C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Man shot at, Rs 4.4 lakh looted
Withdraws money from bank, is attacked by four youths, scuffle ensues, one of the robbers fires at him
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 16
After a lull of nearly three months, the Maruti Zen car gang reappeared, committing a robbery in broad daylight here today.

Four armed youths shot at and seriously wounded an accountant and looted Rs 4,40,000 from him at Sector 12 here before fleeing.

The victim, Brij Mohan (24), who withdrew the money from the branch of the ICICI Bank at Sector 11 for delivery at the house of his employer, was admitted to the PGI in Chandigarh in a critical condition.

He belonged to Uttarakhand and had been staying with his brother at Sector 19 here. His employer, Hari Om of Sector 12 here, dealt in steel at the iron market in Chandigarh. The money was for payment in connection with business and he issued a cheque for the delivery of cash at his house.

Eyewitnesses told the police that four youths came to the spot in a Maruti Zen car around 1:20 pm and intercepted the victim when he was about to enter the house after parking his motorcycle. They tried to snatch the bag containing the money. When he resisted, on of them shot at him before they fled, said a maid, standing on the first floor of a neighbour's house.

“We heard the sound of firing and when we came out, Brij was lying injured on the floor, Hari said.

“My neighbours and I shifted him to the General Hospital at Sector 6 in Panchkula, from where he was referred to the PGI in Chandigarh,” he said.

After the incident, Deputy Commissioner of Police Parul Kush Jain and other officials reached the spot and the area was sealed.

Jain said four teams, each headed by CIA in charge Karmvir, detective inspector Deepak, Sector-5 SHO Ajay Singh Rana and the cyber cell in charge, were formed to investigate the case.

The teams would work under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner of Police Dheeraj Setia, she added. 'Nakas' were set up on the exit polints to Chandigarh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

KK Sharma, Commissioner of Police, Ambala and Panchkula, visited the PGI to know about the condition of the victim. Doctors at the PGI said the bullet damaged Brij's liver.

The police took video footage from CCTV cameras installed at the bank to get some clue about the assailants. CCTV cameras installed at many houses near the spot were not in working condition.

Police sources said according to details provided by eyewitnesses, the assailants resembled members of the gang that looted Rs 6 lakh from two employees of a private transport company at gunpoint in Sector 14 on February 24.

Shrouded in mystery

The Zen gang has been a mystery for the local police for the last four years as no clue has been found about the gang despite striking at will. The gang has chosen victims who have either been on the way to deposit money or are on the way back after withdrawing it. It goes into hiding for a long period before resurfacing. Police sources have said the incidents on February 14 and today are the handiwork of a new gang using a Zen car. While the new gang is believed to be in the twenties, some robbers involved in earlier incidents using a Zen car are stated to be in the thirties.

Earlier incidents

January 18, 2008: Berkeley Automobiles' cashier looted of ~5.16 lakh at Industrial Area

March 7, 2008: Two employees of Vishal Mega Mart looted of ~45,000 near the Hafed building at Sector 5

July 27, 2008: Two persons robbed of ~7 lakh at Sector-4 fuel station

August 16, 2009: Three robbers in white Zen loot ~2.4 lakh from Sector-5 fuel station

November 24, 2009: ~18 lakh looted from electricity department employee Anil Kumar near bill collection centre at Phase II of the Industrial Area

Scribe before police

In what highlights the popularity of the local media among the public and the lack of faith in the police, Hari Om informed a journalist about the incident after shifting Brij Mohan to the hospital. The police came to know about the incident through the media after half an hour. His apprehensions regarding the police were removed when he found a heavy police posse, led by senior officials, at the spot, investigating the matter thoroughly. Hari Om was all praise for staff at the hospital as well. Doctors and other members of staff did not lose a second in attending on the injured, he said.



Day after, family in state of shock
Student drowned in Ganges at Rishikesh on Monday morning
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 16
“I had instructed my son just a day before the incident to cancel his programme to Rishikesh with friends, but he did not listen to me. With him, we have lost everything,” said a sobbing Davinder Kalia, Anubhav's father, who drowned in the Ganges with two friends last morning.

A BTech-II student at the University of Petroleum Engineering Studies in Dehradun, Anubhav was the younger son of Davinder, general manager with Ranbaxy. Deceased's elder brother Ekant was a co-pilot, working at Djakarta in Indonesia at present.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune at his house in Sector 69, Davinder said he and his wife were in Bengaluru when they last spoke to him over phone around 8 pm on Monday.

“Anubhav told me that he and his friends were planning to go to Rishikesh. I instructed him to cancel his programme, but he did not listen. Now he would never come back,” said Davinder, with tears in his eyes.

Anubhav's BTech-II examinations concluded three days back and he planned to come home on May 19. “Look at him, he has come today,” said a relative.

The inconsolable mother, Kusum Kalia, a lecturer with the Government College at Baddi, was shattered. They got the news from Anubhav’s friend, who was with them at the time of the incident.

Anubhav's neighbours and friends were in a state of shock. “He was such a nice and gentle guy. We cannot believe that he is no more,” said a neighbour.



Soil erosion puts rail track at risk
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 16
The foundation of the newly laid rail track connecting Mohali and Ropar is apparently at risk. The soil below the track has eroded at places, creating large pits and crevices in the 15-foot-high embankment for the broad-gauge electrified track.

A visit by a Chandigarh Tribune team to the spot, near Saneta in Mohali, has revealed several stretches on either side of the embankment where slopes have degraded, leaving behind gaping holes.

One such pit, about two feet deep, has come up very close to the base of a pole carrying the high-tension overhead transmission cable, that provides power to electricity locomotives. Local residents fear that further soil erosion can adversely affect the stability of the pole.

Rain is cited as the main cause of the loosening and erosion of soil from the embankment. Strong winds also blow away the loosened soil and gravel, widening the crevices. The preceding winter and spring have had unusual rain and hail.

Two passenger trains, the Jan Shatabdi and unscheduled goods trains are plied over this stretch everyday.

“The pits have been there for quite some time,” Rajwinder Singh Sandhu, a local resident, has said.

“The stretches affected are increasing in size by the day, but there is no indication that the railway authorities are taking any remedial measures,” he has added.

With the arrival of monsoon less than a month and-a-half away, locals fear that if corrective measures are not taken, the damage may increase, posing a risk not only to rail safety, but also to overhead transmission cables.

At places, wild grass and the angle of the slopes block the visibility of the damage to the embankment from the rail track.

Those can onlt be seen from the fields below. The Railways has a system of regularly inspecting rail tracks.

When apprised of the situation, the Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala division, PK Sanghi, said the matter had been brought to the notice of the engineering department.

“There does not appear to be any immediate danger to the track. Remedial measures are being initiated at the earliest to ensure safety. I will also send a inspection team to the site,” he added.



Vulgar calls made to Judge’s family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The UT police has registered a case against an unidentified person for making vulgar calls to the family of a sitting Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The police received a complaint from the Judge that female members of his family had received calls from two mobile phones in March and the caller had used vulgar and obscene language.

The calls continued for two weeks and then, a formal complaint in this regard was submitted to the UT SSP.

The case was transferred to the crime branch for investigation and it was scrutinising details of the phone numbers from which the calls had been made.

Sources said the police had procured technical details and would be apprehend the accused soon.

The police registered a case under Sections 509 of the IPC (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 67 of the IT Act at the police station in Sector 17. 



Defaulters feel estate office heat
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Several owners of leasehold commercial property auctioned by the UT estate office and those who have converted industrial sites into commercial ones have come under the scanner of the UT housing and urban development department for default in the payment of service tax, running into crores.

The estate office has started the process to recover amounts. All leasees of commercial property auctioned since July 1, 2007, have to pay 12.36 per cent per annum as service tax on the lease money or ground rent.

The lease money is charged for 99 years. Service tax is charged by the Central excise and service tax department.

Sources said the UT authorities directed the estate office after property on leasehold came under the ambit of service tax to verify pending dues of all defaulters within a week and start the recovery with interest. They swung into action after seeking clarifications from the Central department.

UT assistant estate officer Rahul Gupta said notices were issued to defaulters. “The tax is being charged as per instructions from the Central department. We have issued a public notice in this regard,” he said.

The estate office was preparing a list of owners who got sites converted from industrial to commercial under the conversion policy, who got residential sites converted to nursing homes, who paid earnest money on leasehold commercial plots and who paid fee for transfer of leasehold property. In all cases, owners were being asked to pay service tax.

Industrial association president MPS Chawla said it was an additional burden. “We have paid for conversion. Freehold property should be brought under the tax ambit,” he said.

On a directive of the Administration, the estate office had recently directed its branches to start the recovery of pending dues, sources said. “Though people have started depositing service tax, there are defaulters,” said an official.

The estate office got revenue from rented or leasehold commercial property. It had been asked to provide information for the period from June, 2007, to March 31, 2011.

By rough estimates, lease or rental income from property auctioned since 2007 worked out to be around Rs 200 crore. 


Sources said the UT authorities directed the estate office after property on leasehold came under the ambit of service tax to verify pending dues of all defaulters within a week and start the recovery with interest



PU plans to buy top-model Innova for DCDC
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
After a Toyota Corolla for the Panjab University (PU) Vice-Chancellor, the PU plans to purchase a swanky MUV for newly appointed dean college development council (DCDC) Naval Kishore to develop better college-university interaction.

The proposal has raised many eyebrows as the PU will purchase a vehicle for the DCDC for the first time. It has even been stressed in the proposal that the top model of the vehicle be bought.

The upcoming Syndicate meeting will discuss the new vehicle to be purchased. The standing committee of the college development council (CDC) has proposed that the top-model diesel Innova to be purchased for the DCDC to facilitate better interaction through visits and outreach and contact programmes.

A Fellow has said the PU should utilise the vehicles at its disposal instead of incurring expenses on purchasing a new vehicle.

Sources have said the Ambassador given to the principal of PU's Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital earlier has been lying unused since Dr Krishan Gauba's departure while another Ambassador is being used as a staff car at present.

"The DCDC never used to get a personal vehicle earlier. If they plan to have a vehicle, there is no need to buy such an expensive vehicle," the Fellow has said.

A member of the standing committee, which has taken the decision, has said it has been decided that the DCDC should get a vehicle, but the model has not been decided.

"I am not aware of an MUV, leave alone a top model," the member has said. The cost and recurring expenditure on fuel, repairs and driver's salary will be met from CDC funds.

Sources have revealed that the dean student welfare (DSW) requested the purchase of a vehicle earlier this year on the grounds that the DSW needed to move across both campuses to deal with students, but the request was turned down by the authorities. 


UT to hire forensic experts
Owners of furniture shops had claimed losses worth lakhs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The fifth major fire incident at the furniture market of Sector 52-53 two days ago has woken up the UT Administration which, besides ordering an inquiry into the incident, is also thinking of hiring forensic experts to evaluate the loss in the fire. The affected area was videographed under Additional Deputy Commissioner Mahavir Kaushik's supervision yesterday to assess the loss suffered by the shopkeepers.

Highly placed sources said the authorities might engage forensic experts to know whether the loss claimed by the owners of the affected shops is correct. The footage has revealed that except burnt raw material like foam, nails and temporary sheds, there are no ashes of major furniture in the burnt market. The owners have claimed losses worth lakhs of rupees on account of burning of furniture lying in their shops.

The officials stated it was strange that all the major fire incidents in the market happened late at night and if there was any inflammable material lying in the shops why a fire incident never occurred during daytime.

Meanwhile, UT estate office ADC Mahavir Kaushik said the authorities were working on the amount of compensation on the basis of the past incidents. 

Video footage says it all

The video footage has revealed that except burnt raw material like foam, nails and temporary sheds, there are no ashes of major furniture in the burnt market. The owners have claimed losses worth lakhs of rupees on account of burning of furniture lying in their shops.



Geneva-based road safety team in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
A team of Geneva-based Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) visited Chandigarh and met Harman Singh Sidhu, president of an NGO on road safety, ‘ArriveSAFE’, today to chalk out a road map in order to curb the increasing number of road accidents and fatalities.

The team is headed by Gayle Di Pietro, Global Manager, GRSP. She was accompanied by Cessie Sylvia Petchi.

The plan is to do capacity building through workshops and trainings, share good practices and conduct social marketing (public education) campaigns. The focus initially will be on curbing drunken driving and speeding. 



Hawara, Bheora produced in court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Members of the BKI Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjit Singh Bheora, who have been convicted of assassinating former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh and are lodged in Tihar Jail, New Delhi, were brought to the district courts at Sector 17 amidst high security for the hearing of the jail break case. To avoid any untoward incident, a heavy pose of police personnel was deployed in and around the courts complex.

The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the sensational Burail jailbreak case of 2004 till June 15.

During the resumed hearing of the case before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Rajesh Garg, defense crossexamined Inspector Deewan Singh, who was the member of the first investigation team in the case and Rajesh Kumar, a mobile phone dealer.

Hawara, Bheora and their two accomplices, Jagatar Singh Tara and Devi Singh, had escaped from the Burail jail by digging a tunnel.



Regulate mesh size of nets, say varsity experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
While the UT Administration is finding it difficult to save Sukhna Lake from declining water level and weed, the experts believe that the authorities should also focus on regulating the mesh size of fishermen's nets.

According to experts, the presence of fish in any water body is very important. Many types of fish species are present in water bodies, including big commercial fish and small fish. Big carnivorous fish feed upon small fish while other fish like crass carp feed on unwanted weeds and silver carp feeds on algae and plankton present in water bodies. So, to control the growth of small fish, weeds and algae, the presence of big fish is a must. But irrational catching of fish from water bodies should be regulated to maintain the sustainability of water bodies. This can be done by regulating the mesh size of fishermen's nets.

Dr Onkar Singh, Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology and Environmental Sciences, Punjabi University, Patiala, said fishermen were catching all types of fish from water bodies by using different mesh sizes without considering the ecological importance of these fish.

The UT Administration had recently awarded a two-year project to the department of zoology of Panjab University under which experts would analyse water samples from the lake for studying physio-chemical characteristics of water. The UT Administration had agreed to pay Rs 10 lakh to the university for the study.

The lake had considerably shrunk. In 1958, it encompassed 228 hectares while today it spanned 148 hectares, down almost by a third. 



Mock drill comes a cropper
Authority finds shortcomings at Haryana Mini-Secretariat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
A mock drill held by the national disaster management authority at the Haryana Mini-Secretariat, Sector 17, today turned out to be nothing more than a show for the curious onlookers as a majority of the employees did not even react to the alarm raised by a fire tender for evacuating the office premises. Under the supervision of the national disaster management (NDM) authority, a number a mock drills are conducted jointly by the police, disaster management cell and the fire wing of the UT Administration.

During a drill, the fire team has a tough time. The drill started at 11:26 am when a mock fire broke out on the third floor of the premises but as the smoke detectors installed in the building were not functional the alarm for the evacuation of the floor did not trigger. Not only that the public address system installed in the building was also not functional. The system could have come handy for the fire officials in communicating with the employees to get the floor vacated. Resultantly, the fire team had to alert the employees by ringing the alarm bell installed on their water tender.

An official said till the fire team reached the premises, no employee of the floor had tried to use the fire extinguishers to control the fire.

After the drill, a member of the NDC directed the UT Administration officials to remove a tree which was situated in the middle of the entrance gate, as there should be no obstacle at the entry of a building. The fire department was also asked to take necessary action to remove the shortcomings in the building.

Chief Fire Officer Rajiv Gupta said a warning would be issued to the administrative authorities of the Haryana Mini-secretariat to remove the shortcomings at the building immediately.



Police fails to nab Jeewan, family
All at large after FIRs were registered, investors’ dream of owning houses shattered
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 16
The Police ‘failure’ in nabbing the main accused Jeevan Garg in the Royal Empire case just raised the apprehension about fair play by the police among those, who have invested lakhs of rupees in a hope to get their ‘dream’ houses.

“The police has given him (Jeevan Garg) enough time to flee,” alleged Deepti Aggarwal, who had invested about Rs 15 lakh in the Royal Minar in last February.

She claimed that she had visited his (Jeevan’s) house about 20 days ago and that time his servant also told her that he had left for Mathura-Vrindavan. “He has been at large since then,” claimed Deepti Garg.

Similarly, another investor Raj Kumar expressed apprehensions over the role of the police. “Jeevan had cheated hundreds of people and what was police doing then,” he asked. Raj Kumar claimed that he also had invested about Rs 15 lakh in one of the Garg’s projects.

Another investor, who had also filed a police complaint at the Zirakpur police station, expressed his dissatisfaction over the police’s role.

“How the entire family had managed to flee just before the police came into action. Now the police has no clues of the location of such a big shot even after so many days have passed,” said the investor, requesting anonymity.

Refuting the charges, deputy superintendent of the police, Anil Kumar, of the area said that the police was trying their level best.

“We have dispatched our teams at several places to nab the culprits. Soon they will land into the police net,” said Anil Kumar.

On being asked whether or not the Garg family had left the country, the DSP Anil Kumar denied, saying that the police has checked with concerned authorities. “Jeevan Garg along with his family must be in the country as during checking it has come out that he has not left the country,” said the DSP Anil Kumar.

Meanwhile, the court at Dera Bassi again extended the police remand of the two arrested persons, Satish Garg and Dhirender Negi, up to May 18 while the third accused Atmaram has already been sent to 14-day judicial remand.

Atmaram and Satish Garg are father and brother of Jeewan Garg, the main accused in the case while Negi is his project manager.

Notably, Jeewan Garg, director of Royal Empire multi-storeyed residential project at Zirakpur, had gone underground along with his family following registration of case of forgery against him and his other family members including his son Prince Garg, brother Pawan Garg, nephew Rohit Garg.

Already three FIRs have already been lodged against the builder while about 15 other complaints are in the pipeline on which the Zirakpur police has sought legal opinion before registering cases on those.

The police said that Garg has cheated several people of the area to the tune of crores of rupees on pretext of giving them flats and apartments in his ongoing projects. His projects included Royal Empire, Royal Apartments, Balaji Towers, Royal Minar and Royal Mensions.

On failing to give possession of the flats to hundreds of people on time, some of them had approached police against him.

“Several influential people have invested their ‘black’ money in Garg’s projects, who are in dilemma now,” said a police official.



First Indian private pilot woman dies at 95
Donates her house to panchayat, Rs 1 crore to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 16
Rich tributes were paid to Beant Kaur, the first woman pilot of the country, at her residence in the house of Maj (retd) Narinder here today.

Beant Kaur who was the first lady pilot of the country when she obtained a license from the Kanpur Flying Club way back in 1940s. In fact, she was the first woman on the sub-continent to hold a private pilot license (PPL).

Narinder said, “Originally living at Sector 3 in Chandigarh, Beant had to vacate her house following differences in her family. She sold the property and donated Rs 1 crore to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. She had also donated her house in the ancestral village of Sarhiala Khurd in Hoshiarpur to the village panchayat.” Beant, a widow of Air Vice-Marshal Harjinder Singh, was 95.

Born on April 9, 1917 at Lyallpur district of Punjab (now in Pakistan), Beant married Air Vice-Marshal Harjinder Singh, who had passed away in 1971. The family shifted to Chandigarh from Kanpur in 1974.



UK’s Deputy High Commission office in city soon
Prabhjot Singh/TNS

Chandigarh, May 16 
Chandigarh is all set to get its second diplomatic mission as the Union Government has reportedly given a green signal to the British Government to open its new Deputy High Commission offices in Chandigarh and Hyderabad.

Thus, Great Britain will become the second nation after Canada to have a diplomatic mission in the city.

The new office will facilitate people of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh who have a large number of family members, relatives, friends and business contacts in Great Britain. After Canada, Great Britain has a big population of people of Punjab origin.

British High Commissioner James Bevan CMG today welcomed the establishment of new British Deputy High Commission offices in Hyderabad and Chandigarh.

He said: “I am delighted that the Indian Government has given its agreement to the establishment of new British Deputy High Commission offices in Hyderabad and Chandigarh.”

In addition to the British High Commission in New Delhi, the UK already has four Deputy High Commissions in India - Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. 

“Our new DHC offices in these two vibrant cities will focus, like much of the rest of our network in India, on boosting trade and investment between the UK and India. That will help secure greater prosperity for all our citizens. This expansion of our diplomatic network is a reflection of India’s rapid and successful growth and the UK’s commitment to deepening our relationship with India. I look forward to visiting both cities in the coming weeks,” Bevan said.

At present, the British High Commission has a visa application collection centre in the city. Those needing no interviews can submit their application forms for visitor and business visa here. But in case of interview, applicants have to go to Delhi.

Once the Deputy High Commission office becomes operational, such interviews can take place here thus saving the applicants hassles of travelling to Delhi.

The Deputy High Commission would also provide other services, including those related to promotion of trade, business and investments besides promoting education linkages as well as promoting further cultural and other exchanges.

With the addition of Deputy High Commissions in Hyderabad and Chandigarh, the United Kingdom (UK) will have most extensive diplomatic network in India. Great Britain has trade offices in Ahmedabad and Pune also.



Gujral: Child adoption policy discriminatory against NRIs
Prabhjot Singh/TNS

Chandigarh, May 16 
Are Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) barred from adopting healthy children from India? “Yes”, says Naresh Gujral, Rajya Sabha member from Punjab. If an NRI has to adopt a healthy child from India, says Naresh Gujral, he has to go through the inter-country adoption process at par with foreign nationals, including Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and People of Indian Origin (PIOs). 

