C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Homeless brave chill as MC takes sleeping pill 
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

The deserted night shelter at Sector 26 on Wednesday night.
The deserted night shelter at Sector 26 on Wednesday night. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Daily wage earners sleep outside showrooms at Sector 35 in Chandigarh on Wednesday night.
Daily wage earners sleep outside showrooms at Sector 35 in Chandigarh on Wednesday night. Tribune photos: S Chandan 

Chandigarh, January 3
When you stay indoors in the comfort of your warm and cosy homes during chilly nights, spare a thought for the homeless who have no option but to brave the biting chill under the sky. All this happens in the City Beautiful, where the night shelters, known as rein baseras, remain unoccupied.

A visit to the city's night shelters and a drive on roads by a Tribune team last night, when the minimum temperature was 4.2 degrees Celsius, revealed that the homeless continue to brave the chill in the open.

Most of the homeless were unaware of the night shelters. Last year, the UT Administration had decided to provide free of cost stay to the poor in the two night shelters at Sectors 17 and 26, but even then the homeless opt to spend their nights in the open.

Notably, the night shelter at Sector 26 that is looked after by the municipal corporation fails to attract the shelter-less for want of facilities. The only option is a public toilet booth which remains open from 5 am to 9 pm.

"The problem is the non-availability of washrooms here. A majority of people coming here are drivers or the labourers. We provide free stay to the poor, but they also turn up hardly. We only receive seven-eight people at the night shelter per day," said Rinku, caretaker of the Sector 26 night shelter.

The city has five night shelters, in Sectors 17 (bus stand), Sector 26 (transport area), Sector 28, Sector 29 and Mani Majra. But only two are operational as the shelters of Sector 28 and Sector 29 are occupied by paramilitary forces 
and an NGO.

"People coming from other states prefer to stay at these night shelters as these are affordable. Even students who come to city to take entrance exams take a shelter here. There is 100 per cent occupancy on certain days. But there are days when only a few turn up at these raen baseras," said the caretaker of the Sector 17 raen basera.

"We have been staying here for the past several months. This is the place where we earn our livelihood, why would we leave the shelter. We prefer Sector 22 to Sector 17 as it is too far," said a few staying at the Sector 22 raen basera.

The Supreme Court has directed the government to ensure that the homeless do not die of cold.

"We are daily wagers and cannot afford to spend Rs 40 a day for a stay at the night shelters," said a group of rehri-pullers at Sector 35.

Night shelters in city

The city has five night shelters, in Sectors 17 (bus stand), Sector 26 (transport area), Sector 28, Sector 29 and Mani Majra. But only two are operational as the shelters of Sector 28 and Sector 29 are occupied by paramilitary forces and 
an NGO.

Their plight

It is better to get used to such things. We cannot spend such an amount on our stay as we have a family to look after. For them, we can sleep outside the showrooms and this way we are able to save some money

—Rajesh Kumar, a daily wager

It is difficult for us to make both ends meet. Since, we cannot afford to spend Rs 40 or 50 a day and as there is hardly any other option, we are forced to spend nights in the open

—Rammilan Yadav

It is better to sleep in the open rather than staying in raen baseras where we are not allowed to cook and even take a shower. At the raen basera in Sector 26, there are no washrooms. Over here, there is a tap and space where we can cook food

Rajinder Yadav



Three PGI lab technicians test positive for swine flu 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Hospital staff is also not immune to swine flu in the city. Three lab technicians of the PGIMER have contracted the infection. This has left a question mark over the precautions being taken by technicians at the premier health institution.

The UT Health Department said they might have contracted the infection while collecting sputum samples.

Nodal officer for the National Vector-Borne Diseases Control Programme, UT, Dr Anil Garg said: “We are trying to determine the reason how the technicians contracted the infection. It is certain that the virus transmitted from one of the technicians to the other two. There is a possibility that the technician would have contracted the infection while collecting sputum samples of an infected patient.”

The three technicians are resident of Chandigarh and currently on leave. The official spokesperson for PGIMER, Manju Wadwalkar, claimed: “We take all kinds of precautions.”

Following confirmation of these cases in the PGIMER, the officials in health department affirmed that the prevalence of swine flu was low in the city. However, experts said the residents should be watchful of prolonged flu-like symptoms and take precautions.

Experts advised that in case of flu, self-medication should be avoided and one must visit a doctor. Experts say the use of antibiotics should be avoided during swine flu as they do more harm than good when taken during flu. Antibiotics do not cure viral infection and instead make the body more susceptible to other infections, if taken when not required.

Dr Gopal Bhardwaj, head, department of medicine, Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, said: “It is important for everyone to remember that swine flu is curable and hence there is no reason to panic in case an individual contracts the infection. The person must avoid self-medication and visit a doctor. There are procedures available which can easily detect swine flu and timely treatment can help the patient in getting rid of the infection easily.”

Another case of the deadly H1N1 virus causing swine flu was confirmed at the PGIMER on Wednesday. The 23-year-old patient testing positive for the virus belongs to Saharanpur in UP and was admitted to the hospital last week. 

What is swine Flu?

Swine flu is an infection caused due to any of the several types of swine influenza viruses, which are endemic in pigs. Swine influenza is common in pig population and causes flu in humans when transmitted. The influenza spreads from person to person through respiratory route.

Common symptoms

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include fast breathing or trouble in breathing, bluish skin colour, not drinking enough fluids, not waking up or not interacting, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held, flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever, worse cough and fever with a rash.

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting and blood in sputum.

What to do?

If you are sick, limit your contact with others as much as possible. Do not go to work or school. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Put your used tissue in the wastebasket. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands and do so every time you cough or sneeze.


Washing your hands will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. 



CTU buses to remain off road today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
The deadlock between the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) Worker’s Union over relaxing the terms and conditions for the purchase of 98 new buses today intensified with union deciding to go on a day’s pen-down strike tomorrow.

After hectic parleys between the CTU Worker’s Union and officials of the administration failed, the former announced that no bus of the CTU would ply on the roads on Friday.

Highlighting the anomaly in the annual maintenance contract (AMC), the union leaders said it would put burden on the CTU. President of the union Bhupinder Singh said no bus would be allowed to move out of the depots in the morning. 



Domestic help convicted of attempt to murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Ved Prakash Sirohi today convicted a domestic help of attempt to murder.

The quantum of sentence will be pronounced tomorrow.

for trying to kill 72-year-old wife of late Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High court.

UT police had arrested the accused, Kuldeep Singh, a Talwandi Saboo resident, for adding mercury to food of his employer, 72-year-old wife of former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A case of attempt to murder under Section 307 of the IPC was registered against him. While the incident occurred in October 2011, the case was registered in June 2012 after the police received the CFSL report of the food samples confirming that the chapati that was served by the servant had mercury in it.

The case was registered on the complaint of Savinder’s son Amarpal, a resident of Sector 15, who alleged that Kuldeep tried to serve a poisonous substance (mercury) in food to his mother. The complainant’s mother Savinder Kaur, wife of late Justice Sidhu, had suspected foul play before having her food as she noticed something shining on the chapati. She informed the police, which collected three separate food samples. The CFSL report confirmed that the chapati had mercury in it.

The prosecution stated that the domestic help was a government employee and was serving the judge’s family for the past eight years. He used to frequently have heated arguments with Savinder Kaur and decided to poison her so that he could get rid of the present job and get a chance to work with a serving judge of the high court. 


MC gets grant of Rs 36 crore
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
In a huge relief to the municipal corporation (MC), the UT Administration has finally released a grant of Rs 36 crore to the MC under plan head. Grants under the plan head are used for development work of the city.

The administration was to release the funds in July 2012, but the civic body had not submitted the utilisation certificate of earlier grants, therefore, the Administration was not releasing the amount.

Sources revealed that recently, the MC had submitted the utilisation certificate and thereafter, the Administration decided to release the amount.

Interestingly, this year, out of Rs 500 crore kept in the fixed deposits for emergency use, the civic body had already spent Rs 200 crore.

UT Finance Secretary VK Singh said that the Administration had already issued sanction letters to the MC.

Welcoming the UT Administration’s step, city Mayor Subhash Chawla said that they were thankful to the Administration for releasing the grants. He assured that now, the MC would submit the utilisation certificates in time to the Administration.

An official of the civic body said that with the grant they would be able to start some pending works related to roads, infrastructure facilities in villages, augmentation of city water supply machinery, replacement of pumping machinery, primary health and primary education.Official further added that now the MC would pursue to get grants of third quarter (October to December 2012) and fourth quarter (January to March 2013)respectively.

Besides, getting grants from the UT Administration, the main source of income of the MC is water tariff, property tax, paid parking and earnings from community centre.



Things yet to fall in place at Ward No. 20
Poor upkeep of green belts, pathetic condition of roads, defunct streetlights expose officials’ claims
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

A broken monkey ladder at Sector 29 in Chandigarh

a road in a pitiable condition at Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh.
A broken monkey ladder at Sector 29 in Chandigarh; and (below) a road in a pitiable condition at Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, January 3
Situation is no better in the ward of Congress councillor Satish Kumar Kainth, who has recently been re-elected as the Deputy Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

Ward No. 20 that comprises Sector 29 and Industrial Area, Phase I, is a perfect example of the authorities' apathy.

Though Kainth has utilised around Rs 39 lakh out of his ward development fund of Rs 40 lakh, still the green belts in the ward are ill-maintained, roads are in a bad shape and the streetlights are lying defunct.

Condition of green belts

The condition of a majority of green belts in Sector 29 has gone from bad to worse. Garbage is scattered all around the green belts. Most of the bins in the green belts are broken. In a green belt at Sector 29-C, the women's toilet remains locked and the condition of the door is also pathetic.

Non-functional streetlights

The authorities have only installed fancy electricity poles in Industrial Area, Phase I, but till now they have not installed lights on those. Streetlights in many areas of Sector 29 are not functioning.

Roads need repairs

The condition of internal roads of Sector 29 and Industrial Area is also pathetic. In Sector 29, the MC authorities have left the road widening work midway. In Industrial Area, the condition of recently repaired roads is also not good.

Poor sanitation

One can see garbage strewn everywhere in the park. In many areas of Sector 29 and Industrial Area, Phase I, sweepers dump the garbage in the open. The MC has now started cleaning debris and garbage on a road leading from Sai Temple to Tribune Colony.

Residents’ Speak

There are a number of green belts and parks in Sector 29, but the authorities have done a little to maintain these
—Kalyan Singh, Sector 29

Waterlogging is a major issue in Industrial Area, Phase I. The authorities should improve the system
—Arun Mahajan, president, Industries Association of Chandigarh

During my tenure, I have installed high mast lights in a majority of green belts. I also installed lights in mandi ground, Industrial Area, Phase I. I got the PWD store shifted from Sector 29-B and also got approved the project of constructing toilets in green belts. The work on cleaning debris from Sector 29-D has already started. I am accessible and keep taking up the problems of the residents with the officials
-Satish Kumar Kainth, Deputy Mayor and Ward Councillor 

Deputy Mayor Satish Kumar Kainth attends MC House meetings on a regular basis. He also attends his office regularly. He has spent a major chunk of his ward development fund and has raised issues related to his ward in the meetings.



Termination fear haunts teachers
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
The permanent appointment of two candidates, as reported by The Tribune yesterday, seemed to have instilled fear in the minds of all the 536 appointees, recruited during the “tainted” recruitment process in 2009. Their fear seems apparent since the Education Department terminated two teachers out of the 536 selected to make way for Raminderjeet Kaur and Shalu Chawla, who managed to secure regular appointments as per the recruitment criteria advertised by the department in August 2007.

The criterion was allegedly violated during the recruitment process in 2009 and is under investigation by the CBI, Delhi. The latest episode, however, is feared to begin the chain reaction in this whole issue.

In the case of Raminderjeet Kaur, the department terminated one of the 2009’s appointees, Ashok Yadav, to appoint Raminderjeet kaur as this was specifically mentioned in the Chandigarh Administrative Tribunal (CAT)’s judgment. However, in the case of Shalu Chawla, the tribunal had validated her appointment based on the Raminderjeet Kaur’s judgment. The tribunal specified no name to replace Shalu Chawla. However, under pressure to abide by the orders, the department terminated Arpana Mahajan to adjust Shalu Chawla since she was learnt to be the last candidate appointed in the Shalu’s category (TGT SST).

Following the termination Arpana filed a petition in the Chandigarh Administrative Tribunal, demanding reversal of the decision. In her amended petition, submitted during the previous hearing on December 22, she claimed that she should not be considered the last candidate in her category since she would rank above in the list if it revised as per the original 2007 recruitment rules.

While the matter is sub-judice and will soon come up for hearing in the tribunal, the petitioner Arpana Mahajan made three more teachers party to her case. Many in the department now feel that the case may force the department to revise the list of the concerned category and if that happens, the whole issue will be wide open.

But everyone is silent over the issue. A senior official of the Education Department refused to comment as the matter was sub-judice. Meanwhile, the CAT’s judgment in the Raminderjeet Kaur case clearly states that the addition of marks, obtained by respondent Ashok Yadav during the screening test gave him an extra advantage over the petitioner and helped him in securing the appointment.

The advertisement, issued in August 2007, clearly mentioned that the marks obtained by the candidates at the screening test were not be added to the final merit, therefore, in view of this categorical announcement, it was illogical on the part of the competent authority to give the respondent an extra advantage by adding screening test marks.



Charitable polyclinic still without water
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Despite housing the facility of X-ray and other pathological tests, which are lacking in most of the government-run dispensaries in the city, a charitable rural polyclinic at Attawa village has been forced to shut these free-of-cost services due to the lack of water supply for the past 10 months.

The problem was highlighted in these columns recently, and the UT Health secretary, Anil Kumar, had assured that he would look into the matter. However, the water supply continues to be hit.

Owing to the blame game between the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation (MC) for waiving the water bill of the dispensary, as agreed upon by the UT Administrator six years ago, the water bill of the dispensary turned out to be Rs 1.07 lakh and later, the supply was discontinued in February this year.

In the absence of water supply, the dispensary has closed the X-ray room, dental OPD and the laboratory, and has been turning away numerous patients since the supply has been stopped.

Brig (retd) ML Kataria, chairman of the foundation, which runs this rural polyclinic at Attawa, said: “When Gen SK Rodrigues (former UT Administrator) had inaugurated five charitable dispensaries, including this one at Attawa, he had assured us that the water and electricity bills up to Rs 8,000 per month will be taken care of by the administration. The charge of dispensaries was shifted to the MC in 2010. While the MC has been taking care of electricity bills, it has failed to address our concern over the water bill.”

The Health Secretary said: “We had conveyed a message to the department concerned to look into the matter of disconnection of water supply. We will take up the matter and resolve it soon.”

Only general OPD runs at the polyclinic at present. The number of patients visiting the polyclinic has come down to about 30 per day over the past few months due to the lack of services. The number used to remain above 70 per day until the services were shut down.

Due to the absence of water supply, the staff has also shut two of the four toilets.



Panjab University gears up to tackle swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Gearing up to tackle swine-flu after a few cases were reported at the city hospital, the Panjab University authorities will distribute pamphlets of health advisory on the disease among the students from tomorrow onwards. The advisory will also be circulated in the hostels and departments of the university.

The university issued directions to the wardens and asked them to be more vigilant and to keep a watch on the students who are unwell and displaying symptoms of swine flu.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia said the pamphlets will be distributed to sensitise the students about the symptoms of swine flu. In 2009, the university had even decided against holding the annual bash due to widespread H1N1influenza scare. Many seminars and functions were also cancelled at that time.

PU officials said the instructions to ensure that the hostels and departments remain free from garbage had also been issued.

Yograj Angrish, warden of Hostel No.7 said the hostel mess and canteen contractors had been asked to maintain proper hygiene and gloves and masks for the staff would be provided by each hostel. The university has taken decision after cases in the city hospital.



Army officer foils snatching bid
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 3
An act of bravery by an Army Colonel foiled a snatching bid in the residential area of Sector 69 here today.

Though the police is yet to identify the miscreant, due to efforts of Col Gurbinder Singh, a local resident, the police has impounded a scooter, which was used by the miscreant during the crime.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Col Gurbinder Singh said he chased the miscreant’s scooter in his car for over 20 minutes in the sector.

“I hit his vehicle twice to overpower him. My first attempt went in vain as he (the miscreant) managed to start his scooter again to run away. But I did not give up, and again I hit his scooter with my car. This time, the vehicle fell down but he managed to flee from the spot leaving his vehicle behind,” said Col Gurbinder Singh.

The incident occurred in Sector 69 when the scooter-borne miscreant, wearing white helmet, tried to snatch a purse from a woman around 11.15 am. Col Gurbinder, who was present on the spot, started chasing the miscreant immediately.

During the search of the scooter, a knife, chilly powder, some documents and chocolates and biscuits were found from its boot.

“Investigations are on in the case,” said the area DSP Ajinder Singh



Police ropes in students to fight crime against women 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
After organising a series of seminars on eve-teasing in the city colleges and schools, the Chandigarh police has roped in the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) and student leaders from various student organisations to sensitise the youth about their responsibilities towards women.

The police and the student council has also decided to invite youth icons for a talk on crime against women.

At a meeting, held by UT SSP Naunihal Singh with the student leaders, various issues to stop crime against women were discussed.

The students from PU and various city colleges participated in the meeting today.

In an-hour-long deliberations various ideas, including holding seminars at PU and colleges by inviting some youth icons were discussed.

PUCSC president Satinder Singh said a youth icon would be invited, who will deliver a talk on crime against women.

“The SSP has proposed to invite a youth icon- that can be Kiran Bedi or some famous Punjabi singer- to attract a huge gathering,” he said.

Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) president Manoj Lubana said they would focus on sensitising the youngsters, who enjoyed moving outside girls’ college and hostels.

The idea of having committees in the each college of the city and PU to act as a bridge between girls and police was also discussed during the meeting.

“The SSP has asked us to workout the modalities of such committees at the institute level so that girls could complain about eve-teasing and other incidents to the committee, which can further report the incidents to the police,” SFI leader Prabhpreet Singh said.

Raskirat, a student of Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, who participated in the meeting, said there was a great need to apprise the youth of the repercussions of eve-teasing.

“The fear of getting booked under various sections of the IPC will be a deterrent,” she said.

The move is expected to bring good results.



UK physicians want Damini’s Law to punish rapists speedily
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
Leading physicians from the United Kingdom today urged the Indian Government to enact a new legislation called Damini’s Law. They demanded that the judiciary should dispose of rape cases swiftly and award harsh punishment to the offenders and register their names on the sex offender’s list.

More than a hundred physicians, including Dr Kailash Chand, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), and noted psychiatrist Dr JS Bamrah in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, urged for speedy enactment of the new law to address the concerns of Indians worldwide. Dr Kailash Chand and Dr Bamrah said the response of the Union Government to the rape and tragic death of “Damini” was timely but they said much more needed to be done to address the underlying causes of violence against women and marginalisation of a large section of society.

The government had set up a Commission of Inquiry to indentify lapses and attribute responsibility for the December 16 gang rape and formed a committee of jurists to review the existing laws to provide speedier justice.

The physicians said the portrayal of women as sex objects in films had affected the male mindset. Similarly, they said the government too had the responsibility of providing responsive and efficient policing so that crime was prevented. 



Minor fire breaks out at restaurant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
A minor fire broke out at Sagar Ratna restaurant in Sector 17-E this morning. The fire department received a call at 9.45 am and since the fire station is near by, so fire officials were able to bring fire within control in 12 minutes. No loss of life and property was reported.

A fire official said that the fire broke out due to short circuit in an exhaust fan in the kitchen. Restaurant employees called up the fire control room immideately reached the spot and controlled the fire.



Over Rs 13 cr being spent on sewerage in six Mohali villages

Mohali, January 3
A sum of Rs 1,326.25 lakh is being spent on laying sewerage system at six villages of Mohali, which is being developed as a model district.

The maximum amount out of the allocated funds is being spent at Sohana village where the sewerage system is being laid at Rs 469.22 lakh. Seventy five per cent of the work has already been completed. Three fourth of the work related to laying of sewerage has also been completed at Mauli Baidwan village where Rs 342.05 lakh is being spent. Work has been completed at Chachu Majra village at a cost of Rs 45.44 lakh.

The work is almost complete at Kandala village where Rs 124.70 lakh is being spent. Work of laying sewerage system was nearing completion at Lakhnour and Bakarpur villages where Rs 161.70 lakh and Rs 183.14 lakh, respectively, was being spent on the work.

The work of laying paver blocks at five villages - Lakhnour, Chachu Majra, Mauli Baidwan, Chilla, Bakarpur - had already been completed at Rs 414.8 lakh. — OC



BKU seeks hike in MSP of wheat 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 3
Members of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) today submitted a memorandum to Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam demanding increase in the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Nachchattar Singh Baidwan, district press secretary of the union, said: “We demanded to increase the MSP from Rs 1,385 per quintal to Rs 2,250 per quintal”.

“The rates of diesel, insecticides and pesticides have increased manifold. So, the MSP should also be increased accordingly,” said Baidwan.

“If our demand is not met, we will hold a protest in front of the Parliament in New Delhi on March 18,” he added.



Don’t know victim, claims Doon MLA
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 3
Though Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary claimed that he did not know Jyoti, the photographs with Chandigarh Tribune showed Ram Kumar with Jyoti, her wedded sister, Ishu, and her mother, Rashmi Devi, giving blessings.

Earlier, only the photograph of Chaudhary alone with the newly wed on the stage was available with the police. These photographs were made available by the family of Jyoti and the police did not make efforts to procure the same. Chaudhary, in his anticipatory bail application, had said he did not personally know Jyoti and had to attend the wedding of Jyoti’s sister because he had given a lift to his friend, Rajinder, who knew the deceased.

According to the father, Buti Ram, Jyoti had introduced Chaudhary as her boss. “She had introduced Chaudhary that he was the chairman at the place where she was working. He had blessed the couple, too,” said Buti Ram.

Fresh raids were conducted at Baddi by the Panchkula and Baddi police at the residence of Chaudhary and his accomplices. Raids were also conducted at crashers and various hideouts. “We conducted raids today as well. Even the houses of Chaudhary’s brothers are also locked,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police Virender Sangwan.



Cops, parents have different views

Mohali, January 3
The parents of a minor girl have been running from pillar to post for the past one-and-a-half month to get back their allegedly kidnapped daughter.

Fariad and Israt, parents of the girl, alleged that the police was not making any effort to trace their daughter, who was allegedly kidnapped by three persons on November 20. The couple claimed that their daughter was 14 years old.

The Mohali police claimed that the girl had not only solemnised marriage with one of the accused in the case but had also got protection from the Allahabad High Court. “In such a situation, we can’t do anything until the parents prove that the girl in question is minor,” said Mohali SSP GS Bhullar.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune at the SSP office here today, the couple from Peeran village near Mullanpur alleged that their daughter was kidnapped by Naem, Aleen and Intikhab on November 19.

“We have hired them (the accused) for POP work at our house. On November 19, they had kidnapped my daughter. We had also received a call from Naem on December 19. He had demanded Rs 10 lakh as ransom from us. The call was made from a mobile phone and we have given the number to the police, but it did not take any action,” alleged Fariad.

Bhullar said a case had already been registered in this connection at the Mulanpur Police Station.

“We can only take any action if the girl will be proved minor in the court,” said Bhullar. — TNS



Chandigarh  Scan
Delegation meets Governor

A four-member delegation, led by Amarpreet Dhaliwal, Mayor of Sanjoaquin City, called on Shivraj V Patil, Punjab Governor and Administrator of Union Territory. They discussed at length the issue of Indians staying there illegally. The Punjab Governor assured to extend all possible help in this regard. The Governor asked them to give exact number and name of those persons and assured an appropriate action.

Road Safety Week

As part of the 24th Road Safety Week, being organised by the Chandigarh Administration, the people, who reached the passing ground for getting the certificate of fitness for their vehicles at Manimajra were addressed by Balbir Singh Dhol, PCS (Secretary), State Transport Authority, on Thursday.

Task force on women safety

To create a safe environment for women, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has set up a task force, led by Subodh Bhargava. The team will consult the civil society, students and women's groups beside the industry on the issue. This announcement was made by by Adi Godrej, president, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) through a press statement, which was releassed on Thursday. The task force will submit a report regarding the matter at the earliest.

PSEB official gets extension

The vice-chairman of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has been granted extension in service by the authorities concerned. Balwinder Singh, secretary of the Education Board, said the current term of Dr Suresh Tandon ended today. He will now continue as the VC till January 3 next year. — TNS



Cold weather conditions keep students away from schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
For the second day in a row, attendance in government school remained low due to cold wave. "The attendance was slightly better than yesterday but still short enough to force the Education Department to review its decision," said a school head. Classes at many schools wore a deserted look. Only 10 students were found attending a class in a government school today.

Following the low attendance, several schools had to combine different sections together to fill the empty benches in the classrooms.

A school head said the attendance in her school was better than yesterday but still not enough to prompt a study atmosphere. "It is better that the department review the whole situation and close the schools in the larger interest of parents, students as well as teachers," the school head said.

Meanwhile, a student said it was difficult to sit in the classrooms due to cold wave . "When all 
private schools are closed, we should also have longer vacations," the student said.

As per information, the department extended the vacations of primary classes (from Class 1 to V) till January 6 but rest of the classes were started yesterday after a week-long vacations. A school head said parents were also concerned about the safety of their wards in such a bad weather. "The temperature in the morning hours in Chandigarh has gone down to 4-5 degree, therefore, it is not advisable to travel in public buses in such weather," said Vinod Sharma, president of the Government Teachers' Union



Teachers meet DPI (S), seek Central pay scale

Chandigarh, January 3
Several teachers met DPI (s) Upkar Singh over the issue of Central pay scale here today. There are still several categories of teachers, including work experience instructors, electrical instructors, woodwork instructors, tabla instructors, senior lab attendants and librarians, who did not get the Central pay scale for a long time now.

From the year 1986 to 1992 the Central pay scale was applicable on the UT employees but when the Punjab pay scale was made applicable here in 1992, several categories of teachers were forced to comply with the Punjab pay scale and they suffered financial losses because of low grade in the Punjab pay scale. Although several teachers in the last years managed to get partial benefits of the Central pay scale, yet there are several cases, where similar benefits were denied. The issue was discussed at the meeting. — TNS



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