C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No RTE quota this year
School seats converted, admissions complete
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Contrary to high hopes of local residents, the RTE Act will not be implemented this year. Schools have quoted the Supreme Court verdict on 25 per cent reservation under the RTE, according to which the ruling will not be implemented this year.

In its latest communication to the UT education department, schools have informed the department that admissions have already been completed by converting vacant 470 RTE seats into general-category seats.

Banking on the fact that the Bench of three Judges has maintained that the decision will have prospective effect and not a retrospective one, schools have maintained that the RTE will now be implemented from 2013.

“We have completed admissions. In schools where there were no takers for RTE seats, general-category students have been admitted. There is no scope for any further admission. The court also says that the decision is prospective and so, we cannot alter anything now. We will hold discussions with the UT so that the mess which has overshadowed the Act is not repeated in 2013.” HS Mamik, president of the Independent School Association, has said.

What is more surprising is the fact that while schools have claimed to have sent individual communications to the education department about the conversion of RTE seats into general-category ones, it continues to plead ignorance and claims to be busy in working out the implementation of the Act.

“We do not know what has happened. According to our records, these seats are vacant and we have a meeting with private schools next week. Schools were asked to wait and those are waiting,” a senior UT official has said.

Refuting the claims, Mamik has said, “Are we expected to wait for the entire year? The UT has missed four deadlines and we have not got RTE applicants. We have converted our seats and have informed the education department. There are no vacant RTE seats now. If they want, we will send comprehensive details of conversion again on Monday.”



Liquor prices go down in UT
Contractors start panic sale to exhaust their stocks
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
With a little over two weeks left for the validity of licences for liquor vends under the excise policy for 2011-2012 to expire, liquor contractors are resorting to the panic sale of liquor to exhaust their stocks.

Banners and billboards have been put up across the city to offer popular IMFL brands on discount of up to 45 per cent. The discount on brands of Indian Scotch is around 25 per cent.

Most contractors lament that they have not been able to dispose of their liquor stocks and are now being forced to exhaust the allocated quota.

“We have to offer discount, otherwise we will have to pay excise duty against the allocated quota from our pocket,” said Sat Pal, a Sector-42-based contractor.

Officials with the UT excise and taxation department have said five lakh cartons of liquor are yet to be lifted. The excise duty to be paid by contractors comes to around Rs 7.5 crore.

The annual quota of countrymade liquor for the policy nearing completion is 27 lakh proof litre (PL) and that of IMFL 2 crore PL.

The tenders invited for the policy beginning May 1 wild be opened on April 20. Continuing with the existing policy, licences will be granted for 65 countrymade vends and 152 IMFL vends. Of those, 58 vends will be allowed to have kiosks.

Following the municipal corporation’s policy of not renting land to vends, the department will provide land for kiosks at 30 sites and the remaining allottees will have to make their own arrangements, officials have said.

The liquor vends coming on slip roads, especially in front of the Sector 43-ISBT, will have to be shifted back, they have added.

In the excise policy for 2012-13, the minimum retail price of IMFL and countrymade liquor has been increased by between 40 per cent and 50 per cent.

To increase revenue, the UT has announced that the minimum reserve price of a liquor vend will be based on last year’s highest quoted price, with an increase of 20 per cent.



Councillors too busy to remember fire staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
A majority of councillors have no time to pay homage to fire personnel who have lost their lives during major incidents of fire to save lives and property.

Only eight of the 35 members of the municipal corporation (MC) turned up for the fire service day ceremony organised by the MC’s fire department at the fire station in Sector 17 here today.

It had become a routine practice for a majority of elected councillors not to turn up for the fire service day. In the past, most councillors were not present on this occasion.

The councillors who were present this time were nominated councillors MP Kohli, Aruna Goel and Maj DS Sandhu (retd) and elected councillors Sat Parkash Aggarwal, Harphool Chander Kalyan, Rajesh Kumar Gupta and Rajinder Kaur, besides the Mayor.

Mayor Raj Bala Malik took the salute and inspected the parade of fire brigade jawans, which was followed by the flag-hoisting ceremony by MC Commissioner VP Singh. The fire department did not honour any fireman for meritorious service this time.

Appreciating fire personnel during her address, the Mayor recalled the sacrifice by leading fireman Amarjit Singh Mavi, who lost his life during an incident of fire.

She said the day had been observed throughout the country since 1944, when

more than 500 persons, including 66 fire brigade personnel, lost their lives in a major fire in Mumbai.

