C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sec 8 property dispute
SHO’s role under scanner
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The functioning of Chandigarh’s first-ever woman Station House Officer (SHO) Punam Dilawari came under the Punjab and Haryana High Court scanner today, with a notice being issued on a plea seeking initiation of action against her for her alleged unfair role in a Sector 8 property matter. A DSP-level officer will now look into the controversy; and the UT SSP too has been asked to step in.

Snapshots have been placed on court record, showing Dilawari standing near the gate of the Sector 8 house, while alleged attempts were being made to take over the possession of the property in violation of the High Court orders.

Taking up the matter, Justice Surya Kant of the High Court also directed that a police officer not below the Deputy Superintendent of Police rank “shall take over the inquiry into the complaint by the petitioner”, instead of the local SHO.

The directions, further hitting the somewhat already dented image of the Chandigarh Police, came on a petition filed by Manavjit Kaur and another. The directions came just over a month after the Chandigarh Police registered a case against Manavjit Kaur and two others at the Sector 3 police station on the allegations of manhandling Dilawari.

The dispute pertains to a portion of house number 506, Sector 8-B, Chandigarh. It’s sale is currently under challenge. Two of the respondents Satjit Kaur and Girish Pal Singh are co-owners of the property.

Referring to an order passed in December, 2011, Manavjit Kaur, in her plea, contended that the possession of the suit property was not to be delivered to anyone during the pendency of an application, which was directed to be decided within a month.

She added that it was apparent from the order that the co-owners were restrained from handing over the possession to any party. But on December 24 last year, Rajesh Kumar of Sector 44-B attempted to take the possession.

On January 31 at about 6.30 pm, he came on a scouting mission and on February 3 at about 1 pm, he along with his wife and eight-nine others, took forcible possession of the property.

“Punam Dilawari, the SHO was also present at the scene…. In the presence of the police, Rajesh Kumar, his family and goons brought their mattresses, table, chairs and furniture in the house and are in possession thereof.”

The same, she contended, could not have happened without the connivance of the co-owners as well as Dilawari and investigating officer Pardeep Kumar. “The mere presence of the police at the time of the incident is itself a testament of the true picture."

Before parting with the case, Justice Surya Kant also directed the UT SSP to personally visit the site and ensure the compliance of the previous order.



Faculty posts in super-speciality category lying vacant
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The red tape in the UT administration has not only hit the recruitment of doctors (senior and junior residents) and nurses in the city’s flagship hospital, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Sector 32, but also some faculty posts in the super-speciality category that are on a contract basis. It may sound strange but the GMCH-32 has no super-speciality doctors for cardiology or neurology on board.

It’s been two years since posts were sanctioned in the super-speciality category in cardiology, neurology, endocrinology and gasteroenterology after approval from the health ministry, but the same haven’t been filled. Though the posts were advertised twice in 2011 and doctors were shortlisted, none joined due to procedural delays in issuing them the appointment letters. The hospital only has a super-speciality doctor in neuro-surgery and urology.

Nevertheless, the task of starting super-speciality services in cardiology, neurology, plastic surgery etc, that was mooted in 2010, still remains part of the hospital’s vision of 2012, as was announced by the GMCH Director-Principal, Dr Raj Bahadur, in his Republic Day address in the hospital.

A senior faculty said primarily the posts were advertised in the beginning of 2011 and two plastic surgeons were selected, but due to delay in the issuance of the appointment letter, which took almost four months, they did not join here. The same posts were advertised again in July, but no interviews had been conducted so far.

The posts that were advertised were of neurosurgery (one), cardiology (two), endocrinology (two), neurology (two), gasteroenterology (two), vascular and thoracic surgery (two). Sources said though applications were received for the posts, nothing had happened till date. Sources said if this situation continues, the very purpose of the hospital of providing patient care and reducing the burden of tertiary-care hospital like the PGI would be defeated. Already the hospital is facing an acute shortage of resident doctors (senior and junior), as 81 posts and more than 50 per cent of the 703 sanctioned posts of nurses are lying vacant.

