C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mayor still on inauguration spree
Backrest of benches, lights missing as Malik dedicates fountain to public in Sector 20 green belt 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Ground reality The green belt is in a bad shape, with the MC authorities seemingly not bothered about the upkeep of the park; and (right) a bench without backrest in Sector 20, Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan  

Chandigarh, December 7
Continuing with the inauguration spree, Mayor Raj Bala Malik today inaugurated a fountain in a green belt in Sector 20.

Once again, a plaque was installed in the green belt in the name of Malik for the inauguration of the project.

Though the Mayor and MC officials inaugurated the project with fanfare, but the condition of the green belt, where the fountain was inaugurated, is pathetic. Nobody was concerned about the poor condition of the green belt.

Backrest of most of the iron benches in the green belt was missing. Besides, many lights were missing which were installed on both sides of walking path.

The tiles have also started falling from the wall at the garden’s entrance towards the Jama Masjid. Dirty water was accumulated under the drinking water taps in the green belt. Besides, garbage could be seen scattered all over. Flowerbeds had also dried up in a few areas.

Malik, however, said she was inaugurating only those projects which were required and were in public interest. It was only on the demand of the residents of the area that the MC was providing the facilities.

An MC official said the cost of a fountain was around Rs 30 lakh. It has spiral sculpture design having 60 lights including red, blue and green, which makes different effects in cascading layers of the fountain. The agency, which has installed the fountain, will look after its operation and maintenance for a period of next six years. 

Inaugurations by Mayor in December

December 7: Inauguration of a fountain in Sector 20

December 9: Inauguration of a community centre in pocket number 7 at Mani Majra

December 10: Inauguration of a community centre in Sector 27

December 14: Inauguration of a green belt in Sector 42

December 15: Inauguration of a green belt in Sector 41

December 19: Inauguration of a parking lot in Industrial Area, Phase I

December 20: Inauguration of a pumping station for tertiary treated water in Sector 29

December 21: Inauguration of a green belt in Sector 32



Finally, MP removes encroachment 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Rajya Sabha member and northern region in charge of the Trinamool Congress KD Singh today voluntarily removed the encroachment from public land in front of his house in Sector 9.

After Chandigarh Tribune reported an encroachment by KD Singh on public land, including road berm, by constructing a car shelter in violation of the MC bylaws, the civic body on December 5 had given two days time to KD Singh to remove the same.
The dismantled car shed in front of KD Singh's residence at Sector 9, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan
The dismantled car shed in front of KD Singh's residence at Sector 9, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Praveen Rathee, political secretary to KD Singh, said they had dismantled the car shelter. He added that they would comply with the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach said officials of enforcement wing today visited the spot and found that the occupants of the house had removed the encroachment. He assured that they would not allow anyone to encroach upon public land.

KD Singh had covered the entire open space in front of the H No 159, Sector 9, and had converted it into a large parking lot for his swanky cars. The pillars were erected from outside the boundary wall of KD Singh’s residence for the car shelter. 



Newlywed couple abducted by bride’s relatives

Chandigarh, December 7
High drama was witnessed in Sector 8 this morning when a newlywed couple was allegedly abducted by six persons in a white Bolero jeep.

The incident took place when the couple hired an auto to go to the High Court for protection. An elderly person was also pushed into the Bolero along with the couple.

The accused included relatives of the bride, Gurmeet Kaur, all residents of Moga. The accused later surrendered before the police in the evening as the police had traced their vehicle.

Gurmeet, her husband Happy Singh, and his grandfather Malkit Singh were in an auto-rickshaw when Gurmeet’s relatives intercepted their vehicle. They were pushed into the SUV which headed towards Mohali. The auto driver informed the police control room and the police traced the Bolero by its registration number (PB-29H-7552). The case took another turn when relatives of the bride surrendered before the police at the Sector 3 police station in the evening. Those who surrendered included bride’s father Surjeet Singh, her cousin Jaipal Singh and two others. The couple was also accompanying them. — TNS


PGI fails to utilise vehicles donated for ferrying patients
Five vehicles, including a hi-tech ambulance, have not been used even once in the past four months
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Despite the consistent requirement of vehicles to ferry patients inside the PGIMER campus, the premier healthcare institute has failed to utilise five of the vehicles, including a hi-tech ambulance, which were donated over four months ago.

The hi-tech ambulance, which was donated to the PGI by a resident of Sector 15 in August this year, houses an ICU in addition to the basic life-saving apparatus installed in it.

(From Top) An attendant ferries a patient from the new OPD Block to Nehru Hospital on a trolley; and some of the donated ambulances parked at the PGI Transport Department parking area in the PGI. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

The institution, however, has not utilised the ambulance even once ever since it was donated. Similar is the fate of the other four vehicles, including a van, donated by another city resident and three mini-buses donated by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda four months ago.

While shuttling of patients between various buildings (departments) on trolleys and wheelchairs supported by their attendants has become a common scene on the PGIMER campus, the institution has failed to appoint any driver to run these vehicles. The fact that the PGI does not send its ambulances to pick up patients from outside undermines the utility of the hi-tech ambulance.

PGI’s official spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said: “We certainly consider the need for using these vehicles to help patients. There is some paper work pertaining to these vehicles, which is under process.”

Sources pointed out that the PGI would have to pay the road tax for using the new vehicles, which could be the prime reason for the delay in utilising these vehicles.

The number of patients in the PGI's OPD per day remains as high as 1,000 (indoor and outdoor), out of which a majority of the patients keep shuttling between various departments. The distance between Nehru Hospital and the new OPD block is about 1 Km.



PGI all set for MD/MS entrance
Tightens security arrangements at centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The PGIMER will conduct the rescheduled MD and MS entrance exam tomorrow at 10 centres in Chandigarh with all security arrangements like body frisking, scanning through bug detectors, mobile jammers, photography and biometric finger print capturing.

A total of 7,364 students will appear for the rescheduled exam. Frisking of all candidates will be carried out at the entry of the examination premises from 8 am onwards by security officials.

It was during the last examination on November 10 when seven candidates were caught using sophisticated devices for cheating.

The CBI has also identified some more beneficiaries from among the candidates who appeared in the exam that day.

The bug detectors will detect the hidden devices easily during the scan even when the device is on the off mode.

The bug detector scans cellular signals and frequencies and possesses real time GPS tracking system.

The arrangements

Frisking of all candidates will be carried out at the entry of the examination premises from 8 AM onwards by security officials.

Bug detectors will detect the hidden devices easily during the scan even when the device is on the off mode.



Efforts on to implement RTS Act 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The Chandigarh Administration has initiated the process for the implementation of the Right to Service (RTS) Act in the city.

In a communication to departments, the department of information technology has sought comments regarding various services that can be rendered to the public.

A senior official said some of the departments had already sent their replies. Time-bound services would be identified after analysing the preparedness of the departments concerned, he said.

“The administration wants to adopt an effective grievance redressal system to make the delivery of a number of services time-bound to people as a matter of right,” said an official.

The Act would be implemented as per the guidelines for the redressal of public grievances issued in 2010 by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

It is learnt that UT officials had already held several rounds of meetings to study the pattern of Punjab before introducing the Right to Service Act in Chandigarh. The Act ensures timely delivery of various services to residents and penalise bureaucrats who deliberately go slow on the implementation of the Act.

“We are already studying the Act implemented in Delhi and that of Punjab,” said another official. The Punjab Government has promised the delivery of 67 citizen-centric services and more were being introduced, said the official.

Sources said since the post of grievance redressal officer had not been created as mandated under the Act, the Chandigarh Administration had given the additional responsibility of grievance redressal officer to the respective central public information officer (CPIOs) of the departments under the RTI Act. 



Admn may allow conversion of industrial plots into commercial 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Following the Supreme Court order to quash land acquisition for IT Park, Phase III, the UT Administration is now planning to allow conversion of industrial plots into commercial in Industrial Area, Phase I and II, but only for information technology (IT) services.

A senior official of the UT Administration said the administration would allow conversion at Rs 40,000 per square feet. The administration will not allow conversion of plots for IT enabled services like call centres and BPOs, as these services would increase the load on infrastructure.

On the conversion fees, official said in 2007, they had finalised the conversion rates at Rs 29,713 per square feet. The rates of property have increased over the years and we have decided to charge Rs 40,000 per square feet.

In 2005, the UT Administration had allowed conversion of plots in Industrial Area. As many as 125 plot owners had applied for it. Out of them, around 30 had constructed hotels, malls and office spaces till now.

When contacted, UT Finance Secretary VK Singh said proposal was still under consideration.

The Chandigarh Administration had issued a notification in 2005 allowing conversion of industrial plots to commercial at the rate of Rs 20,000 per square yard. The policy was due to expire on September 18, 2007, but the administration extended it for another six months till March 18, 2008, on the same terms and conditions. 



CSD staff raise demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Employees of the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) have gone on an indefinite strike in support of their demands, affecting the working of canteens in military establishments.

In a letter sent by the All-India Defence Civilian Canteen Employees Union to the Defence Minister, the employees have demanded that the Unit Run Canteens be renamed as CSD canteens and their operations be taken over by the Defence Ministry. They said since all the 4,500 CSD canteens had a combined turnover of over Rs 10,000 crore, these should be recognised as retail outlets integral to the CSD.

The employees are also demanding that the pay and allowances of the employees working in the CSD retail canteens should be at par with those working in CSD wholesale outlets. 



Faulty printer at RLA office harrows licence seekers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Those seeking a driving licence (DL) and registration documents (RC) were put to inconvenience when the printer in the sub-office of the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) in Industrial Area, Phase I, developed a snag.

A number of applicants, who reached the the RLA's sub-office at 9 am were surprised to learn that the printer was not working.

In the absence of timely service, the printer developed stopped working.

"The printer had been giving trouble for the past four days," said an official.

Bablu Kumar, a resident of Faidan village, said when they asked the RLA employees why the printer had stopped working, they were unable to explain the reason behind the fault."

Due to the faulty printer, the backlog of the RCs and DLs has increased manifold. The sub-office covers a number of sectors in the east, including Mani Majra and peripheral areas.

A few weeks ago, a faulty printer in the Sector 17 office of the RLA had resulted in a huge backlog at the office. 



Transport authority earns Rs 23.65 lakh revenue

Mohali, December 7
The office of the District Transport Authority earned a revenue of Rs 23.65 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 4.39 lakh during an auction of the remaining numbers in the PB 65-T series today. 

The registration number that attracted the maximum bid amount of Rs 2 lakh was PB 65 T- 0041 against the reserve price of Rs 3,000. It was purchased by Hardeep Singh. Registration number PB 65 T-0001 was purchased by Rohit Gupta for Rs 1.51 lakh. The reserve price for the number was Rs 50,000. — OC



Administration says no to manufacturing units 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The UT Administration will not allot space to any industry in Industrial Area, Phase III. Plots will only be given to companies related to information technology, retail and warehouse. The area will be known as Business Park. These recommendations have been made by the master plan committee of the UT Administration.

The administration has earmarked 152 acres for Phase III in Mauli Jagran. According to the committee recommendations, there are a number of units in Phase I and II of Industrial Area which have already been closed. Moreover, there is a need to promote more non-polluting units, the committee recommended. A senior official of the UT Administration said they would allot land in Phase III through auction and for that they will also take permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

In a recent survey by the UT Administration, it was found that more than 40 per cent of industrial plots in Phase I and II that were allotted for setting up of manufacturing units, were either being used to carry out activities other than manufacturing or were still vacant even after 40 years of setting up of Industrial Area. The survey was carried out by a team of estate officers to ascertain the health of the existing industry with an aim to check the viability of developing the proposed Phase III.



Show of strength during animal festival
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 7
An amount of Rs 400 crore will be spent on the development of cattle wealth and dairy farming in Punjab.

Farmers will be encouraged to go in for crop diversification and beneficial-allied businesses.

Stating this on the concluding day of a cattle fair and milking competition organised at Chhapar Chiri by the Punjab department of animal husbandry, Chief Parliamentary Secretary NK Sharma said more agro-based industries would be set up in the state.

Sharma said farmers were not getting remunerative returns for their produce. He said the state government was encouraging farmers to go in for non-traditional

crops for better returns and was also providing them with the necessary technical know-how. It was also giving subsidies and loans to promote dairy farming.

Sharma said such cattle fairs gave an opportunity to farmers to get to know about new breeds and were a milestone for cattle owners.

The Chief Parliamentary Secretary gave away cash prizes of Rs 5.50 lakh to the winners, apart from trophies and certificates. Contests were held for buffaloes, cows, horses, goats and ducks in various categories.

Buffaloes belonging to Piara Singh of Bhago Majra and a cow belonging to Gian Singh of Dharak village bagged the first prizes.



Relief for college teachers
PU gives option of attending pre-PhD work in affiliated colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
In a major relief to college teachers, Panjab university has given them an option of attending pre-PhD course work in affiliated colleges.

Earlier, they had to attend the course work for classes at PU for the six months. The college teachers had demanded the facility of online course work or even ending the requirement of course work for teachers.

The course work was introduced by the UGC few years ago to teach research scholars about the fundamentals of research.

The colleges with the status of research centres will be able to conduct the course work. The college having three professors in a particular subject, who have completed PhD, can get the status of research centre for that particular subject.

Meanwhile, the college that wants the status of research centre in a particular subject, must be running a postgarduate course in that subject for the four years.

Dalip Kumar, a senate member, said earlier, requirement of attending the course at PU used to discourage the teachers of affiliated colleges in Punjab.

Naval Kishore, Dean, College Development Council (DCDC), said the colleges would only hold the course work classes but the examination would be conducted by the university only.

It was a long-pending demand of the college teachers. Earlier; in 2010, the college teachers had demanded that facility of online course work should be introduced, especially for the teachers, teaching in various colleges of Punjab. However, their demand was not accepted by the university.



PU hostels to get reading rooms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Hostel residents at Panjab University will soon have reading rooms inside the hostels. The proposal for boys' hostel I to III has already been finalised. The move would lessen the burden on the AC Joshi Library at PU. The university has finalised a proposal to construct libraries in the hostels. A meeting was held at PU today, which was attended by Dean Students Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia and hostel wardens.

Officials said the site, where the reading hall will be constructed is yet to be finalised. "The empty space between the two blocks in the boys' hostels can be utilised for constructing a reading hall," said a PU official.

SOPU leader Manoj Lubana said it was a long-pending demand of the students. "We have also demanded that a reading room for every girls' hostel," Lubana said. 



We are feeling safe now, say Kashmiri students
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 7
It is not for the first time that the Kashmiri students were allegedly assaulted in the city. Two such incidents were reported in Barwala on June 29 this year. Meanwhile, the peace prevailed at Panchkula Engineering College, Barwala, and the students, hailing from Kashmir, said that they were feeling safe now.

It was on December 3 when 30 Kashmiri students at Panchkula Engineering College, Barwala, were reportedly harassed, assaulted and were alleged of being ‘anti-national’ by some students of the college. The students had decided to leave the college but after assurance by the police and the college they decided to stay back.

Some of the kashmiri students said after examinations they would leave the city and would return to Kashmir. “ The students are safe now and those who had left the hostel want to come back,” said Pooja Mittal, placement officer of the college. It was on June 29 when the Kashmiri students, studying at Swami Devi Dayal College of Engineering and Information Technology (SDDIET) Professional, Barwala, were allegedly beaten up in the college hostel.

The victims had alleged that a group of students barged into their rooms and started beating them without any provocation. However, the issue was resolved after the management intervened and a compromise was reached.



Merit list of selected TGT teachers uploaded on website
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The final merit list of the candidates, selected for the post of TGT teachers was uploaded by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Society, Chandigarh on its website today.

Applications for 226 posts were invited by the SSAS in August this year.

The list can be seen on www.ssachd.nic.in. The list is also available on the website, www.recruitment.cdacmohali.in.

Officials said the merit list of the remaining candidates, who were asked to get their documents checked, had also been uploaded.

According to the officials the final merit list for one post of TGT (Non-Medical) under SC category, TGT (Hindi) under PH category and provisional merit list for the18 posts under the OBC category (Mathematics-6, Social Science-3, Geography-1, Non-Medical-3, Medical-1, Hindi-3, Punjabi-1), list of remaining candidates under the OBC category and the list of the candidates, whose candidature could not be considered during the first round under the OBC category, will be uploaded separately. 



From schools

Annual function

KR Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir, Sector 43, organised its annual school show on Friday. Jai Pal Jain was the chief guest on the occasion. The annual function commenced with a welcome song, which was sung by by the students. Various dance performances were presented by the students. A skit was also staged by the students. Principal Harinder Kaur presented the annual report of the school. Various folk dances of India like bhangra, giddha and Himanchali dance were also presented by the students. Gain Chand Aggarwal, president of the school committee, congratulated the school for presenting an excellent show and motivated the children for a great future .

Cultural exchange programme

Delhi Public School, Chandigarh, is hosting a delegation of 20 students from Germany as part of the exchange programme, which supports cooperation between Indian and German schools. The project involves not only the academic aspect but also the cultural exchange. The project has been chosen under the Indo-German exchange programme for the year 2012-2013. Twenty students from both the schools will participate in the exchange programme.

Story-telling session

A story-telling and dramatisation session was conducted at Gian Jyoti Global School, Phase II, Mohali, on Friday. Students of pre-nursery, nursery and KG classes presented stories through dramatisation. The story, Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, was presented with a lot of passion and buoyancy. The girls were dressed in snow white costumes with white hair bands whereas boys enacted the role of dwarfs. — TNS 



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