C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Quashing of land acquisition 
UT to seek legal opinion
Has already paid 35 landowners compensation of Rs 5 crore
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park

Chandigarh, October 12
A day after the Supreme Court quashed the land acquisition for the Phase III of the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP), the UT Administration today sought legal opinion on the cases where a compensation of around Rs 5 crore has already been paid. Of the 200 landowners, whose land was acquired, 35 have already been given the compensation.

The UT Administration is seeking legal opinion as to how the Administration will get their money back from those landowners, who have already accepted the compensation amount.

There were more than 200 landowners, whose land was to be acquired for the phase III of the IT Park. Thirty-five of these accepted the compensation amount of Rs 18.75 lakh per acre announced by the Administration. Remaining landowners had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the land acquisition process.

Sources said that since the Supreme Court had quashed such large-scale land acquisition; therefore, the UT Administration was taking the advice of the legal department in the matter.

UT Adviser KK Sharma said that they were yet to receive the certified copy of the Supreme Court order but he assured that they would comply with the directions of the Supreme Court.

He further added that after receiving the copy, the Administration would analyse the order and would review the shortcomings on the part of the Administration. Brig KS Kahlon, one of the petitioners, suggested that instead of taking back the entire amount of compensation at one go from the landowners, the Administration should give the facility to the landowners to pay back compensation amount in installments. 

To review draft of Industrial Policy (2009)

As the Supreme Court order has put a brake on the expansion of IT sector in the city, the UT Administration has planned to review the draft Industrial Policy of 2009. In the policy, the Chandigarh Administration had plans to change the definition of the city industry by including industries such as information technology, biotech, telecom, retailing, healthcare, entertainment and vocational institutions, besides the already existing automobile servicing, manufacturing and warehousing in its gambit. A senior official of the UT Administration said that as there was a proposal for including the IT sector in the industrial area as well, they would soon review the policy. 

Quashing of land acquisition

In 2007 too, Patil was Union Home Minister

Incidentally, in March 2007, when some landowners had demanded from the Union Government to exempt their land from acquisition, which was turned down, even at that time the present UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil was the Union Home Minister. 



No rice, only karhi served to students at Dhanas government school
Midday meal workers caught off-guard during ADC’s inspection
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service,

Chandigarh, October 12
Anomalies in the Midday Meal Scheme came to the fore in Government Middle School, Dhanas, today when many students had to do with a bowlful of “karhi” only as the boiled rice to be distributed, fell short right in front of Additional Deputy Commissioner Mahavir Kaushik, who was inspecting the implementation of the scheme at the school here today.

When he entered the school at 11 am, he found students of a class eating only “karhi”. When he asked the students why they were not having rice, he was told that there was not enough rice.

Harmeet Kaur, principal of the school, said that the supply of the midday meal was comparatively less today. The ADC asked the school authorities to keep a regular check on the supply of the food and ensure that every student got the sufficient food to eat. The schools are supplied with cooked midday meal.

In his visit to another school, Govt High school, Dadu majra, the attendants there were found not using aprons and gloves while distributing the food to the students. The ADC pulled up the authorities to ensure that the food was served hygienically.

Kaushik said while the quality of the food was “reasonably” good but there was some distribution and supply problem. He would send a detailed report to the Secretary, Education.

The inspection followed in the wake of ChandigarhA appointing 14 senior officials, including HCS/PCS officials of the UT, to regularly visit government schools and inspect the quality of the midday meal being served to the children to their level of satisfaction. Every officer has been given eight schools every month and is asked to submit the report regularly. The inspection exercise which started in October will be on till March 2013.

Senior official of the education department said that since mid-day meal was an important scheme of the Government of India and it was actively monitored by the Supreme Court, this inspection exercise had been started to streamline the system and to remove anomalies if any.

Children don’t like bottle-gourd, yellow dal

The schoolchildren told me that they did not like bottle gourd and yellow dal as a part of their midday meal. I will send this feedback to the authorities. Although these two dishes are of high nutritive value, we can make some changes in the menu so that the food fancies the taste buds of children
— Mahavir Kaushik, Additional Deputy Commissioner 



Pinjore kidnapping case
Child rescued, two arrested
Accused were planning to take him to Kolkata
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 12
Six-year-old Pawan, who was kidnapped while playing outside his house at Bhagwandaspura in Pinjore two days ago, was rescued by the Panchkula police on the outskirts of Pinjore this night. Two youths were arrested in the case.

The police said the youths were planning to take the child to Kolkata when they were arrested. Assistant Commissioner of Police Krishan Kumar Hooda said the police would be interrogating them tomorrow to find the motive behind the kidnapping. The police is suspecting it to be a case of human trafficking.

“The accused are not professionals. They don’t even have a criminal background. We are investigating as to whether they had some enmity with the father of the accused,” said another police official.

Pawan’s father Bhagwan Singh works at a company in Baddi. Pawan was playing outside his house after returning from school on Wednesday evening when the two youths kidnapped him. Bhagwan Singh filed a complaint with the police after Pawan’s friends informed him about the incident. 



Finally, RC printer becomes functional at RLA
Schedule for delivery of RCs to be issued soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
After a long wait, the printer at the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) has started printing registration certificate (RCs), raising a hope that the high pendency of the document will be cleared soon.

So far, the pendency of the registration certificate and driving licence (DL) has crossed 23,000. It might take a few days for the authorities to clear the backlog of DLs as the printer for the document was still creating some problem.

It is learnt that the authorities at the RLA will start issuing the RCs once they clear the backlog of printing the documents. Daily, around 1,000 RCs were being printed to create bank before a schedule was announced to deliver the document.

Vinod P Kavle, Registering and Licensing Officer (RLO), said the schedule for delivery of the RCs would be issued soon.

While the problem with the printer for RCs has been sorted out and it has started printing the document, the printer for DLs might take another a few more days to become functional. It is learnt that technical glitch with the DL printer was the reason behind the problem.

Sources reveal that senior officials in the administration had taken a serious note of the delay in clearing the backlog at the RLA. Special efforts were being made by the IT department and the authorities at RLA to clear the backlog. 


Students injured
Auto they were travelling in overturns at Dhanas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Four schoolchildren were injured after the auto-rickshaw they were travelling in overturned at Dhanas this morning. The students were on their way to school when the accident took place. The auto-rickshaw driver also sustained injuries.

According to the students, the accident took place when a cat crossing the road hit the front wheel of the auto-rickshaw, following which the driver lost control over the vehicle.

There were eight students travelling in the auto-rickshaw when the accident took place. Four of them, however, escaped without any injury.

The students and the driver were taken to the Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, for treatment.

Those injured have been identified as Priya, a Class XII student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22; Priyanka, a Class XI student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21; and Aditya and Navjot, both Class II students of Shishu Niketan Model School, Sector 22.

While Priya and Priyanka received injuries on their back, Aditya and Navjot sustained facial injuries. The auto-rickshaw driver, who was also admitted to the hospital, has been identified as Uma Shankar.

Sahil, one of the students who escaped unhurt, said they had just started for their schools when the accident took place. 



Over 500 take part in function to mark World Arthritis Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Forgetting their pain and problems, several arthritis patients took part in a function to mark World Arthritis Day at a hotel in Sector 35 and danced to the tunes of bhangra. Over 500 people attended ‘Friends of Fortis’ meet organised by the Fortis Hospital, Mohali, today.

“Who says that knee replacement patients get confined to their seats.

Our life, which was once full of pain, is now back to normal," said Neerja Walia, a patient.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Manuj Wadhwa, director and head of orthopaedics and joint replacement, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said, “Arthritis cripples the basic mobility of a person and consequently impacts the life of the entire family. However, with advanced technology and the world class medical services we have today, it is possible to treat even the most challenging of cases.”

“A joint replacement surgery now takes just 15 minutes and the technologically-advanced, made-to-order implants dramatically increase the range of motion, give a more natural feeling knee and greater ease in performing normal living activities.”

Renowned hindi poet and humorist Surendra Sharma and well known actress Sulabha Deshpande participated in the meet.

A short play, based on a 17-year-old patient, Simran, was also staged. Simran recently overcame the crippling disease. After being bed-ridden for over 6 years, Simran was able to walk again after a path-breaking surgery conducted at the hospital by Dr Manuj Wadhwa and his team.

According to Daljit Singh, president, Strategy of Organisational Development, Fortis Healthcare, there is an increase in the number of arthritis cases in Punjab.

Patients who have undergone joint replacement also sashayed down the ramp showing how their life had returned to normal.



Public darbar postponed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil will not hold the public darbar scheduled for October 15.

Instead, he would be attending the convocation ceremony of Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar, that is taking place on the same day. Patil, who is also the Chancellor of the university, will be visiting Jalandhar to address the convocation.

The UT Administration, however, will reschedule the public darbar shortly.

During the last public darbar held on October 1, Om Prakash, a complainant from Hallo Majra, was allegedly manhandled by the security staff of the UT Administrator. Om Prakash had come there with his grievance of "police inaction" on his complaint.

Thereafter, Om Prakash had also lodged a complaint with the Chandigarh Police against the security staff. The police is conducting an inquiry in the matter. 



Sanction posts for sanitation dept, urge councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
A five-member delegation of Municipal Corporation councillors met UT Adviser KK Sharma to impress upon him to grant an approval for the pending proposal of sanctioning 1,328 fresh posts for the sanitation department.

During the meeting, the councillors said as the area under the jurisdiction of the corporation had increased manifolds, there was a dire need of increasing the staff strength of the department. The delegation, led by committee chairman HC Kalyan, also took up the issue of regularisation of services of daily wagers who were appointed on compensatory grounds.

The delegation also demanded that the norms for five per cent reservation of appointments on compensatory grounds should be waived as the death rate of the sanitation staff was quite high. Referring to the 2011 figures, the members informed that 31 sweepers died during the year, and the number till June this year stood at 12. The UT Adviser gave a patient hearing to the delegation and assured them an appropriate action would be taken on the demands raised by them.



Apathetic world of babudom depicted through play ‘The Bureaucrat’
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
‘The Bureaucrat’, a play depicting the apathetic world of babudom, was staged at the Tagore Theatre today by the Mumbai-based theatre company Rage. The two act production, though a little slow paced at a few places had everyone in splits the moment it started portraying the corruption-ridden politician-bureaucrat nexus.

The reflections of a 1968 batch bureaucrat, Raghuvir Gupta, the main character of the play, on Nehru’s socialistic era and Indira’s License Raj had the audience laughing aloud. The play is set in the year 2011 when Gupta is called in to counter a massive nationwide campaign, 'Kapde utaro', launched by youth icon DJ Dishoom who happens to be Gupta's estranged son. Gupta is told to stop his son and save the government from international embarrassment as the protest is to be held during the visit of the President of France.

The play deals with the issue of corruption and scams which the country saw during the past sixty years. While the end of the play is a bit predictable, the comic timing of the actors, and the play, is extremely witty.

The play is not a sugarcoated reflection of Indian society, rather a hard hitting narration of India’s social and political crisis. This is where the theatre group Rage scores.



ABVP protests against Rahul Gandhi’s visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Members of the ABVP submitted a representation to the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor today against the 'politicisation' on PU campus in the name of student convention. Students demanded a justification over the visit by Rahul Gandhi and an inquiry against the officials who gave the permission to Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) to hold the event.

ABVP leader Dinesh Chauhan said that when they objected to the event, they were told that it would be a student convention which would have discussion on education sector. But the function turned out to be a political rally. “What is worse is that the Congress general secretary, Rahul Gandhi, didn’t even mention the university or the student council in his speech,” Chauhan said.

Students, in their representation, criticised Rahul Gandhi’s statement that seven out 10 youth in Punjab take drugs. “More than 50 per cent students in PU are from Punjab. The report which appeared in national dailies indicate that the drug related remark made by the Congress leader was in reference to the students of PU,” Chauhan said.

The ABVP members stated that the PU authorities have set a precedent for other student organisations which would also start inviting their party’s national leaders for political rallies at the university in the name of student convention.

Students have demanded an enquiry against the PU officials who gave the permission to the student council for holding the function.

Students also pointed out that the venue was full of outsiders, who entered from the back gate near the law department. The ABVP have threatened to launch an agitation against the authorities if the university fails to take any action.



Interactive session on continental cuisines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, today organised an interactive workshop for students and faculty on "Continental Cuisine - Classical and Contemporary Trends" The workshop was conducted by master chef Parvinder Singh Bali.

The students of the institute and faculty from many hospitality institutes all over India participated in the workshop.

Parvinder Singh Bali, programme manager, culinary services,

Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development (OCLD), New Delhi, is a renowned chef, has worked under many reputed chefs all around the world, and has vast knowledge of international cuisines.

In the workshop, Bali shared his knowledge about the origin of the continental cuisine, regional variations, cultural and regional influences.



GMADA hikes transfer fee on LOI
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 12
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has hiked the transfer fee on letters of intent (LoI) for plots falling in Aerocity, Eco City and Sectors 76 to 80.

It is learnt that persons who have received LoIs from GMADA would have to shell out extra money if they wish to transfer these documents.

The worst affected are those who have been allotted plots in Aerocity where the transfer fee of LoI has been hiked from 1 per cent of the total price of the plot to 2.5 per cent. In the case of the Eco City plots, the fee for the transfer of LoIs has been increased from 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent of the total cost of the plot. Persons who were allotted plots in Sectors 76 to 80 have also not been spared by the GMADA. In their case, the transfer fee for LoIs has been hiked from 1.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

Chairman of the Mohali Property Consultants Association Shalinder Anand said the step of GMADA was totally unjustified.

Government should stick to the commitment made by it while floating the Aerocity and Eco City schemes. It was no mentioned in the brochures for these schemes that transfer fee shall be increased.

The former senior vice-president of the erstwhile Municipal Council, NK Marwaha, said the brochure was a contract between the allottees and GMADA. The increase in transfer fee was an arbitrary step and was totally wrong.



3-fold rise in dengue cases in Mohali
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, October 12
Dengue cases are on the rise in Mohali and have witnessed a threefold increase over the previous year’s figures. Almost all the areas in the city have recorded dengue cases this year.

Out of the 201 samples tested for dengue fever at the Civil Hospital so far, 100 had tested positive. As many as 83 of these samples were from Mohali district, out of which 46 tested positive. Mohali city alone had recorded 31 cases, while 12 were from the rural areas of Gharuan block, and three from the rural areas of Dera Bassi block.

Sources said that last year 68 samples were tested for dengue fever in Mohali district out of which only 15 had tested positive.

Dr Rajiv Bhalla, SMO in charge of the Civil Hospital, said private as well as government hospitals had been sending samples for testing. Most of the samples were from urban areas, scattered all over the city, he said.

Assistant Civil Surgeon Meena Hardeep Singh said teams had been sent to spread awareness in areas from where dengue cases were reported. The Municipal Corporation had also been asked to intensify fogging operations.



New OPD timings at GMSH-16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Oct 12
Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, has released new timings for its Out Patient Department (OPD) and allied dispensaries that will come into effect from October 16.

The new timings — 9am to 3pm — will remain in effect from Monday to Saturday during the winter season till April 15 next year.

Hospital’s allied dispensaries, including Ayush Dispensaries; Civil Hospital-cum-Community Health Centre, Manimajra; Community Health Centre, Sector 22; and Poly Clinics, Sector-45, would also be observing the same timings.

The ESI dispensaries in Sectors 29 and 22, and the dispensaries of the UT Secretariat, Punjab and Haryana Secretariat and the high court, would not follow the new timings.



40 addicts from Ropar attend rehabilitation programme
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 12
In order to detoxify 40 drug addicts, a camp was organised at the Civil Hospital in Phase VI here.

The camp, organised in collaboration with the Nehru Yuva Kender, was inaugurated by the newly appointed Director of Department of Health and Family Welfare Ashok Nayyar.

The SMO in charge of the hospital, Dr Rajiv Bhalla, said the addicts were divided into two batches of 20 each. They were detoxified and were given provided counselling as a part of the rehabilitation programme.

He said a survey was carried out in Ropar district to identify the drug addicts, and later they were motivated to join the treatment programme. Nehru Yuva Kender bore the expenses for the treatment.



Woman killed in accident near Ramgarh
Was hit by police vehicle, claim eyewitnesses; cops deny 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 12
A 32-year-old woman was killed and her husband seriously injured, after the motorcycle on which they were travelling, was hit by a vehicle near Ramgarh today.

The victims identified as Sunita and Surinder were rushed to General Hospital Sector 6, Panchkula, where Sunita was declared brought dead.

Eye witnesses said the vehicle allegedly belonged to the police, the police denied that their vehicle was involved in the accident.

The couple was coming to Panchkula from ITBP, Bhanu, for some work when the incident took place.

“Surinder was driving the motorcycle and when they reached near Ramgarh, a vehicle coming from the opposite side hit them head on and the couple was dragged over a long distance,” said Mukesh Kumar, an eyewitness.

The person driving the vehicle fled the spot after the incident. It was after passersby gathered on the spot and informed the police that the latter reached. The victims were rushed to the hospital by the passersby.

Satish Kumar, station house officer of the Chandimandir police station, said, “It was not a police vehicle but belonged to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police officials.” On the other hand, a senior ITBP official said, “All our vehicles are intact. Had it been our vehicle, it would have got damaged but not even a single vehicle is damaged.”

It was not a police vehicle but belonged to the ITBP officials
- Satish Kumar, station house officer, Chandimandir police station

All our vehicles are intact. Had it been our vehicle, it would have got damaged but not even a single vehicle is damaged
- Senior Indo-Tibetan Border Police official

In August too, a cop was involved in accident at P’kula

It was in August when a police vehicle had rammed into an auto-rickshaw resulting in the death of the auto driver and three others. The erring police driver driver, Nachhatar Singh, who was posted at Police Lines, Sector-26, was seen in police custody, yet he was not arrested.



Improvement chances doubled
PG students at PU can take exam four times in five years
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
In a path-breaking decision, the Panjab University has decided to allow postgraduate students of the university and its 180 affiliated colleges to take improvement exams four times in five years after completing degree. Earlier, students used to get only two chances to improve their scores.

Mukesh Arora, a Syndic and one of the committee members that took the decision, said that the decision will benefit thousands of students who will now have more chances to improve their scores.

"With the introduction of semester system in PG courses in PU and its affiliated colleges, the number of subjects students study in an year has almost doubled. However, the students were getting only two chances for improvement. Now the students will get four chances to improve their scores which they will have to avail within five years after completing their PG," Arora said.

PU offers the benefit of improving the final scores as per which a student can apply for improvement in as many subjects as one wants in each chance. However, with the semester system, the number of exams had increased from 8 to 16 in a year but the students had only two improvement chances which were not sufficient.

A meeting, chaired by Dean University Instruction (DUI) RK Kohli, was held today to work out reformative measures to be undertaken in the university and colleges following the introduction of semester system from 2011-2012 session. Earlier, there was annual examination system in university and colleges.

The university in the meeting also decided to allow the students to apply for improvement without late fee till October 30.

PU officials said that various other reformative measures are also under consideration for the PG courses in which the semester systems has been introduced.



Carmel Convent School organises photography exhibition for students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Reporter's club of Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh, organised a photography exhibition, '5th Dimension', showcasing photographs taken by students. The budding photographers touched several themes, including nature and ecology, through their photographs.

Shraddha Gulati and Niharika, whose works were diplayed at the exhibition said, "It's a great feeling to know that our work is being appreciated." Another participant, Aashita Singh, said, "This is the first time that my work is being displayed professionally."

"The fact that children of our age have tried and captured the essence of school life through their creativity motivates us to keep our cameras close to us and be ready to click pictures," said Shalini, another student.

Students and teachers of other schools also visited the exhibition. Punita Singh, organiser of the club, said that the work displayed in the exhibition was the result of an year long effort of the students. Dilpreet Kaur, Manbani, Aashita Singh, Sirat and Parul were judged the top five photographers, she said.

According to the principal of the school, the exhibition was aimed at promoting the talent and creativity of the students.



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