C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


saji mohan case
Witnesses chided for misleading court
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
While pronouncing the order sentencing IPS officer and former director of the Narcotics Control Bureau Saji Mohan to 13 years of rigorous imprisonment, the Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Shailini Nagpal, came down heavily on some of the witnesses who tried to mislead the court during the trial.

Calling the drug pilferage case a unique one, the court stated that it met with a predicament. “There appears to be a concerted effort on part of some of the witnesses examined in the case not only to project the facts which they knew to be false, but also to misguide the court on the basis of false documents prepared by them during the investigations. With the help of false documents, a cooked up story with regard to the recovery of the contraband was built up. The dilemma and predicament of the court was illustrated by the fact that on one hand the court believed the witnesses to arrive at a conclusion in favour of the prosecution and at the same time, the witnesses were being prosecuted for giving false evidence,” read the court order.

“By segregating various portions of their testimonies and analysis of strong circumstances surrounding the proved facts of the case, the court has been successful in digging out the truth and meeting the predicament,” said the court.

“This is a unique case in which the court is confronted with a precarious situation created by the statements of several witnesses who happen to be responsible public servants. Being functionaries of the government, public servants are duty bound to state unadulterated truth in the court and by the operation of law. A duty is cast upon them to bring only those facts before the court which they believe to be true,” stated the court order.

During the course of the trial, the statements of some of the witnesses of the prosecution were used by the defence to their benefit while others gave contradictory statements. However, on basis of the evidence on record, the court was able to bring out the truth as quoted in the 100-page judgment pronounced today.

Sources said the prosecution witness, MMS Bhandari, Kartar Singh and Parkash Chand gave contradictory statements during the course of the trial.

Prosecution witness number 1 MMS Bhandari, who was the intelligence officer of the Jammu Zonal unit, said Saji Mohan, Zonal Director, NCB, called an emergency meeting and detained Bhandari and other officials for one-and-a-half-hour in May 2008 when the team seized 60 kilogram heroin through the BSF. However, another witness, Manjit Singh, stated that Saji remained in office for only 15 minutes and the statements of Bhandari during the cross examination were also contradictory.

Saji’s plea for leniency

The 1995-batch IPS officer, Saji Mohan, while pleading leniency before the orders were pronounced stated in the court that he was a veterinary doctor, son of an Ex-Army officer, joined IPS in 1995 and had unblemished service record. During his service, he remained posted in the terrorist-affected area in Jammu and Kashmir for 10 years before joining in Chandigarh. He was awarded the President’s Gallantry Award and Government of India assigned him to the UNO for two years. He had ailing parents and two minor children to look after. His younger son was autistic and there was no other male member in the family. He was the only breadwinner of the family and there was no other person to support his parents and his family. Due to the conviction, he was likely to lose his job.

Balwinder’s wife breaks down

Convict Balwinder Kumar’s wife broke down after the order sentencing her husband to 13 years rigorous imprisonment was pronounced. “We have not got justice,” she was seen wailing in the court.

Saji remained confident

Appearing confident after the orders were pronounced, Saji Mohan kept conversing with his advocates and refused to talk to the mediapersons.

During his tenure in Chandigarh from 2006 to 2008, Saji was regularly in the news for cracking down on high-profile drug peddlers, owing to his excellent networking skills with the local media. Saji was transferred to Kochi from Chandigarh on December 31, 2008, and was arrested in January by the ATS, Mumbai. Saji was currently posted as the deputy director of the Enforcement Directorate in Kochi when he was arrested by the ATS in January. He had cracked down major drug smuggling gangs in Chandigarh which included a recovery of 4 kg of heroin worth Rs 4 crore in the international market. Saji was also extensively quoted by the media when the NCB team arrested a notorious drug peddler, Raju, who indicated towards the involvement of a few Chandigarh Police officers in the drug trafficking racket. Based on Saji’s report, six officers were placed under suspension.



Conversion of plots
SC stays UT Admn’s order on revised rates
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
In a major setback to the Chandigarh Administration, the Supreme Court has stayed the Administration’s order wherein converted plot owners were asked to pay Rs 29,713 per square yard against Rs 20,000 specified in the conversion policy.

The Supreme Court has also issued a notice to the UT Administration, asking it to file a reply within four weeks.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court made it clear that the balance amount of Rs 9,713 should be deposited by the applicants in the shape of bank guarantee till it decides petitions challenging the revised charges.