Making a special mention in the Rajya Sabha last week, Naresh Gujral says that the new policy of the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) is discriminatory against NRIs as it clubs them in the category of “foreign nationals”. Under the new adoption guidelines adopted by the CARA, NRIs have to go through the inter-country adoption process that states that 80% of the healthy smaller children are to be placed with adoptive parents who live in India and the remaining 20% with foreign families. The definition of foreign family includes NRIs, OCIs, and PIOs. Says Naresh Gujral, “when it comes to the foreign exchange that the NRIs bring and the charitable work they undertake in India, we praise them and we salute them, we honour them every year with the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award”. However, unfortunately, an NRI cannot adopt an Indian child with the same ease as a citizen of Indian domicile. It is a gross social injustice to the Indian Diaspora who value and cherish their Indian culture and heritage.” 

These new CARA guidelines coupled with endless bureaucratic delays, lengthy and completely centralised procedure have virtually put a stop to all inter-country adoptions, which have decreased from 770 in 2007 to 593 in 2010 and continue to decrease year on year, rues Naresh Gujral.



Mohali Zila Parishad gets Rs 12.49 crore

Mohali, May 16
For this fiscal, the annual budget of Zila Parishad, SAS Nagar, would be Rs 12.49 crores. The budget has been passed unanimously in a parishad meeting of the parishad, headed by Satnam Singh Rampur Sainia, chairman of the body.

Giving details, Satnam Singh said that the Zila Parishad, SAS Nagar, is yet to get its part of the property from Zila Parishads of Patiala and Ropar.

“We have passed a resolution in the House that the right of the local parishad should be given to it immediately. Besides, it has also been decided to take stringent steps to check rapidly increasing pollution level in Dera Bassi area. We have decided to ask the Punjab Pollution Control Board to take necessary steps to check the menace.”

Apart from that, the Panchayat Samiti, Kharar, has been allotted annual budget of Rs 1.89 crores whereas Panchayat Samiti, Majri, and Panchayat Samiti, Dera Bassi, has got budget of Rs 1.87 crores and Rs 4.14 crores, respectively for this financial year. — TNS



Three-day seminar on leadership 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 16
A three-day seminar on leadership was inaugurated at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Institute (AFPI) here yesterday.
Besides AFPI cadets, students of various schools in Chandigarh and Mohali were taking part in the seminar, organised to inculcate leadership qualities.

The schools participating included the Yadavindra Public School, the Ryan International School, Guru Nanak Public School, the Golden Bells Public School, the Shemrock Senior Secondary School and the Lawrence Public School.

The AFPI director, Maj-Gen BS Grewal (retd), introduced the subject. This was followed by a talk, in which he elaborated on various qualities that were essential. Students and cadets gave their views in brief presentations. General Grewal said leadership was essential in all walks of life.



Road work lingers on in UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Motorists in southern sectors are facing a tough time as the UT Engineering Department has not completed the construction of many road stretches between Sector 47 and 39. On a number of occasions, two-wheeler riders have lost balance or skidded on these stretches, leading to injuries to them.

Due to these incomplete stretches, the motorists sometimes take wrong turn to avoid incomplete roads, which leads to accidents.

Deepak Singh, a resident of Sector 45, said work on the slip road on the light point of Colony No. 5 has not been completed for the past many months and it was very difficult to drive on this stretch. The authorities should complete the road work immediately, he added.

Amit Dhiman of Sector 46 said work on the slip road on the light point of Sector 45-46 has also not been completed. It becomes very difficult to drive motorcycle on this stretch, he added.



Show-cause notice to rights activists
Both had approached PM against overstaying of deputationists
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The two rights activists, who raised the issue of deputationists from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana ‘overstaying’ their deputation period of five years, the UT Administration has issued show-cause notice to them for highlighting the matter before the Prime Minister. The show-cause notice was issued to Swarn Singh Kamboj, tabla instructor, and Rakesh Puri, electrical instructor, both from the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, by the UT Education department on May 11. It mentions that both had sought information under the RTI Act and had written in this regard to the Prime Minister without getting permission from the competent authority.

The notice reads: “Whereas this action on part of Swarn Singh Kamboj and Rakesh Puri is violative of Rule-8 of the Punjab Civil Services (Punishment and Appeal Rules) 1970 as made applicable to the employees of the Union Territory, Chandigarh, is liable for disciplinary action.” The UT Education Department has asked both the activists why disciplinary action for the alleged misconduct may not be initiated against them. The department has also sought reply from both within seven days of receiving the notice.

Swarn Sing Kamboj said initially they had sought help from the senior officials of the UT Education Department and the UT Administration but when they started dilly-dallying the matter then they approached the Prime Minister. The DPI (Schools), Sandeep Hans, said it was a departmental matter and he didn’t want to comment on it. Though he added whatever the department was doing was under the rules and regulations and there was nothing wrong in it. In the letter written to the PM these 2 activists had mentioned that the employees from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana had come on deputation in the UT Education dept but many of them are still continuing on deputation after more than 20-25 years of their joining.



MC fails to act on Admn complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Sounds strange but it is a fact that the Municipal Corporation is not taking care of even the complaints lodged with it by the UT Administration regarding sanitation problem. One would wonder what will be the fate of the common man's grievances.

The officials of the UT Administration executive wing, which also houses the maintenance booth, at Sector 16 have been running from pillar to post for the past one month to lodge their complaint with the MC that heaps of garbage have been lying near their office for the past two months.

The head of the wing has sent a communication in writing to the medical officer of health BK Salwan and MC Commissioner VP Singh regarding the nonlifting of garbage from the road adjoining their office. In the communication, the official has stated that as a large number of residents visit the maintenance booth daily, immediate action should be taken to remove the garbage.

During a visit to Sector 16, it was found that heaps of garbage were lying near the office. The government middle school is also situated close to the office. A resident of the area, Shama Sethi, said they had been facing the problem of nonlifting of garbage for the past more than two months. That is despite a number of complaints had been lodged with the department concerned, he added.

A leader of the Chandigarh Engineering Employees Union, Balwinder Singh, who works at the office, said it had become a routine practice of the sanitation staff to throw the garbage collected from residences in the lane near our office.



Teachers’ promotions questioned
The propriety of outgoing DPI(S) under scanner; 13 principals promoted ‘secretly’ 
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
UT education department’s act of getting 13 principals for its schools by promoting 10 teachers and getting 3 on deputation has left many questioning the propriety 
of outgoing DPI (S) Sandeep Hans.

The education department officials not only allegedly went ahead promoting 10 teachers on May 11 but also made them submit a hasty joining letter in DPI office.

That too without finalising their stations and that too at around 5 pm on May 12, which was a holiday for being second Saturday.

The move coupled with three deputations has left around five teachers on roads who were earlier the officiating principals. They have nowhere to go now as their postings remain undecided. What has irked many is that Sandeep Hans went ahead with what many have dubbed as departing favours.

“This is a blatant example of favouritism carried out in this department which is running according to the whims and fancies of one man, Chanchal Singh, who nothing less than a chota DPI. We agree that DPC had been done but why they were promoted in haste and in a hushed up manner without even finalising 

Since past one week even normal work of the department is going at snail’s pace on the plea that DPI is being repatriated. What about those of us who have been officiating as principals for long and now have nowhere to go,” said a teacher.

Newly promoted principals said, “The hue and cry is needless as DPC was done 15 days ago. The schools are battling with staff crunch and DPI has tried to remove it. It is an attempt to malign his image.”

Sandeep Hans said, “There are no holidays for academic post like principals, so we made them all join on Saturday. Nobody can question my integrity and sincerity behind these promotions.”



Evaluation centres turn into campaign hub
Candidates disturb assessment process, allege teachers
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
In wake of the upcoming Senate elections, Panjab University’s evaluation centres have practically turned into a campaigning hub for the contestants planning to contest elections from college teachers’ constituency.

University’s gymnasium hall where the evaluation for the undergraduate paper is going on has turned out to be a hot spot for the candidates. The situation is same at PU’s evaluation centres in Hoshiarpur, Ferozpur, Dasuya, Khanna and Abohar.

Sources said the probable candidates reach the centres in the morning and start distributing pamphlets and cards to the evaluators.

One of the evaluators at PU said the candidates waste their (evaluators’) time and disturb the evaluation process by coming to each desk and seeking votes. “If the candidates want to meet teachers they should wait outside the centres. They should wait for the teachers to come out after evaluating the papers rather than entering the halls and disturbing everybody,” said one of the teachers on duty.

Dr Dinesh Talwar, one of the senate members, said it’s unethical to enter the evaluation centre to seek votes. Secrecy should be maintained.

Teachers stated that the university authorities should not allow anyone to enter the evaluation centres in a bid to maintain secrecy and to avoid disturbance.

PU controller of examination AK Bhandari could not be contacted despite several attempts. There are eight seats under the college teacher constituency in Senate on which elections are held. All the regular teachers of colleges affiliated to PU are voters.



PEC employees hold candlelight march
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
The PEC employees in protest against the PEC authority with regard to their provident fund issue took out a candlelight procession here today.

The employees had also made a representation to the administrator and adviser of Chandigarh Administration regarding the issue.

One of the protesting employees participating in the candlelight march said some of the members of the board of management had also contributed monetarily for the cause of the protest. They are afraid to say the same in public or in the meeting. Ironically, few have even signed the representation given to the administration to reconsider the decisions of the board of management.

Sources said the recently constituted board of management of the institute is meeting on Thursday to review its previous decisions regarding the GPF issue on the demand of the employees.



Permanent appointment issue to be taken up today
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Tomorrow’s Syndicate meeting is expected to witness heated arguments over the permanent appointment of Daizy Zarabi in Panjab University.

The group of syndics is opposing the agenda item to be brought in the Syndicate as the item is already pending in the Senate. It has been referred back to the Syndicate without the approval of Senate.

Zarabi is presently working as programme officer in PU. The appointment of Daizy Zarabi, who was appointed on contractual basis in 1997, entered into a controversy in 2004 when an agenda was moved to make her appointment permanent. The issue was opposed by the Senate in 2004 stating that the post on which Zarabi was appointed was not advertised and therefore cannot be made permanent.

The then Vice-chancellor KN Pathak constituted a committee over the issue that found out that the post was not advertised although a circular was sent to various institutes. The university later decided to consider the circular as an advertisement and authorised Vice-chancellor to make the appointment.

On July 12, 2006 an appointment letter was issued to Zarabi by KN Pathak and she gave her joining report. However, RK Pathak retired that year. The issue was brought to the Syndicate in 2006 after RC Sobti joined as the new vice-chancellor. However, both the Syndicate and Senate did not approve Zarabi’s appointment and since then the issue has been pending although Zarabi has been serving the university on contractual basis.

A syndic said the committee formed over the issue has recommended that the appointment should be approved by the Syndicate. Even if the Syndicate approves it the Senate might reject the proposal as it has done earlier, he said. When contacted RC Sobti said the majority of the syndics had demanded that the issue should be brought to the Syndicate. “It was on the demand of the syndics that I have brought the matter back,” Sobti added.



Panjab varsity guard fired
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 16
Panjab University today terminated the services of a security guard posted at University Health Centre. He was found sitting at the office of Additional Chief Medical Officer (COM) with air conditioner on and watching television.

Panjab University Chief Security Officer (CSO) PK Dhawan said the Additional CMO Dr BS Lal was on long leave and on returning he went to his office on May 13 and found his office open and security guard Raj Kumar sitting inside.

“The matter was reported to the university authorities and the security guard was fired as his appointment was on daily basis,” Dhawan said.

Dhawan said a fresh disciplinary instruction to all the security guards across the campus has also been issued following the incident.



From Schools and colleges

305 diploma engineers secured job in leading national and multinational companies in a placement fest organised by Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training (PSBTE&IT) and Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Gharuan. Companies like Mahindra, Satyam, TVS Motors, Groz Beckert Asia, Japanese firm Takata India, Solitaire Infosys, etc participated in the fest.

Students of GMSSS-10 during the talent hunt function in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Talent hunt
Talent hunt competition was organised by GMSSS-10 today. Approximately 450 students took part in various activities like flower making, collage making, mehandi, rangoli, fancy dress (nursery), pot decoration, best-out-of-waste, mask making, painting, carry bags competitions. Mayor Raj Bala Malik was the chief guest.

Students of GMSSS-10 during the talent hunt function in Chandigarh on Wednesday. 
A tribune Photograph

Result declared
The Indian School of Business (ISB) today announced its placement result for the PGP Class of 2012. The placement season of its eleventh graduating class witnessed participation from leading domestic and international companies. Deepak Chandra, deputy dean, ISB, said, “We are happy to announce the placements results for the class of 2012. It is heartening to witness the diversity of companies participating in the process.”

River-rafting expedition
Forty Five students of Dikshant International School, Zirakpur, have returned from an adventurous two-day river-rafting expedition in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. The students first underwent a preparation-cum-safety briefing drill and then rafted down the river Ganges till ‘Munni Ki Reti’.

Faculty development programme
Surya World Institutions of Academic Excellence launched five-day Faculty Development Programme in collaboration with the Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, at its campus in Bapror village today. First in the series, the programme themed on ‘ Use of Technology in Teaching Learning Process’ is being attended Chitkara University, Universal Group of Institutions, Gian Jyoti and Sukhmani Group of Institutions, to name a few.

School cabinet
A ceremony of the School Cabinet Initiation was organised by Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, on Wednesday. The principal and vice-principal pinned badges on to the cabinet members. Fifty-two students were initiated to the School Cabinet. –– TNS



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