C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Elderly couple robbed at home
Cash and jewellery worth over Rs 6 lakh taken away, 70-yr-old man stabbed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 22
Targeting an elderly couple here, four robbers took away cash and jewellery worth over Rs 6 lakh today. The armed robbers also stabbed the owner of the house, RK Garg (70), injuring him seriously. According to Rani Bala, Garg’s wife, three robbers barged into the house while she was sitting in the front room. She added that they tied her up before robbing her of four bangles and one set of earrings.

Then they went to the other room, where Garg was having tea, and asked him to hand over the cash lying in the house, she said.

Garg denied having any cash at home, after which the criminals stabbed him in the abdomen and threatened to kill him, said Rani.

Following this, Garg told them where he kept the money and they took away Rs 4 lakh lying at home before fleeing, she said.

The victim, a trader of tobacco products, received proceeds of sales at home every Saturday. The money was brought home yesterday.

After the incident, Garg came out and sought the help of neighbours. A neighbour took him to the General Hospital, Sector 6.

From there, he was referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital at Sector 32 in Chandigarh.

Eyewitnesses said while three robbers entered the house, one accomplice stood outside the house.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Maneesh Chaudhary reached the spot. The police started an investigation into the incident, he said.



City records three thefts a day
More than 60 per cent cases past year still unsolved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The beginning of the year 2012 has spelt havoc for residents of the city when it comes to incidents of theft, burglary and robbery. The city has been witnessing an average of three thefts on a daily basis ever since the beginning of this year.

There have been 75 incidents of theft this year so far. The average was no different past year, when the city witnessed over 1,500 incidents of theft. More alarmingly, more than 60 per cent of the cases were unsolved.

Five thefts were reported in the city during the past 24 hours. A postman lost undelivered mail and other possessions at Sector 26. The theft of one quintal of brass brushes was reported from a plot at Industrial Area past night.

On January 16, a franchisee owner of the Western Union Money Transfer, Gurdeep Singh Manchanda, was robbed of Rs 10 lakh near his Sector-33 residence. There was no trace of the robbers yet and the police was absolutely clueless.

On January 9, four burglaries were reported, including one from an SCO at Sector 17, where thieves fled with cash. Past week, a theft was reported from a temple at Sector 19 and laptops were stolen from an SCO at Sector 22.

All cases were still unsolved. The UT police had been unable to bring the rising crime graph in the city under control. Two cases of murder had been reported this year so far.

One murder had been committed near the Aroma traffic light point and the other in the area under the jurisdiction of the Sector-39 police station. In addition, seven cases of robbery and 12 of burglary had been reported this year.

UT ranked third by NCRB

Past year, 68 cases of robbery and 285 of burglary had been reported. Chandigarh was ranked third in terms of the crime rate in the country, as per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in 2010. It was second in the crime ranking among union territories. The city had been witnessing a steady rise in incidents of snatching and of drunken brawl as well.



They ‘hoodwink’ poll staff
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 22
Necessity is the mother of all inventions. On finding that the surveillance teams of the Election Commission equipped with video cameras are literally chasing them everywhere, candidates have adopted different ways to “hoodwink” the chasing election officials.

As the expenditure teams of the district election office are sticking to the day-to-day campaigning schedule submitted to their respective returning officers (ROs), the candidates have been found skipping the villages mentioned in the schedule.

“This enables us to interact better with our supporters without the fear of being videographed by the surveillance teams,” admitted a senior leader of one of the prominent candidates of the Mohali constituency. The candidate had already covered three villages by the time the surveillance team could know the location of his convoy.

The practice was being adopted by most of the candidates, be it of the Congress, SAD or the BSP. To play hide-and-seek with the election officials, the candidates were seen frequently switching their vehicles. In one instance, one of the election teams in Mohali kept on pursuing the vehicle (that had the permission of the RO) only to realise later that the candidate was not in it. Away from the watchful eyes of the surveillance teams, the candidates take out time between two meetings to mobilise or woo their vote banks. “Where supporters weigh their candidates with laddoos or at the places where snacks are served, the candidates prefer to hoodwink the election officials. Those with convoys of candidates are constantly in touch with each other on their mobile phones,” remarked an official.

When the incidents were reported to the ROs, the officials concerned issued a stern warning to the candidates. The District Election Officer, Varun Roojam, said the candidates should know that the guidelines of the Election Commission had to be followed strictly.

Sources reveal that the surveillance teams have been equipped with taxis to chase the SUVs of the candidates as it had been pointed out that Ambassador cars procured from different government departments were hardly a match for SUVs.

Futile pursuit

In one instance, one of the election teams in Mohali kept pursuing the vehicle, that had the permission of the returning officer, only to later realise that the candidate was not in it.



Order in hand, estate office in sleep mode
Illegal constructions at showroom-cum-offices in Sector 20 stay put

Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Despite having demolition orders, issued about four months back, the UT estate office is yet to initiate action against illegal construction at several showroom-cum-offices in Sector 20 here. The owners of several showrooms have erected temporary cabins on government land on the rear and rented those out. The rent of those illegally constructed cabins ranges between Rs 8,000 and Rs 30,000 a month.

Several boutiques, wholesale cloth agencies and computer repair shops are being run from those cabins.

“The encroachments will be removed within 15 days,” said Rahul Gupta, UT assistant estate officer.

He added that those running business from the cabins had already been told to remove their goods on their own.

Giving the reasons behind the delay in the execution of the demolition order, an official with the UT estate office said police personnel were not available due to the recent municipal corporation elections.

Prior to that, the action was not taken as it was the festive season, he added. The cabins, about 25 in number, had also caused nuisance to residents nearby. “Customers usually park their vehicles on the road in front of the houses, which has resulted in altercations every now and then. We have approached the authorities several times for the removal of these unauthorised structures, but nobody pays heed to our requests,” said a resident, on the condition of anonymity.

“The owners of the shops have been earning thousands by encroaching upon government land. I am unable to understand why the authorities hesitate to take action,” said another resident.



Chill to persist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Residents of the tricity should be prepared to brave the chill for at least 48 hours more. Sources in the meteorological office said night temperatures were set to plummet further and day temperatures to rise in the next two days. Besides being a Sunday, chilly winds sweeping the region forced residents to stay indoors. The maximum temperature was 13 degree Celsius, four degrees below the maximum temperature yesterday. Predicting a cloudy sky, with the possibility of thunder, meteorological officials said day temperatures would remain low, at least for the next two days. The changed conditions were the result of Westerly disturbances over the region, said Surinder Paul, department director, adding that the rain had occurred because of the disturbances.

Doctors advised people with breathing problems to take special care. Dr Ram Singh, deputy medical superintendent, Government Medical College and Hospital, said viral infections were common during winter and carelessness could aggravate the situation. Putting hands and feet in cold water should be avoided as it could cause chill blaine, due to which fingers turned red and blue, he warned.



Taste it, enquire about quality, that is all
Authorities inspect food at Panjab University hostels at snail’s pace

Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Although the Panjab University (PU) authorities have hiked the rates of food at hostels, their non-seriousness on keeping an eye on its quality deserves special mention. It can be gauged from the fact that during the past one year, the staff with the dietician have visited messes and canteens on the campus 120 times. The number is disturbing because there are more than 60 messes and canteens on the campus.

The average number of visits has not exceeded three in a year, even if the team has covered two messes at one hostel during one visit. PU students have been frequently protesting against the quality of food served at hostels.

Students’ council president Pushpinder Sharma has said they have demanded that the contract of the contractors, being fined repeatedly, be cancelled. “We have agreed to the diet rates only if the contractors maintain quality,” he has said.

Sunny Mehta, a student of the human rights department, has asked how one can judge food quality by tasting it. “Most of the time, the food at hostels is tasteless. I am surprised how quality can be termed satisfactory without taking samples.”

Varun Sharma, a first-year student, has said they are forced to travel to ‘rehri’ markets in adjoining sectors often because the food tastes average. The decision to eat out is often based on the appearance of the food at the mess, he has added.

Information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the PU dietician has found the food satisfactory during a majority of the 120 visits.

The remarks are based on the taste of the food and the inputs on the quality of the cooking, without taking a single sample, in the past one year.