If the High Court upholds the revised charges, the bank guarantees will be executed by the administration, else the money will be refunded to the applicants.

The Supreme Court’s order came on a petition filed by Bhusan Power and Steel, a converted plot owner, who had challenged the Administration’s order.

Today, many more plot owners moved the Supreme Court and the same order was issued on their petitions as well.

The UT issued a notification in 2005 allowing the conversion of industrial plots to commercial for Rs 20,000 per sq yard. The policy was to expire on September 18, 2007. However, the Administration extended it by another six months till March 18, 2008, on the same terms and conditions. The Finance Department issued a notification on July 14, 2008, with retrospective effect which stated that the new rates of Rs 29,713 would be applicable from December 18, 2007.



Coop society chief booked for fraud
Had illegally transferred society’s land to private builder
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 11
The Mohali police has booked the president of Sartaj Cooperative House Building Society, Ashok Kumar Kukreja, for allegedly transferring the society’s land, worth over Rs 10 crore, to a private firm illegally.

A case under Sections 420 and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC has been registered against Kukreja at the Mullanpur Garibdas police station on the complaint of Assistant Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Mohali.

“Kukreja has been absconding,” said SHO Lakhwinder Singh.

Kukreja had allegedly transferred the society land (216 kanal 542 marla) at Ghandauli village in the name of Mohali-based Atlus Space Builders Private Limited while flouting Section 85(2) (X) and (XXXVIII) and Rule 29 of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961.

Under the rule, the land belonging to a society cannot be sold or transferred without the prior permission of the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab.

“Kukreja did not even take members of the society into confidence before transferring the land,” said the SHO. The police was in the process of confiscating the records of the society, he said.

Notably, about two-and-a-half-month ago, the managing committee of the society was also suspended by the authorities concerned following complaints of irregularities. Then the Assistant Registrar, Dera Bassi, Jagdish Kumar was directed to look after the managerial works of the society. That time, Kukreja claimed that the society had tied up with the private builder and plots would be given to all its members. The society has 276 members.



Cases of eye allergy spring up, courtesy dust, pollen
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Spring is here and so are the cases of spring catarrh or spring conjunctivitis (allergy of eyes).

Children are more vulnerable to the allergy. Every week, the Advanced Eye Centre at the PGIMER receives over 150 such cases.

Rubbing of eyes can lead to severe damage to the eyes of children, say experts. This can also lead to keratoconus, a degenerative disorder of the eye in which structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than its normal gradual curve.

The cases of spring catarrh are on the rises, especially among children, as they are exposed to pollen and dust during this period of the year.

If not treated, the allergy can also lead to progressive visual problems in children. The symptoms include redness in eyes, muddy white portion of the eye, vague irritation, itching, watering, unexplained swelling in the eye and pigmentation around the eye.

“The problem often persists during the spring season as children are more sensitive to pollen. Rubbing of eyes, which is common and difficult to control, should be discouraged,” said Dr Amit Gupta, associate professor, PGI.

Changing bed sheets regularly, frequent washing of eyes and air-conditioning of rooms can prove effective in curing spring catarrh, said Dr Gupta.

Your child may have eye allergy if

He rubs eyes frequently
Has redness in the eyes
White portion of his eyes gives a muddy look
Has pigmentation or unexplained swelling around the eyes
Has Itching or watering in the eyes

Preventive measures

Keep away from substance that cause allergy like dust, pollen etc.
Keep away from direct sunlight particularly when it is very hot
Frequently wash the eyes with cold water
Use original sun glasses as these glasses protect the eyes from dust and direct sun and block UV rays
Do not use contact lenses as they increase allergy
Women should avoid make-ups that lead to allergy
Keep your eyes always clean and take enough hours of sleep

What is Keratoconus?

It is the degeneration of the structure of the cornea. The cornea is the clear tissue covering the front of the eye. The shape of the cornea slowly changes from normal round shape to a cone shape.


president pranab Mukherjee’s visit
PGIMER gets makeover
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
From re-carpeting of roads to repair of streetlights, arrangements are on at the PGIMER campus ahead of President Pranab Mukherjee's visit scheduled for March 15.

As the VVIPs, including the President and Union Minister for Telecom Kapil Sibal and Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, will enter from the main gate, roads around the area are being repaired.

Even the potholed roads are being repaired to ensure that the campus leaves a 'favourable' impact on the VVIPs.

The institute, however, has failed to repair the cracks on the old buildings, including the research block and Nehru hospital, so far.

A team of senior police officers, including IRB Commandant Arun Kampani, and a team of traffic police and civil defence officials visited the PGI and conducted a rehearsal today.

The PGI director discussed the schedule with the officials and mock-convoy of the VVIPs visited the campus at 2 pm during the rehearsal. The officials assessed the security needs on the campus.

The President will preside over the PGI's annual convocation function on March 15. The function is scheduled to be held in the afternoon. Nearly 250 degrees will be awarded to the outgoing students during the convocation.



hike in power tariff
Admn receives 30 objections
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The city has a population of more than 11 lakh but the UT Administration has, so far, received only 30 objections on the proposal of 45 per cent hike in power tariff.

Today was the last day to submit objections against the proposal.

On the objections received by the UT Administration and the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC), the commission will hold a public hearing session on March 15 in Sector 19, Chandigarh.

Till March 7, the Administration had not received any objection, but when the issue was highlighted in these columns, city residents and organisations started submitting objections.

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), Converted Plot Owners Association, Joint Forum of Industries Association of Chandigarh and Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, Citizens Association of Sector 21 and Chandigarh Industries Association filed their objections today.

UT Superintending Engineer (Electricity) MP Singh said all the objections were received in the last two working days.

Out of the 30 objections, 20 objections were filed by organisations while individuals filed 10 objections. "Now, the UT Administration will submit its reply on the objections filed by city residents," he added.

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal in its objection submitted that to meet the demand and supply gap, the UT Administration should make rooftop solar panels compulsory for government buildings, which are

Besides, the reports of government consultants and power tariff proposal should be made public in advance. The Converted Plot Owners Association objected that the plot owners who had installed their own HT sub-stations used to get 7.5 per cent rebate on electricity bills till 2010, but when the JERC was formed, the subsidy was withdrawn.

The Citizens Association, Sector 21, demanded that instead of power tariff hike the Administration should improve the power distribution system in the city. The Administration should reduce transmission and distribution losses, the association demanded.

The Joint Forum of Industries Association of Chandigarh and Chamber of Chandigarh Industries objected that the Administration should not purchase power at a higher cost when the power demand was at peak. The Administration should try to purchase power at a lower cost, the association demanded.

Hearing session
On the objections received by the UT Administration and the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC), the commission will hold a public hearing session on March 15 in Sector 19, Chandigarh.



Civic amenities absent in Mayor’s ward
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Non-functioning street lights; poor sanitation; potholes filled up with sewage water; and electric poles installed too close to walls of houses, posing danger to life.

These are just some of the problems faced by residents of Bhaskar Colony in Sector 25, which falls in the ward represented by the city’s Mayor, Subhash Chawla.

The apathy of the Municipal Corporation to the plight of residents can easily be noticed on visiting the area. Lack of civic amenities is making life tough for them.

“It is tough to live in the colony. The situation keeps worsening. Until a week ago, we were being supplied contaminated water. Sewage remains stagnant on roads all the time,” says Krishan, a resident. The sewage water that keeps collecting on the potholed inner roads due to the poor sanitation facilities is an invitation to water-borne diseases, says Sonu, another resident.

“Summers are here and the problem of mosquitoes and diseases that they spread will become acute. Due to the poor sanitation facility, the area also keeps stinking all the time,” says Sonu.

Streetlights in the area do not function, complain residents. “These non-functioning street lights are an open invitation to miscreants to commit crimes. Cases of snatching and eve-teasing have become a regular affair,” says Soni, another house owner in the colony.

Anita, a homemaker says: “We cannot even go out for a stroll during the night hours. Male members of the family have to accompany us if we want to go out after it gets dark.” Due to the lack of space, the electric poles have been installed close to walls of houses. These pose danger to the lives of residents. Many deaths due to short circuiting have occurred in the area, claim residents. “The electric poles lean on to walls of our houses. It puts our lives in danger. Although, the main line was shifted after a few fatal incidents, we still feel insecure,” says Poonam, another resident.



Sector 45 residents voice anger
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Picture this: A Sahaj Safai Kendra comes up in a green belt which was inaugurated with much fanfare by Union Railway Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal in Sector 45 five years ago.

Opposing the decision of the Municipal Corporation, area residents today held a protest at the construction site and raised slogans against the MC and the UT Administration.

They said the civic body was wasting the public money.

Mohinder Verma, president, Residents Welfare Association of Sector 45 D, said the MC should shift the site as it was a residential area.

Senior Deputy Mayor and area councillor Rana Kashmiri Devi could not be contacted.

Her son and former area councillor Vijay Rana said only the officials could tell the reason behind constructing the kendra in the green belt.

Mayor Subhash Chawla assured the residents of doing the needful.

Union Railways Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal had inaugurated the green belt on September 6, 2008, in the presence of former mayor Pradeep Chhabra and former Congress councillor Vijay Singh Rana.



Uncovered drains reflect poor planning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Uncovered drains on most of the footpaths at the PGIMER pose a threat to the lives of pedestrians.

For instance, a pedestrian walking from the PGI Director's office towards the main gate has to step down on the main road several times to avoid stepping over the gutters.

Paverblocks laid on the footpaths worsen the situation. Grills around gutters are missing.

This can lead to a fatal mishap at night.

PGI's spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said the re-carpeting of roads was under way. Cemented covers were placed on the gutters to avoid thefts.

The gutters at the PGI are still being covered with iron-made covers, reflecting a variation in the implementation of the UT Administration's orders. 



Civic body’s electricity dept sans official vehicle
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The SDO's official vehicle is being used for distributing documents of the DC office.

As there was no official vehicle available, Arun Sood, chairman of the Electricity Committee, Municipal Corporation, had to use his personal vehicle for inspecting streetlights.

During the inspection, in most of the sectors streetlights were found non-functional.Recently, the officials of the Municipal Corporation had claimed that all defunct streetlights would be repaired.

During the inspection, 25 per cent of streetlights were found non-functional in Sector 17, on the road separating Sectors 18 and 21 not even a single streetlight was found working.

About 50 per cent of lights were found defunct on the road separating Sectors 20 and 30 while 100 per cent of streetlights needed repairs on the internal roads of Sector 30.

Situation was no better in Sector 27 and Industrial area. The inspection drive would continue in the coming days.

Committee chairman Arun Sood, a BJP Councillor, said it was learnt that the police was not registering cases of streetlight thefts.

He stated that they would take up the matter with the MC officials. 

Hoardings removed from Sector 40 market
The enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation today removed 60 signboards from the Sector 40 market. Shopkeepers had put up hoardings in violation of Section 5 of the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order, 1954. Kashmira Singh, superintendent, enforcement wing, said earlier the MC had issued notices to shopkeepers to remove these hoardings, but when they failed to comply with the directions, the enforcement wing on Monday carried out the drive, he added. He said five inspectors were deployed. The drive was conducted on the directions of Lalit Siwach, Additional Commissioner, MC, and assisted by enforcement inspectors and staff.



Crackdown on illegal paying guest accommodations
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 11
Tightening noose around illegal paying guest accommodations in the town, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has planned to conduct door-to-door surprise checks in residential areas on a regular basis.

After constituting five sub-committees for the purpose, GMADA has also written to the Mohali Deputy Commissioner and Senior Superintendent of Police seeking their assistance during the checks which would be conducted between 7 am to 10 am every day. GMADA estate officer Navjot Kaur said notices had already been served on as many as 460 house owners, who were found running illegal PG accommodations. “So far, 115 house owners have shut down paying guest accommodations. We will also start resuming properties of those defying the orders," said Navjot Kaur.

Only two PG accommodations have been registered with the GMADA authorities so far.

The Mohali police has registered over 12 cases against the house owners in the past one week.



MC to make city ‘malba’ free
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Mayor Subhash Chawla today launched Malba-Free City campaign in the City Beautiful. The Municipal Corporation staff removed malba from various places in Sector 34.

The Mayor said though the campaign had been started in Sector 34, in the coming days it would cover all sectors, villages and colonies in the city.

“The aim of the campaign is to educate the society about keeping their surroundings clean. During the campaign, rear lanes of houses and road gullies will also be cleaned,” he said.

The MC has also formed a flying squad to keep an eye on people who dump malba in open. The MC appealed to residents to dump malba at authorised malba dumping sites only.

The civic body has already started issuing court notices to residents who were found dumping malba and garbage in open. Recently, the MC had submitted around 60 such complaints in the court of CJM, Chandigarh.

Congress councillors show resentment

As the drive began from the ward of opposition councillor Harjinder Kaur, there is resentment among the Congress councillors. Senior Deputy Mayor Rana Kashmiri Devi and Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth were not present during the launching of the drive.



Foetus dies in womb, kin blames doctors for carelessness
Doctor denies negligence charges
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 11
A poor family of Phase VI alleged “carelessness” on the part of doctors at the Civil Hospital, Phase VI which resulted in death of full-term foetus in the womb of a mother.

Satya Narayan, father of a 22-year-old woman, Chandini, alleged that his nine-month pregnant daughter was made to stand in a queue for long and was not attended properly which resulted in the death of foetus in her womb today evening.

On the other hand, the hospital’s senior medical officer Dr Rajiv Bhalla termed the allegation baseless and claimed that the patient was examined on February 2 and was told to come again within two days. “She turned up today with the full term dead foetus. There is no careless on the part of our doctors,” said Dr Rajiv Bhalla.

The victim’s father Satya Narayan, a resident of Lal Bahadur Shastri Colony, alleged that today morning everything was fine. “We came at 7 am at the hospital and were made to stand in a queue for long time. The doctor on duty told us in the afternoon that heartbeat of the foetus seemed low and directed us to conduct two tests including ultrasound before the treatment. When we came with the reports at 4 pm we were told that she was carrying a dead foetus,” alleged Satya Narayan, who works as labourer here. The victim’s husband Divakar is also a labourer.

He also added that even after the death of foetus, the doctors did not care for his daughter and let the foetus inside the womb.

Dr Bhalla added that as it was foetus’ natural death and that there was no danger to life of woman. “The foetus would be removed tomorrow,” he said.



lawyer’s murder
Facebook page yet to yield result
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 11
The page created on the popular social networking website Facebook has failed to help the Mohali police in catching the absconding accused in the local advocate Amanpreet Singh’s murder case.

The police had last week created a Facebook page and posted photographs of six absconding accused, Sunil Bhanot, alias Chhoti, Vishal, Dharminder, Rajat, Deepak Kaushal and Kevin Sushant, on it in the hope of getting some clues about their whereabouts.

They have been booked for the murder of Amanpreet Singh during indiscriminate firing on February 28 outside the victim’s residence at Phase 3-A here. The police has already arrested three accused: Sunbir Singh, Jaswinder Singh and Onkar Singh.

“We have posted photographs of the accused on Facebook. The social networking site has proved to be of great help in solving several cases,” said Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.

The SSP admitted the step had not yielded any result yet. He, however, remained hopeful of nabbing all the accused soon.



Brawl at hotel: ‘Victim’ withdraws complaint
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
A day after a brawl involving Arjun Badal, the 19-year-old son of People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) chief Manpreet Badal, was reported at a Sector 22 hotel, a compromise was reached in the case today.

The complainant, 25-year-old Harivansh Singh, withdrew his complaint against Arjun Badal and others involved in the case, and both the sides amicably resolved the matter, the police said.

However, DSP (Central) Ashish Kapoor said the police would conduct its own investigation and submit a report in this regard.

The incident had occurred at Hotel Sunbeam in Sector 22 around 2 am on March 9. Arjun Badal and his friends Fateh Singh and Ahsas Bhullar had allegedly thrashed Harivansh in an inebriated state.

In his complaint, Harivansh, a Sector 9 resident, alleged the accused threatened to throw him off the hotel roof after he objected to their misbehaviour.



Illegal sale of bhaang continues outside Shiv temple at Saketri
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 11
A day after Shivratri, the business of selling prasad made from cannabis plant continued unabated outside the Shiv temple at Saketri. Under the garb of giving 'special prasad' to devotees, vendors were selling bhaang outside the temple.

While half a kilogram of bhaang pakoras was available for Rs 100, the better quality bhang, extracted from leaves of the cannabis plant, was available for Rs 10,000 per kg.

When this correspondent contacted a vendor, he offered to provide bhaang pakoras within half an hour. On enquiring about the better quality bhaang, he said: “That would be very expensive. Rubbing the leaves and extracting bhaang is a difficult task. One kilogram of the extract will cost Rs 10,000.”

Advocate Manbir Singh Rathi said sale of bhaang leaves was not punishable, but their extract, cannabis resin, comes under the NDPS Act.

Inspector Chattar Singh, in charge of the Crime Investigating Agency (CIA), Panchkula, said, “The sale of the extract of bhaang leaves is punishable. Action will be taken against the violators.”

He also said the sale of bhaang pakoras on days other than Shivratri and Holi should be avoided.

When contacted, Ali, the sarpanch of Mahadev village, said, “Two years back, the then SHO of MDC had strictly told the vendors not to sell such items under the garb of prasad. However, this year, the sale started again.”



Lawyer alleges kidnap bid

Mohali, March 11
An advocate alleged that some persons allegedly attempted to kidnap him this evening.

In his complaint to the police, Pannu alleged that he was called by some persons at a site, located in Phase IX on pretext of getting his legal services.

“When I reached the site, three vehicles including a Ford Endeavour arrived all of a sudden and stopped around my vehicle. Sensing danger, I sped away in my car,” alleged Pannu. He claimed the persons in the vehicles chased him till Phase VII where his friends had gathered on his call.

“Seeing my friends, the miscreants fled away,” said Pannu. The police was yet to register a case in this connection till filing of the report. — TNS



Samvaad festival: ‘Kaal Kothry’ staged on Day 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The fifth day of the ongoing Samvaad Theatre Festival saw the performance of the play "Kaal Kothry" here at the Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, today.

Staged by the Action Theatre Society, Rohtak (Haryana), the play was based on the life of theatre artistes, depicting their tough endeavour to survive with their art form against all odds.

Tomorrow is the final day of the festival, which will conclude with the play "kis thug ne lutiya shahar mera" by Manch Rangmanch, Amritsar (Punjab).



Vocalist captivates audience
Tribune News Service

Gautam Kale from Indore performs at the Pracheen Kala Kendra, Sector 35, in Chandigarh on Monday.
Gautam Kale from Indore performs at the Pracheen Kala Kendra, Sector 35, in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, March 11
Indore-based noted vocalist Gautam Kale gave a scintillating performance at the 185th Baithak Programme organised by the Pracheen Kala Kendra here today on its premises in Sector 35.

An accomplished vocalist, Gautam Kale is a renowned name in classical music today. Blessed with highly cultivated voice, he is comfortable in all genres of music i.e. classical, semi-classical, ghazal, bhajans, etc. He received initial training in singing from his father Dr Kishore Kale and later from Kunda Joshi and Pandit VG Ringe 'Tanrang'.

The vocalist was impressive in his opening rendition in evergreen evening Raga Yaman. His vilambit (Bada) Khayal composition “Kahe Sakhi Kaise Ke Kariye” in Ek taal was followed by Drut (Chota) Khayal bandish of legendary Pandit Jasraj “Ja Re Ja Pagal Manava” set to the time cycle of 16 beats (teen taal).

In handling the “alaap badhat”, he intelligently carried out improvisations. At every twist and turn, Gautam maneuvered to reveal his individual musical capability.

The vibrancy was sustained in the next piece in Raga Des. Gautam again proved his musical versatility in rendering Pandit Motiram’s bandish “Gale Bhujang Bhasm Aanga”. He concluded his recital with Haveli Sangeet composition amidst thunderous applause.

Mehmood Khan accompanied him on tabla, while Muralidhar Soni provided accompaniment on harmonium. Dr Shobha Koser, registrar of the kendra, honoured the artistes.



shivratri fair
Two missing children traced
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 11
A 10-year-old girl who went missing from the Shiv temple during the Shivratri fair at Saketri last night was found by the Chandigarh Police near Sukhna Lake.

Meanwhile, the six-year-old boy who had been missing since yesterday morning was dropped at a police station by someone.

The boy, who is a resident of Sector 12-A, had gone missing from the Shivratri fair. His parents kept looking for him but all their efforts proved futile. They then filed a missing report at the MDC police station in the evening.

“The boy, Ajay, was dropped atthe Mani Majra police station this morning,” said a police official.



Chandigarh scan

Dignitaries gather to observe Commonwealth Day at Sector 12 in Chandigarh on Monday.
Dignitaries gather to observe Commonwealth Day at Sector 12 in Chandigarh on Monday. A Tribune photograph

"Canara Utsav" a three-day exhibition-cum-sale of products manufactured by women entrepreneurs and self-help groups was inaugurated by Sunil Gupta, director, Canara Bank. All participants were the women beneficiaries of the bank. There were around 30 stalls put up by women displaying handicrafts, designer wear, dress materials with embroidery, decorative table linen, incense stick, jute products and many more. Sunil Gupta accompanied by R Madhusudhanan general manager, Canara Bank, Chandigarh Circle, visited all stalls.

Visit to Karsan

Past International president of Lions International Mohendra Amarasuriya and the international director of the organisation Sunil Watawala and district governor Harish Dua paid a visit to the Karsan multipurpose project being run by the Lions Club, Chandigarh. The director planted saplings at the centre and also visited the general health clinic, free dental clinic, free computer classes, free physiotherapy clinic and free sewing and tailoring classes. He lauded the efforts of the club for running the services for the unfortunate people of society for the past over 35 years.

Birthday celebrated

The birth anniversary of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was celebrated by Kendriya Arya Sabha at Arya Samaj, Sector 22, Chandigarh. The programme was started with the performance of Yajna, which was attended by about 500 devotees. While speaking on the occasion, Dr Virender Alankar, chairman of Sanskrit Department, Panjab University, said Maharishi Dayanand strengthened the spirit of nationalism.

Mohali scan
Women's Day

Students of the Doaba Women Institute of Engineering & Technology (DWIET), Kharar, celebrated International Women's Day. Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia, general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (women wing), inaugurated the function. While addressing the gathering, he said her father had contributed more than 20 years of his life to serve daughters of the region. Prof Harpreet Singh, CEO, said the students of DWIET were given special education in human values and professional ethics so that they not only become good technocrats but also socially sensitive citizens of the country.

Surgery performed

The Department of MAMBS and GI Surgery at Max Super Speciality Hospital has treated an 18-year-old patient by using advance keyhole surgery technique. The patient was suffering from uncommon lung disease. Dr MS Bedi, senior consultant, Surgical Gastroenterologist, said the patient was suffering from nonstop cough for the past few weeks. After several treatments proved ineffective, he went through the CT scan of chest. He was found to have two bag-like structures, called as “cysts”, on his right lung. These unwanted growths were compressing his right lung, which was causing the incessant cough.


The Department of Media, Entertainment and Film Technology of Desh Bhagat University, organised auditions for Desh Bhagat Radio. The auditions were conducted for the fields of singing, commercial ads, anchoring, acting and script writing. Over 200 students from different streams of the university participated in this programme and gave auditions for different jobs.

Panchkula scan

Bunge India held its annual conference at the Indradhanush Auditorium. More than 1,000 dealers, employees and associates from all over the country attended the conference. It was presided over by Adhiraj Sarin, managing director, Ashish Saxena, business head, Digpal Singh, specialty head, and RS Aggarwal, head of Business Operations. — TNS



No bidder for uniform tenders
Last date for applying tenders for over 50 govt schools over
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The money spent by government schools for inviting financial bid for buying their own school uniforms went down the drain as most of the schools failed to get the required number of applications from suppliers.

As per information, the tender notices of over 50 government schools closed today without getting even a single financial bid. These notices were issued in response to the recent guidelines of the Education Department, which necessitated each government school to procure its own uniform and utilise the funds earmarked for buying uniforms till March 25.

“On an average, each school spent about Rs 5,000-Rs 6,000 for inviting financial bids by way of advertisement in the local newspapers. But, the money seems to have been wasted as no supplier came forward to apply for supplying school uniforms as per the specifications and rates fixed by the department,” said a school head.

As per the information, a total of Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7 lakh got wasted in this whole exercise, which raised doubts over the policy decision of the department on this issue.

“It was due to the tough technical specifications and lesser rates that the government schools did not manage to get the desired response from suppliers,” said a school official.

He said: “If the Education Department wants the schools to buy uniforms, it will have to make necessary amendments in the guidelines”.

Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of the UT Cadre Teachers Welfare Association, said the department could afford to increase the upper ceiling of the uniform rates. “The rates offered by the department were between Rs 400 and Rs 500 when it bought the school uniforms on its own in 2011,” he said.

This time, the upper ceiling fixed for the schools was Rs 300 per set of uniform for class I to class V students and Rs 375 per set of uniform for class VI to class VIII students.

Vinod Kumar, principal of Government High School, said their job was to abide by the specifications and guidelines issued by the department. “We will convey to the department about the poor response to the tender,” he said.

Several school heads demanded the clarity from the Education Department, especially after the poor response of the uniform suppliers.

Some feared that if the department did not intervene in the issue shortly, they would unable to procure the uniforms for thousands of government students before the beginning of the next academic session.

The students could not get the school uniforms even in this ongoing academic session. Over 1 lakh students are eligible for school uniforms under the RTE Act. Meanwhile, none of the government officials were available for comments.



Ex-servicemen category
Education dept to re-advertise vacant JBT posts
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The UT Education Department is planning to re-advertise the vacant JBT posts under the ex-servicemen category.

As per information, a total of 65 posts were advertised for the ex-servicemen quota, along with the recently recruited 589 JBTs of other categories. However, over 90 per cent of these posts could not be filled due to the poor response from the eligible candidates.

Earlier, the department was trying to convert these posts from the waiting list candidates of other categories, but the same could not done due to the lack of clarity in the recruitment rules. The department also wrote to the local Sainik Welfare Board for more clarity on the issue.

An official said after scanning various options, the department was likely to re-advertise these posts. If all these seats were to be converted for other categories, it would be done after seeing the response of the fresh advertisement.

He said the fresh advertisement for these posts might take sometime since the department was waiting for the sanction of salary budget of the recently recruited JBTs from the Project Approval Board of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

These 65 ex-servicemen posts are part of the 654 JBT posts advertised by the department last year. Those posts already filled included 322 from the general category, 166 from OBC, 85 from SC, 15 for physically handicap.

Among the ex-servicemen quota, 36 posts belonged to the general category, 19 for OBC, 9 posts for the SC category and two posts for physically handicap. Only 4-5 posts had been filled so far, said the official.



Promotion of TGTs sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
An 11-member delegation of the Government Teachers Union met Upkar Singh, DPI, Schools, here today. The members of the delegation demanded a speedy process for the promotion of TGTs to the post of lecturers in various streams.

Other issues like fixation of notional pay of UT Cadre teachers w.e.f. 1.1.86, grant of mobile allowance of Rs 500 to all school heads, Central pay scale to work experience instructors and regularisation of SSA were some other issues which the delegation raised with the DPI, Schools.

The members said the promotion of teachers here had struck up for the past 20 years.

While the department had begun the due process for the promotion, it should lead to the logical end as early as possible, they said.

The members said the DPI, Schools, gave a patient hearing to all demands and told us that the priority was given to the promotion of TGTs to the post of lecturers. The DPI, Schools, also told us that other demands would be resolved one by one.



225 students awarded degrees

Mohali, March 11
As many as 225 students of Rayat and Bahra College of Education, Sahauran, received the bachelor's and master's degrees of education during the fifth annual convocation on the Mohali campus.

Prof KL Kamal, a former Vice-Chancellor, University of Rajasthan, who was the chief guest, advised the pass-outs to take the profession as a challenging assignment.

Dr Indu Rihani, principal, Rayat Bahra College of Education, Mohali, presented the annual report of the institute.

Gurvinder Singh Bahra, chairman of the group, gave away the academic prizes. Among BEd students, Deepika Varma stood first in the college, Gaganpreet Kaur was second and Preet Arora stood third.

Among MEd students, Neha Wadhwa stood first in the college, Arpana was second and Amanpreet Kaur stood third. — OC



From Schools
Prize distribution ceremony

A child receives an award during the prize distribution ceremony at Kids ‘R’ Kids School in Chandigarh on Monday. Kids ‘R’ Kids School held its prize distribution ceremony on the school premises today. Children from classes play level I to class V received prizes and certificates for various categories and competitions like just a minute, spell well, poetry recitation, reading from Tagore, best out of waste, English/ Hindi debates/ declamations, speaking extempore, immaculate handwriting, a sportspersons, good in dramatics, excellence in academics and an all-rounder held throughout the year.

A child receives an award during the prize distribution ceremony at Kids ‘R’ Kids School in Chandigarh on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Safety day

Giving utmost priority to the safety of children, Saupin's - 32 observed safety day. Students of the pre-primary wing were made aware of certain things which can be life threatening. The students were told about traffic signals and the significance of following the traffic rules. Helmets were shown to the tiny tots. Power point presentations were prepared by teachers, which made the entire session more interesting and meaningful. The students were also told about certain gadgets and switchboards at home, which could prove to be dangerous if not used under parental supervision.

Women ‘backbone’ of family

International Women's Day was jointly celebrated by the NSS units, Peace Club and the Mahatma Gandhi Student Legal Literacy Club of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 38 (West), Dadu Majra Colony, Chandigarh, on the school premises. In the morning, the NSS units honoured female teachers. Baljinder Singh, principal of the school, motivated the students to respect the women. Counsellor Poonam Sharma said: “We must remember that women are the backbone of the family and society and we can't even imagine the world without them”. — TNS 



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