C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Teenager crushed to death by CTU bus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
A 13-year-old boy was crushed to death by a CTU bus in Colony Number 4 here this morning.
The victim, Vikas Kumar, a Class VI student of Government School in the colony, died on the spot. This is the third fatal accident to have occurred on this road in the past five months, one of which occurred only three days ago.

Infuriated residents of the colony, in a fit of rage, went on a rampage and attacked and damaged another CTU bus and refused to allow the police to remove the body of the teenager. The angry mob also pelted stones at the police. The matter was resolved only after the intervention of senior police officials following the arrest of the bus driver.

The incident occurred at 6.15 am at the traffic intersection near Colony Number 4 when the CTU bus (number CH 01G 5887) was going towards Hallomajra. Vikas was accompanying his father Dinesh, who was wheeling a bicycle on one side of the road. The father and son were returning after attending a jagrata when suddenly Vikas was run over by the bus coming from the rear. The bus driver fled from the spot and angry residents attacked another CTU bus (number CH01 G 7116) that was coming behind the ‘killer bus’.

The mob pelted the bus with stones and damaged its windowpanes. The driver of the bus, Rakesh Kumar, barely managed to save himself from the public wrath. The police reached the spot and the mob attacked the police party with stones. The mob refused to allow the police to shift the body to the hospital for post-mortem, demanding the arrest of the accused.

DSP Jaswant Khaira and Additional Deputy Commissioner ML Sharma along with other officials reached the spot and assured the crowd of prompt action. A PCR van then chased the bus involved in the accident and arrested its driver Mewa Singh in a case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC. The mob later dispersed, following which a heavy police posse was deployed to prevent any untoward incident.

Killer road

The stretch on the road leading from Bhushan Factory in Industrial Area to Colony Number 4 has emerged as a killer stretch. Only three days ago, a two-year-old girl, Ankita, had died in a road accident on the same road. On May 13 this year, a woman, Shanichri Devi, lost her life after being hit by a truck on the same road. The road remains accident-prone in the absence of any divider and with an increased inflow of heavy vehicles on the road.



Girl involved in MMS-making stabbed on cheek
Tribune news service

Panchkula, October 6
Two unidentified motorcycle-borne youths allegedly stabbed the right cheek of one of the girls suspected to have been involved in the making of an obscene MMS in Panchkula.

The brazen attack occurred this morning when the youths drove up to the 17-year-old girl and pierced a sharp-edged object into her cheek while she was getting her mobile recharged at a shop at Baltana located in Zirakpur.

The girl, who is a minor, was among the four girls who had forcibly removed the upper-wear of one of their friends, taken a picture and then circulated it among their friend circle via an MMS on September 26.

The girl was first rushed to a private clinic in Baltana, then to the General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula, and finally to the PGI in Chandigarh, where she was administered stitches on her right cheek.

Zirakpur SHO Inspector Yogi Raj said they would register an FIR only after recording the girl’s statement, which is expected tomorrow.

In her complaint, the girl, also a minor, whose MMS has been circulated, had stated to the police that the four accused girls had ‘kidnapped’ her from a discotheque in Sector 26, Chandigarh, and then taken her in a car to a desolate place in Sector 4 of Panchkula. The girls had then allegedly forcibly removed her upper-wear and captured the incident in an MMS. However, both she and her family members deny submitting any complaint to the Panchkula police. 



YK Chawla set to head PGI
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
It is more or less official now. The region’s premier institute, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), is all set to have new director again from within the ranks, Dr YK Chawla, presently head of the hepatology department.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has cleared his name and a notification to this effect is likely to be issued soon by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

According to highly placed sources, the file, after approval from the ACC, has reached DoPT for the issuance of the notification. When contacted, Dr Chawla, who returned from a foreign tour only yesterday, refused to comment on the plea that nothing was yet in “black and white”. However, when asked if he had any inkling about the decision, he smiled and said, “let’s wait to hear for another day or so”.

However, sources close to him claimed that he had been informally apprised of the decision. “He was told a few days ago and in fact was even reluctant to go for his official trip to Singapore as the issue was hanging fire,” said the source, claiming that within “close circles”, Dr Chawla had already announced his announcement. Dr Chawla has been with the PGI for the past 28 years, joining it in 1983 as a lecturer in the hepatology department. Prior to this, he had done super speciality in gastroenterology (1982-83). He had done his MBBS and MD from Jabalpur Medical College (1969-78).

Dr Chawla’s appointment has surprised many, as he was considered the underdog amongst the other two heavyweights - Dr Amod Gupta (head of the Advanced Eye Centre, PGI) and Dr Raj Bahadur (Director, Principal, GMCH-32), who had reportedly pulled all strings to get the coveted post.

As reported in these columns earlier, the fact that Dr Chawla had no heavyweight backing him proved a blessing in disguise for him, as the pulls and pressures extracted by the supporters of the other two candidates didn’t go down well with certain members of the ACC.

With Dr Chawla’s name now being cleared, questions are being raised on the prospects of Dr Raj Bahadur returning to the PGI after the completion of his stint as the top man at the GMCH-32 on November 30. Since the administration has not given him a further extension till now, his repatriation to the PGI is more or less certain, but the question remains whether he would join there merely as a Professor or HoD after independently heading an institute for the past three years. If sources in the UT are to be believed, Dr Raj Bahadur is once again becoming active for seeking an extension here.



PGI admission scam
Bangalore-based doc held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested a Bangalore-based doctor in connection with doctors’ admission scam that rocked the PGI last year.
The CBI arrested Dr Rajnikant, who is a doctor in Bangalore Medical College, for impersonating in the exam in place of Dr Amit Musle. The accused was arrested last night.

Amit Musle, along with another student, had procured admission to the PGIMER on the basis of impersonation and manipulation.

The accused doctor was produced in court and sent to judicial custody. A case under Sections 120B, 419, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against the accused.

The scam came to light in September last year when the CBI had arrested Dr Amit Musale, a resident of Nagpur, and Dr Sujay Sonawane, a resident of Maharashtra, for procuring admission in the PGI on the basis of impersonation. The two had cleared the exam with the help of mastermind Mumbai-based agent Gaurav Shaleen, who had arranged imperosnators for them. Gaurav Shaleen has been arrested by the CBI.

Dr Amit was pursuing post graduation in pharmacology, while Dr Sujay had secured admission in paediatrics when the CBI arested them. The investigating agency managed to arrest the impersonator doctor today following disclosures by the prime accused Gaurav Shaleen.



 CCA Golden Jubilee
‘Rock’ing time at architecture college
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

The 5.5-tonne rock excavated from Jabli, near Kasauli, being shifted to its site of installation at the Chandigarh College of Architecture as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the college in Chandigarh on Thursday.
The 5.5-tonne rock excavated from Jabli, near Kasauli, being shifted to its site of installation at the Chandigarh College of Architecture as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the college in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune Photo : Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, October 6
In an innovative gesture to mark its golden jubilee celebrations, the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) will place on its campus a 20-million-year-old 5.5-tonne rock that has been fetched from Jabli near Kasauli.

“The rock is of great historical, geological and museum value. It has been discovered near the Kasauli hills. Apart from its relevance at the golden jubilee function, the rock will also help in educating people about the history of the universe,” said PC Sharma, a museum expert.

College principal Pardeep Bhagat said they wanted to have a plate carved in the fluvial sandy rock to mark the occasion like they earlier had during the silver jubilee celebrations. He suggested that the college should instead have a rock of historical value as a monument. “The idea of having a rock instead of a regular plate carved in
the wall of stones was floated by Bheem Malhotra, a faculty member, following which we decided to have a monument that gels with college’s character,” Bhagat said.

He further said that the root of architecture was stone and they wanted something related to the concept of architecture. The college then consulted geologists and finally asked Sharma and AD Ahluwalia, a geologist, to get a rock for the college. Speaking to Chandigarh Tribune, Sharma said that they found the 20-million-year-old sandy rock after an excavation carried out over three days in the Kasauli hills. The rock has been placed in front of the college building with the name of both AD Ahluwalia and PC Sharma and the relevance of the rock carved on it. The rock was transported with the help of cranes. 



CCA completes 50 years
Golden jubilee to be a gala affair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Chandigarh College of Architecture is all set to host its golden jubilee which will witness a three-day celebration with lectures, workshops, photo exhibition and a rock night.
Established in 1961, the college will celebrate 50 years of completion. It has produced over 1,000 alumni, including world-renowned architects.