Information sought by Raman Dhaka, residing at a hostel, has revealed that the dietician and the dean student welfare went across canteens and messes, the student centre, the coffee house and department canteens from December, 2010, to December, 2011. The contractors had been fined only 13 times. At least four fines pertained to maintaining unhygienic conditions. Two challans had been issued for using non-branded ‘masalas’. The amount of the fine did not exceed Rs 250.

Dean student welfare AS Ahluwalia said the number of hostel messes and canteens had increased and it became tough for a single dietician to take regular rounds of all hostels. “We will try to increase the frequency of checks and plan to have more dieticians,” he said. He admitted that the quality of food was tested by tasting it and inspecting the material used for cooking. “I agree that there should be a system to test samples,” he added. The PU authorities had never checked the quality of food served at the student centre, which was among the most commonly used eateries of students.



Open House Response
Tight security arrangements need of the hour

Heart-rending incidents like murder on the middle of the road are abrogating the reputation of Chandigarh, which is an enviable abode for residency in this part of the country. Every other day, we come across various incidents of violence in different parts of the city. The city is witnessing a perpendicular growth in crime rate.

Closing of Aroma, the first-ever 24-hour eating joint of the city, was need of the hour. There is a need to have tight security arrangements outside pubs and discotheques, so that youngsters do not mess the evening and maybe their future by engaging in futile brawls. Other food joints, especially around the PGI, are crowded and strict security by the police is required.

Aroma is not the single joint, which has witnessed violence in the past. For example, in October last year, a similar incident was witnessed in Sector 26. The entire row is full of late night party joints and there have been several incidents of violence, which require interference by the administration.

Stern punishment is the only deterrent to keep away hooligans. Youngsters, in particular, need to be careful. The activities of youngsters will need a hard look of the police for straightening out the torrid affairs at the moment.

Dolphin Bakshi, MCM DAV College

Unemployment, reason for rise in crime

The city is witnessing crime due to one reason or the other every other day. Socio-economic issues are giving rise to crime rate in the city. One of the reasons is alarming unemployment and under employment, which forces youngsters to indulge in petty crimes.

The concept of night food street, which has been evolved with the specific aim to provide food during night has altogether been defeated due to brawls.

Recent reports in the media highlighted a serious nuisance because of brawls in the areas near night food street, hotels and restaurants, which are functioning late at night.

Undoubtedly, there have been several instances where the police has played a crucial role in preventing crimes. Thus, it would be unfair to paint the entire police force with the same brush, but the image of the police is low and its actions are always doubted. Instead of having professional law enforcement, the poor police performance is inevitable because the system of governance is dysfunctional. The police failure has led to terrible breakdowns. Political pressures, corruption in the system, etc, are only one aspect of the situation.

Another is that better intelligence, administrative action and aggressive intervention by the trained police forces rarely used to pre-empt. More than technology, what is needed is a policing philosophy based on the need to protect the rights of citizens.

There is a further need for evolving an effective mechanism for coordinated regional planning for Chandigarh falling in the adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana. Senior citizens, who are physically fit and mentally alert, can play a vital role in developing society, if they are involved in matters relating to curbing open crimes such as open trade of intoxicants, gambling in parks and traffic policing.

SK Khosla, Sector 40-C, Chandigarh

Police should increase nakas at night

Harminder Singh, who visited Aroma Hotel to enjoy an ice cream, entered into a minor altercation with a group of about 10 youths, which later murdered him on the rear side of the petrol pump opposite Aroma Hotel. The hotel is known as an epicentre of the night life of the youth. As per the news, a police gypsy was also parked near the incident site.

The Chandigarh police has arrested seven youths, accused of killing Harminder. Crime cases are increasing in the city but nobody is afraid of the police.

The police had made a policy for PCR nakas at night but in spite of hard steps, high officials are disappointed. Officials know the fact that policemen on night duties at specific points are more often missing. This issue needs attention as the top-most priority, particularly at points like Aroma.

