C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Security Deposit
Pay interest to consumers: Power panel
Sets September 30 deadline for Electricity Dept; non-compliance of order to invite action
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has issued strict directions to the UT Electricity Department to pay interest at the bank rate to the consumers on the security deposit collected from them. The commission has warned that enough time has been given to the department and appropriate action will be taken against it if it fails to comply with the directions.

Over the years, the Electricity Department has got Rs 25 crore as interest on the security deposit collected from power consumers in the city, but has not paid interest to the consumers.

Coming down heavily on the Electricity Department, the JERC, in its latest order, says, “The commission directs the petitioner to pay interest on the security deposit of consumers for the financial year 2013-14 at the bank rate (8.75 per cent per annum), applicable as on January 29, 2013, with effect from April 1, 2013, to the consumers irrespective of the constraints of the petitioner. The petitioner should clearly mention "Interest on the security deposit for the financial year 2013-14" on the consumers' bills. Non-compliance of the order will be viewed seriously by the commission.”

The commission, in its previous order, had also directed the petitioner to pay interest on the security deposit to the consumers in accordance with the Electricity Act, 2003. The commission is of the view that enough time has been given to the petitioner for compliance. The petitioner is directed to pay interest on the security deposit at the applicable bank rate by September 30, 2013, failing which appropriate action will be taken,” the order states.

On the issue of interest on the deposit collected during the past two financial years (2011-12 and 2012-13), the commission ordered, “The commission would like to reiterate its direction that the distribution licensee should deliver its obligation under Section 47(4) of the Electricity Act, 2003, and it must pay interest on the security deposit with effect from April 1, 2011, at the rate of 6 per cent per annum (the bank rate as on April 1, 2011) and at the rate of 9.50 per cent (the bank rate as on April 1, 2012)."

UT’s stand in the petition before the JERC

n In the tariff petition, the Electricity Department had stated that it had prepared a detailed list of consumers and their security amount for 2011-12 and 2012-13. The list had been given to the billing agency, NIELIT (formerly DOEACC), to pay interest on the consumers’ security deposit. However, the data pertaining to the actual consumer security deposit since the inception of the Electricity Department (1966-67) was being prepared, which might take some time.

n The department had no record of the security amount deposited by the consumers from 1966, when the Central Government made Chandigarh a Union Territory (under Section 4 of the Punjab Re-Organisation Act, 1966, with effect from November 1, 1966) till 2011.

Over 2 lakh power consumers

There are 2,09,602 power consumers in the city. Of these, 1,78,883 come under the domestic category, 25,806 under the commercial category, 104 in the large supply category, 1,291 in the small power category, 1,152 in the medium supply category, 122 in the agriculture category, 867 in the public lighting category, 383 in the bulk supply category and 994 in the temporary category.



High drama in court
Accused involved in altercation with SDM's driver produced in her court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
In a sheer co-incidence, an accused booked under preventive measures by the police last night after a close brush with the official vehicle of SDM (East) Tanvi Garg in Sector 44 was produced in a court presided over by her. The youth had an altercation with her driver last night, resulting in the police case. While Tanvi Garg, who is in charge of East Division, was given the additional charge of the SDM (South) today, high drama was witnessed as the accused and his guarantor had a heated exchange of words with the SDM and were asked to leave the court.

A city-based jeweller was yesterday booked under preventive measures after his Bolero jeep had a close brush with Tanvi Garg's official vehicle in Sector 44. The incident had resulted in a heated altercation between the SDM's driver, Harjit, and 26-year-old Vikrant, who was driving the Bolero. Tanvi Garg claimed that she was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident, while Vikrant claimed that the official was in her vehicle at that time.

High drama was witnessed in the court today when both Vikrant and his guarantor, Jagdish, raised their voice and asked the SDM what their fault was. They alleged that they had been wrongly booked. The guarantor said the SDM was also present in the car. However, Tanvi Garg said she was not present in the car. Both Vikrant and Jagdish then argued in a heated voice following which they were asked to leave the court. They were granted bail against bail bonds of Rs 10,000.

The police said Vikrant overtook the official vehicle rashly. Luckily, an accident was averted. Vikrant then stopped his jeep, blocking the way of the official vehicle and a heated argument with the driver began, resulting in the altercation.

The police was called to intervene and Vikrant was then rounded up and booked under preventive measures.

With both the SDM (South) and the SDM (Central) on leave today, the accused was produced in the court of SDM Tanvi Garg.

What the SDM has to say

The conflict arose with my office staff and I was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident. Both the accused and the guarantor were raising their voice and I had to ask them to leave court as it amounts to contempt. I was not keen on taking the case, but did my duty following orders from my seniors
— Tanvi Garg SDM (East)

SHO's take

The accused was misbehaving and blocked the way of the vehicle and indulged in a heated argument. We received a complaint and acted accordingly
— Inspector Diwan Singh, SHO, Sector 34 police station

Accused to move higher court

I have been wrongly booked just because senior officials are involved. I will move the higher court against the police action
— Vikrant, accused



Sale of attached property
Estate Officer of HUDA appears in CBI court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
HUDA Estate Officer Ashwini Kumar today appeared in the CBI court as he is in the dock for allegedly being involved in the sale of a property that had been attached by a court in 1990 in a disproportionate assets case.

The Estate Officer appeared in the CBI court of Special Judge Vimal Kumar and sought more time to file a reply to the show-cause notice issued to him. The court has adjourned the case to May 2.

In 1990, the CBI had booked Col BS Goraya (now retired) in a case of disproportionate assets as his property assets far exceeded his income. He had several properties in his as well as his family members' name in Panchkula and Gurgaon, which led to the registration of the case against him.

During the course of the trial, the court had attached two of Colonel Goraya's properties. One of these, plot No. 323 in Sector 2, Panchkula, was in the name of Goraya's daughter Jaswinder Mann.

Through two orders, dated July 5, 1997, and September 9, 1995, a CBI special court had attached the two properties in the case. Colonel Goraya, however, had submitted an application on March 26 this year, seeking verification regarding the sale of the Sector 2 plot.

According to the application of the CBI, the Colonel's sister, Jaswinder Mann, allegedly in connivance with HUDA Estate Officer Ashwini Kumar, sold the property to Pawan Gulati.

After the CBI noticed the discrepancy, it moved an application in the court and a show-cause notice was issued earlier this month. 



UT constable guns down girlfriend's husband, mother-in-law in Sonepat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
In a shocking incident, a Chandigarh police constable allegeldy shot dead his girlfriend’s newly married husband and her mother-in-law in Sonepat with an SLR and fled with his girlfriend in his Swift car in Sonepat today. The UT constable, Basant, was absent from duty in the Police Lines for the past many days. He allegedly murdered Sandeep, who had married his girlfriend Sarita four days ago in Sonepat and also murdered Sandeep’s mother Roshni in a well-planned conspiracy with his girlfriend.

The constable had joined the UT police in 2011 and was posted in the reserve pool. He hailed from Sonepat and had an affair with Sarita.

UT Inspector General of Police RP Upadhyaya today deputed various teams such as the crime branch and the operations cell to look for both the constable and his girlfriend.

“It is a shocking incident and we have dispatched teams to arrest the accused constable and the girl. We are also in close liaison with the Haryana police and are providing all assistance. It is an unfortunate incident and we will ensure that the constable is behind the bars,” he said.

Sources said constable Basant had an affair with Sarita for the past many years and was staying in Chandigarh with her. Her parents married Sarita off to Sandeep in Sonepat four days ago. Both of them then conspired to murder the groom and his family, the police said.

Constable Basant stole an SLR from the Police Lines before he went to Sonepat and was found absent from duty.

Besides killing Sandeep and his mother, the constable also shot at another family member, Prakashi, who is critically injured. He went there in a Swift car, bearing a Chandigarh number, and after committing the double murder, fled with Sarita.

The Haryana police recovered a uniform of the Chandigarh police from the spot. A case of murder has been registered against the UT constable, who belongs to Gorar village in Kharkhoda, Haryana.

Sandeep got married to Sarita on April 15. 

Flees with girlfriend; was absent from duty

The accused, Basant, a UT constable, was absent from duty in the Police Lines for the past many days. He allegedly murdered Sandeep, who had married his girlfriend Sarita four days ago, in Sonepat, and also murdered Sandeep’s mother Roshni in a well-planned conspiracy with his girlfriend and then fled with Sarita

Shocking, says IGP

It is a shocking incident and we have dispatched teams to arrest the accused constable and the girl. We are also in close liaison with the Haryana police and are providing all assistance. It is an unfortunate incident and we will ensure that the constable is behind the bars.
— RP Upadhyaya, UT IGP


Overcrowding on PGI experts’ mind
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
While the PGI was originally conceptualised to be a referral hospital, it has been turned into a public hospital with patients with even minor ailments visiting the OPDs. With these concerns, experts in the city, including former PGI Directors and faculty members, offer some immediate solutions, which can bring down the harassment of critically ill patients.

In response to a news item carried by Chandigarh Tribune today, wherein it has given a first-hand report of five patients’ experience in the New OPD Block at the PGI, the experts feel that only referred cases should be considered at the PGI.

“The PGI is meant to be a referral hospital, yet patients with very minor ailments like flu and cough rush to the PGI. This is the key cause for overcrowding. Once the PGI declares that no direct registrations will be made, people will automatically stop visiting the PGI for minor ailments. If the PGI was to cater all kinds of minor problems, then why do hospitals like the GMCH-32 and the GMSH-16 and even the primary health centres exit?” said Dr SM Bose, former head of the Department of General Surgery, PGI. Dr RJ Dash, former head of the Department of Endocrinology, PGI, said a referral system needed to be in place, both outside and within the PGI. While coordinating with other hospitals in taking referred cases, the PGI in its OPDs should also take up only severe and critical cases.

“When I was working at the PGI, we, in our Department of Endocrinology, used to first screen patients and register them only on the basis of the severity of their ailments. This helped in saving patients from making repeated visits to the institute and shortening queues at the OPDs,” said Dr Dash. 

Solutions former PGI faculty offers

Dr KK Talwar, former PGI Director and present Chairman of the Medical Council of India

  • Computerisation is the best solution for streamlining the system at the PGI. There may be teething troubles in launching it but the whole purpose of computerisation was to access patients’ records online.
  • Enhancing staff strength can improve quality of patient care.

Dr RJ Dash, former head of department of Endocrinology at PGI

  • Patients need to be educated and to understand the meaning of a tertiary care hospital. They must not rush to the PGI for every small thing.
  • Doctors must strictly screen patients to gauge the severity of their ailments and must refer them back to the respective hospitals to save crucial time of critical patients. 

Dr SM Bose, former head of the Department of General Surgery 

  • The OPDs should remain open even on gazetted holidays. If a gazetted holiday occurs on Friday, for instance, a patient often stays on the complex till Monday since Saturday is half day and the OPDs remain closed on Sunday.
  • For a specific department, all kinds of formalities, including registration, sample collection, reports and consultation should be available in a restricted area and there should be separate units for each department.
  • The timings of doctors’ and lab attendants should be planned properly. Often, lab attendants reach late and by the time a patient gets back to show their reports to a doctor, the latter has already left.
  • The PGI, GMSH-16 and the GMCH-32 should work as a team. They must be in constant touch with each other for running the referral system.
  • Computerisation should be made effective to check the unnecessary movement of patients.
  • The PGI should put it in the public domain, in black and white, that it will only take up referred cases since this is the very purpose of the institute.

Points discussed at alumni meet

  • Prior appointment for visiting the out patient departments can help in curbing patients’ rush. Since the PGI is a tertiary care medical institute, referred cases should be given preference.
  • Telemedicine can help. A doctor sitting at a hospital can always take suggestions and guidance from the doctors working at the PGI and examine patients accordingly.
  • A special dedicated research centre should be set up, so that the consultants can focus more on patient care.
  • The doctors at the PGI are also overburdened due to additional administrative duties. There should be a separate team of administrators looking after the jobs of hospital engineering, patient grievances, vigilance and other similar administrative jobs. 

Solutions PGI offers

  • To control patients’ rush, a 300-bed satellite centre of the PGI is being set up in Sangrur, Punjab, in collaboration with the Tata Memorial Centre.
  • A 100-bed facility will also be set up in the border district of Ferozepur, said official spokesperson for the PGI Manju Wadwalkar. “We are also in touch with other government hospitals in the city. We keep requesting them not to refer ordinary cases to the PGI,” she added.
  • The computerisation system is being worked upon. The lab module in the system will solve all kinds of problems related to the collection of reports and showing them to doctors.
  • A committee has been formed to look into the solutions for controlling overcrowding at the PGI. It is reviewing the situation. 


Staff shortage

PGI is short of at least 2,000 staff members and there are only 500 consultants to look after more than 8,000 patients everyday. Besides, there are indoor patients to look after. The staff members are undergoing tremendous stress and burden. We are working in a climatic situation and we do not find any immediate solutions for controlling the crowd on our own, said the Dean, PGI, Dr Amod Gupta.

Lack of support from state governments

It is high time the state government should intervene and raise the standards of their respective health centres. Until they improve their standards, the patients will keep coming in and how can we be ruthless and deny them admission? Added Dr Gupta.

No policy on referral system

We cannot declare at our own level that we will not allow patients with ordinary problems. This problem of overcrowding and open public entry surrounds a majority of tertiary care institutions in our country. In such a situation, we need the policy makers to help us establish a framework for streamlining our system. 


No inter-connectivity between departments

There is a lack of computerisation for centralised records and interconnectivity between the departments. The Rs 25-crore computerisation project, which was proposed 12 years ago, is yet to take off.

Lack of single window for tests/registrations

There are numerous counters in the hospital and a patient keeps shuttling between them. There are separate counters for medical tests, reports, registration and fee.

Major bottleneck: Lack of computerisation, teething troubles

While the estimated growth of the number of patients was realised by the PGI about 15 years ago and it had proposed the system of computerisation, the institution has failed to implement it completely. Some 12 years ago, the Central Government had sanctioned Rs 25 crore to the PGI for the project. There are a total of 21 modules in the system for different functions. While the software incorporated for the purpose has taken into consideration the crucial aspect of centralised availability of patient records prominently, the PGI staff members have to keep updating the modules regularly. 

Solutions mooted by patients

Why does not the PGI start the online registration system? This will not only check rush at the counters but also make it convenient for tech-savvy people to seek prior appointments. A patient loses all his strength after waiting in a queue.
—Sumer Singla

Patients should be issued tokens at the registration counters so that they can get to know how long they will have to wait in a queue. If computerisation is implemented fully, a patient will be saved from doing rounds of different units to collect reports.

There should some clarity about the system of registration. There are so many counters on each floor but there is no specified system for any OPD. For initial few minutes, a patient keeps wondering where to go.



No check on illegal basements at Mani Majra
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Violating building bylaws, people are constructing basements in Mani Majra.
Violating building bylaws, people are constructing basements in Mani Majra. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, April 18
Violating the building bylaws, residents and shopkeepers are constructing illegal basements in Mani Majra. The Municipal Corporation has received a number of complaints in this regard, but has failed to take any action.

In the last MC House meeting, Councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala had also raised this issue, following which the MC Commissioner had directed officials to submit a report. The officials, however, have not submitted any report on illegal basements.

Kala said throwing rules and regulations to the wind, people here were continuing with the construction of illegal basements in their buildings. “In case any mishap takes place, then who will be responsible?” he said.

Owners have constructed the basements in violation of conditions laid down in the allotment letters and against provisions of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act 1952 as well as in contravention of the building bylaws.

Visit to the area revealed that many buildings, commercial and residential, have basements where no safety norms are followed. People use ladders to enter these basements.

MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta said these violations came under the estate branch of the MC. After the last House meeting, they had formed a team in this regard, which would soon submit its report, he said.

SDE, Building and Enforcement, SK Aggarwal, said officials were busy compiling the report, and on the basis of its findings, the civic body would initiate action against violators.



10 structures pulled down at Kishengarh 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
In a major demolition drive at Kishengarh village, the office of the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) today pulled down at least 10 huge structures that were being used for commercial purposes. The structures had been raised on the government land that had been acquired in 2004.

Soon after the drive started, a large number of villagers gathered at the spot to protest against the drive. But, they dispersed after seeing the police. Hi-tech machines were pressed into service to pull down the structures. The LAC, Tilak Raj, along with Inspectors Parveen Mittal and Anil, carried out the drive.

Sarpanch of the village Devinder Lobhaba said the administration had assured them that only commercial structures would be pulled down. The LAC said the drive had only targeted commercial structures that stood on the government land.

In some cases, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has sent the cases back to the LAC. Encroachments on about 12 acres of government land were removed.

During a demolition drive at the same spot in 2006, the protesters had turned violent and the police had to resort to lathicharge and firing into the air to disperse them.



Boy falls into manhole, injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
A six-year-old child, Geetinder Singh, sustained injuries after falling into a four feet open manhole on Wednesday evening. The child, who resides in Sector 47, was playing in the neighbourhood park in the area when he fell into the gutter. He got four stitches on his knee joint and also received head injuries.

Nearly, 150 people gathered at the spot to rescue the child. He was then rushed to Dhavantari Hospital in Sector 46.

Geetinder Singh is a student of Class I. The Municipal Corporation had been turning a blind eye towards our problems. “Who would have been held responsible if something more severe would have happened to my child?” asked the father of the child, Karamjit Singh.

The pit was never covered since it was built in the park. “The pit was adjacent to the playing equipment which was installed in the park for children play. My son was playing with other children when he fell into the gutter. Following the cries of other children, some passerby rescued my child,” he said.

On the other hand the officers of Public and Health Department said that they have covered the gutter soon after the incident.

Officials, however, maintained that they offered all the necessary help to the family. “We visited the spot and ensured that similar incidences do not happen in future,” said an official.



Finding ‘kanjaks’ no easy task in tricity
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 18
Puja Malhotra, a resident of Phase V, reached her office late by one hour today. The story was no different with other women including Sector 38 resident Rama Kalia, an employee at a private company, Anubha Sharma, a teacher, Neelam Kakkar, a government employee from Panchkula and the list is long.

The simple reason behind these women getting delayed from the daily schedule was similar-all of them did not get “kanjaks” (little girls) for worshipping “Ashtami”, the eighth “navratra”. According to religious myth, at least nine “kanjaks” (little girls) are required for worshipping whom the devotees have to feed and present gifts to please the nine Goddesses on this day.

“I had to roam in my area for about an hour and-a-half to “kanjaks” for my “puja” but you see, despite my efforts, I could not arrange for nine kanjkas and finally, I had to complete the religious ceremony with only three-four girls as I was getting late for my office,” said Rama Kalia.

“Though it does not seem a big problem to anybody, it’s an awakening call in a larger perspective,” said Senu Duggal, chairperson of Rotarian project “Hamaari Beti” and also a social activist being associated with the project, Nanhi Chaan, to save girl child and trees.

While attributing the scarcity of little girls in the society to the dwindling sex ratio and prevailing female foeticide in the region, Senu Duggal said that there is need of hour to stand against the social evil.

“You see no kanjak was present at Mata Mansa Devi temple at Panchkula, yesterday, when I went there. One of the devotees was searching for a little girl to present gifts and prasad but there was none,” said Senu Duggal.

Echoing the sentiments of Senu Duggal, Alka Mahajan, principal of St Paul Convent School at Phase VI in Mohali, said, “We should learn lesson from the problem (not getting kanjaks for the Navratra Festival), which we use to face on this day every year. Today, I had to declare one-hour holiday in the morning as I know how tough it is to get kanjaks. It seems not a big thing but now time has come that the people, especially women should read between the lines and come forward against female foeticide.”



Son, son-in-law back out of narco test
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 18
As to how the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the highest investigating agency, was befooled by the missing realtor Deepak Rai Sagar’s son and his son-in-law was evident when the latter who had given their consent for narco test before the Punjab and Haryana High court, backed out at the verge for the same after reaching Gandhinagar (Gujarat).

To crack the missing mystery of realtor Deepak Rai Sagar, who went misisng in 2009, it was in February when the CBI had sought permission from the court to allow them hold the narco test of his son Sameer and son-in-law SS Monga. This had raised the hopes of cracking the case, the CBI when the two agreed before the court and with their bags packed, the officials and the two headed for Gandhinagar last week.

