C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CTU staff stir hits commuters
 Auto drivers, rickshaw-pullers have a field day, overcharge at will 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
Hundreds of passengers remained stranded at city bus stands as employees of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) went on a strike for three and a half hours this morning in support of their long-pending demands.

Commuters wait for buses outside the PGI in Chandigarh on Monday.
Commuters wait for buses outside the PGI in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

Rickshaw-pullers and three-wheeler drivers had a field day and reportedly fleeced passengers by overcharging them. The strike started at 10 am and continued till 1.30 pm. However, the bus services were streamlined only after 2 pm.

The CTU authorities seemed least bothered about resolving the demands of the union and the inconvenience caused to the public because of the stirke.

Chaos prevailed at the Sector 17 and Sector 43 ISBT as commuters were caught unawares and were seen impatiently waiting for the strike to end. No CTU bus was allowed to move out of the ISBT in Sector 17 and Sector 43. The staff raised slogans in support of their demands. They laid a siege to the ISBT and parked buses in a haphazard manner.

The CTU authorities did nothing to mitigate the problems of commuters, who were left at the mercy of rickshaw-pullers and auto-rickshaw drivers, who reportedly charged exorbitant fares.

“We had no choice but to hire an auto to commute in the city,” said Girish Malhotra, a retired teacher.

“No official came to pacify or talk to the protesters regarding their demands," said a union leader.

CTU Workers Union president Bhupinder Singh said union leaders had met the UT Home Secretary on December 21 to discuss their grievances, but till date no action had been taken by the authorities to redress their grievances.

They had no option but to go ahead with the strike. 

Exorbitant fares

* Some commuters had no option but to pay five times the fare to auto-rickshaw drivers to reach their destinations.

* Santosh Kumar (40), who came from Dera Bassi to see one of his relatives at the PGI, expressed his anger saying that if the Administration cannot manage the transportation system, it should privatise it so that commuters are not harassed due to such strikes. 

What the union wants

* The authorities should not give the annual maintenance contract to companies for 10 years from which buses were purchased. Rather the technical staff deployed in CTU workshops should be trained for the purpose

* Recruitments should be made to tide over the shortage of staff. The recruitment of 217 conductors, pending since long, should be taken up immediately

* The department should allow the plying of 80 buses, stationed in a workshop for over a fortnight as there has been a delay in passing these vehicles

CTU Director TPS Phoolka said for the proper maintenance of these hi-tech bus fleets, which were purchased recently, the department had found that it would be better to avail of the AMC from the companies from which these were purchased. He said the tender which was floated recently for the AMC had been postponed by the department today till January 1, 2013.



cops’ thrashing
Probe finds cop guilty of eve-teasing 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 24
In the case pertaining to the beating up of two policemen on duty, DSP (City 1) Rajinder Singh Sohal has reportedly found one of them, Ravinder Singh, guilty of eve-teasing in his inquiry.

According to sources, in his inquiry report, the DSP has recommended that a case under Section 294 (obscene acts and songs) of the IPC should be registered against Ravinder Singh.

SP (City) Swarndeep Singh said he received the report today. "Let me go through it. Let me assure you that the inquiry was unbiased and action will be taken against the guilty, if any," said Swarndeep Singh.

On October 26, Deepinder Singh, his cousin Harshveer Singh and some of their friends, carrying swords, rods and baseball bats, had allegedly attacked Ravinder Singh in the Phase 3B2 market at around 11.30 pm, leaving him injured. An attempt-to-murder case was registered against 12 persons at the Mataur police station in this connection. The police had arrested three accused, Deepinder Singh, Harshveer Singh and one of their friends.

On October 29, Deepinder Singh’s fiancee Rupinder Kaur, a resident of Phase 11, had moved applications before the Punjab Human Rights Commission, the Punjab DGP and the Mohali SSP, alleging that she was teased by the policeman around three hours before the incident while she was having dinner with Deepinder Singh at a restaurant.

Ravinder was in his uniform when he teased her, she had alleged. On December 9, an inquiry was marked by Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police GS Bhullar to check the role of the policeman in question.

Mohali SSP GS Bhullar said the inquiry in the case had been completed. “I have issued clear instructions to the officials concerned to take action, if needed,” said Bhullar. 

What the SSP says
"I received the report on Monday. Let me go through it. Let me assure you that the inquiry was unbiased and action will be taken against the guilty, if any"  — Swarndeep Singh SP (City)



2 flights to Delhi cancelled 
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
Uncertainty seems to have become the order of the day at the Chandigarh airport. Two scheduled flights to Delhi from the airport were cancelled this morning, leaving several passengers stranded and harassed.

The flights from the city airport were cancelled as two inbound flights could not take off from the Delhi airport due to low visibility there. A Jet Airways flight from Chandigarh to Delhi, scheduled for 8.10 am, and an Air India flight, scheduled for 10.45 am, were called off. Several passengers reportedly travelled by road to Delhi for their connecting flights, which were on schedule.

Manager of Air India MR Jindal said the airline had informed its passengers as early as 8 am about the cancellation of the 10.45 am flight to Delhi.

Since several passengers had connecting flights, the airline arranged taxis to the Delhi airport for their convenience.

“Due to regular uncertainty about the weather forecast, both in Chandigarh and the Delhi airport, we advise our passengers to get updates about their flights before coming to the airport. They can contact our office at the airport or our help centre,” he said.

The overall air traffic at the airport was smooth as the bright sky ensured proper visibility throughout the day. An official of an airline said while several flights were behind schedule, most of these comfortably landed and took off from the airport after 11 am.

Travel agents are advising their customers to keep other travel options open till the time the weather uncertainties continue.

Mohinder Bajaj from Bajaj Travellers, Chandigarh, said, “As the air operations in North India will remain uncertain due to the prevailing weather conditions, we are advising our customers to keep other travel options open.”

According to him, passengers scheduled to take flights to Mumbai and Bengaluru have been affected more, but no one can help as uncertain weather conditions are to blame.

City resident Bhupesh Aggarwal said travelling had become difficult these days. He did not book an air ticket for Ahmedabad due to the uncertain weather conditions. 

Taxis arranged
Manager of Air India MR Jindal said the airline had informed its passengers as early as 8 am about the cancellation of the 10.45 am flight to Delhi. Since several passengers had connecting flights, the airline arranged taxis to the Delhi airport for their convenience 



Fog in region hits train services
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
Thick fog in the region affected railway services today. The morning Shatabdi, which reaches the city station at 11.05 am, started from Delhi at 11.30 am and reached the city at 4 pm. The departure and arrival of 10 other trains was also affected. The worst-affected were long-route passengers as all long-route trains were delayed.

The evening Shatabdi was also delayed by 45 minutes.

The morning Himalyan Queen was delayed by an hour, while a train to Mumbai was delayed by two hours. The Unchahar Express was delayed due to which officials were clueless about the departure of the Chandigarh-Lucknow train. The Howrah-Kalka mail was also delayed. 

Shatabdi delayed
The morning Shatabdi, which reaches the city station at 11.05 am, started from Delhi at 11.30 am and reached the city at 4 pm 



death due to drug overdose
Accused supplied drugs to night clubs in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
Investigations into the case of a girl who died due to a drug overdose in Chandigarh has revealed that one of the accused, Gagandeep, was supplying drugs to night clubs in the city for the past over two years.

Two more local youths, believed to be associated with Gagandeep in smuggling drugs, are also under the scanner of the police.

Both accused, Gagandeep and Saurabh, were produced in court today and sent to three-day police remand.

Investigations into the case have also revealed that the drugs given to the 21-year-old college student were purchased by Gagandeep from one of the bouncers of a discotheque in Sector 9.

Police sources said Gagandeep used to supply drugs to bouncers at discotheques.

“Bouncers of night clubs involved in the racket will soon be identified,” said a police official.

The police has identified two youths, Maninder and Aman, who are suspected to be involved in drug smuggling along with Gagandeep. The police is trying to trace those purchasing drugs from the accused.

The victim, Radhika Sharma, a resident of the Ambala Cantonment, was staying as a paying guest and was given drugs by two youths at a hotel in Sector 22 on December 17. 


Tricity set to celebrate Christmas in a big way
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

A girl with a ~18,000 Santa Claus on the eve of Christmas at a shop in Sector 11, Chandigarh .
A girl with a ~18,000 Santa Claus on the eve of Christmas at a shop in Sector 11, Chandigarh . Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, December 24
Jingle bells are out so is the carol singing, making way for Santa to spread fun and happiness. Despite drop in temperature, the city is getting ready for the Christmas celebrations. While the churches in the tricity are all set for the mid-night service and day-long celebration tomorrow, the market is flooded with all kind of decorative items for the festival. Besides bakeries, hotels have prepared special festival delicacies to add excitement to the celebrations.

Diwakar Sahoonja, owner of a gallery in Sector 11, said a new trend had been witnessed in decorative items this year. Among the exclusive items, six-feet-long Santa Claus is priced at Rs 18,000 besides different kind of candles and Santa dresses. Nikhil Mittal from Nik Bakers said,” Ginger bread house was the major highlight. The whole house is edible. It is a traditional Christmas item. Besides, we have Xmas pudding and plum cake.”
People enjoy a boat ride with Santa Claus at the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Monday
People enjoy a boat ride with Santa Claus at the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

The residents are excited about the festival. The people are buying Christmas trees and other items. Sakshi Bhardwaj, a resident, said she had a bought tree, Santa cap and other decorative items for her 10-year-old son, who was very excited about the festival. Meanwhile, religious fervour is in air as the churches have made elaborate arrangement to welcome the Christ tomorrow. Fr Ignatius Loyola Mascarenhas, Bishop of Shima- Chandigarh Diocese said the churches in the tricity were ready to celebrate the festival. At sector 19 Church more than 2,000 people are expected to attend mid-night service.



CMC underground parking handed over to traders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
In an attempt to solve parking woes in Sector 17, the Municipal Corporation today handed over CMC underground parking (behind Kapsons — SCO 104-105, Sector 17-C, Chandigarh) to traders. People can now park their two-wheelers free of cost at this parking lot.
A motorcyclist comes out from the newly inaugurated basement parking at Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Monday.
A motorcyclist comes out from the newly inaugurated basement parking at Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Monday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

The Business Promotion Council (BPC), a trader’s body of the Sector 17, will maintain the underground parking lot, which can accommodate over 200 two-wheelers and 200 bicycles.

Darpan Kapoor of the Business Promotion Council, Sector 17, said they had already installed 64 CCTV cameras in the underground parking lot to minimise theft incidents. Besides, they had also deployed two security guards, who would guide motorists to park their vehicles at the parking lot.

MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said this parking lot was not utilised for the past several years. Contractors were ready to bid for it. However, it was handed over to the traders, who wanted to manage it.

Councillor Mukesh Bassi, Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach, and representatives of the Business Promotion Council, Sector 17, were also present during the inauguration function.



Mishap involving SDM’s car
UT police fails to register case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
Even a day after an expectant woman was injured after the speeding car of the Panchkula SDM hit her and overturned on the Madhya Marg, the UT police has failed to register a case.

The 27-year-old woman, who is five-week pregnant, had suffered head injuries and a fracture in her leg in the accident. The injured woman, Madhvi, was then rushed to the GMSH-16 for treatment. Meanwhile, she was discharged from the hospital today.

The SDM’s vehicle hit her yesterday while she was crossing the road dividing Sectors 26 and 27.

SDM Sharandeep Kaur, who was on his way to Sector 17, was also injured in the accident. Kaur was rushed to the PGI and was discharged later. She had also suffered a nose injury.

The police said the accident took place when the driver suddenly applied breaks to save Madhvi. “The driver, on seeing the woman crossing the road, applied brakes to save her. She was hit by the rear portion of the vehicle," the police said.

SDM’s personal security officer Madan Lal and driver Ved Parkash also sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital.

DSP (East) Vijay Kumar said the police had gone to record the statement of the injured woman at the hospital. She refused to give the statement saying that she was not fit enough for this.

“Necessary action will be taken only after recording the statement of the injured woman,” the DSP said.



Residents await re-carpeting of inner roads in Sector 22
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
Owing to the lethargic approach of the Municipal Corporation, the residents are still awaiting for the completion of re-carpeting of inner roads in Sector 22 here.

Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

The residents are finding it difficult to drive two-wheelers on uneven roads and are also facing problems of dust in their locality due to the non-completion of the work.

“The work to re-carpet the road was started a month ago and we are still waiting for its completion. I have submitted a complaint to the area councillor, but it fell on deaf ears. We are not able to park or drive our vehicles safely. Till date, three vehicles have slipped on this patch and the drivers, along with pillion riders, have escaped with minor injuries,” said Amit Mittal, a resident of Sector 22.

Another resident of the sector said: “We have been facing this problem since long. Our children cannot play on roads and, moreover, dust flies whenever a vehicle crosses the lane. Officials concerned should complete the work soon,” said Arvind Sharma.

Mukesh Anand, Superintending Engineer (B&R), said: “We are using a new machine for the re-carpeting of the road and people have to bear the dust and uneven parts of the roads. Rest you (the reporter) can contact the XEN”. Visahl Gupta, XEN, said: “Due to fog, there is a delay in the work. We are identifying the areas and the work will start soon”.



Tehsildar's driver dies in mishap

Panchkula, December 24
The driver of the Panchkula tehsildar was killed in a road accident here today. He was hit by an unidentified vehicle on the road separating Sectors 26 and 27 in Panchkula.

The victim, identified as Sanjay, was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where he was declared brought dead. The body of the deceased has been kept in the mortuary for autopsy, which will be conducted tomorrow. — TNS



IT Dept sets up single-window facility in P’kula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 24
The Income tax department, Panchkula region here, has set up the first single window clearance facility for filing income tax returns. Even complaints against the departement, if any, will be processed here. The Ayekar Seva Kender (ASK) is a single window face to face contact point for all the taxpayers to communicate with all the tax authorities housed in a building in respect of all the key services listed in the Citizen’s Charter.

Abhishek Narang, Panchkula Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, said that the ASK Centre will be functioning under the control and supervision of Sunita Puri, Commissioner of Income Tax, Panchkula, and Jitender Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Panckula. The ASK was inaugurated by Dr.Sudha Sharma, Member of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, New Delhi.

An official of the income tax department said, “Queue management system has also been installed to avoid rush at the counters. The software has a module for receiving bulk returns so that during the rush hours, queue could be effectively manage.” He further added, “There are separate facilitation and tax education counters to provide necessary support to the taxpayers.” Sources said that latest software technologies have been used to keep updated information at the centre.

For each application, submitted at the ASK that relates to the services specified in the Citizen’s Charter with specific timelines for resolving the cause of action arising out of it, system-generated unique acknowledgement number is generated in duplicate which is used for monitoring the status of the application through its life cycle. The receipts are pasted on the original copy as well on the copy of the application returned to the taxpayer. On receipt of applications, resolution dates are automatically generated through the system for the tax authorities can view each of the services and the same at all levels through the section diary. Que management system has been installed to avoid rush at the counters. The software has a module for receiving bulk returns so that during the rush hours, queue could be effectively managed.



PU elections: 11 deans elected unopposed 

Teachers and Senators during the election of deans at the PU in Chandigarh on Monday
Teachers and Senators during the election of deans at the PU in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: Manoj mahajan

Chandigarh, December 24
Deans for various disciplines were elected at Panjab University today. Interestingly, all the 11 deans were elected unopposed. Meanwhile, Goyal group that has emerged as one of the powerful groups in the Syndicate dominated in the elections.

While the elections for the Deans in Law, Medical Sciences and Dairy Animal Husbandry and Agriculture were held on Sunday, the elections for the remaining 8 disciplines were held today. Maximum number of seats in the elections were bagged by the Goyal group. The tenure of Deans and Secretaries will be for the term of one-year, starting from February 1 next year. —TNS



PU makes another blunder
 Gives out-of-syllabus question paper to students, changes it later
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
In another major goof-up by Panjab University, the third semester MEd exam was completely out of sylabus that turned out to a harassment for hundreds of students, appearing at the six examination centres in the city. The university, after realising the blunder, sent another question paper at the examination centres.

The blunder by the university led to chaos at the examination centres as the students started complaining about the question paper.

As soon the students started attempting the questions, they realised that the entire question paper was out of syllabus.

“First I thought that I might have skipped these questions at the time of preparation but later I realised that all the questions were out of syllabus,” said one of the MEd students.

The matter was then reported to the examination branch, which after realising the mistake swung into action and decided to send a new question paper to the examination centres.

The entire exercise took a lot of time, which led to a delay of one and half hour in commencement of the examination .

PU Registrar AK Bhandari, who is presently holding the charge of Controller of Examination, said as soon the matter was reported they sent another question paper to the examination centres. “The students were given complete time to the attempt the exam,” Bhandari said.

The university had to face a similar embarrassment when the MA first-year political science exam was cancelled on April 28 this year after it was found that the question paper ws completely out of syllabus.

Thousands of students in PU and its affiliated colleges had to appear in the examination again.

Goof-ups this Year

* April 19 Answers to a 10 mark fill-in-the blank question in BSc I botany exam were printed in the question paper itself.

* April 26 Quetsion paper of BA III Hindi exam that was supposed to be of 90 marks turned out to be of 84 marks only.

* April 27 PU forgot to provide world maps with the BA III question papers.

* April 28 BCA III exam of discrete maths had a six-mark question that was wrong.

* May 1 A 15-mark question was out of syllabus in the law second semester examination. Two questions which appeared in the Unit III of the question paper were from Unit II which led to confusion among students.

* May 10 Two questions of 15 marks in the law IV semester exam of Information of Technology Act and RTI Act turned out to be out of syllabus.

* May 28 MA I political science exam was cancelled as the entire question paper was out of syllabus.



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