C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Booth allotment scam
Shergill inquiry report incomplete, says Administration
Tells DC to submit fresh report
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
More than eight months after the infamous booth allotment scam inquiry report, which had rocked the city, the UT Administration has now termed the report prepared by former UT Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill as “incomplete” and has issued directions to the Deputy Commissioner for a ”complete” probe.

The UT Administration has asked the Deputy Commissioner to connect all the “missing links” of the report and submit a fresh report.

Sources revealed that after going through the report, senior officials of the UT Administration had found that there were a number of missing links in the report. A senior official of the Administration said to hold someone guilty, there should be facts and figures to corroborate the allegations.

Giving an example, he added that if the Shergill’s report had stated that someone was fraudulently allotted a booth, it should be supported with points like how that person was not fit under the allotment policy, how he committed the fraud and that person should also be given the opportunity to submit his reply. But in the report, there were a number of cases, though they might be true, where allegations were not supported with facts like these, he added.

In the recent checking, 40 booth allottees, whose affidavits were found to be incorrect and officials of the

estate office, whose names figured in the report, would be issued notice to explain, sources added. Until now, officials who were named in the report had not been given any opportunity to say anything, sources added.

In his approximately 1,000-page report, which rocked the city in March this year, Shergill had pointed to the involvement of top politicians and senior officials, including city MP and Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, former UT Adviser Pradip Mehra, former Deputy Commissioner RK Rao and former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra, among others.

The report had stated that the financial dimensions of the fraudulent allotment ran into crores, including money paid to politicians, police officials and officials of the estate office. The estate office, further strengthening the claims of illegal allottees, had done several bogus surveys and inspections, the report had stated.

CBI probe not ruled out

Though the UT Administration has now sought a complete probe from the Deputy Commissioner, senior officials of the UT Administration have not ruled out the CBI probe. A senior official said if in the Deputy Commissioner’s inquiry, someone was would found guilty, the Administration would definitely recommend a CBI probe

Unanswered questions

The UT Administration kept sitting on the scathing report on the entire scam, raising fingers at top politicians and bureaucrats for more than eight months. Sources revealed that as the people named in the report were “big names”, the UT Administration was taking every step with due caution



Rs 8 lakh robbery
Clueless police raises doubts
Complainant ‘harassed’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
Even as a clueless UT police is busy finding loopholes the victim’s theory who was robbed of Rs 8 lakh at gunpoint on the Sector 48/49 dividing road yesterday, repeated verification of the incident by the police has left the complainant harassed. While Abir Malhotra, a Sector 48 resident is still terrified as the two assailants threatened him at gunpoint, doubts raised by the police in the case have added to his trauma.

“A revolver was kept on my forehead, a huge amount of Rs 8 lakh has been taken away and the police is instead doubting my theory, much to my harassment. I know it is the job of the police to verify each and every aspect of the incident, but it is shifting the entire focus of the case and it seems to be least bothered in investigation,” said Abir while talking to Chandigarh Tribune.

Two unidentified motorcyclists, one of whom was dressed in police uniform, allegedly robbed Rs 8 lakh from a city resident at gunpoint on the road separating Sectors 48 and 49 yesterday. The incident occurred yesterday at 12 noon on the busy road when Abir Malhotra, a web designer, was returning to his Sector 48 residence after withdrawing money from his bank locker.

Even as the complainant alleged harassment, the police said there were some loopholes in the story and it was examining all aspects of the complaint. Officials investigating the case said it was hard to believe that the assailant managed to take away the bag lying on the front passenger seat of the car by extending his hand through the half-rolled window by the driver’s side. Several police officials had yesterday tried to lift the bag in that manner at the spot, but failed.

The police is also doubting as to why there were no eyewitnesses on the busy road when the gunpoint robbery occurred.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (south) BS Negi said nothing could be said at the moment. The police is scanning the CCTV footage of the bank and was checking the call details and tower locations of the victim. The police has also called the family members of the victim to join the investigation.

Handicapped man held for fraud

Surjit Singh at the Sector 34 police station in Chandigsarh
Surjit Singh at the Sector 34 police station in Chandigsarh.

The police today arrested a Ludhiana resident for duping six women of Rs 2,700 each by posing as a Punjab Government employee.

The police arrested Surjit Singh, who is handicapped, in a cheating case registered at the Sector 34 police station. The six women, who were residents of Behra village in Dera Bassi, had complained to the UT police that they had been cheated. All women who were approached by Surjit Singh, who introduced himself as an employee of the Punjab Social Welfare Department in Sector 34. Surjit Singh told the women that they were entitled to a relief scheme by the government as their children were handicapped. He told them to arrange for Rs 2,700 each as processing fees.

One of the women, identified as Usha Rani, expressed her helplessness in giving the amount of Rs 2,700. Surjit asked her to give her gold earrings, which she did.

Surjit then handed over cheques for Rs 50,000 each to the six women. All cheques were found to be fake, following which the harassed women approached the police. However, both the Dera Bassi police and the UT police kept dilly-dallying over the matter on account of jurisdiction issue. On direction by the UT SSP, a case was registered last week and the accused was arrested today. He has been remanded to a day’s police custody.

Inspector Kirpal Singh, SHO, Sector 34 police station said the accused was a dismissed employee of the Punjab Electricity Board and a case was registered following an inquiry.

Domestic helps flee with cash, jewellery

In yet another incident, two domestic helps employed in a Sector 21 house here fled with cash and jewellery.

The police has booked two housemaids, identified as Reema and Shanti, for stealing gold and diamond jewellery from their employer’s residence. The employers were out of station and returned to find their jewellery missing. The incident came to light when Gurpreet Kaur and her husband Dr Davinder Singh returned home. The stolen jewellery included gold bangles, two sets of gold earrings and a set of diamond tops. The police has registered a case and started investigation. Over 15 such incidents have been reported in the city this year.



Prof’s prosecution
PU, CBI head for confrontation over sanction
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
Panjab University (PU) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seem to be heading for yet another confrontation over the sanction of prosecution of a university professor.

The CBI had earlier sought sanction in the case of a junior engineer twice.

The Srinagar branch of the CBI has sought the varsity’s permission to allow the initiation of prosecution proceedings against Dr RK Wanchoo, a professor in the chemical engineering department, alleging him to be guilty of tampering with the recommendations of a recruitment committee at his prior posting at National Institute of Technology, Jammu.

The varsity, which will place the prosecution request in front of the PU Syndicate, has in the agenda sent to members appealed to the university to deny the sanction. According to the request sent by the CBI, Wanchoo, who was posted as Director, National Institute Technology, has been booked under 120 b 420 268 and 471 RPC and section 5(2) JPC.

“He was booked along with one Ms Aroos Nissar. During the course of investigation, it was found that minutes of the selection committee, dated 16/11 2007, were interpolated as name of Aaroos Nissar had been added in the said list at serial number 4. The said addition is hand-written and a handwriting expert had confirmed it to be that of RK Wanchoo.

Moin-ud-din, the then lecturer NIIT, Srinagar, stated that there were only three candidates at the time of the signing of the minutes by him and Aroos Nissar had been added later. Another two members of the selection committee also stated the same which constitutes commission of punishable offences,” read the request letter.

Two more cases

The agenda also proposes to give a personal hearing to Satish Padam and Nand Lal Kaushal who were apprehended by sleuths of the CBI on charges of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 32,000. The CBI has repeatedly sought prosecution permission from the varsity against the duo, but to no avail. This proposal comes despite the fact that the CBI had, in a recent letter shot to the PU, clarified that as per the CVC guidelines, the PU could not give any hearing to the duo.

This is not any inter-departmental inquiry that the PU needs to investigate. The people have been booked by us and if they are innocent, they can prove so in court. Why is the PU shielding them? When students fight and the PU is asked to take action, they conveniently make excuses, and in case of employees, why does it choose an alternative path?

A senior CBI official

This so-called alleged act of tampering took place at NIIT Srinagar and the institute where the act was committed has given a clean chit and the same was communicated to the CBI Srinagar. It is proposed not to issue the issue a sanction and recommend to the CBI to close the case. From the available records supplied by the CBI and NIIT Srinagar and also the representation of Dr RK Wanchoo to the chairperson of Board of Governors NIIT Srinagar, there is no evidence which may prove that and the act of tampering. The principle of natural justice also says that unless and until there is an evidence on record against any official, such a sanction should not be communicated to the CBI

PU authorities

The issue

The Srinagar branch of the CBI has sought the varsity’s permission to allow the initiation of prosecution proceedings against Dr RK Wanchoo, a professor in the chemical engineering department, alleging him to be guilty of tampering with the recommendations of a recruitment committee at his prior posting at National Institute of Technology, Jammu



Benefits miss the target for them
Children’s Day has no meaning for many children
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
“Celebrations”, “RTE”, “ambitions”, “functions”, while city school students will have a gala time tomorrow at the Children’s Day, there will be thousands of others who will go around mopping floors, begging, helping dhaba owners or simply loitering around because all that their existence has educed so far is indifference.

While many of their age are addressed as students, over 6,000 city children are put in another category of street children who may have numerous schemes designed for them, but all that they get to suffer is violence, harassment and addiction.

While the UT may proudly put forth the Right to Education as the answer to all their problems, it has failed to even include them in child mapping, leave aside taking them to schools. While the mapping results are still awaited, a survey conducted by the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) in 2010 with a sample of 40,000 households in the city had revealed over 30 per cent of these children never went to school, while the rest were school dropouts who preferred to work rather than study.

Among other things the survey brought out was that as many as 962 students in the age group of 6-14 years could be found hanging around at traffic signals either begging or selling cheap stuff, while another 1,500 were engaged in various commercial activities. Of these 1,500 children who resided in Chandigarh, 980 worked as domestic help in the tricity, while the remaining were unemployed.

Most distressingly, about 2,250 children, most of them less than seven years of age, were found loitering on the streets rather than attending schools.

Projects that didn’t work out Rehabilitation of beggars

Launched in 2007 under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) scheme, child beggars in the city were supposed to be brought into mainstream education. The UT education department identified two inspectors, along with eight supervisors and SSA coordinators to trace beggars in the city at different locations. The department aimed to motivate them to send their children to schools by luring them with educational facilities, school admissions, daily supply of bread, butter and clothes, along with Rs 250 per month so that they would stop begging. No child ever reached school, as UT administration officials claim that the scheme’s launch had made child beggars “disappear” from the city.

‘Tamasha gadi’

The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan scheme also witnessed introduction of a “tamasha gadi” to bring street children, ragpickers, beggars, etc, into the fold of education. The SSA was supposed to procure big-sized buses fitted with a LCD projector, radio, personal computers, storybooks, picture books and other interesting learning material. It was planned that these vans would go around different areas in the city, collect children and take them to some “tourist point” in the city. The kids could simultaneously pursue learning activities.

Checks on child labour

The SSA had made principals of various government schools responsible for checking cases of child labour in the city. They were supposed to identify such children and motivate their parents to get them to school and even file a complaint against their employer.

‘Give us chance to rewrite city’s future’
Before A file photo of Sahil when he used to work as a ragpicker
Before A file photo of Sahil when he used to work as a ragpicker

after Sahil has now matured into a promising young lad
after Sahil has now matured into a promising young lad

From collecting highest number of papers to designing softwares, his ambitions have surely taken a turn. From a ragpicker to a Class XI non-medical student, Sahil’s journey has not been an easy one, but he credits his mentor for it.

“Unfortunately children like ragpickers, servants or beggars don’t figure on the city’s attention list. They are like small worms who were born, breed and die, but nobody cares. I would have faced the fate what thousands like me faced, but thanks to Zulfi sir I dared to dream and study. For you, my achievement may not be big, but for me it means a lot and all that I wish to say to our law makers is that hand over pencils to us and we will rewrite your city’s future.”

‘Abuses, a regular feature of my life’
It’s a new beginning for Jyoti
It’s a new beginning for Jyoti

Balika Vadhu is how she can be best described, only that her story may not be as rosy as tele serial. Her father who dumped her mother for the second marriage subjected Jyoti, a street beggar, to brutal violence and eventually sold her off as a bride to a 30-year-old man in Madhya Pradesh, removing her from a local NGO. Following a tryst with kitchen, household and repeated requests to conceive, Jyoti managed to run away and come back to her mother who enrolled her with an NGO.

Dressed in an oversized salwar kameez and sporting a bindi to mark her marital status, Jyoti is yet to overcome her months of tryst.

“Ever since I have come to senses, I have been on Sector 8 light point and the only aim has been to beg the maximum. Beating, abuses have been a regular part of my life, but the marriage has been the scariest. I tried to cope but then fled for my life as my father threatened to murder me. I came back to my NGO auntie who has put me in a school now. It feels good to hold books,” she says coyly.

Jyoti’s younger sister, Krishna would have shared the same fate if the concerned NGO in Sector 7 had not intervened.

“I know what it means and no matter what I face I will not let Krishna to be sold like me,” adds Jyoti.

Too smart to be 10-yr-old

It’s about making money for Uma Shankar, who works at a dhaba. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari
It’s about making money for Uma Shankar, who works at a dhaba. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Dressed in a torn shirt, this Salman Khan fan is, too, smart for a 10-year-old boy, as the moment you approach him he says, “ am 17-year-old so don’t talk about Children Day. I am just weak, so I look young.”

Tell him that you are there to buy him a chocolate and he shares what is the story of every second child on street.

“Pad likh ke kya karenge, kamaenge hi na? To life ke 20 saal kyun kharaab karo, abhi kamao aur khush raho. Mere ghar me 6 log hain, toh roti toh sabko kamani padegi hi na,” he says. Ask him about books and schools and he says, “Pehle man hota tha jaane ka, par papa ne bahut maara ab yahan thik hun dhabe pe. Kabhi kabhi drawing karta hun par bada hoke apni omellete ki dukan karunga.” While Uma Shankar may be satisfied with his life, but can we be?


Water everywhere, residents almost in tears
Outbreak of water-borne diseases being feared in Sector-49 societies; officials unmoved despite repeated requests
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The problem of stagnant water in low-lying area near Goodwill Enclave at Sector 49 here, that houses Oriental Insurance, Private Teachers and Railway societies, has become a matter of concern for thousands of residents.

They fear that it can lead to the outbreak of water-borne diseases.

With winter setting in, the problem has worsened, with a case of dengue being reported.

Residents of the locality have been repeatedly writing to the UT Administration and the municipal corporation (MC) for over three years, but the authorities have failed to act.

Harbans Singh of Goodwill Enclave said the low-lying area adjacent to the society was filled with water. Rainwater used to flood the area and water remained clogged almost the whole year round, he added.

“We approached the engineering department and it provided a bridge on the V5 road in 2003. There still is stagnant water in the surrounding area most of the time,” he said.

“One of the residents here, Jai Kishan Sharma, is currently recovering from dengue. There is also a fear of more people falling prey to the disease,” he added.

Other residents said the flow of water had been blocked, making conditions unhygienic. Mosquitoes and other parasites were breeding in the area, with the threat of epidemics looming large, they rued.

Dheeraj Sharma, another resident of Goodwill Enclave, said that they had approached the engineering department, but it told them that the area had been handed over to the municipal corporation authorities.

“Officials with the MC visited the site, but refused to intervene in the matter. Flats are being constructed by the Chandigarh Housing Board, which seems reluctant in taking any action,” he said.

Pritam Chand, yet another resident, said water had been accumulating in the area, as the authorities had failed to make adequate arrangements for its disposal.

“Despite repeated complaints and memorandums to officials, the problem persists in the area,” he rued.

Residents had recently written to the UT Administrator, the Adviser to the Administrator and the Deputy Commissioner, seeking their intervention on the issue but to no avail.

Trying times

March 12, 2009: Residents write to Chief Engineer, MC, and Chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board

March 23, 2009: The management of Goodwill Society write to the then UT Administrator

July 12, 2010: The society writes to the local Member of Parliament, seeking his intervention

December 12, 2010: Residents write to local MP again and his OSD

November 6, 2011: Residents send e-mail to UT Administrator, Deputy Commissioner and UT Adviser



Property details of residents go online
Application status, utility services on PUDA website
Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service
From now on, complete details of properties, both residential and commercial, and status of complaints will be available at the click of a button. In a user-friendly initiative, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has come out with an updated website that allows the Net users to see property details like ownership, installment schedule, receipt details, extension fee charges and pending amount of any plot located in urban estates of Sectors 56 to 80 in Mohali.

Besides the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), complete information about other development authorities at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Bathinda and Patiala has been put on the website.

Apart from property details, residents can see the status of their application submitted at the single window and also see the status of their application filed under the Right to Information Act.

Additional Chief Administrator (AC), Mohali, Manjit Brar said an effort had been made to bring in transparency and make the website useful for property owners. It also aims at cutting down the interface between the office staff and visitors.

For the benefit of residents, complete information regarding booking of community centres and application form, procedure and application form for water and sewerage connections, and procedure and format for getting a building plan passed have also been uploaded. “We have posted the information about the empanelled architects so that plot owners are not mislead,” said the ACA.

With the passing of the Right to Service Act, the users have also been informed about the timeline for the completion of different types of jobs by the authority.

For grievances, the users have been allowed to lodge their complaint online. A system to know the status of the complaint has also been incorporated.

Besides the rules and regulations, minutes of different meetings of the authority and details of mega projects have also been posted on the site.

Master plans on Web

For the first time, detailed master plans of different cities, defined land use and detailed report on the approved master plans have been made available to the Net



Soon, UT residents to pay bills via Internet
Admn to do away with payment counters in deptartments to stem fraud
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The Chandigarh administration will soon commence online payment of bills, including those of electricity, water and taxes, besides certain other services.

This follows the recent embezzlement of funds in the local Registration and Licensing Authority, exposing loopholes in the traditional system of collection of bills from public.

UT Finance Secretary Vijoy Kumar Singh said the online payment system would not only facilitate people but also help reduce chances of fraud. The service will be started by January, he added.

Singh, who is also UT Information Technology Secretary, said the software was being readied for the purpose.

“It will start functioning by January, following which all payments, including those of bills like electricity and water, taxes, etc. will be made through Net-banking,” he said.

Once the service gets going, the administration will do away with counters receiving cash payment in various departments. This will also reduce workload in departments.

“For those who do not have an Internet connection, special arrangements will be made to collect their bills at e-Sampark centres,” he added.

Currently, there is provision for making payment through credit cards but it is not user-friendly, as a surcharge of 1.8 per cent is levied on the payment.

“Under the new system, no extra charges will be taken from the residents,” VK Singh said.

Frauds in the past

An embezzlement of Rs 5.60 lakh was detected during an inspection of account records of five-month period from April 1 to August 30 this year in the Registration and Licensing Authority. The amount was not deposited with the administration’s treasury by certain employees of the department. Similarly, a cashier of the UT electricity department had committed a fraud of around Rs 3 crore by using fake stamp of the treasury branch four years ago.



Poor sanitation, bad roads and untidy parks

Buffaloes graze in a park as residents use its railing to dry clothes in the sun; and (right) A road in a bad shape at Palsora village in Chandigarh
Buffaloes graze in a park as residents use its railing to dry clothes in the sun; and (right) A road in a bad shape at Palsora village in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Ward No. 11 comprises Sectors 53 and 56 and Palsora village. When slum-dwellers were shifted to Sector 53 by the UT administration, tall claims were made of providing them with adequate health and sanitary facilities. However, the area lacks even the basic civic amenities. The other two areas of the ward have also been in a state of utter neglect.


Ever since the development of Sector 56, residents of the area have been demanding a proper marketplace in the area but the authorities have turned a blind eye to their demand. During elections, candidates assure of fulfilling this demand but once they are voted to power, they simply put the issue on the back burner.

Civil dispensary

The civil dispensary in Sector 56 is a picture of neglect, as the infrastructure has been lying defunct. In the absence of a regular doctor at the dispensary, residents have to visit the GMCH in Sector 32 or private clinics for minor health issues.


The slum-dwellers who had shifted to the rehabilitation colony in Sector 53 with a dream of getting clean surroundings and better sanitation are upset, as their living conditions have gone from bad to worse. Sanitation is wreck in the area. Also, residents of Palsora and Sector 56 are facing similar problems. There is lack of arrangement of sweepers in the ward. Though the contractor has been allotted the work of cleaning and collecting the garbage, his staff rarely show up for work.

Streetlights, roads

Most V5 roads remain enveloped in darkness in the absence of streetlights. Pockets remain drenched in darkness on internal roads of the sector as well. In Sector 56, the road leading to the residential area as well as the market remains in pitch darkness at night. While residents fret and fume over the situation, little has been done by the municipal corporation, entrusted with the job of maintaining streetlights. All efforts of councillors and residents to highlight their plight have fallen on deaf ears.

Internal parks

After a long wait, residents of Palsora and Sector 56 got internal parks in their area but these are of no use due to lack of proper upkeep. The open spaces developed as parks after spending lakhs of rupees have become an eyesore. The residents often litter their garbage there in the absence of any check on their activity.

Stray cattle

The problem of stray cattle in the ward has not been taken seriously by the authorities. As a result, small parks developed to facilitate the residents have now become a headache. The municipal corporation has failed to adopt measures to check the menace in the ward.



open house response
Stop making false promises to residents

At the time of elections, every political party issues its manifesto through which it makes determined bid to woo voters. In 2006, when the elections to the Municipal Corporation were to be held, similar manifesto were issued by two major political parties, the Congress and BJP, in which it was promised to provide various amenities to residents of the City Beautiful. On one occasion, it was promised that some of the sectors would be model sectors. After five years of its rule, this promise of the party remained on paper as many sectors are in a deplorable condition.

One such promise was made by councillor of ward number IX and after five years, the councillor has now stated in Chandigarh Tribune recently that “the authorities and Mayor in the past five years have ignored my ward due to which no major development work has taken place in the area. The councillors have nothing more to offer except lame excuses that he\she had raised the issue several times in the house but to no avail”. Again the elections are on the corner and this time it is the same or some other parties, which would come up with the same promise. It needs to be especially mentioned here that some of the councillors have not asked even a single question in the MC House not just pertaining to their own ward but also to the general issues concerning the city. This is the state of affairs of our councillors whom the residents have elected for five years. False promises for providing amenities are made in the manifestos, however, several amenities are left wanting in the end of the tenure every time. There are no questions answered and for that matter even effectively asked. These members had a lackadaisical approach towards their duties. They generally belie the trust of the people, besides burdening the exchequer. In the absence of any provision to get rid of these elected members, people have to wait for full term of the municipal elections i.e. five years. Circumstances warrant many changes, including minimum educational qualifications for candidates, a fixed retirement age of the political leaders and even ensuring a limited expenditure by the politicians, which needs a tight scrutiny despite the existing rules. I feel “right to recall” needs to be incorporated in our electoral system for immediate consideration. This provision already exists in the Municipal Acts of Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Let the non-performer be shown the door.

