C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Traffic rules bent for VIP
No challan for SUV being driven without number plates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The traffic police today let a vehicle belonging to a VIP, being driven without front and rear number plates, to be driven away without even issuing a challan slip, despite blatant violation of traffic rules.

The incident showcased how the traffic police, which challaned over 30,000 persons ever year for violating road safety rules, developed cold feet when it came to bringing VIPs to book.

The white Mahindra SUV was reportedly occupied by a Member of Parliament from Rajasthan. The incident occurred near the roundabout separating Sector 29 and Phase II of Industrial Area here.

The driver of the vehicle tried to avoid a traffic policeman on being signalled to stop. As the driver accelerated, the traffic policeman jumped in front of the vehicle to stop the driver for questioning.

A gunman attached with th MP, donning the uniform of the Rajasthan Police, alighted from the vehicle and confronted the traffic policeman.

After an argument with the traffic policeman, that lasted quite some time, the occupant of the vehicle told him that it was brand new and they were on way to get number plates fitted.

The traffic policeman let the vehicle go without issuing a challan or even questioning the absence of temporary number plates.

“The traffic policeman was quick to stop the car and confront the violator, but hesitated in challaning him when a person in uniform got out of the car,” said an onlooker.

“While the police has been going overboard in asking people to adhere to road safety rules, it lets go VIPs violating traffic rules,” he added.



Why is Rs 22.30 crore not on record, RLA staff?
Receipts collected, but not reconciled with treasury
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The ‘non-seriousness’ of the UT Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) in its functioning came to the fore again, with the latest local audit and inspection report pointing out that the department has not reconciled its collection of Rs 22.30 crore as receipts and deposits in last fiscal.

According to rules, the cash, being collected by the government department, has to be deposited in the treasury everyday and the accounts of the department and the treasury have to be reconciled on a regular basis to tally the records of the receipts and deposits in the treasury.

A huge sum of Rs 22.30 crore was collected as receipts during 2010-11 by the department by charging fees for issuance of learner’s driving licences, driving licences and and registration certificates for new and old vehicles.

The receipts of the amount were not reconciled with the account records of the Administration treasury, pointed out the local audit and inspection report, issued recently by the Principal Auditor-General, Punjab and UT, after conducting the audit for 2010-11.

The reconciliation register had not been signed either by the DDO or the treasury officer concerned and the possibility of misappropriation or embezzlement could not be ruled out, stated the audit report.

Pointing out another lapse on the part of the authorities, the report mentioned that no internal audit was conducted in the department during the audit period.

An embezzlement of about Rs 30 lakh had been unearthed during the checking of account records of the department from April 1, 2010, to October 31, 2011.

The authorities had terminated the services of 10 contractual employees and transferred three government employees from the department when an embezzlement of about Rs 5.60 lakh was detected in October following a special checking of records of about five months, from April 1, 2011, to August 30, 2011.

After that, a special audit of accounts of the department from April 1, 2010, to October 31, 2011, was done, which revealed another embezzlement of about Rs 23 lakh.

A regular inquiry, marked by the UT Administration, was yet to take off in this regard. The Chandigarh Police had been also investigating the case after registering an FIR at the Sector-17 police station about three months back.

The audit report stressed upon the need of strengthening the system and internal control of the RLA, particularly in the area of receipts and depositing those in government accounts, especially where contractual staff was handling cash.



Anxious but confident candidates brace for D-day
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali/Kharar, January 29
With political pundits predicting a photo-finish for Punjab elections, candidates of various political parties spent the Sunday giving final touches to their booth management strategies and keeping a hawk eye on the activities of their opponents.

Though anxiety was writ large on the faces of candidates of all major political parties, they showed the confidence of proclaiming victory by handsome margins.

Closeted with their strategists in their so-called ‘war rooms’ in their party offices or their residences, the candidates spent the day analysing the micro-details of booth-wise polling patterns visa-viz the deployment of the party workers.

It seemed that going by the feedback from the voters and the past polling trends, the outcome of tomorrow’s polling could turn out to be a photo-finish for the winning candidates.

Among the main candidates in the fray from Mohali were Balbir Singh Sidhu (Congress), Balwant Singh Ramoowalia (SAD) and Bir Devinder (PPP).

The counting would reflect whether it was a triangular contest between the Congress, SAD and the PPP or a direct fight between the two main parties.

The constituency, (formerly Kharar constituency) had voted the Congress candidate to power in the 1992, 2002 and 2007 elections, with Daljeet Kaur winning on the SAD ticket in 1997.

But the votes netted by the SAD candidates, Kiranbir Singh Kang and Jasjit Singh in the 2002 and 2007 elections, respectively, could not be ignored.

Significantly, the groundwork done by local Akalis leaders (who perhaps for the first time had got together to rally for Balwant Singh Ramoowalia) and the hectic canvassing by the star campaigner Harbhajan Mann for the SAD candidate was giving uneasy moments to the Congress candidate.

Sources revealed that the SAD top brass has promised a significant position to every leader who worked for Ramoowalia. On the other hand, the Congress candidate was banking on his strong hold in the rural belt, that accounted for over 40 per cent of votes in the Mohali constituency.

But the polling pattern in Mohali town, that had about one lakh votes, would be the game-changer. Instead of solely going in for issues, the voters in the constituency had been seen giving their vote to the candidate they associated themselves with.

Political analysts pointed out that the PPP factor could not be totally ruled out. Going by the rally addressed by Manpreet Badal at Mohali two days ago, the PPP candidate had the potential of making a dent in the Congress and SAD vote banks in rural and urban areas.

In Kharar, there seemed to be a direct contest between the Congress candidate, Jagmohan Singh Kang, and the SAD candidate, Ujaggar Singh Wadali. The BSP candidate, Arjan Kansal, could manage to eat into the vote bank of both parties in the Kandi belt.

Sources revealed that the Congress candidate had managed to win over a number of key persons related to the party. The rebel Congress candidate, Kamal Kishore, could eat into the vote bank of the Congress in urban areas.

On the other hand, the contest in Dera Bassi segment had turned out to be triangular contest between the SAD candidate, NK Sharma, the Congress candidate Jasjit Singh Dhillon, and rebel Congress candidate, Deepinder Dhillon.

It was learnt that the SAD candidate was trying hard to win over loyalists of the late Akali stalwart, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who daughter was contesting against the SAD candidate.

Two rounded up for distributing objectionable pamphlets

Residents of Puncham Society rounded up two youths who were distributing objectionable pamphlets against the Congress candidate, Balbir Singh Sidhu. The police registered a case against them. “The youths were distributing the pamphlets on behalf of the SAD candidate,” alleged the Congress candidate. He said he would complain to the Election Commission. Tension prevailed when Congress supporters reached the spot and tried to confront the two youths. There was no mention of the printing press on the pamphlets. There were complaints that Congress workers were removing pamphlets of Anna Hazare, that were being inserted in newspapers by hawkers.



Security stepped up ahead of elections
Tribune News Service

Poll officials with election material in Phase VI of Mohali on Sunday
Poll officials with election material in Phase VI of Mohali on Sunday.

Mohali, January 29
Amidst tight security arrangements, 2,324 officials on polling duty were dispatched with the electronic voting machine (EVMs) to 581 polling booths in the Mohali, Kharar and Dera Bassi Assembly segments from Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, here.

Of the total 2,500 police personnel on duty, 1,820 policemen have been attached with the polling staff. The polling will be held tomorrow from 8 am to 5 pm. The district election officer, Varun Roojam, said at 166 hyper-sensitive areas, extra force had been deployed.

The number of sensitive and critical booths is 209 and 29, respectively. Throughout the day, the returning officers and election staff of the Mohali and Kharar Assembly segments were seen handing over the EVMs to the polling staff.

The DC said to ensure free and fair polling, 46 micro-observers and 60 sector observers had been deputed. There were a total of 5,87,539 voters in the three assembly segments of Mohali district. Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar said 2,500 policemen, including 320 paramilitary police personnel, had been deputed in the three constituencies.

Besides, 55 patrolling parties, comprising 165 policemen, had been stationed across the district. The SSP also held a briefing for the officials. The central observers Dr ELSN Bala Parshad, Kona Shishidar, Kamal Pant will keep an eye on anti-social elements.

After polling, the EVMs from the polling stations in Kharar and Mohali segments will be kept at Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, and the EVMs from the Dera Bassi segment will be kept at Government College, Dera Bassi.



Two youths killed in road accident
Tragedy strikes family ahead of wedding
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 29
Two youths were killed in a road accident as their motorcycle collided head-on with a rashly driven Swift car, coming from the opposite direction, at Naggal village, near Barwala, this afternoon.

One of the victims, hailing from a village in Naraingarh, was on the way with his cousin to distribute invitation cards of the wedding of his sister. The victims were identified as Amit (20) of Rattewali village in the Morni block and Sandeep (18) of Palian village in Naraingarh.

The driver of the car fled the spot, leaving behind his vehicle. The police registered the case against the unidentified driver and started investigations.

Sandeep had gone to the village of his cousin to distribute the cards of the wedding of his sister, to be solemnised on February 10.

Amit accompanied him back, riding pillion. They were going to Bawala when the car, coming from the Naraingarh side, hit their vehicle. Sandeep was killed on the spot and Amit seriously injured.

Passersby took Amit to the Sector-6 General Hospital, where he breathed his last before he could be referred to the PGI in Chandigarh.

The police arrived with the body of Sandeep and doctors declared him brought dead. It found wedding cards from the spot and informed Sandeep’s family on the mobile phone number printed on the cards.

The bodies of the victims were kept at the mortuary of the Sector-6 General Hospital for post-mortem examination, which would be conducted tomorrow.



PU misses deadline
Was to declare semester results by January 30
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The tall claims made by Panjab University (PU) to declare semester results by January 30 seems to have fallen flat as the university’s examination branch is yet not ready to declare the results.

Whether it be the delay on the part of the teachers or the overburdened examination branch, it appears that the results would be delayed by over a week.

