C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn firm on house tax
Rajinder Nagarkoti\Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The UT Administration has decided to forcefully impose house tax in the city even though the Municipal Corporation is opposing it for the past four years at the General House meetings.

Referring to the MC Act, a senior administration official revealed that the administration would impose this tax under Section 90 (4) of the Act. According to the Act, the UT Administration has a special or general order directing the MC to impose the taxes which were not imposed by the authorities under the specified time-period given to them. Earlier also paid parking and property tax were forcefully imposed by the corporation after the direction from the Administration under this Section.

Sources said rounds of meetings were conducted by senior officials of the Administration during the past one week in which it was decided that if by next fortnight the corporation does not impose the house tax, the administration will use its discretionary power to execute it, as the city was losing around Rs 400 crore under the JNNRUM. In fact, the UT Administration and the MC would not be able to seek more funds under JNNURM for their future projects as well.

In fact, the second Delhi Finance Commission, which was tasked to devolve funds from the UT Administration, has also recommended that the corporation should raise its own resources through taxation with the objective of making it self-dependent. The administration has asked the MC to prepare an action taken report on it and submit it to the administration immediately.

MC Commissioner VP Singh said as the House had rejected the proposal of imposition of house tax, they would not send any action taken report to the administration.

A senior official said the imposition of the house tax was one of the reforms to be implemented for states or union territories that get funds under JNNURM. Also, the MC had signed an MoU with the Ministry of Urban Development under the JNNURM that it would levy house tax to raise funds, he added.

A senior official said in 2009 also, the then mayor Kamlesh had assured that the issue of the house tax would be tabled and approved by the house to get the grant-in-aid from the Centre. But no action has been taken regarding this. Even in February, the current Mayor Raj Bala Malik had assured the UT Administrator Shiv Raj Patil to table the issue in the House and get it approved. But all in vain.

House tax survey

In February in the Finance and Contract Committee budget meeting, members had denied disbursing funds to conduct the house tax survey in the city. The authorities had mooted the proposal of around ~75 lakh to conduct the survey in the city. According to information, if the decision regarding property tax was implemented, the survey would be completed in one and a half year’s time and, thereafter, the objections would be invited from the public.



Travelling in CTU buses to cost more
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Travelling in Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses is going to cost more, as the CTU is proposing to hike the fares in all categories, including student and employee passes. Though officials claimed that the fare hike would be nominal, it would affect 1.76 lakh passengers who commute daily by the CTU buses.

At a recent meeting between senior officials of the UT Administration and the CTU authorities, discussions were held regarding increasing the fares on local routes. Thereafter, senior officials of the UT Administration asked the CTU officials to prepare a draft proposal for hike. Sources added that the proposal for the hike had been prepared and a meeting of CTU officials with Home-cum-Transport Secretary Anil Kumar would soon take place in which this proposal would be discussed.

The Transport Department had proposed the hike, citing increase in fuel charges as the main reason. The CTU was also facing losses and with the hike in fares, the UT Administration would be able to reduce the losses.

As per information submitted by the UT Administration to the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM), 1.76 lakh passengers travel everyday on CTU buses. The occupancy rate of the local buses that were procured under JNNURM is 76 per cent. Last year, the occupancy of buses was 71 per cent.

An official said among the most popular routes were 1 to 5 and 7 to 10. These include buses to the PGI, bus stand in Sector 17 and 43 as well as to the IT Park. There are more passengers commuting on these routes than others. The routes to Mohali are, however, witnessing less passengers. The reason stated by officials was that the fare of the buses and autorickshaws to Mohali were similar.



Human rights panel tells UT to pay Rs 50,000 to Bulbul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the UT Administration to pay Rs 50,000 compensation to Bulbul by May 9 this year for medical negligence.

Advocate Arvind Thakur had moved the NHRC after the Bulbul case.

