C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mayoral election
Palli’s ‘balle balle’
DC dismisses Kang’s plea against result
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
In a breather to the ruling Congress in the municipal corporation (MC) ahead of the December poll, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Brijendra Singh today dismissed the petition against the result of the election held in January this year, filed by opposition-supported mayoral candidate Jagjit Singh Kang.

The 74-page order, upholding the election of Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh Palli, asserted that the allegations levelled by Kang regarding irregularities in the election process on January 1 lacked evidence. Kang was not taking his ‘defeat’ lying down. “After examining the legalities of the order, I will approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” he said.

The petition, supported by the BJP and the SAD, alleged that Congress councillors were asked by Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal to take photographs of ballot papers after casting their vote in favour of the Congress candidate. This was not supported by the evidence provided, the order said.

In fact, the photographs of the ballot papers tabled in the court of the DC by Satya Pal Jain, counsel for Kang, was not taken up as evidence on the grounds that there was no proof as to who clicked these photographs. As a result, there was no evidence which could prove that any councillor had clicked a photograph of the ballot paper through mobile phone.

After examining the records of the election meeting held on January 1, which was presided over by nominated councillor Brig KS Chandpuri (retd), and hearing the statement of the witness, the decision was given by the DC.

After his defeat by one vote, Brigadier Kang had claimed that Chandpuri asked the councillors not to take their mobile phones inside the chamber of the House while voting.

The presiding officer’s order was allegedly violated by Bansal. Kang had alleged that the secrecy of the ballot was breached by Bansal with ulterior motives.

Bansal had then said, “Nobody can stop me from taking my mobile phone inside the polling booth. I will take my mobile phone with me. You do whatever you want to do”.

Thinnest margin

Independent candidate Kang filed the petition against the election result in the court of the DC on January 6. In the election held on January 1, Palli was declared winner by polling 17 votes, against 16 by Kang.



Five dengue cases confirmed in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
After dilly dallying for almost a week, the UT health department has finally confirmed five cases of dengue. The number of people suffering from the disease may be higher as some cases have been handled at private hospitals in and around the city.

While the PGI authorities have confirmed six cases, the department, which is recording the cases, has said there are only five positive dengue cases. As per data collected by the department, one of the five patients who tested positive at the PGI was a lady doctor from the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, residing in Sector 16.

Others were a 49-year-old man from Sector 20, a 27-year-old man from Sector 52, a 22-year-old woman from Mauli Jagran and a 27-year-old man from Sarangpur, near Dhanas. All of them had recovered and were discharged from the PGI, said Dr G Verma, acting malaria officer.

He said a one-and-a-half-year-old male infant from Colony Number 4 was reported with symptoms of dengue at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16 today, adding that a sample was sent to the PGI for testing. “We have taken requisite action in the sectors affected and are educating people of nearby areas. Fogging has also been conducted,” he said.

Dreaded disease

  • Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that causes a severe flu-like illness and sometimes a potentially lethal complication called dengue haemorrhagic fever, which is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children. The only way to prevent virus transmission is to combat disease-carrying mosquitoes.



Two more held for ruckus at Tao
Nine accused still at large
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The Chandigarh Police today arrested two more persons for the ruckus at the Tao discotheque in Sector 26 a fortnight back. It arrested 20-year-old Jeevanjot, alias Jugnu, of Mansa and Hardeep Singh, alias Mani, of Malout in an attempt-to-murder case.

A student of the Chandigarh College of Engineering at Landran, near here, Jeevanjot had been booked in a similar case in the past. He was produced in court, which remanded him to two-day police custody.

Inspector Sri Prakash, SHO of the Sector-26 police station, said Jeevanjot had a criminal past and an attempt-to- murder case had been registered against him by the Mohali police the previous year.

“Jeevanjot was involved in the firing incident at Mohali in October the previous year. He had launched a similar attack there and created a ruckus. Efforts are on to arrest the other accused, who have been identified,” he said.

Amandeep Gill and 14 of his accomplices had launched an attack at the Tao discotheque after they were asked to leave the venue at 11:20 pm as two girls complained of misbehaviour.

They returned at 2:37 am with swords and baseball bats and went on a rampage. They injured four persons, including Sohail Goyal, son of an industrialist, who received serious injuries.


Senior functionaries of Chandigarh trade and civil society organisations today called on SSP Naunihal Singh and expressed their concern and anguish over certain incidents of lawlessness in the city in the recent past. In a memorandum to him, they stated that these incidents had created a sense of insecurity among the people in general and the trading community and the hospitality industry in particular. The SSP apprised them of the efforts being undertaken by the police to curb these incidents.



Missing realtor
CBI registers FIR in Sagar case
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
One month after the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order of transferring the probe of the kidnapping of Panchkula-based realtor Deepak Rai Sagar to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the premier investigating agency has registered a fresh FIR under murder and kidnapping charges.

As the Panchkula police had failed to solve the case, the Sagar family had moved the High Court. Confirming the development, DIG (CBI) Mahesh Aggarwal said they registered a case today.

He further said they initially registered an FIR under the sections under which the Panchkula police had registered the case.

A well-known name in the realty business, 54-year-old Sagar was missing since June 1, 2009. He was in his black Skoda car at the time of his disappearance.

Sagar went in his car from his office at Sector 11 to meet his friend Vinay at Maheshpur village in Panchkula that day. Vinay had told the cops that Sagar reached his house around 7:15 pm.

He reportedly stayed there till 9 pm. After that, he went towards his house at Kendriya Vihar in Sector 14, Panchkula, but did not reach there.

The Panchkula police had initially taken intensive measures to trace the businessman and had even announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for anybody providing information about his whereabouts.

The Panchkula police had conducted a lie-detector test on four suspects, but failed to get anything substantial to crack the case.



Today’s Dasehra

Major attractions

Air Show: An airplane will drop coloured leaflets on public in Sector 46

Height: Ravana's effigy will be 75 feet tall and those of Meghnad and Kumbhkaran will be 70 feet tall in Sector 46

Special Effects: Ravana's effigy will have special effects in the form of destruction, as Amrit will be shown coming out of his naval. A thread-guided arrow will be fired on his naval from the stage in Sector 46

Chemical Effect: Effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhkaran will be burnt with the help of a special chemical in Sector 7

Side Effects: Some Dasehra committees have also prepared effigies on corruption

Security Arrangements

Police forces of the tricity have made tight security arrangements around all the dasehra grounds. Police officials along with fire tenders and ambulance will be deployed at the venues

Venues of major Dasehra celebration in tricity


Sector 17: Parade ground

Sector 17: Circus ground

Sector 46B: Dasehra ground

Sector 29: Dasehra ground

Sector 32: Main market

Sector 7B: Opposite Telephone Exchange

Sector 27: Ramlila ground

Sector 28: Backside of the gurdwara

Sector 40B: Dasehra ground

Sector 53: Dasehra ground

Panjab University: Dasehra ground

Sector 24: Near Balmiki Temple

Manimajra: Kila Ground

Manimajra: Dasehra ground

Maloya: Dasehra and Sports complex

Hallomajra ground


Sector 5: Dasehra ground


Phase 8: Dasehra ground



Encroachment in city
Criminal cases against officers for laxity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The UT administration has decided to register criminal cases against officials who fail to keep a check on encroachment by offenders on government land in the city. These directions were given by the UT Adviser KK Sharma at a joint meeting with officials of the estate office, municipal corporation and Chandigarh Housing Board recently.

The list of officials, at the field level, responsible for taking action against encroachers, will be supplied by each department by name and designation to the SDM.

Criminal cases will be registered against officials supervising the area if anyone attempts to encroach upon the same area that has been freed from encroachment by the department earlier.

All departments have been asked to prepare a detailed report about the land under their jurisdiction and the status of the encroached and vacant land in the city.

The UT Adviser also instructed all departments to remove encroachment by those who do not figure in the biometric survey at colony Nos. 4, 5, Mauli Jagran and Khajeri.

He said the estate office should take action against marble sellers who have mushroomed in the city.

MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach has been directed to cleared pocket No. 8 in Mani Majra of encroachment. The pocket had earlier been freed of encroachment by the authorities.

Taking a serious note of encroachment in the city, the UT Adviser asked the departments to hire a security agency to keep a vigil on the vacated land if they did not have the requisite manpower.

The district magistrate or the SDM will act as the nodal coordinating officer who will hold regular review meetings with officers concerned of different departments to monitor the progress and problems in removing encroachment.



Halfway home loses its way
Lacks adequate daycare facilities for mentally ill, HC told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The Chandigarh administration’s much-hyped halfway home is not even equipped with providing adequate daycare facility to the mentally ill. In his report submitted to the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice RN Raina, the member secretary of the UT State Legal Services Authority, Jagdeep Jain, has asserted: “A visit to the site revealed that as a matter of fact, the facility being dubbed by the administration as halfway home is inadequate.

“Far from being able to provide residential facility, it is not even equipped with providing adequate daycare facility to the mentally ill.”

Jain, in his report, has gone on to add: “There is no segregation of facilities for the mentally retarded/challenged and mentally ill persons.

“Given the fact that the mentally ill persons at times become violent and difficult to handle, it is advisable to keep them separate from the mentally challenged persons.”

Jain has suggested: “A comprehensive plan with definite agenda has to be in place to address the issues of both the mentally challenged and the mentally ill persons, particularly those who have no social support.”

In response to the High Court directions, a detailed report on the status of the shelter home for the mentally ill has already been submitted by a local commissioner.

In his report, lawyer Gaganpreet Singh, appointed as the local commissioner by the High Court, asserted that a separate building for the mentally ill was not found during his visit to the Ashreya in Sector 47 on December 22 last year. They were allowed to stay in two rooms in the designated building for seven hours during daytime. The conversion of the halfway home — centre for rehabilitation of mentally-challenged persons — into Ashreya by the UT administration was initially brought to the High Court’s notice by the parents and guardians of some mentally-ill children. They were demanding the halfway home to be provided with residential facility and retaining its original purpose of serving only the mentally-ill.

Facility ‘ill-equipped’

Far from being able to provide residential facility, it is not even equipped with providing adequate daycare facility to the mentally ill. There is no segregation of facilities for the mentally retarded/challenged and mentally ill persons.

— Jagdeep Jain, member secretary, UT State Legal Services Authority



Study suggests self-contained organisation to counter terror
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
Observing that various government agencies remain helpless and mute spectators in the wake of terrorist strikes at public places, a study by the Department of Defence and National Security Studies has recommended establishment of a dedicated and self-contained organisation to counter the menace of terrorism.

The proposed organisation will function under the Prime Minister’s Office or the Ministry of Home Affairs and will have various agencies concerning intelligence, enforcement, combat forces, law, immigration, population monitoring, logistics and cyber cell interlinked with it laterally as well as vertically.

The recommendation is based on the proceedings of a syndicate held on homeland security in the wake of the recent bomb blasts in Delhi, which was attended by security experts as well as defence officers. During the syndicate it was brought out that the investigation into terrorist-related incidents has shifted from ground level agencies to the newly-formed National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The role of the NIA leaves much to be desired as it is designed and chartered only to conduct investigations post-incident, which is reactive.

Experts were of the opinion that the role and mandate of the NIA needed to be broadened. Meting out step-motherly treatment and slap-stopping state agencies and police forces might leave gaps in investigations, they said.

While pointing out that the process of prosecution was tardy and it often did not reach its logical conclusion, the study recommended establishment of a dedicated, self-contained and proactive agency to control and prevent re-occurrence as well as setting up fast-track courts and meting out exemplary punishment to those convicted of terrorist activities.



HC clerical staff may get pay scale boost
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
In an assertion expected to benefit a large number of employees of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Additional Solicitor General of India Mohan Jain today told the Bench that a decision had already been taken to grant upgradation of pay scales to the clerical cadre.

The assertion came this morning during the hearing of a contempt petition against Secretary, Union Ministry of Law and Justice, Neela Gangadharan.

The contempt petition was filed by the high court employees alleging non-compliance of the judgment dated February 10 by Justice Surya Kant.

Directions were issued to the Union of India to consider the recommendations made by the three-judge committee on the issue of upgradation of pay scales. The petitioners had contended that recommendations had been accorded approval by the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

For the purpose, a deadline of four months from the date receiving a certified copy of the order was fixed.

