C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn draws flak from power regulatory panel
‘Shoddy approach’ in presenting its case to NTPC while seeking approval for power purchase agreements
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The UT Administration has received flak from the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for the State of Goa and Union Territories for its “shoddy approach” in presenting its case to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) while seeking the approval for five power purchase agreements (PPAs).

In its recent order, the commission clearly expressed its annoyance over the lackadaisical approach of the Electricity Department Chandigarh (EDC) in presenting its PPAs to the commission while seeking the agreements.

It may be recalled that the EDC had entered into five agreements, in question, with different sources in December last year without taking the necessary approval from the JERC.

“The EDC has not filed any specific reason for not obtaining prior approval in spite of the commission’s order to this regard dated May 9, 2011,” stated the order.

It is worth mentioning that the UT has no independent source of power generation and is dependent on different sources for purchasing its power mainly from the BBMB (Bhakra Beas Management Board). The UT is dependent on at least 26 more sources, including the NTPC from different locations across the country, including Orissa.

The power consumption in the city during the peak season is approximately 324 mw and the city is witnessing an annual increase of approximately 6 per cent. The power entitlement to the UT currently is only 250 mws, which is far below the requirement of its residents, particularly during peak summers. The UT is asking for more entitlement because of the burgeoning population. While certain agreements for future supply are already in place, the one under consideration would get the city a total of 24 mw power from 2014-15 for the next 25 years.

The commission has given green light to the agreements with different power stations-Singrauli Super Thermal Power Station Stage III at Shakti Nagar (UP), Lata Tapowan Hydro-electricity Project at Chamoli (Uttarakhand), Giddarbaha Thermal Power Project at Muktsar (Punjab), Tapowan Vishnugarh Hydro Power Station at Chamoli and Meja Thermal Power Station (UP).

“It’s a big relief as the commission had finally given its approval on the agreements after around one year. It’s an arrangement for future as we would start getting power within two-three years under the agreements,” said a senior official of the UT Administration, admitting that there were certainly some errors in their presentation.



PG accommodation
UT drive comes a cropper
Admn announcements remain only on paper
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The UT Administration’s drive against the paying guest (PG) accommodation which began with a great fanfare has totally fizzled out within six months.

Things are back to square one, with the business thriving under old conditions, which clearly violate the Estate Office norms.

All big announcements by the administration, including checking of residences by the police beat staff to ascertain the PGs, registration of cases against violators under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, sealing of the illegal PG accommodations, and permission to allow PGs in only one-kanal houses or above have proved to be a mere rhetoric. These remained only on paper.

In fact, even the administration is till unclear about the exact “definition of PG” as per the Estate Office’s requirement.

The issue was mentioned as “the most important one” by the UT Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh in a communiqué to the then UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas on July 17 earlier this year.

In the communiqué, the DC had asked the higher authorities to give clear guidelines to identify the PGs to take action against the persons who do not obtain statutory permission from the administration to use the residential building as PG accommodation.

Over four months have passed, but no action has been taken in this direction.

“In most of the cases, the violators say that the occupants were mere tenants. In support of their argument, they also produce rent deeds. They are taking benefit of the absence of clear-cut norms on the ‘definition of PG’. Our officials do not seem to be bothered about any change because the files have not moved ever since,” said an official of the UT Administration.

At a high-profile meeting, which was held on May 18, it was decided that it should be mandatory for the owners to get permission from the UT Estate Office, failing which cases would be got registered against the violators under Section 188 of the IPC. It was also deliberated that a PG should not be allowed in a residential house having area of less than one kanal. The authorities were yet to initiate any step in this direction.

Interestingly, before starting of the drive only six PGs were registered with the UT Estate Office. “Even after the administration’s drive, the story remained the same as the number of registered accommodation is still six,” said an official.

“The only difference which the drive had made was that the department received approximately 15 fresh applications for the PG registration, whereas more than 500 PGs were being run in the city. The residents here have no fear, as they know that the administration was not clear on the ‘definition of PG’,” added the official.