On July 21, 2010, Bulbul, had delivered a baby near the OPD counter of the hospital and the head of the baby reportedly hit the floor, causing death of the child. She had come to the hospital with her husband Chotelal and reached the ward at 10.41 am when she delivered the child at 10.50 am. The CCTV footage showed that Bulbul delivered the child while standing in a queue for blood tests and the child's head hit the floor.

The UT police had registered a case against 10 employees of the hospital, including four doctors.

Based on the inquiry conducted by the UT administration, the police registered a case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC, destruction of evidence under Section 201 of the IPC and forgery under Sections 465, 466 against the five employees. Besides, Section 109 of the IPC (punishment for abetment) has also been added against all five accused in the combined FIR registered in the Sector 17 police station here this evening.

The police had registered a case against Dr Veena Sarna, Head of the department (HOD), gynaecology, and Dr Deepak Thakur, Diplomate of National Board (DNB) student of the GMSH, for destroying and tampering with the material evidence in the form of missing registration card and medical record of Bulbul. The police also booked Dr Usha Bansal and Dr Praveena Dhiman, both on deputation, for their negligence.

Besides, the police had also booked Maya Devi, security guard, Parkash Rani, a ward servant, and Dharma Devi, out patient department attendant, for criminal negligence in performance of their duties. Two technicians and a counsellor had also been booked. According to ASP (central) Desraj, the police received the permission to go ahead from the hospital authorities against Maya Devi, security guard, Parkash Rani, ward servant, and Dharma Devi, out patient department attendant, and Dr Deepak Thakur, Diplomate of National Board student of the GMSH.



8 youths injured in acid attack
Suman Bhatnagar

Ambala, April 2
The police has registered a case against Ajay Kumar, a resident of Baldev Nagar, Ambala City, and a few others on the charge of throwing acid on eight youths late last night.

The youths were admitted to Civil Hospital in Ambala City last night after sustaining serious burn injuries. Four of the youths Jatin, Sahil, Lalit and Amit were referred to Government Medical College Chandigarh, Sector 32, Chandigarh, following their serious condition. Most of the youths sustained injuries on their faces. According to hospital sources, the eyes of a few victims were badly affected and they could even lose their eyesight.

According to information, Sahil, Jatin, Sandeep, Lalit, Sonu, Gurcharan, Rajender and Anit had gone to the residence of Ajay for taking back their money. Ajay used to run a monthly committee and some of the youths, who were members of the committee, were allegedly not paid their amount. There was a scuffle between the youths and Ajay. Later someone threw acid on the youths standing there. All victims sustained serious burn injuries and they were immediately rushed to the local Civil Hospital. Police personnel and residents of the area shifted the injured to the hospital.

The police recorded statements of some of the victims. The victims had alleged that Ajay and some of his family members threw acid on them from the roof of their house. Later, on the complaint of Jatin the police registered a case against Ajay and others. No arrest in this case had been made so far.

The police said that exact cause of throwing acid could not be ascertained so far.

fight over money

Sahil, Jatin, Sandeep, Lalit, Sonu, Gurcharan, Rajender and Anit had gone to the residence of Ajay for taking back their money. Ajay used to run a monthly committee and some of the youths, who were members of the committee, were allegedly not paid their amount. There was a scuffle between the youths and Ajay. Later someone threw acid on the youths standing there.



MC to auction 150 residential plots in Mani Majra
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The Municipal Corporation is going to auction 150 residential plots in Mani Majra for which 8 acres have been earmarked in this pocket number 6. As per the proposal prepared by the MC, four categories of plots will be auctioned in Mani Majra which include 4, 6, 8 and 10 marla plots. Besides, a site for the construction of a primary school in the pocket of Mani Majra has already been earmarked by the MC.

A senior official in the corporation said last week, the MC wrote a letter to UT chief architect to clear the revised drawings of the building plans approved for this pocket. Earlier the authorities had planned to auction three categories of plots, including 6, 8 and 10 in this area while recently a fresh proposal was drafted and sent to the architect department for approval.

The authorities are also chalking out a proposal for the construction of the MC employees’ housing project in this pocket if it gets the necessary permission for it.

Chief Engineer SS Bidda confirmed that the proposal of pocket number 6 had been sent to the chief architect department for approval. He said that as and when the plan gets approved by the administration, the proposal will be tabled in the General house to decide the mode of selling these residential plots.

Sources said the authorities had already commenced the work of development of basic civic amenities, which includes sewerage, storm, water and road in pocket number 6. The authorities are also chalking out similar plans for pocket numbers 7, 9 and 11 also. Earlier also the authorities had submitted a plan to the UT chief architect department for setting up a five-star hotel and a shopping mall on it. But it was later rejected by the administration and instructions were given to the corporation to withdraw their projects.


Bee Menace Part II
No action on ground, depts pass buck
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Sounds strange that even after its inception more than a decade ago, the Municipal Corporation is uncertain as to which department will entertain the complaints regarding the removal of beehives in the city. The departments of the medical officer of health (MOH) and horticulture in the corporation pass the buck to each other when it comes to removing beehives in the city.

Sources in the corporation revealed that recently the MOH department had sought a legal opinion as to whether operations involving honeybees come under the jurisdiction of the pest control department. As per the legal opinion, beehives are not under the preview of the pest control department as the honeybee is not a pest.

After the receipt of the legal opinion, the MOH department sent a communication to the horticulture department suggesting to it that it should handle this problem as a majority of the hives are on trees which are under its preview. Reacting to this communication, the horticulture department has sent a letter to the MOH department stating that as they did not have any manpower to handle this problem, the pest control cell should undertake the responsibility.

When contacted, MC Commissioner VP Singh said they had directed the MOH department that after the receit of a complaint their teams should visit the site and if they found the beehives were affecting the residents of the area they should take necessary steps to remove the hives.

The records of the corporation revealed that on an average three or four complaints about beehives hanging on trees on the roadside or at some buildings are reported by residents daily. As per the official records, the MC had constituted a special cell to handle beehives problem. But, at present complaints about beehives received by it are forwarded to the horticulture department.

A majority of the complaints are not entertained by any department with an excuse that they do not have equipment to deal with it. Resultantly, the residents are left with no other option but to hire some private people to remove beehives.

Interestingly, rather than taking any action, both the MOH and horticulture departments have made suggestions to each other regarding the menace of beehives. (Concludes)

MOH department proposes

The medical officer (health), Dr BK Salwan, said discussions were held with the horticulture wing and it was suggested that they should hire some experts who can take honey from hives and then release honeybees in the nearby forest areas. He said the department had agreed to their proposal and they were going to forward it to the MC Commissioner for his approval soon. At present the horticulture department does not have experts who can remove hives.

Clarifying that the MOH department deals with the pests and the honeybee is not on the list of pests so the department could not take any action to remove hives. In fact, the department has pest-control chemicals which could prove fatal and kill honeybees thereby adversely affecting the environment.

Besides, the MOH revealed last year the staff of his department burned some beehives but after protest from the residents they discontinued the practice.



H1N1 vaccine for PGI doctors, staff
Three confirmed cases of human H1N1 pneumonia detected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
After the detection of three confirmed cases of human H1N1 pneumonia at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), it has decided to immunise all the front-line physicians and paramedics involved in acute medical and emergency care with the H1N1 vaccine.

One of the three patients, in fact, has been identified as a staff member of the PGI nursing department. The two others belonged to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The authorities said as part of their philanthropic services to the medical profession, Sanofi Aventis has offered 200 doses of the vaccine free of cost for this purpose. With the administration of the vaccine, the staff involved in the treatment of the three patients will be protected from the virus, said the doctors.

Meanwhile, all the members of the staff have been sensitised about the care of such patients and the medicines as well as other preparations to mitigate any emergency.

Similarly, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has also been prepared to treat any patient with swine flu. While we have never lowered our guard since the swine flu was reported in the region two years ago, the arrangements for the treatment of such patients have been reviewed, said Dr Vipin Kaushal, medical superintendent.



DC office in the dock
It has not maintained record of arms licences destroyed in fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The office of the Deputy Commissioner, Chandigarh, is in the dock for not maintaining sensitive record of the arms licences that was destroyed in a fire 12 years ago. In response to an application seeking the record pertaining to arms licences, the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Deputy Commissioner Office, has maintained that the record was not available owing to a fire and shifting of the record.

Coming down heavily on the CPIO, the Central Information Commission has observed that the arguments are all the more untenable as the UT was the capital of a border state, and has termed this information as extremely sensitive.

Directing the CPIO to give a reply on the status of the record within four weeks, the Commission has stated that from the previous reply of the CPIO, it is not clear when the records were shifted to the new building, on which date the fire broke out and in which building it occurred. Responding in such vague and unspecific terms to an RTI application seeking sensitive information is unbecoming of the CPIO, it observed.

“Non-maintenance of this category of information with a backup record can be prejudicial to the safety and security of the state and therefore puts an additional burden on the holder of information to maintain these records meticulously for an easy retrievable reference,” the Commission further observed.

In case the record is not traceable, the CPIO would have to give an affidavit to the Commission with a copy to the appellant that the record has been burnt.

Rabindra Singh has applied to the UT, requesting for the transfer of two weapons, which are registered in the name of his late father Lt-Col Balwant Singh, to his own name.



Centre asks UT to lift quota of food grains
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The Department of Food and Public Distribution, Union Ministry of Food and Public Distribution, in a communication to the UT Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies, has sought lifting of the allocated food grains and various measures to be taken to strengthen and streamline the targeted public distribution system (TDPS).

Citing a report of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has stated that the lifting against the May 2011 BPL allocation and June 2011 APL allocation was 72 per cent and 43 per cent, respectively, till February 28. The lifting of food grains by the states against the allocation of 23.68 tons is 4.46 lakh tons (19 per cent) up to January 2012.

It has been pointed out that the department of food and public distribution had allocated 50 lakh tons of food grains to UTs/states for the BPL families on May 16, 2011, which was to be lifted up to March 31, 2012. Another 50 lakh tons of food grains had been allocated for distribution among the APL families, thereby raising the allocation to 15 to 35 kg per family per month.

On the other hand, the UT officials maintain the UT had lifted the entire quota meant for the BPL and APL families. The orders pertain to the other states, said a UT official.



Tricity jewellers launch chain fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The jewellers’ associations of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali today collectively launched a chain fast as a part of their nationwide agitation the call for which was given by the All-India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation. Eleven members from the associations would daily observe fast to press for their demands.

Vinod Talwar, president of the Chandigarh Jewellers Association, said they were demanding a roll-back of some new provisions in the budget that harms interests of jewellers. Besides, additional taxes levied on the industry are not practical, he added.

Deep Krishan Chauhan, president of the Panchkula Jewellers Association, said the Finance Minister had increased duty on gold which would have a negative effect on the sector.

He added the jewellery industry was struggling to recover from the after effects of recession and new duties would certainly hit the industry as well as customers very hard.



Water tariff collection surpasses target
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The Municipal Corporation has collected an additional Rs 2 crore as water tariff against the target amount in the last financial year. The records of the corporation show that the MC public health department has a target to collect Rs 57 crore as water tariff whereas this year the department has collected Rs 59 crore.

An official said dues had been recovered from the private defaulters thus tariff collection is more than the targeted amount.

Sources said there were in all 304 defaulters, including 204 residential and commercial ones. The rest are various departments of the administration and the corporation.



Collector rates raised by 4 pc in Panchkula
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 2
The realty sector in this district is likely to get a boost with a nearly 4 per cent hike in collector rates of commercial, industrial and residential property by the district administration here today.

The rates were revised marginally in residential sectors compared to last year, when the increase was 50 per cent.

In posh sectors like 6 to 9, the rate was hiked to Rs 50,000 per sq metre, compared to Rs 48,000 per sq metre last year.

In Sectors 2, 4, 10 and 11, the new registration rate was Rs 47,000 per sq metre, compared to Rs 45,000 per sq metre last year.

Residential property in Sectors 27, 28 and 31, located across the Ghaggar, Sector 19 and some villages in the town were revised to Rs 27,000 per sq metre, compared to Rs 25,500 last year.

The rate in other villages at Sectors 17, 18, 12, 12-A and 21 was Rs 39,000 per sq metre, compared to Rs 37,500 per metre last year.

No change was made for residential plots allotted by HUDA, for which the purchaser had to pay Rs 1,000 per sq foot for the ground floor, Rs 900 per sq foot for the first floor and Rs 800 per sq foot for the second floor.

There was a slight increase of about 4 per cent in case of industrial plots. For plots up to 1,000 sq metre, the new rate was Rs 26,000 per sq metre, compared to Rs 25,000 per sq metre last year.

The rate for plots between 1,000 sq metre and 2,000 sq metre was Rs 24,000 per sq metre. For plots above 2,000 sq metre, it was Rs 22,000 per sq metre.

There was a hike of around Rs 10,000 per sq metre for commercial property. In posh areas like Sectors 7, 8 and 9, the rate was hiked from Rs 2.25 lakh per sq metre to Rs 2.35 lakh per sq metre.

The rate for service booths was increased by Rs 2,500 per sq metre to Rs 10,000 per sq metre. The rate for shop-cum-flats was increased by Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 per sq metre.

The rate for shop-cum-office was increased by Rs 3,000 per square metre to Rs 7,000 per sq metre. There was resentment among residents and some property dealers over the increase.

Welcoming the meagre increase, Haryana State Property Dealers Welfare Association president Suresh Aggarwal said this would increase industrial activity.



Up to 20 pc hike in Mohali
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
The Mohali administration has increased the collector rate for residential, commercial and institutional property by between 15 per cent and 20 per cent.

The rate is a benchmark to assess the value of property to be registered. This means that the registration of property in the district has become more expensive now.

Confirming the development, Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam said the new rates were effective from April 1. Last year, the collector rates were hiked by 40 per cent. This time, the increase in rates for residential property depended on the location. For developed sectors, the rate was Rs 24,000 per sq yard.

For developing sectors, it was between Rs 17,000 per sq yard and Rs 22,000 per sq yard. This was the first revision of rates this year.

The collector rate for commercial property was increased from Rs 1 lakh per sq yard to Rs 1.2 lakh per sq yard. There were different slabs for collector rate of industrial plots.



Four-laning of Yamunanagar highway from November
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 2
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has awarded the work of the four-laning of the Panchkula-Yamunanagar National Highway 73 to a private company.

The 109-km stretch of the highway, which connects Panchkula, Barwala, Saha and Yamunanagar, will be four-laned. Work will be carried out on a build-operate-transfer basis.

New bridges will be constructed on the pattern of those on the Ambala-Zirakpur highway. Toll will be levied from commuters.

According to sources, the project cost is estimated at Rs 1,021.16 crore, of which Rs 86.23 crore has been spent on land acquisition, rehabilitation, resettlement and pre-construction.

The project covers areas in the districts of Yamunanagar, Ambala and Panchkula. The road was upgraded from a state highway to a national highway in 2000.

Officials said over 70,000 vehicles were being plied on the road everyday.

The NHAI and the district land acquisition department had completed land acquisition in the Panchkula district.

Sources said the construction work had been awarded to the Gammon Infrastructure Projects. The estimated cost was around Rs 934.93 crore and the work was likely to be completed by June 2015, they added.

Confirming the development, NHAI project director Anil Dahiya said the work was likely to be started in November this year.

With the completion of this project, there would be an improvement in connectivity of Panchkula to other parts of Haryana and a decrease in vehicle density on the Ambala-Zirakpur highway.



Punjab Police ready for IPL duty
About Rs 12-cr pending, but number of personnel up
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
While pending dues of about Rs 12 crore are yet to be recovered from the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Punjab Cricket Association authorities, the Punjab Police is geared up again for ‘free’ duty during the league, starting April 12.

This time, the number of police personnel in and around the stadium during matches will be increased, say the authorities. About 500 policemen will be from the Mohali district police and rest will be summoned from other districts.

“During the previous edition, the number of policemen on duty was about 1,100. This time, it would be about 1,200,” said Mohali SSP GS Bhullar, adding that there would be three-tier security arrangements.

“We deputed officials from today to guard the pitch, gates and other sensitive points at the stadium. A PCR vehicle would be stationed permanently outside the stadium from today,” he further said.

Five SPs, 20 DSPs and 37 inspectors would supervise the law-and-order situaion during matches. Local SHOs had been directed to start a verification of all visitors to hotels, ‘dharamshalas’ and guest houses in the area.

“We have started making lists of residents living near the stadium to verify them. Passes will be issued to them only after verification,” Bhullar said. Asked about pending dues, he said the matter had to be looked into by the higher authorities.



Woman found dead

Mohali, April 2
Baljinder Kaur (55) of Mundi Kharar was found dead at her residence under mysterious circumstances today.

The police suspected that the body was about 10 days old. Kharar SHO Vijay Kumar said she was living alone and the doors were bolted from inside.

“It seemed that she was not well,” said Vijay Kumar, while ruling out any foul play in the incident.

The body was sent to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem examination. — TNS



Patwari suspended
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
The Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Varun Roojam, today suspended a patwari, Charanjit Singh, for issuing forged documents to help a person get ownership rights of a property.

Charanjit Singh, who was posted at Gholumajra, Dera Bassi, has benefited Satish Kumar, co-partner of a firm located at Lalru, by issuing him some forged documents which helped him become the owner of the property. A complaint in this regard was made by Gurmeet Singh, brother of the other partner of the firm Gurmeet Kaur, a resident of Kurali, following which an inquiry was held by the local SDM.



Chandigarh scan
No water supply

There will be no water supply in the city from 1 am to 2 pm on Tuesday, a press note of the municipal corporation said here on Monday. A water leakage has been reported in a pipeline near Daun and Jhugian villages. The city will also witness low water supply between 6.30 pm and 9 pm.

Rustic flavour
Folk singer Bhupinder Bubal performs at the Punjab Kala Bhawan in Chandigarh on Monday.
Folk singer Bhupinder Bubal performs at the Punjab Kala Bhawan in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Baisakhi fest

The municipal corporation will organise Baisakhi festival at the Gopal Stadium, Burail village, on April 13, a press note said here on Monday. The function will feature Sufi songs, fusion of giddha, bhangra and Punjabi folk songs by famous artistes. Other attractions of the function will include camel and cart rides and “Pind Di Nuhar”.


Winners of the Mega Maths Olympiad, organised by the Brainex Education, were honoured at a function here on Monday. More than 1,000 students from the tricity participated in the event.

Online system

The Chandigarh Administration is in the process of launching an online grievance monitoring system, which would enable the citizens of Chandigarh to submit their grievances online as well as through sampark centres. A training of CPIOs to acquaint them with the model was conducted by the department of IT at the PEC auditorium on Monday. Secretary IT, Prerna Puri, was also present during the workshop.


The following have been elected as office-bearers of the local chapter of the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: president — JC Kochar; senior vice-president — Dr RC Garg; junior vice-president — Jyoti Khanna; general secretary — Neeru Khanna; joint secretary- Surinder Verma; and treasurer- Prem Garg.

Poetic symposium

As many as 13 poets from the tricity participated in a poetic symposium held under the aegis of Haryana Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Panchkula, at the Uttam Cultural Complex, Sector 46. Prominent author and akademi director Sukhchain Singh Bhandari presided over the function. The poets read out poems on diverse subjects of socio-cultural concern. Poet Sham Singh conducted the symposium as prominent poets, including Manjit Indra, Gurtej Kaur Parsa, Dev Bhardwaj, Babu Ram Dewana, Gurcharan Jogi, Parduman Bhalla, Dr Surinder Gill, Kidar Nath Kidar, GS Saini, Kulwant Chawla, Siri Ram Arsh and others, presented poems to a scant audience. Chief guest SS Bhandari honoured the poets and presented Saraiki poetry in style.


Elections of the governing body of the Chandigarh Industrial Area Tenants’ Association were held on Sunday in which Sanjeev Sagar was elected as president, BS Saini as general secretary and Pawan Singla was elected as the treasurer. The winning team announced its main agenda of rehabilitation of tenant entrepreneurs in the Industrial Area, Phase III, and finalisation of Draft Industrial Policy 2009.

Panchkula scan
Van presented

A van was presented by NK Chari, chief general manager, State Bank of India, to Ashiana Children’s Home in commemoration of Ashiana’s service to the underprivileged children under the bank’s CSR initiatives. — Tribune Reporters



panjab university
Examination branch in fix
25 superintendents refuse duty at last moment
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Woes refuse to desert the PU examination branch, which is now struggling to make the last-minute arrangements for centre superintendents. While over 2 lakh students will sit for their final examination tomorrow, centre superintendents of over 25 centres, out of a total of 180, have ditched the branch by refusing for duty at the last moment.

The denials kept officials on their toes, while controller examination AK Bhandari refused to comment, one of the officials revealed.

“It’s an every year story. If you ask us, we are actually thankful to them for at least telling us on the penultimate day. There will be many who will conveniently not turn up tomorrow. Since morning, we have got calls from over 25 superintendents and have been making arrangements. It’s unfortunate but true that the teachers are yet to acknowledge the exam duty as an important assignment,” said the official.

The official also plans to propose to the controller to impose a penalty on the teachers who back out of invigilation or examination duty at the last moment.

“Teachers don’t realise what we go through. They say no and then we run from pillar to post to make substitute arrangements. We wish to speak to PUTA president about it and work out a plan to ensure that no teachers underestimate the exam duty. They have to understand that a teacher’s job is not just teaching but also getting the exams conducted,” added this official.

PU has, meanwhile, declared five centres as sensitive centres where in addition to sending flying squad two times a day, metal detectors will also be sent.

“These centres are in Punjab and gave us a lot of trouble last year, so this year we have decided to take on them strictly. We are using metal detectors this year and squads will be more vigilant. We will ensure no cheating,” claimed PU officials.



Power tussle ails education dept
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The UT education department’s idea of reinstituting the post of deputy director schools seems to have backfired. Rather than increasing the efficiency, it has sparked off a power struggle between deputy director Chanchal Singh and DEO Ram Kumar. If whispers in corridors are to go by, the idea of shifting the DEO office to Sector 19 is the key reason of the tiff.

Chanchal Singh has reportedly played a pivotal role in getting the proposal finalised for shifting the DEO office to Sector 19 for efficient working. Interestingly, it was Chanchal Singh who during his tenure as the deputy director professed for the DEO office being a part of the directorate office in Sector 19.

In addition to this, Ram Kumar’s act of sending back all teachers to schools, who were on deputation in the DEO office, has also made things tense. While the duo chose to be tightlipped about the ongoing tiff, it’s an open secret now, which has started taking a toll on the day-to-day working.

The difference came into the public glare last week when they got into a verbal altercation over being the authority to give information about the RTE to a correspondent.

“The root cause of the problem is the fact that the DEO has virtually been stripped of all authorities and power. Chanchal Singh was supreme when he was the DEO and all powers continued to be with him when he became the deputy director, while the DEO is just a mere stamp. They may not be public about it but things are going from bad to worse. Both of them write stinking notes to each other on files and often get into verbal spats. Every single day, a dozen of notes are being shared between the two and we employees have now been divided into two camps,” revealed an official.



High drama at GGSSS-18
30 students of same class declared ‘fail’, parents protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
High drama prevailed at Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Sector 18 (GGSSS-18), today when parents of around 30 students of Class XI staged a protest against principal of the school. The girl students of same class have been declared “fail” and were detained. When the parents tried to meet the principal, she allegedly refused to meet them, which left them agitated and they blocked her way when she was returning to her home.

Justifying their act, the parents said their children had been detained illegally.

“If 30 students of same class have failed, isn’t it strange? My daughter secured 89 per cent in Class X and now they declared her ‘fail’. We wanted to meet the principal and tell her that it’s their teacher’s faults if so many students had failed at one go. The CBSE has barred the schools from failing the students and asked them to give the students a chance to improve through retests, but the school has violated all rules,” said a parent.

The parents accused the principal of arrogant attitude and said they would not take it.

“She is the wife of some civil servant and uses his official car to come to the school. As a principal, it is her duty to meet the parents and listen to their woes, but she kept us waiting outside the gate for hours and blatantly refused to meet us. Her high headedness will not be tolerated. We will not let the school function if we don’t get any hearing,” added another agitated parent.

All attempts to contact the principal proved futile and DEO Ram Kumar also claimed ignorance about the entire incident.

“The school authorities have not sent any information about such protest. I will look into the matter and do the needful. I would also urge the parents to come to the department if they feel that something has gone wrong rather than disrupting the discipline of the school,” said Ram Kumar.



pu medical stream
Own faculty to evaluate answer sheets, now
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Medical students, studying under Panjab University (PU), have something to cheer up for now. In a recent decision taken, it has been decided that their own faculty will evaluate answer sheets. Medical was the only stream where re-evaluation was not permitted. The PU Senate giving its nod to the re-evaluation for postgraduate and undergraduate courses under the medical stream would prove as a major breather to the students.

Interestingly, the decision was taken after Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, recently made a request to the university demanding “independent evaluation” for six candidates of BSc (radiodiagnosis), which raised doubts over PU’s evaluation system. However, the request was turned down by the university, as the rules did not permit the re-evaluation.

Following the recommendation for allowing re-evaluation, the issue was again taken up in the Syndicate that further decided to make a provision of the re-evaluation.



world autism awareness day
Training for teachers, parents need of the hour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The authorities are required to do a lot for the children suffering from autism, as they and their families remained a neglected lot in the region. This was stated by Promila Chandermohan on the World Autism Awareness Day today. She is running the Society for Rehabilitation of Mentally Challenged (SOREM) for the last 26 years.

There was a little awareness among the masses regarding such children and so is the training facility, she said. While good training facilities for the teachers as well as parents to handle such children is need of the hour, the economic burden is another hurdle in taking care of children suffering from autism. One-to-one handling is a must for them, said Chandermohan, who has tied up with the Global Autism Project, New York, for a special training programme for the care of autistic children.

Describing the symptoms, Prof Adarsh Kohli, PGI, said these children were unable to relate to people, have limited language and have a desire that everything about them remains the same. They ignore people, avoid eye contact, are emotionally distant, show no affection when held, at times showed stereotypic behaviour like revolving something, touching, making circular movements, she added.


Children suffering from autism were unable to relate to people, have limited language and have a desire that everything about them remains the same. They ignore people, avoid eye contact, are emotionally distant, show no affection when held, looked through people and at times showed stereotypic behaviour.



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 |