C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Grabbing of ‘choes’ continues
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The natural flow of ‘choes’ (seasonal rivulets) continues to be plundered with impunity for financial gain by the rich and the influential in the Mohali district, particularly in the Dera Bassi belt.

The district administration has decided to refer cases to the Geological Survey of India(GSI) to have a correct map of natural water flow.

Areas figuring in police, revenue and drainage department records for blatant violations included Gulabgarh, Baltana and Nada Sahib villages, Zirakpur and Dera Bassi.

The Deputy Commissioner’s office stopped construction at a colony on the Nada ‘choe’, near Naya Gaon.

Another construction at Baltana village was stopped following the intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Skyrocketing land prices (approximately Rs 3 crore an acre), particularly in the context of upcoming housing projects, added elements of power and intrigue to the battle of blocking or altering the flow of ‘choes’.

Water finding its natural course posed trouble during the monsoon. Police records were full of daily diary reports and first information reports (FIRs) against those who had altered the bed of seasonal rivulets.

They had filled up low-lying areas to have more area. A majority of cases had been brought out by the irrigation department in formal reports.

Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam confirmed the problem of illegal settlements coming in direct confrontation with the natural flow of seasonal rivers in parts of the district.

He said, “The administration is taking up the matter of illegal encroachment. We have initiated the process of getting geological maps from the GSI to have a line of natural flow of water to check illegal construction.”

The administration had been stopped from putting up a sewerage treatment plant on the ‘choe’ near Dera Bassi. Roojam said a settlement on the Nada ‘choe’, near Naya Gaon, was issued demolition notices.

A senior official with the irrigation department said on the condition of anonymity, “We have been giving regular reports on violations, but the follow-up by the authorities is poor.”

He added, “One of the biggest reasons is that the accused in a majority of the cases are influential. We are concerned about ‘choes’ finding their natural course in case of heavy rain. This will mean heavy destruction to land and roads.”

SDO (drainage) Kuljit Singh said, “We have checked cases of blatant violations in the area and submitted cases to the authorities for necessary action.”

At Gulabgarh village, adjoining Dera Bassi, water flow had been completed blocked in the ‘choe’ on one side of the road.

The dry bed on one side of the road had a fully developed field. The map of the flow had been challenged by both disputing parties.

At Mubarikpur, a police case had been registered against a construction company for encroaching on the ‘choe’. Work on a housing project could be seen at the site.

On the Barwala road, near Dera Bassi, an upcoming industrial park had a ‘pucca’ road on the path of a ‘choe’.

The Zirakpur police station had registered at least three FIRs against builders and property dealers on the basis of complaints by the drainage department.



Diarrhoea breaks out at Vikas Nagar
Claims one life, sparks protest; police and doctors visit spot, set up camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The outbreak of diarrhoea in the Vikas Nagar locality of Mauli Jagran claimed one life here today, with several others being hospitalised.

Residents blamed contaminated drinking water supply and raised slogans against the authorities, following which the police and a team of doctors visited the spot.

Health officials make an announcement.
Health officials make an announcement.

Diwan Singh (55) complained of loose motions last morning. He died at 11 pm, said deceased's wife Savitri Devi. The death sparked the protest. A team of eight doctors, with three ambulances, was pressed into service.

A camp was set up at the local temple and medicines, along with packets of ORS powder, were distributed.

Many were shifted to the Civil Hospital at Mani Majra and the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH) at Sector 16.

A boy shows contaminated water at Vikas Nagar in Chandigarh on Sunday.
A boy shows contaminated water at Vikas Nagar in Chandigarh on Sunday.

On a visit to houses in the locality, it was found that almost every house had persons suffering from loose motions or vomiting.

Ajay (24) was down with diarrhoea while Sneha (7) and Shiva (12) in his neighbourhood were undergoing treatment for the same problem.

Neha (12) had just recovered from typhoid while Chanderpaul (60) was being helped by relatives to get medicine for dysentery.

Till the evening, 242 patients were examined at the medical check-up camp. Out them, 127 were children.

Twelve teams were formed to conduct a door-to-door survey. They found 81 patients lying at their houses.

Five patients were admitted to the GMSH and four to the hospital at Mani Majra, said Dr G Diwan, spokesman of the health department.

There had been contaminated water supply for many days and complaints failed to move officials concerned, said residents.

The water smelled foul and dust could be seen settled in every container after a few minutes, said local resident Roshni, showing glasses of water collected from a tap.

Public health department SDO Suresh Kumar Gill, who was on the spot, said there was no problem with the quality of drinking water.

The samples of water were tested every day and all samples were found fit for human consumption, he added.



Two rape accused flee, 2 policemen booked
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 1
Two accused in a rape case fled from custody at the Sohana police station on Friday night. The authorities today booked two policemen, munshi Hem Raj and constable Ram Murti, under Sections 223 and 224 of the IPC.

Bhupinder Singh and Kamaldeep had been arrested and booked on the charge of rape at Mullanpur.

Both policemen, who were on duty,, claimed that there was a power shutdown and the accused took advantage of darkness. The accused belonged to a backward class and were bus conductors with a private bus service.

Hari Om, posted as home guard at the Sohana police station, reached to resume his duty at 6 am and found the accused missing.

The case was registered on his complaint. “On enquiry, Hem Raj and Ram Murti told me that the accused ran away when the lights were out,” stated Hari Om in his complaint.

DSP Darshan Singh Mann said a case was registered against the policemen and further investigations in the case were on. 



Summer vacation extended by week
Class V and below at private, govt schools to reopen on July 9
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
In the wake of the heatwave, the UT Administration has extended the summer vacation for pre-primary and primary classes at all private and government schools by a week.

Classes will now commence from July 9. There is no change in the vacation schedule for classes VI to XII.

The UT Administration has also decided that the timings of classes VI to XII will be from 7:30 am to 1 pm till July 7. The morning assembly will remain suspended this week.

The teaching and non-teaching staff of all government schools will have to attend school from tomorrow as per rescheduled timings.

The decision to extend the vacation for only the pre-primary and primary wings has disappointed parents of children studying in higher classes.

Manpreet Kaur of Sector 37 said not only young children suffered in the scorching heat, but others had the same problem. “The UT should consider extending the vacation for senior classes as well,” she added.

Vikram Gupta, whose daughter studied in class IX and son in class VII, said all children were vulnerable and extending the vacation for up to class V was illogical.

St John's School, Strawberry Fields Kindergarten and Strawberry Fields World School extended the summer vacation for playway to class V.

The classes would now reopen on July 9. Classes VI to XI would commence tomorrow. The timings would remain unchanged. 



No Duronto to Amritsar from Sept 11
New super-fast train to replace it; will halt at Ludhiana and Jalandhar
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
With a lukewarm response to the much-hyped Duronto Express between Amritsar and Chandigarh seven days a weekthe train will not be run from September 11. With people in Punjab and the tricity demanding stoppages at Ludhiana and Jalandhar, the Railways has decided on a super-fast train to Amritsar from September 11.

Then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the train in the 2011-12 Railway Budget and the train was launched on August 24 last year.

The response was lukewarm as between 250 and 300 passengers from the city travelled by the train, being run five days a week. The train was later plied on all seven days.

A senior official with the Ambala railway division said the train would start from Chandigarh at 6:50 pm and reach Ludhiana at 9:05 pm.

After a five-minute halt, the train would leave for Jalandhar, reach there at 9:57 pm and arrive at Amritsar at 11:15 pm, he added.

The 12-coach train would include two air-conditioned chair-coaches. The fare would be Rs 101 in the sleeper class and Rs 396 in the chair-car.

Passengers would not get meals, which were being provided in the Duronto. Residents of Mohali and its periphery demanded a stop at Mohali for at least two minutes.

Keeping in view the rush of passengers in the Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi, the Railways decided to add three new coaches to the morning Shatabdi. 


checking  violations
Illegal construction a stumbling block
40 changes okayed by CHB may not bridge gap between reality and the changes allowed by the board
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Haphazard constructions in form of additional rooms and increase in coverage area could become a stumbling block in regularising the major violations in the flats and independent houses of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

Another illegal construction on the first and second floors of a house at the Housing Board Colony in Sector 45.
Another illegal construction on the first and second floors of a house at the Housing Board Colony in Sector 45. Tribune photos: S Chandan

With sizes of families growing and requirement of additional space growing rapidly, many families have gone beyond what is allowed within the bylaws, some have even raised additional rooms on pillars. But the 40 need-based changes being allowed by the CHB might not bridge the gap between the ground reality and what the board authorities were allowing.

A survey of the violations across the city portray the true picture. The authorities need to take a realistic decision on the basis of violations.

Terming the concession allowed by the CHB as cosmetic, the CHB Residents Federation has pointed out that the present, unchanged bylaws will not solve even 10 per cent of the problem.

Actually the problem lies at the grass-root level, when the field officials of the CHB on survey duty hide facts about the nature of construction, apparently to favour the violators. A random survey reveals that more than 80 per cent of the people have made additions/alterations in their houses that do not follow any uniformity of pattern, thus making it almost impossible to submit any one design of the house to the board for approval.

“The board has given six months to the people to submit their designs for approval. But the question is how the designs submitted by the people will be approved when almost 90 per cent of them lack uniformity and include much more construction than what the Board’s three notifications sanction”, said Nirmal Datt, chairman of the federation.

After the third notification, all rooms constructed in the backyards are illegal, as it overlooks the zonal rule of leaving 10 feet open space from the back wall. Almost all people have ignored the zonal rule because their backyards are very small. In the eyes of the board, these people are violators.

The need of the hour is to regularise all additions/ alterations by approving all sound structures within the borderline and skyline, the federation demanded. Presently, the CHB dwelling units are in Sectors 38 (West), 40, 41, 43, 44,45, 46, 47, Modern Housing Complex (Phase-III) besides duplex dwelling units in Sector 29, 40, 41 and 47. 

Major violations on the ground

n Flats owners have constructed rooms in the rear courtyard, covering the entire courtyard

n The area in the front courtyard has also been converted into a room

n Additional construction on the upper floors has been done rampantly

n Instead of 65 per cent area, the residents have covered more then 90 per cent of the area



10-member panel formed at mobilisation rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The CHB Residents Federation today organised its seventh mobilisation rally near Primary School, Sector 56, here. The rally was taken out as part of the second phase of the campaign.

Members of the federation have been demanding regularisation of need-based changes and alterations in all categories of the CHB houses.

Their other demands include ownership rights for the residents of the rehabilitation colonies who bought their houses on the Power of Attorney, to get the Citizens’ Charter/ the Right to Service Act adopted in all the UT offices before August 15 and introduction of a public audit system for all expenses out of the public funds.

In reaction to the need- based changes being allowed by the CHB, the federation said the small concessions of the third notification did not solve even 10 per cent of the problem of regularisation. The representatives appealed to the board authorities to accept the ground reality that would soon be revealed to them by their latest survey, and requested them to regularise all additions/alterations by approving all sound structures within the borderline and skyline.

The representatives stated it was a non-political campaign and it was rooted in the unending suffering of thousands of residents and not fuelled by any electoral calculations. They further formed a10-member committee consisting of two political leaders from each political party, who would lead the campaign from now on and assured the gathering that no single political leader or party would be praised or criticised from the federation’s platform from now on.

Another issue that was discussed at the rally was the transfer of ownership to those CHB residents who bought their houses from the original allottees before the lapse of five years from the date of allotment.

The process was halted recently in a strict adherence to a rule whereas 80 per cent of such people had already got the ownership rights. The strictness has resulted in great discomfiture to more than a thousand applicants. The representative of the federation appealed to the board authorities to restart the halted transfer of ownership procedure.

The federation further reiterated its demand that the three new board members, who are to be nominated in July, should be from among the prominent residents living in the Southern Sectors, as these persons would help bridge the gulf between the board and the harried residents.



Villages in Kandi area go without drinking water for days together
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Several villages in the Kandi area, adjoining Chandigarh, are facing shortage of potable water. The inhabitants of villages starting from Karaundewala village, located on an undulating hillock in the Jyantri Majri block, to Perch-Seonk villages are forced to fetch water from other sources, as the water supply of the public health department is not regular there.

In Perch village, Jagjit Singh, sarpanch of the village, said the water supply was not regular. There is some problem in the supply line as the residents of Choti Perch and Baddi Perch village are getting water at irregular intervals and the tubewell in the village was not functioning. In Karundewala village, residents complained that they were not getting water for the past five days. Being located at a height, the supply line is dependent on the power supply. Ram Lal, a resident of the village, said they had lost faith in the electoral system as their quest for potable drinking water had gone unheard over the years.

The villagers felt that ahead of every election, politicians promised to bring potable water to their doorsteps, but still they were forced to fetch stinking and unfit water from the village wells. “In the last election, the SAD candidate promised us metalled road and water soon after the elections. But five years have passed and there is no sign of a road”, rues Makhan Singh, a government employee, in the village.

The village, which is located just 20 km to the north of the Punjab Chief Minister’s residence, still cries for potable drinking water. It is not the story of this village alone, the residents of Bhangindi village also long for a regular supply of potable water. “The alternative source of water supply from a reservoir at Kasauli village often pumps out stinking water, as the pipes are old and have rusted. The reservoir built around an underground source of water has not been cleaned for the past many years, reveals inquiries made at the water works at Kasauli village”, said Pal Singh, sarpanch

Similar problem exists in Tanda, Tandi and Masol villages. The Executive Engineer, Public Health, said they were awaiting funds to start work on new supply lines for Tanda, Tandi and Masol villages. Regarding poor supply in Karundewala and other surrounding villages, he said the existing tubewell was not able to meet the requirement of the villagers.



Hottest June in last six years
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
June this year has been the hottest in the last six years as the city received meagre rainfall making the tricity region the driest in the past 10 years. As per the records available with the local met department, the city received only 3.8 mm rainfall last month.

Last month remained the hottest with mercury hovering around 42 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature of 45.1 degrees Celsius was recorded on June 1, breaking the records of the past six years. About 242.6 mm rainwall was recorded in the same month last year helping in bringing down the mean temperature in June to 39.4 degrees Celsius. In 2010 also the city had received 188.4 mm rainfall.

In 2009, June had recorded the maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius and had received a lesser rainfall of only 37.8 cm. In 2008, the city had received 376 mm rainfall and the maximum temperature was recorded at 40.5 degrees Celsius. While in June 2007, the rainfall in Chandigarh was 189.2 mm and the maximum temperature was 45 degrees Celsius.

While analysing the previous records, June 30 is considered to be the average normal date for the onset of monsoon in the tricity region every year. The earliest arrival of monsoon was witnessed in 2008, when the region received its first monsoon shower on June 13.

Despite the predictions for a 'normal' rainfall this season, the rain-bearing clouds have continued to elude the region. Even though the weatherman has predicted that the region is unlikely to witness its first monsoon showers by July 5, the maximum temperatures remained at 4 degrees Celsius.above normal during June this year.

The weatherman has predicted that due to difference in the wind pattern and the western disturbances in June, rainfall has been affected. There was about one -week delay in the arrival of monsoon in the region and there was likelihood of subsequent deficiency in rainfall activity, however, such minor changes and fluctuations in the weather were normal, he added.

Meanwhile, the maximum temperature in the region was recorded at 41.4 degrees Celsius, 5 degrees Celsius above normal and the minimum temperature was recorded at 30.1 degrees Celsius. The maximum humidity was recorded at 55 per cent and the minimum was recorded at 27 per cent.

The weather office had predicted mainly clear sky and maximum temperature on Monday will be around 41 degrees Celsius and minimum temperature on Tuesday will be around 30 degrees Celsius. Isolated rains or thundershowers were expected in Punjab and Haryana in the subsequent three days, the met department added.



Another sleepless night for Mohali residents
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 1
Outages at night continue to haunt the residents of the town. The worst affected are the residents of Phase VII here. The area witnessed an eight-hour power cut last night leaving the residents fuming. They were left with no other option, but to spend the night in the open.

The power went off at 11.15 pm and resumed at 7.30 am this morning.

The officials concerned said some fault in a cable had led to the power failure.

When asked what took them so long, the junior engineer of the area said there was not enough manpower last night.

"The problem could be rectified only after some more officials came on duty," said the official.

Surprisingly, an hour after the power was restored, another cut was imposed by the department.

It's really a torture, spending nights without power in this sweltering heat.

How could the cable get damaged last night when there was no storm or rain. Every night the electricity department imposes a cut," said Ankita Mishra, a resident of the area.

