C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CBI has egg on face again
UT Admn officials among 9 discharged in corruption case
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had egg on its face in the court today as it failed to pursue the court to frame charges of corruption against nine accused involved in the high-profile case of 2009 involving the alleged nexus between UT engineers and contractors. The CBI Special Court of Ritu Tagore today discharged all the accused in the case while lambasting the investigating agency for its failure to prove the charges.

Leaving the CBI red in the face as the case fell flat, the court discharged executive engineer of UT public health department, Ami Chand, Sub-Divisional Officer Harjit Singh, junior engineer Gurdarshan Singh, and owner of a construction company Het Ram. They were the prime accused in the case.

In addition, the court also discharged former chief engineer Krishanjeet Singh, executive engineer (retired) Agastya Kumar, junior engineer Purshottam Kumar, ML Verma and Ghansham.

The CBI had stated that the officials had allowed the project contractor to undertake work on installing water tanks over and above the tender amount. The CBI had alleged that the officials allowed the contractor to supply certain items, which were not part of the tender, at rates much higher than the prevailing market price, thus causing a huge loss to the state exchequer.

Also, the scope of work was increased from the tendered amount of Rs 12 lakh to Rs 88 lakh in violation of the norms and guidelines of the Chief Vigilance Commission and the department.

All the nine accused were booked under the charges of Prevention of Corruption Act in July 2009 and the UT Administration had granted sanction to prosecute them in 2010.

However, the CBI failed to convince the court of the charges. The defence counsel pleaded that whatever was purchased was well within the sanctioned limits and the items were not available in the store and that was why they were purchased from the market. There was no loss to the exhequer.



rte act
Nursery admission row gets murkier
Now, private schools seek Rs 2-crore reimbursement from UT
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The ongoing war of words between the private schools of the city and the UT Education Department over the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act has intensified. A day after giving an ultimatum to the department, the schools have now sought a reimbursement of around Rs 2 crore for teaching 700 students under the RTE in 2011.

While the schools claim they have submitted the bills to the official concerned, the DPI (S), Sandeep Hans, says he is yet to receive any. “I have not got any bill. And how can a bill be calculated when we are yet to even ascertain the average learner cost and the total number of students admitted to the schools?” asks Hans.

“Is it our fault if in a year they could not calculate the average learner cost? They asked us to admit students with a promise that they will pay money so what is the problem now? As far as not getting bills is concerned, we have submitted them to the officials and even have receipts of they being received by the officials,” said a school representative.

Meanwhile, the Independent School Association held a meeting this evening to decide the further course of action on the implementation of the Act.

While the president of the association, HS Mamik, refused to comment, another office-bearer said: “We are not retreating from our stand of getting this money. If they can not pay us for the past year how can we trust them they will pay for the next year? We sent them a letter yesterday but are yet to get any response from them.”

Yesterday was the last day for the private schools to apprise the Education Department about the admissions.

Expenses incurred on 700 students

A day after giving an ultimatum to the education department, the private schools have now sought a reimbursement of around ~2 crore for teaching 700 students under the RTE in 2011.



Sector-26 Timber Market to go?
Trucks may replace economically unviable sawmill sites
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The New Timber Market in Sector 26 may eventually see trucks pushing out the woods.

After the Punjab and Haryana High Court heard that sawmill sites in the market had become economically unviable, a Division Bench today allowed the plea of an entrepreneur running transport business from there.

Though a copy of the judgment is not yet available, it is being construed as a green signal to the transporters to use the sawmill sites for functioning. It is significant, as it could eventually see a change in the character of the Timber Market with transporters actually setting up their businesses there.

The orders came on a petition filed by Shamlal Sharma. He had moved the High Court against the resumption orders issued by the Chandigarh Administration. In his petition, Sharma had contended that with the passage of time and advent of new technology for manufacturing doors, windows and furniture, the requirement to saw timber had come down.He had added that the sawmill sites allocated in the Timber Market had become unviable; and had come to be occupied by transport companies.

In the petition placed before the Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta, the petitioner added on July 31, 2000, he was issued a show-cause notice alleging that the conditions of sale of the site hads been breached and was being used for trades other than the ones specified in the allotment letter.

He added on July 24, 2003, the Chandigarh Administration and other respondents passed the impugned order directing the resumption of site, “Without appreciating the fact that both the trades

of timber - the original allotted trade - and transport come under the same category in the new general trade.

