C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT official’s vehicle injures 3 bikers
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Rahul Gupta
Rahul Gupta

Chandigarh, February 19
The silver Innova belonging to UT Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta hit a motorcycle on late Sunday night at Railway Light point near IT park, leaving three riders seriously injured.

While onlookers claimed that Gupta himself was driving the car, the police refused to confirm it. The police stated that as Gupta was not driving the vehicle, he was allowed to leave the accident scene.

“The car belongs to Gupta, but he was not driving it and was sitting on the back seat at the time of the accident. We have detained the driver and impounded the car and investigating are on,” said the investigating officer.

The victims, all in their mid-twenties, have been identified as Amardeep, Sikander and Kuldeep.

The victims, who were moving towards Saketri, alleged that Gupta’s vehicle, which was at a very high speed, jumped the red light and hit their motorcycle.

The PCR vehicle that had arrived at the accident scene rushed all three to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16. While Kuldeep’s right leg got fractured Amardeep and Sikander suffered multiple injuries. All three were undergoing treatment.

No case was registered till the filing of the report, as the police was getting the driver’s medical examination conducted.



MC fails to frame policy
Uniform rate for door-to-door garbage collection
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service
A loaded handcart, used for door-to-door garbage collection, in Chandigarh
A loaded handcart, used for door-to-door garbage collection, in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, February 19
Strangely even after a decade, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (CMC) has failed to frame a policy on uniform rate to be charged by the contractors from the residents for door-to-door garbage collection.

As a result, in every sector the private contractors fix the garbage collection charges according to 
their whims.

In fact, recently the terms and conditions for the outsourcing of sanitation service were tabled at the General House meeting in which the authorities did not cover the aspect of rates to be charged for garbage collection by the contractors.

MC Commissioner Prerna Puri said in the House that last year, the MC imposed fines of Rs 21 lakh on the contractors for unsatisfactory services in the areas allotted to them.

Sources in the corporation said no contractor had so far been fined for over-charging from the residents as no norms had been fixed for it in the current terms and conditions. As per the corporation records, there are about 5,000 employees of various contractors who are engaged in the door-to-door garbage collection in the city.

MC Mayor Raj Bala Malik said the terms and conditions had been referred to the sanitation committee, which would look into all its modalities so as to make these effective and ensure in keeping the city clean.

A senior official said the department was working on the pilot project to renew the garbage collection system in a single sector. Under this project coloured bins would be placed in front of every house for garbage segregation and these would be collected in specially designed vehicles.

Interestingly in a single sector, the contractor’s charge varies from Rs 50 to Rs 100 from the residents for garbage collection. In fact there is no check of the authorities on the time span in which the contractor could increase the charges for collection of garbage.

During a visit to various sectors, residents complained that in the past five months, the collection employees had increased the charges by Rs 20 to Rs 30 for day-to-day collection. Residents of Sector 22 grumbled that the contractor had never issued them the receipt of the amount. The irony is that when the residents brought it to the notice of the Municipal Corporation officials and lodged a compliant against the undue increase of charges, the officials set reply was that “it is not under their preview”.

Even Union Minister and Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal pointed out at the house meeting recently that there are many faults in the garbage collection in the city, especially in those areas where the authorities had outsourced it. He suggested that a monthly report should be prepared by the area councillors on the garbage collection in their areas which would help monitoring and improve the system.

The UT Administration had launched the door-to-door collection system of garbage in 2001 and thereafter collects it at Sehaj Safai Kendras.



House rents go through the roof in city
Middle-class salaried people run for cover
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Sample 1: The rent for a seven-bedroom villa/bungalow, Sector 15 is Rs 2.5 lakh.

Sample 2: The rent for a three-bedroom in Sector 11 house is Rs 85,000.

Sample 3: The rent for a three-bedroom, Sector 10, house is Rs 70,000.

The rates pasted on the Internet sites and revealed during conversation with a cross-section of property dealers in the city showed that a decent housing space, on rent, had become virtually impossible, particularly for the middle-class salaried segment of the population.

Giving their accommodation on rent had become a lucrative business for the house owners as the houses were getting out of reach for the common man. Rajiv Dhall, a bank manager, said “I am forced to stay in the northern part of the city because my children study in Sector 26 schools. I am paying Rs 45,000 for my accommodation in Sector 9, which was the majority chunk of my monthly salary. The cost of living had become higher because of high rents.”

Not just the northern sectors, the cost of hiring homes had gone up all across the city. The owner of a flat in Sector 38(West) asked Rs 15,000 per month for a one-room flat, while a house in Sector 36 asked for Rs 60,000 per month for a four-room home.

“Why shouldn’t we be charging the amounts that people were willing to pay us. People earning lakhs of rupees per month don’t mind shelling out a small fraction in rent to us, so there was nothing serious involved in the issue,” said Sharanjit Singh, an owner of a one-kanal kothi in Sector 22. He has been charging house rent of Rs 35,000 for a two-room set.

Rakesh Sharma, proprietor of Gulmohar Land Con, felt that flourishing of this PG culture in the city was the main reason behind the shooting up of rents here.

“Flouting all rules and regulations, thousands of house owners have started the PG business. In one room of an eight-marla kothi, at least four to six PGs are being accommodated and the charges are not less than Rs 4,000 each (without food). By simple calculation, the income from just one room is minimum Rs 20,000 so one can easily imagine if one has six to seven rooms in his house to give on rent,” said Sharma, adding that the charges increase in case of big houses.

Another city-based property dealer Parveen Bhatnagar said the increasing rates in the PG business had a direct impact on the rents in normal houses.



chandigarh club
President’s sudden resignation sparks controversy
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Chandigarh Club, one of the premier clubs of the UT with a membership of more than 8500, is facing controversy over the sudden and unannounced resignation by its president Mukesh Bassi.

Bassi was the acting president since 2004 as no regular elections had been held for the club executive since then. This was against the constitution of the club, which provides for elections every 15 months. The club has more than 6,000 regular members.

Bassi was recently elected councillor of the local MC and said he was unable to handle the increased work pressure. A section of the members are, however, not convinced, saying the transition process of constituting an executive was only a means being employed by the current power group to continue.

Bassi named the vice-president, Sandeep Sawhney, as the acting head along with an executive of five members. Objections are being raised against the composition of the committee, which was said to be nothing more than an extension of the current leadership. The special executive committee has Nitin Goel, Karanvir Nanda, Rajat Mohan Kaura, Anurag Chopra and Pulkesh Bassi on board.

A section of members are not convinced with the acting body. Nearly 80 members whose membership has been suspended had gone to court, asking for a quick hearing. The suspended members want their status to be cleared before the forthcoming poll.

A senior member said, "There have been no elections since 2004 which was against the club bylaws. Now that the club president has been elected as a councillor of the MC he has managed an executive of his choice to carry on the task of leading the club. In a way, it is the old leadership in new dress."

Bassi said, "All allegations are unfounded. Regular elections would have been held in March. However, because of the members seeking a clarification on their status, now the issue would linger till May. I am faced with an increased work pressure of my involvement with the MC now. I have quit by choice because I don’t think I will he able to give adequate time to handle the club matters now.”

The working president, Sawhney, said, "We have been handed over a temporary assignment till the new body was elected.”


Time to brace for chill again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Residents may witness another cold-wave spell as the weather office has predicted rain or thundershowers, resulting in a decline in day and night temperatures, after Monday.

The weather office has predicted a mainly cloudy sky on Monday, with mist or haze occurring during the morning and evening hours. The maximum temperature on Monday will be around 22 degree Celsius while the minimum on Tuesday around 10 degree Celsius.

The maximum temperature on Sunday was 20.8 degree Celsius, two degrees below normal. The minimum temperature was 8.9 degree Celsius. The maximum relative humidity was at 78 per cent and the minimum 40 per cent.

The department also predicted mainly sunny days, with mist or haze occurring during morning and evening hours, in neighbouring areas of Punjab and Haryana. The weather would remain dry, officials said.



Two policemen receive burn injuries
Lived in a tent outside house of a retd DGP
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 19
Two policemen received burn injuries when their tent caught fire in Sector 26, outside the residence of the former DGP, Punjab, in the wee hours, here today.

The victims, who have been identified as Multan Singha and Hardeep Singh, were rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, from where they referred to the PGI.

Sources said the two were sleeping in the tent, pitched near the residence of the SV Singh, former DGP Punjab, Sector 26, when the tent caught fire about 4 am. Short circuit was reported to be the main cause of fire.

Fire officer, RP Dhull, said a fire tender was rushed to the site of the incident after receiving the information. However, the tent was burnt completely before the fire tenders could reach there.



Brakes fail, bus hits roundabout
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
A major tragedy was averted after a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU ) bus ran onto a
roundabout at Sector 38 after its brakes failed here this evening.

The bus was being driven from the CTU workshop at Sector 38 to the ISBT at Sector 43. The driver, Gurbachan Singh, was going there to collect the timetable.

In an effort to save his life and of commuters, he ran the empty bus onto the roundabout. The police would investigate the matter.

“As soon as the bus neared the roundabout, the brakes got jammed. In an effort to stop the vehicle, I rammed it into the roundabout,” the driver said.



Proposals and inaction, that’s civic body’s forte
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Tall claims of the municipal corporation (MC) in adopting effective sanitation have been exposed. For the past decade, none of the proposed projects to streamline the system has seen the light of the day.

Even the allotted dumping-ground landfill is chocked as the garbage is not segregated properly. It is transported to the garbage-processing plant at Dadu Majra and the ‘biomethicain’ plant at Phase I, Industrial Area, designed specially to manage animal waste.

As per plans, two plants were set up in the city. Both plants were set up bearing in mind that the MC would segregate the garbage at its own level of ‘sehaj safai kendras’ and then transport it for processing. Nothing concrete has been done by the authorities at the ground level for segregation and collection of garbage.

In 2009, the Administration issued directions to the MC that coloured coding bins be placed at the vegetable and meat markets so that the segregation could be done at the marketplaces. Till date, the authorities have not placed such bins anywhere in the markets.

Another project was launched in 2002 by the Administration by handing over specially designed cycle-rickshaws and handcarts to the residents’ welfare association of Sector 15 to collect garbage from house to house in two separate containers for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.

According to the proposal, garbage was to be converted into compost at the vermi-culture compost centre in Sector 15, built in association with the Jeevan Bima Welfare and Cultural Society. The authorities are not aware about the present status of this project.

Even the ‘sehaj safai kendra’ project, started in 2002 with the proposal of setting up 132 ‘kendras’ in various sectors has not succeeded fully.

As per the proposal, after door-to-door collection of garbage, it was to be segregated at the ‘kendras’, where coloured bins were to be installed by the MC. Even the authorities had decided that a special provision would be made in the ‘kendras’ for domestic-hazard waste.

The fact is that no provision has been made for the segregation of garbage at the ‘kendras’ till date. It has become a collection centre, from where garbage is transported to plant at Dadu Majra.



Heaps of garbage welcome you
Tribune New service

Zirakpur, February 19
The space beneath the flyover at Zirakpur, connecting the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, has turned into a dumping ground with the MC turning eye towards the cleanliness of the area.

Heaps of garbage and filth spread all around greets the visitors moving towards Chandigarh. The garbage accumulating beneath the flyover has virtually converted the entire area into a massive open-air dustbin. Even encroachments can be witnessed under the flyover.

For the past few years, the Zirakpur MC and the NHAI authorities have failed to take the responsibility of developing the space beneath the flyover into the greenbelt. Residents rue that neither the GMR nor the MC, Zirkapur, bother to take steps to clean-up the mess. They have demanded that the area under the flyover should be maintained properly and converted into a green belt.

Residents said that during rains, the drains under the flyover were flooded as the heaps of garbage blocked the flow of rainwater. They had complained to the MC officials many but nothing has been done so far.

They had taken up the issue to the Zirakpur Municipal Council and asked them to provide space for shopkeeper to throw garbage on the particular site, official added.



ITBP to get high altitude shelters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is procuring state-of-the-art shelters for high altitude areas. These shelters would offer better protection to the ITBP personnel against the vagaries of nature in extreme conditions and improve the living conditions in remote areas.

Sources said that the Ministry of Home Affairs had recently sanctioned Rs 5 crore to procure an initial consignment of 22 high altitude shelters. The specifications for the shelters were finalised by the ITBP earlier this month.

The ITBP, which is in the process of expansion and modernisation, is responsible for guarding the international border with China, both in the northern as well as in the eastern theatres. Except for specific internal security assignments and disaster management as and when required, its primary deployment remains confined to the icy Himalayan frontier.

The ITBP border outposts, some of which are located at an altitude of 21,000 feet, are exposed to high velocity winds, snow blizzards and avalanches, besides climatic and environmental hazards and extreme cold with temperature plunging to minus 40 degrees Celsius.

The aluminium-framed, triple-layered and environment regulated shelters would be able to withstand sustained pressure from winds with speed up to about 200-km per hour and a snow load of about 15-kg per square feet. Each shelter would have its own diesel generator for lighting and heating. The shelters, about 20 feet in length, would also have the capability to be attached end-to-end via connector flaps to enable them to form a semi-singular unit.



Tricity scan

Alumni meet

Kabir's Roll of Old Students (KROS), the alumni association of St Kabir Public School, held a blood donation camp in the school premises on February 18 from 9:00 am onwards today. According to Rosy Ahluwalia, a member of the KROS, the camp was held solely with the aim of serving the personnel of the armed forces, the brave keepers of our nation. The camp was organised in association with the Armed Forces Transfusion Centre, New Delhi, and Command Hospital, Chandimandir. The camp coincided with the parent-teacher meeting. 166 units of blood were collected and donated during the camp for use by the armed forces. JP Singh, director of the school, thanked the parents, teachers and alumni for coming forward in large numbers for the good cause.

Painting competition

The State Bank of India, Sector-17-B, organised a painting competition for students of various schools here on Sunday. About 200 children from 28 schools participated in the event. Vijuy Ronjan, Deputy General Manager, honoured the winners in all the categories.

Seminar on brotherhood

Eminent scholars of various faiths as well as leading members of local intelligentsia were unanimous on the oneness of God and the essential unity of humanity in a seminar on ‘Revival of Universal Brotherhood and Humanism,’ organised by the Chandigarh Zone of Sant Nirankari Mandal here on Sunday. The chief guest, Rakesh Mehta, IAS (Retd), State Election Commissioner, Delhi and Chandigarh, called for making spirituality a part of our social lives and to promote all efforts for the protection of the environment.

Enrolment drive

Residents Welfare Association, Sector 18, with 337 members, today took up the enrolment drive of members and approved the eleven member governing body consisting of Sunil Chopra (president) and PC Sanghi (chairman). Sanghi is also the chairman of Federation of Sector Welfare Association Chandigarh (FOSWAC). The governing body, during the meeting, appointed Sunil Parti, Surjit Chaudhry and Rajeev Goyal as patrons of the association and has also approved the names of 5 members of the governing body as collegium members of FOSWAC.

‘Hasta La Vista’

A farewell for class X students of the Gurukul Global School was organised for the students of class Xth. The event was named “Hasta La Vista,” a Spanish word meaning “see you later.” This was followed by a speech by Aruna Bhardwaj, principal. She said that a meeting of alumni would be organised on the last Saturday of every year


A special get-together for priests and pujaris of various temples of Chandigarh was organised at the zonal headquarters of Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya situated at Sector-33, Chandigarh. The program began with a candle lighting ceremony.

Seminar on health

“We must understand that taking a good care of the liver is as important as taking precautions to check diabetes, heart disease and obesity,” said Dr Subba Rao V Kanchustambam, Additional Director and Head, Center for Liver transplantation and Hepatobiliary Sciences. Dr Rao, who speaking at an interactive session on ‘Know your friendly liver’ at Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said “Liver has got extremely high tolerance levels, which means that it might take a long time to present symptoms of any disease.” He advised those present to avoid drugs, unauthorised blood transfusions, to practice safe sex, and not to share needles and razors.

Warm send-off

The students of class XI of Paragon Senior Secondary School, Sector 71 organised a farewell party for the outgoing class XII students. The programme started with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp of knowledge and remembering late Balraj Singh Shergill, the founder of the school. Director Iqbal Singh Shergill wished the students all the luck.

Praying for success in boards

A prayer ceremony seeking the blessings of the almighty for success in the forthcoming board exams, along with a Sukhmani Sahib Paath and ‘langar’ was organised by the school management at St Soldier, Mohali. Students of Class XII collected their admit cards and paid obeisance to the Guru Granth Sahib. A special ardas was done for the success of the students in the exams.

Farewell party

A farewell party was organised at the DAV School, Phase X here. Principal Dr Rosy Sharma presided over the event. Students were also awarded titles during the function.

School bids adieu

The students of Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, Mohali arranged a fantastic send off function for the outgoing students of class XII in the school campus. The event started with the Sabad in the praise of God. The farewell party titled “Adios Amigos” (Goodbye Friends) was hosted by the students of class XI.


The farewell party christened ‘Sayonara’ for the first batch of class XII of the school was held at the Shishu Niketan Public School, Sector - 66, Mohali. The students of class XI presented an entertainment programme for their guests which consisted of songs, dances, anecdotes and jokes. Various contests for the outgoing class were also held.

Alumni body formed

Students of the B Ed fraternity of Rattan Group of Institutes today formed the institute’s alumni association, Rattan Professional Education College Alumni Association. The current students of B Ed hosted an alumni meet for the first time in the college campus which was also attended by the students of previous two batches of the institute. The association was formed in the presence of the institute’s director, Sunder Lal Aggarwal, principal Dr Vibha Garg, and other faculty members.

Orientation programme

Over 500 parents attended the orientation programme organised at The British School premises. The parents were informed that the faculty members of the school helped the students gain proficiency in languages, art and craft, dance, music, yoga, and personality development. The curriculum of the Foundation Years Programme (FYP) was also explained in detail to the parents. The parents were informed that the curriculum was designed following the multiple intelligence approach.

Tribune Reporters



Open house response
Renaming Mohali: Name should reflect significance

The name of a place should reflect its background and significance. The name should be short and easy to pronounce. It should be acceptable to a majority of the people, particularly its inhabitants. Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar has significance in the context of its background, but is too lengthy.

