C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Parsvnath case
Breather for housing board
3-judge arbitration tribunal dissolved; Justice RV Raveendran to be sole arbitrator
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The three-judge arbitration tribunal, bleeding the Chandigarh Housing Board dry by charging up to Rs 4.5 lakh even for granting adjournments, will not hear the Parsvnath controversy case. For, the Supreme Court has appointed its former Judge, Justice RV Raveendran, as the sole arbitrator.

Justice Raveendran has been requested to decide the matter preferably within six months. He has been given the right to decide his own remuneration.

The development is significant as the mandate of the three arbitrators stands terminated. Initially, the arbitral tribunal consisted of Punjab and Haryana High Court’s retired judge, Justice Amar Dutt, and Supreme Court’s former Judges Justice DP Wadhwa and Justice S.C. Agrawal.

Later on, Supreme Court’s former Chief Justice GB Patnaik stepped in, replacing Justice Agrawal. Except for Justice Patnaik, who came in only recently, Justice Dutt and Justice Wadhwa get to retain more than Rs 30 lakh they charged and received so far.

So far, Rs 80 lakh have approximately been paid as fees. The housing board alone has paid more than Rs 39 lakh. The Apex Court order comes as a relief to the housing board, suffering from crumbling finances.

The developers and the housing board had launched a scheme seven years ago to develop costly flats and villas in IT Park, Chandigarh. The housing board transferred 135 acres as freehold to Parsvnath Developers on November 15, 2005, for the residential and commercial project to come up. Due to controversies between the parties on issues, including passing of the maps, the project could not be completed on time.

In a petition initially filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court through advocate and barrister Harpreet Singh Giani, the housing board challenged the arbitral tribunal’s order of May 2, 2011, dismissing its application for the reduction in the quantum of arbitral fee.

The board has asserted: “The arbitrators are charging the parties the entire arbitral fee of Rs 1.5 lakh per arbitrator even for sitting conducted solely for the purpose of granting adjournments, even if the other side has given its prior consent; and for two sittings in a day if the proceedings take up more than half of the working day”.

The petition, argued by UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal and advocate Giani, said, “Numerous arbitral sittings have also been conducted at New Delhi in premium five star hotels at expectedly high prices”.

Taking up the petition, Justice Hemant Gupta declined Parsvnath’s plea to hold that the Bench had the jurisdiction to hear the case and had the authority to redress the housing board’s grievances. Parsvnath then went to the Supreme Court against the order, resulting in the appointment of the sole arbitrator.

Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir ruled: “Having considered the facts and circumstances of the case and the fact that after several sittings, nothing substantial has really materialised, except that the pleadings are complete and the parties have filed their respective claims, we are inclined to accept the suggestion which has been made on behalf of both the parties.

“Accordingly, at the instance of the parties, we terminate the mandate of the present arbitral tribunal and, in their place, we at the instance of the parties, appoint honorable Mr Justice RV Raveendran, a retired Judge of this court, to be the sole arbitrator to decide the disputes of the parties. Giani, when contacted, said, “As the board’s sole counsel in the arbitration, I am delighted with the Supreme Court’s judgment.

As it unfolded

  • Parsvnath Developers and the Chandigarh Housing Board launched a scheme seven years ago to develop costly flats and villas at IT Park, Chandigarh.
  • Housing board transferred 135 acres as freehold to Parsvnath Developers on November 15, 2005, for a residential and commercial project.
  • Due to controversies between the parties on issues, including passing of the maps, the project could not be completed on time and the applicants have begun demanding their money back.

Three arbitrators made good money

On an average, each of the three arbitrators pocketed about Rs 42 per second for hearing the case. In fact, they were paid at the rate of Rs 2,500 per minute and sometimes even more.



Lease money row
Chandigarh Golf Club told to pay Rs 20 lakh to admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Acting on a petition filed by the Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) against the enhanced lease amount sought by the Chandigarh Administration, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked it to pay Rs 20 lakh to the administration within two weeks.

As the matter came up for resumed hearing, the Bench headed by Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri directed the club management to deposit the amount with the Chandigarh Administration as an interim measure.

The Bench also directed both the parties to hold meetings for reaching an amicable solution. UT senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal, meanwhile, recused himself from the case as he was also a member.

The High Court, on the previous date of hearing, had made it clear that it wanted the Chandigarh Administration and the Golf Club to put their heads together for resolving the lease amount payment row. Till then, the Chandigarh Administration was asked to refrain from adopting coercive methods.

Seeking directions for setting aside the order/letter issued by the Administration on November 15 and 16, last year, petitioner Golf Club had contended that the same was totally illegal, arbitrary and discriminatory. The Administration, vide the letter, had asked the club to deposit the lease money from March 16, 2008, to March 15, 2013. The amount, as per the calculations, comes out to be Rs 9, 27, 48000.

Directions were also sought by the club to extend the lease of the petitioner society either in terms of draft lease proposed by letter dated December 2, 2009, or on terms similar to that of the Delhi Golf Club, both in terms of lease money as well as the tenure.

The issue pertains to enhancement of lease amount of the prime land, on which the golf club exists. It has been hanging fire for the past many years. The lease had expired in 2008 and finalising new rates had been a matter of much deliberation. 



Suspended SP seeks reinstatement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Suspended UT Superintendent of Police Desraj Singh has sought his reinstatement and has written to senior authorities to revoke his suspension orders. Desraj who was arrested in October last year by the CBI for taking Rs 1 lakh bribe from an SHO is currently out on bail.

The final decision on the SP’s reinstatement rests with the Ministry of Home Affairs. The SP’s application has been forwarded to the MHA by UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar, sources said.

On the other hand, the CBI is set to file a chargesheet in the case in court soon.

The application has been forwarded to the MHA by the UT Home Secretary. Earlier this month, Desraj had submitted an application to the officiating IGP, Alok Kumar, and sought revoking of his suspension.

Following the procedure, Alok Kumar forwarded the application to the UT Home Secretary for action.

Desraj Singh, a 2008-batch AGMUT cadre IPS officer, was allegedly arrested while accepting bribe in October 2012. He was caught taking Rs one lakh from Anokh Singh, Station House Officer of Sector 26 police station, to favour him in departmental inquires against him. He was granted bail in December by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Upadhyaya assumes charge as new IGP
Says, minor crime to be treated at par with major ones
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The new UT Inspector General of Police, RP Upadhyaya, who assumed charge today, said that even minor crime in the city would be given same priority as any major crime. He said his focus would be to bring satisfaction to every person who came to the police station.

“All minor crime will be treated at par with major crimes in the city and the officers will be trained to be more polite and responsible while dealing with the general public”, he said.

Upadhyaya, who was given a warm welcome at the police lines in Sector 26, said that he would concentrate on basic policing and provide a committed and responsible police to the city residents.

“Besides focusing on basic policing, community policing will also be one area that will require active police and public participation. We will also modernise the police force through best use of technology.”

“The city police already has high standards when it comes to equipment and their overall wellbeing,” he said.

When asked whether he was aware of internal politics and rifts within the police department, the IGP said that he would try that such things do not happen and would deal with them accordingly. “With so much work, there will be no time for politicking and we will deal with the issue accordingly,” he said.

Upadhaya, a 1991 batch IPS officer of AGMUT cadre, was last posted with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) as the Additional Director in Delhi.

The post of IGP, Chandigarh, fell vacant after the retirement of former DGP PK Srivastava on November 30 last year. Upadhyay is an MBA and M Phill passout from Delhi University and also served on deputation in the Andaman & Nicobar Island, and in Daman for two years each before being posted with the ED.

The IGP also said that sports activities would be given priority and a healthy and happy police force would ensure a good environment,” he said.



Fraud at Berkeley Automobiles
Three employees held for selling cars on forged documents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
With the arrest of three persons, the UT police today unearthed a fraud involving sale of cars on forged documents by certain employees of Berkeley Automobiles at Industrial Area Phase-I.

The accused, including the assistant general manager of Berkeley Automobiles, allegedly sold Maruti Swift and Maruti Swift Dzire cars to customers by preparing forged documents including insurance cover notes and temporary registration numbers.

A team of the CID UT police arrested Sukhwinder Kanth, assistant general manager, and two sales executives Vikrant Thakur and Pankaj Sharma. Vikrant has been working with the company for the past seven years and has been thrice awarded sales executive medals. The police said more accused had been identified and they were yet to be arrested.

All three accused have been arrested under Sections 408, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC.

Modus operandi

DSP Anil Joshi said the accused contacted those persons who were in an urgent need to buy cars and were ready to pay money over and above the showroom price. The employees prepared all the required fake documents and delivered the cars for an amount ranging between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

The police said the accused used to transfer the amount paid by genuine customers to the accounts of others customers for fulfilling the required formalities of the company. The accused used to change the name of the actual customer on their online system.

The system prepares bills in the names of actual customers in whose name the vehicle was booked. The accused, however, changed the name to that of customers who paid black money. They also prepared all the required documents without the knowledge of the customer. When the customer, who paid black money, went to get the vehicle registered, it was revealed that all the papers were fake.

Cases unearthed

Police said five such fraud cases had come to light.

The first car was booked in the name of one Sarabjit Singh, a Mohali resident. It was delivered to one Abhineet Garg. The accused took Rs 60,000 from him. The second car was booked in the name of one Baljit Singh of Chandigarh, and was delivered to one Neetu Gupta of Panchkula.

The third car was booked in the name of one Avtar Singh of Chandigarh, and was delivered to one Gursewak Singh. The fourth car was booked in the name of one Arun Kumar Kaushik of Panchkula, and was delivered to Munish Rajanwal. The fifth car was booked and delivered to Gursharn Singh, but the actual amount against the car was deposited in the company account of other customers, without issuing any receipt and taking Rs 70,000.

‘We informed the police’

}We are the complainants and we had lodged an FIR. The accused, Vikrant, who was our sales executive left the job some months ago when the fraud came to light. He was absconding since then and has now been arrested. Those customers who purchased cars from these executives do not have valid receipts and the cars are not in their names. It is we who sensed the fraud and got the accused arrested~

— Sanjay Dahuja, owner of Berkeleys



Chandigarh scan
Office-bearer elected

The All-Traders Association of Sector 18-C market, Chandigarh, on Wednesday unanimously elected SR Kaushal as the president of the association. Pardeep Mehra, Sanjay Bothra and Ashwani Kumar all have been elected as the vice-presidents. Rajeev Goyal has been elected as the secretary and Manish Bansal as the cashier. SR Kaushal said, “The traders are facing many problems, including lack of lighting facility and proper parking space in the market. We will approach the city police to beef-up the night patrolling for the security of the shops.”

GGDSD college society starts new institute

The society of the GGDSD College is starting a new institute at Kheri Gurna near Banur. The new college will provide a unique and different approach to teaching and will ensure that its students are groomed well. The institute will be a sister concern of GGDSD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh. The new institute will begin its academic session in 2013-14 and will initially admit students in the Commerce stream. It will be affiliated to Punjabi University, Patiala.

Seminar on self-defence

The Government Home Science College, Sector 10, organised a free self-defence seminar on extreme martial arts to provide basic knowledge of simple self-protection measures by BS Handa, Black Belt, 5th Dan, WTF (Korea). The students of the college were educated on the importance of self defence training and were also taught various techniques of marshal arts to protect themselves. Handa also gave tips on self defense.

Workshop on value-based ethics

The Centre for Swami Vivekananda Studies and Department of Education, Panjab University, in collaboration with Ramakrishna Aashram organised a youth awakening workshop on Wednesday. Prof Dharmanand in his inaugural address highlighted the role of a teacher. Dr Kishore Das while informing about value based leadership highlighted that the three engines of culture, economic and knowledge together lead to the development of a nation.

Anti-drug rally

The students of Desh Bhagat University organised an anti-drug rally. The rally was led by the legendary marathon runner, Fauja Singh. 102 years old Fauja Singh is a world record holder in his age bracket and has got international fame as a marathon runner. The rally which was attended by a large number of students and members of the staff was flagged off by the veteran runner. The rally started from the university and after covering a distance of about 3 km got concluded at the nearby town Amloh.

Lecture delivered

A lecture on “On being a Scientist, Ethics in Publishing Research” and “Training of HPLC, GC and IR” was organised by Department of Chemistry, GGDSD College, Sector 32. Prof VR Sinha, dean, pharmaceutical sciences, Panjab University, delivered a lecture on “Novel drug delivery systems” and stressed on the various modes by which a particular drug can be administered to the patient by latest modern techniques. Prof Bhupinder S Bhoop, dean, faculty of sciences, PU, delivered a lecture on the topic “On being a Scientist, Ethics in Publishing Research”. He enlightened the students about the various types of plagiarism and unethical means adopted intentionally or unintentionally in publishing.

Mohali scan

Competitions organised

Sant Isher Singh Public School, Phase 7, Mohali, in association with Naujawan Punjabi Sath, Chandigarh, has organised competitions under various categories ie Poem recitation, painting, calligraphy and essay writing. In these competitions more than 500 students participated. Chief Guest principal Amarjeet Singh from Nabha also exhibited his paintings. The chairperson and organiser of the event Jagtar Singh Deol explained that the aim of this event was to make the students aware of their mother tongue, culture and tradition.

ISO awareness programme

An International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) Awareness Programme was organised at the Doaba Institute of Engineering Technology (DIET), Mohali. The role of ISO in developing internationally recognised standards and guidelines for quality management systems was highlighted by the visiting ISO auditor, Er Narottam Singh. He said internationally accepted standards and guidelines facilitate worldwide uniform quality of products and services.He illustrated the concept of standardisation through the example of international credit cards, including MasterCard and Visa, which can be used in any country without bothering about change of currency as they comply with internationally accepted standards that ensure uniformity. — TNS



House elects Finance and Contract Committee members
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The polling for election of representatives for Municipal Corporation’s Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) was conducted today during the House meet. Congress councillors Mukesh Bassi and Darshan Kumar Garg and BJP councillors Davesh Moudgil and Arun Sood were elected. Among the nominated councillors, MP Kohli was elected as a member of the committee.

While the nominated councillors had earlier demanded two representatives in the committee, the House restricted to the 5-member representation of the committee, including two each from the BJP and Congress and one from amongst nominated councillors.

The fact that one of the nine votes of nominated councillors went to a candidate other than nominated councillor MP Kohli indicated towards the lacking unanimity among the nominated councillors regarding Kohli’s election. Earlier all the nine nominated councillors had announced that they will only vote for Kohli.

The F&CC is the second most powerful policy-making body after the House. It looks after all financial proposals of the MC.

Mukesh Bassi, who was also a front-runner during the mayoral polls this year, got slightly higher number of votes.

Confusion over polling method

It took the councillors about one hour to understand the polling method for election of members of the F&CC. A volley of questions was shot by councillors one after the other as the MC Commissioner, VP Singh, explained the method.

The confusion prevailed for long, forcing the Union Minister for Railways, Pawan Kumar Bansal, to intervene. He then explained the method to the councillors. The entire first half of the session went into the polling and counting of votes.

New mayor tries to stick to agenda

Addressing the councillors during the discussion over the initial four agenda items, the newly elected Mayor, Subhash Chawla, made all efforts to stick to the agenda items.

Initially, he also discouraged divergent objections on proposals.

In doing so, Chawla aggressively knocked down Harjinder Kaur’s remarks on agenda pertaining to community centres. He also disallowed Heera Negi to raise her agenda item out of the sequence.



Jyoti murder case
HP MLA having a good time in jail
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Accused Paramjeet Singh being produced in court at Panchkula on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, January 30
Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary has not spent a single day in the barrack with the common prisoners ever since he has been lodged in the Central Jail at Ambala. Instead, he got admitted to the jail hospital after complaining of chest pain.

In his free time, he chats with his nephews and co-accused Gurmeet and Dharampal on the ground adjacent to the hospital.

These revelations were made to this correspondent by senior jail officials.

“Chaudhary complained of chest pain and since then has been admitted to the H1 ward of the jail hospital. Ever since he has been lodged in the jail, he has not spent a single day in the C-cell meant for the common prisoners,” said a senior police official of the jail.

He further added, “In his free time, from 9 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 7pm, he frequently spends time with Gurmeet and Dharampal and reads newspapers.”

Sources in the jail also said apart from the morning and evening tea, the MLA gets 10 chappatis, dal and green vegetables everyday.

The Doon MLA was also taken to Dharamshala on January 24 to take oath before the Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha.

Chaudhary will reportedly be taken to the Ambala general hospital tomorrow. Earlier, after the completion of his interrogation on January 26, he was to be taken to the hospital on January 28. Due to the non-availability of guards, however, it was postponed.

Chaudhary has been accused of killing 24-year-old Jyoti, a resident of Hoshiarpur. She was found murdered on November 22, last year, on a road in Sector 21.

Another accused surrenders

Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary’s aide Paramjeet Singh, who is an accused in the Jyoti murder case, today surrendered before a Panchkula court. He has been sent on police remand till February 2.

The police said Paramjeet, alias Pamma, who hails from Chaudhary’s village, had allegedly helped in strangulating Jyoti. The police hopes to get further clues about his involvement in the murder during the interrogation.

In the case, other than Chaudhary and his two nephews, truck driver Tilak Raj and sim-card dealer Ashish have already been sent to the Central Jail in Ambala.

Chaudhary’s counsel has again moved an application before the court to provide B-class category to the MLA. Counsel AS Sukhija said the jail authorities had earlier informed him that the decision could be taken by the court, following which a fresh application was filed.



Uproar in MC House over ‘cremation’ of cows
Tribune News Service

Mayor Subhash Chawla (centre) during the House meeting at MC office in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, January 30
The agenda for renovation of cattle pond in the city led to an uproar at the Municipal Corporation House meeting today. The newly elected Mayor, Subhash Chawla, said that he had written to Baba Ram Dev to provide shelter to 3,500 stray cows in Chandigarh in his cattle pound. His further statement raked up a controversy when he said that the MC would not have any problem if BJP councillors would be ready to cremate cows in case of deaths.

Enraged over Chawla’s statement, all BJP councillors created a ruckus in the House leavingtheir seats and contending that it was the duty of the civic body to cremate the animal.

The uproar continued for over 20 minutes with BJP councillor Arun Sood repeatedly asking the Mayor to apologise.

“The Mayor should not issue such statements. Rather than putting the responsibility on us, the Mayor should frame a policy for cremating cows,” said another BJP Councillor Heera Negi.

Condemning the Mayor’s remarks that cows posed a threat to the lives of residents on the city roads, BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi said when the stray dogs also posed a threat, then why weren’t they removed from the city?

“The Mayor failed to appoint any official from the Medical Office of Health wing to check the health of cows. Instead, he passed disappointing remarks today,” Joshi said.

The Mayor, on the other hand, refused to take his words back, stating it was a deliberate attempt of the BJP leaders to raise objections over his statement and create a ruckus in the House.

“I do not feel that I have said anything wrong and hence, I will not apologise. It is a fact that residents are suffering due to the growing number of stray cattle. The BJP councillors are unnecessarily politicising the issue to divert the attention of the House,” Chawla said.



House tax issue not discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The agenda item pertaining to the imposition of house tax in the city could not be discussed during the meeting today due to the adjournment of the House following uproar over the cow cremation issue.

The house tax issue, a major concern for residents, was especially included in the agenda following a proposal mooted by the nominated councillors. The nominated councillors alleged that both the parties, Congress and BJP, deliberately politicised the issue of cow cremation to escape discussion on the house tax issue.

“Both the political parties deliberately raked up the issue to ensure the House got adjourned and the issue of house tax could not be discussed,” said nominated councillor MP Kohli.

As the BJP councilors created ruckus over the Mayor’s statement about cow cremation, the Congress councilors came to his rescue. The situation, however, went out of control and the Mayor walked out, adjourning the House for 10 minutes. The debate continued when the meeting resumed. The drama continued for about 15 minutes and the House was again adjourned for another 10 minutes. The Mayor was forced to adjourn the House as the uproar continued later too.

The nominated councillors had proposed that no house tax be levied on houses having less than 125 sq yards of area. They had also asked for an exemption for EWS and LIG houses along with villages and colonies from the proposed annual house tax of Re 1 per sq yard.



Shahimajra village showrooms under MC scanner
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 30
The Mohali Municipal Corporation has put a whole row of showrooms at Shahimajra village here under the scanner to check safety norms of the buildings. The action has been taken following an incident in which pillars of two of the showrooms had given way recently.

The owners of about 20 showrooms are being issued notices by the civic body. They have been given a week’s time to submit documents regarding the approval of the building plans, the NOC acquired from a competent authority and even the proofs of ownership. They are also being asked to give copies of the completion certificates of the buildings and permission to occupy these from the authorities concerned.

In the notices, the corporation has also stated that if the documents are not submitted within the specified period, the civic body would initiate action against the owners in accordance with the building bylaws.

Dilraj Singh, Joint Commissioner of the corporation, today said after receiving the documents from the owners of the showrooms, the civic body would see if these buildings could be regularised in accordance with the policy of the government. In case the required documents were not provided, the corporation would send the case to the government for further action.

Dilraj said the owners of the two showrooms whose pillars had given way had been issued notices in connection with structural damage earlier, but they had failed to submit the required documents so far. They had been asked not to occupy the buildings till structural safety certificates were acquired from reputed engineering institutions.

Panic had spread in the area after the pillars of the two buildings had started giving way. A large number of persons present in certain buildings had moved out of them on hearing a loud noise and feeling a jolt on January 10. Later, they also removed their belongings to a safer area. Though the pillars had started giving way, no damage to the buildings was witnessed.

It is learnt that the building bylaws of the civic body had come into effect in 2007 and a number of buildings in the area were constructed before that year.

Safety norms

The owners of about 20 showrooms are being issued notices by the civic body. They have been given a week’s time to submit documents regarding the approval of the building plans, the NOC acquired from a competent authority and even the proofs of ownership.



Rare surgery performed at Fortis Hospital
Tribune News Service

Dr Avtar Singh Matharoo with patient Gagandeep Singh at Fortis Hospital in Mohali.

Mohali, January 30
By using micro invasive procedure, Dr Avtar Singh Matharoo, a doctor at Fortis Hospital, claimed to have treated a 45-year-old patient from Chandigarh. The patient was suffering from cervical disorders with pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders and upper limbs.

“This technique, which requires a lot of skill to avoid injuring the most vital structures going and coming from the brain, has been used for the first time in the Indian subcontinent,” claimed Dr Matharoo.

Elaborating the technique, Dr Matharoo said: “Cervical nucleotomy, also known as ‘Automated Percutaneous Cervical Discectomy (APCD)’, is a micro or minimally invasive procedure, which does not involve cutting of bone or tissue.”

Sharing his experience, the patient, Gagandeep Singh, said: “I used to have severe neck and shoulder pain and stiffness. Due to it, I could not even turn my neck. Gradually, the pain started radiating into my upper limbs along with numbness in my arms and fingers. I was advised to undergo an open surgery.”

Dr Matharoo said he himself advised the patient to undergo cervical nucleotomy two years ago.

Dr Matharoo said: “Cervical nucleotomy procedure takes not more than 30 minutes. The prolapsed disc is removed with the help of a thick needle (almost double the size of a normal injection needle) under local anesthesia through which a special cutting and sucking instrument pressurised by nitrogen gas shaves and removes the herniated material. The patient is sent back home the same day within one hour after the procedure”.



Property dealer accuses tehsildar of taking bribe

Mohali, January 30
A local property dealer made an allegation against local tehsildar Vivek Nirmohi of taking bribe for releasing some documents related to registration of a piece of land at Kumbhra village.

Dilbagh Singh Bhola, a property dealer at Phase 7, alleged that Nirmohi had asked him to give Rs 50,000 for releasing the land registration documents.

“The deal was settled at Rs 25,000 and I had given the amount to the official,” said Bhola adding that he had made a complaint at the office of Mohali’s deputy commissioner.

On the other hand, Nirmohi termed the allegations baseless, claiming that he has been implicated falsely.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam said, “No written complaint has been filed in this matter till now. “I will look into the matter only when I get a written complaint. Action will be taken if the official in question is found guilty.” — TNS



Four new cases of swine flu reported at city hospitals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Four new cases of swine flu were reported at the city hospitals today. Of these, two cases were from the city, one case was from Haryana and one was from Punjab. All these patients are currently admitted to the PGIMER.

The total number of cases reported at the city hospitals, including the PGIMER and the GMCH, Sector 32, has reached 49. These include 7 deaths, 2 from city and 5 five from region, and 11 cases from Chandigarh.

A 35-year-old man from Sector 25 and a 32-year-old woman from Sector 15 tested positive for the disease.


  • Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Blood in sputum


  • Wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.


  • Tamiflu medicine cures swine flu. The medicine is available at all three government hospitals, including the PGIMER, GMSH-16 and GMCH-32, free of cost.



Re-carpeted roads develop potholes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Sub-standard construction material being used in the repairing of internal roads in the city came to the fore once again when the MC employees were seen carrying out patch work on an internal road at Sector 16, which was re-carpeted recently.

Sources said the slip road was re-carpeted recently, but due to poor quality of material used potholes had appeared on the road.

In the last House meeting too, the Opposition councillors had accused the MC officials and contractors of using poor quality material being for the re-carpeting of roads.

BJP Councillor Saurabh Joshi said within a week of re-carpeting of roads, the upper crust of the premix had given way in many sectors. At that time, MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh had assured of taking action in this regard.



Only one company meets norms for supply of buses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Only one company has cleared norms for the supply of low-floor buses to the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU).

Upon the opening of the financial bids today, only Volvo met all the terms and conditions set by the transport undertaking.

Two other companies, Tata and Ashok Leyland, had bid for the supply of 98 buses, tender for which was floated recently.

Sources said as per the financial bid quoted by Volvo, the price of one low-floor bus stood at Rs 89 lakh. Although no CTU official was ready to comment on the issue, sources said at those rate only 50 buses could be purchased.

A senior official said nothing had been finalised yet. The case would be sent to the Chandigarh Administration for the final approval, he said.



Mohali aanganwaris to get better infrastructure

Mohali, January 30
A sum of Rs 9.14 lakh will be spent on improving the infrastructure of aanganwaris in Mohali district. This was stated by Satnam Singh, chairman, Zila Parishad, at a meeting of the Purchase Committee held here today.

He said there were 609 aanganwaris in the rural and urban areas of the district where small children were being given nourishing diet.

He said chairs and tables were being purchased for the employees of these centres. It was decided unanimously that the required furniture would be purchased from Kendriya Bhandhar, Chandigarh. After getting more funds from the government, further improvements would be carried out in the aanganwaris. — OC



125 drivers examined at eye camp
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 30
As many as 125 drivers were examined at a free eye check-up camp. It was organised by Indian Oil Corporation Limited at Transport Union, Dera Bassi, here today.

“As many as 15 patients were found suffering from cataract, while one-third of the patients were diagnosed with refractive error. A total of 25 patients were detected with eye allergy and fungus infections. The patients were given free medicines at the camp,” said the organisers.

Earlier, Alok Kumar, Chief Divisional Retail Sales Manager, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, inaugurated the camp. The corporation also conducted four eye check-up camps at the Transport Unions of Chandigarh, Mohali, Baddi and Nalagarh last week.



Man run over by train

Mohali, January 30
An unidentified person was run over by a train near Jagatpura village today at around 9.30 AM. The deceased, seemed to be in his late 20s, was a migrant labourer.

He lived in a slum near Jagatpura. “It seemed that the deceased was walking on the railway track at the time of the incident. He was dragged by the Ambala-Nangal Dam Passenger train for about 500 metres. His body was cut into four pieces,” said head constable (GRP) Jagdev Singh. The train stopped for about half-an-hour after the accident. The police ruled out any foul play in the incident. — TNS



Panchkula govt schoolgirls to be trained in martial arts
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 30
In the wake of the Delhi gang rape case, Panchkula schools will now hold self-defence classes for girl students. Special trainers, who are black-belt holders in martial arts, will be conducting these three-month classes. Currently, 20 government schools in the district have been zeroed in on for the purpose.

The classes have been started up to the elementary level, i.e till class VIII. The trainers who have specialisation in martial arts and self-defence activities will be paid Rs 4,500 per month.

Pankaj Yadav, director, Education, said: “These days, it is important for girls to know how to handle different situations. Keeping this in mind, we mooted this idea. Martial arts techniques should be learnt from the beginning itself.”

The girls would be taught different forms of martial arts like karate, tae kwon do and aikido at these classes.

“After the Delhi gang rape case, we felt the need to train girls in martial arts so that if they face the similar kind of situation, they can fight back. We have allotted one trainer for each school who will teach different techniques of martial arts to girls,” said Kamla Saini, an official who is heading this programme.

She said: “Once the three-month period is over, we will continue the programme in other schools. In this manner, we will cover all schools.”

This is for the first time that Panchkula schools have started these classes for girl students.

“These classes will prove beneficial for girl students. Instead of going for a private class outside, this particular period in the school itself will prove helpful for girls,” said another official.



Afghan teachers acknowledge Gandhian values
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
On the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi, a talk on "efficacy of non-violence" (Ahimsa ki Sarthakta) was organised by Yuvsatta and the Department of Gandhian and Peace Studies, Panjab University, at Gandhi Bhawan.

Over 35 female English teachers from Afghanistan, who are presently taking English classes at the Regional Institute of English (RIE), and students of Panjab University participated in the event.

Marjan, one of the teachers from Afghanistan, said: "We all believe in the teaching of Mahatma Gandhi and want to spread the message of non-violence even in our country."

Freshta Karin, another teacher from Afghanistan, said the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi have impressed everyone and they strongly believe in his teachings.

Shivinder Singh, assistant professor, Regional Institute of English, associated with the program said the foreign students want to spread the message of non-violence in their respective countries.

Prof Surinder Shukla, director, ICSSR, PU, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Prof Surinder Shukla, while addressing the young teachers from Afghanistan, said Indians love the people of Afghanistan and it's heartening to see the same feeling in people of Afghanistan for Indians as well.

She said, "Besides the stalwarts of non-violence like Mahatma Gandhi and Khan Abdul Gafar Khan, both the countries enjoy age-old relations which are bound to grow more in days to come."



Education Department to upgrade two vocational courses
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The Education Department has decided to upgrade two vocational courses related to food industry at senior secondary level in the next academic session for the better skill orientation of the students.

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10, is currently running two courses- hotel management and catering technology and food service and management. These two courses will be replaced with food production and food and beverage services from the next session.

Officials of the department said the decision has been taken on the direction of the Central Board of Secondary Education, which has recommended these new courses for the next academic session.

A senior official said the food production course intends to introduce students to the basics of cooking food coupled with the scientific approach by trying to understand the basic commodities utilised in preparation of food. Another course, food and beverage services intend to introduce students to the concepts of food cost control and beverage control system.

An official said, "We are chalking out plans to introduce these courses along with a mid-day meal kitchen in some government schools so that students can get some practical training also."

At present city's senior secondary schools have as many as 22 vocational courses. Favorite course among these are IT vocational courses as well as medical lab technician. There are chances that some more new courses will be added since the CBSE has introduced 40 skill competency based vocational courses at Senior Secondary Level for Academic Session 2013-14 besides four vocational courses at secondary level.



PU starts bus service on campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The students of Panjab University (PU) can now avail the benefit of the shuttle bus service on campus. The university has started the bus service within the campus in Sector 14 and South campus in Sector 25 which will ferry the students from 8 am to 9 pm. The buses will ferry from one campus to another.

PU officials said two buses would move around the campus after every one hour and pick the students on the route. The students would be required to show the university identity card to avail the benefit.

Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president Satinder Singh said, “We are going to plan a roster so that maximum number of students can avail the benefit of the facility. We want the buses to ferry the hostel residents studying in south campus from their hostels to the departments, including UIAMS, UIET and BDS in the morning hours and similarly drop them back during their lunch time.”

A similar scheme was also floated in 2011, however, the services was discontinued after witnessing a low response from the students.

PUCSC president said, “In the evening the buses will drop the students, especially girls from library to their hostels. The students also need to be made aware of the bus service and their timings to extend the benefit to maximum number of students.”



Sikh Educational Society celebrates founder’s day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The Sikh Educational Society today organised a function to celebrate the founder’s day of its four institutes- Sri Guru Gobind Singh College (SGGSC), Guru Gobind Singh College for Women (GGSCW), Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Pharmacy and Sri Guru Gobind Singh Collegiate Public School.

An akhand path was organised on the occasion of parkash utsav of Sri Guru Gobind Singh. Shabad kirtan was performed by Bhai Sahib Baldeep Singh who is trained in classical music and traditional gurmat sangeet instruments. Kirtan was also performed by students of the institutions. It was followed by langar prepared and served by students and members of the staff.

To commemorate the supreme spirit of sacrifice of Sri Guru Gobind Singh a blood donation camp was organised at Guru Gobind Singh College for Women.

A Centre for Sikh Studies was also inaugurated at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College by Singh Sahib Tarlochan Singh, Jathedar Takth, Keshgarh Sahib. Courses related to Sikh religion, history and interfaith studies will be taught at the centre.



Students get tips on cracking placements
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The human resource meet was organised by the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) in association with NASSCOM today at the Law Auditorium, Panjab University. The meet hosted an assemblage, comprising of some of the best minds from the industry. The panelists spoke about the criteria of the HR machinery of their companies for recruiting graduates from colleges. Light was also shed upon the pre-requisites for excelling in the industry. RP Sehgal, Director, SML-Isuzu, was the chief guest on the ocassion.

The keynote speech by Prof Sahasrabuddhe focused on the initiatives taken by College of Engineering, Pune, for bridging the gap between infrastructure sound institutes like the IITs and the other regional colleges so that job aspirants from both categories of institutes have an equal footing in the industry.

A seminar on leadership conducted by Manik Sharma, a UIET alumnus, left the audience rapt with the entrepreneurial ideas.

The panel discussions on topics, including ‘What it takes for students to be industry ready’ and ‘Ënhancing employability: Requirements of the industry’ was held.

The open house discussions saw enthusiastic response from students of various departments of PU like UIET, UICET, UBS and UIAMS.



From schools
Flower arrangement competition

A flower arrangement competition was held at the Government Model High School, Sector 36. Rakesh Sood, headmaster, appreciated the efforts of students. Rajni, Smyle, Vadeep, Laksh and Anjali were adjudged the winners.

Play on social issues staged

The Government Model Senior Secondary School Manimajra staged a play on the theme of social awakening titled 'Azadi Zindabad, at the Tagore Theater. The play was directed by Bharti Vandna and co-directed by Harichand. It was based on social issues like child labour, drug addiction, eve-teasing and gave the message of following the right path in life.

Eye camp

A free eye check up camp was organised at the Mount Litera Zee School in association with Lions Club Center in the memory of Late Manoj Kumar Singla. A total of 247 patients were examined by the doctors and about 50 patients were were advised for eye operation. Narinder Singla, chairman, Mount Litera Zee School, Panchkula, appreciated the efforts of Lions Club and donated a cheque of Rs 51,000 to the club.

Cross-country organised

The Kids-r-Kids School organised a cross-country run to spread awareness regarding women empowerment. Children of age groups eight to eleven participated in the event. — TNS



Kavan wins inter-college debate

Chandigarh, January 30
The Regional Institute of English (RIE), Sector 32, today organised an inter-college debate. The topic for the debate was 'Smart classes must replace traditional teaching'.

There were 20 participants from different colleges of Chandigarh. The participants expressed their views regarding the importance of human touch in teaching and a need to improve the traditional teaching methods. The first prize was won by Kavan of Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11. The second prize was won by Gurleen of the same college. The third prize was awarded to Tamanjot Baidwan of MCM College, Sector 36. — TNS



Career awareness for students

Chandigarh, January 30
The St John's Old Boys' Association organised a vocational seminar for the students of class X and class XI at St John’s High School today.

As many as 13 experts in their chosen field of vocation discussed their experience with the students. A wide spectrum of careers was discussed, including law, engineering, chartered accountancy and commercial flying.

Mac Sarin, founder, president, SJOBA, started the seminar. Other eminent speakers on the occasion were NS Kang, Anish Bhanot and Dr TP Singh.

Principal Kavita Das ended the seminar by thanking all the speakers . — TNS



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