The petitioner, running transport company under the name of Chamba-Shimla transport, said an appeal filed against the order was dismissed on technical ground of being “barred by limitation”, without appreciating the fact that the UT Administration had further amended the rules in 2006.

According to the amended building bylaws, he was within his rights to carryout transport business from plot number 31 of the New Timber Market”. Yogesh Gupta, president of the Timber Market and Saw Mill Association said: ”The truck business was being carried from the new market area which was given by the administration much later than the original timber market.”



Intrusion into Deputy Commissioner’s room
Guesthouse receptionist, bell boy arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Bringing the security of the UT VIP guesthouse under the scanner, the police today arrested the receptionist, Paramjit, and Amit, a bell boy, for intruding into the room of Amona Sreeniwasan, Deputy Commissioner of Kaithal (Haryana), who was staying there. While theft appears to be the motive, the police still has to confirm it.

According to the police, the CCTV footage showed Amit running out of the DC’s room late in the night.

“During interrogation, Amit not only confessed to the crime, but also named Paramjit as his accomplice. Sreeniwasan was staying in room number 108 and the guests of room number 109 had requested a change of room because of faulty bathroom. After changing their room, Amit took keys from Paramjit and stayed in that room. It was late in the night that he jumped into the balcony of Sreeniwasan’s room and entered the room through an unlocked door. He hit a table, waking up the DC who raised the alarm,” revealed Poonam Dilawari, SHO of the Sector 33 police station.

Amit rushed out of the room and hid in room number 109. While the guest house authorities had initially claimed that the CCTV had nothing of relevance, the police said Amit was seen running out of the room at around 3 am. The duo have been booked Section 441 of the IPC.



Miffed GMADA engineers say it with flowers
Present bouquets to deputationists as symbolic farewell
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
In an eloquent display of ‘Gandhigiri’, unhappy engineers of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today courteously walked up to their colleagues, who are on deputation from other government departments, and presented bouquets to bid them farewell.

Inspired by Bollywood blockbuster “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, engineers from different authorities wanted to convey their displeasure to the deputationists, who were politely told to go back to their parent department by March 31.

AK Kataria, general secretary of the new constituted federation comprising of all engineers from the rank of junior engineer to chief engineer, said they had humbly requested the deputationists not to block their promotional avenues. Promoting in-house engineers should be the priority before bringing engineers on deputation from outside.

“Departing from the standard practise of engineers taking up the issue with senior officials, we gave bouquets to the ‘outsiders’ to bid them a symbolic adieu,” said a member of the Federation of PUDA Engineers.

The federation members said in violation of the standard practise of inviting a panel of three officials against a particular post, individual officials were being allowed to join by various authorities. Officials on deputation can only be taken when there are no eligible officials available within the authority. “The outsiders block our promotion avenues,” said another member of the federation.

Citing examples, the federation said while Pardeep Sekhri, an executive engineer in panchayati raj, had joined as Superintending Engineer, another executive engineer SS Dhinsa (B and R) had joined as project director. Several sucj cases were highlighted.

Unwilling to disclose their future course of action, the federation said today’s gesture was a humble way of telling the deputationists to go back by before the new government took oath.


Show-cause notice to old age home manager
Has been accused of ‘misbehaving’ with inmates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The resident manager of Sector 15 Old Age Home is in the dock. He has been issued a show-cause notice by the Chandigarh Administration for allegedly misbehaving with inmates there.

“You are hereby called upon to show cause as to why your service should not be terminated with immediate effect and what defense, if any, you have to offer….,” the notice issued by Chandigarh Scheduled Caste, Backward Class and Minorities Financial Corporation Limited has asked in the notice to Ajay Kumar.

It says an inquiry committee, headed by IAS officer-cum-Assistant Commissioner Nidhi Srivastava twice visited Old Age Home and interacted with all the inmates individually. All of them complained that the behaviour of Ajay Kumar was not up to the mark and had not improved a bit since the last visit.

A copy of the notice was placed before the Division Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover. It came after a complaint was filed by advocate Tanu Bedi.UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal said he also visited the Old Age Home, along with advocate Bedi, on January 16. An interaction with the inmates revealed that the manager’s behaviour was rude. Some of the inmates had tears in their eyes as they narrated the incidents.

Kaushal also heard that donated woolens were not handed over to them.Taking cognizance of Bedi’s complaint on the mismanagement of Sector-15 old age home, the High Court had earlier put the UT Administration on notice.