The first day of celebrations will witness a photo exhibition with pictures collected by students of the college from the alumni.

Assistant Prof Bheem Malhotra said the photo exhibition would showcase 50 years of the college’s journey. “There are over 300 pictures collected by the students that will be exhibited for all visitors,” Malhotra said.

An audio-visual presentation by Portuguese Architect Eduardo Souto de Moura will be shown in the evening.

College principal Pardeep Bhagat said on the second day of celebrations, the college would display works done by the alumni. “We will display the designs of renowned architects who were students of the college,” Bhagat said.

Nepal PM to give function a miss

Baburam Bhattarai, Prime Minister of Nepal, who is an alumnus of the Chandigarh Architecture College, will not be able to make it to the golden jubilee celebrations. However, he has sent a recorded message to the principal praising his alma mater and promising to visit the college soon.

The college has also designed a truck with a stage and boards exhibiting names of alumni of the college. Architectural designs of a few of renowned architects will also be showcased.


And the evil comes crashing down
Aircraft dropping coloured leaflets, fireworks catch fancy of spectators
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Tricity residents came out of their homes in large numbers to attend the Dasehra festival today. All grounds were jam-packed much before the effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhkaran were set afire. As the sun set, loud explosions reverberated across the tricity as the gigantic effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhkaran came crashing down, symbolising the triumph of good over evil.

In Chandigarh, the Dasehra festival was celebrated at 33 sites with traditional gaiety and fervour. The main functions were celebrated at two places - the parade ground and the circus ground, both in Sector 17. At the parade ground, organisers also burnt an effigy of corruption.

Another major function marked with similar enthusiasm was celebrated in Sector 46. The centre of attraction was the height of the effigies of Ravana (75 feet) and Kumbhkaran and Meghnad (both 70 feet). Another function was organised in Sector 29, which also attracted huge audience.

Organisers of the festival at various locations in the city claimed that the Dasehra festival attracted more crowds than last year. Also, more youths and women turned up this time.

Artists, who were playing various roles in Ramlilas reached the venue on horses and on decorated horse chariots. The burning of the three effigies followed a magnificent display of aatishbazis.

Chaos on roads

After Dasehra celebration, traffic jams were witnessed in Sectors 7, 17, 27, 29, 44, 45, 46 and Mani Majra. The Chandigarh Police worked hard to manage traffic chaos on the city roads.

Expenditure on crackers

Various Dasehra committees across the tricity spent more than Rs 16 lakh on crackers. On an average, every committee spent Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000


Crowds go berserk

Panchkula: Effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad were burnt at various places in the city.

The main functions were celebrated at the Sector 5 parade ground.

The police also found it difficult to handle youths. Both fire brigade vehicles and ambulances were specially stationed on the ground as a precaution.



  People were seen standing on rooftops in Sector 29 and 46 to watch Dasehra celebration.

UT finance secretary VK Singh fired a thread-guided arrow on the naval of Ravana’s effigy in Sector 46. Thereafter, ‘Amrit’ was shown flowing out and finally the effigy was burnt.

Various Dasehra committees distributed sweets among children at the venue.

The centre of attraction was the height of the effigies of Ravana (75 feet) and Kumbhkaran and Meghnad (both 70 feet) in Sector 46.

For better viewing, many committees had installed LCD screens and projectors.

An aeroplane dropped coloured leaflets on the public in Sector 46.

Families lost some of their members in the crowd. But most of them were found.

Ram, along with his brother Lakshman and wife Sita, came to the venue in an open truck in Sector 17.

Rather than burning an effigy of Ravana, residents of Dadu Majra burnt an effigy of a garbage plant as it had made their lives miserable for long.

Organisers of the festival at various locations in the city claimed that the festival attracted more crowds than last year.


Fireworks icing on the cake

Mohali:Chaos prevailed on roads leading to the Dasehra ground in Phase VIII as motorists parked their vehicles on roadsides to obtain a glimpse of the burnt effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakaran. The police had been deputed around the venue to keep the crowd under control. After the symbolic defeat of Ravana, the effigies were set on fire. The unique aspect about the event was colourful fireworks soon after the effigies were burnt.



Safeguarding impounded vehicles a nightmare
Lack of parking site threatens safety of case property
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The UT excise and taxation department has been facing a peculiar problem of finding a place to park vehicles impounded by its officials.
In the absence of any proper site, the department has been forced to park these vehicles at different places and depute its officials to keep a vigil on them during night.

“We had put up the matter before the authorities concerned for the allotment of a specific site for the purpose, but to no avail,” said a senior official of the department on the condition of anonymity.

The official admitted that incidents of some truck operators having managed to flee along with their loaded vehicles during night or even removing goods from vehicles to reduce penalty charges had taken place.

Recently, the department had registered a case against a truck driver who had fled along with his impounded truck during night.

The official said it was not possible to depute so many officials at different locations (where the impounded vehicles are parked) during night to guard these vehicles.

He added: “We have impounded around 10 trucks this week alone. These have been parked at various parking lots in Sector 17. It is not possible to keep a vigil on all of them as we can’t afford to depute so many officials just to guard these.”

“We don’t even have a place to check the loaded goods to assess the penalty amount,” said the official, adding that all problems would be solved if a proper site was allotted to them, as only one watchman could do the job.

Revenue generator

The department has so far this year collected Rs 1.2 crore as penalty from vehicle operators entering the city without requisite documents for their loaded goods. The department had collected a similar amount last year in penalty on impounded vehicles, the official said.



A trip down memory lane
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
With the passage of time, the Chandigarh College of Architecture has undergone a complete transformation. A new library, a student centre and a night studio that replaced a cycle stand are likely to welcome old students. In the next three days, the alumni will walk down memory lane and recall their college days. Golden Jubilee celebrations will bring together hundreds of architects spread across the globe who are excited to come back to their alma mater and share nostalgia.

Arun Virmani, a 1964 batch student of the college, has already reached the city and is excited about the celebrations. He has also contributed a collection of pictures to the college for a photo exhibition. “I am really excited to be back in the institution that has a great relevance in my life. Although a few of my batchmates have already arrived, I am looking forward to meet others,” Virmani said.

Another renowned artist Harsh Narang from the 1974 batch is also arriving for the celebrations after cancelling his meetings lined-up for weekends to meet his college friends.

“I want to go back to my college days. It was definitely a golden era of my life,” Narang said.

The college aims at refreshing memories through a coffee table book which consists history of the college. The old students will also be welcomed with a photo exhibition of pictures collected from alumni of the college.

Arun Lakhnpal a 1976 batch student, who will also be reaching the city to attend the function, said he and his friends were in touch and had made a few plans for their visit to the city that would take them back to the older days.

A few famous architects who were once the students of the college include Tony Ashai, California-based architect, who has designed houses for many celebrities and redesigned New York’s famous Chrysler building. Namita Singh, another alumnus who designed the Welhams Girls’ School in Dehradun, INS Ashwini, a naval hospital in Mumbai, while Arun Luthara

Baburam Bhattarai (57), another alumnus, is Prime Minister of Nepal. 



BSNL emergency numbers remain disconnected
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, October 6
More than a week after BSNL disconnected its services to private telecom operators except Reliance and Tata, thousands of customers using services of Airtel, Vodaphone and Idea are unable to connect to BSNL numbers, particularly the emergency services concerning health, police and fire departments.

The affected emergency numbers include 100 (police), 101 (fire) and 102 (ambulance). Interestingly, even the alternative numbers provided by the concerned office too belong to BSNL and are therefore not working.

BSNL snapped the connections from September 29 on account of the bills not been cleared. Sources said the services were unlikely to be restored till Monday.

“Residents are facing problems as some of the alternative numbers being provided by different institutions (in newspapers) too belonged to BSNL. It is not possible to contact these numbers,” Col VK Vasudeva (retd), a resident of Sector 48 said.


Residents continue to face problems while connecting to the emergency health services number at 102. The status of the emergency number of the PGI (2756565) and the GMSH, Sector 16, was no different.


With the police emergency number 100 out of reach, the police has urged city residents to dial 2749194 and 2746509 or 9465121000 as alternative numbers.


Despite the ongoing impediment for the past more than a week, the fire department has not yet made any arrangements of hearing the emergency calls from numbers of the affected telecom companies. 



Chandigarh airport
Another 10 months to upgrade old terminal
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The work on upgrading the old terminal site, which will help increase the apron area as well as the space in the hanger, is likely to take another 10 to 12 months to complete.

Once the work is completed, the city airport will be technically ready to handle international flights.

The customs department has already given its clearance for the setting up of immigration facilities for domestic and international passengers.

As the old building gets deconstructed, aero-bridges will be constructed, taking both arrivals and departures to the first floor. The ground floor will have immigration counters of various airlines as well as the waiting lounge.

The aero-bridges will facilitate direct boarding of passengers, without them having to travel in a connecting bus to the flight.

Duty-free shops will be constructed on the first floor. These will include a food court and a coffee shop besides foreign currency exchange shops.

Sources say tenders have been floated for the carpeting of the part of the area from where the old terminal building has been demolished. The area will be merged with the apron area to increase its capacity.

After the completion of the construction work, the apron area will have a capacity to station five aircraft as compared to the existing capacity of just three.

The authorities have decided to set up a medical inspection room to provide immediate medical aid to passengers or their attendants at the terminal building. The medical staff of the Indian Air Force currently provide the medical aid in case of an emergency.

Airport director HS Toor says it will take 10 to 12 months to complete the ongoing work.

The landscaping of green areas around the terminal building will also be undertaken to beautify the airport, he adds.

A prepaid taxi service will be started soon so that private taxi owners operating from the airport do not fleece passengers.

The customs department has already earmarked a site in the terminal building to set up its centre and steps will be taken to put in place the men and machinery by the last week of October. The Chandigarh police has already been asked to handle the immigration at the airport, Toor adds. 



IFB told to pay Rs 10,000 for deficiency
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II has slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on IFB Industries Limited for its failure to give prompt service to a city resident who had purchased two machines under the annual maintenance charges (AMC) scheme.

The forum, comprising its president Lakshman Sharma, and members Madhu Mutneja and Jaswinder Singh Sidhu, observed: “It is the sole responsibility of the opposite party to honour the promises made at the time of entering into an AMC and helping their customers by maintaining their machines in perfect order and that too by giving prompt and effective service. It is this responsibility that the opposite parties have miserably failed in.” The forum also directed the opposite party to refund the amount received by them against the last two AMC charges of each machine.

The complainant, Dr Paramjit Singh, a resident of Sector 43-B, said he had purchased an IFB dish washer and digital washing machine and, trusting the name of the company, opted for an extended warranty by paying Rs 2,525 and Rs 1,653, respectively. At the end of the extended warranty period of this washing machine, he subscribed for the AMC by paying an amount of Rs 2919 and Rs 2383, respectively. He alleged that during the period of extended warranty as well as during the period of the AMC, the representatives of the company were not prompt in their response towards his requests whenever there was a breakdown in the dishwasher or the washing machine.

He also alleged that at times their service did not turn up for days while fetching the required spare parts for the completion of repairs and the machines remained without use. The counsel for the IFB Industries contested the complainant’s claim submitting that the complainant had taken the delivery of the appliances in question to his satisfaction after the pre-delivery inspection.

The respondents had complied with the warranties, assurances and specifications as provided by the manufacturer regarding the quality and performance of the appliances and hence there was no deficiency on the part of the company. After hearing both sides, the forum directed the opposite party to refund the amount of money received by them against the last two AMC charges of each machine.



Garbage piles up, so does residents’ woe
With safai workers on strike, household waste being dumped by roadsides
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, October 6
With safai workers on strike, the town has turned into a virtual dumping ground. Be it the lanes in front of houses or pavements along the roads, garbage is everywhere.

Garbage strewn around a bin near the old police station at Zirakpur; and (right) members of the Government Employees Union and the Valmiki Naujawan Sabha stage a protest against the state government at the Zirakpur-Patiala traffic lights on Thursday.
Garbage strewn around a bin near the old police station at Zirakpur; and (right) members of the Government Employees Union and the Valmiki Naujawan Sabha stage a protest against the state government at the Zirakpur-Patiala traffic lights on Thursday. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal 

And, residents are bearing the brunt of it. With no door-to-door collection of garbage in the past two days, residents are at their wit’s end to dispose of their household waste. Consequently, garbage is being dumped in vacant plots of residential areas.

Meanwhile, members of the Government Employees Union and Valmiki Naujawan Sabha today staged a protest at the Zirakpur-Patiala traffic lights and burnt a Punjab Chief Minister’s effigy.

They alleged that the government had given the contract of solid waste management to a private company due to which thousands of private garbage collectors had been rendered jobless.

