C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Yet another fuel scam
16,000 litres ‘missing’ from CITCO-run Sec-9 station
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Close on the heels of a scam that unearthed the siphoning of more than 18,000 litres of unleaded petrol from the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO)-run petrol station in Sector 56, about 16,000 litres of fuel has gone “missing” from another petrol station of the corporation in Sector 9 here.

This is the second such incident of pilferage of petrol from the petrol stations of the corporation in just over four months between April and August.

The CITCO managing director, DK Tiwari, has ordered that action should be initiated immediately. The Sector 9 petrol station reportedly caters to about 350 government departments of the UT and Punjab, which purchase petrol/diesel on credit for vehicles from here worth over Rs 2.5 crores a month.

The CITCO authorities have already issued a charge sheet to the in charge of the petrol station following an inquiry report of the local vigilance department.

Tiwari said: “General manager AK Malhotra has already been asked to take necessary action on the internal audit report, which is a regular feature. In case there is any excess loss above the permissible limit, recovery would be made from the staff,” he said.

The latest audit records of the Sector 9 petrol station pointed out a shortage of 8,028.28 litres of unleaded petrol, 8,019 litres of diesel, 135 litres of Speed petrol and 71.27 litres of Hi-Speed Diesel worth Rs 8.91 lakh (earlier rates) in a period of six months from April 1 to October 31 this year.

The figures of the report revealed that the total sale of unleaded petrol at the petrol station was 47,45,772 litres, out of which a total loss of 37403.28 litres has been noticed. “Even after deduction of the allowed loss (0.60 per cent to 0.75 per cent), which was 29,375 litres, another 8,028.28 litres of petrol going missing raises suspicion,” said an official of the corporation on the condition of anonymity.

Similarly, out of the total sale of 26,63,298 litres of diesel in the period, the total loss was 13,446 litres. After calculation of the allowed loss, which is 0.20 per cent to 0.25 per cent in case of diesel, the remaining figure is 8,019 litres.

In its report, the vigilance cell has mentioned that negligence and mismanagement at the Sector 56 petrol station had led to the siphoning of petrol. The accounts were not maintained properly as per the Indian Oil norms, the report stated.

“The story is not different at the Sector 9 petrol station,” said an employee of the corporation. 

Audit record

The latest audit records of the Sector 9 petrol station indicate a shortage of 8,028.28 litres of unleaded petrol, 8,019 litres of diesel, 135 litres of Speed petrol and 71.27 litres of Hi-Speed Diesel worth Rs 8.91 lakh in six months.

x x



Love of Scotch drove him to crime
Gang of four car thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
A 26-year-old Kangra resident stole cars and laptops in Chandigarh and parts of Himachal Pradesh simply for his love of Scotch whiskey. With no place to reside in the city, he used to sleep in stolen cars in parking lots.

The robbery and snatching accused at the Sector-3 police station in Chandigarh on Sunday.
The robbery and snatching accused at the Sector-3 police station in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

A team of the Sector 3 police station today arrested Rakesh, alias Sanjay, as the prime accused along with three others who used to assist him in disposing of the stolen goods.

The other accused are 65-year-old Mohan Lal, Babu Ram (54) and Saranjit Kumar (41), a jeweller of Mohali.

ASP (Central) Desraj Singh said Rakesh had a criminal past and was released from Burail Jail four months ago. He had also spent time in a jail in Himachal Pradesh in the past.

“He is fond of costly liquor and used to commit crime for his love of Scotch whiskey. He is also a drug addict. He used to sleep in a car in busy parking areas and break open the glass of vehicles and steal laptops, mobile phones and documents,” he said.

Mohan Lal runs a tea stall near a petrol station in Sector 17 while Babu Ram is a safai karamchari with the health department on a contract basis.

The police has recovered a Maruti van stolen from Dharampur, two Maruti cars, five laptops, three mobiles and a gold chain, besides documents and other articles, from their possession. It has solved eight criminal cases in the city with the arrest.

Describing their modus operandi, the police s aid the prime accused used to steal vehicles and valuable items from them before abandoning the cars in a parking lot. He would then steal another vehicle for committing theft in another area in order to mislead the police. Rakesh has been remanded in three-day police custody.



