C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


RTE ‘muddle’ elbows out ‘well-off’ students
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
Five-year-old Harnoor sits revising the names of colours which her mother Preeti Ghai had taught her over the last two months. But it hardly matters to her now because she could not make it to her parents’ dream school in Sector 26.

While some blame it on lack of transparency, others put it on bad luck in the draw of lots. Preeti realises that Harnoor is one among as many as 3,000 odd students, a majority of whom will not be able to get admission in any high school, leave aside their dream school in the next academic year.

In a bid to make education accessible to students belonging to disadvantaged groups by reserving 25 per cent of seats in city private schools, the Union Territory of Chandigarh, like many other states, will end up snatching the right to education from thousands of “well-off” students.

With no increase in nursery seats in a majority of city schools for five consecutive years, no land has been allotted to build a private school after 2003. The current number of seats 

in schools reputed to be ‘good’ is barely 1,000. Up to 30 per cent or 3,000 of an estimated 10,000 students will have nowhere to go, as they are not expected to get admission in the academic year, starting in April next year. As a result, they are likely to end up losing their own right to education despite coming from literate backgrounds and having all potential for a bright future.

The reason, according to educators, lies not in just reservation, but also in a lack of consideration on part of the law-making authorities. Three other key categories of people likely to suffer are siblings, children of teachers and even children of alumni, who usually get a preference for admission. 

Nowhere to go

With no increase in nursery seats in a majority of city schools for five consecutive years, no land has been allotted to build a private school after 2003. Up to 30 per cent or 3,000 of an estimated 10,000 students will have nowhere to go, as they are not expected to get admission in this academic year

No. of seats in reputed schools 1,200 Approx

Total number of nursery seats in city 3,000 Approx

Total number applicants 10,000 Approx

Any change or development should never be lopsided. Is it justified that we grant right to education to a section of students after snatching it from others? It is unfortunate but true that because there has hardly been any increase in the number of general seats, 25 per cent of general category students will not get admission to a school this year. The only solution lies in increasing infrastructure starting with the floor area ratio so that we can have more classrooms. While the floor area ratio is 1 (i.e. 100 per cent) in Panchkula and Mohali, it is 0.5 (half) in Chandigarh. This means we construct on only half of the land allotted to us. We have been pleading to get it increased HS Mamik, president, Independent School Association

Unfortunately, this flaw in the RTE Act was not unforeseen and had a simple solution to it, but was not thought about. We are all for the RTE Act. But in order to substitute the loss of general students, we can increase the infrastructure. But that has to be planned and I think it is too late for it — Madhu Bahal, KBDAV School, Sector 7

We are missionary schools and the RTE Act falls in line with our mission practised over decades. But, yes, this reservation has created a difficult situation as we do not wish to deny right to education to a set of students. It is a wake up call for government institutions to utilise their infrastructure to the fullest, to step up their education standards and decrease our load. Better functioning of government schools is the sole answer —Kavita Das, Principal, St John’s School, Sector 26

As a school, we can increase the number of seats any time but that makes no sense if it further skews our teacher-student and classroom-pupil ratio. I would love to take as many children as possible but what do I do without classrooms. It is sad that a section of children will suffer for not being poor. But we are helpless. Perhaps government schools with acres need to increase their education standards to attract students — Gurpreet Bakshi, administrative officer, St Kabir School, Sector 26 



Rs 16.39 lakh spent on refreshments by Chandigarh cops: RTI
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
Austerity has no place in the cash-rich UT police as is evident from the way it has been spending hefty amounts on refreshments and arrangements for police functions round the year.

An RTI query, filed by this reporter, has revealed that the UT police has spent a whopping Rs 16.39 lakh of the tax payers’ money on refreshments and on providing tents during police functions alone in the last one year.

Information sought under the RTI Act on the expenditure incurred by the police from October 1, 2010, to September 30, 2011, has revealed that the police spent lavishly on police functions/farewell and retirees parties, on arrangements for visits by the UT Administrator, the police week, on award distribution ceremonies, on various parades, including that of the police, Independence Day and Republic Day and also for seating arrangements during recruitment tests. Senior police officials ordered for refreshments on 77 occasions in this period.

At the monthly retirement party held at the end of every month, the police spent close to Rs 20,000 on an average at each party held in the police lines. While 12 such parties were organised in a year, a total amount of Rs 2.1 lakh has been spent on refreshments at these parties, reveals RTI.

The police spent Rs 69, 201 on refreshments during the recruitment of the Chandigarh police constables from December 1, 2010, to December 16, 2010. Another Rs 14,237 was spent on lunch and refreshment at a PCR parade held on November 26 last year.

For the farewell party of former UT SSP (Traffic and Security) HS Doon, the police spent Rs 36,000 for three separate farewell parties held on July 31 and August 1 this year.

Police sources said the amount towards refreshments was drawn from the miscellaneous expenditure category, which is provided in the police budget. A senior police officer said such expenditures are unavoidable. “We hold a party for retirees at the end of every month and any such party is incomplete without refreshments. A huge amount has also been spent for providing refreshments to those police officers who work at odd hours,” said a senior police officer.



Bureaucrats await posting orders
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 30
The UT Administration presents a paradox. While on the one hand there exists a shortage of officers, on the other hand newly appointed officers have not been allotted departments for the last 15 days. This is despite the fact that both IAS and state civil service officers on deputation from Punjab and Haryana have been assigned multiple charges.

The two officers who have been sitting at home while they await posting orders are Balbir Singh, a PCS officer, who joined the UT Administration on November 11, and Rajesh Jogpal, an HCS officer, who joined on November 14.

Yet, there are a number of officers who have been assigned additional charge of other departments, which in turn is affecting the working of the UT Administration.

For example, CITCO managing director DK Tiwari has been given additional charge of director tourism, health and higher education considering that Ajoy Sharma, the Special Secretary Finance-cum-Director Higher Education, is on long leave. Incidentally, Tiwari’s tenure ends in December.

Prerna Puri, a 2006 batch IAS officer is holding the additional charge of the Municipal Commissioner. The SDM (East), Tanvi Garg, another IAS officer (2009 batch), is holding the additional charge of Joint Secretary (Health and Medical Education and Research).

The same applies to officers of the PCS and HCS. Rahul Gupta, a PCS officer, is holding the charge of Director (Sports) and that of Assistant Estate Officer. Similarly, Director Public Relations Yogesh Kumar is also holding the charge of Director (Information Technology).

Mahavir Kaushik, an HCS officer, is at present looking after four assignments - Secretary, State Transport Authority, Director Industries, Controller Weights and Measures, and also working as Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC).

Varsha Khangwal, an HCS officer, is holding the charge of Director Social Welfare and Managing director of Chandigarh Child and Woman Development Corporation.

DK Tiwari — CITCO Managing Director, Special Secretary (Finance), Director Tourism and Director Higher Education.

Rahul Gupta — Assistant Estate Officer, Director Sports.

Mahavir Kaushik — Secretary, State Transport Authority, Director Industries, Controller Weights and Measures, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC).

Tanvi Garg — SDM (East) and Joint Secretary Health.



Civic body officials at receiving end on Facebook
Residents’ complaint: Ignoring routine work although not on MC election duty
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
“Nobody is bothered to take action against the Municipal Corporation (MC) staff. Are they busy in campaigning for the councillors in elections violating the norms, kindly reply?” reads a comment posted by Rajiv Chugh, a resident, on the MC Facebook. He has posted this query because he had made a complaint on November 20, but nobody from the MC responded to it.

Rajiv is not the only one affected. The MC Facebook is full of such messages, spelling out problems related to encroachments at commercial places, leakage of sewerage pipelines, open sewerage and non-maintenance of parks and sanitation services.

Residents are irked that the basic functioning of the MC has come to a standstill. Much to the anguish of city residents, the MC election is apparently keeping the babus too busy. So much so that they have stopped responding to the complaints posted by residents on the MC's Facebook page.

Complaints of the MC Facebook going silent for the last 10 days, ever since the election process started, have already figuring on the wall of the Facebook account.

Another post on the Facebook is by Ashok Kumar Mehta, a resident of Sector 49, stating that the councillors are busy with the coming elections, but it is not known what the officials are doing. Out of about 100 lights in the park, nine are only in functional condition.

