C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HC relief for owners of resumed properties
Orders can be reversed if allottees remove alterations
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
In what could signify a second chance for residents with resumed housing board properties, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that the resumption orders can be reversed on the basis of an undertaking given by allottees regarding the removal of additions and alterations.

The significant ruling by a Division Bench on a petition filed by Dukhi Ram against the Union Territory, Chandigarh, and other respondents.

In his petition placed before the Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice AN Jindal, Dukhi Ram had challenged the order dated August 18, 2000.

The respondents, vide the order, had cancelled the allotment of the dwelling unit to the petitioner “on account of running of an unauthorised” hardware shop.

The Bench was told that the petitioner had filed an appeal against the order before the UT District Judge. But the appeal was dismissed after an Additional District Judge found that “the petitioner has made encroachments on government land in front of the site and the possession of the dwelling unit has been taken over by the respondents”.

The counsel for the petitioner told the Bench that “similar orders passed in respect of other allottees had been set aside on the undertaking of all such allottees that they shall remove additions and alterations”.

After hearing the arguments, the Bench asserted: “We have heard counsel for the parties and find that the petitioner is entitled to the similar order, subject to the conditions the petitioner shall file an undertaking by way of an affidavit with the housing board that he shall have no objection if additions and alterations in the dwelling unit are removed by the Chandigarh Housing Board at his cost.”

The Bench added he would also undertake “not to misuse the dwelling unit, that is he will use the same for the purpose of residence and will comply with all the conditions of allotment”.

The Bench added: “If such an affidavit is filed, the Chandigarh Housing Board, shall remove the additions and alterations made in the house, including encroachments made on government land, at the cost of the petitioner.

“After removing such unauthorised additions and alterations, the possession of the dwelling unit shall be restored to the petitioner within two weeks of the filing of the undertaking.

“In case in future there is any misuse or unauthorised construction, the board shall be competent to take action in accordance with law.”



Admn sitting over building plans
Residents peeved as UT mulls uniform building code
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The UT Administration has been sitting over building plans of residents for the past over six months as it is caught up in procedural wrangling for drafting a uniform building code, which does not jeopardise the claims of the city with Unesco for a world heritage status.

UT officials say the heritage status report has not been submitted yet due to certain “loose ends” in ensuring uniformity of city structures as per master designer Le Corbusier’s plans. Allowing changes might cost dear to the status of the city as a heritage city, it has been argued.

Residents, however, are peeved at the procedural rigmarole and say it only means “financial loss in terms of delay and harassment”.

Difference over the floor area ratio (FAR) between the applicants and the Administration is the main issue. Applicants have applied for building plans according to the existing bylaws while the Administration is learnt to be working on reducing the FAR to keep “the Corbusier spirit intact”.

Certain residents are claiming that their buildings did not form part of the original city heritage and the Administration was unnecessarily holding up the work on their buildings. “We are being asked to repeatedly visit the office. No one says anything officially. But office sources tell us that the Administration was mulling a uniform building code. If it decides on a uniform policy, many construction plans will go awry,” an applicant stated.

Another applicant said: “I had submitted the building plans for my house in Sector 8 on September 13, 2011, as per the existing bylaws. But I haven’t received any clearance yet. I know of at least eight more residents who are facing the same problem. Some of them had applied even before me.”

“My file has been cleared by seven members of the upper committee, but has been lying pending in the office of the Chief Architect,” another applicant said.

VK Singh, Secretary, Urban Planning, confirmed that the building plans were under active discussion and would be cleared soon.

Matter stuck

The matter is stuck due to the drafting of a unified policy for buildings to claim heritage status. There are certain contradiction clauses in the bylaws, particularly with regard to the floor area ratio. The matter has been sorted out and recommendations forwarded to the department of urban planning — Sumit Kaur, Chief Architect 



Police exhausts fuel fund again
Fuel worth Rs 4.5 cr already used up; Rs 1.5-crore grant sought from UT
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
For the second time this financial year, the UT police has exhausted its quota of funds worth crores for fuel for its fleet of vehicles and is left at the mercy of the UT Administration for additional grant of Rs 1.5 crore. With no fresh funds flowing, some police vehicles were today left stranded for want of fuel while some others got the fuel refuelled from the Sector 33 petrol station on a temporary basis. No fuel is currently being supplied by the police petrol station at the MT section in the Police Lines for want of funds.

The police has already exhausted fuel worth Rs 4.5 crore for its fleet since April last year. Till November 2011, the police had exhausted Rs 3.5 crore of fuel on its vehicles and another Rs 1 crore was sought from the Administration, which was also used up. The police borrowed about Rs 20 lakh from the Police Welfare Fund Society in the last 10 days and the same will be reimbursed once the additional grant is received.

Police sources said the UT finance department had raised objection to the huge fuel expenditure by the police when the earlier grant of Rs 1 crore was demanded in November last year. The police had contended that 144 more vehicles were added under the modernisation scheme this year, but the grant for fuel remained the same.

The finance department had questioned the police how additional fleet of vehicles could add to expenditure on fuel when the area of movement remained the same, which is merely 114 sq km.

Police fleet

Type Number

Gypsy 129

Motorcycle 186

Tata 407, bus, truck, armoured troop carrier, Sumo 57

Bolero 1

Swaraj Mazda (bus, truck, ambulance) 26

Innova 8

Rest (Vajra, recovery van, crane, tractor) 19

Ambassador 15

Awaiting grant

We have exhausted the funds for fuel and have sought fresh allocation from the UT Administration. Since these are contigency services, we cannot stop them. So, the vehicles are getting fuel from the Sector 33 petrol station, which is run by the police welfare society— Jagbir Singh, DSP (Police Lines) 



Malkhana in charge sold 631 case properties
Accused lodged in jail for past 2 months
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 1
While the Panchkula police was busy arresting criminals, a real “thug” was sitting right inside its “malkhana”, eating into the case property under police custody. Sukhwinder Singh, former in charge of the judicial “malkhana”, where the police keeps case properties, managed to sell as many as 631 case properties without letting his colleagues get a whiff of it.

The missing cases properties included cash worth Rs 12,28,901 and gold and silver jewellery, besides a number of other items. The case is being probed from the angle whether the diversions were part of a bigger organised racket.

The accused police constable indulged in large-scale embezzlement over the past 10 years as per the charge sheet submitted before the Panchkula district court last week. The audacity of the accused can be gauged from the fact that once he had sold a truck from the “malkhana” to a scrap dealer in Saharanpur (UP).

Sukhwinder Singh has been cooling his heels in Ambala Jail for the past two months. Earlier, the police had arrested him for bungling in one or two cases, but the detailed charge sheet mentions about 631 cases of various police stations of Panchkula police in which case properties are missing.

The police is expected to go through records of a total of 760 more cases. Sources revealed that there are chances of missing properties in the remaining 760 cases as well.

In the charge sheet, the police failed to answer the question whether the accused constable was connected with undertrials in certain cases where the properties went missing. The non-availability of case properties helps criminals in their acquittal.

A senior police official of the Panchkula police said they were checking the status of all 631 cases in 

which the accused had sold case properties. They were preparing the status report of all cases and would soon submit it to the Panchkula DCP.

The accused was arrested on November 19, 2011, following the complaint of a Panchkula police official, Gurdev Singh, to whom the accused was not giving the charge of the “malkhana”. Gurdev Singh brought the discrepancies in case properties to the notice of the Panchkula DCP, Maneesh Chaudhary. The accused was later arrested.

During interrogation, he confessed that he had given money to his brother-in-law who further purchased a truck in which Sukhwinder was a partner. He also bought few properties in his sister’s name and sold a truck to a scrap dealer in Saharanpur.


Proposed cost cut by Rs 17 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
In less than 24 hours, the municipal corporation (MC) authorities have trimmed the proposed cost estimates of the Rose Festival by about Rs 17 lakh.

The cost proposed was Rs 50.93 lakh when it was tabled during the meeting of the finance and contract committee (F&CC) this morning.

After the members of the committee objected to the cost proposed, the authorities reworked it and prepared a fresh draft of Rs 34 lakh, which would be tabled during a special meeting called by Mayor Raj Bala Malik tomorrow.

Sources said MC officials convened a special meeting after the F&CC met to rework the estimates and a cost of Rs 34 lakh was finalised.

An official said the meeting was called as only three weeks were left for the event, to be held from February 24 to 26. The Mayor pointed out that the committee headed by her would monitor the arrangements and finances.

She said officials had not constituted any committee for the purpose.

The MC Commissioner and two Additional Commissioners would be members of the committee.

The committee decided that quotations for allotment of works would be invited through a public notice in newspapers.

The recommendation of officials for on-the-spot quotations was rejected by the committee.

BJP member Rajesh Kumar Gupta said it was strange that important departments like fire, encroachment and MOH, the chief acco-unts officer and the law officer had been side-lined while preparing the draft for the festival.



Return laptops or pay, former councillors told
Depreciation cost Rs 29,043
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
As many as 35 former councillors have been asked to either return the laptops issued to them in the next two days or pay the depreciation cost of Rs 29,043 to the authorities.

This communication was sent to all former councillors today by the MC authorities.

The authorities stated that during the finance and contract committee which met here today, it was decided that as the term of the former councillors had expired on December 31, 2011, they had to return the MC properties.

It was further stated that if there was any damage, the former councillors would have to bear the cost of repair themselves.

Sources in the corporation revealed that as the honorarium of Rs 10,000 is lying pending with the authorities of all the councillors, in case any councillor does not pay for the damage, the cost will then be deducted from this amount.

High-end laptops costing Rs 46,500 each were given to councillors last year to make them tech-savvy.



Rent of night food street kiosks cut
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The finance and contract committee (F&CC) today decided to decrease the rent for night food street kiosks by Rs 5,000 from this year and allot those through a draw of lots.

These decisions were taken during a committee meeting chaired by Mayor Raj Bala Malik. Now the rent of the kiosks would be Rs 20,000 per kiosk, instead of Rs 25,000 earlier.

Members said the night food street was set up to provide food at subsidised rates. Past year, the committee had decided that all eight kiosks be given on a three-year lease on a rent of Rs 25,000 per month, with a hike of 5 per cent annually.

To manage the increased rent of kiosks, shopkeepers had increased the cost of eatables every year. Members suggested a decrease of between 5 and 10 per cent in the price of eatables as the rent would be reduced by the authorities.

The committee also approved the pilot project, for one sector, for door-to-door collection of garbage. Terms and conditions would be chalked out by the medical officer health and tabled during the next meeting of the committee.

The issue of free parking stickers for junior engineers, which was tabled in the meeting, was rejected by the members. They objected to providing parking passes to officials of the municipal corporation for personal vehicles.



Machinery worth lakhs gutted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Machinery worth lakhs was gutted in a fire which broke out on the first floor of a showroom at Sector 41 here this evening. A fire official said the fire broke out at a flex-making unit due to a short-circuit in electricity panels.

One of the employees at the shop received minor injuries when he was being rescued. Another employee Nitin said they tried to douse the flames with water.

When the situation went out of control, they vacated the floor. He said the fire broke out around 3 pm, after the regular power cut. The fire spread to the adjoining showrooms, but no loss was reported.

Seven water tenders, including one with a hydraulic platform, were sent to the spot. The fire official said firemen had to struggle to control the fire as there was no fire safety measure in the building.

Fire officer Baljinder Singh said the shop owner had misused the gallery on the first floor by putting up flexes in the corridor. He said the team has a tough time in reaching the spot as the staircase to the top floor was blocked.

He pointed out that flexes at the front of the building posed a problem as firemen failed to pour water from the tender which was in the open area on the ground floor.



Mohali MC recovers Rs 15 lakh from pvt co.
Had failed to remove signages put up on road berms even when contract period had expired about a year ago
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 1
The Mohali Municipal Council has recovered Rs 15 lakh from a private company that had failed to remove overhead signages put up on road berms even when the contract period had expired about a year ago.

Such overhead signages were put up near the PCA stadium in Phase IX, near the 3/5 lightpoint, Fortis Hospital, NIPER, near Gurdwara Sacha Dhan Sahib in Phase III B 2 and near Sectors 55-56.

