C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fire-safety mechanism lacking in banks: Report
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
None of the major national banks, located in the Bank Square, Sector 17, have the required fire-safety mechanism in place to handle any emergency situation. More importantly, at least six out of the total 12 major banks in the area have not even installed the basic fire-safety equipment on their premises.

The below-average security arrangements in place at a majority of bank premises in the Bank Square have been underlined in a report compiled after a detailed inspection by the Fire Department recently. All defaulters have been served notice by the Fire department.

The detailed report of the Fire Department has pointed out that Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Bank, Bank of Baroda, Haryana State Cooperative Apex Bank, Bank of India, Central Bank of India and Allahabad Bank have not even installed fire extinguishers on their premises.

The team has also pointed out that in UCO bank, the pipeline which was installed to facilitate pressure in the water being utilised for dousing fire was not working. In the State Bank of India, the fire-safety equipment had been installed but a majority of it was non-functional. Crucial spare parts were missing in the fire equipment. Oriental Bank, Union Bank of India, Syndicate Bank and Punjab National Bank have installed fire extinguishers in their building. However, all of them are missing in several other gadgets required for ensuring fire-fighting machinery in place.

The issue gains importance in the light of the recent fire incident in the Punjab National Bank branch, where firemen faced a great difficulty in dousing the fire in the month of August. Even the sprinkler on the bank premises was not working. The hardships faced by the fire personnel proved to be the reason behind the department compiling a spot report on the requirements for ensuring the fire-safety norms.

Municipal Corporation (MC), Station Fire Officer, ML Sharma, confirmed that notices had been served to all banks located in the Bank Square to install the fire-safety measures on their premises within a one month, failing which stringent action will be initiated against them.

According to the fire norms, each building should be equipped with fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, sprinklers in basement, water tank on the roof of the building for the emergency water supply during major fire incident and operation of the pressure pumps. More importantly, the banks are required to carry out regular inspections on the working of the fire-safety gadgets. 



Fraud case against another immigration firm
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Tightening the noose around immigration firms duping people on the pretext of sending them abroad, the Chandigarh Police has registered a case against M/S Expo Universe for cheating an Ambala resident of Rs 8.1 lakh on the pretext of sending his son abroad.

Ashok Kumar of Gobind Nagar at Ambala Cantonment reported that he paid Rs 8.1 lakh to the Sector-9 firm for sending his son to Canada on a work visa. He alleged that the immigration firm neither sent his son abroad, nor returned the money despite repeated requests.

According to the police, Neena Sharma, Vikram and Nidhi, employees of the firm operating from SCO 46-47 at Sector 9, had been booked under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC. Police officials said they would trace other customers of the firm during investigations to establish whether there were more victims.

In another development, District Magistrate Brijendra Singh today imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC for 60 days regarding liabilities of immigration companies in Chandigarh to check their unlawful activities and made it mandatory to such companies to furnish information about themselves to the police within seven days.



IT professional held for hacking company code, destroying data
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 4
Deepak Sharma, a former employee of Mohali-based company Dell, was today arrested by the cyber wing of the crime branch of the Punjab Police for allegedly destroying vital data of the company and tampering with the service record of employees. He was found to have hacked the source code of the company.

Acting out of revenge for being thrown out of job, the Panchkula-based IT professional, by accessing the internal email-ID of the HR department of the company, tampered with service records of certain employees “by giving them promotion and salary hike”. In one specific case, an employee was given a salary of 140 per cent. He was also paid the amount.

The company runs a call centre in Industrial Area, Phase 8, here. The cyber wing swung into action after Prabhakar Raju, site director of the company, approached the police for investigation and registration of case.

A spokesman of the company said a terminated employee had gained unauthorised access to internal Dell systems. There has been no access to or compromise on customer data. The unauthorised access was discovered early due to the stringent systemic checks within our systems. This is a violation of our code of business conduct and are working closely with the relevant authorities for appropriate action.

SSP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said within a day of receiving the complaint, the police tracked down Deepak Sharma and arrested him. He was remanded to police custody after being produced in Mohali Courts here today. An FIR under various provisions of Information Technology (IT) Act and IPC has been registered against the IT professional.

In the complaint to the police, Prabhakar Raju stated that somebody had got unauthorised access to the system and used internal mail-ID of the HR department. Many unauthorised transactions were made in the system, it was pointed out.

The SSP said on the basis of the investigation it was established beyond doubt that Deepak was the main culprit behind all these manipulations. The police has seized his home computer that he had used to make these unauthorised changes. The police was hopeful of getting more details about the extent of damage done by the suspect and the name of other persons involved, if any.



UT Administration fails to fill key post
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Throwing legal norms to the wind, the UT Administration has failed to appoint Deputy Director (Prosecution), adversely affecting the functioning of its legal department.

