C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT Admn acts fast to seal Central Club
Tribune News Service

Members of the Central Club have accused the authorities of going back on their assurance of not sealing the club till Monday
Members In shock: Members of the Central Club have accused the authorities of going back on their assurance of not sealing the club till Monday.

Chandigarh, September 22
Taking members of the 37-year-old Central Club situated at Sector 9 here by surprise, a team of the enforcement wing of the UT Estate Office sealed the premises of the club at about 9 am this morning. The enforcement team was accused of forcibly moving out certain employees of the club, who were present inside the premises at the time of its sealing.

Meanwhile, members of the club, led by its president Vinod Talwar, accused the officials of the administration of betraying them as they had been given assurance by the authorities concerned last evening that no action would be taken till Monday. They alleged that the officials of the estate office deliberately sealed the club on the weekend so that the members could not approach the court for a stay.

The Joint Secretary (Finance) and the enforcement team, led by Inspector, Ravinder Sharma, took no time to seal the premises after ascertaining that no member of the club was present inside. A strong posse of policemen accompanied the enforcement team.

Meanwhile, Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta denied that no such assurance had been given to the members of the club. “We have just implemented the orders of the court. The government property is back with the government,” he added.

Last evening, the members of the club, who were present in large numbers, had prevented the UT officials from sealing the club. Its president said: “The officials, including ADC Mahavir Kaushik, Assistant Estate Officer (AEO) Rahul Gupta and Joint Secretary (Finance) SK Setia, had decided last evening that the management of the Central Club would give a representation in writing to the UT Administration. After that they would discuss the matter with their senior officials to decide the future course of action”.

Soon after the sealing of the club was done, many members of the club descended on the scene. Later, they called on the UT Advisor, KK Sharma, and put their grievance before him. They told the Advisor that there were around 1,500 members of the club, a majority of them in the age group of 70 to 90 years. The Advisor is reported to have promised them that he would look into the matter.

The members of the club pointed out that while the administration was swift to take action in their case, it had been sitting on the cases pertaining to the recovery of increased lease money from the Chandigarh Club as the matter involved the interests of senior bureaucrats of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

Administration shouldn’t adopt two sets of rules: Members

The controversy over the sealing of the premises of the Central Club took a new turn when the agitated members of the club produced papers showing that the administration was adopting different yardsticks while dealing with clubs. While the lease money of the Central Club had been increased from Rs 19,009 per annum to Rs 25,567 per month with retrospective effect from March 1, 1993, the administration had been sitting on the file of renewal of lease money of the Chandigarh Golf Club. Showing papers procured under the RTI, Brig Sukhdev Singh (retd), said the administration had lost Rs 18 crore by delaying the pending issue of renewing the lease money of the Chandigarh Golf Club at the calculated rate of Rs 9,56,685 per month with effect from January 1, 1993. The UT officials, who, along with senior bureaucrats of Punjab and Haryana, are members of the Chandigarh Golf Club, allegedly ensured that the Golf club continued to pay the old lease money of Rs 8,200 per month for an area of 132 acres under the garb of keeping the case of renewal of the lease money pending. The issue, which has been pending since 2008, has repeatedly been brought to the notice of the officials of the UT Administration, including the UT Administrator Shivraj Patil. But no action has been taken yet, said Brigadier Singh.

Thirty club employees rendered jobless

Kamla Devi, an employee of the club, in tears
Kamla Devi, an employee of the club, in tears.

Not only the members of the club were in a state of shock on finding the club sealed on Saturday morning, but the action also sealed the fate of 30 employees of the club who were earning their bread and butter by working there. Kamla Devi, who has been working at the club for the past many years, was in tears while saying, “I do not know what grudge has the officials against the club. It is feeding our families,” she said. The president of the club, Vinod Talwar, said many of the staff members had been with the club for many years. The electricity bills and salaries of the staff were paid through the daily earnings of the club, he said.



Congress leader’s gunman fires at SP

Mohali, September 22
The police has registered a case of attempt to murder against a gunman of a local Congress leader after the former opened fire at a Superintendent of Police following the SP had heated arguments with the leader at a marriage function at SR Farms located on the Kharar-Landran last night.

The constable, Daljit Singh, has absconded.

Police sources said Daljit, Congress leader Rajwant Singh’s gunman, was with the leader at a function held in connection with the marriage of Manvir Singh Benipal, owner of GILCO Valley. Jasdev Singh, Superintendent of Police, Ladha Kothi (Punjab), was also there. Over a minor issue, Jasdev and Rajwant engaged in arguments which turned sour when Daljit opened fire at the SP with his official weapon.

Daljit was reportedly in an inebriated condition. — TNS



Man loses Rs 39,000 in ATM fraud
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
In yet another incident of ATM fraud, a city resident has lost Rs 39,000 to cyber criminals. The resident’s hard-earned money was withdrawn from his account without his knowledge.

Shafiq Ahmed Siddiqui, a resident of Sector 31, who serves in the Indian Air Force, was shocked to know that fraudsters had withdrawn such a huge amount from his account on September 11.

I had withdrawn Rs 1,000 from an ATM of the SBI situated at the Aroma petrol station in Sector 22 on September 11. The same day Rs 39,000 was withdrawn from the same ATM machine from my account, he said.

Siddiqui came to know about the fraud on September 15 when he checked his account balance at an ATM at Sector 47. “I was surprised to see the balance and immediately tried to contact the bank officials on the helpline numbers of the bank. However, all my efforts went futile,” he said.

Siddiqui has lodged a complaint with the police at the police headquarters at Sector 9.

Over half a dozen ATM frauds have been reported in the city in the last one month.

In view of a sudden spurt in ATM frauds, a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh, was also formed. However, it is still groping in the dark.

Safety tips

  • Always cover the key panel with your hands while entering your ATM PIN.
  • Change your PIN frequently



PU gets software to detect plagiarism
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Copying material for PhD thesis from researches already done across the world would not be possible anymore as Panjab University has purchased a software to detect plagiarism. The software, named Turnitin, is adept at identifying plagiarism from all the researches available online. The university has spent over Rs 2 lakh on the software.

Turnitin is a leading academic plagiarism detection software and is utilised by teachers and students to avoid plagiarising and for ensuring academic integrity. Officials said that the software, which is used by all prominent universities across the world, is capable of detecting the material copied from any research which is available online.

The university has purchased 100 licenses of the software and would install it in all the teaching departments where teachers could use it to check theses and other material submitted by students as part of their research. The PU is also organising training programs for the faculty to make them aware about the functioning of the software. “The software can detect copied material, but it would be the teachers who would decide whether the copied content can be termed as plagiarism,” PU officials said.

Interestingly, the software will only be able to detect plagiarism in theses written in English. The research conducted in departments like Hindi, Tibetan Studies, and Punjabi (where theses are written in Hindi, Punjabi etc) will not be benefited from the software.

The proposal to have a software that can detect plagiarism was made after three PhD students were caught copying research thesis a couple of years ago. Two of the students were from the history department and one from the political science department.

The content of PhD theses submitted from now would be cross checked from the software before awarding degrees to research scholars.


Mohali seeks more ctu routes
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 22
The district administration asked the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) to increase its reach within the district by introducing new bus routes. The CTU is said to have agreed to start the new routes soon.

In a recent meeting between Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam and CTU Director TPS Phoolka, Roojam stressed upon increasing bus routes to cater to the growing needs of the local residents. The district is yet to start its own local bus service and largely depends on the CTU buses for local public transportation. “I have asked the CTU officials to increase the frequency of buses and to add new routes in the city map. We have discussed about starting special direct-route buses to various colleges and Panjab University in Chandigarh from different phases of Mohali,” said Roojam.

The other new routes that have been discussed, includes special buses to Mohali Industrial Area during morning and evening hours. Apart from that, new buses will be introduced to cover newly developed sectors, including Sectors 66, 67, 68, 69, 70 and 71 along with Phases 5, 3B2 and Fortis Hospital. “We have also discussed about introducing some new routes to those areas which are yet to be connected with the local public transportation,” said Roojam. “We were told that we would get a fleet of 100 new buses by December and then we would get many new routes in the district,” said Roojam.


I have asked the CTU officials to increase the frequency of buses and to add new routes in the city map. We have discussed about starting special direct-route buses to various colleges and Panjab University in Chandigarh from different phases of Mohali. — Varun Roojam, Deputy Commissioner



700 ‘Walk for Fun’ in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
As many as 700 people gathered at the Sukhna Lake here today to take part in ‘Walk for Fun’, an annual event organised by the Chandigarh Police and the Chandigarh Senior Citizen Association.

Many in their eighties covered a maximum distance of two-kilometres during the event.

School children joined the walk to bridge the generation gap. After the walk, children took part in games like tug-of-war and musical chair. The winners of both events were awarded certificates of appreciation.

At the end of the event an interaction between the senior citizens and the officials from Chandigarh Police was held where several senior citizens said stricter enforcement of traffic rules, especially for two wheelers and school rickshaws, was required. Check on PG accommodation, provision for community parking in sectors, ban on loud music and synchronisation of lights at roundabouts were other concerns that the senior citizens pointed out.

Seventy-five year old Dr Tej Pal Singh Cheema said the PCR staff should be given training on first aid so that they can help people in case of an accident, before rushing the injured to hospitals.

Tarsem Mittal, another senior citizen, said indecent behaviour of youngsters in parks or parking lots should be checked.

The senior citizens, who are also acting as Traffic Marshals, said the police do not inform them about special nakas well in advance. They demanded that the police should intimate them about these a day before or in the morning so that they can work accordingly.



HUDA doesn’t practise what it preaches
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 22
Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), which is supposed to remove encroachments and to enforce rules and regulations, seems to be blind when it comes to violation of rules around its own office at Sector 6, Panchkula.

Around eight to ten ice-cream and juice vendors carry out their business just around the HUDA office. “It is a shame for HUDA. They claim that they have removed encroachments in various parts of the township but what about the encroachments around its own office,” said Amit Pal Singh, a resident of Sector 7, Panchkula.

He added, “This is the main roundabout of the city and vendors surround it. People stop at the roundabout to eat and drink that result into traffic.”

Even the HUDA officials themselves eat from these, alleged another resident.

“HUDA officials have turned a blind eye to the encroachment, which is just under their nose, for reasons best known to them. HUDA is not practicing what it preaches,” said Raj Binder, a resident of Sector 6, Panchkula.

Nakul Sharma, a resident of Sector 11, said, “The HUDA official remove some of the encroachers and leave others.”

Estate Officer of the HUDA said, “These vendors may not be permanent. But I will still look into the matter and get it checked tomorrow.



theatre festival
Energetic performances bring alive ‘Piya Behroopiya’
Tribune News Service

Artistes perform during the play ‘Piya Behroopiya’ at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Saturday
Artistes perform during the play ‘Piya Behroopiya’ at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Saturday. tribune photo: s chandan

Chandigarh, September 22
After an overwhelming response to the opening play, the second play of the Chandigarh Theatre Festival, ‘Piya Behroopiya’, was also very well received by art lovers of the city. The play was staged at the Tagore Theatre today evening.

An adaptation of Twelfth Night, one of William Shakespeare's best known romantic comedies, Piya Behroopiya was first performed at the Globe Theatre in London as a part of the World Shakespeare Festival where it received appreciation.

The sheer energy of the performers brought alive themes like unrequited love and mistaken identity which form the core of the play. The play was directed by Atul Kumar of The Company Theatre. Atul Kumar has been involved in producing cutting edge theatre work in India since 1993. He has recently set up an artist residency programme in a countryside location in Maharashtra as a laboratory for theatre research and performance.



IIT experts: Repeated carpeting of roads reason behind waterlogging
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 22
A team of experts from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, has advised the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) against repeated re-carpeting of roads.

The IIT team is in the city on the invitation of GMADA to solve waterlogging problem, which the city faces during the monsoon. "With the repeated re-carpeting of road, the level of road increases in comparison to the level of houses in the area. This leads to entering of water in the houses as well as waterlogging," said the team members.

While talking to the mediapersons, Dr Kapil Gupta, head of the Department of Drainage Management, IIT, Mumbai, said the drainage system of the town also needed to be upgraded.

Dr Gupta said with the drastic change in climate, the rainfall pattern had also changed. "We witnessed heavy rain in less time nowadays," he said. "Drain pipes in the city are small and the drainage system is old. The size of the drain pipes should be increased,” said Dr Gupta.

He added that automatic rain gauge equipment should be installed at a distance of 4 sq km in the city. He also suggested that the drainage system should be cleaned before March 31. He also said a boundary wall should be constructed along the choes, passing through the city.

The GMADA officials said they would adhere to the suggestions and would do the needful within two months, before the team visits again in November.



bail to drug peddler
Two CIA officials sent to lines
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 22
Following the controversy over granting of bail to an accused drug trafficker, the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) today has sent two policemen of Crime Investigating Agency (CIA) to lines.

The two, in-charge of the CIA Inspector Karamvir Singh and Surjit Singh were sent to lines after it was found that they did not comply with rules. It was recently that the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered for CBI probe into case. Praveen Kumar, accused in drug trafficking case, allegedly got relief by paying Rs 37 lakh. The High Court also expressed suspicion on the involvement of Panchkula Police officials in contentious case.



PUCSC reaches out to hostel residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
In a bid to address the grievances of the Panjab University students residing in the university hostels, the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) is going to launch a program "Students Council at Doorstep". Under the programme, students will be asked to report their problems to the student council based on which a report card of each hostel will be prepared.

PUCSC president Satinder Singh said that through this program, the council aims to reach out to hostel inmates and ensure that all the problems are addressed.

"The university authorities will be asked to meet the demands of the hostel inmates based on the the complaints received," the PUCSC president said.

The students council has decided to form flying squads to check the quality of food in hostel messes, canteens, department canteens and students centre. Also, a team would be actively working to check the proper functioning of the offices, wifi's and other necessary infrastructure.

"The PUCSC has decided to work towards the improvement of education standard in the university along with the betterment of living standard in hostels," SOPU president Manoj Lubana said.

PUCSC general secretary Kuldeep Sheoran said that they would make all efforts to improve the world ranking of the university. "We would come up with proposals to ensure that Panjab University gains respect across the world," he said.

The PUCSC had also launched a similar program in 2009 when Amit Bhatia, a SOPU candidate, won the elections and got elected as student council's president.



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