The move of starting the drive against the PG was following directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a petition of a resident of Sector 35, following which the department had swung into action and had served notices on several owners of PG accommodations, particularly in Sector 35.

‘Will tighten the noose’

Certainly, we feel a bit restrained in the absence of a clear definition of the PG accommodation. But it does not mean that we have sit silently on the issue. I am getting several complaints of PGs and we will very soon tighten the noose against the violators. At the same time, I feel that the PG issue needs to be regulated, as the city lacks such accommodations like big hostels in which they (the PGs) can be put up.

Brijendra Singh, UT Deputy Commissioner

Definition unclear

In the absence of clear-cut norms on the ‘definition of PG’, the violators say that the occupants were mere tenants. In support of their argument, they also produce rent deeds.




MC-Estate Office disconnect benefits builder
Tenements for economically weaker sections
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Lack of coordination between the Estate Office, Chandigarh, and Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has ensured relief for Uppal Builders, who cannot be legally hauled up by the MC (at least for another four years) to create dwelling units for economically weaker sections (EWS).

The Estate Office had approved revised building plans for the realtors’ upscale Marble Arch project in Mani Majra in December, 2010, thus allowing them a time frame of five years to make changes in their plans for the construction of houses for the EWS. This was done without any consultation with the MC, which had auctioned this land to Uppals in 2006. Incidently, Mani Majra, where the apartments have been built, too, falls under the jurisdiction of the MC, but with the Estate Office having approved the revised building plan, the show cause notice issued by the MC for initiating resumption proceedings against the developers holds little legal sanctity, as the approval of the revised building plan gives the developer a cushion till December 2015, to make the tenements for the EWS.

Highly placed sources in the MC informed The Tribune that the Estate Office had today given an affidavit, saying that the revised building plan submitted by the developer had been approved by their office in December 2010. Even as the developer gets this relief, he has also questioned the MC for forcing them to reserve 15 per cent of the dwelling units (25 units) for the EWS.

In its reply to the show-cause notice issued by the MC, the developer has reportedly said that the terms and conditions agreed upon by the developer and the MC at the time of auction, did not carry a clause for 15 per cent reservation for the EWS. They have also contended that the letter of allotment issued to them for the 5.39 acre land in Mani Majra, did not carry any clause for making reservation for the EWS in their housing scheme.

The issue regarding the developer not making any dwelling units for the EWS in his housing project, Marble Arch, had rocked the MC house earlier this year. Following this, the MC had constituted a committee in May this year to look into how the developer got the occupation certificate, without keeping any tenements for the EWS, and subsequently a show-cause notice was issued to Uppals in September, for failing to make units for the EWS. This committee had found that the developer had not constructed any dwelling units for the EWS. In fact, when the MC team went to inspect the site, they found that the developer had temporarily converted five flats (located on the ground floor in I block), each having five rooms, into these 25 dwelling units for the EWS. The committee had found that temporary partitions had been made in these flats so as to make them appear as independent units.


Marble Arch is now considered amongst the most plush addresses in Chandigarh. The market value of a flat in this housing project is close to ~3 crore, while a unit can be taken on a monthly rent of ~55,000. The crème de la crème of the city, staying here, have allegedly objected to people from the EWS being allocated dwelling units in their plush apartments, as it would bring their value down on the city’s snob-o-meter.



½ kg stones removed from kidney at GMCH-32
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
In an unusual case and perhaps the first of its kind, doctors at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 (GMCH-32), have successfully removed stones weighing almost half a kilogram (495 gm) from a patient’s left kidney.

A surgical team comprising urologist, Dr Vidur Bhalla, and anesthetists, Dr Sanjeev Palta and Dr Sunita, achieved the success after a marathon surgery lasting nearly three hours.

Interestingly, the patient, Anantram, 46, was diagnosed with stones in the kidney almost 15 years ago.

Since the condition did not cause much pain to him, Anantram ignored it. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Anantram said, “I never had any problem all these years. But for the past six months, I started feeling continuous pain on the left side of the abdomen and could not sleep, so I came to Chandigarh as doctors in Himachal Pradesh referred me to the PGI.” Anantram, working as a baildar in the Public Works Department, said, “After various tests, doctors had given three dates of operation, but the same were postponed. I was shifted to the GMCH-32, where the surgery was conducted yesterday.”

“The X-ray had shown big stones, but when we opened the kidney, we found that one single large stone weighed 385 gm and 12 cm in maximum dimension and others were of different shapes and sizes,” operating surgeon Dr Vidur Bhalla said. He said though big stones had been removed from kidneys, he was not aware of 495 gm being removed from one kidney, at least in India. He dubbed the surgery rare. Dr Bhalla said, “Now the patient is doing well. We had conducted two operations as he had stones in the right kidney also. On November 8, we removed 107-gm stones from the right kidney and the second operation was performed yesterday.



IRCTC   project
Budget hotel near rly station off track
Haryana Govt expresses inability to acquire land for purpose
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation’s (IRCTC) project of setting up a budget hotel near the Chandigarh railway station has run into rough weather, as the Haryana Government has expressed its inability to acquire any land for the purpose.

The land was to be provided by the state government on a lease basis and the IRCTC was to construct, operate and manage the hotel, including those at other places. The hotel was to come at the non-railway land.

According to information, the IRCTC officials have now approached the railways authorities to provide the land for the setting up of the budget hotel in close proximity to the railway station.

RK Sondh, chief regional manager, IRCTC, said they had now approached the railways authorities for providing the land so as to set up the hotel and added that they hoped that they would be able to get the land for the project.

Sondh said after the catering services were taken out from the IRCTC by the railway, the corporation has now shifted its focus on non-railway projects such as taking up the catering responsibility at different tourist places in the region and setting up food outlets there. He said they were in the process of speaking to various state governemnts to provide the land. He said talks with the Himachal Pradesh and Punjab governments were in the final stage and added that they hoped to start their operations soon.

Sondh further said that the corporation had also been tying up with state governments to promote religious tourism and it had already set up a budget hotel at the Katra railway station in Jammu. The hotel would have about 100 rooms, round-the-clock cafeteria, modern base kitchen, a banquet hall, in-house laundry, pick-up and drop facility as well as shopping arcade located inside the hotel, sources added.

Plan on cafeterias

The IRCTC is contemplating opening cafetarias at petrol pumps in Chandigarh and Punjab and the rates would be fixed after arriving at a decision soon. The rates would be reasonable, as the corporation was not for profit but for promting its brand.” - RK Sondh, Chief Regional Manager, IRCTC


Advani’s rally turns into MC poll campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Senior BJP leader LK Advani’s visit to the city kicked off the election campaign of the BJP for the municipal corporation (MC) elections today.

Senior party leaders present, including Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, asked voters to choose BJP candidates in the ensuing elections to remove the corrupt Congress from the MC.

“This is the right time to punish the Congress for its corrupt practices and actions against the people in the past and send a message to the country that the public will not support corruption at any cost,” said Swaraj.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal gave a clarion call to the people of Chandigarh to start ‘Operation Clean-up’ in the MC elections and remove the Congress from power from all parts of the country.

Addressing the rally, local unit president Sanjay Tandon listed out the scams unearthed in the UT Administration and the MC during the regime of the Congress.

Party members handed over the booklet ‘Scams of Chandigarh’, released recently, to Advani. The rally was a move to seek public support to prospective candidates as a majority of them turned up at the rally.

As Advani started addressing the rally, the public started moving out, as if it had no interest in his ‘yatra’

For about an hour before Advani turned up, the anchor on stage crammed the slogans which the public was to raise

During a short play staged before the arrival of Advani, Pawan Kumar Bansal was named ‘Pawan Kumar Cancel’ as all major projects had been scrapped during his tenure.

Protest foiled

The police rounded up 14 members of the All-India Sikh Students Federation as a preventive measure in the wake of the rally. Bags containing black flags were recovered from their possession.



BJP to corner govt on black money: Advani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Continuing his attack on the Congress-led UPA government, BJP leader LK Advani today said the party would put the government in the dock in the winter session of Parliament over corruption and black money.

Saying his target was to complete the ‘Jan Chetna Yatra’ before the winter session of Parliament, he said the Congress has tarnished the image of the country at the international level in the past two years.

Advani said it was surprising that the Congress had not even discussed the issue of black money in the House. People were asking questions and the BJP would ensure that their voice reached Parliament, he added.

“It is unfortunate that the issue has not been discussed in detail in Parliament so far despite the fact that a couple of countries have revealed the names of Indians having money in their banks,” said Advani.

“The financial position of India will undergo a sea change in case the money was brought back and utilised for development purposes here,” he further said.

He said the menace of corruption had reached every sphere and every field of activity. “While the UPA is being exposed for corrupt practices each day, the need of the hour is to reach out to the masses on ill-effects of corruption,” he said.



Panel to throw ball in Syndicate’s court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
In what is bound to rejoice over 600 PU faculty members, the regulation committee has decided to propose the issue of increasing retirement age from 60 to 65 years in the forthcoming Syndicate on November 19.

Though the efforts for the same had been on for a long with PUTA and university authorities approaching MHRD separately, the committee has decided to formulate a proposal and send it across through a proper channel.

“The proposal will be brought in the Syndicate and then Senate and only after getting passed, it will go to the MHRD. This shall put an end to all controversies,” said a member.

The issue had rocked last Senate when PUTA president Akshay claimed that despite his repeated claims of being in touch with the MHRD, the Vice-Chancellor had failed to send any letter there.

While he attributed the information to a senior MHRD official, the VC insisted that he had taken the proposal to the ministry and also promised to mark an inquiry to find out that what happened to the letters, which were posted as per the records.

Senator Ashok Goyal accused the Vice-Chancellor of forgoing the sanctity of calendar by bypassing both Senate and Syndicate before taking the proposal to MHRD.

“We all support teachers but procedures have to be followed, no such proposal can go to the MHRD without Senate approving it,” he said.

Meanwhile, elated over the development, PUTA president said a systematic procedure would surely ensure success.



Rural life comes alive
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 16
The Sarghi Kala Kendra, Mohali, presented a glimpse of the rural life through their prestigious production “Kahani Ikk Pind Di” in the ongoing sixth Chandigarh Theatre Festival at Randhawa auditorium here today.

The play is an adaptation of five short stories, titled Koi Ikk Saver, Sanjhi Kandh, Saver Hon Tak, Gallan Lyi Gallan, Bhet Wali

Gall, all penned by National Sahitya Akademi awardee Santokh Singh Dhir.

Designed and directed by Sanjavan Singh, the play depicted the aspirations, struggles, sorrows and joys of the innocent people residing in villages.

All five stories melt into each other, bringing alive the day-to-day problems of rural masses and their sharing of the hardships and happiness alike with their brethren.

Since all these aspects touched different dimensions of humility and humanity, the play had all potential to touch the urban viewers as well.

The rendition of verses was the lifeline of the play. Chief guest Gulzar Singh Sandhu, former editor Punjabi Tribune, blessed the artistes.

Hindi play “Andha Yug” will be staged tomorrow.



Never MC priority, garbage residents’ permanent eyesore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The collection and segregation of garbage has never been given priority by the municipal corporation (MC), which is the main cause of insanitary conditions in the city. Councillors have been more concerned about the smooth functioning of the garbage-processing plant at Dadu Majra.

Both Congress and BJP councillors and workers have staged protests for ensuring the proper functioning of the plant, but nobody has taken up the issue of formulating a policy on the collection and segregation of garbage during meetings of the MC.

The MC had outsourced the work of collection and segregation of garbage by setting up ‘sehaj safai kendras’ in various sectors of the city. When this concept was introduced, it was proposed that colour-coded bins for vegetables and meat would be installed so that segregation could be done at the markets.

In 2002, the Administration got specially designed cycle-rickshaws and handcarts for domestic collection and handed those over to the residents’ welfare association of Sector 15 to collect garbage from door to door in two separate containers for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.

According to proposal, garbage was to be converted into compost at the vermi-culture compost centre in Sector 15, built in association with the Jeevan Bima Welfare and Cultural Society. The authorities were not aware of the status of this project at present. Neither project succeeded as the MC did not chalk out any other project to streamline the garbage-collection system.

Commenting on the foul smell emanating from the garbage-processing plant, Rajesh Kumar of Dadu Majra asked whether the MC authorities were waiting for a disaster to get into action. He stated that the city did not have a regulated system either for the deployment of sweepers or for the collection of garbage.

Manish Kumar of Sector 32 said the MC was least bothered to make arrangements for proper sanitation, due to which a majority of internal parks, beautified by spending lakhs, had turned into garbage-collection centres. Though residents kept complaining about the frequent absence of sweepers, the authorities had turned a deaf ear to them, he rued.



Seminar on aero engines tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
An international seminar on “Emerging trends in repair and reclamation technologies on aero-engine parts” is being organised by the Indian Air Force’s No. 3 Base Repair Depot (3BRD) in association with the Chandigarh chapter of Aeronautical Society of India on November 18.

Air Officer Commanding 3 BRD, Air Cmde Suresh Singh said the seminar would be a platform for eminent and experienced representatives of the civil aviation industry and government defence agencies to come together for in depth knowledge sharing.

It would determine the latest developments in repair and reclamation processes for parts of aero engines.

Foreign participants include Rolls Royce (UK), Snecma (France), Timkin (UK), Motorsich (Ukraine) and Rose Bank (Australia). They are expected to throw up new vistas for optimal solutions towards increasing efficiency and reliability of aero engines.



Traffic chaos reigns supreme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The ‘Jan Chetna Yatra’ of senior BJP leader LK Advani in Chandigarh led to traffic congestion in various parts of the city this evening.

Traffic snarls marked city roads as commuters remained stuck in serpentine queues of vehicles on roads parallel to the route of the ‘yatra’.

The route of the procession from the airport to the Sector-25 rally ground witnessed fewer traffic jams than roads parallel to it, to which traffic was diverted.

From the airport, the procession passed the Hallo Majra traffic light point, the roundabout separating Sector 29 and Ram Darbar and the Centra Mall traffic light point before entering Sector 29.

Traffic on these roads was diverted, leading to long queues of vehicles. The rally passed through Sectors 29, 30, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 before reaching the rally ground at Sector 25.

Keeping security concerns in mind, the regular movement of traffic was blocked on all the roads through which Advani’s procession was scheduled to pass.

The road leading to the sector through which the procession was scheduled to pass was closed to traffic till the cavalcade had passed the sector.



Parts of Ward No 6 still in a state of neglect
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, November 16
Ward No 6 is ‘very different’ from other wards of Zirakpur. Popularly known as the VIP ward, here, all basic amenities are available, or are just a phone call away. The reason is not hard to comprehend as it is the ward of MC president NK Sharma. Yet some parts in the ward have been neglected by the MC officials as there has been pick and choose policy while carrying out development works in the ward.

Roads in the ward are in perfect shape. Encroachments are comparatively absent. Yet residents claim that the ward clearly shows that the other parts of the township are neglected because of lack of will on the part of the authorities concerned in Zirakpur. They say while the residents of the ward enjoy a VIP treatment just because the president happens to be elected from there, the other areas wear an abandoned and forlorn look.

As compared to other wards the situation is no different here as far as water supply to the ward is concerned.

Few areas in the ward lack better civic amenities. Potholed roads in some areas show indifferent attitude of the authorities.

In some areas, electricity wires are hanging above the houses, putting the lives of people at risk.

Pick and choose policy

Even though MC president NK Sharma resides here, yet some parts in the ward have been neglected by MC officials as there has been pick and choose policy while carrying out development works in the ward.

