C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police may go soft on Henna
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Three days after registering a case against national bravery award winner Henna Bakshi for allegedly abusing the police on Facebook, the UT police is contemplating going soft on the accused and is trying to figure out why the girl took such an extreme step on the social networking site.

While the final call is yet to be taken, a meeting of senior police officials, including DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh and the cyber cell in charge, was convened today in which it was decided that the police will not take any further step without hearing out Henna.

“We are considering her case sympathetically. Our donning a baton to check crime does not mean that we are not considerate enough to review the case of a 22-year-old girl, who went rather overboard in expressing her anguish,” said a senior police official.

The UT police has booked Henna Bakshi and another accused, Kamalpreet Singh, for allegedly abusing the police on Facebook after taking legal opinion.

While Henna Bakshi has used a particular objectionable word four times to abuse the police, posts by Kamalpreet Singh, comprising three long sentences, have made use of highly vulgar, strong and vehement abuses in Hindi against the police.

“The police does not wish to victimise anyone. However, young people must also realise that the authorities cannot be treated in a humiliating manner like in this case,” said a senior police official.

“Legally, it’s a fit case for us. However, we are trying to figure out what led the youngsters to use such words against the police. We want that such instances should not occur in the future,” added another senior police official. 



Cops’ image takes a beating on Facebook
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
As 22-year-old Henna Bakshi had first narrated the "harassment" she underwent at the hands of the police on the Facebook page of the traffic police on August 15, her post received a flood of response in her support. Showcasing the poor image of the UT police, Facebook users from Chandigarh had posted adverse comments talking ill of the men in uniform and also crticised the UT Administration for not catering to their problems.

While some of the users had narrated similar experiences when the police "demanded a bribe" (as little as Rs 30) from them, others had indulged in mudslinging and accused the police of being arrogant.

The post by Henna Bakshi was liked by 110 users and had opened a public forum where at least 50 users joined in and narrated their "bad" experiences with the police.

The first comment was posted by Henna Bakshi at 1.22 am on August 15 when she narrated the entire incident when her car was stolen and how her experience of lodging an FIR was "stressful" with the police making no progress. It was this conversation that later extended with response from the police and the public, and eventually snowballed into a major controversy as the UT police booked Henna Bakshi in a case under the IT Act for allegedly abusing the police. A national bravery award winner, Henna Bakshi has been accused of using a particular abuse four times on the page while cursing the police.

A Facebook user, Preety Panag, had posted: “Sorry to read about the car….. It’s a shame the law and order or rather the entire administration in Chandigarh has gone so bad. We were the proud Chandigarhites at one time and now its so difficult to relate to all the chaos… water shortage, power cuts, theft, aggressive traffic ..the list goes on.”

Another Facebook user, Vish Goel, had posted: “First thing for sure they only good at licking the paper who give them more. They don't give a damn about normal people and their condition.”

A user with the login ID Jay Ess See had posted: “Lemme tell u smething. I was wd one of my frnd on bike in sec 43… Frm somewhere gypsey of chd police came in front of us… my frnd ws using mobile phone… so they said they will challan… We had just come out from out PG… nd it was an inner road in residential area. Nd u will be shocked to know… tht policeman took a bribe of Rs 30… ten rupee note each This is Chd police. This is my country….”

This was met with a response from a Facebook user, Priti Sharma: “It's really disgusting on d part of the police to say such things to a victim whos alrdy lost his/her precious hard earned possession n dat too coz of cops negligence! it’s a shame!”

Other excerpts from the entire page running over 10 pages included: Donn Sharma: “Henna leave it now Indian police r just good for taking money y dnt you give money in police station?”

Chirag Rathore: “The basic point is the arrogant nature of the police… the reason for this is they r on low end on education, the same reason why they are not commissioned officers.”

Jaspreet Singh@ Henna Bakshi- “Try 2 find ur car in Meerut becoz car chori hone ke baad vahi jati hai.”



55-yr-old cyclist hit by CTU bus, dies
Tribune News Service

Employees stage a protest seeking compensation for next of kin of the deceased cyclist in Chandigarh on Monday.
Employees stage a protest seeking compensation for next of kin of the deceased cyclist in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 17
A 55-year-old cyclist was crushed to death under a CTU bus near the roundabout of Sector 16 stadium here today.
The victim, Ram Bahadur, a resident of Maloya village, near Sector 39, was crushed under the wheels of a low-floor CTU bus.

The incident took place around 7.30 am when Ram Bahadur, an employee of the PWD, was on the way to the MC office in Sector 17. The bus was coming from the light points of Sector 22 and Sector 23, and was negotiating a turn towards the ISBT-17 when it hit the victim from the right side.