The three-judge committee had recommended: “The existing unrevised pay scale of Rs 5,000-8,100 be granted to the clerks of this court with effect from April 1, 2003, to bring the clerical cadre of the court on a par with that of the subordinate courts, followed by subsequent revision in pay scales undertaken from time to….”

Jain apprised the court that as per the order, a decision had already been taken to grant the upgradation of pay scales to the clerical cadre. As such, the order stood complied with.

Referring to the second recommendation on the additional pay at the rate of 20 per cent to other employees of the high court, Jain argued the matter was being discussed.

It was under consideration of the Department of Justice and Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. It was also made clear that the Department of Justice could take a stand only in concurrence with the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. After hearing the arguments, the Bench has given the Union of India time till January 13 next to pass an appropriate order.



Sector 68 — The darker side of Mohali
Tribune News Service

Stray cattle stroll in a park.

Debris dumped along a road.

Mohali, October 5
From being an emerging face of Mohali to having the worst state of affairs, developing Sector 68 has everything in its lap. Located along a 200 ft wide road leading to the upcoming knowledge City in Sector 81, residents of the sector are fed up with the stay cattle menace and poor sanitary conditions.

Right next to the ultra-modern five oval-shaped towers of Punjab Forest Complex, stray cattle rummaging through heaps of garbage and debris scattered around present an ugly picture of the area. Ask the residents living in the row of houses starting from house number 1,007 to 1,022 ( facing Kumbhra village) and they will tell the manner in which the green belt in front of houses is used to dump cow dung. Wild growth dot open spaces and green belts in the sector.

Gurbachan Singh, a resident of the United Cooperative House Building Society, said there was no market or banks in the sector that housed Army Law College, Puncham Society, United Cooperative House Building Society, office of the Mohali municipal corporation and GMADA allotted houses.

Piggeries, which are being run by some inhabitants of Kumbhra village, have become a bane of the sector. Pigs roam around in the residential area and one can see garbage strewn around. Balwinder Singh, who lives in the sector, lamented that the entrance to the sector was full of potholes. Since the sector is being looked after by GMADA, residents find it difficult to lodge their complaints regarding water, sewerage and roads.

Gurmail Singh, another resident, said the green belt adjoining the houses of some police officials had been encroached upon by security personnel.

Speaking out

Stray cattle menace needs to be checked

— Satish Kumar Sappal, A resident

GMADA has failed to fumigate the area

— Vineet Malik, A resident

Safai karamcharis do not come regularly to the village and development funds are not being spent properly

— RD Sharma, A resident




Chandigarh scan

Nari Niketan inmate weds

The department of social welfare, Chandigarh Administration, on Wednesday solemnised the marriage of an inmate of Nari Niketan, Vanita. She was married to Joginder Lal Sharma, a manager in a dairy firm and a resident of Berwali village in Panchkula district. The marriage was solemnised at the Arya Samaj Mandir, Sector 7, with the support of NGOs. An amount of Rs 10,000, besides domestic items was also gifted to the couple.

‘Sashakt’ on October 29

The Rotaract Chandigarh Midtown will organise a youth empowerment event, “Sashakt - Unleash the power within you” on October 29 here. The youth icon and first woman IPS officer, Kiran Bedi will be the chief guest. Besides, Nitin Gupta, a guest speaker at E-Cell Platforms and Marketing Conclaves, and Simerjeet Singh, one of the most sought-after motivational speakers of India, will be other speakers at the event. The interactive seminar will provide the youth an opportunity to interact with their idols and help them achieve success, according to a press note.

Mobile scheme

Telecom major, Aircel, on Wednesday initiated a 10-day promotional offer starting from Dasehra, which enables customers to avail more than full talk time. Recharge with Rs 105 will fetch more than full talk time worth Rs 125.

Mohali scan

Traffic awareness

The Khalsa College (Amritsar) of Technology and Business Studies, Phase III, organised a seminar on road safety on Tuesday. Amrit Singh, DSP (Traffic), who was the chief guest, gave tips on road safety.

Dasehra function

Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, celebrated Dasehra with great vigour today. Students made an effigy of Ravana of waste materials. To control global warming, the effigy was not set on fire.School chairman, Col CS Bawa (retd), wished children and staff members a joyous Dasehra and encouraged them to follow the path of righteousness.

Sweets’ range

On the onset of festival season, Milkfed Punjab introduced a new range of sweets, including kaju pinni, panjiri, milk cake, dhodha, soan papdi, peda, mah daal pinni and mixed sweets. A spokesman of Milkfed said the sweets were made of desi ghee.

— Tribune Reporters



Mansa Devi receives Rs 87.89 lakh as donations
Offerings include foreign currencies
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 5
Keeping in line with the age-old tradition of offering a share of personal income to the shrine of Mansa Devi, devotees contributed more than Rs 87.89 lakh to the Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board till the last day of the Navratra today.

Contributed towards maintaining the sepulcher, the offerings, this year, too, have come in form of gold and silver articles. The board received at least 78 gold and 994 silver articles. The correct value is yet to be established. The temple has also received contribution in different foreign currency, mainly dollars and pounds. The board has received as many as 101 American dollars, 20 New Zealand dollars, 100 Australian dollars, 90 Canadian dollars and 40 British pounds.

The source for the temple offerings was more than five lakh devotees who paid obeisance this year.

DP Dattana, chief executive officer (CEO) of Mata Mansa Devi shrine board, said they had also started an online donation facility and were hoping that it would be a hit among devotees. He added that they gave donations in form of foreign currencies to banks and converted them in Indian currency.

Sprawling over 100 acres, Mansa Devi temple is one of the oldest and famous shrines of Northern India. The shrine located on the foothills of Shivalik is an epitome of age-old tradition of ‘Shakti’ worship. The main temple was established in 1815 A.D.

The temple witnesses heavy rush during the Navratras in the month of March and September/October every year as lakhs of devotees from across the northern part of country throng the temple to pay obeisance.



Paddy arrival brings misery for residents
Complain of dust allergies, traffic congestion as produce lies on roads
Tribune News Service

Paddy lying on a roadside near grain market, Sector 20, Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin MIttal

Panchkula, October 5
The arrival of paddy in the grain market of Sector 20 has resulted in dust allergies as well as traffic congestion. Sacks containing paddy are lying on roads. Finding no space inside the market, farmers have started using roads for unloading the produce. They have also kept driers (machines used for cleaning and drying paddy) there which has worsened the situation.

“The arrival of the crop always leads to chaos,” said Vikas Bindal, who resides opposite the grain market. Since evening, farmers have been unloading their produce. The driers placed by them have resulted in clouds of dust in the area,” he added.

“As soon as the arrival of crop starts in the market, residents are forced to keep their windows shut as there is dust all over the area which makes the life of residents, especially the elderly, miserable,” said Nancy, another resident of the area.

Executive officer-cum-secretary of the Market Committee Suman Lata, when contacted, said she was aware of the problem.



Trouble on board
Pandemonium as 24 Duronto passengers denied tickets
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The railway authorities failed to deliver tickets to at least 24 Amritsar-bound passengers on the Duronto Express even as the train left almost empty for the holy city here this evening.

Some aggrieved passengers raised slogans against the railway authorities when they boarded the train without tickets and were asked to shell out Rs 417, including penalty charges, against the normal fare of Rs 157.

According to sources, the pandemonium continued even at the Sirhind railway station as the passengers refused to pay the fine.

They demanded the charging of the normal fare as the fault lay with the railway authorities for not making special arrangements at Chandigarh.

After the current ticket booking window closed at 6.45 pm, some passengers managed to board the train, while others had to rush to the Sector-43 bus station to take the bus for Amritsar.

The pandemonium continued till the Sirhind railway station as the passengers refused to pay the penal charges citing it as the deficiency in service on the part of the railway authorities.

A passenger, Sukhjit Singh, said he had arrived at the station at 5 pm and after waiting for two hours in a queue, failed to get the ticket as the current reservation booking was closed.

He said he had to board the train after being advised by the railway authorities to do so. He said as it had already got dark, he preferred to catch the train to reach his home in time.

Station Superintendent Parveen Kumar said they were simply abiding by the rules. He said the current booking window opened 15 minutes after the closure of the current reservation window at 5.30 pm as per the rules.

The sources said only 53 tickets were booked at the current booking window against the normal booking of 80 to 90 seats.

The sources added that even the authorities of the IRCTC had suggested that an extra counter be opened at the station as passengers were facing problems in filling the reservation form.



Robin Hood brought alive
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, October 5
The diverse traits of the legend of Robin Hood, which has been influencing many since centuries, were brought alive by prodigious students of the junior wing of Yadavindra Public School to perfection at the Tagore Theatre here today.

The sleek performance portrayed and justified the divergent manifestation of his persona, brutal to mighty corrupt effluents and kind to the poor and honest people of Nottingham through vibrant dramatic spells. It was, too, difficult for the students of Class V of YPS to grasp and enact the famous fable, but with the directorial intervention of the sensitive director, Zubin Mehta, all 120 actors spelt magic.

Zubin made certain aberration to the story to enable his actors to emulate the original characters with immaculate ease. While Rehan as Robin Hood was natural, the role of Little John, the merry, was portrayed by energetic Chitranshu. Gurjaipal (King John) and Guneev (Queen), Aaliya as Marian and Angad Mangat as shrewd sheriff of Nottingham.

The props and sets created by teachers were well in sync with the requirements and ambience of the play. The accompanying live music and songs scored by the school’s music teachers filled the hearts of all in the audience. The beautifully choreographed dances made the production most entertaining.

Principal Janajit Ray congratulated the students of Class V, their teachers and director for putting up a remarkable show.

The junior wing of the school will be closed on October 7.



Making of Ravana with discarded material
Tribune News Service

Students enjoy Dasehra festivities at Strawberry Fields in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, October 5
The triumph of good over evil had so many interpretations with a spunky 400-plus audience, who had been fed on a weeklong diet of stories from the Ramayana.

Students of Strawberry Fields Kindergarten and World School helped create a 15-foot grand edifice of Ravana with recycled materials. It was burst into flames amidst cheering and bonhomie, signaling a new dawn of hope, positive cheer and noble deeds.

The 10-headed Ravana was made with children bringing waste, discarded materials and used paper. Under the guidance of their art teacher Aveena Sekhon, they inputted on the Ravana creation exercise with much excitement.

“Seeing the structure grow, acquire a new face, hands, eyes and head was fascinating,” said one of the children.

“We did not want Ravana to look intimidating, evil or unfriendly. We wanted him to look intelligent, maybe cunning, but not evil,” said Dina Singh, school coordinator.

Seeing the carefully-made Ravana over days of meticulous detailing and see it go up in flames was a bit disappointing, but then the students know that is essential for good energies to come back. According to school director Atul Khanna, “Children at Strawberry Fields want to experience the merits of being austere and of ensuring that they somehow bring into their fold of celebrations at least one child from an economically underprivileged home.”

Plenary talk

The key highlight of the seminar was Prof Annie Montaut from France, an expert in Hindi, who gave a plenary talk on the use of “to” in Hindi. Her paper left audience enthralled, as it was with a lot of quotations from the day-to-day Hindi conversation.



Safai sewaks block national highway
Oppose outsourcing of work pertaining to garbage collection
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 5
The Balmiki Naujwan Sabha and other bodies of safai sewaks blocked traffic on the national highway near the Civil Hospital here today in protest against the decision of the municipal corporation to outsource the work of door-to-door garbage collection to a private agency.

The protesters raised slogans and demanded that the decision should be revoked as it would adversely affect the livelihood of persons who were already doing the work of garbage collection.

They then marched to Phase I and sat on a dharna outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner and presented a memorandum in connection with their demands.

The protesters said the council had decided to give the work of door-to-door garbage collection to a Mumbai-based company which would adversely affect the safai sewaks who were already on the job as they would lose their livelihood. The contract system had only led to the exploitation of employees and should be discouraged, they added.

Varun Roojam, Deputy Commissioner, said the memorandum given by safai sewaks would be presented to Tikshan Sood, minister for local government.



Missing parcel costs courier firm Rs 2,500
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has imposed a fine of Rs 2,500 on a courier company for causing mental agony and harassment, besides litigation costs, to a customer.

Pawan Kumar Goyal, a resident of Sector 45, had booked a parcel with Rana Documents Centre, Sector 45, on the eve of Rakhi, to be received by Madan Lal Aggarwal, a resident of Ludhiana, on behalf of his sister.

However, the parcel neither reach the consignee nor was it delivered back to the sender despite the fact that he had mentioned his mobile number on it.

He claimed that when he enquired from his sister about the parcel, she had no idea about the same.

When he took up the matter with the officials of the booking centre, they did did not show interest in locating the missing parcel.

The opposite party refused to accept the notice and the case was proceeded against ex parte.



Safai karamcharis to go on strike

Ambala, October 4
Safai karamcharis of the Ambala Cantt municipal corporation have threatened to go on a strike from October 5. Kali Das, general secretary of the District Mazdoor Sangh, today held a meeting in this regard. The union leader said as many as 150 safai karamcharis would protest the administration’s decision to outsource cleanliness work to private contractors. — TNS



Body seeks provision of basic amenities
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 5
The Commercial Welfare Association (godown area), Pabhat, has urged the Zirakpur municipal council to provide basic amenities for which they had been waiting for the past seven years. The matter was discussed in the recently held seventh annual general meeting in Zirakpur.

FS Nagra was unanimously elected chief patron of the association. The association members complained that the Zirakpur municipal council had failed to repair roads. They lamented that the state was getting VAT revenue close to Rs 330 crore from companies. FS Nagra, chief patron of the association, stated that the association had made several appeals to the council, but nothing had happened so far.

An official of the MC claimed, “The work is likely to start in a week.”



Midday Meal
Head teacher suspended

Mohali, October 5
The head teacher of Government Primary School, Kasauli (near Jayanti Majri), has been suspended and two teachers were given a show-cause notice as some students of the school had fallen ill after consuming midday meal on September 30.

Varun Roojam, Deputy Commissioner, said the menu for the day was changed without seeking permission. An official of the education department said head teacher of the school Narinder Singh was placed under suspension, while elementary teachers Ravinder Singh and Baljeet Kaur were issued notices. An inquiry was conducted by district manager of midday meal MS Bhalla following which action was taken against the teachers.

Seventeen students were taken to the GMSH, Sector 16, Chandigarh. The students were discharged in the evening after their condition improved. — OC



Body in sukhna
Suicide victim a PU student

Chandigarh, October 5
Two days after an unidentified youth’s body was found in Sukhna Lake, the deceased was identified as 18-year-old Navdeep Singh, a Panjab University student, today. The police said the victim was a first-year UIET student and had committed suicide by jumping into the lake. The student was a resident of Karnal and had been staying here. The youth was identified on the basis of photographs released to the media. The police later recovered a suicide note from the victim’s room in hostel No. 8 on the PU campus. He held no one responsible for his death in the note. The body was handed over to his family.



Farmers end protest following assurance by CM’s Adviser

Mohali, October 5
The two-day dharna staged by members of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Sidhupur) in support of their demands was lifted today after Daljeet Singh Cheema, Adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister, gave an assurance that all just demands would be fulfilled by the government.

Addressing the protesters, Cheema said Parkash Singh Badal was aware of the problems faced by farmers and always made efforts to give the maximum price for their produce apart from providing other facilities, but the Central government had adopted a biased attitude in this regard. He said genuine demands of farmers would be acceded by the state government. He added that as far as the other demands were concerned, he would meet the Prime Minister and Union Agriculture Minister, along with a high-level delegation of farmers, to urge the government to fulfil their demands. — OC



‘Translate literary works’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The 33rd All-India Conference of Linguists concluded at Panjab University, which was hosted jointly by the department of English, Regional Institute of English and Central Institute of Indian Languages. Over 100 delegates from across the world attended the conference.

The key speaker, Prof Rajesh Sachdeva, director of Central Institute of Indian Languages, dedicated the conference to celebration of linguistic diversity of our nation.

“The country is probably the only one where language or dialect changed after every few miles. This linguistic diversity is the key basis of diverse forms of literature, culture and even theatre. We need to maintain it and many ‘dying’ languages need to be revived by consistent research, study and other promotional measures,” said Sachdeva.

Prof ML Tickoo, an eminent educationist, emphasised the need for exploring possibilities of partnership between a child’s mother tongue and English in the interest of both Indian languages and culture.

PU faculty like VK Tiwari, dean, faculty of languages, and Prof Rana Nayar, chairperson, department of English, made a case for the evaluation of current language teaching scene in the country and advocated the translation of prominent Indian literary works in various Indian languages.



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