C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Girl molested, police inactive
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Close on the heels of the molestation of a girl in Guwahati, which sent shock waves across the nation, a girl in the city was molested and chased by over a dozen rowdy youths outside Tao discotheque in Sector 26 last night.

Even 18 hours after the incident, the police failed to track down the youths though it had the vehicle registration number of the car in which the molesters escaped.

The assailants tried to molest other girls, who managed to flee. One of the girls, who went through the horror outside the discotheque last night, narrated the incident to the Chandigarh Tribune.

A written complaint, with the vehicle registration number of the molesters, was handed over to the police after the incident, but a daily diary report was not lodged.

As a mere formality, the investigating officer received her complaint and put July 17, a future date, on it.

The incident occurred when 25-year-old Neetu (name changed) came to the discotheque for a party.

She came out at 1:20 am when a dozen youths surrounded her as she was about to sit in her car. She worked with a software firm in the city.

"I came out and was about to sit in my car when over a dozen youths surrounded me. One of them molested me. As I cried for help, they passed obscene comments and hurled abuses at me," she said.

"There was no police official in sight. I was scared and managed to lock myself in my car. Three other girls came out and were similarly molested. They got scared and ran away," she added.

"I then called up the police control room and my boss. The youths kept knocking at the windowpanes. I was panic-stricken and could not even start my vehicle as they obstructed the way," she further said.

When the girl's boss arrived with his friend at the scene, the youths assaulted them. When a police control room vehicle team arrived near the Tao gate later, the youths fled in a white Verna car (PB23F-9757).

"I was accompanied by a policeman to the Sector-26 police station, where I lodged my complaint. No action has been taken so far. This is the height of insensitivity of the police. It is taking things too lightly," she said.

‘Investigation on’

We have traced the number of the car to Fatehgarh Sahib. We will lodge a case once the accused are traced. We are investigating the matter.

— Inspector Anokh Singh, Sec-26 police station SHO

‘police found no one’

The police control room received the telephone call about the harassment of a girl at 1:36 am. The PCR team reached the spot, but no one was there.

— Roshan Lal, DSP (PCR)

Future date

SI Gurcharan Singh received the complaint of the girl and put July 17 the date, with signatures.

Past incidents

June 22, 2012: Three girls were chased by youths in a Mercedez car at the Sector-7 market. The youths damaged the car of one of the girls. The three were arrested.

October, 2011: Armed assailants barged into Vodoo at Sector 26 and fired gunshots.

September, 2011: Fifteen youths barged into Tao at Sector 26 and attacked guests and bouncers on duty.



UT employees sceptical about assurance
Oppose transfers; Chidambaram had spoken about mechanism for promotion of staff
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
By assuring to work out a mechanism for the promotion of UT employees, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has set a cat among pigeons. Other than civil service officers, there are limited options for the promotion of other UT employees within the city.

The announcement may mean their transfer of UT employees to other union territories after the merger of cadre, a move strongly opposed by employee unions.

In the present set-up, there are limited options for the reshuffle of employees among different departments.

As per practice, inter-departmental transfers of UT employees are not being done due to certain technical reasons.

The effort to create a regional authority to bring employees of the Administration, the estate office, boards and corporations under one roof has remained a non-starter. Apart from stagnation, the practice has not checked corruption.

In 2008, the Administration had proposed to merge the cadre of its employees with those of the Delhi administration to avoid stagnation. This meant that employees of the Administration could be transferred to Delhi and vice versa.

It was proposed that employees of the Administration be integrated with employees of the Delhi administration. After five years of service in Chandigarh, they could transferred to Delhi and vice versa.

It was mentioned that the Delhi administration was a part of the Punjab administration till 1955 and Chandigarh a part of the Punjab administration till 1966.

The Administration had sought opinions of different departments and employee unions. The unions opposed the idea. Since the Administration was not competent to adopt the policy on its own, it had to seek approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Balwinder Singh, president of the Chandigarh Engineering Employees Union, said this was not the first time such a move was made.



BCom: Govt colleges a hit
Seats almost full after first counselling
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Government colleges in the city seem to have taken the lead over private colleges in BCom admissions, with seats almost filled after the first counselling. A total of 551 seats of the 713 offered at five government colleges have been filled during the first counselling, showing that those are preferred by a large number of students compared to private colleges.

Commerce colleges, including the SD College and the DAV College, that are offering 283 seats and 213 seats, respectively, have filled 192 seats and 143 seats, respectively, during the first counselling.

Private colleges has always remained the first preference of students willing to pursue BCom, but the trend seems to have changed.

The first admission counselling has left government colleges with only a few seats vacant for the second counselling.

A total of 122 seats have already been filled at the PGGCG-11, 112 at the PGGCG-42, 107 each at the GCCBA-42 and the PGGC-46 and 103 at the PGGC-11. The PGGC-11 has 141 seats while the rest offer 143 seats each.

Six private colleges in the city are offering 1,278 seats in the course, of which only 875 seats have been filled during the first session of admissions.

The SD College, which is considered the best commerce college in the city, still has 91 vacant seats. The MCM College has so far filled 154 seats of the 213 seats offered.

Speaking on the growing popularity of government colleges, Mani Bedi, principal of the

PGGC-42, said the fee structure at government colleges was more tempting for students than private colleges.

"The infrastructure at government colleges has improved in the last few years, which is another factor for students getting attracted to government colleges," the principal said.

BC Josan, principal of the DAV College, said more seats were expected to be filled before the beginning of the second counselling.

"Outstation students may take admissions on Monday and Tuesday, before the second merit list is declared by the Panjab University," the principal said.

A total of 10,887 students had applied for around 4,200 BCom seats at colleges in Chandigarh and Ludhiana, of which over 6,000 had applied for 2,070 seats here.

The second merit list for admissions in the course would be displayed by the Panjab University authorities on July 17.

Seats filled

Government colleges

713 seats offered

551 already filled

Six private colleges

1,278 seats offered

875 already filled



Woman looted of jewellery, cash, ATM card
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 15
A 55-year-old woman from Dhakoli here has lodged a complaint that she was robbed of Rs 15,000, a diamond set, two gold rings, an ATM card and other valuables by three unidentified persons last evening.

Veena Verma stayed alone at her house in the Mamta Enclave of Dhakoli. She said three persons came to her house last evening and beat her up before looting her.

She alleged that she was taken to a bank at Panchkula in their car and forced her to take out more money. After the incident, she was shifted to a private hospital.

Station house officer Tarlochan Singh said a case under Sections 452, 323 and 380 of the IPC was registered at the Zirakpur police station.



Liver transplant gave them new lease of life
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Upasana (32) and Anil Gupta (45) have got liver transplants for an end-stage liver disease at the PGI here. As a result, both have got a new lease of life. This was possible only because someone had donated organs to save their lives. "This is truly a gift of life," said Upasana, who underwent surgery on October 6 last year.

"I have been fight the disease for the last 20 years. In 2010, when I vomited blood, doctors told my family that transplant was the only solution. After surgery, I am leading a normal life," she said.

"Donating organs after brain-death to needy ones is like donating a life to someone you do not know," said Anil, who got a new lease of life after surgery at the PGI on May 5. He worked as an engineer with the PWD at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.

"I am leading a normal life for the first time after I was diagnosed with a liver disease. In February, doctors informed my relatives about the end-stage of the disease. The only option for survival was liver transplant," he said.

The PGI was celebrating the golden jubilee year and the main thrust would be on organ donation and organ transplant, said Prof YK Chawla, Director of the PGI, in his address on the inauguration ceremony of the golden jubilee celebrations.

Many more such patients could get a new life, which might be useful to families and society, he said. We must pledge organ donation after brain-death, he added.

One donor could be of benefit to 50 persons. Organs needed included the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines.

Tissues could be transplanted to help those suffering from ailments of bone, bone marrow, heart valve, skin, tendons and corneas.

The success of solid organ transplant today was mostly governed by the availability of suitable organs. The limited supply of organ donors, living or dead, was a problem.

"We need more than 300 livers per year to meet the demand of patients with end-stage liver diseases at the PGI. This can only be possible if we promote organ donation at all levels," said Dr RK Dhiman, professor with the department of haepatology at the PGI.

In India, the awareness on organ donation was very less, but the need of organs was much higher. It was estimated that every year, over 1,75,000 people in India were diagnosed with kidney failure, needing a transplant.

Due to the non-availability of organs, only about 5,500 kidney transplants were done, Dr Dhiman said. The same thing happened with eye and other organ donations, he added. Suggesting a step forward, he said driver's licence might be a means to express the desire to be an organ donor.

Individuals should be allowed to get a new driver's licence after they answered whether they wanted to donate organs after death. This might improve awareness about organ donation, he further said.

Awareness movement next month

The PGI will organise an organ donation awareness movement next month. Those interested can pledge organs on any working day on visiting the organ donation cell set up at Nehru Hospital, near the reception. Anyone who is at least 18 years of age can become a donor by signing the donor card in the presence of two witnesses and carrying it along at all times. A person under 18 years of age can become a donor with the consent of parents or legal guardian.



open house response
July 7 rain shows MC’s preparedness

In view of the past experiences, the residents living in the southern sectors, especially in Sectors 39 to 47, have made several requests to the authorities concerned to clean the roads and sewerage before the monsoons, but no effective measures were taken. As a result the roads remain unclean. On top of that, potholes at several places cause trouble to the people especially during nights. Ever year due to rain, water gets accumulated on the roads, which also damages it to a great extent. Water stagnates at several places in the city, especially near the Press Chowk, dividing Sector 8 and 18, and also adjacent to the Sector 17 bus stop, including road leading to Sector 35 from Attawa village, Sector 43, 44 and 45.

Moreover, the rainwater of the entire city flows towards the southern sectors as its level is lower than the rest. At present, roads are filled with malba and litter. This should be cleaned immediately along with the sewerages of the area. The residents face a tough time during the monsoon every year as rainwater enters their houses. For instance, the residents, especially of Sector 40C, suffered huge damage due to the downpour last year, which was just 75 mm. In 2003, people had witnessed flood-like situation.

Though the Municipal Corporation has widened the roads, absence of cleanliness has foiled their efforts. This is evident from the fact that the two hour rainfall created flood-like situation. As per reports, there are about 30,000 gullies and only 100 men were hired to clean all these. Every year sufficient funds are earmarked to clean gullies and drainage system. But the two hours rain on July 7 proved effectiveness of our civil bodies in keeping the city neat and clean. In several sectors, residents were seen in keen-deep water struggling to clean their driveway and area adjacent to their house. Blame game began when waterlogging was witnessed in the city. The MC should work well before the onset of monsoons to avoid such situations. What is the use of forming water supply and sewerage disposal committee when the city has to witness a flood-like situation? This is a sheer negligence on the part of our councillors as well as the officials concerned who are playing with the lives of the residents.

Not only this, there has been a steep increase in cases of diarrhoea ever since the first death case was reported on July 1. Though the authorities concerned claimed the water supplied in the area was chlorinated and fit for human consumption, the residents claimed that they have been using contaminated water for the last many days. All claims of sanitation of the MC fell flat as hundred of persons, especially those living in colonies and slums, have already been hit by diarrhoea.

Undoubtedly, the MC should have made all arrangements well before the monsoons and should have chalked out a well-planned programme to avoid spreading of the diseases.

SK Khosla

Monsoon misery

The Modern Housing Complex in Manimajra, launched with much fanfare by Chandigarh Housing Board in1992, discredits its name at the onset every monsoon.

The manmade low-lying pucca garages lanes in some of the category I and II turn into muddy canals and continue to look so long after the showers are over. Images of slush and sewage sludge meet a common man’s eyes on the street besides, the nauseating smell. Living in the residential quarters for more than two decades, residents in the Modern Housing Complex are expecting to be heard fairly by the Chandigarh Housing Board. The ramps for parking vehicles and the area below are full of water at several places and no permanent solution has been found despite repeated request to the authorities concerned. Chief engineers, in the past, have carried out inspections on a number of occasions. However, till date nobody has made concrete suggestions.

Whenever a top officer relinquished his charge the entire process has to commence from point zero and by the time things came to a point when things look bright, we hear that the officer has left. The wait for the light of the day seems unending on the dark road of monsoon misery.

SC Luthra

Poor streetlighting

One of my neighbours, Jasmohan Singh, fell from his scooter when his scooter got stuck in a pit near the turn of our street a few days back. Deepak, a four-year-old from my neighbourhood, fell in a small pit near the market where he went after dark.

Besides the problem of waterlogging in the Modern Housing Complex, walking during late evening is very difficult due to poor streetlighting. These are not working on crucial turns more than often. Instead of fixing the potholes, the authorities concerned need to take a holistic view of the issue and make a unified plan of action to bring out a real solution.

Gujrant Sandhu
Mani Majra

Residents fed up with false promises

A couple of weeks before the monsoon, citizens have been had been eagerly waiting for the first downpour. It was believed that the monsoon would end the woes of residents as the Chandigarh Administration had made all arrangements to ward off waterlogging issue.

The first downpour was enough to flatten their claims and the residents faced insurmountable troubles and inconvenience as almost every part of the city was deluged under water. Interestingly, the health wing in its status report had claimed that it had cleared thirty thousand road gullies in the city to preempt waterlogging.

The roundabouts in the city presented a calamity like situation. Water entered houses of those living in low-lying areas and colonies. The situation worsens with the outbreak of diarrhoea and cholera in certain colonies. This happened after the authorities concerned assured the residents that safe drinking water is being supplied to them. Interestingly, water samples taken from the affected-area failed the lab tests. Various residents complained that they were receiving muddy water in their taps. Residents of southern sectors were the worse sufferers. The officers were content with putting up false claims and lame excuses.

The worst happened in Vikas Nagar Mauli Jagran, where potable water got mixed with the sewerage resulting in deaths and many falling ill. The public outcry was simply being washed off by the officers until now. Recently, in Sector 49 a 19-year-old boy drowned in a pond situated in Animal Park as rainwater had accumulated in the artificial pond. The drainage system is totally insufficient in the city. The residents have been fed up with the false promises made by the authorities concerned.

Satish Chandra Sharma

Encourage rainwater harvesting

The monsoon showers have brought great relief to the people as the mercury level went down. But it has also adversely affected people’s health. Colonies and streets are full of potholes where mosquitoes breed and spread the danger of dengue, malaria. Waterlogged on the streets is a pain in the neck for the travelers, especially for the two-wheeler and pedestrians. These are a few suggestions for improvement: Water should not be stagnated to avoid mosquitoes breeding. Rainwater harvesting should be practiced so that water is not wasted. Authorities should improve the drainage system so that the water does not clog. People should refrain from eating out to avoid chances of food poisoning and diarrhoea. Also, avoid getting wet in rain to reduce risk of cough and cold. Two-wheeler drivers and pedestrians can use public transport to avoid facing waterlogged on streets. These small steps can help us go a long way in this monsoon and enjoy it to the fullest.

Isha Dahiya

Tricity is not ready to face monsoon

With rainy season round the corner, the tricity doesn’t seem ready to face the monsoon. Open drains, uncovered manholes, dug up roads and road gullies full of mud covered with polythene bags and dry leaves have made residents’ lives hell. The monsoon showers are expected to leave the city inundated by bringing the city to a halt with most of the roundabouts, parking lots and streets flooded with rainwater. The garbage, slush and dry leaves keep on piling up and block the drains. The MC’s tall claims have proved hollow. Authorities concern should take action to clean road gullies to avoid waterlogging.

Infections and rainy season go hand in hand. The issue of water-borne diseases is more about prevention than care. The summer is already here, so first of all clean water should be made available to the residents. Providing clean drinking water will solve most of the problems related to water-borne diseases. In the absence of water purifying systems, it is of utmost importance to boil water before drinking. The intake of water should be increased. People must avoid having food from street vendors like cut fruit, fruit juices, milk shakes and other such products. In case of gastro-intestinal disturbance, increase the fluid intake, take small meals and take small sips of ORS or homemade drinks like lime juice.

Shruti K Chawla
Sector 38C

Monsoon pangs

Every year with the approaching monsoon, MC’s tall claims always fall short. The first rain has brought life in tricity to a halt with water entering houses and waterlogging. The worst affected are the roundabouts and slip lanes which tend to remain flooded during monsoon making these areas accident prone.

The garbage, polythene bags and dry leaves keep on piling up and choke the drains which leads to water logging. The MC has miserably failed to manage water logging. There is a lack of co-ordination among various departments which causes lot of inconvenience to the people. There is a need to upgrade the drainage system. Roads also need to be re-aligned in accordance to the natural flow of water.

Vineet Kapoor

Authorities unprepared for monsoon

Keeping in view the potentially disastrous effects of climate change, the authorities must be prepared for the worst to keep the city secure from destruction caused by the rain. Just two hours of rain on July 7 led to water logging and disrupted life in many parts of the tricity. This clearly shows that the authorities are unprepared for the monsoon.

During the monsoon, water logging and breakout of infections is a serious issue which the authorities should check. During the rainy season, water logging is common which leads to the spreading of infections. Around 60 per cent of the diseases caused to human beings are water borne, with children below five years of age being more susceptible.

Cleaning process of road gullies should take place side by side during the season and residents who are not well educated or not well aware should be taught minutely about the precautions to be taken during the monsoon. Diarrhoea which has spread in many parts of the tricity has killed some people already. So to avoid that, potholes covered with filth should be cleaned.

As far as the civic authorities are concerned, they should start doing work as soon as possible so no major problem takes place during the rainy season.

Guryog Kaur
SAS Nagar

Public money being wasted

I am residing in Chandigarh since 1954. Whenever it rains heavily, the roads become virtually fast flowing rivulets and cause lots of problem/hazards to the residents. This also damages the roads severely causing surface erosion, big potholes, water logging and seepage underground.

The storm water drainage system (SWD) has been poorly designed. It does not cater for the heavy rain. The pipe diameters need to be made bigger, may be four to five- time from the existing one. These pipes were laid some 50 years ago. There were lesser pucca roads and more scope for seepage underground. The road gullies are also poorly designed as it interferes with the pedestrian paths. The SWD must be properly maintained before the onset of the rainy season so that the water flows uninterrupted through the pipes.

In Chandigarh there is around 30,000 road gullies for which the municipal corporation has placed Rs.2 crore at the disposal to clean them and it is surprising that only 100 persons have been deployed for this task, which is just an eye wash. The widened road gullies in southern sectors remain open/un-covered for more than one month and have been hazard for the pedestrian some senior citizens had a narrow escape as it come in the way of pedestrian path, secondly, by that time sufficient filth/polythene/soil have entered the gullies which are sufficient to chock it and very purpose of widening the road gullies have been defeated.

I fail to understand why the public money is being wasted like this? The work which is required to be completed well before the monsoon is still being undertaken. Chandigarh is slowly becoming like any other Indian city and cannot be called a modern planned city.

Scores of diarrhoea cases have been reported due to water logging and unhealthy conditions. First pre-monsoon showers of 15 to 20 minutes which measured just 4.7 mm rainfall exposed the high claim of the municipal corporation.

Though the municipal corporation had given July 7 as the deadline for completion/cleaning of road gullies but due to the dilly-dallying attitude of the corporation it is moving at a snail’s pace and like previous years this time too residents will have to put up with the acute water-logging problem and Rs 2-core year marked for the task goes waste.

Kulbhushan Kanwar
Sector 48

Open House Question

The Chandigarh Administration is working out details regarding the implementation of a metro rail project for addressing the issue of mass rapid transit system (MRT) in the city. Write your opinion on the issue, possible hardships and possible alternatives for the movement of traffic in context of overburdened roads to the openhouse@tribunemail.com.


No reply by HUDA officials on RTI
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 15
Officers of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), who have been booked for colluding with a contractor to favour him by awarding him contracts, never replied to RTI filed by complainant.

The enquiry conducted by the vigilance cell of the HUDA revealed that the officials obtained consent of the accused contractor, Vinay Kumar, by sending him the complainant’s request under the RTI Act.

The enquiry report stated this was done to avoid revealing that more orders were placed on same persons. The accused in connivance with the HUDA officials got his second firm M/s Trendz enlisted. This was done to increase his financial tendering limits from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 65 lakh on April 11, 2008.

The enquiry report revealed that the accused contractor, Vinay, had floated numerous firms in different names for the purpose of cheating the HUDA and other state government departments. The accused used to omit surname in the affidavits on behalf of M/s Trendz for taking undue advantage from the department when he was both the director of M/s VN Luxury House Ltd as well as of M/s Trendz.

However, the accused used to affix the copy of the same PAN number on both the affidavits. The accused also used to change his name by changing the spellings: Vinay Kumar to Viney Kaushal.

The report also revealed that the officers never sought competitive report from the market thus causing great loss to the exchequer. In one such case, the comparative statement prepared by the executive engineer (EE) Horticulture Division, HUDA, the rate quoted by M/s Trendz was Rs 2,32,229 and the rate quoted by M/s VN Luxury House was Rs 2,22,164.

The EE remarked that from the above comparative statement it was clear that the rates quoted by M/s VN Luxury House @ 14.8 per cent above the CR are the lowest and reasonable. Hence the case was recommended for approval.

In an another bid, the comparative statement prepared by the Executive Engineer showed that only three firms belonging to Vinay Kumar Kaushal/his wife Neeru Kauhal namely M/s Bench Mark (Rs 1, 50,000), M/s VN Lumury House (Rs 1,61,250) and M/s Home Arts (Rs 1,47,500) had responded to tenders floated by the HUDA for the landscaping in Chaudhary Devi Lal Park in Panipat. The work was awarded to M/s Home Arts had remarked that only three firms had bid for the tender.

The sector V police has registered a case under Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 420, 467, 468, 471, 506,167, 200, 201, 109, 120B of the IPC.



A 'fiercely funny' slice of modern-day life
Durga Das Foundation and The Tribune bring Pulitzer Prize winning play 'August: Osage County' to the city
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The play 'August: Osage County', a black comedy exploring threads of demolished emotions in family settings of today, was staged at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, today evening.

The darker side of human realities in wake of degeneration of modern-day family values was brought to the city by the Durga Das Foundation in collaboration with The Tribune.

Lillete Dubey deserves all credit not just for her stellar performance as Violet, the central character, but also for an appreciable adaptation of the original script from the Pultizer Prize winning play by Tracy Letts. The play also ran on Broadway, New York, and at the National Theatre in London, besides winning seven Tony Awards.

In a contradiction of life, the script that evoked smile, infact, showcased a gloom that has set-in in empty nests today. The crumbled relations attempting to forge a unity in name of a family are unable to do so because the chinks don't stay hidden for long.

The opening scene of a drunk and incoherent husband Leon is an introduction to an already collapsed world of emotional boundaries. He just introduces a maid to his wife and vanishes, never to return. The remaining script dedicated to finding him, arranging for his funeral, and discussing him later is only an excuse in conveying the tale of a collapsed family which Leon underlines as "she (Violet) takes pills, I drink".

The subsequent unfolding of the script is a wonderful collage of myriad characters searching for “themselves” in their own fragile family settings and unfulfilled love lives. Certain roles that lent appreciable theatrical rendering included Violet's sister Mattie (Kitu Gidwani), her elder daughter Barbara (Sandhya Mridul), Mattie's henpecked husband (Amar Talwar), and the daughter who stays with her (Suchitra Pillai).

Building on Leon's death, the story shows life in a dysfunctional family. Undoubtedly, the play was "darkly comic and also violent and sad". Lillete Dubey as the director of the play has made each one on the stage look as miserable as possible, capturing the intended soul of the script. The play proved to be an exploration of "relationships between mothers and daughters, siblings and spouses" in a searing and fiercely funny way.



rally at sector 40
CHB body gets political support
Workers were assured that the demands would be met at the earliest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Different political parties today reiterated their support to the CHB Federation regarding its demands of regularisation of structures. Addressing the rally organised by the federation in Sector 40, the BJP leaders assured to help the federation in its agitation over the issues.

The federation stated that since it was an apolitical forum, it would decide its next course of action after August 15. The Congress represented by the CCTC president BB Behl assured the federation that all their demands would be met at earliest.

For the past few weeks, the federation has been organising mobilisation rallies and members of the federation have been sitting on day long fasts. Nirmal Datt, president of the federation, said that the ongoing hunger strikes and evening rallies would end after the rally at Sector 40 concluded today.

The federation has been demanding need-based changes/alterations in all categories of the CHB houses regularised, ownership rights for the residents of the rehabilitation colonies who bought their houses on the power of attorney, implementation of the citizens’ charter/ the Right to Service Act adopted in all UT Offices before August 15, 2012, to get a public audit system for all the expenses out of the public funds, and to get the powers transferred from the public servants to the public representatives.



chandigarh housing board
52 additional posts to be created in engineering wing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The shortage of engineering staff and related subordinate staff in the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is soon going to be met. The board of members of the Chandigarh Housing Board has approved creation of 52 additional posts in the engineering wing.

An official of the CHB said one post of the Superintending Engineer, two posts of the Executive Engineer, eight posts of Subdivisional Engineers, three superintendents and other related posts had been sanctioned.

Based on the recommendations of the a committee constituted in March 2012, the board had approved creation of 96 posts.The case was sent to the Finance Secretary with the request for necessary approval for creation of the posts under Section 24 of the Haryana Housing Board Act, as extended to the UT.

The Finance Secretary in his communication on June 1, 2012, accepted the request of the CHB for creation of the post of Superintending Engineer and two Executive Engineers along with the necessary staff.

However, it was later realised that the sanction for the minimum supporting staff had to be taken. Accordingly, the CHB again revised its proposal and demanded 52 additional posts.

The same has now been accepted.

Posts sanctioned

An official of the CHB said one post of the Superintending Engineer, two posts of the Executive Engineer, eight posts of Subdivisional Engineers, three superintendents and other related posts had been sanctioned



1,200 saplings planted at Chandigarh Golf Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
In order to increase the green cover all around the golf course in the city about 1,200 saplings in the various roughs along the fairways were planted here today. The plantation drive was inaugurated by Gurinderjit Singh Sandhu, president of the Chandigarh Golf Club.

Giving details of the drive, Bobby Sandhu, captain of the course, said that different flowering, medicinal and perennial green trees were planted like alstonia scholaris, which was non-edible by animals due to its poisonous content. He said the other varieties of plants planted were bougainvillea, chakrasia, paper mullberry and silver oak. Special care had being taken while choosing the varieties of trees so that the playing conditions were not affected by fruit drop or by leaf shedding, he added.

Sandhu said that all members of the club were invited for the initiative and golfers including Manpreet Waraich, Virendra Sharma, Parvinder Singh Takkar, Anil Gakhar, Jaspal Singh Sidhu, Arvind Bajaj, Ajay Gujral, Col. Sardul Gill, Col. Navkesh Singh, Manveen Narang and many others planted a sapling each.



Prices of vegetables head north in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Prices of green vegetables have sky rocketed in the past one week. The price of potato has touched as high has Rs 25 per kg, while the price of tomato has registered four fold increase. It was being sold at Rs 60 a kg today.

The traders at Sector 26 vegetable market said the rain had damaged the tomato crop in Himachal Pradesh and the price would come down only after the supply from Gujarat and Maharahstra started after a week.

Similarly, the supply of other vegetables has been affected due to the rainy season leading to sharp increase in the prices. Lady finger priced at Rs 20 a kg a fortnight ago, is being sold at Rs 35. Tinda is available for Rs 60 against a price of Rs 40, while the price of long gourd has been doubled from Rs 17 to 35 a kg during the period. Even cabbage which cost Rs 10 and 20 for months together in the past has been priced at Rs 35 today.



Plantation drives to make Mohali green
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 15
In an effort to make the town “green”, two separate plantation drives took place here today. The first one was at Silvy Park in Phase VIII where Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu along with his supporters planted saplings to make the area green while Harbhajan Mann, chairman, District Planning Committee, Mohali, along with local Akali leaders went to Sector 70 to plant saplings at the SCL Complex and Park No 32, here.

“Making the town “green” is also one of our main objectives. All the open spaces here will be used by planting trees, which will help in cleaning the atmosphere here”, said Mann while exhorting the people to participate in such drives wholeheartedly.



Books distributed to 151 girls

Chandigarh, July 15
Books and other reading material were provided to 151 girls at a function organised by the Maharaja Aggarsain Welfare Trust at Aggarwal Bhawan in Sector 16 here today. A seminar on female foeticide was also organised on the occasion.

Chief guest Dr Ashima Brar while delivering a lecture on female foeticide said that it was time for introspection by the society. She said there was need for social awareness to check the social evil. — TNS



Man falls to death

Zirakpur, July 15
A 40-year-old labourer, identified as Surinder Paswan, died after falling from the fifth floor of an under-construction building of Chinar Heights Housing Project at Peermuchhalla here today.

The deceased was a resident of Bihar. The sources said he slipped from the fifth floor while working there. He was rushed to the Government Medical College Hospital in Sector 32 where doctors declared him brought dead. The victim’s wife was also working at the site at the time of the incident. The police has started investigations in this connection. — TNS



PU senate
Fellows question relevance of graduate constituency
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
As campaigning for the forthcoming election to Panjab University Senate gathers momentum with the first phase of polling scheduled for August 9, questions are once again being raised about relevance of graduate constituency in the governing body.

The senate consists of 85 ordinary fellows out of which 46 are elected from different constituencies. The remaining 39 are nominated by the university Chancellor: the Vice-President of India. Besides constituencies of teachers from the university, and college teachers and principals of affiliated colleges, as many as 15 are elected from the constituency of registered graduates.

Over the years, certain "overt interference" in the routine academic functioning that has come under questioning from different quarters. It is being felt the authoriies should relook into the qualification for the constituency.

A sizable number of university teachers are of the opinion that it was a mockery of the education system to have "clerks and shopkeepers" making decisions in the top decision making body of the university. The graduate members, on the other hand, feel being former students of the university, they were "emotionally involved" in the affairs of the university and could contribute irrespective of their profession. A member said: "If it were not for us, the house would be only discussing the service benefits for teachers. Look at the records to believe what I said."

Dr Akshay Kumar, president of the Panjab University Teachers Association, said keeping graduation as a criterion for eligibility to the senate was outdated.

"In the past while making decisions, a graduate was considered to be a person of rare academic distinction. A serious look needs to be taken over at least the eligibility criteria of the members who were deciding the fate of students in an institute's postgraduate courses. The range of course content has changed massively over the years," he said.

Dayal Pratap Randhawa, a fellow from the graduate constituency, said: "The issue of revising the criteria for eligibility to the senate sounds rational. The matter can be looked into; however, it will be very unfair to scrap the constituency. Old students on the body meant just an association for its betterment."

A former chairperson of a department from the languages faculty said the idea of association with the parent institution sounded appealing. On ground, however, these seats were occupied by a certain vested interests only, he said.

"There are examples of same members on the senate from more than two or even three decades. These persons made the whole exercise of representation for old students a mockery," he said.

A former president of Panjab University Campus Student Council said newspaper reports repeatedly pointed out that student issues were mere a fraction of the "voluminous" agenda for the meetings.

Kuljit Singh Nagra, a former fellow, president of the Panjab University Students Union and an MLA of Punjab assembly, said, "Questions regarding qualification of a fellow in the graduate constituency can definitely be examined; however, it will not be wise to cancel the constituency. It is a perfect breeding ground for future leaders."



Qualifying round for Efficycle concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The two-day virtual qualifying round for Efficycle -- an inter-college event for finding environment friendly mobility solutions -- to be conducted later this year concluded at the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sector 25, today.

The event witnessed 40 teams from engineering colleges in the northern region of India showcasing design and fabrication of environment-friendly human-cum-electric power driven mobility solutions running on 400-watt motor.

Design proposals of teams from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan, which participated in the Chandigarh round, underwent strict evaluation based on several technical and managerial parameters.

To get to the final event, these teams have to qualify three rounds. The first round was held in Bengaluru and the third round is scheduled for July 17 and 18 at Ahmednagar.

The competition aims at providing an opportunity to students to conceive, design and fabricate a three-wheel configuration vehicle catering to day-to-day mobility needs. The vehicle has to be powered by human-electric hybrid power and should be capable of seating two passengers. The objective is to promote innovation and generate consciousness among the youth towards environment-friendly mobility solutions.

The main event is to be held at UIET in October this year. It will have a treacherous endurance run, besides evaluation on several parameters.



gmch 32
MS to be repatriated to PGI on August 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Government Medical College and Hospital medical superintendent Dr Vipin Kaushal will be repatriated to his parent institute of the PGI on August 1. Kausal has been on deputation from the PGI for the last two years.

The Chandigarh Administration while issuing an order in this regard has appointed Dr A K Janmeja, head of department, pulmonary medicine, as the new medical superintendent with additional charge.

Kaushal, who was the deputy medical superintendent at the PGI, joined the GMCH in July 2008 on deputation for a period of three years. Though his tenure was completed last year, the Chandigarh Administration did not relieve him. PGI authorities had written to the administration many times and it was recently that a letter in this regard was sent to the administration from the PGI on June 21.



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