C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Youth barges into house in panchkula
Points pistol at girl; slaps maid; fires shot, finally overerpowered and arrested
Tribune News Service

Deepali, elder sister of Vaishali, shows the broken door of the washroom where the accused was hiding.
Deepali, elder sister of Vaishali, shows the broken door of the washroom where the accused was hiding.

Panchkula, June 20
Tension gripped a family of Sector 10 in Panchkula when an unidentified youth in his twenties holding a country made pistol barged into their house this morning.

The police said the incident occurred between 10.30 and 11am when the tenant of the house, Ajay Thakur, an assistant manager of the State Bank of Patiala posted at Barwala, had gone on duty while his wife Prabha Thakur, daughter Vaishali and son Shivan were at home. Elder daughter Deepali too was not present in the house, as she had gone to her office.

The police said that when the accused, who was identified as Suryakant alias Sonu, a native of Madhipur in Uttar Pradesh, tried to enter the house, Vaishali jostled with him to block his entry into the house. However, the accused took out a country made pistol and pointed it at the temple of Vaishali and she began screaming.

Meanwhile, Prabha who was sitting in the adjoining room, came out and hit the accused who fell down, she then pulled her daughter in the room and bolted the door from inside. Thereafter, the accused entered the kitchen and slapped domestic help Pratibha and threatened to kill her if she made any noise.

Shivam who was in the washroom quietly jumped the boundary wall of the house to inform the neighbours. The neighbours immediately informed the police which arrived at the site within a few minutes.

Hearing the shrieks of the family members, the landlord of the house, Mahesh Dhiman, who stays on the first floor, also came down to enquire about the matter. In the meantime, hundreds of people had also gathered to know as to what was happening inside the house. The accused fearing threat to his life tried to jump over the boundary wall but was unable to so, as a large number of labourers were at work there, so he came back to the house and bolted himself inside the washroom.

When the policemen broke open the door, the accused pointed the pistol towards them. In the tussle between the accused and the police the pistol went off and the bullet hit the roof. The police however managed to overpower him in the end. The police has registered a case under Sections 307, 392, 411 and 506 of the IPC. 

The police has also seized a bag containing a knife and a mobile set.Nupur Bishnoi, In charge of the Sector 5 police station, said that accused had arrived in the town only yesterday and had done the recce of the house two to three times before carrying out the futile attempt. She also said the accused was new to the city as the police had no details of him and added that other details would be known only after the investigation was complete.



Blackout in southern sectors
Sectors 22,23,33,34, 35 too faces cut
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

A road separating Sectors 34 and 44 was plunged into darkness following a blackout in the Southern sectors on Wednesday.
A road separating Sectors 34 and 44 was plunged into darkness following a blackout in the Southern sectors on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari 

Residents of Sectors 42 and 43 sit on the Sectors 35, 36, 42 and 43 roundabout to escape the sweltering heat.
Residents of Sectors 42 and 43 sit on the Sectors 35, 36, 42 and 43 roundabout to escape the sweltering heat.

A shopkeeper lights up a candle at his shop in Sector 42, Chandigarh, on Wednesday.
A shopkeeper lights up a candle at his shop in Sector 42, Chandigarh, on Wednesday.

Chandigarh, June 20
It seems that there is no respite for the residents of southern sectors from the power cuts, as on Wednesday the UT Administration imposed two-hour power cut in the evening in the entire southern belt. The UT Administration was forced to impose power cut as the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) were repairing fault in the 66 KV line coming from Mohali to Sector 52, Chandigarh.

MP Singh, UT Superintending Engineer (Electricity), said that they had received a message from the PSPCL that they were repairing some fault in their supply line. The 66 KV line of Mohali is crossing above the 66 KV line of Chandigarh therefore the UT Administration had to impose power cut from 7 pm to 12 pm.

Meanwhile, the residents of the Sectors 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 51, 52, 55, Burail village, Attawa village and Colony no. 5 witnessed power cut in the evening. Janki Rawat, a resident of Sector 45 D, said she was busy preparing the dinner for her family members when suddenly the power went off around 7 pm and she faced lots of problem while cooking. Finally, with the help of emergency light, she managed to prepare the dinner, she added.

Vandana Pandey, a resident of Sector 44 C, said that she had planned that she would complete her office assignment at home but failed to do anything as there was no electricity. She added that they usually had a harrowing time when the electricity went off during the night.

With the power cut in the southern belt of the city, the supply of water was also affected. The residents of the southern sectors did not received water supply in the evening, as the tubewells did not work.

Nandi Devi, a resident of Sector 45, said that there was no supply of water in the evening and they could not wash the dirty utensils.

Arun Mehta, a resident of Sector 38 said since there was no water supply they were not able to fill the water coolers. The authorities should make some arrangements for regular supply of electricity and water, he added. Harrowing time for motorists, too In the absence of power, the streetlights were non- functional in the southern sectors. The motorists also found it difficult to drive on roads during night hours. Naresh Chaudhary, accounts manager with a software firm, said that it was very dangerous to drive vehicle on these dark roads. He added that it was complete blackout on the road from Sector 46 to 44.

n Residents of sectors 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 51, 52, 55, Burail village, Attawa village and Colony no. 5 witnessed power cut in the evening. The electricity department officials said that the repair work was on and they were not sure as to when the power would be restored



Shootout incident
Youth held in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 20
The police arrested a youth involved in a shootout incident that occurred late last night at Sector 69, between two groups over a trivial issue, leaving two persons with minor injuries.

The arrested youth has been identified as Baljnder Singh alias Skintu, brother of the main accused Rajinder Singh, while the injured youths were identified as Pankaj and Jaswinder (both reportedly members of the NSUI, a students organisation), who claimed that the fire shots just brush past their necks. Both were admitted to Fortis Hospital.

Skintu allegedly fired the shots last night, said the police, adding that Jeevanjot Singh alias Jugnu, who is the chairman of PUSU, was also with Rajinder at the time of the incident.

The reason behind the clash is said to be trivial. The police said that Rajinder had to return Rs four lakh, which he had borrowed from Gurdeep Singh. “Gurdeep Singh had called up Rajinder’s mother and asked for the money, which miffed Rajinder”, said SSP GS Bhullar.

The police said, “Two days ago, a tiff between the members of both groups had taken place in front of Hotel Mountview in Sector 10 at Chandigarh. There Rajinder had threatened Gurdeep’s friend Jyoti and challenged them. Yesterday, when both groups reached Kambala village on seeing the police present there, they fled the spot. At about 9.30 pm, when Gurdeep along with his friends, Jaswinder Singh and Pankaj Kapoor, was sitting at a house in Sector 69, Rajinder Singh along with his brother Baljinder Singh alias Skintu and other friends Jevanjot Singh alias Jugnu, German, Pappu and Deepa came there and challenged the rivals. Then Skintu fired gun shots when Gurdeep, Pankaj and Jaswinder came out and fled the spot”.

All other accused in the case are still absconding and an attempt to murder case has been registered against Rajinder Singh and his other friends at the Mataur Police Station. The police has also impounded a Pajero and a Swift car, which was used in the crime.

Rajinder Singh’s name has also surfaced in a number of drug peddling and other criminal cases, claimed the police.



UT admn not to impose house tax in city: Governer
Says It’s the duty of Municipal Corporation, councillors to do so
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Putting to rest all speculations, UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil has made it clear that the UT Administration would not exercise its special powers to impose house tax in the city. As the members of the house tax assessment committee of the municipal corporation (MC) had recently rejected the proposal on the imposition of house tax and the enhancement of commercial tax, the senior officials of the UT Administration had been mulling over the imposition of house tax in the city by exercising special power of the administration. While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Patil said that it was the duty of the municipal corporation and the councillors to decide the imposition of house tax in the city.

On the point that non-imposition of house tax would affect the Central grant for the city’s development, Patil said that the elected representatives had to answer these questions to the public.

Patil further said that the Administration would again issue orders to the municipal corporation to impose tax and only the corporation would take the final decision.
The Administration can impose the tax under Section 90(4) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act (1976). According to the Act, the Administration has a special or general order to direct the MC to impose the tax not imposed by the authorities in the period specified.

The Planning Commission had recently told the Administration to impose the house tax. The commission also told the Administration to raise resources from all possible sources, including house tax, to fund its plan.

