C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2 commit suicide in city
Constable shoots himself below neck with service revolver; family to file complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
A 43-year-old UT constable attached with the police control room (PCR) allegedly committed suicide near the petrol station at Sector 28 here while on patrol duty in the wee hours today.

He shot himself below the neck using his service revolver. While the police was yet to confirm the reason behind the suicide, work-related tension and stress were said to be the reasons behind it.

The constable, Gurdial Singh, was posted as in charge and driver of a PCR vehicle (ECO-28). He was declared brought dead at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.

Two woman constables, accompanying him in the Gypsy, were seated in the PCR vehicle when he shot himself. He returned around 8 am from duty the previous morning. He attended a meeting in the afternoon and joined duty at 8 pm.

Sources said the 1992-batch constable had been facing a departmental inquiry in an accident case, registered at the Sector-17 police station. Residing at the Police Lines, he was survived by his wife. His family refused to believe that he could commit suicide.

“He cannot commit suicide. He was very strong inside. We will file a complaint to the SSP. The workload, an official matter, should be behind the step,” said Balbir Kaur, his wife.

“He told us to stay back in the Gypsy and went towards the rear. After taking a few steps, he shot himself. We immediately called up the PCR,” said Sudesh and Manisha, the woman constables accompanying him.

Gurdial’s brother Amarjeet Singh said, “There is no question of his being under depression. He had bought a double-storey house at Panchkula. He was shifted to the Police Lines due to patrol shifts. He knew that he was childless.”

“The incident came to light in the wee hours today. He was deployed with the home guard security earlier and had also worked with VIP security before he was shifted to the PCR,” said Roshan Lal, DSP (Communication).

“If he was facing a problem, he would have discussed it with someone in the department,” he added. After post-mortem examination, the body was handed over to the family.

Earlier cases

l 45-year-old Anil Kumar, UT constable posted as additional ‘munshi’, commits suicide by hanging himself at his residence at the Police Lines in Sector 26 on December 30, 2011.

l Woman constable Manpreet Kaur commits suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at her house in the wee hours on April 28, 2011





Class-XII student hangs himself
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
‘I am killing myself because I was unable to achieve my goal’, wrote 18-year-old Gautam before hanging himself from the hook of a ceiling fan at his residence in Sector 16 here today.

Even his family did not know about the goal that he mentioned in his suicide note, recovered from his bed.

The class-XII medical-stream student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, never had study stress, according to the family.

In a state of shock, his father, working as contractor, said Gautam went to his room on the top floor, where he had shifted 15 days back, in the evening.

After finding no response to a call for tea, they went upstairs. They broke open the door and found him hanging with a ‘dupatta’.

He was taken to the PGI, but was declared brought dead by doctors. In his suicide note, he also mentioned, ‘After my death, donate my body organs’. “The matter came to light around 7 pm. The preliminary investigation shows study stress to be the main reason,” said Gurmukh Singh, SHO of the Sector-11 police station.

“On searching his room, the suicide note and a laptop were found. Nothing mysterious was found in the laptop. The police will investigate the matter,” he added.



Police finds 40 outsiders at PU hostels
Tells university authorities to get vehicles registered at Sector-11 station
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Blowing the lid off the tall security claims of Panjab University (PU) hostels, the UT police today ‘recovered’ 40 outsiders from boys’ hostels 4 and 5 in a raid conducted in the wee hours today.

In addition to the boys, with their names missing from the guest register, several unclaimed jeeps and motorcycles were found at hostel parking lots. The incident came a day after a violent spat between PUSU and SOPU supporters.

The police shot off a letter to the PU to put its act together by tightening security measures, abstaining from transforming its hostels into ‘dharamshalas’ and getting vehicles of hostel inmates registered at the Sector-11 police station.

“If we have 40 boys from two hostels, you can imagine the state of affairs at all hostels. Maintaining discipline in hostels is the duty of wardens. The police cannot come in to control the entry of outsiders every time,” said Gurmukh Singh, SHO of the Sector-11 police station. “We have asked the PU to get its wardens to conduct regular inspections. All hostel inmates have been asked to register their vehicles. Any outside vehicle will be impounded. We have sought a ban on outsiders entering messes. The PU should understand that outsiders are the root cause of trouble,” he added.

Dean student welfare AS Ahluwalia said the issue was not that perturbing. He claimed that the PU had been on a constant vigil.

“This is an academic institution. Students get guests, but they should make entries in the guest register. Our efforts have reduced the number of outsiders in hostels. We are aware of our duties and conduct regular inspections. The police tends to create more impact. We will get vehicles registered,” he said.

Requesting anonymity, a student said, “Did the police catch a single student who was a potential hooligan during the raid? Students visiting friends for exchanging notes were harassed unnecessarily.”

Following a series of raids during elections past year, the police recovered hundreds of outsiders from girls’ and boys’ hostels.

The university had then promised to devise a mechanism to deal with unregistered guests, but not much seemed to have been done on this front.



Orders passed, but no action taken
IT-enabled industry, car service stations yet to be allowed at Industrial Area
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Despite formal orders by a former Finance Secretary in 2010, the estate office of the Administration has not allowed IT-enabled industry in the Industrial Area here.
The UT estate office has also not cleared the applications, seeking permission for the automobile service station allowing denting and painting.