The proposed name Ajitgarh sounds short and pithy, but even this will not be acceptable to everyone. There are bound to be differences over missing links in its words. There is a section which will like to include ‘Singh’ in the name.

There are others who will like to add ‘Sahib’, like Anandpur Sahib, Patna Sahib and Nanded Sahib. I feel that the existing names, SAS Nagar and Mohali, are perfect to carry on with.

— Gurdev Singh

‘Singh’ a must

After the reorganisation of Punjab and at the time of expansion and development of areas around Chandigarh, its satellite towns were called Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur, all based on prominent villages in the respective areas.

To give importance to Sikh heritage during the earlier Congress regime, it was decided to rename Mohali ‘Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar’. In spite of 20 years of its use, this long name could never become popular either at the local or national level.

This time, the SAD-BJP government has proposed the name Ajitgarh, which seems to have been accepted. Sikh ethos and culture and official records demand the attachment of ‘Singh’ or ‘Kaur’ after April 13, 1699.

The removal of ‘Singh’ from the name Sahibzada Ajit Singh, a son of Guru Gobind Singh, smacks of a deep-rooted covert plot and sabotage against Sikh culture and history.

Calling the Chief Minister Parkash Badal is insulting. While shortening the name, respect emotional sentiments of Sikhs. The town can be rechristened ‘Ajit Singh Nagar’, like Sunam has been renamed Puran Singh Wala.

— Manmohan Singh Scout

Was a surprise

‘What is in a name? A rose by any other name will still smell the same.’ This is what Shakespeare had written. The recent announcement of the government to change the name of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, popularly known as SAS Nagar or Mohali, to Ajitgarh has come as a surprise. Was it really required?

The old name of the town was more on everyone’s tongue than Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar. This name was in memory of Sahibzada Ajit Singh, which I believe is more a sentimental issue. SAS Nagar as a short name would have been better than Ajitgarh.

In this case, the name is being shortened for easy usage. At the same time, the name of Muktsar has been changed to Muktsar Sahib, a longer name. Will people be comfortable using the longer name or will we wait for it to be shortened again after a few years?

Khushjiv Singh Sethi

Not right step

The decision of the Centre, giving clearance to the request of the Punjab government to rename Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, is not the right step. This name is a revered historic name for Sikhs, which has gained popularity in the past 25 years.

The Punjab government decided on the new name without soliciting any public debate on the issue. The sole aim seems to be politically motivated. The name Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar was given by Giani Zail Singh, who was then the Chief Minister of a Congress regime. The Akali Dal had been in power earlier, but why was the name changed now?

Ajitgarh may sound nice, like Chandigarh, but will have no link whatsoever with the name of the brave and valiant son of Guru Gobind Singh. The prefix ‘Sahibzada’ brings the fact to our minds that this Ajit Singh was the son of Guru Gobind Singh.

What is required of the government is that the word ‘Mohali’, the name of one of the villages whose land was acquired, along with many other villages, should be totally deleted from all official correspondence. No signboard in the district, be it government or private, should bear the name Mohali.

The decision of the government is another attempt by the saffron brigade to mislead the coming generations about the real identity of the Sikhs. Who knows some saffron historian distorts facts tomorrow and declares Ajit the son of Chandi.

— Arvinder Singh Bedi

It’s our fault

We are responsible for not using Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar as the name of this town. In today’s time, most of us want a short name as it is catchy. Even in personal names, people have started using smaller names. But in the case of popularising the use of the name Mohali, the fault lies with the government.

It never insisted that residents use Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar instead of Mohali. Even in administrative offices, they simply write Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Mohali. They themselves are not sure whether to stop after ‘Nagar’.

I do not think that we will start using Ajitgarh instead of Mohali unless the word ‘Mohali’ is absolutely removed from the administrative dictionary, hoardings and other signboards. The government failed to make the town, named after ‘Sahibzada’, tobacco-free or a no-smoke town. Changing name has no relevance if cannot change the state of the town. I can only quote Shakespeare, who wrote, ‘What is in a name?’

— Inder Deep Singh

Not needed

The message has meaning till the state government implements the change on the ground in letter and spirit. Till date, even official records are not clear in using a common name.

Official documents carry the name Mohali at certain places and SAS Nagar at others. In a classic case highlighted in the Chandigarh Tribune recently, the same letter carried the name Mohali on top and SAS Nagar at the bottom.

Even the existing choice of words, SAS Nagar and Mohali, were serving the requirement of the local population. There was no need for a change. In case the government wanted a shorter name, Mohali was good.

Otherwise, even SAS Nagar was well entrenched in public memory. It was also equally good for official records. I do not even know why the change was required at all.

— Tejpreet Aulukh

Open house question

The Chandigarh Administration is learnt to be finalising the Apartment Act, that can change the face of the city, particularly northern sectors. An earlier attempt on bifurcation of big plots at Phase-I sectors had led a delegation of city residents meeting Sonia Gandhi in 2003, following which the proposal was dropped. Write your opinion on the issue of the changing requirements of time and the need to monitor the city’s growth in context of its limited span to openhouse@tribunemail.com.



Rents stagnant in Mohali
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 19
Mushrooming of the housing projects and cheap availability of rented accommodation in peripheral areas of Mohali and Kharar has resulted in stagnation of rents in the city for the past one year. “The rents were already higher. So, many families preferred to travel few kilometers extra to get cheap accommodation on the outskirts of the city,” said Nilesh, who deals in rentals.

As a result, most of the property owners in the developed sectors now prefer to rent out their accommodation to bachelors, Enquiries reveal that while a two-room accommodation in Phase X and XI is rented out to a family for anything between Rs 6,000 and Rs 8,000, the same accommodation is rented to the bachelors for a minimum Rs 2,200 per bed. The rentals for bachelors in Phases 3 B1, 3B2 and 7 are slightly higher.

Many property owners have rented out their houses on lease to those who professionally run paying guest accommodations by which the landlords earn Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 a month by running the PG instead of renting it. “Though the PG’s are illegal, the officials of GMADA seldom come to check it,” said another real estate agent who deals in rentals.

Another real estate agent, who deals in rentals, said no one wants to deal with the botheration of tenant and tenant disputes. Few years ago, the rentals used to be increased by 10 to 20 per cent.

As far as the rentals for first and second floors in an eight and ten-marla houses are concerned, the rent varies between Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000. It has almost remained the same for the past two years. On the other hand, a one-kanal house is available on rental of about Rs 40,000 per month.

A Phase-4 based real estate agent said due to recession in the IT sector, many software companies are not hiring more employees. As a result, many newly furnished houses are not being rented out.

In case of commercial rentals, the rentals for ground floor and basement vary between Rs 70,000 per month and Rs 1.40 lakh per month. Owing to recession in the market, the commercial rentals have not increased over the past two years, said Phool Raj, a local businessman.



Panchkula rents going North
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 19
Due to proximity city beautiful Chandigarh, increased connectivity due to widening of highways and a number of educational institutes coming up in Panchkula district, there has been around 50 per cent hike in the rent as compared to those of three years ago. As the rent in Chandigarh is too high for rented accommodation therefore, people have started shifting to Panchkula, which ultimately resulted in rental hike in Panchkula city.

Besides, the paying guest concept has also added the rentals in the city. Haryana property dealers’ association president Surinder Aggarwal said in the last two to three years, the people have started looking for rented property in Panchkula. He reasoned that the rates in Chandigarh are high therefore, people were shifting to Panchkula. He added that two-bedroom flat which was around Rs 9,000 in 2009 was available for Rs 13000 to 15,000 in Panchkula. Sushil Kumar, residing in Sector 20 with his family, said that three years ago he had been paying Rs 13,000 for three-bedrooms flat but at present he was paying Rs 16 thousand which would further be increased in April.

Shikha and Neha, college students, said that they were staying in two-room plus kitchen flat at Sector 26 and were paying Rs 11,000. Shikha said that there was 5 to 10 per cent less rent in the sectors across Ghaggar river as compared to Panchkula main city.

A property dealer said that the rates have increased in the areas like Mansa Devi Complex and many other sectors are close to IT Park in Chandigarh. Employees of the IT companies draw high salaries therefore; they could afford to pay higher rent as well.

Another property dealer in Panchkula said that the areas like MDC, Sector 6, 7, 8 would fetch more rent as compared to Sector 21. He added that the rates of rent in sectors 26, 27 and 28 are less as these sectors are very far away from the main Panchkula city.



15,377 booths for polio drops
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 19
Satish Chandra, Principal Secretary, Health, launched the Pulse Polio Campaign from an urban slum in Mohai on Sunday. Dr Balwinder Singh, State Immunization Officer was also present.

Satish said a total of 38 lakh children aging up to five years were to be administered the polio vaccine during the campaign from 19th to 21st February. On Sunday, Pulse Polio campaigns were held across the state. A house-to-house visit to administer polio drops to the remaining children would be held on Monday and Tuesday.

The health officials said a total number of 30754 teams had been constituted to administer the drops. As many as 15377 booths were set up at locations convenient to the community. The booths will be manned by more than 60,000 vaccinators drawn from the health, ICDS and education departments, nursing colleges, ANMs and the NGOs.



building society
DC suspends management committee
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 19
Management committee of Wembley Cooperative House Building Society has been suspended by the deputy registrar of the cooperative societies, Punjab.

After the inspection, done by the inspector Sompal and Balwant Rai Sharma, the management of the society has been placed under suspension.

The management committee has been asked to explain its position on incomplete audits, misuse of member’s funds, showing unnecessary monetary losses and the reasons for working against the bylaws of society.

The management committee allegedly tried to execute the allotment without the occupancy certificate and the department had issued the stay orders in May 2011.

Even at present, the 62 flats are not ready for living purpose. In the inspection report, it was found that the member’s register prepared by the management committee was incomplete and many of the signatures of the members were missing.

Members; Sandeep Karwal and Darbara Singh alleged that the reason of extra interest being paid on land cost is that the management committee misused the funds in several activities.

All of a sudden after six years, the committee started asking for Rs 7, 85,000 extra from the members, immediately, who had paid the full amount of Rs 19.89 lakh before December 13, 2010.



Passengers fume at flight cancellation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Passengers at the local airport were left fuming as officials of the Kingfisher airlines announced the cancellation of its morning flight to Delhi this afternoon. This is not the first time that the flight had been cancelled by the said airlines.

Another flight from the city, which leaves the city for Mumbai at 3.50 pm, was also delayed by about three hours.

According to sources, the said flight is one of the 80 flights cancelled by the Kingfisher airlines schedule to operate from New Delhi and Mumbai. The flight was schedule to arrive from Delhi and the same aircraft returns to Delhi at 1.50 pm. However, the flight from Delhi failed to come and, thus, the flight from the city to Delhi, too, was cancelled by the airlines.

The airlines officials said the flight had to be cancelled, as the flight could not take off from Delhi due to some technical snag at the Delhi airport. He said they had made alternative arrangements for the passengers to avoid any inconveniece.

Sanjeev Sharma, a senior executive with the IT firm at Mohali, said the cancellation or delay of the Kingfisher flights had now become a routine affair. “I now prefer to book my ticket with other airlines to avoid any inconvenience,” he said.

As per reports from Delhi, the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has started an inquiry into the cancellation of Kingfisher Airlines flights. The cancellation of the scheduled flights without informing the regulator was in clear violation of rules.



Mobile phone dealers directed to pay relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The UT district forum has directed dealers of a mobile phone company to pay compensation to a city resident for harassment after they refused to repair a faulty mobile set. The Sector-22 dealers have also been directed to refund the amount of the set.

The forum directed Harbans Singh and Sons of Sector 22, GSM Masters at Sector 35 and Meridian Mobile Private Limited, New Delhi, to pay Rs 2,500 as compensation and return the amount.

The complainant, Mukhbir Singh Punia, a resident of Mani Majra, stated his complaint before the forum that he purchased a mobile set from Harbhans Singh and Sons for Rs 4,700 in December, 2009.

He alleged that after a few days of the purchase of the said mobile set, it started giving trouble. The complainant approached the dealer for repair of the mobile set as it was under warranty.

The dealer suggested him to approach another office, GSM Masters at Sector 35, which was the authorised service point of Fly mobiles. The complainant approached the said office, but the operators failed to hand over the mobile set after repairs. At last, he got the mobile set after a long delay in April, 2010.

He further alleged that within a few days, the said mobile set faced the problem of keypad and blue-tooth and keys were also not functioning. He again approached the office at Sector 35. The mobile phone continued to give him trouble and the dealer then refused to return the handset to him.

No one appeared from the opposite party to contend the case, following which it was declared ex-parte.Non-return of the mobile set or refund of the amount, despite repeated requests of the complainant, amounts to deficiency in service.

In its order, forum president PD Goel directed the opposite party to refund Rs 4,700, the cost of the mobile set, to the complainant. The dealer was also directed to pay Rs 2,500 to the complainant as compensation for mental agony and harassment and Rs 2,000 towards litigation costs.



71,277 children get polio drops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The health department conducted pulse polio immunisation here today. A total of 71,277 children up to five years of age received polio drops at 443 booths.

Around 2,000 workers with the health, police and social welfare departments, besides NSS and local volunteers, were deployed for the purpose.

The director, health and family welfare, the district family welfare officer and the district immunisation officer launched the campaign. Door-to-door vaccination would be conducted for the next two days.



PU students on hunger strike, refuse to budge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
After failing to deter the students to end the indefinite hunger strike by slapping suicide case against them, the Panjab University officials are now trying other methods. The Dean of Student Welfare, along with some faculty members, today went to the GMSH, Sector 16 to meet the hospitalised students who are on a hunger strike. The PU authorities urged the students to end the agitation.

After taking a strong stand against the students by getting a police case registered against them, the university authorities, apparently fearing a mass protest from student organisations, is making every possible effort to end the strike. DSW AS Ahluwalia, along with several other officials, faced stiff resistance when they visited the striking students in hospital to persuade them to withdraw the hunger strike. The students wanted their demands to be looked into.

DSW said that they wanted the students on hunger-strike to end their protest and give it in writing, following which they would be helped. “As the situation was getting out of control, we used our legal right. However, we want all our students to be safe and that is the reason we are urging them to end the hunger strike,” he said.

Both the students are sitting on hunger strike since February 15 demanding that the rates of food at PU hostels be slashed.

Taking a strong exception to the fact that protesting NSUI leader Sunny Mehta has been booked for attempt to suicide for sitting on hunger strike, student organisations of Panjab University have threatened a stir if the charges were not dropped.

Claiming that inefficient PU authorities have transformed the campus into police lines, SOPU chairman Brinder Dhillon said, “It is our democratic right to sit on peaceful hunger strikes. Ever since the elections, the police’s interference in university matters has increased and the officials continue to be mute spectators. If the police will now decide everything, then all the PU officials should resign.”

Interestingly, in a letter shot to the VC, the party says that on the one hand the university is making efforts to save corrupt officials indicted by the CBI, and on the other hand students are being dealt in a harsh way.



PU, police to teach self-defence to girls
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
In a bid to empower girls against instances of eve-teasing and violence, the department of social works, Panjab University, assisted by the Chandigarh Police, will teach self-defence to PU girls. The ten-day workshop would be held next month at the university campus.

Students of the department, who took the initiative to organise the workshop, believe that girls will be taught to not let things pass and give a befitting reply to eve-teasers.

Coordinator, department of social works, Kiran Preet Kaur, said that the girl students had approached the department with the proposal to hold a self-defence workshop for girl students. “We have decided to make the workshop open for all PU students. Not only do we have to teach girls how to defend themselves, but also develop confidence in themselves,” she said.

Kaur further said that they have approached the Chandigarh police for the training of the girl students. “The idea is to empower and sensitise girls to tackle unpleasant situations,” she added.

The training would include martial arts and the methods to deal with extreme situations. The techniques will also help students defend themselves against violence.

Students of the department said that the goal was to teach the girls basic self-defence moves and to make them more aware of their surroundings.

Notices to join the training program have already been pasted across the university campus and girl’s hostel. Girls have been asked to register their names for the training which will be held in March.

“This is a great idea at a time when incidents of snatching and eve-teasing have become widespread and created a sense of fear among the girls. The students should grab the opportunity,” said Shrishti Chauhan, a student of the law department.



Stars of tomorrow steal hearts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The annual function of Ashmah International School, Sector - 70, Mohali, was held at Tagore Theatre on Sunday. BK Srivastava, IAS, Director General, MGSIPA, Punjab, was the chief guest of the event.

The cultural bonanza started with a ‘vandana’ and was followed by the ceremonial lightning of the lamp on ‘shloka uccharan’ and ‘Gayatri Mantra’. Chairman of the school, JS Kesar, IAS, addressed the gathering on the occasion.

While welcoming the chief guest, he impressed upon the parents to give time to children and to be in touch with the faculty for the overall welfare of the students.

Later, school principal Roopinder Ghuman presented the school report tracing the progress made in last one year and said, the school had made commendable progress.

The audience had an opportunity to watch a video show ‘Life at Ashmah’ depicting the functioning of the school.

The cultural items presented by the students on the stage presented an amalgam of India’s rich culture.

The theme of the show ‘Aazadi ke dewane’ was depicted through a well-constructed sequence of events indicating various stages in the freedom struggle. Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas and dreams of independent India were presented in an effective manner by the ‘Ashmahians’ and were highly appreciated by the audience.

Regional and classical dances from Kashmir, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Assam were also presented by the students. Chief guest BK Srivastava encouraged the students with his words and asked them to tread the path of truth and become a true Indian. He advised them to be sincere and dedicated in the day to day life. The function concluded with the National Anthem.



New penalty — sit-ups in public
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Two youths from Haryana were embarrassed following a fight after consuming liquor at a local bar today. They were asked to do sit-ups by Nidhi Srivastava, SDM (East), at the UT Guest House here.

The police arrested the youths for creating ruckus after consuming liquor. The accused were produced in the court of the officer, where they were made to do sit-ups in front of the public.

“I have not asked or ordered the boys to do sit-ups. Their father and brother wanted them to do that. There is some misunderstanding,” Srivastava said.

She added, “Their guardians, accompanying them, might have had their own method. I have nothing to do with it.”



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