Addressing the gathering, the Commissioner said a special programme would be initiated during the fire prevention week for a survey of fire-protection measures taken in high-rise building under the fire department’s jurisdiction.

He said a special campaign on fire safety would be organised at local schools and fire safety drills conducted at the schools.

Earlier, the Mayor, the MC Commissioner and others laid paid homage to fire brigade jawans. A two-minute silence was also observed in memory of firemen throughout the country who had lost their lives while on duty.



Panchkula-Shimla National Highway
Central panel for probe into toll plaza construction
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
The Chief Empowered Committee (CEC) has asked the Haryana Chief Secretary to submit a report after holding an inquiry into the illegal construction of the toll plaza on the Panchkula-Shimla National Highway 22.

Member-Secretary MK Jiwrajka said the response of the state governmemnt on the issue raised by Shivalik Vikas Manch chairman Vijay Bansal be provided to the CEC after appropriate inquiry.

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had objected to the construction of the toll plaza, terming it “violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980”.

SK Sehrawat, Additional Principal Conservator of Forests (Central), Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, has shot off a strongly worded communication to his Haryana counterpart, asking him to report on the violations in the construction of the toll plaza.

This comes close on the heels of the district town planning department putting the Himalayan Expressway Construction Company, executing the four-laning of the Zirakpur-Parwanoo stretch on National Highway 22 on behalf of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), on notice for “illegal” construction of five structures as part of the toll plaza.

A notice was also sent by the Haryana forest department to the NHAI, asking it to explain the “unauthorised use” of forest land as part of the four-laning project. According to information sought by Bansal from the forest department under the RTI Act, the land was provided to the NHAI only for the four-laning of the Zirakpur-Parwanoo stretch.

The NHAI and the company had claimed that five facilities, trauma care centre, administrative building, control building, generator and substation building and maintenance block, had been created as part of the four-laning project. The National Highway Act and the Control of National Highway Act always overrode the periphery Act, it was argued.


Rain washes away efforts of artists
Had to pack up creations; venue for cultural performances shifted from Parade Ground to Indradhanush Auditorium
Tribune News Service
Artistes perform a cultural event at the Indradhanush Auditorium in Sector 5 of Panchkula on Saturday
Artistes perform a cultural event at the Indradhanush Auditorium in Sector 5 of Panchkula on Saturday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, April 14
Rain played spoilsport at the Zonal Cultural Centres programme at the Parade Ground in Sector 5 this evening.

The exhibitors from all seven zonal centres had to pack their creations and other items as the intermittent rain lashed the region in the evening. The cultural programmes to be staged at the ground were held at Indradhanush Auditorium.

Earlier, despite inclement and bad weather, residents thronged the venue for the cultural performances. Murals and motifs depicted on the exterior wall of the seven mini villages attracted crowds.

The colourful interior wall with ethnic and folk art pieces in the central area was a major attraction for each zonal centre. The paintings showcased the folk dances and cultural traditions of various states in each zonal centre. A pashmina shawl maker from Jammu and Kashmir said organisers should have set up waterproof tents. He said they were unable to display the costly pashmina shawls ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh due to inclement weather. He said the paint on the paper-mashie artifacts was affected due to rain and they had to pack all their products early.

Meanwhile, the performances given by artistes today were highly appreciated by the audience.

The singing and musical performances like “Lambadi” from Andhra Pradesh, “Thumchum” from Jammu & Kashmir, “Vanjali” from Haryana, “Jugni” from Punjab, “Baul” from West Bengal, “Margamkali” from Kerala, “Kajari” from Uttar Pradesh, “Tati” from Nagaland, “Chhapeli” from Uttarakhand and “Langa Mangniar” from Rajasthan were liked by all.

Whereas the dances “Kalbelia” of Rajasthan and “Sidhi” were the main attractions of the evening apart from “Pung Cholam” from Manipur, “Jebro” from Jammu & Kashmir, “Lahauli” from Himachal Pradesh, “Jhoomar” from Punjab, “Dhangari Gaza” from Maharashtra, “Machhi” from Daman, “Bro Zai” from Arunanchal Pradesh, “Nicobarese” from Andman Nicobar Islands, “Kalbelia” from Rajasthan, “Mewasi” from Gujarat, “Gotipua from Odisha, “Theyyam” from Kerala and “Giddha” from Punjab.



90 dancers, singers enrapture viewers
SD Sharma

Panchkula, April 14
Dancers and musicians brought alive diverse folk cultures of their respective regions with perfection in a grand musical spectacle which mesmerised the inquisitive audience at the Indradhanush Auditorium here today. Veritably titled “Maati Ke Rang”, the special event to commemorate the silver jubilee celebrations of seven Zonal Cultural Centres reflected the grace, twang, and majesty of the folklore heritage of different regions on one platform. As many as 90 singers and dancers, attired in elegant costumes, gave a majestic beginning to the programme. It was indeed an alluring phenomenon to watch the artistes of different states and cultures playing the rhythmic patterns in perfect synchronisation. Punjabi folk maestro Gurmit Bawa led on the vocals.

The performance of every troupe in solo or group was at its zenith. Be it the “Margam Kutiar” dance by 15 Kerala artistes or “Thiyam” in devotion to Lord Shiva, the display exuded serenity and mystic fervour. Manipuri Punchshollam eulogising Lord Krishna and divine consort Radha was a treat to watch.

Dancers from Chhatisgarh presented a “Gaur dance” dedicated to the legend of gaar marya, an animal living in jungles only.

Paying obeisance to “Kulguru” in a devout manner were artistes from Gujarat who excelled in dance “Sidhi” dhamal. However, their second dance Saagai was a celebration of a betrothal ceremony. Baadur Ram, a disciple son of Ustad Bhana Ram, one of the pioneers of bhangra, presented an electrifying “Jhoomer”. “Chartahal” dance with 108 diyas dedicated to Radha by Pooja and party from Mathura was well received.

Earlier, DS Saroya, director, NZCC, welcomed chief guest Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union minister, and DK Bansal, MLA, who lit the traditional lamp.



Building bylaws
Violators get notices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
After initiating action against commercial establishments for misuse of premises, the UT Estate Office has now started slapping notices on the owners for building violations. The violators include many hotels in Sectors 22, 26 and 35.

The move follows a fresh survey conducted by the building branch of the Estate Office.

Many of the prominent hotels have made alterations and additions in the backyard of their premises without seeking permission from the competent authority.

Not only the hotels, many other commercial notices have been found violating the building bylaws. Though UT Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta was not available for comments, sources confirmed that the number of such violations were in hundreds.

While listing each of the violations, the violators have been show-caused under Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007, (revised in 2009) to explain why action should not be initiated against them. The sources said the notices were being served in phases. The maximum number of violations were in Sectors 22 and 35. In Sector 26, many hotels had covered their read courtyards.

“Each case will be examined to see the degree of compoundable offence,” said a senior official. 



Mauli Jagran, Mani Majra level crossings
Work on underpasses yet to begin
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Daily commuters between Chandigarh and Panchkula are a harried lot as more than a year has passed yet the work on the underpasses for the level crossings at Mauli Jagran and Mani Majra has not started.

To start both these projects, a number of meetings were held between the UT and Railway officials but groundwork is yet to begin. The delay in both projects has been causing problems to residents of Chandigarh and Panchkula who use these routes on a daily basis. Whenever a train passes, a long queue of vehicles can be seen on both the crossings.

Rakesh Dhiman, a resident of Sector 20, Panchkula, said traffic jam is a routine affair on the Mauli Jagran crossing. He added that during morning and evening hours, it takes lots of time to cross the level crossing.

Rajinder Pandey, a resident of Sector 44, Chandigarh, said that authorities should start work on these projects immediately as the daily commuters were facing a lot of problems.

The cost of construction of the underpass at Mauli Jagran is estimated at Rs 15 crore. It will connect the road from Hallo Majra to Phase II of Industrial Area, Panchkula. Besides, the proposed underpass at Mani Majra will connect Mani Majra and Panchkula to IT Park, Chandigarh. Once functional, both will take a substantial traffic load off the main road from Chandigarh to Panchkula.

A senior UT official said that they had recently held a meeting with the railway officials and would soon start the work. The Union Government had already approved both the projects, he added.

In 2009, the then UT Administrator, Gen SF Rodrigues (retired), had written to the Union Railway Minister seeking approval for the construction of the underpasses for both crossings. In March last, both projects were passed at a meeting between officials of the Railways and the UT Administration.



Constable suspended for ‘misbehaving’ with woman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The Chandigarh police today suspended a constable, Narinder Singh, for allegedly misbehaving with a woman outside the Rose Garden in Sector 16. Police officials said the constable had an altercation with a woman over parking of avehicle outside the parking lot near the light point of Sector 16 and 17.

After a heated argument between the woman and the constable, the woman called up her husband Umesh Kumar, a resident of Kansal, who lodged a complaint against the constable at the Sector 17 police station for misbehaving with his wife.

On the basis of complaint, a police party rushed to the scene to inquire about the facts.

The officials said that after an inquiry it was found that Narinder Singh had misbehaved with the woman.

The team also found that the constable on duty was inside the Rose Garden and moreover he did not perform his duty properly following which he was put under suspension immediately.



GMADA still undecided on date for draw of lots
Land-pooling scheme in Eco City Project at Mullanpur
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 14
Even after four months, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has not finalised the date for the draw of lots under the land-pooling scheme in the Eco City Project coming up at Mullanpur here.

The draw was earlier scheduled for mid-December last year, but it got delayed due to the imposition of code of conduct. Even after the Assembly elections, the authority did not finalise the date.

Landowners lamented that it had been stated by GMADA officials that the letter of intent for the general category and those opting for land pooling would be issued simultaneously. In December last year, when the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) had gone to take the possession of the land for Eco City, the landowners had prevented the LAC staff from doing so as they had not been allotted plots under the land-pooling scheme. GMADA had already held the draw of lots for 870 plots for general category applicants in December last year.

Now, the vacant post of Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) is coming in the way of draw of lots. The work of the LAC was being affected as the state government has not posted any new officer in place of Hargunjit Kaur, who has been shifted to the food and supply department on April 2. In the absence of the LAC, the department has not been able to finalise things.

However, Parveen Thind, Additional Chief Administrator, GMADA, said the date for the draw of lots (for beneficiaries of land-pooling scheme) would be finalised shortly. The land pooling of the Sector 88 was also pending.

“A meeting on the issue was held on Thursday,” said Thind while adding that the number of beneficiaries in question were as many as 140.



chandigarh scan
Nominations filed

Two groups have filed their nominations for elections to the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC), scheduled for April 22. Six candidates have filed their nominations for the post of chairman, vice chairman and general secretary with two election officers of the welfare, namely PS Bajwa and Jai Ram Gupta. For the post of chairman, Hitesh Puri and PC Sangi have filed their nominations. For the post of vice chairman NK Verma and Gurdev Singh Ahulwalia, and for general secretary J S Multani and G S Sathi have filed nomination papers.

Book released

A novel titled ‘An Indian Lieutenant’s Elusive Bride’, written by Col MS Sandhu (Retd), was released by Lt Gen DDS Sandhu, Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, at a function held here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Col Sandhu said the novel was his maiden effort that relates to the seventies and revolves around three young army officers. The story is about their romamce with young girls and their firm commitment to the relationships. Chief guest DDS Sandhu appreciated the effort and said the author had chosen a a very topical theme which concerns both army officers and civilians.


Pharmaco Vigilance Centre, regional resource and technical support centre for North India PGIMER, organised a one-day national symposium on Translational Pharmacovigilance under the aegis of the Indian Pharmacological Society today. Symposium was focused over the adverse effects and side effects of medicines. Prof Y K Chawla, Director PGIMER inaugurated the symposium and emphasized over the need of Pharmacovigilance in country. Prof S K Maulik from AIIMS briefed the adverse effects of traditional medicines. Prof Anil Bhansali ,head of endocrinology in PGIMER, shared his experience over pharmacovigilance of drugs used in metabolic syndrome.

Ambedkar Jayanti

The Constitution of India is the best in the world as it has enough scope for amendments which ensures its better functioning. This was stated by the Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal at a function to mark the birth anniversary of the founder of the Constitution, Dr B R Ambedkar, at Ambedkar Colony, Sector 56, today. He said that democracy has flourished in India because of the great vision of Dr Ambedkar who has taken care of all the sections of the society. Dr Ambedkar emphasised on education, organisation and struggle. Earlier, Pawan Kumar Bansal also attended the function at Dr Ambedkar Bhawan, Sector 37-A, Chandigarh, organised by the Dr Ambedkar Study Circle.

Baisakhi celebrations

Baisakhi was celebrated in the pre-primary wing of Saupin's-32 with a lot fervour. Parents were invited to join their kids who were told about the significance of the day. They were informed about the harvest season and how the farmers work round the year .


Nearly 100 English teachers from various DAV institutions across the country participated in a three days national workshop being conducted at the KBDAV-7 to develop sample question papers and marking scheme of class VIII. The experts from DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi, were present to impart knowledge on Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) pattern, following the guidelines of CBSE, New Delhi. Chief guest Vijay Kumar said, “From the last two sessions, all DAV institutions across the country are following the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) pattern in true earnest from class VIII onwards.”

