C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Now, transfer property sans NOC
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
In a major relief to freehold property owners, the UT Estate Office has allowed the transfer of property without seeking the no-objection certificate (NOC) from today onwards. The move will benefit a large number of owners of freehold properties. The Estate Office has written to the UT sub-registrar not to ask for NOCs while registering any property transaction.

UT Estate Officer Mohammed Shayin confirmed the development.

The relief has come with a rider. The buyers and the sellers have been asked to furnish an affidavit that they will be responsible for any "violation or any other form of ambiguity".

In January, the Supreme Court had upheld a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding quashing the mandatory NOC required for selling or getting any property registered in the city.

Sources said ever since the order of the High Court was upheld by the apex court after the UT challenged it, officials in the Chandigarh Administration had been holding hectic discussions to withdraw the mandatory clause of the NOC. The case was put up before the Finance Department for approval, said a senior official.

“The Administration wants to ensure that there is no discrepancy in transactions,” said an official.

The apex court has observed that the NOC can be made mandatory only if there is a provision in the rules. In 2012, the High Court had quashed the 2009 order of the UT Administration that made it mandatory to obtain an NOC from the Estate Office to get any property registered or sold in Chandigarh.

General power of attorney holders had complained that when they were forced to get signatures from the original allottees years after the property had been transferred, they were asked to pay a “commission” for the registration or sale of the property. In many cases, the original allottees had shifted to foreign countries.

Relief comes with rider

The relief has come with a rider. The buyers and the sellers have been asked to furnish an affidavit that they will be responsible for any "violation or any other form of ambiguity" 



No objections filed against proposed power tariff hike
Deadline ends on March 11; Admn for 45% increase
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
It seems city residents have no objection to the proposal of the Chandigarh Administration to hike the power tariff in the city. Twenty-one days after a power tariff petition was submitted before the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) and objections were invited from residents, not even a single resident has opposed the power tariff hike proposal. The deadline to file the objections ends on March 11.

On February 15, while submitting the annual revenue requirement (ARR) and tariff petition for 2013-14 before the JERC, the Administration had proposed a hike of 45 per cent in the power tariff in all categories.

City residents, residents' welfare associations, industrial bodies and political parties were asked to file their objections before the Administration or the JERC against the power tariff hike proposal. However, till date, neither the Administration nor the JERC has received any objection in this regard.

A senior UT official said the deadline to file objections was March 11 and till date they had not received any objection. He said a member of the JERC would hold a public hearing session on March 15 in Sector 19, where the Administration would submit its reply to the objections.

Once approved by the JERC, the new tariff will be effective from May this year. Last year, the JERC had approved a power tariff hike between 10 and 25 per cent.

PC Sanghi, president of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC), said they had discussed the power tariff hike issue at a meeting, but were yet to file the objections. He said they would file their objections in a day or two before the UT Administration.




Printing errors, out-of-syllabus questions leave Class XI students baffled 
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Several questions were found to be out of syllabus while printing errors were detected in two others in the question paper of the Class XI mathematics examination held in government schools here today.

Question No. 2 in Section A on “Relations and Functions” had tough applications, and was of the level of Class XII, said a government schoolteacher.

All questions in Section A carried one mark and were to be answered in one sentence or word. A student said question No. 4 in the same section was lengthy and its answer ran into more than half a page. “It should have carried at least of four marks, she said.

Question No. 25 in Section C asking to find an answer to “9 (n+1) - 8n - 9 is divided by 64” was vague as it did not mention the method with which it was to be solved. The question carried six marks.

“The question can be solved either with the principle of mathematical induction or the binomial theorem, but the examiner left it vague," said another teacher.

Students alleged that question No. 26 in the same section, which carried six marks, was part of the topic, “Shifting of Origin”, which was not in the NCERT curriculum for Class XI. The topic had been added to the supplementary part of an NCERT book, which was scheduled to be added to the Class XI curriculum from the next academic session.

Two printing mistakes were found in question No. 6 and question No. 19, which were corrected during the examination. An official said, "It was a minor correction and was cleared before the beginning of the examination."

A teacher said those belonging to the science stream did not have much problems attempting the questions as they had a deep understanding of mathematical concepts. “However, since this was a common paper for other streams also, students of arts and commerce had some problems attempting some 'doubtful' questions," she said.

