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Vehicle registration to get costlier
  UT may increase vehicle tax rates by 2% to bring these on a par with neighbouring states 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Getting a new vehicle registered in Chandigarh could get costlier with the UT Administration contemplating bringing the one-time road tax on a par with the taxes levied in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

With a view to rationalising the motor vehicle tax, the UT Transport Department has proposed an increase in all the three slabs, vehicles costing up to Rs 6 lakh, vehicles priced between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 20 lakh and vehicles priced above Rs 20 lakh. Last time, the tax was increased in February, 2011.

The UT Deputy Commissioner, Mohammed Shayin, said the UT wanted to be on par with the neighbouring states. The prevailing tax slab is 2 per cent for vehicles costing up to Rs 6 lakh, 3 per cent for vehicles priced between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 20 lakh and 4 per cent for vehicles priced above Rs 20 lakh.

The road tax is 2 per cent for cars costing up to Rs 5 lakh, 4 per cent for cars priced between Rs 5 and 10 lakh, 6 per cent for those costing between 10 and 20 lakh and 8 per cent for vehicles priced above Rs 20 lakh. In Punjab, a flat rate of 6 per cent is charged.

The Centre has been suggesting one-time road tax at a rate of 6 per cent on the sale price for cars and two-wheelers to rationalise the motor vehicle taxes across the country. Sources said the UT could increase the tax rate by 2 per cent but the details were yet to be approved by the higher authorities.

As of now, the road tax rates in the city are the lowest in the region. The highest slab in Chandigarh for cars priced above Rs 20 lakh is 4 per cent while Haryana charges 8 per cent for the vehicles in this category.

Recently, the UT amended the checklist of documents to be submitted as a proof of residence.

The UT Administration has lately been trying to find ways to reduce traffic congestion on the city roads. Chandigarh has the highest per capita vehicle ratio and more than 300 vehicles are daily registered here.

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Ex-student attacked near college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
High drama was witnessed outside Khalsa College in Sector 26 today when a former student was attacked with sharp weapons. The victim, Ishwardeep Singh Sandhu, a resident of Fazilka and former student of DAV College, was attacked. He was there along with his friend Gautum. He had first visited the Sector 7 market from where he went towards the Khalsa College. The attackes had come in a car.

The police said an old student rivalry was the reason behind the attack and efforts were on to identify and arrest the suspects.

An injured Ishwardeep was taken to the Panchkula General Hospital. A case has been registered at the Sector 26 police station.

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Cameras check thefts on PGI campus
In most cases reported at hospital culprits were relatives of complainants 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Amid a spurt in complaints of mobile thefts in waiting areas and patient wards at the PGIMER, installing CCTV cameras at overcrowded points has turned out to be an effective tool to catch thieves red-handed.

More than 15 thieves have been caught by the PGI Security Department in the past six months. In a majority of these cases, the offenders were found to have stolen mobile phones of their own relatives after they had gone to sleep.

"Crowds of patients at the PGI remain unusually high and identifying offenders among them is a difficult task. But, the footage of these high-resolution CCTV cameras has helped to identify the offenders quickly," said a security official.

"Recently, we received a complaint about a mobile theft at Nehru Hospital. While scanning the CCTV camera footage, we found that the complainant's own relative, who had come to see the patient, took away the phone from the complainant's bag while she was asleep," the official added.

Many similar incidents were reported earlier also. Another man, who stole an attendant's purse when she left it on a patient's trolley at the entrance of Nehru Hospital, was also caught on camera. Later, the security staff informed the local police about the theft. The offender had fled the scene within minutes. The officials said the number of complaints, however, had come down gradually in the past few weeks. These cameras have been installed at the gates of all the buildings visited by patients. A total of 37 cameras have been installed on the campus.

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3 cases of swine flu reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Three cases of swine flu were reported in the city today. These included one case from Sector 15 and two cases from Punjab. The total number of the cases reported in the tricity region, including Panchkula and Mohali, has reached 19 since September, 2012. The spread of the disease intensified in the beginning of December, 2012, while only one case was reported in September.

The total number of cases reported at the PGIMER, GMCH-32 and GMSH-16, including those from other states, has reached 55. These include 7 deaths, two from city and five from the region.

A baby girl from the city tested positive for swine flu today. 