Candidates trash Admn claims
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The claims of the UT Administration of making the city plastic free hold no water when it comes to its implementation with regard to political organisations. This is evident from the fact that candidates in the MC elections are using plastic banners at every nook of their wards.
Plastic banners and flags being used by political parties to campaign ahead of MC elections in Chandigarh.
Plastic banners and flags being used by political parties to campaign ahead of MC elections in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pardeep Tiwari 

The Administration used to constitute special teams to keep a check on the use of polythene in the city, however the authorities seems to be turning a blind eye when it comes to political big-wigs.

Although garbage tops the list of issues that matters in these civic polls, the campaign of the candidates is adding to the pile of garbage on streets with party flags made of cheap polythene. The plastic banners and flags bearing party symbols have been displayed all over the city on public property.

A trader said shopkeepers were fined for using a polythene bag, but there was no check on the polythene flags being put up by various candidates.

RK Kohli, an environmentalist and chairperson of the botany department, Panjab University, said if polythene was banned in the city, the ban should be implemented completely. “Campaign product made of plastic that is non-biodegradable, toxic and not recyclable is harmful to the environment. Its burning leads to emission of dioxin (toxic chemical),” he said.

Plastic products are cheaper compared to those made of cloth, hence the parties prefer them.

SK Khosla, member of the resident welfare association (RWA), Sector 40, said the agenda of parties to make city garbage free was mere eyewash as they themselves were using plastic for the campaign.

Abhishek Dev, Joint Secretary (Homes) and election observer, said he had called a meeting of contesting candidates to sensitise them about election violations. “I will be telling them not to use plastic banners or flags,” he said.



Dev Anand remained a child at heart
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The child in Dev Anand was always in a constant state of excitement and in a rush about everything. His impatience was a cover he ordained for refusing to face the reality of dejection that ate into the vitals of his life, says Sardar Anjum, a close associate of the flamboyant lover boy of yesteryear.

Sardar Anjum, a celebrated local poet, lived on the seventh floor of Anand Studio in Pavel and was close to Dev Anand and his brothers Chetan and Goldie. “We spent our evenings etching scenes and lending the colour of music to the treasure of words we picked from the world. I am a witness to the shaping up of ‘Guide’ and other Bollywood legends.”

“Dev was an eternal lover boy. He would not stop. 

He was always in a rush for something undefined. He was looking for something, indefinite and at the same time covering up for his unrealised passion. He was very disturbed and restless about something. We knew it that it was his dream of his ‘pari’ (Suraiyya) that led him on his journey of the unreal world. His life was a dream which consumed itself.”

“He always asked me to keep the revolutionary flame in my pen burning. He even initiated a political party in Mumbai and asked me to join him. He had discussed about a new ‘Anarkali’ with Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit. I have a recording of some of those songs with me. He was a very simple man,” Anjum smiled.


Punishment sans offence
Power users pay for non-payment of bills not received
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Certain electricity consumers in the city’s main shopping centre at Sector 17 are up in arms against the UT’s electricity department as a majority of them have faced penalty or discontinuation of power supply for non-payment of bills, which incidentally, have not reached them for months.

A majority of them have blamed it on the department’s recent arrangement of distribution of power bills by post in the sector. “With no fault at our end, about 250 shopkeepers have received disconnection orders from the department a few days back. Many others have to pay the penalty for not paying in time,” claimed JPS Kalra, general secretary, Sector 17 Traders Association.

He added that the fault was in the new arrangement. “Unlike the previous practice, the postmaster of the area has not delivered many of the bills at the consumers’ addresses, which is the root cause of the problem,” he said.

“The sector has multi-storeyed buildings, which have various offices and businesses being run by different persons. Despite being located in one building, most of them have their separate electricity meters. Instead of delivering the bills at specific addresses, the post office official has been throwing bills at one point each at the buildings, which creates the problem,” he said.

He added that earlier, the bills had been delivered at specific addresses at every building by electricity department officials. Two shopkeepers, Sudhir Kumar and RP Singh, whose electricity supply had been disconnected by the department a few days back, lamented that they had paid their bills.

“As some other consumers in the building could not pay their bills as they did not get those, electricity supply to the entire building was disconnected by the department,” said Sudhir Kumar. “The department should hire the services of some private courier carriers,” demanded the shopkeepers.



A day to remember for Naval ex-officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The Navy Foundation, Chandigarh chapter, today held a Navy Day remembrance function at Sector 24 here. Former Naval officers got together and shared their experiences.
Nek Chand (left) interacts with officers during the Navy Day function at the PGI Club in Sector 24 of Chandigarh on Sunday.
Nek Chand (left) interacts with officers during the Navy Day function at the PGI Club in Sector 24 of Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Commander ML Mehandroo (retd), president of the foundation’s chapter, said they observed the day every year to remember the heroic Naval attacks on Karachi and the Pakistani navy.

He said the Navy Day was the culmination of Navy Week celebrations, which was an occasion to showcase the Navy to the public through parades, displays and visits across the country.

Families of former Naval officers were present on the occasion. They showcased their talent by singing and entertaining the gathering.



Development suffers as Shivalik board sleeps
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 4
The Shivalik Development Board seems to have no development on its agenda for the region. While no meeting of the board has been convened for the past three years, not a single member has been nominated from general public to the board in the past seven years.

As a result, many villages have been without the road network and irrigation facilities. In fact, the board, headed by Haryana Chief Minister, was constituted in 1993 for implementing development works in far-flung areas of the Shivalik region of three districts of Panchkula, Ambala and Yamuna Nagar.

A Shivalik Development Agency (SDA), headed by the Ambala Commissioner, was also formed to plan development works for these areas.

At a meeting of the board on August 19, 2008, it was decided to spend more on watershed management and schemes related to the PWD (B&R) and PWD (water supply and sanitation) from its own funds, as the main problem of the foothills was soil erosion and water-run-off. However, no work has been initiated in this regard ever since.

Even works approved by the Shivalik Development Agency prior to this meeting were not carried out, as the funds meant for these works were not released by board.

At a meeting on January 31, 2008, the agency approved the construction of roads at Toran, Bhawana, Diwanwala and Kharkuan villages at a cost of 1.65 crore.

However, it could not be carried out as the funds released were withdrawn after the decision of the board at its August 19, 2008, meeting.

Even small farmers had to face hardships due this decision. The SDA had decided to install tubewells for irrigation at 24 villages, as the farmers of region were in no position to bear the cost of installation of tubewells due to small landholdings.

These were supposed to be handed over to users’ societies, which had to bear the running and maintenance costs. However, the work was never initiated due to the decision of the board.

Moreover, PWD officials claimed that neither the SDA nor the residents of area had contacted them for the requirement of roads and irrigation in the area.

PWD (B&R) Xen BS Khokhar said at the 2008 meeting, it was decided that all roads were to be built by the PWD. However, nothing was communicated to the PWD regarding the requirements in the area by the SDA, he said.

Ambala Commissioner Anil Kumar, on the other hand, said the PWD had to take up the road laying work in the Shivalik area as it had been doing in other parts of the district. None had stopped it from doing so, he added.



350 units of blood collected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
A blood donation camp was organised at Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, here yesterday. A total of 350 units of blood was collected during the camp.

The State Bank of India’s PGI branch sponsored the camp. A team of doctors led by Dr Suchet Sachdeva and paramedical staff from the PGI assisted in the collection of blood. Viantia Shourie, assistant general manager, PGI branch, inaugurated the camp.



The heat is on
Vote-seekers go from door to door
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Campaigning for municipal corporation (MC) elections gained pace with the launch of poll campaign offices of a number of candidates today. Chandigarh Jan Manch candidates today held a joint rally of young voters to woo them.

BJP district president Santosh Mishra inaugurated the ward-11 election office of BJP candidate Anil Kumar Dubey. UT BJP president Sanjay Tandon inaugurated the office of ward-24 candidate Rajinder Kaur Rattu.

Ward-8 Congress candidate Rajesh Sharma’s election office was inaugurated by local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal. State BJP general secretary and ward 18 candidate Satinder Singh took out a ‘padyatra’ through Sectors 30-A and 27-C.

Accompanied by local residents and party activists, he appealed to voters to opt for development and prosperity. A meeting was organised with residents of Sector 27-D, who extended support to him.

Ward 1 Congress candidate Raj Bala Malik continued campaigning by visiting Sector 7. She met residents of government quarters and heard their grievances. A meeting was organised with the market association to hear its views.

Davesh Moudgil, BJP-SAD candidate from ward 22, visited Sectors 47-D, 47-C and 48, RCS Society, Sangam Enclave and Star Enclave door to door and interacted with voters.

He assured them of manifold development in all areas in the ward. Satya Pal Jain, former MP, campaigned and addressed gatherings. He appealed to people to vote for BJP-SAD candidates.

