C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kidnap bid foiled
Seven-year-old boy frees himself, runs to shop
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 18
With presence of mind, a seven-year-old boy foiled his own kidnapping by biting on the arm of one of the kidnappers near his house at Sector 9 here this afternoon. According to information, the boy, who was identified as Jashan, went to buy a toffee from a Vita shop located near his house.

After his return, he started playing with his friends in the neighbourhood. Meanwhile, a white Maruti van was driven to the spot.

One of the accused tried to forcibly pick Jashan up and another tried to put a handkerchief on his face.

But a vigilant Jashan inflicted an injury by biting on the arm of one of the kidnappers. Thereafter, he freed himself by pushing them and ran towards the Vita shop.

Jashan narrated the incident to Kanta, who ran the Vita shop. When she tried to enquire what the matter was, the four accused immediately fled. She informed Jashan's father, who immediately arrived on the spot and informed the police. Vinod ran a computer hardware shop at the NAC in Mani Majra.

After getting the information, Deputy Commissioner of Police Parul Kush Jain, Sector-5 police station in charge-cum-DSP under training-cum-CIA staff in charge Karamveer Singh and crime inspector Surinder reached the spot and started investigations.

Kanta told the police that Jashan was very scared when he came to her and after she consoled him, he narrated the incident.

Vinod and his wife Jyoti, who was working with a private company, told the police that they had no enmity with anybody and added that they did not know who was behind this kidnapping attempt.

Jain said three teams were formed under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner of Police (City) Vinod Kumar and added that 'nakas' were laid on all entry and exit points of the district to nab the culprits.



Life jackets redundant at Sukhna
Water in boating area just three feet deep, boats get stuck in mud
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Life jackets have become redundant at the Sukhna Lake. It is obvious that anybody can easily stand in the water, three feet deep, in the boating area of the city’s landmark and nobody will drown.

This was evident from the fact that all tourists at the Sukhna Lake, who opted for boating at the lake, did not wear life jackets today. Tourists were not wearing life jackets because of the low water level and the scorching heat.

A CITCO employee at the boating area said they advised tourists to wear life jackets before going for boating, but after seeing the water level and dry patches, tourists started making fun of CITCO employees and asked who would drown in three feet of water.

Rajiv Sharma, a tourist at the Sukhna Lake, said the lake had turned into a virtual swamp and boats were getting stuck in the muddy water.

When there was no water and the authorities had restricted the boating area, there was no chance of drowning, he added.

Why would anybody wear life jackets in this hot weather when there was no water at the lake, he asked.

Poonam Bisht, a tourist from Ambala, said there was no scope of drowning. She added that when she went for boating with her friend, it was very difficult to pedal the boat.

It was continuously hitting the muddy area of the lake, she said. When it was so difficult to pedal the boat, there was no question of drowning, she added.

Ragini Sharma, a housewife from Patiala, said they came for boating, but deferred it when they saw a few people shouting for help as their boat got stuck and CITCO employees helping them out.

She said though life jackets were for the safety of tourists, people were avoiding those now as they knew that nothing would happen in the low water level.

A senior CITCO official said he came to know that tourists were informing the staff that they did not want to wear life jackets it was very hot and the water level was very low.

Plans to buy more boats postponed

The depleting water level has forced CITCO to postpone its plans to introduce more pedal-boats and motorboats. It is strange that while the existing boats, which are approximately 85 in number, are not being put to optimum use, the Administration plans to purchase more boats.



Depleting water level in sukhna lake
UT Admn to conduct study
To bring maximum water from the catchment area to the Sukhna Lake
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Waking up from deep slumber, the UT Administration has now decided to conduct a study on how to bring maximum water from the Sukhna catchment area to the Sukhna Lake.

As the water level at Sukhna Lake is decreasing at an alarming rate, the UT Administration wants to know as to how much rain water gets wasted in the catchment area and does not enter the Sukhna Lake.

The average flow of water into the lake from 1958 to 1978 was 7,370 acre feet while in 1999 it was 1,870 acre feet. In 2006, it was only 736 acre feet. The water flow has reduced drastically in the past two years.

A senior official of the UT Administration said that they wanted to know as to how much natural flow of rainwater entered the lake from Kansal and Nepli channel from the Sukhna catchment area. As the rain water is the only source of water at Sukhna Lake, therefore the Administration wants these details as such kind of data is not available with the UT Administration, the official added.

On the basis of study report, the Administration will try to remove the obstacles for the smooth flow of water entering the lake from the catchment area, he added.

Last year, the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee, which is 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 study says that the water level is going down by 6mm daily in winters and around 8 mm daily in summers. The original area that the lake spanned had considerably shrunk. In 1958, the lake encompassed 228 hectares. Today, it spans 148 hectares, down by almost a third.

The UT Administration is also not getting any kind of help from Haryana. Recently, the Haryana government turned down the UT Administration’s request to provide water from the Kaushalya Dam in Pinjore. The Administration wanted a separate water channel, which the government was laying from Pinjore to Panchkula.

To end the water crisis of Sukhna Lake, recently, the Administration had put forward the proposal before the committee that during winters the demand for water was less and hence, water could be supplied from the Kajauli waterworks to fill the Sukhna Lake in winters.But later the committee had rejected the proposal.



Former Pinjore councillor held
Suman Bhandar eighth person arrested in ~1.17-crore scam
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 18
Vigilance nabbed former councillor of the Pinjore Municipal Council (now corporation), Suman Bhandar, in a ~1.17-crore scam last night. She was produced in the district court here today, which remanded her to judicial custody.

Another former councillor, arrested by vigilance on Friday night and on police remand, was also produced in court, which remanded her to judicial custody.

There were allegations against Suman that she had siphoned off money by signing fake bills for installing iron covers for drains, clearing debris, cleaning underground septic tanks and putting traffic light points.

Till now, vigilance had arrested six councillors, one clerk and one contractor. Vigilance had filed a charge sheet against 18 persons, including former Pinjore MC president Kuldeep Singh.

The rest of the accused, including Kuldeep, were at large. Vigilance had issued warrants in February against Kuldeep, MC secretary Kashmiri Lal Bansal, MC clerk Hargu Lal and contractor Charanjit Singh.

The bureau had also issued notices to five councillors, Sanjeev Kumar, Jagmohan Dhiman, Avinash Kaur, Amarchand and Chinder Pal, recently granted interim bail, to join the investigation.

The MC had given the contract of removing debris after demolishing shops to Mohan Lal in 2008-2009, allegedly without proper procedure on false quotations.

An amount of Rs 9.49 lakh was embezzled without any work, the vigilance report said, adding that shopkeepers had to remove the debris.

In the second case, instead of Rs 10,000, a contract of Rs 6.92 lakh was awarded to Mohan without any tender or advertisement, for cleaning five septic tanks.

Besides the above scams, no tender was called for awarding contract for iron sieve grills over drains at MC wards in 2008-09.

An amount of Rs 85.18 lakh was embezzled on the basis of fake bills as no grills, as claimed, were found during the survey.



Shatabdi delayed by over an hour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Passengers of the morning Shatabdi were harassed as the train was delayed by over an hour-and-a-half after an executive coach developed a technical snag in New Delhi.

The Shatabdi was scheduled to depart for Chandigarh at 7:20 am, but left the station only around 9:30 am.

It reached here around 12:30 pm, against the scheduled arrival time of 10:50 am. As a result, the Holiday Special train and the Himalayan Queen to Shimla were also late, confirmed sources at Kalka.

A senior official with the Ambala division said one of the AC coaches of the executive class developed a technical snag in its AC, resulting in the coach being replaced with a new one.

Ruing the set-up, passengers said the authorities should have acted in time.



pu vc Selection
Chancellor asks search committee to resume work, recommend panel
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 18
The hitherto suspended process of selection of the new Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Panjab University (PU) resumed today, with Vice-President and Chancellor Hamid Ansari asking the search committee set up for the purpose earlier to restart work and recommend a panel of three VC probables “at the earliest”.

The move came in the light of the government clarification to the Chancellor in respect of his queries on whether the 2010 UGC Regulations on Appointment of VCs applied to PU, which had its own Act.

Pending these clarifications, the Chancellor had asked the search committee set up on February 9 to suspend its work.

The HRD Ministry, in its first reply to the Chancellor this May, had said while the UGC Regulations applied to the PU and all Central universities, even the 16 new Central universities set up in 2009 had not yet amended their statutes to implement these.

When the Chancellor sent a counter-query to the ministry, asking how the PU was expected to follow the Regulations which even Central varsities were not yet following, the HRD Ministry admitted last week that the UGC Regulations in question had problems and were being referred back to the UGC Commission for review and amendments.

These regulations mandate the presence of a representative each of the Chancellor, the UGC and the university concerned on the search committee. A few Central, deemed and state universities are following these UGC norms, which those describe as impractical. As for the Chancellor, he had referred the matter for clarifications to the ministry after allegations were raised that the search committee constituted was against UGC norms.

With the ministry now clarifying the issue, the Chancellor said in his order to the PU Registrar tonight, “The government advice on the applicability of UGC Regulations to the PU was sought in April and the expert search committee had been requested to await the receipt of such advice before proceeding further in the matter. The ministry has now advised that there are certain complications regarding the operation of UGC Regulations 2010, necessitating their reexamination, and that the UGC has been requested to do the same. Until such reexamination, the PU Act 1947, government notifications issued under Section 72 of the Panjab Reorganisation Act 1966 and regulations notified under Section 31 of the PU Act 1947 will apply.”

Accordingly the Chancellor added, “Keeping past practice in mind, the committee is requested to continue with its work and draw up a panel of three names suitable for the post of VC from among the potential candidates, including eligible candidates of Panjab University, at the earliest.” His office clarified that no panel of VCs had yet been sent and reports to this effect in the local media in Chandigarh were false. The PU committee is convened by Justice (retd) Leila Seth and has scientist P Rama Rao and former Ambassador IS Chadha among members. The term of incumbent VC RC Sobti ends on July 22.

HRD Ministry view on UGC norms

“We have received several representations from state governments against the spirit of the existing UGC Regulations, which mandate a UGC nominee on the panel set up to search the VC of a state university, but do not mandate a representative of the state government on a panel constituted to appoint the VC of a Central university. We have sent the Regulations to the UGC Commission for review.”



MC giving UT Administrator’s directions a miss
Awaiting written instructions from Administration to commence work at Deep Complex
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Making a mockery of UT Administrator Shivraj Patil’s directions given during a public hearing to municipal corporation (MC) officials to provide basic civic amenities to residents of the Deep Complex here, the authorities are waiting for written instructions to commence the work.

In March, during a public hearing session at the UT Secretariat, the Administrator had directed officials concerned to extend all basic facilities, including drinking water and electricity, to the complex till the decision on whether it was under the jurisdiction of the MC or the UT Administration was taken.

Ignoring the instructions, the MC sent a communication to the UT Administration, seeking clear instructions in providing basic civic amenities to the complex as it was not under the jurisdiction of the MC.

When contacted, MC chief engineer SS Bidda said the MC had not received any response to its communication from the Administration on the Deep Complex issue. He said development works would be started in the area after getting instructions from the Chandigarh Administration.

Area councillor Jannat Jahan-ul Haq today met officiating UT Adviser Satya Gopal to lodge a complaint about the delay in the commencement of development works. He assured her that instructions would shortly be issued to the MC to start work immediately.

During the public hearing session in March, Jannat had brought to the notice of the UT Administrator that the Deep Complex in her ward was being given stepmotherly treatment as there was confusion between the MC and the UT Administration over jurisdiction.

Due to this confusion, people of the area were suffering as neither the MC, nor the UT Administration was taking any interest in providing basic facilities, she had said. She had pointed out that the complex was denotified in 2007 and transferred to the MC in 2008.

She had said the UT Administration issued a notification in 2009 to revert the area of the Deep Complex village from the MC and as a result, no decision to denotify the village and transfer it to the MC had been taken till date.

According to MC records, the civic body had been earmarking crores every year in the last three budgets for sewerage and storm-water works without considering whether the area was under its jurisdiction or not.


CTU depot or junkyard?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
As the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) is struggling to keep its ageing fleet of buses running, a huge junk of around 120 condemned buses are already lying dumped in the two workshops, located in Industrial Area Phase I here.

The CTU has not been able to dispose of the buses in the past three years, thanks to the official rigmarole involved in auctioning the junk.
Garbage dumped at the workshop
Garbage dumped at the workshop.
The workshop has turned into a dumping ground
The workshop has turned into a dumping ground.

The buses parked all around in Depot No.1 and Depot No.2 are not only blocking vital space in the already inadequate workshops, but have led to unhygienic conditions. Apart from being a favourite abode of insects and reptiles, mosquitoes breed in the dark and dingy corners beneath the buses. In some corners, garbage is also dumped.

Sources reveal that the file pertaining to the auction of the condemned buses has been moving between the UT secretariat and the CTU office in Industrial Area here. Over the years, the price the junk has also decreased. The situation is more pathetic in CTU Depot No.1 adjoining the railway track.

It is learnt that due to shortage of spare parts, some of them from the condemned buses have also been used.

“As the buses have been parked for the past over three years, many of them are without tyres. These buses should be disposed of at the earliest so that the junk fetches some money”, said Bhupinder Singh, president of the CTU Workers Union.

SP Parmar, general manager, CTU, said of the total 119 buses, 82 will be soon disposed of as there are court cases pertaining to 38 buses. The sanction from the finance department has already been granted and permission to dispose of the buses will be taken soon, he said.

Litter all around

The buses parked all around in Depot No.1 and Depot No.2 are not only blocking vital space in the already inadequate workshops, but have led to unhygienic conditions. Apart from being a favourite abode of insects and reptiles, mosquitoes breed in the dark and dingy corners beneath the buses. In some corners, garbage is also dumped

Spares problem plague buses

Shortage of spare parts is again affecting CTU buses plying on long routes. Sources said a number of buses were parked in Depot No. 1 and Depot No. 2. A HVAC bus is parked for the past five months due to its non- functional AC. Around 12 mini buses are also parked in Depot No 2. due to their non-functional ACs.

Bus service on metro route from today

The UT Transport Secretary will flag off the metro bus service from the PGI on Tuesday morning. Around 24 buses have been presently dedicated to the metro routes. Initially, the bus will run from Saranpur via the PGI to Panchkula. The buses withdrawn from low demand peripheral routes are being put on the dedicated routes. The frequency of service will be every five minutes instead of the present 20 minutes. The UT has also decided to start the night bus service, specially for those travelling to IT Park, malls and the PGI. The routes for night bus service will include IT Park, railway station and the industrial areas, where people face a number of problems at night. Major hospitals like GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and the PGI will also be connected through these routes



UT police feedback mechanism gets wings
Callers to be asked about any illegal activity being carried out in their area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Moving a step ahead in improving the feedback mechanism of the UT police, police personnel posted at the control room will now be asking callers to pass any information regarding any criminal activity in their area.

The feedback mechanism, which was started in 2010 after UT SSP Naunihal Singh took over, aims to develop better police-public relations wherein the callers calling the police control room are called back and asked whether they are satisfied with the police response to their complaint.

Roshan Lal, DSP (PCR), said that now in addition to asking the response of the PCR personnel, behaviour of the staff and action taken, the feedback staff under the supervision of the System Supervisor will be requesting the callers to pass on the information of criminal nature of any type, ill-legal activity in their area, persons with low income enjoying high status or any other suspicious person or happening in the surrounding area.

The identity of the caller will be kept a closely guarded secret and the caller will also be rewarded in case the information leads police to a major scam or gang.

The police department will also develop the information by its own sources like special cell/beat staff/crime cell and will take action according to law if any ill-legal activity is detected.

As per the feedback mechanism, the complainant is called back on the next day by PCR feed-back staff to know the response of the PCR vehicles, behaviour of police personnel and action taken by EO of the respective police station. In case complainant is not satisfied with the service provided by the police, its report is sent to the SDPOs concerned to cross check either by his own or with the help of the staff attached with them. Adequate action will be taken against the police personnel found guilty of misconduct.



Fire breaks out at PGI research block
Documents, furniture destroyed; no loss of life reported
Tribune News Service

A PGI employee looks for documents that were not destroyed in the fire at Research Block—B of the hospital in Chandigarh on Monday
A PGI employee looks for documents that were not destroyed in the fire at Research Block—B of the hospital in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, June 18
Few books, documents along with a wooden table were destroyed in a fire that broke out at one of the research blocks of Post graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here today. Though no exact cause of the incident was ascertained, prima facie it was suspected that short circuit in the air conditioner could have resulted in the mishap.

It was around 11.15 am that Dr Daisy Sahni, professor and head, Department of Anatomy, PGIMER, was sitting in the library room in front of her office on the ground floor of PN Chhuttani Block. She left the room to pick some documents from her office when smoke was noticed by Dr Tulika, an assistant professor, who raised the alarm.

The fire brigade was informed about the incident, the staff members present on the spot put the sand on the flames to control the fire. Meanwhile, most of the books and other goods lying in the room were shifted by the staff members to a safe place.

The fire was controlled within few minutes after a fire tender reached the spot. The sparking in the stabiliser of the air conditioner seemed to the reason behind the incident, said the fire brigade officials.

This was, however, third such incident at the PGI in the last one year. On June 18, fire burnt Ghinder Singh, a 55-year-old resident of Doraha in Ludhiana district, in the Emergency Ward when the doctors were trying to revive him by giving him electric shocks.

Later, in July, a fault in the air-conditioning system resulted in smoke emanating from the operation theatre.



body donation
PGI received 11 bodies this year
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The department of anatomy, PGIMER, Chandigarh, has received the body Raj Sharma, who died at the age of 94 years here today. Sharma donated was president of Arya Samaj Mandir, Sector 22, and chief patron of Brahma Maha Sabha. He was also a social worker and also fond of instrumental music (harmonium).

As per his wish, his body was donated for research and teaching to PGI, Chandigarh. “In his life and in his death, he has left a legacy of service and sacrifice. Department of Anatomy is grateful to him and his family members for this noble gesture,” said a release from PGI.

It was the 11th body received by the anatomy department of PGI this year.

It seems people have started overcoming their apprehensions about not being able to attain salvation for not being cremated with rituals. And, perhaps this has contributed to the steady progress of organ and body donation in the city, said Dr Daisy Sahni, Professor and head, department of anaotomy.

While just one cadaver was donated to the PGI in 2004, the number trebled in 2006-07 and again doubled in 2007-08 to six. The maximum number of bodies donated by the people from region was two years ago in 2010. That time 18 bodies were received at the PGI for research purpose, she said.

People coming forward for body donation belong to all strata of society, including poor, rich, young as well as old and even illiterate. Over 1,400 donors have already submitted their pledge with PGI, added Dr Sahni.

Cadaveric dissection is the integral part of the curriculum of any medical school. It helps a student to learn topographic localisation of tissues of the body. The surgeons also require it to update their knowledge. The anatomists in most of the medical institutions feel the shortage of cadavers for imparting training to medical students.

Hence, there is a strong need to popularise the message to common masses to donate their bodies after death which can be preserved by embalming and later can be used for teaching and research purposes.

  • A person in his life can express his will in writing (form can be downloaded) and can convince his next kith and kin that after death his body may be donated. The body along with the death certificate/declaration of death certificate should be transported within 3-5 hours to the department of anatomy of the PGIMER, Chandigarh, (or to any other nearby medical college/institute). In case of any difficulty in transporting, the anatomy department provides vehicle for the same from the tricity to PGIMER, Chandiarh. If the body is brought during non-working hours, it can be kept in cold chamber in the mortuary of PGI, which is open 24 hours a day.
  • Body Donation Helpline: 9417552145, 9417357035, 9464836422, 9914208201



Trees present sorry picture as termite menace plagues city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
There is no respite from the termite menace in the city as the trees continue to be eaten into their vitals all over the city. A random survey by the Tribune team, particularly in Sectors 3, 9 and 10 on Monday revealed horrifying pictures of the vitals of the tree trunks being eaten into by the menace.

The remains of a tree after cutting due to termites at Sector 10 in Chandigarh.
A tree affected by termites adjoining the Leisure Valley at Sector 3 in Chandigarh on Monday. A tree eaten by termites at Leisure Valley, Sector 3, Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

A survey of trees along the Madhya Marg, the Sarovar Path, the Vigyan Path and the Dakshin Marg revealed that the termites were posing a big environmental threat, besides others. The problem is unique to the region because not just green trees, termites have also infected the furniture in the local offices and houses, alike.

The UT has had several rounds of meetings with experts from the forest research institute, Dehradun, however to no avail till date. At one point of time it was recommended that roots of plants be treated with a subsequent follow-up. The move had shown positive results in preventing the invasion.

Shraddha Sharma, a resident of Sector 10, said, “All around our sector and even in the Leisure Valley, the termites are affecting the green cover. We have sken on the issue several times, however, there has been no concrete action, till date.”



Committee to monitor functioning of ECHS
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, June 18
To redress various administrative and functional issues affecting the Ex-Servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), an oversight committee has been created to look into the day-to-day aspects of its functioning.

A letter issued by the Adjutant General’s branch at the Army Headquarters a few days ago states that the committee would provide regular feedback about the scheme to the Army Chief and the Adjutant General, which would facilitate the ECHS managing director to ensure that the quality of medicare provided to the beneficiaries is maintained at the desirable level.

The committee will be headed by a retired Major General and have four other members. While advisory committees exist at the local or station level, no such mechanism existed heretofore at the service headquarters level, which had created a communication gap between the ECHS management and the clientele.

In existence for nearly a decade, ECHS is aimed at providing holistic medicare to ex-servicemen and their dependents. Except for a one-time subscription at the time of retirement, treatment at the ECHS polyclinics and empanelled hospitals is free of cost. At present, it has 265 polyclinics and 1,384 empanelled civilian hospitals to cater to a clientele of about 40 lakh. The ECHS has a target of 426 polyclinics.

While continuous expansion of the ECHS is underway and several new policy measures and new initiatives have been introduced to streamline its functioning, some issues like large outstanding payments to private medicare centres, non-availability of medicines, ex-servicemen not being entertained at some private hospitals and inflated bills continue to hang fire.

The oversight committee is expected to forward recommendations to help redress these issues. Its mandate includes obtaining regular feedback from beneficiaries on the quality of medicare provided by the ECHS and make recommendations to overcome deficiencies, if any, make recommendations to optimise utilisation of resources available with the ECHS and carry out periodic appraisal of the functioning of polyclinics and empanelled hospitals. It would also review existing procedures and make recommendations to enhance the quality of medicare and to obviate malpractices, if found, as well as examine service conditions of the staff and make recommendations to improve the same, where required.



A risky ride
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 18
Missing grills on various roads in the city are posing a threat to not only commuters, but also pedestrians. Several accidents have occurred on these roads. Thieves made away with the grills that were re-installed at various places.

The Amartex road in Phase I, Industrial Area, has become an accident-prone area as heavy vehicular traffic is witnessed on the road separating Industrial Area Phases I and II.

Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 19, and a student of Government College, Sector 1, said he had a miraculous escape as a Tata-407 took a wrong turn. He said he had been bed-ridden for a couple of days as his right leg got fractured after his motorcycle hit the truck coming from the opposite direction.

Notably, the corporation had floated tenders last year for installing the grills on the road medians. However, some of these vanished in just six months. An officials of the corporation said they had learnt about the missing grills and had already lodged a complaint with the police in this regard. The officials added that drug-addicts took away the grills at night and sold those to earn money. He said thieves also targeted iron grills. The steel was sold for Rs 15 to Rs 18 per kg, he added.

When contacted MC executive officer OP Sihag said estimates were being prepared for installing the grills on all road medians in the town. He said work on installing the same would be started once they got an approval from the higher authorities.



Nature Park in Sector 62 nears completion
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 18
One of the projects of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for Mohali is nearing completion with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) developing the Nature Park in Sector 62 on a large scale.

Spread over 48 acres, the Nature Park, which was earlier known as Leisure Valley, has been provided with a cycling track, a jogging track, benches for elderly people, sheds and toilet blocks. The area is being developed at a cost of Rs 5 crore.

The park has already got grown-up trees which provide good shade during summer.

A part of the N-choe, which passed through the green area, has now been channelised and the sewage flows through the covered channel providing relief to people. They will no longer have to bear the foul smell as was the case over the past many years.

GMADA officials said five weather shelters were constructed for the convenience of people who frequented the area, two toilet blocks were provided on both sides of the park, apart from three kiosks, where some eatables could be sold. Parking area had also been provided on two sides of the park. Lights had been installed along the jogging and the cycling tracks.

GMADA will also be planting ornamental and other types of saplings, apart from grass, in the area ensuring that the natural topography remained intact. There was also a plan to install a sprinkler system in the park so that proper irrigation could be done.

The work of developing the park started more than a year ago and was now nearing completion. A bridge was constructed over the choe which passed through the area to provide connectivity to residents living in Phase IX and neighbouring areas.



Pending demands
Pensioners to take out protest rally
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 18
A meeting of the general body of Punjab Government Pensioners Association was held today under the chairmanship of Raghbir Singh Sandhu. It was felt that the Punjab government was not doing justice to its pensioners because it had not considered their genuine demands.

To press for their demands, it was decided that they would hold a protest rally on June 22 which would start at 9.30 am from Rose Garden, Phase 3B2, here.

The general body demanded the revision of fixed medical allowance from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 in view of the rising cost of medicines. The Fifth Pay Commission has recommended that the Punjab government should appoint a panel of medical institutes where free medical treatment should be given. These institutes should get reimbursement from the government directly.

It has also come to the notice of the association that the government was unnecessarily delaying the clarification sought by certain banks for payment of arrears of travel concession to the pensioners on the revised pension. Pensioners also sought HRA on the pattern of serving employees, commutation arrears of pension to those pensioners who retired between July 29, 2003 to October 31, 2006.

To bridge the gap between the old pensioners and recently retired pensioners, the pension of the old pensioners should be revised after giving three notional increments for each year, the members said.



Solid waste management plant
MC to float tenders soon
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 18
With the land acquisition process by GMADA for the solid waste management plant under way, the local municipal corporation is all set to float tenders. The project is coming up at a cost of Rs 73 crore.

JC Sabharwal, Additional Commissioner of the corporation, said the tenders in question would be advertised this month.

"The GMADA has started the process of land acquisition and has set September 15 as the deadline. Therefore, the tenders will be floated this month to avoid any delay," said Sabharwal.

He added that the work would begin in January, 2014.

He said the entire project would be managed by the selected bidder, who would be responsible for the entire affair from door-to-door garbage collection to run the plant with an initial capacity of 350 tonnes per day.

"Several big players will be bidding for the project," he added.

The plant will be set up at Sambholi village for which the GMADA has to acquire about 50 acres.

Sources said the State Land Acquisition Board had given a green signal to GMADA for land acquisition and the file was lying with the secretary (housing) for clearance.



With decrease in mercury, residents heave sigh of relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
City residents, on Monday, witnessed a minor respite from the heat wave as the day temperature fell by more than five degrees as compared to yesterday. The maximum temperature today was 37.8 degrees as compared to 42.1 degrees on Sunday.

The minimum temperatures also fell down slightly from 31 degrees on Sunday to 30.4 degrees today.

The metrological department has predicted a partly cloudy sky during the coming 24 hours. The maximum temperature on Tuesday is expected around 40 degrees while there is expected to be a minor fall in the minimum temperatures (28 degrees).

Sources said that lesser than the normal monsoon, this year till date, was a matter of great concern. The progress too has not been normal. Rains are awaited by the first week of July particularly by the farmers sowing paddy.

Dr Nirmal Singh, an agriculturist, said, “Besides huge water needed for paddy, there is a greater urgency for recharging of the underground water levels. Tubewells in different parts of the state have either dried up or the water tables are falling too low.”

Prabhinder Singh, a local businessman, said, “EaAly morning walks have become a nightmare at Sukhna Lake because we are watching it dying with each passing day. Rains can give us some promise.”



When power cuts become a norm
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 18
Scheduled and unscheduled power cuts, besides low voltage during the day and at night, have made the lives of residents miserable. The most affected areas include Sectors 4, 12, 12-A, 14, 10, 11, 9, 8 19 and 21, Industrial Area, Phases I and II.

A senior official of the UHBVN said the low voltage was due to overloading and they had already launched a campaign to check the power load of each household. Executive engineer Dalbir S Dhanda could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Rakesh Aggarwal, general secretary, Residents Welfare Association, Sector 12, said a five-hour power cut was being imposed by the department. He said refrigerators and fans were not functioning properly due to low voltage. He said even the inverters had stopped working as these were not getting the required power supply.

Pardeep Kumar, a resident of Sector 11, said unscheduled power cuts had become a routine affair in the town.



Devinder re-elected RWA president
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 18
Devinder Mahajan has been unanimously re-elected, as president of the Residents Welfare Association Sector 4 Mansa Devi Complex, here today. The other office-bearers of the association include vice-president Brig (retd) RP Singh, General Secretary Vikram Punia, and executive members Ram Avtar Yadav, Kunwar Yuvraj Singh, Neerja Kaushik, Pawan Sharda, SC Nijhawan etc.

Mahajan said the elections were held under the supervision of a six-member committee including Patron of the association Maj Gen (retd) GS, Hundal, Lt Gen (retd) GS Sahota, senior journalist Gobind Thukral, LD Sharma Raghubir Singh (IAS retd), AM Sawhney and Capt (retd) Gulshan Satija.

He said more than 150 members of the association were present on the occasion while those who were out of station had also given their consent in advance. A number of women members of the association also participated in the election process.



Over 1.4 lakh administered polio drops
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 18
The local health authorities claimed to have administered pulse polio drops to as many as 1.4 lakh children (below five) till now in two days of the pulse polio drive. Giving details, Dr Usha Bansal, the local civil surgeon, said that they would achieve the target of administering the drops each and every child during the drive.

“We have constituted as many as 985 teams, which have been visiting every house for the purpose. Apart from that, a total of 19 transit booths and equal number of transit teams along with 40 mobile teams were on the job,” said Dr Bansal.





Provisions sent to Amarnath

Four trucks and some other vehicles loaded with grocery for langar (community kitchen) were flagged off to holy Amarnath yatra from Sector 45 on Monday. The provisions, supported by Gauri Shankar Sewa Dal, also include tents and medical facilities for the base camp at Baltal. The provisions would be carried to13,000-ft high Panchtarni on mules and horses.

A total of 80 volunteers are also accompanying the provisions.

Business potential in UAE

A seminar on the business potential in the Hamriyah Free Zone, situated in United Arab Emirates, was held at the northern region headquarters of Confederation of Indian Industry in Sector 31.

Speaking on the occasion, Saud Al Mazrouee, director, Hamriyah Free Zone Authority, extended an invitation to the business fraternity from the tricity to invest in this special economic zone.

The seminar highlighted the tremendous business potential that existed in the UAE. It especially showcased the benefits that small and medium-scale enterprises could derive from the free zone.

Muhamed Basheer, assistant head of sales, said, “This SEZ has been awarded ISO 9000:2000 status and has evolved into a model of sustainable development and inclusive growth. It has attracted over 5000 investors from across the globe in the past 15 years, about 25 per cent of which are from India.”

Employment programme inked

An MOU ceremony for a unique employment program was held by the KC Group of Institutions for US-based organisation Ideaon Think and SHRM. According to this MOU, students taking admission in the engineering programme at the KC Group of Institutions will get a confirmed job offer letter at the time of joining. Nagesh Srinivasgopal, CEO and chairman of the group, said these students will be required to maintain an average aggregate throughout their academics and undergo certain training modules to remain updated with the industry standards.

‘Chabeel’ organised

Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes organised a ‘chabeel’ at Sector 8C on Monday. Dr Zora Singh, the group chairman, said the ‘chabeel’ was a small manifestation of community service. The initiative was a part of the group’s corporate social responsibility, he said.

Good news for Canada fliers

In a good news for those seeking emigration to Canada from the region, all the immigration applications for Canada that were filed before 2008 will be accepted. In a landmark decision, a federal court in Canada has passed a ruling in the favour of such applicants. The court has directed the Ottawa immigration authorities to process all such applications, a press release of the WWICS said on Monday.

Summer camp concludes

The EuroKids Summer Club 2012 concluded at Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary Model School with breathtaking gala performances by the children.

More than 200 kids from the school’s four campuses in Chandigarh and Panchkula had participated for over four weeks in the summer club.

EuroKids Principal Mona Verma said, “Many playing and learning activities such as water-play and special outdoor visits to the Dolls Museum, The Browser, Nik Bakers and horse-riding clubs were organized.”¯

She said the summer club was meant to ensure children spend their vacations discovering latent talents and exploring new hobbies, rather than spending their time surfing through TV channels or the Internet.


International recognition for oncologist

Radha Saini, vice-principal of Rayat-Bahra College of Nursing, Mohali, has been invited to deliver a keynote address and present a research paper on breast cancer prevention at an international symposium on supportive care in cancer in New York, USA, to be held from June 28.

Radha Saini is a fellow of the International Union against Cancer (UICC), Geneva.

She has been invited by The Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and International Society of Oral Oncology for the three-day International MASCC/ISOO 2012 for her contribution in the field of preventive oncology.

— Tribune Reporters



Results suffer due to politics
Only 180 officials available to cater to 16 lakh answersheets as recruitments get delayed
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
With only 100 regular officials left to struggle with over 16 lakh answersheets, the results for various examinations conducted by Panjab University are expected to get delayed this year. While there are an equal number of contractual employees, the figure has failed to give any respite to the officials who have to manage the answersheets of over 2.5 lakh students.

“We burnt midnight oil and got results of BCom, BBA and BSc declared, but we have our own physical and mental limits. How can 180 odd people deal with results of lakhs of students,” an examination branch official said.

“We cannot carry on this way; it’s high time we get more staff or everyone should get prepared for delayed results,”¯ the official added.

Many officials complained that PU’s sole concern remains to escape any negative media coverage over delayed results.

“The only thing that drives our department is the aim to avoid any news about delayed results and for that we are made to work like donkeys. The university now wants to be the first in the region to declare BA-III results and for that we all have been pushed to the wall,”€¯ another official said.

“It’s unfortunate but true that the hiring of staff, which is so vital for the proper functioning, is suffering because of the politics being played over the issue by the Senate and the Vice-Chancellor,”€¯ the official said.

PU requires another 700 non-teaching employees for smooth functioning. While the list of candidates eligible for the interviews was finalized long back it could not be declared as propriety issues were raised over the exit of PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti. Though the demand concerned a delay in the teacher recruitment process, the recruitment to non-teaching positions was also withheld. The interviews that were supposed to be held earlier this month were postponed to June 25.

Sorry state of Affairs

Number of students: 2.5 lakh

Number of answersheets: 16 lakh

Number of courses: 325

Number of regular officials in examination branch: 100

Propriety woes

The senators who forced the Vice-Chancellor to abstain from all recruitments, citing propriety issues, have failed to practise what they preach. In yet another glaring example of rampant politicisation of administrative affairs of PU, the sitting senators who are likely to contest the forthcoming senate elections have gone to all lengths to be on the non-teaching selection panel and use the opportunity to gather votes.



Online counselling for AIEEE commences
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The procedure for admission to various institutions through the All India Engineering Entrance Examination 2012 has started, 30 NITs, 5 IIITs/IIITM/IIITDM, 13 Central and state governments funded institutions, and 45 self-financed institutions will be admitting candidates to the bachelor courses of engineering/technology and architecture/planning programmes, through a centralised counselling procedure, for the academic session 2012-13.

The students are required to fill their preferred programmes and colleges on the official website of the Central Counselling Board for AIEEE (ccb.nic.in). The weblink will remain open till June 25 and the choices are to be locked between June 23 and 25.

For the convenience of the candidates a special facility of mock counselling has been introduced. It will take into account the unlocked preferences and calculate the chances of their allotment. This would enable the candidates to modify the order of choices to get better results.

The candidates have been advised to fill as many choices as possible for better placement opportunity. First round of seat allotment will be held on June 25.

The allotment of seat will be based on a candidate's all-India rank and the filled preferences. The candidates belonging to a reserved category will be first considered for the open seats on merit basis. If they fail to get a seat, they will be considered for the reserved seats.



Schools directed to abide by wildlife protection Act
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Central Board of Secondary Education has redirected all private schools of the region to surrender any preserved museum specimens of plants and animals that are rare and threatened, as per the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, to the department of environment and forest department.

Following the recent raids at various Delhi schools and even Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, where specimens of protected wild animals and birds were found, an expert committee constituted by the board unanimously agreed to reemphasize the compliance of Wildlife Protection Act and sensitise students towards care and protection of biodiversity.

“The CBSE had issued a circular on November 9, 2010, wherein all its affiliated schools were asked to surrender any rare and endangered species to the ministry of environment and forest department. Recent reports showed that some objectionable specimens were still found in many school laboratories. In most of the cases, these were pretty old and it was sheer ignorance on the part of the schools that put them in an embarrassed position. We have asked principals to ensure that they inform the wildlife department about all specimens that they have and surrender endangered ones,”€¯ said CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi.

In the circular, the board also highlighted the importance of its recently launched virtual labs where students would be able to learn without actual dissections.



Maths workshop inaugurated

Chandigarh, June 18
Professor RJ Hans Gill, an eminent mathematician, inaugurated an advanced workshop on numerical analysis in the Panjab University’s Department of Mathematics on Monday. Padam Bhushan awardee Prof RP Bambah presided over the event.

About 40 research students and budding college teachers from all over India are participating in the workshop to be held from June 18 to July 7. The key aim is to impart the basic knowledge of numerical analysis to the participants and train them in understanding the connections between numerical analysis and various areas of mathematics as well as its applications. — TNS



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