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Rare, exotic dog breeds captivate residents 
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Several rare breeds of dog caught the fancy of people who were gathered in large numbers at Leisure Valley, Sector 10, here today.

Dog owners display skills of their pets; a girl shakes ‘hand’ with the biggest dog; and owners pose with rare breeds — chow chow, fox terrier and Newfoundland — during a dog show at the Leisure Valley in Sector 10, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
(Clockwise from top): Dog owners display skills of their pets; a girl shakes ‘hand’ with the biggest dog; and owners pose with rare breeds — chow chow, fox terrier and Newfoundland — during a dog show at the Leisure Valley in Sector 10, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Naughty fox terrier, pocket-sized Chihuahua, hefty Newfoundland, dark-blue-tongued chow chow, sleek-faced rough collie, powerful akita and toy-like American cocker spaniel were among the rare breeds that hogged limelight during the Chandigarh dog show. Overall, more than 300 dogs of different breeds displayed their exuberance and skills. Of these, the working-group hounds including rottweiler and Saint Bernard had the maximum participation.

“I can easily fit this dog in my pocket,” said Mohali-based Dr GP Singh, showing his Chihuahua which he has nicknamed “Chicku”. Smallest breed in the world, it runs very fast and takes your breath away, said the proud owner.

Another rare breed, wirehaired fox terrier, with only one entry in the festival, was astute yet attractive. It had dark eyes and small v-shaped ears dropping close to cheeks. Jaipur-based owner Utkarsh Rathore said the best quality of the dog was its temperament. Originally from England, the breed is very famous across Europe, but still little known in India, he said. It was imported from the UK at a cost of Rs 4 lakh, said Rathore.

Dogs’ day out

Two chihuahuas with their owner at a dog show held in Chandigarh on Sunday
Two chihuahuas with their owner at a dog show held in Chandigarh on Sunday. tribune photo: s chandan P2

None of the dogs could beat the size and bulkiness of Newfoundland that belongs to the working group of dogs, consisting of other breeds such as bullmastiff, boxer and doberman. Its owner Kuljeet Singh from Khanna said its weight could go up to 100 kg. In western countries, it helps farmers in fields, he said. Dogo Argentino, another dog with a single entry at the show, also belonged to the same group.

Another hound that could not participate due to technical reasons but caught wide attention nonetheless was the sturdy but short chow chow, a Chinese dog known for its dense hair, square profile and broad skull.

“It is the only dog in the world that has a blue tongue,” said its owner Maneesh from Kurali, who claimed to own the only dog of this breed in the entire North. He said the dog could not survive without an air-conditioner. “I imported it from Russia at a cost of approximately Rs 2 lakh. It could not compete, however, as its transfer papers are yet not completed,” he said.

Sleek-faced rough collie was another rare breed. Its owner from Lukhnow, Alka Ravinder, said there were only around seven dogs of the breed in the country. “These dogs are generally friendly with children and other animals. However, they must be well socialised as they can be too shy,” she said.

Exotic varieties including pug, Pekingese and miniature pinscher too captivated the gathering. Chandigarh-based Mohit Aggarwal’s American cocker spaniel won the best breed award in the gundog group. He said he applied special shampoo to the dog and imported its feed. “It has so far won more than 25 trophies and certificates,” he said. Exotic dog accessories were also on sale during the show.

Working-group hounds turn up in large numbers

Call them hunter, loyal, dangerous, wild or ferocious; one look of these hounds is enough to stop you. Among the various breeds of the working-group hounds, boxer, bullmastif, cane corso, doberman pinscher, dogo Argentino, dogue de Bordeaux, great Dane, English mastiff, Neapolitan mastiff, rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Siberian husky, and Tibetan mastiff were the main attraction. Utility group, too, had interesting entries, such as akita, dalmatian, and Lhasa apso.

DSP roughed up in brawl

High drama was witnessed at the dog show after a Haryana-cadre Deputy Superintendent of Police was allegedly beaten up by a group of youngsters. The police said the DSP had gone to watch the show with his dog, where he entered into a heated argument with a group of youngsters over some issue. The DSP was allegedly roughed up by the youngsters. Both the parties were taken to the Sector-3 police station, where they reached a compromise. No case was registered.

