C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Illegal turns ‘legal’
Bansal announces water, sewerage facilities to residents living outside 'lal dora'
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Much to the chagrin of the UT Administration, Union Railway Minister and Member of Parliament Pawan Bansal today announced sewerage and water supply facilities to residents living outside ‘lal dora’. The Administration had declared these constructions as encroachments.

Bansal announced this while addressing the grievances of residents of Deep Complex in Halo Majra today. Officials of the MC and the Administration, who were also accompanying the minister, watched helplessly.

Eyeing vote bank, Bansal said: “We understand the difficulties faced by the residents in the absence of water and sewerage facilities. The MC will soon table an agenda for approving the work in the area,” said Bansal.

Mayor Subhash Chawla, UT Urban Planning Secretary VK Singh and Municipal Commissioner VP Singh accompanied Bansal.

The move defies the notification issued by the UT Administration in 2009. In 2007, the Administration had decided to provide basic amenities to the settlers who had raised unauthorised structures beyond 'lal dora'.

In 2009, the Administration realized that the decision was encouraging unauthorised construction on the city’s periphery and a notification was issued which superseded the earlier notifications (issued in 2007).

Asked whether the move would defy the 2009 notification, UT Urban Planning Secretary VK Singh said: “The UT Administration has decided to provide water and sewerage facilities only. The regularisation may be considered after carrying out a safety audit and a detailed planning on lines of building bylaws of the Administration. All violations and unsafe structures will have to be retrofitted or modified to make them safe.”

Regarding the regularisation of Deep Complex, Bansal said the officials were trying to include Deep Complex and other extended villages in the master plan.

UT officials had stated that the withdrawal of the Periphery Act was leading to haphazard growth in the area and in most of the cases, it was not an extension of village 'abadi', but illegal constructions by migrant settlers. 

Deep Complex de-notified by MC, Admn

The Administration transferred five villages to the MC in 2007 and in 2008, Deep Complex was de-notified and merged with Hallo Majra, which was under the MC

In 2009, the Administration again de-notified the transfer of the revenue land to the MC under the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control Act, 1952, following which the residents living outside ‘lal dora’ again came under the purview of the administration.

In 2011, residents of Deep Complex were not allowed to cast their votes during the MC elections as the area was not under the jurisdiction of the MC

Poor roads

Railway Minister Pawan Bansal and senior officials of the Administration and the MC on Sunday had a firsthand account of the poor condition of streets in the area. The streets were waterlogged following rain. 



RLA says no to old registration numbers 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Proud owners of vehicles with old registration numbers have now lost the privilege of using these on new expensive high-end cars or sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

The Chandigarh Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) has discontinued the practice of allowing vehicle owners to retain the old registration numbers (allotted prior to 1989) on their new vehicles.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin said: “The number can only be used on the vehicle to which it has been assigned.”

Vehicle owners often retain old numbers for religious or numerological reasons. It has also been seen that the two to three decade old vanity numbers, especially the single digit numbers, are sold at a premium.

The move has been necessitated as the RLA has been auctioning vanity numbers at a premium. On the other hand, the single digit numbers with initial alphabets like CH, CHA, CHC, CHN and CHM are sold along with vehicles at a premium. Now, the owner of the vehicle will not be allowed to retain or sell the registration number.

“The practice was to sell the vehicle along with the vanity number. The buyer used to get the number transferred. The loophole allowed the vehicle owners to sell the number,” said officials.

RLA officials said the Deputy Commissioner had stopped giving permission to vehicle owners to retain the old registration numbers.

Moreover, the practice of retaining old registration numbers will also discontinue once the RLA starts affixing high security registration number plates. 

Scramble for vanity numbers

The move has been necessitated as the RLA has been auctioning vanity numbers at a premium. On the other hand, the single digit numbers with initial alphabets like CH, CHA, CHC, CHN and CHM are sold along with vehicles at a premium. 



Check this out: A party on cricket ground
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The Sunday evening friendly cricket match between the IAS officers of Punjab and Chandigarh at the Sector 16 cricket stadium, witnessing the top officials savouring liquor on the ground, has courted a controversy.

While VK Singh, Finance-cum-Sports Secretary, said the association had taken permission for serving liquor to its members, district sports officer KS Bharti said rules did not permit anyone to drink or serve alcohol inside the stadium.

He said a stadium is a temple of sports meant for polishing the skills of cricketers.

On the platter was Black Label whisky, corona beer and "golgappas" filled with vodka. They were seen consuming liquor on the ground.

All this went on right in front of the manager and other officials of the stadium.

Officials of the UT Administration and the excise department claimed that the permission to serve liquor had been granted. But as liquor was served on the ground, it invited severe criticism from sports lovers.

The friendly match was organised by the IAS Officer Association, Punjab.

"I am not aware of the issue," said KS Bharti, district sports officer.

As per rules, the stadia can be only used for promoting sports or organising games, but the evening witnessed a cross-section of IAS officers consuming liquor under the floodlights as tables to serve the liquor were laid out on the ground.

An official claimed, "How can we oppose anything when it involves the top officials of the city? They have arranged everything from food to liquor. We have no role to play."

"It is just like a get-together and we are enjoying," said an official, unaware of the rules.

The Sector 16 stadium is one of the oldest cricket stadia of City Beautiful and is home turf to players, including Kapil Dev, Yograj Singh,Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Mongia."

"It is sad that the ground was used for partying," said Prashant Kumar, a cricketer.

Another player Aman Aggarwal said," The stadium does not belong to any local association. It belongs to the Chandigarh sports department and should only be used to promote sporting events."


Rail Budget: A modern railway station envisaged
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
In the upcoming Railway Budget, the authorities are hopeful of getting a green signal to a number of projects.

The authorities have mooted a new look for the city railway station. As per one of the proposals, eight rooms to accommodate the administrative staff are to be constructed on the Panchkula side.

Railway officials said of the eight rooms, four will be used as waiting rooms, two each for passengers in the general category and those travelling in first class.

The remaining rooms will be used by the administrative staff, including the deputy station superintendent and ticketing staff.

Two more yards (stabling line) have been proposed by the authorities.

The authorities have mooted a multi-level parking at the railway station with a state-of-art shopping complex and food joint.

They have recommended more yards as the Union Railway Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, is mulling over introducing more trains from the city.

At the Panchkula side of the station, there is only one waiting room and one ticketing counter.

A senior official said the work pertaining to the installation of escalators on platform numbers 2 and 3, construction of new toilet blocks at the station along with the newly designed waiting rooms had been started.

Three new parcel rooms have been constructed at the extreme end of the station.

It is learnt that the platform number 6 is proposed to be constructed on the Panchkula side, therefore a major part of the existing structure will have to be demolished.

The officials were mulling over opening a shopping centre on the station premises for which a number of teams have already visited the site to recommend a location.

Pending projects

Renovation of the station

Management of sheds, where goods are kept, and multi-model logistics parks

Integration of RPF helpline with all-India passenger helpline

Regional cuisine at affordable rates

Coin operated ticket vending machine

Welfare of railway employees

System to accommodate passengers on waiting list on alternative trains

Residents pin hopes on minister

Allocating funds for stepping up security,, proper sanitation, maintenance of cleanliness in coaches should top the priority list of the minister. There should be a permanent ambulance facility at the station. A direct train to Shirdi from the city should be introduced. — Amandeep Singh, member, Youth Innovative Society

As the Railway Minister is from North India, the unemployed have pinned their hopes on him. The minister is expected to announce a bottling plant (Rail Neer) or a coach for Chandigarh, which may generate employment. The Ministry should set strict norms to inspect the quality of food being served on trains. — Anshu Chawla, lecturer

Instead of introducing new trains, the Ministry should focus on improving the quality of food and bottled water served on trains. If better services and amenities are provided to passengers, why will they mind spending more? Health services need to be improved. —Nikhil Manhas, student

The Ministry should also think about the welfare of the railway staff. Those residing in the Railway Colony are deprived of basic amenities. Around 400 acres is lying vacant near the station. The Ministry should construct a community centre there. A direct train to Agra from the city should be introduced. —Parkash Gandhi, senior citizen

For the past five years, the business class has been demanding direct trains to Metro cities. The number of trains to Mumbai, Coachiwali and Madras should be increased. — Jatinder Bhatia, businessman

Though the authorities have mooted a number of projects, a little has been done to execute these. New trains to Jammu should also be introduced.— Shailendra Singh,
an employee

The Ministry should install a coin vending machine at the railway station so that passengers are not put to inconvenience. Steps should be taken to start e-ticketing in various banks and Sampark Centres. A train to the South should be introduced.— RL Moudgil, an employee

With an increase in the number of goods trains in the region, the Railways should upgrade platforms, where goods are loaded and unloaded. Security should be tightened. Drinking water should be made available for passengers. — Akshay Verma,
managing director of a private company

The Railways should introduce high-speed trains connecting with Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur.~— Amrit Bolaria, former councillor



Harrowing time for passengers
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
It was a harrowing time for over 30 passengers at the Chandigarh airport.

They were taken aback on learning that their luggage was unloaded at the Delhi airport and had to spend a night at the city airport.

These passengers boarded the Chandigarh inbound SpiceJet flight No. SG 152 last evening at 4 pm from Srinagar, but the flight was diverted to Delhi due to inclement weather

When they reached Chandigarh last evening at 8 pm, they were shocked to find that the airlines had unloaded their luggage at the Delhi airport.

A passenger, Sandeep Singh, said while the luggage came by road this morning, they had to spend a sleepless night at the airport.

The passengers included children and women.

"We were not offered any hotel accommodation and were made to suffer the whole night," he said.

An Ambala resident, Ajay Mehta, said those residing in the city left the airport, but those coming from far-off places were made to bear the brunt.

"But the officials seemed least concerned. They didn't even give us an assurance to deliver our luggage at our residence," said Ajay.

They said the luggage was sent by road at 6 am today.

Manmeet Singh, local manager, SpiceJet, said the airlines was not responsible for providing lodging facilities to the passengers as there was no such policy. 



Rose Festival a gala affair 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The third and the final day of the Rose Festival witnessed a huge turnout.

Chaos and commotion remained the order of the day.

Parking was the major problem that led to traffic jams around Sector 17 and Sector 16.

A long queue of vehicles could be seen in the sector.

"We did not expect such a heavy rush," said a police officer manning traffic.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda said efforts were made to ensure the safety of residents.

A cultural function, performances and competitions marked the day. About 500 children participated in the Spot Painting Competition Rose Festival, 2013.

In Antakshari, Azad and Varsha (Government College for Education, Sector 20) won the first prize while Simrati Tiwari and Monika Gahlot from the Government College for Girls, Sector 11) secured the second position.

Mayor Shubash Chawla distributed prizes.

The performances of comedian Rajiv Thakur and singer Kunal Ganjewal were the main attraction of the day. Mr and Ms Rose contest and a fashion show were also held.



Liquor prices go down as licensees resort to panic sale 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
With just over two months left for the financial year to end and liquor licensees yet to sell 40 per cent of the allocated quota, the licensees in the city are resorting to panic sale.

A number of liquor vends have put up banners, offering up to 30 per cent discount on the counter price of different brands. A liquor vend in Sector 42 is offering a bottle of Royal Stag for as low as Rs 210 and another vend in Sector 17 is offering the same brand for Rs 230 a bottle. The minimum retail price of the brand is Rs 290 a bottle.

Another brand, Blenders Pride is being sold for Rs 330 against the MRP of Rs 400.

The excise department has asked the erring liquor vend licensees to deposit 100 per cent of the licence fee by February-end. The licensees have been delaying the payment of the fee.

As a warning to the licensees, the excise department has already closed 13 vends for an interim period only to be allowed to open later on a condition that the licence fee will be deposited with the department.

Sources said though the total amount from all the licensees ran into Rs 23 crore, the amount was being deposited in instalments. The total licence fee from 152 vends, IMFL and country, comes to Rs 155 crore.

The contractors lamented that they were finding it hard to deposit the fee as they have to follow the policy formed by the department, as per which, a liquor contractor has to lift around 19,000 cartons of the IMFL in a year. But the actual counter sale does not exceed 8,000 cartons. A contractor has to pay a fee of Rs 200 per carton for not lifting the same. As per the current policy, the annual quota of country made liquor is 27 lakh proof litre (PL) and of IMFL at 2 crore PL. 



Rs 2.76 cr sought from GMADA 
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, February 24
To minimise water shortage during the summer season, the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation has sought Rs 2.76 crore from the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to raise the functional efficiency of the Sector 57 waterworks.

Around 5 million gallons per day waterworks was set up by the GMADA but at present its functional capacity is reported to be not more than 3.5 to 4 million gallons per day.

According to sources, the department in a letter to the GMADA Chief Engineer had stated that the funds were needed for the arrangement of spare machinery set at the waterworks and to replace the old control sluice valves.

Sources said another major problem plaguing the town's water supply network is the heavy leakage in a 1.5-km-long pipeline from the Phase X underground reservoir to Phase IX.

It is reported that at least 15 per cent of the Mohali water supply is being wasted due to the leakage at different points along the pipeline.

It is estimated that Rs 64 lakh will be required by the Water Supply Department to set the pipeline in order.

When asked about steps being taken to meet the expected water shortage in the summer months, Executive Engineer, Water Supply and Sanitation, RP Gupta said machinery was being replaced at the Kajauli waterworks . This involved the installation of three pumps, 12 big sluice valves and 20 new air valves. The work was expected to be over by March-end.

Gupta said the renovation was also on at the town’s waterworks.

This would include improving transformers and control panels and the repair of faulty motors.

The installation of filter media at the waterworks would largely end the turbidity of water.

Besides, the changing of machinery at some of the 31 tubewells functional in Mohali would increase their water discharge.

Gupta said he had held a meeting with the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation representatives about the problem of frequent disruption of power supply at the Kajauli waterworks.

The diesel engines there were not very effective. Generator sets were required to overcome the problem, which would involve an expenditure of Rs 14.66 crore on the part of Chandigarh.

Major problems

Heavy leakage in a 1.5-km-long pipeline from the Phase X underground reservoir to Phase IX

At least 15 per cent of the Mohali water supply is being wasted due to the leakage at different points along the pipeline



Mega mock drill in tricity turned out to be a near disaster 

Issue: Despite spending Rs 1.3 crore, employing more than 5,000 persons and after taking more than a year and a half to prepare for the mock drill on Febriary 13, glaring gaps in the mega drill, exposing the lack of coordination, planning and execution in case of a real time eventuality. What actually needs to be done to gear up for a real disaster.


Mock drill was a disaster in itself. Inadequately equipped, ill trained and improperly motivated volunteers who utterly failed to perform a much hyped mock drill of disaster management. The reasons of this gross mismanagement are not hard to find out as the Chandigarh administration believed more in publicity than in performance. Advance publicity brought more on lookers than the performers and in many cases the un-organised crowd was an obstruction in orderly and swift execution of mock drill which looked more like a free tamasha.

S C Luthra, Manimjra

No coordination among agencies

The one and a half year spent by 5000 employees for the preparation of the mock drill went up in flames as there was no coordination between various govermental agencies. The fire brigade failed in its primary task of rescuing the trapped people due to the earthquake. Even the ambulances did not reach the affected sites in time, as they got stuck up in the traffic. There should be a marked lane on every road side for the ambulances and fire tenders to pass at the time of natural or man-made disaster.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Things to learn

There is no doubt that the mega drill organised by the authorities could have been executed much better with close co-ordination. But let us appreciate the fact that it was the first time that this kind of drill was tried on a large scale. It is the general public who needed this exercise more than anyone but still the participant ratio of the organisers was much higher the public. We must own our responsibilities.

Shashank Parmar, Chandigarh

Need of permanent cell

Chandigarh Administration has spent a lot of money on mock drill but in vain. The administration should form a permanent cell in this regard. The concerned department should obey the order of the cell without any wastage of time. The administration should provide insurance as well as all types of facilities to their workers.

Sumesh Kr. Badhwar, Mohali

Public participation should be encouraged

Mock drills should be organised in participation with general public. There should be no scope of glaring gaps in mega drills. Secondly, a survivalist kit should be kept ready at all times apart other from tools and gears, required in case of an emergency.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali.

Force should be equipped with tools and techniques

The disasater management force must adequately strengthen itself with all the life saving tools and techniques and should have knowledge about handling such tools. Public participation in the rescue operation is necessary to ensure a quick response to disaster and rescue operation. Everyone must build mutual confidence to protect against disaster and to mitigate all hazards of that.


Well equipped re-drill is a solution

The start of any exercise is never perfect and it always carries flaws even if utmost care is taken. The perfection comes only by learning and not by pouring more and more money. A thorough scrutiny must be conducted as to why and what led to the flaws like the lack of coordination, planning and execution, and a re-drill is the solution to check that any unforeseen eventuality is met with full control and confidence.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Ontario, Canada.

The drill exposed the realities

A reality check on some of the Municipal Corporation fire and emergency services, given to the citizens of Chandigarh and also on so called world class railway station, brought out many lacunae in the usage of firefighting equipment and violations of norms. But when the big day arrived, the mock disaster drill here itself turned out to be a mockery. Brought to public notice months well in advance but the government agencies, officials and other staff still failed to deliver adequately when it came to the actual performance.

The drill exposed how ill-equipped and ill-prepared these agencies were to face a disaster like a big earthquake. The response time of services like police, fire brigade and ambulance was grossly wanting and staff was found to be lax at various places where the mock drill was carried out.

Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

Lack infrastructure

It is unfortunate that a man made exercise itself became a disaster owing to several infirmities which included lack of coordination with various agencies involved in the mock drill, failure of sirens which did not work, ambulances could not reach the required spots.

There is a greater need to have an effective disaster management control system. Though under the Disaster Management Act envisages state disaster management authorities in each state to ensure a holistic and integrated approach for disaster management, it has been observed in the past that UT was not fully equipped, neither with the technical know nor with the infrastructure.

Instead of playing with the lives of people, the administration should wake up as to avoid a lot many man-made tragedies that happen repeatedly because of lack of check on the part of our administrative set up.

S. K. Khosla, Chandigarh

Mockery of a mock drill

Even after several months of preparation, meetings and nearly Rs.1.2 crore expenditure, the mock drill itself turned out to be a mockery and disaster. Brought to public notice months in advance, government agencies, officials and other staff failed to deliver adequately when it came to the crunch. The mock drill on Feb 13 itself exposed how ill-equipped and ill-prepared these agencies were to face a disaster like a big earthquake. There is no justification for such a huge expenditure which could have been used for many other works. A thorough enquiry must be made and the persons responsible for such a disaster must be fined. This was a sheer wastage of public money which should not happen in future.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Attempt to aware public

The mega mock drill exercise that was organised in tri-city in the presence of a thousand of citizens. was an attemp to aware the people in case of such emergencies.

Sahil Garg, Chandigarh

A futile exercise

In the mock drill, everything was a mess with utter confusion and chaos. A lack of coordination between the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the local partners was exposed. During the mock drill the response time, communication, coordination and skills of these emergency support functionaries have to be in sync. Instead of wasting public money on such futile exercises, all the wanting areas must be carefully studied and then worked upon.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Open house question

The recent incident of violence at Chandigarh Golf Club has put a blot on the gentleman’s game. The incident involved senior members of the club, portraying a wrong picture of the game. What needs to be done to prevent recurrence of such an incident in future. Write your suggestions at openhouse@tribunemail.com



1.37 lakh children to be administered polio drops
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 24
Over 1.37 lakh children between the age of 0-5 years in the district would be administered during the three-day pulse polio drive, commenced here.

Giving details, Dr Rita Bhardwaj, Mohali civil surgeon said that as many as 1,080 teams and 540 booths had been set up for the purpose. Apart from that 43 transit teams, 61 mobile teams and 22 transit booths were also on the job to achieve the target.

For the past three years, no case of pulse polio has surfaced in the district, claimed the authorities.



Experts dwell on brain infections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
On the second day of the Continuous Medical Education (CME) Programme, there were several experts from the Advanced Pediatric Centre, PGI, who spoke about common day-to-day issues that concern Pediatricians and parents.

Prof Meenu Singh, Head of the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Unit at PGI, talked about the treatment of asthma in outdoor patients. She said that the symptoms of asthma were repeated episodes of cough, breathing difficulty and wheezing sound from the chest. The successful treatment of asthma requires a long-term partnership between doctor and patient. The preferred device for giving asthma medicines is a pressurised inhaler (puffer) with a spacer. The stepwise and systematic treatment of asthma results in a good quality of life.

Dr Mandeep Walia, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at PGI, spoke about recurrent wheezing in preschool children. Wheezing is a whistling sound that comes from the chest. Dr Walia emphasized that not all wheezing was asthma. Viral cough and cold regurgitation or accidental inhalation of a foreign body into the airway are common causes of wheezing.

Prof Sunit Singhi, Head of the Pediatric Intensive Care unit in PGI, spoke about the treatment of brain infections in children, the most common of which was meningitis. Various doctors from the region joined the CME at PGIMER.



Police team sent to Bathinda to trace missing family
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 24
The three-member family of Phase 4, which has gone missing from their residence for past few days after leaving a suicide note, is said to be alright.

The complainant in the case Santokh Singh said that he received a call from his daughter Taranjot Kaur, a member of the family in question, today.

"My daughter made a call to me and said that she and her family members were fine. They would return soon", said police, quoting Santokh Singh.

The police said that the tower location of Taranjit's call showed that they were in Bathinda.

"We have sent a team there to bring the family back", said the police. Notably, Taranjit Kaur along with her husband Baldeep Singh and mother-in-law Raminder Kaur, had left their house about 10 days ago.

The matter came to light when Taranjit's father Santokh Singh had found the mobile phones of his daughter and son-in-law switched off on February 19.

During the search of the locked house of the family, a suicide note was also found in the bedroom of the house.



Residents protest against assn 
Say children not allowed to play in park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Residents of Colony No. 4 protest against the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) of the area for stopping children to play in a park. The protesters blocked the main road near the colony.

The incident took place at 1.30 pm when the RWA representatives asked the children not to play in the area and even called the local police for the purpose. Miffed over the issue, the local residents and children blocked the road to express their resentment. The RWA representatives said the Municipal Corporation had handed over the park to the association for maintenance.

The children were stopped as the park needs to be modified. The civic body had recently handed over the park to RWA to maintain it. "The purpose of upgrading the park is to provide an open and environment-friendly area to the residents," said Shashi Shankar Tiwari, one of the representatives of the colony.

There are more than 40,000 residents living in the area. Area councillor Satish Kainth also reached the spot later and assured the protesters that the issue would be taken up with the authorities. 



Brawl: Golf clubs recovered

Chandigarh, February 24
The police today recovered the golf clubs that were used during a brawl that took place on February 16 at the Chandigarh Golf Club in Sector 6.

The statements of two members, who were involved in the brawl, were examined by the police today. DPS (East) Vijay Kumar said the golf clubs had been recovered.

The police had booked former athlete Milkha Singh along with three others, including former Punjab Chief Secretary RS Mann, Congress MLA from Punjab Randeep Singh and former captain of the Golf Club SS Laihal and Lieutenant Colonel (retd) Vijay Singh Sandhu. The police today examined the statements of Sandhu and Laihal. — TNS



2 test positive for swine flu

Chandigarh, February 24
Two more patients tested positive for swine flu at the PGIMER on Sunday. The two hail from Patiala and Ambala. They have been shifted to Max Hospital in Mohali. — TNS



Close shave for four youths
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 24
Four youths escaped unhurt after their car turned turtle near old Panchkula this afternoon. The youths, between 20-25 year of age were going from Ambala to Kalka, when their car overturned near old Panchkula.

The youth driving the car lost balance, in order to save a man who was riding a bicycle. He applied hand -brakes at a high speed that resulted in accident.



Chandigarh scan

Training programme

A one-day training programme of the technical associates was organised by the Pharmacovigilance and Resource Centre at the PGI. The training focused on the reporting of adverse effects of medicines. PGI director Prof YK Chawla formally initiated the programme, underscoring the importance of pharmacovigilance in today’s healthcare setup.

Office opened

Religare Health Insurance formally announced its entry in the region with the inauguration of its first office at Sector 20. The company has appointed 120 agents to cover the city.

NSS camp

A seven-day NSS camp was inaugurated at the Aryans College of Education. The opening ceremony took place at the panchayat ghar in Nepra village, Rajpura. More than 200 villagers attended the function. During the camp, the NSS volunteers will perform community service by cleaning the village, educating the children and plantation of saplings.

Job fair

A two-day mega job festival at the Indo-Global College saw 252 students securing a job. Over 3,500 students attended the event in which over 25 companies participated. In another job fest at the Quest Group of Colleges, students were offered handsome pay packages. Over 3,000 students from over 150 institutions of Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab and New Delhi participated in the fair.

Cyber crime

“Every day we receive 20-25 complaints of cyber crime in Punjab and the conditions is alarming,” said Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, Deputy Inspector General of Police, State Cyber Crime Cell, at the national seminar on “Cyber Dynamics: Crimes & Counter Measures” at Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran. Banking transactions, credit card frauds and fake profiles are major cyber crimes, he said. Internet users should be careful, he said.


Dr SS Chahal, Vice-Chancellor, Desh Bhagat University, Mandi Gobindgarh, has been nominated as the chairman of the research advisory committee for three years by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, New Delhi. The eleven-member high-power committee will review and plan work being carried out on crops of economic significance.

Blood donation

A blood donation camp was organised by the Lions Club of Panchkula at Nada Sahib Gurdwara. A number of volunteers visited the venue to donate blood.

Aadhaar cards

A camp for the preparation of Aadhaar Cards is being held at the community centre of the Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, from February 25. The residents who are yet to prepare their cards can avail of this opportunity. The officials will be present from 9 am to 5 pm. — TNS



MEd to be discontinued at Dev Samaj college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Panjab University (PU) Syndicate, after a long debate, gave its nod to the discontinuation of the MEd course at the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 46, from the coming academic session.

The college management had decided to discontinue the course following legal complications arising from the violation of building bylaws.

The issue, upon coming for discussion before the Syndicate, witnessed the Syndics divided over it. Although it was decided to discontinue the course, a committee, comprising of Syndicate members, was formed to take up the issue with the UT Administration. Syndicate member Jagwant Singh said the committee would take up the issue with the administration, seeking relaxation for the educational institution.

Presently, there are only two colleges in the city offering the course, including Government College of Education, Sector 20, besides the university.

There are 35 seats each in the colleges and PU, for which over thousand students apply every year. With the discontinuation of the course at Dev Samaj College of Education, only 70 MEd seats will be left in the city.

The Syndicate also decided that disaffiliated colleges will have to submit the requisite affiliation fee along with the applicable fee while applying for restoration of the affiliation. 



Change in nomenclature for PhD students at PU
To be called senior research scholars after 2 years of registration; will help in getting scholarships on time
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
As per the new nomenclature adopted by the Panjab University Syndicate, PhD students, after two years of registration, will be designated as senior research scholars.

On the recommendation of a committee, the Syndicate replaced the words ‘enrolment’ and ‘registration’ with ‘registration’ and ‘confirmation of registration’, respectively, in the rules and guidelines for PhD.

PU officials said as per the UGC guidelines, a junior research fellow could be upgraded to a senior research fellow after two years of registration; however, due to the existing nomenclature, research scholars at PU were unable to avail of this provision.

Jagwant Singh, a Syndic, said the research scholars who were entitled to get the UGC scholarship faced inconvenience as the commission released the scholarship amount after the registration of students. “In PU, presently, a research scholar gets registered after the submission of synopsis, and does not receive the scholarship till then,” he said.

Other Syndicate decisions

The Syndicate also decided to do away with the practice of giving weightage to the work experience of candidates while finalising the merit list for the admission to the off-campus MBA course. Acting on the recommendation of the postgraduate board of studies in business management and commerce, the 20 per cent marks allocated to the work experience were allocated to the written paper. The paper will now carry 100 marks, instead of 80.

Two certificates after 11 semesters

Students admitted to the five-year integrated bachelor of engineering (chemical with MBA) from 2008 to 2012 will be given two certificates after the completion of 10 semesters. However, those who will be admitted from 2013 onwards will be given two certificates only after the completion of 11 semesters as per the AICTE guidelines.

Rs 1.6 crore for workers’ quarters in hostels

The Syndicate allocated Rs 1.6 crore from the development fund to the construction of quarters for the mess, canteen and other workers at the PU hostels.



ncert classes XI & Xii
Bloopers besiege bio books
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The stomach has only three major parts… Duodenum is U-shaped… Our lungs remove 18 litres of carbon dioxide per day.

The above bloopers in the NCERT’s Class XI biology textbook are enough to make Henry Gray, father of the human anatomy, to turn in his grave. For the country’s premier academic body, however, it continues to be business as usual.

“The NCERT biology book needs to be revised as soon as possible, as these are gross mistakes that can not be tolerated,” said Dr Anjali Aggarwal, assistant professor, department of anatomy, the PGI.

The book mentions cardiac, fundic and pyloric portion as the three parts of the stomach. Aggarwal, however, notes that the stomach consists of a fourth part -- body -- as well. “It is a known fact that that body is the biggest part of the stomach, and duodenum is C-shaped. These mistakes are shocking and are not expected to be there in such important textbooks,” she said.

Errors like these are plenty in both Classes XI XII biology textbooks. The Ganong Textbook of Physiology, for example, mentions lungs remove 288 litres of carbon dioxide daily, a figure much larger that that stated in the NCERT book.

In chapter Breathing and Exchange of Gases in the NCERT’s Class XI biology book, it is mentioned that nasopharynx opens through the glottis, whereas experts clarify it is the laryngopharynx that opens into the glottis. Books including Snell’s Clinical Anatomy for Medical Students as well as Diseases of Ear, Nose and Throat by PL Dhingra confirm the same.

In another chapter, Biological Classification, chlamydomonas and chlorella are stated as parts of

Kingdom protista, but put under algae in the next chapter, Plant Kingdom.

In the diagram of heart on page no 283 of the Class XI book, the structure labeled as pulmonary vein is actually a pulmonary trunk or artery.

According to the Class XII biology textbook, sunflower is an example of the albuminous seed. As per several books, including Angiosperms by GL Chopra and A Textbook of Botany (Angiosperms) by Singh, Pande and Jain, it has an exalbuminous seed.

In chapter entitled Structure Organisation in Animals in Class XI book, it is written that female cockroach produces 9-10 eggs, but at the end of the chapter it mentions female cockroach produces 10-40 eggs. In the same chapter, at one place it is mentioned that ovaries of a cockroach have 2-6 abdominal segments and at the end it states 4-5-6 segmentation.

City-based PMT trainer and biology expert Dr Arvind Goyal said the list of mistakes in these textbooks is endless. “I made a long list of technical errors and mailed them to the authorities concerned several times, but no step was taken,” he said.

He said in chapter Reproduction in Organism of Class XII biology textbook, the haploid chromosome number in onion is given as 16, but the Genetics by Strickberger mentions it as the diploid number of chromosomes. “The Class XI book has been reprinted five times since its first publication in February 2006, but mistakes are repeated as usual,” said Dr Arvind.

A student, Anant Sharma, said since over 90 per cent of the biology syllabus in the PMT exam was based on the NCERT books, students were at risk because of these mistakes. The Central Board of Secondary Education should intervene in this matter, he said.

Jaishree Sharma, professor and head of the department of education in science and mathematics, NCERT, told this correspondent that rectification of all mistakes was being taken on the priority basis, and the new edition would not carry errors. 

contentious Questions in Medical entrance exams based on NCERT books


Q. In the five-kingdom Classification, Chlamydomonas and Chlorella have been included in:

(a) Plantae (b) Monera (c) Protista (d) Algae

Note: (a), (c) and (d) are the correct answers as per the NCERT textbook. A city-based student, Ira, who cleared the All-India PMT last year with 62nd rank, said she had given option A as the answer, but feared it was marked wrong.


Q. Carrier ions like Na+ facilitate the absorption of substances like;

(a) Fructose and some amino acids (b) Amino acids and Glucose

(c) Glucose and fatty acids (d) Fatty acids and Glycerol

Note: As per the NCERT textbook, (a) is the correct answer, but according to textbooks of physiology, such as, Guyton and Ganong, (b) is the correct answer, because the transport of fructose is independent of Na+.



From schools

Students of Woodland House School perform during the annual day function at Tagore Theatre in Sector 18, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: S Chandan (L) and Children participate in a fancy dress competition at Manav Mangal High School in Sector 21, Chandigarh. A Tribune photograph

Prize distribution

Chandigarh: Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior, Sector 33-D, organised the annual prize distribution ceremony. RK Saboo, chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, and other dignitaries were welcomed by principal Taruna Vashisht. The ceremony commenced with lighting of lamp, followed by a prayer. The vitality and energy of the young students was presented through a karate-do practice. The students presented dances on a medley of songs.

Parents’ day

The kindergarten and preparatory classes of St John's High School, Sector 26, celebrated the annual parents’ day today. The theme of the show was “seasons in the sun”. It comprised of songs and dance performances. Students also staged three English skits, marked by outstanding dialogue delivery.

Mock fire drill

A mock drill on fire safety was carried out in Government Model High School, Sector 22-C, in presence of headmistress Bharti Sharma. The drill was conducted by chief officer ML Sharma along with Surjit Singh and Satvinder Singh, leading fireman, of Sector 22. Training on was also imparted to students and the staff.

Class XII students bid adieu

Class XII students were given a farewell at Shivalik Publi,c School 41. Students showcased their talent and various dances and games were organised. Mr and Ms Shivalik contest was held, in which Yuvraj and Garima emerged victorious. Other titles were announced which included Ms Elegance, Ms Charming, Ms Beautiful Smile and Mr and Ms Punctual. This was followed by thanksgiving by the head boy and head girl of the school. DS Bedi, director, motivated the students to face challenges with grit and determination. Students were given mementoes and the function concluded with a grand lunch.

Kite flying

A kite flying activity was conducted for the junior wing students of the Chandigarh Baptist Senior Secondary School, Sector 45-D. Colourful kites were drawn by Classes I and II students and decorated by Class III students. Students from classes I to V flew these kites. All the students gathered in the school playground to enjoy the colourful event. The students were told the significance of this day by the vice-principal, Nalini Joseph.

Dance competition

Panchkula: The Sky School, Sector 21, organised ‘Bedazzled 2013’, a dance competition for the tricity-based children. The theme of the event was “Let’s do it the Gangnam Style. Children competed in four age groups: 2-3, 3-4, 4-6 and 6-8. Gladrags Little Miss India 2013 Karuna Singh was the special guest. The children surprised everyone with their dancing skill and confidence. Mrs Bhandari, the principal, appreciated the performance. She said such events developed confidence and self esteem of children.

Birth anniversary

The birth anniversary of Lord Baden Powel, founder of Scouts and Guides Movement, was celebrated at KV No.1 Chandi Mandir as Thinking Day. Various activities including rangoli making, fancy dress, memory retention, declamation, and best out-of-waste competitions and track events were held. MS Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner, KVS (RO), Chandigarh, and Divisional Chief Commissioner, Bharat Scouts and Guides, Chandigarh Division, lit the bonfire amid singing of the camp fire Song.


The students of Manav Mangal School, Sector 11, have bagged the running trophy of the declamation contest organized by the Forum of Senior Citizens in Education. The contest was held at Jainendra Gurukul School. Twenty-eight students from eight schools participated in the contest. Students spoke on topics relating to women empowerment, education of girls, information technology and vegetarianism.


Student of Class IX gave warm farewell to the outgoing students of class X at MRA Modern Public School. Students performed dances, sang songs and staged skits. The students of Class X walked the ramp amid loud cheers. The titles of Mr and Ms Moti Ram Panchkula were bagged by Abhishek Pawar and Disha. The prize for best dancer was given to Tanu among girls and Ankit among boys.

Students felicitated

Saupin’s School organised the annual prize distribution ceremony with full gusto and enthusiasm. The annual academic achievers were felicitated for their outstanding performance. Anushi Narula of Class IX was conferred the prestigious “All Rounder Student of the Year” award. The most coveted “Best Sportsman” award was earned by Anthony Araujo of Class VIII. “Exemplary Cabinet Members” award went to Sonal Garg and Shivam of Classes VII and VIII respectively. — TNS



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