C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fog grounds all flights
Passengers left in the lurch, say airlines didn't inform them about cancellation of flights
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service
Passengers stranded at the Chandigarh airport following the cancellation of flights on Wednesday
Passengers stranded at the Chandigarh airport following the cancellation of flights on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal
Traffic moves at a snail’s pace on a foggy day on the Zirakpur-Chandigarh Highway on Wednesday
Traffic moves at a snail’s pace on a foggy day on the Zirakpur-Chandigarh Highway on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Chandigarh, December 26
For the third time in the past five days, all outbound flights from the Chandigarh airport were cancelled, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at the airport. Inclement weather and poor visibility due to fog did not allow any of the inbound flights to land at the airport today. As a result, all outbound flights had to be cancelled. Eighteen flights were cancelled throughout the day.

An official of an airline said, “No flight had landed at the ariport here yesterday. Given the weather conditions, it's difficult to say whether the air traffic will resume even tomorrow.”

Several passengers were seen arguing with the staff of airlines at the airport today.

Rajwinder Singh from Ludhiana, whose flight to Kolkota via Delhi was scheduled for this evening, said he did not get any message from the airline about the cancellation of flight.

“We understand that it's due to the weather conditions. The airline should have at least informed us about the cancellation of the flight on time. I missed my cousin's wedding because of it,” he said.

Another passenger Mohini said, “While my flight has been rescheduled from Delhi tomorrow morning, they are not paying anything for my journey till Delhi.”

Bengaluru resident Santosh K, who returned from Manali with his family and was to board a flight from Chandigarh, said he did not get any intimation from the airline about the cancellation.

Sankavi from Chennai was virtually stranded at the airport today. She said, “It was important for me to reach Chennai tomorrow because I had to tame an examination. Now, I have been stuck due to the cancellation of the flight. I will now try to take a flight from Delhi tomorrow.”

Kuber from Sector 24, Chandigarh, said, “I have rescheduled my flight for tomorrow from the airport here. I hope the weather clears by that time.”

Other travel options

With fog continuing to disrupt air traffic at the airport here, travel agents and airline officials have advised passengers to keep other travel options open till the time the weather clears.

Shatabdi, long-route Trains delayed

Train services continued to be affected for the fourth day today due to thick fog in the region. Passengers kept waiting for hours to board trains from the city station. The morning Shatabdi was delayed by 5.15 hours today and reached in the evening. The evening Shatabdi was delayed by 15 minutes. Long-route trains were also delayed. The Kerela Sam Kranti train was delayed by one hour and 29 minutes. The Howrah-Kalka mail was also delayed. The morning Himalayan Queen was delayed by 20 minutes, the Paschim Express by 17 minutes and the Jan Shatabdi by 15 minutes.

No refund

I have been adjusted in a flight from the Delhi airport on Thursday after my flight from the city got cancelled. The airline neither refunded my money nor paid for my journey till Delhi.

— Dr Devjeet Singh, Sirhind

No intimation

I had to reach Chennai on Thursday. I am stranded at the airport here and don't know when I will be able to board my flight to Chennai. My airline did not inform me about the cancellation of the flight.

— Kavya Elizabeth, Chennai

Night travel

I am literally at the receiving end because of the cancellation of the flight. I spent over 10 hours reaching the airport and now I have to travel all night to catch my flight from the Delhi airport early on Thursday morning.

— Surinder Rana, Una, Himachal



VC's house done up, PU cares little for staff quarters
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

A backlane of the PU staff quarters
A backlane of the PU staff quarters

Chandigarh, December 26
While Panjab University has spent over Rs 18.50 lakh on the makeover of the Vice-Chancellor's residence, the authorities have ignored houses and the residential area of non-teaching employees, which accommodate a population of over 2,500 people. The houses are in dire need of repairs.

There are over 600 houses on the PU campus for non-teaching employees. The university has allegedly given a stepmotherly treatment to these. While the paint on the walls of a majority of the houses has faded, roofs of a large number of houses reportedly leak during the rainy season.

An employee residing in a B-Type house said during the rainy season, the roof of his washroom starts leaking, making it impossible for the family to use the washroom. “This is a common problem in B and C-Type houses for over a decade. The university has turned a blind eye to the problem,” said the employee.
The door of a house in a bad shape
The door of a house in a bad shape. Tribune Photos: S Chandan

People visiting the residential area often find it difficult to locate houses as the block and series numbers of houses, which were printed on walls of buildings, have faded. “The walls of the buildings are an eyesore for

those visiting the PU campus,” said another resident.

The problems do not seem to end here. Back lanes of the residential area have tall grass. The lanes have not been cleaned for years and have turned into breeding grounds for reptiles. These lanes continue to remain littered with garbage.

The area which was to be developed as a park for children and residents has broken swings and garbage littered all around. “The residential area of the non-teaching staff seems to have been given a stepmotherly treatment by the university authorities,” said a university employee.

Panjab University Staff Association president Deepak Kaushik demanded that there should be a budget for regular maintenance of all houses and surrounding areas on the PU campus, irrespective of whether the houses are of the teaching or the non-teaching staff. 

Stepmotherly treatment

The residential area of the non-teaching staff seems to have been given a stepmotherly treatment by the university authorities. — A university employee



jyoti’s murder
Himachal MLA denied anticipatory bail
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 26
Newly elected MLA form the Doon constituency in Himachal Pradesh Ram Kumar Chaudhary, wanted in the Jyoti murder case, was denied anticipatory bail by a local court here today. Chaudhary had applied for anticipatory bail on December 24 in the court of Sanjay Sandhir.

The Panchkula police, while contesting the bail application filed by Chaudhary, presented proofs before the judge. It was also stated that Chaudhary did not join the investigation when called by the police.

Counsel for Chaudhary AS Sukheja termed it a political conspiracy. He said the proofs presented by the

residence last evening, but did not find him there.

On December 24, the MLA had filed a bail application in the local court, the decision on which was kept pending for today.

A large police force, comprising the Panchkula police and the Himachal police, had sealed all routes to check Chaudhary’s escape during Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s oath ceremony, but Chaudhary did not turn up.

On December 21, the Panchkula police had gone to Chaudhary’s residence with arrest warrants against him and his three accomplices, Dharampal, Gurmeet and Paramjeet in the Jyoti murder case. Jyoti was found murdered on November 22 near Sector 21, Panchkula. She was reportedly handling Chaudhary's financial matters during the election period.



Cops focus on MLA’s phone locations
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 26
“Ram Kumar Chaudhary is an influential, rich and a political man who can tamper with all the proofs in the murder case,” stated the Panchkula police before the court today. The Panchkula police presented a number of proofs before the judge showing Chaudhary’s link with 24-year-old Jyoti, who was found murdered on November 22. The court was also told that the spot where Jyoti’s body was thrown was close to Sector 21, Panchkula, and the location of Chaudhary’s mobile phone was also recorded near the same area on the day of murder. The police also said more than Rs 1 lakh was transferred to Jyoti’s bank account from Baddi recently.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Virender Sangwan, investigating officer of the case, was also present in the court.

It was stated that the location of Chaudhary’s personal mobile phone at 12.43 am on the day of murder was recorded on the road separating sectors 20 and 21 where Jyoti was found murdered. Even the ‘unofficial’ number procured on fake documents, which was constantly in touch with Jyoti, had the same location.

Even the victim’s last location, which was near Zirakpur at 9.13 pm, match with the location of Chaudhary’s mobile phone. Cellphones of both the deceased and Chaudhary were switched off after that. When the latter’s personal number was switched on at 12.43 am, its location was near the site where Jyoti’s body was found.

“On the day of murder, a visiting card from Jyoti’s bag was recovered, which mentioned the address and mobile numbers of MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary,” stated the application presented to the judge by the police.

It was further stated, “The location of Chaudhary and Jyoti on November 21, a day before the murder, was the same, i.e. Sector 21, Chandigarh.” Jyoti was putting up as a paying guest in Sector 21, Chandigarh.

Jyoti had a bank account in the ICICI branch at Sector 11, Panchkula, the statement of which showed that transactions amounting to over Rs 1 lakh were made to her account from Baddi where Chaudhary resides.

According to the investigation by the police, for the past many months, Jyoti had been making calls to a number, which, in turn made calls only to her number. When the location of that ‘unofficial’ phone number was checked, it was always found to be the same as the Chaudhary’s official number. The unofficial number was procured on the basis of fake documents. When a SIM card dealer, Ashish, was arrested, he told the police that he had sold the number to Ram Kumar Chaudhary.

The phone call details also revealed that Ram Kumar Chaudhary and Jyoti were constantly in touch.

Meanwhile, Chaudhary’s counsel AS Sukheja said Chaudhary was a political man and travels a lot. It was stated in the court that mere locations didn’t make anyone involved in a murder case and the Panchkula police had no solid proofs. It was a political conspiracy.

Lookout notices for 2

Lookout notices for two accused, Gurmeet and Dharampal, were issued by the Panchkula police on Wednesday. The authorities at the airports, railway stations and other places have been alerted. Regarding the lookout notice for Ram Kumar, it has been stated that his passport is to be renewed next year.



Boy ‘pushed’ into bonfire by friends, suffers burns
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 26
A mischief by friends has cost a five-year-old child dear. The boy’s is face was spoilt completely after the he was pushed into a bonfire by his friends. The victim, Himanshu, was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, where doctors referred him to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. The victim is a resident of Sector 7, Panchkula.

According to the doctors, Himanshu’s face has been burnt completely.

“We were informed that around four or five children were standing near the bonfire that was lit to ward off the cold. His friends mischievously pushed Himanshu into the fire and he suffered burns on the face,” said a police official. Himanshu’s father is a labourer.

“Though the child has not suffered severe burns, his whole face has been spoilt. He is able to speak but can not eat anything,” said a doctor at the GMCH. “The face of the child has been burnt complete and he has been kept under observation,” the doctor added.

The doctors also said they might have to do plastic surgery on the boy’s face. There are mild burns on the child’s left arm as well, she added.

The child’s father was away to work while the mother was at home when the incident happened.



Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for city artiste
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
City's grand old theatre actor, Parvesh Sethi, has been selected for the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2012. His name was announced by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi. Parvesh had started theatre as a make-up artiste at the age of seven. He acted for the first time here in Chandigarh in 1961. Since then he has acted in more than 500 plays and is still active in theatre.

Born in Gujranwala, now in Pakistan, 69-year-old Parvesh said it was a moment of pride for him as it was the highest award a theatre artiste could get in India.

"Theatre has changed a lot over the years. Technology is helping in a big way today but my only contention is that people are not as committedto the theatre as they used to before," he said.

Sethi is as active as he was 50 years ago. "I take part in at least two productions every month and feel privileged to have worked with theatre personalities like Balwant Gargi, Mohan Maharishi, Shyama Nand and NC Thakur," Said Sethi.


Foundation stone at MC building in a shambles
Mayor to lay new one for additional floors today
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
While the city Mayor, Raj Bala Malik, is all set to inaugurate the foundation-laying ceremony for the four additional floors of the MC building tomorrow (December 27), another foundation stone, the original one, laid in 1989 by then adviser Ashok Pradhan, lies buried in the heaps of garbage.

Sweepers daily dump garbage near the foundation stone. In addition to that, the employees of the MC lean their bicycles against the original foundation stone. Sweepers daily park their garbage rehris behind the foundation stone.

Not only that, a portion of the plaque is missing. The MC officials were even not aware about the same.

At present, the building has ground floor, first and second floor.

While the MC officials were busy making arrangements for the stone-laying function, and were even distributing invitation cards to officials, nobody even think about cleanliness around the original foundation stone.

Initially, this building (known as the new deluxe building) housed various departments of the UT Administration, but after the formation of the Municipal Corporation and the appointment of the first commissioner of the corporation in 1995, the MC departments started functioning from this building.

A retired employee of the corporation said a majority of employees and officers of the corporation were even not aware about the original foundation stone. Before installing a new foundation stone for the additional floors of the MC building, the authorities concerned should beautify the original one.

The original foundation of the new deluxe building is situated in a corner of the parking lot for two wheelers and bicycles in the MC building.



Glazing removed from Sec 17 SCOs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Major violations of building bylaws at three buildings in Sector 17 were removed today during a special demolition drive conducted by the UT Estate Office. Officials said the owners of these buildings, including SCO number 68, 69 and 70, had covered their balconies by fixing glazing on it. During the drive, workers removed the glazing from the balconies. The team was led by SDO (Building) of the Estate Office Suresh Kumar along with other officials.

The officials said the owners of the buildings protested the drive, but they were convinced and the drive, which commenced at 9 am, continued till 5 pm.

The officials said notices were served on the owners a number of times, as the covered balconies create a hurdle in evacuation operations in case of a fire.

Officials said a major anti-encroachment drive would be conducted in the Dhanas marble market tomorrow.



Arun BJP’s choice for Mayoral poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
For the election to the post of Mayor, the BJP has almost finalised its candidate. At a meeting of senior party leaders and councillors held this evening, the party has finalised the name of Arun Sood. However, the BJP would officially announce Sood’s name at a function tomorrow.

Sources revealed that for the post of Senior Deputy Mayor, the BJP leaders have finalised Rajesh Gupta Bittu’s name. The BJP has also decided to give Deputy Mayor’s post to their alliance party, the SAD. Meanwhile, the Congress would also announce its candidate tomorrow.



Sanitation panel meeting held

Chandigarh, December 26
At a meeting of the sanitation committee of the Municipal Corporation, its members finalised the rate for hiring 20 tractor-trailers for sanitation purposes in the city.

The meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of HC Kalyan, finalised a budget of Rs 2,670 for hiring tractor-trailers. Besides, the committee also passed agendas like the procurement of sanitation items such as brooms, bamboo sticks, etc.

The committee has approved the terms and conditions regarding the purchase of 100 small cycle carts. — TNS



scheme for ut staff
CHB to refund earnest money
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) will refund the earnest money to 3,000 unsuccessful applicants of the special housing scheme for UT employees floated in 2008. A decision to this effect was taken by the board of members of the CHB at a meeting here today.

Unsuccessful applicants have been requesting the board authorities to refund their earnest for a long time but the decision was delayed as a few applicants were demanding interest on the earnest money.

The board has also decided to again request the Punjab and Haryana for a panel for the post of chief engineer of the CHB, which is lying vacant for a long time. Earlier, the candidature of three engineers forwarded to the CHB by the Chief Secretary of Punjab was rejected by the authorities.



Admn reshuffle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil, today gave the charge of Special Secretary Transport and MRTS to Punjab cadre IAS officer Ajoy Sharma, who is already holding the charge of Special Secretary Finance.

At present, Home Secretary, Anil Kumar, is holding the charge of Secretary Transport. Besides, during PCS officer Jasvinder Kaur’s leave from December 26 to January 25 next year, the administration gave the charge of Additional Director (Admn), GMCH, Sector 32, Director Museum & Art Gallery, Project Director, Beant Singh Memorial and Director Cultural Affairs to another PCS officer Amandeep Kaur.



Rock band The Local Train leaves audience spellbound
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The second day of the new year extravaganza by the Chandigarh Tourism and CITCO, unbolted with a thunderous performance by the rock band, The Local Train, at the Plaza in Sector 17, today. The performers, including lead vocalist Raman Negi, bassist Ramit Mehra, guitarist Paras Thakur, drummer Sahil Sarin presented their own melodious compositions followed by hit bollywood tracks. The band made the youngsters dance.

In the evening there was a performance by Punjabi comedian Bhotu Shah. The people thoroughly enjoyed his performance. His recent releases, including songs like “Bade chete aunde ne jattan nu bhaiye”, “Fauji Di Vautti”, “Barat Chupni Gussa Puriya” made everyone to laugh.

Tomorrow, There will be a live performance by another band Rudraksh at the Plaza, Sector 17. The main event of the evening will be Punjabi folk dances. Different kind of folk and instrumental performances will enthral the audience tomorrow.

On December 28, Punjabi singer Sharry Mann will perform at the Plaza. On December 29, another sufi singer Manak Ali will perform. On the eve of the new year, there will be a DJ night. The DJ’s tracks will heave the energy levels of the kids, visitors and tourists at the Plaza to welcome the New Year. Children can rock the dance floor on the DJ night.



Stink, garbage greet visitors to Grain Market-26
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Garbage lies scattered at the Grain Market
Garbage lies scattered at the Grain Market
Shopkeepers cover their noses due to the foul smell emanating from a choked sewerage at the Grain Market
Shopkeepers cover their noses due to the foul smell emanating from a choked sewerage at the Grain Market
A damaged road at the Grain Market
A damaged road at the Grain Market. 
Tribune Photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, December 26
Foul smell, encroachments, heavy traffic and blocked sewerage is what the Grain Market of Sector 26 has to offer to its commuters coming here from all over the region.

The Grain Market, constituted here in early 90s on the land auctioned by the UT Estate Office with a purpose to provide best of the facilities to the farmers of the region, is slowly turning out to be a blot on the City Beautiful.

The market witnesses a regular footfall of more than 5,000 people daily. The conditions here are very poor - the market has washrooms in the open, there are no rules for parking of heavy vehicles, encroachers sell their products openly, there is no cleanliness in the area and inner roads are in a pathetic condition. Adding to the problem, some shopkeepers have even rented out their outer premises, which leads to more chaos in the market. Unattended garbage on the inner roads creates foul smell.

When it comes to vehicular movement, heavy vehicles are free to move inside anytime, which sometimes results into long traffic jams.

The market is also facing apathy from the Market Committee and the Municipal Corporation. It functions under the Market Committee and pays property tax to the Municipal Corporation. But, when it comes to improve the standard of the only farmer-friendly place of the region, it is always treated as no one’s baby.

Notably, in a recent development, the Agricultural Marketing Board has been allotted 23 acres land around the periphery area adjoining Sector 39 by the UT Estate Office with a purpose to shift the market. But in reality, no development has been made to shift the market at the new venue.

The Municipal Corporation is the authorised body to provide public conveniences. The main function of the Market Committee is to look after the farmers’ interests. Rest, the roads will be re-carpeted soon as the Audit Department has cleared Rs 1.5 crore to come up with new roads.

Jarnail Singh, Secretary, Market Committee, Sector 26

I have never received any written complaint regarding any type of shortcomings in the Grain Market. If people or shopkeepers are facing any kind of problem, they should bring it to my knowledge in writing so that I can raise this issue in the next House Meeting.

Naresh Kumar, Councillor of the Municipal Corporation

The place has a market committee. The General Body collects revenue and it’s their duty to provide shopkeepers or commuters with the best of facilities. If they fail in their efforts, then only we will do something to beautify the area.

Mohammed Shayin, District Magistrate and Secretary, Marketing Board



I frequently visit this place. But, I always opt for afternoon hours to avoid any kind of inconvenience. Free movement of heavy traffic is the main cause of worry. I never drive my car inside because it takes almost two hours to come out of the heavy traffic jam. — Harcharan Singh

Being a mess contractor, I have to visit the grain market everyday. In the absence of any rules, vehicles get stuck here every time. One portion of the market faces the problem of foul smell, while the other has a poor condition of roads. The area needs attention of both shopkeepers and officials. The place is a source of livelihood for many and it should be well taken care of. — Nariender Kumar

What shopkeepers say

We are facing officials’ apathy as no one gives us a patient hearing. All three bodies — Market Committee, Municipal Corporation and Estate Office — pass on the work to each other. Ultimately, we face the music. — Gian Chand

The place is slowly becoming the hub of garbage. Time will come when we will have no customers. During rainy season, the condition of the market becomes pathetic. We have requested the officials to redress our grievances, but our requests fall on deaf ears. — Davinder Kumar.

Booths were allotted by the Estate Office. We pay property tax to the Municipal Corporation, and the Market Committee collects revenue from us. But when it comes to providing facilities, no one bothers. Washrooms here are in the open and in some parts, encroachers have come up with temporary houses and shops. There is a dire need to look after the upkeep of the market. — Mohit Sood

Vehicular movement should be controlled as it will help both commuters and shopkeepers. The condition of the market is not good. Heaps of garbage and bad roads are not what the Grain Market of the region should reflect. — Pawan Garg

Officials should work on the shortcomings and even the guilty shopkeepers should be punished. The Chandigarh Traffic Police should come up with certain rules to stop the free movement of heavy vehicles on the market premises. — Pawan Jain



Sambar strays into residential area
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 26
A sambar strayed into a park in Phase III-B-I here today creating a sensation in the populated residential area.

According to reports, the animal, which had apparently been bitten by dogs, entered the park around midday. An onlooker rang up the PCR, which in turn, informed officials of the Forest Department.

A team of forest officials reached the spot to rescue the badly injured sambar. Witnesses said the forest team was allegedly not properly equipped to rescue the animal. There was no veterinarian with the team, who could give proper first aid to sambar.

It is reported that the mouth and the legs of the injured animal were tied, which was later taken to the Chhatbir Zoo.



Table calendar released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
DK Tiwari, Secretary, Forest and Wildlife Department, today released table calendar - 2013 of the Department of Forest And Wildlife, UT Administration.

The department has prepared a table calendar -2013 with the theme titled “Migratory & Resident Birds of Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh”.

The calendar comprises pictures of migratory and resident birds of the Sukhna Lake, common and scientific name of birds and their identification features.

It also provides information about birds in general and migration pattern among them in particular.



UT to set up education tribunal
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The UT has decided in-principle to start the Chandigarh Education Tribunal by giving additional charge to serving Additional District and Session Judge. Officials of the UT Education Department said as per the direction of the Supreme Court, approval of the Punjab and Haryana High Court was required for the appointment of serving judge for the tribunal. "The case has been sent to the UT Law Department to seek its advice in the matter," said a senior official of the department.

The decision of appointing a serving judge has been taken to avoid further delays in starting the functioning of the tribunal. The officials said the creation of a permanent post would take some time since it needed the approval of the Government of India. Therefore, the department has decided to give additional charge to a serving judge.

As per information, there is a lot of pressure on the administration to start the tribunal at the earliest. Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had criticised the administration for the long delay in setting up the tribunal. The matter has been pending for the last 10 years.

It was in 2002 the Supreme Court (in the TMA Pai vs State of Karnataka case) had ordered that every state should set up an education tribunal. The tribunal will look into the disputes relating to the appointment and removal of teachers and administrative decisions of all aided and unaided schools in the city.

The officials said the tribunal would be notified under Section 8 of the Punjab Privately Managed Recognised Schools Employees (Security of Service) Act, 1979. The presiding officer of the tribunal will not be lower than the rank of the retired judge of a high court or district court. The tribunal will have the same powers as vested in a court of appeal by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and will have the power to stay the operation of any order on such terms as it may think appropriate. Under Section 4 of the act, an order passed by the tribunal will be final.



City set to get 2nd smart school in Jan
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

The facade of Government High School, Sector 50, Chandigarh
The facade of Government High School, Sector 50, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, December 26
Chandigarh is all set to get its second smart school in Sector 50 next month. Government High School,Sector 50, has been equipped with all the high- tech facilities, required for a smart school. High-resolution projectors with Internet connection have been installed in the classrooms.

While the preparation of e-content for the school is in progress, officials informed that the school would start next month.

As per information, as many as 854 students of Sector 50 and surrounding Sectors, currently studying in Sector 45 and nearby government schools, have been identified and they will be moved into the school. Lukhwinder Kumar, headmaster of the school, said a list of all students had been approval and the school would start functioning soon.

According to him, the school will have 22 section with each class having a strength of 45 students. "The strength of each section will not go beyond 45 students as classes here can't absorb more students," he said.

DEO Ram Kumar Sharma said Rs 60 lakh has been spent on the school. Some officials of the department said there should not be any delay in the inauguration of the school. It took more than three months to inaugurate the first smart school- Government High School,Sector 53- and It should not happen with this school, the officials said.

Three more smart schools in pipeline

Three more smart schools are expected to start during the next academic session. Next in line is the smart school in Sector 54, whose construction is in progress. Besides, there is a proposal to upgrade two government schools-GMSSS-16 and GMSSS-35- as smart schools. Rs 1.20 crore will be spent on these schools.



Employees of govt-aided colleges demand pension benefits

Chandigarh, December 26
Teaching and non-teaching employees of the government-aided colleges in Punjab and Chandigarh submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Government today. They demanded that the government should not repeal the Pension and Gratuity Act of 1999.

Prof Iqbal Preet Kaur of DAV College, Sector 10, a PCCTU representative, said the government was trying to repeal the Pension and Gratuity Act.

Prof Kuldip Singh, general secretary of the union, said: "The PCCTU will hold state-wide protests to influence the Punjab Government to implement the pension scheme for the employees of the aided colleges. We condemn the government move as the case was in the court and is at its final stage of decision."

The union members said retired employees were already facing acute hardships, leading a life of intense suffering and had been pleading for justice by the way of extending pension benefits as these benefits had already been made available to other employees, including those of government-aided schools. "By withdrawing the Pension Bill,1999, approved by the Vidhan Sabha, the Panjab Government has played a havoc with the lives of the employees of the government-aided colleges," the union members said. — TNS



From Schools
Foundation stone of gymnasium hall laid

Foundation stone of a multipurpose gymnasium hall was laid at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41-B, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. DS Bedi, director of Shivalik Public School, said the building of the gymnasium hall would be a living identity for the new generation. The total cost of the project is approximately 4 crore and it will be completed within 9 months.

Christmas celebrated

Tiny tots' Foundation School, Phase X, Mohali celebrated Christmas with fun and frolic on Wednesday. The schoolchildren sang carols and danced to the tunes of jingle bells. Santa Claus enthralled the students and parents and distributed sweets and gifts among the Children.

A visit to temple

Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula, organised a visit to the Valmiki temple, Old Panchkula, on Wednesday. The students and the school staff distribute clothes among the poor. The students of Shradha Project conducted a havan at the temple and distributed clothes. Principal Jaya Bhardwaj said such acts of compassion towards the children of the lesser god instill values of sharing, caring and charity

DC Montessori students visit church

The celebrations of Christmas continued as the students of pre-primary wing of DC Montessori School visited the church at Sector 19, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. It was a beautiful and peaceful place. The priest welcomed them and told the story of Jesus Christ. He also shared with them certain facts about Santa Claus.The children offered prayers during the visit. It was an enriching experience for all the students.

Candle march

In the wake of the Delhi gang rape, Mount Litera Zee School, Chandigarh, took out a candle march as a protest against the crime and raised the issue of slow legal process in the case. The students, teachers and parents participated in the march .The march was flagged off by the chairman Narinder Singla. It was a peaceful march which expressed anguish over the shameful incident.

Annual function

Divya Public School, Sector 44 D, Chandigarh, organised their annual function on the school premises on Sunday. DK Tiwari, IAS and Managing Director, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Ltd, was the chief guest on the occasion. The programme began with Ganesh vandana.The highlight of the programme was a Hindi skit- Beti Ki Siski and O Ri Chiraiya. The skit was based on the theme of early marriage of the girl child. Another item ‘School Chale Hum’ highlighted the fundamental right of education.

Sports Day

Junior wing of PMLSD Public School, Sector 32, chandigarh, organised the sports day on Wednesday. The opening event was a drill by nursery, LKG and UKG students. Their performance enthralled everyone. This was followed by various races such as spoon lemon race, book-balancing race, cart race, balloon ract. Their happy faces made the environment even more lively. There was also a show of martial arts (Taekwondo) on the occasion. The winners were also honoured. — TNS



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