While the general public continues to suffer, the legal officers of the UT Administration are a harassed lot as they have been denied promotions for several years now.

Currently, the legal department functions with the help of assistant director attorneys, deputy district attorneys and a district attorney.

The charge of the Director (Prosecution) is being held by the Legal Remembrancer, who is supposed to give legal advice on all important matters and important decisions of the UT Administration.

In fact, the UT Home Secretary, who is also holding the charge of Secretary (Law), besides heading over 20 other departments, is clearly over-burdened to spare time for the prosecution work. In the absence of the Deputy Director (Prosecution), the monitoring of various cases and other routine legal matters are kept pending for months together, sources told The Tribune.

“The absence of the Deputy Director (Prosecution), who is from the legal profession, seems to have crippled the prosecution department of the UT Administration,” said human rights organisation Global Human Rights Council.

Violating CrPC with impunity

Section 25-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, says that the state government may establish a directorate of prosecution consisting of a director as many deputy directors as it thinks fit. A person shall be eligible to be appointed as the Director or Deputy Director only if he has been in practice as an advocate of not less than 10 years and such appointment shall be made with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court.



Girl shattered by MMS incident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 4
In a bizarre incident, at least four girls stripped a girl on a main road in broad daylight in Sector 4 here. To make matters worse, the assaulters circulated an MMS of the incident in the township and adjoining areas.

The incident occurred on September 26. However, the traumatised girl was non-plussed on how to proceed in the matter. She did lodge a “protest” originally, but going by the sensitivity of the matter, the family of the girl persuaded her against lodging any complaint.

Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police Manish Chaudhary confirmed that the family of the girl had decided not to pursue the matter.

Panchkula DySP Iqbal Kaur said, “The victim did come to my office at around 1 p.m. today to lodge a complaint when I was not in the office. Her complaint, however, was meant for the Sector 5 SHO Om Prakash for necessary action.”

The victim, a minor, in her complaint, stated that the accused girls kidnapped her in a car from a discotheque in Sector 26, Chandigarh. She was then taken to a desolate place in Sector 4 of Panchkula. The incident occurred in the afternoon.

The girls forcibly removed her upper-wear and captured the incident in an MMS. “The SHO was sent to record the statement of the girl at her residence in the afternoon,” said Chaudhary. The family, however, refused to pursue the complaint.

A senior police official said, “The point here is not registering a case or not. The incident shows deterioration in the social value system among youngsters. The dance bars, in particular, are giving rise to absolute vulgarity. Parents need to wake up before it gets too late.”


Another blot on khaki
PCA recommends action against two cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
In yet another embarrassment for the Chandigarh Police, the Police Complaint Authority (PCA) has recommended that Mani Majra police station SHO Rajesh Kumar Shukla and sub-inspector (SI) Harish Chander be immediately shifted to the Police Lines for a year and be ‘censured’.

A complaint had been filed with the PCA by Jaspal Singh that the SHO had delayed taking action on court orders for approximately 176 days and had favoured the accused in a case of cheating.

Jaspal had pointed out that a court passed orders on September 20 the previous year, directing the SHO to lodge an FIR against Duni Chand and Sham Rani for having cheated Jaspal in the case of sale of their house.

Jaspal had stated that an FIR was finally registered on March 25 this year, but the SHO and the SI, who was the investigating officer, had again favoured the accused by not arresting them and helping them get anticipatory bail.

Jaspal had added that the cops concerned failed to complete the inquiry within 15 days and failed to prepare a report even 194 days after the registration of the FIR.

The PCA passed an order for immediate action by the Inspector-General of Police against the police officials.

Four days back, the PCA recommended the suspension of and a subsequent departmental inquiry against Shukla for illegally detaining a woman at the police station for a night.



Unsuccessful applicants raise slogans
Draw of lots for 200 booths, reserved for riot victims, were held in Sector 77
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 4
The draw of lots for 200 booths, reserved for riot victims, in Sector 77, today witnessed protest by those who were left out in the draw held at PUDA Bhawan in Sector 62, here. For the draw, names of 771 applicants were included in the draw of lots.

Soon after the draw of lots started, around 112 applicants whose names were not included in the draw at the first go began raising slogans against the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA). An official of GMADA said that those persons who had taken similar benefit elsewhere in Mohali or at some other place in Punjab were not included in the draw of lots. There were around 900 applicants for the 200 booths. The money would be refunded to unsuccessful applicants.



Aanganwadi, Asha workers hold traffic to ransom for four hours
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 4
Aanganwadi workers, Asha workers and Midday Meal workers blocked the Chandigarh-Ambala Highway for more than four hours today. They rued that the Chandigarh police did not let them enter Chandigarh as they were on their way to gherao the Punjab Assembly.

Thousands of commuters and motorists were a harassed lot as the traffic in and around Zirakpur came to a standstill for more than four hours. School buses and ambulances had were inconvenienced as the traffic was diverted via Panchkula by the police. Heavy police force from Punjab and Chandigarh were deployed on the spot to check the untoward incident.

According to protestors, they were moving towards Chandigarh to stage a protest outside the Punjab Assembly in support of their demands but the Chandigarh police on the border stopped them. Denying the permission to enter Chandigarh, the workers blocked both sides of the highway and raised slogans against the Punjab government and the Chandigarh police.

Usha Rani , an Aanganwadi worker alleged that the Punjab government had ignored their demands for many years now. They wanted that the government should fulfil their demands on a priority basis. They also threatened to block each district in Punjab if their demands were not met.



UT discusses ‘hot’ issues with MHA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
M Gopal Reddy, joint secretary (UT), ministry of home affairs (MHA), Government of India, today visited Chandigarh and interacted with senior UT functionaries.

KK Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, and Finance Secretary VK Singh apprised him about various issues.

Various matters in the MHA and other ministries awaiting their approval were reviewed. These related to creation of posts for education and health sector and finalisation of recruitment rules for posts.

Need was felt for adoption of holistic approach and integrated planning, especially in the transport sector, for the development of Chandigarh and adjoining areas. The matters related to upkeep and maintenance of Sukhna Lake as well as Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary was also reviewed.

The UT Administration told Reddy that a committee was formed under the chairmanship of Conservator of Forests for conservation and beautification of Sukhna Lake. The issues regarding service matters of UT employees were also discussed in detail, as also applicability of the Punjab government rules vis-à-vis Central government rules for employees of the UT.

The UT Administration briefed the senior MHA official of further requirements by the police for strengthening security infrastructure in the territory. It was assured on behalf of the MHA that the UT would be delegated enhanced financial powers at par with other UTs.



Hazare figures in Ramlila!
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
In an initiative to spread the message against corruption through the Ramlila, a Sector-28 Ramlila committee has made a slight change in the script.

It has emphasised the efforts of Bhagat Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri and even Anna Hazare in raising their voice against corruption.

The message is conveyed through communication between Ram and Vibhishan. The latter seeks guidance from the former to save residents of Lanka.

Ram tells Vibhishan that they should raise their voice against the corrupt. He further says persons like Bhagat Singh, Gandhi and Shastri, along with Hazare, will come to this earth in the future and spread the message of a fight against corruption.

Mukesh Sharma, director of the Garhwal Ramlila Mandal Bijli Board at Sector 28, said there was no better medium to spread the message.



‘Amend GMADA’s policy on flats for EWS’
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, October 4
The Zirakpur Municipal Council has decided to write to the Punjab government for amending of GMADA’s policy on flats for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in Zirakpur.

An official of Zirkapur MC stated that the proposal was recently discussed at the council meeting in which the councillors had decided to ask the private colonisers to construct six per cent houses free of cost instead of 10 in their housing projects for the economically weaker sections. It was also decided that the colonisers had to reserve 10 per cent houses for EWS till 6 per cent flats were not given to the weaker sections, the official added.

The official said the council had also cleared that the beneficiaries would get the ownership of the two-bedroom flats after 12 years of their possession.

The council has also made it clear that the beneficiary must be a resident of that land or or living near by the area where the housing project would be constructed. The beneficiaries will also be the residents of the concerned town, block, tehsil and district, the MC official added.

Talking to the Chairman, District Planning Committee, and MC president NK Sharma about the amendment in GMADA’s policy of flats for EWS, he said that the two bedroom flats would be given to only beneficiaries of the area. The council will urge the state government to amend the GMADA’s policy of flats for the weaker section in which 6 per cent flats should be given to beneficiaries instead of 10 per cent.

He said the beneficiaries would have to pay Rs 1,200 to get all basic amenities, including proper water supply, sewerage system, a community centre and a park in the area.

Sharma said that he had asked the executive officer to conduct a survey and check how many flats had been constructed in Zirakpur. He had also asked the officer to make a proper report on it.



Nurses to go on indefinite strike from Oct 21
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The Nursing Welfare Association (NWA) of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has decided to go on an 
indefinite strike from October 21 to press for their long-pending demands. With 300 nurses going on a strike, medical services are likely to be affected.

In a press statement issued here this evening, NWA president Vijay Kumar said they had pursued their demands with the hospital authorities but all in vain. The demands of the association include filling up vacancies of nursing staff, implementation of Central pay scale, allotment of room for association office, etc.



UT Adviser directs Chief Architect to speed up work

Chandigarh, October 4
Municipal Corporation (MC) Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh raised an issue of delay in clearing corporation projects by the UT Chief Architect at the coordination committee meeting of the MC and UT Administration today. UT Adviser KK Sharma chaired the meeting.

The issue was raised that a majority of the drawings of development projects, which were sent for approval of the architect department was lying pending. As a result, most of the MC projects were hanging in fire. The Adviser has directed the Chief Architect to speed up the work of approving the projects.

Councillors have passed a resolution against the UT Chief Architect at the last General House meeting and demanded his repatriation to its parent state. — TNS



Tricity Scan

chandigarh scan
PGI OPDs closed on Oct 6
All OPDs in the PGI will remain closed on October 6 on account of Dasehra, a gazetted holiday. Emergency services will function as usual, a press note said here on Tuesday.

Students felicitated

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh while presiding over a function organised by the Residents’ Welfare Association, Sector 23, on Tuesday honoured 13 students for their achievements in different arena of academics. The association urged the Mayor to expedite the construction of a reading room in the sector.

Articulation assessment tool

Dr Dharam Vir, speech language pathologist, speech and hearing unit, department of ENT at the PGI, has developed a first kind of articulation assessment tool for articulation disorders in Punjabi called Punjabi Articulation Test (PAT). Tamil, Telugu and Hindi languages already have the facility, however, Dr Dharam Vir has made a contribution for the facility in Punjabi language. The PAT was applied on 200 children.

Centre inaugurated

Orion Edutech, Asia’s largest BPO training institute, has inaugurated a new centre in Sector 34-A. Orion has 200 centres across the country. Centre director Tarun Banerjee said the mission of Orion Edutech was to enhance employability of students and give quality training.


The following have been elected as office-bearers of the Residents’ Welfare Association’s joint action committee, Sector 30-B, Chandigarh: president Jatinder Kumar, senior vice-president Dr SD Sharma, general secretary Shamsher Singh, joint secretary Ranjit Singh, cashier Darban Singh and propaganda secretary Ajay Bhardwaj.

Electoral rolls

As the general election of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, are approaching, the UT State Election Commissioner expressed his satisfaction that instead of preparing a fresh electoral roll for these general election, it would be sufficient to adopt the electoral roll of the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency for the time being in force. This has been done in the view that the electoral roll of the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency had already been revised on January 10, 2011 and preparation of separate electoral roll would entail longer time and a lot of expenditure in this respect, which could be avoided.

52 donate blood

A blood donation camp was organised by the AG Haryana Blood Donors’ Society in collaboration with GMCH, Sector 32, on Tuesday on the premises of Lekha Pariksha Bhawan. A total of 52 units of blood were collected at the camp.

mohali scan
Anti-rabies camp

A free anti-rabies vaccination campaign for pet and stray dogs was organised by the Municipal Corporation in collaboration with the People For Animals, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. The Mohali Deputy Commissioner inaugurated the camp. The campaign organised in connection with the World Animal Husbandry Day under “Mera mittar” project started from the community centre in Phase VII. A “gaushala” would also be set up in the district.

Rehabilitation centre

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Centre for TB patients was inaugurated at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, by Prof Raj Bahadur, director GMCH, and Madpreet Singh Gandhoke, District Governor Rotary International Distt 3080. — Tribune Reporters



Pawan Jain gets his room at DAV-10
Officiating principal gains entry to office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The officiating principal appointed by the DAV management finally made his entry to the principal’s office at the Sector-10 college today, with BC Josan, not in the mood to give up, continuing to sit in the lobby outside it.

Officiating principal Pawan Jain, who had been discharging his duties from the staff room till now, took the possession of the principal’s office, that had been locked due to the ongoing controversy over principal.

Although there were vacations at the college, administrative work was being done and both principals reached the office early in the morning. While Jain took possession of the office, Josan sat outside it to make his presence felt.

Josan said he had no problem with Jain taking possession of the office, but he would continue to come to the college till his case was settled.

Official sources said Josan’s case and the inquiry report would be tabled before the general body meeting of the governing body, expected to be held in the middle of this month.

After the appointment of the new principal, a makeover of the college had begun, with the renovation pending at the college being completed.



Parents demand fixed date for draw of lots
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Nursery admission woes have apparently set in a little earlier this year.

Irked over private schools’ admission spread over two months and subsequent policy of non-refund of admission fee, a group of parents has approached the UT education department demanding a fixed date for draw of lots in various private schools.

“The city schools are following an arbitrary date for declaring admissions to schools, which ranges from the start of November till end of January every year. The school holding their draw of lots in November declare their results in mid November and force successful parents to deposit high five-figure admission fee at the earliest, else they loose the seat. A parent who has another school in mind who will be conducting their draw of lots in January is in a dilemma and in the end lands in paying up the insurance fee to the first school just in case his child in not successful in January. If the parent is again successful in January, the first school again charges the admission fee from a new parent for the same seat. To resolve this traumatic situation, if your office was to declare a common date for depositing admission fee for all schools irrespective of the date of draw of lots, things would be much easier for everyone. In case a child is successful in two schools, the waiting list may be promoted in the other school,” read the letter.



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