Official sources said that a large number of teachers from the university and affiliated colleges are yet to return the answer sheets, following which the results would be delayed. In a bid to ensure that the result are declared by January-end, the university had fixed a deadline of January 15 for returning the evaluated answer sheets. However, the examination branch is yet to receive all evaluated answer sheets. “The examination branch is already short of staff and the delay made by the teachers to submit answer sheets after evaluation has worsened the situation,” said an official from PU’s examination branch.

The Syndicate has specified that one clerk and an assistant would handle the examination work of only 3,500 papers. But they are handling more than 8,000 papers. The process involves submission of forms, data recording, dispatching roll numbers, getting question papers and answer sheets and tabulating the entire data.

Gurdeep Singh, president of Panjab University Staff Association (PUSA), said that there was a shortage of staff in the examination branch and the employees were overburdened. The university needs to make new recruitments at the earliest. “I had already raised the issue that the results would get delayed in the beginning of the semester. The number of departments and students has increased manifold, but the number of employees is still the same,” Singh said.

PU also seems to be a little casual about the administrative set up in the examination branch as there hasn’t been a regular Controller of Examination for over one and a half years. The Registrar of the university, AK Bhandari, has been officiating as the controller. The Registrar was unavailable for comment.



Two-minute silence today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A two-minute silence will be observed in the union territory from 11 am tomorrow in memory of those who lost their lives in the freedom struggle.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Vijay Kumar has requested those driving vehicles in Chandigarh to stop and maintain silence during this period.



Lt-Gen Dayal dead
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 29
Lt-Gen Ranjit Singh Dayal (retd), a former Lieutenant-Governor of Pondicherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, breathed his last at the Command Hospital here this evening. A highly decorated officer, General Dayal had been suffering from prostrate cancer, detected a few years ago.

He was admitted to the hospital a few days back for terminal care after his condition deteriorated.

Born at Kurukshetra on November 15, 1928, General Dayal was selected to the Indian Military Academy in 1946. He was commissioned in the Army. He joined the Punjab Regiment (Para) and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, which took part in the 1948 Indo-Pak war.

He was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra for capturing the strategically important Haji Pir Pass in the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

He was survived by his wife and daughter. His cremation would take place with full military honours at the Sector-25 crematorium in Chandigarh at 2 pm tomorrow.


MC still allocating hefty budget of Rs 2 crore to Deep Complex
It is now under the purview of the UT Administration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Sounds strange, but it is true that the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is allocating hefty budget for Deep Complex village in Hallo Majra every year despite it being under the purview of the UT Administration.The budget report of the past three years reveals that the MC is earmarking crores of rupees every year for sewerage and storm-water works there.

Interestingly, in the current budget report of the corporation, it says that Deep Complex village, which has recently been transferred to the MC, does not have the facility of sewerage and storm-water system. In order to undertake this work, the authorities have allocated Rs two crore in the current year budget. Similarly, in the last two budgets also the MC had allocated funds for the same purpose. But the ground reality is that no work has commenced there, as the area is not under the jurisdiction of the corporation.

A senior official said that no development project has commenced in Deep Complex village for the past three years as the area was not under the purview of the corporation.

Whereas, in reply to an RTI recently, the corporation authorities had accepted that since Deep Complex, Hallo Majra, was not under their jurisdiction, so no development work had been undertaken by them in the village.

Even the records of the UT Administration revealed that in 2009 a notification was issued by the UT authorities for reverting the area Deep Complex village from the corporation. A senior official said that till date no decision had been taken to de-notify the village and transfer it to the corporation.

In 2007, Deep Complex was de-notified and in 2008 it was transferred to the Municipal Corporation. The corporation conducted a digital survey for water supply and sewerage lines but till date no work had commenced as the area had been transferred to the administration.



Will Paramjit be sent to Patiala Jail for hanging ?
Balwant was sent there; no hangman at Burail Jail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Even as the UT district courts have been awarding death penalty to convicts in rarest of the rare crimes all these years, not even a single case has reached its execution. In all cases barring one, the judgments have been stayed by the high court and converted into life imprisonments till death following an appeal by the convicts. The only death penalty case that has been upheld by the high court is that of Balwant Singh, assassin in the Beant Singh case. Balwant is currently lodgd in Burail jail.

Moreover, the UT Burail Jail lacks the facility of a hangman to execute death penalties and if the sentence is confirmed by the high court, the convict is sent to Patiala Jail.

The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Shalini Nagpal, yesterday awarded capital punishment to a drug peddler, Paramjit Singh, in the first of its kind conviction.

This is the fifth time that a death penalty have been awarded by the district courts in the last five years. In 2007, the court of then Additional District And Sessions Judge had awarded capital punishment to Jagtar Singh Hawara and Balwant Singh, convicts in former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination case. While Hawara’s sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment till ‘death’ following his appeal in December last year, Balwant Singh is spending time in Patiala jail as he did not appeal to the court and his sentence was upheld by the high court.

In December 2007, a father who had killed his sons was awarded the capital punishment. The court held 28-year-old Kamleshwar Paswan, a resident of Kishangarh, guilty of “foul and senseless murder of his two sons”. However, the term was converted into life imprisonment till ‘death’ by the high court after the convict filed an appeal.

In 2009, the court awarded death penalty to Pappu Paswan in a child sodomy and murder case. This punishment too was stayed by the high court after an appeal and Pappu Paswan now faces life term till his death.



Cold-wave conditions to prevail in region
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Residents in the region continued to face cold wave conditions with the minimum temperature hovering around 5 degrees Celsius in the past one week.

This year the region has witnessed coldest January with minimum temperatures, touching 4.6 degrees Celsius on January 10.The minimum temperature in January 2011 was recorded at 11.8 degrees Celsius while it was 5 and 4.8 degrees Celsius in the same month in 2009 and 2010, respectively. It was in 2008 that severe cold gripped the city when the minimum temperature fell to 3 degrees Celsius.

The weather office has predicted that there will be no major change in day or night temperatures in the next 48 hours. The sky will be mainly clear with mist or haze occurring in the morning and evening hours. The maximum temperature on Monday will be around 19 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature on Tuesday will be around 5 degrees Celsius.Surinder Pal, director, Met Department, said there would be no major change in the temperature in the next two days. He said there was a possibility of light drizzle after four or five days and it would be clear in the coming few days.

Meanwhile, the maximum temperature was recorded at 20.3 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature was recorded at 5.2 degrees Celsius one degree below normal. Cold wave conditions were also prevailing in isolated pockets in Punjab and Haryana and were likely to continue during the next 48 hours.



No respite from simians
Residents continue to fall prey to monkey attacks
Tribune News Service
Monkeys roam near the booth of parking lot workers at Sector 9, Madhya Marg, Chandigarh; and (below) Monkeys playground a cause of scratches on cars in the parking area of Sector 9, Madhya Marg
(Above) Monkeys roam near the booth of parking lot workers at Sector 9, Madhya Marg, Chandigarh; and (below) Monkeys playground a cause of scratches on cars in the parking area of Sector 9, Madhya Marg. tribune photoS: s. Chandan

Chandigarh, January 29
There is no respite from monkey menace in the city as the simians continue to harass city residents. The menace is prevalent mainly in the northern sectors.

The monkeys have created panic among children, women and the elderly. The affected sectors are 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 27, 28, 18, 19 and Mani Majra. The fear of monkeys has forced children and senior citizens to stay indoor in the evening hours, otherwise spent in parks. “My sister and I use to go for an evening walk in a nearby park, however the threat of being attacked by monkeys has forced us to avoid going for walks in the park”, said Ashish Dogra, a resident of Sector 11.

A monkey bit a nine-month old child on August 30 last year at a house in Sector 27-D. On July 21, Asmita, a resident of the same sector, was attacked by a gang of monkeys while taking a walk in a park of the locality.

Residents rued that the monkeys even tore clothes kept out in the balconies and even damaged vehicles parked on the roads. They even broke lights installed in the parks.

Mahesh Inder Sidhu, a resident of Sector 8, said that gang of monkeys kept moving across their locality and usually damaged the vehicles parked outside the houses by jumping over them.

Interestingly, the department has only two ‘langoors’ to chase them away and that too has failed to bear fruits.

The wildlife department had earlier planned to adopt the endoscopic sterilisation of monkeys, but the proposal was still hanging fire.



Sewerage line caves in
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 29
Thanks to the lack of coordination between the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, one of the main sewerage lines of the city has caved in due to mindless digging by a contractor engaged to lay underground power cables.

It’s been a week, since the sewerage line caved in, but GMADA officials are yet to wake up to the situation. Sources said a contractor engaged in the laying of underground power cables did not check the other underground services and damaged the sewer line. As a result, the earth over the sewerage line caved in, affecting the main road between Chandigarh and Sohana.

Sources said for the moment, the caved in portion of the road has been covered. But the gap could widen further in the coming days posing threat to the road users.



sector-6 robbery
Police still groping in dark
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 29
Even a week after the unidentified accused robbed an elderly couple at their residence in Sector 6 here on January 22, the police continues to grope in the dark.

The police had also released the sketch of one of the accused on the next day and constituted a special team headed by Kalka Assistant Commissioner of Police Krishan Hooda to nab the accused, but the police is yet to make a breakthrough in the case.

Four youths had robbed RK Garg, a businessman dealing in tobacco products, of Rs 4 lakh and jewellery. They also stabbed him in the abdomen after he refused to handover the cash to the accused. He was operated upon at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh, where his condition was stated to be stable.

The sketch and the CCTV footage seemed to be of little help to the police as it had also failed to make any headway in several ATM card cloning cases in which the unidentified accused had withdrawn lakhs of rupees from the savings accounts of customers of the State Bank of Patiala by using cloned cards.

Recently, two cases of theft were reported from two different temples in the city in which the CCTV footage showed the accused taking away the cash and jewellery.