Sale of hounds rampant

Despite a ban by organisers, sale of hounds was rampant outside the venue. Puppies of worth over Rs 20 lakh were sold today, said breeders who came from different parts of Punjab and neighbouring areas. Among the costliest breed was Bordeaux whose one puppy was being sold for around Rs 30,000. Male puppy was sold for Rs 50,000. Saint Bernard’s and golden rottweiler were also sold for Rs 25,000 to 30,000.

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RLA grapples with pendency of documents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Cash-rich UT’s Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) is struggling hard to tackle the “unmanageable” problem of pendency of driving licence (DLs) and registration certificates (RCs).
Applicants wait at the RLA office; (right top) a candidate takes a test for learner’s licence; and (below) no official is posted at the enquiry window inside the office in Chandigarh.
Applicants wait at the RLA office; (right top) a candidate takes a test for learner’s licence; and (below) no official is posted at the enquiry window inside the office in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

The RLA office is increasingly becoming visitor’s nightmare. Every day, around 2,000 persons visit the RLA but the pendency of the DLs and RCs has crossed the 11,000 figure. For due to the problem on part of the Society for Promotion of Information and Technology (SPIC), an arm of the UT’s IT Department that manages the technical part, the printers are regularly giving problems.

Only six years ago, the previous UT Administrator, Gen SF Rodrigues, had inaugurated a state-of-the-art RLA office that was centrally air-conditioned.

Thanks to indifferent attitude of the UT officials in the past, routine cases like annual maintenance contract of the hardware, regular supply of the smart card used to print driving licence and registration documents and maintenance of coloured printer have become a causality. cThe dates for issuing of RCs and DLs are being extended due to non-functional printer of the smart cards.

The pendency of RCs and DLs is running in to over 4,000 and 7,000, respectively. Due to malfunctioning printer, the backlog is increasing. Every three months, a new series starts and as a result the pendency further increases. Officials claimed that efforts are being made to clear the backlog soon.

The problem has further been aggravated as the Sector 42 and SDM East office that serve, as branches of the Sector 17 office of the RLA are not functioning as independent entities.

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Getting RC, licence a Herculean task
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
The office of Registering and Licencing Authority (RLA) continues to be a nightmare for visitors as people seeking the registration certificate (RC) of a new vehicle or getting driving licence (DL) are made to wait for months, here.

Turing out to be a Herculean task, the residents fail to get their respective documents even after waiting for three months. In routine, the RC or driving licence should have been issued in a minimum period of a week.

“I am coming here for the sixth time and today again I have been allotted with another date. Now, I am supposed to carry this slip as the only proof of my vehicle. In case of emergency, I have this slip to show which has so many dates mention in it,” said Manoj Kumar, who had applied for the RC in October last year.

“I had applied for my RC in October, 2012. But till date, I haven’t received it. I am visiting the RLA office and the staff fails to give any satisfactory reply for the delay," said Manak Chand.

Another applicant added, “The officials need to take a look on this issue seriously. Hundreds of people, coming to the RLA office are being harassed everyday. Now that when we have modern facilities, the matter should be take care of as soon as possible,” said Gurmeet Singh.

Officials said the problem regarding the backlog of documents is the main reason behind the delay. Due to non-functional printer, the backlog is increasing. “The delay is due to the problem of printers and huge load of backlog. The matter has been taken seriously and a proper staff is being deployed to overcome the problem. Hopefully, in next 15 days everything will come back to normal routine,” said Mohammed Shayin,” Deputy Commissioner.

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Highest car density in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Increasing vehicle density, absence of any regulation to restrict the number of vehicles an individual can get registered in his name or at a household, absence of no vehicle zones is adding to the urban chaos in the city which is otherwise known as architectural marvel and pedestrian friendly.

Chandigarh’s unique distinction of being one of the prosperous cities, having the highest per capita vehicles is proving to be liability rather than an asset as commuters are now spending hours on roads, caught up traffic snarls while inhaling obnoxious fumes.

Everyday, around 300 vehicles are being registered with the UT Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) in the city that was conceived in the 1950s for a population of 50,000.

Today, the population of the city stands at around 11 lakh. But the Chandigarh Administration has failed to take any concrete step to regulate the ownership of vehicles. By December 2012, the vehicles population had almost touched 8.70 lakh figure.

The chaos on the roads has now spilled over to the office of the RLA which not a single sanctioned post. The UT’s Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) that collects Rs 45 crore as road tax and earns lakhs of rupees from auctioning of fancy numbers, has no sanctioned staff strength. Faced with inadequate staff, officials are brought on deputation to manage the rush of visitors at the authority office in Sector 17.

For a population of around 11 lakh, there are around nine lakh vehicles. In addition, an estimated 100,000 vehicles drive through every day. Quoting statistics, UT officials point out that from a figure of 15.4 as the percentage of houses having a car in the city, the figure in 2011 had reached 25.7. “In the last two years, the percentage has gone up further. The statistics is being updated,” said officials at the RLA.

With the increasing population, urbanisation, industrial and commercial activities, demands for transport has also increased. Inadequate public transport system in the city has led to the use of personalised vehicles. The total number of motorized vehicles in Chandigarh has increased by approximately 75 times from about 12,345 in 1971 to around 8.70 lakh.

Data provided by the department reveals that out of the total vehicular population, 2/3 wheelers and 4-wheeler account for a major part of the vehicular population. “The administration has failed to regulate the number of vehicles per household. While for commercial vehicles, an affidavit on parking space is taken, there is no such initiative for privately-owned vehicles,” said Pallav Mukherjee, a former nominated councillor.

Another distinctive feature of Chandigarh is the high rate of floating vehicular population visiting the city everyday from neighboring states, especially from the twin cities of Mohali and Panchkula. “The move by the administration to declare no vehicle zones has fallen flat. The officials need to take hard decisions and come off the tag of VVIP culture,” said Rajinder Sharma, a former Chief Town Planner of Punjab.

The Census Data-2011 reveals Chandigarh tops the list of Union Territories and States in car density per household. The number of city households owning a car has increased by 10 per cent in the last decade. While in 2001, the percentage of houses having a car in Chandigarh was 15.4; in 2011 the percentage reached 25.7. The second in the line in car ownership density is Goa.

Impacts of pollution from increasing vehicle density

* Increase in the number of road accidents.

* Little space for movement of pedestrians and non-polluting modes of transport.

* Congestion on roads and longer travel time resulting in high fuel consumption,

* Frequent braking and idling at light points resulting in higher emission of pollutants, as Reparable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) has been found exceeding the permissible limits.

* Particulates reduce visibility. Microscopic particles in the air can be inhaled and they become lodged in the lung tissue and respiratory tract. This causes increased respiratory disease and lung damage.

* Smog, in high doses, harm humans by causing breathing difficulty for asthmatics, coughs in children, and general illness of the respiratory system. Prolonged exposure to smog damages lung tissue. Because of their small size, these particles have great penetration and get lodged deep in the respiratory tract, causing diseases.

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Panchkula hospital takes swine flu cases ‘lightly’
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 3
The suspected patients of swine flu got taste of the seriousness of the Panchkula General Hospital authorities when the laboratory (mean for swine flu) where samples are taken was found closed.

Shirking responsibility, the subordinate employees said the laboratory is always closed and the patients are referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, without checking. Recently that the PGI had sent back 10 patients referred from the General Hospital itself saying that they should first detect the possibility of swine flu and then refer the patients, not every other case.

Despite having the Tami flu vaccine, the suspected patients alleged that the authorities without checking them were asking them to go to the PGI, Chandigarh.

When contacted the Resident Medical officer, Dr Narender Gulati, he said, “No, it is not like that. The suspected patients are never harassed, they are examined and samples can be taken anywhere, not just the laboratory.” “I was referred to the General Hospital, Panchkula, by a private hospital in Kalka saying that I have swine flu and should get myself immediately checked. But when I came here, I was told to go to the laboratory, which was closed,” said Rajbir Singh (name changed), a resident of Kalka.

He further added, “When I enquired, rather than immediately treating me, I was told that I could go to the PGI.”

“Even if a person is not infected with the swine flu or it can be checked on initial stage, the hospital authorities unnecessarily tell a person either to go to the PGI, GMCH, Sector 32, and GMSH, Sector 16,” said Veera, a resident of Sector 17, Panchkula, who had come to get her son checked of swine flu. It was on January 25 when Panchkula reported its first swine flu death after a resident of Kalka identified as Namit Rattan, whose samples were sent to the PGI by the General Hospital. As his condition deteriorated, he died the next morning he reached the PGI.

“If the hospital authorities start acting swiftly, the PGI and other government hospitals in Chandigarh may not be overburdened,” said an attendant.

