C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police callousness to fore
Ambala youth went around city carrying his mother’s body; UT Police, though informed, remained indifferent; the youth eventually committed suicide
Sumedha Sharma and Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The insensitive, callous and indifferent attitude of the UT Police allegedly claimed a young life last night. The Khaki brigade, which promises justice at doorstep through mobile police stations, failed to deliver the same to Amit Garg, a man who came knocking at its door on February 22 with his mother’s body and eventually committed suicide at a hotel in Mohra (Ambala), with his mother’s day-old body lying in his car parked outside.

Though he went around two police stations and a city hospital carrying his mother’s body and a two-page-long suicide note, no policeman, including Industrial Area SHO Malkit Singh, and DSP PCR and Communications Roshan Lal, who were informed by The Tribune team, failed to take the body in custody or hand it over to the Ambala police or even inform them.

IG PK Shrivastav has, meanwhile, marked an inquiry into the matter to SP RS Ghuman.

Amit Garg, an Ambala resident, had come to the city with his mother’s body, claiming she had tried to commit suicide, but she was declared brought dead by hospitals. Following this, he put her body in his car, went to Sector 17 and 34 police station but was sent way.

It was then that he landed at The Tribune in a hysterical state.

“My mother had a fight with my girlfriend, after which the former consumed something, leaving behind suicide note. I rushed her to a hospital in Ambala, but they said she was no more. I didn’t believe them and brought her to Fortis Mohali and even the GMCH-32, but they said she was dead. I myself tried to commit suicide, but then thought I will punish the culprit and rushed from one police station to another,” he then said.

The Tribune correspondent immediately called a PCR at 100 at 9:45 p.m and informed it about the man’s state and even the body in his car. Immediately, two PCR vans and SHO Industrial Area Malkeet Singh reached the Tribune and spoke to the man. Even the DSP PCR Roshal Lal was informed about the incident, who claimed that the police had “pacified” the man and sent him to Ambala, who eventually committed suicide.

When told about the same today, IG PK Srivastava marked an inquiry into the matter. While the police claimed the matter was not in their jurisdiction, they failed to even inform the Ambala police despite the fact that Roshan Lal was also heading the communications wing.

DSP Roshan Lal said, “The PCR played its role by putting that man across to the SHO concerned who was then responsible for dealing with the case. It is for the police station to take care of such cases and they should be held accountable for it. I think the prime responsibility was of hospitals, who should have apprised us.”

Though SHO Malkit Singh was unavailable for comments, a source close to him revealed, “Malkeet got a call from Roshan Lal, who is an officer of the DSP rank. It was in good faith that he didn’t even inform his senior and DSP concerned Jaswant Khera. How can they shun their responsibility like this? As far as the youth is concerned, we offered to get him a postmortem done, but he insisted on returning to Ambala.”

The answer, however, leaves one wondering at the police working, who may tomorrow let off a murderer carrying a body on the pretext that he claimed it to be a suicide and wished to take the body to his city without postmortem.

Police falters?

n Why was the body not taken into immediate custody?

n When the man claimed to have already tried to commit suicide, why was he not taken into preventive custody or handed over to the police concerned?

n Why was Ambala police not even informed when DSP Communications was fully aware of the fact?

n Why was no police official deputed with the man when he left for Ambala with the body?

n If the victim’s claims of taking the body to Fortis and GMCH-32 are true, why didn’t two hospitals inform the police?



Gang loots Rs 6 lakh from firm staff at gunpoint
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 24
Members of the notorious Zen Gang once again struck here and robbed two employees of a company of Rs 6 lakh at gunpoint today. The incident took place in Sector 14 at around noon when Santlal and Vikas, employees of Ganesh Roadways company in Industrial Area, Phase-1, were returning from HDFC Bank, Sector 11, after withdrawing Rs 6 lakh.

They told the police that they were returning on a motorcycle. When they reached near Little Flower Convent School, Sector 14, a white Maruti Zen overtook them and hit their motorcycle with car door, making them fall on road. Immediately, a youth with covered face came out of the car and pointed a pistol towards them, demanding the bag containing the cash.

The robbers, who were three in number, fled towards Sector 20. Santlal and Vikas immediately informed the company owner and thereafter dialled 100 for police help.

The police set up various nakas to catch the culprits, but to no avail.

An eyewitness, Gaurav, a college student, said there was a black film on the car and he had seen the robbers snatching the bag, but was not able to see the pistol.

Naveen Gupta, owner of company, said both employees were working with him for the past five-six years and the money was withdrawn for paying staff salaries and for filling diesel in trucks. He added that for the past three-four years, they had been using the same route for withdrawing money.

A police officer said the robbers might have done a recee, as these employees withdrew money daily from the HDFC bank.

Meanwhile, the incident has again brought to fore the inability of the local police to bust this gang, which has been active in the place for years. 

About the gang

* A policeman said in November 2009, three Maruti Zen-borne robbers had looted Rs 18 lakh from the cashier of the electricity department office in Sector 19, Panchkula, at gunpoint and fled from the spot within seconds. Though the cashier had put up a brave attempt to catch one of the robbers, he didn’t succeed.

* Similarly on the morning of August 16, 2009, Maruti Zen-borne robbers had targeted a petrol pump in Sector 5, Panchkula, and looted Rs 2.5 lakh. On March 7, 2008, Rs 45,000 were snatched from the two employees of the Vishal Mega Mart by four unidentified turbaned youths in a Zen car near the HAFED building in Sector 5. Similarly on July 27, 2008, near the Sector-4 petrol pump, Zen-borne robbers looted 7 lakh from two people when they were going on their motorcycle to a bank.

Zen trapped, but different one

After the incident, a white Zen car broke a naka in Sector 5, but was intercepted near the Hafed building in the same sector. When policemen checked the car, they found a couple sitting in the vehicle. The couple informed the police that they broke the naka, as there was a black film on their car. Thereafter, the police took the couple to police station and called their parents. After questioning them, the police sent the boy and girl with their parents. 



Cop-stabbing: Main accused convicted of murder 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 24
In the sensational murder case of the Panchkula police constable, Suresh Kumar, who was stabbed to death by vehicle lifters while he was chasing them, a local court convicted the main accused, Teja, of murder here today. Meanwhile, the court acquitted another accused Shashi Bhushan.

Public Prosecutor Dharampal said there were three accused in the case, including a juvenile, who had already been awarded punishment of cleaning in General Hospital, Panchkula, for two months last year.

The court has deferred the quantum of sentence for Saturday, he added.

The three accused in this case were Teja, a resident of Solan, Shashi Bhushan, a resident of Kalka, and the juvenile.

On January 26 this year, the constable, Suresh Kumar (posthumously), was awarded with the President’s Police medal for gallantry.

It was on August 24, 2010 when the Kalka police station SHO, Mukesh Kumar, got information that two vehicle lifters of Kalka were going to Sector 5, Panchkula, to sell a stolen motorcycle. The SHO, constable Suresh and two other policemen reached Yavnika Garden in Sector 5, Panchkula.

Around 10 in the morning, the two vehicle lifters, Teja and Raju (minor’s name changed), reached there on a motorcycle. The policemen caught both of them immediately, but somehow Teja managed to free himself and tried to run away.

When Suresh overpowered him, Teja stabbed Suresh in the chest, leaving Suresh in a pool of blood.

An injured Suresh was taken to the General Hospital, Panchkula, after the inident but the doctors at the hospital declared him brought dead.

The Panchkula police had arrested the minor on the spot, whereas, it arrested Teja and Shashi Bhushan later.



nri’s murder
All 3 accused acquitted

Chandigarh, February 24
After all key witnesses, including the victim’s wife, turned hostile in the murder case of Mubarak Hassan, a Saudi Arabia-based NRI, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Shalini Nagpal today acquitted the three accused in the case.

The court acquitted Pradeep Rai, alias Kala, Anil Kumar, alias Gutti, and Ravi Kumar, alias Chepu, of murder charges.

Mubarak Hassan was out on an after-dinner walk in March last year when the three had attempted to rob his wife Jahan Ara of her jewellery. As Mubarak resisted the attack, the accused brutally stabbed him, killing him on the spot.

Two months after the murder, the police arrested the three accused. However, in court, the victim’s wife refused to identify her husband’s killers and turned hostile.

Two other witnesses, Shafatullah Hassan, brother-in-law of the deceased, and Sohan, a watchman, too, turned hostile.

They were arrested two months after the murder occurred. All three accused have a criminal past.

Hassan had returned to the city in January last year and was about to return to Saudi Arabia in April before he was killed. — TNS



9-month-old crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 24
In a tragic incident, a 9-month-old infant was crushed to death under the wheels of a truck this evening. The incident took place at a construction site at Peer Mushalla, Zirakpur.

Eyewitnesses said that the infant was sleeping by the roadside when the truck driver Parvesh Kumar, a resident of Raipur Rani was reversing the vehicle and failed to see the child  sleeping at the rear side of the truck. The truck driver, who had come to supply the tiles, was nabbed.

The investigating officer said that, the infant, Vikas, died on the spot and his body was sent for the postmortem examination at the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

However, a case would be registered after investigation, the officer added. The police said the truck driver was in police custody and impounded the truck.

In another incident, a 48-year-old man died he was hit by an unidentified vehicle near Dyalpura village at the Zirakpur-Patiala highway on Thursday night. The deceased was identified as Meen Bahadur. Meen was working in a poultry farm at Adda Jhuggian village and was a native of Nepal.

The incident happened last night when the deceased was crossing the highway where the vehicle rammed into it. A passerby informed the highway patrolling team, deployed near Chhat village, which took the Meen to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, where the doctors declared him brought dead.

Meanwhile, the accused driver managed to escape. In third such incident, two unidentified motorcyclists sustained injuries after the motorcycle they were riding on, rammed into the vehicle near the K-Area, last night.



khushpreet case
6 witnesses examined
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Evidence in the infamous Khushpreet murder case began today with the prosecution examining six witnesses. The charges were framed in the case last year and there are a total of three accused in the case.

Five-year-old Khushpreet was kidnapped for ransom from his residence in Burail on December 22, 2010. A police trap to arrest the kidnappers failed and they fled with the ransom money the next day. Khushpreet’s body was found in a pit in Mohali on January 5. 


VIPs skip Aditi Paul’s show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
City VIPs interest in Rose Fest is apparently confined to only the inauguration ceremony as many gave the musical nite a slip.

The evening show, which comprised a much-publicised live performance by Indian Idol contestant Aditi Paul and a fashion show, failed to get VIP audience as hundreds of chairs reserved for them were lying vacant even as the general public kept standing for hours together.

“I had come with my son and we kept standing for almost an hour. I kept on requesting them to allow me to sit on the empty chairs but they refused saying it was for VIPs. Strange! They care for those who don’t give them dam,” said Amarjit Singh, a local resident.

While the organisers, who reportedly had distributed invitation cards among over 100 tricity bureaucrats and VIPs, had nothing much to say about the matter. An insider revealed that it was every year’s story now. “This time we couldn’t manage any big singer or actor on the first day so this lead to a lack of interest among people but we will surely get city’s who’s who at the shows tomorrow and day after,” said an official.

Punjabi Singer Amrinder Gill and Bollywood singer Abhijeet are schedule to perform in the next two days.

Aditi’s performance was followed by the MR and Ms Rose competition which included a ramp walk.



PM’s statement on biotech crops lauded

Chandigarh, February 24
The Association of Biotech Led Enterprise - Agriculture Group (ABLE - AG) today welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement supporting the use of biotech crops as a way forward for agriculture in India.

In an interview to a science magazine, Dr Singh has made a case for the use of biotech crops to increase farm yields in the country saying, "Biotechnology has enormous potential and in due course of time, we must make use of genetic engineering to increase the productivity of our agriculture."

The PM also stated "there are NGOs, often funded from the US and the Scandinavian countries, which are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces." In a statement here, the ABLE-AG acknowledged the support extended by the PM for this articulation of the challenges facing the country and the solution that Dr Singh has proposed. It said it had been the ABLE - AG's constant position that technology had a vital role to play in the future of agriculture in the country to feed, clothe and fuel the nation. The ABLE - AG chairman, Ram Kaundinya, said the emotional opposition to technology-based solutions to agriculture in the country, which have been proven safe and effective, did not have a sound scientific basis. "We encourage all stakeholders to come together to form a consensus on this subject to rapidly take Indian agriculture to the next stage of the Green Revolution", he said. — TNS



Tribunal sets aside NCO’s dismissal, restores benefits
Non-commissioned officer dismissed from service 12 years ago
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Over 12 years, after an Army's non-commissioned officer (NCO) was dismissed from service and awarded seven months rigorous imprisonment by a summary court martial (SCM) for allegedly breaking into a house, the sentence has been set aside by the Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal. He has also been granted consequent service benefits in accordance with his rank.

Kartar Singh had been tried under Section 69 of the Army Act read with Section 456 of the IPC in 1999. It was alleged that he had illegally entered into the house of another jawan after breaking the bathroom window at night.

His counsel, Brig Rajinder Kumar contended that he was not identified by anyone as being the perpetrator during initial investigations. Further, the fragments of the windowpane and glass were found lying outside the house rather than inside, which indicated that there was no forced entry from outside.

Allowing Kartar's petition, the Tribunal's bench comprising Justice NP Gupta and Lt Gen HS Panag ruled, the finding of guilty recorded by the SCM and punishment imposed upon him are set aside.

"The petitioner is acquitted of the charges framed against him and consequently, he shall be deemed to be in service with effect from November 1999 till the date of his superannuation in the rank of Dafadar, including two years extension in service," the bench said.

The bench also directed that Kartar would be entitled to pay and allowances for the said period, including pensionary benefits as applicable to the rank of Dafadar having 26 years of service.



Fest begins amid roses in full bloom
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The eagerly awaited Rose Festival got off to a colourful start after the Adviser to Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, KK Sharma formally inaugurated it. The lively and fun-filled ceremony was marked by the releasing of balloons, playing of brass and pipe bands, folk-dance performances, etc.

A girl shows her skills on the rope at the 40th Rose Festival-2012 at Zakir Rose Garden, Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Friday.
A girl shows her skills on the rope at the 40th Rose Festival-2012 at Zakir Rose Garden, Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

A folk dance competition was also held on the occasion.

While a majority of the 1,350 beds of roses in the garden were in full bloom, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, which took over the garden from the Chandigarh Administration in June, has decided to get more varieties of roses. There were already 825 varieties of roses in the garden, said junior engineer Jangsher, in charge, Zakir Rose Garden. “We have changed the face of Shanti Kunj for better after the corporation took over it in the past and now new varieties of roses will be planted in the Rose Garden in the near future,” he said.

A girl clicks pictures of her friends.
A girl clicks pictures of her friends. 

During the three-day event various competitions, including Rose Prince and Princess, on-the-spot painting contest and flower arrangement, will be held. Besides, events like kite flying, joy ride, puppet show followed by cultural evenings by renowned singers and film personalities will be organised.

In the competitions in flower arrangement (roses), the Aarti Labhselwar of Sector 21, Panchkula, has won the first prize. Simmi Malhotra of Sector 16, Chandigarh, was declared first in flower-arrangement (other than roses) contest. The following are the other results.

Artistes perform bhangra at the diamond jubilee celebrations of the ESIC at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, Chandigarh, on Friday
Artistes perform bhangra at the diamond jubilee celebrations of the ESIC at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Dry-flower arrangement : Sangeeta Saini, The Gurukul, Sector 20, Panchkula.

Fresh-foliage arrangement: Vandana Bhardwaj, The Gurukul, Sector 20, Panchkula.

Rangoli (with flowers): Babita, Sector 35, Chandigarh.

Rangoli (with environment friendly material): Sneha Katyarmal, Mohali.

Open contests for college students:

Flower arrangement (roses): Shekhar Sharma, GCCI, Sector 11-C, Chandigarh.

Flower arrangement (other than roses): Shivani Sood, Chandigarh.

Dry-flower arrangement: Harmeet Bath, Girls Hostel Sector 42 D, Chandigarh.

Fresh-foliage arrangement: Pooja Arora, Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Women, Sector 26, Chandigarh.

Rangoli with flowers: Tarjani Shukla, Chandigarh.

Rangoli with flowers: Pavan, Khamano, Punjab.

Open contests for schoolchildren:

Flower arrangement (roses): Aastha Malhotra, Sector 16, Chandigarh.

Flower arrangement (other than roses): Ankit Malhotra, 16 D, Chd.

Dry-flower arrangement: Aastha Malhotra, 16D, Chandigarh.

Fresh-foliage arrangement: Ashlekha Sharma GCCI, 11-C, Chandigarh.



Double-bedroom flats for slum dwellers of city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
With the approval of new design for flats under the Slum Rehabilitation Programme by the UT Administration, all the remaining flats under the scheme would have double-bedroom, a balcony and a kitchen.

At a meeting held today, the State-Level Steering Committee of the Chandigarh Administration gave its approval for two-bedroom flats.

Now, the project with the new design would be sent to the Centre Government for its approval and the authorities claimed that after getting the nod, the construction work would start immediately. “We want to complete the project within 18 months,” said Rajesh Jogpal, CEO, Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

Earlier, the new design and the project of the remaining 12,992 flats with estimated costs of Rs 660.32 crore, was approved by the Chandigarh Housing Board in its 370th meeting held today.

The CHB has already constructed 12,736 flats with single bedrooms under the Chandigarh Small Flats Scheme-2006 with the assistance of the Government of India under JNNURM (BSUP). The remaining flats would be constructed in Maloya-II, Mauli Jagran-I and Sector 38 (West).

Jogpal added that a total of 12,736 flats have already been completed in Sec 49 (1,024 flats), Sector 38 (W) (1,120), Dhanas (8448), Mauli Jagran (1,568) and Ramdarbar (576).

The possession of 2,112 flats has been given to beneficiaries in Sector 49, Sector 38 and Ram Darbar.

Revision of CHB budget:

At today’s board meeting, the revised budget of the CHB was also approved.

Rajesh Jogpal, CEO of the CHB, said the board had revised the estimates for the next fiscal to Rs 371 crore from Rs 354 crore.

“The increase of Rs 17 crore was sought on account of pending recoveries. At the same time, the board has also revised the estimated expenditure from Rs 465.48 crore to Rs 361.88 crore as a result of a decrease in expenditure on works to be taken up during the next financial year”, said Jogpal.

The total receipt in this fiscal was estimated at Rs 377.22 crore and it has been revised to Rs 452.51 crore increasing it by Rs 77 crore whereas the estimated expenditure for 2011-12 has been revised to 168.43 crore from budget estimates of Rs 361 crore.



ESIC to set up 3 more dispensaries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Residents of the city are likely to get better health facilities as the UT administration is considering setting up three new Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) dispensaries in the near future. This was revealed by KK Sharma, adviser to the Administrator, Chandigarh, here today. Sharma was the chief guest at the diamond jubilee function on the completion of 60 years of the ESIC.

These dispensaries are proposed to be set up at Mani Majra, Hallomajra, and Sector 52, he said. Even the employees working with educational institutes will be able to avail themselves of the health facilities at the ESIC dispensaries and hospitals as the Chandigarh Administration is planning to issue a notification in this regard, he added.

The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948, in fact, was the first major legislation in Independent India for providing comprehensive social security to the workers in the organised sector. The corporation rolled out one of the largest e-governance project, “Panchdeep”, connecting its 2,200 facilities across the country recently. It enabled the 56 million people insured under the Act to access the services from anywhere in the country.

Regional Director, ESIC, BB Puri said the corporation was all set to start expansion work at its 50-bedded hospital at Ram Darbar, of Chandigarh. Its expansion plan has already been approved by the Chandigarh administration and it would be converted into 146-beded hospital, he said. In addition to it, two model dispensaries will be set up at Barnala and Rajpura in Punjab equipped with diagnostic facilities, added Puri.

A cultural programme, including folk dances, sufi songs and ghazals, was presented on the occaison.



SAS Nagar declared first ‘smoke-free’ district
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 24
The Punjab Government formally declared Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar (Mohali) as the first "Smoke Free" district in the state, here on Thursday. Satish Chandra, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, while announcing the decision, said that earlier, on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day(May 31, 2011) the Government had announced to declare Mohali as the first “Smoke Free” district of Punjab, shortly.

Thereafter, the Tobacco Control Cell in Punjab had been making consistent efforts in this regard. The NGO International Union against TB and Lung Diseases held sensitisation workshops of all the stakeholders in collaboration with the NGO Generation Saviours Association, Mohali. The school of public health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, was entrusted the task of conducting a survey to verify the compliance of the COTPA Act, 2003 (Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act) in Mohali.

Dr Sonu Goel, assistant professor of health management, PGI has in his report said "Compliance rate observed for various indicators in all the community development blocks of Mohali is between 88 to 100 per cent." The Principal Secretary said the study had paved the way for officially declaring Mohali as the first "Smoke Free" district of Punjab. He revealed that the contents of the study had already been shared by the PGI with media and with those of other stakeholders recently. The district has been declared a "Smoke Free" district on a pilot basis and subsequently the entire state shall be covered in a phased manner.

Dr Rakesh Kumar Gupta, state program officer, Tobacco Control Cell, Punjab, said consistent efforts are being made to make entire Punjab "Smoke Free" in the year 2012. He said that Mansa district will be declared as the second smoke free district within the next three months.



Progress of power generating units reviewed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 24
The two-day meeting of the Northern Regional Power Committee (NRPC) concluded here today. While reviewing the progress of construction of new power generating units in northern states of the country, the members of the NRPC expressed satisfaction as the shortage of power will go down by 7 per cent by the end of 11th five year plan as compared to the 10th five year plan.

Chairman, NRPC, Shailendra Aggarwal, emphasised to minimise the breakdown due to technical reasons. Interruptions lead to inconvenience to consumers and loss of revenue to power companies. He said that the power shortage was 15 per cent by the end of 10th plan. It is expected that the shortage will be only 8 per cent by the end of 11th plan.

Speaking on the occasion, managing director, Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN), Tarun Bajaj, said that Haryana is one of the leading states so far as the transmission and distribution of power are concerned. He said that the state had already finalised its plan for setting up of 400 kV, 220 kV, 132 kV, 66 kV and 33 kV level substations during the next three years.



contentious issues
Admin dithers
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The UT Administration is dithering on taking decisions on several contentious issues like the review of misuse charges, definition of paying guest accommodation and amendments to the building bylaws.

The UT Estate Office has taken up at least 10 such issues with the high-ups, seeking clear guidelines, clarifications and policies to resolve these issues several times last year but except for meetings nothing has come out so far. Finance Secretary VK Singh said it was not possible to take decision on these issue in a short time. “It involves larger interest and many things have to be taken into consideration. Regular meetings are being held”, he said.

The UT Assistant Estate Officer, Rahul Gupta, said all of the issues were very complex ones as a major part of the local population was being effected by these.

“We have sought a review of the issues, which surely takes much time and deliberations. In fact, we don’t want to take any decision or make amendment to any rules in haste as large public interest has been involved,” said Gupta.

The other issues included clarification on grant of extension in time limit for carrying out constructions on plots allotted prior to the framing of Chandigarh Estate Rules-2007, applicability/quantum of misuse charges for shop-cum-flats and industrial plots regarding which notices were issued before the Estate Rules, action against resumed buildings on account of misuse and building violations and implementation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006.

A senior official of the administration admitted that with the changing needs, many rules and regulations here needed amendments.

“For example, the city has been housing over 1.5 lakh PGs and you see less than 10 local residents have registered themselves for PG accommodation while other are operating PG accommodations illegally from their respective houses. The simple reason is that the administration is not clear even on the definition of PGs here,” said the official.

The senior functionaries of the administration has failed to take any decision in this regard despite the issue has been cropping up for a couple of years, he added.

Similarly, the issue of reduction of buildings misuse charges from Rs 500 to Rs 100 has been kept in abeyance for a long time. The proposal of reduction of misuse charges was mooted in November last year after seeing a drastic fall in the figures of recovery of charges since 2007 when the penalty was increased to Rs 500 per square feet. The records of the Estate Office revealed that close to Rs 50 crore was still to be recovered from violators who have been issued notices since 2007 and only 1 per cent of the total amount of penalty had been recovered since then. Earlier, the figure was around 13 per cent.

In case of action on account of misuse against the resumed buildings, the estate office has asked for ‘advice’ from high-ups as the owners/occupiers of all such resumed buildings continue to misuse the premises with impunity.

“A large number of commercial buildings in prime sectors like Sector 17, 26 and 22 have been resumed but we find ourselves helpless as they (the violators) go into appeals and continue to violate the rules and the regulations,” said another official.

The story is no different in case of building violations in commercial as well as private buildings. The department also sought clarification from the department regarding grant of extension in time limit for construction purposes in respect of plots allotted prior to the implementation of the Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007.

“The estate office has made several requests to the UT Finance Department for clarification on the issue but nothing has come out so far,” said the official.



Two hurt in market scuffle

Chandigarh, February 24
Two persons, Ashok Kumar and Ajay Kumar, suffered head injuries in a scuffle in the market of Sector 19 this evening. The scuffle took place after Ameer Ahmed, along with his son and wife, reached the shop and allegedly engaged in heated arguments. 

According to the investigating officer, “The heated argument started after Ameer’s son, who was having candy floss, tapped clothes lying in the shop. On shopkeeper’s objection to it, Ameer lost his temper and used the wooden stool to attack the two persons at the shop,” said the officer. A case has been registered against him. — TNS



Four shops selling fake brands raided
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The police arrested four persons for allegedly selling fake branded clothes at their shops in Sector 20 here today. The owners of the shops were also allegedly supplying goods to the neighbouring states after putting a fake tag of brands on them.

Four shops were raided this afternoon. “After doing a market survey and proper study we approached the police. Accompanied by about 40 police personnel, we raided the four shops and found the bogus material. The material is as being handed over to the police and we demand strict action against the culprits,” said Ramesh Dutt, director, Speed Network. 



173 NCC cadets donate blood

Chandigarh, February 24
As many as 173 NCC cadets and NSS volunteers donated blood at a camp held at Government College, Sector 11, here today. The camp was inaugurated by Brig Satish Kumar, Commander, Chandigarh NCC Group.

Interacting with the blood donors, he appreciated their effort and contribution to the noble cause of voluntary blood donation.

The Principal of the college, Dr JS Raghu, Capt GM Singh, Commanding Officer, No. 1 Chandigarh Naval NCC Unit, Associate NCC Officers of the college, Lt HS Dhanoa of the Naval Unit and Dr Paramjit Singh of the Army Wing, NSS in charge Vinod Vijay were present at the camp. The camp was conducted by the doctors and para-medical staff from the Blood Bank of PGI. — TNS



Policemen of other states not bound to furnish details: SSP
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 24
It seems that the mandatory verification of the servants and that of the tenants has virtually become a pointless exercise in the city. On one hand, very few people are approaching the police to verify their servants and tenants. On the other hand, the police cites lukewarm response by the cops of the other states to inquiries about the servants’ antecedents.

An incident of a housewife being assaulted by a maid in Phase IV has, yet again, exposed the indifference on part of the employers to verify their servants. The Mohali SSP, GPS Bhullar, said despite repeated awareness drives, launched by the police, very few people come forward to furnish the details of their servants.

In the past one year, merely 729 persons have come forward to get the verification of their servants and tenants done. In the Mohali city, only 280 applications for the verification have been submitted so far. The police was planning to enforce the prohibitory orders on servant verification.

The general police response was that the verification was an ineffective tool in preventing crime committed by the servants.

The SSP said in the absence of any set rules, the police forces of others states were not bound to furnish details on tenants and servants in the forms sent to them. He also blamed it on the “careless attitude” of the city residents who he said did not make any effort to get a person’s antecedents verified before employing or renting accommodation to him.

servant and tenant verification Victim stable

The victim of recent daylight robbery in Phase IV, Pritam Kaur, is said to be stable. Doctors attending upon her said she was responding to the treatment. On the basis of mobile phone tracking feedback, the assailants were reportedly heading towards Uttar Pradesh.



CBI court convicts agriculture officer
Accused had demanded bribe

Panchkula, February 24
The special CBI court convicted former agriculture officer of Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), Kaithal, Badan Singh, under corruption charges, here today. The quantum of sentence would be pronounced on Monday.

The CBI public prosecutor, DS Chawla, said that on December 2010, the sleuths of anti-corruption branch of the CBI had arrested Badan Singh while accepting bribe from a farmer.

Naresh, a farmer of Shergarh in Kaithal, had told the CBI sleuths that he was looking after the work of his mother-in-law, Santosh Devi, and on her behalf, he had applied for a loan of Rs 3 lakh against Kisan Credit Card. The card limit was Rs 4 lakh. For the loan he had contacted the officer, Badan Singh, who had allegedly demanded Rs 12,000 for the work.

However, he had settled for Rs 5,000. The farmer had complained to the CBI office, following which a trap was laid and Badan Singh was arrested red-handed. — TNS



Experts deliberate on issues of northwest India
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
A two-day national seminar organised by the Department of Geography, Panjab University, on the theme, “Northwest India Issues in Sustainability”, concluded at the ICSSR Hall on the PU campus today. Several issues relating to water, food security and environmental degradation were thoroughly debated upon in the course of the seminar.

Prof Bhupinder Singh Brar, Dean, University Instruction (DUI), delivered the valedictory address on the occasion. While highlighting the relevance of the theme to the prevailing scenario within the region, Professor Brar held the reckless pace of development responsible for the degradation of the environment, which had in turn impacted society as well.

He cautioned against the weakening of the cultural fabric of the region, which, he thought, was likely to have harmful implications in the times to come. In addition, he built a strong case for ensuring sustainability of academic standards by looking beyond mere quantitative indicators.

Dr Gopal Krishan, Professor Emeritus, delivered a special lecture on the occasion. He dwelt upon the concept of sustainable development and its operationalisation in ever-day governance.

He called for the framing of critical indicators to measure sustainable development and building a road map for geographical research on sustainable development. In this context, he underlined the relevance of disaster management through the identification of vulnerable zones at the micro as well as macro levels.

Over the course of two days, a total of 118 papers were presented highlighting sustainability issues specific to north-west India. The deliberations saw the participation of delegates hailing from all over the region. 



Echo workshop begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The 6th annual Peri-operative and Critical Care Transesophageal Echo Workshop started at the Advanced Cardiac Centre (ACC), PGI, today.

The first day of sessions included hands on demonstration of transesophageal echocardiography from the operation theatre and dissection of porcine hearts. A number of eminent faculties from India and abroad and about 100 delegates participated in the proceedings.

Echocardiography is a technique, which uses sound waves to image the heart. The heart can be viewed from in front of the chest as well as from behind using an ultrasound probe placed in the esophagus (the food pipe). This technique offers high quality images and can provide important information even as the surgeon is operating on the heart.



Nephrology society congress begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The 6th meeting of the Asian Forum of Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative (AFCKDI) and the Annual Congress of the North Zone chapter of the Indian Society of Nephrology began at the Bhargava Auditorium of the PGIMER today.

The AFCKDI meeting is being held for the first time in the South Asian region. This initiative is primarily focused on promoting regional collaboration between nephrologists in the region concerned with the rising CKD burden in the region and finding ways on how to counter it.

The AFCKDI focuses on CKD-related issues specific to the region, such as validation of the GFR equations, unique causes of Chronic Kidney Disease, prevention efforts and guideline implementation in the region. Since its first meeting at Hamamatsu in 2004, the Asian Forum of Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative has become an important event in the Nephrology calendar in the Asian Pacific Region.

The Annual Congress of the North Zone chapter of the Indian Society of Nephrology provides an opportunity to all nephrology colleagues in the zone to get together and review important developments. The scientific content includes state-of-the-art lectures by world leaders, clinicopathological conference, symposia, debates and free paper sessions.

All aspects of care of patients with kidney disease and kidney transplant recipients will be discussed. There would be debates on the problematic areas and consensus arrived at. There will be discussions on newly released guidelines for management of glomerulonephritis, blood pressure and acute kidney injury. The AFCKDI will focus on special problems related to chronic kidney disease and how to prevent its deadly complications. Cutting edge advances, which will improve patient outcomes, will be discussed. Over 250 nephrologists from the North Zone as well as other parts of the country are attending the meeting. Besides, leaders in nephrology from other Asian countries such as Australia, Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were also present.



Syndicate meeting to be stormy
 PU move to tighten noose on 45 affiliated colleges
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
In what may leave affiliated college representatives fuming in the forthcoming syndicate meeting is that Panjab University (PU) is out to tighten the noose on over 45 affiliated colleges, primarily the BEd ones, after months of inspections.

The university, which claims to have finally had enough of their ‘nuisance’, has identified 30 colleges who have allegedly fooled the university in terms of recruitment of faculty.

A majority of these colleges have been running on skeletal underpaid staff. They, according to the syndicate agenda, did ask for selection panels but never conducted even a single meeting for hiring new faculty. According to the university officials, the panel was just asked for in order to fool the affiliation committees.

“The validity of a panel is six months and these colleges despite being given the panels never ever had a recruitment meeting. But, whenever an inspection or affiliation team went to colleges they would say the recruitment was underway and a panel has been sought. It’s unfortunate that some colleges are running with only two or three regular teachers,” revealed an official.

Other than this 15 colleges have also been identified who failed to abide by the set demands of temporary extension of affiliation of courses.

“The colleges continue to seek extension of temporary affiliations citing students’ future. This extension is subject to certain conditions which a majority fail to abide by,” added the official. The varsity plans to give them time to file compliances failing which they shall be fined or even lose affiliations.

Interestingly, if whispers in the varsity corridors are to go by, the inclusion of the name of these colleges in the Syndicate agenda has a political color to it.

The Syndicate will finally decide on the recruitment of the Dean, College Development Council, who was selected a few weeks ago. These names, which had been lying with the varsity since months, along with a discussion on the appointment may lead to an uproar in the house and have an effect on the fate of selected candidates.



Award for PU scholar

Chandigarh, February 24
Neha Singla, a research scholar at Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, has been conferred Outstanding Young Investigator Scholarship Award by the International Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.

Neha received the award during the 6th Drug Discovery Conference held in New York, USA.

Her research work shows that zinc, if given as a nutritional supplement, has the potential in preventing neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. — TNS



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