C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Couple killed in accident
Tribune News Service

The bus damaged in the accident.
The bus damaged in the accident.
Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Kharar, July 4
A couple was killed in an accident when their car collided head-on with a Volvo bus on the Kharar-Kurali road here last night. The deceased have been identified as 36-year-old Charanjit Singh and his 32-year-old wife Ravinder Kaur, residents of Lakhnaur village here.

Vijay Kumar, Station House Officer (SHO) of the Kharar police station (city), said the incident occurred at around 11.30 pm last night. The victims were coming from Kurali while the bus was on its way to Manali from Delhi. "Both the vehicles were speeding and the impact of the collision was so forceful that even the rear screen of the bus got damaged. The Verna car (bearing registration number PB-19C-9517) in which the couple was travelling was completely crushed," the police said.

Both Charanjit and Ravinder Kaur died on the spot and some residents of a nearby village pulled out the bodies from the car. The driver of the bus also sustained injuries in the accident and was taken to hospital.

Charanjit owned a tent house and dealt in catering business at Landran. As per a relative of the deceased, the couple had gone to Kurali to make some arrangements for the bhog ceremony of Ravinder's relative. They were on their way back to Lakhnaur when the accident took place.

The couple is survived by two sons aged eight and five years. The police has booked Brij Pal Singh, the driver of the bus, under Sections 270 and 304-A of the IPC.



267 fresh diarrhoea cases
Total number of such cases go up to 1,432 in Vikas Nagar
Tribune News Service

A child suffering from diarrhoea being taken to hospital.
A child suffering from diarrhoea being taken to hospital. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Chandigarh, July 4
As many as 267 more residents, including 108 children, complained of diarrhoea here today even as the authorities have “failed” to detect the reason behind the epidemic at Vikas Nagar in Mauli Jagran. Seventeen residents, who were found to be in a serious condition, were admitted to hospitals. With this, the total number of patients suffering from diarrhoea in the locality has gone up to 1,432.

Four deaths have been reported from the area since June 30.

The UT Home Secretary-cum-Health Secretary, Anil Kumar, today visited the spot and directed health officials to take samples of water from taps in houses. He also asked them to provide the residents with an alternative drinking water supply through tankers.

The residents complained to the Health Secretary that several complaints were lodged with the authorities regarding the dirty water supply in the area, but nothing was done. Some residents even showed samples of muddy water being supplied to them.

Anil Kumar said he had asked the Municipal Corporation Commissioner to get the water pipeline cleaned and until then, the residents would get water from tankers.

Medical services in the area would be available round the clock until the situation improved, he said. The Director, Health Services, has been asked to depute medical teams with an ambulance at night too.

Mayor faces residents’ ire

The Mayor, Raj Bala Malik, along with the Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor, faced the ire of residents for not providing potable water in their area. Residents raised slogans against the Mayor and demanded an inquiry against officials responsible for the deplorable conditions in the colony. Heated arguments were also exchanged.



Prideasia Project
Parsvnath moves Supreme Court
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Real estate giant Parsvnath Developers has approached the Supreme Court in the controversial mega housing project, Prideasia. It has filed an appeal in the apex court against the ongoing hearing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Terming the fee being charged by arbitrators for resolving disputes between Parsvnath and the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) with regard to Prideasia as “very high and limitless”, the CHB had recently moved the High Court.

The board had already paid over Rs 80 lakh to the three arbitrators. Each have been given Rs 26 lakh. The board had requested the tribunal to reduce the fee of the three arbitrators from Rs 1.50 lakh each to Rs 25,000, but the tribunal had declined its request.

Parsvnath had bagged the project spread over 123 acres in 2006 by placing the highest bid of Rs 821 crore. A 30 per cent share in the sale of the residential property in the project, pegged at Rs 1,600 crore, was to go to the CHB.

The project in the sprawling IT park was in news for the high prices of the apartments, with a one-bedroom flat costing about Rs 52 lakh and a villa going at an astounding Rs 6 crore.

The project agreement was signed on October 6, 2006, and Parsvnath only paid Rs 517 crore as the first instalment. It continued to default on the remaining amount on the plea that the CHB had failed to provide "encumbrance-free" land and delayed approval for building plans.

To settle outstanding issues, Parsvnath and the CHB had earlier appointed Justices DP Wadhawa and Amar Dutt as arbitrators under the nominee clause under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Later, a third neutral arbitrator, Justice SC Aggarwal, was appointed.

Prideasia went into arbitration in 2009 as the amount that Parsvnath had put in an escrow account was frozen by the CHB.



A splendid treat awaits city soccer lovers
Baichung Bhutia will be in city on July 7 to witness final of CFL; promote the sport
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Come Saturday and it will be a special treat for soccer lovers of the City Beautiful as India’s most successful soccer player Baichung Bhutia will mark his presence here. The nation’s most successful striker will visit the Football Stadium of Sector 17 on July 7, to encourage and promote soccer in the city. The veteran will also play an exhibition match with the junior players. Baichung will witness the final match of the ongoing Chandigarh Football League (CFL), an initiative of the Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools. His aim is to encourage players at the grass-root level.

“He has confirmed his arrival in the city and it is for the first time that he will be promoting the game, here. Although, his exact time of arrival is not yet confirmed, but he will be teaming up with the local officials to play an exhibition match in the ongoing CFL”, said Ankit Kumar Arora, business development manager (CFL).

He further said, “It will be a great exposure for the local players, he will also have a brief interaction with the players of various academies and schools. We have planned a special treat for all and hopefully everything will fall as per the plan. In future, the organisers are planning to start a scholarship programme for talented players under the banner of the Baichung Bhutia Football Schools. Hopefully, the city will have a specialised soccer academy, soon”, said Ankit.

On other hand, the city players are excited to meet their favourite soccer star. “Our team is in the final of the tournament and hopefully, I will get a chance to shake hands with Baichung. I have grown up watching him on television and now, I will be getting a chance to meet him” said Amit Mittal a local soccer player.

A woman soccer player added, “Baichung is among my all-time favourite soccer stars. I will be meeting him for the first time and I am looking forward to his vist. My father and brother are also looking forward to meet him”said Megha Seth.

The Baichung Bhutia Football Schools (BBFS) is an initiative undertaken by Baichung to promote the game at the grass-root level in India and to provide the right platform for sub- junior and junior players.

Meanwhile, the first edition of the CFL witnessed an overwhelming participation .The seven-a-side competition began on June 1 where more than 140 players in various age groups are participating.



Administration loses face over education Act
Central Government clarifies that UT has no authority to notify RTE rules on its own
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
In what comes as an egg on the face of the UT Administration, the Central Government in its latest communication has clarified that the Administration is not the appropriate government to notify rules pertaining to the RTE and it was the job of the Centre. Responding to a query by private schools in May 2012, DP Majhi, Under Secretary to the Government of India, clarified that in cases of UTs that have no legislature of their own, the Central Government would notify the Act.

For notification, the UT is supposed to submit a draft with respect to the Act so that it can be published in an official gazette. “For the notification, the UT concerned has to send us a proposal fixing income limit for weaker sections and specifying children belonging to disadvantaged groups, after which the Centre will notify the Act for it,” read the letter.

The communication has brought the education department’s “knowledge” about the Act and its commitment towards it under the scanner as apparently the department, which has over the last two years just issued letters to private schools, has not undertaken even a single specified task.

Tussle begins

It has just been a few weeks since the new DPI (S), Upkaar Singh, has taken over, but the RTE war has already started. While the education department has again sought details about students admitted under the RTE, the Independent School Association has asked it to put its own house in order. “All they do is ask us every month about the number of students we have admitted,” said HS Mamik, president of the association.



MC gets sanction to fill 653 posts
Promotion backlog to be cleared; service rules notified
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The Municipal Corporation (MC) plans to fill 653 posts in various departments of the corporation after getting approval from the UT Administration. Records of the corporation reveal that after almost 10 years, the Administration has sanctioned fresh posts. By next month, the MC will clear the backlog of promotions as the Administration has also notified the service rules.

Recently, the Administration had sent a communiqué to the MC that its demand for filling 653 vacant posts had been sanctioned and the service rules sent for approval last year had also been notified. As per sources in the MC, a majority of sanctioned posts are of clerks and sanitation staff.

MC Commissioner VP Singh said after the notification of service rules, instructions would be issued to all heads of department to clear backlog of promotions immediately by holding departmental promotion committee meetings.

A senior official said all the MC departments were facing a staff crunch and sanctioning of 653 posts would be a huge relief.

In 1997, it was decided at the general house of the MC that Punjab Rules of 1965 would be followed for employees transferred from the UT Administration. In 2005, a fresh notification was approved by the House which repealed the Punjab Rules and it was decided that all transferred employees to the MC would be considered as regular employees and fresh service rules would be formulated.



Contractual staff of PGI to go on strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Patient care at the PGI is set to be hit hard as the PGI Contract Workers Union has decided to go on strike for three days, starting tomorrow. Union leaders said the decision to go on a strike was taken after the office of the institute’s labour officer today failed to resolve old issues.

The contractual employees, numbering over 1,000, who will go on strike include anitatio attendants, hospital attendants, medical record technicians, data entry operators and clerks.

The PGI administration has failed to implement the decision of the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), Chandigarh, delivered on January 11, 2010, to grant similar wages to contract workers as paid to workers directly employed by the PGI, the union stated. PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said they had already made contingency plans to take care of the patients.



Metro to run in tricity at frequency of 10 minutes at peak hours
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
To facilitate commuters, the Metro will be available for the tricity residents at a frequency of every 10 minutes during the peak hours. In the detailed project report (DPR) submitted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to the UT Administration, it has been stated that the Tricity Metro rail would run at a frequency of around 10 minutes during peak hours on the two proposed Metro corridors in the first phase.

A senior official of the UT Administration said that DMRC had proposed that the Metro should run at a frequency of every 10 minutes during the peak hours (7 am to 10 am, 5 pm to 7 pm) on both the corridors named the North-South Corridor and East-West Corridor in 2018. During the lean hours (10 am to 5 pm), the frequency of Metro will be between 15 and 25 minutes.

As proposed by the DMRC, work on the 37.573 km-long Metro rail project will begin in 2013 and is expected to be completed by 2018. The DMRC has also proposed a total of 30 Metro stations in the two corridors in the phase I of the Metro project. The Metro will be underground within the sectoral grid of Chandigarh. Outside the grid, it will be elevated. A 37.69-km Metro project has been proposed and there will 12 underground and 18 elevated stations.

The DMRC has also proposed to construct parking facility at Metro stations in the suburbs. The facility will be provided at the first Metro station and the last Metro stop in the periphery.

The proposed North-South corridor will commence from the Capitol Complex to culminate at Gurudwara Singh Shaheeda via Sector 9, ISBT-17, Aroma Chowk, Sector 34, Sector-43 ISBT, Sector 52, Sector 62 and Sector 70. The Metro corridor will have four elevated and six underground Metro stations.

The proposed East-West Corridor will initiate from Grain Market near Sector 21, Panchkula, and will reach up to the Transport Terminal via Raili village, bus stand, City Centre, HUDA office Complex, MDC, Panchkula, Housing Board Chowk, Railway Station, Timber Market, Sector 26, Sector 7, Sector 9, GMSH-16, PGIMER, Khuda Lahora, Sarangpur, Mullanpur and the Air Force Station. The East-West Corridor will have 15 elevated and five underground Metro stations.



Patches are all that is left of Sukhna
Tribune News Service

A landmark that attracted tourists and locals throughout the year has now dried up and the boating facility is only limited to two-seater boats. The water level in the boating area has reached around a foot, drawing only a few tourists

(Left) As the water has dried up boats have now been rendered out of service
For many visitors the first experience has been a disappointment. When they visit the city, Sukhna is a must- see for tourists, but now after seeing the condition of the lake, they are not left with many options for sight-seeing
With few tourists visiting, the lake wears a deserted look.
With few tourists visiting, the lake wears a deserted look.

The lake that was usually crowded with tourists and locals.

Chandigarh, July 4
We all know that the UT Administration has failed to save the city’s landmark Sukhna Lake which attracted tourists and locals and witnessed heavy rush throughout the year. A large part of the lake has dried up and the boating facility is only limited for two-seater boats. As the water level in the boating area has reached around one foot, few tourists are turning up at the lake.

Ajay RathoreAjay Rathore, a tourist from Aligarh, said that he was visiting the city for the first time and had heard about the beauty of Sukhna Lake. He added that Sukhna was on the top of his priority list of places to visit, but when he reached here he was really disappointed after seeing the condition of the lake. He said that since the main attraction of the city had dried up, the tourists were not left with many options for sight-seeing.

Monika Rana, a tourist from Delhi, said that they had decided to visit Sukhna Lake and Rock garden in Chandigarh, but she was disappointed after seeing the dry patches at the lake.

Surinder (59), an artist, who has been making portraits at the Sukhna Lake for the past 20 years, said that it was very painful to witness the present condition of the lake. He said that the present condition of the lake had also affected his business as the number of tourists had gone down as compared to the last year.

AmandeepAmandeep, a city resident, said that lake used to be his favourite hangout zone in the city because of its liveliness, but now, with fewer crowd, the lake had died in spirit as well.

Echoing a similar view, a newly married couple Deepa and Manoj Sharma, from Hisar said that they couldn’t believe their eyes when the saw the dry patches at the lake. Deepa said that her friends from Chandigarh used to tell her about the beauty of the lake, but today she was disappointed after seeing the lake.

(Inputs from Vidhya Narayanan, Vishaka Sharma)



Mercury may plummet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Maximum temperature in the region may witness a fall. The weather office has predicted partly cloudy sky with possibility of thundery development or light rain during the next 24 hours. Even though there will be no major change in the day temperature, the night temperature is likely to fall by about two notches.

The maximum temperature on Friday will be around 37 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperature on Saturday will be around 28 degrees Celsius, the Met department stated.

On Wednesday, the maximum temperature was recorded at 36.8 degrees Celsius, one degree above normal, while the minimum was recorded at 29.9 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal. Maximum relative humidity was recorded at 63 per cent while the minimum was recorded at 48 per cent.

Meanwhile, Narnaul in Haryana continued to be the hottest place, with mercury touching 46.5 degrees Celsius followed by Hissar 44 and Bhiwani 43.8 degrees Celsius. In Punjab, Amritsar recorded the maximum temperature at 39.6 degrees Celsius followed by Ludhiana and Patiala with 37.3 and 36.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.

The weather office has predicted light rain or thundershowers at isolated places in both the states. There will be an increase in the rainfall activity and the day temperature will fall further during the next three days, the Met department added.



Man posing as garbage collector dupes residents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 4
Residents of the town were in for a shock when they learnt that an unidentified person had defrauded them by posing as an MC employee. The trickster collected Rs 50 from every household. He told the residents that they were being charged for door-to-door garbage collection.

The incident came to light when the real garbage collectors came at the doorstep of the residents to collect the amount. They were shocked to know that someone else on their behalf had already taken the payment.

As per information, the unidentified trickster collected money from residents of Sector 2.

When the residents questioned him as to why the real garbage collectors had not come to collect the amount, he told them that the vehicle used for carrying garbage had broken down.

Similarly, in Sector 11 the trickster had duped the residents by informing them that the garbage collector had met with an accident and he had sent him to collect the amount on his behalf to meet the hospital expenses.

Even though the residents have paid the amount, the real garbage collectors were demanding money from them stating that it was not their fault if the residents had paid the amount to an unidentified person. The garbage collectors told the residents to lodge a complaint against the unidentified trickster.

Now, the residents were in a dilemma as to file a complaint with the police or not keeping in view the meagre amount. However, the residents were now planning to form a committee for surveying as to how many households had been targeted by the trickster.



Tricity scan
Chandigarh scan
Air Vice-Marshal lauds trainers

On his visit to the Air Force Station Highgrounds on Wednesday, Air Vice-Marshal SN Murti, Senior Maintenance Staff Officer Training Command, appreciated the hard work put in by the station personnel in the training of air warriors. He commended them for teaching the technical nuances of handling the MiG-27 and MiG-29 aircraft.

Earlier at the highgrounds, Group Captain Sanjeev Dargar introduced him to the key personnel and briefed him of various activities at the station. The Air Vice-Marshal also visited the Signal Section and Examination Cell.

Water panel meeting

Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee of Municipal Corporation has asked the concerned officials to submit status report regarding the cleaning of roads in all the areas of Chandigarh by tomorrow. During a meeting on Wednesday, the committee headed by Mukesh Bassi also decided to conduct random checking of low-lying areas from July 6. The members asked the concerned officers to take precautionary measures in and collect water samples from all colonies and villages to avoid spread of any disease.

Rawal is new Rotary president

Shyam Rawal
Shyam Rawal

In a ceremony at Hotel Sip'n Dine, Chandigarh, the new team of Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik for the year 2012-13 was installed. Rtn Shyam Rawal took over the presidentship of the club from Rtn Ashok Laroia. The Chief Guest, Justice Rajive Bhalla, Punjab and Haryana High Court, appreciated the values and principles the club instilled in its members.