Jagjit Singh Shahi, executive officer, said that a commissioner of the civic body renewed the contract with one company and later the pending dues were recovered. Legal deliberations with the second firm were in progress as it had failed to put up any advertisements despite installing structures on roads and neither informed the civic body for the same.

SS Parkash, owner of a private firm Growing Concepts, in this regard made a compliant to the Administrator of the civic body JC Sabharwal in December.In the letter he had stated that the two companies were allowed to put up overhead signages for a period of two years from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2010. These hoardings had not been removed after the expiry of the period and could still be seen even after one year leading to a huge financial loss to the civic body. He claimed that the two companies were charging up to Rs 10 lakh per month from their clients and not paying any amount to the council. The loss ran into crores of rupees and some officials of the civic body were allegedly involved in the scam. He demanded that the payment for the one-year period should be recovered from the two companies and hoardings be removed.

Sabharwal had marked an inquiry into the matter after receiving the complaint. The enquiry was conducted by the executive officer.



GMADA to make info available on website
Our Correspondent

Mohali, february 1
Following complaints from the public regarding difficulties in obtaining details of property, including financial aspects, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority

(GMADA) has decided to make such information available on its website for the convenience of residents.

Manjeet Singh Brar, Additional Chief Administrator, GMADA, said that accounts relating to any kind of property would be available on the GMADA website. People used to make complaints that they were unable to get details of accounts in connection with their property. Many allottees used to approach the GMADA office for getting no dues certificates but allegedly felt harassed as such documents were not easily available.

Brar said that from now onwards there was no need to approach the GMADA office for getting no dues certificates as allottees could get a printout of their account which would serve the same purpose. They could come to the office of the development authority only in case of some discrepancy in the records.

Information in connection with authorised projects and unauthorized colonies was already on the GMADA website. People could go through the master plan before purchasing a property from colonisers, added Brar.



Auto-rickshaws hindering traffic flow
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 1
More than 1,000 auto-rickshaws, plying on the roads of Zirakpur, are fast becoming a menace. Considered one of the cheapest modes of transport, the auto-rickshaws openly flout norms by overloading, and causing noise and air pollution.

Also, a large number of autos have untrained drivers who stop anywhere at will. A substantial number of accidents reported in Zirakpur were caused by auto-rickshaws drivers taking a sharp U-turn without using indicators.

Last year, the police had challaned more than 500 auto-rickshaws for violating traffic rules, but auto-rickshaws continue to be parked along the Zirakpur-Patiala and Zirakpur-Kalka highways, affecting the flow of traffic. Auto drivers also stopped the vehicles in the middle of the roads to pick up passengers.

Sources said there were several auto drivers in the town who had no license. On some autos, the complaint number was also missing, the sources said.

According to official sources, auto-rickshaws from Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mani Majra, Old Panchkula, Rajpura, Banur and Dera Bassi ply on Zirakpur roads, causing traffic jams.

Residents of the area said the local administration and the traffic police had failed to do anything about it.

“Auto drivers can be seen carrying excess passengers on almost all the routes”, says Santosh, a bank official. He said the auto drivers could be seen stopping in the middle of a busy road to pick up passengers, often resulting in mishaps.

DSP (Traffic), Mohali, Surinderjit Kaur, said a drive against the violators would be conducted and the auto-rickshaw drivers would be challaned if they violated rules. She said the auto-rickshaws should be parked only at the designated stand.



Bougainvillea Garden being spruced up
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 1
Work on sprucing up the Bougainvillea Garden in Phase IV here is in progress.

The pruning of plants, mostly bougainvillea, is being done, which had been neglected for a few years. Even some of the metal structures used for the support of plants had started losing shape due to the weight of the unkept plants.

The area was earlier being maintained by PUDA but was later transferred to the Municipal Council for maintenance work. Residents had expressed unhappiness over the way the civic body was maintaining the garden.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) wanted the council to take over the maintenance of parks in the town. But when the civic body expressed its inability to do so due to the shortage of funds and inadequate infrastructure, GMADA decided to maintain the parks, including the Bougainvillea Garden. 



CBI opposes bail to kidney scam accused
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 1
In the infamous kidney scam, the CBI yesterday opposed the bail application filed by the three accused - Dr Upender Aggarwal and middlemen Giyasuddin and Jagdish.

The CBI informed the special court here that bail to these accused would hamper the investigation and the allegations leveled against the accused are very serious in nature.

Meanwhile, the court also issued warrants against co-accused Shahid, who is in Meerut Jail for another case. The CBI yesterday also filed a supplementary charge sheet in the case.

The racket was busted on January 24, 2008, after a joint team of the Uttar Pradesh and Gurgaon police raided a house in Sector 22 of Gurgaon. Dr Amit Kumar, who was later nabbed from Nepal, and his accomplices were allegedly operating the poor and transplanting their kidneys to NRI clients. The CBI, in its first chargesheet filed on April 29, 2008, had stated that the accused lured people to private hospitals in Gurgaon and other places, where they removed their kidneys and transplanted them to NRI patients.



Good news for Oriya, Kannada people in tricity soon
Chandigarh-Bhubaneswar-Benglaluru train proposed; likely to be okayed in next Railway Budget
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Residents’ demand for a new train to Bhubaneswar via Benglaluru is likely to be met in the next Railway Budget as senior officials with the Ambala Division have sent a proposal in this regard to the Railway Ministry.

Hopefully it will not be like the Chandigarh-Bandra (Mumbai) train, announced in the Railway Budget past year, which is yet to see the light of the day.

The number and time schedule of this train is displayed on the Internet, but if someone clicks the button for booking a seat, there is no response.

A large number of residents from Karnataka and Orissa, serving in the tricity as IT professional or construction workers, have demanded a direct train to their native places. At present, they have to book seats from Delhi.

A senior official with the Ambala Division said the proposal to start the new trains, including a third Shatabdi, had been sent to the higher authorities.

A proposal had also been sent for changing the name and timings of the Amritsar-Chandigarh Duronto on the demand of residents of the region, he added.

The much-hyped Duronto, plying all seven days since November 4 past year, was still running into losses as it had failed to attract enough passengers due to its timings.

According to information available, the Railways, spending around Rs 4 lakh per day to run this train, had been suffering a loss of lakhs daily.

People had been demanding that the train be renamed Shatabdi and more stoppages, including Ludhiana and Jalandhar, be added to its schedule.

The chief public relations officer of the Indian Railways, New Delhi, SK Sharma, said the Chandigarh-Bandra train would start before March 31.

He said they had received various proposals from the Ambala Division for starting new trains to various destinations. The final call in this regard would be taken by the ministry or the railway board, he added.



At last, light in sight
CHB to initiate housing scheme groundwork
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
It seems that the long wait of UT employees to get their houses under the UT employees housing scheme will end soon as the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has decided to initiate groundwork after completing all formalities in two months.

This decision was taken during a CHB meeting here today. Giving details, MM Sabharwal, CHB secretary, said all related works would be expedited so that work would start soon.

“We are determining the final allottees and if needed, another draw of lots under the scheme will be held to avoid any further dispute,” he said.

The board had also decided to ask for a panel from Punjab, Haryana and the Centre for the post of Chief Engineer. “A communique in this regard will be sent in a day or two,” he said.

He added that no engineer from the department was eligible for the post. The officiating Chief Engineer, GS Rosha, would retire on February 29.

CHB Chief Engineer SK Jain, who was on deputation to Delhi, had sought voluntary retirement this month, but the CHB had decided to keep the matter pending for three months, citing a vigilance inquiry against him.



Reconciliation of accounts improper
Question mark over Rs 97.45 cr; embezzlement not ruled out
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
With the latest local audit and inspection report pointing out that the UT sub-registrar’s department has not reconciled its collection of about Rs 97.45 crore in a couple of years, it appears that the UT Administration is least bothered about finances.

The department’s audit report for 2010-11 by the Principal Auditor-General, Punjab and Chandigarh, has categorically pointed out that in the absence of proper reconciliation of the department’s accounts with the treasury officer, the possibility of embezzlement cannot be ruled out.

An amount of Rs 84.55 crore, collected by the department during the previous fiscal, along with a sum of Rs 12.9 crore, deposited in the treasury during 2009-10, are yet to be reconciled. During the audit, a difference of Rs 2.32 lakh has been noticed.

The audit report has stated that the amount in question has been counted twice in the daily and monthly register of the department for two months, October and November, past year whereas the treasury challan has shown the said amount deposited in the treasury only once.

Pointing out the indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned on such lapses, the report has further stated that similar irregularities were pointed out in the previous inspection report, but no action had been taken by the department.



Metro in proposed Five-Year Plan budget
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
In an important development, the UT Administration has included the Metro project in the proposed budget of its Five-Year Plan.

Earlier, the pilot project, which was envisaged more than 15 years ago, was not included in the UT’s proposed budget of about 4,000 crore for the next five years.

Confirming the development, UT Finance Secretary VK Singh said now the Metro would be one of the top priorities in the UT’s proposed budget under 12th Five-Year Plan. The development took place following UT Administrator Shivraj Patil’s directions in yesterday’s meeting, in which he asked officials why the project was not included in the proposed budget.

“We are making the correction as per given directions. Now the Metro will be on top of the list of our budget,” he said.

Asked whether there would be an increase in the proposed budget, the Finance Secretary said they were trying to accommodate project funds without increasing the budget amount.

“We have to make some sacrifices in other areas. We are working out modalities and seeing the options,” he said.

He added that the detailed project report on the Metro would be prepared within three months. Its inclusion in the UT’s Five-Year Plan would speed up project work here, he stated.

Apart from the Metro, Patil also asked officials to work out on constructing girls’ hostels in the city. So far, the city had only one girls’ hostel, which was being run by the UT Administration. VK Singh added that the draft on the proposed budget after corrections would be readied within a week. The top priorities in the UT draft were health, education and infrastructure.



Repaired in December, road starts sinking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Dissatisfied over the carpeting and widening of V-6 roads in Sector 40-C the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) has demanded an independent inquiry, claiming that the work has been executed haphazardly, ignoring the quality and quantity of work.

The RWA has made a written representation to the Commissioner, municipal corporation (MC), demanding an inquiry. The road was repaired in December, but had started sinking.

SK Khosla, general secretary of the association, said they had written to the MC in December past year that the work related to the widening and carpeting of V-6 roads was pending since 2010, following which the work began at the end of December.

“Although the work immediately started after our representation, the work of premix carpet was of very poor quality. At several places, the proper slope had not been maintained, resulting in stagnation of water. The surface of roads recently laid with premixed carpet has started deteriorating, which is being repaired by providing seal coat,” Khosla said.

On January 16, the residents also made a representation to MC Commissioner Prerna Puri. On January 19, they met her over the issue.

Dilbagh Singh, president of the association, said there were a number of depressions and a lot of unevenness in the roads, where the water gets accumulated in a large quantity, resulting in inconvenience to residents.

“This is evident as the road is full of water in front of some houses. It is not only at the point where water stagnates, but in other parts of the road also. Though a period of over four weeks has elapsed, an inquiry is yet to be initiated,” Singh said.



Day after raids, notices issued
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 1
A day after the team of the Haryana State Drug Controller Department raided two hospitals, Alchemist at Sector 21 and the National Skin Hospital at Sector 5 of Mansa Devi Complex, for violations  in the sale and  storage of medicines,  the department today issued show-cause notices to both hospitals.

District drug control officer Pooja Chaudhary said they issued the notices today and the administration of the hospitals would have to submit their replies within 21 days.

The team yesterday sealed the godown at Alchemist hospital, where medicines not meeting the conditions of licensing were stored.

At the National Skin Hospital, the team seized medicines worth around Rs 1 lakh, which were being sold without valid licence.



Thalassaemia patients enact comedy play
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 1
‘Zindagi apni kashmakash hi mein ghir ker ubhri/ Honge voh aur jo hallat se ghabraate hein ..’ Armed with such courage and conviction, young artistes, suffering from the deadly disease of thalassaemia, staged a comedy play titled ‘Parda Uthne Se Pahele’ under the aegis of Creators

Sarvajanik Trust, Ahmedabad, and Samvaad, Chandigarh, at the Tagore Theatre here today.

Written by Rajendera Kumar Sharma, the play was directed by Upasna Ajmani, who also shone through with a scintillating performance, along with Varun Sharma in lead roles. Noted director Mukesh Sharma played a key role in direction and acting in the play.

Earlier, about ten artists suffering from the disease, some post-graduates, enacted a mime to perfection. The act was based on the theme that most people express compassion for thalassaemia patients, but do not offer them opportunities to prove their mettle.

The initial session of the event was informative as well as educative, with Dr Deepak Bansal from the PGI giving a detailed account of the deadly disease caused due to genetic reasons. He presented a slide show dispelling the myths associated with the disease. V K Singh, IAS, Dr Neelam, Dr Suchit, Dr RK Marwah also graced the function.

In an emotional speech, chief guest KK Sharma, IAS, offered help to persons suffering from thalassaemia and urged everyone to come forward for the cause. He lauded the role of PGIMER and the thalassaemic society in this regard. Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association president SP Ajmani expressed gratitude to the UT administration and Vijuy Ronjan, DGM, State Bank of India.



Trycity scan

PGI’s ENT faculty win awards:
The faculty of the ENT department at the PGI here has won best paper awards during the 44th ISHACON 2012 at Hyderabad recently. Dr Sanjay Munjal, Dr Anuradha, Dr Naresh Panda and Dr T Shyam K Singh were awarded Dayalan Samuel SSV Award for best paper in audiology titled ‘effects of cardiopulmonary bypass surgery on auditory functions’. Dr N Banumathy, lecturer with the department of ENT (speech and hearing), was awarded Dr BM Abrol Award for best paper in speech pathology titled ‘language free assessment tool for childhood apraxia of speech in difficult to test populations’.

Schools given water purifiers: The State Bank of India has donated water purifiers to 63 schools here and in neighbouring areas of Punjab as part of its corporate social responsibility. Deputy general manager Vijuy K Ronjan has said each branch of the bank had been asked to identify one school for the purpose.

Prohibited: District Magistrate Brijendra Singh has prohibited the sale of correction fluids to minors in the union territory for a period of 60 days, starting Thursday. The order has been issued under Section 144 of the CrPC.

Alumni meet: The first-ever alumni meet ‘Aitihaski’ will be organised by the Panjab University Alumni Association at the department of history of Panjab University from 11:30 am on Thursday. Several former students of the department have been invited to participate in the meet. Former students will interact, meet old friends, classmates and teachers, reminisce memorable experiences and share stories of success.

Cyber security: The placement cell, in association with the computer science department of MCMDAV College organised a seminar on ‘cyber security- ethical hacking’ on Wednesday. The seminar was addressed by experts from the Secugenius Security Solutions. It saw huge participation and response.

Prize distribution: The Delhi Public School organised its annual prize distribution ceremony here on Wednesday. Young achievers were felicitated on the occasion.

Health mission: A state-level workshop on ‘mother and child tracking system was organised by the National Rural Health Mission. The main aim of the workshop was to sensitise participants from various health facilities, hospitals and community health centres about the system, implemented under the mission. Anil Kumar, Health Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, desired to track 100 per cent mothers and children for immunisation.

Today is World Wetland Day: The Department of Forests, in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology will celebrate World Wetland Day at the Sukhna Lake on Thursday. School students will be sensitised about values and functions of wetlands to inculcate in them the ethos to conserve wetlands.

Nominated: Zora Singh, chairman of the Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, has been nominated member of the Telephone Advisory Committee for the Chandigarh telecom district.

Death condoled: The Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi has passed a note of condolence on the demise of Dr Dharm Swaroop Gupt, a former vice-chairman of the akademi. Akademi chairperson Manju Jaidka and secretary Madhav Kaushik have lauded the contribution of Dr Gupt. His friends and admirers will remember him for encouragement and guidance, Jaidka has said.

Dance contest:
The Ryan International School witnessed a wide range of dances and other musical performances on Wednesday. Misha Kumar, dance facilitator, was the main attraction on the panel of judges in the Western dance category. — Tribune Reporters



Examination blues affecting parents more than students
CBSE helpline gets more calls from parents than students
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) helpline number didn’t stop ringing on the first day of pre-examination counselling, but rather than it being class X students, it was their mothers who called.

With students getting a choice between school based and Board based examination, and Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) making scoring good grades a cake walk, class X students are chilled out even as their mothers fret over lack of seriousness.

“ It was surely mother’s day today as out of hundreds of calls that I got, only a few were from students and that too class XII. A majority of calls were from jittery mothers. They were perturbed as they felt their children were not being serious enough for class X examinations and wanted tips to get them down to study,” revealed Madhu Bahal, principal, KBDAV, Sector 7, and a CBSE counsellor.

“It is not just the missing Board tension amongst students, but their choice of opting for school based examination which has left many parents confused. A majority of calls that I got were to clarify that what was better for students, the Board or school based examination. Interestingly, while this is the second year when Boards are optional, parents are still a confused lot. It is parents and not children who have ensured maintenance of conventional board environs,” added another counsellor.

The response is being judged as encouraging and an encore of Board’s last year success of relieving students of the stress associated with Board examinations.

But a complete laid back attitude can also lead to academic catastrophe warn counsellors. “ Being stress-free is fine, but students should abstain from being careless and laid back. Though many schools will be conducting exams themselves, the papers will be coming from the Board, and will be of the same level as that of Board conducted examination. For allotment of streams, and class XI admissions, the grades scored in these exams are bound to matter,” says Bahl.



PEC teams bag top positions in IIT-K tech fest
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Two teams from Punjab Engineering College (PEC) bagged the top two positions in a technical fest held at IIT Kanpur. The teams, participating in the event ‘Tremors’, were supposed to design earthquake resistant structure, which they successfully did. Their structures were tested on earthquake testing machines and the models could withstand the earthquake tremors common in seismic Zone IV.

Teams from IITs and other engineering colleges had also had participated in the competition in which PEC students bagged the top two positions.

The PEC teams which clinched the top two positions were from the civil engineering department (II yr) of college. The teams succeeded in making seven storey earthquake resistant building models which were adjudged the best design of earthquake resistance structure in the competition.

The first team comprised of Kuldeep Lohan, Kashish Kukreja, Rohit Jain, Manu Jyoti, and Oshin Jain, and the team that won the second position included Manoj Kumar, Deepkarn Singh, Kshitiz Shreshtha, Akashdeep Randhawa, and Priyank Sood.

Kashish, a member of team that won the first prize, said that they were supposed to make an earthquake resistance tower, the sustainability and strength of which was to be then measured on the scale on which earthquakes are measured. “Our seven-storey structure was placed on a shake-table with 49 lead blocks, weighing 860 grams each, on the floors of the structure. The shake-table then measured the strength of the tower,” he said.

Kashish said that a total 15 teams had participated in the competition, out of which six were short listed. Last year, a team from the PEC had participated at international earthquake competition held at Taiwan and had succeeded in getting a ‘Quake Resistant Certificate’. 



VC misused powers, alleges Chatrath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
The controversy surrounding the constitution of various academic committees refuses to die down. A day after heated exchanges in the syndicate and Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti registering his reservations on the way the Chatrath group made these committees, GK Chatrath today lashed back at the VC, saying that the House had acted according to the calendar and Sobti himself was responsible for being stripped of the powers to make committees.

“During the tenure of former Vice-Chancellor KN Pathak, there used to be election for these committees, but during Sobti’s tenure, the House authorised him to make these committees on his own. He misused this power to appease people and the university paid for it.

So this time, the House did so on its own using the powers conferred by the calendar and passed the proposed names with a majority. It was Gurdeep who proposed the name of my daughter Anu Chatrath. Sobti had reservations on being denied this power,” claimed Chatrath. The controversy brew when it was revealed that the PU blatantly violated all protocols by conducting its functions without constituting mandatory committees.

Chatrath was held responsible for not framing these despite being asked by the House. However, he presented the minutes of the January 2011 Syndicate, stating that the VC was authorised to do so though the House had asked him to seek help from Chatrath if required.

The VC, meanwhile, rubbished the allegations, saying that he always supported de-centralisation of powers to set up committees. 



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