C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hike in water tariff on the cards
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
After a proposal for a power tariff hike in the city, residents should now prepare themselves for another shocker as the municipal corporation is planning to hike the water tariff in the city after a gap of three years.

At a meeting between officials of the UT Administration and the MC, a proposal for increasing the water tariff in the city was discussed in detail. It was observed that the rates of upper slabs should be increased considerably.

A team of the JNNURM had recently visited the city and told MC officials that it should increase taxes. The team had said that the water tariff should be increased and house tax imposed, otherwise grants for the city under the JNNURM would be stopped.

MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said at the meeting, the Central Groundwater Board presented a report in which it was pointed out that in the VIP sectors (1 to 10), the per capita water consumption was very high as compared to the southern sectors and colonies.

To stop the misuse of water for watering lawns and washing cars, it was proposed to increase the water tariff, especially in the higher slabs.

UT Finance Secretary VK Singh said a proposal to hike the water tariff would be prepared by MC officials following which discussions would be held on it.

To deal with the water shortage in the summer, the UT Administration has issued directions to MC officials to ensure proper distribution of water in all areas of the city and check leakage of water. At present, 352 litres of water per capita per day are available in the city, but residents are still facing a water shortage.

The Administration also told the MC officials to chalk out a plan to provide canal water for slum rehabilitation colonies in Dhanas, Maloya and and the Sarangpur area.

VIP sectors

According to a report of the Central Groundwater Board, residents of VIP sectors (1 to 10) use 2,000 to 2,500 litres of water per day while residents of southern sectors and colonies use 250 litres and 100 litres, respectively.

Shallow water

At the meeting, officials of the Central Groundwater Board told MC officials that there was plenty of shallow water in the city, which was fit for human consumption. MC officials said they would test the shallow water.



Golf Club has funds to pay lease money: MHA to Admn
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has come to the rescue of the Chandigarh Administration in the matter pertaining to the implementation of the revised lease money of the Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC), which is being opposed by the club management.

The MHA has told UT officials that the CGC has fixed deposits of Rs 13 crore and can easily pay the renewed lease amount.

Refusing to accept CGC’s plea for reducing the lease amount finalised by the UT Administration, the MHA has pointed out that with a simple 10 per cent rate of interest on fixed deposits, the CGC receives Rs 1.3 crore annually. With this amount, the club can easily pay the renewed lease amount.

However, it is unknown whether the directions of the MHA will have any effect on the petition pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in connection with the club lease controversy.

In a letter issued by the Administration, the club was asked to deposit Rs 9.27 crore by January 16, 2012. The lease period was proposed for five years only with an annual enhancement of 7 per cent in the rent. The lease was to become effective from March 16, 2008.

UT Finance Secretary VK Singh said it was for the club management to decide how they would pay the renewed lease amount. As the land belonged to the Administration, it was demanding the lease amount from the club.

The club had filed a petition challenging the decision of the Administration to enhance the lease amount enormously and charging Rs 9.27 crore as rent, including interest, for five years (March 2008-2013).

According to the earlier lease, which was for 20 years (1988 to 2008), the annual lease amount of the club, established on August 25, 1966, was Rs 1 lakh. However, after the revision of the lease amount, it reached Rs 1.61 crore annually.

Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had appointed a former Judge of the apex court, Justice Kuldip Singh, as a mediator to resolve the lease row between the CGC and the Administration.

What the ministry has to say

The MHA has told UT officials that the Chandigarh Golf Club has fixed deposits of Rs 13 crore. Refusing to accept the club’s plea for reducing the lease amount finalised by the UT Administration, the MHA has pointed out that with a simple 10 per cent rate of interest on fixed deposits, the club receives Rs 1.3 crore annually. With this amount, the club can easily pay the renewed lease amount



Panel to probe Golf Club brawl
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
A three-member committee, comprising chairman Lt-Gen KS Mann, SMS Sandhu and JS Rathi, was today formed by the management of the Chandigarh Golf Club. It will hold a probe into the recent brawl that took place on the greens of the Chandigarh Golf Club last Saturday.

The committee would be assisted by senior members of the club to find the details. The club management has asked the committee to submit the fact-finding report at the earliest. “The committee has been formed and its members will be intimated soon. The three-member committee is constituted for a fair probe into the case. And they are requested to file the report at the earliest, so to avoid any further confusion,” said Virender Sharma, vice-president and head of the disciplinary committee of the Chandigarh Golf Cub.

Last Saturday, high drama was witnessed when former athlete Milkha Singh along with three others, including former Punjab Chief Secretary RS Mann, Congress MLA from Punjab Randeep Singh Nabha and former captain of the Golf Club SS Laihal, engaged in a violent scuffle with a Lieut-Col Vijay Singh Sandhu (retired), who allegedly attacked them with golf clubs and also utter abuses during the scuffle.

Later, acting on a complaint of Colonel Sandhu, the police registered a case against Randeep Singh, SS Laihal, Milkha Singh and RS Mann for allegedly beating and threatening Sandhu under Sections 323, 506, 34 of the IPC. Randeep Singh Nabha, filed a counter complaint against against Colonel Sandhu under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC.

Advisory for the Members

The management of the Golf Club has decided to issue an advisory to all its members. The advisory will carry a piece of advice for the members to play according to the rules and to follow the legal procedure in case of any problem. “It’s a gentlemen's game and such brawls just lead to the tarnishing of its image. If those members were facing problem, they must have called the Marshal. And in case, the Marshal is unavailable, they must have lodged a complaint, after finishing the game, with the management. Nevertheless, to avoid such cases in the future, we will file an advisory carrying all the details of the rules and disciplinary action against members,” said Sharma.

Statements not recorded

Even as the management of the club has formed a three-member committee to probe the case, the police is yet to record the statement of all the persons named in the FIR as the eyewitnesses are yet to be tracked down by it. Sources said Lieut-Col Vijay Singh Sandhu was in no mood to take back his complaint.



Beginning tomorrow, new Shatabdi to leave city at noon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The timing of the new Chandigarh-Delhi Shatabdi (train number 12046/45) has been revised by the railway authorities and will come into force from February 21. According to the new schedule, the Shatabdi will leave the Chandigarh railway station at 12 noon instead of 11.40 am and will reach the New Delhi railway station at 3.20 pm instead of 3 pm. There is no change in the departure time from New Delhi. The train will start at 7.15 pm and reach Chandigarh at 10.35 pm. The new Shatabdi was flagged off on January 14 by Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Residents of the city had recently made a representation to the railway authorities stating that there was less time gap between the arrival and departure timings of two Shatabdi trains due to which commuters had to face a lot of problems at the railway station. They had demanded that the timing of the new Shatabdi should be extended from 11.40 am to 12 noon to avoid chaos at the station.

Following this, the Railway Minister directed the officials concerned to look into the matter. Sources said for the past fortnight, trial runs of the Shatabdi were being held to monitor the feasibility of changing the timing.

Records of the Railways revealed that about 1,600 passengers commute by two Shatabdi trains. At the station, there is parking space only for 400 vehicles, of which 100 slots are reserved for VIP vehicles. The remaining 300 slots are shared by private vehicles, auto-rickshaws and taxis.

Residents’ demand met

Residents of the city had recently made a representation to the railway authorities stating that there was less time gap between the arrival and departure timings of two Shatabdi trains due to which commuters had to face a lot of problems at the railway station. They had demanded that the timing of the new Shatabdi should be extended from 11.40 am to 12 noon to avoid chaos at the station.



GMCH Prof acquitted in medico’s suicide case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Five years after a student of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, committed suicide by hanging himself, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Shalini S Nagpal today acquitted a GMCH Professor, Dr NK Goel, of the charge of abetment to suicide after the prosecution failed to prove the charges.

The court acquitted Dr Goel, Head of the Department of Community Medicine, who was booked for abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the IPC in January 2008.

Jaspreet Singh, an MBBS third-year student, hailing from Amritsar, had hung himself from the ceiling fan in the toilet of the library on the fifth floor of B Block of the GMCH on January 28, 2008. The police had initially booked the Professor and two students for abetting his suicide as he had named them in the note.

