C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rly station project stalled
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Dreams of a world class terminal at the local railway station, a cruise on a new road from Madhya Marg straight to the platform and a state-of-the-art shopping

mall have dashed to the ground for local residents. The ministry of railways has cited financial constraints as the main reason for putting the ambitious project on the hold, at least for now.

The Centre had “principally” agreed on a world class railway station at the site of the existing rail terminal of the city. Confirming a slight delay in the upgradation of the railway station, Pawan Bansal, minister of parliamentary affairs, said: “The project details were through all stages of planning with different departments and ministries. A slight delay might occur due to the existing financial constraints. However, it is just a matter of time.”

“Besides a sprawling green driveway to the station, the building plan has a magnificent mall on the first floor at the site. It will serve as an exquisite landing place for visitors and will also be an attraction for the local population,” he said.

A senior official of the northern railways said: “We heard of a major change in the look of the railway station. We are apprised of the fact that the national economy is not in the pink of health and a major upgradation of the railway station was unlikely in the near future.”

Reality check

Big announcements regarding a world-class railway station are repeated year after year. But going by the ground realities, a local official remarked: “First let’s try to cleanse the existing filth before getting a brand-new station and make it dirty, too.”

Furniture lying cluttered in the waiting room

Some LCDs are not working and the others continue to show timings of trains that have already left.

The railway station does not have adequate ramp facilities for the handicapped, particularly on platform no. 3. No wheelchairs are visible.

Only one air-conditioner in one of the many waiting rooms.

Passengers complain that often the numbers of coaches do not tally with the chart pasted on the platform.



Accused traffic cops being let off lightly
Aneesha Sareen
tribune news service

Chandigarh, December 7
When it comes to taking action against its own men accused of taking bribe or misbehaviour, the Chandigarh police has been found wanting. A day after an inquiry was marked against two traffic police personnel accused of taking bribe at the Faidan barrier, there are “good” chances that the two will either be let off or will be issued a lighter punishment in the form of a censure since it has been the case in a majority of cases in the past. Minor punishments, warnings and clean chits are the general fate of inquiries marked against traffic police personnel during the last three years.

Information procured by this correspondent through the RTI has revealed that over 50 complaints have been received against the city traffic police during the last three years. Senior police officials marked departmental inquiries in 27 complaints involving 36 traffic police personnel comprising 17 head constables, 17 constables, an Assistant Sub-Inspector and a Sub-Inspector.

While six of the 27 inquiries are pending, clean chit was given to the accused personnel in 14 of the inquiries. Senior police officials issued a censure notice to six cops found guilty while four policemen facing an inquiry were let off with a warning.

The departmental inquiries have been marked against traffic personnel for their serious misconduct in incidents of accepting bribe while issuing challans; being absent from duty; stopping outside registration vehicles with mala fide intention; drunk on duty; and misbehaving with commuters.Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Vijay Kumar said in a majority of cases, the complainants refused to join or follow up on their complaints, resulting in the closure of inquiries. “All complaints of misconduct are taken very seriously and departmental inquiries are marked accordingly after the preliminary inquiry report. In many cases, the complainants refuse to follow up on their complaints which make us close the inquiry,” he said.

Glaring cases of issuance of clean chits

yune 2011: Head constable Ram Kumar allegedly found drunk at a traffic naka to check drunk driving. Medical examination not conducted on time; given a clean chit.

May 2011: Head constable Om Parkash accused of misbehaving with a Sector 18 resident while issuing a challan. Complainant refused to join inquiry resulting in it being closed.

June 2011: Head constable Kishori Lal and constable Devinder Singh accused of illegal checking of vehicles. Inquiry closed.

December 2010: Head constable Amrik Singh and constable Jagroop Singh accused of demanding money from a Haryana resident while issuing a challan for not wearing seat belt. Inquiry closed.

Censure notices to

April, 2009: ASI Randhir SinghFound under the influence of liquor while on duty outside district courts. Feb, 2010: Head constable PrinceFound drunk on duty and quarreled near Raj Bhawan. 2008: SI Paramjit Sekhon accused of misbehaviour with senior officers and refused to obey their orders when posted in the Women Cell. Head constable Krishan Chand, posted for traffic duty, was not clearing the traffic during peak hours.Head constable Ranjit SinghAccused of handing challan book to a home guard volunteer for taking money.



It’s imported Scotch all the way in city
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Punjabis’ love for “phoren” Scotch is official now. It seems to have replaced the erstwhile Indian spirits (read Whiskey) in the ‘Patiala peg’ of Chandigarhians.

While the city has registered a decline in sales of Indian Manufactured Foreign Liquor (IMFL), “imported” Scotch brands have shown a reverse trend, with its consumption showing a whopping rise of 20 per cent from 84,000 litres in the first seven months of the previous year to 1.02 lakh litres in the corresponding period in the current fiscal.

With more and more city residents saying cheers to Scotch, IMFL brands, including Indian Scotch, across the board have taken a hit.

The sales of Whiskey is down by about 40 per cent here so far. The data of the local excise department revealed that the period (from April 1 to November 30) saw a dip of a whopping 75 lakh litres in the sales of Whiskey so far compared to last year’s figures in the corresponding period.

Where last year’s sales were 1.87 crore litres, it has plunged to 1.12 crore litres this year so far.

The story is not different as far as sales of beer and country liquor are concerned. There is about 20 per cent dip in beer sales (from 63 lakh litres in 2010 to 51 lakh litres in 2011) while 23 per cent fall (from 44 lakh litres to about 34 lakh litres) has been noticed in country liquor sale.

The interesting fact was that despite a substantial fall in the sale of liquor here, the excise department has already earned Rs 66 crore more revenue than last year.

While last year’s collections were Rs 111 crore in seven months, it has already touched Rs 177 crore this time.

“The revenue collection of the department mainly depends on the excise policy. If the liquor sale is down this time, it hardly affects the revenue collection,” said a senior official of the department. 



Local ‘netas’ woo in style
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Gone are the days when politicians loved their simplistic socialist look with rubber ‘chappals’, a ‘khadi kurta’ and a Gandhi ‘topi’. Now, the style statement of the ‘netas’ has changed, at least for those contesting the civic polls in Chandigarh. It’s all about designer clothes and shoes, besides iphones and Blackberrys, Rados and Rolexes, Toyotas and BMWs.

Call it their love for expensive and stylish cloths or an act to grab attention, the ‘netas’ of Chandigarh are flaunting their best. Well-dressed Congress candidate Pardeep Chhabra from Ward No. 3 sports an expensive Rado watch and has no qualms in admitting his love for it. “I love watches,” he says, adding that he uses the latest Blackberry phone to keep himself “updated”.

BJP leader Davesh Moudgil is not complete without his trendy Citizen watch and Hush Puppies shoes. “I feel comfortable wearing the brands I like and during campaigning, I wear a Madhubani handmade ‘kurta-pyjama’.  You will hardly find anybody else wearing it,”  he said.

With a lot of legwork, most leaders have chosen to go for branded joggers to feel comfortable and maintain their style. Congress candidate from Ward No. 1 Raj Bala Malik said she had to cover 11 wards and so she opted for a pair of Nike shoes.

Although she admitted of having a long list of branded footwear, handbags and designer clothes, she was not using them during campaigning.

There was a time when leaders would wear crumpled clothes, but now designer clothes have taken over.

Satinder Dhawan, a BJP candidate from Ward No. 1, said though she was not brand conscious, she had purchased a variety of cotton suits from her son-in-law’s shop in Sector 17 for the campaign. Sporting an elegant Guess watch, she said: “One needs to be presentable. I also wear saris during campaigning,”  she said.

The younger politicians are initiating the whole idea of looking good. Sourabh Joshi, a 33-year-old BJP candidate, said the younger leaders had changed the perception  of dressing. 


Smooth ride to Mullanpur
Rs 25 crore for six-laned road from PGI
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
For better connectivity of the UT with Mullanpur, the local administration will spend Rs 25 crore to lay a six-laned road from the PGI to Punjab’s rapidly developing township.

While the entire stretch will be a dual carriageway, the 600-metre portion of the road in front of Khuda Lahora village will be four-laned.

“There is no space there. In case of six-laning, we have to remove several constructions along the road, which will be a lengthy process,” said a senior official of the Administration.

“Work has already begun on a six-laned dual carriageway from the PGI to Khuda Lahora with a budget of Rs 2.82 crore. We have completed about 50 per cent of the work,” said the official, adding that the remaining work would be completed this financial year.

The existing 10-metre-wide road in front of Khuda Lahora would be converted into a four-laned dual carriageway at a cost of Rs 2.04 crore.

The 1.5-km stretch between Khuda Lahora and Mullanpur, till the UT boundary, would be converted into a six-laned dual carriageway, with a slow carriageway. The work, costing Rs 6 crore, was in progress and had to be completed by July 31.

The construction of a three-laned bridge on the seasonal rivulet Patiala ki Rao was also proposed at a cost of Rs 12 crore. At present, there was two-laned bridge over the rivulet.



City Beautiful? Visit Industrial Area!
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Local industrialists are a peeved lot at the poor state of infrastructure at the Industrial Area here.

With broken roads, poor sanitation conditions and dearth of parking lots and other civic amenities, Industrial Area does not seem to be a part of ‘City Beautiful’, say several industrialists, who are running their units at Phases I and II here, over neglect by the UT Administration.

“We always receive stepmotherly treatment at the hands of the Administration. Potholed roads, clogged water at several places, blocked sewers and encroachments are hallmarks of our area. The situation gets worse during the rains,” lamented Arun Mahajan, former president of the Industries Association of Chandigarh.

He added that the condition of sewerage was the worst. “Most pipes in the area are blocked. Despite repeated complaints, nobody is ready to solve the problem, which has led to water getting clogged in many parts of the area,” he said.

Another industrialist, Rakesh R Aggarwal, said roads were not designed as per requirement. “We need special roads, which can take much heavier load. We have roads like in other sectors of the city, which start cracking days after being laid,” he said.

He added that the level of the roads had gone higher than the premises and water started flowing into most units in the area during the rains.

Navin Monglani, president of the Chambers of Chandigarh Industries, Industrial Area, said they had approached the Administration several times to apprise the authorities of their problems.

“Nobody pays heeds to our problems. As ours is not a residential area, the municipal corporation has chosen to neglect this part of the city,” he said.



Railways mulls third Shatabdi
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The Railways is mulling a third Shatabdi from the Chandigarh-New Delhi-Chandigarh sector to connect it with the Rajdhani trains plying between New Delhi and various metro cities across the country.

Sources said the feasibility report and detailed proposal had been sent from the Chandigarh Railway Station to Ambala and the proposal was discussed with senior officials at the Ambala division. The officials have recommended the same keeping in view huge rush in the express train.

There has been a big demand from travellers for the introduction of the third Shatabdi to New Delhi from the city enabling the passengers to board the Rajdhani train connecting with metro cities like Mumbai and Bangalore.

PK Sanghi, Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala division, said they had asked the higher authorities to start the additional train keeping in view huge rush from the city to New Delhi.

Once the senior officials in the New Delhi headquarters decide on the proposal the same will be forwarded to the railway ministry so that it can be incorporated in the next year’s railway budget.

At present, there are two Shatabdi services to New Delhi from here. The first one leaves Chandigarh at 6.40 am and the second in the afternoon at 6.20 pm. From New Delhi also there are two services, one departing at 7.40 in the morning and the second at 5.15 in the evening.

However, as the morning Shatabdi Express is running near full to capacity, the evening Shatabdi Express is getting a waiting list of more than 500 passengers, the officials are now expecting that the third train will also receive a good response.

Sanjeev Sharma, an IT expert with a multinational company in Mohali, said travelling by Shatabdi Express train during morning and evening hours was tedious as one had to wait for about five hours at the New Delhi Railway Station to board the Rajdhani express for Mumbai, while the evening train reached New Delhi late at night. “If there is a train in between the two, a majority of people will prefer taking that train,” he added. 



Civic amenities not up to mark, say residents of Phase X
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 7
Though roads have been repaired in some areas of Phase X and condition of parks has improved, residents are still unhappy with the civic amenities provided by the municipal council.

Not much improvement has been brought about over the past nearly three months when the state of affairs was highlighted in these columns.

Residents still have to make do with roads full of potholes, improper sanitation, blocked road gullies and stray animals.

The condition of internal roads in some pockets is bad though the main road passing through the sector has been strengthened. Wild growth can be seen in vacant spaces. A vacant plot of the labour department, where a Model Welfare Centre was to be constructed is full of thick wild growth. This site is located next to a private hospital.

Amteshwar Kaur, former municipal councillor, said residents were fed up with the working of the civic body as no action was taken whenever complaints were made. The internal roads in some pockets were damaged. The condition was very bad near LIG and MIG houses. The road near the Mohali Club was full of potholes. The road dividing Phases X and XI was also in a bad shape.

Sewer lines in one pocket (house number 1,107 to house number 1,124) remained choked most of time. The pipes were cleaned when complaints were made, but the effect remained only for a day or two. The choked pipes need to be changed.

She said sanitation was also in a state of neglect. Heaps of garbage could be seen lying at various points. Safai karamcharis did not come regularly. The contractor had to be requested twice or thrice a week to get certain areas cleaned.

Press secretary of the Citizens Welfare Council Ranjivan Singh said parks were being maintained by GMADA, but their beauty got hampered when residents parked their cars in these areas converting them into parking zones. Police personnel, who provided a security cover to a senior police official, had encroached upon an area in a park.

He said residents of the area had been deprived of the facility of a community centre. The habitat centre in the area constructed by PUDA after spending a large sum of money remained locked even after it was committed at the time of inauguration that it would be thrown open to the general public. 

(Clockwisw) (1)A road in a bad shape at Phase X of Mohali.  (2) Garbage lying scattered opposite showrooms. (3) With safai karamcharis showing up at will, the area has turned into a dumping site.  (4) Wild growth dots the Punjab labour department. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan



mock drill
Efficiency of officials put to test
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 7
A mock drill was conducted on the premises of M/s Phillips Electronics India Limited, Mohali, which is a accident prone unit.

An emergency was declared in the propane storage area and all persons concerned were informed about the fire. The incident was also brought to the notice of the district administration, fire station, Civil Hospital and police control room. Fire engines reached the place of incidence well within time and controlled the situation. Police personnel also reached the spot. Help was sought from neighbouring industry.

The mock drill was conducted in the presence of Varun Roojam, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman District Crisis Group, Mohali. He was satisfied with the action and response of the rescue teams.

Sukhminder Singh Gill, deputy director, factories, Mohali, and Akhilesh Goel, plant director, were also present at the time of mock drill. 



Administrator of civic body assumes charge
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 7
For the first time the Mohali municipal council has got a full-time administrator. JC Sabharwal, a PCS officer, who took over the charge today said improving the state of sanitation was his top most priority.

Sabharwal was the Joint Commissioner of the civic body for some days, but was transferred as DTO, Mohali, after the Punjab and Haryana High Court had stayed the notification through which the civic body was given the status of a corporation.

Sabharwal said the town had to be beautified as it was bordering Chandigarh and it had to be given equal importance. The state of sanitation was poor in Mohali which required improvement. The sanitation wing would be strengthened and proper checking would be carried out to ensure that the work was done in a satisfactory manner. The two executives officers of the council would be put on special duties in this regard.

He said the illegal rehri menace in the town would also be checked. When pointed out that former municipal councillors had alleged that corruption in the tehbazari wing was responsible for the problem, Sabharwal said public had to be aware and corruption should not be encouraged by residents. 



No breakthrough in case so far
Two women flee with newborn
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 7
A day after two unidentified women took away a male newborn from the local General Hospital, the police is still groping in the dark. While teams, including the Crime Investigation Agency, Cyber Cell and police station staff, remained busy identifying the accused, no breakthrough could be achieved in the incident.

It was yesterday that two women took away the newborn from the waiting hall outside the labour room in the wee hours. Meena (25), a resident of Haripur village, Sector 4, gave birth to a baby boy at 5.30 pm on Monday. At 2 am on Monday night, Suman, sister-in-law of Meena, came out of the labour room. One of the women, who were sitting in the waiting hall, became friends with her and offered to hold the baby, while the other offered to take Suman for a cup of tea to the hospital canteen. On the way, the elderly woman accompanying Suman asked her to wait, while she got cash out of her purse, which lay elsewhere, but the woman did not return.

Sources in the police said while the call details were being scrutinised, a team was told to contact police officials in other districts.

This was, however, the second such incident in the city within two months. On September 29, a couple took away 10-month-old boy of a Pinjore family from the Navratra fair at Mata Mansa Devi.



Amount sanctioned in Jan 2011, no overpass yet
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The much-awaited overpass for connecting the internal area of the Sports Complex, Sector 42, with the kho-kho court has yet to see the light.

The engineering department, which has been assigned to construct a proper viaduct January this year, has not completed the work yet, leaving the players to wait for some more time for accessing the courts through the stadium.

However, the concerned officials said the box type culvert has already been built and the work to extend it to the courts, after constructing a small connecting road, will start. An official on condition of anonymity said, “The work will be completed by this month, as few of the officials have joined the department a few days ago who are now getting acquainted to the work. The site has been visited again and the work will start soon,” said the official.

“Only the main road is approachable to the playing arena, which left us in the lurch when it comes to park our bicycles. Moreover, we have come to there from a slanting road, which becomes dangerous during dark,” said Rinku, a local player.

Sources said the linking road project was delayed due to the levelling and cleaning of sewerage under the newly built culvert.

“After completing culvert, the focus shifted to the sewerage job, now we will start carpeting the linking road to come up with the bridge soon,” said an official.

As per the information, the UT sports department sanctioned Rs 69, 65,000 for the construction of the bridge, including other works, on January 21, 2011 and the work started in March 2011. The box type culvert was completed in March but link road work was delayed.



MC Polls 2011
Sun is out again, so are candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Taking advantage of a clear sky today, a day after light rain, candidates started early in the morning and continued canvassing throughout the day.
Kiron Kher is welcomed by Jatinder Malhotra, BJP candidate from ward 17, at a public meeting in Sector 19 of Chandigarh
Kiron Kher is welcomed by Jatinder Malhotra, BJP candidate from ward 17, at a public meeting in Sector 19 of Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: parvesh chauhan

Local meetings and door-to-door campaigning kept them busy. To make up for the time lost due to rain, they covered the maximum areas under their wards.

BJP leader Kiron Kher addressed a residents’ rally in ward 17. She appealed to voters to support BJP candidate Jatinder Malhotra in the elections.

The BJP candidate from ward 1, Satinder Dhawan, said they started in the morning and continued canvassing till late in evening. “We held a ‘padyatra’ in various parts of Sector 7 to cover the maximum number of people,” she said.

Her Congress rival Raj Bala Malik continued her campaigning by visiting Sectors 8 and 9 door to door. In the evening, she visited Sector-7 government accommodation residents.

In ward 10, Satnam Singh Walia, candidate of the Chandigarh Jan Manch, extensively campaigned in Sector 41. He went from door to door with his supporters. He appealed to voters to cast their vote in his favour.

The election office of the BJP candidate from ward 12, Renu Bala, was inaugurated by the president of the local unit of the BJP, Sanjay Tandon.

Another BJP candidate, Arun Sood, interacted with voters in door-to-door meetings in Sector 38-A. He held meetings with office-bearers of various associations and societies. He also presented his agenda for the ward.

The BJP-SAD candidate from ward 16, Rajesh Gupta Bittu, said he would soon release the detailed election manifesto for his ward. He made this announcement during door-to-door campaigning of his ward.



13 warned for not reporting on poll duty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The election department today warned 13 employees for not reporting on election duty to their respective returning officers (ROs).

Instructions were issued that if they did not report to their respective ROs by tomorrow, stringent action would be initiated against them by the department.

An official said the employees to whom the warning letters had been issued were from wards 5 to 8. A complaint about these employees had been sent to the department by the ROs.

Sources revealed that 25 employees put on poll duty were issued warning letters by the respective ROs yesterday. Of these, 12 employees reported back on duty today.

Offices of seven ROs were jam-packed today with employees who, citing personal problems, wanted to get their election duty cancelled. Most ROs, on an average, received more than 50 such applications.

RO Mahavir Kaushik stated that 50 of the 450 employees put on election duty for the four wards under his supervision had approached him for the cancellation of election duty.

A similar scene was witnessed at the office of RO Rahul Gupta during the daytime. The department had deployed staff to verify if the excuses made by the employees were genuine.



Only one pledge, says Anna man
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Candidates of various political parties do not hesitate to misinform voters to woo them. BJP and Chandigarh Jan Manch candidates have been telling voters during canvassing that they support the Anna Hazare drive against corruption.
Local representatives of Anna Hazare’s team address mediapersons in Chandigarh
Local representatives of Anna Hazare’s team address mediapersons in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A Tribune Photograph

They claim that they have already signed anti-corruption pledge letters. During media interaction today, Rahul Bhartiya, local representative of the drive, clarified that except an Independent from ward 22, none had signed it so far.

He said the candidates had signed pledge letters against corruption drafted by ‘Aawaaz’, a local NGO, and were using it for their political benefit.

Criticising statements of candidates, he expressed surprise that nobody was ready to give in writing the promise to resign in case of failure to meet the aspirations of the people.



Campaigning hits a low
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Hitting below the belt during campaigning, rivals are out to embarrass leaders of a major national party, with their faces pasted on a fake Rs 1-crore currency note issued by the “Swiss Bank of India”.

The currency note carries pictures of a Member of Parliament and two councillors. The party has been numbered “420” and the note has been signed by “Aam Aadmi”.

The group has been captioned “Chor Jamaat” (gang of thieves). An office-bearer of the party said, “We have no knowledge about the currency note. We will complain to the returning officer.”



Tipsy youths create ruckus at vend
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Drunk youths indulged in a violent clash at a liquor vend when they were asked for payment by the vend owner in Sector 52 here this afternoon.

Six persons sustained minor injuries and windowpanes of the vend were damaged. The vend owner alleged that the youths took away Rs 3.2 lakh from the vend-cum-tavern.

The contractor at the vend, Hemraj, alleged that the youngsters, who were all residents of the colony nearby, took away some bottles of liquor and Rs 3.2 lakh. The police doubtied the claims of the complainant and was investigating.

The scuffle began when a waiter at the vend, Dinesh Kumar, asked the youths, who were heavily drunk, to pay the bill. They refused and assaulted the waiter.

They then summoned their accomplices. All of them created a ruckus and damaged glasses and windowpanes at the vend.

The police was called. Sub-inspector Maninder Singh, in charge of the Sector-61 police post, said efforts were on to track down the colony residents.



5 units sealed for misuse
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Five sites in the local Industrial Area have been sealed by the UT estate office on charges of misusing the premises here today.

A team of the department swooped down on plots 219, MW 14, 349 in Phase 1 and 368 and 281 in Phase II and sealed them for continuing to flout rules despite notices.

“These sites were meant for manufacturing units, but here the occupants were found using them for trading or storing purposes,” said Rahul Gupta, Assistant Estate Officer. He said the occupants were given ample opportunities before taking action. 



Hawara, Bheora coming again
Three months after deadline, video-conferencing a non-starter
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
As the UT Administration is still sitting over the plan for a three-way connection between Tihar Jail, Burail Jail and the district court through video-conferencing, Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorists Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjit Singh Bheora will, this time too, be produced in person at the district court here on December 12 in connection with the Burail jailbreak case.

Mukesh Bassi, Congress candidate from ward 17, campaigns at Sector 19 in Chandigarh
At your service, voters: Mukesh Bassi, Congress candidate from ward 17, campaigns at Sector 19 in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: manoj mahajan

The UT Administration has already missed the deadline for the installation of the facility. In response to a public interest litigation filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the UT Administration had promised to begin video-conferencing by September 9.

The petitioner, Viresh Shandilya, a resident of Haryana, had sought directions from the high court to connect all jails in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh with lower courts through video-conferencing.

Due to the delay in the installation of the facility, a few right-wing activists attacked Hawara on the district court premises on November 11.

Sources in the police said due to the delay in the facility, it had to deploy a huge posse of policemen for every hearing in the jailbreak case. The presence of both terrorists had not only kept security agencies on their toes, but also created problems for litigants in other cases.

Yogesh Kumar, Director for Information Technology, said they had recently written to the BSNL to solve the problem of connectivity. He added that they were waiting for BSNL’s reply on this issue. On the other hand, a senior BSNL official said they were not aware of any such letter from the Administration.



Shops, factories to be shut on Dec 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
All shops and other commercial establishments falling within the 26 wards of the municipal corporation will remain closed on December 17 in view of the elections.

All factories in these areas will observe a weekly holiday under Section 52(1) of the Act, subject to the condition that no worker is required or allowed to work that day.



Seven get notices on banners and posters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Election observers and returning officers today issued seven notices to candidates from various wards to remove their banners and posters from public property.

Abhishek Dev, Joint Secretary (Home) and election observer, said Congress candidate Raj Bala Malik and BJP candidate Satinder Dhawan from ward 1 were issued notices to remove the banners.

Mahavir Kaushik, returning officer, said he issued five notices to candidates of prominent parties in wards 13 to 16 to remove party banners from government buildings and public property.



Cong expels 2 rebels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Two Congress rebels, Baljinder Singh Bittu and Manjeet Kaur, were expelled by Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president BB Behl today for anti-party activities.

They were contesting MC elections as independent candidates after the party denied them the ticket. They were expelled from the primary membership of the Congress for six years.



Youth attacked at Mauli Jagran
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
A resident of Mauli Jagran was attacked with swords and batons here this evening. The victim, Sonu Bakra, was rushed to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16 with serious head injuries. He was released from the Burail jail only the previous week.

He was attacked on account of prior enmity. Mani Majra police station SHO Rajesh Shukla said they were yet to record the statements of the victim. He added that the accused were residents of the same area and had a criminal past. A case was registered in this regard.



Man hit by train, dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Sukhdev (22), a native of Khushipur, Uttar Pradesh, was hit by Duronto train in Industrial Area, Phase II, here this morning. According to the railway police, the victim was going to his work place when the accident occurred.

The police said the victim could not save himself as there was extra space on both the sides of the railway track. The body was sent to General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, for an autopsy.



Tricity Scan

No water supply:
Due to some maintenance work there will no water supply from 9 am to 6pm on Thursday in the parts of the Sectors 23, 24, 35 to 43, 53 to 56, including Maloya and Dadu Majra.

Enrolment camp postponed: The “Smart Card” enrolment camps, which were to be held for beneficiaries registered with fair price shops/ration depots in the areas of Labour Colony No. 4, Industrial Area, Chandigarh and village Faidan, are postponed, till further orders.

Advisory issued: Bharti Airtel has issued advisory to its customers to safeguard them from fraudulent calls. Airtel has informed its customers that the people, who made calls pretending to be calling on behalf of the customer’s telecom operator and inform the recipient that he/she has won a lottery or award, do not represent the company and are fraudsters.

Decision hailed: The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal hailed the government decision of holding back FDI in retail. In a press statement, chairman Charanjiv Singh said that the government had listened to the grievances of traders community and termed it the victory of traders. Diwakar Sahoonja, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, called it a right step in the right direction and hoped that now trader bodies would also be invited to participate in any discussions on the subject and also thanked the traders of city who supported the protest rally held by CBM on December 1.

Two arrested; A special technical team of PCR led by Inspector Kewal Krishan, arrested the accused Manoj Kumar and Ashok Kumar alias Gaffu, both residents of Bapu Dham Colony under th Gambling Act. the police also recovered Rs 6,600 from their possession. The police has registered a case under the Gambling Act against them.

Seminar on first aid:
A seminar on “First Aid” was conducted by Zigitza Health Care Ltd.,Phase-V in Shivalik Public School, Mohali. In the seminar, students were informed about the preventive and supportive measures in “First Aid”. Orgnaisers practically guided all the students on fractures, burn injuries and stings. The seminar appraised the students on life-saving exercises.

Students shine: Students of Gian Jyoti, Mohali, hogged limelight in the Idea Junior Volleyball Championship League, 2011-2012, held at the Sports Complex Academy, Sector 46-C, Chandigarh. They won the first match against the team of Shemrock Public School, Mohali, and won the third place against St Xavier’s School, Mohali, by winning the first set with the difference of 25-9 points and the second set with the difference of 25-12 points. They were given the third place trophy.

Morning assembly:
As the people of different states of India wear different types of clothes, which suit the climate, the students of class III depicted culture and season in the morning assembly of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Panchkula. They dressed up in the traditional way to show the Kashmiri, Punjabi, Haryanvi, Rajasthani, Bengali, Maharashtrian, Assamese and Chennai to name a few. They also spoke the dialect, important places, food eaten and capital of respective states. Dance form of Kashmiri and Gujrati was also performed. — TNS



Teachers of 67 colleges go on strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The ongoing half-yearly exams in seven non-government colleges of Chandigarh and over 60 colleges of Punjab on December 8 and 9 is going to get postponed due to the ongoing joint strike of teachers. Work in colleges in the city came to a standstill today with the teachers’ protest in Sector 25 on the call of the Joint Action Committee (JAC). Agitated over long-pending demands, teachers staged a protest and gave their arrests.

The president of the Principals’ Association during the protest announced a 48 hours strike and decided that the house exams would not be conducted.

Principal Gurdeep Sharma, president of principals’ federation declared that all the stakeholders were united for the common demands and for the future of these colleges and students.

He announced that the entire teaching and non-teaching staff would observe a 48-hour stay in strike on December 8 and 9 in all the colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh. They will not conduct the house exams in the colleges.

Sharma further said that the university semester exams would continue as usual.

The classes in colleges have been affected for the past few months. Earlier, the teachers used to hold an-hour strike everyday that was further extended to two hours protest daily. With the exams approaching, the teachers then held complete bandh in colleges from November 16 to November 24 that affected the studies.

The students of MCM colleges also staged a protest for the postponing of exams following the teachers strike claiming that their syllabus could not be completed.

The seven city colleges that are hit by the teachers strike include, DAV College, Sector 10; MCM College, Sector 36; GGDSD College, Sector 32; Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26; Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26; Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, and Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36.

The main demands of JAC include, implementation of decision of the Punjab government taken by the Cabinet on the issue of pension and gratuity on December 12, 2001 under the Act of 1999, lifting of the ban on recruitment, implementation of revised pay scales and allowances for the non-teaching employees from January 1, 2006, on the basis of their pay parity with their counterparts working in government colleges, and payment of arrears, etc.

Strike led to confusion

The announcement of 48 hours strike in non-government city colleges led to confusion among the students as to whether the college management would postpone the exams or they would be held as per the schedule.

23 arrested

Twenty-three members of the teaching and non-teaching staff was arrested by the Chandigarh police under preventive measures.



DAV College drama continues
AK Nanda appointed new officiating principal 
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The drama over the principal of DAV College, Sector 10, doesn’t seem to end. After giving the officiating charge to Shashi Gupta on November 30 the DAV management today decided to appoint AK Nanda as the new officiating principal of the college.

Nanda will be the fourth principal of DAV college in a year, with one principal getting the charge twice. Official sources confirmed that the DAV management sent a communication to the college to hand over the charge of the college to Nanda, a professor of the chemistry department.

Pawan Jain, a professor in the commerce department, was appointed as the officiating principal of the college. He succeeded Professor Shashi Kumar Gupta who was appointed as the officiating principal in September 2010. Gupta then went on leave on health grounds.

Following which Pawan Jain was given charge as officiating principal of the college. Later, on November 30, Jain retired from the college following which the charge was handed over to Shashi Gupta another principal from the Commerce department.

BC Josan was appointed as the principal of the college in April 2008. However, he was transferred to a college in Punjab's Malout town in September 2010 after a dispute with the college managing committee. Following the controversy, the management suspended Josan.

Josan is presently under suspension by the DAV management, although the management after framing charges against him decided to hold re-inquiry, which is yet to be completed.

Till the issue is on, the management can’t appoint a regular principal following which officiating principals have to look after the college.

Nanda will be the fourth principal of DAV college in a year, with one principal getting the charge twice. Official sources confirmed that the DAV management sent a communication to the college to hand over the charge of the college to Nanda, a professor of the chemistry department



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