In a complaint, Tanu Bedi stated the residents of the state-run old age home were facing harassment at the hands of its manager. Tanu Bedi stated she visited the old age home, where the inmates informed her that woolens were distributed among them, but the manager snatched the sweaters away from the inmates.

She was also told this was not the first time that such an incident had happened. She was also told that the residents had to pay Rs 16 a day for going out of the old age home.

The residents also told Tanu Bedi that the home was earlier better managed by the Lions Club.

The residents also complained about non-availability of medicines. Bedi also found two old women lying on the floor, and their rooms were stinking. Bedi stated total neglect of problems faced by old women was apparent; and the house demonstrated lack of concern towards hygiene and medical treatment 



Violators told to remove illegal construction in buildings
Notices issued to maintain heritage status of Sector 17
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
To maintain the heritage status of Sector 17, the UT Administration has decided to remove glazing and other illegal construction to cover corridors of upper floors of the buildings here.

The UT Estate Office has started giving notices, around 50 in number, to the violators, which also include several banks, government offices and commercial establishments.

The development has taken place following Senior Officers Conference held recently in which the UT Chief Architect Sumit Kaur had pointed out that the defacement of buildings was also against the heritage plan.

“The step to remove violations will also help in maintaining heritage status of the prime sector of the city apart,” said Rahul Gupta, the UT Assistant Estate Officer, here. He added that the violators had been given two months time in the notices, issued under Sections 10, 14 of the UT Estate Rules, 2007, to remove the violations on their own.

“After that we will initiate our action, which include sealing of the building, demolition and fine as per rules,” said Gupta.

Notably, most of the owners and occupiers of the buildings in the sector have covered their corridors with glazing, plywood or other material to convert the open area in rooms. Interestingly, the violators also included the UT Excise and Taxation Office and 30-Bays Building, which housed several government offices of UT and Haryana.



Rural education remains stratified
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
More than 64 years after Independence, rural society remains stratified on caste lines. Government schools in rural areas are largely catering to Scheduled Caste and Backward Class students.

According to a study on rural education conducted by Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Scheduled Caste students comprise 45 per cent of the student population in rural government schools. As many as 17 per cent students belong to the Backward Classes.

The survey, which took into account 11,792 students in 50 selected villages across the state, revealed that 76 per cent of all schoolgoing SC students were enrolled in government schools. Conversely, 63 per cent of those in the general category were enrolled in private schools. Students from the Backward Classes was evenly distributed among government and private schools.

Researchers said there was a belief that private schools imparted better quality education to students compared to private schools. This, they said, was largely because private schools advertised their medium of instruction as English.

The study said while government schools seemed to be failing in their duty with only seven per cent students from rural areas joining college and only 0.4 per cent reaching the postgraduate level, the same was true for private schools too. This was because as much as 43 per cent of the total rural students were now studying in private schools, which were also not producing the desired results. The researchers put down the poor standards of private schools in rural areas to lack of competition.

Students from both government and private schools fared poorly when tested. As many as 78 per cent rural students could not tackle simple addition and subtraction questions. Out of the remaining 22 per cent, 9 per cent could not get a multiplication sum correct. Only 28 per cent students could answer a question on division correctly and only 18 per cent answered a question that involved multiplication and division.

Punjab State Farmers Commission Chairman Dr GS Kalkat, who commissioned the study, said the study proved that rural education in the state was in a shambles. He said this was worrisome as farmlands below 10 acres had become non-viable and children of such households needed good education to enable them to step out of farming.

Class divide

  • Scheduled Caste students comprise 45 per cent of the student population in rural government schools
  • As many as 17 per cent students belong to the Backward Classes
  • 76 per cent of all schoolgoing SC students are enrolled in government schools
  • Conversely, 63 per cent of those in the general category are enrolled with pvt schools
  • Students from the Backward Classes are evenly distributed among government and private schools



IAF to induct Mi-17 V5 helicopter today
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

 Mi-17 V5 during acceptance trials near Chandigarh
Mi-17 V5 during acceptance trials near Chandigarh

Chandigarh, February 16
The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) latest acquisition, Mi-17 V5 helicopter, will be formally inducted into service on February 17. It is an armed helicopter having substantial and effective firepower as well as more powerful engines that will greatly enhance its payload carriage capability at higher altitudes.

In 2008, India had signed an agreement with Russia to induct 80 Mi-17 V5 helicopters for strengthening the IAF’s helicopter fleet for high altitude air maintenance operations, special operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission and routine transport operations, according to an IAF statement issued here.

At present, the first batch of Mi-17 V5s is undergoing acceptance trails at No. 3 Base Repair Depot here after being assembled from semi-knocked down kits.

The Mi-17 V5, an upgrade of the Mi-17 medium-lift chopper, is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and onboard navigation systems. It has a glass cockpit, onboard weather radar, state-of-the-art autopilot and is compatible with the latest generation (Gen-III) night vision goggles. With this, the helicopter can undertake all-weather, day and night operations in any kind of terrain. The helicopter is also equipped with a Bambi Bucket, which can be used for fire fighting.

It has a modified loading ramp for faster loading and offloading, apart from the traditional rear clamshells. A starboard (right side) door and a Dolphin-shaped nose section give it a unique identity. The entire airframe has a high degree of ballistics tolerance and is crash resistant. It also comes equipped with an emergency flotation system.

The induction of Mi-17 V5 will enhance the capabilities of the Indian Air Force manifold in undertaking varied roles to face the challenges thrown in by unforgiving weather, hostile environment and difficult terrain in the country.

The IAF first inducted helicopters in 1954. They have operated in Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world, and have also proven their mettle in UN missions. With the induction of Mi-17 V5, the capability and the strength of the helicopter fleet in the IAF will increase significantly.

The machine

The Mi-17 V5, an upgrade of the Mi-17 medium-lift chopper, is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and onboard navigation systems. It has a glass cockpit, onboard weather radar and state-of-the-art autopilot 



Tricity scan

Online forms for PU entrance test

Panjab University on Thursday launched online forms for the Entrance Test at its computer centre. Prof RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, submitted his first online application for the entrance test of the University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism. The entrance test has been named as Panjab University Tourism and Hotel Aptitude Test (PUTHAT). This test is meant for the two courses, i.e. BSc (Hospitality and Hotel Administration) and BSc (Tourism Management). The last date for the submission of application-cum-admission forms is March 27. The test will be conducted on April 22.

World conference on nanoscience

International Conference on Frontiers in Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Their Applications (NanoSciTech 2012) was inaugurated on the Panjab University Campus here on Thursday. Dr Anupama Sharma, Organising Secretary, NanoSciTech 2012, said NanoSciTech 2012 would be witnessing the participation of around 40 international scientists, including 18 resource persons and 90 lectures. More than 350 poster presentations by over 600 registered participants will be made. Prof AK Sood, IISc, Bangalore, in his keynote lecture, apprised the audience of the recent developments in the field of nano-biosciences. Citing diverse instances from his research experience, Professor Sood explicitly talked on graphene-based transistors, carbon nanotubes in drug delivery, etc.

Annual IT fest

The Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, on Thursday organised its annual IT Fest-OSMIUM. Approximately 300 students from different colleges of the tricity region participated in various events, including website development, software development, re-engineering, jigsaw puzzle, debate, quiz, pot making, IT humour, card designing, de-bugging and book cover designing using the Photoshop and Corel Draw programmes. Dr Sanjeev Sofat, Professor and Head, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, PEC University of Technology, was the chief guest on the occasion. He talked about the authentication of data posted on net-Genuine or Fake which was also the topic of the debate.

General knowledge quiz organised

A general knowledge quiz was organised in the library of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, with the aim of motivating the students of the college to make use of the library and training them in hunting information from the treasure house of knowledge. Eightynine students from different departments took part in the quiz. Lauding the efforts of the library staff, the Principal, Dr Charanjeet Kaur Sohi, appreciated the participants’ enthusiasm and encouraged them to participate as much as possible in such competitions to enhance their level of confidence in achieving their desired goals.

Creative-writing competition

An inter-college creative writing competition was organised by the functional English group of the Department of English of Postgraduate Government College, Sector-11. As many as seven colleges participated in the event. Around 26 students from different colleges of the city penned down their views on the various media-related topics. “The basic idea is to bring together all students of functional English from various city colleges so that the vocational subject of functional English may have an interactive platform for the students,” remarked the coordinator of the competition, Prof Aparna.

Raj Bala Malik, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, on Thursday visited Community Sewa Kendra, Sector 25, along with Vivek Trivedi, project coordinator, Swaran Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojna. During the visit, she interacted with the women members of a Self-Help Group in the area and some of the BPL beneficiaries who completed various courses under the scheme. Trivedi informed the Mayor that various courses such as electronics, driving, stitching, etc, would be started at the community sewa kendra under the scheme.

Cultural event for special children
Special children perform at Cultural Olympiad at Punjab Kala Bhavan in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Thursday
Special children perform at Cultural Olympiad at Punjab Kala Bhavan in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

In a unique cultural extravaganza of its kind, special children set the stage on fire during the “cultural olympiad for special children” organised by the S-4 Trust and Gurukul Vidyapeeth under its flagship cultural extravaganza "Sur Wid Taal-2011-12" at Punjab Kala Bhavan here on Thursday. The special cultural event, which was inaugurated by author-bureaucrat Vijai Vardhan, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary to Haryana Government, saw special children dance to the Bollywood numbers and sing songs in their inimitable style.

489 units of blood collected

As many as 489 units of blood were donated at a blood donation camp organised by Indo Global Colleges, Abhaipur. The camp was organised by Neelam Singla, Chairperson of Indo-Global Colleges in association with the Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh. A team of Doctors headed by Dr Usha Rao from the PGI, Chandigarh, collected blood from the volunteers after due screening and medical checkup. The students of engineering, MBA, architecture, BEd and ETT, along with the faculty, donated blood.

Farewell party at Shivalik School

The students of Class XI at Shivalik School organised a farewell party for their seniors on Thursday. Students of class XI presented mesmerising performances to give everlasting memories to their seniors. Group and solo songs were appreciated by all.

A token of remembrance was given to all the students of class XII. Irbandeep Kaur of class XII (commerce) was adjudged Miss Charming, Jagdeep Singh of class XII (commerce) Mr Personality, Prabhjot Kaur of class XII (medical) Miss Shivalik and Rishab of class XII (non-medical) Shivalik. Director of the school DS Bedi motivated the outgoing students to carry forward the school motto in their real life. 
— Tribune Reporters



Infant’s death
Father’s statement recorded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, authorities today recorded the statement of Ladoo Tewari, the father of one-and-a-half-month child, Arnav, who died under mysterious circumstances after being administered DTP vaccine at a dispensary in Ram Darbar on February 8.

Though the inquiry was completed and submitted in a sealed cover to the Medical Superintendent yesterday, the inquiry officer, Dr SK Bhalla, recorded Tewari’s statement today after the latter had raised objection yesterday.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the deceased’s father, Ladoo Tewari, said Dr Bhalla had asked him to narrate the entire incident from his arrival to the dispensary and GMSH-16. The hospital authorities refused to disclose the finding of the report.



Bajaj Travels fined Rs 20,000 for not providing adequate facilities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Setting aside the order of the District forum-II the UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 on Bajaj Travels Ltd., for not providing the facilities as promised to the family of a Panchkula resident during a packaged tour.

State commission president Justice Sham Sunder and members Neena Sandhu, Jagroop Singh Mahal also directed the respondents to pay Rs 10,000 as costs of litigation to the complainant.

The complainant, Amit Gupta, a resident of Sector 9, Panchkula, filed an appeal against the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II order dated April 21, 2011, which dismissed the complaint against the respondents.

The complainant submitted that he took a tour package from the opposite party from Delhi to Kuala Lumpur -Singapore to and fro for himself and his family members, including four adults and two children. It was stated he paid Rs 2.70 lakh to the respondent party for the complete package, including booking/transfer/stay/site. He said that they were asked to stay in another hotel in Kuala Lumpur, which according to him was of lower status/grade. The complainant thus arranged two rooms at his own cost in Hotel Vistana and paid 500 Ringets, besides this, a half-day tour package at Kuala Lumpur was arranged only after a telephonic reminder to the respondents. Two rooms had been booked by the opposite party at Singapore in Hotel Park Royal, but actually one room was found to be booked. The rest of the party had to stay in Hotel Pan Pacific, which was of lower status/grade. He further stated that instead of enjoying the tour, he had to face many difficulties, at almost every stage, as two members of the travelling party were senior citizens, and two were infants.

The counsel for the respondents alleged that the complainant after availing ts services and enjoying the trip fully, without any protest, had filed the complaint to extract easy money from them. It was stated that beyond the offer in the tour package, all extra expenses were to be borne directly by the complainant, and the services mentioned in the voucher were already pre-paid. It was further stated that all details of the programme were provided to the complainant and, he enjoyed the trip, along with his family members, without any change, in the tour schedule. It was further stated that the complainant was never asked to stay in a hotel of lower status and the rooms in hotel Vistana at Kuala Lumpur were cancelled by the complainant himself. It was further stated that the agents abroad had arranged the hotel rooms, at their own expense and did not charge even a single penny, from the complainant.

The counsel further averred, “Bajaj Travels acts as an intermediary between the concerned airlines, Hotels and transport-operators. Bajaj Travels or its sub-agents are therefore not responsible for any loss, injury sustained by the tourist, including those occurring outside the touring programmes. Additional expenses incurred due to delay, accidents, natural disaster, political actions and unrest must be borne by the tourists. Programmes, prices, services and conditions are based on those valid at the time of printing and therefore subject to change without any advance notice before or during the tour.”

The state commission observed, “The District Forum failed to take into consideration, the aforesaid aspects of the case. Had the District Forum, appreciated the facts, circumstances and evidence, on record, in its proper perspective, it would not have fallen into an error in holding that there was no deficiency in rendering service, on the part of the Opposite Party. The order of the District Forum, thus, being, illegal and perverse, is liable to be set aside.” 



Insurance company directed to pay Rs 70,000
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
The Mohali District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed United India Insurance Company to pay Rs 70,000 to a Sohana resident for harassing a consumer.

While observing that it was the duty of the insurance companies to pay the entire insured's declared value (IDV) to the insurers in case of total loss of vehicles, the forum held the company guilty of deficiency in service.

The forum comprising BS Mehandiratta, president, and Dr SS Dhaliwal, member, directed the insurance company to remit the loan amount due to the bank and pay the remaining amount to the complainant and get the vehicle transferred in their name within 10 days. The company has also been directed to dispose of the damaged vehicle and reimburse Rs 22,060 spent by complainant on the preparation of the estimate of repair, along with Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation apart from paying compensation.

The insurer had moved the forum stating that he had got his Toyota Innova insured with United India Insurance Company Limited in March, 2011, for Rs 8.97 lakh.

The vehicle met with an accident near Sector 70 in July, 2011, and it was damaged. He filed a claim for the total loss of the vehicle with the insurance company which claimed that he was entitled to the claim of Rs 3.50 lakh and it refused to pay the full IDV of

Rs 8.97 lakh. The complainant stated that he had purchased the vehicle by obtaining a loan and had been paying Rs 15,000 as EMI.

The insurance company contested the complaint saying that it was ready and willing to make the payment of the claim to the complainant.It held that the complainant was given the option to sell the salvage but he did not cooperate. The insurance company also said that the complainant was also assured that it would pay him after deducting the salvage value of the vehicle from the IDV. The consumer forum held, “The settlement cannot be forced upon a consumer but has to be agreed by him. The claim has to be settled as per terms and conditions of the contract of insurance and thus the insurance company is bound to pay the entire IDV of the vehicle to the complainant and also liable to compensate him because they have made the complainant to wait for seven months.”

The consumer forum dismissed the plea of the insurance company terming it as “illogical“. The forum held, “The insurance company had not pointed out any clause in the terms and conditions of the policy to show that the complainant had agreed that the insurance company would pay him IDV after deducting salvage value of the vehicle or that it would be the responsibility of the complainant/insured himself to dispose of the salvage and adjust the same against the IDV.”

It was further observed, “It is the insurance company's responsibility to take the vehicle into their custody and redeem the value of its salvage and that is not the business of the complainant. The company is duty bound to take the vehicle into their possession on their own. The settlement cannot be forced upon a consumer but has to be agreed by him.”



Town planning dept refers case to headquarters
Structures raised near Chandimandir toll plaza; notices kept in abeyance
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 16
Maintaining that the NHAI Act does not override the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, the district town planning department has referred the case pertaining to the structures raised near the Chandimandir toll plaza to the state headquarters. Meanwhile, the show-cause notices, which were issued earlier, are kept in abeyance.

District Town Planner (DTP) Hitesh Sharma said now the case had been referred to the state headquarters and the authorities there would take the final decision.

The DTP on January 25 had sought explanation from Himalayan Expressway Limited (HEL) through a show-cause notice that why the orders should not be passed to restore the land at Chandimandir for violating the Periphery Act and he also ordered to stop their office construction.

Thereafter, NHAI and HEL had maintained that the structures raised near the Chandimandir toll plaza were a part of the four-laning of the Zirakpur-Parwanoo highway and there was no violation on their part.

Reply submitted by the NHAI reads: “The structures have been raised on the Army land. While no objection is being raised when the Army constructs any structure, we should also be treated at par with them.

The structures are a part of the entire four-laned Zirakpur-Parwanoo highway and without it the upcoming Chandimandir toll plaza cannot become operational.”

Meanwhile, HEL had also maintained that the structures mentioned in the show-cause notice were a part of the four-laning project and were raised according to the agreement with NHAI.

It was also submitted that the offices were essential for the smooth operation and maintenance of the project.



Job seekers allege fraud
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
High drama was witnessed in the office of a job placement agency in Phase XI on the intervening night of February 15 and 16 when 50 persons protested for not being provided job as promised. The police had to intervene in the matter.

The police received a call at about 10 pm on Wednesday that a placement company had duped about 50 persons who were creating ruckus in the Phase XI office of the company. The company, Shiva Associates, running a private placement agency from Phase 11 had got 50 persons registered with a promise to get them employed with various private firms. They had asked those persons to fill in a form and deposit

Rs 500 per person as enrolment fee enabling them to be entitled for the vacancies.

But the persons who had come from Amritsar alleged that the owners of the company had promised that they would employ them immediately after the enrolment fee was deposited.

However, the owner of the company, Ritu Vij, along with her assistant Bimla, in her statement to the police have refuted all allegations and said they had asked them to deposit money enabling their names to be placed in the waiting list.

As soon as there will be a vacancy, the required person will be informed.

No case was registered till the filing of this report.



Preparation for CBSE Exams
Focus on Quality
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The clock is ticking for the students who are all set to take the CBSE class X and XII examinations starting from March 1. With less then 15 days left for the examinations, stress levels are likely to be high. Although before exams every student experiences a sense of fear, this is not the right approach for the preparation of exams. Experts believe as exams draw close, students need to concentrate on quality rather than quantity and start revision of syllabus. They advise students to take a sound sleep and have healthy food.

This is the time when exam pressure is at its peak. However, the experts believe stress can be channelised by balancing studies and recreational activities.

Principal of DAV School, Sector 15, and CBSE exam consultant Rakesh Sachdeva said the students should now concentrate on revision and plan their schedule accordingly. “The students should prepare for the first exam during the last days of preparation and concentrate on the subjects that they find tough,” Sachdeva said.

She added with only a few days left for the exams, revision should begun and division of days for each subject should be done.

Consultant of the Education Department Alka Mehta, who is also Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, says students should understand that it is not “quantitative” effort, but quality that matters. Secondly, they should do written practice of study material for longer and better retention. “It’s the time for the revision of the syllabus they have already studied. Focusing on new topics will lead to confusion and stress,” Mehta said.

Regional Director, CBSE, RJ Khanderao stressed learning through writing for better understanding and long retention. “Students should concentrate on revision without letting exam pressure build up,” Khanderao said.

Experts believe the emphasis should be on learning how to strike a balance between subjects. All that is required to crack the exams is sincerity, determination, time-management and self-confidence.



Differently abled children showcase talent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The State-Level Ability Search Activities (SSA), UT, organised a programme, state-level ability search activities for children with special needs in Government Model Senior Secondary School Sector 10 here.

The differently abled children from all the government schools of Chandigarh participated in the programme with enthusiasm and vigour. Contests in singing, dancing, fancy dress, poetry recitation, drawing and race were organised keeping in mind the nature of disabilities and age groups of the participants. The function was inaugurated by Dilbagh Singh, Mission Coordinator, SSA, UT, who encouraged the children to wholeheartedly participate in such programmes. He said they should overcome all the obstacles in spite of difficult circumstances.

The main attraction of the event was the fancy-dress competition in which children were attired as a freedom fighter, a florist and a Punjabi boy. Theme-based poems were recited by certain children while others showcased their talent in drawing competition by depicting their feelings on environment preservation and the importance of the girl child.



Trainees hold cultural function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECEd) teacher trainees organised a cultural function, titled ‘Nanhi Ashanyen’, in the Junior Wing of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, here today.

The trainees have been undergoing teaching practice for 30 days in various government and private schools in Chandigarh.

The students sang songs and performed bhangra and Haryanvi dance.

Sweety Bahl, Principal, appreciated the sincere efforts and cooperation by the tiny tots who made the whole show successful. She also apprised the teacher trainees about the importance of practical training.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |