C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No mobile towers in residential areas: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Mobile towers may soon be phased out of Chandigarh’s residential areas. Dealing with the towering problem, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in a significant development, today made it clear that it wanted the mobile towers to be shifted out of residential areas in phases.

As a bunch of petition seeking the removal of mobile towers from city’s residential areas came up for hearing this afternoon, the Bench headed by Justice MM Kumar directed the Chandigarh Administration to formulate a policy for their shifting in a phased manner.

In what could ring in difficulties for mobile service providers, the Bench also set a two-month deadline for the Chandigarh Administration to come up with the policy. The development was significant as there were not less than 18 towers in Chandigarh and its villages.

Expressing concern over the effects of radiation, the High Court ruled that it was the duty of the government and mobile companies to inform residents about the harmful effects.

The High Court had only recently ruled the government would be duty bound to inform the public living where a mobile tower was to be erected about the “amount of radiation it will emit” and its harmful effects thereof on the health of people.

The information would have to be supplied in the shape of a public notice before the mobile tower was erected. The HC also directed the companies installing mobile towers to do the same.

Making it clear that "there is no absolute right to carry on any business, the Bench ruled that it (business) is subject to reasonable restriction and regulation", and highlighted the damage being caused due to the radiation.

"It will be the duty of the local authorities to issue a public notice for information of all concerned where the permission for erection of a tower is being considered or granted to apprise the public as to what amount of radiation it will emit and the effect thereof on the health of the people living in the area," read the judgement.

The High Court held, "The mobile emit signals in the form of radio waves. It is feared that radio waves can cause changes to the cells in our brain. If the DNA in the brain cells gets damaged, they may become cancerous and cause brain tumours. It is also feared that radio waves can alter chemical and electrical reactions in our brain, changing, in effect, the way the brain cells communicate. Studies conducted have revealed that sparrows have declined in the most contaminated electromagnetic fields".



6 BDPOs pay for giving incomplete information
Complainant awarded Rs 45,000, to be deducted from their salaries
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 13
In an unprecedented order pertaining to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, six officials with the Rural Development and Panchayat Department, Punjab, are in the dock for harassing a 75-year-old person who had sought information from the department.

In response to the information sought by the person on behalf of his wife, who retired as craft teacher, the officials provided him incomplete information.

Attracting the ire of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum for causing agony to the information seeker, the Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPOs), deputed as Assistant Public Information Officer (APIOs), have been penalised.

Apart from directing the Director, Rural Development and Panchayat Department, to conduct an inquiry to fix responsibility of the erring officials, the forum awarded the complainant a compensation of Rs 45,000.

“The total compensation amount has to be deducted from the salary of each official,” says the order passed by the forum, comprising BS Mehandiratta, president, and Dr SS Dhaliwal, member.

The orders have been handed down after the complainant, Balraj Kalra, complained to the forum about the harassment faced by him in getting the information from the APIOs of the department.

The complainant’s wife was not being paid dearness allowance (DA) on her pension since July 2009. Under the RTI Act, he had sought information on the number of retired panchayat samiti employees in the state, total amount of increased DA from July 2009 till date, balance not yet paid to Parkash Kumari and the total proposed pension if all increased DA instalments were included.

He stated that in response to his letter addressed to different BDPOs on September 16, 2011, he received incomplete information.

In response to one of his queries, the information was denied information on the ground that the application of the complainant was in English. The complainant then submitted his application in Gurmukhi.

On being questioned, the officials pleaded that the complaint was not maintainable as the complainant had failed to avail himself of relief through the proper channel.

They claimed that the information related to queries had already been supplied to the complainant. Denying any deficiency of service on their part, they sought dismissal of the complaint.

Citing a ruling of the National Consumer Disputes Commission, the forum observed that there remained no doubt that the fee paid by an applicant under the provisions of RTI Act was ‘consideration’, the applicant a ‘consumer’ and the information officer a ‘service provider’.

The action of furnishing of information in lieu of fee received was rendering of service and failure to supply the information as per provisions of the RTI Act was ‘deficiency of service’.



Girl falls from second floor at school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
There was high drama at St Anne’s School in Sector 32 here today as a Class-VIII student allegedly fell from the second floor. The Mohali resident was found in a pool of blood in the school compound.

She was rushed to the GMCH at Sector 32 in an unconscious state. She suffered seven fractures. While the school authorities were tight-lipped about the incident, the police suspected foul play. A daily diary report (DDR) was registered and the classroom sealed.

“The injuries suggest that she was pushed with force from the verandah near the classroom. We have sealed the classroom and will get forensic experts to examine it. The school authorities are yet to reveal anything,” said a police official.

Dr Raj Kumar of the GMCH called the victim’s father. The girl’s father said the school did not care to explain the circumstances leading to such grievous injuries. “I think that somebody pushed 
her. The matter should be thoroughly investigated,” he said.



Woman cheats triple in year
Compared to 8 in 2010, 26 arrested for cheating in 2011
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
When it comes to conning gullible people, there is no beating the fairer sex. UT police figure of the total women arrested for involvement in cheating cases has tripled in the past one year. While a total of eight women were arrested for fraud in 2010, the figure rose to 26 in 2011.

Moreover, the involvement of women in accidents has recorded an increase, with the total number of women arrested for rash and negligent driving touching 15, the highest-ever number.

From their involvement in immigration frauds to conning jewellers, duping gullible people to committing forgery in property related matters, women in city are taking long strides when it comes to cheating innocent people.

While a total of seven women were arrested in cheating cases under Section 420 of the IPC in 2007, the number rose to 10 in 2008. The figure of 26 women arrested in 2011 for their involvement in cheating cases is the highest ever.

In September past year, the police had arrested two highly educated woman cheats, including an assistant professor, who were planning to cheat two jewellery shop owners. They had fraudulently taken jewellery worth Rs 7 lakh from a Sector-22 jeweller.

A number of women were also arrested for their involvement in immigration frauds. For instance, the police had arrested a Sector-48 resident, Anu Sharma, along with her husband in a case of immigration fraud. The cyber crime cell of the police had also arrested a woman for threatening a person by sending lewd messages on his mobile phone.

Police officials said women were deliberate and careful in plotting frauds and in committing those and their success rate was higher. Besides their involvement in cheating cases, a large number of women have also been arrested in theft (21) and burglary cases (10).

808 women held since 2007

154 in 2007

187 in 2008

135 in 2009

152 in 2010

180 in 2011 


Mohali renamed, official orders not received yet
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 13
The reported approval by the Union Home Ministry to rename Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar as Ajitgarh, on the basis of a two-year-old proposal sent by the Punjab Government, has come not only as a surprise for the local residents but also it is double whammy for the officials of the state government who for the past over three decades have been promoting the Mohali township as Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar in the memory of the warrior son of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

In fact, the state government has over the past over four years issued different orders to enforce the use of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar in an official communication. But the township continues to be popularly known as Mohali. The government orders not withstanding, different names or abbreviations such as ‘SAS Nagar’, ‘Mohali’, ‘SAS Nagar (Mohali)’ or Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar are in use by different wings of the state government. “People associate the township with Mohali as it etched deep in their psycho and is easy to spell rather than the 23-alphabet name. Internationally, the use of name ‘Mohali’ enables proper delivery of postage”, said a senior government official.

Enquiries reveal that on the basis of feed back, the state government had moved the case about two years ago. It had been proposed the new name as the people had problem in spelling the 23-alphabet name and Ajitgarh sounded similar to Chandigarh. The debate on changing the name of the township had been under discussion at different forums for the last two decades.

Financial Commissioner, revenue, AR Talwar, said the department was yet to receive any orders regarding approval of the new names. Once it is ordered, we would initiate the process to rename the township officially. The proposals to rename the four towns had been sent at different points of time.

S Chaudhary, a retired principal and a resident of Phase IV, said world over the government was going to the old names. But in case of Mohali, the state had recommended the new name. Citing example of Rupanagar, he said that the people were still comfortable with old name ‘Ropar’. An SGPC member, Hardeep Singh, said the state government has never been serious in giving a proper name to the township. “Different notifications have been issued from time to time. Changing the name all of sudden was not a right move. It should go with historical facts and religious sentiments of the people,” he added.

A peep into the history reveals that the official name of the township, rechristened by the former Punjab Chief Minister, the Late Giani Zail Singh, who later became the President, has not still found wide use in the Punjab government’s official papers and public notices. Still at public places, the original name of the town can be read. Professionals, who have seen the town developing and those who have made it their home with the coming of the Information Technology (IT) industry, regard the name Sahibzada Ajit Singh as too long.

“There is nothing in naming the town after the great son of the 10th Guru. But the name should be simple and phonetic. The issue has been debated for over 36 years,” said Rabinder Singh, a resident. On the other hand, JP Singh, another resident, said, “Instead of naming it as Ajitgarh, the township should be names as New Chandigarh or Chandigarh extension as it has been planned as an extension of the city beautiful,”

On the town planners’ desk, the town had been carved out as extension of Chandigarh and it continues to be so. Giving a name like Ranjitgarh or Ajitgarh, fitted into the chemistry of continuity, feels a former chief town planner of Punjab, Rajinder Sharma.



Fiza alleges police inaction
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 13
FizaFiza, a divorcée of former Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Chander Mohan, who was injured in a bloody clash with her neighbour over a petty issue, a month ago, has now alleged the police inaction in arresting those responsible for injuring her.

After returning from the GMCH, Sector 32, she alleged that the police was going slowly in arresting her neighbours whose interim bail plea had been rejected by Mohali courts. “The medical records show that I had received serious head injury. But the police has failed to act against those who attacked me,” she said.

It may be mentioned that on January 11, her neighbour, Sanjay Aggarwal had allegedly attacked her. On the other hand, her neighbours had claimed that they had been attacked. The argument between Fiza and Sanjay over the issue turned violent. Challenging her neighbours to produce evidence, she said it was she who had been injured in the attack.



Application against HOA allowed
Tussle between Chautala and Rathee group
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 13
In the ongoing tussle between the Chautala and Rathee Group over the Haryana Olympic Association (HOA), the Chautala Group received a major blow today when the Panchkula Sessions Court allowed the revision of the petition filed by the Haryana Government against the discharge of Chautala led HOA director HS Bhadu and ex-cashier Bupinder Singh.

Earlier, the lower court had discharged the duo from case of forgery but now session’s court had directed the lower court to hear the case.

In 2006 the Panchkula police had booked HS Bhadu and Bhupinder Singh in connection with misappropriation of funds and cheating. They were booked on a complaint by Anand Singh Dangi, former vice-president of the HOA. In his complaint to the police, Dangi had alleged that the Bhadu and Bhupinder Singh had came to the office of the association on May 6, 2006 before Naveen Jindal was elected the president of the association, and took away the official documents along with other records. He had also alleged that they did not return the documents to the office of the HOA even after repeated representations. The two groups had been at loggerheads since 2006 after coming to power in the state and ignoring the HOA headed by Chautala, the Congress Government formed its own state Olympic association with the MP of Kurukshetra, Naveen Jindal, as president.

The second part of the political tussle also started last year, when the State Government once again said it would not recognise Chautala's HOA and appointed IAS officer RR Jowel as an administrator to look after the HOA headed by Jindal. Later, Justice (retired) GC Garg, who was appointed by Jowel as a returning officer, holds the elections.



HUDA, MC fails to remove encroachments
Tribune News Service

A number plate vendor on the pavement of the dividing road of Sectors 7 and 18, Panchkula.
A number plate vendor on the pavement of the dividing road of Sectors 7 and 18, Panchkula. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, February 13
Despite the directions of the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar, roadside enroachment in Panchkula can be easily witnessed. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Municipal Corporation has failed to remove encroachments.

There are number of roadside fruit and vegetable sellers at Housing Board Chowk, Sectors 17 and 18 and Labour Chowk.

Recently, the DC had also asked the officials of HUDA, MC to coordinate with the police department and conduct a joint survey on the encroachments.



Vigilance raids former MC president’s house, finds it locked
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 13
The Haryana Vigilance Bureau today conducted raids at the former Pinjore MC president Kuldeep Singh’s residence at Pinjore in connection with Rs 1.17 crore Pinjore municipal scam. Besides Kuldeep’s residence, the team also raided at contractor Charanjeet Singh’s house but both the houses were locked.

The vigilance team at Pinjore’s former MC president in Pinjore.
The vigilance team at Pinjore’s former MC president in Pinjore. A tribune photograph

Last week, the bureau had issued warrants against the former Pinjore MC president Kuldeep Singh, secretary Kashmiri Lal Bansal, the MC clerk Hargu Lal and the contractor Charanjit Singh.

A team, led by Inspector Rajpal, first conducted raid at Charanjeet Singh’s house at Kabir Panthi Mohalla and later they reached Kuldeep Singh’s residence in Ward No 14 at Saini Mohalla in Pinjore. But both the accused were not present there.

The bureau had also issued notices to five councillors, Sanjeev Kumar, Jagmohan Dhiman, Amarchand, Avinash Kaur and Chinder Pal, to join investigation who was recently granted interim bail by the Panchkula district court.

The accused allegedly siphoned off the money on the name of manufacturing iron covers for drains, clearing debris, cleaning of underground septic tanks and putting up traffic light points.

The Pinjore MC had given the contract of removing debris after demolishing shops in Pinjore, to Mohan Lal in 2008-2009 allegedly without proper procedure on false quotations. A total of Rs 9.49 lakh were embezzled without any work, the vigilance report said, adding that the shopkeepers themselves had to remove the debris.

In the second case, instead of Rs 10,000, a contract of Rs 6.92 lakh was awarded to Lal without any tender or advertisement, for the cleaning of five safety tanks.

Beside the above scams, no tender was called for awarding contract for iron sieve grills over the drains in the Pinjore MC wards in 2008-09. A total of Rs 85.18 lakh were embezzled on basis of fake bills as no grills were found during the survey as per the claimed bills.



BSNL soft on govt dues
Punjab, Haryana, UT sums outstanding for decades
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
When it comes to the realisation of payment of bills, the state-owned telecom company BSNL has a separate set of standards for the common man, the state governments of Punjab and Haryana and the UT Administration.

While the common man is penalised with a disconnection even when he owes a mere Rs 100 to the BSNL on account of unpaid bills, government offices continue to enjoy uninterrupted service despite dues outstanding for decades.

Offices of the governments of Haryana and Punjab, situated in Chandigarh, and the UT Administration owe over Rs 33 lakh to the BSNL. The outstanding dues of the government to the BSNL’s Punjab circle are to the tune of Rs1.17 crore, almost 2.5 per cent of the total outstanding dues of Rs 47 crore.

According to BSNL officials, while Haryana government offices in Chandigarh owe Rs 10.28 lakh, the outstanding dues of Punjab are Rs 9.3 lakh and those of the UT Administration Rs 14 lakh.

Officials have revealed that a major portion of the UT Administration’s outstanding dues was of the police department. The Chandigarh Police reportedly owes close to Rs 6 lakh to the BSNL.

Despite such heavy amounts outstanding, the BSNL has not started recovery proceedings yet. It may sound unbelievable, but even notices have not been issued to any of the governments.

Admitting the “double standards” vis-a-vis the ‘aam aadmi’ and the ‘sarkar’, a senior official with the BSNL expressed helplessness. He claimed that recovery proceedings had not been started and the money would eventually come as the “government” owed the dues.

BSNL sources revealed that the government’s outstanding dues had been mounting since the past decade. In 2001-02, the dues were Rs 45,000 and went up to Rs 63,000 in 2009-10. In the subsequent fiscals, the outstanding dues mounted to Rs 3.86 lakh in 2010-11 and Rs 21.15 lakh in 2011-12. By December 2011, the dues had touched Rs 32 lakh.

In Punjab, Patiala district had the second largest state government dues of Rs 23.61 lakh. This was followed by Rs 21.85 lakh in Sangrur district, Rs 9.5 lakh in Ferozpur, Rs 9.26 lakh in Amritsar, Rs 9.06 lakh in Ludhiana, Rs 6.25 lakh in Jalandhar and Rs 5.61 lakh in Ropar. Of the government dues of Rs 1.17 crore, the Punjab government owed almost Rs 95 lakh to the BSNL.



February turning out to be a month of suicides
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The month of February, celebrated as the month of love, has witnessed six suicides cases in city, till now. Most of the younsters and teenagers who committed suicide were reported to be going through depression.

Police investigations revealed that most of them took the final step after failing to share their problem with someone. Experts say that an analysis of last 10 year’s data shows that most suicides take place in the months of April, May and June. However, this year a large number of suicides have taken place in February.

According to Dr BS Chavan, head of psychiatric department, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, this month has witnessed maximum suicides ever, with 6 suicide cases being reported in 13 days.

“The mid months were believed to be the time when most cases of suicide were witnessed and the main reason behind every suicide was said to be mental illness. But the suicides reported during past week have shown that a majority of victims were facing distress,” said Chavan.

“The people should take care of their children and also indulge in various rejuvenating activities,” he added.

Cases reported so far:

* February 5: A 43-year-old UT police constable with PCR committed suicide after shooting himself from his service revolver near petrol pump of Sector 28 during patrolling.

* February 5: 18-year-old Gautam hanged himself from a ceiling fan at his residence in Sector 16 in evening.

* February 7: A 28-year-old man allegedly committed suicide after hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his residence in Maloya.

* February 7: 15-year-old girl Kiran allegedly committed suicide in a house in Sector 19 by hanging herself to the grill of the window

* February 9: 19-year-old Kunaldeep Gautam allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan at his residence in Sector 22.

* February 12: 26 year-old Abir Malhotra, reportedly committed suicide at his residence in Sector 48.



UT administration lax in maintaining accounts
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The cash-rich Chandigarh Administration appears to be least bothered when it comes to reconciliation of cash collected by various departments with treasury accounts. As per the rules, the entire cash collected by government departments has to be deposited in the treasury every day or the next working day (in case of a holiday or other such reasons), and the accounts of the department and the treasury have to be tallied on a regular basis to keep check.

Non-reconciliation of accounts gives rise to embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, admitted senior official of the UT Administration.

Shockingly, reconciliation of accounts is not being done various departments of the UT administration. The fact came to light during the latest audit and inspection reports of the departments. The UT Sub Registrar Office, Registering and Licensing Authority, Child Development and Project Office, Chandigarh Engineering and Technology, Excise and Taxation Department, Director Information Technology (DIT), Estate Office, and the CITCO are some of the departments have not been following the process, the audit reports reveal.

As per the audit reports, the RLA department did not reconcile its collection of Rs 22.30 crore this fiscal, whereas the UT Sub Registrar department too has not reconciled its collection of about Rs 97.45 crore so far.

Already a scam of about 28 lakh during checking of accounts from April 1, 2010, to October 31, 2011, has come to light in the RLA department.

The audit report of the RLA pointed out that irregularities in the maintenance of accounts of revenue receipts were found earlier also, but no action was taken.

Similarly, no reconciliation of government money with treasury had taken place in the Excise and Taxation Department during 2009-10 and 1992-93, in Child Development and Project office during 2005-07, and in Chandigarh Engineering and Technology in 2010-11.

The DIT has also not deposited an amount of Rs 5.4 lakh last fiscal, while non-reconciliation of figures of share capital and dividend paid with the Finance Account, Union Government, has not taken place in CITCO, revealed the respective audit reports of the departments. 



Flouting all norms, trees trimmed
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Kulbhushan Kanwar, a butterfly lover, probably received the worst birthday gift today, after his society members trimmed down around 20 tress planted by him eleven years ago in the GBS Society, Sector 48, here.

The tress are necessary during the mating season of the butterflies. According to Kulbhushan, the society member trimmed down the trees this morning. “It was the worst day of my life. Society members chopped off the tress without any consent. Trees are very necessary for butterflies to live. Members did not take any permission from the horticulture department as well,” said Kulbhushan.

Several trees were cut in morning during the trimming work in the society. “This is a very condemnable step by the society members. They are mature enough to understand nature,” added Kulbhshan.

The horticulture department has filled a written complaint in police station of Sector 31. Taking action on the complaint of Nagender Singh, junior engineer with Municipal Corporation (horticulture), the police has arrested Rajesh Thakur, a resident of the society under section 14 A of Capital Development and Regulation Tree Act 1952.



MC gets four-month deadline on unauthorised structures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
For redeeming Ambala from encroachments, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today set a four-month deadline for the local municipal corporation (MC) to carry out a survey of unauthorised structures before removing those. The significant directions came by the Division Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover.

“We deem it fit to direct the municipal corporation to positively conclude the survey of identifying unauthorised structures or encroachments made on public roads within four months from today and then take action to remove such structures,” the Bench stated.

The directions came on a petition filed by SKS Bedi. Describing the encroachments as “innumerable” at Ambala Cantonment, Bedi had sought the initiation of adequate action to remove those.

Before parting with the order, the Bench added, “We deem it appropriate to close the public interest litigation, but leave it to the petitioner to approach this court in case the respondents fail to carry out the task of removing the unauthorised structures or encroachments after the stipulated timeframe directed by this court - that is four months.”

Already, more than 200 encroachments on “public streets and paths” had been facing the threat of being hammered down by the Ambala municipal corporation.

Only about a week ago, the Bench observed, “In the status report dated December 16, 2011, it is stated that on survey, 526 violations or encroachments have been found on public streets and paths. Such encroachments are in the shape of grills or boundary walls etc, which have been constructed.

“According to the municipal corporation, notices under Section 238 of the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, have been issued on December 1, 2011, for the removal of encroachments within 10 days from the date of receipt of the notice.

“Pursuant to the notices, 177 encroachers have acted positively on their own and 133 encroachers have responded partially. The remaining encroachers have been issued notices under Section 368 of the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, for demolition.”



Staff crunch ails CFSL
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Known for its authenticity, the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) is currently facing an acute staff crunch, that has taken a heavy toll on the output of scientists, affecting inputs to cases of gory crime.

Located at Sector 36 here, the laboratory, which boasts of all modern facilities and equipment, lacks manpower. The shortage of staff has left between 400 and 500 cases referred to the CFSL by various governments unsolved.

The department has yet to submit reports of many important cases, including that of two youths drowning at the Sector-23 swimming pool on June 17 past year.

In another case, Ladoo Tewari’s one-and-a-half-month-old son died on February 8.

There was also no report yet in the case of Vineet Sharma, a hostel inmate of the DAV School, Sector 8. He was found dead in his hostel room under mysterious circumstances on January 1.

CFSL director SK Shukla said the total number of cases pending with the laboratory was approximately 500. Not specifying the exact number of scientists available, he said, “We have only a handful.”

The institute had witnessed its previous recruitment way back in the 1990s. There was immense work pressure on the laboratory, also catering to cases from the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi.

“We have been requesting the states to make independent arrangements in handling cases, particularly smaller ones. When cases are referred to us by court, we have to take up the task,” the CFSL director said.

“A majority of cases referred to us need detailed scientific investigation. Due to the staff crunch, we are forced to delay investigations. A major investigation can entail a month-long probe. Smaller case reports can be managed in just two days,” he added.

Underlining the gravity of the situation, Shukla said, “Even if we initiate the process of making fresh recruitments and commence paper work, the process may take at least two years under the current bureaucratic system of procedural wrangling.”



Florists on a roll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
With an increased demand in delivery of bouquets at midnight, city florists were on their toes on the Valentine’s eve preparing for the same. With over 200 such deliveries been planned for the V-Day, various shops funtioned till late night to meet the last-minute orders.

In addition to the midnight patrons many went in to purchase their V-Day flowers on preceding night just to escape the shortage and hike in prices tommorrow. A normal rose stem which costs from 10-15 was sold at Rs 30 today and is expected to cost around Rs 50 tommorrow. The minimum price of abouquet is Rs 200.

“ I have to make 15 midnight deliveries and have laready sold 100 rose bouquets since evening and am out of stock. Though many gifts throng markets but nothing beats flowers which are in demand. This year, roses have got a tough competition from orchids which start at Rs 75 per stem,” said a florist in Sector 19.

Not just local florists, but city lovers have also odered flowers online. An official of Ferns and Petals from Delhi revealed, “ We have got over 120 orders from tricity with the hottest pick being combo of a life-size bouquet, teddy and a cake. Our special heart-shaped rose arrangement with 51 roses is also in vogue. From tricity we have many midnight delivery orders.”



Policewomen in civvies to nab eve-teasers 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
Policewomen dressed in civvies have been deputed for duty on the occasion of Valentine Day to nab eve-teasers. The UT police has deployed policewomen all along the “geri route” and at public parks who will keep a watchful eye and nab eve-teasers.

In addition, the traffic police will also be on duty to check any menace. Over 900 police personnel have been pressed in to service for security arrangements tomorrow and will be deployed at 140 places, including hotels, restaurants, bars and parks.

Instructions have been issued to the police to take strict action against all those found indulging in eve-teasing. In 2011, Chandigarh police had arrested 10 eve-teasers, including some of them from near PU, on Valentine’s Day.



Tight security at PU 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
In a bid to avoid any unwanted incident, Panjab University has stepped up its security for Valentine’s Day. The university authorities will be regulating the entry to the campus through Gate No.2 (opposite Sector 15) as Gate No. 1 and 3 will remain closed from 9am to 3pm tomorrow.

No outsider will be allowed to enter the campus during this time and students and teaching/non-teaching staff will have to carry their Identity Cards for verification.

“ Students are free to enjoy but we will not tolerate any hooliganism here. We have tied with Sector 11 police station andd will have special naakas and extra police men here,” said AS Ahluwalia, Dean, Student Welfare.



suman case
Doctors’ counsel blames it on hospital administration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
The counsel for the accused doctors in transfusing wrong blood to a slum-dweller Suman on December 16, 2010, sought to lay the blame entirely on the hospital administration and lack of procedure and protocol in the institution. The counsel termed the inquiry report as a pre-determined effort to shield senior doctors by giving findings against the intern and contractual doctors. The UT State Consumer Commission today started hearing arguments in the infamous Suman case.

Consumer activist Pankaj Chandgothia had filed a compensation claim of Rs 98 lakh against the hospital and doctors for gross medical negligence and wrong blood transfusion to Suman on December 16, 2010, which resulted in foetal death and damage to her kidneys. Starting the arguments, Chandgothia contended that the Chandigarh Administration had appointed Kavle V. Parshuram, SDM, as the inquiry officer, who after associating medical experts had submitted his report on January 3, 2011 holding the three doctors of GMSH guilty of gross medical negligence. He contended that monetary relief should be granted not only to cover the loss to the victim but also special damages must be awarded as a measure of punishment to the institution and its doctors. Dr Manpreet Kaur, house surgeon, relying on a RTI reply by the CPIO of Medical Superintendent, General Hospital, contended that Medical Officer Dr Neeru Kapoor and DNB Dr Ritika, were the senior supervising doctors who should also be held liable for the incident. Dr Kirti Sood, blood bank laboratory technician, challenged the findings of the SDM Inquiry report saying that she had already filed a representation in this regard with the Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, on November 25 last year. Navdeep said she was only an intern and under training and did not receive any honorarium from the hospital and therefore she could not be held liable under the Consumer Act.

The counsel for Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, today admitted the negligence of its doctors in transfusing wrong blood to Suman on December 16, 2010, but denied its liability to pay compensation under the Consumer Protection Act. The hospital said that it was not covered by the Consumer Act as it was not rendering "paid" service.

The arguments willcontinue on February 21, the next date of hearing. 



Drive to check over-speeding begins today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
In an advisory, the Chandigarh traffic police has stated that the department will start a daily over-speeding check, in effort to curb road accidents, from tomorrow.

The police will take out a special drive on main roads of Dakshin Marg, Madhya Marg, Jan Marg (from Cricket Stadium Chowk to High Court Tri-Junction) and Poorva Marg (from Transport to Tribune Chowk), Jan Marg (High Court Tri-junction to Vikas Marg), Purv Marg (TPT L/Point to Vikas Marg), Uttar Marg, Vikas Marg, Himalayan Marg and Pashyam Marg V-3 Roads (Main Roads Between Sectors) V-4 Roads (East-West roads within sectors). 



Staff of Sampark Centres call off strike
To resume work today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13
All Sampark Centres and Gram Centres will resume work from tomorrow as the employees of these centres have called off their strike this evening. “The issue has been resolved amicably. We have agreed to their main demand of hike in salaries by giving them 20 per cent increase,” said Yogesh Kumar, CEO, SPIC and director, Information Technology.

Besides, we have also promised them r ‘assured annual hike’, said Yogesh Kumar after holding meeting with the office-bearers of employees union.

Pardeep Kumar Dutt, president of Sampark Employees Union, said that all members of the union would return to their work from tomorrow. The employees had been on strike since Friday.

Earlier today, the administration managed to open as many as 11 centres, all located in the urban area, out of total 25 Sampark and Gram Centres.

“About 4,000 transactions took place today in these centres. We have managed the staff from SPIC and DIT to run these centres,” said Yogesh Kumar.

Though certain centres were functional today, the make-shift staff only received electricity, water and telephones bills there. 



Chandigarh Scan
Water shortage

There will be no water supply from 9:00 am to 6.30 pm on Tuesday in Sectors 31 to 47, 20 C and D, Sector 21 C and D, Sectors 23 to 25, and Phase I and II of the Industrial Area, an official press release said here on Monday. Water supply is being shut down due to urgent repair work.


How a child performs academically is not a true indicator how he/she will perform professionally. Professional success is more a matter of aptitude than academics. The Psychology department of GGD SD College sector 32, under the guidance of a registered counselor Dr Tarun Deep Kaur, organised a career counselling week on the topic which concluded on Monday.

The camp registered at least 180 students of classes X and XII from Chandigarh, Mohali, and nearing cities like Ambala and Sirhind.On February 8 these students were psychologically tested on areas like aptitude, interest, IQ, and personality.

Professor felicitated

Prof MP Bansal (superannuated) has been selected as Emeritus Medical Scientist by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, for carrying out research work in the Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, Prof Ashwani Koul, chairperson of the department informed.

MoU signed

A MoU has been signed between PU and PGIMER for promoting the research and development in the field of Biomedical Sciences, Engineering and Technology. Dr RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, and Dr Yogesh Chawla, Director, PGIMER, signed the MoU in the presence of Dr Renu Vig, Director UIET, and Dr N Khandelwal, Professor and Head, Department of Radiology, PGIMER. PGIMER has expressed a desire to augment their diagnostic programme with software enhancement and Computer Aided Diagnostics (CAD) and to initiate joint projects in the related areas.

Blood donation camp

Under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan, Aryans College of Engineering (ACE), Chandigarh, organised a blood donation camp in its campus in Nepra village on the Chandigarh-Patiala Highway. Around 100 students of B Tech, MBA, BBA, BCA and B Ed enthusiastically donated blood as a small token of concern towards the suffering humanity. A team of doctors from PGI, Chandigarh, under the leadership of Dr Usha Rao, conducted thorough medical checkup of the voluntary donors and selected the eligible ones to donate blood. The students were given certificates, mementoes and donor cards along with refreshments.


The students of class X of Saupin’s school, Panchkula, were bid farewell by class IX and the staff members. Class IX students presented a dance number on the occasion. Ms and Mr Saupin’s titles were won by Sonia Dhiman and Prajwal Dhiman respectively.

Mini Marathon

Seven hundred people participated in the second Millennium Mini Marathon to save the girl child organised by The Millennium School, Mohali. The participants were categorised as under 10, 12, and 15. Besides the participants, people from all walks of life and age took part in the event.Komal Singh, principal, said that the second Millennium Mini Marathon aimed at sensitising the masses about the dwindling sex ratio in the country.

Medical and dental camp

A medical and dental camp was organised at Gurudwara Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji by Sri Sukhmani Multi specialty Hospital, Dera Bassi. As many as 190 patients were examined by surgical and dental specialists. Free medicines were distributed among the patients. The hemoglobin and blood sugar tests were done on the spot. Meanwhile, the Aryans College of Engineering also organised a blood donation camp in its campus at Nepra (Banur).

Senior citizens’ function

With a view to celebrate its fifth anniversary, the Mohali Senior Citizens Association arranged a ‘Grand Picnic’ at Khehra farm here. Senior Citizens from Tricity, numbering more than 250, actively participated in the picnic. several celebrities, like Balbir Sufi, Raman Gujral , and Anit Shabdish, also attended the cultural activities. Dr AS Khehra, chairman of the association played host. Five huge balloons were also released to mark the event. The occasion also included valentine celebrations besides a number of other games, such as tug of war, musical chairs, and Tambola.

DAV school annual function

DAV School, phase IX, celebrated its annual function. Students participated with full fervour, zeal and enthusiasm in the event. The function was inaugurated by former Chief Justice AL Bahri, the chairman of all DAV Schools. The cultural feast started with Ganpati Vandana. Various dance performances, including western, salsa, bhangra, and giddha were given.The main attraction of the function was the grand finale ‘Insaan Ka Insaan Se Ho Bhaichara.’ All the dignitaries as well as parents appreciated the efforts of the Principal Rosy Sharma.

tribune reporters



PU toppers to get medals after two-month delay
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Feburary 13
After waiting for two long months, more than 200 PU toppers will probably get their hard earned gold medals on March 4.

While Registrar AK Bhandari failed to answer numerous calls made to him, sources reveal that PU plans to get UT Governor ShivRaj Patil to honour the students. “We are in talks with the Governor House and will be getting him as chief guest. Till now there is no confirmation from any other VIP,” said a senior PU official.

In what has probably become a convocation ritual, PU did not award gold medals to students during the convocation ceremony owing to hard pressed schedule of VIPs, like Vice President Hamid Ansari and MP Sushma Swaraj.

While majority of the ceremony was devoted to giving honoris causa, the students got their degrees in a hurried manner after the departure of all VIPs, and were promised a separate function for their gold medals.

“We will ensure that the day is special for all the toppers, and they themselves will be the VIPs for the day,” said a PU official.



Students, police launch awareness drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Feburary 13
In keeping with the college’s age long tradition of being actively involved with the social welfare activities, MCM DAV College for Women, in collaboration with the Chandigarh Police, has devised a novel mechanism to ensure safety of city residents, especially the senior citizens.

More than 500 students have volunteered to work towards the goal.

The unique endeavour was inaugurated as the DIG of Chandigarh Police, Alok Kumar, flagged of a bus of student volunteers from MCM.

These students will help in ensuring the safety of the residents of City Beautiful by creating awareness.

The DIG impressed upon the students the need and importance of the association of youth in realisation of the enterprise undertaken to enhance the beauty and safety of Chandigarh.

Various other dignitaries also graced the occasion and inspired the young volunteers.



UT government schools ban exchange of Valentine gifts
Private ones take a liberal stand but assure discipline
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Feburary 13
In a bid to avoid any discipline issues, several UT government schools have banned exchange of valentine cards and gifts in addition to asking students to ‘stick to their limits’ on Valentine’s day. Principals concerned in several schools have issued instructions that students will have to face dire consequences if caught bunking school, carrying mobiles or having any celebration on school premises.

The teachers have been asked to keep a close watch on students and frisk them if required. “ Over the last 5 years, we have seen a steep rise in spats and general nuisance on this day. Boys as young as that of class VI fight over girls. Last year, we had caught a group of boys and girls drinking beer in a lab. So this year we have forewarned them and will straightaway suspend them if found creating trouble,” said Principal of a government school in sourthern part of the city.

Valentine’s day, which till about 5 years ago was a forte of college and university goers has found its patrons even in schools but the spirit has been dubbed into sheer indiscipline. Two days ago, a SSA teacher in one of the renowned model schools was in for a rude shock when she found a rose and chocolate in her purse with an anonymous love letter. Similarly, a class VII boy in another school had to be rushed to a doctor because he tried to write a girl’s name on his arm with a blade. The schools have tied up with their police stations concerned to keep a check on students who bunk classes and sneak to surrounding parks and gardens. “ Every year we check students’ bags and frisk them and without fail get mobiles, gifts, cards teddys and even beer cans sometimes. Even though we repeatedly ask parents to keep a check, but they fail to do so. Maintaining discipline on this day is a Herculean task for us and we are trying our best to ensure it,” added another principal of a rural school. Private schools meanwhile are taking a liberal view on the issue but promise no compromise on discipline. “ We have not issued any specific instructions but we never face such nuisance. Banning something is no solution, general discipline standards should be maintained and students be conditioned accordingly,” said HS mamik, president, independent School Association.



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