C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC bylaws bite pet lovers
Ignorant MC issues notices to residents owning more than two dogs
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is giving jitters to pet lovers in the city who own more than two dogs. Ignorant of the cut-off date to enforce the dog bylaws, the MC has started issuing notices to all pet owners who are possessing more than two dogs even before July 2010, when the dog bylaws were notified.

“We cannot just throw away our dogs. They are like our children. They have been with us much before the bylaws came into being and we have relevant proof to show their date of ownership,” said an affected resident.

Interestingly, special teams which were constituted for monitoring the dog bylaws violations are confused on whether or not there is any provision to take action against those residents who owned more than two pets before these were notified.

As the confusion prevails, the dog lovers, who do not want to part with their pets, are at the receiving end. An official said: “As the dog bylaws are silent on the issue, the teams have been directed to take action against all residents, overlooking how old the dog is and whether or not it is covered after the enforcement of dog bylaws of 2010.”

The MC officials stated that as it was difficult to judge the age of a dog, they issue challans to pet owners who own more than two dogs. A pet expert, Vinod Kumar, said the age of a canine could be judged from its teeth.

Last week, MC Commissioner VP Singh instructed all sanitary and chief sanitary inspectors to issue challans to owners of unregistered dogs in the residential areas and ensure strict implementation of dog bylaws. The inspectors visited various localities of the city to issue challans to violators.

MC records reveal that since 2010 as many as 219 challans have been issued to violators of dog bylaws.

One of the pet owners said the bylaws were useless and were being enforced just to distract the attention of the public from its failure to curb the stray dog menace in the city. He questioned: “Who will take action against the threat caused in the mind of public by thousands of stray dogs? If the authorities are so serious about the dog menace, why are they not drafting rules to curb the increasing number of stray dogs in the city?”

MC records reveal that there are only 2,514 registered pet dogs in the city. A pet lover residing in Sector 20 stated that the number was much higher, but the residents are not revealing the number of dogs they own due to fear of action by the authorities.

I have no idea that the MC is imposing the dog bylaws prior to the date of its notification, ie 2010. But I will look into it and ask the officials not issue challans.

                                                                          Raj Bala Malik, Mayor

The authorities never set rules to harass the public unnecessarily and if the corporation is doing so, it is sorry state of affairs on the part of the authorities.

                                                             Anu Chatrath, Former Mayor

It is injustice. Residents have been punished by the authorities for the violations that they have never made. The authorities should not harass the residents.

                             Pardeep Chabbra, councillor and former Mayor 

We have not received any complaint of pet owners being harassed. If there is any such case, the MC will consider it and remove anomalies, if any, in the dog bylaws.

                                                              VP Singh, MC Commissioner

It will be better if the MC imposes this number norm on stray dogs which have become a menace in the city rather than pet dogs which are a necessity for the security of big houses.

                                                                  ML Sarin, senior advocate

I find it very funny that the authorities have fixed the number of pet dogs a person can own in the city. I think soon the authorities in Chandigarh will hold a roundtable discussion to set up a norm as on how many children a family should have in the city.

Ashok Partap Rai, president, Pet Lovers’ Association, New Delhi 

It is strange that the MC is having such vague norms for pet dogs. As a dog lover, I will prefer to pay challan rather than dispose of my pet to follow the dog bylaws. Such stringent norms should not be farmed till the pet dogs create disturbance inthe society.

Neeru Sidhu, honorary general secretary, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

How can the authorities fix the number of dogs a person can keep as it is the personal decision of the family? Besides, there is no such law in other parts of the country.

Anupam Gupta, senior advocate.


200 youths hired to conduct animal census

For the first time, the UT Animal Husbandry Department has hired 200 unemployed youth to conduct the animal census in the city. To supervise the census, 35 government officials have been deputed. The department conducted a training programme for youths and officials on Monday. The animal census will commence from September 15 and will be compiled by October 15. It has been decided that six youngsters will be supervised by one supervisor appointed by the department. The department Joint director Dr Lovleish Kant Gupta advised youngsters to collect the accurate data. They have been asked to contact area councillors, resident welfare association representatives and sarpanches of the villages. 



Victim of ‘toffee uncle’s’ animalistic tendencies 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 10
The seven-year-old who was repeatedly raped does not know that she was the victim of her ‘toffee uncle’s’ animalistic tendencies.
The victim, who recently met the Panchkula DCP along with her parents, was busy playing with her friends. Medical tests conducted on Friday confirmed that the girl was raped repeatedly by the accused, Nand Kishore. The accused used to take schoolgirls from outside the school by offering them chocolates and toffees.

“What should I tell my daughter? She does not even know what has happened to her. The most painful thing is that her toffee uncle has committed a grave sin,” said Kamla Devi (name changed), mother of the victim. As Nand Kishore used to give toffees and chocolates to children, they used to call him ‘toffee uncle’. The victim’s parents are vegetable vendors.

She added: “We all, including our neighbours and the councillor, were called by the Panchkula DCP for investigations where my daughter was busy playing with her friends. She was asking as to why we are here for and kept eating biscuits thinking we are out for a picnic.”

When the medical of the child was being conducted, she was asking the parent that is she suffering from fever. “She kept asking me as to why the doctors were checking her,” added the victim’s mother.

Nand Kishore, a resident of Sector 19, Abhaypur village, was nabbed by the Panchkula police on Thursday after he allegedly tried to rape three minors. The medical tests of one of the victims confirmed repeated rape. 



Accused sodomised two schoolboys, too
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 10
In a stunning revelation, the paedophile also turned out to be a sodomiser who made 13 more schoolchildren, including two boys, his prey. The accused, Nand Kishore, has admitted to the crime, said the police.

Nand Kishore, a resident of Sector 19, Abhaypur village, was arrested on Thursday after he allegedly tried to rape three schoolgirls of Classes II and IV of a local government school under the pretext of giving them chocolates. The medical examination of a seven-year-old girl had confirmed that she was raped several times during the past one year. “We have asked schoolchildren, including the ones living in the neighbourhood, and found that around 11 schoolgirls have fallen prey to the accused,” said a senior police official.

“Though the parents are saying that the injury marks on the children’s bodies have been caused by the accused, we still have to get their medical examination of all of them conducted.”

Two days before Nand Kishore was arrested, he had expressed his desire to marry a Class VIII girl living in the locality. Even the parents of the child were shocked to hear this.

Kishore’s neighbours said he did not interact with anyone except schoolgirls in the area. 

Tried to mislead police

Nand Kishore had lied to the police saying that he was retired CRPF personnel. After investigations, it came to light that he was never with the CRPF. “During investigations, he told that he was a retired Army personnel. He was misleading us,” said station house officer of the Sector 20 police station inspector Narender Kumar. 



Women, wine & good food for fake IPS officer in lockup
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Accused Aman Kumar
Accused Aman Kumar

Panchkula, September 10
Fake IPS officer Aman Kumar was offered lavish food and liquor when he was in the custody of the Chandigarh Police. Besides, inspector Tarsem Rana allegedly arranged his meetings with girls in the lockup.
Rana was the lockup in charge when Aman Kumar was arrested under the same charges by the UT police.

The Panchkula police told that the Aman Kumar had also raped a girl in Kurukshtera and a case under Section 376 was registered against him.

The Panchkula police arrested Tarsem Rana on August 7 for helping fake the SP, Aman Kumar. Rana used to do the planning for the accused.

The three accused, including Aman Kumar, his brother Raman Kumar and Taresm Rana, were produced in a court today. Rana has been sent to one-day police remand and the other two accused have been sent to judicial custody.

“Rana used to arrange meetings for Aman with his girlfriends and other women during night when he was the lockup in charge. Even his wife, who was his

girlfriend at that time, used to spend time with him,” said inspector Dharambeer Singh, in charge, econo-mic offence wing.

He added: “A rape case under Section 376 of the IPC was also registered against him at Kurukshetra.” Rana was Kumar’s best friend in the jail. At night, he used to order pizzas and drinks in the lockup and both of them enjoyed to the fullest, said police sources The fake IPS officer, Aman Kumar, had a Facebook account with the name ‘Kumar Aman IPS’ and had uploaded pictures in police uniform on his page. He also had a long friend list of girls who wanted to marry him. Around seven-eight cases have been registered against Aman, including cheating and rape. He was arrested by the Panchkula police on August 30 as he used to extort money from people under the pretext of providing them jobs by saying that he was an IPS officer. A fake gunman, driver and their accomplice was also arrested. 



Suicide or homicide, police seeks clarification from medical board
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 10
In a latest turn of events, the police, which has been ruling out foul play in Fiza’s mysterious death so far, today sought a clarification from the medical board whether the poison found in her viscera could have been administered forcibly or by mixing it with food or drinks.

The police sought clarification on three points from the medical board. The board has prepared the post-mortem report of Fiza which mentions the cause of death as poisoning due to aluminium phosphide in presence of ethyl alcohol.

The police asked the board in writing to clarify whether the poison could be administered secretly, whether there was any evidence of forceful administration of the poison in the post-mortem report and the board’s opinion over the probability of suicidal death or homicidal death in the case. Sources say these queries indicate that the police has not ruled out the murder theory in the case.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mohali SSP GS Bhullar admitted that they have sought a clarification from the medical board today. “We are not taking any chances. We want to be sure before reaching any conclusion. The official version will be released after getting these clarifications. Medical evidences are important, but we cannot jump to any conclusion on the bases of these reports,” said Bhullar.

The three-member medical board comprises Dr PS Bhatti, Dr Neera Verma and Dr Sukhwinder Kaur. The medical board sent the post-mortem report to the police this afternoon.

