C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ex-MLA’s son creates ruckus
Carries cop along on car bonnet, booked, challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
The police has booked two DAV College students, one of whom is the son of a former MLA from Raikot, for creating a ruckus and assaulting a cop when their car was signalled to stop for traffic violation.

The two were booked after they ignored the call of a traffic policeman and carried him along on the bonnet of the car today. One of the students booked was Jagteshwar, son of Ranjit Singh Talwandi, former MLA from Raikot.

High drama was witnessed when ASI Dulip Singh signalled the Innova (PB56C-0007), being driven by Jagteshwar, to stop at the Sector 37-38 roundabout.

The car was signalled to stop as it had black filming. Jagteshwar refused to stop and accelerated the car. His friend Karanbir was sitting with him when the incident occurred.

ASI Dulip Singh grabbed the wipers and was dragged with the car for some distance. He called the police control room, but refused to submit a written complaint after the police arrived.

The police then challaned Jagteshwar for driving without seat belt, driving without licence, driving dangerously and using black filming on vehicle.



Passion, revenge most fatal
Account for 90 per cent cases of murder this year

Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Extreme emotions of passion and revenge account for more than 90 per cent murders in the city. More interestingly, all 22 murders reported this year so far had occurred in city’s colonies and slums owing to failed love affairs, matrimonial disharmony or old enmity which turned violent.

While all murder cases had been solved, the figure of murders reported this year had surpassed past year’s figure, when 20 murders were reported.

The areas of Mauli Jagran, Dadu Majra, Colony Number 4, Ram Darbar, Maloya and Kajheri had reported a majority of the murders.

Only one of the 22 murders had been reported in an urban part of the city. Two school students had stabbed a youth to death as he intervened in a scuffle at Sector 19 in September.

A staggering 70 percent of those arrested for committing these murders were first-timers, who had never any history of criminal offence and committed these murders out of sudden provocation. The police said though the number of murders was high, all cases had been solved. The police had also registered 38 attempt-to-murder cases and 64 robbery cases this year. “The trend of committing murder on account of revenge and prior enmity is on the rise. We have solved all murder cases this year. We have taken robberies and scuffles seriously, resulting in more hardcore criminals being behind bars,” said UT SSP Naunihal Singh.

Crimes of passion

  • December 11: Man kills brother-in-law at Gwala Colony in Maloya after his wife refuses to return to stay with him.
  • September 9: Sunita and her lover arrested for the murder of her husband, a rickshaw-puller, at Indira Colony.
  • August 21: Reshma raped and murdered by four at Colony Number 4 after she told one of the accused, with whom she had illicit relations, that she was pregnant with his child.
  • August 11: Mohali resident arrested for murdering student of Government High School at Sector 41, whom he had abducted, after her refusal to marry him.
  • July 1: Man stabs sister-in-law to death and wounds wife at Dadu Majra while trying to force his wife to return with him.



Night shelters for homeless
Meant for them, but pinching their pocket
Akash Ghai and Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

The dormitory of the ‘raenbasera’ at Sector 17 in Chandigarh. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 14
Tariff: Single bed: Rs 40 (with fan) and Rs 55 (with cooler) in dormitory; family room: Rs 240; time period: 12 hours. If you think that these are charges of a low-budget hotel, you are wrong. Surprisingly, these are the charges at the two night shelters (popularly known as ‘raenbasera’, meant for shelter-less people), being run in the city, one by the UT Red Cross Society at the Sector-17 ISBT and the other by the municipal corporation at Sector 26.

Two days ago, the Supreme Court had directed the governments of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to ensure that shelter-less people did not die due to the cold. For the purpose, the apex court had directed the governments to provide night shelters with basic amenities to such people immediately.

However, a visit to the city’s night shelters and a drive around on the streets reveals that while the poor and shelter-less continue to brave the cold in the open, the ‘raenbaseras’ are lying vacant.

The reason is not difficult to find. At Rs 40 a night, this is not what the poor of this country can afford. In contrast, in Delhi, a bed is available for Rs 6 per night in the ‘raenbaseras’.

Interestingly, on paper, the city has five night shelters, in Sectors 17 (bus stand), 26 (transport area), Sector 28, Sector 29 and Mani Majra. However, only two are operational as the Sector-28 and Sector-29 ones are occupied by paramilitary forces and an NGO runs from the one at Mani Majra. Admitting that the existing two night shelters were not enough to accommodate the city’s shelter-less, Varsha Khangwal, Director, UT social welfare department, said efforts were on to get the other buildings vacated.

The insensitiveness of the UT Administration could be gauged with the prescribed rates for spending one night. “If a poor has Rs 40 to spend for night stay, does he fell in category of poor,” asked a senior official of the Administration.

He indicated towards the recent affidavit by the Union Planning Commission, in which it had been mentioned that the person who could spend Rs 32 a day on his meals was not poor.

The first ‘raenbasera’ in the city was opened in the late 80s and it was then run by the Administration, which charged a token fee of only Re 1 per bed. However, it was later handed over to the UT Red Cross Society, which literally converted it into a small-time lodge by increasing certain facilities.

The Administration’s insensitivity to the homeless could be gauged from the fact that the city had no data on them. “We have asked the authorities in the census department for the number of such persons,” said Khangwal.

A survey by the Tribune team during night hours found that at least 1,000 migrants were sleeping in corridors of markets in various sectors. A majority of them were rickshaw-pullers, ‘rehriwalas’ and beggars. “The owners have allowed us to sleep here and we guard their shops at night,” said Ghanshyam Lal, a rickshaw-puller, at Sector 35.

Presently, the ‘raenbaseras’ were being used primarily by people who had relatives receiving treatment at city hospitals or those who had early morning date in local courts.



Nominated councillors to hold key in MC
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Going by trends in the ongoing scenario for the municipal corporation (MC) elections, nominated councillors will have the final say on which party comes to power.

With none of the two main parties, the BJP and the Congress, likely to have an absolute majority, nominated councillors will be the ultimate deciders of control in the House.

The current MC set-up has a total of 26 elected and nine nominated councillors. More importantly, nominated councilors have the right to vote, which is unheard in any other MC. There is an unconfirmed long list of councillors pending with the UT Administrator.

A senior leader of the Congress has conceded, “In the first round, we have calculated 12 seats in the House in our kitty. We will gain more seats as the campaign is nearing its end. In case we do not win any more seats, the first dozen in the House will be controlled by us.”

The power to vote has made nominated councillors very powerful. They are usually the key factor in deciding who will occupy the chair of Mayor. A senior officer has said, “To my knowledge, no other MC allows voting right to nominated councillors.”

Local Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, during the release of the party manifesto for MC elections, had mentioned that nominated councillors should have an advisory role in the MC and they should not have the right to vote.

BJP leaders had been pitching for restraining nominated councillors. JP Nadda, general secretary of the party, had recently stated that if the party won a majority, it would take up the issue of withdrawing the right to vote for nominated councillors in Parliament.

MC elections in 2006 showed the crucial role played by nominated councillors in electing a Mayor. During the previous MC elections, the Congress won 16 seats and the BJP, the SAD and the BSP 10.

Despite the Congress having a clear majority, the first Mayor was from the BJP-SAD alliance as nominated councillors turned the tables on the Congress. After that, all subsequent Mayors were from the Congress.



Chandigarh Scan
Doctor awarded

Surendra Kumar Sharma, a PhD student, the department of gastroenterology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, got prestigious MGIMS award during ‘38th Annual Conference of the Association of Clinical Biochemists of India’ held in Gwalior from December 3 to 6. He has been awarded for the best paper in the field for his research paper entitled “Pro-inflammatory cytokines and IL-10 profile in ulcerative colitis patients’. The study indicates that altered immune response plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis.

Prize distribution

DPS students were felicitated for their achievements in academics, sports and co-curricular activities in the annual prize distribution ceremony, here on Wednesday. Dr Yogesh Chawla, Director PGIMER, was the chief guest on the occasion. The highlights of the day were the orchestra, blended rhythmic tracks representing various regions of India and a rendition of ‘Path ki Pehchan’ by ‘Harivansh Rai Bachchan.’

35 dogs sterilised

The Dog Control Cell captured 35 dogs for anti rabies vaccination under Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001. The cell captured the dogs from Sectors 7, 19, 22, 26, 28, Dhanas, Air Force Area, Sector 52, Kajheri, Industrial Area Phase II and Mani Majra from December 1 to 14 and handed over 24 dogs to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Chandigarh, 11 dogs to Pet Animal Health Society, Panchkula, for sterilisation and anti rabies vaccination.

National Energy Conservation Day

On eve of National Energy Conservation Day 2011, “DEEKSHA” (Diffuse Environmental Education, Keep Society Humbly Aware) conducted a seminar on energy conservation at PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on the theme ‘Energy Conservation-Role of Educational Institutions’. The seminar was inaugurated by VK Singh, IAS, Finance-cum-Environment Secretary, Chandigarh administration. He emphasised the need for the educators to be stake holders in the campaign and to reinforce the habit of conservation of the very finite resources of non-renewable energy.

Blood donation camp

The High Court Blood Contributors Club organised a blood donation camp here on Wednesday. As many as 288 people donated their blood. The donors included Justice Hemant Gupta, Justice Mahesh Grover, Justice Augustine George Masih, Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Rameshwar Malik. The camp was inaugurated by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Advocate’s licence suspended

The Bar Council of the Punjab and Haryana suspended the license of SC Seth, Tohana, Fatehabad district, for a period of five years here on Wednesday. Seth has also been imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on him. The complainant Bhupinder Singh, resident of Tohana, had filed a complaint of professional misconduct against the SC Seth.

Mohali scan

Classical dance show

A show of Indian classical dances was organised by Kala Shingar Sansad, a cultural organisation, in the memory of noted Gian Shanker (dance director of western films) at Pracheen Kala Kendra, Sector 71, Mohali, last evening. The school going students presented “kathak” and other Indian classical dances.

Mini-circus at Ashmah International School

A mini circus was organised at Ashmah International School, Mohali, on the school campus. Principal, Roopinder Ghuman, explained the importance of fun and play in the lives to the students. — TNS



Govt schools get Huda notices over water dues
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 14
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has issued notices to more than half a dozen government schools for not clearing water bills worth lakhs.

According to information available, government high and primary schools in the town and its periphery owe more than Rs 13 lakh to HUDA on account of unpaid water bills.

More importantly, officials have disconnected water connection to these schools. Instead of clearing the pending bills, the schools have restored water supply using illegal connections.

A school teacher has said on the condition of anonymity that if HUDA goes ahead with its decision to disconnect water connection, mid-day meals will be the worst hit due to the non-availability of water.

The Government School, Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, and the Government High School, Sector 19, owe Rs 6.95 lakh and Rs 4 lakh, respectively.

HUDA had disconnected the water connection of these schools the previous year, but the managements had allegedly reconnected it.

The case of the Government School, Bhainsa Tibba, near Mansa Devi temple, and the Government Primary School, Sector 19, was the same.

These owed Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 52,000, respectively, to HUDA. The Government School, Buddanpur village, near Sector 16, owed Rs 3,000 to HUDA on this account.

District education officer Nalini Mimani said the matter was not in her knowledge, adding that she could say something only after verifying it from the schools principals.

A senior HUDA official said on the condition of anonymity that the department had not taken any action against the schools, keeping in mind that hundreds of students studied at these schools.

HUDA’s division II executive engineer Preet Mohan said notices and arrears of unpaid bills were being sent to these schools, adding that they would disconnect water if these schools failed to pay pending bills.



Candidates make last-ditch effort
Go all out to woo voters in the last leg of campaigning, make bagful of promises

Tribune News Service

Congress candidate Mukesh Bassi takes out a torch march along with supporters at Sector 18.
Congress candidate Mukesh Bassi takes out a torch march along with supporters at Sector 18. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Youth Congress activists take out a car rally in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 14
Candidates contesting civic polls have entered into the last leg of campaigning making every possible effort to catch the attention of the voters. Madhu Bansal, wife of local MP Pawan Bansal, addressed a meeting of the Mahila Block Congress Block No. 20 in support of the Congress candidate from Ward No. 13, Har Phool Chander Kalyan.

BJP candidate Satinder Singh also held a “nukkad” meeting in Ward No. 18. Film actor Kirron Kher and senior BJP leader Rattan Lal Kataria were also present on the occasion.

The report card of last five years of Pardeep Chhabra, sitting councillor of Ward No. 3 for the past 10 years, was also released. It was released by Hari Singh, 92-year-old senior citizen, in the presence of Ritu Chhabra, Pardeep’s wife.

Raj Kishore, party candidate from Ward No. 19, addressed a corner meeting in Bapu Dham Colony. BJP national secretary, Chandigarh, Saroj Pandey, and in charge, Chandigarh, Praveen Sharma, and party president Sanjay Tandon also addressed the meeting.

Madhu Bansal joined Arshad Khan, a Congress candidate from Ward No.26. Both went on door-to-door campaigning in Indira Colony and Valmiki Samaj that come under Ward No. 26. On this occasion founder member of Valmiki Samaj Mahinder Singh Bhagat and cleanliness employees union's pradhan Shamlal Ghavari was present at the occasion.

The MC election canvassing of Arun Sood, BJP candidate for Ward No. 8, was held in Sector 38 C and D. In the evening two public meetings were also held in EWS Colony, Sector 38, West, and Punjab Madikaran Board residential colony, Sector 37.

The candidates of Chandigarh Jan Manch have also intensified their campaign. Jan Manch candidate Jatinder Kumar Kaku from Ward No. 22 has a huge support from the Sikh community and from Ward No. 6 Jatinder Kumar Toti has got extended support from many different organisations. Similarly, Kulwinder Kaur from Ward No.14 was weighed with “laddoos”. The BJP candidate from Ward No. 2, Saurabh Joshi, addressed a corner meeting in Khudda Lahora. Municipal Corporation election in charge Shyam Jaju, former BJP state president Jairam Joshi, addressed the corner meeting and appealed the residents to vote in favour of the BJP candidate.

The LIG Association, Sector 40, organised a meeting in support of Gurbax Rawat, a Congress candidate from Ward No 9, Chandigarh, local Congress president BB Bahal was the main guest at the meeting.



Independents supporting candidates of prominent parties
Two rebels also get support from local parties

Tribune News Service

Congress MP Randeep Singh Surjewala addresses a public gathering in support of Congress candidate Rajbala Malik at Sector 7 on Wednesday. tribune photos: S chandan

Comedian Khayali performs at a Congress public meeting in Sector 7 of Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, December 14
Hardly two days left for the MC polls and the independent candidates contesting the elections have already begun supporting the candidates fielded by prominent parties.

Ramesh, an independent candidate from Ward No. 8, today extended his support to Congress candidate Rajesh Sharma.

With Ramesh supporting the Congress candidate, the fight will now be between five candidates out of which two are contesting independently.

Two rebel candidates of the Congress and the BJP who are contesting independently got a shot in the arm with the Chandigarh Territorial Janata Dal and the Chandigarh Jan Manch (CJM) lending support to them in the MC elections.

Baljinder Singh Bittu, a Congress rebel, contesting from Ward No. 17 has got support from both parties on the assurance and promise that they would work for the development of the city. Bittu, a former Congress worker, had decided to contest independently after the party denied him the ticket. The Congress has fielded Mukesh Bassi from the ward.

BJP rebel Gurcharan Dass Kalaa, who is a sitting councillor from Ward No. 25, is contesting independently and has also got the support of both parties. Jagtar Singh Jagga has been fielded by the BJP from the ward. Although the candidates of CJM are contesting from various wards, the party has not fielded any candidate from both wards.

Political observers said that the rebels getting support from the two local parties could make a dent in the vote bank of both the Congress and the BJP making it tough for them to win in the elections.

While Congress candidate Mukesh Bassi is contesting from Ward No 17,

Chandigarh Territorial Janata Dal and the CJM party leaders said that their supporters in the ward would join both candidates and begin campaigning in their favour.

The Chandigarh Territorial Janata Dal has also rendered their support to Neelam Kumari a candidate from Ward No 24.



Unfulfilled promises of the past
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Congress candidate Rajesh Sharma from Ward No. 8 (with folded hands) compaigns for the MC elections in Sector 37. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

BJP candidate Arun Sood from Ward No. 8 (with folded hands) during an election campaign in Sector 37.

Chandigarh, December 14
No having fulfilled poll promises made in the past, the political parties are churning out the old agenda for the coming Municipal Corporation (MC) polls just to make it appear voluminous. The irony is that the MC poll manifesto of both prominent political parties has neither any vision document to deal with the city problems nor have they bothered to cover the issues which have been lying pending with the UT Administration for the past 10 years.

Sample these Parking

In the manifesto of both parties, promises have been made to resolve the commercial and residential parking problem which prevails in the city due to increase in the number of vehicles. But the fact is that in the last five years sitting councillors of both parties have not mooted a single project in this regard in the House.


Records of the MC show that during the Congress regime in the last 10 years only one commercial multi-level parking in Sector 17 and residential parkinglot in Sector 19 has seen the day of the light. No BJP councillor has made a demand of community parking in their respective wards even though the residents have been complaining about the shortage of space in their areas for a long time.


Both parties have made a promise that they will come up with the proper collection and disposal of garbage system in the city. After winning this election they will be able to seek out the issue of foul smell emanating from the garbage processing plant located at Dadu Majra.


Interestingly, in the last five years, the Congress councillors had convened special house meetings to discuss the garbage processing plant issue but till date except passing the buck on to the UT Administration for suggesting action over it no solution has been evolved. Ignoring other complaints of the residents from across the city, councillors have only suggested stringent action against the irregular visit of sweepers in their areas

Improving drainage system

For the last 10 years in the Congress has beenpromising that they will lay additional drainage system and regular cleaning and de-silting of drains to tackle the menace of water logging during monsoons.


During the monsoon, a number of complaints are received by the MC for water logging in various areas but surprisingly none of the councillors have taken up this issue in the general house meeting.

Upkeep of streetlights

Parties assured that there would be proper lighting system all over the city with special attention to villages and resettlement colonies.


In southern sectors residents are complaining regularly that streetlights have been non-functional for the last more than six months. But none of the councillors have bothered to take up the issue with the authorities or in the House for the same.

Untouched issues

Records show that in the last 10 years there have been a number of issues that have been hanging in fire in the UT Administration for approval. While none of the party manifestos talk out as to how they will speed up the project approval criteria when they will come to power. There are three major projects which have been hanging fire for the last more than 10 years and seven small projects have been delayed for more than five years.

Mani Majra master plan

In 2001 the master plan of Mani Majra was formulated where 500 acres of land was lying vacant for the last 10 years. It was submitted to the UT administration for according sanction but it has failed to give approval till date. According to the plan, the MC had planned to construct a primary school in pocket 6 of Mani Majra, a sports

complex and a hospital in pocket number 8, a college in pocket number 9, and Shanti Nagar, Janta Nagar, Subhash Nagar and Pipliwala town, rehabilitation projects for the oustees in pocket number 10.

Extension of MC building

In 2004 the MC submitted drawings of extension plans of their own building but till date nothing has been done by the chief architect department. In fact, the water harvesting project is hanging fire for long because till the building plan is approved and completed the MC authorities cannot instal it.

Allotment of fish market

In 2007, the UT Administration proposed to construct an air-conditioned fish market as a majority of fish vendors in the city were doing their business under unhygienic conditions from temporary outlets where there was no provision of proper cutting, loading and unloading of fish. Keeping this fact in view, the UT Administration constructed a fish market in Sector 41 comprising 12 booths and handed it over the MC for auctioning them. The auction of the MC flopped as nobody turned up after which the MC made a suggestion to the UT Administration to lease out these booths. But till date the administration has not given its approval. Resultantly the project is lying unused.



Get a free ride to polling booth on Dec 17
Amit Sharma /TNS

Chandigarh, December 14
If you get a call early in the morning on December 17 offering you a ride to the polling station, don’t be surprised, it will be party workers of one of the parties ensuring that you reach the polling booth to cast your vote on time.

Parties these days are busy updating their phone books with the phone numbers of voters and their address to call them and offer a free ride.

As the elections are round the corner, all parties have started counting the voters and ensuring that they cast their vote. Apart from reminding them the days and time for casting the votes, the parties are also busy planning as to who will be providing services to residents in which part of the ward.

Meena Sharma, a Chandigarh Jan Manch candidate from Ward No. 8, said that she had come across many residents who asked her whether the vehicles from her party would also pick and drop them back on the poll day.

“It is open that the prominent parties have already fixed with the electorates that they would be picked and dropped back for supporting them in the elections”, Sharma said.

The candidates from prominent parties will be relying on vehicles owned by the party workers and there are candidates who have also hired taxis for the day.

A worker of a national party said that duties had already been assigned to the workers. “Our party workers will visit the door steps of voters early in the morning and offer them the service”, he said

One of the candidates contesting the elections said that this was actually a last minute effort to attract neutral votes towards the party. “The voters being offered a ride to the polling booth could help in making last minute changes in the voters’ mind”, he said. 



Security beefed up for Vice-President’s visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
The UT police has been leaving no stone unturned in beefing up the security arrangements for the visit of Vice-President Hamid Ansari who would be coming for the PU Annual Convocation. The UT police has decided to depute over 1000 policemen during the Vice-President’s visit.

The Panjab University, which is already under security radar for the MC elections, will have special check-points at each entry gate from tomorrow with rigorous search operation. The university has been asked to submit detailed list of its employees with a special reference to those who are expected to be at the convocation. Special entry passes have been provided to the university which will be distributed among the staff and students. Entry to campus without designated identity cards has been banned.

“We have worked out an elaborate security plan which will include route diversions, anti-search operation and check-points. We have already asked the university to hand out special passes for the convocation and will monitor entry to campus on December 16,” said SSP Naunihal Singh.

Among the other VIPs who are flying down for convocation are Sushma Swaraj, leader of opposition, UT Administrator Shivraj Patil, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia.

Probe panel

We have worked out an elaborate security plan which will include route diversions, anti-search operation and check-points. We have already asked the university to hand out special passes for the convocation and will monitor entry to campus on December 16. — Naunihal Singh, SSP



Phase revisited
Civic body does nothing to improve facilities in Phase XI
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 14
Illegal rehri menace, stray cattle, unsatisfactory state of sanitation and faulty drainage system has been annoying the residents of Phase XI. Not much has been done by the authorities concerned over the past three months when the issue was highlighted in these columns.

Vendors have put up stalls along a road in Phase XI of Mohali.

Burning of garbage adds to air pollution.

During heavy shower, rainwater enters houses, a problem faced by residents over the past many years because of the undersized sewer lines, but nothing has been done so far to mitigate the problem despite repeated requests.

A large number of rehris are illegally parked along the main road during the evening leading to traffic congestion. Even footpaths are encroached upon by vendors, who display various items on folding beds. Rehris are also illegally parked on the road leading to a government school. Parks in the area are being used by residents for parking vehicles and drying clothes. Problem of stray cattle is prominent as residents complain that cattle often damage green belts maintained by them.

A vendor has put up an illegal stall in a park.

Stray cattle roam freely in the area.

Though the main road has been repaired, internal roads in certain areas cry for attention. Sanitation is also not up to the mark. Garbage is often dumped on vacant space close to a gurdwara.

Sukhminder Singh Barnala, former municipal councillor, said the entry point to Mohali from Sector 48, Chandigarh, was in a state of neglect even though the authorities concerned had decided to beautify it. Only about 50 per cent of the streetlights on this part of the road were functioning.

He said every time it rained heavily water entered houses because of undersized pipes laid by PUDA more than two decades ago. A work estimate to the tune of Rs 1.49 crore was prepared by the department of public health for changing pipes. This was sent to GMADA for granting funds but nothing had been done so far.



No traffic lights on Zirakpur-Parwanoo highway
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 14
In the absence of traffic lights on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo highway near the Baltana  link road, heavy traffic has become a nightmare for residents of the adjoining areas. To make the matter worse, tractor-trailers and trucks loaded with construction material remain parked along the highway and link road putting commuters to inconvenience.

Sources said accidents were a routine affair on the stretch. They added that three lives had been snuffed out in separate mishaps recently. A cyclist died after being hit by a speeding truck on Wednesday.

Residents of the area have been demanding the authorities to get the traffic lights installed for the past one year, but neither the local administration nor NHAI paid any heed to their pleas. They lamented that the suppliers of construction material had encroached upon the highway and link road.

They had brought the matter to the notice of the Zirakpur municipal council officials many a times, but nothing had been done so far, they added. They alleged that traffic cops present on duty remained busy challaning violators.

One of the residents alleged that the traffic police had installed a pedestal for managing the traffic on the highway near the Baltana link road, but one could never see a cop standing there.

A traffic police official claimed that they had deployed cops to manage the traffic.

Mohit, a resident of Baltana, said a large number of tractor-trailers loaded with sand and construction material were parked on the roadside leading to traffic jams. He alleged that the municipal council officials had turned a blind eye to the violation.

Zirakpur Executive Officer Parminder Singh stated that the council was planning to charge tax from the suppliers, who were running their business from private sites. The decision was taken in a recent meeting of the civic body, he added.

Man crushed to death

Zirakpur: A 63-year-old man was crushed to death when his cycle was hit by a speeding truck near the Baltana link road on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo highway here this afternoon.

The deceased was identified as Hayat Singh, a resident of Vasant Vihar, Phase II, Dhakoli. The police said the accident occurred when Hayat Singh was on his way to Baltana, when a truck coming from Zirakpur side hit his cycle. He fell down and was run over by the truck.

Meanwhile, the truck driver managed to flee from the spot leaving the truck behind. The investigating officer stated that a case had been registered against driver of the truck Paramjit Singh, a resident of Pinjore. The body was sent to GMCH-32 for an autopsy.



Fire-fighting arrangements found inadequate at Civil Hospital
Kulwinder Sangha

An OPD of the Civil Hospital in Phase VI of Mohali lacks fire-fighting equipment. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, December 14
The local Civil Hospital is functioning without adequate fire-fighting arrangements. It has yet to acquire a no objection certificate from the fire brigade authorities.

Though fire extinguishers were seen installed in various parts of the hospital, the number was quite inadequate. During a round of the hospital, it was seen that fire extinguishers were installed outside the emergency wing, near the labour room, operating theatre and general ward. One such equipment was also seen installed inside the emergency wing. Major part of the OPD block did not have any fire extinguishers.

The extended block of the Civil Hospital also lacked fire-fighting arrangements. The office of the Civil Surgeon and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Centre were functioning from this part of the building.

It is learnt that the hospital has only 14 fire extinguishers in various parts of the building against the requirement of 32. The fire brigade officials have also asked the hospital authorities to install hose reels in the building as part of fire-fighting arrangements. The hospital has two main entry and exit points though two exit points are also made available at the rear of the building.

SMO in charge of the hospital Dr Rajeev Bhalla said a fire drill was carried out in the hospital with the help of fire brigade officials. Such an exercise was a prerequisite under the National Accreditation Board of Hospitals. He said there was no point of installing various gadgets if the staff members did not know how to use these. He said fire extinguishers were short but quotations for the installation of more such gadgets had been called. The shortcomings would be removed at the earliest.

An official of the fire brigade said about two months ago the hospital authorities had approached the fire brigade to know what shortcomings were seen in the building so that the necessary steps could be taken to make it safe for patients from the fire angle. The hospital was found short of fire extinguishers and other fire-fighting arrangements. A no objection certificate could be given only after all arrangements were found in place and in accordance with norms. The hospital did not have any basement where a special fire fighting system was required. The wiring in the building was found to be okay, he added.