Based on an inquiry report submitted by the GMCH committee, the CFSL examination report of the suicide note and a revaluation of the examination papers of the deceased by a PGI board, the Professor concerned, Dr NK Goel, was chargesheeted in October 2008. The police had not filed the chargesheet against the two students named in the note for lack of evidence.

Defence counsel Rabindera Pandit said no immediate provocation for the suicide could be proved in court. The suicide note had mentioned that Jaspreet was stopped from reappearing in an examination by Dr Goel, but the charges could not be proved.

“The suicide note mentioned that the student was stopped from reappearing in an examination. This was contrary to the claims of the prosecution as Jaspreet’s father had alleged that the Professor failed the student deliberately, following which he committed suicide. There was nothing in the suicide note which couls suggest any immediate provocation,” he said.

In the chargesheet, the police had also added the SC/ST Act in the case registered at the Sector 34 police station. The chargesheet was filed after a three-member board was formed by the PGI to re-evaluate the examination papers in which Jaspreet had failed. His family had alleged that Dr Goel has deliberately failed him because of his Scheduled Caste status, forcing him to take the extreme step. It was found that the student deserved 16.5 marks out of 30, while he was given 14 marks by the Professor, as a result of which he failed. Jaspreet had also accused his two friends, Deepak Vashisht and Ajay Parveen, of harassing him in the suicide note.



Khaki under attack: Two constables thrashed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
In yet another incident of an assault on the police, a UT constable was assaulted and his uniform torn, and a woman constable beaten up when they went to a colony in Sector 25 this morning to look into a quarrel incident.

Constable Shamsher Singh, posted as a driver in a PCR vehicle, received a call in the morning about a quarrel taking place in Sector 25. Shamsher Singh reached the spot along with two women constables.

Kamal Kumar (32), a resident of Sector 25, was allegedly creating a ruckus and fighting with his wife. He manhandled constable Shamsher Singh when he confronted him. The constable was beaten up and his uniform ripped apart. A woman constable intervened, but she was also beaten up.

The police control room was informed, following which a police team reached the spot and arrested Kamal Kumar. He was booked on a charge of thrashing police officials on duty.

Kamal Kumar is a Class IV employee of the Punjab State Wireless System. He was produced in a court, which remanded him in judicial custody. A case under Sections 323, 353 and 506 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 11 police station.



Land Acquisition
Mohali farmers may get four showrooms in lieu of 1 acre
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 19
In what is likely to be a bonanza for Mohali farmers, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is contemplating to give four showrooms in lieu of one-acre land under the land pooling scheme in Sector 87 here.

If the proposal comes through, the farmers, whose land will be acquired here, will get a whopping Rs 4 crore if the prevailing market rate of a similar-sized showroom in Eco City, located near the site, is an indication. Local property dealers say the price of a showroom in Eco City at around Rs 1.10 crore.

Sources said it had almost been decided to give four showrooms in lieu of a piece of land of one acre in Sector 87 under the land pooling scheme.

“As Sector 87 will be developed as a commercial area and will be similar to Sector 17 in Chandigarh, the authorities are planning to give four showrooms in lieu of an acre of land. Earlier, GMADA had given a 1,000 sq yd plot in a residential area and one standard-sized showroom against one acre land to owners under the land pooling scheme at Eco City and other projects.

The sources said 240 acres, mainly in Nanu Majra, Manakpur and a part of Sambhalki village, was to be acquired for this new project.

The sources said In the proposed “City Centre”, there would be no restriction on the height of buildings as it did not come under the “funnel area”.


GMADA action arbitrary discriminatory, says HC
Non-allotment of plots to owners in lieu of land acquisition for 'Knowledge City' and water treatment plant
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Nearly seven years after the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) acquired land for developing "Knowledge City" and a water treatment plant in Sector 81, Mohali, its action of not allotting plots to landowners under the oustee policy has been declared "patently arbitrary and discriminatory" by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The ruling came on a bunch of seven petitions against the State of Punjab and other respondents by Harmail Singh and other landowners of Mauli Baidwan, Chilla, Raipur Khurd, Kumbra and Manauli villages.

Sector 81, known as the knowledge city, has been developed as an "institutional area" and a water treatment plant for Mohali is proposed to be set up in the same sector.

According to GMADA, the petitioners were not entitled to the allotment of residential plots under the policy dated May 25, 2011, for the reason that their land was acquired for the setting up of Sector 81, which is not a "residential sector".

Aggrieved, the landowners had moved the High Court seeking the quashing of letters-cum-orders issued on different dates in September and October, 2011, rejecting their claim for the allotment of residential plots under the oustee policy.

After issuing the notification under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, their land was finally acquired vide award dated December 26, 2006. But their applications were turned down on the ground that "there is no condition in the new Oustee Policy dated May 25, 2011, with regard to allotment of plots to the oustees, whose land has been acquired for Sector 81 and a water treatment plant for SAS Nagar, Mohali..."

Quashing the impugned letters-cum-orders, the Division Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice RP Nagrath asserted GMADA's plea that the petitioners were not entitled to the benefit of the policy as their acquired land has not been utilised for residential purpose was patently arbitrary and discriminatory.

The Bench added: "Once the land is acquired for setting up an urban estate, all the expropriated owners are entitled to be treated alike and at par, irrespective of the subsequent utilisation of the acquired land?.

"It is not at all within the control of a land owner to insist that in the layout plan or 'master plan' his land be earmarked for the residential plots only?. The owners cannot be discriminated with and subjected to differential treatment on the basis of an incidental circumstance like the utilisation of their acquired land for varied purposes of an integrated urban development project?.

"The microscopic classification suggested by the respondents to deprive a group of land owners of the benefits of a welfare policy, cannot be accepted. Such an artificial grouping cannot stand the test of Article 14 of the Constitution".



No work, no pay for striking power staff
Administration makes arrangements to ensure continued electricity supply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
In view of the nationwide strike called by trade unions from tomorrow, the Chandigarh Administration has enforced “no work, no pay” in the Union Territory. The UT Powermen Union and other employee bodies had decided to go on a two-day strike. The administration has advised all the employees to attend office.

In a statement issued this evening, a spokesman on the administration said the Chandigarh Administration had always been sympathetic to the genuine demands of the electricity department employees and there is no reason for them to go on a strike. Disciplinary action will also be taken against the defaulting employees.

Necessary arrangements to ensure continued power supply have been made, he said. The administration asked the residents to contact the various complaint centres in their area, besides the control room, in case of any issue.

“The public is also requested to keep a vigil on the electricity lines and if anyone is found sabotaging the power supply, the police control room should be informed,” said the spokesperson.

Calls can also be made to Sector-17 control room -- 2703242 and 2700200, Sector-9 control room -- 2742370 and 2743940, and the citizen facilitation centre - 4639999.

Meanwhile, the police has been put on high alert to ward off any trouble at the PGI.

"We always have a contingency plan in place to manage services at the hospitals during such strikes. The staff recruited on permanent basis including security guards, nurses and even sweepers are directed to provide additional services if any disruption is caused during the strike," said PGI's official spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar.

The public is requested to keep vigil on the electricity lines and if anyone is found sabotaging the power supply, the police control room should be informed. —  Spokesperson, UT administration



Water supply eludes Attawa rural polyclinic
Patients deprived of free-of-cost X-ray, dental check-up and ultrasound facilities
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
A year on, patients visiting the rural polyclinic in Attawa continue to be devoid of the free-of-cost facility of X-ray, dental check-up and ultrasound as these facilities have been discontinued due to a lack of water supply at the polyclinic over the year.

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

These services are not available at any of the government-run dispensaries in the city other than the one in Sector 45.

The Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the issue earlier also, and the UT Health Secretary had stated he would look into the matter.

The doctors at polyclinic provide free-of-cost consultation to patients. “We had been running our labs effectively until last year, catering to at least 70 patients per day. But now we manage to run the general, gynae and eye OPDs by making use of the water which we carry from our homes for washing equipment,” said Dr Rajni Saini, who takes care of patients at the general OPD.

According to the chairman of the foundation, which runs this rural polyclinic at Attawa, Brig (retd) ML Kataria, when Gen SK Rodrigues (former UT Administrator) had inaugurated five charitable dispensaries, including this one at Attawa, he had stated that the water and electricity bills up to Rs 8,000 per month would be taken care of by the administration. The charge of dispensaries was shifted to the MC in 2010.

