C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC poll
With same old issues, parties look for fresh faces
Congress and BJP have something in common — have not kept promises
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Political parties are making use of the proverb 'old wine in new bottle' while drafting manifesto for the forthcoming MC elections.

The reason is that assurances to redress chronic grievances of residents living in a geographical area of 114 sq km have remained unfulfilled and parties have no new issue to woo voters.

“The issue are old and have remained unsolved. Since we have nothing new to offer, we are trying to package the assurances,” says a senior leader.

In fact, the ruling party has still not woken up from its slumber to focus on old grievances of city residents. Opposition parties have not bothered to suggest any constructive proposals to resolve the issues.

If one goes by the record of the MC in the past five years, there have been only a handful of projects which have seen the light of the day.

These include the first Night Food Street, Martyr’s Pillar, foundation stone of overbridge at Sector 17 and sites for two marriage palaces, Sector-38 mahila bhawan and first multi-level parking.

Surprisingly, many problems have been totally ignored by the General House, including policies on service lanes, sanitation and footpaths.

Assurance versus action
Commercial and residential parking

Both the Congress and the BJP party assured voters that parking problem in residential and commercial areas would be streamlined. The proposal for community parking in residential areas was mooted during elections. Till date, there was no multi-level parking, but one had been approved recently by the UT Administration. A community parking had been constructed at Sector 19, which residents were reluctant to use as there was no security and provision to wash cars there.

Sanitation services

Proper disposal of garbage in the city was promised, for which sehaj safai kendras were to be constructed in each sector. Interestingly, till date, neither the Congress, nor the BJP had proposed to table sanitation bylaws in the House. Adding to the woes of the people was the garbage-processing plant at Dadu Majra, which had become a source of foul smell. Surprisingly, besides round-table discussions, constituting committees and blaming one another, the ruling party and the Opposition had not nothing in the past.

Maintenance of parks and greenbelts

Councillors of both parties played an active role in developing new greenbelts and neighbourhood parks in their respective wards, ignoring their maintenance. Due to this, a majority of internal parks were a shambles or had been encroached upon by residents to park their vehicles, especially during night hours.

Policy on service lanes

It seemed that framing a policy for service lanes, assured in 2006, had become a long-term plan for the Congress and five terms were not enough for this. Though residents kept complaining about mushrooming encroachment in service lanes in various parts of the city, the party turned a deaf ear to them and never mooted any proposal in this regard.

Proper maintenance of slums and villages

This issue was on the priority list of both parties during past elections. The proper maintenance of slums and villages attracted voters and wards having slums and villages had the maximum voting during the elections. But interestingly, after coming to power, no major work had been done by either party. Most roads in villages were in a bad shape and there was hardly any internal park in a good shape.

Stray animals and monkey menace

The BJP had assured voters that strict action would be taken to control the menace of stray animals and monkeys. Interestingly, whenever residents approached councillors on the monkey menace, they expressed helplessness, saying they could not do anything it as the issue was under the purview of the Administration.

Proper maintenance of roads

Allegation and counter-allegations on no steps having been taken to maintain internal roads were levelled by both parties in the previous elections. In the past five years, a number of internal roads had been re-carpeted, but the quality of work was so bad that a majority of the roads were damaged or washed away during the rains.

Ward committees

Both parties had assured voters that ward committees would be constituted, in which councillors would listen to grievances of residents and get these redressed by officials. Not a single recommendation of any ward committee had been tabled in the House by any councillor in the past five years.



Search for new woman candidates on
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Political parties are engaged in hectic parleying and have been witnessing intense lobbying for the finalisation of fresh faces, particularly of women, for municipal corporation (MC) elections, scheduled for December 17.

Election results during previous elections have clearly shown voters’ preference for new faces in this particular category. Many old-timers, including a Senior Deputy Mayor, have had to exit.

Sensing the changed preference of the electorate, both major political parties, the Congress and the BJP, are not depending much on senior woman candidates in the elections.

Sources said the Congress was yet to decide woman candidates from wards 1, 7, 9 and 14, which had been reserved for woman candidates.

The BJP had also not finalised its woman candidate from ward 24 and was planning to field first-timers from the four reserved wards.

In 2006, the woman to win by the narrowest margin was first-timer Raj Kumari Mishra of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch from ward 20, who had pipped Congress candidate Indu Singla to the post by 20 votes.

In a ward reserved for women, Congress first-timer Rita Sharma had won by 151 votes from ward 8, defeating BJP heavyweight and first-ever Mayor Kamla Sharma.

In ward 17, the Congress had fielded first-timer Anju Beniwala, who defeated BJP candidate Veena Kohli by 175 votes. Sunita of the BJP had defeated former Senior Deputy Mayor Pushpa Sharma in ward 26 by 496 votes.

The biggest margin of victory among woman candidates was 3,313 votes from ward 5, reserved for Scheduled Caste women, where Sheela Devi had romped home.

Three-time councillor Harjinder Kaur of the SAD had won by 988 votes against Congress candidate Ravinder Kaur.

The highest turnout among wards for women was 62.57 per cent in ward 6, where the Congress candidate won by 1,120 votes.



Believe it or not!
This tower will be 100m in height
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Highest in region

Officials of the public works department supervising the work say standing at about 100 metres, with the dome, it will be the highest structure north of Delhi. A high-rise worth mention coming up at Mohali is the 84-metre-high Quark City at Industrial Area in Phase VIII.

Chappar Chidi (Mohali), November 6
It seems that leaves of history have been shuffled through as one goes to Chappar Chidi, where Baba Banda Singh Bahadur and his brave soldiers had won a famous battle over the Mughals about 300 years ago.

Fateh-e-Minar, a 100-metre-high octagonal tower to commemorate ‘Fateh Divas’ in the historic battle, is nearing completion. The imposing structure, signifying victory, is coming up amid ‘chidis’ (low-lying areas) and ‘tibis’ (mounds), spread over 10 acres.

Six artificial mounds and water bodies have been created to depict the scene of battle. Sculptures of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Fateh Singh and others have been placed on these mounds. The the original mounds have been damaged long back.

The mounds have been raised to a height of six metres to support the sculptures of the warriors. Architect Reenu Khanna, who has planned the memorial, has said the memorial is symbolic of Sikh faith and valour.

The depiction of scenes of battle will be one of the main attractions. Coming up on 21 acres, a life-size sculpture of Banda Bahadur, engaged in battle with the Mughals, will be another key feature of the landmark.

The historic significance of the battle will be illustrated through a light-and-sound programme. Among the main elements of the ambitious project are Fateh-e-Minar, an open-air theatre to conduct the light-and-sound show, an exhibition hall and the battlefield.

Officials have said work on the project, worth about Rs 434.40-crore, has been allotted to the construction company L&T. The memorial is scheduled to be inaugurated by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on November 30.



Eight-month-old toddler dies in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
In a tragic incident, an eight-month-old infant was crushed to death in an accident at Sector 24 here the previous evening.

The toddler was playing by the roadside when the driver of a car reversed his vehicle and failed to see him.

The police booked the accused in a case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC. A case was registered at the Sector-11 police station.

Accused Vikram was a private contractor. The toddler, identified as Jai, received a head injury and was declared brought dead at a hospital.

His parents were working as labourers at the under-construction site of judges’ houses at Sector 24 and resided in a ‘jhuggi’ near the site.

Past fatalities

n This is the eighth incident of a minor losing life to rash and negligent driving this year.
n October 26: 18-month-old Aanchal crushed under the wheels of a car at Sector 56
n October 6: 13-year-old Vikas Kumar hit by a CTU bus at Industrial Area
n May 10: 10-year-old Khushboo, on way to school, hit by a motorcycle on road separating Sectors 46 and 47
n March 23: 18-month-old Kamalpreet Kaur, playing at the Sector-16 hospital, crushed under the wheels of a car being reversed by a PU girl student
n February 26: Three-year-old Anshit Goyal, playing outside his grandparents’ house at Sector 23, crushed under the wheels of an Innova car being driven by a minor
n February 23: 12-year-old Rakesh Kumar, alias Munna, hit by a tractor-trailer at Colony Number 4
n February 15: Five-year-old Shikha Kumari crushed under the wheels of a truck near the Chandigarh airport



Kidnap accused attempts suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Raising a question mark on police functioning, 21-year-old Inderjit Malik, arrested in the case of kidnapping of a ‘princess’, attempted suicide in police custody today. He slit his veins in a lock-up at the Sector-3 police station.

The incident occurred this morning. Inderjit slit the veins of his right hand using a blade. The blade was recovered from his possession. He was rushed to a hospital and administered first-aid. He was later sent to judicial custody.

The police slapped a case of attempt-to-suicide on the youth under Section 309 of the IPC. Senior police officials were scrutinising CCTV footage inside the police station to see the circumstances under which Inderjit took the extreme step.

He was arrested three days back for kidnapping a 16-year-old student of Carmel Convent School, who was a ‘princess’ from an erstwhile principality in Himachal Pradesh.



Aping ‘Munnabhai’ not girls’ play
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Using hidden mobile phones, two girls tried to clear the entrance examination for post of teacher in perfect ‘Munnabhai’ style today. Inspired by the Sanjay Dutt blockbuster, they were caught using mobile phones while writing.

The police arrested Nisha Tishir of Nangal Kalan and Sumeet of Nahri, both in Sonepat district, for cheating and impersonation and booked them under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC.

The appeared in the Haryana teacher eligibility test at Government Model School, Sector 28. Invigilators caught them and summoned the police. Headmistress Raj Bala lodged a written complaint, following which the two girls were arrested and a case registered at the Sector-26 police station. Inspector Sri Parkash, the SHO concerned, said Nisha was receiving SMSes on her mobile phone and Sumeet was talking on her phone through bluetooth.


Missing amenities and inaccessible councillor

MC Ward Woes
No: 16 (Sectors 20 and 33)

Voter Population
Sector 20 8,500
Sector 33 8,500

Ward No. 16, which comprises centrally-located Sectors 20 and 33, has been awaiting basic facilities for a long time. With the passage of time, the list of demands of area residents has increased but there is none to address these. People of the ward have lost hope of ever getting their demands, like re-carpeting of roads, maintenance of parks and good public utility services, fulfilled. Even to forward their grievances, residents have to run from pillar to post, as the councillor remains inaccessible.