Is it not the duty of the officials concerned to make inspection?

Why the officials are not performing their duties? Action should be taken against the non-performers.

It is strange that despite no MC official put on any election duty, the departments are not performing their routine works and solving public problems, stated another resident.

Public campaigns on Facebook

Friends, MC elections are approaching. Don't miss the opportunity to punish the corrupt. Especially Ward number 3 residents, please don't allow the looters to continue with the loot. Elect someone who is educated, honest and transparent. Bimal Sangari, a resident on Facebook 

Public grievances ignored

Are MC officials not getting time to respond to public grievances. manmeet, a resident on Facebook 



CM inaugurates judicial complex
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 30
The Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today laid the foundation stone of the much-delayed District Administrative Complex (DAC)-cum-Judicial Complex in Sector 76 here. To be built at a cost of Rs 124 crore over an area of 7.25 acres, the complex would be built in a period of two years.

The inauguration comes at a time when the Akali Government is at end of five-year tenure.

Presently, various district level offices are functioning from various offices and the judicial complex is functioning from the community centre in Phase 3 B1 here.

Giving details of the project, a PWD official said the building of the four-storied complex would come up on 3.15 acres of land and would be completed in two years.



Strike hits functioning at excise and taxation dept 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 30
The functioning of the excise and taxation department was crippled as members of the Excise and Taxation Inspectors Association Punjab abstained from work yesterday.

They were demanding revision of pay scale of inspector by the state government. The president of the association, Harjot Singh, said a two-day strike was being observed to warn the state government.

The association lamented that the pay scale had been fixed according to the fitment table of the First Pay Commission and there had not been any increase thereafter.

The association said a pen-down strike would be observed on December 5 and 6 and those posted at sales tax barriers and distilleries would go on strike in the second phase.


MC Poll
Kang’s papers accepted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
The nomination papers of the SAD-BJP alliance candidate, Jagjit Singh Kang, from ward No. 5, which had been kept pending by the returning officer yesterday, were accepted today. However, Independent candidate Varinder Gularia’s nomination papers were rejected.

After a two-hour-long argument today, the returning officer accepted Kang’s nomination papers from ward No. 5 as an Independent candidate. With this, the total number of candidates in the fray for the forthcoming municipal corporation elections has gone up to 157.

Congress candidate Subhash Chawla had yesterday lodged a complaint with the returning officer, claiming that the nomination papers filed by Kang were not in order, as he had mentioned his party (SAD) as a national political party, whereas his party was a regional one.

The returning officer had fixed the hearing to sort out the objection for today. During the hearing, the lawyers representing Chawla argued that Kang had filled the wrong column, meant for registered political party candidates, in the nomination papers. The SAD was a regional party, they asserted.

They also objected to the signature of proposed voters in the wrong column.

Kang’s counsel argued that the candidate had not provided any wrong information to the election commission. Both columns had sought similar information from the candidate and he had provided the same, he added.



Rs 80 cr for development works
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 30
Development works in the Dera Bassi Assembly segment were started yesterday. Around Rs 80 crore would be spent on works in the area, said District Planning Board chairman NK Sharma. 

Talking to mediapersons after laying the foundation stone of the repair of streets at Dera Bassi, Sharma said Rs 22 crore would be spent on repair of roads, streetlights, water supply and other basic facilities in the town. Another Rs 33 crore would be spent at Lalru. He said works at Zirakpur had already started and over Rs 22 crore would be spent there.



Admn struggles to weed sukhna
Now turns to Panjab University for a ‘physio-chemical analysis’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
Weed removal and de-siltation from Chandigarh’s most-popular tourist spot - Sukhna Lake - continues to baffle the UT Administration.

After trying its hands with different agencies, including the National Botanical research Institute, Lucknow, and the National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, the Administration has now approached Panjab University (PU) for the second time to tackle the menace.

Importantly, the administration has approached the PU, this time, for a “physio-chemical analysis” (water testing) of the lake. Official sources confirmed that the responses from the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee, had not provided any major leads to a lasting solution.

Officials say great variance in different reports was the biggest reason for the absence of a unified action report on de-weeding.

“We have asked the PU’s Zoology Department to do the water testing and scientific study of the lake water on which basis the next action plan to deal with the weed menace and its (the lake’s) de-silting, could be determined,” said Santosh Kumar, chairman of the department.

Interestingly, the NBRI scientists had differed with the PU report, which had specified ‘Potamogeton crispus’ as the principal weed spoiling the lake’s serene setting.

According to the NBRI’s report, the main weed that has clogged a major portion of the lake is ‘Vallisneria spiralis’ or tape grass, a fast-growing grass-like shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The report also mentioned four other weeds - Potamogeton crispus, Potamogeton gramineus, Hydrilla and Zannichdlia poloustries - present in the water body. Experts have suggested manual de-weeding of the lake as the right step.

The NIH, Roorkee, is yet to submit its report to the administration.

Today’s water level

Today’s water level was 1,155 feet. The maximum water level of the lake is 1,163 feet.

Questions on de-silting

The Committee on Beautification and Preservation of Sukhna Lake recommended that de-silting has the potential to harm its “health”. “Haphazard de-silting” can destroy the impervious layer of the lake, which can prove ‘fatal’, said Santosh Kumar, citing the case of Pushkar Lake in Pushkarraj, where the water of the lake has started going down in the soil after de-silting process. “We are examining the situation here before taking any big decision here,” he added. At the same time, the same committee has asked the UT Engineering Department to “get ready for de-silting at some patches next year”.



UT initiative for safe disposal of e-waste
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
The UT administration has identified eight points for the collection of e-waste in the city. As part of the e-waste collection drive, which took off here today, the authorities have placed especially designed e-waste collection bins at eight strategic locations. The environment department of the UT administration, with support of CII’s Young Indians Tricity Chandigarh Chapter and Attero Recycling Private Limited launched the drive.

For e-waste of larger size like computer monitor, TV, printer, etc. that cannot be put in the bins, a toll free number — 1-800-419-3283 — was launched by KK Sharma, Adviser to the UT Administrator. City residents can call this number and will be provided with the facility for healthy disposal of e-waste within 72 hours. 

Collection Points

UT Sectt building, Sec 9

EDC Centre, IT Park

Sector 17 Plaza

CII, Sector 31

DC’s office, Sector 17

Govt School, Sector 36

MCM DAV College, Sec 36

PEC, Sector 12



Mullanpur Land  Pooling Scheme
Draw for 1,700 plots by Dec-end
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 30
It is raining plots at Mullanpur, located at a short distance from Chandigarh. After holding the draw of lots for 870 plots in Mullanpur Eco City yesterday, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is holding another draw of lots to allot around 1,700 plots to the beneficiaries under the land-pooling scheme.

The beneficiaries whose land has been acquired for the Eco City and Medicity projects at Mullanpur will be allotted a residential plot and a commercial site under the scheme, said Chief Administrator, GMADA, Saravjit Singh.

Under the land-pooling scheme, the beneficiaries are entitled to a residential plot and a commercial site, depending upon the size of the land acquired.

The draw to allot the 1,700 plots, for both Eco City and Medicity will be held by December-end.

Sources said prior to the draw, the land acquisition collector was expected to announce the land compensation awards for Medicity by December 16. The land compensation award for the IT City projects was expected to be held by December 10.

A senior official said the plots to be allotted under the land-pooling scheme would control the market forces that tend to give a push to the market price of the property.

Flats scheme by Dec 7

A scheme for the allotment of 4,500 multi-storey flats in Sector 88 and 89 and IT City will be floated before the code of conduct comes into force, officials in GMADA have said.



NHAI to float e-tender worth Rs 985 cr
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 30
The National Highway Authority of India will for the first time in the area float an e-tender for work on the four-laning of the National Highway No. 73 between Panchkula and Yamuna Nagar worth Rs 985 crore on BOT (build-operate-transfer) basis.

The work on the 107-km stretch comprises construction of five flyovers, five bypasses and 14 major bridges within three years.

So far, the road with sharp curves and slopes at many points, coupled with a gradual increase in traffic, has proven to be a death trap for passengers.

This will be the second time that the NHAI will invite tenders for the work, as no bidder had turned up during the previous tendering process.

Bidders feel the estimate of Rs 985 crore prepared by the government agencies was not viable due to an increase in the cost of raw material.

However, the NHAI has decided to repeat the tender without revising the cost of work through e-tendering.

The tenders will be uploaded on the Internet by next week and the work will be allocated to the successful bidder soon. The contractor will have to complete the work within 960 days.

Key features

Bypasses at Barwala, Shahzadpur, Saha, Mullana and Yamuna Nagar

Five flyovers, four vehicular underpasses, four cattle underpasses and one pedestrian underpass

Fourteen major bridges

1-km stretch near the TBRL to be six-laned



Proper parking site demanded
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, November 30
The Commercial Welfare Association of Pabhat Godown has claimed that it becomes virtually impossible to travel on the road across the Pabhat godown area due to the parking of trucks on either side.

It has sought a proper parking site for heavy vehicles in the godown area. It has suggested that a nominal fee be charged from truck operators using the place.

In a representation to the municipal council, association president Rampal stated that the area had narrow roads and most of the time, those were occupied by trucks, leading to traffic jams.



Dharna by anganwadi workers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 30
The Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union, Haryana, yesterday raised slogans against the state government for its failure to fulfil their demands.

Addressing the protesters at the state-level dharna organised near the office of the Women and Child Welfare Department, near Sector 4 here, Santosh Rawal, general secretary, alleged that the state government had been ignoring the anganwadi workers and helpers in the state.

She said in spite of assurances made by the state government of increasing their honorarium in February, nothing had been done so far.

Rawal said their main demands included payment of arrears of increased honorarium, promotion as per seniority, 25 per cent quota for filling the posts of supervisor on the lines of the central government, payment of honorarium by seventh of every month, besides increasing the amount from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000 for opening anganwadi centres.

AWHU president Devendri Sharma said the director of the department had assured that their demands would be fulfilled by December 10. She warned the state government of starting a national-level protest if their demands were not fulfilled by December 10.



Hookah bars banned in Panchkula district
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 30
Hookah bars have been banned in Panchkula. Recently a team from the office of the state drug controller lifted samples of tobacco molasses containing nicotine from these bars and issued notices under Section 15-B of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. Nicotine is a prohibited drug under the Act.

Invoking Section 144 of the CrPC, Deputy Commissioner of Police Maneesh Chaudhary said hookah bars were serving tobacco molasses containing nicotine, which was injurious to health, especially of college students and the youth.

Taking the health hazards of tobacco and nicotine into account, the operation of hookah bars was prohibited in the entire district with immediate effect.

The orders have been sent to Assistant Commissioners of Police, police stations and health authorities for strict compliance. All subdivisional magistrates, tehsildars, block development and panchayat officers, the Haryana Roadways general manager and other officers of the district administration have been asked to enforce these orders in their respective areas. During the last couple of weeks, offcials of the state drug controller department took samples of tobacco molasses being served in the bars to clients.

The report of chemical analysis of these samples confirmed that these tobacco molasses contained nicotine. Following this, four of the hookah bars had been directed to shut their business. No record of sale and purchase were maintained.



Canada’s first turbaned mountie is here
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 30
Sergeant Baltej Singh Dhillon, who had changed the face of Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police when he became its first-ever turbaned mountie in 1990, attended the inaugural function of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur war memorial at Chappar Chiri village today.

Dhillon had come on the invitation of the Punjab Chief Minister. He was presently heading the criminal intelligence wing at the provincial intelligence centre.Interacting with mediapersons, Dhillon said there was no shortcut to hard work. “My father toiled in Malaysia before we migrated to Canada for better prospects,” he said.



Santro car catches fire
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 30
Three passengers of a Santro car had a narrow escape when it caught fire here today.

The car owner, Mayank Raghuvanshi, said he along with his mother Usha and wife Akanksha was going towards his residence in Sector 21 when his car suddenly caught fire near the Sector 4-11 roundabout.

He rescued his mother and wife and raised the alarm.

The fire department was informed about the incident. A fire tender was sent to the scene soon after and it controlled the fire.



World AIDS Day
Less cases reported this year
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
As the country once again celebrates the world AIDS day, there is some good news for Chandigarh too. Keeping up with the national trend, the city beautiful has also witnessed a decline in the number of HIV positive cases.

As per State AIDS Control Society (SACS), Chandigarh, HIV +ve cases detected in Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) in 2011 till August were 539, which is comparatively lower than 2010. While on an average, 67 positive cases were detected every month this year (till August), the figure for the previous year stood at 80 cases detected per month.

Interestingly, the number has been consistently declining over the years as 103 positive cases were detected per month in 2008 and 91 in 2009. However, the prevalent rate is stable in pregnant women, as 0.25 per cent cases have been recorded since 2009.

Talking to The Tribune, UT SACS director Dr Vanita Gupta said, “People are much aware now and more careful. That is the reason that new infection cases fell.”

“Reduction in new HIV cases are also being spurred by changes in sexual behaviour, particularly in young people, as people reduce their numbers of sexual partners, increasing condom use and waiting for long before becoming sexually active,” she said.

Meanwhile, the decline trend is noticeable nationwide, as according to UN HIV AIDS report 2011, new cases have fallen by 56 per cent. The number of new HIV cases in the south and south-east Asia dropped by more than 40 per cent between 2006 to 10.

Although the rate of HIV prevalence is substantially lower in Asia than in some other regions. The absolute size of the Asian population means it is the second largest grouping of people living with HIV.

67 cases every month

On an average, 67 positive cases were detected every month this year (till August), the figure for the previous year stood at 80 cases detected per month



Trycity scan

US delegation:
A meeting was held between the American delegation led by Ann Stock, acting Under-Secretary, US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and Sharda Kaushik, Director, Regional Institute of English, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Stock said, “Preparing the youth and equipping them with tools for success in life, including English language skills, is a high priority for both Indians and Americans. Partnerships with strong institutions are essential for continuing the embassy's successful English language education programming in India.”

Cattle menace: At least 25 stray cattle were impounded during the past three days from Sector 26, Daria, Mani Majra, Colony Number 5, Sector 51, Kajheri, Sector 38-West, Dadu Majra and Dhanas. Residents of the city can inform Ranbir Singh, in charge, stray cattle nuisance, on his mobile number 9872511284.

Public hearing: Punjab Governor-cum-Chandigarh Administrator Shivraj Patil will not attend the public hearing session at the UT Secretariat on December 5.

BSNL scheme: State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Punjab circle, has launched a promotional scheme of giving 150 additional free calls over and above the normal free call limit, to be utilised in a month, for a period of three months, starting from the second billing cycle, on a monthly basis for the prospective postpaid broadband customers who opt for any unlimited combo plan of Rs 500 and above, except unlimited rural combo plan, with their own modem, which will be implemented from December 1 to December 31.

Annual day:
Wednesday was an evening to relish for the audience, mostly parents, as students weaved magic with a medley of songs, dances and skits at the second annual day function of Lemmon World School here. Beginning the evening with ‘shabad gayan’ and ‘mantra’, students of pre-nursery to class III swayed to music while rendering “Old McDonald”, “Que Sara Sara”, “Coco Jumbo” and “Ketchup”. Animal rhymes of nursery and KG students and Punjabi and patriotic dances brought the evening to a close.

AIDS awareness: An AIDS awareness rally was organised by volunteers of the NSS unit of the Aryans College of Education at Nepra village on Wednesday. They raised slogans to create awareness about the challenges and prejudices associated with the disease and to encourage the masses to join the battle against it. — Tribune Reporters 




Yours woefully

The land behind Ajanta Co-operative Society, Sector 51-D, is full of stench, making conditions miserable. The open ground is being used for defecation by residents of neighbouring areas, making the surroundings filthy, besides presenting an unpleasant sight, particularly between 6 am and 7 am. Plastic and other waste material is strewn all over the area. Open water pipes serve as perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

PR Singhania,

Ajanta Co-op Society,

Sector 51-D, Chandigarh.

Write grievances in your immediate neighbourhood to voiceofthepeople@tribunemail.com. 



Who’s principal? Not clear
DAV-10 management decides on Gupta, who’s unavailable
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
The drama over the principal of DAV College, Sector 10, still continues. The DAV management today decided to hand over charge of the college to Shashi Gupta.

It was still not clear as to who would be the new officiating principal as Gupta could not be contacted despite repeated attempts by the college authorities.

Earlier, Gupta had stepped down on medical grounds, following which Pawan Jain was given charge as officiating principal of the college. A professor with the commerce department, Jain retired today.

The DAV management today sent a fax to the college that Gupta would be the officiating principal of the college. The decision could not be communicated to Gupta as he could not be contacted.

Jain said nothing could be said till the management’s decision was communicated to Gupta, who was the seniormost professor at the college.

Sources said if Gupta refused to take charge, Pradeep Kumar, second in line after Gupta, would be given the offer to take charge. Earlier, Kumar had refused to take charge, following which Jain was appointed officiating principal.

Ram Mohan of the English department, who was the third in line, would be the next option. Josan was appointed principal in April, 2008.

He was transferred to a college at Malout in September, 2010, after a dispute with the college managing committee. Following the controversy, the management had suspended him.



Class-VI student dies at school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
A class-VI student of Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sector 25, died under mysterious circumstances on the school premises here today. Eleven-year-old Aniket was declared brought dead at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.

The incident occurred around 5 pm. Aniket was in the school playground, where a taekwondo workshop was under way. The police said the child collapsed within minutes of assembling, when the students were asked to warm up.

He was earlier a student of Government Model School at Sector 16 here and had taken admission to Navodaya Vidyalaya on November 15.

As the boy collapsed, the school authorities rubbed his hands and feet and rushed him to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

Aniket was a resident of Nayagaon. The post-mortem examination would be conducted tomorrow. The police said there was a possibility that he had been suffering from an ailment.



Aided-college staff strike work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
A complete ‘bandh’ was observed by the teaching and non-teaching staff of the seven aided colleges of the city today.

A mass rally, which later turned into a march, was organsied at MCM College.

Students have been at the receiving end of the teachers’ strike. The strike had started off as an hour-long protest everyday in all colleges. It gradually turned into a two-hour-long protest. Intensifying the protest further, the teachers boycotted classes from November 16 to 24.

Following the strikes, students of MCM College had also protested, demanding the postponement of half-yearly examinations, which started on November 28.

In the wake of the ongoing protest, colleges have already scheduled the examination datesheet accordingly to ensure that the examinations are not affected.

Blaming the government for the ongoing agitation, Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary, Joint Action Committee (JAC), said teachers regretted the inconvenience caused to the students due to the agitation thrust upon them by the Punjab government.

He said the very fact that all managements, principals, teachers and non-teaching staff were united in these protests reflected the enormity of the issues. “The issues are crucial for the health of the entire college education sector,” he said.

Prof Ghanshyam Dev, president, Chandigarh District Council of PCCTU, criticised the UT administration for delaying the issuance of orders for the revision of pay scales of non-teaching employees of aided colleges in the city, even after receiving the concurrence from the HRD ministry.

The protests were held simultaneously in various colleges of Punjab.



Kids have fun
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
Pre-primary students of Saupin’s School, Sector 32, had a fun-filled day today.

The UKG wing had an interesting story enacting session.

The children enacted bedtime stories like “Musicians of Bremen” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. The LKG wing celebrated “Potato Day”.

They recited poems and sang songs and were told some facts about potatoes.



Budding talents

Chandigarh, November 30
‘Jungle brigade’ descended on the stage of Tagore Theatre today.

Over 500 students of The British School at Panchkula put their best foot forward.

The school launched website www.thebritishschool.org. TNS



Annual athletics meet at school
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 30
Baba Zorawar Singh Baba Fateh Singh Senior Secondary School organised its annual athletics meet at the school grounds here yesterday. Prof Kulwant Kaur Sandhu, principal, Government College, Faridkot, inaugurated the meet and hoisted the flag.

Amrinder Singh Libra, president of the trust, presided over the function. The principal of the school, Prof RS Bajwa, called upon students to display sportsman spirit.

He said such sports events were being organised to develop the spirit of competition and team work.

He said such events encouraged students to participate in event, which helped develop overall personality.



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