C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bigamist commits suicide
Hangs himself from a ceiling fan at his paramour’s house
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Sick of shuttling between two women, a 28-year-old bigamist youth reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his paramour’s residence in Kajheri this morning.

The victim, Pradeep, a resident of Sector 24, Chandigarh, is survived by his wife Poonam and two children.

While his paramour Seema told the police that Pradeep committed suicide, the deceased’s family alleged that it was a murder. The police said Pradeep was in a live-in relationship with Seema.

The post-mortem of the body was conducted at the GMSH-16 and it indicated that Pradeep died due to hanging. The body was handed over to the family.

“Seema met Pradeep in January this year and she was after him since then. In May, Poonam came to know about her, but did not react much. Things were fine, but Seema used to come to our house and trouble us time and again,” said Pinky, deceased’s sister-in-law. Seema is a resident of Sector 56 but was putting up in a rented accommodation at Kajehri given by Pradeep.

“It’s a murder. Seema today came to our residence and told us rudely that Pradeep has died,” said Pinky.

A few days ago, Seema had created a ruckus at Pradeep’s residence alleging that he had taken away her Rs 10,000 and a gold ring. Pradeep was working as a sweeper with the Chandigarh health department.

Sub-inspector Jaspal Singh, in charge of the Sector 61 police post said: “Around 1 am, Seema felt Pradeep’s feet on hers. When she opened her eyes, she saw Pradeep hanging from the ceiling fan. For the past two days, Pradeep was with Seema.”

He added: “Even the post-mortem indicated that it was a suicide. Though the investigations are on, but preliminary investigations state that he was tired of shuttling between two women.”

Deceased’s wife Poonam was inconsolable and also fell unconscious after hearing the news of Pradeep’s death. She was taken to the GMSH-16 and was discharged after treatment. 



Constable caught accepting Rs 15,000 bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested a UT police constable, Jatinder Singh, posted at the technical cell at the police headquarters, while accepting a bribe of Rs 15,000.

The accused, who is the son of a UT police sub-inspector, has just completed three years of service.

The CBI sleuths laid a trap at the constable’s residence in police lines, Sector 26, where he was caught red-handed while accepting the bribe.

A Sector 15-based shopkeeper had filed a complaint that he was being harassed by the constable as he had found a mobile phone lying abandoned. The constable was asking for money, he had said.

The owner of the missing phone had complained to the police and the technical cell had put his mobile on surveillance. Constable Jatinder Singh then found the missing mobile phone to be in the possession of the shopkeeper and started blackmailing him. The shopkeeper approached the CBI and a trap was laid.

The CBI has registered a case under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Jatinder Singh. The accused will be produced in a court tomorrow. 



Newborn dies at GMSH-16, staff accused of negligence
Medical Superintendent orders inquiry, report within 7 days
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Uzma’s joy of being blessed with a baby girl was short-lived as the newborn died allegedly due to the negligence of staff at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16.

The four-day-old baby girl died of jaundice in the wee hours of Friday in the GMSH. The parents alleged that they kept calling the nurses and doctors to check the child, but they did not pay any heed to it.

Uzma, wife of Sonu Kumar, a resident of Sector 40, gave birth to a baby girl on August 19. As the mother-daughter duo was in good health, they were discharged from a hospital a day after the delivery.

“It was just two days after Chutki’s birth that we had gone to the hospital for routine vaccination. The doctor said she showed symptoms of jaundice and advised to admit the child and mother immediately,” said Pappu, the child’s uncle.

After getting the vaccination, the condition of the child deteriorated around 12 midnight. “The child started huffing and panting. We contacted the nurse and she said only the doctor would treat the child and it is not her job. We cried for help, but no one came,” added Pappu.

A doctor came in the wee hours and declared Chutki dead. “We saw the doctor pumping the child’s heart. When we asked him, he said the child was no more. We lost our child because of their negligence. Had the doctors and nurses reacted and checked the child in time, she would have never died,” said another relative.

Uzma, who had given birth to her first child, is having a stony silence.

Medical Superintendent of the GMSH Dr Rajeev Wadhera said: “An inquiry has been marked to the senior medical officer (medicine). He has been asked to submit the report within seven days. We have also asked the couple to participate in the inquiry.” 



High Court seeks road details
Tribune News Service

The traffic police challans lane violators
The traffic police challans lane violators. A file photograph

Chandigarh, August 24
The Chandigarh Administration was today asked to give the details of roads where it intends to implement the lane-driving system. The Punjab and Haryana High Court also asked the administration to inform the Bench the time required for implementing the lane-driving concept in the chosen areas.

With this, the High Court today made it clear that it wanted the concept of lane-driving to be implemented in other parts of the city within a specific time frame. Appreciating the implementation of lane driving at Jan Marg, the High Court also asked Punjab and Haryana to introduce the concept.

The directions came during the resumed hearing of a contempt petition against Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for not complying with the court directions on traffic guidelines issued in 1998.

The High Court also asked the administration to publicise special school buses for government schoolchildren. The UT counsel asserted the Director Public Instructions has already written to school Principals, so that maximum government schoolchildren could avail themselves of the facility of special school buses.

The DPI has written to the Principals asking them to collect money from students, who are eager to avail themselves of the special school buses, and deposit it with the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU). The CTU, in turn, would prepare passes for such students.



Failed to strike balance between two lives
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Five-year-old Aakarsh was pestering his wailing mother Poonam for Rs 10 to buy a gift for his father, Pradeep, who the innocent child did not know chose to die after finding it difficult to strike a balance between his two lives owing to his bigamous relationship.

Pradeep’s children — seven-year-old Sneha and five-year-old Aakarsh — were making preparations for their father’s birthday on October 7.

The children were completely unaware that their world was shattered. “They don’t know that their father is no more,” said deceased’s sister-in-law Pinky.

She added, “They are playing around in the house and asking as to why so many people have come. They do not understand the meaning of death. How should I tell them that their father is dead?”

Aakarsh wanted to buy a toy mobile phone for his father. The family had recently attended a wedding and was also planning to go out for a picnic.

“I don’t know from where this woman came into his life and took away the happiness of the family. The day Aakarsh was born, Pradeep had told that his family was complete. We were not aware that we will have to see this day,” said another relative. 

Financial constraints

The police said Pradeep was sustaining two families and was finding it financially difficult to support two households. He would stay away from his house stating he was required to work at night also. Later, his wife discovered that he was frequenting Seema’s house. But Poonam had chosen to continue to be married to Pradeep for her two children. “I suffered everything alone just for the sake of my children. I did not want them to be fatherless. But this was certainly destined,” Poonam said. 


Chandigarh metro comes at a price
Residents may have to shell out extra for petrol, diesel and vehicle registration
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The residents of the city will fund the Rs 10,900-crore metro project. In the detailed project report (DPR) of the project, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has proposed to charge metro cess on the sale of petrol and diesel in the city in order to fund the project.

Besides the metro cess, the DMRC, on the pattern of Delhi Metro, has also proposed to impose green tax on the existing vehicles in the city. To generate more funds for the metro project, the DMRC has also proposed to charge an additional tax on the new registrations of vehicles.

The DMRC, in its report, has also suggested that the UT Administration could also charge entry tax from the commercial vehicles entering the City Beautiful.

A senior official of the UT Administration said they were studying the report submitted by the DMRC and if the administration decided on the imposition of metro cess, then the residents had to pay more for petrol and diesel in the city.

On the percentage of tax, he said they were yet to finalise the plan and only after that they would calculate the percentage for metro cess.

The total project cost, including land cost and taxes of the metro project, will be Rs 10,900 crore in the first phase. It includes development of the project on the Chandigarh portion at a cost of Rs 8,245 crore, Rs 1,427 crore on the Punjab portion and Rs 1,228 crore on the Haryana portion.

A senior official of the UT Administration said at present there were more than 10 lakh vehicles (two-wheelers and four-wheelers) registered with the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) of the Chandigarh Administration.


Work likely to begin next year

The detailed project report will be put up before the planning commission shortly to seek financial assistance from the Centre as well. Sanctioned in 2007 by the Centre, actual work on the project is expected to begin next year. The first two corridors of Metro will also run in Panchkula and Mohali.

Enhanced connectivity

Apart from the metro project, air-conditioned buses and commuter rails will also be integrated with the system to provide seamless connectivity to residents of the Chandigarh Urban Complex, which includes areas like Zirakpur, Kharar and Mullanpur.


Alternative fund sources

The DMRC, in its detailed project report (DPR), which was recently submitted to UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, has a number of alternatives to generate funds.

To meet the expenditure of the project, the DMRC has proposed to open shopping malls, retail outlets, small offices and cinema halls on the space available on government land adjacent the two metro corridors.

Besides, at the metro stations, the ground floor space can be used as depots whereas the upper floors can be used for opening small offices and restaurants.

The DMRC has also suggested allowing increased floor area ratio (FAR) along the metro corridors, especially on the periphery areas, so that the available land can be used for various other projects.

In Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, there will be 30 stations, each at an average distance of 1.210 km on the north-south corridor and at an average distance of 1.206 km on the east-west corridor.


Aid from Japan agency, Asian bank mooted

Apart from various funding sources, the DMRC has also proposed taking financial aid from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and ADB (Asian Development Bank) for the metro project. The DMRC has stated that the JICA had funded Phase I and II of the Delhi Metro project.


Employment generator 

The metro project will not only ease traffic chaos in the tricity but also generate employment. According to the detailed project report (DPR), after the IT Park, the city metro will be the second highest employment generator in Chandigarh. The metro project will provide jobs to around 1,800 people of the tricity.

In the DPR, the details of manpower required to run the metro service, have been provided. The Chandigarh Metro Rail Corporation (CMRC), which will be constituted under the Companies Act, to manage the metro project in the city, would appoint staff for the project. The project would require number of specialised persons.

A senior official of the UT Administration said the requirement of workforce would increase with the expansion of metro in the tricity. They would follow the Delhi Metro pattern for the appointments of personnel. 

Additional 160 MW 

The Metro project would put an additional burden of 160 MW on the tricity. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has asked the UT Administration and neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana to arrange 160 MW power to run the project in the tricity.

Out of the 160 MW power, the UT Administration has to arrange 80 MW. For the East-West corridor, the DMRC has demanded 100 MW for which two sub-stations need to be set up.
The football stadium will also be dismantled when work starts on the metro project.
The football stadium will also be dismantled when work starts on the metro project. 

Similarly, the DMRC has sought 60 MW power for the North-West corridor. Two sub-stations will be set up in this corridor.

A senior official of the UT Administration said the DMRC had demanded sub-stations in Sector 9 and Sectors 51-52. Besides, one sub-station each would be set up in Mohali and Panchkula.

As the UT has no power generation of its own, extra power supply would be sought from central power generation stations in the region. Subsequently, the power supply would be routed through these four sub-stations to run the Metro rail in the tricity.



NDMA showcases emergency preparedness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Showcasing its preparedness against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) disaster/emergencies occurring accidentally or caused by terrorists, the personnel of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a training programme for the UT police.

There is a great possibility of CBRN agents falling in the hands of terrorists that may be used in the form of a dirty bomb or can be disseminated through water, said the officials of the NDMA.

The training programme was conducted by the NDMA for the Chandigarh Police in which apart from senior officials of the Chandigarh Police, 60 police personnel of various ranks took part. Moreover, officials from the Punjab Police, CRPF, ITBP, MCC, Pollution Control Board Chandigarh, DHS and the Department of Forest Environment also attended the programme.

The training programme sensitised the participants about characteristics of chemical agents and their detection and decontamination, various aspects of bio-terrorism, agro-terrorism and its ramifications, contamination of food and water with the CBRN agents, essential elements of nuclear/radiological terrorism and its management and emergency response mechanism to counter CBRN terrorism.

A demonstration on the subject was also conducted to sensitise the police personnel on the morbidity and mortality on account of the CBRN agents, which can be minimised by a comprehensive planning, preparedness and capacity development for prompt and effective emergency medical response.

The two-day training programme on CBRN disasters was inaugurated by KK Sharma, Adviser to Administrator, on August 23 at the UT Guest House. Major-Gen JK Bansal (retd), member of the National Disaster Management Authority, also graced the training programme.



Police suspects murder
Autopsy report reveals congestion in small intestine
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 24
The post-mortem report of Mehak, who died under mysterious circumstances at her in-laws residence in Sector 16, Panchkula, has raised many questions. The injury marks on Mehak's body and congestion reported in many organs could also mean presence of a poisonous substance, medical experts said. Mehak, 23, was found dead with a Stoll around her neck at her in-laws residence.

According to the post mortem report, a bluish contusion was present on her left elbow and right arm. Moreover, there was congestion in small intestines, liver, spleen, and kidneys besides congestion on lungs and heart.

"It is suspected that the congestion in small intestines, liver, spleen and kidney has occurred due to the presence of a poisonous substance. Though strangulation does have effect on these organs but the degree of congestion is less. It cannot be fully congested as it is in this case," said a post mortem specialist.

"The bluish contusion on the arms shows that someone had held Mehak quite for long, which resulted in the injuries." The same expert added.

Earlier, when the family members of Mehak had approached the police for not taking any action against the in-laws, the police had raised questions on the Mehak's character without any substantial proof. But police refuted the allegation and said it had never raised question over her charachter.

Sources in the police said they were also suspecting it to be a murder. "The post-mortem report was studied and we had consulted medical experts. Injuries and congestion had made it clear that Mehak was manhandled and was given poison and to show it as a suicide, she was hanged and then dropped from above," senior officer of the Panchkula police said.

It is also mentioned in the post-mortem report that Mehak had a healthy male foetus. It was on the night of the incident when Mehak's in-laws were booked for demanding dowry. No arrests have been made so far in the case. 



Teachers’ recruitment
Rules yet to be notified
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The UT education department has yet not finalised and notified its recruitment rules for teachers after the RTE Act, even as the shortage of teachers is deepening every year.

The matter, it is learnt, is under consideration of the department for the last one and half years. It is the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 which has necessitated every state/UT to notify its recruitment rules as per the guidelines of National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE).

Under this act, the NCTE has been made the academic authority to regulate the norms and standards of the teachers' education system as well as their recruitment process.

NCTE's latest amendment about the essential qualification of JBT and TGT teachers came in 2011 following which the UT went ahead to amend its recruitment rules for teachers, which sadly is still pending.

Activist Hemant Goswami said that the delay showed how serious is the UT Administration is about improving the quality of education in Chandigarh. "Government schools are facing acute shortage of teachers but the administration is not serious even to speed up the process of notifying recruitment rules, not to mention recruiting teachers to improve the pupil-teacher ratio," said Goswami.

RTE activist Pankaj Ghotia said that UT has hardly done anything concrete to implement the RTE Act in Chandigarh. New recruitment rules are very important to bring transparency in the overall recruitment process, but so far the administration has failed to address the problem.

It is learnt that not a single teacher has been recruited in Chandigarh after the infamous recruitment scam in 2009. It is due to the lack of proper recrutiment rules that the education deparment flouted the NCTE guidlines while recruiting contractual teachers under the SSA in March earlier this year.

Education secretary VK Singh, when contacted, said that the matter was under consideration and hopefully it would be finalised in two-three months.



Play ‘Nazaria’ staged at Tagore Theatre
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The play 'Nazaria’, staged at the Tagore Theatre on Friday evening by the city-based amateur theatre group, ‘Studio Challenge’, made an attempt to project life in a different perspective, throwing light upon the complexities of relationships that force a woman to trace her inward and outward journeys beyond the four walls of her house.

The play, hilarious and projecting contemporary human realities, however, failed to impress. The reason being its loose script and average performances by actors. It failed to give a definite theatrical as well as human perception to the viewers.

A middle-aged woman Kulwant, the protagonist, is finding difficult to come to terms with her husband. A mobile phone accidentally draws her closer to a hidden male voice which weirdly gives a new direction to her life. The male voice, which sounds flirtatious during the course of the play, turns out to be that of a disabled man. The protagonist, in the concluding scene, sums up the male voice as her inner spiritual voice.

The play, written by Nimma Dandona, in a way, throws light on the approach of amateur stage groups in the city, which needs to be uphold 

Much of the solace in the play comes from the comic appearance of protagonist’s friend ‘Rita’, who has been shown as an upright socialite, lurching tonelessly but creating humour. Many of the scenes in the play end abruptly showing the poor technical synchronisation.

However, Nimma, about 70, deserves some kind of applause as she has maintained her passion for theatre at such an age. The play had a one liner, "life is an attitude, age is just a number". It fits well on the play's director rather than the play. 



Chemist shop reopens 

Jan Aushidhi chemist store re-opens at the Civil Hospital in Mohali on Friday.
Jan Aushidhi chemist store re-opens at the Civil Hospital in Mohali on Friday. Tribune photo: vicky gharu

Mohali, August 24
After nearly 20 months, a Jan Aushidhi chemist shop to provide medicines at lower rates was reopened on the premises of the Civil Hospital here today. After inaugurating the drug store, Varun Roojam, Deputy Commissioner, said generic medicines would be proved on low prices to the poor patients at the chemist shop.

"If the response to the store is found encouraging, such drug stores will be set up in other hospitals of the district." Roojam added.

It was a long standing demand of the residents that a chemist shop should be opened on the hospital premises. The shop will be run by the District Red Cross Society.

SMO of the hospital, Rajiv Bhalla, said 85 medicines out of a total of 136 would be available at the drug store. "Though it will function till 7 pm during initial days, but soon 24 hour service will be provided," Bhalla added.

Bhalla said more than 500 patients come to the hospital OPD each day and most of them were compelled to buy the prescribed medicines from outside as all medicines were not available in the hospital. "Patients were facing difficulties as no chemist shop was located near the hospital. Moreover, they had to purchase the medicines at higher prices." he added.

Earlier, the Health Department had ordered the closure of the Jan Aushadhi store in January last year after the complaints of some residents, who alleged irregularities in the functioning of the store. — OC



Industrialists complain against Truck Union
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 24
The Mohali Industries Association has complained to the SSP against the alleged 'unfair practices' adopted by the members of Truck Union here today.
A delegation led by Anurag Aggarwal, president of the association, met Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, and said industrial units were facing a lot of difficulty in transporting their goods as rates charged by the Union were uncompetitive.

The union charged between 30-50 per cent higher than the truck operators in the adjoining areas of Mohali, they added.

The delegation alleged that the union was preventing private transporters from entering Mohali and due which industrial units were forced to bear a heavy cost of transportation.

The representatives said in an incident, the vehicles owned by industries were stopped forcibly by the union members, and the drivers were thrashed and their documents were taken away.

The SSP has assured the industrialists to provide protection and He has directed the DSP, City-1,to take action in this regard.



RLA fails to set its house in order
Rajmeet Singh 
Tribune News Service 

Chandigarh, August 24 
The cash-rich Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) that collects Rs 45 crore as road tax and earns lakhs from auction of vanity numbers is facing tough times. Plagued by inadequate infrastructure, ad hocism and official rigmarole, the RLA office is increasingly becoming a visitor’s nightmare. Over 2,000 persons visit the RLA office everyday. 

The main server shutdown at the RLA office on Thursday in the absence of power backup is just one of the examples of the poor state of affairs here. Six years ago, the then UT Administrator, Gen SF Rodrigues, had inaugurated the state-of-the-art RLA office. 

Thanks to indifferent attitude of the UT officials, routine cases like annual maintenance contract of the hardware, regular supply of smart card used to print driving licence and registration documents, maintenance of coloured printer and centralised air-conditioning system are taking months for being cleared. 

The dates for issuing of registration certificates (RCs) and driving licenses (DLs) are being extended due to the non-functional printer. “The Secretary (Transport) and the Deputy Commissioner seldom visit the RLA office to get the firsthand information of the harassment being faced by the visitors,” said an official. 

The pendency of RCs and DLs is over 1,500 each. Due to the non-functional printer, the backlog is increasing. Every three months, a new series starts and as a result, the pendency further increases. “Visitors are forced to stand in the hall without a proper air-conditioning system. No official bothers about the harassment of the common man,” complained Ramesh Chander, who had come for the fifth time to enquire about his driving licence. 

Sources reveal that due to the lack of vision on part of officials, the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system that gives power backup to the highly temperature sensitive main server was not being maintained properly. “As the main server was shutdown, the link to the Sector 42 and the Industrial Area counter of the RLA was snapped. The server had to be shutdown as its air-conditioning system was not functional. The server and the printer are temperature sensitive system,” said an official. 

Sources reveal that the RLA used to have a five-year agreement with SPIC for the supply of hardware used in printing the documents. But for the past one year, the arrangement for the material was being made on a stopgap arrangement basis. Kavle V Parashuram, registering and licensing authority, said the problem had been rectified and the printer part had been ordered.



CTU goes smart, launches mobile phone application
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
For the commuters curious to know CTU bus routes plans, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking has tied-up a private firm to provide a mobile phone enabled service “ Chandigarh Bus Guide.

Applicable to the android-based smart phones, the software to run the application can be downloaded from Google Play by searching it with keywords like “Chandigarh bus guide”.

Though the application was launched on August 4, the CTU was seeking public reaction on the issue. So far, around 150 persons have used the application.

The application not only provides information on the local bus routes within the Tricity but also the fare charges, passes, helpline numbers, current announcements and other services offered by CTU.

On the homepage of the application, users can input their origin/destination locations (i.e. bus stop), and then click on the “Search” button to see the all the bus routes on those locations in between.

A “Map view” feature helps users to see the different bus stop locations in a route pinned on Google maps. Special Announcement section gives users updates on any new events or announcements related to the CTU.

Once the GPS system was made fully functional, the location of a specific bus would also be known.



PU suspends UIET student
Was facing charges of harassing, ragging first and second year students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Panjab University has suspended the third year student of University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) against whom a mass compliant for harassing and ragging was made by the first and second year students of the department. Although the charges of ragging could not be established, the university in their investigation found him guilty of harassing the students following which he has been suspended from the department and the hostel.

A compliant against Dharmendra Bishnoi, a third year student was made by the students alleging that he used to rag and threaten them. Students said that Bishnoi claimed he had links with a political family of Haryana.

Director UIET, Prof Renu Vig, said all the students who had complained against Bishnoi were asked to join the inquiry but only second year students appeared before the committee which established that his behaviour was inappropriate. "Bishnoi has been suspended from the department till the time his behavior improves," Vig said. She added that his parents would also be called to the university to discus the behaviour of their ward.

Sources said that during the investigation it emerged that Bishnoi's behaviour with the teachers in the department was also not good.

The department has decided that Bishnoi's suspension will only be revoked when the students who have complained against him give a positive feedback about his behaviour.

Bishnoi is a resident of Boys Hostel no VI on PU campus. A police complaint was also made against Bishnoi by Gaurav Chaudhary, a UIET student, who claimed be was beaten up by Bishnoi.

Hostel Warden Gaurav Gaur, when contacted, said that he is yet to receive the communication regarding Bishnoi's hostel suspension.



PTIs begin fast

Mohali, August 24
Members of the School PTIs’ Union began a fast outside the office of the DPI in Phase VIII here today in protest against the failure of the education department to issue appointment letters to them. President of the union, Navkirandeep Khatra, said that the government had selected 849 persons for vacant posts. Persons holding higher qualifications, like BPE, BPed, MPed, had not been considered. Later, in 2008 the High Court found them eligible.

He said the department then conducted counselling in July 2011 and prepared a joint merit list. In April this year the department gave an assurance that appointment letters would be issued within 2 months but nothing was done.



Varsity ill-prepared to deal with ragging menace
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The tall claims made by Panjab University before the beginning of academic session to curb ragging on the campus seems to have fallen flat. The university has failed to adopt measures to make the students aware about the issue. Most importantly, the university has failed to deploy additional security guards at hostel during the night. It has also not installed CCTV cameras at strategic locations.

PU in a press release sent to the media in July had assured that various measures, approved by Anti-Ragging Committee, would be taken by the office of Dean Student Welfare (DSW). The incident of UIET students complaining of ragging exposed the preparation and efforts made by the university to curb ragging.

Some of the measures the university proposed but never adopted include screening of documentaries on ragging in all the departments, and organising a candle light march. However, these never happened.

Even after a month after the classes began, there are many departments that have not held such introductory sessions to make students aware of the forms of ragging and its consequences.

The university had also claimed to install new CCTV cameras on campus by July 20 to check ragging. However, the cameras are yet not installed.

As claimed by the university, security at hostels during night hours has not been increased. There are not more then two security personnel deployed in the hostels during night.

Dean Student Welfare AS Ahluwalia, said that the university is organising freshers meet in all the hostels which is a part of introductory session for the students. “The wardens have been asked to be vigilant and senior students, including research scholars, have been asked to keep a close watch on ragging incidents,” said the DSW.



No outsiders allowed in girls hostels during freshers party
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
The Panjab University boys who earlier used to visit girls hostel during the hostel freshers won't be so fortunate this time. The university has decided not to allow entry to outsiders in girls hostel during the freshers party. Boys earlier used to enter the girls hostels on the pretext of meeting someone or for election campaigning. The function is scheduled to be held on August 26.

Freshers party are organised every year in all the hostels and is meant for the hostel residents. PU officials said that the boys in groups used to visit girl hostels during the freshers and attend the function. Now, if someone comes to meet a resident of the girls' hostels, the hosteler will have to come outside the hostel to meet him/her.

The student organisations of the university also visit the hostels during the occasion for campaigning as it is the best time for student leaders to meet all the hostel residents together. However, they would also have to meet hostelers outside the main gates.

The decision was taken by university in a meeting held recently with all the wardens. Special dinner, apart from various performances from students, and dance is organised during the function in all the girls hostels.

One of the hostel resident said that it is welcome step as it curbs the possibility of boys visiting the hostels and disturbing the function.

Meanwhile, the freshers in all the boys hostels will be held on August 25 in the afternoon.



Students stage protest at SBI fee counter
Say that staff shortage at the bank results in long queues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 24
Students held a protest at the Panjab University's SBI fee counter saying that the staff shortage at the counter leads to chaos, and demanded that their fee should be collected in the departments so that they don't have to stand in long queues at the fee counters.

Over fifty members of Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), led by Sukhjit Singh Brar, staged a protest outside the bank complaining shortage of staff led to long queues of students outside the bank. "Long queues have become a routine at the PU fee counters causing inconvenience to students," Brar said.

The students waiting to deposit the fee were mainly from the University School of Open Learning (USOL).

Students rued that authorities have been time and again ignoring the problems faced by students at the bank. "Only three counters out of five were functional which led to a chaotic situation at the bank," Brar said.

The protest was called off only after the assurance to open all the counters was given by the SBI officials who reached the spot to pacify the students.

Issuing a statement, the officials stated that the sudden rush at the SBI Fee Counter of Panjab University is attributed to the inflow of students coming to deposit fee. SBI officials claimed that the sudden rush to deposit fee was due to the two-day bank strike. They also advised the students to deposit the fee any State Bank of India branch close to their place of residence instead of coming all the way to Chandigarh for the purpose.



tgt teachers

The primary wing of ST John’s School presented a colourful cultural programme in the school premises in Sector 26. The students performed bhangra, koli, and Goan dance. At the end the principal Kavita Dass thanked teachers and staff members for making the programme a success.


A three-day workshop on “Human Values and Professional Ethics (HVPE)” was organised at the Doaba Group of Colleges, Kharar, in collaboration with Punjab Technical University. Dr Nachhatter Singh, adviser to Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Technical University, was the chief guest. Dr Nachhatter Singh, in his inaugural address, emphasised the importance of human values in all aspects of personal and professional life. PTU has, therefore, introduced a course on HVPE as part of the curriculum in all its professional programmes.

Awareness camp

Students of Desh Bhagat Institute of Nursing participated in "World Breast Feeding Week" organised by Civil Hospital, Fatehgarh Sahib, and Community Health Centre, Amloh. The programmes were held under the theme "Understanding the Past, Planning the Future" and aimed at creating mass awareness regarding the importance of mother's milk for the baby. Dr Jagpal Singh, Civil Surgeon, Fatehgarh Sahib, highlighted the benefits of breast feeding in the growth and development of the child.

Urja diwas celebrated

Akshay Urja Diwas was celebrated in the school by the students of class VI to XII with great enthusiasm. About 200 students of the school participated in the function. Amrik Singh Mohali, organising secretary, SAD, was the chief guest of the function and Jaswinder Singh Nayyar, District Education Officer (Elementary), Mohali, was the guest of honour. Randhir Singh, District Manager, Punjab Energy Development Authority (PEDA), was the key speaker of the function. In his lecture, he said that everyone should switch over to solar energy.

Fashion week

Anee’s School, Kharar, celebrated ‘World Fashion Day’ by organising “Walk the Ramp Competition”. Students in beautifully attires showcased a blend of modern and traditional outfits.

Dental camp

Over 350 students of Government High School, Sector 17, Panchkula, got free dental check-up done at a camp organised by the Rotaract Club of Chandigarh Shivalik. The students were examined by a team of 14 doctors from the BRS Dental College, Barwala, led by Dr Vimal Kalia. A team of Rotaractors, led by their president Pavail Garg, explained to the students about importance of hygiene and the correct way to brush teeth.

Tribune Reporters



Promotion issue gains momentum
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service,

Chandigarh, August 24
The much-delayed issue of promotion of Trained Graduate Teachers (TGT) to the post of lecturer is getting some momentum after the UT education department took it up afresh recently.

As per the information, following the promotion policy on seniority basis, the eligible teachers due for promotion in the cadre have already submitted their cases to the concerned department along with their last five years’ Annual Confidential Report (ACR) and other necessary documents.

Sources inform that all these cases are currently being compiled at the office of DPI (Schools) and are under consideration. More than 200 TGT teachers are expected to be covered under this ‘anticipated’ promotion.

A TGT teacher said that the UT administration must act this time since the promotion issue has been lingering on for over 20 years. “Many of our colleagues on deputation to Punjab and Haryana have reached the principal cadre, but we have not moved even one step either in our pay scale or promotion," he said

A teacher who is to retire next year, rued that more than 50% TGT teachers who joined the department in the 80s have either retired or are soon to retire without any promotion.

“The promotion of TGT teachers is pending since 1993 and this is reason for the current situation," said president of Govt. Teacher Union (GTU), Dr Vinod Sharma. He informed that while promotions did take place in other cadres, status quo has been maintained as far as the issue of promotion of TGT cadre is concerned. The matter has also been under the legal scanner. The major problem, as he said, is that the promotion issue remained neglected over the years because of the frequent changes of higher officials in the education department. “We have however got a favourable assurance from our current DPI (Schools)," he said. DPI (Schools) Upkar Singh, when contacted, said that this issue was certainly under consideration but any assurance could not be given before the issue reaches its final conclusion.


Shortage of lecturers

As the promotion as well as fresh recruitment of lecturers is pending for the last many years, several government senior secondary schools in Chandigarh have been facing acute shortage of lecturers. In some schools, JBT teachers have been appointed to teach class XI and XII students.



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