C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Record 59.37% polling in UT
5 wards log over 70 pc voting; stray cases of violence reported
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
In spite of stray incidents of violence, the Union Territory today witnessed highest-ever poll percentage of 59.37 — a jump of over 14 per cent from the last elections — in the municipal corporation elections today. The results will be declared on December 19.

Violence was witnessed at Dev Samaj College, Sector 45, where BJP and Congress workers attacked each other amidst allegations of fake voting. A group clash was also witnessed in Sector 30. Election officials said the elections were by and large peaceful.

The city has a poor history in terms of voter turnout in the civic elections. While 45.77 per cent polling was witnessed in 1996, it dipped to 31.80 per cent in 2001 before rising back to 45.12 in 2006. The voters sealed the fate of 152 candidates by casting their ballot at 459 polling stations today.

Ward No. 1, which has seen poor voter turnouts in the past, recorded 52.08 per cent voting this time. For the first time in the MC elections, five wards registered polling of over 70 per cent. Only two wards registered voter turnout below 50 per cent, including ward No. 9 (46 per cent) and ward No. 21 (49.93 per cent).

Long queues of voters were witnessed since morning at polling stations in colonies and slum areas, whereas voting in the urban wards picked up only in the afternoon.

While wards comprising slums and colonies registered around 30 per cent polling by 10 am, in urban sectors, only 12 per cent polling was recorded.

Voting picked up in the urban areas and by noon 30 per cent polling was registered. It steadily increased and by 2 pm it rose to 40 per cent and till 4 pm, 50 per cent of voters had exercised their franchise.

Colony voters once again showed their enthusiasm in exercising their right to franchise. There was a festive mood in wards comprising colonies and slums as voters came dressed up to the polling booths to cast their ballot. Senior citizens of the city also showed keen interest in casting their vote.

Disappointed with the polling arrangements made by the election department, first-time voter Sanjay, a resident of Dhanas, said he had been standing in a queue to cast his vote since 8.30 am, but even till 12.30 pm he could not cast his vote.



Right to Reject
Clueless poll officials turn voters away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
A sizeable number of voters had come prepared to exercise their right to reject all candidates in their respective wards during the polling for the municipal corporation elections today. However, the polling officers had no clue about the procedure to be followed, leading to complaints and processions.

Voters were stunned to find that “the ‘efficient’ presiding officers were not even aware of Form No. 11-A”.

The annoyed voters and members of various NGOs staged protests outside polling stations for the faux pas. However, all efforts to get Form No. 11-A turned futile and a number of voters had to return home without exercising their right to vote.

Election officers and media offices were flooded with queries from a cross-section of voters, saying they had been sent back from the polling stations without being allowed to exercise their right to reject.

A random survey of different polling stations revealed that a large number of voters were denied the form to exercise their right to reject by the presiding officers.

Complaints were also made by the voters about the non-availability of the form to exercise their right to reject at Vikas Nagar, Dadu Majra, Sectors 23, 44 and 45. The Election Commission of India has made a provision of right to reject for which a voter has to fill out Form 11-A. At all polling stations, the polling officers maintain a register in which the voters have to put in their signatures. It also has a column in which the voter can mention his choice of not voting for any candidate.

Atma Singh Garewal, resident of Sector 33, filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India stating that the presiding officer of polling booth No. 223 did not provide him with the form to exercise his right to reject in the elections. He said it was a mockery of the electoral system as on the one hand, the department had been urging voters to use their right to reject, while on the other their duty officers were clueless about Form No. 11-A.

Feeling cheated, Yashmita Malik of Sector 45 and Sushma Seth of Sector 45 said despite the claims of the election commission of raising awareness among voters about the right to reject, they failed to educate their own staff on election duty about the procedures to be followed.

Team Anna representative Rahul Bhartiya alleged that all presiding officers at polling booths were unaware of Form No. 11-A. He said they would file a complaint with the Election Commission tomorrow.



Siblings' murder
Boy stabbed 13 times, sister 8
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The mystery surrounding the gruesome murder of teenage siblings — Kavita and Gaurang Sahu — in Sector 41 yesterday has further deepened with the police failing to get any concrete lead in the case even 24 hours after the murder.

Postmortem of the two suggested that Gaurang was stabbed 13 times, while his sister Kavita was stabbed eight times by the killer.

Extensive use of their mother’s mobile phone by the two siblings, especially at late-night hours; close association of Kavita with a youth in neighbourhood, who turned out to be a drug addict; victims’ father leaving the city without even looking at his children’s bodies or meeting the police — all have led to many unanswered questions.

Ghastly act

The postmortem of Kavita and Gaurang Sahu’s bodies conducted at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, today laid bare the brazenness and the brutality with which both were done to death.

While 15-year-old Gaurang had 13 stab wounds on his body, including six in the heart and four on the neck, Kavita had been attacked with the same knife eight times. She bore four wounds on the neck.

The broken knife laid testimony to the fact that the two were killed ruthlessly. The police said the attack was preplanned.

Parents had taken away their mobiles

The police has established that the mobile phones belonging to both victims were not in use for some time as these were taken away by their mother Malti Devi. Both Kavita and Gaurang had been using their mother’s mobile phone extensively for conversations with their friends at night.

Gaurang’s phone was switched off on December 13, while Kavita’s phone had not been in use for the past one month.

Siblings’ uncle Kirpa Dutt said Malti had taken away their mobile phones as their phone bills had been abnormally high. “Kavita’s phone bills were way off limit and so were Gaurang’s. That is why we took away their mobile phones,” he said. Investigations also pointed towards strained relations between the parents.

Youth visited girl frequently

The police today questioned over 30 persons, including a number of friends of the two, at the crime branch in Sector 11 to get some clues. The police has rounded up six persons, including two drug addicts, one of whom used to frequently visit the girl. Those rounded up include Jatin of Sector 15, Pawan of Maloya, Jatinder of Balongi, and Naveen and Siddarth of Sector 41. The police also questioned a female friend of Gaurang. Another girl from Dadu Majra, Kavita’s friend, was also quizzed by the police.

Among those rounded up is a mechanic, who was in touch with Kavita over the phone. He told the police that he was contacted by the family as they were planning to sell off their Kinetic scooter to him. The police has recovered a sweater from the scene and suspected it to be that of a mason.

Father leaves without seeing bodies

The victims’ father, Umesh Sahu, did not see his children’s bodies as he arrived in the city at 1 am today. However, he was not present at the hospital where the postmortem was conducted and left for Mewat with his wife and relatives without even meeting the police. He was called back from Kurukshetra to give his statement to the police. Umesh’s younger brother and other relatives received the body after the postmortem.

Losing childhood friends

In a state of trauma ever since he got the news of losing his childhood friend, Jatin, a class-XII student, said he last spoke with Gaurang on Thursday night. “He told me that we will meet soon as we had not met for a long time. We celebrated his birthday on November 7. Both were frequent visitors to my place. It’s an irreparable loss for me,” he said. Gaurang had last updated his Facebook account on December 15.


1st time and raring to go
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Eighteen-year-old Shreya, a BCA final year student of SD College, never misses her tuitions; however, today she changed her daily schedule just to exercise her ‘Right to Vote’. Feeling proud of having an ink mark on her finger for the first time Shreya said it was the responsibility of every youth who turns 18 to cast their vote.

Although Shreya, preferred to keep her selection of candidate a secret, she mentioned that her chosen candidate had to fulfil three prerequisites- candidate must be well educated, have a vision and shouldn’t have a criminal background.

Sudheer (19), another youngster, who also cast his vote for the first time said, “I am quite thrilled after voting for the first time”.

He further said that he had keenly been following the politics of the Municipal Corporation and development work done in city in the last five years. “Finally I got to participate in the process and vote for the candidate I wish would win”, said Sudheer a student of Post- Graduate Government College, Sector 11. While some were inspired by social activist Anna Hazare's stand against corruption and decided to vote for a change, others voted to play their role of a responsible citizen.

Hardinder Verma, another first timer, said it was not easy to decide as to who I should vote for. Both parties have their own merits and demerits, however, after analysing all the candidates I voted for the candidate whom I thought to be suitable for representing the residents. For me even a single vote matters”, Verma added.

Esha Sohar Lepcha, another youngster, had firmly decided to vote for a change. “After seeing Anna Hazare's stand against corruption, I have also decided to be firm and vote for change”, he said.

For all of them it was a memorable experience to vote for the first time and they pledged to continue exercising their right and motivate others too.



Slum voters put best foot forward
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The polling day turned out to be a festive day for the voters residing in various colonies across the city. A majority of voters dressed up in new clothes were seen coming out from the slums and rushing towards the polling stations to cast their ballot.

The scene in the colonies was different today with maids, labourers, and other working class getting ready not to go to work, but to vote.

The excitement to exercise their ballot could be witnessed among the colony voters who started assembling outside the booths early in the morning. Long queues were witnessed outside the polling booths falling under the wards comprising the colonies.

Interestingly, the booths close to the slums were seen crowded with people who after casting their votes gathered outside the booths for hours to witness the election scene. The election was no less then a fair for the children residing in slums who had also gathered near the booths.

In a bid to mint money the ‘rehri walas’ selling sweets and snacks also stationed themselves close to the booths to offer refreshments to the voters.

Autos and cycle-rickshaws were seen waiting for the voters coming out of the colonies offering them free pick and drop facility to the nearest polling station. The supporters of the candidates contesting elections were ferrying the voters on to the polling stations.

The poll day also forced ‘Mem Saab’ to do their daily chores as their domestic helps did not turn up due to the polls. Simran Virk, a resident of Sector 44, said that her maid called her up early in the morning and told her that she would be late at work as she was going to cast her vote. “I had to clean the entire house and wash all the dishes on my own”, Virk said.

Vaishali Sood, another Sector 27 resident, said that she also had to go through similar circumstances when her maid informed her that she would come at work in the afternoon as she had to cast her vote.



Strong even in twilight zone
Aarti Kapur/TNS

Chandigarh, December 17
Setting an unparallel example for those who avoid exercising their ‘right to vote’, 94-year-old Maya Devi who turned up at one of the polling booths at Dhanas showed her enthusiasm towards her right and gave a strong message to those not interested in voting that voting was not just a right but a duty for every citizen.

Maya Devi speaking to The Tribune said that she has never missed a chance to vote whether it was MC elections or Lok Sabha polls. “I have always exercised my right and have always encouraged the others to vote. After years of struggle we got our freedom and the right to vote, now it is our duty to utilize this right”, she said.

Another example of dedication and enthusiasm was 49-year-old Bhagat Singh who could barely walk, had travelled all the way to the polling station in Sector 45 to cast his vote. “I want to prove that the “right to vote” cannot be compromised upon in any case. This should be a message for the youngsters who have not caste their vote even once”, Singh said.

The list of enthusiastic voters does not end here; 91-year-old Rameshwar Dass Bhandari also proved the voting was not just a right but also the duty towards the country. “We have no right to complain about the system, if don’t vote”, Bhandari said.



SMS support for candidates
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Desperate to register a win in the civic polls, the last minute efforts to attract the voters continued even hours before the polls with mobiles phones of electorates flooded with ‘vote, support and elect’ SMSes.

In a bid to draw the support of neutral voters, the supporters of candidates continued their SMS service for the voters of their wards.

SMSes like - Bless us with your vote and make the candidate successful’ continued pouring-in.

Although the campaigning had ended, to avoid any trouble, the candidates refrained from sending SMSes to the voters, however, a majority of candidates reportedly began making calls to senior residents and party loyalist early in the morning seeking their blessings.

A supporter of one of the prominent party in Ward No 16 said that they had already compiled a data containing phone numbers of the electorates and SMSes were sent to them.

Independent candidates contesting the elections also sent SMSes mentioning about their election symbols and any kind of assistance required by the voters to reach the polling stations.

Mandeep Singh, one of the voters, said that he was surprised to see his mobile flooded with SMSes from unknown numbers requesting to support their candidates.

In fact party supporters even rang up the voters informing them about the polling time and ensuring they cast their vote. “It was at 7 am when I got a call from my neighbour asking me to support an independent candidate contesting from ward 5. he informed me about his election symbol and voting hours”, said Vishal Sharma, a resident of Sector 40.

At your service

The pick-and-drop service offered by leaders of various parties continued from early in the morning till late evening. Party supporters openly ferried voters to the polling venues.



Five hurt in poll violence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Violence was witnessed at a polling booth at Dev Samaj College in Sector 45 this evening when rival parties clashed with their supporters pelting stones at each other alleging that the Congress supporters were casting fake votes.

High drama was witnessed when the police stopped some BJP agents from entering the polling booth following which they alleged that Congress workers were already inside and were casting bogus votes. Four persons were injured following the incident and police has registered a case.

Sanjay Tandon, local president, BJP, said the Congress supporters began pelting stones at them when they were confronting the police.

A huge posse of police gathered to control the agitating mob. The drama occurred for quite some time with supporters of the BSP, the BJP and other parties accusing the Congress of casting fake votes. The Congress activists however, denied the allegations.

In another case of violence reported at the polling booth of Guru Nanak Public School in Sector 30, the supporters of BJP and the Congress clashed with each other and one person was injured. The police registered a case and arrested one Romi for the attack.

Clashes and brawls were also witnessed at a polling booth in Sector 26 in the morning.



First-timers speak
Great expectations
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
With residents of City Beautiful turning out in large numbers to use their right to vote, the candidates standing for the Municipal Election 2011 have finally heaved a sigh of relief.

Everyone is now waiting for December 19, when the results of the elections will be out. The Tribune correspondent Deepankar Sharda, spoke to those candidates who are fighting the UT Municipal Corporation elections for the first time.




Residents to witness more chill in coming days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
With the minimum temperature plummeting by about 6 degrees during the last 10 days, the city’s minimum temperature nearly touches to that of Shimla. Residents of the tricity are likely to witness more chill in the coming days as the minimum temperature, recorded at 5.2 degrees Celsius today, is likely to cross that of Shimla where the minimum temperature was at 4 degrees Celsius.

Weatherman predicted that such conditions would prevail for another two to three days, bringing down the day and night temperature in the region. The main reason for this has been attributed to the dry conditions and western disturbances. The winds were passing at higher latitude causing no rain in the region.

The maximum temperature had seen an increase of sharp decline today, which was recorded at 19.4 degrees Celsius, minus two degrees departure from normal, as compared to 20 degrees Celsius on Friday. Similarly, the minimum temperature was recorded at 5.2 degrees Celsius, minus two degrees departure from normal.

The weatherman predicted mainly clear sky in the tricity with mist or haze during morning and evening hours. The maximum temperature on Sunday would be around 20ºC and minimum temperature on Monday was likely to increase by one degree to 6ºC.

The met department has further predicted sunny days in Punjab and Haryana with fog or mist during morning and evening hours. However, ground frost is likely to occur at isolated places in these states during the next 48 hours, the weatherman warned.



Kalka-Shimla Section
Now, luxury chartered train for foreign tourists
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
In order to attract foreign tourists in the region, the Indian Railways Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is set to introduce a luxury chartered train from Kalka to Shimla.

The first such train in the northern region is likely to leave the Kalka railway station on January 16 and the tourists will be able to soak up the scenic beauty of the “Queen of Hills” and other tourist spots along the way. The tourists will have to shell out between $ 120 and $ 150 for a one-way trip.

Talking with The Tribune, IRCTC Chief Regional Manager RK Sondh said the train was being introduced with a view to target foreign tourists who visited the capital city of Himachal Pradesh throughout the year.

He said the chartered train would leave the Kalka railway station in the morning and return in the evening.

Sondh said they were also planning to provide drinks to their travellers during the trip. Steps were being taken to seek liquor licences from the authorities concerned in this regard.

He said the chartered train to South India as part of the Bharat Darshan initiative would leave on January 7. The train would visit Tirupati and Mahabaleshwaram. The first halt of the train would be at Shirdi and those wishing to travel on the train would have to shell out Rs 5,500 for the 11-day tour, he added.

A team of doctors would be provided on the train to take care of the devotees in case of an emergency.

Arrangements would also be made to accommodate passengers, who want to leave the train on health grounds, in other trains, subject to availability of seats, for their return journey.

He said over 10,000 persons had travelled on these chartered trains under their Bharat Darshan initiative.



No letup in heritage auctions
Now, Chicago-based firm sells two sets of stools
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
A day after a New York-based auction house sold city heritage furniture items, a Chicago-based auction house put heritage items under the hammer yesterday. Wright, a Chicago-based auction house, sold two sets of stools, designed by Le Corbusier’s cousin Pierre Jeanneret, from the Chandigarh College of Architecture.

Wright auctioned these stools under the “important design” category. The auction house website revealed that a pair of stool made of teak and steel dating back to 1960 was auctioned for $ 15,000 against the starting bid price ranging between $ 8,000 and $ 10,000.

Similarly, another pair of stool from Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) was auctioned for $ 16,250 against the reserved price of $ 8,000 to $ 10,000.

This is the fourth auction of heritage furniture by the auction houses overseas in the past two months.

Earlier on March 31, the same auction house had sold a pair of armchairs belonging to the Punjab and Haryana High Court for $ 1,04,500 against a starting bid price of $ 15,000 to $ 20,000 along with a teakwood sofa from Panjab University for $ 88,900.

A stool from the Chandigarh College of Architecture fetched $ 20,000 against a starting base price of $5,000 to $7,000.

Despite the fact that the auction houses overseas continue to sell heritage items from the city, the UT administration has so far failed to complete the heritage inventory.

Besides, the administration remains clueless about the furniture items that have been disappearing from various government departments.

Inventory not ready

Despite the fact that the auction houses overseas continue to sell heritage items from the city, the UT administration has so far failed to complete the heritage inventory



apni mandis
Vendors add to chaos
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, December 17
The places earmarked for apni mandis here are turning into general bazars, with sellers of non-agricultural items creating chaos both for buyers as well as the passing traffic.

Non-agricultural items like loose spices, pickles, “jalebis”, noodles, garments, kitchenware are available in abundance around apni mandis.

While these sellers used to go about their unauthorised businesses with little hindrance earlier, the municipal council later stepped in to collect “tehbazari” fee from them.

However, the role of the council seems to end there, even as the sellers create chaos in the mandi areas. The civic body has made no effort to ensure that such vendors function in an organised manner, a little distance away from the apni mandis.

The aim of starting apni mandis was to provide fresh vegetables at reasonable rates to consumers and better prices for farmers by eliminating the middlemen.

These mandis are run by the Punjab Mandi Board and farmers have to pay a nominal fee to sell their produce there.

However, migrants selling vegetables and fruits slowly started operating from the mandis, much to the annoyance of farmers.

Heated arguments were earlier witnessed between farmers and migrants at the mandis. To put an end to this, the mandi board officials later decided to allow migrants to operate from the same area by paying the required fee.

The employees of the Kharar Market Committee, which runs these mandis here, blame the civic body and the police for not regulating “unauthorised vendors”, as they do not fall within the purview of the market committee.

PS Virdi, president, Consumers Protection Federation, said vendors selling non-agricultural items should be discouraged from operating from the area near the apni mandis.

They not only create chaos around the area but also sell sub-standard products. Officials of the health department have failed to collect samples of such products on a regular basis.

Rajinder Sharma, a former municipal councillor, said the SDM concerned had visited apni mandis a few months ago and directed the civic body to collect “tehbazari” fee from vendors selling non-agricultural items.

He had also directed that such vendors should be made to function from an area close to the apni mandi instead of allowing them to set up stalls as per their convenience, leading to chaos. But nothing was done by the council on this front, he added.



City-Siswan Road
Stone for Rs 325-cr widening work laid
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur (Mohali), December 17
Even as the Punjab government is yet to rechristen Mullanpur-township as “New Chandigarh”, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal yesterday described the upcoming township as the “New Chandigarh Mega City” while laying the foundation stone of Rs 325-crore Chandigarh-Siswan road widening project.

Work on the project — that was stopped midway last year — has been started again after getting clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The 200-foot-wide Chandigarh to Siswan T-junction 8-km road would be six-laned and would have three eight-lane bridges. It would be completed in 16 months.

Addressing a rally after laying the foundation stone, Sukhbir said the “mega city” would provide quality housing besides offering world-class institutional area, including IT City, MediCity and an aviation maintenance and training institute.

Sukhbir also laid the foundation stone of Rs 2.5-crore 66 kV grid station at Seonk village. He announced 100 per cent drinking water and sewerage coverage and assured to upgrade its infrastructure.

Batting for MLA Ujjagar Singh Badali, he said concerted efforts were being made to develop the area. He handed over a cheque for Rs 1.6 crore for development.

It’s all in the name

In a bid to cash in on Chandigarh’s stature of being the first planned city of the country, the Punjab government, while batting for private realtors, had decided to rename Mullanpur township, adjoining the PGI, as “New Chandigarh” last year. Though the agenda was passed in a meeting of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Board chaired by the Chief Minister, the decision was never notified by the state government



Potable water for 395 villages
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 17
The potable drinking water is being supplied to 395 villages of Mohali, out of which 129 villages fall in Dera Bassi block, 111 villages in Majri block and 155 villages in Kharar block.

Giving information, executive engineer, rural water supply and sanitation, Mohali, said these blocks were suffering from shortage of drinking water. There was acute shortage of drinking water in 143 villages and people were ready to deposit beneficiary share as per guidelines of World Bank. The complete beneficiary share from about 143 villages has been collected in last three years. The state government has administratively approved new schemes under different programmes for these villages such as NRDWSP during this period.

During the last three years, the district had achieved success in providing potable drinking water to villagers.

He said during a visit of senior-level officials of World Bank in July 2011, after visiting different schemes of Mohali they assessed the satisfaction level of consumers.

Delegates also saw the quality of construction work and the villagers shared their experiences and expressed complete satisfaction regarding functioning of the commissioned schemes being operated by GPWSC’S of their villages. The team appreciated the management, administration and good governance, initiatives for effective functioning of the commissioned water supply schemes.

Now 43 villages will be covered under World Bank assisted project during this financial year March 31, 2012, he added.



Week-long New Year celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Chandigarh administration along with the Business Promotion Council, Sector 17, is set to celebrate a week-long “The New Year Extravaganza” from December 25 to 31.

A series of entertainment activities, including dances, live performances, musical nites, international cultural performances and fireworks, will take place throughout the week at the Sector-17 piazza, here.

“Visitors will witness live performance by a renowned band, ‘Sounds of Heaven’, rolling out Christmas carols and rock numbers. Besides, a salsa dance competition (“Dancing Sensation of Chandigarh”), a singing competition (“Voice of Chandigarh” for junior and senior categories) and a rock band competition would be organised during the celebrations,” said an official of the administration.

The auditions for “Voice of Chandigarh” and rock band competitions would be held on December 19 and 20, respectively, at Bal Bhawan, Sector 23, from 10.30 am onwards. The finalists of the competitions would get a chance to perform at The New Year Extravaganza.

“The piazza will be illuminated with electric stars and decorated with Christmas trees to celebrate the festival. The celebrations aim at promoting ‘shopping tourism’ here,” said DK Tiwari, Secretary, Tourism Chandigarh and Managing Director, CITCO.

The highlight of the programme will be a Korean dance performance by HATA Korean group, he added.



Kidney unit gets going at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The newly-built Artificial Kidney Unit has been made operational at the PGI. The unit has a separate room for continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and a minor operating theatre.

Though this unit has a large area with 25 haemodialysis machines, five more will be purchased within the next few months, said doctors of the unit, adding that three of these machines have the capability to carry out conventional dialysis as well as “slow low-efficiency dialysis” required for critically-ill patients. The cost of each of these machines is around Rs 7.5 lakh.

The doctors said the new unit would significantly enhance the dialysis capacity at the institute. They earlier had 11 haemodialysis machines.

Around 15,000 kidney-related cases are report to the OPD annually and almost 170 kidney transplantation are conducted every year.



P’kula police ‘ineffective’ in solving murder cases
Arun sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
Even as the year has come to an end the district police has failed to solve a number of murder cases. These cases have proved to be a blot on the working of the local police. In fact the number of such cases has touched as high as five this year while three cases reported last year are yet to be solved.

A total of 26 murder cases have been reported since January 1 last year. The mystery over the death of NRI Randhir Verma, who was staying with his mother in Sector 6, and was found dead in Morni on April 2 last year, is yet to be solved. After the recovery of two unidentified bodies in Pinjore this week has has sent the police in a tizzy..The police is clueless in many murder cases despite their claims of best efforts in this regard. The case of missing realtor Deepak Rai Sagar was ultimately entrusted to the Central Bureau of Investigation this year by the Punjab and Haryana High court after it was unable to solve the case even after two years of the incident. Sagar went missing on June 1, 2009, and later the local police converted it into a murder case. Before this, on January 4, 2009 a chowkidar at the Post Office in Sector 8 was found murdered. The police is yet to identify the perpetrators.

Raju and Shilpa, the main accused in the murder of a local financier Vinod Mittal and his four-year-old son Yashan on February 14, 2009 are still at large even as three of the accomplices have already been arrested and awarded life imprisonment.

DC Maneesh Chaudhary, defending the police. He further added that while a majority of murder cases have already been solved, the investigating officers were working hard on the remaining cases, he said.



human trafficking
Need for multi-sectoral approach

Chandigarh, December 17
The Chandigarh Police organised a one-day workshop on ‘Anti-Human Trafficking’ at the ICA in Sector 26 in collaboration with the Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh.

Around 35 officers from police, health, labour, prosecution and social welfare departments attended the event.

The workshop was inaugurated by Dr KP Singh, Inspector General of Prisons, Haryana, Panchkula. He said human trafficking was increasing worldwide with its presence at trans-state, trans-border and trans-national level. He also briefed the participants about the provisions of Prevention of Immortal Trafficking Act, 1986.

Dr Upneet Lalli, deputy director, ICA, said a multi-sectoral approach was essential to deal with human trafficking. A panel discussion on labour trafficking also took place. — TNS



Workshop to spread awareness about AIDS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
For spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS, a workshop was organised at the 3BRD Air Force Station in association with the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society (CSACS) and Station Medicare Centre, 3BRD Air Force Station, yesterday.

A large number of Air Force personnel, civilians as well as students from the Air Force school and Kendriya Vidyalaya attended the workshop. Kumud K Singh, president, AFWWA (L), 3BRD, inaugurated the workshop.

Gp Capt. BS Sekhon, senior medical officer, 3 BRD AF; Sqn Ldr Niroo Sharma, medical officer, 3 BRD AF; Dr Vandna Dewan, consultant (VBD), CSACS, and Dr Jitender Dahiya, consultant (CSM), CSACS, delivered talks to create awareness among the participants about HIV/AIDS.

A blood testing camp was also organised to mark the occasion.



Notice to 102 schools
Failure to implement Right To Education Act norms
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 17
Ten private schools in the district face de-recognition after these failed to implement RTE norms by filing self-declaration forms. After admonishing by Panchkula court for not taking action against such schools, the District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO), Panchkula, had informed that 102 schools of Panchkula district had been issued a 21-day show-cause notice for de-recognition today.

As per the list filed by headmaster Jagat Singh appearing for DEEO office, 10 defaulting schools are DPS, Pinjore; DC Model School, Sector 7; Jainendra Public School, Sector 1; DAV Senior Secondary School, Surajpur; JP High School, Pinjore; St Teresa Convent, Sector 25; St Thomas School, Kalka; NB Vidaya Mandir, Barwala; National Primary School, Raipur Rani; and Saraswati Primary School, Kharak Mangoli.

This, however, followed the strict stance taken by the court of Civil Judge Renu Rana during the last hearing in a case filed by a local resident, Pankaj Chandgothia, today.

All private schools in the district were required to seek fresh recognition under the RTE Act by filing self-declaration forms regarding compliance of the RTE provisions. The time limit for filing such declarations had expired in September 2011. Chandgothia contended that the district education office was taking a lenient view by not de-recognising such schools. After hearing the arguments, the court granted a week’s time and directed the district education officer (DEO), Panchkula, to file the compliance and final action-taken report on or before November 23. That day, the DEEO, however, filed a written statement before the court saying only 11 schools, out of 113 schools, had filed the self-declaration form under the RTE Act and remaining 102 had been issued a 21-day show-cause notice under Section 13 of the Haryana RTE rules for de-recognition.

Today, however, an official from DEEO office submitted in the court that 106 schools of Panchkula district have reported compliance with the RTE norms by filing self-declaration forms for fresh recognition with the DEO office. Filing a list of all schools, which had complied with Rule 15 of the RTE Rules, the authorities stated that still 10 schools were defaulters in this regard and may face penal action.

Meanwhile, the director, Elementary Education, Haryana, has issued a public notice extending the time limit up to December 31. Chandgothia contended that the extension was invalid as there was no provision in the Act for grant of more time for this purpose.

Chandgothia pointed out that Rule 15 (2) of the RTE rules requires the DEO concerned to put self-declaration forms in the public domain, but it had failed to do so within the specified period of 15 days.

After hearing the arguments, the court adjourned the matter to January 11.

De-recognition faced

Ten private schools in the district face de-recognition after these failed to implement RTE norms by filing self-declaration forms. As per the list filed by headmaster Jagat Singh, 10 defaulting schools are DPS, Pinjore; DC Model School, Sector 7; Jainendra Public School, Sector 1; DAV Senior Secondary School, Surajpur; JP High School, Pinjore; St Teresa Convent, Sector 25; St Thomas School, Kalka; NB Vidaya Mandir, Barwala; National Primary School, Raipur Rani; and Saraswati Primary School, Kharak Mangoli.



Convent school admission
6,000 forms sold for 600 seats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The applicant to seat ratio at city’s four convent schools- St John’s, Sector 26, Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, St Anne’s, Sector 32, and Carmel Convent, Sector 9, has hit an all-time high with 6,000 forms being sold for 600 odd seats.

While this can be attributed to the long standing reputation of these schools, but primarily it’s the decision of the UT stalling admissions in other private schools, which has attracted parents to these schools. More than 1,500 forms were sold under EWS quota. “I had gone to many private schools but they refused to give me a form stating that the RTE was still not implemented,” said a local milkman.

Following a ruckus at St Kabir School and private schools’ decision to implement the point system, the education department had barred all private schools from declaring their admission results.

Though the department had promised to reconsider schools’ criteria and issue instructions, nothing has been done so far.



Annual day celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Tiny tots of Bachpan celebrated their annual day at Prachin Kala Kendra, Sector 71, Mohali, with great zeal and fervour. Parents were overjoyed to watch their children perform to a number of songs.

With Christmas round the corner, the tiny tots brought in the spirit with all time favourite carols.

Rev Sr Swati, principal, Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh, presided over the function.



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