A senior official of the police department said investigations were on and they were hopeful of getting the leads to nab the culprits. He said the CCTV footage of the accused involved in the theft of jewellery from temples and ATM cloning cases were not clear as their faces were covered. The sketches of the accused would surely help them nab the culprits involved in the Sector 6 robbery, he added.



open house response
‘Malls will only add to problems in Sector 17’

Despite big malls coming up in the city and neighbouring towns, nothing can replace the magical attraction of Sector 17, particularly on the weekends. People from the entire region are clamouring for space in the parking lots. The place is irresistible for spending one's evening and shopping.

The environs have an unsaid magic. The settings are very leisurely without any loud honking typical to shopping areas of big towns of the region, including Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana. One can have a carefree walk and shop the best brands.

Even during the peak summers, the evenings are very pleasant. Efforts need to be made keeping in mind the originality of the structure in the city. We don't need huge malls. They will bring along a number of problems. On holidays and after the office hours, even on working days, a majority of the area except the Plaza wears a deserted look.

Dr Rakesh Agnihotri, Sector 48, Chandigarh

Parking lot need of the hour

Even the crowded shopping area of Sector 17 does not give any impression of people in a rush. Every shopper wants to come here not just to shop but also to enjoy the
rather relaxed settings. A small portion of Sector 17 which comprises the main shopping area, I think provides ample space. There is no need for any expansion because the crowd strength remains the same in any season, particularly around Diwali.

The biggest problem in the visitor’s hub of the city is parking. The multi-storeyed parking lot planned in the area has not come up. Vehicles remain haphazardly parked in the available parking space. Another parking lot is the biggest need of the hour.
The particular portion of the sector, under study, for new innovations is the banking area. Under the existing conditions, I do not think it is possible to make any changes in the building plans.

Meenakshi Dabur, Sector 35, Chandigarh

Night Food Street must be shifted to Sec 17

I do agree with the proposal of the Chandigarh administration in making Sector 17 an attraction centre for fun activities. Surely, Chandigarh being a modern city, resembling foreign ones, must have a space for fun activities for its residents and visitors. But it is sad and embarrassing to note that the UT administration is yet to decide what shape should the "Heart of the City" be given to make it more attractive for the visitors to the City Beautiful.

The only point of attraction is the Sector 17 Plaza with a fountain where some musical and theatrical activities are sometimes held for the public. The space beyond the fountain towards the old Jagat theatre is as good as dead. The place needs to be utilised. A garden with benches and lights should come up there. Some animal statues, aeroplane structure, etc can also be created where children can have fun. There should also be some eating joints in the area with bins. This will surely help in attracting more visitors to the City Centre.

The so-called "circus ground" adjoining the Fire Office remains almost unutilised for most part of the year and looks like a deserted place at night. The place will be most suitable for a multi-storeyed parking lot. All vehicles coming to the Sector 17 market should be parked there. No vehicle should be allowed in the main market area. It should be a no parking zone. This will give more room for the free movement of people in the market area, without the fear of traffic hazards. Even the Night Food Street should be shifted to the "Heart of the City" from the university-PGI area, where quality food should be made available at reasonable rates. Shops should remain open till late at night or up to 10 pm. It should be an impressive showcase of the modern lifestyle of the Chandigarh residents.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Offices should be shifted from Sec 17

Space in Sector 17 needs to be used judiciously. Fun activities must be there, but certainly not at the cost of taxpayers. The aim should be to work towards a better Chandigarh.

This could only be possible if there is a detailed planning. There are various things which need to be required in the city. For example, the southern side of City Beautiful has been neglected as far as civic amenities like health, education, sanitation and good roads are concerned. There is a greater need to set up a big hospital on the pattern of the PGI. This will not only lessen the burden on the already existing hospitals like the PGI, Sector 32 and GMSH-16, but also provide medical facilities to all residents of the city. Besides, there is a greater need to strengthen the public transport system. Owing to a phenomenal rise in the number of vehicles, there has been congestion problem in the city. Since more offices like the district courts are being shifted from Sector 17 to Sector 43, more space shall be available. There are a large number of offices of the UT administration, Punjab and Haryana government that need to be shifted to Sector 17.

SK Khosla, Sector 40, Chandigarh

Pending projects should be completed

The Chandigarh administration’s idea to liven up Sector 17 for better utilisation of space in the “Heart of the City” sounds quite interesting, but its viability and feasibility still remains a question. The surveys carried out by the officials have proved futile. The administration should chalk out plans keeping in mind the expectations and needs of city residents as well as tourists.

The area turns dark and silent after office hours everyday. In order to brighten up the area, the administration should implement the projects that are hanging fire. First and foremost should be the multi-level parking that will help people get rid of parking problem and also help making Plaza a vehicle-free zone. The conversion of the circus ground into an exhibition venue will certainly attract a large number of visitors and add to the city’s existing culture. Instead of putting these much welcomed projects into cold storage, the administration should implement and complete these with some practical and acceptable modifications.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula



Mobile phone company directed to pay Rs 8,500
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II has directed to pay Rs 8,500 on Meridian Mobile Pvt Ltd (Opposite party no 1), G.S.M. Masters (opposite party no 2) and Harbans Singh and Sons (opposite party no 3) for its failure to repair the technical snag in the mobile set bought by a Kharar resident.

The district forum, comprising president Lakshman Sharma and member Jaswinder Singh, has directed the opposite parties to refund Rs 3,500 as cost of the mobile set besides paying Rs 2,000 as compensation. The forum has also directed the respondents to pay Rs 2,000 as litigation costs to the complainant.

The complainant, Harjit Singh, submitted that his wife Paramjit Kaur purchased a dual sim mobile DS 180 of the Fly brand from opposite party No.3 having a warranty of one year. She approached the dealer as the mobile set developed problem of screen display on February 11, 2011. She was advised to approach the opposite party no No.2 (authorised service centre) and she handed over the set for necessary repairs. She was asked to collect the repaired mobile within two or three days, however, on repeated visits and telephonic calls made by her the repaired mobile set was not returned to her by the service centre. She was told that the spare parts, which needed replacement, were not available. She also made telephonic complaints to the opposite party No.1 but to no avail. According to the complainant, till date the mobile set has been lying with the service centre and has not been repaired.

Initially, an agent of opposite No 1 Virender Mishrta, appeared before the forum but subsequently, on October 13, 2011, none appeared on behalf of the opposite party No.1 and was ordered to be proceeded against ex parte. The opposite party No.2 and 3 were duly served through Process Server but no one appeared on their behalf and were proceeded against ex parte on July 19, 2011.

The forum observed: “The delay in handing over the mobile set back to the complainant is only to be condoned in case there is any letter/report showing that the spare parts are not available or the mobile set has some complicated fault”. “Already 10 months have passed from 12.02.2011 and the mobile handset has not been repaired. The complainant cannot be made to wait for so long or for an indefinite period”. In our considered view, non-return of the repaired mobile set to the complainant by the opposite party No.2 and its head office, after retaining it for such a long period, amounts to deficiency in service on their part”.



Ageing taking a toll? Give it a pause

Chandigarh, January 29
Ageing takes its toll on the skin. The changes that occur with aging are wrinkles, and prominent nasolabial folds. But these changes can be reversed through medical and surgical procedure like dermal fillers, which effectively define lips and reduce nasolabial folds.

Explaining the nasolabial folds, plastic surgeon Dr K M Kapoor, said, “With the growing age, the smile lines, marionette line and vertical lines become more prominent that make women conscious about their appearance in social gatherings. If no preventative measures are taken, these folds get deeper and give older look than the actual age.”

“Dermal filler like juvederm™ that contains hyaluronic acid, is a natural component of skin that helps in maintaining the volume of the skin and can be used to manage nasolabial folds. — TNS



Now, GPS will help locate vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A local company has tied up with a Russian firm in providing satellite navigation services for vehicles and is seen as an effective choice vis a vis the only facility, the US technology backed global positioning system (GPS).

Claiming to be world leader in satellite navigation services market, Glonas Navigation Information Systems of Russia, has tied up with a Chandigarh-based company, Landsmiths Projects Pvt Ltd to provide a unique vehicle monitoring and control system through a constellation of 48 satellites. It can constantly monitor one’s vehicle and regularly transmit the owner signals like its direction, location, speed, fuel-level sensors and state of the vehicle.

The global navigation satellite system is a radio-based satellite navigation system operated by the Russian aerospace defence forces. The system is am alternate to the existing GPS, which is currently the only alternative navigational system in operation with a global coverage and of the same precision.

Ajaypal Randhawa, head of the Indian arm Landsmiths projects, said that the NIS Glonas was extremely important and could play a pivotal role in improving efficiency and considerably reducing response time for law enforcement agencies as it could n be effectively used in the police patrol monitoring and control system for law enforcement, public safety and security agencies. He further stressed that it could also effectively manage large fleets and optimise resources.



personality development
300 IRB constables attend workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) of the UT Police held a workshop on personality development today for the benefits of officers and constables of the Battalion. About 300 constables, including 100 woman constables, attended the workshop.

Colonel Gursewak Singh (retired), a city based consultant on stress management and personality development, conducted the workshop.

Singh stressed on the need of discipline in uniformed forces, both within the organisation especially while dealing with seniors and also while interacting with the civil society.

He explained methods to control anger and manage stress through a specialised technique, called cosmic meditation.

Based on a vedic philosophy, the cosmic meditation helps to improve inter-personal relationship, strengthen the nervous system to enable control the worse law and order situation.

Talking about personality development, he explained as to how to enhance memory, achieve concentration to fulfil dreams and wishes.

He explained as to how positive body language can gave good impression to others, helped enhance career prospects and built cordial relations.



Power thefts bane of town
242 meters were found to be tampered with in district
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 29
Power thefts continue to rattle the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) as the energy meters of a large number of domestic consumers were found tampered with in the Panchkula district.

About 17 per cent of the energy meters of the domestic consumers, especially in rural areas, were found to be tampered with during a special drive conducted by the UHBVN at villages in Barwala, Morni, Raipur Rani, Pinjore blocks besides Saketri village near Panchkula.

The spokesperson of the UHBVN said during a random survey, 242 meters were found to be either tempered with or magnets were attached to these to slow down speed.

Forty meters in the domestic section and one each in the commercial and agriculture sectors were found to be tampered with. A penalty of Rs 11,16,000 was imposed on defaulters, out of which Rs 9,22,000 had already been recovered by the nigam.

The spokesperson said the modus operandi was to bypass the meter by cutting the input wire and to connect it directly with the output cable after tampering with the seals to minimise the bills. The enforcement staff had to use an electronic reference standard (ERS) meter to detect the misdeed of the consumers, he added.

Executive engineer Dalbir Singh Dhanda said the nigam had detected about 13 to 15 more cases of thefts in Panchkula and villages in its periphery during the past two days. He said notices were being sent to those who were involved in the theft asking them to deposit the fine within 48 hours. He said cases would be registered against them if they failed to deposit the same. He added that random raids would be conducted in future as well to detect the thefts.



Swift car, laptop recovered
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 29
The police has recovered a Swift car, a laptop, a monitor, mobile phones and other items from a gang of thieves that was nabbed by the CIA staff a few days ago.

Sirhind SSP BL Meena said the an Innova, a VCD and three hydro LCDs were also recovered from them.

The gang was involved in a number of snatchings. Four members of the gang were arrested while two are still at large.

The SSP said the police was conducting raids to nab one Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Gaziabad, UP, who used to provide weapons to them and Anoopinder Singh, a resident of Manawali Gali, Amritsar.



Traffic chaos at Zirakpur
Tribune News Service

Vehicles stuck in a traffic jam on the intersection of Ambala and Patiala highways on Sunday
Vehicles stuck in a traffic jam on the intersection of Ambala and Patiala highways on Sunday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, January 29
Traffic came to a standstill on the busy intersections of Zirakpur today.

As it was the last day of shopping festival at Paras Down Town Square, vehicles remained stuck in a traffic jam for hours.

A policeman present on duty said most of the traffic policemen had been put on election duty. Commuters had to face a harrowing time as long queues of vehicles were witnessed at all major intersections.

Traffic jams were witnessed at Zirakpur-Kalka light point, Patiala-Zirakpur light point and Dhakoli-Baltana Chowk.

A senior traffic official stated that the last day of shopping festival had led to the chaos.



Kerala Samajam bats for communal harmony
Tribune News Service

An artiste performs during the Kerala Samajam’s 38th annual day function in Bakhna Bhavan, Sector 29, Chandigarh, on Sunday
An artiste performs during the Kerala Samajam’s 38th annual day function in Bakhna Bhavan, Sector 29, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo:Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, January 29
The local Kerala Samajam (Regd), a group of people from Kerala with a vision of national integration, communal harmony and multilingual cultural heritage, today celebrated its 38th annual day at Bakhna Bhawan, Sector 29, Chandigarh at 4:30 pm. The function was inaugurated by Fr Thomas Anchalical by lighting the traditional lamp.

He lauded Keralites for organising charity programmes to help people across the country.

A souvenir was released on the occasion by A Mathew Alaxander, general manager, finance, Gyan Sagar Group of Colleges. A Comedy-mimicry show by Malayalam TV artists, Trichur Guinnes, from Kerala, was presented there which enthralled the audience.



‘No takers for classical music’
Tribune News Service

Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee M Venkatesh
Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee M Venkatesh. Tribune Photo

Chandigarh, January 29
Prof M Venkatesh, a leading classical vocalist and Sangeet Natak Akademi national award winner for 2011, shared his experiences and the overall music scenario. He appreciated the audience in City Beautiful and the initiatives of Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi for the promotion of Indian musical heritage.

He said that youngsters in North India have not shown much interest in classical music in the last ten years. The situation is a little better in the south, but still a lot remains to be achieved. He also said that because of western influences, the ‘guru-shishya’ and ‘gurukul’ traditions are on the verge of extinction, and the university students now take music like any other subject. These traditions and ‘gharanas’ teach a discipline which is necessary for bringing out the best in a student.

“ I had studied up to the primary-level in a school of my sleepy village, Laxmipur, near Bellary (Dharwad), before joining a gurukul at the age of 13 years. I stayed under the tutelage of Padmabhushan Dr Putaraj at the Vereshveshar ashram for 13 years. Thereafter I joined Belgaum University and am presently heading the deprtment of music there,” he said.

He also said that though Dharwad was in South India, Hindustani music was predominent in the region and the city had produced several great artists like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubhi Hangal.

It is imperative for the making of good artist to have an accomplished guru, proper ‘riyaz’ and a little bit of luck, claims Venkatesh, and adds that ‘Swar sadhna’ should be practiced like meditation. Credited with about 35 classical music albums and Kannad bhajans, he has performed in countries like the UK, USA and Canada. The audience there take serious interest and governments extend patronage for the promotion of all fine arts, says Venkatesh.



Classical music programme enthrals audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 29
A delectable classical vocal recital by Dharwad based maestro M Venkatesh Kumar provided a grand finale to the sixth two-day annual bonanza organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi at the Tagore theatre late yesterday evening.

He opened with an ‘alaap’ to form the structure of ‘raga chhayanat’ before presenting the ‘vilambat’ composition ‘Ae ri ab goonth lao malniya’ which melted into Drut ‘Jhanan jhanan’ in ‘teen tal’.

He presented more compositions like ‘Jago mere bhaag’ in ‘raga Saraswati’ followed by items in ‘raga basant’ and ‘raga bahaar’ to conclude with bhajans.

Earlier, acclaimed singer Bhuvnesh Komkali, the custodian of musical legacy of the legendary classical singer, Pandit Kumar Gandhrav, set the pace with an immaculate rendition of ‘raga bahaar’ with the composition ‘Ritu raj baasnt ras barsayo’.

Young Bhuvnseh captivated the audience while delineating the same ‘raga bhoop’ in two different modes without disturbing its concept and serenity . His ‘gayaki’ style, ‘teyyari’, throwing of words and ‘taan’ patterns bore the stamp of his grand father Kumar Gandharv and father guru Mukul Shivputra.

Among the accompanists, Vinay Mishra excelld on the harmonium. Pandit Yashpaul and N Khosla, IAS (Retd), honoured the artists.

While the audience and performers lauded akademi chairperson Kamal Tewari’s endeavour, creating ambience of Basant festival leading to its grand success, many senior artists desired the participation of local maestros.



Tricity scan

Gandhian pays visit to city

A dedicated follower of Mahatma Gandhi and a social worker based in Varanasi, Chandra Mohan Srivastava, reached the city on Sunday as a part of his nationwide travel to create awareness among youngsters on the ill-affects of drugs. He is accompanied by his wife Malti Srivastava. He has also won a national award from the President for his commendable work in the ‘Bharat Jodo-Nasha Chhodo’ movement.

Sports association president elected

A former president of Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) and former chairman of the physical education department at PU, Dr NS Mann, has been elected the president of the Sports Psychology Association of India.

NSS camp at Sec-22 school

A seven-day NSS camp was inaugurated at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, on Saturday. Gurdip Singh Bhatti, assistant program advisor visited the camp and told the NSS volunteers about the aims and objectives of NSS. As a part of camp the volunteers also visited village Sarangpur and told the residents about the values of health and hygiene.

Job fest on February 9

Aryans Group of Colleges will be organising a ‘Mega Job Fest’ on February 9 at its campus in Nepra village, a press release said here on Sunday. More than 25 companies from different streams have confirmed their participation.

89 units of blood donated at camp

At least 89 units of blood were donated in a camp organised by Paul Merchants Ltd, a press release said here on Sunday. The camp organised in the corporate office in Sector 22. The blood was collected by the Rotary & Blood Bank Society, Sec 37, Chandigarh. The unique aspect about the Blood donation camp was that as many as 50 employees of the corporate itself donated blood, apart from donors from general public.

School announces holiday today

The British School, Chandigarh, has declared January 30, 2012, a holiday. This was decided by the school’s management, keeping in mind the Punjab Assembly elections voting. The decision has been taken to avoid inconvenience to students, parents, teachers and staff members residing in various areas of Punjab.

Consumer body office-bearers

The following have been elected office bearers of the Consumers Association Chandigarh, Sector 11- chairman: R. K. Kaplash: senior vice-chairman: Amrita Sehgal; vice-chairman: Commandant (Retd) DS Romana; secretary general: DS Virdi; and organising secretary: BM Mittal.

Medical camp on liver diseases

A camp on liver diseases was held at the Fortis Hospital auditorium here today. Speaking during the event, Dr Subba Rao V Kanchustambam , additional director and head of department, Center for Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Sciences (CLTBS), Fortis Hospital , said that liver diseases were a serious health danger to a large part of our population, particularly the young. The low level of awareness about the diseases makes them even more difficult to prevent, the speaker added. — TNS



Soon, you can apply for PU admission online
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
In a move that would benefit thousands of students applying for admission, Panjab University has decided to introduce the facility of online filling of application forms for all the entrance exams from the coming academic session.

The move would be particularly helpful for the outstation students who, till now, had to come to the city to fill up entrance forms. Students now not only have the facility to apply sitting back home, they will also get their roll numbers online. The modalities of the system have been worked-out and the agenda would be tabled before the Syndicate on January 31 for the finale nod.

K Tankeshwar, director, computer center, said that the students would now apply online for the entrance and will be allotted an application number. “The applicants then will be able to upload their photograph and scanned signature online,” he said.

Officials also said that the after the successful completion of the online applications, the students will be generated with a pay-in slip to deposit the fee. “The students will then have to send a hard copy of the printed application form along with the copy of fee paid,” officials added.

Applicants will also be able to generate admit cards online. “The facility would end the problem of applicants not receiving roll numbers,” officials said.

Every year thousands of students from across the country apply for admissions to PU for which they have to come to Chandigarh.

Last year, PU had introduced the same facility for admissions to B Ed. Few years back the university had also started the facility of submitting fee online. However, the scheme received lukewarm response with not more than 2 % students using the mechanism to deposit fee.



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