As per the schedule released by the department, a one-hour cuts has to be imposed twice a day. But the town has been reeling under five to six hours long power cuts everyday.



Health scenario to get a major overhaul: MCA chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The medical education and health facility scenario is set for a major overhaul in the near future. While the report of a four-member committee headed by Dr N K Ganguli on the Ethical Guidelines for Medical Education and Clinical Practices is ready to be submitted, 20 new medical colleges, including nine in the public sector will be opened this year.

This was stated by Dr KK Talwar, chairman of the Board of Governors, Medical Council of India, here today. Talwar, who is the director of cardiac sciences at Max Hospital, Mohali, was interacting with media persons after attending a scientific session, “Cardiocon 2012” organised by the hospital to commemorate National Doctor’s Day.

The country needs at least 60,000 new graduate medicos every year to fulfil the requirement.



open house response
Sukhna lake needs a permanent solution

Sukhna Lake has not dried up in a single day. The UT Administration knew very well about the fragility of the water body and yet did not find a real solution.

It is pathetic to see the administration continuing boating till the time it was drained off its single drop. I think the bigger question at the moment is to evaluate what has happened to finding a permanent solution rather than carrying on with makeshift activities in name of clearing the silt.

The cleaning of the lake needs to be carried out at a very large scale to make an impact instead of daily activity of lifting a few trucks full of silt. This activity sounds good only on papers.

Our children are to be made aware of the impact of global warming. They are to be goaded to contribute towards maintaining an ecological balance. Most importantly, the progress on any project should be made public and public, too, needs to contribute to make administration more responsible. — Shashank Parmar

Demise of an eco-system
It will be sad to see Sukhna not providing home to lakhs of birds from the mountains, Central Asia and even Siberia when they come here to beat the sub-zero temperature in their lands. It is equally woeful to watch fishes lying dead on the lake bed. The tragedy assumes a bigger dimension in the perspective of death of a complete eco-system.

It’s sad that it is drying up. Government’s attitude, especially the UT Administration’s, is totally apathetic and indifferent towards it. It has failed in devising an effective long term plan for checking the collapse of the system.

Dredging should be done at an appropriate time in two-three phases so that the people can visit the lake. The erosion of soil from the surroundings must be checked before it is too late. — NC Rana

Act before it’s too late
This summer Sukhna Lake has dried like never before. The lake is dying a slow death due to the silt attack and overgrowth of weeds. The committee members have been rejecting all proposals one after the other to save Sukhna lake. Some concrete plans need to be made and implemented as soon as possible before the lake becomes a thing of the past. Boring tube wells in the lake can help rise the water level. Water can also be taken from the Kajauli waterworks to save the Sukhna Lake and its pristine beauty and glory. Manually removing the weeds has not proved helpful so far because the weeds grow back. The lake can be dug up so that the weeds can be removed permanently and also inflow of silt should be checked. These steps should be implemented soon before the lake fades away. — Isha Dahiya

A tragic tale
The tale of Sukhna Lake is tragic. It nears its death every year and newspapers abound in its coverage describing that water level has receded, boating restricted, the earth at bottom suffering cleavages, wedges, the fish and other aquatic perishing due to low level of water and so on. Let the people managing the Sukhna affair visit villages here and see how the ponds remain full throughout the year. — Gurmit Singh Saini

Ways to save the lake
Shivalik hills (hilly catchment area of Sukhna Lake) are ecologically sensitive and geological unstable and thus highly prone to soil erosion. Deforestation, faulty-agricultural practices and over grazing have lead to soil-erosion. Poor vegetation and excessive biotic interference in the catchment area has further accelerated soil erosion. To tackle this problem, soil conservation measures along with tree plantations have to be taken up. Check dams and silt retention dams should be constructed. Also, projects like three-tier forest vegetation, fish-farming, etc should be undertaken.

Removal of sand and silt through mechanical means and “Shramdaan” can be done. Wet dredging can be implemented if economically viable. Additional measures to de-silt water entering the lake are necessary such as, vertical filters or silt excluders. The youngsters should be motivated to save the lake by giving lectures and by organising seminars regarding water resources. — Shruti K Chawla

Afforestation drive
Scientific approach in terms of keeping the lake’s original catchment area free of encroachments, de-weeding plants and dredging operations must be carried out. Construction of proper and effective check dams at the Shivalik foothills would also help in solving the problem. These will help in channelising water and thus checking the deposition of silt. A massive afforestation drive needs to be undertaken around the Sukhna Lake. — Vineet Kapoor

Internet can be used to make citizens aware
The Chandigarh Tribune’s news on Sukhna Lake, "UT Short of Ideas on Saving Sukhna" by Sanjeev Singh Bariana, was most shocking to say the least. I have been in Chandigarh since my birth and have witnessed the care and passion with which the character of the City Beautiful has been maintained.

The Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan, and the UT Administrator needs to ensure speeding up the cleaning of the lake. All the information available relating to water bodies including area of the lake, boundaries, controlling government authorities, must be put on the internet for the easy access to the residents of Chandigarh. The citizens need to contribute in all possible ways. — Sachin Sharma

Better management need of hour
The Sukhna catchment area should not only be managed as a forest area but also as an ‘efficient water shed management’. A balance is required to maintain between the water requirements of wildlife and Sukhna Lake. We should try to attain a coefficient of 60 per cent if the need of the two (lake and the forest area) has to be met. If there is enough fresh water in the lake there would not be any ‘weed trouble’. This must be met with by a channel of 5 to 10 cusecs capacity which may be a pipeline or an open-lined channel — GS Dhillon, Former Chief Engineer

No concrete plan in place
There have been criticism and counter-criticism at the government quarters, but it seems no concrete plan has been envisaged to save the Sukhana Lake. As per news reports, earlier committees constituted had made half-hearted approach that resulted into drying up of the lake. Had serious efforts been made, its position would not have been as it is now. The special committee which has now been constituted has not suggested any concrete line of action in reviving the water body. Yet the bureaucrats are making regular statements about finding ways to save the lake.

To refurbish the glory of the Sukhana Lake, it would be desirable to constitute an expert committee of technocrats. Many of them are available in this literate city itself, who can find the problem and then its actual solution. There is no dearth of honest people who can guide the administration if they are given the chance to save Sukhana. There are several manmade lakes which are surviving in the country. Those who have managed these lakes can help us reviving Sukhna. — SK Khosla

Water sports were once held
Seeing the resent situation, it will be hard to believe that this lake was once the venue of the Asian Rowing Championships and had longest channel for rowing and yachting events in the Asia. It had facilities for other water sports like water surfing, skiing and skulking.

Some Botany people blamed forest department for extensive plantation in the lake’s catchment area. But I don’t agree as this plantation has reduced the silt to the minimum. Low water level is the main reason for uncontrolled growth of weeds and dry bed. As a result, the Chandigarh Administration Engineering Department has to put in action the heavy machinery, including excavators, dumpers and trucks from morning on a round the clock duty to set the area cleared as much was possible. They need to borrow machinery from other states. Chandigarh Administration as well as the Union Government is not sincere to save Sukhna Lake for the past three decade. They better be now because lake is in a now or never situation. — Kulbhushan Kanwar

Open House Question

In light of the main 40 need based changes allowed to the owners of CHB flats; the board has given six months time to the property owners to submit their plans for regularisation of their violations.

But the ground reality is that a majority of the property owners have made huge structural changes that do not follow any specific design of pattern. There seem to be a wide gap between the ground reality and changes allowed so far by the CHB. Write your opinion on the issue to openhouse@tribunemail.com

No need to save the White Elephant
There is no need for putting effort to save Sukhna Lake as its desilting process has rendered into a ‘white elephant’ for the Chandigarh Administration.

Tourists are wasting their time, energy and money to see nothing at the Sukhna Lake. Costs for desilting, manpower and machinery are increasing everyday. There is a greater need for making educational institutes and hospitals at the site. The administration should consider setting up an Advanced PGI or a Chandigarh University at the site.— Jagjit Singh, field coordinator, Municipal Corporation



Open wires pose threat to pedestrians

The Administration is overlooking the threat that uncapped electricity wires on sidewalks and dividers are a risk for pedestrians and motorists. Tribune lensman S Chandan takes a tour of the city to capture such images.



Tricity Scan

Musical evening
Singer Bhupinder and his wife Mitali gave a tremendous performance during a musical evening organised by the State Bank of India on Sunday.

The occasion was Bank Day celebrations of SBI. The bank as part of their Foundation Day celebrations donated 140,000 fans at various schools all over the country through its 14,000 branches to mark the occasion.

International acclaim for doc
Dr Vikas Sharma, a young dermatologist from Chandigarh, got an international acclaim from American Academy of Dermatology. Dr Vikas Sharma who runs a world class skin and laser hospital called National Skin Hospital in Chandigarh has been selected as an International Fellow of American Academy of Dermatology, USA for the year 2012.

The following have been elected office-bearers to the Sanatan Sharma Sabha, Sector 45: Chairman- Vijay Rana; President-M P Bhardwaj; Senior Vice President-Harsh Kumar; Vice President-SK Kaushij; General Secretary-Kailash Rastogi and Finance Secretary- HR Aggarwal.

500 examined
A team of Rotarian doctors with members of their families spent their Sunday in Colony V, Sector 50, to examine over 500 men, women and children. They provided immediate treatment for their ailments. A team of specialists from pediatrics, ENT, ophthalmology, gynecology, skin problems, dental, and general medicine department examined the residents of the colony. They were assisted by the staff of Grewal Eye Hospital, Ivy, Inscol, and Sohana hospitals, besides the members of the Rotary Community Corps. — TNS



MISSION Admission
Promising avenues in home science
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Career-oriented undergraduate courses are emerging as an alternative to the conventional courses being offered by universities. Home Science is one such course that covers a wide spectrum of subjects and presents a blend of science and art. Government Home Science College, Sector 10, is the destination for students who want to make a career in this field.

Bachelor in Home Science includes a wide variety of subjects that helps in developing a holistic personality and creating a resourceful person who can work as an entrepreneur or hold a good post in allied industries. A specialization in Home Science at the postgraduate level, be it a masters degree or a diploma, further equips the student with an in-depth knowledge in the specific field.

Government Home Science College offers undergraduate as well as postgraduate courses in various specialisations. The college also offers facility for doctoral studies.

Students from the college have been placed in a wide array of jobs such as research fellows; teachers at all levels; and extension and outreach workers. They have been working in marketing and merchandising; testing laboratories and research organizations; and as entrepreneurs in textile and apparel industry. They have also joined other promising fields as column writers in specialised fields, dieticians in hospitals, counsellors in schools, and nutrition experts in national and international agencies.

The college has a well-kept campus with three-leveled academic building. It has equipped laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms, auditorium, gymnasium, and a laboratory nursery school. Lush green parks, floral drive-in, two hostels for undergraduate and postgraduate students and a canteen are spread in the campus. The college library has a large collection of books on home science and allied fields.

The college prospectus is available at the college office, and the last date for applying for admission is July 4. The admissions will begin on July 10.



Students face tough competition for BCA seats
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
After Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Computer Application has also emerged as a competitive course with 2,000 applications submitted for 280 seats offered by government colleges in the city.

"The government colleges are in a great demand as the number of applicants has crossed the mark of 2,000 which is over eight times the number of seats in these colleges," an official said.

The last date for submitting the admission forms was June 30. The first merit list is expected to be displayed by July 6. Officials said that as soon as the merit list is displayed, admissions would start. Post Graduate Government College, Sector 46, will hold the joint admission for BCA in all the four government colleges.

Subject experts said that the students who fail to get admission in government colleges, would still have a chance to study BCA in other city colleges offering the course including Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45; DAV College, Sector 10; SGGS College, Sector 26; GGSCW, Sector 26; GGDSD College, Sector 32; and MCM College for Women, Sector 36. These colleges have around 760 BCA seats in total, and student from any stream at senior secondary level can apply for admission.

Bachelor of Computer Application, however, is one of the courses at Panjab University in which students, especially those who have not studied math in higher classes, have been showing poor result in the last three years. The overall pass percentage in BCA-I across all PU affiliated colleges was 36.65 per cent in 2009, 33.85 per cent in 2010 and 49.04 per cent in 2011.



CBSE adds ethics to education system
 Examinations to have questions integrated with moral values across all subjects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
With the aim to inculcate moral values to students, the Central Board of Secondary Education has decided to make moral education an integral part of the Indian education system.

From this session, value-based questions will be integrated with all the academic subjects. Not only these questions will be asked in subjects including Hindi, English, mathematics, science and social studies, they will also carry a five per cent weightage in the total score.

Students in Classes XII will also get evaluated on such questions in subjects including economics, physics, chemistry, biology, accountancy and business studies in the board examinations from 2013.

"We aim at imparting education rather than simple literacy. We wish to churn out not just top scorers or sportsmen but good human beings. It is, therefore, required to make moral education a part of every single subject, including math, and not to sum it up in a single generally ignored subject," said CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi.

Welcoming the CBSE's move, KBDAV Public School Principal Madhu Bahal, said, "It is a brilliant idea. There is no denying that our education system has lately become too commercial and aimed at producing employable students. We use education to get doctors and engineers, but what about good humans? An interdisciplinary approach will help students to imbibe values and help in community development."

The board has also released a series of sample questions to prove the effectiveness of the new approach.

Sample this

n Math: In his will a father divides his property between his two children and a servant. He gives 40 per cent each to his son and daughter. How much does his servant gets and what is the moral value depicted?

Answer: Gender equality and charity towards people who work for us.

n Biology: In the digestive system, all elements work together to digest the food you eat. What is the lesson learnt?

Answer: Team work is the key to success.

n Physics: Three astronauts are descending from a space station when, suddenly, one of their air tankers bursts. What will they do?

Answer: Save each others life to build a life-long camaraderie based on trust.

n English: An essay about a rich grandmother who wants to undertake a religious trip, but is upset because she can't read-up on the destination. Her granddaughter decides to teach her and she agrees.

Answer: It's never too late to learn.



Parties devise new ways to woo students
 Distribute pamphlets, connect via social networking sites
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Student parties at Panjab University are leaving no stone unturned to woo new students coming to the campus. After the help desks which were set-up to assist students in the admission process, student organisations have started circulating the party pamphlets containing their helpline numbers through newspapers.

The members of National Students Union of India at Panjab University have come up with this innovative way of reaching out to the students, who are planning to take admission in PU, by circulating pamphlets in residential areas.

"We circulated the pamphlets with helpline numbers in the sectors with large student population and sectors that have paying guests facility," said Vicky Khanna, an NSUI leader at PU.

The other student organisations have also devised new ways to connect with students. Manoj Lubana, president of Student Organisation of Panjab University, said that they have started roping in students through social networking sites.

"The students who have already been assisted by our party at the time of admissions are being contacted through social networking sites in a bid to provide them further assistance and to offer them the membership of the party," Lubana said.

Similarly, Panjab University Student Union is making all possible efforts to attract students. PUSU party in-charge Sumit Goklaney said that they have started a helpline service through social networking sites where the students can post their queries and receive an answer within a few hours.

"We are even approaching students through SMS and phone calls to inform them about the counseling dates for the courses in which they have applied," said Goklaney. 



Students not allowed to take exam, allege harassment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Eight students of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, have alleged harassment at the hands of college authorities because they were not allowed to appear for the examination of BSc Radiodiagonsis held on Friday. The students said that though they were issued roll numbers by Punjab University, the officials at the medical college did not allow them to sit for the examination due to shortage of lectures and internal assessment. Students said that their records were manipulated to detain them in the same class.

It was on Friday that Director Principal Dr Raj Bahadur asked the students to leave the examination hall when they reached there for the examination. They were told that they did not fulfil the conditions — number of lectures attended and internal assessment — to appear for the examination, they said.

"If my lectures were short, university would not have issued the roll number to me. Moreover, I was never informed by my teachers or officials in the college that my lectures were less than the official requirement for sitting in the examination," said Ritakshi, a student of BSc-III.

"My daughter is under stress since she was asked not to enter the examination hall," said Satish, father of Archana, a first year student.

As the head of department Dr Suman Kocchar was on leave, the families of Ritakshi and Archana reached her home to plead for their cause but found it locked.

"We tried to contact Dr Kocchar on phone and getting no reply we have been visiting her home in Sector 24," said Rajiv Kalia, father of Ritakshi.

When contacted on phone, Dr Kochar said that the academic branch of colleges sends the records of students to Panjab University and on this basis they are allowed to take examination. This was a matter between the academic branch and university, so she could not do any thing in this regard, she said.



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