still organise parties, independently. In short, parties are here to stay.

— Shalini Lamba, Sector 21, Chandigarh

‘Outing till late at night, not right’

Accidents and incidence of violence are rising with the disco culture becoming a part and parcel of the city life. On weekend such incidents occur as discotheques and bars are open up to 2 am. Even if these places are allowed to operate, the administration needs to ensure that residents’ outing hours do not exceed 12 ‘o’ clock midnight.

The city, which is known for its education standards, is fast loosing its reputation because of the late closure hours. There is definitely a flaw in the policy of the Chandigarh Adminsitration, especially the tourism policy. On one side, the police is working hard against drunk driving but on the other, the late closure timings of the bars and discotheque are promoting drunk driving at late hours, thus giving rise to accidents and incidents of violence. If the timings are not changed, then the peaceful life and education set up will definitely be affected.

— Advocate Ajay Jagga, president, Janata Party

‘Late night lifestyle a sign of progressive society’

Chandigarh Tribune has done a very timely piece in "Where nightlife is lifeline of youth" on September 27. No one can deny the fact that Chandigarh is fast acquiring the status of a "centre of night clubs and bars". Till a few years ago, Chandigarh used to have empty roads and streets as soon as the night fell. But these days with the advent of mobiles, television and the Internet, the lifestyle of the people in the city has undergone a drastic change.Night clubs and late night parties in restaurants with bars is fast becoming the culture of the City Beautiful. The youth of the day is certainly becoming more advanced. Especially, the weekend parties and boozing out with friends, old and new, is fast becoming popular among the youth. Apart from providing enjoyment, the new late night culture is also showing the other side of the coin. Brawls and violence are often in the news due to such lifestyle. Only the other day the city witnessed murderous attack on people celebrating birthday at a discotheque in Sector 26 where swords and other weapons were used and many suffered grave injuries. The police should be more vigilant at nights. Night patrolling of the city streets by the Chandigarh Police is almost absent. On the whole, the new late night lifestyle of the city is an indication of the advancement of the youth culture. It is a welcome sign of a progressive society

R K Kapoor, Chandigarh

Keep check on drunk driving!

Both, the police and dance bar owners should be vigilant and responsible. We need bouncers who understand that they are there to restrain the party poopers and not harass those enjoying the party. Anybody who is drunk shouldn’t drive and the police should keep a check in all seriousness.

— Ranjeet Gresham Street, London



Scholars’ literary tributes to Gandhi, Tagore
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, October 2
The Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi today organised a two-tier programme to pay homage to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and visionary Rabindranath Tagore.

Vishanath Prasad Tiwari, critic and vice-chairman, National Sahitya Akademi, delivered a lucid talk on “Gandhian Philosophy in Contemporary Times”.

Tiwari set the tone of his talk with a comparison between Gandhi and Christ. Then he referred to Gandhian philosophy vis-à-vis Karl Marx, focussing on the fact that Gandhian thought is unique because it is characterised by non-violence, compassion and truth.

Gandhi became popular because he drew his beliefs from tradition and mass culture, adapting them to his political agenda. This is the reason why his philosophy spread through the world, crossing all boundaries of time and space.

Tiwari discussed Gandhi’s ideas on civilisation as distinct from progress and the manner in which he upheld the axiom of simple living, high thinking.

This was followed by a discourse on “The Environmental Philosophy of Tagore” by Mina Surjit Singh, Emeritus Fellow at Department of English, Panjab University.

Mina Surjit Singh discussed the work of Tagore as a mystic, transcendentalist and romantic, highlighting the areas that overlapped with Gandhian thought. She referred to the clash of the two giants on divergent views and explored the connection between science and spirituality. Drawing upon the main points presented by the two speakers, Prof Anirudh Joshi elaborated upon the connection between the thinking of the Mahatma and the poet.


The Department of Gandhian Studies celebrated Gandhi Jayanti at the Gandhi Bhawan on the Panjab University campus today.

Members of faculty, research scholars and students started the day by removing polythene bags, plastic cups and wrappers from the lawns of the department and the bhawan. Dr Rajkumar of Chitwant Ashram, Jagjit Nagar (HP), delivered a special lecture on “Mahatma Gandhi: A Brilliant Student of Life”. A poem on Gandhi was later recited by Anshul Sharma, a first semester student of Gandhian Studies. TNS



mc elections
Deliver or perish, traders’ call to politicians
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
With the political class allegedly failing to protect their interest from the unresponsive and unaccountable bureaucracy, the powerful business lobby yesterday flexed its muscles ahead of the December MC elections here. The two major organisations of traders — the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) and the Chandigarh Business Council (CBC) — held parallel functions to expose the “anti-trader” policies of the UT administration and politicians’ failure to redress the grievances of the trading community.

In fact, the CBC used the platform to vent its ire against politicians and bureaucrats in front of Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources.

Jagdish Arora and Neeraj Bajaj, CBC president and chairman, respectively, lamented on how the trading community was at the receiving end of the apathetic bureaucracy as far as the building bylaws were concerned.

The CBM leadership, including its chairman Charanjiv Singh and president Diwakar Sahoonja, criticised the failure of politicians and bureaucrats in resolving various issues concerning the trading community. The leadership served a one-month ultimatum on politicians and bureaucrats to accede to their demands or face an agitation. In a clear warning to political parties ahead of the MC poll, the traders warned that ignoring the trading community would cost the parties dearly.

Traders want the withdrawal of Rs 500 per sq ft misuse notification, allowing internal additions and alterations in buildings, allowing no objection certificates to GPA holders, coverage of veranda on upper floors, construction of first floor for booths and bay shops, withdrawal of NRI Act Clause 13(b) for properties in Chandigarh, use of basement in commercial buildings and permission to mortgage of leasehold properties.



Army has discretion to take action if code of conduct violated: AFT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Upholding the dismissal of a soldier who had married twice, first as a minor and then after having joined the Army, the Armed Forces Tribunal has ruled that it is well within the powers of the Army authorities to lay down norms to protect or maintain the type of atmosphere required in the Army.

The tribunal’s Bench comprising Justice NP Gupta and Lt-Gen NS Brar observed: “The regulations cover the aspect generally on discipline, though strictly not only on discipline, as it includes the provision regarding observation of other code of conduct, religion, custom, exemptions from statutory labour, dealing with civilians etc”.

The Army had instituted a court of inquiry into the matter and based upon its findings, issued a show-cause notice to Jagbir Singh of Haryana for having contracted plural marriages. According to court documents, he had married when he was just 14 and his first wife was nine years and later, he married another woman when he turned 23.

In his petition, he had contended that his dismissal under provisions of the Army Rule 13 was illegal, mala fide, against the rules, violating the principles of natural justice and not binding on his rights.

While observing that the regulations do not provide for any punishment or administrative action if such atmosphere is polluted or denigrated or violated as in the instant case, the Bench held that it was in the discretion of the competent authority, not necessarily always bound to take action, to take action, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Army rules and in accordance with the powers conferred upon them by the parent provisions of the Army Act.

The Bench also dismissed other contentions and evidence raised by the petitioner in support of his claims.



51 units of blood collected
Tribune News service

Ramlila characters donate blood at a camp in Chandigarh on Sunday
Ramlila characters donate blood at a camp in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, October 2
The Apoorva Pande Foundation organised its fourth blood donation camp in association with the Garhwal Ram Lila Mandal (Bijli Board), Sector 28-B, in memory of Apoorva Pande, a budding child artiste.

She lost her life in a fatal road accident near Karnal following excessive blood loss. The highlight of the camp was blood donation by artistes playing roles in different Ramlilas all over the city.

Mohinder Pal Singh Superintending Engineer, electricity department, UT, inaugurated the camp as chief guest by donating blood. Ashwani Kumar Munjal was the guest of honour.

At least 51 units of blood were collected under the supervision of Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, Chandigarh.

Actors of Garhwal Ram Lila Mandal (Bijli Board) also donated blood dressed in their respective costumes.



Residents resent parking of heavy vehicles
Rajiv Bhatia

Syndicate buses parked on the road near Paras Down Town Mall in Zirakpur
Syndicate buses parked on the road near Paras Down Town Mall in Zirakpur. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, October 2
Residents of the sunny enclave have been facing inconvenience due to illegally parking of syndicate buses and other heavy vehicles near their housing society. They complained that the local administration had removed the shanties from the PWD land to construct the bus terminus but did not remove the buses and other heavy vehicles.

A visit to the area revealed that the buses and heavy vehicles including trucks, tempos and canters were parked near the colony. Residents rued they had submitted their complaints to the concerned officials regarding this menace many times but nothing had been done. They had been demanded that the administration should not allow the buses and trucks to park on the road.

BL Sharma, a resident of the colony, said the illegal parking of the vehicles blocked the passage. He alleged that vehicles parked during day and night created nuisance.

Another resident of the area, SC Dhall, said he had informed the police officials about the menace many a times but nobody took interest in removing the buses and other vehicles.

Talking to traffic in charge Zirakpur Devinder Singh about the parking of the buses and other vehicles, he said the police had challaned the vehicles that were parked at the wrong sides on the roads. He would visit the site tomorrow and penalise the violators if they found the buses parked there, the in charge added.



Cooks demand minimum wages
Tribune News Service

Members of the Democratic Mid-Day Meal Cook Front, Punjab, stage a dharna in support of their demands at Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Phase 8, Mohali, on Sunday
Members of the Democratic Mid-Day Meal Cook Front, Punjab, stage a dharna in support of their demands at Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Phase 8, Mohali, on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, October 2
Hundreds of members of the Democratic Mid-Day Meal Cook Front, Punjab, today staged a dharna in support of their demands at Amb Sahib Gurdwara at Phase 8 here.

Apart from demanding minimum wages, the protesters pointed out they were being paid Rs 30 for seven hours of working and demanded that the government should pay minimum wages to the cooks.

In a memorandum sent to the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, it has been mentioned that for 300 children, there were only two cooks despite prescribed guidelines that one cook should be appointed for every 25 students.

They also stated that the state government was giving them false assurances.



Hindi, Sanskrit group song competitions
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 2
A state level national group song competition was held here today. The competition was organised by Bharat Vikas Parishad Punjab East with the cooperation of Bharat Vikas Parishad Mohali branch at Paragon Senior Secondary School, Sector-71 Mohali.

Gurdeep Singh, convener of national group song competition disclosed that 20 and 8 teams had participated in Hindi and Sanskrit group song competitions, respectively. Total 300 students participated in the function. He said the winning team would participate in the National group of song competition in Bangalore on November 12th, 2011.

In Hindi group song competition, Mukat Public School Rajpura stood first, DAV Public School, Patiala second, Manav Mangal High School Secor 21, Chandigarh bagged third.

In Sanskrit group song competition DAV Laxmi Bai Public School Patiala stood first, Mukat Public School Rajpura second and Sri Guru Harikrishan Public School Sector 40 Chandigarh IIIrd.



Identity cards must in cyber cafes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The District Magistrate, Chandigarh administration, Brijendra Singh, has prohibited the use of cyber cafes by unknown persons who fail to produce identity cards.

The owners have been asked to maintain a register for identity of visitors by making the entry of visitors. The visitors will make an entry in their handwriting, along with address, telephone number, identity proof and will sign in the register. The identity of the visitors will be established through identity card, voter card, ration card, driving licence, passport and photo credit card. The orders have been issued under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code and will be valid from the zero hour on September 30, 2011, to November 28, 2011.



176 donate blood
Our Correspondent

Lalru, October 2
The Sant Nirnakari Charitable Foundation, Lalru, organised its 14th blood donation camp of the Chandigarh zone in Sant Nirankarti Satsang Bhawan here today.

At the camp nearly 176 people donated blood. The camp was inaugurated by Dr. BS Cheema, former director, Health Service, Punjab

Encouraging the donors, Cheema said that blood donation was a veritable proof of human oneness and integrity. He added that human blood had no substitution so far because it was a gift of God. This blood would cure many sick people and endow them with good health.

The team of doctors were led by Dr Gagan from Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, and Dr Ravpreet Kaur from General Hospital, Sector16, Chandigarh.



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