ML Garg

Intensify police patrolling

In the wake of increasing brawls, fights and murders in the night, it’s high time that the local police pulls up their socks and does what is required rather than coming up with strange recommendations like closure of eateries early during night. There is no logic in curtailing the timing of late night eateries, which are mostly frequented by students and youngsters who come to Chandigarh for studies and jobs. It will also affect night tourism, as Chandigarh sees visitors from the surrounding areas to enjoy the city’s nightlife.

People have the right to eat whenever they feel like and it is the duty of the police to make appropriate security arrangements to ensure their safety.

Intensifying the police patrolling near eateries, discotheques and hotels can be of great help. The police should increase the manpower to protect citizens and maintain the law and order situation in the tricity. Also, self-discipline is important for all and it is need of the hour in Chandigarh, too.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Police under scanner

The recent gruesome murder of a 28-year-old youngster, Harminder, in the city was shocking.

Once again, the Chandigarh police is under the scanner. The police control room (PCR) gypsies are supposed to be stationed at strategic points, including Aroma Hotel.

The incident showcases that policemen at night duties tend to skip their beats. The tall claims of late night nakas by the Chandigarh police are exposed. The sole “night official on duty” was also unavailable at times at several police stations. This is the position when the incidents of dacoity, murders and theft have increased in the city.

None of the SHOs is conducting the community liaison group meetings. Thus, the lackadaisical attitude on the part of the Chandigarh police will embolden the culprits. Area chowkidaars are known to be the best information providers, which can be of immense help to the police. Drinking openly in parks or at night food streets has become a common affair.

The newly elected municipal corporation’s representatives must take these issues with the Inspector General of Police (IGP). The councillors need to pool in greater attention by taking resident welfare associations and youths into the loop to aid better policing.

Er Sachin Sharma

Carelessness of police comes to fore

We, the residents of the City Beautiful, have now become habitual of reading crime stories like murders, rapes, kidnappings, frauds, cheatings, etc, daily in newspapers. There was a time when such criminal activities were seldom heard in Chandigarh.

But of late, with the increase in population and changing lifestyle, Chandigarh is fast becoming a hub for criminals. Human life has become cheap and the youth has gone astray. Lavish lifestyle of the youth has made them a lawless lot. The youth do not hesitate to indulge in crimes even as ghastly as murders.

There have been night brawls in the recent past in the city. The brutal killing of 28-year-old Harminder Singh took place right under the nose of the law outside Aroma Hotel. It is the failure of the police and the blame for this tragedy lies with them. It is certainly the carelessness of the police that led to such horrific killing of a youth for nothing.

It has become unsafe for people to visit night food streets and joints with their family members. No one knows who becomes the next target of such brutality.

The UT police must become more active and perform their duties honestly, taking no chances for any lapses. It is the callous attitude of the UT police that such murders take place every other day. It is unfortunate that no action is taken against the carelessness of the police force in Chandigarh. It is high time that the Chandigarh police wakes up from its slumber and perform its duty honestly and effectively if crime rate in the city is to be checked and curbed. The UT police needs a thorough overhauling to make it performance oriented.

RK Kapoor

Is Chandigarh safe?

Chandigarh has come a long way from the past era when people had to be home before late night.

Nowadays, the scenario of nightlife in Chandigarh is characterised by people staying awake past midnight and thronging nightclubs. But is Chandigarh safe enough to handle the night culture? Chandigarh used to be a safe city but due to the migration of a huge number of people from outside, things have changed. The police should be more vigilant and the security should be beefed up. Night patrolling needs to be increased, especially at sensitive areas and places like hotels, restaurants and discotheques, which are frequented by a huge number of people at night. The PCR vehicles should remain alert all through the night and should act swiftly in case of any such occurrence. Special nakas and check posts must be installed during late nights to catch rowdy youths carrying weapons and also tipsy youths driving rashly.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Sector 38, Chandigarh

Open house question

Write your reaction on the Chandigarh Administration’s fresh efforts to spruce up Sector 17 for better utilisation of space in the “Heart of the city” for fun activities to openhouse@tribunemail.com. Earlier plans of multi-level parking, conversion of circus ground into exhibition venue and no parking in the area have failed.


Triangular contest in Mohali
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Congress candidate Balbir Singh Sidhu during an election campaign at Bakerpur village in Mohali.

SAD candidate Balwant Singh Ramoowali interacts with people at Chamojara village in Mohali.

PPP candidate Bir Davinder Singh campaigns at Behlolpur village in Mohali. Tribune Photos: Vicky Gharu

Chau Majra (Mohali), January 22
On a foggy morning, the traditional election-related din is missing as a few villagers gather near the village dharamshala to greet SAD candidate Balwant Singh Ramoowalia. But, soon the veteran politician, who has thrice been MP and has also been a Union Minister, is caught unawares when the villagers start expressing their resentment against the Akalis for not ensuring 60 per cent reservation in posts in various departments of UT and offering inadequate compensation for 400 acres being acquired for IT City of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

“We are not against you. But we are against the SAD which has not done anything for the welfare of our children,” says Labh Singh, a resident of the village.

Sensing the mood of the villagers, the veteran leader pulls out his trump card, as he points towards Kamal, a village lad who was rescued by Ramoowalia after he had been duped by his travel agent in Portugal. Taking control of the situation, the seasoned politician, using his oratory skills, reminds the villagers about the efforts put in by him to rescue 25,000 Punjabi youngsters, who were trapped in jails abroad after being duped by their agents, and 20,000 brides who were dumped by their NRI grooms. In his 30-minute speech at the village dharamshala, Ramoowalia repeatedly drives home the point of the yeoman service put in by him to rescue the youngsters and brides. He promises to set up a government agency which will help the youngsters who wish to go abroad.

He enlists his 22 years of political career and his association with Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra while urging the villagers to see the profile of the candidate before casting their votes. Coming back to the issue of inadequate representation of Punjabis in UT, he blames the UPA government for the anomaly. “If Punjabis can excel in the UK and Canada, then why not in Chandigarh,” he quips while continuing with his whirlwind tour of neighbouring villages.

Few kilometers away at Bakarpur village, Balbir Singh Sidhu, the Congress candidate uses the anti-incumbency factor to his advantage to seek votes. With a senior party leader, Rajbir Singh Padiala accompanying him, Sidhu advises the villagers against wasting the money given by the government as land compensation and tells them to again invest in land elsewhere and educate their children for the times to come. A dug-up Pherni village gives an opportunity to the sitting Kharar MLA to remind the voters of the indifferent attitude of the SAD towards their miseries. He presents himself as the most suitable candidate as he describes the SAD and PPP candidates as “outsiders”.

Citing the development initiatives undertaken by him under the MPLAD funds, he promises the gathering to ensure overall development, more employment opportunities and the revival of industry in Mohali. He visited Matran, Manakpur Kalar, Siau and Bari villages.

As the sitting Congress MLA uses his personal contacts and the former Union Minister and SAD candidate banks on his crusade against agents duping the youth seeking greener pastures abroad, the PPP candidate, Bir Devinder Singh, opens the report card of his tenure as an MLA from 2002 to 2007. On tour of Baehlolpur, Jujhhar Nagar, Bhago Majr and Saneta villages, the Capt Amarinder Singh’s bete noire boasts of his corruption-free tenure as an MLA. “I challenge both the Congress and SAD candidates to come clear on honesty. People are aware about the style of my functioning. I am a hard-task master,” he said while promising a new system of governance.

Claiming to be a game changer in the triangular contest, the former Deputy Speaker promises to throw interesting results as he refers to couplets to catch the attention of a small group of villagers at Matour village.



Property dispute
High drama at Kirron Kher’s parental house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
A high drama was witnessed at the parental house of actress Kirron Kher in Sector 8, owing to a property dispute, which turned awry. The police was called and the drama lasted for some time before a compromise was finally made late this evening. Kher was inside the house when the drama occurred at house number 65 in Sector 8.

The police reached the spot when it received information of a scuffle going on at the house. The scuffle ensued when Kamal Thakur, Kirron’s sister, was getting the gate of the house erected by raising its height and it objected her sister-in-law, who resides on the first floor. Honey, her sister-in-law, parked a car objecting to the construction work, resulting which heated arguments were witnessed between both parties.

A huge posse of the police, including Assistant Superintendent of Police Desraj Singh and Inspector Poonam Dilawari, SHO, Sector 3 police station, reached the house and tried to pursue a compromise. Heated arguments were witnessed when both parties levelled allegations against each other.

Kirron Kher told the issue pertained to a driveway of the house and it was later resolved. A daily diary report (DDR) has been lodged at the Sector 3 police station.



Pending works councillors’ priority
Oppn prepares strategy for House meeting of municipal corporation

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The newly elected Mayor and councillors held their first meeting with MC officials at the Mayor’s residence in Sector 24. At a brief meeting, the councillors discussed with the MC officials the pending works in all the wards. The meeting was also attended by the nominated councillors

Although the Mayor, who is from the Congress, had called the informal meeting, the Opposition councillors attended the meeting and discussed the issues related to their ward.

“It was a warm-up session ahead of the house meeting scheduled for Monday,” said a councillor.

Sources said the Opposition councillors separately also discussed the strategy for the house meetings and the agenda items to be opposed by them. “Before the meeting start we would demand that the minutes of the last meeting be approved,” said a BJP councillor.

Meanwhile, the MIG-II (Independents) Welfare Association (Regd), Sector 40 C, on Sunday felicitated Gurbax Rawat, for her recent victory as municipal councillor.

A memorandum containing various problems of the area, which include the re-opening of a post office, vigilance enquiry into the recently widening and carpeting of V-6 roads, development of parks and cleanliness of forest area, was submitted to her.



Another attempt to woo operators
Non-AC Radio Cabs

Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Having failed twice to get response for non-AC radio cabs, the State Transport Authority (STA) is going to re-invite applications for non-AC cabs to provide affordable travel at Rs 15 per km. To attract applicants, the STA has kept a requirement of minimum 10 cars for operations in the city.

After introducing the AC-radio cabs, that are running successfully, the STA had invited applications for the non-AC radio cabs. However, not even a single applicant fulfilling the requirement came forward in the past two attempts. The non-AC cabs were to be introduced to provide cheaper travel options to the city people who commute through cabs.

Secretary, STA, Mahavir Kaushik said to attract the operators we have decided to invite applications for a minimum fleet of 10 cars. “We are expecting better response as during two earlier attempts made by us the fare quoted by the STA was Rs 12 per km. However, now it has been raised to Rs 15,” he said.

An STA official said it had been a common complaint that operators were reluctant to travel short distances. Conditions will be laid down so that the operators don’t deny service to short-distance commuters.

With the passengers to be ferried from different points within the city the vehicles would need to be connected through the global positioning system to a centralised control room.

Last year in August the administration was forced to revise the rates for the AC radio cabs to Rs 20 per km after the operators threatened to the shut the service with lesser rates offered compared to increasing fuel prices.



Passengers have a harrowing time
Fifty return from railway station without Duronto train ticket
Tribune News Service

A passenger crosses a railway track, risking his life.

A stray dog sits on a platform.

Chandigarh, January 22
More than 50 persons, who had to board Duronto for Amritsar in the evening, had a harrowing experience at the railway booking counter, as they had to return without getting tickets. The counter opened only a few hours before the departure of the train.

Ramnik Singh, a businessman, said, “The counter opened for less than three hours before the departure and as many as 50 were left without the ticket. Why cannot the counter be opened throughout the day?”

A senior railway official said, “People were not using the facility of booking railway ticket online, which has been pointed out several times. This would have make it easy for them.”

Lackadaisical security

Unmanned metal detector at the local railway station speaks volume about the lackadaisical security arrangements at one of the most crowded venues of the city. A visit to the railway station this morning by the Tribune correspondent revealed that entry to the platform was a virtual cakewalk. “There was nobody to question anyone’s entry here,” said a passenger.



Sports council irregularly parks Rs 2.97-crore grant
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The latest local audit and inspection report by the comptroller audit general pointed out irregular parking of grant-in-aid (GIA) amounting Rs 2.97 crore by the Chandigarh Sports Council here.

The audit report mentioned that a sum of Rs 2.97 crore had been lying in various banks as fixed deposits as on March 31, 2011, while the council also got further grant of Rs 1.5 crore from the Chandigarh Administration.

“This resulted into ‘irregular parking’ of GIA amounting to Rs 2.97 crore,” stated the audit report. With the grant-in-aid funds, the council gives financial assistance to various sports associations, academies and institutions for holding state sports meet, to organise training camps and for participation in national and international-level tournaments.

In 2010-11, the council got Rs 1.85 crore as GIA from the administration.

On being asked, a senior functionary of the council on the condition of anonymity said the council had to spend Rs 2 crore on laying AstroTurf at the hockey stadium, Sector 42.

“The council used to get GIA in September or October, so we usually keep some money with us even after end of the financial year to run the council affairs till the new GIA comes,” said the official.

The audit report has pointed out that the council has not furnished any reply of its memo, issued on September 2011, till date.



No headway in ‘kidnap’ case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
In the absence of any complaint regarding the kidnap call that sent the UT police in a tizzy yesterday, the police has failed to make any headway in the case. Eyewitnesses had yesterday informed the police that they saw a youth being forced into a car by at least six assailants from a park in Sector 32.

A resident of Sector 32, B D Ghavri, reported to the police that the youth was ‘kidnapped’ at a short distance from where he was standing. He noticed the assailants when the youth raised the alarm. The police has failed to trace the vehicle in which the youth was allegedly kidnapped, as the eyewitness had remembered only incomplete number of the vehicle.

The police has said it has not been approached by anyone with a complaint of the kidnapping, making their investigations fall flat.

Deputy Superintendent of Police BS Negi said they were verifying the number of the Innova car that was noted by some eyewitnesses. “It’s been 24 hours and no one with a missing complaint or of kidnap complaint has approached us. We are not sure whether it was an exact case of kidnapping or some dispute and we are investigating,” he said. A daily diary report has been lodged in the Sector 34 police station.



City residents apprised of road safety rules
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
As a part of the 23rd Road Safety Week-2012 being celebrated in the city from January 17 to 23, the Chandigarh traffic police organised a workshop for truck drivers at the Transport Area to make them aware of road rules and regulations.

As many as 200 drivers attended the workshop.

Inspector Baljit Singh and BS Phogat from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM), New Delhi, delivered talk on road safety to the truck drivers.

A team of doctors comprising Dr Davinder Pal Singh, Dr Razi Bhatia and Dr Savleen Kaur and others from SGHKS (C) Eye Hospital Trust, Sohana also organised a free eye testing camp during the workshop.

Eyesight of 73 drivers was found to be weak during the test and they were advised to wear spectacles. Besides, the Chandigarh traffic police organised a workshop for the police, drivers of Chandigarh Administration and taxi drivers at the Chandigarh Traffic Park, Sector 23, Chandigarh.

Around 150 drivers from various departments participated in the workshop. A skill driving test and efficiency test was also organised.

Besides this, Spirit India volunteers of GGDSD College working under the aegis of an NGO, Aavahan, performed two street plays on road safety at the Sector-17 Plaza. The motive was to spread awareness and to stress on the necessity of following traffic rules among residents of the city.



Five slapped penalty for power theft
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 22
A team of the Electricity Department has detected five cases of power theft at Skatri and Budahnpur villages here in the past two days. A penalty of over Rs 1 lakh has been slapped on the offenders, said the officials.

According to SDO Himanshu Sheokand, the team conducted a surprise check at the two villages. It was found that the five offenders had been drawing power bypassing the electricity meters. All the offenders belong to well-off families, said Sheokand. While the penalty is imposed for the first offence, an FIR is registered against those who are found to be habitual power thefts, he said.



Memories relived at alumni meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Home Science College Alumni Association (HSCAA) of Government Home Science College lived a memorable page in the history of the college with an amalgamation of alumni from five decades in the college auditorium during the golden jubilee celebrations held today that witnessed a participation of over 160 alumni, including those from early batches of 1960’s.

College students presented a cultural programme on the alumni meet. The alumni association bestowed honours on the distinguished alumnus from 1980 batch, Justice Sabina, Judge Punjab and Haryana High Court, and Prof Adarsh Sharma from 1964 batch.

The retired faculties, including ex-principals, were honoured as the distinguished guests. College principal Madhu Nanda also released golden jubilee souvenirs on the occasion. Association president Jatinder Kaur Rai contributed a sum of Rs 1 lakh to HSCAA welfare fund, which has been initiated to support the education of needy students of the college for a session.

Emily Thomas from 1987 batch gave an overwhelming speech, giving an ode to the alma mater. The alumni of the batch enthralled audience with parodies.



Chandigarh scan
Annual day

Shades of fancy

Students participate in a painting competition organised by the Chhaya School of Art in Chandigarh on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

The local chapter of the Indian Institute of Materials Management (IIMM), a charter member of the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Chain Management (IFPSM), which is a professional body of materials management professionals, celebrated its annual day at CII here on Sunday. Pranav Gupta, managing director, Parabolic Drugs Ltd, Chandigarh, advised materials management professionals to reduce cost, protect environment, reduce and manage wastes, introduce efficiency in supply chain management and switch over to green purchases.

Legal training

Judges of High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Justice MM Kumar and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta, spoke on a legal training programme for advocates organised by the Chandigarh Bar Council on Sunday. RS Cheema and SD Sharma, senior advocates; HS Hooda, Advocate General, Haryana; Jaivir Yadav, Gurinder Pal Singh, members Bar Council; and Dr Geeta Joshi, director of Army Institute of Law, were also present. The speakers advised young advocates to be punctual, honest, hard working and also to remain away from short cuts to achieve professional heights.

Painting contest

A painting competition was organised by the Chhaya School of Art, which was established under the Chhayakriti Pratibha Trust. The competition gave young artists an opportunity to use their brush strokes to create “landscape” paintings. As many as 400 students participated in the competition. The students were divided into seven categories.


The Aggarwal Sabha, Chandigarh, honoured the newly elected municipal councillors on Sunday. Sabha president Prem Chand Gupta felicitated the newly elected councillors. The honoured councillors included Deshraj Gupta, Darshan Lal Garg, Rajesh Gupta and Satprakash Aggarwal. Nominated councillors, Aruna Goyal and Satpal Bansal, were also honoured. Bhim Sen Garg, the newly elected director of market committee, Chandigarh, was also honoured.

Book on road safety released

The UT traffic police has obtained the education department’s approval for introduction of a booklet, “Road safety our concern”, as a supplementary reading for students of classes VI to X from the next session 2012-2013. KK Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, had released the second edition of a book on road safety. The aim of the book is to educate schoolchildren about traffic rules and regulations. The Chandigarh police will provide 15,000 books, free of cost to all schools.

Dance workshop

The Women and Children Welfare and Development Society organised a weeklong dance workshop for underprivileged girls at Theatre Age, Sector 24. The workshop was conducted by president Roohi Gupta and general secretary Vijender Singh under the guidance of Zulfiqar Khan, director of Theatre Age. Roohi Gupta taught girls the Punjabi folk dance, giddha. The girls took keen interest in learning the basic steps of the Punjabi folk dance.

Innovative technique

Doctors at Alchemist Hospital, Panchkula, have claimed of coming up with an innovating endoscopic techniques to treat eventhe seemingly hopeless cases of bile and pancreatic duct diseases. Dr Pradeep Kumar, a gastroenterologist oh the hospital, informed that with the addition of a state-of-the-art armamentarium, a technique which is a latest version of mechanical lithotriptor, even the hardest of stones that could not otherwise be broken during endoscopic stone removal procedure (ERCP) can now be broken and removed.

Power shutdown

Power supply to parts of Sectors 26 and 8-C will be suspended from 10 am to 3 pm on Monday. Supply to parts of Sector 17-D will also be affected from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm.

— Tribune Reporters



954 college passouts get degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The annual convocation of GGDSD College, Sector 32, was held today on the college premises. Rajeev Shukla, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India, was the chief guest. Degrees were conferred on a total of 954 graduates.

The function started with the rendition of Saraswati Vandana by college students. College principal Meena Prabhakar declared the convocation open and highlighted the achievements of the college.

Shukla, who is also the vice-president of BCCI and IPL chairman, spoke on the importance of education in one’s life and its relevance for the economy of the country.



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