DPI (S) Upkar Singh said on being informed about some confusion in the question paper this morning, he set a four-member committee comprising DEO Ram Kumar, Deputy Director (S)-1 Chanchal Singh and two mathematics teachers to look into it. The committee found that there was with "no major problem" in it. Some minor corrections were made on the spot, he said.



Lawyers’ stir hits litigants hard
Tribune News Service
A physically challenged litigant outside the HC.
A physically challenged litigant outside the HC. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari 

Chandigarh, March 7
Even though the registration of an FIR against lawyers has been stayed following the intervention of the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, advocates across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh will continue their strike and resume work from Monday.

Advocate NK Nanda, president of the District Bar Association, said the lawyers would continue the strike as per the call given by the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, and will resume work on Monday.

Meanwhile, litigants continued to suffer harassment for the second day today as lawyers in both the District Courts and the High Court refrained from work.

Ram Chander, a resident of Mohali, said he was physically challenged following an accident and had been making several rounds of the courts, but to no avail.

“My case was put off today as the lawyers are not working. I have to go back now and this has resulted in a lot of harassment for me,” he said. 


They have made a difference
On International Women's Day, Chandigarh Tribune highlights the stories of some women in the city, who have battled all odds to realise their dreams, believing in something Oprah Winfrey remarked. We bring to you the tale of a woman who left her job in the banking sector 13 years ago and volunteered to cremate unclaimed bodies to bring peace to the departed souls. Among those conquering the male bastion are the only postwoman in the city, who gracefully delivers letters from door to door, a staff nurse, who helped transform a dispensary into a 100-bedded hospital, and last but not least, a school van driver who is the sole breadwinner of the family.

It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always. — Oprah Winfrey

This noble gesture has become mission of her life
Retired bank employee Amarjit Kaur Dhillon has cremated 300 unclaimed bodies
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Amarjit Kaur Dhillon has been performing the last rites of unclaimed bodies.
Amarjit Kaur Dhillon has been performing the last rites of unclaimed bodies.

Chandigarh, March 7
After working for 20 years in a bank, 56 year-old Amarjit Kaur Dhillon took voluntary retirement in 2000 so that she could perform last rites of unclaimed bodies. In her 13 years-long journey, Amarjit has cremated 300 unclaimed bodies setting an example for the society. The noble gesture has become a mission of her life.

It was in the late nineties when Amarjit saw an inconsolable woman sitting with the body of her husband hailing from Bihar at the PGI that she decided to help the widow in performing the last rights of her husband. The incident changed her life and she embarked on her new mission.
With her family members
With her family members. Tribune Photos: Manoj Mahajan

“I keep track of patients admitted at the Emergency Ward of the PGI and cremate unclaimed bodies. Sometimes the hospital and the police contact me for getting unclaimed bodies cremated”, she said. She ensures that the poor or the orphan bodies are cremated.

Narrating an incident, Amarjit said that parents of a 10-year-old boy had contacted her for performing the last rights of their son. They told her that the boy wanted to go back home and celebrate his birthday; however, his parents could not fulfil his last wish. “On February 16, this year I took a birthday cake, new clothes to the cremation ground and celebrated the deceased’s birthday before performing his last rites”.

During emergencies, Amarjit, a resident of Sector 11, Chandigarh, drives the funeral van herself to ferry the bodies to the cremation ground.

Has won several awards

Amarjit, winner of several awards, including the state award for social work, has also featured on a new programme “Hamari Beti” rolled by the School of Communication Studies, PU, on its community radio.


She has conquered a male bastion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
For 51 years old Mandeep Sharma, her job as a post woman has given her equal identity in the society as her counterparts enjoy while performing their duties. Recalling her first day as a post woman in 1999, Mandeep said that she was so hesitant to go and deliver the post that she stood for 10 minutes outside the house where she had to deliver the mail. But she felt relaxed once the family welcomed her. She then gained confidence and she has been able to sustain in the job for 14 years, now.

Sharing her experience she said, “Six years ago, a Class IV girl came up to me while she was delivering mail in her street and asked me about my experience and the job profile. A week later, she came with a trophy and told me that she wrote an essay on “post woman” in a school competition and won a prize.” She said that such incidents motivated her to move on in the profession and manage all the ups and downs of the job.

like any other male counterpart

Like all her male counterparts post woman Mandeep Sharma reaches the Sector 19 post office after completing her chores at home, sort her mails and then goes out to distribute them.

“When I joined the service, many residents used to ask me whether I was substituting for the area postman for a few days”, she said. She believes that she has broken into the male bastion and given a new platform and impetus to the progressive Indian woman.

Talking about her daily schedule she said that like all her male counterparts she reaches the Sector 19 post office after completing her chores at home, sort her mails and then goes out to distribute them. She suggested that in order to rope in more women in the profession, the postal department should come up with more incentives for women workers. 

Nurse who helped transform Mani Majra dispensary into hospital
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Staff nurse Pushpa Rana attends to a patient at the Civil Hospital, Mani Majra, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
Staff nurse Pushpa Rana attends to a patient at the Civil Hospital, Mani Majra, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal 

Chandigarh, March 7
Assisting three generations of women in their deliveries, 55-year-old Pushpa Rana, one of the oldest staff nurses in the UT Health Department, has dedicated her entire career to help transform a 10-bedded dispensary at Mani Majra into 100-bedded hospital today.

Pushpa, who joined the Mani Majra Dispensary, 28 years ago, has conducted thousands of deliveries till date. Her 30 years experience in the field has blessed her with the expertise in quickly identifying respiratory arrests during labour. Respiratory arrests, if not noted immediately, can prove fatal.

Starting her career at the age of 21, Pushpa has seen three generations of patients whom she has assisted in deliveries, the mother, the daughter and now the granddaughters even know her.

“When I joined the dispensary, the capacity of the building was limited to 10 beds. There was a need for a labour room. Rushing to the General Hospital in Sector 16 was not only unaffordable, but also time consuming for pregnant women. Performing the C-Section was very difficult in case of complications, due to the limited space. At that time, we had to refer delivery patients to other hospitals, said Pushpa.

In service of others

Belonging to a typical patriarchal family, Pushpa had to fight her way to join the nursing profession, as she was inclined towards public service. She plans to continue her services even after her retirement. She currently heads a team of 25 nurses and consistently trains new comers in handling the situation inside the operation theatre and labour room.

Despite getting better job opportunities in Haryana, Pushpa preferred to cope with the limited infrastructure at the Mani Majra Dispensary.

She has done her diploma graduate in nursing from Karnal, where her husband is currently serving. Belonging to a typical patriarchal family, Pushpa had to fight her way to join the nursing profession. She was inclined towards public service. She plans to continue her services even after her retirement.

She currently heads a team of 25 nurses and consistently trains new comers in handling the situation inside the operation theatre (OT) and labour room. 


She began driving a school van after her husband’s real estate business collapsed
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

I believe one should not be dependent on anybody. No work is big or petty. Mandeep Kaur, van driver

Panchkula, March 7
Mandeep Kaur, a mother of two, who is the sole breawinner of the family, who took up the job of a van driver after her husband’s real state business collapsed. Mandeep, a resident of Sector 11, Panchkula, is also working as a supervisor, at The Gurukul school, Sector 20, Panchkula.

“We were happy and well off when destiny played a cruel joke and my husband’s business went into losses,” said Mandeep.

“From the very beginning, I wanted to learn driving and preferred to drive the car at home. We had to sell off our cars after the business collapsed,” said Mandeep. Without losing hope, I decided to take up driving,” Mandeep said.

Mandeep has been driving the school van and intends to drive the school buses soon. 



Women staff to hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
International Women Day celebrations will be boycotted by the women employees of the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) tomorrow due to indifferent attitude of the council in accepting their long-pending demands.

The women employees of the council, deployed in 60 crèches in the city, will hold protest rally with black batches at the venue of the celebration organised by the UT Social Welfare Department. 



PGI Director wants GMCH Principal Dr Raj Bahadur repatriated
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Pointing out violation of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) guidelines and directions of PGIMER's governing body, PGIMER Director Dr Yogesh Chawla has shot a letter to UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar seeking immediate relieving of Dr Raj Bahadur as the Director-Principal of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and his repatriation to PGIMER.

In a move that puts a question mark over the last two extensions granted to Raj Bahadur, the PGI director has stated in his letter dated March 4 (a copy of which is with the Chandigarh Tribune) thatRaj Bahadur has already completed five years of deputation on November 30, 2012, and that extension beyond the fifth year is not permissible under any rule.

“It is again reiterated that the deputation period can only be extended up to the fifth year, but beyond that year, extension is not permissible under the rules which, however, has already been completed now by Dr Raj Bahadur on November 30, 2012. Moreover, the same is also not permissible as per the decision dated January17, 2011, of the governing body of the institute (PGI). As such, further extension in the deputation period for Prof. Raj Bahadur is not permissible under the Rules,” reads the letter.

While Raj Bahadur’s three-month extension period, from November 2012, ended on February 28 this year, he was “awarded” another extension till March 31.

This is the ninth extension issued to Bahadur while his deputation period from his parent institution, the PGIMER, ended in January 2011. The move even defies Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s directions (issued two years ago) refusing extension to PGIMER doctors on deputation.



Police fails to conduct medical test 
Child Protection Officer wanted rescued girls to be examined as
per law
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 7
Satisfying themselves with just an oral investigation and not going by the law, the police did not conduct the medical of the children despite a complaint filed by the Child Protection Officer (CPO).

The CPO too said that she wanted the police to get the medical of the children conducted as per the law.

Six girls in the age group of 10-12 were rescued by the Panchkula police who were kept in a house in an isolated area of Sector 26, Panchkula. The house from where the children were recovered belongs to a Canadian resident, Edward Louyi, where a woman was putting up with these girls.

Sources said that when some officials of the Child Welfare Department went to the spot, they found two women and one man at the residence. According to the neighbours, they often saw men and other people coming to the house.

It was after the Child Protection Officer Praveen Punia felt something fishy and got a tip-off from a local resident, she had made a complaint to the police.

"Our duty was to inform the police and now it was their duty to conduct the medical examination on the children. When a DDR has been lodged after a formal written complaint, I fail to understand as to why no medical was being conducted," said Punia.

She said "As per rules, only the medical examination can confirm whether actually something was wrong or not."

The children were rescued and got to Bal Sadan, Sector 12 A, Panchkula late last evening.

“The parents said that their children were safe with the woman and rather the latter was bringing them up well by providing education and all the facilities," said Inspector Satish Kumar, Station House Officer of the Chandimandir police 

When contacted Commissioner of Police, Rajbir Deswal, said: "I had asked the DCP to reach the spot and personally investigate the matter. Even the parents were contacted and they themselves said that the children were quite safe and there is nothing fishy. Regarding the medical, how can we force such small kids to undergo examination when their parents have said that they were safe?"



Man loses Rs 35,000 in ATM fraud 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 7
In yet another ATM cloning case, a transaction of Rs 35,000 was made from Noida using a cloned ATM of a resident of Sector 12A, Panchkula.

The victim was surprised to see that despite having the ATM card, he received the message that the amount had been withdrawn. This is the second such case in Panchkula.

The victim, GaneshJee Pandey, received a message on his mobile phone that the amount had been withdrawn from his account.

A case under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 14 police station.

“The victim had an account with the Canara Bank and the transaction has been made from Noida. We will try to get the footage from where the money has been withdrawn,” said Inspector Lalit Kumar, Station House Officer, Sector 14 police station, Panchkula

Last week only a PU professor was duped of Rs 47,000. The transaction, here too, was made in Delhi. The victim, Dr Rajesh Rattan, a resident of Sector 6, Panchkula, was also surprised to see that when the ATM card was with him only, how come the transaction can be made in Delhi?

The Panchkula police has registered a case at the Sector 5 police station, Panchkula. Dr Rajesh is working as an assistant professor with the dental department, PU, and has an account with the State Bank of India. 



Another blow to plot owners
Admn tells them they can't keep plots without construction
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The Chandigarh Administration has given another shocker to those who got their industrial sites in Industrial area Phase I and II converted under the controversial conversion policy.

The UT Administration has issued directions that the administration cannot allow owners to keep their the converted plots without any construction forever.

Collector rates

The administration had last year fixed the collector rate of the converted plots, which are lying vacant, at Rs 2,05,920 per sq yard, which is at par with the prime commercial properties in other parts of the city, excluding Sector 17, Madhya Marg and on the road separating sectors 22, 35 and 34. The decision to fix the new collector rate for such plots was taken by the committee headed by Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin.

According to the administration, open plots will encourage investment for appreciation, making it difficult for the UT officials to have plans for the area at a later stage.

This decision would affect around 95 owners, who had applied for the conversion scheme. A total of 125 industrialists had opted for the conversion scheme.

The Urban Planning Department has also issued directions to the Estate Office that they should take details of the industrial plots of the projects/proposal for conversion to commercial use, and stipulate this condition that in case the building plans are to be changed, which requires the submission of revised building plans, the time limits and extension fees as under the Chandigarh Estate Rules shall apply.