Dr Bahadur refused to comment on the issue on the plea that he wasn’t aware of it. “The delay must be because of some procedures involved. I can’t give the reasons off-hand,” he said. 

Long wait

It’s been two years since posts were sanctioned in the super-speciality category in cardiology, neurology, endocrinology and gasteroenterology after the approval from the health ministry but the same haven’t been filled. Though the posts were advertised twice in 2011 and doctors were shortlisted, none joined due to procedural delays in issuing them the appointment letters. The hospital only has a super-speciality doctor in neuro-surgery and urology



Parents’ agonising wait for forensic report
Sector-23 pool drowning incident
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
More than seven months after two youths drowned in the swimming pool of Sector 23 here on June 16, their parents are waiting for the report of the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) team.

Ajay Lohlta’s family has not come out of the mental trauma after the tragedy. The family’s trouble is aggravated as it has been running from pillar to post to get the report but to no avail.

Mahinder Singh, investigating officer, said the case was held up as it was in queue. The department already has a long list of pending cases. It will likely be taken up by February 15.

Sources said the team earlier had three scientists, out of which two had been transferred. The entire job rests in the hands of just one official “who is overburdened”.

“The endless wait is a torture for us. We are very anxious to know the exact reason behind the death of our child, which only the report can tell. How could Ajay have drowned? He was an excellent swimmer,” said Shamsher Singh, Ajay’s father.

The father said, “We have made repeated visits to the CFSL office to seek the report but have not got any response. We had been told that the police was busy with the Republic Day function preparations, so the inquiry report could not be completed. Now even the Republic Day function has ended, but the police is still asking me to wait for one more month.”

On June 17, the police had fished out the bodies of 28-year-old Nitin Mokta and 26-year-old Ajay Lohlta in the wee hours from the pool of Sector 23.

The two were reportedly swimming when Nitin went to the deep side of the pool and began to drown and cried for help. Ajay, who was then out of the pool, rushed to his rescue.

However, both were later found dead by their friends. The police had also sent blood samples of the two to the CFSL to ascertain whether they were drunk, but no report has been received by the police till date.



49 PCR vehicles remain off roads for want of fuel
Senior officials withdraw their escorts to divert fuel to PCR vehicles
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Over 70 per cent of the police vehicles were today off the roads for want of fuel. Only 11 police control room (PCR) vehicles, stationed in the jurisdiction of each police station, were on the roads, with 49 of the total 60 PCR gypseys lying idle in various police units.

Vehicles of escorts of senior police officials, all police post in charges, traffic police gypseys and of some of the SHOs too were off the roads after the police exhausted its quota of fuel worth Rs 4.5 crore and the grant from the UT administration was still awaited.

Senior police officials, including the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), had withdrawn their escort vehicles for the past three days to divert the fuel to the PCR vehicles so that contingency services were not affected in the city.

The UT police has been waiting for funds for the past over 20 days and has already borrowed fuel worth Rs 30 lakh from the Police Welfare Society and is getting the vehicles fuelled from the Sector 33 petrol pump.

At least 23 PCR vehicles were today stationed at the basement of the Economic Offences Wing in Sector 17, with the PCR staff, comprising over 140 policemen, sitting idle. Rest of the 26 vehicles too were stationed at other police stations for want of fuel.

A senior police official said they added 144 vehicles this year and the grant of fuel from the UT administration remained the same thus leading to the current situation. As per the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) norms, there are 39 PCR vehicles required in the city, while currently there are 60 PCR vehicles on the roads.

The first instalment of the Rs 1.5-crore grant demanded from the UT Administration finally came late in the evening and the situation is expected to improve.



Newborn found dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
In another glaring example of female foeticide, a newly born baby girl was found abandoned near the N-choe of Atawa Chowk at Sector 42 here this morning.

The girl was found wrapped in a cloth and was said to be found dead. As per information, some pedestrian found her lying under the bridge and called the police control room at around 3.17 pm.

Soon after finding the baby girl, the police took her to Government Medical Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, where she was declared brought dead. The girl was said to be only a day old.

During primary investigation, no stamp of any hospital was found on her body.

Earlier, a nine-month-old baby girl was found abandoned outside the labour room at the Sector 16 General Hospital on April 19. The girl was said to be in a healthy condition.


Dept in damage-control mode
Promises reimbursement of uniforms, books to pvt schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
In a damage-control exercise, the UT’s newly appointed district education officer, Ram Kumar, promised reimbursement of uniforms, books and transport, which may amount to around Rs 4 crore, to private schools of the city.

The ambitious peace-making effort may have left schools pleased but education department officials are fuming over the impracticality of the promise.

“The average cost of these things stand at minimum of Rs 12,000 per year for a small-time school. From where are we going to get so much of money to give to private schools? We have no budget head for it and even RTE Act does not mandate it. As per the Act, all children will be given equal treatment, so how to ensure that with varying school and transport fee? We had met to decide on average learner cost, but he went on to make this promise even after repeated denials from the financial expert sitting at the meeting,” revealed an education department official.

The DEO, however, seemed optimistic about it, as he said it would be adjusted.

“If we don’t have head, we will get it or use SSA money. We have talked about it but modalities will be worked out according to all financial norms and Act’s mandate. We have to ensure RTE’s implementation and schools promised to do so,” he said.

According to sources, the schools had detailed discussion with him on the issue where direct reimbursement to students was also debated about.

Interestingly, a senior official of the department said this promise had no validity, as it had to be cleared by new deputy director (school) Chanchal Singh, who has not got any such proposal so far.

“The DEO has made a promise at today’s meeting, which is welcomed, but we will now initiate anything on admission only when we will get the money notified. The department’s attitude was surely encouraging today,” said Independent School Association president HS Mamik.



Anti-encroachment drive
100 issued challans for violation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Once again the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation’s (MC) hollow claims of making Chandigarh an encroachment-free city has been exposed, as encroachers in various markets where special drives were conducted a number of times, has failed to decline mushrooming of the encroachers in the area. In fact, the habitual encroachers used to re-set their business in the evening after inspectors turn off from their duties.

While visiting Sector 22 Shastri Market, where the corporation had conducted special encroachment drives a number of times, it was found that most of the roadside rehris encroach upon the land whenever they get a chance to do so.

Similar is the case in Mani Majra, the authorities had removed a private crane and trucks from the parking site of the motor market, but they are back again to do their business after paying fine to the authorities. The situation is more or less similar in other markets of the city where the encroachment drives had been conducted by the enforcement department.

Senior official opined that there was no use of conducting special encroachment drives, as most of the encroachers paid the nominal fine and start their business again. Officials further added that most of the times, elected councillors, by using their powers, relaxed the fine, which motivated the violators.

The officials suggested that if the corporation wants to control the encroachment then there is a need to formulate an action plan under which the corporation should conduct joint drives with the traffic police and challan hefty amount from these violators. A case should be registered against them for misusing the corporation land.

Meanwhile, a special anti-encroachment drive was carried out today by the enforcement wing of the MC in the motor markets of Sectors 7 and 28. During the drive, nine dumped cars were seized and nine cars, which were got repaired in the Sector-7 market, were seized. In addition to that, material from dhaba counters, chairs, gas cylinders and other machine tools lying in passages of the market were removed. A total of 100 challans were issued to the encroachers. Seven sub-inspectors were among the enforcement team, which carried out the drive and seven trucks were loaded with the seized material.



ISBT to get 5 more months for completion
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 6
The multi-storeyed inter-state bus terminus (ISBT) in Sector 57, here, is nowhere near completion. After missing the deadline twice, to complete the project in October, 2001 and December 2011, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) was contemplating to extend the deadline of the project by another five months.

Though no GMADA officials were ready to speak on the subject yet sources said that the deadline could be extended till June 2012, but the Gurgaon-based company, C and C Towers Ltd would have to pay the fine accordingly. For the past few months, the work at the site has been going slow.

The first phase of the air-conditioned bus stand, Sector 57, was to be operational by the end of October 2011. But the deadline was now being extended further.

Located along the Chandigarh-Kharar section of the National Highway, the facility has been for the night parking facility for 98 buses. There would be 50 bays, waiting lounges, online booking facility, food courts, restaurants and an electronic display board.

