C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


I-T officer took Rs 36 lakh as bribe from 50: CBI
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The arrest of income tax officer Rakesh Jain yesterday for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 50,000 is only the tip of the iceberg. The accused allegedly amassed Rs 36 lakh as bribe from as many as 50 persons during his posting with the Chandigarh branch of the Income Tax Department. A search of his residence in Sector 22 yesterday led to the recovery of a document, which revealed the names of as many as 50 persons along with the amount that had been collected from them allegedly as bribe in the past. The list had a mention of the persons with names against the amount that the CBI suspects was allegedly paid as bribe to Jain.

CBI sleuths today produced the list of 50 persons in a CBI court while seeking a 10-day remand for the accused and said many persons were part of the conspiracy and they had to find out the dealing of the income tax official with all those 50 persons, whose list had been recovered. Most of the persons named in the list were big businessmen of the city who paid the bribe amount to save income tax, CBI sources said.

Those in the list, who allegedly paid a bribe to Jain, include Daljit Singh, who paid Rs 2.5 lakh, Pradeep Singh, who paid Rs 2.2 lakh, Sandeep, who paid Rs 1 lakh, and Ashok Arora, who was asked to pay Rs 2.5 lakh yesterday when he complained to the CBI and a trap was laid.

“The accused has collected a total of Rs 36 lakh from various city residents as bribe and we have recovered the list of those 50 persons. It is being scrutinised,” a CBI official said.

Jain was arrested in a case of demanding and taking a bribe of Rs 50,000 yesterday from a real estate agent, Ashok Arora, to settle the issue pertaining to income notices sent to him.

Arora had complained to the CBI that he had received notices under Section 402 (1) of the Income Tax Act from Jain. In January, he had received a call on his mobile from Jain asking him his office address. Jain allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 3.5 lakh to settle the issue. The deal was finally settled for Rs 2.5 lakh. The CBI laid a trap and the income tax official was nabbed yesterday. The accused has been remanded in five-day custody by the court and will now be produced on Monday.

Money was recoverd from undergarment of accused’s mother

The CBI on Wednesday disclosed in the court that the bribe amount of Rs 50,000 was recovered from a pocket in an undergarment of the accused’s mother. After laying a trap at the Sector 22 residence of the accused, the CBI had called women police officers who conducted a personal search of the accused’s wife and mother and the amount of Rs 50,00 was recovered from his mother’s undergarment.

A lot of hue and cry as created as the CBI laid a trap at the accused’s residence yesterday. The accused’s mother, who is reportedly suffering from an ailment, panicked and closed the door of her room from inside for 20 minutes even as CBI officials kept knocking at the door. The CBI said the complainant, Ashok Arora, had gone to the residence to deliver the bribe amount. He keep the amount on an air conditioner outside and left. The accused came out and took the money inside while he was wearing gloves. CBI officials then rang the doorbell and Jain’s wife opened the door after a long gap. The accused had reportedly handed over the amount to his mother. As the CBI officials pounced on the accused, women in the house created a hue and cry. As the CBI conducted a search of the accused’s wife, his mother panicked and closed the door of her room and hid the bribe money in her undergarment, which was later recovered.

I have been falsely implicated: Accused

While a huge haul of cash and gold has been recovered from his residence, the accused made a sorry face in court and said he was a victim as he had dealt with the complainant, Ashok Arora, strictly in the past. “I was dealing with him since the past two years and had frozen as many as four bank accounts of the complainant to recover Rs 2.4 lakh that he was supposed to pay as income tax. I have collected all my dues in the past. He owed Rs 91 lakh to the government towards income tax and no income tax officer can reduce this amount. He is my neighbour. The list of 50 persons are my clients and I have been making official calls to them, reminding them to pay the amount due to the government,” he said.

The accused told the court that his father was ill with both his kidneys damaged; his mother was also suffering from a serious ailment and his 14-year-old son also suffered from an ailment and thus huge money was required to be kept at home for the purchase of medicines. He said Rs 24 lakh recovered from his house belonged to his father and the complainant threw the bribe amount at his residence yesterday to implicate him. “My mother saw the packet and thought I might have dropped it. She panicked on seeing the CBI and closed the door and then hid it in her undergarment in that frame of mind,” he said.

The accused said the gloves were planted and was not his. However, the CBI said it had independent witnesses to prove that the accused was himself wearing the gloves when he collected the amount.

Are you authorised to make calls for collecting tax, Judge asks accused

CBI Judge Vimal Kumar asked the accused during the course of arguments whether he was authoriaed to make calls to clients for income tax collection. The issue arose when the CBI stated that they had mobile phone records of the accused in which he was demanding a bribe. Jain said he had been making calls from his official phone in his official capacity, reminding the clients to pay tax. The Judge then asked the CBI to check from the Income Tax Department whether such calls could be made as the department was to issue notices.

Loss of crores to state exchequer

By amassing gold and huge money, Jain, in his capacity as income tax officer, caused a loss of crores to the state exchequer, CBI cources said.

16 bank accounts, investment in shares running into lakhs
Besides recovering two gold bricks weighing 2 kg from his residence yesterday, the CBI also recovered Rs 23,18,960 from his residence. In addition, the accused has 16 bank accounts in his name and also that of his family members. The accused also holds two bank lockers. The CBI has also recovered documents of investment in shares running into lakhs.

The CBI on Wednesday produced a copy of the transcript in the CBI court, which, it said, was vital evidence and directly pointed that the accused was demanding bribe. This conversation has been recorded in a digital recorder.

Excerpts from the transcript:

Complainant: Rs 2.5 lakh taan thik hai? Iske ilawa kitna dena hai? (Rs 2.5 lakh ok. How much more is to be paid)

Accused income tax officer: Kuch nai (Nothing)

Complainant: Zero matlub?

Accused: Jo bhej dia bus bahut hai. (Whatever has been sent is enough)

Complainant: Rs 2.5 lakh chod ke kuch discount?

Accused: Rs 3.5 lakh te enna discount de dita, agge toh income tax nai dena, bus friendship maintain rakhni hai. (Discount has already been provided, no need to pay income tax from now on, just maintain the friendship)

Complainant: Rs 2.5 lakh te income tax nai lagega? (Will there be no tax on this Rs 2.5 lakh?)

Accused: Wo main dekh lunga, kar lunga (that I will see)

Complainant: Matlub? (Meaning?)

Accused: Ek naya paisa nai aana. (No need to pay any more money)

Complainant: Kal kitne baje? (At what time tomorrow?)

Accused: Jadon aana hai aa ja, tera apna hi ghar hai (Come anytime)



Students at the mercy of the elements
Forced to take lessons on slushy ground in biting cold
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

A damp wall at Govt Middle School in Sector 12 A, Panchkula.
A damp wall at Govt Middle School in Sector 12 A, Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, February 6
The apathy of the Education Department came to the fore today when schoolchildren in government schools of Panchkula were made to sit on slushy ground in bone-chilling weather.

The students’ plight at Government Primary and Middle School, Rally village, Sector 12 A, Government High School, Sector 17, and Government Primary School, Sector 15, in Panchkula in this biting cold failed to move the authorities.

“We have taken up the issue with the school authorities many a time, but they say benches are broken and they have no funds to buy new ones. To sit on the ground in chilly weather is a difficult task,” said a student of Government Primary School, Sector 15, Panchkula, on condition of anonymity.

Students in this school were found sitting and studying in the open in front of a playground on a slushy ground. Broken benches were found dumped on the rear side of the school.

Santosh Khanna, who retired as the primary head teacher of this school in October last year and was given an extension till March 31 this year, said, “Contractors were called for making proper seating arrangements, but none of them showed interest. We had informed the higher authorities about it, but nothing has been done.”

Students were found sitting on a slushy ground at Government High School, Sector 17.

“After the fresh rain, the situation has become worse. Since the ground is wet, it becomes difficult to sit,” said Reena (name changed), a student at the Rally village school. Soma Rani, a teacher at the school, said, “The number of students in the school is high and it is difficult to accommodate them in classrooms.”

In charge of Government High School, Sector 17, Neelam Gupta said, “Some work is under way due to which water has accumulated on the ground.”

District Project Coordinator Irwinder Kaur said, “We have placed orders for benches and the schools will get these soon.”

Additional Deputy Commissioner Jagdeep Singh said, “The problem has come to my notice and I have personally visited a government school to check the status. Orders have been placed for benches and children will no longer have to sit on the ground.”

What the ADC has to say
The problem has come to my notice and I have personally visited a government school to check the status. Orders have been placed for benches and children will no longer have to sit on the ground

— Jagdeep Singh, ADC



5 fresh cases of swine flu reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Five new cases of swine flu were reported in the city today, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 25 this winter season.

The total number of cases reported at the PGI, the GMCH-32 and the GMSH-16, including those from other states, has reached 58. Seven of them, two from the city, had died. The five cases reported today were one each from Sectors 35, 40, 15 and 16 and one from Mani Majra. 

Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath.
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen.
Sudden dizziness. Severe or persistent vomiting



House tax must for city’s development, Patil tells Mayor
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil today made it clear to city Mayor Subhash Chawla that imposition of house tax is a must for the development of the City Beautiful.

At a meeting with the Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor Kashmiri Devi and Deputy Mayor Satish Kaint today, Patil said though the Administration had a legal right to directly impose house tax, it was the duty of the MC to impose the tax.

Patil said house tax was mandatory for getting grants under the JNNURM, which could be used to improve the infrastructure and services for the benefit of the city residents.

Patil asked the Mayor to convince the MC on the house tax issue. The Mayor has assured the UT Administrator that they will discuss the issue in detail at a meeting of the House.

Last month, nominated councillors had placed the house tax issue on the agenda af a meeting of the House. However, due to an uproar in the House over the stray cattle issue, the issue could not be taken up and was deferred.

A letter submitted by the nominated councillors reads, “We, all nominated councillors, propose that the proposal for house tax (Re 1 per sq yard per year) may be discussed at a meeting of the MC House, to be held on January 30.

No house tax should be levied on houses spread over less than 125 sq yards. EWS and LIG houses should also be exempted from the tax.”

“Regarding apartments, a category-wise lumpsum amount should be charged proportionately,” the letter stated.

On January 1, after the mayoral elections, the Mayor had announced that the MC would not impose tax this year.

A senior UT official said if the tax was not imposed, the city would lose around Rs 400 crore under the JNNURM as a result of which the Administration and the MC would not be able to seek more funds under the JNNURM for future projects.

The imposition of house tax was one of the reforms to be implemented in states and union territories which get funds under the JNNURM.

The MC had signed an MoU under the JNNURM with the Ministry of Urban Development to levy house tax to raise funds.

Tax rates proposed by nominated councillors

The nominated councillors have proposed that owners of all houses bigger than 125 sq yards or five marlas should pay house tax at the rate of Re 1 per sq sq yard per year, but not more than Rs 1,000 annually.

An occupant of a five marla house in the city should be made to shell out only Rs 125 per year, followed by Rs 187.5, Rs 250 and Rs 375 per year for occupants of 7.5, 10 and 15 marla houses.

As a one kanal house has an area of 500 sq yards, according to the proposal, the occupant of a one kanal house should be made to shell out Rs 500 per year, followed by Rs 1,000 per year for occupants of two, three, four, five and six kanal houses.


Night Staff found missing from emergency wards in hospitals
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
For a person suffering a medical emergency in the middle of the night, rushing to any of the government hospitals in the city is not enough. The patient has to suffer a lot before receiving the much-needed treatment.

Sample this: Ajmer Singh, a 65-year-old diabetic patient from Ropar district, was rushed to the Emergency ward of the PGIMER at around 6.30 pm on Monday when his son found him passing blood in the urine. As they stepped out of the auto rickshaw, the patient had to wait outside the Emergency ward for about 20 minutes as his son struggled to find a trolley for him.

When they managed to enter the ward after answering the routine questions at the gate, they had to wait for the doctor for about 30 minutes. The doctor attended the patient at around 7.30 pm and asked him to bring ultra sound report and told him that a slip prescribing ultra sound test will be issued to him. Till 11.45 pm (till the time the Chandigarh Tribune team camped at the ward), Ajmer Singh was not issued the slip and he kept waiting in the corridor on his trolley. The urine bag was full of blood as the bleeding continued for over four hours.

“The doctor told me to ask the doctors at general ward to issue the slip to me. When I went there, they asked me the name of the doctor who had sent me there. Then they asked me to wait till they confirmed about it. It has been over four hours, but there is no progress. I tried to find out the doctor who asked for the report, but he is not around,” said Jasbir Singh, Ajmer’s son who took him to the hospital.

This is the plight of several other patients not only at the PGIMER but also at the other two government hospitals in the city -- Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16. The patients get lost in the hospital due to lack of coordination between the staff.

A visit to the hospitals on Monday night revealed that there is no check on absence of the staff from wards which are crucial for seamless services. Right from wheeling the patient inside the hospital to finding out test report from the official files, a patient’s attendant is the only hope for him at these hospitals.

During the visit to these hospitals on Monday night, it was found that none of the hospital attendants were on duty after 11 pm, forcing the patients to shuttle from one ward to another.

Officials were also found missing from their seats at the counters for delivering lab test reports at all the three hospitals. Attendants of patients were forced to take out the reports from the files on their own.

In the absence of attendants at the emergency wing and even at the gynaecology ward at GMCH-32 and the PGIMER, the attendants of patients were being forced to shuttle from one counter to the other to understand the process of admission for the patient.

There was nobody available at the counters from where the test reports of patients are issued at both the hospitals. At GMSH-16, the official deputed at general enquiry counter was found sleeping. There was nobody to either attend the telephone calls or the queries of patients visiting the counter.

GMSH-16 (12.30 am to 1.30 am)
Enquiry counter official caught sleeping

The official at enquiry counter was found sleeping inside the office with his face covered at 1 am. There was nobody to attend the calls or queries of patients visiting at main enquiry and gynaecology ward. While one of the officials sleeping inside was visible from the window, it seemed that there were others sleeping on the floor. Upon seeing some visitors, the person switched off the lights.

Attendants missing from lady doctor’s room, post-delivery ward

The attendants were missing from the lady doctor’s room, which is visited by patients in labour pain, and there was nobody to attend to the patient. While the doctor could be seen examining a patient in a room further inside, the hospital attendant was missing from the seat between 12.30 am and 1.30 am. There was nobody available outside the room to guide the patient whom to consult.

Attendants of patients kept waiting outside the main gate of the post-delivery ward between 12.30 am to 1 am for passing on required material like flasks, fruits and other eatables since they were not allowed inside. However, there were no hospital attendants to be contacted. The nurses deputed on duty at the ward were found sleeping inside the room next to the main gate.

GMCH-32 (1.45 am to 2.30 am)
Hospital staff missing from Emergency medical ward, labour room, labs

There were more security guards than medical staff present at the Emergency ward between 1.15 am and 2.30 am. Attendant of a patient, who complained of severe pain in stomach, said the emergency medical officer (EMO) had shut the door and did not open for more than 10 minutes. Upon repeated knocking, the EMO came out and misbehaved with the attendant. The incident took place at around 12.45 am, according to the patient’s attendant.

There was nobody available at the labour room where the patient is taken for delivery at 2.15 am. The counter was vacant. The test reports were lying at the counter, forcing the patients to find out their reports themselves.

While the room for making payment for X-Ray was locked, there was nobody present at the labs to conduct emergency tests of accident victims or other emergency cases between 1.45 am and 2.30 am.

Note: The Chandigarh Tribune team repeatedly visited all the locations mentioned in the story across the duration mentioned above to check the presence of officials.

PGIMER (11 pm to 12.15 am)
No hospital attendant to guide patients, issue report of tests

There were no hospital attendants either at the entry of the Emergency ward or near the reception area. Patients’ attendants could be seen shuttling from one ward to the other for assistance. The average waiting period for doctor’s consultation was 30 minutes for each patient.

Nitin Bhagwat (name changed), who came looking for the ultra sound report for his mother at the emergency ward at 11.55 pm, kept waiting for the official at the report delivery window for about 15 minutes but there was nobody available to attend to him.

Another patient’s attendant then suggested him to go inside the room and find out the report himself. “I took X-ray report of my wife from the room few minutes ago. The officer who was on duty at the counter left at 10.30 pm and nobody has come since then,” the person told Nitish.



power purchase
UT seeks more financial powers
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
In an attempt to purchase power for the city without any delay, the Chandigarh Administration has demanded from the Ministry of Power more financial powers for the UT Administrator to purchase power worth up to Rs 100 crore.

At present, the Administrator can only grant approval to purchase power worth up to Rs 8 crore. If the cost of power purchase crosses the limit of Rs 8 crore, then the UT officials have to seek permission from the ministry.

The UT Adviser, KK Sharma, Home Secretary Anil Kumar and Finance Secretary VK Singh submitted their representation to the Ministry of Power yesterday.

Last year, the UT Administration had faced a tough time when it had sought permission from the ministry to purchase power costing about Rs 50 crore. The UT officials had to make a number of visits to New Delhi to convince the ministry officials for the need for power purchase.

Last year, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had enhanced the financial powers of the UT Administrator to Rs 50 crore from Rs 10 crore under the plan head.

At present, Chandigarh has no power generation capacity of its own and the city gets power supply from various central power generation stations in the region. While 280 MW is supplied from different power stations in the region everyday, nearly 30 MW is channelised through Jammu and Kashmir under a bilateral agreement.

Power demand to go up
If UT officials are to be believed, the demand for power is expected to reach 400 MW in the coming summer. It was 363 MW in 2012. The UT Administration is gearing up to meet the increased power demand. In the Union Budget, the administration will seek more funds.



leasehold plots
Industrialists’ association approaches Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Representatives of the Chandigarh Industrial Association (CIA) discussed the proposed ban on the transfer of leasehold industrial plots with Union Railway Minister and Local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal.

The president of the CIA, MPS Chawla, said they discussed the issue with Bansal on the phone and he assured them of full support, saying that he will take up the issue with the Chandigarh Administration.

Chander Verma, general secretary of the association, said a delegation of the local industrialists would meet the UT Adviser, KK Sharma, in this regard shortly. The administration should work for the benefit of the industrial sector in the city. Industrialists also demanded that administration should allow the conversion of leasehold property into freehold property on the Delhi pattern, he added. 



Four years on, bridge develops cracks
PWD, HUDA pass the buck as commuters have a tough time
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 6
The Panchkula Bridge connecting the main Chandigarh-Kalka road, which was expected to have a life span of 100 years, has developed deep cracks in just four years. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has started repairing the bridge fearing its collapse.

The bridge, which is close to Suraj Theater in Sector 1, Panchkula, was constructed in 2008-09. The area was under the jurisdiction of the PWD and later it was brought under HUDA. Around 90,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily. One side of the bridge has been closed to traffic.

It was stated that rainwater seeped through the layers of the bridge, leading to cracks. The services of a consultant were hired to know the exact cause of the cracks on the bridge so that the authority concerned could be penalised for such a blunder. HUDA will spend around Rs 50 lakh on the repairs.

A Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) of HUDA, Krishan Lal Thaiya, said: “When the bridge was constructed, the area was under the jurisdiction of the building and roads wing of the PWD. It was later transferred to HUDA. The structures, which they prepare, have a life span of 100 years. Now, HUDA has to repair what they have made.”

Executive Engineer of the PWD Vikas Surjewala said: “Though during that time, I wasn’t the Executive Engineer, we had a separate quality control team, which checked the quality of constructions. Had there been use of poor quality material, the slab would have become unstable. It seems the ill-maintenance of the bridge led to the cracks.”

He added: “If the PWD has made it, wasn’t it the responsibility of HUDA to maintain a bridge, which is on the national highway.”

Then junior engineer of the PWD, SC Jain, during whose tenure the bridge was constructed, said the bridge was raised under a close supervision of officials and with the best quality material. “HUDA should check its maintenance every year and see to it that rainwater doesn’t seep through the structure. It should be done before the rainy season every year,” said Jain.

According to sources in the PWD, the bridge was actually part of a multi-crore road project and during that period cost around Rs 1 crore.

Commuters are having a harrowing time, especially during the night. “This is the main highway. One side of the bridge has been closed for repairs. The other side is very narrow and there is alway a risk of accidents,” said Deepak Sharma, a commuter.

Vikram, another commuter, said: “If bridges, which have been constructed recently, are giving up so soon, then one can easily imagine the fate of the other bridges.”



Doon MLA admitted to hospital
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 6
Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary has been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Ambala, this evening. Chaudhary was shifted to the C-cell from the jail hospital last night when he again complained of chest pain and said he was feeling unwell.

The doctors diagnosed him with tuberculosis in intestines and admitted him to the hospital.

“Last night, Chaudhary was shifted to the C-cell with the common prisoners from the Jail hospital where he was admitted after he complained of chest pain,” said a senior official in the Central Jail, Ambala.

Earlier, Chaudhary had undergone angiography.

The jail officials had said that Chaudhary had not spent a single day in the barracks with common prisoners. He had stayed at the jail hospital since he complained of chest pain.

Chaudhary was scheduled to be taken to the Ambala General Hospital some time ago but his shifting was cancelled due to the unavailability of guards with the Panchkula police on that day.

Chaudhary and his two nephews, Gurmeet and Dharampal, who allegedly helped him to eliminate Jyoti, are in 14-day judicial custody and have been lodged at the Central Jail, Ambala.

The jail authorities had informed the Chaudhary's counsel that it was the court itself which could decide whether the B class facilities could be given to the MLA or not. The decision on the plea is still pending. 



KFC deposits Rs 96 lakh with Excise Dept
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) company today deposited Rs 96 lakh with the UT Excise and Taxation Department.

A senior official of the Chandigarh Administration said the representatives of the KFC deposited two cheques for Rs 47 lakh and Rs 49 lakh with the Excise and Taxation Department.

They deposited the amount as value added tax (VAT), which they had not paid earlier. The administration will calculate the penalty separately and charge from them later, he added.

On February 1, the officials of the Excise and Taxation Department raided four outlets of the KFC and detected the evasion of VAT worth over Rs 1 crore.

Against a business of about Rs 8.50 crore done by the four outlets between June 2012 and December 2012, the assessed tax of Rs 1 crore was not paid to the UT Excise and Taxation Department. 



Illegal structures razed in Sec 42 market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The illegal partitions of the sites at day market of Sector 42, were pulled down by the demolition staff of the UT estate office here this morning. In the three-hour long drive, the illegal walls were demolished by the workers of the enforcement staff using JCB.

As the estate office had given two-days prior warning, to the allottees of the sites. Many had removed the shutters in front of their illegal booth. Tehsildar, Amarinder Singh, along with the enforcement staff cleared off 12 violations, to restore the sites to their original form. The sites had been allotted to rehri and pehri walas, six months ago.

The enforcement staff also visited the Sector 43 market and gave a warning to the allottees of the Day Market site there, to remove the violations within the next two days.

To ascertain the extend of violations in other markets, a fresh survey by the estate office was underway. Many allottees have raised walls around the sites, in violation of the allotment rules. Similar sort of violations existed in Sector 26 day-market sites.

Sources said that while the sites in the Sector 42 market were allotted six months ago, those in Sector 26 and 43 were allotted a few years ago to enable 'rehriwalas' and 'pheriwalas' for conducting their business, during daytime.



Khemka gets threat call, seeks security

Panchkula, February 6
Haryana Seed Development Corporation Ashok Khemka's office has asked the Panchkula police to provide security at the employees and management grievance union meeting that is to be held on the premises of the Haryana Seed Development Corporation, Sector 2, Panchkula, tomorrow, fearing a threat from the union leaders who have been accused of stealing wheat bags some time ago. An anonymous fax was received by the office that Khemka would be manhandled at the meeting.

The request has been sent to the DCP, by the chief manager of the department, KR Sharma. Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Khemka said the office got the information that he would be manhandled tomorrow by some union leaders who were accused of stealing wheat bags. — TNS



Cops, civilians rewarded for nabbing criminals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
UT IGP RP, Upadhyaya, today rewarded some persons, both from public and police, who were instrumental in getting accused persons arrested. Rewards were given to Parveen, Vikas, Naresh Kumar and PCR vehicle staff namely, Head Constable, Rajbir, Constable, Sachin and Home Guard volunteer, Lakhbir, who helped the local police in apprehending the criminal on February 2, who had stolen a three-wheeler, no PB-65-G-3862. The reward included commendation certificates along with cash rewards. Constable, Sandeep, Home Guard volunteer, Baban and Joginder of PCR Vehicle, who acted promptly on PCR call and rounded up jeep, number CH01-AM-6700, on 03-04/02/2013 mid-night (written Mafia on front bumper), who created nuisance in Sector-5. They were rewarded commendation certificate class-III along with cash Rs250 each, for their alertness and quick action.

On February 2, a PCR vehicle helped the local police, in recovering an unclaimed rickshaw-rehri loaded with iron steel, from transport light point. Constable Ramesh and Constable Sunil Nagar were rewarded.

On February 4, PCR vehicle eight, rounded a Bolero jeep, number CH01TA-3468, loaded with 23 stolen shuttering, iron plates and helped the local police, in apprehending the accused Harsh and two women. The Head Constable, Niranjan, Constable, Om Parkash and Constable, Deepak of PCR vehicle were rewarded with commendation certificate class-III along with cash of Rs 250 each.

Also, another PCR vehicle, helped the local police in apprehending five persons namely Guarav Thakur, Lakhwinder, Simplty Singla, Ankush Vatts and Suria Bhatia, who were creating nuisance in public place at local bust stand, Sector-17, Chandigarh. A case under Section 160 of the IPC, had been registered . PCR staff, SI Jarnail Singh, Constable, Amit, lady constable, Munesh and lady constable, Punam were rewarded with commendation certificate class-III along with cash Rs 250 each.



Waterlogging poses threat to buildings in Naya Gaon
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 6
Waterlogging in front of some shops and houses at Gobind Nagar, located on Nada Road, in village Naya Gaon, poses serious threat to the buildings there. The water, emanating from a burst water-pipe, has been seeping into the foundations of our shops and houses, for the last one month.

As a result, the front ramp of three shops, has already caved in.

“Now there is a serious threat of our shops caving in”, said Ajay Kumar, who runs a shop in the area. Ajay Kumar further added that the water pipeline burst around a month ago, while the sewerage pipeline in the area, was being laid down.

“We have approached several officials of various departments including water works, municipal council, market committee and the contractor to get the problem solved. Instead of rectifying the problem, everyone is trying to blame each”, alleged Ajay Kumar.

Another shopkeeper, Amarjit Singh, said that he was pained to see wastage of the precious water. “Adding insult to injury, the water logging has also started posing threat to our establishments now. I don’t know why the authorities are still sleeping.

Are they waiting for some mishap to happen”, said Amarjit Singh. Due to waterlogging in the area, it’s also difficult to walk on the road and the streets nearby. 



Knowledge Park: GMADA to issue letters of intent to farmers
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 6
In the run-up to the setting up of a Knowledge Park in the township, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is expected to start issuing letters of intent (LoI) to farmers for the allotment of plots in lieu of the land acquired within the next 10 days.

In a departure from the past practice, GMADA has taken the initiative to first settle the claims of those whose land has been acquired for the purpose before launching the project. “The step has been taken to avoid any confusion and inconvenience to the earlier land holders at the site of the project,” said a senior official of GMADA.

Notably, several framers had to wait for a long time to get their claims under the land-pooling scheme when the Eco City Project in Mullanpur was launched.

The official added that after finishing the process of issuing letters to farmers, the groundwork on infrastructure development at the site would commence immediately.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, AK Sinha, Chief Administrator of GMADA, said the Knowledge Park, spread over 1,700 acres, would be the best setup in the region with world-class facilities and top infrastructure. “Talks are on with the top IT companies, which are interested in setting up their units here.

The industrial plots of different sizes, measuring one acre or 50 acres, would be made available. In the park, sites have also been earmarked for five hotels and an expo ground,” said AK Sinha.

The Expo ground, spread over 60 acres, would be developed on the pattern of the Noida-based expo ground, he added.

The project, which would mainly have the IT and electronic-based industry, would also generate the job opportunities for the local people.



chandigarh scan

Elections for the AMIE (India) Engineers Association Punjab were held here on Tuesday during which all office-bearers were elected unanimously. While Surinder Singh Kaler was elected as the president of the association, Sukhbir Singh Mundi was elected as the chairman and SN Bansal was elected as the general secretary of the association. The AMIE (India) Engineers Association Punjab Irrigation submitted a memorandum of demands to the Punjab Irrigation Minister. The association also held its general body meeting at the Institute of Engineers in Sector 19. SN Bansal general secretary of the association apprised the Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon with various demands of the employees. The demands made by the association also included promotion issues. This was followed by the release of the diary of the association members by the irrigation minister.

UT teachers move CAT

The UT Teachers/Lecturers and UT Cadre Educational Employees Union filed a case against deputationists in the UT Education Department UT, in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) here on Wednesday. The case is now listed for hearing on March 27. It was submitted in the petition that senior UT officials are ignoring the rights of the UT Teachers/Lecturers to accommodate deputationists. The Chandigarh Administration is violating his own orders in which it was stated to give promotion to suitable Union Territory employees in preference of taking persons on deputation from other states.

Job test

Common Job Test, the first of its kind entrance examination for entering into premium jobs is being held in Chandigarh on coming February 10. After setting a landmark in Delhi NCR with over 6,000 candidates taking the test, the exam will be held very first time in Chandigarh.

Traders’ body

Akhil Bhartiya Aggarwal Sammelan has constituted a national body of traders to safeguard their interest. Newly formed body ‘Akhil Bharitya Udyog Vyapar Suraksha Manch’ on the initiative of traders will provide social security and will enforce their demand from Central and State Government for implementing group insurance, pension schemes, abolition of license regime, constitution of business welfare fund, liberation in trade, industry and import. For strengthening this movement, the manch has decided to organise a massive rally at Ramleela Ground, New Delhi on April 28. It was announced by Gopal Sharan Garg, national secretary and Anand Singla, President, Chandigarh Chapter of Akhil Bhartiya Aggarwal Sammelan, who were in the city. — TNS



self-financed courses
Reduce fee, Student bodies urge PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
In a bid to reduce the financial burden from the students studying in self-financed courses run by Panjab University (PU), the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) and the NSUI today submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor against the fee charged by the university for the self-financed courses. The council members also distributed the pamphlets of comparison of the fee structure of various departments to the students.

NSUI leader, Brinder Dhillon, said the university authorities are discriminating between the students as while the students of University Business School (UBS) pay Rs 6,000 tuition fee per semester the students of University Institute of Applied Management and Sciences (UIAMS) pay Rs 1 lakh as tuition fee for one semester. “Both the departments belong to the PU and give the degree of MBA, however, there is a huge variation between the fee charged from the students of both the departments,” Dhillon said.

“The departments including University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), PU’s Dental College, MA in Human Rights, Social Works and Police Administration are also covered under self-financed courses as their fee structure is very high,” said the NSUI leader.

Students claimed that while PU charges Rs 80,000 as the annual fee for BDS the same in other BDS colleges in the region is Rs 18,000. Similarly, students of the UILS have to pay Rs 25,000 as the tuition fee every semester while the students of law department pay Rs 1,440 per semester.

PUCSC president, Satinder Singh, said when these courses were started by the PU the varsity needed money to build the infrastructure for the concerned departments following which they were called the self-financed courses. The fee charged from students was very high, however, now that the departments have their own building and infrastructure following which the fee structure of these courses should be brought back to normal on a par with other courses.

Students have threatened to launch a protest if the university fails to meet their demand and does not reduce the fees for self-financed courses.



Defend yourself with pen, car keys, comb, girls advised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
If a girl is stuck in a situation when she needs to defend herself then objects like pen, car keys, comb and even a spectacle can turn into a safety tool for self-defence, this was taught to the students of Panjab University during a self-defence workshop organised on the campus for the girl students.

The workshop was held to sensitise the girls about how the objects that students use in their routine life can be turned into a weapon to safeguard themselves.

The students of PU enthusiastically participated in the workshop held at the Gandhi Bhawan auditorium and learned the techniques of self-defence.

The resource person, BS Handa, who is a black-belt 5th Dan while showing the moves to the students stated that holding keys between the fingers, scratching comb on the face of attacker, hitting with pen in the sensitise body parts including eyes and ears can help a girl save herself from any attack.

“We wanted the girls to know how the objects they usually carry in their bags can help them in avoiding untoward situations,” he said.

During the workshop, the students were also told how a spectacle could also help in injuring someone. “The spectacles after folding can also be used to hit someone on the sensitive body parts that also includes neck and nose,” Handa said.

The students were even taught the way to save themselves from snatching incidents. The girls were advised to carry their handbags on the left side so that the snatchers who flee to the same direction the victim is moving after snatching do not get a chance to snatch the bag. “Usually the snatchers come on a motorcycle and they ride towards the same direction the victim is moving after snatching the bag, which can be avoided is the girls hold the bag in their left hand,” said the resource person during the workshop.



IT fest ‘Lakshya’ kicks off at DAV College
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
A two-day IT and Management Fest “Lakshya” kicked-off today at DAV College, Sector 10. A signature campaign to eradicate social evil from the society along with a message to follow a proactive approach to eradicate such evils was also initiated during the fest.

The event on its first day saw a grand opening, with PU Vice-Chancellor, Arun Grover, inaugurating the function. He encouraged the students to take active part in all the activities of the college and use this platform to hone their skills.

The inauguration was followed by various IT and Management events, which saw a huge rush of students. The day also witnessed cultural performances by the students of the BBA, BCA, MBE and M.Sc IT Department.

Other events organised during the day included dance competition, video film-making, poster making, collage making.

Around 56 teams from various colleges participated in today’s events. The library of the DAV College also launched an Information Brochure entitled Versatile DAVC Library: from books to e-resources on this occasion.



Fill teaching posts, PU tells homoeopathy college
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Panjab University (PU) has asked the Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Sector 26, to fill the teaching posts lying vacant failing which the university would freeze the fresh admissions in the college from the coming academic session 2013-14 by denying the temporary affiliation to the college. The college has only 14 faculty members out of total 37 teachers required.

The issue of running the college with 23 teaching vacant posts had led to a heated debate in the last Senate meeting when the members raised the objection over granting temporary affiliation to the college even though the college is short of staff. The Vice-Chancellor (VC) taking a serious note of the issue during the meeting had asked the Dean College Development Council (DCDC) to look into the matter.

DCDC Naval Kishore said the college has been asked to comply with all the deficiencies before the next academic session or the college will not get further affiliation following which they would have to freeze the fresh admissions.

The college imparts education through a five-and-half year BHMS degree course in homoeopathy including a one-year compulsory internship. The PU, while granting the temporary affiliation to the college for session 2012-13, had stated that the college will have to comply with all the affiliation rules in toto, and the college is afforded one last chance to immediately comply with the conditions of Inspection Committee that the college authorities must have 100 per cent faculty as well as adoption of service rules to its employees as per the university rules applicable to the affiliated colleges by December 2012.

KK Dhiman, principal Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, when contacted said that it’s not jus their college only, however, many Arts and B.Ed colleges affiliated to PU have staff crunch meanwhile the university itself is short of staff. “The university can’t isolate a single college on this issue when the problem is common among most the colleges. There should be a universal rule of every college and even PU,” said Dhiman.

The principal, however, said the college is in process of making appointments and will take all precautionary measures to ensure the new admissions are not disturbed. “All appointments can’t be made in such short span of time, however, we will ensure larger number of posts is filled,” he said.

The principal further added that the college also needs to see the financial viability before making all the appointments. “The inflation rate has gone so high. The fee structure of the college was revised in 2012 after 12 years while fee needs to be revised after every three years,” he said.



City students visit NASA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Six students and principal of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, Gurnam K Grewal, attended a workshop at the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

The students Prabhsimran, Pavittar Singh, Vanshdeep Singh, Sehaj Raj, Gurpreet Kaur and Harpreet Kaur, attended this workshop were awarded certificates at a special ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center.

The contingent had an interactive session with Astronaut, Barbara Morgan, before going through shuttle launch experience. They had also visited Apollo/Saturn V Center, NASA’s launch sites for Mercury and Gemini, Vehicle Assembly Building, Launch Control Center, Lunar Electric Rover, nine ton granite constellation sphere floating on water.

Apart from a simulated space shuttle Mission, the students went through motion based simulators to experience aspects of astronaut training, at the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Later, the students had interactive activities explaining launch of rockets and show how humans survive in the vacuum of space-human spaceflight program of NASA.

“The greatest attractions were Space Shuttle Mission, Multi Axis Trainer (MAT) and Trajectory Chair (T-Chair), motion based simulators. School students had a great learning experience and were highly inspired to join human space exploration with the desire to explore the unknown and use the knowledge gained to benefit humanity,” said Gurnam K Grewal.



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