Chander Verma, Chairman of Converted Plot Owners' Association, said when the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) was the nodal agency for the conversion policy, there was no time restriction for construction, but after the Estate Office was made the nodal agency, it fixed three-year deadline for the completion of construction. He added the administration should understand that it was difficult to complete the construction of any five star hotel, big shopping complex, etc, in three years' time.

If all the plot owners start construction at a time, then it would also put pressure on the infrastructure. Therefore construction in a phased manner would be beneficial not only for industrialists but also for the administration, he added. 



Mohali residents face water shortage

Mohali, March 7
Residents have been plagued by water shortage over the past few days following snags that have developed in the supply system. The water pressure is low and the supply hours have been curtailed. The problem is more acute in the case of occupants of first and higher floors. Overhead water tanks are not being filled as earlier, which has hit even those staying on the ground floor.

Ajit Kaur Bedi, a resident of Phase II, Mohali, said water was barely reaching the first floor. The overhead tank of the flat was empty and she had to pump up water. She said she had to send her servant to fetch drinking water from the ground floor.

DP Upashak, a resident of Phase V, living in a second-floor accommodation, said: “Water pressure is unsatisfactory. They did not get water supply the day before yesterday. There was a little supply for about an hour at 5 am yesterday. Last night water was supplied at around 1 am.”

RP Gupta, an executive engineer of the Water Supply and Sanitation Department, said: earlier there was a shutdown at the Kajauli waterworks. Now, a sluice valve on the rising main of Phases I and II of the Kajauli waterworks was being replaced, so the water supply had been closed.

Gupta appealed to the residents to bear with the situation. He said on March 8 the morning supply would be at low pressure and there would no afternoon supply. In the evening, the supply would be according to the water availability in the system. He expected the supply to be normal on the morning of March 9. —OC



2 held for failing to provide info on tenants
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 7
The police has arrested two persons on a charge of disobeying orders promulgated on providing information about their tenants to the police. Both the persons were later released on bail.

According to the police, Lakesh Gupta of Shahi Majra had given as many as 36 rooms on rent. He failed to provide details of his tenants to the police hence violating the orders of the Magistrate issued on February 13 in this regard.

In the second case, Rajwant Singh of Phase V had opened a PG setup in which as many as 15 girls had been accommodated in different rooms. He also did not inform the police about his tenants.

Cases were registered against Lakesh Gupta and Rajwant Singh under Section 188 of the IPC at the Phase I police station.



16.5-kg gourd stands out at vegetable fest
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 7
The 'gourd' vegetable which grabbed has found place in the Limca Book of Records caught everyone's eye at the fruit, flower and vegetable festival in Sector 20, Panchkula.

This gourd weighs 16.5 kg and is now in the pipeline of Guinness World Records Book. The farmer, Subash Chander Sharda is a resident of Ambala and loves to grow these gourds in the kitchen garden of his house.

"I love to maintain my kitchen garden and have been growing vegetables for the 20 years. I have grown this gourd with some of my special technique. I just want to make my state proud by getting recognition from these rare size vegetable," said Sharda. The maximum weight of a normal gourd is just 5 kg. Sharda has already grown a gourd of 50 kg few years back. "We were surprised to see such a big gourd. At least the talent of the farmers comes to the fore this way," said Vaishali Manchanda, a visitor. The fruit, flower and vegetable fest which was being held for the second time saw different varieties of flowers, fruits and vegetables on the premises.



Allergies, steroids cause glaucoma in kids: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Allergies and use of steroids have been found to be the key causes of glaucoma (an irreversible eye disease) in children. The increased use of steroids among children has added to the experts' concerns at the PGIMER.

Annually eight or10 new cases of glaucoma are reported at the Pediatric Glaucoma Clinic at the institute. "In children, the check-up of eyes is not a usual exercise in many families. Due to this, the children who reach us mostly are found to have severe damage to the eye due to steroids. These steroids, whether administered directly in the eye through eye drops or to any other body part, can lead to glaucoma," said Dr Sushmita Kaushik, from the Advanced Eye Centre.

The number of patients registered with the PGIMER's Advanced Eye Centre has increased from about 2,500 to 25,000 in past 10 years, said Dr SS Pandav, from the Advanced Eye Centre.

Symptoms/preventive measures

The peripheral vision fades off and the eye can only see the central object. Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but visual impairment and blindness can be prevented by early detection and treatment. Since glaucoma may not have any symptoms, periodic eye checkup is of utmost importance for early detection.

PGI sets up glaucoma support group

Being the only institute in the region to have a specialised treatment facility for glaucoma, the PGIMER has now set up a glaucoma support group, expanding the network of volunteers as well as specialists across the country to provide consultation to patients.

A helpline (09780662545) has also been set up for the purpose, which will address the queries and provide consultation to the patients coming from distant locations. The group constitutes Dr Priyanka Roy, a young glaucoma patient and homoeopathic doctor, who was one of the team members conceptualising the glaucoma support group.

Glaucoma Awareness Walk

An awareness walk will be held on Sunday initiating World Glaucoma Week across 36 cities, including Chandigarh. 

What is Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that causes progressive damage to the optic nerve that is responsible for conveying image to the brain. A majority of patients of glaucoma have no symptoms until the disease is quite advanced. If left undetected and untreated, it can lead to irreversible blindness due to permanent damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is commonly known as 'Kala Motia'. Blindness due to glaucoma can be prevented by timely diagnosis and treatment.



Illegal shops, jhuggis demolished

Mohali, March 7
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today demolished a few unauthorised shops and jhuggis to make way for the construction of a road linking Ecocity and the national highway.

Sources said the encroachments were blocking the construction of the 200-foot-wide road. Two JCB machines were used in the clearing operation. The other encroachers in the area, including the occupants of 1,500 to 2,000 jhuggis, were given five days to vacate the area. —OC



Encroachments removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
In a special drive, the enforcement wing of the MC today removed encroachments from markets and issued challans to 150 violators.
Kashmira Singh, Superintendent, Enforcement Wing, said a team of the enforcemnt wing removed encroachments from Industrial area Phase-I and Phase-II, Sector 34, 41, 42, 43, 44, Attawa village, Rock Garden and the Sukhna Lake and seized six pickup vans, five tractor trailers, four water tankers and rehri pharis.

He added the drive would continue in the coming days as well.



Man dies in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
A 40-year-old man, who was on the way to drop her daughter to school this morning, died after his scooter was hit by a school bus at the the Sector 38/39 light point.

The deceased has been identified as Rinku Kumar, a resident of Dadumajra. He died instantly while his 10-year-old daughter sustained injuries. The bus driver fled the spot leaving the bus, which belongs to a private educational institute, behind.



‘Munna Ki Wapsi’ staged on Day 1 of theatre festival
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Five-day-long theatre festival "Katha Manchan" began with the play "Munna Ki Wapsi", which was staged at the Punjab Kala Bhawan today. Based on Rabindra Nath Tagore's short story of the same title, the play combined the philosophical tone with the understated emotion.

Replete with live music, the play had Kabir's dohas and hymns, which kept on unfolding the intricacies of relationships that the play demanded.

Tomorrow, the play "Prem Ka Uday" will be staged, followed by the play "Jade Ka Intezam" on March 9. The next day, on March 10, two plays - Sankraman and Bade Bhai Saheb - will enthrall the audience. The puppet performance and a puppet theatre workshop will also be held on that day.

On March 11, the festival will conclude with plays "Ikko Mitti De Put" and "Katha Collage".



Chargesheet filed in rape-bid case in 5 days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Within five days after the incident came to light, the UT police today filed the charge sheet in court in a case of attempt to rape a minor girl.
The police filed the chargesheet in the first ever case registered under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012. The accused was arrested on March 2 and is in judicial custody. The court has issued production warrants against him after the charge sheet was filed.

The police had arrested a 40-year-old labourer for attempting to rape a three-year-old girl. The accused has been identified as Ram Bahadur, alias Veer Bahadur, a resident of Kajheri village. According to the charge sheet, the accused lives in the victim's neighbourhood. Her family alleged that the accused, who was in an inebriated state, took the child to a secluded area and made an attempt to rape her. 



Man thrashed by ‘over-alert’ neighbours
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 7
'Over alert' neighbours thrashed a man, thinking that he was trying to rape his six-year-old daughter. Actually, he was removing her clothes and taking her for a bath at his residence at Budanpur, Sector 16, Panchkula.

When the neighbours heard the child's cries and saw the man removing her clothes, they informed the police. By the time the police reached the spot, they had given the man a good thrashing.

When the police reached the spot they came to know that the child was crying for she didn't want to take a bath, and not otherwise.

The child had lost her mother some years ago. The child told the police that she was crying because she didn't want to take a bath.

The neighbours urged the police to get her medical examination done. Her medical examination conducted at the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, confirmed that she was not abused.



CHB staff stage dharna

Employees of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) today staged a daylong dharna at the CHB office, Sector 9, here to register their protest for not implementing the pension scheme. Several leaders of various employee unions joined the dharna. The leaders condemned the adamant attitude of the chairman, CHB, and the Chandigarh Administration for delaying the implementation of the Pension Scheme and stressed upon the chairman, CHB, to resolve the issue in favour of the employees.


To curb the tendency of plying unauthorised vehicles with incomplete documents, driving overloaded vehicles and to make the city pollution free, the State Transport Authority challaned 271 vehicles. Over 1,600 vehicles were checked. More checking will be done in the coming days. Secretary, STA, Balbir Singh Dhol, advised the people to carry all documents. — TNS



No bidder in several schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
The recent policy decision of the UT Education Department to buy school uniforms or over 1 lakh students through school management committees has fallen flat.
The tender notice of several government schools, including GMSH-33 and GMSSS-26, which was issued to purchase school uniforms, closed today without even getting a single financial bid.

Other schools, whose last date for the tender is set to be closed next week, are likely to meet the similar fate as the local suppliers have refused to come forward and apply for the tender notice due to the stringent specifications as well as lesser rates offered by the department.

As per the guidelines finalised by the high-level three-member committee of the UT, each government school was told to procure its own school uniform and utilise the funds earmarked for buying uniforms till March 25.

However, given the lukewarm response of the buyers, almost all school heads are in a fix whether they would be able to buy the school uniforms. “Despite giving advertisement in two newspapers and personally intimating 15 local suppliers, nobody has turned up for the purpose,” said a school head whose last date of the tender notice had closed today.

Another school head said the stringent specifications finalised by the Education Department are the main barrier. “No supplier wants to supply us the school uniforms due to hard technical conditions. Moreover, the upper ceiling of the price fixed for the uniforms is not feasible, given such long list of technical specifications,” he said.

"If the department wants the schools to take the responsibility of the uniforms, it will either have to relax its specifications or increase the upper ceiling of the price offered," said a member of the School Management Committee.

No proper survey done

Sources in the Education Department said the department did not carry out the proper survey exercise before finalising the modalities for buying school uniforms. “A survey team of seven school principals was constituted to gauge the market price of the school uniforms as per the set specifications. However, they were given very short time to actually analyse the market trend," they said.

“This was the main reason why the committee could not reach to a uniform price range, which ultimately ended up lowering the upper ceiling fixed by the three-member committee,” said an official.

A school head said it was also not a wise decision of the department to ask each school to buy its own uniform. “First, school management committees in most of the schools are not active and moreover, the policy itself does not reflect the market trend,” he said.

A senior official of the department said the tender notice of most of the schools was still open and it was hoped that suppliers would apply for the financial bid.



Education Department to issue merit list soon
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandiagrh, March 7
The Education Department will soon issue the final merit list for the 48 posts of Junior Basic Teachers (JBTs) under the OBC category, which was withheld for the want of clarification on some OBC castes.

Originally to be filled during the recent recruitment of 654 contractual JBT teachers, these posts were left unfilled since the department was in doubt over the entitlement of several backward castes such as “Saini”, “Nais”, “Bhuhalia Lohar”, and “Gadaria” under the OBC reservation for which it sought the written reply from the UT Social Welfare Department. Some of these castes were mentioned in the Centre list but were missing in the state list and vice versa, too.

After the official communication by social welfare officials in February first week that the UT would entertain only those castes which exist in both Centre’s reservation lists as well as the UT’s own list, it began the process for the appointments held up for these posts.

“While the provisional merit list for these posts is already out, the process for releasing the final merit is expected in the next few days,” said a senior official.

He said since the department did not receive any objections from any of the candidates against the provisional list, therefore the approval of the final merit list would not take much time.

The department is also expected to release the provisional merit list of 18 Trained Graduate Teachers (TGTs), which was also held up due to the similar reasons as 48 JBTs posts. Meanwhile, the recruitment of the rest of the JBT and TGT teachers is almost complete. In the second week of February, the department gave appointment letters to over 500 JBT teachers from the general and other reserved category.



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