C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Power Tariff
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
City residents should be ready to shell out 50 per cent more on power tariff, as the UT Electricity Department has proposed this much hike in electricity bills.

The electricity department has proposed this hike, saying the hike in the Union Territory will be lesser than that in Panchkula and Mohali. To overcome the burden of Rs 300 crore -the cost of power supply to Chandigarh - the electricity department has proposed this steep hike.

The proposed hike, for the period between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013, would be effective only after the approval of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC), the body constituted to decide on power tariff in the union territories (UTs).

To increase the tariff, the UT Administration has prepared its case in which it has maintained that the average existing tariffs for all categories of consumers in Chandigarh were lower than the average cost of supply in the city, with domestic consumers paying nearly 20 per cent less than the supply cost.

A senior official of the Electricity Department said the city had no power generation and the department buys electricity from various power generation plants at a reported average price of Rs 5.42 per unit. The average selling cost comes to around Rs 4.10 per unit. Due to this difference, the UT Administration was suffering losses in crores. To overcome the losses, the tariff hike was purposed, he added.

The hike will be the second major hike in the recent time, as the UT Electricity Department had announced a steep hike in electricity tariff, ranging between 27 and 31 per cent for domestic consumers and 22 per cent for commercial users, with effect from April 1 this year.

Existing rates in Chandigarh for 2011-12


Up to 150 units Above 150 units

Rs 2.10 per unit Rs 3.80 per unit

Proposed rates

Rs 3.20 per unit Rs 5.70 per unit

Commercial (Flat rate Rs 4.10 per unit)

Existing rates in Mohali for 2011-12


Up to 100 units 100-200 Above 200 Units

Rs 3.56 per unit Rs 4.96 Rs 5.23

(Besides 10 per cent tax of MC and other taxes)

Commercial (Rs 5.64)

Existing rates in Panchkula for 2011-12


Up to 40 units 41-300 301-500 Above 500 units

Rs 2.63 per unit Rs 3.80 Rs 4.65 Rs 4.99

Commercial (Up to 20 KW Rs 4.50)

Above 20 KW Rs 4.70 (Taxes extra)



Panther captured from Panchkula house
Had ventured from Shivalik hills; was on prowl in the area for long
Tribune News Service

An entrance gate being pulled out for use in the leopard rescue operation at Sector 10 in Panchkula on Thursday.
An entrance gate being pulled out for use in the leopard rescue operation at Sector 10 in Panchkula on Thursday.

Panchkula police personnel push back mediapersons.
Panchkula police personnel push back mediapersons. Tribune Photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, December 29
After a nine-hour-long operation, the district wildlife officials with the help of other agencies here today captured the panther which had been on the prowl in Sector 10 here since late last night.

The panther, which had ventured into the sector from the Shivalik hills of Morni, was seen sitting under a cooler by one a neighbour of former Chief Engineer of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Charanjit Rai, residing in house no 187.

Rai, after seeing the wild animal through the window of his room, informed the police at 6.30 am, which further informed the forest and wildlife departments.

A police contingent, including the riot police, led by Sector 10 SHO Surjeet Singh, reached the spot. Meanwhile, thousands of people who came to know about the panther also reached the spot to have a look at the panther.

Many residents in the nearby houses got so panicked that they preferred to stay inside their houses. The family members of Rai also silently shifted to the first floor of their house for safety.

The wildlife officials, accompanied by forest officials of the Morni and Pinjore block led by Divisional Forest Officer RK Sharma, reached the spot at 10 am.

The first tranquiliser was shot at the wild cat at 10.10 by Dr M R Singla, in charge, Government Pet clinic. He was supported by his Punjab counterpart from Chhatbir Zoo Dr Bansal.

As soon as the panther received the first shot, it became aggressive and leaped a 10-foot boundary wall and entered the neighbouring house to take shelter under a water tank in the backyard. However, the noise of the people made it more aggressive, reducing the effect of the tranquiliser. Later, it again returned to house no 187 and entered the garage of the house. The vigilant forest officials locked the door from outside, trapping the animal inside, making the team’s task easier.

Dr Singla said panther, which was one and a half year old, was given another shot at 2.30 pm. Nets and barricades were placed at the garage and the animal was captured around 3.30 pm.

DFO Sharma said the sex of the wild cat was yet to be ascertained. It had possibly ventured into the city from the nearby forest areas of Morni. The animal was released in the forest in the evening after observing it for about half an hour at the vet hospital.



Anil Kumar was not Shivraj Patil’s first choice
Admn had recommended Haryana-cadre IAS officer PK Das
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
While Anil Kumar took over as the Home Secretary of the Chandigarh Administration on December 9, months after his predecessor Ram Niwas relinquished his charge, investigations revealed that the UT Administrator had recommended another officer who, in all likelihood, had exceeded in seniority.

A letter signed by the Joint Secretary, Personnel, UT Administration, which was forwarded to the MHA, had in fact recommended the name of 1986-batch Haryana-cadre IAS officer PK Das for the post of Home Secretary. The name was recommended after obtaining the approval of UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil on the advice of UT Advisor KK Sharma. Interestingly, sources in the UT Adviser’s office categorically denied that the UT Administration had recommended any specific officer’s name for the post of Home Secretary.

The MHA overturned the Administrator’s recommendation and selected 1988-batch Haryana-cadre IAS officer Anil Kumar.

The letter, which was accessed by Chandigarh Tribune, reads, “After detailed examination and based on ACR records of three officers, the Chandigarh Administration recommends the name of PK Das (1986 batch Haryana cadre IAS) for the selection to the post of Home Secretary. This has the approval of HE-the Administrator UT Chandigarh-cum-Governor Punjab.”

Interestingly this letter was forwarded on September 3, while Ram Niwas, also a Haryana Cadre officer, was still serving as UT Home Secretary.

The Haryana Government had sent a panel of three IAS officers to the Chandigarh Administration for the coveted post of UT Home Secretary. The three officers were 1986 batch IAS officers RR Jowell and PK Das, and 1988 batch officer Anil Kumar. Soon after the Haryana Government had forwarded the panel of officers, both RR Jowell and P K Das, 1986-batch Haryana cadre IAS officers, were promoted to the rank of Financial Commissioner in the month of June. While Jowell was designated as Financial Commissioner, Environment, Das was designated as Financial Commissioner, Science and Technology in Haryana.

At that time Anil Kumar, was posted as Commissioner, Ambala division.



Night shelter defies Admn order
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Despite an official order by the UT Administration to make stay at night shelters free of cost, the shelter in Sector 17 is levying charges on the visitors. This Tribune reporter was handed over a receipt (inbox) worth Rs 65 for a 12-hour stay in the shelter.

The administration had also issued an official statement to the media, stating that the night shelter run by the Indian Red Cross Society would provide “free of cost” night shelter to the poor and needy people, including petty labourers and rickshaw-pullers in the “Raen Basera”.

The press release said the shelter-less people would be allowed to stay free of cost for winter months of December, January and February. “Co-incidentally, today, December is nearly gone,” said a night shelter official.

When this reporter visited the night shelter and requested for a free stay, the manager at the counter refused to provide free accommodation, claiming there was no such provision.

The manager on duty stated that the bed in the hall, in a better condition, was costly. While the bed in one of the hall cost Rs 50, the bed in another hall cost Rs 65 for 12 hours.

On procuring a bed after paying Rs 65, the manager said that as the payment was made for only 12 hours, the shelter should be vacated by 5 am on Friday, failing which the visitor would have to pay double the amount.

The decision to provide free stay at the night shelters was taken two days ago.

However, the visitors were still being asked to give money for their stay in the night shelter.

While this reporter was making his payment, the cashier accepted money from at least a couple of more visitors.



No action against tainted firms, officials
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
No action has been initiated against the tainted companies and officials who were involved in the illegal road cut and unauthorised laying of fibre cables in Sector 33 and 34 by the Municipal Corporation (MC) so far despite recommendation of stringent action by the MC vigilance officer.

MC vigilance officer Lalit Siwach said he had submitted the inquiry report to the MC Commissioner Prena Puri on November 24.

This year in May, the MC had caught two companies for dismantling the paver blocks for laying fiber cables in Sector 33 and 34 without seeking prior permission from the authorities. In July, the General House directed the vigilance officer to conduct an inquiry and prepare a detailed report on it.

Interestingly, both companies and MC officials, during vigilance inquiry, had admitted their mistake that they had violated the MC rules while conducting and recommending the work. At the last General House meeting Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said he had directed the MC Commissioner to take prompt action against the defaulters but in vain. When contacted, MC Commissioner Prerna Puri said action would be taken on the report after it was tabled in the next general House meeting.

In a report which was submitted to the MC Commissioner last month, vigilance officer recommended that both companies Digi Cables Network and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd should be blacklisted. He also suggested that the matter should be taken up with the Department of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India.

As per the report, departmental disciplinary proceedings had been suggested against road department Xen Vishal Gupta, SDE Ajay Garg and JE Ankur Bansal.

Even the repatriation of XEN Vishal Gupta and withdrawal of all corporation works from him had been recommended in the report.

Recommendations were also made that the Chief Engineer department should prepare a report by mapping the MC land where cables had been laid by the company after seeking mandatory permission and check whether the requisite deposit had been made by them or not.

The vigilance officer also suggested that in future an administrative officer should first examine the development works file and then put up to the MC Commissioner for final disposal.


MC demolishes 60 sheds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
The UT estate office team, along with the police, conducted an anti-encroachment drive at Shahpur colony of Sector 38 (West) and removed 60 illegal sheds of 17 junk dealers.

Colony residents protested against the drive initially, but as the police began a lathi-charge, the protesters moved from the spot and the team carried out the anti-encroachment drive.



Want to win?Get interviewed
Nominated councillors to interact with mayoral candidates
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Flexing their muscle, newly nominated councillors will have interactive sessions with mayoral candidates to decide whom to support in the elections.

The councillors have called BJP candidates to have a discussion on their agenda.

Sources have said a meeting has been fixed by nominated councillors with mayoral candidates tomorrow to get acquainted with their major focus in the House.

Though meetings among nominated councillors have started, no councillor is ready to open the cards on whom to support.

The sources have said the councillors has decided on the meetings as elected councillors have not allowed them discussions most of the time.

All three parties have started lobbying to get the support of nominated councillors.



Corridors, roadsides their homes
No roof over their heads, they bear vagaries of weather in the open
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
While the whole city is sleeping under heavy quilts and wearing warm clothes to beat the cold, rickshaw-pullers and migrant labourers have to brave the chill by sleeping in corridors.

During a random survey by the Chandigarh Tribune across the city, scores of people were found sleeping in the open despite the existence of night shelters in the city.

Fiftyfive-year-old Munshi Ram, a rickshaw-puller, said he managed to earn Rs 200 per day, on an average, and could not afford to pay for accommodation. “These corridors are home, irrespective of the weather, as it costs nothing to sleep here,” he said.

Ronki, another rickshaw-puller, had a similar story. For him, the expenses of a family of wife and five children back home in Bihar forced him to spend the day earning and spending the night in market corridors. “There is no other option than to spend nights in open to save money,” he said.

Of the five night shelters in the city, only two, at Sectors 17 and 26, were operational. Migrants said there should be a permanent provision of the Administration so that they could have a shelter.

Rickshaw-pullers were found sleeping outside markets at Sectors 8, 15, 19, 21 and 22. For them, these corridors were their home away from home.



Abetment-to-suicide Ruchika kin’s hope
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
As the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a closure report in the two FIRs registered against former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore, the only hope of Ruchika’s kin and friends is the abetment-to-suicide case registered against Rathore.

On the 18th death anniversary of Ruchika, this case is now the only hope for Ruchika’s family, which is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The two FIRs in which the CBI had filed the closure report and the abetment-to-suicide FIRs, registered against Rathore in December, 2009, and January, 2010, after Ruchika’s brother Ashu lodged a fresh complaint, seeking that Rathore be booked for abetment to his sister’s suicide.

Illegal confinement, registration of false cases and torture to Ashu and his family were the base of the abetment-to-suicide case. Ruchika’s expulsion from Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, at Rathore’s behest was another important stand of the prosecution in the case.

The CBI had investigated the charges of the abetment-to-suicide theory in 2001, but did not chargesheet Rathore as Ashu did not depose before it. The CBI had filed a charge sheet against Rathore only under molestation charges in 2001.

Anand Prakash, one of the crusaders in the case, said they had put all hopes on the abetment-to-suicide case. On the two other FIRs, he said though the CBI had filed a closure report in the Ambala CBI court, they were fighting the case.



It’s the pits, therefore, unused
Despite repeated requests, windowpanes broken, fans not working
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
Tall claims of the UT Administration on proper facilities at night shelters seem to have fallen flat. Despite repeated requests since past year by the contractor operating the night shelter at Sector 26 to the municipal corporation (MC) on fans and broken windows, nothing has been done so far.

Gurchait Singh, who runs the night shelter, said despite repeated attempts, the authorities had failed to revamp the shelter. “I sent a reminder to the MC on November 15 past year, requesting that fans be installed, but nothing happened,” he said.

He further said he wrote two more letters to the MC in August for installing panes and wire mesh on windows. “With winter approaching, we demanded that broken windowpanes be repaired. The authorities failed to act,” he said.

Employees at the night shelter said occupancy at the night shelter was almost nil due to lack of facilities. “Visitors do not stay in summer as fans are not operational. With broken windowpanes, they do not feel comfortable spending nights here,” they said.

The contractor had been given a five-year contract for operating the night shelter, which would end in 2013. Truck drivers and migrants coming to the grain market preferred sleeping in their trucks than at the night shelter.

Himat Chauhan, a truck driver from Himachal Pradesh, said he was a regular visitor to the grain market and had to spend a couple of days in the city sometimes, but preferred to spend the nights in the truck due to lack of facilities at the night shelter.



Police gears up for New Year’s eve
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
The UT police today convened a meeting of managers of prominent hotels and nightclubs in the city to apprise them of security arrangements to be made in connection with the New Year’s eve. The meeting was chaired by DSP Ashish Kapoor and was held at the Chandigarh police headquarters in Sector 9.

The managers were asked to maintain the law and order, provide security coverage at the places of function and check activities of undesirable elements in and around the place of function.

They were also issued a set of guidelines to be followed such as regulation of timings, installation of proper barricades if the function is in open ground, to intimate the police the name of VIPs/celebrities coming to attend the function, to take permission regarding playing of music and to keep fire-fighting equipment ready in case of any contingency.

The hotel authorities were also asked to make proper arrangements for parking. They were asked to provide to the police a list of bouncers and private security guards deployed.

The police will install anti-drunken traffic barriers on different roads to challan violators.


n Quick reaction teams (QRT): 10 QRT teams of commandos are being deployed in different parts of the city to meet with any contingency.

n Video cameras: About 25 to 30 video cameras are being deployed in different places to cover all suspicious movements.

n Hydraulic ladders: The Chief Engineer, UT, Chandigarh, has been requested to provide six hydraulic ladders as observation post for aerial view.

n Nakas: 64 joint PCR and police station nakas will be deployed on different roads and markets of the city and 19 nakas on Chandigarh border will also be deployed for checking purpose.

n Force: 10 DSPs, 35 inspectors and 1,500 policemen of different ranks are being deployed for the maintenance of law and order in the city.



Power cut schedule
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
The UT electricity department again revised the power cut schedule today and stated that these cuts will continue in the coming days as the UT is receiving less power supply.

8 am to 9 am: IT Park, parts of Mani Majra, Indira Colony, Maloya village and Colony, Dadu Majra village and colony, Kajehri and Colony No. 5, Karsan Colony and Shed Colony-52, Bhushan factory, Phase-I.

9 am to 10 am and 3 pm to 3.30 pm: Parts of Sectors 21-A, 23-B, 36-C, 42, 43-A, C and D, 44-A, 45-D, 46-A, 51, 52, 55, 61, 8-C and D, 9-C and D, 18-A, B, C and D, 19-C, 21-B, C and D, 22-A, B, C and D, 32-D, 35-C, 36-D, 41-C and D, 43-B, 44-B and D, 17, Attawa, Burail and Burail Jail.

10 am to 11 am and 3.30 pm to 4 pm: Parts of Sectors 16-D, 29-A and B, 30-D, 31-D, 32-A and C, 33-B and C, 36-A and B, 37-C and D, 41-A and B, 45-A, B and C, 46-B, 7C, 8-B, C and D, 17, 18-A, 19-A, B, C and D, 20-A, B, C and D, 22-B and C, 27-D, 32-B and D, 34-A, 35-B, 36-D, 37-A and B, 41-C and D, 43-B, 44-B and 46-C.

11 am to 12 noon and 4 pm to 4.30 pm: Parts of Sector 11, 12, 14, 15, 24-A and B, 25, 25 (West), 33-A and D, 34-B, C and D, 35-A and D, 2, 9-C and D, 10-A, B and D, 16-A, B and C, 17-A, 20-A, B, C and D, 21-B, C & D, 22-C and D, 23-A, C and D, 34-A, 35-B and C.

12 noon to 1 pm and 4.30 pm to 5 pm: Parts of Sectors 17 B, C and D, 24 C and D, 29 C and D, 30 A and C, 31 A, B and C, 38, 38 (West), 39, 40, 44 C, 46 D, 47 B, C and D, 48, 49, 50, 56, 16 A, B and C, 18 C and D, 19 C & D, 22 A and B, 23 A, C and D, 30 B, 32 B, 37 A and B, 44 B and D, 47 A, 46 C and 47 A, 55, 41, 54, Badheri village, Palsora and Butrela.

1 pm to 2 pm and 5 pm to 5.30 pm: Parts of Mani Majra, Modern Housing Complex, Shivalik Enclave, Mauli village and surrounding area, Janta Colony, Khumhar Colony, Sector 25, Aman Colony, Ambedkar Colony, Dhanas Colony, Dadu Majra village, Dadu Majra Colony, Maloya village, Maloya Colony, Ram Darbar Colony Phase I and II and Indira Colony, Colony No. 4 and surroundings Colony No.5, Kajheri village, Nehru Colony, EWS Colony, Sector 52, Makhan Majra, Hallo Majra, Raipur Khurd, Bapu Dham Colony, Behalana, Deep Complex and surrounding Daria village and Faida village and parts of Sectors 23, 24, 38, 39, 40.

2 pm to 3 pm and 5.30 pm to 6 pm: Parts of Sectors 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 A, B and C, 8 A, 9 A and B, 19 B, 27 A, B and C, 28, 26 and 2, 8 B, 9 C and D, 10 A, B and D, 19 A, 27 D and 30 B.



83 challaned for drunk driving
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
In a drive to curb the menace of drunk driving ahead of New Year Eve, the Chandigarh Traffic Police challaned 83 persons who were found drunk while driving in the city past night. The police laid several barriers across the city for the purpose.

The drivers were put to the alcometer test to check the alcohol content in their blood. The highest degree of alcohol was found in the blood of Balwinder Singh, a Nawanshahr resident, whose alcohol content was detected to be 400 mg, which was much higher than the permissible limit of 30 mg.

In addition, the police today challaned 78 persons for overspeeding. Barriers were laid at the airport traffic light point and many places on the Madhya Marg.



A treat for rap music aficionados
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 29
A mammoth gathering of rap music aficionados, mostly youngsters, thronged the Sector-17 Plaza, the venue of the rap music show by UK-based music-director and international Punjabi rap star Honey Singh and group in the ongoing “New Year Extravaganza-2011” here today.

Notwithstanding the biting and chilling weather conditions, audience turned crazy as Honey Singh, Jay Star, Alfaaz and Mani Aujla doled out hit numbers, posing a problem to the large posse of police.

New Year revelers, including young girls, danced in ecstasy, unmindful of the pushes of the police, who braved to control the maddening crowd, while many rushed to watch from atop the buildings in the Plaza. Maintaining perfect energy level and synchronisation, the singers lived up to their reputation by giving thunderous performance with their ever-popular songs across the globe.

Mohali-bred Mani Aujla got standing ovation, as he presented songs like “Chaska hai yaaran nu”, “Sikhar dupehre daru peti” and more, while Jay Star enlivened the show with “Jaane jaan meri jaan mangdi” or “Pyar tenu karde”, as also Alfazz with “Hai mera dil” or “Kudi rikshaw te jaandi” and many more by the group.

Honey Singh stole the limelight with rap version of “Chhamak Chhalo” from Shahrukh Khan’s film Ra.one.



Allottees dig basements in booths
Tribune News Service

Construction work in progress at the Janta Rehri Market in Phase 3B1, Mohali.
Construction work in progress at the Janta Rehri Market in Phase 3B1, Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, December 29
Within days of allotting booths in the Janta Rehri Market in Phase 3B1, allottees have started digging basements in small booths.

As per the building bylaws, the basements cannot be carved out beneath the single-storey booths, as it could damage the structure. Presently, some of the allottees have started digging basements without seeking approval from the estate office.

“Some of the allottees have already been issued notices for digging basements,” said an official in the estate office. SDO (building) Santosh K Bains said certain cases had come to their notice.

After devastating fire that ravaged the rehri market in 2007, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) constructed around 360 booths following a survey conducted in 1998.

However, the construction was delayed due to one or the other controversy over the credentials of the allottees. A few weeks ago, GMADA started allotting booth to the allottees.



Transplants in past two years being verified
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 29
Kidney transplants conducted in the past two years by the two private hospitals, Surya Kidney Centre, Sector 69, and Silver Oaks Hospital, Phase IX, are being verified by the district health authorities as part of the ongoing probe into the racket of human organ trafficking recently busted by the Lucknow police.

In the probe being conducted by the Mohali Civil Surgeon, Dr Usha Bansal, on the directions of the Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Varun Roojam, the transplants done by Silver Oak Hospital in the past two years and those done by the Surya Kidney Centre in the past one year were being verified and the documents of the sanctioning authority outside the state were being checked.

“Though the Lucknow police has ruled out role of the hospitals for being involved in the scam, the inquiry is being conducted to thoroughly check all documents,” said a senior official.

Sources in the administration said the verification could also require correspondence with the health authorities in Lucknow as the documents pertaining to the sanctioning authority had been issued from there. “ It will take some time before the report is complete,” said the Civil Surgeon.

Meanwhile, the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, Punjab, after suspended the licences of the two hospitals, had directed the authorities to produce documents pertaining to the case. The suspension would continue till they got a clean chit in to inquiry being conducted by the district health authorities.

A few days ago, four persons had been arrested for luring unsuspecting persons to donate their kidneys for monetary gain. The officiating Director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, Dr AS Thind, said, “The hospitals have been asked to produce the relevant record.”

Forged papers behind scam

The probe by the police revealed that members of the gang manipulated the documents of the sanctioning authority outside the state in such a coordinated manner that it raised little doubt about the credentials of the documents. The donor and the recipient were presented as relatives and bogus documents for the transplants were prepared. The documents, on being sent by the hospital to the state authorities, were authenticated there as part of the nexus. The police was on the lookout for other persons who helped in manipulating documents of the sanctioning authority.



Tricity Scan

Biblical exhibition

Students of AKSIPS, Sector 41, visit the Sector-19 church to view the Biblical exhibition in Chandigarh on Thursday.Students of AKSIPS, Sector 41, visited the Sector-19 church to view the Biblical exhibition. The church Father gave the message, “Be goodand do good”, to the students and answered the queries of the students regarding Lord Jesus Christ.

Students of AKSIPS, Sector 41, visit the Sector-19 church to view the Biblical exhibition in Chandigarh on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Meat sellers challaned

The meat hygiene wing, medical official of the health office of the municipal corporation (MC) on Thursday conducted a surprise inspection of meat shops in Dadu Majra area. At least eight meat sellers were challaned under various violations of the MC Regulation for Sale of Meat, Fish and Poultry Bylaws Amendment, 2010. The team raided Dadu Majra area, opposite CTU workshop, where illegal meat sellers were running their business for a long time.

Cleanliness drive

An awareness campaign-cum-cleanliness drive was organised in Ram Darbar and Karsan on Thursday by the sanitation wing of the municipal corporation. The campaign was in addition to the regular sanitation by deploying 15 additional safai karamcharies in small groups under the close supervision of senior inspectorate staff for getting public places, open spaces, etc, swept in order to maintain the sanitation of the villages.


Dr Ramneek Bedi, president of the local chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA), was awarded the best state branch president of IMA in the recently concluded national conference of the IMA at Bangalore. The award is conferred on the president of the best state branch from all over the country. At least 4,000 doctors attended the conference.

Applications invited

The house allotment committee, Chandigarh, has invited applications for allotment of various categories of Chandigarh Administration general pool houses for 2012-13.


The following have been elected as office-bearers of the association of retired officers of Indian audit and accounts department: president- KS Ramotra; general secretary- GS Pathania; and secretary finance- GS Saini.

Students win laurels

Shreyas Chandghotia, Suyash Singh and Kashish Jain, students of St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, were awarded for their achievements in the National Creative Olympiad on the occasion of international conference on excellence in school education at IIT, Delhi, on Thursday. At least 40,000 students participated in the olympiad.

Winners announced

Idea Cellular, a mobile operator, which launched a mega offer “Shandaar Car Challenge” for mobile subscribers in Punjab, announced the final round of winners at an event on Thursday. Jagdish Singh Kalra drove away in a swanky new Honda City car, after being chosen as the bumper winner of the contest and Tejveer Singh Kalra from Punjab drove away in an Alto car.

Health club

Students of St Soldier International Convent School, Phase VII, formed a Health and Wellness Club under the “design for change” campaign. A number of residents, shopkeepers and students in the area are being forced to inhale foul smell emanating from a garbage collection centre located a few meters away from the school. The school had sent repeated appeals to the Deputy Commissioner, Municipal Commissioner, Station House Officer and Chief Administrator of GMADA in the past, but to no avail. — Tribune Reporters



Ramoowalia to bank on development for elections
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Balwant Singh Ramoowalia addresses his supporters at Phase XI in Mohali on Thursday.
Balwant Singh Ramoowalia addresses his supporters at Phase XI in Mohali on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, December 29
SAD candidate Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, a union minister and MP twice, has now decided to enter actively in Punjab politics.

Making obvious his long-term political ambition, the veteran politician said his candidature for Mohali was the fallout of a decision by the SAD to rope in a seasoned politician.

With no grip about local issues, he plans to seek votes on the basis of issues raised at the national and state level by him over the years.

Refusing to reply to any straight question on being an “outsider” and the party high command not respecting the sentiments of local leaders, he said dissidence was a minor issue and his experience would come handy in taking all along.

Not ready to disclose his strategy on contesting the elections, he said he was good at creating a rapport with his workers and party leaders. “The strategy is secret. I would bank on development issue and make Mohali, the Gurgaon of Punjab,” he said.

On being asked about the protest shown by an Akali leader, Bubby Badal, he said the matter would be solved within few days. On the other hand, Bubby Badal said his supporters were organising a rally on January 1 where the further action would be decided. The party leaders should respect the sentiments of the voters, he said.



ESIC open darbar to settle claims
Tribune News Service

Arvind Kumar, joint director finance, gives cash payment to Raghunath, an accident victim, at ESIC Hospital in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Arvind Kumar, joint director finance, gives cash payment to Raghunath, an accident victim, at ESIC Hospital in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, December 29
Hundreds of industrial workers, who became physically challenged during the term of their service, have a reason to rejoice as Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has decided to hold an open darbar once a month to settle the cases on the spot.

Subhash Chander, manager ESIC, said cases of physically challenged industrial workers would be decided on the spot by a medical board of doctors. The board would decide the percentage of disability of the workers who got physically challenged during their services.

He said the payment or pensions would be paid accordingly and such workers need not make rounds of the ESIC department for settling heir claim.

Chander said a camp was organised at ESI Hospital in Ram Darbar at the Industrial Area, Phase II, today in which 60 cases were decided and payments and pension were given to them.



Police still gropes in dark

Mohali, December 29
The police is still groping in the dark as no success has come its way while probing the mysterious death of Chandigarh-based cardiologist, Dr Deepak Kaura.

The identity of the mystery women still eludes the police. Sources in the police said analysis of the call details also indicated tower location of the suspects being in Panchkula. Efforts to track down other mobile numbers used by the woman to communicate with her contacts have so far not yielded any result.

The mobile connection procured on the basis of the stolen I-card was recharged for a short period three times from different shops since December 6. — TNS



2 die under mysterious circumstances
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29
The police today recovered two bodies in separate incidents. In the first one, Vikram Singh Bal (27) of Mani Majra was found dead at home and the body was blue.

He partied the previous night with friends, who dropped him back. Gurmukh, Johny and Sunil dropped him home inebriated. His family rushed him to hospital, where he was declared brought dead. The police said his death might be due to a drug overdose.

In the other incident, Ajay was found unconscious by his brother at home. When Ajay’s brother came home in the morning, he found his brother lying unconscious.

He took him to the Sector-16 hospital. He was referred to PGI. Doctors declared him brought dead. The police said he might have died of excessive consumption of liquor.



Year Ender 2011 colleges
Centres of learning turned hub of protests
Tribune News Service

Students protest at MCMDAV College for Women in Chandigarh.
Students protest at MCMDAV College for Women in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: parvesh chauhan

A view of DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh.
A view of DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, December 29
The year 2011 witnessed a series of protests in private city colleges by teaching and non-teaching staff that left students at the receiving end.

DAV College principal controversy ruled the roost throughout the year with four different principals taking the charge. Even the UT Administration also failed to appoint regular principals in the colleges.


‘Aakash’ for college students
As a part of the project, 20 city college students got the world’s lowest priced touch screen “Aakash”, the pocket-sized wonder tablet on a trial basis. The students were the first ones to get the tablet and submit a feedback of the device. Based on the feedback given by the students, the company, manufacturing the device, had to revamp the tablet under same cost.


Teachers’ protest
A protest by the joint action committee of teaching and non-teaching staff over their demands, including lifting of ban on recruitments, implementation of pension and gratuity scheme approved by the state government in 2001, derailed the academic session in seven city colleges. The agitation that started with the protest of an hour everyday later turned out to be the compete band in the colleges, leading to postponement of several December examinations in all seven colleges.

DAV-10 fiasco

The drama over the principal of DAV College, Sector 10, continued throughout the year. Following the controversy after which the DAV management suspended college principal BC Josan in 2010, DAV got its fourth officiating principal this year. With the re-inquiry over the charges farmed against Josan pending, the college is still run by the officiating principal.

MCM protest

After a gap of over five years, MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, witnessed a massive protest by students in November for postponing December examinations. The students claimed that their syllabus could not be completed due to the teachers’ strike and demanded that the exams should be held in January, however, the college turned out their demand. This was the second major protest in the college.

No regular principals

The UT Administration failed to appoint regular principals in the colleges. Out of the total nine colleges run by the UT Administration affiliated to Panjab University, only one has a regular principal, while other colleges are run by the senior-most professors acting as officiating principals. Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, is the only college with a regular principal.



ICSE exams from Feb 27

Chandigarh, December 29
In line with last year, the ICSE Board has decided to conduct its board examination in February this year. Going by the schedule released by the board, class XII examinations will begin on February 27 and the Indian Secondary Certificate (ISC) will start on February 13.

The move, according to board officials, is aimed at giving ample preparation time to class XII students for various entrance examinations. “The board generally conducts its exam much before others but the decision to get done with it before March was taken last year at the annual conference of the Association of Schools for the Indian School Certificate (ASISC). One of the key aims was an early result and second was giving students enough time to prepare for entrance examination scheduled between April and July,” said a senior official of PU.

The schedule has got thumbs up from city students and educators.

“Lack of optimum time between boards and entrance examinations surely affects the performance of students. Such a schedule gives applicants an easy schedule for last-minute revisions and crash courses. I wish the CBSE takes a leaf from their book and make its date sheet accordingly,” said a city-based IIT tutor.

The CBSE, however, seems to be in no mood to follow the suite as its chairman Vineet Joshi said the board would follow its regular routine and conduct boards in March only. The date sheet will be declared shortly.



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