Underground parking at Sec 22

Municipal Corporation area councillor Pardeep Chabbra has asked the Mayor and MC Commissioner to consider construction of underground multi-level parking in front of Kiran Cinema, Sector 22, on the same pattern as in Sector 17. In the proposal submitted on Wednesday, Chabbra stated that the existing parking area in front of the cinema is not sufficient for parking of vehicles, especially on weekends and during festival season. As a large number of visitors visit the market during such occasions, they park their vehicles on V-4 road leading to traffic jams, the proposal stated.

Assistance for SC projects

The UT Social Welfare Department has invited proposals from voluntary organisations working for Scheduled Castes for financial assistance. Organisations registered for at least two years under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (XXI of 1860) or any relevant Act of the State/UT can submit the proposal for vocational training projects including skill development programmes, school and professional education, and service activities such as running of static and mobile dispensaries.

Mohali scan

9,000 emergency cases in one year

Over 9,000 emergency cases were handled by Ziqitza Heathcare during the past one year, a press release stated on Wednesday. The figures show the effectiveness of the emergency services that can be called for on the number ‘108’, the release stated. In all, 9227 cases of emergency under different categories including 1,417 pregnancy, 1,421 road accidents and 6,076 other medical emergency cases were handled.

— Tribune Reporters



Admn yet to appoint professional divers
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

A youth looks for coins in Ghaggar.
RISKING LIFE: A youth looks for coins in Ghaggar. A file photo

Panchkula, July 4
With monsoon round the corner, the district administration is yet to appoint professional divers in the district to save precious lives from drowning in Ghaggar. Even though several incidents had occurred in the Panchkula district during the past several years, the municipal corporation (MC) is yet to wake up to a critical requirement of professional divers.

Five persons, including two women of Dhakka Colony, got stranded on small islands of Ghaggar in September last year. The sudden rise in the water level at night had caught them unawares and the Army and firemen had to be summoned to the site for a rescue operation that lasted for three hours.

Similarly, on July 17, 2010, a youth of Azad Colony and his two friends were swept away while collecting coins from the riverbed. Firemen had rescued them.

The Panchkula MC continuously depends on the Haryana Police Academy in Madhuban, located 140 km away, the Army or central police organisations such as the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP). In the process, precious time is wasted, which is crucial. Many a times, the personnel have failed to rescue lives and have succeeded only in fishing out bodies.

For the past many years, the fire brigade wing of the MC has been functioning without any professional diver to assist in saving lives in such situations. Though many employees of the fire department know swimming, they are not professional enough to save someone from drowning in water bodies in the district.

When contacted, OP Sihag, executive officer of the Panchkula municipal corporation, said the firemen in the district had been given a special training in swimming and to save the lives.

When asked if the proposal to recruit professional divers had been mooted earlier, he said after checking the records he would be in a better position to answer the question. However, he added that he would forward the proposal to the higher authorities in this regard.

Past incidents

  • June 18, 2011: 23-year-old youth of Panchkula drowned in Tikkar Tal
  • July 31, 2010: 15-year-old boy drowned in a ditch filled with rainwater at Mansa Devi Complex
  • May 15, 2010: 30-year-old man drowned in a well at Nada village
  • March 2, 2010: 22-year-old youth drowned in a water body in Morni



Selja chides health officials for supplying contaminated water
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 4
Officials of the public health department and electricity board were pulled up by Union Minister of Culture, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Kumari Selja, for supplying contaminated water to various areas of the district.

Residents of these areas had complained that contaminated water was being supplied to them. They added that the water supply was irregular. Presiding over a district grievances redress committee meeting at the Mini Secretariat here today, Selja directed the public health department to supply clean and chlorinated water to these areas.

Coming down heavily on the officials of the electricity department for imposing frequent power cuts, Selja directed the officials to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to the residents in the district. She said if any cuts had to be imposed on account of maintenance work, prior information should be given to the general public.

Some of the residents of Barwala villages also complained that their houses and other structures were demolished by the district town planning department without a prior notice.

Selja instructed DTP Hitesh Sharma to issue notices to people who had constructed illegal buildings. She said proper steps should be taken before carrying out any encroachment drive in the district.

Residents of Barwala and Raipurrani block also complained that despite a ban, illegal mining continued unabated in various rivers.

Selja directed the district mining officer to act tough on the mining mafia. She said raids should be conducted at these blocks and strict action should be taken against the culprits.

Residents of Sector 19 demanded that a bus stop be constructed in the area. Selja assured them that their demand would be met. She also directed HUDA authorities to construct schools and markets near Ashiana flats allotted to slum-dwellers recently.



Land pooling scheme for Eco city
GMADA fails to hold draw of lots
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 4
Beneficiaries under the land pooling scheme for Eco city are an unhappy lot as the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has so far failed to hold a draw of lots for them even though plots under the scheme were allotted to general applicants about eight months ago.

A number of farmers whose land was acquired for the project today met the Chief Administrator of GMADA requesting him to get the plots allotted to them at the earliest. It is reported that the Chief Administrator gave an assurance that the work of issuing letters of intent to farmers of the area will begin tomorrow.

GMADA had held the draw of lots for 870 plots for general category applicants in November last year, but a date for holding a draw of lots for farmers availing the land pooling scheme had still not been finalised.

Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Bahrojian village, whose land was acquired for the project, said GMADA had offered to give residential and commercial plots to farmers under the land pooling scheme, apart from offering cash to those who were not interested in getting plots.

Farmers were assured that they would be given plots before the general applicants, but this did not happen. Later, GMADA authorities assured to allot the plots in March this year after the declaration of the results of the Assembly poll and that, too, did not happen.

The allotment was delayed on one pretext or the other. He said some of the farmers had sold their share of the plots even before the allotment was made to them to purchase land elsewhere. The earnest money in both the transactions had got stuck as GMADA had delayed the allotments leading to a lot of harassment.



Power cuts
Another sleepless night for city residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Power cuts are not only limited to southern sectors, but other sectors too are affected. On Tuesday night and this afternoon, Sectors 19, 22, 23, 15, 29, 31, 34, 35 witnessed outages for two to four hours.

Gaurav Ahuja, a resident of Sector 31, said that last night there was a five-hour power cut in their area. He added that UT electricity department gave no prior information to the city residents and imposed unscheduled power cuts at will.

Ajay Sharma, a resident of Sector 23, said that few years ago there were hardly any power cuts in their area but this summer, the power department is continuously imposing schedule and unscheduled cuts. He added that in terms of power supply, now, there was no difference between Chandigarh and Zirakpur.

Swati, a resident of Sector 29, said that they were spending sleepless nights and it became very difficult to concentrate on work the next day in the office.

An official of the UT Electricity department said that the areas which were facing cuts were only because of overloading. He added that there were regular checks and repairing of fault in the supply lines.

(With inputs by: Himani Sikka)·



BJP seeks clarification from Congress
Tribune News Service

Election of President

BJP leader Satya Pal Jain said presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee was holding an office of profit while he filed his nomination for the post of President of India

Chandigarh, July 4
Presidential candidate PA Sangma's counsel and BJP legal cell head Satya Pal Jain today urged Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to clarify their positions on the allegations regarding the genuineness of signatures of UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee on his alleged resignation letter from the chairmanship of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata.

Addressing a press conference here today, Jain said that never in the history of the presidential election in India such serious allegations have been levelled on the genuineness of the documents submitted by a candidate. He said that it was also intriguing that none of the leaders of either the Congress or the UPA were coming forward to give satisfactory reply to these allegations.

BJP leader Satya Pal Jain (centre) addresses a press conference at the Press Club in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
BJP leader Satya Pal Jain (centre) addresses a press conference at the Press Club in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: s chandan

Jain said that at the time of filing of the nomination for the presidential post, Mukherjee was holding an office of profit as the chairman of the ISI. Referring to the resignation letter written by Mukherjee to ISI president MGK Menon, he further said that Menon was not the competent to accept the resignation of its chairman and the only competent authority to do that was the Council of the Institute, which had elected Mukherjee.

Jain said that neither the so-called resignation letter was validly tendered nor was it validly accepted. Therefore, Mukherjee continues to hold this office till date, as the Council of the Institute has already been declared as an office of profit by Parliament in 2006. Hence, as per Article 58 of the Constitution of India, Mukherjee is disqualified to contest the election for the office of President of India, he added.



Seminar on dairy farming

Mohali, July 4
In a bid to provide good quality milk to people, the authorities here are looking for marketing experts.

"We want to rope in top marketing firms and experts, who will not only bridge the gap between producers and customers, but also help producers sell dairy products. This way not only the milk producers, but the customers will also be benefited," said Jagpal Singh Sandhu, Punjab Financial Commissioner, while inaugurating a two-day seminar on dairy farming.

"We are also aiming at bringing the latest technology to enhance milk production. Experts from Israel also attended the seminar," said Inderjeet Sines, director, Dairy Development Board, Punjab. — TNS



PU debars 51 BEd colleges from admitting students
Asks them to submit compliance report
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
Panjab University has barred all its affiliated BEd colleges from admitting students without fulfilling the requisite norms and faculty needs. A seven-member committee asked the BEd colleges to fulfill the National Council for Teacher Education and Panjab University norms and submit a compliance report after which they would get the nod to carry out admissions.

A special notice has been issued to 51 colleges, which in the recent inspections were found guilty of having unqualified staff, temporary principals, salary as low as Rs 10,000 and non-existence of libraries and medical rooms.

"It's high time, some steps be taken to save the future of thousands of students. The three-month long extensive inspections carried out in these colleges brought to fore the poor state of affairs. Unfortunately, the Senate politics has always shielded these institutions, which continue to befool the university. Every time they get away by pleading a mercy chance and their students suffer. We cannot have money-minting factories handing out degrees rather instead of education to students. They should correct themselves or shut down," said a member of the committee.

In the recent inspections carried out by the university, it was found that these colleges had hired unqualified staff on an ad-hoc basis without the mandatory approval from the university. The number of such faculty members varied from college to college and in some cases was as high as 70 per cent. More than 35 colleges were neither paying salaries nor DA to their employees as prescribed by the UGC. Colleges like BKM College; Guru Nanak College of Education, Dalewal, Hoshiarpur; SGGS College of Education, Beghpur; Lal Hans Raj Memorial College, Moga; Muktsar Institute of Higher Education; Dashmesh College, Muktsar; Guru Gobind Singh College, Gidderbaha; GGSK College, Kamalpur; and Bhutta College and Pratap College in Ludhiana were found indulging in serious violations.



Mission admission
Tough fight for ‘outsiders’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
If the tentative merit list for admission to Bachelor of Commerce in 11 city colleges and Panjab University Evening Studies is anything to go by, then 'outside' students will have a tough time this year.

The preliminary analysis of the list shows that students who have completed their class XII from schools outside Chandigarh will not be able to make it to any college if they have secured less than 91 percent. In case of students who have completed their senior secondary education in the city, an overall percentage above 73 percent will also give them a chance of admission to a BCom course.

"The very fact that 85 percent seats are kept for UT pool makes it difficult for outsiders. Though the cut-off for students from Chandigarh is being pegged at 73 per cent, it is an average of all reserved seats. Things will be difficult for those seeking admission under general category," said a PU official.

As usual, boys will face tougher competition than girls because of lesser number of seats. Last year, many male students protested that because of only-girls colleges in the city, very few seats were left for them. Though UT administration promised to resolve the issue, nothing has been done this year.



SOPU protests against selective promotions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Demanding a clarification on the policy behind promotion of students in BSc (Honours), the Students' Organisation of Panjab University staged a dharna outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office and submitted a memorandum today.

The confusion was created after the university had given a chance to the final semester students in BSc Hons and MSc Hons, while a sizable number of students from other semesters were left out. It led to a big backlog, the press release stated. The SOPU, under the leadership of Campus President Manoj Lubana and Sunil Bhanote, asked the university to look into the matter.

The SOPU has also sought postponement of the last date of submission of admission forms. Students have also demanded installation of new benches at the Student Centre failing which students would protest, the release stated.



PUSU seeks reason for reduction in seats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The Panjab University Students Union has submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor, the Dean of Student Welfare and the Dean of University Instructions, separately, questioning the decrease in the number of seats in MA English and modern history.

The party demanded a reason behind the drop in seats, in spite of countless applications received for admission in these courses.

PUSU Chairman Jeewanjyot Chahal said, "The authorities are answerable for their unreasonable action of reducing seats in these courses."

Through the memorandum, the party made it clear that the decision of the authorities was objectionable and would invite protests.

Ravinder Dhaliwal, campus in-charge, said the applicants were greatly affected by this decision and justification for the same was demanded in the next few days.



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