Industrialist HS Mamik said, “The Administration is indulging in illegal action by denying us permission to start IT-enabled industry and related jobs. The Government of India has passed the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006, which allows all industries under question. My applications for a different project are pending for the past more than a year. Those should have been done within a fortnight under the Act.”

The Industrial Association of Chandigarh and the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, in several communications to the Administration, had sought that IT and IT-enabled industries and automobile servicing stations be allowed in the Industrial area “without disturbing the infrastructure of the area”. 

The Administration continued to send notices to existing service stations. Arun Mahajan, former president of the association, said the basic problem was lack of communication between top Administration officials and the estate office as the estate office kept sending contradictory circulars despite clear instructions.

The issue had arisen when industrialists met the Adviser, pointing out massive changes in industrial requirements. A number of industries had closed and were looking for change in trade. 

The Administration allowed only hardware industry in the area and the software companies were asked to start their work at the IT Park initially. “There is no job for the hardware industry in this part of the country. The Administration’s permission did not lead to a single application for years. Following this, we approached it for permission ito the IT-enabled industry, which was allowed,” an industrialist said.

Assistant estate officer Rahul Gupta said, “I have not received any formal communication on seeking permission for the IT-enabled industry or car service stations at the Industrial Area recently. I will have to go through technical details before commenting on the issue.”

Another industrialist, requesting anonymity, said, “The problem largely lies with people who want to change trade without paying conversion fee to the Administration. It will be unfair to entrepreneurs who have paid crores for changing trade.”



Over 50 pc rape cases fall flat in court
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The UT police has been unable to prove more than 50 per cent rape cases in court, if one goes by the conviction rate, which has been falling drastically over the years.
Showing police failure to hold cases in court, the conviction rate stays less than 50 per cent and has, in fact, declined by 4 per cent in 2011 compared to the year before. Even in high-profile cases, the police has been left red-faced in court.

In 2011, in a case over four years old, a court had acquitted CBI inspector Subhash Kundu and Chandigarh Police head constable Mahinder Singh.

They were booked in June, 2007, on the complaint of a 40-year-old Hisar resident. They were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

In 2009, former Punjab MLA Gaganjit Singh Barnala was acquitted after the victim turned hostile. Police sources blamed poor conviction rate on victims turning hostile.

According to police officials, proving charges on the basis of circumstantial evidence was sometimes difficult as the fear of witnesses turning hostile loomed large.

In 2010, the district courts decided 31 rape cases, of which conviction was achieved in 14 cases, The accused in 17 cases were acquitted, the conviction rate being just 45.16 per cent.

The conviction rate further declined in 2011. Of the 21 cases decided in court, the accused in only nine cases were convicted, the conviction rate being merely 42.85 per cent.

“A large number of those convicted were accused of raping minors. In almost all other cases, victims either failed to appear in court or retracted their statements given to the police, making the cases fall flat,” said a police official. When it came to murder cases, the conviction rate had reached a new low. From 65 per cent in 2010, it was just 61.90 per cent in 2011. Police records pointed to delays at all stages, be it registration of FIRs, investigations into the cases, filing of charge sheets and examination of witnesses.

Overall conviction rate down

From 72 per cent in 2004, the overall conviction rate for the past three years had been below 60 per cent. In 2011, the police achieved an overall conviction rate of 57.40 per cent. Of the 2,261 cases decided, the accused were acquitted in 963 cases and conviction achieved in 1,298 cases. The conviction rate was just 49.25 per cent in 2010 and 54.4 per cent in 2009.


Holes in DIT office work
Withdraws money from treasury without ‘requirement’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Questions are being raised over the withdrawal of money from the treasury by the office of Director, Information Technology (DIT), without any requirement and keeping it outside the government account.

General Financial Rules say that money should not be drawn from the treasury unless required for immediate disbursement among payees.

The amount was released to the Society for Promotion of the IT Park in Chandigarh (SPIC) as grant-in-aid in two instalments of Rs 10 lakh each in 2008-09 and 2009-10 for the operation and maintenance of the Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) building, located in the IT Park here. SPIC has utilised only Rs 2.46 lakh till September, 2011, while an amount of Rs 17.53 lakh was still lying with
the society.

The latest audit and inspection report by the Principal Auditor General, Punjab and UT, for 2010-11 has categorically termed it a very ‘serious financial irregularity’, adding that the amount was withdrawn from the treasury without any requirement and was kept outside the government account.

“It (omission of the amount) needs early attention of the DIT/Finance Department,” states the report while maintaining that the final action in the audit would be awaited.

A similar irregularity was also noticed in the previous audit report (from April 2000 to March 2004) of the department, which had pointed out a withdrawal of Rs 44.33 lakh without requirement and a loss of interest worth Rs 6.65 lakh.

“The para of that report still stands and final compliance will be awaited,” stated the report.

Non-submission of utilisation certificate

SPIC, which had received Rs 50 lakh as grant-in-aid during the past fiscal is yet to submit utilisation certificate for Rs 20 lakh, points out the report.

According to the laid down rules, Arant-in-aid for Information Technology (GAIT) rules, 2007, the grantee has to submit utilisation certificate duly audited by a chartered accountant on a yearly/half yearly/quarterly basis as per the requirement and any unspent balances would be adjusted in the future grants.

The amount of Rs 50 lakh was released as grant in aid, out of which the society had utilised only Rs 30 lakh up to March 31.

The report further states that the society neither submitted utilisation certificate for the balance amount of Rs 20 lakh nor did DIT adjusted the amount in the grants for the next fiscal of 2011-12.

‘The matter had been reported and final action would be awaited,” mentions the report.

Despite repeated attempts, Yogesh Kumar, Director IT, could not be contacted. 



Residents’ no to linking car sale to parking space
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Representatives of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) are totally disagreed to the plans of the UT Administration of allowing the sale of car to only those who have parking space outside their houses. The representatives raised objections to the proposal discussed during a meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) held today. The issue is a part of the agenda for controlling traffic congestion, which would be discussed by the Administrator’s Advisory Council at a meeting scheduled for February 9.

The chairman sought the members’ views on the points of the agenda mainly relating to traffic congestion to be taken up at the scheduled Administrator’s Advisory Council meeting.

Some members residing in CHB multi-storeyed flats expressed their reservation in linking the purchase of vehicles to the availability of parking space as no such parking space has been provided or earmarked by the CHB authorities, especially for those living in the upper floors.

Many members were of the view that the restriction on the purchase of vehicle in the city will encourage the purchase of vehicle from the adjoining towns of neighbouring states depriving the city of tax revenue.

Suggesting a way out, the members stressed the need of providing multi-level parkings in commercial areas and community parkings in residential areas to solve the problem of traffic congestion.

While discussing the other issues SS Bhardwaj of RWA- Sector 51 and JC Verma of RWA-Sector 40 C said the CHB authorities had created four zones for carrying out survey to list out the violations or need-based changes made by the occupants of these small houses all these years under the nose of the enforcement staff. They apprehended that after the survey, notices would be issued to the occupants and demolition may also follow. They suggested for holding a meeting with the Chairman of the CHB to sort out this issue.

The RWA members expressed their concern about the poor functioning of the Primary Schools and Health Centres transferred to the MCC by the administration some times back due to a shortage of teachers, doctors and insufficient infrastructure. 



Cong councillor’s appointment as patron raises eyebrows
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Appointing a Congress councillor as the patron of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) has led to dissatisfaction among its executive members, who, at a meeting held today, demanded that the patron should be replaced by a senior member of the Resident Welfare Association (RWA). The members stated that FOSWAC was a non-political organisation and should maintain its identity.

Surinder Sharma, president of the Resident Welfare Society- Sector 15, raised an objection to the appointment of councillor Mukesh Bassi as patron of a non-political association that takes up the residents’ problems. “FOSWAC should have appointed some senior member of the RWA as its patron. I feel that FOSWAC should replace the patron,” Sharma said.

The decision for appointing Bassi as patron was taken at the past executive meeting that was held on January 8. However, the executive members expressed their objection to the appointment when KL Banga, president of the Resident’s Welfare Society- Sector 52, said there was no need of having a representative of any political organisation as an office-bearer of FOSWAC. “FOSWAC has its reach up to the administrator and senior UT officials. All the issues raised by the organisation are addressed by the administration, and there was no need of enrolling a member of a political party as its patron”.

When contacted Hitesh Puri, secretary, FOSWAC, said when someone got elected then that particular leader became a people’s representative. “We have not affiliated with any political organisation, but have appointed an eminent person as a patron who can contribute and help FOSWAC in various manners,” Puri said.

The meeting also witnessed arguments between the FOSWAC chairman PC Sanghi and former councillor AP Sanwaria after the chairman raised questions over Sanwaria’s authorisation in any RWA.

Sanghi had raised objections to Sanwaria’s participation in the meeting when the latter tried to speak over an issue. Sanwaria, however, proved his affiliation to an RWA and in return questioned Snaghi’s affiliation to any RWA.

Sanwaria said only executive members of the RWAs can be part of FOSWAC. However, Sanghi is not an officiating member of any RWA. 



Indian-origin woman in Canadian Senate
Prabhjot Singh/TNS

Chandigarh, February 4
Dr Asha Seth, an obstetrician and gynaecologist based in Toronto, has become the first-ever Canadian woman of Indian origin to be nominated to the Senate, the Upper House of the Parliament of Canada. Nominated by the ruling Conservatives, she becomes the second Canadian of Indian origin after Vim Kochar to be nominated to the Senate.

An alumnus of Lucknow's prestigious King George Medical College, Asha Seth will remain Senator till December 15, 2014, as Canadian convention requires members of the Upper House to retire on attaining the age of 75 years. Her predecessor, Vim Kochar, an engineer and business manager, had, however, a shorter tenure as Senator. He was appointed on January 29, 2010 and retired in September last year. Both Vim Kochar and Asha Seth, who represented Ontario, have been the choice of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who, of late has been able to break the Liberal stronghold in Ontario and get Conservatives a firm base in the province.Vim Kochar,

 who was born in Lahore in pre-partition India, had created history on his nomination to the Senate as no one at that time expected a technocrat-turned-businessman to be chosen for the honour. And now, Asha Seth has become the second professional, a doctor, to fill the slot and represent 1.5 million strong Indo-Canadian community in the Senate. Incidentally, both Vim Kochar and Asha Seth got the honours when they had crossed the age of 70.

From Lucknow she went to England where she completed her resident training in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Upon moving to Canada, she continued her training at St Joseph's Health Centre and Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Since then she has been in Toronto.

As a committed Conservative, she not only vitalised several Conservative candidates in the last Parliament elections. She hosted and spearheaded the fundraising for Parm Gill, who successfully contested against chiropractor and glamour girl of Canadian politics, Ruby Dhalla. for the riding of Brampton Springdale. With Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenny as chief guest. Later she exclusively hosted every member of the Conservative Party of Canada and Senate to recognise Jason Kenny for Calgary Southeast.

Asha Seth became the first South Asian woman to be appointed in 2004 as Chair of the Province of Ontario Medal for Police Bravery Advisory Council, a position she still holds. She also is a member of the Firefighter Bravery Advisory Council of Ontario.

As an active philanthropist, Asha Seth is also involved in a number of charities serving local and international communities. She founded the NIMDAC Foundation, which raised funds for organisations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for the Physically Disabled Persons, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. She is also National Board Director of the CNIB.

Asha Seth resides in Toronto with her husband Dr Arun Seth. She has two daughters, Anila Seth Sharma, an endocrinologist and Angie Seth, an award winning journalist and news anchor, and four grandchildren.



Aviva Life Insurance fined Rs 10,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum-I, in a recent order, has slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on Aviva Life Insurance Company for its failure to make payment to a Ropar resident, who was seeking money for the treatment of his kidney after surrendering the policy.

The forum, comprising president PD Goel and members Rajinder Singh Gill and Madanjit Kaur Sahota, observed that the complainant wrote to the insurance company that he had already submitted the request for the cancellation of the policy with complete documents. Therefore, there is no question to submit a fresh request for surrender of the policy. The forum also directed the insurance company to pay Rs 22,010 to the complainant as the value of the surrendered policy.

The complainant, Swarn Singh, submitted that he had took a policy from the insurance company with a premium of Rs 10,000 per year. According to the terms and conditions of the policy, he deposited three premiums of Rs 30,000. However, as he was diagnosed with kidney failure in the past year and for treatment, he approached the company for refund of the money after surrendering the policy along with a request form on March 2011. He further stated that he received an email from the company on May 4, 2011, stating that the request for surrender of the policy had been cancelled. He was also advised to submit a fresh request for the same. On May 7, 2011, he informed the company that as he had already submitted the request for cancellation of the policy with complete documents at its Chandigarh branch, so it is not possible for him to submit a fresh request. He further submitted that he was suffering from a kidney disease and a surgical operation was done on him on May 16, 2011, at the PGI, Chandigarh.

The counsel for the insurance company submitted that the complainant was requested to reapply for the cancellation of the policy through e-mails on May 4 and May 9 in 2011. Moreover, he did not make a fresh request and the policy was not cancelled. The company did not refuse to release the value of the surrendered policy. Hence, the policy was not cancelled and the complainant was duly intimated about it. He was assured that in case he wishes to cancel the policy, he should make a fresh request for cancellation but he did not do so. Hence, there has been no deficiency in service on the part of the insurance company.



3.2-km road stretch incomplete
Was to be done till last year
Tribune News Service

Work moves at a snail’s pace on widening of the commercial street passing through Mohali.
Work moves at a snail’s pace on widening of the commercial street passing through Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, February 5
In the run-up, the March 6 counting of votes polled during the January 30 elections, the Rs 12 crore work of widening the 3.5 km long sections of the arterial-road passing through Phases IV, V, III-B1, III-B2 and VII, Mohali, seems to have suffered the causality of the election model code of conduct.

Though the work started in April 2011, officials of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) are reluctant to speedup the work after one of the candidates in the fray from Mohali complained to the Election Commission that work had been speeded up before polling so as to benefit the ruling party. As a result, the officials had to explain the factual position to the Election Commission.

As per the initial estimates, the work had to be completed by December 2011 but it still far from over. The work of making the central verges, installing foot bridges, footpaths was moving at snails pace, is causing harassment to the road users. The width of both the sides of the carriageway was being widened, varying between 30 ft and 33 ft, depending upon the space available.

Sources in GMADA said after the explanation sought by the Election Commission, the officials were reluctant to speed up the work despite the polling being over on January 30.

For the past few days, the workers of the contractor have not been able to lay the paver blocks on both the sides of the widened road sections. Heaps of paver blocks have been stacked on the road, causing accidents.

Officials admit that they are adopting a cautious approach in going ahead with the development works. “Who knows whether the government is going to be repeated or a new government would be formed,” said an official.



Village women leave urban voters behind
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 5
As the electoral staff is preparing itself for the March 6 counting of votes for the Mohali assembly segment, an analysis of the booth-wise police reveals that the rural women voters polled more vigorously compared to their urban counterparts.

In a number of polling booths, the woman voters outmaneuvered their male counterparts, as far as the percentage of the polling was concerned. The overall polling percentage in the Mohali segment was 70.62 per cent.

The high percentage of polling is being attributed to the electoral staff delivering the voter slips from door-to-door. An analysis of the polling at Raipur, Balongi, Baliyali, Shiampur, Darri Manalpur, Middle Majra, Manauli villages reveal that the percentage polling by women electorate was 2 to 5 per cent than the male voters. On the other hand, the poling percentage among the male and female voters was almost same in the urban areas of the Mohali segment.

“The high percentage of the polling in the rural areas could be either a signal or change mandate in favour of a particular candidate. Despite colourless campaigning, the aggressive polling could throw up interesting results,” said an official.

There are specific examples of Baliyali, Shiampur, Gobindgarh, Darri and Middle Majra where polling by women voters has touched up to 93 per cent. In the Mohali assembly segment, the sealed EVM’s kept at the Shiivalik Public School would decide the fate of the candidates in the fray.

On the other hand, the Dera Bassi assembly segments that witnessed between 78 per cent and 79 per cent polling, respectively. In the Kharar segment, there were examples of Mirjapur and Tarapur villages where a record 98 per cent polling has been reported and here again; the women voters have polled more votes than those of male counterparts.

Officials in the election department said that intensive campaigns had been launched to bring maximum youth voters to the poling booths; no figures had been tabulated to indicate the youth participation in the elections.



MC provides shelter to homeless
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, February 3
With the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) failing to allot land for a “Raen Basera” for shelterless people in the town, the Municipal Council has now provided the facility on a temporary basis abiding by the directions of the Supreme Court passed in this regard.

Some rooms lying vacant at the Sadar Octroi Naka have been turned into a night shelter where the civic body has provided beds, blankets, etc. In order to provide additional facilities to shelterless people, the council has cleared an estimate worth Rs 9.82 lakh for renovating the place after which the facility of water and toilets would also be made available.

During a survey carried out in 2010 on the directions of the Supreme Court, the council had identified 34 persons who did not have any kind of shelter of their own. Poor people were found sleeping on the road sides and in bus queue shelters in different parts of the town, including the industrial area. Some of the identified persons were rickshaw pullers while the others were beggars.

Radesh Kalra, executive officer, said that 10 beds were arranged in the rooms about two days ago and the number would be increased up to 15 after renovation work was carried out.

He said many letters were written to GMADA authorities for providing the land for “Raen Basera” but the civic body had failed to get any response in writing so far in this regard.

It is learnt that over the past more than one year, the civic body had written letters to GMADA asking the development authority to transfer the land measuring 1.61 acres, which it had vacated from encroachers, to the civic body for the construction of the building. The civic body did not have any land of its own in the town. The fund-starved council also wanted GMADA to construct the building for the shelterless people as it was difficult for the civic body to arrange the amount needed for construction work.



Letters of intent on the way
Land-pooling beneficiaries await draw of lots
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 5
Even as the beneficiaries under the land-pooling scheme are waiting for the draw of lots for allotment of around 1,400 plots in Mullanpur Eco-City, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has started issuing letters of intent (LOI) to successful allottees under the general category.

Citing the model code of conduct, the Greater Mohali Area development Authority (GMADA) had delayed the draw of lot for the beneficiaries under the land-pooling scheme. Earlier, the draw was to be held in the third week of December, 2011.

The landowners, who are beneficiaries under the land-pooling scheme, are crying foul as it had been stated by the GMADA officials that the LOIs for the general category and those opting for land pooling would be held simultaneously.

In December, 2011 when the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) had gone to take possession of the land for Eco-City, the landowners had prevented the LAC staff from taking over the possession as they had not been allotted plots under the land-pooling scheme.

Initially, GMADA had held the draw of lots for 870 plots for general category applicants. Now, the draw of lots will be held for those whose land had been acquired for the Eco City project and Medicity. The beneficiaries will be given the plot number of their residential and commercial sites.

12,000 apply for Purab apartments

GMADA has received around 12,000 applications for the under the scheme for the allotment of 4,500 multi-storey flats in Sector 88 and 89. The maximum applications have been received for one and two-bedroom apartments. For 900 one-bedroom apartments, around 3300 applications have been received and for the 1800 two-bedroom apartments, around 5000 applications have been received. Meanwhile, for the 1800 three-bedroom apartments, around 3700 applications have been received.



LIC Housing slapped Rs 20,000 fine
Failure to issue sale certificate to a Mohali resident

Chandigarh, February 5 
District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I has slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 on LIC Housing Finance Ltd. (opposite party no. 1) for its failure to issue the sale certificate to a Mohali resident.

The forum, comprising president PD Goel and members Rajinder Singh Gill and Madanjit Kaur Sahota, has also directed the opposite parties to issue the sale certificate in favour of the complainant alone in respect of the properties and to further register the same in the office of the Sub-Registrar, Dera Bassi. The respondents have been directed to pay Rs 10,000 as litigation costs.

The complainant, Satish Kumar Saini, submitted that he, along with Jasbir Kaur, a resident of Sector 40-B, Chandigarh (opposite party no. 2), in response to the sale notice for the sale of six residential properties of opposite party no. 1 situated at Dera Bassi on June 19, 2007, showed their interest in purchasing the same on March 15, 2008. However, the opposite party no. 2 changed her mind and backed out of the aforesaid proposal. Consequently, the opposite party no. 1 entered into an agreement with him on April 15, 2008, and paid the entire consideration amount whereupon the opposite party no. 1 issued the “No Due Certificate” in his favour on March 31, 2009.

He alleged that the opposite party was supposed to issue and execute the sale certificate in his favour, which they failed to do, despite repeated requests. It was also averred that he had further executed an agreement to sell in favour of Ram Piari, a resident of Dera Bassi (opposite party no. 3), on February 7, 2011, and he could not execute the sale deed in favour of the opposite party no. 3 which was due on April 30, 2011. 

The counsel for the opposite party no. 1 pleaded that the opposite party no.2 never backed-out from the proposal executed on March 15, 2008 and had written various letters showing her interest to get the sale deed registered in her name. She had paid Rs 8 lakh on April 29, 2008, out of the total consideration amount of Rs 12,75,770. It was alleged that the complainant had manipulated the original documents, as the opposite party had already issued the full and final payment certificate on April 18, 2009, jointly in the name of the complainant as well as the opposite party no 2. It is further clarified that the various sale certificates in the joint name of the complainant and the opposite party No. 2 were ready; but they did not turn up to receive them. 

The opposite party no. 2 pleaded that there was no occasion for her to back out from the deal. She was the co-owner in the property to the extent of 2/3rd share, as she had paid a sum of Rs 8 lakh, out of the total sale consideration of Rs 12,75,770, whereas, the complainant had paid only an amount of Rs 4.55 lakh. It was asserted that the agreement to sell, dated 15.4.2008, and No Due Certificate dated 31.03.2009, are forged and fabricated documents. 

The opposite party no. 3 initially appeared in person but subsequently did not turn up. Therefore she was proceeded against exparte vide order dated April 26, 2011. The forum said once the opposite party no. 1 had issued the No Due Certificate, then they were legally bound to execute/issue the sale certificate in favour of the complainant in respect to the properties. 



Chandigarh scan
OPDs to be closed on February 7

All OPDs in the PGI shall remain closed on February 7 on account of Guru Ravidas birthday, a press release said here on Sunday. The emergency services will function as usual.

Power shutdown

Catching them young

Students present ‘salsa’ during the annual function of DAV Public School at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Students present ‘salsa’ during the annual function of DAV Public School at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Power supply to parts of Sector 17-B and C and Milk Colony, Dhanas, will remain suspended from 10 am to 2 pm on Monday.

Patil to miss public hearing

The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Shivraj Patil will not be visiting the UT secretariat for the public hearing session scheduled to be held on Monday.


Six doctors from the department of radio diagnosis, PGIMER, received awards at the 65th annual conference of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association held at Hyderabad. Dr Naveen Kalra, additional professor, received onco-imaging award of
the Indian College of Radiology and Imaging for his research on the role of radio-frequency ablation in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Dr Manphool Singhal, assistant professor, received prize for a poster presentation titled “Unusual causes of hemoptysis: Imaging and interventions”.

Dr J Satheesh Krishna, junior resident, was awarded the first prize for his work on “MR enterography” in the diagnosis of intestinal tuberculosis in the paper category. Dr Guru Prasadh, senior resident, has been conferred with Dr N Ram Dass award. Dr Chirag K Ahuja, senior resident (neuro radiology), and Dr Priyanka, junior resident, also received prizes and certificates of merit in their respective poster

1-day open clinic

Keeping in view the exorbitant hike in the cost of treatment being meted out by patients with haemophilia (PWHs), the Haemophilic Welfare Society of Chandigarh on Sunday demanded that the Punjab government and Chandigarh Administration must take steps to provide free treatment to the patients on the pattern of Delhi, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing the gathering during a one-day open clinic for ensuring effective treatment and management of the disease for PHW here at the Community Centre in Sector 15, office-bearers of the society, including president, Dr VK Chabra; finance secretary, Dr Maghar Singh; auditor Balbir Singh and office secretary, Dr Harpreet Singh, rued that despite of the fact that it was a serious disease, the successive governments both at the Central and state level have hardly taken any step to provide relief to PWHs.


With the aim of exploring various opportunities in the field of biotechnology, a DBT, New Delhi, and UGC, New Delhi, sponsored national symposium on “Biotechnology: Research and Development” was held at GGDSD College, Sector 32-C, a press release said here on Sunday. The event was inaugurated by Dr Rakesh Tuli, executive director, NABI, Mohali. He highlighted the significance of genetically modifying crops and various challenges involved in the use of GM technology. The role of bioremediation in solving major pollution related issues was addressed by Dr VC Kalia, senior principal scientist, IGIB, New Delhi. The innovation in the field of neuron sciences was emphasised by Dr Akshay Anand of the neurology department, PGIMER. He discussed the neuron science as emerging and promising area with special reference to patient care. The programme was coordinated by Dr Navneet Batra from the department of biotechnology, GGDSD College.