Women cover their face as they pass by a heap of garbage, which remains uncollected for days, in Sector 20, Chandigarh
Women cover their face as they pass by a heap of garbage, which remains uncollected for days, in Sector 20, Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

e-Sampark centres

It has become a dream project for the residents of the area as for the past five years, nothing has been done by the councillor to get the e-Sampark approved from the UT administration or earmark a site for it. As a result, residents have to visit various offices to deposit their bills.

Community centre

The community centre of Sector 33 is a shambles. Even though funds were sanctioned under the MPLAD fund five years ago for its maintenance, the authorities have failed to approve the renovation work. Things are no different in Sector 20, as residents have been demanding a proper kitchen and a rest room in the community centre for the past five years but the authorities have not given a serious consideration to the proposal in this regard.


Rajesh Kumar Gupta
(First-time councillor)

Ward development fund?

Out of Rs 130 lakh allotted in the past five years, Rs 113.57 lakh have been spent till March, 2011

Tech know-how?

Has failed to respond to the grievances of residents posted both on Facebook and official e-mail ID

Questions asked in House in 2010

Has never participated in the General House or tabled any question


n Development of colonies for Chandigarh Police, sweepers and employees in Sector 20
n Construction of road gullies in Sector 33
n Installation of streetlights in markets

Internal parks

It is a norm in the MC to keep sitting on development projects once they are started. A classic example of this is the green belt in Sector 20, which has been dug up to lay electricity cables. The work is still nowhere near completion, causing inconvenience to residents. The residents complain that around 80 per cent of the parks in the ward are in bad shape in the absence of regular supervision.


Residents have been demanding a Sehaj Safai Kendra (SSK) in Sector 20 for the past five years, but nothing has been done in this regard so far. As a result, there is no site to dispose of the garbage collected by door-to-door workers from the sector. They end up dumping the garbage in the back lanes of the area. The authorities have expressed their helplessness in finding a site for setting up an SSK in the area.


Beside widespread encroachment in markets, roadsides are turning into enchroachers’ hub in this ward. Authorities have failed to check their activity as their drives are organised for markets alone.

Security gates

Two years ago, the MC had approved a project to install security gates at the entry points of Sector 33 for which funds were also allocated. However, the sites where these will be installed have not been finalised yet.



FOSWAC seeks member’s nomination as councillor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Federation of Sector Welfare Association Chandigarh (FOSWAC) held its monthly executive meeting here today.

Federation chairman PC Sanghi said the representation made by FOSWAC to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in January, 2011 to protect the edict and original character of Chandigarh from unplanned growth in its periphery by the adjoining states and the setting up of a Regional Planning and Development Authority for Chandigarh region on NCR pattern for the integrated planning of the city and its peripheral areas had been acknowledged and forwarded to the Chandigarh administration through the Ministry of Home Affairs in August for taking appropriate action.

While reviewing the outcome of the meeting of FOSWAC with the Adviser to the Administrator in August, the members expressed their hope that the Chandigarh administration would take appropriate action on important issues of traffic congestion, low water pressure, proper management of door-to-door collection and disposal of garbage and improvement in the functioning of garbage processing plant, making school grounds available for children to play, setting up of right to service Bill, launching of a centralised public grievances redress and monitoring system and implementation of amended Rent Control Act.

The FOSWAC members reiterated their earlier demand for nomination of one of the representatives of FOSWAC as councillor by the Administrator, so that the problems of a large segment of people through 56 different RWAs could be effectively resolved.

The members expressed their concern about vacancy of posts of senior/junior officers and overburdening of existing officers with additional workload, which seriously affected the efficient functioning of the administration.

The members were of the view that in case of non-availability of suitable officers from the adjoining states, the vacancies might be filled from the UT-cadre officers so that development projects did not suffer.



Sector-20 RWA shortlists four for Cong ticket
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
With just 40 days to go for the municipal corporation elections, the race for securing a party ticket to contest the elections is hotting up. The Sector-20 Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA), at a meeting held on Sunday, have shortlisted four names from among the sector residents for a Congress ticket from the ward. The residents of Sector 20, which falls in MC ward No. 16, held a meeting and decided to demand a candidate from Sector 20 for the ward. Sector 33 also falls in the ward.

Suresh Kapila, vice-president, House Owners’ Association, Sector-20 A, said a joint meeting of all Sector-20 based associations was held, which unanimously shortlisted four names for the candidature. Kapila, whose name also figures in the list, said the Congress had not won from the ward in the past three elections and they wanted the party to win the seat this time. Besides Kapila, the other three shortlisted candidates are OP Verma, president, RWA, Sector-20; Mukesh Nischal and Ram Sharan Gupta. All are residents of Sector 20.

Sanwaria joins BJP

AP Sanwaria, a nominated councillor, formally joined the BJP in the the presence of party leaders Satya Pal Jain, Sanjay Tandon, Arun Sood, Ramveer Bhatti and Satinder Singh here today.



Woman slips into Sukhna, rescued

Chandigarh, November 6
A 45-year-old woman, on a visit to the Sukhna Lake, accidentally slipped into the water body but was rescued here today.

The incident occurred around 5 pm when Manjula, a resident of Sector-15, Panchkula, was sitting on the stairs by the lake and fell into the water. She cried for help and was saved by alert policemen and passersby.

While the police initially suspected it to be a case of suicide attempt, foul play was ruled out later after the police recorded the her family member’s statements.

The police said the woman was suffering from an ailment and was under depression. The woman, accompanied by her relatives, was taking a walk along the lake, when she decided to sit on the stairs while the others kept walking. She later slipped into the water.

ASI Daljit, who saw the woman crying for help, jumped into the water to save her. She was taken to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16 and her condition was stated to be stable. Ruling out foul play, Inspector Poonam Dilwari, SHO, police station-3, said the family had showed them the victim’s medical reports. Manjula later told the police that she felt dizzy before she slipped into the lake. tns



sukhna suicide
Woman leaves behind 4-year-old daughter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The woman, Parvati, who committed suicide yesterday by jumping into the Sukhna Lake along with her two-year-old son, leaves behind a four-year-old daughter. The woman had got married five years ago and had been suffering from depression.

Parvati, along with her two-year-old son Aklesh, had jumped into the lake on Friday night and their bodies were retrieved from the lake yesterday. The police said the woman was suffering from depression as her husband was looking for a job and they were facing financial problems. The SDM Central would conduct inquest proceedings into the case.



Seminar discusses threadbare issues concerning women
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Issues concerning women in general and those of Sikh women in particular were discussed threadbare at a seminar organised by the Institute of Sikh Studies (IOSS) at its headquarters Gurdwara Kanthala Sahib here today.

In her keynote address, Prof Shashi Bala of Guru Nanak Dev University explained how early history of Sikhs placed men and women at par. However, unwritten rules that followed attempted to debar women from official religious matters on false notions of "impurity". She also expressed concern over the growing incidence of crime against women.

Gurdev Singh, patron of the IOSS, provided a brief background of the organisation and various activities being undertaken by it. Baljit Kaur, acting president of the IOSS, said that the Sikh gurus not only provided an ideological base through their hymns for socio-religious rehabilitation of women but also undertook several practical steps in this direction.

The Vice-Chancellor of Guru Granth Sahib University appreciated the dedicated work undertaken for propagation of Sikh religion and literature by the IOSS and its founder members. He lamented that the Sikhs were forgetting what the gurus taught them.

Dr Kirpal Singh traced the status of women in Sikh scriptures. Dr Rajinder Jit Kaur Dhindsa, director, Institute of Advanced Studies in Sikhism, discussed issues like dowry and female foeticide.

Amandeep Singh, in his paper, discussed how gender relations within Sikhism have been interpreted in Western paradigm. Singh compared the writings of Doris R Jakobsh and Nikki-Guninder Kaur Singh, as both have done a comprehensive analysis on feminism in Sikh history and philosophy.

SGPC member Harjinder Kaur appreciated clear interpretation by scholars of the difference in thoughts held by Western authors on the empowerment of the women vis-à-vis Sikh authors.

Dr Rajni Bala talked about the evil of female foeticide saying that "womb of the mother becomes tomb of the girl child". She explained how ultrasound testing was being misused in India for sex determination tests leading to illegitimate abortions.



open house response
Cycle tracks fail to serve purpose

open house question

With the third municipal corporation elections scheduled for December 17, political parties have started making promises which they hardly deliver on. Write your opinion on shortcomings in the civic body to the openhouse@tribunemail.com and also suggestions for improvement, if any.

For a population of 11 lakh, Chandigarh has more than 7 lakh vehicles. The concept of Le Corbusier’s traffic management was later followed by Mayer in greater details as he called it Les Sept Voies de Circulation, or Seven Vs.

UT Administrator OP Verma showed interest in laying cycle tracks in two phases in the city on the V-2 and V-3 roads. The aim of constructing the cycle tracks was to keep the slow moving traffic off main roads and busy streets.

Interestingly, councillors, on their own, have set no examples in goading public to come to the tracks. I will like to ask if any councillor pedalled his way on the cycle tracks? Does the role of the administration as well as municipal corporation end merely with the construction of the cycle tracks? Especially in Sector 22, it has been witnessed that many residents have installed barbed wire fences converting the houses into mini-fortresses by raising boundary walls, along the tracks, which beyond a certain limit is violation.

Promoting cycles is neither on the priority list of the administration, nor the corporation.

Despite an existing norm of giving way to cyclists and pedestrians, neither the general public nor the authorities seem to be interested in implementing the same.

The engineering department that constructed these tracks has failed to maintain these. Most of the tracks require repair as over a period of time these are dotted with potholes.

The cycle tracks, constructed along the V-3 roads of Sectors 35, 43, 44, 34, 20 and 21 are in a bad shape and prone to accident. The administration needs to review the existing conditions and plan an alternative in popularising the existing facility which will solve the problem of traffic congestion.

— Kulbhushan Kanwar
Sector 48, Chandigarh.

Traffic police should spread awareness

Cycle tracks are not being used for the intended purpose for which these have been laid. Basically, these have been laid for cycles and rickshaws to contain major traffic bottlenecks on these roads. During the rush hours, hardly a cycle is seen on these tracks.

Instead of cycles, these tracks are often used by two-wheelers and sometimes four-wheelers.

This is not the first time that a project conceived by the bureaucracy with great enthusiasm and great ambition has been virtually grounded. Different projects, including Theme Park, Education City, Medicity and modern terminal market (Sector 39), have collapsed after months of planning. Just to mention these involved wasting public expenditure.

A majority of bureaucrats come here for a limited tenure and after one is gone there are poor follow-ups in a number of projects, including the cycle tracks. Many projects remain on papers and many others which see the light of the day cry for attention.

Since in Chandigarh a majority of rickshaw-pullers are from other states, they are not aware of the traffic rules. It is the duty of the traffic police to spread awareness on these rules.

— SK Khosla,
Sector 40C, Chandigarh.

Tracks should be maintained

Chandigarh Tribune has done a great job in inviting readers' views on the miserable condition of the cycle tracks constructed by the UT administration in 2004 to fulfil Le Corbusier's dream. However, a sizable majority of these tracks are in a bad condition and not even being used by cyclists.

These cycle tracks were made for the safety of cyclists to avoid mishaps. But these remain un-utilised by cyclists who continue to ply on the roads, along with thousands of cars, scooters and motorbikes. These cyclists and rickshaw-pullers pose a grave threat to motorists on roads.

As they move slowly, they are the root cause of fatal accidents on the city roads.

There are no traffic policemen to guide cyclists to use these tracks. Moreover, these cycle tracks are full of potholes and poorly maintained. Taxpayers’ money has gone down the drain. Wild growth and garbage can be seen strewn on these tracks.

It is sad and shameful that the administration has done nothing to maintain these cycle tracks and has failed in its duty to see that these are properly used by cyclists and even rickshaw-pullers. The UT administration should wake up to the realities and take all steps to see that these cycle tracks are used by cyclists and rickshaw-pullers so that the city roads remain free from slow-moving traffic. Safety of road users must be the top priority of officials.

— R K Kapoor,

Involve public in promoting tracks

The new dialogue initiated by The Chandigarh Tribune in "Open House” on cycle tracks is very significant and provokes a public debate on a very relevant issue.

I will like to raise certain important issues pertaining to the question of under utilised cycle tracks: there is disconnection in the layout plan of the cycle track. Cyclists are forced to enter main roads at several places which make them susceptible to road accidents; the tracks are surrounded by wild grass and need to be cleaned up; the tracks are dirty and filthy and are full of potholes and therefore need to be properly maintained; and at night there is no light which leaves the road in utter darkness.

The administration and corporation need to make special efforts for introducing children activity involving the tracks. Greater efforts need to be made for involving public in promotion of cycle tracks.

— Rajansh Thukral,
Sector 45A, Chandigarh.

Tracks should be user-friendly

Cycle tracks were laid in many parts of the city but the administration has failed to maintain these. The tracks are full of potholes at different places. Cyclists do not use these tracks as these are in a bad shape.

These tracks should be made user-friendly. The tracks were a feature that Le Corbusier had put into the Chandigarh Master Plan.

I remember that Yuvsatta, a local NGO, had organised a number of cycle rallies to spread awareness among the public on preserving environment and save natural resources such as petrol which is very costly.

I remember Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi, had pedalled her way for impressing public towards a change.

— ML Garg,



Police gatecrashes birthday bash
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 6
Boisterous birthday celebrations at a Sector-11 residence proved costly for some youths here today when a neighbour rang up the Police Control Room complaining that some girls and young boys who had gathered there were engaged in illegal activity.

The police reached the scene and took the youths with them. Soon after, it was revealed that they were celebrating the birthday of one of them.

Police station-5 SHO Om Prakash said the police received an information that some youths had gathered at the house and were involved in illgal activities.

However, as soon as the youths were taken to the police post in Sector 10, their parents also reached there and raised objections to the action of the police.

Interestingly, when the celebrations were on, the birthday boy’s parents were also present there. The boy lives on the first floor of the house. A cake was also found at the house later on, he added.



Consumer COURTS
FCI fined Rs 25,000 for late disbursal of pension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Piqued over delay in the disbursal of pension by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for over three years, Piara Ram, a resident of Mohali, filed a complaint in the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I. The forum, comprising president PD Goel, and members Rajinder Singh Gill and Madanjit Kaur Sahota, has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the FCI for causing mental agony and harassment to the complainant besides Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation.

The forum also directed the respondents to pay interest of 12 per cent on Rs 88,638 from February 28, 2009 till September 2010, the date of actual payment.

Piara Ram averred that he worked with the FCI and retired on February 28 on attaining the age of 60 years. He said as per the policy, the pension amount was to be calculated w.e.f. March 1, 2007 on attaining the age of 58 years. Prior to his retirement, he had submitted all requisite documents for grant of pension.