“We will give the details of our investigations after a meeting with the special investigation team (SIT) constituted in the case tomorrow,” said Bhullar.

Report without signatures

Call it carelessness or lack of coordination, Fiza’s post-mortem report was sent to the police without signatures of two of the three doctors in the board. The police officials were seen running from pillar to post to get the required signatures of two doctors. A senior doctor of the Mohali Civil Hospital said one of the three doctors Neera Verma had been shifted to Chamkaur Sahib, so she could not sign the document.

Post-mortem report

“The cause of death in our opinion is poisoning due to aluminium phosphide in the presence of ethyl alcohol.” 


Toddler drowns in water tank
Tribune News Service

Uncovered water tank in which Khushi fell.
Uncovered water tank in which Khushi fell.

Chandigarh September 10
Tragedy struck a house in Ram Darbar, Phase II, after an 18-month-old girl died after she fell in a six-feet deep underground water tank installed at the backyard of her house.

The girl, Khushi, was playing in her house when she accidentally fell in the water tank and drowned.

The incident occurred at around 4 pm when the girl was playing alone and no elder was present near her. She fell in the water tank and it was only after some time that a neighbour noticed her lying motionless in the tank and raised an alarm.

Family members rushed the girl to a nearby hospital where she was declared brought dead.

The girl’s father, Sanjay, is a vendor, and her mother is a housewife.

A huge crowd gathered and neighbours rushed to the house after they got to know of the drowning incident.

Sanjay said that the tank used to be covered with a lid earlier, but thieves had stolen the lid some days ago resulting in it being open. The girl was cremated this evening.



External probe committee grills doctors on duty
Panel present in full strength, more names of doctors and medical staff surface
Tribune News Service
File photo of Anupama
File photo of Anupama

Chandigarh, September 10
Reviving the investigations in the Anupama death case at the PGIMER, the external probe committee, which was constituted to look into the alleged negligence in the case, today grilled the doctors who had administered her treatment.

In addition to summoning the paramedical staff involved and medical superintendent for questioning, the committee has directed the PGI administration to provide details of surgeries scheduled and performed at the Advanced Trauma Centre on July 25, when Anupama died.

Dr SS Gill, chairman of External Probe Committee,said, “While questioning the doctors on duty, during Anupama’s treatment, today, some more names of medical staff and doctors have come up. We will record the statements of all these persons in our next meeting.”

“We have sought details of all the surgeries scheduled and performed at the Advanced Trauma Centre on the day of Anupama’s death. The committee will look into the nature of the surgeries, to decide the urgency levels of all these surgeries performed on a priority basis,” Gill said.

The committee, which had been moving at a snail’s pace, since the past one month, ensured that all its members attended the meeting and the probe be fast-tracked.

“All the committee members attended the meeting today. We hope to complete the investigations soon,” Gill added.

The committee has also directed the hospital administration to provide the entire medical record of Anupama, the 17-year-old girl, who was brought to PGI on July 17 when her leg was crushed under the rear tyre of a CTU bus on her way back to school.

The committee was constituted on July 27, when Anupama’s parents alleged negligence at the hands of PGI staff. Sources confirmed that five doctors, including three resident doctors, one senior resident doctor, and one Unit in-charge, were called for questioning by the committee.

On the day of Anupama’s death, Dr. Arun Aggarwal was the duty in charge, an official at the PGI said.

Anupama’s parents had last month, moved the UT Consumer Forum against the PGI, Dr Jujhar, the doctor who undertook Anupama’s treatment, and Dr Murali, who conducted the post-mortem examination and the CTU. The complainants have sought compensation of Rs 85 Lakh from the respondents. The case will come up for hearing on October 3. 

Details of surgeries scheduled sought

In addition to summoning the paramedical staff involved and the Medical Superintendent for questioning, the committee has directed the PGI administration to provide details of surgeries scheduled and performed at the Advanced Trauma Centre on July 25, when Anupama died.

We have sought details of all the surgeries scheduled and performed at the Advanced Trauma Centre on the day of Anupama’s death. The committee will look into the nature of the surgeries to decide the urgency levels of all these surgeries performed on a priority basis.
Dr SS Gill, chaiman, External Probe Committee 



Girl accuses father of confining her to house
Calls up women helpline; reaches a compromise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
High drama was witnessed in the Police Colony, Sector 26, when the daughter of a retired sub-Inspector called up the women helpline number alleging that her father had confined her to the house.

The incident took place around 11 am when the girl complained the helpline that her family members locked her up in a room in the house and did not allow her to go outside to meet her friends. A police party comprising women police from the crime against women cell (CAW) and the Sector 26 police station rushed to the spot.

Later, it came to light that the girl was upset over her father’s frequent questioning whenever she stepped out of the house. The girl’s friend was also with her when she called the police.

The police then took both the girls and the retired sub-Inspector to the police station where a compromise was reached.

Sub Inspector Jaswinder Kaur, in charge, Bapu Dham police post, said that through counseling both the parties reached a compromise. “We explained to the girl that her parents are concerned about her and have every right to question her. The father was also explained that he should not be authoritative. They then reached a compromise,” she said.



Challenging service regulations cost CITCO staff dear
40 employees to get show-cause notice
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Challenging the CITCO employee service regulations without verifying the facts has landed at least 66 employees of the corporation in the dock.
Orders have been passed to issue show-cause notices to 40 employees, another 16 have been asked to explain as to why disciplinary action should not be initiated against them for behaving in an irresponsible behaviour while signing a representation against the employees service regulations.

CITCO's managing director DK Tewari said the action had been initiated for indiscipline. "It is a part of the official exercise and the employees have been asked to explain their position," he said.

Sources said in July last year, a group of employees in a joint representation had stated that "the service regulations were anti-employees and were designed to extend favour to certain corrupt officers". The representation had remarks about the appointment of a director.

Not finding favour with the board members, it was decided to showcause all such employees. Officials said the employees were not expected to forward such a representation to the chairman and board of members of CITCO without first exhausting the proper channel.

It was pointed out that no detail of the corrupt officers had been given and the word "corrupt" was without any documentary evidence and was objectionable. Before finalising the regulations, all employees were given an opportunity to submit their objections.

Holding the employees responsible for violating the CITCO employees service regulations, 2011, it was being stated that employees relied upon false and fraudulent information and had brought disrepute to the corporation.

Another section of around 16 employees, who had reportedly tendered apology were only being asked to explain their position. The employees stated that they were not aware of the actual facts and had signed the representation at the behest of other employees. 



Acid attack: Photograph of accused released
Police conducts raids at Khanna, Fathehgarh Sahib, Rajpura
Tribune News Service
File photo of accused Vijay
File photo of accused Vijay

Chandigarh, September 10
After repeated raids at the possible hideouts of the acid attack accused, Vijay, over the last two days bore no fruit, the UT police today released his photograph. The police said any person giving information about the whereabouts of the accused would be rewarded suitably and his name would be kept a secret.

The UT police today conducted raids at Fatehgarh Sahib, Khanna and Rajpura besides Shahpur in Ludhiana district to nab the accused. However, Vijay managed to flee every time and gave the police the slip. His cellphone is switched off ever since he committed the crime.

Police sources said that Vijay had left his Ludhiana residence where he resides with his second wife and a six-month-old daughter around a fortnight ago. His wife told the police that she had no knowledge about his whereabouts.

However, based on technical surveillance, the police got a lead that his wife had called at an STD number in Khanna where a police team was dispatched. The police also raided the Rajpura residence of the accused.

However, at Rajpura, Vijay’s mother told the police that she had disowned her son some time ago due to his wrong ways and thus had no knowledge about his whereabouts.

Meanwhile, the police also raided a possible hideout at Fatehgarh Sahib but all in vain.

Ashish Kapoor, DSP (Central), said Vijay would be behind bars soon as all efforts were on to nab him and various teams had been dispatched to different places.

Acid was thrown on his nephew Amit in Sector 22 on Saturday evening. The police has booked his 42-year-old uncle Vijay (husband of his father’s sister) in the case. The role of a 14-year-old boy, who is Vijay’s son, is also suspected. Bigamous relationship of the accused as he has married Amit’s cousin as well as his maternal aunt was the reason behind the attack. Both Amit and Vijay had bitter relations due to Vijay’s second marriage.

Mother had disowned him

Police investigations revealed that Vijay’s mother had disowned him some time ago due to his wrong ways. The accused has a criminal background.



Returning officer rejects complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Election Returning Officer of Ward Number 7 has rejected the complaint made by BJP councillor Arun Sood against Congress candidate Poonam Sharma and MP Pawan Kumar Bansal for misusing religious premises during campaigning for byelections.

In a complaint, allegations were made that an election meeting was organised by the Congress on the premises of a mosque situated at Maloya yesterday for campaigning. During the meeting, the Congress leaders had appealed for votes in favour of the Congress candidate from Ward Number 7.

At the meeting, all the leaders of the local Congress party were present along with local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal. After receiving the complaint, a three -member committee was constituted by the Returning Officer to monitor the allegation through videography which was done during the campaigning.

While Balbir Singh, Returning Officer, at a meeting with the BJP leaders stated that no rules were violated was during the campaigning so the complaint was rejected.



Top brass of UT admn away on training programmes
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
While the UT Administration is facing shortage of officials, the top brass of the administration is out of town to attend training programmes and seminars.
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil and Advisor KK Sharma are away to Leh in Jammu and Kashmir to attend the meeting of the North-Zone Cultural Centre Board. The UT Administrator and the Advisor will return on September 12.

Similarly, VK Singh, UT Finance Secretary, has gone to Japan and Canada to attend a training programme related to excise matters. VK Singh will join his office on September 27.

Moreover, the UT Administration has not communicated to the public through media that in the absence of these officials, which official will be looking after their departments.

Sources revealed that the additional charge of the Advisor is given to Satya Gopal, chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). Besides, the departments of VK Singh have been distributed among three officials.

Departments of Education and Technical Education have been given to Ajoy Sharma, Special Secretary (Finance), Satya Gopal, Chairman, CHB, has been given departments of Labour and Employment and rest of the departments have been given to Anil Kumar, Home Secretary.

MM Sabharwal, Director, Public Relations (DPR), UT Administration, said the charge of those officials, who are on leave, have already been distributed to other officials. He further added that now they would also communicate to the public through the media. 



Transfer of property made easy
Chandigarh Housing Board gives a green signal to re-allotment of dwelling units
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
In a significant development related to the transfer of property, the board of members of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) today approved amendment to regulation 16 that governs the re-allotment of dwelling units. The decision will enable the transfer of property.

CHB chairman Satya Gopal said the regulation had been amended.

Officials said by scrapping the draconian condition of ban on the sale of a dwelling before five years from its date of possession, various legal impactions of the issue had been solved.

The CHB will now allow re-allotment of dwelling units subject to payment of certain transfer fee.

Sources said the board had also allowed transfer of registration number in favour of the legal heirs on demise of an applicant before allotment or possession of the dwelling unit and transfer of rights or interest in the dwelling unit at any stage after possession and acquisition of rights of ownership through conveyance deed.

The board has also recommended granting of one-time relaxation for examination and disposal of pending applications in terms of relaxation given by the board (under regulation 50) from time to time as applicable at the relevant time.

Despite a ban on the general power of attorneys for sale of the CHB flats, a number of allottees had been illegally selling the flats on the basis of GPA registered in the neighbouring states.

This not only resulted in a huge revenue loss to the CHB, but also resulted in unending litigation between a seller and buyer as the flats could not be transferred in the name of the buyer, five years from the date of possession of the flat. Officials in the board said after studying the rules of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the CHB had proposed the changes.



Administration doing little to revive Sukhna
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Weeds dot the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh.
Weeds dot the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, September 10
Seriousness of the UT Administration, as far as saving city's landmark Sukhna Lake is concerned, can be gauged from the fact that the top brass of the Administration is not taking the recommendations of the "Save Sukhna Lake Committee" seriously.

The committee, which was constituted on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court during a meeting held in March, had recommended that a letter from the Adviser to UT Administrator would be sent to the Punjab government requesting it to stop the inflow of sewage from the seasonal rivulet of Kansal to the Sukhna Lake.

But neither the Adviser nor the secretary, Forests, Chandigarh Administration, sent the letter to the Punjab government.

Sources said earlier the UT Adviser, KK Sharma, forwarded the matter to the secretary, Forests, DK Tiwari, but now Tiwari has forwarded the matter to the officials of the forest department.

Secretary, Forests, DK Tiwari could not be contacted. If the UT Administration officials are to be believed, the polluted water is one of the major reasons behind the weed problem in the lake.

A senior official of the UT Administration said on earlier occasions as well the forest department had issued a number of letters to the Punjab government, but the neighbouring government never responded to the issue of inflow of sediments into the Sukhna Lake from Kansal.

Thereafter, the committee members had decided to send a last communication to the Punjab government through the Adviser to the UT Administrator, but the UT officials are yet to act on the committee's recommendations. 

  • Recently, in an affidavit filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the UT Administration had stated that the flow of sewage from Kansal area which entered into Sukhna Lake had started resulting in severe weed problem in the lake. There is no planning regarding disposal of sewage for houses already built in the area. Naya Gaon Nagar panchayat is well aware of the natural slopes towards the Sukhna Lake, but it is doing nothing to save the water body.
  • The committee, which was constituted on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court during a meeting held in March, had recommended that a letter from the Adviser to UT Administrator would be sent to the Punjab government requesting it to stop the inflow of sewage from the seasonal rivulet of Kansal to the lake



MC gives contractor 45 more days to put things in place
Security gates at Mohali in bad shape, sans guards
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, September 10
Even as Mohali goes without an effective security-gate system, the municipal corporation authorities are going soft on the contractor reportedly giving him 45 days more to fulfil the terms of the agreement.

Earlier, a three-month notice was given to the contractor, issuing a warning to him that the agreement would be scrapped in case he failed to provide satisfactory service. Despite the threat, the contractor allegedly failed to bring about the required improvement in the security work. The notice period ended on August 20.

Complaints regarding poor service have kept trickling in the office of the civic body over the past many months. Residents have alleged that security guards were not made available at many gates and several metal gates were not in a proper shape and were often found swinging freely on to the road, endangering traffic. The corporation officials said the agreement with the contractor had not been cancelled as he kept requesting for a personal hearing with senior officials of the civic body.

It is learnt that the contractor met the Commissioner of the civic body, Varun Roojam, on September 6 after which he was told to improve his working within 45 days. He was again asked to provide security guards at all gates at night, maintain these gates and make available to the corporation the addresses and phone numbers of the security personnel hired by him. He was told that if any shortcoming was found after the 45-day period, the contract would be scrapped.

Kuljit Singh Bedi , former municipal councillor, said the contract for security gates should have been cancelled by the civic body long ago as no guards were made available at several gates over the past many months. The contractor was allegedly only making money through the display of ads on the security gates, added Bedi.

Vishawdeep Dutta of Selvel company, which has been given charge of the security, however, said earlier that he had employed more than 20 security personnel to man the gates at night and two supervisors for the work. He claimed that he had also got 14 gates repaired and painted after the corporation had brought the shortcomings to his notice. As many as 69 gates were installed in various parts of the town for providing security to residents at night. The contractor, who was using these gates for displaying paid advertisements, was asked to arrange security guards.



Vendors, traders approach Panchkula police for help
Extortion racket at Mansa Devi Complex
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 10
With the Administration failing to tide over their problem, harassed vendors and traders today filed a complaint with the Panchkula Police against the extortion racket going on in Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, here.

They said the accused posed as the members of the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) to extort money.

Two days ago vegetable vendors and taxi owners had submitted a written complaint with the Administration alleging that a person, identified as Subash Sachdeva, along with his two accomplices VK Gupta and Amrit Lal Sharma, threatened them and extorted money.

They said the accused also took fruits, vegetables and taxi facility for free saying they were from the RWA and were there to look after the development work.

The Administration had also sanctioned grants to the three without even knowing the fact that there was no "lawful body" in the area as formal elections had never taken place there.

Interestingly, the accused said they had asked HUDA to remove vendors from the complex, but when the estate officer of HUDA was contacted, he said he had never met the three.

"We had asked HUDA to remove the vendors," said VK Gupta, one of the accused.

When asked about the matter, Ashwini Sharma, estate officer, HUDA, said there was no such association in the area.

"I will mark an inquiry into the matter," he added.

"It is not an elected body and I don't know why they are using the name of RWA and extorting money," said former councillor of the area.

About 300 vendors and traders have submitted a memorandum alleging harassment at the hands of the three.

It was mentioned that fake signatures were used to get grants sanctioned.

When contacted, Subash Sachdeva refuted all allegations.

"It is a wrong practice and action will be taken against the culprits," said SHO of the MDC police station Aruna Kumar.



World Suicide Prevention Day
Don't overlook abnormal behaviour of children: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
With a number of suicide cases being reported across the tricity, city-based psychiatrists suggest parents not to overlook abnormal behaviour of their wards.
On World Suicide Prevention Day today, the experts said, "Parents often do not pay attention to the changed behaviour of their child, considering it an as 'ordinary' outcome of the day-to-day happenings."

Dr BS Chavan, head of the department of psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, said, "Parents must suspect suicidal tendency in their child (or youth aged below 30) in case the latter prefers keeping to himself or discards social gatherings for a prolonged period. Parents often tend to presume such behaviour in their children as normal, however, finding reasons for abnormal behaviour is crucial to prevent suicides, especially for parents."

"In a study conducted on the behaviour of parents, whose children committed suicide, a few years ago, we had found that most of the parents agreed that they were aware of the abnormal behaviour of their children. However, they preferred leaving the depressed child alone," Dr Chavan added.

Consultant psychiatrist at Fortis Hospital, Mohali, Dr Simmi Waraich, said, "A majority of people in the city are not aware of the onset of depression. They consider an ordinary behaviour and fail to realise its extent. Problems of adjustment and alcohol intake are the most common cause of depression."

Dr Waraich added that being in a state of deep agony and stress, children often try to express their intention to end their lives. "In such a situation, instead of discarding such remarks by consoling the child, the parents should try to find out reasons for it."

"A number of youngsters in the 20 to 30 age group have committed suicide over the past few years. Problems of adjustment, both at work place and home, and alcohol are the common causes of depression among the youth," said the experts.



Five suicides reported at Panchkula in one week
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 10
Five suicides were reported in the past week, but the Panchkula Police has no official record.
All victims were women in the 20-30 age group. It was on August 31, when a 24-year-old woman committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan.

The victim, identified as Jyoti Sharma, resided in Sector 4, Panchkula. She was rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, where doctors declared her brought dead. Sharma, daughter of a sales tax inspector, was reportedly under depression.

Similarly, on September 3, a 20-year-old resident of Haripur village committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in her room. The victim, identified as Anita, had tied the knot in April. Her husband Ramdas, a labourer, who used to harass her for dowry, was arrested.

On August 29, a 27-year-old girl committed suicide at her house in Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula, today. The victim, identified as Dr Alka Singh, was rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, where she was declared brought dead. Alka was under depression as her fiancé had cheated on her.

Another 22-year-old resident of Budanpur committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan while on September 1, a 26-year-old resident of Abhaypur village committed suicide.

Even the case of Mehak, whose body was found at her in-laws residence on August 20, was being projected as a suicide.

When contacted, in-charge of the record wing Darshan Singh said, "No FIR has been lodged after July. Eight suicides were reported in the area in July."



590 cast votes for six seats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A total of 590 voters turned up at polling booths set-up at 34 institutions across Punjab and Chandigarh to decide the fate of principals and teachers from technical educational institutions contesting the Panjab University Senate elections.

The polling was held for six Senate seats -- three each for principals and teachers from technical educational institutions.

While there were four contestants for the three seats in the teachers’ constituency, the three seats for the principals of technical institutions would be filled on the basis of consensus between the members, after one of the four contestants withdrew his name today.

Among the four candidates contesting from teachers’ constituency, two were from Government College of Education, Sector 20, and two were from the PU-affiliated BEd colleges in Punjab.

The candidates included assistant professor Jasbir Kaur Chahal and Lilu Ram from the Government College of Education, Sector 20; assistant professor Trilok Bandhu of Malwa Central College of Education for Women, Ludhiana; and assistant professor Vipul Kumar from K College of Education, Abohar.

In the principals’ constituency, K K Dhiman from Homoeopathic Medical College, Sector 26; Khushwinder Singh from BCM College of Education, Ludhiana; NR Sharma of Guru Gobind Singh College of Education for Women, Gidderbaha; and SS Sangha of Dashmesh Girls College of Education, Badal, had filed their nominations.

Sources said the contestants belonging to colleges in Punjab had a fair chance of winning the elections since a majority of the 590 voters belonged to 66 colleges in Punjab. Chandigarh had only 13 colleges from where voters in this constituency would cast their vote.

Of the three seats in these constituencies of the Senate, one is reserved for Punjab and one for Chandigarh. In the city, polling took place at the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Sector 12; the Government College of Education, Sector 20; Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32; and Homoeopathic College, Sector 26. In Punjab, polling was held at 30 colleges located in Jalalabad, Muktsar, Ferozepur and other places. The result will be declared on September 12.



Hindustani rendition leaves audience spellbound
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Eminent Hindustani vocalist Pt Kaivalya Kumar Gaurav left audience spellbound by his performance at IMTECH, Sector 39-A, today evening.
He started his performance with “raga puria than shri” and weaved two compositions that he presented in “vilambit laya” and “drut laya”, both in “teen taal”. Gifted with a naturally high-pitched voice, Pandit Kaivalya Kumar's rendition of “ragas” saw natural “murki”, rigorous “tans”, and infallible rhythm. He took a long “alap” before he sang “bali bali jaoon thore” and “Khawaja Kutubdin”. He concluded his performance with a beautiful “bhajan” — “saaware aae jaoo, jamuna kinare mera gaun”.

Pt Kaivalya Kumar's grandfather Pt Ganapatrao Gaurav was a first batch disciple of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, the founder of Kirana Gharana, and he was trained under many eminent artists.



Play exploring marital issues staged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A three-day theatre festival organised by city-based amateur theatre group Citi Entertainment Network commenced at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, on Monday evening. The festival opened with the play “Subha Kab Hogi” written by Girish Bhakshi.

The play explored the dimensions of a marital relationship. It showed that how small misunderstandings between a married couple resulted in anxiety and personal discontent. The main protagonist, Kishore, a failed writer, faced a constant conflict with his wife Sarita during the course of the play. The blame game in the relationship pushed them to the edge, before they decided to start afresh and wait for a new beginning. The play ended on a positive note, throwing light on how small efforts can change the course of any relationship.

Continuing with the standards set on the first evening, the festival will showcase a solo play “Khidki Band Kar Do” tomorrow. The play revolves around the life of a divorced woman and challenges faced by her due to her marital status.



Free eye camp from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A four-day free eye check-up camp is being organised at Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, from September 11 to 14. The camp will be held from 9 am to 5 pm and is open for people across the city. The camp, being organised by a private eye institute, will be conducted by a team of experienced ophthalmologists. . The attendees will also be given tips on better care of eyes, including suitable diet intake and exercises.



Chandigarh scan
Seminar on skill development

Polio drops are administered to a child as another child looks on at Phase I in Mohali.
Polio drops are administered to a child as another child looks on at Phase I in Mohali.A Tribune photograph

Confederation of Indian Industry’s special task force on skills and education called upon various stakeholders, including the government, industry, international agencies, institutions, schools, non-governmental organisations and civil society, to collaborate in order to meet various challenges faced by skill-development for the future. While India has a target of developing the skills of 500 million students by the year 2022, the country’s capacity is to train and skill only 4 million people a year, said . To accomplish this task, it is imperative to collaborate at national, regional and trans-national levels, said Jayant Krishna, co-chairman of the task force. He was speaking at a seminar organised by CII in which a delegation of community colleges from Canada also participated. James Knight, president and CEO of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) shared the concept of community colleges in Canada that provided a combination of academic, theoretical and practical learning of advanced standards.

Talent hunt

The Quest Group of Institutes organised a talent hunt programme to welcome the newcomers. The programme was organised to provide a platform to students to showcase their latent talents. The various colourful and attractive performances included lskits, group dance, singing, mimicry, giddha and bhangra. Chairman DS Sekhon, while welcoming the newcomers, praised the items presented on the stage by them.

Installation of Rotaract Club

The MCM College, Sector 36, held the installation ceremony of Rotaract Club on Monday. The collar was ceremoniously passed on to Rotaractor Sristi Jaju, the new president, who introduced her board and the theme for the year -- “Will to Change”. The theme and club T-Shirts were then released by the attending Rotarian. He addressed the gathering of students and motivated them to participate in community service in order to create a better society.

Students visit arts factory

Proprietor of an arts factory talks to students of the Arts College of Punjabi University, Patiala, who visited the factory in Mohali on Monday.
Proprietor of an arts factory talks to students of the Arts College of Punjabi University, Patiala, who visited the factory in Mohali on Monday. A Tribune photograph

A group of over 20 students from the Arts College of Punjabi University, Patiala, visited an arts factory in Mohali on Monday. The students were shown paintings, sculptures, serigraphs, etchings, prints and statues placed in the display gallery of the factory. Abninder, proprietor of the factory, showed the students a wide range of his art works including his upcoming creations that included a mascot for the upcoming Prof Mohan Singh Mela, an annual event held in Nabha to celebrate Punjabi culture. Three faculty members also accompanied the students 



Class XI admissions a hard nut to crack for education dept
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Class XI admissions in government schools of the city proved to be a hard nut to crack for the UT Education Department this year. Even after conducting three rounds of counselling that saw close to 12,000 students getting admitted to the senior secondary level in government schools in Chandigarh, it had to conduct a special round of admission to admit those who had failed to get admission during any of these counsellings.

During the special round of counselling too, the department had to admit more than 1,500 students against the available 900 seats. These seats were specially arranged by creating additional sections in as many as 14 government schools. In one such instance, at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, the department created three additional sections of 60 students each against the earlier planned single section.

In the same way, two additional sections were created at the government senior secondary schools at Sector 45, Sharagpur, Karsan, Mauli Jagran, and Manimajra besides other schools.

Officials said the increase in the number of students indicated change in the education system. A senior official of the education department said earlier the pass percentage in government schools at the matriculation level was close to 70 per cent. In recent years, however, it had gone beyond 90 per cent due to the implementation of continuous and comprehensive evaluation, he said.

The number of students applying for admission to Class XI in the city government schools had drastically risen this year. As the admission was given on the basis of a merit list, those having a low cumulative grade point average (CGPA) failed to get admission in the first three rounds of counselling.

District Educational Officer RK Sharma said, “The government can not refuse admission to any student who is declared to have passed by the board. That is the reason they were accommodated by creating additional seats. It might have created infrastructure problem, but we are trying our level best to strike a balance.”

Meanwhile, the mid-term examinations commenced in government schools from today. The examinations for the newly admitted students, however, will be held during the next month, the instructions for which will be issued soon by the education department, said officials.

Additional sections

  • During the special round of counselling, the department had to admit more than 1,500 students against the available 900 seats. These seats were specially arranged by creating additional sections in as many as 14 government schools. In one such instance, at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, the department created three additional sections of 60 students each against the earlier planned single section.
  • The government can not refuse admission to any student who is declared to have passed by the board. That is the reason they were accommodated by creating additional seats. It might have created infrastructure problem, but we are trying our level best to strike a balance

RK Sharma, District Educational Officer



School notes
Students stage skit on epilepsy

Students of VIII-A of Government Model High School, Sector 36-D, staged a skit on epilepsy during the morning assembly on Monday. They also created awareness about the first aid to be provided during an epileptic attack. The headmaster Rakesh Sood lauded the efforts of the students and urged them to keep the instructions in mind if they came across a person having an epileptic attack in the neighbourhood or at school.

Saplings planted

Students of Government High School, Sector 32, planted over 100 herbal plants like stevea, aloevera and lemon tea in the school’s herbal garden on Monday. Headmistress Harinder Kaur apprised the students about the importance of these plants in daily life.

Children apprised of balanced diet

Nutrition Week was celebrated by the students of Ryan International School, Sector 66, Mohali. The teachers instructed the children to eat healthy food and have a balanced diet to prevent various diseases. The children were also given a healthy diet menu on the basis of which they brought healthy food items including sprouts, fruit salad and green leafy vegetables. — TNS



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