C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Stir by e-sampark staff hits residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
Thousands of city residents were inconvenienced as the staff of the e-sampark and gram sampark centres went on an unscheduled strike today. As a result, no routine public service facility was available for the residents at 13 e-samparks centres in the city and gram samparks in villages.

Contrary to making any alternative arrangements for tomorrow, the authorities preferred to shut down the centres.

The public utility services available at these centres include payment of taxes, issue of bus passes, senior citizen cards, disability cards and births and death certificates, payment of water and electricity bills, space booking, tenant registration, domestic servants registration and sticker or postal challans.

By afternoon, the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC) employees were able to trace passwords of a few computers at the e-sampark centres, but a majority of the centres were shut down, as they failed to detect the passwords of other systems. An employee said that SPIC employees traced the password of the Sector 17 system, but as the employees deployed on the system were clueless about their functioning, the public faced inconvenience for getting its work done.

Clueless about the strike, a retired man, Anil Sharma, who visited the Sector 17 e-sampark centre twice for depositing his electricity bill, said it was strange that the Administration did not even bother to inform the public about the strike or make some alternative arrangements. He said in the morning when he visited the centre, an employee told him that the centre would open in the afternoon, but till late evening there was no progress.

Interestingly, all supervisors at the centres came to know about the strike of their staff after they reached their centres.

One of the supervisors at the e-sampark centre said that as he was on the morning shift, when he turned up at the centre the operational staff revealed that they were all on strike and the centre would remain closed for the whole day.

An official of the Administration said that IT director had been instructed to take strict action against the employees who went on strike. He said that about a week ago, the employees were assured that their grievances would be taken up with the authorities.

Alleging that the UT Administration had ignored their grievances, a union leader Pardeep Kumar Dutt said that after they were transferred to the SPIC, they were clueless which norms were implemented on them, labour rates, DC rates or whether they were under the administration.

He said another issue was that till date none of the employees had got his appointment letter and there was usual delay in the disbursement of the salary. 



Investigating crimes of serious nature
Punjab for ‘unified command of police’ for tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
The State of Punjab today gave its nod for a “unified command of police” for the Tricity of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali for investigating cases of serious nature, murder and kidnapping included.

In an affidavit placed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Punjab Deputy Secretary, Department of Home Affairs and Justice, Om Parkash Bhatia, said the force could comprise police officers from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

He also suggested that the command or the committee could be of Punjab, Haryana and UT SSPs. The senior-most SSP could be heading it.

The affidavit placed before the Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover further suggested that the command could meet once a month on a fixed date. The meeting could be advanced if required by the circumstances.

The affidavit came on a petition filed in public interest for CBI probe into the kidnapping and murder of five-year-old boy Khushpreet. The petition has been filed by the World Human Rights Protection Council through chairperson-cum-advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal.

The petitioner is also demanding a strict action against the errant Chandigarh police officers, allegedly responsible for Khushpreet’s death.

Khushpreet was kidnapped on December 21, 2010, from Burail. He was later found brutally murdered on January 5 in Mohali, hardly at two kilometers from his house. After protests, the Chandigarh administration had ordered magisterial probe. His family has already returned the compensation offered by the UT administration.

Seeking CBI probe in the case, Lakhanpal submitted the police had failed miserably to solve the case. apparently dissatisfied with the probe report, Lakhanpal sought directions to register a criminal case under Section 304-A of IPC on the allegations of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the errant police officers.

The petitioner also sought directions to the UT administration to come up with a special cell to deal with similar situations and employ specially trained cops.



Policeman suspended for obeying EC order
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 10
A sub-inspector (SI) of the Punjab Police has paid a heavy price for diligently obeying orders of the Election Commission (EC) to check all vehicles, private and official, for unaccounted cash and liquor in the run-up to the Punjab Assembly elections.

Parmod Kumar has been placed under suspension for allegedly annoying higher-ups during the routine checking of vehicles when the former was on election duty at a static naka in Mohali. Officially, he has been transferred five days before the polling while he was on election duty, but was suspended for not reporting at his new place of posting.

Intriguingly, officials of the Election Department had appreciated him for seizing over Rs 1 crore cash and a large quantity of liquor prior to the elections.

The matter has been brought to the notice of the officials concerned in the office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Punjab, and the District Election Officer, Mohali. Sources in the Election Department revealed that though the CEO had categorically stayed all transfer orders (issued with effect from December 24, 2011) that had been issued without its permission. But a senior official in the Punjab Police headquarters transferred the SI through orders issued on January 25, a few days ahead of the January 30 elections. “The orders issued without clearance of the Election Commission are in violation of the instructions. It is a serious misconduct,” said a senior official.

The senior official in the police headquarters issued the transfer orders without verifying whether the policeman was on election duty and then suspended him for disobeying the transfer orders. Being on election duty, the SI was not relieved from duty by District Election Office.

District Electoral Officer Varun Roojam confirmed the suspension. “The SI was on election duty and as such he could not be transferred. He has done a commendable job while on duty,” he said. The SI was not available for comments despite repeated attempts.

Sources said after strict instructions were issued for checking all vehicles, the police department started checking each and every vehicle entering the district. As a result, there was large seizure of cash and liquor.



3 duped in immigration frauds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
The UT police has registered three separate cases under the Immigration Act today. In the first case, a Chandigarh Police constable was duped of Rs 12 lakh. Constable Dalbir Singh submitted Rs 12 lakh, in four instalments, to one Charanjit Singh who promised to send him abroad. Charanjit Singh, who is absconding, has been identified as a resident of sector 40. The complainant Dalbir is a resident of police society in sector 51.The case was registered at the police station in sector 34.

In another case, manager of a telecommunication company Pardeep was promised migration abroad by two persons Van Good Man and Parkash Chauhan for arranging a job for him in a leading hotel in London. The two charged Rs 18.75 lakh in four different installments from him. Police said victim Pardeep came in the contact of the accused through internet advertisements and deposited the cash in their accounts, without meeting them personally.

Police said it is yet not sure if Van Good Man and Parkash are real names and say that the accused may already have fled abroad.

In the third case, Balbir Singh of Raipur Khurd village was cheated of Rs 5 lakh by Harish Kumar of sector 15, Panchkula, who promised to send him abroad. Police said Singh had delivered the amount to accused Harish in cash. A case was registered at police station, Industrial Area, in this regard.



Quake jolts tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
An earthquake of moderate intensity shook the tricity about half an hour past Thursday midnight. The quake, measuring 5 on the Richter scale, hit parts of Punjab and Haryana and Uttarakhand. The epicentre of the quake was stated to be in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand and was also felt in many parts of the northern region. However, there were, however, no reports of loss of life or property from anywhere in Punjab and Haryana.

The tremors triggered panic in a lot of areas, particularly in the Yamuna Valley area of Uttarakhand, with people coming out of their homes. Though some houses reportedly developed cracks in the Barkot area of Uttarkashi, there were no reports of any major damage to life and property in the region, which was the epicentre of the devastating 1991 earthquake that left hundreds of people dead.

Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 11 here, said that he had returned to the city after finishing his official assignment at Delhi. He said he was going to bed when he noticed tremors and virtually remained sleepless.


2 water pipes burst
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
A water pipe today burst at Sector 17 around 9 am here today. The water kept leaking till afternoon leading to water logging on the road. With the damage yet to be fixed, drinking water from the breached pipe continued to flood the area well past the evening. Earlier, during the day, the MC staff began the work by dewatering the area before assessing the damage.

“It was around 9 am when the underline pipe burst breaking open the road with gush of water that inundated the entire road, said a shopkeeper.

An official said that such things happen accidentally, when the service laying activities were in progress on both the sides of the road. However, the Municipal Corporation officials said the maintenance staff had been put on work and the pipe will be repaired by tonight.

Another pipe burst near the roundabout of Sector 7 and 8 in the late evening due to which the commuters faced problem leading to heavy traffic jams on the roads. Officials of the MC have started the repair after getting information.



prices at night food street
MC willing on reasonableness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
The municipal corporation (MC) today expressed its willingness to add the ingredient of reasonableness in the foodstuff offered at the night food street.

As the suo motu case on the exorbitant prices of foodstuff at the night food street came up for hearing, UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal told the Bench of Justice Surya Kant that after MC elections, the new House had been constituted.

He added that the issue of providing the foodstuff at rates lower than the existing ones would be placed before the General House during its meeting.

For spicing up the night life of residents again, the MC had resolved to constitute a committee for proper regularisation of rates and the maintenance of kiosks at the night food street.

In an affidavit, MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach had recently asserted the finance and contract committee, after deliberations, resolved that the kiosks at the night food street be allotted through a draw of lots at the rate of Rs 25,000 per month.

“It was further resolved that a committee would be constituted for the finalisation of the terms and conditions for proper regularisation of the rates of the eatables and the maintenance of the kiosks.”

Siwach also told the Bench that a survey had revealed that Chandigarh had about 5,550 roadside hawkers and vendors. In addition, about 500 licensed vendors were operating in various parts of the city.

The high court had earlier made it clear that it wanted the authorities concerned to ensure the ingredient of reasonableness was added to the dishes served on a platter at the Sector-14 night foodstreet.

After taking suo motu cognisance of a news report on high prices being allegedly charged by shopkeepers at the night food street, the high court had earlier issued a notice of motion to the UT Administration.

Placing on record the news report, the then Chief Justice had earlier asserted, “If the facts appearing in the news item are correct, the matter deserves to be looked into the public interest jurisdiction of the court.”

The night food street had come into existence some three years back and was providing foodstuff at nominal rates to attendants of patients at the PGI and to students of the Panjab University.

The rising prices had left residents bitter, the Chief Justice had observed in reference to the news report.



Four foot overbridges for Mohali
Tribune News Service

A foot overbridge that is nearing completion in Phase 3 B2 Mohali
A foot overbridge that is nearing completion in Phase 3 B2 Mohali. Tribune photo : Vicky Gharu

Mohali, February 10
Now, the residents of Mohali would be able to use foot over-bridges to cross the 3.5km long sections of the recently widened arterial-road passing through Phases IV, V, III-B1, III-B2 and VII of Mohali. A total of four such foot over-bridges are being erected on the road section.

Each costing around Rs 50 lakh, the bridges are 100 ft long steel structure that would enable the pedestrians to use an alternative approach to cross the road. A GMADA official said that the bridges have been erected in the adjoining the Rose Garden in Phase 3B2, near the Phase 7 market, near a nursing home in Phase 7 and another one near the traffic lights of Phase 3 and 5. The bridges would also facilitate pedestrians to reach the commercial areas without crossing the roads.

As the widening of roads would reduce the parking space in the markets along the shopping street, GMADA has increased the parking space in the markets. The un-utilised space in the rear of the commercial area has been converted in to parking. The situation is worst in the markets of Phase 3B2, V and VII. Later on, benches, billboards and mailboxes will be provided on both the sides of the road and landscaping will be done on the entire stretch.

Each costing around Rs 50 lakh, the bridges are 100 ft long steel structure that would enable the pedestrians to use an alternative approach to cross the road.



Just 19 challans in two months!
Autos overloaded, STA understaffed
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
It seems that the State Transport Authority (STA) has turned blind eye to the plying of overloaded auto-rickshaws in the city.

The non-seriousness of the STA to curb the rampant violation can be gauged with the fact that only 19 auto-rickshaws and vans have been challaned across the city in the past two months for ferrying more passengers than capacity. Only three challans have been issued for carrying more schoolchildren than capacity. While the authorities and the traffic police have failed to initiate action, drivers blatantly endanger the lives of schoolchildren to earn a little extra.

In December past year, the STA issued 11 challans for overloading, of which two were issued for ferrying more schoolchildren than capacity.

Eight challans were issued in January, out of which only one was issued for ferrying more schoolchildren than capacity.

A shopkeeper at the Sector-16 market, near the government school, claimed that the instance of schoolchildren crammed in three-wheelers, with their bags hanging outside, was common.

“The higher the number of children in an auto-rickshaw, more is the danger to children hanging precariously outside. In several instances, the number of minors seated inside exceeds 10,” the shopkeeper said.

“The auto-rickshaws on contract bribe policemen and continue plying without safety regulations. Parents should not allow children to commute in overloaded auto-rickshaws,” said Lajwant Singh of Sector 37.

Ishita Sharma of Sector 15 said more and more auto-rickshaw operators were squeezing in children and the Administration had failed to stop the practice. “Children boarding these vans are at a risk. It is high time serious steps are taken to end this menace,” she said.

STA secretary Mahavir Kaushik said there were only three officers with the department who could issue challans and all of them had been given additional charge.

He further said parents must ensure that the auto-rickshaw drivers they hired followed rules and had side doors and safety equipment.

An official with the STA said the the traffic police should initiate special campaigns to challan such auto-rickshaw drivers.



CMDC nominated centre of medical excellence
Tribune News Service

Lt-Gen SR Gosh being presented a commendation card on Friday
Lt-Gen SR Gosh being presented a commendation card on Friday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, February 10
The Command Military Dental Centre (CMDC), Chandi Mandir, has been nominated a centre of medical excellence in the Western Command.

On the occasion of the 71st Raising Day of the Army Dental Corps, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen SR Gosh, presented a silver trophy to Maj-Gen GK Thapliyal, Commandant of the CMDC.

He also awarded the Army Commander’s Commendation to two doctors, Col SP Singh and Maj Atul Bali, for meritorious service.

Established in February 1941 with the commissioning of seven dental surgeons, the Army Dental Corps was first headed by then Major and now Maj-Gen Kartar Singh (retd), who cut the anniversary cake.

As part of the Raising Day celebrations, an oral health campaign was launched, which included dental check-up camps, lectures and exhibitions at different places.



Freedom fighters seek to get land back
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 10
The Mohali district authorities have sought applications from freedom fighters for the return of their land confiscated under the British rule.

Sources said in accordance with the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the authorities had decided that the freedom fighters, or their heirs, could submit details along with proofs of such confiscated land to the SDM’s office concerned at Mohali, Kharar and Dera Bassi.

The information would be sent to the state government for appropriate legal action.



60 pc encroachers fall in line
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
‘Gandhigiri’ by the UT estate office has come to the fore during a demolition drive against illegal construction behind showrooms at Sector 20 here.

After delivering notices to the shopkeepers, running their business from cabins constructed illegally, officials made encroachers agree to remove the structures on their own by holding meetings with the market associations and shopkeepers.

“The strategy worked as around 60 per cent of the encroachers demolished their structures on their own. This saved us manpower and avoided clashes,” said Rahul Gupta, UT estate officer.

He added that they were trying to persuade the rest of the encroachers. “We have given them a deadline. If they fail to act, we will start the demolition drive,” he said.



Scrap dealers’ structures razed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 10
The Panchkula Administration today razed the structures of around 250 scrap dealers at Madhawala village in Pinjore.

After the demolition drive, the administration gave a 10-day time to stop their activities.

Earlier, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board issued a show-cause notice to these scrap dealers for violating Hazardous Waste (management, handling and trans-boundary movement) Rules, 2008.



Chandigarh scan

Traffic rules awareness week

The valedictory function of the ongoing ‘Traffic Rules Awareness Week’ being celebrated in the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Panjab University, Chandigarh concluded on Friday, an official press release said here on Friday.

While lauding the efforts of UILS in “taking the lead and being the first in the university to organise such a constructive and meaningful event”, GK Chathrath encouraged the students to “become proactive and responsible youth of the country.”

Art exhibition

Kala Srijan, the Creative Hand Society of Post-Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector-11, organised the annual art exhibition of the Fine Arts Department today. The exhibition consisted of 150 works displaying various categories of art works like creative composition, life-study, portrait study, still life, posters, advertisements, landscapes, craft items etc. The art works made by the students of the Fine Arts Department were praised by everyone present.

Science Mela

To mark the discovery of Raman Effect by Nobel laureate CV Raman, the Science Society of Post Graduate Government College for Girls-11, ogranised a ‘Science Mela’. National Science Day is celebrated every year in the month of February. On this occasion, a series of events were organised on the topics, ‘CV Raman-A great Scientist’, ‘Science for Welfare of Mankind’, ‘Science and Environment’, ‘Global climate change and Nano-technology’. The participants displayed their skills and innovations through wall magazine, model making, and paper reading. Documentary films on Raman Effect and global dimming were also screened for the students.

Discussion on journalism

The MCM DAV College for Women organised a discussion on journalism and communication skills. The unique initiative was in line with the policy of the college to impart education in a lucid manner. Dona Suri, a journalist, chaired the event. The discussion was followed by an interactive session between the students and Suri, providing an opportunity to the students to learn from her insights and experience.

Golden jubilee celebrations

Freemasonry, one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies, started its golden jubilee celebrations in the city from Friday, a press release said. The celebrations conclude on Sunday. The city will play host to over a 1,000 freemasons from all across the nation, as well as from countries like Kenya, Tanzania and the UK.

Freemasons in India got the sovereign ‘Grand Lodge of India’ consecrated on November 24, 1961, to promote the ideals and philosophy of freemasonry in India with assistance from its four Regional Grand Lodge of East, North, South and West. Consequently, the Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India was formed on November 27, 1961 at New Delhi.

Blood donation camp

At least 122 units of blood were donated at the ‘Saudamini Bambah Memorial Blood Donation Camp’ held at the Department of Evening Studies, Panjab University, on Friday. The camp was organised in collaboration with the Rotary Blood Bank Society and the ISBTI.

Homoeopathic medicine camp

A free Homoeopathic medical camp will be organised under national Homoeopathy campaign for mother and child care. The camp will be held on Sunday at the Durga Mandir, Sector 41-A, Chandigarh, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm by a team of doctors from Homoeopathic Medical College, Sector 26, Chandigarh.



Spurned man commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 10
A 32-year-old man, Guddu, committed suicide by hanging himself with the ceiling of his room in Sector 4 last night.

Guddu, a painter, and resident of Haripur village in Sector 4, was under stress as he had fight with his wife and she had left his house last month.

Guddu returned on Thursday evening. Thereafter he committed suicide. His neigbours informed the police.

After the postmortem on Friday, the police handed over the body to his relatives for cremation.



Self-declaration forms received by education dept
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 10
In an RTE case, the representative of the education department today submitted before the district court that the self-declaration forms of all the recognised private schools running in Panchkula district have been received in the education department. Any person desirous of inspecting the forms can do it on any working day.

In his statement, Jagat Singh, the department representative said that in this regard the department has told the district public relations officer (DPRO) to issue a public notice.

He also submitted that out of the two defaulting schools, National Primary School, Raipur Rani, had closed down, as per the written information supplied by the block education officer, Raipur Rani. The other school, Saraswati Primary School, Kharak Mangouli, had submitted the required form.



Pulse polio review meeting held in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 10
A pulse polio immunisation review meeting was held in which civil surgeons, district immunization officers, urban nodal officers, epidemiologists, representatives from medical colleges and the members of NGO’s participated, here today.

The special review meeting was held for further sensitisation regarding the National Immunization Round (polio campaign) to be held from February 19 onwards, as well as for the general immunization review in Punjab.

Satish Chandra, principal secretary, Health, appreciated the role of WHO for their systematic approach in conducting study and identifying the patterns of the polio cases and sensitising the officers about the same.

He reviewed with the civil surgeons and immunization officers, the arrangements for the pulse polio round during which more than 38 lakh children below the age of five years were targeted to be administered with polio vaccine.

He said owing to concerted efforts of the officers of the department and other stake holders and NGOs, Punjab had been able to maintain polio free status from October 2009 onwards.

He emphasised on intensified surveillance and consistency in coverage in the state so as to enable to maintain the polio free status.

Dr JP Singh, director, health and family welfare, said that during the pulse polio round, a total of 15,377 booths would be set up across the state, which would be manned by 60,000 vaccinators drawn from Health, ICDS, Education Department, nursing colleges etc.



Consumer Commission
Unitech told to refund two complainants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
The mere fact that the complainants are permanent residents of Chandigarh does not mean that they cannot go to stay at their apartment in Gautam Budh Nagar booked by them.

They can even purchase apartments for their stay at different places. The mere fact that two persons have many houses or apartments at different places does not mean that they are property dealers by profession.

These observations were made by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, comprising its president Justice Sham Sunder and members Neena Sandhu and Jagroop Singh Mahal in the orders on January 23 in two separate cases.

On the issue of jurisdiction, the commission observed that it was evident from documents that the apartment was booked by the complainants through JD Realtors Limited in Chandigarh and therefore, the commission had the jurisdiction to entertain and decide on the complaint.

One of the complainants, Balwinder Singh Guraya of Sector 9, submitted that he, along with his wife, had booked an apartment with Unitech Limited at the Unitech Habitat, Greater Noida, through its authorised agent, JD Realtors Limited, on June 14, 2006, by paying the initial sum of Rs 6,50,000.

Thereafter, Unitech had issued an allotment letter for apartment 204, countersigned by them, in July, 2007. As per the allotment letter, the possession of the apartment was to be delivered within 36 months of signing the

In case of failure, the opposite parties were liable to refund the amount deposited, along with simple interest at 10 per cent per annum. They paid Rs 65,76,117 against the total price of Rs 72,14,504, up to February 28, 2009.

When they visited the site, they found that the project was still at the infancy stage and there was no sign of the project being completed. Even after 48 months, Unitech failed to deliver the possession of a completely furnished apartment.

The counsel for Unitech pleaded that the complainants did not fall within the definition of consumer under the Act as they, being permanent residents of Chandigarh, invested the amount for the purchase of an apartment with a view to resell it to earn profit.

It was further pleaded that the commission in Chandigarh had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain and decide the complaint and only courts at Gautam Budh Nagar had it. It was further stated that the possession of the apartment was offered to the complainants in January, 2011.

It was also pleaded that they were asked to complete the formalities, but they failed to do so. It was further stated that the complainants stopped making payment of further instalments and complete the formalities on January 15, 2011.

In a similar complaint, Jiwandeep Singh Ghai, who had booked an apartment in the same project, had sought a redress of his grievances.

He had paid Rs 50,43,220 against the total price of Rs 72,14,504.

The commission directed Unitech to refund Rs 1,16,19,337, along with 10 per cent interest, from the respective dates of deposit till realisation, to the two complainants

It also directed the respondents to pay Rs 5 per square foot of the super area per month as charges, from the date of delivery of possession till realisation. The forum directed the respondents to pay Rs 7,000 each to the two complainants.



MC to draft proposal on community parking again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10
To resolve the long-pending problem of parking in residential areas of the city, the municipal corporation (MC) will once again draft a proposal for converting open spaces in each sector into community parking lots.

Mayor Raj Bala Malik has asked officials to shortlist sites for community parking and submit a list as soon as possible. Sources said dozens of community parking proposals had been submitted to the UT chief architect department past year.

A majority of those had been rejected as the land required was not available, they added. As per MC records, the city had about 1,600 small parks.

It had been proposed that for a cluster of 50 houses in each sector, open space had been earmarked, which could be converted into a parking lot.

An official revealed that around 200 cars were getting registered in the city everyday, which meant an increase in demand of parking space in commercial and residential areas.

Every year, the MC had been increasing the number of commercial parking lots in various sectors as per requirement. Except the community parking at Sector 19, no other project had been approved till date.



Forum slaps fine on housing society
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 10
A Mohali-based private house building society is in the dock for failing to allot the HIG flats in Sector 67 here and withholding investors hard earned money for over 12 years.

Coming down heavily, on the society, Puncham Cooperative House Building Society Ltd, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Mohali, while disposing three separate cases directed the society to return Rs 6.52 lakh to the applicants along with interest at a rate of 9 per cent per annum from the date of depositing the money to the date of refund.

The applicants, Gurdeep Singh, Hardev Singh and Gurmukh Singh, after failing to get the refund from the society approached the consumer forum relief. Taking up the case, the forum comprising, BS Mehandiratta, president, SS Dhaliwal and HK Ghuman, both members, directed the society to pay Rs 5,000 each to the complainants.

One of the complainants, Gurdeep Singh, in his plea before the forum stated that being a member of the society, he booked an HIG flat in 1999 to be built in Sector 67. He deposited a total amount of Rs.2.18 lakh. The balance sale price was to be paid at the time of possession of the flat. However, so far no flat has been allotted to him. Despite the directions of the assistant registrar, cooperative societies, Mohali, and legal notice to the society, the amount was not deposited.

The complainant demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for mental agony and harassment. A similar decision was taken in two other complaints.



Mosaic 2012 draws to a close
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Students perform a skit at the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, Chandigarh, on Friday
Students perform a skit at the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, February 10
The two-day literary and cultural extravaganza Mosaic-2012 concluded today at Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, with an inter-college skit competition in which nine teams participated from various colleges. Literary items included debate, declamation, and poetry recitation contests, which were conducted on day one.

The Seema Goel Memorial Inter College Debate was on the topic ‘Moral Policing is an Invasion on the Human Rights of Youth’. Rajat Jain, who won the first individual prize, spoke for the motion. The debate was followed by the Abhilashi Memorial Inter-College Declamation Contest which had various topics such as ‘The real threat to Retail Sector FDI or E-Commerce’, and ‘Missed 100 percentile Kissed Success’. Speaking on the latter topic, Suraj Kumar from Hotel Management Institute, said that it was practical application more than theoretical knowledge that helped an individual to succeed. He cited the example of Steve Jobs to support his argument.

The second day opened with an inter-college devotional song contest. Nine colleges from the Tricity vied for the PC Ram Singh Memorial Trophy.

The devotional songs competition was followed by the Dev Samaj College for Women Running Trophy Inter College Skit Competition. It had various themes, such as the attitude of the society towards corruption and how beggary is taken as a profession.



DAV College student held for petrol pump clash
Tribune News Service

Chandiagrh, February 10
Two months after the bloody attack at a petrol pump in sector 10, the police today arrested Chetan Munjal, a SOPU member, and student of DAV College. Munjal was wanted for attempted murder. He was allegedly involved in a brawl that took place on December 9 at the Sector 10 petrol pump and was booked for criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons under sections 147, 148, 149, 324, 307, 506, IPC, in Sector 3 police station.

The clash between two student groups, Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), had resulted in serious injuries to a Landran College student. A police constable posted at the sector 16 General Hospital too sustained fractures while trying to control the mob.

The incident had occurred when three students of Landran College of Engineering came to the Sector 10 fuel station. As soon as they stopped at the petrol pump, they were attacked by armed assailants, who were in a Bolero jeep.

The victims were identified as Amrinder Singh, Jeevanjot and Amandeep Singh, students of Landran College of Engineering. The reason behind the clash was the support of injured engineering students to PUSU during the student counsel elections in PU in September, 2011.

The accused were identified as Ravneet Sidhu, Ballu, Chetan Majal, Aman Barnala, and Parry of SOPU. Chetan, however, was wanted all these days. Sources said that he was nabbed by the officials of Sector 11 police station and handed over to the Sector 3 police station.



PU notes
PU grants provisional recognition to Ankur School
Tribune News Service

Chandiagrh, February 10
Following a week-long controversy, the Ankur School in sector 14, Panjab University, has finally received provisional recognition from the UT education department here today. District Education Officer Ram Kumar granted the recognition emphasising the fact that the school was now bound to abide by the Right Of children to Free and Cumpolsary Education Act, and will have to reserve 25 per cent of its seats for students from the economically weaker sections of the society.

The school was in trouble a few weeks ago, with PU faculty members objecting to denial of admission to their wards. It was then emerged that the school had no recognition from the UT and was not even implementing RTE.

The matter was the taken up by the VC with the UT administration and the school, which for years had been functioning autonomously under PU, came under the purview of the education department.

“Like other UT schools, Ankur School will be guided in letter and spirit by the instructions issued by the education department, Chandigarh Administration, and also adhere to the RTE Act, 2009. This is for the betterment of students and teachers, who after coming under uniform norm, will be at par with other schools,” said Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti.

PUTA, meanwhile, has welcomed the move. PUTA president Akshay Kumar said, “The school was established with the prime aim of providing education to the children of the faculty members. However, lately many have been denied admissions without any rhyme or reason. With the imposition of a unified norm, the school now will function transparently.”

Two-day seminar

Department of Evening Studies, Panjab University, in collaboration with the ICSSR is organising a two-day seminar on the topic ‘History, Society and Punjabi Novel’ at the Golden Jubilee Hall, PU Campus, on February 14-15. Prof RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, will inaugurate the seminar, while Prof GK Chadha, president, South Asia University, New Delhi, will be the chief guest.

The function will see presentation of research papers by Dr ID Gour, associate professor of history, Panjab University; Prof Sukhdev Singh Kherra, GND University, Amritsar; Prof Nazar Singh, history department, Punjabi University, Patiala; Prof Harsimran Singh, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra; Dr Gouri Sharma, associate professor of history, Panjab University, Prof Balkar Singh, associate professor, Punjabi University; Dr Jaspal Kaur, assistant professor,
Delhi University; Dr Amar Tarsem, associate professor, DAV College, Abohar; Prof Surinder Kumar Devasar, Panjab University.



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