C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SMSes stir ut ssp into action
In late night meeting, he tells cops to protect women coming out of discotheques, bars
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Police vehicles zoom past each other after the UT SSP directed policemen to man city roads and ensure the safety of women; and (below) policemen disperse after the meeting
Police vehicles zoom past each other after the UT SSP directed policemen to man city roads and ensure the safety of women; and (below) policemen disperse after the meeting.
Police vehicles zoom past each other after the UT SSP directed policemen to man city roads and ensure the safety of women; and (below) policemen disperse after the meeting

Chandigarh, December 19
The Rose Garden roundabout (Matka Chowk) was the scene of an impromptu meeting of around 200 policemen addressed by UT SSP Naunihal Singh in the wake of provocative SMSes advising ladies to wear SBD (short black dresses) tonight since it was considered to be a ladies’ night out wherein they were supposedly entitled to free drinks in some of the city’s well-known bars and discotheques.

By 11 pm, in response to a wireless message, 195 policemen led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Roshan Lal travelling in 55 Police Control Room (PCR) Gypsys, three trauma vans, a few other assorted vehicles and a large number of motorcycles had congregated at the roundabout located at the junction of the city’s two prominent most roads - the Jan Marg and the Madhya Marg - much to the curiosity of scores of passersby.

Informing the policemen about the ladies’ night out and the vulnerability they could face, Naunihal instructed the policemen to set up barricades across the city and check every vehicle being driven by youngsters. “If you see a girl or a woman standing or walking alone, then stop and ask her if she is alright. Escort her home if she does not have a ride,” said Naunihal.

It was evident that the sordid gang-rape incident in New Delhi was uppermost on the SSP’s mind. “How many of you have heard of the tragic incident in Delhi?” he then went on to ask the policemen. All the policemen present raised their hands.

“Such meetings also help us to carry out a check of our forces and equipment,” he told The Tribune. “We can check whether the Gypsys are in order,” he said adding “such a show of force also adds to building public confidence”. Interestingly, in response to queries, three policemen pointed out that their wireless sets were not functioning properly while some others reported problems with their PCR vehicles.

“We will ensure that the pubs and discotheques shut down by 1 pm,” said Naunihal, adding that the time between 1 am and 2 am was the most vulnerable since that was when women would be returning home. The meeting ended at 11.45 pm.

No women police personnel

Interestingly, while the entire exercise was aimed at protecting women, policewomen were conspicuously absent.

No cop on jan marg after one hour of meeting

An hour and 15 minutes after the SSP issued directions to policemen, not a single policeman was seen on entire Jan Marg at 1 a.m. This despite the fact that the SSP had said not a single car would be allowed to pass through the city roads without checking



NGO holds protest against Delhi gang rape
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
A silent protest was staged at Plaza, Sector-17, by the members of an NGO - Global Alliance for Rights and Duties. They were protesting against the Delhi gang rape case.

People from all walks of life joined hands to show their solidarity with the victim. Davesh Moudgil, president of the organisation, and general secretary Jasjyot Singh Almast jointly issued a statement.

They said: "The Central government should make stringent laws. There should be death sentence for such a heinous crime and justice should be quick. Quick judgement on such issues reinforces the faith of people in our legal system."



City ‘unsafe’ for women pedestrians
Girls staying as paying guests share experiences during a random survey
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The city seems to be unsafe for women pedestrians, if the experiences of girls living as paying guests (PGs) in different parts of the city are something to go by.

During a random survey conducted by Chandigarh Tribune across three sectors, Sector 36, 15 and 34, where a large number of paying guests reside, many of these girls interviewed shared incidents where they were harassed while walking on the road.

One of the girls residing in a PG accommodation narrated an incident where eve-teasers took away her mobile phone when she made an attempt to dial “100” for her rescue. There were some other incidents when girls were almost pulled inside vehicles while walking on roads near their residences.

Anandita Puri (name changed), a BA student in MCM DAV College, Sector 36, while returning to her residence from the market in the same sector, said: “Since I do not have any vehicle here, I always preferred to walk to reach nearby locations. About six months ago, I was stopped by a group of men in the evening while I was walking along the road in front of the Fragrance Garden. They first passed some lewd comments while slowing down their car. As I answered back and took my cellphone out to dial “100”, one of them came out of the vehicle and rushed towards me and took away my cellphone.”

“Thankfully, a passerby noticed the scene and stopped his car. They somehow felt that the man was known to me and ran off immediately. I even lost my cellphone as they did not return it. Since that day, I always ensure that somebody accompanies me in the evening in case I go out for some work,” she added.

Maneesha (name changed), a paying guest who takes coaching for engineering entrance from a Sector 34-based institute and resides in the same sector, said: “I came to Chandigarh from my hometown, Bathinda, in the beginning of this year. Since my institute is at the walking distance from my accommodation, I used to walk alone initially. But I have started taking an auto ever since a group of men tried to pull me inside the car while I was returning from the institute. This incident happened around a month ago. I was moving towards my home walking on the road opposite to the main market in Sector 34. Suddenly, a car stopped near me and the man sitting at the back seat tried to pull me inside. I picked up a piece of brick and hit him hard. Within seconds, they fled from the spot. But the scene still haunts me.”

The inflow of girl students from the neighbouring states has increased in the city over the past couple of years.

Other eight girls interviewed in the markets across these sectors had similar stories to share. Many of them said they keep pepper spray in their bags for safety since many of them could not afford to hire autos for commuting every time.



Schoolmates pose no threat, say girl students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Girl students in the city believe that changing the timings for girls and boys to leave schools is not the solution. They believe that schoolmates do not pose a threat to us, but the passengers travelling in the local buses are the ones who need to be sensitised to eve-teasing.

Girl students said more than focusing on students, the administration and the police should check eve-teasing by elderly people in the buses.

A class X student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, who commutes through the local bus, said she felt safe when boys of her class travel in the same bus because the possibility of eve-teasing was far less while travelling in a group.

“There should be some mechanism to check passengers in the buses who are not known to us and are mostly involved in eve-teasing,” a student said.

The girls said if the administration actually wanted to ensure the safety of girl students, then the buses meant exclusively for girl students should be started.

A class XII student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, said outsiders were mostly involved in eve-teasing and that could only be checked with the deployment of the police. “Mostly, boys who are not the students of our school tease girls outside the school campus and in the buses,” the student added.

Meanwhile, the students said the 10-minute gap between girls and boys to leave the school was useless till the frequency of CTU buses was improved. Even after coming out of the schools five minutes later, boys could indulge in eve-teasing with girls waiting for buses at bus stops. The students, studying in government schools, situated in the prominent sectors of the city, have to wait for at least 15 minutes to catch a bus.

A class X student of GMSSS, Sector 16, said the bus service also needed to be strengthened unless there would be no point in leaving the schools early.

“It hardly matters if boys leave the school five minutes late. The girls who go back to their homes with their parents or those who ride a bicycle will leave, but the girls travelling by buses will have to wait for buses at bus stands,” a student said.



UT police steps up security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The UT police has stepped up security in the wake of the gang rape case in Delhi that has sent shock waves across the nation.

The police has deployed PCR vans outside all popular haunts in Sectors 9, 10, 11, 15, 22, 26 and Sector 35. The police held special nakas and challaned a number of rowdy youths for rash driving.



SP (Traffic) stuck in jam
Spends 45 minutes at Matka roundabout clearing jam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
With the city’s traffic situation getting worse day by day, UT Police SP (Traffic and Security) Maneesh Chaudhery today himself became a victim of a huge traffic jam at the Matka roundabout this afternoon. The IPS officer was returning home for lunch from his Sector 9 office at the police headquarters when he was caught up in serpentine queues of vehicles clogged all around the Sector 9/10/16/17 roundabout.

Vehicles were stuck on all the four sides of the Matka Chowk for as far as 1 km. Commuters faced a harrowing time as they were stuck for more than 45 minuets in the jam.

The SP then got down from his official car to take stock of the situation. It came to light that a car had broken down in the middle of the road, which led to the traffic jam.

Chaudhery then instructed the traffic staff deployed at the roundabout to clear the jam immediately and spent close to 45 minutes himself clearing the jam.

“Such a huge traffic jam in the city in the afternoon is totally unacceptable. I immediately pulled up the Inspector on duty as there was no extra force deployed on the stretch and the Traffic Control Room was not informed. A smooth flow of traffic was soon restored. We are making all efforts to see that the city traffic remains smooth with minimum hassles,” said the SP (Traffic).



tribune impact
Joint team removes P’kula encroachments
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 19
Finally, after a month, the Panchkula Administration has woken up to assert its authority to clear the encroachments outside bureaucrats’ houses here. A joint team of the Panchkula MC and HUDA today removed encroachments made by the bureaucrats’ staff in sectors 6 and 7 here.

“We were informed that encroachments were back again and today not only tents but also temporary kitchens and toilets were dismantled,” said OP Sihag, Executive Officer of the MC.

Tents pitched outside former Punjab Chief Secretary Jai Singh Gill’s residence near house number 199 in Sector 6, Panchkula, and outside former Punjab Additional Director-General of Police SC Jain’s residence in Sector 7 were removed. The beddings, coolers and other belongings kept inside the tents were thrown aside.

The temporary bathroom, kitchen and tents put up by the security staff of Punjab Inspector-General of Police (IGP) BK Garg near his residence, house number 1205 in Sector 7, Panchkula, were also dismantled.

Though the team had got the encroachments removed two days ago, the encroachers pitched the tents again.

Interestingly, there were efforts to pitch the dismantled tents again at Gill’s residence but the team came back and got the place vacated.

“A notice has also been issued to Gill for flouting the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. No one is allowed to violate the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” added Sihag.

The Chandigarh Tribune had reported about the encroachments made outside the bureaucrats’ houses in Panchkula.


Drug overdose death
Police trails source of drugs to Amritsar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
A day after a 21-year-old student of Government College, Sector 11, died of drug overdose, the UT police is trailing the source of drugs to Amritsar as the accused confessed to have purchased the contraband from a person named Harjot Singh from there.

The police is also investigating whether the arrested drug suppliers used to supply drugs to other college students as well and are finding out the nexus.

Radhika Vashisht, a BA-II year student of the college, died of overdose of heroin yesterday.

Radhika, a resident of Ambala, was staying as a paying guest in the city and consumed the drug at a hotel in Sector 22 where her friend Shaina had called her.

The police today procured two-day police custody of the accused, Gagandeep and Saurabh. The police told the court that they had to take the accused to Amritsar to find out the source of the drugs.

The police said the two accused threw away her mobile phone after she died. It said they had to trace the victim’s mobile phone after interrogating the accused.

The police said the girls had earlier met the drug supplier at a CITCO-run eating joint in Sector 10 near the Leisure Valley.

Radhika was habitual to drugs

Police investigations into the death of the college student revealed that this was not the first time that Radhika had consumed a heavy dose of drugs. Her parents told the police that she had a similar attack of vomit of blood 15 days ago, too. “This was not the first time she consumed drugs. Our investigations have established that she was habitual to drugs,” said the investigating officer.

The accused, Gagandeep, while talking to mediapersons outside the district courts, said he was not a drug supplier but himself a drug addict.

“I never knew Radhika. She was introduced to me by a common friend as she wished to buy drugs. I purchased 6 grams of heroin from a person in Amritsar. Radhika had purchased 2 grams of heroin from me,” he said.

The accused said he could never imagine that she would die of drug overdose.

The police had registered a case under Sections 304, 328, 34 of the IPC and 21, 22 of the NDPS Act at Sector 17 police station against Gagandeep, a resident of Sector 24, Chandigarh, and Saurabh, a resident of Amritsar.

Radhika was rushed to the Sector 16 hospital in an unconscious state on December 17 night. She died the following day at the PGI due to drug overdose. She had consumed a heavy dose of heroin at a hotel in Sector 22 here where she was called by her friend Shaina, a dancer. The police has recovered 4.5 grams of heroin from the possession of the accused.



master plan-2031
UT submits draft copy to Shivraj Patil
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Three years after the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the UT Administration today submitted the draft copy of the Master Plan-2031 to UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil.

UT chief architect Sumit Kaur submitted the draft copy today. Patil has given 10 days' time to the chief architect to submit the final copy.

It was on December 23, 2009, when the Punjab and Haryana High Court had first directed the administration to finalise the plan within 12 months but the administration had sought number of extensions from the court to complete the plan.

A senior official of the UT Administration said they would first notify the draft policy and thereafter would sought objections from the public.

The administration will give one-month time to the residents to submit their objections on the master plan.

Finally, after considering the suggestions and objections of the residents, the administration will notify the final master plan and will submit the copy to the High Court as well.

The Department of Urban Planning has prepared a draft master plan, taking into consideration the future requirements of the residents. The master plan proposes development of residential, commercial, industrial, public,semi-public areas, traffic, transport and green spaces.


The administration has laid a lot of emphasis on providing better commercial infrastructure. Presently, there are no marriage palaces in the city. To address the problem, the area near Dadu Majra will partly be developed for marriage palaces and other commercial activities. Two freight stations have been proposed at Industrial Area, Phase I, and near the railway track. A warehouse in Sector 56-west has also been proposed. The administration is planning to develop a commercial belt along north of Vikas Marg and to shift motor market from Sector 28 to Industrial Area, Phase II.


Under the residential segment there will be expansion of Dhanas village. A piece of land, measuring 92.47 acres, has been proposed for rehabilitating slum dwellers and general housing in Maloya village. According to the plan, there is a provision of rental accommodation in Industrial Area Phase I.


For injecting new lease of life in the health sector, an area in Sector 53 has been identified for a trauma centre. Other initiatives in public/semi-public segment include conservation of historic fort at Manimajra, 66 KVA sub-station in Sarangpur and the development of Industrial Area, Phase III.

Traffic and transportation

For the smooth flow of traffic and effective transportation, the authorities have come up with several proposals. A transport/warehousing area in Sector 56-west is being contemplated, while a 100-ft-wide loop has been proposed after extending Shanti Path and Vikas Marg. The other initiatives proposed, include shifting of transport area from Sector 26 to Daria and upgradation of the airport.



Reality belies Mayor’s claims
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
As city Mayor Raj Bala Malik has failed to initiate any major project in her one-year tenure, she now lists old and incomplete projects as her ‘achievements’.

At a press conference, which was called by the Mayor today to list this year’s achievements, she also took credit of those projects, which are far away from being completed.

Though it was Raj Bala Malik’s press conference, the MC officials replied to media persons’ queries. To a majority of questions related to roads, lights, parking, water crisis, the Mayor remained silent as the MC officials gave the answers.

Opposition not invited to press conference

Congress councillors, MC officials and even nominated councillors were invited to the press conference but the SAD-BJP councillors were not invited. Congress councillors Rana Kashmiri Devi and Gurbax Rawat were not present at the press conference.

Reality check

Claim: Green belts developed in Sector 50 and 51

Reality: No green belt has been developed in Sector 50 and 51 this year.

Claim: Many community parking lots have been set up in different sectors.

Reality: Not even a single community parking lot has been set up this year.

Claim: Work on an over bridge in Sector 17 is under way.

Reality: It was not present Mayor Raj Bala Malik but former Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh who had initiated the project.

Claim: Stringent steps have been taken to control the stray cattle and stray dog menaces.

Reality: Residents are still facing the problem of stray dogs and stray cattle. In the southern sectors motorists find it very difficult to drive at night as stray cattle keep sitting in the middle of roads.

Claim: The birth and death registration system has been streamlined this year.

Reality: The functioning of the birth and death registration department has deteriorated. The authorities have stopped SMS alert service, which was beneficial for residents. Besides, the residents are receiving certificates in 20 or 25 days. Earlier, these used to be delivered in three or five days.

The site for a proposed multi-level parking project in Sector 17 in Chandigarh
The site for a proposed multi-level parking project in Sector 17 in Chandigarh. file photos
Claim: The construction of multi-level parking in Sector 17 to be started soon.

Reality: Work has on the project has not been started yet as the Ministry of Environment and Forests is yet to give environment clearance for it.
Lights on the road separating Sectors 27 and 28 have been non-functional for a long time.
Lights on the road separating Sectors 27 and 28 have been non-functional for a long time.

Claim: 90 per cent streetlights are functional in the city.

Reality: Many streetlights in the southern parts are still non-functional. Moreover, recently the MC officials had submitted a report on only those sectors where streetlights are working. But, they had failed to submit a report on those sectors where a majority of streetlights are non-functional.

Potholes on a road in Sector 19.
Potholes on a road in Sector 19.

Claim: The road wing of the Municipal Corporation has recarpeted 200 km of roads in the city.

Reality: Substandard material has been used in the recarpeting of the roads. At a recent House meeting, the issue of poor road recarpeting in Sector 19 was also raised by the Opposition.

Work on a water boosting station in Sector 46 is yet to be started.
Work on a water boosting station in Sector 46 is yet to be started.

Claim: To improve water supply, six water-boosting stations will be made functional in Sector 29 C, 31 D, 39 B, 46 C, 47 A and 48 A before the next summer.

Reality: Work on these projects is yet to be started. Only the tenders have been floated.



caught in a crawl 3
It’s bumper to bumper as vehicles jostle for space
It’s literally a crawl for commuters who travel on the Chandigarh-Panchkula main road to reach their destinations. In the third part of the series on city's traffic chaos, Tribune reporter Hina Rohtaki and photographers Pradeep Tewari and Nitin Mittal take the road and check the ground reality.

With Panchkula having just three routes to reach Chandigarh, one witnesses heavy flow of traffic on the main Panchkula-Chandigarh route. The biggest bottlenecks are found on this route as there is maximum inflow of traffic. To travel on the Railway light point, Kala Gram point and Housing Board route, it has become a cumbersome task.

The entire stretch, which usually takes just 10 minutes to cross, takes around 19 minutes during peak hours.

“We had looked into the suggestions made by the commuters, To avoid the traffic chaos at the Railway light point, the Chandigarh Traffic Police had conducted a survey and mooted a plan for a flyover, but the same was not approved by the engineering department saying that Chandigarh is a heritage city and such a project was not feasible,” said SP Traffic Maneesh Chaudhary.

The slip road from the Sectors 7 and 18 light point in Panchkula merges at the Housing Board Chowk, which already has heavy traffic inflow from Mani Majra and Motor Market.

“Auto-rickshaws and buses add to the chaos at the Housing Board Chowk, which is already choked by the inflow of traffic from three sides. As the slip road ends near the bus stop, the traffic comes to a halt,” said Balbir Singh, a resident of Sector 17, Panchkula.

It took the Chandigarh Tribune team about three minutes to cross the Panchkula Sectors 7 and18 lights to go towards the slip road. Crossing the Housing Board Chowk to go towards Kala Gram also took another three minutes. During the peak hours, it took four minutes to cross the Kala Gram light point (including waiting at the traffic light).

The biggest bottleneck is the Railway light point,which according to the RITES survey also sees maximum number of vehicles among all intersection points in Chandigarh (ie 145,157 vehicles).

“ The situation worsens in case of a VVIP visit or if there is an accident. When these VVIPs visit, the routes are blocked resulting in traffic jams,” said Debojit Ghosh, a resident of Sector 20, Panchkula. It took eight minutes to cross the Railway light point. Once the routes get diverted at the transport light point, one towards the Tribune Chowk, second towards Madhya Marg and the third towards Timber market, it just takes one minute to cross the stretch.

Choke points

Housing Board Chowk, Kala Gram light point and Railway light point

Bus stop at the Housing Board Chowk leads to heavy traffic “Since there is a bus stop at the Housing Board Chowk, all auto-rickshaws, buses etc stop there. This leads to heavy traffic in the area. The slip road from Panchkula ends near the bus so the commuters have to wait till the time the buses clear the way resulting in traffic jams,” said Rita Kulkarni, a resident of Mani Majra. The Tribune team had to wait for three minutes to cross the congested area.

VVIP visits and accidents a nuisance

The situation gets worse from the Railway light point to Kala Gram point in case of any accident or VVIP visit which results in traffic jams. In such a situation, the traffic is diverted to the slip roads on the left at the Railway light point.

Problem area
Traffic at the Kala Gram light point
Kala Gram light point: Traffic at the Kala Gram light point.

Kind of traffic: Office goers,shopkeepers and students. It is not only Panchkulaites but those residing on the outskirts of Panchkula who take this route via Panchkula.

Kind of vehicles: Buses, cars, SUVs, auto-rickshaws, two-wheelers, Rickshaws and canters. Trucks have been banned from 8 to 10 am.

There is no separate lane for the two-wheelers or cyclists which further chokes the lanes of the four-wheelers.

Who is to blame

Heavy inflow of traffic

Since the density of vehicles are more on the three routes (Sector-7/18 light point, Zirakpur and from the Fun Republic side) while going from Panchkula to Chandigarh ther is no other option available like in Mohali.


The local administration has failed to come up with proper traffic management planning.

There is no separate lane for cyclists, who end up entering lanes meant for four-wheelers
Railway light point: There is no separate lane for cyclists, who end up entering lanes meant for four-wheelers.

Steps that may help

  • Policemen can be deployed to clear traffic at the Housing Board Chowk.
  • Commuters feel that the bus stop at the Housing Board Chowk can be shifted a little ahead where the slip road merges.
  • Flyover can be constructed on this stretch to ease congestion.
  • “Buses and other vehicles halt at the slip road near the Housing Board Chowk which leads to traffic jams,” said Vikas Goel, a resident of Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula.

Steps taken to ease congestion
During peak hours, the traffic lights are switched off to facilitate traffic
Railway light point: During peak hours, the traffic lights are switched off to facilitate traffic.

Synchronisation of the traffic lights

In order to avoid heavy traffic, the Chandigarh Traffic Police has done the synchronisation of the traffic lights from the Housing Board Chowk to Transport Chowk again.

Traffic lights switched off during peak hours

The traffic lights at the Railway light point are switched off during the peak hours (as per the vehicular flow). An official in the Chandigarh Traffic Police says that whenever there is a heavy vehicular inflow at any point of time, they switch off the traffic light and man the traffic themselves.

Five police personnel deployed

Five policemen are deployed at the railway light point, including two woman constables, a head constable, a constable and a home guard.

Waiting time lessened, moving time increased

The waiting time at the Kala Gram light point has been lessened and for continuous flow of traffic, the moving time has been increased, since the traffic inflow from Mani Majra is far less as compared to that from Panchkula side.

New slip road at Railway light point

Another slip road has been constructed at the Railway light point so that traffic may be diverted in times of need.

RITES survey

A study conducted by the RITES during 2008-2009 showed that the daily traffic volume is the largest on this stretch. Even the number of vehicles on the stretch is the highest as compared to that on the other roads.

The total number vehicles near Transport Chowk was 145,157 that on the railway station intersection 141,366 and 148,481, the highest on the Housing Board Chowk. The morning peak hours percentage of the traffic in the city was 10.07 per cent at the Chandigarh railway station, 9.18 per cent near the Transport Chowk and 8.35 per cent at the Housing Board Chowk.

Administration’s take

The engineering department was not the only department to reject the flyover project; even the planning department did so. After the RITES survey, the Chandigarh mobility plan has been mooted and we are checking its feasibility. We are trying our best to check the traffic menace.

SK Chadha, UT Chief Engineer

Flyover and foot-hole bridges were proposed by the Chandigarh Traffic Police at the Railway light point, but the engineering department had rejected saying that Chandigarh is a heritage city. At least 150 proposals have been sent by us in the past one year, but all of them are lying pending in the engineering department. Recently, the synchronisation of traffic lights on this stretch has been done. The best is being done to curb traffic problems.

Maneesh Chaudhary, SP (Traffic), Chandigarh

For the continuous flow of traffic towards Chandigarh, the traffic lights are switched off at the Sectors 7/18 Panchkula light point. It has been done recently. I hope it works.

Mukesh Kumar, Traffic Inspector, Panchkula

Commuters speak

I commute from Baltana to Chandigarh daily and it takes me one-and-a-half hour. I come through Panchkula and most of the time is consumed on the Housing Board-Transport Chowk route.

Vijender Singh, resident, Baltana

I used to drive down to my college in Mohali but the drive on the stretch has become time consuming, so now, I take my two- wheeler to college.

Neha Sharma, resident, Panchkula

Earlier, it used to take just 10 minutes to cross the stretch, but now, it takes 35 minutes to reach my college.

Ritu, resident, Panchkula

To drive on this road is a Herculean task. I feel that the administration should plan some surveys and do something to solve the problem. Some more alternative routes should be planned.

Suresh Kumar, resident, Panchkula



Rs 20 lakh raised for Patiala hospital
Tribune News Service

Amrik Singh Chatha, head of Patiala Health Foundation
Amrik Singh Chatha, head of Patiala Health Foundation
CS Nandra, akey member of Patiala Health foundation
CS Nandra, akey member of Patiala Health foundation

Chandigarh, December 19
Over Rs 20 lakh were contributed by visitors at a fund-raising event, organised by Patiala Health Foundation, US, here today. The money has been collected to improve facilities at the Rajendra Hospital in Patiala. The foundation has been working towards the improvement of the hospital for the past five years.

Over these years, the foundation, headed by Dr Amrik Singh Chatha, introduced a high-tech ambulance, liquid oxygen plant, digitised X-ray system and a freezer in the blood bank.

The alumni, who constitute major part of the foundation, have also set up an inter-com facility in the hospital recently in addition to ensuring the availability of life-saving drugs at the hospital. “We have planned to set up a serai in the hospital for patients and their attendants. The 20-bed serai will also have a cafeteria,” said Dr Amrik Singh Chatha.

Dr CS Nandra, one of the key members in the Foundation, said: “Today’s fund-raising event has been a big success. This is the first such event organised in India and the response was wonderful.”

Dr Chatha said the foundation had also planned to recruit younger people to enhance the services at the hospital.

About 100 volunteers had gathered to attend the event. The money donated by volunteers varied from Rs 1,000 to1,00,000.



1 challaned for violating cigarette and tobacco act
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, December 19
An advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products at Fun Republic, Manimajra, came under the police scanner today.

Social activist Pankaj Chandgothia called the police control room against the public advertisement of tobacco products and the police swung into action immediately. This was a straight violation of the Section 5 and 6 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.

The police has challned the person, who has put up the advertisement.



Police slaps Rs 15 crore security bill on PCA
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali , December 19
The Mohali police has bowled a googly at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) and demanded about Rs 15 crore for the security arrangements made during cricket matches.

SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar sent a notice to the PCA authorities, stating that from 1995 to 2012 about 35 matches were held at the PCA Stadium and the bill for that period came to Rs 14,74,83,622 .

The district police chief also sought help through the Mohali Deputy Commissioner from the Punjab Principal Secretary ( Home) to secure the amount from the PCA.

According to the police, Rs 1.84 crore were spent on the security arrangements during the recent IPL matches, held at the stadium, while the rest of the amount was for the other matches . A police official said police personnel from other districts had to be called here to provide proper security to players , visitors and residents during the cricket matches.

Sources said though the PCA and the companies associated with the matches made good profit, not a single penny had been given to the police for the security arrangements.

However, the PCA has held that the police unnecessarily deploys additional personnel, which increases the expenditure on security and association engages its own security staff in a large number during the matches.

Earlier in 2008, the then SSP Ranbir Singh Khatra had sought payment to the police for the security arrangements during matches but the demand went unheard.



12 cases of misusing govt accommodation reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Twelve cases of the misuse of government accommodation by the allottees came into light in Sector 22, 24 and 46 during a special drive, carried out by the office of the House Allotment Committee and the UT Engineering Department, to check the misuse of government houses on the account of sub-letting and utilisation of the houses for commercial purposes.

The inspection teams, comprising officials of the House Allotment Committee and the engineering wing, reported violation of the terms and condition of allotment. During the course of checking, 10 cases of sub-letting and two cases of misuse of accommodation for commercial purposes by unauthorised construction in the courtyards and further to lease them to unauthorised persons have been reported.

The officials said the department was in the process of issuing show-cause notices to the defaulters. The official said the government employee, held guilty of sub-letting, would be charged penal rent at the rate of fifty times than the normal licence fee and the employee would be liable for disciplinary action under the relevant conduct rules.

Moreover, the rules provide that such government employee will not be entitled to another allotment of government residence during the entire service period. Such drives will regularly be carried out in the future as well.



MC launches online grievances redressal facility
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
To solve various problems of city resident, the Municipal Corporation today launched the online grievances redressal facility.

Under the facility, city residents can lodge online complaints to various departments like building and roads, streetlights, enforcement, health and sanitation, horticulture, water supply and sewerage disposal.

The MC has provided the facility on the MC's official website.



Multipurpose stadium at Zirakpur to come up soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The Punjab Government will come up with an international standard multipurpose stadium in the Nabha Sahib area of Zirakpur soon.

Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, said the government would spend about Rs 80 crore to come up with a new international standard sports stadium in the area.

In order to nurture the sporting talent at the grass-root level, the stadium would be equipped with all modern facilities. For this purpose, a total of 20 to 25 acres panchayat’s land has been marked and the project is expected to get over with in the span of three years.



PU to introduce table marking in semester system
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
In a bid to ensure that the answer sheets of over 60, 000 postgraduate (PG) students are evaluated and results are declared on time, Panjab University is going to introduce table marking in the semester system. The teachers, evaluating the answer sheets, won't be allowed to take them at home. They will have to check the answersheets them at the evaluation centre.

After the introduction of the semester system at PU and PG courses in affiliated colleges, the answer sheets are being evaluated twice a year, which has doubled the workload on the examination branch. The table marking already exists in annual examination system at the undergraduate level.

PU Registrar AK Bhandari, controller of examination, said the teachers had been informed about the table marking and it would help the university in getting the answer sheets evaluated and declaration of results on time. "Since the semester system was introduced, it's for the first time that the table marking will be introduced for the PG courses," Bhandari said.

Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) President Mohammed Khalid said that the table marking will definitely help in declaring the semester results on time. "Table checking increases the productivity of a teacher while evaluating the answer sheets at evaluation centre," the PUTA president said.

The evaluation process is starting from December 20 and PU aims to finish it by January 15. "We are aiming to declare the results of all the PG courses by February 15," the Registrar said.



PEC to hold alumni meet on December 22
Tribune News Sevice

Chandigarh, December 19
The Punjab Engineering College Old Students Association (PECOSA) and PEC is going to hold alumni meet at PEC on December 22. The 1978 batch will be honoured on the day. Jaspal Bhatti, who died recently in a car accident, was from the 1978 batch. His batch has also created a corpus fund of Rs 3.5 lakh in his memory.

The PECOSA members said they had charted out a slew of events for the day to remember their college days.

The said their families would get an opportunity to interact with each other during the event.

This year, the batches, who had passed out in 1963, 1978, 1988 and 1998, would be honoured by the PECOSA during the alumni meet.

Jaspal Bhatti was also from 1978 batch, which will be honoured this year. The cultural evening, held in September every year, will be dedicated him.

The PECOSA members said the felicitation ceremony function would start with the snapshots from Jaspal Bhatti's life. A tribute will be paid to him and Savita Bhatti, Jaspal Bhatti's wife, will be honoured during the event. More than 300 alumni along with their families are expected to attend the event.



From schools
Foundation day
tudents of KBDAV, Secto 7, present an item during the annual cultural show at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Wednesday
Students of KBDAV, Secto 7, present an item during the annual cultural show at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph
Students of Shemrock School with an inmate of old-age home in Sector 15, Chandigarh, on Wednesday
Students of Shemrock School with an inmate of old-age home in Sector 15, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. A Tribune Photograph

Chandigarh Baptist School, Sector 45, celebrated the 26 years of its foundation here on Wednesday. A flashback of 26 years of the school’s progress was presented through a slideshow. The outstanding students in academics and sports were felicitated during the function.

Seven-day function

Government Senior Secondary School, Manimajra, inaugurated seven-day function here on Wednesday. Chief guest Chanchal Singh, Deputy Director (Schools), Bikram Rana, state liaison officer of NSS,Swami Anupmanand from Sri Ram Krishan Mission Ashram inaugurated the function.

Christmas celebrated

Students of Green Castle Public School, Sector 47, celebrated Christmas on the school campus on Wednesday. The students decorated Christmas tree with balloons,bells ,gifts and stars. A speech was delivered by the headmistress on the occasion and the teacher dressed as Santa Claus, distributed sweets among the children.

Game show

Gian Jyoti Group of Institutions organised a unique game show (competition) “Kaun Banega Champion- KBC”. The show was planned with an objective to give students an opportunity to test their basic knowledge for the competitive exams, which they are likely to face in future. Bawika, a student, won a cash prize of Rs 1,000 and a scholarship of Rs 20,000 .

Skin check-up camp

A skin check-up camp was organised at DAV School, Mohali, by Simply Health Plus Pvt Ltd in association with Max Super Specialty Hospital , Phase VI , Mohali. Dermatologists Dr Rita Dutt (senior consultant dermatology) examined near about 60 students and staff members.


Updesh Kaur, headmistress, and Navinder Uppal ,PRT of KV 3BRD Air Force Station, Chandigarh were honoured with the KVS National Incentive Award by the HRD Minister at SR Auditorium, Delhi Cantt, for their outstanding contribution in the field of education.

Annual-day function held

The annual day celebrations were held at KV GC, CRPF Mens' Club, Pinjore. Sarbjit Singh, DIG GC, CRPF, Pinjore, started the proceeding with lighting of lamp, which was followed by Sarswati Vandana . The main attraction of the function was the Hindi skit, which was presented by the primary wing. The skit highlighted the present status of grand parents in the family.

Prize distribution function

Kendriya Vidyalya, AD Dappar held its annual prize distribution function with on Wednesday. Col Rishi Raj Yadav, Commandant, AD Dappar, and chairman of VMC, inaugurated the function. The children presented a Hindi skit “lapatta ganj mein audition”. English skit “Lost Spring” highlighted the issue of child labour.

A visit to old-age home

Students of Shemrock Senior Secondary School visited the old-age home in Sector 15 on Wednesday . During their visit, the students presented gifts to the inmates and organised a small cultural programme.



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