Mukesh Bassi of the Congress campaigned in ward 17. He went door to door in Sector 19. During canvassing, he sought the support of residents and assured them of redress of their grievances.

He shared his vision of creating more resident-friendly community centres, equipped with various facilities. Local MP’s son Munish Bansal joined him.

Another Congress candidate, Pardeep Chhabra from ward 3, campaigned in Sectors 22-A and 22-C. He was accompanied by local residents.



Supporters of Congress, BJP-SAD clash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
High drama was witnessed at Sector 44 here this morning, with supporters of SAD-BJP candidate Harjinder Kaur entering into a scuffle with supporters of Congress candidate Chander Mukhi Sharma.
Supporters of Chandigarh Jan Manch take out a rally at Sector 29 in Chandigarh on Sunday
Supporters of Chandigarh Jan Manch take out a rally at Sector 29 in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Both ward-15 candidates levelled allegations of assault on each other and lodged separate police complaints at the Sector-34 police station.

While Chander Mukhi Sharma alleged that supporters of his rival tore Congress banners from near a school at Sector 44-B, Harjinder Kaur alleged that her opponent assaulted her party workers.

“My brother Suraj Mukhi was passing by the area when he saw two turbaned youths using sticks to remove banners of my party. As he confronted them, they lied that they were from the enforcement wing,” said Chander Mukhi Sharma.

“He checked and found that they were lying. He came to know that they were supporters of Harjinder Kaur. They threatened him. As he stopped them, they fell. They were nabbed by passersby, who beat them up,” he added.

He said the youths then confessed that Harinder Kaur had given them Rs 250 each for tearing the posters. Refuting the allegations, the SAD-BJP candidate said Chander Mukhi Sharma assaulted and thrashed supporters of her party.

“I have complained to the police and will complain to the Election Commission. He manhandled my supporters for no fault of theirs. The allegations against me are baseless. My workers were never involved in tearing posters,” she added.

The police took the complaints of both parties and started investigations. DSP (South) BS Negi said they received the complaints and were investigating.



Youth is in, but mostly fielded from colonies and villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Prominence has been given to young faces in the selection of the candidates by both major political parties, the Congress and the BJP, in the municipal corporation (MC) elections. Ten young BJP candidates will try their luck in the elections while the Congress has fielded seven young candidates.
Satinder Dhawan
Satinder Dhawan
Neeru Yadav
Neeru Yadav

Neeru Yadav (28) is the youngest candidate of the Congress, from ward 7. Sourab Joshi (31) is the youngest candidate of the BJP, from ward 2.

Interestingly, most of the young candidates have been fielded by both parties from the wards which comprise colonies and villages, which include wards 11, 14, 19, 20 and 25.

In fact, the high commands of both parties have issued directions to candidate selection committee that there should be an equal number of youth representation in the final list of candidates.
Ward 10 SAD-BJP candidate Malkit SIngh seeks votes at Sector 41 in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Ward 10 SAD-BJP candidate Malkit SIngh seeks votes at Sector 41 in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Following the directions, last-minute changes have been made in the final lists by both parties. The ticket of many senior leaders and sitting councillors of both parties have been cancelled for adjusting the young and faces.

The leaders who have had to face the axe include Gurcharan Dass Kala, Sohan Lal Vaid, Kuldeep Singh and Bhupinder Singh Badheri.

Both parties have avoided giving ticket to the elderly and have instead preferred middle-aged candidates.

The Congress has given ticket to Kashmiri Devi from ward 14 and the BJP to Satinder Dhawan from ward 1 and Desraj Gupta from ward 26. They are the only three elderly women in the fray.



Car rally by IAC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The local unit of Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption (IAC) took out a car rally today. It started from Sector 17, passed through various parts of the city and concluded at Sector 45.

During the rally, IAC members asked the people to cast their vote using Forms 11-A and 11-C, which was another form of the ‘right to reject’.

The IAC team distributed around 10,000 handbills among the people. It was a part of the 10-day campaign, during which they would cover various parts of the city.



open house response
Warm welcome to young MC candidates

It was a very heartening sight to watch comparatively young candidates doing rounds of their wards seeking public support for their candidature in the forthcoming Municipal Corporation elections. We are so sick and fed up watching the same faces running the affairs of the corporation from the past several years.

There are no fresh ideas in the system. There is no sound of taking up new challenges for the corporation, particularly youth activities. The house proceedings clearly reflect on the absence of due place for youth, particularly their education, jobs and sports.

It is high time when youngsters demanded a place in the decision-making bodies from the political parties they were affiliated to in the first place. Municipal Corporation is an important podium for the youth of the city to raise their issues. Besides talk about roads, water and public services, issues concerning youth exclusively, particularly education, sports and residential facilities in hostels and paying guest accommodation, need a special attention.

There is also nothing denying the fact that no major no change in expected in the near future because the existing system does not allow easy entry. The Rahul Gandhi intervention which led to entry of at least four names in the candidature of the Congress candidates is a very welcome step. The real change will only come when the youth themselves decide to raise their voice and make efforts for making a place for themselves.

Harsh Chaudhary 

Youth power

Youngsters made Anna Hazare’s campaign successful and candidates like the BJP’s Saurabh Joshi have become a part of the ongoing change. In case youngsters are elected, it will be very interesting to hear their voice in the house of the corporation. It is the youngsters who can help fulfil Anna’s dream of a corruption-free society. Youngsters are actually participating in discussions concerning elections and candidates.

Ranbir Arora

Give a chance

As India is the nation with the maximum number of youth, it is important to give a chance to young leaders. I am happy to see that political parties have given a chance to young faces, this time. We live in a democracy where elections decide the faces which govern our councils, corporations, states and country. The youth of our country have started believing that elections are only a cup for the politicians who are not seen to be carrying a clean reputation.

Seeing newspaper cuttings in different newspapers this time, it is very pleasing to see young faces. Can this be a signal of change for the future? Students who participate in college and campus politics to ensure a clean atmosphere for their fellow students also have the capability to do it in the society.

Voters need to listen to them carefully and give a fair chance to their decision of making a career in politics. The meaning of politics, as a common man understands, can only change according to its dictionary meaning in case the general public comes forward and helps usher in a change.

Amit Kharwal

Groom them

Young leaders should not be imposed on people. Rather, they should be figured out from the grassroots level and groomed. India is a land of a million hidden talents. All they need is a proper platform. If such a platform is given, it will not only attract more and more educated people and professionals into politics, but also strengthen the core value of the largest democracy of the world significantly.

Any young leader should not be given the party ticket or ministerial berth only because he or she is a Gandhi, Pawar, Scindia, Abdullah, Sangma, Pilot or Sayeed. They need to prove their credibility as a leader first. It is a fact that every society needs a dynamic leader because people cannot lead themselves.

Do the emerging youth icons have the capability to judge the exact demand and requirements of the common man? Have they simply become leaders because they are sons or daughters of ministers, former ministers or persons having a significant stake in the corridors of power?

If the youth leader comes from the ‘aam aadmi’ category, then we are leading towards a bright future. Everyone in this country has the right to contest elections and take an active part in Indian politics. But, this role should be completely circled around the person’s capability as politics is not family business. In fact, the Chandigarh Administration should nominate youngsters as nominated councillors. The only way to change the political system is to bring the youth to politics. A few political parties have opened doors for the youth to join politics. You do not need to belong to a political family or know a political heavyweight to join them.

Anyone can come and join politics as there is a free and fair process. In fact, political parties should include education criteria of candidates while giving ticket to the youth, who should be at least graduate. After all, they have to deal with corporation and Administration issues.

Sachin Sharma

Major issues

People are fed up with old faces.The youth are angry with the prevailing corruption. The youth of today are more confident and energetic. There are certain issues, including disposal of garbage, stray cattle and overcrowded parking, which need a fresh look.

RK Kapoor



Dead fish found floating in Siswan water
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 4
Dead fish were found floating in the waters of Siwan Dam for the past few days. It is a low-height dam constructed on Siswan watershed near here.

Dead fish floating on the surface of water at Siswan Dam in Mohali district.
Dead fish floating on the surface of water at Siswan Dam in Mohali district. A Tribune photograph 

Projected by the Irrigation Department as a tourist destination a number of visitors to the water body have complained that fishes, both large and small were found dead. The water body also serves as a source of drinking water for wildlife around the Siswan dam.

S.Giri, a frequent visitor to the dam, noticed on Sunday that a large number of dead fish were seen floating on the surface of the water. Fish were found trapped in marshy grass and wild growth.

The SDO of the Irrigation Department said he was not aware of the issue. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had during a recent visit to the area had directed the Irrigation Department officials to spruce up the area and promote tourism.

Forest Department officials said it was an alarming signal as wildlife was also dependent on the water body.

Besides, the low-height dam is used for irrigating an area of 950 hectares. 



Midday meal cooks protest, disrupt traffic
Tribune News Service

Members of the Democratic Midday Meal Cook Front, Punjab, participate at a rally in Mohali on Sunday.
Members of the Democratic Midday Meal Cook Front, Punjab, participate at a rally in Mohali on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, December 4
The Democratic Midday Meal Cook Front, Punjab, and the Master Cadre Union today staged a protest in support of their demands at YPS Chowk here this evening, resulting in disruption of traffic on the busy road section between Chandigarh and Mohali.

Protesting against the low wages for cooks of midday meals in the government schools of Punjab, hundreds of members of the Democratic Midday Meal Cook Front, Punjab, converged at Amb Sahib, Gurdwara, before marching towards YPS chowk. While demanding minimum wages, the cooks pointed that they were being paid Rs 30 for seven hours of work. The government should pay minimum wages to the cooks. Later the Master Cadre Union staged a rally while demanding revision of their pay scales. 



Panchkula a hot favourite with builders
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 4
The district with two national highways and picturesque location is set to witness a big boom in construction activities. While 10 builders have already been granted licences to set up residential complexes in Panchkula and the Kalka area, nearly 40 others, including major players like DLF, Bhoomi Green, Ansal and Idyllic too are in queue for permit.

It was last week only that the Idyllic has been issued letter of intent for setting up a housing project on a 5- acre plot in Sector 16 of the Pinjore-Kalka housing complex, the application of Ansals for a similar project on a 16-acre land has also been sent for processing. A letter of intent for setting up a commercial complex on 9.4-acre land at Chandimandir near Amravati Enclave has also been issued.

In fact, the two highways of Zirakpur-Shimla and Panchkula-Barwala have proved a boon for the district as presuming the area to be a big business centre in the near future the builders have already acquired land there between Panchkula and Barwala on National Highway-No 73 and in and around Pinjore. While the construction is already in progress on 16-acre plot in Sector 30 on the Barwala road, DLF has been issued licences for setting up two projects of 118 acre and 34 acres at Pinjore. A licence has been issued to Magnolia, another developer to set up a housing project on a plot measuring over 169.

However, the most sought after area for setting up housing projects is Saketri due to its proximity to the Unon Territory of Chandigarh. While DLF has intended to develop an area over 200 acres in Saketri, the Bhoomi Green Infrastructure with three applications is in queue for developing a land of over 27 acres. 



Railways offers special bonanza
To run ‘Bharat Darshan’ trains for Shirdi, Somnath, Tirupati
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Those interested in visiting religious and historical places in different parts of the country have a bonanza offer from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) this month and early next year.

Three ‘Bharat Darshan’ trains are scheduled to leave Chandigarh for Shirdi, Somnath and South India on December 14, December 25 and January 7, 2012, respectively.

All 480 seats for the Shirdi train have been booked. Charges for the 10-day journey to Somnath, which are Rs 5,643, include travel, stay, meals and sight-seeing.

Passengers will be taken to Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Dwarka and Somnath. The journey will conclude on January 4, according to an IRCTC official. Passengers will be allowed to board the train at Chandigarh and Ambala.

Those interested in visiting South India can opt for the 12-day ‘Dakshin Barat Yatra’. The charges are Rs 6,156 and the towns covered include Tirupati, Rameshwaram, Madurai and Kanyakumari.

Passengers will be allowed to board the train at Chandigarh, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat, Delhi Cantonment and Jaipur.

Goa a goner

The train proposed for Goa during the year-end has turned out to be a non-starter because of problems in stay arrangements due to the peak season at Goa. The IRCTC now plans to run a special train for Goa and Mumbai in the last week of March next year.

At a glance

* All sleeper-class train comprise seven coaches and will have 480 seats

* The tariff covers three meals, road travel, stay and train security

* The IRCTC also takes passengers to Vaishno Devi and Jammu by road, charging Rs 2,250



Pinjore heritage fest concludes
Tribune News Service

Panchkula December 4
The three-day extravaganza of art and culture at the Pinjore Heritage Festival at Yadavindra Garden concluded here today. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was the chief guest on the occasion.