SK Khosla, Sector 40 C, Chandigarh

Need to tackle crime

As the municipal corporation elections are drawing near, leaders of different political parties are trying all means to secure their tickets, to be allowed a chance to contest the forthcoming polls. We are in knowledge of the fact that they tried all means, some of which were unfortunate. Senior party leaders who are in charge of issuing tickets to the prospective leaders need to sieve the junk from quality from among the long list of candidates.

Crime is a top priority area in the city, which needs immediate attention of the authorities, including the MC. We need leaders who are bothered about the security of a common man.

Chandigarh is a peaceful city. Things are changing as was evident from the rising graph of crime incidents in the city. Even women are not safe while walking on the roads, as snatchers seem to be having a field day. We need leaders who show their quality to be selfless in carrying out their affairs. They are rare but not non-existent.

Dr Jagdish Jaggi

Work towards development

With the MC elections due next month, it is important to consider the problem areas. Capability, accessibility and availability are of utmost importance for any candidate to convince his voters. Those who did not respect their expectations in the past should not be pardoned. The MC should work towards the development and upliftment of the city. The maintenance of roads, parks and streetlights should be considered priority.

There is urgent need for construction and recarpeting of roads as the roads in almost a number of sectors were in a miserable condition.

The parks in a sizable number of areas have been converted into parking lots with no maintenance at all. The streetlights in most of the sectors are also not working.

Cleanliness and sanitation are always seen wanting. Sweepers (safai karamcharis) are only seen on festivals. Stray dog menace is a major problem and all sectors in the city are under their siege. The Municipal Corporation has miserably failed to curb the menace.

The development of villages and colonies should be high on the agenda. The grievances and problems of people need to be handled more professionally rather than shifting responsibility to different quarters. Another priority should be to provide basic amenities to the residents of the wards, as there is always shortage of water. Certain wards need extra care.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Sector 38 C, Chandigarh

‘Include youngsters in politics’

Politicians or civic body councillors break their promises and voters don’t punish them, as a result the same faces keep coming again and again. Only the political parties in majority change. We are made big promises ahead of the elections like the poets promising moon to their loved ones.

Voters are eternal optimists who do not learn from experience.

Instead of setting examples of leaders who did not perform when they were given a chance, the same faces are doing the rounds of the voters once again. Political parties needs to include the “educated corporate youth” into the system. The youth, on their part, will have to come forward and meet the senior party leadership of different parties and show involvement.

Er Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

‘Don’t give chance to non-performers’

The Municipal Corporation, which is an artery of the administration in ensuring civic facilities to the residents, has failed on certain accounts in the city. The menace of stray cattle and dogs, polythene litter and unhygienic toilets are just few of the ground realities that stare residents in their face.

It is important that the non-performers, in the past, are not given a fresh chance.

It is virtually impossible to expect magic from the re-elected representatives. In fact examples need to be set for the politicians so that they are pressurised to perform once they occupied a seat inside the municipal house.

To be honest, incase corrupt politicians are given a chance again, the voters need to be blamed as well.

Gurmit Singh Saini Mohali

Open House question

Anna Hazare’s voice on the “right to recall” as part of the Jan Lokpal Bill has been a major issue for debate across the nation. Should elected non-performers be removed from office before the end of their term? Write your opinion to the openhouse@tribunemail.com whether the issue was relevant to the Municipal Corporation, as well, which goes to polls on December 17.



mc elections
Now, Sec-45 RWA names candidate
Seeks BJP ticket for ward No. 14
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) of the city look to play a crucial role in the upcoming municipal corporation elections. While the race for securing tickets of political parties has already begun, the RWAs are also holding their meetings to decide their candidates.

The Sector-45 RWA today held a function to declare their candidate from ward No. 14. The RWA has also approached the BJP to field their candidate in the elections.

Harbans Garg, an RWA member, said the residents had decided to field their own candidate from their sector so that their grievances could be taken up effectively and resolved.

“The residents have unanimously finalised Monica Bansal’s name, who will be supported by residents,” Garg said.

JPS Walia, another sector resident, said they had already demanded a BJP ticket for their candidate.

“In a bid to highlight the pending issues of our ward, we have decided to field the candidate from the sector itself,” Walia added.

On November 6, the residents of Sector 20, which falls in ward No. 16, had held a meeting and decided to ask the Congress to field a candidate for the ward from Sector 20 itself.

Sec-20 RWA’s demand

On November 6, the RWA of Sector 20, which falls in ward No. 16, had held a meeting and decided to ask the Congress to field a candidate for the ward from Sector 20 itself



consumer courts
MRI, CT scan centre fined Rs 20 lakh for negligence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Sector 8-based Suparb MRI and CT Scan Centre to pay Rs 20 lakh as compensation to the complainant.

The complainant, Kanav Chopra, complained of severe headache in November, 2006, when he was nine-year-old. He was examined by a doctor in Sirhind, who advised him to go for an MRI. On January 13, 2007, the MRI was got done at Suparb MRI and CT Scan Centre and as per report, everything was normal.

Following which the family approached Grewal Eye Institute, Sector 9, Chandigarh, for some other tests, but on January 16, Kanav complained of loss of eye sight to a certain extent.

On January 19, the doctors at Grewal Eye Institute stated that the medicine they had prescribed had no side-effects.

Due to the negligence of Suparb MRI and CT Scan Centre, the left eye optic nerve of the complainant had damaged, and it could not be treated.

The complainant said on February 5, when he took his son for the second MRI scan, the doctor at the Suparb MRI and CT Scan Centre asked him to bring the medical report of the first MRI.

The doctor then made some corrections and returned the same.

Directing the centre to pay Rs 20 lakh to the complainant, the commission comprising Justice Sham Sunder, president, and members Neena Sandhu and Jagroop Singh observed that it had given a wrong medical report in the case.

Had the centre given a correct report, eye sight of the complainant could be saved.

Thus, due to the sheer negligence, the bright career of the complainant, was ruined.



Adversity of middle class family comes to fore
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 13
The tricity theatre buffs witnessed yet another socially-relevant Punjabi play “Chhaan Vihoone” with a diverse theme, tone and treatment by Norah Richards Rangmanch, Mohali, in the ongoing Sixth Annual Chandigarh Theatre Festival-2011 organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.

The play written by acclaimed actor-playwright Devinder Daman in 1977 had won the national award from the Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi, and its thematic content is still more relevant, as if Daman talked much ahead of the times.

With home kitchen and household affairs as the take off point, the play depicted perpetual problems and struggle of a middle class family in adversity who lost their head.

Sacrificing his career, the elder son is left to support the family in dire adversity. Despite the seriousness of the grim situations with ration and hunger as the metaphor, the play relying on brilliant dialogues, both satirical and meaningful, brought into focus the religion, philosophy, art culture and social structure for analysis.

Director-actor Jaswant Daman was natural and expressive as mother, while Khushpreet, Parbir and Roopam, too, essayed their roles nicely.



Nukkar Natak, bhangra mark end of PEC Fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 13
The three-day annual PEC Fest concluded today with students taking part in mesmerising events while unveiling their talent. The day was marked with events like coffee mug painting, street play, salsa, while the fest concluded with the performance of a Punjabi singer in the evening.

The day three started with a bang, carrying over the energy and excitement induced by Raeth, a rock band, the previous night.

Many young artists tried their hand on sketch making and coffee mug painting, which was organised in the art arena. Couple cricket was full of fun, watching girls trying to play cricket throwing their bats on every ball. The fest also witnessed “Nukkar Natak”, a street play competition, where students expressed themselves with perfection in front of enthusiastic crowd. “Nach Meri Jaan” also brought out the dancing talent in the students.

On the fun side, the event saw hundreds of students moving to the grove at the salsa dance workshop conducted in the college’s metallurgy department. “Bhangra Theque” organised by the students in the evening was a colourful and entertaining event. The crowd was brought to their feet when the students performed bhangra on the enchanting bhangra beats.

The day ended with the renowned Punjabi singer, Gippy Grewal making the crowd dance to his tunes. The environment was really electric.



Chandigarh Scan

Delicacies for a cause

St Mary’s Orthodox Syriyan Church Society, Sector 46, organised its 18th Food Carnival on St Mary’s School on Sunday. Most South Indian delicacies and varieties of fruits were displayed and served in over 20 stalls. More than 45,00 people from the city and vicinity gathered and enjoyed dishes. The fruit stall and the depiction of a small tea shop was the main attraction. The carnival was inaugurated by Mahesh Kumar Singla, ADGP, Kerala, and Fakir Chand Patanga, Punjabi folk singer.

Power arrears

A meeting of the Chandigarh Residents Social Welfare Federation was held in community centre, Sector 20-A, on Sunday under the presidentship of DS Chahal, president of the federation. It was attended by 46 members of various welfare associations. The federation criticised the decision of the Chandigarh Administration, taken on the directions of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission, to recover the amount of arrears from residents retrospectively from April 2011. This would burden people who were already facing skyrocketing prices, they said. It was decided in the meeting that only meritorious candidates would be supported by the federation, irrespective of the party they belonged to.

IT quiz

The inter-state IT quiz ‘Techno Bee 2011’ was organised on Sunday, in which 70 teams participated. The winning teams included LR Group of Colleges, Solan; SUSCET, Tangori; and RIMT, Mandi Gobindgarh.



Sector Scan
Wild growth, dark streets welcome visitors to
Sec 27
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Wild grass covers the guide map at the entrance to Sector 27, Panchkula; An uncovered water pipeline at Sector 27, Panchkula; Wild growth on vacant pieces of land in Sector 27, Panchkula
(Clockwise) Wild grass covers the guide map at the entrance to Sector 27, Panchkula; An uncovered water pipeline at Sector 27, Panchkula; Wild growth on vacant pieces of land in Sector 27, Panchkula. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, November 13
Wild growth, bumpy roads and dark streets have become the bane of Sector-27 residents.

“The area eludes basic amenities,” said SK Bhalla, general secretary of the House Owners Welfare Association (HOWA).

The authorities have never bothered to get roads repaired here.

“Streetlights in the sector seldom work,” said Raghubir Singh, president of the association.

“Sewer pipelines always remain choked,” lamented Raghubir while adding that the officials concerned failed to repair these despite their repeated requests.

During rainy season, the drainage system added to the woes of residents as water got accumulated on roads, he said. Water-logged roads made it tough for one to commute on these, he added.

“In the name of transport facility, the sector is only connected with one bus route. As no bus is available for Zirakpur and Sector-43 bus stand in Chandigarh, residents, especially women and elders have to face hardships in moving out,” said Bhom Singh, a local resident.

Lights in parks have been lying defunct for long, said Krishan Dahiya, another resident.

He added that most of these remained out of order as no repair work had been carried out in the area for long,” he said.

There should be a dispensary in the area, said Surinder Kumar, a resident. And the problem could be sorted out if the district administration opened it in its new building that has come up in Sector 26 as soon as possible, added Surinder.

“The roads need to be repaired and parks need to be maintained, but no one is interested in addressing residents’ grievances,” said Raghubir Singh, president of HOWA.

We have approached HUDA officials time and again and kept our problems in front of them, but the authority has not done anything to solve our problems, said SK Bhall, general secretary, HOWA.

“HUDA officials, it seems, have disowned the sector after allotting plots to public as no development work has been carried out since then,” said Krishan Dahiya, a local resident.

“We are a disappointed lot as our repeated requests have been ignored by the officials concerned,” said Bhom Singh, a local resident.



Farmers seek purchase centre at Morni
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 13
Farmers of the Morni area, known for its quality vegetables in the region, have been facing a tough time marketing their produce.

The farmers are involved in farming tomatoes, capsicum, French bean, pumpkin, onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric.

As a majority of them use cow dung manure, the demand for their produce is high in other parts of country.

However, in the absence of a wholesale vegetable market in Morni, the farmers have to take their crop to Chandigarh, Panipat or Delhi for sale, which not only wastes time and energy but also puts extra burden of transportation on them, said Ramesh Sharma of Barat village.

As all farmers in the area have small landholding, they are neither in a position to hold their produce back in cold stores nor are sell it in better markets and make profit, said Sharma.

They have urged the state government to set up a purchase centre for their produce in the area.

Veggies in high demand

As a majority of farmers in the area use cow-dung manure, the demand for their produce is high in other parts of country.



It was dogs’ day at P’kula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 13
A German shepherd dog belonging to Lalli and a St Bernard belonging to Rajan of Khanna were adjudged best dogs during a dog show here today. In all, 120 dogs of over 20 breeds participated in the first dog show, organised by the Panchkula Kennel Club, of the town.

Among other breeds, Staffordshire bull terrier of Ankit Jain from Panchkula, Lhasa apso of Shubhra Kapoor, British bulldog of Shiv Kaushal and American Staffordshire terrier of Varun Rao, all from Chandigarh, were adjudged best in the respective categories.

In a show especially organised for the Rottweiler breed, the dog belonging to Surinder Tiwana from Patiala was adjudged the best, while the prize for second best dog was bagged by the one owned by Ankur Gupta from Haryana.

The third best and best-bred dog title in the category was clinched by the dog of Shiv Kaushal from Chandigarh.

It was Kaushal all the way as the Chandigarh-based breeder and trainer, accounted for 11 titles, as dogs trained and handled by him hogged the limelight.



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