C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Security guard stabbed at GMCH
Tribune News Service

Accused Balwinder Singh.
Accused Balwinder Singh. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, August 30
Infuriated over being questioned at the entry of the Emergency at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, a patient’s attendant today stabbed a security guard.

The incident took place around 11 am when Balwinder Singh allegedly attacked 28-year-old Jasmail Singh with a knife. He was rushed to the operation theatre.

Jasmail received five stitches on his left arm. A case has been registered against Balwinder Singh for causing hurt with dangerous weapons and criminal intimidation.

An official of the hospital said that Balwinder, who had visited the hospital to see a patient in the ICU yesterday, had threatened Jasmail of dire consequences and he deliberately carried a knife for the purpose today.

“Balwinder works in an insurance company. We have recorded statements of the hospital staff. They said Balwinder had also misbehaved with doctors at the ICU yesterday,” said a police official.

A senior official from the hospital said: “It is an unfortunate incident and the only solution here is to set up a police post near the Emergency to keep a vigil on such elements.”

Jasmail said he had asked the name of the patient from Balwinder. “He tried to stab me in the stomach, but I ducked and received injury below my left shoulder,” he said. 






Minister’s car runs over cop’s foot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
A Chandigarh Police head constable was injured after the driver of a Punjab minister tried to run his car over him objecting to being challaned for no parking at the Chandigarh airport.

The incident took place around 2.30 pm when the convoy of a Punjab minister reached the airport. Head constable Fakir Chand requested his Punjab Police counterparts to move the vehicle parked in a no-parking zone to another spot as it was obstructing the flow of traffic. However, the driver, Iqbal Singh, attached to the minister ran the car over his foot. Head constable Fakir Chand reported to his seniors that the act was deliberate after he pasted a sticker on the car for no parking. A scuffle ensued between the driver of the car and the head constable as the latter objected to the challan.

The constable was injured and was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital where he was discharged after first aid. In an attempt to cover up the incident, inspector Jaspal Singh, SHO, Sector 31 police station, said they had not received a complaint and no case had been registered.  



Absconding builder held
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 30
The police has arrested builder Jeevan Garg and his son Prince Garg, accused of cheating investors of crores of rupees, from the Delhi airport late last night.
Both Jeevan Garg and his son were produced in a Dera Bassi court today and were sent to one-day police custody.

The Gargs, however, claimed that they were coming back from Dubai to surrender. “We were coming to Zirakpur to surrender and we had also informed our council about this,” said Jeevan Garg. Garg said he and his family had gone to Dubai.

Jeevan Garg, his son Prince Garg and other family members were absconding since May 1, leaving about six housing projects, including Royal Empire, Royal Minar, Balaji Towers and Royal Apartments, incomplete. Over 15 different cases of cheating and forgery have been registered against Jeevan, Prince, his brother Pawan Garg and his nephew Rohit Garg at the Zirakpur police station.

Hundreds of investors had alleged that the builder had duped them of their hard-earned money as they did not get the possession of their flats despite making full payment. The police had arrested Jeevan Garg’s father Satish Garg, his brother Atmaram and manager Dhirender Negi in May.

The police had also booked two officials of Indian Overseas Bank, including a manager, for allegedly favouring Jeewan Garg by foregoing certain formalities while giving him a loan of Rs 10 crore in one go. The accused were identified as Asini Bhateja, branch manager, and PK Bansal, another official of the bank.

Besides, some property dealers, including Sunit Garg and Pardip Goyal, were also booked. The police had seized several items, including Garg’s swanky cars worth crores of rupees from his house. 

Investors will get flats or their money back

Jeevan Garg claimed that he would either return the money to the investors or give possession of flats by completing his projects. “I was forced to flee from here as several investors had stopped their instalments. As I had taken huge loans on higher interests from the market, I was unable to maintain my money circle. This forced me to flee, leaving my projects incomplete,” claimed Garg. 



Fake IPS officer arrested
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 30
A fake Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and three others were nabbed by the Panchkula police on Thursday evening, who allegedly used to extort money from people.

The accused, Aman (35), is a resident of Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula. He was active in the town in his a red beacon car and a gunman with a fake AK 47. The police has also recovered a pistol from his possession.

Following a tip-off from the CID, the police laid a 'naka' near Ramgarh and nabbed the accused.

"The accused belongs to Mansa Devi Complex and was operating in Panchkula. It was after a tip-off from the CID that he and his accomplices were taken into 
custody," said ACP Dheeraj Setia.

"We received a tip-off that the accused was extorting money from people promising them a job. He has a driver, a gunman with a fake AK47," said a senior officer.

He added: "We laid a naka near Ramgarh and his car was stopped. We asked him to come out. He said he was the Superintendent of Police (SP). He said we don't have manners to talk to seniors."



ATM fraud: City resident loses Rs 60,000 
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

The victim, Vijender Singh, shows his ATM card and a copy of the complaint.
The victim, Vijender Singh, shows his ATM card and a copy of the complaint.

Chandigarh, August 30
In yet another case of ATM fraud, a city resident has been duped of his hard-earned money by fraudsters who siphoned off Rs 60,000 from his account without his knowledge.

Dr Vijender Singh Beniwal, general manager (research and development) with Health Biotech in Sector 34, was shocked to learn that six transactions were carried out using his SBI ATM card in Mumbai on August 26.

“It was shocking that I did not receive an SMS alert of the transactions. Moreover, my daily transaction limit is Rs 40,000 while the fraudsters have debited Rs 60,000 using my cloned card in a day. I have lost my entire salary to card cloning and there is no response either from the bank or the police where I have lodged my complaint,” said Dr Vijender, who has salary account with the SBI in Sector 34.

“I last used my card on August 24 and have also made two online transactions. I booked a railway ticket and also used it for online shopping once this month. Rs 60,000 were withdrawn in six transactions through different ATMs in Mumbai on a single day. Three transactions are of a Canara Bank ATM in Mumbai while other transactions are from an ATM in Thana, Mumbai, at a time when I was in Chandigarh and the card was with me,” he said.

Dr Vijender has lodged a complaint with the public window of the police headquarters in Sector 9.

Last week too, two PU employees, including a clerk and a security guard, had lost over Rs 70,000 to ATM frauds. They also have their account with the SBI.

Interestingly, all the recent complaints with the Chandigarh police of ATM frauds are of those who have their bank accounts with the SBI branches. 

Another cloning:Police registers case 

Acting swiftly on the complaint of an advocate, the Sector 19 police has registered a case under the IT Act. Advocate, Kumar Dikshep alleged that two transactions were carried out by cloning his ATM card. He alleged the accused withdrew Rs 15,000 and 5,000 from his account on August 25. He has last used his ATM card at a petrol pump in Sector 21. 


Acquisition of land for Phase III of the Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park  
UT ignored laws: Farmers to SC
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, August 30
The farmers whose land was acquired for the third phase of the Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park near the Sukhna Lake Wildlife Sanctuary today contended in the Supreme Court that the Chandigarh Administration had given a goby to all legal provisions while depriving them of their land.

Arguing before a Bench comprising Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya, senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi and Shekhar Naphade said the Centre and the UT Administration had failed to conduct the mandatory environment impact assessment for the project despite the fact that the 272 acres of land meant for the third phase was part of the greenbelt and reserve forests, besides being close to the eco-sensitive lake.

Further, the Collector and the Finance Secretary had endorsed the acquisitions merely on the basis of the land acquisition officer’s report, ignoring the objections raised by the farmers. Further inquiry was a pre-requisite under the Land Acquisition Act, they pointed out during the day-long arguments.

Even the Punjab and Haryana High Court had, while rejecting the farmers’ objections, depended only on the government’s declaration that the acquisition was for the “public purposes” of setting up the park, expansion of Chandigarh town and urban development. The HC had also ignored the legal lacunae in the acquisitions, they said.

There was no need for a third phase as most of the land acquired for the first two phases remained unutilized with not many IT companies coming forward to set up their offices in the city, they contended.

Further, only a negligible part of the acquired land for the first two phases had been given to IT companies, while a large chunk of it had been handed over to builders for construction of residential premises, the farmers averred.

IT major Wipro had already closed down its operations in the park and surrendered 30 acres of land, while another company had returned eight acres. In view of this, there was no justification for launching the third phase.

The extension work of the park could have been undertaken by acquiring land in Shastri Nagar spread over a five sq km area without touching the green belt, the farmers said. The administration had deliberately allowed slums to come up in Shastri Nagar, they contended. The arguments would continue next week.



Accident victim’s leg to be amputated
Ritika Jha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Like every other day, he started for home on his moped after closing his shop on Wednesday night. Little did he know that he would wake up to the inability to even walk freely ever.

The 35-year-old Kajehri resident, Santosh Kumar, who was hit by a speeding SUV last night, will now have to undergo amputation. He was rushed to the PGIMER late at night after receiving grievous injury on one of his legs.

“After examining his condition over the night, doctors today said it was difficult to save his leg. The patient will be sent for surgery after a few hours,” said a PGI official.

Santosh, the only breadwinner in his family, has been working as a tailor, operating from a small shop in Sector 27. “The incident has added to the woes of his family," said Santosh’s relative who had come to see him from Kanpur.

“He usually leaves at 8 pm and reaches within 30 minutes. Yesterday, he had to stay back as he had some work. He did not even inform us before leaving. We kept ringing at his mobile phone for over an hour. Then a policeman called up saying he had been taken to the PGI,” said his wife, sobbing.

The accident occurred at around 9.30 pm when an SUV, said to be driven by a gunman of a minister, hit a car, moped, cycle and an ice-cream vendor before hitting an electricity pole near Sectors 33 and 34 leaving four persons injured.

The police said Toyota Fortuner (PIM 1), reportedly belonging to a close relative of a senior politician of Punjab hit a moped, Maruti car, which was being driven by Rohit. The car then hit a cyclist, Ranbir Singh, and Mukesh, an ice-cream vendor. 

Driver booked for negligence

The police has arrested the driver, Bittu, in a case of rash and negligent driving. He was later released on bail. The driver told the police that he had lost control over the vehicle.



Getting RC, driving licence a Herculean task
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Procuring the registration document (RC) of a new vehicle or getting driving licence (DL) renewed has become a Herculean task at the UT’s Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) office in Sector 17 and it sub-offices in Sector 42 and Industrial Area, Phase 1, here.

“Set up for the convenience of document seekers, going to get ones papers has become a nightmare”, said Jatinder Singh, a resident of Sector 19, who has been struggling to get a RC of his car for the last five months. “Yesterday, when I visited the RLA office in the Industrial Area, I was told to come in October. The staff at the office refuses to give any satisfactory reply for the delay”, he said.

In routine, the RC that should have been issued in a week’s time, but took six months for Paramjit Singh, another city resident, to get the RC of his car issued. The same situation exists at the Sector 17 RLA office as the dates for issuing the documents is being extended up to six months.

The reason being, that a vital part in the coloured printer needs urgent replacement and the Society for Promotion of IT (SPIC) has not been able to arrange the part from Mumbai. “Since that particular part developed a snag due to voltage fluctuation few days ago, the printing machine came to a standstill. The pendency of documents was running in hundreds”, said officials in the RLA.

Going by rough estimates, the backlog of documents has touched 1,500. Due to non-functional printer, the backlog is increasing. Every three months a new series starts and as a result the pendency further increases.

“The cash-rich UT’s Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) that collects Rs 70 crore as road tax and earns lakhs of rupee from auction of fancy numbers has fallen on bad days. Still, the officials are taking the issue casually”, said Amarpal Singh, who has been visiting the RLA to get his DL renewed.

The officials need to take a look at various issues concerning the RLA as hundreds of persons are being harassed every day.

Going by the past experiences, the printing of smart RC and DL cards through SPIC has always been a problem, the Chandigarh Administration was now going to prvatise the job of printing the RCs and DLs. If this is done then, there would be better accountability and efficiency, feel officials. 

What has gone wrong at RLA

A vital part in the coloured printer needs urgent replacement and the Society for Promotion of IT (SPIC) has not been able to arrange the part from Mumbai. Since that particular part developed a snag due to voltage fluctuation few days ago, the printing machine came to a stand still. The pendency of documents was running in hundreds.


Ignoring the rate list approved by the SDM (South), the typists were charging Rs 20 per page against the approved Rs 4 and the notary Rs 30 per document against the Rs 10 approved and prominently displayed on a large hoarding erected behind them.

Choas at Sector 42 office

After facing harassment for the three consecutive days last week, documents seekers on visiting the office on Thursday were shocked to know that there was no staff available at the RLA office in Sector 42 Sports Complex to scrutinise their documents and accept their fee when the windows opened at 9 am. The reason that was given to them was that the RLA staff had been transferred overnight and it would take time for new staff to join the office. When the vehicle owners protested, a window assistant took his seat at around 9.30 am and the work began. 



Decomposed body of student found at Dhanas

Chandigarh, August 30
A day after a decomposed body was found in Dhanas, the body was identified as that of 20-year-old Rabi, a BA-second year student of Government College, Sector 11.

The student, who hails from Manipur, had gone missing from his home on August 25 and his brother had lodged a missing report in the Sector 11 police station this morning following which the body was identified.

The police is investigating the cause behind the mysterious death and said preliminary investigations revealed that the victim died of drug overdose as his family told them that the victim was a die-hard junkie.

The post mortem of the body will be conducted tomorrow as the police is waiting for the victim’s parents to arrive from Manipur. A board of doctors has been constituted to conduct the postmortem to ascertain the cause of death. Rabi was staying at a rented house in Khuda Lahora with his elder brother, P Ranjan who is a student of DAV College, Sector 10.

Ranjan said that Rabi had left his room on August 25 morning. He later returned and was tense. He had left home abruptly. Later, he failed to return to the rented room and remained missing. His body was yesterday recovered from Dhanas and his limbs were missing as wild animals had eaten parts of his body. The police recovered a wallet, which contained an envelope, Rs 150 cash, and passport size photographs. There were some admission fee slips but his laptop is missing.