“While the MC has been taking care of electricity bills, it has failed to address our concern about the water bill,” said the officials at the polyclinic.

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

The number of patients visiting the polyclinic at Attawa has come down to about 30 per day over the past few months. Owing to the discontinuation of water supply, the staff have also shut two of the four toilets.



Rift in city Cong
Local councillor's name missing on invitation cards for Rose Festival
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Internal rivalry among Congress councillors once again surfaced when the local area councillor’s name was found missing from the invitation card for the Rose Festival, which is being organised by the Municipal Corporation and the UT Administration.

Sources revealed that Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra, who represents ward no. 3 comprising sectors 16,17 and 22, is not happy with the development. Last year, Chhabra was one of the strong contenders for the Mayor’s post but ultimately Subhash Chawla’s name was finalised by the Congress.

Despite repeated attempts, Chhabra and Mayor Subhash Chawla could not be contacted. The MC officials said last year too area councillor’s name was not printed on the invitation cards.

This is not for the first time that an argument has arisen among Congress councillors. Earlier on January 1, minutes after the victory in the Mayoral elections, a scuffle took place between councillor Satprakash Aggarwal and former councillor Bhupinder Singh Badheri in the Mayor’s room. For the post of Mayor, Bhupinder Singh Badheri was lobbying for Subhash Chawla’s name and Sat Prakash Aggarwal, who was also one of the contenders for the Mayor’s post, was aware of it.

Last month, the Mayor had not attended a Lohri function organised by the Sector 21 Residents Welfare Association because the local area councillor, Mukesh Bassi, was not invited to the function. Earlier, the Mayor had agreed to take part in the Lohri celebrations. But later he skipped the celebrations after he came to know that Bassi was not invited to the programme.



Rose Fest from Feb 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The three-day 41st Rose Festival will open to a majestic opening on February 22 amid blooming roses in the Rose Garden, Sector 16, here. Fun and frolic and a lot of entertainment activities await the residents of the tricity as well as visitors coming to the city from the adjoining areas during the Rose Festival, which will remain open till February 24.

Officials said the Adviser to the Administrator, KK Sharma, would inaugurate the festival at the Zakir Rose Garden on Friday. Host of activities, including beating of drums, releasing of balloons, folk dance performances and the showcasing of regional art forms will be held during the festival.

The fresh and innovative competitions like "Rose King and Rose Queen", "Floral Hat Contest" and "Ms & Mr Rose Chandigarh" have also been planned.

A number of cultural programmes and competitions like flower contest, fancy floral hat contest, on-the-spot painting competition, rose quiz, folk dance competition will make this mega event a big show. There will be a live performance by renowned Punjabi singer Sarbjit Cheema on February 22.

The concluding day on February 24 will have a stunning performance by Bollywood singer Kunal Ganjawala.

On February 23, there will be a live performance by comedian Rajiv Thakur and the contestants of "Ms & Mr Rose Chandigarh" will walk the ramp at the Leisure Valley.



Patient who attacked doctor admitted to psychiatry ward
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Two days after a mentally challenged patient attacked a doctor at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, with a medical equipment, the hospital has admitted the patient to the Psychiatry Ward.

The doctor had received a minor injury on the forehead. The patient's condition is being assessed by doctors. A DDR was lodged at the Sector 34 police station following the incident on Sunday night.

The patient, who has been identified as Shamsher Singh, is a resident of Mohali. He was taken to the Emergency Unit of the hospital on Sunday night at around 11 pm. Dr Ashwani was attending to him, according to the officials. The Medical Superintendent of the GMCH-32, Dr AK Janmeja, said: "The patient was admitted to the Psychiatry Ward."

Dr Janmeja had rushed to the spot and was reportedly present during the incident. The security staff pacified the patient and the police also reached the spot.

The doctor had asked Shamsher to lie down at the couch for some time and called upon another patient. Suddenly, Shamsher got up and hit the doctor with a blood pressure instrument on the head, said an eyewitness.



Scholar shares his thoughts on art
Tribune News Service

Ashok Vajpayee at a session during the ongoing Amrita Sher-Gil National Art Week at Government Art Museum, Sector 10, in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photo: s chandan

Chandigarh, February 19
The session "Loving the Art" with an eminent scholar Ashok Vajpayee at the ongoing Amrita Sher-Gil National Art Week at Government Art Museum, Sector 10, was enough to invoke varied thoughts on the relevance of art in our lives and how it plays an important role in mesmerising as well as mystifying the world around us.

Laced with wit and humour for which he is known for, Ashok quoted the instances of his over 50 years long creative journey.

According to Vajpayee, one who does not have passion and inquisitiveness to know the world around him can't ever be a successful artist in any discipline.

"Every art form imbibes its truth inside. A truth that dispels in classical music is not same as in literature. But beauty of the art is that it allows its practitioners to experience numerous possibilities to find their own truths and reaches to a level that allows art and artists to be one entity," said a former chairman of National Lalit Kala Akademi.

He said, "It also gives us freedom to traverse through different time periods. Classical music is the best example."

"I am not sure how the history will remember my literary contribution but for me I have found another life with in my mortal being due to art. It also gave me power to experience and express so many worlds and truths," said Ashok.

He also shared his experience with people of great repute like Kumar Gandharv and Mallikarjun Mansur besides emphasising on the assimilation of different art disciplines coming together and sharing each other richness.

He also raised the issue of media shutting down its window for cultural reporting despite the fact that newspaper produced best of the art reviewers of its time.



Health Dept raids markets
Seizes products for violation of Tobacco Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
A team, led by Nodal Officer for Tobacco Control, raided an outlet in the inner market of Sector 9 and found blatant violations of the section 5 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA)-2003 since it exhibited a glow sign bearing Four Square and also had a display panel for cigarette packages.

On further search, the team found 555 packs of different brands of cigarette without the mandatory pictorial warnings. Most of the seized packs were of imported brands, said the officials of UT Health Department.

A complaint has been registered at Police Station, Sector 3, for further action. According to the rules, no display of tobacco products can be allowed even at the point of sale. There can be only a board of 60cm by 45cm, which can list just the type of tobacco products available there but no brands can be listed.

Another board of the same size bearing the warning message that "Tobacco is dangerous for life, "Tobacco kills" and "Tobacco causes cancer" also has to be displayed in the same language as on the other board.

The team also confiscated hookahs and tobacco molasses from from a tea vendor in the market opposite the bus stand. An FIR has been registered in the Police Station, Sector 17.

Later in the afternoon, on a specific information, a team raided a cabin on the premises of Hotel Aroma in Sector 22 and seized many hookahs and tobacco molasses.



Play tickles funny bone of audience at Tagore Theatre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The 78th performance of comedy play "Gaj Foot Inch" was staged today at Tagore Theatre. Written by Padma Shri awardee KP Saxena and directed by Shyam Juneja Chandigarh of the Institute of Performing Arts (CIPA), the play was laced with many a mirthful moments, which tickled the funny bones of the audience.

It was about Pokhar Mal, a cloth merchant, who wanted his son Tillu to meet Jugni, the daughter of his friend Sai Dass to know each other before their marriage was solemnised.

Tillu who was fully devoted to his business was hesitant to meet Jugni as he had to take delivery of his cloth consignment but after great persuasion he agreed to meet Jugni in a park.

In the first meeting Jugni presented a pen to Tillu as a sign of her attraction towards him. In the next meeting Tillu gave her a twenty-rupee note as a gift and told her that he sold her pen for a profit of five rupees. Jugni was hurt knowing that Tillu did not know how to appreciate her feelings.

Knowing that, Tillu said he was not suitable for her and advised her to choose some other boy for marriage. Jugni appreciated his innocence and told him he possessed a pure heart, which was missing in today's world of materialism. She gave her consent to marry Tillu.

The cast included Vimal Trikha, Tamana Bhasin, Shyam Juneja, Ranjit Roy and Isha Ghagar.



PGI launches HIS module for tracking stocks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
In a significant development, an Online Inventory Module of Hospital Information System (HIS) was launched at the PGIMER today. The whole process of indenting surgical, furniture, chemical, stationary, glassware and pharmacy items and issuing of the items against indent would now be done through this software. Maintenance and replenishment of the inventory using a software would generate alerts to avoid the situations of stocks of vital and essential items getting out of stock.

This would not only reduce paper work but also facilitate timely decision making. Now, all the departments in the PGIMER would use this software to indent various items. This software has been developed by the CDAC.

The PGIMER receives a large number of patients everyday and the patient inflow has been on the rise for the past few years. The move will help the institution meet the increasing demand of services.



Ultrasound centres on Mohali DC’s radar
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 19
The Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Varun Roojam, has directed the Health Department to conduct surprise checks at ultrasound centres in the district to check female foeticide.

The directions were given by the DC at a meeting held with members of the District Health Society here today. He said strict action should be taken against owners of ultrasound centres who violated provisions of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act.

At present there are 46 recognised ultrasound centres in the district, of which five are in the government hospitals. The DC asked health officials to achieve 100 per cent registration under the Mother-Child Tracking System.

Roojam said the district should also achieve 100 per cent coverage during the three-day national pulse polio campaign starting on February 24 when more than 1.37 lakh children in the age group of 0 to 5 would be administered polio drops.

He said action should also be taken against persons who violated the Tobacco Control Act. Regular checking should be carried out and challans be issued to violators, he said.



ASI protests against towing away of car, snubbed by ACP
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 19
Complaining against the towing away of his car landed an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) in trouble when the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) snubbed him and asked him to get his car released following proper procedure.

It was in the morning when ASI Mohan Singh of the Sector-5 police station, on visiting the Panchkula court, reportedly parked his car in the middle of the road. The towing vehicle took away his car, following which Singh had a brawl with the ASI concerned, Ram Kishan.

Singh approached ACP Virender Sangwan and complained to him that while his car was being towed, its bumper and bonnet were damaged. He requested the ACP to take strict action against the policemen concerned. Sangwan, however, took him to task.

“Rules are for everyone to follow. On the one hand, he has made a traffic violation, and on the other hand, he is seeking action against those who stopped him from breaking rules,” said Sangwan.

Referring to the recent case when the personal car of the then Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Parul Kush was towed away for wrong parking, Traffic Inspector Mukesh Kumar said: “When we could tow away the DCP’s personal car for violating rules, then why should ASI Mohan Singh be treated differently?”



Building bylaws
Owners get plaster on boundary walls removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The owners of kanal houses in the northern sectors have started peeling off the plaster on their boundary walls following notices of building violations issued to them by the UT Estate Office.

Plastering boundary walls is against the building bylaws. Citing rules, the UT Estate Office had recently directed the owners to lower the height of the boundary walls of their houses and remove the plaster on them.

The Estate Office has also started putting cross marks on the walls that have been raised beyond the permissible height.

The front boundary walls cannot be raised beyond 3 feet and 8 inches. The height of the boundary walls has been raised in some cases up to eight feet. “Only in the case of back and side boundary walls, the height of up to 5 feet and 11.5 inches is allowed but not in case of front boundary walls,” said officials in the Estate Office.



3 of Mohali family missing for 3 days
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 19
Three members of a family have gone missing under mysterious circumstances for past three days. The police claimed to have recovered a suicide note from Baldeep Singh’s rented accommodation in Phase IV, where he stayed with his wife Taranjit Kaur and mother Raminder Kaur.

The matter came to light when Taranjit’s father, Santokh Singh, called her, but found the phone switched off. His son-in-law’s and Raminder’s phones were also found switched off.

On reaching their house this morning, he found the house locked. On entering through a window, he found the suicide note.

The police said the note stated all the keys of the house were lying in the post box outside the house. On being inquired, one of the neighbours said the family members were seen leaving the house with bags. This week, Baldeep had also sold his two mobile phones.



RTE seats: Only 4 private schools furnish information
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The differences between the UT Education Department and the private unaided schools have widened on the RTE issue. Except four private schools, no other school responded to the department's circular, asking all the private schools to furnish their details of the seats still lying vacant under the 25 per cent RTE quota.

The Central Government has clarified that the nursery classes are out of the ambit of the RTE Act.

The department, through a circular sent last month, had given the schools deadline till February 15 to furnish their details of the vacant RTE seats, which were to be filled by the department through a centralised process.

The poor response of the schools while furnishing the information to the department and the recent Central Government's directions added further complication in the implementation of the RTE Act in Chandigarh.

HS Mamik, president, Independent School Association, said the whole issue regarding filling the 25 per cent entry level seats in private schools from disadvantage and the EWS group has gone into turmoil, especially after the direction from the Central Government.

He said, "Now the issue is not about the seats lying vacant in private schools in Chandigarh because most of us have kept the seats in the nursery class for the RTE Act, which as per the Central Government's directions are excluded from the Act."

"We need a clarification from the Chandigarh administration as to what is the entry level class for the purpose of filling 25 per cent reserved seats under this Act in Chandigarh. The Central Government clearly said that as per the Section 13 of the Act only children between the age group 6-14 years are covered under the provision of free and compulsory elementary education while children below that age are excluded," he said.

The department officials said the recent situation had added confusion.

Officials said that only 4 out of the 70 odd private schools furnished the information about their vacant RTE seats. Stern action would be taken against those who would fail to abide by it. The department is planning to fill these vacant seats by locating the deserving candidates on their own by March 31.

The Delhi High Court in its judgment today allowed the plea of the Centre that the RTE Act was applicable to a child between the age group of 6 to 14 years. The court said the states were free to formulate policies to govern pre-school (nursery) admission. The court also upheld the validity of two government notifications that gave powers to private unaided schools to formulate their own criteria.



Board to rectify errors in Class X book
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 19
The agitation of an assistant professor of Government College, Sector 46, against mistakes in the Punjab School Education Board’s (PSEB) syllabus book, bore fruits with the board finally agreeing to rectify the errors.

The assistant professor, Pundit Rao, who had been agitating in front of the PSEB’s office for the past couple of days, today staged a street play by hiring some labourers to attract attention of the authorities.

His efforts paid off as the PSEB chairperson Tajinder Kaur met him today and assured him of taking immediate measures.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Tajinder Kaur admitted that there were some mistakes in the first two paragraphs of Lesson 5 of the social studies (part I) book of class X. “I have ordered the officials concerned to rectify the mistakes immediately,” she said.

Earlier, Pundit Rao claimed that he had to avail of casual leave in order to stage the protest.

Pundit Rao, who belongs to Karnataka, claimed that he has special love for Punjabi language. “There are three major mistakes in the first two paragraphs of a chapter in the social studies textbook, and I can’t tolerate students getting wrong information,” said Rao.

Giving details about the mistakes, Pundit Rao said, “In the first line of the chapter, Punjabi word ‘rashi’ has been used instead of ‘matra’.

The sentence structure of second and third lines of the first paragraph is also wrong. In the last but one line of the second paragraph, the figure should be 30 million instead of 3 million.”



Bhupinder is PU NSUI chief

Chandigarh, February 19
The National Students' Union of India (NSUI) today announced Bhupinder Singh as the new party chairman to lead the party in the coming academic session as well as students' election at PU.

The panel of other office bearers of the party were also announced today which was approved by the office of the NSUI headquarters in Delhi.

Among the new panel of, Manoj Lubana has been elected as party president, Jeevanjot Singh as president of the campus, Sanjeev Sharma president (executive committee), Sukhdeep Singh Sukhi as president (all colleges) and Bikramjit Singh Jattana as the chief patron.

In the girl section, Aditi Sheoran from UILS has been elected as vice-president of the NSUI, Meenakshi Sharma (botany) and Jasleen Kaur (women studies) as NSUI girls' in-charge and Gagan Kaur (Women Studies) as NSUI girls' hostel in-charge.

The announcement to this effect was made by Brinder Singh Dhillon along with Harpreet Singh Multani and Mandeep Sandhu (vice-president, Chandigarh). The NSUI team emphasised that they would continue to work for students' welfare and will fight for students rights in their capacity. The list of other office bearers will be announced soon. — TNS



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