The city will lose around Rs 400 crore under the JNNURM if the house tax is not imposed in the city. The Administration and the MC will not be able to seek more funds under the JNNURM for future projects.

Head head

The Administration can impose the tax under Section 90(4) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act (1976). According to the Act, the Administration has a special or general order to direct the Municipal Corporation to impose the tax not imposed by the authorities in the period specified.

UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil surveys the dried up patch of Sukhana Lake along with officials of the UT Administration in 



ews flats
CBI seizes records of Uppals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
In connection with the controversy surrounding the construction of flats for the economically weaker sections (EWS) under the Uppal Housing project at Mani Majra, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today seized records pertaining to the allotment and approval of building plans from the UT estate office.

While confirming that the sleuths of the CBI had come to procure the records, a senior official said the case pertained to the Municipal Corporation.

It may be mentioned that issue of MC officials allegedly omitting the clause on construction of flats for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in the project had created an uproar on the MC floor last year and the CBI probe had been demanded.

But due to lack of coordination between the estate office and municipal corporation, the builder was not questioned on the issue for four years.

The estate office had approved the revised building plans for the realtors’ upscale Marble Arch project in Mani Majra in December, 2010, thus allowing them a time frame of five years to make changes in their plans for the construction of houses for the EWS.

This was done without any consultation with the MC that had auctioned the land to the Uppals in 2006.

Incidentally, Mani Majra, where the apartments have been built, too, falls under the jurisdiction of the MC. The officials did not rule out the possibility of the CBI probing the role of the officials in the estate office who sanctioned the building plans. 


Patil for increase in de-silting machinery at Sukhna Lake
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, along with officials of various departments of the UT Administration, surveys the dried up patch of Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, along with officials of various departments of the UT Administration, surveys the dried up patch of Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Wednesday. tribune photo: manoj mahajan

Chandigarh, June 20
Terming the machinery used by the UT engineering department to de-silt the Sukhna Lake not enough, the Governor of Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh, Shivraj V Patil, today issued directions to increase the number of machinery deputed on the site to speed up the work.

Patil, along with a team of senior officials of the UT Administration, visited the lake to review the ongoing de-silting work here today.

After learning that only 35 trucks are being used to carry the silt from the lake to the dumping site, Patil said the number was very less. He said, "When the nature has provided an opportunity to the Administration, the officials should use it to de-silt the maximum part of the lake. Chandigarh Tribune has been continuously highlighting the sorry state of city’s landmark Sukhna Lake.

He also issued directions to identify more dry spots in the lake and immediately start the work in those areas as well. Patil also stressed on starting the preparation for the next year plan to save Sukhna Lake.

He said instead of dumping the silt on the land along the Kishangarh-Saketri road, it should be utilised.

He added that the silt should be given to the IRB Battalion at Sarangpur, slum rehabilitation projects of the Chandigarh Housing Board, High Court, Secretariat and educational institutions. It has also been decided to construct an embankment (using the silt) around the area to enable the visitors to take a complete round around the lake. He also asked the forest officials to identify low-lying areas in forest to construct more ponds.

Patil also asked the officials concerned to plant saplings of tamarind and neem, which had longer life and also provided fruit and economic benefits.

UT’s Chief Engineer SK Chadha disclosed that about 36 acres of Sukhna Lake had been de-silted and 41.68 cft (cubic feet) silt had been dumped outside the lake. He said 54 machines, including excavators, JCB, dumpers and tractors were in operation.

Later, Patil also held a meeting with the senior officials of the UT Administration, including Satya Gopal, officiating Adviser to the Administrator, MP Singh, Principal Secretary to Governor, VK Singh, Finance Secretary, SK Chadha, Chief Engineer, Santosh Kumar, UT’s chief conservator of forests and other senior officials of the administration. 

Directions issued by UT Administrator Shivraj Patil to save Sukhna Lake

n Increase the number of machinery for de-silting drive

n Identify more dry spots at the lake and immediately start de-silting work there as well

n Utilise silt at the IRB Battalion, Sarangpur and CHB projects.

n Construct a embankment (using the silt) on the opposite side of the lake

n Plant more trees, which have longer life, in Sukhna wildlife sanctuary



Civic body 'toothless', can't act against offenders
Reports of residents damaging public property in parks have been pouring in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Due to the lackadaisical approach of the UT Administration in approving the horticulture by-laws, the corporation is still toothless in taking any action against those who damage the government property installed at green belts. Last year, the corporation's environment and city beautification committee, in a meeting chaired by Pardeep Chhabra, had got drafted the horticulture by-laws and sent it to the Administration for an approval and notification so that these could be implemented in the city.

In a meeting held by the environment and city beautification committee here today under the chairmanship of Surinder Bagga, it was decided that the committee members would meet the officials of the UT Administration and ask them to notify the horticulture by-laws.

Last year, the by-laws were drafted after receiving a number of complaints from the city residents about the theft of swings, grills and benches from the parks of the corporation. The corporation cannot impose a fine on those who damage any property installed in the green belts.

As per the draft policy, if any resident is found damaging any material in green belts and road berms, they can be fined Rs 1,000. As per the norm, the public property includes benches, railings, children's play equipment, lights and fountains and grass and plants. Encroachment of any type, including planting hedges, brick work and opening doors towards the green belts, will be covered under these by-laws and the authorities could impose penalty on violators.

Strict action will be taken against offenders. Parking of vehicles in parks is also a punishable offence.

Vacant posts to be filled

Special manpower will be hired to remove wild growth from roadsides and parks during the monsoon season. This was decided in a meeting held by the environment and city beautification committee on Wednesday. It was decided that regular drivers would be recruited and 188 vacant posts of gardener-cum-chowkidar would be filled. A plantation drive would be carried out in July 15, 2012. It was proposed that notice boards displaying timings should be put up in all green belts.

Last year, the corporation's environment and city beautification committee, in a meeting, had got drafted the horticulture by-laws and sent it to the Administration for an approval and notification so that these could be implemented in the city.



Report on tertiary water to be tabled in next meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The water supply and sewerage disposal committee of the municipal corporation will table the status report on tertiary treated water supply in the next meeting of the committee.

Issues, including providing and fixing of additional pipeline for the disposal of rain water in front of the Punjab Police Integrated Transit Complex in Sector 32-C, shifting and reconstruction of road gullies due to widening of V-6 roads in Sector 40-B, an additional line for road gullies in Sector 7-C, shifting of road gullies due to widening of Sector 21, providing storm water drainage system near tubewell in bank colony, Mani Majra, were approved by the committee. The members also suggested that two button systems be introduced in all public toilets in various markets and government buildings of the corporation, including community centres to save potable water.



Projects delayed as snag hits e-tendering portal of Admn

Chandigarh, June 20
Several development projects of the UT engineering department and other departments have been delayed after a snag developed in the e-tendering portal of the Chandigarh Administration. The snag has not been rectified for the past over two weeks. Not only the engineering department, but the snag has also affected the tendering process of the municipal corporation (MC) and Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). The contractors are complaining about the website not being opened. As a result, the tenders for different works have not been allotted. A message saying “the site is not currently unavailable” is flashed on the site. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is maintaining the site. Officials of the UT engineering department said they had already informed the officials concerned about the problem.

Ever since the e-tendering process has been initiated, all departments have made it mandatory for the contractors to apply online. The e-tendering has been introduced in the municipal corporation, Chandigarh Housing Board and all wings of the engineering department- civil, public health and electricity.

A senior official of the administration said the process of tendering of over 200 projects, involving several lakhs, had been delayed. An official of the NIC said regular meetings were being held with the Administration officials and the problem was likely to be solved in coming days.

Sources said engineering department and MC were able to accept tenders. “ Not a single tender has been allotted due to the snag," said another official of the engineering department. — TNS



CHB sans chief engineer, work hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
In the absence of a regular chief engineer, the pace of work in the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has been badly hit.

As a result, various technical clearances in the ongoing projects at Sectors 51, 63 and one room tenements project have been delayed.

Due to the delay in taking decision on technical issues like approving designs of structures, technical sanction of estimates, approval of rates and floating of tenders, all the projects are running behind schedule.

In Sector 63, the tenders for the construction for 388 flats have been delayed. Similarly, the approval of sanction for electrical works in one room tenements in Dhanas has also been delayed.

In another case, the annual maintenance of air conditioning system of the CHB could not be given in the absence of the regular chief engineer.

Sources said since the acting chief engineer had been given the charge of superintending engineer, he did not have the power to give the technical sanction.

A senior official said in case of delays, the contractors undertaking various projects could go in for arbitration, resulting in inordinate delay in the completion of different projects.

Ever since the previous incumbent, GS Rosha, retired, no regular chief engineer has been appointed. 



NHAI gives a go-ahead to crossing on NH 22
With the construction of flyover, residents will have direct access to other parts of the town

Tribune News Service

Vehicles move towards the highway from the link road separating Sectors 11 and 14 in Panchkula on Wednesday.
Vehicles move towards the highway from the link road separating Sectors 11 and 14 in Panchkula on Wednesday. tribune photo: nitin mittal

Panchkula, June 20
Residents living in sectors across the National Highway No 22 in the town and Pinjore are likely to get relief as the Haryana PWD B&R and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) today, agreed to provide crossing on the national highway.

A meeting of the senior officials of the Haryana PWD & BR, Haryana Urban Development Authority, PWD and Project Director of NHAI was held at Haryana PWD (NH) office in Sector 33 at Chandigarh.

Stating this to the media in a joint press conference here this evening, Advocate Vijay Bansal, president, Shivalik Vikas Manch, and KK Jindal, said that the officials have agreed to provide crossing by extending the flyover from both sides near Sector 20. He said with the construction of the flyover the residents of Sectors 12, 12 A and Industrial Area Phase I would have direct access to Sectors 20 and 21. He said at present the residents had to travel three to four kilometers extra to reach their destinations.

Bansal said that the authorities have assured the delegation that the after holding three to four meetings in this regard the matter would be taken up with the central ministry to construct the flyover in these areas.

Bansal said that they had also raised the issue of providing crossings near Majri Chowk in old Panchkula, Bitna village and Amravati enclave. He said the officials have also agreed to provide the crossings at these places.

It is pertinent to mention here that the meeting has been held after the Union Ministry of Road and surface transport had directed the officials to resolve the issues being faced by the Panchkula residents.

Bansal had written to the Union Road and Surface Transport Ministry, MP from Ambala and Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Shailja and Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on April 19 urging them to open the crossings.



Mohali get funds for water supply, sewerage
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 20
The urban infrastructure of six peripheral towns of Mohali district has got a major boost with the Punjab Government allocation funds for laying of water supply, sewerage lines and sewerage treatment plants in the Punjab budget.

The towns of the district included Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Lalru, Kharar, Naya Gaon and Kurali. Under the head of “Urban Development”, as many as 45 towns of the state have been selected under river cleaning project and utilisation of treated water for irrigation.

“Selection of these towns in our district would result in a major development and improvement in state of affairs here,” said NK Sharma, chief parliamentary secretary of the area.

Besides, special mention of development of Mohali as knowledge hub and IT City over 1,600 acres under “industry” head in the Budget also brought cheers to us, added Sharma.

“Now the work in this direction would speed up. Within a couple of years, the Mohali would be a changed city,” said Sharma.

Apart from that a sum of Rs 15 crores each has been sanctioned to two institutes, NIFD and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, and Agriculture Bhawan in the budget.



Chandigarh scan
Amendments in PC&PNDT Act

A meeting of the Advisory Committee constituted under the PC&PNDT Act was held on Wednesday in the office of the Director, Health & Family Welfare, Chandigarh Administration. Discussions were held on various issues. Members were apprised of the amendments made by the Central government in the PC&PNDT Rules.

Girls walk past a fountain at Phase IIIB2 in Mohali.
Girls walk past a fountain at Phase IIIB2 in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

UGC project

A UGC project has been given to a team of researchers comprising Prof KP Singh, Prof Naval Kishore and Prof Naresh Tuli of the Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, Panjab University, to address issues related to the water quality and human health in different parts of Punjab.

Bank's branch renamed

The Union Bank of India (Chandigarh region) has renamed its Sector 8 Chandigarh branch as ‘Union Xperience’ where every transaction will be done through automatic machines. The branch was inaugurated by BB Mittal, regional head, Union Bank of India, Chandigarh region. The basic objective of this initiative is to provide better services to customers. Customer self-service facilities will also be available in the branch where customers can themselves complete their passbooks through automatic printer.

Investiture ceremony

World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) today organised an investiture ceremony to celebrate the success of the first batch of clients who had successfully completed their exploratory visit to the province of Saskatchewan in Canada under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Programme (SINP). WWICS launched an array of new programmes to boost business immigration that included Young Farmers, Manitoba, New Brunswick PNP programmes, the E2 Visa for the USA, a New Zealand programme and an Australian business programme.

Wi-Fi in Sector 17

To add excitement to the lives of Internet users during the ongoing summer vacation, CONNECT has set up the first-ever Wi-Fi Hotspot in Sector 17.

panchkula scan
New school to come up

Kimberley, The Boarding School, will be opening a school in Barwala near Panchkula. A formal announcement in this regard was made during a press conference here on Wednesday. Being conceived to be a school at par with the international educational standards, Kimberley, is to be affiliated with the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the IGCSE (CIE-Cambridge International Examination) to offer its students the primary years programme (PYP), the IGCSE and the IB diploma. Sandeep Chhabra, principal, Kimberley, said, “To impart knowledge to students, it is important to treat every student differently.”

Mohali scan

Padam Shri Hans Raj Hans, a renowned Punjabi singer, visited the Developing Indigenous Resources, an NGO, working in Nayagaon, here on Wednesday. Dr Frederick Shaw, the founder CEO, accompanied the visitor. Hans said he would organise a special concert to raise funds for the NGO in September later this year. — Tribune Reporters



GMSSS-16 a hot favourite
Over 17,000 applicants for 11,000 seats in government schools

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, has emerged as the most sought-after government school in the city during the ongoing Class XI admissions.

Over 2,000 forms were submitted on the last day of registration, taking the total number of applicants for the 11,000 seats in city government schools to over 17,000. It was for the first time in the last five years that applicants outnumbered the seats by such a big margin.

While formal stream and school-wise tabulation of forms was yet to be done, sources in DOEACC said that GMSSS Sector 16 emerged as the hot favourite. Most of the applicants had marked it as their first preference. It was closely followed by GMSSS sector 35, GMSSS Sector 37, GMSSS Manimajra, and GMSSS Sector 33.

In terms of stream preference, around 40 per cent of the total applicants had opted for sciences, with a majority preferring the non-medical stream.

Despite humanities having the highest number of seats in the government schools, not many students opted for it. A majority of students who secured CGPA 6-7 and had a good chance of getting admission in humanities in better schools had mostly opted for vocational studies. It has made schools like GMSSS sector 8 and 10 amongst the front runners.

Earlier in the day, anxious parents and students flocked schools right from the morning. Due to the heavy rush on the final day of submission of application forms at the six centres, the submission time had to be extended by half an hour. It was finally halted around 1:30 pm.

The first merit list would be declared on June 30. Education department officials said that students with average scores did not stand much of a chance in sciences.

“A lot of applicants in sciences have got CGPA 10 which will make things difficult for others. Given the fact that sciences has only 3,000 seats, cut-offs are bound to be between 9.6 and 10,”said a department official.



CBSE steps in to ensure road safety
Issues a list of dos and don’ts for school buses
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Aiming to curb cases of rash driving and make travel on school buses safer, the Central Board of Secondary Education has issued a circular to the affiliated schools, spelling out a list of dos and donts for school buses.

The CBSE directed schools “to ensure that the school buses are not permitted to overtake any other four-wheelers while carrying school children in the bus.

All school buses must be fitted with speed control devices so that they do not exceed the 40-kmph limit the circular read.

The board also mandated schools to carry out a proper selection process for the recruitment of bus drivers.

Schools were asked to ensure that bus drivers had a valid driving licence and at least five years of experience in driving heavy vehicles.

“If a driver has been challenged more than twice a year for offences like jumping red lights, violating lane discipline or allowing unauthorised persons to drive, he cannot be employed. A driver who has been challenged even once for speeding or driving dangerously cannot be considered the circular further read.

The circular also directed schools to prevent drunken driving.

“Authorities should carry out regular checks and in case of doubt, drivers should be subject to a medical test immediately and proper action including the cancellation of licence should to be taken the circular stated.

In order to make bus providers and schools more accountable, schools were asked to devise a system of periodic feedback, a record of which was to be submitted to the CBSE.

The board also asked of schools to ensure that buses halt only at bus stops designated for the purpose and within the marked area. It also directed school bus drivers to be dressed in a distinctive uniform with their names inscribed in it. In every school bus, there should be another qualified person to attend to children, the circular read.

The CBSE directive further added that schools should abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court which mandated that the school bus should prominently display the school's telephone number or that of the contact person. The school should also provide a mobile phone in each school bus so that the driver or the conductor could contact the authorities in an emergency, the apex court had ruled.



Competition for BCom toughens
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Students aspiring to pursue BCom from the colleges in Chandigarh and Ludhiana that are affiliated to Panjab University are expected to face tough competition as the university has already received over 9,300 online applications this year. With eight more days left to complete the first step of admission process, the number of online applications is expected to exceed those received last year that stood at around 10,000.

The first cut-off list of Delhi University is to be declared on June 26, four days before the PU’s deadline. This is also expected to increase the number of students applying for around 4200 BCom seats in Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

Professor SK Chadda, coordinator for BCom admissions, said, “The students who will not make it to the DU colleges in the first list will certainly apply for the colleges in Chandigarh and Ludhiana which would further toughen the competition.”

The last date for filling up the online form is June 28 and students are required to submit the hard copies of their application forms before June 30.

Over 4,500 applicants had already submitted the hard copies of their forms. The physical verification of the forms had also begun. Officials said that they had received an equal number of forms from both the cities.

The university in its recent decision had decided to exclude the colleges of Hoshiarpur from the online admissions due to the low number of students opting for BCom. Meanwhile, two more colleges near Ludhiana, and PU’s evening department had been included in the list of colleges where online admissions would be held for BCom.



SOPU stage dharna at pharmacy dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The Students’ Organisation of Panjab University, under the leadership of Manoj Lubana, along with the students of MPharma staged a dharna outside the main building of pharmacy department at Panjab University today.

The dharna was staged against the false claims made by the department about the placements of pharmacy students. Akhil Bansal, ex-general secretary of PUCSC and MPharma final year student, said the department had made false claims about 35 of its 40 students being placed, whereas in reality, the department had not even printed the placement brochure.

The students said that they had earlier approached the chairperson regarding this issue, but nothing was done.

“Students with high ranks in CET had opted for this course and after spending six years, we are placed nowhere,” a student said.

The students questioned the functioning of the placement committee of the department.

They also accused the department of not spending enough money from the contingency fund for which the students opting for the two self-financed courses had paid Rs 50,000 at the time of admission. Due to the lack of funds, students had to spend money from their own pockets, they said.

The Chairperson of the Department, Prof Sinha, had a heated argument with students while trying to persuade them to call off the dharna. DSW Prof AS Ahluwalia, who reached the spot and held a meeting with the students, assured them that a department placement committee would be formed within the next three days. Ahluwalia said that he along with the Director of Central Placement Cell, Dr Chadha, would look into the committee’s functioning.



PU puts off recruitment of Class IV employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Panjab University has issued orders to postpone the interviews for filling up around 310 positions of clerks and peons that were supposed to begin from June 25.

Earlier, these interviews were supposed to start from June 15; however, a day before the designated day, the university authorities had issued a similar circular postponing the recruitment process till further orders. The decision had led to resentment among the Panjab University Staff Association that forced the university to announce the new date.

With the interviews once again being postponed till further orders, it is being suggested that the Panjab University is in no mood to carry out the process till it gets clear as to who would be the new Vice-Chancellor and also, the senate election to be held in September gets over.

Sources said the apprehension that the Senate members could influence the selection process to attract votes and support during the upcoming election, led the university to further postpone the interviews.

“It seems that the Vice-Chancellor wants to postpone the interviews till his fate is decided, as he might not want to hold the interviews during his tenure if he does not get an extension,” said a fellow.

The PUSA President, Deepak Kaushik, said that they had urged the university to review its decision to postpone the interviews or give the new dates of interviews at the earliest. Panjab University is already short of over 750 employees and the further postponing of interviews would further lead to chaos, he said.

PUSA president said that outstation applicants were unnecessarily harassed by such delaying tactics of the university. Even the last time they had reached the city, but the university authorities suddenly postponed the interview, he said.



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