C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Gang busted, three arrested
Used ATM cards to cheat Federal Bank, other banks of crores in region, Delhi, Kerala
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 21
The state cyber crime police today claimed to have busted an inter-state gang which had cheated a number of banks, particularly the Federal Bank, of crores by using a unique way of operating ATM cards.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Pradeep Kumar, AIG-EOW (crime)-cum-SSP, state cyber crime investigation, said Sumit Gupta of Ludhiana, Kuldeep Singh of Kangra and Harpreet Singh, alias Bhura, of Kajheri village here were arrested in this connection.

The police said two other members of the gang, Sumit's brother Sunny and Ramandeep, alias Ishu, were in the custody of the Kerala Police and several complaints in this connection had been lodged at various police stations there.

Pradeep Kumar said the gang used reverse transactions at ATMs to cheat banks, particularly the Kerala-based Federal Bank, adding that Sumit was the mastermind and leader of the gang.

"The modus operandi of the gang was that it used to open accounts under fictitious names at a bank and get ATM cards. It used to deposit about Rs 10,000 in an account to run it. It used the ATM cards at the ATMs of other banks, particularly of the Federal Bank, to withdraw money," he said.

"During a withdrawal of Rs 10,000, the accused took only Rs 9,900 by leaving a note intentionally to allow the machine to recapture the note after a few seconds. When the machine retracted the note, it sent the message of transaction cancellation, but the amount was debited from the account of the Federal Bank," he elaborated.

"In this way, Sumit withdrew crores from various ATMs of the Federal Bank in Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh and other parts of the country. Sumit started purchasing ATM cards of a number of banks, along with passwords, for Rs 2,500 each. He provided Rs 10,000 each for opening accounts at the banks," he explained.

So far, the police had recovered 206 ATM cards of various banks, 545-gm gold ornaments, 121.8-gm silver ornaments, Rs 2.72 lakh, eight mobile phones, a Verna car, an Innova car and documents regarding the purchase of property worth Rs 14 lakh from the accused.

The Kerala Police registered its first FIR in this connection at a police station in Thrikkakkara, Ernakulam district, on May 31. The Federal Bank noticed the fraud in Punjab on June 6.

The bank had then contacted the Punjab state cyber crime investigation. An FIR under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC and Sections 65 and 66-C of the IT Act, 2000, was lodged at the state cyber crime police station here on June 18.

“Sumit joined a gang, then formed his own”

“Most members of the gang are in their early twenties and had suffered losses in their businesses. Sumit ran a T-shirt manufacturing unit in Ludhiana and suffered huge losses. To recover money, he joined a gang which used to cheat banks using the same modus operandi. After some time, he formed his own gang. Most members of Sumit’s gang are non-matriculate, but are polished and sophisticated, possessing all kinds of latest gadgets. They know which banks do not have advanced software and are vulnerable to crime. At present, three such gangs are functional in the country.”— Pradeep Kumar, SSP, cyber crime investigation



With level receding, four-seater boats at Sukhna grounded
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Due to the depleting water level at the Sukhna Lake, the Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) has stopped using four-seater boats for boating at the lake. Visitors are now only getting the facility of two-seater boats and 'shikaras'.

Sources revealed that a four-seater boat was very heavy and its weight doubled with four tourists sitting on the boat, due to which it had started getting stuck in the shallow water.

The rescue staff with CITCO had to enter the lake to help tourists out every time and finally, it was decided to stop four-seater boat rides, the sources added.

The boating business was going down at the Sukhna Lake everyday. CITCO was now generating only between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 from boating activity at the lake. This income was between Rs 60,000 and Rs 70,000 earlier.

The new boating area near the watchtower, infamous as suicide point, where the water level was comparatively higher, was generating an income of between Rs 400 and Rs 700 per day.

In the new area, there were about 40 boats and five 'shikaras'. CITCO had earlier shifted half the boats to the watchtower area, considering the shrinking water in the original boating area.

The CITCO staff at the lake tried to run a four-seater boat today, when a family of four wanted to enjoy boating together. But soon, the boat stuck in the water and finally, the CITCO staff helped them out.

A senior CITCO official said they had started putting up red flags in the area where the water level was low and boats could stuck.

The CITCO staff was observing the water level at the Sukhna Lake every day and putting up red flags in the areas where the water level was low, he added.

He added that this exercise was started to restrict visitors from boating in shallow water as boats might get stuck there.

Late monsoon spells trouble

According to predictions of the meteorological department, the monsoon is likely to be delayed by a week or more this year and is expected to reach the city in the first week of July. A senior official with the UT Administration has said if the lake does not receive any rain next week, boating activity at the Sukhna will be stopped.



Meet deadlines to get grant, says Centre
Warns Admn of withholding grant of around Rs 15 cr if it is lax on power-sector reforms
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
As the UT Administration is yet to start work on initiatives on power reforms to boost e-governance in the working of the electricity department, the Centre has warned the Administration that it can withhold the grant of around Rs 15 crore in case deadlines on the implementation of power-sector reforms are not met by the Administration.

Under power-sector reforms, the UT Administration has to implement the projects of the introduction of a management integrated system (MIS) and a geographical information system (GIS), among other initiatives, to improve the working of the power sector here.

A senior official with the UT Administration said the deadline would end in December 2013, but they were hopeful of being able to complete the work before the deadline.

He added that the Union Power Secretary had, during a recent meeting of Power Secretaries of northern states, told the UT Administration and other states to meet the deadline, failing which the grant would be withheld.

He added that under the Centre's Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP), the Administration would receive around Rs 15 crore.

According to the R-APDRP proposal, the electricity department would be computerised and a round-the-clock call centre for consumer grievance redress set up.

With this, the department would be able to create a database of information, including load, sanctioned connections, consumer grievances and billing. As per the plan, the UT would put the MIS in place to speed up day-to-day procedures.

With the introduction of the MIS, the department would adopt the use of IT applications for meter-reading, billing, collection, energy accounting, auditing and consumer grievance redress.

Under the same Central programme, the UT electricity department would prepare a baseline data for the project area covering consumer indexing, GIS mapping and metering of distribution transformers and feeders.

The GIS mapping would provide information about the entire distribution network, transformers, feeders, low-tension lines, high-tension lines, poles and other distribution network equipment in Chandigarh. With the implementation of this system, the UT electricity department would also be able to easily observe the entire power system operations and system data.

Wednesday night a nightmare

There was a five-hour power cut to a majority of sectors on Wednesday night. Women found it difficult to control children and prepare dinner. Residents had to use candles and emergency lights. Electricity employees faced the ire of residents. People gathered and gheraoed sub-stations. The police had to be called. Vani Mishra of Sector 38 said the night was unforgettable as it was difficult to sleep outside, especially because of mosquitoes. Rajvinder Singh of Sector 45 said nobody attended telephone calls at the complaint centre. 

Thursday night no different

The fault in the 66-kv supply line at Sector 52 on Wednesday night recurred on Thursday night. As result, there was a power cut in Sectors 38 to 47 and Sectors 51, 52 and 55 from 11 pm. A number of telephone calls were made to complaint centres and senior electricity officials, but nobody attended the calls. 



Tension-free holidays for owners of dogs
Hostels for pets a boon for them; space falls short of requirement during vacations
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 21
Dog hostels here have proved a boon for owners of pets, who usually find it difficult to leave their pets at home while going out on holidays.
With more people preferring to visit distant places during vacations, space at dog hostels has started falling short of requirement.

Many a dog can be found at hostels for up to six months as owners have gone abroad. Facing the rush, a hostel has expanded the capacity from nine to 36.

"The space is still falling short of demand," said Dr MR Singla, in charge of The Pet Animal Medical Centre-cum-Teaching Hospital at Sector 3 here.

Owners had to pay Rs 100 to admit 'small dogs' for one day, which were taken care of by the staff with milk, readymade feed and 'chapaatis', said Dr Singla. Dog-handlers had been trained to take dogs outside for morning and evening walks, he said. Owners of other breeds had to shell out a little more, he added.

"Amounts of Rs 150 and Rs 200 would be charged to take care of 'large' and 'extra large' breeds, he further said.

In the private sector, people had a wide choice as many such hostels had come up at Zirakpur, Naya Gaon and near the IT Park in Chandigarh.

Owners preferred to admit their dogs at hostels with indoor medical treatment facilities, which assured them of immediate treatment in time of emergency in their absence. "We have accommodation for 20 dogs at the hostel in Vikas Enclave, near Naya Gaon. During the vacations, the demand increases manifold," said Dr Ravinder Singh, owner and veterinarian.

"Dogs are kept not only in hygienic conditions, but have been provided ample space to move around here," he added.

The presence of hostels for dogs here had relieved owners of pets of worries regarding the care of dogs during their absence.

"I admitted my dog at the pet-care centre in Panchkula many a time during vacations, and every time, it was found in good health," said Anupama of Chandigarh.

The hostels attracted pet-owners from Ambala too. "We searched for a good hostel for our Labrador at Ambala and then admitted it to the government-run centre at Panchkula for its international infrastructure," said Sunita of Ambala.


Finance co, told to pay relief for causing financial loss
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The UT consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed a finance company to pay Rs 25,000 compensation for causing financial loss and harassment to a complainant who wished to invest his money in shares.

Complainant Vikjay Kumar in response to initial public offering (IPO) of Coal India Limited, submitted a duly filled application along with cheque of Rs 98,000 for purchase of 400 shares. It was averred that Vikson Finance and Investment in Sector 17 was an authorised broker and Link Intimate India was the registrar to issue shares of Coal India Limited.

As per the scheme of allotment, it was stipulated that if an investor applied for 400 shares, he was bound to get 199 shares, provided the investor tendered with the application the complete amount for purchase of 400 shares at the rate of Rs 245 per share.

Moreover, the allotment was to be made within 14 days of closure of the scheme.

When the complainant did not receive any intimation about the allotment of shares within the stipulated period of 14 days, he made enquiries and came to know that his bank account was debited on October 25, 2010.

However, the amount was simply refunded to him through draft, that too very late.

The forum stated that it had been established beyond doubt that the finance company had admitted that the complainant submitted the bid application for processing and allotment of shares of Coal India Limited.

“The failure of the company in processing the application of the complainant in the bidding process further proves that it had deprived the complainant from the chances of his getting shares of Coal India Limited, for which he had made huge payment. Thus, subsequently, the complainant has been denied the benefit due to the negligence and deficient act of the company,” stated the order.



Violence revisits university
Clash between two student bodies averted at DAV-10
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
A clash between the supporters of the two student organisations of DAV College was averted today with the police reaching on time to disperse the students before the situation could worsen any further.

The party members were distributing their helpline numbers to the students who had come for admission when the altercation took place over some issue. Within no time, the supporters of both the parties got together and were about to clash when the Panjab Univeristy security staff and the police reached the scene and made the crowd leave the college premises.

College Principal BC Josan said that all the supporters of student organisations were moved out of the college immediately after they entered into an altercation.

“I was at the university and rushed back to the college on getting the information. Police was informed and security was beefed-up to avert any untoward incident,”€¯ Josan said.

After the incident, police force was deputed on the college premises and students were also checked at the entry gate.

Josan said the college had decided to ban all the activities relating to the elections inside the college campus.

“The students won’t be allowed to hold any campaigning inside the college. They also won’t be allowed to have any help desk,”€¯ he said.

With a number of violence incidents reported in the DAV College over the last few years, the educational institute has built a notorious image.

These rising incidents has made the college authorities initiate bold steps by barring admission to those involved in incidents of violence.

The college principal had also met the Advisor to the Administrator few days back seeking the UT Administration’s intervention in getting the students’ election conducted peacefully.



Omaxe Constructions penalised
Tribune News Service

Chandiagrh, June 21
While allowing the complaint against Omaxe limited for delay in construction of a flat, the UT district Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Omaxe limited to pay penalty at the rate of Rs 5 per square feet of super area per month from the date they received the amount till the actual possession of the flat is delivered.

Omaxe has also been directed to pay monthly return of Rs 5,400 minus TDS as per terms and conditions in the agreement from the date of deposit of amount of Rs 12 lakh.

Besides, Omaxe has also been directed to pay Rs 30,000 as litigation costs.

Complainant Vivek Jain, a Sector 40 resident, moved the consumer forum alleging that he was allured by Omaxe Constructions for the purchase of the apartments under the Group Housing Project and was assured to complete the project within a period of 18 months.

The complainant was also taken in by the promises and projections in the brochure for “Omaxe turning dreams into reality”, so he filled an application form and deposited Rs 1 lakh in November 2007.

An agreement was made and the complainant in total deposited a sum of Rs 12 lakh with the company but no offer of possession had been made till date. Hence they moved the consumer forum.

In their reply, officials of Omaxe denied that the construction of Kachnar- C Tower had not started and said that the physical possession would be offered to the complainants expeditiously.

In the order, president of the forum PD Goel stated that the company was under obligation to complete the development/construction of the flat within a period of 18 months from the date of signing of the agreement, which they failed. Hence the company was liable to pay.

“There is no dispute that the complainants had made the payment of the amount on time. Thus, we are of the view that Omaxe is liable to pay a sum of Rs 5 per square feet of super area per month for the period of delay to the complainants, as per clause in the agreement.



Patient kin allege docs’ negligence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Relatives of a patient who died during treatment at the PGI Emergency protested in front of the director’s office on Wednesday. The relatives of deceased Rai Singh (28) alleged that he died soon after doctors administered an injection. Alleging negligence on the part of doctors they lodged a complaint with the local police also.

Rajiv Sharma, one of the relatives of deceased said, Rai Singh was employed at the Delhi office of a Hong Kong-based IT company. He came to Chandigarh to attend an official meeting on Tuesday, he said. Before leaving for Delhi he visited his relatives at Khuda Lahora village when he fell from the roof of a house while talking on his mobile phone and suffered injuries on hands and foot.

“It was around 11 pm that Rai Singh fell from the roof and we took him to the Emergency Wing of the Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, and since it was crowded we shifted him to the PGI where plaster was put on his hand,” he said.

“In the morning at 7 am, the doctors decided to put his injured foot on traction and administered an injection through drip following which he immediately died. We informed his father Tej Singh Thakur, who is a bank manager in Himachal Pradesh, about the incident”, he said.

Tej Singh who reached the PGI in the afternoon said that he apprehended that wrong medication as the reason behind the death of his only son. Rai Singh was a brilliant boy and scheduled to marry on August 11, he added.

On the complaint of Tej Singh, the PGI authorities had constituted a four-member medical board comprising a histopatholgist, forensic medicine expert, anesthetist and a doctor from the department of internal medicine for conducting the post mortem of the body. The matter has also been sent to the grievances committee of the PGI..



Video-conferencing from july
UT to connect Burail Jail with new District Court Complex, Tihar Jail
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

In response to a public interest litigation filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the UT Administration had promised to begin the video-conferencing facility by September 9 last year, but had failed to start the facility on time.
             Tihar Jail, Delhi

Chandigarh, June 21
The UT Administration is all set to connect Burail Jail through video-conferencing with the new District Court Complex in Sector 43 and with Tihar Jail. The senior officials of the Administration are claiming that they will start this facility in the first week of July.

UT’s Information Technology Secretary Prerna Puri Wasu said that the required formalities were nearing completion and the facility of video conferencing would be made available very soon. She added that earlier there was problem of connectivity but that had been sorted out with the BSNL authorities.
Panchkula takes the lead

l Panchkula took the lead in the tricity by connecting Panchkula district courts with Ambala Central Jail through video-conferencing in 2010. 

The engineering department of the UT Administration had already completed their task. Besides, the Burail Jail administration had also provided space for starting the video conferencing facility.

In a response to a public interest litigation filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the UT Administration had promised to begin the video conferencing facility by September 9 last year but failed to start the facility on time. Petitioner Viresh Shandilya, a resident of Haryana, had sought directions from the High Court to connect all jails in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh with the lower courts through video conferencing.

Hardened criminals like Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjit Singh Bheora, assassins of Beant Singh, former Chief Minister, Punjab, continue to be transported from Delhi to the District Court, Chandigarh, on every date of hearing.Hawara, Bheora and their accomplice Jagtar Singh Tara, along with another murder convict Devi Singh, had made a sensational escape from Burail jail in January 2004 by digging a 104-foot-long tunnel. Tara and Devi are still absconding.



Ghaggar turns into a pool
Children looking for coins, household items continue to risk their lives
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 21
Despite the Panchkula district administration asking people not to enter Ghaggar river, one can see residents, especially children, taking a dip in the river.
Ghaggar has turned into a swimming pool.

Those, living on the banks of the river, are seen looking for coins and other household items in the water. Despite the directions, there is nobody to stop them from entering the river.

On a number of occasions, the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC and issued directions to stop people from entering the river. The orders were issued for the safety of the people. The orders stated that as the water level in the river rose during rainy season, therefore in order to avoid any risk, the residents should avoid entering it.

On Thursday, people were seen entering the river to get wooden or some other articles flowing in the river. Articles like coconuts, coins, iron items wire, wood and other things are found on the bed of Ghaggar.

Two years ago, a resident of Azad Colony and two other youths were swept away in the strong currents of the Ghaggar while they were trying to collect coins.

The two were rescued. Similarly, the Army and firemen in a rescue operation, which lasted for around three hours, had saved the lives of five persons, including two women of Dhakka Colony, near Sector 21, who were stranded on a small island in the overflowing Ghaggar in 2010. 



Cosmo Careers Limited penalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The District and Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I slapped a fine of Rs 30,000 on city-based Cosmo Careers Ltd for its failure to provide study visa for the UK to a Ropar resident.

The forum comprising president PD Goel and members Rajinder Singh Gill and Madanjit Kaur Sahota also directed the respondents to refund Rs 2,35,775 to the complainant. The forum also directed the opposite party to pay Rs 10,000 as costs of litigation.

The complainant, Gurvinder Singh, had submitted that he approached the opposite party for a study visa for the UK and deposited a total sum of Rs 3,55,000. Later, the opposite party expressed their inability to provide the student visa and refunded the amount of Rs 1,19,225 after deducting Rs.10,000 as processing charges. The opposite parties did not pay the balance amount of Rs 2,35,775, despite legal notice.

The counsel for the opposite party admitted that the contract of engagement for arrangement of student visa was executed between the parties and the complainant selected London Victoria College for admission. The opposite parities received the confirmation of eligibility on December 8, 2009, and made the payment to the college through a demand draft for Rs 2,70,775 on December 10, 2009. It has been further pleaded that in January, 2010, UKBA suspended all operations across India, due to which, the college did not issue visa support letter in favour of the complainant. It has been further pleaded that UKBA had blacklisted London Victoria College and the complainant applied for closing of his case and settlement of the account on July 30, 2010, along with affidavit. On receipt of the application, the opposite parties returned all original documents and also refunded Rs 1,19,225.

The forum observed that the plea raised by the opposite party that they made the payment of Rs 2,70,775 through a demand draft to London Victoria College on December 10, 2009, did not effect the merits of the case, as the complainant made the payment of the amount to the opposite parties and not to the said college. Non-refund of the amount of Rs 2, 35,775 to the complainant amounts to deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties.



Lights that catch commuters' fancy
Kulwinder Sangha

The fancy lights installed on the road connecting Phase VII with the PTL Chowk in Mohali.
The fancy lights installed on the road connecting Phase VII with the PTL Chowk in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, June 21
Fancy lights, installed by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore, now adorn the centre verge of the recently widened shopping street of the town.

As many as 232 lights have been installed on the centre verge running from Phase VII to the PTL Chowk. The lights are imported and for the first time have been installed in Mohali. Even Chandigarh does not have such fancy lights. The height of these lights has deliberately been kept low so that the beauty does not get hidden in the fully grown trees that existed in the area before the road was widened.

The lights are installed on the poles itself which do not have any arms. The power connection is given from within the pole and the entire structure gives the look of one unit. The light from these lamps fall on the trees above and within the centre verge only giving a cooling effect. It does not fall on the road.

GMADA had earlier planned to install ordinary lights on the centre verge for which high poles and other material had already been purchased at a cost of about Rs 35 lakh. It is learnt that the Chief Administrator of GMADA, Saravjit Singh, wanted something new for the stretch and had suggested the officials concerned to go in for "poly urithin" coated lamps.

The change in the plan delayed the project by about two months. The material purchased earlier will now be used on the stretch leading from Kumbra Chowk to PCL Chowk. 



Suicide bid by Mohali civic body employee
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 21
An employee of the local municipal corporation, Navin Pandey, reportedly attempted suicide last night after he a show-cause notice was served on him.
Giving details, Pooja Pandey, wife of Navin Pandey, a clerk in the corporation, claimed that her husband was under depression.

“He had attempted suicide twice within a fortnight. Earlier, he had consumed some poisonous substance on June 14, the day he was issued the notice.

Yesterday, he tried to slit his wrist," said Pooja.

Pooja Pandey yesterday came to the office and narrated the incident to his colleagues who immediately held a meeting and lent their support to Navin Pandey.

“Navin is one of the most dedicated employees here, who has been victimised. We all are with him,” said the employees. Navin was shifted to the office of the directorate of the local government, Punjab.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the MC employees also met AK Sinha, director, local government, Punjab. He assured them of doing the needful.



Civic body to put Rs 10 cr in its kitty
Has decided to remove signboards put up in greenbelts
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali , June 21
The Mohali municipal corporation is gearing up to earn a revenue of about Rs 10 crore through advertisement tax even as the civic body has decided to remove all signboards put up in greenbelts in various areas as these create a visual pollution adversely affecting the beauty of the town.

The civic body has invited tenders from advertisement agencies having at least a turn over of Rs 2 crore and two-year experience of running or managing advertisement jobs. The contract will be given for a period of three years beginning from July 21. The reserve price fixed by the corporation in this regard is Rs 2.75 crore per year.

The technical bids for the work will be opened on July 3 while the financial bids will be opened on July 5. The process is being executed through e-tendering.

Sources in the civic body said bidders were likely to quote a price of about Rs 3.50 crore per year against the reserve price of Rs 2.75 crore. This way the corporation was likely to earn a revenue of more than Rs 10 crore during the three-year period.

Last time, the reserve price in this regard was Rs 1.60 crore.

It is learnt that this time the corporation has made the terms of the agreement more tough in order to secure itself financially.

For the first time the successful bidders will have to deposit as performance security in the shape of a bank guarantee of an amount equivalent to 10 per cent of the total value of the accepted bid for the entire period of allotment. Successful bidders will also be asked to furnish 33 post dated cheques each amounting to 1/33 part of the total value of the amount of the remaining 33 months of the tender.

An official of the civic body said two new terms were introduced in the agreement to avoid financial defaults, delayed payments or partial payments as was the case earlier.

Sources said a uniformity would be brought about in structures on which advertisements would be displayed apart from ensuring that the material used was of the best quality. As many as 82 unipoles would be put up apart from 11 gantries. Drawings for each site where advertisements would be put up have been prepared by the civic body, they added.

It is learnt that signboards put up in greenbelts will be removed as most of the contractors have failed to maintain the areas.

Moreover, the large number of signboards put up in greenbelts had hampered the beauty of the town.

Now, the corporation or GMADA will be maintaining the greenbelts falling in their areas at their own levels. 



A first — International vegetable, fruit market in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Work under way at the international vegetable and fruit market in Mohali.
Work under way at the international vegetable and fruit market in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, June 21
on one of the most advanced vegetable and fruit markets will be completed by November.
The market will come up at Phase XI. This was stated by Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, after taking stock of the ongoing work at the site here today.

Earlier, the deadline was July 31, 2012, but the work has been delayed due to severe shortage of sand, gravel and other such material in the market. "Now we have set November 30 as the deadline," said Lakhowal.

So far, only 40 per cent of the work of the project worth Rs 43.34 crore, has been completed.

Notably, the work was also stalled in April following a storm. "An inquiry will be conducted to ascertain whether any substandard material was being used in the construction," said Lakhowal today.

Meanwhile, he announced that the market spread over 12.34 acres would be equipped with all facilities. It would meet international standards, he added.

"There will be advanced ripening centre for fruits, cold storage, separate packaging area with advanced machines and grading line in the market, which will be divided into three parts, one for the wholesale market with 34 double-storeyed shops for commission agents and the other two parts for air-conditioned retail market with 95 shops and farmers' "apni mandi"," said Lakhowal.

He added that arrangements would be made to check chemically-coated fruits and vegetables.

The mandi board's new office, which is to come up near the market, will also be completed by August 2013. 



Bishop Emeritus Gilbert passes away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The Catholic Community of the Simla Chandigarh Diocese along with its head Rev. Dr. Ignatius Mascarenhas paid tribute to Bishop Emeritus Gilbert Blaize Rego, the first bishop of the Simla Chandigarh Diocese as he passed away on June 21 at Clergy Home, Bandra, Mumbai. He died of long illness at the age of 92.

Bishop Emeritus Gilbert was born in Mumbai. He served the Diocese for almost three decades. The funeral service will be held on June 24, at 4pm at Christ theKing Cathedral Church, Sector 19-A, Chandigarh.



Applicants up 40 pc in UT schools
But the teacher-student ratio in government schools remains dismal
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
While the teacher strength in UT schools has not even increased by 10 per cent in most of the cases, the number of applicants at both primary and senior secondary level has gone up by 40 per cent this year.

The seat to applicant ratio for admissions to Class XI in the government schools has also risen to 1:10, ringing the alarm bells for the UT education department.

With pending recruitment of regular teachers and the dismal results of Central Teacher Eligibility Test, the city schools continued to struggle with staff crunch for want of around 700 more teachers.

In schools like that in Hallo Majra, the teacher-student ratio at primary level was as dismal as 1:70. The situation was not much better in the renowned model schools in Sectors 16, 35, 37 and Manimjra, where the average ratio stood at 1:50.

“We are under more pressure as everybody wants admission here. The UT’s policy of not denying admissions to the neighbourhood children has made things worse. We keep on increasing sections, putting more pressure on the existing staff. There are already 50-60 students for every teacher in the school,”€¯ said a school principal.




Clerical error delays counselling at UBS
Admission under ‘single girl child’ category postponed; 78 seats filled in some branches
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
While the counselling for admission to the University Business School at Panjab University started today, the admission under the ‘single girl child’ category was postponed due to a complaint by one of the candidates who had applied under this category.

The candidate had raised doubts over her final score at the time of display of the first merit list. Later, it was found that the UBS department had considered wrong Common Admission Test score of the applicant.

The university seeks the CAT score of the applicants from the authority that holds the exam and on the basis of this score and the score given in the group-discussion and the interview rounds, the merit list is prepared.

When contacted, the admission coordinator, AK Vashisht, said the admission under the particular category was delayed due to some problem in provisional merit list which happened due to wrong score being sent to PU.

Sources said that the department had sent wrong roll number of the student to the concerned IIM, following which the CAT score of some other student was sent that lead to the confusion.

Meanwhile, all the 78 seats in MBA (general), HR, Industrial Banking and Biotech were filled on the first day of the counselling. The counselling for admission under various categories will be held on Friday.



PU facilitates research in Indian theatre

Chandigarh, June 21
Students who wish to pursue PhD in Indian Theatre at Punjab University have a reason to cheer as the university has decided to allow researchers to pursue research in Hindi and Punjabi languages in addition to English. Earlier, music was the only subject that had an option of writing the thesis in all the three languages.

The academic council in its recent meeting decided to allow the students pursuing PhD in Indian Theatre to write their thesis in any of the three languages. The decision would help the students from rural areas of the neighbouring states to pursue research in Indian theatre.

During the meeting, a fellow and member of academic council Gurmeet Singh had also raised the demand that the university should extend this rule to all the subjects under arts. “The students pursuing research in any of the subjects should have the option of all thr three languages,”€¯ Singh said.

RPS Josh, another fellow and member of academic council, said the university should consider the proposal of introducing the three languages in all the subjects under arts to encourage students for research. — TNS



JC Bose Fellowship for PU scientist

Chandigarh, June 21
Professor RK Kohli of Panjab University, who is also the Dean Research, has been selected for the JC Bose Fellowship by the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

JC Bose Fellowship was introduced recently by the government to recognise active scientists and engineers for their outstanding performance and contribution.

The fellowship would include a stipend of Rs 25,000 per month and a contingency fund of Rs 10 lakh per annum for conferences and other expenses.

Kohli is the only Indian till date to be accredited as a senior ecologist — the highest global accreditation. He is a Fellow of all the four official national academies..

Apart from three patents, he published over 220 research papers, mostly in reputed international journals; and authored two and edited eight books, four of which were doing well in the international market. — TNS



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