Inspector Gurmukh Singh, SHO, Sector 11 police station, said that the student last attended college on August 14 and used to remain missing for days together. “His brother has not suspected anyone behind the death. His brother said that Rabi was always under the influence of drugs,” he said. — TNS



Rain pours more trouble on City Beautiful
Tribune News Service

Vehicles wade through the flooded Madhya Marg in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Vehicles wade through the flooded Madhya Marg in Chandigarh on Thursday. 

Chandigarh, August 30
Roads and parking lots became small rivulets and several open spaces and parking lots transformed into small lakes after 5.7 mm rainfall hit the city this afternoon.
Most of the city streets were submerged in water and residents had tough time driving their vehicles through the knee-deep water. Huge pot holes, caved-in portions and signs of “patchy” repair works bore testimony to the havoc wrecked on the roads.

Rain water entered the Sector 19 parking lot and the shops causing problems to the shopkeepers. Even the Madhya Marg, which normally remains clear of water, was flooded. Water had accumulated around the road berms, while roundabouts mirrored the sorry state of affairs of the drainage system of the city.

Slow carriageways along the Madhya Marg as well as parking lots outside showrooms on the road were full of water. The Sector 7,19,26 and 27 roundabout was heavily flooded.

Roads as well as open spaces in many sectors, particularly in the city’s southern parts, were inundated. Water also accumulated in the parking areas adjoining markets and shopping centres, particularly Sector 20.

Water flooded on streets became a traffic hazard. Rickshaw pullers and cyclists, preferred to ply on the middle of the undivided roads where the water was less than at the edges, adding to the woes of the scooter and four-wheeler drivers.

Many cars and autos stalled midway due to high-water level at many places. People were seen pushing their vehicles to some safe corner and waiting for the water level to come down. Hawkers, rickshaw-pullers and cyclists went off the road due to the heavy rain, while bus shelters and market corridors were crowded with commuters seeking shelters from the pouring rain.



SASE accredited with ISO systems 
ISO 9001 was established by a committee in Europe to help set quality measurement 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
The Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE) here has been awarded the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems (QMS) certification by the Directorate of Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) in the Department of Information Technology.

The QMS certificate was presented to SASE's Director, Ashwagosha Ganju, by NE Prasad, Director General, STQC. GC Saxena, chief executive officer, certification services, STQC as well as scientists and staff members of SASE were present on the occasion. 

ISO 9001 was established by a committee in Europe to help set quality measurement standards.SASE, a laboratory under the Defence Research and Development Organisation, is engaged in the study of snow physics, high altitude weather phenomenon and forecast and mitigation of avalanches. 

It has extensively surveyed and mapped avalanche prone areas in the Himalayas, as well as developed avalanche control structures that have helped in the safe movement of troops. The scope of QMS at SASE is "Research and Development of technologies for mitigation of Cryospheric hazards."

Ashwagosha Ganju said the efficiency and effectiveness of the establishment is enhanced by establishing a process based approach. He emphasised the need for research institutions to get QMS certification. It helped to make the system independent and transparent with emphasis on procedural correctness and timeliness, he said.

All DRDO laboratories have been directed to attain ISO 9001 accreditation. So far 23 of the 50 laboratories have been awarded with this certification.



UT Estate Office issues notices to lessees
Property bought prior to 2007
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Buyers of commercial property in the city are on tenterhooks. As part of its drive to recover service tax from lessees of commercial tax, the UT Estate Office has issued recovery notices to lessees who had bought property prior to 2007.

As per the guidelines of the service tax division of the Central Excise, all the lessees of commercial property auctioned since July 1, 2007, are bound to pay service tax at a rate of 12.36 per cent per annum on the lease money/ground rent charged by the UT Estate Office. Many such lessees who had bought property prior to 2007 have been issued such notices, said sources in the estate office.

Officials in the estate office said a number of persons had been issued notices on the issue of recovery of service tax from the lessees of commercial tax running into crores. The central excise department has been pressing upon the UT Estate Office to recover the dues.

As per the notification of the Centre, owners of the leasehold commercial properties auctioned by the UT Estate Office and those who have converted industrial sites into commercial, are also being issued recovery notices.

On the leasehold properties auctioned in the city, the lease money is charged for a period of 99 years from the lessees.

In cases where the property owners who have got their sites converted from industrial into commercial under the UT’s conversion policy, those who have got their residential sites converted into nursing homes, those who have paid earnest money on lease hold commercial plots and those who have paid transfer fee for transfer of leasehold properties, they are being asked to pay the service tax.



‘Dasti’ notices issued to NHAI, Himalayan expressway
The toll plaza rates were set to increase from September 1
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 30
In an important development in the Chandimandir toll plaza rates that were to be increased from September1, the court has issued urgent “dasti” notices to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Himalayan Expressway Limited. It was after a Panchkula-based couple filed a complaint before the district consumer disputes redressal forum alleging that the rates could be revised only annually that this action was taken.

The rates are proposed to be increased by around 10 per cent with effect from September 1, 2012.

Pankaj Chandgothia and Sangeeta Chandgothia, a Panchkula-based couple, filed a complaint alleging therein that the charging of fees at the Toll Plaza was governed by the "National Highways Fee (determination of rates and collection) Rules, 2008, framed under the National Highways Act, 1956. Under Section 5 of the Act, It was stated that the rate of the fee could be revised only annually in April each year.

Chandgothias’ contended that the Chandimandir Toll Plaza started operation only in April, 2011, and therefore it could revise rates only in April next year and any revision in rates from, September, just after six months would be illegal and violate the Highways Act.

Pankaj also said that the authority was illegally charging Rs 100 for issuing the radio frequency identification (RFID TAG). They own two cars, one Ford Figo and another Bolero, for which they had been issued a local tag for a period of six months at the price of Rs 900 each car. The RFID tags were being issued by the highway authroities since July, 2012.

The complainant also went to take the RFID tag for its Bolero vehicle, but the officials asked them to pay Rs 100 for issuing the RFID tag. The complainants said that they already had the paid card and the RFID Tag should be issued free-of cost as per rules. But the company official insisted on payment of Rs 100 and also got a form signed from the complainant on the pretext of choice of tag option.

Sangeeta had to take the magnetic card of six-month validity for her new car. The authorities again charged an additional Rs 100 for the RFID tag and also Rs. 100 as administrative charges.

The charging of Administrative fee of Rs 100 and another Rs100 for the RFID tag is prohibited under the relevant rules of the National Highways Fee Rules, 2008. Even otherwise, the RFID tag itself has an endorsement saying that it “is never sold”.

Pankaj contended that Section 6, sub-section 3 of the Act and rules provided that no additional charges could be realised for making the payment of fee by the use of a smart card or on board unit (transponder) or any other such device.




Mehak case transferred to state crime branch
Tribune news service

Panchkula, August 30
In a significant development, the Mehak Garg case has been transferred to the state crime branch by the DGP here today. Now, further investigations in the case would be conducted by the crime branch to find whether it was a suicide or a murder. The case has been transferred to the crime branch as parents of the deceased continuously raised doubts over the Panchkula Police's role in the case. They alleged that the police was favouring Mehak's in-laws.

Meanwhile, the victim's husband, Sandeep Garg, who was presented in the court after the completion of his two-day remand in police custody, has been sent to judicial custody.

Mehak Garg had allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself with a ceiling fan at her in-laws residence in Sector 16 a few days ago. Her parents have been alleging that their daughter was murdered by her in-laws. "In the post-mortem report, traces of poison were found in her body," claimed a senior police official, requesting anonymity. The family had also alleged that police was putting pressure on them to strike a compromise.

Luxmi Chand, SHO of Sector 14 Police Station, said that the police have recovered the scissor which was used to cut the duppatta with which she was found hanging. 



MC officials in a fix
Say yet to get directions to stall construction work
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
With the cancellation of the day market project at Mauli Jagran, the municipal corporation officials are left wondering whether they should stop the construction work.
The decision was taken during the General House yesterday.

Till the MC authorities are directed by the UT Administration to scrap the project, the corporation cannot issue directions to the contractor concerned to stop the ongoing work which will result in financial losses.

Records of the corporation revealed that after the allotment of work in 2011, of the 65 lakh budget, the contractor had already spent Rs 21 lakh on the construction of 136 temporary sheds of the day market and nearly 40 per cent of the work had been completed. The MC officials in the meeting had revealed that Rs 5 lakh had already been paid to the contractor.

In the meeting held yesterday, the ruling party had decided that the construction work should be stopped till the authorities framed a policy regarding its allotment. As per procedure, the minutes of all decisions taken in the House are approved in the next meeting and then sent to the UT Administration for an approval after which the decisions are implemented.

When contacted, MC Commissioner VP Singh said the authorities would ask the contractor to discontinue the work till a final decision was taken on the issue.

A senior official said it was strange that the project had been cancelled by the councillors on the plea that there was no policy for its allotment, but opined that for such day markets the authorities could adopt norms which they were following for apni mandi. The official said the temporary sheds could be given on an hourly basis like apni mandi to vendors.

Meanwhile, BJP ex-area councillor Anil Dubey said he along with the vendors would meet the UT Adviser and Home Secretary tomorrow to apprise him of the issue and the unfair decision of the corporation at the behest of the senior Congress leaders.



Notice to 600 encroachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and Nayagaon Notified Area Committee have issued notices to more than 600 encroachers for constructing unauthorised houses and buildings on Patiala ki Rao.

GMADA has issued124 notices; the remaining have been issued by the Notified Area Committee, the Punjab and Haryana High Court was told this morning during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by a local resident.

Taking up the matter, the High Court directed the Mohali Deputy Commissioner and GMADA Additional Administrator to demarcate land on Patiala ki Rao and submit a status report.

Acting on the petition alleging illegal construction and encroachment in and around Patiala ki rao, the High Court in May had stayed construction in the vicinity of the rivulet in Kharar.

The petitioner had sought directions to the authorities concerned to remove encroachments from the seasonal rivulet passing through Nada, Nayagaon and Karoran villages in Kharar, Mohali district.

The petitioner sought action against those encroaching upon the rivulet by carving out illegal colony and plots and raising constructions.

The petitioner had submitted that the illegal constructions had blocked the natural course of the rivulet and had also raised stone crate wall to divert and change the natural course of the rivulet. By doing so, they had converted the rivulet into a drain.

The petition alleged that some influential persons and the land mafia active in the area had carved out illegal colony and plots by removing and levelling a hillock in violation of a notification. As per the notification dated August 13, 2010, the land was de-listed with a condition that the state government should ensure no commercial activity.

"However, the influential persons and the land mafia has carved out illegal colony/plots wherein houses are being constructed illegally and have also carved out illegal colony/plots on forest land and has not been de-listed, in Nada village," the petition read.



Rs 1.17 crore Pinjore MC scam 
Former MC president held
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 30
Former Pinjore MC president Kuldeep Singh Kikka was arrested by a team of Haryana vigilance for his involvement in the Rs 1.17 crore Pinjore MC scam today. He was produced in the court which sent him to a police remand till September 1.

Jagmohan, another accused, was arrested on August 5. Apart from arresting two contractors and one clerk, the department has also arrested five former councillors of Pinjore in this connection so far. The sanitation contractor, Mohan Lal, who was arrested on February 2, 2012, has managed to get bail from the court.

On June 14, two former councillors, Amar Chand Dhiman and Maya Devi, were also nabbed.

The Pinjore MC had given the contract of removing debris after demolition of shops in Pinjore to Mohan Lal in 2008-2009 without following a proper procedure on false quotations. A total of Rs 9.49 lakh was embezzled, the vigilance report had stated, while adding that the shopkeepers had to remove the debris themselves.

A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act and relevant sections of the IPC was registered against Hargu Lal, MC clerk, Kashmiri Lal Bansal, secretary, Rajendra Wadhwa, accountant; Kuldeep Singh, president, Mohan Lal, contractor, councillors Maya Devi, Suman Bhandar, Lajpat Rai, Arvind Sharma, Jagmohan Dhiman, Chiner Pal, Avinash Kaur, Sanjeev Kumar and Nirmala Devi.

The accused had allegedly siphoned off the money on the pretext of manufacturing iron covers for drains, clearing debris, cleaning of underground septic tanks and putting up traffic light points.

In the second case, instead of Rs 10,000, a contract of Rs 6.92 lakh was awarded to Lal without any tender or advertisement for the cleaning of five safety tanks. Also, no tender was called for awarding contract for iron sieve grills over the drains in the Pinjore MC wards in 2008-09. Another contract for putting up traffic lights at the T-point in Pinjore bus stand in 2007-08 was given to an unauthorised dealer Kamal Bhatia of Kalka.



Kin allege negligence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Following the death of a teenager at Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, this morning, the deceased's family members, alleging negligence on the part of the hospital authorities, created a ruckus outside the emergency ward of the hospital.

The victim, 18-year-old Parvez, was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday after he complained of severe pain in the abdomen. He died at 7.30 am today. His family members alleged that while he kept asking for water, doctors did not let him drink water and “he died of thirst”.

Parvez’s elder sister Tammana said, “Instead of giving him water, the doctors said a tube would have to be inserted in his body.”

Refuting the allegations, Medical Superintendent Dr Rajiv Vadera said, “The youth suffered from sub acute intestinal obstruction and we needed to reduce the gastric juices from his abdomen. In that situation, water could not be given to the patient.”

An inquiry has been marked into the matter, however, the family refused to send the body for an autopsy.

“We have already marked an inquiry and the report will be available within seven days. Dr Manvinder from the department of general surgery, Dr Naresh Sharma, physician, and Dr Mandeep, emergency medical officer, attended to the patient throughout the night,” said Dr Vadera.

The victim was a resident of Nayagaon where he worked at a cycle repair shop.



PU, city colleges to go to polls on September 7
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
The countdown to the student council elections at Panjab University has begun with the university, finally, announcing September 7 as the date for polls today evening. After much delay, the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) got a communication from the UT Administration, giving its node to the date proposed by the Panjab University authorities.

Ending the long wait of student organisations, the announcement was made late evening; though, the copies of Lyngdoh Committee recommendations will be handed over to all the student parties on Friday.

The elections to various student bodies in the PU-affiliated colleges in Chandigarh as well as in the department of evening studies at PU will be conducted on the same day, i.e. September 7.

DSW Prof AS Ahluwalia said with the announcement of the elections, the code of conduct has been implemented. The schedule of filing nomination papers, objections and withdrawals were also released by the university. While filing nominations, students need to furnish their original matriculation and higher secondary certificates for the verification of their date of birth.

Election schedule

  • September 3: Filing of nominations, scrutiny of documents, display of the list of candidates, filing of objections.
  • September 4: List of approved candidates, withdrawals, display of final list of candidates
  • September 7: Elections to be held 10am onwards.



Campaigning intensifies on the campus
Tribune News Service

The Panjab University Students’ Union leaders visit lecture halls during canvassing at the University Institute of Legal Studies in Panjab University on Thursday.
The Panjab University Students’ Union leaders visit lecture halls during canvassing at the University Institute of Legal Studies in Panjab University on Thursday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, August 30
With the announcement of date for the elections to the Panjab University Campus Students' Council (PUCSC), student organisations have increased their efforts to woo the students. Although, the university made a formal announcement about the date in the evening, the parties came to know about the development by the afternoon.

As soon as the news about the scheduled date spread, all parties kicked-off their hectic schedule of campaigning by calling party meetings and visiting hostels to ensure support.

In order to garner support, leaders of different campus organisations were seen in hurry to meet the party workers. Even in girls' hostels, efforts were being made to consolidate the vote bank. Almost all party leaders from different organisations, along with supporters, reached girls' hostels to meet the students.

Hostellers' support has always proved crucial for student organisations in the past. Amid the rising political activity, the police force has been deployed on the university campus to keep a check on the parties.


Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations

  • Candidate contesting elections must be a regular student.
  • Candidate should have a minimum of 75 per cent attendance.
  • Candidate should not have any academic arrears in the year of contesting.
  • Candidate should not have any criminal record.
  • Maximum expenditure per candidate shall be Rs 5,000.
  • In case of any excessive expenditure, the candidature will be nullified.

Code of Conduct

  • No student organisation will paste printed material on any wall, building, trees, poles or roads on the campus.
  • Only campus students will participate in campaigning.
  • Heavy vehicles, will not be allowed during elections.
  • No loudspeakers will be used during the election campaign and no procession with jeeps and cars will be taken out.
  • Student Organisations may only utilise hand-made posters.



Rival party supporters clash at UIET
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Increasing tension at Panjab University’s south campus in Sector 25 that houses the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, a clash between supporters of Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) almost became violent here today.

Hundreds of supporters associated with the two rival groups came outside the department and started raising slogans. The situation went out of control when the students, while abusing each other, challenged their rivals for a fight despite the presence of police force on the campus.

The leaders of both the parties were also present in the department at the time of the incident.

This is the fourth such incident reported at the UIET. Earlier on August 21, around eight students including SOPU and PUSU leaders were arrested by the Chandigarh Police under preventive measures to avoid a clash between both the parties.

SOPU leader Manoj Lubana and one of his supporters were also detained by the police following the incident. Lubana was later released.



Student organisations arrange trips, parties to woo voters
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
When it comes to winning elections, the student parties on the Panjab University campus can go to any extent to garner votes. As student council elections are just around the corner, students are being taken on tours to hill stations besides freshers' parties at local discotheques. A busload of students went to Kasauli on a trip today. It was sponsored by one of the student organisations of PU. Besides, the students were also offered meals free of cost.

Similarly, a trip to Anandpur Sahib was also organised by one of the parties for the students of University Institute of Applied Management and Sciences. One of the student leaders said as the elections were approaching, the students would be offered food coupons and movie tickets in a bid to ensure their support.

"The students studying in undergraduate courses get lured very easily and seek such favours to cast their vote to a particular party. All the student organisations offer freebies to woo these students," a student leader said.

The trend of offering freebies to the students is the direct violation of Lyngdoh Committee's recommendations, which had stated that expenditure of an election candidate should not exceed Rs 5,000. With no check on the parties, the practise is being adopted by almost all the student organisations to woo the students.



PUSU releases 3-point agenda
Students feel many issues left out by party leaders
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
It seems Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) has fallen short of promises made before the student council elections, as only a three-point agenda has been issued this year. The agenda released by PUSU president Sukhjit Singh Brar includes getting an approval for construction of new hostels on the campus, upgradation of laboratories and workshops in various departments and a monthly interaction with students at the department level as well as the hostel level for redressal of grievances.

Mehar Singh, a student, said the agenda with only three promises had disappointed him as there were many issues which needed to be taken-up including better quality of food in hostels, and a stipend for research scholars on par with students of Jawaharlal Nehru University,
New Delhi.

Shifali, another PU student, said guaranteed campus placements in departments including humanities should have been the main agenda of the party. “Every student desires of a campus placement which has not been made possible in the absence of a regular coordinator for the central placement cell of the university,” she said.

Talking to this correspondent, students also put forward other demands that should be a part of the election agenda of student parties. These included a lesser fee in self-financed courses, new books at the library, and a shuttle-bus service for students on the campus.

Defending the party’s decision, PUSU leader Sumit Goklaney said the three points mentioned were the main agendas of the party and there would be many other issues that would be taken-up by the party once it won the student election.

Goklaney said the non-availability of hostel facility was the major problem faced on the PU campus with hundreds of students denied a hostel seat every year. “There is a shortage of hostels on the campus. We would try to add-on to the number of hostels. This issue has been appreciated by almost every student on the campus,”
he said.

Promises made

  • Getting an approval for construction of new hostels on the campus
  • Upgradation of laboratories and workshops in various departments
  • Monthly interaction with students at the department level as well as the hostel level for redressal of grievances



Canvassing gets impetus

Chandigarh, August 30
With the Central Government lifting the ban on bulk messages, the student parties at Panjab University have once again started sending SMSes to the students and party supporters in a bid to garner maximum support for the upcoming elections.

The Telecom Ministry, on the direction of the Home Ministry, had imposed the ban for 15 days on August 17.

The lifting of the ban has given a major relief to all the leaders and members of student organisations who were finding it tough to communicate with the students.

The Student Organization of Panjab University (SOPU) president Manoj Lubana said the ban on bulk SMSes was affecting their campaigning.

The Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) leader Sumit Gokhlaney said: “We generally send bulk SMSes to the supporters for party meetings. The ban had affected this communication,” he said.




China’s rising clout: Mandarin to be offered in CBSE-affiliated schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
China’s influence is no longer limited to Indian trade and platter. It has made its way to our education system too. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced Mandarin, the most widely spoken Chinese dialect, in the list of foreign languages being offered at its affiliated schools from this academic session.

At present, the CBSE has been offering around 10 foreign languages. Many schools in the city have been teaching French, German and other languages in order to cater to the diverse needs of students in the globalised world.

As per the latest CBSE circular, the board has decided to offer Mandarin seeing the emergence of India’s neighbour as one of the major global economies. The board is offering the language to Class VI students. The interested students can submit an online request to the board.

Welcoming the decision, Kavita Das, principal of St John’s High School, Sector 26, said it would certainly increase global exposure to students and provide the schools with more options. She, however, felt the language would find more takers in metropolitan cities due to the concentration of global business activities in those places.

Rakesh Sachdeva, principal of the DAV School, Sector 15, and one of the CBSE counsellors in the city, said the small cities also faced the problem of unavailability of teachers for foreign languages. “While teachers for French and German are available in Chandigarh due to PU’s diploma courses in these languages, I have my doubts about finding Chinese language tutors in the city,” she said.

According to the CBSE officials, however, the curriculum and textbooks were being developed for those interested in taking up the language. The board would also be conducting training programmes for teachers to make them understand the fundamentals of the pedagogy and contents. The board also had plans to introduce an online learning solution platform.

The officials said the objective behind introducing the language was to build greater confidence among learners to use Mandarin in oral as well as written forms, and also to sensitise them to the Chinese culture and tradition.



PU students to stage play on Kalidas’ life
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 30
Students of the Indian theatre department, Panjab University, are ready to stage a Sanskrit play in its original language on Friday evening here. The play will be played in the department's studio.

The play 'Vidutama Natakam' is directed by a third year student, Manoj Mishra, and is written by Vishnu Dutt Tripathi. The play will be staged in Sanskrit language and will follow important dramatic elements of ancient drama tradition such as Vachik (speech), Angik (gestures), Ahariya (property) and Satvik(expressions).

Manoj Mishra said it was difficult to prepare the play as the actors did not have the knowledge of the language. "However, after a month-long hard work on the essential elements of the play, including the language, we are ready to open it for the public tomorrow evening," he said.

According to him, the department had staged several Sanskrit dramas in the past but all were staged in Hindi language.

It will be the first instance when a Sanskrit play will be staged in its original language in the department.

He said the play was an effort to explore the journey of poet Kalidas towards enlightenment and it was another attempt to understand his life.

The play will begin at 6.45pm at the Studio No. 1 of the theatre department till Sunday evening.



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