C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


late-night brawl
Aroma accused to walk?
Police drops murder charges against eight suspects in chargesheet 
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
In a twist to the sensational murder case in which a youth was killed at the Aroma traffic lights in Sector 22 in January this year, the UT police has dropped charges of murder against all eight accused in the case.

In the 216-page chargesheet filed in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) today, the UT police has charged all accused under Section of 304 IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

While the UT police had registered a case of murder (Section 302 IPC) against all the accused in the FIR registered at the Sector 17 police station on January 13, further investigations revealed that it was not murder but a fit case of culpable homicide in which the accused never “intended” to kill the youth.

“The youth was killed following a brawl. The victim was drunk when he got into a scuffle with the group of youths. Further investigations in the case revealed that none of the accused had the intention to kill the victim, thus making it a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder” said an investigating officer.

The police had filed the chargesheet under Sections 304 of the IPC against Sukhjit Singh Sooch, a Mohali resident, Harsimranjeet Singh (28), a resident of Sector 44, Chandan Singh (24), Sandeep Kumar (27), Gautam Singh (23), all residents of Burail, Anand Singh (27) and Mahavir Singh (25), both residents of Sector 41, and Prashant Kumar Dabral (31), a resident of Sector 49.

The incident had occurred well past midnight when 28-year-old Harminder Singh was killed following a scuffle outside the Aroma light point in Sector 22. The victim, an MBA student, had recently returned from Ireland and had gone to the Aroma Coffee shop when he got into a scuffle with a group of youths. He was murdered in a spur of a moment and the attack was not preplanned, the police had said.

As per the chargesheet, the eight came out of the coffee shop while they were having ice cream. The group then got into a scuffle with the youth and following verbal arguments, they beat Harminder up. The assaulting youths then fled, leaving behind their Scorpio (number CH01 AC 0195).

He was killed

We not aware that murder charges have been dropped. It was a murder in cold blood and the police has imposed softer sections, following which the accused will get lighter punishment. Is this how the police functions?. — A victim’s relative



High drama at PU VC’s office
University Business School Prof threatens self-immolation over pension issue
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
A verbal duel involving two teachers of Panjab University was reported on Wednesday, which started from the University Business School (UBS) and reached the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

Following the fight, the UBS chairperson even submitted her resignation as chairperson to the VC, which had not been accepted as yet.

Reliable sources revealed that Professor BB Goyal of the UBS Department had a verbal fight with the UBS chairperson Meenakshi Malhotra over his promotion case, which has been pending for long.

Sources said the verbal fight went to such an extent that Goyal and later the Chairperson reached the VC’s office. “High drama was witnessed at the VC office as Goyal who, along with his wife and daughter, went to the VC’s office and even threatened self- immolation,” sources said.

Goyal, admitting that he had threatened self-immolation, said he had been mentally tortured by the university following which he went to the VC’s office, asking the VC for clearing the date of his promotion as a professor.

Soon after the incident, UBS chairperson reached the VC office with her resignation and narrated the incident that had happened between her and Goyal.

Interestingly, when contacted Vice Chancellor RC Sobti denied having any information about the incident. Meanwhile, Meenakshi Malhotra also denied that she had resigned as chairperson.

Sources claimed that Goyal’s promotion case was kept pending in the Senate, as it directly affects the seniority of Professor Deepak Kapoor, who happens to be son-in-law of GK Chatrath and wife of Anu Chatrath both Senate members. Interestingly, Goyal’s promotion case was also tabled at the Senate meeting held on March 31 that witnessed strong opposition from both GK and Anu Chatrath.



Kid’s father hopes to get justice in the few years left in his life
Hearing in 23-year-old murder case resumes in CBI court
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
It is like a lifetime spent while waiting for justice. For 73-year-old Tarlochan Singh has been fighting for the last 23 long years to get the accused in the abduction and subsequent encounter case of his son, Kulwinder Singh, alias Kid, punished by court. Arguments were heard in CBI court in the 23-year-old case today.

His life became a misery when his 20-year-old son, who was the hope of his twilight years, was allegedly kidnapped from a house at Phase V in Mohali and killed in a fake encounter. But instead of balming his wounds by delivering justice, the system rubbed in salt instead.

“I have a few years left. After that, nobody will fight for Kid. A part of me died when my son was killed brutally. After that, the rest of me has been dying bit by bit. Being a man, I cannot cry, but the tragedy of losing a young son leaves no reason for a man to live. I am somehow surviving, hoping for justice,” said a dejected Tarlochan Singh, for whom reopening of the case had rekindled a little hope for justice.

“He would have been 43 years today had he been alive. I have no charm to live. But I see my son in my dreams. His innocent face asks me to fight for him,” he said while coming out of the district courts during the resumed hearing of the case in the CBI court today.

Kid was killed in an alleged fake encounter in July, 1989, by the accused policemen on the Tangori-Kurda road, under the jurisdiction of the Sohana police station in Mohali. A CBI court had slapped charges of murder against Punjab SP (vigilance) Surjit Singh Grewal and sub-inspector Amarjit Singh in 2010 in the fake encounter case. The case was registered on July 22, 1989, when Grewal was posted as inspector (crime) with the CIA staff at Patiala. Seven police personnel were accused of the crime.

Remembering his son with tears welling up in eyes, Tarlochan Singh said, “Kid was a very bright student of the DAV College in Chandigarh, who dreamt of making it big in life.” It was only in 2002 that the court framed an abduction case against Grewal and Amarjit and a murder case against five policemen, Birbal Das, Gurcharan Singh, Nikka Ram, Chanan Singh and Dayal Singh.

It was during the course of arguments at the final stage that the CBI appealed in court that the murder charge was required to be slapped against Grewal and Amarjit as well. It was alleged that Grewal and Amarjit, along with other CIA personnel, raided a home at Phase V in Mohali on July 22, 1989, in search of terrorists Dhyan Singh, Kulwinder Singh and Jagbir Singh, alias Panjola.

During the raid, Palwinder, an acquaintance of Kid, was shot dead and Kid was picked up by the raiding party. Later, he was killed by police personnel in an alleged fake encounter. His father had moved a writ petition against the policemen in the high court.

Acting on the petition, the court directed the sessions judge to inquire into the case and submit a report. After he submitted his report on April 24, 1995, the court directed the CBI to register a case against the policemen.



4 held for duping employers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
The UT police today arrested four persons, including two women, who were operating an agency to provide domestic help and used to flee with the employers’ jewellery and cash a day after the ‘servant’ was hired. The police said the four operated from Delhi and had duped a number of clients in the tricity by adopting this modus operandi.

The police of the Sector 11 arrested four who have been identified as Radhika Das, alias Jyoti, her mother Mamruni Das, who posed as Sneha, and their accomplices Rajinder and Kamal.

A case was registered against them on a complaint of Sandeep Singh Sandhu, a resident of house number 511, Sector-11.

Sandeep told the police that he got in touch with the agency after he read an advertisement in a newspaper.

Appearing as professionals, Rajesh took Rs 20,000 from the complainant and deployed a domestic help Jyoti (Radhika Dass) at his place. The next morning, Jyoti fled with jewellery and domestic goods from his house.

Sandeep tried to get in touch with the agency but they threatened him instead. He then asked his friend to call the agency and ask for a domestic help. As Jyoti, along with Kamal, approached him, the police, which had laid a trap, arrested them. On their interrogation, Jyoti’s mother and Rajinder, owner of the agency, were also arrested.

A case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered.

The police said Radhika Dass is a resident of Assam and Kamal Katila is a resident of district Sunitpur (Assam). The police said it was a well-organised racket and scores of clients had been duped by them.

Radhika used to wear salwaar kameez above a pair of jeans when she used to get hired. She used to remove her salwaar kamez before fleeing as she would feel comfortable in running wearing jeans and a T-shirt, the police said.

How they did it

The accused ran an agency to provide domestic help and used to flee with employers’ jewellery and cash a day after the ‘servant’ was hired.



father’s murder
Brothers turn hostile 
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
Two brothers, Om Parkash and Dinesh, turned hostile in their father’s murder case in court here today. The duo retracted their statements given to the police and supported the accused, who is also their brother.

The mother of the two had already turned hostile in the case during the last hearing. The Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge SS Sahni has now reserved the case for final orders on April 9.

The murder occurred in October 2010 when Ajay (32) strangulated his 65-year-old father to death when a dispute over their house turned ugly at Palsora village in Sector 56.

The accused had fled after threatening his mother and family members against informing the police. He was later arrested.

As per the prosecution, Chinta Ram had got into an argument with his son in the former’s room located on the first floor of the house after Ajay asked his father to sell the house they were residing in, saying he needed money. When Chinta Ram refused, Ajay took the extreme measure of strangulating him to death.

He had then threatened his mother Gomti Devi with dire consequences if she informed the police.

Ajay’s brothers Om Parkash and Dinesh today deposed in court that they were never witness to the crime and the police had coerced them into making statements against their brother Ajay.


Parking Woes
Focus only on Sec 17: Residents
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
The Municipal Corporation (MC) is only focusing on streamlining the parking problems in Sector 17 by launching a number of pilot projects there, ignoring problems regarding parking lots in other sectors. This has been the grouse of many local traders and residents.

The irony is that dozens of projects for managing parking lots in Sector 17 have been mooted in a decade, yet nothing has been organised till date.

MC records show that in 2004, six multi-level parking lots in Sector 17, one in Sector 34 and later the proposal for a multi-level parking lot in Mani Majra was also suggested. A number of fruitless meetings and discussions of officials were also held in the General House to commence the pilot project of multi-level parking in Sector 17, but neither the plan of multi-level parking in Sector 34 nor in Manimajra has been chalked out till date.

Another proposal was approved recently in the finance and contract committee meeting to install fully automatic parking barriers in all parking lots of Sector 17, despite the fact that four parking lots with semi-automatic parking barriers had already been installed which were yet to be handed over to the parking contractors.

In fact at the recent House meeting, BJP councillor Davesh Modgil also raised objection as to why all pilot projects were usually started in Sector 17 and 22 for execution?

Another SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur had also pointed out in the House that there was gross mismanagement in parking lots of Sectors 34 and 35 and the MC should chalk out some plans to rectify these. She stated that a majority of the parking lots in the area remain jam-packed during the whole day, as most of the parking lots were occupied with vehicles of shopkeepers. She suggested that the back lanes of the markets should be developed as parking place for the shopkeepers and this work should be taken up immediately.

Independent councillor Gurcharan Das Kala also objected that for the past two years, he had been repeatedly requesting the authorities to finalise parking plans for the Manimajra area, but till date nothing had been done.



No-vehicle zone: MC told to prepare draft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
The Municipal Corporation will chalk out modalities for the execution of a no-vehicle zone in sector 17. The UT Administrator, Shivraj Patil, today issued these directions to the MC authorities at a special joint meeting of the administrative and MC officials. It was decided at the meeting that the report on the no-vehicle zone will be prepared by the MC to be submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on April 20.

The Administrator stated that as the parking lots of the city were under the preview of the corporation, the draft for the no-vehicle zone will be prepared by it. The UT officials were asked to provide support to the corporation in the implementation of the no-vehicle-zone plan.

Highly placed source revealed that at the meeting the officials opined that in case the Plaza area is converted into a no-vehicle zone then the corporation would have to make alternative parking arrangements for around 1,200 vehicles. Both the Sahib Singh and Empire Store parking lots have a joint capacity of around 1,200 vehicles. The MC officials raised an issue at the meeting that the corporation had no alternative land available in Sector 17 and the administration will have to transfer some land to the corporation for the execution of their suggestion.



Colony residents block traffic
Maid released on bail, inquiry into protest ordered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
Protests by the residents of the Sector 25 colony against the arrest of a maid continued today and traffic at the Sector 37/38/25/24 roundabout was severely affected in the morning. The residents have been protesting since yesterday terming the arrest of the woman in a theft case as illegal. The residents had laid siege to the Sector 39 police station yesterday.

A huge posse of police was deployed on the site as the agitating residents blocked the road in the morning. They threatened to move ahead and block other roads too. The protest had lasted for over two hours and it was only after the woman was released on bail did they stop the agitation and dispersed. The police assured them of an inquiry into the matter.

Infuriated over the arrest of Baby over 250 residents of the Sector 25 colony converged on the Sector 25 road and blocked traffic. A case of theft was registered against Baby on a complaint of her employer TR Singla. The woman worked as a domestic help in a house in Sector 37. She was remanded in one-day police custody today and was released on bail in the wake of the protest.

The woman had been working at the house for the past over one year. Members of her family said she had gone for work at the house on Tuesday and had asked for an advance of Rs 200, which was given to her.

When she returned from work in the evening a police team took her to the police station for verification, alleged the residents.

The SSP had marked an inquiry into the protest which will be conducted by ASP (Central) Desraj Singh. 