Office-bearers elected

In the general election of Citizen Welfare Association, Sector 44-C, PS Thakur has been elected as president, Rajinder Pandey as general secretary, Amit Kaushal, KN Joshi, Jarnail Singh and Pritam Singh as vice-presidents, Balwinder Gupta as secretary, Karam Chand as cashier, Sushila Chaudhary as organising secretary and Vineet Bansal as press secretary.

mohali scan
World Health Day celebrated

World Health Day was celebrated at Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69. Children came to the function dressed in traditional attires . Dance performances were held to celebrate the day.

Founder’s day

The Lawernace Public Senior Secondary School, Mohali, celebrated its 27th founder’s day in school premises. Children from all classes who had won state award in Maths Olympiad were honored with gold, silver and bronze medals during the occasion. School principal Veena Malhotra applauded the children for their great work and awarded the winners of Maths Olympiad. She also congratulated the teachers for their efforts. -- Tribune Reporters



PU students end hunger strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The students sitting on hunger strike demanding the recruitment of faculty ended their agitation today after the university authorities agreed that their demand would be discussed during the meeting of the committee constituted for making need-based appointments.

The agitation going outside the Vice Chancellor’s office from the last few days finally came to an end after the students were assured that need-based appointments would be made at the earliest.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia said that the committee constituted by the Senate over the issue of appointments of teachers in PU would meet next week and would be attended by an elected student representative. “We would be giving the student representative an opportunity to raise their demands before the committee which would further take the decision,” the DSW said.

The committee was formed after the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) president raised a demand of making only need-based appointments till the new VC joined the university.

Apart from the ongoing hunger strike, various student organisations had also staged a protest on Friday by blocking the university gate number II after which they were taken to police station and later released after warning.



378 students awarded for achievements
Tribune News Service

patiala, April 14
As many as 378 students were awarded for their achievements in academics, sports and co-curricular activities during the annual prize distribution of Multani Mal Modi
College, Patiala. The event was presided over by Punjab Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa yesterday. A contingent of NCC cadets escorted the chief guest to the stage.

College registrar Dr Harcharan Singh informed that 18 students were given rolls of honour, 108 bagged college colours and 252 were awarded merit certificates. College principal Dr SK Bhardwaj welcomed the chief guest and read out the annual report of the college, highlighting achievements in academics, sports, and co-curricular activities carried out during the session. He informed that the college has been selected by the UGC under the scheme “College with Potential for Excellence”. He informed that the college students got 32 merit positions in the university and won 15 inter college sports championships during the year.

The chief guest congratulated the prize winners and asked them to work hard to continue their winning streak. The chief guest announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the infrastructural development. Prof Surindra Lal, former principal of the college, gave away prizes to the merit certificate winners

Khushboo, Anshika Goyal, Shivani Aggarwal and Ribha Singla were awarded gold medal and rolls of honour as they got 1st position in the university examination. Gurpinder Singh, KM Arti, Shabaz Bhangu and Jasmine were felicitated with rolls of honour as they represented India in sports. Damanjot, Nancy Singla, Taranjeet Singh and Sneha Bhadauriya were honoured for their achievements in co-curricular activities.

Colonel Karminder Singh, member, managing committee of the college and principal Dr Satish Bhardwaj presented a memento and shawl to the chief guest. They also honoured GS Punia and Charanpal Singh as guests of honour on this occasion. Dr Rajkumar Sharma, Director Sports, Punjabi University, Patiala, was also felicitated. Coaches in various sports were also honoured during the event. Prof Balvir Singh and Prof Baljinder Kaur conducted the stage. Dr Vinay Jain, vice principal of the college and Dr Harcharan Singh, registrar, thanked the guests, staff members and the students.



Degrees conferred during 27th convocation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The Post Graduate Government College, Sector-46, Chandigarh, organised its 27th annual convocation in the college auditorium today.

Dr SL Goel, professor emeritus-cum-vice president, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, presided over the function as chief guest. Dr Gurjit Kaur, principal of the college, welcomed the guests and read out the achievements of the students and faculty of the college.

Goel motivated the students to continue the excellent work and keep on bringing laurels to the college. He stressed upon the need of making decisions regarding one’s future according to one’s aptitude. He said that students should work in a goal-oriented manner and work towards achievement of their targets. He encouraged students to achieve their goals with hard work and commitment.

Nine students were awarded roll of honour, 43 students were awarded college colours and 53 students were awarded merit certificates for their achievements in academics. 32 students were conferred with MCom degrees, 45 students were given BCom (Honours), 72 students were given BCom (Pass) degrees, 37 students were given BCA degrees, 30 were given BA (Honours) degrees and 154 students were given BA degrees.



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