The Rs 500 crore complex would have 17 storeys, a 10-screen cinexplex, a high-end shopping mall and a luxury hotel. There would be three-layer underground car parking, capable of accommodating 2,100 vehicles, said sources, adding that it would have special arrangements for the physically challenged.



Delayed road carpeting to resume soon
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 6
Zirakpur will soon have re-carpeted roads. The work of re-carpeting the roads had hit a road block due to the Punjab Assembly elections. But, the work is expected to resume soon.

The Zirakpur Municipal Council official said that the developmental works related to strengthen the roads in the town would be started from February 20. He said the work of Rs 10 crore that were allotted after the October meeting.

The official said the council was keen on strengthening those roads, which were being used by heavy vehicles.

He added that the roads included VIP road, Peer Muchalla, the Baltana-Harmilap link road and internal roads would be recarpeted. The work of laying tiles has already begun at Dhakoli, Baltana and the other areas.

A senior MC official stated that the work was delayed as the staff was busy in election duties. He also said that due to rainy weather, the work was stopped at some places. The staff members have been asked to check the development work and complete it by March end.



Estate office SOS to higher-ups
Takes up misuse of buildings resumed, definition of ‘paying guest’, review of misuse charges
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The UT estate office, which finds itself ‘helpless’ in tackling complex issues like continuous misuse of buildings resumed, definition of ‘paying guest’ and review of misuse charges, has now asked for ‘advice’ and some clarifications from higher-ups.

“We have taken up some important but complex issues to the office of the Chief Administrator-cum-Finance Secretary for necessary ‘advice’ and clarifications,” said Rahul Gupta, UT assistant estate officer.

There would be amendments, modifications or changes in rules and bylaws, if needed, he said. At the moment, they had been apprising the authorities of the problems being faced, he added.

In its communique to the authorities, the estate office sought advice as how misuse of buildings already resumed could be negated.

The communique stated, ‘Eviction of resumed building cannot take place due to appeals against resumption pending before different forums and courts whereas owners or occupants of such sites have been continuously misusing the sites with impunity’.

A significant number of commercial buildings, mainly at Sectors 17, 22 and 35 here, had been resumed. Despite this, the estate office has failed to stop the misuse of such sites, many of which were resumed way back in the 1970s.

A perfect example of this was the Anand Theatre Complex at Sector 17, which was resumed in 1974, but could not be evicted till date. The owner had rented out man rooms, earning lakhs per month from tenants.

The estate office was also not clear on the definition of ‘paying guest’. According to an estimate, around 1.5 lakh persons had been staying here as paying guests, but there were only seven registered PG premises in the city.

To run PG accommodation at a private house, the owner or occupier had to take permission from the department. Due to unclear guidelines, officials faced difficulty in ascertaining if an occupier was a tenant or a paying guest.

The department also sought a clarification on the applicability of misuse charges on shop-cum-flats and a review of misuse charges.

“Meetings are on and we have requested the authorities to take stock of the growing needs and demands of the city while making decisions on the issues,” Gupta said.



Voting tomorrow, migrants take off
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Come elections and it is like a festival season for migrants. They make it a point to vote for their favourite candidates at their native places in Uttar Pradesh ((UP), where elections will be held on February 8.

Supporters of candidates in various parts of UP have book seats in general compartments in various trains, including the Chandigarh-Lucknow Unchahar Express and the Sadbhavna Express.

As a large number of people from villages and towns in UP have come to the city for greener pastures, leaders have made arrangements for booking compartments for large groups, constituting between 70 and 75 persons.

Between 10 and 15 per cent of the tricity population, primarily engaged in construction, have either left or will leave tomorrow. The exodus will affect construction in the region till they return after about a week.

A senior official with the Northern Railway, Ambala Division, said political parties in UP had booked general compartments from Saharanpur and Chandigarh for their supporters.

“We are going for a week,” said Ram Avtar, who left for his native village near Lucknow today. Without reservation, they seemed least bothered about the inconvenience of travelling for more than 12 hours in jam-packed compartments.

Surinder Goel, owner of a construction agency in Chandigarh, said, “We have begun facing shortage as workers have started leaving. It will be around 10 days after Holi that work will resume properly. Before they leave, we talk to them to ensure that they return on time. Though cases of workers not returning are less, we do not want to take risk.”



Dense fog hits air, rail traffic
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
Dense fog disrupted air traffic, with hundreds of passengers facing a harrowing time at the local airport, as three flights from the city were delayed by between two and three hours today.

Morning flights from the city to the Delhi, including those of Kingfisher, Jet Airways and Indian, arrived late by between two and three hours in view of heavy fog in Delhi.

All major trains to the city, including the Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi, both morning and evening, were running on time.

The Bandra-Chandigarh deluxe train arrived late by more than an hour and-a-half due to poor visibility.

Vehicular traffic in Punjab and Haryana was also affected as a thick blanket of fog enveloped many parts of the region. Fog made its first appearance in the tricity and peripheral areas.

The weather office predicted a sunny day tomorrow, with fog or mist in the morning and evening hours. The night temperatures would fall, with no change in day temperatures.

The maximum temperature on Tuesday would be around 20 degree Celsius and the minimum on Wednesday around 9 degree Celsius.

The maximum temperature on Monday was 19.7 degree Celsius and the minimum 9.2 degrees Celsius. The maximum relative humidity was 95 per cent and the minimum 49 per cent.



From Admn to MC, and back?
Primary health, education depts may be transferred
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The municipal corporation (MC) stands to lose primary health and education departments, transferred by the UT Administration, in the light of non-availability of budget and staff.

Sources revealed that recently, the UT Administration had denied releasing funds for the departments and asked the corporation to generate funds on its own.

The staff which was transferred to these departments would be repatriated by March 31. Officials stated that the proposal to recruit about 4,000 employees was lying pending with the UT Administration.

Sources in the Administration said UT Administrator Shivraj Patil had, during a meeting, asked the MC to prepare a draft budget for the departments and send it to the Administration.

During a meeting chaired by UT Local Government Secretary Anil Kumar today, MC Commissioner Prerna Puri tabled and discussed the preliminary budget.

A senior official with the Administration said a final decision on granting a budget would be taken by the Administrator. The official said during the transfer of the departments, the UT authorities had stated that staff and funds would be borne by the Administration only till March.

A senior official stated that denying funds for the departments could be a pressure tactic of the Administration to impose house tax. The MC had only three major sources to generate funds, which were water tariff, auction of paid parking lots and property tax. Sources revealed that in a meeting in January, the UT Administrator had pointed out to Mayor Raj Bala Malik that if the MC had a problem in handling the departments properly, those would be transferred back to the Administration.



Admn sends MC back to start
Two new panels come in way of constituting other 14
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The constitution of 14 subcommittees by the municipal corporation (MC) is back to square one. The Administration has refused to give permission for the constitution of two new subcommittees, one for health and the other for education.

In a recent communication from the Administration, the MC has been asked to get the functions of the two new subcommittees approved by the General House and then send it for approval.

Sources stated that a fortnight ago, a letter was sent to the Administration that there was a need for subcommittees on primary health and education as those had recently been transferred to the MC.

All issues tabled in the House had to be approved by the subcommittees. Passing the buck, the Administration replied that functions of fresh subcommittees had to be approved by the General House before Administration’s sanction.

When contacted, Mayor Raj Bala Malik stated that the proposal of constituting the two new subcommittees would be tabled in the next House for consideration, after which the subcommittees would be formed and sent to the Administration for its approval.

The sources stated that the constitution of the other 12 subcommittees would linger till the approval for the two new subcommittees was given by the House.

The sources said another reason for the delay in finalising the constitution of the subcommittees was that some objections had been raised by Union minister and local Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal on the names of members.

A senior official with the Administration stated that the MC Act clearly pointed out that approving subcommittees and sending those for approval to the UT Administrator was the prerogative of the House.



Traders meet Bansal on estate office action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
A delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal called on Pawan Kumar Bansal at his residence here today, taking up the issue of notices of hefty penalty and sealing of shops by the UT estate office. 

Terming these notices unjust and unlawful, the delegation, headed by Diwakar Sahoonja, president of the mandal, requested the minister to intervene.



Show-cause notice to scrap dealers
Violation of hazardous waste rules
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 6
The Haryana State Pollution Control Board issued a show-cause notice to a number of scrap dealers of Madhawala village for violating Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Trans Boundary Movement) Rules, 2008.

The scrap dealers today submitted their representation to the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner against the notice and sought relief.

The regional office of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board in the notice mentioned that the scrap dealers have been found to be handling, transporting, disposing containers, barrels contaminated with hazardous wastes or chemicals at Madhawala village without obtaining requisite authorisation under the provisions of the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Trans Boundary Movement) Rules, 2008.

The department has sought reply from the scrap dealers.



Cars’ collision leads to chaos
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 6
A high drama was witnessed at the traffic junction of Phase X and XI when a Mitsubushi Lancer car had a head on collision with a Honda City, here this afternoon. Soon after the accident, drivers of the both vehicles entered into a heated argument as two PCR officials on the spot tried hard to end it. Despite the PCR calling the Phase XI police station to send a police party, it took over 25 minutes for Head Constable Sanjay Kumar to reach the spot. In the ensuing moments, a number of supporters of both the sides gathered the spot, resulting in traffic disruption. However, later both the parties reached a compromise.

Car damaged

Carelessness on part of contractor engaged by GMADA to repair a road cut resulted in damage to a Honda City car in Phase 3B2 here. The owner of the vehicle, Gurcharan lamented that proper caution had not been adopted while covering the road cut.



Treachery, mistrust to fore
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 6
The fourth annual Katha Manchan Festival organised by the Mask Theatre Group commenced with the dramatisation of a story “Khaali Plot”, written by Veena Verma, at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.

The play depicted treachery and mistrust shown to an over ambitious yet innocent girl, Jassi, who dreamt for a better life and married an NRI to repent later. Storywriter and director Sangeeta Gupta attempted to bring into focus the telling tales of woes many such innocent girls falling prey to mean motifs of rascals in society. A victim of sexual abuse and harassment, the protagonist opts to be a social worker, but having lost the best of her life.

Leading the cast, Sangeeta Gupta, Malvika Bhaskar, Charu Gupta, Sumandeep Kaur and Sudhiksha gave a befitting treatment to the otherwise bold theme of the play. However, the poetic potential of verses by Manjeet Tiwana, Dr Pal Kaur and Kaana Singh were used properly to augment the level of production.

A play “Aad Kunwari” will be presented by Adakar Manch tomorrow. 



Melodic mix of wisdom, love
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 6
On day two of the ongoing seventh annual Haryanvi folk theatre, Saang Utsav, organised by the department of cultural affairs, Haryana, the love legend of Rani Dharma Kaur-Raghubir was presented by saangi Parkash Singh at the Tagore Theatre here today.

The intrusive audience relished every moment of the saang, which was replete with words of wisdom, love, ethics and entertainment through the story sans historic authenticity. The saang was interspersed with dances to the live music and narratives led by director Parkash Singh.

The story revolves around the central character of orphaned prince Raghubir, who was brought up by his uncle and aunt. They connived to kill the prince by drowning him in a river, who was later rescued by a washerman and after a few years, he joins his beloved, Rani Dharma Kaur.

Later, Bhal Singh Balhara, additional director, said the folklore of a region depicted the life and living style of the people in any region. “The rituals, customs and socio-cultural ethos are handed down to generations through an oral tradition. Despite the impact of western culture, Haryanvis have kept their pristine folklore to their heart and rather making it more vibrant,” he added.



Tricity Scan


President in city today: The UT police will remain on its toes with the visit of President Pratibha Patil here tomorrow. She is scheduled to land here in the afternoon and attend a cultural function at the Haryan Raj Bhavan. On February 8, she will leave for Kurukshetra and come back here for her departure to Delhi. Around 300 police personnel wll be deployed for security. — TNS

National seminar: An UGC-sponsored national seminar was organised on business challenges and strategies in emerging global scenario by the postgraduate department of commerce at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College here on Monday.

Farewell party: A farewell party was organised at St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-C. It began with a prayer meeting conducted by school deputy director Rozario praying to the Almighty for the success of students in the coming board examinations. Principal Mervin West also spoke on the occasion.

Inquiry sought: Advocate Ajay Jagga demanded an inquiry into the serious lapse of security on the part of Railways Protection/Police Force (RPF), as they violated the security norms in the Kalka-Shatabdi Express (train number 12011), which came from Delhi to Chandigarh on February 5. There was no security check and identification of passengers’ luggage in the train, which exposed them to security threats, terrorist attacks and bomb explosion.

Reunion: More than 85 doctors from Government Medical College, Patiala, 1977 batch, on Sunday organised a reunion at a hotel. Dr Rakesh K Gupta and Dr Swami Dass Mehta, members of GOMCO ’77, revealed that keeping in view the overwhelming response received, the event shall henceforth be held regularly and at more frequent intervals.

Oration at PGI: Dr Pushpa Talwar Memorial Oration was delivered by Dr Jacques F Meis, senior consultant from Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, Nijmegen, Netherlands, at the PGI here on Monday. Dr Meera Sharma, professor and head, department of medical microbiology, spoke about Dr Pushpa Talwar, former head of PGI, and her contribution. Dr Jacques F Meis highlighted the importance of invasive fungal infections in tertiary care centres, especially in immuno compromised patients.He stressed on the need of early diagnosis of fungal infections and early therapy. Prof Y Chawla, director PGI, conferred Dr Meis with the oration award. Dr Amod Gupta, dean, PGI, proposed a vote of thanks.

Cheque-drop boxes: The State Bank of India (SBI) has installed cheque drop boxes in all ATMs installed in the tricity for the convenience of customers. An official release said the customers could now deposit cheques for credit to their accounts at these boxes.

Felicitated: The Chandigarh Amateur Boxing Association has felicitated Charanjeet Singh Virk, a former international medallist. Working as SHO at the Sector-39 police station, he had represented Chandigarh in various boxing championships.

— Tribune Reporters



General students apply for vacant seats
300 applications received on Day One
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Poor students loss is surely turning out to be general students gain, who have now got an access to over 2,000 empty seats reserved under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act).

A day after the schools decided not to admit any student under the RTE Act in lack of notification of reimbursement, the private schools across the city have received around 300 applications from the students belonging to the general category in lieu of the proposed conversion of these seats.

“I have 50 vacant seats and got only 10 applications under the RTE. What is better; to keep these seats empty or give them to those general students who lost their right of education due to reservation of these seats? We have started getting applications from parents, however, yet to decide on modalities of the admission process,” revealed an office-bearer of the Independent School Association.

The move surely comes as a jolt to the UT Administration, which had asked schools to wait till February 15 before deciding on conversion. The schools, however, at a meeting held on Saturday decided to allow the general students to apply for the reserved seats, which had been lying vacant. It was also decided not to conduct any admission under the Act, as the UT has not clarified how much to pay. Though the education department did hold a meeting today promising reimbursement for uniforms, books and transport of students under the RTE, the schools feel that is not enough.

“We are happy that they have promised this reimbursement even though they are yet to finalise the average learner cost. We welcome their move but will only start RTE admissions once they notify the payment amount and till then there is no harm in accepting applications subject to fate of the Act,” said HS Mamik, president Independent School Association.



Register vehicles with PU, police: Notice

Chandigarh, February 6
Acting on the UT police letter, Panjab University (PU) has decided to fine residents of boys’ hostel numbers 4 and 5 from whose room 40 outsiders were recovered in the raid conducted by the police yesterday.

A notice was issued asking hostel inmates to register their vehicles with the university and police, failing which they will be towed away.

“If the police takes away any unregistered vehicle then we are not to be held responsible,” said dean student welfare AS Ahluwalia.

Wardens have been directed to conduct regular inspections, along with police officials.

The UT police in a surprise raid conducted at 4 am on Saturday nabbed 40 outsiders from PU boys’ hostels. Following this, a letter was sent to Panjab University asking it to pull its act together and maintain discipline in the hostels. — TNS



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