C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


GMADA puts Bindra on notice
Says warehouse being constructed on land belonging to him in violation of periphery Act 
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 23
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has issued a show-cause notice to Indian ace shooter Abhinav Bindra for constructing a warehouse on the city’s periphery allegedly in violation of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, here.

In a public notice, inserted in a national daily, it has been mentioned that Abhinav Bindra and 14 others have been undertaking construction work in violation of the Act. Abhinav has been issued a notice for constructing a warehouse along the Dera Bassi-Gulabgarh-Behra link road.

Under the provisions of the Act, any construction on an area within 16 km of the outer boundary of Chandigarh and in the area outside the lal dora of villages is prohibited.

According to an official of GMADA, a boundary wall is being constructed on land belonging to Bindra, which falls in a free economic zone at Behra village (Dera Bassi).

“We have found that the land (15 acres) belongs to shooter Abhinav Bindra. We were told that a warehouse is coming up on it and they have applied for change of land use (CLU) permission,” said JS Tiwana, EO, Regulatory, GMADA.

He added that they had also served a notice on June 29 this year on the owner/owners of the land to clarify their position before July 12. “Nobody has turned up till date,” said Tiwana.

Now, GMADA has issued a show-cause notice to Bindra to justify his position with respect to alleged violation of Section 5 of the Act by appearing before GMADA Additional Chief Administrator Manjit Brar on September 27 at 3.30 pm. 

Not aware, says Bindra

I am not aware of any such notice having been served. I cannot comment on the issue right now as I have returned from Canada after a month and do not know anything about it
— Abhinav Bindra

CLU permission

GMADA officials have told us that change of land use (CLU) permission has been okayed for our land and we have to pay Rs 62 lakh (approximately) as the CLU charges for the purpose. When there is nod for the the CLU, how can there be any violation? We have submitted all drawings, maps and other related documents to GMADA as per the law. We have all related documents and will deposit the CLU charges soon. We have not seen any public notice in any newspaper. If there is any such notice, it is wrong
—Dr A S Bindra, Abhinav's father


Our inquiries have revealed that the land belongs to shooter Abhinav Bindra, a resident of the Bindra farmhouse on the Zirakpur-Banur road at Chhat Kisanpura village. We had pasted a similar notice on their property on June 29 and asked them to clear their position by July 12. However, they did not respond. We have been told by the field staff that they have not sought any permission from us and have started construction work
— JS Tiwana, EO (Regulatory), GMADA



PU blocks YouTube on the campus
Says it was being misused by students for downloading movies, songs 
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Sudents of Panjab University (PU), who are addicted to downloading and watching songs and movies from YouTube, will not be able to do so using the wifi facility as the university has blocked the website in academic blocks and all 18 PU hostels. This has been done following the alleged misuse of the site for downloading content of no academic relevance.

The university found that students were using the website for downloading movies, following which the step was taken. Some websites from which students used to download pirated software have also been blocked on the campus.

Tankeshwar Kumar, Director, PU Computer Centre, said the facility was provided to the students for surfing content related to academics. It had been observed that students were instead downloading videos and movies, leading to network congestion (slow Internet or network connectivity). “Often, users burden the network by downloading or exchanging large files. This slows down the speed of the network and the Internet, hampering other users' work,” Tankeshwar Kumar said.

He said the aim behind the move was to provide better and uninterrupted facility to the students using the facility for academic purposes.

Officials said the network administrator must track the users who were "hogging the bandwidth" and limit their number so that the network was congestion-free.

The wifi facility has been provided in all 18 boys and girls' hostels on the PU campus, besides the teaching blocks. On an average, the minimum downloading per day per hostel is around 30 gigabytes (GB), which if put together for all hostels works out to be 540 GB everyday. During the weekends, the downloading rate is very high.

University officials said students requiring YouTube for research purposes or downloading lecturers of academics will be provided access through the computer centre. 



34-year-old man feared drowned 
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, September 23
A 34-year-old man was feared to have drowned while immersing an idol of Lord Ganesha in the Ghaggar river here today. Divers from Ropar had failed to find him till the filing of this report.

Sanjay Sharma, a priest of Chandi Kusht Ashram, Sector 47, Chandigarh, who was present on the spot, said around 40 devotees arrived to immerse the idol in the Ghaggar near Dera Bassi this afternoon. After performing puja, some of them entered the river to immerse the idol. Ravi and his father-in-law Raghunath (50), who were standing on a stone, slipped and fell into the river. “While devotees managed to pull out Raghunath from the river, they failed to rescue Ravi, who drowned in the river. Devotees made a human chain in the river to find him, but could not locate him,” the priest said. Raghunath was taken to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, for treatment. He was discharged from the hospital after giving him first aid.

SHO Gurdial Singh reached the spot with a team and called expert divers from Ropar. A team of three divers, Harbans, Subhash and Raju, arrived at the spot at about 4 pm. However, they failed to trace Ravi. The SHO said arrangements had been made near Chhat village to find the body in case it reached there with the strong current of the water. Ravi was a driver and stayed at Chandi Kusht Ashram in Chandgarh. He and his wife have two daughters and a son. 



Most tourists weren't aware of disturbed area tag
City sees 200% rise in foreign tourist arrivals during the past 10 years 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Though the disturbed area notification was in force since 1983 till it was quashed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently, it seems tourists, both domestic and foreign, were not aware about the disturbed area tag of Chandigarh. Despite this tag, the city saw a 200 per cent rise in the number of foreign tourists during the past 10 years.

Interestingly, tourist guides in the city were also not aware about the disturbed area tag. They said they were never asked by foreign tourists about the disturbed area tag.

Tourist guide HK Sharma, who deals with foreign tourists, said not a single foreign tourist in these years asked him about the disturbed area tag. He said he came to know about the notification only a few days ago through newspapers.

He welcomed the High Court order, saying that the city was peaceful and there was no need for the disturbed area tag.

Martin B Paul, a tourist from the UK, said he had come to Chandigarh to see the marvel of French architect Le Corbusier. Asked whether he was aware about the disturbed area tag of Chandigarh, he replied in the negative. As compared to 13,706 foreign tourists in 2002, last year the number was 37,181. An official said the figure of foreign tourists increased continuously till 2010. Last year, it witnessed a dip of around 2,000. He said the department was expecting more tourist arrivals this year, especially from October. This year the city saw the arrival of 2,472 foreign tourists in January, 3,094 in February, 3,901 in March, 5,719 in April, 2,462 in May, 1,562 in June and 2,055 in July. 



Cut the flab, study warns city residents
Finds 75% people obese or overweight
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
A whopping 74 per cent of Chandigarh residents have failed to maintain good cholesterol levels and 75 per cent have been found to be overweight or obese, the Saffolalife Heart Study-2012 has revealed. At least 67 per cent of Chandigarh respondents were found to be consuming less than two servings of healthy whole grains per day, a recommended diet by doctors to avoid heart diseases.

The study, aimed at identifying the common risk factors for soaring cases of heart disease in India, was done over two years across 12 cities and covered more than 1.12 lakh people in the 30 to 100 age group.

While 53 per cent respondents in Chandigarh were found to be obese, 22 per cent were overweight. The national Capital has similar figures. The two cities are followed by Hyderabad where 52 per cent respondents were found to be obese.

Experts say Indians need to take care of their heart at a time when the number of cardiovascular deaths are projected to rise to 25,84,000 by 2020, up from 11,75,000 in 1990. A majority of them may be in the productive working age group (30 to 44), they add.

The study revealed that 75 per cent men in the age group of 30 to 34 stood at a risk of cardiovascular diseases as compared to 57 per cent women, highlighting how the younger male working force was falling prey to heart diseases.

Dr HK Bali, Director, Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said in order to keep heart diseases at bay, it was imperative to get rid of obesity or overweight. Obesity lead to multiple health complications, including hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases. Those who were obese and had heart disease were at a greater risk of heart attack and had less-than-optimum response to treatment, he said. To maintain good cholesterol (low HDL) levels, brisk walking or jogging were helpful, Dr Bali said.

Eating habits were an important factor, which could help reduce the risk of health complications, said Sonia Gandhi, Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Fortis Hospital, Mohali.

“High dependence on processed and fried foods and a menu devoid of vegetables, fruits and whole grains will only make people vulnerable to heart diseases,” she said. 


Civic body yet to axe 328 dead trees
Fails to find takers for tenders with a reserve price of Rs 9 lakh
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

A tree that fell in a park at Sector 22, Chandigarh.
A tree that fell in a park at Sector 22, Chandigarh.

A dry tree poses a threat to commuters at a parking lot in Sector 17, Chandigarh.
A dry tree poses a threat to commuters at a parking lot in Sector 17, Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, September 23
Instead of taking immediate steps to axe 328 dead trees posing risk to the lives of residents, the Municipal Corporation is more interested in making monetary benefits out of it and is delaying the felling of these trees. A month ago, UT Advisor KK Sharma had given green signal to axe the dead and dangerous trees after visiting the residential and public places site to avoid any mishap to the life and property in the area. But the fact is that till date not a single dead tree has been axed by the authorities.

The reason being, the forest department after monitoring the trees recommended that the reserve price of Rs 9 lakh should be fixed for the auction after which the contractor would be responsible for axing and selling them. Keeping the fact in mind, the corporation floated the tenders and three private contractors submitted their tenders ranging between Rs 5 lakh to 5.30 lakh. But since the forest department had recommended the reserve price of Rs 9 lakh, the corporation was in a fix whether they should bear the financial loss or not by allotting the work at a lower cost.

An official said that for quoting lower price, the contractors gave a plea that out of the 328 dead trees around 15 per cent did not have any market value as they were in a bad condition.

As per the corporation norms, when the department gets complaints regarding dead or dangerous trees, the corporation sends requests to the UT Administration and seeks permission to cut them. After receiving the permission action is taken by the department.

Chief Engineer S S Bidda said that the final decision of allotment of tenders had not been taken yet as the contractor had quoted a lower amount than the reserve price.

Last year in November, the corporation in consultation with the UT Forest Department had sent a report to the UT Administration recommending 200 dead and 128 dangerous trees should be axed immediately as a majority of them were in the residential areas and posing threat to the lives and property of the people living in the area.

Records of the corporation revealed that the corporation was waiting to get the permission to axe the dead and dangerous trees for more than a year. It is strange that despite of some dead trees being uprooted during the recent rainy season, the authorities are still busy allocating the contract to remove them.



Henna should tender apology, feel residents

The Chandigarh Police has done nothing wrong as far as Henna Bakshi's case is concerned. She should tender an apology. People in India need to realise that civil behaviour is important under all circumstances, irrespective of age of a person. Our society has suffered a lot due to such behaviour.

M Rajiv Lochan

Residents must abide by code of conduct

One must always abide by the code of conduct. Youngsters should not post such comments on social networking sites. What if your parents do not listen to you? Will you abuse them? Those who keep posting such comments on Facebook will now think before doing so. The police's page on the Facebook is for helping people, one must not use the same for settling scores.

Upasana Bhargava

Police should quash FIR

Despite being issued warnings and directions, Henna posted comments against the police on Facebook. The police should have tried to ascertain the reason behind Henna's move. But the police booked her under the IT Act. The officials should have interacted with her to solve the problem. It should be more sensitive towards public's problems and should quash the FIR.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Awareness on cyber laws must

The efforts made by The Tribune will help people deal with the problems related to social networking sites. This is not the first such case. Students keep posting such comments against their teachers on Facebook.Such abusive language should not be used. People should be made aware of cyber laws so that such incidents do not take place in future.The police should have a friendly approach towards residents' problems.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Mani Majra

Police should change its behaviour

Words such as politeness, manners and etiquettes are gradually losing their meaning. The Chandigarh Police has initiated a number of technological and administrative systems. But the general public rarely get to meet well-behaved officers. The police should change its behaviour towards the residents. Approaching the police is already a daunting task and its behaviour makes it even worse. There are legal ways and escalation matrix through which one can take up the matter.

Shashank Parmar, Panchkula

Apology must

The Chandigarh Police's page is to address residents' grievances. The general public should be sensible and humane in its approach towards the police to air their grievances, if any. Henna Bakshi had crossed all limits of decency in openly using abusive language against the police for their negligence or delay in registering a case of car theft. Public platforms should not be used for abusing anyone. Even the Chandigarh Police should always be there to help the residents. It should stick to its motto, "We Care For You". It should deal with the public in a polite and cooperative manner and punish those who defy the laws/rules and criminals or offenders. Henna Bakshi should apologise and the Chandigarh Police should also forgive her.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Police inaction annoyed her

Henna Bakshi did the right thing as she failed to get any reply by the Chandigarh Police to her queries regarding her stolen car, though the use of abusive language was not justified. When the authorities do not listen to us, we have to resort to such means. She was just venting her frustration. The police did nothing when she lodged a complaint. But when she expressed her anger over the slack approach of the police, it was on its toes to deal with her. Instead of taking this Facebook incident so seriously, the police should have done something to find out the stolen car.

Isha Dahiya, Panchkula

Henna should not be punished

If Henna Bakshi is liable to be booked under the IT Act, almost the entire Facebook fraternity should be booked, and then the police will have no other work to do! This is because the use of such lingo is now widespread and accepted by modern society of youngsters. Such words have ceased to convey meanings assigned to them in orthodox times. In fact, the use of such words on social networking sites in modern times has become "meaningless". She should have exercised while addressing any grievance or complaint. The words must be looked down upon and not encouraged in any manner whatsoever, but they are not so offensive so as to criminalise her behaviour. As more and more of us use social media, it is important that the law understands how people communicate online.

Pankaj Chandgothia, Panchkula.

One must not cross the line

The use of abusive language on Facebook by Henna Bakshi was wrong. Although youngsters have the right to express their feelings, there is a certain limit which should not be crossed. On the other hand, the police should also perform their duties well and must be dedicated to the public. Only then, the public will have faith in them. Henna surely doesn't deserve imprisonment and police should be lenient with her. She should be spared as it was just a way to vent her frustration although wrong. Young people must realise that the authorities cannot be treated in a humiliating manner like in this case. The youth ought to use social networking sites responsibly and not use any explicit language. Above all, the police should try and locate the car and not indulge in blame game. A lot of awareness is needed regarding cyber laws.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Youngsters need to be sensitised on cyber laws

The recent incident of a youngster Henna Bakshi posting abusive comments against the police on Facebook shows the growing frustration and aggression among youngsters. The social networking sites are a platform for people to socialise and express their feelings, but these have to be used with responsibility and dignity. The police needs should not entitle her to any kind of imprisonment and punishment. The way the police has reacted was actually required when she complained about her car. The police should act swiftly on people's complaints. Youngsters must not humiliate the authorities by using abusive language. The youngsters need to be sensitised on cyber laws.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Police should improve its working

Henna Bakshi, who is the daughter of serving Army officer, has been booked under Sections 66-A and 67 of the IT Act, punishable with a jail term of more than two years a non-bailable offence and this section deals with abusive language and obscene contents on the Internet. It seems that this is a result of over-zealous Chandigarh Police which instead of informing her about her stolen SUV started questioning her. The police should work on improving policing and lowering the city's crime rate and rather encourage the girl who got a national bravery award at the age of 10 from the Prime Minister of India.

There is no doubt about it that most of the users of social networking sites are not aware of the cyber law and government is doing nothing to educate them. Even inventors of the Internet are unable to manage it because of the fact that they never anticipated the scope and far-reaching consequences of cyberspace.

Kulbhushan Kanwar, Sector 48, Chandigarh

Authorities doing little to meet challenges

It is not for the first time that the Chandigarh Police has registered a case against a national bravery award winner Henna Bakshi for allegedly abusing the police on Facebook. Such things do happen across the country repeatedly whereas in certain genuine cases, FIRs are not registered. Undoubtedly, there have been several instances where well-led police organisations have played a crucial role in preventing riots and checking uncontrollable law and order situations. They have also brought laurels for the entire force. But the state and Central authorities have done little to re-orient their forces to meet the challenges. Santosh Kumar Suman, an advocate, expressed his resentment and demonstrated at Vigyan Bhawan where the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, was to address.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Open house question

The episode of eviction of the Central Club in Sector 9, that caters to senior citizens, over the non-payment of lease money has brought to the fore two sets of rules being adopted while fixing lease money of clubs in the city. With the issue being raised, such places where recreational activities are organised for senior citizens, have come into limelight. Send your suggestions, if any, to openhouse@tribunemail.com



Malaria cases on the rise in Panchkula
Fogging has not been done in the town for months, say residents
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 23
Malaria cases are on the rise in the town. Despite seven cases of malaria being reported everyday at General Hospital in Sector 6, the district health authorities are yet to wake up to the alarming situation.

For the past few months, fogging machines have been lying unused at the hospital.

Interestingly, one can even see dirty water accumulated in the hospital.

When contacted, district health officer Dr Harpreet said he was not aware of the issue as he was on leave.

The residents complained that for the past one year fogging had not been done in the area.

Around 60 cases have been reported in the past 15 days.

A hospital employee said, "The fogging machines have been lying unused in the hospital."

"We attend to seven to eight patients everyday. Earlier, there used to be two or three cases, but now the number has increased," said a senior doctor at the general hospital.

Residents said, "Are the authorities waiting for a casualty to take place? We can't even go for a walk. The fear of malaria is keeping everyone indoors," said Geetika Shekhar, a resident of Sector 16. Panchkula.

She added, "It is the responsibility of the authorities to get the fogging done in the area." "Are the authorities sleeping? The situation worsens during rainy season. Fogging should be done every fortnight," said Shalini Trehan, a resident of Sector 12A.

When contacted, executive officer of the municipal corporation OP Sehag said, "I don't know why fogging is not being carried out in the area."

Principal medical officer (PMO) Dr Usha Gupta could not be contacted.


High fever with with chills

Nausea and vomiting

It is difficult to diagnose malaria by reviewing symptoms such as mild jaundice (yellow skin and sclera, whites of eye), headache, general fatigue,muscle aches, cough, sweating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and mild fever


Use mosquito nets

Use repellents and coils

Wear full-sleeved shirts


A malaria patient should not donate blood

Do not take self-curing medicines in case of infection, instead consult health officials.

If symptoms worsen, do not hesitate to bring it to the notice of a doctor



Over 600 blood donors felicitated at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
As a part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the PGI, the department of transfusion medicine honoured its voluntary blood donor organisations as well as donors in a function organised at the Bhargava Auditorium here today.

Over 600 voluntary donors and blood donor organisations were honoured on the occasion. The honoured organisations have been organising at least four blood donation camps in a year for more than 10 years.

These include The Tribune Employees Union, Chandigarh; Sant Nirankari Mandal, Radha Soami Satsang, Beas; Competent Foundation, Chandigarh; Chandigarh Traffic Police; Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association; Vishvas Foundation, Panchkula; the PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh; DAV College, Chandigarh; the State Bank of India’s local head office, Chandigarh; MLN College, Yamuna Nagar; MLN College, Radaur; Seth Jai Parkash Mukand Lal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Radaur; SD College, Ambala; GMN College, Ambala; SA Jain PG College, Ambala; Canara Bank Officers’ Association, Chandigarh; Baba Sheikh Farid Blood Donors’ Council, SAS Nagar; and The Indian Express Blood Donors Club, Panchkula.

Individual donors and voluntary plateletpheresis donors who had donated blood more than 25 times were also honoured on the occasion. The centurion donors who were honoured included Arun Aggarwal (205), Charanjit Singh (185), Rajinder Garg (155), Parag Raj Sharma (151), Praveen Moudgil (146), Shiv Kumar Malhotra (143), Amar Vivek (123), Avinder K Khanna (118), Ajay Kumar Malhotra (118), Ashwani Kumar Munjal (117), Harish Sharma (116), Mohinder Singhal (115), Saheb Saran Setia (110), Jagtar Singh Benipal (108), Kamal Gupta (105), Rakesh Rasila (105), Capt Reet MP Singh (105), Ajay Gupta (104), Yogesh Sood (100) and Dr V Usha Rao (100).



Bumpy welcome to commuters in Mohali
Road connecting Phase I and Phase V in bad shape
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

A road in need of repairs at the Industrial Area, Phase I, Mohali.
A road in need of repairs at the Industrial Area, Phase I, Mohali. Tribune photo: vicky gharu

Mohali, September 23
Commuting on the road connecting Phase V and Phase I police station has become a nightmare.

The road is full of potholes. Not only those riding two-wheelers, but the drivers of four-wheelers also find it difficult to commute on the road due to its pathetic condition.

Over a year ago, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had dug up the road to widen it. But the work was stalled midway following the non-availability of construction material, including sand and gravel.

Along the road, which is also one of the main entry points to the town, there are several big industries and important offices, including the Mohali Fire Station, Phase I police station and the office of the DSP (City I).

"Firemen have to go through a harrowing time while commuting on the road," said a policeman posted at Phase 1 police station.

Pramod Kumar, a resident of the area, said if the authorities had to stall the work on the road due to some reason, it should have at least get the potholes covered. A number of accidents have taken place on the road.



Bank employee helps trace missing girl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
With the UT police failing to find a missing girl for over four years, a cyber trainer managed to trace the girl on the basis of financial tracking techniques. The police has rewarded Manpreet Singh, with Rs 25,000 for tracking the missing girl.

The UT police had failed to track the girl, Rekha, whose missing report was lodged in 2008 at the Sector 34 police station.

Her family members had complained that they suspected kidnapping by or elopement with a Delhi-based boy identified as Akash. A criminal petition was also filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The police conducted raids in Bihar, Kolkata, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, but were unable to trace the two. They gave pictures of the two in newspapers and also announced a cash reward of Rs 25,000, but it did not yield any fruit. The police had, then, approached Manpreet Singh, zonal legal manager with ICICI bank, in March 2012.

Rekha was traced using financial tracking and mobile telephony techniques near the Mumbai-Pune highway in Mumbai and produced before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A police raid was conducted and the couple was taken and presented before the High Court.

“It was a tough case to crack as the smss were destroyed and mobile numbers were switched off and not used again. I collected the details of their financial transactions and as well as those of the suspects. Finally their location was traced,” said Manpreet Singh who received the reward from the DSP (South) .



SHO’s gunman ‘slaps’ woman constable
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
A woman constable of the UT police alleged that a male constable manhandled and slapped her near the traffic beat box in Sector 17 today. An inquiry has been marked into the incident.

The incident occurred at around 2 pm when the woman traffic police constable, Niharika Singh, reported that constable Rajesh Kumar, who is the gunman of the SHO of Sector 17 police station, allegedly slapped her.

Constable Niharika was on duty at a traffic beat box near ISBT-17 when the constable went there in the official gypsy of the SHO. In her complaint to the police, Niharika reported that she got into an heated argument with the constable following which he twisted her right arm and also slapped her twice at the traffic beat box near ISBT-17.

Ashish Kapoor, DSP (central), said an inquiry had been marked into the allegations of Niharika and a report would be sent to senior officials. The inquiry was marked to Sub Inspector Sarita Roy.

A family dispute between both the constables Rajesh and Niharika is said to be the reason for the scuffle. Ten days ago, constable Rajesh’s sister was pushed into the Ganges by her husband, who is also a constable with the police. Constable Niharika is said to be the cause of the matrimonial dispute between Rajesh’s sister and her husband and thus they are on bitter terms, sources said.

Preliminary investigations also revealed that Niharika reported the incident two hours after she was allegedly slapped and there are no eyewitnesses to the incident.

The medical examination of Niharika was conducted at GMSH-16 and her medical report is still awaited. A daily diary report was registered at the Sector 17 police station.

On September 13, constable Rajesh Kumar’s brother-in-law who is posted as the security officer with an Inspector, took his wife to Haridwar and pushed her into the Ganges. Luckily for her, the woman (Rajesh’s sister) survived. However, her husband returned home and enacted a drama that his wife had been killed accidentally. The entire conspiracy came to light when the woman confronted her husband yesterday along with her parents. A separate inquiry is being conducted into the incident on orders o SP Desraj Singh. 



Banks driving force behind country’s development: Bansal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 23
Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal assured the banking sector that he would put forward their demands, as their representative with the Union Government, at the sixth triennial circle general council meeting of the State Bank of India Staff Association (SBISA), Chandigarh Circle, held at Indradhanush Auditorium, Sector 5, Panchkula, today.

While addressing the inaugural session, Bansal said he enjoys a good rapport and long standing cordial relation with the banking sector stalwarts.

More than 3,000 comrades from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and UT Chandigarh had participated in the meeting.

“Banks have played pivotal role in the country’s development, especially the State Bank of India. The banking sector is the driving force in country’s development that is driving the whole country,” he added.

He said in 2008, when the world was washed away by recession, it affected the Indian market too. Though recession had come from the first world countries, but India too became one of its victims. “But still the country has held its head high in difficult times and the onus for it lies with the banking sector. Even today we are reeling under economic crisis, which has increased the duties and commitments of this sector,” he said.



Officers in a dilemma over postal charges
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
A recent communiqué from the Ministry of Personnel and Training regarding non-charging of postal expenses while supplying information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has put the Central Public Information Officers (CPIOs) in various offices of Chandigarh Administration in a dilemma.

While clarifying on recommendations made by the Central Information Commission (CIC) to make rules for charging fee towards supply of information, the ministry has clarified since the Act did not provide for charging of fee towards postal expenses or cost involved in deployment of manpower for supply of information, the applicants should not be asked to pay fee on such account.

On the other hand, the CPIOs say that on many occasion the applicants has to be intimated through registered post to submit fee as low as Rs 2 for photostat copy of a page and to send the registered post, the department concerned has to spend Rs 20.

“There are several cases in which for supplying photocopies up to five pages, the applicants are asked to pay Rs 10, but the department has to spend double the amount in sending the intimation letter. This is in addition to the money spent on sending the information sought by a registered letter”, said an official, on condition of anonymity.

Many officials admit that sending intimation letters or the information through registered letter becomes a compulsion because often the applicants approach the appellate authorities or the CIC against the department concerned.

While the ministry has clarified that the RTI (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005, has provision for charging of fee for giving information in diskettes, floppies, or photocopies, it is not desirable to charge fee towards the expenditure involved in mailing the information or overhead expenses. Nevertheless, supply of information in a form that would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority could be refused by the information officer.

The CPIO said on an average, daily about 10 letters were sent by registered post in each of the public related offices to the applicants who had sought information under the RTI Act.



AFT’s Chandigarh Bench down to single court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
After being augmented briefly, the strength of the Armed Forces Tribunal’s (AFT) Chandigarh Bench has been reduced to a single functional court again. The Chandigarh Bench has three authorised courts, but now only one court remains functional after a judicial member was transferred out a few days ago.

The Chandigarh Bench is among the largest benches of the AFT and has a huge pendency of cases. The entire workload of the Bench has now come down on the single court. Sources said that there are over 3,000 cases pending before this Chandigarh Bench that covers the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.

Justice NP Gupta, who was earlier the senior judicial member here, has been moved to the AFT’s principal Bench at New Delhi. The principal Bench also has three designated courts, but for the past many months only one court has been functional. The court was being held by the AFT’s chairman, Justice AK Mathur, who is also responsible for the administration of the AFT that comprises nine regional Benches spread across the country.

The Chandigarh Bench earlier had two functional courts, but this came down to a single court after Justice Ghanshyam Prashad retired earlier this year. On occasions, as many as 300 cases were listed for hearing on a single day. A few months ago, Justice Rajesh Chandra was appointed as a judicial member at Chandigarh, taking the strength to two courts along with Justice Gupta.

Thereafter, it was only for a few weeks that two courts remained functional. Sources said a judge from the Punjab and Haryana High Court is being considered for appointment as a judicial member, but no formal announcement has been made so far. There are several other benches where the posts of judicial members are laying vacant. 



Admn plans retaining wall at Nada village
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 23
To address the impending danger at the Nada village, where five houses got washed away due to the overflooding of a seasonal rivulet on September 16, the administration is planning to construct a retaining wall around the area soon.

The administration has declared the situation as alarming with the possibility of the whole village being washed away in the future.

“We have decided to construct a retaining wall around the village to protest it from flash floods,” said an official of the District Administration.

He further said: “The work would be started within a week, and we will try our level best to complete it soon.”

Continuous rain for two days was responsible for the flooding of the rivulet. Fortunately, no one was inside the houses when the incident took place.

The villagers had complained that despite many requests to the administration, nothing had been done to address the issue.

The administration officials who reached the spot on the day of the incident had informed that the situation was alarming, and if it continued the whole village could get washed away with the seasonal rivulet.



Theatre enthusiasts treated to shadow puppetry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Theater enthusiasts in the city experienced a different genre of the art through the play 'Kalpataru' staged as a part of the ongoing Chandigarh theatre festival at Tagore Theatre here today. Staged by Delhi-based Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust, the play used shadow puppetry to tell the story of the relationship between a boy and his friend, a tree. The play, based on 'The Giving Tree', interpreted this famous story through shadow images, puppets, actors and music.

At times, the boy and the tree became one, showing that how destruction of one lead to degradation of the other. The director of the play, Dadi D Pudumje, started puppetry as a hobby in Pune and since 1976 has been using this as his theatrical medium. 



Tricity scan
Ration cards

A Delhi-based artist gives the finishing touches to a puppet for the forthcoming CITCO Street Art and Street Food Festival at the Sukhna Lake on Sunday.
A Delhi-based artist gives the finishing touches to a puppet for the forthcoming CITCO Street Art and Street Food Festival at the Sukhna Lake on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

The District Food and Supplies Department has announced that the residents who had applied for fresh ration cards, or renewal of or change in personal details in their existing ration cards can collect them from the office of Food and Supplies in Sector 17. If the renewal, addition of a minor member of the family, deletion of names, or issuing of a surrender certificate is not done on the same day, the applicants are required to meet the Joint Director, Food and Supplies, at the office on working days. Applicants who do not get their fresh or updated ration cards within 12 days of submission of an application are also required to meet the Joint Director.

Media’s role in inclusive growth

Media must devote more space to the large marginalised population in the country to ensure an inclusive growth, said Rajeshwar Dyal, senior advisor to a German foundation -- Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-India -- while addressing a seminar on ‘Media and Human Development’ on Saturday. The seminar was organised by the Media Information and Communication Centre of India (MICCI) in association with the German foundation and the local chapter of the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI). The seminar touched upon various critical issues that are impeding human development in the region and the country, and the proactive role that media can play to bridge the communication gap between the government and the people. Rajeshwar Dyal said though media is driven by market forces, it must contribute to human development as a part of its social responsibility. The gap between the poor and the rich was widening to an alarming proportion with only 8,043 families in the country controlling India’s wealth, he said. While 18 to 19 percent of the wealth was shared amongst 24-crore-strong middle class, the remaining 80-crore population was left with only one percent share, he added. Dyal remarked that human development to be sustainable required equal participation of every stakeholder, and the media acted as a binding force by disseminating vital information as well as championing the cause.

2 held for dumping hazardous material

Acting on a tip-off, a team of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) detained two trucks from which hazardous industrial waste was being disposed of near an industrial unit on the Barwala Road in Dera Bassi last night. A PPCB spokesman said the truck drivers confessed that the waste material, broken and discarded pieces of asbestos sheets, was carried from an industrial unit in Saidpura village, Dera Bassi. Soil was spread over the waste material after dumping it, the spokesman informed. The truck drivers, indentified as Dharminder Singh of Bahadurgarh village in Dera Bassi and Gurmail Singh Birchpadi village in Ambala, along with the trucks and the JCB machine being used for dumping the material, were handed over to the police. The spokesman said suitable action will be taken against the erring industrial unit as per the environmental rules. Asbestos sheets are used for erecting rooftops of temporary sheds.

Freshers’ party

Students pose in traditional attire during the freshers’ day celebrations at the Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology in Banur on Sunday.On the onset of a new academic session, students of the Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology hosted a freshers’ party for the new students on the campus on Sunday. The four-hour-long event was well attended by students and management of the institute. They witnessed various singing and dance performances including traditional and Western forms.

Students pose in traditional attire during the freshers’ day celebrations at the Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology in Banur on Sunday. A tribune photograph

Grandparents’ Day celebrations

Ashmah International School celebrated Grandparents’ day on its campus. Children showed their love and affection for their grandparents who visited the school on the occasion. Grandparents shared their experiences with the children. Students, in turn, presented flowers to them. Director JS Kesar said grandparents provide unconditional love, patience, comfort and lessons for life.

Seminar on latest business trends

A seminar on sustainable business was organised by Taaleem College of International Studies (TCIS). Information on latest business trends and new global educational trends were given to a group of prospective postgraduate students on the occasion. CEO of the institute said sustainability in business in broad terms meant the ability to meet the needs of the present while contributing to the needs of the future generations.

Plantation drive

An official gives a sapling to a child during a plantation drive at Mullanpur on Sunday.
An official gives a sapling to a child during a plantation drive at Mullanpur on Sunday. A tribune photograph

Saplings of various plants were distributed at Togan village during a plantation drive on Sunday. The drive, Mullanpur Van Mahotsav and Environmental Awareness Campaign, was organised by developers of a township in Mullanpur.

DS Bains, Home Secretary and Financial Commissioner and Secretary Forests, Punjab, was the chief guest on the occasion. Other dignitaries present on the occasion included Rajinder Singh, ADGP, Directorate of Police Welfare, Punjab; Jagdish Mittal, IG, Law and Order, Punjab; Jatinder Sharma, Principal Conservator Forests, Punjab; Shive Verma, DIG; and environmentalist Andrew Cook. — TNS



Panjab University Senate
Last phase of polling gets over
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The fate of 65 candidates in the race for 15 seats under the graduate constituency of the Panjab University Senate has been sealed with the last phase of polling ending today. The polling was held for a total of 31 seats. Other constituencies included PU-affiliated arts colleges’ principals and teachers, with eight seats reserved for the both. The eight seats for college principals had 11 contenders, while there were 22 candidates vying for a seat in the House under the teachers’ constituency.

Voters turned up at a total of 278 polling booths spread across Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Dehradun and Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan. Although there were around 3 lakh registered voters, a low turnout was witnessed at most of the polling booths. Out of the total 91 seats in the Senate, that is the governing body of PU with tenure of four years, elections on a total of 49 seats are held. Out of these, polling for six seats under faculties, three seats each for technical college principals and technical college teachers, and four seats for PU teachers have already been held.

Two seats are, moreover, reserved for members of the legislative assembly of Punjab, one each from the ruling party and opposition party. These are held through voting among themselves, that is yet to be held.

In addition to these, 36 Senators are nominated by the Vice-President of India, who is the Chancellor of the university.

The counting of votes for the principals’ and teachers’ constituencies will be held on September 25, while the counting of votes for the graduate constituency is expected to begin from September 26. 

Voters Hassled

A number of voters registered under the graduate constituency didn’t receive a letter from the university informing them of the polling booth where they were supposed to cast their votes. They ended up shuttling from one polling booth to another


Incidents of boothcapturing were reported from polling booths at Tarn Taran, Ludhiana and Patti. Later, however, the polling was conducted peacefully

Tight Security

Armed policemen would be deployed at the gymnasium hall from September 24 as all the ballot boxes would be assembled there. The counting will be held under tight security



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