C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Petrol price pinch pains
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The fifth hike in petrol prices during this year has come as a major blow to most residents in the tricity. Car owners, in particular, are a peeved lot, with the fuel cost hike adding significantly to their monthly budgets. Two-wheeler owners are finding it difficult to manage their monthly petrol budgets.

The hike in petrol has been considerable. From Rs 56.52 per litre in January, the price of petrol in Chandigarh has risen to Rs 69.70, by Rs 14 or 23 per cent, in a period of just 10 months. The price in Panchkula is marginally less at Rs 68.98 per litre and higher in Mohali at Rs 76.27 per litre.

Dharam Pal, an accountant with a retailer at Sector 26, says, “My monthly family budget has gone for a toss. There have been significant and frequent hikes in petrol prices, coupled with corresponding and almost natural increase in cost of running the kitchen. There has been no corresponding increase in salaries.”

Jai Pratap Jandial, a senior manager with an IT company, says, “Among many price hikes, petrol is very important because it affects my family budget and almost natural increase in cost of running the kitchen. There has been no corresponding increase in salaries.”

Jai Pratap Jandial, a senior manager with an IT company, says, “Among many price hikes, petrol is very important because it affects my family budget the most. My wife and I are working in different offices and we both had separate cars. I have sold my car. We stay at Sector 28. I drop my wife at her school in Sector 38 (West) in the morning in one corner of the city and then drive to the IT Park at the other.”

Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association general secretary Amanpreet Singh has said petrol sales have dipped in the city, from around 11,000 kilolitres per month once, in the past few years.

He has said the UT Administration is getting Rs 9.42 per litre as VAT and other taxes on the sale of petrol. According to him, the hiked price will result is fetching Rs 11.59 per litre in taxes.

Amandeep Singh, owner of the Sukhna petrol station at Sector 28, says the price of diesel is being quoted at Rs 41.85 in the city and at Rs 39.92 in Panchkula and Mohali. He has criticised of the UT Administration for failing to take action on reducing taxes to give relief to the common man.

For two-wheeler owners, the price of 2T oil has registered a steep increase over the past one year. From Rs 150 per litre earlier, it has risen to Rs 215 per litre, reflecting an increase of 43.33 per cent.

Speaking out


l I am planning to sell my motorcycle and purchase a bicycle instead. The price hike has affected my household budget.

I actually do not have any other option in bearing my family expenses except cutting on my own
— Rupinder Singh Ankhi, former Lawyer 

l It is very hard to run the household these days due to the rising prices of vegetables and other food products. The rise in petrol prices has further complicated our budget. The hike has aggravated our problem of monthly expenses
— Balwinder Kaur, Citco employee 

l The hike in petrol prices has become a bimonthly affair.

This has never happened in my life. Petty salaries are no major reprieve for a common household. Petrol is a carrier of the increased public movement during the current times
— Dharampal, Phase-VII resident 

l The hike is absolutely unjustified. The price of petrol in the international market, $152 per barrel in 2008, is down to $99 at present. One expected a natural fall in prices here as well. The rising number of vehicles, greater demand and limited resources have complicated the matter~
— Gurbinder Singh, Phase-X resident 


Speaking out


There seems no breather in the recent all-round hikes in prices of commodities. We have adjusted our kitchen purchases and cut down expenditure, but it is difficult to cut down on petrol because travel had become an inseparable part of our routine. Companies seem to be free in enhancing prices, with little government intervention.

— Anil Thapar, Sector-2 resident 

I have to travel out of town, particularly to towns in Punjab and Haryana, for business deals. The continuous hike in prices now forces me to abandon my trip many a time. I make do with telephone calls instead.~
— Davinder Kumar, Sector-12A resident 




HC dressing-down for UT police
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
For the second time this year, the UT police has invited the wrath of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on the UT Administration yesterday following the failure of the Chandigarh Police to file a reply in the high-profile case of the sale of bullet-proof vehicles to a group of gangsters. The police had earlier been issued a notice after the accused had sought the quashing of the case.

Justice Ajai Lamba of the Punjab and Haryana High Court imposed the fine and passed strictures after inspector Harjit Kaur, in charge, technical cell, failed to file a reply in court and was unable to explain facts when she appeared in court. Taking serious note of her ‘carelessness’, the court imposed the fine. She was the investigating officer of the case from March 16, 2008, to June 20, 2008.

The police had produced the charge sheet in a district court, following which Sandeep Sobti, an industrialist accused in the case, moved the high court, seeking the quashing of the FIR registered against him in August, 2006.

The high court had granted a stay in the case.

The case was registered when the crime branch registered a case of fraud against Sobti, owner of Laggar Industries at Jalandhar. The industrialist was allegedly making bullet-proof vehicles and protective security material like bullet-proof jackets for unauthorised use across the country.

The police had impounded his bullet-proof Ford Ikon (CH-03-E-6065), which he had procured by producing fake documents. The police say Sobti had been modifying several vehicles with bullet-proof plating and sold those to mafia dons across the country.

He had also allegedly manufactured and supplied bullet-proof jackets to criminals in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, including Mukhtar Ansari, a notorious gangster.

Investigations had revealed the address of the Ford Ikon provided was that of the Punjab Ex-Servicemen Corporation, which clarified that it had no connection with Sobti. The police then registered a case of impersonation, forgery and criminal conspiracy under various provisions of the IPC in August, 2006.




Bouncer-attacking cop is back
Had misbehaved with two girls at discotheque, was suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
In a controversial decision, the Chandigarh Police has reinstated the inspector suspended for misbehaving with two girls and bashing a bouncer at a discotheque in Sector 8 on September 17.

Inspector Jaswinder Singh, former SHO of the Sector-17 police station, has been reinstated even before the completion of a departmental inquiry against him. He is currently designated as reserve officer at the Police Lines.

He was suspended on September 21, four days after the incident, after a fact-finding inquiry by DSP Kamaldeep found him guilty of misbehaviour and creating ruckus at Score Disco on the night of September 17.

The inquiry had found the inspector guilty of indulging in indiscipline and spoiling the image of the police. Senior police officers had an interesting explanation to offer on the reinstatement.

“We have done so because we need senior non-gazetted officers. We thought that it was better to make him work than to let him be on suspension and pay him half salary for not working,” said a police officer on the condition of anonymity. With his suspension revoked, the inspector would now be entitled to full salary. He was attached with the security wing of the Chandigarh Police when he was suspended.



‘Princess’, accused were known to one another
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
A day after the UT police recovered the missing princess and arrested the accused, Inderjit Malik, for her kidnapping, the police confirmed that the two were known to one another for the past over a year.

The two had exchanged around 500 calls and stolen money from their homes before the abduction.

Malik was remanded in police custody for two days and the statements of the girl were recorded before the magistrate.

The girl’s family members refused to get her medical examination done at the hospital.

The girl was abducted from outside her school in Sector 9 on October 11 and the police had registered a case of kidnapping at the police station-3. The accused was arrested following the interrogation of Kamal, who was neighbour of co-accused Dr Sangeeta, a PGI doctor. Dr Sangeeta is still on the run.

The police said the accused and the girl stayed at Kasual (Kullu), Gurgaon, Delhi, Mumbai, Goa over the past 20 days and tried to find a suitable job after they used up around Rs 45,000 from the money they were carrying.

Malik did not use his cellphone after allegedly abducting the girl and used to communicate with his associates, including Dr Sangeeta, through other persons’ cellphones and landline phones.

The two were recovered yesterday from Gidderbaha in Muktsar where they had been staying at a relative’s place.

The police had stated that the 16-year-old girl was a princess of a province in Himachal Pradesh.



Sec 144 in force around exam centres
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 4
Deputy Commissioner of Police Manish Chaudhary has imposed Section 144 of the CrPc in areas around examination centres in the district where the written examination of the Haryana Teachers Eligibility Test will be conducted by the Haryana Education Board on November 5 and 6.

The order states that the assembly of five or more persons, copying in the examination, carrying of any weapon and disturbance of peace and tranquility or riot or affray in areas around examination centres are prohibited within 200 metres of 
the centres.

The order will remain in force from 8 am to 6 pm. The examination will be held at nine educational institutions in the town.


Registration row: Transport officials to discuss issue today

Mohali, November 4
The Punjab transport department will hold a special meeting tomorrow to sort out the issue of the Mohali transport office not allowing registration of vehicles purchased by Mohali residents from Chandigarh-based car dealers.

The department has been stalling registration of such vehicles in order to ensure that the Mohali-based car dealer do a roaring business and their new software, launched recently by the department (enabling the dealers to register vehicles at their showrooms), is widely accepted. The Punjab Transport Commissioner, Anurag Aggarwal, said there should be no problem in allowing registration of vehicles sold in Chandigarh.

There is a provision under which such vehicles can be registered. The vehicle owners have to prove their place of residence. — TNS



A Perfect picture of garbage and potholes
Ill-maintained parks, non-functional streetlights add to woes
Rajiv Bhatia

A road in a dilapidated condition in Sada Shiv Enclave
A road in a dilapidated condition in Sada Shiv Enclave; and (below)

Zirakpur, November 4
Heaps of garbage in vacant plots, potholed roads, ill-maintained parks and non-functional streetlights dot Ward 1 at Baltana in Zirakpur.
Roads in the ward have practically been reduced to streets of cobbled stones.

In some areas, roads are yet to be laid though houses have been constructed decades back.

Nauseating stench from heaps of garbage dumped in open areas greet visitors as they try to find their way through congested streets.
 non-functional streetlight at Ward No. 1, Baltana.
A non-functional streetlight at Ward No. 1, Baltana. Tribune photos: S chandan

To make matters worse, power cables hang loosely and broken poles pose a threat to lives. Parks are not only in a state of neglect, but are also being misused by residents to park vehicles.

Most areas have broken roads with deep potholes, which can cause accidents at night. Garbage is dumped in the open in some areas at Ekta Vihar.

Roads have not been laid properly at Saini Vihar’s Phase 1, Sada Shiv Enclave, Hem Vihar, Yog Vihar, Golden Estate and Gill Colony.

Streetlights have been non-functional at Modern Enclave and Yog Vihar. Shopkeepers of the main market complain that basic amenities are lacking, causing inconvenience not them and visitors.

They say there is neither drinking water facility, nor public conveniences.

As a result, some areas on the rear side of the market have turned into open lavatories, they add.



The municipal council has started development work in the area. We have passed development works in the area during a recent meeting. Paver blocks are being laid on roads. Water supply will be better in the coming few days as the ward will get a new tubewell connection

— Manisha Malik, Area councillor




Police week to be observed from November 7
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The UT police is all set to observe the Chandigarh Police week from November 7 to 12 with the aim to solicit public cooperation and redress grievances of the general public. It is all set to revive the ‘mashaal parade’ this time.

To mark this occasion, the police will organise various activities and functions for strengthening its image. These include a tattoo parade, the play ‘Ek Mamooli Aadmi’, a joint workshop on security and immigration fraud, ‘dangal’ (wrestling tournament) and a seminar by the NRI cell.

Event Schedule

8:30 am: Parade at Police Lines

11:30 am: Inauguration of security related exhibition, interaction with senior citizens at CII, Sector 31

6 pm: Play ‘Ek Mamooli Aadmi’ at Tagore Theatre

November 8

10 am: Joint workshop on security and immigration fraud, exhibition on security (workshop for RWAs) at CII

5 pm: Tattoo and ‘mashaal’ parade at Police Lines

November 9

9 am: Visit to police stations by school and college students, painting competition at Sec-17 Plaza

11 am: ‘Dangal’ at Sector-7 stadium

12.30 pm: Inter-college debate on secure city and traffic at MCM College, Sector 36

November 10

1 pm: Launch of mobile police stations at Punjab Raj Bhavan

6.30 pm: Hindustani classical vocal recital by Dr Ashwani Bhide Deshpande at Tagore Theatre

November 11

11 am: Two-wheeler safety (helmet) rally for women behind Neelam Theatre, Sector 17

11.30 am: Seminar on marriage problems and solutions at Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Women, Sector 26

5.30 pm: Musical evening at Police Lines

November 12

Evening: At Home by IGP at Sector-5 residence.



Chandigarh Police to organise first-ever ‘dangal’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
In an effort to enhance sports and on the occasion of police week, the Chandigarh Police for the first time has decided to organise a ‘dangal’ (wrestling competition) on November 9.
The UT Police will organise its first wrestling dangal at Sports Complex, Sector 7, here.

Sources said the authorities are also making an effort to invite WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) star ‘Khali’, to promote the game and the event. Olympian Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt have confirmed their presence to boost the confidence of the participants.

Officials said any player of any age group can participate in the tournament. The organisers have also decided to give a cash award of Rs 1,11000, Rs 1 lakh and Rs 31,000 to the first three position holders in the special category while except this, a total cash prize of Rs 82,000 will also be distributed among the winning grapplers.

Notably, famous wrestlers including Rubble Khanna, Sunny Lilia, Sombir, Jassu, Jassa Nada , Satinder and Sarvar pehalwan will vie for the title.



Kairon demonstrates use of swipe card
Pilot project for immediate foodgrain payment to farmers through ‘arhtiyas’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Pungrain has started a pilot swipe card project to ensure immediate payment to farmers for foodgrain purchased from them through ‘arhtiyas’.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon demonstrated the system of payment through cards to ‘arhtiyas’ here today.

Under this, a card and a voucher would be issued for receiving money, allowing commission agents to pay farmers immediately, he said.

Kairon said the card would be registered with Pungrain’s payment system and banks would provide swipe machines at ‘mandis’.

‘Arhtiyas’ would swipe cards and inspectors concerned would feed the number of bags, quantity and date of purchase on machines, he explained.

Machines would generate slips after verification of particulars and payments would be credited in the account of ‘arhtiyas’, he elaborated.

The minister said Pungrain had decided to test it as a pilot project in association with Central Bank at a few ‘mandis’.

Mandi Board deputy chairman and commission agents’ leader Ravinder Singh Cheema urged all agencies to adopt this system and requested that the card be named 
Kairon card after 
the minister.



Topographical survey gets going
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
To complete the long-awaited detailed project report (DPR) for the tricity’s ambitious Metro rail project, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has started the topographical survey for the 33-km route.
After completing the soil and rock testing, the corporation started the topographical survey recently.

The topographical survey report will be part of the detailed project report (DPR). In the first phase, employees of the DMRC have started the topographical survey on the Chandigarh-Panchkula route.

The survey is being carried out for the preparation of the detailed project report, which is pivotal in planning the Metro project. The report, which will also analyse the feasibility of the project, is likely to be completed by December.

Initially, six corridors were recommended by RITES, a government enterprise that offers consultancy and project management services in the transport infrastructure sector. But gradually, the DMRC proposed two routes for the project.

The first route will run from north to south of the city, starting from a site close to Capitol Complex, near Secretariat, the High Court and Rock Garden. It will reach the Sector-17 piazza through UT Secretariat on Jan Marg, Sectors 22 and 35, ISBT-43 and go to Mohali, where it will pass through Aerocity and City Centre to terminate at Sohana, after taking a turn near Sohana gurdwara.

The other route, known as the East-West Corridor, will start from Sector 21, Panchkula, and lead to the railway station in Chandigarh, crossing the Sector-17 piazza, the PGI, Sarangpur, and reach Mullanpur.

The Metro will be underground within the sectoral grid of Chandigarh. Outside the grid, it will be elevated. The Metro stations will be constructed every 1 km where it is underground and 1.3 km where it is above the ground.




City-Bandra train not on track yet
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The new Chandigarh-Bandra (Mumbai) train (22452) announced in the Railway Budget this year is yet to see the light of the day, even as officials at the local railway station have received the time schedule of the train.

The new train will have 18 coaches and is slated to run once a week. The train will help area residents reach the country’s commercial capital, Mumbai.

According to sources, the train will depart from the Chandigarh railway station every Sunday at 5.45 am and after crossing Ambala, Panipat, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Rewari, Alwar, Jaipur and Ahmedabad, it will reach the Bandra terminus the next day. Similarly, the train (22451) from Bandra will arrive at the local railway station at 4.20 pm on Tuesday.

A senior official of the Ambala Division, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that they had already received the schedule and were awaiting the orders from New Delhi to run the express train from the city.

Divisional commercial manager, Ambala Division, GM Singh failed to respond to the calls made by this reporter to elicit his views on this issue. SK Sharma, chief public relations officer, Indian Railways, New Delhi, said he had no information in this regard. The new train was announced in the Railway Budget for 2011-12 following persistent demand by residents of the region for more seats for Mumbai.

At present, the Kalka-Bandra Paschim Express (22926-A) joins the Amritsar-Bandra train at Ambala Cantonment railway station to continue its onward journey. Similarly, on return, the Amritsar and Kalka sections of the train are segregated at the Ambala Cantonment railway station.



Ex-servicemen burn Defence Minister’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
A section of ex-servicemen burnt the effigy of Defence Minister AK Antony as a mark of protest against the non-implementation of their demands here today. They decried the “apathetic” attitude of the Central government towards redressing their grievances.

They said in spite of promises, the government had failed to implement the policy of “one rank, one pension” that would ensure equal pension for equal rank and equal length of service notwithstanding the date of retirement.

They also pointed out that war widows had been left out of the ambit of revised pay scales and associated allowances consequent to the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission.

Meanwhile, the ex-servicemen have planned another rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in support of their demands. They will also submit a memorandum signed in blood to the President and return their medals.



Less drain on pocket as winter veggies arrive
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Even though food inflation has soared to a nine-month high of 12.21 per cent, consumers can heave a sigh of relief as the prices of green vegetables have started to go down.

With the supply of green vegetables increasing substantially with the outset of winter, the prices of peas, cauliflower, radish, capsicum and spinach have witnessed a big correction.

Green peas and cauliflower, which were being sold at Rs 120 and 40 a kg, respectively, around Diwali just 10 days ago, are now available at Rs 60 and 15 a kg, respectively, at the Sector-26 retail market.

Similarly, the prices of capsicum are being quoted beween Rs 20 and 30 according to the quality. Two weeks ago, its price was hovering around Rs 60 a kg.

The new crop of good quality carrot, which started arriving in the market last week, was selling at Rs 40 per kg then. Its price has also started showing a downward trend with a price tag of Rs 30 a kg.

The leafy vegetables of spinach (paalak) and fenugreek (methi) are also available at a price of Rs 15 and Rs 20, respectively. One kilo of good quality ginger is also available for Rs 40 in the retail market.

The fruits, however, continue to burn a hole in the consumer’s pocket as only a few of them are available at price less than Rs 50 a kg.

Apple from Kinnaur is priced at Rs 120 a kg, while pears from Kashmir are being sold between Rs 60 and 80 per kg, according to their size and quality.

Cheeku was also available for nothing less than Rs 65 a kg, while its superior fruit was being sold as high as Rs 80 per kg.

People with low budget, however, can pick from guava, mosambi, papaya and banana. While guava, papaya and mosambi were selling at Rs 30 a kg, a dozen of good quality bananas were available for Rs 50.



Beggar found dead at Sector-7 market

Panchkula, November 4
A beggar was found dead in the market of Sector 7 here today. The deceased, identified as Sheetal, had been staying in the corridors of the market for over a decade. His body was found in the toilets of the market. The police has sent the body for a post-mortem examination.- TNS



chandigarh scan
PGI gate closed

The entry to Nehru Hospital from newly-opened gates towards Madhya Marg, adjoining Dental Block (adjacent to the CTU bus stop) has been closed at the PGI. This gate will be used only as an exit. Commuters who wish to visit Nehru Hospital may enter from the PGI’s main gate and use the road along the Advance Trauma Centre.

Heart diseases

Chandigarh has at least 2.63 lakh hypertensive and 83,000 patients with coronary heart disease. This was stated during a campaign, ‘Say No to Cardiac Arrest’, by the India Medtronic here on Friday. The campaign, launched in public interest, aims at throwing light on vastly confused condition called “sudden cardiac arrest”, a press release said. There is a complete lack of awareness on this form of cardiac arrest, which is responsible for 60-70 percent of cardiac deaths in India and globally.

Protest march

The Chandigarh Industrial Area Tenants Association today took out a protest march in support of their long pending demand for rehabilitation of tenant entrepreneurs working in Industrial Area, Phases I and II, in the upcoming Industrial Area, Phase III, Chandigarh.


Awareness programme

Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes in association with Government College of Girls-42 organised a “Safe/save environment awareness” programme at Government College of Girls, Sector 42, Chandigarh, on Friday. Dr Mani Bedi, college principal, presided over the function. A rangoli competition on environment related issues was conducted for college students. After this, a tree plantation drive led by Tajinder Kaur, CEO, ‘Hara Punjab Khara Samaj’, was also organised. Trees of neem, amla, jamun and Arjun were planted on the college campus.


Dr Zora Singh, chairman, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, has been honoured with “Bharat ke Mahan Saput” Award at a function organised in the memory of Dewan Jagdish Chandra, a freedom fighter.

Vigilance week

The northern regional office of the Bureau of Indian Standards concluded the vigilance awareness week, which began on October 31. The week was celebrated on “Curbing Corruption through Participative Vigilance” to sensitise and devise strategies for public awareness. SK Rekhi, AGM (vigilance), HMT, Pinjore, addressed the gathering.

Blood donation camp

As many 126 employees, including officers, of the Bhakra Beas Management Board donated blood at a special camp organised on Friday. The camp was inaugurated by Ashok Thapar, member (power).

The Prabh Simran Singh (Nannu) Sidhu memorial Trust will organise a camp in the market of Phase 3B2 on Saturday.


It was a memorable day for the students of Continental Group of Institutes, which held its annual convocation and founder’s day on its premises at Jalvehra. The main attractions of “Phoenix 2011”, the 11th Founder’s Day, were an array of dances and a fashion show by the students. Also, 158 students were awarded degrees and certificates for faculties like BBA, BCS and BSc during the convocation. The chief guest, former Governor of Punjab, Lt Gen BKN Chibber (retd), congratulated the achievers and praised the efforts of the staff and students. Institute president Lieut-Col BS Sandhu (retd) and senior directors Devinder Sandhu and Parvinder Sandhu also awarded certificates to the students.

Music competition

An inter-house music competition was organised at Yadavindra Public School. The students showcased their talent in music — both vocal and instrumental — which is part of the curriculum. The results: 1 Aitchison House, 2 Patiala House, 3 Ranjit House. Best singers: 1 Tanveer (Aitchison House), 2 Jaisveen (Ranjit House) and 3 Yasmine (Nalagarh House) and Minaz (Patiala House).


Anee’s School, Sector 69, conducted an educational workshop on health and hygiene for students. The aim was to make students aware about cleanliness and good health. Students of classes 1 to VIII attended the workshop.



PEC ‘Ruffriders’ design space-efficient vehicle
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
A team of six students of production engineering of PEC University have designed and manufactured “Moonbuggy”, a vehicle that is human powered, has a seat for two and can be driven at the top speed of 70 km per hour in spite of the rough terrain.

The vehicle is named Moonbuggy, as it is developed to be driven on moon. The team named “Ruffriders” comprising of Tarun Singla, Rishab Sekhri, Abhishek Saggar, Livleen Kaur Jatana, Mayank Galgat and Sourabh Chopra, has also participated in the great Moonbuggy race organised by NASA at the Marshal Flight and Space Centre, Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

Tarun Singla, the team leader and designing head, said Moonbuggy was human powered and could carry two students. “Moonbuggies are expected to be of ‘proof-of-concept’ and engineering test model nature, rather than final production models,” Singla said.

Singla said they had to design and manufacture a vehicle keeping in mind the hurdles that could be faced while driving the vehicle on moon.

“During the competition held at the USA, the Moonbuggy is driven through over a half mile simulated lunar terrain course, including craters, rocks, lava, ridges, inclines and lunar soil to determine the design, creativity and engineering expertise of the team”, he added.

The team members said they launched their quest to manufacture a fast Moonbuggy with lesser weight, which could be driven at extreme conditions.

“The rover was made super light not weighing more than 50 kg by using chrome-molly material for the chassis,” said Rishab Sekri, manufacturing head.

To make their Moonbuggy different from others, the team used special internal gear hub that has internally designed gear-shifting mechanism, which was imported from Germany.

The team leader said Moonbuggy was so compact that it could be folded and adjusted into a small box, making it easy to carry. The total weight of the vehicle without the driver is around 60 kg.


Key features

l Special internal gear hub, which has internally designed gear-shifting mechanism imported from Germany.

l Rover is made super light not weighing more than 50 kg by using chrome-molly material for chassis.

l It is capable of attaining top speed of 70 km per hour in spite of the rough terrain.

l It is space efficient, as it could be folded into a 4X4X4 box.

l Differential has been used in the vehicle and was made lightweight.



Expert dwells on stem cell technique to restore vision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Panjab University under the distinguished scientists’ lecture series organised distinguished lectures by two renowned scientists, Prof D Balasubramanian, director of research, LV Prasad Eye Institute, and Dr G Madhavan Nair, former director ISRO, at the Golden Jubilee Hall, Panjab University, today.

While deliberating upon the cells and stem cells, Prof Balasubramanian explained his current area of research on the successful use of stem cell techniques to restore vision in patients. This is made possible by the discovery of adult stem cells in the limbus, surrounding the cornea of the eye.

Prof Balasubramanian impeccably described the technique that they practice to isolate these stem cells and cultured them on human amniotic membrane to produce transparent corneal epithelia.

“They have successfully transplanted to over 700 patients who had lost their vision due to chemical or fire burns and restored vision to these eyes in a significant measure,” he said.

Later these patients successfully accepted a subsequent donor corneal transplant to regain 20/20 vision.

Prof Nair in his talk made the students acquainted with the achievements of ISRO India's Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) capable of orbiting into geo transfer orbit, which had its successful flight in the very first attempt in 2003. The research includes the scientific exploration of outer space using the Chandrayaan missions that succeeded in mapping 85 per cent of the moon’s surface and confirmed the presence of water on moon.

He also mentioned the launch of Megha-Tropiques Indo-French joint mission that primarily focused on the study of water cycle and energy exchange in the tropics. The session concluded with the interaction of the experts with students from stem cell and tissue engineering, systems biology, forensic sciences, zoology, environmental sciences, botany and microbiology, etc.



Talk on role of RTI in governance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
As a part of the vigilance week celebrations, the department of public administration of PG Government College for Girls, Sector 11, organised a talk on the “Role of RTI Act in governance” today.
A one-day seminar on “Latest developments in science” was also held.

Bikramjit Singh, joint secretary-HRD-cum-public information officer, board secretariat, BBMB, was the resource person. He highlighted the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005 and elucidated as to how a common citizen can benefit from them.

He stressed that this provision can play a great role in making the governmental functioning transparent and in fixing the accountability of officials.

Singh was of the opinion that it has led to empowerment of the citizens, as they can have quick and easy access to the governmental information. This was followed by an interactive session wherein the speaker ably dealt with the questions of students and faculty.

The seminar for the students of science stream was also held.
Around 10 students displayed their intellectual talent in making the presentations on various topics related to the latest developments in science. The topics were “Energy technology innovation”, “Global warming”, “Advancements in communication”, “Nanotechnology”, “Life on Mars”, “Computer hacking”, etc. Their work was the reflection of creativity and imagination, which conveyed the theme of their topics well.



Soch 2011
Punjabi University bags overall trophy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The Day III of Soch, the media fest organised by the School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, began on an intellectual note with a panel discussion on the topic “One person’s truth is another person’s bias”. Panelists, experts from different fields of the media took part in the discussion.

Jeet Jagjit, Punjabi singer and special guest of honour, launched souvenirs and distributed prizes among winners. Students of Punjabi University, Patiala, were declared the overall winners for Soch-2011.

Jeet Jagjit, who was ecstatic to be back to the university, recorded an interview on the Panjab University’s community radio station “Jyotirgamay”. He said there were no parameters for success and in this busy world music was the best stress buster.

The School of Communication Studies in collaboration with the PGI also organised an eye donation bank wherein volunteers were made to fill an application form undertaking a pledge to donate their eyes after death. This was an initiative by students of the department with a view to make a difference by thinking for a cause.



13,000 vow to fight dowry menace
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
The process to recruit 7,000 teachers is in the final stages and counseling for the same will be held on November 14 and 15, said Hussan Lal, secretary school education, Punjab, during his visit to the Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC), Landran, during their annual fest “Parivartan-2011”.

The minister said the Punjab government was making all efforts to spread quality education in the state. Rs 589 crore had been spent on the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan last year and the grant was increased to Rs 1,051 crore in the current year.

Addressing the students, Hussan Lal said it was technical students of the country, who had to make a contribution for making India a leading state in the world.

A total of 13,000 students pledged to fight against the menace of dowry that leads to discontent in society. They made a determination to actively go in for anti-dowry campaigns. Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman, CGC, inspired the students to fight against the menace by actively contesting the cost.



Stress on skill-centric learning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
A professors’ meet was organised by the UGC Academic Staff College, Panjab University, at the PU campus today on the theme “Higher education landscape: Quest for new trajectory”.

Prof Govardhan Mehta gave a presentation on the higher education scenario in India, thereby touching upon its strengths, faults, impediments and opportunities. He emphasised that skill-centric learning is need of the hour but skill is not in contradiction to the permit of learning and intellectual engagements.



Prodigal artistes leave audience awestruck
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 4
As many as 90 prodigious artistes between the age group of 4 to 14 years from “Hamari Kaksha”, an NGO engaged in transforming lives of poor students, presented a play “Grisham Ritu ka Sapna” at the Tagore theatre here today.

The play replete with humour, drama, dance and loads of colour was a Hindi adaptation of Shakespeare’s tale “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and was a concerted effort of students and staff led by Dr Anuradha Sharma and young theatre director Chakresh, an alumnus of the PU department of Indian theatre.

Adapted with certain aberrations, designed and directed by Chakresh, the play was evolved during a two-month workshop organised by Hamari Kaksha. Songs by Munna Dhiman and Vijay Machal were the added attraction. Actors Subhash, Rahul, Sahil, Bhoop Raj, Vandana, Sunil, Jyoti, Kashish, Preeti and Pawan played major roles, while Kritika choreographed.

Dr Anuradha Sharma welcomed chief guest KK Sharma, Adviser to UT Administrator, and Kamal Tewari, chairperson of Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Academy.



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