“We have been demanding safai workers’ regularisation and revocation of the government policy to give work to private players,” they added.

Heaps of garbage dot open spaces, including vacant plots and internal roads, in residential areas.

Residents of various colonies in Baltana, Pabhat, Zirakpur and Dhakoli claim their life has become miserable with garbage emanating foul smell for the past two days.

“My husband went out and dumped two bagful of garbage after nobody came to collect it for two days,” said Madhu Sharma, a resident of Pabhat.

Another resident of ward No. 1 in Baltana said residents of the colony had been forced to dump their garbage in a vacant plot. “It is really tough to pass by due to the foul smell,” he added.

An official of the Zirakpur MC said it was a serious matter and he would take it up with the local administration tomorrow.



Curb on heavy traffic on Mohali road
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 6
To curb the increasing number of accidents on the main road connecting the Kharar-Chandigarh Nati-onal Highway No. 21 with the Mohali bus station in Phase VIII here, the district administration has decided to restrict the movement of heavy vehicles, including long-haul buses, on the section.

The heavy traffic would now be diverted to the 200-ft-wide road from Industrial Area, Phase VIII, to Sector 66.

While the buses destined for the Phase-VIII bus station would enter the town near the Singh Shahidan Gurdwara, Sohana, trucks bound for Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and parts of Punjab had been barred from entering the town.

They would take the Aerocity road before joining the road near the Industrial Area, Phase IX, that leads to the Tribune Chowk.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the District Traffic Advisory Committee held recently.

Following the meeting, Deputy Commissioner Varun Roozam directed the district transport officer, Karan Singh, to work out the modalities to impose traffic restrictions.

Long-haul buses plying on the road from the Balongi bypass to the Mohali bus station had been involved in fatal road accidents in the past, as bus drivers seldom followed the traffic signals.

The 6-km stretch has at least six traffic junctions where the traffic from sectors converges, thereby increasing the risk of accidents.

The district transport officer has sent the case to the Deputy Commissioner for final approval.

The Deputy Commissioner is expected to give his nod by next week, following which a notice would be put along the road, warning the drivers of heavy vehicles about the restrictions.

Diversion Plan

While the buses destined for the Phase-VIII bus station will enter Mohali near the Singh Shahidan Gurdwara, Sohana, trucks bound for Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and parts of Punjab will be barred from entering the town. They will take the Aerocity road before joining the road near the Industrial Area, Phase IX, that leads to the Tribune Chowk



UHBVN told to pay Rs 15,000
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 6
The Panchkula District Consumer Forum has asked the UHBVN to pay Rs 15,000 to two farmers for not restoring electricity supply to their tubewell.
The complainants, Rajinder Kumar Sharma and Joginder Kumar Sharma, both brothers hailing from Hangola village, alleged that they had suffered a loss of Rs 4,52,000 due to the deficiency in service on the part of the electricity provider.

The forum comprising president Ashak Kumar Jain and member SP Singh also directed the electricity provider to pay Rs 5,000 as costs of the litigation to the complainant.

The complainants in their application stated that electricity supply to their tubewell was cut off due to non-payment of outstanding bill of Rs 11,482 on January 25
this year.

However, the amount was deposited on February 2, while on the other hand the authorities failed to restore the connection.

As a result of which, the yield of wheat standing in the fields had not come to the expected level as it was reduced to 25 per cent of the regular yield, claimed the complainants.

They suffered a total loss of Rs 4,52,000 on account of poor yield of wheat and ensuing paddy crop.

The UHBVN authorities in their reply said the complainants were told to complete some formalities after they deposited the bill, but they failed to
do so.

The forum observed that failure of the opposite party to re-connect the supply to the tubewell of the complainants immediately after they had deposited the defaulting amount ran contrary to the mandatory statutory provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003.



Panchkula admn set to start survey
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 6
The Panchkula administration is all set to start a survey for the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) in the district.
Besides data on caste and tribe, information on parameters like occupation, highest educational level completed, disability, religion, housing, employment and income characteristics and assets will be collected during the survey.

The data collected in the SECC will also be used by the Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation to determine the number of persons living below the poverty line.

During a pilot survey, the operational procedures of the SECC were tested in some rural and urban areas of Haryana before being launched on full scale.

The pilot survey has helped the authorities get a comprehensive account of the population count.