The state government was committed to make Haryana a leading state in tourism through public-private partnership. With a view to develop Kurukshetra as a tourist centre at the international level and also to promote religious, adventure, farm, cultural, mall and golf tourism, special emphasis was being given by the government, he said.

Later, the Chief Minister gave away prizes to the differently abled artistes for their scintillating performances. 



Action annulment
Two cops suspended, orders revoked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Senior officers issued verbal orders for the suspension of two police officials past night, only to revoke the orders later.

The Mani Majra police station SHO, inspector Rajesh Shukla, and sub-inspector Rajbir Singh were not found at their respective locations during a check by the senior officers.

They were suspended verbally. They returned and issued an apology. Following this, the orders were revoked. They were let off with a warning.

The inspector was not found in his area and the sub-inspector found sleeping while on duty at the Zirakpur barrier.



Chandigarh Scan

Sweets distributed

Shamsher Singh, president of the CricketFederation of Haryana and Amarjit Kumar, secretary general of the association along with juniors players of Panchkula district distributed sweets and fruits to patients and poor people of General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula.

Exchange programme

Manjit Singh, executive vice-chairman, Doaba Group of Colleges, and vice-chairman, PUTIA, said the college was working on faculty exchange programme with Wolverhampton University, UK. Apart from good exposure, the exchange programme would offer great opportunity to students. Singh, who returned from two-week educational tour of England also met Professor Geoff Layer, the new Vice-Chancellor of Wolverhampton University (WU). The university has signed a MoU with the Doaba Group of Colleges. The college has also revived the dual degree arrangements, whereby students can complete a part of their WU degree programmes.

BSP rally

The Bhujan Samaj Party(BSP) organised the Satta Privartan Rally at Dushehra Ground, Kharar, against the Centre and the state government for failure in controlling price rise, unemployment and corruption.

Disability Day

“International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ was celebrated at Government College, Phase-VI, SAS Nagar. The objective of this day was to promote understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well being of persons with disabilities. Gurpreet Nain from Strawberry World School, Sector26, Chandigarh, gave thought-provoking lecture on this topic.

AIDS awareness

Fortis Hospital, Mohali, conducted two sessions to create an awareness on AIDS. While one session was held by Dr Anita Sharma, consultant, lab medicine, at Gurukul Global School for senior students, the other was held by Dr Vikas Bhutani, senior consultant, Internal Medicine, in the hospital itself. Around 200 persons attended the sessions.

Both Bhutani and Sharma clarified that there was a great deal of fear and stigma among the masses about those who had acquired HIV, which was basically fuelled by misunderstanding and misinformation.

Rhythm day

The vibrant lushgreen lawns of Lawerance School echoed with rhyme race and rhythm as the school celebrated its 27th founder's day. More than 400 students exhibited their talents, participated in races. NK Sharma, chairman, Planning Board, Mohal,i was the chief guest. —TNS



AIEEE online Exam
Hindi now, an alternative
Examination to be held daily from May 7 to May 26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Leaving no stone unturned to make its All-India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) online mode of examination more student friendly, the version offers that a student can switch over to Hindi language for better understanding of a question during the course of examination.

The feature has been added to aid a student in a situation where if he/she does not understand a particular question in English properly. They can then continue in Hindi afterwards or switch back again to English in the exam. This switching between languages will not have any negative bearing on the evaluation. After the students finish their online exam, a copy of the question paper will be automatically emailed to them.

Contraray to this convenience, in case of pen and paper version, only a student who opted for Hindi got the advatage of a bilingual paper.

“At times a student is not able to grasp the question properly in English and needs a translation but that is always not possible in offline paper. This will come as a great help to students,” said a local AIEEE prepapration centre director.

The AIEEE 2012 online version is also going to be held daily from May 7 to May 26 giving students ample time to prepare. The three-hour long online exam will be held twice daily, with morning test starting at 9 am and the afternoon one starting at 2pm. However, there are many students who have been advised by their coaching classes to opt for the offline exam. Many argue that the online version's advantage is still minimal.

User-friendly mode

To make the online mode more student friendly, now students can switch over to Hindi language for better understanding of a question during the course of exam.



Elocution contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The State Legal Services Authority yesterday held the final of speech craft, an inter-school elocution competition, at Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10 here.

A total of 53 teams from various schools in Chandigarh participated in the competition. The topic for the contest was ‘Corruption a Challenge’. Justices Jasbir Singh, Sabina and AG Masih of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who were present on the occasion, awarded the winners.



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