C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Shine off patil’s darbar
Only four complainants attend meeting this time
Akash Ghai
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 22
The public “darbar” of the UT Administrator and Governor Shivraj Patil has lost its appeal with the public as was evident from the fact that today’s session was attended by only four complainants. Moreover, two of them returned “absolutely dissatisfied”.

The turnout at the “darbar” has decreased consistently over the past more than two months. Official records revealed that 38 complainants came to meet the Administrator in the public meeting on September 15 while only 15 complainants came to submit their case during the meeting held on October 20.

A senior official of the UT Administration said on the condition of anonymity that the reason behind the negligible turnout was the uncertainty factor. “Earlier the ‘darbar’ was being held on every first and third Monday of every month and people knew about the schedule. Now it is routinely cancelled and the public is only informed through the formality of a press note. The Governor is supposedly very ‘busy’ in his schedule as he is also the Governor of Rajasthan,” he said. Only nine ‘darbars’ were held this year.

The number of senior officers at the venue outdid the number of complaints. The session did not last for more than 20 minutes. Summing up the proceedings, a senior IAS officer said: “The concept was introduced by Gen (retd) SF Rodrigues, a former Administrator. The current establishment is only carrying forward the exercise as a mere formality.”

A complainant said it had no meaning because the chair did not even listen to complaints properly. “Earlier, a complaint was marked to the officer concerned who was fixed with the responsibility of redressing the complaints. The system is not working as earlier and the exercise is meaningless,” he said.



IAS officer’s son found dead
Tribune News Service

IAS officer PC Kapoor in a state of shock over the death of his son.
IAS officer PC Kapoor in a state of shock over the death of his son. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, November 22
Abhishek Kapoor, son of the Principal Secretary of Tribal Development of Himachal Pradesh, was found dead in the room No. 501 of the Himachal Bhavan in Sector 28 here today. He was 28.

The son of PC Kapoor, a 1982 batch IAS officer, Abhishek had reportedly travelled down to the city last afternoon. He came from Shimla after completing his “Mains” examination of the Civil Services.

He allegedly consumed liquor in company of two of his friends last night who dropped him in his room at about 2am this morning and left afterwards. He was reportedly “drunk”.

Abhishek’s mother is at present posted at the Disaster Management Centre in the Himachal Institute of Public Administration. He is a pass out of the University Institute of Information Technology at HPU.

Police sources said no injury marks had been found on his body. A staff of the Himachal Bhavan was the first one to report the death.



Jail inmate, head constable go missing
Tribune news service

Chandiagrh, November 22
A Burail Jail inmate who had come for a trial hearing at the district courts went missing under mysterious circumstances along with UT police head constable Amarjeet Singh this afternoon.

According to the police, the inmate identified as Varun Sood, was lodged in the jail in a case of dacoity. A case was registered against him at the Sector 19 police station.

The inmate had come from the jail this morning with the head constable, however, both went missing from the court in the afternoon.

Police sources said the mobile tower location of the head constable showed that he was near Sector 26 at around 4 pm. However, his mobile got switched off and he could not be traced after that. The police was conducting raids at various places to trace them. A case under various Sections of the IPC has been registered.



Children made to wait in cold for hours
No prior arrangements made for their stay
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 22
At least 50 promising sportspersons in the under-11 category, representing various primary schools in Haryana, were made to shiver in the cold outside Tau Devi Lal Stadium for more than two hours last night, thanks to the indifferent attitude of officials of the Haryana Sports Department who failed to make arrangements for the stay of the children.

As the officials were sleeping in the comfort of their homes, some of the students complained of fever and other ailments to teachers accompanying them and also expressed their inability to participate in the inaugural ceremony of the three-day Haryana State Primary School Sports Tournament which was inaugurated by Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal today.

When questioned about the inadequate arrangements, the minister, while defending the organisers, said such lapses occurred in tournaments. She said instructions had been issued to the persons concerned for the comfortable stay of the players.

Children of primary schools of the Nangal Chowdhary block in Mahendragarh district said they were asked to reach Zirakpur from where buses were to take them to the venue. As they could not find any bus, they arrived at the venue on their own. There was no one at the venue to receive them or make arrangements for their stay.

When the teachers accompanying them reported the matter to the organisers, senior education department officials, including DEO (Primary) Aneeta Anand reached the spot and made arrangements for their stay. However, there were no arrangements of beds at the venue and the students were to made to sleep on a carpet.

As many as 3,000 players from all over the state are participating in various events like kho-kho, kabaddi, yoga, gymnastics, chess and athletics. Arrangements have been made for their stay at Janainder Gurukul School, St Stephens School and Government High School, besides the hostel of the stadium.

Students who had been lodged at the Sector 25 school were fortunate as the school management had brought mattresses and quilts from a gurdwara. But the students said the organisers had also failed to provide them with meals last evening and they had to visit “dhabas” for food. The state government has made a fivefold increase in the award money.


Raw deal

Children of primary schools of the Nangal Chowdhary block in Mahendragarh district said they were asked to reach Zirakpur from where buses were to take them to the venue. As they could not find any bus, they arrived at the venue on their own. There was no one at the venue to receive them or make arrangements for their stay.



Girls’ links with peddler baffles cops
Amit Sharma
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 22
The PEC connection to the drug mafia which came to light with the arrest of Devinder Kumar, a drug peddler, on Sunday, has proved to be a major lead to an intricate web that he had woven by roping in students from local institutes, particularly girls. He would boast about “purity of material” in his consignment as part of his “exclusive student services”.

During his interrogation, Devinder Kumar, who was arrested with 70 gm of charas, revealed that he had a “sound clientele in certain Panjab University and PEC quarters”. He reportedly said he had a “pucca” roster kind of an arrangement with these students and did not entertain strangers.

Crime branch inspector Amanjot Singh said the accused revealed that students were his regular customers who used to visit his place “everyday”. “What is surprising is that girls formed a large percentage of his permanent clients. We have got certain hints with regard to his possible clientele in this group and will investigate it,” he said.

The police stated that besides the consignment of charas that was seized from the accused, he admitted to supplying sleeping pills, cough syrups and other drugs to his “routine” customers. His daily income, according to the police, has been calculated between Rs 80,000 and Rs 1 lakh per day.

The peddler received the supply of his consignment from areas near Manali. Finding dealing with students easier, he worked out a neat supply chain.

The police does not go very strong on cases featuring students, particularly who don’t have any criminal background. “We couldn’t reach his customers because he never communicated with them through his mobile phone. Customers are learnt to have communicated with him only at a particular spot in Naya Gaon,” the investigating officer said.



GMADA gets lucky with commercial sites too
Doctor shells out Rs 5.92 crore for SCO
Tribune news service
Dr Mangla Dogra, who bought an SCO for ~5.92 crore.
Dr Mangla Dogra, who bought an SCO for ~5.92 crore.

Mohali, November 22
Continuing with the trend of auction that saw a sudden demand for residential property yesterday, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today netted Rs 78.32 lakh by selling 42 commercial sites, including booths.

Of the total 89 commercial sites and 32 residential sites put under the hammer in the last two days, the authority was able to sell all residential and 64 commercial sites, netting around Rs 190 crore. Twentyfive sites were withdrawn due to lack of takers.

A shop-cum-office (SCO) site in Sector 70, bought by Dr Mangla Dogra, attracted the highest bid of Rs 5.92 crore. Two adjacent sites went for Rs 5.91 crore and Rs 5.90 crore. A real estate analyst said though the auctioned prices were more than the market price, the payment schedule of four years to pay 75 per cent was an attraction.

Each of the four SCO sites in Sector 68 were sold between Rs 4.27 crore and Rs 4.57 crore. On the contrary, the SCO sites in Sector 71, located within the sector, attracted bid money between Rs 3.62 crore and Rs 3.72 crore.

A GMADA official said the booth sites in Sectors 68, 69, 70 and 71 drew bids between Rs 53 lakh and Rs 80 lakh.

Two earlier attempts by GMADA to dispose of the sites last year had failed. Stung by recession and dismayed over the poor response to its last two auctions held last year, the authority had this time lowered the reserve price of residential and commercial plots. On an average, the reserve prices of the properties have been brought down by 10 to 15 per cent in all the sectors where the sites are located.

The public participation itself reflects that higher reserve price kept prospective bidders at bay, a GMADA official said. 



Careless digging snaps phone cables
Tribune news service

Mohali, November 22
Hundreds of telephones in the industrial and residential areas of Phase 5 were disconnected due to mindless digging by a private contractor engaged by GMADA to erect an overbridge near Phases 3b2 and 5.

BSNL officials said a JCB engaged to dig the foundation of the overbridge had snapped, damaging several telephone cables. It would take a few days before the cables would be repaired. The BSNL has written to GMADA to inform it in advance when such digging has to take place.

Only a few days ago, telephone connections in the residential areas of Phases 3b2, 4 and 5 were snapped due to digging.



Holes in PU semester examination system
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 22
Panjab University (PU) may have implemented the semester system, but the departments are yet to even get a hang of the system. Thousands of students are affected due to the erratic examination schedule and hundreds of examination wing officials are cribbing about the datesheets prepared on the pattern of the annual examination supposedly distinctively different from the semester.

Citing an example of the law department, an official of the examination branch said: “Under the proposed datesheet, the examination will last over a month. If a similar duration was worked out for the next semester, one can imagine the massive loss that a student will have in the total teaching days.”

A senior Senate member said: “It is a well established fact that the university has never been able to meet the UGC target of 180 teaching days in an academic year. The standard was about 115. If one lost the working days during three-odd months in a year on semester examination, it will be harming the student’s interest. The issue needs to be looked into once again.”

The branch has also blamed the erratic schedule as one of the key reasons behind the clash between examinations and the winter break. A senior examination official said: “In a semester system there is no preparatory leave between two papers. In case of postgraduate courses, there are four-odd papers, but many departments have kept a gap of seven to eight days between two papers leading to the clash,” said controller examination AK Bhandari.

“Students faced problems when results were delayed for the last academic session. The semester system is meant to break the syllabi into two parts and ease the academic load of students, but if we are appearing for exams for an entire month and waiting for results for another two months, how does such a system benefit us?” questioned Panjab University student council president Pushpinder Sharma.

Among other reasons, it was lack of examination halls in affiliated colleges which delayed the exams. 


Local MP lives here, but problems persist

Broken windows and filth strewn at the community centre in Sector 30.
Broken windows and filth strewn at the community centre in Sector 30.

For residents of this ward, it is a blessing that the Member of Parliament resides in this area. Hence, they have not been facing petty civic problems. Still, there is a list of problems. It includes monkey menace, mismanaged garbage collection and non-maintenance of parks.

Allopathic lab

Two years ago, the UT health department had sanctioned an allopathic laboratory at the homoeopathic dispensary located at Sector 27. The laboratory was sanctioned on public request as there was no facility of a government laboratory in the ward, due to which residents had to pay hefty amounts to the private laboratories for tests. Residents complained that the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities showed how much concerned they were about residents.

Internal parks
Wild growth covers benches at a park in Sector 30.
Wild growth covers benches at a park in Sector 30. Tribune photos: s chandan

Most of the open spaces of the ward had been converted into internal parks in the ward. But the irony was that a majority of those were not being maintained by the MC horticulture department. In fact, the infrastructure installed in the parks, including streetlights, play equipment, railings and benches, were a shambles and there was nobody to look into it. Residents said they had hired private gardeners for routine maintenance at a few neighbourhood parks.


The MC introduced the door-to-door garbage collection system to facilitate the public, but the irony was that the system was never implemented properly in the ward. Resultantly, the scheme ended up adding problems to the public rather than facilitating anybody. In fact, due to mismanaged garbage collection system, manholes in the ward were usually blocked due to garbage. A number complaints had been made by residents. Interestingly, the authorities responded that they had outsourced the service and they had no control over it.

Monkey menace

Residents’ security is not on the priority list of the UT Administration. This was proved by the fact that for the past five years, the authorities had not taken any stringent step to solve the monkey menace in the ward. In fact, the area councillor had approached the UT forest department a number of times and installed cages in the ward, but there was no decline in the population of monkeys in the ward.


It seems that there is no check by the department concerned on faulty streetlights in the area. Poles which were not working for long due to technical faults had not been repaired by anybody despite a number of reminders to the department. In fact, due to the manual system of turning streetlights on and off, the employee deployed on duty at 5 pm would switch those off early in the morning most of the time, due to which senior citizens regularly going for morning walks faced problems.




Congress going in for change
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
Major changes are expected in the list of Congress candidates for municipal corporation (MC) elections. Sources in the party said the ticket of former Senior Deputy Mayor Bhupinder Singh Badheri from ward 10 had been cancelled and youth leader Jasbir Singh Banti would contest in his place.

The sources said according to a fresh list, prepared after Pawan Sharma quit from ward 8, the party has decided to give the ticket to Rajesh Sharma. The other changes expected were party ticket for Neeru Sheron, Indu Singla and Chanchal.

The sources said a missive had been received from the high command to give representation to the youth in the elections, adding that the party would announce its candidates tomorrow. Rounds of meetings between the BJP and the SAD were going on this evening.

No papers filed

No candidate filed papers on the second day of filing nomination papers for municipal corporation (MC) elections today, though there was a demand for nomination forms at offices of returning officers.



Chargesheet filed against accused

Mohali, November 22
The cyber wing of State Crime Branch has chargesheeted Sunny Dhiman (23), presently in judicial custody, for allegedly uploading an obscene video of a girl on Youtube. The girl, an MBA student, had friendly relations with the accused.

Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, DIG, Crime Branch, Punjab, said the accused was arrested in August, 2011. The accused is currently lodged at Patiala Central Jail. The motive behind the act was to compel the girl to revive relationship with him. The accused had created the video after drugging the girl and later uploaded the same on Youtube, which the police got removed after registering a case. — TNS



MES contractors continue stir
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 22
Contractors of military engineering services (MES) continued their strike for the second day at the TCP chowk near Red Bishop here today. They have been protesting against the non-payment of bills for the past about three months by the Army authorities.

Ramesh Aggarwal, chairman, MES Builders Association of India, Chandigarh branch, said payments to the tune of Rs 4-5 crore were not made by the executing staff, while adding that final payments against contracts had not been made to the contractors for the past about one year.

When contacted, Colonel Hemant Jha, Commander Works Engineer, said they had not received the payment from the finance ministry. He added that they had taken up the matter with the Army Headquarters and as per information, the finance ministry was likely to release the payment in the first week of December. 



Cong supporters come to blows
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 22
An election meeting called by JK Jain, a Congress party observer for Nawanshahr, Ropar and Mohali districts, today turned into a wrestling arena, when supporters of Deepinder Dhillon and Jaspal Singh, claimants for party ticket from the Dera Bassi constituency, exchanged blows in the office of district Congress committee here. Some of the supporters threw chairs at each other in front of the observer who had come to judge the support of the claimants.

The trouble started when Udhay Singh Rathore, a supporter of Deepinder Dhillon, spoke in his favour and contradicted the stand of supporters of Jaspal Singh, who demanded that no outsider should be given the ticket.

Irritated over the utterances of Udhay, Jaspal’s supporters brought him down, provoking supporters on both the sides to jump into the ‘wrestling arena’. Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, who is claimant for the party ticket from the Mohali constituency, tried his best to calm down supporters.

Soon after the trouble started, the observer was taken inside the district party office. Not only the claimants for Dera Bassi had brought along their supporters, Rajbir Padiala and Jagmohan Kang, both seeking party ticket from Kharar seat and Lahwinder Kaur Garcha, a former OSD to Capt Amarinder Singh, and claimant for party ticket from the Mohali constituency, was also present at the spot.

Though the party observer dismissed the incident as a minor issue, sources said the incident had set a wrong precedent for the party ticket.



Residents take up problems with MC executive officer
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 22
The residents of Sectors 12A, 14 and 15 held a meeting with the executive officer of the municipal corporation here yesterday. They kept their problems before the MC official.

During the meeting, it was decided that sweeping staff would clean all roads, berms and road-gullies and would lift the garbage regularly.

Representative of the Residents Welfare Associations (RWA) will check daily-attendance of the sweeping staff.

Kartar Singh Allahbadi, Sunil Vasishth, Surinder Mohan Tek Ram Mohan, Ram Sarup Sharma, Radhey Sham Sharma, and Jaswant Chauhan attended the meeting.

The sweeping staff of inner-sector will not be sent out of the sector to dispose of the garbage, but will have to work within the sector as per duty assigned to them. The representatives of RWA requested the executive officer to take up the issue related to door-to-door garbage collection with the higher authorities.

It was also decided in the meeting that the work pertaining to installation of streetlights would be carried out by the MC staff.

The executive officer said there were complaints from sweepers and their supervisors that a few residents asked them to do their personal work. The representatives have been requested to keep a check on such people, he said.



Candidates want Punjabi type test to be cancelled
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 22
A delegation of the new Punjab Subordinate Sangarsh Committee today met Subordinate Staff Selection Board (SSSB) chairman Santa Singh Umedpur demanding that the Punjabi type test should be cancelled and they should be given appointment letters for the post of clerks. A total of the 530 posts were advertised by the SSSB in July, 2011, and it was mentioned that the candidates in merit would have to pass Punjabi type test as per government instructions.

The instruction at that time was to clear the Punjabi type test within a year after appointment. But later on August 17, 2011, the Punjab government issued a notification in which it was made compulsory to pass Punjabi type test before appointment and corrigendum in this regard was published by the SSSB after the test was conducted in October.

Similar was the case with the food and civil supplies department and Punjab mandi board but their clerks had been appointed because they sought clarification from the personnel department which advised them that their recruitment should be made as per the instructions on date of advertisement.

The candidates alleged that their plea to the SSSB chairman did not yield any result. The candidates have decided to launch an agitation from November 28 till their demands were not met.



350 UT staff get training
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
About 350 officials of the UT Administration participated in a workshop, organised at Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12, to impart practical training to UT employees for smooth implementation of e-payment system.

“It was a step forward towards e-governance”, said the organisers.

The administration was going to introduce the system in which all payments to be made to the beneficiaries by electronic fund transfer to the respective accounts of the employees/beneficiaries at the level of central treasury, Chandigarh. Under the system, all periodic and non-periodic payments, payable to various officers/officials/private contractors/agencies will be made online on the presentation of relevant bill in the treasury. 



Fashion a storehouse of glorious past and promising future
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 22
The cosmetology and beauty care department of the MCM college organised ‘MCM Khoobsurat Fest- a journey through 100 years of fashion makeover - Kal-aaj aur kal’, an awe- inspiring event that took the audience on a magnificent sojourn through different phases of fashion starting from the mesmerising 1950s to a speculative portrayal of the 2050s.

The event saw a surfeit of experts and prominent personalities from varying fields. The event highlighted various fashion trends, which were popular at different times through a superlative replication of conventions popularised by the iconic Indian film industry celebrities at different times. From Leena Chitnis to Nargis, from Hema Malini to Dimple Kapadia, from Madhuri to Priyanaka Chopra the event encompassed every era in the fashion world. The event was a glorious voyage that circumscribed the cruise of ever- changing trends over time. It became a platform for highlighting how latest trends and their study is increasingly becoming a professional.

The chain of students modelling the looks and styles of famous fashion icons were perfectly balanced with enthralling dances, which represented the trends in music, and dance during these eras. A frequent echo of claps and spellbound cheers from the audience recurrently intensified the zealous spirit prevailing in the auditorium. The show was an impeccable blend of entertainment, splendid memories and innovation.

College principal Dr Puneet Bedi applauded the exceptional ideation and endeavour to equip the students with necessary vocational expertise for emerging opportunities in the upcoming avenues such as fashion industry. She said that fashion was a fabric on which the values and traditions of a generation were etched to be passed on to the next generation and hence was a storehouse of the glorious past and a promising future.



chandigarh Scan
Ghulam Ali to perform in city

The invincible ghazal maestro, Ustad Ghulam Ali, is in the city for a ghazal concert to be held at Tagore theatre on November 24 from 7pm onwards. The programme has been organised by the New Delhi-based NGO, the Naad Foundation with the Tribune group of newspapers as the media partner. The managing Trustee of Naad Foundation Nishi Singh, herself a versatile artist, disclosed that the foundation was a charitable Trust engaged in preservation and proliferation of rich cultural heritage, music, theatre and ethical values the ancestors had passed on to hold on to besides the community health improvement, environment upkeep, and other socially relevant projects. Well known ghazal and playback singer Vinod Sehgal of Mirza Ghalib and film Machis fame will also present a few ghazals before the ghazal king takes the centre stage.

Guest lecture

In Solidarity
Students of Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, organised an event to pay tribute to the 26/11 Mumbai attack victims in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Students of Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, organised an event to pay tribute to the 26/11 Mumbai attack victims in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Professor SK Singh from the Department of Urology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, has been invited to deliver a guest lecture at the Asian Endourology Conference 2011 scheduled to be held from November 24-26, 2011, in Kathamandu, Nepal. Dr. SK Singh has also been invited to be a guest faculty during the 27th Annual Congress of European Association of Urology scheduled to be held from February 24-28, 2012 in Paris, France. He will deliver the lecture on ‘Selecting an Approach for the Management of Recto-Urethral Fistula’.

ISO certified

The Staff Selection Commission (SSC), North West Region, Chandigarh, is now an ISO certified organisation. Disclosing details, Naveen Sehgal, deputy regional director, said the certificate was a symbol of work synchronisation in the office. Giving an example, he said, the total number of applications being processed by the office in 2006-2007 was only 50,000 odd which had risen to 568,402 in 2009-10.

Guv’s message

The Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator, Shivraj V. Patil, exhorted the people to follow the high ideals of secularism, humanism, compassion, tolerance and the spirit of self-sacrifice as preached and practiced by the 'Hind Di Chaadar' - Guru Teg Bahadur. The message has been sent in connection with the martyrdom day of the ninth Guru.

Weaker Section Day

Social Welfare Department organised a seminar on the ideology of Dr BR Ambedkar to mark the observance of Weaker Section Day on November 22. The seminar which was held in Bal Bhawan, Sector 23, was attended by students from schools and colleges. professor Rajiv Lochan, professor Manjit Singh, Prof Bhajan Kaur and Priyanka Aggarwal delivered lectures and shared their ideas with the students. Among those present were Dr Avtar Singh, financial commissioner, Haryana, Prof. JK Sharma and eminent social workers


Chandigarh-based Taleem India, which works mainly on skill enhancement and capacity building, has joined hands with Asian International College, Singapore, in order to provide quality education and run courses like postgraduate certificate in education, mainly based on digital pedagogy, green MBA, and other courses for training faculty, academicians and industry.

Award for architect

City-based architect Archana Chaudhary has won the first prize in the Test Your Green Quotient quiz contest organised Glazette, India's leading glass portal as part of the World Habitat Day, 2011, celebrations. The quiz consisted of questions from subjects like architecture, interior design, green buildings and sustainable development. — TNS



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