Akalis paved way for skyscrapers in city: Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
The Akalis have violated the Chandigarh Pheriphery Act with impunity thereby paving the way for massive sky scrapers, including Tata Camelot project without the clearance of the Environment Ministry. These allegations were leveled by Congress contesting candidate Chander Mukhi Sharma against SAD-BJP contesting candidate Harjinder Kaur from Ward No. 15 that her party had been working against the interest of the residents of Chandigarh. In fact she had never opposed her party’s decisions which affected the smooth development of the city.

Raising the issue of denying the water share from Kajauli Water Works phase 5 and 6 to Chandigarh, Chander Mukhi Sharma said that despite the approval of the project by the Central government, Punjab SAD-BJP alliance Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal scrapped the project and denied the share of water to Chandigarh.

Sharma stated that due to opposition of the Akali government, Panjab University was deprived of getting central university status. He said that this proposal was rejected by the Akalis with the plea that the Centre should give the status of central university to Bathinda rather than Chandigarh.

Demanding to clear the Akalis stand on Chandigarh as to whether the city should be merged with Punjab or not, Chander Mukhi Sharma said as Harjinder Kaur had a double face she had not cleared her party’s stand on this issue in her manifesto.

Alleging that there is hardly any development work done in the Ward No.15 during Harjinder Kaur’s regime, Chander Mukhi Sharma said that lapsing of the development fund proved that she had not nursed her ward properly in the last five years. Harjinder Kaur, however, said that all these allegations levelled by the Congress candidate were baseless.



MC officials seal 21 mobile towers in Pinjore
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 14
With mobile companies failing to complete formalities on time, the municipal corporation today went on a sealing spree in Pinjore.

A number of mobile towers were sealed by a team of the civic body led by Pinjore BDPO Raj Kumar.

The officials started the drive from Himshikha area.

A senior MC official, Gopal Kalawat, said despite issuing directions to the mobile companies to seek an approval and complete all formalities on time, the latter did not do so.

He said 18 towers were sealed in the urban area of Pinjore, while three were sealed in the rural area.

Airtel, Tata Docomo, Vodaphone, Reliance, BSNL, Spice, Indus, and Vediocon are among the violators. The move is likely to affect the mobile services in the area once the diesel in generators starts exhausting.

Airtel Executive Officer Lakhbir Singh while resenting the move of the MC said action was taken without serving them any notices. He said they had requested the authorities to give them 15 days to complete the formalities. He added that they had deposited a demand draft in the MC’s office, but the same was sent back on November 11 without citing any reason.



Impounded vehicles occupy prime space
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Impounded vehicles laden with goods continue to be a headache for both the UT Excise and Taxation Department as well as public.

In the absence of a designated godown, the officials of the department have been forced to park impounded vehicles in public parking areas of Sector 17, which is already grappling with the shortage of parking space.

While officials complain that safeguarding these vehicles parked in the open is a nightmare for them, occupation of huge space in public parking areas by these vehicles causes annoyance to public.

“The parking lots in Sector 17 are usually packed to their capacity. To compound the problem, the department has parked these trucks in a small parking lot meant for visitors and staff of the DC office,” says an employee while pointing towards four loaded trucks that have been parked in the parking area in front of the UT Deputy Commissioner’s office for the past one week.

“We have no option. The administration has failed to allot any designated godown in spite of our repeated requests. We have to examine goods out in the open to assess their value and depute our officials to keep a vigil on these vehicles at night,” says a senior official of the department.

Some truck operators have managed to flee along with their loaded vehicles at night or removed goods from vehicles to reduce the penalty.

A report highlighting the issue had appeared in these columns on October 7 but no action had been taken yet.

The department has so far this year collected over Rs 1.2 crore in penalty from vehicle operators entering the city without requisite documents.

Double trouble

While officials complain that safeguarding these vehicles parked in the open is a nightmare for them, occupation of huge space in public parking areas by these vehicles causes annoyance to public.



Three policemen suspended for sleeping on duty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Senior police officials have suspended a UT police head constable and two constables, who were found sleeping in their PCR vehicles while on duty.

They were suspended by DSP (East) Jaswant Singh Khaira, who was on a round to check the alertness of the police.

Head constable Tarlochan Singh, constable Pardeep Kumar and constable Jatinder Singh were placed under suspension.

The night checking was part of a drill.

In addition, in view of the upcoming municipal corporation elections to curb the rising number of theft/burglary incidents, the police conducted verification of 27 persons, who were moving in the city aimlessly during odd hours late last night.

The police has booked 13 persons for loitering as preventive action under Section 109 CrPc, while the remaining ones were let off after checking.



Forensic lab refuses to accept samples, courtesy staff crunch
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 14
The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) set up in Phase IV here is not accepting samples for examination due to staff shortage.

Samples sent by Faridkot SSP in connection with a case of murder were not received by the laboratory as there were no experts to carry out the examination at present.

The SSP had sent two samples through Bindar Singh. One sample was of an empty cartridge of .12 bore gun and the other was of pellets, which were removed from the body of Ashwini Kumar during an autopsy. A case under Sections 302, 307, 323 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 27, 54, 59 of the Arms Act was registered at the Kotkapura (City) police station in this regard. The SSP wanted to know whether the pellets removed were from the .12 bore gun.

An official of the science laboratory stated in writing that the laboratory was reeling under shortage of experts and officials. A large number of cases are lying pending.



HC judges, advocates donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
The Bar, the Bench and the employees of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today came together for a cause -- blood donation.

Organised by the High Court Blood Contributors' Club through social activist-cum-senior advocate ML Sarin, nearly 288 donors came forward to donate blood in the camp this morning.

The donors included Justice Hemant Gupta, Justice Mahesh Grover, Justice Augustine George Masih, Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Rameshwar Malik. The camp was inaugurated by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who also appreciated the efforts of senior advocate Sarin for organising the camp.



DCI picks holes in dental college
Masters course denied for equipment, faculty faults

Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Leaving Panjab University red in face Dental Council of India has asked it to fulfil various infrastructure and faculty deficiencies in Bachelor Dental Surgery (BDS) course running in Dr HSJ Dental College before asking permission to open Masters degree in Dental Surgery.

The DCI has stated that while the college lacks over 80 major medical equipment it also needs to ensure that staff members, who don’t have required number of publications as specified by DCI, are pulled out. It was also highlighted that although the team’s visit to the college was pre-planned the then principal SP Singh and four faculty members were absent.

“The request for MDS came as a shock to us as the college was granted permanent recognition for its BDS course in May this year. The varsity is yet to consolidate that course. From what we got to know that then Dr Guaba had an unceremonious exit and ever since then the college got no regular director principal. A professor of pharmaceutical sciences is currently looking after it. The college lacks equipment mandatory for quality teaching at Bachelor level. We asked for compliance of inspection report in November but still waiting for it,” said an official from Dental Council of India. Interestingly the request for this course has left various senators fuming over house not been being informed about it.

“It is a sheer mockery of both senate and syndicate. Possibility of having a course in particular department is debated in both houses and only then do we send out requests. The authorities have surpassed the house and as usual gone ahead demanding a course without even having a proper infrastructure. The issue will surely be taken in the senate.”



Woman power
70 pc PU toppers are girls
Schemes aid girls to touch sky

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Just like last year, PU’s 61st convocation on December 16 will be a celebration of women power on campus as out of 475 toppers 351 are girls. The girls have also left their mark in research as out of 215 PhD degrees to be handed over during the convocation as many as 125 degrees belong to women candidates.

This trend has existed in the university for a decade now and the university has established itself as a major pioneer in women education and authorities credit it to their women friendly schemes.

“PU ever since its establishment here has worked for women education. We have been running several schemes like reserving seats for single girl child to promote women education. The quality of hostels plus safe and peaceful environ helps in getting women students from the region,” said Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti.

The boys however hold high enrolment ratio.

“A present the boy is to girl enrolment ratio is 4:1. Every year PU comes out with special schemes to aid girl students and I think it’s high time that even boys should get some benefits under similar schemes,” said a student leader.



Sobti to receive PCMA award on Dec 16
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Professor RC Sobti will be conferred the PCMA award for Excellence in Higher Education by the Punjab Commerce and Management Association (PCMA) on December 16. This award is being given to Prof Sobti in recognition of his immense contribution to the field of management of higher education. “His contribution towards the development of Panjab University as its Vice-Chancellor is a matter of pride for the entire North India,” said Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha, president of PCMA.

The PCMA confers this award every year to recognise the contribution of eminent educational administrators who have excelled in administration and development of higher education.



Three-day chrysanthemum exhibition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Three-day chrysanthemum exhibition started at Prof RC Paul Rose Garden, Panjab University, today. Vice-Chancellor’s wife Professor Vipin Sobti, inaugurated the exhibition.

Over 84 varieties of chrysanthemum and 3,000 potted plants were exhibited along with the winner of Municipal Corporation’s show held recently.

The biggest attraction at the show was flower arrangements in the form of butterflies.

All appreciated the exhibition, which has become varsity’s annual feature. Vipin Sobti applauded the effort put by the horticulture division.



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