C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


The web of ‘kundis’ grows wide
Despite acute power shortage, Admn has failed to do anything about illegal connections
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The entire city, especially southern sectors, witnessed long power cuts this year and the UT Administration cited overloading as one of the major factors behind unscheduled cuts. But at the same time, the Administration has failed to check "kundi" connections in the city. The Administration loses nearly Rs 7.25 crore every year from 20,200-odd unauthorised connections.

The Administration is also suffering 18 per cent distribution and transmission loss of power supply. Sources said since the electricity department did not conduct regular checks, people were enjoying "kundi" connections, especially in colonies, without any fear of action.

Loss of power supply due to these connections is also making it difficult for the Administration to prepare an estimate for the actual power requirement for the city. In the end, it is the common man who has to face shortage of power due to the cuts.

Sources claimed that power shortage faced by residents this year could have been avoided. This 'stolen' electricity could have been used to meet the demand and supply gap in summer.

A senior official of the Administration said a few years ago they had conducted a survey through an NGO which said around 3.5 lakh people were living in the city slums. A majority of these residents had been stealing power by way of "kundi" connections. The Administration had started providing electricity to the slums through private contractors, but people were not satisfied with the services.

Rajinder Rawat, a resident of Sector 45-D, said in summer there were regular power cuts in the area. But in the same sector, residents of Colony No. 5 were enjoying uninterrupted power supply through illegal connections. If the Administration had removed such connections, the power situation could have been better in their sector, he said.

Chander Verma, an industrialist, said in the past two years, the Administration had hiked power tariff twice to overcome the 18 per cent transmission loss, most of which is due to the "kundi" connections. Those paying electricity bills on time were facing unscheduled power cuts, but those who were stealing it were enjoying it free of cost, he said. 

Substations not upgraded

The Administration delayed the upgradation of power substations in Sectors 34 and 52 that cater to the southern sectors. If the Administration had completed the upgrade on time, the power situation would have been better in these sectors.

Undeclared load

The Administration claims that not all consumers had declared the actual load. The department claims that out of 2,20,000 consumers last year, only 5,000 had declared the actual load. But the enforcement agencies failed to conduct a check.



CAT nullifies IGP’s order on constables 
Promotional course on seniority basis
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
In a significant order, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has ruled that the constables in the UT Police will be sent for promotional course on the basis of seniority.

As many as 350 constables had moved the CAT in September, 2011, seeking directions to the UT Administration to send the constables to the promotional courses purely on the basis of seniority-cum-merit as the Chandigarh Police department had been doing the same right from 1982.

While allowing the petition, the CAT stated, "The respondents are directed to consider the admittance of the applicants on the basis of seniority-cum-merit. The direction will be applicable to the presently available vacancies."

In an amendment in June, 1988, the UT Administration had negated the earlier notification of 1982, which ruled that constables would be sent to promotional course on the seniority basis.

Despite this notification of 1988, all promotions were purely made on the seniority basis. However, last year in August 2011, the IGP issued a notification stating that promotions would be based on merit which had resulted in resentment among the constables following which they had moved the Tribunal challenging the order. Advocate Aman Arora, who was representing the constables, had stated before the Tribunal that the RTI information had revealed that 1,591 UT police constables had been promoted since 1982 and only 41 constables had been promoted on the basis of merit (B1test basis).

The CAT ruling today has nullified the order passed by the UT IGP last month in which it was ordered that 70 per cent of the vacancies for head constables would now be filled on the seniority basis while 25 per cent seats would be considered on merit.

The remaining 5 per cent of the vacancies were reserved under sports quota.

The decision will address the grievances of the constables who had been waiting since 1988 to become head constables in the force. The promotions were stuck all these years owing to administrative hurdles. The CAT had directed the UT Police to comply with the order within one month. There are 623 vacancies for head constables in the police department. 

Struck down

The CAT ruling has nullified the order passed by the UT IGP last month in which it was ordered that 70 per cent of the vacancies for head constables would now be filled on the seniority basis while 25 per cent seats would be considered on merit.



AI flight fails to land in city
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
An Air India flight from Delhi to Chandigarh returned after it could not land at the airport today. The flight was to arrive at 10.45 am, but it did not take off from Delhi due to low visibility. When it did, it attempted to land at the airport in the afternoon, but failed to do so. It then returned to Delhi.

While Station Manager Air India MR Jindal said the flight could not land due to the lighting system and unavailability of precision approach path indicator (PAPI), the airport authorities claimed that the lights were functional and other flights operated normally.

Around 100 passengers, who were to take the Air India flight from Chandigarh, had to go through much inconvenience. Jindal said the passengers were accommodated on other flights. “While some passengers flying to Mumbai were accommodated with Jet Airways, those flying to Delhi were accommodated on other flights or sent by road,” he said. Sources at the airport said PAPI was not functioning for the last 10 days. “PAPI is essential for landing. A Go-Air flight from Mumbai was also cancelled some days ago,” they said.

No problem

There is no problem with the landing system as all the other flights operated as per schedule. Apart from Air India, all other flights arrived and departed without any problem. — HS Toor, Director, Chandigarh Airport



Youth fires shots into air, arrested 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The police today arrested a 22-year-old youth for firing two gunshots into the air in the Sector 8 market late last night. The police has arrested Pawandeep Singh, son of the owner of Gobind Sweets in Sector 7, under various sections of the Arms Act.

The police control room received a call at 11.55 pm that occupants of a Fortuner (CH01-AJ-1513) had fired into the air near a post office in the inner market of Sector 8.

Neeraj Sarna, SHO, Sector 3 police station, along with a team reached the spot, where Kuljeet Singh, a resident of Kansal village, told the police that he had parked his car in the inner market and had gone to watch a movie in a mall with his friends. When he returned to his car at about 11.55 pm, a Fortuner stopped in front of a coffee joint and two boys got off. They then fired into the air and fled.

The police registered a case against the occupants of the Fortuner and began investigations. Less than 12 hours after the incident, the police managed to trace the accused, Pawandeep Singh, and arrested him. He was later bailed out.

The SHO said the accused had a licensed .32 bore revolver which had been seized. Two cartridges and an empty cartridge had been recovered from the possession of the accused. During interrogation, the accused told the police that they apprehended that Kuljeet and his accomplices would attack them, so they fired gunshots to scare them. 



Finalisation of tricity's masterplan
UT Admn seeks six-month extension of deadline
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The Chandigarh Administration today sought a six-month extension of deadline for finalising the masterplan of the tricity.

As the issue came up for resumed hearing, UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal told a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that additional time was required.

Responding to a query on completion of the masterplan within three month, Kaushal said the period would not be realistic and the Administration required a minimum of six months as it was working on the regional plans with its counterparts, Punjab and Haryana.

Kaushal also produced the minutes of meetings held with Punjab, Haryana and the Centre for the finalisation of the masterplan.

The matter is pending with the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the wake of an ongoing public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by one Gurbax Singh Shergill seeking directions to prepare a composite regional plan for Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula for the future planning of the periphery of Chandigarh in consonance.

So far the UT Administration has taken six extensions for finalising the plan since December 23, 2009, when the HC had first directed it to finalise the plan within 12 months.

The High Court has already been informed that the UT Administration is planning to make Chandigarh a solar city. Slums, too, will be a thing of the past and the Administration is in the process of preparing a report on Chandigarh’s architectural heritage. The report was being forwarded to the Centre and “subsequent to its approval, the enlisted heritage of Chandigarh will be notified”.

The facts were underscored by the UT Administration in an affidavit filed in the High Court. The affidavit by Kaushal included the tram scheme on the list of proposals yet to be finalised.

The affidavit said the matter was discussed with the UT director, transport, and a feedback had been sought from RITES, the consultant engaged in the preparation of comprehensive masterplan of Chandigarh.

Kaushal said the concept to maximise the use of solar energy was in the process of finalisation by the department concerned of the UT Administration. It would entail earmarking land for infrastructure and setting up of solar plants, he added.

He added a state-level policy needed to be finalised for making the city slum free. Referring to the issue of “preservation of Chandigarh’s heritage”, he said the reports of the experts committee had been principally approved by the Administration’s advisory council.

“The recommendations include delineating/ identification of heritage zone, heritage precincts and heritage buildings, along with stipulations of additions and alterations in the same."


Celebrating that special bond called love
Designer Rakhis catching everyone's fancyVivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Raksha Bandhan, the festival of love and purity, goes stylish and fascinating this year. Be it children or the elderly, designer Rakhis are catching everyone's fancy.

Fengshui rakhis are also available at a few gift shops in the city.

Shopkeepers said angry birds and superman Rakhis and threads were in. Japanese robotic cat named Doraemon, too, is a hot favourite with children. Chinese light Rakhis are also available in the market.

A wholesale dealer in the city, Rinku, said kundan Rakhis priced between Rs 30 and Rs 100, were gaining a lot of popularity. Besides, Rakhis having pearls and stones were also available at various shops.

Rakhis decorated with AD stones and those having auspicious signs like Swasthik and Om are selling like hot cakes. Sonia, owner of a gift store at Sector 22, said AD stone threads looked better than silver Rakhis.

As compared to last year, the prices have witnesses a 10-15 per cent rise.

A resident of Sector 8, Shikha Nalwa, said Rakhis were available in a number of designs.

Raman, owner of a gift store in Sector 11, said there were a few takers for gold Rakhis this year.

A jeweller in Sector 22 said last year they sold about 10-15 gold Rakhis, but this year not even a single buyer turned up. While the hike in gold prices is the main reason, recession has also led to the inflation. Gold Rakhis are priced at Rs 3,500.



City sweetmeat sellers raking in money
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
City sweetmeat sellers are witnessing a huge rush of customers. Members of the Halwai Association of Chandigarh said they had already sold 100 tonnes of sweets, a day before Raksha Bandhan. They added that the sales were up by 7 per cent this year.

Satpal Singh, president of the association, said the reason behind the good business this time was that sweetmeat sellers in the city were preparing sweets on their own. He added that everybody wanted to make most of the occasion.

Last year, at the time of Diwali, the UT Administration had conducted a number of raids, especially at the sweets manufacturing units, which had affected the business badly. But after those raids, a majority of sellers had started their own preparations.

Sharanjit Singh, owner of a sweetmeat shop, who is also the vice-president of the association, said sweets were an important part of Rakhi.

He added that fancy tray having Rakhis, sweets, mauli, tikka, chocolate and decorated lord Ganesha was also in demand. He said they had prepared 500 fancy trays and all had been sold.

Deepa, a resident of Sector 39, said though there were many options like chocolates and cakes available in the market, they preferred sweets.

Echoing a similar view, 20-year-old Maninder Singh, a resident of Sector 28, said chocolates and cakes could not make up for sweets. He added that he had already told her two sisters to get "gulab jamun" for him on Rakhi.



Spreading love
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
HIV positive women tied Rakhi to students residing in boys hostel number VI.

These women run a paper re-cycling plant in Ropar. The hostel residents pledged to support the women by collecting waste for their recycling plant.

One of the women said such initiatives helped them spread awareness on AIDS. 



Special day for jail inmates
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 1
It will be a special day for Ambala jail inmates as they will meeting their sisters and brothers from 8 am to 5 pm tomorrow.

DG (jail) Rakesh Malik said they had made special arrangements for the inmates.

He added that security had been stepped up. There are around 5,000 inmates in Ambala jail.



CTU keen to issue student passes for air-conditioned buses
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has mooted a proposal to start student passes for air-conditioned buses in the city.

As per CTU officials, the proposal is planned with a view to making more fleets of buses available for the students so that more public transportation facilities are available for them in the morning as well as afternoon hours.

This proposal is part of the several safety measurements which the CTU is taking for students after Anupama’s tragic death.

SP Parmar, GM, CTU, said: “At present, students passes are not allowed for A/C buses. But, the proposal for the same has already been drafted, which will be sent to higher authorities for the approval in a few days”.

He said the proposal was likely to be accepted as it would felicitate schoolchildren and ease the congestion in public transportation.

As far as monthly student pass fee was concerned, he said a pass for ordinary buses was priced at Rs 60 per month. For AC buses, it would cost around Rs 100 per month.

He added that there were total 74 air-conditioned buses in the city. The timing of some of the buses might be changed to felicitate the students.



Suspended clerks lock gates at PSEB office
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 1
High drama was witnessed today in front of Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) office when the suspended clerks locked three main gates the office to protest against the state government.

The protesters sat on dharna in front of the main gate. Some of them even climbed the entry gates while raising slogans against authorities of PSEB.

The protesters, about 12 in number including women, were demanding their reinstatement in the PSEB. Their agitation entered 1259th day today. They have also been observing hunger strike for the past two days.

The Board authorities had to call police to avoid any untoward incident. "We want justice. We should be reinstated immediately," demanded a protester.

As many as 134 clerks were given regular employment in the Board in 2001 by the then Badal government. Later, Captain Amarinder Singh government suspended them.



Rally to promote road safety held

Chandigarh, August 1
The UT Traffic Police today organised a women helmet rally. It was flagged off by Raj Bala, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.

Approximately, 30 girl students and two teachers of MCM DAV College participated in the rally.

The rally started from Chandigarh Traffic Park, Sector 23, and passing through Sector 23/24 Light Point, it dispersed at the starting point.

The theme of the rally was “Karo Behan Ki Raksha - Paisa Nahi Helmet Do”.

The students also displayed the slogans on road safety to aware the general public. A lecture on road safety was delivered to the participants by traffic police officials. The participants were also shown a footage on road safety at Chandigarh Traffic Park, Sector 23.—TNS



Sabharwal takes charge as DPR
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
MM Sabharwal, a PCS officer, took over the charge of Director Public Relations in the UT Administration here today. Yogesh Kumar, who was relieved from the charge of DPR today, is now holding only the charge of Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies.

Meanwhile, the Haryana government also relieved two HCS official - SK Setia and Mandeep Kaur - who were recently selected by the UT Administration from the panel of six HCS officials sent by the Haryana government. Sources added that there are chances that SK Setia and Mandeep Kaur would soon join the UT Administration. After they join, there could be another reshuffling in the UT Administration.



‘Only 65 pc breastfed babies in first two hours’
Ritika Jha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
In a recent study conducted by the PGI among city women, only 65 per cent of the new mothers were found to have chosen breastfeeding in the first two hours of baby’s birth. According to experts, it is crucial for a baby’s health.

The study was conducted on over 400 new mothers over a period of four months. Dr. Bhavneet Bharti, an associate professor at Advanced Pediatrics centre said, “Research has proven that babies, who received the mother’s milk in the initial two hours of their birth become immune to 90 per cent of allergies and infections for the lifetime. This awareness, however, has been found to be missing among a majority of the women in the country.”



35 violators challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The enforcement wing of the municipal corporation today removed encroachments from Janta and Kumhar Colony, Sector 25. Challans were issued to 35 violators.

The team impounded five four-wheelers loaded with junk. The team also towed away two cars parked on unauthorised taxi stands. It also removed the encroachments from the sewerage water manholes and over the potable water pipes. 



syndicate  meeting
Nothing for students in agenda
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
The upcoming syndicate meeting, which would be held on August 4 after a gap of two months, doesn’t have anything to offer to students. The meeting will focus on general issues related to re-employment, affiliation of courses and various administrative issues. Interestingly, fresh appointment cases of teachers have also not been included in the agenda.

The meeting will witness several issues, including appointment of Dean University Instructions (DUI), Dean Students Welfare (Women), Dean International Students and Dean Research.

SOPU leader Manoj Lubana said there were several demands made by the students’ organisations which were lying pending with the university. “It is surprising that the meeting of the university syndicate does not have anything in agenda for the students,”€¯ Lubana said.

One of the syndics said as it was the first syndicate meeting of the new Vice-Chancellor, the main agendas that could witness arguments had not been included it.

“The agenda does not even have the items related to appointments made in various departments. There are many teachers who were on contract and have been appointment on regular posts. However, these teachers are waiting for their approval from the syndicate,”€¯ the syndic said.

Officials said there were several issues that were awaiting approval from the syndicate, which had not been included in the forthcoming meeting.

The House will also examine the disapproval of Parvinder Singh’s selection as the controller examination of PU on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The court had quashed the orders of the syndicate that had disapproved his selection as the controller examination in August 2011 even after the Selection Committee recommended his name. The House will have to give fresh consideration to its decision.

The syndicate will also finalise the rates of the copies of proceedings of the syndicate and the senate meeting. PU has planned to charge Rs 125 for procuring DVDs of the meetings under the RTI Act.



DAV school celebrates Sanskrit Day

Patiala, August 1
DAV Public School, Bhupindra Road, Patiala, celebrated Sanskrit Day on its premises on Monday. As many as 100 students participated in the celebrations. The day began with a "hawan yajna" amidst chanting of mantras.

The programme started with a song "Sanskrit Gaurav" sung by students of class VII and class VIII. Thereafter, a "shloka uchcharana" competition was held, which was adjudged by Prof Mahesh Gautam, an eminent scholar and writer; Veervant Shastri, an educationist, and Prof Reena Tiwari, Punjabi University, Patiala.

The students mesmerised the audience with the recitation of shlokas. This competition was followed by "sukti vyakhya" and "Sanskrit samvad sambhashna" in which the students enacted short plays in Sanskrit.

Principal SR Prabhakar, while applauding the efforts of the students, said though Sanskrit was the most ancient language of the world, it undoubtedly was a basis of all modern languages.

Rhythm Kaliya, Nidhi Sharma and Abhishek of classes V, VI and VII bagged the first, second and third positions respectively in shloka uchcharana, whereas Yogendra, Harshita and Jivesh won the second position and Nupur, Kirti, Shruti and Divyash won the third place in the competition.

In "sukti vyakhya", Poornima, Srishti Goel, and Raghav won the first, second and third positions respectively.

Asham and group bagged the first position, Ashish and group bagged the second and Arvish and group won the third position in the "Sanskrit samvad sambhashna" competition. — TNS



Central Teachers’ Eligibility Test
Online submission of applications for third edition begins
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Online submission of applications for the third edition of Central Teachers’ Eligibility Test (CTET) began today.

The exam is scheduled to take place on November 18 this year. This time, the CBSE has made the online submission mandatory for all the applicants. The last exam had both the online as well as offline facilities available.

As per the information, the last date to submit the online application is August 31. After the successful submission of the application, candidates are required to take a printout of the computer-generated confirmation page having the registration number on it and send the same to the CBSE office in New Delhi. The last date of sending the application form is September 7.

While the second edition of CTET was held in January this year, it was postponed in Chandigarh, Manipur, Punjab and Uttarakhand till May 5, 2012, on account of general elections of Legislative Assemblies in these states. Thousands of students from the Chandigarh region appeared in this exam on the last two occasions.

As far as the passing percentage is concerned, CTET has seen poor results. In the second edition, more than 92 per cent teachers flunked the exam, whereas its maiden exam in 2011 saw more than 85 per cent teachers failing to clear the exam. About eight lakh students appeared in the second CTET.

Ruby, a CTET applicant in Chandigarh, said: “The exam as such is not difficult, but the problem is that we still don’t have much clarity over its syllabus.”€¯

CTET is mandatory for any teacher who wants to join a government-aided CBSE school and applicable to schools run by the Centre such as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and those managed by the administration of Union Territories. Chandigarh is expected to issue the advertisement for the fresh recruitment of JBT and TGT teachers in a week’s time, making CTET candidates eligible for applying for these posts.

According to a CBSE official, they are expecting a good response of applicants. The last exam had seen 30 per cent rise in applications.

After the successful submission of the application at the CBSE’s website, www.cbse.nic.in or www.ctet.nic.in, candidates are required to take a printout of the computer-generated confirmation page having the registration number on it and send it to the CBSE office in New Delhi, along with the demand draft.

The candidates must ensure before dispatching the confirmation page that he/she has signed the confirmation page at the specified place, along with his/her recent passport size photograph.

The confirmation page sent by courier will be rejected as it must be sent through registered/speed post.

It is advisable for the candidates to keep the photocopy of the confirmation page, original receipt of the postal dispatch and photocopy of the demand draft for future correspondence.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |