C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


7-yr-old was tied, starved
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Pawan who was rescued by the police.
Pawan who was rescued by the police. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, October 13
The trauma which seven-year-old Pawan underwent at the hands of the kidnappers is heart rending. His hands were tied and he was shifted from pone place to other. He was given a single chapatti in the past two days. With an element of fear, he quietly went wherever the kidnappers took him.

"When I cried saying that I want to go to my parents, they said they will kill me if I made any noise," Pawan told Chandigarh Tribune over phone. He was so fear struck and his parents decided not to bring him to the press conference organised by the police. Pawan is a student of Class II at a government school in Pinjore.

He added: "I don't know where they took me, but I was made to travel by a bus, an auto-rickshaw and I was made to spend two nights in dark and dingy rooms and my hands were tied. When I told them I was feeling cold, they threw a blanket on me saying that I can cover myself with it."

Pawan had asked for food from the accused and he was given just a single chapatti. "I asked for more food as I was starving, but they told me they had no money and if I make noise, they will kill me."

Parents of the child, Bhagwan Das and Preeti, went through a harrowing time when they came to know about their child's kidnapping.

"We could neither sleep nor eat anything when we came to know about Pawan's kidnapping. I am thankful to the police that my child is back safe," said Preeti, mother of the child. She added: "Ever since he has been kidnapped, he is not going out with the fear of getting kidnapped again."

"I know how horrible it is when your child is kidnapped and you can't do anything. I had not gone for work ever since Pawan was kidnapped. Even during the night, we kept looking for him at various places, but could not find him," said Bhagwan Das, Pawan's father.

The police said the kidnappers told them they kept Pawan in a room in Parwanoo. Further investigations are on.



One of the accused was longing for child
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 13
One of the kidnappers of seven-year-old Pawan, who was rescued by the police on Friday, was childless. The accused, 25-year-old Raju, was married for the past two years. His wife was pressurising him to adopt a child.

However, Raju planned to kidnap Pawan, said the police. He along with Pushpinder, alias Kalu (40), also decided to demand ransom from his father.

They told the police they could have settled the ransom amount at Rs 10,000 as they were hooked to drugs and wanted cash. Pushpinder and Raju were arrested from near the Nanakpur bus stand. Kalu was residing near Pawan’s house in Bhagwan Dass Pura at Pinjore.

Pawan was playing outside his house when the accused kidnapped him on October 10 by luring him to take him to a fair. “Pushpinder masterminded the kidnapping it was decided that Raju would keep the child and they would also ask for ransom.”

The police got suspicious after they found Kalu missing from the neighbourhood for two days following which he was traced from his cell phone location. Before the accused could make a ransom call to the father, the police traced them. “The child has been rescued. The accused were novice and had no criminal background,” said ACP Krishan Kumar Hooda.

Four teams under the leadership of inspector Naveen Sandhu, SHO, Pinjore, inspector, CIA Staff, Panchkula, inspector, detective staff, Panchkula and investigating officer ASI Rajinder Singh were formed to solve the case. 


Accused decided TO demand ransom

Accused Raju’s wife was pressurising him to adopt a child. However, Raju planned to kidnap Pawan, said the police. He along with Pushpinder, alias Kalu (40), also decided to demand ransom from his father. They told the police that they could have settled the ransom amount at ~10,000 as they were hooked to drugs and wanted cash. 



Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park
Officials were overawed by views of Administrator: SC
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
While acquiring land for the Phase III of Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP), officials of the UT Administration were overawed by the views expressed by the then UT Administrator. These were the observations made by the Division Bench of the Supreme Court in its order regarding quashing of the land acquisition for IT Park, Phase III.

Questioning the decision-making power of senior officials of the UT Administration, the division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice GS Singhvi and Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya observed: “It seems that the officers were overawed by the view expressed by the Administrator and the instinct of self-preservation prompted them not to go against his wishes, who wanted that additional land be acquired in the name of expansion of IT Park despite the fact that a substantial portion of the land acquired for Phase II had been allotted to a private developer.”

Pointing out the reason why the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) did not apply his mind to the objections filed by appellants and other landowners, the bench observed: “He was a minion in the hierarchy of the administration of the Union Territory of Chandigarh and could not have even thought of making recommendations contrary to what was contained in the letter sent by the Administrator to petitioner Surinder Singh Brar.”

“If the Land Acquisition Officer had shown the courage of acting independently and made recommendation against the acquisition of land, he would have been shifted from that post and his career would have been jeopardised. In the system of governance which we have today, junior officers in the administration cannot even think of, what to say of acting against the wishes/dictates of their superiors,” the Supreme Court order reads.

Not only the LAO, but the Supreme Court order also raises questions on the functioning of senior officials. The order further reads: “The Special Secretary, Finance, and the Adviser to the Administrator also failed to act in consonance with the mandate of Section 5A (2) read with Section 6 (1). They could not muster courage of expressing an independent opinion on the issue of compliance of Section 5A and need of the land for the specified public purposes.”  “The noting recorded by the Special Secretary, Finance, which has been extracted hereinabove shows that the officer had virtually reproduced what the Administrator had mentioned in his letter dated 31.7.2006. The Adviser went a step further. He merely appended his signatures on the note recorded by the Special Secretary, Finance forgetting that in terms of the aforementioned two sections ‘the appropriate Government’ is required to take decision after considering the report of the LAO. The least which can be said about the manner in which the Adviser approved the note prepared by the Special Secretary, Finance is that there was abject failure on the part of the concerned officer to discharge his duty despite the fact that he was entrusted with the onerous task of taking a decision on behalf of ‘the appropriate Government’ after considering the reports of the LAO. The casual manner in which the senior officers of the Chandigarh Administration dealt with the serious issue of the acquisition of land of citizens signifies their total lack of respect for the constitutional provision contained in Article 300A, the law enacted by Parliament, that is, the Act and interpretation thereof by the Courts, the order reads. 

Objections of landowners ignored

If the Land Acquisition Officer had shown the courage of acting independently and made recommendation against the acquisition of land, he would have been shifted from that post and his career would have been jeopardised. In the system of governance which we have today, junior officers in the administration cannot even think of, what to say of acting against the wishes/dictates of their superiors 



First dengue death in Panchkula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 13
Panchkula on Saturday reported its first dengue death of the season. The victim is a 16-year-old boy, Devinder Vadera, a resident of Sector 10. He was suffering from dengue for the past three days. This is the second death in the tricity and first in Panchkula.

Vadera was suffering from severe fever. He was taken to a private hospital in Sector 15 from where he referred to the General Hospital, Sector 6, this morning. The hospital authorities further referred him to the PGI, where he died in the evening. Vadera was a student of Class XI. The first dengue death was reported in the tricity on September 24 when an eight-year-old boy from Colony Number 4, Chandigarh, succumbed to the vector-borne disease. 


Recruitment of bus drivers
UT Admn to have foolproof system
Applications to be invited soon for 113 vacancies
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Once bitten twice shy. Finding logic in the proverb, the Chandigarh Administration is leaving nothing to chance while recruiting 113 drivers in Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU).

In the light of conductors’ recruitment scam that rocked the CTU, the administration has devised a foolproof system while recruiting drivers under the new recruitment policy. Apart from conducting multiple road tests, a written test was being conducted to screen each candidate.

TPS Phoolka, Director (Transport), said applications would be invited soon.

To rule out any foul play in screening of applications, the applicants are going to be asked to submit the applications online with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

A through screening of applicants would be conducted to ensure that no impersonation in respect of the shortlisted candidates takes place. Certain new road tests had also been added.

Officials said that there was not only a shortage of buses but also 200 drivers and 100 conductors. As a result, the department was giving an over time of Rs 1.20 crore every year. “Driving buses beyond eights hours affects the physical health of the drivers and this also results in accidents”, said a CTU official.

After the drivers, vacancy of conductors would also be filled. Besides, orders for about 90 new buses will be placed soon as all the formalities for calling the tenders are in final stages.

60: 40 ratio should be maintained

When the conductors’ recruitment scam had rocked CTU, it was seen that shortlisted candidates were mostly from two districts of Haryana and only a few from Punjab could make it. In the recruitment, major impersonation was detected and the test was scrapped. “In the drivers’ recruitment, adequate representations to the candidates from Punjab should be given”, said Mohali MLA, Balbir Singh Sidhu. 



Ramlilas in city go hi-tech
Special lighting effects, sound main attraction
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service,

Chandigarh, October 12
Tradition has given way to modernity in this year’s Ramlilas, starting from Sunday onwards in several parts of the city. Dynamic scenes, modern lighting system, projector reflections and additional scenes, the Ramlilas will have several such features this time. It is aiming to attract more people, specially the young tech-savvy lot.

“While the tradition of Ramlilas goes back to several centuries, the influx of modern inputs can’t be ignored in the age of technology”, says Vikram Bisht, president of the Chandigarh Kendriya Ram Lila Maha Sabha.

Balwant Singh Rawat, general secretary of the Garhwal Ramlila Mandal, Sector 28, said that this year, the Ramlila in Sector 28 would have special lighting system with control panel, which would help give different lighting effects and spotlights as per the requirement of the scenes.

Besides this, two light and sound scenes have been prepared with the help of professional theatre people, he said.

Surinder Kumar, general secretary of the Azad Dramatic Club, Sector 20, said that with the exposure of satellite-driven cinema and television, the people’s perception of visual art had changed dramatically. Therefore, it was important to have some new age changes to keep the people interested in traditional art forms.

“This year in our Ramlila at Sector 20, we have prepared artificial rock along with water springs that will be used as backdrop for the jungle scene. Besides, we will have artificial rainfall in several scenes to make Ramlila interesting and at the same time it is going to be message and value driven, which is the core purpose of the Ramlila.

Jyoti Swaroop Bhardwaj, Sector 29 Ramlila said that besides the flying Hunuman, Kewat scene and revolving stage, our technical scene has prepared special “darshad shanskar” scene, which is fully supported by special effects of light and sound.

Monu Mehra of the National AD Club Ramlila informed that this year they had prepared revolving effigies of Ravan, Meghnath and Kumbhkaran to give dramatic end to the10 days of Ramlila. Besides this, the projectors will be used for modern projections during different scenes.

While the Sector 17, Sector 24 Ramlilas too have flying scenes of Hunuman, Jatayu and other mythological characters, there are still a few who feel that traditional aspect of the art forms should not change much.

BP Gaur, Convener of the Garhwal Ramlila Mandal, Sector 22, said, “Our Ramlila is still performed in the traditional style and we feel that it is important to keep the originality of the medium.”

Those using technology, however, said that they had not comprised on the script or the sanctity of the medium. “Though we have financial constraints, we still manage to bring some degree of technology so that the people, specially the young generation, remain intact with our tradition, said Jyoti Swaroop.



Collars put on sterilised dogs

Chandigarh, October 13
Ten stray dogs were sterilised and collars were put for identification by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) at a special camp organised in Sector 22 today. At the camp, SPCA officials also vaccinated 72 stray dogs with ant-rabies vaccine.

Neeru Sidhu, honorary general secretary of SPCA, said that they had decided as a policy, to put collars on the stray dogs. She said that the purpose of doing so was to identify whether the stray dog had been sterilised by the SPCA. In future also during the anti-rabies camps, collars will be put on stray dogs so that residents come to know that the dogs have been vaccinated. In order to strengthen the programme, senior citizens have also joined hands. — TNS



Low water pressure problem 
City to get 6 underground reservoirs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
If all goes as per the plans of the Municipal Corporation (MC), low water pressure problem is likely to vanish from various parts of the city by next summer.
The MC authorities will construct six underground reservoirs (UGR), with capacity of one lakh gallon each, in different sectors of the city. The UT Administration has recently approved sites for construction of UGRs in Sectors 29, 31, 46, 47 and 48.

When contacted, MC chief engineer SS Bidda said the authorities will try to execute the project before the ensuing summer so that there is no problem of low water pressure in the city.

Records of the corporation revealed that in 2009 a proposal was raised where it was suggested that to tackle the problem of low water pressure in some areas the authorities should install water boosters. In a meeting of Water and Sewerage Committee, the then chairman Jatinder Bhatia had floated the proposal that six UGRs should be constructed, especially in southern sectors, to increase the water pressure in those areas. Members of the committee had raised this issue keeping in view the increase of residential societies in the southern sectors.

The proposal was then approved by the general house and sent to the UT Administration for the clearance of the site. However, for two odd years the proposal kept lying with the Administration.

A senior official said last summer majority of the sectors in the city faced the problem of low water pressure.

Following this, a request was made to the Administration for speedy approval of the sites for construction of UGRs. In one of the coordination committee meeting, the UT Adviser KK Sharma directed the officials of the architect department to clear these sites as soon as possible. 




Navratras at Mansa Devi shrine
Golf carts to ferry elderly to temple
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 13
Around 1,000 policemen, including 200 policewomen will be deployed at the Mansa Devi shrine this Navratras. Not only this, for the first time, golf carts and wheelchairs will be provided to the elderly and physically challenged to ferry them to the temple.

The navartra fair is scheduled to begin from October 16 and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will be inaugurating the same.

“We have introduced golf carts for the first time for the elderly and physically challenged people. Three golf carts have been finalised so far and we are making efforts to get more,” said Ashima Brar, Deputy Commissioner (DC). She further added, “Senior citizens and physically-challenged devotees face problems while covering the long distance from the parking lot to the temple.”

A slope-way is also being constructed for the convenience of the elderly and physically challenged persons. An ambulance will be available at the shrine 24x7 and mobile and landline numbers of the Mansa Devi Shrine Board will be displayed on hoardings, so that devotees can call in times of an emergency.

LCD screens will show what is going on inside the temple so that visitors don't get bored while standing in long queues.

“As many as1,000 police force will be deployed at the shrine. We have asked for around 200 policewomen so that women devotees don’t face any problem during the festival, said Dheeraj Setia, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime).



Shopkeepers hold protest
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 13
While the Panchkula DC was addressing the media on Navratra preparations, a few shopkeepers protested outside the Bhawan at Mansa Devi temple regarding the unfair allocation of shops by the shrine authroities.

Around 137 shops were to be rented from October 16 to October 23. An advertisement appeared in the paper and we all paid around Rs 25,000 per shop in the prime location and Rs 15,000 for the shop in the normal area,” said a shopkeeper Rajesh bansal.



PGI launches website for pledging organs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Now people can pledge to donate organs at PGI by applying online. The PGI today launched a website, www.lampoflife.com, where a volunteer can fill up a form if he or she wishes to donate organ.

PGI officials said while the mechanism of pledging (organs) has been there are at the institute since many years, it (institute) has introduced the online application system to make it easy for the interested people to contact the institute. A volunteer has to fill up a form online. Following the consent of his family members, the volunteer will be provided a donor card.

Sources also the effort put by the PGI has already started gaining popularity as more than 150 people have joined the Facebook page created two days ago for the same purpose.

The PGI officials said the number of organs donated at the institute has gone up considerably in the last one year. “More than 50 organs were donated in last one year. Although all donated organs could not be utilised due to complications, the improved number of donations has saved many lives,” said Dr RK Dhiman, professor of hepatology, PGI.

“We have successfully transplanted organs, including kidneys and livers, in 30 patients over the past year. We will soon begin with cardiac and lung transplantation,” Dr Dhiman added.

“Liver transplantation is the only hope for many patients with acute and chronic liver failure. The success of the liver transplantation in any medical centre depends upon the availability of organs and donors,” said Dr NK Ganguly, former Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), while addressing the delegates present during a conference on ‘Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Liver Cancer) Current Perspective in Liver Diseases (CPLD)’ today. 



City beopar mandal seeks changes in food safety Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
In the wake of the upcoming festival season, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) pleads for certain rectifications in Food Safety Standards Act 2011.

A delegation consisted of Charanjiv Singh, president, Diwakar Sahoonja, chief patron, Ram Karan Gupta, advisor, Anil Vohra, general secretary, Vinod Joshi, general secretary PR, and Bhim Sen Aggarwal, vice-president of CBM, met with the UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar yesterday to apprise him of difficulties faced by traders.

Charanjiv Singh, president of CBM, said these provisions of the Act have now been made optional by the Central government. The Chandigarh Administration is authorised and must amend the same before making them applicable to Chandigarh.



One killed, four injured in road accident

Zirakpur, October 13
One person was killed and four were injured when an Alto car went out of control and hit the road dividers repeatedly on Zirakpur- Kalka road near Baltana today. One person died on the spot and four were injured . The deceased was identified as Vishal, hailing from kangra of Himachal Pradesh. — OC



Housing society elections postponed indefinitely
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 13
Elections to the Pancham House-building Cooperative Society, Sector 68, scheduled for Sunday were postponed indefinitely following protests during the filing of nominations here today.

According to reports, four representatives of the Cooperative Department had reached the venue in connection with the filing of nominations. There was tension and protests over the rejection of certain nominations on the grounds that the prospective candidates were “defaulters”.

The department representatives were allegedly gheraoed. The police reached the scene to control the situation. Police officials also held a meeting with the cooperative department representatives. Later, the elections were put off indefinitely.



Efficycle-2012 kicks off in style
Participants test vehicles for acceleration, manoeuvrability; race to be held today
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Efficycle 2012 kicked-off today at the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), with around 60 teams showcasing their human-electric hybrid powered vehicles. Ensuring comfort and style, students of Bannari Amman Institute of Technology (BIT), Tamil Nadu, came-up with an innovative vehicle, designed like vintage car, that can be driven upto a speed of 50 kilometres per hour.

The national-level technical event aims to encourage designing and construction of efficient vehicles in keeping with its motto of ‘Go Green’ and ‘Drive the Future’.

B Kishor, captain of the BIT team, said that the idea behind coming up with an innovative design was to attract people to use cost-effective vehicles in their day-to-day life. Their environment-friendly vehicle, which also runs on human power, has a 48 volt battery to help the driver. Listing the merits of the two-seater vehicle, the team said that they have customised the vehicle for pleasure driving. “The vehicle has a steering like any ordinary vehicle, and we have used a split axel system to ensure that the vehicle can be driven with minimum efforts,” the captain of the team said.

The day witnessed the teams testing their vehicles for acceleration, manoeuvrability and gradient at various tracks to gain credits for the cumulative evaluation. Apart from dynamic tests, static tests of cost, marketing and design were also done.

According to Alok Jaitley, convener of Effi-Cycle, the event aims to inculcate a technical sense among students to make them ready for automobile market by the time they are through with the engineering degree. This would also help them in designing eco-friendly automobile for the masses when they are absorbed by automobile companies.



All-girl teams make the mark
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Two all-girl teams that have come all the way from Delhi and Indore caught everyones attention at Effi-Cycle-2012. Their participation confirmed that the fairer sex is in no way behind when it comes to conceiving, designing and manufacturing innovative vehicles.

Calling it a tough task, Charul Chadha, captain of ‘The Survivors’, a team from Indra Gandhi Institute of Technology, Delhi, said that unlike boys, girls can't work on their vehicle till late night and find it difficult to go to motor markets in search of parts required for building the vehicle. “It is a challenge to do everything on our own. However, we managed it and here we are with our vehicle which can go upto a speed of 35 kmph, and with the comfort of a car," Charul said.

The vehicle designed by ‘The Survivors’ is also equipped with a mobile charger.

Showcasing a similar example of coordination and strength, the team from Sri Govindram Seksaria Institute of Technology and Science, Indore, has also come with a cost effective three-wheel vehicle which could be driven at a speed of 25 kmph, depending on the pedalling power. The vehicle runs on human-battery hybrid power and is capable of seating two passengers.

One of the team members said that it was a challenge for them to come all the way from Indore for the event. “Although manufacturing the vehicle was a challenge, what was more challenging was to convince the faculty of 
the college to allow us come to Chandigarh all alone,” she said.

Team members said that they feel proud to be an all-girl team and compete with boys.

The event Effi-cycle (an amalgamation of 'efficient' and 'cycle') is being held to provide an opportunity to the students to conceive and design three-wheel configuration vehicles. The objective is to promote innovation and generate consciousness amongst the young engineers towards designing environment-friendly vehicles.



UIET workshop on starting business receives good response
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
Idea Catalyst, an event held at the UIET, Panjab University campus, to help students materialise their business plans, received a good response. The basic purpose of the event was to help start a company in 54 hours. A total of 65 participants attended the first day of the workshop.

The participants pitched in their ideas and a vote for the most feasible idea was cast among those present. The team/individual whose ideafinally gets selected will get a seed money of Rs 50000.

The mentors also talked about the hurdles that one faces while setting up a company and ways to overcome them.

The participants gave a variety of ingenious ideas, such as setting up interactive white boards via IR waves and bluetooth, personal and commercial level tracking system, online career counselling for school and college students, online portal and discussion forum for patients seeking dental and medical help, and many more.

The workshop mentors comprised various eminent entrepreneurs. The second day of the event continued into the night as the young participants worked tirelessly to convert their idea into a reality. With all the brainstorming going on, the enthusiasm of the participants was apparent. Only the most practical idea out of the top ten would win the start up prize money



Education dept sets up committee
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The UT education department has set up a committee to deliberate on the issue of promotion of Trained Graduate Teachers (TGT) cadre to lecturers. The committee includes DEO Ram Kumar, deputy director school education Chanchal Singh, and officials of superintendent level.

As per the information, more than 200 TGT teachers are expected to be covered under this ‘anticipated’ promotion and include both language teachers and masters/mistresses. The eligible teachers, due for promotion in this cadre, have already submitted their cases to the department concerned along with their last five years’ Annual Confidential Report (ACR) and other necessary documents. The said committee, as told by Chanchal Singh, has scrutinised the cases filed and the detailed report will be sent to higher officials. A teacher said the UT Administration must act this time since their promotion is pending for over 20 years. A teacher, who is to retire next year, rued that several Trained Graduate Teachers, who joined the department in the 80’s, have retired without a promotion.

Vinod Sharma, president of Government Teacher Union (GTU), said the delay happened due to several court litigations and also because senior officials of the department did not take up the matter on a priority basis. “We have, however, got a favourable assurance from our current DPI (schools), and hope that a positive decision will be taken this time,” he said. 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |