C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


From Rs 3,000 to Rs 80,000 per day
Water level up at Sukhna Lake, boating on, CITCO does roaring business
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

To purchase more boats

Anticipating a good boating season, CITCO has decided to purchase 25 new pedal boats. It is also re-painting and repairing the present pedal boats and 'shikaras'.

Rain increases water level

An official of the UT Engineering Department appointed at the Sukhna Lake said the recent rain had increased the water level in the boating area. On Saturday, the water level at the lake touched 1,158 feet, which was around 1,151 feet last month.

Chandigarh, September 15
Rain has set the cash register ringing for the Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO). CITCO's income from boats at the Sukhna Lake which had gone down to Rs 3,000 due to low water level has now crossed the figure of Rs 80,000 per day.

CITCO's supervisor at the lake Rajvinder Singh said all 83 boats, including two and four seaters, are being hired by tourists. He said tourists were also enjoying boating in five 'shikaras'.

General Manager (Tourism), CITCO, AK Malhotra said now the boating business at the Sukhna Lake has crossed the figure of Rs 80,000 on weekends. On weekdays, CITCO is generating revenue of around Rs 60,000 from boating. Tourists are turning up in large numbers to see the real beauty of the Sukhna Lake and the income of shops and food joints at lake has also increased, he added.

Manish and Mamta, a newlywed couple, who enjoyed boating at the lake, said a few months ago when they had visited the lake, it was like a small pond and boating was restricted to a limited area. But today they enjoyed boating at the lake and even clicked a few photographs, the couple said.

CITCO records reveal that on an average 2,500 to 3,000 tourists come for boating on weekends and 1,000 to 1,500 on weekdays at the lake.



6 youths sentenced to jail in gang rape case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
A local court today sentenced six youths to imprisonment for gangraping a Class XII student in November 2010. The accused were identified as Sonu, alias Noni (20), Sukhbir, alias Sukha (20), Jasbir, alias Lucky (21), Avatar Singh (26), Gaurav (21) and Sukhbir, alias Shoki (24), all residents of Dhanas village in Chandigarh.

The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Preeti Sahni awarded 10 years imprisonment to Sonu, Sukha and Gaurav, whereas Avatar, Shoki and Jasbir were awarded five years imprisonment. The court also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on the accused.

Public prosecutor Manish Dua said the accused were booked under Sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 366-A (procreation of minor girl), 368 (wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement), and 376 (2g) (gang rape) of the IPC.

On November 13, 2010, the victim, a student of a government school, was kidnapped by the accused in a car when she was returning from her tuition class in Dhanas.

The girl, also a resident of Dhanas, was friends with Gaurav.

Her mother had complained to the police that Gaurav along with his two friends kidnapped her in a black Maruti Zen car and took her to a farmhouse in Miyapur in Ropar.

The other three accused were already at the farmhouse, she said.

There the accused raped her and later dropped her near her house the next morning.

The victim narrated the entire episode to her mother following which she filed a complaint at the Dhanas police post.

An FIR was registered on November 16, 2010, three days after the incident. Later the police arrested the accused.


  • November 13, 2010: The victim was kidnapped and gangraped by the accused
  • November 14, 2010: They dropped the victim near her house in Dhanas
  • November 16, 2010: An FIR was registered against the accused
  • September 15, 2012: Court awarded punishment to the six accused

Accused threatened victim

The accused also threatened the victim saying that they had shot a obscene video of hers. But the next day, she narrated everything to her mother. During the trial, the victim identified the accused.



Ward no. 7 by-poll
Voters throng polling stations, 72.5 per cent exercise their franchise
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Voters line-up outside a polling booth at Maloya in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, September 15
A large number of voters thronged the polling booths to elect their Municipal Corporation representative from Ward Number 7, comprising Maloya village and colony, on Saturday. A total of 72.5 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the by-election. The polling percentage was more than the December 2011 Municipal Corporation elections. The result of the by-election will be declared on September 17. Election officials said the by-election was by and large peaceful.

However, a spat was witnessed between Congress and BSP workers the polling station near the Madrasi colony.

The polling began on a low note due to rain. As the rain subsided around 11 am, long queues of voters were seen at almost all polling stations located in colonies and slum areas. The polling picked up speed after noon in villages of the ward.

A young differently abled voter on her way to a polling booth at Maloya in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

As many as 10,742 voters sealed the fate of four candidates.

The ward has a total of 14,816 voters.

Colonies voters once again showed enthusiasm in exercising their franchise on the election day.

There was a festive mood in the ward, which comprises of the colonies and slums, as voters dressed up in new clothes were seen standing in queues ouside the polling booth to cast their votes.

Senior citizens of the colony also showed keen interest in casting their votes.

Disappointed with the election department arrangements, Sushma Rani, a local resident, said that she was standing in the queue since 11 am and her turn had not come even by 11.30 am.

Former councillor Laxmi Devi had won the previous election from the ward by a margin of 1,300 votes.

Less deployment of staff

BJP president Sanjay Tandon has filed a complaint with the returning officer alleging less deployment of staff in the polling station number 2 located in the villages.

He said due to less deployment of staff, each voter took at least seven minutes to cast his/her vote leading to delay.

Officials said after receiving the complaint, a team was sent to monitor the situation and it was found that after the rain, there was sudden rush of voters at the polling booth which resulted in long queues.

Senior leaders on their toes

How prestigious it is to win the seat of Ward Number 7 for all three major political parties, including the Congress, the BJP-SAD and the BSP, could be gauged from the fact that all senior party leaders were having a round of the polling stations in the ward.

Even Union Minister and Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal spent around an hour to monitor the situation of his party in the area.

Since morning, senior leaders, including Congress president BB Bhal, Mayor Raj Bala Malik, BJP president Sanjay Tandon and BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan were seen visiting the polling booths.



UT Admn turns to technology to rein in monkey menace
Decides to install ultrasonic repellers
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

‘Ultrasonic Monkey Repeller’

As per company officials, a repeller should be placed at least 20 feet above the ground or floor for best results. The device, which has a sound pressure of 115db, does not create any noise

Chandigarh, September 15
With monkey catchers and langurs proving to be of a little help, the UT Administration has now decided to go in for repellers to rein in the monkey menace in the city. The UT Administration is now studying the concept of the Shimla Municipal Corporation (MC), which has decided to install "Ultrasonic Monkey Repeller" to chase monkeys away.

Giving details about the monkey repeller, a senior official of the UT Administration, said the electronic device created high-intensity ultrasonic sound waves (10-65 kHz) and it caused no hearing damage to humans and pets, except pests.

He added that these nerve-crushing sounds directly penetrated monkeys' brain and nervous system, resulting in severe pain and discomfort. "Monkeys find it impossible to stay in such radiated areas," he stated.

When contacted, UT Chief Conservator of Forests Santosh Kumar said they were studying the concept and were in touch with the company officials, who had installed these repellers in Shimla.

He added that they were checking whether the use of repellers would have any kind of ill-effect on a human body.

Om Prakash, vice-president of the company, said, "The weight of the device is only 1.75 kg and the waves, which generate from the repellers, cover 6,000 sq feet area." He added that talks were on between the company officials and the UT Administration.

As Gurgaon-based trained monkey catchers had failed to catch any monkey, the UT Administration had decided that it would hire local monkey catchers and pay Rs 500 to them for the purpose.

At present, the department has only three langurs, Manu, Mangal and Udham. The UT forest and wildlife department pays Rs 7,500 each to these langurs. In all, the department pays Rs 2,70,000 to trainers annually.

Residents of northern sectors, including Sectors 8, 9, 10, 11, 18, 26, 27 and 28, have been complaining about the monkey menace for long.

They said they avoided venturing out in the morning and late evening hours.



Prostitution racket
Accused created spooky atmosphere to keep villagers at bay
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 15
In order to scare villagers, curious to know the reason behind a number of persons visiting the Mirawali Haveli, where a prostitution racket was being run, the owner tried to create a spooky atmosphere by spreading a rumour that the haveli was haunted. At times, in the dead of night, artificial shrieks were created. Raja Mohammad Hassan, Murtaza’s first wife, was set ablaze in the Haveli.

It was on Thursday when the Panchkula police arrested Raja Mohammad Hassan Murtaza, his wife Rita, customers Vinod, Munish, Rakesh, Gulab Rana Khattoli and Khushi for running a prostitution racket.

For the past three years, they had been telling people that the haveli was haunted. Even Hassan and his wife had told the villagers that his dead wife was not happy with their second marriage so she was still there in the haveli,” said Ram Bir Singh, a villager.

He added, “Actually the couple did not want us to visit the haveli frequently." Another villager, Pyari Devi, said, “At night, we used to hear shrieks, too, and just a few days before the incident, we learnt that it was the handiwork of the couple." The couple earned around Rs 30,000 a day. The flesh trade racket had been going on for the past two-and-a-half year in the haveli.

Four more held

The Panchkula Crime Investigating Agency (CIA) has arrested four more persons involved in the prostitution racket that was being run from the Mirawali Haveli at Raipurrani. The accused have been identified as Bittu, Rita, Priya and Rama. While Bittu and Rita hail from Darjeeling, the other two belong to Baltana. The accused were produced in the court today which sent them to judicial custody.

“Bittu used to supply girls hailing from Darjeeling and various parts of Punjab,” said Inspector Karamvir Singh, in-charge of the CIA.

The police had also recovered a country made pistol, two air guns, cartridges and some live cartridges. A Scorpio with red beacon atop was also impounded.



Woman gets new lease of life
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 15
Afflicted with severe kidney disease, 55-year-old Kamlesh Devi’s nightmare had just begun when she met with a car accident which resulted in a serious head injury. Completely unconscious, Kamlesh, a Mohali resident, was rushed to the Civil Hospital here. On reaching there, she regained consciousness and had extreme trouble while breathing, due to which an endotracheal tube was placed in her throat and ventilator support was planned for her but the Civil Hospital had a shortage of ventilators.

When Kamlesh was admitted to a private hospital here, she was gasping for breath and had severely deranged parameters of blood arterial gases and urea, creatinine and electrolytes. She was immediately put on a ventilator and her correction of blood parameters was started on an urgent basis.

During her check-up it was found that she had a large clot in the left half of her brain, which required urgent treatment to save her life. However, before that she needed hemodynamic stabilisation for all her deranged parameters for operative fitness.

Keeping this in mind, emergency dialysis was carried out, post which she was operated upon immediately by Dr Ashish Gupta. In the post-operative period she was kept on elective ventilation for a day and was ex-tubated the next day and discharged after three days.

Dr Ashish Gupta, Senior Consultant, Neurosurgery, at the hospital, said: “The complexity and the shortage of time involved in the case makes this a rather challenging case. We were racing against time to ensure that we could operate successfully upon the patient. Emergency dialysis at the right time ensured that my team and I could carry out the surgery without any complication.”



1.5 lakh women die due to cervical cancer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Nearly 1.5 lakh women in the country die due to cervical cancer, although this could be prevented by administering vaccination prior to marriage, stated Dr Venkat Iyer, an assistant professor at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

While speaking on recent advances in cytology and gynaecological pathology at a CME, he said a majority of women put their lives at risk by avoiding screening and vaccination.

Some types of human papilloma virus (HPV) may lead to cervical cancer. The HPV is found in young women only, but all women infected with high risk HPV might not develop cervical cancer, he said. Only 2 per cent of such women develop cervical cancer after having HPV, he said.

However, given the population of country the number of women suffering from cervical cancer is very high. Lack of awareness and high costs involved deter most of the women to go for vaccination.

While the cost of screening is between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000, the vaccine comes at a price of Rs 6,000.

There is no government programme for such vaccination and therefore poorer section of society cannot avail this preventive measure, observed Dr Iyer.



Rain washes away MC's claims

Panchkula, September 15
Morning showers exposed the tall claims of the Panchkula Administration to deal with waterlogging in the town. The worst affected areas were Sectors 9, 10, 11, and 19 where rainwater entered houses. Streets and lanes were seen flooded with water.

“We called up the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and MC officials, but could not get through to them," said Riya Mehta, a resident of Sector 19. “Are the authorities sleeping over the issue? Will they pay for the loss?" asked Ranbir Sharma, another resident.

Situation was no better at Sectors 15, 17, 12A and 12, Panchkula. — TNS



Single medical entrance from 2013
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Making it easier for those who aspire to become doctors and have to appear for multiple examinations to get a college seat, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct a single entrance examination from the next year. Named National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), the examination will be held for the first time on May 5 in 2013.

The NEET will take care of the admission to both MBBS and BDS courses in almost all the medical institutions, including government and private institutions, across the country. Around 30,000 seats will be filled through this test.

The decision has been taken jointly by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Dental Council of India (DCI) with the approval of the Central Government.

Director of a city-based medical coaching institute Anu Sharma said this system would save lakhs of students from unnecessary burden of appearing for different medical entrance exams every year. Over 15 entrance exams are held every year for different medical colleges offering MBBS and BDS courses.

“The NEET will help in streamlining the whole system of undergraduate medical entrance tests and will also promote merit-based admissions,” she said.

According to the new system, there will be no All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) or separate pre-medical tests at the state level, such as the Punjab PMT or the Haryana PMT, from the next year.

The students appearing for the NEET will be given an all-India ranking as well as a state-level ranking that will take care of admission to medical institutes of national repute, including AIIMS, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Armed Forces Medical College, as well as state-level medical institutes.

The Dental Council of India has also amended the BDS Course Regulations 2007 and notified in the Gazette of India, dated May 31, 2012, that the annual admission to BDS courses would be conducted through National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET). The MCI has also issued a similar notification.

The latest CBSE circular also says that the MCI and the DCI have asked it to conduct the NEET.

While the syllabus for this examination, as notified by the MCI, is available on its website www.mciindia.org, a detailed brochure for the exam is expected by the end of this month.

The NEET for Post Graduate courses will, however, be carried out by the National Board of Examinations.

New system will bring transparency

Professor Raj Bhadur The Medical Council of India has taken this step after considering the larger interest of the society. The new system will make the undergraduate medical examination system of the country more transparent and reduce the overall burden on students as well as parents.

— Professor Raj Bhadur, Director and Principal, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32

The major change the single entrance test will bring is the uniformity in the syllabi and selection procedure, followed by transparency in the overall system. The new system will also improve the intake of students in the medical colleges across the country.

Rajiv Vadehra,
Medical Superintendent,
government multi speciality hospital, sector 16

Students speak out

A single entrance exam for all the major medical institutions will give a big relief to us. While it will make the competition harder, only the deserving candidates will move ahead. It will also decrease corruption in the allotment of seats~

Kiran Preet Kaur, Sector 71, Mohali

Earlier every entrance exam used to have its own syllabus. This made us jittery. The new system is certainly a step in the right direction~

Shivangi, Sector 34, Chandigarh

The new system will save our time, energy and money. I was spending about Rs 5,000 on a single entrance exam, which used to put a major financial burden on my family

Yuvraj, Sector 14, Panchkula



School notes
Children raise concern on environmental issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Around 100 students from Classes II to V of Dikshant International School participated in a rally wearing roller skates to spread awareness on environmental issues at Sukhna Lake on Saturday. The children held placards displaying messages such as “say no to plastics”, “plant more trees to save our ozone layer”, and “say no to products that contain CFCs”. The students also distributed pamphlets focusing on human activities that have been affecting the ozone layer over the last 20 years. Pamphlets gave information on products that lead to the ozone layer depletion and the alternatives to all such products.

RTE workshop held

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Chandigarh, organised a one-day workshop on access, retention, gender bias, functioning of special training centres, and madrasas in context of the Right to Education (RTE) Act at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, on Saturday. All the heads and principals as well as the CRC coordinators attended the workshop. The session was addressed by Adil Rasheed, an expert from New Delhi, who answered queries ranging from functioning of special training centres, sibling care, skill development and problems of children studying in madrasas. Anil Guglani from the State Institute of Education, Sector 32, also guided the participants on the multigrade teaching for STC teachers. He emphasised on the pedagogical styles of planning, thinking and designing as well as activity-based and self-based learning.

Students made aware of ozone depletion

Mohali: Ozone Awareness Day was observed at Smart Wonders School, Sector 71, Mohali, recently. A PowerPoint presentation was shown to all the students on the occasion. Through the presentation, the children were made aware of the importance of the protective blanket of the earth, called the ozone layer. The causes behind ozone depletion, its affect on the flora and fauna, and how people could contribute towards reducing its impact were discussed.

Hindi Diwas celebrations

Various competitions in Hindi language were held as part of Hindi Diwas celebrations at AKSIPS, Mohali, on Saturday. Students from Classes I to V participated in poetry writing, calligraphy, speech, dictation and other activities. The teachers also highlighted the importance of Hindi and how it should be protected from linguistic chauvinism.



PU senate elections
Fate of 12 varsity teachers will be decided tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Panjab University teachers are all set for the third phase of the Senate elections to fill four seats reserved for the university teachers. Over 12 teachers are contesting the polls, which would be held on September 17.

The third phase of elections will witness contest on one seat each reserved for professors from arts and science constituencies, as well as for readers from these constituencies.

The professors who are in the race from the arts constituency include former Panjab University Teachers' Association (PUTA) president Akshaya Kumar of the department of English. Success of Manjit-Akshaya group in the recent PUTA elections is expected to provide an edge to Akshaya Kumar in the Senate elections too.

Another candidate from this constituency is Suresh Kumar Chadha of the UBS department who is also the coordinator central placement officer of the university. According to Chadha, he was contesting the elections with an aim to enhance the academic standards and improve the overall atmosphere of the university.

Karamjeet Singh from the UBS department, who is already a sitting Senator, is also contesting the elections.

Among the professors from science constituency, Rupinder Tewari of biochemistry, another sitting senator, is once again contesting the elections. SK Mehta, chairperson of the chemistry department, and Sukesh Sharma of biochemistry are also contesting the elections.

Among the readers from science constituency, Malkiat Chand Sidhu of the botany department, who has remained as a hostel warden for five years, as well as the PUTA secretary, joint secretary and executive in the recent years, will contest with Amit Chauhan of the UIET department and Kamaljit Singh of botany.

The arts constituency will witness a contest between Dinesh Kumar of the law department, Kuljeet Kaur Brar of the University School of Open Learning (USOL) and Pardeep Sharma from the UIAMS department.



Seminar on green technology
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET), Panjab University, is organising a UGC-sponsored national seminar on “Green Technologies, Energy Security and Sustainable Development” on September 17. The seminar is being organised under the Special Assistance Programme (SAP) of the UGC.

As green technology is essential for sustainable development, the university has taken the initiative to organise this seminar, wherein discussions will be held on the various aspects of this issue, including technologies, applications and challenges faced in its implementation.

Three sessions will be held during the seminar — harnessing green technologies for sustainability, energy management and environmental conservation: towards holistic development and poster session.



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