C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Patil prefers Hindi to English
Pulls up UT officials, tells them to use mother tongue to draft Independence Day speech
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
It seems that senior officials of the UT Administration are not aware of Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil’s love for Hindi. In yesterday’s review meeting regarding the Independence Day celebrations, the UT officials were pulled up by Patil for showing him Independence Day speech draft in English. He reportedly told the officials to prepare the speech in Hindi.

Sources said that at a meeting held at Punjab Raj Bhawan, the UT officials presented the Independence Day speech draft in English before Patil for his suggestions. But on seeing the draft in English, Patil asked the officials to prepare the Independence Day speech in Hindi. Patil reportedly told the officials that he did not want any kind of factual or language mistakes in his speech.

Now left with no option, the UT officials have started preparing the speech in Hindi.

Requesting anonymity, a senior UT official, who was there at the meeting, said that they thought it would be easy to prepare the speech in English, as the data available with the UT Administration on UT’s achievements are easily available in English.There was a plan that after preparing the speech in English, they would translate it into Hindi, but after the directions from Patil, they would now prepare the speech in Hindi, he added.

The sources said that after meeting Patil, the UT officials again held a meeting which was attended by the senior officials. The officials met at the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) building and discussed ways and means to make an effective and error-free speech for the Independence Day.It was also decided that every department would prepare its monthly report card highlighting its success and failures.

Last year’s speech full of errors

UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil’s last year’s 10-page Independence Day English speech, which was translated from Hindi was full of grammatical mistakes, incorrect sentence formation and factual errors and had raised question on the communication skills of the senior UT officials.



Facing flak, Administrator to hold public darbar on Aug 6
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
After facing criticism for cancelling the public hearing session last time, Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil will hold the 'public darbar' on Monday despite a busy schedule.

On Monday morning, after attending a foundation-laying ceremony of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) Incubation Centre in Mohali with Minister For Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal and then in the afternoon Patil would hold the public darbar at the UT Secretariat building in Sector 9.

Earlier, on a number of occasions, the UT Administration had cancelled Patil’s public darbar courtesy his “busy” schedule. Despite being at Punjab Raj Bhawan, Patil’s last public darbar on July 16 was once again cancelled.

Now on August 6, Patil will attend the hearing session, but at 1 pm. Sources said that it would be for the first time in the history of the Administration that a public darbar would be held in the afternoon. Earlier, the Administrator used to hold public darbar at 10 am.

Since January 2012, Patil has only attended five public hearing sessions out of the scheduled 14 sessions. Patil assumed office as the Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator on January 22, 2010. As per precedent, there should have been 60 public hearing sessions till date. However, Patil has managed to hold only 26 such sessions so far, which is less than one session a month.

Patil’s darbar has lost its appeal with the public. For the public hearing session on July 16, which was cancelled by the UT Administration, only five complainants had got themselves registered.

Patil had attended his first public hearing session on February 1, 2010.

Tells MC to provide amenities

Despite directions issued by UT Administrator Shivraj Patil at a public darbar in March to provide basic amenities to residents of Deep Complex at Hallo Majra, the Administration had failed to do so. Patil on July 21 had pulled up UT and municipal corporation (MC) officials and directed them to prepare a plan within three months to ensure basic amenities to the residents. The directions were issued after a delegation of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had met Patil at Punjab Raj Bhawan.

Has held only 26 sessions so far

As per precedent, in the 30 months of his tenure as the UT Administrator, there should have been 60 public hearing sessions till date. However, Patil has managed to hold only 26 such sessions so far, which is less than one session a month.



Now, divine intervention sought to save Sukhna
UT Administration runs out of ideas, believes only god can save the man-made lake
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
After all departments of the UT administration failed to revive the dying Sukhna, the Administration is now relying on the rain god. A special “path” was organised by the Administration at the Sukhna Lake today.

At a function, which was held this afternoon, the “pathi” and other religious members from the gurdwara near the Sukhna Lake chanted mantras, with the hope that the Rain God would be pleased and the dying Sukhna would be revived.

After the special path, the “parsad” was also distributed among the boating staff, shopkeepers and the tourists.

Requesting anonymity, a senior UT official, who also attended the path, maintained that the prayer was a part of an annual ritual and this year the ritual was performed to do away with the water crisis being faced by Sukhna.

Vinod Mehta, one of tourists who also attended the path, said that the Administration should take some serious steps to save the city’s landmark, Sukhna Lake, otherwise it would be a thing of the past.

Meanwhile, the water level at the Sukhna Lake was around 11 feet lower than the level in August 2010.

While the measuring scale showed today’s water level at 1151.25, it was 1154 in August 2011 and 1162.50 in August 2010.

An employee, engaged with the work of measuring water level at the lake said that they considered 1,160 feet as the normal water level of the lake. As there was very less rainfall this year, there were no chances that it would reach even the normal level.

The maximum water level of the lake is 1,163 feet, above which the officials have to open the floodgates to release water.

Patiala ki Rao to rescue Sukhna

To end the water crisis at the Sukhna Lake, the UT Administration has recently proposed to bring water from Patiala ki Rao to the lake. A senior official of the UT Administration said that they had made an estimate that there was 3.25 km distance between the Sukhna Lake and the Patiala ki Rao. He added that they would lay a pipeline from the higher point of Patiala ki Rao to Sukhna Lake and would bring water through the pipeline.


Admn's largesse to 2,034 employees
Set to draft a proposal to regularise daily wagers, work-charged employees
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The UT Administration is all set to draft a proposal to regularise 2,034 employees and daily wagers in various departments of the city. As per records, out of total 2,034 employees, 1,772 are daily wagers, 134 appointed on compassionate ground and 262 on a work-charged basis in various departments of the Administration.

There are 1,020 daily wagers, 166 work-charged employees and 134 sanitation workers appointed on compassionate ground in the municipal corporation. The UT engineering wing has 635 daily wagers and 96 work-charged employees while the UT forest department has 51 daily wagers and 32 daily wagers are employed with the Panchyati Samiti.

Recently in a meeting chaired by UT Adviser to Administrator KK Sharma, it was decided that a committee would be formed to examine the police framed by the Punjab government for the welfare of daily wagers and work-charged employees.

The panel will comprise secretary, Forest, joint secretary, Personnel and UT Chief Engineer.

The committee will also look into relaxation of qualification and upper age limit as one-time measure and prepare a proposal.

Sources said soon the UT Administration would take a final decision on the proposal chalked out by the committee.

The Adviser also directed the MC officials to draft a fresh proposal for regularising the employees appointed on compassionate ground and send it to the Administration for approval. The MC Commissioner informed the UT Adviser that as many as 134 sanitation workers could be adjusted against the 200 posts which were lying vacant in the corporation if one-time relaxation was given. He added that the financial implications of these employees would be low as these employees were already getting salary from the corporation.

Sources said the chief engineer department also suggested that one-time relaxation should be given to daily wagers and work-charged employees as they were working with the department for the last two decades. While the officials of the department said the matter of regularising the work-charged employees and daily wagers was subjudice.



Poor response to cycle tourism in Chandigarh
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Cycles lying wrapped at the Sukhna Lake tell the whole story. Cycle tourism in Chandigarh, one of the first cities in the country to take initiative in this direction, has very few takers now. As per information, despite having high-end 40 cycles, hardly 3-4 cycles are rented out per week by the Tourism Department. Sometimes, this figure is even less.

Albeit there is a popular view which points that there is little effort on part of the UT administration behind promoting the bike tourism, there also seem to be some ground problems, which too have played their role in undermining the cycle tourism in the city. One of the most glaring is the response of the local populace.

Officials of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), which started the cycle tourism in the city, along with the city-based NGO Yuvsatta somewhere around 2007, say people in the city still have doubts about using cycles as the means of transportation and enjoyment, which hinders the popularity of cycling culture here.

AK Malhotra, general manager, CITCO, says the department organises cycle marathon every year, besides promoting the cycle tourism among tourists. There are in fact foreign takers of these cycles, but not the city dwellers.

Parmod Sharma, president of Yuvsatta, says the lackluster response of the city residents or tourists is also to do with the fact that the UT administration has failed to capitalise the potential of the tourism in the city. Despite Chandigarh being a planned city and gateway to Himachal, not many tourists stay overnight here.

“While we need an integrated approach to make the city as a tourism destination, I feel that the failure of the cycle tourism is part of the overall lackluster mindset which the authorities have about tourism in general here. They have failed to recognise the need of uninterrupted cycle lanes, besides promoting the cycling culture in general ever since the cycle tourism has started,”ť he adds.



Police to keep strict vigil on friendship day
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 4
Friendship day would be celebrated under the shadow of police tomorrow. Special teams of police personnel have been constituted who would man sensitive points in the town. Patrolling would be done throughout the day to check miscreants.

“Special teams, each consisting of three cops, have been constituted and would be deployed at sensitive points, like market area or outside discs, so that trouble-makers can be checked,” said a senior police official.

Though no nakas would be set up for this purpose, patrolling would be done throughout the day.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Dheeraj Setia said, “ Rather than just patrolling in the evening, we have directed the personnel to do morning patrolling as well. Areas frequented by the youth, especially popular eateries and markets, will be our focus.”

He further said, “As it is a Sunday and the colleges are closed, we would still be watching the movement outside colleges as well.”

Sources also claimed that the police personnel will be deployed in civilian clothes as well.

“It is good if cops keep a check as miscreants take advantage of the day to trouble trouble innocent people,” said Divya Ujha, a resident of Sector 4, Panchkula.

Vibha Datta, a resident of Sector 7, Panchkula, said, "It would be difficult for families to hang around in the markets, particularly in the evening, and it is very essential for the police to man these areas.”

“A brawl had taken place last year on the friendship day between groups of boys with regard to a girl. The fight turned so ugly that the boys thrashed each other with rods and sluggers. I got scared and rushed home with my daughters,” said JS Sindhia, a resident of Sector 6, Panchkula.



Police braces up for I-Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The Chandigarh Police launched a search operation in Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, ahead of the Independence Day. During the drive carried out last night, the police arrested three persons having a criminal background. A proclaimed offender under the NDPS Act was also arrested. The police also recovered 10 kg of poppy husk from a resident of Ludhiana.

Meanwhile, 113 vehicles were challaned during nakas laid at different parts of the city.

Inspector Anokh Singh, SHO, Sector 26 police station, said, “Twenty-eight people were rounded up. They were later released," SHO said.

Special nakas were laid at various points in the city. During checking, challans were issued to 113 violators.

Four vehicles were impounded by the police.



PGI to hold health awareness camp on August 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
PGI’s Department of Anatomy is going to organise a two-day workshop to raise awareness among schoolchildren on the harmful effects of smoking, alcohol and drug addiction. The workshop will be held on August 17 and 18 at Zakir Hall at the PGI.

In a move to sensitise the schoolchildren in a better way, the department will put on display original organs of the human body, both healthy and damaged, to help them realise how these three addictions harm the organs.

“For demonstrating that how does alcohol affects the liver, we will show the children a healthy and a damaged liver,”€ť the head of the Anatomy Department said.

As many as 500 students from various schools across the tricity will be invited to participate in the workshop. It will be open to public from 2 pm to 3 pm on both the days.

While the programme is being organised every year since last four years, this time the department has also incorporated the effects of cellphone usage in the list. The students will be shown how the prolonged use of cellphone affects the brain.



Ensure India remains polio free for another 18 months: Rotarians
Tribune News Service

Rtn RK Saboo Chandigarh, August 4
Although no case of polio has been reported in India in the last 18 months, the country will have to wait for a period of another 18 months with no new case being reported to achieve a polio-free status.

Rotary International Director Rtn Yash Pal Das made this observation at a meeting of senior Rotarians of the North Indian region to review the smooth implementation of the national strategic plan to combat polio.

"The last case of polio was detected in January 2011 in Howrah, West Bengal. The World Health Organisation does not certify a country as polio free until the country remains free from the endemic for at least three years. In that case, we have another 18 months to go before attaining the status of a polio-free country," said Yash Pal Das.

Das said funds were the biggest constraint in combating polio. Out of the annual budget of US$ 2.23 billion for the worldwide immunisation efforts in 2012-13, only US$ 1.14 billion were available, leaving a funding gap of almost 50 per cent of the total budget, he said.

The fight against polio was not yet over, said Past Rotary International President Rajendra K Saboo. He said: "In 1980s, around 420 children were either dying or getting paralysed because of polio everyday in India. Thanks to a global endeavour, we have reached a stage where India has remained polio free since January 20110."

It must be ensured that India remained polio free for the next two years as well, Saboo said.



Classical vocalists weave a web around music lovers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Megh Malhar, a classical music evening, was organised at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sector 27, here today. The event organised by the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Haryana government saw accomplished Hindustani classical vocalists Shruti Sadolikar and Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas enthrall the music lovers with various expression and moods of "Ritu Ragas".

Daughter of noted classical vocalist Pandit Wamanrao Sadolikar, Shruti, has been singing for the last four decades. Pandit Vyas has been groomed in khayal, tarana and bhajan gayaki and represents the Gwalior Gharana. The audience applauded them for their rendition of the intricacies of the ragas.





100 challaned for encroachment

Around 100 challans were issued during an anti-encroachment drive at the central plaza and other areas of Sector 17, and Shastri Market, Sector 22, on Saturday. The enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation removed furniture and consumer products displayed on the encroached area. 60 challans were issued to the violators at Shastri Market, while 40 challans were issued in Sector 17.

Tree adoption drive

Seventy-eight saplings were adopted by residents of Sector 15-D during a tree adoption campaign initiated by MC Councillor Saurabh Joshi on Saturday. The Councillor requested the residents to adopt a sapling and nourish it as their own. For this special drive, the horticulture wing of the civic body had provided around 150 saplings, out of which 78 saplings were adopted. Mukesh Anand of the horticulture wing said the initiative would be carried out in other parts of the city as well.

Teej celebrations

More than 150 members of the ladies wing of the Citizens' Association, Sector 21, celebrated Teej on Saturday. Sneh Mittal, wife of Madan Mohan Mittal, a cabinet minister in the Government of Punjab, was the chief guest on the occasion. She asked all the women to take a pledge against female foeticide.

45 stray dogs immunised

A team of veterinary doctors gave immunisation injections to 45 stray dogs during an anti-rabies camp in Sector 20 on Saturday. The camp was organised by Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation.

120 saplings planted

Go Green volunteers of Chandigarh Industrial Area Tenants Association planted 120 plants in Industrial Area Phase-III on Saturday. Director Industries Balbir Singh Dhol was the chief guest on the occasion. The volunteers urged him to save trees.


Plantation drive

To make the town greener, the forest department has decided to spend Rs 8 lakh on a plantation drive in the Mohali district. Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam made this announcement while planting saplings at Jayanti Majri Dam, under the Greening Punjab mission, on Saturday. Roojam said around 13,750 saplings would be planted at the backside of Jayanti Majri Dam. He appealed to the residents of the Mohali district to join the mission and to plant at least one tree to make the environment greener.

Ladies club celebrates Teej

Members of the PCA Club apply mehandi on the occasion of Teej in Mohali on SaturdayMembers of the PCA Club, Mohali, celebrated Teej with a lot of tradition and fanfare on Saturday. Around 100 members of the all ladies-club participated in the celebrations. Women danced on the traditional dhol beats and also performed giddha, followed by boliyaan and other activities. — TNS

Members of the PCA Club apply mehandi on the occasion of Teej in Mohali on Saturday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan



Kohli is new DUI
Tribune News Service

Professor RK Kohli Chandigarh, August 4
Professor RK Kohli of the department of botany would be the next Dean University Instructions (DUI) of Panjab University. Kohli's name was unanimously approved by the House today.

The decision pertaining to the position of Dean Research was left pending till August 31 when Prof Kohli, who is the current Dean Research, would vacate the post and take over as the new DUI. Prof Kohli would be succeeding Prof BS Brar of the political science department who would retire on August 31.

The House gave a one-year extension to the Dean Student Welfare (Men), Dean Student Welfare (Women), Dean International Students and the Dean of Alumni Relations.

The House also decided that the regulations currently in place for the conduct of Senate elections would be followed for the forthcoming polls. The applicability of the recommendations of the VK Sibal Committee pertaining to the conduct of Senate Elections would be taken up during the next elections in 2016, it decided.

The House also deliberated on ensuring that the minutes of the Syndicate meetings be recorded in an accurate manner. To this effect, it was decided that in addition to the current practice of circulating the minutes to the members, any member desirous of seeking a clarification in the minutes could also apply for a compact disk of the recordings for the purpose of clarification.



MCM dav college
Harbhajan Mann adorns freshers’ day celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Punjabi actor and singer Harbhajan Mann joined the newly admitted students of MCMDAV College for Women, Sector 36, to celebrate the freshers' day on the college campus here today. Mann, who adorned the occasion as the chief guest, also joined the students on the stage.

The event saw various performances by the college students. The most awaited event was, however, the Ms Freshers' contest. Ravnoor bagged the Ms Freshers' title, while Sugandha and Pia were adjudged the first and second runners-up respectively.



appointment of Controller Examination
PU Syndics defer review of decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The Panjab University Syndicate has deferred to review its decision of rejecting the selection committee's recommendations on filling the post of Controller Examination till the next Syndicate meeting.

On the directions of Panjab and Haryana High Court, the House had to reconsider recommendations of the selection committee for the appointment of Parvinder Singh to the post of Controller Examination.

Syndicate had earlier rejected the selection committee's decision following which Parvinder Singh, a teacher in chemistry department at Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, had approached the High Court.

According to the PU officials, the item pertaining to the High Court directive was deferred, as there was a call for detailed information regarding the appointment.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has quashed the orders of the Panjab University Syndicate that had disapproved Parvinder Singh's selection as the Controller Examination in a meeting held in September last year.

The argument put across by the Syndics was that the candidate did not have any experience in educational administration.

The High Court in its judgment had stated that the matter required to be re-examined by the Syndicate in the light of what the advertisement notification specifically stated and more particularly with reference to the certificate given by the principal of the college.



panjab university
Students demand reading rooms in girls' hostels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
In a memorandum submitted to the Syndicate today, Panjab University Students' Union has demanded creation of reading rooms in all the girls' hostels. PUSU leader Sumit Goklaney said in the absence of reading rooms in the hostels, the girl students faced problems.

"Girls cannot go to the AC Joshi Library to study at night. Moreover, the hostel rooms are allotted on sharing basis that makes it tough for the students to study in the rooms at night," Goklaney said.

Students said the demand was long pending and the university should act at the earliest. It would also help in reducing the burden on the main library, which got overcrowded during the examination days, students said.

The student body also demanded an 80 per cent credit system in the sciences departments for the promotion of the bachelor students to the MSc courses.

The memorandum also included the demand for revoking the year-back system in the University Institute of Engineering and Technology and the University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology.



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