Ram Bahadur was crushed under the front portion of the bus and was dragged to some distance. The speeding bus also rammed into an iron railing on the roadside. An injured Ram Bahadur was taken to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, where doctors declared him brought dead.

The bus driver took the victim to the hospital, but fled the hospital when the cyclist was declared brought dead. The driver, who has been identified as Malkit Singh, was later arrested in a case of causing death due to negligence.

The deceased is survived by four sons and two daughters. All four sons of the deceased are married.

During the past two months, CTU buses have been involved in three major accidents in which a schoolgirl was also killed. 

Driver takes victim to hospital, flees

Ram Bahadur was crushed under the front portion of the bus and was dragged to some distance. The bus driver, Malkit Singh, took the victim to the hospital, but fled the hospital when the cyclist was declared brought dead 


mayoral election
Congress wins ward No. 7 bypoll
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The Congress has won the byelection to ward number 7 of the local municipal corporation, the results of which were declared here today. This is the third consecutive time that the Congress has won a byelection of the municipal corporation.

Congress candidate Poonam Sharma won the election by securing 4,044 votes of the total 10,742 polled in the byelection. BSP candidate Seema Yadav was in the second position and got 3,473 votes whereas SAD-BJP candidate Bindu Rani was placed in the third position by bagging 3,089 votes. Independent candidate Sunita got 136 votes.

Interestingly, the SAD-BJP combine, which led in this ward in the MC elections in 2012 with 3,822 votes of the 10,322 votes, dropped to the third position this time. After the victory of Congress candidate Poonam Sharma, party supporters converged on the streets to celebrate the victory. Dancing to the beats of dhols, the supporters, along with Poonam Sharma, took out a procession in Maloya to thank the voters.

Maloya, EWS Colony, Maloya, west of Sector 39 and the grain market form part of ward number 7.

This was the third byelection held in the history of the MC. Interestingly, all three byelections have been won by a Congress candidate. In the first byelection to ward number 11 in 2001, Congress leader HS Lucky won by 409 votes by defeating his opponent Rajesh Gupta, who fought as an Independent candidate. During the second byelection to ward number 10 in 2009, Congress candidate Bhupinder Singh Badheri won by 33 votes from SAD-BJP candidate Malkiat Singh.

Political experts said the BJP, which was the leading party in ward number 7, lost the byelection due to its internal rift. Even though the BJP was trying to present a united face, the ground reality was different. Photographs of senior party leaders Satpal Jain and Harmohan Dhawan were missing from the party posters for the campaigning.

In fact, on the day of polling, Satpal Jain was conspicuous by his absence and Harmohan Dhawan also came to the ward for only an hour. 



Gets the edge in number game in MC House
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Majority in the General House of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is once again with the Congress with the party winning the byelection of ward number 7 today. Now, the Congress has 12 members in the House, which includes Union Minister and Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal, while the BJP-SAD alliance is left with 10 councillors.

Though with the unstinting support of nine nominated councilors, the Congress is already in a comfortable position, the byelection win has changed the number game on the floor of the House, which, according to political experts, will also have an impact on the coming mayoral elections scheduled to be held by the end of this year.

In 2011, there was a tie of votes in the mayoral elections between the Congress and the BJP-SAD alliance. The Congress had 12 votes, including one vote of the MP, while the BJP-SAD had 12 votes.

Experts stated that during the past two tenures, there was a neck-and-neck fight in the mayoral elections. In 2008, even though the Congress was in majority, its mayoral candidate Anu Chatrath lost the elections by one vote to BJP-SAD candidate Harjinder Kaur.

After winning the seat, which has been reserved for women, the Congress has got another woman mayoral candidate for the reserved seat in the fourth tenure of the corporation. At present, the Congress has Gurbax Rawat, Sheela Devi, Kashmiri Devi and Raj Bala Malik. Now, Poonam Sharma will also be in the fray. 



Heated arguments at photo session

Mayor Raj Bala Malik and former councillor HS Lucky engaged in a heated argument when Poonam Sharma, after winning the byelection, reached the residence of Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal for a photo session. Sources said Lucky alleged that the Mayor had pushed him aside when they were standing in the front row posing for a photograph. When he protested her behaviour, she misbehaved with him.

After that both of them had a heated argument and complained to the MP’s wife Madhu Bansal. Later on, after the involvement of senior party leader, the matter was resolved.



3 hurt in brawl during victory march
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Three Congress workers were injured in a brawl among workers of the Congress and the BSP during the victory procession of the Congress candidate Poonam Sharma at Maloya village today.

Sham Singh suffered head injuries while Rahul and Kuldeep were discharged from the hospital after first aid. Sham Singh is under treatment at the Sector 16 hospital.

The SHO of Sector 39 Police Station, Charanjeet Singh Virk, said counter FIRs had been registered by the police. On a complaint of Dharambeer, a resident of Maloya, an FIR was registered against BSP candidate Seema Yadav's husband and three workers. While on another complaint filed by BSP leader Anwar-ul Haq, a case has been registered under sections 147, 148, 149 and 506 of the IPC (manhandling and threatening at a public place). The SSP, Naunihal Singh, also visited the scene of the brawl.

Congress councillor Poonam Sharma said in the afternoon when she was heading a victory procession in Maloya village to thank her supporters, some BSP workers beat up Congress supporters, who had recently joined the Congress after leaving the BSP, with stones.

Meanwhile, BSP leader Anwar-ul-Haq alleged that a few Congress workers hurled stones at BSP candidate Seema Yadav’s house, raised slogans against the party and used abusive language. He alleged that all the workers were drunk. Allegation were also levelled by him against the police that it took no action against the Congress workers even after they had beaten up the BSP workers at the police station when they were called for an inquiry by the police. 



MC employees seek relief for deceased’s kin
Tribune News Service

The CTU bus under which a cyclist was killed at the Sec-16 roundabout in Chandigarh on Monday.
The CTU bus under which a cyclist was killed at the Sec-16 roundabout in Chandigarh on Monday. photos: manoj mahajan

Chandigarh, September 17
Employees of the Municipal Corporation (MC) today staged a protest against the MC authorities for not implementing in toto the Punjab rules in the corporation for providing compensation to an employee who died in harness.

The employees demanded that Ram Bahadur, who died in an accident while he was coming to the office today, should be provided compensation by the authorities.

The president of the MC Employees Union, Mahesh Nain, said they had submitted a memorandum to the MC Commissioner that on the basis of the Punjab rules Ram Bahadur should be granted financial compensation. A delegation of the employees, which met the Commissioner, complained that the corporation was following the Central rules under which employees, who died on duty, did not get any compensation. The Commissioner assured the delegation that relevant action would be taken after taking a legal opinion.



Sukhna Lake full to the brim
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Water in the Sukhna Lake, which almost dried up a few months ago, is now near the danger level. The good rainfall, especially in the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, has increased the water level of the Sukhna to 1161.25 feet (above the sea level), which is only 1.75 feet less than 1163 feet, the water storage capacity of the lake, usually called the danger mark. When the level touches this mark, the authorities open the radial gates at the regulator end of the lake.

In the last one month, the water level in the lake has increased by 10 feet whereas the Sunday night rain, which continued till the wee hours, has increased the level by three feet.

Last time the authorities had opened the radial gates in August, 2008.

This year, the depth of the Sukhna Lake has increased in many areas because of the de-silting work carried out by the UT Engineering Department.

An official of the UT Forest Department said the good rainfall in the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary had increased the water level of the lake. Last week, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the Chandigarh Administration to consider lowering the height of the check dams in the lake by 2 feet to provide more water to the lake. 



Diesel price hike
Majithia leads cycle rally to Raj Bhawan
Tribune News Service

A traffic jam on the Madhya Marg during a procession of the Youth Akali Dal in Chandigarh on Monday.
A traffic jam on the Madhya Marg during a procession of the Youth Akali Dal in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 17
Activists of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD), led by its president Bikram Majithia, today pedalled their way to the Raj Bhawan here in protest against diesel price hike and limit on the use of subsidised LPG cylinders.

A large number of youth workers gathered at the party office in Sector 28 and proceeded towards the Raj Bhawan on bicycles.

In a memorandum submitted to Governor Shivraj Patil, the YAD claimed the prices of petrol had gone up from Rs 37.84 per litre during the NDA regime to Rs 73.14 per litre now. Similarly, diesel prices had increased from Rs 26.28 per litre to Rs 45.32 per litre.

The YAD said the recent fuel price hike and cap on LPG cylinders would imbalance the entire economy as much of the mobility of trade and commerce was dependent on diesel-run vehicles. It also claimed that the farming community had been the worst sufferer during the UPA regime with DAP prices shooting up from Rs 388 per bag to Rs 1,210 per bag.

Speaking at the party office, Majithia took on PCC president Capt Amarinder Singh and PPP president Manpreet Badal. He said both had never protested against hike in fuel or fertiliser prices, which showed that they were not committed to the cause of the common man.

Now, they had been trying to form an alliance as they did not see any future for themselves as individual entities, he added.



Chandigarh won’t withdraw disturbed state notification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The Chandigarh Administration has clarified that it has no intentions of withdrawing the notification issued in December 1986, declaring Chandigarh as a disturbed state.
Appearing before the Punjab and Haryana High Court during the hearing of a petition seeking withdrawal of the disturbed area notification, UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal opposed the plea.

In his reply filed before the high court, Kaushal stated that Chandigarh has the distinction of being the capital of Punjab and Haryana states and a Union Territory. Besides accommodating government functionaries of both the states, Chandigarh also caters to the security needs of persons involved in fight against terrorism, the reply before the high court stated.

Kaushal added that the Burail Jail in Chandigarh houses high-profile prisoners, including those involved in the assassination case of Punjab former Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Terming the PIL filed by Janta Dal (United) president Surinder Bhardwaj as politically motivated, Kaushal sought directions for dismissing the same.

Kaushal stated that nothing has been brought to the notice of the court to show that decision-making powers have been exercised in an arbitrary manner. The petitioner had also failed to disclose how the notifications were causing inconvenience to the general public, Kaushal argued. After hearing the arguments, the Bench fixed September 19 as the next date of hearing in the case.

The administration, on the previous date of hearing, was reprimanded for delaying the decision on removal of the "disturbed area" tag from the City Beautiful.

The high court remarked that apparently the decision was not being taken since the UT officials were getting extra benefits and allowances on account of serving in a disturbed area.

In May, the administration had written to the Centre requesting the latter to drop the label. A notification, withdrawing the tag, is yet to be issued. UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar had recommended withdrawal of a notification under which the city was declared ‘disturbed area’ in 1983. 



Admn ignores Principal AG’s observations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
In the Rs 23.68 lakh embezzlement at the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh, there is more than what meets the eye.
While seeking registration of a criminal case against six officials working at the RLA between April 2010 and October 2011, the Chandigarh Administration seems to have completely ignored the key observations made by the Principal Accountant General (Audit), UT, against controlling officer at the RLA.

Throwing rules to the wind, the supervising officer allowed a data entry operator and a peon to deposit cash daily with the treasury. The data entry operators, appointed on contractual basis, were allowed to collect and deposit cash, but the supervisory officer ignored the glaring anomaly. The Accountant General (AG) has pointed out that it was the duty of the supervisory officer to put in place adequate internal checks to prevent loss and detect errors.

However, the Registration and Licensing Officer (RLO), Sanjeev Kohli, who is the overall supervising officer at the RLA, did not respond to the repeated calls made to know his version regarding the AG’s observations.

“Who is responsible for allowing the data entry operator to collect and deposit the cash? Why no system was evolved to verify the receipt every day?” pointed out an official in the district administration.

The report reads, “At the close of the day, the head of the office should see that the departmental receipts collected during the day should be credited into the treasury on the same day or the next at the latest. The head of the office should compare the treasury challan with the entry in the cashbook and satisfy that the amount have been actually credited into the treasury. By 15 of each month, he should obtain a consolidated receipt for all remittances made during the previous month and compare it with posting in the cash book.”

It has been specifically pointed out that nothing of the sort was being done at the RLA and head of the office did not take notice of the recommendations. The AG also pointed out that the passing fee of the vehicles was being received and receipts on this account were issued manually. The register of receipt books was not maintained in the RLA office and as such the position of stock of receipt books and their utilisation could not be verified in audit and chances of any pilferage of these receipts books cannot be ruled out.

Parshuram Kavle, UT Registration and Licensing Authority-cum-SDM (South), said the matter regarding the embezzlement had been referred to the police for registration of an FIR. In the case, Bhupinder and Gurvinder, both regular employees and four data entry operators, Neeru, Vinod, Parveen and Sumit, have been named.

Interestingly, 12 other officials, Anil Rathi, Sanjay Sharma, Narinder, Alka, Rajni, Anita and Sanjeev, who were involved in the collection of cash at the counters, have reportedly been given a clean chit in the departmental inquiry. Those named in the case lament that the RLA officials did not call them for inquiry and did not verify the evidence in their possession.

The embezzlement was detected by a special audit team, which had submitted its report on December 23 last year. The modus operandi of the employees was not to deposit the money earned on counters they were assigned to and not making consequent entries in the registers as well. Instead of being deposited into the treasury of the UT Administration, the money was being pocketed.




Experts dwell on interpretation of pathology material
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The two-day CME on “Recent advances in cytology and gynaecological pathology” and workshop on “Liquid-based cytology” ended with 250 delegates from India and abroad at the PGIMER yesterday.

At the CME, Dr Naveena Singh from London spoke on “Distal fallopian tube in pelvic serous carcinogenesis”, while Dr Durgesh Rana from Manchester spoke on hyperchromatic crowded cell groups in LBC cergical cytology. Dr Venkat Iyer spoke on the recent advances in HPV testing. Dr SK Verma from Puducherry spoke on cytopathologic approach to thyroid tumors. Dr Manoj Choudhary from Bankura elaborated cytological grading of breast carcinoma.

The problems encountered in the interpretation of pathology/cytology material were also discussed, as pathology and cytology play an important role in the management of cancer patients.

Cervical cancer is the leading cancer in India and a leading cause of death in women in India. This cancer can be easily prevented if women undergo PAP Smear test. The LBC is a test leading to better detection of pre-cancer stage, which is easily treatable.



Rainwater enters houses
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 17
Heavy rains that lashed the town in wee hours today brought misery to residents of Phase XI with water entering a number of houses.
There was knee-deep water in parts of Phase XI. Many people were caught unaware, as they were sleeping when the heavy downpour started.

Former municipal councillor Sukhminder Singh Barnala said though rainwater had been entering the houses over the years, the damage was more this time, as people were sleeping. The heavy rain had started around 1 am and parts of Phase XI had got flooded by 3 am.

He said he had rung up executive engineer, SDO and junior engineer of the department concerned. They reached the area and action was taken to provide outlets for the water to drain out.



PGI doc wins laurels

Chandigarh, September 17
The PGI’s Advance Eye Centre’s ophthalmologist, Prof Jagat Ram, has brought laurels to the institute, as he received first prize at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS) Conference held at Italy in the category of special challenging cases for implantation of customised intraocular lens in a child.

The new innovative surgical procedure developed by Dr Jagat Ram has never been performed by anyone in the world. The new technique has opened a new option for the management of difficult cases of cataract in newly born children.

The video graphed surgery and documented treatment was presented at the conference where 10 judges adjudged it the best in the category. — TNS



PPCB acts to check pollution by industries
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 17
The Mohali Industries Association (MIA) in association with the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) today launched a common effluent treatment facility programme for electroplating industries in Mohali.

The first truck carrying containers of effluents collected from member industries was flagged off by Pawan Garg, chief environment engineer, PPCB, and Anurag Aggarwal, president, Mohali Industries Association.

The effluents carrying heavy concentration of metals, which were earlier treated by the individual industries, will now be treated by the common effluent treatment facility installed at Ludhiana. Aggarwal said the PPCB had taken urgent steps to stop pollution by the effluents in the Mohali industrial area.

An agreement with the Ludhiana Effluent Treatment Society was reached to treat the effluents discharged by electroplating, zinc and nickle plating and other surface treatment industries. All effluents shall be picked up by the company from Mohali and transported to Ludhiana for treatment at a nominal cost of Rs 0.74 per litre. Samarjit Goel, senior environment engineer, PPCB, urged people to come forward and enroll for getting the effluents treated instead of discharging it in the sewerage system.



Rainwater floods college library
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The Library of Dabur Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College and Hospital in Sector 46 was in a state of flood here today.
Sources said rainwater entered the library as a pipe, discharging rainwater, broken down today.

The students complained that wherever it rains, water enter the library room, which is in the basement of the building. It takes hours to drain out water. In past, many students were injured as they slipping on the wet floor of the library.

Today, workers were employed to drain out muddy water from the library. When contacted, Dr Naresh Mittal, general secretary of Dhanwantry Ayurvedic Society, said a pipe got damaged a few days ago. The repair work was going on and the problem will be fixed soon.



Admn swings into action
Calls meeting of senior health officials to initiate preventive measures
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 17
Following reports of two cases of swine flu in the town, the district administration has swung into action and called a special meeting of senior health officials to initiate preventing measures.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam said he had called on a special meeting of the senior health officials and other officials concerned today to discuss the course of action to check the epidemic.

“We are concerned with the two cases of swine flu that were reported in the town,” said Roojam.

Meanwhile, Dr Rajiv Bhalla, senior medical officer at the Civil Hospital, said they were prepared to deal with patients of swine flu and the hospital was equipped for the purpose.

“We have all kits and medicines for the patients of swine flu. A special ward for the patients would be readied in a moment, if any patient comes,” said Dr Bhalla, adding that the hospital also has rapid response teams to check the patient at any place.

Apart from that we have lab-testing facility for swine flu, added Dr Bhalla.

Notably, two cases of swine flu, one from Sunny Enclave and another from Phase XI, have surfaced on Saturday and both patients were undergoing treatment at different private hospitals.

The authorities said they had already started taking measures, including fogging in several areas. “A special drive is also being started under which all meat shops would be checked again to ascertain whether or not all guidelines are being followed,” said Roojam.



Tree falls on parked car in Sector 44
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
A car which was parked in front of house number 3057 in Sector 44 was damaged when a tree fell on it late night yesterday. The residents have alleged negligence on the part of the horticulture wing of the municipal corporation as they say that no action was taken even after a complaint was made that trees in the area needed to be cut

The roof of the car which was parked on the road berm was damaged when the tree fell on it. Residents complained that a few months back another tree had fallen on the road due to which it was blocked for hours and commuters had to take a longer route to reach their houses.

United Welfare Association president Amarbir Singh said that the department should monitor the trees which are in bad condition to avoid any damage to the public.

Residents said that they had made a request to the horticulture wing of the corporation that there are trees near their residential area which needed to be cut immediately. Reminders were also given to the department as such incidents reportedly keep happening every fortnight.



NHAI closes 12 illegal openings
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 17
Continuing with its drive to close all illegal openings, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) today closed at least 12 such openings.
Officials have dug trenches in front of gates of these establishments and also issued warning that if these trenches would be filled by owners of the establishments, a formal complaint would be lodged against them.

Now, the number of illegal openings, which have been closed so far, has touched the figure of 100 and only 30 have been remained in the town.

“These would be closed tomorrow,” claimed an official of the NHAI. The drive started following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The affected establishments included housing colonies, marriage palaces, educational institutions, factories, hotels, dhabas and other big shops.”

“These illegal openings were posing a danger to traffic on the highway,” said a senior official.

The owners of these establishments rued that with the closing of illegal openings, their business has been affected a lot. “Neither any prior notice nor any guidelines were issued before initiating action by the authorities,” claimed several businessmen, adding that they had sent requests to the authorities for approval of these accesses. The applications in question have reportedly been rejected by the Central ministry.



‘Sukhi Basay Maskeniya’ staged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
A play ‘Sukhi Basay Maskeniya’ written by late Gursharan Singh was staged today at Punjab Kala Bhawan.
The play was based on the impact of liberal economic policies in context of political corruption of our society. The play surged through three generation, showing the changing challenges and values with time.

The first generation remained attached to honest values and spirit of free nation. Then came next generation indulged in corrupt practices. One of the acts in the play showed how a corrupt minister became victim of his own wrongdoings.

The play concluded with a sense of hope. The new generation was shown undoing past mistakes and plugging the political corruption in the country.

‘Ghar Vapasi Ke Gheet’ , another play, by Probir Guha will be staged tomorrow at 6.30pm.



Pay relief to consumer, power corp told
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 17
Claiming sundry charges to the tune of Rs 34,223 and the subsequent disconnection of an electricity connection of a consumer for non-payment of dues has cost Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd dear.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Mohali, had ordered the corporation not only restore the electricity connection of the complainant Baby, a resident of Majat village in Kharar tehsil, but was also directed it to pay Rs 4,000 to her as compensation for harassment and Rs 3,000 as the litigation cost. The forum also provided relief to the complainant, directing the corporation to revise its impugned bills after excluding therefrom the sundry charges of Rs 34,223.

Announcing the demand of the sundry charges amounts to deficiency of service on the part of the corporation, the forum bench, comprising its president BS Mehandiratta and two members, Dr SS Dhaliwal and HK Ghuman, ordered it (the PSPCL) to just calculate the amount due from her strictly as per the electricity consumed by her.

Earlier, in her case under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, against PSPCL before the forum, the complainant Baby alleged that she got a new domestic connection from the PSPCL on July 29, 2011. “In the very first bill of consumption (dated 20.10.2011), the PSPCL had claimed the sundry charges whereas my electricity consumption was only 458 units. This demand has been repeated in the subsequent bills but the department did not apprise me of the reasons for making the impugned demand,” said the complainant adding that the electricity department had disconnected her electricity connection on March 16, this year.

On the other hand, the PSPCL stated that the sum of Rs 34,223 was outstanding against the complainant’s husband Jaswant Singh, who did not deposit the consumption charges of the electricity connection taken for his shop, being run from his house. “This amount was transferred in the account of the complainant as she had applied for a domestic connection of the same premises intentionally and deliberately without disclosing that the amount in question was due from her husband,” stated the PSPCL.

However, the forum found deficiency of service on the part of the PSPCL and ordered it to pay the litigation cost and compensatory to the complainant. 



NIA fails to turn up at hearing, fined
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 17
The court fined the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Rs 200 for not turning up during a hearing in the Samjhauta blasts case here today.
The sources said the NIA was asked to provide a list of witnesses to the opposite party by the court during last hearing on September 3. The NIA had told the court that time the list in question would be given on or before Aug 17.

Today, no official of the agency produced before the court, which then imposed a fine of Rs 200 to the NIA.

Meanwhile, all the three accused, Mukesh Sharma, Aseemanand and Kanwar Chauhan-in the case were present in the court. The next hearing in the case has been set at October 4.



Residents demand repair of boundary wall

Mohali, September 17
A delegation of the Residents Welfare Association (HIG Complex), Phase 2, today met the GMADA Chief Administrator. The association demanded the repair of the boundary wall dividing of the complex and that of Madanpur village.

In a memorandum submitted, the association said the wall was constructed in 2003 by the authorities to isolate the complex from the village. — OC



senate electons
12 teachers’ fate sealed in ballot boxes
Results of four reserved seats to be declared tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The elections to four reserved seats in the Senate for teachers of Panjab University witnessed a great response from the teachers.
The fate of 12 teachers, candidates in the race to become Senators of PU, has been locked in the ballot boxes, the results of which would be declared on September19.

The third phase of the elections was on one seat each reserved for the professors from arts and science department, as well as readers from these departments.

Out of total 206 votes in the professor's category on PU campus and 6 votes in regional centres, around 195 turned up for voting. While out of total 411 votes registered in the reader category, 383 utilised their voting power. Total votes in reader, category including PU's regional centers, were 485 out of which around 450 were polled.

From professors arts category Akshaya Kumar, SK Chadha and Karamjeet Singh contested the elections, while from science category Rupinder Tewari, SK Mehta and Sukesh Sharma were the candidates.

Among the readers category from science departments Malkiat Chand Sidhu, Amit Chauhan and Kamaljit Singh were the contenders, while from the arts departments the contest was among Dinesh Kumar, Kuljeet Kaur Brar and Pardeep Sharma.

The fourth and last phase of Senate election will be on September 23 with voting for 8 seats each reserved for PU affiliated arts college teachers constituency and arts college principals. This will be held along with the voting for 15 seats of graduate constituency.



Chandigarh scan
Seminar held

The Department of Public Administration, Postgraduate Government College, Sector 46, in collaboration with the Centre for Consumer Studies, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, organised a two-day national seminar on ‘Consumer Awareness as an Emerging Force in India.’ The guests of honour were Justice SN Aggarwal, president of State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Punjab; Pushpa Girimaji, author and columnist on Consumer Rights; Dr BS Ghuman, head of department, Public Administration, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Justice SN Aggarwal in his address defined the word ‘consumer’ and threw light on the working and effectiveness of consumer redressal forums in India.

‘ViVidha’ launched

Confederation of Indian Industry’s Young Indians, Chandigarh Tricity Chapter, today launched the project ‘ViVidha’ - a learning-cum-activity centre to enhance the education, soft skills and overall development of the body and mind of the underprivileged children. ViVidha is a place where the underprivileged children would get free access to a large number of books, games, toys, activity games and other learning aids. ViVidha was formally inaugurated today at Kaimbwala, near Sukhna Lake. Children presented a welcome song and also performed a dance. A painting competition was also organised as a motivational activity for the children. The painting competition saw participation of around 100 children and the top three paintings in different category were awarded. Mini and Simi bagged the first prize, Ashmita and Nandram won the second prize and Sonu and Chirag won the third prize.


Dr Ravneet Kaur, Associate Professor, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has been awarded J.R. Jolly Award at 37th National Conference of Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and Immunhematology held at Mamallapuram,Tamilnadu. Dr Ravneet Kaur is also the editor of Asian Journal of Transfusion Science.


Dr Simerjit Kaur, assistant professor (environmental sciences) of Rayat-Bahra Group of Institutes, was selected to be a part of international editorial board for “Journal of Environment & Ecology”, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, and associate editor for International Journal of Plant Physiology & Biochemistry. “She is already in the team of editorial board of “Journal of Environment Science & Technology” since last year,” said Gurvinder Singh Bahra, the chairman of RBGI.


An emergency meeting was held of the office-bearers of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal at a hotel in Chandigarh. The meeting was regarding joining of nationwide protest by traders against FDI in multi-brand retail. It was decided that a half-day bandh, from 10 am to 2 pm, on September 20 shall be observed in the city markets to show solidarity with the call given by Bhartya Uduog Beopar Mandal.

Best chapter award

The Chandigarh Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has bagged the prestigious "Best Chapter Award-2012" and placed itself among top of the 140 national and 15 international chapters. While informing about this achievement, the local INTACH convener, VK Kapoor (retd IPS) informed that this prestigious national award has been made possible by the active participation of the members of the organisation.

Rice distributed

Competent Foundation, a NGO, formed by the competent group headed by Sanjay Tandon, to fulfill the corporate social responsibilities, distributed 5 kg rice to 110 widows in Mauli Jagran, Vikas Nagar,Chandigarh. Sh. Subhash Dhir, State Head Haryana & Chandigarh unit of Sri Sathya Sai Baba Trust, and Rakesh Sharma, Managing Director of Riken Instruments, Chandigarh, accompanied him.

Badminton tournament

A three-day PTU Inter-College Badminton Tournament was held at Desh Bhagat Engineering College here today. A total of 55 teams, including 35 teams of men and 20 teams of women, participated in the tournament. While presiding over the prize distribution function, Director General Dr Shalini Gupta said sports are an essential part of our education. College Principal Dr JK Chawla and college administrator Dr Inderjeet Singh Sethi were also present on the occasion.

Mohali scan

Industries to go green

Mohali Industries Association in association with Punjab Pollution Control Board today launched the Common Effluent Treatment Facility Programme for the Electroplating Industries in Mohali. The effluent carrying heavy concentration of metals, which was earlier treated by the individual industries, will now be treated by the common effluent treatment facility installed at Ludhiana. The first truck carrying containers of effluent collected from the member industries was flagged off today from Mohali by Pawan Garg, Chief Environment Engineer, PPCB, and Anurag Aggarwal, president of Mohali Industries Association.

Founder's Day celebrated

St. Xavier's, Mohali, celebrated the Founder's Day with much pomp and show. The week-long celebrations kicked off with various fun games held for primary classes and seniors participated enthusiastically in card making, hat making and rangoli making competitions. The school wore a festive look with streamers and balloons strewn all around the campus. A friendly football match was also organised for staff and students.

Club formed

Students of Lawrance Public School, who formed a club to help the poor, in Mohali on Monday.
Students of Lawrance Public School, who formed a club to help the poor, in Mohali on Monday. A tribune photograph

Lawrance Public School, Sector 52, Mohali, today formed an interactive club of the students of Lawerance Public School between the age group of 12 to 18 for the service of needy with Shivalik Rotary Club of Chandigarh. Members of Rotary Club of Mohali and Chandigarh participated in it. The students of schools and colleges are chosen to help the people.

Twenty students of Lawrance School were chosen as volunteers to help and raise the standard of living of the underprivileged people.

Tribune Reporters



Reimbursement to private schools under RTE Act
UT Education Department studying Delhi model
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
The UT Education Department is studying the criteria adopted by the Delhi Government regarding reimbursement to private schools for enrolling children under the RTE Act.

Officials of the Department said while the per child reimbursement will be decided as per the provisions of the RTE Act, the study of Delhi’s criteria will give the department a strong foothold in deciding the matter, which is one of the important components in the implementation of RTE Act.

The Delhi government has recently finalised that Rs 1,190 per child per month shall be reimbursed to private schools for enrolling children under the reservation quota of the RTE Act.

The Education Department has recently sent its officials to Delhi and will soon finalise its own per child expenditure, which has been pending for a long time.

Official in the Department said required assistance from Punjab and Haryana could not be sought, as the states have not yet finalised their respective per child reimbursement rates.

On March, the Department had held a discussion to work out a plan on the expenditure per child, keeping in view the provisions of ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009’.

After detailed deliberation, the expenditure per child was settled at Rs 980.31 per month, which was calculated on the basis of annual recurring expenditure incurred as per the reconciled figures of budget on elementary education during the financial year 2010-2011.

The annual recurring expenditure includes total salaries of the department, wages, medical and office expenses, maintenance charges besides mid-day meal expenses.

Sources said the monthly expenditure per child could not be finalised as there were few observations marked by the financial department, which has not been sorted out.

DPI (s) Upkar Singh said the department has taken up the issue on priority basis and final decision is expected soon.

Consider our viewpoint: Private schools

HS Mamik, president of the Chandigarh Private School Association, said the government should make us one of the parties in the process of finalisation of the monthly reimbursement amount, to be given to us against reservation quota as necessitated by the Act.

He, however, has shown disapproval of the criteria adopted by the Chandigarh Administration in the overall calculation.

According to him, the RTE Act states that the government will reimburse us to the extent of per child expenditure incurred by the state but as per the rules framed by the Chandigarh Administration, it has only taken in its consideration the recurring cost, doing away with establishment cost as well as the capital cost incurred by the department while calculating the per child reimbursement.

He also mentioned that the bills of several private schools were pending with the Education Department for over a year now. 



PU students stage protest over promotion norms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Ex-PUSU leaders staged protest at PU today. They demanded relaxation of norms in promotion criteria for the selection to MSc programmes.
About 20 students took part in the protest, including two who observed hunger strike for an indefinite period. The students said in 2010, the university had increased the credit points from 80 per cent to 100 per cent for the promotion from BSc to MSc.

The decision is affecting many students, waiting for their promotion to MSc, due to low credit points.

“While the university recently changed the credit points from 100 per cent to 90 per cent for selection to MSc programme, but there are many students who are still failing to meet the norms,” said ex-president of PUSU Jajwinder Singh Sidhu.

He said 80 per cent selection criteria from BSc to MSc should be restored so that those waiting to get promoted in their postgraduate courses should not be left out.

According to him, there are several students in mathematics and pharmacy department, who are still waiting for their admission in their respective MSc programmes.



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