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Cadets bag gold at Delhi R-Day camp 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Riders of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC Directorate bagged the top position in show jumping, besides lifting the best rider trophy for boys at the national-level Republic-Day camp held at New Delhi.

Cadets of the directorate’s Remount and Veterinary Squadrons won two gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal. They were declared runners-up in the novice tent pegging event.

As many as 162 cadets from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh had participated in the month-long R-Day camp after an arduous selection process. The directorate bagged the fourth overall position amongst the NCC’s 17 directorates.

Kritika Singh of the Shimla Group was adjudged first in the all India best cadet competition for junior wing girls while Bhojdev Singh Brar of the Ludhiana Group won the bronze medal in the all India best cadet competition for junior division boys. In ship modelling and aero modelling competitions, the directorate stood second and third, respectively.

The NCC contingent that marched down Rajpath on January 26 also included 21 cadets from the directorate.

The directorate has won eight gold, six silver and two bronze medals at various national-level riding events and four gold and three bronze medals in national-level individual and team shooting events. Six cadets from Punjab participated in a youth-exchange programme with Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, West Africa and Myanmar. Last year, 64 cadets from this directorate joined the armed forces.

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Sec 37 case: Victim’s brother says no for post-mortem of body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Three days after a woman was found living with a her son’s decomposed body in Sector 37, the brother of the deceased, who returned from Australia today refused to conduct the postmortem examination of the body.

The body, which was kept in hospital mortuary for the past last three days, was hence handed over to him.

Inspector Charanjeet Singh, SHO, Sector 39 police station, said Tarun, brother of deceased, returned from Australia and refused to for the post mortem examination. He did not suspect any foul play and said that his brother was suffering from an ailment. The body was then handed over to him.

On January 31, the police had recovered a highly decomposed body of Sunny Talwar from his Sector 37 residence. His 70-year old mother, Lalita Talwar, who was visibly ignorant of the death of her son, was living with the body for the past four days when it was recovered. She is stated to be mentally unstable.

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Powercom to be fined for ‘not paying’ octroi
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 3
Following non-payment of octroi on the consumed power by the Punjab State Powercom Limited for the past four months, the local Municipal Corporation has been contemplating to impose a fine of 21 times of the payable amount.

In a recent communiqué to the senior officials of the Mohali circle of the department, the municipal corporation has categorically mentioned that if the octroi would not be paid to them with immediate effect, a fine of 21 times of the payable amount would be imposed under the rules of Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976.

The Joint Commissioner of Mohali Municipal Corporation Dilraj Singh said the powercom department has not been paying the octroi since September 2012. The per month octroi amount is said to be between Rs 8 to lakh on an average.

“Despite several reminders, the powercom department failed to deposit the octroi of over four months whereas it should be deposited every month as per rules. 
This is not the first time that they are not paying the octroi in time. Now 
we are contemplating to charge a fine under 
the rules,” said Dilraj Singh.

On the other hand, a senior official of the powercom department claimed that the octroi in question has been paid by them. “We have paid the octroi. But if the MC has written us a letter in this connection, I would surely check the things at our part,” said the official, requesting anonymity.

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Cops take accused to court in his relative’s car
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 3
The unprofessional behaviour of the Panchkula police came to the fore today when its officers transported the Pinjore firing accused to court in his relative’s vehicle. On being asked about this unusual move, they said the police vehicles were busy in other work.
Pinjore firing accused Vikram being brought to court in his relative's car in Panchkula on Sunday.
Pinjore firing accused Vikram being brought to court in his relative's car in Panchkula on Sunday. A tribune photograph

Accused Vikram, gunman of a property dealer, had accidentally pressed the trigger of his revolver at a wedding function in Pinjore, killing a 55-year-old man.

The police brought him to the Panchkula court today in an Innova car owned by his relative. The police personnel concerned, Sub-Inspector Narender Singh, said that all the police vehicles were busy since a burglary incident that took place in the morning.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Krishan Kumar Hooda, told this correspondent he was not aware in which car the accused was taken. “I will surely look into the matter,” he said.

Vikram has been sent to the judicial custody. He had surrendered himself when he found that the bullet had hit a man killing him on the spot. The bullet also pierced his hand before hitting the man.

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Cancer is a lifestyle disease: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Immobility, intake of unhealthy food and excessive fat are some of the key factors causing cancer. On World Cancer Day, Dr Rakesh Kapoor of the radiography department at the PGI shared some measures which can effectively help in preventing cancer.

He said cancer was a lifestyle disease. Excessive intake of junk food, especially deep-fried food items, was one of the leading causes of cancer, he said. He advised intake of food items rich in fibre.

Food rich in vitamin C including kiwi fruit and oranges are a great source of anti-oxidants. Their intake should be regular, he said. Other than alcohol and smoking, consumption of red meat, aerated drinks, food items rich in caffeine and even pickles could elevate the risk of cancer, he said.

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Chandigarh Scan

Retirement age extended

CITCO has extended the retirement age of all employees by six months. Kashmir Chand, president, CITCO Worker’s Union, thanked the Adviser for the move.

Book release

The Readers Writers Society of India, in collaboration with the Central State Library, Sector 17, organised a function to release Dr Swaraj Singh’s book "Rise of the East". The book was released by KB Chhabra, a publisher.

Local artistes belonging to the Garhwali community present a cultural programme during Uttarakhand Rang Manch 2013 at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Local artistes belonging to the Garhwali community present a cultural programme during Uttarakhand Rang Manch 2013 at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Monthly interaction

The First Friday Forum in its monthly interaction programme organised a talk on “I am a city changer”. Architect and nominated councillor of the Municipal Corporation Surinder Bahga, while addressing the attendees, said “I am a city changer” was a global movement to share and spread individual, corporate and public initiatives that improve cities. Promoted by UN-Habitat, it was a worldwide campaign with the aim of sensitising and creating awareness among citizens on urban issues, he said. Forum founder SS Bhatti said Bahga’s contribution should inspire others to contribute in changing the city for better.

NSS camp

A seven-day special National Service Scheme (NSS) camp on the theme of “Healthy Youth for Healthy India” commenced at Aruna Asif Ali Government Post Graduate College, Kalka, on Sunday. The camp is being conducted under the supervision of NSS programme officers Naveen Sharma and Dr Richa. Ramesh Chaudhary, the district training officer, Red Cross, Panchkula, apprised volunteers of methods to provide first-aid during a heart attack, accident, snake bite, etc. A workshop on self defence was also was conducted. Students were also sensitised about the conservation of environment.

Voter information centre

The Residents’ Welfare Association of Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4 distributed circulars regarding the setting up of a voter information centre in their ward at the community centre. “If residents want any information regarding their voter card or want any changes made to it, they can come here till February 12,” said Davinder Mahajan, president of the association.

Clay molding

A clay-molding competition was organised at Tulips World School, Sector 7. More than 100 students from all over the tricity participated in the event. Virender Singh, ACP (headquarters), Panchkula, was the chief guest. He motivated students to participate in the co-curricular activities.

Gender inequality

Gender inequality during the upbringing of girls is a major cause of concern, as it creates a distinction between men and women at the very beginning of life. Inspector General of Police (Crime) Shashi Prabha Dwivedi made this observation while addressing a seminar at Doaba Women Institute of Engineering and Technology. Dr Harshinder Kaur, deputy medical superintendent, Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, was the guest of honour. She said women must be respected. Manjit Singh welcomed the guests and exhorted the girl students to take inspiration from their accomplishments.

Blankets distributed

Tajinder Kaur, CEO of Hara Punjab Khara Samaj and Pro-Chancellor of Desh Bhagat University, distributed woolen jerseys among 100 needy and poor school students of Government Middle School, Kasuli, and Government Primary School, Karondewal. Dr Zora Singh, Chancellor, Desh Bhagat University, also spoke on the occasion.

Internet security

The Quest Group of Institutions organised a seminar on “Internet and Network Security” on Data Protection Day. The seminar was organised for students of computer sciences and electronics department in association with the Institute of Information Security. Arun Saini, AIG Law and Order, was the chief guest.

Software development

The Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC), Jhanjeri, conducted a seminar on software development. Corneel Theben Tervile, head, department of computer sciences, and Ellen Taylor, department of business management, University College, Belgium, delivered an interactive lecture on “Higher Education in Europe and Flanders”. Tervile, while providing information about the new software and applications, said it was important to remain up to date about changes in the software industry to compete in the market. He further informed students about various scholarships available in Belgium.

Meeting for cancer survivors

Many cancers that were once thought of as a death sentence are now curable. With the right strategies, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented. This was stated by oncologist Dr Rajeev Bedi, at a meeting of Saarthak, a cancer support group. Over 100 patients, survivors and their family members attended the meet held at a local private hospital. Dr Rajeev Kapoor, Dr Atul Joshi and Dr Priyanka Arora also addressed the gathering. — TNS

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Open House Response
UT needs separate cadre, selection commission

While earlier a large number of employees were on deputation from Punjab and Haryana, their number has severely dropped in the last one decade. The severe shortage of manpower has affected the working of various departments, including the UT Estate Office and Engineering Department. While the neighbouring states have their own staff selection commissions, in the absence of such a body in Chandigarh, the administration has no option but to depend on officers coming on deputation.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Don’t allow officers to overstay

The City Beautiful is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana. The norms regarding filling of posts on deputation from both the states should strictly be adhered to. There is also resentment in both the states regarding the number of secretary-level officers. Initially, there were only two secretary-level posts reserved for the states -- Home Secretary for th Haryana cadre and Finance Secretary for the Punjab cadre. Although the number has increased over the years, the UT cadre officers are still more in number as far as the secretary-level positions are concerned. The UT must follow the re-organisation Act and ensure that all the officers on deputation be repatriated to there parent states after completing there requisite deputation period with no further extension. It will give a chance to other officers from these states to come on deputation. Change is always better for bring efficiency in working that will be in the interest of the general public.

Puran Kant, Chandigarh

Officers on deputation favour parent state

Ever since the formation of the Union Territory, we have been expecting officers coming on deputation to put it on the path of development and prosperity. While some of them did make sincere efforts to meet our expectations, others did not. They only thought of themselves and their parent states. We get ample evidence of the same in the recruitment of conductors and teachers in the Transport Department and Education Department respectively, where the merit principle was ignored. This is inexcusable. The policy of bringing officers from the states has lead to creation of two states — Punjab and Haryana — within the UT, backed by the political will of both the states. These officers are not accountable to the Chandigarh Administration for lapses during their tenure. The rift between officers on deputation and those belonging to the UT cadre is too deep-rooted to be ignored or overlooked. The Chandigarh Administration needs to formulate an effective policy to set at rest the controversy over filling of deputation posts.

Ajit Singh, Canada

Distribution of posts needs rethinking

The issue of appointing officers from Punjab and Haryana in the UT in the ratio of 60:40 has been an eyesore for quite a long time now. This system should be done away with and an effective and a lasting solution should be found. It is true that Chandigarh is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana and should have officers from both the states, but it should also have officers from the Union Territory itself. It would be wiser to have a re-look at the distribution of posts among the three parties. The new ratio should be 45 per cent for Punjab, 35 per cent from Haryana and 20 per cent from the UT. The Central Government should take necessary steps in this direction at the earliest.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Local officers need more representation

There is absolutely no legitimacy in Himachal Pradesh staking claim to the UT posts. The UT cadre officers, moreover, should have more representation. For this purpose, a cut should be made in the number of posts from Punjab and Haryana. Another problem is the continued stay of doctors, lecturers and teachers even after expiration of their deputation period. They deprive others of an opportunity to serve in the UT. They should be relieved as soon as their deputation period expires.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Canada

UT staff should get timely promotions

Punjab was divided into Punjab and Haryana in 1966. At the same time, Himachal Pradesh was declared as an independent state. At that time employees were adjusted in the ratio of 60:40 on deputation to run the work of the administration. Since then, many employees including doctors, teachers, engineers, drivers, conductors and clerks have been appointed on a regular basis as a part of the UT cadre. So many these employees, however, have retired without being promoted due to the employees on deputation. The administration should promote the UT cadre employees up to the highest post according to their seniority. It should stop the policy of calling employees from other states on deputation.

Sumesh Badhwar,Mohali

Bring meritorious officers from all over India

The UT Administration should fill its senior position from all over India on the basis of merit. Officers with a favourable ACR (annual confidential report) should get a chance to serve in one of the most beautiful city of the country. Officers from Punjab and Haryana are not benefiting the City Beautiful.

Shishu Paul, Chandigarh

Give priority to achievements

The bureaucrats in the UT Administration are not at all justified in their keenness of bringing more officers to the UT from their parent cadres. Due weightage should be given to the officer's capability and achievement in the field of administration.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Make non-partisan deputations

Deputations should be made according to the accepted norms. Aspiring candidates pull all sorts of strings within the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to get plum postings in the City. Exceptions should only be made if the state cadres are not able to offer a suitable candidate. The Chandigarh Administration must also ensure its recommendatory role in such postings is always non-partisan.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Short duration of deputation stalls projects

There is a need for a separate UT service cadre. Due to the absence of UT cadre posts, officials coming on deputation never think about the unemployed youth of the city. Various projects such as the IT hub, medicity, entertainment city and edu city never materialised, defeating the objective to provide employment opportunities. Youths from other states complete their education in Chandigarh and go back to their respective states for employment. There they easily get jobs due to their own state quota. The officers, moreover, come for a short period on deputation. By the time they understand needs of the people, they have to return without completing the proposed projects. This increases the cost of projects, resulting in the cancellation of many. Most of the officers on deputation provide jobs to their parent state candidates by ignoring those from the city. Like Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh should also give priority to its residents at the time of recruitment

Anamika, Chandigarh

Open House Question

Death of Divakar Talwar, a mentally upset 37-year-old man, who lay dead in his house for four days as his mentally ill mother remained oblivious about him, has brought to the fore the plight of people having mental health issues. The way the duo was left alone to suffer in isolation raises a question as to who are to be blamed for the state of such people. What should be done to value their life? Please send your replies to [email protected]

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Introduce system to fix accountability of teachers: PUCSC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Not satisfied with the teacher feedback system devised by the varsity, the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) has demand a system that will fix the accountability of teachers.

The PU Senate, during its last meeting on January 20, gave its nod to the teacher evaluation. It, however, decided the feedback will only concern individual teachers and students taught by them.

The student council, however, wants a refined system which fixes the accountability of teachers.

PUCSC president Satinder Singh said, they met Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia and demanded that if the feedback given by students was not accessible to other teachers of the department, there should be some superior body that has an access to the feedback.

“Also, we don’t want teachers to use the feedback system as a tool to victimise each other. There should be some mechanism, however, which makes teachers accountable,” he said.

PUCSC president, calling the feedback system approved by the Senate toothless, said if there recommendation was not considered, it would remain a mere formality.

AS Ahluwalia said he had asked the PUCSC president to let the system be introduced for the time being. After its implementation, we would come to know about any shortfalls, and changes, if required, could be made accordingly, he said.

Students had been demanding for a system of teacher evaluation for over four years. Under the system, students will be evaluating teachers on fixed parameters, including regularity and punctuality, response to queries, and informal behaviour.

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From Schools

Annual fete
Students and parents attend the annual fete of Saupin’s School in Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Students and parents attend the annual fete of Saupin’s School in Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh: Saupin's School, Sector 32, organised its sixth annual fete — RAZMATAZZ-2013 — on the school premises. As many as 50 stalls were put up ranging from those of mouth-watering savouries, to cosmetics, games, and fabulous display by boutique houses. People flocked in large numbers. Amusement games added to the fun and gaiety for everyone. Almost all the stalls attracted a huge number of people. Principal, ABS Sidhu, congratulated everyone for their sincere effort in making the event a success.

Principal awarded

Bhavan School, Sector 27, yet again excelled in the fifth Young Bull Challenge 2012. The principal Vineeta Arora was awarded the Best Principal Award for her contribution towards spreading financial literacy in the region as well as for her continuous efforts in presenting the students with an array of learning opportunities.

Girl Child Week

Girl Child Week was celebrated at Govt Middle School, Sector 26, Bapu Dham Colony, Chandigarh. Students participated in various activities like poster making, slogan writing, poetry and essay writing competition to bring enlightenment of gender equality and women empowerment. Through this, a message was spread that a woman was entitled to a dignified life and her empowerment would bring productivity as well as prosperity. Science and maths exhibition was also organised in the school campus.

Baby's show

Mohali: St Soldiers School, organised a baby show for children up to four years of age. More than 150 children participated in various categories. A panel of doctors, from health and medicare, judged the children.

Water conservation

Students of Gian Jyoti Global School, Phase II, are visiting areas in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali as an extension to their water conservation campaign. Children went from door-to-door to make the people aware of the wastage of water. They gathered a lot of information through net surfing about how to save water. They answered all the queries of the people, who really applauded their initiative for taking such steps. — TNS

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