The narco test was the most vital thing on which the CBI was pinning hopes. There were two laboratories for the narco, one in Gandhinagar and another in Bangalore. Thinking that the laboratory at Gandhinagar is quite expeditious, they decided to get the narco done here.

“When we reached the Gandhinagar laboratory, first the medical tests of the two were conducted which showed completely normal. Just when the lab doctors were about to start with narco procedure, suddenly the two got up and backed out from the test in front of the scientific officer saying that they don’t want to get the narco test done,” said a senior CBI official on the condition of anonymity.

Several confirmations were taken by the officials but the two went from there refusing the test. The CBI received a big jolt when the scientific officer told them about the two backing out at the last moment.

Sameer Sagar, when contacted, said, "There has been a death in our family. I cannot talk right now."

The case was transferred to the CBI by the court on September 6 after the Panchkula police failed to locate the realtor. The police conducted lie detecting tests of a few suspects still no breakthrough was made.

Earlier, permission for narco analysis of his son, wife and son-in-law was sought by the police. But the court had turned down the plea after the three refused before the court due to medical problems.

The case dates back to June 15, 2009 when 54-year-old Deepak Rai Sagar, a property dealer went missing along with his Skoda car from a residence of his friend, Vinay, in Maheshpur village, Sector 21, Panchkula.

The Panchkula police had failed to solve the case and after that family moved to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Even Sagar’s car was not found. The family had suspected the involvement of his business associates. But during investigations, nothing substantial was found. 



Building violations: UT Estate Office accused of bias
Tribune News Service

Flats with similar violations in another society in Sector 49.
Flats with similar violations in another society in Sector 49. Tribune photos: parvesh chauhan

Chandigarh, April 18
It seems that the UT Estate Office is adopting a pick-and-chose policy in dealing with building violations at the group house building societies in sectors 48, 49, 50 and 51.

This is despite the fact that the building branch of the UT Estate Office has been regularly carrying out surveys to check the status of the violations. But, when it comes to removing the violations in a fair manner, the Estate Office acts only on the basis of complaints.

The officials admit that the violations in the form of car sheds, grills and additional rooms are found in most of the 100 group house building societies in the four sectors.

One of the cases is that of Star Enclave, Sector 48. According to a survey conducted by the Estate Office, there are 54 violations in the society. But, every time a complaint is made, fresh notices are issued to all the violators. “Encouraged by the lackadaisical approach of the Estate Office, more occupants have done alterations in violation of the building bylaws," said Pushpa Ahlawat, a resident of the society.

Similar violations exist in most of the other societies. The officials in the Estate Office admit that after it was decided to initiate action against the violators, many surveys were conducted. These societies were allotted land by the administration through the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) about a decade ago. The societies constructed the apartments on their own.

Complaints regarding the misuse and building violations in the societies had led to differences between the Estate Office and the board. They have different opinions about the manner in which these violations should be dealt with.

While the CHB officials had been maintaining that action against the building code violations was the job of the Estate Office, the latter claims that since the land was given to the housing societies through the CHB, it was the duty of the board to taken action against the violators. As a result, violations like constructions in backyards and balconies continue unabated in these societies.

Satish Chandra Sharma, Chairman, Group Housing Cooperative Societies Welfare Council, said the authorities were adopting a pick-and-chose policy, as there was no clear-cut policy on violations and relaxations.



MC disconnects water supply for McDonalds, Kava
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
The public and health wing of Municipal Corporation today disconnected water supply for McDonald in Sector 35 and Kava restaurant in Sector 26 after observing water wastage at both the locations.

The officers also issued 25 challans to the violators in various parts of the city. The challans were issued in areas witnessing overflowing of water tanks. In addition, two challans were issued for car washing.

In the afternoon, officials both from McDonalds and Kava rushed to the MC Office to request for connection but to no avail. “Both the restaurants were found defaulters,” said an official.

The connection of water to two residences in Dhanas-identified as defaulters was also discontinued.

MC has disconnected 282 water supply connections since April 15. As many as 135 challans have been issued for wastage of water.

For violating the ban for the first time, a notice is served. If the violation is repeated, a fine of Rs 2,000 is imposed. Earlier, the MC used to issue notices to first time violators.

Thereafter, a fine of Rs 500 was imposed. Since last year, the civic body instead of issuing notices has been handing over challans to the defaulters. The amount has also been increased to Rs 2,000.



Industrialists, clubs to help kin of accident victim
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
After MC councillors, now industrialists and clubs have also come forward to help the family members of the 33-year-old Harpreet Singh Sodhi, who died in a road accident involving stray cattle.

Industrialist Sandeep Sahni and Vinod Mittal today announced that they would give financial assistance of Rs 21,000 to the family members of the victim.

Similarly, executive members of Chandigarh Club have also decided to give Rs 31,000 to the family from their own pocket on the appeal of Mukesh Bassi, Councillor and former president of Chandigarh Club.

In addition to that, management of Khukhrain Bhawan has also announced to give Rs 11,000 to the family members of the victim.



Railway officials inspect city, Mohali stations
Chandigarh-Amritsar express to be flagged off today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
A day ahead of flagging off of Chandigarh-Amritsar superfast express on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana direct link by Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal the top brass of the Railways visited the city railway station today.

A special inspection was conducted by the Divisional Railway Manager, PK Sangi, on the Chandigarh and Mohali railway stations to inspect the track from which the train will be flagged off tomorrow by the union railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

After the green signal from the Chief Commissioner of Rail Safety (CCRS) the authorities have decided to ply the Chandigarh-Amritsar super fast express on this track by revising the time table of the train. Sources in the department revealed that two more train proposals were in the pipeline for the approval from the higher authorities.

Sangi stated that during his visit here today he also inspected the ongoing projects at the city railway station. Instructions have been given to speed up all the development works as more trains were likely to be diverted to Chandigarh after this track become functional. He said that this will also increase the burden on the infrastructure of the city railway station.

The senior divisional commercial manager, Gulshan, said that as many as 68 passengers had already booked their tickets through e-ticketing out of which 59 passengers were informed on telephone and rest nine reservation numbers were sent to the northern railway headquarter as the tickets which were booked by these passengers were not in their jurisdiction.



MC issues challans to 140 violators

Chandigarh, April 18
In a special anti-encroachment drive, the enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation today removed encroachments from various markets of city and as many as 140 violators were issued challans.

During the course of drive, the enforcement team removed encroachments from Sector 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Sector 17, Manimajra, Indstrial area Phase I.

During the drive various unauthorised items, including rehries, tables, stools, crates, pharies, gas bhatti, readymade garments, cylinders, juice machines, iron and ply sheets and furniture items were removed and seized. — TNS



‘Skin gives early warning of diseases’
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 18
“Skin gives early warning indications of other diseases and hence, especially in old age, one must carefully monitor any changes in the skin,” cautioned Dr Daljeet Kaur, consultant, dermatology, at a hospital in Mohali.

Talking about the skin specific problems in the old age, she enumerated that these are usually wrinkles, dry skin, itchy skin, bruising, age spots, benign growths and bed sores.



Gold broom, rangoli artists to add colour to Gaudiya Math procession in Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
It would not be just the devotees sweeping the road with a gold broom during a procession, but rangoli artists from Bengal would be making beautiful designs on the route of the procession. The artists will create 501 patterns of rangoli during the procession.

The procession will be taken out by Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math with deities sitting on a decorated chariot.

Jai Prakash, spokesperson for the Math, stated that the broom, which had been donated by one of the devotees, would be used to clean the procession route. “This is for the first time a broom covered with gold will be used during the yatra. It costs around Rs 12 lakh,” he said.

“I will be lucky if I get a chance to clean the road with that broom,” said Hemant, a devotee.

A team of six rangoli artists will accompany the procession. “They are very creative artists, who can create rangoli designs within a minute,” said Jai Prakash.

The procession will include band parties and sankirtan parties, comprising devotees who are coming from other parts of India.



Honda Amaze launched in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Amid the rising craze for sub-4 meter cars, which offer excise duty benefits bringing down the cost of the vehicle, in the city, residents now have another option to review before the purchase.

While companies like Maruti attracted a large segment of the ambitious middle-class population in the city by launching Swift Desire in Sub-4 meter model last year, Honda today launched its first diesel engine car in the city 'Amaze' that falls in the Sub-4 meter category, too.

Targeting the youth in their late 30s who dream of acquiring a Sedan while looking for low maintenance cost, Honda has witnessed at least 1,000 walk-in queries and about 500 bookings in the past one week through its dealers in the city.

"The response to the car so far has been good. There is a six-month waiting time for the car," said Vikram Joshi, Managing Director of Harmony Honda, based in Chandigarh.

"The response is similar at both of our branches, one each in the city and Panchkula. Red and Blue are the most-preferred colours these days. The car is available in white colour also," Joshi said.



Chandigarh Scan

The management of the Quest Group of Institutions receive an award in Delhi.
The management of the Quest Group of Institutions receive an award in Delhi. A tribune photograph

Third convocation ceremony of CCET was held was held here on Thursday. VK Singh, Finance Secretary-cum-Secretary Technical Education, Chandigarh Administration, was the chief guest on the occasion. VK Singh emphasised the need of smart entrepreneurs and also on the fact that there is no substitute for hard work. The convocation ceremony was followed by the first alumni meet. An opportunity was given to the alumni to share their experiences in CCET, and its impact on their career. Some of them reminisced about their stay in the student’s hostel and relived the nostalgic moments spent during college life. Alumni meet also witnessed the formation of CCET-OSA (CCET Old Students Association). The association aims at bringing the alumni on a single platform and strengthening the bond between the institution and the old students. The students also performed a skit and presented a video montage with the collection of memories from their years in the college.

Over 35 donate blood

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Northern Region in association with Indian Society of Blood Transfusion & Immunohaematology (ISBTI) organised a blood donation camp at the CII NR Headquarters Sector 31, Chandigarh. The camp, which was organised as part of CII’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative was well attended by CII employees, members and volunteers from the city who all came forward to donate blood. Around 35 units of blood were collected at the camp.


Dr KP Singh, Senior Consultant Endocrinolgy, Fortis Hospital Mohali, has been nominated on the executive council of Pt Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak, by the Governor of Haryana, who is also the Chancellor of the University. The notification was issued by the Haryana Raj Bhavan recently and Dr KP Singh’s term on the executive council will be of 2 years. Dr Gurbir Singh, Regional Medical Director, Fortis Hospital Mohali stated, “It is a positive sign of the success of a doctor when Universities decide to nominate them.”

Gatka training centre established

Free gatka training centre District Gatka Association, Ajitgarh, established a free Gatka Training Centre at Gurdwara Singh Shaeedan Sohana here on Thursday to provide free martial art basics to the budding gatkebaaz. Punjab Labourfed vice-chairman, Parminder Singh Sohana, presided over the inaugural ceremony. On the occasion, among others Harjeet Singh Grewal General Secretary Punjab Gatka Association, Gurmit president Gurdwara Singh Shaeedan Sohana, Phoolraj Singh President District Gatka Association, Dr Deep Singh president Chandigarh Gatka Association and Jagdish Singh Kurali camp coordinator Virsa Sambhal Wing Punjab were also present.


Time Research has awarded the Quest Group of Institutions with the Best Emerging Engineering College of North India 2013. The award was received by DS Sekhon, chairman Quest Group, JPS Dhaliwal and HPS Kanda both vice-chairman of the college. These awards were based on a comprehensive market research study and opinion surveys conducted at all India level. Anand Kumar, a renowned mathematician and founder of Super 30 institutions named as 'People's Hero' was the chief guest at this moment. The award was focused on the education sector and the challenges and opportunities in this field. — TNS



Reimbursement rates finalised for schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
In a major development, the Chandigarh administration approved per-child reimbursement to the tune of Rs 825 and Rs 865 per month per child for 2010-11 and 2011-12, respectively. This amount will be paid to private schools for admission to poor students under the Right to Education (RTE) Act in these two years.

While the calculation for 2012-13 is under process, this latest move, which was pending for long time, will pave the way for the UT Education Department to reimburse private schools against admitting students belonging to the Economically Weaker Section and disadvantaged groups under the Act.

The move is also significant because it will give major impetus to the department to legally convince private schools to implement the Act. The schools have been avoiding the implementation of the Act because of various pending issues relating to the Act, one of which was the delay over per-child reimbursement.

With the per child reimbursement rate finally getting approval from the highest level possible in the local administration, officials of the department said they would soon start the process for per-child reimbursement to private schools.

As per information, no payment has so far been released by the Education Department to any private school for providing free and compulsory education to children under the RTE Act during 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 sessions. The department will start per-child reimbursement to private schools now.

A senior official said UT was one of the few places in the country to finalise the per-child reimbursement.

“It came after a three-member high-level committee headed by Satya Gopal, chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board, submitted its recommendations to the administration, following which it got the approval from senior officials,” said officials.

Reimbursement for 10% only

The Education Department has clarified that private schools which were given land on at a concession would be reimbursed to the extent of 10 per cent of the seats only, since they all were already under obligation to fill 15 per cent of their seats from EWS students as a part of the land allotment agreement renewed in 2005.

A senior official said private schools were misleading the word “nominal charges” in the UT’s 2005 notification on the land allotment agreement. “The notification clearly says that private schools can charge nominal amount to the extent of fee charged from government school students. Since education in government schools is free, private schools have no ground asking for any reimbursement for these seats. Moreover, the RTE Act, too, has clear guidelines for this,” he said.



from schools
Inter-house quiz

An inter-house English quiz was organised at Shishu Niketan School, Mohali. Students from class VI to class VIII participated in the event. The motive of the quiz was to test the grammatical as well as literary knowledge of the students. Nilgiri House bagged the first position, whereas Shiwalik House and Aravali House clinched the second spot.

Colour Day

Ashmah International School celebrated Colour Day. Besides celebrating the day, singing, recitation and painting competitions were also organised for the junior section to enhance their confidence level. The school was decorated with balloons and ribbons. Food was also served to the students.

Birth anniversary observed

The Arya Yuva Samaj of Hansraj Public School celebrated the 149th birth anniversary of eminent educationist and social reformer Mahatma Hansraj, who devoted his entire life for the cause of betterment of education and uplift of society. Hansraj Gandhar, manager of the school, presided over the function. — TNS



PU to prepare data of vehicles owned by teachers, staff
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Panjab University is soon going to prepare data of the total number of vehicles owned by teachers and other staff in each department and administrative block, based on which the XEN office of the university will demarcate the parking space for the faculty and the staff on the campus. No-parking areas on the campus will also be demarcated.

PU officials said the detailed information on vehicles (two wheelers and four wheelers) brought by the faculty and other staff of the respective departments would be obtained from the chairpersons and the Registrar Office.

“The Xen office will give the detail of the proper parking space across the campus where two-wheelers and four-wheelers can be parked, which will be further allotted to the faculty and staff for parking vehicles,” he said.

The parking areas will be demarcated and the university authorities will lift vehicles parked at non-demarcated places.

The university has also decided to close the entry to parking from opposite the Arts Block-4 side and opening the entry to parking from the library roundabout.

Officials said efforts would be made to strengthen direct bus services to the university from Panchkula and Mohali in a bid to encourage students to use the public transport.

“The UT Administration will be requested to provide direct services from Mohali and Panchkula to the Panjab University gates for students by plying university special buses in morning and evening,” the officials said.

The university has also asked the security staff to check helmet-less driving on the campus roads.

Meanwhile, the committee constituted to inquire into the incident of reckless driving by two PU students will hold its meeting next week to decide the further course of action.



Panjab varsity to identify teachers, experts for guiding industry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
In a bid to have a better linkage between the industry and the university for finding solutions to various global issues for sustainable development by driving products and technologies to the commercialisation, the Centre for Industry Institute Partnership Programme (CIIPP), Panjab University, is preparing a database of PU teachers and experts for laboratory and intellectual support to the industry.

Officials said many researchers of the university were providing expert guidance to the industry by way of extending technical consultancy and a few had transferred the technologies and the products developed by them to the industry. However, there was still a lot of scope to translate the innovative research and the expertise of the university faculty into the industrial products or processes, keeping in view the societal needs.

To facilitate and promote the industry-institute interactions, the CIIPP is in the process of preparing a fresh “database of university experts for laboratory and intellectual support to industry”.

The teachers are going to register themselves by submitting the information on areas of expertise, outstanding publication, industrial experience, etc., highlighting the industry relevant intellectual strengths.

As per information, this database would be sent to various industrial organisations in order to make them aware of experts available in the university and the activities being carried out by them for identifying relevant researchers and innovators.

The same information will also be uploaded on the university website to enable easy and convenient access to the interested parties.



Dr Kalam’s simplicity, affability wins many hearts
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 18
It was simplicity and affability of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam that won the hearts of every person present on the campus of the Chandigarh Group of Colleges at Landran here today evening.

“You have not taken your food for the past two days,” Dr Kalam quipped when he asked the students to repeat some lines after him and found a low response.

Dr Kalam also asked the chairman of the college Satnam Singh Sandhu and the president RS Dhaliwal to take their seats on finding them standing along him while delivering his speech. “Please sit down”, Dr Kalam asked them.

“How impressive and simple this great man is,” said a girl student sitting in the ‘pandal’.

A former President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, meets students during a convocation; and (right) students wait for the former President at the Chandigarh Group of Colleges at Landran in Mohali on Thursday.
A former President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, meets students during a convocation; and (right) students wait for the former President at the Chandigarh Group of Colleges at Landran in Mohali on Thursday. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Earlier, hundreds of students, who were queued up along the way from the college’s administrative complex to the ‘pandal’ in which the convocation ceremony held, were impressed with the former President when he immediately started waving his hands at them amidst loud applause.

The youngsters were seen jostling for having a close look of Dr Kalam and taking a photograph in their cellphones. Dr Kalam, too, seemed very happy to be with Punjabi youngsters as he was seen smiling all the way to the dais. There was a pin-drop silence when Dr Kalam was addressing the students for 20 minutes.

The students, who got a chance to receive degrees from Dr Kalam, were more than happy.

“We still don’t believe our luck that we have received our degrees from Dr Kalam and got a chance to shake hands with him. It’s like a dream come true,” said Ankita Anand, a student of MTech, Information Technology, and Charanpreet Kaur, who has completed her MBA.

However, certain students were disappointed as they could not interact with the scientist.

Sunny Rooproy, who is part of the team that has developed a car running with water, was very excited that he would get appreciation from his ideal.

“Dr Kalam came near our ‘water car’, but he could not talk to us due to the paucity of time. I am happy to see him, but also disappointed as I could not talk to him,” said Sunny.

Karman Deep and Praful Sharma, who were part of the team that has also developed innovative cars, expressed the similar sentiments.

Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman of the college, said it was an honour to have such a dignitary on the complex.

“Dr Kalam was very happy to have a model of the Golden Temple as memento,” said Sandhu.

Over 1,200 students of various streams were given degrees in today’s convocation.



Board flight of success, former Prez exhorts students
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 18
The environs of the Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC) at Landran was virtually charged up when Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, told the students that they were not meant for crawling but to fly.

Asking the students to repeat after him, Dr Kalam said: “I have wings and I will fly, fly and fly” and with these lines the great scientist swept the students off their feet.

Dr Kalam was in the town to confer degrees on meritorious students of the CGC, Landran, during its annual convocation function held this evening.

Addressing the gathering, comprising students of the college, their parents and the college staff, Dr Kalam called upon the students to build indomitable spirit to make a developed India by 2020.

Presenting his visualisation of India in 2020, Dr Kalam emphasised on reduction of rural and urban divide to a thin line, equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water, having best health care system and eradication of poverty, illiteracy, crime against women and children.

“I visualise the nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy by 2020. Work with integrity and succeed with integrity,” exhorted Dr Kalam while calling upon the youths to be part of the mission of transforming India into a developed nation by 2020.

Earlier, most of the students were also seen excited to have the top scientist of the country among themselves.

“We are very excited to see the “Missile Man” among ourselves. It’s really an honour to have our degrees from such a great personality,” said a group of meritorious students, who received their degrees from Dr Kalam.



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