C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


A happier journey begins
City-Amritsar Exp: New Morinda-Sahnewal link cuts travel time by 45 minutes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The direct train that runs between the City Beautiful and Amritsar today chugged off from the Chandigarh railway station amid cheers on its maiden run on the newly laid New Morinda-Sahnewal track.

The new track comprises 52 km of the total 112 track length between Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal flagged off the superfast train between the two cities from the Chandigarh railway station. The train will complete its journey in four hours.

The newly laid track forms part of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail section that has been opened in phases. The Chandigarh-New Morinda and Sahnewal sections were opened in September 2006 and November 2012, respectively. Bansal and Member of Parliament from Anandpur Sahib Ravneet Bittu, along with railway officials, travelled from Chandigarh to Mohali by the train to monitor the services.
Railway Minister PK Bansal flags it off from Chandigarh on Friday
Railway Minister PK Bansal flags it off from Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

The train (12241/12242) will have halts at Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar city and Beas stations en route. With the opening of this track, the travelling time between Chandigarh and Amritsar has been reduced by 45 minutes. The newly laid 52-km track has 129 minor road underbridges and four major bridges. This section has three new stations: Khamano, Samrala and Lall Kalan.

Passengers, who travelled on the new track for the first time, felt proud to be part of the ceelebrations. Some of them suggested that more trains should be introduced on this track for better connectivity. A passenger told this correspondent on the telephone that villagers at Samrala gave a warm welcome to the train on its arrival at the station. They distributed ladoos among the passengers.

Meanwhile, a goods train also plied today from Mohali to Dandari via Samrala.

12-year wait ends

After a long wait of 12 years, the entire track between Chandigarh and Ludhiana, measuring 112 km, has become fully operational. In September 2006, the first phase from Chandigarh to the New Morinda station was opened for traffic. In November 2012, phase II, which involved the construction of a third line from Sanehwal to Ludhiana, was opened for traffic. Finally, the final phase of this line from New Morinda to Sahnewal (52 km) was opened for traffic today. The delay shot up the cost of the project from Rs 250 crore in 2000 to approximately Rs 1,100 crore. In 2000, the city-Ludhiana link was announced in the Budget. The work on the project was started by the Railways in 2001. Due to non-release of funds and operational hurdles, there was a delay.

Una train delayed

Passengers of the Ambala-Chandigarh-Una train faced a harrowing time on Friday at the city railway station as the train was three hours late. Adding to their woes was the fact that no announcement was made at the Chandigarh station about the delay in the arrival of the train. One of the commuters complained about the delay to Bansal at the Mohali station following which officials enquired about the delay from the staff. The train was late due to a delay in the departure from Kurukshetra



Residents welcome new rail link
Rue absence of pantry arrangements for the four-hour journey to Amritsar
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The maiden run of the Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express on the newly laid Chandigarh-Ludhiana track saw a mixed response from passengers. Those who travelled on the train today did welcome the opening of a new track, but complained about petty problems.

Sandeep Kumar was one such passenger who boarded the train along with his two daughters at Chandigarh. Sharing his experience of the journey till Ludhiana, Sandeep said the train reached and left every station at the scheduled time. He, however, rued the absence of drinking water, which inconvenienced his daughters. Paid water bottles were also not available with the pantry staff, he said.

Two-year-old Ishraj Singh, too, had an “awful” journey. The tiny tot who was travelling with his parents could not get any refreshments or drinking water. His father, Simranjeet Singh, said it was strange that no pantry arrangements were made for the four-hour journey. He said private vendors should have been allowed to supply basic eatable items and drinks to commuters.

Seema, an advocate, however, welcomed the opening of the new track which would make it easier for lawyers from Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar to reach the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh. She said both the departure and arrival timings from and to Chandigarh and Amritsar were suitable for advocates who need to visit the city to meet their clients.



Chandigarh-Amritsar train reaches Mohali amid cheer
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, April 19
The maiden run of the Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express from Chandigarh to Ludhiana on the formally opened New Morinda-Sahnewal-Ludhiana section of the railway track was welcomed with cheer at the Mohali railway station this evening.

The Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express has a scheduled arrival timing of 5.42 pm at Mohali with a two-minute stoppage.

A large gathering, including Member Parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu and MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, was at the railway station as the floral decorated train reached there. Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Congress leader Jagmohan Kang, who boarded the train at Chandigarh, were received at the station by their supporters.

While addressing the gathering, Bansal said a long-pending demand for a rail link to Amritsar had been fulfilled at last. He said another train would be started in a few months that would leave Chandigarh in the morning and return by the evening.

He said there was also a plan to provide a link to Damdama Sahib in order to connect all the five Takhts. Bansal also promised to take up the demand for a Ferozepur-Patti link, sought by the Army, with the Punjab government. He said shortcomings at the Mohali railway station would also be addressed soon.

Earlier, MLA Sidhu urged the Union Railway Minister to modernise the Mohali railway station. He said trains announced in the Railway Budget such as the Anandpur Sahib-Hazur Sahib and Kalka-Katra trains should be started without any further delay. He also demanded toilet facility in trains running from Ambala to the Nangal dam and the superfast train from Chandigarh to Ludhiana.



BA, BSc second-year maths exam
Panjab varsity goofs, repeats last year’s question paper
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
In a major goof-up by Panjab University (PU), the mathematics question paper for BA and BSc second-year students of all PU-affiliated colleges held on April 17 in various examination centres in Chandigarh and Punjab turned out to be exactly the same that was attempted by the mathematics students last year.

The mathematics paper-B on differential equations for students of BA and BSc shocked everyone after it was found that not even a single question in the question paper differed from the 2012 question paper. The sequence of the questions was also the same.

PU Controller of Examination (CoE) Parvinder Singh said he had not received any complaint regarding the question paper having been repeated. “I can only comment after getting the question papers of both the years checked,” the CoE said.

Raghbir Dyal, a PU Senate member and head of the mathematics department at Government College, Sri Muktsar Sahib, termed the incident as a blot on the university examination system. “It’s the biggest policy failure of the university, which has exposed the functioning of the PU authorities,” Dyal said.

Dyal said it was hard to believe how the university could make such a blunder. “Accountability should be fixed for the goof-up and action should be taken against those found responsible,” Dyal said.

A mathematics teacher in a city college said the question paper had turned out to be a bonanza for students who had prepared for the examination with the help of past 10-year question paper available in the market. “The students who had seen the question paper of the previous year while preparing for the examination have turned out to be lucky,” said the teacher.

Thousands of students may have to face the consequences of the goof-up by the university as there may be a re-examination. The students of BA and BSc appeared together for the examination since their mathematics syllabus is the same.

This is the second mistake made by the university in examinations this year. On April 10, the cost accounting question paper of B Com-II that was supposed to have theory and numerical-type questions only had theory questions.



Sonepat murders: 3 city cops suspended
Had given official rifle to accused cop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
A day after a UT constable murdered his girlfriend's husband, who had got married five days ago, and her mother-in-law by firing indiscriminately at them in Sonepat, senior police officials today suspended three policemen for their negligence in issuing a self-loading rifle (SLR) to the accused constable, who was under suspension for remaining absent from duty. The constable had committed the crime using the SLR.

Three policemen, including the line officer of the Chandigarh Police Lines in Sector 26, Sub-Inspector Sukhdev Singh, have been suspended for issuing a SLR along with 20 live cartridges to the double

murder accused constable, Basant Singh. Two special teams have been formed to arrest Basant Singh, who is on the run along with his girlfriend Sarita.

The other two suspended policemen are the in charge of artillery, head constable Dalip Singh, and his assistant, constable Maninder Singh. Accused constable Basant was posted with the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) and had come to the Police Lines in Sector 26 from where he collected his SLR from the artillery unit along with live cartridges yesterday. He then went to Sonepat and committed the murders. He had joined the UT police in 2011.

Basant shot his girlfriend Sarita's husband Sandeep and her mother-in-law Roshini at Deepalpur village in Sonepat district of Haryana yesterday. His girlfriend, with whom he stayed in Chandigarh for a month, had married Sandeep on April 15, which was the reason behind the crime. The police said the line officer, Sub-Inspector Sukhdev, head constable Dalip Singh and constable Maninder Singh had issued the rifle without verifying that Basant was absent from duty and was suspended.

A police official said Basant remained absent from duty without intimation and was suspended. He said a rifle could not be issued to a suspended policeman and the three officers were grossly negligent in issuing him the rifle. A separate departmenal inquiry has also been marked against them.

UT police registers separate case

By getting the SLR issued while he was suspended, constable Basant cheated the Police Department and has been booked in a case of criminal breach of trust under Sections 409 and 420 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act. A case has been registered at the Sector 26 police station. The police has also issued a lookout notice for the murder accused. The Haryana police has booked the constable under Sections 302, 307, 449, 364 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act at the Rai police station in Sonepat district.


Challan against Doon MLA finds no mention of Jyoti's sister
Realising mistake, SIT rushes to Hoshiarpur to record her statement
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 19
In the challan filed against Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary in the Jyoti murder case, the deceased’s sister, Ishu, finds no mention. Ironically, one of the most crucial evidence in the case was Chaudhary’s photograph at Ishu’s wedding, which proved his connection with the deceased.

Although this photograph which shows Chaudhary blessing the couple has been attached to the chargesheet, Ishu fails to find a place in the list of 77 witnesses and her statements too have not been recorded and attached to the challan.

Upon realising this blunder, the Special Investigating Team (SIT) rushed to Jyoti’s village in Hoshiarpur to record Ishu’s statements last night.

According to Buti Ram, father of the victim, as many as five police officials, including a policewoman and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Krishan Kumar Hooda, visited his place to record Ishu’s statements.

“We were asked to call Ishu from her in-laws place. She gave her statement, following which some further interrogation was done by the police,” said Buti Ram.

Chaudhary’s wife threatened Jyoti

In a crucial statement to the police, Ishu has alleged that her sister, Jyoti, had once told her that Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary’s wife had threatened her of dire consequences if she ever met him. This conversation allegedly took place in May 2012, just six months before the murder, said Buti Ram, Jyoti’s father



drunken driving
Traffic cops issue advance notice of drive
Tribune News Service

sandeep joshi

Chandigarh, April 19
A public notice issued by the UT traffic police informing about a special drive against drunken driving has put boozers on guard.

Taking air out of the surprise nakas set up by the police to catch tipsy drivers, the Chandigarh Police, much to the convenience of boozers, has informed about tomorrow’s drive in a public notice issued today.

While the officials defended the notice, saying that it is aimed at discouraging the nuisance of drunken driving, it has helped the Bacchus lovers to reschedule their binging timings.

Those who had plans of binging are now busy contemplating using alternative routes or arranging drivers to escape the police checkpoints.

DSP, Traffic, Kamaldeep said the notice was meant to create awareness and caution the public to not to drive after drinking.

“The idea is to reduce the total number of challans as our aim is to stop people from indulging in drinking and driving,” he said.



navratra fest at mansa devi temple
Rs 1.34 crore received as offerings
Tribune News Service

A devotee offers prayers on the concluding day of the Navratra festival
A devotee offers prayers on the concluding day of the Navratra festival. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, April 19
The nine-day fest at Mansa Devi temple concluded today. Navratras this year saw less devotees and donation as compared to last year. However, the gold and silver items received were more this year.

Around 87,000 devotees paid obeisance at the shrine. The collection at the ninth day was around Rs 15 lakh. The devotees donated as many as 114 silver items and 10 gold items. Today, as many as 152 devotees used the golf cart facility.

The total collection at the shrine at the end of the fest was around Rs 1.34 crore. Around 7.3 lakh devotees paid obeisance at the shrine during the last day of the fest.

Last year, total collections of gold items were 65 while this year it is 74. Similarly, 1,184 silver items were received this year and last year it was 1,088 silver items.

Over 950 police officials were deployed at the temple for the security and safety of the devotees.



Stray cattle to be shifted to Delhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The Municipal Corporation has finally decided to send stray cattle from the city to a Delhi-based Dabur Gaushala..

The first lot of 60 stray cattle will be sent to Delhi on Sunday. Recently, the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) had sanctioned Rs 20 lakh for shifting unclaimed stray cattle from the city to the ‘gaushalas’ of other states.

After the death of a 33-year-old man, Harpreet Singh Sodhi, who died in an accident involving stray cattle, the MC was under immense pressure to speed up the process of shifting stray cattle from city to ‘gaushalas’ of other states.

The MC had decided that they will shift stray cattle to a Delhi-based Dabur Gaushala and Garshankar based Gau Sewa Mission. It was decided that MC would pay one-time charge of Rs 2,000 to these ‘gaushalas’ for every stray cattle. Recently, the Mayor had written letters to various ‘gaushalas’ of the country regarding shifting of stray cattle to their ‘gaushalas’. Thereafter, two ‘gaushalas’ agreed to house stray cattle.



Sandeep Sahni is CCI president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The annual general meeting of the Chamber Of Chandigarh Industries (CCI) was held today.

The members unanimously elected 12 members of the executive committee who further elected Sandeep Sahni as the president, Naveen Manglani as the vice-president, Rakesh Rattan Aggarwal as the secretary, Rajiv Jain as the joint secretary and Harvinder S Khanna as the finance secretary.

Sandeep Sahni promised the members that the newly elected office bearers and the executive committee would put their best efforts to resolve the pending matters of the local Industry. He assured that they would try to get the long pending demands of “ conversion of leasehold industrial plots to freehold” and “implementation of activities under the MSME act” apart from improvement in general infrastructure.



Bharatnatyam artistes leave audience spellbound
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The evening at the Punjab Kala Bhawan witnessed a fine Bharatnatyam performance by artists Shaswati Mandal Paul, Neha Bhatnagar and Sahana Balasubramanyam.

In the first performance, Shaswati Mandal Paul, an artist with All India Radio and Doordarshan, recited aalap of puriya- dhanashree. She also presented tappa and concluded with bandish Chhando Chhanda. Tabla artist Mehmood Khan and harmonium player Rakesh Kumar supported her.

In the second presentation, Neha Bhatnagar, a faculty member at Ganesha Natyalaya centre of Bharatnatyam, Delhi, and a 23-year-old Sahana concluded the evening with Parashakti Janani Devi stuti and Ganga Stotram, respectively.

Dr Shobha Koser, registrar, and Sajal Koser, secretary, Kala Kendra honoured the artistes.

The kendra will also host a Santoor Recital by Suddhashil Chatterjee and Kathak Dance on April 20.



Five held for illegal sand mining
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 19
The police has arrested five persons and impounded five sand-laden trucks for illegal sand mining. The police sources said that a case has been registered following the complaint of mining officer, Surinder Singh.

During the raid, the police found sand-laden trucks which had been brought from the Ghaggar side. The police has booked all the accused under the Mining Act.



Electricity Dept pulled up for poor power-purchase management
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has pulled up the UT Electricity Department for its “poor” power-purchase management that leads to crisis especially during summers.

Orders issued by the commission termed the power purchase cost of the department the highest among all its jurisdictions and called for a drastic rationalisation and optimisation.

The JERC directed the electricity department to go for long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) instead of short-term power purchase from bilateral sources. The JERC expressed its unhappiness on the move of the UT administration to purchase power for shorter period and at higher rates.

Dismissing a petition filed by the electricity department that sought a hike in the power tariff, JERC stated, “The electricity department did not make long-term PPAs to meet its base requirement and depended largely on short-term power purchases to meet the present shortages. It purchases power at a higher rate from a bilateral source and power exchanges.”

The commission further noted that the department had failed to undertake an appropriate management of power in the area. The commission also directed the department to follow a proper plan for purchasing power. "The scheduling should be done on day-ahead (spot), term-ahead (weekly), monthly and yearly basis strictly on a merit order.

The commission stated that in order to optimise the cost of power purchase, rotational power cuts could be undertaken by the UT Electricity Department, ensuring equity among all the consumers irrespective of their status.



Man accuses Akali youth leader of coercion
Our Correspondent

A rehri parked illegally on the road separating Phase 3B and 3A in Mohali
A rehri parked illegally on the road separating Phase 3B and 3A in Mohali. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Mohali, April 19
A resident has complained to the SSP against an Akali youth leader who allegedly threatened him and told him to withdraw a complaint made against certain auto-rickshaw drivers who were misusing a local bus stop area at Phase III-A, here.

Ravi Gakhar in his complaint to the SSP on April 17 said he had received a threatening phone call from a person describing himself as an Akali youth leader. Gakhar sought police protection apprehending harm to himself or his family and demanded legal action in the matter.

Gakhar had also complained last year to the SSP that the bus stop, which was located opposite the Janata Market, was being allegedly misused by some fruit vendors for commercial and other unlawful activities. The rear side of this public property, he said, was being used for urination.

Gakhar said he had complained to the SHO, Matour, on March 5 this year about an incident in which he was threatened by auto-rickshaw drivers and rehri vendors who were illegally using the bus stop area.

Gakhar had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking the issuance of directions to the SSP and the SHO, Matour, to submit the status report with regard to the complaints filed by him. The petition also sought directions to the two respondents to take action against anti-social elements who were committing offences in the bus stop area.

The court had on March 21 said the position as depicted in the petition showed lawlessness in the area and directed the SSP to take into consideration the relevant representation of the petitioner and to take action within two months.



from schools
Havan ceremony

On the birth anniversary of Mahatma Hansraj, DAV School, Mohali, organised a Havan ceremony in the school auditorium. A special assembly was conducted in the morning in which students recited Ved Mantras and Bhajans. Students of junior classes were given worksheets. The students also participated in a drawing competition. Parneet Kaur of class VI won the first prize. Dr Rosy Sharma, principal of the school, congratulated the students and appreciated their efforts.

Bookmark-making competition

Students of class II and class III of Bhavan Vidyalaya (junior wing) participated in the opening activity of the new session “notebook covering”, labelling and bookmark-making competition. The students made exceptionally beautiful bookmarks by using innovative ideas and artistic imaginations.

Book exhibition

A book exhibition was organised at Shivalik Public School. The students, who were asked to collect world-class books during World Book Day on March 23, submitted the books surveyed by them. The students came up with the titles of books written by famous writers and read the books with keen interest. A quiz was organised to encourage the students. They were asked questions regarding the books, which they have surveyed. A bookmark competition was also organised on the occasion.

World Heritage Day

Kendriya Vidalaya, Sector 31, celebrated World Heritage Day with enthusiasm and zeal. The school premises was decorated with posters and paintings of the important historical monuments of the world. The students participated in an inter-class competition.

Health Week

Saupin's School, Sector 32, observed Health Week from April 15 to April 18. The issue of globalisation and economic development introducing a range of junk food and altered dietary habits in the country was discussed. A booklet on ‘Healthy Eating’ was released by Anil Kumar, UT Home Secretary, on the occasion. The book is compiled by Nina Mimani, teachers and students of the Chandigarh and Mohali branch. — TNS



tricity scan

Chandigarh scan
CII's special initiative

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has undertaken a special initiative to help students of government polytechnics in Chandigarh to find jobs with CII members. The objective is to provide employment opportunities to the students and offer a pool of talented students to the industry. During its first session at Government Polytechnic for Women, Sector 10, Chandigarh, around 20 students from different courses like architectural assistantship; interior design and decoration; logistics; and electronic and communication engineering were shortlisted. Pikender Pal Singh, regional director, CII NR, said: “This initiative will result in students finding better jobs in Chandigarh and bridge the employment gap, which is the need of the hour. Skill development and placement of students in polytechnics and ITIs assumes great importance for the CII”.

Regional conference

The NIRC and the Chandigarh-Panchkula Chapter of the ICAI organised a regional conference here. The theme of the conference was “CMAs leading the way of professional Social Responsibility”. The conference was inaugurated by JK Puri, Chief Adviser Cost (retd), Government of India, and Rakesh Singh, president of the ICAI. JK Puri lit the lamp and declared the convention open. Being a part of government machinery, he emphasised on the role of cost accountants, especially when the government is trying hard to achieve GDP growth in double digits. He said though cost records and audit were introduced in India way back in 1965, it gave boost to this profession in the past couple of years when compliance report for cost records was introduced. He encouraged young CMAs to come into practice.

Mohali scan
Students win top positions

Students of BAMS final professional of Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College and Hospital have brought glory to the institution by winning three out of the 10 top positions in the examination conducted by Guru Ravidas Ayurved University, Hoshiarpur. Amita Rani has bagged the fifth position, Madhu Bala has won the ninth position and Avantika has secured the 10th position in the university by securing 1,414/1,900, 1,400/1,900 and 1,399/1,900 marks, respectively. — TNS



law entrance
PU changes exam date
Final notification of fresh date to be issued next week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The Panjab University (PU) authorities have changed the date of the Law entrance exam, which is clashing with the entrance test to be conducted by Delhi University (DU). The entrance test, which was earlier scheduled for June 9, has been re-scheduled for June 23.

Acting on the representations made by the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) highlighting the plea of law aspirants who were in a fix after finding that the entrance date of both universities are clashing, the examination branch after scrutinising all feasible dates has decided to hold the exam on June 23 and the final notification of the fresh date will be issued next week.

Parvinder Singh, Controller of Examination (COE), said June 23 was the earliest date when the entrance exam could be conducted.

“Although the entrance exam date of PU was decided a couple of months ago, Delhi University had released the date of the exam recently. However, still we decided to change the entrance examination date as we don’t want students to suffer,” Singh said.

Every year, over 1,000 students apply for law at PU against around 600 seats in the morning and evening shift of classes.

The students would be informed about the fresh date of entrance test through the Panjab University website.

Officials said postponing the date of entrance exam would also lead to delay in the declaration of results and counselling of students clearing the entrance test.



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