Damaged lights at a park in Ward No 6

Councillor speak

All wards of Zirakpur are just like my home. The development work in Ward No 6 is almost complete. The tenders for re-carpeting of roads and other works have been allotted and will be completed within two months. I have not adopted any pick and choose policy where development work in the ward is concerned. My top priority is to provide all basic amenities to every wards in Zirakpur.

— N.K. Sharma, Area Councillor

Residents  Speak

We have better basic amenities in this ward than others in Zirakpur. This is because the president is easily accessible and we are able to air our grievances.

— Nitin

The ward is well developed but some areas need to be upgraded. I feel MC officials are more watchful in the area where the president resides while they neglect other areas. The electricity wires of a mobile tower has been hanging in front of my house and it poses a threat to our lives yet the authorities concerned are not bothered.

— Preetam Singh



P’kula residents respond well to green Diwali campaign
Arun sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
Residents of Panchkula have responded well to the green Diwali campaign this time. The data collected on Diwali by the District Pollution Department shows that the air was polluted half of what it was last year due to cracker bursting in the town.

On Diwali day, maximum suspended particulate matter (SPM) recorded in the town was 916.4 microgramme per cubic meter in Sector 11 between 7pm and 3 am. Last year, it was recorded as 1602.9.

A team consisting of assistant environment engineers Virender Singh Punia and Kamaljeet Singh of the Haryana Pollution Control Board was located at Sector 21 and Sector 11 this time from October 25 to 27. While the team recorded the data of air pollution from 10 am to 6 pm in Sector 21, the pollution of air at Sector 11 was recorded during the peak hours.

In Sector 11, while the SPM level on October 25, was recored as 285.9, this increased to three times the next day to 916.4. This however, again decreased to the level of 483.7 on October 27.

Similarly, the level of SPM on October 25 in Sector 21 in the day was recored as low as 113.1 which increased to 388.3 on Diwali day.



Cops told to register criminal cases against 13 cattle owners
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
The Panchkula Municipal Corporation has asked the local police to register criminal cases against 13 more persons owning cattle in Panchkula here today. The offenders belonging to Mansa Devi Complex, Budhanpur, Industrial Area Phase II, Azad Colony, Sector 25, Kharak Mangoli, and Mogi Nand are found to be keeping a large herd of cattle against the norms.

It was last week only that the Municipal Corporation hadimpounded 110 stray cattle and FIRs were registered against two offenders. Thirty others were issued notices for letting their cattle roam around freely all over the town.

The much-awaited action by the authorities was taken only after Chief Judicial Magistrate Gurvinder Kaur took note of the issue.

On October 20, the court allowed temporary injunction on an application filed by a Panchkula-based couple, Pankaj and Sangeeta Chandgothia, who sought relief from the stray cattle menace.

On November 5, the Judge issued a contempt-of-court notice to Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar, the Additional Deputy Commissioner, MC executive official KK Jain and the Deputy Commissioner of Police for disobedience of court orders and to take effective steps to ensure that the menace was eradicated.

The MC now has been contemplating to increase the penalty from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 for stray cattle in the town, added Jain.

110 cattle impounded

It was last week only that the Municipal Corporation had impounded 110 stray cattle and FIRs were registered against two offenders



Roadside sellers not allowed to sell tobacco items
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 16
Members of the Panthic Vichar Manch removed unauthorised roadside sellers of tobacco items from different areas of the town today.

A representative of the manch, Baljit Singh Khalsa, claimed that more than 30 such sellers were told to remove tobacco items by the activists.

He said there was no resistance from the sellers and they left the spot with their items.

He said Health Department officials were not serious about checking the sale of tobacco products here.

He said the state government was not paying heed to ending the tobacco menace that was harming Punjab’s culture.



Foundation stone laid
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 16
Premier of British Columbia Christy Clark laid the foundation stone of the new campus of British Columbia Academy (BCA) in Manakpur Sharrif village near here today.

The Premier said it was a historic moment. It was the first offshore Canadian school in India, which had been certified by British Columbia. She said British Columbia would make a contribution by building a school in Punjab.

The BCA, the first Canadian offshore school in Mohali, has been accredited by the British Columbia Ministry of Education and has been operating in India since August 2009.

The BCA offers British Columbia Ministry of Education prescribed curriculum to a diverse group of international and local students. The institution helps students develop and learn, as they are provided a Canadian education with an opportunity to experience Indian culture.



Shopkeepers of Phase V block traffic
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 16
Two former municipal councillors and shopkeepers of the Phase V market blocked the traffic here today in protest against the failure of the Greater Mohali Development Authority to provide an entry to the market from a main road under construction in the area.

Gurmukh Singh Sohal and Kuldip Kaur Kang, former councillors, said they had urged senior officials of GMADA earlier to provide an entry from the main road but to no avail. They claimed that district planning committee chairman NK Sharma had also given directions in this regard but these, too, had been ignored by the GMADA officials.

They said that when they approached a JE of GMADA today to provide an entry to the market, the official allegedly misbehaved with them. They demanded action against him.



Houses for defence personnel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Jal Vayu Vihar, the Air Force Naval Housing Board (AFNHB) project at Greater Mohali, was inaugurated by Air Marshal JN Burma, Air Officer-in-Charge, Administration, and Chairman, AFNHB, today. He was accompanied by Rear Admiral R Gaikwad, Director-General, AFNHB.

About 300 allottees attended the function. The project was one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the AFNHB in terms of size and facilities provided.

The foundation stone of the project was laid on March 8, 2008, and work commenced on March 19, 2008. It had 1,292 dwelling units for IAF and Navy officers and personnel in 26 towers of 14 storeys each.



From Tibet, with variety, and lots of love
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 16
Life in all its manifestations, living with religious rituals and the aspirations of the people of different regions in Tibet were brought alive in diverse folk dances presented by accomplished dancers and musicians from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) at the PU law auditorium here today.

The folklore bonanza, titled ‘Dances from the Roof of the World’ and organised by the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music Arts among the Youth (SPICMACAY) was largely attended by music-loving youngsters.

The programme commenced on a spiritual note with a mask dance as black-hat dancers made symbolic offerings to Buddha, Lamas and Dharampalas (apostles of truth). As many as 19 artistes made a sleek presentation of seven more dances from different regions of Tibet.

Religious and social ceremonies were delineated in the ‘Lhokhai Shay Chen Lingkar’ dance before the captivating group song ‘Cholsum Mirik’ was rendered by four young singers from three regions.

Male and female dancers amused the audience with the romance-filled dance ‘Domey Tserik’ before the stag dance, lauding the deer-headed deity, heralded as a great protector, was presented.

The dance of wanderers and the snow-lion dance kept the audience enraptured. The young dancers displayed verve and vitality while executing dancing actions. Rarely seen traditional Tibetan musical instruments like the nine-foot-long gyaling, the ‘dhaknyen’, the ‘yangche’ and drums spelt sublime melody.



Youth seek seat in MC
Want 24-year-old Sachin as nominated councillor
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
It is not just members of resident welfare associations and other local residents who are in the race for securing a seat in the municipal corporation (MC) as nominated councillor.

The Youth Innovative Society, which has students and other youngsters as members, has written to the UT Administrator, seeking representation for the youth in the MC.

It has forwarded the name of 24-year-old Sachin Sharma, who is into social work. It has mentioned that the city desperately needs some young nominated councillors who personify energy, enthusiasm, morality and diligence.

A resident of Sector 21 and an engineer by qualification, Sachin has said all 26 MC ward heads of the society want the youth to have representation in the House, following which they have recommended his name.

“We have been working for social causes in the city. I had initiated the save-paper and save-tree campaign in the MC by using paper on both sides and was awarded by the Administration,” he has said.

According to Sachin, one should be familiar with resources, culture, education, health, employment and environment and be aware of the problems being faced by residents to be a successful youth representative.



Teachers’ protest hits studies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The long-pending demands of college teachers of all aided colleges of Chandigarh and Punjab are no more limited to teachers. The demands have also started affecting students who have to miss their classes due to the ongoing protest of teachers. The Punjab and College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) observed a full-day strike that would continue tomorrow with no teaching.

Earlier, the college teachers used to observe a one-hour protest, however, intensifying the protest, the teachers decided to go for 48-hour strike.

The aided colleges observed a strike for the implementation of already accepted and notified Act of pension and gratuity and other demands. The teachers, who were joined by the non-teaching employees of the aided colleges of Chandigarh, gathered in front of the DPI (C), Punjab, office in Sector 17 and held a protest rally.

The teachers are sour that despite assurances for over a decade and repeated meetings, the Punjab government had failed to implement the provisions of the Punjab Pension and Gratuity Act, 1999, as well as other rulings of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

City colleges, including DAV College, SD College, MCM DAV College, Guru Gobind Singh College, Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Dev Samaj College for Education, Dev Samaj College for Women, wore a deserted look following the teachers protest.

Prof Jagwant Singh, PCCTU president, said, “The whole blame for the disruption of academic session rests with the Punjab government. The teachers have been forced to come on the roads, as the government is not showing serious resolve to address the issue. The two-hour long meeting of office-bearers with the Education Minister yesterday failed to deliver the expected results because of the several stages of the procedure suggested, which would again cause needless delay.”

As per the UGC, the students need to be taught 180 days in a year. Prof Ghanshyam Dev, president, Chandigarh District Council of PCCTU, admitting that the studies of thousands of students are being hit said the teachers were helpless, as even after 10 years, the state government had failed to implement the Pension and Gratuity Act. “We know the academics are hit by the strike but there is no other option then going on strike,” he said.

Threat to intensify stir

Teachers have threatened to further intensify the protest by observing a two-hour strike everyday between 9 am to 2 pm from November 18 to 24. The classes would remain suspended for two hours in seven aided colleges of Chandigarh.



PEC cancels promotion interviews
Employees’ body alleges authorities violated code of conduct for municipal corporation elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The PEC University of Technology has cancelled interviews for promotions and typing test for clerks that was supposed to be held today.

The PEC Employees’ Association had registered a complaint with the Estate Election Commissioner, New Delhi, alleging that the PEC authorities have violated the code of conduct for the MC elections by heading with the process of promotions under CAS and for holding interviews.

Reacting to the representation made by the PEC workers regarding violation of code of conduct, the Estate Election Commissioner had sought a reply from PEC.

Hari Mohan, president of the employees’ association, said the authorities had given an excuse that the results of the promotion and typing test would not be announced. “We made a complaint as conducting promotions even without declaration of results amounts to luring of employees in a particular manner,” Mohan said.

Tarsem Lal, a senior official of Estate Election Commissioner in Chandigarh, said they had received the complaint and had sought a reply from PEC. “We are examining the issue and have sent a communication to the institute for their comment over the issue, based on which the matter will be further decided,” Lal said.
Earlier in 2009, the Chandigarh Administration cancelled the appointment to the post of Registrar during the code of conduct.



PU withholds food price hike
Student parties rush to claim credit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The student’s politics, which had witnessed a period of thaw for long, revived at campus today when all major student parties protested against hike of mess charges and eventually claimed the credit for getting it withheld.

The drama started this morning when the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) protested against the hike. SOPU, which is the main party of the student council, claimed that they had never agreed to Rs-3 hike.

“We never agreed on this hike and thus protested against it and as a result, PU has withheld the hike,” said Pushpinder Sharma, president of student council.

The party proceeded on a dharna at the Vice-Chancellor’s (VC) office and soon all parties got into action with PUSU also following the suit.

“Our party has been protesting against this hike ever since it was proposed and the student council went for discussions. It is our endeavour that PU had to roll it back and if they try to impose it, we will go on an indefinite strike,” said Sumit Goklaney of PUSU.

NSUI protested with empty utensils in front of the VC office demanding a resignation of dean student welfare (DSW).

The minute DSW announced to withhold the hike, the parties got into a mad frenzy of claiming the credit of coming to students help.



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