C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Naya Gaon murder case cracked, 2 held
Vikrant Verma, a Solan-based businessman, was hacked to death at his rented residence on June 13 
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 12
The Mohali police has solved the blind murder case of Solan-based businessman Vikrant Verma with the arrest of two persons, including a woman.

The accused have been identified as 22-year-old Vikram, alias John, a resident of Joginder Nagar in Himachal Pradesh, and 30-year-old Raj Rani, alias Rani, a resident of Naya Gaon. Their accomplices Dheeraj, alias Dheera, and Tenda are still at large.

The police said that all the accused were drug addicts. They hacked Vikrant to death in a bid to loot him. The police has also recovered a laptop and a mobile phone of the victim from the accused.

Vikrant, who had set up his office at Sector 8 in Chandigarh to expand his medicine business, was murdered at his rented residence at Naya Gaon when he shifted there on June 13. “It was a blind murder case as nobody knew the victim in the area and in Solan, we could not find anybody with whom he had enmity,” said Mohali SSP GS Bhullar. He said the police got clues from the victim’s mobile phone calls details.

The police had rounded up Dheeraj along with several other youths with criminal background and drug addicts of the area on suspicion. During interrogation, the police got some vital clues from Dheeraj, who later went disappeared.

Bhullar added that the accused used to keep an eye on the vacant houses and vulnerable persons in the area. “John was also wanted by the Chandigarh Police and the Punjab Police in several such cases. His accomplice Raj Rani had married twice. Presently, she was living with her mother,” said Bhullar.

The SSP lauded the efforts of the police team, consisting SP (D) Balwinder Singh, DSP (City) RS Sohal, inspectors Gurcharan Singh, and Gurdeep Singh for cracking the case. 

Not a pre-planned murder

Asking location of his new rented house from strangers proved fatal for Vikrant Verma. “It was not a pre-planned murder as Verma had fallen into the trap of the accused by chance,” said the police. While on his way from Solan to Naya Gaon on June 13 evening, Vikrant had asked the location of his rented house from John and Raj Rani. The accused offered to go with him in his car to show his house. Vikrant invited the duo for tea at his house. John left the house after sometime leaving Raj Rani with Vikrant. After about three-four hours, John returned with his accomplices Dheeraj and Tenda. The accused tried to blackmail and loot Vikrant but he resisted. The accused then attacked him with sharp-edged weapons, leading to his deat



Confusion over PU Syndicate meeting
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The Panjab University administration seems to have been caught between the outgoing and the new Vice-Chancellor. Even as RC Sobti’s tenure ends on July 22, he has ‘refused’ to chair the Syndicate meeting.

He has asked officials to contact the new VC, Arun Grover, who is yet to give his consent to chair the meeting.

“With nearly a fortnight left, this month’s Syndicate meeting is nowhere in sight,” said varsity officials. The Syndicate meeting is to be held every month. As the Syndicate meeting could not be held last month, this month’s meeting becomes mandatory.

“We have 15-odd days left and we have to set an agenda to be sent to the syndicate members 10 days in advance. Professor Sobti has refused to chair the meeting and has asked us to go to the new VC, but we have not been able to contact him,” said an official.

However, syndics feel that Sobti should have chaired the meeting as he is well versed with the university issues. “This meeting holds importance as it will be last syndicate before the senate elections. Sobti should have chaired it because he knows about the issues rather than Grover who will not be of much help,” said a syndic.



Admn fails to resolve dispute over height of buildings 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Even after six months, the UT Administration has failed to resolve the dispute between two departments of the administration over the restriction on the height of buildings around the Sukhna catchment area.

While preparing a draft to develop an eco-sensitive zone in the catchment area of the Sukhna wildlife sanctuary, falling in the union territory, the office of the Deputy Commissioner and the UT Forest and Wildlife Department had submitted different points on the restriction.

The experts’ committee on the eco-sensitive zone, constituted in March last year, is yet to complete its report. At present, the draft and objections of both the departments are pending with the UT Administration.

The DC’s office had maintained that construction should be allowed as per the UT building bylaws in the area from the boundary of the sanctuary till a distance of 500 metres. The Forest and Wildlife Department had asked how the DC’s office could propose the height of buildings.

It was submitted by the forest department that building bylaws would change with time and the height should be fixed at between 24 feet and 26 feet to save the wildlife and forest area.

The DC office had stated in the report to the UT Administration that construction should be allowed as per the Chandigarh building bylaws, which only allow three or four storeys. Whereas the forest department had submitted that instead of building bylaws, the height of structures should be fixed at between 24 feet to 26 feet.

The forest department had pointed out that the building bylaws could be changed with time and population increase, but the height would not be changed if it is fixed.

The forest department has apprehensions that if Punjab and Haryana also include building bylaws in their plans after the UT draft, it will benefit realty players as the building bylaws in the two states allow taller buildings, which in turn will affect the wildlife and forest area of the sanctuary. 

What is eco-sensitive zone

An eco-sensitive zone is a fragile eco-system area where conservation or preservation of the natural environment is sustained by state control and grants. In a bid to prevent ecological damage caused due to development activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has come out with new guidelines to create eco-sensitive zones that will work as shock absorbers for protected areas. The aim is to regulate certain activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to minimise the negative impact of such activities on the fragile eco-system. 



Inspector Amanjot withdraws resignation 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Putting an end to the ongoing rift with the UT SSP, inspector Amanjot Singh withdrew his protest resignation today. The step was taken after two departmental inquiries against him were dropped.

In his letter to the UT SSP today, inspector Amanjot wrote since both the inquiries against him had been dropped, he was withdrawing his resignation.

The matter was settled after a meeting with the UT Inspector General of Police at the police headquarters in Sector 9 on Tuesday when the inspector agreed to take back his protest resignation and the police department decided to drop both the departmental inquiries against him.

Amanjot had resigned on May 22 alleging he was targeted by ASP (Central) Desraj Singh and the UT SSP as both the inquiries against him were uncalled for and he was innocent.



HUDA SE booked for fraud
Floated fake firms to get work orders 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 12
The Panchkula police has booked a superintending engineer (SE) of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for allegedly defrauding his department in connivance with a local businessman.

The SE, Hardip Malik, posted in the horticulture wing of HUDA, has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The businessman has been identified as Vinay Kumar Kaushal, a resident of Sector 2.

An FIR has been lodged at the Sector 5 police station. During inquiry, the vigilance cell of HUDA found that Kaushal allegedly floated firms under different names for cheating HUDA and other state government departments.

He used to submit fictitious quotations of his firms and file fake affidavits to obtain orders. The vigilance cell report stated that Kaushal in connivance with officials of various departments, including HUDA and the PWD, Haryana Tourism and the Faridabad Municipal Corporation got orders to the tune of Rs 75 lakh. He submitted fictitious quotations of his firms and did not allow competitive market rates to be procured from the open market, the FIR stated.

The vigilance cell report showed that in one of the affidavits filed by Kaushal, director of M/s VN Luxury House Ltd, he had declared his permanent address as 219, Industrial Area, Phase I, Panchkula, and temporary address as 219, Sector 7, Panchkula. Whereas being a proprietor of M/s Trendz, he declared his permanent as well as temporary address 219, Sector 7, Panchkula. Similarly, he was the director of two other firms — Bench Mark and Home Arts from the same premises.

While Kaushal kept on getting contracts from various departments on the basis of these firms having same addresses and similar names of the director and the proprietor, the officials concerned did not bother to verify the same, stated the FIR.

The SE has been booked under Sections 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 506, 167, 200, 201, 109 and 120-B of the IPC. The police has handed over the probe to Assistant Commissioner of Police Dheeraj Setia. 


Sensitisation programme on Aadhaar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Following the UT Administration’s decision to leverage Aadhaar in its various social welfare schemes inter alia social welfare disbursement, slum rehabilitation and scholarship payments, the education department in coordination with the UIDAI, Chandigarh, held a sensitisation programme for cluster heads and principals of various government schools from the city.

Nearly, 18 principals attended this sensitisation programme.

During this programme, they were apprised of the uniqueness of Aadhaar, authentication service, its linked payments and the manner in which it can be leveraged in scholarship disbursal. They were informed to collect the UID data of beneficiary students and to get the left out beneficiary students enrolled for Aadhaar.

The principal of Government School, Sector 37, took a special initiative to enable the left out school students to get enrolled for Aadhaar during school timing. The camp was inaugurated by the principal yesterday.

Other government schools in the region are also planning to conduct similar camps, so that the students can conveniently enroll for Aadhaar. These special camps in the schools will have an advantage that the school administration can facilitate the proofs of identity and address of these students. This initiative is expected to help the students, especially students from marginalised sections of society.



Students’ lives in danger
Waterlogging, naked live wires and unsafe building plague Desu Majra govt school
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 12
Tall claims of the state government regarding improving infrastructure at schools seemed to have no ground as the Government High School at Desu Majra village, located on the Kharar-Mohali road, has been grappling with more than one infrastructure-related problem.

The ground surrounding the school complex, which also houses Government Primary School, has virtually been turned into a mini pond due to water logging. There is no system to drain out the accumulated water, said the school staff. The situation is even worse in the primary wing. It is not even possible to enter the classrooms due to the pool of water at its entrance.

“The depth of the pool of water is about two feet at some points. The students here are too small so there is always danger of some mishap,” said a teacher on the condition of anonymity.

Dimple Madaan, principal of the high school, said there is a nullah in front of the school that carries sewer of the entire village. “During rains, the nullah overflows and dirty water enters the school complex. A child might catch some disease in such conditions. We live in a constant fear,” said the principal.

Moreover, many naked electric wires were seen hanging at several points in the school. “We have made several complaints but nobody bothers to repair them,” said the staff.

A portion of the building is also said to be ‘unsafe’ as several cracks have developed in the walls and roof of it. “We have also requested the authorities to remove the portion as it can cave in at anytime and cause some mishap. Over 400 students have been studying here in both the schools,” said Dimple Madaan.



Special committee to look into developmental works: Mohali DC
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 12
For better performance and co-operation among various key departments in the district, the local administration has decided to constitute a special committee, consisting senior officials of all the important departments.

Giving details, the Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Varun Roojam, said the main job of the committee would be to assess the status of the ongoing developmental works in the town.

Several problems have started developing in the town due to lack of co-ordination among the departments. These problems include drainage of water, non-functional traffic lights and incompletion of roads repairing or laying works. It would be committee’s responsibility to keep checks on the developmental works and to ensure that the related departments would work in accordance to avoid any problem.

Meanwhile, Harbhajan Mann along with other senior officials of the administration has begun holding meetings with the residents of the town. “We will hold the meeting separately for each phase here and try to solve all kinds of problem,” said Mann who held a meeting at Phase I today. –– TNS



Residents block traffic for 4 hrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Protesting against erratic water supply, hundreds of residents of Sector 52 and 53 staged a dharna on a road leading to Mohali and disrupted the traffic four hours this morning.

The residents, carrying empty buckets, gathered on the road separating sectors 52 and 53 and raised slogans against the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Later, they blocked the traffic.

Sector 48, 49, 50 and 51 have been receiving very little water supply due to repairs of the PSC main line from the waterworks, Sector 39, to waterworks, Sector 52. The line had

been damaged due to rain at the choe near the Beant Singh memorial, near Sector 52, on Tuesday.

“We have not get a drop of water for the past three days and the officials concerned still did not have anything to say about water supply becoming normal in the coming days,” said Satpal, a local resident.

“While there is no water for household chores, including bathing and washing, we have to arrange for water ourselves. The water tankers provided by the corporation have proved to be sufficient for a huge population of these sectors,” said Veena Devi, another resident.

The residents, however, returned homes after the SDO, Public Health, Gulshan Kumar, reached the spot and assured them that the water supply would be resumed by the evening.

Water supply restored

A spokesman for the corporation has said the water supply to the waterworks, Sector 52, has been restored after making alternative arrangements. In Sector 48, 49, 50, 51 and 52, the water supply will remain normal from 6am to 8am and 6pm to 8 pm tomorrow, he added.



Infotech officials face action
Had auctioned site accepting less earnest money
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The state-owned Punjab Information and Communication Technology Corporation (Infotech) has failed to initiate disciplinary action against its officials who had auctioned a 1.52-acre freehold commercial site at the IT Park in Sector 67 accepting less earnest money.

The officials allowed the bidder to bid for the site without making him deposit the minimum 10 per cent earnest money. Against the earnest money of Rs 6.20 crore, the bidder had deposited only Rs 4 crore.

Though the bidder later surrendered the site and went to the Punjab and Haryana High Court against Infotech’s decision to forfeit Rs 4.15 crore deposited by him, the board of directors of the corporation, at its meeting held in August, 2011, had decided to initiate disciplinary action against the erring officials.

It was also decided that the Managing Director would look into the facts as to why 10 per cent of the auction amount was not deposited at the fall of the hammer.

After three unsuccessful attempts, Infotech had claimed to auction the site for Rs 62 crore against a reserved price of Rs 35 crore to Nirankar Singh of Sarao Hotels, Mohali. “Though the next bidder had quoted just Rs 2 lakh less than Nirankar Singh's bid, Infotech should have allowed the second bidder to buy the property as the first bidder had failed to deposit the 10 per cent amount. The decision should have been taken there itself,” said an official.

According to the standard practice, the 10 per cent of the bid money has to be deposited at the fall of the hammer. If the 10 per cent money is not deposited at the time of auction, the auction has to be declared null and void.

Incidentally, the corporation had brought down the reserved price for the site from Rs 60 crore to Rs 45 crore in the second bid and then to Rs 35 crore at today’s auction. In the end, the site was sold for just Rs 2 crore more than its original reserved price.

“If the high court rules in favour of the bidder, we would move the higher court. But, action should be taken against the erring officials for causing loss to the corporation,” said an official.

Finally, IT Park site auctioned

Infotech had brought down the reserved price for the site from Rs 60 crore to Rs 45 crore in the second bid and then to Rs 35 crore at today’s auction. In the end, the site was sold for just Rs 2 crore more than its original reserved price.



Close shave for 60 passengers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
More than 60 passengers who were travelling in a Baijnath-bound Haryana Roadways bus had a miraculous escape when it rammed into The Tribune roundabout in the wee hours today.

The bus driver, Abdul Hamid, dozed off while driving and lost control over the bus at 2.15 am. The passengers had got down the bus by the time the police reached the spot. No one was injured.

It was only in the morning that the bus could be removed from the roundabout. The bus was coming from Gurgaon.

The police has booked the driver in a case of rash and negligent driving under Section 279 of the IPC at the Sector 31 police station.

In yet another mishap at the Sector 48/49 road, near the BSNL roundabout, this morning, a Ford Fiesta and an Endeavour collided and overturned.

Both the drivers, Jaspal and Yashpal, had a miraculous escape. The mishap resulted in a traffic jam on the road. No case was registered as a compromise was reached. 



Harassment to patient: GMSH nurse axed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, has removed the nurse who was accused of harassing a patient and her relatives at the gynaecology ward on Tuesday night. The nurse, who has been identified as Gurkeerat, was on duty at the time of the incident. After receiving a complaint from the patient, we have asked the service provider to remove her from the GMSH, said Deputy Medical Superintendent, Dr G Diwan.

Laxmi was admitted to the GMSH on July 9. The nurse on duty not only misbehaved with the patient and her attendants, she also avoided attending to the patient despite repeated requests of her relatives.

Meanwhile, Shailesh, Laxmi's husband, has lodged a complaint with the hospital authorities in this regard.

A nurse, a ward servant and a guard were the only people present in the ward while no doctor could be seen there throughout the night, he said. My wife had already delivered the dead baby at the bed in the ward and no doctor was available there, he said.

On the other hand, the nurse kept on insisting to shift the patient to the labour room and she only conducted all the procedure, said Shailesh.

All this has raised a question mark over the working of the hospital staff.

If cases were so handled then what was the logic behind going to the hospital for delivery cases, said Renu, a resident of Sector 47. Any medical complication at the time of delivery should be attended to by the doctor only and when doctors were not present in the labour room then who would take care of the would-be mothers, she said.

The medical experts said there could be many medical complications, including disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in such cases which require immediate attention of an experienced gynaecologist. The DIC is a condition when the bleeding does not stop and leads to paitent's death in many cases, said the medical experts. 



Chandigarh scan

UT Administrator Shivraj Patil has nominated TN Singla, a chartered accountant, as a member of the Chandigarh Housing Board for three years. A former Chief Engineer, Punjab PWD, Kuldeep Singh, has also been nominated as a member of the housing board.

Awareness rally
A rally was organised by NSS volunteers at Khudda Lahora village in order to raise awareness about over population. The rally was flagged off by Dr Rakesh Sachdeva, principal DAV Model School, Sector 15-A. She urged the students to work diligently towards raising awareness about the ill-effects of over population. The volunteers raised slogans and displayed banners related to the ill-effects of population explosion. The volunteers were welcomed by Rakesh Sharma, sarpanch of Khudda Lahora village, who played a vital role in organising the show. A skit was also presented to highlight the problems of over population. The issues of maternal health, gender equality and family planning were depicted through the skit.

Daylong fast
Members of the CHB Residents’ Federation on Thursday sat on a daylong fast in support of its demand in Sector 46 here. The fast is being organised across the city. Federation president Nirmal Datt said the fasts and evening rallies would continue till July 14 and culminate into a mega rally to be held on July 15 at the Sector 40-C market. The rally was a part of the second phase of the campaign to get all need-based changes in all categories of CHB houses regularised, to get ownership rights for residents of rehabilitation colonies who bought their houses on the power of attorney, to get the citizens’ charter/the Right to Service Act adopted in all UT offices before August 15 and to get a public audit system for all expenses out of the public funds and to get the powers transferred from the public servants to the public representatives. Jatinder Bhatia, a former councillor, said the fast ended when the Mayor and other Congress leaders offered juice to those sitting on the fast.

CTU rally
Members of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) on Thursday organised a rally in support of its demand to add new fleet of buses. The union has demanded that the budget sanctioned for the purpose should be properly utilised.

1,100 saplings planted
Vanamahotsav-2012, a “paudha mela” was inaugurated by KK Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, at the Lake Sports Complex here on Thursday. A plantation drive would continue till July 14. Three stalls of the forest department, municipal corporation, and horticulture wing of the engineering department, are stationed where saplings are being distributed free of cost or at subsidised rate depending on species. KK Sharma also distributed a few saplings to people present there. The chief guest went to the Sukhna Choe Reserved Forest area near the golf course, Sector 26, where he launched the plantation drive and planted peepal sapling. DK Tiwari, secretary environment and forests; Mayor Raj Bala Malik, Prerna Puri, secretary IT; Ajoy Sharma, special secretary finance; Santosh Kumar, Conservator of forests; Saurabh Kumar, DCF; Kuldeep, DCF; and other senior officials of the administration planted the saplings. Altogether 1,100 saplings were planted.

Vans donated
The Haryana government has donated three Swaraz Mazda vans to the PGI here on Thursday. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda handed over the keys of the vehicles to PGI director, Prof Yogesh Chawla. The vans were donated by Randeep Singh Surjewala, Public Works Minister, Haryana, out of his discretionary fund. It would provide free transportation facility to the patients within the PGI campus, said PGI spokesperson.
— Tribune Reporters



Biodiversity Sensitisation Campaign
CBSE joins the league
Asks schools to create awareness among students using CCE as tool
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Joining the nationwide biodiversity sensitisation campaign, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked its affiliated schools to participate and popularise awareness through optimum use of formative tasks or projects related to issues and concerns about biological diversity and India’s role.

In a communication sent to the schools, the board has asked them to use continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) as a tool to make the students aware of value of the diversity and need to preserve it.

The CCE gives weightage to classroom interactions, projects and articles, which are termed as the formative tasks. The schools have been asked to use this aspect to generate among students the respect of different life forms, their protection and nurture.

Biodiversity must be promoted through co-curricular activities. These may include collaborative activities like bringing out newsletters, role play, slogan drives, landscaping, exchanging and nurturing plants.

Biological diversity forms an integral part of education that can be discussed through areas such as science, social science, languages and mathematics, read board communication to the schools.

In this context, the CBSE affiliated schools are required to familiarise the students with the logo and slogan prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the 11th conference of the parties (CoP-11) to the convention on biological diversity (CBD) and adopt it as a motto of the year.

The schools have been asked to submit a brief report of the plan and execution, along with detail of any one experience and observation to the board, latest by January 31, 2013.


Highlight interdependence of life forms and environment

Spread awareness for managing interdependence through dignified, intelligent and sustained use of resources

Emphasise need to balance

Economic development

Demographic pressures

Environmental conservation



153 take admission in BA till Monday
Rajat Kath

Chandigarh, July 12
With certainty over the principal coming back to the college, the good old days are surely back at DAV College, Sector 10.

The college, which had seen a dip in the number of admission seekers last year owing to the uncertainty of principal and tiff between BC Josan and management, is now being thronged with the applicants seeking admission to various courses.

In terms of preferences, it’s BA, BBA and BCA, which got hundreds of students competing for limited seats. Till Monday, the total students admitted in BA were 153, while in BBA and BCA, it was 73 and 54, respectively.

“We received the admission form of the topper who has scored 98 per cent marks in class XII and has now got admission in BBA. Another student, who has scored 95 per cent marks in class XII, has also taken admission in BA in the college,” said Prof Arun Agarwal, dean admissions, DAV College.

He further added that there were more than 40 candidates who had scored between 85 per cent to 90 per cent marks in their senior secondary examinations and took admission to the college. The cut-off for BA was 65 per cent, BBA 70 per cent and BCA 69 per cent in the college, added Prof Arun Agarwal.

Unfortunately, however, the violent reputation of the college has taken its toll on the number of women applicants, as only 30 per cent of the total admission seekers 
are girls.

Meanwhile, MSc (bioinformatics) and MSc (biotechnology) are getting a few takers, but the college authorities blame it on PU’s OCET, which according to them, was, too, tough to qualify this year.



Law dept witnesses huge response

Chandigarh, July 12
The Panjab University’s law department saw a huge rush of students today, as the counselling for LLB first semester began. Over 737 applicants from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi came for the counselling.

Counselling for the students claiming the reserved category is fixed tomorrow from 9.30 am to 1 pm. The physically challenged and sports category candidates has to appear in the counselling on July 17.

While, MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, is drawing a huge response for its fusion or off beat vocational courses. Claiming to provide hands-on training and placements, the college has managed to get an array of popular courses and now applicants are queuing up for them. — TNS



Faculty development programme

Mohali, July 12
A five-day faculty development programme, “Applications in mechatronics”, sponsored by the Punjab Technical University (PTU), was organised at the GGS College of Modern Technology, Kharar.

Around 100 teachers attended the programme. The event aimed at providing a platform for academia to interact with experts and exchange innovative ideas to provide guidance for students’ education. — OC



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