As per the Census Act, 1948, details of individuals collected in the Census are confidential and cannot be made public. However, in the SECC, all details, except of religion and caste of an individual, are proposed to be published in the local areas to bring transparency and invite claims and objections.

This list will further be placed before the gram sabha in the rural areas and wards/committees in the urban areas.

In order to allow such a process, the SECC is not being conducted under the Census Act and has been taken up as a separate exercise.

The SECC is to be completed in a phased manner from June to December, 2011 in all states and Union Territories.

In Haryana, the government employees conducting the survey for the Socio-Economic and Caste Census will be paid Rs 4,500 per enumeration block.

As a surveyor is supposed to conduct the survey in four blocks in a month, he is entitled to get Rs 18,000 for the survey in addition to his or her salary.



Chandigarh scan
Food safety audit demanded

Ajay Jagga, advocate and president of the Janata Party, has urged the Chandigarh Administration to constitute teams of officials to conduct food safety audit of eatables in hotels, restaurants, discos, bars, eating joints and sweets shops during the festive season. The food safety audit is mandatory as per the Law - The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, - and the rules of 2011. The Act has been implemented by the administration and the guidelines have been issued in September, 2010. The Act has a clear definition of safe and unsafe food.

CME on pulmonary infections

The department of pulmonary medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, will organise a CME on pulmonary infections on October 9. The subject has been chosen in view of the enormity of infections responsible for a significant morbidity and mortality.

Diet for healthy living

There is no such thing as bad food. It’s only a bad diet, said Sonia, senior clinical nutritionist, Fortis Hospital, during an interactive session on “Diet for healthy living” organised by Rotary Chandigarh, Shivalik Club, at Hotel Sip n Dine here. She said: “Each person has a different dietary requirement based on his or her health, age and physical activity. One should concentrate on a nutritious diet based on the body mass index.”

EO transferred

Estate officer (EO) of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) Balbir Singh Dhol, a PCS officer, has been transferred and posted as SDM, Malout. He has been replaced by JC Sabharwal, who was earlier the Joint Secretary, Medical Education and Research, Punjab. Sabharwal joined his new posting after his predecessor was relived of his charge. Balbir Singh Dhol has been credited with streamlining the functioning of the estate office and was also instrumental in launching the Aerocity urban estate.

Auction of fancy numbers

In an auction held by the district transport office (DTO), Mohali, for vanity numbers -- PB 65 M and PB 65 P series, the number PB-65-P-0009 was allotted to Venod Sharma for Rs 2.05 lakh against a reserved price of Rs 10,000. Another number PB-65-P-0007 went for Rs 1.7 lakh. Karan Singh, district transport officer (DTO) said: “We auctioned 141 numbers and the total reserved price was Rs 3.86 lakh. The DTO earned Rs 24.79 lakh from the auction.

Governing body elected

At a meeting of Kansal Enclave Society, a new governing body was elected with a majority. Pami Sodhi has been elected as president, P Sachdev (Bawa) as general Secretary and DKGhai as finance secretary of the society. 



Environment education—Not an optional subject anymore

Chandigarh, October 6
Going by latest guidelines of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), environment education will soon cease to be a side subject based on the conventional “study-text-books-write-examination” mode.

Environment education, which was never a part of the formal grading system in schools, will now be an important subject, where the curriculum will include projects, discussions, visits and even practical activities in addition to usual written examination.

The council in addition to revamping the syllabus has also come out with fresh textbooks emphasising on hands-on activities and projects on environment-related issues.

Classes VI to X will include projects like preventing wastage of electricity and water due to negligence, plight of ragpickers, oral health and hygiene and disaster management. For higher secondary classes, the projects will emphasise on innovation and invention of various environment-friendly techniques. Teaching handbooks and manuals have also been published. “Environment education has so far been confined to being a common theme of all extra-curricular activities. The new guidelines will, however, elevate the subject from being a mere sideshow,” said a senior NCERT official. —TNS



Exam centres to have CCTV

Mohali, October 6
The Punjab School Education Board has decided to install CCTV cameras in examination centres to check copying. It was also decided that examination process would be videographed. The CCTV cameras will be installed in examination centres located in Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Pathankot.

Videography will also be done in and around examination centres so that action can be taken against those who help students in copying during exams. A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting held to review various examination-related works.



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