Mixed response to opening of Pinjore bypass 
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 5
While the apprehensions of commuters regarding an increase in bus fares after the opening of the Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass have been put to rest by the authorities, the business community of Pinjore and Kalka have shown a mixed response to it.

The Haryana Financial Commissioner, Transport, Rajan Gupta, has said there will be no increase in fares of the buses due to the toll fee to be charged at the Chandimandir toll plaza. Similarly, the Arvind Sharma, traffic manager, Kalka bus stand, said there would be no change in the routes of buses after the opening of the bypass. All the buses will pass through the two towns, he said.

The business community at Kalka said the opening of the bypass would help in boosting their business. The president of the Vyapar Mandal, Kalka, Anil Kumar, said due to traffic jams in the main market, shoppers, particularly tourists, used to avoid having a halt at the town. However, with the ease in traffic congestion, the buyers will prefer to visit the markets of town.

The same was the reaction of Rajesh, who has a shoe shop in the main market of Kalka. “Till now there was not even space for pedestrians what to talk about parking. This was a big deterrent to shoppers here,” he said.

Narinder, a cloth merchant, however, has expressed different views. The bypass will affect the local business drastically, he said. Thousands of passengers, who used to pass through these towns, will no longer come here which will affect the business, he said.

At Pinjore, the people still have doubts about getting rid of traffic congestion on the roads. Hundreds of heavy vehicles, which are bound for the Baddi and Nalagarh industrial towns in Himachal Pradesh, pass through Pinjore. The traffic congestion in the main market of Pinjore can not be tackled till the proposed Pinjore-Sukho Majri bypass is built, said Dr Raj Kumar, a local resident. 



Booth scam
Hearing sessions for allottees begin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
In the infamous booth scam, the UT Estate Office started personal hearing session for the allottees yesterday. In the first batch, 25 booth allottees appeared before the committee and submitted their replies. The committee pointed out irregularities committed by the allottees whereas the defendants submitted documents in support of their stand that they had not violated any terms and conditions in the allotment of booths in the Krishna booth market in Sector 41.

A senior official of the Estate Office said they would hold sessions on April 11 also. He added that hearing of 88 allottees would be completed in four batches and a final decision would be pronounced on the first week of May.

Recently 65 allottees, instead of filing their reply to the notices issued by the Estate Office had filed RTI applications seeking disclosure of the present status of the probe.

After sitting over the inquiry report, which had rocked the city, the UT Administration in November had termed the report prepared by former UT Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill as incomplete and had issued directions to the Deputy Commissioner for carrying out a complete probe.

After the directions from the UT Administration, the Estate Office in January this year had issued notices to 88 booth allottees and had asked them to file their replies.



Civil Surgeon’s opinion Sought
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 5
In the alleged kidney scam, investigations of which are said to be in their last stage, the Mohali district police now wants to rope in a medical expert to help them in certain medical-related issues.

Mohali Superintendent of Police (Detective) Bhupinder Singh, who is also head of the special investigation team (SIT), said he had sent a communiqué to the Mohali deputy commissioner Varun Roojam recently to appoint local Civil Surgeon to check and verify certain technical medical documents as well as issues.

Bhupinder Singh said the police did not want to leave any loophole during the investigation. “After we felt that there were certain issues and medical documents which should be checked and verified by a medical expert, we asked the administration for ‘appointment’ of local Civil Surgeon to help in the investigations,” said Bhupinder Singh.

The police claimed to have physically verified maximum number of donors and recipients of kidneys, whose names have surfaced in the alleged scam. The number of such persons is said to be over 200.

Even a team has been reportedly sent to Nepal, from where around a dozen persons had come here for transplantation. They had given local addresses in their documents.

“We have also asked the authorities concerned to check whether or not they (persons from Nepal) have adopted the procedure as per local laws,” said the SP (D) adding that they have also sent the list of all cases of transplant to Director Research Medical Education for verification.

On being asked whether any discrepancy had been found so far, the SP refused to comment on the question.

However, sources claimed that in certain cases of kidney transplants, the addresses given by the donors and the recipients to the hospitals concerned were found bogus. A report in this regard was also published in these columns on February 22, which had mentioned that at least 15 such cases had been detected where the donors and the recipients from outside the state, including Nepal, gave their local addresses where they either stayed for a few days or they never did.

“I am not able to comment on it. We have about to complete our investigations and the report would be submitted within a week,” said Bhupinder Singh.

After the alleged scam came to light last year, the Mohali Deputy Commissioner had given 45 days to the police department on January 5 to verify the authenticity of authorisation documents (from outside the state) on the basis of which the renal transplants had been done here in local hospitals.

In February’s last week also, the police had made similar claims regarding submitting the report in a week then. 



Roads in Zirakpur a shambles
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 5
Roads in Zirakpur have virtually been reduced to streets of cobbled stones. Commuting on the potholed roads is an ordeal. The situation is the same on almost all internal roads.

“Zirakpur is fast developing into a residential-cum-commercial hub. Hardly any attention is being paid to the development of infrastructure, including roads,” says Prem Singh, a local resident.

Poor connectivity remains an issue. The VIP road, the Kohinoor ‘dhaba’ link road, the Baltana-Harmilap Nagar link road and roads at Pabhat, Dhakoli and Peer Muchalla are in a bad shape.

The worst affected is the Pabhat godown area. The municipal council (MC) has been laying paver tiles at some places in Baltana and Dhakoli.

Residents have lamented that internal roads are a shambles. They have been demanding that the roads be re-carpeted.

Vishal Kumar, residing on the VIP road, says, “The road, known for housing projects and farmhouses, is in a poor condition. With more than 30 housing projects to come up, civic amenities are still missing.”

Kamal Sharma, a resident of Baltana, says, “The Baltana-Harmilap Nagar road presents a picture of neglect. The apathetic attitude of the MC has spelt doom for the road, which has become a nightmare for commuters.”

An MC official has said road re-carpeting has been started, adding that they have passed a budget of Rs 18 crore for roads and sent it to the higher authorities for approval.



organ donation
PGI plans awareness drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
After a successful liver transplant last year, the doctors at the PGI are poised to start an awareness campaign on organ donation. To start with the Department of Hepatology is to organise a public forum on Saturday to create awareness on organ donation among doctors, paramedical staff, including nurses and technicians, students, patients, patients' relatives and the general public.

Even though the Government of India has passed the Transplantation of Human Organs Act legalising the concept of brain death and, for the first time, facilitating organ procurement from heart beating but brain dead donors in 1994, the people in India, particularly in northern states, are yet to come forward for the nobel cause, said Dr RK Dhiman from Department of Hepatology, PGI.

The organs from a donor can save or help as many as 50 persons. One can donate kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, skin, bone and bone marrow and cornea, he said. Still organ shortages are a global problem, but Asia lags behind much of the rest of the world. As India's population lives longer, organ diseases and problems like diabetes, obesity and hypertension, which are the main causes of kidney and liver failure, are expected to rise, creating even a greater demand for organ donations.

Even at the PGI more than 25 patients are declared brain dead every month. Even if 20 per cent of them opt for organ donation, the demand and supply gap will be filled up to a certain extent. Contrary to it relatives of only two patients had come forward during last one year, said Dr Arunanshu Behra, who played a major role in the liver-transplant surgeries at the PGI.

The misconceptions and myths that surround organ donation are a big hurdle in the popularity of this necessity, said Dr Dhiman.

How can you be an organ donor?

y If you are 18 years of age or older, you may become a donor by signing the donor card in the presence of two witnesses and carrying it with you at all times. If you are under 18, you may become a donor if your parent or legal guardian gives a consent for the same.



Residents’ federation condemns UT Administration
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
Condemning the adamant attitude of the UT Administration towards imposing house tax on the plea of delay in grant-in-aid from the Union Government, the Chandigarh Residents Social Welfare Federation of Sector 40 has demanded withdrawal of the recommendation.

Secretary of the federation SK Khosla said the funds allotted under grant-in-aid should be under devolution of finances to be distributed by the Union Finance Commission, as all the state governments are getting money allocated by the Finance Commission but the UT of Chandigarh does not get any money collected through other direct and indirect taxes. Hence there is no justification for levying new taxes in Chandigarh. Otherwise also there is no need to levy any tax in Chandigarh as the city Municipal Corporation is the second most cash-rich corporation in the country.

He further stated that if house tax is imposed as is being envisaged by the administration, there would be a proposal to burden the people with more taxes like an increase in VAT and garbage collection tax.

President of the federation DS Chahal said the administration was planning to impose house tax on the residents who are already facing skyrocketing prices especially after the presentation of the Union Budget where service tax has been increased from 10 to 12 per cent and consequently there has been an alarming rise in the prices of every item of daily use. 



Pet animal trade
Strict guidelines issued
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
To regulate the trade of breeding and sale of pet birds and animals, the Chandigarh Administration has issued strict guidelines that have been made applicable with immediate affect. The instructions would also help check cruelty shown during the sale or purchase of such animals and birds.

Under the guidelines, no pet shop would be allowed to sell any animal or bird intended to be used for food; pets and birds in the pet shops would not be exhibited and traded like commodities and the owners of pet shops would not cram pet animals and birds in cages outside their shops along with hoardings or in front of their shops in open sunlight.

The animals covered under the guidelines are dogs, cats, rabbit, guinea pigs, rats, mice, hamsters and birds, including budgerigar, parrots, canary, dove and pigeon.

Most importantly, a pet shop would not be situated next to a butcher’s shop where the carcass of slaughtered animals and birds are hung for sale in full vision of live animals. Butcher shops should be at least 50 metres away so that the carcasses of slaughtered animals and birds are not visible to live pets and birds.

The owners of pet shops would also have to display details of the species, breed, age and number of pets and birds for sale prominently on a board. It has also been stated that a pet shop shall not offer any live animal or bird as prize, give any animal or bird as an inducement to enter any contest, game or any other competition.

Those running pet parlours would have to follow detailed operational standards like those of sanitation, ventilation, heating, cooling, humidity, enclosure requirements, nutrition, drinking water, management and medical treatment. Any pet to be sold should be at least 8 weeks old.

The UT has stated that a routine fortnightly health check of birds and pets kept in a pet shop for sale shall be carried out by a registered veterinary practitioner and a record of the same may be maintained. Animals and birds of different species and different age groups shall not be kept in the same cage to avoid the fear of quarrel among them and thus harm to each other.

Significantly, the owner must follow “Pet animal enclosure standards”. No pups and dogs shall be sold with mutilated tails/ears.



IGP rewards SIT members
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
UT Inspector General of Police (IGP) PK Srivastava rewarded members of the special investigation team (SIT) for its work done in cracking immigraton frauds in the city.

SIT was constituted in September, 2011, to curb the illegal business of immigration/emigration in the city. So far, SIT has arrested 86 persons of their alleged involvement in the issuance of visas with the help of forged documents. SIT had cracked down three types of visa frauds i.e. student visa fraud, tourist visa and work visa fraud.

Recently, SIT busted three gangs, in which 24 persons were arrested, who were indulging in preparing/providing of fake university degrees, fake experience certificate, fake property return, fake bank statement and fake income tax return.

Commendation certificate Class-I alongwith cash reward to 42 officials was given at a function held at the Police Lines, Sector 26, yesterday. A farewell party was also given to the recent retired Chandigarh Police officials yesterday.

Amongst those who were rewarded include Inspector Diwan Singh, Inspector Chiranji Lal, SI Ajinder Singh, SI Lakhvir, SI Gyan Singh, SI Charanjeet Singh, ASI Gurmeet Singh and ASI Ashok Kumar. SIT is working under the supervision of DSP Anil Joshi.



National maritime week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
The Chandigarh chapter of the Company of Master Mariners of India (CMM) celebrated the 49th national maritime week at the War Memorial, Sector 3, here.

Anil Kumar, Home Secretary, UT, Chandigarh, joined seafarers and their families at the War Memorial to pay homage to those who lost their lives at sea.

After laying of wreath on the memorial by Anil Kumar, Capt PS Sidhu, chairman, CMMI, and Capt MS Kahlon, chairman celebration committee of CMMI, officers and their families offered floral tribute.

After the wreath-laying ceremony, a one-minute silence was observed in memory of those who lost their lives at sea.



Chandigarh scan

Community radio station in city: Satguru Foundation headed by Dr Zora Singh, chairman of Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for setting up an FM community radio station (CRS) at Chandigarh. This CRS will cater to the needs and aspirations of people of Chandigarh and surrounding areas like Mohali and Panchkula. The programmes to be broadcast will be produced by involving community members and shall deal with subjects like education, health, drug abuse, female foeticide, dowry, child labour, child marriage, domestic violence against women, social welfare schemes launched by the local and Central governments, environmental pollution, preservation and protection of environment, agriculture, vermiculture, sericulture, culture and entertainment, etc.

Awareness rally: An enrolment awareness rally was held at different clusters of the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), a press note said here on Thursday. Various schools falling in Mani Majra region, including Government Middle High School, Vikas Nagar; Government High School, Mauli Jagran; Government High School, Mauli Colony; participated in the rally.

Elected: Rajesh Walia of M/s Delhi Punjab Real Estates was elected as the chairman of the executive of the Property Consultants Association, Chandigarh, here on Thursday.

National award: CIHM has bagged the national award for the fourth consecutive year for the best administrative practices at a function organised by the Ministry of Tourism, a press note said here on Thursday.

Blood donation camp: On the occasion of the 33rd foundation day of the Bhartiya Janata Party, a blood donation, eye donation and free medical check-up camp shall be organised on Friday at the party office, Sector 33-A, a press release said here. BJP national general secretary, spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Jagat Prakash Nadda will be the chief guest on the occasion.

Office-bearers: The following have been elected as office-bearers of the Chandigarh Housing Board Sectional Officers’ Association: chairman- Pawan Kumar Narial; president - Abnesh Dhadwal; senior vice-president-Mohit Handa; and vice-president Pawan Sharma.

Health camp: Fortis Hospital, Mohali, organised a free health check-up camp at the community centre, Ram Darbar Colony, Chandigarh, as a part of its rural outreach programme. Over 80 senior citizens of the area attended the camp. Dr Rajesh Chauhan, consultant, internal medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, talked to the residents on water-borne diseases and their prevention, while Dr Sonia Gandhi, head, department of dietetics and nutrition, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, spoke on healthy diet for a healthy life. Free medicines were also distributed among the elderly. Dr Rajesh Chauhan told the residents that drinking contaminated water caused water-borne diseases.

85 stray cattle impounded: A drive to check the menace of stray cattle was conducted by the cattle catching cell of the municipal corporation. During the course of the drive, 85 stray cattle were impounded in the last 10 days from Ram Darbar, Faidan village, Sectors 46, 47, 48, Colony No. 5, Sectors 51, 49, Kajheri, Palsora, Sector 39, Maloya, Dadu Majra, Dhanas, Sector 26, ITPark, Mani Majra, Mauli Jagran, Vikas Nagar and Colony No. 4. Twelve cattle catchers and two trucks of the MC were deployed during the drive. The drive was conducted by a team of municipal corporation officials supervised by Dr BK Salwan, medical officer health, MC, chief sanitary inspectors with the help of cattle catchers.

RWA meeting: A meeting of different Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) of various sectors was held on Thursday at the Sood Bhawan, Sector 44-A, Chandigarh, to evolve consensus for the candidatures of chairman, vice-chairman and general secretary for the ensuing FOSWAC elections. The representatives of 42 Resident Welfare Associations attended the meeting and in total 95 members of Electoral College were present. They lauded the services rendered by PC Sanghi during his tenure as the chairman, FOSWAC, and unanimously consented for his candidature as chairman in the election. MK Verma, chairman, RWA, Sector 41, and Col JS Multani, president, RWA, Sector 33, were also unanimously selected as the candidates for the post of vice-chairman and general secretary in the election. - Tribune Reporters

Sanitation drive: A sanitation-cum-awareness drive was launched in Sector 7 on Tuesday for boosting the maintenance of sanitation in the area. Safai karamcharies of the MOH office took out a rally by carrying placards depicting the message for the residents to cooperate in maintaining the sanitation of the City Beautiful by keeping their premises and surroundings clean as to garbage, malba and horticulture waste and to dispose the same through door-to-door collector and not to litter the same in and around their premises. This campaign was done in addition to regular sanitation by deploying 10 additional safai karamcharies in small groups under the close supervision of the area chief sanitary inspector and sanitary inspector. — Tribune Reporters



School to set menu for mid-day meal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
In what may prove to be an example for schools across the nation, the UT Administration has started first-of-its-kind mid-day meal project where schools will be setting their own individual menus, cooking in hi-tech kitchens on the school premises and taking feedback from parents who play a pivotal role in it.

The first-of-its-kind kitchen was inaugurated recently at GMSSS, Sector 10, as a pilot project. If successful, the project will be extended to other schools as well where decentralisation of the mid-day meal would be done and newly constituted school management committees would be entrusted with formulating and planning menu, ensuring quality of food and execution of the project successfully.

Currently, mid-day hotel management institute and CITCO are jointly preparing meal for thousands of schoolchildren. Despite best efforts of the administration, there are usual complaints of food being cold or delivered late.

“It is a unique experiment in the schools. We feel that every school has different requirement, be it quantity or menu of food. Each government school has now got a management committee as mandated under the RTE Act and can now look after the individual needs of a student. We also feel that it will help to reduce expenses of transport and get the students facility of freshly cooked meal. It has been started in one school but after a month or two, we will rope in more schools,” said DPI (S) Sandeep Hans.

Interestingly, the UT Administration is also planning to install the solar cooking system for these new mid-day meal kitchens, as it will not only reduce expenses but also help to conserve energy.

“Modalities have not been worked out so far but yes getting solar systems installed is on cards. It will help us to practice what we preach to the students. Chandigarh has one of the best and successful mid-day meal systems in the city and this project will take us to the top,” added Hans.



Exam duty charges up
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
With an aim to end the shortage of evaluators faced by Panjab University that always results to delay in declaring the results, the authorities have revised rates of paper evaluation and various others jobs concerned to conducting examination, including flying squad and centre superintendent, again. The university has now proposed Rs 15 per answer sheet for undergraduate, Rs 18 for evaluating answer sheets of postgraduate level and for PhD thesis evaluation, one would get Rs 2,000.

On the demand raised by Dinesh Talwar, a Syndic, during a Syndicate meeting held earlier this year to increase the remuneration under various heads for the people involved in conducting examination, the rates were revised and introduced at the Senate meeting held on March 31 for approval, however, the House had demanded that the rates of particular jobs should be revised again on which a fresh committee held a meeting today and proposed new rates.

To streamline the evaluation process, the committee has proposed revised rates of Rs 15 per answer sheet for undergraduate exams, which earlier was Rs 12, while Rs 18 for postgraduate, which was earlier Rs 14.60.

Talwar said the rates of paper setting have also been revised for undergraduate. It has been proposed to Rs 600 and for postgraduate Rs 800 per question paper.

“The fresh rates would certainly encourage teachers to actively take part in the evaluation, which would strengthen the PU’s examination system,” Talwar said.

To maintain a balance between the remuneration paid to the teachers involved in the evaluation process and the teachers involved in conducting examinations, the committee has proposed a balanced hike for chief coordinator at an exam centre for which Rs 4,000 has been proposed for per exam centre, which was earlier Rs 3,000.

The committee has proposed that the examination observers would get Rs 500 per session that earlier was Rs 200. For flying squad, the committee has proposed Rs 500 per session for two or more centres in one college and Rs 400 for less then two centres.

Talwar said the proposed rates would be introduced from the current session after the final nod from the Vice-Chancellor.



Only Rs 6 hike for life models
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5
While Panjab University has come up with pretty handsome revised remunerations for teachers and other staff holding examinations, life models involved in practical exams of fine arts have received a nominal hike of Rs 6, which takes remuneration to Rs 30 per hour for nude models, while as per the revised rates, the semi-nude model would be paid Rs 20 per hour.

The university has made a marginal increase for persons acting as the life models in all practical examinations in fine arts from Rs 11 per hour to Rs 15 per hour.

Interestingly, the rates of life models for Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) have been increased to Rs 15 per hour in case of draped models, Rs 20 for semi-nude models, which earlier was Rs 17 per hour and Rs 30 per hour for the nude models from Rs 24.

One of the life models, who has been a subject for the students of BFA, said the hike proposed by the university for them is too less. “After sacrificing our dignity, we become a life model, which also needs appreciation financially and Rs 30 per hour is low,” said the life model.

Reacting to the recent revision in the rates, principal DS Kapoor, Government College for Art, said they had been writing to the university for revising the rates to attract the life models that are very less in the city. “We have always been requesting PU for the revision in rates, as the life models are poor and they are not paid, according to the job done by them,” he said.

Kapoor further said sometimes the teachers and students pay from their pockets to convince the life models for practical.

Kuldip Singh, a fellow and one of the committee members that proposed the revised rates, said the matter was discussed during the meeting, however, the members were of the view that there were less students who require the life models, following which the committee decided to revise it by Rs 6 only.

Dr Dalip Kumar, another fellow and member of the committee that has revised the rates, said the rates proposed by the university could be revised again on a fresh representation.



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