When he heard nothing from the department, he sought the status of his pension case from the executive director (North), FCI Noida, under the RTI Act on May 22, 2009. The respondents informed him that pension case had been sent to Regional Provident Funds Commissioner, Noida.

The Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner informed him that relevant papers had been sent to their Regional Office, Chandigarh, on April 13, 2010 and finally he was paid an amount of Rs 88,638 against pension during September, 2010.

The late pension caused a financial loss to him, so he was entitled to 18 per cent interest per annum on pension. The counsel for the respondents pleaded that the complainant submitted his papers on May 31, 2007 to general manager (region), FCI Chandigarh, which were sent to executive director (North), FCI Zonal Office (North), Noida, on July 10, 2007.

The FCI Zonal Office sent back the papers to the general manager (region), FCI Chandigarh, on October 20, 2007 due to non-submission of the SSN forms.

The papers were re-submitted to the manager CPF-VI, Zonal Office Noida, on December 4, 2007, which submitted the same to the Regional Provident Funds Commissioner, Noida, and subsequently the case was sent to the RPFC, Chandigarh, for issuing of the PPO. The complainant received the pension in September, 2010 without any objection and started getting Rs 918 as pension every month thereafter. He, however, filed the complaint as an afterthought on May 26, 2011.

Therefore, the complaint was liable to be dismissed, as there was no delay on part of the respondents.

The forum observed that respondents had not been able to give any explanation, evidence or satisfactory answer as to why they kept sitting on the complainant’s pension case for two years.



Picture not rosy in Ward No. 2
Rajiv Bhatia

Garbage lies scattered in a nullah.
Garbage lies scattered in a nullah.

Zirakpur, November 6
Congested roads, loose electricity wires, cattle menace and poor road connectivity sum up Ward No 2 in Zirakpur.

Residents of the ward keep complaining about frequent traffic jams in the area.

One can see heaps of garbage strewn all around the ward compelling residents to cover their faces while venturing outdoors.

As garbage is not lifted from time to time, the area has turned into a dumping site, with residents throwing litter in the open.

With this tall claims of the authorities have fallen flat as the ward represents a perfect picture of negligence. Despite a number of pleas, nothing has been done to improve the situation.

A potholed road at Ward No. 2 in Zirakpur.
A potholed road at Ward No. 2 in Zirakpur.

The woes of residents, however, do not end here. Turning the situation from bad to worse, one can see stray animals roaming in the area.

In the absence of a parking lot, vehicles remain parked outside parks and along roads.

Roads in Mammta Enclave, Swami Enclave, Laxmi Enclave and Dee Ess Estate have to be re-laid. Streetlights have been lying defunct for long.

Poor sanitation dot Har Kishen, Gulmohar Block, Ajit Enclave and Green City.

residents Speak

The streetlights need to be replaced and roads are crying for repair. These roads can become a cause for mishaps at night. The road leading to the Zirakpur-highway is also in a bad shape.

Sant Ram Arora, a resident.

Heaps of garbage are not lifted for days. Safai karamcharis do not turn up and clean the area at their whims and fancies. Animals straying into parks further aggravate our woes.

Anand Bhatt, local resident.

Councilior speaks

The development work in Ward No. 2 has already started. He lamented that residents of Ambedkar Colony were a harried lot as basic amenities eluded the area. He added that roads would be re-carpeted soon

Sham Lal, councillor



Sector Revisited
Garbage, potholed roads continue to ail Sec 17 residents
Tribune News Service

A road in a bad shape at Sector 17 of Panchkula.
A road in a bad shape at Sector 17 of Panchkula.

Panchkula, November 6
The authorities seem to be little bothered about the woe of residents of Sector 17. While the residents have been forced to live amid stray cattle, heaps of garbage, potholed roads and streets without lights during night, the authorities look other way even after repeated complaints in this regard. Even the residents’ plight highlighted by the media fails to move the stubborn officials.

A revisit to the Sector 17, after the bad shape of civic amenities in the sector was highlighted in these columns on August 29, revealed that things hadn’t changed a little bit there.

While the heaps of garbage were intact on the road coming from the railway station, the potholed roads were full of stagnant water, providing favourable conditions for mosquitoes to breed.

Officials are immune to any kind of negative publicity, said VK Kapoor, a former councillor and president of the House Owners’ Welfare Association. They even objected to residents approaching the media to highlight their problems, he said.

Even the lights in the market were not in proper condition even as the HUDA Estate Officer, Ashwani Kumar, had assured of the repair of the lights in the market.

Ashwani Kumar, however, could not be contacted despite repeated efforts.



CVC report exposes admn top brass’ apathy
Failed to act on recommendation given by commission
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
While senior functionaries of the UT administration were active in directing head of departments to raise awareness among people by administering them pledges to mark the ‘Vigilance Awareness Week, which concluded yesterday, the latest annual report of the Central Vigilance Commission suggests their alleged apathetic approach towards taking action on its recommendations as well as directions in various cases.

The latest report of the CVC has revealed that the administration is yet to submit its report on a corruption complaint, forwarded by the commission under “between one and three years category”. Another complaint under “up to one year category” is pending, as the report is awaited by the CVC officials, it stated.

Indicating “non-serious” attitude on part of the administration towards corruption, the report states that as many as six cases have been lying pending with it for the past six months. The UT administration has failed to give information to the CVC about the implementation of its advice.

The CVC has given “first stage advice” and “second stage advice” on three cases each. The “first stage advice” recommends the verification of facts in a corruption complaint, while the “second stage advice” recommends the fixation of responsibility.

The CVC had advised major penalty in four cases, stated the report.

Cases pending

Indicating “non-serious” attitude on part of the administration towards corruption, the report states that as many as six cases have been lying pending with it for the past six months



rape case
CFSL cops’ last hope
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 6
Ten days after the alleged rape of a television actress, the police has been finding it hard to crack the case.

As no injury mark has been found on her body, the hopes of the police rely on the report of Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) at Madhuban.

The complainant, a 27-year-old married Mohali resident, alleged that Atul Kumar of Sector 11 here took her to the Morni hills on October 27 and raped her after giving her a drug-laced soft drink.

Police sources said call details and locations of the mobile phones of both did not match her statement.

“She was able to identify the spot, though she had claimed that she fell unconscious after consuming the soft drink,” said the sources.

The location of her mobile phone was traced to Majri chowk, Dhakoli and Sector 7 during the time of the crime mentioned, but no location had been detected in the Morni hills, the sources added. The woman talked to her husband for 28 minutes during the period before the alleged crime, the sources stated.



tricity scan
Chandigarh Scan
Gurpurb celebrated

The Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik Club on Sunday celebrated Gurpurb with senior citizens at the Old Age Home, Sector 15. Over 35 senior citizens and 70 Rotarians with their families led by Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik Club president Ashok Laroia participated in the celebrations. The celebrations started with a kirtan by Prof Jagir Singh, who enthralled audience with his mellifluous voice. This was followed by a langar, which was served by Rotarians and their family members to the senior citizens in their rooms.

Student honoured

Arjun Wadwalkar won the UT Administrator’s gold medal for the outstanding performance in academics, cultural and technical activities, NCC/NSS, sports and games at the 41st convocation of the PEC University of Technology. The medal was presented by UT Administrator Shivraj Patil. The gold medal was awarded for consistent outstanding performance over four years of engineering and across all branches of engineering at PEC. He is amongst the top three students of the mechanical engineering department.

Petrol price hike opposed

The Lions Welfare Society led by its president LK Khurana staged a protest in the city on Sunday to oppose the recent hike in petrol prices.

Talk on human behaviour

The First Friday Forum organised a talk on “Belief engine and human behaviour” by PS Chohan, an anthropologist, here on Sunday. He said humans had a strong motive for explaining any phenomenon that affected them in causal terms, which was known as cause and effect. This belief engine might have evolved as it was essential for human survival, an enormous aid to activities such as finding food, making tools and avoiding danger and it became instincts. The closest animal in task is a chimpanzee, though there is a wide gap, he added.

‘Taxation to accumulate funds’

Ajay Jagga, advocate and president of the local unit of Janata Party, said as per the Constitution of India the main purpose of taxation was to accumulate funds for the functioning of the government machineries. No government in the world can run its administrative office without funds and it has no such system incorporated to generate profit from its functioning. However, in the case of Chandigarh, the funds are always in abundance and there are many departments whose budget has been lapsing in the past and as such the position is that Chandigarh doesn’t need high taxes.

45 donate blood

More than 45 units of blood were donated at a camp organised by the Guru Gobind Singh Sports Club and Democratic Youth Federation in Dadu Majra in collaboration with the PGI on Sunday.

panchkula Scan
Yoga camp

A four-day yoga treatment camp by Yogiraj Swami Lal Ji Maharaj will be organised at Yog Chikitsalya and Training Centre, Sector 12, from November 10 to November 13. The timings for the camp would be from 6.30 to 8.30 in the morning and from 5 to 7 in the evening, said a spokesman of the Haryana Yog Sabha.

Theatre fest

The three-day Theatre For Theatre Oscar Spring Theatre Festival started on November 5 at Jainainder Gurukul and will be concluded tomorrow with the maiden entry of a play “Shraddha” written by Madan Gupta Spatu. The play is a commentary on the prevalent inter-personal relationships of children settled abroad or living away from their parents in India.

Diksha Jayanti

Panchkula MLA Devender Kumar Bansal called upon the people to inculcate teachings of Lord Mahavira to bring about a positive change in their life. Bansal was speaking on the occasion of Swarn Diksha Jayanti Mahotsav organised by SS Jain Sabha, Sector 17, at Jain Sathanak here on Sunday. Bansal announced to give an amount of Rs 71,000 to the sabha.

Medical services on doorstep

A Panchkula-based firm has brought emergency medical and security response services at the doorstep of residents at the press of a button. The firm, Global Securex, is claiming that this is the first time that such services are being made available in the country and the establishment in Panchkula was a pilot project to validate their concepts and operations. A fleet of ambulances manned by paramedics and equipped with advanced life support systems as well as security response team comprising of ex-servicemen have been deployed at various locations to respond to distress calls by clients in the shortest possible time. All vehicles are linked and controlled through GPS and a client’s medical records and history are made available to paramedics comprising of the responder unit that cuts down on procedural delays. To summon a response unit during a medical emergency or a security breach, all it requires is pressing a specially installed “panic button” instead of making any telephone calls.

mohali Scan
Recruitment drive

The Indian Army recruitment cell has agreed to come at the campus of Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, for the recruitment of young engineering graduates on November 11. To fulfill the requirements of the defence services, to motivate and to provide preliminary introduction about the Army interview, the training and placement cell of SSIET is organising a seminar on “Army interview techniques” for the students on November 7.

Poetry book released

Anmol Rattan Punjabi poetry book was released. The Punjabi poetry book edited by Bhagat Ram Ranghora was released on Sunday at Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, Mohali, by the Academy of National Literature and Culture India in a literary programme. Balbir Singh Sidhu, MLA, Kharar, and Advocate Gopal Krishan Chathrath were the chief guests. Kartar Singh Suri (retd), IRS, along with Bhagat Ram Ranghara and Sevi Rayat were among the prominent persons. Dr Panna Lal Mustfabadi gave introduction about the editor and Joginder Singh Rankh and Prof Kiran Bedi presented their research papers regarding the released book. Neelam Rani and Karnail Sabdalpuri were the opening joint singers with religious poetry, followed by Bhupinder Bekas, Santokh Singh Heera, SD Agnish, Paras Ram Singh Bhadan, Ravnit Mohali, Prof SP Sachdeva, Amarjit Patialavi, Gurnam Singh Bijli, Surjit Mand, Gurkavaljit Singh Robin, Kashmir Ghesal, Ajeet Singh Brar, Bhadar Singh Gosal, Ajmer Sagar, Pawan Muntzir and Satpal Lakhotra were the prominent poets.


A woman constable will be made available in every police station of Punjab in order to improve the comfort level for women reaching police stations with complaints. This was stated by Anil Kaushik, DGP Punjab Police, during his visit to the Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran, on the occasion of “Parivartan 2K11”. Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP Mohali, was the guest of honour. The DGP said to make the above declaration possible, 1,000 woman constables had already been recruited in Punjab and 200 more would be recruited soon. Alongside, 5,000 male constables are also being recruited to strengthen the force. Out of this, 3,000 have already been recruited and 2,000 will be recruited soon. He further said 450 sanj kendras for public utility had been opened across the state. “Parivartan 2K11” gave its cultural best on the second day in continuation by giving performances on giddha, bhangra, western dance, couple dance, skits, etc. Various technical competitions were also held. — Tribune Reporters

‘Minerva-11’ ends

Students take part in a dance competition at the Rayat institute in Rail Majra.
Students take part in a dance competition at the Rayat institute in Rail Majra. A Tribune photograph

The two-day techno cultural extravaganza “Minerva-2011” at the Rayat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology, Rail Majra, concluded here on Sunday. Thousands of participants from colleges of the region participated in the mega event, said Prof SC Bedi, campus director, Rayat Technology Centre of Excellence. In the technical events, the Global Institute of Management and Emerging Technologies, Amritsar, secured maximum points and claimed the gold trophy, followed by Khalsa College of Engineering and Technology, Amritsar, Guru Gobind Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Guru Kashi, Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda, and Lala Lajpat Rai Institute of Engineering and Technology, Moga on the second, third and fourth positions, respectively.



PU scraps multi-level parking project
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Panjab University has scrapped its multi-level parking project. On learning that the structure of the parking lot would not gel with the buildings located on the campus, the university had to take the decision. Also, it could not identify a site for the project. A provision of Rs 30 crore was made by the Board of Finance for the parking lot in the budget for financial year 2011-12.

The university had decided to construct a multi-level parking lot to keep the clutter off campus. The layout of the parking lot had already been prepared.

Sources said another reason for scrapping the project was that the university could not locate one common place for the parking lot that could cater to the maximum number of students and visitors to the campus. “The main purpose for the multi-level parking lot was to control the traffic congestion on the campus, however, the university could not finalise any specific place,” sources added.

Over the past few years, PU has built parking lots outside hostels and departments to keep the campus organised.

Concerned over the growing number of vehicles on the campus, PU had earlier constituted a committee that recommended measures to manage the problem. The steps included a separate parking lot for outsiders, stopping vehicles that entered from gate number 1 at a proposed parking lot and special tow-away zones. However, none of these served the purpose.

In a drastic step, the university had also decided that students owing four-wheelers would not be allowed hostel accommodation during first year of their academic course.



DAV students win debate

Chandigarh, November 6
A five-member team of DAV School, Sector 15, has brought laurels by winning a debate organised by the British Council in association with the Institute of Ideas, London.

The team comprises Sanchit Kumar, Shivan Kaul Sahib, Kamaal Singh Dhillon, Aditya Vij and Suveer Sachdeva. In July 2010, the team cracked online elimination test and showed the door to 800 teams.

It won the second round in the regional final through knock-out debates held in Chandigarh. The team then won the national-level contest in IIT, Chennai, and was declared National Debate Champions. On October 29, the final round was held at Royal College of Art in London, where the team was declared International Champions. — TNS



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