C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


High drama as bystanders rescue woman from kidnapper
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
A kidnap drama was witnessed on the Sector 18-19 trafficlights when a women travelling in an Alto car sought bystanders’ help in rescuing her from the clutches of the driver here today. Some bystanders came to her rescue and caught hold of the driver of the car.

The victim, who is known to the accused, alleged that he forcibly pulled her inside his car near Panchayat Bhawan with the intent to kidnap her. A case of kidnapping has been registered at the police station-19.

In her complaint to the police, the victim, Suman Lata, alleged that she along with her husband Kavi was heading towards her house in Sector 7 from Sector 3. On reaching the Sector-8 roundabout, accused Kishan Kumar, a resident of Khuda Lohra, signalled them to stop their vehicle on the pretext of talking to them. While she was talking to Kishan, he forcibly pulled her inside the car and drove away.

Kavi claimed that he was on the phone when Kishan drove away with his wife.

“I tried to intercept the accused with my car but failed. I then rang up the police,” he added.

The complainant stated that she raised the alarm near the Sector 18-19 trafficlights and was rescued by some bystanders. In the meantime, a police team also arrived at the scene.

Sources said the complainant used to work in the accused’s office but she had left the job a few months ago.

“Kishan owes us some money and we had even complained to the police in this regard,” Kavi said.

Kishan’s wife Prema Devi said the complainant wanted to implicate her husband in a false case of kidnapping.

“We had removed her from the job following which she was levelling these allegations.”

Police station-19 SHO Janak Singh said a case of kidnapping had been registered against the accused and investigations were on.

Victim known to accused

The victim, who is known to the accused, alleged that he forcibly pulled her inside his car near Panchayat Bhawan with the intent to kidnap her.



Toddler gets burn injuries, courtesy Ashreya staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
In a sheer case of negligence, a one and a half year old baby, Chirag, son of Indira, an inmate of Ashreya in Sector 47 here, a home for orphaned mentally challenged, sustained burn injuries from a hot electric iron on Sunday.

Though the injuries have been dubbed as "superficial" by doctors, the incident brings to fore the callous attitude of the authorities and attendants who left a hot iron within the reach of mentally challenged inmates.

The incident occurred on Sunday when another inmate inadvertently put the hot electric iron on child's back. However, this claim was rebutted by senior functionaries of Ashreya, who said the iron had fallen and touched the baby.

What is shocking is that even if the claim of the authorities is to be believed, question arises as to how a hot iron, which could make grievous injuries to the inmates, was allowed to be within their reach, when their mental condition is known to all.

The institute head, Dr BS Chawan, claimed that he wasn't aware of the incident and came to know of it only from Chandigarh Tribune. “I have sent doctors for the check-up of the child and a detailed inquiry will be conducted," he said.

When asked why the warden hadn't informed him about the incident as it occurred on Sunday, he said, according to the warden the case was not as serious. Dr Chaya, a paediatrician, and Dr Rohit from the psychiatry department, went for the check-up of the child and prescribed an ointment for burn marks.

Around 29 inmates are staying in Ashreya, including the victim of the infamous Nari Niketan rape case, Kajal, and her daughter, Pari.

The age of these inmates are from 2 to 65. Of these, six are males and the rest are females and children.

Callous attitude

Though the injuries from a hot electric iron have been dubbed as ‘superficial’ by doctors, the incident brings to fore the callous attitude of the authorities and attendants who left a hot iron within the reach of mentally challenged inmates. The incident occurred on Sunday when an inmate inadvertently put a hot electric iron on the child's back



Accident scene involving Range Rover recreated
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The Chandigarh police today recreated the accident scene involving the Range Rover owned by international golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, by taking the driver of the SUV to the Panchkula light point and making him walk the same way he walked on October 31 when the accident took place involving an Alto.

The exercise was held to verify the claims made by the complainant that the driver booked by the police was not the one who was driving the SUV at the time of the accident. The entire exercise was recorded in the same CCTV that would be matched with the footage recorded earlier.

The Range Rover had hit the car of one Sunita Malik of Panchkula at a light point on October 31. Sunita and her son Bhanu were injured in the accident. The police had booked Ram Kumar, driver of the SUV, who surrendered in the police station the next day. However, Sunita had alleged that the vehicle was not driven by Ram Kumar at the time of the accident.

Today’s recording done by the police is yet to be verified and matched with the footage recorded at the time of the accident. The police could not come to any conclusion at the scene.

DSP Kamal Deep, who is investigating the case, said to verify the claims made by the complainant, the driver was called to the police station for verification and his face was matched with the person captured in the CCTV at the time of the accident.

The DSP further said that Ram Kumar was taken to the accident scene and asked to narrate the accident scene. “The driver was questioned about how the accident happened and what did he do and where did he go after coming out of the vehicle. This was done to establish whether Ram Kumar has the same story to tell as captured in the CCTV,” the DSP said.

Later, Ram Kumar was also made to walk the same way the Range Rover driver was captured by the CCTV. “We have recorded the body movement and walk of Ram Kumar in the same CCTV camera installed at the light point. The recording would be matched with the earlier footage to establish he was only driving the vehicle on the day of accident,” the DSP said.

Police investigation has revealed that Milkha’s Range Rover jumped the traffic signal while the Alto crossed the Zebra line at yellow light that led to the accident.



MC poll: Two nominated councillors get party tickets
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Speculation about nominated councillors contesting the Municipal Corporation (MC) election on party tickets today turned out to be a reality, with names of at least two such councillors figuring in the proposed candidature list of the two major political parties, the Congress and BJP.

Another nominated councillor was today appointed chairman of the manifesto committee of the Chandigarh Jan Manch.

The nominated councillors, who are supposed to be neutral representatives, have ended showing their eagerness to be in the political saddle. In the decade-and-a-half history of the Municipal Corporation (MC), it is for the first time that the supposed eyes and ears of the administration have jumped onto the political bandwagon. "It is strange that the nominated councillors were becoming part of the political system that they ridiculed," observed a senior politician.

In the proposed candidature list of the Congress, nominated councillor Arshad Khan has been given the ticket for contesting elections from ward number 26, while another nominated councillor Dr AP Sanwaria has been given the ticket by the BJP from ward number 17.

Besides contesting the election for these parties, they have also been entrusted the task of formulating the strategies and manifestos for their parties. The BJP has included Dr AP Sanwaria in its manifesto committee for the ideation of agendas. Even nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee has been appointed chairman of the manifesto committee for the Chandigarh Jan Manch.

Interestingly, both nominated councillors who are in the fray of the elections of the respective political parties are rookies and do not have any political experience. They showed their honesty towards the respective parties as nominated councillors had took initiatives since the last mayoral elections in the party affairs and proceedings of the current General House of the MC. Nominated councillor Arshad Khan openly supported current mayor Ravinder Pal Singh during voting, whereas Dr A P Sanwaria canvassed for the joint BJP-SAD candidate JS Kang in the mayoral elections.

Party sources said that after this incident, both councillors were allowed to participate in the internal party meetings of the respective parties.


In one goes by the records of the three previous elections of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation held in 1996, 2001 and 2006, no party had given ticket to any nominated councillor even though they had approached the high commands of various political parties


eco city
GMADA gets 1.58 lakh applications
To hold draw of lots simultaneously at 3 arenas
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 18
Seeing a record 1,58,227 applications received for different sizes of plots in Mullanpur Eco City, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today decided to hold the draw of lots simultaneously at three different arenas, set up at short distances from one another.

Holding a parallel draw of lots for different sizes of plots will not only save time but also prevent applicants from sitting for long hours waiting for the draw of their category of plots to begin, said Additional Chief Administrator Parveen Thind.

The decision has been taken in light of 67,126 applications having been received against 100 sq yd plots alone. For the 200 sq yd plots, 53,186 applications have been received.

The response for Eco City, with around 1.58 lakh applications against 840 plots, is greater than the 3 lakh applications that GMADA had received for 4,000 plots in Aerocity.

Compared to the huge response received by 100 sq yd and 200 sq yd plots, the total number of applications received for 300 sq yd, 400 sq yd and 500 sq yd plots were 14,379, 11,043 and 12,493, respectively.

While the total number of applications against different sizes of plots in the general category was 1,30,673, the number of applications received against all reserved categories was 27,554.

The draw of lots for 100 sq yd plots will be conducted at one arena, while the draw for 200 sq yd and 400 sq yd will be held at another arena. Similarly, the draw of lots for 300 sq yd and 500 sq yd plots will be conducted at the third arena.

The open space around the GMADA office will be used to as the arena for the draw of lots.

draw Slips to have bar code

To ensure better transparency, draw slips with bar code (containing complete information about applicants) will be used to hold the draw of lots. Before the draw, the slips (stacks put together like currency wads) will be placed before public so that these can be examined. The stacks will be opened and placed in a box for the draw.



mc elections
Aspiring candidates in canvassing mode
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Aspiring candidates, hopeful of getting a ticket from their respective parties, have already started canvassing in all 26 wards of the city for the forthcoming municipal corporation elections.

In fact, candidates with a bright chance of getting a ticket have already placed orders for campaign paraphernalia. They look to officially kick-start their campaign as soon as their parties make a formal announcement of their names.

One of the proposed Congress candidates, Pawan Sharma, during a media interaction, claimed that the party had assured him a ticket from ward No. 8. So, he had started his campaign by meeting residents of the ward to know their expectations from their councillor.

On the other hand, Congress local unit president BB Bhel refuted Sharma’s statement and said the party was yet to make a final decision on the final list of candidates.

Sources said a majority of senior leaders of both the Congress and the BJP had started meeting with residents of their wards almost a week ago. The candidates were also chalking out strategies for canvassing in their wards.

A local shopkeeper, Ranjit Singh, said candidates of major parties had already placed orders for Chinese hoardings and stickers, which will be used for campaigning.

Campaign gear readied

Candidates with a bright chance of getting a ticket have already placed orders for campaign paraphernalia. They look to officially kick-start their campaign as soon as their parties make a formal announcement of their names



Hotel Parkview
Probe begins into installation of poor equipment
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The UT engineering department has initiated an inquiry into the complaint of installation of substandard equipment worth Rs 37.83 lakh by a Delhi-based company in the main kitchen of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation-run Hotel Parkview here.

The equipment, including big deep freezers, fresh air exhaust system, gas piping, under-shelf refrigerators, ducting, mixers and grinders, were installed around two years ago. It was alleged that most items were found either out of order or non-functional soon after these were installed, thereby affecting the working in the main kitchen of the hotel.

A complaint was also made in this regard by certain employees of the corporation in which they alleged that all of the four big deep freezers, worth Rs 1.65 lakh each, were not producing the desired results. These had failed to maintain the required temperature and had been repaired a number of times since their installation.

It was also alleged that even during their visit, the manufacturing company officials had confirmed that two of these deep freezers were not working.

“Though these items were covered under warranty at that time, the official concerned of the corporation did not make efforts to replace these,” alleged the employees in the complaint.

Similarly, other equipment like exhaust system, under-shelf refrigerators, mixers and grinders, deck-mounted faucets, ducting system and heavy-duty “tandoor” were found non-functional and needed repairs every now and then, they stated in the complaint.

Following the complaint, CITCO Managing Director DK Tiwari had also inspected the equipment in August. “I had recommended an inquiry to the UT Chief Engineer. The inquiry is on and I will be able to comment only after I receive the report,” said Tiwari.

“If the material is found not up to the mark, action will be initiated against the company,” he added.

The glitch

A Delhi-based company had installed the equipment, including deep freezers, fresh air exhaust system, gas piping, under-shelf refrigerators, ducting, mixers and grinders, in the main kitchen of Hotel Parkview two years ago.



Rural health course draws IMA flak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has criticised the health ministry’s move to implement a short-term three-and-half year medical degree programme — Bachelor of Rural Health Course (BRHC) — for the rural sector, stating that it will adversely affect quality healthcare.

Addressing mediapersons on the 206th meeting of the IMA Central Working Committee, Dr Vinay Agarwal, national president, IMA, said: “There are better ways to overcome the shortage of modern medicine professionals in the rural areas. Lowering the standard of medical education and producing low-quality professionals is not the solution.”

Dr Agarwal said: “The association is duty-bound to consider patient safety and cannot reverse a process initiated by the Bhore Committee report of 1946 to abolish such mediocre short-term courses.” The IMA was not convinced about the government’s intentions on the BRHC.

The health ministry has asked the MCI to endorse this new course and the latter is working out the modalities for the proposed course and it is under discussion. An MCI member said many states had already showed interest in implementing the course.

Dr KK Talwar, chairman of the MCI, said: “The matter is under discussion and very soon it will be finalised and the decision will definitely be in national interest. But it is too early to say anything now.”

However, Dr Agarwal said the MCI should not endorse the course. Any qualification less than MBBS would bring down the quality of treatment. Especially, when they are ready to serve in the rural parts, provided they are given adequate infrastructure and incentive in the form of salary hike.

The IMA members also sought the implementation of the Hospital Protection Bill in the states, including Chandigarh, at the earliest in the wake of doctors and hospitals being subjected to constant attacks.

They demanded the government to take necessary action to present and approve the Bill in the Assembly. So far, 18 states have already passed the Act.

Dr D Rai, honorary secretary-general, IMA, said eminent cricketer Sunil Gavaskar would be IMA’s brand ambassador on “Save the girl child”.



P’kula roads, parks to be repaired
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 18
Waking up to the repeated grievances of residents, the Panchkula Municipal Corporation now has taken an initiative to repair roads and parks in the town. While tenders for the works over Rs 2.5 crore have already been passed and sent for approval of the commissioner, on Monday tenders for works worth Rs 3 crore was floated, KK Jain, executive officer of the Municipal Corporation said. It is for the first time this year that the corporation is spending money on the repair and development works in the town despite several complaints from the local house welfare associations.

The parks in Sectors 2, 4, 5, 7 to 12, 14 to 19, Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, 5 and Industrial Area, Phase II, will be repaired at a cost of Rs 90 lakh, said Jain.

In addition Rs 1.5 crore has been allocated for building rain shelters in the parks. As much as Rs 45 lakh will be spent on iron grills and road dividers in various sectors, added the executive officer.

There is hardly any nook and corner in the town where garbage is not found littered due to inadequate space in the dustbins. The dogs and stray cattle can be seen devouring the garbage during any time of the day. Enclosures for dustbins will be constructed at five locations in the town, he said. The condition of internal roads in Sector 12 A is pathetic. The dividing roads between Sector 2, 4 and 5 also need immediate repair.

In many parks tower lights will be installed and tenders of Rs 2.5 crore have already been passed and have been sent for approval of the municipal commissioner, said Jain.



Farmers training fair on Nov 22
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 18
A district level ‘Farmer Training Fair’ would be organised by the agriculture department, Haryana, at Barwala on November 22.

The fair would aim to educate the farmers about the latest techniques of increasing the production of wheat crop a district level.

In a release here today, the spokesman of the department said that around 1000 farmers of the district were expected to participate in the fair where the scientists of Haryana Agriculture University would educate the farmers about the latest techniques for increasing the production of wheat crop.

Apart from it, the farmers would be acquainted with the modern techniques related to agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, bee keeping and other agriculture products.

The farmers would also be informed about the various schemes being implemented by the agriculture department for the welfare of farmers.

Director General, agriculture department, Haryana, Ashok Yadav would be the chief guest on this occasion while Chairman, Zila Parishad, Panchkula Rajesh Kona would inaugurate the Fair.



Food company violates Water Act

Mohali, November 18
During a surprise check by the environmental engineer of Punjab Pollution Control Board, nodal office, Mohali, M/s Shivalik Food (India) Limited, Focal Point, Chanalon, was found discharging its untreated industrial effluent directly into a sewer. The samples have been collected and were sent to a laboratory for analysis. The industry is engaged in the processing of milk and manufacturing of ghee and skimmed milk.

The industry had been granted consent to operate under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, for discharging its treated effluent into the sewer. However, the industry has been found violating the provisions of Water Act, 1974. — TNS



International seminar on good governance

Panchkula, November 18
An international seminar on “Dynamics of Urban Growth and its Impact on Good Governance: An Evaluation” was organised by the institute for spatial planning and environment research (ISPER), at Amravati Enclave here today. Chief guest on the occasion SD Anand, Central Administrative Tribunal Bench, Chandigarh, dwelled upon the urgency of good governance in rapidly changing circumstances.

A large number of experts of urban planning from India, Singapore, Canada and former chief town planner, Haryana, K Surjit Singh prof (retd) KD Sharma prof BS Marh, HP University, Shimla, HS Rana, Chairman State Police Complaint Authority, Haryana brought out relevant issues. — TNS



Pensioners hold rally

Chandigarh, November 18
The Punjab Government Pensioners Welfare Association organised a rally in front of the State Bank of India branch in Sector 41 here yesterday.

The pensioners said there demands, including fixation of pension on the basis of notional formula, merger of 50 per cent dearness relief to the basic pension, increase of medical allowance were ignored by the government time and again. SK Khosla, president and KS Naga, general secretary of the association addressed the rally. — TNS



PU’s proposed MoU with Defence Ministry in doldrums
Special seats in courses exclusively for defence personnel
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Panjab University’s proposed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Defence Ministry for creating special seats in various courses exclusively for defence personnel has run into rough weather in the academic circles even before it comes up for discussion at the Syndicate meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

Besides 10 seats, each, in MBA (all disciplines) and public administration (all years) the university, in an out of the way gesture, has also decided to create 15 seats in PhD of all subjects. It has also proposed to give an exemption for an entrance test while seeking admission to the PhD for commissioned officers who have undergone staff college course or equivalent postgraduation courses in any stream or higher command course or equivalent higher defence management course or equivalent national defence course or M Phil course. Academics, across the board, have resented against the move on different accounts.

The authorities’ act of taking up the “item for discussion”, without even the knowledge of the committee concerned, has left several officials astonished. Faculty members have accused the varsity of going for a populist decision without taking into account the ground reality of the teachers and resources required for the same, leave aside consulting the department concerned chairpersons.

“The university has just 600 teachers for over 13,000 students. All teachers are not engaged in postgraduate and undergraduate classes only. A number of them are engaged in guiding the PhDs. The university is facing an immense crunch of non-teaching staff, with only over 150 regular employees for the sanctioned 700 posts. In addition to staff requirement, basic facilities like classrooms, lab, and libraries will be required for accommodating the new students, said a Dean.

VC unavailable, DUI astonished

While Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti could not be contacted despite repeated attempts and messages on his official phone, the correspondent has received no response for the past two days. Expressing astonishment, Dean University Instructions, BS Brar, said, “I know nothing about the issue featuring on the Syndicate agenda. When this proposal had come months ago, I had suggested that since it implied creating extra seats, all departments concerned should be consulted. The Vice-Chancellor had then constituted a committee. Nothing concrete had been decided till date at all meetings of the deans.



PU: Students protest delay in result
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Students of Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College along with the members of National Student Union of India protested against varsity’s failure to declare results of a subject even after three months of examination, here today. Examination Controller AK Bhandari, who claimed to have declared the results today, said examination branch had nothing to do with delay.

“There was some discrepancy in the question paper and the matter was forwarded to concerned board of studies. The body met twice but failed to resolve the issue and it was only in the third meeting that they reached a decision that was communicated to us only two days ago,” he said.

“Be it examination branch or board of studies, it is the student, who suffers because of their indifferent attitude. University needs to get student friendly as till date it takes a dharna to get results declared,” said Sunny Mehta, campus president NSUI.

Panjab University Student Council today submitted a memorandum to PU Vice-Chancellor asking him for immediate clearance of the dues of research scholars. The researcher fellows are facing financial problems, as they are not getting fellowships and scholarships on time. Varsity has promised to deal with issue by next week.



Graduate constituency: PU raises form fee to Rs 1!
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Panjab University has decided to raise the price of the voter registration form for Graduate constituency of senate from 25 paisa to Re 1. Reason: Government of India has stopped minting a 25 paisa coin. The price revelation has shocked students as admission forms are start from Rs 500 with the price revised almost every two years.

“Its amazing that on one hand every single form of students be it admissions or examinations costs nothing less than Rs 500 and prices go up every year. But Senate election forms and registration fee continues to be just Rs 16. Varsity is out to aid the former graduates, a majority of whom may not even vote but not the students. Cannot the price of such forms raised if sold in lakhs and then use funds for students’ development?” Pushpinder Sharma, PU Student Council. The decision has left the students complaining about difference between price of forms concerning students and senate elections, syndics consider comparison impractical. “The form has different spirit attached to it. It is for the PU graduates to register as voters in senate elections and is used in thousands and even lakhs at times. It should ideally be compared to withdrawal or deposit forms available in banks. As far as funds earned by varsity are concerned, there is also registration fee of Rs 15 so it is not that cheap,” said a senate member.



8 students to enter ‘Bharat ko jano’ quiz

Chandigarh, November 18
Eight students have been selected from various schools to participate in the state level quiz “Bharat Ko Jano” to be held at Patran in Punjab on November 27.

TR Wadhwa, president, Bharat Vikas Parishad, said in junior category, Paras Mani and Mahesh Kumar of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47 D, Rahul and Rajni of Government High School, Karsan, have won first and second position, respectively, in a written test, Bharat Ko Jano on November 5.

In the senior category, Nitu and Kamal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Karsan, and Sonica and Deepak of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47 A secured the first and second position, respectively. Wadhwa said more than 520 students from six schools of Sector 47, 31 and Karsan village had participated in the competition. 245 Students were in the junior category while 275 in the senior category, he added. — TNS



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