mohali scan

College students win laurels

Students of the Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran, showcased their acumen in technical dominance by winning the first prize in “Wild Soccer”, a robotics event held at IIT Kanpur under Techkriti-2012. The second and third prizes for the said event were bagged by ISM, Dhanbad, and UIET, Kanpur, respectively. As many as 29 teams were shortlisted for the final round, out of more than 100 teams that registered online from various colleges across the country. The teams that qualified for the final round included institutions of the country like IIT, Kanpur; ISM, Dhanbad; UIET, Kanpur; Petroleum University, Dehradun, etc. CGC team defeated IIT Kanpur in the first round of the event. Earlier CGC had bagged third prize in the similar event in 2011. The CGC team that won the prize comprised of Anil Bhaskar, Aman Mahajan and Aatish Kumar from the sixth semester and Satinderpal Singh, Ranjoy Gupta, Amanpreet Singh, Vishal Bareja, Vishal Sharma and Manpreet Singh from the fourth semester of ECE.

Healthy baby contest at school

A healthy baby competition organised at Manav Mangal Smart School attracted over 300 participants in three age groups of 1 to 4 years. The competition was held in three categories for the children - most healthy baby, most active baby and most attractive baby, while the last category, the most aware parents, was for the parents. Dr Rohit Sahani, director Simply Health Plus, and Dr Neeraj Kumar, MD paediatrics, Chaitanya Hospital, managed the show as observers. The winners of each category are as follows:

Most healthy baby: (1-2 yrs): Prabhleen Kaur; (2-3 yrs): Saksham Misri; (3-4 yrs): Sana Sabharwal.

Most active baby: (1-2 yrs): Aarav Khanna;(2-3 yrs): Gauri; (3-4 yrs): Jannat.

Most attractive baby: (1-2 yrs): Keerat Kaur; (2-3 yrs): Grace Girdhar; (3-4 yrs): Reva Chhabra.

Most aware parents: (1-2 yrs): Dr Amit & Madhumita Bhattacharjee; (2-3 yrs): Rahul Acharya and his wife; (3-4 ys): Sarabjit Singh and his wife.


Kulwant Singh Gill, administrator of the Vishav Gurmat Roohani Mission Charitable Trust, Ratwara Sahib, has been awarded with the navratan award at a function held recently at Delhi. The award was given by former foreign minister KC Pant. Earlier, Gill was honoured with the Hind Ratan award in 2010.

55 shortlisted

As many as 55 students of Gian Jyoti were shortlisted by Vardhman Group during a placement drive at the Banur campus of the institute.

panchkula scan

Farewell party

Students of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, bid adieu to their seniors in an elegantly staged programme on Sunday. Students of class XII were traditionally welcomed with tilak. The outgoing students were given a ride down the memory lane with a slide show and presenting glimpses of their school days. The evening concluded with ever inspiring words of school principal Shashi Banerjee.

— Tribune Reporters



Education system needs complete overhaul

The implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act, 2009), which was started by the Chandigarh Administration for nursery admissions, is mired in deep controversy.

The plea taken by some of the schools that they have to pay salaries to teachers as per the recommendations of the pay commission hardly justifies their action, as whenever the land is given to the schools (though not to all) at the concession rates, the conditions are also laid down that the teachers will be paid their full salary, reserve some percentage of seats for economically weaker students and provide all necessary infrastructure such as laboratories, libraries and playgrounds required for the purpose. Since there is no effective check of any authority on these teaching shops, these schools go scot-free.

Since education plays a vital role in society, it is the overall scenario of the education system, which needs to be overhauled. The teachers should be equipped with modern technologies and methods to suit the fast changing education scenario and called for revising the curriculum programme. Immediate steps are needed to fill the vacant posts in accordance with the teacher-student ratio.

Irrespective of 25 per cent reservation as laid down in the new guidelines in accordance with the new Act, no child should be left out to be admitted in schools.

SK Khosla Chandigarh

Parents’ aspirations, major cause

The opposition of private schools to the provisions of RTE Act is the genesis of imbroglio in nursery admissions. The Act prohibits screening of any kind for granting admissions. Rising aspirations of parents is another major cause. Due to the rising aspirations about their children’s success in life, middle-class parents in urban areas have developed a perception that early start in schooling shall equip the children better to negotiate public and competitive examinations later in their life.

It is felt that the advantage of early schooling is further enhanced if the child is enrolled in nursery class in a school, which provides quality care and education to children. Moreover, a high school or a senior secondary school with a nursery or pre-nursery wing is the first choice of the parents, as it relieves them of all worries related to admissions at the subsequent stages like primary or secondary stage.

The quality of education imparted in a school depends on several factors. Apart from infrastructure, the academic environment generated by the imaginative leadership in the school is the most important determining factor for the quality of education imparted in an institution. Some schools have established their reputation over the years as “quality institutions” and, therefore, are most favoured and sought-after institutions for admissions to different stages, including nursery. The reputation of a school as a quality institution leads to a mismatch between the number of available places and the number of aspirants for admission.

The schools should have the freedom to prepare their own merit list but only in accordance with the pre-determined and pre-announced criteria, which should not have any provision for oral test through interviews or interaction with parents to ascertain their educational or socio-economic status.

Various categories can be defined and reasonable percentage assigned to each, including sibling studying in the same school (15), wards of school employee (eight), wards of school alumni (seven), RTE quota (25) and general (40). If there are more applicants in a particular category, then random draw is the only method within that category. If any seats remain vacant within a category, they should be converted into the general category.

Pankaj Chandgothia Panchkula

Mockery of admission system

The nursery admission controversy is a sheer mockery of our autonomy and admission system.

Private schools’ association in Chandigarh should look forward to adopt the method to bring in transparency that lacked in draw system. This year’s nursery admissions process was more chilling and would remain etched in memory of children and parents for a long time to come. The major problems of the parents are about private schools not giving admission to students from economically weaker sections of society and are not following the guidelines framed by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development.

The violation of norms seems to be common in the ongoing nursery admissions as many private schools are openly flouting the guidelines framed by the ministry. It is really shocking that the government as well as private schools are out of control of the director public instruction schools. As the last date for creating websites as specified by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) approaches, most government schools in the city are ill-prepared for the initiative.

The key idea behind maintaining the websites was to allow quick access to key information and admission process and vacancies about the schools. It helps a number of outstation students and parents to explore the schools while planning to move to the city. As computerisation is still a far cry at the government schools of Chandigarh, one has to visit the schools for petty works or obtaining simple information. All schools under the education department should be computerised soon to make the working smoother and transparent.

Sachin Sharma Chandigarh

Erratic process

Nursery admissions in this region are as erratic as can be. It is totally upon the whims and fancies of all private schools to decide their admission criteria. There is absolutely no transparency in the system or any check on them. Just to fool parents they pretend of holding draws for seats. I came to realise this only recently when I had to go through this chaos. My son if three-year-old and I filled up some school forms according to his eligibility.

There should be similar admission criteria in all private schools and strict supervision over the admission process. Accountability is a must as this matter concerns students’ future.

Dr Ridhi Gupta Mohali

Need to maintain student-teacher ratio

Even as schools debate the proposed point system to make the present admission procedure transparent, the fact remains that many children are not going to find a place in private schools in the coming session, as a total number of seats available would remain the same.

For the past five years, the number of seats in the schools has not increased despite rise in the number of applicants every year and to make things worse, the UT Administration has not allotted land to anyone for building new private school since 2003.

There are approximately 10,000 nursery applicants against 4,000 seats, which indicates that no matter what admission criteria the schools implement, a large number of students will not be able to make it to any private school for the academic session 2011-12. We need to maintain the student-teacher ratio in class, so to accommodate more students we either need to have more teachers and more infrastructure or new schools. The government only allots space for new government schools that fail to provide quality education to children instead of giving it to private schools. “No admission criteria will satisfy parents whose wards do not get admission. We need a solution to have more seats and not more systems. But the education department has its own say in the matter. Around four-five private schools have come up in the last few years like Ryan International, Banyan Tree and Gurukul. It is just the will to admit children that counts. The private schools do not want children under the RTE Act studying with their schools. Earlier, they were studying in the government schools and now they will be admitted to private schools. The students who do not get admission in private schools can study in government schools and make it a heterogeneous crowd with kids belonging to different socio-cultural groups, thus, improving the system.

The father of a three-year-old boy said, “There is still one year to go, but I think it’s the time for me to buckle up as well. Nowadays, the biggest worry for a parent is to get the child admitted to a private school, but if the government schools improve their standards, one would surely prefer going there.”

Kanika Landran



Street dance, plays mark Day 2
Tribune News Service

Punjabi singer Kamal Heer performs during ‘Goonj’.
Punjabi singer Kamal Heer performs during ‘Goonj’. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Chandigarh, February 5
The day two of “Goonj” organised by the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) at PU campus was a little more colourful than day one, as it was packed with cultural events.

The day began with street dance competitions in which 10 shortlisted teams gave their performance and the event had an audience of over 300 students who were fascinated by the agility and steps of the dance groups.

Street plays performed by the students also witnessed appreciation from audience. UIET’s team performed a play on corruption.

The UIET campus brimmed with activity, thanks to the fun events like “Andha Safar” and “The Break up Plan”. There was a general knowledge quiz as well that was attended by some 150 students.

The evening at Goonj was lit up by “Razzmatazz”, which was a group dance competition.

Apart from the cultural and fun events, there was an arena where engineers of UIET and other institutes had brought their robots to compete against each other.

To celebrate the 10th year of UIET, the alumni also came to the college to be a part of the festivities. The first-ever alumni meet began at the Golden Jubilee Auditorium of PU and concluded at UIET auditorium.

After the wonderful events of the second day that included discussion on Jan Lokpal, the campus was thrilled by the mesmerising performance of famous singer Kamal Heer.

Goonj had more than 50 events this year and was attended by students of over 40 colleges. Thousands of students attended the fest with the star night having a footfall of over 3,000 persons.




Students to fight female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
A colourful closing ceremony marked the conclusion of weeklong skill workshops for underprivileged girls organised by the Women’s Cell at Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45.

Over 50 girl students of Burail village enrolled at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 45, were taught the skills of embroidery, pot painting and fabric painting.

Fifteen girls are attending a one-month computer course in the college. The entire cost of the course has been borne by the college.

School and college students were also administered a pledge to fight the evil of female foeticide and to work for the overall well being of the girl child.



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