C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT power cut schedule out
Effective from today; will save overloaded transformers
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
After giving sleepless nights to residents due to long unscheduled power cuts, the UT electricity department today issued timings of scheduled power cuts, which will be effective from Wednesday.

Since residents have been complaining about unscheduled power cuts, the UT Administration has prepared the schedule for power cuts.

Unscheduled power cuts have been causing a lot of trouble to residents as they are not able to fix their schedules. People are facing difficulties in watching television and completing daily chores. Power cuts are spoiling the holidays of children.

Superintending engineer (electricity) MP Singh said due to overloading of transformers at the grid substations in Sectors 34 and 52, the department had to resort to power cuts to save transformers. He added that power cuts were imposed only in those areas which were facing the problem of overloading.

He further said the work for upgrading the capacity of the power transformer at the grid substation had been allotted to the Power Grid and the NTPC, but it would take time. He also said they were requesting residents restrict the use of air-conditioners as far as possible.



Ploughing to start at Sukhna Lake
To be initiated at dry areas in 10-15 days, will deal with weed menace
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
With the water level receding every day and huge dry patches visible at the Sukhna Lake, the UT Administration has now decided to deal with the weed menace.

The UT Administration has planned to initiate a ploughing project at Sukhna Lake in the next between 10 and 15 days. The Administration is ready for a maiden attempt of carrying out ploughing to contain the weed menace at the Sukhna Lake.

At present, the UT engineering department is carrying out a desilting drive near the boating club area and near the regulatory end to deal with the problem of silt.

At the last meeting, the committee constituted for the conservation and beautification of the Sukhna Lake had given the go-ahead to carry out extensive ploughing to control weed growth.

A senior official with the UT Administration said they would launch the ploughing project at only those areas which had completely dried up. The Administration was hopeful to reduce the impact of weed growth at the lake with the ploughing procedure, he added.

By using a standard ploughing method at the lake, the authorities were hopeful of combating the weed problem at the Sukhna Lake. As per the plan, ploughing would turn over the upper layer of the soil and unearth the weed. As latest instruments could plough a foot deep, it would expose the weed to sunlight, wiping out the weed. The weed would later be removed manually.

Last year, the National Institute of Hydrology at Roorkee, conducting a year-long study on the lake, in its preliminary report submitted to the UT Administration, had stated that nearly 50 per cent of the water body would run dry by June.

The committee had previously planned to start digging two feet deep at the dried-up area in summer to remove the weed from the lake. But with the procedure being costly and the risk of the monsoon hitting the region by June or July, the committee had rejected the proposal. The long-standing weed menace had now resulted in a dismal picture of the main tourist spot of the city.

It was also hampering the movement of oars and boats. The weed under the water also caused skin allergies, if touched.



MHA adopting double standard
Says no provision in Act for 60:40 ratio of deputationists to UT
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
It seems that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is adopting a double standard in the 60:40 ratio in posts filled from among IAS, IPS and state-cadre officers coming on deputation to the UT Administration.

While Union Home Minister P Chidambaram directed the Chandigarh Administration to maintain the 60:40 ratio, the MHA had stated in response to an RTI query earlier that there was no provision for the 60:40 ratio.

In a communication to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the minister had assured him that the existing arrangement of the 60:40 formula would be maintained.

In reply to an application filed by city based RTI activist Satprakash Kansal, the MHA had earlier stated that deputation cases of IAS and IPS officers were decided after calling a panel of officers from the government concerned and there was no provision in the Act for a 60:40 ratio.

It was further stated in the reply that cadre posts of IAS and IPS in Chandigarh were of the AGMUT cadre, but posts like those of Home Secretary, Deputy Commissioner and Finance Secretary had been filled by taking officers on deputation from Punjab and Haryana, which was as per IAS/IPS (Cadre) Rules.

A few months ago, UT-cadre IAS officer Satya Gopal had been given more portfolios after divesting a Haryana-cadre Home Secretary Anil Kumar of those, which attracted a protest from Haryana.

Sources revealed that the recent restoration of important portfolios to Punjab-cadre Finance Secretary VK Singh and Haryana-cadre Home Secretary Anil Kumar and taking those back from UT-cadre Chandigarh Housing Board Chairman Satya Gopal was part of the signal from the Centre to the UT top brass not to fiddle with the existing arrangement.



BJYM dist chief commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 12
The district president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Arun Guleria, reportedly committed suicide under mysterious circumstances by hanging himself at his residence here this afternoon.

The 29-year-old youth leader was married and had an eight-year-old son. Guleria had reportedly been under depression due to some domestic reasons.

He was at his house with his mother and wife around 2:30 pm. He reportedly had a tiff with his family.

In a fit of rage, he immediately moved to one of the rooms on the first floor of his house and bolted the door from inside.

After a few minutes, the family went to the first floor and tried to open the door of the room. They managed to open the door with difficulty.

They were shocked to see the body hanging from a ceiling fan. Guleria used a stool to take the extreme step.

At the time of the incident, his father had gone to his office. The family immediately, informed the police, which that arrived on the spot and took the body into custody.

The body was sent to the mortuary of the General Hospital at Sector 6. The post-mortem examination would be conducted tomorrow. The police started investigations.

Guleria was a BJP worker and had been working for the party for the last six years. He was holding the post of BJYM president for the last two years.



Night food street kiosk rent Rs 25,000 a month
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
The municipal corporation (MC) has revised the rent of kiosks at the night food street near the PGI and reduced the number of kiosks from eight to four.

This decision was taken during a meeting of the MC's finance and contract committee (F&CC), chaired by Mayor Raj Bala Malik, here today.

It was decided that the kiosks would be given on lease through a draw of lots and the rent of each kiosk would be Rs 25,000 per month.

During the meeting, the committee recommended that the number of kiosks be reduced from eight to four, with two in each block.

Members stated that the night food street had been set up by the MC to provide food at subsidised rates.

It was also decided that only those products be served there which were available at subsidised rates. It was decided that Punjabi, South Indian, bakery and milk product booths would now be allowed at the four kiosks.

The members opined that a fixed menu be served to the public and students. The committee also decided that no non-vegetarian food be served there.

The decision on rates of eatables was not finalised by members today. They asked officials to table the rate list at the next meeting, scheduled for June 14.

In February, the F&CC had decided to reduce the rent of the kiosks by Rs 5,000. The rent of the kiosks was fixed at Rs 20,000 per kiosk, instead of Rs 25,000 earlier. The members today also sanctioned the purchase of USB data cards with Internet connections and their allotment to the councillors who had got laptops from the MC.

Other decisions of F&CC

The F&CC will meet on the 5th, 15th and 25th each month. Of the meetings, one will be held to discuss policy matters. The other two will be conducted for the approval of issues.
As the MC is not getting the grant-in-aid from the Administration on time, it will hold a mid-term budget review meeting in August.
The F&CC has decided that a detailed report on expenditure under the non-plan head be tabled every quarter.


MC constitutes panel
To revise rent of shops and check subletting in villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
The municipal corporation constituted a special committee to recommend revise rent of shops in Badheri, Buterla and Burail villages. In a meeting of the finance and contract committee today, it has been decided that a committee has been constituted, which will revise the rent of booths and also check subletting of the shops in these villages.

BJP councillor Rajesh Kumar Gupta raised an issue that before revising the rates, an inspection should be conducted in these villages to check the subletting of shops. Alleging that there are a number of shops in these villages, which were sublet by owner, he said it showed there was no monitoring of the authorities on illegal action of shopkeepers.

Referring to the report tabled today in the committee, he said there were two shops where liquor vendors were running by the sublet shopkeepers, which was not allowed as per the terms and conditions.

In the committee, a fresh survey conducted by the corporation was tabled in which it was found that about 60 per cent of the shops are lying vacant due to the non-allotment from a long time. The authorities are recommending monthly hike in the rent of these shops.

As per the fresh suggestions, the authorities have proposed that in Badheri, the rent should be Rs 6,896 per month, which is Rs 5,172 at present, in Buterla, the existing rent is Rs 4,693 per month and the proposed rent is Rs 6,257 and in Burail, the existing rest is Rs 2,883 and the proposed rent is Rs 3,844 per month.

Interestingly, this is for the third time that the authorities are coming up with a proposal to increase the rent of the shops in the villages, but till date no efforts have been made to allot them and they are lying vacant for more than six years.

Records of the corporation reveal that all booths and shops of the villages were given on rent by the panchayats earlier at the nominal rent of Rs 100 to Rs 800. Since the shifting of villages to the corporation, there has been no increase in the rent of these booths, despite rehabilitation of the village and manifold increase in the cost of property.



Excise dept proposes shifting of 17 liquor vends
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
In the wake of Punjab and Haryana High Court directives on pre-fabricated vends running along roadside, the UT excise department has proposed shifting of 17 liquor vends that are located along the road running from Sector 48 to Sector 39. A total of 23 vends had come under the scrutiny, following the High Court’s order.

For the remaining six vends located in Mani Majra, the department has proposed their closure, as there was no alternative land with the UT engineering department to shift them. “Either the administration goes to the Supreme Court or vends be shifted,” said an official in the department. The department has to file the reply in the court on June 28.

Though the department had identified 29 such vends, 23 such vends were auctioned on a high premium on April 20, the department withdrew the forthcoming auction of six more such sites that had not been disposed earlier.

Some of the sites along the Vikas Marg, road leading from Sector 48 to Sector 39 and running parallel to Colony No. 5 and Sector 43 ISBT and the road leading from Zirakpur to Tribune Chowk had been identified that were falling on the land reserved for expansion and maintenance of the road.

The land for the vends has been given on lease by the UT engineering department. To clarify the status of the land, the excise department has sought clarification from the UT engineering department.

The sites running from pre-fabricated vends was among the highest revenue generating outlets for the excise department. In the auction held on April 20, a pre-fabricated vend located in Sector 52 (opposite Sector 43 bus stand), attracted a bid of Rs 4.25 crore against the reserved price of Rs 3.30 crore and another one located at Behlana went for Rs 4.25 crore against a reserved price of Rs 3.01 crore.

Last year, the MC had decided to give land on lease to liquor vends. It is now only the engineering department that was giving land on lease for liquor vends.



751 applications for auction of vanity numbers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
For the auction of vanity numbers in the new series, CH01 AN, the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh, has received as many as 751 applications. The auction is scheduled for June 15.

Officials in the RLA said the maximum request had been received for numbers like 0999. This time, 161 VIP numbers have been put to auction. In the last auction, former Director General of Police (DGP) of Haryana, SPS Rathore, had picked up the registration number CH01-AM-0001 for a whopping Rs 9.05 lakh for a new Mercedes.



Abandoned baby handed over to foundation

Mohali, June 12
The abandoned girl child that was found at Sector 69 was handed over to a foundation in Ludhiana district here yesterday. The about four-month baby was handed over to the Swami Ganganath Bhuri Wale International Foundation Dham, Talwandi Khurd village, Ludhiana.

The baby, found on June 8, was kept at Grecian Hospital and later shifted to the Civil Hospital, Phase VI. Efforts were made to trace the parents but to no avail. — OC



438 booths to be set up for 3-day polio campaign
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 12
About 438 booth will be set up during the three-day national pulse polio campaign to be held from June 17 for the children upto 5 years of age.

In a meeting at Mini Secretariat here yesterday, Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar directed officers to make arrangements for the campaign. She also directed to involve village heads and members of residents welfare associations in the campaign to motivate the people in the rural area. She also directed the District Development and Panchayat Officer to write letters to village heads for the campaign. She also ordered the Planning Officer to make sure the participation of anganwadi workers in the campaign.

Speaking on the occasion, Civil Surgeon, Panchkula, said that there will be 45 transit teams and 47 mobile teams in the district to administer pulse-polio drops to children.



Tricity scan
Chandigarh scan

The department of health, UT Chandigarh, organised a maternal, prenatal and neonatal death data dissemination meeting in collaboration with the PGI School of Public Health in the District Family Welfare Bureau, Sector 22, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. About 100 participants included heads of the departments of paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology of Government Multi-specialty Hospital, Government Medical College Hospital and PGIMER, programme officials, senior medical officials, medical officials, nursing superintendents, lady health visitors, ANMs and multipurpose health workers. Anil Kumar, health secretary, Chandigarh, was the chief guest. He emphasised that reproductive and child programme needs further improvement so that Chandigarh becomes best in the country. Dr Soma, district family and welfare official, UT Chandigarh, thanked all staff members and School of Public Health for supporting the programme. Dr Rajesh Kumar, professor and head, School of Public Health, introduced the objectives of the project to the participants. Dr Chander Mohan, director health services-cum-mission director, National Rural Health Mission, reported recent improvements in maternal and child health situation in Chandigarh. Dr Madhu Gupta, assistant professor of community medicine, School of Public Health, presented community-based maternal death review. She informed that 18 maternal deaths had occurred last year and most common cause was bleeding and sepsis after the delivery. Dr Vanita Jain, professor, department of obstetrics and gynaecology, PGIMER, and Manmeet Kaur, assistant professor of health promotion, School of Public Health, PGIMER, also shared their findings of a study on beliefs and practices of pregnant mothers.

‘Shift toilets’

Following a representation given by senior BJP leader, Harmohan Dhawan to the Adviser to the Administrator, Satya Gopal, regarding shifting of toilets built underneath peepal trees in the Grain Market, Sector 26, the Adviser on Tuesday directed the market committee to shift toilets and make arrangement for make-shift toilets at an alternative place.


The following have been elected as office-bearers of the income tax and sales tax Bar association: Jasjit Singh Dhindsa- president; Rajendra Malhotra- senior vice-president; Suresh Kumar and Sanjeev Khurana- vice-presidents; Ajay Gupta-general secretary; Shaman Jain- secretary; Vipin Sharma- joint secretary.

Store launched

Godrej Interio, a leader and innovator in home and office furniture category, on Tuesday announced the launch of its store in Chandigarh at the Glass Palace, Sector 7-C. It was launched in the presence of senior Godrej representatives, including Sushil Thariani, AVP, business head, North India, Godrej Interio. The store will possess unique and experiential elements and offer discerning customers an ultimate premium shopping experience.

Summer workshop

ICCW, Chandigarh, had started a summer workshop on bhangra, western music, art and craft at the open air theatre in Bal Bhawan here. Through the workshop, children are being trained to develop skills that instill confidence.


Honda Siel Cars India Limited (HSCI), a leading manufacturer of premium cars in India, on Tuesday announced its “5 lakh customers’ celebrations” campaign to commemorate the success of achieving 5 lakh sales milestone in India. The campaign will be held in the city at Harmony Honda and Prestige Honda dealerships where the customers and their family members can come and experience Honda products and can avail special celebration offers.

mohali scan

Gurmail Singh Sandhu has been elected as the president of Sahib Welfare Association (SWA) of the residents of Phase X, Mohali. At the general body meeting, Attar C Bhikkhan was elected as the vice-president, PS Mehta as general secretary, Jaswinder Sharma as joint secretary, Mohinderpal Singh Saini as cashier and Harcharan Jeet Mangat as PRO.

Awareness drive

The dairy development department on Tuesday conducted sampling of milk samples in Phase VII and found water content in 21 of the total 33 samples taken. However, no dangerous chemical was found in the milk. The department had organised the camp as a part of the awareness drive.

panchkula scan
Summer camp

Children were made aware of all safety measurements, which should be taken while walking on roads, working in kitchen, playing in playgrounds or simply when being at home unattended during the summer camp organised by Hallmark School. Various activities were also organised at the camp for the overall development of the child. The kids were taught popular dance forms. The children from the age group of 4-6 years danced their way in freestyle hip-hop. The senior kids freaked out by learning poppin-n-lockin. All dance performances are choreographed by a professional choreographer and the kids would be setting the ablaze in the grand finale at Yavnika on June 14. School principal Kavita Wadhwa and director Jivtesh Garg informed that 200 children would be participating in the cultural extravaganza at Yavnika where an exhibition of students’ creative work would also be displayed. Music director and rapper Tavleen Singh would be present as the chief guest. — Tribune Reporters



Senators woo with powers
Leave no stone unturned to ensure victory; trend to secure votes by favouring colleges through inspection has come into light
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
It seems sitting Senate members are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that they are elected again as members of the Panjab University Senate. This can be gauged with the fact that the members going on inspection to affiliated colleges for grant of affiliation to courses have even asked colleges to vote for them in return of positive inspection report. A similar case was highlighted by one of the principals at a meeting held yesterday at the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

The Senate members influencing voters with their powers are not new, however, the trend of securing the votes by favouring the colleges through inspections has also come into light.

Official sources said a delegation of principals from PU affiliated private colleges of Punjab had met the Vice-Chancellor on various issues during which one of the principals raised the issue that Senators favour colleges for votes.

The principal of a college in Punjab, who is also contesting the Senate elections from the principal constituency, highlighting the case at the VC office said during his campaigning, he came across one of the college principals who revealed that in return to the favour given to the college, his vote was reserved for a sitting Senate member contesting the Senate elections from the principal constituency and who had once visited the college as the chairperson of the inspection committee.

“I was told by that principal that his vote was reserved, when I asked him to give the second preference of vote, he revealed that he would be voting on the directions of that particular Senator,” said the principal.

Highlighting another case, the principal on the condition of anonymity said the exercise to influence the college principals and even teachers had begun from the beginning of the year with Senators visiting the colleges as the chairmen of inspection committees or during examination in colleges as flying.

“A large number of copy cases were ignored by the Senators this year in the colleges in the wake of Senate elections,” a principal said.



Students protest inefficiency of single window enquiry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
The Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) today staged a protest outside the single window enquiry at Panjab University (PU). Students protested against the inefficiency of single window to solve their problems following orders of the Vice-Chancellor to redress the problems at the inquiry only.

The students complained that with a huge rush witnessed at the single window enquiry, the students were made to wait for hours by employees for getting their work done, which the students earlier used to get it done themselves while visiting the administrative block.

SOPU president Manoj Lubana said although the PU authorities wanted to assist the students by redressing their problems at the single window inquiry, however, with lesser manpower and lack of infrastructure, the single window system had failed to solve its purpose.

On the orders of the Vice-Chancellor, the entry of the students to the administrative block has been restricted on the pretext that the students can get their work done at the single window inquiry only.

Lubana said the authorities were taking decisions at their own without taking into confidence the students, officials and staff working there. “The decision has put everyone, including staff and students, into trouble,” he said.

The students demanded that the students should be allowed to enter the administrative block by showing the university identity card.

In a bid to pacify the agitating students, hostel wardens were rushed to the scene who gave assurance that the issue would be taken up with the Vice-Chancellor tomorrow.



Students elections: DAV principal suggests reforms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 12
In a bid to change the image of DAV College, Sector 10, that in the last few years has turned out to be the city’s most notorious college, the college principal today met officiating Adviser to the Administrator suggesting a few election reforms to ensure peaceful student elections.

Principal BC Josan, DAV College, appealed to Satya Gopal, the officiating Adviser, for constituting a monitoring committee in order to have peaceful student elections in compliance to various rules and regulations of expenditure limits and publicity defined as per the Lyngdoh recommendations.

Josan said he had requested the administration to be actively involved in the election process to end violence. “We want that the elections be held peacefully. Meanwhile, I have also proposed to start ‘open house’ again, so to have a healthy debate among candidates contesting the elections,” Josan said.

DAV College in the last few years has remained in the bad books of the Chandigarh police with streaks of violence incidents.

In March this year, armed assailants barged into the college here, fired five gunshots and attacked members of a rival party with swords and sticks, injuring seven PUSU supporters.

The rising incidents of violence at DAV College has made the college authorities initiate bold steps by barring admission to those involved in incidents of violence. The college during the tenure of officiating principal AK Nanda had collected details of those booked by the police during the last three years and had recommended that the students involved in the violence within the campus would never get the chance to study at the college again.

Finance Secretary VK Singh who was also present assured that everything possible will be done in order to have rightful elections that, too, in a way, which will not affect the studies of students.

The Chandigarh police getting stricter this year have decided to book all student leaders under the West Bengal Property Defacement Act for pasting posters at public property.



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